E3 2017: Why MMO players should be paying attention to Elite Dangerous

I sat down with Elite Dangerous Senior Designer Sandy Sammarco again at E3 2017, and while the information I’ve got in terms of game info may be a bit old hat for hardcore Elite players, I want to be clear on something: MMO players should take note of how Frontier is doing community eventsEven if you aren’t interested in the game itself, the design strategies and execution are things that are reminding this jaded MMO-enthusiast about what got me into the MMO genre in the first place. I don’t really do space sims, and haven’t touched my VR for months (though I could probably hop on normal PC or PS4 versions), but my time with Sammarco has gotten me closer to hitting the “buy” button on the game.

They have arrived.

Story building towards Elite Dangerous: Horizons 2.4 – The Return

Elite’s mostly been about humans, in the old series and new. Alien interaction does occur, but not in space opera ways. When Elite Dangerous launched, it was mostly about space and exploration. It was about simulation and trading. People were comparing it to Star Citizen on a less grand scale, something I was guilty of myself.

But Sammarco reminded me that Frontier’s been dropping hints about its current storyline for a while now. Players started finding mysterious recordings with Morse Code about two years ago. Without any inherent value in combat or crafting, people were just collecting and selling them because, as Sammarco puts it, “That’s what humans do.” They found something, found differences in them and rarities, and assigned value. To some, they seemed useless, maybe linked with occurrences of malfunctioning at spaceports they were being sold in.

About a year later, strange structures nicknamed “barnacles” were found. Players found they could harvest them for a new resource but again had no idea what they did and started to collect and trade them. This isn’t just space exploration but real people in cyberspace doing things that, historically speaking, humans do when they explore new places.

All of this was separate from the alien encounters people were experiencing: the Thargoids, lately in the news but not all like their counterparts in the old games. The new ones in the “flower-shaped” spacecraft seem less violent than they’re historically known to be (though there’s reason for that), but as Sammarco notes, when two cultures meet, it’s usually bad for one of them. What’s important to understand that their presentation in game is very much “not human,” in a way ants may understand humans as “not ants.”

YouTuber Deja Drew’s experience is cinematically cool when you realize it’s raw gameplay, but for those unfamiliar with the game, it’s even weirder. Imagine if, while you were fighting ogres or kobolds or some boring mob in World of Warcraft, a cloaked figure suddenly appeared and froze both you and the mobs. It starts checking you out, but every time you move your mouse, you get an error saying, “A spell prevents you from moving your cursor.” This is something that fundamentally shouldn’t happen in the game. It’s not just interesting to see but introduces you to the idea that the player character is completely outclassed by… something. It’s a kind of immersion we don’t get to report on often in the MMO-sphere, and Elite isn’t billed as a true MMORPG.

But there are other ways Frontier’s been building things up. Remember, Elite can be played as a single-player game too. Grouping is a hot topic in our genre despite how much MMO content caters to soloers. Frontier tackles this with community goals, challenges that pop up that people can participate in. Even mobile games are taking advantage of this, which I’ve noted in my POGO complaints that Nintendo, of all companies, has taken advantage of this while veteran app developers haven’t.

Part of this is, as Sammarco reminds us, players organize themselves when given a reasonable challenge and motivation. Players being players, they don’t all need constant carrots dangling in front of them or sticks to motivate them. This won’t work with everyone, as it’s a discussion that comes up in education as well that, for all the optimism involved, sometimes falls flat for those who aren’t engaged in the discovery process on a basic intellectual situation.

However, it is entertaining, even from the outside. Everything’s been connected so far, even if players didn’t notice these connection. It’s been a slow build up, similar to the Asheron’s Call player events, with The Shard of the Herald being the most famous example. In fact, the unfolding story gets me to ask if Sammarco played the game, and he confirms this, but only for a short amount of time. However, he does remember a bit of Turbine’s epic event, namely the big bad. Like AC, Frontier’s seeing that its slow build over time is paying off. Even BBC got caught up in the Thargoid excitement, making Elite feel even more culturally relevant. It still seems overwhelmingly technical in terms of raw gameplay, but so do (e)sports, and people still can enjoy watching those with playing them.

Community-centered events

With Elite making headlines on a respectable non-gaming mass media site, it feels like the game is starting to see more comparisons to EVE Online, that other space game that’s hard to play but fun to read about. This is becoming more apparent after the game’s recent Salome event that resulted in heavy-handed communities trying to keep people out, betrayal, and Harry Potter becoming an assassin.

Sammarco laughs when I bring this up. “In some ways, that was great. It was a pure community event. We didn’t have to help out hardly at all… It was by members of the community for members of the community.” In fact, the devs are happy with the EVE comparison since they note that there’s plenty of space in space for competition. Frontier is pleased with the event’s results believes it can learn some things about it.

