Elite: Dangerous Faction Wars Begin With Powerplay

Put power in your play. Powerblast. Blastpower. Playpower.

“Everybody wants to rule the world” sang Tears For Fears years before Gary Jules… no, Monday is too early in the week to go Gillen. People are certainly lining up to rule the galaxy, though, with the release of the Powerplay update for Elite: Dangerous [official site] on Friday.

Powerplay adds a new persistent element of galactic conquest, a bit like EVE Online‘s corporate warfare and territory control but under the direction and banner of NPC factions.

You can pick from a selection of factions to sign up with. Maybe you want to judge their methods and agendas, or want to join the biggest gang, or take down the biggest gang, or simply like one faction leader’s haircut. Factions get new objectives missions each week, voted on my members, and taking part helps your faction win and expand their influence. Some factions are more warlike, while others are happier fighting economically. Gaining status within a faction brings rewards and a bigger say in what the faction does in future.

Here, this guide helps explain the differences between factions and how some of Powerplay’s systems work.

Update 1.3 also brought a load of other additions, changes, and fixes, as detailed in the patch notes. New things include ships, drones, and mining options.

If you’re an Elitist and had a bash over the weekend, what do you make of Powerplay?

74 Comments

  1. Humppakummitus says:

    I’ve pretty much given up on Elite. :( I bought it in Beta and now it’s been half a year since the release and there’s still almost nothing interesting to do. And these MMO elements… It’s hard to be excited about being able to influence things a fraction of a percent every week.

    • Humppakummitus says:

      Oh god, why couldn’t Elite stay offline. It could have a Minecraft level modding scene by now. Endlessly inventive modpacks in a ludicrously beautiful engine, new unexpected stuff to try all the time.
      I’m sure it would’ve worked better for the company too, now they’ve got a huge server eating money and pretty much nothing coming in.

      • Ufofighter says:

        A really stupid decision, I agree. It doesn’t add anything to the game that couldn’t be easily simulated.

        And It was, plain and simple, a fraud to backers.

      • vlonk says:

        Q1 2016. Oculus release. Will not touch this before that date because of limited scope of ED right now. This could have been Skyrim in Space as endless and beautiful as it is. With the possibility of playing on a heavily modded version on your own shards this game would have killed my job/marriage/friendships/cat or all of the above. Throwing more social feature layers will not help much. You need roughly what Eve has at its core to make it as a MMO (space structures, player driven economy, player corporations, exotic dancers in the cargo). You maybe can add faction wars and player owned space later… Just let the players bid on space structure parcels and thats all the ownership and power distribution you needed… but no… lets go for another layer of npc governed grind… You just had to outdo Freelancer if you aimed for an offline game Braben. Back to KSP and my Heinlein audiobooks…

      • K_Sezegedin says:

        Yeah I agree, – FD should’ve focused on making the best single player game they could, then added in some secondary multi-player functions like co-op missions, something small scale and suited to their handicapped p2p net code.

        There are some very cool things possible with a fully online universe and un-curated player interaction, but at this point I’m unsure its worth the sacrifices to the types of content that can be added in the game’s multiplayer-first context.

      • eggy toast says:

        Who plays Minecraft single player?

        • Jayson82 says:

          For people who like modded or vanilla made adventure/puzzle maps, try out the dropper series for great fun.

        • Hmm-Hmm. says:

          Quite a few people, I imagine.

      • PoulWrist says:

        If Elite was singleplayer offline only, it would’ve been dead at birth and no patches like this would’ve ever been released. If the only thing there’d ever be to do was to sit and fish through mods to find anything interesting… meh.

        • jrodman says:

          This is sort of amusing to imagine a subquote of this out of context.

      • Mr_Blastman says:

        Because humans are emergent gameplay. Seriously, games like Elite NEED online interaction. There’s only so much AI can give before it becomes boring and repetitive. This isn’t the 1980s anymore, folks. This is the age of the internet. All those pixel fighters in Star Raiders or Starmaster were great in 1983 but now… now we have humans and interaction and dynamic starsystems.

        The worst decision ED ever made was allow the game to have a solo mode. Forcing everyone into open would be the best thing to happen to the game. It’d fill the galaxy with interesting people.

