The Wings update for Elite: Dangerous launches today.
Wings adds new playable ships, overhauls the communications interface, and implements AI groups to Frontier's space combat and trading game.
Player wings enable more meaningful cooperative gameplay. Beforehand, if you wanted to do multiplayer with someone you'd have to find each other and then fly around together, as if having a single-player experience together.
Now, Wing Beacons let you send a signal from normal space into the system's super cruise environment. Your wing will see the signal and can use it to drop down to your location. The upshot is shared bounties and mission rewards for the game.
Frontier has also added a flyable debug camera with limited range. You can't fly your ship in third person, but you can get to see it, finally, by pressing CTRL+ALT+SPACE (thanks to Branoic for the tip).
Elsewhere, the update brings a huge number of stability fixes and tweaks. I love Elite Dangerous because it's a game whose patch notes includes the likes of:
"Fix schematic for High Metal Content No Atmosphere planets."
And: "Don't lose the next system in a planned route when not arriving from hyperspace and the jump distance is over 20Ly."
Frontier has spent much time on audio-related fixes and updates, too, so hopefully the game will sound better and with fewer obvious glitches and bugs.
"Adjusted the reverb / volume balance of super-cruise engines and music, to reduce the sense that music or engines drop out entirely in favour of the other. Some emphasis remains to keep the mix clean."
And: "Switching lights on or off sounds less mechanical."
The extensive patch notes are over on the Frontier forum.