Even though this is not going to end up being a new novel, Drew Wagar is inviting everyone to join him on a new ingame adventure that will unfold over the upcoming weeks leading to the launch of Odyssey...

The last time Drew came up with a similar event, it sparked one of the biggest and most involved player-driven events in game. For those that might be new or unaware – we're talking about Salomé – The first lore character that divided the community.

Elite: Retribution will follow the actions of Sassia Bianchi, a new NPC controlled by Drew Wagar himself who players will be able to interact ingame. The story will be told through the otucomes of her adventures and interactions with the player community.

As a story teller, I’ve penned a little background to Sassia’s story of which you can learn a little of in the trailer below. More will be revealed on a weekly basis as an episodic story unfolds within the “Drew Wagar” Private Group in Elite Dangerous on PC. Players can contribute to that story and the outcome will, once again, be decided by the players. Season 1 should take us up to the beginning of the Odyssey DLC availability, we’ll see if the story continues after that…

- Drew Wagar

This event will begin at 8pm game time on Thursday, 14th of January within the Drew Wagar private group. The event will be broadcasting live on Twitch and afterwards uploaded to Youtube.

If you want to take part in this new player crafted story, feel free to join the private group by sending a friend request to Drew Wagar or Sassia Bianchi.

What is the set up?

At a bare bones level Drew will have access to a series of CMDR profiles which he uses to help tell the story, managed by different individuals. These will be present in the “Drew Wagar” private group at various times. CMDR Sassia is one of these profiles. Key aspects of the story including some cut scenes and key moments will be broadcast at 8pm-10pm UK on Twitch on Thursday (and made available afterwards on Youtube).

Is it just watching people role play?

During the broadcast period (8pm-10pm UK) you will be able to watch Sassia “play the game” as a new CMDR in the PG on twitch or in-game. Some of this will be the mundane process of establishing a new CMDR in the game, at times she will be undertaking missions, trading and so on. Any one in the PG will have an opportunity to interact with her if they are able/willing to during this period. Sassia’s overall quest will be revealed in Episode 1. Each episode of the story is designed to end on a “cliff hanger” of some sort, enabling interim play by players during the following week and setting up a continuing quest for the next episode. Players are encouraged to role play in response.

Where does it start?

Sassia, as a new CMDR, will begin in the new starter permit locked systems. With luck she will be able to leave these fairly quickly and enter the wider galaxy.

So the entire story has been written in advance?

No. Aspects of the story, and an overall arc have been composed. There are various “significant points” which trigger moving into the next segment of the story. However, Drew has no idea precisely what the player base will do in response to the episodes, so the sory may need to be rewritten on the fly in between each episode, or abandoned completely. In order to summarise the previous week, Sassia will give a “Previously on Elite: Retribution” narration akin to many SF TV shows. Player actions will thus change the flow of the story… and may even derail it entirely. It will be up to Drew Wagar, as the writer/director, to manage that difficulty. The entire story will thus only be told at the end, partly by his input and partly by the combined playerbase.

What if we can’t join in during the UK timezone?

Sassia and other protagonists/antagonists will appear in game at various times between episodes. Some clues or directives may be given during these periods. Players online at the time can respond to them. These may influence the story outside of the broadcast time. Influencing the BGS, securing trade items or providing an escort may be possible for players outside of the broadcast time.

Private Group? Not Open?

Narrative rules cannot be applied to the “Open” environment, by contrast the PG is Drew's to manage. This story is not designed to establish canon or become official lore, and is not part of a greater work thus doesn’t require “Open” mode. It is for entertainment only. The “Drew Wagar” PG will remain PVE only (strictly no PVP unless authorised, though PVP may occur in a limited context at particular points – these will be clearly signposted). Infringements of these rules will mean expulsion from the PG. The “Drew Wagar” PG is aimed at Elite Dangerous players who enjoy narrative and lore based gameplay.

PC only, no consoles?

At present Drew dos not physically have an Xbox or PS. As an individual with a small team it's simply beyond their resources to make this any bigger at the present time. If this story is a success, the team will look at expanding the reach and scope to include consoles in a future endeavour.

So is Sassia a player or an NPC?

Technically Sassia is a player CMDR managed by Drew Wagar. However, she will be consistently “in-game” and subject to the constraints of the lore, mores and experience of Elite Dangerous, unable to step out of that into our “real” world. As such she can only react to what she sees in game and will not benefit from “meta” knowledge of Elite Dangerous as real players do.

Who is Sassia Bianchi?
All to be revealed. 

Is this officially support by Frontier?

No. Frontier are not involved. If they wish to add anything they are more than welcome.

How long will it run?

I anticipate around 8 weeks duration, but this may change.

Why are you doing this?

Why not? It’s a bit of fun storytelling for the game whilst we wait for the Odyssey DLC, it has no other objective other than entertainment. The idea is to explore the “new player” experience and thought, as a writer, Drew might be able to add something more than just a simple playthrough.

Can we make suggestions, comments, ask questions?

Of course. Probably the fastest way is to join Drew's discord, there is an Elite: Retribution channel. https://discord.gg/DGmzSux