Modes The Solo vs Open vs Groups Thread - Part the Second [Now With Added Platforms].

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Robert Maynard

Volunteer Moderator
Elite Dangerous is an online game that allows players to play in three potential 'modes':

  1. Online ALL group (called open play) where the player is in the same universe as all other players and can see and be seen by all others in open play
  2. Online PRIVATE GROUP play where the player is online in the same universe as all other players but will only ever see and be seen by others in the same private group
  3. Online SOLO play where the player is in the same universe as all other players, but will see no humans (essentially a private group of one).
All players have an effect on the background simulation regardless of mode they play in or which platform they play on, and can switch between groups at will without penalty or change to their character's statistics.

This thread is for discussing issues around the Solo, Open and Private Group modes and the different platforms. For a shorter summary of community opinions, see Vox Populi: how do you think modes affect community goals? (only one post allowed per user, as discussed in the first post). Please do not create new threads about the modes of play - they always turn into repeats of the same discussion, so will be merged in here.

Powerplay
A separate thread has been created for brainstorming ideas to encourage players to Powerplay in Open. Any discussion on the modes in general, the shared galaxy state or mode-switching in that thread will end up being moved into this thread.

Important rules for this thread

The forum rules apply as usual in this thread, but we'd like to highlight some specific points:

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What do Frontier think about the modes?

Frontier have been thinking about modes since the earliest stages of development. A FAQ item from the original Kickstarter states in part:

Original Kickstarter FAQ said:
We have the concept of “groups”. They can be private groups just of your friends or open groups (that form part of the game) based on the play styles people prefer, and the rules in each can be different. Players will begin in the group “All” but can change groups at will, though it will be possible to be banned from groups due to antisocial behaviour, and you will only meet others in that group.

This was eventually codified in the design team's "groups" proposal, which was the basis for the grouping system in the game today.

David Braben also discussed modes during the game's development, for example:

There are also some developer comments in the original version of this thread - you can see them by clicking here then clicking the Frontier icon in the top-right of each developer post to see the next developer post in the thread.

Here are some relevant developer posts from around the forums:

Will at any time solo and private group play be separated into a different universe/database from open play? It's kind of cheap that you can be safe from many things in solo, like player blockades and so on, and still affect the same universe.

No.

Michael

Thanks for that clarity Michael.

Are you in a position to confirm that group switching between the three game modes will remain as a feature of the game?
We're not planning on changing that.

Michael

Hi Micheal

I know you said that solo/group and open will always use the same universe, can you also say that there will be no specific perks in playing in one mode over another? i.e bigger profit from trading in open or bigger bounties?
None are planned at the moment.

Michael

Hello Commander Demiga!
Seriously, it annoys people. Solo has every right to do community goals - Yes, I get that there is an "unfair advantage" for solo players working a community goal VS. an open player.

Its a very easy fix by FDEV - Make it so that when a Solo/Private Group player turns in a bond for 30k (example) they get 30k in cash, but it only counts as..15k towards the community goal

Wheras the Open players can turn in the same 30k Bond, Receive the same 30k in cash, but it counts as 30k towards the community goal.

Its not so much about not letting this group do that with this, but just make the values weighted differently. Open, it is much harder to make that 30k than it is in solo, so it should be worth x times as much for the goal.

Is this a viable solution for anyone?

For anyone that can see my signature, I am an avid player of Solo/Group - but I really do hear, understand, and mostly agree with what the solo players are saying. I do want to start playing in open at some point. If anyone can give me a good reason as to why this wont work or help, then please explain...

P.S. I say very easy fix by FDEV, but honestly I have no idea. The concept is simple though ;)

Edit - Sorry if anyone was offended by my tone or by the wording I used - had just read a very.....anger inducing thread about completely removing solo mode - Wont happen again :D - also - I want to reiterate that I fully support both SOLO and OPEN modes, and I believe there can be a great solution so everyone is happy in the end - aka this solution ;)

Edit 2 - Again - I need to reiterate to everyone - This doesnt hurt anyone's personal finances, everyone will still make the same amount when they turn in a bond, everyone will still rank up within the community goal the same (top 70%, top 40%, top 15% etc) - The only thing this does is add a separate advantage to players who want to play in open - This allows them to affect an overall goal better than a solo player. This goal would be a NEW feature added in game if something like this goes through - It doesnt hurt the "advantage" of playing solo either - It really is a WIN-WIN compromise - I believe and fully support all 3 modes....

