back to article Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode

Elite:Dangerous, the revival of classic eight-bit space trading game Elite, won't have a single-player offline mode and space commanders are mad as hell. Frontier Developments, the game's developer, revealed the demise of offline mode in a recent newsletter in which it argues “A fully offline experience would be unacceptably …

  1. Ketlan
    Devil

    I want it

    'Frontier says the game is still on track for a December 16 release. For those who still want it.'

    Count me in. An updated Elite sounds great, offline or not.

    1. nematoad Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: I want it

      I used to be excited about Elite:Dangerous but as a Linux user I held off from taking part. Getting E:D to run under Linux was probably going to be a bit of a job, so I was going to wait until it was released and then see if it was possible to get Wine to get it to run.

      The other thing that attracted me was the off-line mode. Having been unfavourably impressed with Skyrim and its symbiotic connection with Steam I thought that the choice of off-line would be a good thing.

      Living in a part of the country with extremely poor broadband speeds latency is a problem and trying to fight opponents with one arm tied behind my back is not what I want.

      I'll continue to watch what's happening with E:D but my initial enthusiasm is waning fast and I won't be signing up any time soon.

      1. Extra spicey vindaloo

        Re: I want it

        Solo mode doesn't use much bandwidth, the only thing that the net connection is used for is the market, getting and completing jobs. You will still be able to play even with a bad net connection.

        However the last patch really improved the net connections, I played of hours yesterday without a single disconnect.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

          Re: I want it

          The other question is what will happen a few years down the line when the game isn't so new, has been superceded by the next shiny thing and perhaps isn't quite as profitable as it was? Maybe those servers would be better used for supporting a different game, or perhaps Frontier itself isn't doing quite so well?

          So the game that people have been anticipating and wanting for many years now is calling out in vain to servers that either are reduced and so overloaded, or just don't respond at all, and the game basically no longer works at all.

          If the offline mode is there then at least you still have a game you can play, albeit by yourself rather than as an immersive and interactive one with fellow Commanders, but this does seem to be rather a large shift in the longer-term functionality of the game. Just as well there are options like Oolite and Space Engine around to cover those bases more than adequately.

        2. Cari

          Re: I want it

          Will the 'net connection be required to actually run the game even in Solo Mode though? (I'm thinking like Diablo III here) It would be a bit of a pain to have a game that could be played solo, but that always required the user be connected to the Internet...

          1. Oninoshiko

            Re: I want it

            "Will the 'net connection be required to actually run the game even in Solo Mode though?"

            Yes. A low bandwidth internet connection will now be required. Originally this was not supposed to be the case.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Save your money instead for ..... 'No Man's Sky'

              Its the true spiritual successor to Elite. DB screwed over his partner, now he's screwing us fans!

              1. DropBear Silver badge

                Re: Save your money instead for ..... 'No Man's Sky'

                Yeah, shame on me for falling for his lies even though I knew his history well enough...

      2. Wilseus

        Re: I want it

        as a Linux user I held off from taking part. Getting E:D to run under Linux was probably going to be a bit of a job, so I was going to wait until it was released and then see if it was possible to get Wine to get it to run.

        Same here.

      3. Splodger

        Re: I want it

        (One of) the main problems is that the game is nowhere near 'release ready'.

        For all of the development cycle (until now, just before release) there was going to be an extended 'gamma' testing phase.

        "It'll be ready when it's ready", "No repeat of FFE/Gametek debacle", "Look at what's in the DDF for what's in the game".

        Yeah, right.

        Massive disappointment.

    2. Vociferous

      Re: I want it

      > An updated Elite sounds great, offline or not.

      I have the beta of both Elite and Star Citizen, they're both good games but to me Elite is the better game. It is very much a worthy successor to the oldskool Elites.

  2. Robert Grant

    Standard mistake to make

    1) Seems unlikely that one month from release is when they decided this

    2) Everyone who requires online is hated

    How can they get both of those things so wrong?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Standard mistake to make

      Exploration is also a key factor, too, and it is important that what a single player explores matches what other players explore whether single or multiplayer – a complex, coherent world – something we have achieved. Galaxy, story, missions, have to match, and it does mean the single player has to connect to the server from time to time, but this has the added advantage that everyone can participate in the activities that can happen in the galaxy. A fully offline experience would be unacceptably limited and static compared to the dynamic, ever unfolding experience we are delivering.

      What they mean is they haven't finished the galaxy or the missions yet and if a single player game were to stay completely offline then sooner or later the player would run out of galaxy. I suppose a bit of synchronisation from time to time isn't too bad a thing to put up with.

      The alternative is to have a generated galaxy like the original Elite which eventually gets boring.

      1. dan1980

        Re: Standard mistake to make

        @Dan 55

        "A fully offline experience would be unacceptably limited and static compared to the dynamic, ever unfolding experience we are delivering."

        Unacceptably limited for whom?

        Surely that's something for gamers to decide, no? I appreciate they're trying to surpass the original and not just update it but there is freedom in a single-player, offline game that just does not exist in an online game. That is because you can, for example, play on 'easy', equip your ship to be overpowered and go out to do whatever you want.

        Multiplayer games just don't have an 'easy' mode.

        Or maybe you want to exploit some amazing trade route that you found that allows you to make obscene amounts of money easily. Why not?

        What happens - WITHOUT FAIL - is a bunch of ongoing tweaks and 'rebalancings', resulting in a change in your experience. Perhaps some weapons or ships get de-powered, rendering certain combinations crippled literally overnight. Or some overly profitable trade route is adjusted so that fuel concerns mean you cant run it unless you're in a dedicated cargo-style ship and thus have to trade off firepower, leaving you more vulnerable.

        Whatever the case, a purely offline experience allows you to play the game as it is, which gives you freedom to do whatever you want without it affecting anyone else. Multiplayer games just don't have that luxury because people will get upset if it is unbalanced.

        Moreover, offline play allows people the flexibility to play for half an hour tonight and then, because they've got lives outside a video game, for an hour on Saturday morning and lo-and-behold, they can pick up right where they left off. The universe's clock hasn't progressed and if you choose to pick it up again in a fortnight after you return from interstate, that's fine too.

        What this is is a game that was ALWAYS going to be focused as an MMO and they got so caught up in that that they decided to ditch one of their core promises.

        It would be more palatable if they didn't tell those of us who WANT to be offline that we are, essentially, wrong. Same thing happened with Diablo, Destiny and Sim City. The developers get so wrapped up in what they want that they refuse to believe that the gamers might not agree. We're told that the interactive gameplay is much better and once we try it we won't go back. That it allows for a richer experience; that it allows them to 'realise' a living, vibrant, evolving world; that the multiplayer features are so amazing that playing the game without them is not playing it at all.

        Just imagine if you couldn't send your rubbish to a neighbouring city - how unbearable would that be?! Imagine if you didn't see player characters dancing and taunting and squatting on each other like deranged juvenile monkeys in the city hub area. Imagine not having other players create a living economy where day to day you can't be sure what you'll be able to do and have to adjust to the world on the fly, despite only getting an hour or two a week to play. No, it's okay that I can't pick up where I left of - that the game world has changed under me while I was away on business or holiday or dealing with the real world.

        Do not want.

        1. janimal
          Thumb Up

          Re: Standard mistake to make

          All great points

        2. Chairo
          Thumb Up

          Re: Standard mistake to make

          @dan1980

          Thank you very much! That is EXACTLY how I feel as well.

          Btw: In another post someone wrote that it might be OK, if the servers are open sourced and free to set up. I really don't feel that way. Perhaps if you can set up your own private server, things might be different, but then we are back at single player, anyway.

          1. Anonymous Dutch Coward

            Re: Standard mistake to make

            Well, if the server is open sourced presumably anybody can take the source code and run it locally... At first maybe only by geeks but maybe somebody will write an installer etc

        3. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: Standard mistake to make

          @Dan1980 Well said.

          Online games generate stress, I play games to *reduce* stress. Back to Odyssey 3011.

        4. nematoad Silver badge

          Re: Standard mistake to make

          "What happens - WITHOUT FAIL - is a bunch of ongoing tweaks and 'rebalancings', resulting in a change in your experience. Perhaps some weapons or ships get de-powered, rendering certain combinations crippled literally overnight. Or some overly profitable trade route is adjusted so that fuel concerns mean you cant run it unless you're in a dedicated cargo-style ship and thus have to trade off firepower, leaving you more vulnerable."

          You know what? You've just described EVE Online perfectly.

          I love that game but hate the continual "improvements" that only serve to make the lives of certain styles of play unattractive or even impossible. See player owned customs offices for a good example.

          1. dan1980

            Re: Standard mistake to make

            @nematoad

            Yes, I meant to say that but my edit timer had expired. In a way, EVE was an updated and expanded MMO version of Elite. Many said and still say as much and there's really no need to try and out-EVE EVE.

            What you do have is a whole host of people who love the idea of EVE but want it to be more like the old Elite. What better title to do that . . . ?

        5. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Standard mistake to make

          I believe the single player Elite just downloads changes to the game universe and doesn't move the clock forwards while you're not playing.

          I think it's acceptable compromise as long as they come up with a way to ensure that it's future proof, i.e. if the update servers were to be pulled then they would make a stand-alone updater public which contained the final version of the game and universe.

