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Thread: Extremely sad that I am sick of exploring...My thoughts, what about yours?

  1. #1

    Extremely sad that I am sick of exploring...My thoughts, what about yours?

    The original title was "Is exploration dead?" and I still think that's a good question to help summarise what's going through my mind. I've changed it at the request of several posters.

    ---

    Hi,

    First post for a long while, the reason being the theme of this post.

    I want to collect my thoughts on why exploration is dead to me, and I'd really welcome your input. I want to make a video about it and make an appeal to Frontier with what little sway I have.

    I can't really log into Elite at the moment. The reason is I'm just sick to death of it.

    That's not a complaint about the game - let's be VERY clear about that. The game has given me well over 1000 hours of the best fun I've had in pretty much any game, and I think it's a fantastic, rich, technologically achieving game. I also recognise and have argued constantly on behalf of Frontier that it is a young game with the most exciting things in store, over years perhaps, but coming.

    I just want to get to the root of why I am sick of the game and I'll give you my thoughts and I'd love to hear your opinions too. I do want to say that the answers I will be most interested in will be ones that clearly show they read everything I wrote, rather than just reacting to one thing I said here or there. It really is a confusion I am suffering, and the whole thing needs to be taken together to get to the root of that confusion. The main thing I think you should respect when answering is that I've played over 1000 hours and have been very very very very committed to exploration. If you've played less than that, if it is still reasonably new and fresh to you, then I can't really accept you saying I am wrong about the way I feel about it until you've reached my point. Fair?

    Basically, as an explorer at heart, I can't explore the game any more. The reason is that I've seen it all. What have I seen? Well I've done the big journeys across the galaxy and seen all the different parts of the galaxy, all the different nebula types. I've seen every conceivable planet in every variation it comes in, I've seen every variation of planet configuration. I've spent hundreds of hours of just sitting in my cockpit gawking at the full scale galaxy and solar systems. I've spent countless hours pretending its real in my Oculus Rift, exploring like a child with no goal in mind, with goals in mind, my heart fluttering. I've even gone to a cluster that only opened up after neutron boosts with no hope of return and enjoyed being in a scary cut off lonesome place that not many will see. I've landed on every planet type over and over, climbed the biggest mountains, deepest valleys, highest gravities, seen the most alien skies imaginable. I've even explored the bubble, all the different bases, moons around ELWs, I've hunted dream locations like AW ELW pairs and, well all the good stuff. I've organised big expeditions, I feel like I've influenced the game itself with my videos, innovations and community work, I've made guides and really enjoyed that too.

    But that's the point, I've seen it all. I've seen it over and over and over, and all I have relived the best experiences to death. There's nothing new for me to see anymore. Yes, there are still hundreds of really interesting combinations and rarities to find but even if I find them, what will I do? I can go and look at them and set my imagination ticking about life there, experience this corner of the galaxy, but that's nothing new. That's repetition to the utmost.

    Also, as a side note, I have come to really dislike the landable planets. The more and more I look at them the more bland and bad they look. I understand they are just the most boring type of planet, barren rocks with no atmospheres, but even among them I'd expect more variation than we see. But it's not just the variation, they are just lacking. They really feel like just one huge texture, with some very very repetitive and unrealistic features, especially as they are purely convex. They are way too homogenised, nowhere ever feels unique, you never get the feeling of being in a special place, you never find a really lovely spot that you think "I could actually build a base here, this is an awesome spot". They don't come close to photo real, they don't even look good if you consider them to be stylised. And they seem to get worse every time they are updated. If they looked really real, and had the feeling of being worlds, I'd probably be able to keep going, as being on an alien planet is a magical experience I don't think I can get bored of in a million years. I do it all the time in Space Engine (just look at how much more realistic they look there, at least in lower LoDs, look at the images from Star Citizen - I obviously understand the differences here but you get the idea of what can look good).

