Elite Dangerous Planetary Landing Expansion Out Now

Ah, that special day in any game with a colon in its name’s life – when it releases its first expansion, and with it its first dash. Welcome, Frontier, to the hallowed ranks of the :- club. Now you too will be a nightmare for proof-readers and CMS tag databases the world over.

But wait just one gosh-darn cotton-pickin’ minute: something strange has happened. Elite: Dangerous [official site] has quietly changed its name to Elite Dangerous, and thus the expansion is known simply as Elite Dangerous: Horizons. THOSE AREN’T THE RULES FRONTIER YOU’RE OUT OF THE :- CLUB

Elite; Dangerous #Horiz-on$ is out today, anyway.

Horizons is in fact an umbrella name for a series of mini-expansions, each of which adds a theoretically major new feature to the star trekking/fighting/trading game, and kicking off with planetary exploration. Further down the line, we’ll be getting a new looting and crafting system, multi-crew ships and commander avatar creation. As of today, one controversial price gets you the lot as and when it’s released, with a selection of “1:1 scale worlds” and a Scarab SRV wheeled vehicle available from the get-go.

Frontier describe it thusly: “an unprecedented, vast new experience that lets you journey seamlessly from space to any point on the surfaces of accurately simulated planets and moons throughout Elite Dangerous’ multi-player, cut-throat, full scale re-creation of the 34th century Milky Way galaxy.”

Looks like they’ve entirely abandoned describing this as in any way a singleplayer game, then.

This part of Horizons has been in beta since the end of the last month, but now flings the doors open to anyone via both E:D’s ED:H’s own store and Steam Early Access. Yep, they’re calling it Early Access, what with only part of Horizons being out so far.

And this brings me to why the stealth rename is not just jolly grammatical funtimes: Elite Dangerous: Horizons is, in fact, a whole new base game. Despite how many times I’ve used the word ‘expansion’ in this post, actually anyone who already owns E:D can’t simply pay a small fee to upgrade it, but instead they have to buy the new edition in its entirety. Yep, it’s the Destiny: The Taken King model – the way that made old players have to pay almost as much for the add-on as new players buying the complete package did drew a ton of heat of Bungie’s way, but they got away with it because Destiny is enormous. Whether Elite is big enough to weather a similar grumble-storm remains to be seen.

Proponents of the biz model argue that it’s essentially paying an annual fee in order to receive every feature of an ongoing, MMO-like game, and on that basis yeah, you’re paying significantly less than you would for a year of WoW. ED:H is nominally £39.99, though it’s currently available to existing E:D owners for £29.99, a 25% discount. It still seems like a lot for an expansion, but then again it is a sort of ongoing expansion – and Blizzard get away with charging similar for new StarCraft II packs. And, of course, space game fans have very much set a precedent for reaching ever-deeper into their wallets.

Olden times Elite: Dangerous, meanwhile, will continue to exist and receive some updates, so it’s not like you’re not kicked out of the universe if you don’t upgrade, plus the essential flying/fighting in space aspect is not at all dependent on having Horizons. Which is the only thing that stopped me from titling this post ‘Elite: Dangerous is dead, long live Elite Dangerous: Horizons.’

I can’t even slightly remember how to play ED, but I’m definitely tempted to blow the dust off my flight stick (hello nurse) and try out a bit of planetary landing. Anyone else going in?

168 Comments

  1. BobbyDylan says:

    I love this game, and I’ll be spending the next few weeks playing Horizons. Cant wait for the character creator and loot to come through.

  2. tyen says:

    I really wasn’t a fan of the long hauls though space, in order to get meagre rewards. Any number of podcasts just couldn’t get me through the tedium of warping through space with the knowledge that at any moment I could lose connection to the server and lose whatever ship I have at that time.
    My question is, does this update address any of these issues?

    • Cinek says:

      No. And there are no known plans for any update or expansion that would address it.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Don’t play online games, I guess, is your answer.

      • Hobbes says:

        Except most online games are online. This “online” game is a joke which uses junk P2P protocols off the back of Amazon AWS for transact services along with client side authoritative hit detection (which has plagued it with some wonderful cheat tools over the last year).

        Some online games are fun, this one had the potential but then David figured out it was more profitable selling fans of Elite promises rather than actual content. The worst part is the flight model is -good- and the sound design is good. In VR the experience is great, it’s just that when you look past the VR experience of being in a ship… there’s very little holding it together.

    • iainl says:

      Well, unless you’re stupendously unlucky a connection drop doesn’t lose your ship, and hasn’t for at least as long as I’ve been playing. So there’s that, I guess.

      But it’s not going to stop you getting bored if you find playing Interstellar Truck Simulator 2015 boring and yet don’t choose to play the game a more exciting way, no.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Not least because over time bounty hunting and other a little more involved activities got seriously rebalanced for a much better payout.

        Trading is actually little stuff without huge ships now.

        • iainl says:

          Absolutely – unless you trade rares, which tends to get a bit hair-raising in terms of the heat it brings down from pirates, trading is not the way to go for quick cash. And just about anything will earn you the cash to get you a reasonable ship for most roles you might consider fun.

      • Faults says:

        “But it’s not going to stop you getting bored if you find playing Interstellar Truck Simulator 2015 boring and yet don’t choose to play the game a more exciting way, no.”

        That is by far the most disingenuous comment about E:D I have heard yet, honestly. Every new player I’ve come across does not just go straight into playing ‘a more exciting way’. Unless you’re a super-hot pilot and are prepared to spend a fair bit of time getting to know the weird, arbitrary intricacies of E:D’s non-simulation of zero-g combat manoeuvring, your only starting option is to be a freaking pack-mule. For hours. And hours. And HOURS.

        You do not ‘choose’ to play Elite: Dangerous a more exciting way. You have to grind your face off for a ship that will actually work in combat.

        • unitled says:

          This certainly was not my experience. Maybe it was rebalanced between when you stopped and when I started. I spent my first few hours doing a few courier missions and jumping around a bit, then decided to try my hand at bounty hunting. Sat at a Nav Beacon, in maybe a couple of hours I had enough for a Viper, a great little early combat ship.

          Sure, it’s poorly fitted out with to start, but didn’t take much longer to get some decent weapons, then I could jump into the Resource Extraction points, team up with the police, and be earning seriously big bucks.

          What’s more, I really enjoyed the combat. If you are skilled, you can really use the agility of the smaller ships in your favour, getting into your opponents’ blind spot, or boosting the hell out of there if things go squiffy.

          Compared to trading or mining or especially exploring, combat is one of the quicker ways to make money. Not sure how smuggling stacks up these days, but people were pulling in lots of cash doing that recently.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          An Eagle or Viper can easily bounty hunt for hours, even a Sidewinder can down most NPCs.

        • silentdan says:

          > your only starting option is to be a freaking pack-mule. For hours. And hours. And HOURS.

          Now THAT’S the most disingenuous comment about E:D I’ve heard in a while. Dear new players: take your stock Sidewinder and get close to the star at the middle of your solar system. There’s a contact there called “Nav Beacon.” Drop out of supercruise there, and start targeting every ship that shows up. When one of them comes up “wanted”, shoot it. If you kill him, great, you’re a professional bounty hunter now. Go cash in your chits. If he kills you, good news: you get unlimited free replacement Sidewinders, so you’ve just spawned back at the space station, good as new. Head back out the Nav Beacon and try again.

          That’s how you choose to not do space trucking from the get-go. Should E:D do a better job of highlighting this early career path? Yes, I think so, but it is readily available to all new pilots, regardless of resources.

        • Apocalypse says:

          I take that as a compliment. Or you may take it an insult of your own flying abilities. ;-)

    • LuckyLuigi says:

      I’ve lost connection one single time in a year playing ED. Perhaps time to get a decent provider.

      • Press X to Gary Busey says:

        I don’t know anything about tyren’s situation but the only choice for a lot of people outside urban areas are the thousands of miles of old half-rotten copper phone lines installed half a century ago.
        “Perhaps time to get a decent provider.” might as well be replaced with “Perhaps you should pack up your life and move to an area with better infrastructure just to play online games”.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          Precisely.

