Beyond: Chapter 4 – Beta Announced

On the 15th October at 2pm Frontier announced the details of the Beta for Beyond: Chapter 4 along with a short promo trailer. The details can be seen below. Other web pages on this site will be updated to reflect this and any further news. You can see the full details on the official site here, or below including the trailer.


“Hello Commanders,

“With much anticipation, we’re pleased to announce that the beta for Chapter Four will be available to all PC Elite Dangerous and Elite Dangerous: Horizons players on Tuesday 30 October!

“In order to focus the public testing on specific aspects of Chapter Four, we will be unlocking different content over a number of different weeks. You can find out the schedule that content will be added to the beta here:

beta4info

“We are expecting beta milestones to go live on the Tuesday of each week. However, we will update you in the News and Announcement forums as each update is made available.

“As always we welcome your feedback on our dedicated beta and bug report forums. These reports, and the data provided, by these beta tests are incredibly valuable and useful in the development of Elite Dangerous. You can find a breakdown of Chapter Four’s features below:

Exploration

“The Analysis Mode with the improved Exploration Discovery Scanner and Detailed Discovery Scanner, is a game-changing, brand new way for all Commanders to explore the Milky Way galaxy. After the initial scan of the system, you will then be able to tune your scanners to find stellar bodies and other phenomena. Unidentified Signal Sources and conflict zones will also appear as dotted lines within this mode, allowing you to easily track down interesting or important things within the system. Not only is this new system a more realistic, satisfying and engaging exploration experience, but now you will be able to make more informed decisions on where to look next, and you will be more rewarded for your time spent exploring. Commanders will now have probes at their disposal to map the planetary surfaces, and planetary rings, in detail, to locate points of interest and leave your mark on the galaxy in a different way.

“All of the above, in addition to the new in-game codex where Commanders will see a new way of recording their findings in both a collaborative and individual way, are just a few things coming with the changes to exploration. We’re barely scratching the surface here with the changes to exploration, so make sure to tune in to the livestream on 18 October, to find out more.

Mining

“Asteroid belts and planetary rings are about to get very busy. New tools and mechanics will provide a fresh, exciting and lucrative mining experience for all Elite Dangerous Commanders. Using new exploration mechanics, miners can investigate rings to locate the best spots to start their mining sessions, and then the best specific asteroids to probe and excavate for rewards. With the right amount of skill and expertise, the new Abrasion blaster, Sub-surface displacement missile, and Seismic charge launcher, will provide some exciting and explosive results.

“Want to go deeper with these features and learn more about mining? Tune in to the livestream on 1 November, to find out more.

Squadrons

“Squadrons is a new in-game way of uniting like-minded Commanders to support factions of their choice, take part in Community Goals together and compete for top spots in seasonal leader boards. New communication tools, including in-game chat channels, will help you blaze trails together, and leave your Squadron’s mark on the galaxy.

“Learn more about Squadrons in our livestream on 30 October.

“…and more!

“There’s a number of other huge changes coming to Elite Dangerous, including visual improvements, background simulation updates, and (yet to be revealed) cockpit interface changes, and other features that we can’t wait to tell you about.

“Prior to the introduction of the content on the beta, we’ll be hosting a number of deep-dive livestreams with developer guests, where we showcase the content and you have the chance to voice your questions and comments.

The Chapter Four content reveal livestreams will be on the following dates:
Exploration, Codex and Visual Improvements – 18 October (19:00 BST)
BGS and Scenario Interactions – 25 October (19:00 BST)
Squadrons – 30 October (19:00 GMT)
Mining – 01 November (19:00 GMT)
The Ships – 8 November (19:00 GMT)

“If you’re not able to catch the streams, don’t worry! We will be posting a recap of the all the content unveiled shortly after each livestream.

“We can’t wait to see what you think!”

Live stream: Exploration

On the 13th September 2018 Frontier announced that there would be a livestream to answer some of the questions following the exploration reveal that came yesterday.


“Good afternoon, Commanders.

“Tonight you’ll be able to join Lead Community Manager Edward Lewis and Senior Designer Adam Bourke-Waite from 7PM BST live on Youtube, covering the recently revealed Exploration changes coming to Beyond – Chapter Four and fielding some of your questions.

“We hope to see you there!

“NOTE – we will not be showing off any video footage or new images of the features on tonight’s stream. Streams showcasing this will be in the coming weeks.”

www.youtube.com/elitedangerous/live

Chapter 3: Dedicated Mission Server

On the 7th September 2018 Frontier announced that Chapter 3 would see the implementation of a dedicated mission server. You can see the details below.


“Greetings Commanders,

“In the next chapter of Beyond (3.3), we will be implementing and migrating mission data to a new separate server. While this mainly affects the back-end of the game, you will see some changes to missions in-game.