    So that's where I am at, and I guess the biggest struggle for me is whether the problem is with the game or with me. The last big thing done for explorers was planetary landings, which added hundreds of hours and magic to the game (despite what I just said about them). There have been medium updates and minor ones galore since then, but nothing has done jack diddly squat to add magic to the game (the neutron boost mistake was a mistake! we had to fight for it to be left in game...). Even neutron star boosts barely added anything. We found ONE cool place to go with it, did it in a couple of weeks and basically I've barely touched the game since.

    I've immersed myself in the other fantastic aspects of the games and I could write loads about them too but I want to focus on my real love, exploration, in this. The other parts of the game are quite fantastic and everyone should give them all a go, in my opinon.

    But what do I want? Of course, I want atmosphere landings, space legs and eventually procedural life. I think that when all 3 of those have rolled out I will have found a game I can literally never get bored of.

    But am I lying to myself? IS there a solution? Will these things eventually having me feeling sick to death too?

    I have a feeling that's why Frontier aren't rushing them, but I still can't stop feeling a little peeved that here we are nearly 3 years since release, the next year of updates has already been basically laid out as "reworking what's already in the game", and not a single sign of anything significant coming for explorers.

    It upsets me, but I can understand that I am being impatient, but I also feel like this game is sold on exploration, but exploration is dead! Do you see my inner struggle? Do you feel it yourself?

    I desperately want some love for exploration. I desperately want Frontier to say something about it, I want Brooks or Braben to write a heartfelt blog about it. We know they adore it, but for some reason everything else under the sun is getting unlimited attention, we are getting scripted stuff galore (which is not something as an explorer I care much about...I understand that there are other types of explorers that love that stuff).

    I can't play this game right now. I will never leave, the second something really big is announced like atmospheric landings, my explorer's heart will flutter again, I will be back for another 500 ours relishing in it. But when will it be?

    Do I have a real, legitimate reason to ask why it isn't here yet? Why it isn't even announced? Why the devs haven't even said a word about why it's not here yet? When it will be?

    Ok this is going on and on. Just tell me folks who agree, why is it dead? What can really be done to bring real life back to it? Is such a thing possible or is it something we are all lying to ourselves about? There's no such thing as a gaming galaxy that will give our explorer's heart endless childhood glee?

    tl;dr
    I really do believe that it's very possible to create a large enough set of variables for the procedural engine that you can make a game that gives you more to explore than you could ever see, with constant variation, that you can't get sick of. I desperately want Frontier to start on that project now, though it feels like that project is on hold for 2 years so far, with no mention of it in their upcoming year's plans, and no mention of why. No mention of anything! Am I just being too optimistic??? That's the crux.

  2. #2
    I think I understand your point of view (and frustration) even though I am not there yet myself. What keeps the game fresh for me is all the stuff outside the game itself - stuff that allows me to be creative in a way the game does not. I have spent considerably more time out of the game as organizer or galactic cartographer than I have in the game. But you have also spent a lot of time into organizing stuff and using your creative skills - so even that won't be new to you. Id say what you feel is a natural reaction to having exhausted what the game and the stuff around it has to offer you for the time being. And as you say - with the number of hours you have gotten from the game that is perhaps what you can expect? I share your hopes/wishes that FD would improve the quality and variety of landable planets - and that we may get to explore other types of planets (gas giants, atmospheric worlds) in the not so far future. Setting up the Guardian, Formidine Rift and Thargoid mysteries must require a lot of development time - and it sure is appreciated by many players. Personally Im much more fascinated by the stellar forge and galaxy itself. And Id really like to see some more love to that aspect of the game.

  3. #3
    I have over 2,700 hours invested in the game between two different accounts. I still enjoy it, I still find things to do, and I still login every day. Each of us has different reasons for playing and a lot of what you say is highly subjective. For example I love the planets, driving the SRV on them is a unique experience for me, but that's me. I will never claim that the game is objectively good/perfect/whatnot. It's the subjective experience and, right now, as I'm going through some very difficult personal times, playing it provides me with the escapism I need to survive the next day.

