Vox Populi: send us your opinion about modes affecting community goals (details in first post)

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This thread is for people to state their opinion about how differences between the solo, open and group modes affect community goals. But we're trying something new: you can only post here once (details below). Hopefully this will make the thread a handy one-stop shop for developers and newcomers to understand the different perspectives on the issue.

Once you've written your post, you can reply to other people by clicking multi quote in the bottom-right of their post then replying to the solo vs. open vs. groups thread.

This thread is marked as "closed", so the moderation team will move posts in here by hand. To add your opinion, report this post and write your opinion instead of a normal report. If you'd like to use the full editor, you might want to draft it as a new reply to the solo vs. open vs. groups thread, then copy/paste the finished post over here instead of submitting the reply.

The moderation team will will check posts through the day and add the on-topic first posts to the thread. That means your post will only go live when a moderator gets round to it, so take your time and make sure you've said everything you want to say. You'll probably want to read the lead designer's thoughts before you start.
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All three modes should have the same contribution and the same rewards. The attraction of multiplayer should be multiplayer itself - the draw of playing with other real people, not material reward. Particularly after the withdrawal of offline mode, soloists (who can only play online through no fault of their own) should not be made to feel they're playing a lesser version of the game, or that their participation is less valued.
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I'm playing solo, and I have absolutely no idea what Community Goals are! My suggestion is to give players missions to engage solo players too in your new features.
About solo vs open...
Id LOVE to play open. But the fact that there are players ganking others, players pirating, players ruining gameplay for others, is making me play solo.
World of Warcraft has the perfect solution: PvP and PvE servers.

Thank you! :)

PS. Solo isnt cheating!! >:c
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Rewards should be the same whatever the mode.

Complaints about this are complaints about a symptom of a problem, not the problem itself. If FD would fix the various things they have left dangling, such as:

real consequences for murderers
support for 'proper piracy' (with stand and deliver) as a much less serious crime than murder
NPC AI that is reflective of the rank of the NPC: so Elite NPCs are better than most pilots, etc.
NPC spawning influenced by system type, etc.
Transponder so PCs do not have automatically a 'flashing blue light', and thus cannot be preferentially targeted

Then solo and group would not be 'easy mode' compared to open, and more people would play in open, and the symptom would be much reduced.
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Following the OPEN/SOLO - discussion regarding community goals, all I read so far are arguments that a blockade in open won't be successfull, as it can be easily avoided by going Solo or Group. Therefor countering a community goal will be nearly impossible.
CMDR Demiga is trying to make it viable by creating a different value of contribution, depending on, in which mode it is done.

But all this discussion is due to the fact that CGs are missing a fundamental game mechanic...Countering an active community goal if a player wishes to do so.
That could be easily done by introducing a second community goal at the same time, just with the opposite desired outcome.

Then there wouldn't be the need to block players from fulfilling CG1.
Those players could simply contribute to CG2 and by that trying to counter CG1 and vice versa.

Of course they should be equally attractive and not favouring any side (like cap ships on only one side for example).
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Modes are just who you see, which I think people don't understand sooo...

Create a single instance ( oh we have that already ).

Now create a single Entry on the Loading page called...


then add a selection to the right of the Button called

"ignore all"
"with friends list"

problem solved..........

No open no group no solo, just who you want to see......

its all about play of words..........
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A player can be a part of a community working towards a goal and still be in Solo for reasons other than choice.

There are a minority of people who cannot play in Open because of poor hardware/internet or even disabilities which put them at a severe disadvantage in PvP combat situations. For the sake of these people alone there should be no discriminator between the efforts they make in Solo and those of everyone else.

Then you have those who are not equipped with joysticks and throttles, or who play too little to be skilled against regular and younger players. To try and use CG as a stick/carrot to draw these people out of Solo/Groups will end with these people either not playing the game at all or going back to Solo and not taking any part in CGs.

For everyone else who switches back and forth, having a forcing on Open just means that anyone seeing a CG will know not to go anywhere near it for the sake that Player Hunters will be hanging around. The result? Less interaction all round.

