Author Topic: Elite Dangerous (+grinds, silliness, videos and...Paragon Protectors)  (Read 2369 times)

Turjan

  • Elite Boss
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  • You cannot kill a dream
I've been playing Elite Dangerous for a long time - since its first beta actually.
Seeing as how I played the original Elite on my cousin's BBC Model B back in 1984, I suppose Elite will always be a part of my life really.

Even when it's annoying as hell, like it is now...  :o

The game's just had a new content release : Engineers. It introduces NPCs who act as gear modders basically, tweaking your spaceship's modules in return for you collecting grindy stuff. But Elite Dangerous isn't a 'pure' MMO like CoH with all the trappings you'd associate with such games, and Frontier Developments just doesn't seem to be able to get a handle on how the procedure of 'crafting' and 'modding' should work.

Upshot is, they've added materials grind to a game that has no materials storage facility, and then topped it off with a random number generator meaning the quality of mod you ask for is not necessarily the quality of mod you'll get - and you have no control over it whatsoever.

So it takes you forever to upgrade your gear using these allegedly rare maverick Engineers...yet miraculously every NPC ship you meet now seems to possess some modifed module or other - and I bet they didn't have to haul 200T of the rare goods item Lavian Brandy in order to unlock access to that Engineer either :roll:

Frontier Developments also make the loud claim that they've improved NPC AI in version 2.1 of the game...but I question that. As I was pew-pewing at a ship yesterday it suddenly dawned on me exactly what was wrong, and why the new AI wasn't 'more intelligent' at all. I could go into a long-winded diatribe citing facts and so on, but on this forum I don't have to. In the land of Titans I only have to say two words and you'll know exactly what I mean :-

Paragon Protectors

Moment of Glory, remember that? The PPs were no more 'intelligent' or 'improved' compared to other NPCs in the game, but they were certainly an order of magnitude more annoying because of their MoG.

In Elite Dangerous, the AI is now guilty of the same kind of mechanic. They all seem to have improved engines and a superhuman ability to use them, meaning they're not tougher, they're just more annoying and take longer to kill.

*sighs*

However...

Despite all that, Elite is still my main game right now. I suppose I have an extra level of investment in it because for the past few months I've been making YouTube story videos set in the game. I actually started making them as a tongue in cheek way to showcase bugs and gameplay oversights, but I was surprised to find people enjoying them and latching on to the characters I'd come up with, and asking me what was in store next for Commander Turjan, or wondering if Cassandra was doing okay after her experience with 'space zombies'.

It makes me sad I wasn't video savvy enough to make similar videos back in my CoH days, but I suppose with Icon that's always still a possibility, isn't it? :)

For now though I'll keep on making my Turjan's Travels videos...and grumbling about grinds and Elite's new Paragon Protector mechanics ;)

Well, at least until No Man's Sky comes out, then who knows eh? lol

(btw if anyone wants to check out my vids, the link's in my sig. I'm considering how I can crowbar the phrases 'Paragon Protectors' & 'Moment of Glory' into a future episode as in injoke only CoH players will get - if anyone has any ideas feel free to PM me! :) )

Turjan

  • Elite Boss
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  • You cannot kill a dream
Thankfully, Frontier Developments eventually saw sense and dialled the NPC AI back a bit in the most recent patch. They've still left the highest combat ranked NPCs with silliness though...which wouldn't be so bad really, because they are high ranked after all - were it not for one thing : the sheer number of them.

I mentioned on Frontier's forums that high ranked NPCs should be rare, because the law of a bell curve distribution still exists even in 3300 in deep space, but they've kind of painted themselves into a corner in a way, so they're unlikely to change it.

Thing is, in order to climb the combat ranking towards Elite, players must fight opponents of their own combat rank or higher...which means the maths gets skewed the higher up the ranking you go. With player ship encounters with NPCs determined in part by a player's own rank now, it means that effectively there's a ghost squadron of invisible NPCs of your own rank or better perpetually stalking you across the galaxy, waiting to jump put and attack you...

Doesn't do much for the credibility of the game as a sim really, but hey  :roll:

Anyway, all that aside, I find I'm still having more fun these days actually making machinima type stories using Elite as my stage, than actually playing the game. It's quite a challenge scouting for planets and human-engineered locations where I can snag video snippets of bits & pieces to use as backdrops in shots. In fact it's a minigame all on its own!  ;D

Nevertheless, I'll still be glad when they finally introduce a character creator so we can have actual ingame avatars, and also add the multicrew feature - that will be a major boon to videomakers. Or at least I hope it will!

In the meantime I'll plug on making videos with what resources the game has, and keep using a bit of cunning to bend those resources to my story will ;)

Here's a link to my latest vid if anyone fancies a look btw - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SolOIvYbP0