This post is also available in: Français (French)
Check out this week’s Elite: Dangerous summary: “The Outpost #108”!
The next “The Outpost” article will be published on January 5 or 12, 2019; by then, happy holidays everyone!
- Frontier News
- Powerplay and Lore
- Community Goals
- Pics of the Week
- Videos of the week
This year was time for the game’s review. Frontier had announced a season 3 Beyond that would be free with Season 2 Horizons, and content enhancing things already in game here and there. The story has been unfolding very slowly while the game was being repaired month after month as much in its code as in its existing features. Even if all the changes were not noticed by the community, it was a necessary step for Elite:Dangerous future development. Numerous new tools have also been put in place, Frontier Dev teams have moved to new buildings, a special custom built livestream room has been setup, and many other things to develop the game more comfortably.
This year’s improvements and developments include: Exploration 2.0, Mining 2.0, seven new ships, slightly more advanced stories with the Guardians and the Thargoids, including Hybrid Fighters and Guardian beacons and Thargoids Marauders. Planets, colours, lighting and rendering have been updated, we got improvements on Engineers, addition of Technology Brokers and Material Traders as well as the customization options COVAS (Cockpit Voice Assistant). The first brick of a group system called “Squadrons” has also been set up.
Codex, visual enhancement, Improved Background Simulation and Scenarios are part of Beyond as well.
Also noteworthy, Frontier’s communications team have grown with a total two Community Managers dedicated to Elite: Dangerous (Edward Lewis and Will Flanagan) supported by new team members + Brett Cooper and Paige Harvey in support to Elite: Dangerous social networks and forums. A new addition to the team should arrive early this year, but no news about supporting other languages so far.
Big efforts were made to improve communication during this year’s ending, especially between developers and the community. Dev sneak peeks “behind the scenes” were created, as well as a great exchange between content creators and development teams this last October in Cambridge, in which I had the honour to take part. These projects are vital for the game sustainability and allow to gather a lot of interesting feedback while giving some importance to the players, giving them a sense of belonging to the great project that is Elite: Dangerous.
I therefore salute these efforts made since October and wish to remind the communication teams that Elite: Dangerous is a living game, with a passionate and active community. Growing your community means being present at all times to support both the company and the players feedback. I feel the communication team is too marketing-oriented. Of course, a company has to make money. But that money comes from the community, and managing Elite:Dangerous only for a short month around updates releases is not profitable in the long run. This year, the community had been worn out; tired of supporting and giving with nothing in return. That is the point of view of many, many players as well.
In all honesty, 2019 will have to hit hard both in development and comms. Communications need to be steady, consistent, follow-up must be developed both before and after the updates and above all, the entire community must be heard.
The number of communications channels community ↔ developer needs to be reduced, and the capacity of that channel must be increased in order to respond in a much shorter time. Meetings need to be organized more often with more players/facets of the community, known bugs with their status must be an open thread, more videos and detailed blog articles need to be created, the frequency of low value and ephemeral livestreams need to be reduced (it’s fun, but that energy could be put elsewhere), forums needs to be reorganized by saving recent content and making them more accessible, and also making the game’s mechanisms and future development more transparent & constant.
I feel like Frontier has an incredible and united community, that amount of strength is pretty rare and it should be put to use. On the french side, the main content creators such as Aymerix, Resmo Syssla, Anthor, Kazahnn, Firefox, UP2D4t3, Biobob, TermittePower, Ian Baristan, others and I are collecting feedback and sentiment from the community on a daily basis. Its a job in itself, for my part I spend about ten hours a day in average. This is a force in which Frontier could tap into and really “feed” on this community potential. Even on the English front, there still seems to be a lot of work to have a fluid exchange between the community, creators and the development teams.
I hope Frontier communication teams, for Elite:Dangerous, will be able to clearly analyze the state of the community in order to get the most of it in 2019. There is a lot to be done, nothing is won, but we will do all we can to make that nugget of a game they have in their hands blossom, in order to pull everyone upwards.
In the meantime, happy holidays to all of you, and come back in top form, full of ideas for the year 3305 😉
The question I’m often asked is “so Nicou, what’s up for 2019?!”. I do not know, and even if I did, I probably couldn’t share it with you! 😀
BUT, hints have been left here and there about the game’s future, in particular via the recent Commanders Chronicles videos and in the jobs opportunities offered by Frontier for their upcoming franchises, Jurassic World Evolution but also Elite:Dangerous.
