Elite Dangerous: Beyond
Officially known as Update 3.3, the fourth chapter in the “Beyond” series of DLC for Elite: Dangerous went live on Tuesday 11/12/18
The update is available to download now for owners of the game, on PC, Xbox, and PS4, at the cost of absolutely nothing. Beyond has been a series of free DLC packages released over the past calendar year. This will be the last release of the Beyond series, ahead of a rumored paid content package in 2019. Elite: Dangerous Beyond Chapter 4 includes a litany of bug fixes, but, most notably, some major gameplay changes to the base game. We’d previously reported on Chapter 3’s release back in August. Chapter 4, however, will be the largest update so far.
There have been UI overhauls, exploration changes, new ships, squadrons, and new mining mechanics all included in Chapter 4. Frontier Developments have been testing the update through a series of beta releases throughout October and November. Week by week, each major change of the update was released and tested. Though the beta was available to PC players only.
You would think, therefore, that the update had been so thoroughly and rigorously tested that the release would go smoothly. Don’t be so naïve, my friend. Of course, there have been the usual reports of bugs and crashes, not to mention key binding problems on controllers. That’s why we always say: Never play, on patch day.
So this brings to a close the Free-LC Beyond package for Elite: Dangerous. Disappointingly, we never got the ship-carriers we were promised, but all told, this series has definitely improved upon the base game. There have been numerous quality-of-life improvements, which are always welcome. Plus new ships, to “pew-pew” things, be it Thargoids, space rocks, or indeed, other pilots.
For the full list of changes in Elite: Dangerous Beyond Chapter 4, check out the official (lengthy) patch notes. Seriously, you may want to set aside some time to take in all the changes. Otherwise, I’ve added an abridged version after the new release trailer. GamEir.
- Discovery Scanner upgraded to include access to the new Full Spectral System (FSS) scanner mode
- Players use the FSS Mode to discover stellar bodies, stellar phenomenon, USSs, scenarios, distress calls, mission targets and more
- Detailed Surface Scanner upgraded to include access to brand new planet probes
- Factions can now be in multiple states within each system that they are present
- War, Civil War, and Election states are now a 7-day conflict, where players engage in activities (such as winning conflict zones in War and Civil War states) and attempt to beat their opponents
- Added a new ‘Happiness’ level for each faction, that is a combination of various states and influence. Happiness also plays into the Expansion state
Megaships and Installations
- Added new mega-ships and installations
- Players can now create a Squadron (for a credit fee), or browse existing ones to join from the right-hand cockpit panel
- Playstyle tags can be used when creating a Squadron, and as a filter when browsing existing ones
- Squadrons can be aligned to a Superpower, Power and a Faction
- 3 new mining processes added (in addition to the standard mining laser process)
- Surface Deposits – material deposits that can be found on the surface of asteroids
- Sub-surface Deposits – material deposits that can be found below the surface of an asteroid
- Fissures – setting the correct ‘Seismic charge’ into fissures will split the asteroid apart, allowing the deep core materials to be mined
- 4 new mining tools added to outfitting
Krait Phantom (Faulcon DeLacy)
With a spacious cargo hold and a relatively generous quantity of hardpoints, the Krait Phantom is a versatile ship suited to a range of roles. It has enough firepower to hold its own against larger targets, and enough straight-line speed to outpace smaller targets. The ship also offers eight internal compartments, allowing the pilot to tailor the ship to their requirements. And while it lacks the firepower and fighter bay of its sister ship, the Krait Mk II, it is both faster and lighter.
Mamba (Zorgon Peterson)
Based on an unreleased racing prototype, the Mamba is one of the fastest ships in production. It can also deliver a lot of punishment, boasting one huge and two large hardpoints. This emphasis on firepower and speed means the ship can hit hard and fast, vanishing before the target has a chance to react. Comparisons to the Fer-de-Lance, also produced by Zorgon Peterson, will be inevitable, but the Mamba is, in fact, faster in a straight line while being slightly less maneuverable.