Offline mode dropped from Elite: Dangerous

Plans to offer an offline mode in Elite: Dangerous have been dropped.

Although Frontier originally said in its Kickstarter pledge that the game would be playable offline, it has now backtracked on the idea and confirmed that players will need to be connected to the internet at all times.

A fully offline experience would be unacceptably limited and static compared to the dynamic, ever unfolding experience we are delivering,” Frontier boss David Braben said in the game’s most recent newsletter.

We have been able to create a connected experience which lets you play your own story whilst in a dynamic, ever unfolding galaxy that is constantly reacting to what you and every other player is doing, be that trading, combat, exploration or missions. This has become fundamental to the whole experience.

Going forwards, being online lets us constantly both curate and evolve the galaxy, with stories unfolding according to the actions of commanders. Exploration is also a key factor, too, and it is important that what a single player explores matches what other players explore whether single or multiplayer – a complex, coherent world – something we have achieved.”

Executive producer Michael Brookes added further context on the game’s forums.

The problem is that the galaxy mechanics all sit on the online servers,” He explained. The data set and processes are huge and not something that would translate offline without considerable compromise to the vision. Trust me we didn’t sit down and think what would annoy people the most! It’s a choice we’ve had to make and so we’ve taken it.

We have always said the way to play the game is online. The choice was develop the game in the way we wanted, or not. Trying to make it offline would have made both experiences worse than we were willing to tolerate. We had to make the decision and have done so. I would say that an offline rewrite of the game is unlikely for the future.

Spending time on an offline mode is wasted if it doesn’t provide the game that we’ve set out to make – which is the case here. For us the game needs the richness that the online galaxy gives us. Without it there is no game.”

Elite: Dangerous will be released on December 16th.

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