          1. dan1980

            Re: Standard mistake to make

            @Dan 55

            Well and good, but I'm still waiting for the part where someone explains why the game universe needs to change if you're happy to play offline in single-player mode.

            What could possibly be the downside of allowing that?

            You don't have to worry about consistency if they're offline. The idea is that players might want to go online at some later date and the developers, being so engaged in their own vision (perhaps rightly so), can't understand that people might be fine NEVER going online.

            And so what if they did want that, later? You have a character and ship and that is inserted into the world. The only way that becomes problematic is if they start rebalancing things, meaning that an offline player going online is either overpowered or penalised.

            That's the thing. If the idea is that the world must be consistent so you could go online at any time then the player and the ships and weapons and money must be on equal footing online and offline, otherwise it just won't work.

            And you're back to my original concern.

            The developers have let their ideas run away to the point where they are not able to implement a single-player game as promised while still doing what they want. They had some grand visions (great) but have decided to sacrifice the single-player game promised to chase that.

            What they have made is Elite: Online.

            1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

              Re: Standard mistake to make

              Well and good, but I'm still waiting for the part where someone explains why the game universe needs to change if you're happy to play offline in single-player mode. What could possibly be the downside of allowing that?

              Think about it: you can't really allow re-use of the "local" Commander in online mode, and that adds some complexity.

              But in fact what probably happened is that they're late, and while the online version can launch unfinished without anyone noticing (provided they have fixed the missing bits by the time the first player reaches them), it would show in an offline version.

        6. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Standard mistake to make

          "Unacceptably limited for whom?"

          For their cashflow of course. Presumably there will be a charge or adverts for playing online...

          1. Tom 35 Silver badge

            Re: Standard mistake to make

            "For their cashflow of course"

            Just wait for the next announcement that you can now buy (for real money) gold/fuel/weapons in their new "pay2win" system.

        7. JamesPond

          Re: Standard mistake to make

          "A fully offline experience would be unacceptably limited and static compared to the dynamic, ever unfolding experience we are delivering."

          I play GTAV 'alone' , doesn't seem at all limited to me.

          Was really looking forward to the Elite reboot, but alas my dreams have been shattered. Time to dust off my old BBC B from the attic and see what it looks like on a 42" plasma!

          1. druck Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: Standard mistake to make

            And lets not forget that BBC Micro version only had a handful of Kilobytes to play with even with the cleaver split screen technique reducing graphics memory, but it still managed to have 8 different galaxies with thousands of stars.

            1. Vic

              Re: Standard mistake to make

              even with the cleaver split screen technique reducing graphics memory

              That wasn't about reducing memory - it was about doing something very clever indeed.

              The high-resolution mode used for the main viewer display could only display monochrome. They needed colours for the instrumentation display beneath it.

              So the split-screen thing was to change graphics modes on the fly to get high-res at the top and colour at the bottom.

              Vic.

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

          3. Johan Bastiaansen

            Re: Standard mistake to make

            "Time to dust off my old BBC B from the attic and see what it looks like on a 42" plasma!"

            P I X E L A T E D ! ! !

        8. Obitim
          Thumb Up

          Re: Standard mistake to make

          Just wanted to say awesome comment.

          I played Destiny Beta on the Xbox, here's how the 'MMO' worked out:

          I spawn and run round shooting baddies

          I look to the distance and see someone else shooting MY baddies that I want the experience for

          Baddies near to me respawn and start shooting me again...

          No coop to be honest, just loads of people running round shooting stuff? what's the point?

          1. Mussie (Ed)

            Re: Standard mistake to make

            Try firefall bro, the amount of "here let me help you kill that" people in it is awsome

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Even a Chromebook

      Even a google chromebook keeps 16GB of local ram so you can use google docs offline.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will the servers be open source and able to be set up in the event of the official ones going offline?

    Only the biggest problem with online only games is in the future you can't play them. So people who like retro gaming won't be able to revisit the older games.

  4. EddieD

    Ah well

    That's 40notes saved.

    1. stucs201

      Re: Ah well

      More than that. I was probably going to get a graphics card upgrade and buy a joystick too.

      Really wanted this, but not with an online requirement (I went against my better judgement for Diablo3 and regretted it).

      1. mythicalduck

        Re: Ah well

        "I was probably going to get a graphics card upgrade and buy a joystick too."

        I was going to get an Oculus Rift...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't know about the T&C's

    but surely if you invest in a product on kick-starter and it fails to deliver on a stated aim and they appear not to even attempting to do it, can you not demand a refund. Is it even legal?

    If not.

    I promise to deliver cold fusion in a box, please give me a million quid.

    1. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Re: I don't know about the T&C's

      What are your stretch goals?

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: I don't know about the T&C's

        First goal is in a box the size of Windscale. The stretch goals are "a box van", "a shoe box" and finally "a match box". Additional stretch goal is to make it compatible with Windows 8.

    2. Dabooka Silver badge

      Re: I don't know about the T&C's

      But will it have Bluetooth?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Coat

        Re: I don't know about the T&C's

        And will it run Linux?

  6. spider from mars

    well, fuck.

  7. Chairo
    Unhappy

    Pity!

    A real sequel to ELITE is something I waited for since 30 years. Unfortunately online gaming is a big no go for me, so I'll pass that one out. People who want that kind of stuff are probably already on EVE Online. One more of the same is kind of pointless imo.

    Btw: the oolite project offers the original ELITE gameplay with all missions as FOSS. I just spend a few days hunting down the constrictor and being blown up by thargoids.

    1. LaeMing Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Pity!

      Yes, I guess I too will stick with Oolite for now!

    2. janimal

      Re: Pity!

      The gaming industry really pisses me off in this way.

      We have thousands of old games, who by necessity relied on excellent game-play to be successful. If the graphics were relatively good it was just a bonus.

      Whilst the movie industry almost constantly releases rehashes of old movies, the games industry largely ignores the wealth of old games. Unfortunately when they do revisit something they often completely miss the essence of what the game great in the first place.

      I would be so happy to get some reboots, with identical gameplay, just updated graphics and resolutions.

      Tie Fighter

      Populous

      Syndicate

      Elite / Frontier / Frontier-2

      Spy vs Spy

      Geoff Crammond's F1 GP

      X-COM: UFO Defence

      Would be great for me!

      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        Re: Pity!

        Whilst the movie industry almost constantly releases rehashes of old movies, the games industry [...] often completely miss the essence of what the game great in the first place.

        So, the game industry is EXACTLY like the movie industry then? ( *cough* Jar Jar Binks *cough* *cough* )

        I would be so happy to get some reboots, with identical gameplay, just updated graphics and resolutions.

        What? No! That would only turn snappy old 8-bits lovelies into sluggish monsters. OK, _some_ games could benefit from better graphics, but those with really great gameplay wouldn't, really. There's nothing wrong with modifying the gameplay somewhat, to make it better. The Monkey Island series was IMHO a very good example of slight improvement on graphics and massive improvement in gameplay. Not to mention Day of the Tentacle (in comparison with Maniac Mansion, that you can play on the computer in-game).

        OTOH I have to admit that a graphically improved Dungeon Keeper would be nice. But not Leisure Suit Larry. Just thinking about it, I need mindbleach.

        1. Vic

          Re: Pity!

          No! That would only turn snappy old 8-bits lovelies into sluggish monsters

          Perhaps my favourite game of all time is Defender. The graphics on that are - by modern standards - utter crap.

          But those graphics do not detract from the game. I suspect that improving them would not enhance it, either...

          Vic.

      2. Kye Macdonald

        Re: Pity!

        If you want a good X-Com have a look at UFO:AI.

        To me it captures all of what X-com used to be

  8. jb99

    Ugh

    I bought this for offline, I'm not really interested in online play at all.

    I'm done with kickstarter, too many projects have not really done what I want, even though they "delivered". I'll wait until release in future.

  9. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    Cue the mass demands for refunds.

    "You promised an OffLine mode. I spent money to reserve my copy based on that claim. You are now saying there will be no OffLine Mode. Thus it is no longer what I pre-ordered. I want my refund now."

    And if the developers refuse to give it, a quick call to the CreditCard Company to claim Fraud, the charges get reversed, and KickStart/the Developers get to deal with the fall out from howevermany folks decide they've been scammed.

    Nice going, way to shoot yourselves in the head.

    1. David Given

      Re: Cue the mass demands for refunds.

      Except Kickstarter isn't a shop. When you fund something on it, you're not buying anything; you're just giving them money, in the hope that you'll get something in return. There is no guarantee that the something will actually turn up, and the T&Cs you signed up to are totally clear on this.

      I don't think you're going to find your credit card company very sympathetic.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Cue the mass demands for refunds.

        "Except Kickstarter isn't a shop. When you fund something on it, you're not buying anything; you're just giving them money, in the hope that you'll get something in return. There is no guarantee that the something will actually turn up, and the T&Cs you signed up to are totally clear on this.

        I don't think you're going to find your credit card company very sympathetic."

        But it's not just Kickstarter where they are selling it, and have been for some time before this announcement. If you pre-order something, not on Kickstarter, with an offline mode, and it comes without one, back it goes under the Sale of Goods Act, at least in the UK.