    Can it be better? Of course it can. Would I love it if they added some depth to planetary exploration that is currently lacking? Totally. But at the end of the day it's one team, one company, and they are not the size of Blizzard or the other giant companies. They have to work hard to survive, and thrive, and keep the business going. It's a business and I choose to see it like this. So I'll give them the time they need. The amazing attention to detail that exists in this game means that we have to wait patiently for everything new that is major and is not just trivial work. Yes, the combat people get the lion's share but again remember that for Elite to survive it needs to have healthy sales in terms of units *and* healthy sales for the vanity items at the store.

    I'm sorry you feel so burnt out. Taking a break is not a bad idea but please don't despair. Hope is what makes us go ahead and face each day. Things will improve.
    Cmdr Aura Lorell (Active) -- Cmdr Rhea Lorell (Inactive)
    J-Circumnavigation - A Journey at the Edge
    I speak for myself; opinions are my own.

  4. #4
    Looks like we're in the same place with our feelings and motivations on ED at the moment Dr Kaii. In a few weeks' time it'll be the 2nd anniversary of when we pitched the Distant Worlds idea to this forum.. 2 years.. and lets be honest the game hasn't had any meaningful upgrades for exploration since then imho. That's pretty sad considering the sheer energy and enthusiasm, not to mention wide-spread coverage, Horizons (and I'd like to think Distant Worlds too) brought at the time. We thought that would be just the beginning of something fantastic for ED exploration. In reality what did explorers get? In fact with the homogenisation of planetary surfaces and their biegeification, its actually lost some of its original appeal. Those DWE basecamps we painstakingly sought out 2 years ago have been nerfed horribly and no longer have that little bit of uniqueness the galaxy once offered. That sums it up for me.

    Like Corbin, its more the out of game stuff that I've been involved in that has kept me around; the galactic mapping project, involvement with Drew Wagar and CoR on premonition, and generally this community being truly awesome and creative keeps things interesting. But the game itself... I haven't logged in for weeks, probably months now, and motivation to do so is non-existent at the moment.

    Hope springs eternal. I hope FD's silence on exploration is because they have something fantastic planned for it. But lets be real, the 400 billion star galaxy they created STILL has all the best content right on our doorstep. All the non procedural clusters and the best looking nebulae are within spitting distance of the Orion Spur. The alien stuff on our doorstep. I wonder if FDs mindset is to put all their time and effort on our local region as that's possibly where the vast majority of its paying customers spend their time? The rest of the galaxy and making it appealing to players other than the minority of die hard travellers is now maybe a distant afterthought? I don't know. All we can do is wait and see what they reveal at EXPO for 2.4 and beyond.

  5. #5
    Good to hear from you mate. It's sad that you feel this way but at the end of the day it's individual sentiment and I think it's very very common. I went through a very dry period in this game after DWE and spent most of my time thrashing out games like alien isolation and others.
    I am sure after a good protracted break from ED you will return. If you don't then you don't. Not worth doing something If you don't want to do it.

  6. #6
    I wonder that the reason for this is just because doing such a thing is hard. The real universe is full of surprises. People are finding things that break the "model" all the time.

    There are more in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophies, Heratio.

    However, that is the limitation of a simulation. You can only simulate what you tell it to simulate. Therefore, in Elite, there isn't any more than are dreamt of in your philosophies.

    I ran off to Colonia (as it is called now) when Jaques was found because I had hoped to be able to be part of starting a new wild frontier. It turns out that isn't what happened. It is a slow old frontier.

    My suspicion is putting all those cool things in is hard. Maybe beyond the game engine. Couple that with a peek at what potential there could be. Somewhere in your mind you think "this can be better".

