It was a busy day of updates for PC Elite: Dangerous, especially the Steam version.
First up was the 126.96.36.199 update for Elite Dangerous: Horizons which had numerous fixes for the Close Quarters Combat mode but there was also the announcement that CQC itself would also be spun off into a separate product called Elite Dangerous: Arena. The intent is to have something for those players only interested in PvP and give them a taste of the game at a greatly reduced price. Current players have nothing to fear though as CQC/Arena will still be available as part of the main package.
Finally, there will be some changes happening to how Elite: Dangerous will appear in the Steam marketplace with Elite Dangerous: Horizons being folded back into the original game and marked as DLC. This means no duplication of the games in your Steam library and a better organised product but you will lose the individual Steam stats tracking for each version of the game.
I’m encouraged by the change as it would become a messy proposition if the game ends up having a long lifespan with multiple expansions. It will hopefully mean also that the Xbox One version will soon work the same way when the expansion arrives there later in the year.
The announcement from the Frontier forums is as follows:
Today we are very excited to announce the launch of a new stand-alone product, Elite Dangerous: Arena. Arena is the PVP mode already in Elite Dangerous so all players who own Elite Dangerous or Elite Dangerous: Horizons will already have access to it. Simply select Arena (previously labelled CQC) from the in-game main menu to play.
However, we believe Elite Dangerous: Arena is a compelling game in its own right and want to offer it to players whose main goal is to play fast paced PVP space combat action. This will open Elite Dangerous to a whole new group of players, all of whom you can play against in the Close Quarter Combat Championships (CQC) in Arena mode in Elite Dangerous and Elite Dangerous: Horizons. So if you haven’t played CQC already we have a number of challenges starting today that you can join in with.
Elite Dangerous: Arena is available to new players right now on our store and on steam for £4.99/$7.49.
Click here to learn more about Arena.
Mayhem Launch Celebrations
To celebrate today’s launch we decided to run a series of events for everybody who can play CQC to get involved in.
– CQC Mayhem – <
Visit our blog post on the Elite Dangerous community site to see our huge schedule of Mayhem events, and to find out how you can get involved.
– Official Launch Livestream – Three hours of CQC with the developers starting at 6PM GMT on our official YouTube Channel. Come and test your skills against six different members of the development team, and be in the chance of winning prizes for taking part.
– The Gladiators Challenge – During the first four weeks after the launch of Arena (16 February – 15 March), three named accounts beginning with ‘FDEV’ will be playing CQC on an ad hoc, but regular, basis. If you manage to get in a game with them, and take a screenshot, you will be entered into a prize draw. There will be 5 amazing prizes up for grabs in the draw including…
2 x Premium Elite Dangerous goodie bags, including a cap, a beanie, three faction mugs, signed artwork. Every paint job in the Elite Dangerous store is also up for grabs.
2 x Elite Dangerous: Horizons Season passes.
1 x Every paint job in the Elite Dangerous store!
The draw will be done on March 16.
To be in the chance to win, all you have to do is get into a CQC match with either FDEV Rhino, FDEV Wolf or FDEV Jet, take a screenshot of you playing against them (perhaps the leaderboard at the end of the game), and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘CQC Gladiators’. Your email address will be added to the list of entries, and winners will be drawn at random at the end of the four weeks.
And the 188.8.131.52 patch notes as announced:
Greetings commanders! We have an update on the way this morning. We expect for the downtime to last for up to an hour starting at 10AM GMT+0.
Below are the changes! Enjoy!
– OSX: Fix OSX users not being able to save bindings
– Stop excessive wheel damage causing an insta-kill on the SRV
– Fix for an error in Ship Landing Sensors
– If a POI spawner gets replicated to us and we are on a platform that does not support it, then put it into an invalid state which will cause it to do nothing
– Fix for data link scanner not scanning when the option ‘Firing deploys hardpoints’ is disabled
– i Sola Prospect in the Brestla star system now always stocks all ships and modules
– Never display the online/offline status of members of large private groups
– Fix the level of demand shown in Commodity Markets when the stock level reaches 0
– Various server performance and reliability improvements
Close Quarters Combat
– Fix an error on the server when a Deathmatch game starts
– Fix the splash at the end of a game showing incorrect results
– Fix the team balancing to account for player rank correctly
– Fix a server error for when a player joins shortly after the lobby enters the initialising state
– Make sure we don’t mark a CQC game as about to end when its in the loading state
– Adjusted how teams are set up in CQC games so make them more balanced
– If someone joins a CQC match when the current game has less than 1 minute left, then have them wait on the lobby screen for the next match instead of joining a game about to end
– Hold on to CQC spawn points for longer to avoid spawning on top of a ship
– Lowered the min damage threshold for getting an assist on a player in CQC
– Remove the first blood bonus from capture the flag mode
– Remove the highest score bonus from free-for-all games as the highest score will be the winner, so they ended up double dipping for XP when winning
– When you accept a pending CQC invite, then decline any other invite you have
– Fix CQC Loadouts not always being saved
– Updated translations for some languages.
Server Side Changes
– Fixed some missing Powerplay system effects
– Updated galactic mean commodity prices