Sci-fi open-world sandbox Elite: Dangerous will not be supporting a previously promised offline mode when it launches next month, developer Frontier Developments announced in their latest newsletter.
Originally Elite: Dangerous was going to be available at launch with both an online and offline mode, allowing those with flaky or no Internet connection the chance to still live out their sci-fi sandbox lives. According to director David Braben, this is no longer the case due to limitations the offline mode would occur.
“Galaxy, story, missions, have to match, and it does mean the single player has to connect to the server from time to time, but this has the added advantage that everyone can participate in the activities that can happen in the galaxy,” he said.
“A fully offline experience would be unacceptably limited and static compared to the dynamic, ever unfolding experience we are delivering.
“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.”
As you would expect, fans are not exactly happy with the proposal to drop the offline mode, with a forum thread
grossing more than 400 pages in length appearing directly after the announcement. Executive producer Michael Brookes took to the thread to try and explain their choice.
“The problem is that the galaxy mechanics all sit on the online servers,” he began.
“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.”
Were you anticipating the offline mode? Was that a deciding factor in pre-ordering the game? Let us know in the comments! Elite: Dangerous is scheduled for launch on December 15th for PC.