Have you ever wanted to own a personal space station? This upcoming Elite: Dangerous update, scheduled for December of 2019, is likely to please if that’s the case. Frontier Developments, the company behind the popular space sim MMO, recently revealed the new Personal Fleet Carriers update at Gamescom 2019 in Cologne, Germany.

For the uninitiated, Elite: Dangerous is a space simulator designed as a successor to the three Elite games that preceded it, which were Elite, Frontier: Elite II, and Frontier: First Encounters. In all four of these games, the main goal is to explore the galaxy while trading, paid assassinations, and defending the human race from alien invaders, to rise to the rank of Elite. It’s a fairly simple premise, but with Elite: Dangerous, players can join with others across the world to explore just about every star in the galaxy, many of them based on actual star systems.

These carriers are huge, 16-player vessels which essentially function as a base of operations for large groups – although they can be purchased (for a significant sum of credits) and piloted by a single player. To accomodate full groups, Fleet Carriers feature 16 landing pads – eight large, four medium, and four small – and owners can set permissions to control exactly who is able to dock.

Normally, if you wanted to take your ships with you in this game, you would have to leave all but one of your ships behind in some station, and pay in-game credits to have them be safely delivered to the destination of the ship you are currently piloting.

For people who like to be as equipped as a Boy Scout, this can get rather expensive. Thankfully it doesn’t cost real money, but my commander’s wallet hurts just thinking about it. These Personal Fleet Carriers will understandably feel more like a mortal wound to the proverbial wallet, but considering how versatile it is, it’ll likewise be just as customizable as its less expensive brethren. Let me show you its features!

Ownership

Ownership

First of all, players can only own one Fleet Carrier at a time. A bit of a bummer, but considering how much firepower these suckers have, it’s understandable. Luckily, these are available to all players, so you don’t need to buy an expansion for this feature.

Operations

Operations

To help mitigate this issue of only ever having one of these bad boys, Frontier has explained that you can have it built for different duties, such as bounty hunting or mining. I’m not sure exactly how this will be implemented, but I assume it will take a significant amount of resources to set these loadouts.

With each specific loadout option also comes along special support vessels to accompany the fleet carrier, though the ship itself is not able to be destroyed. It’s not clear what these vessels can do, but I assume they’ll help defend the carrier from pirates and other threats.

Capacity

Capacity

The fact that it’s a carrier also denotes that it can carry other ships for the player. It’s fairly straight-forward, there’s a set amount of landing pads for three different ship sizes, to accommodate an average commander’s collection of ships.

Fleet Carriers feature 16 landing pads – eight large, four medium, and four small – and owners can set permissions to control exactly who is able to dock. How this will impact players when they log off, however, I am unsure, though it seems logical that players will be brought with you in your carrier, moving through the galaxy with your carrier as it does.

You Are Now Free to Move About The Galaxy

Travel Capabilities

The Personal Fleet Carrier will be one of the most mobile ships in the game, save ships designed for exploration. With a jump range of 500 lightyears, you can fly across the galaxy, knowing that the rest of your ships can join you if you decide to leave the little bubble of human civilization you started in.

Waiting Like the Rest of You

This is by no means a definitive explanation of how they work, but there’s not much to work with until later in the year when they start fleshing out the update in full. Still, this is a huge improvement to paying credits just to move your ships from station to station, or even just leaving them behind as you explore outside civilized space.

What will actual gameplay be like? We’ll have to wait til December of 2019 to find out.

Watch this space.

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