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Gamers claim Elite: Dangerous graphics have been watered down

Elite: Dangerous gamers are up in arms over possible graphical downgrade from developers

By: Anthony Garreffa from Jul 2, 2015 @ 20:28 CDT

Frontier Development is the latest studio in the firing line of the PC master race, with gamers reporting that the developer has watered down the graphics of Elite: Dangerous in its latest update.


Gamers have said that the dust/fog effects have been radically reduced, the Galaxy Map has changed, textures look worse, and the Ring LOD and Station Letterbox Draw Distance have both been reduced. Frontier has hit back, saying that some of those things have indeed happened, addressing concerns on whether the PC version of Elite: Dangerous has been downgraded because of the upcoming release of the game on the Xbox One.

Head of Rendering for Frontier Development, Greg Ryder, said: "Please thank Granite for putting together a thread like this. The team is always striving to make things better, and we've found a number of things using the profiling tools on the Mac and Xbox One that have improved the PC build (thus the opposite to the fear they might lower the quality of the PC build). Elite: Dangerous is built to scale on PC (including 16k screenshot ability and hopefully one day 16k game when the monitors & video cards exist!). We are certainly not inclined to downgrade the appearance of anything in the game. Exposing more tweakables for an enhanced Ultra is clearly something you guys are passionate about and we'll see where it can fit in the current roadmap".

Ryder continued: "On the ships / galaxy map front, I'm not aware of any changes that went in for 1.3. Dust / Fog: This was optimised due to a pathological case of overdraw (which looked very broken in a number of cases). There's definitely no downgrade due to our Mac and Xbox One versions, but there have been some changes. Performance and visual consistency should be improved in the general case, however it does seem that some systems are not looking as good as they did. As ever there is no perfect solution. For a fair comparison, the exact same position and lighting conditions are needed (some viewing angles will always looks more awesome!), but we could have entire threads dedicated to discussions on how to light rings (and we've had many long discussions internally). I have a number of open issues in our system on the look of the rings, though currently no ETA for when we'll be addressing them".


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