A recent update to the game increased the severity of no fire zones. Previously, shooting other players in these neutral zones would incur fines. But where there’s a will to be destructive there’s a way, and players soon cottoned on that you could ram other players instead, without alerting the intergalactic cops.
Frontier Developments implemented a punishment system for collisions in no fire zones. While a well meaning change, it also put an end to space destruction derbies – a fun, player-created phenomenon not anticipated by the devs. These emergent mini-games are arguably the marker of any successful sandbox game, and feeling peeved, players resorted to the best form of protest available to them: goat memes.
The result was this: an endless stream of goat pictures under the Twitter hashtag #EDProtestGoat . The Elite forums were swamped with them too, prompting lead designer Sandro Sammarco to respond to the goat controversy.
“I’ll need to check with some clever coder folk on this, but I’m hopeful that we can have this crime not squawked with “don’t report crimes against me”,” Sammarco wrote. “As long as all participants use this functionality then they would be safe to race near each other – though hitting spectators would still trigger the crime.”
It’s worth reading through Sammarco’s full notes on the forum if you play Elite and are heavily invested in the whole controversy.