Rebalancing older content. Enabling new players to "catch up" to the veterans.

I left a few months after Horizons because my ancient graphic card could no longer cope. I returned last year because I ran across a screenshot of a water world I loved, and fancied a re-visit (sadly nerfed by the look of it). Removed the layer of dust on my old Cobra and found I could be in an AspX in no time at all. Some things have changed for the better, but some for the worse. And the latter are almost all to do with making life for new players easier....1) Advanced docking computer - do you really need help to launch? 2) Supercruise assist - just to allow you to go afk instead of concentrating 3) Loss of engineer RNG - what's the point of an 'experimental' effect if the experiment can't go wrong? And so forth. But the biggest disappointment is that because of these things and many others, Elite is no longer 'dangerous' In other words, it's not the grind itself - it's the lack of risk.
If you think that supercruise, departing a station and engineers RNG were 'interesting risks', than we just differ on what that means. I am all for making ED more challenging and dangerous, but nuts to the endless tedium and time wasting.

FWIW: I have a Advanced Docking Computer on all my ships, and supercruise assist on my explo ships. Why? Because traveling 150000 LS in a straight line in empty space is to me not a riveting and exciting adventure where I have to concentrate optimally. No, it is nothing but a sleep-inducing snorefest. If you want to experience this thrilling saga with wide open eyes: have fun! Meanwhile I'll be taking a leak, grabbing another drink, playing a bit of guitar or reading a book. I'll get back to my controls when there is something to control.
 
sure, there are things you can do in the game that are worth nothing, and if you choose to only do those things, you can never accumulate enough wealth in a reasonable amount of time for a FC. So what?

There are plenty of non-"exploity" ways to make credits in the game that most certainly will get you to FC money in a reasonable amount of time.

Even bounty hunting - will get you billions in a few months of playing if you're motivated. But getting a FC and having it take a year of playing is perfectly reasonable. It's not supposed to be something you can get in a couple months.

as for rebalancing so new players "catch up" to veterans.... why would they need anything changed to catch up? aren't we always saying that PvP is basically a niche aspect of the game that almost never happens? So why does anyone need to "catch up" to anyone else ?

This sounds like a reward grab by filthy casuals under the pretense of "doing it for the newbies" .... If you want tediously acquired rewards, then play the game ... if you want to doddle in the black or play 1 hour a week then deal with the meager progression that you deserve.
 
Eh, Frontier doesn't pay me enough to care about things like new players catching up to veterans, or player retention, or broadening the games appeal. They have access to a whole bunch more information than I do, so are better positioned to make decisions.

As evidenced by the forums, there is enough variety in Elite Dangerous for people to have their own favorite activities, and think any new ideas...some think the idea will cure everything, and others think the exact same idea will ruin everything.
 
...

as for rebalancing so new players "catch up" to veterans.... why would they need anything changed to catch up? aren't we always saying that PvP is basically a niche aspect of the game that almost never happens? So why does anyone need to "catch up" to anyone else ?
...
Maybe so the meta ships don't steal all the kills, hog all the good trades, overthrow all the BGS work?
 
Maybe so the meta ships don't steal all the kills, hog all the good trades, overthrow all the BGS work?
There is the myth right there...one does not need meta ships to be successful with any of those things unless they are seeking out direct competition, in which case, of course one would need the best to go up against the best, but that's just reality...nothing to do with the game.
 
I never mentioned handing out credit stimulus checks. Nice try though
I changed it from "I too would" to "I would".
So that its not wrong.
Because if they are going to do stuff to help players catch up, giving everyone the same amount as the person with the most would be a good way to do it :)

Edit. Not sure 2 trillion is the most but its the highest I have seen.
 
I changed it from "I too would" to "I would".
So that its not wrong.
Because if they are going to do stuff to help players catch up, giving everyone the same amount as the person with the most would be a good way to do it :)

Well given the rate at which credit gaining has increased since launch you will be able to earn your 2 trillion in a tenth of time compared to launch. If you feel that threatened by a newer player catching up, you can always go grind out more Robigo mines or whatever the latest credit fountain is.
 
