Elite Dangerous Beyond Chapter Four’s beta is live, or at least some of it is

    
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Beta for Elite Dangerous’ Beyond Chapter Four’s PC update is live now, or rather, the first wave is. “In tune with our vision for the Beyond season of updates, this fourth and final chapter brings improvements and additions to existing core features of Elite Dangerous,” Frontier says. Today’s chunk of testing will focus on the new exploration mechanics, new Codex, scenarios, background simulation, cockpit UI, and graphical enhancements, with more to unlock over the next few weeks.

As we’ve previously covered, some of chapter four’s biggest additions and changes are being made to the game’s Background Simulation, or BGS, which is the game’s “representation of how the actions of all players, no matter on which platform or mode, impact the galaxy.” As part of these changes, “factions will no longer be limited to a single state” and can instead be in “multiple states per system.” As an example, if a faction is at war, it will be at war only in the system where the war is actually taking place rather than being at war throughout all systems, as the system currently operates.

Changes to the faction state system aren’t the only things coming in chapter four, however. The update will also introduce scenarios, which are described as “new and enhanced versions of the Unidentified Signal Sources (USS) and fixed events that [players] may already have encountered.” These random events are fully voice-acted and feature “bespoke UI, providing [players] information on what [they] need to do to engage with a Scenario and the rewards [they] will receive for doing so.” Scenarios also tie in with the BGS changes, as they provide “specific Background Simulation rewards for successfully completing a Scenario, such as increasing the security status of the faction involved.”

This week’s preview will focus on mining and squadrons, so stay tuned for Frontier’s preview later today at 3 p.m. EDT!

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PhoenixDfire

Well, After the usual beta launch problems, I had a quick go at the new exploration mechanics and its a bit confusing to begin with. Takes a while to sort out the key/joystick bindings to get it working if you have a custom keybinding profile.

It took me about half an hour to get used to the new mechanics and after that it seemed to flow quite well. The initial honk still works and if you can read the Frequency Spectrum Scanner right (although the community have labelled it the FFS), you can skip the system if you don’t think there’s anything of value.

The actual scanning itself is quite quick when you get the hang of it and certainly a lot quicker than flying to each planet individually for a scan. You will still have to fly close to a planet if you want to map it with probes but that’s next on my list.

What was a surprise was that we got the first two parts of the beta in this one, not just the new exploration mechanics.

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The Gleeful Grognard

I want to love ED, but without VR I doubt I would be booting it up at all.

Here’s hoping X4 or SC scratch my itch better.

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Humble DG

ED in VR is definitely awesome, but I agree that it’s the only way I can really play that game. It’s a little too slow for me.

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Loopy

What about IR head trackers as an alternative? I never played ED in VR, and i can see the appeal of having free range of vision, however VR tech is still a bit out of my price range.