Whenannounced that it was dropping offline play from space exploration game Elite: Dangerous, fans were understandably cheesed off. Particularly those who'd backed the project on the proviso that they'd be able to play without joining a server.
David Braben has addressed concerns in the latest, but I'm not sure his response will satisfy disgruntled backers.
"Those who have pre-ordered an Elite: Dangerous release version from our online store and have therefore not yet played the game are eligible for a refund, Braben writes. "Those who have already been playing the game online in the Alpha and/or Beta phases, regardless of whether they backed the project via Kickstarter or purchased access to Alpha and/or Beta through our online store, are not eligible for a refund."
There's fuzzy paragraph after that in which Braben claims that they'll look into individual cases, but that seems like a rather lackluster attitude to refunds. This is all to do with the vagueness of promises on crowd-funding campaigns again, but offline play was specifically pointed out by Frontier as being in the game.
If you don't tell anyone you're dropping that element until a few weeks before launch, it's not surprising that some of them will have tried out the alpha or beta phases. The implicit stance in that refund policy seems to be "if you've played online in the Beta, you have no reason to complain about having to play online in the full game."
Having an internet connection capable of playing Elite isn't the point, it's that players were promised they wouldn't need one. It's also important to note playing the Beta is not the same as playing the full game you paid for. I think this stance is only going to infuriate the player-base even more.
Further warning that backing projects through Kickstarter is rarely a straightforward business, even when it seems to be at first glance.