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

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...
Access to ships and credits for outfitting is the main thing us veterans have that new players don't. The whole engineering stuff can be done in two weeks if you're in for grinding. I unlocked engineers when I needed to and didn't grind anything. People like to complain about the unlocking process but I never found it tedious. Same with getting grade 5 access.
I'm playing for 5+ years now and up to about 2 years ago I unlocked two or three engineers I think, since I don't need any weapons. Then Distant Worlds 2 came and in the process of completely engineering my exploration Phantom, I unlocked a few more, including Marco Quent who needs those modular terminals and a Sirius permit which took me two days of doing stuff.
People somehow treat engineering like it's some kind of holy grail or a tedious chore, but unlocking them is pretty fast.
Gathering materials, well, I don't know, it's not that "veterans" have them appear magically. I think most people who farm them also don't accumulate them over time but are farming them in a few days of play which is totally possible to do for new players.

Experience is what makes a veteran. I am pretty sure any combat veteran player will obliterate a new player in an engineered ship using a smaller unengineered one. That's not me, because I do no combat and any new player training for a few weeks would most likely shoot me... Well, or not because I'm pretty good at dodging and getting away. :D
 
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
Yeah... even my earlier post was kind of a salty response regarding "catching up" and the engineering grind. I guess this is a lesson in phrasing.

Again, I'm all for reducing the overall number of engineering mats, at least down from 5 per line to 3. Mostly because the trading rate is obtuse - it takes 1,296 units of a Level 1 material to get 1 unit of Level 5. Why would I ever try to trade up? It's no wonder people always try to grind farm the Level 5 mats. Level 5 mats completely invalidate the existence of sub Level 3 mats. Lol.

Honestly it might be worth it to try and re-post this idea again in a couple of weeks. Just worded differently. I think it's a worthwhile discussion.

Edit: Thinking about this a little further, currency families make no sense anyways. They inherently introduce the idea of grinding for the top level ones. Maybe that's part of the point on FD's side, but man that's some aggressive game design
 
Yeah... even my earlier post was kind of a salty response regarding "catching up" and the engineering grind. I guess this is a lesson in phrasing.

Again, I'm all for reducing the overall number of engineering mats, at least down from 5 per line to 3. Mostly because the trading rate is obtuse - it takes 1,296 units of a Level 1 material to get 1 unit of Level 5. Why would I ever try to trade up? It's no wonder people always try to grind farm the Level 5 mats. Level 5 mats completely invalidate the existence of sub Level 3 mats. Lol.

Honestly it might be worth it to try and re-post this idea again in a couple of weeks. Just worded differently. I think it's a worthwhile discussion.

Edit: Thinking about this a little further, currency families make no sense anyways. They inherently introduce the idea of grinding for the top level ones. Maybe that's part of the point on FD's side, but man that's some aggressive game design

Yeah. I've just set Tier 1 and 2 mats to auto ignore. They're practically pointless due to trading.

I'll maybe refine the idea and repost it later, framed better. I never intended to make this a "new players get rich quick" idea. More a "we have 120+ thingies to collect and Odyssey is bringing more. Maybe we don't need to have this many lists" idea.

Oh well, lessons learned!
 
My thoughts are, why do beginning players need to advance to long term vets asap. The game is all about the journey, not the end goal. All you would be doing there is destroying the game for them.
On the other hand, I haven't been progressing in game-play terms much for like 5 years. The best part of the game isn't the meta progression. OK, up to a Cobra in 2015 was pretty fun.

But I mean, you know, just mucking around in sci-fi spaceships in 1 to 1 scale galactic space sim is its own reward.

Anyway, Frontier have consistently made progression in game-play easier (less time consuming) over the years. My only issue with that is that then some people don't get the same opportunities to achieve noteworthy milestones or overcome the same challenges, like getting the Elite Exploration rank or visiting Beagle Point, for example. Beagle Point isn't so much Beagle Point because the journey has changed.

With fleet carriers and the like, we should be able to reach the LMC by now hopping along the stars. Something new like that would be cool as a new frontier, in part since the galaxy has been continually shrinking in terms of the journey.

Not saying Frontier is at fault necisarilly for not doing that, just that things like that would add to the experience of exploring as apposed to Exploration progression game-play which has more to do with counting beans than exploring.

Odyssey adds a bit to the density of the galactic content at least.

To each their own and all that, but I don't find much value in the meta journey beyond just the end reward itself, the carrot, so I haven't bothered with it much. Not fun to play.
 
I stopped playing wow because of the repeated pattern that everything I worked for became meaningless when the next expansion comes out. Unusual cool rare items that are crazy tough to get.... 12 months later anybody can just walk in and take. It got depressing. Loved the game but after playing through many expansions the accomplishments seemed empty and meaningless*. Haven't played in several years so maybe its different now.

