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Elite Dangerous Newsletter #103 - From Frontier Developments
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Hello, Commander,
 
Welcome to Elite Dangerous Newsletter #103.

This week, we're delighted to announce the Elite Dangerous: Horizons launch date. It's 15 December – yes, just four days time!

We made a trailer using beta gameplay footage from Planetary Landings, the first Horizons expansion (Loot & Crafting, Multi-crew, Commander Creation and more will come for Horizons players at no additional cost during the season).
Plus, to celebrate Tuesday’s launch we’ve also got a final Horizons pre-order paint job available exclusively until launch day (existing Horizons pre-orders will receive it automatically!).

Don’t forget, Commanders who already own Elite Dangerous will also get access to an additional ship in-game, the Cobra MkIV, and are currently eligible for a £10 ($15) loyalty discount which will automatically be applied at the checkout when you buy Elite Dangerous: Horizons:


You can pre-order Elite Dangerous: Horizons now on the Frontier store here ready for Tuesday.

Or, if you can’t wait and want to play this weekend, order the beta, which also offers access to every beta release throughout the full Horizons season of expansions:

Play the Elite Dangerous: Horizons beta today.
Exclusive pre-order Cobra MkIII Paint Job
We also socking some surprising new products to you on the store this week so check out the new merchandise.

Last but not least, we are so excited about the new bobbleheads we're introducing with the launch of Elite Dangerous: Horizons and the release of Elite Dangerous 1.5 that we couldn’t wait to show them to you. We've made them available for pre-order now on the store. Pre-ordered bobbleheads will available for your ships on Tuesday.

Phew!

As if that wasn’t enough, in this week's newsletter we’re telling you about our launch day plans, how we’re celebrating Christmas with a brilliant charity auction and  checking in with the latest GalNet news!


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

Elite Dangerous: Horizons Beta

Thank you so much to everyone who has been playing the Elite Dangerous: Horizons Planetary Landings beta. Progress remains on a great trajectory.

Don’t forget the Horizons beta screenshot and video competition will end when Horizons launches on Tuesday. Here are a few more of the entries from the last few days. Make sure you get your entries in soon to be in with a chance of winning!
This week David Braben posted in the forums that Tuesday's release...

"...will initially be termed an ‘Early Access’ release to highlight our normal process to our broad audience, some of whom have been with us since the start, but many have joined our community very recently."

Read the full post from David on the forum.


You can still join the Horizons beta today, which will not only let you play for the weekend, but also give you access to all the beta releases in the Elite Dangerous: Horizons season. Those with beta access can test the expansions before they're released, and send invaluable feedback and bug reports that help us improve our releases even further.

Permission to Land

To celebrate the launch of Horizons we'll be inviting a delightful selection of developers to chat with us on the official YouTube channel from 12:00 GMT. The livestream will continue throughout the day, until the Horizons build is ready to go live or we run out of developers to talk to! Either way, we'll have prize giveaways, community content showcases from the Horizons beta, and an interview with David Braben!
Before that, at 10:00 GMT, we'll be inviting you to ask the Elite Dangerous developers anything you want, on the Elite Dangerous subreddit. We'll be trying to get through as many questions as possible before the livestream goes live at midday.

Remember that if you are a Steam customer you will need to have the latest Frontier launcher to play Horizons. Make sure you’re ready by downloading it here today. Don’t forget that anyone who does purchase Horizons from the store will also receive a complimentary code when we launch on Steam.

Christmas Livestream and Charity Auction

This year Community Manager Edward Lewis will be taking on his biggest challenge yet. This Christmas, Ed will be streaming live, for your entertainment, for 24 hours all in aid of the gamer’s charity, SpecialEffect.

Ed will be joined by a host of guests throughout the day from both Frontier Developments and the community to keep you company... and him awake.

We’ve also got some amazing prizes to give away too. With over 60 mouth-watering prizes in our prize pool including a high end gaming PC and much more. We will also be giving away a cargo hold full of our very exclusive Community Paint Jobs for free which you can only get at major community events.

Find out all the details about the stream, our schedule of events, and how you can win these prizes here.

But that's not all; we also have a one week blind auction, with the winners being announced as part of the livestream. This prize list is just as impressive and includes one of kind items not available anywhere else, so follow the link to get involved.

Store Spotlight

The festive season is upon us and it’s getting cold outside. David’s looking pretty warm though with his mug of tea and cosy clothing.

Speaking of which, we have something very special available to pre order on the store right now. They’re perfect for doing anything in, whether it be catching up on the latest news on Reddit or enjoying the new Planetary Landings.

