back to article Elite:Dangerous goes TITSUP

Eight-bit classic space trading game revival Elite:Dangerous, has hit further strife after its servers experienced total inability to support usual performance over the holiday period. Elite:Dangerous has proven controversial since its makers decided not to offer an offline mode, as was promised in the Kickstarter campaign …


  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems el reg has decided it's editorial stance on e:d.

    1. Barticus

      Yeah, forum surfed journalism from the community's squeaky-wheels.

      I (and plenty of others) have had no problems at all...doesn't make very sensationalist copy that though.

      The game is OBVIOUSLY broken beyond repair. NOT!

      1. Simon Sharwood, Reg APAC Editor (Written by Reg staff)

        I think this outage is a bit more than squeaky wheelers. The thing went down. In prime gaming time. Acceptable?

        1. Barticus

          More than just squeaky-wheelers? Hardly. I take it you've only read the 'Woe-is-me', 'game-is-gonna-fail', 'everything-is-broken' threads on the forums, conveniently ignoring all the 'Wow, awesome', 'best-game-ever', 'no-problems-here' threads. Let alone the fact that the people who aren't having problems are probably playing rather than posting.

          I'm not saying there aren't any problems or things that need looking at, but the game is the most stable release I've seen for a very long time. <Cough> Sim City <Cough> Assassins Creed <Cough>...and they're from AAA companies with mountains of cash behind them, not a crowd-funded independent.

          Get some perspective Simon.

        2. Martin Rogers

          " total inability to support usual performance"

          "the thing went down"

          Do you have any background with large multi-server backend systems? If you lose one server, a fraction of your users get a crappy experience (to an extent depending on server stickiness and resilience) but the rest sail on unawares. That's not an total outage, or "titsup" as you put it. If you base the big picture on those users' irate postings on Twitter, you might conclude that it was. If you didn't know better that is.

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Server errors seem to be par for the course with the release of many online games these days. I'm not saying that this is acceptable or not, but only that many players almost expect a hiccup or two in the weeks following a launch. Frustrating probabaly, shocking no.

    2. Simon Sharwood, Reg APAC Editor (Written by Reg staff)

      Er ... no. No decision. Are you having a better experience?

      1. David Neil

        Can't speak for the others but I've been fine, if anything the missions where I had issues in Gamma test are now working as expected

      2. i.a.m

        Yes, I and lots of others that I speak to are having a good experience. I played with no issues during the supposed down time as did others I was speaking to, it depended on the server you were on. There are always going to be problems with software, but compared to other mmo's they are relatively minor.

        Regurgitating the forums is not balanced reporting. People are going to shout loudest when they're unhappy with something, doesn't mean it's representative of the experience for most.

        Here's an idea, how about actually contacting FD? Gets some figures on numbers affected vs the userbase? Same for offline. Speaking of which how about listening to this for a more balanced perspective that el reg's reporting so far.

        1. Steve Gill

          more balanced perspective, from a dedicated fan site - wrong!

          1. i.a.m

            Try listening to it. Yes they're a fansite but they're a lot more balanced than El Reg. They don't sidestep the negatives, unlike El Reg which seems incapable of talking about the positives.

            1. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

              If you honestly believe that reporting an outage constitutes a "bias", then you probably should get all your *cough* news *cough* from a fan site. Wow.

              1. i.a.m

                No I don't and I didn't say that, but please point me at the article talking about the games positives?

                There have been 4 articles recently headlining or mentioning offline and refunds:

                Number of people requesting refunds = 100s

                Number of people playing and, for most part, enjoying the game = 100,000+

                There's your bias, where's your perspective?

                1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

                  Let me put this in simple terms.

                  If you don't like it, don't read it.

                  If you think we're somehow biased for reporting what's going on in the world, feel free to set up your own news website and tell the world how wonderful everything is.

                  1. Reue

                    What a childish response from a business representative on their own website. I suspect that had FD posted similar replies of "Dont like it, dont play our game" on their website.. El Reg would have been all over it.

