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Elite Dangerous Newsletter #107 - From Frontier Developments
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Hello Commander,
 
Welcome to Elite Dangerous Newsletter #107.

This week, we're showing off some settlement assault action, puzzling over brilliant 'barnacles', lifting the lid on 'Engineers' that are coming to Elite Dangerous in Michael Brookes' info-packed Dev Update, telling you about our PAX South plans (including details on how you can get a guaranteed exclusive PAX South paint job), catching up with the latest GalNet news, telling you how you can get a PC Gamer exclusive paint job for free (that's two new paint jobs this week!), and much more. 

As always, you can hear the latest news and updates directly from the development team on our Forums, TwitterFacebook, Community Homepageand right here in the newsletter every week, and we're always eager to hear your feedback. 

Contents This Week

The Great Barnacle Discovery

The first barnacles have been discovered by human explorers - taken by Gaius Tiberius
Congratulations go to CMDR Octo, who discovered the first location of the mysterious objects that the community have labelled 'barnacles'. Octo took to his stream nearly immediately to share his discovery in the Merope system. Before long the system was crowded with explorers, looking for a piece of the action.

People have been searching for 'barnacles' ever since they caught a glimpse of something strange in the Elite Dangerous: Horizons launch trailer. Although no evidence has been corroborated, suspicions are high that these discoveries are related to the Unknown Artefacts that many Commanders have been analyzing for a while now. 

For those interested to join the massive explorer party that's happening in the Merope system, you can find the barnacles on MEROPE 5 C at the following coordinates: -026.3496° -156.4044°. Meanwhile the search for more barnacles in the area continues, and the scientific Commanders in the community are puzzling over the strange sounds emitting from these unusual objects. What could they possibly mean?

If you'd like to learn more about the history behind the barnacle hunt, watch Obsidian Ant's video on the subject by clicking the image below. Keep scrolling through to see more images of the 'barnacles'.

Upgrade to Elite Dangerous: Horizons now for just £30.
Approaching the barnacles for the first time - taken by Freedom Dude
CMDR Bruce Humblehand and his wingmates survey a barnacle site
Vyk 'Rahn Darzhul took this snapshot of the barnacles glowing at night

Horizons Highlights

It's been a busy few weeks for the 1.4 million Commanders blazing their own trail in the Elite Dangerous Galaxy. Since the launch of Elite Dangerous: Horizons we've been blown away by the countless images, videos and stories you've been sending our way, such as the image below from Victoria Greenwood.
And this beautiful shot of five commanders meeting before the Distant Worlds adventure taken by Liger95.
Settlement assaults are a new and exciting part of the Planetary Landings gameplay in Elite Dangerous: Horizons, and your videos and images have shown you can tailor your approach to your own play style. This tutorial video from Captain Hooch shows how you should conduct yourself during an action-packed settlement assault, with some good pointers on how you can approach this intense activity from the skies.
Chronicvideography, on the other hand, shows how the same assault can be done from the ground.
We want to see some videos and images of you and your wingmates taking these settlements down together from both air and land. Send them to community@frontier.co.uk and we'll collate a library of our favourites, sharing them on our social media channels throughout the week.

Remember, you can upgrade to Elite Dangerous: Horizons now for £30.
From the desk of Michael Brookes:

This week sees the release of the latest Xbox One Content Update, this brings the Xbox One version into line with the season one components of the PC/Mac 2.02 release.

Characterisation and a more personal connection to the game world has always been one of the goals for Elite: Dangerous. It’s such a massive play space that it’s easy to feel dwarfed by it and the contacts inside the game can feel quite impersonal and so only enhance that perception. In an interesting coincidence I saw some lovely concept that fans had created for personalities and as part of the mission flow. This is something that we’re working on as part of the 2.1 release (as with the 2.0x point releases some of the changes will be applicable to season one owners).

We’ll leverage the work we’ve done on that Commander Creator to provide head shots of specific contacts. The focus for this will be mission givers and engineers (these are loot characters) and the intention is that every mission giver in game (and something similar for the minor factions) will be a specific individual. This should be consistent for all players.

Your relationship with the minor faction will determine who within that organisation you will deal with, so the better your relationship with them, the higher level character you will deal with. So maintaining a decent reputation with that minor faction is a wise policy!