        • vlonk says:

          Sci Fi can be wild and bold and daring. Read the good stuff from the 1950 to 1980, some Heinlein, Asimov, Niven, and be amazed. Exploration, unique bold settings, backed up by real science often times. If you build online communities you have to cater to mediocrity, balance everything out and desperately try to make your experiences accessible to everyone. If it is centered around accumulating wealth/leveling it will almost never create a daring experience that challenges your mind. All you get are the same social interactions every MMO has plenty of. Thats Transformers level Sci Fi, no thx. I have no time for grinding numbers beyond my personal satisfaction level and you should not either.

          • Mr_Blastman says:

            Heh. Funny you say that. I write science fiction myself. Those are amazing examples, by the way, and some of my favorites, along with Clarke and Bradbury to round things out.

            And you’re right, the overall content in Elite is shallow. Without multiplayer it’s a hollow shell. With it–it is emergent and changing. It’s why I pirate, well, did. But they messed that up with this update. We’ll see if the fix it.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Same here. I was active in the Beta, excited about the potential. But I haven’t played it for months now. Maybe I’ll go back at some point, I dunno. I wanted a game that was fun in singleplayer mode, with a little optional grouping when I felt like it.

      But there just isn’t any compelling singleplayer content to balance the MMO-like annoyance of having no pause function in the game. It all feels like MMO grinding, for a better ship that you can’t really do much with. And faction wars aren’t exactly what I was looking for in an open universe. What if I want to just head into the Black and explore, find new interesting things? The game hasn’t delivered that. Instead, they seem to be focusing only on the MMO experience.

      I’m still keeping an eye on it. Where it’s going right now just isn’t very interesting to me, but maybe there’s more content in the works that will appeal to people like me.

      • badmothergamer says:

        Me three. I enjoyed the grind for the first 5-6 mil. Then I forgot to request docking permission, was blown up, lost 1 mil in supplies, calculated it would take me roughly two hours of grinding to earn back what was lost, haven’t played since. That was roughly 4 months ago.

        Offline, mods, missions that don’t suck. These are things that could bring me back. Not holding my breath.

        • Zenicetus says:

          As I understand things, Offline will never happen and Mods will probably never happen. It’s the price we pay for keeping everyone in sync and playing in the same gameworld, after the Offline mode was canceled.

          Better mission design *could* happen, if they get their act together. One problem right now is that not only are the individual missions boring, but the overall writing and faction design just isn’t very creative. It’s not an interesting universe they’re building, outside of the physical stuff like stars and planets. Where are the derelict spaceships? Aliens? Anything interesting at all out there? They need to hire some good sci-fi writers to spice up this universe.

          • badmothergamer says:

            I only request offline because I’m on the US west coast and they were shutting the server down for 30 minutes at 11pm my time every night for a reboot. Since I only game in the late evenings it was killing me. Maybe they’ve changed that or trimmed the restart time since then.

            The request for mods is primarily just to let outside sources create some fun stuff to do.

            After my first 2-3 hours in ED, I called my buddy I played online games with in high school 15+ years ago and told him to start saving up for a gaming rig because I’d found the perfect game to get him back in PC gaming. It was that magical. I’ve never had a game die on me so quickly like this, where I went from absolutely loving it to absolutely over it almost immediately.

            The only way I’ll ever play again is if they start creating interesting quests. As long as they are banking on groups of players creating their own stories this will remain a purchase that did not live up to its price. One of the few whiffs I’ve had in the past few years.

      • Rindan says:

        Fuck compelling single player content, there isn’t even compelling multiplayer content. ED is a beautiful disaster of a game. It has so much potential and it is all being ruthlessly squandered. It could have been an amazing single player game with an interesting story, various missions, and a killer modding scene. It could have been an amazing multi-player game with an Eve economic and social layer. It is none of the above. It is a big empty wasteland of procedural generated nothing.

        To make it even worse, Frontier has no clue what they are doing. Instead of pushing it to be a compelling multiplayer or single player game, they are going add more procedurally generated nothing. Who is excited that they are going to double the already essentially infinite and empty play space by adding planets? No one.

