As promised last week, the beta for Elite: Dangerous’ ‘Powerplay’ update (1.3 for those keeping score with version numbers) is available to download today for those with beta access.
This is confirmed by a post on the Elite: Dangerous forums saying it’ll be released around 4pm BST, and by me because it’s downloading through my launcher at the moment.
There are plenty of things to mention with this update (and the changelog ‘highlights’ are below,) including the addition of a galactic power map and attendant factions (who themselves will offer missions,) an overhaul of the missions system in general, two new ships (Imperial Courier and Diamondback,) plus an updated bounty system.
Have a read of these for a few more specifics. The full, public release of Elite: Dangerous’ Powerplay is expected in around one week’s time (going by previous beta sessions.) However, that may depend on whether any major issues crop up in testing.
Powerplay 1.3 Beta Changes.
– Powerplay added.
– Power map views added to galaxy map.
– Added power information and action screens.
– Power specific ship modules added.
– Power specific ambient traffic added.
– Spawn AI to hunt player if they defect.
– Power specific goods and actions added.
– Playable ship Imperial Courier added.
– Playable ship Diamondback added.
– Cargo/Mining chunk collection drones added.
– Fuel transfer drones added.
– Prospector drones added.
– Mission system overhaul.
– Inbox integration for branching missions.
– Missions scaling up based on rank.
– Missions scaling up based on reputation with mission giver.
– Mission targets can be generated in supercruise rather than USSs.
– Spawned AI difficulty determined by mission (if spawned by mission).
– Missions requiring only mineable materials added.
– Revamped military progression missions.
– Added Founders and Elite ranked missions.
– More mission variants added.
– Chatter tables updated.
– Updated bounty system.
– Bounties cannot be paid off (Pilot’s Fed contact is gone!), but expire after 7 days.
– Major factions don’t record crimes anymore, only minor factions. (You may have major faction stuff in your saves left over from the previous system).
– Fines now take 7 days to expire, but never coexist with bounties (bounties absorb fines and dormant bounties with the same faction).
– Expiry only actually happens when you login, hyperspace or resurrect. (This stops cases of “I attacked a wanted ship that had no bounty a few seconds ago”).
– Friendly fire values relaxed.
– Add select nav target functionality to system map.
– Add mining bonus for mining operations within extraction sites.
– Added Painite as a minable commodity.
– Added osmium as a minable commodity.
– Added low and high intensity resource extraction site scenarios.
– Loan ceiling scales based on player’s highest Elite rank.
– Founder decal now gold.
– Added crimes for reckless flying (collisions) within starport no fire zones:
– Shields only collisions above speed limit is a fine.
– Hull damage only above speed limit is a larger fine.
– Ship destruction within short window after collision above speed limit is a bounty.
– Respects ‘Report crimes against me’ setting.
– Allow any general purpose slot on any ship to contain a fuel tank module.
– Show progress to next PF rank.
– NPC chatter works in supercruise.
– Added rank up messages and animations to inbox.
YouTuber/Astronomer Scott Manley has published a rather interesting video overview of the new powerplay systems and other features contained within the current beta.