“As it currently stands, missions are on a shared server with other elements of the game. This has the risk of problems with missions causing outages and stability issues for the rest of the game if there are technical hiccups.

“So, what benefits will we see by moving missions to their own separate server?

  • Any issue (generated by missions) which can cause a server outage or stability problems will no longer result in players disconnecting. Instead the missions will be unavailable for a period of time.
  • If such issues do occur, the previous servers will be able to act as a back-up, offering better opportunities to recover game content as quickly as possible.
  • We may see a slight decrease in mission board loading times.
  • Missions will now be consistent across game modes (Solo/Open/Private Group).

“It’s also worth noting that, as a result of a dedicated ‘mission server’, there will be a removal/significant reduction of the method of refreshing mission boards by logging in and out of the game (“board flipping”). While we understand that this is a practice utilised by some* players, this was never the intended use of the mission system.

“Even though there is a small number of players doing this, we will increase the credit payout of missions (by 10%) across the board so all players using the mission boards as intended will see a net profit. As a result of this, some mission reward choices will see boosted influence, reputation and rank gains. As always when it comes to missions, we will continually review and balance them where needed.

“Ultimately, this is a healthy step for our overall servers and game experience.

“If you have any questions or would like to share your feedback with us, please post below!”

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.

Chapter 3 – Brief Overview

Frontier made a short presentation courtesy of Adam Woods at the Gamescom Elite meet this evening. Below is a brief list of what was mentioned. These will be expended upon tomorrow with the official Frontier reveal. Thanks to Pleijp73 for the video from which this information is taken.

General Outfitting

  • Large Dumbfire Missile
  • Large Seeking Missile
  • Large Torpedo Launcher
  • Large Multi-cannon (turret)

Human Tech Broker

  • Small Shock Cannon (Turret, Gimbal & Fixed Mounts)

Guardian Tech Broker

  • Small Plasma Launcher (Turret & Fixed Mounts)
  • Small Shard Cannon (Turret & Fixed Mounts)
  • Small Gauss Cannon (Turret & Fixed Mounts)

Wing Missions

  • New planetary settlement wing missions

Settlements

  • New settlements with backstories to be discovered.

Colonia

  • Some new Engineers will now be available in Colonia.

The Crusader

  • This matches the Chieftain and Challenger in combat and manouverability but also has a ship launched fighter bay and has space for two multi-crew.

Guardian Beacons

  • These can be found in Chapter 3 and will require players to work out what they do and “ultimately what they will lead you to”.

New Technology

Ram Tah has developed a new Guardian based launched fighter Hybrid Fighter Series named,

  • The Trident (carries a Plasma Autocannon)
  • The Javelin (carries a Shard Launcher)
  • The Lance (carries a Gauss Focus Cannon)

 

New Player Minor Faction System

On the 25th July 2018 Frontier announced some changes to the way the player minor faction system works. You can see this below or here.


Greetings Commanders,

We’re pleased to announce that, starting today, we’re implementing a new and revamped application system for Player Minor Factions.

In re-working the original system for applying for a player minor faction, we are now able to process player minor faction applications with more efficiency and speed. Ultimately, this means that you’ll see your minor factions in-game sooner than before!

Read below for more information:

Why have a minor faction in Elite Dangerous?

A player minor faction is a way for established Player Groups to represent themselves in-game, pushing the agenda of their groups throughout the galaxy.

Once you have submitted a player minor faction, and have it approved by us at Frontier, your player minor faction will show up in one of the three selected systems of your choosing. Your minor faction’s description will show up in a future update of Elite Dangerous.

You will have to manage your minor faction’s economy, influence, and other galactic threats! Take part in various actions: combat, performing missions, selling exploration data and so on; other Commanders will be able work with or against your minor faction and therefore, your minor faction will be subject to the actions and functions of the Background Simulation (BGS).

I applied for a minor faction before the introduction of this system…

If you have previously submitted a player minor faction application with the older form, then you will have an update on the status of that application in the coming days. It will either be approved, or rejected, and depending you will need to do the following:

…it was approved and added to the game:

You don’t need to do anything; your minor faction is in the game! This system is for new player minor factions only!

…And it was rejected:

You will need to resubmit your player minor faction application with the new system below.

Apply for a player minor faction today!

Before applying for a player minor faction, please ensure you’ve notified us of your Player Group, which you can do by filling out the form here.

To apply for a player minor faction, please click here.

If you want to follow up on any future player minor faction applications, please contact Customer Support here (please allow for 72 hours after submitting your faction application before contacting Customer Support.)

If you have any questions or feedback about the new system, please reply in this thread.