Gosh dang it! Just as I’d began the long and arduous journey out to Jacques station in the Colonia Nebula to see for myself what all the fuss was about, Frontier Developments announced the imminent launch of their next big update for space combat and trading sim Elite: Dangerous. Yes, beta testing for The Guardians (also known as ED 2.2), the third instalment of the Horizons season, should go live on Tuesday 20 September.
The Guardians will feature new game mechanics in the form of passenger travel, tourism and ship-launched fighters, as well as a plush new liner ship, the Beluga. Players can also look forward to a variety of quality-of-life improvements such as vessel transfer and module storage, the SIN broker, increased functionality for the system and galaxy maps, and revamped port interiors.
I covered the upcoming changes in more detail here a little while back, though it’s worth pointing out that due to subsequent community outcry, ship transfer will no longer be instantaneous. It was argued, rather convincingly, that not having a delay would lack plausibility within the game lore, undermine the scale of the galaxy, and lessen the need for having a decent frame shift drive. As a consequence, FD took the unprecedented step of organising a public vote in which 38,045 took part and 70% voted in favour of a transfer delay. Yay for democracy and common sense!
As usual, beta access is PC exclusive and will allow players to try out the new features and provide feedback in a separate test environment using a clone of their Commander. For those without, beta access can be purchased for ED 2.2 and all subsequent updates for £6.99 from the Elite: Dangerous store. The full update is expected to arrive around mid-October.
Good job I only made it as far as the Omega Nebula. Right, I’m off to head back to the bubble in order to more fully take part.