Development Update 1 - June

sallymorganmoore

Community Manager : Elite Dangerous
Frontier
All my "hope" cards got expired after waiting for 3 weeks for something that never came. If there was a Road Map for July, at least i would have know what was expected from it, but we didn't even got that. We have been living in the darkness for the most of July, and i am really not sure where you guys want to go from here.
From the relationship experience, if people suddnely stop talking - that's usually a bad sign.

Stanley, I completely understand. A lot of us want this to change and be better for you. We'll do all we can. It's quite a time!
 
All my "hope" cards got expired after waiting for 3 weeks for something that never came. If there was a Road Map for July, at least i would have know what was expected from it, but we didn't even got that. We have been living in the darkness for the most of July, and i am really not sure where you guys want to go from here.
From the relationship experience, if people suddnely stop talking - that's usually a bad sign.
It's not really about 'hope' though, but admitting and dealing with uncertainty. As long as you aren't there and FD doesn't communicate, you simply don't know anything. Some people respond by making up stuff themselves, either positive or negative fantasies. But all that means is that that specific individual struggles to deal with not knowing something and accepting it head-on.
 

sallymorganmoore

Community Manager : Elite Dangerous
Frontier
Sorry Sally, I'm not one of the DOOOM'ers (Although even I am looking at Odyssey 'engineering' and despairing) rather one who annoys some other 'players' because I enjoy lots of hours in the DLC, despite it cooking my GPU! (I both admire and hate whoever created the AI)

But, all said and done, so "Happy Thursday!" (which here should be renamed "Sallyday" ;))

I appreciate you, RC :) Will keep flexing these scrawny arms however I can.
 
All my "hope" cards got expired after waiting for 3 weeks for something that never came. If there was a Road Map for July, at least i would have know what was expected from it, but we didn't even got that. We have been living in the darkness for the most of July, and i am really not sure where you guys want to go from here.
From the relationship experience, if people suddnely stop talking - that's usually a bad sign.
I don't know. I read the development update end of June which said there would be monthly development updates, so I expected nothing until the next development update by end of July. They shared a roadmap until Update 5 and said no major stuff would be coming after it until console release. So again, nothing to expect. Mid July they announced that they will change their plans and deliver more updates before console launch, since we already knew nothing was originally planned for July and there were only two weeks left, again, I didn't expect anything. So I am not sure why you waited for something for 3 weeks when everyone knew that nothing would come. My guess is that Update 6 probably gets announced with the July development update, if nothing goes wrong.

By the way, I will never blame anyone but myself when my guesses turn out to be wrong, it's just guessing after all... ;)
 
Noted use of underline. Truly.
I think the "simply can not happen" assumption really can only come if you know how development runs in general and what's going on in the thick of it.
I don't ever expect you to know how the team works, how decisions are made and I wouldn't ever hold that against you really because you're physically not present.
I would never tell you what was possible or impossible for you in your work or otherwise, unless I knew your absolute situation and was right there in it with you.
It's tough, it really is. I do feel your pain.

What I DO understand though is the frustration you have as an outsider and how we must seem when we do have to make adjustments to promises, don't show to be conforming to "simple ideals" that you all would prefer from us, when the game that you've enjoyed for so long isn't matching up to expectations. That truly must be horrible for people as invested as you all dearly are and it's equally horrible for people like many of us who are so desperate to make things perfect but don't entirely have the power you're asking of us.

I think some of your suggestions are wonderful!! Absolutely!! I would LOVE to talk honest detail with you all - actually the whole of the CM team would, but due to some factors we currently aren't able but I HOPE...I truly hope we can begin to work on that side of things asap. I do.

Thanks for taking so much time to reply on the forums Sally, it does make a positive difference, and I know a lot of people appreciate it! :)

A question on this particular subject in the quote above. I tend to agree with the "simply can not happen" point, let me explain why:

1) Plan: Publish dev update on xyz
2) Situation: Something changes (it's game development!!), for one of a million reasons xyz is either not happening, or not happening within a set timeframe.
3) Option A: Dev diary postponed!
4) Option B: Dev post discusses the plan for xyz, what went wrong and how that affected things.

No doubt there would also be other options as well, and please understand I'm not trying to make this a black and white situation. I'm simply trying to understand why there (at least from the outside), appears to be an unwillingness to discuss things in a more transparent manner such as:

"Update 6: We are currently working on update 6. The plan is to fix / change / improve feature Y. Feature Y has been a bit problematic since launch because of this reason (explanation). For Update 6, we are taking this approach (details), but this has the potential hitting snags because it needs more (optimisation / time / is difficult / needs more testing / needs to go back to drawing board)."