Well given the rate at which credit gaining has increased since launch you will be able to earn your 2 trillion in a tenth of time compared to launch. If you feel that threatened by a newer player catching up, you can always go grind out more Robigo mines or whatever the latest credit fountain is.
Currently you earn literal billions with the CG. In others words, a new player (if he knew about it) could earn in an afternoon 500% of what I earned since 2014. And I have way too much money that I cannot really spend on anything. Credits are, if anything, so abundant to the point of being meaningless. Its the other stuff that is both poorly explained, or not explained at all, in-game and/or tedious to get.

Grind is never an issue with how long something takes, but how fun it is. Everything a player can do in ED should be explained in-game, and be fun to do. Or at least fun to a seizable part of the community. Aspects that only a tiny group of people know about (how many players know you can drive inside the bowels of an alien base?) or are near-universally loathed (Engineers fed-ex unlocks) should be looked at. Once something is fun people won't mind doing it, obviously. Grind is created when there is something players want, but there is only one way to get it and that way is neither fun nor quick.

Making it quicker is as good a suggestion as suggesting a restaurant serves smaller portions of rotten food. A little bit of rotten food sure is better than eating a lot of it, but neither is going to truly please a lot of people. There will always be some people who enjoy trying rotten food, and some people can't get enough of it. But they are a strange and disturbing group of people who are best ignored.
 
Maybe so the meta ships don't steal all the kills, hog all the good trades, overthrow all the BGS work?

I don't know what this even means. If you don't want kills "stolen", just make your own instance. There is no "trading meta ship" that I'm aware of, you can't engineer yourself more cargo space. BGS work ... who cares? The tiny fraction of people who give a heck about who controls any specific station this week should be more exercised about the bots, and I highly doubt the bot ships have had months of grind poured into them.
 
I don't know what this even means. If you don't want kills "stolen", just make your own instance. There is no "trading meta ship" that I'm aware of, you can't engineer yourself more cargo space. BGS work ... who cares? The tiny fraction of people who give a heck about who controls any specific station this week should be more exercised about the bots, and I highly doubt the bot ships have had months of grind poured into them.
Ahh, but understanding the BGS is how some groups are able to manufacture their own gold rushes by manipulating the states, which impacts mission selection, commodity prices, The cool thing is, that a single player can find an out of the way system and manufacture their own states too, without having a meta ship...and not reporting it to the third party sites is how you keep it to yourself, which is why there are plenty of 4k Tritium stations still around...
 
Ahh, but understanding the BGS is how some groups are able to manufacture their own gold rushes by manipulating the states, which impacts mission selection, commodity prices, The cool thing is, that a single player can find an out of the way system and manufacture their own states too, without having a meta ship...and not reporting it to the third party sites is how you keep it to yourself, which is why there are plenty of 4k Tritium stations still around...
I would like to know more :unsure:
 
Nothing in PVE land is veteran vs newbie oriented.

it's all hardcore vs casual in terms of impact and capability.

Players who associate with other players have an advantage over individuals.

Players who are in organized groups doing things in an structured and organized plan will have an advantage over players just doing what they want (even if in a group).

None of that has anything to do with how long a player has been playing the game.

PvE advantages only exist for hardcore players because they're the only ones impacted by them and if you're playing all hardcore like, you dont need any handicaps as you'll quickly "catch up" on your own. The game doesn't require skill and there's not a lot of distance between getting started and good enough.

Casual players aren't impacted by any of this. They're limited not by the activities of other players, but by their own available time and desired effort far more than anything else.
 
So, with Elite Dangerous: Odyssey just around the corner and the stat, scope, and time creep going up and up and up with every new item we have to engineer, I think it would be a good time to speculate on what quality of life changes and rebalances could be applied to some of the "older" content.

For a new player starting fresh today, they are at a distinct disadvantage to a player who has poured countless hours in to Engineering, Credit gathering, unlocking the myriad engineers and advanced tech through brokers.

In order for these newer players (and any existing player that may not have spent the hundreds of hours grinding out all this stuff), I believe that Frontier should look at a way to streamline some of this older content. It is not uncommon when a new expansion is released that older content has requirements reduced, as it allows newer players to catch up and helps to promote the latest new features.


