Elite: Dangerous Blog

News and events from the Elite Dangerous galaxy

I’ve seen stations on fire off the shoulder of the Pleiades

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’ve been attacked by Thargoids – the alien insect race with bio-mechanical spacecraft – who’ve been probing us, building planet bases and destroying ships around the Pleiades sector for months.

Now, they’ve gone a step further and attacked three stations

  • Oracle station in Pleiades Sector IR-W D1-55
  • Titan’s Daughter in Taygeta
  • Liman Legacy in HIP 16753

The stations are in a bit of a state.

Frontier released a video (sadly on YouTube and not in the game) which shows news reports and panic as people on the stations are needing to be evacuated. It’s a cool video and sets up the atmosphere of a system under attack.

So what can you do?

Not many commanders have the money or resources to pimp out a full anti-xeno ship (although CMDR Gluttony Fang has written an excellent post on the forums on how to do exactly this) which means your war-effort must be offered in other ways.

Rescuing the poor people on these stations and ferrying them to the rescue ships is something non-combat commanders can do. You will need to equip your ship first.

  • Heat-sinks - the damaged stations are very hot because of fires and the failure of the heat dispersal systems.
  • Passenger cabins - economy class cabins of any size! Store those cargo racks and armour, then fit some rescue seats!
  • A fuel scoop - it's a long trip from the bubble and you're not going to help anyone if you run out of fuel and need rescuing yourself.

With your ship fitted out, you'll need to jump down to the Pleiades Sector IR-W D1-55 system (which is the nearest to the bubble). You can see all the stations damaged or under repair in the galaxy map. Go to the last TAB and look at the bottom of the list. Frontier have sneakily added two new options, "Show Damaged Starports" and "Show Repairing Starports".

I suspect we're going to see a lot of these on our galaxy map SoonTM. Why?

Big bad just got bigger

CMDR CookieJarviz posted this image of the newly encountered "Medusa" class Thargoid ship (Threat level 7). Walk away. Slowly...

CMDR Alan Marchman posted an amazing photo of one on Reddit. Needless to say, you don't want to get THAT close!

Fly safe out there commanders, because we're not alone!

Not shooting the breeze

Having been working on Aegis CGs for weeks, I felt like a break. It's all very well humping AEGIS' leg for new toy guns, but there's more to Elite: Dangerous than shooting stuff and I wanted to see some of the new content of 2.4.

Blistering barnacles

First I went seeking one of the recently discovered barnacle forests. The original forest was located on the C2 Moon of the Hyades Sector AQ-Y D81 system, so I prepped my Asp Explorer and set off to see vistas new.

The forest is located in a valley on the moon's surface at LAT 8.89 LONG -153.8 and as you approach all you see is a area filled with a green mist.

I landed at the outer edge of the formation. There is one slightly more prominent barnacle at the centre of the forest and then others arranged in a fractal-like geometric web out from the middle.

I deployed my neon-green SRV and drove into the field. The green mist was less visible at ground level, but the usual whale-song noises we have come to experience at the barnacle sites were also accompanied by something more menacing and quite creepy.

As I moved around the barnacles and scanned structures and scavengers (yes these strange insect-like droids are found here) there were also noises coming from underground. The sounds gave the distinct impression that a LOT more was going on down below out of sight and I was looking at the tip of the iceberg.
Is the forest a bio-organic shipyard? You have to wonder. Either way the noises reminded me of the film "Tremors"; something was definitely moving around underground.

I harvested some materials from shooting a couple of Scavengers and some meta alloy from a few of the "ripe" outer barnacles. Then I packed up my SRV and left the planet. Way too creepy to stay!

Only humans can make a tourist site out of an accident

Next stop on my "tour" was the crashed Thargoid scout ship. I needed LOADS of screen shots to get what I needed for drawing the blueprint, so a visit was a must.

I plotted the route to HIP 17125 and this time took my Anaconda to LAT -65.8 LONG 48.8 on the A 3 A moon. The crash site is visible from quite a long way up in orbital cruise, so it wasn't too hard to find.
I had brought the Anaconda so I could scout ahead with the SLF, so I launched in a F63 Condor to survey the crash site from the air.

Once my Anaconda had caught up, I docked the SLF and landed, then deployed my SRV.

