The Engineers update for Elite: Dangerous (otherwise known as version 2.1) will be going into beta on “the week ending” 8 May. So, somewhere between 2 May and 7 May, by the sounds of it.
Anybody who has beta access to Elite: Dangerous Horizons releases, which I think is mostly people who backed the original Kickstarter at a certain level, and also those who own various ‘Lifetime Expansion’ or ‘Premium Access’ packages for the game. As a player, you hopefully know at this stage whether you have beta privileges or not.
“The Engineers are individuals that are mavericks in some way. Each has some sort of expertise from their pasts that they have made into a business – tuning all sorts of aspects of your ship to improve them,” writes David Braben as part of the announcement. “They do this using exotic and often hard-to-find components. Most Engineers are very secretive, working behind the scenes for the military or other shady organisations, and so you need an introduction, and need to find out how to find them.”
As well as adding those enigmatic characters, who can upgrade and improve your ship in rare and experimental ways, version 2.1 will introduce a full looting and crafting system to Horizons. New gameplay elements are promised too, which is a bit vague, but future Elite: Dangerous newsletters will be expanding on those details.
For people who don’t own Horizons, there’s some news as well. Elite: Dangerous version 1.6 (which will be available to all and is scheduled to release at the same time as Engineers) will, among other things, bring a “a completely re-vamped mission system”.