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Elite: Dangerous

PAX South 2015: Hangin' with Frontier, playin' Elite on the Oculus Rift

Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), Interviews, PvE, Hands-On, Events (Massively's Coverage), Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous
Readers of the Choose My Adventure column may remember that I spent the month of September smuggling beer, shooting NPCs, and dodging space rocks in Frontier Developments' Elite: Dangerous. Though the game was in early beta, I found lots to do and lots to love about the space simulator that isn't that other space simulator. Realistic physics, challenging flight controls, and beautiful design work made the game stand out to me as unique and promising (other Massively staffers seem to agree), and I've revisited it since and enjoyed it every time.

Thus, I jumped at the chance to check Elite out again at PAX South 2015, this time with the experience enhanced by a rad HOTAS setup and the ever-so-popular Oculus Rift. Guided by producer Eddie Symons, I bluffed my way through a combat demo and discovered that when it comes to shooting things in space, being able to look and fly separately is a great thing indeed.

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Elite's February patch to feature 'community goals'

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Elite: Dangerous

Elite: Dangerous is readying something called "Community Goals" for its 1.1 patch. Executive producer Michael Brookes told PCGamer that community goals are a "new type of story-driven collaborative content."

The first such goal will involve supply and bounties, with "massive player migrations [that] will have a knock-on effect on galaxy-wide economy and power structures."

February's 1.1 update will also feature a new gas giant shader and city lights on planetary dark sides, Brookes says.

Global Chat: Guild Wars 2's economy is broken

EverQuest II, Culture, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, The Repopulation, Elite: Dangerous

Guild Wars 2's economy remains a hot-button issue even two-and-a-half years after its release. In this week's exploration of the blogosphere, one writer pulls out all the stops to let you know what's broken about this MMO's economy -- and how it can be fixed.

In addition to this thoughtful read, Global Chat will hear some snark on silly hotbar icons, pontificate about poor MMO names, deliver The Repopulation first impressions, and invite you to participate in a grand MUD experiment. Let's get going!

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Not So Massively: Closed beta for HOTS; tourneys for Hearthstone and LoL

Betas, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, PvP, News Items, Trading Card Games, Consoles, MMOFPS, MMORTS, World of Tanks, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Buy-to-Play, Hearthstone, E-sports, OARPG

Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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Elite: Dangerous maps out update beta schedule, teases expansions

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

In a development post released today, Elite: Dangerous Executive Producer Michael Brookes laid out Frontier's plans for the game's inbound major updates following the tiny 1.05 patch this morning. Update 1.1 is set to enter beta the first week of February, Brookes says, and will focus on mechanics for player collaboration and route planning. Who gets to join that beta?
Currently beta testing will be available for those who already have beta access for the main game. For players participating in the beta tests there will be a separate mechanism for playing so testing does not affect your game and that you can continue to play the retail version as well. Options for players currently without beta access to be able to purchase beta access will be available. Details will be made available nearer the time. Depending on how the update Betas go in test, we expect them to be released to everyone a week or so after the Beta release.‚Äč
Brookes also teased E:D's upcoming paid DLC as well as the multiplayer-focused 1.2 update, the beta for the latter of which is expected in March.

Not So Massively: SMITE's tourney, Shadow Realms' do-over, Heroes of the Storm's new mode

Betas, Video, Bugs, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Not So Massively, MOBA, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, Infinite Crisis, Hearthstone, E-sports, OARPG

Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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The Daily Grind: Would you like community filters in your MMO?

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, PvE, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Elite: Dangerous

I was browsing the Elite: Dangerous forums the other day when I came upon this ad for a PvE-only private group. It's a good idea in theory, as it's a way for a large, dedicated community to insulate themselves from griefers and other undesirables while still playing an online multiplayer title.

I'm not sure if the functionality is a net positive for games with player-run economies and the like, but it's an interesting option for developers to consider going forward. What do you think, Massively readers? Would you like similarly large-scale ignore options and community filters in your MMO?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Frontier expanding Elite's dev team, feature set

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Sandbox, Elite: Dangerous

The latest Elite: Dangerous newsletter is out, and while it's chock full of tidbits for fans of the space sim title, perhaps the most interesting revelation occurs in the development update section.

"We're expanding the team working on the game so that we can maintain a regular schedule of updates as well as working on the paid expansions," Frontier says. Those regular updates aren't limited to fixes, either, as "new features and content for all" is part of the plan. First up are the wings, "associated multiplayer features, and additional ships" that the devs hinted at in 2014.

Elite: Dangerous rolls back decision on billionaire rollback

Sci-Fi, Economy, News Items, Sandbox, Elite: Dangerous

Reverse the reversal!  Prepare to complete the preparation for completion!
There was a bit of a to-do recently about money in Elite: Dangerous. A bug caused numerous players to receive a credit "refund" that wound up making them instant billionaires, which might have had some long-term ramifications for anyone who had hoped to actually play in the sandbox economy in the future. While the developers had initially opted against wide-scale rollbacks, asking instead for affected players to choose whether to be rolled back or not, that decision has been reversed.