EDIT

Perhaps I came up with this idea from the wrong angle. This is not about giving new players everything served on a silver platter. This is a way to look at some of the systems in the game and how they can be improved by streamlining some cumbersome and time consuming mechanics.

It is not a way to invalidate any veteran player's achievements

It is not a way for a new player get a fully engineered anaconda in a couple of days. (I'm pretty sure that's already mostly possible anyway...)

It is a way to reduce the overall number of different things there are to collect, given that we'll be having another entire game worth of materials and collectibles in Odyssey.

END EDIT



On Credits:

Credit gains have increased so, so much since launch. I don't think there is much to be done on this front. A new player can get access to all the ships pretty quickly, but since the real focus is on engineering upgrades these days I don't think it's such a bad thing. Whatever balance passes FDev do, it's going to annoy someone. Personally I think credit gains are too high, and could be done with a nerf across the board. But overall I believe people are comfortable with this.


On Unlocking Engineers:

If we compare a couple of engineers:

  • Unlock Todd McQuinn by giving him 100K in bounties. That's 10 mins in a REZ.
  • Tiana Fortune requires 50 Decoded Emission Data. That's sitting and scanning a load of ships hoping for the right drop.
  • Didi Vatermannn. 50 Lavian Brandy. They sell in batches of 6. Why not just ask for 6. That's a lot of brandy...

I'd opt for a reduction of unlock requirements. Some are a bit easy to unlock like Todd - especially after combat reward rebalancing, so he's fine. Some could be eased up on. 50 of a rare good that only stocks in batches of 6, a lot of unnecessary back and forth.


On Engineering:

Purely focusing on applying engineering upgrades, and not looking at balancing at all (That is a whole other thing). I think it's fairly ok. When you have the right materials that is. I think my ideas around streamlining engineers will be more affected by the Material Gathering section.


On Material Gathering:

There are currently 3 types of material. Within each material there are around 8 classes of mats. And each class has around 5 tiers. So that makes... around 120 different types of materials to collect. Plus there's going to be a whole bunch more come Odyssey. That is a lot of currency bloat.

There are also the Material Traders which allow you to transfer materials around, which kind of renders a lot of low level material gathering pointless. Why gather a bunch of T1 mats when you can go find a higher grade and trade down for dozens of them.


I'd do one of two things:

1.
  • Remove the bottom tier mats. Keep Tiers 3 and above. 120 currencies becomes 72. Nearly halved the amount of stuff you have to worry about.
  • Redistribute the remaining materials across the engineering blueprints and synths.

2.
  • Collect all materials of each class into a single currency. 120 becomes 24.
  • You gather materials as they are, but they're converted into a currency value. Tier 1 gives you 3 "Encoded materials", Tier 2 gives you 6, and so on. Now you're not having to go find a trader and swap up and down mats every time you need a specific material for an upgrade.

In both instances, keep the traders. Solution 1 they'd behave exactly as now but with less tiers. Solution 2 they still allow you to trade across classes. Just with a simpler UI.


On Advanced Tech Brokers:

I guess if the material gathering stuff was implemented, these blueprints would be affected in a good way, so there's less gathering up of materials for specific ones.

I think the obvious one is the Weapons that require each tier and frame to be unlocked separately. There are 9 Shock Cannon unlocks. Why? Same with the Guardian unlocks, 6 different variations of each weapon. Just make them 1 per. Unnecessary time wasting.




If some kind of pass like this was done, it would lessen the enormous time required to get to the stage that existing and veteran players are currently sat at. It helps to level the playing field in PvP, as a newby can build up ships capable of going nose to nose with a vet PvP ship.

And finally, if the time required to earn these things are less, maybe people won't relog Jameson's crash site as much. Poor guy, let him rest in peace.

I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts.
Not necessary - there is no endgame as such. While I grant you that a new player is at a distinct disadvantage in a purely PvP scenario, this is not a purely PvP game.....indeed PvP is arguably but a very small part of the game. Even an experienced player who has not focused on engineering is at the same PvP disadvantage anyway, to a significant degree. The whole point of an Elite game has always been the journey from newbie to experienced player. Shortcutting that, in my opinion, diminishes the Elite experience. And it's already easier to advance now than it was at launch (working on a newbie alt myself now).
 
