Elite: Dangerous - first impressions

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pleiadian
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Elite: Dangerous - first impressions

Post by pleiadian » Wed May 02, 2018 1:00 pm

So... I heard so much about it, also in this forum, I began to look into the matter. Looking at videos, their websites, 3rd party websites and whatnot, and finally, I made the choice to toss out 25 Euros to purchase the thing. It's only the core game, just "Dangerous". There is a second package you can purchase called "Horizons", and it adds some extended functionality like avatars (I think, it's called "Holo Me"), and other game extending features and functionalities. You can either buy ED as the stand-alone core game and decide to buy Horizons later, or get everything in the Supersize-Me package which's got everything in it, including Horizons, for about 50 Euros.

That's the financials covered... but how is it?

Of course, there are notable differences compared to Oolite, first up, of course, is the graphics. It's got a lot of detail as such, but things like free-floating docks with "external" docking ports or the insides of a Coriolis, appear to use all the same modeling structure with only the name of the station and the insignia shown on the central inner wall.

Controls are sensitive to say the very least. You really need to watch what you're doing... There's two additional modes of movement compared to Oolite: vertical and horizontal thrusters - and they make, as their name says, move your ship slowly in the desired direction. This can be a highly useful tool in combat, but I've mostly used it for docking for now. Depending on the ship you're flying, the speed you're on, and the energy routed into the engines, your ship's maneuverability is either fast as a lightning or slow as a snail. You need to watch your dashboard controls to make sure you're steering at maximum efficiency. Which neatly brings us to...

Supercruise and FSD. That's Frame Shift Drive. You're supercruising when you're flying to another in-system location, such as a belt, planet, or dock, and you're in Frame Shift Drive to jump to another system. The space you're in once you are jumping is the same: Witchspace. Much like the OXP you can install where you have to align to your solar system destination, this is the default in ED. You always need to align to the system you wanna go to, and it cannot be obscured by some celestial body like a planet or moon.

Jumping to another system looks fantastic of course but there is a catch: as soon as you arrive in your target system, you will always arrive at the main star of the system. This is much different from Oolite, where you arrive at a designated Witchpoint. Once you have arrived in the system, immediately pull away from the star because it'll stare in your face in all its glory. Plus, you won't jump out at normal speed, you're in Supercruise right away, making it a little more difficult to move away from the star, unless you're at optimum speed for performance, and maneuverability. If you need to go somewhere in that system, lock that destination and align with your compass (which I think is a little too small, compared with my DeeperSpace HUD... but ok).

I haven't had time to explore the rest... but one thing strikes me as fantastic, daunting, and "wow way too much" at the same time:

ED contains every single solar system of the 400 billion (yes, that's billion... in other words: 400,000,000,000) solar systems our shiny Milky Way has to offer. And every single system can be visited. What I don't know is, if those system locations are procedurally generated, or if they took them off some NASA database.

Fact is, each and every system can be visited, and explored. I don't know if they all have Coriolisis or whatever in them. I know that when playing in multiplayer mode, there's this huge effort going on to explore the galaxy. Some kind of guild or group has been formed that is dedicated to push forward into the unknown.

There's quite an extensive forum post with all details going on, and I don't understand even 1 cent of it:
https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthrea ... dition-Hub

I'm not sure if 400 billion is a bit much. Compared to Elite's/Oolite's 2048 systems, which is already quite a number, throwing in the entire galaxy in a single- AND multiplayer game... of course you can do that, but.... whoa. In Star Trek, by the end of the Next Generation era, Starfleet had maybe discovered and cartographed 5% of the galaxy, if I remember correctly. And that's with huge Warp capable vessels, in 300 years. So what is Frontier expecting of its players?

Anyways... all in all it is pretty nice. One last thing that's missing, is obviously OXP support. So it's a take-it-or-leave-it deal, and you're at the mercy of the Frontier developers.

I'm gonna be playing it from time to time.

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - first impressions

Post by another_commander » Wed May 02, 2018 1:46 pm

Gonna have to move this to Outworld, as it is not an Oolite related discussion.

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Gimbal Locke
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Re: Elite: Dangerous - first impressions

Post by Gimbal Locke » Wed May 02, 2018 3:58 pm

pleiadian wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 1:00 pm
What I don't know is, if those system locations are procedurally generated, or if they took them off some NASA database.
Both: some tens of thousands are from star catalogues, the other ~400 billion are generated.

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