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?

The release build won’t be the end – this is very much designed to be a living project, by all accounts. Planetfall, wandering around spaceships, even first-person shooty-bang are among the features planned for the years to come. Part of me worries about it going overboard and losing the essential ‘here is space, it is yours’ appeal, but I’m probably just being a silly purist.

You can pre-order now for £35 here, or join the remaining 39 days of the beta for £50 here.

I’m very excited. Despite having my cockles thoroughly warmed by early alpha experiences, I’ve been holding off doing much with the beta so as to not tire of anything. I have been living the game vicariously through Brendy’s excellent diaries, however.

Come the 16th, I shall be lost in space for quite some time.

After all these years, Elite 4 Dangerous is coming out next month. Well, I never.

85 Comments

  1. amateurviking says:

    YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS

  2. Wertymk says:

    Too bad it’s currently still pretty broken and lacking in features and probably shouldn’t be released for at least another 3-6 months.

    • nu1mlock says:

      I agree. It’s missing a lot. For me, I really want to play the game with a friend of mine (I bought us both a copy during alpha) and we’ve yet to actually play together properly.

      • profmcstabbins says:

        These two comments were enough to help me finally make up my mind about this game. (Also enough to get me to register for this site and comment). I am so excited for all of these space sims that are coming out, but I have to commit to any of them, but Elite keeps looking better and better, but with all the research I have done on the game I keep getting left with the same question:

        What the hell do you do in the game besides shoot stuff and sell it at a generic looking station?

        Now I know. Thanks.

    • Cei says:

      Totally agree. They’ve got the core mechanics sorted, but there’s actually very little content beyond “trade or shoot some stuff to get a better ship”.

      • Phantasma says:

        True.

        After they bumped up ship prices above the Asp to ridiculous MMO levels in Beta 3, for a second (or two) the cynic in me thought “is this grind their way of stretching the very meager amount of content available at the moment?”

        I really hope i’m wrong.

      • Continuity says:

        To be fair that is exactly what the Elite series has always been about, its a sandbox in the pure sense. However so far as i’m aware there is the plan to make the world dynamic with new scripted events and scenarios playing out continuously.

        Seriously though if you’re not into the “sandbox make your own fun” thing then any Elite game is almost certainly not for you.

        • GoTo2k says:

          In a reddit post someone actually described E:D very accurately as a sandbox without sand, meaning that the universe is quite static and there are few player interactions. I’ve read the “then sandbox games might not be for you” comment some times now but I think that it is not valid here. DayZ lifes from the intense player interactions while minecraft lets players create whole cities. E:D has none, or very little, of that… yet. I really hope that the universe will be more dynamic and they provide more means for meaningful player interaction. Otherwise, I see E:D mainly as a homage to the old Elite games and as something for a small fraction of die-hard fans.

        • fish99 says:

          The original Elite had to fit into 64k of ram, probably even less for the BBC micro version. I wouldn’t say it lacked content through choice but due to limitation of hardware and a tiny development team. Surely a modern version should have tons to do. Not necessarily hand scripted content, but still tons to do.

    • erjames1111 says:

      my roomate’s sister makes $86 /hr on the computer . She has been unemployed for 8 months but last month her pay was $14743 just working on the computer for a few hours. read the article,,,

      ======>>> M­a­x­-­R­e­­­v­i­­e­­w­­s­­.­c­­o­­m

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      They could easily have a bunch of features 99% complete that they just haven’t released yet. Unless you have inside knowledge, saying the game is 3-6 months out is a bit of a wild swipe, you don’t know what exactly they do and don’t have finished at this point. The assumption that the build people are currently playing includes everything they have already developed could easily be way wrong.

      • MacPoedel says:

        What would be the point of an alpha and beta if they’re holding back a lot of features. You say they might be 99% finished but since they’re not tested I say that’s highly unlikely. New features will come, but they won’t suddenly appear untested in the release version.

        • Nogo says:

          I got an email about having a pass to the Sol system with something about others needing to earn access. Could be similar to Wasteland where features are set, but art, story and larger goals are held back.

          Or maybe the price just goes down!

        • Continuity says:

          There is a gamma build to come before the release version, Gamma will be a release candidate build essentially so that is when you will see all of the features they have finished and plan to put into the release build. All of the beta builds have been intended to test certain mechanics, e.g. the peer to peer networking, the economy, the combat and weapon balance, the missions, etc, they have each had a fairly narrow focus and haven’t needed a lot of the content to achieve the testing goals.