      • Mr_Blastman says:

        This is why you don’t play Elite for money. You play it for fun! Live the life of a Pirate and free yourself from the grind. Every human is a new adventure and you never know how it will play out!

  2. Synesthesia says:

    It´s a disaster. The bulk of the update is just another layer of grinding, in the form of fetch quests, and very little combat. That’s it.

    Completely given up on elite by now, their mission design is the worst i’ve seen in years.

    Steer clear if you are on the fence and don’t have 6 hours a day to grind, or are willing to roleplay for the entire duration.

    Also, a good watch if you are also ored of cookie cutter mission design:

    link to youtube.com

    • Asurmen says:

      6 hours a day is an exaggeration but yeah it’s grindy and no different than what you can already do in the game, but with some unique rewards.

      I’m enjoying Elite but I think it needed another year before being released.

    • Synesthesia says:

      Glad to see i’m not alone in seeing this update for what it is. Even the reddit community is starting to get a bit riled up, the rabid fanboyism there was getting frustrating.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I wouldn’t go as far as calling it a disaster. X:Rebirth, now that’s a disaster.

      ED is still the best game out there for recreating the experience of climbing into a space fighter cockpit, like the old days of Wing Commander and X-Wing. The graphics are good, the sound design is terrific. The flight models and combat… well, I have gripes so I won’t talk about that. But if you want to relive that feeling, and especially if you already have things like HOTAS controls, it’s a great game… for a few weeks anyway. Maybe a month or two.

      That’s the point where it’s losing people. It just doesn’t have “legs” unless you’re capable of deep roleplaying, or have friends that are into the MMO side of the game and you enjoy playing that way. So for me, it’s not a complete disaster. But certainly a huge case of potential that it hasn’t lived up to, so far.

      • Doubler says:

        And yet I still play Rebirth, while E:D lost it’s luster long ago.
        Mods help a lot. But besides that Egosoft has made a dedicated and (in my case at least) succesful effort at improving the game. Meanwhile every E:D patch just seems like it adds more of the same: new ships you can’t afford and new ways to grind your soul away.

      • PoulWrist says:

        And isn’t “several weeks to a couple months” quite enough gameplay time for a purchase that’s not even “full price”? I mean, what makes Elite have to live up to higher standards than, say, a game that’s over in 6 hours and has a deathmatch multiplayer scene?

        • Zenicetus says:

          Well, one difference between ED and that 6 hour FPS with optional deathmatch is the way an FPS, or even an RPG like Pillars of Eternity, gives the player a steady stream of rewards during the gameplay. You don’t have to grind for a few weeks for a reward.

          With ED, the central “reward” is moving up through the tiers of better/larger ships. A player with normal gaming hours to spend (i.e. not in grade school, or unemployed or retired) probably isn’t going to get into something like a Python in just a few weeks. It takes a pretty major commitment.

          And once you get into a higher tier ship, there just isn’t enough to do with it. It’s like grinding to get your Level 70 armor and weapon gear for raiding in a fantasy MMO, and then having no dungeon raids where you can use it.

          That’s oversimplifying a bit, because Frontier does offer some things to do with missions and this new expanded faction stuff. The problem is that for many of us, that’s just not very compelling. Especially for those with more of a singleplayer orientation.

          • kaitain says:

            “A player with normal gaming hours to spend (i.e. not in grade school, or unemployed or retired) probably isn’t going to get into something like a Python in just a few weeks. ”

            Why would it be desirable for a player to get into one of the largest ships in the game in just a few weeks?

            I got myself a kitted-out Asp and Vulture with around 20 hours of gameplay. I’m pretty happy with both of those and feel like I’ve moved into a different kind of non-grindy gameplay now. If I could move onto a Python in another 20 hours the game would feel slightly broken to me.

            I think the “there’s nothing to do even when you’ve got the biggest ship” aspect is more problematic, but I’m also a fairly patient guy and am happy to see where this “let’s build the game as we go” experiment progresses. That was always what I signed up for in 2012 anyway.

