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Community Discord update #spacesims 20/12/15 week in review

Planetary Landfall in Elite: Dangerous - Horizons

The new Cobra Mk IV: larger, sturdier, less agile, more internals.

The new Cobra Mk IV: larger, sturdier, less agile, more internals.

Greetings Commanders! With the highly anticipated launch of Horizons this week, the first expansion of Elite: Dangerous, its arrival has buzzed the #spacesim channel with a new fever.

The allure of the ability to land on planets is the first big feature of this early access version of the expansion. Since before and after the release of v1.3: Powerplay, a long standing issue of players longing for additional content in this vast but shallow galaxy however hasn't been answered. Landing on planets may not have addressed the issue directly but it is the first step of Frontier Development's US$60 expansion.

Planetary Surface Ports are new to the expansion allowing a greater variety of missions for the player.

Planetary Surface Ports are new to the expansion allowing a greater variety of missions for the player.

Landing on a planet requires some practice, although it's not too different from the standard transition of Supercruise to Space Station, it requires you to enter orbital flight as you approach the planet. In addition to managing your speed and distance, you now have to monitor altitude and pitch relative to the horizon. After which if all goes well, you'll enter Glide mode and descend on to the surface port.

The new Surface Reconnaissance Vehicle (SRV) allows you to roam the planets surface.

The new Surface Reconnaissance Vehicle (SRV) allows you to roam the planets surface.

In order to deploy and use the SRV, you'll need the appropriate internal module. Namely, a Vehicle Hangar that needs to be installed on your space ship. The smallest one requires a Class 2 slot. Once the module is installed and the SRV purchased in the new slot, you'll be able to roam freely on the planet surface. Keybinds are required to be assigned before you're able to use your favourite HOTAS though, so bear that in mind.

Handling of the SRV is at the mercy of the planet's gravity as it can be a challenge to pilot it around. Damage sustained whilst tumbling around and falling bypasses its shield so be careful! The SRV is rather fragile so its thrusters should be used to soften the landings from falling. The SRV's passive radar also scans like a frontal cone sonar. It beeps and pulses with the detection of points of interest. So far, the ones I've discovered are outposts with wanted sentries and rocks. These destructible rocks are meant to introduce the new elemental crafting system.

The crafting system allows you to combine elements found to either repair, refuel or rearm your SRV. It will even allow you to extend your FSD capability and projectile weapons as well, making them even more powerful for the duration a full clip.

These are the new main features of Horizons, next time I'll talk about the new ships available. Till then, Right On Commander!

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