                  2. Sheep!

                    "If you don't like it, don't read it."

                    Can we expect that to be replacing the "Biting the hand that feeds IT" splash any time soon? Also, how can we know we don't like/agree with an article until we've read it, or are you suggesting to your readership that if they find one article they disagree with they should just stop reading the Reg altogether? Dangerous statement to make that.

                  3. i.a.m

                    Now that's a lazy answer.

                    You're not reporting what's going on, you're reporting what you choose to focus on from a particular perspective. Normally I find that entertaining and informative, the ED articles are just misleading. You're not even taking the piss.

                    I've read El Reg for years and I've come to expect better.

                2. James O'Shea Silver badge

                  "Number of people requesting refunds = 100s

                  Number of people playing and, for most part, enjoying the game = 100,000+"

                  If those numbers are anywhere nearly correct, then WHY ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH DON'T THE DEVS REFUND THE MONEY TO THOSE WHO REQUEST IT? Seriously, if the number requesting a refund is, as implied, at the 0.1% level, then why not just hand 'em back their money and make the problem go away? It's what, 30-50 pounds each? Why not just kick back the money and restore peace to your network?

                  1. i.a.m

                    I wish they would.

                    People who never, or barely, played online seem to be getting their money back. Those who played online quite happily before release aren't (for the most part.) FD's perspective seems to be that if you played online before you still can now, even if it's in solo, so you don't get a refund despite the forum anger and publicity it's generating.

                  2. Elite Fan

                    FD wishes it was only 100 refund requests

                    Because we known that request for refunds are in the thousands and not in the hundreds like FD would like us to believe. For example; if all the Kickstarter backers who paid for Physical DR-Free Collector's Premiym Boxed Edition of "Elite Dangerous" who have gotten FRACK all up to now asked for their money back. The sum FD would have to pay back would be upwards of £120,510 or $183,533 U.S dollars. People forget that the only reason F.D made it on Kickstart was because of the offline/drm free additions to their Kickstarter platform. In the last week of their campaign after offline & drm-free was announced they made approximately £750,000. This very quickly adds up to a lot of cash if large percentage or all of those people are asking for refunds.

              2. nanchatte


                You didn't just report an outage. The formula for typical clickbait is this: Does an article get released after reporting mainly on anecdotal or lopsided opinions before confirming the full story?

                And the major litmus test is this: Does an article link to inflammatory posts which are of no/little/tangential relevance to the current issue.

                In this case, you linked to a number of negative pages about E:D... without once stating that the outage seems to affect only subset of users and that, on the whole, the E:D beta program and release was one of the smoother (apart from a short patch around Beta 2) releases.

                THAT is what people are calling biased, not your "server down... some users cry" bit.

                But still, look on the bright side, your article has whipped up a tonne and a half of feedback... Keep up the good work...

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: What?

                  " the E:D ... release was one of the smoother ... releases."

                  This release that

                  * omitted the manual, novella, box, physical media, many game add-ons such as extra ships, backer extras such T-shirts

                  * lacking promised features such as offline more and DRM-free

                  * was over none months late.

                  You call that smooth?

      3. Anon the mouse

        You would have thought people would've realised what the support was going to be like after the refund problems. Though writing refund quest was very cathartic.

        Frontier, seem very, very overwhelmed as usual. But then release a game and announce a two week holiday for a week later was always going to be a clusterf*ck.

      4. Stuart Elliott

        My experience

        Yes, I'm having a much better experience, playing about 6-7 hours daily since release, there have only been 2 hours on NYD when there have been any issues, lost about 300,000 credits, worked find later on.

      5. Dave Gomm

        yes, am having a much better experience and have been in since beta, in fact very few people on the 2,000 person independant Facebook group (Elite Dangerous Community) seem to be having issues at the moment so this does look like it affected a small part of the userbase.

