Beyond: Open Beta Announcement

On the 12th January 2018 Frontier announced that the open beta for owners of Elite: Dangerous Horizons on PC & Mac will begin on the 25th January 2018. A teaser video can be seen below and a full rundown of all content in 2.4 can be found here. Details from Frontier can be seen below and here:

Greetings commanders,

At Frontier Expo 2017, we revealed the first details of season 3 of Elite Dangerous, called Elite Dangerous: Beyond – you can watch back the announcements here. Throughout 2018 we’re bringing four Beyond updates to Elite Dangerous Commanders which focus on adding new content, uncovering and progressing the mysteries of the galaxy and enhancing existing core gameplay experiences. These updates will consist of a number of additions with the first update detailed below, followed by two smaller content updates through the year and our largest update coming in Q4. Each update will be a new Chapter in the Elite Dangerous: Beyond season.

Today we’re pleased to announce that you’ll be able to test Chapter 1 of the series in the open beta coming to all PC Elite Dangerous and Elite Dangerous: Horizons players on Thursday 25 January!

As always we welcome your feedback in our dedicated feedback livestreams, and on the beta and bug report forums. These beta tests have always been an incredibly useful and valuable part of development, and Beyond Chapter 1 will be no exception. Because of the huge number of core feature enhancements, the introduction of a new ship, and other numerous additions and improvements, we want to be sure that as many of you are able to experience and test the beta first-hand, for that reason we have decided to open this beta to all players of Elite Dangerous and Elite Dangerous: Horizons on PC.

We’ll publish a full list of changes on beta launch day, but come along to our content livestreams on Tuesday 16 January at 7PM GMT and Thursday 18 January at 7PM GMT for a closer look at everything in this update. In the meantime, you can see a short summary of some of the features below.


New Ship: Chieftain 
Elite Dangerous Horizons Commanders will also be able to take to the stars in the new Alliance Chieftain, designed not only to dish out punishment, but to avoid it. Manufactured by Lakon Spaceways, the Chieftain is more manoeuvrable than ships of similar size and weight, and its combat profile means it can more than hold its own in a fight.

Improved Core Mechanics 
Chapter 1 of Beyond will bring improvements to some of Elite Dangerous’ core mechanics, including accessibility enhancements to the engineering mechanics, an overhaul of mission rewards and big changes to crime and punishment. We’ll be sharing more information on the changes to Crime and Punishment, and the Engineers in a future post here on the forums and in the live streams mentioned above.

Wing Missions
Chapter 1 of Beyond will give you the chance to take on wing missions with your fellow Commanders, sharing both the efforts and rewards.

Revised Trade Data 
Commanders will now be able to access trade data from systems they have previously visited, in order to make more informed decisions when shipping goods across the Milky Way.

Planetary Visual Improvements 
Chapter 1 also includes the first of the planetary visual improvements coming as part of the Beyond series of updates (with more surface level improvements coming later in the year) bringing a new vibrancy to the Elite Dangerous galaxy.

GalNet Audio 
With the introduction of GalNet Audio, you will be able to catch up on the latest news from across the galaxy without ever leaving the action.

2.4: The Return – Frontier Update

Frontier have posted some information regarding the release of 2.4: The Return on the official forum as of 7.11pm this evening.

“Hi everyone,

“We’ve been noticing a lot of conversations and speculation regarding when 2.4 will be released, and many are guessing at this week. To respond to all of these speculations in one go, in the interest of managing expectations and being open in our communications with you, we wanted to give you a clearer idea about when we’ll give you that information.

“In the stream next week on Thursday 14 September at 7PM BST, we’ll be bringing on our developers for a lore live stream where we’ll discuss some of the story in preparation for 2.4 so that you’re ready for when the update comes. We’ll also be giving more information about the launch of 2.4 The Return, and a date of when you can expect to be exploring the content for yourself!

“Thank you for your participation in the recent betas, and thank you for your patience so far. We’re excited to bring you 2.4 The Return and look forward to the discoveries that the community makes about our alien visitors.”

2.4 – The Return

On the 13th June 2017 Frontier announced that the 2.4 update will feature the return of the Thargoids. You can see the short promotion trailer for it below.

 

The release date will fall between July and September 2017. As described on the Frontier forum,

“The Return will play out differently to previous releases in Elite Dangerous: Horizons, with content and story beats affecting all Commanders releasing in the months following its initial release.

“As a story-centric update, showing too much ahead of time would spoil the surprise and make for a lesser experience for the community. We want The Return to surprise and shock you as much as possible, but that said, you can expect for further reveals and information about the future of Elite at various community and gaming events throughout the year, such as the upcoming Lavecon.

“David Braben talks about the history of the Thargoids, and about how 2.4 The Return will unfold, in the video we posted to our YouTube account:”

 Further details will be added to this page as and when it is known.

The Return: 1.9 & 2.4

Updated: 20th December 2017

The 1.9 & 2.4 update was released on the 26th September 2017. It is the final release in the Horizons season of Elite: Dangerous. Unlike previous releases content will be rolled out alongside the ongoing Thargoid narrative, so not all the content is available on initial release.


> Background & Trailers

>
Frontier have released two short trailers for the game followed by the official cinematic trailer called ‘Commander Chronicles: Retaliation’.

Earlier trailers.

