Updated: 12th January 2018
Beyond: Chapter 4 is said by Frontier to be the largest of the two major updates in 2018. It is scheduled for release between September and December 2018.
This new feature will give player groups a new way of working and organising by allowing players to create their own membership and hierarchy. It’s said to bring enhanced communication options and better co-ordination for players using it. Squadrons will also be able to purchase their own fleet carriers. These large dock able vessels will act as mobile base of operations allowing members to re-fuel, re-arm and re-spawn.
It has been said by Frontier that they will discuss their ideas and request feedback for Squadrons at the end of Q1 and the beginning of Q2. This could of course change.
This original core feature will receive an update by improving the way players detect and extract resources via a ‘toolkit of modules and capabilities. This will give players more option and variety in how they set up their mining ships. Sandro said the idea was to ‘try and evoke a feeling of wild west prospecting’ by giving players crisis and challenges or through the concept of striking it rich by ‘deep core blasting a special asteroids’ to give better rewards.
> Planetary Changes & Lighting
The quarter four update will also see the introduction of some new technology in the game. Specifically this will be a new global lighting model for the entire game affecting both planetary surfaces and how lighting is seen in space. Additionally Frontier will re-work their ‘scatter-rock’ technology. This is the way the system displays both rocks and boulders on the planetary surfaces. This will hopefully give a greater variety in the size, shape, scale and forms of rocks on the surfaces. The hope is that this will make the ‘environments more compelling to navigate’. They will also look at localised ambient affects for both fog and vapour which will bring ‘an increased depth to the visuals’ in the game.
Frontier will re-visit exploration and ‘build on the systems and processes by which exploration takes place with the aim of making exploration more engaging’. It was said this would also touch upon missions, commodities and resources. One new feature would be the Codex. This would not only log exploration discoveries but also act as an encyclopedia to give more depth and context to what you find as well as possibly hinting at other things that could be found in the galaxy. Additionally there will be new content, phenomenon and anomalies in the galaxy.