            I find myself wondering if there’s a major Gen X/Gen Y cultural divide here: that if somebody started gaming in the 90s or 2000s they’ve always been used to ultra-polished, packaged, hand-holding gameplay with very clear missions, constant structured content, constant prefab stimulation, cinematics etc. I totally understand why the industry moved in that direction and to be honest most of the games these days are miles better than the ones I grew up with, but I also regard them as being just one kind of game, and not the only way one can build an entertaining product.

      • FriendlyFire says:

        And yet, Elite’s MMO side is very underdeveloped. To work as an MMO you’d need something close to EVE, which lets you do so much more.

    • Lead Sponge says:

      I’m really enjoying ED. I don’t need some complex quest line to get involved. I love not being led around all the time. Now I’m not insulting people who want detailed quest lines. They have their place. For me what I love about Elite: Dangerous is the fact that I’m on my own. I’m a mercenary flying around space and dog fighting. It’s a sandbox. I get to write my own story.

      The key thing people need to get over is this sense of self-importance games have given us in the past. While in most games your the “Chosen One” destined to save the Universe. The hard thing about Elite: Dangerous is the universe doesn’t give a two shits about you. You’re just another pilot in a very large universe. It’s oddly personal in that regard. You make your own way and deal with what comes at you. I’m truly immersed.

      I had my own story, that kicked a lot more ass than any story a designer could throw at me. So who am I in the game? I’m an Alliance Defense Force pilot who has transferred to the Alliance Volunteer Group (AVG). The AVG was formed to combat Empire and Federation incursions into Alliance and independent space. I’m a “mercenary” fighting for the liberty of all people. I’m a Flying Tiger. How did I accomplish this?

      1. Only take missions for Alliance aligned factions or independent factions that are dedicated to workers are individual freedom.
      2. Engage in Anti-Slavery Operations by interdicting traders and stopping people from running slaves.
      3. Smuggling Goods to Federation and Empire systems that support the cause of the Alliance and independent systems.
      4. Always choose independent or alliance factions in Conflict Zones.
      5. Attack Wanted targets in Alliance space.

      I was doing this before I had Powerplay. This just makes it easier for me to do what I was already doing. It’s a great addition, and I appreciate not having some fishing line dragging me from place to place.

      • Synesthesia says:

        If you can fix poor mission design with roleplay then great for you, but that’s not what’s being discussed.

      • cpy says:

        There is NOTHING to do! After 1000+ runs between A->B i’ve given up on this game. If there is something that might actually be fun change, it gets so nerfed that you’ll be back to A->B boring trade stuff in 1-3 days. This game is worst trap ever, it looks extremely fun at first but when you get into the game and see what it truly is, you’ll see that no amount of imagination will help. There is no challenge no scavenge hunt for parts from enemy ships, no boarding, combat mechanics boils down to who have more healing potions (shield cell banks).

  3. Llewyn says:

    Wait, Gary Jules butchered other Tears songs too? (Although being the phillistine that I am I quite liked his Mad World. I’m sorry.)

    Also, yeah, Elite. Sigh.

    • gunny1993 says:

      Oh come on, who didn’t like his Mad World, sure its a totally different tone from the original, but that’s what makes a good cover.

      Also the gears of wars trailer worked so damn well with it.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    Yeah, not convinced.
    Don’t get me wrong, basic missions and Empire / Federation / Alliance progression seem to have been tidied up and improved.
    But this Powerplay bollocks?
    If I join the faction that appears to reward bounty hunting, I do not expect to be hauling special intelligence from system to system in my combat equipped Vulture.

  5. Ufofighter says:

    Basically a bunch of fixes and more grinding but now with a twist, you are punished if don’t play enough with some kind of reputation decay mechanic.

    BRAVO BRABEN!

    The only good thing coming with this patch (I refuse to call it expansion) is that even the most biased fans are realising that:
    a) Many beta features are now set as final features.
    b) We are half way to the paid DCLs and the game is not even near of what was promised.
    c) Many features promised to come after release are now completely forgotten.

    And there’s nothing as fun as seeing a bunch of fanboys in love with something getting deceived and enraged about it.

    • Synesthesia says:

      Truly a bastion of innovation in game design.