Trailer for Thargoids attacking stations – 14th December 2017

Frontier commented,

“Previously we’ve held live streams on the run up to our releases, featuring details all about the features in the update. However, due to the nature of this update we wouldn’t want to spoil the narrative or interactions that the community will have so we won’t be broadcasting these reveal streams in the build up to the upcoming beta for 2.4. We’ll still keep things going with small sneak peeks here and there, but largely we really want you to discover 2.4’s secrets for yourself. After release, we’ll be hosting streams that focus on the narrative, explaining what our Commanders are discovering, explaining how you can get involved and hinting at things to come.

“Although you won’t see them in the beta, from day one after 2.4’s final release the Thargoids will make their return. We can’t wait to see your interactions with the most mysterious and terrifying things you’ll have seen in the Elite Dangerous galaxy to date. The dev team have put a lot of love in to 2.4 and we can’t wait to share that hard work with you.”

[…]

“The Return will play out differently to previous releases in Elite Dangerous: Horizons, with content and story beats affecting all Commanders releasing in the months following its initial release.

“As a story-centric update, showing too much ahead of time would spoil the surprise and make for a lesser experience for the community. We want The Return to surprise and shock you as much as possible, but that said, you can expect for further reveals and information about the future of Elite at various community and gaming events throughout the year, such as the upcoming Lavecon.

[…]

“Thargoids will put us on the back foot. Human technology is made to defeat other humans, not Thargoids. A few new things, that might be surprising, fun and very challenging and we hope you relish the challenge. It won’t just be Thargoids with new weapons. It will mark a new way of doing things. There will be narrative feeds and changes as it goes along. It is an exciting change for us to see how it pans out.”

David Braben did a short piece to camera about the Thargoids and their history. You can see this below.


> NEW FEATURES & CONTENT

>
Content marked with a + signifies Horizons only.

Note: Only the major changes are listed here and as mentioned above many features of 2.4 are not listed due to the nature of the release.

For the full patch notes, please see here

thingy


New Locations

  • Mysterious locations added.

New Ship

The Type-10 Defender variant was introduced to the game on the 20th December 2017.


Weapons

At Lavecon 2017 Frontier announced a few new updates coming with 2.4. These can be seen below:

  • ‘A suite of weapons, modules and devices’ that will be used against the Thargoids:

Synthesis

Synthesis can now create:

  • Heat sinks
  • Chaff,
  • Limpets
  • Top up life support

Repair Limpets

Repair limpets can now be used to fix your for hull/canopy. (to be used on yourself or other ships)

A hull repair limpet in operation

Updated Route Plotting

Various changes to the route plotting system have been made.

  • Maximum route plotting range is now 20Kly
  • Route plotting is much faster
  • Option to make use of neutron star boost when plotting routes
  • Icon on route to show the last scoopable star before running out of fuel
jump
Changes to Route Plotting

UI Improvements

There have been changes to the inbox which will give a slightly different look and feature some quality of life improvements.


Search & Rescue Agents

Frontier have added new and improved salvage scenarios added to support search and rescue gameplay as well as making salvage commodities legal to pick up from wreck sites (although they will still appear illegal if dropped by ships as that is not salvage).

Search & Rescue Agent contact and also a Science & Research Contact.
Search & Rescue Agent missions look to be a part of 2.4 and look like featuring multi-part quests to collect various items from crashed/lost ships.
Screenshot showing the completion of a search and rescue mission.

  • Improvements to salvageable wreckage and occupied cryopods:

Missions

  • New Chained Missions – Which can be longer than two steps
  • Follow-on missions can include more data about previous missions in the chain
  • Added support for missions allocating additional rewards based on station distance from the jump-in point
  • Added support for missions allocating additional rewards based on station distance from the jump-in point
  • Changes to the way missions are generated which will mean a greater number and variety available from the missions board. See comments here.

Changes to Crime & Punishment:

  • Ship Re-buy Penalty – When a player commits the crime of murder (PvP only), an additional cost is added if they swap to a less expensive ship before paying legal costs during the rebuy flow.
  • Pilot’s Federation Bounty – When a player commits the crime of murder (PvP only), they receive an additional Pilot’s Federation Bounty. This bounty is valid in every jurisdiction except anarchies.
  • Federation bounties – If you attack a Player (not NPC) you also get a Pilots Federation Bounty, in addition to any normal bounty, which is valued everywhere.
  • Pay-off re-buy costs and fines with other ships – wherever you have them.

Audio

  • Music system – This has been replaced and the existing music should behave exactly as before. It is now much more maintainable and enjoyable to use
  • Radio chatter – The radio chatter system works differently under the hood now, enabling Frontier to do “cool magic chatter” based things in the future. Existing chatter lines should function the same as before (around star ports and planet ports).
  • Flight controllers – This system also works differently now to be far more flexible and pave the way for future awesomes.

Holo-Me +

  • Added save slots for different Commander appearances in the Holo-Me system
  • Added 12 new hairstyles
  • Added slots for Eyewear and Outfits

 

2.3: The Commanders – Release Day!

On the 11th April at 9:24am Frontier announced that the servers were down in preparation for the release of The Commanders. They will remain so until around 6:00pm (BST) this evening. Whilst you are waiting Frontier have organised a couple of events as below – click the links:

Reddit: David Braben – Ask Me Anything at 11am

Frontier: Live stream – Youtube at 2pm

Frontier Store: Buy Horizons Season Pass

Frontier Store: Nameplates


Information & Updates to this blog following today’s events

The Commanders: Preview

The Commanders: Frontier Patch Notes

Elite Dangerous: Current Features List

Elite Dangerous: Blog Updates (Following Reddit AMA)

 You can view the new trailer below.