The alpha phase for Elite Dangerous: Odyssey is moving right along. After letting players step out onto the surface for the first time last week, Frontier Developments are moving into phase two of the next expansion's alpha testing. This week they're dropping alpha testers into a new system and letting them battle it out in the new on foot PvP Conflict Zones. You can spot the new FPS action in a new video the developers have published alongside the launch of phase two.
As part of this phase of the test, Frontier say that the "new starting system and ship ownership should alleviate long travel times," an inconvenience that players took issue with during the first phase of the alpha. As for worries about player Commanders being a bit too eager to test out their new guns on fellow alpha players, perhaps the Conflict Zones will help redirect that excitement.
You can catch a look at some of Frontier's alpha footage for Conflict Zones here, in which they explain the 12 on 12 matches which include a mix of live players and NPCs.
It's a pretty quick look, but if you're eager to see how Elite Dangerous works out with an FPS element, this is something to go on. The Conflict Zones initially sound like pretty standard FPS team match stuff where you'll snag a win by killing enemy combatants or capturing points on the map. The Elite-y part of it is that your success or failure in a Conflict Zone contributes to the outcome of the war between factions in that system.
Aside from the new PvP mode, phase two also adds a new "Dominator" combat suit and expands the explorable area to 20 lightyears. Over in their announcement post for phase two, Frontier have outlined some of the known bugs in the alpha, some of which they've just released another hotfix for.
This is phase two of four that Frontier have planned for the Elite Dangerous: Odyssey alpha. Next up will be the "exploration" phase that will let players actually hop out of their ships to stomp around on undiscovered planets for the first time.
Elite Dangerous: Odyssey is expected to launch in late spring this year.