Archive for January, 2017

Elite Dangerous logo


We’ve been receiving transmissions from Commanders all over the galaxy seeking more information on our next update. I’m pleased to be able to confirm that the beta of Elite Dangerous: The Commanders (2.3) will be landing the week ending February 26! This will be available to everyone with Horizons beta access.



With the content now reaching a stage where it begins to fit together, we’ll soon be able to start sharing more news and updates on exactly how the features will look and work. We’ll be sharing more granular detail about how the core features will function in our upcoming dev spotlight as well as showcasing all of the content in our pre-beta stream!

Elite Dangerous: The Commanders (2.3) will come with features such as Multicrew and Commander Creator, as well as a number of other improvements and changes. Bring your friends or invite new crew mates to pack that extra punch you might need in key situations, and add more personality to your Commander with an all-new visual upgrade.

So ready your engines and tell your friends, the Elite Dangerous: The Commanders beta is just around the corner.


2017 is well underway! We hope you all made a great start to the new year once the lights went out 😉 Here at Studio 397 we’ve jump-started our new year full of ambition. In with the new, out with the old: don’t forget our migrate to Steam for free offer will end on January 31st, 2017.


As we have already revealed last month, DX11 development is ahead of schedule. We have migrated much of the engine, and although there are certainly still quite a few things to do and it’s far from a straight port, we’re taking advantage of this opportunity to fix some long-standing issues. We are updating the overall look of the graphics. Lighting improvements include a new HDR tonemapper to achieve better color balance and more saturated colors, which interacts nicely with our dynamic sky model (adding contrast to our clouds). We are also updating the entire shadow system (faster and better looking shadows) and adding some ambient occlusion techniques that provide more dynamic shadows in areas such as engine bays, the underside of tyres, and parts of the inside of the marshal hut. Here are some sneak-peek shots of our work in progress. They do not, of course, reflect the finished product, but we wanted to show you where we are right now.



These upcoming graphics improvements should be a big step up for everyone in the modding community, giving you a stronger and richer visual base to build from. We will provide a set of  guidelines on how elements should look to ensure as much consistency as possible without impacting on your creative freedom.

Next month we are starting a new beta program exclusively for modders to facilitate a smooth transition to DX11. So far it looks like we’ve been able to port all existing shaders, which means existing content should continue to work. Some mods that rely on custom shaders as well as plugins that request to render to the screen (such as some overlay plugins) currently expect a DX9 graphics context and will require an update to work with DX11. In both cases, we will actively help any modders whose work is affected.


We’ve spent this month building the technical foundations for the new user interface, which allows us to link the game logic directly to an HTML5 front-end that we can embed into the simulation. At the same time, we’re putting the finishing touches on our interaction and graphical design, which means we can start building, user testing and refining the actual screens now. The new user interface offers far more flexibility, which gives us the freedom to create additional functionality down the line such as incorporating single player championships and results.

Here’s a look at the new home screen with simple sliding panels to reveal deeper options.



As part of the new user interface we are developing the in-game competition structure.  We all know that competition is at the heart of all racing sims, and rFactor 2 has a long-standing relationship with some of the greatest leagues in simracing covering multiple racing disciplines.  Building on this strong foundation, our new competition mechanics intend to encourage frequent racing and greater accessibility, offering a rich career progression coupled with new aligned content.

We are focused on building competition mechanics that are unique and embrace leagues and competitions.


Our content team is still working hard on the Radical and starting work on the Corvette C7.R. Last month we gave you a little Christmas present with the Nissan GT500, and we were overwhelmed with the positive responses to the car. At the same time we also got a lot of feedback from the community about little things we could improve. We’ve tried to fix all of them and our goal is to release an update before the end of this month. This update will also include a paint template. The following shots show many of these improvements.


NOLA Motorsports Park will likely be released around the end of February. A lot of work was put into showcasing the aesthetic possibilities, and we spared no effort to bring you those 10 different layouts of the track and kart track, giving you plenty of variation and suitable configurations for all classes of cars. As more and more trackside objects are being added, we can now share some high resolution (4k) shots that show you different areas of the track. We chose to give you the full experience and modeled the whole garage area, so it’s actually a little bit of a drive to get to the actual track from there. Don’t worry though, we’ve put up some signs to guide you!


That’s all for our first monthly update of 2017. We wish you all the best and hope you will enjoy the many updates that we will bring this year.


Elite Dangerous logo

Greetings Commanders,

I’m just posting up to confirm that we have an update making its way to you this morning. The servers will be going down at 10:45 AM GMT and will be down for approximately 2 – 4 hours. We’ll let you know if there are any unexpected delays on this thread.

