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Elite: Dangerous Newsletter #38 - From Frontier Developments
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Hi Commander,

Welcome to Elite: Dangerous Newsletter #38!


This week we take a sneak peek at the effects of weathering on your ships. We also showcase a brand new Starport, the Ocellus.

We continue our weekly book feature this week with Drew Wagner’s Elite: Reclamation.

With all the new Commanders we are getting each week, we look to what the community are doing to help train fellow pilots in Comms Chatter.

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. Also look out next week for some new Viper paint jobs.....

Contents this week (Click subject to jump forward):

Newsletter Peek of the Week

'Ship Weathering'
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The Ocellus Starport

The Ocellus Starport is based on the Bernal Sphere space station originally suggested as a way of building a space habitat by scientist Jon Bernal in 1929. The sphere shape was chosen due to the ability of the shape to efficiently contain air pressure and provide efficient radiation shielding.

The Ocellus Starport is stronger, better protected from radiation and more expensive than the Coriolis class stations but smaller than the giant Orbis.  Inside the sphere, in the void between the inner docking-cylinder hangers and the outer hull, is a huge amount of useable space for human habitatation. At the equator of the sphere, there is a comfortable 0.7g, which falls off as you approach the poles. On the outside, towering inverted “skyscrapers” emerge from the galleried central trench, allowing an impressive view of the universe for the rich residents who can afford such accommodation.   

At the terraced front and rear of the sphere lie the more industrial parts of the station. Life support machinery, liquid and gas storage, workshops and small factories designed for producing goods in low gravity are positioned here, as well as capital-class weaponry for defence purposes. The very front of the station is home to the famous docking portal, viewing and control galleries, plus commercial and official premises and offices.

The main reason for their extra strength is the Ocellus stations can be moved intact from place to place as opposed to being assembled on site. Giant drives can be attached to them to move them from system to system when required, albeit very much more slowly than even the largest cargo ships. Only a few of them have been so equipped, and it is said that the arrival of an Ocellus at a gold-rush world marks the end of the early stage of the gold rush, as it marks the arrival of the eye of officialdom and the beginning of the end of the anarchic freedom of those early days.

It was first built by the Imperial Gutamaya shipyards in 3260 so it is a relatively recent design, but they are now built and operated throughout human space. Both the Federation and Empire operate them, as do a few of the big corporates – particularly for tourism – where an Ocellus will be stationed at a rare stellar spectacle for a few months, then will move on.
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Missions


In Beta 1 we included the mission framework, and in Beta 2 we will expand it some more. So far we have simple courier missions, but we plan to build this out as we move through the beta to release and beyond, with escort missions, assassination missions, tail-and-report missions, group missions, policing duties, in addition to guns-blazing mercenary assignments.
More complex missions that lead into others are coming too. Some missions will be based on your current status, ranks and ratings (also coming for Beta 2) so only available for those with certain higher rankings and ratings.
Missions will tie in with the Galnet news feeds – something else planned for Beta 2 – where newsworthy events will trigger related missions. Will you be the one to safely take El Presidente out of the system after the failed coup? Or maybe you will be in one of the ships chasing him down!

Espionage missions are interesting. These can be for the military, or for unscrupulous corporates, and will rely on how good you are (and how well equipped you are) with the heat-based stealth mechanics in your ship. Frequently you will not be able to get away cleanly from such missions, perhaps ending up with an assassination mission on your head!
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Elite: Dangerous Book Features

This week we delve into Elite: Reclamation by Drew Wagar.

'On the edge of civilisation, on the border of the Frontier, lies the Prism system. Its ownership hangs in the balance between the Federation and the Empire. Trying to reclaim her home, a young idealistic woman holds the fate of an entire star-system in her hands...'
Reviews;

1. Of all the Elite Dangerous tie-in fiction I have read so far, Elite: Reclamation is the one that gives the most flavour of the Elite universe. The Empire is wonderfully depicted -- it reminded me in some ways of reading Jane Austen; a society with strict rules of etiquette wherein subtle phrasing or say, the choice of dress at a wedding, can imply deep insult. The story contains the full range of action, suspense, politics, humour, a bit of gore, surprise, double-crosses (or are they?), epic space battles, sword fights, remorse and retribution. In short it has everything you could wish for in a space opera.

2. Elite: Reclamation is a beautifully crafted story with real characters. I couldn't help but get drawn into their world. I saw the beauty of the Prism system and cried ‘foul’ over the political shenanigans that threatened it. A very entertaining novel with heaps of intrigue and general dodgy dealings all round; it's clear that the author has invested a lot of time in getting the setting right both scientifically and politically. I found it enthralling, and would highly recommend whether familiar with Elite or not. And what an amazing and original heroine -- not since 'Wuthering Heights' has anyone got away with that!