      • FriendlyFire says:

        They also could have a module which makes your computer explode into gobs of money, but I’ll base my expectations on what’s out there and not baseless speculation.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      Likewise. As is, it’s interesting enough, but it feels like you need a full HOTAS and Oculus Rift to make the game interesting (and that’s largely due to the novelty factor and experience). There’s just not a whole lot to do and especially not many goals.

      • schurem says:

        This game doesn not set the goals for you. If you want that, look elsewhere. If you want pre-written story beats, a tight script, engaging NPC characters that tug your heart strings, look elsewhere.

        This game is about a man (or a woman) and his (or her) spaceship. Its you, the vastness of space and thats it. No more is neccesary. Make your own story. It really doesnt matter where you go, its how you get there that the games’ about.

        Might not be your cup of tea, it certainly is mine :D

        • Continuity says:

          Yep, correct. Elite Dangerous isn’t that as purely as some of the previous titles in the Elite series but fundamentally its still an Elite game with the core gameplay not having changed too much.

          Its a sandbox, you’re not given objectives or goals, you set your own or decide what factions to align with simply because you want to. There is no hand holding or being lead around by the nose, you have complete freedom within the game environment. This will turn off many gamers who are new to the series or who just aren’t experienced with more old school mechanics and thats a shame, I just hope it doesn’t hit Frontier Dev in the pocket too much at launch.

          • gwathdring says:

            There’s a difference between not “holding the player’s hand” and not giving the player any thing to do, hand held or not.

            Having a big mostly empty chunk of procedurally generated guff in which to fly my spaceship doesn’t magically become more interesting because you call it a feature. A sandbox needs *stuff.* It needs sand and shovels and plastic dinosaurs and a hose.

            Maybe that stuff will turn up in the release candidate. But whether or not the game works for you, don’t call it a sandbox when it’s just flying around in space shooting stuff. That’s not a sandbox. That’s not allowing me to make my own fun. That’s just a non-linear space-shooter. I’m not shaping the sand. I’m not building sand castles. I’m just making airplane noises in a box; which is fine! I’m actually quite fond of making airplane noises in a box.

            But that’s not a sandbox game.

    • Continuity says:

      The Beta build is not a release candidate, don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because its not in the beta (features) that they don’t have it ready. The Frontier dev team have been doing what is these days a fairly unusual thing, they have actually been using the alpha and beta builds for serious testing, and each build has been put together not to show off how far they are with the engine and content but purely to test features x y and z. This is why the balance and focus of the gameplay has been swinging wildly between beta builds.

      One thing i’m sure of, David Braben is no fool and if Frontier Developments say they can get a release build out in mid December then that is exactly what they can do.

  3. AshRolls says:

    Desperately want to buy this at launch, but personally I’ll be waiting for the Oculus Rift consumer release before I dive into this. That will be an expensive month as it will be Rift CV1, HOTAS, and new graphics card all in one go…ouch.

    • DrollRemark says:

      I worry for Frontier’s sake that a lot of people are thinking this – it seems to have become the quintessential OR game. And who knows what will be out by the time the OR actually reaches shops?

      • Premium User Badge

        Wisq says:

        To be fair, it does give them a lot of post-release time to fix bugs etc. And I’m sure there are a lot of people who aren’t waiting for the Rift, so hopefully that’s enough to keep them alive and bugfixin’ until it arrives.

    • gnodab says:

      I am thinking about doing the same thing.
      Though I am really unsure about the HOTAS. Not having had a Joystick since the mid nineties, I am somewhat out of the loop.
      Is is really worth getting the Warthog? Or go with Saitec x55 or x52. Will I need paddles as well?
      So many questions, maybe some of the Elite Pilots can help me out here?

      • Alt Muller says:

        Playing Elite with a HOTAS joystick has been an absolutely awesome experience for me as you have to adjust your throttle pretty much all the time both in and out of combat and there’s no more immersive and convenient way to do it than a dedicated thrust lever. So I say definitely get a HOTAS if you can afford one. As for the choice of model, both Warthog and x55 seem to be more real-life modern aircraft-influenced in their design. So I went with trusty old x52 Pro myself, which has more futuristic looks and, from what I gathered, is the favorite controller of the whole developer team which at the very least means guaranteed support of all its bells and whistles. It’s also cheaper so I could spend some more money on a 3-LED clip and a webcam and set up FreeTrack which, in my opinion, is another absolute must for this game while we’re all waiting for Oculus Rift.