      3. Laurent

        Re: Cue the mass demands for refunds.

        Yup, the T&C are indeed clear on this, they have to refund if an offline mode was a reward they promised:

        * Kickstarter does not offer refunds. A Project Creator is not required to grant a Backer’s request for a refund unless the Project Creator is unable or unwilling to fulfill the reward.

        * Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill.

        https://www.kickstarter.com/terms-of-use/oct2012

        1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

          Re: Cue the mass demands for refunds.

          * Kickstarter does not offer refunds. A Project Creator is not required to grant a Backer’s request for a refund unless the Project Creator is unable or unwilling to fulfill the reward.

          * Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill.

          Interesting, as quite a lot of people stumped up for a reward that includes a copy of the game. Wonder if the lack of offline mode would qualify as inability and unwillingness to fulfill the reward...

          what did you expect, it's an English project; as a rule of life I don't trust these. Perfide Albion and all that ;-)

          Anyway, I didn't back the project: my machines have enough trouble running Oolite already and I suspect the reboot will be substancially heavier.

          1. MrXavia

            Re: Cue the mass demands for refunds.

            Physical DRM free copy was one of the rewards, since always online = a form of DRM, I expect anyone who wants a kick starter refund should be able to get one, at least if they paid up for a physical copy like I did.

            I will wait and see, they listened to the community on the 'rooms in space' micro jumping and introduced SC, they back stepped on some of the FA-Off changes, I expect they will end up listening to the customers and introducing something at some point for offline play....

    2. Cari

      Re: Cue the mass demands for refunds.

      This happened recently with Mighty No. 9. I guess the Elite: Dangerous devs didn't hear about that...

  10. janimal
    FAIL

    Oh FFS

    I was really looking forward to this, but only for offline. Glad I didn't stump up for the kickstarter. There must be many more like me who only really wanted it for the offline experience. :/

    1. janimal

      Re: Oh FFS

      Having read some of the rage thread linked in the article. It appears that solo play is still possible, but it still requires a connection to the servers.

      In which case, for me at least, that's not so bad (until the game company folds of course).

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Oh FFS

        I too will probably be quite happy in solo mode as I currently live somewhere with a great internet connection.

        However, I've lived places with a crap internet connection before, and I have a strong sympathy for people in that situation. There's nothing worse than sitting down to play a particular game, only to find that as your internet has decided to have a little lie down, you're stuck without.

      2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        Solo play not good enough

        I understand that offline play would require an extra "static" universe and some transfer control to avoid an invasion of locally buffed-up Commanders (Diablo memories...).

        However, the original game did that in very little space using "on the fly" generation, and I do most of my gaming on the go these days. I really can't understand why the devs do not include a -minimal, if need be- local universe for offline play. Except if they are late with the developpment of the game, that would explain it. In any case it kinda suXX0rz: I won't buy a game that I can't play...

        1. janimal

          Re: Solo play not good enough

          Well the other problem is how long can a buy once business model support the required servers for? I think it is reasonable to infer that the business model will have to change to micro-transactions or subs at some point in the future? Both very negative points for me.

          1. Not That Andrew

            Re: Solo play not good enough

            They are already selling paint schemes, and on a ship by ship basis too.

        2. Cari

          Re: Solo play not good enough

          Who's pressuring them to get the game out on time though? Looking at the responses, I can imagine that people who wanted offline play would be more than happy for them to delay release so it can be properly implemented. Instead they're losing sales... it's puzzling.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Shame

    The evolving universe being talked about sounds like it will be a marvellous experience, and I can understand the difficulties it presented them when they considered how to engineer an off-line single-player mode.

    However, that's how it goes in software development. Difficulties in realising the original concept aren't a good excuse if you've made promises that you no longer want to keep, especially if you've taken money on the strength of those promises.

    What they seem to have forgotten is that the massive good will they've had right from the off has been fueled in large part by the old farts who were so enamoured of the single-player original. As someone pointed out in comment on the original article: Elite is a legendary single player game.

    I really was looking forward to this one, but no more.

    1. dan1980

      Re: Shame

      @JustaKOS

      "The evolving universe . . ."

      The thing is - I don't want an evolving universe. Or, at least, I don't want one that evolves without my input. In other words, I want to play for an hour on a Monday and then an hour the next Tuesday and see 2 hours of universe 'evolution', not 200 hours, of which I have only been around for 1%.

      Given the age of people who played the original elite, we've kind of got lives now.

    2. Blue_Skunk

      Re: Shame

      You can still play it single player and never meet another player EVER... it's called solo mode... you just need to be online for it

      1. MrXavia

        Re: Shame

        "You can still play it single player and never meet another player EVER... it's called solo mode... you just need to be online for it"

        Yeah but the issue is the universe still evolves when your not there, some people don't want that..

        1. Simon Westerby 1

          Re: Shame

          So you buy your 35 tons of "Computers" log off - and when you log back on next week ..... the market has crashed and your trade route is no longer profitable.. and your stuck with a worthless cargo...

          meh - was interested ... not so much anymore now..

      2. dan1980

        Re: Shame

        @Blue_Skunk

        There is not single player.

        A single player game is one where you are the only concious agent. There might be random events but otherwise anything that depends on actions depends on your actions alone. Nothing anyone does in their playthrough alters or affects your universe and thus you experience in any way, shape or form.

        That is a single player game.

        What they have here is the ability to play a multiplayer game without directly interacting with others and this is not the same thing at all.

        FURTHER, an offline game is static. The devs say this as though it is inherently a bad thing but it is not. Whatever randomness there may be, the universe isn't changed on a whim by anyone. There is no rebalancing - no tweaking laser output or increasing the cost of shield cells or changing a weapon so that it can only be equipped on larger ships or removing/reducing availability of a trade item from a given location to remove an overly-profitable trade run. No increasing shielding on enemies to counter certain popular load-outs and no increasing the risk of a trade route while simultaneously reducing the firepower of the heavy haulers to force cooperative play.

        An online 'solo' option is not even slightly the same thing as an offline single-player experience.

  12. Crisp Silver badge

    "The game is still on track for a December 16 release"

    I think I'll wait for Space Citizen then...

    1. DropBear Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: "The game is still on track for a December 16 release"

      I certainly hope they're closely paying attention, and ditch any online-only ideas they might have been secretly considering (as officially they're firmly supporting their single-player promise). Anyway, here's my mad_as_hell_KS_backers++...

  13. P. Lee

    My internet connection goes offline when it rains (thanks Telstra)

    Now I won't be able to play indoors either?

    Frequent updates for games in need of patches - there's an app for that (Steam).

    Or rsync - that works too.

  14. returnmyjedi

    After the phew Rory caused by the latest sim city being online only at release I would have thought that Frontier would have realised this design choice would be as successful as Ed Miliband at a bacon sandwich eating contest.

  15. alann2

    I see the rage monkeys have appeared here as well, there is still a solo mode where you see no other human player. This mode just has to connect to the galaxy servers for environment updates, there is no need to interact with any other human, however if it means the game loses the petulant children then all the better for it.

    1. Ashton Black

      Indeed. Single Player mode, is still there. Offline mode isn't.

      Of course, the question, and it's one that I thought I wouldn't have to ask, is what happens when they run out of money to pay for the server hosting?

      Here's an article from Euro Gamer about EA closing down 50 of their games, at the end of June (this was posted in May). Don't get me wrong, some have had "good runs" as it were, but some are only a few years old.

      http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-05-12-50-ea-games-will-have-their-servers-shut-down

      1. janimal

        Yes server costs is a big issue. How are they going to fund the servers once all the potential players in a fairly niche market have bought the game?

        The only real ways I know to do so are through subs or micro-transactions, both great reasons for avoiding online only games.

        Expect the purchase model for the game to change at some point in the future possibly.

      2. Kerry Hoskin

        glad you cleared that up. I was a bit confused as to what was being suggested. So basically you can STILL play single player but you have to have a tinterweb connection to play The only hitch with this kind of thing is you WILL get times when the servers are down and you can't play. aka SimCity and Diablo III

    2. Michael Strorm

      "I see the rage monkeys have appeared here as well"

      Don't see much of that stereotypical adolescent-minded fanboy "rage" you imply. Just (at most) some justified anger, disappointment and well-reasoned criticism at the abandonment of a promised core feature of the game.

      1. alann2

        it stopped being justified anger after three days of constant bleating. Its a game, many people should just get over it, get a refund, get on with life.

        1. dan1980

          @alann2

          Wrong. If it was a couple of people and a couple of posts, then it's not really an issue and the developers can say to themselves that they made the right decision.

          If it's pages and pages of upset customers, that sends the message that this is not just a few people and it's not a small thing. That means the devs might just take another look at it.

          We saw it - belatedly - with Sim City, where the developers assented to user pressure and released a patch that enabled offline play. I appreciate it might not be all that straight forward with Elite, depending on how far they've gone down that road (quite far I suspect), but Elite is also a rather different prospect, being a Kickstarter campaign which should be, at least in principle, more attuned to the wants of the players than a huge, EA-backed production.

          And yes, people could just accept it, request a refund and go learn macramé or (heaven forbid) go outside but why should they? An 'everyone wins' scenario involves the developers and the players having their say and, hopefully, producing an improved product that better matches customer expectations and is thus more successful.

