I fell through the cracks of Elite Dangerous [official site], finding I enjoyed the game a great deal while learning its basic systems of movement and interaction, but that there was nothing that lay beyond it that interested me. Update 1.1 has just hit now, and it brings the first major additions to the game - most notably, it introduces "community goals", through which players can collaborate to build starports and capital ships.
In a fashion. There's a pretty, illustrative trailer below.
Watch the video first. Watch it even if you dislike Elite: Dangerous or have no interest in Elite: Dangerous, because pretty spaceships and spaceplanets and spacethings.
As the video suggests, you're not exactly building the starports yourself, but instead supplying the materials needed for their construction. These are part of Elite's ongoing story events, where the in-fiction plot is affected by player actions and player actions in turn are incentivised by the needs of the plot. The advantage of the hands-off approach, I guess, is that you can take part in the missions whether you're playing multiplayer, solo or private group modes.
Also, as a committed space trucker, I guess it might give my intergalactic delivery runs more of an impact at the game's operatic scale. Those who contribute the most to their creation will be acknowledged in some way by starports, and the biggest contributor will be able to name any constructed Interdictor or Battlecruiser capital ship. Other included updates include localization in French, German and Russian and prettier planets.
The game's next update is due in March and "will focus on multiplayer and introduce new ways for players to group together, communicate and locate friends in Elite: Dangerous’ galaxy." Which is good, because that stuff is impossible right now, as outlined by our in-depth Elite: Dangerous review.