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-   -   Elite Dangerous (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=743800)

That Don Guy 12-17-2014 11:14 AM

Elite Dangerous
 
Anybody else get Elite Dangerous ("Version 1.0.0.0" - boy, that certainly boasts confidence in the product) yet?

Apparently, there's some sort of "group play" / "play with friends" ability, but I'm not quite sure what that means. Does the group have its own separate "area"? Is it part of the "main community universe" (assuming this even exists), but you have the ability to communicate with each other?

Kinthalis 12-17-2014 04:45 PM

I haven't really looked up what's new in the release build, but I think grouping is still pretty bare bones at this point.

I really don't know why this game is coming out now. It's a solid baseline, and stable, but I think it still needs more features baked in.

I'm waiting for my IR head tracker and HOTAS to get here before jumping, so probably after xmas.

dzeiger 12-17-2014 05:37 PM

I backed it on Kickstarter, forgot about it for a long time, then downloaded and tried it in one of the Gamma versions.

First impression was the docking tutorial. Now, I played the original Elite, and way back then, docking was the cause of the vast, vast majority of deaths.

It appears that they have made it much more difficult now. You don't just have to fly into the rotating hole, you have to ask for docking permission (fine, but the tutorial told me I had to do it without telling me how to access communications...), then you fly through the hole, then you actually have to land on a random pad--and do so in a fairly finicky matter.

Eventually, I managed it, moved on to basic combat, and found that at least part of my problem was that the mouse/keyboard control scheme just didn't work well for me. Possibly because I'm using a trackball, maybe there were some settings I could tweak or something, but at that point I was just frustrated. I've since ordered a joystick (I've been wanting to pick up X-Wing/TIE Fighter from GOG), but haven't had a chance to try it out since.

N9IWP 12-17-2014 09:06 PM

I got the mercenary edition last week, and played the 1st combat demo, but haven't done anything else

Considering a joystick (probably a T 16000)

Brian

tagos 12-18-2014 08:36 AM

Been playing it for some time. Imagine an Elite that came out in 1989 and add 2014 graphics and for the most part you have it.

The grouping aspects are primitive and patchy I'm afraid. But you can set up private instances of the universe. There's a large PvE one for example.

Docking is easy once you get the hang of it and remember you have thrusters for fine movement control.

There's a lot to like about it, especially if you're a way-back-when Elite fan. But as seems usual these days this has been release several months too early IMHO. It's still thin on features and maybe short of balance in some areas.

But - huge galaxy - as in the whole galaxy. A wide range of ships to own and even wider range of upgrades to customise them with. It's very 'simmy' with enough keys to fill my X55. The flight model is good, the combat rewards skill, plenty of systems management. Lots of good stuff.

It says its an MMO but all it really is, is a persistent universe you need a connection to play. I've played for hours since release and had no interactions with other players. It's still very much One Man and a Spaceship in a big bad galaxy.

It's fun and will keep getting better, but I'd still give it a couple of months before buying it if you're not an old Elite fan.

tagos 12-18-2014 08:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by N9IWP (Post 17986390)
I got the mercenary edition last week, and played the 1st combat demo, but haven't done anything else

Considering a joystick (probably a T 16000)

Brian

I used a t16000 for a time in beta. Fine stick. But also get Voice Attack, which has an Elite Dangerous pack to give custom voice responses to commands. I use it to automate stuff like controlling the landing gear, dropping chaff, going in and out of warp etc etc.

amanset 12-18-2014 09:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tagos (Post 17987124)
Been playing it for some time. Imagine an Elite that came out in 1989 and add 2014 graphics and for the most part you have it.

The grouping aspects are primitive and patchy I'm afraid. But you can set up private instances of the universe. There's a large PvE one for example.

Docking is easy once you get the hang of it and remember you have thrusters for fine movement control.

There's a lot to like about it, especially if you're a way-back-when Elite fan. But as seems usual these days this has been release several months too early IMHO. It's still thin on features and maybe short of balance in some areas.

