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Elite: Dangerous

Living and dying in the Elite: Dangerous gamma build

Betas, Sci-Fi, Launches, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Hands-On, Sandbox, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous
When we last looked at Elite: Dangerous during August's Choose My Adventure, the game was in a barebones beta format with just a few of its promised eventual features. Frontier Developments' crowdfunded space-sim certainly brought a lot to the table with its pretty graphics, realistic flight physics, and down-to-the-details sim structure, but anyone not interested in running courier missions or blowing up other ships was probably left wanting.

Now, however, Elite is a different beast. Just two weeks from final official launch, Elite is in what Frontier Developments is calling the "gamma" stage. It's as close to the finished version of the game anyone is going to get until launch on December 16th. So naturally, I took another dive in Elite to see what exactly has changed.

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The Stream Team: Elite Dangerous returns

Betas, Sci-Fi, Video, PvE, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Elite
Frontier Developments' Elite: Dangerous has just entered Beta 3 or Gamma 1 or some other pre-launch version of itself, and Massively's Mike Foster is all set to fire up his Sidewinder and fling himself into parts unknown to see exactly what's new. Tune in tonight as he explores Elite's open play mode and tries desperately not to crash his ship in front of a live viewing audience (again).

The action starts at 7:00 p.m. EST.

Game: Elite: Dangerous
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Friday, November 28th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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PSA: Elite pre-order customers can play right now

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous

I didn't back Elite: Dangerous through its various crowdfunding stages, but I'm nonetheless playing Frontier's space sim today in between trips to the kitchen.

How so? Well, I pre-ordered the Mercenary Edition this week, and the devs have graciously allowed latecomers like me to partake of the game's single-player combat tutorials from now through the December 16th launch. It's a good thing, too, because my dogfighting skills are a little rusty and there's a lot to learn about Elite before the big day.

If you are a backer, you can play the full game via the gamma client. Don't forget to catch up on all the latest Elite happenings via Newsletter #51.

Elite's Duxford event launches Gamma, iOS app

Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous

Frontier held an Elite: Dangerous premiere event at RAF Duxford Imperial War Museum last Saturday. The gala served as a launching pad for the sci-fi title's final Gamma build and its new iOS companion app.

Gamma is open to everyone who crowdfunded via Kickstarter or Frontier's website prior to mid-December 2013, and it unlocks "the full 400 billion star systems of the most advanced virtual representation of the Milky Way galaxy ever created for a videogame," according to a company press release.

You can download the Elite companion app via iTunes right now. Frontier says Android and Windows Phone versions are "expected before the end of the year.

[Source: Frontier press release]

Elite: Dangerous considers granting even more refunds

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Legal, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous might grant refunds to more people than originally thought.

Last week, Frontier admitted that it had canceled a planned offline mode for the game, which led to David Braben's announcement that limited refunds would be given to preorder customers who'd never logged in to test the game but not to other backers. As of last night, Frontier is apparently reconsidering that decision. Wrote the studio boss,
We initially declined some people's request for refund as our records showed they have already played Elite: Dangerous online. After listening to many of the comments I received after my AMA here, we have since re-opened these requests and informed those people that we will be contacting them so that we can fully understand their individual situation before making a more informed decision. We will be contacting them each in the next few working days.
If any Massively readers have successfully received a refund, let us know in the comments.

[Thanks, Cotic.]

Elite: Dangerous has begun issuing refunds over offline play debacle

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Sandbox, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Elite
Elite: Dangerous' latest newsletter has arrived, and predictably, Q&A about the game's recently canceled offline mode dominate the post. David Braben reiterates his statements from earlier this week that the single-player mode will still be accessible, just online-only. "Any offline experience would be fundamentally empty," Braben explains, stressing that Elite: Dangerous is an MMO and "technically [...] always has been" and that "always-online entertainment is already a reality for the majority." He also says that Frontier has already begun issuing refunds strictly to those who pre-ordered the game through the online store and had not accessed the alpha and beta; Kickstarter backers and active testers are not eligible.

