Notice GalNet changes

Greetings, Commanders.
After reviewing the discussion around the upcoming GalNet changes, Ian Dingwall, Narrative Lead for Elite Dangerous, wanted to address some of your questions.
Hopefully this information will provide you with some clarity on why we feel these changes are important for the further development of Elite Dangerous.

What led to this decision?
Producing content for GalNet takes a significant amount of time, especially when you factor in conception, editing and translation. For me, content such as Interstellar Initiatives and the scenarios we added to the game last year have a greater impact on the game than off-camera GalNet storylines. So when we, as a team, look at the features and updates we intend to deliver in the coming months and years, we feel it’s in the best interest of the game to ensure the writing team can support those features, and make them the best they possibly can from a narrative point of view. Consequently, the decision to remove off-camera narratives is very much about refocusing the team, rather than reducing the amount of time and effort we devote to the narrative side of the game.

With these cutbacks will Interstellar Initiatives get more stores, details and lore?
Yes, by refocusing the writing team we will be able to produce more supporting content for Interstellar Initiatives. During the Bridging the Gap initiative it was pointed out – quite rightly – that reactions from Ram Tah and Aegis would have been appropriate. Refocusing our efforts means we can devote time to producing these kinds of ‘reaction’ pieces.

Can we expect to see more coverage on affairs with major player groups?
This is something we have discussed, and, while we don't have any concrete details for you right now, we fully intend to investigate this further.

Are the GalNet 'off-camera' stories getting totally removed, or just reduced?
For now, the plan is to remove them, but we may reassess this decision in the future. We’re always reviewing the changes we make to the game and their impact on the overall player experience, and adapting and adjusting where necessary.

Will the amount of GalNet content change? Will it increase or decrease?
It will decrease slightly overall, reflecting the fact that we are refocusing our efforts.

Is the team understaffed?
No, not at all – in fact we’re about to gain an additional full-time writer. But we have an ambitious production schedule ahead of us, and it was therefore necessary to reposition the writing team so it could properly support that schedule.

What will happen to GalNet Audio?
It will remain an aspect of the game – there are no plans to remove GalNet audio.

Was the Gan Romero story reflected in-game?
The Gan Romero storyline was always envisaged as an off-camera narrative. The fact that some people assumed it had an in-game component, and went searching for Romero, was for me further evidence that off-camera GalNet stories could be detrimental to the player experience, and cemented our desire to ensure that all GalNet content related to things that were actually in the game.

Will we ever hear of the conclusion of the Alliance Festival of Culture storyline?
Yes, all the remaining articles in the Alliance Festival of Culture storyline will be published.

Thanks for your understanding and let us know if you have any more questions!
You are still cutting what I and quite a few other Commanders see as a positive that adds DEPTH to ED (RL has ''fluff'' and ''news'' that does not effect us individually on a day-to-day basis but still provides us a ''context'' within which we all must live.... and yes I fully realise this is JUST a game in the grand scheme of things!!).

I agree with Alec Turner's comment above and I hope he won't be miffed if I re-quote it here:
''I'm actually very sad about the change and I, personally, feel Frontier may have significantly undervalued those background stories and what they do to add a sense of colour and life to an otherwise pretty dry galaxy. ''
 
Ooooh, well that's just a cruel twist of the knife from Frontier...
Yeah but the thing is despite being an early backer I had no idea there was an H G Wells station out there and the simple GalNet articale (fluff about an Alliance literary event) will now prompt me to fire the game up and go visit said H G Wells Station......... and may even lead me to new ''game play''.
 
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Whilst fighting Thargoids is great, I believe there are a significant number of CMDRs who would love some more stories/mysteries to solve.
This. And FDev already implemented a great tool to the codex for this purpose.

Rumours.

Combine them with a Galnet article and there you go.

I don't understand why they still haven't been used at all. An empty codex mechanic since the release last year... I was genuinely excited about the rumour section back then.
 
Yeah but the thing is despite being an early backer I had no idea there was an H G Wells station out there and the simple GalNet articale (fluff about an Alliance literary event) will now prompt me to fire the game up and go visit said H G Wells Station......... and may even lead me to new ''game play''.
Oh, absolutely, you could learn a bunch of cool random stuff like that from offhand mentions within Galnet pieces.
It's just that having a Galnet article celebrating writing and its contribution to society just feels like Frontier kicking us when we're down after this announcement. Obviously this piece was written long before this decision was made, it needed to be edited, approved, translated, etc. It just feels ill-timed, coinciding here as it does. Very much a case of "Too Soon"...
 