For example, the team’s looking at a karma system, not to prevent certain actions but add consequences. Sammarco didn’t mention any specifics, but focused on one of the results players may not consider when developers make these systems: They also give devs data points to track for social purposes. Elite’s not supposed to be safe, but knowing what players do helps Frontier make a better game.

Part of this has to do with having a certain amount of realism. Obviously the way the story’s been unfolding takes advantage of certain aspects of human nature, though I’d wager they’re probably more common among Elite’s target audience than, say, tile matching gamers. Consider the aliens: Frontier worked to make Thargoids alien, different, while respecting science, and to an extent, history, through gameplay. Sammarco strongly hinted at new content, noting that players have built up well, but their current equipment and ships are by and for humans, which might not prepare them for what’s next. Sounds ominous, right?

Update 2.4 is the start of something new. Sammarco verified both of the aliens players will be seeing are Thargoids, but suggested that there may be differences. Going out on a limb- one kind is aggressive, the other kind, maybe less so, and players may need to fight at least one side. Since their technology is alien in every sense of the word, the technology that’s been failing against them doesn’t look like it’ll be good enough. It’s like wearing water-elemental battle gear for a year and suddenly having content that focuses on lightning elementals, so there’s a solid chance players may need to build up their arsenals with the new tech when exploring this new area of the game.

Depending on how Frontier pulls this off, it’s an innovative idea. MMOs in particular are susceptible to power creep. Having multiple suits of armor in MMOs may not have been fun in past MMOs, but if content grows laterally instead of vertically, and innovates within those separate spheres, it could prove to be not only acceptable but fun. As the game’s on multiple platforms now with multiple communites, Elite’s looking like a good model to watch, both in terms of game development strategies and community interaction.

As Sammarco continually stresses, community is really important, and as an Elite outsider, I agree. I get a little excited about the game just by reading it. It’s very much like EVE, except it feels more PvE from the outside, even if there are some big PvP events. So much is linked to trade and decoding. Their use of real world inspirations can give players a “common language,” where real-world skills can help build on the fantasy (or sci-fi), giving value not just to hardcore lore fiends but to fellow players with diverse interests and skill sets.

It’s games like Elite that remind me why it’s so important for MMO sites to not just cover pure MMOs. The genre has warped and expanded around us. The definition of community is harder to pin down. Solo players and groups of people can add something together that affects everyone when there’s a smart developer behind the scenes trying to guide social play. I might not push the buy button for Elite, but at this point, it’s the space sim I think I’ll be watching the most.

Massively Overpowered was on the ground in Los Angeles, California, for E3 2017, bringing you expert MMO coverage on The Elder Scrolls Online, Black Desert, and everything else on display at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo!
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

LEAVE A COMMENT

71 Comments on "E3 2017: Why MMO players should be paying attention to Elite Dangerous"

Subscribe to:
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most liked
Tarka Roshe
Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Tarka Roshe

Well, I bought the “vanilla” version and although I felt it was reasonably well made for a “21st century” version of the game that I played back in the 80’s, I found it lacking in depth. And Horizon’s didn’t feel to be worth the money. Of course, that’s a subjective opinion. Others are welcome to feel differently.

However, with the above said, I’m actually pleased to see FDEV putting this stuff in, because like the article says, its this kind of stuff that so many MMO game devs don’t go near (like seeing a bunch of Imperials and Darth Vader suddenly land in SWG). You felt there was something “grander” going on than just what you experienced. Sure, some had yearly events and some have tried to implement more frequent “random” events (e.g. Rift) but that’s all they seemed to be …. standalone events that to me didn’t feel very “organic”.

So well done FDEV on having the balls to try this out. Now, if only you could do something with putting flesh on the bones of the gameplay……

Reader
Oleg Chebeneev

Thanks but Im waiting for far better space sim. I think you know which one

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
PhoenixDfire

I’ve given up waiting for *THAT* one. It will be here when it’s ready but in the meantime….

turtf
Reader
turtf

@ColinFord “There have been more hit than miss features on horizons so far;-”

An opinion shared by very few, it seems. Objective data shows Horizons has been a hefty flop. The month before launch ED players peaked at at least 18K. The figure is now nearer 5K.

One reason is every one of your ‘hit’ features arrived wrecked by bugs and many still are. E.g. planetary landings two years later still has the rover falling through the ground. getting stuck on invisible mountains, surface has missing and garbage textures, lighting etc. etc.

In my opinion, it is this ongoing crap plus increasing delivery delays, grind and cosmetic monetization and plain basic lack of fun gameplay that has driven away a lot of players.

Now Frontier have announced there won’t be another season for ED and it is not even giving an estimate of when Horizons will be finished. The executive producer just got moved off the project (no replacement announced), so holding breath for a turnaround on this game would probably not be a good idea.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
PhoenixDfire

(Sigh) When I said Hit, I meant it was fun to play. I think we can agree that the fighters and passengers missions are hit because as of 2.3 they work as intended and are fun to use/play. A miss is like powerplay, where players don’t pick it up and they have no interest in it. Both CQC and Multi-crew I feel are misses, they are fun to play but no-one is using them (real shame with CQC because it need a decent lobby, AI ships and sepectator cameras and then I reckon you could have decent E-sports game there). Multi-crew is good but if you want more than combat, that needs more fleshing out.

