Elite: Dangerous Blog

News and events from the Elite Dangerous galaxy

Elite Dangerous Ship Blueprints 2.3 Update

With the addition of the Dolphin, I have republished the full set with a few additions. There are size corrections on the Viper Mk III and I've added ZIP copies of all the JPEG version of each language. Additionally, the remaining translations have been applied, so this is the most complete set to date.

German translations will continue over the next week and I hope to have all language versions of the Dolphin soon. :)

Thanks to CMDR Noxa on reddit for finding out who manufactures the Corilios station.

Thanks also to all the others on Twitter, Reddit and the Frontier forums who have been spotting errors and mistakes and letting me know. It's been very helpful to have so many people proofreading this lot! As you can imagine, while most of this work has been done in my lunch hour, there have been a few nights where I burnt the midnight oil and almost certainly copied numbers from the wrong spreadsheet column!

Thanks to CMDR Aidan Abacus & the CMDRs of www.elitedangerous.de for German translations. Thanks to CMDR Nicou, CMDR Aymerix & CMDR Duita Rider of www.elite-dangerous.fr for French translations. Thanks to CMDR Nyra, with the help of CMDR Kimanuel and CMDR XPi2, from Corsarios de Heimdal for Spanish translations.

  Craft Manufacturer 1920x1080 4096x2305
Scarab SRV Vodel
F63 Condor Federal Fighter Core Dynamics
GU-97 Imperial fighter Gutamaya
Taipan Independent Fighter Lakon Spaceways
Sidewinder Faulcon DeLacy
Eagle Mk II Core Dynamics
Hauler Zorgon Peterson
Adder Zorgon Peterson
Dolphin Saud Kruger
Imperial Eagle Gutamaya
Viper MK III Faulcon DeLacy
Cobra Mk III Faulcon DeLacy
Viper Mk IV Faulcon DeLacy
Diamondback Scout Lakon Spaceways
Cobra Mk IV Faulcon DeLacy
Type 6 Transporter Lakon Spaceways
Diamondback Explorer Lakon Spaceways
Imperial Courier Gutamaya
Keelback Lakon Spaceways
Asp Scout Lakon Spaceways
Vulture Core Dynamics
Asp Explorer Lakon Spaceways
Federal Dropship Core Dynamics
Type 7 Transporter Lakon Spaceways
Federal Assault Ship Core Dynamics
Imperial Clipper Gutamaya
Federal Gunship Core Dynamics
Orca Saud Kruger
Fer De Lance Zorgon Peterson
Python Faulcon DeLacy
Type 9 Heavy Lakon Spaceways
Beluga Liner Saud Kruger
Anaconda Faulcon DeLacy
Federal Corvette Core Dynamics
Imperial Cutter Gutamaya
Majestic Class Interdictor Gutamaya
Farragut Battle Cruiser Core Dynamics
Coriolis Station Brewer Corp

What the PlayStation 4 Trailer let slip

Yesterday's trailer for the PlayStation 4 version of Elite: Dangerous was very cinematic, but hidden away in the folds of the advertising are gems of information on the next major Elite release.

E.V.A.

Now the first scene here, show a CMDR standing behind the pilot's chair. The ship looks to be a Cobra. While the scene looks more CG than game rendered, it depicts a pilot moving around the ship. Is this poetic licence, or a hint of what's to come in season 3? Walking around our ships and stations maybe?  Personally it might just be fluff for the trailer - a bit of scene setting. BUT... it could be an element of multi-crew. Instead of a fade-to-black screen when moving between each other's ships and chairs, we might see our avatar walk to the cockpit and sit down.

Asteroid bases

Since the Kickstarter in 2012, we've been tantalised with concept art of asteroid space stations. Either pirate bases or mining bases, built into larger asteroids. These have been high on players request list and the image at 18 seconds clearly shows "Boweens Hollow" an asteroid base. Awesome sauce!

More furniture in the room

At 49 seconds, the trailer shows a new space structure, similar to the civilian outposts we've seen added since 2.1. Not earth shattering, but nice to see more life in the galaxy.

It's not a station, but damn it's big!

With a drive section as large as Jacques stations, the ship depicted at 50 seconds is too "primitive" to be a Capital ship and it sure doesn't look Thargoid. So what is it?

Well, for those unfamiliar with Elite lore, there were, hundreds of years ago in game-time, generational ships that launched into deep space from Sol without the benefit of FSD drives. These ships would take centuries to arrive at their destination, with the great grandchildren of the original crew at the helm. In the time between, human technology progressed and ships could fly such vast distances in minutes, so present-day ships have caught up with those early pioneers.

