Elite: Dangerous Horizons Shows Off Moon Buggies

If the last 22 second clip of planet surface searching wasn’t enough to whet your whistle, Frontier Developments hosted an hour-long livestream this week that showcased the upcoming Elite: Dangerous [official site] expansion Horizons’ surface recon vehicles. Surface recon vehicles – or SRVs to us inter-galactic intermediate types – are essentially dune buggies in space and look hella cool.

I can just imagine us now, tearing up the surface of an alien planetscape, one hand on the wheel, opposite elbow propped on the arm rest, the zero atmosphere not blowing through our hair. If fact, why imagine? Take a small step or giant leap inside to see it for real.

Well, not for real, but as per Frontier’s Elite: Dangerous Horizons interpretation (skip to seven minutes for the action):

Looks like fun, eh? Whilst it’s nice to have Frontier talk us through the SRV interface here, I’m looking forward to learning this at my own pace. I can only guess how many times I’ll wreck my vehicle through misadventure: misjudging a wheel thruster boost, misunderstanding the new fuel management system, or making an arse of a flip or mid-air barrel roll. Houston won’t know what to do with all my problems. Jay Z might even write a song about them. And that’s before I even consider adding combat to the mix, which, although not the focus of this particular trailer, is almost certain given the fact that SRVs come equipped with a booster and a shield.

Horizons will be a series of paid expansions, costing £39.99 for the lot. You can boldly go to the first at some point this winter.

101 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Wisq says:

    I don’t suppose anyone who’s watched the full hour would give those of us with less time a list of highlight moments?

    • Premium User Badge

      Aerothorn says:

      It’s like the Mako sections of Mass Effect 1, but hopefully good and without tons of space-worms.

    • Premium User Badge

      Henke says:

      10:30 – in-game footage starts
      13:50 – ship departs!
      21:30 – roadtrip begins!
      58:00 – in-game sound at full volume.
      1:04:30 – ship returns!

      Tho I skipped a lot of stuff in the middle.

  2. Cinek says:

    Wow, I got bored just from watching 3 minutes of this video.

    Anyone care to enlighten me how does it add depth to the game and how is it a great feature to have (or: if it is at all?) ?

    It looks kinda like a crippled version of KSP – all fun stuff removed, and you’re left with pre-designed rover on a vast, boring plains of nothingness where colors change from planet to planet, and perhaps some randomly procedurally scattered meshes are put here and there.

    • number2301 says:

      It allows you to fly to any of the 400 billion stars in the actual milky way, procedurally generated based on scientific principles, choose any nom-atmospheric body, fly down from orbit, land, and drive round investigating crashed ships, bases, resources etc.

      Its literally nothing like KSP and does something that almost nothing has done since Frontier First Encounters.

      If that isn’t a great feature and doesnt add depth to you I’m really not sure what would.

      • Darloth says:

        “literally nothing”

        “fly down from orbit, land, drive around investigating crashed ships, bases, resources etc”

        “Literally”

        “Nothing”

      • Sinjun says:

        You’re going through a complex description of something that truly amounts to nothing.

        • metric day says:

          How completely bizarre to read such a comment. It’s a gorgeous game and by far THE vr experience of the past year. If that’s nothing, please send more nothingness like it my house please.

          • kraken says:

            So visual appeal only.

            I like (and backed) ED and it’s indeed very immersive, but let’s be honest here this game has no depth.

        • LexW1 says:

          As far as I can tell (and I was one of the first few hundred to KS Elite Dangerous, note), this game is pretty much as shallow as the original Elite (not Frontiers) and significantly less immediate/fun to boot.

          (Very) pretty graphics and an enormous of amount of procedurally-generated and very same-y “content” do seem to have effectively masked that, though.

          • Mr_Blastman says:

            It is a lot more interesting than any Grand Theft Auto game.

      • Cinek says:

        based on scientific principles” – sorry to disappoint you, but that’s not even remotely close to truth. Unless you mean a level of scientific principles that you can find in a books for teenagers.

        any of the 400 billion stars in the actual milky way” – hahahahaha, no it’s not.

        Its literally nothing like KSP” – You haven’t played KSP, have you? Bases, crashed ships (even crashed space monster!), resources, driving around – it’s all in KSP available right now. What is not available in KSP and other commentators mentioned are attacks on hostile bases – as far as this can be done with weaponry mods – bases won’t fire back in KSP. So there we go: we’ve found one thing that isn’t in KSP.

