No, the Next Era is not space legs... But I think I know what it is.

Now, I know a lot of us want space legs. I admit it, I think it would be very cool, and if they had space legs ready to go I would be ecstatic, because I don't think they would do it in half measures. With that being said, nothing leads me to believe that the Next Era is going to be the one. Let me explain this thought process.

Back when Frontier first announced Fleet Carriers, I had a thought. Look at the story of Elite so far. What has been the biggest focus for the plot? Unknown artefacts, strange alien attacks, structures made by a long-dead precursor race leaving the last remnants of their technology to whomever comes next; Humanity is at war. Whatever it is that we did to annoy them, we stirred a hornet's nest and then they stirred one right back. And what does man do in war? What do we do with Thargoid Interceptors, in this war? You find the still-beating heart of the enemy, and you rip it out. The heart of the Thargoid race is their home, and I expect Fleet Carriers will be the vanguard against the Thargoid homeworlds. I said it back then, but I don't expect I was the first person to say so. Now, this prospect sounds pretty exciting. Often when I talk to people about Elite they ask, "But what's the endgame like? What do you do with all those credits you've just earned?" How about attacking an alien homeworld on the other side of the galaxy? Using player-controlled capital ships to stage strikes on powerful, well reinforced enemy positions. Sound like an end-game to you? It does to me.

Recently, though, I got to thinking, "What if there's more to it than that?" There's a of couple things that keep nagging at me. The first is the community update posted on March 1st of this year. In particular, the section titled "Development supported events," a section conspicuously under the Next Era information, which leads me to believe the update to community goals will be related. For your convenience, I will post the relevant text here.

One of the biggest changes will be the way that we create and support in-game events and activities. Starting in the coming months, we will be looking to change the way that in-game events happen. The aim here is to create ongoing, engaging, and varied sets of content that are supported by the development team which players will be able to actively engage in.

We have listened to community feedback regarding Community Goals and while they are an incredible tool, they have become somewhat routine for many Commanders. We felt that we needed to adjust them to be more event-related while taking our in game events a big step further. We will gradually be changing our community goals and their frequency, using them within a larger schedule of development-led events to help us create more improved, meaningful and engaging experiences.

As well as Community Goals, we will also be using things like new scenarios, reputation and reward boosts (such as Superpower reputation increases), BGS and global galactic changes, in-game interactions, new game assets and much more to make game-wide events that tie into the game world. The aim is to constantly create new and exciting events and campaigns for you to get involved in and shape, which will focus on and benefit different types of players.

Outside of the game, we’ll communicate with you about these events, how they work and what goes into developing Elite Dangerous.
Combine this with the aforementioned, and we have event-supported war campaigns across the entire galaxy. That sounds pretty exciting, I think. But then there's the other thing that's nagging at me... Now, bear with me here, because I admit this part is a stretch.


I realize that decals don't necessarily mean anything, and maybe they only got added to appease some players, but there is a sizable and/or loud enough portion of the player base that would absolutely love to try their hand at making friends with the unknowable horrors from beyond space. What if these "ongoing, engaging, and varied sets of content that are supported by the development team" are community goals that can actually shape the future of the game in a very real, very meaningful way? There is a significant possibility that our Fleet Carriers won't just be the vanguard against the thargoids, but also against each other. Because I guarantee you that for every person fighting the thargoids, there is a player asking, "But what did they ever do to us that we didn't do to them first?" What if the Next Era is one where the players can work to impact the story in such a powerful way that I can't think of any precedent from a commercially successful game, save maybe EVE if you count Nullsec shenanigans. What if the Next Era puts players with opposing viewpoints on opposite sides, some scurrying off to the far reaches of traversable space to create their own small bubble of civilization, safe from the prying eyes of their enemies, only to return in force to help determine the outcome of an entire civilization? It sounds like a tall glass, but when you think about it, the mechanics are all already there. Colonia, Canonn and the Gnosis (as a conceptual touchstone for the impact of Fleet Carriers), the background simulation... It all exists, and that's before considering what the development team will have been working on for two years when the Next Era drops. The Next Era could be Our Era.

Well, here's hoping anyway. Fly dangerous, Commanders.
 
Last edited:
Given the recent bobblehead reward essentially encourages attacks on interceptors, I'm hoping the new Thargoid variant is a sign that the 'friendly' alien faction is coming soon. That way we can have our cake and eat it.

Also, with all those fleet variants listed from miner to mercenary, AX Support Ships seemed conspicuously absent.
 