          I’m willing to pay for the best connection possible, but it’s… not possible.

          • Premium User Badge

            FrostByghte says:

            Find a friend with a solid data connection and setup a P2P wireless using something like a couple Nanobridge’s (depends on distance what to get). Very affordable. Was roughly $300 for me to do this including mounting.

            I live out in the sticks. I can’t get anything net wise, so I push my cable connection to my house using this method. I end up with 100Mbps down 10Mpbs up. Without this I would be stuck with Verizon (data caps) or strait dialup I guess. Anyway, just a possible solution for you if you had not thought of it. It’s a pain to be out of reach of a solid data connection. :(

      • Elliot Lannigan says:

        Yeah, as with the above comment, I don’t know where any of you live but I’m American (sadly) and most of us do not really have a choice of providers. I mean, he/she could upgrade if they’re on cellular wifi, but if they’re already that desperate they probably already can’t. Unless you’re in one of the small areas that have fiber optic connection, you’re stuck with the local cable provider and must live or die by however crappy they happen to be. Mine have been quite great for the past 5 years but with all the complaining out there, I feel like I must be unusually lucky.

    • Holysheep says:

      trading = shit.
      Almost every single noob in this game comes in, starts going full “OMFG I NEED MONEY FOR ALL THE SHIPS” and forgets about every other point of the game with that goal in mind.

      They forget the intense combat learning curve, and about having fun in general. Then quit because the game is “boring” because all they’re doing is jumps, then jumps, then more jumps but are too scared of fighting and go cry on the forums when they’re interdicted.

      This is 2015, by now, you’d guess people would have realized trading just isn’t fun.

      • Faults says:

        So how else do you propose that the game be ‘fun’ then? I have tried so damn hard to have fun with this game. The combat is unbelievably dull and unrewarding.

        • Asurmen says:

          Well, if trading isn’t fun for you, and neither is combat, and I presume you don’t want to explore, then I think the game is simply not for you.

          • Faults says:

            I at least like to think that I’m echoing a lot of people’s feelings who came into the game and left feeling incredibly disappointed with how Elite actually played though. Go look at the promo shots they’ve released for Horizons, or the various videos on E;D’s Youtube channel and tell me with a straight face that kind of immediate excitement is anything like the actual in-game experience of combat.
            Frontier consistently portray combat in Elite as these incredibly cinematic-looking Star Wars-esque dogfights, but the reality is that combat is rarely anything more than two small craft circling one-another to get a bead, firing a few shots, evading, rinse and repeat.
            None of the scale, or visual splendour, or moment-to-moment thrills that E:D has consistently sold itself on are present in the actual game.

            It’s one thing saying the game is ‘not for me’, which to be blunt I’m already acutely aware of, but it would have been nice knowing this before actually getting the game. Simply put, I’ve never seen a game so readily misrepresent itself.

          • silentdan says:

            1v1 fights are pretty rare, so the scenario of two ships ignorantly circling each other is not unheard of, but it’s not common at all. 90% of the fights I’ve been in (hundreds if not thousands) have involved 3-6 ships. When there is 1v1 fighting, usually at least one party knows how to fly, so there’s more backwards flying, boosting to make space, managing power systems to maximize maneuvering thrusters, etc. The guy who can fly backwards and fire forwards, or put four pips to engines to turn faster, or knows when to use chaff, usually resolves the 1v1 situation pretty quickly.

            When I go into a zone to fight, I usually leave with shaking, sweaty hands. Combat is intense, and challenging, and risky, and thrilling. Those trailers are spot on.

        • der_Zens0r says:

          Wow, really? I find the combat to be awesome. And the sound of the explosion of your opponents ship is rewarding on its own.

        • jonfitt says:

          If you don’t like weaving in and out of asteroids fighting ships for bounties, then I’m afraid that the space combat genre might not be for you.

        • silentdan says:

          Even among people who dislike Elite, the general consensus is that the space combat is absolutely fantastic. If you can’t get into the part of the game that even its detractors adore, then it’s probably not the game for you.

          • Icefoxy says:

            Sorry but I’ve got to go with the other guy listing dishonest marketing as an issue here and faulting the space combat. I’d also dispute the “most people” comment there. I think it very much depends on the person, and I know people who have the same complaints I do.

            I’m sorry but you just cannot say with a straight face that the combat on the trailers fits spot on. It doesn’t. At all. The ships handle like tug boats, and yet turn on a dime in the trailers. It doesn’t play like Tie Fighter or Freespace of old, it plays like Space Truckers with Guns.

            Now, is that slower paced, more plodding kind of play something some people are going to enjoy? For sure. Is it something I enjoy? You know, despite that my favorite genre alongside space sims is RTS (so you’d think I’d be fine with slow), not so much. Granted, I should have known better than to trust a non-engine CGI to represent a game accurately.

            I absolutely adore space sims. But Elite just isn’t my cup of tea with the way it handles. That said, I have told myself I need to give it more of a try sometime and see if I can get into it, and with Horizons coming out I’m going to be giving the core game another try. I do love space sims, and I really WANT to like Elite. We’ll see how it goes.

    • Mr_Blastman says:

      Why haul when you can steal it?

      I’ve made hundreds of millions robbing from filthy human traders. Their taxes be due and I be the tax man!

    • silentdan says:

      Yes. First of all, I’ve never heard of anyone losing a ship to d/c. I’m pretty sure it’s outright impossible. There’s this verboten practice called “combat logging.” You exit the client (via the in-game menu, or killing via Task Manager) and you safely and instantly vanish from the game. Cowards use it to run from fights they can’t escape from in-game, and Frontier is going to start banning offenders. The fact that combat logging is so effective, leads me to believe that it’s pretty tough to lose a ship to connection drops. Latency, maybe, but not full disconnects.

      Also, don’t trade yet. That’s a big ship game. Hunt bounties. Find a Resource Extraction Site (High) and follow the green ships. They’re cops. When they pick a fight, join in. As long as you do at least 1% hull damage to their targets, you get a full bounty for the kill. You’ll get 10-30k for small ships, 100-300k for big ones. (Do not shoot the cops. If you accidentally shoot the cops, leave immediately. They do not have a sense of humour about these things.)

  3. PoulWrist says:

    One of those pricetags that don’t really matter because the people playing it all the time are doing just that, playing it all the time, generally to exclusion of other titles.

    So… does it matter? There’s a lot of problems connected with the “games must cost 1$” mentality we’re getting.. Sure, you can argue about the quality of this game all you like, but it has an active playerbase that enjoys it. Like many others. Arguably this way is a lot better than what everyone else does, a.e. charge you double for an expansion pass that you don’t know what will bring at the day of the game’s launch.

    Is either a terrible business model? Would it be better if it as 5$? Would that stop the countless whines about “they promised this or that” posts we’re likely to have below here? Do posts like that matter at all or are they entitled trash? Doesn’t matter, does it? The game is there, it’s doing well enough that they can do this kind of thing, although I’m sure we’ll have posts about how they’re so desperate for money that they have to charge full price.

    *sigh* reading videogame news these days is almost worse than reading the news on the world situation.

    • Cinek says:

      So, an expansion pack could cost even a 1000$, and you’d still be perfectly fine with that. OK…

      • PoulWrist says:

        There’s always a price that’s right. If the price I felt was right was 1000$ then yes, I’d pay that.

        • Jay Load says:

          *knock knock*

          Hello. I’m from EA. Have you got five minutes for a chat?

          • c-Row says:

            I think EA are the last company who would release an expansion pack or DLC whose content are worth 1000 quid to anybody.

        • jonfitt says:

          So by that logic, everyone else who says the price isn’t right is also entitled to their opinion.

          I’d also put forward that the premise of “content now expansions later” implied that they would be expansions to the main game whereas it is priced and on the store as a replacement to the original game that allows those stuck on the original to still participant in a limited way.

