Elite Dangerous addresses community petition over development ‘grievances’

    
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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.”

sources: Petitions.com via Reddit, Reddit, cheers Stuart!
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NecroFox4

Something tells me, if they were doing a solid job of communicating with their community and addressing the pressing issues, no petition would have been created.

While I do commend the intent of the letter to communicate that they know what they’re doing and don’t need no stinkin petition, I am unable to condone his approach of reproach…

Just my $0.02…

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

I expect that he is going to regret that personal postamble. Guess one source of the problem with Frontier has been identified and it’s not the well known community members.

I used to play Elite Dangerous but design changes to the game chased me away. Doubt I will be back.

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Alberto

So basically what Star Citizen has been doing for years now…..got it……Hides in a corner puts on bulletproof vest and tactical armor…prepares for the drama..come at me brah….

CrakPoot23
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CrakPoot23

Call me crazy, but that’s the entire point of creating a petition. What’s the alternative?

The alternative is posting bug reports on Frontier’s forum, but that’s something Frontier has done its best to stamp out, first by banning serial ‘complainers’ (including Kickstarter backers who made the game possible) and recently by confining bug reports to a special section of the site that disallows discussion.

Frontier’s objection to this public pressure is no surprise since true reports that they can’t censor is a real problem to them selling Elite Dangerous in its current wrecked state. The game’s appaling Steam review score is a killer. And the game’s sales are now way too low to fund the massive amount of development effort needed to fix it.

StuartGT
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StuartGT

The game’s appaling Steam review score is a killer. And the game’s sales are now way too low to fund the massive amount of development effort needed to fix it.

Steam’s review section for Elite Dangerous shows 71% positive (69% for English-only reviews).

Frontier’s financials state the game made £12m last fiscal year, while passing the 3m sales mark in February.

The next paid-update has been in production for over a year and is scheduled for release in the second half of 2020.

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CrakPoot23
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CrakPoot23

Your screenshot shows your filter has been changed to include known unreliable off-Steam reviews.

ED kosher Steam recent reviews is 54%. Since the latest patch, it’s 25%. Compared to the Steam average mark of 81%.

Thanks for that ED earnings figure. I had no idea sales had dived that fast. That’s a 50% drop from previous.

As for update in 2020, that’s about as likely as all previous paid updates going back years… which never appeared. Including the premium update which FD absolutely promised for 2018… before stalling all year and then confessing it was cancelled.

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Armsman

I’m honestly surprised to hear that Frontier doesn’t have a formal CM team to bring players concerns and reports to their Dev Team. That’s a staple of any successful MMO.

(And if Frontier does, it appears they aren’t doing a good job as the Players seem to think such a system doesn’t exist.)

StuartGT
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StuartGT

Frontier do have a formal CM team (Will, Bo, Paige, Stephen, Chante, Steggs and Paul) who reply to players saying they’ll pass on said feedback to the devs, but such official comments are often buried in discussions.

Most problems stem from open betas having stopped, update launches being regularly bug-ridden, and features being underdeveloped and “forgotten” (e.g. CQC, Powerplay, Multicrew). Players feel their issues on those topics are often unheard.

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Richie Shoemaker

As an Eve vet this sounds very familiar. All we need are “Spacelegs” and it’ll be 2011 all over again.

Where’s a good place to start a conga line in ED?

StuartGT
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StuartGT

SOURCES: PETITIONS.COM VIA REDDIT, REDDIT, CHEERS STUART!

While I’m a moderator of /r/EliteDangerous and contributor to the aforementioned document/petition, there’s no need to thank me 🙃

I assume a different Stuart linked you the info?

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

Huh. Either there are two Stuarts tipping us about Elite, or somebody is pretending to be you. :D

StuartGT
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StuartGT

Ha, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery I guess 😁

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

That’s actually a bit disturbing – now that I search my email, I see we have gotten a BUNCH of tips from “you” the last couple of weeks, escalating in hostility for Elite. Very curious. I’m glad you piped up to note it isn’t actually you!

StuartGT
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StuartGT

Haha no worries; I’ve just sent a “news tip” containing my actual email for your records 😀

laelgon
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laelgon

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.

Call me crazy, but that’s the entire point of creating a petition. What’s the alternative? Hoping the developers are telepathic and can detect what the community wants? Creating public pressure is how people get companies to change what they perceive as bad practices, by creating a stir that would make it financially damaging not to address publicly raised concerns.