Hands-On With Elite: Dangerous

By Craig Pearson on December 13th, 2013 at 6:00 pm.

Look at me, mum!
In an I-don’t-recognise-my-life-anymore moment, Frontier invited me to their offices to be the first person to play Elite: Dangerous. David Braben and his team put me in a room with a joystick that was connected to a PC that was running the first public demonstration of the game. I’ve no idea how something like that happened to me, but I think I got through it without embarrassing myself, even if I did phone my mum to tell her.

What I was invited to play is the first closed alpha of the game, the one that’s just gone live to mega-backers from Kickstarter and the pre-order campaign. This is what it looks like.

It really does look like that. It puts the player a Sidewinder, laden with different configurations in a number of combat scenarios. It could be fire-and hope missiles and gimballed lasers, or a powerful beam laser and guided rockets. The scenarios range from a simple dogfight against an easy opponent, all the way up to a giant battle. I’ve been asked to not spoil some content, so I’ll only talk directly about a few. After watching a few dogfights, I’m asked if I want to play.

HMM? DO I WANT TO PLAY THE NEW ELITE?

I sit down and grab the joystick and throttle: I’m acutely aware that a) I am terrible at using joysticks, and b) I am being watched by David Braben. I’m the first person outside of Frontier to be in this position. I am nervous. I guess he must but nervous. But we’re both British, and can put up a cold front that would make an asteroid appear ebullient.

The cockpit view of the Sidewinder has a classic Elite radar at the bottom, some weapons readouts, but little else that’s immediately recognisable. There’s a holographic read-out that covers your ship and the target, showing where the shields are being hit (important because your ship has locational damage, and in a later battle I die because my cockpit explosively decompressed). There are two weapons groups, detailing your primary and secondary firing solutions. Most importantly to the feel of the ship, there are a three power distribution bars on the bottom right, showing you where power can be rerouted between shields, engines, and weapons. The “feel” of it is what Frontier are most conscious of, and as Braben points out: “It’s one of those horribly touchy-feely things. You intuitively know when something’s right.”

Their intuition feels bang-on so far. I’ll get to those bars in a bit, but even without acknowledging them the flight model is superbly balanced. The first enemy I fight is a bit dumb, but as I’m getting used to the controls and the fact that I have three members of the Elite development team watching me (Narrative Designer Michael Brooke and Chief Creative Officer Jonny Watts are also in the room. Watching.), it still takes a short while to grasp, and when I do it’s because the systems that they’ve put in place gives me a good footing.

The little ship is on the radar ahead of me, aloof and uninterested until I start harassing it. I swoop around a little, feeling the UI shake as my (in-game) head reacts to the movement. It feels good: not so speedy that I continually have to adjust for oversteering, but not sluggish. The cockpit’s FOV is pretty wide (and can get wider in the options), and the UI is faintly translucent, so it’s possible to follow ships that swim to the edge of your vision. For what it’s worth, it already “feels” good.

I click the weapons and the two hard-points on either side of the screen pop-out: one is a standard locked position pulse cannon, and the other is a missile launcher. With the enemy targeted, he’s surrounded on the HUD by a group of triangles. The one at the front is solid, and the two at the back wireframe, so I can immediately and easily tell his direction and his orientation, and because it’s bound to the ship’s shape and size, it doesn’t overwhelm the UI with information. Allied with the gently fading contrails he leaves behind, it’s a really elegant way of following and anticipating the target.

I start firing and he peels off, curling away in an attempt to get behind me. I start to worry a little that we’ll be locked together in a chasing-me-chasing-you loop, when I’m told I can game it a little: the throttle is on the right of the radar, and about midway up is a small whited out segment. That little tag tells you the ideal turning velocity to get the best of the other ship, though it changes with relative speeds, so it’s not a win button. For deathloops like this, it’s a good solution to break the deadlock. And while this one is tough to break out of, it’s because in this situation the ships are very similar and I am new to all this: in the final game you can expect a wide-range of differently specced ships.

