Notorious Elite: Dangerous Troll Ruins Historic In-Game Event

Over the weekend, Elite: Dangerous' years-long Formidine Rift mystery transformed from a pseudo-ARG into a full-blown event. A character named Salomé, carrying precious info, was set to traverse a treacherous route. Players could protect her ship or try to blow it up. A notorious troll decided to do both.

This story originally appeared in May 2017.

As outlined by Ars Technica, a number of player groups coalesced around the event. Together, a bunch of them formed the Premonition Allied Coalition, or PAC for short. The 3000+ member group aimed to protect Salomé, whose ship would be (in part) piloted by sci-fi author Drew Wagar, writer of Elite: Dangerous tie-in novel Reclamation. Whether Salomé lived or died, Wagar's next book would reflect that, immortalising the player who did the deed, if she kicked the space bucket.

Despite the fact that PAC issued a barrage of threats to any non-PAC members in event systems, and another group, the Children of Raxxla, defended Salomé's ship directly, she ultimately took huge damage and went down. It should have been extremely difficult for anybody to finish her, with that kind of firepower in her entourage. But that's only assuming everybody played fair.

When the dust settled, a player named — I kid you not — Harry Potter claimed the kill. A member of Elite's infamous Smiling Dog Crew, he was supposed to be helping defend Salomé. The whole SDC, however, has a reputation for, well, fucking shit up. They like to grief players, but they occasionally use their powers for twisted sorts of justice, for instance when they abused overpowered heat weapons to fry fellow players, hoping that developer Frontier would notice and finally take action.

Harry Potter is perhaps the most infamous member of that infamous group. He's turned griefing into an art form, stream sniping, murdering people during charity streams, and skirting the edges of outright harassment. So, how did he, of all people, gain the trust of the PAC? Well, apparently the SDC promised to be on their best behaviour, and they'd spent the past few months not being total shitheads, so PAC members decided to roll the dice. Plus, as Ars Technica points out, if you're gonna have anybody help defend a mostly helpless ship against other players, you might as well go with the folks who specialise in "radically unfair, mechanic-exploiting PvP combat". For one, that's a valuable asset, and for two, better to have them with you than against you.

This, however, allowed SDC members to do a couple of very important things. First, one or more of them likely got themselves added to Salomé's in-game friends list, allowing the SDC to determine her exact location. And of course, they got PAC's permission to be present in event systems, negating the threat of immediate disintegration via gigantic, hyper-aggressive space armada. Potter, that damnable boy wizard, basically rolled out his own red carpet.

"Come on, Harry," said one of his co-conspirators as he went for the kill. "Be a legend." About a minute later, Salomé was space dust.

Author Wagar confirmed the kill in a solemn blog post.

"Commander Salomé, ex-Senator and disgraced lady Kahina Tijani Loren of the empire, is dead," he wrote. "She was confirmed killed at 20:49 gametime on 29th April, 3303, succumbing to hostile fire from Commander Harry Potter."

While some speculated that the event was scripted, Wagar claimed that he didn't pull any strings, which is believable when you realise that he's gonna have a hell of a time writing around the fact that the killer's name is Harry Potter.


Comments

    Never underestimate the determination of internet arseholes.

    Blown to bits in the cold vacuum of space, the classic story of wizard betrayal.

    TL;DR
    Guy infiltrates group, blows up a player ship piloted by an author, prematurely ends event.

    For a game about that advertises itself as one that allows players to do what they want, the community seems to really discourage any sort of PvP that occurs outside of their own self-imposed rules of how one should behave....

      The ship got blown up in a masterful long game of deceit in opposition to that powerful cabal of players. This makes me want to play the game.

        My thoughts exactly. This guy took a gamble at being immortalised in the game's lore, as the fucking bad guy, and he won. Good on him. That's the type of shit I want to do in multiplayer!

      You mean, like society already does?

      You have the freedom to act like an arsehole. Doesn't mean society will tolerate said behaviour.

        Welcome to video games.

        Where you can do shit you couldn't, shouldn't or wouldn't in real life.

          Of course.
          It's also completely unbalanced. There are no consequences nor even any real heavy penalties. This just makes it a race to the bottom; the logical conclusion of which is everyone's a raging arsehole looking to out-dick the next person.

          Throw in multi-player and it's anarchy. Personally it's one of the the things which is a real turn off if a MP game doesn't manage it in some manner, given the manner in which I play games. When I play something like Elite, I'm looking to escape reality and immerse myself in another. Rampant griefing makes it hard to do so simply as an immersion breaker. I want to be a space faring pilot, not just some person behind a keyboard talking about the latest meta. When a game is made up of too many of the latter, it's quits for me.

            Huh?

            Just because EVE doesn't like up to your vision of modern society with strict laws and policing, doesn't mean is isn't worthwhile. Not everything has to be a "safe space" to be enjoyable.

            EVE online is like the wild west. Players/corporations will band together to act as the 'police'. In this case, they decided to trust some mercs who had apparently "changed their ways". They were, in turn, stabbed in the back.

            I think this is a tremendous story. And shows just how far ahead EVE online is from other MMO's. It's just a real shame there isn't more traditional EQ/WOW style MMO's which allow this freedom.

              Uh last time I checked the game was Elite: Dangerous I maybe mistaken though.

              Rabid fanboy alert. Does not even read the comment he is reply to, Nor the article. Otherwise he would not be ranting about something that has nothing to do with anything in this article.

      Sort of with you on this... The fact the article claims he "ruined" this event was particularly questionable to me.

      Game allows people to do this... Everyone knows this... Someone does it... People call foul.

      An article about, "Elite: Dangerous event goes off without a hitch." is far less interesting in my mind, so if it wasn't for the wizard's actions I likely wouldn't have even known about it.

