Ok, so me and my friend we're having a good time yesterday. We bounty hunted by killing opponents weaker than us for a small pittance. Explored the civilized bubble a bit checking out the amazing vistas this game has. We started taking part in the low intensity combat zones by baiting opponents and having our allies kill them, we thought we we're doing something but after further investigation it seems as if our non-engineered weapons weren't actually doing anything, although they appeared to be because our allied ships were actually doing damage.
Spent a good hour moving to the first engineer, and that's when I believed it started to hit us that we have grinding to do. Although we we're fine with it as long as we could do something that was more fun in the meantime.
So we upgrade our ships with the best modules available to us from multiple stations using the information found on the wiki, and we get back into the combat zone far more experienced in how the dog-fighting works, power distribution, and basic game knowledge. We assumed that we would to at the very least 2v1 the weakest enemy in the zone. However, after about 12 losses and 4 zones later. We have started to realize that our gear.. is dogshit.
So we went and researched how to better our gear, and after further research. We are introduced to the absolute mountain of grind that is A engineer.
I came hear to ask everyone who I assume has played the game far longer than me. Why? Why did they take a fun game, and then very obviously, very shamelessly, time-gate the fun parts.
Now I don't mind a grind, at all. But what I do mind, is how being competitive is basically, as far as I can tell, gated by how much time you spend mining on planets, asteroids, salvaging wrecks, etc. Stuff that I don't mind doing occasionally.
And this isn't grind that is gating PvP. This is literally to kill basic 'Competent' enemies. I understand that Dangerous and up enemies might wreck my shit. But I should at least be able to kill AI without having to dedicate my life to this game for a week in order to be competitive against Bots.
Also, as far as I am aware. The Engineering system is a popular one. Why is relogging a necessary evil in order to simply make the grind bearable? Who looked at that and went. "Good job Steve, i'm sure the players will love having to bug abuse in order to reasonably get anywhere!"
We we're having so much fun until we hit this realization that we can't actually do anything in PvE without taking part in this system.