Welcome to Elite Dangerous Newsletter #77.
This week we're talking Powerplay in a week when beta players have been conquering the galaxy and helping us test the update before the full release goes live, free to all Elite Dangerous players.
Hudson has proven to be the most backed Power during the beta test, with Arissa Lavigny-Duval coming in a close second, but all the Powers get a fresh start when Powerplay begins in the full Elite Dangerous galaxy.
Read on for a look at the present and future of Powerplay in Michael Brookes' Developer Update, six of our favourite new features you'll find alongside the new Powerplay mode, which includes a major update to the missions system and an exclusive peek at what lies behind the silhouettes of our beta frontrunners.
As always, you can hear the latest news and updates directly from the development team on our Forums, Twitter, Facebook and right here in the newsletter every week, and we're always eager to hear your feedback. Have a great weekend!
The Extra Features Of Powerplay
Of course, the standout feature of the Powerplay content update is the mode after which it's named. Powerplay makes the galaxy a hotbed of activity as players back their powers in an epic battle for galactic conquest and control, but the Powerplay mode isn't where the content update ends.
Here are six of the team's favourite features that will change the way you play when Powerplay goes live. They're just a taste of the countless new features you'll find when you log into Elite Dangerous for the first time after Powerplay is released.
1. Mining is a money-maker.
After Powerplay you'll find dedicated mining missions, high and low intensity extraction sites, new minerals and increased occurrences of higher value resources. Take care, because mining is more dangerous at the pirate-infested high intensity sites.
2. Automate your busy life with drones.
New Drones can assist with mining, collecting cargo and trading fuel with your wing. Drones are single-use consumable items that can be assigned to a firegroup and launched with a set purpose, whether it's to send fuel to a friend, collect a single canister or collect clusters of stray items floating in space.
3. Automated turrets are smarter.
Turrets will now only fire upon legitimate enemies, and accidental turret fire won't register as an assault. A five percent movement boost makes them a little snappier in a crisis, too, making them altogether more useful on any ship.
4. Criminal enterprises have the tools to succeed.
Smuggling illegal goods is now even more lucrative. Narcotics are subject to higher demand and inflated prices, players receive a higher percentage for black market sales, and all sales now apply to your Trading rank. Finally, Black Markets can be located on the galaxy map, so no more wasted trips for the galaxy's criminal element.
5. Easier progress tracking.
Your progress to Elite is now visible at a glance on the Status UI panel. It's a long road to Elite but with new mission system and Powerplay to explore, you might find your rank increasing faster than ever.
6. New missions.
In Powerplay you'll find an upgraded mission system. Mining missions and new branching missions are just two highly visible benefits, and combat pilots may find enemies appearing in Super Cruise a long way from their old stomping grounds at the Unidentified Signal Sources. It all makes for a more dynamic and unpredictable galaxy.
And all this just scratches the surface of a 5,000 word changelog filled with tweaks, changes, upgrades, new features, an even better background simulation and two new ships. We want to thank everyone helping us test Powerplay right now, and we can't wait to read and watch everyone's reactions when Powerplay goes live.
Newsletter Peek Of The Week
Princess Aisling Duval as she will appear in Powerplay.
Newsletter Peek Of The Week - Extra
Breaking news here, with an in-fiction Peek Of The Week. When Powerplay goes live you'll find the ship we've been calling the Diamondback is now the Diamondback Scout. Here's a peek at its in-game history.
"The Diamondback Scout is Lakon Spaceways’ attempt to repeat the success of the Asp range at a medium price point. The result was a combat capable ship with good jump capability and was pitched as a light long range reconnaissance ship. After the ship’s maiden flight it was criticized for not having the same versatility as the Asp, but it has seen modest success in the long range reconnaissance, long range interceptor and fast picket ship roles for organisations not able or willing to invest in the heavy price tag of the Asp."
From the desk of Elite Dangerous Executive Producer Michael Brookes...
"The Powerplay beta was released this week on both PC and Mac and it’s great to see people playing it and providing feedback. This update has a huge number of changes and the feedback has been rolling in and a big thanks to everyone who have submitted comments and issues. Obviously the star of the show is Powerplay and it’s a big beast so keep playing it and letting us know what you encounter. I’m sure many of you will join me in helping Archon Delaine’s rampage across human space!
Another big change is the mission system, so much is new that any incomplete missions you have in progress at the time of the update will be removed from your mission list when the update goes live to the public. You will not be penalised for not completing them, but also won’t be rewarded, so complete them before then if they matter to you. This is expected to be next week, but will depend on what feedback comes in and what changes need to be made. Once the date is firm we’ll let you know.
We had intended to update the game to support the latest Oculus SDK release 0.6.0.0, as part of our ongoing support for virtual reality. However this latest SDK breaks the game. We’re working with Oculus to try and resolve this and will let you know when there is news on that. In the meantime we will continue to support the previous SDK release and will be including some specific fixes during the beta, for example making sure that the Powerplay map renders correctly to both eyes.
The implementation of the 90% money back/10% charge for selling back used modules and weapons has proved to be a popular discussion! It was always the intention that you shouldn't be able to swap parts of your ship for free and the way most of us here play the game is to own several ships for differing roles – I tend not to sell any of my ships and spec them out for different roles. It is clear that some of you take a different approach to how you set up your ships and that is exactly what a beta is for – to gain feedback on changes. So we’ll take the comments onboard from all sides of the discussion and make a call on this before the end of beta. After all this sort of thing is what beta is for.
There is one last new feature to be added before the beta is finished and that is the updated Newsfeeds. The GalNet news in Station Services will supply local news items only, but the new cockpit user interface is being added so that global news items can be accessed at any time, anywhere. These news items can now even include links to take you to the relevant system for the news item."
And a late-breaking additional Developer Update...
"There’s a hot off the press item about a change to the bounty system for you.
Another new change is coming to the Powerplay beta to how the bounties system works. The length of time bounties are active will scale according to the level of the bounty. So at the bottom end – an assault charge, for example – you would receive a bounty, but the time it remains active will be quite low, say 15 minutes. For more serious crimes the time will increase according to the value of the bounty, so at 1,000 credits it’s a day and up to a cap of seven days for bounties of 7,000 credits or higher. The active time will increase if you commit further crimes, so committing numerous assault crimes will increase the bounty value and the time that it is active. We think this will provide better proportionality for crimes that are committed."
Elite Dangerous Ambassador CMDR Abacus tweeted a selection of images of six commanders meeting at Sagittarius A*. The two Anacondas in the screens were already present, and greeted the four newcomers. They told CMDR Abacus and his fellow pilots that they were acting as protectors for any Commanders who choose to visit the centre of the galaxy. The group had already taken down the infamous SagA Sniper, who was picking off unsuspecting explorers as they arrived.
Are you thinking of making a trip to Sagittarius A*? If so, maybe you’ll be greeted by the Sagittarius A* guardian angels, CMDR Zsakenz and CMDR Anuranium.
YouTuber ifxgamer made this video of the Imperial Courier. Take a look if you haven't seen it in action yet. Everyone will have a chance to fly the new Imperial ship soon.
CMDR Max Jacobs posted this picture on Reddit, of the ‘lousy bumper sticker’ that he received for taking part in the Buckyball Run A*. You can find out how to get one of your own and take part in this amazing community initiative by visiting the Buckyball Run forum thread.