A new update for Elite Dangerous has just landed, bringing an end to the long-running Azimuth Saga storyline, paving the way for the next chapter in the story, and fixing a ton of issues.
Update 13 concludes the Azimuth Saga which has been running since late 2020 and introduces the Aftermath arc. The story goes out with a bang, or more specifically the catastrophic failure of an alien-killing weapon. Scenarios and features have been added that Frontier says will reflect the finale, so while this chapter has concluded, the impact of the conclusion will be felt for some time.
If you take your ship to the Anti-Xeno Conflict Zones, you'll see the impact of the unstable superweapon—the husks of destroyed capital ships, floating in space. Watch out for the thargoids, too, because it sounds like they're going to be pretty relentless, attacking any ships brave enough to come for a glimpse of the disaster.
There's a decent chunk of fixes for numerous bugs and updates to the AI in general, like on-foot assassination missions no longer failing as soon as the target boards a ship, and guardian sentinels should now be able to use their missile launchers without much trouble. Some nasty visual bugs have been nixed, too, like some severe shadow flickering at settlements and inside the ship during sunrise and sunset, plus some further visual errors that were occurring on a few agricultural buildings.
As announced earlier in the month, Frontier is also "aligning game development" by no longer releasing updates to separate versions of Horizons and Odyssey. Horizons and Odyssey have been existing as versions 3.8 and 4.0 respectively, but all players will now be given access to the latter version free of charge with the option to upgrade to Odyssey. If you're not feeling version 4.0 you can still launch Horizons on 3.8 and stick with that, but all future updates will be released onto the 4.0 version only.
The Elite Dangerous website (opens in new tab) has more info on what you can and can't access in Horizon 4.0, so it's worth checking out, along with the full patch notes (opens in new tab) for update 13.