Braben says: “Even within one ship type there will be quite a range of different ships. It sounds like a contradiction, but you could have a bigger engine, and that sacrifices cargo and/or weapons space, because it’s only got certain capacity. You can go for a more expensive engine that might be the same size but higher performance. The whole game is about trade-offs that you can make.”

I finally fall in behind the enemy ship and start pulsing away with my main gun. The shields go gradually from blue to orange and then poof. It was easy, but then it’s a set-up. It will get a lot more complicated and require a lot more skill in later combat missions.

I hop into a mission where I’ll be fighting multiple targets, including an Anaconda (biiiig gunship in this set-up) and its attendant wingment. I arrive and two wingmen of my own draw up beside me. I am again the aggressor, so I need to approach the larger ship and begin the assault before my wingmen will take notice. Here’s where those bars on the bottom right come into play. They represent the energy going into your shields, engines, and weapons. Depending on how it’s going, you can shunt extra power into one system at the expense of the other two. There are four pips along the bottom of each bar, allowing for expansion and contraction of each system. So, if like me you’re on the run from the Anaconda’s turrets, it’s a good idea to buff the engines or shields at the expense of weapons, because if you’re facing away and fleeing, you’ve nothing to fire on.

All these systems click together to create a pleasingly dynamic dog fighting model. I still died many, many times, against both the Anaconda and the security ships, but I had a moment when I was in a loop with another fighter and I shunted power to the engines, followed his contrails, adjusted my speed to touch the white line, and swooped around to grab him in my sights. This ship had a gimballed laser cannon, which means it was less powerful than the first one, but I could aim it a lot more subtly. It was glorious, and so different from the space-jousting that I became I used to in Frontier when I didn’t know any better. Now I do know better, and this is really smart, and rewards piloting skills with a nice, fat explosion.

And that’s not even the final set-up. There’s one other system that Dangerous introduces to the Elite flight modelling–to do with the ship’s heat–that I’ll let David Braben explain: “Heat mechanic is wonderful part of the combat to make the battle readable without relying on the dashboard. Seeing almost before it happens or as it happens the response of the other guy, so one of the reasons to see all the retros really big, the rockets, you can see he’s turning right immediately. you can see the flare before he starts pulling off. you just get it a few frames earlier. It’s that readability. So you can see if they’re doing something dramatic it’ll suddenly flare with heat. He’s either charging his hyper-drive or his weapons are over-heating.

“It all feeds into the stealth mechanic. So the premise is the scanner is relying on electromagnetic and heat that’s given out. There’s no sound in space. If you suddenly go very quiet and very dark, they can’t see you. Especially if you’re in amongst other objects, like an asteroid field. In space there will be lots of things like that, lots of environments like a space station and if you just hide in a space station you’re just not noticeable. So the ship literally goes dark, and there’s this concept of ‘buttoning up’. You press a button to do it, and all of your heat vents close. You stop venting heat, and so the heat starts building up quite rapidly. Your engines are continually building up heat. It’s very hard to stop. You can shut things down, which reduces the rate it builds up. That’s a skill-based mechanic. So you can decide to shut down your shields and shut down your engines and hide. It’s a bit like holding your breath – you can only do it for a while, your ship will begin to overheat, and you can choose to either open up, or you can choose to take the damage. “

I was supposed to check this out during a stealth mission. Remember Scavenger Hunt? It was a video that Frontier released last year during the Kickstarter.

One of the missions I played was something simiar: a hunt through an asteroid field, where I was to find and destroy several ships. I was supposed to keep my heat signature low, just nudging along to keep out of their radars, but I’ll admit I got a little but gun-happy. Though I was comfortable in the cockpit, I sort of ignored the stealthy part. In my experience, you need to be super good at a game to master its stealth elements, and I’d just gotten used to how messy it was. I tried, but as it happens I was playing the game that everyone who grabs the joystick for the first time does: I was pushing it as far as I could, rather than using gentle, practiced strokes and not burning my engines.

