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Complexity will make or break Frontier Development’s ‘Elite: Dangerous’

Elite Dangerous, a PC exclusive mmo title, is releasing their standard beta later this week.
Elite Dangerous, a PC exclusive MMO title, lets players utilize flight sticks to maneuver your ship.

Expansive worlds and open exploration are as popular as ever, and Frontier Development’s Elite: Dangerous takes it to the next level with over 400 billion star systems for players to explore in a massive-multiplayer online world.

Taking place over 1000 years in the future, Elite: Dangerous brings a period of rapid growth for humanity as well as a cold-war on the brink of igniting galactic destruction and it throws you right in the middle of it all.

With an array of weapon choices, ship enhancements, and gameplay styles, Frontier Development will be giving players a vast amount of choices and their variety of gameplay approaches is exciting. There is a clear emphasis from Frontier Development to immerse their players as much as they possibly can in the game.

“Some may call you a friend, a pirate, a bounty-hunter, a smuggler, an assassin, a mercenary, but you are the pilot of your own starship, and that is what matters.”

A co-operative multiplayer experience is at the forefront of the game as it encourages players to team up for missions and for players to join sides within the cold war between the Federation and the Empire.

The MMO’s greatest concern may be how much depth the world has. The space travel looks incredible but the game outside of that has yet to be extensively detailed. Frontier has stated that they will implement on-foot exploration soon after launch, but the ambition may be too great for it to execute at a high-quality level. Their balance between exciting gameplay and immersion will need to be precise.

The gameplay is clearly complex from its core out. Even a seemingly menial task in other games can be a very in-depth experience in Elite: Dangerous.

To dock in-game you must not only precisely maneuver your ship to and within a docking-station, but also release your landing gear manually, and proceed to correctly center your ship over the landing platform. Frontier clearly tries to get players as invested in the game world as best they can with their gameplay style.

It’s up for debate whether the in-depth features will be enjoyable additions to the game at the final release. Regardless, Elite: Dangerous’ intricacy and comprehensiveness certainly make it stand out among the rest, but those focus points may end up being its downfall when expanding their community. It will be interesting to see how the average gamer reacts to the style that Frontier is after and if their balance of complexity and player engagement is well-received on a grand scale.

A good in-game introduction will be certainly needed to help players understand the game and immediately jump straight into the immersive experience. Along with a solid community to support new players, Elite: Dangerous could flourish if executed well.

Get an early look at the MMO July 29th as Frontier Development will be giving beta access to those who pre-order a $75 package available on their official website.

16 thoughts on “Complexity will make or break Frontier Development’s ‘Elite: Dangerous’

  1. Why is complexity such a big fear in games today? do we really want more instant gratification and dumbed down games to join the rest of the masses we already have today. Is making an effort in a game really such a frightening ordeal that every game has to filtered down into a game that involves button press cutscenes… enough is enough.. bring on the complexity for once i say and i don’t think it will break ED in any way…

  2. The in depth features are beyond enjoyable! …why are you saying “Frontier has stated that they would like to add on-foot movement in some senses” — this is a planned expansion they are selling the lifetime pass for and at the rate that they’ve been adding content, I have no doubt will be available not too long after launch. Docking is immersive as hell on an Oculus Rift and one of the most awe-inspiring gaming experiences I’ve ever had.

    “It will be interesting to see how the average gamer reacts to the style that Frontier is after.” — not nearly as interesting as the game will be to it’s intended audience who dreamed about an Elite like this for decades. That’s why they did a Kickstarter, so they didn’t have to cater to the reduced attention spans of average gamers like you. If you want to come along for the ride, fine. If not, fine. Plenty of games out there for you without this having to have a “downfall.”

  3. You make a lot of really good points. I’m not calling out the game. I think it’s awesome to see more developers go after a specific style of game that can attract a dedicated community. I’m just thinking about how/if the game can expand past the dedicated community.

    Also, I’m really excited to see what the game is like with Oculus Rift.