The crash site is basically a giant skid-mark ending in a pile of rocks with a flying saucer sticking out!

There are no scavengers at the site - everything is dead. I looked around and drove some way from the site looking for additional debris or signs of what might have brought the Thargoid ship down, but there is nothing else to see.
You can scan the wreck, but this is a bit of challenge as the SRV will only perform a scan when you are close to the top of the Thargoid and that requires some acrobatics in your SRV to accomplish!

One thing to look at is the top of the ship. I've not shown it here, because [SPOILERS]. Go and see it for yourself.

Space 3303: Moonbase INRA

My next stop was the most recently discovered 8th INRA (Intergalactic Navy Research Arm) base. Being military (and possibly a Thargoid target) I took my Corvette this time.

I landed at the base accompanied by Sir Clip in his Asp. The base is abandoned. A haunted house in space.

The two silos that once contained the Navy's bio-weapon that defeated the Thargoids (or so we thought) stand like dark monuments.



The base itself though, is not entirely dead. There are four data-points around the base, which when scanned, reveal audio logs which tell of the fate of those who manned the station. The only shame is that these logs are not dated, so we don't have any context of when these events occurred.

As I flew away from the site I couldn't help, but wonder why there were not signs of what took place. No wreckage human or Thargoid is there and nor are there any signs of weapons installations. The whole experience raised more questions than it answered.

What this visit has done is make me want to visit the other seven bases and try to put more of the picture together. Rumour has it that there are twelve bases in all, so we have yet to find the other four.

 

Thargoid Schematics

I have updated the set of Thargoid data obtained (can't say how) from the Federal Navy.

Thargoid Sensor

Previously the Unknown Artefact.

Thargoid Scout

The scout ship seen only at a crash site so far.

Thargoid Interceptor

The Cyclops variant Thargoid ship.

Comparative scale

To see the Thargoid vessels compared with the human vessels. (4K+ image)

Ships Skins and Thargoids

Ship skins

At the Frontier Expo on Saturday October 8th I got to chat with Sandro Sammarco, Frontier's Lead Designer, about paint jobs.

Following my article last week, the FD Power Survey, I thought I would go to the source and ask Frontier how they decide which ships get paint jobs and ship kits, and what - if any - criteria was used to make this decision.

Sandro is a very approachable person and offered to talk to me any time I wanted during the Expo. So, between presentations I put on my "Journalist" hat (or Elite: Dangerous cap at least) and asked the question.

"How do you decide which ships get paints in the store?"

Sandro-
The paint jobs, ship kits and other DLC are all managed by the marketing department. The development team are not directly involved in the selection process.

"From the numbers I've gathered from Inara, the most popular ships are the Asp Explorer and Anaconda, but the store mostly has Viper and Cobra paints; do marketing not look at ownership stats?"

Sandro-
Marketing choose what skins they want to sell based on their own research of player purchases, but they do approach the developers for numbers of ships owned.

So that answered my question.

Sandro had a bit of chat with me; he's a very amiable and we spoke about ship roles and where different ships fit in, with the popularity of the Anaconda.

Sandro-
The Anaconda is a bit of an overpowered ship, but we can't change it now, as it is very popular. Players wouldn't like us changing their favourite ship.

Our conversation tool place before the presentation, so he couldn't say anything without spoilers, but he did say there were ships coming to the game that would make some exciting changes.
Looking at the Krait, Type-10 and Chieftain, I can see what he means, as these are the first wave of a number of ships to come in 2.4 and Beyond.

Thargoids

On an unrelated topic, I drew a new blueprint on Friday of a Thargoid Interceptor; leaked from an undisclosed source in the Federation here is the Cyclops!

 

 

Shhh! I’m Huntin’ Thargoids

Following the addition of the “Experimental” weapons to the game yesterday on completion of the Aegis Community Goal, I decided to swing down to Merope and find myself some Thargoids.

On the way out, I purchased a shiny new Research Limpet Controller at Jameson Memorial in Shinrarta Dezrha and set off down to Merope.

OTHER PLACES YOU CAN GET RESEARCH LIMPET CONTROLLERS
Brestla, i Sola Prospect
LHS 3980, Schlegel Keep (15% discount)
Howard, Messerschmid Bastion

You can obtain Xeno Scanner and AX Missile launchers from any planetary station with outfitting in a High Tech or Refinery system.