      Player trading still isn’t anywhere to be seen.
      Player made bounties are all but an urban myth.
      MIssions other than fetch quests? Wuzzat?
      Remember Iron Man?
      Passenger missions? (i bet you money they’ll patch that in soon, and it’ll be just more fetch quests, treating passengers as cargo.)

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      That’s still quite a lot more game than Star Citizen have released so far, but I’m glad I didn’t buy elite yet. Hopefully it’ll be a full game in a year or so, and I can play then.

      • Hitchslapped says:

        The difference being that Star Citizen is not claiming to be a finished game. ED on the other hand is and everything that’s coming now is just added bonus.

    • Asurmen says:

      Less punished, more rewarded less. Punish to me implies they’re actually taking something off of you. I would argument, given the theme of PowerPlay, that some kind of rep decay was required. Maintaining a lower rank also isn’t that hard.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Well, surely you can’t complain that you can’t lapse the game for 6 months after getting max rank and expecting 50 millions a week in bonuses. If you want the most out of powers just keep doing what you did, keep going into RES and other stuff and then spend some cash on more allotments for the stuff you’re supposed to deliver.

      By all means, you have to keep helping your faction if you want the most and keep powerplay alive, and that’s something i can get behind.

      What i don’t really like however is how little all of this is tied to the rest of the game, to the point that it’s a completely different framework that only works by it’s few rules. That is absolutely something they need to work on, the implementation must be more complete and coherent.

      Other than that this feature should be approached mostly by those who already have some decent progression, it’s easy enough to keep your rank if every once in a while you load your Python’ss 200+ cargo slots of Powerplay’s space pizza and then go back with your 5x fixed beam lasers to fry some stuff somewhere, or to do whatever else you want, really.

  6. Solidstate89 says:

    If it doesn’t come with a PowerGlove, I’m not buying it.

  7. Kemuel says:

    I picked up Elite with a stick-throttle set about a month ago now, and I’m actually really excited about Powerplay. I’ve been having fun just messing around for about 30 hours now, but everything’s felt a little aimless. So far besides ranking up and being able to afford better stuff I’ve not had much incentive to do anything or go anywhere in particular, but now I’ve already started planning out on a epic journey to go to the side of my chosen faction leader. I feel like I’ve got more of a sense of direction now, and I think for a lot of new people coming to the game that’ll hopefully help them stick with it a bit longer.

  8. vahnn says:

    I’m so disappoint. I was getting sick of the endless grind toward a new ship in ED. PP’s promise of new, less-grindy methods of making money while partaking in this factional war for power sounded like EXACTLY what I was looking for.

    Nope. Unless you’re a space trucker, participating in the PP gameplay elements actually costs you more money to participate than you can make by doing so. Combat pilots who were hoping to partake in some combat with real meaning behind it can do so. But for almost no reward at all. And since you’ll likely be dying more than before while making less money than before, there’s even more focus on grinding the traditional ways to recoup the losses you’ll be netting by partaking in PP elements.

    It’s really too bad. Unless FD really gets its shit together in the next couple patches, I may just forget about ED altogether. Star Citizen is just about a year and a half (hopefully) away, anyway…

    • Sardonic says:

      Don’t be silly, it will be a cold day in hell when Star Citizen releases anything approaching a full playable game.

      Really, powerplay would be fine if they raised the stupid allocation cap on the stuff you have to move, and fixed a lot of the non-working stuff.

      Also if they fixed ranks, good god is the rank system messed up.

      • ruinerr says:

        Well, winter came in hell then.

        Anyone ripping on Star Citizen obviously hasn’t spent any time researching it. If you’re into space sims, this is a no brainer. I’ve probably logged almost as much time on their website looking at concept art and reading about the universe as I have spent playing E:D.

        There’s Arena Commander. Which is a fun way to test out the current build in both competitive, co-operative, racing, and free flight modes. Soon, the FPS module will be released and personal combat as well as a zero-g sport competitive mode will come.

