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!”

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!”

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)

 

Lavecon 2018 – Beyond: News

On Saturday the 9th June 2018 Frontier attended the annual Lavecon meet and showcased some features coming in the Beyond Quarter 4 updates, as well as some things coming in the soon to be released Quarter 2 update.

You can see the details covering a large number of additions coming to Quarter 4 by visiting the page here. Changes to Quarter 2 can be seen here.

Beyond – Chapter Two Release Date

At 2:00pm on the 31st May 2018 Frontier announced the release details for Chapter Two of the Beyond series as well as a short teaser trailer. You can see them below or on the official forum here. The relevant pages on this website have been amended to reflect the new information.

“Greetings Commanders,

“We are pleased to announce that Chapter Two of the Beyond series of updates is right around the corner. In just under a month, you’ll be able to get your hands on the Alliance’s newest Chieftain variant: the Alliance Challenger. We’ve also got a selection of new wing missions, installation interactions, new settlements to explore and, to combat the ever-growing and ever-encroaching Thargoid threat, a cache of new Guardian weapons and technology from the Tech Brokers.

“And… you’ll be able to explore it all for yourselves on 28th June.

“This is the first of the two smaller instalments coming as part of the Elite Dangerous Beyond series of updates, with a larger coming in Q4 of this year, bringing Squadrons and improvements to Mining and Exploration, and much more! If you’d like to contribute ideas and find out more about what’s coming in the Q4 update, please check out our Focused Feedback forums here.

“Please find a summary of Chapter Two’s content below.

Summary of features:

New Ship: Challenger
The Alliance continue to refine their warships in the face of the looming Thargoid threat. The Alliance Challenger, envisaged as a frontline combat vessel, has stronger armour than its Chieftain counterpart and will be able to soak up a significant amount of punishment.

Wing Missions
First introduced in Chapter One of Beyond, we are introducing a range of new Wing Mission types for you and your fellow Commanders to take on!

Installation Interactions
In a similar fashion to the Megaship interactions, which were introduced in Chapter One, Commanders will now be able to scan and interact with Space Installations.

  • Scan – Scanning the installation will allow Commanders to see what they can interact with: Turrets, Comms Arrays and Cargo Bays.
  • Turret hack – Disable turrets protecting other potential hackable points. This will deactivate security measures put in place to protect the Comms Arrays and Cargo Bays.
  • Comms array – Get tradeable data from the Comms Array.
  • Cargo bay – Fire a limpet on the Cargo Bay to unlock and steal commodities and materials.

Tech Broker 
Tech Brokers will allow commanders to unlock large weapons versions of the existing guardian tech weapons. These Tech Brokers will issue missions to collect Guardian data as well as materials and then, once delivered, will unlock certain Guardian modules of weapons for purchase. Will you turn you weapons on Thargoid or use them to pirate rival Commanders?

Thargoid
Thargoids continue to be an intergalactic menace! With the Alliance introducing a new ship, the Thargoids intend to up their game too, introducing new Scouts that will buff other Scouts and increase their combat efficiency.”

Beyond: Focused Feedback – Powerplay

At 12:58pm on the 15th May 2018 Frontier opened up the feedback forum to possible changes to Power Play. You can see Sandro Sammarco’s suggestions below and contribute to the discussions here. These suggestions will be reflected on the The Future? “It’s on the list….” page in due course.

“Hello Commanders!

“As well as having a good old chew on Squadrons, we’re loading up a side order for the Focused Feedback Forum, because, frankly, we want to get more feedback! Importantly, this is an additional topic and does not replace the line-up announced earlier for Squadrons, Mining and Exploration.

“We’re considering a package of tweaks to Powerplay and we’d like your thoughts on them. Note that this is not a fait accompli, just something we’re investigating.

“The concept behind these changes is not to completely change Powerplay, but address a few important issues as efficiently and nicely as possible. Some of these changes are subtle, others very significant. The idea is that as a whole they form a rounded update that provides improvements to the core experience of Powerplay.

“As a flash topic, this will be the only thread, so all relevant replies can live in it. Please use the headings listed below with your replies to make it easier for us to process the thread, and of course, please remember the golden rule: your replies should be to us only. Feel free to debate with each other in non-sticky threads.

“What we’re looking for are your thoughts as to the ramifications of these changes based on the way you involve yourself in Powerplay, both positive and negative.