After docking at the Planet Base, Alcazar's Hope I switched from my exploration Anaconda into my far speedier Imperial Courier and (using storage) switched the limpet controller to the smaller ship. Then I went a huntin’!

The nearby system of HIP 19072 was full of “non human signal source” points, so I dropped into one and found a couple of wrecked Imperial Cutters, the wreckage still burning, surrounded by a green fog. But no Thargoid ship.

I returned to super-cruise and continued my Thargoid hunt. At the next Non-Human Signal Source, I dropped out to find this one occupied. I got close enough to scan him and he scanned me. Lots of whale song and rumbling, but still in the green.

Then the Thargoid ship proceeded to ignored me and continued to scan the wrecks floating around us.

Feeling emboldened, I proceeded to scan the Thargoid with my Xeno Scanner - this took about the same time as a Kill Warrant scanner does. The petal ship began to pulse and chatter and the lights on the ship turned red.
A swarm of small missile-like ships circled the perimeter of the vessel, then dived at me, causing hull damage and reducing my shields. It turns out the flight suit doesn't help with the fear-response!

I tried to flee, but there were two problems. The first was the Thargoid vessel cruised at over 300m/s and my ship was badly damaged already, so I didn’t have best speed. Cruise wasn't fast enough to outrun it and boost was offline due to module damage.
The second issue was that the Thargoid ship has a mass-lock of 30 (at 27 the Imperial Cutter has the largest mass lock of any human ship) so nobody can jump away from a Thargoid!

The end result was predictable. Shields went down like a tissue curtain and the Thargons pounded my hull to zero in waves.

Not disheartened, although about 300,000CR worse off, I went into station outfitting and equipped my Courier with Module and Hull reinforcement and tried again.

I didn’t attempt to scan the next vessel I encountered, instead I just shot a Research Limpet from 2km away.

At first the Thargoid seemed unconcerned, but when the limpet began “extracting” a sample, the vessel turned red and steamed straight at me. It is worth noting that once attached, the limpet takes several minutes to “sample” the target and you cannot go more than 4km away from the limpet (and by extension the angry Thargoid), or the limpet will self-destruct. The extraction progress is shown on your HUD in a similar fashion to the FSD cool-down.

This lead to a cat and mouse situation, where I was flying at maximum speed avoiding energy blasts from the petal ship, all the while chased in circles by an angry swarm of Thargons. Too far and the limpet is gone, too near and the Thargoid inflicts devastating damage to your ship. Eventually, the toll was too great.

Driven away, with only three percent hull, my limpet went boom and I took the “Brave Sir Robin” option of running away.

At this point I decided the Thargoids had been getting it way too easy. Now it was my turn to bring the pain! Now I would chase them away!

Back to Alcazar's Hope for repairs and swapping the Limpet Controller for three Class 2 AX Missile turrets. This put my ship at the limit of its power plant but hey, you can’t have enough guns, right?

Back out into the black and found my next encounter.

I got close enough and scanned the Thargoid with Xeno Scanner, this revealed (on the subsystems panel) that the ship had four “hearts”. To disable the Thargoid, you need to destroy these.

You'll see (above) each Thargoid has a designation logo. These seem to have a number of variants. If you see one of these not shown below, could you take a screenshot and post it on Twitter to me (@ACHunt)? Thanks.

But, the scan itself triggers a hostile response from the Thargoid, like saying “Combat log” to a griefer, they are easily triggered! Going all gung-ho, I opened up with all three missile racks at once! Take that Thargoid scum!

At this point I realised that the vulnerable “hearts” of the vessel were at the back of the ship and the Thargoid, no matter how fast I moved, remained facing me. They make an Eagle look less agile than a Type-9!

This meant all my missiles exploded harmlessly on the front of the vessel. It was like throwing snowballs at an angry bear. There are no screenshots of this part of the encounter as I was too busy dying.

After my second rebuy screen of the evening, I decided to call it quits and come back another day with reinforcements.

The Thargoids Return on September 26

Last night Frontier had a live stream hosted by Edward Lewis and alongside him was lead designer, Sandro Samarco, to herald the release of Elite: Dangerous 2.4 on all platforms on 26th September.