          I personally resigned myself to the price since I play it so much, but I did not expect to be getting into an effective $5/month for an MMO when I thought I was backing an updated single player game with a multiplayer option.
          It’s not right, but it’s ok.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        I’m surely happy i got the Premium Beta way back then, and you can rest assured that a very big portion of the core playerbase got just that or an even better package.

        The pass can still be purchased as far as i know and you’ll still save price for future expansions, meanwhile late adopters will be able to get everything released so far for a decent price.

        The only ones that get shafted are those in a weird middle ground that are considering each single purchase bit by bit, but that’s a silly way of being a “day-one” kind of guy instead of getting a clever package. Sales are still an option though, and there also was a preorder discount for those living in this limbo.

        • Gilead says:

          Do you know where the pass can be purchased from? The official site looks like it just has the original Elite: Dangerous and Horizons for sale.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            I see some weird beta version for a way higher price on the store, thing is i remember reading about it but it might be some sloppy fact-checking on my side.

            If that’s the case i’m really sorry.

          • Asurmen says:

            They brought it back for a time limited period a few months ago. It’s now gone again. I can see the same thing happening year after year. Wish I had the money at the time to buy it.

        • TheRealHankHill says:

          Well, the fact of the matter is that there shouldn’t be a GD time constraint on the discount for people who already own elite. That is shameless money grabbing whether you enjoy the game or not, no way to justify that. I know they need money for servers, but maybe don’t screw people in the middle bubble for it.

          • TheRealHankHill says:

            And most of it is p2p and through amazon servers anyway so they don’t need THAT much. I will not be buying Horizons, I want to see what they do with it after a few releases and they want to punish me for it. If they KEEP the discount then I’ll get it after one more update. They are losing out on more players than they are gaining money through this model. They don’t have the clout Destiny did to power through that.

    • yogibbear says:

      LOL….. overstatement of the year!
      US bond market about to collapse.
      WWIII effectively already occuring on a proxy-war basis.
      Yeah….

    • anHorse says:

      “One of those pricetags that don’t really matter because the people playing it all the time are doing just that, playing it all the time, generally to exclusion of other titles.”

      Absolute horseshit, you don’t even have to leave the comments of Elite articles on RPS to see that this isn’t the case.

      I had a perfectly happy 12 or so hours with ED and then I got bored, because there wasn’t anything else to do. There’s nothing in Elite that makes it any more engrossing to a player than any other non-narrative game.

      • PoulWrist says:

        But to those who play it, there must obviously be. You had your 12 hours, but would an expansion with tons of shit get you back to play it? If it was 40$? If it was 20? How about 5? When is your limit for paying to go back to a game you don’t want to play again?

      • TheRealHankHill says:

        I have 24 hours and feel like I have barely scratched the surface. That said the pricing model is garbage, they are very obviously trying to strong arm you into buying it now by removing the discount that should be permanent after a set period of time. I’ll be playing normal elite until they make that discount permanent. Feels like a slap in the face.

    • Troubletcat says:

      I bought it. I think it’s a fair price for new players and mildly overpriced for current players. $30 USD for an expansion pack feels about right. But I like the game a lot so I was willing to pay a little more than I think is fair.

      At the end of the day, buy it if you think it’s worth it, don’t buy it if you don’t, letting the devs know you’re not buying it because you think it’s overpriced or you did buy it but you’re not terribly happy with the value are both valid.

      Nobody is saying it should cost $1 and your hyperbole makes you come off as a fanboy and much more likely to be ignored.

      • PoulWrist says:

        I’m just so sick and tired of reading all these downer comments on every single game article everywhere. I haven’t played Elite in maybe 6 months and I doubt I have more than 10 hours played in it. Nothing fanboy over that, or any game, about me. I’m just sick and tired of “gaming culture” these days.

        • Rizlar says:

          Hear hear!

        • TheRealHankHill says:

          How is it gaming culture to demand that a discount becomes permanent for players who are essentially rebuying the game that they already own? That’s using your power as a consumer. I will not buy this until the discount is permanent, they will not strong arm me into buying something I am unsure of by removing a discount after a period of time. Elite:Dangerous is definitely the most engrossed I have ever been in a game and I love it, but I can’t support that. I do get what you mean though, like with the Killing Floor 2 cosmetic stuff that has no effect on the gameplay at all. Just toxic bs everywhere.

    • Asokn says:

      The issue in this case is different from the issue of whether games in general should be very cheap. In this case the dedicated fan base who paid full price for the original version of the game end up being taken advantage of because they are then asked to effectively pay again whereas newcomers get everything for the original price. This is effectively the reverse of what happened with Divinity Original Sin and its Enhanced Edition.

      I don’t personally care, I bought the base game a few weeks ago for less than a tenner, but I can see why some people are annoyed at the model.

      • iainl says:

        And you, my friend, are a clear example of the problem. Sorry, it’s not your fault, I know. But now Frontier have let loads of people buy the base game for £10 in the sale, it’s not really practical on a financial level to give anyone a discount of more than £10 for upgrading from said base game to the new one.

        Now, a clever person might not have sold a game that’s been on Steam for about 9 months at 75% off in the first place, but there we have it. As a result, I’ll stick to space-bound antics until November next year and probably pick up the Horizons version for a tenner when they do the same thing.

        • TheRealHankHill says:

          Dude, they only sold the game for $15 BECAUSE they knew they were going to have this pricing model lol. It’s not like they made the sale then set the price of the expansion being released weeks later.

      • PoulWrist says:

        Sure, some people paid a lot, I was in the kickstarter at the 50£ tier, I think. I didn’t end up playing much because the limited interaction with the universe was kind of disappointing.
        I’d hoped for a bit more condensed stuff, I guess. Like a reason to stick around a neighbourhood, build a secret base in the rings of a gas giant and store wealth there. Maybe in some future update, who knows.

        But if I’d played and enjoyed it more, in the course of the past year or so, and would like to play more and see more, then I wouldn’t mind spending this much for an expansion that’d keep getting patched with more stuff over time.
        Just tired about the notion that this is somehow expensive. I don’t think it is, and I’m not so rich that I throw this amount of money around just for the hell of it. I’ve not purchased Horizons. I might, but I will at least wait till more stuff that I find interesting is available in the game.

        But you won’t find me posting in every single thread on the topic that this game is somehow the most overpriced piece of shit, that the devs are lying scumbags or whatever it is you get. I’m so tired of that type of rhetoric.

    • c-Row says:

      E:D was exactly what I was hoping for after playing Frontier and First Encounters years ago, and I enjoyed every minute of it so far (apart from those I got destroyed in Conflict Zones maybe). For me the price tag of the expansion is justified by the amount of entertainment I already got out of the base game.

      • silentdan says:

        Losing a ship in a conflict zone feels awful in the moment, but the ever-present fear of a repeat keeps the tension high in the fights you do win … or barely escape from alive! There’s really nothing like helplessly watching your hull flake away and your cockpit glass shatter out into the vacuum as your hitpoints drop to single digits, only to hear an angelic voice of clemency pronounce “4, 3, 2, 1” as your FSD kicks in and jumps you to safety. I fell out of my chair once, after that. (It reclines, but there’s a catch that will lock it upright. I left the catch undone, and wasn’t expecting it to recline when I threw my exhausted weight back against it.)

    • ForgedSnow says:

      I don’t understand, it’s early access? So I’d expect them to still be adding content. But who the hell releases expansion packs to a game that’s not finished yet? Early access means you should expect more content to be added down the road, and not in expansion packs. Correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t expansion packs meant to expand an already finished game?? I bought Elite:Dangerous expecting the game to grow as I play it, without having to “expand” the game by paying more. I liked what the team behind FTL did, they released a finished game, then released more content down the road FOR FREE.

  4. anHorse says:

    “Elite: Dangerous: Horizons: Planetary Landing”

    • prof_yaffle says:

      Shouldn’t it be Elite: Dangerous – Horizons ) Planetary Landings?

      That way they can join the prestigious :-) club.