        Walking around the hangar module is actually interesting. Having a body is certainly an upgrade. Looking at ship designs of a quality that doesn’t just far exceed those in E:D, they actually inspire creativity. I haven’t drawn since high school and I found myself sketching ship concepts. The functionality, moving parts, lighting, and textures in the places that aren’t meant to be seen are better than what are prominent in Elite. Landing gear retraction, moving pistons for cargo doors, swiveling cockpit seats, shifting gunner seats. Multi-crew ships with roles for crew members!!! Hangar bays launching snub fighters from capital ships….. I mean…..

        This isn’t just a comparison of the game engines, that would be a joke, it’s a comparison of the artistic direction and love put into their creation. Star Citizen “feels” like it’s being built for the fans. It feels like they’re respectful of the money they were given to work with. There’s feedback and design choices the players can actually “see” being done on a unprecedented basis. Never before have we had so much insight into the development of a game. Daily video updates, weekly progress reports, monthly recaps…. They listen to feedback and criticism rather than condemning and banning people from the forums for having valid concerns.

        Elite “feels” like it was made for Braben to cash in on the history of the franchise and the procedural generation gimmic. In fact, everything seems to feel like it was made despite fan’s wishes, with their money. Doing whatever was easiest for them given the technology and deferring on writing any kind of narrative or even spending a few minutes to establish some sense of history within their IP, they rushed to sale because hardly anyone would be interested in this as opposed to one of the more immersive options.

        I tried the Power Play addition and it just added color coding and character portraits for missions. This expansion didn’t go over people’s heads like one player claims, it just didn’t add anything impressive for people who aren’t so easily impressed.

        The sound design I wouldn’t know much about. The only way I didn’t fall asleep playing this game was to mute the music and turn on my own. I tried to get into the mindset of the gamer that would’ve played the original. I created a play list of some great classic rock and metal and for awhile, Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd added more to the experience than anything the developer has since slapped on.

        Elite rushed to release first because they knew they wouldn’t sell once Star Citizen was available.

        • kaitain says:

          > Elite rushed to release first because they knew they wouldn’t sell once Star Citizen was available.

          Yes, I imagine that 2018 shutoff was looming above them like the sword of Damocles.

        • kaitain says:

          > Looking at ship designs of a quality that doesn’t just far exceed those in E:D, they actually inspire creativity

          I rather like E:D’s designs. Of course, half of them are adaptations of the original polyhedral ships from the 1984 original, so they were always going to be of a very particular form (mainly convex and wedge-shaped). I find those designs rather beautiful, especially the Cobra and the Asp, and they also have a whiff of plausibility about them; a starship isn’t likely to look like a bird, and if it’s docking inside coriolis stations frequently you’d want the design to be fairly compact and robust. Not all that keen on the Hauler or Adder, but those are fairly bottom-of-the-barrel ships.

          By contrast, most of the SC ships look like atmospheric jet craft, not starships.

    • PoulWrist says:

      They’ll probably patch some changes to those rewards and such in. They’ve been doing that with everything else. If there’s one thing you can’t blame FD for it’s abandoning their game.

  9. James says:

    I have to say that in spite of this basically being more grinding, I’m kinda enjoying it. It’s another level of the player interaction that Elite seriously needs. However that interaction cannot take place inside the game because players are just fetching things. I play as a bounty hunter, and have huge amounts of fun doing so blowing up rebel scum etc. but I still lament the fact that as a pro-Alliance player (the one faction that has no military), I, as pretty much the only thing defending them, get nothing out of it.

    It is a great start, but updates like this need to keep coming for Elite to hold my attention for more than a few days at a time, even with the pew pewing.

  10. Dr Wookie says:

    I like it, but them I’m in it for the RP rather than making as much money as possible. FD are making the game that they want to play, which is good, but they are having a hard time matching up with expectations from a more modern audience.

    Power play is an optional way to play, and is more like an opportunity to spend money to gain power rather than a way to make money in itself. I seriously think it’s more aimed at established players who want to make a splash in the galaxy rather than up and coming players.

    There’s also a few new ships, drones to help miners, pirates and explorers, and access to GALNET news in ship. Plus, the AI has been substantially improved.