    I don't doubt that the people at Frontier, the company, would love to make it better in all the amazing ways one can think of. Technology and time are limiting. Frontier gets burned whenever they try to announce any cool feature that doesn't pan out, thus the all but trademarked quote "no promises, no guarantees".

    I don't have any answers. Just sympathy.

    Over 2k hours played myself.

    It does seem the focus is on combat. That is easy, so it makes sense.
    Look at it this way kid, you get to keep all the money.
    It's not enough to just feel the flame. You gotta burn your old self away.

  7. #7
    Dear Dr. Kai,

    I hope my answer helps you, I will do my best, but it remains subjective of course.

    Ever since DWE I got to learn to know you, how you think, how you feel, what your passions are, how you drive people, and how you get driven by them. And even though I realise there are many things I do not know about you, some things I think are part of the answers on your question.

    First and foremost, you are a dreamer, an idealist, a wonderer, an explorer yes, but look at the bottom of what you did so far. What do you see ? I saw pure passion. Someone who goes far deeper then most people to see things others have not seen. You are like that child looking at the clouds and pointing wildly saying "Look ! Look ! Do you see ?" and smiling at us hoping we share the magic. You were not selling the clouds, or stories, or galaxies, or distant worlds.. you are a visionary traveller that went to see it all. Now think for a moment. How far would you travel ? Unlimited distances ? Jump into the unknown ? Would you jump off a cliff to try and save your dreams ? You know.. in a way wasn't that what you did with Distant Stars ? It was a great experience but wasn't it also a quest for nostalgia ?

    Differently said, how do you unbind what is bound ? How do you create infinity in a finite world ? How do you make endless what has ended ?

    The answer is two-fold I sometimes think. One part is individual, who you are as a person, your passions, will provide a want into the answer. But the other part comes from life and being human itself no ? Think about the most memorable events in your life. Is it not it's uniqueness that makes it so great ? The sheer impossibility of it to be reproduced ? So is it then not understandable how boring or dread things would become if we would seek it out on purpose ? And again ? And again ? I call this life's fate. There is something we do not control but if we let go .. and freely admire it .. then it comes to us every now and then However seek it out and it seems to never be reachable. There is a wisdom hidden beneath this. Why would you search what you already know hoping to discover something you don't ? Frontier gave you a world to explore. But your dreams go further. And even space engine, universe sandbox 2 or star citizen will (at some point) limit your imagination.

    So I'm here to tell you that is ok Its not the end result of a discovery that you will hold on to in the end. It is the journey itself.

    And some day you'll be in peace with that I'm sure. And be more proud then ever for the achievements you made in your travels.

    Saluations wanderer
    BG

  8. #8
    Originally Posted by drkaii View Post (Source)
    Hi,

    First post for a long while, the reason being the theme of this post.

    I want to collect my thoughts on why exploration is dead to me, and I'd really welcome your input. I want to make a video about it and make an appeal to Frontier with what little sway I have.

    I can't really log into Elite at the moment. The reason is I'm just sick to death of it.

    That's not a complaint about the game - let's be VERY clear about that. The game has given me well over 1000 hours of the best fun I've had in pretty much any game, and I think it's a fantastic, rich, technologically achieving game. I also recognise and have argued constantly on behalf of Frontier that it is a young game with the most exciting things in store, over years perhaps, but coming.

    I just want to get to the root of why I am sick of the game and I'll give you my thoughts and I'd love to hear your opinions too. I do want to say that the answers I will be most interested in will be ones that clearly show they read everything I wrote, rather than just reacting to one thing I said here or there. It really is a confusion I am suffering, and the whole thing needs to be taken together to get to the root of that confusion. The main thing I think you should respect when answering is that I've played over 1000 hours and have been very very very very committed to exploration. If you've played less than that, if it is still reasonably new and fresh to you, then I can't really accept you saying I am wrong about the way I feel about it until you've reached my point. Fair?