  5. Sinjun says:

    This is a $45 expansion to a $60 game that’s only been out a year. Don’t buy it. Alpha 2.0 of Star Citizen blows it out of the water in every meaningful way and only costs $45. I tried so god damn hard to like Elite but it has nothing to offer beyond the atmosphere of being lost in deep, dark space and docking in hangars. There’s a reason why people always say it’s a hollowed out husk of a video game.

    • Troubletcat says:

      Alpha 2.0 of Star Citizen has even less to do in it than ED (by a pretty huge margin actually) and is a broken, buggy mess…

      I’m not trying to dredge up an “ED vs. SC” debate. I hope they both succeed, I’ve paid for both, I like space sims. But claiming that the current alpha of SC “blows ED out of the water in every meaningful way” makes me think that the only things you think are meaningful are graphics and as-of-yet unrealised potential (something ED also has a lot of…)

      • BobbyDylan says:

        Well said, and good on you for heading off the inevitable fanboy war.

      • Sinjun says:

        You have combat simulations on two different levels, you can walk around an amazing looking city hub (at shitty fps, but still), and there’s even some FPS content. How is there more to do in Elite?

        • Dr Wookie says:

          There is a huge difference between having nothing to do and nothing that you are interested in doing :). I backed both Elite and Star Citizen at the alpha level, and have spent less than 2 hours in SC because I have found it excruciatingly dull to date, and have seen nothing in SC alpha 2.0 to tempt me to try again. That doesn’t make SC a bad game, just one I’m not excited by right now. I think it could be a great game (maybe), but it’s not there yet.

          I happen to like travelling between star systems, finding new worlds that no one has ever seen before, flying through their canyons and making myself sick by doing stupid and reckless buggy tricks. I also enjoy hunting wanted criminals, either by yanking them out of hyperspace or zooming through asteroid fields, looking for those who pick on miners or their rivals. I like search and rescue missions, locating escape pods and bringing them to safety; I also like smuggling missions where scanning results in instant failure. I have had some fun in CQC arena mode, much more than Arena Commander. I also enjoy mining, now I can afford a good rig so that I have a swarm of droids doing the hard work, while keeping a lookout for pirates.

          I have about 340 hours logged in ED through Steam, but have been playing steadily for two years :). People who enjoy it don’t like boring games, because they don’t find it boring :). However ED and SC are niche games, so it is easy to understand that other people don’t like them.

        • BobbyDylan says:

          You can trade, pirate, bounty hunt, do missions, back a power, start a minor faction, Land on >70% of the rocky planets in the galaxy, buy any of 30 ships, or have multiple ships and configure them however you like, you could just as easily dogfight over a canyon on a moon around a gas giant as you could the stellar ejections of a supermassive star, you can race you friends between systems or across a planet, you can jump a buggy over a city, you can mine, or collect salvage, you can rescue ejected escape pods, attack or infiltrate surface outposts and visit any know stellar phenomena you chose.

          So nothing really compared to those 2 maps to fight on, and that one port city to walk around.

          • Sinjun says:

            Trade, land on planets, buy ships… for what? What do you actually do? Dogfighting and flying around is still basically all there is to it, and you can do that in Star Citizen. Elite has no meaningful content, and the “make your own fun” defense is not a defense.

          • PhilBowles says:

            “Trade, land on planets, buy ships… for what? What do you actually do?” This was true of the older games, and is true of most MMOs – while I hate the fact that Elite has become an MMO, it’s hard to deny that Frontier’s open world was a prototype MMO.

            It’s all ‘trade/fight to get loot/cash, use loot/cash to get better gear, use better gear to trade/fight to get more loot/cash…’ The only difference in Elite being that the combat system is superior to those in, say, EVE or any Diablo knockoff you care to name.

            Where the game should offer a new hook, particularly given the selling point of its scale and representation of the actual galaxy, is in exploration, but at least I didn’t find this. Irritating niggles like the low resolution at which the Solar System was represented (and representing objects like Enceladus which are well-known while ignoring many larger bodies), the small number of planet/celestial object types, and reports of randomly-spawning AI pirates in the centre of the galaxy and other unpopulated areas do too much to break immersion.

          • silentdan says:

            “Trade, land on planets, buy ships… for what? What do you actually do?”

            Any game can be cast in this light. Pick a game. Any game ever. Video game, board game, sport, card game, anything. Now list all of the activities in the game, and tack on “… for what? What do you actually do?” You do all that stuff, man. If you don’t personally enjoy it, that’s cool, but it’s not missing some grand purpose that’s present elsewhere.

            Just FYI, in E:D, you can explore deep space to see black holes and weird nebulae, explore inhabited space to see space stations and combat, scavenge useful detritus from the surface of moons and planets, join a faction and help other players achieve goals that improve the bonuses you all receive for pledging to the faction, steal people’s cargo as a pirate, kill pirates as a bounty hunter, trade slaves, kill slavers, tinker endlessly with the setup of your ship, get frustrated and buy a whole new ship with a bigger powerplant, realize that maybe powerplants aren’t everything and buy a ship that splits the power/agility balance in a way that’s more to your liking, smuggle drugs/guns for a hobby or a living, harass other players, help other players, mine asteroid belts, prey upon people who mine asteroid belts, race space buggies against your friend in low-G, accidentally shoot a cop and have to leave town until the heat dies down, kiss a major faction’s ass until they trust you enough to sell you one of their exotic & exclusive ships, think of appealing names for your ships (my exploration vessel is the Shifty Drifter, and the Furious Abyss is for combat) and insist that people use them, group up with others to have some company and backup on your adventures, decorate your cockpit with bobbleheads, and possibly a few other things that I’ve forgotten. I’m not sure it’s fair to reduce all of that to “dogfighting and flying around is still basically all there is to it.” That’s like reducing life in general to “thoughts, feelings, and activities are still basically all there is to it.” There’s a pretty broad possibility space in the lede you’re burying.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Sorry, OP, but your comment is just not truthful. Star Citizen Alpha 2.0 is a buggy mess that’s hardly coherent and has nothing at all to do. Elite might be a pretty meh game for most people, but it’s still a game that you can log in and play and get a bunch of experiences out of.
      I certainly had some wonderful times and saw some amazing sights in the couple weeks where I played it. I logged in to SC: A2.0 and all I got was crappy performance, animation bugs, interface problems, lag, and a great number of hilarious bugs.

      If that’s what constitutes a game for you, with tons to do, then … I guess we just really disagree on those points.

    • Chalky says:

      Lol what the hell SC alpha is a buggy and barely implemented tech demo where you can pointlessly shoot at a handful of NPC ships for no reward and play a janky as hell FPS with 2 guns and one level.

      I guess you can steal other people’s space ships which is a neat feature that E:D doesn’t have but that’s basically it.

      It’s statements like this that makes you SC fans look insane. That and spending thousands of pounds to pre-order an over-funded video game.

    • derbefrier says:

      come on man as big of a SC fanboy I am I cant even say that with a straight face. 2.0 is a big step for the game but there’s really not much content there. the FPS part of the game is pretty clunky right now, there are lots and lots of bugs, multicrew is barely functional, and performance is pretty terrible right now and the quests are very simple and pretty boring after you do them a couple time leaving pretty much the only thing worth doing after a few hours of play, PvP. I didn’t like Elite all that much myself but Star Citizen isnt quite there yet man.

      • 2Ben says:

        You’re right, there is less content in SC 2.0 than in E:D. I backed both.
        Thing is, with much less content, SC manages to be much more exciting and exhilarating than E:D, by a long margin. I had absolutely wonderful moments piloting a Constellation with a bunch of complete strangers, going here and there, rescuing people, and getting gunned down by own own crew mates in a clueless FPS fight.
        Can’t say I had much excitement with a whole year of E:D…

        • BobbyDylan says:

          Don’t confuse subjective preference for Objective facts. I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m saying … that’s just … like… your opinion, man.

    • jonfitt says:

      Do not buy SC right now.

      I backed it at the beginning of the Kickstarter campaign and just tried it for the first time a couple of weeks ago when they launched the persistent universe test.