        If that isn’t a great feature and doesnt add depth to you I’m really not sure what would.” – (cryo)volcanoes, rivers, geysers, caves, various vastly different types of surfaces (slippery ice, spiky crystals, etc.), flora, fauna, settlements to visit, negotiate with and help developing, turn into mining or farming or scientific colony, perhaps even rule or wipe out, an option to own a planet (claim them in authorities), and from the things that already are in KSP: options to design and build your own bases, visiting planets with the atmospheres, remains of alien civilizations to explore.

        There’s so much you can add when you have an ability to roam on a surface of the planets. Yet Elite as always goes in the most shallow direction possible.

        • Asurmen says:

          And you know from 3 minutes of tech demo video from the first phase of planetary landing that any of that isn’t coming to ED?

          Some of the things you’ve listed will never be in ED though because they’ve never been the intent of the game. You’ll never own a planet for example.

          • Cinek says:

            Not from a 3 minutes, but from over a 1 hour of fucking boredom of a dune buggy driving on a desert.

        • Morcane says:

          It appears you played it already? Good for you. :)

        • BadCatWillum says:

          “(cryo)volcanoes, rivers, geysers, caves, various vastly different types of surfaces (slippery ice, spiky crystals, etc.), flora, fauna, settlements to visit, negotiate with” Different surfaces affecting movement are confirmed, ice planets are coming, caves are not coming, volcanism is hinted at, settlements you can interact with are coming, flora, fauna and rivers imply atmosphere and this is not in scope for the Horizons set of expansions.

          • Cinek says:

            Different surfaces affecting movement are confirmed” – well, there’s at least that. “settlements you can interact with are coming” – AFAIK it will be limited to trade and shooting at them. Nothing like what I mentioned.

    • tomimt says:

      Well, of the other small snippets they’ve already shown teaser like, there will be derelict ships you can loot, do some mining and other missions as well as there’s bases on those planets you can actually attack on, either with on your buggy or by doing an aerial attack runs with your ship.

    • PoulWrist says:

      It’s a techdemo, nothing too exciting. They showed another video recently where multiple people were driving and shooting towards a hostile base of some sorts, with turrets shooting at them while a ship flew overhead and fired down on the base structure.

      • Zenicetus says:

        “multiple people were driving and shooting towards a hostile base of some sorts, with turrets shooting at them while a ship flew overhead and fired down on the base structure.”

        Ugh… aren’t there enough other games like that around? It sounds like they’re moving even further away from what I thought this game would be.

        • anHorse says:

          Hey now combat’s the only part of E:D that’s close to enjoyable.
          Much rather have that than just more driving/flying around forever, it’s why so many people lose interest in E:D.

          Sure you can trade but it consists of flying forever for the same sort of money/time ratio as combat and it has none of the challenge. Hell it doesn’t even have the same amount of gameplay given that a lot of the trade features you find in other space games like X3 are only present via user made tools rather than in game functions.

          • TheAngriestHobo says:

            Don’t lose interest in ED. Ask your doctor if Cialis is right for you.

        • Asurmen says:

          Is there? It’s almost like that is optional.

        • PoulWrist says:

          Which is what?

    • Iskariot says:

      Perfectly fine. The other day I read about someone who was bored by some other game too. Even I am bored by some games.
      It happens.

      No I don’t care to. It is not the game for you obviously.
      For me it is the best spacesim project ever. This game is going to write gaming history.

  3. MaxUrsa says:

    *Horizons will be the first in a planned 10 year series of expansions for Elite: Dangerous.

    There is also a quick clip from DBOBE showcasing a combined arms assault of a base by two SRVs and their Federal Corvette mothership, also coming with 1.5/Horizons. link to youtube.com

    • Krazen says:

      So in maybe in 5 years time there will be enough content to actually make the game interesting to play.

      • unitled says:

        I’m playing it now and am absolutely loving it, it’s scratching a space exploration and trading itch I’ve not had scratched since I played X2.

      • tomimt says:

        Well, if they ever get as far as doing those walkable space stations and really populated Earth like planets, I can see E:D being more than interesting to other people as well who aren’t just into flying space ships and what not. Horizon is not but a first step towards something that has more humane side as well, not just cold space.

        • LexW1 says:

          They really need to make the game more actual fun to play if they want a general audience. That’s the key flaw it has – it’s as shallow as old Elites, but not as fun or immediate, and hideously grindy. Nothing here seems to point away from that.

