Elite: Dangerous

Elite: Dangerous Powerplay brings crime, bounty, and optimization changes


The often discussed “Powerplay” update to Elite: Dangerous is bringing a slew of changes to the way bounties and crime work this month.

Among the  proposed changes there are also considerations for the way shader caches work in game.  This is being done to address some of the frame stutter issues users have reported.

Said changes and tweaks are summarised in a new developer post from Frontier producer Michael Brookes. It reveals that those who secretly want to play bumper-cars in space may have to curb their activities, as ramming at speed could soon be criminalised.

The ongoing Powerplay beta is set to trial “ramming at speed within no fire zones” as criminal activity. Specifically, travelling at over 100m/s and colliding with another ship will be considered a crime. Elite: Dangerous welcomes careful drivers, and all that. This potential change has apparently generated “vigorous debate” so it may not make it to the actual Powerplay update.

The biggest changes from this post revolve around active bounties.  As it stands active bounties are granted for infractions as minor as a single accidental shot on an NPC police ship.  Powerplay is bringing changes to the way this will work.  Hopefully reducing the frustration of being fined for a single shot.

The system will also introduce a new form of bounty/fine decay to the game.  When a fine is removed under Powerplay, it will still show on your record as a legacy fine.

Active bounties will (with Powerplay) be resolved in the following ways: “Firstly if a ship detects the bounty and destroys you then the bounty is claimed and removed. Secondly if your ship is destroyed, but the bounty is not detected then the following happens: The bounty becomes dormant and can only be detected by authority scans by agents of that jurisdiction and if detected will become an active bounty with a new seven day timer. If a dormant bounty is not detected within seven days then it is removed. If an active bounty is not claimed or made dormant within seven days then it will be cleared.”

Even when a bounty is removed, it will remain on your Elite: Dangerous record as a ‘legacy fine.’ The recently added bounty caps will remain, but will not apply to fines or legacy fines.

Speaking of fines, these will now take seven days before they ‘mature’ into full on bounties.

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