- Job offers: animators, interface designers and technicians were soughts in 2018. These positions would work on everything related to “character animation, stylized realistic hair behaviours, realtime motion, cinematic sequences, vehicles, armors, equipment, iconography and typography, material”
- Development clues: Mr Braben himself has implied that another game based on the Elite:Dangerous universe could emerge in the future, but we’re still far off. The head of communication, Mr Antonaci has made allusion twice about a surprising future for the game: This does mark some exciting next steps and enjoy the next leg of the journey.
- Artists clues: the collection of images below could give some hints.
Tom Carruthers, Lead Character Artist Frontier Developments shares his creations of what might have been concepts for the Holo-Me, but details are here.
Joshua Millyard claims to have created a ship named Core Dynamics “Maw” at request of Frontier Developments. It would be a mining specialized ship or fighter. Which could confirm a previous allusion of Frontier‘s interest in mining fighters.
Emilie Rinna is the creator of fabulous concept for Frontier. The details of her images indicates that the Thargoids have evolved into a new species in this creatures-ship. Confirming that Thargoids ARE the ships, or at least one of their variants.
Let’s not rush into conclusions, nothing is confirmed; but for those who know where to look, the future of Elite:Dangerous looks interesting.
I’m eager to discover what the game’s future holds, like all of you, and I will continue to inform you as much as I can, when things will be officially prepared.
For now, let’s wait for the Squadrons Fleets Carriers and the improved Icy planets 😉
A dedicated space about Devs’ messages from the forums and social Medias.
- [Mining] Changes to the Background Simulation, which came with Beyond – Chapter Four, mean that there are now more elements that impact the value of a commodity than there were previously. In the instance at Viktorenko Holdings, these elements have lined up for a limited time in a way that allow the faction to be able to offer high prices on specific commodities. In addition to this, the more motherlodes (containing Void Opals) that Commanders encounter and mine from (in a ring), the rarer they will become, driving an emergent and natural rush that will force intrepid miners into new horizons, seeking lucrative mining hotspots before they deplete. Ultimately, with the new mining changes, this is something we want to celebrate! // Edward added that Asteroids containing motherlodes do replenish over a period of time, and due to the size of the hot spots, it would be extremely difficult for Commanders to deplete the ring entirely of motherlode asteroids before they begin to do so. – Source – Will Flanagan, Community Manager
- [Krait MkII’s exclusive paintjob] AWith the recent success of the Special Effect event, all players now have access to the exclusive Krait MkII’s paintjob! You can find it in the outfitting, livery panel. – Source – Twitter Elite Dangerous
Powerplay, the influence struggle, continues to operate in game and the powers compete on a variety of military, economic and political fronts to gain new territory and expand their influence on the human world.
- Edmund Mahon =
- Felicia Winters =
- Arissa Lavigny-Duval =
- Aisling Duval +1
- Yuri Grom -1
- Zachary Hudson +1
- Li Yong-Rui +1
- Archon Delaine -2
- Pranav Antal =
- Denton Patreus +1
- Zemina Torval -1
◘ 19 December – Disgraced politician Juanita Bishop has called for a forthcoming book about the Far God sect to be banned:
“The authors, Ulyanov and Okonkwo, are known alien sympathisers. One was arrested as a suspected traitor and the other has admitted to being a Far God cultist! What they’re writing is nothing more than pro-Thargoid propaganda. It is an insult to all the brave souls who died trying to keep us safe. The authorities need to prevent this book from contaminating innocent people with its repulsive ideas.”
Journalist Gethin Okonkwo, who spent months undercover in the Far God sect, responded:
“The book includes first-hand accounts of worshippers being attacked by Bishop’s followers. Her desperation to halt its publication is nothing more than an attempt to prevent a criminal investigation into her activities.”
◘ 19 December – The conflict between two opposing factions in the Wally Bei system has ended. The fleets of both Wally Bei Technical and the Traditional Wally Bei Constitution Party were significantly reduced in a prolonged series of battles. The leaders of both organisations issued a joint statement:
“We recognise that our military leaders overreacted to accusations made by both parties. For humanitarian reasons, we have agreed to bring hostilities to an end. But we will honour the commitment made by independent pilots on both sides, who are now authorised to collect their rewards from the Wally Bei system.”