Thanks for taking the time to help clarify the changes. Although I would be lying if I said I was not disappointed.

You have an entire community who are willing to help keep the galaxy alive with interest, creativity and imagination and yet choose not to take advantage.

I didn't really believe it a few years back, and now I see I have been proven wrong when folks say Elite: Dangerous is an open sandbox that spans for light-years in all directions, but be warned it is only 1/2” deep, so don't move the sand around too much or you will be left with nothing. This sounds familiar. Almost like what Disney did to the fans of the StarWars universe. It's not like Frontier is working with Disney. Oh wait . . . https://www.frontier.co.uk/our-games/jurassic-world-evolution
 
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This is an admission that the game, even after nearly 5 years, has none of the alluded to / promised depth as described by Michael and David.

It's simply crapping all over the legacy of the original games and those that have spent their time writing books and other player generated materials.

Enjoy it as a simplistic, under developed space shooter and if you want more depth, get an emulated version of FFE2.

I have to disagree with you there. Any star that I can see in the night sky, I can go there. That means a lot to me.

I did Distant Worlds 1 & 2 crossing the galaxy each time, first the hard way and second with hybrid alien tech.

If you see the game as "a simplistic, under developed space shooter" then that is quite simply a failure of imagination on your part.
 
This is definitely an improvement in my opinion.
One reason, and I may be alone in this, is that I found the off-camera content to be too culturally 'current year' ( or current century), and mundane. I would expect there to be significant cultural change in several thousand years and unless a lot of creativity is going to be put into it, I think it's best left out and left to our imaginations to fill in.
 
Another thing that FFE had was subscriptions to news these provided many different views from around human space. Some of the articles could be provided by trusted writers and would give ED a more human touch. Any thoughts on this?
FFE's news mechanism also had tie-ins to in-game activities you could pursue... so it's the same problem (Of note: pretty sure most of these were only found by people rev-enging the game).

As much as it would "destroy the immersion" for some... all that would be needed is a note on the bottom of an article saying something like "There are leads which can be pursued in this article"... because that was the biggest problem; articles making people look for a black cat in a dark room, when there is no black cat.

But it also still wouldn't resolve Stephen's (Ian's) post identifying that they simply need to divert writing resources to other things like II's and the like. Introducing that sort of thing would just increase that burden.
 
Greetings, Commanders.
After reviewing the discussion around the upcoming GalNet changes, Ian Dingwall, Narrative Lead for Elite Dangerous, wanted to address some of your questions.
Hopefully this information will provide you with some clarity on why we feel these changes are important for the further development of Elite Dangerous.

What led to this decision?
Producing content for GalNet takes a significant amount of time, especially when you factor in conception, editing and translation. For me, content such as Interstellar Initiatives and the scenarios we added to the game last year have a greater impact on the game than off-camera GalNet storylines. So when we, as a team, look at the features and updates we intend to deliver in the coming months and years, we feel it’s in the best interest of the game to ensure the writing team can support those features, and make them the best they possibly can from a narrative point of view. Consequently, the decision to remove off-camera narratives is very much about refocusing the team, rather than reducing the amount of time and effort we devote to the narrative side of the game.

With these cutbacks will Interstellar Initiatives get more stores, details and lore?
Yes, by refocusing the writing team we will be able to produce more supporting content for Interstellar Initiatives. During the Bridging the Gap initiative it was pointed out – quite rightly – that reactions from Ram Tah and Aegis would have been appropriate. Refocusing our efforts means we can devote time to producing these kinds of ‘reaction’ pieces.

Can we expect to see more coverage on affairs with major player groups?
This is something we have discussed, and, while we don't have any concrete details for you right now, we fully intend to investigate this further.

Are the GalNet 'off-camera' stories getting totally removed, or just reduced?
For now, the plan is to remove them, but we may reassess this decision in the future. We’re always reviewing the changes we make to the game and their impact on the overall player experience, and adapting and adjusting where necessary.

Will the amount of GalNet content change? Will it increase or decrease?
It will decrease slightly overall, reflecting the fact that we are refocusing our efforts.

