Free-form play - you can choose your own path - be an angry pirate, peaceful trader or explorer, enroll in military to protect your kind, be a spy, or mix between these roles. There are no classes or skill levels - it is up to you to improve yourself, and to get better ships with more advanced weapons.
Free-form 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.
The Alpha build 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. Development of the game is ongoing, and so recommended specifications are currently only available for the Alpha builds.
Below is the current early access release schedule for the PC:
Alpha is now live, this will continue until Frontier decides that the game is ready to goto Premium Beta (1st stage), this is scheduled for early 2014 at the moment, but Frontier will announce details when they are ready to proceed.
The Alpha build 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.
Development of the game is ongoing, and so recommended specifications are currently only available for the Alpha 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
Supported Operating Systems:
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
There are no concrete promises, but both creator David Braben and executive producer Michael Brookes have confirmed that they are interested in evaluating support for next gen console platforms XBox One and Playstation 4, and also Linux desktop; but they plan to complete development for Windows and Mac OS X first.
Does "Elite: Dangerous" support Physically Based Rendering (PBR)?Edit
Hyperspace drives are used to travel 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 core systems and the way hyperspace travel works, will ensure that you will get grouped with other players near a the largest masses during seamless interstellar hyperjumps and you will be able to see other ships that are super-cruising from a long distance away visually and with long range sensors.
There will also be ways to follow each other's hyperspace trail.
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.
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  .
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.
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.
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
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.
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 moving multiplayer instances that are decoupled from the star system itself (but you can also play solo).
The galaxy is totally seamless for the case of Elite: Dangerous and the sessions within it can move around, only bubble range and interest determine the players you will see during flight.
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 more skill based.
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 manifactured 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.
There is a flight control computer 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.
The server transparently creates sessions (instances) when meeting other players and NPCswithin that galaxy based on a bubble size around you that is defined by your scanner/visual range and the effects of that are stored on the 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