Elite: Dangerous Blog

News and events from the Elite Dangerous galaxy

LaveCon 2017

LaveCon 2017

I couldn’t stay at the Sedgebrook Hotel for this year’s LaveCon, as my budget was rather limited, so instead my sons and I jumped into the car early Saturday morning and made the long drive from Maidstone in Kent, up around the southside of the M25, up the M1 to Northampton. We arrived a little after 9.20am. The hotel is on Country lane the “other side” of Northampton town from the M1, so it is quite rural.

Checking in

We walked into the main hotel lounge/bar where for the past few years, the convention reception desk (manned by volunteers) was located. Neither of my boys (Alistair 17 and William 15) had been to a convention before, so they were rather excited to get their badges and lanyards.

After looking at the event schedule for day, we decided to sit in on the welcome introduction in the main hall. The Lave Radio presenters welcomed everyone and ran through the list of activities and events, with the associated banter and heckling “MUG!”.

In 2015, the LaveCon event featured a live Episode of “Dockers” in which a David Braben-like character would smash a 1Direction mug every time the audience shouted “mug”. As a result, “for the mug” became a trademark phrase of the Hutton Truckers player group. There’s a lot more to the story and the Hutton Orbital guys can tell it better, but no LaveCon is now complete without some yelling of “MUG!”.

When the presentation was complete, the first thing we did was go out to the convention desk and sign up for a 12pm game of Artemis Starship Bridge Simulator. More on that later…

The LAN Room

As we had a little time to kill, we wanted to explore, so I took the boys to the far end of the hotel block where the Local Area Network gaming area was set up; the LAN Room.

Last year, I ran a virtual reality shipyard in the LAN room, so this year it was a bit strange being spectator!

My older son soon found the multiplayer projection screen which was running Gang Beasts! and Speed Runners. Alistair is seriously competitive, so he jumped straight in.

William was enticed to have a go at being a fuel rat. What's a fuel rat? The fuel rats are an in-game group within the Elite universe who will fly to anywhere in the galaxy to rescue ships that have run out of fuel. Their motto is "We have fuel, you don't". Playing on an X52 setup much like my own, William performed a real-life in-game rescue of a stranded commander. Flying six jumps out to a stranded Cobra, he manoeuvred around the star to leave super-cruise in the same location and deliver enough fuel-limpets to get the other ship safely back to a station. If you want to know about joining the fuel rats (or getting rescued by them) their website is here.

Before very long, I had to cut them short, as it was already 5 minutes to 12pm and our Artemis game was due to start. We made our way to the “top” end of the hotel in the older part of the building and sat down in the Artemis room.


Imagine the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. Now imagine it manned by uncoordinated buffoons, with no clue what they are doing. Then you’ll have the general idea of Artemis.

There are six or more ship positions. The Captain, who can see everything, but can do nothing. Then the Helm, Weapons, Engineering, Science and Communications who can carry out their own isolated tasks, but cannot see the whole picture and rely on the Captain to command and co-ordinate.

"Captain Will" took his position with brother Alistair on weapons and myself on Helm, with other attendees on the remaining stations. This year, there was a lighting rig connected to the game, so raising shields turned the room blue. Red alert caused flashing red lights and so on. Very atmospheric!

We were fairly disastrous in our mission, having survived, but running out of fuel and leaving our starship helpless and adrift after all our space stations were blown to dust by space pirates and only managing to kill our pursuers by circling a minefield. It was a lot of fun though.

Bar snacks!

By the time the Artemis game was done, it was gone 1pm so we headed to the bar area and ordered food. The boys had a game of pool while we waited for lunch to arrive and then tucked into some very nice fresh-made pizzas and an angus steak burger, both with chunky chips.

William took a few slices of his pizza home and had them hot for breakfast on Sunday!

The lounge area had leather sofas and coffee tables all over, with a huge selection of board games for anyone to play. The room also had tea and coffee machines with a fridge full of soft drinks underneath. We didn’t go thirsty! The lounge was full of people at all times, chatting, gaming and socialising as well as propping up the bar.

