When maintenance is completed this week, Elite Dangerous will have a shiny new update. Patch 2.4 The Return promises “more mysterious and exciting things,” a plain allusion to the “return” of the Thargoids, the extra-dimensional aliens that have previously served as the game’s “scary dogmatic alien” trope and is now here to conquer the galaxy once again, or at least to try.
The newest patch brings a bevy of new additions, including new save slots and hairdos in the Holo-Me system, new planetary bases in Colonia, bounties and ship purchasing penalties for murderers, an improved inbox, new missions, updates to the route plotting system, search and rescue contracts, improvements to the galaxy map, and a whole bunch of bug fixes.
You can also find a pair of cinematic introduction videos that showcase some lore and character details for the 2.4 patch.
To counter the threat, players have devised a series of first contact protocols to follow when encountering the Thargoid menace. That protocol was posted on Reddit earlier today, and does seem to be a reasonably pacifist approach, especially against a race famed for their lack of diplomacy. The desired approach seems to be to learn as much as possible about the Thargoids, as players are instructed to take screenshots, scan any ships they come across, and attempt communications with the Thargoids.
The Federation, Empire and Alliance forces have spent months building up and getting ready for this conflict. Question is, are you prepared?