Elite Dangerous outlines scaled-back Beyond content, teases big changes for 2019

    
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If you were one of the players grumbling over the smallish size of Elite Dangerous’ latest update, first of all, you weren’t alone. But second of all, you needn’t worry about the game’s future. That’s because Frontier’s Head of Communications Zac Antonaci has penned a lengthy forum post to explain just what’s going on with the game.

For starters, Antonaci says, the company is already hard at work on Beyond Chapter Four, which is due to release later this year (players will have test access “sometime in Q4”). Some content, like ice planets and fleet carriers, will not make it into this update but will instead be held over for next year – yes, the team is working on what’s coming after Beyond, too.

“A while ago, our development went from pre-production into full production on our next major milestone of Elite development,” he writes. “What that means in the simplest terms is that the team are actively working on the next major landmark which takes us into our next era for Elite. We aren’t going to be ready to talk about or announce any details for quite a while yet, it is early in the development and there is still a long way to go, but I can say that this is something that will be scheduled to release a considerable time after the final update in the Beyond series.”

It sounds like there will be part of a shakeup of how next year’s content will be formatted or funded or both, too.

“We aren’t going to be ready to talk about what method or model the content will be. What we can say is that it’s expected to be a major milestone in the history of Elite and will be paid content. Lifetime Expansion owners will obviously receive the content as part of their pass.”

Frontier has also acknowledged that lifetime expansion pass holders haven’t snagged any premium content on their pass this year; this is apparently because the studio “decided that it would be better to spend that additional time on the future content, rather than bringing new types of purchasable content out this year.” It will be pushing out some sort of special content for pass holders by the end of 2018.

On a playerbase-size note, Antonaci says that “hundreds of thousands of Commanders log in regularly” to the game. Not too shabby.

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Sana Tan

Looks like I won’t be hitting the reinstall button any time soon.

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

A bit more sand is needed in the sandbox and a lot less RNG.

cmdr_cotic
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cmdr_cotic

My thoughts are that they know the next “era” update is quite some time away from release, like 6-9 months away, and have moved the ice planets and squadrons into an interim update to avoid a bit of a content drought. The additional dev time will be welcome on those features though.

It kind of sucks but we did get all of this year’s content for free so I can’t complain too much.

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Your Honor

I couldn’t agree more, that was my first thought as well, but honestly how big is this paid update if they can finish it within let’s say 12 months? Reading SC articles I am lead to believe development takes a LOOOOOONG time… :DDD.

The two things that are moved are the only things I didn’t care much for, I mean it’s nice but I can wait a bit longer, but the stuff they are keeping including the lighting engine change are some of the most exciting things for me.

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BalsBigBrother

Well I am glad to see they are not bumping the exploration part of the update and I am really interested to see what they are going to do to make it more exciting.