Posts Tagged ‘Frontier Developments’

Elite Dangerous Impressions, #2 – Finding A Fight

Continuing a short series in which I get to grips with the newly-released Elite: Dangerous and document my thoughts about the game as I do.

I’d made this pledge to myself – that I’d learn this game without help. It has not been at all easy. Elite Dangerous only wants to impart a bare minimum of information to me, and while a large part of me digs working it out for myself, often I’m hitting brick walls. For instance:
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Elite Dangerous Is Out, Here Are Our Review Plans

Elite: Dangerous is out! Perhaps it’s just me, but isn’t it weird to live in a world where that’s not a bigger deal? Oh, I’m looking forward to getting in there and having a proper play, certainly. But the alpha and the beta and the gamma have been around for months, and somehow it feels like an anti-climax given the long, chilly decades of longing for a new Elite game that preceded it.

This’ll be Half-Life 3 one day. In the meantime, let me tell you about our review plans.

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Elite Dangerous Launch Video More Dangerous Than Game

Oh, the casual disregard for meaning that forms the backbone of marketing. This Elite: Dangerous launch trailer doesn’t mark the launch of the game, because that happens next week on December 16th. It’s game-like footage doesn’t actually show the game, since it’s all pre-rendered. And it’s not representative of the activities you’ll perform in the game because you can’t walk about on foot and while it’s certainly capable of spinning frantic space battles, it’s mostly a game about being an intergalactic courier.

Don’t get me wrong. I like the game that way and I don’t mind a bit of a light show for its own sake, so watch the trailer below.

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Elite: Dangerous Rethinks Refund Refusals

Don't go in there.

As ill-conceived plans often will, Frontier’s refund criteria for Elite: Dangerous have changed. When Frontier announcement last week that their open-world space sim wouldn’t have the offline single-player mode billed since its Kickstarter, only multiplayer and an online singleplayer mode that requires a net connection and is affected by other players, some folks wanted a refund. Frontier’s response was a little hazy, but clear on one point: if they’d paid for alpha or beta access and played it online, they couldn’t get a refund. They’re rethinking that now.

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Offline This – Elite Dangerous Refund Plans Detailed

Little bleak out here.

When Frontier Developments announced a week ago that they’d scrapped Elite: Dangerous‘s promised offline singleplayer mode, they were a little hazy on what would happen for folks who wanted a refund. It was a feature Frontier had listed on the Kickstarter that raised over £1.5 million, after all, and one they still teased as Elite went through its expensive paid alpha and beta stretches. Well, Frontier now have some vague policy on refunds, and it’s questionable: if you’re played at all, you can’t have one.

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The Elitist, Part Five: Hunting Dogs

Brendan continues his life as space misfit in our Elite Dangerous Diary. In this final entry, he finds himself settling down among the stars with a steady delivery job. But how long can the simple life last?

There she is, the Asp Explorer. A gargantuan beast of a spaceship, she is able to blast every wannabe outlaw out of the sky and still jump 10 lightyears to drop off one-hundred tonnes of coffee to some jittery, caffeine-starved miners two systems away. Able to function both as a military vehicle and a civilian transport, she is the interstellar equivalent of a Land Rover. Standard fittings include multi-cannons, heat sinks, point defence turrets. Average engine mass of 500 tonnes, power usage threshold of 17.00mw. She is wonderful. I watch as the Asp veers over my head, out of the docking bay and into the black beyond. The Asp is not my ship. No. This is my ship…

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Elite: Dangerous Ditches Offline Singleplayer Plans

Nyoom.

When Frontier took to Kickstarter to fund Elite: Dangerous in 2012, netting £1,578,316, they said folks would be able to play an offline singleplayer mode. They weren’t entirely sure how it’d work, given that many of their space sim plans involved an online and interconnected galaxy, but they said it’d be in there. With Elite’s official launch less than a month away, Frontier have now said that won’t happen. It’ll have an online singleplayer mode, as always planned, but no offline support.

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The Elitist, Part Four: Spacer, Miner, Robber, Jerk

Brendan’s misadventures in deep space continue in our Elite: Dangerous diary. This week, he tries out the new features of Elite’s Beta 3.0.