They showed off a CGI trailer for 2.4; which sadly did not consist of any in-game footage. As in the past with these trailers, it was very dramatic, but had little real connection to the actual game of Elite: Dangerous.

Ed talked about Thargoid lore in the game (a short recap anyway) and Sandro answered some questions about game content. If you were not one of the 3,500 (ish) people watching the stream, here is the highlight reel of what you missed.

Law and Order

The Pilot’s Federation bounty on players who kill other players is a first-step. This will be refined and the Karma system fleshed out in 2.4. The system may also be expanded to NPC kills. Nothing is ruled out at this point.

Pilot’s Federation Bounty – When a player commits the crime of murder (PvP only), they receive an additional Pilot's Federation Bounty. This bounty is valid in every jurisdiction except anarchy systems.

A ship rebuy Penalty now applies when a player commits the crime of murder (PvP only), an additional cost is added if they swap to a less expensive ship before paying legal costs during the rebuy process.

New Ship

Sandro stated the Type-10 Defender (clearly a Lakon craft) is not the Panther LX. It’s a new ship. He didn’t answer any other questions about the Type-10. Is it a new ship or variant (combat Type-9)? We’ll find out I guess.

Above is a concept art of what was going to be the DiamondBack. Maybe as with the Imperial Ships, they'll adapt one ship concept to use for another. My thinking is that they've taken a basic type-9 heavy and made a combat variant, in the same way they did with the Type-6 Transport -> Keelback. The resulting ship would be a slow moving but very dangerous gun platform. This though, is pure speculation.

New Content & Features 2.4

Holo-Me now has multiple Save Slots for different Commander appearances, as well as new hairstyles and added slots for Eyewear and Outfits.

Synthesis can now create heat sinks, chaff, limpets and top up life support, however heat sinks require manufactured materials so you won't have an infinite supply outside the bubble.

Additional planetary bases have been added to the Colonia region for migration winners

New Content & Features 1.9

The Inbox has had a revamp with various quality of life improvements and a new look.
We get chained missions; missions that can be in several parts.
Hull/Canopy Repair Limpet controllers are now available which will enable you to repair your own and other CMDRs ships out in space.
Station outfitting now displays all options available for cosmetic items. You can preview paint jobs and other game extras with the Buy Now link enabled.
Your stored ships can now be sold from the rebuy screen to cover the rebuy if you are cash-poor when your ship was destroyed.
Exploration and the galaxy map have the following improvements:-

  • The maximum route plotting range has been extended from 1,000Ly to 20,000Ly.
  • Route plotting is much faster.
  • In route plotting there is now an option to make use of neutron star boost when plotting routes.
  • An icon is now displayed on your plotted route to show the last scoopable star before your ship will run out of fuel.

The stations now have a search and rescue contact for the new search and rescue missions. This option also allows you to hand in recovered escape pods (legally). In addition new and improved salvage scenarios have been added to support search and rescue game play.

Anti-Thargoid weapons

Confirming what was first show in concept art at this year’s LaveCon event back in June, we will be getting a new type of missile launcher which is specifically designed to combat Thargoid technology. Shown in Medium and Large hard-points, it will be the first missile launcher in Class 3 - The question is, can you use those missiles on anyone (not just Thargoids) and are they dumbfire or guided?

We will also get a new countermeasure to protect our ships from Thargoid EMP weapons. This was shown as "being deployed". Since all Utility Slot items are "always on", I'm not sure how you would activate this in game if it wasn't always on.

These were all shown off with a CGI video trailer for 2.4 titled “Commander Chronicles: Retaliation”, which demonstrated the importance of ZombieLand Rule #2 – “The Double Tap”. Don’t be stingy with those Thargoid-killer missiles or the target will regenerate fast and will kill you with extreme prejudice using their own nasty looking warheads.

Because if you don’t, you’ll be making “Dale Face” all the way to the rebuy screen...

 Interestingly, the video showed the Target Lock on the Thargoid ship showed the ship as "Thargoid Interceptor - Cyclops Variant".

How do you like your eggs? Alien

UPDATE:
Overnight those busy CMDRs at Canonn Research (http://canonn.science/) have found another FOUR Thargoid Hives / Outposts...