Unexpected billionaires will find all of their bug-gotten gains rolled back and removed, with the development team contacting those affected personally to make sure that nothing legitimate gets caught in the crossfire. Meanwhile, players who found a way to exploit the game explicitly will also see their gains removed. So those who were hoping for rollbacks in the wake of these issues will be happy; those happy with billions of credits for no real effort will be... less happy.

[Thanks to Cotic for the tip!]

Elite: Dangerous players aim to chart out the whole galaxy

Sci-Fi, Culture, News Items, Sandbox, Elite: Dangerous

No space battles for you, son.
Over a thousand players in Elite: Dangerous are already unified by a single mission. It's not warfare; it's not economic dominance; it's exploration. The Great Expedition has brought together a huge number of players to start plotting the whole of the game's 400 billion stars, or at least as much as possible. That means coordinating logistics, figuring out routes, sending out pathfinders, and heading off into the great unknown.

While the eponymous expedition hasn't started quite yet, players are already dipping their toes into the process and figuring out how to handle the sort of extended effort required to chart the game's full galaxy. The group counts among its numbers an ex-NASA scientist and several astrophysicists. While it's taking a little time to get up to speed, there's reason to be excited about what the group might find in the future... and what waits out in the depths of virtual space.

Not So Massively: Destiny's rumored DLC, Elite's server blip, Hearthstone's new season

Video, Bugs, Business Models, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Buy-to-Play, Hearthstone, E-sports

Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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Frontier testing Elite server-side fix tonight

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, Elite: Dangerous

Last weekend's Elite: Dangerous server hiccup left some players unable to log in. If you're one of those players, you might be interested in Frontier's official response which was posted earlier today on the game's official forums.

"We have a server side fix in-place to go live tomorrow, it's just undergoing some final testing tonight and tomorrow morning before making its way to the live servers," writes Frontier's Andrew Barlow. "This should fix it for everyone that's not already been fixed by customer services already. We just want to ensure that the fix is correct and safe so we don't cause more issues for players that are currently unaffected."

Elite: Dangerous server goes haywire, creates instant billionaires [Updated]

Sci-Fi, Bugs, Economy, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, News Items, Sandbox, Elite: Dangerous

The Elite: Dangerous server has had a relatively smooth launch since it released just over two weeks ago, but all that changed last night when the server went absolutely haywire. A suspected transaction server failure caused a whole slew of bizarre bugs for those playing the game last night, from benign errors like players getting disconnected to catastrophic failures like deleting a ship's entire cargo, rolling back ship upgrades, and deleting credits. The worst problems involved players having ghost cargo that could be sold over and over again, allowing them to rack up millions of credits in minutes.

Though the problems were reported promptly, the server wasn't rebooted until its usual maintenance period over six hours later. In a feat of remarkably bad timing, the server problems happened on a national holiday in the UK, and so the developers at Frontier were taking time off to celebrate the new year. There has been no official announcement on the problems yet, and players are speculating on the damage that would be caused or reversed if Frontier performed a server rollback. Reports from the Elite forum suggest that developers may not be back to work until as late as January 5th, at which point it's unlikely that developers will roll the server back.

The damage from last night's errors continues to cause problems today. One player was left shipless and unable to log in when the server reversed a ship purchase transaction, and another's ship teleported back across the galaxy and is being held hostage at a station with no shipyard. Dozens of players have reported broken cargo holds or missing cargo and credits, and one player logged in this morning to find 5 billion credits sitting in his wallet. These events have naturally prompted a resurgence of complaints about Elite's always-online gameplay, as players have found themselves unable to play without problem even in solo mode.

We have reached out to Frontier for comment.

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The Daily Grind: What add-ons can you not live without?

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Sandbox, Elite: Dangerous

Open the pod bay doors, Hal
I recently installed VoiceAttack, and while I played Elite: Dangerous for a couple of weeks without it, I'm not sure how I managed! VA is basically a third-party app that translates commands spoken through your microphone into various key presses.

For a flight sim like E:D, it's invaluable since it allows me to keep both hands on my HOTAS setup while simultaneously managing other ship systems. It's also pretty immersive in a far-future sci-fi setting like Elite's, because who wouldn't want to talk to a spaceship and have it follow your commands? What about you, Massively readers? What game add-ons can you no longer live without?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Stick and Rudder: This is not an Elite: Dangerous review

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, First Impressions, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Stick and Rudder, Elite: Dangerous

One of these days I'll get back to writing Star Citizen-flavored words in this space. Right now, though, Elite: Dangerous is a thing that I've been playing, and please ya'll, put down your pitchforks.

It is possible -- and even healthy -- to like and support both of these titles. This is not space Capulets vs. space Montagues but rather the beginnings of a new sci-fi sandbox age. Elite's not quite where I would like it to be at this early hour, but it's still a fine piece of work that's salvaged a thoroughly regrettable MMO year.

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