Beta Ordered! News for the first X-pack for Elite Dangerous is out and its called “Horizons” this expansion will be what the guys over at Frontier Developments call a Season and it will give you a full season of updates starting with Planetary Landings, buggy’s a new Cobra and more! Read on to find out all you need to know about this update!
Elite Dangerous: Horizons is a new season of major gameplay expansions for Elite Dangerous, beginning with Planetary Landings across the Elite Dangerous galaxy.
Elite Dangerous: Horizons will continue to introduce new features and gameplay as the season continues into 2016, enriching the Elite Dangerous experience with new activities and new ways to play.
• Elite Dangerous: Horizons – A new season of expansions for Elite Dangerous, starting Holiday 2015 on PC.
• Planetary Landings – Elite Dangerous: Horizons launches with the eagerly-awaited planetary landings on countless 1:1 scale worlds.
• Game-Changing Content – Map uncharted worlds, dogfight in canyons, discover items and events you’ll only find on world surfaces.
• Driving on Planets – Embark on surface expeditions in all-terrain Surface Roving Vehicles (SRVs).
• Play with Friends – Share the experience above and on the ground in Wings, and participate in Powerplay and story events in unique ways.
• A Whole Season Of Expansions – Regular major updates included in the single purchase.
• One Elite: Dangerous Community – All Elite Dangerous players will continue to benefit from ongoing improvements.
There’s been lots of confusion about what Horizons is, it’s price model, and what it contains. Here is a compilation of all known information. This is all unbiased facts meant to clear up confusion. Please correct me if I got anything wrong.
What is Elite Dangerous: Horizons?
According to the official site:
Elite Dangerous: Horizons is a new season of major gameplay expansions for Elite Dangerous, beginning with Planetary Landings across the Elite Dangerous galaxy. Elite Dangerous: Horizons will continue to introduce new features and gameplay as the season continues into 2016, enriching the Elite Dangerous experience with new activities and new ways to play.
Horizons is an all-access pass to all Season 2 content. The first Season 2 content, airless planetary landings, will launch this holiday on PC. That is the only confirmed Season 2 content we know so far.
Is Horizons just planetary landings?
Nope! This stage of planetary landings is just the first expansion in this season.
What is a season?
A designated time period of Elite: Dangerous content. The first purchase of the base game is considered Season 1, which includes things like Wings, Powerplay, and the upcoming CQC.
Horizons is the next designated Season of Elite: Dangerous content, meaning you will have to pay for it like you did to get access to the Season 1 content (the game we have now).
How long will Season 2 last?
If we’re counting the airless planetary landings release as the first Season 2 content, then it will begin in Holiday 2015 and end at some point in 2016.
Elite Dangerous: Horizons will continue to introduce new features and gameplay as the season continues into 2016
What do I get in Horizons?
We don’t know the full feature list yet. This is what we know so far:
Access to airless planetary landings (what was shown in the teaser trailer). This gives you access to SRVs, the buggys you can use to drive around full-scale planetary surfaces. There will be fortified settlements, low-level flight, access to special events, and more.
The second expansion in Season 2 is some sort of crafting and loot system.
This second major update will include additional gameplay-focused content including an all-new game-changing loot and crafting system.
It will also not include atmospheric planets, which will instead be added in a later season.
That’s all we know about it.
How does the pricing work and what does each package do?
The 3 current expansion packages are $60, $75, and $195. If you already own Elite: Dangerous you will get $15 off any of those purchases, but that loyalty discount will expire when the first expansion of Season 2 is officially released.
If you do not own Elite: Dangerous and buy one of those packages, you will get the base game as when planetary landings launches with Season 2 access.
The base package is $60 (or $45 with loyalty discount) and gives you Season 2 access with planetary landings on its full release.
The beta package is $75 (or $60 with loyalty discount) and gives you Season 2 access as well as beta access to all Season 2 updates that have betas, meaning you’ll probably get to play the planetary landings beta before its full release.
The lifetime expansion pass gives you access to all seasons that will ever be released, and is $195 (or $180 with the loyalty discount). It will also grant you beta access.
I am an alpha/beta/lifetime pass backer, will I get free access to Horizons?
If you are an alpha backer, you will get access to Horizons and it’s beta for free, as well as all seasons of expansions.
If you are a premium beta backer, you will get access to Horizons and it’s beta for free, as well as all seasons of expansions.
If you are a standard beta backer, you will not get access to Horizons for free.
If you bought the lifetime expansion pass when it was available the last time, you will get access to Horizons free and all future seasons. This applies no matter what your beta backing level was, so if you were a standard beta backer with this pass you’re good.
What’s the deal with the Cobra Mk. 4?
The Cobra Mk. 4 is a new ship only available to pilots who played Elite: Dangerous in the first year of its release. You still have to purchase it with credits in-game, though.
The Cobra Mk IV will be available in the game only to players who joined us in the first year – forever. It’s our ‘thank you’ for your faith in the game, and you’ll see more of the Cobra Mk IV in Friday’s Peek Of The Week.
If you are an existing Elite: Dangerous user, you will get the Cobra Mk. 4 with your purchase of a Horizons pass along with your loyalty discount.
Will Horizons and base game players be grouped into the same instances?
It seems like it. They haven’t directly said yes, but this PC Gamer interview hints towards that.
But they’re keen to stress that support for players who don’t upgrade will continue, and owners of both versions of the game will still share the same connected galaxy—and be able to fly together in the same wings.
That last line seems to imply that they will still be able to directly interact with each other. It would be logical that they can play together, but only Horizons players have ships that are suitably equipped to land on planets.
Will the base game still be supported?
Yes! I don’t have an exact time stamp, but it is discussed here. 1.4 and 1.5 are also both due to hit before the first part of Season 2.
The game will be playable without the season content and development will continue for all versions of the game. Where changes are quite fundamental (like some aspects of missions) then that would be available to all players. Other content and features would be specific to the seasons. So the simple answer is yes, there will be continued development of the core game. We’ll reveal more details as we progress.
Can I get Horizons on Steam?
Yes, before the end of the year. For now it will only be available through the Frontier Store.
Much like before, If you buy Elite Dangerous: Horizons from the Frontier store you will have the option to generate a Steam code when it arrives on that platform.
So it’s not available yet, but you can rest easy ordering your package from Frontier’s store and generating a key for it later.
Will Horizons be on Xbox?
Probably, but it is only confirmed for PC (I would assume that includes Mac as well). In any scenario, it’s coming to PC first.