        2. Oninoshiko

          "it stopped being justified anger after three days of constant bleating. Its a game, many people should just get over it, get a refund, get on with life."

          I would agree, except they are denying refunds. FD is being scummy with this whole deal.

    3. MrXavia

      " This mode just has to connect to the galaxy servers for environment updates"

      That is not the issue, the issue IS that you need to be connected to play, its not for environment updates its for anything such as ship purchases, cargo, upgrades, etc...

    4. Cari
      Facepalm

      "petulant children"?

      Good grief, I imagine the majority of posters here and over on the thread, are actually old enough to have children that are old enough to have children by now.

      It isn't about not wanting to play with other people, it's about having a modern update of a classic game without all the anti-consumer baggage modern games come with (like DRM in the form of always online play, or a game that is only playable for as long as the servers are running).

      I was there playing D3 near release and Blizzard still hadn't ironed out the kinks with the connections to their servers. There was no need for it to be always online for solo mode, but there was no way to actually play the game without logging in and connecting to the battle.net servers. And then there were the account compromise issues that followed, where people were having their characters items stolen - even if they only played solo.

      30 years on, and I can still play the original Elite on my beeb micro. Will I be saying the same of Elite: Dangerous in 30 years time?

  16. Morat

    The past is a different country....

    Storm in a teacup. The game is fantastic, the only problem with it is the ridiculously reactionary community on the forums. I do realise that a lot of the backers will be middle aged gamers who played the original Elite as kids. I'm one of them. I'm just saddened that so many of my generation seem to be socially retarded and scared rigid at the prospect of having people actually talk to them.

    ED needs to be released as soon as possible so that the community can expand and the original backers can understand that gaming is now a mainstream activity whether they like it or not. There has been far too much emphasis on the wishes of the basement dwellers.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: The past is a different country....

      "I do realise that a lot of the backers will be middle aged gamers who played the original Elite as kids. I'm one of them. I'm just saddened that so many of my generation seem to be socially retarded and scared rigid at the prospect of having people actually talk to them."

      Or, maybe they already live in a dynamically altering universe, 24 hours a day, and they play games as a form of entertainment, like reading a book or going to the cinema. In both of those experiences, people talking to you is annoying. I am not socially retarded, but if I am playing a game, I don't want a 13-year old calling me a n00b gay fag cunt, or whatever they call each other, because I occasionally play games to relax and haven't spent ten hours this week in their universe knowing everything about it.

      In summary, I might accept other people around if the servers are age restricted, so <18, 18-25, 25-40, 40+, that looks about right. The people in the 25-40 and 40+ servers will largely leave each other to get on with things. If you are 40+ and want to behave like a 15-year old fuckwit, then you can petition to be "immatured" down a few servers.

      1. Morat

        Re: The past is a different country....

        "Or, maybe they already live in a dynamically altering universe, 24 hours a day, and they play games as a form of entertainment, like reading a book or going to the cinema. In both of those experiences, people talking to you is annoying. I am not socially retarded, but if I am playing a game, I don't want a 13-year old calling me a n00b gay fag cunt, or whatever they call each other, because I occasionally play games to relax and haven't spent ten hours this week in their universe knowing everything about it."

        You do realise that you can still play in solo mode, don't you? In SOLO mode you won't see anyone at all. But even solo mode is an over-reaction to a non existent problem. IF you are insulted by one of the other players, which is highly unlikely since there are 400bn star systems and 50k players and the chat system is unbelievably primitive you can put them on block.

        As for the dynamic updates - what you're asking for is the ability to farm the same trade route over and over again. offline. For pretend cash. Do you really call that living?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Morat, re: Offline Mode.

          The original game is a single player, entirely offline experience.

          This reboot is now a massively multiplayer online only affair that also has a "Solo Mode" but still requires you to be online to play it at all.

          Are you really so dense you can't figure out why this might upset folks whom primarily backed the project BECAUSE it claimed to have an offline mode, yet now won't have one?

          "Solo Mode" that's ONLINE is not the same as a Solo Mode that is OFFLINE.

          The Online version requires an internet connection that might not exist (on the train, in a tunnel, on a plane, in an underground carpark, "no signal" on the Cell/WiFi, whatever) and thus makes the game unplayable.

          Where the offline version can be played anywhere, anytime, as long as the device has the resources required. So even if we're up in a plane with zero internet, we could still be playing a game we were led to believe would have an OFFLINE capability.

          Only now it won't. Solo Mode Online, yes; Solo Mode Offline, No.

          And by calling everyone whom may not want an entirely online game a retard is branding yourself as an asshole. Does that mean that all the original players of the game are retards for making the game so popular that the new developers decided to resort to crowdfunding to recreate the experience?

          Let's look at a game like MechWarrior for example. Normal play was a single player, offline form & fun as hell. You _could_ connect to a server & play against others, and if that was your thing, also fun as hell. If you never went to the server, your offline game still worked just fine, nothing stopped you from playing & enjoying the game.

          If you connected, then the computer & the servers synced versions, thus ensuring everyone was on the same page, nobody could cheat without _everyone_ being able to do it, and everyone played as per the rules of synchronized play.

          So if it were to be rebooted & brought up to 2014 standards, it should still have a single player, offline mode for those folks whom played it in the first place & made it worthy of a reboot at all. To tell all of them "tough shit, go online or go away" is seriously fucked up in more ways than I care to count.

          So please, get it through your head: we're not retarded for wanting a single player offline mode, we're rightly upset that a game billed as having that capability will no longer have the ENTIRE REASON WE WANTED TO PLAY IT IN THE FIRST PLACE. Now do you understand, or are you still too fucking stupid to qualify as human?

      2. alann2

        Re: The past is a different country....

        there is still the solo mode where you don't have to be associated with 13 year olds., online yes, other humans, no.

    2. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: The past is a different country....

      If there needs to be a wire (symbolic or real) connected to my hardware in order for me to play that is not related to the transport of the required amount of electricity, they can take their game and shove it where the sun don't shine - simple as that. Nothing to do with "other players" - they're irrelevant for me.

    3. Ol' Grumpy

      Re: The past is a different country....

      There is nothing socially retarded about wanting to play a single player game but I do see both sides of this.

      I've played a couple of other online games, the experience of which can sometimes be ruined by the Internet connection not being there (frequent in these parts) or in my case as a casual gamer, getting to a point where I'm about to achieve something and then getting interrupted and blown away by someone who is simply much better than I am or has paid to get much better gear.

      I do also however appreciate the effort that would be required to take a game that designed for online play, offline.

  17. Trizo

    This issue is being blown out of proportion.

    Almost any gamer these days has a decent internet connection, the amount of people effected by this are minimal.

    The only thing you could blame them for is not realizing sooner that including 'offline mode' wasn't a feasible goal. So they made that mistake. They are just humans, surely they are allowed to make 1 little mistake.

    1. janimal

      So how are they going to fund the required servers after everyone has bought the game? Expect a Micro-transaction pay to win experience in the future to keep the servers online.

    2. Sixtysix

      Don't speak for those you don't know - you just expose your ignorance and predjudice.

      There are thousands of people who work in places where there is NO WAY to get INTERNET FOR MONTHS at a time. Seamen, offshore workers, and plenty of others working in remote locations where even work access is limited.

      My son does 6 months hitches at sea, and had ordered this as he'd finally be able to play a modern game. Not so much now.

      And please don't take about Steam and other distribution platforms - don't work without a heartbeat, so completely useless. Steams "offline mode" times out within a week locking ALL steam games whether on-line or offline: seriously irritating...

    3. Simon Westerby 1

      >> Almost any gamer these days has a decent internet connection, the amount of people effected by this are minimal.

      1 - not all "gamers" want to game online 24/7.

      2 - In X years time when the servers are gone and the game you spent X years playing and enjoying becomes utterly worthless - try fishing out that disc in 30 years and reliving those memories!!

      Why are the above so hard to understand for some people? I'm guessing this is the xbox360/PS3's gernation who never really new what offline gaming was all about.

      *sigh* ... I'm off to be abused by the above on WOT... i need some more nerd rage.

    4. dan1980

      @Trizo

      I know, right?

      Almost any games company these days has the money and resources to run servers in perpetuity.

      Hell, even if they can't maintain their servers for more than five years, it's not like the game will still be popular then - people will have moved on.

      Wait? What's that? Oh, people are still playing the original Elite and the game was crowd-funded without any concrete plans for ongoing revenue that would help to pay the running costs?

      Ah, well, that's different then . . .

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think it could have been communicated earlier but otherwise I don't have any problem with this decision. There are various ways to play as you want, just no unplugged option anymore.

    Surely that affects very few people nowadays?

    Seems to be a lot of trolling from Star Citizen community though, they're taking what plans have been made as gospel while criticising people for the same elsewhere... also lots of examples of "no offline mode, imma taking my $300 and spending it on a jpeg!!"

    1. jrc14

      The decision seriously affects only a few people who are forced by circumstances to spend time away from the always-connected world (military personnel, merchant navy and offshore workers, for instance). But a fair number of these people did back the game, explicitly because the off-line play feature was there, which meant that it was going to be a content-rich top tier game that was actually accessible to them. I can understand why they are disappointed at Frontier's decision, and angry at the shabby way that it was not-quite-announced.

