Elite Dangerous creator Frontier Developments today revealed its road map for the year ahead in the space sim, the highlight of which will be the addition of new player groups called squadrons.
These large groups will form around purchasable ships called fleet carriers—essentially mobile bases where members of a squadron can refuel, respawn and rearm.
Squadrons will have hierarchies, and will come with (as of yet unspecified) tools to manage membership and encourage communication between players in the same group.
They will arrive in a large update towards the end of next year, but there's also a regular stream of updates coming before that, most of which Frontier detailed at today's Frontier Expo in London.
The first big update of 2018, for example, will beef up Elite's law enforcement ships, giving them more powerful weapons and making it harder for criminals to survive.
There will be new ships added throughout the year too, including one called the Chieftain, which you can see an early version of below. That's new to the Elite universe but Frontier will also add a reworked version of the Krait, a ship that's featured in previous Elite games.
Also, one of next year's updates will add a news service that pilots can listen to when they're flying their ships.
Lastly, Frontier promised more story beats, graphical enhancements and an overhaul to the game's mining system that will give players more options when they're hunting for resources and grant some pilots massive rewards for mining specific asteroids.
You can watch the full announcement on Twitch (skip to 01:16:30 for the Elite-specific news).