Socks are limited so make sure you pre order now to avoid disappointment and always remember “Right On” Commanders.

Limited Edition Bobbleheads

With the launch of Horizons comes the much anticipated return of Bobbleheads and with that comes 2 very exciting additions to the Bobblehead family. The first is this festive Christmas Tree Bobblehead which will bring both Christmas cheer and warm nostalgia to many of our Commanders hearts.

What’s more, you will also be able to express yourself however you choose with our Alphabet Bobblehead pack! This contains 71 alphanumeric characters which you will be able to display up to 10 of, in any order, on your dashboard to create a word or phrase of your choice and all the characters can be used more than once.

Bobbleheads are available to Commanders in both Elite Dangerous and Elite Dangerous: Horizons. They’re available for pre-order right now, so treat yourself with some bobblehead companions today.
From the desk of Executive Producer Michael Brookes...

Hi everyone,

As you can imagine it’s been a busy week here with the run up to the Horizons and 1.5 update releases. The team has been pushing hard to get as many tweaks and changes into the game as they can. The results of which has been the substantial beta update we released earlier in the week and another is expected today. Once again I’d like to thank everyone for their feedback – it has been phenomenal! While we can’t always respond we do review the feedback and where we agree that a change needs to be made we will do so.

A good example of this was the visibility of POIs from your ship. The original intention was that your ship scanners give you an approximate location for a POI, which you would then track down with the SRV’s wave scanner. Obviously this has a continuity issue in that some of the POIs you would expect to be visible. In this case we agreed with the feedback that the continuity/persistence issue outweighed the impetus to use the SRV, so we’ve changed this in the build earlier this week.

Naturally every action has an opposite reaction and this change has made finding the POIs much too easy and so destabilising the gameplay around POIs. As I write this we’re looking into ways to ameliorate this, so we’ll have some further tweaks to balance this in a later build.

Progress has been really good, and as you may have seen, elsewhere, we are releasing next week. We’re now focusing on stability issues and any high priority issues that come up. You can still keep the feedback coming though as we still have the rest of the season to go for further tweaks and changes as well as new content and features both for Horizons and updating Season One.

Putting on my story hat for a moment the sharp eyed amongst you have noticed a story in GalNet about ‘The Missing’. In brief The Missing is an encompassing term for everyone who has disappeared without trace in deep space. This includes colonists on the ancient generation ships, lost colonies, disappeared scientific expeditions and a host of others. Some will know from our timeline that many thousands of ‘generation ships’ left the safety of Earth beginning in the 24th century onwards, and headed out into what was then largely unknown – with just some data from probes to guide them. The process was completely unregulated, and many were not as well prepared as they should have been. In those days when faster-than-light communication didn’t exist, many of these potential settlers faced terrible risks alone, travelling thousands of light years into the black, not unlike the wagon trains that set out across continental US in the 18th and 19th centuries before them. Not all were successful at founding new worlds. Most were not. Some managed to return with tails of their adventures. Some were lost in deep space, the dead hulk of their ship carrying on an almost endless trajectory ever deeper into space. Others managed to land and survived for many decades before being overtaken by some local disaster. Some may still be alive, just restricted to low power light speed communications, or no comms at all, as their equipment has failed over the centuries in between. We say they have disappeared without trace, but just maybe some will find some traces of them that are still out there…

The plight of The Missing is just one of the things that will become more prominent over the coming year and the Commanders of the Pilots Federation will be pivotal in solving these mysteries. You can expect more news on this soon.

Community Goals Update

Greetings, Commanders, and welcome to this week’s Community Goals blog.

The storm of war rages on, as the Federation battles the insurgent organisation Emperor’s Dawn in the Kausalya system. With the Federation throwing the full might of its navy against the insurrectionists, it was speculated that they would be quickly defeated, but the insurgents have managed to dig in and fortify their position. Federal President Zachary Hudson was not deterred, however, telling his pilots:

“They cannot hope to withstand us for much longer. All that is needed is one last push, and these vile dissidents will retreat to the hole they crawled out of!”

If you are looking for a goal, the breakdown below should help:

Emperor’s Dawn vs. Federation:

Kausalya system, Emperor’s Dawn Pilots: Agnesi City - Collect bonds by killing Federation targets; the side with most bonds wins the war.

Kausalya system, Federation Pilots: Gernhardt Station - Collect bonds by killing Emperor’s Dawn targets; the side with most bonds wins the war.

Stay safe out there, Commanders!