This is something that I'm considering.

There won't be any changes in the immediate future (our time is fairly booked up right now), but on face value it certainly seems plausible and maybe reasonable to me. I'll need to chew it over some more, obviously. I *believe* a change like this would be possible though (again, I'd have to verify that with team server).

Comments on this would be welcome.

Oh, but obviously, Commander Demiga, let's try and keep the temperature at a reasonable level :) . Everyone has the right to voice their opinion, as long as they do so politely.

Hello Commander jp josh!
how bout no....

i would like npc in wings to coordinate better in solo and wings of them be more common/hire our own wing to with our spare ships before we take your idea (for combat oriented goals)

for trading make pirates not just interdict but wait for you outside the station again we need to flesh out wings and ai a bit more.

exploring still exploring i don't want to see any type of reduction for explores community goals.

however i am open to the idea of boosting open play bonuses (when in that mode you get a 25% boost to all round profit but the number contributed stays the same)

id also like more range of community goals. (smuggling) where bigger ships are more of a hindrance than helpful so that way players in early ships can actually help rather than add pocket change. (friend tried to help in lugh even though all he had was a adder)

We've hopefully got a fix for Capital ship farming exploits lined up (provisionally for 1.3, but no guarantee).

What I took from Commander Demiga's suggestion was that there might be a consensus that activities carried out in solo mode are "safer/unfair" as there is no chance for other Commanders to oppose them.

I'm not going to take a side at the moment, because I'd like to consider it more.

It could definitely be seen as an attempt to entice folk into playing open, though if the personal rewards remained unchanged I'm not sure that this would be an utter evil.

Fundamentally, Community goals are about Commanders working together, in concert or in opposition. It does not seem completely unreasonable that for such elements we might encourage direct interaction more.

On the other hand, I'm wary of the precedent this might set, and want to make sure that solo mode always fulfils all the requirements it needs to, remaining the completely valid option that it is.

So this is something we would not consider lightly.

Hello Commander Jerakeen!
No, definitely not. Play your own way they said. Well if they punish me for playing my own way then I'll be very irritated. Why should I have to do twice as much to qualify for goal awards just because I choose not to expose myself to being mugged by Johnny McPewPew for my lunch money.

Seriously Sandro. Stop considering this. Very many of your players choose to play in solo and in groups. You'll be upsetting a very large section of the player base.

Possibly I could attempt a counter that suggests at the moment it is unfair against open play mode - you have more risks and challenges but only get the same rewards.

I take your point though.

Possibly, community goal thresholds, when it came to determining where each player sits, could be adjusted to ensure that solo players' actual amounts were considered, which I *think* would prevent any loss of goal rewards.

Like I said though, we'll need to chew over this some more when we get the time. Nothing is going to happen right away.

Hello Commander Demiga!
Sandro - Please read my edit in the original post regarding the tempurature - I apologize for that...was very heated atm lol

Thanks for the reply though - its just if you look at the core of all these issues,its that open mode is harder, so what is the incentive for a CMDR to play in open when they can farm in solo? Well, obviously, you cant make the bounties worth different amounts, that would absolutely enrage everyone.

So why not - in your Personal opinion, what would be some reasons as to why this wouldnt work?

Don't worry, no harm, no foul, it was just a helpful reminder! :)

I can't give you my considered opinions just yet because, well, I need a little more time to consider them! :)

But this is clearly an interesting debate, on both sides of the fence, so we will revisit it at a later date.

FuzzySpider
The mechanics of powerplay, particularly the interface between player and power being an almost direct copy of the community goal model, gives the entire experience an MMO-guild type feel to the gameplay.

Is this MMO-style a new direction for Elite: Dangerous? Or will you be still focussing on the single player immersive experience, even if that single player is playing in a universe filled with other players?

Thank's very much to you and the FDev team for all of your efforts. One or two subjective niggles of mine aside the game is the one I've been waiting for for years and I'm totally enamoured with it.

