The latest Elite: Dangerous newsletter has been issued, containing a few details (and images) of a new Ocellus starport plus Beta 2 mission info. There’s also a bit of a teaser concept shot (below) of ship weathering; the process of wear and tear on your lovely shiny paint job.
The upcoming Ocellus starport (presumably due in Beta 2, though the newsletter doesn’t explicitly state this) is based on a real space station design called the Bernal Sphere, first proposed in 1929.
It’s stronger and more radiation-proof than the Coriolis. More expensive and larger, too. But in comparison to the Orbis starport, it’s smaller. Ocellus stations “can be moved intact from place to place as opposed to being assembled on site” by attaching giant drives to to shunt them between systems. Whether this is something we’ll see in-game or if this is just lore flavour, I’m not sure.
Both Federation and Empire operate the Ocellus starports, as do some of the larger corporations. Here’s what it looks like:
Finally, there’s word of some expansion to the in-game mission framework that’ll be coming in Beta 2. As Elite: Dangerous moves through beta and towards release, the Frontier team intend to include “escort missions, assassination missions, tail-and-report missions, group missions, policing duties, in addition to guns-blazing mercenary assignments” as mission options.
More complex, multi-part missions are planned too. As well as those based on a player’s rank and ratings (something else to be added in Beta 2.) Newsworthy events in the Galnet news feed will trigger missions too.
That Beta 2 release date remains elusive for now, but it sounds like it’ll feature some substantial updates.