      After the framerates made me barf into my Star Citizen branded barf bag, I glitched through a ship hull and could neither pilot my ship, nor leave it.

      I will try again in another couple of years.

  6. Maxheadroom says:

    Not played in a good while myself but might be tempted to come back.

    Is all that power-play faction warfare stuff still a thing? What little I played of it seemed very grindy and confusing

    • Troubletcat says:

      Powerplay still exists and it still sucks. I’d recommend completely ignoring its existence (like CQC…)

      Thankfully other aspects of the game have improved dramatically over the past year, and especially with Horizons.

      …Still got a loooonnng way to go though.

      • Artist says:

        Its indeed amazing how they build the “new” powerplay system around their “old”, badly implemented mission grinding. Everything in E:D seems to evolve around grind. Seems to be the only gameplay concept they understand throughougly.
        Boooh Frontier, boooh!

    • Asurmen says:

      It still exists and it’s still grindy. I suspect most people grind to tier 3 for the faction specific item and then their tiers drop because once you’ve unlocked it then always have access to the item.

  7. Hunchback says:

    Oh my, the business model is really making me cringe. I so regret buying the first… part(?) of this game.
    This will most likely end up in a huge shit storm, especially considering how most people (that i know) that have bought/pre-ordered the game were seriously disappointed with the content it provided and how many things are apparently getting released later on, as “expansions”. GG i guess.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Isn’t it better than a subscription?

      • c-Row says:

        It definitely is. A subscription has you paying no matter how much time you invest in a game. A paid expansion doesn’t cost you anything until you actively decide to buy it, and until then you can just ignore the additional content.

      • aircool says:

        No! Because subscription based games are full on MMO’s!

        • Zenicetus says:

          And this one isn’t?

          If there was more focus on singleplayer-accessible content, I’d be back in the game.

          • aircool says:

            No.. it’s not an MMO because players don’t simultaneously share the whole instance. You can also just ignore everyone completely by playing the solo mode (can’t remember what it’s called), so there’s none of the risk involved in a PvP MMO.

  8. AriochRN says:

    “Looks like they’ve entirely abandoned describing this as in any way a singleplayer game, then.”
    I backed the Kickstarter mainly on the promise of Offline DRM-free, stuck around to try the Solo online mode and because I got the lifetime expansion thingy, still wondering if some of the toys will ever make it to the lonesome (or low bandwidth) player…
    AI Wings?
    AI multicrew* (nope, said Mr Braben)
    AI planetary dogfighting (nope)
    AI buggies (nope)
    …so not much out of that trailer then :/

    *you know, like they had in Frontier, over 2 decades ago.

    • Asurmen says:

      I really can’t grasp their (non-existent) reasoning for the lack of some AI stuff.

      • anHorse says:

        It could really do with more AI stuff if only to make it feel more alive.

        I always played in open or whatever the multiplayer mode was called and I only ever saw about 5 other players and they were all at one specific station.

      • Zenicetus says:

        The reasoning is simple to grasp. They’re lazy, and programming good AI is hard. It’s much easier to just shift the focus almost entirely to multiplayer content, because then the players *are* the content. It’s why the only mech games released recently have been multiplayer-only games. Nobody wants to put the effort into AI and writing good mission design for a singleplayer experience.

        I can understand the reasoning, but still feel burned by the way the game was promoted in Beta as having an equal focus on content for the singleplayer side of the game. And I’m not even talking about the Offline controversy here.

    • Troubletcat says:

      In the Nov 4. Livestream Q&A Braben said NPC crew/wingmen/player-launched fighters were planned for some time in Season 2.

      But I agree that the lack of AI ships/buggies on planets is a crazy huge omission… I have to assume it’s coming but that should definitely be in the base version of planet landings.

      • AriochRN says:

        In the livestream yesterday, the devs said nope to AI multicrew/buggies/dogfighting. The multicrew one disappointed me because I was hoping for something like the old games where you had to hire crew for the biggest ships or else you couldn’t fly them.
        They did say yes to AI ship-launched fighters, so that’s something I suppose. Maybe they’ll get around to the others eventually.

        • PoulWrist says:

          Isn’t hiring crew just kind of an artificial limitation and more grind to afford them, though?

          • AriochRN says:

            Well, by the time you could afford something like a Panther Clipper, the cost of hiring the dozen or so crew wasn’t much of a millstone around your neck. I was actually hoping for something a bit more developed in the new game, maybe akin to Mount & Blade’s system or something similar.

        • ironman Tetsuo says:

          The question that answer was to in the Livestream was from a viewer regarding AI crew in the planned Multicrew update promised for next year. I didn’t take that “no” to mean there will never be AI crew rather that it wasn’t the focus of Multicrew which I think is going to be season 2’s answer to this year’s “Wings” ie totally multiplayer focused.
          Since Single-player gate I think FD have tried to only talk about features they KNOW are happening, they rarely promise or discuss planned features anymore.

      • jonfitt says:

        Beefing up the variety of friendly and hostile NPCs should definitely be high on their list. Unless you are one of the very few people who mostly participates in PvP, you will spend most of the game with NPCs.

        I was really looking forward to hiring NPC wingmen for trading or combat. It was one of the features talked about in an early pitch video.

    • Dr Wookie says:

      I am disappointed by a lack of AI wings to date, but when we get ship launched fighters we will be able to launch up to 4 fighters (I think), and choose whether to fly the main ship or a fighter, and either a player or AI will fly the rest. I know that the cutter has space for 2 fighters right now.

      AI multi crew might as well be module mods, and we will be able to modify modules in the new loot and crafting system.

      • Dr Wookie says:

        I meant to say that the trailers were made in game using player pilots, and I have seen spectacular base raids in game. We can only wing up to 4, but can have many more players than that in an instance. I was disappointed by a lack of AI buggies though. The only really misleading ED trailer was the ED launch, the others are just edited experiences that you might have to wait hours between, or seek them out yourself

  9. Artist says:

    Frontier made a nice engine but horribly suck at gameplay. I will give this definatly a pass now and buy it next year at a discount but complete!

    • Dr Wookie says:

      Frontier have a 10 year plan, do yo’ll likely have to wait a while before it’s complete :). However everyone should wait until they are happy to pay the price asked for the content, whether that means more content or sale prices

  10. Blackcompany says:

    I see Elite as a yearly subscription.

    Last year it cost me $60. This year, it will, if I so choose, cost me $45, in order to continue enjoying ALL of the content. Otherwise, I can choose NOT to pay, and STILL enjoy what content I own.

    Looked at thusly, players who bought the base game, still get a deal. We are asked to spend around $45 this year to get all of the content. New players buying in at Horizons will need to spend $60 to get in this year.

    honestly, folks, $45/yr for entertainment really is chump change. I mean, is that so unreasonable?

    • anHorse says:

      Yes

    • Boosh says:

      Good point, and I agree in principle. The issue though is for many the perception is it’s more like a months worth of entertainment, not a year.
      That’s my experience, but I have the lifetime pass as I was an alpha backer. I quite like the game, it’s relaxing but have found the novelty wears quickly.
      More of a concern for me is the last major feature upgrades have not interested me at all, CQC, Powerplay are both pretty poor really and again they wear thin very quickly.

      Horizons looks promising IF they continue to build upon it. I’ve enjoyed my limited time with it so far, although I do feel again that within a month I will have moved on to another game and will be waiting again to try the next new feature in Elite.

      • Artist says:

        “Horizons looks promising IF they continue to build upon it.”

        Unfortunatly Frontier has a real bad track record to “build upon” anyting related to Elite…. sadly!

        • BobbyDylan says:

          Huh? You… you are aware that this whole article is about Elite being built on, right.

          No, my sarcasm detector must be off, there’s no way you’re serious.

    • TheRealHankHill says:

      Only $45 for a limited time, that is the point. I am unsure of Horizons and want more updates before I buy, so I will be punished for it. Doesn’t make any sense

    • TheRealHankHill says:

      Only $45 for a limited time, that is the problem. I am unsure of Horizons and want more updates before I buy, so I will be punished for it. Doesn’t make any sense

    • badmothergamer says:

      It’s only a great deal if you play the game regularly.