The modes themselves only have an effect on the CG if you are looking at it from a perspective of actual player to player interaction, which is kind of limited even in open when you talk about instancing.
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I think the three modes and their influence on the game world should remain as they are. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, and we all ( barring those with awful connections or tight bandwidth caps ) have the option of playing in whichever mode suits us at the time.

I also think it's high time the devs focused at least some of their attention on the single player/pve aspects of the game. Improve mining, bounty hunting, give those of us who don't care about wings some more interesting missions/gameplay options.

Have a close look at the way CG's are working and see what changes can be made to improve them. There is no need to nerf the effectiveness of solo/group contributions imho.
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Well we all figured out that if you want to affect the ED universe to the fullest, Solo/Group will be more efficient that Open Play.
I am not making any opinion about players taking an allegedly easier way in Solo/Group compared to Open. Suffice to say people are doing it and it is affecting the game. So I think it is important to develop mechanisms that are going to make Open Play actions as significant as Solo/Group when it comes to credits and influence. On the other hand it is important to remember that ED is about freedom: making Open more appealing should never be at the expense of Solo/Group in my opinion.
Note: I am taking the example of fighting goals, but this could apply to community goals at large.

Here is few thought about some issues and possible solutions:

1) Solo makes more credits.
It is a fact. Solo means no competition, therefore more targets and more opportunities to earn precious combat bounds. On the other hand players complained about not being able to find a target in Open. Even if you do, the chance that you get the last hit (and the ensuing money) is slight, as targets are shared with a lot of other commanders.
Possible solutions: a) Smaller instances: Commanders would be dispatched more evenly to prevent some instances to be filled with angry commanders rushing at the few targets available. b) More targets: the number of targets would be dynamically determined by the number of commanders in the instance. More targets would mean more chance for everyone to get a hit. c) Less AI involvement: based on the number of commanders, AI ships could progressively refrain from shooting at each other, so that enemies would be destroyed by actual players, not by other AIs.

2) Open is more dangerous, yet less profitable.
This is in my opinion what keeps some players from Open during events. Everything is more dangerous in Open, yet you are making less money. No rational mind would agree to take more risk for less profit, unless it is for the thrill (that's why I play in Open as much as I can).
Possible solution: a) More credits in Open: kills made in Open would entail a bigger reward than in Solo. b) More impact in Open: kills made in Open would get commanders climb the % ladder of community goals faster than actions taken in Solo.

3) No balance in an instance.
This explains why Open is so dangerous: jumping in a CZ wight basically get you surrounded by reds, with 2 wings of enemy commanders waiting for fresh meat to grind. Currently faction is chosen after jumping out of SC, so that commanders tend to choose the biggest team to avoid being destroyed too easily, which itself necessarily involve unbalanced instance.
Possible solution: a) Choosing before jumping out of SC: commanders would be required to chose a faction (or none of them) before entering in the CZ, so that the server may dispatch commanders based on their faction in different instances. Eg. in a 90% feds instance, new feds could not enter and would be redirected in a new instance. The idea is to get things a bit more even, although it could not solve the issue entirely. For those who don't want to pick a side they could get money from any kill, but they would also be displayed as red to every one: in a war either you fight with me or you are my enemy, there is no middle way. b) Spawning and tweaking AIs: AI behave differently based on how commanders are split: even teams would mean "normal" AI, uneven team would mean a more aggressive AI toward the biggest team. Eg. AI ships would tend to target commanders more than usually if there commanders are part of a team superior in number.

4) Lack of sportsmanship (bullies to some extent?)
Well this one is very difficult as we all have different notions of what is legitimate and what is not. It is even harder due to the fact the ED, in its very nature, involves at some point messing with other players. The issue here is that some of us might, by there behavior, entice other commanders to switch to Solo.
The example comes from my own experience in CZ: I have never ever blasted a commander out of a CZ but, on the other hand, decided it was OK to destroy anyone in red in a CZ since this is a fighting area. I was wrong: I destroyed some players just because the broken friendly fire thingy would make them turn red. Was it necessary? No. Did I probably deter these players from coming back to Open? Probably. Also, I would make sure that for every engagement I would not let someone run away: I saw victory as the destruction of my opponent's ship. Result: instead of showing sportsmanship and telling an 1%-hull commander "good fight, see you next time commander", I would just take out the remaining 1% hull and enjoy the guy being destroyed. I come to realize this brought me no reward (except few credits): having someone flying away with 1% hull is already a victory, while destroying these guys probably got them switch to Solo and move toward their goal more rapidly than I could ever do in Open.