I can only hope you're right because legs is about the last thing I want to see and have dev time wasted on.

it would be the only thing in "The Leak" that would be wrong and I'm ok with that.

this essentially sounds like an online old-school RPG with FDev playing Dungeon Master for the big campaigns while the game provides players a framework to develop their character and play on their own as well. Not the worst idea.
 
Last edited:
Now, I know a lot of us want space legs. I admit it, I think it would be very cool, and if they had space legs ready to go I would be ecstatic, because I don't think they would do it in half measures. With that being said, nothing leads me to believe that the Next Era is going to be the one. Let me explain this thought process.

Back when Frontier first announced Fleet Carriers, I had a thought. Look at the story of Elite so far. What has been the biggest focus for the plot? Unknown artefacts, strange alien attacks, structures made by a long-dead precursor race leaving the last remnants of their technology to whomever comes next; Humanity is at war. Whatever it is that we did to annoy them, we stirred a hornet's nest and then they stirred one right back. And what does man do in war? What do we do with Thargoid Interceptors, in this war? You find the still-beating heart of the enemy, and you rip it out. The heart of the Thargoid race is their home, and I expect Fleet Carriers will be the vanguard against the Thargoid homeworlds. I said it back then, but I don't expect I was the first person to say so. Now, this prospect sounds pretty exciting. Often when I talk to people about Elite they ask, "But what's the endgame like? What do you do with all those credits you've just earned?" How about attacking an alien homeworld on the other side of the galaxy? Using player-controlled capital ships to stage strikes on powerful, well reinforced enemy positions. Sound like an end-game to you? It does to me.

Recently, though, I got to thinking, "What if there's more to it than that?" There's a of couple things that keep nagging at me. The first is the community update posted on March 1st of this year. In particular, the section titled "Development supported events," a section conspicuously under the Next Era information, which leads me to believe the update to community goals will be related. For your convenience, I will post the relevant text here.



Combine this with the aforementioned, and we have event-supported war campaigns across the entire galaxy. That sounds pretty exciting, I think. But then there's the other thing that's nagging at me... Now, bear with me here, because I admit this part is a stretch.


I realize that decals don't necessarily mean anything, and maybe they only got added to appease some players, but there is a sizable and/or loud enough portion of the player base that would absolutely love to try their hand at making friends with the unknowable horrors from beyond space. What if these "ongoing, engaging, and varied sets of content that are supported by the development team" are community goals that can actually shape the future of the game in a very real, very meaningful way? There is a significant possibility that our Fleet Carriers won't just be the vanguard against the thargoids, but also against each other. Because I guarantee you that for every person fighting the thargoids, there is a player asking, "But what did they ever do to us that we didn't do to them first?" What if the Next Era is one where the players can work to impact the story in such a powerful way that I can't think of any precedent from a commercially successful game, save maybe EVE if you count Nullsec shenanigans. What if the Next Era puts players with opposing viewpoints on opposite sides, some scurrying off to the far reaches of traversable space to create their own small bubble of civilization, safe from the prying eyes of their enemies, only to return in force to help determine the outcome of an entire civilization? It sounds like a tall glass, but when you think about it, the mechanics are all already there. Colonia, Canonn and the Gnosis (as a conceptual touchstone for the impact of Fleet Carriers), the background simulation... It all exists, and that's before considering what the development team will have been working on for two years when the Next Era drops. The Next Era could be Our Era.

Well, here's hoping anyway. Fly dangerous, Commanders.
Judging by what has been contributed in the massive Fleet Carrier threads, the FCs could indeed change the state of the game as we know it. Possibly more than even FDevs realize at present.

But there are 100+ devs working on something ... and it's unlikely to be just Fleet Carriers.
 
I've wondered about those decals myself, when the permit locked regions will be opened up and what's in them, the thargoid/guardian story line being stalled, etc. Its entirely plausible the next big thing could be a deeper involvement with aliens.
Indeed, already at the time Michael said that the history with the Thargoids would be a long and evolutionary story.

The civilization of the Thargoids will be unveiled with the Thargoids space stations to dock and trade ?

A war interaction as usual, but also a peaceful interaction according to the Thargoids factions ?

And beautiful planets with atmosphere, fauna and flora to crown all this ?
 
Last edited:
Whatever it is it must be huge and game changing otherwise people won't bother, especially after fans got burnt by horizons released in such pathetically poor state a few years back. The game still sits at mixed ratings on steam because of that even if imo it doesn't deserve it anymore in the slightest, so yes, either it's spacelegs or atmospheric planets, there's no way around it. We know it and fdevs know it.
 
Top Bottom