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Elite: Dangerous Newsletter #30 - From Frontier Developments
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Hi Commander,

Welcome to Elite: Dangerous Newsletter #30!

We are really pleased to have welcomed so many new Premium Beta players this week. It is great to have you on board!

For those of you who are still unsure if you should join in at this stage you have until the 15th July to join the Premium Beta before we close it and start preparing for Beta. But don’t forget, as a Premium Beta player you also get the Lifetime Expansion pack included so the benefit is long lasting.

Here's a summary;

Premium Beta
Immediate Premium Beta Access + Lifetime Expansion Pass - To be withdrawn from sale 15th July.
Lifetime Expansion Pass
Access to all future paid-for expansions - To be withdrawn from sale 29th July.
Upgrade
From your current level to Premium Beta - To be withdrawn from sale 15th July.
Beta
Pre-Order open now - Beta available July 29th.
Elite: Dangerous full game
Pre-Order open now - Release date to be announced.

In this week’s newsletter we start to take a look at some of the big changes that are coming in Beta – this week we’re featuring how crime will be policed in Elite: Dangerous, matchmaking and ship-to-ship communication!

We also are starting to syndicate a GalNet news transmission, related to local activity around the Bootes constellation. GalNet is the Pilots Federation monopoly news infrastructure and information service.

Contents this week

Peek of the Week

SHIP DECALS
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Crime and Punishment

Beta 1 sees significant new code systems added that allow authority ships protect law abiding pilots and respond better to crime.
If an authority ship or space station witnesses a crime (it takes place within its radar range), it is “detected” and reported. A number of police vessels will then target the offender and attack. If there are not enough ships available, reinforcements will be called and will hyperspace jump in after a short delay.

If a crime is only reported by the victim, it is classed as “undetected”. In this case, a number of police vessels will be dispatched to the area and scan ships for criminal behaviour. If any is detected, they will attack. Reinforcements will be called in should the threat be large enough to require it.

Crime response is generally carried out by Faulcon de Lacy Viper Mk IIs.  It is effective, but not instantaneous. The size and timing of the response is based on the security level of the jurisdiction you are in and the danger level posed by the offender (both bounty level and ship threat).

No-fire zones around star ports stations will become more meaningful in Beta 1, too. The no-fire zone represents the reach of the starport, both in terms of safety and detection, and any crimes committed within the zone are detected.  This does NOT include crimes that need a scan to be detected, such as carrying illegal cargo.

Once a crime is detected, if the starport’s own security detail isn’t close enough to respond, then fast response units are dispatched to rain vengeance on any criminal elements in the area!

Fines are also being introduced, to give the authorities a proportionate level of response rather than shooting to kill regardless of the severity of a crime. Minor crimes and non-threatening infractions will incur a fine, which can be paid off to your local space station authority representative.

If you don’t pay off your fines, they will initially attract compound interest and then, once the authorities lose patience with your tardiness they will be converted into a bounty, and lead to you being hunted down.

 
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GalNet News Transmission 3rd July 3300


GalNet News Transmission 3rd July 3300
All information ©3300 Pilots Federation. Copyright violation is a crime in all jurisdictions.

:: Pilots Federation Alert::
Significant numbers of fatal unprovoked attacks on Pilot’s Federation members are being detected.
Pilots Federation members are reminded of their obligation to uphold the values of our organization by seeking out and destroying enemies of the Pilot’s Federation.
Bounties have been placed on the heads of all such rogues.

::Market Information::
Booming ship sales
Faulcon de Lacey’s bestselling Cobra Mk III holds onto its top spot with 35% market share.
Zorgon Peterson has quickly built momentum around its recently released Hauler, which captured a 30% market share in its first week of sales.

Aulin Profitability Declines
GalNet trade aggregation service reports that unusually high levels of commercial activity in Aulin have resulted in the system currently being the lowest average profit per trade. Commanders wishing to undertake a strategic review of their trade routes are recommended to consider i Boötis, which currently offers the largest average profit per trade.

LP98-132 Shows High Activity in Gold
Perhaps reflecting the level of pirate activity noted in our Geo-Political analysis section, Gold is being very heavily traded in LP98-132.

More detailed market information feeds are available via an upgraded subscription to GalNet Market Data.

::GeoPolitical Analysis::
Eranin Tension Continues
Skirmishes between the Eranin Defence Force and the Federation continue.
Many contract bonds for assistance have been placed by both sides, making it a profitable ongoing opportunity for Elite Pilots Federation members.

Piracy
High levels of piracy are continuing to be reported in LP98-132.

::And Finally::
380 cargo canisters of Fish were detected floating in deep space.  Authorities speculate that pirates ejected them to make room for more valuable cargo.

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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A Match Made in Heaven?


We are putting a lot of effort into creating engaging and fun multiplayer game-play.  Elite: Dangerous is all about freedom, and you will of course have choices.  Beta 1 will have the first stage of our functionality for matchmaking.

We hope and expect most people will choose to play with the full online community, but from Beta 1 you will have other options too. You will be able to create friend lists, and just play with a group you create from that list. Another new option is single player. From Beta 1 you will now be able to play on your own if you like. You will still encounter other ships in the game, but they will always be AIs.

