Over 10K Elite Dangerous pilots embarked on Distant Worlds 2, though a few faceplanted into a 3.3G planet

Distant Worlds 2 is Elite: Dangerous' second organized journey across the Milky Way to the remote Beagle Point, and it's the space sim's largest group expedition yet. Last weekend, over 10,000 players launched from Pallaeni as the expedition kicked off, a number confirmed by Frontier CEO David Braben.

Not all of them will continue the journey.

As Polygon's Charlie Hall reports, the 18-week trek began with a few server troubles, as well as a bout of traffic congestion. One consequence of gathering so many players in each instance was an invasion of NPC ships. These cruise liners would normally provide a bit of ambiance for one player, but with so many pilots triggering the spectacle at once they spawned en mass, causing "multiple collisions."

Despite that issue, as well as a game crash after the European fleet made the first jump, the mass of players is now making its way toward the first waypoint, Omega Mining Operation, for this weekend's gathering. It wasn't the servers that ended the journey early for a few dozen pilots—it was gravity.

One of the points of interest along the first leg of the trip is The View, a planet so named for the neutron star and black holes visible from its surface. It's a beautiful sight, but there's one problem: The View's gravity is 3.3 times that of Earth's. That makes landing slightly tricky, something apparently not every pilot was prepared for.

In memory of The View's multiple casualties, Commander Flimsie offered a poem on Reddit

There once was a moment in time,
that they prayed for nothing more than to climb.
Once they left orbital cruise, their ego got bruised,
on the surface they're now a puddle of slime.

Check your instruments, folks, and best of luck on the rest of the trip. 

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.