I hope this post isn't something that has been proposed before and shot down, but on the off chance that it hasn't, I was hoping to start a discussion that I believe would lead to very interesting changes to the state of Elite for all players, late game content for veteran players, while still being relatively easy to implement system by Frontier.
As many of us are aware, power play in the game is all but dead as the only meaningful rewards given are power specific modules. Elite has never been a game meant for extrinsically motivated players however, I can't help but feel as if power play could be a base to something much more. Which got me thinking about what if power play allowed players to actually expand the bubble and create new stations for explores to build. In return, those CMDRs responsible for said new station would earn an income proportional to the amount of goods that travel through said station. This would mean creating multiple stations that can trade with each other so it would not be something individual commanders could realistically do alone
Now I know that stuff like this has been done before as a result of community efforts but what I'm talking about is a much bigger continuous project that players can initiate and complete by themselves or with others over several months of effort.
This would do several things to the state of the game depending on how it's implemented which may be off putting for some players or may be a positive experience, hence this post.
- The "black" would change as mini "bubbles" pop up all over the galaxy from commanders efforts. This is probably the most controversial component to this potential change and therefore something I think is worth discussion. However, this may be a non issue if a new star port say requires 200,000 tons of material to build and 3 months to complete. That's a lot of effort to build an isolated station that would produce minimal trade / profit because of it's isolation.
- The long term implications of something like this is to implement a passive offset the cost of owning a FC. Currently, many players don't see the point in owning an end game item that just cost's money every week. Once you get a FC you've essentially done everything Elite has to offer except now you have this 5,000,000 CR per week drain on your account, why spend the time and effort on something like that? The game's current mechanics encourage players to quit before they own a FC or plan on playing long after they own one. Essentially, this would make the last thing a CMDR could do be something that has a net benefit and would eventually act as permanent passive income once enough lucrative stations are built.
- From a lore perspective, it makes much more sense to me that humanity would be expanding across the galaxy, especially since it takes ~20 hours to cross, give or take. Humans on earth are not isolated to the coast of Africa so why would it make sense to isolate humanity to a bubble. Especially when it is realistically achievable for every person in the galaxy to visit Sag A* for a weekend holiday. The only thing missing is the infrastructure which given the production rate of FC, ships, station repairs, this shouldn't be humanities bottleneck. IRL humans would have a station up at Beagle point within a year.
- Finally, I'd just like to say I'm no game developer, however I'm also not technically illiterate. Much of what I'm proposing would be simple to add to the game. Not simple in the sense of a quick hot fix, but not difficult in the sense of building a new DLC. Station assets are already in the game, power play is already in the game, FC and mega ships are already in the game. The only thing missing is adding a dynamic element that ties all these game mechanics together so that players can influence them as we can with BGS. Again I'm not an expert here which is why I'd like to hear the discussion on this.
Obviously this is merely the sketch of what this would actually look like in game but these were the main components that I felt warranted a discussion to be started. Maybe I'm the only person who likes this idea, maybe others here would like to see it added to the game, maybe Frontier would like to see something like this added to the game, I don't know but I'm excited to hear what everyone has to say.