Jonny Watts interjects and explains how the stealth works if it’s not being played by an idiot trying too hard to not mess up: “If you’ve got a really powerful ship hunting you, and he knows you’re roughly here and can’t see you on his radar. And you know that you’re doomed as soon as you appear on his radar, you might choose to take as much damage as you possibly could. You’re doomed, anyway. “

I was doomed over and over, but flying through the asteroid fields, accidentally becoming the hunted, did show me just how enjoyable that can be. The environment in space is as important as the ship when it comes to manoeuvring. A guided missile was launched at me, and I reacted by myself, shifting power systems around to boost my speed and then hitting a secondary, temporary speed boost to push away, before cutting the secondary boost and peeling around behind an asteroid to let the missile strike it. Awesome. Though I cut a bit too far and scraped my ship along the asteroid to the combined screams of the Frontier team.

Away from the cockpit–and it was really tough to pull myself away–we talk about the systems that are in place, and why Frontier is putting so much detail into the handling. According to Braben, it’s not just about getting the handling correct, though that’s a huge part of it, but it’s a symptom of the obsessive approach he has to take with this sort of game: “Detail matters to me. All of the control, like being able to direct power to different systems is a really nice mechanic. Down the line you’ll be able to wander round the ship, board other ships. We’ve got that planned. But we need the ships to work. One of the things that’s important to me is to be able to judge scale. So you look at something and you can see where you get in and out of it, where does the under carriage come from? They’re not great big lumps of cheese: thought’s been put into how the cargo is loaded and where it’s stored.”

Because if they didn’t care on that level, if they weren’t forcing designers to make sure each ship has the same size player hatch so they can keep a sense of scale in every design, then the rest of the game would suffer.

Braben explains how far they’re going with it: “The nearest 150,000 star systems to the Earth, real-life ones, are in the game. As accurately as we can. They still match the night sky. One of the great things, even with Frontier, all of those systems that are in there, all of these things have been discovered by Hubble, by occlusion, by gravitational methods, aren’t different to what’s there. It’s actually very, very close to what’s been discovered. I think because I put a lot of effort into the science in the first place it still matches. We don’t have to be revisionist at all. The only thing we’ve been slightly revisionist with, with the embarrassing thing I did with Frontier where I flattened the galaxy to make it easier to navigate, and that’s a shame because it changed the distances between the stars.

“But there are really, really wonderful things coming from doing it as accurately as we can. Our night sky is quite dark, because we’re very close to the galactic plane, and so the galactic centre is obscured by dust. But you go to somewhere like Achenar, and that’s quite a long way out of the galactic plane, so you’d be able to see an amazing vista of a night sky of the Galaxy. And as you move between system and system the night sky will change. It will be the correct night sky for that system, or as close as we can make it. “

And why that’s important is because they’re in it for the long haul. Frontier believes Dangerous might be the final chapter of Elite, but also the beginning of something immense and far-reaching. According to Braben: “What we’re doing with Elite: Dangerous is building a consistent world that we will never need to change again. We’ll be able to add to it. I don’t think there will be a sequel to this game, ever. It will carry on. The game in ten years’ time will look completely different from the game now.”

And it’s already looking great.

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87 Comments »

  1. aergistal says:

    The song you’re looking for is Conquest of Paradise by Vangelis. It works really well with the video, try it.

  2. Meat Circus says:

    Can’t hear you through the constant hum of squeeing.

  3. razgon says:

    It is completely ridiculous how much I want this game right now. Good god Mr Pearson, you are one lucky devil!

  4. CookPassBabtridge says:

    What a nice man

  5. Meat Circus says:

    Rift support?

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      Is that like a gentleman’s girdle?

    • DarrenGrey says:

      Not yet, but it will have it in future.