We finished lunch just before 2pm, so we headed into the main hall for the Frontier Q&A presentation.

Frontier Reveals more about 2.4

The boys and I got a seat near the front and we waited for the fun to start. Which it did almost straight away.

David Braben (who did not attend) had a personal message for the LaveCon attendees, but no amount of sweat from the back room. Could get it to play! We either got picture or fluctuating audio, but not both at the same time. After five or six attempts and a long delay, Ed and Zac decided to skip it and start the proceedings. We never did hear what Mr. Braben’s message was… ...the men behind the curtain looked stressed!

Edward Lewis announced that those attending would receive three new ship skins exclusive to LaveCon. These were for the Python, Type-9 Heavy and Imperial Cutter.

After some clapping and cheering, the Frontier panel were introduced by Ed and the presentation began. The video is available here.

Sandro Samarco kicked off with a talk about the coming Thargoid menace in 2.4.

We will be getting new weapons and modules to combat the Thargoids. But it won’t just be about pew-pew! Sandro Samarco said (from my notes) that we would need to study and explore their ecology, science and technology. That they would be truly ALIEN in their responses to us.

He then flashed us some concept art and renders of new devices and weapons. I can only theorise, but the first item looks like a defensive utility module item, so maybe a Thargoid EMP shield? The other weapons looked like rocket or missile launchers; high velocity projectiles that would not be defeated by EMP, I would hazard to guess.

Thagoid EMP defence?

Hull repair limpet?

Anti-Thargoid missile or rocket launcher?

Sandro confirmed that we would be getting hull repair limpets in 2.4 and a new sythesis for making them while out in deep space.

Adam Woods announced a of quality-of-life feature for the menus in 2.4 - filters for the inbox. Another screenshot appeared to show a four-part chained mission.

Steve Kirby announced that there would be a new search & rescue menu in stations, where salvage and recovered cryo pods can be handed in for reward. This means they are no longer black market items.

Finally Sandro announced some changes to crime and punishment for 2.4, first the Sidewinder exploit will be removed. Now when you die with a bounty on your head, the rebuy will always be the cost of your most expensive ship. So if you've been naughty in your Corvette, dying in a Sidewiner will now cost 30M CR, not 300!
If you kill a human player, in addition to the normal bounty you'd get for an NPC, you will also have a Pilot's Federation bounty added to the tally.
And a little good news; if you have been destroyed and lack the cash for rebuy, you can now sell your other ships remotely to make up the rebuy cost.

After Frontier's presentation, there was then the annual Q&A session.

Because of D-d-d-d-david Braben's message overrun and the general enthusiasm in the hall, the Q&A had barely started at 3pm when our second game of Artemis was booked! So the boys and I sneaked out of the hall early. I knew from the past two LaveCon's, no amount of squeezing would get any more info out of Frontier's panel, so I wasn't too worried I'd miss anything. I had this confirmed later by another CMDR.

Second Game of Artemis

When we arrived at the Artemis room, it was of course deserted! Another person joined us, an author who was doing a reading for one of the writers panels. Her name was Anna Smith Spark.
After a few minutes, the Artemis game organisor managed to tear himself away from the Frontier Q&A and get our game started. Anna told us that she had no experience of computer games, but we did no better or worse than we had done in the earlier game. We ended up adrift and out of fuel....

Where's my Krait?

The CMDR who managed the Artemis sessions was busy building a paper spaceship during our game and I recognised it as a Krait. He made a small one first with A4, then proceeded to use copious amounts of whiteboard paper to construct a 18" version (seen part completed below).

I asked him what it was for and he explained that he presented a Krait model (in one form on another) to Frontier every year to remind them that his favourite ship from the original game was still missing from Elite: Dangerous.

This year it turned out to be Ed Lewis's turn to get ambushed which was why he didn't look happy to have been gifted with the model!