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge

        It seems to me that it's the difference between buying a house that you can live in forever, and renting a place where you're at the mercy of when the landlord decides you're not profitable any longer and throws you out, or forgets to pay his mortgage and gets repossessed.

    2. dan1980

      @AC

      Actually, in impacts everyone.

      They have made key components (trade) inextricably linked to their servers. That means that the servers must be up to play the game.

      It also means that latency to servers is likely to impact the experience.

      Now, this is made more relevant as the game was crowd-funded because Frontier couldn't find a publisher to back them, which means that they just don't have the same resources of the big players to operate and run servers. The can do that - of course - but the questions are around how well they will work, how widely distributed they will be, how stable they will be and how far into the future they will be operational.

      What this means is that Frontier have to figure out a way to cover the costs of running the servers. They already have microtransactions for cosmetic items - paint jobs - but what if that doesn't bring in enough revenue? What then?

      Remember Diablo 3. That required an online connection and they helpfully setup a 'real money' auction house that, conveniently allows Blizzard to take a slice. That was billed as purely optional but what people feared from the start was EXACTLY what happened - drop rates were abysmal.

      What that ended up doing was not only funneling more people to the auction house but driving up prices for players (and revenues for Blizzard).

      So, forcing people online can have massive implications for the way a game works.

      Be naive if you want but please don't go around pretending that just because you are fine with a decision, that other are too.

      I think the backlash serves to show just how many people this is putting offside.

  19. sabroni Silver badge
    Happy

    It's for kids!

    Grow up!

    1. frank ly

      Re: It's for kids!

      My inner child just told you to eat his shorts. I'll have stern words with him.

  20. Kiarr

    Erm non story

    Offline mode has not been canned its still there all they are changing is that occasionally it will update the galaxy with things that the online game has found.

    This sounds like a very good thing to me - want to potter around the galaxy on your own - go for it but you can now see the planets routes etc that people have found changing the galaxy in a more natural way than just generating things randomly does.

    Quite honestly who actually has totally offline machines at the moment that don't occasionally see the internet? Who actually plays offline games where they have put out content patches online without the patches? I suspect that if you never want to update the game then it will still keep going just not with the newer stuff

    1. deMangler

      Re: Erm non story

      That is not true. A continuous internet connection is required even for solo on-line.

    2. pip25
      Unhappy

      Re: Erm non story

      It has been confirmed that the game servers handle all financial transactions - meaning every time you buy or sell something, it will need to connect to the server. That's light years away from "occasionally", in fact, that's pretty much an "always online" game. It also means that when the servers go offline, the game dies too. :/

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    It was too good to be true.

    Now, do I hope they still sell well, so they can fund a Single Player mode later on ?

    Or do I hope they lose everything, to serve as an example for other dishonest developers.

    The latter ! >-(

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No-one is being forced to play multiplayer.....that is not what has been removed. You can still play the game entirely solo and never encounter another human being.

    1. janimal

      For as long as they can fund the servers right? So in the long term without subs or micro-transactions how will they do that?

    2. nematoad Silver badge

      "No-one is being forced to play multiplayer"

      You are missing the point.

      It's not the fact that Elite:Dangerous is multiplayer or solo, it's the fact that the developers have removed the option to play offline.

  23. Wombling_Free

    5,000+ people show themselves to be slightly illiterate...

    Including the Reg it seems.

    The newsletter did not state that offline was being removed.

    It stated, quite clearly, that offline mode (it's still there!) is required to connect 'from time to time'. I think this can be taken in a positive light, as there are *plenty* of examples of software that needs to connect 'from time to time' for all sorts of reasons.

    Frontier have only modeled the entire Galaxy - probably a bit of a stretch to fit that in 4GB of RAM at 32bits, really!

    I for one can't wait - I've been looking forward to this day for about 28 years...

    Declaration of Conflict of Interest: Alpha Backer, who has spent way too much time of late carving up asteroids in my Hauler, about to upgrade to Cobra to do some heavier trade runs. I want to try to get a Clipper before the next wipe! Right on, Commanders!

    1. Loki 1

      Re: 5,000+ people show themselves to be slightly illiterate...

      Quote: Frontier have only modeled the entire Galaxy - probably a bit of a stretch to fit that in 4GB of RAM at 32bits, really!

      Why? They did it originally on an 800k floppy disk. Its all procedurally generated except for core systems..

      1. Tony Paulazzo

        Re: 5,000+ people show themselves to be slightly illiterate...

        Original Quote: Frontier have only modeled the entire Galaxy - probably a bit of a stretch to fit that in 4GB of RAM at 32bits, really!

        Why? They did it originally on an 800k floppy disk. Its all procedurally generated except for core systems..

        Not to be pedantic (well, ok, yes I am), but it actually took 3 3.5in 720KB floppy disks to create the galaxy in Elite: Frontier (and you could actually zoom out to galaxy view which was beautiful) - this played in the 640KBs of main system memory. The original Elite just had a massive universe (or 4 of them I think).

        1. robmobz

          Re: 5,000+ people show themselves to be slightly illiterate...

          8 universes and all in 16kB of ram.

      2. petax

        Re: 5,000+ people show themselves to be slightly illiterate...

        Indeed on a cassette tape in my case :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 5,000+ people show themselves to be slightly illiterate...

      And you are too illiterate to have read that any time you need Galaxy info, you need to connect.

      So the game is NOT playable offline.

    3. Not That Andrew

      Re: Wombling_Free shows himself to be totally illiterate...

      It's true it didn't directly state "no offline mode", but Frontier Developments have since clarified that that was what they meant, and no, single player online is not the same as playing offline.

      I'll leave it up to the experts to fully address your remark about 4Gib Ram, but IMO any program that needs to load all it's data into memory either has some extremely specific requirements and limitations that most modern PC games are unlikely to meet, or is just badly designed.

    4. IainAM

      Re: 5,000+ people show themselves to be slightly illiterate...

      @Wombling_Free - That's not right, Offline mode isn't still there! The 'connect from time to time' is every single time you dock/trade/take a mission/explore. You will need a constant, stable connection, but it doesn't have to be a fast one.

    5. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: 5,000+ people show themselves to be slightly illiterate...

      ..offline mode is required to connect 'from time to time'.

      Sorry, who is being illiterate?

    6. dan1980

      Re: 5,000+ people show themselves to be slightly illiterate...

      @Wombling_Free

      Trade and many other events REQUIRES internet connectivity. It's not a check-in. Or, at least, the check-ins are so frequent you would not be able to spend any appreciable fraction of time 'offline'.

  24. Not That Andrew

    Thanks for posting this, I don't pay much attention to the forums or newsletters. I'm seriously pissed at them now. I only backed on the promise of offline play, online multiplayer does not interest me, it was a nice bonus in my opinion. But if that was my primary interest I'd have backed Star Citizen.

    I have just filed a ticket for a refund

    Guess I'll have to continue playing Oolite (and Pioneer) for my Elite fix.

    1. IainAM

      @Not That Andrew - It doesn't have to be multiplayer, there's a Solo mode as well, just no offline.

      1. Not That Andrew

        @ IainAM

        I'm aware of the online single player, but that is not what I wanted, and is not what I was promised. If they hadn't left this announcement until a month before release, I probably wouldn't be so cheesed either.

        I can fire up DosBox and play Frontier if want to, but I doubt I'll still be able to play E:D in 10 years time.

        1. IainAM

          Re: @ IainAM

          @ Not That Andrew

          Fair enough, I mentioned it just in case. Genuinely sorry you're not getting offline.

          As for E:D still being playable in 10 years, I hope it is but who knows :-/

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @IainAM... I'm not sure this reality can even describe the context of your post.

        Notice "Offline play" being requested. No one said "singleplayer" is required. They said "offline" is.

        Let's break this down. First word.

        "Offline".

        Second word.

        "Multiplayer".

        Note, neither are the same. We can have offline multiplayer and online singleplayer. But offline is required for a game to be offline.

        Andrew requested "offline" gameplay. So why, for the love of all that exists, did you say "It doesn't have to be multiplayer" and that they can play "Solo mode as well" when they asked for offline play.

        1. IainAM

          Re: @IainAM... I'm not sure this reality can even describe the context of your post.

          The second phrase, not word, was 'multiplayer online', which leaves a third choice which some people didn't know existed. I thought I'd check.

          Not That Andrew himself managed to reply without being overly pedantic or aggressive, care to try again?

  25. SteveTroughton

    This is really just a case of those shouting loudest. There have been several polls about the withdrawal of the offline mode. Most aren't that bothered.

    1. Sixtysix

      Polls about off-line mode... Obvious FLAW is OBVIOUS

      The folks who CARE about off-line mode are...

      ...guess what...

      ...go on...

      ...obvious flaw reveal...

      THE LEAST LIKELY TO VOTE IN AN ON-LINE POLL.

      Oh FFS...

      1. ollieclark

        Re: Polls about off-line mode... Obvious FLAW is OBVIOUS

        Almost impeccable logic there if it wasn't for the fact that the ones upset about no off-line version are the ones shouting loudest on an on-line forum. Yeah, doesn't make sense but there you go.

