I'm trying to get Empire rank. Apart from the obvious needles in my eyes of waiting for random navy missions to pop up I wanted to talk about one of the missions I took on to get reputation. It was to destroy automated turrets on a mega ship.
What you have to do is this. You locate the Mega Ship as per the mission instructions then you must perform a series of tasks. There were 5 targets in the mission I took on and the process is as follows.
1 – scan the mega ship to highlight the targets
2 – scan the targets to highlight their power source
3 – destroy the power source
Do this 5 times and you complete the mission
As I write it down it doesn't seem so difficult and you get the same impression from the mission board. However, first of all the mega ship isn't just big, it's design is very elaborate with centrifuge rings which have to be negotiated while moving around the structure and the targets themselves being tucked away in nooks and crannies. All this is also in the dark. The targets appear on the radar but after scanning it becomes very cluttered and is not a help in trying to locate them. Now after you locate the turret and scan it an alert is started which results in a number of ships showing up to destroy you. In my case I rotated through them on the scanner. There was a Krait mk2, a Vulture, a Viper 3 and a Cobra 3(I think that was all) but that's on top of the Mega Ship now opening fire on you from the remaining turrets and (I could be wrong about this because what followed was so chaotic I can't swear to it) the Turret for which I'd just destroyed it's power source was also firing.
This was the second attempt I'd made and I bugged out wonder how the hell I was supposed to achieve this goal without something like a Cutter or Corvette which might have been able to take the hammering from about 8 different directions while I needed to scan two things before being able to kill it.
It just reminded me of the time I spent trying to get guardian blueprints and what seems to be FD's idea of what passes for puzzles being more akin to obstacles. The point is this doesn't seem to me to make for engaging gameplay.
Elite is so odd sometimes. There are aspects of it that sometimes make me wonder if it may be the apex of game design, then other things that make me wonder if FD have a clue about what they're doing. I suppose it points to their strengths and weaknesses but then what's perplexing is why don't they address these weaknesses?
Take the engineering for example. For the life of me I can't believe they haven't made the process of engineering a little mini-game. Something as simple as Tetris would suffice. But something that would allow players to feel a personal sense of challenge and achievement and also allow them to invest their Module with a unique character which comes from them. This perplexity further confounds when you look at the PowerPlay element. Does anyone have any idea what goes on there?
I dunno. I just …y'know. It's just so disappointing contrasted with the other aspects of it.