I think there is a lot of misinformation in some of these posts. Currently in Elite there are only a few thousand, maybe tens/hundreds of thousand systems. My understanding (which could be wrong) is that others are only created when a pilot gets closer to them. So in a sense by exploring the universe, one becomes god.
The Online only mode is related to the way the market operates, even playing solo other players transactions effect your the prices in your world. Also the news is drawn from a central source.
My problem with the game is that's is just not a lot of fun to play, its easy but a real grind. Its basically Elite First Encounters with prettier graphics and harder controls (unless you own a flight stick). I am waiting to see what they do with it though as the potential is there.