Elite: Dangerous Newsletter #39 - From Frontier Developments
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Hi Commander,

Welcome to Elite: Dangerous Newsletter #39!

In this week’s newsletter we start to discuss what it really means to ‘Blaze Your Own Trail’ in Elite: Dangerous starting with Exploration.

We have been testing Elite: Dangerous in ultra high definition and it looks incredible! We are also calling all Commanders to join us in celebrating 30 years of Elite!

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 check out the new Viper paint jobs.

Contents this week (Click subject to jump forward):

Newsletter Peek of the Week

'A port in a storm'
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Blaze Your Own Trail - Exploration

Exploration is something many people are excited about, but we haven’t yet discussed it here. There is exploration for the sake of it, but it is also possible to make money from exploring too. There is a lot out there – which will be covered more in future newsletters – many surprising things like the many planets with neon atmospheres – things not yet seen in astronomy.

The great thing about exploration is it is many-layered; one person might be the first to visit a system – but this is an easy thing to do, and one person can visit a great many systems in a short period of time, so rapidly the ‘frontier’ of unvisited systems will quickly recede.

Visiting a system is not really exploring it except on an extremely superficial level, so our plan is, we will not count the system as explored at that point. Let’s face it, if an alien visited our solar system, staying in the immediate proximity of the sun for a few seconds while their drives recharged or cooled down, they will not see very much, and we on Earth would be unlikely to see them. If our alien explorer claimed our system to be “explored” and didn’t find Earth, they wouldn’t really be an explorer!

So, true system exploration is a bigger deal than just visiting that system. Players must scan it to determine what number and sizes of planets are present, and to get the next level of data they must travel to at least the vicinity of each body to investigate. A system will only be ‘partially explored’ until all major bodies (planets and moons within a certain distance of the central star(s)) have been scanned by someone and the data returned home. There are different levels of scanning, both passive and active, that can be done from orbit, to determine basic planet types, their chemical composition, mineral deposits, surface liquids, interesting anomalies, and even indications of the presence of indigenous life.

Active scanning is needed for any detail of value, especially if the planet has an atmosphere, using a powerful ground-penetrating radar beam and as much of the surface should be scanned as possible. The wary player should perhaps first check for other ships in the system… This is because an active scan consumes a vast amount of power – nothing even a Sidewinder’s drives can’t manage – but it is an incredibly bright beacon of emitted energy, visible across most of the stellar system they are in and easily tracked, and depending on the expertise of the player, it can take quite a while to get a full scan - easily long enough for most ships to super-cruise to the location. Even the basic scanner fitted to all ships since about the year 3000 is an incredibly sensitive instrument, and so they will find it easy to find such a player. And that player will most likely be very hot with their shields down… best hope they are friendly, and that they are not worried about being the first back with the data!
The reason to do this, to do the scanning and return the data, is the big prize. Getting such information back to a civilised planet with a data claim registration facility (most Federal or Imperial worlds with a high enough population will have one) and logging the data earns money for the explorer – more or less depending on the value of the planet and its location. Discovering a world with indigenous life is incredibly valuable, but even scanning seemingly worthless moons has value – both for completeness of maps (verifying there isn’t something there is still useful), but very rarely, something interesting may be there after all – maybe even a strange artefact. A wise explorer will buy the latest such data before leaving – to see which systems have been explored first, so as not to duplicate the efforts of others.

Perversely, The Federation and Empire do not share this data with each other – indeed they are competitive about it. Taking such information to the Federation earns the player a good reputation with them, but the parallel is true of the Empire. Unscrupulous players have taken the information to both, but woe betides the player who is discovered doing this – which can happen if both mega-powers send a research team to investigate!