I'm definitely not trying to teach anyone to suck eggs, and I'm no expert. I'm just trying to understand Frontier's stance of:

Game development is always ongoing, from investigating and fixing issues through to looking into new updates. However whilst development is always ongoing it isn't always in the right state to be shared. Talk about something too early and then you can end up with disappointment and anger if that thing has changed or isn't what some had envisioned. It's like seeing a live action version of your favourite book, it doesn't matter how good the acting is if the portrayal is different to your head-cannon.

Our developers are working really hard on the feedback we've been given, Update 6 is being worked on and we are exploring additional features and improvements to Odyssey which we will be more than happy to share with you once we can be sure what we show you is at least very close to what you will get.

As always we will share any news we can on the forums, social and of course in Supercruise News on Tuesdays.


Being perfectly blunt, this stance just doesn't make sense to me in 2021 for a live service game, with a highly active and involved community. It's possibly unfair for me to compare Frontier and Elite to other live-service games, but it seems to me that many other studios of live-service games are far more open with their communications and are less concerned about "However whilst development is always ongoing it isn't always in the right state to be shared. Talk about something too early and then you can end up with disappointment and anger if that thing has changed or isn't what some had envisioned."

Reason being, they keep players in the loop with roadmaps, developer updates (that discuss missed dates, changes to development, removed features as well as success). There's very rarely a negative backlash from the respective communities, because the players are kept in the loop.

Totally not expecting you to be able to fully answer this here, as a full answer would need to go way beyond the scope of what Paul said in the quote above. I'm just saying that I honestly don't understand Frontier's position on this. It also feels wildly different to the approach of most other live service games. Sure, every studio is different and I totally appreciate that. But sometimes when the wheel has already been invented, and shown to work in very positive ways... ;)

No offence intended, I think you, the rest of the CMs and the Devs do an amazing job!

I'm just trying to understand how / why the policies are set this way. :)
 
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It's not really about 'hope' though, but admitting and dealing with uncertainty. As long as you aren't there and FD doesn't communicate, you simply don't know anything. Some people respond by making up stuff themselves, either positive or negative fantasies. But all that means is that that specific individual struggles to deal with not knowing something and accepting it head-on.
I think it is all about hope this time around - the lack of hope makes people leave and look for other games to play - and in regards to hope Mr. Braben has delivered nothing at all. The whole post of him is rather useless, if it doesn't give hope for the future of the game, Well, I understand that he can't give hope, if there isn't one - and you might know my opinion about the matter - there is no significant further development of ED in the pipeline - and this is what makes people leave, not a messy DLC actually, but lack of hope.
 
Thanks for taking so much time to reply on the forums Sally, it does make a positive difference, and I know a lot of people appreciate it! :)

A question on this particular subject in the quote above. I tend to agree with the "simply can not happen" point, let me explain why:

1) Plan: Publish dev update on xyz
2) Situation: Something changes (it's game development!!), for one of a million reasons xyz is either not happening, or not happening within a set timeframe.
3) Option A: Dev diary posted!
4) Option B: Dev post discusses the plan for xyz, what went wrong and how that affected things.

No doubt there would also be other options as well, and please understand I'm not trying to make this a black and white situation. I'm simply trying to understand why there (at least from the outside), appears to be an unwillingness to discuss things in a more transparent manner such as:

"Update 6: We are currently working on update 6. The plan is to fix / change / improve feature Y. Feature Y has been a bit problematic since launch because of this reason (explanation). For Update 6, we are taking this approach (details), but this has the potential hitting snags because it needs more (optimisation / time / is difficult / needs more testing / needs to go back to drawing board)."

I'm definitely not trying to teach anyone to suck eggs, and I'm no expert. I'm just trying to understand Frontier's stance of:




Being perfectly blunt, this stance just doesn't make sense to me in 2021 for a live service game, with a highly active and involved community. It's possibly unfair for me to compare Frontier and Elite to other live-service games, but it seems to me that many other studios of live-service games are far more open with their communications and are less concerned about "However whilst development is always ongoing it isn't always in the right state to be shared. Talk about something too early and then you can end up with disappointment and anger if that thing has changed or isn't what some had envisioned."

Reason being, they keep players in the loop with roadmaps, developer updates (that discuss missed dates, changes to development, removed features as well as success). There's very rarely a negative backlash from the respective communities, because the players are kept in the loop.