        TL;DR If you’re generally not a simulation game fan and just want a proper controller to play Elite (and maybe Star Citizen later), I say go with x52. As for pedals, I doubt there’s real need for them since, unlike real-life aircraft, you don’t need to use rudder for maneuvering, only for aiming, and stick twist is quite adequate for that task.

        I hope I answered your questions and didn’t make too many silly mistakes doing so. If I did, I’m sorry, English isn’t my first language.

        • Rindan says:

          Every time someone apologies for their excellent English, I’m annoyed at how poor native English speakers are with their own language and how abysmal our second language uptake is.

          • Arren says:

            Seconded.

          • Alt Muller says:

            Why, thank you for the compliment. I do tend to make mistakes sometimes a native speaker would never make though, hence the apology. If I actually nailed it this time, it must mean reading examples of well-written texts, including ones by this site’s esteemed authors, is finally starting to pay off for me.

        • gnodab says:

          Wow, thanks for the comprehensive answer!
          Same goes for Slice and Zenicetus.
          It is nice to see that you can always count on the RPS community :)

          As far as the English goes, it seems fine to me. But I’m also not a native speaker, so take that as you will ;)

      • Slice says:

        Back in April Alec wrote an article comparing 3 flight sticks. Check it out: link to rockpapershotgun.com

      • Zenicetus says:

        I’m very happy with my Warthog HOTAS (especially after trying the spring removal mod for looser joystick action), but I also fly the X-Plane civilian flight sim and a few air combat sims. I think the Warthog is worth it if you’re a diehard flight sim fan as well as interested in Elite. Buying a Warthog HOTAS just for Elite might be a little over-the-top, unless you just want to see what an extremely well made metal stick feels like under you hand. Both the joystick and throttle quadrant are made to a level of build quality completely different from the plastic gaming joysticks, and they’re priced accordingly.

        As for pedals, I use Saitek Pro Combat pedals in the game, but they’re less essential than for air combat games and civilian flight sims. I don’t use them much in combat, they’re mainly for fine-tuning aim when docking and in the Supercruise mode. They do help with immersion, I think; that feeling that you’re in full control of a ship. Note that the Warthog joystick doesn’t have a twist feature, so if you don’t get pedals you’ll need to assign one switch on the HOTAS to yaw. I don’t like twist joysticks; it’s too easy to accidentally move an axis other than the one you wanted in the heat of combat. YMMV on that, I know many people like them.

        Unless you’re planning on getting an Oculus Rift right away, I’d also recommend TrackIR for headtracking, or one of the DIY solutions. There is no padlock feature in the game, and headtracking is very useful both for situational awareness in combat, and just sightseeing through your ship’s canopy. My recommended order of purchase would be HOTAS first, then TrackIR, then pedals if you want them.

      • fredc says:

        You don’t need an expensive HOTAS setup. Any stick with enough buttons and analog throttle is fine. For example, Saitek’s own AV8R, which you can get cheap used on ebay.

      • P.Funk says:

        X52. Its the essential entry HOTAS. Its no Sidewinder FFB2 when it comes to quality or infamy of being a venerable product but its affordable, easily found on craigslist, moddable to a higher quality (in a way that isn’t like surgery) and honestly the only advantage you get from a Warthog is mostly in my opinion felt in realistic hardcore flight simming. In a space sim with lots of arbitrary physics and computer assists and what not its not really going to make a difference.

        If you’re going for Rudder pedals be warned that entry level Saitek stuff is pretty low quality. It works a treat but it breaks easily so you need to baby them a bit. There’s no real difference in my opinion between Pro Flight and Combat rudder pedals aside from the way the toe brakes work, which shouldn’t matter to a space game. CH makes good stuff but in my opinion those pedals are ridiculously narrow and if you ever fancy having the stick between your legs those will basically make that not an option.

        For actual high quality rudder pedals in the same vein as the Warthog you’re looking at something like Crosswinds but those are pricey and again not really relevant to someone who’s just getting back into it.