  4. Mansfield says:

    Here’s another one of those 22 sec videos: link to youtube.com

  5. Captain Deadlock says:

    Great. Because what will rescue a really very very dull space game, which was bought by hundreds of people who wanted a space game, is a driving game. Just like the recent CQC update, where the apparent way to fix a really very very dull space game was to bolt on a completely different and separate deathmatch game.

    • metric day says:

      Sounds more like a personal problem. CQC is terrific fun and absolutely insane in the Rift, bound to be popular with the consume VR headsets coming out.

      • LexW1 says:

        So your answer to criticism of the game is ad hominem attacks towards the critic?

        That seems rather un-sporting, at best.

        Elite Dangerous is both shallow and very grindy. It’s pretty fair to call it “very dull”. I’m sure it’s improved by an extremely expensive VR headset which isn’t available to consumers, backed by the very expensive PC you need to push the headset, and with a bit more spent on a good throttle and stick, but it’s still going to be extremely shallow and grindy, so it’s just a matter of valuing experience over gameplay – but it’s an experience that costs hundreds of pounds to have. Ironically, none of those hundreds of pounds goes to Frontier, either.

  6. MJones says:

    Frontier Dev have shown over the last 12 months that they cannot do gameplay.

    The graphics and audio alone have been carrying this project since release.

    CQC and this buggy DLC make it look like a kiddies console game, honestly, what a real damn shame.

    • Asurmen says:

      What?

      • EhexT says:

        The best thing they’ve managed to put out is an extremely simplistic World of Tanks with Spaceships clone. Now that’s more than their competitor managed to do, but it’s still ridiculous. Everything else they’ve implemented since release (which even they admit was not a complete product at the time) was variably bad (Powerplay), badly implemented (mining pre-the patch before the last one, powerplay rewards) or straight broken (at least one feature everytime they patch because they can’t do version control).

        Graphically ED is fantastic. Technically it’s brilliant in parts, awful in others. In terms of mechanics it ranges for great (flight model) to Everquest level MMO. The only reason it’s seen as a good package overall is because their competition is even more hilariously incompetent than Frontier is.

        • Asurmen says:

          I get criticism, I don’t get how those two features = console kiddies game.

          • LexW1 says:

            Because they’re simplistic and low-quality, and they don’t have any depth to engage older players.

          • Asurmen says:

            The combat in ED is simplistic? You can tell the entire development of planetary landing from this video?

            Not buying that criticism at all.

          • LexW1 says:

            You don’t have to buy it, but yes, the combat in ED is simplistic. It’s not terrible, but it’s on par with various PS1 games, and certainly NOT up there with better space-shooters.

            As for “the whole history…”, can you? I can only go on what they’ve said, what they’ve shown, and what they’ve done previously.

          • Asurmen says:

            Sorry, but no the combat isn’t slightly simplistic at all, no where near the scale you think it is. So yeah, calling it console kiddy game is nonsense.

          • Premium User Badge

            phuzz says:

            I’ve found that as I get older, I have less time for gaming on the PC, and less time for complicated games that take up a lot of time, so you might want to amend ‘kiddie games’ to ‘old-people games’. The kids can spend all their time for weeks delving into the minutiae of a game, us olds can’t.

        • PoulWrist says:

          Tastes differ, I guess. And expectations too, I reckon. To me, playing a day or two every 3-4 months is plenty. To some, playing 10 hours a day is not enough. I don’t know of any games that manage to stay fun with that level of time input.

          • LexW1 says:

            I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here. One of the biggest problems with Elite Dangerous is that if you play for “a day or two” you will get nowhere and be able to do nothing. It’s not like the old Elites where playing for a day or two could take you from zero to hero. It’s extremely time-consuming and grindy. Unless you’re going for the 10-hours-day-style of play, you’re not going to get far in ED.

            Yet you seem to be trying to suggest that people who play it too much are the problem? If so, you are incorrect.

          • Asurmen says:

            No, playing Elite for a day or two would not get you from zero to hero at all.

          • LexW1 says:

            Playing 16 hours of Elite will get you many, many times further than 16 hours of Elite Dangerous. Ten times further, easily.

            That’s not really something you can argue. It’s something that can very easily be demonstrated.

          • Asurmen says:

            It is something I can argue because I did it. 16 hours in Frontier wouldn’t get you very far at all.

    • PoulWrist says:

      So uhm, a planned feature that was promised ages ago being put in makes it look like a console kiddie game? Wat?

      • MJones says:

        Planetary Landings was the planned feature, it was the killer feature in Frontier Elite II.

