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Elite Dangerous Newsletter #108 - From Frontier Developments
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Hello Commander,
 
Welcome to Elite Dangerous Newsletter #108.

This week we're showing you the latest Elite Dangerous: Horizons highlights, diving into the fascinating story that drives the Elite Dangerous galaxy, giving you details on how to get a free exclusive paint job, going in to more details on mission givers and engineers, updating you on the latest Community Goals 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

Horizons Highlights

This is a great time to be a Commander in the Elite Dangerous galaxy. There are so many things you can get up to, from Community Goals, Powerplay, CQC and of course now Planetary Landings in Horizons - the brilliant videos, screenshots and creations keep on pouring in from our amazing community, including imagery from the ongoing investigation into the first non-human structures to be found on planets in the Pleiades Nebula (see Galnet Focus for more info).

Remember, as an existing Elite Dangerous player you can get a discount off the new season of content, so if you haven't already you can upgrade to Elite Dangerous: Horizons now for £30 whether you are buying through Steam or from the Frontier store (in both cases the discount is automatically applied when you purchase Horizons) and take part in all of the activities below and more. Planetary Landings is just the beginning of the full season of expansions coming to Elite Dangerous: Horizons, with much more coming throughout the year.

The detailed 
Commander Creator, ship-launched fighters, a new crafting and loot system with mission givers and other NPC characters (more details in the weekly Dev update), and game-changing multi-crew mechanics are just a few examples of how Horizons will revolutionize the way you blaze a trail through the Elite Dangerous galaxy.
Play Horizons today and race across the vast planet surfaces with your fellow Commanders as demonstrated in the video below, uploaded by Marcin Szwarc.
YouTuber Vindicator Jones posted a deep dive into settlement assault, offering tips and hints as to the best options for approach when tackling these well-fortified bases. Click the image below to see the full video.
Friend of Frontier Developments, and long-time Elite player, Pheonix posted this image on his Twitter account.
As part of the Distant World's Expedition, the convoy of Commanders are stopping off at key planets to retrieve data from the surface. Pliskin 777 uploaded this video of a planet with a stunningly huge crater visible from a huge distance away.
Isinona shows off his incredible flying skills... this time a little closer to the surface.
And finally, Reddit user qingu8 posted this beautiful image of a system he described as a 'dreamscape'. 
Welcome to our new weekly roundup of news stories and events in the Elite: Dangerous galaxy.

Starports throughout inhabited space continue to experience inexplicable malfunctions, and many people are speculating that the galaxy is in the grip of some kind of technological plague.
A remarkable discovery was made when non-human structures were found on a number of planets in the Pleiades Nebula. These ‘barnacles’, as the galactic community has christened them, produce a material known as meta-alloys, the exact properties of which are not yet known. Professor Ishmael Palin, the scientist conducting research into the Unknown Artefacts, has issued a request for more meta-alloys, which he believes may be the key to eradicating the technological plague.
The Empire has discovered secret bases belonging to the insurgent organisation known as Emperor’s Dawn, and has called on all Empire-aligned pilots to help them destroy the dissidents.
The request from the Green Party of HIP 112974 for onionhead was well received by the galactic community, and the faction confirmed it had received sufficient quantities of the drug to establish a new onionhead-trading operation.

Free Paint Job - PAX South Stream Schedule

Next weekend we're heading to PAX South! We'll be at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio Texas from January 29 to January 31. For those who aren't able to make it, we'll be broadcasting a little bit of that show floor atmosphere back to you at home, with a complete streaming schedule coming from both our official account and our amazing community streamers..

Make sure you tune in at any point during the streams to find out how you can claim your free, exclusive PAX South paint job, or visit our booth on the show floor to pick it up in person.

The streaming schedule is as follows (times listed in CST)

Saturday

10:00 - Official Elite Dangerous Account Opener
11:00 - DeejayKnight
12:00 - TBC
13:00 - Crass Kitty
14:00 - Butters Gaming
15:00 - Mr Boombati
16:00 - BlueDrake42 

Sunday
10:00 - Official Elite Dangerous Account Opener
11:00 - TBC
12:00 - TBC
13:00 - Angerbeard
14:00 - Dejavu Darkmist
15:00 - Wishfuiiy
16:00 - BlueDrake42 
From the desk of Executive Producer Michael Brookes:

Following up on last week’s update revealing the addition of faces and contacts for mission givers and engineers, in this update I’ll expand on the role of engineers and how they factor into crafting.

Engineers are individuals who provide the blueprints (which describe the materials and items needed for a specific modification) and can then apply them to the weapon or module. They are characters with their own back story, preferences and specialisations. Initially we’re looking at around 30 engineers dotted throughout human space and we will be able to add more in future updates.

One of the reasons that we chose mission givers and engineers first for the characterisation treatment is because in both cases you have an ongoing relationship which can change over time with the character. For the minor factions this is measured by your reputation with that minor faction (although factors like Pilots Federation rank will influence the deference with which they treat you), with the engineers the measure is taken from a variety of stats throughout the game and dependent on the nature of the individual.

For example we have an engineer who is closely aligned with the Federal Navy and so your rank with the navy is his key consideration, so the higher your naval rank the better blueprints he will be able to offer. As well as naval ranks, the Pilots Federation ranks (including combat, trade, exploration and CQC) will influence some engineers. Some engineers will be affiliated with minor factions, so you’ll need to manage your relationship with them as well. Some will use your stats for mining or trading in illegal goods as well as a host of other indicators.

As well as these initial governing factor there is a separate reputation with them, which must be cultivated along the lines of their governing factor to gain their trust and so more capable blueprints.

Not all engineers are immediately available to all players. The factor that governs their relationship with a commander has a minimum threshold that must be reached for them to deal with the player.