Game Cab

Back down in the LAN room, while Alistair was busy slaying everyone at Gang Beasts (did I mention he was competitve?) Will was trying out the GameCab Elite setup. GameCab are a UK company that makes custom desks for gaming. Their website is here. The desk was really cool, with side-pods, a pull-out keyboard rack and built-in chair vibration and Will claims "very comfy", so this is on my "man-cave" list for when I am not broke!
They were at LaveCon last year, so I'd seen the setup before, but I thought it would cost £1,000s but actually the basic setup was £400, which did surprise me. That's less than a mid-range video card! Anyway, this year they had a new USB keypad with custom Elite keys. Drop landing gear? There's a button for that!

The games room

Between the main lounge and the VR room, was the games room. Every RPG and board game you've ever heard of was laid out in there and quite a few I've never heard of! Another thing they had was glitter tattoos. Yep, LaveCon has everything! William and Alistair both got them, while I demostrated my poor eyesight with Elite Darts. Two "nil point" and a "100" scored! Terrible.

Virtual Reality Room

William wanted to try out some VR games with motion controllers, as we have a rift but no motion controllers. Alistair had a crack at Elite on one PC while Will gave Job Simulator a go.

Alistair had a successful mission, but found watching William playing job simulator more entertaining!

Saying goodbye

We had been sat behind Kate Russel at the Frontier presentation and Will wanted to catch up with her to get a selfie. He'd met her at the 2014 Elite: Dangerous premiere event, where she'd been great and in 2015 I'd managed to have her sign a copy of her book, "Mostly Harmless" for him, which he loved. We managed to catch up with her and Will got his selfie.
This time Kate wasn't armed and Will was a bit taller! Liek I said at the start, the Elite community is great.

2.4 "The Return"

The Thargoids are coming!

Frontier have announced that the next update to Elite: Dangerous will be released in Q3 of 2017 and will be titled "The Return".

This new update will be bringing the Thargoid race back to the Elite universe with a vengeance! They will require new weapons and new tactics to survive and exploration to discover their origins as well as research to discover their weaknesses and study their technology. The human race is not prepared…

The teaser trailer Ed Lewis showed us on the E3 LiveStream this evening showed an Elite: Dangerous logo being overflown by a number of octahedral alien craft and then being slowly corroded by a green glowing crystalline fungus. All very atmospheric and creepy!

It's wabbit human season

Ed topped off his stream by globally broadcasting to all players of the game that the Thargoids are back!

"This is an urgent message from Commander Edward Lewis. There are forces out there who do not want you to know the truth, but I have to make this public. I found a ship in HIP 17044. A Federal Capital ship, shot to pieces. They were carrying the data the Feds stole from Professor Palin. The crew is dead, but they discovered something important about the Unknown Ships. There is a beacon in the wreckage broadcasting a message, over and over. It proves what we suspected. They are back. And the whole galaxy needs to know. The Thargoids have returned."

To find the wreck site and beacon...

Travel to HIP 17044 and fly to the second planet (around 1,800 ls) then set a heading for the Asterope system, some 52Ly away but continue in super-cruise for a further 10,700ls until you see the unregistered comms beacon and distress call.

When you drop into normal space, you will see the wreck site. There are a destroyed fleet of Federal ships, some on fire and a green mist in the space around them. Spooky..

"Why the damage doesn't look too bad from out here!"

Mega Ship Locations

UPDATE: 28th June - twenty seven mega-ships now discovered

I have now visited twenty of the documented mega-ships. I will continue to visit the remaining ships as game-time allows. If you hear of any I've missed, please post the details in the comments.

Also, CMD Sektion has created a list of transcripts for all the discovered Generation Ships datalink logs, so if you don't want to fly there but still want to hear the generation ship's stories, view the uplink logs here. I'd recommend visiting the ships though, as seeing the huge derelict ships with the voices of long dead ghosts coming from the audio logs are something no transcript or screenshot can convey.

What are Mega Ships?

