It appears that a number of Elite: Dangerous players are unhappy with the state of things in the space sandbox. In fact, they’ve drafted a formal petition to Frontier Developments to improve a number of things that they feel need to be addressed ASAP.
Among the requests made by the petition is the opening of a public test server and the return of beta testing proper. The PTS request reads like a reasonable one, with patch notes for PTS updates, a minimum of two weeks in open beta for new releases, and test server access for Lifetime Expansion Pass holders.
Improving bug reports is also on the mind of the petition, which wants to have developers respond to issues and ask for more details from players, reasoning that players are willing to help if asked. Players also want to see a “concerted effort” to address the top 10 issues voted on by the community in the issue tracker, as well as more concise patch notes.
Finally, the petition wants to see community managers brought in to the development process, effectively asking them to be intermediaries between the community and Frontier to directly provide feedback on updates as opposed to being perceived extensions of PR.
The petition got a lengthy response from Zac Antonaci, director of publishing for Frontier. He posits that the lines of communication between Frontier and the community are already wide open. He also explains that a trickle of details for new releases isn’t offered in order to both have something tangible to showcase to players and to get potential new players excited about features coming to Elite. The request for betas and a PTS has been reportedly made numerous times and is being considered, with Antonaci admitting that the September update had “a considerable number of issues for players.”
Finally, Antonaci ended the post with a personal postamble that effectively chastised the creators of the petition:
“This conference and statement has been created by a number of well-known community members. The decision to create a list of grievances and recommendations/demands/guidelines followed by video content and a petition is specifically made in an attempt to make change through public pressure. While I do commend the aims listed of having a better and closer relationship between community and Frontier, I am unable to condone this approach.”