        I imagined descending from orbit into sprawling colonies and outposts like Frontier, not bouncing around in a fast paced console style shooty driving thing. I don’t remember seeing an Xbox shooty driving game in any of the planetary landing concept art.

        It’s a beautifully realised and authentic galaxy that looks like NASA photos at times, juxtaposed with console level gameplay and cheap browser-game mechanics in the abomination that is power play.

        They cannot, despite their amazing technical talent, design dynamic, interesting, challenging gameplay.

        • Asurmen says:

          Yeah, if you’re going to keep describing something as console level game play, I think you can safely be ignored.

          • LexW1 says:

            Perhaps he should be, but there’s no denying Elite Dangerous combat (which is the best part of the game, sadly) is more akin to bad PS1 space-shooters than to anything more remarkable. It pales in comparison to stuff like 2001’s I-War 2, for example (let alone combat-focused space games).

            The driving combat here also looks like something literally no-one asked for – dune-buggies with guns in spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace. Something about it screams b-grade PS2/Xbox game, too (despite the pretties).

            Harder to refute is the browser/mobile-game accusation re: powerplay, another set of features that basically no-one asked for, and which are functionally identical to any number horrible browser and mobile games.

            I mean really, has anything been added yet which actually enhanced the actual gameplay? Having played since before release, on and off, and played recently, I’m not seeing it.

          • Asurmen says:

            Of course there’s denying that, because it isn’t true.

      • anHorse says:

        “planned”
        “promised”

        And now player you’ll finally get this feature promised for the base game once you buy our full price expansion!

        • tomimt says:

          It was never promised free for the base game. It was always planned as a paid expansion.

          • anHorse says:

            “We intend to continue expanding the game both with new content and new features. A good example of this is planetary landings.”

            Right next to talk of free updates on the kickstarter

          • tomimt says:

            If we are quoting KS, then this is the final segment of that same expansion speech: “Really big expansions are likely to be paid for while we also intend for some smaller free updates. If you have pledged to to £80 tier or above you will receive all expansions for free.”

            It’s been obvious for ages that Horizon is what they think “a really big expansion” where as CQC and powerplay were smaller ones.

    • Premium User Badge

      neffo says:

      They can do gameplay. The shooty, flying bits are good. They probably nailed that 12 months after the kickstarter. Everything else you do and the whole game is hollow and grindy.

      They seem to have figured that they can get some fraction of people to play it for hours a day with grindy mechanics, but those same mechanics repulse plenty of others. Myself included.

      I suspect this new horizons mode will require grindy detailed planetary scanning to find things rather than finding the missions on BBs or in random encounters.

      • anHorse says:

        I have no issue grinding but what’s the point of doing it in Elite, the only goal is bigger ships and that’s quite frankly not enough when I can grind for that long in an arpg or proper MMO and have constant fun whilst developing my character.

        Elite without gameplay that diverse, social and engaging really needs something else to grind for.
        If you grind in most singleplayer space games you end up with access to loads of fun things like commanding fleets or owning stations, in Elite I just get a ship that looks like a whale (which isn’t properly useful until more “promised” features get properly implemented)

        • Phinehas says:

          That’s weird, because I find most MMO’s insufferably grindy, but am having constant fun whilst developing me character in Elite: Dangerous.

  7. SuicideKing says:

    TRULY GROUND BREAKING EXPERIENCES AND STUFF

    • Crimsoneer says:

      Earth shattering.

    • Synesthesia says:

      THIS VAST EXPANSION OF GREY NOTHINGNESS FOR A STRAIGHT HOUR IS GOTY MATERIAL

      This could only be enhanced by the liberal application of fetch quests.

  8. Captain Deadlock says:

    I have a giant spaceship with six giant lasers that can fly hundreds of times faster than the speed of light. Hmm, how shall I explore this planet? In a dune buggy.

  9. socrate says:

    so…more empty gameplay?…people love paying for crap these days

    • Mr_Blastman says:

      I guess I love how crap tastes because I have over 400 hours in the game and still love it.

      Haters gonna hate. The real reason folks like yourself are so mad is because…

      a. You’re terrible at games that require thought.
      b. You probably got trolled and cried all the way back to your basement.
      c. It isn’t Call of Duty.

      Elite is a great game and a million times better than Crap Citizen.

      • Rindan says:

        d. Don’t have an addictive personality disorder that makes doing the same thing over and over and over and over again fun.

