The inevitable has lastly occurred. After the two-year-long Azimuth Saga storyline in Elite Harmful ended this previous August with the misfire of an alien-killing superweapon (do not you hate it when that occurs?), the Thargoids have lastly had it with the human race. They’re placing again. To place it plainly, Elite Harmful Update 14 has arrived, and it is full-on battle.

“There is not any extra taking part in or poking by the Thargoids,” says lead game designer Luke Betterton. “They don’t seem to be making an attempt to see how well-defended we’re anymore. They’re launching a large invasion of the human bubble on a number of fronts.”

That large invasion has already begun: Elite Harmful Update 14 is dwell at once. Good luck, people!

If you have not saved up on the newest information, after the human-made superweapon failed, unusual anomalies started to appear all through the galaxy of Elite Harmful. These anomalies, which gamers dubbed Stargoids (they seemed like stars and have been suspected to be the work of the Thargoids) have now formally arrived, they usually’ve introduced with them a complete lot of bother. On the site of every of the eight recognized Stargoids, the Thargoids have deployed a “large caustic cloud” referred to as a Maelstrom.

The Maelstroms will seem as large, cloudy areas of area if you enter a system that accommodates one. Gamers will discover a heavy Thargoid presence across the Malestoms and even larger risks ought to they tackle the daunting and harmful activity of flying immediately inside one. 

A Thargoid Maelstrom (Picture credit score: Frontier Developments)

Frontier Developments confirmed me a brief video of a ship encountering a Maelstrom. They’re, fairly frankly, large, roughly 180 km throughout. The interiors are clouded with reddish-brown area fog, illuminated by what appears like vibrant crimson flashes of lightning that give them an actual spooky vibe. Coming into a Maelstrom is like flying by way of a thunderstorm in hell.

Maelstroms aren’t simply scary trying however environmentally harmful: Your ship will start taking caustic harm from the clouds the second you fly inside. Inside a Maelstrom you will come throughout small Thargoid constructs (they appear a bit like an alien model of a nav beacon) which may be seen emitting the caustic clouds. Within the small space of the Maelstrom I noticed, there gave the impression to be at the least a dozen of those constructs, so I am unable to think about what number of are unfold all through the cloud. I additionally do not think about blowing them up one after the other might be all that efficient.

What else is lurking contained in the Maelstroms is for the bravest Elite pilots to find. I think about it is in all probability nothing pleasant.

This invasion additionally marks the primary time a fight zone will seem immediately round a starport, which is exceedingly dangerous information. Frontier confirmed me a video of human ships dogfighting with Thargoids round a spaceport, which was on hearth and partially coated with bizarre, green alien tendrils like vines or moss. 

Along with fight missions, there might be loads of rescue missions to get starport residents out of hazard or performing provide runs, so even when you’re not involved in preventing you’ll pitch in with the battle effort. Smaller stations and planet-based ports are additionally vulnerable to assault, so attempt to think about the tough enterprise of touchdown on a planet whereas being beneath assault by aliens.

Planetary port in a battle zone (Picture credit score: Frontier Developments)

To trace the invasion, a brand new battle map has been added to Elite Harmful that may give gamers an thought of what situation completely different techniques are in: They may be on excessive alert, an invasion might have already begun, a Malestom may be current… or they could have already misplaced and the Thargoid have full management over a system. Within the final video I used to be proven, a starport was fully deserted, like an enormous ghost ship floating in area, broken and darkened, blast doorways closed, inaccessible for touchdown.

It is fairly the sight, but it surely highlights the severity of the invasion. The Thargoids aren’t messing round, and there could also be some very actual losses on the horizon in Elite Harmful.