I’d like to take a moment to thank all of the people who took part in the beta. The support is invaluable, thank you so much.

The update is going live to Xbox One and PC.

Here’s the juicy change log….

2.2.03 Change Log

Stability Fixes

– Fix for crash when dropping from orbit at Eafots LZ-H b10-0 D 1
– Crash fix for a rare case when hyperspacing out of a system that turns into an invalid state en route
– Fix for outfitting crash when receiving a web response without a ship loadout in it
– Fix a crash in the PlayerPOISpawner if the closest planet in the planet surface manager hasn’t been found yet
– Softlock loading in to a persistent POI in multiplayer situation fixed
– Prevent mission server softlock
– Fix some memory stomping reading JSON response for the ship list when transferring a remote ship
– Powerplay page softlocks on selecting power in turmoil fixed
– Fixed crash caused by the engineer crafting manager trying to callback on the workshop GUI after it has been closed
– Fix crash in role switch panel
– Xbox One: Fixed low level cockpit GUI crash

General Tweaks/Fixes

– Added new DTS Headphone X functionality
– Allow a mini USS bubble around Colonia
– Fix transaction server error when clearing a save that had lots of exploration data
– Committing a murder while in a fighter now results in being attacked by the Authority following a scan
– If saving or autosaving while in supercruise, move the player well clear of star Jet Cones. You shouldn’t ever reload back in after a hyperspace failure stuck in the cones anymore. Note that if you save/log out while in normal space, you will still be in the cone on your return, this safety check can’t be used to escape once you’ve already made a mistake, it’s just covering for failures that aren’t the player’s fault
– Added a warning message when a non-flown ship is being scanned
– Fixed “Ship scan detected” warning not always appearing
– Fix for NPC voice volume slider not working in the audio options
– Allow Reload time in Outfitting to be shown to the nearest 1 decimal place rather than rounded to whole seconds
– Added some system metadata for the five starsystems holding refuelling bases between the Sol bubble and Colonia
– Crew rank does not update on the contacts or ship GUI after ranking up fixed
– Fixed missing cyrillic glyphs in module and systems panel
– Avoid tinting weapon impacts on environmental surfaces
– Fix for the POIs getting stuck loading due to the ReplicatedLevelContainer not activating its advance phase
– Allow Reload time in Outfitting to be shown to the nearest 1 decimal place rather than rounded to whole seconds
– Don’t clear legal state after a cargo scan! This will make the cockpit “Wanted” warning vanish!
– Warning message now appears when player scans fighter or mothership with Kill warrant or Manifest scanner
– Fixed a rare cause of triggering the ship rebuy screen when docking an SRV at a planet base
– Fixed outfitting with multiple purchases of bobbleheads
– Added new Military slots to applicable ships along with loc strings and hit sphere locations for them
– Fixed descriptions for engineer related commodities
– Fixed (r) and ™ glyph not being parsed correctly from loc files
– Xbox One: Don’t show nameless scoreboard entries. If we have data for a player without a name, then don’t add it to the score summary
– Xbox One: Where we have axis bindings, unhide the +/- button bindings so they can be rebound. Also make all flight control axes invertible
– Xbox One: Don’t handle a protocol activation if we’re resetting or disconnecting. This means if we accept one while suspended, we won’t process it until we’ve gone through a full reset and reconnected, at which point we should be able to safely join the session
– Various text fixes
– Latest localisation updates included


– Added passenger seating allocation to allow passengers to be assigned outside of mission board
– Updated the timescale of the Long Distance Expedition template to be 28 days
– Updated the bonus rewards from passenger demanded cargo – this makes the reward more worth while for the player


– Added a new mission type for investigating the ancient ruins
– Make supply to demand overrides take max distance into account (Stops Colonia making missions which intend to only go 500ly into missions to pop back to the bubble with a ~24 time limit)
– Reduce number of missions sent to clients as we’re only sending relevant missions now
– Increased maximum mission duration to 28 days
– Fix elite rank point calculations from missions so that they are a % of any mission profit earned
– Fix the mission generation iteration limitor as it was preventing missions from spawning and thus decreasing board size
– Make sure that missions are properly transferred to the ship transactions panel after boarding from an SRV
– Fix for lack of Exquisite Focus Crystals as a mission reward
– Fix data message IDs at all ancient sites for the associated mission so that the codex scans actually trigger an inbox message
– Added mission limit to the ancient ruins mission
– Fixed mission progress elements in the ancient ruins template to actually show the inbox messages as the data is discovered
– Reduced the reputation reward for the ancient ruin mission when handed in and not fully completed
– Added a bonus reputation reward for full ancient ruin mission completion
– Massacre Conflict missions will only accept conflict zone targets
– Add additional logging to inbox messages to try to find out why we’re receiving a reply for a message we don’t have anymore
– Fixed codex with blank entries and Tweaked active codex numbers sot hat more are active at a time
– Fixed an incorrectly set boolean preventing multiple rewards from a single success point

