Elite: Dangerous beginner’s guide update – Jan 2020

Howdy intrepid space folk!

A divisive new patch landed this week for Elite: Dangerous, namely the January 2020 update. And I’ve been busy revising my Elite: Dangerous beginner’s guide to reflect the new changes.

The January 2020 update was controversial because FDev decided to delay the introduction of the much-anticipated Fleet Carriers and other new content in favour of focussing on bug squashing, balance tweaking, and performance improvement. 

Highlights of the release include:

  • balance improvements for ARX generation
  • several new faction states
  • improved FSS performance when scanning planets with geological features
  • the option to recover active NPC crew from the rebuy screen (a much-requested feature)
  • changes to the way supply and demand volumes work for certain high-end minerals, particularly void opals
  • a wide variety of stability improvements and bug fixes

While many claim that this was what the community asked for, others believe that FDev used a now-infamous open letter signed by several high-profile Commanders as a convenient smokescreen for the fact that Fleet Carriers simply weren’t ready to be delivered on time. 

The letter, of course, was a response to the disastrous September 2019 update, which introduced a host of serious bugs into the game despite adding very little new content. Amongst other things, the signatories petitioned for the return of open betas prior to all releases, better communication regarding known issues, and a stronger focus on resolving existing bugs. 

Needless to say, there’s been a lot of heated discussion over on the forums and other social media channels about the January update. 

Personally, I think its good that FDev are finally tackling a variety of long-standing issues. However, some of these bugs should have been fixed a very long time ago and I can understand the frustration of those who feel that there has been a dearth of engaging new content in the past year or so. 

It seems that for many players, the “2020 Next Era” release, expected to land at the end of the year, will probably be a make or break moment for Elite: Dangerous, which is now into it’s fifth year. Doesn’t time fly!

You can read the full January 2020 patch notes over on the official forums.

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