Elite Dangerous touches on Odyssey alpha feedback regarding taxis, on-foot NPCs, and mission details


With the alpha test of Elite: Dangerous Odyssey continuing to press forward, players of the expansion’s test build have already provided a lot of similar feedback judging by a feedback response posted on the testing forums. In the post, Frontier Developments call out several pain points in the current alpha and outlines some promises to attack them.

The post first touches on the Apex Interstellar taxi service, explaining that taxis will not be getting any adjustments to speed as doing so would “result in a fundamental change to Elite that contradicts the lore, physics, and potential longevity of the game.” However, the devs do acknowledge that riding a taxi from a station to a mission is taking too long, so to address this, players will be moved to a more central location to reduce overall travel times and distance information will be added to mission details.

Next, the devs agree that on-foot NPCs seem a bit too deadly, so the team will be investigating how mission threat levels are being incorrectly assessed and reported in mission overviews and will work on a solution soon. As for players opening fire on others while they try to complete missions, future updates will introduce the detention center respawn loop like the base game has, as well as the potential for adjustments to penalties for killing on-foot players.

There are other feedback points that the devs are collecting and considering, but these two were some of the most commonly reported, and so FDev wanted to let players know they’re being heard.

source: official forums, thanks to Stuart for the tip!

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They seem to have an intractable problem that was fairly obvious from the start?

If player is sitting at station A and wants to get to mission location B they have 2 options:
1) they can hop in their ship and go there, this takes X amount of time – basically the same, regardless of ship type. <– of course, formerly this was the ONLY option players have had.
2) with the new taxi service, they don't need the ship, they can just go there (as I understand it). Let's call taxi transit time "T".
FDev can set "T" to be anything they want from instantaneous to hours.
If waiting more than a few moments is an "interminable" amount of waiting for someone to get into an FPS thing is too much they probably want to set this as low as possible.
But if X takes, say, 10 minutes, setting T to be anything less than 10 minutes becomes problematic if anyone cares at all about the rest of the ED setting, consistency, and physics.

I can very well see how 10 minutes is tolerable for someone flying a ship someplace. ED is *about* being…comfortable…with long stretches of time flying a space ship. That's their metier.
But I can also see for someone used to FPS games (and the 1-2 minute wait in a lobby for CoD or Fortnite) that 10 mins waiting to 'arrive' would be intolerably dull.

It's almost like banging together hyperFPS gameplay and a space game based on quasi-realistic times taken to cross vast amounts of empty space is a contradiction.


That developer post says “moving players to a more central location to reduce overall travel times” is for the test start point in this Alpha, but then I don’t see how that does any good for the real game. They can’t have the real game just move players to the centre of the map. They need to fix this properly, or Odyssey will die the same death as the previous ED shooter they released, ED Arena, which also stuck players in a non-interactive waiting zone for ages before every bout of action.

Vanquesse V

The travel time for in-person missions made me walk away from the alpha real quick, and if they don’t come up with a real and effective solution to this, that expansion will not have a pretty color when it comes to steam reviews. This is a dealbreaker.