Is the team understaffed?
No, not at all – in fact we’re about to gain an additional full-time writer. But we have an ambitious production schedule ahead of us, and it was therefore necessary to reposition the writing team so it could properly support that schedule.

What will happen to GalNet Audio?
It will remain an aspect of the game – there are no plans to remove GalNet audio.

Was the Gan Romero story reflected in-game?
The Gan Romero storyline was always envisaged as an off-camera narrative. The fact that some people assumed it had an in-game component, and went searching for Romero, was for me further evidence that off-camera GalNet stories could be detrimental to the player experience, and cemented our desire to ensure that all GalNet content related to things that were actually in the game.

Will we ever hear of the conclusion of the Alliance Festival of Culture storyline?
Yes, all the remaining articles in the Alliance Festival of Culture storyline will be published.

Thanks for your understanding and let us know if you have any more questions!


You all have forgotten the thing about journalism. We must always consider the source. Reducing the content is a bad idea. Let the players drive and write the content, but don't give it your blessing. Treat it as unverified news versus the verified section of the paper that you will run. For those wanting more RP they can read the reporters acted out by the community, but for those wanting story driven facts, release those with your normal crew of in game reporters. https://elite-dangerous.fandom.com/wiki/Journalism

And do FDEV a favor and retcon SAGi group out of lore, they are fake news and betrayed the player base, releasing their own agenda during the last LAVECON. The player base would love to see the missing nuke destroy an asteroid base.
 
Hey Rubbernuke.

Do you remember when GalNet closed its doors to player submissions?

I assumed Dingwall left or moved on. But no. GalNet has been him all along.

Explains a few things.

Victoria_PUB1_Page1.png

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140490
 
I have to disagree with you there. Any star that I can see in the night sky, I can go there. That means a lot to me.

I did Distant Worlds 1 & 2 crossing the galaxy each time, first the hard way and second with hybrid alien tech.

If you see the game as "a simplistic, under developed space shooter" then that is quite simply a failure of imagination on your part.
I used my imagination on the previous games, it now 2019 and this one had tons of lore created over decades to build on - David and Michael repeatedly mentioned it in the early days and many people have put time and effort in to (paying to) write books, created galnet stories & put together complex searches for the described in game events and locations.

FD have totally failed to give any life to this universe, from the coronation of emperor (described as processions of ships - reality: nothing) to this Gan business.

I really wish FD has sold this game on to a company with experience in world building as they seem to have hit their peek with rollercoaster tycoon.

Enjoy your exploring but don't expect to find anything except for nice screenshots and a sense of enjoyment for travelling.
 
I've been debating on saying this, but I've wrestled with it enough that I just want to have it "on the record," as it were. You say that the community's rush to embrace the Gan Romero story and go out and search for him was "evidence that off-camera GalNet stories could be detrimental to the player experience." Let me put it another way..."The seeming unwillingness on the part of FDev to make GalNet stories interact with the player experience continues to be detrimental."

As has already been stated....I feel that this EASILY could have been made an interactive story line. You have listening posts. Drop one in some system somewhere. It spits out a riddle of co-ordinates that lead us to a system where we find a crashed DBX (which is already an assest in game) and look, ole' Ganny Boy's gone and pancaked his ship on 6G planet. Poor old sod, space madness'll get ya!
I agree with the sentiment, but not the specifics ;)

Gan Romero was a continuation of the 'Halsey finds Guardians' storyline (as described in the codex) - where certain humans get a calling to visit the Guardians - it seems that was the intended method by which we would find the Guardians in the first place (thwarted by xDeath and the skybox). So very possibly Gan was called and is in a permit locked area. So there is no crash, and whether Gan would leave a Listening Post to say where he was going ... not sure. (In fact 'he was mad, then he crashed', is the least interesting end to the story.)

OTOH there have been recent stories such as the one about a series of assassinations where specific locations (even down to planets) were given for attacks were mentioned. In those cases the addition of a debris field / wrecked ship with a beacon would have made sense. But most people don't care about that stuff, so I can see why they wouldn't bother (though at the time I was annoyed :) ).
 
