ANNOUNCEMENT April Update - Coming 23 April 2019

On the other hand, it's not like they're less noobs when they make 6000 credits or whatever is required for the first rank in trading :)
True, but they will also be a bit more scattered, instead of all spawning in Eravate.

By the time I gained my first rank, I at least knew how to fly.
 

Greetings Commanders,

We’re very pleased to announce that the next update for Elite Dangerous, the April Update, will release on... Tuesday 23 April 2019!

As mentioned in the beginning of March, this year's initial updates will focus on introducing quality of life improvements and improving the welcoming experience for beginners. This update brings with it two new modules to help get you out there, engaging in and exploring all that there is to discover - as well as ensure that you're able to access in-game information and training from the seat of your cockpit!

Read below for all of the details:


Beginner's Zone

A new collection of systems has been added for newly-created Commanders, and can only be accessed by pilots until they earn their first Combat, Trade or Exploration rank. In addition, the authorities here will provide simpler missions that even the smallest of Sidewinders can complete.

Across the galaxy, new Commanders will also have a reduced rebuy until they gain their first Combat, Trade or Exploration rank, a step in the path towards greatness!


New Modules

Advanced Docking Computer
We're adding an upgraded version of the original Docking Computer, a module designed to allow Commanders to relax, let go of their flight sticks and automatically dock in stations to the serene strings of Johann Strauss II.​
The Advanced Docking Computer will not only allow you to dock, but also allow you to automatically undock from a station without anxiously worrying about getting stuck inside the mail slot. Let's face it, it will also help with those embarrassing Type-10 spoiler moments!​
This module will also come as standard in all newly-purchased small ships. If you're starting up a new account, you will find the Advanced Docking Computer in your ship from the get-go - making it easier for you to embark and disembark from your favourite stations without colliding with the walls, landing pads or your fellow Commanders.​

Supercruise Assist
Available at your nearest starship department store (i.e. Outfitting) comes the new Supercruise Assist module. While in Supercruise, you'll be able to target a destination and activate Supercruise Assist, putting your safety in the reassuring hands of a machine. In this mode, your ship will automatically maintain the correct speed and approach to your target destination, and break out of Supercruise at the optimum time. You'll still have to align with the correct location, but you will no longer have to worry about doing a loop of shame!​
With the the Supercruise Assist, you will also be able to enter into orbit around a body - allowing you to launch discovery probes and take screenshots without the fear of face-planting the dusty, rocky ground.​
This module will also come as standard in all newly-purchased ships.​


Free module slots for everyone!

With the introduction of these new modules, small ships will be outfitted with two additional size one Optional Internal slots, while medium and large ships will also receive one additional Optional Internal slot. This will automatically and retroactively apply to all relevant ships.


Navigation Tab

In Beyond - Chapter Four, the cockpit was completely revamped, and with the April Update, come even more improvements! The latest area to feel the love is the Navigation Panel where, in places, we have added icons for a tighter, more visually appealing layout.

A new column has been added to this panel, denoting activities in an area, mission targets, plotted routes, Wanted status and if the threat level of some areas is too high. The Navigation popup expands on this information, providing more details about the location, such as faction details, star class, information of resources and more!

Two of these may sound new to you - so allow us to explain!
  • Activities - Every location in the Elite galaxy, offers different activities, be it collecting Combat Bonds in a Combat Zone, or mining asteroids at a Resource Extraction Site. Icons and links to the Pilots' Handbook (see below) have been added to help you easily identify what activities are available at a given location.
  • Threat Level - Threat Level is something that already exists in the game (previously only seen at Unidentified Signal Sources), but this new marker will now appear in all systems. If a location has a threat level too high for your current combat rank, a 'danger' icon will be displayed, warning you that the location might be too dangerous.
Pilot's Handbook

Like the Codex, the Pilot's Handbook is a treasure trove of information, providing details on the many activities available to you in Elite Dangerous. Whether you're a veteran, or you've only just graduated from flight school, these articles will help you discover what opportunities are out there - and what is required to get involved in them. With links from the cockpit straight to the Pilot's Handbook, sourcing information is easier than ever before!