They’ve said there’s not going to be a new season because they’ve seen the model where you pay up front for DLC updates has caused problems. People and fDev assumed the season was going to be a year instead it’s about 2. Why? Because Game development is Hard and if you can do better, there’s nothing to stop you writing your own MMO Space Sim.

So there is going to be a season 3 but it won’t be following the same payment model. God knows what the heck that will be. If people had been paying a monthy sub then yeah I reckon people would right be angry because they would have payed double for the same content, but as it was a one off upgrade cost, I do feel some of the anger is quite misplaced.

The bugs you are on about are rare. I think out of my 600 hour to 700 hours of play time, I’ve only seen that Buggy falling through the floor thing twice (Once on xbox and once on PC) and as far as the missing textures is concerned, I haven’t seen them. If bugs are that rare they get put to the bottom of the list, to that more important ones are sorted.

They’re biggest challenged is handling the P2P networking bugs, (Don’t start about a central server idea because if it was possible for twitch play, EVE would have done it years ago), and most of the problems with that is are dependent on the connection quality of players. If your unlucky, you get a player with a less than great connection join your instance then that’s where the problems start.

I guess people just want this game to fail now.

turtf
Reader
turtf

> They’ve said there’s not going to be a new season because they’ve seen the model where you pay up front for DLC updates has caused problems.

You bet it caused problems. Like players refusing to pay up-front for more FD promises. Because the previous time, when we all paid up-front for the ED base game, FD didn’t deliver the promised game – or the promised refunds.

Having shat on the Elite playerbase once with the base game and then again with Horizons, Frontier now has no hope of getting players to up-front fund another ED season, expansion or anything else.

> People and fDev assumed the season was going to be a year instead it’s about 2. Why? Because Game development is Hard

Because game development is hard for Frontier Developments plc. Name any another company that has f*cked up a DLC season as badly as Frontier. You can’t.

> The bugs you are on about are rare.

Then take your pick from those that hit ALL players, like the NPC ship AI that was broken by Horizons expansion #1 and left broken for EIGHT MONTHS. Or pick from the huge list of bugs in the lastest update – currently over one thousand.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
PhoenixDfire

I can name plenty of companies which have who have done far far worse than Frontier. It shows that you have no idea how game development works or how challenging it can be. Jumpgate Evolution, Black Prophecy, anything promised by Peter Molyneux in the last five years and EA have all done far worse to their players.

All you’ve done there is supply the list of ALL bugs that have ever been in Elite Dangerous, not even looking at the ones which have been fixed. And that’s the thing, with all MMO games, there is a typical cycle, release, bugs found by thousands of people playing the game that not even the largest testing department in the world couldn’t find and then fixes.

Maybe I’m lucky but My experience has not been the same, still enjoying the game, still having fun with people in the game and just because there’s a new feature I don’t like, I don’t run off crying and say that the entire game is rubbish.

You know what, I do hope that SC does come along soon so you can go off an play that, buy a ship which costs more than Horizons expansion and see how you like the flight model on that one.

turtf
Reader
turtf

Molyneux like Braben is guilty of over promising, but there the similarity ends. Only Braben defrauded his KS backers claiming those who’d tested his game for free weren’t entitled to the refunds he’d promised when he took their money.

> All you’ve done there is supply the list of ALL bugs that have ever been in Elite Dangerous

No. Read the page properly. Those thousand-plus bugs are just the ones reported for the latest version, 2.3.02. A version which was itself the second attempt to fix up the major release 2.3.

And you’re not seeing the reports Frontier have deleted, such as the infamous Engineers exploit that they hushed up for months, fixing only when forced last week.

> there is a typical cycle, release, bugs found by thousands of people playing the game that not even the largest testing department in the world couldn’t find and then fixes.

“then fixes”?? The problem here is that vast majority of reported ED bugs never get fixed. Frontier doesn’t even put them on the known issues list. Since V1.0 Frontier has crashed on adding new half-baked features that add even more bugs.

This is a deeply broken early access game pretending to be finished AAA. One which I think Frontier now recognizes is never going to get fixed. Which is why the company has just cancelled season 3 and stopped talking about any future expansions.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
PhoenixDfire

Look, it’s pretty obvious that your angry with FDev and will slag the game no matter what I say. I fell your attitude is unfair to both the game and to FDev. They’ve made mistakes (mostly with communication I feel) but compared to other MMO companies, they’ve been quite good.

