Back in October of last year, at the Frontier Expo 2017, Frontier Developments announced the details of the third season of Elite: Dangerous. Now, those first details are just a few days away from being available to commanders willing to brave the confines of an open beta. There are a total of four content updates scheduled for the game in the year 2018 and this marks the first. It will be followed by two smaller ones later this year and conclude with the largest update of all in Q4. Details on those are still to come, but for now, let’s have a look at what gamers can experience starting on January 25th.
Elite Dangerous: Beyond – Chapter One
Starting on Thursday, January 25, PC and Mac gamers will be able to join the open beta via the game’s launcher. Sorry, console gamers. The following new features will be available to test during this beta period:
New ship: Chieftain
I know a lot of people have been waiting for this, and it’s finally here. The new Alliance Chieftain is designed to dish out damage while refusing to take it. Manufactured by Lakon Spaceways, the Chieftain is more maneuverable than ships of similar size and weight, and its combat profile means it can more than hold its own in a fight.
Improved Core Mechanics and Trade Data
Things are always changing in the universe and the core game mechanics of Elite: Dangerous are no exception. Updates include accessibility enhancements to the engineering mechanics, an overhaul of mission rewards and big changes to Crime and Punishment. Traders will be able to improve their margins by accessing trade data from systems they have previously visited, in order to make more informed decisions when shipping goods across the Milky Way.
Wing Missions and Planetary Improvements
New Wing Missions will encourage commanders to group up and share the risks and rewards. Season 3 will bring several planetary enhancements to break up the monotony of grey and beige rocks with little reason to land on. This first phase will focus on visual improvements, while the later update in the year will deal with surface additions.
Finally, you will now be able to listen to GalNet updates as Frontier attempts to integrate the galactic news deeper with the game to flesh out the sometimes lacking lore and story of the game. Being able to listen to news updates in-game should improve the feeling of being part of a galaxy where things are actually happening.
More details about the full scope of this beta will be released on the day of its opening and we’ll be there to cover it. In the meantime, you can get more information in some upcoming livestreams on Tuesday, January 16th at 7PM GMT, and Thursday, January 18th at 7PM GMT.