    • Pecisk says:

      Oculus Rift officially supported.

      • xavdeman says:

        I was wondering, will this game have some sort of co-op (campaign) / other multiplayer (versus or trade or something)? I haven’t really been following it and sometimes things are listed as stretch goals which aren’t met after all etc. If someone who has been following this game could please respond, that would be most kind.

        • Superfasty says:

          Yes, the whole thing is being built with multiplayer in mind.

  6. Leb says:

    looks like Hawken in space.

    Probably plays nothing like that, but in terms of “I am inside of a machine” interfaces and pretty explosions that is the vibe I got

  7. Lemming says:

    I’ve always wanted to see more space sims with the X-wing power-distro method. It’s elegant, intuitive, varied and never been beaten. To see it in an Elite game is just…well it’s just damn Christmas is what it is.

  8. c-Row says:

    Good lord, Craig! You can’t just go around posting a review like that the same day their shop went online! Think of all us poor sobs with credit cards…

  9. JustAPigeon says:

    I WANT IT I WANT TO PLAY IT NOW not for £200 though.

    • Craig Pearson says:

      Yeah. Just wait – you’ll be able to get it for a normal price. There’s nothing but small fights in this release.

      • DarrenGrey says:

        Well, this is just the first part of the alpha – there’ll be more phases to come. Still, not worth £200 unless you’re very desperate to be involved.

        • Telumehtar says:

          Heh, I paid more than that. I did get other perks, too, though. This is one of those games that has got a lot of people out of the woodwork who haven’t played games since they were kids in the 80s, and have now got to that large-disposable-income stage of life. :)

    • Pecisk says:

      Second beta is quite accessable for 50 pounds. Could be end of February/March.

    • El_MUERkO says:

      I was tempted but it’d come out of my Oculus fund and there’s no way I’m not playing this on a Rift!

  10. noom says:

    Exciting. Looks to be shaping up pretty nicely.

  11. AlienMind says:

    Not a single “track” (like track-ir) search hit in this article. I’m baffled. You DID play a flight sim, did you? How DO you look around in this game? Coolie hat?

    • Pecisk says:

      You can either use keys to look around (number pad by default), or you can press key and look around with mouse. There are multiple variants.

      • Richard Burton says:

        You say it has official Oculus support, but will Elite: Dangerous have proper TrackIR head-tracking support, like most sims in recent years? i.e. Rise of Flight, Over Flanders Fields, Arma III, DCS Black Shark, Lock On, etc? Evochron Mercenary and a couple of other Space sims and racing sims like rFactor and the Codemasters F1 games had it too. I expect we can probably create a workaround basic TrackIR profile ourselves, but will this game have the TrackIR plug in support right out the box? Also, what about 6Dof six degrees of freedom? Depth z-axis, in out, up down y-axis and x-axis side to side movement, as well as standard rotation? Thanks for the info.

        • Telumehtar says:

          TrackIR support was just added to the latest alpha release. I’ve not dug mine out of the loft yet to try it, though.

    • Craig Pearson says:

      You can look around, but I never did in the playthrough so didn’t talk about it,

      • AlienMind says:

        Thanks. Hopefully they put some trackir support in. Not supporting that but Occulus Rift is madness IMHO

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Freetrack support would be nice as well so everyone can set up his tracking system with a webcam an a couple of LEDs.

  12. GamesInquirer says:

    Which joystick did they deem good enough to let people try the game with?

    One I probably can’t afford (I’m instead looking for stand alone joysticks as the cheap hotas aren’t great going by others and even the mid tier x52 Pro has various flaws a handful of common mods are done to improve it, so it’s beyond the scope of my interest and pocket) but I’d like to know.

    • Pecisk says:

      Saitek X-52. Pro version is costly, but “normal” version is very accessable pricewise, which is enough for flying.

    • Craig Pearson says:

      X52. But the it will ship with loads of presets for others and everything is tweakable.