The ship shown here is almost certainly one of the fabled generational ships. Who's going to be the one to tell their crew they could take a modern ship and be back on Earth by tea-time?

Crew-mates

Toward the end of the trailer we see a Cobra Mk III with a co-pilot. The real question here, is whether the person in the next seat is NPC crew or Human crew. We know 2.3 is multi-crew and we are going to have a commander avatar creator. Since the Cobra doesn't have a ship-launched-fighter, the other seat isn't occupied by the NPC drone pilot, so I'm fairly certain they are depicting human multi-crew.

Something fishy sneaked past at the end

Finally, in the last few seconds of the trailer, a little ship sneaks past (bottom left). It's not the Orca, even though it looks a lot like it. It's the Dolphin passenger craft. I would say that pretty much confirms the ship for version 2.3.

 

The Beluga Liner - What do we know?

The Beluga Liner has been a long time coming. The ship was first touted in Newsletter #10 back in August 2013 - three years ago!

Beluga Liner with Orca and Dolphin

As you can see it's design has evolved from concept to implementation.


Beluga Liner in game

The only other ships we've seen in concept that are not yet implemented are the small passenger ship, the Dolphin and the huge trade ship, the Panther LX. Although we did get a sneak peek at the final Dolphin, but Frontier did not confirm it for 2.2.

So how big is the Beluga Liner?

Frontier don't give out specifications - they let the players grab data from the game, however FDEV did post a photo from October 2014 that showed a whiteboard with the list of ships on it, which (even back then) included the Beluga and the Corvette.

Top secret stuff

As you can see (with a bit of squinting) the Beluga is the same length as the Anaconda with a narrower body, the Beluga's tail making it slightly longer and a great deal wider.

Obviously this is going to be a large landing pad ship

What's it's role?

The Beluga Liner is primarily a passenger vessel.

Like the Orca, it will be able to carry luxury and first class cabins that other ships won't, so the ship will be required to pursue a career in tourism and luxury travel, the profitable end of the new passenger industry.

The internal slots may also be restricted to cabins rather than other equipment, just as the Orca.

The ship has 6 utility slots and has the following internal module slots:-

  • 4 x Class 3
  • 1 x Class 4
  • 2 x Class 5
  • 4 x Class 6

This should give you massive passenger capacity. And maybe some cargo capacity too?

Is the Beluga armed?

It has been confirmed that the Beluga will have five medium hard-points. That would give it comparable fire-power to an Imperial Clipper (I rate fire-power by multiplying the number of hard-points by their class size).

But, in addition to five Class 2 weapons, the Beluga will also have a fighter bay. So it won't be a warship, but it'll be far from helpless either.

How fast is the Beluga?

Well, not very. But a ship that size is not going to be a racer. Sandro said on Tuesday's Lave Radio interview that the Beluga was the same speed as the Hauler, so it will be 200M/s with 300M/s on boost. Now that is faster than an Anaconda and Corvette, but slower than the Cutter. He didn't comment on agility, but we would expect something similar to the Anaconda's flight model as the ships are of similar size.

The ship will come equipped with a Class 7 FSD drive, but because of the Beluga's size, won't give a high jump range.

 

Sizes of coming ships behind the Frontier curtain

ship_size_smallOver the weekend a photo from Frontier offices, circa October 2014 surfaced. The photo was of a whiteboard concerning audio development, but posted on the corner of the whiteboard was a series of ship concept arts and ship renders.

This is where it gets interesting

Speculation alert!

From the concept art, I can identify all but the smallest ships. Interestingly the ships are all grouped by manufacturer.

The renders are all top-down. This gives us a clear indication of size, or at least the size Frontier planned.

Some of the ships are in their "early" form. The Imperial Clipper was still known as the Imperial Trader and was larger than the final Clipper became. The Courier was in the early concept stage and as we know changed a great deal in implementation.

inside secret

How big?

As you can see the Panther and Beluga top-downs show they are both longer than the Anaconda and Corvette. We are fairly certain that large pad is the hard limit of ship sizes and the pad would appear to be approximately 200m x 120m. The Beluga therefore is likely to be the same size as the Imperial Cutter and the Panther is that much larger, so probably very close to the maximum 200m long. That would make the Panther a pretty massive ship!

Panther Big

When?