    Basically, as an explorer at heart, I can't explore the game any more. The reason is that I've seen it all. What have I seen? Well I've done the big journeys across the galaxy and seen all the different parts of the galaxy, all the different nebula types. I've seen every conceivable planet in every variation it comes in, I've seen every variation of planet configuration. I've spent hundreds of hours of just sitting in my cockpit gawking at the full scale galaxy and solar systems. I've spent countless hours pretending its real in my Oculus Rift, exploring like a child with no goal in mind, with goals in mind, my heart fluttering. I've even gone to a cluster that only opened up after neutron boosts with no hope of return and enjoyed being in a scary cut off lonesome place that not many will see. I've landed on every planet type over and over, climbed the biggest mountains, deepest valleys, highest gravities, seen the most alien skies imaginable. I've even explored the bubble, all the different bases, moons around ELWs, I've hunted dream locations like AW ELW pairs and, well all the good stuff. I've organised big expeditions, I feel like I've influenced the game itself with my videos, innovations and community work, I've made guides and really enjoyed that too.

    But that's the point, I've seen it all. I've seen it over and over and over, and all I have relived the best experiences to death. There's nothing new for me to see anymore. Yes, there are still hundreds of really interesting combinations and rarities to find but even if I find them, what will I do? I can go and look at them and set my imagination ticking about life there, experience this corner of the galaxy, but that's nothing new. That's repetition to the utmost.

    Also, as a side note, I have come to really dislike the landable planets. The more and more I look at them the more bland and bad they look. I understand they are just the most boring type of planet, barren rocks with no atmospheres, but even among them I'd expect more variation than we see. But it's not just the variation, they are just bad. They really feel like just one huge texture, with some very very repetitive and unrealistic features. Frankly, they don't look good. They don't come close to photo real, they don't even look good if you consider them to be stylised. And they seem to get worse every time they are updated. If they looked really real, and had the feeling of being worlds, I'd probably be able to keep going, as being on an alien planet is a magical experience I don't think I can get bored of in a million years. I do it all the time in Space Engine (just look at how much more realistic they look there, look at the images from Star Citizen). I'm sorry, but I just can't pretend they look good, I really think they suck, it does not feel like being on a planet when on them.

    So that's where I am at, and I guess the biggest struggle for me is whether the problem is with the game or with me. The last big thing done for explorers was planetary landings, which added hundreds of hours and magic to the game (despite what I just said about them). There have been medium updates and minor ones galore since then, but nothing has done jack diddly squat to add magic to the game (the neutron boost mistake was a mistake! we had to fight for it to be left in game...). Even neutron star boosts barely added anything. We found ONE cool place to go with it, did it in a couple of weeks and basically I've barely touched the game since.

    I've immersed myself in the other fantastic aspects of the games and I could write loads about them too but I want to focus on my real love, exploration, in this. The other parts of the game are quite fantastic and everyone should give them all a go, in my opinon.

    But what do I want? Of course, I want atmosphere landings, space legs and eventually procedural life. I think that when all 3 of those have rolled out I will have found a game I can literally never get bored of.

    But am I lying to myself? IS there a solution? Will these things eventually having me feeling sick to death too?

    I have a feeling that's why Frontier aren't rushing them, but I still can't stop feeling a little peeved that here we are nearly 3 years since release, the next year of updates has already been basically laid out as "reworking what's already in the game", and not a single sign of anything significant coming for explorers.

    It upsets me, but I can understand that I am being impatient, but I also feel like this game is sold on exploration, but exploration is dead! Do you see my inner struggle? Do you feel it yourself?

    I desperately want some love for exploration. I desperately want Frontier to say something about it, I want Brooks or Braben to write a heartfelt blog about it. We know they adore it, but for some reason everything else under the sun is getting unlimited attention, we are getting scripted stuff galore (which is not something as an explorer I care much about...I understand that there are other types of explorers that love that stuff).

    I can't play this game right now. I will never leave, the second something really big is announced like atmospheric landings, my explorer's heart will flutter again, I will be back for another 500 ours relishing in it. But when will it be?