As well as providing a face for your interactions with that minor faction they will offer more information about how the minor faction is doing and how you can help them. This will be accompanied by a number of changes to missions to facilitate this, there will be more details on this over the coming weeks.

Engineers are individuals with their own characteristics, history and specialisations who will facilitate crafting. They are spread throughout human space and they are the people to see about implementing changes to your weapons and modules. The release of season two saw the first steps in loot and crafting and this will developed to a much greater degree in 2.1 - we’ll delve into more details on this soon as well.

Over the past year we’ve made a number of changes to some of the visuals (most notable are the asteroids) to improve performance – note that this had nothing to do with the Xbox One release as that uses a different profile. This has impacted the visual quality of the asteroids and we will be addressing some of the causes of that in the 2.1 release. Some of those changes were due to changes in other areas of the game (such as environment map capture) needing to be rebalanced. Whatever the cause we’re evaluating the lighting, fog, shadows and loading issues. Some of these fixes we may limit to certain graphics quality options to make sure all our players enjoy good performance and improved visuals with respect to their systems capabilities.

Elite Dangerous at PAX South

The new year begins with a bang, as we warm up the ASP's engines, and get the cargo hold ready for another trip to San Antonio Texas. Last year's PAX South was a blast, and with the plans we have for this year, we expect it to be even better. We'll be at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio from the 29th to the 31st of January. Read on to find out how you can claim an exclusive PAX South paint job, whether you're at the event or not!

If you're lucky enough to be coming to PAX South, visit our booth and chat with the ambassadors, Ed from the community team and other Frontier developers, try out Elite Dangerous on one of the stations we've got set up there, and see the streamers broadcasting live from the show floor.

Don't fret if you can't afford make it to Texas, because we'll be setting up a streaming schedule too. We'll have more details on the exact schedule in next week's newsletter, but streamers include Bad News Baron, Mr Boombati, Blue Drake 42, Crass Kitty, and Edward Lewis (on the official Elite Dangerous account). 

Everybody likes gaming event swag, and by watching the Elite Dangerous streams you'll be able to avoid all those lines and get some of your own from the comfort of your chair at home. We're giving away an exclusive PAX South paint job to absolutely everyone who watches the stream - so make sure you tune in to find out how you can claim yours.We'll be giving away the paint job to anyone who visits our booth and plays the game, too!

To everyone who can make it to the event, see you soon! To everybody else, we're looking forward to transmitting a little bit of that event spirit back to you at home.

The Danger Zone - Episode 4: New Blood

Join us on Tuesday January 19 for episode four of The Danger Zone, on our official YouTube channel at 7PM GMT.

Episode four is called New Blood, because we're inviting a new Frontier developer to the CQC fold. Producer Adam Woods will be joing us to compete against the community in fast-paced arena combat - we've heard he's been practicing, so this is a must-see event.

As usual with the Danger Zone livestreams, every Commander who comes in first place during their match against Adam will win an Elite Dangerous prize. 

Educating Ed Episode 8 - Blackbirds Squadron

On Thursday night, the Intern had a blast with the Imperial Inquisition who tested his combat skills in a Thursday Night Fight Night event. We all know what the first rule of Fight Club is though, so we can't tell you much about it. You'll have to watch the event in full on the archived stream.

In the next episode, broadcast live on our
 official YouTube channel on Thursday January 21 at 7PM GMT, the Galactic Intern will join the Blackbirds Squadron to act as fodder for the war effort.

Part of the French community, the Blackbirds are a group of mercenaries who pride themselves on upholding traditional values, and remaining as independent as possible. 

PC Gamer Exclusive Paint Job

We’ve teamed up with PC Gamer to give away an exclusive Cobra Mk III Paint Job in the February issue of PC Gamer, available now. Just pick up a copy and redeem your key on the Frontier store to fly in style with a Cobra decked out in PC Gamer black, white and red.
Don’t panic if you can’t get to the newsstand this weekend. PC Gamer will be giving away a limited number of the PCG Paint Job on PCGamer.com next week. Keep an eye on our Twitter and we’ll keep you posted.

Community Goals Update

Greetings, Commanders, and welcome to this week’s community goals blog. We hope you had an enjoyable holiday season, and that you’re ready for some new community goals!