Is the team understaffed?
No, not at all – in fact we’re about to gain an additional full-time writer. But we have an ambitious production schedule ahead of us, and it was therefore necessary to reposition the writing team so it could properly support that schedule.
An understandable position on the priorities - but on the other hand, for a game with the scope of Elite Dangerous, the writing team could probably have ten extra people on it and still not have enough time to cover everything that needs it.

Was the Gan Romero story reflected in-game?
The Gan Romero storyline was always envisaged as an off-camera narrative. The fact that some people assumed it had an in-game component, and went searching for Romero, was for me further evidence that off-camera GalNet stories could be detrimental to the player experience, and cemented our desire to ensure that all GalNet content related to things that were actually in the game.
The thing is, I'm not sure any of the people who went off searching for Romero expected to actually find him - even on the basis of the clues presented, he could quite easily have been in-game crashed on any anonymous rock in any unexplored system, or flying around searching in an under-explored sector, and the chances of anyone stumbling across him or even getting within 500 LY would have been minimal. And everyone looking was aware of that, I think.

Just put a couple of rumours like that actually in game, with maybe a little more narrowing down in the way of clues than The Dark Wheel, and people will have fun for years looking for them.

FFE's news mechanism also had tie-ins to in-game activities you could pursue... so it's the same problem (Of note: pretty sure most of these were only found by people rev-enging the game).
All of the FFE storylines which could be interacted with - which wasn't many of them - were generally visible on the mission boards in a wide range of systems.

There were a couple connected to the main plot which required you to go to a specific system first, but they were pretty obvious.

When it comes down to it, most of them were basically passenger/courier/assassination missions with slightly custom text, or prototype trade CGs. There really wasn't a lot to them by the standards of Elite Dangerous content. But ... that sort of thing probably would be more than enough to tie in a Galnet story to the game.
 
All of the FFE storylines which could be interacted with - which wasn't many of them - were generally visible on the mission boards in a wide range of systems.
Oh, yeah, they were, but you needed to be in the right system, right station, right time.

The place to work out where/when they'd spawn was usually the articles in the game.
 
Greetings, Commanders.
After reviewing the discussion around the upcoming GalNet changes, Ian Dingwall, Narrative Lead for Elite Dangerous, wanted to address some of your questions.
Hopefully this information will provide you with some clarity on why we feel these changes are important for the further development of Elite Dangerous.

What led to this decision?
Producing content for GalNet takes a significant amount of time, especially when you factor in conception, editing and translation. For me, content such as Interstellar Initiatives and the scenarios we added to the game last year have a greater impact on the game than off-camera GalNet storylines. So when we, as a team, look at the features and updates we intend to deliver in the coming months and years, we feel it’s in the best interest of the game to ensure the writing team can support those features, and make them the best they possibly can from a narrative point of view. Consequently, the decision to remove off-camera narratives is very much about refocusing the team, rather than reducing the amount of time and effort we devote to the narrative side of the game.

With these cutbacks will Interstellar Initiatives get more stores, details and lore?
Yes, by refocusing the writing team we will be able to produce more supporting content for Interstellar Initiatives. During the Bridging the Gap initiative it was pointed out – quite rightly – that reactions from Ram Tah and Aegis would have been appropriate. Refocusing our efforts means we can devote time to producing these kinds of ‘reaction’ pieces.

Can we expect to see more coverage on affairs with major player groups?
This is something we have discussed, and, while we don't have any concrete details for you right now, we fully intend to investigate this further.

Are the GalNet 'off-camera' stories getting totally removed, or just reduced?
For now, the plan is to remove them, but we may reassess this decision in the future. We’re always reviewing the changes we make to the game and their impact on the overall player experience, and adapting and adjusting where necessary.

Will the amount of GalNet content change? Will it increase or decrease?
It will decrease slightly overall, reflecting the fact that we are refocusing our efforts.

Is the team understaffed?
No, not at all – in fact we’re about to gain an additional full-time writer. But we have an ambitious production schedule ahead of us, and it was therefore necessary to reposition the writing team so it could properly support that schedule.

What will happen to GalNet Audio?
It will remain an aspect of the game – there are no plans to remove GalNet audio.

Was the Gan Romero story reflected in-game?
The Gan Romero storyline was always envisaged as an off-camera narrative. The fact that some people assumed it had an in-game component, and went searching for Romero, was for me further evidence that off-camera GalNet stories could be detrimental to the player experience, and cemented our desire to ensure that all GalNet content related to things that were actually in the game.

