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Elite Dangerous Newsletter #94 - From Frontier Developments
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Hello, Commander,
 
Welcome to Elite Dangerous Newsletter #94.

This week, we're giving you your first glimpse of the skimmer patrol gameplay on the planet surfaces of Elite Dangerous: Horizons, we're celebrating the launch of CQC and Elite Dangerous on the Xbox One with the announcement of our $100,000 CQC tournament, we're announcing the winners of our Paint Job competition and telling you about a must-see livestream happening next week.

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

Skimming the Surface

Core Dynamics S4 ‘sentry’ skimmers defend their territory against your assault
In this week's Dev Update Michael Brookes shed new light on the skimmers you'll meet on the planet surfaces in Elite Dangerous: Horizons.

Skimmers are remote controlled security and defence drones primarily designed to protect positions and restrict movement. They are designed to be hard to engage with ships, so the SRV, with its rapid fire guns is the best way to tackle them. Be warned that while most rely on their armour, some more advanced skimmers may have shields.

They are remotely controlled and will usually have a command and control centre or signal relay nearby – these define the area in which the skimmers linked to that system can operate. They are specifically designed for surface operations on planets and are very manoeuvrable, especially when close to the ground.
Initial concept art for the 'sentry' skimmer - seen in Newsletter 89
Several manufacturers have competed in the skimmer market over recent centuries, with Core Dynamics being the most successful, largely due to support from its large contracts with the Federal Military, but does sell its range throughout human space, including through a wholly owned subsidiary Imperial Dynamics, selling rebranded versions of the same units. There are many models of skimmer available, each suited for a different role. Here are the most successful:

•Core Dynamics S4 ‘sentry’ skimmer – this is the most widely used skimmer in the vast semi-automated security and protection industry throughout the galaxy, and a mainstay product for Core Dynamics. Comes as standard with a belly-mounted standard recoil-ready small weapon mount, which will take both kinetic and thermal weapons. Designed with an automated alert system so a single pilot can operate multiple drones.

•Core Dynamics S5LM  ‘guardian’ skimmer – Based on their S4 skimmers but with reduced weight, and with an enhanced missile launcher weapon mount. A more expensive solution, but often used to protect higher value installations. It sacrifices armour to carry the weight of missiles and so is more vulnerable.

•Achilles Corp Stinger-2 attack skimmer – Smaller and quicker than Core Dynamics offerings in this sector, and also cheaper to buy. It has no weapon mount, but carries explosives, and can be directed by its pilot to self destruct, taking out its target. Some installations use these skimmers to form a last line of defence for sensitive bases and outposts. In essence they are a flying bomb. The Achilles Corporation recently cut down its range of skimmers just to the Stinger-2, but it is rumoured they will be launching new skimmers in the next few years.
 
•Core Dynamics S9 ‘goliath’ skimmer – A very effective solution to your security needs. Using four surface thrusters this armoured and well-armed skimmer is the most effective on the market. Its greater cost means it is generally only used by military clients, and use is not permitted in some jurisdictions given their offensive abilities.

While most skimmers are usually found near bases, given the recent rise in scavenging of shipwrecks, some transport vessels with higher value cargoes now carry automated distress response packages which include skimmers, and they are deployed automatically in the event of a crash to secure the site and help protect any survivors.

We'll have more details on the skimmers, and more images of them in action for you soon. Pre-order now, and be ready to take on these new assailants as soon as Elite Dangerous: Horizons launches later this year.

Elite Dangerous 1.4 CQC Launch

This week saw the simultaneous release of both Xbox One and the CQC update for PC and Mac. To celebrate the release members of the Frontier Developments team joined the Xbox One subreddit for an AMA. If you missed it, you can visit the subreddit to read the questions and responses from Michael Brookes, Jim Stimpson, Gary Richards, and Craig Forrester. Michael Brookes did a particularly impressive job, answering nearly every single question that was asked!

Later on, Community Manager Edward Lewis did a four hour livestream with even more guests from the development team, including David Braben, Michael Brookes, Eddie Symons and Adam Woods. You can see the three part stream by clicking here

Thanks everyone for getting involved in the stress tests before launch, and taking part in our scheduled Mayhem events. The community gathered together to create and support amazing events on a level that exceeded our highest expectations. Based on player reactions, we're looking in to many more community initiatives that will only be bigger and better than the last. 

The $100,000 CQC Tournament

We're very excited to announce our first competitive Close Quarter Combat Tournament. This $100,000 tournament will be open to all PC, Mac, and Xbox Elite: Dangerous players so get practicing!

We’ll be running qualifying periods each month where players will be competing for a chance win a free trip to the live final in the UK, covering all flights (where necessary) and accommodation. The total prize budget, including cash prizes, flights and accommodation for qualifying winners will be over a staggering $100,000 USD, with a live final cash prize pot of $15,000 USD!
 
We will be releasing full details on the tournament and how to enter in the coming weeks so keep your eyes peeled on the community site! In the meantime, get your trigger finger warmed up, and start training to take that top prize.

How to Make a Real World - Livestream

Tune in on Wednesday October 14, 7PM BST to see our 'How to Make a Real World' Livestream 
The planets in Elite Dangerous: Horizons feel immersive, tactile and real, and making them is a complex, fascinating and important part of development. We'd love to give you a sneak peek behind the scenes at how we create these planets, so we’re hosting a livestream next week with a couple of our lead artists (keep an eye on our social media channels for where the stream will be hosted).

On Wednesday October 14, at 7PM BST, we'll show you some early development footage of the icy and rocky worlds in motion. This peek behind the scenes will demonstrate the simulation technology that we've been working on to create the captivating “Europa lines” for the ice worlds and canyons, and the craters and mountains for the rocky worlds.

