nav search
Data Centre Software Security DevOps Business Personal Tech Science Emergent Tech Bootnotes
BOFH
Lectures

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

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.

17
7
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.

15
3

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.

8
3
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The other question is what will happen a few years down the line when the game isn't so new, has been superceded by the next shiny thing and perhaps isn't quite as profitable as it was?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.

20
1

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.

0
0

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...

0
0

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.

0
0

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.

1
0

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.

0
0
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
0
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...

1
0

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?

19
5
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.

6
9

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.

81
8
Thumb Up

Re: Standard mistake to make

All great points

3
0
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.

5
2
Silver badge

Re: Standard mistake to make

@Dan1980 Well said.

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

19
2
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.

5
0

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 . . . ?

3
0
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.

0
2

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.

10
0
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...

3
4

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

1
0

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.

3
0
Silver badge

Even a Chromebook

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

1
0

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!

6
0

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.

5
0
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.

2
0
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?

0
0
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
0

This post has been deleted by its author

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 ! ! !

0
1

Re: Standard mistake to make

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

0
0
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.

14
1

Ah well

That's 40notes saved.

21
0

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).

2
0

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...

1
0
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.

29
0

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

What are your stretch goals?

1
0
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.

10
0

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

But will it have Bluetooth?

0
0
Coat

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

And will it run Linux?

0
0

well, fuck.

13
0
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.

22
0
Meh

Re: Pity!

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

5
0

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!

14
1

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
0

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

0
0
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.

1
0

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.

16
1

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

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

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing