The Elite: Dangerous beta 3.0 is about to get underway, bringing a number of new features to the game as well as an enormous list of fixes and tweaks. Frontier Developments warned that, much like the rollout of the 2.0 beta, there may be some issues after it goes live, but said it will be able to sort them out with small updates released as needed over the coming days.
The Elite: Dangerous servers were scheduled to be taken offline at 12:30 pm PDT today to be updated to the latest build of the game. The process is expected to take a minimum of two hours but may well be completed by the time you read this, and will certainly be very close to completion (barring unforeseen disaster) if not.
New content highlights include the addition of the Imperial Clipper and Federal Dropship, fuel scooping and asteroid mining, and an overhaul of planetary visuals and effects. Players can now own multiple ships, "philanthropy missions" have been added, and the play area has been expanded further as well. The number of tweaks and fixes runs into the "hundreds," ranging from rebalanced power draws by sensors to chatter hooks for Police and Miners, and several that are specific to the Oculus Rift.
The full, almost alarmingly huge, list of additions and fixes is up on the Frontier forums. Elite: Dangerous is scheduled to come out before the end of the year.