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Frontier, the devs behind Elite dangerous and the amazingly successful Planet Coaster started 2018 by announcing a new raft of updates for their flagship space-themed MMO. Players were promised a new season of updates to follow on the frankly creeping cycle after their first large “expansion” dubbed horizons in 2015. Frontier have been criticised in the past for leaning heavily on their admittedly beautiful and brilliant simulation of the milky way galaxy instead of supporting player-led content. With a full procedural representation of over 400 billion stars, Indeed it could be called the biggest game ever made, or that will ever be made.

Players were therefore tentative when they were served with livestream after livestream of the Frontier devs showing off new graphical tech, a new ship and a whole host of quality of life changes to the complex and nuanced systems inherent to Elite Dangerous, they were then thrilled to learn that a beta period would soon be opening for anyone who owned the base game or it’s expansion. The beta opened on the 25th of January and at the writing of this article it is already on to it’s second iteration and about to hit it’s third.

This means that the live game will soon be evolving, which is always a wonderful thing with any MMO and it has been a joy to see the Frontier devs get so involved with the community, and indeed to see the community rise in support of the updates, either with optimism or frank criticism

I think the passion with which this community approaches these large, sweeping changes by Frontier and the heated discussion that always follows any feature list publication or roadmap update speaks to a game that succeeds in making players feel invested in an experience that they are willing (and, frankly required) to spend hundreds of hours in.

Elite is a game about taking part in a machine larger than you can possibly imagine and putting in as much as you get out. It’s an experience that provides a beautiful, awe-inspiring framework for the imagination that has spawned tons of amazing player groups, blogs, friendships, rivalries and even a fully featured monthly magazine entirely made by players.

In conclusion, whatever comes from this update and however it is received by the community, it speaks to a developer who are confident in their active support of this great game for the year ahead and I don’t think you can ask for much more than that.

Elite: Dangerous Beyond Chapter 1 will enter beta phase 3 on the 6th of February and will go live in the weeks ahead, the beyond updates will be free to all those who own Elite: Dangerous and it’s Expansion, Horizons.

The team behind the magazine mentioned above: Saggitarius Eye, have recently published their 5th instalment and I’ll link it down below, for anyone wanting to take a look at what this game can spawn, it can’t be beat.

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John Steadman

Games are more than a passion for John, having cut his teeth on the commodore 64 at a young age, remembering fondly that rafts of floppy disks required to install Monkey Island on his dad's Amiga 1500, games have been a way of life and a source of endless entertainment. Now all he wants to do is use his boundless experience to help inform and maybe amuse a new generation of gamers in this fast-paced and ever changing scene.

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