I will just say again. I am still enjoying the game even after this time. I haven’t seen the bugs your angry about. And if you’ve been playing the game for more than say 60 hours or so, then you’ll have got value for money for the price you paid because there’s no sub.

hurbster
Reader
hurbster

Fine by me if I never see another player. That’s not why I play Elite.

cmdr_cotic
Reader
cmdr_cotic

Indeed, I play in open because I like bumping into the good and bad but I think it’s great that Elite offers the solo aspect if people want that.

Reader
Alex Balazh

Disclaimer: My english is really bad, sorry for that, its not my native language.

Soo, i played ED almost for 3 years, i had great hopes for this game, but, well, my patient is not unlimited. Before i start my list of half baked “content” i want to say that plenty are pissed with elite and her fanboys, on the forums, when normal guy come with complains about how elite is bad and say where it is f*ked up, the fanboy gurdians throwing at them tons of garbage instead to support them and force FD to do something.

Soo what can you do in ED?
Mining: you repeat the same procces you pres left click for 15-20 sec. then wait until limpets pick all crap up and repeat the proces. Good for, well i dont know for who but some people love it.

BH: you go HiRez and pewpew pirates, grind it pretty long time, it was good for a few days but after i become bored, yet get almost deadly rank 23% left to get it.

Pirating: Broken with no point to do it, maybe some RP but hell no, did tryed it few times. You interdict player, type message, your prey almost always do not listen and it die, run or using task manager to end the proces (exploit)

Trading: Well, did tryed it, wasnt able to make a good profit, friend did give me a rote and i used it. Boring. Maybe it was my fail to ask for help. Anyway its not really interesting to do it except profit, there is no point to make some minor faction over others because there is no rewards, no anything.

Exploring: Most boring thing, almost like mining. You jump, you scan, you jump, you scan. Sometimes there is some good view, you make some SC. Never understand it, but hey, did it to check for myself.

I think those are all profesions in ED. Now about Community Goals (CG). CG is always the same, its go buy and bring back or go kill and bring vouchers or go find signal and bring again, basically do the same thing again and again. The good thing CG have it always lure some PvP players with who you can always fight, sometimes those fight become ridiculous big, but then instancing says no, but we will get to that part later.

PowerPlay (PP) Useles, get every faction moduls and then support only Aisling because she has different shields there. There is no proper rewards to force player support someone, again, there is some RP players who do this but its not much of them.
Now problems.
1. Grifers
2. RNG grind
3. Engineers RNG casino
4. Task kill on daily basis
5. Relog exploits to stack missions
6. No social tools
7. Instancing, well, it sucks a lot, it sucks soo hard that the best courtesans in the world dont suck this good how ED instancing sucks… Forget for big fights without a problem if there is more then 8 players in random battle, for example at CG.
8. Economy in ED? Bah, what a joke.
9. Multicrew, hell, its sucks even more then instancing because it always disconnect players.

There is much more of it, i just dont remmember them all. All those problems well known by FD but do they fix em? Naaaaaaaah, sometimes they type in patch note “should be fixed” but if tehre is word “should” then its not fixed at all.

Plenty of players did run away from ED when engineer came up, then ED went to xbox. Now the second wave of players who did run from ED made FD to make it for PS4. I wonder when new players will be done with ED, what platform they will chose next, Nintendo? And hey, did you know, FD got 100 DEVs.

They say they will fix all of it in 3.0. But i doubte it. Until 3.0. come up It will be dead project i think. The further they go, the more long it takes them to make a new patch with new content or fix.

Ahh, i can talk hours about elite and how bad it is. I had great hopes for ED, i supported them on KS + i boughted 2 copies of ED and 2 copies of Horizons. But no, no more. And their streams, god they are soo bad… The last one is pearl to be honest…

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
PhoenixDfire

I do have to say one thing, If you can’t make money trading then why are you playing? That is one of the easiest things to do in E:D!

So you don’t like it, there nothing I can say except I haven’t had the same experience as you. I’ve found it quite enjoyable and still finding it quite enjoyable.

cmdr_cotic
Reader
cmdr_cotic

Oof, sounds like you’d be better off going back to EVE…

Tarka Roshe
Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Tarka Roshe

Out of curiosity (I’ve been away from here for awhile so I dont know), was that comment necessary cotic?

Reader
Alex Balazh

Did not played EVE at all. salty fanboy eh?

Reader
Alex Balazh

They say Elite does not hold hand of new players, well yeah, because its not much to discover there, but still take some time to achive goals. After player get to know every aspect of the game, then for most of them its become trash.

cmdr_cotic
Reader
cmdr_cotic

then for most of them its become trash.

But no metrics to back that up obviously, just a stat pulled from your ass and thrown onto the internet…

Mewmew
Reader
Mewmew

Ganking is pretty bad for new players if you play in the open online world. You *can* play without seeing any other players, but that’s the only way you can play a PvE experience with the game and that pretty much ruins the MMO feel (you can still do all the community stuff but you don’t see any other physical players around, unless you purposely link up with friends).