  11. killmachine says:

    there are some really nice additions like the drones, the re-worked mission system, better npc interaction and some performance improvements for lower end graphics cards. but the powerplay system is just super complex and convoluted. i don’t understand how it works or how i should approach it to do stuff. i agree that it’s probably aimed at the players that spent hundreds of hours into their game and want to explore a new thing. it’s probably great but i don’t see how it actually affects my gameplay. basically, there are just numbers that change.

    maybe the three introduction videos they put up about powerplay helps me understand but right now i don’t understand half of it. this kind of underlines that elite is in fact a niche game for a more mature audience. i don’t think any of the hipster youths are interested in this. except, when you like math. if you’re a math fan, grab this.

    • Jediben says:

      I hope to God I can get back from my holiday and ignore all this political shit, continuing to trade and bounty hunt and letting all this guff pass me by.

      • Dr Wookie says:

        Hi Jediben, you can totally ignore it if you want :)

        • Jediben says:

          Hurrah, thanks Dr Wookie. That’s the diagnosis I was hoping for.

  12. MJones says:

    I gave up on Elite months ago. This update has actually injected new life into the game and after a weekend with it I’m as addicted as I was back during the beta.

    Joining a faction is like engaging ‘Proper Elite’ mode. There is a VAST difference between what I’m reading about Powerplay in comments and my own actual experience in game with it.

    I think it’s gone over most peoples heads to be honest.

    • ruinerr says:

      Or color coding fetch missions is enough to impress.

      • MJones says:

        Clearly you haven’t played as much as a single minute of it, like the majority of commenters on here.

    • Humppakummitus says:

      Well, this sounds promising. What do you like best about it? How has it changed the way you play?

  13. Maxheadroom says:

    From what i can tell, conquering / defending / undermining a system all seems to come down to collecting ‘Merits’ (through combat, trade, errand running etc).
    At the end of the week all the merits are added up and whoever had the most merits wins or defends that system. Its all very gentlemanly.

    As such though I don’t think we’ll be seeing the kind of epic war stories you read about in Eve coming out of ED, which is a shame.

  14. kaitain says:

    I feel like we have the pasta right now but little sauce. The basic “deliver trade papers” grind mechanic needs to be augmented with more combat and tension. Specific system sweep missions, targeted assassinations etc. Plus also the occasional organized dust-up in a specific zone of a system with a bunch of control points riding on it. It’s like the Sharks vs the Jets, 10pm off the shoulder of Orion, turn up if you want to be a part of it.

    Also, there should be espionage missions: deliver this activist into system bla without being scanned, rendezvous with a defector to pick up crucial info and return it to a friendly system while being pursued by sinister agents etc.

    Or is this kind of stuff in here already and I’m missing it?

  15. CaesarNZ says:

    Is it my imagination or does President Hudson look a lot like actor Robert Patrick…?

  16. Kerr Avon says:

    As a beta-backer I was one of the people who funded this project into existence and I haven’t played it in months. Good graphics and sound design makes for a somewhat interesting “tech demo” for a couple of weeks but that’s it. Like the vast majority of Elite players (there are many more of us than Braben and Frontier Developments will ever admit to) I’m not interested in the multiplayer aspect of this particular game at all. We just don’t have enough time for regular meet-up sessions for one thing and then there is always the torrent of newbies and morons who inevitably spoil the game for us. Elite was always a single-player pick-up-and-play game of exploration, continuing from where you left off whenever you like. Even when (if?) planetary landings are ever put back into the gameplay, I’m not sure that even then I will be enthused enough to support this limp-let-down any more.

    • kaitain says:

      Avon, for what it is worth, I have always trusted you, from the very beginning. However:

      “Elite was always a single-player pick-up-and-play game of exploration, continuing from where you left off whenever you like.”

      …how is playing E:D in solo any different?

      • Amatyr says:

        Not Avon, but personally: Inability to save/load and avoid possible loss of progress. I don’t mind doing something stupid and losing out some time when I restore an old game, it’s much more objectionably when I might end up with a net loss for just trying to have some fun or explore.

        • kaitain says:

          Isn’t progress saved continually, and in a guaranteed manner whenever you exit the game (either completely or to the main menu)? Are you saying simply that you don’t trust the FD servers?