Decided shortly after launch that I'd build a PvP ship when ED's PvP was ironed out and given some decent PK rules.

Decided the same shortly after I bought Horizons.

I've only ever bothered engineering FSD, PP, PD and drives, aside from my PvE combat ships (Vulture, Chieftain and Corvette), which have more a few more modules engineered and are the reason for most of my time spent doing stupid engineering nonsense. And I regret it. Aside from those few bare essentials, engineering adds nothing to the game except some numers, and I guess clout in the barebones PvP aspect of the game.

My advice would be: stop worrying about engineering. FDev is not going to suddenly make it fun to do, and getting the bare essentials like PP, PD, FSD and drives is already incredibly easy. PvP isn't well made in this game, and it's the only reason to go through the full engineering slog.
 
So, with Elite Dangerous: Odyssey just around the corner and the stat, scope, and time creep going up and up and up with every new item we have to engineer, I think it would be a good time to speculate on what quality of life changes and rebalances could be applied to some of the "older" content.

For a new player starting fresh today, they are at a distinct disadvantage to a player who has poured countless hours in to Engineering, Credit gathering, unlocking the myriad engineers and advanced tech through brokers.

In order for these newer players (and any existing player that may not have spent the hundreds of hours grinding out all this stuff), I believe that Frontier should look at a way to streamline some of this older content. It is not uncommon when a new expansion is released that older content has requirements reduced, as it allows newer players to catch up and helps to promote the latest new features.


EDIT

Perhaps I came up with this idea from the wrong angle. This is not about giving new players everything served on a silver platter. This is a way to look at some of the systems in the game and how they can be improved by streamlining some cumbersome and time consuming mechanics.

It is not a way to invalidate any veteran player's achievements

It is not a way for a new player get a fully engineered anaconda in a couple of days. (I'm pretty sure that's already mostly possible anyway...)

It is a way to reduce the overall number of different things there are to collect, given that we'll be having another entire game worth of materials and collectibles in Odyssey.

END EDIT



On Credits:

Credit gains have increased so, so much since launch. I don't think there is much to be done on this front. A new player can get access to all the ships pretty quickly, but since the real focus is on engineering upgrades these days I don't think it's such a bad thing. Whatever balance passes FDev do, it's going to annoy someone. Personally I think credit gains are too high, and could be done with a nerf across the board. But overall I believe people are comfortable with this.


On Unlocking Engineers:

If we compare a couple of engineers:

  • Unlock Todd McQuinn by giving him 100K in bounties. That's 10 mins in a REZ.
  • Tiana Fortune requires 50 Decoded Emission Data. That's sitting and scanning a load of ships hoping for the right drop.
  • Didi Vatermannn. 50 Lavian Brandy. They sell in batches of 6. Why not just ask for 6. That's a lot of brandy...

I'd opt for a reduction of unlock requirements. Some are a bit easy to unlock like Todd - especially after combat reward rebalancing, so he's fine. Some could be eased up on. 50 of a rare good that only stocks in batches of 6, a lot of unnecessary back and forth.


On Engineering:

Purely focusing on applying engineering upgrades, and not looking at balancing at all (That is a whole other thing). I think it's fairly ok. When you have the right materials that is. I think my ideas around streamlining engineers will be more affected by the Material Gathering section.


On Material Gathering:

There are currently 3 types of material. Within each material there are around 8 classes of mats. And each class has around 5 tiers. So that makes... around 120 different types of materials to collect. Plus there's going to be a whole bunch more come Odyssey. That is a lot of currency bloat.

There are also the Material Traders which allow you to transfer materials around, which kind of renders a lot of low level material gathering pointless. Why gather a bunch of T1 mats when you can go find a higher grade and trade down for dozens of them.


I'd do one of two things:

1.
  • Remove the bottom tier mats. Keep Tiers 3 and above. 120 currencies becomes 72. Nearly halved the amount of stuff you have to worry about.
  • Redistribute the remaining materials across the engineering blueprints and synths.

2.
  • Collect all materials of each class into a single currency. 120 becomes 24.
  • You gather materials as they are, but they're converted into a currency value. Tier 1 gives you 3 "Encoded materials", Tier 2 gives you 6, and so on. Now you're not having to go find a trader and swap up and down mats every time you need a specific material for an upgrade.

