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Take a ship and 100 credits to make money legally or illegally - trade, bounty-hunt, pirate, assassinate your way across the galaxy.
Take a ship and 100 credits to make money legally or illegally - trade, bounty-hunt, pirate, assassinate your way across the galaxy.
25,681 backers pledged £1,578,316 to help bring this project to life.

Update #19 - New Pledge Tiers

Hi everyone,

Michael here with today's update. As I write this our pledge total is just over £875,000 and we have 17,266 backers. A huge thank you to everyone who has pledged and welcome to our new backers.

Today's update brings a range of new pledge reward tiers. These are all (except one) based on your starting ship and location. The tiers should be self explanatory, but feel free to ask me any questions in the Kickstarter comments, or by direct message if you're feeling shy.

Here are the new pledge tiers:

  • (-) Default: Start in a safe Federal core system with a Sidewinder ship, single pulse laser and 100 CR (randomised start system choice for multiplayer reasons)**
  • £32 Imperial Bounty Hunter: Have the option to start in an Imperial Colony with an Imperial Eagle Mk II Fighter with upgraded weapons and shields and 1,000 CR (randomised start system choice for multiplayer reasons)** plus all rewards above.
  • £37 Federal Trader: Have the option to start in a Federal border system with a basic Cobra Mk III loaded with cargo worth 1,000 CR and 1,000 CR in cash.(randomised system choice for multiplayer reasons)** plus all rewards above.
  • £42 Pirate: Have the option to start in an anarchic Frontier system with a stolen but upgraded Cobra Mk III and only 100 CR.(randomised system choice for multiplayer reasons)** plus all rewards above.
  • £55 Independent Trader: Have the option to start in the Lave system with a basic Cobra Mk III and only 100 CR** plus all rewards above.
  • £70 Explorer: Have the option to start on the edge of explored space with a long range version of the Cobra Mk III and 3,000 CR (randomised system choice for multiplayer reasons)** plus all rewards above.
  • £85 Kickstarter Special: Have the option to start in the founder's world with any starter ship and 4,000 CR. Note: any Kickstarter decal-carrier will be able to travel to this secret system in gameplay** plus all rewards above.

** exact ship details to be carefully tuned during the beta tests.

There is also a new premium pledge tier, only one is available:

£5000 Name the secret founder's system*. This includes all the benefits of the £3,000 pledge tier.

Here is a new piece of concept art, some of you will no doubt recognise the image.The difference for this new version is that it has taken the original image and been changed to represent the art target for this piece. We don't do this with all concept art, but it helps to define shaders, textures and geometry and so forth with the final version.

The various Elite: Dangerous novels provide a significant part of the Kickstarter funding and there are still some novels which haven't reached their funding yet. Today we feature "And here the wheel" by John Harper, check out his project with the link below:

So once again, thank you everyone for your support thus far. We're not there yet, but we will make it. Please make sure to keep spreading the word. Tweet, blog, email, phone or any method you can think of to let people know.

We have to make this game and with your help we'll make this happen.



Doctor Doom likes this update.


    1. Bromley86 on December 24, 2012

      Arrgh, sorry. Seemed to have replied to the wrong comment after logging in.

    2. Bromley86 on December 24, 2012

      Yes, but what is the actual logic behind that? The only thing that makes any sense is that the £20 tier was regarded as a bargain-basement level and those wanting to fully participate would have to pay £30+ (actually, £40+ originally).

      That's plainly nonsense now though, as (a) there are clearly thousands of people who will not move from £20 except perhaps by adding £5 for The Dark Wheel/music/decals/etc and the project needs every pledge it can get and (c) the old tier structure wasn't cutting it and has been superseded now with the inclusion of the ship tiers.

    3. intrepidis on December 24, 2012

      @Michael: Could you confirm Digital Dan's query?

    4. Digital Dan on December 23, 2012

      @Tom OConnell and @Robert Stewart. Thanks guys, got the physics sorted: 1g = 9.8 m/s2, which is an acceleration (same as standing on the Earth), thrusters can rovide a maximum force (F), so the acceleration (a) would be proportional to the mass(m) using the equation a = F/m. As Frontier was about as close to a space sim as you can get, I was wondering if it used that model. Having a search around on some forums it looks like the mass of the ships and cargo don't effect the acceleration in the games. I guess this was a decision in balancing realism with gameplay. I'm thinking it might be pretty cool in ED if an empty Panther Clipper could accelerate 6 times faster than a full one!