  10. Hitchslapped says:

    Well, that sure was boring

  11. racccoon says:

    They want us to pay more for what we already paid for!!@#%$#@
    which is the time & money we donated which they used to make this other crap with. Bloody RIP OFF!

    • Asurmen says:

      Er, it’s called an expansion. It’s exceedingly common. Get over it.

  12. Sinjun says:

    Why did they waste the time and resources on more endless, pointless exploration when the “game” up in space is still starved for actual content? This is not content. Mass Effect 1 already did it better and prettier almost 8 years ago, and people still hated that even when there were actual plot reasons to be traversing planets.

  13. NephilimNexus says:

    Because the best part of Mass Effect were the MAKO parts, right everyone?

    … everyone?

    Where did everybody go?

    • SuicideKing says:

      What’s funny is that they replaced the MAKO parts with equally tedious probe deployments.

      • LexW1 says:

        Considerably more tedious, I’d say, at least the Mako had atmosphere, even if it also had tooth-grinding annoyance.

        But I think you can agree it’s pretty weird to see something that looks like the worst aspects of the Mako sections (floaty space-car, boring grey planets) being sold as a £40 expansion for another game (yes, I get that there will be other expansions for your £40 too but this is what they’re showing us).

        Are they even going to have worlds which aren’t airless dead moons?

    • Jay Load says:

      God, what hell was wrong with the Mako sections? They were practically my fav bits of the first game. I was gutted when they took them out. Even more gutted when that tedious mini game replaced them.

      • LexW1 says:

        The internet will be happy to explain in detail, but suffice to say, most people did not react positively to the Mako sections, largely because the Mako’s handling was total floaty rubbish, and combat in it was boring. Let’s not even get started on all the tedious and pointless driving around, and having to figure routes up stuff (which often made little sense).

        Personally I liked them overall, but only because they were some of the most atmospheric bits of ME1, some of the bits that felt most like actually being on an alien world. The gameplay associated with them was pretty poor.

  14. drinniol says:

    Wow, it’s almost as if developing these features takes time and resources! So why is SC a scam doomed to fail while E:D gets a pass flogging you 40 quid for the pleasure?

    Answers can be sent care of the RPS Hivemind in your capital city!

    • metric day says:

      Really strange reading the comments. FD are putting out such great efforts, with solid project management building on a fabulously fun flight model. That it gets sneers like this is baffling — I can understand space sims not being your cup of tea, but no need to break all the china!

      • Rindan says:

        I really and truly wish they were “building on a fabulously fun flight model”, but they are not. If they were releasing something that would let players build their own factions and fight over resources, I would agree they are building on the flight model.

        Elite Dangerous has been such a disappointment. Its flight model is beautiful, as is its entire visual look, but it is utterly squandered on a game that is about as deep as a puddle and has almost as much content. It blows my mind how Elite Dangerous managed to combine the worst aspects of single player games with the worst aspects of multi-player games. It strips story and any sort of hand crafted details you might find in a single player game. It then goes out and strips multi-player games of all their good aspects. It scraps players organizing themselves, players even really being able to play together, factional fighting, dynamic content creation through power struggles, and anything that might have been vaguely fun. It then takes the worst dredges of multi-player game play into their shit single player game. Namely, nearly all player interaction is anti-social, mostly because there is almost no positive way to interact with any other player. The best you can do is use the bolted on grouping system. Forget trading and organizing with people, you can barely even communicate with people!

        No one wants fucking space buggies. They want it so that a bunch of friends can organize a fucking convoy, go convoying, and have some god damn fun. Players want to chill with their miner friends and defend them while they mind. Said miner friends might want some fun game play too. If you want to really blow people’s mind, maybe let players be able to own a single scrap of property that isn’t a space craft or something you shove into a space craft.

        Come on. This isn’t fucking rocket science. God, I am so disgusted with Elite Dangerous because you can almost taste the potential. All the pieces are there, but some sort of insanity has gripped them and they seem to be under the delusion that people were begging for more procedural generated nothing because 100 billion nothing wasn’t enough.

        • Bahska says:

          first of all “If they were releasing something that would let players build their own factions” is already in the game same with most of the other things you stated.
          Even owning a station. Which brings me back to player factions they literally give you a solar system for your player faction to build up and expand into neighboring solar systems.
          The game is very social. The in game coms are fine given your mic isn’t garbage and you can go mining with your friends or form space convoys. The game however doesn’t hold your hand, you have to figure all this out on your own so im guessing most gave up before they even got into it given comments such as this.
          Ive played over 200 hours and still love it and i feel like i have barely broken the surface on things to do.

