This is the blueprint for the Saud Kruger Orca. The first passenger ship in the game and sadly lacking anything to do (apart from being used as a ramming vessel) the Orca finally has a real function from 2.2. Most famous for being the least used ship in the game, it has a stylish neon yellow interior on the bridge.
First introduced in 0.1 Beta 3.
Over 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
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.
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!
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.
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?
It'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.
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.
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.
Then there's the Corvette. Confirmed as being the largest flyable ship in Elite. Will it even fit through the station entrance? Just..
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!