With Horizons 2.2 "Guardians" we are going to get passenger missions, so it follows that the most likely time for the Dolphin and Beluga Liner to sail into the game is in this version.

Orca and DolphinDolphin, Orca and Beluga

When will we see the Panther Clipper? Well 2.1 would be a nice surprise, but my bet is the ship and maybe some others of the same size class, are being held back for something special in 2.4. Currently passing cargo is a matter of eject-n-scoop between two ships, but with advent of super-heavy traders in the game maybe we'll see a ship-to-ship docking mechanism added for cargo (and passenger?) transfer direct.
This would allow for player-to-player cargo transfer and ships as large as the Panther could visit tiny outposts like Hutton Orbital and be unloaded by a group of Type 6 transports. It would also allow for the transfer of passengers to ships. Maybe you can take some guests to that wedding barge?

1.5 Ships Update

ships_smallFrontier have rather quietly announced the next major update to Elite: Dangerous after Close Quarters Combat Championship (1.4) will be called "Ships"

When is being released?

After CQCC in September, but before "Horizons" which is being released in "Holiday season" (late November to early December), so some time in October or early November. 

What else is in the update?

 

Well, ships. Clearly.

The update will take the number of unique ships (excluding variants we assume) to over thirty. We already know Horizons will bring the Cobra Mk IV and 1.4 will add the Dropship Mk II, the Federal Gunship and the Imperial Eagle.

There are still a number of ships hinted and teased to date we haven't seen confirmed for any release and they are:

The Panther Clipper - large trade ship. This ship from the earlier Elite Frontier game had huge cargo capacity and formidable defences.

PantherClipper_ConceptArt_000

The Imperial Cutter - a large ship which we know little about, but would speculate is an Empire equivalent of the Python, somewhere between a Courier and Clipper or perhaps larger than a Clipper? The concept art we've seen appears to show what became the Imperial Clipper, so will we see a Cutter or not?
cutter

The Federal Corvette - the largest flyable ship to be in the game, almost a third larger than an Anaconda. A slow moving weapons platform.
corvette_newsletter_61

The Dolphin passenger vessel and Beluga Passenger liner - which with the Orca, are Elites passenger transport vessels.

R24WSTe


With the introduction of these passenger ships it would follow that passenger transport would become a career path in Elite as well. Something many have waited for.

What else might we see?

Big on the wish-list is ship-in-ship transport and deployment. With SRV's being launched from all ships in Horizons, the idea of a "launch bay rack" for Class 6 & Class 7 internals sounds more plausible. And rather appealing.

 

The ships in 1.3 PowerPlay

panther_dockingIt's been quiet in the world of Elite: Dangerous. I've been pretty busy playing the game, so I haven't posted much in the last couple of weeks.

However, things are about to change with the (official) announcement this week of what 1.3 "Powerplay" actually contains. One confirmed addition is the new ship the "Diamondback", as teased in last week's Newsletter.
But what about the rest? Where is the Dolphin, Beluga Liner and Panther Clipper? Will the Imperial Courier and Federal Corvette make their début in 1.3?

 

We've seen lots of teasers for the Courier, from early concepts to interior cabin shots and some 3D designs from January. These show a ship smaller, but more militaristic than the bigger Clipper. Historically the Imperial Courier was a formidable combat vessel, so we should expect this ship to fit into the same role (and presumably the same price bracket) as the Python, being a heavy combat ship rather than a light fighter.


peek_o_the_week_66 peek_of_the_week_65 PeekOfTheWeek_67_ImperialCourier

Then there's the passenger ships. Okay so the Orca is currently redundant. Without passengers to carry, it's a shiny white Lakon Type 6 for 42 Million credits more... But will 1.3 add passengers? If so the other passenger vessels would have a role to play at last.

R24WSTe

Plus flying around in a Beluga would look pretty damn cool!

Then there's the big boys. And when I say big, I mean really BIG! The Panther is bigger than a Type-9 Heavy and almost as long as an Anaconda. The original Panther had over 2000T capacity and was heavily armed and armoured. This could well be THE ultimate trader ship. Tough, big and with enormous cargo space.

PantherClipper_ConceptArt_000

Then there's the Corvette. Confirmed as being the largest flyable ship in Elite. Will it even fit through the station entrance? Just..

  corvette_newsletter_61 corv_landed

This ship looks to be both military and built for combat. Being a third larger than an Anaconda, it's probably a third more expensive too, so look to be paying 200M CR for this monster!