        Saitek is good for entry level, except for the Yoke. The yoke is shit, but the X52 and maybe the X55. The X55 though seems to be a bit of a mixed bag. It repurposes the entire throttle part of the now defunct X65. The stick looks nice, has that modifiable spring, but in general I find the number of hat switches, or lack thereof, disappointing. Hats are so valuable allowing you to have 4-8 controls on a single finger position but it seems that much of those have been sacrificed in the X55 in favour of some rather pointless and inaccessible toggle switches.

        Overall for HOTAS I’d put the X52 as having an unparalleled control configuration next to everything else except for a Warthog or a CH fighterstick and throttle, but nobody really digs those CH products anymore it seems.

      • schlusenbach says:

        I haven’t bought one yet, but I read some good things about the Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas X. It’s not as good as a X52, but it costs a third of the price and seems to be very ok for Elite Dangerous. Might be a cheaper alternative.

        • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

          Yes, came to say this, I got the Thrustmaster HOTAS X for £35 on eBay, plus a £5 for a PS3 eye webcam for facetracknoir, and have been delighted with my budget oculus rift alternative. Haven’t got Elite yet (waiting for the full release) but flying helis in ARMA 3 is awesome, and Free space 2 got a new lease of life. Only downsides I see are the slight dead zone in the centre of the joystick movement and a plasticy (but suprisingly solid) feel. I’ve not played with fancier sticks though, so there may be more I’m missing out on, but I personally can’t see the point of paying another £60+ for something I doubt I’ll notice in the heat of battle.

          • TWetmore says:

            Agreed about the Thrustmaster stick (T-Flight HOTAS X Flight Stick). I had one sitting around the house and tried it with Elite and it works really well. No doubt it’s inferior to the X52 Pro, but it costs much less; right now, Amazon lists the Thrustmaster for around $45 (US) vs. $160 for the X52 Pro.

            I think it’s a great entry-level HOTAS controller, so if spending $150+ for a joystick seems too much, you should give the Thrustmaster a look. As others have said, using a HOTAS controller adds a lot to a game like Elite.

      • PoulWrist says:

        I haven’t played too much, but I did buy a CH Combat Stick and Pro Throttle. Set it all up and launched ED and was delighted, and overwhelmed, by the almost obscene amounts of input bindings the setup offers. Soooo many buttons and things to setup and the game perfectly detected all my axis and input clicks.
        Ingame it was also very smooth sailing with the sticks perfectly registering all my inputs. Rebinding keys on the fly was also possible, as one would expect of any good PC game, so any adjustments you felt like doing was immediately available.

        The game has multiple training stages that you can launch in to to help you out with the ropes… I’ll certainly need to spend some time there as it’s been around 15 yars since I last played games with a joystick.. man.

    • nu1mlock says:

      You could just get them all in different months and it wouldn’t make that specific month expensive. ;)

  4. Sp4rkR4t says:

    I’ve loved the experience of watching this core game come together, but a word of warning to everyone considering exploring this galaxy. DO NOT EXPECT A SMOOTH LAUNCH. The game still has a fuckload of issues at the minute, one of which has stopped me from playing all together and while I have been assured that it will be fixed in the next major patch (gamma on the 22nd) there are other problems and some holes yet in the game. I hope beyond all hopes that all of this is about to be addressed on the 22nd but I am more than a little worried that Frontier are so set on releasing this year they are willing to ignore some pretty major problems. Also we haven’t heard a single word about solo offline mode yet.

    • JiminyJickers says:

      The solo offline mode is definitely the main thing I’m interested in, I would have already jumped on board if they have included it.

      Hopefully there will be something about it soon.

      • fredc says:

        Not too worried about solo offline actually. Only an issue if you’re someplace with no network access (or a massive autist who simply cannot abide the idea of not being in your own universe).

        Solo online means you “benefit” from the effects of other players’ actions in terms of politics and the economy without having to be blown up by them constantly. Not much to dislike about that IMO. If you don’t want to experience that, just head towards the edge of known space where most players won’t be.

        • JiminyJickers says:

          I personally don’t care about those features, I only want to play offline. I may try solo online and normal online at some point, but I very much doubt I’ll try it for long.

          And having a personal preference different from your one doesn’t make someone autistic.

        • gwathdring says:

          What the fuck?

          1) You seem to have Autism confused with narcissism or something. Probably several somethings. You seem to have no idea what it is both because you’re using it in an insulting manner and because you’re using it in a manner that doesn’t make sense.