3. Elite: Reclamation is an incredible tale that explores a huge event in this sector of space in the perfect level of scrutiny, on both the personal and political levels. The characters are outstanding and refreshingly unique, the plot is relentlessly action-packed and never ceases to surprise you, and allegiances remain a mystery throughout. I do hope, though, that this isn't the last we've heard of Kahina...

Drew Wagar started writing SF stories as a direct result of reading the original Elite Novella 'The Dark Wheel' by Robert Holdstock back in 1984, a book that came with his copy of Elite on the ZX Spectrum. He is a long term fan, genuinely reaching the coveted 'Elite' status in the original game.

Drew ran the first ever Kickstarter to successfully fund another Kickstarter pledge in 2012, claiming the first Elite: Dangerous 'writers pack' and pushing the E:D Kickstarter over the halfway mark. Elite: Reclamation combines Drew's love of the game with his passion for Astronomy and adventure. His favourite colour is dark green, everything else is subject to change without notice.
For more information on Elite: Reclamation and Drew Wagar visit http://www.drewwagar.com

Elite: Reclamation available to purchase now!

 
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Mostly Harmless Questions

Matt Johnson - How long does it take to create a ship for Elite, from the drawing board to finally seeing it in game?
  • Many weeks. First concept is drawn and this is adjusted until it looks ‘right’. Then a ‘block out is created, and details like the internal size, layout, engine locations, cockpit visibility are considered and the exterior of the ship including paint jobs and even how the ship will ‘weather’ over time as we have shown in this week’s peek of the week. Then it is modelled. All the different moving parts are fitted: hard points, undercarriage, cooling vents, thrusters, cockpit, scoops etc.
 
Commander Hydrino - How will Frontier force the PG universe to change over time?  Will these methods include some form(s) of player-caused change/damage persistence?  For instance if a small mining colony building is destroyed, how can that persist and be repaired over time if PG always creates the objects exactly the same for all players?

 
  • Procedural generation is only a tool we use here. Players continually change a system – by leaving cargo and wreckage around, changing the prices of goods, and so on. Bigger changes are for example when many players collaborate to influence the outcome of a territorial dispute or a revolution. This can change the allegiance of a system, which very much changes the way it works. You might see a military build-up in response to player actions, and many missions associated with this. Any changes are stored on our servers. If for example something (like your mining colony building – or even a player-owned mining machine – things that will come after first release) is destroyed, then it will be stored as destroyed on our servers, and that is how you will see it in the game, at least until it is repaired or removed. New stations will be built over time and new markets open. Everything can be changed if there is a reason to do so. So the game will evolve with a cloud based narrative where each and every player’s actions impact and create an evolving storyline.
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London Calling...


In September we will be attending EXG Euro in London. Organised by Eurogamer, EXG is the UK’s biggest consumer games show and it will be our first big show where members of the public will get hands-on with Elite: Dangerous.

The event is 25-28th of September and as is now becoming tradition, we are calling for more Ambassadors to work with us during the event. We are looking for up to ten Ambassadors to be there to work with our team, evangelise about the game and help the public with demos etc.

You’ll be part of our promotional team, to demo Elite: Dangerous and answer any questions (that you can) from all attendees. We’ll be there too, talking to all our visitors so you won’t be on your own, but playing a crucial role as brand ambassador for Elite: Dangerous.

And to say thanks, as well as being able to attend the event for free, you will get some goodies on the day and meet David Braben and the team.

Things to take into consideration before applying:
- This is a UK event so good English is essential
- You will be required to attend Weds 24th – Sat 28th September so you will need to book time off work
- This opportunity is only open to people with a good understanding and experience of playing the game Elite:Dangerous
- UK Travel, accommodation and approved expenses will be paid for

To enter simply email us on community@frontier.co.uk telling us why you would make a good Elite: Dangerous Ambassador.
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Comms Chatter

Insomnia 52

Last week we attended the Multiplay gaming festival Insomnia 52 in Coventry, UK. David Braben did a talk at the event which can be streamed on the VG247 website.
We met many YouTubers over the weekend and it was really good to show Elite: Dangerous to a new audience of PC gamers.