HCS Voicepacks: Kate Russell

BBC Presenter, author of the Elite Dangerous book Mostly Harmless, all-round good egg, and now a voice actor! HCS Voicepacks have just released Kate Russell's D.O.R.I.S voicepack. Visit the website for full details, but D.O.R.I.S has been described as "brilliant, warm, mischievous and dark".

HCS Voice packs are available now to use with Elite Dangerous. Control your ship using voice commands, and have the ship speak to you with over 1,000 voiced responses.

Each pack has a different theme, with the 'Verity' pack being voiced by our very own in-game ship voice talent, Verity Croft, and others featuring British sci-fi legends, including Tom Baker, Brian Blessed and Paul Darrow.

Visit the HCS Voice Pack website for more information and a list of all available packs.

Comms Chatter

It's amazing what a few  of game designers can do with an hour or two of their own time after work. The above picture is a LEGO Anaconda made by Dan Davies, Mike Evans, Adam Bourke-Waite, Andy Thomas and Steve Kirby. The designers had bought the LEGO for Steve after he'd made them some lovely personalized Elite shirts.   

A huge thanks goes to LDB477 who provided the instructions on how the Anaconda was built.

Hundreds of commanders (already 130+ signed up!), including some of the most famous ones, are organising a massive event to cross the galaxy together, in order to get to the other side.

Please join and don't forget to bring your SRVs! Here is the promo video for the event called Distant Worlds, made by Dr. Kaii, one of the organisers!

We are also very proud of the mass-meet up for the shooting of the video, where many commanders bombed about on the surface of Mitterand Hollow...

Bouncy bouncy! /u/fenikso found an interesting "feature" while out in space.

What if... the Sidewinder MKI had a commercial!

ALL HAIL THE HYPNOHOLE! CMDR Dat RPG shared this really neat spin animation around a black hole.

Ship surfing? It's more common than what you think! CMDR HisDudeness posted this to the /r/EliteDangerous subreddit this past week...

CMDR Luxyr was a bit curious to know if his fuel rat would be fit for the job!

Soon, very soon, is what we can say however. CMDR Gustav55 posted this to the Elite Dangerous subreddit.

There are a few things that keep us in awe with Elite Dangerous, this is one of those moments...

Racers and Fuel Rats have been gathering in the Tepech system for the latest Buckyball Racing Club event: The Mischief Mile. The race will run from 00:01 GMT on the 5th of December until 23:59 GMT on the 13th of December, beginning at Hooke Hub in Tepech and finishing at Ocampo Station in Mirateje. Participants are required to travel the width of populated space as fast as possible, hitting checkpoints in Fuelum (home of the Fuel Rats Mischief), NLTT 48288 (the most popular place in the galaxy to run out of fuel) and MCC 811. There are three classes, depending on the ship used in the race: Fuel Rat Regulars, Fuel Rat Crazies, and Bonus Snickers.

In September, Gutamaya Shipyards released a new version of the enduringly popular Eagle. This month, the company has announced the launch of a new fighter designed specifically for the CQC Championship – the Imperial Fighter. Gutamaya has said that the small, manoeuvrable vessel will be ideally suited to close-quarters dogfights, and more than capable of going toe-to-toe with other CQC fighters. As befits a ship created with the CQC Championship in mind, the Imperial Fighter offers a delicate balance of defence, firepower and manoeuvrability. The ship is more agile than the F63 Condor, which offers a similar spread of features, although it lacks the Condor's speed and hull strength. In terms of firepower, the Imperial Fighter matches the Condor with two small hardpoints.

The Voice of Varati today received a statement from Dr Arcanonn of the Canonn Interstellar Research Group: "As news of further station malfunctions spreads, I urge all those who have been selling Unknown Artefacts to stop doing so immediately, to avoid any further station shutdowns. There is a strong positive correlation between the stations experiencing faults and the sale of UAs at those stations. Our own observations at Bond Hub in Varati support this: the artefacts appear to affect stations in the same way they affect ships, with potentially disastrous consequences."

Federal President Zachary Hudson resolved problems in his supply chain this week, and ensured the Federal Navy's bases received sufficient supplies. An increase in naval funding has also come through, which will soon allow the Federal Navy to establish a presence in new systems. The Emperor's Dawn cell discovered in Kausalya, less than 50 light years from Sol, will surely face heavy Federal opposition this week. Alliance Prime Minister Edmund Mahon has calmed concerns about a potential collapse in financial markets that struck both Sirius Gov and Torval's enterprises. Though trade has been impacted, with no new trade agreements secured during the past week, the Alliance's economic future appears stable at this time.
That’s it for Newsletter #103. 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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Copyright © 2015 Frontier Developments plc, All rights reserved.


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