#2 Aries Dark Region DB-X D1-63 A 7 A
Lat 25.94, Long 77.96

#3 Pleiades Sector OS-U C2-7 4 A
Lat 58.21, long -177.04

#4 Col 285 Sector VC-Y D57 AB 4 A
Lat 4.78, long 136.28

#5 HIP 14909 2 A
Lat 26.5 long -27.5

#6 MEL 22 SECTOR ZU-P C5-1 4A
Lat  -63.5, Long 8.02

#7 MEL 22 SECTOR NX-U D2-27
Lat -39.8, Long -56.2

The Interiors have been opened! Two 'keys' can be used: Unknown artifact or Unknown probe. Once inside, there is a room where an Unknown Link is pawned. Take all three to the main chamber and drop each on the correct pad to activated the reactor.

No sooner is an update out the door, than we discover more Thargoid stuff!

Located 357.26 ly from Sol, a short way out of the bubble (too close for comfort if you ask me) is HIP 19026 and on the third moon (C) of Planet HIP 19026 B1, located at lat -17, long -152 is what can only be described as a hive.

It can been seen from orbital cruise due to the size. Is this a Thargoid outpost? or Hive? Sure is creepy.

Very reminicant of "alien", including the currenlty closed tunnels into the structure.

I found a number of flower-like objects around the structure which showed on scanner as "unknown uplink". These gave me three new data scans.

Unknown material

Unknown residue

Unknown structure

There are also a number of "organic structures" which contain meta-material.

There were also, well, eggs. And an unknown object that I picked up (the green thingy on the left) which corroded my SRV systems.

What's behind those doors? I'd sure like to know!

LaveCon 2017

LaveCon 2017

I couldn’t stay at the Sedgebrook Hotel for this year’s LaveCon, as my budget was rather limited, so instead my sons and I jumped into the car early Saturday morning and made the long drive from Maidstone in Kent, up around the southside of the M25, up the M1 to Northampton. We arrived a little after 9.20am. The hotel is on Country lane the “other side” of Northampton town from the M1, so it is quite rural.

Checking in

We walked into the main hotel lounge/bar where for the past few years, the convention reception desk (manned by volunteers) was located. Neither of my boys (Alistair 17 and William 15) had been to a convention before, so they were rather excited to get their badges and lanyards.

After looking at the event schedule for day, we decided to sit in on the welcome introduction in the main hall. The Lave Radio presenters welcomed everyone and ran through the list of activities and events, with the associated banter and heckling “MUG!”.

In 2015, the LaveCon event featured a live Episode of “Dockers” in which a David Braben-like character would smash a 1Direction mug every time the audience shouted “mug”. As a result, “for the mug” became a trademark phrase of the Hutton Truckers player group. There’s a lot more to the story and the Hutton Orbital guys can tell it better, but no LaveCon is now complete without some yelling of “MUG!”.

When the presentation was complete, the first thing we did was go out to the convention desk and sign up for a 12pm game of Artemis Starship Bridge Simulator. More on that later…

The LAN Room

As we had a little time to kill, we wanted to explore, so I took the boys to the far end of the hotel block where the Local Area Network gaming area was set up; the LAN Room.

Last year, I ran a virtual reality shipyard in the LAN room, so this year it was a bit strange being spectator!

My older son soon found the multiplayer projection screen which was running Gang Beasts! and Speed Runners. Alistair is seriously competitive, so he jumped straight in.

William was enticed to have a go at being a fuel rat. What's a fuel rat? The fuel rats are an in-game group within the Elite universe who will fly to anywhere in the galaxy to rescue ships that have run out of fuel. Their motto is "We have fuel, you don't". Playing on an X52 setup much like my own, William performed a real-life in-game rescue of a stranded commander. Flying six jumps out to a stranded Cobra, he manoeuvred around the star to leave super-cruise in the same location and deliver enough fuel-limpets to get the other ship safely back to a station. If you want to know about joining the fuel rats (or getting rescued by them) their website is here.

Before very long, I had to cut them short, as it was already 5 minutes to 12pm and our Artemis game was due to start. We made our way to the “top” end of the hotel in the older part of the building and sat down in the Artemis room.

Artemis

Imagine the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. Now imagine it manned by uncoordinated buffoons, with no clue what they are doing. Then you’ll have the general idea of Artemis.

