Elite Dangerous is considering revamping its Powerplay mode, and it’s not going to make everyone happy, especially solo players.
Powerplay, you’ll recall, is sort of a factional territorial war in the game whereby players ally with powerful NPCs and their space and resources. Most of the proposal for tweaks will go unchallenged; Frontier wants to allow powers to dump systems, avoid internal sabotage, skirt stagnation, encourage conflict – all reasonable.
But the studio also wants to force players in the mode into open PvP and make it impossible for solo players and private groups to profit from the mode (while avoiding both ganking and being ganked).
“Reasoning: We’ve saved the biggest change for last, as making Powerplay Open only goes way beyond the remit of a tweak. We’ve seen this topic discussed many times and we think it’s time we addressed it directly to get as much quality feedback as possible. Powerplay is fundamentally about consensual player versus player conflict. We think that pretty much all of the systems and rules would benefit from being played out in Open only, as it would dramatically increase the chance of meeting other pledged players and being able to directly affect the outcomes of power struggles.”
Reddit has erupted into the age-old wolves-vs.-sheep argument as people point out the “powerplay is all about PvP” idea is not at all how the mode was originally sold and argue over botters, grind, and who exactly belongs in the community.
“Presumably you’ll be offering complete refunds to those players who feel that you are abandoning the ‘all modes are equal’ ethos which has pervaded the game right from its inception,” one player on the forums commented. We haven’t heard about that, but we’ll keep an eye out.