A flash proposal by Frontier hit the focused feedback forums, and it might be one of the better ideas in a long time!

Frontier is considering a package of tweaks to Powerplay and even though it’s nothing final yet – they are apparently really considering moving Powerplay into open play only. 

The concept behind these changes is not to completely change Powerplay, but address a few important issues as efficiently and nicely as possible. Some of these changes are subtle, others very significant. The idea is that as a whole they form a rounded update that provides improvements to the core experience of Powerplay.

What Frontier is looking for are your thoughts as to the ramifications of these changes based on the way you involve yourself in Powerplay, both positive and negative. They are expecting your feedback inside this forum topic so don’t hesitate to participate in the discussion.

Preparation Cycle Split

  • The first half of the cycle is available for preparation
  • The second half of the cycle locks the current preparation values and enables voting

Vote to veto preparation

  • Each player can vote to veto or support each preparation
  • If a preparation ends the cycle with more veto votes than support votes it is removed from preparation
  • Voting requires minimum, rolling time spent pledged and active for a power, somewhere into rank 2

Reasoning: these two changes in tandem are meant to make it easier to prevent bad systems from being prepared with minimal effort. Rather than use consolidation, which must be chosen blind in terms of both the final preparation for systems and the final resting place for the consolidation marker, here Commanders are voting on a fixed list and can choose precisely which systems they want to attempt to veto.

Vote to withdraw from system

  • Each cycle players can vote on the 5 least profitable systems, to withdraw or support
  • At the end of a cycle if a system has more withdraw votes than support votes it is removed from the power’s control
  • Voting requires minimum, rolling time spent pledged and active for a power, somewhere into rank 2

Reasoning: currently there is no way to lose a bad control system other than hoping or colluding with opposing powers that it will end up being forced into turmoil. Frontier thinks this vote is a legible and relatively safe way of allowing powers to shed chaff, as only systems that at a base level would be unprofitable would be eligible for withdrawal.

Profitability modifier applied to votes and preparation successes

  • A system’s base profitability modifies preparation votes, withdraw votes and preparation successes
  • Votes and successes for profitable systems are increased by a factor of 10

Reasoning: this modifier acts as another barrier against internal sabotage, forcing the saboteurs to work many more times harder to get the same effect as a Commander who has the power’s interests at heart.

Guaranteed undermine if 100% more than fortification

  • A control system that is undermined by 100% more than the fortification value will be undermined even if the fortification trigger has been successfully met

Reasoning: Powerplay rules tend towards stagnation and status quo, which is not something Frontier intended. Despite all the effort in the world, a power that fortifies enough, against values set by the game rather than in opposition to attack, can remain safe. This change allows sheer force of effort (or numbers) to guarantee systems end up being undermined, making deficit more likely. And to stop this happening, a power must directly compete against its enemies.

Overhead removal and slight increase to distance cost modifier

  • Overhead upkeep costs are removed making a system’s base profitability static
  • Distance modifier to upkeep is increased to maintain some sense of expansion “gravity”

Reasoning: Overheads are a way to prevent rampant expansion of powers. However, the cost is very high, as they cause an unavoidable amount of uncertainty when calculating CC at the cycle change, as well as just being another level of complexity. It would be better to remove them, increase the distance modifier to upkeep a bit, and live with powers that can expand more, as with the other changes in this package Frontier hopes that the result will be much more direct attack and dynamism caused by powers fighting each other.

Ethos Override

  • Ethos is only checked for the control system and the power
  • If the power and controlling faction share the same superpower the power is always strong against the faction

Reasoning: this is a fairly straight forward override to ensure that – for example – Federal powers are always strong against federal factions. The other part of this change, to focus ethos on the control system only, is to make the process legible and focus Commanders in the same place, increasing the chance of conflict.

Missions give Powerplay successes

  • Missions for factions in a system that share a power’s superpower award a number of Powerplay successes when completed
  • The mission type determines how many successes are given
  • Successes can be applied to expansion, opposition, fortification and undermining

Reasoning: one of the complaints of Powerplay is the limited actions available to support your power. Frontier thinks that liking, in a very simple manner, missions for aligned factions and Powerplay successes allows Commanders increased variety in an efficient manner. The idea is not to replace the standard Powerplay activities, but to compliment them.

Open only

  • Powerplay contacts are only available to players in open
  • Powerplay vouchers and commodities are destroyed if a player enters solo or private groups

Reasoning: As making Powerplay Open only goes way beyond the remit of a tweak. This topic has been discussed many times and Frontier thinks it’s time to address it directly to get as much quality feedback as possible. 

Powerplay is fundamentally about consensual player versus player conflict. 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.