Elite: Dangerous Blog

News and events from the Elite Dangerous galaxy

Powerplay Beta. What's it like?

powerplay_thumbSo three days into the Beta of 1.3 what’s it like? Well, lots of stuff had been tweaked. The sum of which means the game feels subtly different on many levels.

When in super-cruise, your shields now charge at the normal rate and the power management switches now function, so you can switch power around the systems. The audio is, well, enhanced. Travelling in hyperspace there’s a sub-sound like a tunnel echo and in super-cruise your ship makes an electric motor undertone, something like a tube train pulling away or breaking.

The new ships are very cool, but not top of the range examples. These ships fit nicely into the lower-mid range, between a Lakon-6 and an Asp, but are much smaller than I originally expected. More Cobra-sized. The Diamondback carries around 20T of cargo, so NOT a trade-ship.


The Imperial Courier is at least as sexy as the Imperial Clipper, in looks and sound. The cockpit is reminiscent of a Hawker hunter aircraft (The Red Arrow’s plane). It maxes out at Class 4, so the ships isn’t expensive to upgrade and while set to D rated internals, gets a jump range around 28Lyr with shields, which makes it a fair explorer. Where it really excels is as a fighter craft. Fast and agile, with three medium hard-points, it feels like an Eagle but hits like a Cobra. It doesn’t use much power for systems, so even with 15MW I can put three rail guns on it and make a flying sniper-rifle! Three shot kills are a hoot!


The Diamondback has four hard-points, two medium and two small, and is a little less agile than the Courier, but with a slightly greater jump range. Even A rated with weapons, it got 23Lyr range, which to my thinking makes it a very good bounty-hunter’s ship.

Navigation now includes the system maps, so you no longer have to fly to every planet to find that one water-world. You can now click on a planet in the system map and navigate straight there. You can even select the system map of a distant star system and plot a route to a planet within the system! You still jump to the star, but your compass is pointing to the right planet when you arrive.


Mine, Mine, Mine! Limpets (not the greatest name) now allow for prospecting and collecting. Mining is therefore a seriously easier process. Zap away at an asteroid and your deployed collector-limpets fly to the debris, and fly it back to your waiting cargo hatch! Limpets are bought as cargo from the munitions menu and you need a “controller” for collecting and another for prospecting.

powerplay_mining1 powerplay_mining2

I will go over the political stuff of Powerplay when I have had a chance to work out what the heck it all means.

The Zorgon Peterson Fer-de-lance

fdl-spaceThe Fer-de-lance is a medium size ship that is a fast-moving platform for firing lots of guns. Described as a “luxury bounty hunter” ship, it’s tough, well armed and probably expensive - hence the "luxury" tab.

It looks very nice, the shape is like an upturned boat with wings painted like a bowling shoe! The sounds - think electric Ferrari – are as sexy as the Clipper. With FOUR medium hard-points and one HUGE hard-point, it's the most heavily armed ship after the Anaconda.

The interior is very shiny with glossy textures and rounded edges. Very reminiscent of the Clipper, despite being from another manufacturer.




With no official word, it’s guesswork. This is the internals layout. Despite the (alleged) huge price point of 90-100M Cr the FDL is quite cheap to trip out.

fdl-hull fdl-hardpoints

With Class 4 FSD and Shields, the top equipment costs 1.6M (a bit less than the Python's 51M Cr Class A items)

Jump range is not high on this ship, not really a surprise, but fully loaded out (like mine) it still jumps a respectable 15Lyr and with a Class 4A fuel scoop, you take mere seconds to refuel. You’ll only get four or five such jumps out of the 8T fuel tank though, so scooping isn’t optional.

With D rated internals and no armour, the ship jumps close to 18Lyr.

Let’s face it though, you are not going to buy this to go exploring.


The true beauty of this ship is in its fighter capability. It’s the great white shark of Elite. With the four medium & one huge hard-point for weapons you can devise a load-out that kicks any butt.

I tried a stint with four Class 2E pulse-lasers and a Class 4B cannon, then four Class 2F multi-cannons and a Class 3C Beam laser. Both configurations were pretty effective, but the pulse/cannon combo had the advantage of not running out of ammo very fast.

People say to me “Why isn’t the Fer-de-lance as fast as a Viper?” and I reply “Because it doesn’t have to be!”

My advice to traders is, if you see and FDL coming, run away…

The Core Dynamics Vulture

vulture_smallThe Vulture is here! The heavy fighter we've been promised and it's very different.
For a start it has "only" two weapon hard points.

