Elite: Dangerous – Important Update #2

Following on from the first update about the future of Elite, Community Manager Will Flanagan has posted a few more details which you can read below or on the official forum, here.

What does ‘The Next Era’ contain?
The Next Era update will be in-game content and, as we’ve said previously, as development progresses, we will share more news and announcements on features, as well as timelines regarding this upcoming content for Elite.

Future updates – what’s the plan? No major update until the latter end of 2020?
As we said in the OP, we will still be making updates to Elite Dangerous on a 3-4 month cycle. These updates will initially focus on new player and welcoming experiences, as well as a number of QoL improvements for all players – and we’ll be announcing what the first update will include in the coming weeks. We’ll also be detailing more information about the upcoming development-supported events in the near future.

Bugs
Our commitment to squashing bugs hasn’t ended, and we’re going to be implementing a new bug report system. As we have mentioned previously, the new bug tracking website will make the bug reporting process easier, better, and more manageable! You will be able to log issues as you’re used to, and the community will be able to vote on your issue. This will consider it confirmed and in that way we can put more focus into accurately examining the highest ranked issues.

Powerplay
We hear your concerns and feedback on Powerplay in and outside of this thread. We’ll be evaluating and looking into some of the proposed solutions Sandro detailed in his post here. This is an on-going investigation and nothing is confirmed at the moment, but rest assured that we will let you know when we have updates regarding this.

Ice Planets and Fleet Carriers
Both Ice Planets and Fleet Carriers are still planned for the development road-map, and we’ll be able to share more information with you in the future.

LEP Content
The Next Era content will be paid for content and LEP owners will receive it as part of their pass. We don’t have anything to announce regarding any additional LEP content at the moment.

Elite: Dangerous – Important Update

On the 1st March 2019 at 2pm Frontier made a long post about the future of Elite: Dangerous regarding when the next update would be released and what will happen in the time between now and then. You can read it below or on the forum here. Details will of this news have been added to the 4.0 page of this site as well as to a new page to reflect the Post Beyond updates coming in between times.

Greetings Commanders,

We’ve had a number of questions from our community eagerly awaiting news on the future development for Elite Dangerous. We wanted to share a development update with you which talks a little more about our upcoming development plans. It’s a long read but we wanted to be as open as we can at this stage with where progress is and what information we are able to share. There will be more news and updates over the coming months.

Beyond

It’s been a little over two months since Beyond – Chapter Four, our final instalment in the Beyond season, arrived and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from the community. Beyond allowed us to deliver a year of free updates to Elite Dangerous in order to build, enhance, compliment and connect the content that has been added since launch. This step in the ongoing evolution of Elite was vital. The long-term vision for the game, even from the early days, has always been ambitious and we are committed to supporting the game with that vision in mind. All of this is made possible by the support of our amazing community. We were truly delighted that from Beyond – Chapter Four, we’ve seen one of our highest ever player counts with many hundreds of thousands of Commanders jumping in and taking to their cockpits together. Thank you!

The Next Era

Back in August, we mentioned that the team had begun work on the next major era of Elite. We believe this will be a defining moment in the history of the game and it will be our biggest update yet.

In that post, we explained that the content was still very early in development, so we won’t be ready to announce it for a while. To give this more context, in order to realise the ambition for this update, and the size and scope of the content we wish to bring to the Elite Dangerous galaxy, we estimate this major milestone will be ready by the latter half of 2020.

As development progresses, we will share more news and announcements on features, as well as timelines regarding this upcoming content for Elite. We can understand that having a long wait for news can be frustrating, but we truly believe that this will be the single most impactful update for our community. Having a development team dedicated to this milestone is our continued and unwavering commitment to making Elite Dangerous the most authentic, ambitious, and expansive evolving space game in the world.

As mentioned in our previous post, this new era will be paid for content and all lifetime expansion pass owners will have this included in their pass.

What now?

We know that waiting for a mammoth update like this one is going to feel like your 3rd run to Hutton Orbital. But don’t fret, we’ve got plenty of updates, content, and plans happening as we progress through to this monumental milestone.

As well as the team of developers working on our next big milestone, we also have a smaller development team focused on adding to and improving the existing game between now and that time. This will take the form of regular game updates and development supported events.

Development supported events

One of the biggest changes will be the way that we create and support in-game events and activities. Starting in the coming months, we will be looking to change the way that in-game events happen. The aim here is to create ongoing, engaging, and varied sets of content that are supported by the development team which players will be able to actively engage in.

We have listened to community feedback regarding Community Goals and while they are an incredible tool, they have become somewhat routine for many Commanders. We felt that we needed to adjust them to be more event-related while taking our in game events a big step further. We will gradually be changing our community goals and their frequency, using them within a larger schedule of development-led events to help us create more improved, meaningful and engaging experiences.

