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Elite Dangerous, my view on the game.

So lately I have been looking for a good space sim.  With Star Citizen still several years from a playable project I was encouraged by some friend to try Elite Dangerous.  This blog post will cover where I am at currently in the game as far as progression and what I think the game is missing.  But first of all, let me tell you what a great job Frontier has done on the game thus far.  I think unfortunately that ED will be crushed by Chris Roberts and Star Citizen and I will tell you why I think that.  Because of the sheer amount of text that I am about to lay out I might break this up into segments and do it in a series.  Having played many space sims, including Chris Robert’s Wing Commanders as they came out in the 90’s (yes I am old).  I have played thousands of hours in Eve and have done many aspects of that game, including the end gaming of running an Alliance and being in Titan Battles.

Where I am at:

The first part of this I want to talk about my journey.  I am currently just over 100 hours played in ED and I am just scratching the surface.  I have been mining with friends and failing horribly at space combat.  I have finally been able to run missions the last week (selling slaves) and I was able to afford my Fer De Lance fully A fitted.  It’s ready to get down and start shooting some shit finally.

Finally being on a footing to fight some shit is a great place to be, but over the course of my journey to this point, I have noticed some things.  Everything is NPC, so is ED meant to be a PVE game?  I am a bit confused by this aspect of the game.  So where does a bloodthirsty savage like myself go to gank other players?  I want to enjoy the game and engage in combat shooting people,  I want to feel an FPS version of EVE where my movements actually matter.   Yes, I know you are going to read that and tell me this is not EVE.  Well, I understand ED is not EVE, nor do I want it to be EVE.  I think it has many good points that are unique enough to the genre that it can be something phenomenal.

My point on this is that Frontier is missing out on a whole boatload of people who like to do open world space PVP.   If you thin,k about how many players there were in EVE, ED probably only has a small fraction of the active online players that EVE did and still does.   I think with some changes in direction the game could attract a whole new type of player and have the content to feed a much larger player base.

How do we improve ED?

  1. What I think ED is missing most Player based decisions.  the NPCs rules everything which I get, but the outer fringes should be controlled by player factions.  Those factions should have benefits for owning the space.  Increased ratting, ability to setup and use planetary mines that generate ore that could then be used in ship construction.  Make this ore rare to this part of space only, so you drive players to the fringes to start fighting for control of it.
  2. Create the ability for players to build stuff.  You have all the infrastructure in the game to set up manufacturing but you just haven’t flipped that switch.  Players should be able to create a market and Economy and give people who love to trade something to do!  People who love to build will focus on that as well.
  3. Why the hell don’t we have hanger space in stations!?  That seems awfully weird to me that I can’t store anything in a hanger space while docked.  Hell, charge me rent for a locker or something but let me put stuff in a damn spot.
  4. SHIPS, SHIPS, & MORE SHIPS.  From what I hear the ship selection has not grown much in the last few years.  That is terrible.  Variety is the spice of life.  You should be turning us a ship a month if not quarterly at a minimum.  Give people the ability to come up with setups and combinations that would be fun for people to play.  Create ship classes, which you kind of have but expand on them.  We need a ship with a way to have Limpets attack other players ships, an interceptor that specializes in tackling people from FSD and the ability to hold them in combat so they can’t run away and jump. New Class types of ships that have the purpose.  Maybe create a hull repair module that uses a ton of power.  Just more ways that people can set up to PVP.
  5. Create an Auction house or player market.  I should be able to sell things to other players.  It is an open world game and the only people who sell stuff are NPC’s.
  6. Drive players together to create content.  This is the biggest selling point of a PVP game that I can tell you.  If you make people come together to fight you will create rivalries, content, experiences.   You will take your game to the next level and pick up a much larger player base who lives for war.   In playing 100 hours so far I have seen maybe 10 other pilots.  Nothing is bringing us together and I have never even seen another pilot running in resource extraction sites or anything like that.
I don’t know if the infrastructure can handle a lot of players on a section of space at a time engaged in combat but I am guessing from the amount of NPC’s that I have seen fighting that it can.  It would definitely be fun to watch 2 Corporations fighting.  You could even use Twitch as a means to build up the hype for these events.   I have a lot of other ideas for Marketing this game that I would love to share with you guys in how you can benefit from a better digital presence.
By no means is ED, not a great game.  I am 100 hours deep working on the engineer grind now but when that is over and my ship is perfect, what then.  Well at that point I will be moving on because there will be nothing left for me to do. (A lot of the people I have talked to about ED have done just this.  Moved on)  Right now the end game needs work.  The PVP Content of player factions fighting is where I would put that effort.  That will keep people coming back and fighting for control.  Aliens are great but to what end? Are we going to fight Alien invaders or something?  For what money? for a rare blaster, Great so I can kill more aliens?  It should be for an alien power core so I can build a battleship that requires many people to make as well as a ton of time, so they have to defend it.  Give people long-term goals.
If you are afraid of balance for that I have ideas on that as well.  I would love to expand on that topic as well if it arises. I am going to wrap this up here.  I am afraid I will lose people with this already.
Signing off,

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