I was lounging in Alison City station listening to to the Lauren Laverne show when the call came in. I say “when the call came in” to give you the image of a space rat in his natural habitat, feet up on the sensor monitor, drinking spiced wine and flicking the dust off the thruster in boredom until his screen lights up with “INCOMING MESSAGE” and he dives for the comms panel. What I really mean is: “when the bulletin board lit up”. The bulletin board marks all the jobs in Elite’s many space stations. My eyes fell from one job to the other – dead, fed-up eyes – then faltered and stopped as they saw a plain-looking advert marked “Light cargo transports required”.

I slouched closer to the screen, utilising the powerful hunch that would inevitably give me repetitive strain injury. This can’t be right, I thought. 174,000 credits for one job? That’s crazy. I’d be lucky to get 20,000 for a single gig. I clicked on the ad. The orders: take 18 tonnes of gold to Foucault Landing. Good lord, is that all? I instantly accepted the job and smiled an obnoxious, greedy smile. Then I looked at my mission screen. That’s where I saw the catch.

I had 14 minutes to get there.

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A Spaceship For Christmas – Elite: Dangerous Dated

Fear not, people who’ve been getting confused or offput by alphas and betas and premium betas: Elite: Dangerous is in for a full release (complete with a more affordable price) on December 16th.

Dear me from two years ago: hey, Elite 4’s coming out in a few weeks. Betcha never expected that, eh?
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Space Whir: Elite Dangerous Beta 3 Out, New Trailer

Frontier have been adamant all along that Elite: Dangerous would be in final form before the end of the year, but floating around its fun-but-feature-sparse galaxy made me think a delay was inevitable. Then beta 2 hit in September, vastly expanded the playable area and added new exploration mechanics. And now beta 3 has just arrived, bringing mining, an even larger galaxy, new ships and much more. Watching the new trailer below, suddenly it seems like this might really happen.

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The Elitist, Part Three: Picking A Fight

Brendan’s misadventures in deep space continue in our Elite: Dangerous diary. This week, he gears up for some risky bounty hunting and runs into his old foes, the space police.

It was the silence that worried me. I had dropped out of warp into a pocket of space marked on my navigation chart as a ‘High Intensity Combat Zone’, and yet when I looked into the distance there was nothing but empty, quiet space. The only thing on my sensors was another lonely player, floating through the noiseless void, probably just as spooked as I was. It did not make sense. Where was everyone? Then we heard it. The instantly recognisable sound of trouble.

WHOMP.

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The Elitist, Part Two: The Exploratory Romp

Brendan continues on his journey through space in this series on Elite: Dangerous. This week, he sets out to discover strange new worlds, in search of profit and prestige.

Well, here we are. The rickety, unsanctioned outposts of the Gamma Serpentis system, where dismantled shipwrecks lie opposite a huge skull mural painted, somehow, in Zero G. I’m sitting on landing pad number 1 of the Tepper Relay outpost, brimming with fury. Not because I have been blown up in some ridiculous crash, or because I’ve been mugged by an intergalactic pirate king, but because I have gone all across the starways in search of glory and this — this! — is all I have to show for it. A measly, pathetic, laughable 459 credits and a parking spot in the interstellar equivalent of South Armagh.

Sigh. Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. It is possible to do that in the space-age era. (No, I mean you can literally get ahead of yourself, something to do with faster-than-light travel). Let me start from the beginning.

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The Elitist, Part One: How To Make Money In Space

Elite: Dangerous was recently updated with some new features. Brendan takes us on a journey through space in this new series, where he will be exploring faraway stars and getting into trouble with the space police.

My first mistake was packing my cargo hold full of stolen explosives. My second mistake was trying to fly that cargo full of explosives, at high speed and with my engines off, through a tiny opening in a giant space station. By the time I realised my trajectory was all wrong, I had already belly-flopped into the metallic surface of the station, hundreds of metres away from the gateway I had intended to speed through. I exploded on impact. Such is the fate of many pilots who try to emulate the Isinona Manoeuvre.

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