  4. The first planned expansion of the game will have seamless landing on planets, followed by the ability to get out of your ship, walk around, board other peoples ships by invitation or by force. If you had bothered to research even just a little you would know this is earmarked for the very near future. It’s not stuff Frontier would “like” to add, it’s stuff they are “going” to add. But hey, journalism on the blogosphere has never been up to much really has it?

    Needless to say this is a game not for the ADHD, Ritalin rattled, twitch-console CoD playing crowd. There is no instant gratification. The learning curve is challenging but not too steep for those willing to take the time. However if Pew-Pew “I f@&ked your mom! Get cancer n00b” is more your thing, do us all a favour and give it a miss eh?

    Mastering in-depth features and gameplay that requires developing skills gives a sense of achievement, personally I enjoy achieving things. Don’t you?

  5. 29th of July is “Standard Beta” premium beta is over. Furthermore pre-ordering the game does not get you access to the single player mission, buying into the Standard Beta does.

    Of course this information is so hard to find, being on the frikkin website. But clearly you wouldn’t know that as from the looks of it you threw this together based on watching a couple of streams and slamming your face into the keyboard until words formed.

  6. I’ll admit I wasn’t informed well regarding the game. It was initially requested from a friend to write about the game — not my own initiative. With that said, I appreciate you adding what you know. The vast majority of the information detailed within the article came straight from the official website’s description of the game.

    I definitely like the game’s premise and the community is clearly supportive given their kickstarter success.

    I’m not against its complexity and I definitely like a high-effort high-reward game, but my article was questioning how the game will expand past its initial kickstarter fanbase. A good tutorial and community will be needed to garner new players.

  7. The ED community has been one of the most supportive and helpful communities i’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of, i have no doubt they can garner new players….

  8. Considering how I’ve received more comments and response from this article than any article in my past, I’ve certainly learned how dedicated the community is.

  9. your being a bit harsh on him man. Sure he got some details wrong, but nothing to earth shattering.

  10. I appreciate the understanding.

  11. I would expect a Journalist to prepare an article in a professional manner, which would include doing the most basic research. Which clearly here he did not do.

  12. “I’ll admit I wasn’t informed well regarding the game.”

    Then as a Journalist isn’t it your job to get informed? Even if it was a request from a friend and not your own initiative surely someone with a modicum of journalistic integrity would have made it their job to get informed? Information regarding the game, it’s kick-starter, the Alpha, the current Beta is freely available and can be gathered together in minutes and digested in a couple of hours (depending on how deep you wish to research).

    But here you write an article “questioning how the game will expand past its initial kickstarter fan base”, and title it “Complexity will make or break Frontier Developments Elite: Dangerous” a provocative statement to say the least, but have absolutely no experience of the game and have done not even the most basic research on it’s inception, goals, and future expansion.

    Now I’m not having a go because i think this is an unfair review (which it clearly is not) I’m getting at you here because you have shoved something out in a clearly half arsed, poorly (if at all) researched manner then dumped it in Reddit for the hits. If you are going to be a journalist then act like one. Do your homework then present an informed review/opinion piece. Uniformed opinions are inherently worthless.

  13. Some of us are a little, er… enthusiastic, shall we say :D

    Elite has a cult following that goes back to 1984. Many have gone mad in the mean time.

  14. The article was informed. Just a mistake regarding the beta availability and when/if on-foot movement would be coming. I just didn’t know how …as Kevin Scales said above, “enthusiastic” about this game.

    The community is still relatively small but clearly your all very vocal.

  15. I made two mistakes regarding the beta’s availability and the on-foot movement. Both of which were corrected within the first hour of posting. Apologies to anyone who felt misinformed though.

  16. Brian,complexity is what makes this game what it is, and as such it will have a lot of depth. If you read anything about what the game is about you would have easily come to that conclusion. As far as whether or not that complexity is enjoyable is purely subjective, and any fans of the series and space sims are NOT debating if these features are enjoyable. This game isn’t trying to have mass appeal, it’s very clearly a niche game and it’s going to be done very well. It’s going to be well executed and those of us who bought into the alpha and beta are in for a hell of a ride.

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