But - huge galaxy - as in the whole galaxy. A wide range of ships to own and even wider range of upgrades to customise them with. It's very 'simmy' with enough keys to fill my X55. The flight model is good, the combat rewards skill, plenty of systems management. Lots of good stuff.

It says its an MMO but all it really is, is a persistent universe you need a connection to play. I've played for hours since release and had no interactions with other players. It's still very much One Man and a Spaceship in a big bad galaxy.

It's fun and will keep getting better, but I'd still give it a couple of months before buying it if you're not an old Elite fan.

Much as though I don't want to, I have to agree. I backed it on Kickstarter, but not at a high enough level to get beta access, so I got in on the gamma a few weeks ago. I wanted to love it, I grew up playing the original Acornsoft Elite and later Frontier on my Amiga. It really is Elite with prettier graphics and an unnecessarily complex way of handling the ship. I could go on at length about my issues but I'll leave just one that I feel sums up where they went wrong in trying to make things as 'realistic' as possible at the expense of gameplay:

In the game they have worked out how to fly faster than light but not how to have automatically deploying landing gear. Yes, in a universe where you can traverse the Milky Way you still have to manually deploy landing gear when you dock.

Elite Dangerous mistakes such things for complexity and immersion.

Don't get me wrong, the game has potential. But right now it is a pretty game that has hardly advanced on the game mechanic from 1984. Unfortunately the world of video games has moved on, but David Braben hasn't.

Skywatcher 12-18-2014 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by amanset (Post 17987218)
Don't get me wrong, the game has potential. But right now it is a pretty game that has hardly advanced on the game mechanic from 1984. Unfortunately the world of video games has moved on, but David Braben hasn't.

Thanks for this. I had been considering getting into this but now I'd rather stick with Oolite.

dzeiger 12-18-2014 11:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by amanset (Post 17987218)

In the game they have worked out how to fly faster than light but not how to have automatically deploying landing gear. Yes, in a universe where you can traverse the Milky Way you still have to manually deploy landing gear when you dock.

Elite Dangerous mistakes such things for complexity and immersion.

Yeah, when playing around with the docking I got the feeling that I'd get the hang of it soon enough, but it would not ever be interesting--just a tedious, slightly finicky timesink.

Maybe they wanted to make it feel more sim-like with the more explicit landing, but sailing ports have harbormasters and tugboats and such for a reason. If I own a space station where the docking pads are on the inside, no way I'm letting some random space jockey fly around under his own power inside the place.

Knorf 12-18-2014 11:25 AM

Isn't there an autopilot available for docking? I thought I read that.

But anyway I think I'll still stick with Kerbal Space Program for now.

Kinthalis 12-18-2014 12:11 PM

Yes there is an autodocking module you can purchase.

I found docking super easy and fun to do... with a joystick.

duality72 12-18-2014 02:08 PM

I came across this fairly interesting story on Reddit, so thought I would pass it along.

Why I Freaking Love This Game

Skywatcher 12-18-2014 03:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by duality72 (Post 17988079)

Okay, now I'm interested again. :D

CinnamonBabka 12-18-2014 03:36 PM

I picked up this game, ran a few contracts, then I started writing a tool to help with commodity hauling. Now I've spent the last three weeks working on that, instead.

Hopefully I'll still remember how to dock when I start playing again.

That Don Guy 12-18-2014 04:07 PM

Pardon me for asking, but what are the generally accepted "standard" keys/joystick buttons for forward and reverse thrust? My setup doesn't seem to have them defined.

CinnamonBabka 12-18-2014 04:13 PM

I bound it to a button on my HOTAS throttle; I don't think there's a 'standard' way to do it. I'd say put it near your thruster controls since you're primarily going to use it during docking.

tagos 12-19-2014 04:52 AM

I actually like all the little manual details such as landing gear and lights. It does add to my immersion.

Battle Pope 12-19-2014 02:36 PM

I'm enjoying it so far. I also picked up a copy of VoiceAttack and a voice pack which allows you to talk to your ship and get voice replies. :D

Demo vid: http://youtu.be/8dnJ--pSjdE

Skywatcher 12-19-2014 04:38 PM

Reddit writeup sold me on it. Patcher is taking so long to install that I might not actually get to play until I get back from my trip.

At least I'll have another week before I have to get back to work.

GargoyleWB 12-19-2014 04:52 PM

Playing it and have managed to run 1 courier mission to a station and dock "successfully". Well, I ground myself sideways across the bay and bounced off some structure, but that will buff right out. And the mess that I left on Pad 21 before getting yelled at...assigned parking spots? Who knew? I get the feel of it now, though, and future docking will be a breeze.

I really didn't expect it to run so well on my 2-year old laptop, but I get great frame rates on med/high settings. Playing with a PS4 controller, works pretty well, am going to start playing with some button remapping/macroing to make things smoother.

A great tip that I saw on a forum to quickly find the docking bay entrance...the "right hand rule" tells you where the entrance is. Curl your right hand fingers in the direction to match the station rotation, your thumb then points out of where the docking entrance is.

Going to love this game :)

Skywatcher 12-20-2014 11:15 AM

How long is this thing supposed to take to install?

If the launcher is still synching files when I return from my trip, I'll be asking for my money back!

Skywatcher 12-20-2014 08:27 PM

Don't know what the problem was with the launcher but looks like I got it working like it should. Will play a bit tomorrow when I'm not busy working.

Teuton 12-21-2014 05:51 AM

I bought it and played it last night. It looks like it did in my head back in 1986.

Baron Greenback 12-21-2014 03:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Teuton (Post 17994176)
I bought it and played it last night. It looks like it did in my head back in 1986.

I've only seen some videos (so far) but I agree. I'm wary of the potential time-sink of getting this...

Amateur Barbarian 12-21-2014 04:32 PM

Wow. I had never heard of this game when someone gave me an, um, borrowed copy sometime in the late 90s. Having no background, no manual, no online references and no way to ask any legit player, I assumed the PITA difficulty of docking was something that required a code wheel or some other pseudo-lock, and pretty much gave up on it after a few hours.

I've never heard of it since, until now, either, and had no idea it had such a following.

Teuton 12-21-2014 05:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian (Post 17995083)
Having no background, no manual, no online references and no way to ask any legit player, I assumed the PITA difficulty of docking was something that required a code wheel or some other pseudo-lock, and pretty much gave up on it after a few hours.

On my Amstrad, at least, you could Save your game in any given system, and when you reloaded you would be docked in the local space station. I abused that mightily until I had enough for docking computers - I played that game for years, probably over a thousand hours, and never manually docked once.

Battle Pope 12-21-2014 06:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Teuton (Post 17995156)
On my Amstrad, at least, you could Save your game in any given system, and when you reloaded you would be docked in the local space station. I abused that mightily until I had enough for docking computers - I played that game for years, probably over a thousand hours, and never manually docked once.

I played the Amiga 500 version for years. My docking method was to get as close as I could to the station (but far enough back that exiting ships wouldn't hit me), wait until the port was almost aligned with my ship and then go to full throttle while trying to match the rotation and hope I survived the inevitable 'scrapping' as I did my suicide run. :D The docking computer was awesome.

There was also a bug in that version which allowed you to jump past the original 7 light-year limit. IIRC you selected a destination within range, started the jump cycle and with about 5 seconds to go, click on another destination anywhere else on the map and you'd end up there.

Arrogance Ex Machina 12-21-2014 06:35 PM

On my PC I started a new game, saved, edited the save with a hex editor so I had a docking computer and continued from there. Can't remember where I got the information about which particular hex to edit though - probably from whoever I um.. loaned the game itself.

Unpronounceable 12-21-2014 08:28 PM

The only use for a docking computer in the new one is the musical accompaniment. :p

Otherwise, it functions as an additional suicide option. :smack:

BigT 12-22-2014 04:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian (Post 17995083)
Wow. I had never heard of this game when someone gave me an, um, borrowed copy sometime in the late 90s. Having no background, no manual, no online references and no way to ask any legit player, I assumed the PITA difficulty of docking was something that required a code wheel or some other pseudo-lock, and pretty much gave up on it after a few hours.