◘ 19 December – Imperial senator Simone Leatrix has announced plans for a week of revelry at her palatial residence on Capitol in the Achenar system. The senator told the media:
“We Imperials value the finer things, even during times of political upset. So I intend to celebrate the end of the year with a sumptuous party at my mountaintop retreat, which will be specially renovated for the occasion.”
To feed the hundreds of high-profile guests and decorate the senator’s residence, Senator Leatrix has asked the Cemiess Imperial Society to organise deliveries of food and newly refined jewels to Mackenzie Relay in the Cemiess system. The initiatives begin on the 20th of December 3304 and will run for one week. If either initiative meets its targets earlier than planned, that campaign will end immediately.
◘ 19 December – A range of new asteroid-mining equipment is expected to trigger an increase in the availability of ores and minerals. A spokesperson for the Industrial Mining Guild discussed the new tools at an industry symposium:
“Using mining lasers to remove surface deposits from asteroids can be difficult. The new abrasion blaster fires projectiles that break them free more easily. For deeper deposits, sub-surface displacement missiles can penetrate the rock and then be detonated remotely, releasing larger chunks of material. Finally, there is now a way to access valuable resources deep within certain rare bodies. Seismic charges, when carefully positioned, can crack an asteroid open and free the minerals at its core. Combined with upgrades to existing tools, such as scanners and prospector limpets, we are confident that these new tools will result in a surge in private mining activity.”
◘ 19 December – Princess Aisling Duval has publicly rejected the isolationist group Nova Imperium and its figurehead, Hadrian Duval:
“These extremists cause only division. Hadrian may well be the grandson of Hengist Duval, but that hardly makes him suited to the throne. Arissa has been silent for too long – she must act quickly to resolve this volatile situation.”
Senator Zemina Torval responded:
“Much to my surprise, I find myself in agreement with Princess Duval. The notion of an independent pilot becoming ruler of the Empire is preposterous. I am confident that the Emperor will respond accordingly.”
Despite this united front, Senator Pal Vespasian stated:
“Many senators are willing to recognise Hadrian Duval as Emperor-in-waiting. Nova Imperium is now a legitimate political movement with several million supporters. The only way the Empire will survive is by accepting the Imperator’s proposals.”
Galnet.fr proposes the latest news from the galaxy!
- Galnet.fr/en – Galnet News
- GalnetAudioFR – Dubbed Galnet, in French. Let me know if you would like to do this in English! Here are the examples in French.
Community Goals allow the community to work together on an ongoing project. Fight, trade, smuggle, explore and help the factions and super powers to achieve their goals.
There is no good or bad sides, write your stories in Elite: Dangerous while earning credits!
◘ Deliver jewels for Imperial festivities (Mining)
- Location: Mackenzie Relay | Cemiess
- Objective: Mine the following materials and sell them to the requested stations: Rhodplumsite, Serendibite, Monazite, Musgravite, Benitoite, Grandidierite, Bromellite and Alexandrite (Mining Guide)
- Rewards: Credits
- Progress: 2/8
- End date: December 27
◘ Deliver food for the Imperial festivities (Transport)
- Location: Mackenzie Relay | Cemiess
- Objective: Deliver Ceti Rabbits, Esuseku ○Caviar○ and Eranin Whisky (Trader Guide)
- Reward: Credits
- Progress: 3/8
- End date: December 27
Feel free to send me your prettiest images and videos via Twitter, Discord or directly in the comments!
I also invite you to appreciate Mathew Maddison‘s creations! He has enhanced his skills to a whole new level this year as pursuing his classes, a true inspiration!
“With 2019 I am graduating and will be on the market soon. So, get me while stocks last!”
Grimworth has also created an interface concept for Guardian ships. A real success! This is what ships need to increase diversity. For my part I also would have liked to have different interfaces depending on the ships’ manufacturers.
An introduction to the Codex, a spectacular story, and the secrets of the Mamba unveiled.
Thanks to the creators: Aymerix, SpaceBear, RockyRocket
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