Trading Screen Improvements

When you're an interstellar trader, every minute is a potential sale... so to help you avoid being badgered by a strange man trying to sell you the 'deal of a lifetime' (500 tonnes of bio-waste is not always a good deal, by the way!), a number of improvements have been made to the user interface of the Commodities Market.

You will find two panels in the Commodities Market, Buy and Sell. Each new panel will provide you with important information:
  • Commodities relevant to any active missions you're currently undertaking
  • Icons that provide feedback of profits and supplies.
  • Trade data on nearby local systems per commodity
  • Buy and sell commodities pop-up with much more info than before - helpful even to the seasoned trader!
  • Select markets or goods and view their trade data in the Galaxy Map.
All these improvements have been introduced to make the Commodities Market easier to understand at a glance, ensuring every Commander can become a wolf of the interstellar Wall Street.


Interstellar Initiatives

Our name for the previously announced 'Community Events'. These are series of in-game events that play out over the course of around a month. Each one features several phases that will alter as the narrative progresses, and may end with lasting effects on the galaxy. We'll be delving deeper into these in just a couple of weeks.


...and there's more!
  • Revamped main menu layout, including featuring GalNet news and other important information.
  • Training Missions and Challenge Scenarios will now be accessible via the cockpit, allowing you to brush up your skills right from the seat of your ship.
  • Loading screen tips.
  • Bug fixes.
So there you have it, a brief take on some of the features coming in the next update.

Join us on Thursday 18 April (at 19:00 UTC) for a content reveal livestream, where Executive Producer Adam Woods will be showcasing how all of this looks in-game!

Until then, please feel free to share your thoughts and feedback with us below.

See you in the black, Commander!
In general this is a nice update.

I like the new modules, even though I won't need them myself, but why oh why don't you implement an expandable software system for our ship's computer. This has been proposed by many players, me included. Now you are messing around with even more small slots. This is so messy and sloppy, it makes me cringe.

This is totally unnecessary if you implement a software upgrade system for our ships. This will make these kinds of additions to the game much simpler, much cleaner, much neater and more systematic, and more flexible, and infinitely expandable. FDev, the way you approach this really makes me sad. You are painting yourself into a corner.

I predict that in the future you will have to add more small slots for stuff like this, like I predicted what you announced today long ago too.
 
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I can undock and navigate in super cruise just fine, but sometimes I want to read galnet or check the codex while flying. This is a missed opportunity for something that could be a great QOL improvement.
So put it into your new extra slot? Not losing anything by adding it. Or am I missing something?
 
This is a new, additional module, separate from the existing Docking Computer.
So the Docking Computer (current one) will be doing only automated Docking and the Advanced Docking Computer will be able to do both Docking and Undocking?

Edit. Nevermind, i re-read the original post and it's dead clear on this.
 
I'd go the extra step by making forcing specialized modules to used specialized slots, meaning you can only use HRP and MRPs in military slots.
Yeah even as a 100% combat player I would be fine with this. Elite has built itself into a corner in terms of balance, there was a small opportunity to rein things in with the engineers reboot but unfortunately as we all know, it went the other way.

Also speaking as an absolute min-max freak, I would sort of like the opportunity to use QOL modules. As it stands, knowing that equipping even one tiny limpet controller amounts to a huge loss in total HP, I find the fully-open modular system paradoxically restrictive... sure I can technically put whatever I want in those slots... but of course I'm going to put HRPs/MRPs/SCBs and so will every single other combat player. Even NPCs are pretty bloated now, especially if you're trying to do a CZ in a stock or small ship, to the point that you can't close out a CZ without synthing ammo in some cases, which is bad.

Drastic changes need to be made if Fdev want any kind of balanced ecosystem.
 
These sound fun.

I haven't gone through all pages yet, but by standard on all newly purchased ships means that new ships have them on, but otherwise you have to buy them? Is this correct?

