Frontier has announced the release date for the Engineers which will be available to all current owners of the original Elite: Dangerous (patch 1.6) and the Horizons season pass (patch 2.1). The update is less than a week away and it's landing on PC and Xbox on Thursday, May 26th!

The Engineers 2.1 update brings headline features such as Loot and Crafting and mission updates, as well as hundreds of other improvements to Elite Dangerous.

This update benefits every Commander in the Elite Dangerous galaxy, with 1.6 arriving at the same time for anyone who owns the base game, with a great many improvements to missions, bringing human faces to each mission-giver, new huge weapons, available for all owners of Elite Dangerous.

Crafting RNG

Over the last few weeks of beta testing Engineers, there was quite a lot of hassle about how the whole new crafting system was introduced when it comes to new weapons and mods. Even though the idea is a great addition to the game, it felt completely random and at some point like a roulette. With mentions like the "healing" laser, or some weapons that use fuel instead of ammo... a lot of players started to build up specific builds and ship fits... What they realized was that it was very difficult to get a single weapon of the desired type, let alone multiple weapons to match the original mod. So, with the power of the almighty reddit and official forums - Frontier listened and explained...

We created experimental effects with the notion that these powerful, but rare, augmentations would be occasional treats that added spice to the upgrade crafting process. A laser that could regenerate your wingman’s shields, a railgun that used fuel for ammo, a mine that scrambled frame shift drives.

The clear and unambiguous feedback however, has been that Commanders see these effects as a means to create combat strategies, even ship roles. Locking such interesting and important tools behind chance is too disenfranchising with regards to game play. Commanders want to choose their experimental effects.

We’ve listened, and we’ve chewed over this internally, and have come to respect this opinion.,

But there’s a problem. Engineers were never meant to offer mass-produced improvements – they’re mavericks, unorthodox geniuses who manage to eke out improvements almost instinctively, rather than by following set procedures. In short, these guys and gals love to experiment.

To keep this context whilst allowing Commanders to choose special effects, we’ve settled on implementing a favor system. Simply put, when an Engineer crafts an upgrade for a ship module, Commanders with enough reputation can call in a favour to choose a specific experimental effect.

Calling in favours isn’t free though. Engineers don’t appreciate being forced to repeat procedures instead of carrying out further experimentation, so calling in favours will cause Commanders to lose reputation with the Engineer, which must be regained via standard methods: crafting upgrades, and for certain Engineers, handing in exploration data, bounty claims or selling specific commodities.

It sounds like a decent compromise that will still make players engaged if they want that extra punch out of their fits, but still leaves a bit of a repetitive feel to it. Luckily, there's a lot of Engineers out there, and each one prefers a different kind of mission to increase the rank. With the new mission system, new POIs and the new AI - this patch might just make Elite a much more beefy game than it currently is.

Fly safe commanders o7