Frontier Developments is one step closer to the release of Elite: Dangerous. The "standard beta" is now available, dropping the entry price from $150 to $75 and introducing a collection of new features. The patch also coincides with the ending of the sale of lifetime expansion passes, which allowed players to receive all future major expansions; these include landing ships on planets, starport combat, and more. For those worried that all updates will be behind a paywall, Frontier previously stated that they intend to release regular updates for free. However, significant new features will be charged separately.
The shift to the second stage of the beta testing adds new ships such as the Viper, the AI controlled Imperial Fighter, the Lakon Type 6 freighter, in-game voice communications, missions, fuel consumption, and more.