New Module

– Module Reinforcement Pack (MRP) added, in the same sizes/classes as HRPs, designed to protect modules against external attacks piercing the hull
– Integrity of all MRPs approximately 15% higher than beta. MRPs now have a multiplier to make them much more easy to repair with an AMFU to offset their huge health pools, each unit of AFM ammo repaired restores 10x as much health to an MRP as it will to other modules


– Rather than permanently disabling guidance on torpedoes, ECM now gives an enormous kick onto a new trajectory and scrambles them for a short time (randomly between 5 and 10 seconds), after which they will re-acquire a lock and turn back in to engage
– Fixed multicannon Clips increased to 100 (from 90)
– Fixed/gimbal multicannon reload times adjusted for consistency (generally buffed), fixed are now 4s, gimballed 5s (from an inconsistent 4s/5s mix)
– Fixed cannon damage increased by 25%
– Fixed cannon clip size increased to 6 (from 5)
– Fixed cannon reload time reduced to 3 (from 4)
– Fixed cannon ammo reserve size increased to 120 (from 100)
– Gimbal/Turret cannon damage increased by 15%
– All fixed pulse/burst/beam weapons have 10% reduced WEP drain
– WEP draw of burst lasers reduced by 10-15% (on top of fixed weapons as mentioned earlier). This has been adjusted so that pulse and burst weapons have essentially the same final DPE, and represent a tradeoff between DPS and power/heat
– Plasma Accelerator reload times reduced to 6s (from 8)
– Plasma Accelerator damage increased
– Damage split for Plasma accelerators changed from a kinetic thermal split to 60% absolute/20% kinetic/20% thermal (reduced from 100% absolute in beta), this means they partially ignore any damage resistance
– Reactor power draw for beams reduced 10%
– Frag Cannon base damage and hardness piercing adjusted to maintain the same damage against large ship hulls, but get a 15% bonus against small ships and shields
– Frag Cannon ammo reserve doubled (to 180 from 90)
– Clip size modifications now always round the clip up to avoid overly punishing small-clip weapons, and the modifier is not shown if it will have no effect
– Increased fighter weapon hardness piercing
– Internal statistics panel now has a combat defences section which should show:
– Shield health
– Armour health
– Armour rating
– plus the damage resistances to all 3 types for both
– Railgun Ammo increased from 30 -> 80 (90->240 for the Imperial Hammer)
– Railgun Firing heat reduced by 20%
– HRP mass halved across the board, MRPs use this halved mass
– Cytoscrambler improvement: 50% damage increase, damage falloff/range increased from 300/600 to 600/1000


– Regeneration rates have been increased for the larger shields when broken. Size 1 & 2 have no effect, size 8 is double what it was
– Regeneration rates when shields are active but have not recently taken damage are increased. It is now the maximum between what is was before (a fixed value for all sizes) and 25% of their broken regen (40% for biweave). This is lower than is was in beta
– Reboot-repair now Bump-starts shields when it completes, reducing downtime waiting for them to return. The focus of this is out of combat, so it does not work if you move at above 50m/s or take a shot during the reboot


– Auto loader improved and ammo penalty removed
– Dispersal field damage penalty removed
– Overload Munitions ammo capacity penalty removed
– Smart rounds flight time penalty removed
– Concordant sequence regeneration amount doubled and lasts twice as long
– Emissive Munitions duration reduced to 30% of what it was, and capped much shorter for missiles
– Emissive Munitions Scale reduced vastly, it will still guarantee visibility but no longer maxes out gimbal tracking at all ranges
– Feedback Cascade no longer provides a fixed 90% reduction to healing, instead each hit reduces the healing rate by an amount proportional to damage capped at -90% as before. Exact number of hits to reach the cap varies based on size of weapon and shield cell, but will typically be 2-3 (requiring either high skill or multiple railguns) and up to 5 for smaller weapons against size 8 cell banks
– Overcharged and Efficient Blueprints now available for Beam weapons
– Plasma Slug now available on Plasma Accelerators
– More improvements to restocking weapons with engineer modifications
– Ensure the latest version of recipe ingredients are used when crafting, regardless of how long ago a recipe was pinned
– Automatically update modified modules to the latest version of the recipe
– Fix engineer names in inbox messages
– Make default items slot aware to prevent modules that are usually core (basically just fuel tanks) having to be replaced when stored from an optional module slot
– Removed option to remove modification when the module is stored
– Reduce multiplier on Phasing sequence by 20%
– When scaling Weapon Range up in a blueprint, we now display that the projectile speed has increased.
– When scaling down the fire rate of beams, lower their DPS correctly rather than having no effect. this will slightly nerf efficient beams, with a noticeable effect to lower levels, but G5 sees very small difference

