Elite: Dangerous Powerplay Update To Add Faction Wars

Picking fights is a lark and all in Elite: Dangerous [official site], but you’re all a bunch of kids playing slapsies and shovefight in the park, really. No, grown-ups pick fights because someone else told them to. Elite will wander down this path with its next update, introducing factions which players can choose to ally with as they vie for control of the galaxy.

The ‘Powerplay’ system, announced last week, will let players join factions to compete and cooperate with each other in whichever way their faction prefers, whether it’s economic power, military might, or goodness knows what else. There are, of course, rewards.

Factions are trying to build their own little empires, with their own goals, ethos, and figureheads. Senator Denton Patreus of the Empire looks like a right dick. Serving your faction will net you better deals and, interestingly, a bigger say in what they’ll tackle next. Each week brings new objectives, see, and players vote on what their faction will get up to next week.

“One of my favourite parts of Powerplay is how the objectives match the faction’s ethos,” lead designer Sandro Sammarc said in the announcement. “For example, if a major economic Power sends in their traders for a financial takeover against a military powerhouse, the other side may be tasked with piracy missions to destroy or loot their cargo. You can always be a trader or a miner or a pirate for your own ends, but by joining a Power you’ll be afforded special rights and be rewarded for playing the way you already like to play.”

Also, obviously, you get to pick fights with penalties if folks from enemy factions come round your manor. The blog post also talks of interesting stuff like minor groups and splinters graduating to full faction status if enough people support them, and factions may be wiped out.

Along with Powerplay, the update will bring new drones, new ships, and other odds and ends. Do read the post for the full run-down.


  1. Monggerel says:

    “Guy looks like a dick”

    Slap a hat on him and he’s Che Guevara. Slap another hat on top of that and he’s Fidel Castro.
    I do hope he signs his bills as “Dick”.

  2. Duke Nukem says:

    In other news, people who bought the game before it was on Steam still don’t have Steam keys…

    • Mungrul says:

      In other other news, I had the game before it was released on Steam, and couldn’t give a damn about getting a Steam key.
      I can add Elite to Steam as a third-party game, which gives me all of the functionality that people who bought it on Steam get.

      There are no trading cards and no achievements for the Steam release of Elite, so I’m not missing out on anything financial or ePeen-wise either.

      In short, stop beating a dead horse and derailing a post with petty irrelevancies.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        It’s good that you don’t care, but my jedi senses tell me someone might.

      • Duke Nukem says:

        It’s OK that you don’t care, but why are you bashing people who do?
        I bought the game on their store because Braben said that it wouldn’t be coming to Steam. I like having my games on Steam, and it’s not the same as playing with the overlay enabled (which I did all the time when the game wasn’t on Steam)
        With a non Steam copy+overlay you can’t upload screens or videos to the game hub, can’t broadcast to said hub, can’t measure the game time, can’t see it on your profile, etc.

        The other thing that really bothers me is that Frontier keeps telling people that giving Steam keys to previous customers will cost them money because Valve charges for those and as far as I know that’s a lie (there are many documents which say that issuing Steam keys is free for devs)
        If it’s true I’d like to see some proof, of course.
        And not, it’s not Valve’s fault as someone says here. Valve makes a lot of mistakes, but this isn’t on them.

        • Mungrul says:

          Because you’re posting in a comments section for an article that has nothing to do with Steam keys and Elite simply because you and others like you can’t stop harping on about it.


          The price is the same, and by simply adding Elite as a third-party app, you get all the Steam overlay benefits.
          Can’t believe I’m having to say this twice.

          Unless of course your ulterior motive is to try and weedle a second copy of the game out of Frontier for nothing.

          • Mungrul says:

            And I’ll have to check videos (I never bother recording them, so they have no impact on my day-to-day gaming), but I’m 100% certain that Steam allows you to upload screenshots you’ve taken in third-party games.
            My Steam account has loads of Guild Wars 1 and 2 pictures on it.

          • Duke Nukem says:

            “Unless of course your ulterior motive is to try and weedle a second copy of the game out of Frontier for nothing.”

            Really? I mean, you felt necessary to try to make me appear as someone who’s trying to steal a game?
            Frontier doesn’t need to give me a second copy of the game. They just have to link my existing account to a Steam key and that’s it. No second copy, no weird stuff.
            And yes, there are benefits, though you conveniently skipped them from my post:

            With a Steam copy you can upload screenshots to the community hub (as opposed to uploading them to my own profile without them being linked to the game in the Community tab) same goes for videos, and you can also broadcast the game to the same Community hub.
            You can also track time played and the game shows up in your Steam profile.

            So, as you can see, it’s not the same as adding it as non Steam.
            Anyways, what I don’t understand is your need to attack people who are asking for something that you don’t care about. It’s not like you are losing anything, then why bother?