Explorers began as a civilised and cooperative bunch of people. After all, travelling vast distances out into the unknown and back is quite an achievement, with many a “Dr Livingstone I presume” moment far out in the stars, but from time to time there have been cases of explorers racing each other back to log their data once they see each other – or even attacking each other when they realise both have just scanned the same systems. There is even a class of pirate that await intrepid explorers returning from afar, threatening them with destruction if they don’t hand over their data. However, unlike cargo, handing over a bit of low value data is often enough. A pirate can scan for cargo, but fortunately data does not show on a scan  so they do not know how much (or how little) you really have.

Exploration is not just at huge distances. Even within human space, there is the odd undiscovered planet or asteroid belt – usually in the far, cold outer reaches of a system, where no-one has bothered looking. So get ready to get exploring!
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Elite: Dangerous in Ultra High Definition

This week we got our first hands on with Elite: Dangerous running in 4K at 60 fps.  It really is an amazing experience, the clarity and levels of detail on offer make it even more like 'being there'.  We didn't want to stop playing!

The good news is that SLI support is coming in Beta 2 so you'll be able to experience it for yourself, with the appropriate equipment.
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Elite 30th Anniversary

September 20th will be the 30th Anniversary of Elite, which was created by David Braben and Ian Bell in 1984. Elite: Dangerous is the fourth in the series – the third sequel to the original Elite.
We want to celebrate this moment with the whole Elite community both old and new and are inviting people to share their memories, memorabilia, thoughts and experiences with us. We will be compiling these together and creating a 30th Anniversary video.

We would love it if you could send us a short (10 secs or less) vox pop video of you talking about  Elite – perhaps you have a funny memory or simple how you felt when you first played the game.

If you want to join in you can send any pictures, videos or images to us at; or you can tweet #EliteDangerous#Elite30Years

Or email us with a link to where we can download your file. Please make sure your submission is properly named eg. CmdrJamesonVoxpop or CmdrJamesonVideo. Don't forget to provide a name and contact details with anything you share.

Please note, by submitting content and information you are automatically giving Frontier the right to use the content publically, so if you do not want your video used – don’t send it to us!
To inspire you here are a couple of tweets we have already received;
Another fantastic source of inspiration is the Elite Archives.

We’ll be announcing a few other surprises around the anniversary so keep your eyes open on our website, Twitter, Facebook and forums for more information

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Choose My Adventure!

In the true Elite: Dangerous spirit of ‘blazing your own trail’, journalist Mike Foster has challenged readers of Massively.joystiq to help him decide how he will play and choose his adventure. 

You need to get your votes in by 11.59 EDT on Saturday September 6th. The team here can’t wait to see him play with flight assist off!
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Elite: Dangerous Books - Part 3

Book Title
Elite: Tales from the Frontier

Chris Booker, Darren Grey, Tim Gayda, Allen Farr, Lisa Wolf, Ulla Susimetsä, Marko Susimetsä, Rose Thurlbeck, Alexander Saunders, Gareth Bailey, Nicholas Hansen, Ramon Marett, Frederick Burbidge, Matthew Benson and Christopher Jarvis.

Orbital scrap yard worker Oliver dreams of exploring the galaxy, but when the return of a long lost friend sparks a terrible disaster, can Oliver deal with some uncomfortable truths about his own life? – A Game of Death

Chenoa O’Laundy is on a mission to find her missing father and bring him home safely, but can either of them escape the Calite Corporation, determined to reclaim their property at any cost? – A Question of Intelligence

Myles Jarek is a company man on a far flung exploratory mission with a hired crew. Will he be able to return to his previous life or will the Children of Zeus stay with him forever? – Children of Zeus

These are three of fifteen scintillating tales in this eclectic collection where characters from the Elite universe seek honour, truth, retribution and in one case a place to sell 300 year old Lavian brandy.
Review clips

"A thoroughly enjoyable tie-in to an amazing game in the making."

"[The stories] all give their own perspective to the Elite universe and since it is based on the game Elite Dangerous, if you are playing the game and you are only wanting to buy one book, this is the book to get."