    • tomimt says:

      Because despite all their money SC has actually very little to show. What they have is still alpha state tech demos. Very pretty ones, but still alpha state, often clumsy and very buggy for anyone who isn’t really interested in seeing how the sausage is made.

    • Cederic says:

      ED is overcharging for a sub-optimal experience, but if you read the reviews you know what you’re buying, which is a game that some people do enjoy.

      Star Citizen is overcharging. At some point there may even be a game.

  15. xfrog says:

    It would be fine if it was an update, but a paid expansion does not justify it.

  16. Troubletcat says:

    I’m pretty amazed at how much hate ED is getting here. The devs have released lots of free updates which have made the game much, much better than when it started. I think these landings look like fun. I’m still on the fence as to whether or not I’ll but it since I do think it’s a bit overpriced, but I think I probably will.

    For the record, this was never promised as part of the base game. Planetary landings were announced as the first paid expansion before the game even came out. And for how much it seems like it’s adding to the game, I think that’s reasonable (although as I said I think the price they chose is a bit too steep).

    As for the state of the game itself… it’s still a bit shallow, but I’ve been finding it pretty engaging since I started getting involved with the community for my powerplay pledge. I think the combat is a lot of fun just by itself. I kind of wish they’d gone even harder on making it feel like a sim, since I think it’d make stuff like trading and exploring more interesting, but I think it’s already kind of cool just getting to fly around and take in the sights.

    I get that some people have different tastes and may just find the game boring, but the level of vitriol I’m seeing here seems kind of crazy to me. What is there to actually be so upset about?

    • LexW1 says:

      Calling the distaste people have for Elite “vitriol” is internet hyperbole of a rather destructive kind, I’d say. You might want to dial that back.

      The reason it attracts a lot of distaste, though, is that a lot of people here played the original Elite games, and a lot of people here KS’d Elite Dangerous thinking it would be a successor to those games.

      Which it is not.

      The earlier Elites were shallow but very fun and immediate – simple fun games set in the wondrous depths of space. They were also games where you could quickly become rich and, well, Elite, because they were single-player.

      Elite Dangerous has the wondrous depths of space. Let’s not lie – they’re better than ever!

      But it still shallow and yet it is not fun or immediate. The transition to “half-arsed sim” (which you seem to recognise) has merely made it clunkier and less fun than the earlier Elites, and much, much harder to learn and get into. Without adding any depth at all. It’s actually significantly more shallow than Frontier, if you ask me (personal opinion though).

      Exacerbating that is the fact that the economy, missions, and so on have been tweaked so that it is extremely tedious and grind-y to get a better ship, a better rank or the like. Why? Because it’s now an MMO, and they pretty much have to. The “solo” mode is merely the MMO with other players cut out (even following the markets and so on of the MMO).

      So what we’ve ended up with is a shallow, not-very-fun game about grinding (of a more extreme kind than previous designs), with half-arsed sim elements, but a beautiful universe. And an awful lot of us gave money “before the fact” for that.

      So this is why the distaste. It doesn’t rise to “vitriol” – e.g “abusive or venomous language used to express blame or censure or bitter deep-seated ill will”. This isn’t deep-seated ill will or venomous language. This is people who are actually being pretty mild in their criticisms of what is, frankly, not a very good game.

      I saw a review of Rebel Galaxy recently which knocked it for not doing anything Elite didn’t do two decades ago (untrue, factually, but still), which seem ironic, given that a lot of the critics of Elite Dangerous wish that ED would at least do what Elite did two decades ago. As is, it’s infinitely prettier, but less fun and vastly more grindy.

      As an aside, I agree re: the sim elements – they should have either gone for a much more sim-ish experience, which would have added a lot of depth and immersion and general entertainment, or they should have gone for a more Elite-like experience, which is basically somewhat arcade-y and immediate.

      PS – This isn’t really “boring because different tastes”, either – I love the KIND of game Elite Dangerous is, but I am bored senseless because Elite Dangerous is grindy as hell, even by the standards of this kind of game.

      • Asurmen says:

        Frontier was grindy as well and far less immediate fun than ED is.

        • LexW1 says:

          No, sorry, I’ve actually played Frontier recently (two years ago), so I know that’s not true.

          Frontier is grindier than Elite, for sure, but it doesn’t even approach the grindiness of Elite Dangerous. In Frontier, I can have a really good ship and weapons in a few hours of play. In Elite Dangerous, I couldn’t get a really good ship and weapons in a few DAYS of play.

