frontier

See: Frontier Developments

One Shots: Lights, camera, frogs!

Just because you happen to be a humanoid frog doesn’t mean that you’ve lost at the lottery of life. On the contrary, you have all sorts of advantages, such as being able to install and replace light fixtures very high in your underground cavern. Also, you can eat flies.

Reader Finyar starts us out this week with a stunning interior location from a fan-favorite MMO: “I’m currently playing Guild Wars 2 again and I’m always impressed with how beautifully crafted the game world is.”

Art matters, people. Also, why can’t we play more frogs in online games?

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Elite Dangerous promises bug-squashing patch by early May

Update: The devs have shifted the ETA to April 25th; we’ve updated below.

While Elite Dangerous’ community should be celebrating over the addition of player-created avatars and multi-crew ships with Horizons Update 2.3, instead they’re dealing with one of the buggiest updates to date for the space sim. Even following a rollback last week of the background sim data that manages political factions, there are still numerous issues that have yet to be resolved.

The good news is that there’s a patch coming to take care of much of this. The bad news is that players are going to have to wait until next month to see fixes for the login bugs, stability issues, weird errors, and frame rate drops.

“We’ve seen your feedback with regards to a number of bugs in the latest update,” Frontier reported on the forums, “and the development team have been busy working on a release that focuses on fixing a large number of the common complaints. The release is currently scheduled for early May.”

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Elite Dangerous kicks off second short film competition, CTRL+ALT+SPACE 2017

The launch of Commanders 2.3 earlier this week must seem like the perfect time for Frontier to reprise its CTRL+ALT+SPACE competition because that’s exactly what the Elite Dangerous team is up to. The 2015 event asked players to create short films revolving around the game, to be judged by a panel from the studio based on “creativity, originality, ingenuity and we will be paying close attention to editing, narrative, and scene composition.” So will this one.

“Create a short film (no more than 4 minutes) in a theme of your choosing using the Camera Suite. This theme could be a short story, a trailer, or anything else you wish,” says Frontier. “We’re looking to be dazzled so whether you decide to create a trailer or a short film, the idea should be clear in your head and conveyed through your video.”

You have until May 9th (changed from the original plan for May 2nd) to get your submissions in. The top 10 submitters walk away with a bunch of nice prizes, though the best are reserved for #1; the top pick will take home in-game rewards along with a video capture card, headset, keyboard, and gaming mousepad.

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Elite Dangerous rolls back background sim data due to errors

Keeping with the tradition that politics doesn’t tend to make one’s life better, Elite Dangerous has had to rollback its background sim data to a pre-patch state.

“We’ve had a number of reports of some significant errors with the background sim data since the 2.3 update went live,” Frontier reported. “The dev teams have been hard at work and believe they have a fix identified which they are aiming to deploy tomorrow. However, this will involve rolling back BGS data to a pre 2.3 state.”

The good news is that this isn’t a full game rollback, which would certainly stink. The background sim data is the part of Elite Dangerous that handles the complex system politics and allows the galaxy’s borders and faction territory to be reshaped on the fly.

Elite Dangerous released its The Commanders update earlier this week that allowed players to create their own avatars for the first time.

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Elite Dangerous’ The Commanders update today adds player avatars

Call it “Sitting in Cockpits.”

No longer will your in-game representation in Elite Dangerous be a mere hunk of space metal with a flaking coat of paint. With Horizons Update 2.3: The Commanders today, all players will be able to create their own avatars to counter the loneliness of space exploration with a humanizing touch.

The avatar will be used extensively in the game, as players will be able to see their creation in the cockpit and have their likeness show up on-screen when chatting with others. If that’s not enough to make you feel chummy, then hook yourself up with one of the new multi-crew ships that allow several friends to join you in your adventures.

Other patch changes include ship names, ID plates, vanity cameras, and asteroid bases. Frontier CEO David Braben fielded a lot of questions about the update and the future of Elite Dangerous in a recent Reddit AMA, just in case you wanted to glean more information. For the rest of us, check out the commander creator feature after the jump!

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Destiny 2 launches on PC and console September 8, ‘and there will be a ton of loot’

As teased and prodded and hinted at all week, Destiny 2 is official, and we’ve finally got a trailer to go with it. Expect the game to launch on September 8th on Xbox One, PS4, and yes — PC — retailing for $59.99 on up into the stratosphere for collector editions. Beta arrives this summer.

“In Destiny 2, the last safe city on Earth has fallen and lay in ruins, occupied by a powerful new enemy and his elite army, the Red Legion. Every player creates their own character called a Guardian, humanity’s chosen protectors. As a Guardian in Destiny 2, players must master new abilities and weapons to reunite the city’s forces, stand together and fight back to reclaim their home. The official Destiny 2 reveal trailer, Rally the Troops, shows two of the Vanguard, leaders of the Guardians, inspiring the people of the last city in an impassioned (and occasionally sarcastic) call to arms. In Destiny 2, players will answer this call, embarking on a fresh story filled with new destinations around our solar system to explore, and an expansive amount of activities to discover. There is something for almost every type of gamer in Destiny 2, including gameplay for solo, cooperative and competitive players set within a vast, evolving and exciting universe.”

I feel as if Bungie is hitting a nice chord here between “Forth Eorlingas!” and Guardians of the Galaxy in the new trailer, while also getting right to the point of what video games (and for that matter, war) are really about. Check it out!