So, as a player, ask yourself: "I am a pirate, do I need to steal 100% of that guy's cargo or may I content with 60% of it? Also if he complies and drop is cargo do I need to blast him". As a fighter, ask yourself: "besides a ridiculous 10k credits, what do I earn from blasting that poor guy who is already losing and flying away to repair? Haven't I win already?" or "that guy is red but he is obviously flying away, probably friendly fire or picked the wrong team. Why would I chase him and just not let him come back in the instance instead?"

On the other side, if you see yourself friendly firing, do what a lot of us do: retract weapons to show other commanders it is a mistake and use the local comm while boosting away. Also, if you expect sportsmanship just behave accordingly: if you are fleeing from a fight you lost use the comm panel to congratulate your opponent, he might simply let you go and be looking forward to your next encounter.

So here it is. that's a lot I am sorry about that but I hope we will all find good ideas to make things better. ED, FD and the community all deserve it. Fly safe commanders!
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My original argument, here, was to add a "weighted" value to the final contributions between the modes - cash payouts, ranking for each Community Goal(top 70%, 40%, 15% etc), and everything else remains the same. Except, a final overall goal effectiveness feature would be introduced - This is where the weighting would take place

Example - Solo players turning in 100k as a combat bond would get 100k in cash, they would rank up the same for the Community Goal reward tier, and everything else associated with the goal involved. But, it would only count as 80% (or whatever) towards the overall effectiveness - whereas in open, everything would be exactly the same as solo, except it would count as 100% towards the overall effectiveness

The whole reason I suggested this is NOT to FORCE solo/group minded players into Open - It was more of an incentive for the open players to not want to switch to solo to grind out the goal. Yes, it is easier for me to make 1 million in bonds in solo than it is for them in open. And seeing as how I can grind out 100% faster than an open player can ( in this particular case), a 20% decrease (or whatever) doesnt make that much of a difference to me.

Reason 2 - This very small compromise, in my mind, is a much better solution than NUKING any of the modes. All it does is add another mechanic - Take for example: Right now, many Fed players were shocked to see that CSG is making a comeback - they thought they had this goal in the bag. Whether or not a weighted mechanic is introduced, having an Overall Goal effectiveness, which would measure how far along the community goal is and who is "winning", to me is a much needed feature either way.

*To see the full original version of this post, please go to this post.*
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I see the OPEN mode as the best way of getting a truly dynamic and alive game world within Elite: Dangerous. Players and their interactions with the universe through faction play, combat, piracy, bounty hunting and trading make interesting and unpredictable content for me to see as I'm exploring systems.

For that reason I'm all for modifiers to sway people back to open play and so with regards to wars, the reasons they should be won is through conflict you can see going on in OPEN and not from invisible contributions that cannot be countered by other players.

I understand the wants of SOLO players to also influence the community events though - so I'm happy that they can contribute to the event but anything that makes SOLO preferential for influencing the outcome of the event, needs to altered in favour of OPEN having the most noticable effect on the outcome as that is where the players are directly in contact with each another.

So I think the changes that Sandro is considering are positive.
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I think the way modes interact is broken, and unfair to people who play in open.

Regardless of FD's initial design decisions, the fact is open players want conflict. They want to have to deal with pirates, roaming bounty hunter gangs, escorted haulers and station blockades and RP warfare.

As is, any of these activities are bypassed by simply switching to solo mode. Too much trouble to hire wingmen, just trade in solo. Too much trouble to deal with players at the community goal, just go do the conflict site in solo. A station is being used as a base by pirates? No problem. Go do missions in solo until you flip the sovreignty -- there is nothing they can can do execpt 'trade back' to stop you, which they obviously don't want to do being pirates that are more interested in flying their ships.

So, how to rectify this imbalance?

