An Ambitious Tech Demo...

I am sure these posts are common but regardless, I wanted to share my thoughts on this ambitious but, in my opinion, very shallow game. I’ve been playing for a little over a month – I bought the game on 31 August and I uninstalled last night, on 8 October. I played a lot – sometimes up to 5 or 6 hours a day – so I was able to accrue a few hundred hours in the game. Here are my thoughts.

Initially the learning curve was steep, primarily due to what I consider to be a terrible UX design. Switching between keyboard only and keyboard + mouse was confusing initially, but throughout the entire Elite experience I was continuously annoyed by an inability to modify the cockpit (i.e. menu) layout and the horrible fitting screen. I can’t save ship templates? Seriously? I need to manually scroll through over a hundred modules again and again just to turn my ship from a fighter to a miner?

I steadily progressed through the different game “modes” (trading, combat, mining), and for the most part I enjoyed the experience. But there were exceptions. Initially I traded, but then I took my first Federal mission to “kill X number of pirates”. So I went and killed lots of “Mission Target” pirates. I didn’t know for sure how many because there is no kill counter (another stupid UX decision). Anyway, I began counting manually, and I kept killing pirates, until I was certain I had killed enough. But the mission still didn’t complete! Eventually after looking on the Internet, it turns out there is a bug that is preventing these mission types from completing. So hours were wasted, I had to abandon the mission, and I just felt… defeated.

Then I went and completed the engineer grind, and this was most of my playtime. Flying around to collect the different requirements was a fun experience, and the noticeable improvements to my Krait added to the enjoyment. Every now and then I’d head to a combat zone and revel in how much more powerful my ship had become. But before long I’d done it – and there were no more engineers left (in the bubble) to unlock, except for the few that had combat experience requirements because I was only at competent, even at the end.

I headed off for Guardian equipment. For hours I grinded in my SRV running around and around collecting blueprints and Guardian mats. Then I unlocked the Guardian shield and FSD boosters. My Krait was basically maxed out at this point, a PVE killing machine.

Finally – exploration. I bought an Anaconda, fitted it, engineered it, and I flew to Maia to collect occupied escape pods from Thargoid interceptor sites. This took… a long time. I think I did maybe 75 sites, to collect the 25 pods. I would just fly in, scoop up the pod, and fly out. I had originally wanted to kill some Thargoids but it clearly needed a new ship (or ages in outfitting for my Krait) and I couldn’t see the point, once I learned on the Internet that the rewards for killing Thargoids were not exciting. Also – why is everyone in the Maia system so chill with all these Thargoids killing people? You can’t fly 10 LS in Maia without running into multiple Thargoid sites, and yet in the station no one seemed to care. This really broke the immersion (for me). There is a full-on alien invasion happening and these dudes are worried about some civil war? Makes no sense.

Eventually I headed out to explore the galaxy, full of anticipation. I bounced from neutron to neutron to reach Colonia. At Colonia, I thought, “is this it?”, and then after unlocking a few of the Colonia engineers I flew to The Center. I loved how the stars got denser as I neared Sagittarius A*, but then, a few jumps out… they all disappeared! I guess this is something to do with the simulation, but at the time I just thought it was a bug. This was a huge let-down for me. There I was in the center of the Galaxy and not a star in sight. Only the uninteresting background texture and the weird blob that was the black hole.

I flew in a random direction for some planet exploration and I found it boring work. I landed on an ice planet and, sadly, I realized that I had reached the end of the game. There was nothing more to do. I boarded my ship, flew the 25k LY back to Eravate and docked. And uninstalled.

Overall, Elite is an ambitious tech demo. It reminds me of Worlds Adrift. The journey is fun, but the destination (the end game) is ultimately disappointing. This is ok for Worlds Adrift – the journey is the point. Elite should be the other way around. The good stuff should be hard to reach. The Thargoids should be on the other side of the galaxy, with massive rewards. The procedural generation of interesting sites on planets should get better the further you are away from the bubble. This would give a sense of difficulty, and ultimately a greater sense of achievement.

For comparison, I played Elite for a little over a month, and I feel I experienced the majority of what this game has to offer. I played Eve Online for three years and I still didn’t get to do it all (e.g. I never built nor flew a Titan).

Here is me, at the end: https://www.edsm.net/en/user/profile/id/64113/cmdr/x0nkers

Thanks all, I am glad Elite exists but I won’t be back unless something major happens. o7
 
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I have to wonder how you have managed to get an anaconda in a months worth of playing. I have to assume you have ground the nuts out of the game to get "rewards".

I don't grind for anything as everything can be experienced in the Sidewinder. There is no race to the most powerful ships. This seems to be an issue with some players; the need to grind out credits and engineers as quick as possible.