    5. Tom OConnell [Blue lights on cop vipers] on December 23, 2012

      @Digital Dan - there you go Rob knows his physics. Thanks for clearing that up Rob

    6. Robert Stewart on December 23, 2012

      @Tom OConnell: In Newtonian physics (that is, below about 10% of light speed), your acceleration is the net force applied to you divided by your mass. If the mass of the cargo is signficant compared to the mass of the ship, it will have a visible effect on your acceleration; if your ship is most of the mass and your cargo is not significant, then the load won't have a noticeable effect on your acceleration.

      With space rockets, most of the mass on the launchpad is actually fuel - and running the engines at the same thrust the whole time would increase the acceleration of the payload as the fuel gets used up. I don't know whether they do that in an actual launch, or reduce the power of the rocket as the fuel runs out - I do know that multi-stage rockets tend to have less poweful engines for later stages since they don't need to push as much mass around.

    7. Tom OConnell [Blue lights on cop vipers] on December 23, 2012

      @michael, any thoughts on the police viper blue lights ?

    8. Tom OConnell [Blue lights on cop vipers] on December 23, 2012

      @digital Dan, I'm no physics genius, I'm thinking the cargo load shouldn't have a bearing on thrust given that gravity isn't an active force in open space.
      The thrust rating is based on the force of gravity in the same way as space rockets blasting off earth to go into space.

    9. Digital Dan on December 23, 2012

      Does anyone know if in FE2 or FFE whether the amount of cargo your ship is carrying effects the acceleration? I'm wondering why the ship stats (in the links earlier) show the thruster power in Gs? Maybe that's for a fully laden ship?

    10. Tom OConnell [Blue lights on cop vipers] on December 23, 2012

      @Michael, a question based on one of the dev diary sessions from DB. He mentioned a trader using friends as protective wingmen, with a proportion of the bounty for a job being paid to the wingmen. Does that mean players can transfer in game credits to each other ?

    11. Creator Frontier Developments on December 23, 2012

      @ Tom OConnell

      The Sidewinder will have limited jump and cargo capability.


    12. Bromley86 on December 23, 2012

      Mine too - I'd totally forgotten that the Sidewinder wasn't hyperspace capable in the original Elite .

      Still, they'll use the Frontier ships as the base and there's zero chance of them making you start without the ability to jump. There may be scope for that sort of ship as a demo though. Finally a use for the Lifter & Interplanetary Shuttle!

    13. Tom OConnell [Blue lights on cop vipers] on December 23, 2012

      @Steve, thanks for the correction, my memory is not what it was ;-)

    14. Bromley86 on December 23, 2012

      It's been confirmed that you have access to all the ship tier options. It's reasonable to assume that you'll be able to start a new game with a different option at any time.

      The only thing we're unsure of is whether or not you'll be able to run more than one character (i.e. Imperial Bounty Hunter tonight, Federal Trader tomorrow, then back to IBH). I can't see any problem with that as long as you can only log in with one character at a time.

    15. Andrew King on December 23, 2012

      Has it been confirmed if pledging at, say the £85 level, gets you all the 7 different ships / starting locations, or just the ability to select from those 7? Not worried if it's only a selection of 1 of them - just curious.

    16. Bromley86 on December 23, 2012

      @Tom. Nope, you're not correct. In FFE it had a a decent cargo hold and a decent jump. No missile pylons though.

      Going by the FFE stats, you could even argue that it's better than the Eagle (depending what you're doing with it). But the £32 Eagle tier has upgraded equipment and has 1000 CR, so that'll be much better.

    17. Tom OConnell [Blue lights on cop vipers] on December 23, 2012

      My advice (for what it's worth !!) is for all the backers at £20 (who will be starting with the default Sidewinder) to up their pledges to one of the better ship pledge levels (£32, £37 etc.), sadly the Sidewinder is a very limited craft

    18. Tom OConnell [Blue lights on cop vipers] on December 23, 2012

      @Michael, the default ship - Sidewinder, am I correct in thinking that ship has no hyperspace jump capability, and has no cargo space ?