There are six or more ship positions. The Captain, who can see everything, but can do nothing. Then the Helm, Weapons, Engineering, Science and Communications who can carry out their own isolated tasks, but cannot see the whole picture and rely on the Captain to command and co-ordinate.


"Captain Will" took his position with brother Alistair on weapons and myself on Helm, with other attendees on the remaining stations. This year, there was a lighting rig connected to the game, so raising shields turned the room blue. Red alert caused flashing red lights and so on. Very atmospheric!


We were fairly disastrous in our mission, having survived, but running out of fuel and leaving our starship helpless and adrift after all our space stations were blown to dust by space pirates and only managing to kill our pursuers by circling a minefield. It was a lot of fun though.

Bar snacks!

By the time the Artemis game was done, it was gone 1pm so we headed to the bar area and ordered food. The boys had a game of pool while we waited for lunch to arrive and then tucked into some very nice fresh-made pizzas and an angus steak burger, both with chunky chips.

William took a few slices of his pizza home and had them hot for breakfast on Sunday!

The lounge area had leather sofas and coffee tables all over, with a huge selection of board games for anyone to play. The room also had tea and coffee machines with a fridge full of soft drinks underneath. We didn’t go thirsty! The lounge was full of people at all times, chatting, gaming and socialising as well as propping up the bar.

We finished lunch just before 2pm, so we headed into the main hall for the Frontier Q&A presentation.

Frontier Reveals more about 2.4

The boys and I got a seat near the front and we waited for the fun to start. Which it did almost straight away.

David Braben (who did not attend) had a personal message for the LaveCon attendees, but no amount of sweat from the back room. Could get it to play! We either got picture or fluctuating audio, but not both at the same time. After five or six attempts and a long delay, Ed and Zac decided to skip it and start the proceedings. We never did hear what Mr. Braben’s message was… ...the men behind the curtain looked stressed!


Edward Lewis announced that those attending would receive three new ship skins exclusive to LaveCon. These were for the Python, Type-9 Heavy and Imperial Cutter.



After some clapping and cheering, the Frontier panel were introduced by Ed and the presentation began. The video is available here.

Sandro Samarco kicked off with a talk about the coming Thargoid menace in 2.4.

We will be getting new weapons and modules to combat the Thargoids. But it won’t just be about pew-pew! Sandro Samarco said (from my notes) that we would need to study and explore their ecology, science and technology. That they would be truly ALIEN in their responses to us.

He then flashed us some concept art and renders of new devices and weapons. I can only theorise, but the first item looks like a defensive utility module item, so maybe a Thargoid EMP shield? The other weapons looked like rocket or missile launchers; high velocity projectiles that would not be defeated by EMP, I would hazard to guess.



Thagoid EMP defence?


Hull repair limpet?


Anti-Thargoid missile or rocket launcher?

Sandro confirmed that we would be getting hull repair limpets in 2.4 and a new sythesis for making them while out in deep space.

Adam Woods announced a of quality-of-life feature for the menus in 2.4 - filters for the inbox. Another screenshot appeared to show a four-part chained mission.

Steve Kirby announced that there would be a new search & rescue menu in stations, where salvage and recovered cryo pods can be handed in for reward. This means they are no longer black market items.

Finally Sandro announced some changes to crime and punishment for 2.4, first the Sidewinder exploit will be removed. Now when you die with a bounty on your head, the rebuy will always be the cost of your most expensive ship. So if you've been naughty in your Corvette, dying in a Sidewiner will now cost 30M CR, not 300!
If you kill a human player, in addition to the normal bounty you'd get for an NPC, you will also have a Pilot's Federation bounty added to the tally.
And a little good news; if you have been destroyed and lack the cash for rebuy, you can now sell your other ships remotely to make up the rebuy cost.

After Frontier's presentation, there was then the annual Q&A session.

Because of D-d-d-d-david Braben's message overrun and the general enthusiasm in the hall, the Q&A had barely started at 3pm when our second game of Artemis was booked! So the boys and I sneaked out of the hall early. I knew from the past two LaveCon's, no amount of squeezing would get any more info out of Frontier's panel, so I wasn't too worried I'd miss anything. I had this confirmed later by another CMDR.

