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Elite: Dangerous will not be wiped at launch

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EliteDangerous32 2014-11-25 12-28-58-97

MMOs are often 'wiped' when they exit beta testing—Everything is reset to zero, so all players start off on equal footing on launch day. Frontier Developments has announced that Elite: Dangerous will not be wiped, however, meaning that whatever players have accomplished during the beta period will carry over into the full game. As you might expect, not everyone is happy.

"This is just a quick update to confirm that there won't be a wipe at launch," Community Manager Edward Lewis wrote in the Elite: Dangerous forums yesterday. It's not an unreasonable approach to take, given the amount of effort that some players have put into it already, but while reactions appeared to be largely positive at first, there's been considerable criticism of the decision as well. Some of that comes from vague concerns about "equality," but there are also worries that players will be rewarded for exploiting early bugs in the game.

Lewis said in a follow-up post that Frontier Developments is "looking at ways to find people who have used exploits," but also offered assurances that anyone who made use of them as a normal part of the beta process won't be unduly punished. "The guys on the dev team know the difference between testing something out and abusing the systems," he added.

As for the backlash, he said it was inevitable no matter which way the decision went. "It's one of those things," he wrote. "Wipe or no wipe we would receive criticism."

Elite: Dangerous launches on December 16.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.