Frontier Expo 2017 and the state of Elite Dangerous
Today, Saturday 7 October, Frontier will be holding a big event where they talk about the future of Elite Dangerous along with other games from Frontier Developments.
The event was sold out months ago and the start is scheduled for 3:30 BST. For all those who couldn’t get the actual ticket – make sure to check the official Twitch or Youtube for the live stream. During the event, developers will be talking about the content planned for 2.4 and the year ahead. A lot of speculation has been going around the forums and reddit, where the loudest feature that came popping up was “spacelegs”.
So... here we are...
Unfortunately, several of the latest patches have been of questionable quality and a vast majority (or at least the loudest part) of the community is far from satisfied of how Frontier is handling Elite’s development.
The whole Horizons season has been going on for almost two years now, and apart from placeholder content we are yet to see a fleshed out feature put into the game. With that said, it’s really questionable how “spacelegs” would be implemented since a lot of features that have been a selling point of each patch are just shallow or plain broken.
Take multi-crew for example. Even months after the initial implementation the whole feature is semi-broken, causing disconnects on both sides when trying to access the feature, and once you get in – the only interactive feature could be considered combat oriented, and only if the host commander has turrets mounted or some fighters for the guest to use. Other than that – you’ll be just sitting there watching another commander pilot the ship which, let’s be honest, can hardly be called gameplay.
It’s no surprise the community is in an uproar after patch 2.4 – The return, was promised as a story driven narrative – yet all we got (so far) are hauling community goals which have been in-game since forever. To make things even worse, the rewards for said community goals (the weapons to fight Thargoids with) were completely nerfed to a point they are basically useless. Frontier explained it as the fact the Thargoids “adapted” to our weapons. Meanwhile – another CG is up with the same goal – get new weapons. Will those be nerfed to oblivion after a week as well? What’s the point of doing the CG then?
Another major grudge players have has to do with the general storytelling. Literally, if you don’t follow the official forums or fansites covering news and happenings about Elite, there’s almost no way of finding out what’s going on in the galaxy from within the game itself.
Galnet has been at a stale crawl for a very long time now, and even when there’s a post about a community goal, one cannot find details where to get the rewards or what the actual reward is! The whole problem could’ve been avoided by a simple newsfeed from within the game. A simple “story” inbox where commanders could see what’s going on and where to go to experience all the new stuff Frontier has put in.
It’s no secret that Frontier keeps nerfing all the quick money earning locations as well. Now don’t get me wrong… It really can be considered gamebreaking if a player can get millions of credits in a single day – but the problem lies in the fact that the whole gameplay revolves around credit earning since that’s the only way of feeling the progression in the game and gaining any upgrades. The mission board has gotten multiple overhauls but in the end – it’s still a broken mess.
Missions that require you to travel 20,000ly for a few hundred thousand credits (we’re talking about 10-15-20 ingame hours), or assassination missions that only spawn target NPCs an hour after you pick up the mission, making you wait a long time before you can actually do anything, all the way to the tedious RNG the engineers are – yet, we are bound to them for basically any ship modifications or personalization. It’s like the game makes you waste time on meaningless stuff as if the whole thing is not a huge timesink already.
With the rest of the franchises Frontier is working on like Planet coaster and Jurassic park – it really becomes obvious where the focus of the company currently is. Planet coaster is a great game that made a huge success upon release and it looks like Frontier made a business decision to transfer the majority of the development power away from Elite at the moment. If this is not true – then the whole situation is even worse than it seems. Somehow I refuse to believe a team of a few hundred developers can’t patch up bugs that have been reported a year or even two years ago.
There was also rumours about dropping the “season” model and switching to more of a DLC type of content which, with current quality of patches, is something a lot of people will most certainly avoid buying up-front which could result in even lower sales for Elite. So, make sure to tune into the expo streams or jump back to Alpha Orbital for a later summary.
We’re all eagerly waiting for what Frontier has to say about the upcoming year.
Fly safe commanders o7