elite dangerous

Official Site: Elite Dangerous
Studio: Frontier Developments
Launch Date: December 16, 2014
Genre: Sci-fi Space Sandbox
Business Model: B2P (DLC)
Platform: PC

Massively OP’s Best of 2017 Awards: Most Underrated MMO of 2017

Welcome one and all to Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards series.

Every year, we poll our writers about the best and worst MMOs, stories, studios, and trends and assign awards to the winners (or losers, as the case may be). For the last three years, we’ve been splitting our awards into smaller categories, a format we mean to stick with in 2017 as well. We’ll also continue providing a sampling of our writers’ nominations and rationales from award to award, although this year we debated more to try to reach a consensus before locking in winners, a task at which I think we were pretty successful. And we’ll always include a just-for-fun reader’s poll at the end to see whether you agree with our picks!

Today’s award is for the Most Underrated MMO, which was awarded to Final Fantasy XIV last year. Once again, we’ve opted to include pre-2017 MMOs for many of these awards, including this one, as long as they accomplished something truly notable in this calendar year.

The Massively OP staff pick for the Most Underrated MMO of 2017 is…

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Perfect Ten: The healthiest live MMORPGs at the end of 2017

As Counting Crows told us, it’s been a long December, although the fact that it has also only just started being December speaks to something unpleasant in the makeup of this particular month. But it also means that this is a good time to check in on the overall health of various MMORPGs and see which ones look to be in the healthiest state at the end of the year.

This is, I hasten to point out, not a scientific process; last year I pointed to Marvel Heroes as a not-quite-MMORPG title that was still in a very healthy and robust place, and it later turned out that this was entirely not true and had been built upon a foundation of lies. But we’ll cross that bridge if and when we come to it in 2018. What are the healthiest games running right now?

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The Daily Grind: Have you ever fallen for an in-game MMO prank?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: If you fly to the remote Hutton orbital space station in Elite Dangerous, there’s a free Anaconda in it for you. That’s the gist of a viral prank happening in Elite of late, as chronicled by RPS; apparently, multiple people have fallen for it, flying for hours and hours only to realize they’d been tricked by their fellow players.

Pranks seem to come in several different varieties; I’ve seen everything from harmless stunts like guildies logging in each other’s toons only to leave them naked and dancing on a mailbox to “pranks” that rise to the level of outright scams to dupe fellow gamers into trading away their property. I once had a WoW guildie who liked to prank us by pulling bosses by running at them and shouting. On his fire mage. And then there was the guildie in EverQuest who faked his own death IRL and put us all into a panic. See? They run the gamut.

Have you ever fallen for an in-game MMO prank? If not, what’s the best prank you’ve ever heard go down in an MMORPG?

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Make My MMO: Boots, boats, and battles in Camelot Unchained (November 18, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained continued its ramp up to Saturday Night Sieges. “It’s been all hands on deck as we prepare our siege deathmatch scenarios for IT testing,” City State says, noting the team has been working on spawn points, scenario rulesets, gear loadouts, animations, the UI, healer NPCs, battlegroups, boats, female clothing, and emotes. I am all about those boots and dresses!

The Shadow’s Kiss Kickstarter has also now doubled its funding goal, unlocking game narration and music. Just over two weeks remain to back it; a demolitions stretch goal looms at $60,000.

Meanwhile, Crowfall delayed its soft launch again, Shroud of the Avatar launched R48, Albion Online began a new season of referral rewards, Valiance Online updated to the latest version of Unity, Ashes of Creation talked politics, and Path of Exile announced its latest expansion. Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Elite: Dangerous player is reaching out to speak with the game’s inscrutable aliens

Remember that Star Trek: The Next Generation episode where the crew spent the entire episode tracking down and struggling to communicate with a destructive alien life form? (Please conveniently overlook that said episode was undercut by a later video game turning that life form into a big boss fight.) That’s what a player in Elite: Dangerous is struggling to do with the Thargoids. The game doesn’t actually allow for communication back yet, of course, but the player is still trying to understand what’s being said, first and foremost.

A cooperation between player group Canonn Interstellar Research and Benjamin “Heisenberg6626” Bahr has resulted in the video below, representing one of the first attempts to communicate with the aliens. The mechanics of the game make it a limited sort of communication, naturally, but Bahr’s hope in particular is that the designers see that there are players who do actually want to speak with and understand the Thargoids, not just blow them out of space. As he himself puts it, there will always be trigger-happy members on both sides, but the hope is that cooler heads can prevail… and, eventually, talk things out.

