Elite Dangerous Wiki

Elite: Dangerous FAQ

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General FAQEdit

What is "Elite: Dangerous"?Edit

Elite is the genre defining open world sandbox space / trading / combat simulator first released in 1984.
It spawned two sequels Frontier: Elite II in 1993 and Frontier: First Encounters (Elite III) in 1995, which already attempted to simulate a realistic Milky Way galaxy with realistic star systems and seamless freeform interplanetary and atmospheric flight and landing on moving planets, with realistic day/night cycles.
Elite also inspired the creation of the "Grand Theft Auto (GTA)" series.
Elite: Dangerous is the 4th installment of the game, which includes mass-multiplayer as an integral part, while still allowing singleplayer.
Dangerous refers to the 3rd best Elite Rating you could achieve during combat in the Elite games.
In the new game it has been expanded to include more than combat.

What are the main features of "Elite: Dangerous"?Edit

  • Freeform (manual yaw/pitch/roll) interplanetary flight - fly freely through star systems in realistic scale to get to your destination. Travel to vista points to see Earth rise on the moon, or sun appearing behind of Mars. Explore the vast expanse of space and discover new points of interest in star systems.

On what platforms will "Elite: Dangerous" be released?Edit

Elite: Dangerous is planned to be released for:
  • Microsoft Windows in Q4 2014
  • Apple Mac OS X (approximately 3 months after Windows release)

Where can I buy "Elite: Dangerous"?Edit

***The Lifetime Expansion Pass will be withdrawn from sale on 29th July.***

Elite: Dangerous will be available for £35.00 / €40.00 / $50.00 on both Windows PC and three months later on Apple Macintosh computers.
The Beta is available only on Windows. You will be able to download the released game on Windows and/or Macintosh computers once it is available, at no extra charge.
Below is the current beta release schedule for the PC:
The Lifetime Expansion Pass will be withdrawn from sale on 29th July.
Here's a full summary:
Access to all future paid-for expansions - To be withdrawn from sale 29th July.
Pre-Order open now – Immediate access to single player combat build. Beta available July 29th.
Pre-Order open now – planned release is Q4 2014, exact release date to be announced.
If you have any problems upgrading (there were a few people with issues from the original Kickstarter), then please get in touch with Frontier here.

What are the minimal system requirements to run "Elite: Dangerous"?Edit

Elite: Dangerous will be available on both Windows PC and three months later on Apple Macintosh computers.
The current Beta builds are available only on Windows. You will be able to download the released game on Windows and/or Macintosh computers once it is available, at no extra charge.
Development of the game is ongoing, and so recommended specifications are currently only available for the Beta builds.
Minimum recommended hardware specification:
  • Direct X 11
  • Quad Core CPU (4 x 2Ghz is a reasonable minimum)
  • 2 GB System RAM (more is always better)
  • DX 10 hardware GPU with 1GB video ram
  • Internet connection
Supported Operating Systems:
  • Windows 7.x
  • Windows 8.x
For the final game the minimum hardware specifications may be lower as further code optimisations are completed.

Are there plans for other platforms to be supported?Edit

They have confirmed that they are evaluating support for next gen console platforms XBox One and Playstation 4 and also Linux desktop, but they plan to complete the initial release for Windows and Mac OS X first.

Does "Elite: Dangerous" support Physically Based Rendering (PBR)?Edit

Yes according to an interview with a graphics programmer dated August-29-2013.
My specialism for this project has mostly been full-scene things, like updating our lighting model to a “physically based”system.
And according to the executive producer.
Short answer: yes it does.
Elite: Dangerous adopted a physically-based rendering (PBR) model right from the start - we want it to look as good as possible under a variety of lighting conditions (and space certainly gives you that!). We expect the visual quality of Elite: Dangerous will continue to improve as we progress through development. 
It's worth mentioning though that PBR isn't a one-size-fits-all solution as much as it's the start of a discussion that could probably occupy someone for their entire career - kind of like the way "High Dynamic Range" was quickly adopted by everyone years ago but people are still arguing over the fine details!