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            And yet you look like the biggest troll on here.


            I mean did you even read the post you replied to? How’s that your problem if people feel that Steam features are a selling point?

          • Mungrul says:

            Why do I feel the need to address you? Because, as I said the very first time I responded to you, your initial post had nothing to do with the content of the story and chose instead to focus on one little nitpick the majority of the community couldn’t care less about, simply to further your own agenda.

          • jrodman says:

            Mungrul: You seem to be arguing that it’s invalid to make posts that miss the point of the context in which they are placed. Unfortunately, you committed this act yourself.

          • clom says:

            I live in a country where for some reason the ED launcher doesn’t want to update, updates at 2kB/s or loses connection after updating at 2kB/s for two hours. It doesn’t seem to matter if I use VPN or not.

            The ED launcher is such a lovely piece of software for not bothering to re-connect automatically after update fails due to connection error :-)

            So, unplayable/unlaunchable. I never bothered asking for a refund for this as Frontier didn’t seem to give a flying f*ck about paying customers that complained about lack of offline only mode at release – I’d guess they’d ignore me too and I really have better things to waste my time on. Like writing this post apparently, which I felt urged to write after reading your rather nuanced opinion. Doh!

            Steam works perfect most of the time where I live. I’d like to give ED a try on this platform. Also, if I had known it was coming to steam I would have waited for that. They have a proven infrastructure as far as I my own personal experience is concerned. I’m not buying the game again though.

            Credit to Braben for having the skills of releasing a minimum viable product and generate massive revenue even before official 1.0 release, but customer service is lacking. I’m not buying another Frontier product until they sort out the steam keys for their existing customers.

      • Synesthesia says:

        In yet another news, i preordered, and do give a damn. Thanks!

    • ironman Tetsuo says:

      I don’t have my Steam key yet and I couldn’t care less. I’m not sure how having one will change my game experience in the slightest….

      • GoTo2k says:

        What really surprises me is this kind of attitude were people expect Frontier to just give them Steam keys. In my opinion, if you did not buy it on Steam you have no right whatsoever to demand a key from FD. If they give out keys then that’s cool, but they really don’t have to do anything in that direction.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          Many people would have postponed their purchase if they knew about Steam plans.

          Come to think of it, many people would have avoided the game in the first place if they knew about the offline plans.

          I’m starting to see a pattern here.

    • Trotar says:

      you could ofcourse complain about that everywhere. Or you complain about it at Valve, where the cause of this problem comes from.

      • Hunchback says:

        Valve? Why bitch at Valve for not giving you a key? How do they even know you bought the game somewhere else? And as someone else said, why would anyone give you a free key if you bought the game somewhere else anyway? Do you get keys on GoG for all your Steam games? And then again, what does it even matter? I mean, really?

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          Given the choice, i would have a steam key for every single game of mine, even those requiring Origin and other services.

          Maybe i’m stupid, but if i am a lot of people are like me, which means that we stupid people are a big market!

        • Trotar says:

          I don’t care about the key myself. So I agree with you that it doesn’t really matter.
          The reason why people that look to blame someone should focus on Valve is because they are restricting the developers of the games in providing keys.

          • Duke Nukem says:

            I’m sorry but that’s a lie. Valve isn’t restricting anyone, in fact, they issue keys for free in that kind of situation (and there are countless examples, the most similar one that I can think about is Shroud of the Avatar, which provided keys to backers before even appearing in the Steam store)

    • SaintAn says:

      Why would you want Steam keys? Steam is garbage and is a DRM. Get them to put the game on a respectable and trustworthy site like GOG if you want it on something. Steam will fuck you for using their hub.

      • Asurmen says:

        Because some people want what Steam offers. You might not like it but some do.

  3. John Connor says:

    So they’re adding more of the same crappy missions, but now you’re doing them for factions?

    What I want to know is:

    1. When are they fixing combat logging, so people can’t just log out to escape combat. (.Seriously, they made the game online-only, and then didn’t think maybe an online-only game should do PVP properly.)

    2. When are they implementing anti-aliasing that actually works.

    3. When exploration is going to involve more than just scanning the same old planets and stars. There is currently an entire galaxy and nothing worth discovering.

    4. When they are going to give the game a point beyond just getting to the next best ship and grinding for the next one.

    5. When they are going to fix co-op so you don’t have to play musical chairs to get in the same instance as your friends.

    5a. When they are going to make co-op missions actually a thing.

    When people say Elite has the breadth of an ocean but the depth of a puddle they are not exaggerating. It has so much potential but the developers don’t seem interested in addressing anyone’s concerns about it.

    Right now it feels like we’re the beta test for the console versions.