In both instances, keep the traders. Solution 1 they'd behave exactly as now but with less tiers. Solution 2 they still allow you to trade across classes. Just with a simpler UI.


On Advanced Tech Brokers:

I guess if the material gathering stuff was implemented, these blueprints would be affected in a good way, so there's less gathering up of materials for specific ones.

I think the obvious one is the Weapons that require each tier and frame to be unlocked separately. There are 9 Shock Cannon unlocks. Why? Same with the Guardian unlocks, 6 different variations of each weapon. Just make them 1 per. Unnecessary time wasting.




If some kind of pass like this was done, it would lessen the enormous time required to get to the stage that existing and veteran players are currently sat at. It helps to level the playing field in PvP, as a newby can build up ships capable of going nose to nose with a vet PvP ship.

And finally, if the time required to earn these things are less, maybe people won't relog Jameson's crash site as much. Poor guy, let him rest in peace.

I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts.
I vote "No" here as well. The insane payouts were already enough and made our ships, the one thing that was the center of the game and an excitement to finally get hands on, cheap. Apart from that it created bad pilots.
I really don't blame a new player for not being able to control their ship properly because of Elite and its learning curve, but in my opinion the learning process is best tackled in a Sidewinder, then slowly working up the ladder to better and bigger ships while learning to control those.

Getting an Anaconda after a week of playing produces people who can't even undock in a Sidewinder and then complain that their conda won't fit through the slot (real story) because they never had the time to get used to flying in general ("Use thrusters to hover left/right and up/down to align with the slot." - "Thrusters?!")

Concerning all the rest, I don't really care. I like a certain amount of plausibility in games with sim roots, and the whole engineering system is build on the idea that we have to gather material ourselves, we could easily buy for a few credits at the nearest junkyard. Maybe high tech systems for the higher quality stuff. Gathering sulfur and iron on planets instead of buying in bulk at a mining station? Nah. Makes no sense at all, so I really don't care what happens to the system and how easy or hard engineering is. I don't do PvP and so I also don't care about balance at all when it's about players shooting players.

Also: "catching up to the veterans" mostly means practice and not necessarily "leveling up" your ship.
 
I vote "No" here as well. The insane payouts were already enough and made our ships, the one thing that was the center of the game and an excitement to finally get hands on, cheap. Apart from that it created bad pilots.
I really don't blame a new player for not being able to control their ship properly because of Elite and its learning curve, but in my opinion the learning process is best tackled in a Sidewinder, then slowly working up the ladder to better and bigger ships while learning to control those.

Getting an Anaconda after a week of playing produces people who can't even undock in a Sidewinder and then complain that their conda won't fit through the slot (real story) because they never had the time to get used to flying in general ("Use thrusters to hover left/right and up/down to align with the slot." - "Thrusters?!")

Concerning all the rest, I don't really care. I like a certain amount of plausibility in games with sim roots, and the whole engineering system is build on the idea that we have to gather material ourselves, we could easily buy for a few credits at the nearest junkyard. Maybe high tech systems for the higher quality stuff. Gathering sulfur and iron on planets instead of buying in bulk at a mining station? Nah. Makes no sense at all, so I really don't care what happens to the system and how easy or hard engineering is. I don't do PvP and so I also don't care about balance at all when it's about players shooting players.

Also: "catching up to the veterans" mostly means practice and not necessarily "leveling up" your ship.

To be fair I never mentioned any credit buffs. I'm in agreement that credit gains are too damn high. If it were up to me I'd slash credit gains to somewhere between launch levels and now. Buying an Anaconda after an afternoon in a mining ring definitely has cheapened the sense of awe.

And I definitely agree that learning to fly is better in the smaller ships then working your way up. But none of my suggestions would make players getting an Anaconda in a week any faster. Credits are busted (as the recent Jameson Memorial Relogging CG would show)

Regarding engineering and materials - all I'd really suggested is reduce the overwhelmingly large and unnecessary number of currencies due to traders rendering most of them far less unique anyway, given that we're probably getting a boat load more in Odyssey for suit upgrades.

Mentioning "catching up" has definitely triggered people and I'll refrain from using such words in the future...
 
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