When Frontier Developments announced a series of expansions (nothing's ever simple these days) for Elite: Dangerous [official site] back in August, they focused on what the first bit of 'Horizons' would bring: planetary landing, letting folks pootle around planets in diddy spacecars. Now they've opened up about other plans, and it's good stuff.
The Horizons expansions will also bring multi-crew ships so folks can fly together, a character creator to give yourself a face, ship-launched fighters with optional AI control, and more. Here, come watch their EGX panel.
The latest newsletter got into all this a bit first, then Frontier chatted more about it at EGX over the weekend. So, multi-crew ships! Frontier explain:
"You'll be able to share and alternate control of weapons systems, turrets and flight duties to multiply your effectiveness. Even to the extent of piloting a ship-launched fighter and working in combination with the mothership. It’ll be especially useful in some of the very large trading ships coming in season two."
With multiple people kicking around ships, Horizons will also bring a 'Commander Creator' to design your own face to distinguish yourself. Frontier tease that "It's the first step in the longer term plans we have for you, Commander" which... things went poorly when EVE Online's focuses wandered from pew-pew Internet spaceships to human avatar experiences, but Elite: Dangerous is a different game in a different time - and has the 'Walking in Stations' fiasco as a lesson to learn from.
Anyway! What I find coolest about the Horizon plans is deployable fighters. Big ships will be able to store fighters in their holds, then deploy them either under AI control or flying it themselves. Might be handy to have someone else on your mothership to take the helm while you nip off down the spaceshops, mm?
Here are David Braben and pals showing and chatting about some of this in their EGX session from the weekend just gone by:
Horizons will cost £40. It's basically one expansion that will be released in several pieces, as I understand it. The first part, arriving around Crimbo, will focus on planetary landings.