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Elder Scrolls Online posts a Morrowind province primer

So let’s assume that you’re a regular MMORPG player who’s never really been into Elder Scrolls series, wasn’t around for TES III: Morrowind, never picked up Skyrim’s Dragonborn DLC, or didn’t side with the Ebonheart Pact in The Elder Scrolls Online. Or maybe you just have nothing but antipathy for dark elves in fantasy. If you’re in those groups but are still interested in The Elder Scrolls Online as just a solid themepark MMORPG rather than fanservice, you might be wondering just why the heck everyone is freaking out in anticipation of the Morrowind expansion.

That’s exactly what ZeniMax’s new lore piece out today tries to explain, giving newbies some backstory on the island of Vvardenfell during the time period of the MMORPG, from the politics to the ecology of the region.

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The Survivalist: Massively OP’s guide to multiplayer survival sandboxes

Welcome to The Survivalist! Ya’ll might have noticed that I have gravitated a bit from my happy home of deep, immersive virtual worlds (possible due to the lack of them!) and have been tinkering about and enjoying time in various survival games. This isn’t as odd as you might think! One thing I love about sandbox worlds is the ability for your actions to matter in terms of shaping the world and carving out your place in it. Survival games have been allowing me just that with opportunities to build the world, from the society on it to structures in it to the even the physical world itself. And decisions definitely matter, bringing satisfaction and reward or disappointment and destruction.

I’m not alone in this appreciation of the survival genre, either. Many MMO gamers have joined mainstreamers by flocking to it lately as seen by the explosion of the available games. Those of you not on board yet might be wonder just what is so alluring about a genre that has many elements of MMOs but on smaller — and oft times privately managed — scale. As the weeks and months wear on, The Survivalist is going to explore all the nooks and crannies of the survival sandbox genre (and likely die many, many times in the process!), but today, we’re going to look at what players can jump into to test their survival skills. So here’s a guide to many options in the newest genre to take over our gaming sphere.
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Elite Dangerous addresses ship nameplate concerns

Yesterday’s Elite Dangerous community livestream is full of good news for sci-fi fans anxiously watching the 2.3 beta. Of note, Frontier’s Sandro Sammarco and Ed Lewis address the ship nameplates issue — and the fact that these tools will be available as cash shop items only — saying the studio means to keep to its plans. Keep your eyes locked on mega ships too; the studio promises these gargantuan edifices are super important and that it’ll divulge more in the future.

Lewis reiterated the studio’s plans on name plates in a forum post this morning, explaining that every ship will have a name, but “the ship name plates will offer an added layer of cosmetic personalisation for Commanders wanting to wear their name with pride, much like paint jobs and other cosmetics currently available in the store.”

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Elite Dangerous disappoints players with paid ship decals and far-off ‘Space Legs’

Holy crap sci-fi MMOers are grumpy. All we want is an absolutely perfect simulation of a space-going future for nearly nothing. How hard can it possibly be?

Apparently pretty hard, hence why Elite Dangerous players are grouchy over several new revelations from the weekend. For starters, Frontier admitted during the game’s weekend livestream that “Space Legs” — that is, the Elite equivalent of Walking in Stations, a fully realized avatar movement outside of ships — is way off on the distant horizon. Players had their hopes up following the tease of the “Holo-Me” character creator, but since “Space Legs is effectively dovetailing a whole new game into Elite,” it’s “a long away off.”

“Crushed my dreams,” one Redditor wrote.

Meanwhile, monetization is another sore spot in the space game. Apparently, some players believe Frontier is going back on its original monetization Kickstarter FAQ promise (“Everything in the game will be purchasable with in-game Credits, earned from trading, bounty-hunting, etc.”) regarding ship name decals, which will be in fact be buyable only with real cash with no free or in-game-money option. There’s even an email campaign to try to get Frontier to change its mind.

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PAX East 2017: Elite Dangerous and its ‘slightly cowboy free-for-all’

Frontier is hyping Elite Dangerous’ expected Q2 PS4 release at this year’s PAX East (colon still MIA, sorry), complete with confirmed HOTAS support. Frontier’s David Braben has a long video out today introducing the game’s highlights to newcomers, discussing the feel of the lore and the future-fantasy of space exploration more than mechanics (definitely catch his description of free-wheeling space wagon trains with their “slightly cowboy free-for-all” aesthetic).

There’s a trailer too — it’s all down below for your eyeballs!

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Elite: Dangerous begins testing the 2.3 Commanders beta

Avatars! Multicrew ships! Balance changes! Nouns with exclamation points! Yes, the latest Elite: Dangerous patch has a whole lot of stuff contained therein, and players can start testing all of that stuff now with the patch in its first testing phase. It still is very much the first phase, too, as elements like multicrew functionality haven’t yet been implemented; the patch notes for the test include all of the details on multicrew ships, but also notes that they’re not in there yet.

Of course, there’s lots of stuff is there, even beyond commander functionality; there are new ship nameplates, bug fixes, mission and engineering adjustments, everything you’d expect from one of the game’s large patches. So while you can’t bring your friends along just yet, you should find plenty to do if you’re testing the patch.

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Ride out into the frontier in Rebel Horizons’ GDC trailer

For those that felt titillated and intrigued by the original announcement of Rebel Horizons a year ago (if you can remember back that long), movement has been spotted on the project after many months of relative silence. The team is planning to make an appearance at GDC this spring and has a new trailer to show off to the public.

The trailer for the sci-fi sandbox shows a man on another world, taking a jet bike across the desert to a settlement. There, he buys some gear and then steps into a teleporter, destination unknown.

Rebel Horizons is making a shared persistent universe in which players can forge their own destinies and make their own living. Possibilities include trading, crafting, bounty hunting, mining, harvesting, and traveling to other worlds, each with their own ecosystems and economies.

Catch a glimpse of the future in the GDC 2017 trailer after the break!

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