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Elite: Dangerous to introduce player-owned carriers, multiplayer missions next year

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Here’s the complete roadmap for 2018

A ship sits parked while a massive explosion rips apart an asteroid in the distance. Frontier Developments

The spacefaring game Elite: Dangerous is going to have a busy year in 2018. During this year’s fan expo, held over the weekend, developers laid out an ambitious roadmap. Goals include adding new ships to the game, launching new multiplayer features and improving several major gameplay systems.

The weekend’s biggest announcement was that Frontier plans to introduce player-owned carrier ships late next year. It will also introduce a new organizational structure within the game world called squadrons. Previously, players were able to form up into wings — small, ad hoc groups of players who traveled and fought together. Squadrons will be persistent, and carrier ships will allow their members to refuel, refit, rearm and respawn anywhere in the Milky Way galaxy.

Missions will also be reworked, and Frontier said it intends to add multi-player missions that can only be overcome by several players working together in a wing.

Two major gameplay systems will also see improvements. First up, mining will receive a near total revamp.

“We’re going to improve the way that you detect and extract resources,” said lead designer Sandy Sammarco. “We want to give you options and variety and choice when you’re out there in the black. Importantly, what we’re going to try and evoke is the feeling of Wild West prospecting. Whether that’s through jeopardy — through crises and challenges, unforeseen, cropping up out there in the black while you’re trying to get rewards — or through the concept of striking it big and hitting the motherlode.”

Sammarco illustrated the mining segment with concept art teasing something that he called “deep core extraction,” showing a player blasting apart a single, massive asteroid from a safe distance.

Exploration will also be overhauled, but Sammarco and his team were much more cagey about what that meant. Suffice it to say, players should expect new and unusual things to find out there in the uncharted corners of the galaxy all through 2018.

Frontier also showed off several new pieces of concept art including a close-up of an icy world, which they said was representative of an art target they hoped to achieve in the coming year.

There were also two new ships shown off, including the Chieftain and the Krait. The team said many more new ships were planned for the coming year, with nearly all of them heavily focused on combat roles.

You can watch the full presentation in the YouTube clip below.

The latest update to Elite: Dangerous landed just a few weeks ago. That storyline, involving a powerful race of aliens called the Thargoids, is ongoing.