As promised a few weeks ago (opens in new tab), the second stage of Elite: Dangerous' closed beta has begun. Beta 2 opens up more of the galaxy (well, it is a big load of empty space, after all), filling it with new star systems and outposts, and adding a reputation system so that you can't go around being an utter space bastard without suffering any repercussions. Along with a big list of what beta 2 contains, Frontier Developments has revealed the date on which we can expect beta 3 to be grafted onto the game: October the 28th.
No details on what beta 3 will offer yet, unfortunately, but if there isn't some manner of space pumpkin in honour of the pagan festival it roughly coincides with, Frontier will have missed a trick. We can cheer ourselves up with the fact that the original Elite is still free (opens in new tab)—free and probably a bit difficult to play these days.
Here's that big list of beta 2's most notable new bits:
- New progression, with combat ratings from ‘Harmless’ up to ‘Elite’.
- Reputations per system and per faction that influence attitudes and prices offered to players.
- 570 star systems and 381,033 cubic light years to explore.
- Discovery, exploration and charting of new systems and the option to trade gathered data.
- Detailed system maps.
- New Outposts (small, exposed ‘roadside café’ stations in remote systems).
- New Ocellus starport.
- Further upgradeable Life Support modules, Engines, Hyperdrives, Power Distributors, Sensors, Shield Generators and Cargo Racks for all ships.
- New weapons, including mines and a Cargo Hatch Limpet built for non-lethal piracy.
- Visibility of other ships in supercruise, and the ability to track pilots through supercruise and hyperspace.
- In-game GalNet newsfeed, reporting story events from around the galaxy and each system.
- Gradual ‘wear and tear’ on ships.
- New Lakon Asp Explorer ship.
- All backers names from the appropriate crowd-funding reward tiers have been added to the NPC naming database.