Simulation has always been important within the Elite Dangerous galaxy, and our conversation with the artists will highlight the accuracy, depth and technical prowess that go into creating the impressive features that make up our worlds.

We'll talk through the base-scientific principle that the simulation has been built on in order to shape these beautiful, real worlds. Viewers will also have the chance to ask questions about the atmosphere-less bodies they'll be landing on when Elite Dangerous: Horizons launches later this year.

Community Paint Job Competition Winners

This week, we're excited to announce the winners of the community paint job competition. We asked for striking, bold designs that would look good from both a distance, and up close.

The response was absolutely incredible (and may even have inspired us enough to do it again some time soon), with thousands of entries for us to choose from.

The paint jobs below are the first five winners of the competition, and will be available for use in Elite Dangerous: Horizons and Elite Dangerous 1.5 when it launches later this year. We'll be in touch with the winners separately to discuss their prize!
'Blackjack' by CMDR Stefanos
'Chevron' by Strife3025
'Flash' By Bartecki
'Arrowhead' by CMDR Letoras
'Medusa' by Paul Rayment

Elite Dangerous Baseball Cap

Pick up the Elite Dangerous Ranking Cap in the store today! What better way to show your status within the Pilots Federation? This sleek Elite: Dangerous cap will get you noticed as one of the Elite!

Community Goals Update

Greeting Commanders,

Welcome to this week’s Community Goals blog.

It looks like the party at Bacon City to celebrate the inaugural Bacon Protests anniversary is coming to an end. Revellers from across the galaxy have descended on Bacon City to join in the fun, however, the event has not been without its problems. The steady stream of traders and party goers brought pirates and other disruptive elements in to the system. At one point, the starport was blockaded by an animal-rights group, who ordered ships carrying animal meat to jettison their cargo at gunpoint.

It’s time to clean up after the party and United Carnoeck for Equality are asking any bounty hunters out there to help clear the spaceways around Bacon City.

The Revolutionary Noti Value Party, a group based in the Noti system, recently issued an open contract for Aganippe Rush, a rare commodity found only in the Aganippe system, although the faction chose not to publicise the reason for the request. Anonymous sources have been appearing on news feeds across the galaxy claiming that an unknown organisation is conducting secret indoctrination in the Noti System to create trained slave labour, the media are calling “Master Chefs”. It is believed by some that  the Revolutionary Noti Value Party’s request could be connected to these rumours.

Could this be an initiative to bring the gourmet-serving slaves to market as a tradable commodity? Why not go to Noti and find out.

If you are looking for the goal this week the breakdown below should help guide you:

Carnoeck, Bacon City: Deliver Animal Meat to Bacon City markets (Ends tomorrow)
Carnoeck, Bacon City: Deliver Narcotics to Bacon City markets (Ends tomorrow)
Carnoeck, Bacon City: Deliver Bounty Vouchers to  United Carnoeck for Equality in Bacon City

Noti, Weber Gateway: Deliver Aganippe Rush to Revolutionary Noti Value Party at Weber Gateway

Safe flying!

Comms Chatter

This week, we added a few new community sites to our fan sites list. Our newest additions are, EDCodex.info a repository of third party tools. Elite Dangerous Cobra, an Elite fansite for our Portuguese speaking community, and Elite Galaxy Online,  a website documenting explorer finds in the Elite Dangerous galaxy!
ObsidianAnt on YouTube shows off the various stations throughout the galaxy, aptly titled "Amazing Stations".
CMDR Farome shared 133 glorious images of his trip to the core of the galaxy to the Elite Dangerous subreddit.
Standing on the steps of the Senate building, Chancellor Anders Blaine announced the Senate's decision on the succession. In a historic selection, and as a result of a clear majority vote, Arissa Lavigny-Duval will be the next ruler of the Empire. She will be the first female leader of the Empire since Marlin Duval founded the original colony on Achenar in the 23rd Century, although she will carry the title 'Emperor' rather than 'Empress'. Such an appointment would have been impossible prior to the reign of Hengist Duval due to an ancient decree that all Imperial rulers be male, but a ruling passed by the late Emperor early in his reign did away with this generations-old tradition.

The Cerberus Plague was one of the most devastating outbreaks to blight the galaxy for generations, devastating dozens of systems and affecting countless worlds. Official figures place the death toll at over 100,000. As of today, however, the disease is officially considered extinct. Carl Simmons, the specialist who led research into a cure, has confirmed that no new outbreaks of the plague have been reported since early August, and that the disease can therefore be considered eradicated.

In the 38 days since the Fuel Rats' last made headlines, the group has rescued a further 1,000 ships, bringing the total number of Commanders saved from a frustrating insurance experience to 2,000. Financial experts have speculated that this service could have saved the Galactic economy as much as 1 billion credits in insurance buyback premiums, not counting the value of lost cargo, exploration data, and bounty vouchers.

Today is the last day of deliberation for the Senate over the question of who will become the next Emperor. By law, the Senate must announce the new Emperor by a clear majority decision tomorrow. Meanwhile, many are asking how a group like Emperor's Dawn could establish so many high-level contacts, and keep such a widespread extremist organisation secret for so long. It is clear that the new Emperor, whoever it may be, will be faced with challenges from the moment he or she assumes the throne.
That’s it for Newsletter #94. As always, if there's anything in particular that you’d like to hear more about, or if you'd like to ask a question, then please contact us at elite-newsletter@frontier.co.uk.

Click for the latest Game Manual, Quickstart Guide and Pilot Training Videos. Visit our Support team here and read our previous newsletters here.

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

The Frontier Team
Jobs at Frontier
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