Re: There seems to be a lot of confusion about 'offline mode'.
There are other reasons than direct griefing and lack of internet connection to want an off-line game.
1) Economics: They will need to find a way to fund the on-going server requirements - this can fundamentally affect game play eg; Micro-transactions & play to win
2) No pause button: I suspect many of the backers for this project are grown adults with jobs, families, children, cats etc... Last night I was playing oolite in a fit of nostalgia. At 11:30 I decided to install the povray planets extension and do one more trade run before bed. Due to a firefight and then being mass-locked forever, I was still no-where near the station at 00:45. Fortunately I Was able to just pause the game & go to bed. I will get back to it later.
3) Consistency: The game universe moves on without you. If I can't play for two weeks, or two months, the game universe has continued changing. Those changes are effected by other players actions while I am on holiday or just too busy to play. When I return I am effectively playing a game in a completely different state.
4) Re-balancing: Because this online universe is shared with multi-player. I may even return after a couple of weeks hiatus and find that my ships or weapons have different statistics. Anything in fact could have been tweaked solely in the interests of the multiplayer game.
5) Economic Griefing: You may be able to play Solo online mode, but the markets & missions are still going to be affected by the actions of MP players. You can rest assured that if there is a way to grief the shared galaxy, humans will find it. Economic griefing and scamming has been well practiced in certain other MMOs. Don't expect it not to happen here.
6) Modding: Some people were really looking forward to the proposed modding API. This very obviously can't happen now can it
7) DRM: They promised a DRM free version. Online authentication is DRM.
8) Longevity: The future playability of the game is entirely bound to the success of the company. You will only be able to play it while it is economically viable for Frontier to support the server. If sales tank quickly or no-one is buying spaceship skins that might not be very long at all. Equally it could continue for 15 years - the point is it is entirely beyond your control.
How many other products do you buy without any guarantees for how long it will actually function?
Many people seem to be completely unaware of the possible implications of this allegedly trivial decision.