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Elite: Dangerous Newsletter #49 - From Frontier Developments
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Hi Commander,

Welcome to Elite: Dangerous Newsletter #49!

In this week’s newsletter David Braben reflects on the whole development process and how the game has evolved from the original game outline to where we are today – and announces that there will eventually be 30 playable ships in Elite: Dangerous, 5 more than we had previously said!

We also announce Beta 3.9 is incoming next Thursday!

There are now just 8 more days to become a Beta backer:

Being a Beta backer is the only way you will be able to play Elite: Dangerous until 16th December.  In addition to that and the other existing Beta benefits such as Mercenary Edition and automatic permit to visit Sol, today we are also announcing:
  • 25% off in-game ship insurance for life to all our Beta backers
  • free access to one of the 5 new ships when it’s released!
as a ‘thank you’ for all their help.

If you have already pre-ordered the final game you can still become part of the Beta now and take advantage of the lasting benefits that will give you, by upgrading your account, 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.

There are also only 32 days left to pre-order the game and get The Elite: Dangerous Mercenary Edition additional content and benefit from the £4.99 discount. Available to buy now.

Finally, we have some great in-game Exploration, Trading and Interdiction experiences from our wonderful community.

Contents this week (Click subject to jump forward):

Newsletter Peek of the Week

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Elite: Dangerous Development

From David Braben:

The team here have been doing an excellent job developing what is almost certainly the largest game ever created, with a framework of frequent publically released builds executed to such a high quality. It has been an amazing achievement. Their enthusiasm, professionalism and grace under pressure with which they have carried it out is to their eternal credit. I know for a fact they are spurred on in their efforts by the great reaction and enthusiasm you have shown for their work - as am I.

In addition to creating features and content, there has always been an amount of unseen, unglamorous but vital ‘work under the hood’ that has necessarily gone on as we optimize, refactor, fix and tweak to increase frame-rate, stability and general quality of experience.  There is an even greater temporary emphasis on such tasks at the moment, to get the game ‘shippable’ with countless fixes, polish and tweaking and fewer features (although of course we still have some surprises left up our sleeves for you leading up to the 16th December!).
Also, as those of you have followed us from the start know, we have some grand plans for the future.

After the 16th December we will continue to update with more polish and content such as the playable ships we committed to in our Kickstarter campaign – in fact I’m delighted to be able to tell you that we are now planning to eventually have 30 playable ships in Elite: Dangerous, 5 more than we committed to in Kickstarter.  And most exciting of all, we will start the work on a longer term roadmap that includes getting you up out of your pilot’s seats and out of your starships.
These additional features will come post-launch, as we have always planned.  That is solely because we want to make sure it is done correctly and to a quality we are proud of and that matches the other aspects of what we plan to be an incredible experience that we will deliver on 16th December.

We will continue to fully and openly engage with you.

Continuing to grow the game past the launch date as we plan would just not be possible at all with the constraints of physical disc manufacture and distribution, and is made possible only by the online nature of Elite: Dangerous.

When we set out on this journey, our ambition was to make Elite: Dangerous as large a technical step forward today as Elite and Frontier were in their time.  The way the game embraces and pushes forward the online aspects of technology has been a particularly exciting aspect of that for me.

The basic fact of being able to interact online with our community during development has been tremendous. Just as in a film, based on feedback some of the things we originally thought would work have been left ‘on the cutting room floor’. We have also added unplanned features which I think are fundamentally key to the experience, and have made the game all the better.  For example shifting design emphasis towards fantastic major new features such as supercruise, outposts and multiple ship ownership, to name just a few.
We have also been able to create a connected experience which lets you play your own story whilst in a dynamic, ever unfolding galaxy that is constantly reacting to what you and every other player is doing, be that trading, combat, exploration or missions. This has become fundamental to the whole experience.

Going forwards, being online lets us constantly both curate and evolve the galaxy, with stories unfolding according to the actions of commanders. Exploration is also a key factor, too, and it is important that what a single player explores matches what other players explore whether single or multiplayer – a complex, coherent world – something we have achieved. Galaxy, story, missions, have to match, and it does mean the single player has to connect to the server from time to time, but this has the added advantage that everyone can participate in the activities that can happen in the galaxy.  A fully offline experience would be unacceptably limited and static compared to the dynamic, ever unfolding experience we are delivering.
If you were able to offer me on the 3rd January 2013 what we will deliver on the 16th December 2014, I would have grabbed it with both hands.   It is fantastic what the team have done, and are still doing – a phenomenal job.

I’m really looking forward to meeting those of you who are able to come to the Premiere event on 22nd November to help celebrate that achievement, and thanking you for helping to make this possible.