Second Game of Artemis

When we arrived at the Artemis room, it was of course deserted! Another person joined us, an author who was doing a reading for one of the writers panels. Her name was Anna Smith Spark.
After a few minutes, the Artemis game organisor managed to tear himself away from the Frontier Q&A and get our game started. Anna told us that she had no experience of computer games, but we did no better or worse than we had done in the earlier game. We ended up adrift and out of fuel....

Where's my Krait?

The CMDR who managed the Artemis sessions was busy building a paper spaceship during our game and I recognised it as a Krait. He made a small one first with A4, then proceeded to use copious amounts of whiteboard paper to construct a 18" version (seen part completed below).

I asked him what it was for and he explained that he presented a Krait model (in one form on another) to Frontier every year to remind them that his favourite ship from the original game was still missing from Elite: Dangerous.

This year it turned out to be Ed Lewis's turn to get ambushed which was why he didn't look happy to have been gifted with the model!

Game Cab

Back down in the LAN room, while Alistair was busy slaying everyone at Gang Beasts (did I mention he was competitve?) Will was trying out the GameCab Elite setup. GameCab are a UK company that makes custom desks for gaming. Their website is here. The desk was really cool, with side-pods, a pull-out keyboard rack and built-in chair vibration and Will claims "very comfy", so this is on my "man-cave" list for when I am not broke!
They were at LaveCon last year, so I'd seen the setup before, but I thought it would cost £1,000s but actually the basic setup was £400, which did surprise me. That's less than a mid-range video card! Anyway, this year they had a new USB keypad with custom Elite keys. Drop landing gear? There's a button for that!


The games room

Between the main lounge and the VR room, was the games room. Every RPG and board game you've ever heard of was laid out in there and quite a few I've never heard of! Another thing they had was glitter tattoos. Yep, LaveCon has everything! William and Alistair both got them, while I demostrated my poor eyesight with Elite Darts. Two "nil point" and a "100" scored! Terrible.

Virtual Reality Room

William wanted to try out some VR games with motion controllers, as we have a rift but no motion controllers. Alistair had a crack at Elite on one PC while Will gave Job Simulator a go.

Alistair had a successful mission, but found watching William playing job simulator more entertaining!

Saying goodbye

We had been sat behind Kate Russel at the Frontier presentation and Will wanted to catch up with her to get a selfie. He'd met her at the 2014 Elite: Dangerous premiere event, where she'd been great and in 2015 I'd managed to have her sign a copy of her book, "Mostly Harmless" for him, which he loved. We managed to catch up with her and Will got his selfie.
This time Kate wasn't armed and Will was a bit taller! Liek I said at the start, the Elite community is great.

2.4 "The Return"

The Thargoids are coming!

Frontier have announced that the next update to Elite: Dangerous will be released in Q3 of 2017 and will be titled "The Return".

This new update will be bringing the Thargoid race back to the Elite universe with a vengeance! They will require new weapons and new tactics to survive and exploration to discover their origins as well as research to discover their weaknesses and study their technology. The human race is not prepared…

The teaser trailer Ed Lewis showed us on the E3 LiveStream this evening showed an Elite: Dangerous logo being overflown by a number of octahedral alien craft and then being slowly corroded by a green glowing crystalline fungus. All very atmospheric and creepy!

It's wabbit human season

Ed topped off his stream by globally broadcasting to all players of the game that the Thargoids are back!

"This is an urgent message from Commander Edward Lewis. There are forces out there who do not want you to know the truth, but I have to make this public. I found a ship in HIP 17044. A Federal Capital ship, shot to pieces. They were carrying the data the Feds stole from Professor Palin. The crew is dead, but they discovered something important about the Unknown Ships. There is a beacon in the wreckage broadcasting a message, over and over. It proves what we suspected. They are back. And the whole galaxy needs to know. The Thargoids have returned."

To find the wreck site and beacon...

Travel to HIP 17044 and fly to the second planet (around 1,800 ls) then set a heading for the Asterope system, some 52Ly away but continue in super-cruise for a further 10,700ls until you see the unregistered comms beacon and distress call.


When you drop into normal space, you will see the wreck site. There are a destroyed fleet of Federal ships, some on fire and a green mist in the space around them. Spooky..

"Why the damage doesn't look too bad from out here!"