The initial thing that got me into Elite was the scale of the galaxy. I was amazed at how much there was to explore, and I've had a lot of fun finding new things. However, things got repetitive pretty quick and I have a few idea that I think would give exploration more of an appeal.
- Variety in biological features: The current selection of biological features is pretty unrealistic. You can find the same exact things on lots of different planets. This doesn't make any sense scientifically. There is no way that things would evolve in the same exact way on multiple planets. I would love to see a No Man's Sky style procedurally generated variety of biological life. That would make finding new things actually interesting.
- More valuable discovery vouchers for geological and biological features. I haven't been able to figure out when exactly you get discovery vouchers for scanning features, but I know we should get them more often and they should be worth more. My proposal is you get a 100,000 CR voucher for the first feature of a certain type that you scan on a single planet. If you are the first commander to discover that particular feature on that planet, the voucher should be worth 250,000 CR. Then for every additional feature of that same type you scan on that same planet, the voucher should be worth 20,000 CR.
- Materials should be added to the codex. I would love it if you got discovery vouchers for finding specific materials on planets. It would add more reason to get in your SRV and drive around. I'd say the vouchers should probably be less than what I've recommended for the bio/geo features, maybe 10,000 for the first time you collect a specific material on a planet, and 50,000 if you were the first to discover that material on that planet.
- Make data packages received from data points and outposts more valuable. The few that I have found were only worth 2,000-10,000 CR which is pocket change even for new players. Making these discoveries more valuable would, again, make exploration more engaging and more worth your time.
- Add more randomly spawning points of interest. These could be broken down SRVs with a few materials scattered around, more crashed ships, and more outposts, either occupied or abandoned.
If some or all of these suggestions were implemented, it would make exploration much more interesting, engaging, and worth your time.
Thanks for reading o7
Edit: Oh, also, I think it would make more sense if the FSS just told you if planets had an unlikely, likely, or very likely chance of having features on it instead of telling you outright. It makes more sense if you actually need to map the planet to find this out.