I’d be all over playing this game if I could play in open without being ganked. It is pretty rough to get started though, every single thing you do is like one mini game after another. I’m sure you get good at them all after a while so it becomes no big deal but when you start out, every little thing, from taking off and leaving a station to (especially) landing back in one takes maximum effort. It feels more like a series of mini games than a space sim to me.

I *want* to like it. And maybe it’s just about spending more time with it and getting used to it more. But other space games, even ones that are supposed to be complicated have been much easier to get into and do everything. This is one of the few games I actually feel like I need to have a controls printout nearby.

I don’t like playing alone, I want to be in the big universe with everybody but really hate open PvP, so I end up mostly not playing it despite wanting to.

cmdr_cotic
Reader
cmdr_cotic

The thing is, pvp in open is pretty rare for most people. It happens at community goals, new POIs and some hubs but otherwise…
I’ve played (on and off) since mid 2014 and never been blown up and I play in open 90% of the time.

As a rather extreme measure you can block certain known people so they will never be put in an instance with you :)

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
PhoenixDfire

I’m afraid that some of the Ganker groups are enjoying taking out sidewinders with corvettes at the moment. Unless you ask the palladins or some of the other wings for help, solo or mobius might be the best option.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
PhoenixDfire

If you’re having trouble starting out as a newbie, contact the Mobius Private group. It’s a PVE private group with over 30,000 + members. Mobius

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
PhoenixDfire

Disclamer : This is my main goto game. For me, the ship to ship combat is still the best out there at the moment.

The main thing to avoid is falling into the trap of always doing the same thing over and over again otherwise you burn out. Unfortunately, it’s the player’s choice to do that, you have to break your comfort zone and instead of doing the ‘safe’ trade runs, try some bounty hunting, mining, Base Raiding or Piracy. Exploration is a little different because 99% of the time, it can be mind numbing, but it’s worth it when you find a breathtaking vista/sun rise because the game can be very beautiful, when you least expect it.

When you’ve got a galaxy that big (400 million star systems), 32 player instances I find are normally quite adequate. (although we’ve had up to 100 player ships in one instance). They’ve been working on Horizons for the last 2 years, so the social side of things has been put on the back burner but once Horizon’s complete; they’re going to look at improving core mechanics and hopefully the social side of things.

The move to more narrative events remind me of the Live events that used to be run in the Matrix Online, which was that game’s highlight. I hope that they’ve learnt lessons from games like that and although I am looking forward to Thargoid encounters, I don’t want to to be a game where I’m only following the story on you tube.

There have been more hit than miss features on horizons so far;-

1) Landing on Airless planets. – Hit
2) SRV buggy Driving. – Hit
3) Planetary Bases. – Hit
4) Missions to run on planets. – Hit
5) Chained Missions (These really make a difference for me). – Hit
6) Passenger Missions. – (Bugged at released but fixed now) – Hit
7) Fighters and NPC Crew (A T9’s best defense) – Big Hit
8) Engineers & Crafting (Bit grindy) – Miss (this still needs another pass)
9) Multi-crew, which is fun but no-one is using it. – Miss
10) Alien Ruins to explore – Hit
11) Alien Barnacles Mysteries – Hit
12) Generation Ships – Nice but probably a miss.
13) Formidine Rift Mystery and Salome event- For those that took part it was an ’emotional’ experience which didn’t turn out the way people hoped but it got people involved and playing again.

On the downside, I wish that CQC would get a little more attention because a little tweek here and there and it could become an excellent Arena Game. They would have to do something really special with powerplay to get me interested in that part of the game and the Bugs released with 2.3 almost killed the game for quite a few people.

So is this game still worth playing? Unsurprisingly, I’m going to say Yes. For the first thirty/forty hours or so, it is an unmatched space experience (We still have to see what SC is like). It’s whether or not you find something within the game that will keep your interest beyond that. Personally, I’m on almost 700 hours into game and I’m still finding things to keep me interested. So I’ll probably playing for a lot longer.

Phoenix_Dfire
Lave Radio Host.

Reader
John Price

This game has become a Joke.

3 years in this “MMO” has:

No social tools
No ways to group up with more than just 4 people in a wing
Heavily instanced with a max player cap of 32 people per instance
No form of sector or constellation or vicinity chat except local chat
No way to set up personal stations or outposts both orbit, space and or Planetside
No Player owned stations or outposts
No way to trade with other players
Power Play is a confusing hot mess still to this day
No Karma or Bounty system for griefers (Although they are finally working on a system)

These are just some of the glaring issues so far.

It’s hard to find emergent gameplay when it the game is a mile wide and an inch deep. What seemed like a novelty in 2014 has outstayed it’s welcome. This game has such rich lore, amazing visuals and technology powering it and it is so, SO empty and devoid of anything exciting.. I have bought all the DLC’s since Beta and finally called it quits after the 2.3 update.

