Witchspace Jump Ideas

For something that the average player will do hundreds if not thousands of times in this game, the jump sequence is a bit…underwhelming. Adding something as simple as noticeable variety would improve it quite a lot, but I, as someone who has jumped 5,644 times in this game, have a lot of ideas:

The biggest problem with the current mechanic is how it almost never changes (with one notable exception of the Thargoid Hyperdiction). You can jump all the way to Beagle Point and back, and the jump cut scene will never even change.

So for a start, why not implement different jump animations for the different zones of the galaxy? The galaxy is divided into some 42 different sections. Each of these sections could have a different animation. The sections containing The Bubble and its surroundings, including towards Colonia and Sagittarius A, could have similar but maybe slightly different animations. These would be fairly calm animations, where it is clear that these Witch-Space paths are well traveled, and the ship computer isn't having to do some funky math to not drop you out inside a black hole or whatever.

Heading further out into the galaxy, where fewer people travel, the animations could become more and more hectic. The ship would be buffeted by interdimensional dust, with pings against the hull, and thrown about by the equivalent of dimensional waves. There could be a massive power-draw in the middle of a jump as the ship computer scrambles to find a path around an unexpected clump of Dark Matter, or maybe the ship creaks and groans as it suddenly banks to left or right, desperately avoiding an unknown obstacle.

The point is that jumping into the unknown, less traveled areas of the galaxy feels exiting, or even, dare I say, dangerous. Basic blending could prevent these animations from being directly grafted onto their areas of the galaxy, and even varying the length between the animations would be unsettling, especially once your brain is accustomed to the length of time it is supposed to take. (Although part of my argument is that the jump animation is kinda already too long.)

Going further, random events could even be added to the animation, perhaps even introducing some kind of player decision making. For example, lore tells us that ships (very) occasionally go missing in Witch-Space. What if one of these ships somehow crossed your path, and you had the option to help pull it out, or continue on your way.

Maybe there could be actual Witch-Space storms that are marked on the galaxy map, and jumping through these areas is difficult or even…dangerous? Maybe the player would have to actually skillfully fly their ship through a Witch-Space storm, in something akin to the interdiction mechanic. Jumping to the "middle" of these storms, which could get increasingly difficult and even involve some multicrew cooperation, would have a special area or place to explore placed by the developers. These storms could create physical tears in the systems they pass through (as some sort of stellar phenomenon), and maybe a player could enter through these tears and have something happen. (Get thrown to another part of the system, or another system all-together, and collect some exploration data?)

There could be a new rank for literal Storm Chasing, like we have here on Earth, and the deeper explorers travel into the storm, the more rank they get. None of this plant-watching BS.

Maybe traveling around the edge of a storm has some weird effects on jump distance and animation.

On the combat side of things, Witch-Space could introduce a new form of interaction with the Thargoids. Maybe there could be a special kind of jump that Thargoid hunters can perform that would allow them to track Thargoids down in Witch-Space? Perhaps there can be a way to destabilize Witch-Space around the traveling Thargoids, and then kill them that way, or force them into regular space while seriously damaged?

For megaship and fleet carrier jumping, these ships can obviously not turn or maneuver as easily in Witch-Space. If we can ever actually see what is happening during these jumps, it could show the animations of megaships slamming through clumps of dark matter/Witch-Space juice. These megaships would traverse Witch-Space in a much more violent manner. Jumping a megaship through a storm would be quite a thing to behold!

Simply adding anything to create some variety in the mundane task of jumping would help commanders not dread traveling from one star to another. Changing locations in the galaxy, at the very least, should create some noticeable change in the main way commanders traverse large distances. Witch-Space, if used so widely in this game, should be more than just a cutscene that already takes up too much time. It should be its own fleshed out game mechanic, with physical consequences in the galaxy.

But until then, o7.

(Charging friendship drive…)

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/EliteDangerous/comments/qhy7lf/witchspace_jump_ideas/

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