This thread is for talk about ideas how can be chosen cornerstone activity in Elite Dangerous. Right on start I want mention that FDevs announced official support (in-game) for clans/groups in Q4 2018 when will be introduced "carriers" = mobile bases owned by clans. There was not given any details about them, but (imo) ideally FDev can follow similar modular concept which we have in CF for clan bases and considering how things in ED are going, these bases will be not invulnerable.
Now ED have three main focuses (each represented by ranks up to Elite):
- Combat (PvP and PvE)
- Trading (and missions running, main focus is on galaxy background simulation [BGS])
- Exploration (distant trips, scanning planets and finding nice views, and special places)
Ad 1) From these activities the most evolved imo is first one (Combat). Almost every change in last two years had rather bigger impact on combat. PvP called by some endgame activity however have not any deep connection with ingame stuff, yea, you can form group over this, but it will have no ties to game content atm. PvP these days in ED is imo more like nomads_ activity when you move from one community goal site to another or cycle through latest "hot" exploration findings or other "interest" hot spot. Big advantage for this group base is, that you need only few ppl. There is also one more advanced form of groups based on combat and it is powerplay, but this is for quite long talk.
Ad 2) BGS is in game represented with minor factions [MF] which have direct impact on things in systems where they are present. Players can ask FDev for implement new player minor faction or support existing one. As a player you can help rise chosen MF influence, atm the most supported MF are controlling faction in more as 35 systems. Supporting BGS however need planning, need timed activity and mainly it need manpower. Without more active players you can influence some low populated systems on bubble border, but if you will want "live" somewhere in more occupied space, you will have very limited choices what to do, because support to chosen MF will take too much from your play time. As member of larger player group (around 100 active playing cmdrs) you have possibility do "your" stuff, you can have limited playtime, and you still can have some "corner" goals which you can support and which have influence to in-game things. BGS can also link together different gaming platforms and different play styles (PvE, trade, missions running, exploration, ...)
Ad 3) Exploration as it stands now have imo the biggest potential for solo play or if you like "expeditions" things. First not need regular play, second need. Eventhough there were added and are adding new things which can be interesting for exploration, there is atm not enough things which can bring people together which have in-game impact. There is also seriously lacking possibility how to effectively (ingame) search for interesting sites. In this regard ED imo need bigger/huge changes to be appealing. But I also want note here, that with latest added stuff and with changes mentioned by FDev for next year, it can change allot (and is also changing just now with alien race, Thargoids, implemented into game.
Note: there always can be special activities bringing ppl together, like "Fuel rats", which units players on idea help unlucky cmdrs which are running out of fuel, OR "Cannon" formed from players investigating new "mysterious" content found in game.