      Personally, I purchased it about a year ago, got about 20 hours of fun out of it, became bored, and haven’t seen anything to make me want to pick it up again. I would much rather have paid $15 for one month of access rather than $60.

      • Asurmen says:

        “It’s only a great deal if you play the game regularly.”
        So like nearly every ongoing evolving and/or multi game ever?

    • Titler says:

      I must hand it to the gaming industry; they managed to get the gaming media by the goolies back in the 1980s and 1990s because nerds (and I speak as one in interests if not character) are famously blind to the flaws of their beloved franchises, and would willingly throw themselves at the industries feet without being asked. Print journalism was notoriously in bed with the producers of the products they were supposedly reviewing on behalf of the readers who foolishly thought they were a magazines target audience…

      But then came the internet, and for a brief while, Public Relations became a nightmare for them. You simply couldn’t hide appalling product any more. Gamers talked to each other directly and helped warn each other from making terrible purchases. Disaster! So what to do?

      The answer apparently is to switch to “Crowdsourcing”. Now not only do you get people to give you money before you even design the product, they’ll also defend their investment to the death because they feel they’re somehow part of the company themselves. It’s a completely black hearted move of evil genius. Now your own community will rip apart their fellow gamers for you. They’ll yell about “entitlement” and “corrosive criticism” and have completely lost the ability to judge true value any more… and they think they’re defending quality!

      The above post is a great example of this. You once purchased Frontier: Elite 2 in the 1990s, which was still more feature complete than Elite Dangerous: Horizons today for a lower cost, and a single one time payment. Now, large swathes of the potential audience will defend the practice of charging you every single year for only promises and buggy incomplete code that doesn’t match the promises.

      What an incredible act of inspired greed; Hey folks, do you know that toast you eat every day? Well now I’m going to charge you $45 a year for the right to make toast. I may, or may not give you the actual bread to do it… you’re just buying the idea of making toast. But isn’t a year of potential toast worth $45?!

      No?

      Did I mention it’s Kickstartered toast? You’re part of this glorious dream of toast yourself! You really are!

      SOLD! To the guys with more money than sense. No, no, don’t rush, there’s plenty of almost-toast to go around!

      Until next year. When I charge you again for it. And if you don’t pay up, I’ll stop thinking about making toast entirely.

      • Jediben says:

        If only the Lifetime Expansion pass hadn’t been made available, whereby a single cost bought you access to every single epicentre of expansion for this game; you would almost be right…

  11. silvershine says:

    Have they changed how dropping into the same instance as a wing member works yet? Our group found it to be so tricky!

  12. LuckyLuigi says:

    As a lifetime pass holder I get everything free but Horizons really is a major upgrade to the base game and seriously worth shelling out for if you like the base game.

    I really don’t know why people are freaking out about the price. It’s ridiculous compared to the huge amount that people shell out from an MMO like EVE Online or SWTOR.

    • aircool says:

      If it was originally launched with a 12 month sub, then fair enough, people would have known up front what to expect.

      But is wasn’t.

      ED:H is a new game. It’s E:D2 in all but name, and Frontier are asking players who bought the full price game 12 months ago to buy another full price game again if they want (early) access to all the new features. Early Access ffs, it’s not even finished. In fact, will the game ever be released in a finished state where expansion are actually expansions, not just another (EA) iteration of the game.

      Finally, the comparisons to subbed MMO’s is bullshit. E:DH:Whatever isn’t a true MMO. If it was, then people would be happy to buy subscriptions at prices on par with other sub based MMO’s.

      It’s borked for those who want an immersive single player game. It’ borked for those who want a full-on MMO.

      The difference between Elite and a ‘proper’ MMO is significant enough to be incomparable.

    • anHorse says:

      You do realise that one month’s sub to SWTOR gets you all released content right (and you keep that content when the sub ends)?

      That’s like £6 for it all. Even if you only compare the new expansion to Elite that’s £6 for an expansion versus £40

      You’ve inadvertently made a comparison that makes Elite look like shit

      • ironman Tetsuo says:

        24 months of…
        Elite £70
        SWOTR £144
        Not sure what’s shit about that

        • aircool says:

          You sub for one month to SWTOR and gain access to all the updates, then go back to F2P.

          It’s like Wildstar. It’s F2P, but anyone who bought the original or subbed has access to everything. Subscriptions just give you bonuses.

          It’s the same with Planetside 2. Until recently (Daybreak), I’d been subbing a regular 6 month station pass. All that did was give me faster XP and Skill Points (can’t remember what they’re called), plus 500 smedbucks a month.

          Also, when you buy a subscription, it’s usually for a game that’s ‘finished’ and you naturally expect updates, improvements and content based on that subscription.

          Frontier are marketing a new game as an expansion, even though it’s somehow gone from Beta to Early Access (what next? Alpha? Tech Demo? Glint in the milkman’s eye?). And we know all about EA right? You can promise the universe, but you don’t actually have to deliver due to the EA caveat.

          Irrelevant really because there is no subscription fee to ED, or ED:H or whatever it is now; it looks like two games running concurrently to me.

  13. Zaxwerks says:

    For me as a “standalone expansion” (I don’t care what marketing call it) it’s content and price-point for someone who plays it “singleplayer” is just not worth it. This is where I jump ship. Like AriochRN and many others I back this on Kickstarter due to the promise of Singleplayer offline, I didn’t cancel my backing in the hope that it would still offer an enjoyable single player experience. It’s been fun, but it has in no way kept step with the evolution in gameplay since the original 30 years ago. That’s a shame, and this latest expansion for me seems to do very little to address my personal concerns. I am glad others are having fun but it’s time for me to play the other 200 Steam games in my Library that are waiting for me.

  14. ironman Tetsuo says:

    I’ve been playing Elite on and off since the first Beta and I still love it. Yeah it’s a little bare bones but the playground is there if you’re willing to bring a little effort and some friends. For instance, this weekend we have a surface station to station Rally event planned, yeah it’s not an officially supported feature but it’s entirely possible within the game to do so and it’s interacting with the great community in things like this that keeps me coming back.

    I Paid £50 for my season 1 beta pass and £30 for Horizons, this time next year that will be £80 for 30 months of deep space frolics, I’m more than happy with my purchase.

  15. aircool says:

    Beta Testing.
    Release.
    Early Access?

    I smell shite…

  16. aircool says:

    So after re-reading the article, ED is now P2W? It’s a new game that can be played alongside the old game, but the new game gets updates and…

    Look, I’m really confused. Why didn’t they just call it what it is, Elite: Dangerous 2 Early Access, with 25% off (limited time offer) for those who purchased Elite: Dangerous.

    It stinks. The whole thing stinks. What makes it really unpalatable is the fact that the new game isn’t even finished; features are promised, but no guaranteed.

    • c-Row says:

      I don’t know where you got the P2W bit from, and the base game will still get updated alongside Horizons.

    • Dude (Darloc) says:

      As far as I know you can still play with people that have the “new” game but they can land on planets that’s where the difference is. I don’t see how this make it P2W and you need to really define what winning is in Elite has it is very much a sandbox game.
      Regarding the last remark, yes they are “only” releasing the planetary landing, I guess they could have released it as a £10 dlc then do the same with multiple crew ship, first person mode, avatar customisation… Like a normal studio with a normal editor would do.

    • Dr Wookie says:

      Well it does display Elite Dangerous 2.0 in game! It’s described as early access because most of the publicised features will be released over the next year or so: loot and crafting, player avatars, ship launched fighters and multi crew. Landing on atmosphere planets is not expected until a later season

      However, 1.5 was released also for people who don’t want to upgrade or don’t have the power; it comes in 32 bit and 64 bit versions, while Horizons is 64 bit only.