Looks good! Can't wait to see more about these initiatives.
That avatar looks like an exercise the physical therapist made me do once. My neck wasn't on fire, though.
 
One more thing. One fun game is to find out the features that weren't advertised that actually turn out to be among the best.

In addition to counting how many posts before the salt begins.
(No sooner did I hit post...)
 
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Greetings Commanders,

We’re very pleased to announce that the next update for Elite Dangerous, the April Update, will release on... Tuesday 23 April 2019!

As mentioned in the beginning of March, this year's initial updates will focus on introducing quality of life improvements and improving the welcoming experience for beginners. This update brings with it two new modules to help get you out there, engaging in and exploring all that there is to discover - as well as ensure that you're able to access in-game information and training from the seat of your cockpit!

Read below for all of the details:


Beginner's Zone

A new collection of systems has been added for newly-created Commanders, and can only be accessed by pilots until they earn their first Combat, Trade or Exploration rank. In addition, the authorities here will provide simpler missions that even the smallest of Sidewinders can complete.

Across the galaxy, new Commanders will also have a reduced rebuy until they gain their first Combat, Trade or Exploration rank, a step in the path towards greatness!


New Modules

Advanced Docking Computer
We're adding an upgraded version of the original Docking Computer, a module designed to allow Commanders to relax, let go of their flight sticks and automatically dock in stations to the serene strings of Johann Strauss II.​
The Advanced Docking Computer will not only allow you to dock, but also allow you to automatically undock from a station without anxiously worrying about getting stuck inside the mail slot. Let's face it, it will also help with those embarrassing Type-10 spoiler moments!​
This module will also come as standard in all newly-purchased small ships. If you're starting up a new account, you will find the Advanced Docking Computer in your ship from the get-go - making it easier for you to embark and disembark from your favourite stations without colliding with the walls, landing pads or your fellow Commanders.​

Supercruise Assist
Available at your nearest starship department store (i.e. Outfitting) comes the new Supercruise Assist module. While in Supercruise, you'll be able to target a destination and activate Supercruise Assist, putting your safety in the reassuring hands of a machine. In this mode, your ship will automatically maintain the correct speed and approach to your target destination, and break out of Supercruise at the optimum time. You'll still have to align with the correct location, but you will no longer have to worry about doing a loop of shame!​
With the the Supercruise Assist, you will also be able to enter into orbit around a body - allowing you to launch discovery probes and take screenshots without the fear of face-planting the dusty, rocky ground.​
This module will also come as standard in all newly-purchased ships.​


Free module slots for everyone!

With the introduction of these new modules, small ships will be outfitted with two additional size one Optional Internal slots, while medium and large ships will also receive one additional Optional Internal slot. This will automatically and retroactively apply to all relevant ships.


Navigation Tab

In Beyond - Chapter Four, the cockpit was completely revamped, and with the April Update, come even more improvements! The latest area to feel the love is the Navigation Panel where, in places, we have added icons for a tighter, more visually appealing layout.

A new column has been added to this panel, denoting activities in an area, mission targets, plotted routes, Wanted status and if the threat level of some areas is too high. The Navigation popup expands on this information, providing more details about the location, such as faction details, star class, information of resources and more!

Two of these may sound new to you - so allow us to explain!
  • Activities - Every location in the Elite galaxy, offers different activities, be it collecting Combat Bonds in a Combat Zone, or mining asteroids at a Resource Extraction Site. Icons and links to the Pilots' Handbook (see below) have been added to help you easily identify what activities are available at a given location.
  • Threat Level - Threat Level is something that already exists in the game (previously only seen at Unidentified Signal Sources), but this new marker will now appear in all systems. If a location has a threat level too high for your current combat rank, a 'danger' icon will be displayed, warning you that the location might be too dangerous.
Pilot's Handbook

Like the Codex, the Pilot's Handbook is a treasure trove of information, providing details on the many activities available to you in Elite Dangerous. Whether you're a veteran, or you've only just graduated from flight school, these articles will help you discover what opportunities are out there - and what is required to get involved in them. With links from the cockpit straight to the Pilot's Handbook, sourcing information is easier than ever before!