Will we ever hear of the conclusion of the Alliance Festival of Culture storyline?
Yes, all the remaining articles in the Alliance Festival of Culture storyline will be published.

Thanks for your understanding and let us know if you have any more questions!
There are always great things in the future...
 
An understandable position on the priorities - but on the other hand, for a game with the scope of Elite Dangerous, the writing team could probably have ten extra people on it and still not have enough time to cover everything that needs it.


The thing is, I'm not sure any of the people who went off searching for Romero expected to actually find him - even on the basis of the clues presented, he could quite easily have been in-game crashed on any anonymous rock in any unexplored system, or flying around searching in an under-explored sector, and the chances of anyone stumbling across him or even getting within 500 LY would have been minimal. And everyone looking was aware of that, I think.

Just put a couple of rumours like that actually in game, with maybe a little more narrowing down in the way of clues than The Dark Wheel, and people will have fun for years looking for them.


All of the FFE storylines which could be interacted with - which wasn't many of them - were generally visible on the mission boards in a wide range of systems.

There were a couple connected to the main plot which required you to go to a specific system first, but they were pretty obvious.

When it comes down to it, most of them were basically passenger/courier/assassination missions with slightly custom text, or prototype trade CGs. There really wasn't a lot to them by the standards of Elite Dangerous content. But ... that sort of thing probably would be more than enough to tie in a Galnet story to the game.
Yes. Dont get me wrong, I'm not silly enough to think you could drop mysteries at the rate of galnet articles, but you dont need to.
Write a well thought out story that leads to a POI such as a crashed ship or abandoned settlement. Then drop maybe 6-8 clues, 1 a week on server tick. If the clues are vague but not so vague as you cant follow them, then you could realistically expect the galaxy to take 6 months to solve it?? That's 8 months in total, so 1 mystery a year would suffice. Maybe keep a clue in reserve, in case we fail to find the objective.
Yes, I know that writing clues that are not to easy as to simply give it away but also solvable is very hard, but there is a team of professional writers.....
Gan would have been perfect, but there is so much that could be done. Off the top of my head:

Sirus. Why have they sent all the beacons out into deep space? What are they looking for?

The Achilles corporation may have developed a new nav computer which has malfunctioned. Where are the crew that were testing it?

We are missing 1000s of generation ships. Maybe a Sirus beacon could beam back a vague clue? I know there would be some dev effort here, but surely it would be possible to reskin an existing gen ship quite easily

Lori Jameson is kidnapped by anti-INARA terrorists and being held in a secret settlement, go find and rescue her

Etc
Etc
Etc
 
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Was the Gan Romero story reflected in-game?
The Gan Romero storyline was always envisaged as an off-camera narrative. The fact that some people assumed it had an in-game component, and went searching for Romero, was for me further evidence that off-camera GalNet stories could be detrimental to the player experience, and cemented our desire to ensure that all GalNet content related to things that were actually in the game.

While I appreciate the honesty, it comes years (!) too late, as we had many similar stories hinting to stuff in the past.

Now I don't know if the responsibilities for GALnet changed one or multiple times internally - thus to make clear I'm not pointing any fingers here - but I do have to wonder...
It took the Team 4.5 years to realize that? 4.5 years?

I can't even fathom how many tens of thousands of Player hours were wasted in the past by those wild good chases based on fake news.
On an issue that was blatantly obvious since many years and openly discussed in the Forum - minus FDev stepping in to clarify when urgently required (interesting read in GALnet... but is it for real or just ASCII-only narration?).

Instead of stepping in and preventing Players (unknowingly) wasting huge amounts of time, FDev stood aside with deafening silence time after time.
That wasn't a good way to "keep the troops happy" mildly put. That's how you kill Player retention.

Disclaimer :
I burned my hands myself one or two times in the distant past before abandoning GALnet as a credible source for in-game content, learned my lessons the hard way.
Hence I was saved from wasting further hundreds of hours and as it turns out my worst suspicions were right and I did exactly the right thing by >not< participating or investigating anything hinted at by GALnet.
But that's not how things should work in any professionally run MMO.
---------------------

Anyway... at least it's a step in the right direction and thanks for clarifying those things.
Dev Posts like that with clear, transparent communications are extremely valuable, please continue that :)
 
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