*I know its silly to try to find meaning or long-term accomplishment in a video game. I should be happy for the moment. But its what I long for in a really great RPG.

That is such a normal thing in many MMO's today, next expansion, makes most of your stuff obsolete, and you have to grind for the new stuff...

Destiny 2 had a fresh take on this, as they allowed you to kep your old stuff, and increase them to the current new max level, which was great and then long time players discovered the drawback... everytime there was an update, with new stuff, you where most likely already having a very similar gear in your stash, that was as good or even better! So the thrill of the new stuff was not as exciting anymore. And then for all the new players joining, they heard about all the great stuff they could no longer get! so they missed out on quite alot of cool stuff, the old players had! So now Destiny 2 introduced planned obsolescence for stuff... there was now a max cap on everything limiting how long your favourite gear would be viable before you no longer could use it in the end game PvE stuff...


So there is no quickfix to these sort of problems, and the more we start to look into these things, we learn the ugly truth about game design and keeping players busy.
 
Access to ships and credits for outfitting is the main thing us veterans have that new players don't. The whole engineering stuff can be done in two weeks if you're in for grinding. I unlocked engineers when I needed to and didn't grind anything. People like to complain about the unlocking process but I never found it tedious. Same with getting grade 5 access.
I'm playing for 5+ years now and up to about 2 years ago I unlocked two or three engineers I think, since I don't need any weapons. Then Distant Worlds 2 came and in the process of completely engineering my exploration Phantom, I unlocked a few more, including Marco Quent who needs those modular terminals and a Sirius permit which took me two days of doing stuff.
People somehow treat engineering like it's some kind of holy grail or a tedious chore, but unlocking them is pretty fast.
Gathering materials, well, I don't know, it's not that "veterans" have them appear magically. I think most people who farm them also don't accumulate them over time but are farming them in a few days of play which is totally possible to do for new players.

Experience is what makes a veteran. I am pretty sure any combat veteran player will obliterate a new player in an engineered ship using a smaller unengineered one. That's not me, because I do no combat and any new player training for a few weeks would most likely shoot me... Well, or not because I'm pretty good at dodging and getting away. :D

That is the thing that many seems to miss about the unlocking of engineers, it there to introduce you to most aspects of Elite...
Combat
Trading
Exploring
Trade routes
Mining
etc.

and it is a ONE time thing todo. Once you have unlocked them, they are unlocked.


There so many players follow the get rich fast path, mining their way to riches, spent a day or two grinding Empire and Federal ransk, so you now can buy all the "cool" ships and then fasttrack engineering to add all the "best" upgrades. and despite having all the cool toys, you are total newbie that have no idea how to properly use it...

So this will in the end lead to forum threads about:
  • The enormous grind to upgrade "all" your ships
  • How terrible the big ships are, they go kaboom quite easily in a the hands of a novice, despite engineering


And what is then left todo for them? They have all the stuff, no idea how to use it, there is no real emergent endgame PvP, exploring is way to slow and tedious for them to even consider, I have no idea how they survived the 5000 LY travel without going mad.


I am a veteran player who have all the cool stuff, and I have ran out of stuff todo... but I also have invested alot of time trying out most things Elite has offer, except PvP. And the most fun I have now, is to play with new players, so we can do stuff together, talk about unlocking engineers, taking it slow etc, as everyone that we have seen doing the fast track, totally lost interest in the game once they had all the "cool" stuff. but players who took it slow, learned the mechanics, could now appreciate the upgrades they got from the engineers.



So sad that so many MMO's have ingrained into players, that they must get to the end game level. As that that approach to Elite most likely will ruin their experience. atleast that is what I observe mostly.
 
OP roughly how frequently should the game be rebalanced in this way?

Every couple of years or after enough new players have joined to make it worth upsetting the existing ones who have acquired everything over the years they have been playing?

Remember not everyone grinds for everything.
 
OP roughly how frequently should the game be rebalanced in this way?

Every couple of years or after enough new players have joined to make it worth upsetting the existing ones who have acquired everything over the years they have been playing?

Remember not everyone grinds for everything.
A bit late commander. See OP's latest response:
I never intended to make this a "new players get rich quick" idea. More a "we have 120+ thingies to collect and Odyssey is bringing more. Maybe we don't need to have this many lists" idea.
Do you have any thoughts on reducing the total number of engineering mats with the advent of even more being added to the game?
 
A bit late commander. See OP's latest response:

Do you have any thoughts on reducing the total number of engineering mats with the advent of even more being added to the game?
Not at this time.
Partly because I paid no attention to the trading situation regarding the Odyssey materials during the recent Alpha and partly because I believe Materials Trading exchange rates was something mentioned as being reviewed by Frontier.
 