Gamescom Revisited

Following on from our recent visit to Germany at Gamescom, our first German Ambassador, Reinhard Auer, sent in these words describing his experience at Gamescom;

”I will be grateful forever that I got the opportunity to offer a little help to bring the Elite legend back to life (30 years after the first Elite...OMG!). It was an amazing time and experience among friends from UK for me!
The reason why I am so passionate about Elite: Dangerous is; it gives me the feeling of being a little wide-eyed boy again...a whole galaxy (more science than fiction) waiting to get explored and exploited while always having the choice to change my mind about how to do it. I can play it with friends and like-minded Commanders that I would have never met without ED and the family spirit of Frontier Developments and the ED-community. All are very kind and they are going to great lengths to help each other if need be.”
Reinhard, we really appreciated all your enthusiasm and help, as with all of our Ambassadors we couldn’t ask for more! Thank you!

We were also delighted to see that the three Beta keys we hid amongst the padlocks on the bridge in Cologne were found very quickly by
Paweł Kamiński, Marc Schwarzappel, Constantin Roloff.
 
Welcome to all three of you and well done!

Also, a massive thank you to Commander Scarlett for his Asp Exploder Ale he kindly sent to the team this week - they really enjoyed it!
Forums

There is a new sub forum in the Elite: Dangerous forum where you can role-play and discuss the Elite: Dangerous lore. Please make sure to read the forum specific rules before posting.

Plus the groups section can be found here.

Here you can post a thread for your group and discuss groups in the game. Please make sure to read the rules for this area before posting.

New Players and Tutorials


Since beta we have seen a huge number of new players and this video from Sleeplessknightsstudio was great to show a new player getting to grips with Elite: Dangerous for the first time.

But if you don’t want to jump in and just play nubgamer has made five fantastic ‘Getting Started with Elite: Dangerous’ videos. The first two are designed for complete beginners and as he explains in his reddit post he has used a simple mouse and keyboard set up to play.
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GalNet News Transmission 29th August 3300

Galnet News Transmission 29th August 3300
All information ©3300 Elite Pilots Federation.  Copyright violation is a crime in all jurisdictions.

:: Elite Pilots Federation Alert ::


Pilots need to beware that, following a dramatic increase in the amount of goods being traded on the black market, particularly Tobacco and Gold, the authorities are cracking down.  It is thought that the increase in smuggling stolen goods may be as a result of a recent pirate propaganda video or may point to a breakdown in the legal system. Either way there will be zero tolerance if pilots are found with counterfeit goods in their cargo and new measures have been put in place to ensure all stolen goods are tracked.

::GalNet Trade Aggregation Service Reports::
:: Market Information::


Ship Sales (by market share)
Zorgon Peterson continued to maintain its grip this week. Their best selling trading ship, the Hauler is proving its worth with almost one third of market share. They certainly seem to have what the market wants!

Faulcon deLacy, sees no change in its 38% market share this week with steady sales of the Cobra but a slight decline in Anaconda sales. They are clearly looking for inventive ways of keeping their market position as their Sales Director was recently overheard talking about a new exciting range of paint jobs for the Viper!

Core Dynamics saw an increase in Eagle sales this week up to 13.2% , but Lakon saw a small drop in market share of both their Type 6 and Type 9 with 15% and 5% respectively.

Most Profit Made From:
Consumer Technology
Terrain Enrichment Systems
Gallium
Indium
Auto Fabricators

Most traded black market goods:
Tobacco
Gold
Combat Stabilisers
Personal Weapons
Coltan

Most goods bought and sold (By cargo units):
Fish
Consumer Technology  
Terrain Enrichment Systems
Domestic Appliances  
Gallium

Top 5 Largest Importers, by Quantity of Good Traded:
Aulin: Aulin Enterprise
LHS 3262: Louis de Lacaille Prospect
i Bootis: Chango Dock
Asellus Primus: Beagle 2 Landing
Achenar: Baker Platform

Top Exports, Ranked by Quantity:
Aulin: Aulin Enterprise
LHS 3262: Louis de Lacaille Prospect
i Bootis: Chango Dock
Asellus Primus: Beagle 2 Landing
Achenar: Baker Platform

Trade Tips & Hidden Gems:
Markets currently trading with good profits:
Pi-fang: Brooks Estate
h Draconis: Brislington
Nang Ta-khian: Hay Point
Naraka: Novitski Oasis
Wyrd: Vonarburg Co-operative

Detailed market information feeds are available via an upgraded subscription to GalNet services.

Sports Results, Entertainment News and Celebrity Gossip are available via an upgraded subscription.

This GalNet News Transmission is sponsored in part by the Bank of Zaonce. Trust the Bank of Zaonce with your hard-earned credits.
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That’s it for newsletter #38 - thank you for reading and supporting the development of Elite: Dangerous.

If you are new to the newsletters you can read all our previous newsletter
s 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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Check our current vacancies
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