Welcome commanders to Elite: Dangerous! Scratchnsniff0 will be your guide today!
Have you ever wanted to explore the galaxy, pushing the boundaries of the unknown? Have you ever seen Boba Fett on Star Wars and say, "gosh I wish I was a bounty hunter?" Or do you feel safer plying the trade routes looking for that deal that'll make you millions of credits? Arrr your watching these traders and thinking that their cargo would look better in your cargo hold? You can do that all and more in Elite: Dangerous. Elite: Dangerous is a space-flight simulator released by Frontier Developments for PC today with a Mac version to follow most likely around 3 months from now. This game is the latest in the practically ancient lineage of Elite, with the first game being released in 1984 by David Braben and Ian Bell.
In Elite Dangerous, they have simulated the galaxy with probably the most approximation that can be done in a game today. Any star the has been discovered in the Milky Way in real life, and any exo-planets that they might have, has and will continue to be added to he game. For the rest, they use complex algorithms to simulate the densities, types of stars, etc et al, of over 400 BILLION stars in the Milky Way! And what's more, you can visit them all, and even better, if you are the first one back to any of the three powers in the game with the data from your explorations, they will pay you credits for the information! You can profit from the data! If you discovered rare minerals, you or someone else can mine those minerals and sell them for profit! And if you attach a fuel scoop you can get fuel from stars and explore further and further into space!
You can fight for one of the three (four counting independents) sides in game, bounty hunt, or pirate in this game! During battles that you find, you can pick one of the factions(Federation, Imperial, Alliance, independent) and make money shooting down the other side! You do not have to stay with that side either! You can fly away and come back to the battle and choose the other side! You will have reputations with all the factions, though, so if you decide to game the sides be careful.
Is combat hard? Exploring not netting you enough creds? Try your hand at trading! It's simple really, buy low and sell high. But in this game it is both simpler and more complex. It is simpler because when you are on the market screen, it will put the Galactic average price up alongside that commodity! What's more, when using the galaxy map, the map can show you trade routes! Marvelous! The hard part is getting that max profit. Unless you visit a system to get it's market data, or buy the data, you do not know the specific prices of goods in other systems. That is for you to discover commander.
Affect your galaxy!
When you trade in a system, the price of the good will rise or fall based on a supply and demand system. You and the other players in the universe can affect this system. You can cause a market to either flourish or fail!
The same goes for combat! Should you continually fight for one side or the other in a system, you can affect that sides chances of taking over that system! There are many ways to affect your galaxy!
Let's do it together!
Elite: Dangerous has three modes of play.
The first mode is Open Play. This is your typical MMO mode. You can fly around space and meet and/or combat Humans and NPC's.
The second mode is Private Group. In this mode you and your friends will be the only humans in the galaxy, but you will still meet NPC's.
The third mode is Solo. You are the only human being in this mode, but will still meet NPC's.
All of these modes are still "connected" to the same galaxy. If you or anybody else affect a system, the game moderators inject an event, etc, the other groups will update. This is because all modes are online-only. There was an offline-mode planned, but was dropped in favor of having a better curated universe. If you are worried about the game hogging your connection during solo mode, there should be minimal use of your connection, it just updates when necessary.
The options only grow.
They plan on releasing many expansions in the future. And if you got in on Premium-Beta backing or higher, then you get all the expansions for free. You will be eventually be able to get out of your ship, walk in stations, board other peoples ships, and fly and land on planets!
How is this different from Star Citizen?
I would normally explain the differences, but I think that this [link] website explains those differences pretty well. This is not the official FAQ, but this does a good job of spelling out the differences between the two. A warning though; since it is not official it may not be updated constantly. The official website is here, and has all the current features.
What is a good way to learn?
Elite: Dangerous can be difficult to learn at first. The game is designed so that you have to be a pilot instead of having everything done for you. You have to pull out your landing gears, fly into the station and land manually for example. (Note: Unless you find a docking computer!)
They have in-game tutorial missions, but if you want to watch some videos before you try, this [link] has many tutorials to learn! They also have links you can click on in-game to the same videos but when you click on them your game will be alt-tabbed out.
There is also a TG TS channel and TG forum that you can ask questions in!