Today is the last day for PC-playing Commanders in Elite: Dangerous to kick the tires of the Odyssey expansion as the fourth and final phase of the alpha test is now officially live, bringing over player characters from the live game into the alpha build as well as all of their ships and credits instead of just the one they were riding in as previously announced.
This latest build also brings other components of the base game to Odyssey alpha such as wing missions, Powerplay, tech brokers, search and rescue contacts, and research station service contacts. There are a number of fixes in place for this phase of alpha, as well as a rather lengthy list of known issues. This round of alpha testing will wrap up on Wednesday, May 5th, leading in to the Odyssey expansion’s launch on PC two weeks later.
On the subject of known issues with the alpha build, Frontier Developments held a livestream to discuss matters with the Odyssey alpha, confirming that the alpha build is an older version that was branched from the main development version roughly two weeks before alpha’s launch. To that point, a small subset of the content in Odyssey is being tested, primarily to test things like the game’s servers, the expansion’s new mechanics, and overall stability and interfaces.
With that all said, the full expansion will introduce a number of adjustments such as better occlusion to stop on-foot enemies from seeing players through walls, a balancing of enemies swarming players on bases, more intelligent use of grenades by on-foot enemies, and overall improvements to planetary tech like better rock and flora scatter, more diverse atmosphere visuals depending on atmospheric composition, more diverse biomes on certain planets, and new tech that will let players identify planetary terrain features from orbit. The livestream even shared a number of images of the new planetary tech.
The full livestream can be found embedded below or you can read this helpful synopsis from MOP reader StuartGT, while our own impressions of Odyssey’s past three phases can be found in our Stick and Rudder column below as well.