How to fix Elite: Dangerous Powerplay

I’m not alone in the view that power play feels out of place. It feels like an extra appendage on the game that forces you to play in a way that can feel stilted. It feels purely “game” rather than “experience”.

For me there are two barriers to getting enjoyment from power play. They aren’t major ones and are fixable.

  1. Separation
    To find what I need to do for my power I have to come out of the normal interface. Finding what I have to do and where I have to go is complex and jarring. Contrast that to the simple bulletin board missions where I see what faction wants me to what thing, where I need to go and how quickly.
  2. Contrived power play cargo
    I have to take some cans containing paperwork from A to wherever I like? Why does this stuff weigh so much? (missions to take messages from A to B require no cargo space!)
    Why is this hugely important message can able to be taken to anywhere?
    Why don’t I loose standing for just dumping them? Why can I not sell them to other factions?

How do we fix these? Well. In all fairness. The game mechanic at work (the maths, stats, code etc) isn’t the problem here. It’s how it is sewn into the fabric of the game that doesn’t work for me.

Bringing PP back into ED

Elite 2 used to have board items for black markets (why cant’ we have that now?) so how about board items for powerplay factions?

Say that I arrive in HeHeng, I’m pledged to Ed Mahon of the  Alliance:

I could go to the boards and see an entry:

PP-BB

If I weren’t pledge to Ed then I enter and I might see:

“Sorry, we are closed today” or “You gotta be kidding me, get out of my sight imperial toady!”

Since I am, Instead I see a short header entry about the current system:

“We are currently preparing for expansion into HeHeng,
we (have a long way to go|are half way there|are close to) our objectives but still need support”

..with a button that takes me to the familiar page where we see our faction’s overview and our standing etc.

pp1

And under this header we see missions!

  • Support us in HeHeng
    • We need to win the hearts of the people of HeHeng, deliver 10t of food canisters that we can distribute to those in need
  • Support us in HeHeng
    • The habitations here are in a bad state. Bring us 12t of atmospheric processors.
  • Take over HeHeng
    • To support our ambitions we must frustrate federation efforts here. Destroy 4 federation transport ships
  • Defend take-over of the Zaonce System
    • Our brothers and sisters in Zaonce need help to maintain control
  • Undermine Federation control of HeHeng
    • Steal trade data and cargo from convoys entering the HeHeng system.
  • Support expansion into CD-34 9020
    • Deliver these encrypted messages to our friends at Back Orbital in CD-34 9020.

TAKEOVER

Notice these are all plausible in-game missions and cargos? Nothing made-up or strange here? You would still visit the galaxy map in PP view to see where you’d like to go, but you see this stuff when you arrive!

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