Totally not expecting you to be able to fully answer this here, as a full answer would need to go way beyond the scope of what Paul said in the quote above. I'm just saying that I honestly don't understand Frontier's position on this. It also feels wildly different to the approach of most other live service games. Sure, every studio is different and I totally appreciate that. But sometimes when the wheel has already been invited, and shown to work in very positive ways... ;)

No offence intended, I think you, the rest of the CMs and the Devs do an amazing job!

I'm just trying to understand how / why the policies are set this way. :)
Nice one.

People will complain if something they talked about doesn't make it into an update regardless of caveats.

But people will also complain when Frontier doesn't tell us about progress and current plans.

Both options are complaining, but there are also people who want to know about the state of things and understand that stuff might change. I guess they are the most reasonable group and probably the most loyal players as well, so it's kind of unfair that they 'suffer' the most. Everyone else gets their complaining regardless of the strategy but we get nothing, if that makes any sense... ;)
 
I'm kinda ambivalent about the process right now.. On one hand desperate for the info coz it's looooooooong overdue, player numbers are dropping daily if there's no hope in sight and info gives hope. We're just stuck in the dark with a game that is sub-optimal. On the other hand I've hitherto always hoped that Elite will do a NMS and just knuckle down and fix everything.. then flesh out this amazing potential with more and more playability. And when they did begin the process they went radio silent for months. So if that's what it takes, maybe I'm ok with it.

The cut and thrust of it is though, Actions speak louder than words. This game will only turn around based on fixes and improvements to the game.
 
PS
By the way, @sallymorganmoore I would suggest to change the name of "Development Update" to "Development Diary" like it was a few years ago. The term Development Update is kind of confusing because people might not know if we are referring to communication or a game update during a discussion.
 
I think it is all about hope this time around - the lack of hope makes people leave and look for other games to play - and in regards to hope Mr. Braben has delivered nothing at all. The whole post of him is rather useless, if it doesn't give hope for the future of the game, Well, I understand that he can't give hope, if there isn't one - and you might know my opinion about the matter - there is no significant further development of ED in the pipeline - and this is what makes people leave, not a messy DLC actually, but lack of hope.
Didn't you say a few days ago you uninstalled ED and left the forum because you are into entrepreneurial games rather than ED? That you realized you dont like the concept of the game and had nothing but complaining to offer? Just wondering. :)

But yes, many gamers are 'hope chasers', they play games as long as they think they will becone 'fun in the future'. It's the entire mechanic upon which Star Citizen floats: it doesn't matter how overt the lie, how poor the product and how nonsensical the promises, as long as you keep promising the Glorious Future the hope-chasers will come.

Frankly, it is infantile. If a game is fun, play it. If not, don't. If you need 'hope' you need to ask yourself what it is you are doing with your free time.
 
We were promised communication about what the state of the development is though and told we would have detailed streams once a month about how the work is progressing, if those promises are gone back on and it just reverts to a simple post again about update 6 people are gonna be mad as hell and rightly so because they already feel lied to in multiple ways by Frontier.
 
Didn't you say a few days ago you uninstalled ED and left the forum because you are into entrepreneurial games rather than ED? That you realized you dont like the concept of the game and had nothing but complaining to offer? Just wondering. :)

But yes, many gamers are 'hope chasers', they play games as long as they think they will becone 'fun in the future'. It's the entire mechanic upon which Star Citizen floats: it doesn't matter how overt the lie, how poor the product and how nonsensical the promises, as long as you keep promising the Glorious Future the hope-chasers will come.

Frankly, it is infantile. If a game is fun, play it. If not, don't. If you need 'hope' you need to ask yourself what it is you are doing with your free time.
yes, I uninstalled Elite for good by exactly that reason I mentioned - lack of hope. And because all those things I wanted for Elite getting in the near future, I can play already now in NMS, so why would I want to wait even more - Elite is not offering what I want and there is no hope offered for the future, that is why I uninstalled it.

But this last post of mine was actually a constructive comment - the lack of hope is what makes people leave and if FDev isn't addressing that, more will leave no matter how well they'll fix their DLC.
 
I'm kinda ambivalent about the process right now.. On one hand desperate for the info coz it's looooooooong overdue, player numbers are dropping daily if there's no hope in sight and info gives hope. We're just stuck in the dark with a game that is sub-optimal. On the other hand I've hitherto always hoped that Elite will do a NMS and just knuckle down and fix everything.. then flesh out this amazing potential with more and more playability. And when they did begin the process they went radio silent for months. So if that's what it takes, maybe I'm ok with it.

