Elite Dangerous Will Not Have Offline Singleplayer, Always Online

Elite: Dangerous will not have an offline mode, even in singleplayer. Plans for any servers outages are in place, with local archival of the current game state.

Elite: Dangerous, the space everything simulator, will not be getting an offline mode at launch, even if you want to play in singleplayer.

This news has caused a lot of backlash from fans, and users on the Frontier Developments forums have been disgruntled and angry (please click each image to open in a new tab):

Noodle is losing good will towards Frontier Developments.

Littleminx wonders if the Frontier Developments can keep the servers up all the time.

Pibbles very politely asks some very obscene things.

HaB1971 openly swears but later accepts that Frontier Developments will make their game how they want.

There are however some people coming to its defence. Saying it needs to check in with servers for the economy to function to its fullest potential, and for a robust anti-cheat system to exist. Saying that these will not require a constant connection (which the game will require), or even a fast one. The defenders also say as long as the servers are capable of handling the online requirements, they are happy.

The Universe is full of strange things (The Borg?), and is very large, each one of the stars is theoretically able to be traveled to.

Why is being online important?

In the latest newsletter by Frontier Developments (Newsletter #49) it states that the reasons behind the need for a constant online connection are:

  • The want to constantly expand the game, which would not be possible with a physical disk, and is only possible with the constant online requirement.
  • It allows the game to push the online features and aspects further.
  • Allows the developer to know what is working and what isn't through direct interaction with fans and data gathered from the game.
  • Allows players to play their own story, in a universe which is never the same, it's constantly reacting to you and changing.
  • Exploration needs to be matched between players, to allow for a more seamless connection through single and multi player.
  • Will allow for everyone to take part in activities through the entire galaxy.

According to the newsletter offline would not work because:

A fully offline experience would be unacceptably limited and static compared to the dynamic, ever unfolding experience we are delivering.

What if the servers go down?

David Braben, the lead designer on Elite: Dangerous, has outlined plans if servers ever need to go offline, or are accidently taken offline. In a Reddit Q&A he states that:

We plan to archive the game from time to time (ie matching client and servers and game world state), and would release such an archive if the servers were to come down.

Elite: Dangerous, without any offline mode, is due out on December 16th worldwide on Windows, and a few months later for Mac OS X. However an offline mode is not ruled out in the future, but at launch the game can only be played with an internet connection.

Published Nov. 19th 2014
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