Elite: Dangerous and how Frontier crippled Toby’s Rest expedition
The recently announced changes in Elite: Dangerous sever even more the ties between players exploring the game in different platforms. One of the victims is an expedition designed as a tribute to a cat, Toby.
Rather unexpectedly, Frontier decided to make Elite: Dangerous even more difficult to explore by players using different platforms. There was already a separation between those playing Odyssey on PC or Horizons on the same platform, and there was also a widening gap with those on consoles, which will see no more development of the game.
One thing still kept players in touch: Fleet Carriers. I know this because last September I embarked on my first expedition, an adventure about which I wrote recently here at Outpost2. The Distant Legacy Expedition started last September and will run until July 2023, when the more than 100 participants will reach the 19th stop, 110,384.25 ly distant.
The Distant Legacy Expedition was created as a tribute to a cat, Toby. The Toby’s Rest (X6J-14V) carrier has been the mobile base of operations throughout the expedition, but the carrier will not return to the Bubble, as it will stay at the final destination, Phua Brue FL-P e5–0 , as a memorial to Toby, the cat and cockpit companion of an Elite Commander, Airman_Dan, who died in 2018.
As I wrote before, the Distant Legacy expedition is open to all players on PC, Xbox, and PS4. Distant Legacy is supported by a Fleet Carrier, a luxury previous expeditions did not offer. Fleet Carriers have worked as a link between the different platforms, meaning you can travel in any of the carriers, independently of the platform you’re playing in, and even the version of Elite: Dangerous.
Frontier’s decision will disrupt Fleet Carrier voyages
Now, Toby’s Rest fleet carrier exists in a PlayStation account, which is Horizons 3.8, and that has now become a problem, as we reached the 7th waypoint on the journey. As Frontier has decided that with the next update, for the end of November, Fleet Carriers will be limited to the original version of the game in which they were created, it’s impossible for PC players using Odyssey or even Horizons 4.0 to keep travelling with Toby’s Rest carrier, which was built on a console account.
We’ve to move our spaceships to another Fleet Carrier, which runs on Odyssey, before the update, meaning those who are not playing on PS4 had to travel to the HMS Atreides Dawn (HBF-TTY), a carrier that has been present since the departure, and whose Commander, Topaz Raven, has offered to take PC players through the whole journey. While it’s great to find this kind of willingness to help, even within a virtual world, the truth is that Frontier’s management decision represents a huge blow to the Distant Legacy expedition.
From now on, PC players using Odyssey will not be able to return to Toby’s Rest carrier, which will continue its journey in Horizons 3.8, with console players — both XBox and PS4 — and those PC players using Horizons 3.8 being able to travel with the Toby’s Rest Fleet Carrier to its final destination.
Although not everybody is in-game at the same time, there was a sense of expedition for all of us, independently of platform and game version. For example, most of the meetings happen in Horizons 3.8, which continues to be the most stable version of the game, but as I am running Odyssey, I do not participate, which anyways is OK by me. But the sense of “group”, the sensation of “returning home“ to the Toby’s Rest Fleet Carrier after an exploration was there, and it was a comfortable feeling in the emptiness of space. That’s gone now.
Yes, the expedition continues, and the HMS Atreides Dawn (HBF-TTY) Fleet Carrier will be our base until next July, helped by another FC, IPX Omega Concern, that will make all the way to the destination, Phua Brue FL-P e5–0, and then both will bring us back to the Bubble. But it’s a sad moment, and that’s what I felt when I flew my DBX out of Toby’s Rest for a last time, yesterday, a moment I documented capturing some images. Soon I arrived near the HMS Atreides Dawn, where I captured a few more images, to build this story.
It’s a pity that Frontier could not find a way to keep Fleet Carriers across the different platforms and versions, because this will disrupt, I believe, many of the movement of carriers around the universe of Elite. Toby’s Rest is just one example, one that touches some 120 persons, also because it’s not just an expedition, it’s a memorial for a cat, Toby. We all wanted to make the voyage as a group and Frontier has taken that away from us.
Another postcard from Toby’s Rest expedition
Now Toby’s Rest will make its voyage to the very end only on the Legacy version of Elite: Dangerous, but many of us will not be able to participate by being directly in the Fleet Carrier, although we will complete the journey. But it’s as if we’re living in distinct universes, as a game that should be whole is severed in sections.
So, I needed to write this little note: this is my first expedition with a group — and I’ve been in Elite: Dangerous since day one -, and suddenly I get a bitter taste of how management decisions can drastically change, even inside a game, how a group shares its experience. We’ve just reached Waypoint 7, and as I’ve done previously, I’ve created a postcard from Waypoint 6, which is included here. Little did I know, while preparing it, that Frontier was paving the way to absolutely transform the Distant Legacy expedition.