      • GamesInquirer says:

        Thanks.

        I’ll remain torn between the Thrustmaster T.16000M and Logitech Extreme 3D Pro cheapo sticks. And the Speedlink Black Widow, but that’s riskier.

        • JohnStabler says:

          I’m using the Speedlink Black Widow and it works fine with the alpha. Great for a cheap joystick.

  13. SillyWizard says:

    Is this another one of those games where you can’t get out of your ship?

    • Antsy says:

      Hopefully.

    • Craig Pearson says:

      They have plans for first-person sections where you can walk around and board other ships, but not for a good while. It sounded like a post-release thing.

      • dreamscape says:

        It may come within a year of release, they already showed some of it in their previous Dev Diary

    • Pecisk says:

      Walking around in ships and on planets will be in expansions. Seamless landings within year.

    • Nick says:

      Why would you want to get out of your ship? Space is cold.

    • Shadowcat says:

      Never get out of the ship.

      Hey Stampede… how ’bout a poem?

      • WhatKateDoes says:

        I get it, I get it! Interstate ’76! how many internet points do I win? :D

      • Captchist says:

        Looking out the window of your room onto a wet rainy day

        Main street under a slate grey afternoon sky

        The light on your face is soft and dim under the lace curtain

        And the streets are empty

        In the distance, there is a flash and a rumble

        Clouds sail the sky like giant wooden ships

        On a blackened evergreen sea

        Capped with foam

  14. Gap Gen says:

    I met David Braben and he mocked me for using Fortran.

    This does sound neat. I wonder how they plan to make money out of this long term if they never release sequels, unless they’re going the micro transaction route or just hoping never to stop selling copies, like Minecraft.

    • DarrenGrey says:

      There will be expansions, and there are also plans for “microtransactions, but not shit” (sic). Hopefully they don’t need to turn too much to the dark side to keep things going.

  15. Scroll says:

    This is the game I build my new pc for. The heat system sounds great, I wonder how much management it requires in relation to something like Starsector where its a constant concern. I’ve wished for a while to play a stealth space game, I’d rather like to hunt some large capital class ships using a frigate or something similar. So Larger ships pilot-able at some point please?

  16. Burzmali says:

    So is this going to be the year that the skybox dies?

  17. Zenicetus says:

    Kudos to Braben & Co. for having you fly it with a joystick!

    The heat signature thing sounds terrific, as well as linking turn rate to speed (something air combat games have done for ages, but you almost never see it in a space game).

    Something not covered in the article was the degree of non-Newtonian flight. Where does it fit on the scale of Full Newtonian, to Quasi-Newtonian-with-Help, to Not Newtonian at all and flies like an air combat game?

    That ‘hiding your heat” stealth mechanic sounds like it would be very cool to combine with a at least some Newtonian flight dynamics. Build up some speed and aim for a close fly-by of a big enemy, then button up, turn sideways while you still keep moving in the original direction, and open up for a strafing pass when you get close, letting the momentum carry you clear.

    Also, is there a governor on your maximum speed, or can you build speed indefinitely? That kind of sideways strafing run, or swiveling to turn directly astern to fire at pursuers, was possible in the I-War games, and great fun. Maybe Craig or any of the Alpha participants can comment on that. Is this possible in Elite:D, or is it more like the Wing Commander and other games like the X series with a speed-locked, air combat turning mode?

    • DraconianOne says:

      Zenicetus: watching an alpha stream, it seems they cater for both options. There’s a toggled “Flight assist” mode which seems like flight in original Elite or X3 etc but if it’s turned off then you have Newtonian flight and will stay travelling in direction of your last thrust vector. Same guy also showed that the top speed with Flight assist enabled was about 220 but I don’t know if he did any tests with it turned off.

  18. tigershuffle says:

    After watching Charile Brookers gaming program the other night it made me yearn for those carefree days of playing Elite.
    Owned it on Speccy then when i defected to C64
    Loved Frontier on Amiga too.

