Elite: Dangerous finally launches on December 16, but it won't release with an offline mode. While the functionality was promised during the space sim's initial crowdfunding campaign, David Braben writes in a new development blog that it's not practical due to the studio's efforts to keep the universe consistent for all players.
"Going forwards, being online lets us constantly both curate and evolve the galaxy, with stories unfolding according to the actions of commanders," Braben wrote. "Exploration is also a key factor, too, and it is important that what a single player explores matches what other players explore whether single or multiplayer – a complex, coherent world – something we have achieved.
"Galaxy, story, missions, have to match, and it does mean the single player has to connect to the server from time to time, but this has the added advantage that everyone can participate in the activities that can happen in the galaxy. A fully offline experience would be unacceptably limited and static compared to the dynamic, ever unfolding experience we are delivering."
Braben also confirmed some post-launch plans, including 30 playable ships (five more than previously confirmed) and ongoing efforts to get players "up out of your pilot's seats and out of your starships."
Ahead of the game's full release, check out some 60fps footage over here.