As well as Community Goals, we will also be using things like new scenarios, reputation and reward boosts (such as Superpower reputation increases), BGS and global galactic changes, in-game interactions, new game assets and much more to make game-wide events that tie into the game world. The aim is to constantly create new and exciting events and campaigns for you to get involved in and shape, which will focus on and benefit different types of players.

Outside of the game, we’ll communicate with you about these events, how they work and what goes into developing Elite Dangerous.

Regular updates

In addition to the weekly and monthly activity happening in Elite, we will also be releasing a series of updates roughly every 3-4 months. The first two of these updates will primarily focus on new player and welcoming experiences, and we will also be introducing a number of quality of life improvements for the entire player base, of which we will have more news on in the coming weeks. This will help ensure that new players are able to better progress through the game, and therefore help bring more players through to our very awesome, very welcoming community. We will also have additional game tweaks, benefits and bug fixes for all players. In the subsequent updates we will be focusing on bringing in new features, perks and content, including a range of exciting new additions to the game that will build up to this new era.

It is important to note that these updates will not take the same level of content or size that we have seen from our previous updates in Beyond or Horizons, as the majority of the development team will be focusing on the new era.

Elite Dangerous has an incredibly passionate, enthusiastic and talented community, and we’re committed to supporting Elite now and for the future. We would like to take this opportunity to say, once again, that none of this would be possible without the continued support and dedication from our community – so, thank you. Keep sharing your feedback with us, and if you have any questions feel free to share them with us by posting in this thread. We’ll try and answer as many of them as we can.

The Elite Dangerous Team

Important: Elite Dangerous Update

Updated @ 8:26pm – 31st August 2018

At 5:23pm on the 31st August Frontier made an announcement regarding the Chapter 4 update, the Premium Content that was slated for the end of the year and its plans for what comes after both of these. 

I’ve summarised any important ones made by Zac (who made the original post) at the bottom of this page. Changes to various pages on this  website have been made to reflect this news.


Greetings Commanders,

First of all, we would like to take a moment to thank you all for the continued support and making Elite Dangerous the incredible, community driven, phenomenon that it is today.

We started our Elite Dangerous journey over 6 years ago and today hundreds of thousands of Commanders log in regularly to continue their epic space journey. From a personal perspective, joining the team shortly after the kickstarter, and being a part of this incredible community has truly been one of the most amazing highlights of my career. From in-person community meet ups, online community groups and jaw-dropping events, you have always inspired us with your passion and enthusiasm.

We wanted to take a moment to talk about a number of topics being discussed in the community and to be as open and transparent as possible. It’s a long read, so make sure you’re safely docked and comfortable before attempting to navigate this post.

The things we’d like to go through include Chapter Four content and a little about a future beyond “Beyond”, as well as touching on the subject of “paid premium content” in 2018 for Lifetime Expansion Pass owners.

Let’s get started with Chapter Four content. As all of you know, our largest update of the year is in final development and will be available for players to get hands-on with in just a number of weeks (Some time in Q4).This will be the final update of 2018 and the Beyond season. The Beyond season was always something that we wanted to do in order to bring even more enhancements to the core experience of Elite and being able to dedicate a full development team (over 100 people!) for a full year of free content was specifically to gear ourselves up to support our long term vision for the game.
On a personal note, Squadrons is something I’m most excited by. Seeing our player groups grow and the stories they’ve created has been incredible and now being able to see them take that to the next level, formalize their groups in-game, TAG up and team up is something I’m really looking forward to.

There’s also a huge group of players who are most excited by the many new additions to exploration. I know from talking to so many of you online and in-person, this is a huge moment and the development team are working really hard to deliver new content and mechanics to give explorers that thrill of venturing out into the black. And then there’s even more with additions with significant mining enhancements, a full game visual upgrade and the Codex which all bring even more richness to the game experience and depth to the way people play. It’s certainly an update we’re all very excited to see the community explore.

We do have one exciting piece of news to share that to date, we have not shared with our community. A while ago, our development went from pre-production into full production on our next major milestone of Elite development.

What that means in the simplest terms is that the team are actively working on the next major landmark which takes us into our next era for Elite. We aren’t going to be ready to talk about or announce any details for quite a while yet, it is early in the development and there is still a long way to go, but I can say that this is something that will be scheduled to release a considerable time after the final update in the Beyond series. We will have more details on exactly what this means and how the era will roll out after the release of Beyond – Chapter Four, but this does mark some exciting next steps and a continued commitment to the long term vision for the game and our community.

Naturally, there will be community questions that might come up from this information. We aren’t going to be ready to talk about what method or model the content will be. What we can say is that it’s expected to be a major milestone in the history of Elite and will be paid content. Lifetime Expansion owners will obviously receive the content as part of their pass.

