My experiance with engineering & on planet vehicle gameplay

Context: We are playing Elite for a week now.

So… yesterday a friend and I decided – were like "hey we farmed a couple houndred millions – your kraiit looks good, my python looks good… nothing more to buy to upgrade them – lets look into engineering and then head into combat zones!

First of all: If we had not heavily looked into reddit and heard about engineering from other players we'd never have known its there. Sure, this one is on us for ignoring all the npc messages that pop up in the 2 menue, so I don't want to put out any blame here. Buuuuut… the technology broker? Yeah… good luck finding any of them without the knowledge of 3rd party tools.

So… lets see what are materials… after some googling we came up with:

We got Raw materials, Manufactured and Data. It seems there are material exchangers at some stations that trade Raw Materials to other raw materials, manufactured to other manufactured and so on. And it is just a great design idea to put Raw and Manufactured into the same category in your inventory that you need to filter to just see one while data has its own. I'm sure noone was ever confused by this. Also finding those traders (or even getting to know they exist, since my friend was baffled and never stumbled upon one) – again – 3rd Party tools.

Soooo where do we get those? Sure we got some from passenger missions, mostly manufactured, and I collected a miniscule amount from our space combat strolls… But that didn't seem to go somewhere with the rate we collected. So… google it is. And yeah it turns out, engineering was part of the last addon. And what also was part of the last addon was vehicle based planet exploration. Now, I quite liked No mans sky, so I was thrilled – yeah no "on-foot-travel" and the planets would be less pretty / more realistic but still – some new type of gameplay!

So get to a crashed anaconda (google), get out those landing gears, and VEHICLE GOES BRRRRRR!. First two minutes were really fun. I play with a hotas, so yeah I bounced around, laughed and had a good time. Until I actually needed to get somewhere. Turns out building a car out of rubber so it bounces like a bouncy ball isn't the greatest idea. Also, 6-wheeled vehicle that should explore hostile enverionments and landscapes on planets… BUT THAT HAS NO FUCKING ALL WHEEL DRIVE?! Are you kidding me? Fire the engineer who designed this thin. Also no individual turn for left and right wheels, so it could turn on the spot like… a tank? Yeah nah when would you ever need THAT?. Designflaws aside that we already surpassed in around 1900 (and we me I mean fucking real life) – how does it drive? Well let me ask you a question.. Have you ever tried to steer a gta car at full speed? And found it a little bit out of controntol as you weren't able to stir even a bit without the car doing backflips like it wanted to applie at the circus? The relation the Elite Vehicel to the GTA car is like the one of the GTA car to a real car. Add that with low gravity and terrain and you got a feeling like you were playing mario kart on a rainbow map that is 100% full of banas while the last player got a blue shell cheat and fires one after the other. Seriously EVERY SINGLE BUMPHOLE SENDS YOU FLYING INTO THE AIR, SPINNING LIKE A BEYBLADE. No help that you can't even turn on the spot, due to stupid design.

Now… You thought I had it bad? Enter my friend. He plays with mous and keyboard. Guess where the default throttle / speed for the car is… hint: Spaceship W is speed S is throttle. So what is it for the car? If you said Q is speed and E is throttle – you are an idiot and also right. So, while I tried to cope with the situation, telling me that I won't need to be in this shitfuck of a vehicle for long (haha) I was listening to A LOT of complaints from my friend. I never heard him that angry.

Also… who thought that respawning materials on reload would make for fun and enganging gameplay? I probably saw the main menue more than ever before yesterday. Because, for those unitiated, blissfully ignorant, who never delved into the abyss that farming materials is… you shoot three crates, each drops 1-2 items, you drive over them, bounce into the air a trillion times cause of potholes and your vehicle sexually identifieng as a fucking pogo stick.

What I ESPECIALLY loved was how the vehicle remembered I had the reverse drive active whenever I restarted the game (Who exactly thought loadingscreens make for immersive gameplay again?) while NOT remembering that my cargo was open. Also having to target material before you can add it to your cargo with the car is juuuuuust dandy

Sidenote: Its great that to enhance my SPACE gameplay, you know, the one I actually play this SPACE game for I'm forced to get into a truck with an existencial crysis and look at a lot of loading screens and that the truck gamplay is IN NO WAY ENHANCEABLE BY THE GAMEPLAY. It doesn't matter wether I have a sidewinder or a corvette – my landingcraft will always loose 10% hull whenever I sneeze.

Sidenote two: The tower on the vehicle looks like it was just made for two player combat? Jokes on you – no crew on the ground! Have fun hopping tower > Car > Tower > Car Tower > Car and so on.Sidenote three: The tower controlls.. which meth-adict designed that? Why is the mouse Y Axis INVERTED by default while the SPACECRAFT Y axis is not? Why is it almost impossible to control it with the joystick of a hotas cause it seems to only go 0% turnspeed > 120% turnspeed?

