Adds player ships, Conflict Zones, and more.
Elite Dangerous players in the Odyssey alpha can finally wave a less-than-fond farewell to the expansion’s tortuous space taxis as Frontier embarks on Phase Two of its pre-release testing today, 8th April, giving Commanders access to their own ships for the first time.
Previously, Odyssey’s AI-piloted Apex Interstellar taxi service was the only way to get around the galaxy during the alpha, forcing players into an endless series of lengthy journeys with nothing much to do but stare out the window at the infinite expanse. Now, however, with the arrival of the alpha’s combat-focussed second phase, players can fly themselves around the available systems – touching down on planets for more of Odyssey’s centrepiece on-foot traversal along the way – as their whims take them.
To that end, Frontier is issuing all alpha testers (that is, anyone that’s pre-purchased Odyssey’s Deluxe Alpha Expansion) with a Cobra Mk III, complete with multi-crew seat, as well as 300,000 credits to spend as they choose. Additionally, Phase Two’s playable galaxy area has been expanded to approximately 20LY, with everyone now starting out in the Nervi system.
Elsewhere, the alpha’s second phase introduces team-deathmatch-style planetary Conflict Zones, and players can sign up to participate via the Frontline Solutions desk found at stations and outposts. These missions send players off to a settlement in order to fight on the side of a specific warring faction (the opposition being made up of both AI and human opponents in a 12v12 game). To win, a side must either kill sufficient enemy troops or capture vital comms points around a Conflict Zone – as detailed in Frontier’s new video summarising the feature.
Lastly, Odyssey alpha players now have access to the durable Dominator Suit, which is designed specifically for combat and enables the wearer to equip two primary weapons.
Today’s update includes a number of fixes for previously reported issues, as detailed on Frontier’s forums, and will pave the way for the Odyssey alpha’s final two phases. These are set to open up the galaxy still further, will introduce Odyssey’s new exploration features for testing, and, eventually, will enable players to bring in their Commanders from the main game.
Elite Dangerous: Odyssey is currently scheduled to launch on PC this spring, with an Xbox and PlayStation release expected in autumn.