The cut and thrust of it is though, Actions speak louder than words. This game will only turn around based on fixes and improvements to the game.
The NMS approach worked for them, it was kind of brutal though. Sean Murray himself said he doesn't want to communicate, after release nobody knew if they want to improve the game or not. It turned out that actions speak louder than words indeed.
But it also truly killed NMS for 2 entire years, hardly anyone was playing it and the first updates during that time weren't received well at all. I think people play NMS differently than Elite (I couldn't know because I am not part of it). With Elite we got all the groups, player run activities and events, and stuff like that. If the game went into hibernation for such a long time I guess it would be pretty harmful for the community.
 
Reason being, they keep players in the loop with roadmaps, developer updates (that discuss missed dates, changes to development, removed features as well as success). There's very rarely a negative backlash from the respective communities, because the players are kept in the loop.
This would be what I was hoping for in the monthly dev streams that were promised.
 
The NMS approach worked for them, it was kind of brutal though. Sean Murray himself said he doesn't want to communicate, after release nobody knew if they want to improve the game or not. It turned out that actions speak louder than words indeed.
But it also truly killed NMS for 2 entire years, hardly anyone was playing it and the first updates during that time weren't received well at all. I think people play NMS differently than Elite (I couldn't know because I am not part of it). With Elite we got all the groups, player run activities and events, and stuff like that. If the game went into hibernation for such a long time I guess it would be pretty harmful for the community.
Yeah a very good point.. I think (but I don't know) that Frontier are trying to straddle the two approaches.. it feels like they are always trying to appear open and communicative without giving any real info. I wonder if it's more damaging being entirely silent compared to what is happening now because it's been pretty brutal on the numbers so far.

If they come out with a good Update 6 and some sort of roadmap for the future it might put the brakes on but honestly Update 5 was kind of the turning point for many. We were told to judge by actions by the end of June and we would all be happy. Sadly many did judge by then. The ones you see here now still stamping their feet are the ones that still care enough to fight for the game. A lot have simply moved on.
 
This would be what I was hoping for in the monthly dev streams that were promised.
Personally I don't need a stream for that, actually I would always prefer a forum post because it allows much better discussion. On the other hand, this development update (June) was kind of underwhelming. They said we will see WIP stuff (warts-and-all) but all we got was a summary of the updates they released so far and some info about Update 5 which was released just a few days after it. In theory it's a good idea, but we need more than a look into the next few days... So I hope there will be more information about future plans in the July update.
 
Personally I don't need a stream for that, actually I would always prefer a forum post because it allows much better discussion. On the other hand, this development update (June) was kind of underwhelming. They said we will see WIP stuff (warts-and-all) but all we got was a summary of the updates they released so far and some info about Update 5 which was released just a few days after it. In theory it's a good idea, but we need more than a look into the next few days... So I hope there will be more information about future plans in the July update.
Yeah I'm not opposed to it being a forum post as long as it's detailed and in-depth enough, why I would prefer a stream though is so that some of the really good quesions from the community could be fielded and answered. This could be done with a post too if they took a dedicated thread and answered specific questions on it, pretty sure they did that before. But dialogue is important if you want your players to row in behind you.
 
Yeah I'm not opposed to it being a forum post as long as it's detailed and in-depth enough, why I would prefer a stream though is so that some of the really good quesions from the community could be fielded and answered. This could be done with a post too if they took a dedicated thread and answered specific questions on it, pretty sure they did that before. But dialogue is important if you want your players to row in behind you.
Yes, we had several AMA's in the past and it was always very much appreciated, even when the answer was "can't talk about it".

I guess that would be the way forward for me, a monthly development diary combined with an AMA that gets posted mid month. They can still do their livestreams for a summary, but again, they aren't really that much suited for that kind of stuff. They can post a dedicated thread for questions with each development diary, if they post the answers two weeks later it gives them enough time to chase for answers and speak to the dev team. In a livestream stuff is always ad-hoc and most of the time they can't answer much without talking to the team first.

The third thing I want to see is a monthly update about issues, what are the biggest bugs, are they aware of the problems, how is progress in fixing them?
 

sallymorganmoore

Community Manager : Elite Dangerous
Frontier
yes, I uninstalled Elite for good by exactly that reason I mentioned - lack of hope. And because all those things I wanted for Elite getting in the near future, I can play already now in NMS, so why would I want to wait even more - Elite is not offering what I want and there is no hope offered for the future, that is why I uninstalled it.

But this last post of mine was actually a constructive comment - the lack of hope is what makes people leave and if FDev isn't addressing that, more will leave no matter how well they'll fix their DLC.

Thank you for still remaining a part of the Forum community here today though! Despite how you feel, having left and having uninstalled, you're remaining an active speaker and part of the journey of the game without even playing...that's huge! o7
 
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