The mega-ships are huge, station-size ships that float or fly in deep space. While they have existed in Elite lore for some time they were only added into the Elite:Dangerous game at the 2.3 "Guardians" update.
They come in nine types; Tanker, Cargo, Asteroid Miner, Flight Operations, Prison Ship, Science Vessel, Passenger, Dredger and Generation Ship and those that have been found (so far) are all over populated space and out into deep space. So far nobody has seen a Dredger....
The flight operations type are dock-able (you can land a ship on them) and generally have small and medium pads. As my exploration ship is an Anaconda, I haven't landed on any as yet.
The generation ships were colony ships, launched from the centre of the bubble centuries ago before the FrameShift drive was invented, the crew intended for their children or grandchildren to be the colonists on distant worlds. There were thousands launched, but only a handful have so far been discovered. Those found all appear to be the ones that the colonists died and the mission failed. Those that succeeded may well have founded human colonies we have yet to discover.

Generation Ship Atlas

System: Charick Drift
Ship type: Bulk cruiser
Dockable: No
Location: 3.4Ls from main star. There are five ship log uplink nodes, which you can scan with a datalink scanner from 200m away. These reveal audio logs titled "no brakes" which tell of the crew's fate.
Distance from Sol: 28.6 ly

Naphtha Class Tanker

System: Okinura
Ship type: Tanker
Dockable: Yes
Location: 318Ls from main star
Distance from Sol: 32.5 ly

Hercules Class Bulk Cargo

System: Oduduro
Ship type: Cargo
Dockable: Yes
Location: 854Ls from main star
Distance from Sol: 40.11 ly

Alcatraz Class Prison

System: Milscothach
Ship type: Prison
Dockable: No
Location: 1,385Ls from main star in orbit around Milscothach 1A
Distance from Sol: 42.68 ly

Generation Ship Lycaon

System: Alaunus
Ship type: Bulk cruiser
Dockable: No
Location: Fly from main star to Alaunus 10, then set destination to the Horae system, but stay in supercruise in Alaunus and fly a further 22,000Ls away from Alaunus 10 until you see the generation ship POI on your contacts. There are five ship log uplink nodes, which you can scan with a datalink scanner from 200m away. These reveal audio logs titled "contagion" which tell of the crew's fate.
Distance from Sol: 52.62 ly

Generation Ship Thetis

System: Nefertem
Ship type: Bulk cruiser
Dockable: No
Location: fly 1,934Ls from main star to Nefertem 6A. There are five ship log uplink nodes, which you can scan with a datalink scanner from 200m away. These reveal audio logs titled "madness and ghosts" which tell of the crew's fate.
Distance from Sol: 53.46 ly

Lowell Class Science Vessel

System: Wolf 485A
Ship type: Science vessel
Dockable: No
Location: 9.67Ls from main star
Distance from Sol: 58.75 ly

The Midas

System: Zeus
Ship type: Flight operations
Dockable: Yes
Location: 7.89Ls from main star in orbit around Zeus 1.
Distance from Sol: 62.53 ly

Generation Ship Venusian

System: Kitae
Ship type: Bulk cruiser
Dockable: No
Location: Fly from main star with destination to the Zephyrus system, staying in supercruise in the Kitae system and fly a further 2,500Ls until you see the generation ship POI on your contacts. There are four ship log uplink nodes, which you can scan with a datalink scanner from 200m away. These reveal audio logs titled "boarding party" which tell of the crew's fate.
Distance from Sol: 63.12 ly

Fisher's Rest

System: Aldebaran
Ship type: Flight operations 
Dockable: Yes
Location: 2,513Ls from main star
Distance from Sol: 66.65 ly

Aquarius Class Tanker

System: Maya
Ship type: Tanker
Dockable: No
Location: the tanker is in orbit around Maya 5 an earth-like world with an ice ring, 530Ls from the main star.
Distance from Sol: 72.57 ly

Collinson Class Asteroid Ship

System: Gateway
Ship type: Asteroid miner
Dockable: No
Location: 299Ls from main star
Distance from Sol: 78.62 ly

Bowman Class Science Vessel

System: Asgaa
Ship type: Bulk Cruiser
Dockable: No
Location: 11.9Ls from main star
Distance from Sol: 90.05 ly