Ok. We relog for a COUPLE OF HOURS and then we are finally done. We have enough to buy the frameshift drive. Enough raw material that is. Whats next on the list… Data. And how can you get those?Oooooooh yes FINALLY we can get data in SPACE GAMEPLAY… by… hovering next to a station… and.. wait till a ship takes flight.. and… scanning its exhaust waste…. yey… So this is not only boring and tedious but also will take hours upon ours. *But you could scan those during regular gameplay* i head you say… and I guess that were to be true… IF THE SCANNER YOU NEED FOR SCANNING OTHER SHIP'S WASTE WOULDN'T SUCK 12% ENERGY OF MY PYTHONS A-CLASS REACTOR LEAVING ME SUFFOCATING WITHOUT LIFE SUPPORT IF I PUT IT ON MY REGULR MINING OUTFIT.

So after a bit of googling: next landing spot: Crashed previous games main character. Just take a landing spot… a landingspott…. in this flat terrain…. a landing spot… what do you mean no valid landing spot?… landing spot… landing spot… While I got one after 2 minutes (wich I had to land on with more precision than a neural surgeon takes in his day to day work cause otherwise that dreadfull" INVALID LANDINGSPOT" message would pop up) it took my friend the better part of 20 minutes to finally land. Because the future with spaceships couldn't have longer stilts for our spaceships. That would be TOO Sci Fi.

Now that we are here and played some space bayblade (with our trucks beeing the bayblades) we finally reached the crashed ship with its glorious 4 red blinking beacons… time to do what? You guessed it: Get in the middle of itHop in the turret, drive it 360° while scanning all beacons => Relog. Repeat. Loading screen simulator Part 2. Is it sad that I'm happy we had LESS gamplay here than at the previous spot and more loadscreens? I guess it says a lot about the vehicle controls.

So while this was mostly just boring and a waste of time "farming valuable materials by looking at loading screens" it was bearble. Probably because the previous experiance set the bar veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery low.

Now, I already had enough manufactured materials for trade so once I was done there I could get my engineered FSD from a technology broker. I'm dreadfull for farming it all again, and much more, for once I got my type 10. Because, as far as I understood, ENGINEERING IS A FUCKING LOTTERY SYSTEM WHERE YOU DON'T JUST UPGRADE 5 TIMES BUT PLAY A ****** SLOTMACHINE. GREAT IDEA. Lets prolong this miserable torture that is vehicle driving in this game that is so worse that its even banned in the 7th circle of hell for beeing too cruel by making it RANDOM.

To sum it up:

WHO THE FUCK payed any money for the ridicolous "addon" that I understand planetary vehicle driving was a core concept of?WHO thought it would be a good idea to link progress in one gamemode (engineering spaceships) to another, completly unrelated gamemode (driving around in a smart on an existencial cryis)I mean lets look at another popular farm-game that I enjoyed: Warframe. Is it hellishly grindy? YES! BUT you only need to grind the mode you are interested in. Wanna play Archwing? Guess where the archwing weapons drop – in ARCHWING. Wanna play Railjack? Guess where you get the Railjack components? IN RAILJACK. Wanna built a warframe? Guess where you get warframe blueprints? IN REGULAR WARFRAME PLAY. Its not "Hey if you want to play game Element A that you enjoy, how about we force you to go to Clusterfuck Element D first that you will hate?"Yesterdays experiance almost made my friend quit the game, and tbh I thought about uninstalling as well. Farming materials is just a misery and I can't belive the developers are so disconected from their community to not have realized that.Did they even tested vehicle planet driving? And if they did – did they test it for more than 5 minutes? Cause yeah playing a totally out of control bouncingball simulator can be quite fun for 5 minutes. But once you start to try to get anything done at all it STOPS beeing fun and it STOPS HARD.Did they realize how shitty this gameplay is and had to justify developing it, so now they just force players into it to say "hey look they like it!"?And the person who decided "relogging is an integral game element".. well I won't say that person should be fired but the person SHOULD REALLY take a course on how to create emerging gameplay.

I had fun at elite. I really had. I didn't mind the money grind. I farmed the rubego route for hours as well as core mined and I grabbed a couple millions in bounties. But after yesterday and only grinding a bit of materials for a basic FSD engineer I'm not sure I want to continue with this game.

And that only leads me to one question: Where are the developers of the game, and why are they so disconected from their community to not realize that they are activly driving people away from the game? I can't believe that we are the only ones hating material farming that hard, and my twitch chat supported that idea.

Last but not least: if any developer reads this and want to know what this "gameplay" does to your players: Here are 9 hours of recorded misery. First planet landing at 45 minutes. My friend touches down at 1:35. And he hates it from the first minute.

Oh one more thing I want to add: I think it is a great gameplay descision that to reboard the ship you need to stand IN FRONT OF THE LAND PAD AREA INSTEAD OF INSIDE IT.

Edit: Oh yeah upon rewatching the video, I think its a great design descision done on the hit registering:Shot hits the ground: No hit registeringShot hits a destroyable chest: Hit registering

Shot hits an undestroyable chest: HIT REGISTERING (< WHY?!?! I assumed I could destroy them cause why else would a hit register?)

Oh on a sidenote: Playing vehicular gameplay on a planet was the first thing since backflips in sariento VR that gave me motion sickness.


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