        Of course they could be so outraged they've been driven to rig up some wet string, a potato battery and a morse key to send their messages. But then they could vote as well.

      2. Tony Paulazzo

        Re: Polls about off-line mode... Obvious FLAW is OBVIOUS

        The folks who CARE about off-line mode are...

        THE LEAST LIKELY TO VOTE IN AN ON-LINE POLL.

        I think Douglas adams said it best:

        'Many men, of course, became extremely rich. But this was perfectly natural and nothing to be ashamed of, because no one was really poor - at least no one worth speaking of...'

  26. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

    I'll wait

    This is definitely still in the wait and see category, once it is released I'll take a look at the reviews and decide whether or not I want to play this.

    If I wanted to Gank^hhhh interact with people I'd play Eve so the mmo really doesn't interest me.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: I'll wait

      They released the original for free recently. I'll wait for this one. With current requirements in coding/porting/hardware and IP copyright we are looking at 50 years time for Elite Dangerous to be "free"?

  27. This post has been deleted by its author

  28. IainAM

    I understand that from Frontier Development's perspective the game was always intended to be online, and that offline was an addition after it was requested by a vocal minority during the kickstarter. It's not that this minority don't matter but that FD have limited resources. They put time and resources into trying to make it happen but the way the online game has developed has meant that offline would need a separate development path and be a different game.

    If you're looking for more factual detail the developers have answered a lot of questions over the weekend and they've been collected here:

    https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=59481

    I do think it's a real shame there won't be an offline mode, but there's hope for those with a crap connection because solo online isn't data heavy, a dial-up connection could be enough to run it.

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Are you saying they knew they would be unlikely to deliver an offline mode, but still said they would in order to take peoples money?

      1. IainAM

        @Tom 38

        No, absolutely not. I didn't mean to give that impression.

        Whilst it was essentially an added feature they took it on genuinely thinking they could deliver.

        That question, amongst many others, was asked in the link I posted and is answered by the exec producer.

        Whilst I understand the reasoning behind the removal of offline I think the way that they've communicated the decision is really poor. The answers in the above link should have been given in a stand alone news letter rather than teased out over a weekend of confusion.

  29. Cuddles Silver badge

    Is anyone actually surprised?

    Elite 4 has been in and out of development for at least a decade, supposedly in parallel with The Outsider which would serve as a test-bed for the technology involved. That would be The Outsider that was announced in 2005, scheduled for release in 2009 and... is currently in development. Anyone sensing a theme here? Elite 4 was last cancelled around 2011, although supposedly work never completely stopped on it. Oddly enough, most of the development history has been removed from Wikipedia.

    But hey, everyone threw money at Star Citizen, so why not replace the 4 with "Dangerous", pretend it's not vapourware that's been hanging around for a decade, and get some suckers to throw money at it. And surprise surprise, the game said suckers were promised is not actually what they're going to get. But let's be honest, with this kind of history they should really just count themselves lucky that anything is getting released at all.

    1. SteveTroughton

      Re: Is anyone actually surprised?

      Wow, you've obviously researched thoroughly before posting. Have you even seen any footage of what was actually a skunkworks project prior to Kickstarter funding?

  30. deMangler
    FAIL

    To add to the reasons why for many people off-line is essential.

    Many people, myself included, play Elite a bit like a rogue-like game. There is a reason these games are all single player. Dwarf-Fortress, ADOM, Nethack, etc. It is because we like to be in our world in a considered way. We like to pause and think about it. We like to know we will be coming back to it in whatever amount of time and continue.

    I believe this is part of the reason Iron-Man mode was fought for so successfully in the forum and DDF - because there is a strong element of the same kind of enjoyment as rogue-likes for Elite players, and this will be why many bought it or backed it.

    I know it was a large part of it for me, and was why off-line was an essential feature. Where the main game was, for me.

    1. Not That Andrew

      Yeah, that's pretty much how I play Elite (or Oolite) and why I wanted offline.

  31. Soft Sell

    Nerd rage know no bounds

    It's nice to see that the nerd rage can span forums. I could offer that there is an offline version of the game at the moment ... it is the tutorials.

    The problem is that the game client is exactly that, a client and the universe is running on an Amazon cloud service. Join the dots and you realise that they have not and probably will not be porting that Amazon service to something that runs on a client workstation.

  32. Amorous Cowherder
    Facepalm

    "This isn't something we can translate into an offline experience as we'd effectively have to make a new game world..."

    Well Bell and Braben did the whole damned thing in 32KB FFS!

  33. Sixtysix

    Seriously? Again? The Internet has Ruined... everything

    I'm livid.

    I do not want a "connected game" - I wanted a cross between Freelancer and Elite that I could run on my laptop, step into and away from for long periods WITHOUT change and worrying if I was on-line (not usually in trains / B&B / hotels which are about the only places I get time to game these days...).

    My son wanted something he could play at Sea (six months at a time) without getting locked out (and yes Steam "Off-line mode", I'm looking at your crude "lock out all games after a week of no internet" operation).

    Bah.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Seriously? Again? The Internet has Ruined... everything

      One week? That's changed a lot then!

      When I first bought Half-Life 2 I was working on a ship and happily played for a couple of months offline after burning several shore leaves getting the damned thing updated.

      1. Sixtysix

        Re: Seriously? Again? The Internet has Ruined... everything

        Indeed.

        Used to be able to play Valve stuff without any sniff of an internet and I ran LAN meets in those days. Gave that up as a bad joke up once an internet connection was starting to be essential to get everyone on the same patch, and the whole remembering to go to off-line issue is just as bad!

        We originally thought my son had some other issue that was forcing "offline mode" to die as the timing was not consistent, but no. Designed that way because developers cannot understand that not everyone has internet, even intermittently/low bandwidth. Sometimes it times out after a day or two - more usually about 6 days but he's never managed more than 8 days before Steam, and ALL games associated with Steam, refuse to load unless they can smell the interwebs.

        Living in deep dark rural Scotland my internet speed/latency has never been great, but it's always miles better than his! After timeout he has six weeks transit to the next port, and the faint off-chance that he can get someone to cover his shifts (rare) to rush to a shore based Seamans mission, chance some dodgy extremely low bandwidth Wi-Fi, fight with Steam Authentication ("You seem to have logged in at a new location"), and then get the inevitable Steam update to download/complete before he has to rush back...

        1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

          Re: Seriously? Again? The Internet has Ruined... everything

          If it is any help... some of the problems were with Windows failing to report the internet connection correctly. So Steam thought you were connected, but it got a "no response".

          However, that is still broken "by design", and while not "on purpose" there was little reason to fix it, as the "error" worked to their advantage. :/

  34. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Irony Barrel-Scraping.

      That was a bit desperate.

  35. Alien8n Silver badge
    Alien

    Jumpgate

    Hopefully this won't go the way of Jumpgate. Jumpgate was a very nice Elite style space game, but the single biggest issue with it was the sheer volume of idiots who decided that the only way they could enjoy the game was to spawn camp and kill everyone regardless of affiliations. This then had the result of driving a lot of the core gamers away from the servers.

    Personally I've stayed away from Elite: Dangerous for the time being as I found the cost of participating in the Alpha and Beta releases to be eye wateringly exhorbitant.

    1. Flatpackhamster

      Re: Jumpgate

      You can - and will in the final release - be able to play in Solo Mode.

      That means that you don't HAVE to play 'multiplayer' with idiots abounding, you can play in a world just with NPC ships.

      One of the problems the griefers have had is that they turn up at a space station and bully people and then everyone just jumps in to the system in Open Play, logs out, logs back in in Solo Mode and flies in to the space station and the griefers never see them. It's a neat solution that overcomes that whole Goon bullying thing.

      I bought in to the 2nd round Beta for £50, which is about the price you pay for a game these days. I'd hardly describe it as 'exorbitant'.

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: Jumpgate

        Good luck when the SP is still ruined by people gaming the economy. You won't be able to buy stuff or sell it. Oh wait, they'll just balance that out manually. Which removes the entire reason to have a dynamic player driven economy.

        Don't worry, as long as players are involved they will effect the economy. Valve tried this ages ago and found people just crashed the market at a whim for fun. It's a game and not real life so the risk involved in gaming the market are minimal and make it much easier to get people on the bandwagon.

  36. Valerion

    Oh, FFS!

    Why?! I've purposely avoided reading too much about it (mainly to avoid the temptation to buy it pre-release), but I've been looking forward to it. But only as Offline, single-player. Why?

    1 - I don't want to play with a bunch of schmucks on the internet. I don't care about interaction. If I want that I'll go out to a nice restaurant with my friends. I'm nearing 40. Talking to teenagers on the internet is not something I want to do, thanks.

    2 - I don't want one of aforementioned schmuck teenagers deciding to interfere and blow my shit up just for fun. Whilst putting it on Twitch or making a YouTube video with a title like "Elite n00b gets owned!!??!!" Leave me alone and let me play my damn game.

    3 - I want it to stay the way it is when I turn it off. I don't want to turn it back on and find out the entire Universe has changed because I haven't played in 3 months.