It needs a serious revamp regarding it’s social aspect in order to stay viable.

cmdr_cotic
Reader
cmdr_cotic

The game does not have a max cap of 32 and so what if it did. Having 100 players whizzing around in 6 directions at 500 metres per second would be a complete clusterfuck even before they all started firing lazers. I would much rather have less players than deal with that or time dilation etc.

Most of your complaints are just personal things you want in the game, it’s not like they were intended but haven’t been delivered upon. So the problem is your expectations for the game.

Reader
primal

you want time dilation on a first person controlled game lmao, it only works on eve online because its a 3rd person point and click with auto firing weaponry where you dont have to fly or target anything yourself. you lock up a person and game tracks and fires on the target. It cannot work on a first person game it would be like you turn your ship and 5 seconds later it starts turning. it doesnt work

cmdr_cotic
Reader
cmdr_cotic

Learn to read buddy. I did not say I want time dilation, I said that I would prefer fewer players in an area than have to deal with 100’s of lasers shooting everywhere or time dilation.

Reader
primal

well youd never get time dilation in a game like that anyway

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Paragon Lost

So you correct one of his complaints and then write off the rest? Wow. Personally I agree with his complaints, since they are things that “add” to the enjoyment of this mmo.

Opinion maybe to you, but to me they look like a solid list of mechanics that should have already been added to this mmo. A gimped mmo is still gimped.

Reader
Thomas Zervogiannis

Lack of social tools and tools for forming communities (like chat, trading, solid group content etc), are core features for MMO’s, which are games of an inherently more social nature. If the devs and players of E:D try to champion this as if it were a feature instead of a problem, then this becomes indeed a design choice. Same for all other common “complaints” against the game (grind, “lack of content”, solo mode and player base segregation, world feeling empty etc.).

The problem with presenting such issues as “design choices” are that they seal the fate of the game. Candidate players who want a chat (which is pretty much almost every one) are discouraged from playing the game, because they know these features will never come, since they are shunned by the existing playerbase.

So the question is: are existing players really happy with the direction of the game? Are the devs and players really happy with alienating most MMO players over such issues as lack of a chat box?

If yes, then the game should not change, E:D players can happily keep playing that game and the rest of us who need such features will just go to another game that includes them. However, I am not convinced that the majority of the E:D players are really happy with these “design choices”. Only that they put up with them, until they won’t anymore.

cmdr_cotic
Reader
cmdr_cotic

The trouble is it’s so subjective, his wish list is for a bunch of things that were never intended for Elite. It would be like me playing ESO and moaning because it doesn’t have space ships.

The game was never meant to be a power building simulator, it is not EVE v2
It’s fine to dislike the game because the developers ethos are different than what you hoped for but that doesn’t make it crap, it’s just different.

Reader
Reselect Name

“a bunch of things that were never intended for Elite”

Hey, this game never intended to be good!

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Paragon Lost

What? What a terrible comparison. No those social tools are things that would improve game play with others, give you more to do as a player etc. No it’s not like moaning over the fact that ESO doesn’t have space ships. Ugh what hell man.

The poster listed good mechanics, or abilities that would add more to social game play or give the player “more” in this mmo. Something that shouldn’t really be hard to understand nor require explanation. Honestly you are boggling me that you don’t get this.

edangerous
Reader
edangerous

Where did he specifically say that social tools should not be included? His post was aimed at the power building side of things, station building, ownership and so on.

I think everybody would agree that better social tools would benefit the game, although I’m not really a fan of global chat or that sort of thing.

Reader
Dystopiq

No. I spent $60 on the game and got a space trucking sim with repetitive gameplay and barely any content.

turtf
Reader
turtf

@reviewer “YouTuber Deja Drew’s experience is cinematically cool when you realize it’s raw gameplay”

Raw gameplay?? Don’t believe the hype. That alien encounter is just a non-interactive cutscene. There’s nothing clever about a game disabling player controls and forcing him watch a mini-movie with no way to skip it.

@thirtymil You’re right, the vast majority of players don’t see this stuff. Frontier aren’t creating it for players., to improve the game. They are creating it for reviewers like this one, as promo material to publicize the game.

@edangerous “There is no bunch of DLC to buy” Uh??? This game is swamped in DLC! The last five expansions have been DLC only. You can’t even change the color of your ship or show a name plate without buying DLC.

edangerous
Reader
edangerous

Raw gameplay?? Don’t believe the hype. That alien encounter is just a non-interactive cutscene. There’s nothing clever about a game disabling player controls and forcing him watch a mini-movie with no way to skip it.

It is obviously to show what will happen when the Thargoids are fully in the game, it is a teaser for future gameplay, it is a teaser to show you how ineffectual humans will be if the Thargoids hyperdict them, it is a teaser to show that current human tech is very lacking. It is a teaser to install a sense of dread.