That is the thing that many seems to miss about the unlocking of engineers, it there to introduce you to most aspects of Elite...
Combat
Trading
Exploring
Trade routes
Mining
etc.

and it is a ONE time thing todo. Once you have unlocked them, they are unlocked.


There so many players follow the get rich fast path, mining their way to riches, spent a day or two grinding Empire and Federal ransk, so you now can buy all the "cool" ships and then fasttrack engineering to add all the "best" upgrades. and despite having all the cool toys, you are total newbie that have no idea how to properly use it...

So this will in the end lead to forum threads about:
  • The enormous grind to upgrade "all" your ships
  • How terrible the big ships are, they go kaboom quite easily in a the hands of a novice, despite engineering


And what is then left todo for them? They have all the stuff, no idea how to use it, there is no real emergent endgame PvP, exploring is way to slow and tedious for them to even consider, I have no idea how they survived the 5000 LY travel without going mad.


I am a veteran player who have all the cool stuff, and I have ran out of stuff todo... but I also have invested alot of time trying out most things Elite has offer, except PvP. And the most fun I have now, is to play with new players, so we can do stuff together, talk about unlocking engineers, taking it slow etc, as everyone that we have seen doing the fast track, totally lost interest in the game once they had all the "cool" stuff. but players who took it slow, learned the mechanics, could now appreciate the upgrades they got from the engineers.



So sad that so many MMO's have ingrained into players, that they must get to the end game level. As that that approach to Elite most likely will ruin their experience. atleast that is what I observe mostly.
Exactly this.
I blame the mmorpg culture.

"What's the fastest way to level, best build, fastest way to get gold?! And I don't care if it's fun as long as I'm one of the cool kids after that!"

People only complain about grinding if they think it's a game's purpose to make fast progress fun.

Translate that to Elite sure you've got all the stuff fast but you still can't get a Sidey out of the mailslot...
And once you learned how to get your Condas and T10s out of the station without autopilot, consider switching flight-assist off and do it all again for the real space-flight feeling!
Progress measured in game assets is a joke compared to the learning curve and what you can do with a "little" practice and time.

My advice is to enjoy the journey and let progress happen naturally, even if you're working towards a goal. But if you don't, don't complain about the grind you impose on yourself.
 
my 2 copper pennies worth:

I (personally, me, not a this is the absolute truth thing) think allowing player trading of mats, any mats for any other mats, would go a long way to alleviate the grindy feeling without completely removing the work. The actual implementation of how that would work? Not sure, details that better heads than mine can sort out. Maybe a sort of trade posting board? "willing to trade 100 polonium for x advanced military whoosywhatsits" or perhaps direct player to player contracting (although i can see a lot more potential issues there in terms of time and player vs player expectations).

But basically it would allow players to play focusing on the grindy bits they enjoy more (or dislike the least) and minimizing the ones they don't like.

I'll happily spend hours scooping manufactured in emission sources if i don't have to go shoot rocks for raw to feed my jumponium addiction. While as far as i can tell from these boards HREs are the bane of quite a few other players' existence. Lets make a deal?

Beyond the grind economy it could also provide, for the more narratively minded players, am additional sense of identity or agency within the game as (for example) CMDR rabbit goes from a small time data courrier and light cargo smuggler to scavenger by contract. or something.
 
OP roughly how frequently should the game be rebalanced in this way?

Every couple of years or after enough new players have joined to make it worth upsetting the existing ones who have acquired everything over the years they have been playing?

Remember not everyone grinds for everything.

How about every time Frontier releases a huge expansion that adds potentially hundreds more collectibles? So that they can re-evaluate the sheer number of things that a player has to collect. 120+ materials now, plus how ever many are to be added in Odyssey. It's an unnecessarily large amount of materials that could be significantly reduced for the benefit of everyone.

It's not about making "grinding for everything" easier. It's about simplifying a complicated system without removing the depth of engineering upgrades and player choice.
 
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 agree with you on the premise that the grind wall is too big from the start, but all you will find on this forum is a group of elitist players who believe everyone must suffer, and somehow they believe progress in the game is repeating the same task 100 times to unlock something before moving onto the next task 100 times. (i.e what exact value does doing 9 return trips to Did Vatermann give you? what skills do you gain? what did you learn from doing it?, but perhaps you didn't learn enough because you will have to do the same thing for another engineer!)

the worse thing is most of them will tell you engineering isnt important, but who are they kidding its the new level playing field for any mission or encounter, its like you start the game on super hard mode, then switch to easy after 4,000 hours invested. (most games work the other way)

others will tell you to just "play the game" or "play in solo" or "only do x,y,z" any advice that is based around ignoring 90% of the games content for the first few thousand hours until you can engineer is nonsense, and "just playing the game" isn't going to get that brandy to Didi Vatermann!!!!