How will we travel those vast distances in such a huge glaxy?Edit

There are two modes of super luminal (faster than light) travel to cover those vast 1:1 scale distances.
  1. Super cruise (or frame shifting) is used for freeform (manual pitch/yaw/roll) travel within star systems. The maximum speed will vary based on proximity to celestial bodies, up to 2000 times the speed of light (2000C) that will rarely be reached, to be able handle the most extreme spatial distances. It will consume fuel and you will also be able to find and do combat maneuvering to interdict other ships that are super-cruising within a star system from a long distance away visually and with long range sensors.
  2. Hyperspace drives are used to travel from anywhere between star systems. Hyperdrives with different ranges, charge up times and fuel consumption parameters are available, and so your particular model of hyperdrive governs your specific ability to move around the galaxy. There will also be ways to follow each other's hyperspace trail.

How are players going to meet each other in such a huge galaxy?Edit

Most of the action will take place within the human populated core systems of the major factions and because of the way interstellar hyperspace travel works, the game will ensure that you will get grouped with other ships near the largest mass (star) during hyperspace exit. You will also be able to find other ships that are super-cruising within a star system from a long distance away visually and with long range sensors.
There will also be ways to follow each other's hyperspace trail.
Players won't be able to just take off and disappear into uncharted areas of the galaxy without a huge amount of preparation and logistical equipment, and even when they do start doing that, a big reason for exploring is to find rich systems with lots of resources, so you can make more money by trading or selling information about the location of the resources, which leads them back to the core systems yet again. And if new interesting places with rich resources are found, then eventually one of the major factions may claim the system leading to it becoming part of the core and space stations being built in those system.
But of course, you can also just go sightseeing.
Having such a large quantity of star systems permits the game to have many major discoveries and many more minor ones, enough for hundreds of thousands of players to experience the opportunity of unique finds without the feeling of tripping over the Ark of the Covenant every two minutes.

Will there be an extensive dynamic economy?Edit


Will there be any missions or quests?Edit

Yes, missions fall into several types, the ones that you find en route and the ones that will have you actively engage in through a contract. These are coming in the Beta, and can earn you both credits and status within the organisation you are working for, whether it is a disreputable criminal group or the Federation or Empire themselves. Initially these will be arranged either through direct messages or on a common message board. More details to follow.

Will there be any roleplaying elements?Edit

Just like in all the previous Elite games, you are not fixed to a specific role like in a traditional roleplaying game, there are also no skillpoints that directly affect the way your avatar performs. Instead you will always be directly in control of your avatar so your own skill will determine the outcome of your interactions.
That said there will be extensive ratings and reputation systems that affect how NPC's and players perceive you, even going so far as taking ship appearence (age/damage) into consideration.
There will also be extensive customization options for the ships.

Will I be able to smuggle illegal goods?Edit


Will there be mining?Edit

Yes, just like the last two Elite games, there will be mining.
First Mineral Bodies (Asteroids), Frozen Liquid Bodies (Comets), Gas/Dust Clouds and Salvaging, but planetary mining machines after the first release.

I have heard that the "Elite" series have no actual storyline. Is that true?Edit

No. While classic Elite and Frontier: Elite 2 didn't have an in-game story, the 3rd Elite game,
Frontier: First Encounters had an in-game storyline centered around the Thargoids alien encounter that you could follow if you chose to do so.
The story wasn't explicitly told with traditional cut-scenes but unfolded from a first person perspective with the help of news events and corresponding missions.
Elite: Dangerous will continue 45 years from where Frontier: First Encounters left in the year 3300 and the Thargoids will make a return. It will feature more dynamic events, available from newsfeeds within the game or outside, based on both developer injected and dynamic procedural stories and missions.
The game will also have more than 13 official book tie-ins to tell different stories about Elite universe, with lots of places, events and people referenced in the game.
In addition to this the Elite universe does have an extensive background history which is covered in many different sources, like In the official novellas - The Dark Wheel from Elite, Stories of Life on the Frontier Life On The Frontier  and The Gazetteer from Frontier: Elite 2, and Further Stories of Life on the Frontier from Frontier: First Encounters which can all be found in the following links [1] [2] [3] .
In addition to this there is also Fan Fiction.

Will there be detailed ship managment and avionics?Edit

Yes, see the following links:

Will I be able to hire crew for my ship?Edit

Yes, as with previous Elite games you will be able to hire NPC crews for the larger multi-crew ships.
Player crews however will be in future updates.