    Still ……………Mostly Harmless

    • Rizlar says:

      I love how much elements of Elite: Dangerous resemble the original. Like, if someone was playing Elite in the 80′s and fell into a coma and woke up today and saw that video, they would definitely feel they were in the future.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      I always knew the day would come when I’d have to confess this to somebody but
      yeah, I’ve actually never played any of the Elites. I’m a little too young. It’s always sort of haunted me, as a space-sim fanatic.

      Anyway the point I’m making here is that everything I see of Dangerous makes me yearn for the ‘carefree days of Elite’. It looks that good.

  19. Prolar Bear says:

    I think there is a typo here, Mr. Pearson: “and when I do it’s because the systems that they’ve put in place gives me a good footing. ”

    Game looks very very interesting. I never played Elite because I am a young’un.

  20. lautalocos says:

    while you all wait for elite, you could buy a 2D spaceship game, ring runner: flight of the sages.

    i can´t believe how that game didn´t sell well, because it was so, so damn good.
    good storyline, good gameplay, and great controls. also, multiplayer, but thats an extra.

  21. Nick says:

    Wow, it actually looks like that.. amazing! Sounds really great so far, especially the old engines/weapons/shields thing, I loved that in the X-wing games.

  22. 12inchPlasticToy says:

    Your move, Star Citizen.

  23. Tom Servo says:

    This sounds great, the power distribution mechanic was awesome in X-Wing/Tie Fighter and I am really looking forward to this game. “Take my money!” only begins to cover it.

  24. SuicideKing says:

    THAT is the kind of dogfighting i’ve been looking for.

    I’m sold on Elite, simply looking at that first video. Very FreeSpace. With a cockpit. Well, FreeSpace 2 Open has cockpit mods too, but not this stuff.

    Shield, weapon and engine power was adjustable in FreeSpace as well, and that was in 1997/1999…also the shield strength could be increased in a particular direction. Is that in elite?

    Additionally, can you:
    1. fire countermeasures?
    2. dual-link primaries and fire secondaries in pairs?
    3. Match speed?
    4. Auto target hostiles and auto match speed?
    5. coast in space after you’ve cut engines out?

    I really like the what they’re doing with the HUD and the heat mechanic. Makes a ton of sense.

    Craig, i envy you.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      People tend to forget it (I think because it was less intuitive and just flat out unnecessary to use) but some of the Wing Commander games had power and shield distribution as well.

      • SuicideKing says:

        Never played WC, so wouldn’t know…been a FS2 guy, through and through.

  25. Tuor says:

    What’s this feeling in the pit of my stomach? It burns! It burns with ENVY! Soooo much envy!

    Can’t wait till this one comes out. It’ll be time to dust off my old Saitek joystick and throttle. :)

  26. spacedyemeerkat says:

    Interesting to see how RPS’ opinion has changed along with many of its readers.

    The thirst for blood exactly a year ago was, frankly, risible.

    Just as well the shooting first and asking questions later approach was only in ones and zeros, eh?

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  28. DrScuttles says:

    This was one of those Kickstarters I was unsure about pledging towards but vaguely interested in seeing how it develops. And oh my giddy aunt, having read this I want to go into space. Right now. Guess WinUAE and Frontier will have to tide me over. Though I’ve always had a soft spot for Hardwar too.

    • Horg says:

      ”Hardwar”

      The first game to bring me space war and capitalism in one neat little package. I think I spent over 60 hours trading, pirating and upgrading before I realised there were plot missions.

    • Craig Pearson says:

      You could always try this to tide you over: http://pioneerspacesim.net/#&panel1-1

    • spacedyemeerkat says:

      Hardwar was fabulous. It required 3DFX to look any good though, didn’t it?