We are supporting multiplayer and the solo experience. Community Goals are carrying on too.

In the newsletter, it was mentioned that an intersection between a trading power and a military power will result in piracy missions.

Will this make NPC piracy more profitable or will we continue to need to focus on players?

It can be more profitable, and it will apply to both players and NPCs.

For fun :)

That said, it could be worth thinking about reducing the impact that solo & group players have on the political simulation.

Unlike community goals, Powerplay is a swinging balance - ie solo players are also balancing solo players.

FuzzySpider said:
The mechanics of powerplay, particularly the interface between player and power being an almost direct copy of the community goal model, gives the entire experience an MMO-guild type feel to the gameplay.


Is this MMO-style a new direction for Elite: Dangerous? Or will you be still focussing on the single player immersive experience, even if that single player is playing in a universe filled with other players?


Thank's very much to you and the FDev team for all of your efforts. One or two subjective niggles of mine aside the game is the one I've been waiting for for years and I'm totally enamoured with it.


We are supporting multiplayer and the solo experience. Community Goals are carrying on too.

From an interview between DBOBE and Arstechnica at E3:2015:

.... Producer Ben Dowie reiterated that Xbox One and PC players won’t be playing head-to-head—although they’ll be playing in the same simulated universe, they’ll never encounter each other in space, likely because Microsoft’s Xbox patch cycle adds complexity to Frontier’s game update procedure.

I pointed out that there’s frequent contention online about the “right” way to play, be it casual or hard-core, and Braben agreed. “But there shouldn’t be a ‘right’ way,” he said. “You should do what makes you excited. I don’t want there to be a ‘right’ way, because then you’re not necessarily playing the way you want to play. And people have come up with lots of suggestions, some of them very constructive and sensible, and we do listen, and people hopefully have seen that we’ve changed things and adjusted things, but not in a way—we hope!—to upset people. We’re doing it to make the game better!”

There are no changes planned to separate solo and online saves, and players will continue to inhabit the same shared galaxy whether they’re in solo or multiplayer—again, continuing with Braben’s contention that there’s no ‘right’ way to play.

Several of the links above were found by community members (special thanks go to Jockey79). If you have more questions, please search this thread or search the previous thread.
 
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Wall of Information, with links

This is going to be updated/ Edited as new information is added.
(Reason for edit at the end will contain the date of the last time it was updated.)

From the Kickstarter;
*And the best part - you can do all this online with your friends, or other "Elite" pilots like yourself, or even alone. The choice is yours...*
*you will be able to control who else you might encounter in your game – perhaps limit it to just your friends? Cooperate on adventures or chase your friends down to get that booty. The game will work in a seamless, lobby-less way, with the ability to rendezvous with friends
*Play it your way*
Your reputation is affected by your personal choices. Play the game your way: dangerous pirate, famous explorer or notorious assassin - the choice is yours to make. Take on missions and affect the world around you, alone or with your friends.*
*You simply play the game, and depending on your configuration (your choice) *
*We have the concept of “groups”. They can be private groups just of your friends or open groups (that form part of the game) based on the play styles people prefer, and the rules in each can be different. Players will begin in the group “All” but can change groups at will,*

Some Dev comments from the Kickstarter;

KS Comment.jpg

https://www.kickstarter.com/project...erous/comments?cursor=1681442#comment-1681441
https://www.kickstarter.com/project...erous/comments?cursor=1705398#comment-1705397
https://www.kickstarter.com/project...erous/comments?cursor=1705552#comment-1705551

From the forum archives;

https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=6300

All Players Group– Players in this group will be matched with each other as much as possible to ensure as many human players can meet and play together
Private Group – Players in this group will only be matched with other players in the same private group
Solo Group – Players in this group won’t be matched with anyone else ever (effectively a private group with no one else invited)
(All by a Lead Designer)

Also DB on Multiplayer and Grouping and Single (01:00 - 02:01) Plus how the Galaxy will evolve over time.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5JY...kuz6s&index=18
"DB explicitly said that solo players would be able to do community goals, though back then they weren't called that. Dev Diary Video #2, at the 4:10 mark."

