As the Elite: Dangerous Powerplay beta on 20 May gets closer, the developer updates on the game’s official forums have been going through some of the changes it’ll introduce.
Tinkering with turret functions isn’t the headline feature by any means (that would probably be the new factions and changes to missions,) but is relevant to those who make frequent use of mounted guns.
In today’s developer posting, Frontier producer Michael Brookes writes that “To help give players more control over when their turrets are firing, they now interact with fire groups.”
Those turrets not listed in the currently active fire group (whether they’re set to primary or secondary bindings) will no longer track or fire at targets.
‘Target Only’ mode is changing too, in the following ways:
“When set to Target Only, turrets in the active fire group will track the target as before, but will not fire.
Target Only weapons can be manually fired. When the player attempts to fire the weapon while it is tracking, the gun will start firing and will ‘latch’ on until you lose sensor contact with that target, switch fire groups or otherwise disable the weapon. Moving out of range or fire arc does not break the latch.”
Apparently this will put all responsibility for attacking (or committing a crime) squarely on the Elite: Dangerous pilot.
Turrets set to ‘Fire At Will’ won’t be able to “accidentally commit assault crimes” any more, either. They will check whether a target is legal before opening fire (handy,) or check if it’s someone you’ve already fired upon (after all, you might intentionally be committing a criminal act.) Ships hit by accidental stray shots won’t hold it against you.
Further changes to how turrets function in Elite: Dangerous are intended to make them more accurate at range, but slightly easier to avoid when up close. Powerplay’s update is also supposed to add more variation between turret types. The example given is that smaller turrets will be better at tracking faster ships.
A couple more changes are listed in the update too; being able to see pilots in the flight chairs of other ships, and (after Powerplay,) plans for Spanish localisation.