The first time I played Elite Dangerous was when I received the standalone version of Arena for free. It is safe to say that without this initial taste of the game I would never have bought the full game or Horizon. It hurts to see what could be a great game mode languish from neglect, so despite knowing this is probably a futile effort, I decided to compile a list of feature and balance changes in the hope that one day CQC might receive some TLC.
- Get rid of 'gimballed' hitscan laser weapons. The name says 'fixed' but the function in Arena is gimballed. The only meta in arena is gimballed laser weapons because they require little effort to track and hit a moving ship. Arena should be about skill. Gimballed weapons that have a projectile are fine. Make laser hitscan weapons actual fixed weapons and give them the fixed damage buff to boot.
- Add the Alliance Taipan, Guardian Fighters, Imperial Eagle, Viper III, Viper IV. Only allow the bigger ships to use 2 small hardpoints for their weapons to maintain balance.
- Replace the level-dependent module unlock system with an Arena voucher currency that can be spent to unlock the modules and upgrades the CMDR chooses. The vouchers are earned based on performance in matches and awarded post-match.
- Add cosmetic customizations. Let players apply liveries, decals, engine and weapon colors, and ship kits to their ships.
- Improve rewards. 1st Place should be worth 500K to 1M credits. Those credits should apply to the CMDR's wallet in Horizon. Matches should also count toward the weekly Arx reward.
- Prestige rewards. Players should be able to earn unique liveries and decals for achieving specific goals/milestones with specific ships. These cosmetic items should also be transferrable to Horizon.
- More maps and race mode. Add more maps to diversify combat with different environments. Add an additional game mode where players can race around a track made up of checkpoint hoops with smaller powerup hoops scattered throughout.
- Introduce rotating weekly "sponsored" matches on the weekend. These matches would award double voucher rewards and XP. Each week one of the Powerplay factions would sponsor the matches. The specific Powerplay Module of the sponsor faction would also be available during the weekend for purchase using Arena vouchers. Powerplay modules purchased with vouchers would be stored in the CMDR's home station storage in Horizon.
Feel free to add your own suggestions. This probably won't gain any traction but I figured I'd give it a shot just to say I tried.