Elite Dangerous posts latest Odyssey patch notes plus delivers expansion’s first monthly dev report

    
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Frontier Developments has tried to put out as much information as possible regarding Elite: Dangerous Odyssey in order to mollify fans who believe that the studio has missed the mark, primarily with the first of a promised series of monthly news articles to keep players abreast of what work is being done to right the expansion’s ship.

In the first monthly report, the post pulls five top issues from the over 27K issues in the player-submitted Issue Tracker and offers some general plans of action. Among these matters are promise of identified pathways to improving FPS performance, work on improving degraded terrain textures, confirmation that missions against anarchy factions were too impactful to the game’s background simulation and are continually being addressed, and a word about repetitive terrain features, which is noted as a harder problem to solve but one the dev team is actively investigating.

The post then talks about the longer update roadmap, once more reiterating the intention to work on Odyssey for console but noting that previous updates and community requests are causing problems for the team’s previous roadmap and plans. “We are actively investigating, reviewing, and remeasuring the further roadmap but these things will take a little time,” reads the post.

In terms of more immediate updates for Odyssey, the game’s fifth patch has been applied, headlined by the introduction of a mission sharing system, brighter lighting for ship interiors, and a sizeable list of improvements to the ship outfitting UI among many other fixes and adjustments. This latest patch hasn’t arrived without its own suite of troubles, however: Mauve Adder errors have forced a server reboot, there’s at least one report of a Blue Cobra error with every hyperspace jump, and another player has shared some video evidence of what is described as worse planetary rendering than with update 4.

sources: official forums (1, 2, 3, 4), Twitter (1, 2), cheers Stuart
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Ok_Chip261

Executives bonus hunting?

Yup. Fdev execs sold a large number of their personal shares just before they released the Odyssey’s alpha.

Finances that dire?

Yup. The execs were facing having to report an earnings shortfall that would have been far worse had they not squeezed the Odyssey release into this financial year.

“Shares in fantasy video games developer and publisher Frontier Developments (FDEV:AIM) sank 10% to £27.43 after an underwhelming trading statement which fell short of market expectations.” https://www.sharesmagazine.co.uk/news/shares/frontier-developments-shares-sink-after-company-falls-short-of-expectations

“fantasy video games developer”…. fantasy referring to the Odyssey dev schedule, advertising etc.!

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PhoenixDfire

Finally, some decent performance which means I can access the on-foot settlements properly. I’ve been doing the exploration ‘tag a plant’ gameplay (nice in an ‘Old Man Fishing’ type of way) and the scavenging missions, ( fun when some other scavengers turn up and start shooting) but I haven’t been able to walk around any of the settlements because the FPS (Frame per second, not First person shooting) has been too low. Now I get to find out if Odyssey is really worth it.

Its obvious now that FDev made the decision that EDO had to be launched before the end of their financial year and if something was wrong, they thought they could patch it up afterwards. Effectively, a Beta until the console versions are ready. It was the fact they said the ‘Main Branch’ of code was far in advance of the ‘Alpha Branch’ was the real kicker for most people.

The truth was the main branch was and it wasn’t. Yes, there were double the amount of new planetary bases and a lot more biologicals to scan, but the fundamental issues based around performance and UI hadn’t been looked at and that’s what they’ve been fixing for the last six weeks.

The irony is I’ve enjoyed what I’ve been able to play so far, so hopefully the rest of the content will be just as enjoyable. However, Frontier have lost a lot of goodwill in the Elite: Dangerous community because of this release and it will be difficult to get it back.

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Ok_Chip261

Its obvious now that FDev made the decision that EDO had to be launched before the end of their financial year

Yup.

and if something was wrong, they thought they could patch it up afterwards.

Nope. They’e done a handful of patches barely touching any of the major issues (planet crap, performance, crashes) and now they’ve said on a live steam that’s the last update. The team has probably already been moved off to other games, e.g. the to try and keep their Formula 1 title from getting delayed even more than it is.

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PhoenixDfire

That’s not been my experience, I have to say the last update has stored out a lot of the performance and the networking disconnects I was having. I haven’t had a CTD since Update 2.

