Flieger, grüß' mir die Sonne, grüß' mir die Sterne und grüß' mir den Mond. Dein Leben, das ist ein Schweben, durch die Ferne, die keiner bewohnt! - Hans Albers, F.P.1 antwortet nicht (Adaptation in the 80s: Extrabreit)

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Why Elite: Dangerous?

This is an extension of what I wrote in the ED forum on the discussion of the competition between Star Citizen and Elite: Dangerous. Why am I so interested and invested to play a computer game like Elite: Dangerous?

We are on the fringe of creating and entering virtual realities. By a kind of physical means, not only via books, pictures and sound records. And as space sims games were the  beginning of computer worlds in 1980 and of graphical intensive PC games back in 1990, they are now the beginning of virtual reality. The fact that Elite: Dangerous is now THE advertising game for Oculus Rift shows this very clearly. (initially, EVE Valkyrie got that honour, but as usual with CCP, they have a too narrow vision or just not the capacity to pull off more).

 - can it get any nerd´ier? sure!

Why is the debate amongst space sim fans so heated? Sure, we are nerds and it is very important to believe in what we do (because society does not). Well, for me it is heated because I would hate to invest my precious time into waste. I have aged, little time compared to my youth, and I do not want to play just another game, I want THE game. Just the way I did not want to play the precedessors of World of Warcraft because they offered too litte overall, but I could invest my time into World of Warcraft because it had a lot to offer. A first concept of, a first installation of what I call virtual reality, namely a world to live in and to relax in.

So, does Star Citizen offer the package of a world I can kind of explore and spend my holiday evening in? Or is it rather Elite: Dangerous? This is the question I ask to myself when approaching the discussions.

My impression of the main actors in this market advertising game, Chris Roberts is a lot of talk, whereas David Braben is not. To my fingertips, I do have a small beta world I can already fly and trade in on the one hand, and I on the other hand I do have an arena fighting module (which offers even less gameplay than the Galactic Starfighter module in SWTOR). Both games still promise planetary landing and FPS action (ED, SC) to complement later. So right now, it is very clear to me that Elite: Dangerous is the way to go, at least until SC comes out with more content.

In the end, each brand has to prove if it fulfils my vision, which EVE Online already disappointed: I was dreaming about an EVE with my own, regal, large ship, but also my Valkyrie fighter, walking in stations, landing on planets, getting into my LEGION clone, walk around my planetary installations, walk on a exotic beach under a sky with five moons… for all means I want to be my own Little Prince walking around my planetoid and follow the sunset. This is probably not gonna happen anytime soon in EVE, but maybe with SC or ED.

- "Le Petit Prince", Antoine de Saint-Exupéry; danger, read at your own risk;
"It will strike them in some place that is not the mind and glow there until the time comes for them to comprehend it" - P.L. Travers

This is why I am now betting on Elite: Dangerous. They are less talk and so far, deliver excellent stuff, considering it is still a beta. If they can tailor to my vision, I have found THE game. Because it is not a only game anymore, it is the next big thing, namely a virtual reality.

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