Elite Dangerous players have been waiting for this one for a while: The Engineers expansion, aka Elite Dangerous 2.1, comes out to those with beta access during the first week of May.
The Engineers is the second major release in the Elite Dangerous: Horizons season of expansions, and follows Planetary Landings. It adds loot and crafting as well as the Engineers themselves. It also adds the ability to improve and upgrade the stats on every module of your ship, and adds rare, "experimental" effects to your weapons for some "special outcomes". Here's an example:
Here's the official blurb from Frontier chief David Braben:
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. 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. Missions can lead to introductions to Engineers, and some Engineers will introduce you to others, providing a more directed path for those that want that sort of approach. There is progression with each Engineer too, as you build up your relationship with them by doing missions and earning their trust.
Meanwhile, Frontier announced Elite Dangerous 1.6, which is available to all players, not just those with Horizons, changes the core gameplay. This includes a "completely re-vamped mission system", which should go down well with players. 1.6 goes into closed beta and at the same time as The Engineers.
r/EliteDangerous has a handy guide to everything that's new coming to the game.
And, if you like Elite Dangerous, allow me point you to our in-depth feature on the game's griefers.