DB on "Griefing" and "Griefers"
(Listen out for the part where FD can move them in to a private group of just each other)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kb5hqjxmf4M

Rededit Topic on "unusual event for players to come against players" (With Twitch Video)
http://www.reddit.com/r/EliteDangero...ayers_to_come/

Direct Twitch Link; (Note DB use "Occasonial" and "unusual" regarding players interacting)
http://www.twitch.tv/egx/b/571962295?t=69m00s

Also, MMO does not mean "social" (It means lots of people connected)

Wikipedia;
A massively multiplayer online game (also called MMO and MMOG) is a multiplayer video game which is capable of supporting large numbers of players simultaneously. By necessity, they are played on the Internet. MMOs usually have at least one persistent world, however some games differ.

Oxford English Dictionary (Online);
An online video game which can be played by a very large number of people simultaneously .


Dev comments;

quote_icon.png
Originally Posted by Michael Brookes

quote_icon.png
Originally Posted by Numi
Will at any time solo and private group play be separated into a different universe/database from open play? It's kind of cheap that you can be safe from many things in solo, like player blockades and so on, and still affect the same universe.


No.

Michael
quote_icon.png
Originally Posted by Michael Brookes

quote_icon.png
Originally Posted by Robert Maynard
Thanks for that clarity Michael.

Are you in a position to confirm that group switching between the three game modes will remain as a feature of the game?


We're not planning on changing that.

Michael
quote_icon.png
Originally Posted by Michael Brookes

quote_icon.png
Originally Posted by mosh_er
Hi Micheal

I know you said that solo/group and open will always use the same universe, can you also say that there will be no specific perks in playing in one mode over another? i.e bigger profit from trading in open or bigger bounties?

None are planned at the moment.

Michael

David Braben AMA Thread said:
quote_icon.png
Originally Posted by Alexander the Grape
In the newsletter, it was mentioned that an intersection between a trading power and a military power will result in piracy missions.

Will this make NPC piracy more profitable or will we continue to need to focus on players?

It can be more profitable, and it will apply to both players and NPCs.

David Braben AMA Thread said:
quote_icon.png
Originally Posted by Adept
For fun :)

That said, it could be worth thinking about reducing the impact that solo & group players have on the political simulation.


Unlike community goals, Powerplay is a swinging balance - ie solo players are also balancing solo players.

FuzzySpider said:
The mechanics of powerplay, particularly the interface between player and power being an almost direct copy of the community goal model, gives the entire experience an MMO-guild type feel to the gameplay.


Is this MMO-style a new direction for Elite: Dangerous? Or will you be still focussing on the single player immersive experience, even if that single player is playing in a universe filled with other players?


Thank's very much to you and the FDev team for all of your efforts. One or two subjective niggles of mine aside the game is the one I've been waiting for for years and I'm totally enamoured with it.


We are supporting multiplayer and the solo experience. Community Goals are carrying on too.

E3 2015 Interview (17th June 2015);

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/...-e3-xbox-exclusives-and-qa-with-david-braben/


The overall thread topic (+ How XB1 fits);


On that last point, Producer Ben Dowie reiterated that Xbox One and PC players won’t be playing head-to-head—although they’ll be playing in the same simulated universe, they’ll never encounter each other in space, likely because Microsoft’s Xbox patch cycle adds complexity to Frontier’s game update procedure. This means that PC players and Xbox players will often wind up on different clients, which means no head-to-head play. To that end, anticipated PC-centric features will likely land on PC first.


And regarding the game design;


I pointed out that there’s frequent contention online about the “right” way to play, be it casual or hard-core, and Braben agreed. “But there shouldn’t be a ‘right’ way,” he said. “You should do what makes you excited. I don’t want there to be a ‘right’ way, because then you’re not necessarily playing the way you want to play. And people have come up with lots of suggestions, some of them very constructive and sensible, and we do listen, and people hopefully have seen that we’ve changed things and adjusted things, but not in a way—we hope!—to upset people. We’re doing it to make the game better!”


To highlight something from that above quote;


“You should do what makes you excited. I don’t want there to be a ‘right’ way, because then you’re not necessarily playing the way you want to play."


Here is a quote from Zac Antonaci for the "game is dying" pro-claimers.
Dated 10th July 2015;

They need to be.