          2) Why the fuck are you insulting another poster for not wanting to play in an online mode that you personally don’t have any issues with?

          You should probably apologize on both counts.

        • Premium User Badge

          Phasma Felis says:

          Hey, autistic dude here. Could you maybe check out Wikipedia or something and educate yourself on what “autism” actually is? Thanks.

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      The solo offline calls are a funny one, the fact it’s online is one of the key selling points imo, when I was explaining the game to my dad (an original Elite veteran) that was his biggest woah moment “the other ships are controlled by real people!?”. Fair enough some people want it but I’ve always seen this as an MMO, I’m surprised Frontier have even agreed cater to that audience but fair play.

      As a pre-orderer (I know, I know!) curious to know what other issues are still in beta so close to launch?

      • gattsuru says:

        Some technical issues: it’s very common to have bugged missions, most frustratingly where they drop from the missions list for no obvious reason, but leave items in your cargo hold you can neither clear nor sell nor even dump. I’ve also had a mission try to deliver goods to the dock I started at, leading to similar issues.

        Performance gets really stuttery at times on some systems. Not sure why, may be related to disk speed.

        From a design perspective… Mapping long traderoutes or complicated paths is a pain in the backside, and the galaxy map in general feels underfunctional. Several upgrades make no sense to purchase at all, and it’s very hard to find the ones you actually want without landing and checking at random stations. Very few trade goods are worth moving. Mining is tedious, especially if you’re running a low-grade Refinery, and has very random returns. Missions don’t really scale well : the starting Sidewinder outfit can only really profitably run Light Hauler missions, the combat work makes sense in small fighter craft, and the heavy fighter and hauler are so expensive that only running non-mission trade loops in a medium hauler will get you into them.

        Your impact on the world, at least as of current Beta, isn’t very high: you have faction reputation, which takes so much effort to change that it might as well not matter, and… that looks to be it. There’s nothing like X3’s opportunity to build stations, though small ones might come as an update.

        It’s not a bad game — it’s no X: Rebirth — but it is limited.

        • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

          Thanks, those sound…concerning. Guess I’ll found out in December what makes it through beta un-fixed. It’s clearly going to be a great game, I have no doubt, but whether that vision will take months/years and further paid DLC to acheive, we’ll wait and see.

      • Shadowcat says:

        when I was explaining the game to my dad (an original Elite veteran) that was his biggest woah moment “the other ships are controlled by real people!?”

        Was he still excited when you explained that 90% of those people are (a) better at the game than he is, and (b) assholes?

        (I’d better add the disclaimer that I’ve not played E:D).

        • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

          Lol, no I didn’t mention that though I’m hoping to be around when he find a out!

  5. chiablo says:

    Any word on whether this is coming to Steam? I would hope that a purchase on their site would give you a Steam key if they chose to do this, but it’s enough of a concern for me that I’ll likely hold off until launch day.

    • AshRolls says:

      It’s not coming to Steam AFAIK, which is a shame as they’ll miss out on loads of market exposure / sales :(

      • Retro says:

        ..but don’t have to give valve 30% of revenue, and can set their own price instead of having it dictated to them..

        • nu1mlock says:

          Developers and publishers are able to set their own price. However, like you say, they will lose that 30%. In reality though, they’d get more than 30% more customers if they were to have their game on Steam so while giving Steam 30% of the revenue, they’d still earn more than not being on Steam.

        • silentdan says:

          Steam won’t let you charge $60 on Steam, but $40 on your own storefront. You’re not allowed to have a 30% regular-price disparity to compensate for Steam’s commission, but other than that, I’m almost certain that Steam doesn’t dictate pricing.

          And I agree with nu1mlock; they’re probably shooting themselves in the foot a little by eschewing Steam, but they’ve also got a critical mass of players already, so they’re unlikely to suffer too much as a result. It’s not going to be a sink/swim thing, they’re just just leaving money on the table, is all.

          • LionsPhil says:

            That can’t be hard-and-fast, given that games on sale for normal money on Steam have also been in pay-what-you-want bundles.

          • Retro says:

            “almost certain”.. well, check out link to puppygames.net (you need to read the comments) and link to quartertothree.com

          • subedii says:

            By apperances It’s a dev rant about how much he hates and despises his audience and idolises Phil Fish.