2 steps in the right direction:

- the current proposal of making CG's have less of an impact outside of open is good. however gotta make sure people can't just log in inside the no fire zone, turn in their bucket of crabs and get full open regocnition, then log out immediately -- we see that happening a LOT in open play with people trying to get elite ranks. they will only be in open in safe station space, and return to solo to travel

which brings me to my second suggestion: introduce a cooldown timer of 20 minutes between mode switching. This would allow people to play the mode they want, without being able to 'exploit' their ability to switch modes to circumvent player blockades of CG's etc.

These changes would result in a lot more people using open, and not going to solo 'just because they can'. the people who legitimately want a solo or private group gameplay experience would be wholly unaffected for the most part.

Ultimately, I'd like to see open play stand on its own, unattached to solo/private, or a seperate shard 'open only' game mode -- mutliplayer players want to be part of a living,, breathing universe. the ability for players to 'sidestep' that universe on a whim undermines the integrity of that universe, the RP elements in it and renders meaningless a lot of the player conflicts that are fun, engageing, something to struggle against and a big part of what attracted a lot of people to this game.

thanks for your considerations on this topic.
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IMO the main issue is not the difference in difficulty between the modes, but the ability to freely switch between modes to gain the advantages of every mode at the same time.

After each mode switch a player should be locked into that mode for a fixed amount of time(24h maybe).

This would discourage players to switch from their main mode just to gain a small advantage because they wouldnt be able to switch back after they achieved said advantage.

People playing the same mode all the time wouldnt be effected by this and could enjoy the game to its fullest without gameplay penalties or bonuses.
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I think that Cr's and system/factional influence should not be altered between solo/open/group mode.

But altering the % you are adding to the community goal is a good compromise.


There is a Solo/group player and open player. They are both flying the exact same ship with the exact same load out and exact cargo and same amount of cargo. They both deliver said cargo to a community goal location. After handing in the cargo towards the goal they both receive the same money and local or factional influence, but the one and only difference between the two types of players is the % of the community goal that they have been able to add to the overall goal.

Where the open player adds his/her 100% to the community goal. The solo player would only be able to give 30%-50% of the open players amount.

Solo are still being paid the same in CR's and influence.

Thus rewarding those who decide to take part in community goals WITH the community.

You take the extra risk, you earn extra community goal %. Simple.
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Making the rules, including the rules about how much reward is awarded or how they contribute to the goals, different between modes is gamey, heavyhanded, and outright offensive for players that prefer the mode that got the short end of the stick.

What's more, players like me will simply use firewalls and programs that selectively degrade connections in order to get the unwarranted benefits being doled out in open while still making ourselves unavailable for PvP.

Instead, if there are efficiency differences that are worth of concern, take a closer look at the actual reasons those differences exist and tweak the rules to reduce the difference, but keeping the rules the same for all groups. For example:

- If there is an issue with every player turning on any new player that appears on the opposite side: make, for the community event sites only, players indistinguishable from NPCs, either for a limited time or until scanned.

- If players in open are losing bonds too frequently due to deaths while the ones in solo/group rarely die, make those bonds, from the community event only, survive death either partially or in full.

- If the time to kill is too high in open, reduce the reward for killing an enemy ship, and use that difference to reward players for being engaged in combat, thus reducing the potential difference.

In short, be more intelligent with how rewards are awarded, create smarter rules that don't discriminate against a specific group, but keep the rules the same for everyone.
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All 3 game modes should have the same contribution, but the way in which contributions are made could be made more interesting. Diametrically opposed objectives and means and ways in which to counter the objectives for solo and open play presented would be ideal. Let players decide how they want to interact with the game on their own terms, don't dictate to them or mete out lesser/greater rewards based on how they want to interact. Instead, give alternatives, means and ways in which interaction can be made more meaningful in all 3 modes towards the same goal.

Have these goals be dependant on each other. Performance of the solo players could be made to contribute to helping the Open players in a more active way. I'm sure that the PvP players would more than welcome more NPC support because the solo players grinded that much more than the opposing side. It then becomes dynamic, reinforcing playing both Open and Solo, depending on which game mode needs assistance more. Strategy would play a part in both solo AND open modes of play, making sure cooperation between the various game modes is the key. Community goals should bring the community together, not divide it no matter how any member of the community decides to play.

Community goals should include everyone who plays the game, sociable, antisocial, miscreant or mudering psychopath. Equal opportunity for all the meet the goals based on how they want to play. As a result, different objectives can be put in place through the mission structure for open or solo play.

