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Elite: Dangerous Reveals Faction-Based Powerplay Update

Last week UK-based studio Frontier Developments revealed that it would soon be posting details of its third major update for its virtual reality (VR) compatible space simulation experience, Elite: Dangerous. Titled Powerplay, the developer at the time teased a new kind of drone that would be included in the update. However, there’s far more set to be added in Powerplay, as Frontier Developments has revealed today.

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Launching as a free upgrade, Powerplay will give Elite: Dangerous players the chance to ally themselves with a number of different galactic ‘Powers’. Doing so will earn players perks, reputation bonuses and credits for their allegiance. More trusted members of these Powers will be able to help guide the group’s overall strategy and tackle special objects that will benefit a shared cause. Successful Powers will dominate large parts of human space, with each and every player’s moves making an impact of the balance of galactic power.

Powers consist of organisations and figureheads with their own expanse of human space. Players will be able to survey the groups and decide on one that best fits their interests, perhaps siding with a group that is combat-focused. A new tab on the galaxy map will showcase the current state of galactic control. A changelog of other additions can be seen below.

“If you choose to participate in Powerplay, it will add a whole new dimension to Elite: Dangerous,” Lead Designer Sandro Sammarco says. “These powers have their own ethos and methods. How they take control of systems varies depending on whether they favour warlike or more pacifist methods. Some will conquer systems with economics, others by just sending in the troops. Either way, you can be part of that.”

The update is expected to arrive in May 2015. Frontier Developments also confirmed that the update would be included in the launch of both the Mac and Xbox One versions of Elite: Dangerous, which are currently in development. VRFocus will continue to follow the title closely, reporting back with any further updates on it.

– A new GalNet feed accessible directly from the ship User Interface, and a better player inbox to track options in branching missions.

– An overhauled mission system to support Powerplay’s new objectives and to give players dedicated missions based on rank and status.

– New drones for collecting cargo, prospecting, mining and transferring fuel to empower you whether you favour trading, combat or exploration, whether you prefer to fly with friends or alone.

– Two new player-piloted ships: the Lakon Diamondback and the Imperial Courier.

– Higher-yield mining spots and high and low intensity extraction sites, adding risk to mining and dramatically increasing the potential rewards.

– A bigger cash insurance safety net from the Pilots Federation for higher-ranked pilots so you can fly more expensive ships with reduced risk. We want pilots to be daring.

– A number of improvements to the background simulation. You might not notice them, but they’re all making the galaxy more credible and richer in every way.

– A number of under-the-hood tweaks to balance the different ways players choose to play.