    • ironman Tetsuo says:

      1. All games suffer from it, it’s not an easy fix but you can report players that do it and punishments can be dolled out. Ways of tracking behaviour are already implemented to make this process easier

      2. No idea, looks fine on my machine

      3. it has since the Wings update, but the galaxy is a big place…

      4. The point in playing is to play, I’ve never felt the need to buy a bigger ship just because…

      5. I’ve had a few issues with multiplayer but nowhere near enough to actually impact my game experience. I regularly fly in a wing with friends without hassle

      5a. 1.3 Powerplay update

      • John Connor says:

        1. No they don’t. Most games with PVP have a logoff timer where the player stays in the world for a set duration after losing connection.

        2. You must need glasses.

        3. It really hasn’t. I have gone pretty far out and found nothing. A big universe is useless if it’s empty.

        4. No, the point of playing is to have a meaningful, entertaining experience. Elite can be entertaining when your enemies don’t combat log, but it’s far from meaningful.

        5. Good for you.

        5a. If you’re making a multiplayer only game, this shit should have been there at launch.

        • Mungrul says:

          I won’t comment on your other points John Connor, but point 2, regarding anti-aliasing, I’m with ironman Tetsuo: anti-aliasing in my game looks fine.
          What graphics hardware are you running?
          Are you maybe forcing anti-aliasing to a different setting through the control panel for your graphics hardware?
          What resolution monitor are you running the game on?

        • ironman Tetsuo says:

          1. Doesn’t work in a Peer 2 Peer game, in fact doing so would give certain “users” the ability to make you log off so they could kill you without resistance. Besides, I find there is more to enjoy in Elite than shooting at players in T6s doing Rare runs…

          2. /Blinks

          3. It’s a BIG Galaxy

          4. I have a meaningful and entertaining experience with Elite

          5. cheers!

          5a. Well we can’t turn back time, we either forgive and forget or move on. It’s not like Elite has been abandoned but your “console” comment certainly puts the rest of your rant in context. /adjusts tin-foil

          • aepervius says:

            Not saying it is not a big galaxy , but you keep stating that as if it imply variety, whereas the other guy complain that yes the galaxy is big but there is nothing to discover.

            Maybe you could city what there is so to discover ?

            Because so far as I can tell, except some stuff like black hole and probes, the rest is just finding planets…But the guy above and I could be wrong. Why not cite example rather than repeatidely state “it is a big galaxy”.

          • Asurmen says:

            His point being is that it IS a big galaxy. The chances of finding something unique and different is slim to none. Every every system is unique than none are, plus unique aspects probably require crafting by hand and that’s waaay too much effort for a galaxy.

    • Perjoss says:

      Sounds like you hate the game, why do you even play it?

    • Dr Wookie says:

      Actually, the missions system is being overhauled in 1.3, whether you join a faction or not; the current system is totally anemic and badly needs it!

      1 Always online does not mean PvP should be top priority, although I agree that it’s a problem. If enough people report a player, then FD can banish them from open play for a while.

      2 ED looks great on my machine

      3 In last week’s AMA, David Braben said that there was new stuff already added for explorers to find in 1.2. Space is biiiiig, and I looks like no one has found any yet.

      4 Powerplay looks to address exactly that, since you will be helping shape the political landscape of civilized space, either promoting the cause of someone you like, or crushing someone else you hate. I already hate Patreus, and look forward to undermining the guy any way I can.

      5a Online only does not mean multiplayer only. However, I do think that the game was released to the public a few months before it was ready; it sounds like 1.3 makes the game how the developers envisioned it for the initial release.

    • derbefrier says:

      Wow no logout timer for pvp. Thats kind of a huge oversight. Some thing. Thats been a basic feature for the past 10 years at least in any Mmo pvp game. For a game that touts online connectivity and multiplayer it sure does seem like it was an after thought with how basic its implementation is.

    • vahnn says:

      4. I’m still cruising around in my Viper, sitting on multiple millions. Don’t feel the need to upgrade to another ship, have never flown anything else except the Sidewinder. Having a blast killing poor fools (in consensual pvp) and other such fun things.

    • fredc says:

      My big worry for Elite is now the console version. It’s a sales opportunity they apparently can’t ignore, which could of course fuck the whole thing up and turn it into EVE crossed with Battlefield something something PRESS F REPEATEDLY TO BE A SPACE ASTRO DUDE.

      The grind thing is regularly complained about, despite the fact that nothing compels you to buy a bigger or better ship. I don’t spend days on the thing, but since release I’ve bought exactly one ship, and it was cheap. You can fly around in a freewinder as long as you like and it’s not like you have to upgrade to survive (but see console concerns above).

      In fact, the bigger ships are so entirely optional that I wonder if they were put there precisely for MMO players, who would no doubt complain vociferously if they weren’t able to spend weeks of their lives doing boring, repetitive tasks for no good reason.