    4 - Sometimes, games are what I do when the broadband goes down. No Netflix? Fancy a game of something? Oh not, we can't, because that doesn't work either now.

    5 - I don't care about beating other players. I care about beating "the game". Beating "the game" is something I can probably do, given time. I am then "the champion". Beating all of Japan's Red Bull addicted, 24-hour gamers just isn't going to happen. I will never be "the champion".

    Use an offline thing for my savegames - that's great - but let me play the game alone, dammit.

    If I had pre-ordered I would be asking for a refund. If I had backed it, I would be taking them on for not delivering.

    Such a shame, was looking forward to reliving some BBC-Micro days.

    1. janimal

      Re: Oh, FFS!

      I agree with all your points.

      On the plus side if you want to relive the BBC micro version, you can do so..

      https://store.zaonce.net/elite1984.html

      They offer the 1984 BBC Micro version + the emulator required to play it for free (as far as I can tell).

  37. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    one way out of this mess

    Make server software available for all, so anyone can run their own server if they want to - like Minecraft. I own the machine this is running on, and I decide when to upgrade the software it runs, if I want to upgrade at all. I decide all the tweaks in the game world, who can join it and when it is available.

    That is the kind of "always online" experience I could buy.

    Otherwise, no thank you, I am note tempted by another WoW.

    1. janimal

      Re: one way out of this mess

      One of the Frontier staff said in the linked thread that they did not want to place the server code in the hands of the player & allow them to discover all the secrets of the universe.

      So it seems obvious that some of the 'limitations' preventing them from offering offline play are Intellectual Property & DRM based.

      1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

        Re: one way out of this mess

        Talk about shooting oneself in the foot. Or both feet.

        Shame, I was considering getting Oculus Rift for this, some day.

  38. Stretch

    Problem is that "Online" mode will be:

    - Broken on day 1

    - Full of children

    - Taken away after 3 months when company goes bust

  39. El_Fev

    This is rubbish..

    If you want to sync with offline players, you just offer a patch. This sounds more like copy protection than anything else, and eventually they will have to go the way of the new sim city , when they will be forced to admit , that offline mode was always there they just wanted to ensure that people bought the game.

  40. Flatpackhamster

    There seems to be a lot of confusion about 'offline mode'.

    There's two gaming modes in Elite as it stands. The first is Open Play - which is you PLUS other human players. The second is Solo Mode - which is you WITHOUT the other players.

    Both play modes inhabit the same universe, but players in Solo Mode never see those in Open Play and vice versa.

    This ISN'T being removed from the game.

    What FD have said is they can't offer an 'offline' solution so that you can have the whole game on your PC and play it.

    So this does affect those with poor broadband connections (or no connection) but it doesn't affect those who don't want to mix with gaming bullies.

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: There seems to be a lot of confusion about 'offline mode'.

      Ok, so in Solo mode you never *see* players in Open Play, but do you see the effects of those players? I mean (assuming this is how it works) if you dock at a spaceport and see a list of goodies you want to buy, but close the game down to go and have dinner or something, when you start up again, are the goodies still there, or will the Open Play players have bought them all up while you were away?

      Someone posted earlier than the on-line link is necessary to handle purchases - but does it just keep one inventory per spaceport, or manage separate inventories for all solo players too?

      1. Flatpackhamster

        Re: There seems to be a lot of confusion about 'offline mode'.

        You see the effects of the players in terms of changes to prices and stock of goods at starports, for example. But the markets shift with the influence of NPC 'players' too AIUI. The lists of missions/jobs available at starports are NOT, AFAIK, affected by other players, human or AI.

        So you might arrive at the starport to find they will take your cargo of Boiled Greebo Pelts at 78Cr/ton, log off for dinner and return to find the price has dropped to 40Cr/ton. That's the theory. I have yet to see it operate like that in practice.

        I think (this isn't gospel, I'm just a beta tester) that solo players' influences feed in to the markets just as everyone else's do, so solo players are only 'solo' in the sense that all human players are invisible to them.

    2. janimal

      Re: There seems to be a lot of confusion about 'offline mode'.

      @Flatpackhamster

      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.

  41. RoninRodent

    There has been a lot of uproar about this but the bottom line is that they have moved so much stuff to the servers they physically cannot produce an offline version now. All of the commodity prices, background simulation, module upgrade availability, bulletin board missions, injected events and I suspect even the NPC AI are run from the servers.

    Ok, so you could quickly whip up a a bit of code for commodity prices, ships and modules but that still leaves you with an largely empty universe. Do you really want a version where trading and combat is all you can do?

    Solo mode is just fine. You still get a whole dynamic universe but you don't have to deal with spotty 13 year olds making assumptions about your mother.

    I have some sympathy for those without internet or very spotty connections but then how were they going to be getting their patches? It was billed primarily as an MMO after all.

    1. DropBear Silver badge

      Do you really want a version where trading and combat is all you can do?

      You seem to think there is anything else worth doing in a space sim. To quote - "Cute, but wrong".

    2. Not That Andrew

      >Do you really want a version where trading and combat is all you can do?

      Sounds good to me

    3. janimal

      There has been a lot of uproar about this but the bottom line is that they have moved so much stuff to the servers they physically cannot produce an offline version now. All of the commodity prices, background simulation, module upgrade availability, bulletin board missions, injected events and I suspect even the NPC AI are run from the servers.

      Which seems a pretty odd thing to do if one of your requirements is for the game to be playable off-line yes?

      That code didn't end up on the server accidentally surely? At each point they made a decision to move some code to the server where was the sanity check on the requirements?

    4. GregC

      Re: Do you really want a version where trading and combat is all you can do?

      I'm late to this party, but to answer the question:

      Yes.

      Why is this so hard to understand?

  42. Steve Gill

    Ah well, that's a wee bit of cash saved.

    My only interest in E:D was for those reasonably common times when I'm stuck without internet access (some of you may be surprised at how often that happens when you don't get to go home every day) so can't get on to EVE.

    It's a pity really, it was starting to look nice.

  43. RainbowTrout

    I will give it a try.....

    I had the Spectrum version of Elite for my birthday as soon as it was released and have always considered it to be my favourite game. I Kickstarter backed Elite:Dangerous for £40 and was hoping for an offline single player mode. I still need to purchase a PC capable of playing it.

    I have recently started doing the player vs player activities in Destiny and was surprised to find I quite enjoyed it (aside from usually being the worst or second from worst player) so I am willing to give the "open play" version a go but am also glad a "solo" mode still exists just in case.

  44. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    I felt a great disturbance in the Force...

    ...as if millions of nerds suddenly cried out in anger and were suddenly silenced

  45. ecofeco Silver badge

    Welcome your mainframe overlords!

    Now back to mainframe prison, peasants!

  46. JustNiz

    ....Of course the fact that this move is necessary to enable them to further monetise the game with micropayments etc. whenever they like is COMPLETELY coincidental, as is the fact that they actually just did a classic bait-and-switch move on everyone that donated.

    1. tempemeaty

      Yup, "bait-and-switch" is exactly what I'm thinking too.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So an online game that's also rather antisocial and pretty much soul less? Frontier was a much better game than what we have seen so far in the betas, and was offline.

    I bet the "ocasional offline" happens to load those targeted advertisements they snuck in too with this mandatory DRM dressed up as "oh but look at aaaall those features!". Again Frontier was better, and there is nothing world wise that I can see that merits online only.

    1. RainbowTrout

      "Frontier was a much better game"

      Bugs aside........

  48. ollieclark

    "space commanders are mad as hell"

    SOME space commanders. By no means all. I had no intention of playing it off line anyway. Online multi-player is the big feature for me so this decision makes almost no difference to me. My 8 year old self used to gaze at those little wireframe ships and dream there were other humans in them, playing over some sort of impossible worldwide network.

    Even if you don't want to meet other humans there is still a single player mode, it's just it's based in the same online galaxy as the multi-player mode.

    I can understand the anger though. Some backers held off pledging until an offline mode was promised. If I was off doing field work in a jungle somewhere with only my gaming laptop for company I'd really like a copy of Elite to play.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no mods

    I will point out that the lack of an offline mode means no mods are possible, and that you don't really own a copy of the game but just a temporary license.

  50. Breen Whitman

    Shut up and take my money!

  51. T.H.

    I actually forked out £50 for the beta on Friday, same day as this news broke but earlier. Even though I've had a lot of fun over the weekend playing this excellent game, I must admit I feel a bit shafted, because one of the main reasons I wanted to get this game is that I travel a whole lot, and I love playing this type of game e.g. on intercontinental flights, and in hotels where there is no or bad broadband (happens more than you'd think).

    Anyway, I have to say, I love the game so far, all the detractors of the beta in general I think are shooting way over the target, this can still get great reviews if a few minor bugs are fixed, BUT BUT BUT....

    IT CAN'T BE THAT HARD TO DO AN OFFLINE MODE WITH A STATIC GALAXY.

    It just can't, period. It doesn't need to be in sync with the server version.

    My feeling/fear here is that this is all more about DRM and ensuring that nobody can play without an online verified account, and that nobody can make clone servers based on the code in the offline client.

    Well, Surprise Surprise, that's still gonna happen. But the legit players are going to suffer from this.