You’re right, the vast majority of players don’t see this stuff. Frontier aren’t creating it for players., to improve the game. They are creating it for reviewers like this one, as promo material to publicize the game.

Of course they are creating it for players, why do you think everyone went out exploring and hoping to get hyperdicted to experience it for themselves, why else would the livestream CG be based around getting hyperdicted?

Uh??? This game is swamped in DLC! The last five expansions have been DLC only. You can’t even change the color of your ship or show a name plate without buying DLC.

Absolute rubbish. There has been 1 expansion which came out December 2015, take a look at the store page if you’re in doubt https://www.frontierstore.net/games/elite-dangerous-cat.html there’s the base game, the expansion and the package that has both.

Styopa asked if he would have to buy a bunch of DLC to play but seeing as the DLC is optional cosmetic items then no, he wouldn’t have to buy a bunch of DLC.

You have a strange bias against this game.

turtf
Reader
turtf

> Absolute rubbish. There has been 1 expansion which came out December 2015, take a look at the store page if you’re in doubt

You are completely misrepresenting the store page you linked. It says “Downloadable Content – unlock new ways to play in five themed expansions.”

FIVE EXPANSIONS. All DLC.

> Styopa asked if he would have to buy a bunch of DLC to play but seeing as the DLC is optional cosmetic items

No, all the Horizons expansions are DLC. styopa asked: ” I mean, for example, without fighters would a toon be outclassed in any PVP ? ” and the truth is you can only get fighters by buying the Horizons DLC.

edangerous
Reader
edangerous

LOL what are you on about?

They are all part of the expansion called Horizons, you pay once for the expansion and receive all 5 themed major patches. Trying to spin this as though you have to buy 5 separate pieces of dlc is plain dishonesty.

PvPers would not use a ship launched fighter, the slot would be much better utilised with many other things.

turtf
Reader
turtf

You’re wrong. Horizons is the season pass covering five expansions. That how Frontier has sold it ever since the start of last year. I never said you can or have to buy the expansions individually. And actually I disagree with your suggestion paying individually would be a bad thing. It would be a good thing for anyone who wanted the planetary landings expansion and not some of the other crap ones like the latest Commanders that adds almost no content to the game.

edangerous
Reader
edangerous

That is certainly how you implied it, here’s what you wrote

@edangerous “There is no bunch of DLC to buy” Uh??? This game is swamped in DLC! The last five expansions have been DLC only.

If that does not imply that there is a bunch of DLC to buy then I don’t know what does.

I didn’t say that it would be a bad thing if they were sold separately, you are reading things in my post that were never there.
The problem with that suggestion is that Frontier would have to cater for such a ridiculous range of ownership, it would also cause all sorts of problems for players, ie if you have multicrew but not planetary landings and the ship you are a crew member of wants to land on planets, what happens to you now, does it just kick you out of the ship? Who wants that sort of clusterfuck?

Commanders added character creation, multicrew, the new camera suite, a whole bunch of asteroid bases, megaships, challenge and incursion scenarios, new tourist beacons and a whole bunch of other stuff to add to the game. It’s funny that people claim it is empty and then when Frontier add more stuff they complain that it’s not the right stuff or that they are not getting new features….

Just stop trolling already.

turtf
Reader
turtf

> If that does not imply that there is a bunch of DLC to buy then I don’t know what does.

YES there is a bunch of DLC to buy. Five expansions that you can only buy as a bunch called Horizons. How hard is that for you to understand? Just check the store page!

> if you have multicrew but not planetary landings and the ship you are a crew member of wants to land on planets, what happens to you now, does it just kick you out of the ship? Who wants that sort of clusterfuck?

Frontier has already created that clusterfuck with Wings. That’s the consequence of their greed in putting putting planetary landings behind a DLC paywall.

> a whole bunch of asteroid bases, megaships

The asteroid bases are just reskinned space stations. The megaships are just static 3D art assets floating in space with no interactivity.

> It’s funny that people claim it is empty and then when Frontier add more stuff they complain that it’s not the right stuff

Yes when Frontier adds more REALLY LAZY STUFF which has NO NEW GAMEPLAY and advertise it as a awesome improvement to the game, people complain it is not the right stuff.

Reader
thirtymil

I haven’t seen any of that story stuff, despite hundred and hundreds of hours logged, and having done everything in the game from trading and mining to exploration and bounty hunting. I suspect that’s the case for the majority of players, and for most of those that have experienced it, they’ve located the barnacles and thargoid interception zones by following the information on the forums rather than from in Elite itself.

To me, that’s not the right way to tell a story in a game.

oldandgrumpy
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
oldandgrumpy

Same for me.

In the end I had to watch YouTube to see the Thargoid’s. Then I had to watch YouTube to see the next part of the story unfold. Should I conclude that from now on I don’t need to play the game but just subscribe to one of the channels.