    19. Bromley86 on December 23, 2012

      As a stopgap measure until there's a page on it, you can see the 3 ships (SW, Eagle & Cobra) compared in this post on the Frontier forums (the descriptions come from the Frontier First Encounters game manual):…

    20. Tom OConnell [Blue lights on cop vipers] on December 23, 2012

      Not sure I understand the concept of 'pay to win' in the context of playing Elite Dangerous, DB's vision looks to be focused around players in some part working together for a common purpose - delivering goods for the construction of a space station for example.

      If the model of progression is the same as the original Elite, one of the key goals would be to improve our Elite rating starting at 'Harmless', progressing to 'Elite'. In the original Elite, this could only be achieved by defeating other ships in battles. None of the tiers allow you start with an increased Elite rating

    21. Missing avatar

      weltysparrow on December 23, 2012

      Yes yes yes! This is a great idea, there was way too big a gap between the tiers but I will definitely be bumping my pledge for the final push now.


    22. Tom OConnell [Blue lights on cop vipers] on December 23, 2012

      @Michael, any chance all the backers could be invited to the Frontier Offices ?, I'm sure the restaurant would be busy with the 18,000 + food orders ;-) !!!!

    23. Tom OConnell [Blue lights on cop vipers] on December 23, 2012

      @Michael, think it would be useful to give an indication of ship classes to those who never played the original Elite, something like :-

      Starter Ships :- Sidewinder, Cobra Mk III, Krait, Viper......
      Class 1 Ships :- Adder, Boa......
      Class 2 Ships :- Imp Trader, Python

      Maybe with a link to a sketch/image of each ?

    24. Bromley86 on December 23, 2012

      I think this is a great idea and they've clearly put a lot of thought into the balancing (want a fully upgraded Cobra? You can have it, but you start with no extra cash in an Anarchy system.).

      To those purists who want everyone starting on the same level. Aside from the usual arguments about how that situation only holds for a few hours after the game goes live, players couldn't all start in the same system so there was always going to be some some who were immediately better off than others.

      Plus there was a good chance that the game wasn't going to get funded without this which, assuming you feel this update reduces the value of the game to you, would have given us all 100% of nothing.

    25. Bo on December 23, 2012

      These new tiers are only small advantages for the beginning player ... yes.
      But I've seen a lot games going down this road. In need for money most designers tell you about balancing, convenience and choices. But these design decisions were weaking the community team spirit and most of the time were no longer fun ... for me.

    26. Pete Cozens on December 23, 2012

      @cmdr M. I agree with your first sentiment, but only a very small minority of pledges can afford the £150+ tiers - to exclude the rest would only lead to negative vibes. FD are giving something to say thanks to ALL their backers, not just those with deeper pockets.

    27. Creator Frontier Developments on December 23, 2012

      @ Stefan Simon

      There are more ships available than those listed as starter ships and don't forget that the ships are more upgradable than they were before.


    28. Trond Meier on December 23, 2012

      Just hope the foundergalaxy stay kickstarter only forever. Though i think starting there should require a 150+ tier.

    29. Pete Cozens on December 23, 2012

      @FD - come on Frontier, give us something else to drool over (and the new kids something to help them understand the new tiers). I'd love to see some stats and concept art on the ships planned for the initial release. Even back-of-a-fag-packet sketches to help stir the imagination and loosen the wallet...

      BTW - great work on the new pledge tiers. Nice to see the overpowering positive response from the community and the resulting jump in pledges.

    30. Pete Cozens on December 23, 2012

      @Simon M - fear not. As pointed out earlier, the ships available in these New pledge tiers are only starter ships with limited equipment - nothing that will provide a major advantage. I suspect that a great deal of time and effort will still be required to buy and equip the higher-end ships.

    31. Missing avatar

      Simon METCALFE on December 23, 2012

      played Elite on my c64 when I was a teenager. The only game that had dog fights as intense was x-wing/tie fighter. I am not sure about this new pledge system is going to effect the game. One of the main hooks for me was upgrading the ships and equipment. If you go straight in to the best ship it think you are missing the point.

