Lost in Elite: Dangerous

Lights of civilization, but no going there yet. But hopefully
someday. Someday...
I like Elite: Dangerous. I'm not in love with it, but I like it. It's a good game to spend some time with, get lost in the massive universe with no soul around or just go some habituated system and start doing missions or just go bounty hunting. Or you can always mine, but that is an occupation I don't really care for, as it feels too much like real work.

Some people just don't like E:D and I can fully understand why. It's a game that doesn't tell you what to do and while it has several different kinds of missions, the mission system largely does remind me of the endless quests Skyrim generates for the player. That kind of thing can get a bit tedious. But then again, you're not really supposed to just do missions. You're supposed to make your own way, which also means trying your hand in other occupations, like trading or exploring. Not that those activities will be fun for everyone. And not everyone is willing to make their own fun and in a sense, I get that as well. If you get a game, it's fair assumption that the game developer has already made some fun for you.

As of now, E:D is still missing a human element, as there's no real interaction between people. It's all ships. Even when you meet another commander in the void, it's still just text on the screen or voice over the dark of space. At times it would be really nice to see other people, not only the chest and body of your own pilot, sitting in the command chair of the ship.

Elite Dangerous got just updated to 1.4, which brought in CQC, Close Quarters Combat, a separate game mode, that allows real commanders to take on other real commanders in an arena. And boy, is that a blast. You hop in a smaller, agile fighter and the aim of the game is to get close and dirty. It's a good, fun distraction from the main game itself, especially if you are on longer exploration run in the outer edges of the galaxy, where the possibilities for combat or other fun are limited.

When you are a pilot, you need to remember to take sunbathsat regular intervals. Or at least let your ship do so.
Before the first huge expansion, Horizon, Elite is going to get several smaller updates. But at this moment it looks like Horizons is the one, that will bring the much needed human element in the play. It will allow you to land on planets, atmosphereless first, but still. You can change the gameplay from space to a piece of rock or ball of ice. But that's not the thing that will bring in the human element, it's the fact that you can also now design the appearance of your own commander. You finally can decide what you look like under that flight suit. And that is a step towards a more humane approach: at some point, there will be multicrew support, which means more people in ships. At the moment ships have multiple chairs, but no one to sit in them. With multicrew, this will change.

I'm so going to land here when given a change.
Frontier has stated they have a 10-year plan for E:D. They plan to bring new stuff at least a duration of that time span.  They have a good core in their hands, so it'll be interesting to see where they finally end up. There are huge steps they can take, if they manage to find a way of doing them, or they don't run out of people who are willing to shell out money for the game. I'm looking forward to the stuff we might see: planets with habitation and atmospheres, walking inside the space stations and walking on cities, alien races, alien planets, alien plants and alien animals. There's a lot of things they can do if they can. Now we have a pretty galaxy to look at, but perhaps, with time, we could go so much deeper in it.

Something that could be fun could be a series of Elite stories. Stories set in the universe of the Elite, CQC is done now. That would allow a way to make the universe of the game feel much deeper than it is now, as it is far too easy to ignore a lot of plot points that are discussed in the background, within the Galnet News channel in the game. It's also way too easy to ignore what goes on in the Powerplay part of the game. I don't want to say a lot about Powerplay aspect, as I find the mechanics to be dull. But if you can cope with it, it's a good way to get into a position of easy credits.
that could be played in a separate mode just like

As I said in the beginning, I like Elite: Dangerous. I'm not in love with it, not yet at least, but it does have tremendous potential if it's ever allowed to reach that. I'm guessing Horizon will start paving the way for the future of E:D. Through it, we could potentially start seeing snippets of where Frontier is taking the game, despite they often are very tight-lipped about their overall plans. But still, whatever it might be, E:D won't be a game for everyone.

There's always the possibility to just fly somewhere in the galaxy, just to see some pretty nebulae up and close.