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!!).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!
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. ''