What some can't work out is that there is no endgame, or endgame starts when you first start up the game.

I have been playing since the game came out and have over a 1000 hours in the game and have not nearly close enough cash for an anaconda, I don't have all the engineers unlocked, I haven't engineered all my modules etc. There is no need (unless you PvP).
 
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And you still managed to get 100s of hours of gaming out of it.... so, not bad. If I get 20/30+ hours out of many AAA games, I've had my monies worth. Elite is a VERY different animal and there is no "end game", and I don't think there should be.

I still have so much to do, and I feel I'm just scraping the surface after 700 hours. Horses for courses; I love it for what it is, and I've hopes for the future, but it really isn't for everyone.
 
I have to wonder how you have managed to get an anaconda in a months worth of playing.
Trading missions out of Eravate, mostly in my Krait. Lots of “mine 200 gold” for millions of credits, and I just bought it cheap. Quite often I could stack the missions.
 
Some parts of Elite are shallow, no doubt. However, Elite isn't a 20 hour game, its endless. Do what you want - wing up with others to do various missions etc.

There's more to exploration than you described. For instance, have you seen the 'Trees', or attempted to land on moons that you can visibly see rotating fast around its planet?
 
And you still managed to get 100s of hours of gaming out of it.... so, not bad
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Agreed. I’m not arguing the price isn’t value for money - I’m arguing that the gameplay is (relatively) shallow. Overall I really enjoyed my time in the game, but there is nothing to keep me playing at this point.
 
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Trading missions out of Eravate, mostly in my Krait. Lots of “mine 200 gold” for millions of credits, and I just bought it cheap. Quite often I could stack the missions.
So that was a yes to grinding the nuts out of the game. Each to their own. That is not how I will or ever play the game. As to more interesting gameplay, the Q4 update may very well change your outlook. Uninstalling may have been a bit premature.
 
Agreed. I’m not arguing the price isn’t value form money - I’m arguing that the gameplay is (relatively) shallow. Overall I really enjoyed my time in the game, but there is nothing to keep me playing at this point.
First - to who game you are comparing with?

And - why do you expected ED to entertain you forever to begin with?
 
First - to who game you are comparing with?

And - why do you expected ED to entertain you forever to begin with?
I compare every space game to Eve Online (see my post). Eve Online entertained me for 3 years - Elite for less than two months. Not saying Elite is a bad game though - shallow != bad.
 
It appears the OP is approaching ED from a 'grind to endgame content' perspective, which isnt really how the game works. For example, locking thargoids at the end of the galaxy, for a small faction of players, to get big rewards after grinding thousands of jumps: it is the absolute worst idea, in my view, I've heared in quite a while.

Different strokes and all that, but a good and well-written post demonstrating that FD is catering to wildly different types of gamers.
 
Reinstall takes like 20 mins :) What’s coming in Q4?
Among others new explo gameplay loops (detecting planets via their energy spectrum, sending probes), new stuff to find using these mechanics, USS overhaul, new mining gameplay (surface mine, deep sweeps, attaching explosives to break them in pieces).

But ED isnt eve, its the opposite. ED is about mastering the ships, learning how each reacts differently to different context, mastering FA off etc. EvE is about the larger picture, and infinitely more grinding.

You may feel you have 'seen it all' but you'd be hammered by an experienced cmdr; skill and practice is very different from mere grinding.
 
Among others new explo gameplay loops (detecting planets via their energy spectrum, sending probes), new stuff to find using these mechanics ...
You may feel you have 'seen it all' but you'd be hammered by an experienced cmdr; skill and practice is very different from mere grinding.
Yes the new content looks good - and “new stuff to find” is what the game needs, especially out of the bubble. Yes I am certain I’d be hammered by an experienced commander - my few PvP engagements ended in my quick defeat. But I sucked at PvP in Eve as well :D
 
Agreed. I’m not arguing the price isn’t value for money - I’m arguing that the gameplay is (relatively) shallow. Overall I really enjoyed my time in the game, but there is nothing to keep me playing at this point.
You're totally right in a lot of what you say - the gameplay is incredibly shallow, there's no sense of being involved in anything apart from multiple single mission opportunities, and I totally agree that the whole thargoid thing is a waste of time: they should be felt as a huge threat but you can just fly past endless instances with no worries whatsoever, and dock at a station where they're ing about needing 50 tons of biowaste. They may as well not be there 99.99% of the time for all the threat they pose.

There's no career benefits - a novice in a sidewinder gets offered the same reward as a king in a cutter: what's that all about? Rank ascension should earn you more money - if for nothing else than bigger ships cost a hell of a lot more to outfit and repair.
 
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