Of note to MMO fans in particular, the studio boss promises to "take regular archives of the game and the servers, to preserve the game for the future," with plans to release the server code publicly if the servers are ever shut down.

The newsletter also highlights Beta 3.9, which arrives on the test server today, bringing with it overhauls to the map and ship outfitting, new ways to reach the rank of Elite, and open-mic voice comms. Beta 3.9 will be followed by Gamma 1.0 this coming Saturday. The game is still set for an official launch on December 16th.

Braben clarifies Elite: Dangerous' lack of an offline mode

Betas, Sci-Fi, News Items, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous

Well, this should mollify no one.
When fans were told that Elite: Dangerous will not feature an offline mode, they were a little upset, considering it had been one of the explicit promises made during the game's Kickstarter campaign. Head honcho David Braben took the opportunity to clarify the situation, promising that while the game will not have any sort of offline play offered now or (likely) in the future, there will still be single-player options. You'll just have to be online to play them.

Braben defended the decision as a fundamental creative decision, an attempt to deliver the best possible version of the game rather than an inferior offline experience. However, Braben also admitted that the team should have communicated more openly with players regarding the state of the offline version of the game. He also said that individual requests for refunds by anyone dissatisfied by this change are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Elite: Dangerous is still on track for an official release on December 18th.

Not So Massively: Destiny's patch, Hearthstone's lawsuit, and Lost Ark's reveal

Betas, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Consoles, MMOFPS, Dev Diaries, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warplanes, MOBA, League of Legends, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Infinite Crisis, Buy-to-Play, Hearthstone, E-sports, OARPG

NSM
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 won't feature offline play after all

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

Elite: Dangerous developer Frontier has seemingly reneged on an earlier promise to deliver an offline version of its popular spacefaring title. Fans of the crowdfunded hit caught wind of Frontier's plans via the game's 49th newsletter, and executive producer Michael Brookes confirmed the decision in subsequent forum posts.

"We have always said the way to play the game is online - indeed it says so in the quote of me being circulated," Brooks wrote. "The choice was develop the game in the way we wanted, or not. Trying to make it offline would have made both experiences worse than we were willing to tolerate. We had to make the decision and have done so. I would say that an offline rewrite of the game is unlikely for the future."

[Thanks golden radish!]

The Daily Grind: Should EVE Online add manual flight controls?

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Business Models, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Subscription, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous

The Daily Grind title image
On Friday, developer CCP Games stunned us with the news that EVE Online will be adding manual flight controls in December's Rhea update. Gamers have been asking for twitch controls since EVE launched in 2003, but the idea has always been shot down as infeasible because it would put the server under extremely heavy load. CCP mentioned its interest in twitch controls during Fanfest 2013, and I speculated on a possible server-friendly implementation in an EVE Evolved article shortly after, but the fact that the feature is about to be released still comes as a huge surprise.

The new controls will be optional and quite limited. Ships will be able to rotate clockwise or counterclockwise and pitch their ships up vertically up and down, but we won't be able to do loops or rolls like in a dogfighting game. Developers also want to add joystick support soon, but so far there are no plans to add manually targeted ship weapons. Many players are excited for the new controls, and some of them are already asking for further features like the ability to lock the camera behind their ships for a more hands-on flight experience.

The announcement has prompted debate in the EVE Online community, and not everyone is convinced it's a good idea. Some have complained that twitch controls don't suit EVE as the ships are supposed to be massive starships with full crews rather than single-pilot fighter craft. There's also some cynicism over whether the feature is only being worked on now due to the growing popularity of Star Citizen and Elite: Dangerous. EVE could be positioning itself as a viable alternative for any players who are disappointed with the new space games, a strategy that has worked in the past to help it absorb players from games like Earth & Beyond and Star Wars Galaxies.

What do you think? Should EVE add manual flight controls, and is this an attempt to appeal to the mass market?

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!

