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Elite: Dangerous Newsletter #43 - From Frontier Developments
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Hi Commander,

Welcome to Elite: Dangerous Newsletter #43!

This week we take a look at our presence at EGX in London. And after many long days (and nights!) this week we released Beta 2 and want to thank all of you for your patience and feedback during the process.

The Elite: Dangerous Mercenary Edition, a bonus pre-order game collection loaded with digital extras, is now available to buy. The pack is listed on our store for new customers at a discounted price off the final release of £35.00 ($50 and €40) and anyone who has already pre-ordered the final release version of Elite: Dangerous (including those with Beta access and higher) will also receive the bonus pre-order collection when the game is released.

Don’t forget, if you have pre-ordered the finished game but are tempted to start playing sooner, there is an upgrade path which will cost you an additional £15. Interested? Just go to the store, put the Beta in your basket and the correct discount will be applied when you checkout.

Contents this week (Click subject to jump forward):

 

Newsletter Peek of the Week

'Xiaoguan Hub'
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Beta 2

Beta 2 was released on Tuesday.

It’s a huge update. As we’ve mentioned over the past couple of weeks, there are many new gameplay features like combat ratings, reputations, exploration, ship upgrades, weapons and new Outposts and Ocellus starports, all set within 570 star systems and 381,033 cubic light years
(approximately) of space.

As well as that, a major amount of work under the hood has gone in to support those features and pave the way for the game’s release later this year.
 
The nature of game development is that although we do our very best to QA all our releases, there are some issues that just don’t become apparent until very large numbers of people start playing the code.

Beta 2 had a few of these, but thanks to everyone’s detailed engagement and feedback we were able quickly to start to address some of the major issues in a rapid succession of releases earlier this week of Beta 2.01, 2.02 and 2.03.

Beta 2.03 appears to have resolved most of the major issues, although there are inevitably some that are taking a little longer to fix. We’d like to thank you all for helping us so much. You really are an integral part of the development team.

Of course we haven’t taken our foot off the gas. In fact today we have released 2.04, which we hope will improve things even further.

The Beta 2 release is a perfect illustration of just how important your feedback is to us, so please do grab the latest version, play it, have some fun and continue to talk to us and put in tickets!
Toxic Cargo
Improved GUI

In Beta 2 one of the many, many items of tweaks, polish and improvement was to the graphical user interface or GUI.

 
We’ve had feedback that the new flashing effects are giving a small number of people headaches. Also some were saying that it was difficult to read.

So as of today’s Beta 2.04 update you will find a ‘Disable GUI Effects’ option which, as the name hopefully indicates, allows you to turn off the effect if it is causing you a problem (or you don’t like it, or you just want to experience the game like without the effect).
Also we have made the GUI smoke effects more subtle, and glows have been reduced a little on the schematics to improve legibility.

Thank you for the feedback, and please continue with it – your input is invaluable and allows us to make the game better for everyone!
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Beta 3 for 28th October

As mentioned above, Beta 2 was a really big step forward for Elite: Dangerous.

Naturally, the team is still motoring on with new features, optimizations and polish. With the Beta 2 work out of the way, the path is now clear for a faster tick of updates.

We are delighted to announce that you will get Beta 3 on 28th October!

Watch this space for news of the exciting new features coming your way later this month.
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EGX

This time last week we were showing Elite: Dangerous to the public for the first time at EGX in London, and our amazing Ambassadors were demoing combat scenarios from Beta 2.

It was a hugely busy show and seeing the thousands of people who visited our stand and gave such great feedback was incredible, especially from many younger players who had never heard of Elite before.
As always, it is our community of players who drive us forward to and help us deliver excellence, and we have to say thank you to the many of you who came along to see us and show your support.

Visitors to EGX voted for their game of the show and Elite: Dangerous came in at number 3, ahead of most of this year’s major publisher-driven games like Destiny, Call of Duty and Bloodborne. This is what Eurogamer said about Elite: Dangerous:

“Who needs a publisher? The game that David Braben wondered if he would ever get to make was one of the stars of EGX, the basis of one of the most popular developer sessions and a show floor favourite. Flying through infinite space surviving and trading was evocative enough when it was all jagged lines and BBC Micros, but in its glorious new 3D guise - immersive enough to become an early poster child for Oculus Rift - it already looks like the ideal game for anyone who has ever looked up at the stars and wondered what's out there.”


 
Of course the stars of the show for us were the Elite: Dangerous Ambassadors, so a huge thanks again goes to: Michael Elliot, Joshua Eames, Gareth Cademy, Darren Jones, Alex Burnett, Robin Crosse, Bob Prue, Gareth Rowlands, Gareth Watson. Terry Walker, Jon Pratt, Anthony Hunt, Ryan Aitken, Liam Watson and John Virgo.

We couldn’t have done it without you!
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Elite: Dangerous Books Part 5


Book Title – Elite: Mostly Harmless
Author – Kate Russell



- Blurb
Written by Kate Russell under official license from the creators of, and based in the vast universe of, the seminal space trading computer game Elite: Dangerous.

Commander Angel Rose, forced into a life of crime due to circumstances beyond her control, is determined to survive in the unforgiving void as a professional assassin. Will she be forced into the ignominy of moving back in with her parents when her efforts fail to leave her with credit-earning blood on her hands? After years of galactic travel, could Angel’s destiny be to end up drinking cheap liquor in a bar in Slough…

10% of the proceeds of this book will be donated to Special Effect who have made it their mission to beat physical disability and allow everyone to enjoy playing video games.
Outstandingly clever and outrageously witty!
By James Vigor
This review is from: Elite: Mostly Harmless (Elite: Dangerous) (Kindle Edition)
This is an absolutely incredible story. Hilariously, side-splittingly witty, which isn't always easy in a book. Yet Kate masterfully chooses her words, weaving an incredible story with plot twists where you least expect them. (I'm looking at you, Chapter 28!) Thank you Kate Russell, for a truly outstanding novel!