Last year, a faction known as the Drug Empire of Xelabara established an onionhead-trading operation in the Xelabara system. The initiative proved to be a shot in the arm for the onionhead trade, which suffered a setback in 3300 when former Federal President Jasmina Halsey outlawed the drug in Federal space. Now the Green Party of  HIP 112974 faction has decided build on the success of the Drug Empire of Xelabara by establishing its own onionhead operation in the independent system of HIP 112974. A spokesperson for the faction released a brief statement:

“Thanks to our investors, we are in a position to generously reward pilots who deliver onionhead to our HQ in HIP 112974 We’ve also set aside some privateer bonds for anyone who helps to take down the agitators operating in our system, to make things safer for the traders. So if you’re a combat pilot or a trader, we have work for you! To claim these credits, please find us at Tanaka Gateway in the Arawere system.”

 If you’re looking for a goal this week, the breakdown below should help:

HIP 112974 System, la Cosa City: Deliver onionhead to the commodities market to contribute. 

Arawere System, Tanaka Gateway: Hand in Empire bounty vouchers to contribute.

Comms Chatter

GalNet news has returned on YouTube for 3302! Check out their most recent feature of the Distant Worlds Expedition.

Continuing on from the video above, the Distant Worlds Expedition begins this week (started yesterday)! Check out their large discussion on our forums here!

Check out this awesome video by RadLock Recursion featuring... the fuel rats!

A fragmentary signal has been received by the flight operations team at Obsidian Orbital in the Maia system. The source of the signal has not been identified, but the strength of signal indicates it originated from a star system approximately 23 light years from Maia. Unfortunately, interference from a local black hole has made it impossible to determine a vector for the transmission. The signal, which lasted only a few seconds, had degraded so much that only a small string of numbers could be extracted. Some have speculated the numbers may be coordinates of some kind: b?n?r? ??a??t L??: 2?.?? ??n?: 9?.?? Pilots in the region are advised to keep on the lookout, and to offer assistance if needed.

Recent reports from Obsidian Orbital, one of the starports affected by the mysterious malfunctions sweeping the galaxy, indicate that the situation at the starport has worsened. According to the station's technical team, the starport is only a hair's breadth from having to suspend services: "Despite our best efforts, things are only getting worse. We're experiencing all kinds of malfunctions, and if the situation doesn't improve soon we'll have to start shutting down station services." We will continue to bring you up-to-the-minute reports on this issue.

A few months ago, the Sirius Corporation launched a search for the remains of the Antares, an innovative passenger liner that disappeared during its maiden voyage over fifty years ago. The search resulted in the accumulation of thousands of tonnes of space-borne debris, which was then subjected to rigorous analysis by the Sirius Corporation to determine its origin. The result of that analysis has now been announced: the remains of the Antares have been found. Li Yong-Rui, CEO of Sirius Gov, released a brief statement to the media: "Words cannot adequately express how delighted I am with this outcome. I was always hopeful we would find the remains of the Antares, and I am very pleased to have my optimism validated. I would like to thank all those at the Sirius Corporation that have worked so tirelessly to analyse the recovered debris over the past few weeks."

The Imperial capital system of Achenar has recently attracted the attention of thrill-seeking Commanders of the Pilots Federation. Achenar's third planet has become a proving ground where bragging rights are earned in what is known as the 'Achenar Challenge'. Proctor Ulrich von Braun, whose only concern until recently was the safety of Imperial Naval Academy students during high-g training, posted the following advisory: "The force of gravity on the surface of Achenar 3 is approximately 6.7 times that of Earth. Any who wish to hazard this so-called 'Achenar Challenge' are advised that they do so at their own risk. Pilots accustomed to landing on planets in the 3-4 g range are much more likely to alight here safely. Underestimate Achenar 3 and you may never leave." Over 100 craft have crashed on Achenar 3 since mid December.
That’s it for Newsletter #107. As always, if there's anything in particular that you’d like to hear more about, or if you'd like to ask a question, then please contact us at elite-newsletter@frontier.co.uk.

Click for the latest Game Manual, Quickstart Guide and Pilot Training Videos. Visit our Support team here and read our previous newsletters here.

Until next time, fly safe and Right On, Commander.

The Frontier Team
Jobs at Frontier
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