New Engineer Recipes

– Grade 5 Burst Laser from Broo Tarquin
– Grade 5 Beam Laser from Broo Tarquin
– Grade 5 Mines from Juri Ishmaak
– Grade 5 Missiles from Liz Ryder
– Grade 5 Torpedos from Liz Ryder
– Grade 5 Railguns from Tod ‘The Blaster’ McQuinn
– Grade 4&5 Hull Reinforcement Thermal/Kinetic/Explosive resistance Blueprints from Selene Jean
– Grade 4&5 Armour Thermal/Kinetic/Explosive and Advanced Blueprints from Selene Jean
– Grade 4&5 Shield Booster Thermal/Kinetic/Explosive Blueprints from Didi Vatermann

Blueprint Changes

– Efficient no longer increases firing interval (reducing rate of fire)
– Efficient heat reduction reduced (from -50-90% to -50-60% at G5)
– Efficient WEP draw reduction range reduced and maximum reduced slightly (-15-40% to -25-35% at G5)
– Overcharged damage increased (+30-35% to +35-45% at G5)
– Overcharged Rate of fire increase removed
– Overcharged now reduces clip size (-15-25% at G5)
– (Changes to focused during beta were reverted entirely)
– Rapid Fire Rate of Fire range reduced, maximum still 40%
– Rapid Fire Damage penalty increased
– Rapid fire WEP draw reduction reduced, (-30-50% to -30-40%)
– Rapid Fire Hardness piercing increase removed
– Rapid fire now speeds up reload times (-50-65% at G5)
– Increase damage buff for Short Range to 45% (+5%) so that it is competitive with Overcharged and Rapid fire for raw damage,but with different tradeoffs
– Short Range: When scaling Weapon Range down in a blueprint, we no longer scale down the Damage Falloff start, nor the projectile speed
– Short range no longer increases WEP draw of the weapon
– Long Range now removes damage falloff from range on the weapon
– Long Range no longer increases WEP draw
– Long Range no longer reduces raw damage
– Light Weight no longer reduces damage
– Light Weight now reduces reactor power draw (-10-20% at G5)
– Light Weight now reduces WEP power draw (-10-20% at G5)
– Sturdy health increase doubled to +100-250% at G5
– Sturdy now reduces heat when firing (-20-30% at G5)
– Optimised Shields Reactor power draw reduction improved (20%-40% from 13-30%)
– Optimised Shields Mass reduction doubled (16-40% from 8-20%)
– Thermal/Kinetic Shields Module health increase added (+20%-40% at G5)
– Kinetic/Thermal/Explosive Hull Reinforcements: Penalties for off-types reduced (to 10%-15% from 10%-20% at G5)
– Kinetic/Thermal/Explosive Shield Boosters: Penalties for off-types on all single-type resistances reduced ( 4%-6% from 12%-13% at G5)
– Resistive (Shield Booster): Resistance to all types reduced by 2% (to 10-13% from 12-15% at G5)


