Gaming

Elite Dangerous: Beyond – Chapter Four Patch Notes!

Closing out the end of the year nicely we have the final chapter in Elite Dangerous‘ Beyond series of updates now arriving on player’s machines everywhere. Containing improvements to systems related to vocations outside of combat (mining, exploration) as well as new community features with squadrons these are among many changes that I get the impression are trying to make the game a less lonely experience.

Go here for the original post from the Frontier Forums which also includes a big list of bug fixes (over 2000 addressed apparently, if not listed), but for those just wanting to know what’s new, the details are waiting for you below. I already have some immediate plans to dive into the game again during the next few days and will share my thoughts in the coming weeks. 🙂

New Features

Exploration

  • Discovery Scanner upgraded to include access to the new Full Spectral System (FSS) scanner mode
    • Players use the FSS Mode to discover stellar bodies, stellar phenomenon, USSs, scenarios, distress calls, mission targets and more
    • There is now only one Discovery Scanner available in game, which is based on the basic variant. Commanders that have purchased either the intermediate or advanced scanners will receive a credit refund
  • Detailed Surface Scanner upgraded to include access to brand new planet probes
    • Players can fire probes at bodies to gather data that can be sold.
    • Players can also use these probes to pinpoint places of interest on landable planets as well as uncover lucrative places in planetary rings to mine
    • Each body has a “probe efficiency” target; if the player maps 100% of the body using either the same or less than the target, they are awarded a bonus
  • Added “First Mapped By” tag – the first commander to 100% map a stellar body and sell the data at a port will be named for everyone to see
    • Players will be unable to map Sol, Achenar or Alioth as these systems are already fully mapped
  • Revamped look of the bonus popup when selling data
  • A credit bonus will be awarded for players that get either 100% first discovered or 100% first mapped in a system
  • Added new things to find!
  • Orrery view added – players can access the schematic orrery view of systems from the system map

 

Codex

  • Codex added to the ship’s internal (right hand) panel. The Codex contains:
    • Commander Stats
      • Logs important player statistics
      • Session Log records important game events for players review 
      • Archive holds all text and audio logs taken from the numerous narratives from across the galaxy
      • Audio logs can be added to the improved Playlist feature
    • Discoveries
      • Contains either rumored, reported or discovered entries from across the 42 different galactic regions
      • Discoveries are broken down in to 3 categories (Stellar Bodies, Biological and Geological, and Civilisations)
    • Knowledge base
      • Various articles from the rich history and lore of the Elite universe, from the history of the Super Powers, to important characters and corporations
      • Each article is narrated and can be added to the improved Playlist feature

The Codex will not include your retroactive discoveries or data. This was not something that was planned, or we were able to incorporate, as part of this feature. Clarification: the archive section of the codex, which is where audio logs (such as generation ship logs) should be historical, but the galactic regions section will not be, nor was ever planned to be.

 

Background Simulation

  • Factions can now be in multiple states within each system that they are present
  • Economic and Security status added
  • War, Civil War and Election states are now a 7 day conflict, where players engage in activities (such as winning conflict zones in War and Civil War states) and attempt to beat their opponents
  • Added a new ‘Happiness’ level for each faction, that is a combination of various states and influence. Happiness also plays into the Expansion state
  • Civil Liberty state added (part of the Security Status)
  • Added more information to the status tab in the right hand cockpit panel to help players manage/support factions
  • Existing Background Simulation states will be reset to ‘none’ to make way for these new changes.

 

Megaships and Installations

  • Added new megaships and installations
  • Applicable megaships will move location, on a weekly tick

 

Scenarios

  • Added new scenarios with voice over direction and feedback, and on screen choices and objectives
  • Scenarios come in the form of USSs, Megaship, Installations and Conflict Zones
  • Conflict zones are now round based; players battle to win a round which then feeds into the war state
    • Side objectives can appear, and if the player completes them, they are awarded a points boost
    • Once a round has finished, a new one will begin after a short pause
  • Combat specific ambient chatter added.
  • Ambient chatter now is now in place throughout the entire game and not just around stations.
  • 3000 + lines of NPC dialogue added to support scenario driven gameplay.

 

Lighting 

  • Added new lighting model, using dynamic exposure
  • Colour grading applied to various situations in the game, improving the look and feel of the game world
  • Added a new ‘Night Vision’ mode to Ships, Fighters and SRVs, to allow players to navigate dark sides of planets, rings and other areas of the game

 

Cockpit UI

  • External Ship panel (left hand side)
    • Combined ‘clear filters’ option with the ‘set filters’ option on the Navigation panel
    • Added filters to the Transaction tab
    • Added context sensitive, quick action button to contacts (such as ‘Request Docking’ when targeting a port)
    • Combined sub-targets and inventory into a new ‘Target’ tab, with filters
  • Comms Panel (top left)
    • Reordered the tabs
    • Added support for combining channels in to one main chat channel, or set them as separate tabs
    • Options added to give the player the ability to combine chat channels in to a tab, or split them out
    • Added the ability to select any Commander in a chat channel to interact with them (incl. invite to wing, invite to crew, voice comms, invite to squadron, block, report, direct comms, and view gamercard where applicable)
    • Added a binding to select a different chat channel in the input field
    • Combined invitations and multicrew tabs together in to a ‘Social’ tab which includes:
      • Multicrew (find crew, join a ship)
      • Friends invites
      • Wing invites
      • Online friends
    • Squadron feed tab added
  • Internal Panel (right hand side)
    • Added a new ‘Home’ tab that replaces the previous status tab
      • Includes new buttons to launch various features (holo-me, squadrons, codex, powers, Galnet etc)
      • Also include better Playlist feedback
    • Replaced fire groups “1, 2, 3…” with “A, B, C…” to avoid confusion between group and fire buttons
    • Added new contextual ‘Ship’ tab that replaces the ‘Functions’ tab and includes sections for ‘Ship Preferences’, ‘Pilot Preferences’ and ‘Ship Stats’
    • Inventory tab now has icon filters instead of text filters, increasing usable screen space
    • Improved refinery layout that includes the ships cargo capacity
    • Updated ‘Status’ tab to now include local faction information, Super Power and Powerplay status, a Session Log digest, info on Finances and acquired Permits all in a more legible way
    • New Playlist feature that replaces the GalNet player, allowing players to queue and manage several types of media (GalNet news articles, codex articles, inbox audio logs etc.)