    I sincerely hope that this decision is reversed, and that a fully offline mode is added in an upcoming patch.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Non story

    This is a non story. Not everyone is "up in arms" in the FD forum. Far from it.

    As for the comments here.... I wonder how many of you are backers of the game and have actually played it? Don't just jump on the passing bandwagon.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You may want to sit down and pour yourself a stiff drink.....

    ....I know this is crazy, brainfuck, wierdness, but some of us.... are you sitting down... ok... here goes... some of us don't have an internet connection... there I said it..... ok breath slowly.... and relax.

    1. Gordon861

      Re: You may want to sit down and pour yourself a stiff drink.....

      He says posting on an internet forum.

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: You may want to sit down and pour yourself a stiff drink.....

      Good luck downloading the game then...

  54. Loop da Loop

    Announce a Q&A on the Forums with the CEO.

    Wait for it to get get going, as everyone tunes in for the apology that never quite appears.

    Simultaneously start firing off the Refund Refused emails.

    Classy.

  55. DropBear Silver badge
    Devil

    Real smooth

    Oh great, so now they're flat out refusing refunds - the last shred of decency one would expect at the bare minimum from these assholes... I really, really hope they go bust in record time - I'd love to see them have to answer some tough questions in a court.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Save your money instead for ..... 'No Man's Sky'

    Its the true spiritual successor to Elite...

  57. DaddyHoggy

    I thought I'd wait a few days to see if the two extremes in opinion had moved closer together - it would seem not.

    I backed Elite: Dangerous on Day 1, the promise of an offline mode was right there on day 1, on the Kickstarter page.

    My reasons for wanting/needing an Offline mode:

    1) Despite what some people think many people don't always have Internet access (I work on a military base - access to the Internet is not authorised for apps like ED - I work inside what is basically a giant Faraday cage so no mobile signal - so I can't tether a phone even if I had the mobile contract that would allow that)

    2) My home life is complicated (mainly for health related reasons) - game playing when it happens is in quick bursts and is often interrupted - you can't pause a persistent universe.

    3) I often work away (some places have Internet, some don't) - so I could go weeks without being able to fire up ED - in that time the game I left behind could have changed dramatically (and given past experiences of other games - always for the worse!)

    4) If Frontier go bust - we ALL lose the game - not sure why this doesn't bother everybody - if there was an offline version we'd still have that.

    5) No offline means that we'll inevitably be dragged into a micro-purchasing model - "Buy stuff or we won't keep the servers running" - "Buy stuff or you'll find you're out-gunned, out-manoeuvred, out-played, etc..."

    Finally, for those who are happy with the persistent online - good for you - but as I said - I pitched in on Day 1 of the KS for a game I now won't get - I also - over the rest of the time persuaded six of my students to jump on board too - they were military students - they also work in places where there's no Internet connection - so I feel like I tricked them too.

    The one small saving grace for me is that I turned down the chance to buy a good gaming laptop at a bargain price about six months ago when I still had some cash - it turns out that this was a good thing to have done since, with no offline mode, it will/would never be used for playing ED...

    1. GregC

      I've also held off for a few days, to see how the dust would settle. Today I got the latest newsletter that seeks to "clarify" a few things. Here's what I'm now clear on:

      - the suggestion/implication in the previous newsletter that an 'occasional' check in was all that would be needed is bullshit. Always online, or no game.

      - no refunds.

      I'd like to clarify a few things of my own:

      - if offline hadn't been specifically promised on Kickstarter, I wouldn't have backed E:D. As has already been said, stinks of bait-and-switch

      - if Frontier had said 'sorry, can't do offline after all, if this is important to you here's a refund form. Once we receive this your money will be refunded and your account disabled' I'd have reluctantly accepted it.

      As things stand I have a game I that isn't what I was sold, that in it's current form I don't particularly want to play, and no chance of a refund. Didn't the customer used to be right in the good marginally-less-shit old days?

      1. DropBear Silver badge
        Devil

        Didn't the customer used to be right in the good marginally-less-shit old days?

        Maybe it did, maybe it didn't; but sometime during the last century those in charge finished figuring out that you only matter if you're in the thick and tall part of the bell curve - the rest can safely be kicked in the nuts repeatedly and as often as they feel like it, it won't matter for their bottom line. The immediate conclusion being of course that your choices are to stick with the rest of the herd or give up the luxury of having a preference / conviction / personality / spine etc. - 'Brave new world' and all that jazz, be a good little clone...

    2. Vic

      I backed Elite: Dangerous on Day 1

      I ... errr ... meant to. I forgot. Sorry.

      But given what's happened, I'm quite pleased about that - I've no intention of playing multiplayer, and whilst I could cope with having an open Internet connection to do so, I'd rather not, for all the reasons stated elsewhere.

      But I downloaded the full Elite game from the link posted elsewhere in this thread, and threw it at beebem[1]. And now I can play Elite.

      Is it modern? No. Is it sexy? No. Does it dazzle the viewer with awesome graphics? No. Is it Elite? Fuck, yeah.

      So I am transported back to 19<coughty><cough>. I'm having a really good day today[2].

      Vic.

      [1] Installed through my distrbution repo, and it works just fine...

      [2] I did my first 4 night-time landings tonight. And whilst that has nothing whatsoever to do with the thread, I'm still chuffed :-)

      1. janimal

        You should also check out oolite. It is based on Elite & is very similar (same ships, universe etc..), but has been added to over time and has loads of Mods available.

        I do have the BBC version I linked earlier, but I prefer Oolite.

        Linky..., http://www.oolite.org/

        Enjoy! :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Does it need to be said...

          Honestly, there are a boatload of space-sims, space-shooters, etc, coming out soon.... So why even devote more time to ED... They missed the boat and will be buried beneath Star Citizen and No Man's Sky and many more including :-

          Top 10 Upcoming Space Sims

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rCNKF5JlLs

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: Does it need to be said...

            I don't think ED has anything to be scared of from SC, and I don't see how it has 'missed the boat'. For starters, it has been produced on a much smaller budget (a few million, compared to tens), on a shorter timescale (2 years, with a firm release date next month, compared to SC's 3+ years, past the promised release date, with no release in sight), and hasn't promised pie-in-the-sky stretch goals that it has no hope of delivering into a coherent game. SC, if it ever does get released, will probably end up being a 300Gb download, require a £3000 PC to play, be 'always online' itself, and consist of several incoherent unconnected parts (unless you think you will somehow be able to shoot people in the generic FPS part of the game with your spaceship, which I somehow seriously doubt).

            That is, if Chris Roberts hasn't just spent all the money on the proverbial hookers and coke.

            I bet David Braben is quaking in his boots.

            1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

              Re: Does it need to be said...

              Oh, and I wouldn't pay much heed to that video, the author of which doesn't even know the difference between EVE:online (an existing 'space sim' that has been around for over a decade, and which he features in the video), and EVE:valkyrie, which is CCP's promised first-person space fighter sim (designed with the Oculus Rift in mind), which although developed by the same company, and set in the same 'universe', is going to be a completely different game. TBH, though, it's just a cut-and-paste job from CCP's own advertising material, and the factual content of it could well be judged form the fact that it says, 'Coming 2014' at the end, but is nowhere in sight (but probably still going to arrive before Star Citizen ever does).

              1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                Re: Does it need to be said...

                ...and one more thing: that video actually includes Elite:Dangerous in the footage, just that the author has incorrectly labelled it as X:Rebirth, which is the game featured before it.

                Also, Limit Theory looks like it will be an awesome game, although no release date has been announced. It is entirely procedurally generated, and the work of a single author, which just goes to show that there really should be a lot more to show by now than the 'pre-alpha' [sic] of Star Citizen.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Limit Theory looks like it will be an awesome game

                  Looks interesting, wonder what its programmed in... From Kick-starter C++ is mentioned, but the file extensions were *.jsl??? Anyway there'd need to be a whole lot more libraries for everything from Physics to Materials unless he's using UE4 w/ C++ etc. Good for him anyway... It looks good... I still want to make a Blake's 7 game using Unreal / Unity.

                  1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                    Re: Limit Theory looks like it will be an awesome game

                    The JSL files are probably script files. Apparently it has run-time modification of the game through scripting, demoed in one of his vids somewhere, where he changes the ships on-the-fly. I believe he has built the physics and graphics libraries from the ground up. VERY impressive stuff!

        2. Vic

          You should also check out oolite

          I tried it - it did strange things to my display...

          I'll give it another go sometime & see if I can get it working.

          Vic.

  58. BleedinObvious

    In hackers I trust

    We've got hackers that can make USB cables into keyloggers, and pwn millions of phones via binary SMS, I'm sure the hacking community will come up with a dummy local server.

    More optimistically I predict that 6 months after release, after universe bugs and so on have been ironed out, Frontier themselves will offer some kind of offline server or data.

    I think they admitted that it could go offline while recently placating fears of servers being turned off at some future point, apparently -then- everyone gets a snapshot of the universe.

  59. Gusty O'Windflap

    the original was single player

    we did not seem to have any issues playing it then, in fact if so many had not enjoyed the original game in its single player only format then they would not have had such a fantastic response of people backing the project.

    I was looking forward to this, not going to bother now because I do not have internet access except via my phone

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