Will I be able to hire wingmen?Edit

Yes, you can hire wingmen and escorts, but you won't be able to own them, but you can give them simple commads such as, Hold Fire, Fire at Will, Wait, Follow, End Contract, etc.
Their loyalty will depend on their morality and faction connections, so they will be able to betray you, or simply refuse to engage in certain criminal acts.

Will it be possible to manually land on planets?Edit

Yes, just like the last two Elite games you will be able to seamlessly freeform (manual pitch/yaw/roll)  enter and fly through full 1:1 scale populated planet atmospheres with living cities and wildlife enabling extra-vehicular activities as part of expansions. Starting most probably within a year of the initial release.
The scope for Elite is huge, so a sensible strategy is used to add to the game in stages.
Keep in mind that the game has been well planned and designed from the start with all these features in mind (it is not an afterthought) and Frontier Developments already has the technology for this.

Will landing and docking be seamless in "Elite: Dangerous"?Edit

Yes, just like in all the previous Elite games you will be able to manually dock with space stations seamlessly.
Future expansions will also add the posibility to seamlessly freeform land on planets. Landing and docking will be doable either using auto pilot, or manually. Additionally to simply flying into a station's door, in E:D you'll have to fly and land your ship onto the landing pad within the station.

Will gas giants be realistically represented?Edit

Yes, they will be gassy and cloudy.

Can I walk around the ship, planets and space stations?Edit

Yes, you will be able to walk around ship interiors, operate ships with multiple players, board and steal other ships with Zero-G FPS combat, walk around in space stations, do space walks to repair your ship, operate land and underwater vehicles and walk on full 1:1 scale populated planets with living cities, forests and be able to big-game hunt wildlife like dinosaurs as part of expansions.
The scope for Elite is huge, so a sensible strategy is used to add to the game in stages.
Keep in mind that the game has been well planned and designed from the start with all these features in mind (it is not an afterthought).
See this Zoo Tycoon - Dev Diary for a glimpse of the technology that Frontier Developments have for this.

How big will planets and star systems be?Edit

Elite: Dangerous will have a scientifically accurate 1:1 scale, fully seamless Milky Way galaxy where stars and planets will be accurately positioned relative to your view.
And just like last two Elite games the planets and stars will be realistically sized with vast distances between them.
Here are examples of the size of celestial bodies you can expect in the game. Also see this video to give you a sense of scale.

Will planets rotate and orbit around stars?Edit

Yes, just like in the last two Elite games, Frontier: Elite 2 and Frontier: First Encounters (Elite 3), planets and moons will orbit and rotate in 1:1 scale real-time and tilt will affect their seasons.
This affects gameplay, since you will have to match the orbital velocity of the celestial bodies and stations, manage changing fuel requirements and gravity will also distort the direction of travel during freeform flight.
Full orbital periods will noticable in a short time for many celestial bodies and you will also be able to view them at a faster rate in the Orrery view.

Will there be alien life forms?Edit

Alien life is common, but sentient alien life is rare. From these the major alien race are insectoids called The Thargoids, which appeared in the original Elite and had an extensive story arc in Frontier: First Encounters (Elite 3) and they will make a return in Elite: Dangerous

Does the "Elite: Dangerous" developer Frontier Developments have enough expertise to pull off such an ambitious project?Edit

It's very hard to measure "success" or "pulling off" a project objectively, because in the end the game will be judged not only by it's technical merits, but also subjectivity by the player. So we can really only talk about technical expertise. As the game conceptually is almost a technical marvel, it will be easy to measure.
First of all, leader of Elite: Dangerous is David Braben, who was co-author of the original Elite, and sole creator of the first sequel and lead developer of the second sequel. While sequels have been given mixed reviews, the majority of people who have played them agreed that both titles succeeded to give the immersion of space travel and succesfully emulated all the issues associated with that.
Before Elite: Dangerous, David Braben and his company have also produced a lot of high class games, like RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 and Coaster Crazy, the Lostwind series, Kinectimals, and most recently the 1st party XBox One title, Zoo Tycoon, which can give you the impression of craftmanship of the Frontier developers and technical capablities of in-house software tools.
They have also done considerable work on an unpublished open world city game known as The Outsider using COBRA, which featured advanced AI and dynamic story generation and is likely to influence E:D's planets / cityscapes / dynamic event system etc.
Frontier uses their in-house COBRA engine for all their game development, and now they have started to license it to other development houses.
Elite: Dangerous uses a mix of procedural generation with artist direction, this means that they don't need to hand create all their star systems, they just need to be sure that all the special overrides, the event system, etc works in one place and therefore it will work in the rest of galaxy. As Frontier has already worked with this concept for all previous Elite games and many more recent games, Frontier as a company has the knowhow to deliver such a product.