Putting this sort of stuff behind RNG doesn’t make me a very happy player and this company seems to be making more use of that lately.

edangerous
Reader
edangerous

It would have been posted in GalNet which you can view in station or in your ship.
The idea of not making the hyperdiction guaranteed is to make it more of a surprise, if you know someone is going to jump out from behind a wall it’s not a big deal, if it happens when you’re not expecting it, it’s a much bigger deal.

cmdr_cotic
Reader
cmdr_cotic

Interesting article. I like the GM feel that the game has at times and it would be great if they could expand on that. It’s a good way of furthering the storyline while making the players feel like they’re having an effect on the galaxy.

Game is currently on sale in Frontier’s store and on Steam.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

One of those games I keep hoping I’ll have time to play some day. We work all day, we have 3-4 hours to ourselves, then it’s bedtime, rinse, and repeat. I can’t possibly keep up with all the games, “shows”, and stuff everyone takes a fancy to. FOMO is real.

edangerous
Reader
edangerous

That was a good read.

Will be interesting to see what happens with the Thargoids, if they are making them truly alien in so many ways it could be very interesting trying to figure things out, it’s reminding me of the film Arrival and how they were flummoxed at first.

styopa
Reader
styopa

So I’d preordered the game at the start, played it for a month or two. I ultimately found it simply dull fighting some randomized bad guys or chugging from station to station making teensy amounts of $ trading goods.

If I reinstalled today, and started playing again, is there a GAME there? Stuff to do? Or would I *have* to buy a bunch of DLC to get it up to something fun today?

THANKS

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
PhoenixDfire

If you’ve played it at the start for a couple of months, you’ll be missing a lot of the features that they’ve added into the Base game since. Community Goals, Wings, In-game chat, New ships, passenger missions, in game avatars (I think that’s base game, not sure), Better Missions, Unidentified signal sources have been improved and lots of little QoL changes that would help.

It’s perfectly playable without Horizons (The DLC), just don’t get involved in any PvP because Horizon players have access to engineers can crazy mod their ships. For Horizons you get;-

1) Landing on Airless planets.
2) SRV buggy Driving.
3) Planetary Bases and planetary encounters.
4) Missions to run on planets
5) Fighters and NPC Crew (A T9’s best defense)
6) Engineers & Crafting (Bit grindy)
7) Multi-crew, which is fun but no-one is using it
8) Alien Ruins to explore
9) Alien Barnacles Mysteries
10) Generation Ships

The upgrade is on steam sale at the moment.

edangerous
Reader
edangerous

There’s plenty of stuff to do, whether it’s what you want from the game is another matter.
There is no bunch of DLC to buy, there’s just the single expansion which gives you planetary landings, exploration and missions, ship launched fighters, engineers, multicrew and the new stuff coming in 2.4

styopa
Reader
styopa

Thanks very much for the explanation. I could google through a bunch of reviews, but in your opinion, is playing without the expansion viable? I mean, for example, without fighters would a toon be outclassed in any PVP ? Or do you need the weapons you get from engineers to be viable PvE?

Looks like the expansion is now $21? Seems like what’s in it would be worth what, 4 cups of overpriced coffee?

edangerous
Reader
edangerous

Playing without the expansion is certainly viable although with the features it adds and the sale price it seems almost criminal to play Elite without it :)

I would argue that you need the expansion if you really want to get into PvP, for the occassional skirmish it would be fine without but the main guys that are into PvP will have all of their weapons and modules modded up to boost their performance. PvE is fine with or without engineers

Reader
thirtymil

Actually, I’m pretty sure an any grade 5 engineered ship would rip a non-engineered one to shreds in PvP, given the performance increases I’ve got out of mine in all departments (and also given the complaints on the official forums about how engineering is ruining PvP).

styopa
Reader
styopa

Cool, thanks for the opinion both @edangerous and @thirtymil.

Depending on if SWL sucks or not (or even d/ls, cripes I’m only at 2.5g of 20+ after 4 hours of downloading), I may have to dust off my old MS Sidewinder FF2 and give it a run.

edangerous
Reader
edangerous

Ouch, sounds like their servers are getting well and truly hammered.

Reader
TheDonDude

I’m so sorry, but I cannot think of Elite Dangerous without https://youtu.be/-InvaM8hYs8?t=1m43s.

Reader
Indigo Salma

If it were a loot driven game similar to diablo or path of exile i would care about it. As an MMO player i really hate space games.

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

from what i’ve read these community events are generally alot less exciting than they sound, and way too drawn out. apparently it’s become a point of annoyance in the game’s community.

and apparently much like the rest of the game they are utlimately very shallow.

edangerous
Reader
edangerous

Some of them certainly can be less exciting. There are a few that seem to fit in really well with stuff that is currently occurring in the galaxy while others feel more like padding, although they’re kinda cool because of the PvP aspect and non-PvPers having to work together to avoid getting blown up.

wpDiscuz