      The whole powerplay thing sounds like a massive improvement on the mission system and I’ll probably be spending more time with Elite once it comes out.

  4. rabbit says:

    Will keep an eye on this … would love for them to add a bit more substance to the game as it was so so much fun before the fun ran out.

    Anyone – have there been any other major / important updates in the last three, four, five months or so?

    • Dr Wookie says:

      The last update was hailed as a game changer, and very well received. This introduced the concept of wings where up to 4 players can group up for a range of benefits. NPCs can wing up too… I was interdicted yesterday by an anaconda and two other ships.

      • rabbit says:

        thank you! sounds real good – will get back to tryna convince a pal to buy it :)

  5. Hunchback says:

    To change the usual drama and hate that seems to follow ED everywhere now, i’d like to point out that i actually enjoy the game and don’t regret my purchase. And i buy games very rarely, since we recently started our own business with the wife after a long period of unemployement on my side, so we ain’t swimming in cash.

    Aaand in light of this, i wanted to know if there’s other RPS folks who play this and enjoy it, and would maybe want to play together? Because the only real problem i’ve had with ED so far is that i’ve basically never encountered another real person, and i’d love to fly and kill pirates or maybe even pirate myself or whatever with someone, it’s always more interesting that way… Especially with the incoming Factions update, i believe team play will have a bigger sense and will be fun.

    If anyone’s interested, my ingame name is Lyesainer. I am currently based in the middle of nowhere in Empire space, farming rep with the Empire by hunting rats on the resource extraction sites. Add me ingame if you’d like to play together in the evenings, EU times.

    • farsey says:

      Yeah I’m in the same situation also looking for some people to bounty hunt with. My ingame id is farsey if you want to add me I’m around most evenings uk time :-)

    • Tim the Corsair says:

      For anyone struggling to find people to play with and who want to add some depth to the game: I really recommend joining a player organisation. I was bored of ED until I joined the East India Company, but now there’s always people to play with and (entirely optional) operations to run.

      Have a look at the subreddit to find details on tonnes of groups, all with different allegiances, goals, and playstyles.

    • TheNavvie says:

      I bought this game when it appeared on Steam. I’m having a lot of fun with it. No defined goals, other than reaching Elite status, just like the original game. In fact, I hope I can avoid all this powerplay faction stuff and just play my own game for a bit longer.

      When I played Elite in the 80s, I could lose entire weekends to the game. In the past few weeks I’ve only managed about 40-50 hours as making time for the game isn’t so easy now. Currently flying a Cobra that I’m kitting out to go exploring and get out of the core systems for a little while. I was hoping to do so in the Adder but it’s just a little too small in my experience.

  6. vahnn says:

    I’ve read that opening sentence about a dozen times now and it still doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe something is lost in translation from English to American.

    • Asurmen says:

      Shovefight is fairly self explanatory.

      Slapsies is a game about slapping hands. Two people sit close together facing each on, both with their own hands palms together like they’re praying, except the fingers are now parallel to the floor. One person is the slapper and one is the slappee. The slapper has to slap the other person’s hand on the now sides of the hands with their own hands. They can use either hand to slap.

      The slappee can pull their hands out of the way. They have 3 dodges by simply jerking their hands out of the way of a slap. The slapper can bluff a slap causing the slappee to use one of their dodges. If they use all 3 dodges due to a bluff, the slappee has to rotate their hands 90 degrees so one of their hands knuckles are now facing the ceiling, and the slapper gets one free mega slap. It is then reset and the slappee has 3 dodges again.

      If a dodge if successful against a real slap they swap and they are now the slapper. It’s a game of bluffs and reactions, with the added bonus of causing pain to your peers. Game continues until someone gives up or gets bored.

      • Asurmen says:

        This may infact be the only useful post I ever make on RPS, and I’ve wasted it on explaining slapsies. Sigh. I should also point out there might be variations on this, but the basic premise is the same. Hands get slapped and they get slapped hard.

        • simontifik says:

          You haven’t wasted anything my friend. That is a wonderful and coherent explanation of the game ‘slapsies’. For reference here in Australia we used to refer to it simply as ‘slaps’.

  7. SuicideKing says:

    Picking fights is a lark and all in Elite: Dangerous [official site], but you’re all a bunch of kids playing slapsies and shovefight in the park, really.

    “Picking fights is fun and all in Elite: Dangerous, but you’re all a bunch of kids playing red hands/hot hands and shovefight** in the park, really.”

    *I probably qualify as a native English speaker, but I’m Indian and haven’t touched Her Majesty’s soil in 15 years, so I had to google a bit.

    **No clue what this is, probably a playful fighting/wrestling thing that Brit teens do (7 year old kids certainly didn’t).

  8. Hitchslapped says:

    I thought all the Elite players have already been bored to death. And I mean that literally, I honestly fear this game is so boring you could die.