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On the galactic fence


artician
(@artician)
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Topic starter  

Considering picking this up.  I have waited for almost 30 years for someone to create a proper followup to Elite Frontier.  There are many flight sims I love, but I've measured them all against EF.

 

I realize one of my favorite features, planetary landing, isn't implemented at launch, and if it weren't for their intent to add it later I wouldn't even consider the purchase.  Aside from that, what am I in for?  Is this the game I've been waiting for?  Something to give me a massive galaxy to play in whichever way I choose?

 

Thanks for any and all opinions.


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ExpandingMan
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I've had somewhat mixed feelings about Elite Dangerous, some major disappointments and some exhilarating surprises, but ultimately my judgement is that if you are a fan of the genre you should most definitely buy it.  Playing the game is a great experience but, in my mind there are three big problems right now:

 

1) The flight model.  (I've said so much about this that frequenters of SSC are probably sick of seeing me comment on it.)  Don't expect the sort of wonderful physics of IWar or Evochron mercenary, instead expect a cartoonish Supermarine Spitfire hurtling through space.  The first time I played the game, I felt absolutely crushingly disappointed, and even thought I might never wind up playing the game much at all.  It just FEELS so WRONG.  My opinion has oscillated a little.  I did actually quite enjoy many other arcade-like space sims, so I figured I could enjoy this, and I have to admit there is some nice subtlety.  Perhaps the nicest thing I can say about it, is that it does seem somehow well suited for one on one encounters in empty space, which is the vast majority of what you'll be doing.  Ultimately, I find that the awkwardness of battles between ships with radically mismatched maneuverabilities is so unpleasant that I can't help but think of the flight model as an abject failure, my concerns about realism and my initial feelings aside.  Ironically, even after all of these things my biggest problem with the flight model is that it totally breaks the immersion of the game.  You never get to feel like you're flying a spaceship, and in a game with an astonishingly gorgeous 1:1 scale galaxy, this seems like a tragedy.

 

2) The UI is actually very nice on the input side, but in presenting information and feedback it can be extremely lacking.  The first area in which this is a big problem is ship outfitting, in which you get practically none of the relevant information, and what you get is presented poorly.   The other area is in the economy.  If there is a star system with more than one type of economy, you won't have much luck figuring out what exactly is going on there unless you visit each station and write down their buy and sell volumes.  With thousands of inhabited systems, this hardly seems a pleasant prospect.  I certainly appreciate that Elite is a trading game, so you should have to work a little to get your info, but I feel they've erred too much on the side of making very little available to you, and tried to eek out gameplay that doesn't really exist by making players have to remember or just wonder about what's going on.

 

3) There doesn't seem to be too much to do right now.  Personally, I think it's reasonable that they did a full release in this state, except that I really feel they could have done much better with the mission system.  A significant improvement of that along would probably make it feel like there is far more activity to be had.

 

Points 2 and 3 may well be improved with expansions or even just patches.  In spite of all the above negativity, it can be a pretty spectacular game.  There is just nothing to match the beauty of the amazing galaxy of which every star exists in game.  The planetary systems are generated realistically (they use a monte carlo that is used by astrophysicists to study planetary formation) and I really can't stress enough how awe-inspiring it is to get to LIVE in that, even though the flight model can make such a mockery of it.  Best of all, you can explore systems completely freely.

 

I'll share one of my best experiences.  I had a contract to retrieve the black box from a destroyed ship in an uninhabited system.  I had limited astronomical data.  I knew from the data I'd purchased that it was a binary system with a G-type primary and a brown dwarf secondary, but I didn't know the exact location of the secondary.  I couldn't find my black box anywhere near the primary, so I used its projected orbit to find the secondary.  I had to do some searching, the brown dwarf was barely visible from more than a couple of hundred lightseconds away, but I found it.  And I found the black box.  Now there's an experience you won't get in any other game.  So, it has its flaws, but anybody who is a fan of the genre should buy it.  Hopefully (and it's looking like) Star Citizen will wind up with an infinitely better flight model and far more intricate ship outfitting, but it won't have the galaxy, so Elite will always be worth playing.


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Cody
 Cody
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The flight model, though not fully Newtonian, is rather good - with flight assist off, it's even better. But opinions are simply that - opinions! The game has massive potential - but I emphasise 'potential'. One thing that is already certain: there is a whole galaxy out there, as astronomically correct as FD can manage. The skeleton of a great game is there - whether FD can deliver the flesh is the question!

 

Short answer: buy it now!

I dreamed I saw the silver spaceships flying, in the yellow haze of the sun
There were children crying and colors flying, all around the chosen ones
All in a dream, all in a dream, the loading had begun
Flying Mother Nature's silver seed to a new home...


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ExpandingMan
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The flight model, though not fully Newtonian, is rather good - with flight assist off, it's even better. 

 

Like you said, we just have different opinions on it, but I think we should make abundantly clear to a new player considering buying the game what exactly "flight assist off" means.  Usually, it would mean that the flight computer doesn't automatically zero translational momentum, but DOES zero angular momentum.  Otherwise, you'd have to manually cancel out all rotation.  But that's just what you have to do in Elite.  And no, there's no option to zero rotation also.  Why would somebody do something so crazy you ask, why would somebody want to constantly be jerking their joystick or mouse back in forth just to perform the most basic maneuvers, especially in a flight model which is otherwise so unrealistic?  Well, it's because FD had the brilliant idea to tie your maneuverability to your throttle (which in Elite means absolute speed) so that the torque your ship is capable of applying actually depends on the speed you were going when you turned off flight assist!  It even depends on the POWER you had allocated to engines!  If they didn't somehow severely "nerf" flight assist off, then people could use it to achieve good maneuverability at different speeds than the game allows you to without suffering some other severe disadvantage. 

