Elite Dangerous and the Road to Odyssey

Since the announcement of the Odyssey update for Elite Dangerous the team at Frontier Developments have released a couple of videos to highlight what players should expect from the upcoming iteration of the game and from my perspective they also help to reinforce aspects of the existing game that it had previously been criticized for but may even become praised for now.

The first video here gives everyone a taste for the first major change to the game being the ability to step out of your craft and walk on the surface on worlds. With a player’s time over the last few years being confined to behind a cockpit window it can be hard to get a clear sense of scale so this is going to be a real “wow” moment for a lot of us. It may reinforce further just how small you are compared to a galaxy you inhabit which often felt more lifeless than it needed to be in play. But as the next video shows there may be opportunities to also let you know that you aren’t alone.

Station interiors and settlements will get a facelift too and finally allow those players wanting to stretch their space legs and interact with others outside their ships. NPCs will also exist allowing players to communicate and trade outside of the bulletin board which will be a first too. There’s even going to be a taxi service for players who prefer to let others do the flying which is also handy for anyone who has additional ships in storage scattered around the galaxy. Not only that there’ll be space suits and personal weapons available for players to alter their appearances and combat abilities. Want to have your own little gunfight on a frontier (!) world? Looks like you’ll be able to do that soon enough!

No news yet on whether pilots will be able to step away from their chair and wander around a ship’s interior. I suppose though if that ever happened it’d open a big old can of space worms with players then wanting to customize their bunk, have cargo holds reflect cargo, passenger cabins with NPCs, etc… and all unique to each and every ship. Then there’s the issue of how it maps to controls… imagine pressing the wrong button during a battle and your character steps away from the controls only for your ship to become a sitting duck and explode. It wouldn’t surprise me if it happens eventually but we may also have to manage our expectations too and how it impacts the game.

I’m really interested to see how players will take advantage of these new features in how it impacts games. One of the difficulties in the past was often trying to get everyone to meet up at a rendezvous point in your ships which wasn’t always easy… especially if you are half a galaxy away. But this opens up an opportunity for players to transit to settlements and take it from there. Even if that means buying a disposable ship for fun and games it’s a better option than before. 🙂

Elite Dangerous Odyssey will arrive in early 2021.

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