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Elite: Dangerous Newsletter #16 - From Frontier Developments

Dev Diary #10 - Released

The latest dev diary video has been released announcing the release of the Alpha phase 2.0– Multiplayer build. In it David talks about other Alpha phases we will be releasing before the game progresses to Beta. You can view the video here:
 

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Alpha Phase Two - Multiplayer



The Alpha Phase Two is ready! We are currently testing it locally and early next week Alpha players will be able to download the multiplayer phase of our Alpha build. We will email you directly as it goes live.
In addition to the existing single player combat scenarios there will be four new scenarios in a totally new location. You can expect:
  • Factions: Two sides battling it out
  • Capital Ship Defense: Defend a damaged Federal Battlecruiser against numerous foe
  • Miners and Law Men: Protect or pirate miners going about their business, you choose how you want to play!
  • Free for all: battle it out in an, all against all, melee
Player can also earn credits in each scenario that can be used to purchase ship loadouts.



This is an incredibly exciting and important phase in the development of Elite: Dangerous - player stat tracking, the multiplayer networking code and associated management are all big new systems that are being tested with this build, plus it's the first time we will be able to test how the game mechanics will perform with significant numbers of players all playing at the same time.

One of the great things about having our Alpha backers (and a little later, the beta backers) playing builds is that we can test the game in a realistic environment. The downside, of course, is that things may not go quite as we expect, but that is the point of having an Alpha test phase! We are releasing Alpha 2.0 at the beginning of next week (3rd Feb) so we will have the whole team available to respond asap to any issues that might come up in the test.

The Alpha program is all about getting feedback from players and being able to respond to that feedback, fixing bugs, adding features and responding to suggestions so that we make Elite: Dangerous the best it can possibly be. We will be regularly updating the FAQs, so bookmark the pag and keep revisiting it.  But if you are experiencing something that is not addressed in there PLEASE let us know, so we can fix it!  The best way to give us any and all feedback related to your experience is on the private Alpha discussion forum.

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Approaching Beta



Many of you have been asking us when we will be releasing the Beta.

It will be released when each phase of the Alpha has been released and we've acted on the feedback we get from it. As David mentioned in Dev Diary #10 after next week's Alpha 2.0 we still have 2 major Alpha releases to roll out before we reach the Premium Beta stage; Outfitting, Travel & Trading.

When we are happy with each phase, we will move to the next one. Don’t worry if you are still planning to join the Alpha, we will announce a Beta release date when we are getting close to the end of the Alpha phase.

Because we are staying flexible to respond to any issues that may arise in Alpha, we are not giving a specific date, but we will instead announce a Beta release date when we are getting close to the end of the Alpha phase. So don’t worry if you are still planning to join the Alpha, there is still great scope for you to have fun with the Alpha now and help us shape the game!.

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It’s not too late to join - upgrade offers

More and more people are joining the Alpha each day through our new Elite shop.

We have now introduced an upgrade path for anyone who is joining us for the Beta to upgrade to the Alpha. If you go to the shop and put the Alpha product into your basket, a discount will automatically be applied to reflect the level you are already on.

So come and join us - the more people we have playing the better the game will be!



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Comms Chatter: The Universe through your eyes

One of the most rewarding experiences for us so far has been watching so many of you enjoy the Alpha live on Twitch.tv. Being able to see your genuine split-second reactions to the combat model has not only been tremendously valuable to the development team, but also extremely entertaining! It has also been fantastic to see so many Elite: Dangerous gameplay videos on YouTube, there are literally hundreds of them and as well as the direct feedback we get from Alpha players the videos and the comments below them provide us with great insights, so keep them coming.

We will be launching our own gameplay streaming channel soon so the team here can show off their expertpiloting skills!

Forum member Kroy has done a fantastic job collating a list of all of the current alpha backers that have been streaming on Twitch, or uploading their play sessions to YouTube. If you are not in the alpha but would like to get your Elite: Dangerous fix, while also chatting with other Elite fans, check out Kroy’s Let’s Play thread to see our community members playing the alpha first-hand. We look forward to seeing more of your reactions next week when the multiplayer module is released!



Elsewhere, forum moderator T.j has started a Community Photography Thread, which is already proving to be extremely popular. The image above, from forum member bitrogue, is one of our personal favourites, but the entire thread is filled with some fantastic imagery. If you consider yourself a decent photographer or would just like to check out some other great photographs head over to the thread and get involved!

If you are in the alpha and cannot see the alpha forum yet on our site, please email us at support@zaonce.net and we will update your permissions.

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Mostly Harmless Questions

In the Private Backers forum we have a thread where backers can pose questions for the development team, in this section of the newsletter we’ll take some of those questions and provide answers:
 
bedroc: Hi, If you explore far out, will there still be stations and an ability to trade?
 
There will be some isolated stations and bases for trading, repair and re-supply. These will be more infrequent the further you travel, although there will be some surprises for you to discover. Special equipment and supplies can be purchased to allow ships to travel further without support, but we also expect players to co-operate so that they can reach even further.
 
One of the key features for the evolving galaxy is that new stations (or suitable ships) can be deployed to extend humanity’s reach even further into the galaxy.

 
Duncan147: How will you manage and prioritise the scope of this work to ensure that you maximise the value delivered at the initial release?
 
There are a number of core features that defines the game as Elite (these are defined by David and the development team), the alpha test process we are currently undertaking takes each of the core features (like combat, trading, docking and travel to name a few) in isolation to ensure that each of these features achieves what we want from them. Features that are not deemed core will either be included in the beta, or in the case of significant new additions (like spaceship boarding and planetary landings) will be tackled in expansions after the game’s initial release.

 
Lestat: Will there be technology that you can purchase that can slowly repair damage to your ship automatically?
 
Some self repair systems will be available, although they will be quite specialised so will require investment from the player. The same technology can also be used to reduce wear and tear on your ship's systems. Serious damage will still need to be repaired in a traditional shipyard.
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Elite Merchandise Coming Soon!

Our very talented designers have been working hard to come up with a range of Elite goodies that we will be adding to the shop over the coming months starting with some very cool t-shirts!
We are open to ideas so let us know if there is something that you have always wanted let us know!

And finally news from Fantastic Publishing who are publishing a number of our Fiction authors. Following the success of their audio books Kickstarter, the first audio book recording will be Drew Wagar's Elite:Reclamation read by Toby Longworth along with a couple of stories from the Elite:Tales From The Frontier anthology and a part from Allen Stroud's Elite:Lave Revolution.
Dr Who veteran Penny MacDonald has been confirmed to narrate at least half of the anthology stories and Kate Russel's Elite:Mostly Harmless is to be recorded in London and will feature a section read by David Braben.

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Until next time Commanders...


 
 
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