      6. Will Stephenson

        The game has worked fine for me since release, with the exception of a couple of hours late on the evening of New Year's Day. I called it a night and it worked fine the next morning. I've been playing since May, and stability really improved during the 3 week gamma phase leading up to release. I understand that a small number of people had database problems with their accounts preventing play since the server fix on 1 Jan, and a smaller number have had account problems preventing play since release, but judging by the overall forum traffic most people are talking about their playing the game, not not being able to get on at all. My experience has been that the game is very stable.

        1. veti Silver badge

          The reason there's a certain level of - let's call it 'spite' - detectable in this reporting is because Frontier made this rod for their own backs. If there'd been an offline mode, then (a) a whole bunch of people would have been happier with the game at launch, and (b) another, presumably partly overlapping, bunch of people affected by a server outage would have been able to enjoy playing anyway.

          "Server outages are normal", "all MMOs do this" - yes, but this didn't have to be an MMO. That was Frontier's decision, it was controversial, and it's not surprising to see people who disagreed with it - taking the opportunity to gloat a little.

    3. JustinYoung

      This is the third or forth anti-E:D post I've seen on The Register in the last couple of weeks. I think a bit of balance is in order, there are a lot of very happy E:D customers out there.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Do you understand journalism ?

        "there are a lot of very happy E:D customers out there."

        Yes, and there are a lot of Seventies BBC presenters who aren't pedophiles.

      2. Sarev

        And the wait for a review goes on...

        El Reg still too busy bemoaning the issues, which all online games have, might I add...

      3. Roj Blake Silver badge

        I'm very happy so far and played it extensively over Christmas and the New Year without problems.

    4. A. Lewis


      I really don't think it's as bad as this article makes out. I've been playing since launch, and haven't had any of the problems mentioned here. OK, the game has its issues, but as others have said, that's not uncommon in recent history. The article paints the picture of a community up in arms over a broken game. In my experience it's a happy and enthusiastic community enjoying an excellent game at an early point in its life.

    5. darkbaron

      A very poor article

      This is typical of the Reg these days. This article is just trying to sensationalize a mundane server outage and create a story out of nothing.

      I and many others I know have been playing without issue right across Christmas and the new year. I've logged over 50 hours of gameplay in the last 2 weeks and not suffered a single issue.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: A very poor article

        >>"This is typical of the Reg these days. This article is just trying to sensationalize a mundane server outage and create a story out of nothing."

        I think it's highlighted in the case of ED because so many people were so unhappy that offline mode was removed after being offered (and had signed on because of that) and such complainants were continually met with a barrage of people telling them to quit whining and it wasn't a real problem.

      2. nanchatte

        Re: A very poor article

        A very poor article? What are you on about?... It's garnered 150 comments (as of writing at nothing -even the dodgy weekend edition articles comes close...) more than the expense of El Reg's reputation. It'd say its a winner. It's like "reading" a fucking buzzfeed.

    6. Max Normal

      Man the barricades!


      I see the drooling fans have been whipped up and launched en-masse toward El Reg Towers.

      Shit, some are carrying pointy sticks and flaming torches!

      Quick everybody - pile the furniture up against the door!

  2. returnmyjedi

    If only there was an offline mode.

    1. Sixtysix

      Disappointed in the extreme...

      I was an early kickstarter.

      Missed the Launch completely, but what the hey.

      Downloaded (and then really downloaded, slowly, oh so slowly) the game. B*******D DOWNLOAD TOOK THREE DAYS. REALLY? THAT'S ACCEPTABLE?

      (Steam managed to aquire two similarly sized AAA titles in less than an evening...)

      THEN found I needed to sign onto Internet to start the damn game or do anything! NOT HAPPENING.

      Never even launched my ship.

      1. HumptyDumpty

        Re: Disappointed in the extreme...

        I used to have download issues. These were fixed by switching off "Automatically detect settings" in my Internet Options. Might be worth a try if it applies to you.

    2. Avatar of They Silver badge

      I think you hit the nail on the head.

      Also a good reason this article is perhaps laden with bias.