Many commanders still have their Alpha Backer numbers as their Commander names. We would suggest Commanders enter their chosen names in time for Beta – as this will make finding your friends a whole lot easier! Login.
 
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Open Hailing Frequencies...

As we teased last week in our Peek of the Week, a big new feature in Beta 1 is player to player hailing (communications).  We expect this to be a very popular addition.

Again there are a couple of options here, text and voice, and of course you will have the choice whether to accept, cut short or simply ignore any hail, and report what you consider to be any abuse.  All hails, voice and text, may be affected by the state of your ship - for example if your systems start to overheat in battle, you’ll notice a degradation in audio quality of voice hails as a consequence.

In Beta 1, hailing is restricted to single ship to single ship.  Voice communication is only available between ships in the same system. Text communication is available between ships regardless of the system each is in.

As the Beta progresses, we will extend voice hailing to include open-channel voice comms between friends in a ‘wing’, and we plan to introduce a standard set of text hails to facilitate communication between ships whose pilots speak different languages.
 
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Comms Chatter


We recently came across this relatively new German Elite: Dangerous community site.

We also have a new Meet the Team interview on our forums with Assistant Art Director, Jon Bottone.


The Fantastic Books Publishing now have Elite: Dangerous books ready to purchase!  The e-books are ready to order and for pre-order in paperback, hardback and audio formats through the store.

They have been showcasing a book a week for the past five weeks and week's focus is John Harper's Elite: And Here The Wheel, the last of the five.

Books available;
  • Elite: Lave Revolution by Allen Stroud
  • Elite: Reclamation by Drew Wagar
  • Elite: Mostly Harmless by Kate Russell
  • Elite: Tales From The Frontier by 15 authors form around the globe, organised by Chris Booker
  • Elite: And Here The Wheel by John Harper.
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Hi-res Screenshot Competition


This week we are running a competition for the best hi-res screen shots, which you can take with Alt-F10.

The winner gets a framed A3 poster of their screenshot, signed by David Braben!

The competition runs all week and will end next Thursday 10th July at midnight BST. The winner will be chosen by David - his decision is final. 

We’ll feature a selection of entries in next week’s newsletter.

Please submit all entries via community@frontier.co.uk.

So we can feature them, all entries will become the property of Frontier Developments plc.

 
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Mostly Harmless Questions


Gimi: We already know that there will be area of the galaxy cut off for later use and no planetary landings at launch. Will these sort of limitations be incorporated into current Elite lore and fiction, and given plausible in game explanations?
  • Yes, to an extent. For the areas cut off, you will be prevented from going there – the drive will simply not lock on. We may add a message if we feel we need it like “Unable to lock on” or similar. For planetary landings, there may be a piece of equipment you will need to purchase, that will only become available later.  
Nomadski: Will there be missions that ask questions of a pilot's flying skills that dont necessarily revolve around combat?
  • There will be missions that require quick transits. I like the idea of ones that amount to races between players not unlike the old Tea Clipper races from China back to Imperial Britain in the 19th century. In Elite Dangerous, it might be the first to get the latest harvest of Lavian Tree Grubs back to Earth (this way all players would start at the same time) – but I think there will be tricky issues with this sort of thing – people playing in different countries meaning the start time is at an awkward time of day.

SzarWilk: Will different types of ammunition be available for different weapons?
  • Yes. Many weapons like lasers don’t use ammunition, but we have already planned a wide range of missile types. It should also be possible to get ammo for other projectile weapons that is a little better, for significant extra cost.

Ben Ryder: Will we be able to buy books like the Art work of Elite and sketch books?
  • Yes, that would be a great thing to do, though such a book is not yet planned.

Rog: Will auto-generated missions involve interaction with, or even the destruction of actual *human* players?
  • Generally no, but there are some special cases. For example if a player defaults on a deal with a particularly dangerous NPC, he or she may put a contract on that player’s head. There is no reason that contract might not be taken by a player…
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Community Events


It was great to see the pick-up of these two community event in Rock, Paper, Shotgun this week.

JULY
LAVECON 2014 on the 5th & 6th July in Kettering, United Kingdom is an annual fan community celebration of all things Elite, Frontier and Elite: Dangerous. This year’s agenda is action packed, with a LAN demonstration of the latest Premium Beta build of Elite Dangerous, official fiction writer panels, Q&A sessions with Frontier developers, Oculus Rift experiences, official fiction readings, the Elite Encounters RPG, a Chaos Reborn tournament, live audio drama, board games and loads of other stuff too. Tickets are still available.  
> Buy Tickets

AUGUST
FantastiCon is a new sci-fi convention bringing together Elite fans from around the world. It is being held in the Jameson Suite at the Royal Mercure Hotel in Hull, United Kingdom on Saturday 16th August, and convention attendees who book now can get hotel B&B at £25 pp/pn. The event includes free soft drinks and snacks, and access to a 24 hour bar.
> Web-site  > Facebook page  > Trailer  > Buy Tickets
 
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That’s it for newsletter #30 - 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 ask a question, then please contact us at elite-newsletter@frontier.co.uk.

The Frontier Team

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