    • silentdan says:

      I think some of the confusion may revolve around how it’s presented on Steam, and how the 1.5/2.0 version numbers work. Let me take a shot at breaking it down:

      First of all, the version number tells you what features you have access to. The servers are all running 2.0, but 1.5 players can still log in and use the servers as usual, while 2.0 players get to land on planets. There aren’t two games, there’s one game with some optional expansion content. Think of planetary landings as a “map.” If you bought a map pack DLC, and your buddy didn’t, you could still play together on the old maps, but he couldn’t join you in the new ones. I have 2.0, and some friends didn’t upgrade. We still play together, I just don’t go planetside when I’m with them, because they can’t follow.

      Some people are complaining about the pricing model. I agree that it has flaws, but not enough to really rankle me, so I’m staying out of that one.

  17. wondermoth says:

    Self-hating Premium Beta owner. Downloaded the latest update. By the time it had finished downloading, I was too bored to care. I got halfway through reading the instructions for planetary landings, then decided I’d rather play something fun.

    This has been my experience of ED for some time. I played it quite a bit during the Beta, saw everything I needed to see, and now, every time I think “I’ll give Elite a spin”, I’m bored of the idea long before the patch downloads.

    I regret buying the Premium beta. Never again.

    • Troubletcat says:

      You… you do realise all you’re saying here is that you find waiting for things to download and reading manuals boring, right? Since you never got as far as the game after beta… (lots changed and added since then by the way!)

      I’m pretty sure nobody likes waiting for downloads and reading manuals, but I don’t see how that’s a criticism of ED.

      • wondermoth says:

        Thanks for telling me what I’m saying. Do you provide this service for free, or will you be invoicing me?

        I HAD THE WRONG OPINION I AM SORRY IT WON’T HAPPEN AGAIN

        • Jediben says:

          Wait, you needed INSTRUCTIONS for how to land? I just pointed the ship at the ground, stuck my feet out the bottom of the hull and made sure I didn’t hit it at 300m/s.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      Yeah, Reading is boring. Wait for the movie, I hear it’ll start Dwayn-the-rock-Johnson.

  18. Dude (Darloc) says:

    I really don’t understand the problem people have with this price structure. I don’t think we are at the level reach by EA or Ubisoft which are big editors. The dlc sold by EA are expansive and I found that Raibow six siege is overprice for the game it is. Also remember that Frontier is doing this on their own, they do not have the backbone of EA or Ubi to carry on developing.
    £35 for an big update I don’t find that too step in the sense that people are happily paying this for WoW extensions on top of a monthly fee. And I prefer that than a myriad of small dlc that add up to a big chunk of money like Payday 2 is doing.
    I guess it depends how much you want to invest in Elite, I found this game refreshing rather than boring, sure the combat is repetitive (although it seems more challenging in 1.5, got in trouble for the first time in a long time yesterday), but there are things to do, missions, powerplay, conflict, you just have to look for it. There are new missions as well with this update so the content is slowly being fleshed out. I think in a culture of instant gratification it is not a bad thing.
    It might not be everyone cup of tea but that doesn’t mean it is a bad game.

    • Asurmen says:

      This. Entirely this.

      • ironman Tetsuo says:

        A lot of reclusive gamers and those with bad internet connections were burned by the whole single player promise of the Kickstarter and became very upset at the time (rightfully so) but now 18 months later they haven’t moved on and instead take every opportunity to bash Elite whenever they see it mentioned in the press. You just learn to tune them out after a while…

        • Mokinokaro says:

          Don’t be disingenuous.

          It’s far beyond just the offline mode thing. Frontier’s support of the game over the last year has been underwhelming at best as all they’ve added is yet another grind system that is overall completely pointless.

          The game is completely soulless. It’s a mile wide but less shallow than Bethesda games.

          • Mokinokaro says:

            Of course, I meant to say that it’s shallower.

            The flight model is excellent, but there’s nothing to do with it except the handful of procedural missions and trading.

    • TheRealHankHill says:

      You really don’t get what is wrong with making a very small discount time sensitive for people re-buying the entire base game for an expansion? That has nothing to do with whether or not the game is good or content, that’s just strong arming people who are unsure of whether or not they want the expansion (since there isn’t a ton of content YET, i know there will be but I want to see it before I purchase Horizons) into buying it since the discount won’t always be there. If they would make the small discount permanent then there would be less of a problem for most people.

      • aircool says:

        Exactly… hey guys, you’ll get a crummy £10 discount for buying a whole new game (screw the original, it’s 12 months old now), except the game is in early access.

        So yeah, should the game ever come out of early access, that discount will be history.

        Frontier are cajoling you into buying a EA game with all the risks that are involved (plus the usual Frontier ‘its not really finished yet, even though it’s a full release’ crap) by offering an insulting discount.

        Want to wait and see if the new features are any good? Want to wait and see if some of the proposed features ever make it into the game? Then feel free to pay full price… probably a month before Elite: Dangerous 3 is released (EA of course) in December 2016.

        The whole financing method is arse over tit! You’re not paying for a completed game, just constant early access.

        For those people who just want the original E:D… how much time and effort are Frontier going to put into improving that game whilst putting all their effort into creating gameplay for their new EA game called ED: Horizons.

        • Asurmen says:

          Other than the size of the discount, I can’t see the problem with the pricing model.

    • aircool says:

      The price isn’t the core issue.

      It’s the price for current players that’s the issue.

      I’d be ok paying £40 for ED:H if I didn’t already own E:D. And that is where the kick in the nuts comes from. A new player pays £40 for everything whilst an original player who paid £40 for it 12 months ago has to pay another £40 to stay on par.

      Sell me the upgrade for £10 and I’ll be happy (in fact, when I first read about the discount, I thought it was discounted to £10, not £30 – that’s how much my brain thought that £30 was unbelievable cheek!).

      Fundamentally, Frontier are saying, with the money we’ve raised from selling Elite:Dangerous (the not really finished version), we’re proud to announce Elite: Dangerous 2 (the not really finished AND Early Access version).

      It’s a whole new, different game. Elite: Dangerous had a shitty lifespan of 12 months in which some stuff was added that should have been in the game in the first place.

      • Mokinokaro says:

        This is pretty much the pricing model every MMO with expansions uses though (and E:D is an MMO)

        Previous players get a head start on the content. New players only have to buy the most recent expansion and get access to the previous content.

        • aircool says:

          E:D:H is not an MMO. You can’t just say to 100 other people, ‘hey, let’s meet at Earth or whatever because, well, P2P instancing is why.

          They even had to build a ‘feature’ so you could group with friends and stay in the same instance when you jumped to a new system.

          It’s a long way from being an MMO, and let’s face it, most MMO’s these days use the F2P model.

    • aircool says:

      People DO have a problem with EA and Ubisoft’s pricing policy, but at least they release their stuff as a finished product.

      Horizons has been released, but now it’s in Early Access. What? Surely a game is in Early Access then it’s ‘released’ when it’s finished?

      Under the caveat of Early Access, Frontier has allowed themselves plenty of room to put in fuck all extra content whilst also promising whatever they want without actually having to follow it up.

      • Mokinokaro says:

        Which is also combined with their disappointing track record of the last year.

      • Asurmen says:

        It’s called Early Access so new players get an understand that it’s a roll out of features. Nothing has changed in that regard since 1.0 release. It’s disingenuous to say it’s because it allows them to put fuck all content in.

        • aircool says:

          That has got to be the most risible excuse I’ve ever heard. It’s Early Access because it’s not finished and not fit to be released. You don’t have to have a game in early access to add more features later on. Was the original E:D early access? No, but it felt like it.

          Frontier are just covering their arses. No-one in their right mind buys an expansion that just promises to add stuff, but then it’s not an expansion is it, it’s a whole new game.

          That’s in early access even though it’s finished… Frontier are just a bunch of shysters who are going to release annual ‘updates’ (ie, the next iteration of the game) whether it’s feature complete or not.

          And what about those who don’t buy the upgr…season pass or whatever it is now? Frontier are now going to put all their effort into the new game, I mean update, I mean DLC, I mean expansion.