          • kaitain says:

            Oh, wait, perhaps you mean that you can’t go back to an old save point, i.e. if you have your ship destroyed it’s a guaranteed loss of 1/20th of the ships’s value?

      • Kerr Avon says:

        You’re right, Blake. I was just pointing out the time and resources FD put into (wasted?) ED, steamrolling ahead focusing on the multiplayer is likely the primary factor the quality as a whole suffered, wouldn’t you agree? That was my point mentioning it. If Elite is a vintage scotch, the multiplayer is the water. Yet the whiskey-to-water ratio is wrong. And it’s tap water. End result the game is drowning in a bland ocean of sameyness. One can feel it’s watered down (and dumbed down) far too much for the masses, trying to please everybody. Trying to please everybody is artistic suicide when it comes to a historically niche game like Elite. It’s like Ridley Scott making his cult film Alien a musical about sports and don’t forget the zombies… and then employing shilling sycophants to tell us that’s what we should want.

        • kaitain says:

          Well, Elite was a huge hit; it wasn’t niche. But that was thirty years ago. Seems to me that the complaints being directed at E:D are mainly along the lines of EITHER “it isn’t sufficiently like the original” or “there isn’t enough to do”, which would appear (?) to be competing rather than orthogonal complaints.

          I’m only around 30-40 hours in, so I haven’t gotten bored yet. However, I’m looking for what to do next and am not quite sure that I’m seeing compelling content. Powerplay seems like an interesting idea but the missions seem dull, not exciting. I think players want to feel that their powerful starships make a difference, but a difference to what? You don’t need an Anaconda or a tricked-out Vulture to deliver trade papers. Powerplay needs to have organized, structured warfare as far as I’m concerned. And risky espionage missions. It should feel like deploying your workman skills in a wartime setting: bounty hunters fight under a banner, smugglers become secret agents. Hell, maybe miners collect rare resources from dangerous areas. All of this should be optional, of course, but if you enter into Powerplay you should feel like you’ve just signed up for duty at the local recruitment office, with the excitement and fear that goes with that.

    • Asurmen says:

      I like it when people say things like vast majority without a shred of evidence to back it up.

      • Kerr Avon says:

        Well, if you’re new to Elite and don’t know any of the history, in this case all one has to do is merely skim over the comments either on here or on other gaming sites for a few minutes (sites not owned or moderated by Frontier Developments, that is) and it’s right in front of your eyes it’s the majority. Only on the Frontier forums we are told everyone loves the multiplayer; elsewhere (i.e. here) it’s a different story, isn’t it? I suppose they have to keep on lying because of the capital put into running their online servers, staff wages and other expenses (and possibly because they are sociopaths who can never admit they were wrong).

        • kaitain says:

          That logic isn’t necessarily watertight. There tends to be a selection bias in forums. Specifically, it tends to be the people who are motivated to comment on the game who seek out a forum to do so, and those with complaints tend to be more motivated than those with praise. So you are likely to be seeing a higher-than-average portion of people with negative options in this forum.

          • Kerr Avon says:

            I agree it’s certainly possible, but your logic isn’t too watertight either as it doesn’t apply to me. You say, “it tends to be the people who are motivated to comment on the game who seek out a forum to do so, and those with complaints tend to be more motivated than those with praise” and yet I have definitely said far more praise than complaints about various games on this (and other) sites. I am the antithesis of what you just said; I tend to not say anything if I don’t like or approve of something. For the most part, I tend to ignore it completely and move on. So, I don’t know (or assume) what motivates others to comment. How do you know what motivates another individual, other than yourself?

          • kaitain says:

            > your logic isn’t too watertight either as it doesn’t apply to me

            Well, I was talking about trends and tendencies, so an individual case doesn’t constitute falsifying data. However…

            > How do you know what motivates another individual, other than yourself?

            It’s a fair question. I don’t have comprehensive evidence for you. It is a known phenomenon that people tend to seek out an opportunity to share their opinion on X more frequently if they have had either a notably positive or notably negative experience with X. We simply tend not to take the time to hold forth about how entirely average X was (where “average” is intended to mean “no better or worse than expected” rather than as a tacit pejorative). But I confess my instinct that negative dominates positive may simply be wrong.