How many ships will be flyable by player in "Elite: Dangerous"?Edit

There will be 25 flyable ships, both new, modified, and improved models from the previous Elite games, at initial release.

Can I own multiple ships?Edit

Yes, there is no limit to the amount of ships you can own, but you can only fly one at a time.

Can I own and control capital ships?Edit

There will be capital ships in the game, but initially you won't be able to control or own them, but they will player controllable in an expansion.
Although you can't fly capital ships, you will still be able to own and fly large multi-crew ships like the Anaconda, the Panther LX, the passenger ships and big ships can carry other ships, so you’d be able to launch a small fighter from it, which is more nimble.

Will I be able to build an empire and own space stations and fleets?Edit

You will be able to own small inflatable asteroid stations as depicted here as part of an update, but you won't be able to own large sations, build empires or own fleets, since that would change the nature of the game.
For example, why would you pilot space ships yourself, when the most efficient way to make money and progress in a game is to sit back in an office and hand out commands?
It's also problematic from a lore and immersion standpoint, since the game is simulating realistic societies, social structures and time scales, so building an empire would involve a lot of resources and politics that only big nations can afford and would stretch over months or years, even building a large space station can take a month or more.
So as an Elite federation pilot, you will only be able to aid in building empires and large space stations, by taking missions to transport resources and defend them etc, but you are too low on the social ladder (not important enough) to be able to command or own these kind of things.
That said, you will be able to hire wingmen and escorts, but you won't be able to own or remote control them directly.
The exact details of this are still to be announced.

Why are the ships simpler in design compared to other games?Edit

Because Elite: Dangerous is set in a realistic galaxy where there is no artificial gravity and atmospheric capable ships are engineered to be symmetrical and aerodynamically streamlined, therefore they carry their weapons inboard within a bay to be able to skim, enter and freeform (manual pitch/yaw/roll) fly through planet atmospheres at hypersonic speeds.
The ships in Elite: Dangerous have airlocks, proper mass distribution with no off-centre main thrusters and separate tessellated cargo holds.
However, just like the ships in the previous Elite games, there will be a lot of variety in designs with each manufacturer having its own unique style, which can customized into numerous configurations.

Will I be able to create multiple pilot characters for my account?Edit

Yes, you will be able to do so.

What are the general differences between "Elite: Dangerous" and "Star Citizen"?Edit