Not So Massively: Overwatch's reveal, Hearthstone's expansion, and Dawngate's sunset

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Lore, New Titles, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Trading Card Games, Consoles, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, HEX, Hearthstone, The Division, OARPG, Overwatch

NSM - Overwatch
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.
  • Blizzard announced online team-shooter Overwatch at BlizzCon. Chris Metzen says Blizzard is trying to build a more representative game with less hypersexualization.
  • Hearthstone is launching in December and getting a new expansion: Goblins vs. Gnomes.
  • EA's MOBA Dawngate is shutting down in three months.
  • League of Legends introduced Kalista, the Spear of Vengeance.
  • MMOTCG HEX dropped its beta key requirement but denied that it is in open beta.
  • Heroes of the Storm's closed beta starts January 13th. It's also getting a sweet Diablo III-themed map.
  • Diablo III previewed its upcoming season. According to content designer Kevin Martens, Diablo was once considered for an MMO, but no longer.
  • David Braben says Elite: Dangerous' December 16th launch date is "sensible."
  • Star Citizen passed $60 million in fundraising.
  • Quirky indie MMOFPS Hunternet boasts 700-player battles.
  • World of Tanks' 9.4 patch added Stalingrad map and tweaked strongholds.
  • The Crew hinted at a new "PvP mode" and season passes.
  • MechWarrior Online's latest dev vlog covered inner sphere quirks and faction switching.
  • Ubisoft said that The Division's PC experience won't suffer because of consoles.
  • Some jerk swatted a Bungie/Destiny exec; the internet demands prison time for said jerk.
  • The latest World of Speed vid features nearly four minutes of gameplay.
  • Bigpoint's Shards of War introduced a new sentinel, Vox.
  • Undead Labs discussed balance in Moonrise.
  • Dota is now the subject of a course at Chongqing Energy College in China.

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Braben says Elite: Dangerous' December 16th launch date is 'sensible'

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, Launches, News Items, Elite: Dangerous

Frontier's David Braben has announced that Elite: Dangerous will launch on PC on December 16th.

Braben told Eurogamer that a game is "launch-ready when it is a great game," in spite of the flaws those close to the title might still see. He expressed concern over feature-creep and diminishing returns from gameplay polishing. "At Frontier we have been doing this for a long time," he said, "so we are confident the date we have announced is a sensible one."

Elite's third beta phase, open to those who've already ponied up for the game, began at the end of October. After spending September playing through the beta 1 release, Massively's Mike Foster wrote that he "would happily recommend it" but for the beta price tag. The Mercenary pre-order edition is available for $50 from the official site.

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Elite: Dangerous' third beta is now live with new systems, ships, and interdiction mechanics

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Elite: Dangerous

Elite
After a brief technical delay, Elite: Dangerous' "Beta 3.00 is now available," declares a post on the official Frontier forums. The patch notes are extra long; new and updated features include new ships, player-driven interdiction, fuel scooping from stars, asteroid mining, visual overhauls to planets, philanthropy missions, and an expanded game map with now over 2400 systems. Frontier has also added hundreds of audio tweaks and bug fixes. Players have continued reporting stability issues with the new patch.

This episode of beta, like the phases before it, is exclusive to those who've pre-purchased the game and beta access. Massively's Mike Foster spent September playing the game in beta 1 and had enough fun to say that he "would happily recommend it" but for the beta price tag.

We've included the new beta 3 trailer below.

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Not So Massively: LoL's world championship victors, Elite's shindig, and Citizen Con 2014

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Culture, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Launches, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Buy-to-Play, E-sports, OARPG

LoL Samsung White
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.

Continue Reading

Elite gets mining on October 28, premiere event on November 22

Betas, Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Elite: Dangerous

This is the best header image in the history of header images
The latest Elite: Dangerous newsletter brings word of a premiere event for the space sim sandbox to be held on November 22nd. It's all happening at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Cambridgeshire, UK, but if you can't make it in the flesh you can tune in via Twitch.

Newsletter #45 also looks at mining, which is scheduled to arrive in Elite's Beta 3 on October 28th. Click through the links below to give it a read.

[Thanks Cotic!]

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