A must for fans of modern British science fiction.
By Dave Barker -
This review is from: Elite: Mostly Harmless (Elite: Dangerous) (Kindle Edition)
The writing is witty, charming and engaging, with many subtle and some none-too-subtle references and nods to other works of science fiction and fantasy, with a healthy dose of Britishness throughout. This sensibility is perhaps best expressed by the primary planet of the novel, Slough (also a suburban town west of London) whose heavy gravity and depressingly hard industry provide an acute poke at British suburbia. In this review I was tempted to describe the book as a comic adventure, which it is in the sense that it is fast-paced, witty, fun and engaging. But that would also be an unfair description because of the way that Kate Russell doesn't shy away from the hardnosed, adult realities of what life would really be like in a space culture like the Elite universe. Themes such as murder, assassination, slavery, serious sexual assault, alcohol, gambling, drug use and mental health all rise up the in book and are treated appropriately and in context, driving the plot along in a natural way, but without being abused to make some point that isn't relevant to the story.

Full of surprises!
By D. Hooper "IT Consultant" (Durham, England) -
This review is from: Elite: Mostly Harmless (Elite: Dangerous) (Kindle Edition)
Our hapless hero races about from disaster to calamity all the while trying really hard to do the right thing whilst trying to decide what is the right thing? And what does she want to do with her life anyway? Meanwhile she gets shot at, tied up, drinks too much, humiliated, conned, tricked, rescued and not surprisingly after all that told off by her parents! I think the best compliment I can pay is it's what would happen if the (sadly) late Rik Mayall had been cast by Douglas Adams and told to go and get into trouble in space. Please go and buy this book - you'll love it


Author Bio
Kate Russell is a journalist, reporter and author who has been writing about technology and the Internet since 1995. Best known for weekly appearances on BBC technology programme Click, she is a frequent face on TV, radio and in magazines as a technology expert. Kate also speaks regularly at technology events and conferences and in schools and universities, and is very involved in UK and global policy meetings to help shape the way the internet is governed. She is author of two books; a business book about the internet and her debut novel based in the Elite universe achieved 400% of its goal on Kickstarter. Elite was the game that first inspired her love of technology when she played it on the BBC Micro back in 1984, so in many ways for her this license fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a published novelist brings her life full circle. For more about Kate’s work visit http://katerussell.co.uk.


 
Photography by Adam Leach
Look out for Kate's Elite 30th Anniversary Video coming next week!

Elite: Mostly Harmless eBook is available to
purchase now!
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Comms Chatter


We saw this image from Loenwulf on Reddit  ‘Look who’s up to no good at the nav beacon’

Anthony Oliver from the Elite Archives is currently running a Kickstarter to fund the production of a book entitled The ELITE Archives: A 30 Year History of ELITE.

“We have some exciting stretch goals to announce as we progress as well as access to many of the fine people who were involved with Elite, FE2, and FFE during the '80s and '90s to help make this history as complete as possible.
I have partnered with Fantastic Books Publishing to ensure the highest quality book possible.
There are still a number of Early Bird digital versions available for $25 AUD (£14 GBP) as well as 17 copies of the Limited Special Edition Hardback for $300 AUD (£165 GBP). There will only ever be 30 copies of the Limited Special Edition Hardbacks and they are signed and numbered, and will be presented with a special cover treatment unique to these editions.
The unlimited Hardbacks are available from $110 AUD (£60 GBP) and include an exclusive signed bookplate that will not be in the retail versions.
I hope that you are able to have a look at the Kickstarter which is running now until November the 8th. If you like what you see, please join us in creating the FIRST EVER book that chronicles the 30 year history of ELITE!”

- Anthony Oliver
Nick Scurfield sent us these artwork images on Facebook that were inspired by Elite: Dangerous.

After all the hard work getting Beta 2 out this is what Eddie Symons – Producer on Elite: Dangerous did last night!

‘I'd recklessly accepted a mission to supply 5 tonnes of gallite to someone on an outpost in Rakapila, without any real idea where I'd find any.

Using the trade routes on the galaxy map, I determined Bolg would be a likely place to get what I needed. However after getting there it became apparent that gallite is actually rather rare, as I could buy only 1 unit!

Examining the galaxy map further, I found another system that could be a potential source, but after a couple of hyperspace jumps, found that they also had only a single unit available! Time was starting to run short, but I was determined to complete the mission.

 A few jumps away was Ross 1015, which also seemed like it was a supplier of gallite, so I fuelled up and made a last ditch attempt to buy the goods I needed. On arrival I found they had exactly 3 units - just enough to complete my task and get my reward. I snapped them up, and then headed back to Rakapila. The clock was counting down though, as I had only 7 minutes left to deliver the goods!

I set out from the starport, did my first jump, quickly followed by a second and then began supercruising to the outpost. It was quite a way out from the star, and I finally dropped out in front of it with 4 minutes to go! It'd be tight, but I've docked a hundred times before so I thought I'd make it with time to spare. However, yet another challenge came up! Outposts have a very limited number of landing bays, and all of them were full! With literally seconds to spare, one finally was freed up, so I darted in with possibly my quickest ever docking manoeuvre, logged straight into station services, and finally claimed my 16000 credit reward with seconds to spare!’
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That’s it for newsletter #43- 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 you'd like to ask a question, then please contact us at elite-newsletter@frontier.co.uk.

The Frontier Team

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