          So that’s not even arguable.

          With fun and immediate you seem to be conflating two things (“immediately fun”) – Elite was fun, and separately, it was immediate – i.e. you didn’t need to do a huge bunch of learning and memorization to play it. Frontier was less so on both fronts, for sure, and perhaps that should have been the warning re: Dangerous, but everything they said in the KS suggested they understood that.

          Dangerous isn’t much fun, in fact, it’s inarguably worse fun for trading-focused play than Elite/Frontier, because it’s so insanely grindy and tedious. The fun/hour meter is barely moving. This is a direct result of it being an MMO.

          The combat you could argue is about as good as Frontier, maybe even a bit better. But again it bumps into the grind-wall, which means you get less out of every combat.

          So no, play Frontier again – you can be up and running and having fun, and keep having fun, in a small fraction of the time it takes in Dangerous. This is simply because it’s an SP game and balanced for that, not a grinder-MMO.

          • Sandepande says:

            Well, I did, while E:D was in its beta stage, and while it’s certainly faster in Frontier to get a better ship and stuff, the game doesn’t change any more than it does in E:D when you get a better ship. Except that when I got a really big ship in Frontier I bolted it full of shield generators, and didn’t have to bother with combat at all – I only had to wait for the silly criminal to crash into me, with all of a few percent of drop in shields…

            I think both games are played in the head more than anywhere else, though E:D is prettier (which works against it somewhat, as each Coriolis station is just as pretty as the next).

          • LexW1 says:

            You’re not wrong that the game doesn’t change much more at high levels, but I feel like the massively lesser grind in the earlier ones is kind of a big deal. I don’t really want to put MMO-game type amounts of time into what is essentially a fairly shallow single-player experience (esp. considering all my friends stopping playing ED long ago), which is what ED is most of the time (and I definitely have zero interest in vaguely EVE-esque political stuff like powerplay). If they’d separated the “solo” mode and made it have a similar grind to previous Elites, I don’t think I could really complain. But they didn’t. So I can.

            I mean, if I’m honest, I really expected them to expand/deepen the gameplay more. Rather than just making it far longer in terms of grind. I was pretty surprised.

            Also, on topic, them proposing to charge me £40 for what appears to be a way, way, way less cool version of Frontier’s ability to actually land on planets isn’t like, getting me excited.

            They specifically say only “airless planets and moons”, I note, which rules out anywhere particularly exciting, and no details are given or even hinted at as to what’s to come after this, which doesn’t fill one with confidence and purchasing ardour.

            I do note it appears to only be £30 for people who already bought ED, so I suppose there’s that. Need a lot more than “Dune Buggies on the Moon II: Mako’s Revenge” for that though.

          • Mr_Blastman says:

            Lies. I know people who have gotten an Anaconda in a week.

            Besides, I measure my fun in people I kill or rob in open play rather than big ships I can buy.

            We get it. You hate it. Go back to Call of Duty where you can be king of the shitlords.

        • Asurmen says:

          I know it’s true. Guess it’s subjective.

          You can easily get an upgraded ship in ED within a few days.

          Not conflating two things at all. It’s immediate and it’s fun.

      • Zenicetus says:

        @LexW1 — That was a good summary of the “MMO-ification” problem for people like me. I was excited about the game during the Beta period, and played it a lot back then. I’ve barely touched it since final release. They’ve turned it into a grindy MMO without anything worthwhile to grind for.

        We all knew that there would be MMO-like elements to the game, but I had no idea the continuing development was going to be almost exclusively aimed in that direction.

        @Troublecat — It’s not “hate” for many of us, it’s just disappointment that Frontier developed a highly polished core game engine, and yet they can’t think of anything better to do with it than things like Powerplay. It’s like being given a Ferrari and told you can only drive it to the corner store for groceries, and drop the kids off at school.

        • Sandepande says:

          What precisely would one do with that Ferrari? Drive quickly but aimlessly all over the place? Seems like groceries and kids would offer more content…

      • sf says:

        It is vitriol, pure and simple. I don’t agree with most of the points in your post, yet you seem to be posting it as some sort of “this is what the consensus is” comment. Absolutely not. Plenty of people are chuffed to bits with Elite; you need to accept that.

  17. aircool says:

    This footage made me realise why I enjoyed E:D so much before I got distracted by other games; it’s basically a game where you make it whatever you want it to be. I used to really enjoy (this is sad, but there were plenty of others doing it) shaving seconds off of a set cargo run. I used to get a kick out of pulling off a ‘3D handbrake turn’ in my cargo ship to land slap bang on the landing platform.

