Until last night I’ve been playing the Elite Dangerous demo in the open world, with other players. I naturally assumed that the huge numbers of ships getting destroyed on entry to the station was people trying piracy, or picking up free floating cargo and getting flagged as pirates without knowing. I also assumed that the ships that stopped after creeping through the docking tunnel, and then mucked about rotating every which way, before flying off at some bizarre angle, were being piloted by people who were having a really hard time getting to grips with the controls. Last night I tried playing solo, and there were a few surprises.
Firstly, I was rather exit from super cruise to be far quicker than it way. I guess the 2-3 seconds delay is down to my network connection and is only going to go away should I choose the offline option when it’s given to us.
Secondly, it turns out that it’s mostly the NPCs who are getting blown up at the station entrance; either by the police ships, or the stations own defences. The destruction was rather surprisingly frequent so either there’s a lot of pirate NPCs or the station just doesn’t like them.
Thirdly, the whole “fly slowly through the docking tunnel then muck about on the other side while getting in everyones way” is the NPCs method of docking. I’m almost tempted to get a docking computer to see if it’s as retarded in its attempts at docking – although if I did try that it would have to be in solo mode so no one thinks it’s actually me docking.
I guess years of experiencing idiotic behaviour online has jaded me and made me assume that anything stupid must be a result of a human (probably a teenager) doing something dumb. It will be interesting to see how the AI evolves through the course of the beta.