Look at the current posts on the subreddit and the forum. Your core player base is simply stopping playing. You might be selling copies but if your core community is splitting or stopping playing then you have a problem.

Hey Fred,


I wanted to reply to this honestly if I may.


I'm not going to be talking about active player numbers explicitally but I can tell you without question that the game has a very healthy and thriving community who enjoys hours upon hours of Elite. You really don't need to worry on that point.


<snip>


Zac

According to some members of the community, Solo players should have a limited or no effect on Powerplay - or, alternatively, playing in Open should offer Powerplay bonuses. Is this something you are considering?

No. For us Solo, Groups and Open are all valid and equal ways to play the game.

And a nice, clear, concise comment from Michael Brookes regarding the modes;

From the initial inception of the game we have considered all play modes are equally valid choices. While we are aware that some players disagree, this hasn't changed for us.

Michael
 
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And. It begins anew. Maybe this time around we can get some updated..."opinions" from some power players. ;)

And here is the link to my recent idea. But, I guess we shall have to see.
 
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Lol ill Re-phrase. "Higher-ups" the "Man Upstairs" "Big boss Man" "King..." okay, thats enough haha

"dedicated but not just PvP" players, "highly dedicated solo players", "casual solo traders", "mode switching random killers"....

- - - Updated - - -

wow... made it to "sticky" ;)
 
This has more to say about what you think about unknown players than what someones real intention is. I do not mean this in a mean spirited way, with the caveat that I am a player who does not enjoy PvP in any other game.

To me, the motivation between an NPC or Player should be considered the same. There are any number of programmed AI's that cover the gambit of motives. Would all it takes to make you completely quit the game would be for an NPC to act with some level attery?

I know there are quite a few around that feel they are being griefed by NPC's..which makes me SMH...so what is the difference between the NPC that kills you in a hauler that is empty and a PC that does the same thing?

As I said before, it's fundamentally different, for me at least. To the point I don't get how someone can even think the two equivalent.

A NPC is just a bit of code, with no sentience, no actual choice in how it behaves, and so on; getting angry at an NPC would be like getting angry at the wall because you punched it and hurt your hand.

A player, though, is a real, living, thinking person, one that has full control over his actions and can choose to behave in game in whichever way he wants. If a player ruins my day, it's because that player either decided to do that intentionally, or else knew that his actions could potentially have that effect but choose to do them regardless.
 
"dedicated but not just PvP" players, "highly dedicated solo players", "casual solo traders", "mode switching random killers"....

- - - Updated - - -

wow... made it to "sticky" ;)

We got a stickie this time !!!!!
This is indeed, a very special day in my house :D

Edit;

Thought I'd add this for fun from the old thread.

post count.png

(Robert, you need to post more often :p lol)
 
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I think the only opinion I've expressed on this topic, so far, is that I don't like it when others tell me to "play in open if you don't like ... "
I do like things the way they are.
I often play in Group (MOBIUS). I played in Solo - just the once to see what it felt like - but I didn't inhale.
I play in open when I'm not around the popular areas because of "bumper-car cheating wassocks." I'll probably play in Open more when Power Play makes that less attractive to them or when I hear that someone's come up with a way to spot the cheaters and bounce them off.

I'm not concerned with the advantages or disadvantages that the different modes give to others - re Community Goals.
If you think of community goals as co-operative work then who did the most is not relevant. If you think of them as competition then most of us are already excluded from the few top places. That doesn't mean we won't take part.

There now, you have my opinion. Serves you right!
 

atak2

A
To summarise my feelings on how Elite's development should continue with regards to Open Vs Solo Vs Group:

Solo/Group O <-- O --> O Open

Separate background simulation and Commander saves.

166389-004-A46C2E94.jpg


Failing that make Open as productive a mode as Solo/Group during CG's and Powerplay operations through incentives; or put RNG advanced npc's (i.e. generally more difficult than normal npc's but potential to generate an easy npc) in each mode to simulate what is happening with each player in each mode.
 
Are we still complaining about other people's in-game matchmaking lists? We're still on a Peer-to-Peer game system?

Just want to check nothing has changed there.
 
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