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Make My MMO: Vampire MMO Shadow’s Kiss has almost doubled its Kickstarter ask (November 11, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, the Shadow’s Kiss devs must be stoked beyond belief, as not only has their Kickstarter reached its goal but it’s almost to double now with three weeks remaining. Thus far, backers of the indie vampire fantasy MMORPG have unlocked stretch goals including a crafting systems, ritual magic system, and some sort of tenebrous tentacles thing, with narration and music on the way when they break the $50,000 mark.

Meanwhile, Crowfall demoed its Cleric class, Star Citizen explained how space travel won’t be boring, Ship of Heroes worked on character customization, and Elite Dangerous launched on Xbox One X.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Elite Dangerous patches in preparation for Xbox One X support

The Elder Scrolls Online isn’t the only MMO getting love with the Xbox One X launch tomorrow: Frontier posted today that Elite Dangerous is also aiming to support Microsoft’s new toy.

“On the Xbox One X Elite Dangerous can output in true 4k; any other settings will depend on your console settings and the sort of monitor or TV you are using. We’ve also added two new options: Performance and Quality options, and 1080p and 4k options. This second option will allow you to change the resolution the game renders to, which is an in-game setting that is completely independent from the settings within the Xbox One X itself. If the console’s settings are different, the output will be upscaled or downscaled. To achieve the highest frame rate, you could choose Performance and 1080p. Alternatively you can choose higher quality graphics by using the Quality setting, at the cost of some performance. In short, you can pick what best suits you!”

The update is technically live already for Xbox One players with “minimal downtime,” though of course the console isn’t officially live until tomorrow.

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The MOP Up: Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet announced (October 29, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from DauntlessEverQuestTERAOld School RuneScapeSword Art Online: Fatal BulletPath of ExileDestiny 2SurvariumBlade and SoulShot OnlineBlack Desert, and Elite: Dangerous, all waiting for you after the break!

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The MOP Up: Warface celebrates its birthday in Chernobyl (October 22, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from World of TanksStarfall TacticsMu LegendOverwatchFFXIVEVE OnlineMu OnlineWakfuPath of ExileAionWarfaceMechWarrior OnlineElder Scrolls OnlineRevelation OnlineArena of ValorPaladinsConquer OnlinePortal KnightsElite: Dangerous, and Dauntless, all waiting for you after the break!

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Make My MMO: Dual Universe vrooms into another pre-alpha test (October 21, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, the much-anticipated indie sci-fi sandbox Dual Universe dropped a starship-load of tutorials on ship construction, the interface, territory, and more. They’re aimed at folks in the pre-alpha, another weekend of which kick off earlier today – it’s a nice chunk of backers, if the activity graph posted to Twitter earlier is any judge. (Cheers, Cotic!)

Meanwhile, HEX launched on PS4, Star Citizen confirmed it’s still granting refunds but isn’t launching S42 this year, Legends of Aria wrapped up its alpha, and Albion Online launched a new trial program.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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The MOP Up: Speedrunning World of Warcraft (October 15, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Project Gorgon, Star Trek Online, BlessSkyforgeWakfuRobloxWar ThunderAionElite: DangerousNew DawnTravianAstroneer, and World of Warcraft, all waiting for you after the break!

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Frontier Expo 2017: Science, history, and gaming make for a great first con

This past weekend was not the first time I have attended a developer’s convention, but Frontier Expo 2017 was one of only a very few times when I have been able to attend the first one of its kind. Last weekend, I got to witness the birth of Frontier Developments’ fan convention, held in London, UK. At 1500 attendees, it may have been a relatively small gathering compared to conventions like PAX or other more established cons, but it was still great. In fact, it offered fans a few firsts of their own! Besides your classic meeting-and-greeting, game announcements with reveals, and after parties (including live entertainment by Jim Guthrie, the musician who created the Planet Coaster music), folks got to try their hand at the studio’s really old games on their original equipment in the Frontier Developments museum.

Even more than that, attendees got to meet and listen to world-renowned experts in the fields of paleontology and astrobiology. Not because these would sell the game, but just because they are subjects of interest to fans. How many studios have offered that?

Now there were understandably a few bumps and learning experiences in this first endeavor, but in all, I say the inaugural FX2017 was a resounding success! It was easily the most chill convention experience I have ever had, and I look forward to next year’s show (and hanging out with the space loach more!). Let’s dig in!

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