          • Asurmen says:

            If by excuse you mean actual fact and the way the game was always going to be developed, sure believe whatever you want.

  19. Noam Beefheart says:

    Guess who I’m done giving money to.

    • teh_saccade says:

      That toothless hooker you always end up with when your wife won’t give it up?

  20. teh_saccade says:

    I feel gouged by these guys, for paying £40 for elite dangerous, and now having to pay another £40 for horizons, while people who didn’t support the development get it all for £40…

    THIS IS EXACTLY WHY I LEFT VODAFONE MOBILE CONTRACTS AND WENT ON PAY AS YOU GO TARIFF.

    Computer games aren’t supposed to be like phone companies :`(

    It’s just ain’t right…

    • teh_saccade says:

      Saying that, even with British Telecom – you can call up once a year and say, “hi, I noticed that new customers are getting an offer for 50% off line rental for 6 months – how is that fair to me??” and then they say, “oh thanks for calling, let me apply your loyalty bonus of 50% off line rental for 6 months, and I’ll also make sure you are on the right tariff for you – oh, you can save an additional £2 a month because you qualify for our customer loyalty blahblahblahblah”.

      Not so, here.

      You supported us when we asked for it?? Well FKKK YOU BUDDY – GIMME DAT CHEDDA, YO, OR GTFO.

      Braybrum plz. y u do dis?

  21. PhilBowles says:

    Given how much I looked forward to the game and how much I loved Frontier I’m not sure why I didn’t get on with Elite Dangerous all that well (though its failure to present the universe as being as realistic as billed was a letdown).

    I’d have liked to give it another try with Horizons, but most of these features are of no interest beyond planetary landings and exploration and it seems you can’t just buy the individual sub-expansions of interest. The killer is going full MMO with the game, with such things as multi-crew spaceships that presumably can’t even be implemented in the single-player mode.

    • Hobbes says:

      Oh they could, but they’re not going to. In the same way that offline Single Player was a very viable option, but they’re not going to either, because they want your money.

      • Asurmen says:

        It wasn’t an option for the game they wanted to make.

        • Hobbes says:

          Yes, because it’s easier to monetise an always on environment. There is no other reason for it. None. The simulation as is can be packed quite neatly into a few hundred meg, you do not need 400bil stars and associated planets for a single player, even 0.1% of that would be more than a dedicated explorer could see in their lifetime.

          Of course, rather than admit that it’s because David Braben and Frontier are greedy shysters, they invented some truly BS reasons, but hey, whatever you say ;)

          • Asurmen says:

            *shrug* Believe what you wish but there wasn’t a way of making the game they wanted work on single player. It’s a separate argument that the game they wanted to make wasn’t necessarily what everyone wanted however but that’s their prerogative as developers.

  22. gsvelto says:

    I’m among the very first backers of E:D, I’ve backed it so early I managed to lock down “Guybrush Threepwood” as a commander name. Yet I won’t be buying Horizons nor I would recommend E:D to anyone. It’s a depressing grind-fest where repetitive action follows repetitive action, with a lovely looking and yet slow and clunky UI and the most annoying combat mechanics I’ve ever found in a space sim. For old timers like me, seeing this described as the successor to Elite and Frontier is almost insulting.

    • zeep says:

      One of the first backers on kickstarter too. Also an old git. This is exactly the game i expected my beloved Elite to be. It is what the old Elite was and more. You can play Solo, coop and Open multiplayer.

      If you find ED a grind fest then what was the original Elite? The same trading. And some missions and that was it.

      YMMV

      • anHorse says:

        There’s a big difference between grinding for two hours in an old game and two weeks in dangerous

      • gsvelto says:

        So why Solo mode doesn’t have time acceleration? Why no Newtonian physics when flying at sub-light speed? Why the ships’ yaw is a joke? And why did they need to make the larger (and more expensive ships) better in all possible ways than the smaller/cheaper ones (which is a big joke on its own, it’s because they don’t have fully maneuverable turrets anymore and thus were easily outmaneuvered by smaller craft)? The answer to those questions is that the game mechanics have been entirely built around MMORPG-ish grind. So once you get to a higher tier you need to be automatically better than the lower ones since you had to pour hours upon hours of play to get there. There’s no nuances anymore in E:D, no compromises or real choices to be made and brains won’t get you anywhere unless you’ve decided to ditch your social life first and play that game for hours to get at least a half-decent craft.

        • Premium User Badge

          Phasma Felis says:

          Yaw is a joke because the original Elite didn’t have yaw. You turned by rolling to the side and then pulling up/down. I recall it being fun and novel, though of course I haven’t played in 25 years.

          You may not like the yaw in E:D, but you can’t say it’s not faithful to the old-timers.

          • gsvelto says:

            But Frontier did, so why take it out? Is that progress? Innovation? As somebody pointed out below to prevent the “turret in space” syndrome, which wouldn’t happen if the game used Newtonian physics, and to prevent fast maneuvering ships to take out bigger targets easily – because you know, people grinding their way to the higher tiers have to be rewarded somehow, don’t they?

          • Premium User Badge

            Harlander says:

            I was never convinced by the Newtonian combat in Frontier. It might have been more realistic but I found the results pretty uninspiring.

        • Asurmen says:

          Hey can’t it have yime acceleration? Because that doesn’t make sense and also means developing effectively two different games. Why no Newtonian physics? Because it generally sucks as for gameplay. Why slow yaw? To prevent turret in space syndrome where every input is as equally valid. Why are larger ships better in every way? They’re not.

          • gsvelto says:

            It made perfect sense with Frontier’s Newtonian sub-light flight mechanics and it still would if those were there. But then you wouldn’t be able to grind away with other people on community targets and the like. Also, did you find that Frontier sucked since it had Newtonian physics? Was it a step back compared to Elite in your eyes? Your comment seems to imply that it was.

            Also regarding higher tier ships, why all the recent buffs to make them pitch better? Maybe all those grind-happy players were annoyed to be taken out by smaller crafts on their top-of-the-food-chain new ship?

            Again a remainder about previous games, larger crafts used to maneuver very poorly – and they initially did in E:D – but this was mostly reversed because, hey, grind needs to be rewarded, doesn’t it?

          • Asurmen says:

            It made perfect sense in Frontier because it has sub-light speed. E:D doesn’t so time acceleration doesn’t make sense and doubly so when multi would have FTL and single wouldn’t.

            E:D combat is better than Frontier precisely because it isn’t just Newtonian.

            They had buffs because they needed them. Small ships still outmanoeuvre them and it hasn’t mostly been reversed. At least get your complaints correct.

  23. 0positivo says:

    yeaaaaa no. Far too expensive. I paid for the full price one year ago, and essentially ran out of interesting things to do 2 months in. Tried getting back in with every update, but there was always so little, I ended up getting burned out again within a week. What this game really lacks is a simple “Why”. Why am I doing all this? What’s my endgoal?

    Until they do an expansion for that, I’ll be on the sidelines waiting and watching videos of the few interesting things here and there. Videos are free, after all

    • Asurmen says:

      Does a game need an endgoal? Frontier didn’t. Neither did Elite.

  24. wombat191 says:

    its definitely missing something for me, ive normally loved games like this. played the previous elite games and loved pottering around trading, etc living a virtual life as a trader, etc

    recently i replayed privateer again and the world felt alive, places felt different when you docked yet everywhere in ED feels similar dock at one station and you have seen them all pretty much

    this game has great potential but im currently waiting for it to live up to it

  25. racccoon says:

    Been so long since I had this game live in my hard drive..last time I had mad errors with the launcher which I sorted by myself & got past it, after that I was suppressed planet hopping boredom.
    Has it been tweened so you don’t spend half n hour between planets trying to align your path & is the silly SUN gone from every trip?
    If so I may re install it..If not then..no, That’s my reasons for un installing it which was a long time ago. :(

    • Asurmen says:

      It’s never been half an hour between planets. Very few locations in a system are more than 1-2 minutes away from each other at best. I also don’t get what you mean about the sun.