With the Horizons expansion of Elite: Dangerous coming soon, various developers of the game are talking to the community and showing more of the big update. On its YouTube Gaming livestream, Frontier Developments CEO David Braben answered some questions from fans, but he also revealed beta dates for version 1.5 and 2.0 (version 2.0 is Horizons) of the game.
Version 1.5 includes a batch of new ships and improvements to gameplay. Players will be able to test it out before its final release sometime next week (the week of November 8). As for the beta version of Horizons, that's coming on the week of November 24. For North Americans, that's Thanksgiving, so celebrate some planetary landings with a side of turkey and ham.
Aside from the big announcement, Braben also revealed some extra details not only for Horizons, but upcoming improvements to the base game in general.
In terms of activities on the surface, a few gameplay clips showed Braben at the controls of the new surface recon vehicle (SRV). Aside from some off-road driving, the footage showed the landing bases for your main ship. Braben said that while these look like massive bases, their size is actually smaller than the traditional orbital platforms. Another video also showed the SRV deploying from a Cobra ship. This is the first we've seen any part of a ship other than the cockpit.
Speaking of which, some ships have more than one seat, implying that there's room for a small crew to make the experience all the more realistic. Players have been asking about the addition of non-playable characters (NPC) as crewmembers, or even NPCs flying with you as part of your wing squad. Braben said that the option is in consideration, but the team is still debating if that's something that they want to do for the future.
What is confirmed is that development of official groups (aka "guilds" in other games) is underway. This hasn't stopped players from banding together in the current build, but features will come that will make group creations official. One notable organization is the Fuel Rats, a space version of AAA. This group of players answers emergency calls from stranded pilots who have run out of fuel, and they come to their rescue in any part of the galaxy.
Other new features include a schematic-like map for each planet so players can find their way around, but the most important bombshell came near the end of the Q&A as Braben casually confirmed that the galaxy contains species other than the mysterious Thargoids.
For the longest time, players have been trying to find evidence of Thargoids, an alien race featured in past Elite games. Various hints throughout space point to their eventual arrival, but no concrete evidence has been confirmed. The fact that there are more mysterious residents in the Milky Way could pave the way for a later expansion after Horizons.
Rexly Peñaflorida II is a Contributor at Tom’s Hardware. He writes news on tech and hardware, but mostly focuses on gaming news. As a Chicagoan, he believes that deep dish pizza is real pizza and ketchup should never be on hot dogs. Ever. Also, Portillo’s is amazing.