I didn't assume that, but I did assume is yet another one of those Nintendo Hard games and gave up on it after trying on the first station multiple times. It still to this day seems pointless to make docking so hard.

Then again, I'm not a big fan of games that give you no direction on what to do at the start. It's not that big a deal that I didn't make it to the other station--I didn't know I was supposed to buy things to sell. I thought I was buying food to eat and stuff.

GargoyleWB 12-22-2014 03:51 PM

Played a few more hours...

Picking up a lot of mystery fines, no idea how. I suspect they are either because I'm running some courier missions and it's faction related, or I'm doing something incorrectly during docking. I usually just sit docked on the landing pad, without getting elevatored inside, so maybe that's where I'm getting them?

I did charge up my weapons and fire around a bit, until noticing I was getting yelled at by the station since it was a no-fire zone. Probably another fine.

Teuton 01-15-2015 02:30 PM

The more I play it, the more I'm annoyed with it.

A lot of it is down to its always-online, MMO-Lite structure. There's no Pause button, which is annoying for when I want to pause it. You can't have more than one save-game (so my wife can't play). You can't save the game before accepting a mission to see how it turns out. And the mission time limits are in real time, so you can't accept a good looking mission at the end of a play session and save it for next time.

Earlier today, I was playing with my little Hauler, and bought enough expensive cargo to bring my money down to only a few thousand. Then I was distracted by a small child whilst docking at the next station, and crashed into the docking window. I then couldn't afford to replace my ship. Whilst you can always get a free ship and start over with your sidewinder - and I assume it become much less of an issue later in the game, when you've got a big ship and tons of cash - it's still a major setback that, in any other game, I'd 'save scum' to get past. I'd certainly do it in previous versions of Elite.

I understand the economy system means that they want to keep people online and contributing to the flux, but the downsides are getting to me.

Skywatcher 01-18-2015 05:58 PM

I've only seen one downside so far: the launcher.

Late Friday night/early Saturday morning, I finally did something in the game other than just undock and experiment with the controls. Haven't been able to play at all since then because the launcher keeps freezing upon login!

That Don Guy 01-19-2015 09:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Teuton (Post 18055776)
The more I play it, the more I'm annoyed with it.

A lot of it is down to its always-online, MMO-Lite structure. There's no Pause button, which is annoying for when I want to pause it.

The P key pauses the game. At least, it does on mine; it may have been something I set up manually.

Also, I assume it's "sort of" of a pause, and that things are still going on around you, just as if you had left the game. Maybe the pause only means something if you're playing in "solo" mode?

Skywatcher 01-20-2015 12:38 PM

Apparently I fixed my login issues. Disabled the LAN setting autodetect and the launcher started working again.

I've now accumulated enough credits from missions to buy a Hauler.

Skywatcher 01-26-2015 11:14 AM

Here's a great site for haulers. With that and running missions, I've amassed over a quarter million.

Teuton 02-01-2015 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by That Don Guy (Post 18065739)
The P key pauses the game. At least, it does on mine; it may have been something I set up manually.

Also, I assume it's "sort of" of a pause, and that things are still going on around you, just as if you had left the game. Maybe the pause only means something if you're playing in "solo" mode?

This doesn't do anything but grey out the screen and show you the options - everything still happens in the background, whether you're in Solo mode or Open Play.

The lack of a pause button is still the biggest single thing stopping me playing more than I otherwise would.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skywatcher (Post 18082534)
Here's a great site for haulers. With that and running missions, I've amassed over a quarter million.

This, however, is awesome.

That Don Guy 02-01-2015 12:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Teuton (Post 18099177)
This doesn't do anything but grey out the screen and show you the options - everything still happens in the background, whether you're in Solo mode or Open Play.

The lack of a pause button is still the biggest single thing stopping me playing more than I otherwise would.

Well, you can't do a "full pause" in Open Mode for a very simple reason; what if you're in combat against another player? Does the other player have to pause as well?

Teuton 02-02-2015 12:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by That Don Guy (Post 18099203)
Well, you can't do a "full pause" in Open Mode for a very simple reason; what if you're in combat against another player? Does the other player have to pause as well?

