The galaxy has just expanded, with Elite: Dangerous moving into the second phase of premium beta. Frontier Developments have added a slew of new content for premium beta 2, including a few things that were shown off by David Braben at E3, like the enormous Orbis stations.
Take a gander below at the update’s highlights.
- Three new star systems are available to explore and trade within, Aulin, LHS 3006 and Styx.
- Giant Orbis class starports have been added, which are complex 8km diameter structures, larger and more luxurious than Coriolis star ports.
- A new space ship type, the Hauler, is the first flyable Zorgon Peterson ship to be added. It’s an entry-level trading ship, to follow on from the Sidewinder. It has four times the cargo capacity of the Eagle, the entry-level combat ship,
- Additional language support has been added, with German as the first such language to be
- A high resolution screen capture facility has been added (capturing at four times the current screen resolution)
- Improved functionality in the installer, giving incremental updates going forwards.
- Improved performance.
The Orbis stations bear a striking resemblance to Babylon 5 with a hint of Mass Effect’s Citadel. At E3, Braben thought about how people would live in such stations. The second ring on the station allows for 0.5G. The gravity on this part of the station could make life easier for the elderly or those with heart problems.
To get into the premium betas, you’ll need to part with a big chunk of change: $100. But that entitles you to all the betas and all major DLC, so you’re getting a fair bit with that. You can grab it here, and if you purchased the standard pre-order, you can upgrade and get premium beta access.
Braben explained to us why he decided to have such a steep early access price: “We knew how many people we wanted on the alpha, and it may seem like a cruel and merciless way of doing it,” he told us. “But that’s the way of getting people who are most likely to be dedicated and genuinely want it.”