    Do I have a real, legitimate reason to ask why it isn't here yet? Why it isn't even announced? Why the devs haven't even said a word about why it's not here yet? When it will be?

    Ok this is going on and on. Just tell me folks who agree, why is it dead? What can really be done to bring real life back to it? Is such a thing possible or is it something we are all lying to ourselves about? There's no such thing as a gaming galaxy that will give our explorer's heart endless childhood glee?

    tl;dr
    I really do believe that it's very possible to create a large enough set of variables for the procedural engine that you can make a game that gives you more to explore than you could ever see, with constant variation, that you can't get sick of. I desperately want Frontier to start on that project now, though it feels like that project is on hold for 2 years so far, with no mention of it in their upcoming year's plans, and no mention of why. No mention of anything! Am I just being too optimistic??? That's the crux.

    That is why I still have not done any serious exploring.
    I will wait a few more years, until it really becomes worthwhile.

    I will only do deep space exploring:
    1. after the space exploration/scan mechanics have been improved.
    2. when we have access to planets with volcanism
    3. when we have access to atmospheric planets
    4. when we can dive into the upper layer of gas giants.
    5. when there is more strange stuff to discover.

    What it comes down to is that there must be more to exploring in general before I will spend some serious time doing it.
    I see no reason to travel to the other side of the galaxy if I can basically see the same on this side.

    I realize this will take time and I will wait patiently.
    Nevertheless I might reach Elite in exploration well before all that, because I diligently scan systems in and around the bubble. I am 'already' Ranger at the moment.

    Please do not send me friendship requests. I wouldn't know what to do with them. I never accept them.

  9. #9
    First off, thread title is rather clickbait-y: "Is exploration dead?" then "exploration is dead to me".
    Really, there's nothing surprising after spending hundreds, or even thousands, of hours on one game and becoming bored by it. In fact, it's remarkable that many don't get bored by it then. Compared to how much the game costs (even with Horizons), it's well worth its price.
    Meanwhile, plenty of other things to do in (and around) the game, like you yourself have said you're doing.

    Frontier's problem has been that they are very conservative about what upcoming features they show. I certainly understand where they're coming from, instead of jumping on the usual hype trains, then ending up overpromising and underdelivering. When people think of the space sim genre these days, well, the other big names that come to mind have had a tendency to do that, so I guess that made Frontier even more cautious. By today, they seem to have a complete aversion to showing prototype or alpha stuff, and even to announcing release dates they aren't absolutely certain of. Personally, I wish they didn't clam up as much as they have.

    That said, I'd say the big problem with atmospheric landings which makes it take a long while isn't the atmospheric flight itself, nor making realistic planetary surfaces, but the gameplay. Basically, Frontier will have to add a lot of new gameplay to new planets that are more than just the current barren rocks. I believe that they themselves have said so.
    Then there is also that Elite is a complex game, and other areas of it need attention too. Also, let's not forget that the existing exploration itself needs more work too, it could really do with improving the existing gameplay mechanics.

    But hey, they are working on things, and hopefully, their own first big convention will shed light of what to expect after 2.4, and around when. Then we can return to dissect it and discuss the future of Elite's exploration. I expect a huge thread here, regardless of what things they (don't) announce.

  10. #10
    I don't know, maybe I'm just odd, but I still love exploring after discovering 1000's of new systems over the course of 2+ years doing exploration as the main thing. Sure many things are the same, but I still love finding the Easter egg systems with a ringed ELW or Multiple Ammonia worlds or even just really cool Nebula's that look stunning from the surface for some good photo ops.

    The only drawback I feel right now is how black holes are represented and that's about it. I swear every time I return to the bubble and promise I'll start doing more things there, I find myself a short time once again 10's of thousands of light years away in no mans land.

    I guess to me it's relaxing as people who state mining is relaxing to them. I just don't get tired of it at all, though I do think it will get better in time with more things to discover and do...