      Can I just say I love the concept of an "Allied Coalition". Like, how allied would you say you guys are? Dude, SO allied, we got allied and then got allied to each other all over again!

    I personally don't like Harry's antics but SDC is a very well known group, and this sounds like business as usual. Why people thought they'd act out of character for this event is beyond me.

    The title of this article reminds me of the time homer got in the news paper with the title "Local Man Ruins Everything"

    More on topic though, yes it's true an inside defector killed salome, but PAC knew of SDC's BS and it was a calculated risk. They were being monitored and they also had a kill order placed on them incase things went belly up. Unfortunately with the way this game instances players, a roll of the dice meant that the troll got close to salome.
    However it has to be said that only 1 of the 4 NPC's needed to make it safe for the event to be considered a success (ie - salome's information gets delivered). We as players managed to safely deliver 3 of the 4 NPC's, with salome being the only casualty.

    It'll make for an interesting plot point in the book, but the defense team ultimately won. Also good luck to drew wager trying to write in a registered character name... Won't happen

      My guess is they go with an AI acronym, along the lines of H4R-Y P0773-R. Or it'll be a nickname. Either way, it'll be interesting to see how they shoehorn it in

        There's speculation that if they have to use a name, they'll use his forum name. Which is "besieger"

    Stinks of marketing bs. They knew what they were doing, why even allow the trolls into the instance? Simple, it makes a good story.

      I think the reason Frontier would let them into the instance is that SDC don't break the rules of the game. It doesn't make sense to bar paying players from events just because some other people don't like the way they play.

      They're the ones who designed ED as a sandbox where players can kill anyone at any time for any (or no) reason. They're not likely to punish players for playing the game as intended.

        There was already a group that had secured the instance and were killing new players as they entered, but for some reason let SDC in. If you are paranoid enough to kill randos why would you let the well known pvp trolls in?

        Wants to be eve so bad.

          Ah, you meant those guys. I don't think that player group has any particular interest in marketing the game - they were there to try and win the event but made a (pretty stupid) mistake.

          I dunno if the game wants to be EvE or not - I've been playing it since beta and honestly I still don't know what it wants to be. Frontier have steadfastly refused to add any kind of in-game support for player groups or what have you and generally don't seem to think that MMO features of any kind belong in their game. Part of the playerbase wants more of that stuff and part of the playerbase is violently opposed specifically because "THIS ISN'T EVE, DAMNIT!"

          Unfortunately there's also basically nothing interesting about the game aside from its player politics and very little to do at all, so like I said I have no idea what it's trying to be. Initially it seemed like it wanted to be a reasonably believable sandbox space sim playable in single or multi-player, but so many of the mechanics that I assumed were placeholders are still here years later with no sign of any changes coming soon and now I just don't know.

            "Very little to do".

            I disagree. Bounty hunting, mining, exploration, trading, smuggling, a bunch of combat mission types. The gameplay's not for everyone but there's plenty to do.

            I agree that the in-game group support is shit at the moment, but they're getting there. Factions are coming at some point (so you can still be in a faction outside of CZs). I'd like to see the private groups de-emphasised and just have a PVP or PVP option at start which would make life easier, but beyond that I'm pretty happy being a freelancer and working with the Aussie/NZ faction based out of Kunti. :)

    The big question is, did what Harry Potter do detract from the general fun of the game or add to it? If it's the former, finding a way to exploit what was the climax of a running twelve month story and giving it an unfulfilling ending then what he did was a BS move. If it's the latter, and just added to the 'you never know what's going to happen in Elite Dangerous, the game where the players are in control' feel of the game, then it's sneaky but acceptable.

      I think most people were hoping that there'd be a long chase and a bit of cat-and-mouse, with a tense outcome. It was over pretty fast, was my biggest issue...

    Oh damn, I was hoping it would be ItchyNipples. He was way better than Harry.

      Aaaahh the old days of CMDR ItchyNipples.
      Got blown up by him once due to the point-defence glitch way back when.
      Looking back, it's kinda hilarious.

    One can hardly call it "ruin" an in-game event when all Drew Wagar wanted was a decent ending to his book and a betrayal is certainly a twist to spawn interesting tales.

    Also, yeah... SDC is known to do these things, so I don't understand why people are getting their knickers in a twist over it.
    I thought it was an exciting way to handle it to be honest.

    While I'm not particularly happy that a long-time griefer and ganker got the kill (after the guy turned up on an expedition and killed a bunch of long-range explorers, I gave up on Open most of the time), the result was fine.

    Three out of the four targets survived, so the information still got out and the conspiracy is still alive. :)

    It does go back to this though - E:D still doesn't handle murder well. It's too easy to get wanted, but being wanted doesn't affect you much if you're a multi-billionaire with all the toys. If poor rep with a faction prevented docking in certain systems and hi-sec was genuinely hi-sec, then it would at least be easier for new pilots to milk run in relative peace.

    To be clear - I have no issue with role-playing pirates and infiltrators. I have no problem with PvP.

    I don't even have a problem with how the Salome event ended - my issue is gankers who sit outside one of the starting stations ganking harmless Sidewinders, and also HOW ON EARTH ANYONE TRUSTED CMDR HARRY POTTER. *facepalm*

    Anyway, I'm too busy following the conspiracy now, moving on...

    Journalists work over Christmas break. Apparently bloggers don't.

      Was wondering why I was re reading an article from months ago..

    Why has this been resposted? The event occured many months ago and there is no logic in reposting it.

    At least post an article covering current events in ED.

      i was about to post something along the line of "didnt something like this just happen". Then i saw the date from the comments and saw this was repost while everyone is on christmas and new years eve break

    Wish I was cool enough to annoy other players in an online game.
    Super impressive, brahz

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