    • AlexHeartnet says:

      Hardwar was a genius game that rearranged the classic space sim mechanics and put it back together quite nicely. In particular the idea of having an entire game themed around greed was brilliant.

      However, the lens flare effects were absolutely terrible, and would be the one big reason not to play it.

    • Fox89 says:

      I also loved Hardwar. So gutted I can’t get it to work on either of my modern machines (including the dotEmu version)

    • soopytwist says:

      Freelancer was pretty good. In fact I might fire that up and play it again…that’s if it still works.

  29. HaVoK308 says:

    Will this game support my Track IR, CH FighterstickCH Pro Thottle/CH Pro Pedals? The price of the Alpha is a little too much for me to commit to, but I will definitely be interested when it ships. If my flight sim gear is supported. Any information regarding that would be greatly appreciated.

  30. Blue_Lemming says:

    “Here’s where those bars on the bottom right come into play. They represent the energy going into your shields, engines, and weapons. Depending on how it’s going, you can shunt extra power into one system at the expense of the other two. There are four pips along the bottom of each bar, allowing for expansion and contraction of each system. ”

    A mechanic lifted straight out of X-wing vs Tie, good call brabben, good call.

  31. MellowKrogoth says:

    Looks just amazing. David Braben and his team really seem to know what they’re doing, and with their long-term commitment to the game, we might finally get a game with planetary landings on detailed and interesting planets.

  32. Megakoresh says:

    This proves Elitism is dangerous.

  33. goettel says:

    I’ll be rockin’ gattling guns.

  34. JamesTheNumberless says:

    This gives me a “Red five standing by” feeling when what I really wanted from an Elite game (as opposed to Star Citizen) is a “captain on the bridge” kind of experience. I hope the larger ships (assuming they’re available) do this or I’ll be revoking my Panther Clipper owners club membership.

  35. Neki says:

    I hope there’s a bobblehead DLC.

  36. Buemba says:

    Wow, the game looks unbelievable and it’s still just in alpha. I’m not going to spend £200.00 to get immediate access, but the £50.00 beta pack is starting to get pretty enticing…

  37. soopytwist says:

    This with Oculus Rift…I think I might actually spunk up just thinking about it.

  38. Brothabear says:

    Thats crazy this game got to Alpha before StarCitizen. Whats really crazy is the fucking prices to enter Elites Beta/Alpha screw that game.

  39. Uncompetative says:

    I had my doubts when I saw that dev diary video, but now I know you can have a wider FOV it is okay.

  40. Phasma Felis says:

    I am frightened of David Braben’s jawbone. I feel like he could probably beat people to death with it if he wanted.

  41. sophof says:

    Appears more like an xwing vs tie-fighter sequel than an elite sequel. Now that i think about it, I’m not sure if that is a bad thing…

  42. AshRolls says:

    This has nudged ahead of Star Citizen in the drooling stakes for me now. Just so many memories of Frontier and exploring the massive universe. Please don’t disappoint me Mr Braben! Between this, Star Citizen and Limit Theory I’m a pretty happy spaceman at the moment.

  43. kinorunner says:

    Blackouts on hi-g turns I hope. Also, disable solid cockpit elements to have maximum FOV while keeping instruments readings visible, as on Head Mounted Display systems. Then, LLTV. TWS. Drones. Repair drones. Bait drones. Missiles with drones. Boarding mechs. SpecOp mechs. Discrete targeting. Combat drugs. Drugs to counter microgravity effects on the skeleton. Skeletal enhancements. Uterocockpits filled with g-reactive nanogel. Social Interaction Capable nanogel. The whole spectrum, why ever leave your cockpit? And, quarantined spaceports. ( If I was the spaceport admin, I’d NEVER let foreign pilots wander freely around, it’s crazy. Just stay in your warm utero, and watch those funny helmet people asking for a trip to YZ Canis Minoris). Funny helmet people. Slaves. Animal meat. 655.36 ly wormholes.
    Maybe CCTVs in the cabins?