            But on to his main point about how Steam has killed indie devs and made their audiences worthless (It’s kind of hard to read what else he’s attempting to say in his rant)…

            Look, I’m sorry, but he has SUPER romantic ideas about what the indie scene was like on the PC circa 2000. It’s complete BS. Yeah plenty of devs charged $20 for games. Only the indie scene was crap, most of the stuff was shovelware imitations of freaking Breakout and the scene was so tiny that it didn’t even host a fraction of the devs that it currently does.

            Seriously, Price points have shrunk for some titles (I’m so terribly sorry that yet another indie platformer or asteroids clone doesn’t seem to warrant the $20 devs used to think it did), remained the same or expanded for others, and the market has opened up a WHOLE lot in the process.

            He’s dreaming of a glorious past that does not exist. Moving into 2000 onwards was the start of a major nadir for PC gaming. The glory days of 98 and 99 were behind (the classic Black Isle games, Half-Life, sims were still an “in” thing at the time). It was the launch of the Xbox, the major devs jumped on the “PC gaming is dying” bandwaggon, and being a minor dev was close to freaking impossible. And for good reason. There was no feasible online marketplace, no way to get noticed, and no way to get your game onto a larger publisher’s ticket unless you had a shed load of cash to spend on production values or sold everything of the property outright to the publisher in order to have a shot at a console release.

            The ethos was largely one of “go big or go home” and it was getting worse with the rise what could be called the modern AAA budget title. Price points were notoriously inflexible with very little range, because if you were going to launch a title then you either had to price it for a boxed release or else support a model that had sales numbers in the few thousands at most.

            Yeah I get it, he’s ANGRY. He’s ANGRY and that makes him EDGY and COOL. Just like Phil Fish and Mike Maulbeck he don’t care about no prissy PR, he’s going to tell it like it is to those ingrates! Look I’m sorry he feels hard done by the modern era of games sales, but I don’t honestly he would have fared so much better in the past before Steam took off. Quite frankly I believe a game like Revenge of the Titans would have had a FAR more likely chance of sinking without trace and with barely a murmour on any of the major gaming websites (which at the time, were primarily concerning themselves with the console market and their significantly larger publisher supported marketing budgets).

          • Premium User Badge

            Dukey says:

            It may be also that they’re going to hold off from a Steam release till they’ve made as much money as they can on their own. Then go to Steam when sales slow down.

      • Melody says:

        If a game is strong/famous enough and confident in itself, it can live without Steam and not really suffer for it.
        See: League of Legends and other MOBAs. Hearthstone and all of Blizzard’s stuff. A lot of MMOs.

        • lomaxgnome says:

          Add Minecraft and you’ve listed there pretty much every exception there is. Every other game has shown the numbers on Steam to be generally 80-90% of sales, which is why we still see games given away every day to get through Greenlight for a chance at that. Now, Elite may be close enough to the MMO genre to survive away from Steam, but what seems more likely is they want to grab as much as they can now on their own site, then do a second “release” on Steam later hoping to get more hype then. Which is probably why everyone here is saying this “release” is far from finished, and it seems safe to bet that any Steam release will coincide with a major feature upgrade.

  6. Borodin says:

    If the setting for the original Elite hadn’t been the wide open black awesomeness of space I believe it would have died very quickly. Think about it: it was very similar to Euro Truck Simulator but without any roads. The skill that was necessary to dock your ship is pretty much comparable to parking your artic.

    So what is it that Dangerous has that ETS doesn’t? Magnificent graphics and operability aside, I suggest very little.

    Hopefully they have bolted on a story, but it would have to be an extremely good one to compete with X-Wing from 1994.

    Multi-player? Maybe, if you like to play with the jerks of the world. I would prefer to enjoy the “solitude of space” in solitude.

    I’m as excited as the next gamer to see and experience what they have done, but I can’t even imagine anything that would keep me entertained better than Freelancer once I am done poking the technology.

    What am I missing?

    • lomaxgnome says:

      People love ETS2 too… does it really need to be more than that? ETS in space? A good emergent sandbox is captivating to many people. And plenty of people clamor for exact versions of classic games just with modern graphics.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      It’s ETS with more boring travel, but also with combat. I guess you’re expected to grind for a good ship and then enjoy pew pewing. That’s pretty much the draw of most space sims anyway, Freelancer included.

      I’ll admit I’m still completely amazed that they still don’t give you market values of goods for other bases. Makes the entire trading exercise frustrating and off-putting.