The planets are amazing to land on and drive about, especially the ones that Biologicals on them. Sure there arn’t the 15 KM deep Canyons there are in Horizons but there are still deep Canyons on other plants. The Elite community is split into three at the moment ;-

  • Those that are upset mostly because they’re unhappy with the mechanics of Odyssey. That could be the planetary tech, the changes to the elite rankings, the way the suits work, the suit engineering, lack of feature X, etc.
  • Those that are upset that the game was released in the state it was and angry at developers in general for shipping MVP.
  • Those that have been lucky enough to get decent performance and are enjoying the content available.

Those that in camp 3 will get shouted at by camps 1 and 2 for being white knights but will carry on regardless.
Those in Camp 2 are the folks on the fence, the ones who will come back to it later when the performance issues are resolved but will require reassurance from Fdev that MVP releases won’t happen in the future.
Those in Camp 1 are leaving/left because they feel the game is no longer for them.

I’ve seen this pattern with every big update that’s come up for an MMO. The exception being Star Wars Galaxies NGE; 90% of the player went straight into Camp 1 and never came back. This isn’t a “NGE” type update, as the base game is largely untouched (We’ll have to see what they do with Horizons). However, Update 5 is where a lot of those in Camp 2 are going to make their mind up.

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Ok_Chip261

MVP ?? Minimum Viable Product??

Odyssey Steam score is down to 23% (after five FDev fix attempts), sales are dead (for sure I can’t find it in the Top 500), it has over 20,000 report issues still open, and Frontier just announced there will be no more updates

That’s not what I’d call any kind of viable product.

Probably there are a few players for whom Odyssey is worth what they paid for it. Those would be the Kickstarter backers who paid nothing for it. Probably everyone else will remember Odyssey as a spectacular $40 rip-off sold with breathtaking deceit and lies.

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PhoenixDfire

They tried for MVP and failed on the initial release, that much is certain. However after thursday’s update, I would say that from my experience, the game is certainly playable and has a lot to offer.

Whether the community is willing to forgive FDev for their actions is yet to be seen and if the community doesn’t come back then Maintence mode or, even worse, Sunsetting will be a lot sooner than people think.

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Ok_Chip261

They tried for MVP and failed on the initial release

Sorry, I don’t believe it. What they did is saw the approach of the financial year end with a huge revenue shortfall, so decided to throw out the current Odyssey build to legally cash-in the pre-order revenue. They needed to do that regardless of whether they thought the Odyssey product was viable.

And whether the ED community comes back makes no difference to maintenance mode or sunset. What funds development is not the community, it is sales. Odyssey sales are dead, so no surprise FDev has just said no more updates. There just isn’t the money to pay for any.

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PhoenixDfire

I’m sure I already said that about the end of year thing.

The next big update patch will be in ‘Autumn’ when the console versions are launched. Apparently it’s still on target according to the last E:D livestream on Tuesday.

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Ken from Chicago

This is like watching game development in reverse. ED had did it. A successful crowdfunded spacesim game, with modest goals that wereet and released and then slowly adding on elements including an intriguing Thargoid reveal first with ruins, sightings then engagements.

Then piece by piece they seem to be ripping it apart. Thargoids disappeared. Galnet was shut down so they could do fleet carrier which turned out to be a colossal bust which somehow got approved between concept, design, programming and QA where you jump FTL on said carrier while literally staring at a blank wall.

I thought it was stupid enough that ED changed FTL from the white burst of light in classic Elite to a black cloud given that the game renders most of space as black so it’s hard to see jack squat if you jump to FTL in open space. But this fleet carrier jump said hold my beer.

Worse that the game mechanics and updates has been the communication. This whole EDO patch communication has been so flawed and deceptive. This so disappointing. ED was my backup plan for when SC takes another year to perfect the volumetric scattered lighting in the clouds of atmospheres, because it’s going to look pretty, oh so pretty.

Now I’m going to have to consider NMS, which has had surprising level of progress from where it started. It rivals FF14 in making a comeback from an … Ahem
… Flawed … launch.

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styopa

Same here. I was on the fence about NMS, but considering the vectors NMS and ED are heading, I really am wondering if maybe NMS is worth investing my time in now.

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Blake

I mean this whole expansion pack for ED is a company throwing a hand grenade into an otherwise beloved franchise. It truly baffles my mind that they’d be so short sighted forcing this out the door in such a horrible state. Executives bonus hunting? Finances that dire? Something forced this out.

I keep wanting to finally get into ED, I have it and have dabbled a few times, but I’m not even going to bother at this point. Ugh.