Community Requests to FDev for Elite: Dangerous
To Frontier Developments for Elite: DangerousPreamble
On September 19th, 2019, in response to another broken update a conference for content creators, influencers, community developers, and player group leaders was created. The purpose of the gathering is to push for a better game experience through publication of this joint request. We encourage Frontier Developments to allow volunteers to more readily contribute to the testing process as testing performed purely by Frontier has proven inadequate.
All of us love Elite:Dangerous, and we feel that Elite: Dangerous is not what it could be. We don’t ask Frontier Developments for miracles. We don’t ask for new content and we don’t ask for a major shift in development. We simply want everything already delivered to be maintained properly.
This document outlines primary issues and proposes changes we believe will ensure a better relationship between Frontier Developments and the Elite:Dangerous community.Primary Grievances
The following bullet points are a simplified list of current grievances the community has with Frontier Developments and Elite: Dangerous.
- Lack of communication across the board which includes: direction of the game, future roadmap, bug fixes and more.
- Game-breaking bugs go unresolved for years at a time, primarily affecting multiplayer, but this is true across all aspects of the game regardless of mode.
- Gross balance issues in multiple areas that cement the divide between combat-focused players and everyone else.
- No Beta testing for most updates, with only ‘major’ releases seeing any kind of beta period while ‘minor’ releases go straight to live and always contain serious, game-breaking bugs that are immediately apparent during play.
We feel that the implementation of a Permanent Test Server (PTS) where Frontier can actively test bug fixes and balance passes alongside players is the best way to ensure the quality of future releases.
Defining Open Beta: A beta test period open to everyone with a minimum base copy of the Elite: Dangerous Game.
Requested Test Server Guidelines
- Frontier should deploy all patches to the permanent test server prior to release on the live server.
- All changes applied to the test server should have their own patch notes separate from the live game releases so players volunteering to test can focus their efforts.
- Test server access outside of Open Betas can be limited to LEP (Lifetime Expansion Pass) holders or those who have purchased beta access for the current expansion cycle. This honors previous agreements/promises made during LEP sales.
- All releases both major and minor should have an open beta period of sufficient length (2 weeks minimum) to identify and correct all bugs introduced by the patch prior to going live. We understand hot fixes and other micro releases may not warrant a beta period.
- PTS should provide all the tools and features necessary to facilitate efficient testing (cheap/free engineering, reduced prices, etc). Players should not spend time acquiring resources they need to test the game.
In addition to having a permanent test environment we would like to see improvements in the bug reporting process and feedback about what is being worked on. While the issue tracker was a major step in the right direction we would like to see the following changes implemented.
- The issue tracker should allow differentiation between bug reports for the live game and the test server.
- Allow developers to reply to the issues and ask for more information. Players are happy to help the process, if they are asked.
- We want to see a concerted effort to ensure that each update to the game resolves at least 10 of the top issues voted on by the community in the tracker. Furthermore, there should be a monthly forum post outlining the status and progress on these issues.
- Each patch should be accompanied with a complete and verbose changelog listing all changes. We do not ask to reveal new content beforehand, but all changes to the existing content must be clearly outlined. In the past, changes have gone undocumented and left the players to discover them through long and meticulous testing, leading to much frustration.
The current utilization of community managers by Frontier is widely felt to be entirely in a Public Relations and media release manner. We would like to see the Community Management team used to represent the community to the company and the company to the community.
We would like to see CM’s brought into the development process and have Frontier harness their interaction with us to help inform the development teams of the aspects of the game that need the most attention outside of bugs being tracked in the issue tracker.Support These Requests
If you are a member of the community and want to show your support for these requests to Frontier, please visit this petition and sign it with your Commander Name as shown in game. This will allow Frontier to compare the list of signatories on the petition to their databases directly without sharing any of your own personal data.