Frontier Developments has detailed the first of four updates that compose the third season of space sim Elite Dangerous.
The season, known as Beyond, runs throughout 2018 and includes one major update that goes into open beta from January 25, followed by two smaller updates and finally a fourth - and, Frontier promises, biggest - update towards the end of the year.
Here's how Frontier describes the content in the first update:
New Ship: Chieftain
Elite Dangerous Horizons Commanders will also be able to take to the stars in the new Alliance Chieftain, designed not only to dish out punishment, but to avoid it. Manufactured by Lakon Spaceways, the Chieftain is more maneuverable than ships of similar size and weight, and its combat profile means it can more than hold its own in a fight.
Improved Core Mechanics
Chapter 1 of Beyond will bring improvements to some of Elite Dangerous' core mechanics, including accessibility enhancements to the engineering mechanics, an overhaul of mission rewards and big changes to Crime and Punishment. We’ll be sharing more information on the changes to Crime and Punishment, and the Engineers in a future post here on the forums and in the livestreams mentioned above.
Chapter 1 of Beyond will give you the chance to take on wing missions with your fellow Commanders, sharing both the efforts and rewards.
Revised Trade Data
Commanders will now be able to access trade data from systems they have previously visited, in order to make more informed decisions when shipping goods across the Milky Way.
Planetary Visual Improvements
Chapter 1 also includes the first of the planetary visual improvements coming as part of the Beyond series of updates (with more surface level improvements coming later in the year) bringing a new vibrancy to the Elite Dangerous galaxy.
With the introduction of GalNet Audio, you will be able to catch up on the latest news from across the galaxy without ever leaving the action.