The differences are predominantly in issues surrounding scale, complexity of background simulations, adherence to recognised science of the universe and release schedule.
Elite: Dangerous is projected for a general release in Q4 2014.
Star Citizen is projected for a general release in late 2016.
Star Citizen comes with a single-player focused cinematic scripted campaign and is projected for general episodic releases starting from mid 2015, which will later be updated with paid DLC expansions.
In Elite: Dangerous, the ships are relatively larger for their class, with capital ships in the 2KM range and atmospheric capable ones are engineered to be aerodynamically streamlined and symmetrical, therefore carry their weapons within a bay. This provides ships with hulls that are able to enter and freeform (manual pitch/yaw/roll) fly through 1:1 scale planet atmospheres at hypersonic speeds.
In Star Citizen the ships are less aerodynamically streamlined and carry their weapons outboard and some are asymmetrical.
Landing on planets in SC will use scripted in-game cinematics and will be limited to several star ports.
Elite: Dangerous has freeform (manual pitch/yaw/roll) interplanetary fast travel with combat maneuvering and because it takes place in a realistic 1:1 scale galaxy with proper distances it necessitates faster than light speeds, up to 2000 times the speed of light (2000C) to make travel times practical, with very long range sensors and combat interaction and you will be able to seamlessly enter hyperspace from anywhere to another star.
Star Citizen's interplanetary fast travel will allow a speed of up to 20% the speed of light (0.2C) which necessitates scaled down star systems to compress spatial distances to make travel times practical. It also won't be freeform (Autopilot Only) nor have combat maneuvering in this mode, so you will not have the ability to specify an exact random location in space. You can navigate to known locations or tag a ship they want to track or ambush. Also you must fly through wormhole-like jump points (which will allow some interactivity) at fixed locations to other star system.
In Elite: Dangerous the galaxy will be scientifically accurate and include around a 100 billion star systems (around 400 billion stars considering most systems contain multiple stars). The Elite Universe is modelled on current galactic charts. Planets and moons will rotate and orbit in 1:1 scale real-time, therefore constantly changing a system's environment.
Star Citizen's galaxy will have 120 star systems at launch, with time compressed to 2 hours for each day (1:12 scale time) and a more casual take on things regarding spatial size and distance of celestial bodies, so planets won't be properly scaled and they might also not orbit. To give you an example, Elite: Dangerous will have stars alone that can engulf whole star systems of Star Citizen multiple times. Also see this video to give you a sense of scale.
Given what we know about our solar system, the orbits of exoplanets and the fact that the maximum speed in SC will be 0.2C with a targeted travel time of around 30 minutes to cross a star system, it is calculated that the size of SC star systems will be compressed to around 1:100 up to 1:2500 scale.
Elite: Dangerous has lightspeed pulse and beam lasers on all ships fitted with energy weapons, as opposed to Star Citizen which has slow moving beam weapons only on capital ships. The remainder of the SC fleet will have slow moving laser bolts like you would see in Star Wars.
Elite: Dangerous will have freeform (go wherever you want) planetary exploration on full 1:1 scale planets.
In Star Citizen planetside movement will be restricted to specialized locations, such as star ports, bars and FPS arenas, while the rest of the planet is off limits.
In Elite: Dangerous there is no artificial gravity, so space stations are designed to rotate as opposed to Star Citizen.
There are major differences in how each game handles close combat flight as you can see from this video. There is an inherent flaw with the premise of close combat space flight leading to endless turreting and circle-strafing especially in PVP multiplayer due to the lack of terrain features in mid space.
Elite: Dangerous deals with this by limiting the yaw rate and enforce an optimum corner speed by by way of thruster placement and limits in the flight control computer so you are forced to roll and then pitch to get the most efficient turn rate (less efficient, but most comfortable for a human pilot), in addition there is a G-LOC system, a preliminary version can be seen here.
In Star Citizen you can point your ship more intuitively like in an FPS fashion, since yaw is very strong (most efficient, but discomforting for a human pilot). It deals with turreting by having a G-LOC system as seen here, but this alone doesn't alleviate the problems completely, but it is less critical due to the lack of lightspeed lasers on the smaller ships.
Multiplayer is handled with a grouping system in Elite: Dangerous  and a PVP-PVE slider which doesn't completely control engagements in Star Citizen.

What are the general differences between "Elite: Dangerous" and "Eve Online"?Edit

Elite: Dangerous is pay once and play, therefore does not have a periodic subscription like Eve Online.
Another major difference is that in EVE everybody within a star system is in one big instance and when there are too many people within it they slow down the update rate of the game.
Elite: Dangerous features dynamically created free roaming multiplayer instances, based on perception bubble, that are decoupled from the star systems themselves (but you can also play solo).
Due to a lot less network traffic, this allows Elite: Dangerous to have twitch based action instead of classic MMO click 'n' roll (where actual world updates are comparitively slow depending on server load and all attacks are caculated on servers using modified D&D system) which is used in EVE.
That means that Elite: Dangerous combat is twitch skill based.
The Elite: Dangerous galaxy is based on the real Milky Way and planets will rotate and orbit their stars, thus constantly changing a system's landscape and adding lot of depth - and it has around 100 billion star systems, as opposed to EVE where the planets are static and don't move.
Elite: Dangerous has freeform (manual pitch/yaw/roll) interplanetary fast travel up to 2000 times the speed of light (2000C) and you will be able to seamlessly enter hyperspace from anywhere to another star.  EVE on the other hand has point & click travel and you must fly to a jump gate to enter another star system.
A major feature that Elite: Dangerous will have is freeform (manual pitch/yaw/roll) atmospheric flight and seamless landing on planets and walking on living planets with cities and wildlife as part of expansions soon after the initial release.
Another important difference is that EVE has a lot of empire building and RTS elements, while Elite is what it would be like to be a spacefarer in a galaxy from a first person’s perspective.
Another important difference is that EVE's economy is totally player driven - so to have ships and weapons in the game have to be manufactured by players themselves, by collecting resources and providing them to factories. Elite: Dangerous uses a carefully tuned statistic model to simulate the flow of products, which also have all player trades as input to emulate a shared universe. This allows for more casual game play and a much bigger galaxy.
PVP also has some differences which are explained here.