As part of pre-production, the team investigate all areas of the content and scope them out thoroughly. It’s important to take the time to be clear on what the vision for this is and how we imagine the content working. During this process, we have made a decision to adjust the focus of content that were previously planned for the Chapter Four update, adding some significant new gameplay, but it also means some other aspects will have to change. This means that some elements of content such as Ice Planets (which many of you will have seen some fantastic progress updates from LaveCon earlier this year) and Fleet Carriers for squadrons will not be coming as part of the Beyond – Chapter Four update. Some of the technology from the ice planets specifically will be used within our wider and global visual upgrade, so there will still be general improvements, but not everything we originally envisaged. However, we wanted you to be aware that these two elements specifically would be reprioritised out of the upcoming Beyond – Chapter Four update. What this does mean is that the rest of the content will be able to benefit for the changes in scheduling through deeper and richer gameplay mechanics. The Chapter Four update still has the same, if not bigger scope and continues to promise the largest update of the Beyond season and a truck load of great features for all Horizons Commanders for free. We’re very excited to be sharing the details with you over the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more info.

Another area that we’ve had a number of questions on is the “premium content” coming in 2018.

As many of you will know, we previously mentioned that premium (paid for) content would also be coming within the Beyond season of updates and that Lifetime Expansion Pass holders would be getting this for free. However, as we went through the early stages of what the next era for Elite Dangerous would be, we decided that it would be better to spend that additional time on the future content, rather than bringing new types of purchasable content out this year.

This is a big positive for the long term future of the game and its content. However, we also understand that there are people with Lifetime Expansion Passes who haven’t received paid for content in this season, because Beyond has been free to all owners of Horizons. We truly appreciate the support and commitment that those owners put in us when they purchased the LEP and we will be making sure that there is a form of free store content going out to them by the end of this year.

The most important thing we would like for our community to take from this, is that there are some incredibly exciting things just over the horizon. The Elite Dangerous development team is larger than it has been at any point in the last 6 years. It is thanks to your continued support, dedication, feedback and engagement that has made this possible. We have the Beyond Chapter Four update coming soon, our largest update in the Beyond season, with some awesome headline features and a fantastically promising future of content and ongoing development. We’re looking forward to sharing more details with you in the future. However, if you have any questions feel free to share them with us by posting in this thread and we’ll try and answer as many of them as we can.

Thanks

Zac Antonaci


> Q&A & Information

  • “It won’t be too long before we’re ready to start showing some of the great work the devs have been working on.”

  • Q. That means the carriers are out of update 4 and will be delivered as a paid content next year? For real?
  • A. No, that’s not what was said.

  • Q. Can it then be inferred that previously announced Beyond content that has been deferred will form part of free updates in the post-Beyond release schedule?
  • A. Honestly? It’s a little early at this time to say where fleet carriers will fit in terms of schedules. The team are very keen to bring them in which is why it was on the plan initially. But at this moment other areas of work were prioritised in order to make the for a better update and content for the community as a whole. We’ll obviously share all the details as soon as we have more news but the next things we’ll be talking about will be the content in Beyond – Chapter Four.

  • Q. Can you clarify what you are saying about Fleet Carriers and Squadrons? There seems to be some confusion.
  • A. Squadrons is still a major part of the Beyond – Chapter Four update. However, the fleet carriers specifically were prioritised and unfortunately won’t be making it into the Chapter Four update. they may well come in the future and that doesn’t mean that they will be paid for content. But as you’ll see in the post of mine above, it’s a little early to be able to talk about the dates and details at this time. We’ll soon be able to share more details on the Beyond – Chapter Four update as a whole.

  • Q. This sounds like “we’re taking out content from Beyond ch.4 and putting it in a future, paid update”.
  • A. Just to clarify that’s absolutely not what’s being said, or being done. The future content that has started in production is a whole new era/chapter/milestone in Elite. Much like Horizons was and like Beyond was/is. Please rest assured that this post is not suggesting that we are taking content and moving it to paid for content later. Hope that helps.

  • Q. Can you clarify if the missing elements in Chapter 4 will come at some point prior to the next Season? Can you please explain what is this “significant new gameplay”?
  • A. We’ll be sharing everything that’s in Chapter Four in the coming weeks so we’ll have more details then and I’m looking forward to seeing the communities reactions. As for the Fleet carriers and ice planets, it’s still too early to talk about how or when they would be making their way into the game. We’ll be talking more about “beyond, Beyond” sometime after the Chapter Four update is released.

  • Q. Hopefully the FFF (Focussed Feedback Forum) for exploration can be opened now so we have a chance to give ideas and input before Q4 release is too long gone in development?
  • A. Sorry for the delay on the FFF. As you can see there’s been a lot happening internally. I’ll have a chat with the dev team and see what we can do. I know the dev team are always very grateful for the feedback they get on those threads so I’ll follow up on that.

  • There’s been a few people trying to speculate on the length of time between Chapter Four and the next major milestone. It’s specifically worded to avoid people thinking that it’s coming out a immediately after the Beyond season finishes, to avoid disappointment, but try not to speculate too much and we’ll have more news for you later.