– Powerplay consolidation feature added
– Powerplay assassins removed
– Powerplay pirates no longer spawn in exploited systems
– Powerplay pirates must align with an opposing superpower to that of the controlling power
– When a crime worthy of an authority response is committed between two ships (NPC or player) who are each pledged to a power, effectively reduce the security level of the system for the purposes of considering strength of response and delay
– Power security and pirate ships must now scan for powerplay vouchers, to check for powerplay cargo, and concerning which powers will get involved based on the player’s power
– Power Security NPCs attack ships of opposing powers (different major faction) if they are locally wanted, they have powerplay vouchers issued by the controlling power of the system, or are carrying any powerplay commodity relevant to the controlling power of the system. They can not be appeased with cargo drops
– PowersPirate NPCs attack ships of the same power as the controlling power of the system if they are wanted, carrying any powerplay vouchers, or carrying any powerplay cargo (any power). They can be appeased by cargo drops as long as the attack was due to cargo, not bounty or vouchers
– Ships not meeting these criteria will be left alone, even if pledged to a power
– New chatter lines added to support changed behavious
– Ensure PowersSecurity ships are given an FSD interdictor by the auto-loadout system
– Updating the balance on AI ambient power play ships, as well as tweaking some of Famine and Outbreak AI ships
– When Opposing Control or Undermining a hostile power, vouchers will only be issued when destroying NPC ships from the defending power
– Cargo used for Opposing Control or Undermining a friendly power will now only count for 1 merit when delivered
– Voting for logistics consolidation becomes available at Rank 2 after supporting a power for 4 weeks. The number of votes increases to 5 after supporting a power for 16 weeks
– Replaced the 18 second threaten timer on PowersSecurity ships with a 2 second one (they appeared to be broken right after scanning, which was undesirable behaviour). Also adjusted standard Bounty Hunter AI to be the same
– Current Vote Status box doesn’t encompass all information heading correctly
– Preparation Overview does not show the current voting ratio for logistics consolidation versus continued preparation fixed


– Fixed firing on fighters launched from already scanned ships counting as a crime
– Increase the combat bond and bounties on NPC’s by approximately 15% (to allow for increased time to kill)
– Don’t spawn more escorts each time we transfer authority to a new authority
– Tweaks to make NPCs less effective against silent running
– NPCs should’t always be so accurate with rail guns
– Wanted NPC has clean fighter fixed
– Balance pass for AI interdiction ability, to make it slightly easier
– Fix an accidental change that removed the delay before AI reboot-repair when their critical modules are damaged, this should now be 4-15 seconds as before
– Slight changes to the spawn rates of certain AI in ambient traffic and specific powerplay archetypes. The PP types have also had their interdiction chance upped, as there are now fewer PP ships in general flying around


– Removed wreckage and salvage from tourist beacon USSs
– Fixed some broken uplink messages
– Fixed the gamplay layout for Habitat_Layout_Civilian_001 so that it contains the correct assets
– Fix for some service station missing attachments
– Use the camera location instead of the ship location for determining whether to render the interior or exterior of the station


– Improved gold paintjob shader
– Improved chrome paintjob shader
– Fix for cockpit ambience ducking artifact
– Doubled hull health for:
– Hauler
– Type 6
– Keelback
– Type 7
– Type 9 Heavy
– Vipers across the galaxy have received lightweight chassis upgrades, reduce viper hull mass by 10 tons
– Added new military slots to the following ships:
– Eagle: 1x size 2
– Imperial Eagle: 1x size 2
– Viper Mk III: 1x size 3
– Viper Mk iV: 1x size 3
– Vulture: 1x size 5
– Federal Dropship: 2x size 4
– Federal Gunship 3x size 4
– Federal Assault ship: 2x size 4
– Imperial Cutter: 2x size 5
– Federal Corvette 2x size 5
– Anaconda: 1×5 size 5


– Enabled dithering for VR to reduce banding
– If we aren’t trying to override saved 3d settings don’t prevent them loading
– If user has previous saved stereoscopic mode and we want to override with /vr or /novr allow all relevant modes


– Wings matchmaking improvements
– Improve the way we exchange info about routers, to include info on whether there is manual port forwarding, so we don’t immediately skip to Turn when a direct connection might work
– Ensure that packet sizes are correctly allowed for
– Added telemetry to catch inconsistencies with players network configurations
– Fix a race condition in Networking startup, where the initialisation of the Turn code was sometimes delayed due to taking a long time to identify the type of router: this meant that sometimes we would upload incomplete connection details to the server, which would then be passed on to other machines, they would not be able to connect via Turn
– Change the way we interpret appconfig.xml settings regarding manual port forwarding – if port has been set, but routerport has not, we will automatically assume port forwarding in the router, with the same port number on the external WAN side as the internal port number
– Fix some timings when adding machines to a session: if we’re waiting for the machine’s connection details, then when we receive them, reset the Session’s timeout

Player Journal

– Improved atmosphere description in player journal
– Added “Target” property in player journal when recording a kill
– Fixed json syntax for Interdiction event
– Fix for getting the correct faction when docking at a station (to write into the journal)
– When a ship/slf takes damage, the journal entry now includes whether it’s the ship or fighter, and whether the player is the pilot
– Added a journal entry when gaining Federation or Empire rank