The choice should always lie with the player how he wants to affect the world. The world shouldn't dictate the best way every player should interact with it. There should be no "best" way. Every way should be equally as good. Don't make one approach more awesome than another. Make ALL approaches so awesome that its hard to choose.
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Vox Populi: how do you think modes affect community goals?

my opinion is that each mode should have the same goals but with separated progresses.

so, all players in open play contribute to the progress of the open play goal. all players of solo mode contribute to the progress of the solo mode goal. etc...

this may require some adjustments that are based on the actual player numbers. maybe a dynamic scale algorithm that is based on the number of players that play in each mode.

also, i wouldn't oppose to the idea that community goals are only available in the open play mode.
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I would propose a time and resource hungry solution:

* Alter the spawn rates of CZ npc ships to ensure that open players do not clear the instance of targets.

* Alter the spawn rates of CZ npc ships to ensure that wings, or multiple groups of wings, face a challenge similar to playing alone in a CZ at all times.

* Alter the AI of CZ npc ships to support outnumbered players. I.e. 4v1 becomes 4v1+npc horde.

* Alter tha AI of CZ npc ships to put traitors as high priority targets for both sides.

* Alter the CZ to have the current friendly fire rules apply to npcs and pcs.

* Alter the spawn of npc ships when an instance loads to ensure there are ships in the system and that it looks like it's inhabited on entrance to the supercruise/stations.

* Track the number of interdictions occuring in open from pc interdictions.

* Try to match the number of interdictions in open with a similar number of npc interdictions in solo or group instances of the same area.

* Increase the difficulty of the npc wings interdicting solo and group players to provide a significant challenge and a high risk of ship destruction.

I think that about covers all the stuff I'd want to do to make solo and group play as dangerous as open play by mimicing the danger posed by player interactions with npc interactions, and to reduce the standing around waiting that occurs in open play.
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Hi, thankyou for making this topic. It's a good discussion for open vs solo in the matter of a LARGE part of the sandbox(?) gameplay. In fact, it is the ONLY sandbox main element currently and is being GAMED making it another grind fest (AI grindfest)

I've read Sandro's post here

What I took from Commander Demiga's suggestion was that there might be a consensus that activities carried out in solo mode are "safer/unfair" as there is no chance for other Commanders to oppose them.

Fundamentally, Community goals are about Commanders working together, in concert or in opposition. It does not seem completely unreasonable that for such elements we might encourage direct interaction more.

Lets dig in.

"AS there is no chance for other commanders to oppose them"

This is the by far the biggest issue that Open Players HAVE against Solo/Private.

There is no way to stop the other faction from gaining intel, or trading or making progress on their faction. You as a player are essentially forced into combat bonds or doing your own trading to "progress". Some people HATE trading and would rather spend the time fighting the "Enemy traders" or making EMERGENT/DYNAMIC Gameplay for themselves.

Also, it brings to light the massive problem with instancing and tons of CSG or FEDS grinding like crazy in Solo ,being untouchable and making it a game of Farming/grinding endless waves of AI instead of a dynamic battle between the factions.

I will concede that SOME play solo because their is way too many people in the Conflict Zones (CZ's) and not enough AI to go around - however i find that a world building problem and can be fixed without RESORTING to going solo or gaming the modes.

Lastly, i would vastly prefer OPEN to be the MAIN or ONLY source of community goal interaction - however, at the same time there is massive problems with pvp meaningfullness and repurcussions. Ranging from combat logging, lulzbanning, bounties and security status/police game work. - Making it OPEN only would almost guarantee a disaster because of pvp/pve and meta game balancing,

however. If it was worked out and balanced, it would be 10000x more emergent, dynamic and fundamentally BETTER, no doubt in my mind. After coming from many other sandboxes, NOTHING CAN REPLACE PLAYERS.

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I believe that rewards should be higher for open play and lower for Solo play. When it comes to participating in community goals it is far easier for solo players to earn credits. The only issue I can see is that people who have dodgy internet connections may feel hard done by which I would understand.

Another issue is solo traders are under no threat while traders who are in open are risking far more for the same reward.
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