Bellmarsh Class Prison

System: Pohnpet
Ship type: Prison
Dockable: No
Location: 242Ls from main star orbiting Pohnpet 2A
Distance from Sol: 92.04 ly

Riker Class Prison Ship

System: Imiutli
Ship type: Prison
Dockable: No
Location: 1.72Ls from main star
Distance from Sol: 95.71 ly

The Harmony

System: Yum Kamcabi
Ship type: Flight operations
Dockable: Yes
Location: 1,235Ls from main star
Distance from Sol: 104.99 ly

Generation Ship Hyperion

System: Lalande 2966
Ship type: Bulk cruiser
Dockable: No
Location: fly 2,300Ls from main star to Lalande 2966 4, then set course toward the Yemaki system and fly a further 7,300Ls until you see the generation ship POI on your contacts. There are five ship log uplink nodes, which you can scan with a datalink scanner from 200m away. These reveal audio logs titled "the promised land" which tell of the crew's fate.
Distance from Sol: 121.53 ly

Generation Ship Odysseus

System: Ross 859
Ship type: Bulk cruiser
Dockable: No
Location: Fly from main star to the secondary star which is 52,000Ls away, when you reach the secondary star target Ross 859 B 1, you should then see the generation ship POI on your contacts. There are five ship log uplink nodes, which you can scan with a datalink scanner from 200m away. These reveal audio logs titled "our new eden" which tell of the crew's fate.
Distance from Sol: 165.98 ly

Generation Ship Pleione

System: Hez Ur
Ship type: Bulk cruiser
Dockable: No
Location: Fly from main star to the fifth planet in the system, when you reach Hez Ur 5 target the Teuten star system for a heading and fly a further 8,403Ls in super-cruise and you should then see the generation ship POI on your contacts. There are four ship log uplink nodes, which you can scan with a datalink scanner from 200m away. These reveal audio logs titled "the chromosome incident" which tell of the crew's fate.
Distance from Sol: 174.01 ly

The Gnosis (pronounced "no sis")

System: Varati
Ship type: Flight operations
Dockable: Yes
Location: 822Ls from main star.
Distance from Sol: 213.21 ly

Survey Vessel Pandora

System: HIP 21478
Ship type: Unknown
Dockable: Unknown
Location: orbiting 1st planet
Distance from Sol: 289.44 ly


Survey Vessel Victoria's Song

System: HIP 17125
Ship type: Unknown
Dockable: Unknown
Location: orbiting 5th planet with purple rings
Distance from Sol: 354.94 ly



System: HIP 22460
Ship type: Unknown
Dockable: Unknown
Location: [Permit locked system]
Distance from Sol: 362.01 ly


The Cete

System: Col 173 Sector LJ-F C12-0
Ship type: Unknown - Professor Melville's mega ship
Dockable: No
Location: find out when I get there...
Distance from Sol: 1,232.09 ly


Sagan Class Tourist Ship

System: IC 1805 Sector AV-O C6-6
Ship type: Passenger
Dockable: No
Location: find out when I get there...
Distance from Sol: 6,194.64 ly



System: Syreadiae JX-F C0
Ship type: Cargo
Dockable: No
Location: find out when I get there...
Distance from Sol: 12,082.88 ly


Foster Terminal

System: Coeus
Ship type: Flight operations
Dockable: Yes
Location: find out when I get there...
Distance from Sol: 22,027.98 ly


Community Elite Dangerous Trailer

This amazing new trailer for Elite shows off both the game (post 2.3) and the amazing new camera.

The trailer was created by the (clearly talented) CMDR Siledas using entirely in-game footage from his own game.

Hats off to you commander! Job well done.

Goats in spaaaaaaaaace!

goat-decal-smallThis week in Frontier's development diary the developers outlined plans in 1.3 to implement fines for people ramming other ships in the no-fire zones around stations. This was part of an effort to prevent “collision griefing”, where people were using their ships as an attack weapon, without firing, to kill other players without getting WANTED or incurring a fine, using the loophole that a crash wasn’t classed as murder.