“With that in mind:

POWER PLAY PROPOSAL

Preparation Cycle Split

The first half of the cycle is available for preparation
• The second half of the cycle locks the current preparation values and enables voting

Vote to veto preparation

• Each player can vote to veto or support each preparation
• If a preparation ends the cycle with more veto votes than support votes it is removed from preparation
• Voting requires minimum, rolling time spent pledged and active for a power, somewhere into rank 2

Reasoning: these two changes in tandem are meant to make it easier to prevent bad systems from being prepared with minimal effort. Rather than use consolidation, which must be chosen blind in terms of both the final preparation for systems and the final resting place for the consolidation marker, here Commanders are voting on a fixed list and can choose precisely which systems they want to attempt to veto.

Vote to withdraw from system

• Each cycle players can vote on the 5 least profitable systems, to withdraw or support
• At the end of a cycle if a system has more withdraw votes than support votes it is removed from the power’s control
• Voting requires minimum, rolling time spent pledged and active for a power, somewhere into rank 2

Reasoning: currently there is no way to lose a bad control system other than hoping or colluding with opposing powers that it will end up being forced into turmoil. We think this vote is a legible and relatively safe way of allowing powers to shed chaff, as only systems that at a base level would be unprofitable would be eligible for withdrawal.


Profitability modifier applied to votes and preparation successes

• A system’s base profitability modifies preparation votes, withdraw votes and preparation successes
• Votes and successes for profitable systems are increased by a factor of 10

Reasoning: we think this modifier acts as another barrier against internal sabotage, forcing the saboteurs to work many more times harder to get the same effect as a Commander who has the power’s interests at heart.

Guaranteed undermine if 100% more than fortification

• A control system that is undermined by 100% more than the fortification value will be undermined even if the fortification trigger has been successfully met

Reasoning: We feel that Powerplay rules tend towards stagnation and status quo, which is not something we intended. Despite all the effort in the world, a power that fortifies enough, against values set by the game rather than in opposition to attack, can remain safe. This change allows sheer force of effort (or numbers) to guarantee systems end up being undermined, making deficit more likely. And to stop this happening, a power must directly compete against its enemies.

Overhead removal and slight increase to distance cost modifier

• Overhead upkeep costs are removed making a system’s base profitability static
• Distance modifier to upkeep is increased to maintain some sense of expansion “gravity”

Reasoning: Overheads are a way to prevent rampant expansion of powers. However, the cost is very high, as they cause an unavoidable amount of uncertainty when calculating CC at the cycle change, as well as just being another level of complexity. We think it would be better to remove them, increase the distance modifier to upkeep a bit, and live with powers that can expand more, as with the other changes in this package we hope that the result will be much more direct attack and dynamism caused by powers fighting each other.

Ethos Override 

• Ethos is only checked for the control system and the power
• If the power and controlling faction share the same superpower the power is always strong against the faction

Reasoning: this is a fairly straight forward override to ensure that – for example – Federal powers are always strong against federal factions. The other part of this change, to focus ethos on the control system only, is to make the process legible and focus Commanders in the same place, increasing the chance of conflict.

Missions give Powerplay successes

• Missions for factions in a system that share a power’s superpower award a number of Powerplay successes when completed
• The mission type determines how many successes are given
• Successes can be applied to expansion, opposition, fortification and undermining

Reasoning: one of the complaints of Powerplay is the limited actions available to support your power. We think that liking, in a very simple manner, missions for aligned factions and Powerplay successes allows Commanders increased variety in an efficient manner. The idea is not to replace the standard Powerplay activities, but to compliment them.

Open only

For clarity: Open only is being considered for Powerplay. Not anything else. Also, Open only would still be limited to platform, so no instanced crossplay.

• Powerplay contacts are only available to players in open
• Powerplay vouchers and commodities are destroyed if a player enters solo or private groups

Reasoning: We’ve saved the biggest change for last, as making Powerplay Open only goes way beyond the remit of a tweak. We’ve seen this topic discussed many times and we think it’s time we addressed it directly to get as much quality feedback as possible.

Powerplay is fundamentally about consensual player versus player conflict. We think that pretty much all of the systems and rules would benefit from being played out in Open only, as it would dramatically increase the chance of meeting other pledged players and being able to directly affect the outcomes of power struggles.”

Radio Lave: Mission Q&A

On the 27th March 2018 Radio Lave did an interview with Adam Bourke-Waite of Frontier on the way missions work in the game, what they involve and how they have evolved.  One interesting piece of information is that as of the weekend of 24th March there have been 1,673,246 completed missions. You can find the interview here starting at 18 mins 20 seconds.