Where I can follow development news about "Elite: Dangerous"?Edit

Will there be newtonian physics?Edit

The flight physics are newtonian with forces fed to a proper rigid body.
There is a flight control computer that keeps the ship within flight parameters, with a flight assist mode that is on by default, that helps you to maintain your turns and dampen the angular momentum when rolling, pitching and yawing by automatically calculating the thruster forces needed to stabalize the ship and control the skidding.
You can turn flight assist off, so you will have have to manually adjust the thruster forces to control the skidding and counteract the angular momentum, the flight control computer however is still active to keep you within safety parameters.
Cargo mass will also affect the maneuverability of your ship.
Practical interplanetary flight is done with the inertia-less Super-Cruise mode.

Will I be able to manually fire thrusters in every direction?Edit

Yes the game allows for full 6DOF motion.

Is "Elite: Dangerous" an MMOG?Edit

Elite: Dangerous is an MMOG, but with the important addition, that you can choose if you want to meet other players or not and there is even a mode to play fully offline.
The game features a shared persistent galaxy server, where macro effects and events such as economy, society and war status etc are recorded.
The are no multi-player lobbies.
The server transparently creates free roaming sessions (instances) when meeting other players and NPCs within that galaxy based on a perception bubble around you, that is defined by your scanner/visual range. That means that those instances are not a fixed location in space as in most other MMOs, but they dynamically move around.
The effects of those instances are then stored on the central galaxy server and shared by everybody.
Because the game features very high speed twitch combat and very detailed damage models, this is the most reliable way to do it, also keep in mind there can be many sessions within a star system and those sessions can dynamically move around, also because this game uses a 1:1 scale Milky Way galaxy, sessions will typically be spread out much farther away (although most of the action will be within the core systems) and it wouldn't be immersion breaking as opposed to a space game in a smaller area.

How will single player work? Will I need to connect to a server to play?Edit

No, it will be possible to have a single player game without connecting to the galaxy server. You won't get the developer injected events and you probably won't be able to sync between server and non-server (again they'll investigate).
The online galaxy of Elite: Dangerous is a shared universe maintained by a central server. All of the meta data for the galaxy is shared between players. This includes the galaxy itself as well as transient information like economies. The aim here is that a player's actions will influence the development of the galaxy, without necessarily having to play multiplayer.
The other important aspect for the developers is that they can seed the galaxy with events, often these events will be triggered by player actions. With a living breathing galaxy players can discover new and interesting things long after they have started playing.

Will "Elite: Dangerous" have a monthly subscription fee?Edit

No. Elite: Dangerous has a fixed a box price, without hidden costs. However, you will pay one-time fees for major additional expansions.

What is the expansion pass?Edit

***The Lifetime Expansion Pass will be withdrawn from sale on 29th July.***

The Expansion Pass includes automatic access to all major Elite: Dangerous expansion packs, such
as seamless freeform (manual pitch/yaw/roll) atmospheric flight and landings and walking around and boarding ships, walking in stations and on full 1:1 scale populated living planets, with lots of side activities, multi-player crew and player executive controlled capital ships.
The scope for Elite is huge, so a sensible strategy is used to add to the game in stages.
Keep in mind that the game has been well planned and designed from the start with all these features in mind (it is not an afterthought) and Frontier Developments already has the technology for this.

Will "Elite: Dangerous" support Oculus Rift?Edit

Yes, Elite: Dangerous will officially support OR at initial release. It's already supported in "Elite: Dangerous" Alpha Combat Test 1.1, released 20.12.2012.
See Elite: Dangerous will support Oculus Rift

Where does the Elite: Dangerous community hang out?Edit

Kickstarter FAQEdit

Elite: Dangerous Kickstarter's crowdfunding project were held from 5th November 2012 till 4th January 2013. You can find FAQ last edited version in "Elite: Dangerous" Kickstarter project page.


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