    32. Missing avatar

      Stefan Simon on December 23, 2012

      ah any starter ship thats a relive thaks for clearing that up

    33. Charles Davies on December 23, 2012

      It's not 'all the ships' in the game, it's a few select ships, slightly better than the normal starter ship.

    34. Missing avatar

      Stefan Simon on December 23, 2012

      I'm ok with these except the 85 pound version sounds a bit too much. Especial since i fall under it and all ships would be available to me. I don't like that.
      It kind of takes away the achievement of getting those ships when i just could make a new character and have the ship i like and maybe sell fol low price to a friend or something like that. Quite dislike that idea.

      I’m naturally lazy and having all ships available from the get go takes away quite a bit of fun for me

      i'm naturaly lazy and having all ships avaible from the get go takes away quite a bit of fun for me...

    35. Charles Davies on December 23, 2012

      *constant advantage

    36. Charles Davies on December 23, 2012

      Play to win = being able to pay more for a constant disadvantage.

      This is more like getting 5 day xp boost for getting the collectors edition of an MMO.

      This is not pay to win, it is pay to support the development of the game and get a small head start.

    37. Missing avatar

      David Bond [Mac 1.4m, +10 ships 1.5m] on December 22, 2012

      Just a thought... Will I be able to name my ship (like I would a boat in real life) so let's say I had a cobra mk III, that would be its designated "type" but as you pass it you ser its name "fang" emblazoned on the hull?

    38. Giles Harrison on December 22, 2012

      All the existing cosmetic/vanity tiers such as having your name in the game are fine, but I can't help but feel that these new tiers are a terrible idea.
      I feel that everybody that pledges should be able to expect to receive the same base game, and extra rewards should be outside of that. Players shouldn't be arbitrarily locked out of this or that in-game for this kind of reason.
      Will these new start positions be available to all players eventually ?
      Will they be made available through an optional purchasable DLC unlock after release ?
      The X3 games offer these kind of varied start positions to all players from the start, and it provides difficulty options and variety.
      You're bringing a community together of those that all want to see this game made, and share in that same experience together, and then adding a divisive element like this that feels tangibly like day-one-dlc or pay-to-win, and splits the players based on how much they can pay.

    39. Slugsie on December 22, 2012

      Damn you, you've just gotten an further £70 on top of my original £20 pledge. ;) Those extra little 'leg ups' are just the sort of thing I need. I loved the original Elite which I played for months and months on my Acorn Electron, and probably still have sitting in a box somewhere. Hopefully this will be more of the same.

    40. Paul B on December 22, 2012

      @ Cmdr Bond

      Regarding game slots, as this isn't an MMO is the true sense (you have charatcer saves), wouldn't you just save your character after creation and then start a new game with a different set up? I'll admit I haven't gotten my head around being able to save in a persistent world (like an MMO) yet and I'm not sure if FD are planning to have your multiplayer saves held server side while your single player are held locally or whether there is some other anti-cheat monitoring in the works.

    41. Paul B on December 22, 2012

      Rarr, so I get to start with an Elite Founder tag in the Founder system with a ship I ..erm...found. Afraid it wont change my pledge (as I'm over that already) but it is a very nice reward that I wasn't expecting, thanks! :)

    42. Creator Frontier Developments on December 22, 2012


      We only get the one option when setting up the pledges.


    43. Trond Meier on December 22, 2012

      @fd: it is a bit unfair that you charge the same for shiping outside the uk. Shipping to Norway can't cost the same as Australia :-p

    44. Creator Frontier Developments on December 22, 2012

      @ jon

      Yes that's what it means.


    45. Missing avatar

      jon on December 22, 2012

      So as the £80 digital download pack says it includes all the rewards above..Am I correct to assume it includes all these new start positions except the £85 one?
      and that the £85 tier includes all positions + free expansions?
      Considering upping my pledge, if this is the case then I will do

    46. Alex Korbey on December 22, 2012

      @neilster, pledge £5000 and maybe, just maybe you might have a chance of getting a thargoid ship.

    47. Missing avatar

      Yev001 on December 22, 2012

      Great tiers. I'm up to 85 now. Hope you make it

    48. Missing avatar

      Valerius on December 22, 2012

      I fully agree with Joerg Starkmuth and Ty Corcoran. I am strongly against the possibility to buy game progress for real money - even if it is possible to achieve this progress by just playing the game.