    • Premium User Badge

      Dukey says:

      “The skill that was necessary to dock your ship is pretty much comparable to parking your artic.”

      I dunno. I’ve pretty much mastered parking my spaceship. Still can’t reverse a trailer for the life of me.

  7. almostDead says:

    I am concerned, from watching, not playing, about what there is to actually do in this iteration. Back then, fine, it was amazing just to be able to go from A to B, but now?

    I would buy a new rig just to play space man, with voice control and other toys, but I could see getting very bored going to similar environments just to sell something.

    I’m sure it has a lot of DLC mission potential, but looks dull activity wise now.

    I see someone has posted exactly the same issue as me above, and I agree with the answer.

    • bill says:

      I haven’t played at all, but I was wondering the same thing. I haven’t seen any trailers or anything that explained what you actually DO in the game.
      The flight model and ship look great, but that’s all i’ve really seen.

      I loved space sims, and I played a ton of them back in the day, but there were many many space sims in the vein of Elite that were basically just flying from point to point in empty space with the occasional random battle. Almost all of them I enjoyed for a short while, and then got bored as you were basically just repeating the exact same thing again and again.
      (I wonder if this is why space sims died out, as there wasn’t much to do/add)

      Maybe that’s why I always preferred the story driven games like Tie Fighter.

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      It’s basically a very geeky sandbox. For someone like me I know I’ll be happy just exploring and seeing systems and worlds I’ve never been that close to before. If your someone that gets a kick out of finding a binary star system or looking into the real night sky, picking a star (not a galaxy, the game’s limited to the mere billions of stars in the milky way) and making it your mission to fly there and see what’s orbiting it then this is the ideal game.

      For those needing a little more incentive it could be a challenge, ostensibly the only progression is becoming ‘Elite’ by doing lots of space murder but there’s a load more you can do, just all really with the purpose of money money making. You need to make your own fun and it’ll be interesting to see where that takes the game. I think they’ve missed a trick by keeping some EVE like MMO opportunities at bay, but there’s always the DLC.

      See Brendans diary for some inspiration, but my personal initial goal is to reach Sol and buzz past our little blue planet. Apparently it starts the game deep in Federation space so I need to either get in with the Federation lot or find some sneakier way to traverse their space without getting blown up. That and generally Han Solo my way in and out of trouble with hold fulls of contraband.

      • bill says:

        Makes sense. But space tends to be a rather empty sandbox. Something like GTA or Just Cause has a lot of different toys that you can play with in the sandbox, and they all interact and collide in different ways. Space is like a giant swimming pool – you can swim from A to B, you can splash around a bit, but if you don’t have any friends to play with or any toys then there’s not much else you can do.

        Most of the sandboxy space games I played mainly involved going from planet A to planet B in a straight line as fast as possible.

        • gwathdring says:

          My feelings as well. Only amplified by just how many loyal (and, it should be noted, content) backers are saying it’s not ready for release.

  8. Boosh says:

    Baffled by this, it feels too soon. I’ve played regularly from alpha the problems are myriad still, and it feels content-lite in all honesty. Surprising, and I’m left wondering why the apparent rush.

    Only thing I can think of is Braben always said this would be just the start, I think they’ll continue with pretty rapid development and consider this release an acceptable baseline.

  9. Dante80 says:

    They also made a pretty cool video about their development plan after release.

    I’m mostly looking forward to the planetary expansion stuff. For example…

    Cephei Sector QT-A B4-0
    link to imgur.com

    want to go down there dammit…if they manage it, we will finally have a worthy sequel to Frontier.

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  11. Phantasma says:

    I can only echo some of the sentiments here in this thread.

    On the one hand i already had my 60€ worth of fun during the betas, got a very strong appreciation for what Frontier has achieved and am continously impressed by their updating pace.

    But i absolutely can’t see a 2014 release being a good thing.

    The foundation is all there, live and kicking, but many of the newer implemented systems feel like early alpha material.

    At the same time i can sense some serious “Semi” Early Access fatigue kicking in (for me personally and on a more general level).
    All this “we’re not done patching after the release” and “continual development” sounds nice and exciting, but more and more people come to realise, that it sometimes is a rather convenient excuse for developers to basically release late betas and get the full 1.0 sales and media coverage.

    Now i’m in no way presuming, that this are David Brabens intentions, but i can imagine the public may see it that way, if they shove Elite out of the door in a month’s time.