 

In the end I agree with Cody: just buy it.  If you're like me you'll be frustrated, but the frustration is worth it. 


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Cody
 Cody
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It can be frustrating - then again, the original Elite could be frustrating at times too. Anyway, enough of all that! I'm parked-up at the SpaceRickshaw Co's Torus station at Quandixe, I have some diplomatic documents to deliver - and I have a bunch of assassins tracking me!

I dreamed I saw the silver spaceships flying, in the yellow haze of the sun
There were children crying and colors flying, all around the chosen ones
All in a dream, all in a dream, the loading had begun
Flying Mother Nature's silver seed to a new home...


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Pinback
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Planetary landing is add on, so you will pay £40/£50 for the basic game plus what ever price they deem for the add on if they go ahead with it. You will also need a good and stable internet connection as the game has an always on DRM.


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 Anonymous
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Planetary landing is add on, so you will pay £40/£50 for the basic game plus what ever price they deem for the add on if they go ahead with it. You will also need a good and stable internet connection as the game has an always on DRM.

 

Comon. The online feature is not just for DRM. You are influencing and interacting with a live galaxy. Even if you play solo mode.


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Cody
 Cody
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I don't pay much attention to reviews, but this one in PC Gamer seems reasonable - if that helps the OP any.

I dreamed I saw the silver spaceships flying, in the yellow haze of the sun
There were children crying and colors flying, all around the chosen ones
All in a dream, all in a dream, the loading had begun
Flying Mother Nature's silver seed to a new home...


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artician
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Topic starter  

This is all great to hear. Thank you all for the input.  I am still taking a leap of faith for this because in the case of, say, the planetary add-on not having seamless transitions between orbit to atmospheric flight (ala Frontier), it could destroy even the slightest enthusiasm for picking this up.  Not to mention that I have pretty strict policies against paying $60 for a game, and against purchasing anything that requires always-on connections. Obviously I'm stepping out of my personal comfort zone for this game so all the impressions help a great deal.

 

I'll probably pick it up.  I've waited decades for a serious resurgence of space flight genre, so I should probably dive in and enjoy it while it lasts.


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ExpandingMan
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I am still taking a leap of faith for this because in the case of, say, the planetary add-on not having seamless transitions between orbit to atmospheric flight (ala Frontier), it could destroy even the slightest enthusiasm for picking this up. 

 

I share your enthusiasm for seamless planetary transitions, it certainly makes it feel like the universe is more complete.  However, if I'm honest with myself I have to say that it usually isn't that relevant to actual gameplay.  I played Evochron Mercenary a lot, which has beautifully seamless transitions to planet surfaces, but in practice I rarely found myself venturing down a gravity well.  Maybe if you revisit some of the games you enjoyed with planet surfaces you will decide that it's silly to make that an important criterion, at least I would.

 

By the way, FD has claimed that the planetary transitions will be seamless.


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artician
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I share your enthusiasm for seamless planetary transitions, it certainly makes it feel like the universe is more complete.  However, if I'm honest with myself I have to say that it usually isn't that relevant to actual gameplay.  I played Evochron Mercenary a lot, which has beautifully seamless transitions to planet surfaces, but in practice I rarely found myself venturing down a gravity well.  Maybe if you revisit some of the games you enjoyed with planet surfaces you will decide that it's silly to make that an important criterion, at least I would.

 

By the way, FD has claimed that the planetary transitions will be seamless.

 

Yeah, but it's important to me.  Navigating even empty planetary surfaces is critical for my immersion.

 

That said, I should not have bought this.  I haven't felt like throwing a controller since I was a little kid, but this is not something I should have purchased.  The controls are SO flawed I want a refund.  I absolutely hate the game, it's entirely unfun.  I needed something that let me shoot around the stars exploring, not stress myself out with impossible controls while going into debt from crashing into buggy space stations, and failing to navigate across a galactic cesspool of shitty corporations and governments that I play games to get away from in the first place.

 

Fuck. This. Game.  🙁 


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ExpandingMan
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You should give it a chance.  Like I said, I was extremely unhappy with it when I first started playing it.  When you say "impossible controls" are you talking about the flight model or the actual controls?  If it is just the control which bothers you, you should spend some time editing the control scheme to your liking, there are so many different ways of setting it up that you are not likely to be happy with whatever is default.  They give you a ton of flexibility in setting the controls up, so if your issue is just controls, I'm sure you can get them into a state you're entirely happy with.


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Vuzz
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Fuck. This. Game.  🙁

 

 

whow  :fie:


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Pinback
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Anyone buying into this should think very carefully about it, as what you are paying £40/$60 or 50 Euro for is a basic game, that is the space fight part any further content add on like seamless planetary, station and ship interiors will be paid for. Also their is still the unanswered question of any future monetization of the game.

 

Bear in mind that the game is unfinished and still contains many bugs, a good example of one which has come to light here https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=85102&p=1350830&viewfull=1#post1350830

 

Also many people have also had problems with the launcher and downloading the game. https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=75505 I will also note that Frontier development technical help is next to useless and their customer service is non existent.

 

As for refunds you will have a hard time getting anything back from them, their attitude is "we have your money, tough" you can find threads about the shenanigans that the kickstater backer have been put through here http://www.reddit.com/r/elitedangerousrefunds/

 

In all it may be better to wait another 6 months to see what happens and to see what direction the game is going in.


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