be all and end all, the grind wall is the number one blocker to get new players in, there should be some progression and gated content in the game to some degree, but asking players to repeat the same task over and over and over again just to fill a content gap is moronic.
 
my 2 copper pennies worth:

I (personally, me, not a this is the absolute truth thing) think allowing player trading of mats, any mats for any other mats, would go a long way to alleviate the grindy feeling without completely removing the work. The actual implementation of how that would work? Not sure, details that better heads than mine can sort out. Maybe a sort of trade posting board? "willing to trade 100 polonium for x advanced military whoosywhatsits" or perhaps direct player to player contracting (although i can see a lot more potential issues there in terms of time and player vs player expectations).

But basically it would allow players to play focusing on the grindy bits they enjoy more (or dislike the least) and minimizing the ones they don't like.

I'll happily spend hours scooping manufactured in emission sources if i don't have to go shoot rocks for raw to feed my jumponium addiction. While as far as i can tell from these boards HREs are the bane of quite a few other players' existence. Lets make a deal?

Beyond the grind economy it could also provide, for the more narratively minded players, am additional sense of identity or agency within the game as (for example) CMDR rabbit goes from a small time data courrier and light cargo smuggler to scavenger by contract. or something.

Well that option to trade stuff is already in the game, material traders...

So the missing part here is that raw materials gathering is limited to few activities.So if we would get option to get these as missions rewards and some new signal sources for these, then these would be much more on pair with the gatheriung of the two other material types.


I am always going to be against Player to Player trading, due to all the numerous issues I have encountered over the years regarding these mechanics. I know there are some games that manage to create some decent mechanics for this, but those pale in comparison to all the bad ones. So just pure statistics tells us that any such mechanics added to Elite would very likely be of the bad kind...
 
Well that option to trade stuff is already in the game, material traders...
Except that material traders are still restricted within that overall category, so its still go shoot rocks for germanium/ytrium/pollonium even if i can trade up/down to get them.
Its still grind/visit/relog POIs for manufactured even if you can trade quantities of those you don't need for those you want.

Its still like for like and the same resulting game play involved in acquiring them, and the resulting complaints about having to grind.
 
How about every time Frontier releases a huge expansion that adds potentially hundreds more collectibles? So that they can re-evaluate the sheer number of things that a player has to collect. 120+ materials now, plus how ever many are to be added in Odyssey. It's an unnecessarily large amount of materials that could be significantly reduced for the benefit of everyone.

It's not about making "grinding for everything" easier. It's about simplifying a complicated system without removing the depth of engineering upgrades and player choice.
Rather than reduce the number of materials seeing as many blueprints are available at different engineers why not have variations in those blueprints such that you get the same results but each engineer has a slightly different recipe that would add more player choice.
 
I'll happily spend hours scooping manufactured in emission sources if i don't have to go shoot rocks for raw to feed my jumponium addiction. While as far as i can tell from these boards HREs are the bane of quite a few other players' existence. Lets make a deal?
I spend most of my time out in the black mining, the one thing I have is an excess of Raws, at times I would happily trade these for other mats.
 
The material collection sometimes feels like a second job. I am sure that most of the newcomers want to try most of the ships and engineer them to top. To accomplish this they need a lot of materials and to get them it is tempting to use the known easy routes to get them.

To make it easier to everyone I would like to have:

1. All material traders combined to one. I.e. you can go to any trader and trade all material types to any other types. Maybe even have trader in every spaceport.

2. Material needs to be lowered for trading to lower grade or horizontally.
 
New player here:

I agree with being able to trade between different material types (Encoded, Raw, and Manufactured). The real issue that results in the grind is the fact that each material type is locked into a specific activity. Encoded for instance is usually farmed by wake-scanning, which isn't viable if you're exploring outside the bubble. Explorers can use their SRVs to collect Raw materials, but generally have less access to the other two unless they farm specific well-known sites. Likewise combat pilots get a steady stream of Manufactured components from wrecks, but no access to Raw.

And note that since trading is always not in favor of the player, somebody who sticks to just one job (e.g. Combat pilot) will have to spend more time collecting than someone who switches between different jobs to collect different materials. But at least they'll be doing an activity they actually enjoy, rather than being stuck at something they don't wanna do. It's thus a fair system, but one that is less aggravating.

Also, for those who think Engineering is an avenue for letting players try out new and different aspects of the game: The Engineer unlock requirements already force new players to try out new things, so that aspect won't vanish.

What gets aggravating is when you're primarily a certain kind of pilot (e.g. a combat pilot) but are forced to run circles in your SRV to collect Raw materials periodically as you upgrade your ship.
 
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