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Elite: Dangerous Newsletter #29 - From Frontier Developments
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Hi Commander,

Welcome to Elite: Dangerous Newsletter #29!

This week we released Premium Beta 2, which had a host of under the hood optimisations and improvements as well as some great new features. 

We also released Premium Beta 2.01 and 2.02, which demonstrated the value of our new incremental installer by greatly reducing download times!

Following up from this, we are delighted to announce that 29th July is the day we will start our Beta phase with the release of Beta 1.

On the same day (29th July) we will withdraw the Lifetime Expansion Pack from sale.

Contents this week

Re-peek of the Week

‘A blast from the past for something that is coming soon - Listen here!
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The Orbis Starport Trailer

To support the release of Premium Beta 2 this week we created a new video to show off the enormous new Orbis starport that we have been hinting at for the past few weeks.
‘The Orbis rotates, rotates, rotates...’
'A Zorgon Peterson Hauler on another profitable trade run.'
'The Impressive 8km diameter of the Aulin Enterprise Orbis Starport'
'Beautiful shot of Nirvana in the Aulin System.'
In Premium Beta so far:

•    Commanders have travelled a total of 1,257,230 light years in pursuit of profit. By our maths, we think that’s over 3 laps around the outer rim of the Milky Way.
•    189,471 units of Fish were purchased, but only 171,531 were sold, leaving 17,940 cargo canisters of fish floating off on an interstellar odyssey.  Did you spot any?
•    81,468 free Sidewinders have been issued to Commanders who met an untimely end.

You can purchase Premium Beta and start playing Elite: Dangerous today!  If you already have access to standard Beta or the full game, the correct discount will be automatically deducted when you check out.

Premium Beta will be available until 15th July, as we announced last week.
 
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Lifetime Expansion Pack - to be withdrawn from sale

Alpha and Premium Beta came with a whole lot more than early access to the game - the Lifetime Expansion pack that is included is a significant benefit of being an early backer of Elite: Dangerous.

We have regularly said that depending on the level of success of Elite: Dangerous we intend to continue expanding it with new content and new features.

We plan to follow that same incremental development philosophy that we’ve done throughout our Alpha and Beta phases, and continue to significantly enhance the game via further expansions post-launch.

We do intend to release small, free updates after launch, but expansions that include significant new features and content will be charged for separately.  For example, our current roadmap is to add (in no particular order):
  • Landing/ driving / prospecting on airless rocky planets, moons & asteroids
  • Walking around interiors and combative boarding of other ships
  • Combat and other interactions with other players and AIs in the internal areas of star ports
  • Accessing richly detailed planetary surfaces
  • Availability of giant ‘executive control’ ships to players

Alpha and Premium Beta customers, and those who have already bought the £35 expansion pass alongside either Beta or the full game, will have access to all these features and updates for as long as we create them at no further cost.

This means that if we are as successful as we hope to be, you will still be benefiting from the fantastic early support you gave us for a long time to come.

As we are now fast approaching the standard Beta phase, the time is right to withdraw the Lifetime Expansion Pass from sale.

On 29th July the Lifetime Expansion Pack will no longer be available to buy in the store shop, to coincide with the start of full Beta.

So if you are planning to join the Beta or buy the final game and want to add the Lifetime Expansion Pack, you now have one month to get automatic access to all future major expansions of Elite: Dangerous for £35.

You can purchase the Lifetime Expansion Pack here.

Alternatively you can purchase or upgrade to Premium Beta and start playing Elite: Dangerous today, which includes the Lifetime Expansion Pack. Premium Beta will be available until 15th July, as we announced last week.

Each paid-for expansion will subsequently be put on sale separately (for people that don’t have the Lifetime Expansion Pack), before its release.
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Beta 1 Date Announced


We are delighted to announced that development continues to go very well, and July 29th will be the date when we enter the standard Beta phase!

Over the next few weeks we will be outlining the fantastic new features and content that we will add to the Beta – it’s a huge release, so ‘watch this space’ for more information.

You can purchase access to the standard Beta phase.  If you already have access to the full game, the correct discount will be automatically deducted when you check out.
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Comms Chatter

What is your PC set up? Many of you have kindly been adding your computer set ups into this thread in the forums that we have highlighted previously.  Not only does this provide invaluable help with our development efforts, we love seeing how you are playing Elite: Dangerous so keep them coming in!
 
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Mostly Harmless Questions


Arn: Will the game include detailed technical breakdowns for ships, weapons, modules and other equipment?
  • Yes. We will be providing more information than is there now, and also more variants on each type. Most elements of your ship will also have the ability to be ‘tuned up’ to get extra performance/efficiency/weight reduction as appropriate.
Shadowcat: Will it be possible for a player to head towards a sun to temporarily blind an attacker following behind them?
  • That is not planned (but it is an interesting idea). We have tried to avoid things like this that could work for AIs but might be frustrating for players. We intentionally darken stars so that you can see them, and if looking towards or flying towards the sun blinded a player, that would spoil the game.
insanephoton: Will NPC ships be generated on the fly each time you enter a new system or will they be persistent objects that you could follow on their trade routes etc?
  • There are a mix. Some will be persistent, some triggered by circumstances. Following an AI is something that should be possible, once we have tracking through supercruise and hyperspace
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Community Events


A quick reminder of two Community Events coming up this summer:

JULY
LAVECON 2014 is a two day event, organised by the Lave Radio podcast crew. Join them on the 5th & 6th July in Kettering, United Kingdom..
> Buy Tickets

AUGUST
FantastiCon is a new sci-fi convention bringing together Elite fans from around the world. It is being held in the Jameson Suite (!) at the Royal Mercure Hotel in Hull, United Kingdom on Saturday 16th August, and convention attendees who book now can get hotel B&B at £25 pp/pn. The event includes free soft drinks and snacks, and access to a 24 hour bar.
> Facebook page  > Buy Tickets
 
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That’s it for newsletter #29 - thank you for reading and supporting the development of Elite: Dangerous.

If you are new to the newsletters you can read all our previous newsletters here.

As always if there is anything in particular that you’d like to hear more about, or ask a question, then please contact us at elite-newsletter@frontier.co.uk.

The Frontier Team

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