Oh, I know why they do it. But it also doesn't pause in Solo Mode either, presumably because it's easier to have the same functionality in both modes.

But just knowing why they do it doesn't stop it annoying me, and it doesn't stop it being the reason I don't play as much, especially in the early evening when I normally play a game or two when the kids are playing, and I need to play games that I can just tap a key, and get up and walk away from.

It's why I stopped playing Guild Wars 2, and I suspect it's why I'll stop playing Elite.

Skywatcher 02-02-2015 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Teuton (Post 18101606)
Oh, I know why they do it. But it also doesn't pause in Solo Mode either, presumably because it's easier to have the same functionality in both modes.

Ye cannot break the laws of physics, Cap'n Commander. :)

The whole thing operates in real time and time will not pause. The lady of the house knows that I have to stop in a safe place, like landed on a platform or at least stopped in a no-fire zone, when she needs me.

Anon01245 02-02-2015 04:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kinthalis (Post 17987690)
Yes there is an autodocking module you can purchase.

I found docking super easy and fun to do... with a joystick.

No I think that it is all manual from what I have heard.

I think that this game would be interesting to try out.

Battle Pope 02-02-2015 04:40 PM

You can buy a docking computer but from a lot of reports on the game forums it appears to have been programed by Marvin the paranoid android and has lost the will to live. It has a bad tendency to crash rather than land, usually destroying your ship and cargo in the process.

amanset 02-02-2015 05:58 PM

Despite being a backer I still haven't installed it since my bad experience in Gamma. By installed I mean 'update to the release version'. I 'm just not feeling it.

And then I found out today I have a herniated disc and so gaming is way off the table.

Skywatcher 02-10-2015 01:38 AM

Bounty hunting's easy when the marks don't bother putting their shields up. One mook even ran a successful interdiction on me, which has been unusual ever since I bought my Cobra, but still didn't put up shields!

unwashed brain 02-11-2015 04:29 PM

I'm playing. Not sure exactly why yet. Mainly been an explorer, and I pick up whatever courier missions I can find. It's kinda fun, beautiful, and kinda boring. I'll move into some combat once I get bored exploring.

Skywatcher 02-11-2015 04:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by unwashed brain (Post 18126523)
Mainly been an explorer

You assigned your discovery scanner to a fire group, right?

Battle Pope 02-11-2015 04:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skywatcher (Post 18122019)
Bounty hunting's easy when the marks don't bother putting their shields up. One mook even ran a successful interdiction on me, which has been unusual ever since I bought my Cobra, but still didn't put up shields!

I have a standard rares trading run that I do which is four systems (imagine a classic kite shape with my 'home base' at the long end and three other rare points at the peak and two arms). Prior to 1.1 I could fly the whole route three or four times without being interdicted by a NPC. Last night I flew the first leg (12 jumps) and was interdicted three times. First was a Cobra, 2nd was a Python and last was a nub in a Sidewinder. Made it feel a lot more like the classic Elite where you had to fight your way to stations. All used shields and the Python gave me a fight, knocking out my shields and doing some hull damage before I got him - I run gimballed pulse lasers on my Cobras medium hardpoints and gimballed cannon in the small. Once the bad guys shields are down damaging ship components is easy.

Skywatcher 02-11-2015 04:48 PM

Recently bought a wake scanner and an interdictor so I could chase down marks who run. Didn't have the interdictor yet when I bought the wake scanner so I was able to follow my mark to another system, where I tried to continue following in supercruise. Got interdicted by a damn cop!

Battle Pope 02-11-2015 04:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skywatcher (Post 18126581)
Recently bought a wake scanner and an interdictor so I could chase down marks who run. Didn't have the interdictor yet when I bought the wake scanner so I was able to follow my mark to another system where I tried to follow in supercruise. Got interdicted by a damn cop!

Haven't seen that yet. I always target the enemy ships FSD subsystem so they can't run :D.

unwashed brain 02-11-2015 06:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skywatcher (Post 18126552)
You assigned your discovery scanner to a fire group, right?

Yes. It's my left mouse button.


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