    I also enjoyed patrolling mining sites for bad guys and watching people dock inside the large space stations, especially players who’d screwed up and got blown to bits for being too cocky :)

    That last part also served a purpose, sit for long enough (whilst the football is on or something) and you’ll get to know the patterns of the players coming in and out of the station. It was great for picking your quarry if you fancied a bit off pirating.

  18. pistachio says:

    HOW DARE YOU NOT LIKE WHAT I LIKE? And present it as fact no less. Shame on you!

    I’ll never understand people defending consumer products on the world wide interweb.

    I don’t own E:D because it is far too ambitious to be anything but shallow. The sheer scale and the fact that multiplayer requires some kind of persistence (so I see on my screen what the other guy is seeing on his screen) made it technically impossible.

    All that I (and i am guessing many others) wanted was the old Elite with better graphics. If you can watch that video (or any E:D video) and not see how some people might find it empty then, quite frankly, you lack empathy. Even if, bless you, you love the game to bits.

    Ironically, sometimes the fans are the haters.

  19. snowdog says:

    As a BIG fan of the original game (I regularly replay it every couple of years or so, the Speccy version) I’m VERY happy with Elite Dangerous so far. It isn’t that much more grindy than the original game tbh, if you use your head it’s very easy to get enough cash to replace your crappy Sidewinder in a few hours.

    I guess those of us that have plenty of experience of combat in the original will find it a great deal easier to make enough money but even a complete n00b should be able to replace their Sidewinder in 5 or 6 hours if they choose the right missions to do from the Bulletin Board.

    Elite has always been grindy. That’s part of the appeal of the game. You need (as far as I remember!) 512 kills to reach Elite status in the original game. The game (and Elite Dangerous too) wouldn’t be the game it was (is) if it was quick and easy to become Elite.

    Both games are grindy (I haven’t played the second and third games because I wasn’t a fan of filled vectors so didn’t play them) and that’s part of the appeal of it.

    As for the Horizons expansion we’ll have to wait and see what it’s like. All we’ve seen so far is a demo of the driving, we haven’t seen any of the actual gameplay yet, they’re doing a live stream of the gameplay on Tuesday.

    I’ve done well over a thousand hours into the original and I can see Elite Dangerous being the same for me.

  20. Kerr Avon says:

    *sigh*, I’m buying it. Just because I have to really, since it’s “Elite” and I played the original and all that. Not going to hate on it but I’m not going into fanboi mode either. It’s just all a bit… meh, isn’t it? I think the main problem is I really I don’t like the people who are making it. They are just annoying as fuck, aren’t they? My level of hate for them is almost as much as I hate Tony Blair. Well, I’m not interested in the multiplayer focus what-so-fucking-ever since playing Elite with a bunch of random morons destroying the immersion isn’t exactly my idea of fun or relaxation. But yeah, that’s it really. Elite has always been about relaxation and doing my own roleplaying and my own dreaming while playing. A shame, that after all these years… it’s still that. That video above reminded me of another game I like though, “Carrier Command”. The difference with Carrier Command Gaia Mission though, is that Bohemia Interactive are apparently able to code atmospheric planets* (*islands!) as well as code vulcanism with some nicely done volcanoes and lava. Not to mention marshes, fog, snow, rain, etc etc. So if Bohemia Interactive could do all that years ago, why can’t Frontier Developments do it now? Maybe it’s a Russian or Eastern European vs British thing? You know, that just like the building trade, Eastern Europeans can actually get off their arses and get down to doing some WORK instead of sitting on their lazy arses all day, drinking coffee, checking social media and investing in marketing and PR? It’s as if they’ve been hiring professional liars like Tony Blair pretending to do some work all year. I wish I was the main shareholder of Frontier so I could fire all those cringeworthy English slackers and hire Bohemia Interactive or some other respected studio in a different country like say Russia far more capable to take over the reigns and make Elite into the Sci-Fi space experience it was meant to be. Dare I say, the real driving force behind Elite is sadly missed here and could’ve made this into “something wonderful”? (Arthur C. Clarke). As in, Ian Bell’s original vision of Elite? I think Ian Bell’s absence is glaringly apparent here. As glaring as “Sir” David Braben’s arselicking knighthood medal. A medal that – just like John Lennon famously refused and was conveniently murdered shortly after – I would never accept. What do you think?

  21. Wrong says:

    Reading through these comments is literally giving me cancer.