When you think about it, two years is a remarkably short timeframe for building a spaceship. Once scheduled for liftoff in 2018, Elite Dangerous' long-awaited fleet carriers are finally, almost, just about ready to take to the stars. Today, Frontier announced plans for beta sessions in the coming months, scheduled a full video deep-dive on April 2nd, and revealed just how much a nation-sized supercarrier will set you back.
Spoiler alert: they're not cheap.
First planned as part of Elite Dangerous: Beyond in 2018, Fleet Carriers have found themselves stuck in the digital shipyards since. In October last year, they were pushed further back still to make room for some vital bug fixes.
But now, Frontier are just about ready to set their supercarriers loose upon the stars. Posting on their forums earlier today, Frontier announced a special pre-recorded "content reveal" stream for Fleet Carriers. They'll be outlining some of the intricacies of setting up your travelling shipyard - and while they've opted not to do the stream live, devs will be on-hand in chat to answer questions from pilots across the galaxy.
Ahead of that stream, Frontier listed a few key details about the upcoming mega-ships. They'll be able to travel a whopping 400ly per hyperspace jump - over 10 times further than my plucky little Diamondback. Carrying up to 16 ships that far comes with some caveats, of course. There's a hard cooldown between jumps, and owners will need to refuel with a new resource named Tritium.
Oh, and it'll set you back 5 billion credits.
That's almost five times more costly than the Imperial Cutter, currently Elite's most expensive luxury warship. It's impossibly greater than any amount of money I've ever saved in Elite. Of course, it's not really for solo flyers like me. If you're in the market for a Fleet Carrier, you probably already have a band of mates helping you scrimp together the cash for one of these 16-seater bad boys.
Frontier have set aside two public beta sessions for fleet carriers. The first, PC-only will arrive on April 7th, with a multi-platform second beta hitting sometime in May. Should all go to plan, Fleet Carriers will finally launch sometime this June.
While Elite's galaxy is far removed from our Earthly concerns, Frontier Developments are soundly not, stressing that all time-frames are subject to change.