Elite Dangerous has proven to be an almighty time sink since arriving on Xbox One in Game Preview format back in June 2015. Since that point, it’s seen an incredibly successful release which has brought in countless Commanders to traverse the frontier, many of which have made the most of trading, fighting and exploring the vast galaxy available to them.
Now though, the incredible experience has got even better as Beyond – Chapter One is now available to all on Xbox One and PS4 after leaving its PC Beta stage.
Beyond – Chapter One is the first content of the season of free updates planned to arrive in Elite Dangerous for both owners of the base game and the Horizons Expansion Pass. The update looks set to bring a number of exciting changes – all of which you can find below.
So, the first of the major changes comes in the form of Planetary Tech. It’s fair to say that the planets within Elite Dangerous already look stunning, but Frontier aren’t content and if you’ve found yourself installing the latest sizeable update, you’ll find planets looking even better with changes coming to both the colours and details of many, via way of changes made to the shaders and graphs that produce the procedurally created planets within the game.
For owners of the Horizons Expansion Pass, this will mean that landing on planets will give a much more detailed vision with surfaces now more clearly showing the chemical makeup and volcanic activity of the planets.
The next thing to note is the new ship – The Chieftain. The folks over at Frontier have already confirmed that there will be a ton of new ships arriving over the coming months, many of which will be Alliance based. The Chieftain however is the only one that will be a recognised name within the Elite Dangerous universe, and it’s available to buy for owners of the Horizons Expansion Pass right now.
The Chieftain is a unique ship that comes as part of the return of the Thargoids – the alien presence within Elite Dangerous. Coming with similar aesthetics to the previous Lakon ship, the Chieftain will boast a more aggressive feel with its design. With the ship proving fairly sizeable, players will need a medium landing pad if they are hoping to dock the combat ship. There is no minimum rank required to buy it and with three internal compartments, will certainly prove to be one of the preferred and most desirable ships with players. There is also a small change to the Keelback ship which has been changed to have two seats to allow for multi-crew possibilities.
There are plenty of changes coming to the engineering side of things over the course of the Beyond series too, from changes to resource investment to an increase in efficiency for the parts you decide to upgrade.but whilst many of the changes will be implemented later down the line, there are a few key changes players will find available right now.
The first being Grandfathering. With many utilising the engineering of key items, the changes will make for a more realistic experience. Whilst current items will find no change to statistics and effects, those wanting to further upgrade them will now need to convert them. Converting an item will see the item in question return to the top of its previous rank and will in turn change the statistics to represent the new blueprint. Blueprints will now be able to be maxed out in a better way than before with conversion being actively encouraged by Frontier.
As of now, players will also be able to find Materials Traders throughout the universe in various locations, all of which will allow them to trade larger amounts of low value materials for small amounts of higher value ones within the same class.
Remote Workshop is now also a service and this is the place that enables players to submit pinned blueprints to unofficial engineers. These are then designed into a crafted module for players to use in upgrading. This means making a trip to the engineer isn’t necessary every time you wish to upgrade, but it does also mean that experimental effects will no longer apply and there will be no reputation increase for it.
One of pivotal changes to arrive via the Beyond – Chapter One update is the Tech Broker, dealing in both new and rare technologies and items. These can appear throughout the many space stations and are usually found in heavily populated systems that hold a high security level. Tech brokers can offer extremely rare items, albeit for a pricey sum, and also offer request missions that can unlock specific items by handing in the specified commodities and materials.
Trading is a huge feature, so it only make sense to see a bunch of improvements coming for it. From now on, you will be able to access the trade data from all previously visited systems. This will mean that those tough decisions will become a little easier when it comes to selling goods across the galaxy and with the Commodities menu now receiving a makeover and showing information about potential markets, and the Galaxy map able to select target markets, whilst also showing trending trade routes, trading should now be much simpler and more profitable to the trained traders out there.
