As a casual gamer who fits in ED around family life what would drive me to help a power if all that is going to happen is my reputation decays?
Absolutely understand about family pressures and pressures of work. Applies to me too...
The reputation decay is a really minor thing. This is a separate thing - it is to help people becoming caught in a hostile relationship with major and minor factions. It doesn't apply to your rating within the Power. The reputation is separate.
The reputation decay down from 'Allied' only applies to Major Factions - and as long as you gain some reputation with a Minor Faction then it doesn't decay.
There is this 10% module sale penalty elephant in the room, it's a huuuge thread and matter of debate on the forum. What does David Braben think about it?
There are a few different things here. We should probably have had something in for this at the start, but we need to do something. We understand some of the complaints - particularly about swapping ship load-outs.
I also think we should have discussed it beforehand - but given how many things there are in Powerplay, we simply didn't call it out.
This is a bone of contention amongst our designers - and we will do something in the future. There should be a cost to this - but that is for another day. So some news - we will be reversing this change shortly (or 'soonTM' as Michael B would say...), so to be clear this aspect will be as it was before in the public release.
This is a beta after all, and we want the best experience for everyone.
What is there in power-play for the casual (5 hours a week) player? Can we have a bullet point road map for the next couple of updates?
Powerplay makes Human space much more dynamic, and gives more context to the missions, even for those not aligned to a Power. Also - the base level rewards within a Power have pretty low thresholds, which scale based on how well the Power does - so you should easily be able to participate with that amount of gameplay time.
I'm afraid we are not releasing a roadmap.
Now that the Powers seem to be the predominant players in the Galaxy, what is the role or importance of Major faction reputation? Has it become irrelevant?
The major factions - or 'Superpowers' if you like - are still important - and are essentially made up of the Powers. Things like Naval Rank are still important, as is standing within the Superpower.
Is the mining in it's final form or is there planned a re-iteration of it sometime in the future? I feel that the current mechanic of pewpew-chunks fly off is not really rewarding and has nothing to do with player's skill. For example bounty hunting payout, with a lower tier ship, is directly related to player's ability to maneuver and land shots on target while avoiding getting shot.
The game is not set in stone. We have plans for the future for just about every game element, but I'm sure you will understand we don't want to go into every detail yet.
Oh yes please. A wall of text is so soulless
Hopefully you can see the game is getting richer over time. The images of the Powers (yes, I know they're not in the beta yet, but we're saving them for the release), do help add what I think you are looking for.
With sightings of the Diamondback Explorer in the wild, rumours of Diamondback ship variants have reached critical mass. Forum goers are taking up pitchforks and are on the verge of revolt.
Yes. There are two Diamondbacks. The Diamondback Explorer is the ship we showed in concept art back in April, and the Diamondback Scout is a cut-down cheaper ship made by Lakon for the Federal military.
What's the texture loading bit in the Beta about. Does it read the GPU and try to optimise the game to avoid stuttering? I have a low(ish) graphics card and it seems a lot smoother to me.
Yes. It is an optimisation to pre-calculate shaders - and it should help lower end cards and laptops especially. The guys have been doing a great job in improving performance.
The mechanics of powerplay, particularly the interface between player and power being an almost direct copy of the community goal model, gives the entire experience an MMO-guild type feel to the gameplay. Is this MMO-style a new direction for Elite: Dangerous? Or will you be still focussing on the single player immersive experience, even if that single player is playing in a universe filled with other players?
We are supporting multiplayer and the solo experience. Community Goals are carrying on too.
Will variants of ships (e.g. Diamondback Scout vs. Explorer) be counted as several or one ship towards the 30 ship goal?
The two ships are quite different, even though they share some components. They will count separately.
What will happen when 2 factions of the same major faction will dispute a system? will there be a war between them?
When two allied Powers clash over a system it is more covert, but still occurs.
Nothing to say about the promotion of minor faction to major status ? Nothing at all ?? Please ???
A Minor Faction has to become pretty giant and influential to be considered as a Power. It is not an automated process. We plan to keep the number of Powers down, so that is a factor too.
Will the actions of actions of players working for the various powers begin to feed back in to the FD curated narrative?
Yes - the intention here is players can determine the galactic narrative in the future.