    I hope i’m too pessimistic but i want the game to be a resounding success.
    And for that to happen, a few more months would appear to be the absolute minimum.

    Still, fingers crossed.

    • subedii says:

      I never see a “we’ll continue developing”, incomplete and premature 1.0 release as a good thing. You only get one shot at a launch, and the game isn’t going to get reviewed a second time. It seems like a great way to have your game get castigated on launch and promptly forgotten by any potential audience by the time it eventually gets completed, assuming it even does get completed and you weren’t depending on a massive sales boost from 1.0 to allow you to finish the title.

      • Zenicetus says:

        First of all, this isn’t a brand new title that has to live or die on launch day. A great many people have been waiting for many years for something like this to enter the PC game market again. It’s an existing market, it funded the Kickstarter, and it will continue to fund the game’s further development through expansions.

        In online discussions like this, I think the game is being compared against the wrong audiences and game markets. This is much more like an open-ended air combat or civilian flight sim than anything else.

        Look at the history of “sandbox” flight simulators. MS Flight Simulator on the PC dates back to 1982 with a continuous history and fanbase since then, and it’s still going strong after MS abandoned it. X-Plane dates back to 1982 on the PC and it’s still going strong.

        Neither one of those sims has any combat, and neither one happens IN SPACE. That’s the key here. There is a market for this type of game, but it’s not going to be the next Call of Duty or World of Warcraft. It doesn’t have to be. It just has to attract enough people who appreciate the flying-in-space sandbox nature of the game, and can bring enough of their own goals and role-playing into the game to make it worthwhile. Me, I’m heading out to the Crab Nebula to see if Frontier has actually placed a pulsar there.

  12. ChrisCorr says:

    Look at that. A game I’ve been waiting for my whole life, so to speak, and it comes out on my birthday. That’s very nice.

    • Armante says:

      Happy Birthday :)

      Do yourself a favour and buy this for yourself. It’s awesome.

  13. fredc says:

    Have to say I haven’t experience the “myriad of issues” other people have had, although I’ve not spent solid days hauling fish for a Lakon Type 9. Had a couple of stations whose orbit was physically within a planet’s atmosphere (meaning they’re unreachable) and some bulletin board hijinx. Had a grand total of one crash when purchasing a ship, but as the game saves your game state regularly that had zero effect on me. Admittedly I play either on group or solo and not the full public server, so maybe that’s where the problems lie?

    Content and sheer sandboxiness I do agree with. Braben said originally that we wouldn’t need a big scripted campaign, because we’d have procedural generation and emergent behaviour responding to player actions. We’ve only really seen the beginning of this in Beta 3 with factions, parties, philanthropy missions etc. and a scripted (?) conflict in a couple systems. It’s some way from his original description of the various factions and systems basically conducting interstellar warfare and diplomacy in a living world/universe type setting. So far, they haven’t really got close to procedural generation (even with player input) eliminating the sandbox feel.

  14. racccoon says:

    Its a smart business plan, allowing players to get in, I think , even today’s build is a great experience for all, its bold & far better to go out there into the world, than be constantly locked into a theatrical propagandas of graphical displays in a tangled mess that is Star Citizen’s current position.
    Good one, Elite Dangerous. Showing just how a developer should create a skilful space game, reaching out to all the masses come what may.
    I know you’ll enjoy it.& enjoy the challenges that you have to face by bettering your skills!. :)

  15. Husa says:

    I have really liked Elite for what it has so far. My only gripes are with the fact that there really isn’t squad play yet. I hope they’ll include that before release.

    It runs fine on my antique rig (i920+GTX670) and still looks awesome. I’m a sort of on-off player so I’d like that theyd tweak mining. Now you don’t really get anything from mining vs. trading. And mining is an active duty. I’d love to mine if it meant that I can go take a crap while waiting, even if the profits aren’t that good :D

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      Haha, that’s a great shout. Slightly immersion breaking, a mid mining crap, but a realistic space faring concern.

  16. TheSplund says:

    I popped over to the website and was immediately put off by the paragraph starting ‘This is just the beginning’ – it’s still an unfinished game and I won’t be buying this until it’s a lot, lot, closer to being really complete

  17. soopytwist says:

    You’re sh*tting me. You mean I’m actually going to have a PC game to play for Xmas? Oh this is going to be the best Xmas ever!