Trading Screen Improvements

When you're an interstellar trader, every minute is a potential sale... so to help you avoid being badgered by a strange man trying to sell you the 'deal of a lifetime' (500 tonnes of bio-waste is not always a good deal, by the way!), a number of improvements have been made to the user interface of the Commodities Market.

You will find two panels in the Commodities Market, Buy and Sell. Each new panel will provide you with important information:
  • Commodities relevant to any active missions you're currently undertaking
  • Icons that provide feedback of profits and supplies.
  • Trade data on nearby local systems per commodity
  • Buy and sell commodities pop-up with much more info than before - helpful even to the seasoned trader!
  • Select markets or goods and view their trade data in the Galaxy Map.
All these improvements have been introduced to make the Commodities Market easier to understand at a glance, ensuring every Commander can become a wolf of the interstellar Wall Street.


Interstellar Initiatives

Our name for the previously announced 'Community Events'. These are series of in-game events that play out over the course of around a month. Each one features several phases that will alter as the narrative progresses, and may end with lasting effects on the galaxy. We'll be delving deeper into these in just a couple of weeks.


...and there's more!
  • Revamped main menu layout, including featuring GalNet news and other important information.
  • Training Missions and Challenge Scenarios will now be accessible via the cockpit, allowing you to brush up your skills right from the seat of your ship.
  • Loading screen tips.
  • Bug fixes.
So there you have it, a brief take on some of the features coming in the next update.

Join us on Thursday 18 April (at 19:00 UTC) for a content reveal livestream, where Executive Producer Adam Woods will be showcasing how all of this looks in-game!

Until then, please feel free to share your thoughts and feedback with us below.

See you in the black, Commander!
Sounds good. Hope to see some added colour to the different panels. The orange is getting a bit stale. :)
 
Yeah even as a 100% combat player I would be fine with this. Elite has built itself into a corner in terms of balance, there was a small opportunity to rein things in with the engineers reboot but unfortunately as we all know, it went the other way.

Also speaking as an absolute min-max freak, I would sort of like the opportunity to use QOL modules. As it stands, knowing that equipping even one tiny limpet controller amounts to a huge loss in total HP, I find the fully-open modular system paradoxically restrictive... sure I can technically put whatever I want in those slots... but of course I'm going to put HRPs/MRPs/SCBs and so will every single other combat player. Even NPCs are pretty bloated now, especially if you're trying to do a CZ in a stock or small ship, to the point that you can't close out a CZ without synthing ammo in some cases, which is bad.

Drastic changes need to be made if Fdev want any kind of balanced ecosystem.
All my this. Even if FD isn't ready to properly fix the hitpoint inflation problems (for which it may be too late), let's at least try to avoid making it worse. :)
 
Nice one.

Just one thing, have you considered the case of a newbie taking a mission from the new systems, perhaps a "go fetch" mission, jumping to another system, selling some exploration data they got along the way, or perhaps killing a ship, then grabbing their goods, and being unable to return and finish the mission because they have now gained a rank?
 
Will there be a galaxy map upgrade? It is still very frustrating to use as it seems not to work as intended. For eg; when looking for a material trader in a new area they often fail to appear as the legend shows in the left hand panel. Most other selections for systems also appear either bugged or dare I say it 'deliberately' obscured from view!
 
Nice. Tasty, tasty power creep.

Not to look a gift horse in the undercarriage but all these extra slots add weight. Have you given any consideration to increasing the optimal mass of small ship thrusters so we don't just end up with sad, slow small ships?
 
So put it into your new extra slot? Not losing anything by adding it. Or am I missing something?
Problem is that the whole optional module thing got very silly, especially if you take stacking of defensive modules into account. Frontier believes they are adding complexity by limiting choice, the same is true when you look at limpets. In reality it's just a convoluted system that stopped making sense in 2015.
 
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