And more importantly, I’m looking forward to seeing you and many, many more out in space on the 16th December and for a long time afterwards.
 
Right on, Commanders.   
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Beta 3.9 Incoming!

Hot off the press news: we will be releasing a final Beta build (3.9) on Thursday the 20th November. 

As its name suggests, this is a significant step forward in preparation for ‘gamma’.

If you want to be a Beta customer for PC (and/or Mac when we release the Mac version) you only have until November 22nd to join and take advantage of the lasting benefits that will give you.
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New Beta Benefits!

Being a Beta backer is the only way you will be able to play Elite: Dangerous until 16th December.  In addition to that and the other existing Beta benefits such as Mercenary Edition and automatic permit to visit Sol, today we are delighted to announce:
  • 25% off in-game ship insurance for life to all our Beta backers 
  • plus free access for Beta and Alpha backers to one of the 5 new ships that David announced in his piece above when it’s released!
as a ‘thank you’ for all their help.

Every Alpha and Beta backer will receive a pre-release ‘gamma’ build on November 22nd, and can continue to play, receive updates, and help us verify it before Elite: Dangerous is released on December 16th.

Until November 22nd there is an upgrade path to Beta if you have already pre-ordered the game which will cost you an additional £15. Just go to the store, put the Beta in your basket and the correct discount will be applied when you checkout.

Once again, our sincere thanks go to everyone who has supported us throughout this process.
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Exploration in Action

The First Great Expedition – a fringe Elite: Dangerous exploration group - took some snaps of their recent outing. A representative from the group gave us some details on the trip:

“We were gathering together to travel from Shama to 10 Cephei, to test out route finding, how to keep a large group together, and generally explore around 10 Cephei. We are thinking about making a long journey of up to 2 hundred LY then establishing a base camp from which to explore the surrounding systems!'


 
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A Lesson in Greed

HypoThermia on the Elite: Dangerous forums tells a story about greed:

“Trading away as I was last night I found one of those impossible to resist missions. 20 tonnes of gold shipped for around 150k. Flying to a system I hadn't been to before and with around 12 minutes on the clock. Easy money, but you can probably see what's coming.

After jumping into the system found it was a 90,000Ls trip to the station. Oops. The mission timed out with me needing about another 2 minutes. 150k fine. Gulp.

So with stolen gold in my hold I try to sneak in to the station. Bad move. Didn't quite get the sneaking part right and scanned by the local enforcement I pick up a second fine. Another 150k.

No black market so I still have to offload somewhere... Oh shiny... Luckily there's a mission to ship 35 tonnes of silver to another system. For 180k profit. At least I won't be down too far...

When I get the silver to its destination there's an unsanctioned federation outpost that won't let me dock. Denied. Denied. Denied. Bloody denied.

100cr fine for "accidentally" firing weapons in a no fire zone. That just adds insult to injury.

With 55 tonnes of stolen booty in my hold, and now 380k of fines, I set out to find a black market for the goods. No anarchy systems in easy reach. Interdicted by the local authorities more than once (evaded, luckily). Eventually I find a black market on the 5th jump and manage to salvage 180k back as well as clearing my fines.

Relief.

So a salutory lesson in greed, and how a good day's profit can turn into a nightmare.

Know your trade routes CMDRs, and don't get distracted by the shiny shiny.

Loving this game!"
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Interdiction - with Flight Assist Off

Isinona finds the space lines to be much more dangerous with the introduction of the FSD Interdictor module in the latest of his Flight Assist off series.
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The Elite: Dangerous Premiere Event 22.11.14 Update

Tickets have sold out, but you can still join us on our Twitch channel on the night as we will be live- streaming from the event.

The doors will open at 18.00 with the event starting at 18.30 on 22nd November 2014.
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Newegg - We Own the Night

Last week members of the Frontier team and three Elite: Dangerous Ambassadors attended Newegg's 'We Own the Night' event in Anaheim, Los Angeles, where the game was demo'd outside the House of Blues, Downtown Disney. We had a great spot, and many people from far and wide came to see the game.

Here are a few pictures of the event;
A massive thank you goes out to our fantastic Ambassadors who helped us at this event - Commander Anderson DeGrear, Commander Epsilon Hardunkichud and Commander Shazbot.
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Comms Chatter

SpacePirateCaine made a brilliant new players guide on Reddit.

AndersonDG on Reddit (who joined us as an Ambassador at the Newegg event) gave us a glimpse of inside his luxury transport.
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That’s it for newsletter #49 - 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
here.

As always if there is anything in particular that you’d like to hear more about, or you'd like to ask a question, then please contact us at elite-newsletter@frontier.co.uk.

The Frontier Team

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