 

Text Chat Channels

  • New star system wide text chat now available
  • Profanity filter added, with a toggle to turn it off

 

Friends and Group Management

  • Improved layout and pagination to display large numbers of friends or groups
  • Display last online activity
  • Improved Search functionality : search results are now players only, allowing you to add to friends or to join private group
  • Improved popup to interact with friends / Commanders / private groups
  • Improved visibility of friends statuses (online + mode / offline / blocked)

 

Localised COVAS

  • Added 5 free localised COVAS packs:
    • Luciana : Spanish
    • Maksim: Russian
    • Vitoria: Brazillian Portuguese
    • Gerhard: German
    • Amelie: French

 

Squadrons

  • Players can now create a Squadron (for a credit fee), or browse existing ones to join from the right hand cockpit panel
  • Play style tags can be used when creating a Squadron, and as a filter when browsing existing ones
  • Squadrons can be aligned to a Superpower, Power and a Faction
    • Squadron allegiance page allows in depth data on chosen Faction
  • Squadrons can take part in the various leaderboards, and compete for the top spot
  • Squadron feed tab in the Comms panel lists certain events, as well as Public and Internal posts
  • Squadron management tools (applicable to certain ranks):
    • Invite Commanders to join
    • Kick lower ranked members
    • Promote/demote lower ranked members
    • Change lower ranked privilages
    • Create posts
    • Accept applications
    • Set if the Squadron is accepting new members
    • Join in the Leader text chat channel

 

Mining

  • 3 new mining processes added (in addition to the standard mining laser process)
    • Surface Deposits – material deposits that can be found on the surface of asteroids
    • Sub-surface Deposits – material deposits that can be found below the surface of an asteroid
    • Fissures – setting the correct ‘Seismic charge’ into fissures will split the asteroid apart, allowing the deep core materials to be mined
    • Added new high value materials
  • 4 new mining tools added to outfitting
    • Pulse wave Analyser – a scanner used to pinpoint asteroids that support the new extraction processes
    • Abrasion Blaster – used to break off surface material deposits from asteroids
    • Sub-surface Displacement Missile – Allows recovery of sub-surface material deposits from asteroids
    • Seismic Charge Launcher – Allows recovery of deep core materials by splitting the asteroid apart

 

New Ships

Krait Phantom (Faulcon DeLacy)

With a spacious cargo hold and a relatively generous quantity of hardpoints, the Krait Phantom is a versatile ship suited to a range of roles. It has enough firepower to hold its own against larger targets, and enough straight-line speed to outpace smaller targets. The ship also offers eight internal compartments, allowing the pilot to tailor the ship to their requirements. And while it lacks the firepower and fighter bay of its sister ship, the Krait Mk II, it is both faster and lighter.

  • 2 large and 2 medium hardpoints
  • 8 Internal optional slots
  • Top speed of 256m/s and a boost speed of 358m/s
  • 8.23LY laden FSD range

Mamba (Zorgon Peterson)

Based on an unreleased racing prototype, the Mamba is one of the fastest ships in production. It can also deliver a lot of punishment, boasting one huge and two large hardpoints. This emphasis on firepower and speed means the ship can hit hard and fast, vanishing before the target has a chance to react. Comparisons to the Fer-de-Lance, also produced by Zorgon Peterson, will be inevitable, but the Mamba is in fact faster in a straight line, while being slightly less maneuverable. 

  • 1 huge, 2 large and 2 small hardpoints
  • 5 internal optional slots
  • Top speed of 316m/s and a boost speed of 387m/s
  • 6.37LY laden FSD range

 

Quality of Life

  • Display a notification icon to indicate new bindings are available to the player
  • Starport contacts now displayed as a grid, rather than a flat list
  • Added icon to info panel to show players if their ship or SRV lights are on
  • Audio Options screen:
    • Added “Wavescanner Autoducking” option. Disable this to hear the SRV wavescanner more clearly at high speeds
    • Audio Options screen is reorganised for more clarity and ease of use
    • Restore defaults button added
    • The default position on the Audio volume sliders is now indicated.
    • The child volume sliders can now be boosted above the default value.
    • Important note: your volume sliders will be reset to default position when you first run 3.3.

Elite Dangerous is out now for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

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4 replies »

  1. Sounds like some interesting changes. I haven’t checked in on Elite since shortly after Horizons launched and I wish I had a bit more time to spend with it! Unfortunately it feels like one of those games that will very much “take over” and monopolise my attention if I let its claws get in too deep…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exploration prior to this felt a little like something you do to earn money easily by pressing a button (I’ve even recommended that) but these changes make players work harder for it. Hopefully it is a good thing! 🙂

      Like

      • With the amount of time it can take just to get yourself earning decent credits I can understand you keeping a safe distance from ED. If you end up liking the grind you could be playing the game for a VERY long time!

        Like

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