Each engineer has a specialisation, meaning that the deal with specific weapon types and modules. This is because they are experts in squeezing a bit more performance than the norm in their particular field. We are looking at having a secondary specialisation for engineers, just to help balancing the distribution of specialisations and of course we can add more engineers in the future. Or even remove ones if circumstances require it!

The engineers are spread geographically to add more geography to the map, but also to fit with the individual’s characteristics. They tend to be reclusive characters who are found at their own, isolated facilities on planet surfaces.

As well as working towards the 2.1 we’re also preparing a minor update to be released next week (assuming testing goes well) with fixes for season one and two clients. We’re also processing the latest batch of player group minor factions (batch 4) and the approved changes and additions should be added to the game next week.

Horizons Community Trailer Competition

To celebrate the Elite Dangerous trailer showing in cinemas before Star Wars: The Force Awakens we decided to run a competition for all you budding video makers out there. The competition is still on, and we've had some amazing entries so far.

The concept of the competition is simple - to create your own trailer for Horizons. You can use any shots, voice overs or other tools you see fit to make the trailer. The entire video submission should be no more than two minutes long. 

The competition will be running for the whole of January so you have plenty of time to get your filming in. The competition will end at midnight on the 31st January 2016. 

To enter the competition simply email a link to a publically viewable upload of your video to community@frontier.co.uk

The winner of the competition will win 

- Elite Dangerous artwork signed by the Frontier Development team 
- A David Braben Bobble head
- A paint job or Paint Pack of your choice from the frontier store
- A Digital Soundtrack from the frontier store

2 runners up will also win a paint job of their choice from the Frontier store. 

Read more on the competiton, including the terms and conditions, at the original forum post
here.  

The Danger Zone Episode 5 - Double Damage

Join us on Tuesday 26 January for episode five of The Danger Zone, on our official YouTube channel at 7PM GMT.

Episode five is called Double Damage, because we're mixing up the series structure and bringing two developers into play at the same time. Producer Adam Woods will be joing us again, as will CJ to compete against the community, and perhaps against one another, in fast-paced arena combat.

Double the chance of getting in a game with the developers, and you might even see them facing off against each other.

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

Buckyball Racing Club Event

The Buckyball Racers are back, and to encourage participation in their latest event they're offering free paint jobs to the best six competitors in the first ever Buckyball endurance race, which starts on January 25 and runs until Febrary 12th.

Based on the legendary Le Mans 24-hour challenge of the twentieth century, Turbo Hour is a timed endurance race which will see Buckyballers blast off from Kanwar Horizons in the Turbo system and compete against the clock as they attempt to cover the greatest distance in a single hour.

The winner and runner-up will each receive their choice of paint job from the Frontier store completely free, and there will be four additional prize categories including fastest single lap, so players with limited time to dedicate to racing can still compete for a ship respray.

Entry is open to all and competitors can make as many attempts as they want at any time. More details can be found in the dedicated race thread on the official forums or for futher details on the Buckyball Racing Club and its forthcoming events head to their
website or forum post.
 

Community Goals Update

Greetings, Commanders, and welcome to this week’s community goals blog.
 
Professor Ishmael Palin, the scientist conducting research into the Unknown Artefacts, has issued a request for meta-alloys – the material produced by the non-human structures recently found on a number of planets in the Pleiades Nebula. Apparently Professor Palin believes the meta-alloys might hold the key to eradicating the technological plague that has blighted so many starports in recent months:

“There is still a great deal we do not know, which is why I am appealing to the galactic community to deliver as many meta-alloys as possible to my new research base at Obsidian Orbital. Only by amassing a substantial research sample can we know for sure whether or not the meta-alloys can be used to target this mysterious technological malady.”

When the Federal Navy destroyed the Emperor’s Dawn base in the Kausalya system in December, many believed the organisation had finally been defeated. But a statement from the office of Imperial Senator Denton Patreus indicates that, against all odds, Emperor’s Dawn has endured:

“The Imperial Internal Security Service has discovered that Emperor’s Dawn has ‘shadow’ cells in the Dakshmandi, Ipilyaqa and Ch’i Lin systems – secret outposts that were apparently designed to protect the organisation’s leadership in the event of a military defeat. Swiftly neutralising these outposts depends on the support of the galactic community, and to this end I have authorised the payment of privateer bonds to any pilots who help with the offensive against Emperor’s Dawn. Let us destroy these vile dissidents once and for all.”
 
If you’re looking for a goal this week, the breakdown below should help:
 
Meta-Alloys Appeal:
Obsidian Orbital, Maia system – Deliver meta-alloys and support Professor Palin’s research.

Destroy the Emperor’s Dawn ‘Shadow’ Cells:
Furuta Orbital, Dakshmandi system – Hand in combat bonds for Emperor’s Dawn targets to earn rewards.
Fallows Orbital, Ipilyaqa system,– Hand in combat bonds for Emperor’s Dawn targets to earn rewards.
Hevelius Enterprise, Ch’i Lin system – Hand in combat bonds for Emperor’s Dawn targets to earn rewards.

Be careful out there, Commanders!

Comms Chatter

Commander Bliss sent us this (bigger-than 4K resolution) while searching for barnacles in Merope.

CMDR Eayrn from the EIC group sent us this stunning image.

CMDR Hyperious had some interesting ship shenanigans with his recall command, and tried to make his way down a mountainside safe and sound in his SRV. Click the image below to watch the video.

That’s it for Newsletter #108. Please do not reply to this email; this address is not monitored. Please use our support page: http://support.frontier.co.uk.

Click for the latest Game Manual, Quickstart Guide and Pilot Training Videos. Want to read our previous newsletters, check them out here.

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

The Frontier Team
Jobs at Frontier
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Copyright © 2016 Frontier Developments plc, All rights reserved.


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