      A game that has a huge outcry because they are not doing what they said for offline play and making everything online, then loses all of its online play.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "...this one's got a way to run"

    And so have the management team at Frontier. So much disappointment from what should have been a glorious experience - neither the game nor the support infrastructure seem to be mature anough for full-blown release.

    1. David Neil

      Re: "...this one's got a way to run"

      Probably why they are hiring support staff and ramping up

      Hope they iron things out, quite enjoying the game so far

    2. NumptyScrub

      Re: "...this one's got a way to run"

      In other news, multi-billion dollar companies Microsoft and Sony fail to keep their servers available on Christmas Day, impacting gamers being able to play over 100 titles (many freshly unwrapped, no doubt). Would you concur that both the consoles and the support infrastructure for either company are also not mature enough for a full-blown release, if a bunch of disgruntled script kiddies can take the network down for millions of players?

      Full disclosure: I've been playing Elite fine and had no connectivity or trading issues whenever I've logged on. I could not however play Dragon Age: Inquisition on my XBox One during the aforementioned unexpected downtime. In my single case, Frontier have been more reliable than companies valued a thousand times higher, and I would find it hard to believe that I am unique in that respect.

      I'll not even mention how much more reliable E:D is to, say, X: Rebirth regarding game-breaking bugs on release...

      1. Anon the mouse

        Re: "...this one's got a way to run"

        You are comparing a DDoS of servers to mismanaged servers. Completely different

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "...this one's got a way to run"

          I had no problems with my PS but was annoyed that I couldn't play ED. The offline issue aside it does seem to have the makings of a good game, it can just be a bit flakey if you need support. It also goes through a phase where it gets very repetitive but perhaps that'll pass.

          Anyway, yes I agree it's always difficult to know how many people are really effected when these problems are reported. You get both sides, those who love to complain, those who won't accept any criticism of their object of desire.... and the generally quieter group who see it for what it is don't get a lot of air time.

        2. NumptyScrub

          Re: "...this one's got a way to run"

          You are comparing a DDoS of servers to mismanaged servers. Completely different

          I am comparing people not being able to play the game (because servers), to people not being able to play the game (because servers). You tell me how many consumers are going to carefully examine root causes before they decide whether to be outraged or not?

          Also, it took X: Rebirth around 20 patches (a couple of months) to finally kill an AI queueing issue that could cause some story missions to be uncompletable without manually editing your savegame. Star Citizen has managed to deploy about as much as the E:D alpha (Hangar and Arena modules) with no dates on any of the actual universe content (Squadron 42 / persistent universe wotsit). E:D is looking fairly good when compared to that company, and those are the 2 I would rate as the closest current matches (if you can think of others let me know, I love a good space combat flight sim).

        3. MrPSB

          Re: "...this one's got a way to run"

          Of course as you've now been refunded and have no access to the game, you're by far the best placed person to comment on the server management and reliability.

          It's almost like you're lovely chums with Simon, seeing as he's also the only person who gave any news coverage at all to your refund game as well (although well done for completing a game at last, 1022 Studios can only rise in stature from here), and has been as keen on giving Elite Dangerous a kicking as much as you have been since Offline mode was canned.

          1. Anon the mouse

            Re: "...this one's got a way to run"

            Ah yes, my reading comprehension and ability to understand how a server works must have evaporated when my refund came through. I still have an interest in the game, at the moment it seems to be more morbid curiosity as problems pile up. But I still hope that one day it'll come good for those that DO enjoy it.

            In this case the database problem was one of those things you find out in the live version, however not leaving any support staff to help customers for 2 weeks just after release. That was poor planning from Frontier, Leaving no updates or anything for customers tends to spiral things out of control, again look at the refund situation that is still ongoing for most two months later.

  4. BongoJoe

    Another One...

    This was supposed to be the MMO which was going to knock Eve Online off its perch,

    It's going to have to really pick its socks up now.

    1. Lionel Baden

      Re: Another One...

      I don't think Elite was ever designed as a competitor to Eve in any way.

      just because they are both in space, does not mean they compete. Elite was designed to be a follow-on of Elite.


POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019