"Although each story is short - this book works as each story has its own focus within the Elite universe. This is a great way for someone to gain an introduction to the universe and ultimately the games."

Short Author Bio
Elite: Tales from the Frontier has been written by 15 authors from around the world, each bringing their own experiences with Elite and perspectives on the universe to their tales.

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Comms Chatter

Our EGX Ambassador competition ends on Sunday 7th September at midnight BST we will let the lucky winners know next week that they will be joining us at Eurogamer on 25th September.

The Profitable Life of a Trader!
Commander Jake Skyrunner wants no part in bounty hunting or illegal transporting – all his profits come from legal trading, proving the point that if you are just a trader it is possible (with some time and effort),  to get huge profits from legal trading.  

He sent us in the following screenshot and commented;
‘I am up to 53 Million Credits....   I know it's beta and people will say "why have you bothered to trade to that level" and my answer will be... because I can....and if I feel like crashing 20 Anaconda's into firey chunks.... then I can :))))
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GalNet News Transmission 5th September 3300

Galnet News Transmission 5th September 3300
All information ©3300 Elite Pilots Federation. Copyright violation is a crime in all jurisdictions.

:: Elite Pilots Federation Alert ::

The authorities are reporting that they have managed to contain the dramatic increase in black-market trading in the past week with numbers of illegally traded items considerable down on last week.

As a result the markets show a healthy rise this week after last week’s slump with trading profits up by almost 50%.

The recent reduction in commodity supply rates have driven traders farther afield in search of profitable trade routes, but it would seem that only 2% of Commanders can really call themselves adventurers visiting more than 20 different markets when exploring for opportunities and no single Commander has yet to trade commodities in every single market currently available. There are big profits to be made out there and new markets to trade in for Commanders who dare to travel!

Puzzled mechanics working in shipyards across the sector have noticed that some Frameshift drive cores have needed replacing much earlier than expected. One was overheard talking in a bar on Smithy's Claim: "These cores are normally good for 1000 light years, and yet nearly 1 in 20 of my customers has needed a complete drive overhaul, where have these Commanders been flying?"

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

Ship Sales (by market share)
Module popularity has settled down, with Commanders strongly favouring Gimballed Multicannon and Fixed Cannon, Pulse Lasers and Burst Lasers.

Faulcon deLacy have been beating their chests this week, not only have they see a big rise in sales of all three of their ships which, now combined account for 40% of the market, we have also seen the introduction of their new retro flag range from ancient Earth, as custom Viper paint jobs. Clearly talks of an expanded product range were not just rumour!

All the other shipyards appear to have kept their market positions.  Zorgon Peterson’s stalwart Hauler maintained its consistency with 27% market share and Lakon saw a slight drop of less than 1% in both their Type 6 and Type 9 ships which doesn’t seem to concern them too much.
Core Dynamics remain please with the slow but steady growth of Eagle sales this week reaching 14% of the overall market.

Most Profit Made From:
Consumer Technology
Terrain Enrichment Systems
Most traded black market goods:
Battle Weapons

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

Top 5 Largest Importers, by Quantity of Good Traded:
LHS 3262: Louis de Lacaille Prospect
Aulin: Aulin Enterprise
i Bootis: Chango Dock
Asellus Primus: Beagle 2 Landing
LFT 880: Baker Platform

Top Exports, Ranked by Quantity:
LHS 3262:  Louis de Lacaille Prospect : Consumer Technology
i Bootis: Chango Dock : Fish
Aulin: Aulin Enterprise: Terrain Enrichment Systems
i Bootis: Chango Dock : Computer Components
h Draconis: Brislington : Domestic Appliances

Trade Tips & Hidden Gems:
Markets currently trading with good profits:
Pi-fang: Brooks Estate
h Draconis: Brislington
**LHS 417:Gernhardt Camp**    
Nang Ta-khian: Hay Point
Naraka: Novitski Oasis

** New market to watch**

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 #39 - 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

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

The Frontier Team

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