Flieger, grüß' mir die Sonne, grüß' mir die Sterne und grüß' mir den Mond. Dein Leben, das ist ein Schweben, durch die Ferne, die keiner bewohnt! - Hans Albers, F.P.1 antwortet nicht (Adaptation in the 80s: Extrabreit)

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Quo vadis Falkenherz intra beta primus Elitis:Dangerousis?

Having spent some time adjusting and rounding my previous articles and reading some postings in the ED forum, I wondered how I should forge my path in a beta. This question has two interesting elements.

1. The acitivity based part
If I continue to trade, what can I learn, what would be my goal? How about PvE and exploration? It would probably be efficient if I would do the PvE part in my starter ship. I might still get frequently destroyed before I discover the finer points of interdictions, unknown signals, missions and conflict zones. Trading first and then going in with an expensive ship and getting it destroyed because of some stupidity would annoy me. Except for if I would trade so well that I could shit credits and would not need to bother. So, what should it be? Since we cannot still own multiple ships, I should decide between
1. looking for fights as a cheapster in my starter Sidewinder and switching trade runs after five runs at the latest
2. hauling and mixing in the exploratory element thereby also changing systems regularily
3. maybe trying to earn and try out the available ships and equipment so that I do not waste time and money when the game is ready.

If I can put this into the most efficient order of to do, it could be this order. However, there is this thing called human spontanity, and you never know where it leads you to. It is a game, after all, and some things, sometimes astoundingly new experiences, just emerge by playfully exploring things according to what seemingly randomly pops up from the subconscious part of your brain.

2. The social based part
I could imagine that at least becoming a true fighter pilot would get much more fun and interesting with a partner. Alas, I was born into a social environment where in-depth computer gaming puts your status right next to one of a drug addict. (This is the moment where I again become so envious about every husband who actually found a wife who shares this weirdo hobby, or groups of friends who happen to find each other.) It basically boils down to some now more frequently popping up questions in the ED forum: What is the point of multiplayer, how are players incentivized to come together? People are social, I also see several threads where players report about their tries to use the communication systems, i.e. Chat and Talk. However, it seems that ships pass each other too fast before you can actually establish a conversation, lest a reason for it.
There are also people who point out that Frontier should not add any incentives, because this is not an MMOG but Elite, a game which empasizes sandbox-play (as opposed to theme-park play) very consequently, i.e. players need to delve into the games opportinities by themselves and only the way they like it and can imagine it.

I do not have a clear answer or solution. For myself, I can only say that I indeed would like to play once or twice per week as a team and I would not mind so much if it would be the fighting path or the trader or explorer path. I do not need Guilds or Corporations for this; in my experience, largely from World of Warcraft and EVE-Online, these kind of clubs freeze and crust over very quickly under their own institutionalisation. But maybe this is just the desire of the real life-loner I am; the job and familiy quickly use up most of my time and energy and computer games turn out to be a very time and energy efficient hobby which can be squeezed in very flexibly. With these constraints, I found social play to best evolve via fast group-finding initiating mechanisms. This can be a quest which is too hard alone and players accumulate until they are strong enough together. This can also be the infamous group finder, if there is a chance to stay together after the instance is done.

There, quite a disgression from the question of what to do and how to do in this beta. I better just get playing, the rest usually tends to evolve all by itself anyways.

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