It's the size of a Lakon 6 but as nippy as a Cobra and kicks like a horse.

The first thing you notice about the Vulture is the engine sound. If a cement mixer lorry barrel ran on an electric motor and span at 100mph, it would sound like a Vulture’s engine.

The cockpit is small and the pilot sits at the front alone. Very much like the Federal Dropship, there are steps back into the ship to your right and the co-pilot sits on a second level behind and above the pilot’s left.

On the Oculus rift, you can see down through the glass to ground below the ship’s nose.

When I first took off, I expected it to be heavy, a brawler like the Python. Not so. It leapt off the pad and thundered out into space.


From Dalton Gateway, I jumped to the next system, as this was faster than the 100,000 Ls trip to the Nav Point. The ship is very responsive and manoeuvres like a Cobra. With the two Class 3 hard points set up with C3 Beams I was burning through small ships like Eagles and Sidewinders in seconds - shields or not!
Larger ships like Pythons and Anacondas were taken down easily without resorting to shield cells. NPC's are easier than human opponents, but even so, this is one tough cookie!


Nothing official yet, but generally the base ship costs the same as military grade bulkheads, which in this case cost 19.7M credits.

vulture-hull vulture-internals

The good news is that the Class 4 FSD tops out at the 1.6M A rated and the shields and thrusters are Class 5, which tops out at 5M, so the total upgrades are far cheaper than something like a Python or Clipper.

I had a go with an alternative layout using 1 3C Beam and a smart missile rack. Fish in a barrel! Melt their shields, hit 'em with a missile or two and collect the bounty!

1.2 Beta released

sm_pythonIf you've got access, get downloading! Debug camera, Wings, Sounds, Ships it's all there!

The Beta of the much awaited "Wings" update has been released. So what's it like?

Well, there's two new ships and I will cover those in detail, but we have two additional short-range fighter craft with some impressive combat capability.

The full release notes are available on the Frontier forums here.

Sounds. The audio has been buffed again with new effects for FSD offline/online and disengage super-cruise. Little things everywhere.

The debug camera. You can now grab screenshots from outside your ship. The camera is sluggish and when engaged (with CTRL-ALT-SPACE) you have no control over your ship. This means pretty pictures, but no third-person play. The perfect compromise.


Gamma 1.05 is live

Interested in the "user presence" fix - what can we see of each other in/out of super-cruise now?

Hi everyone,

Gamma 1.05 is now live. The change log is as follows:

Crash Fixes
- Fix for crash seen during processing of the render queue

Tweaks and general fixes
- Fix for sudden Starport rotation jumps
- Fix for game time getting out of sync between clients
- Fix for multiple stars having same system address
- Fix for not being able to purchase ships even when player has enough money tied up in their current ship to part exchange
- Added resource loading failure reports
- Added telemetry to help investigate why resource overlays sometimes get into a dead state

Server updates
- Players should once again be eligible for their own stock allocation of rare goods instead of sharing one with everybody shopping at that Station
- Outfitting shops throughout inhabited space should now stock a greater variety of internal modules
- Start creating news articles when minor factions change state in response to Commanders' actions and inactions.
- Minor improvements to server reliability, user presence and matchmaking


Elite:Dangerous Beta 3.09 Released

The Beta 3.9 update has so far confirmed to be bringing two new ships in to the game, the Faulcon DeLacy Python which is a heavy transport ship and the Saud Kruger Orca which is a specialised passenger liner.

The Elite: Dangerous Beta 3.9 update will bring the fixes, tweaks, improvements and optimizations that are now customary with each major update.

Elite Rankings
Reaching the rank of Elite, can now be achieved through trading, exploration and combat, rather than combat alone.
Faction Rankings
It is now possible to gain ranks with both the Federation and Empire by working on their behalf.
It is now possible to barter with other players in deep space, by transferring non-stolen goods to them.
Mission System
More variety in what missions you are able to do. A significant overhaul of Unidentified Signal Sources, giving increased variety and adding more mission related context.
Ship outfitting
Ship outfitting has had a major overhaul.
Galaxy Map
Galaxy map has also been improved with a major overhaul.
Voice Comms
Open-mic voice communications between up to 6 players in a group has been added.

Got myself an Anaconda

Finally hit 4M credits last night and stumped up for shiny new Anaconda.

Pimped my ride with a SHED LOAD of gimballed multi-cannons then went to an Anarchy and picked a fight. Won. A lot.

See you out there pilots!