However, the well-meaning proposal conflicted with a community activity - the demolition derby!

protest-goatSocial media (namely Twitter & Facebook) lit up with protest votes, which quickly became the Elite Dangerous Protest Goat. No. I have no bleating idea why either!

Anyway, Kate Russell and Mahdogg were leading the fray along with Fireytoad and many others, spawning a host of goat-related memes.

The social media protest and Frontier's response made headlines, when the community protest got a response from Sandro Sammarco saying

EDProtestgoat: I'll need to check with some clever coder folk on this, but I'm hopeful that we can have this crime not squawked with "don't report crimes against me": as long as all participants use this functionality then they would be safe to race near each other - though hitting spectators would still trigger the crime.



EDProtestGoat EDProtestGoat EDProtestGoat EDProtestGoat

Yes Dave, everybody is dead

holly_thumbFor those of you who loved Red Dwarf, there’s some good news.

http://www.elitedangerousvoicepack.com/ have made a VoiceAttack voice pack for Elite: Dangerous called “Leo” voiced by Red Dwarf’s very own Norman Lovett, the voice of the ships computer “Holly”.

The pack costs £5.99 and is available to pre-order now and should be on sale shortly.

See the video of Norman’s recording session here

Dead Men Walking (dMw)

dmw-logoHi Folks,

Dead Men Walking is a long-established multi-gaming community with an excellent reputation for fair play, mature attitude and teamwork. Our continuing mission is to provide a home for gamers who recognise that achieving success as a team is far more rewarding than racking up individual scores.

Still reading? Excellent! First jump point successfully negotiated.

Our Alliance within Elite: Dangerous is looking for new pilots to help us grow and to further reinforce our reputation gained in the other games we have supported over the years. We currently have around 30 commanders and hope to grow with the addition of like-minded gamers.

Your skill as a pilot is unimportant to us, your willingness to put your team before yourself is what matters. Whilst the less honourable professions in the Galaxy are not encouraged, we do understand that it's all about about having fun and occasionally a Commander does enjoy a good fight. Just be prepared to deal with the consequences of your actions!

DMW will have divisions within the Alliance for many types of gamer (our focus will be on the coop elements of the game, but not to the exclusion of other play styles), for example:

Security - escort duty, contract (legal) work, intelligence, asset defence etc

Economic Resources - fuel, mining, trading

Transport - hauling or escorting, fine-tuning jump routes, moving cargo etc

Exploration - encompassing exploration, SAR, salvaging, system/asset discovery

Basically whatever the good people in Frontier may offer up to the hard working pilot of the 31st Century!

Exploration will be a key activity for us, it will lead us to new systems and ultimately will feed the activity of the other divisions. Membership of a division will not be mandatory and will not have 'minimum playing hours or commitments', it's about you opting to join in with your buddies doing something that's fun, when your schedule allows.

Since 1996 DMW members have played a variety of different games together in this way. We make extensive use of TeamSpeak and, where it is possible, we also provide our own gaming servers. We also organise regular social events such as LAN parties. Whilst our largest contingent is based in the UK, we have members from across the whole of Europe and beyond.

We value friendship, fun and teamwork in an atmosphere of mature mutual respect. As such our members are typically 18+ yrs, so if you are significantly younger then you are welcome but please be aware that you'll need to fit in with our mature membership. If you get on well with our existing members then you'll have found a great social home for your gaming experience.

We have absolutely no desire to be a major force within galaxy so if you're looking for an Alliance full of pilots who share a badge but have no idea who each other are than I'm sure you'll have no problem locating one, but it won't be us!

Our active forum is a great place to learn more about us and, specifically, what we aim to achieve within our games.

If you like what you see and you think you'd like to be part of this great little community or if you'd like a bit more information then please post a 'Hi' in our forum or reply here.

Our website: http://www.deadmen.co.uk

Our forum: http://www.deadmen.co.uk/forum/forum.php

See you around. Have fun, wherever you are in the Galaxy!
Commander Albert