Whilst missions are a never-ending source of income in Elite Dangerous, that doesn’t mean we aren’t happy to see even more variety brought in, and thanks to Beyond – Chapter One, players can now enjoy the addition of Wing Missions – new co-op focused missions designed to be shared by up to four players. It’s the first step into multiplayer focused missions and will allow players in a wing to partake in large quantity delivery missions from station to station.
Current missions will also see a slight change with Frontier bringing a complete re-balancing of all mission rewards in Beyond – Chapter One.
Another change arriving comes in the form of Mega ships. These join the simple data links and numerous NPC ship scenarios available and will need to be scanned by the player with a data scanner before they can become interactive. Not all ships will require the same interactions and you’ll need to find out how to interact through the scanning data.
Those who take note of the all-important GalNet news will now find the ability to have the news delivered to them via audio. This means that GalNet will be available at any time during play, including during Super Cruise. Additionally player can also add Audio Storeies to a play list that can be listened to, or paused, at any time from the right hand menu during play.
There is also a new voice available – Victor, that will allow players to change their ships computer voice, with future updates bringing further voice packs.
Traffic Control will now also be applicable to players with traffic control able to address the player ship via letters from the player ship name or via the commander name or ship ID.
Narrative may not have been seen within the recent beta, however Frontier have delivered on their promise of expanding the narrative with extra story content that is now available, continuing the story of ‘The Guardians’ and the Thargoids. Whilst the narrative won’t be fully complete in Beyond – Chapter One, upcoming Beyond updates will see an expansion to the long-promised narrative between the two factions.
The final change to come via the latest update is one that brings major changes to the crime and punishment system. For those who watched the recent live stream with Frontier, you’ll know all about the planned changes arriving in Beyond – Chapter One. For those who aren’t yet aware however, here are the changes you can now expect to find.
From now on, players committing a crime will no longer find the crime attached to them. Instead, the ship they are using at the time will come under the classification of ‘hot’. Hot ships connect to Starport services anonymously which in-turn limits the available services. To restore services, fines can be paid at security contacts, but crimes that have incurred Bounties will need to be paid off by using the Interstellar Factors.
As for the Bounties and Notoriety; leaving fines unpaid will no longer turn them into a bounty, and bounties are no longer dormant.
Bounties attained through murder have also been changed with a fraction of the rebuy cost for the perpetrator and the victim now both being factored in. Commanders will also find a Notoriety level which increases with each murder crime and also increases the rebuy cost fractions for both the perpetrator and the victim, with victims paying a much lower price. Should the Commander get caught and be brought to justice, the rebuy cost will decrease.
There are also new forms of bounty coming in to play, the first being Power Bounties. These only apply to Power crimes and replace all normal Power crime activities.
Interstellar Bounties are next and these will be issued against the Commanders that continue to commit crimes against factions aligned with specific Superpowers, with the Superpower being the ones to issue the hefty Bounties. This should help to deter criminals, whilst bringing a new level of consequences to those still pushing against the laws in place.
Whilst response to criminal activity is far from poor, there is now a new form of discipline within the universe. Should you have committed a series of crimes in a short period of time, the Advanced Tactical Response special authority ships will now close in on your position. These ships can pose a real threat to any ship a Commander may have – including high-end ones – but they won’t possess the power to instantly kill.
Should you be destroyed for crimes committed, you will now respawn in the closest Detention Centre instead of your local space station. Before leaving, Commanders must pay for the crimes committed in area destroyed, and upon leaving a Detention Centre Commanders will find themselves safe from other Commanders until engaging their FSD.
Being destroyed without any crime attached will still see players respawn at the nearest safe Star Point.
It’s also worth nothing – especially if you come with Bounty Hunting tendencies – that anyone with a Kill Warrant Scanner will now only find the single largest bounty within an area when scanning for Warrants.
So, there we have it. It may be a fairly extensive list, but there are a ton of new changes that are sure to bring an even better experience to the already fantastic Elite Dangerous. Will you be heading back into the universe to check out the new changes? Let us know in the comments below or via our usual social channels.