  11. #11
    Agree:
    I've also quit exploration, just because I've done it a lot with the current content. I may do one more large trip to the core before there is a major update of the stellar forge, but that's it for me.

    Disagree:
    The beauty is out there, stuff to be found. That FDev created a content you've had fun with for 100s of hours is a testament to that - as you are saying too. While I also think Space Engine is a product of a genious, there are countless threads examining why that achievement is not comparable to Elite's. In any case, just 2 years ago I thought it is impossible to create a persistent universe like this.
    I think there is a lot of work went into what we have now and it is kinda reassuring that FDev aren't rushing updates. Would they want so, they could easily slap cheap atmospheric effects and say there you go.

    Fundamentally disagree:
    You say you're sick of the game yet you also appreciate the fact, that there are loads of things to be done in-game. I am having great time hauling passengers in the Beluga, dodging gankers during CGs, gradually improving in the fantastic combat aspect (PVE) of the game and in general exploring the ships, one-by-one. Also, gaining access to the Engineers was a great journey to me.
    And yes, I'm very much looking forward to the Thargoid invasion, it'll be a blast.
    To sum it up, I'm still logging in daily to get my healthy dose of Elite.

    Absolutely disagree:
    I think without an AI, it is impossible to create content that will keep you entertained forever.
    CMDR Mr Crown Vic P71

  12. #12
    First off, it's good to hear from you again.

    After hitting Elite in exploration for the 3rd time, I kind of understand where you're coming from.

    My alt account is my exploration account, and since I hit Elite I hardly touch it. I set out to go and visit some of my ELW from Distant Worlds that I tagged as Freebird, but aren't on Marx's list. That was over a month ago and I've got about 4k from the bubble. I log in, make 3 or 4 jumps and log out again.

    But I'm not tired of ED. I use my main most days, running missions, mining, res hunting and so-on. I just can't get the urge to explore any more. Maybe when the next update comes I'll get drawn back into the void.
    13A - Freelancer, living on the lam
    24B - In the black, pacifist explorer


  13. #13
    Originally Posted by Erimus View Post (Source)
    I pretty much echo all those sentiments Dr Kaii. Looks like we're in the same place in our feelings and motivations on ED at the moment. In a few weeks' time it'll be the 2nd anniversary of when I pitched the Distant Worlds idea to you and this forum.. 2 years.. and lets be honest the game hasn't had any meaningful upgrades for exploration since then imho. That's pretty sad considering the sheer energy and enthusiasm, not to mention wide-spread coverage, Horizons (and I'd like to think Distant Worlds too) brought at the time. We thought that would be just the beginning of something fantastic for ED exploration. In reality what did explorers get? In fact with the homogenisation of planetary surfaces and their biegeification, its actually lost some of its original appeal. Those DWE basecamps we painstakingly sought out 2 years ago have been nerfed horribly and no longer have that little bit of uniqueness the galaxy once offered. That sums it up for me.

    Like Corbin, its more the out of game stuff that I've been involved in that has kept me around; the galactic mapping project, involvement with Drew Wagar and CoR on premonition, and generally this community being truly awesome and creative keeps things interesting. But the game itself... I haven't logged in for weeks, probably months now, and motivation to do so is non-existent at the moment.

    Hope springs eternal. I hope FD's silence on exploration is because they have something fantastic planned for it. But lets be real, the 400 billion star galaxy they created STILL has all the best content right on our doorstep. All the non procedural clusters and the best looking nebulae are within spitting distance of the Orion Spur. The alien stuff on our doorstep. I wonder if FDs mindset is to put all their time and effort on our local region as that's possibly where the vast majority of its paying customers spend their time? The rest of the galaxy and making it appealing to players other than the minority of die hard travellers? maybe a distant afterthought? I don't know. All we can do is wait and see what they reveal at EXPO for 2.4 and beyond.
    I've been to and around some of the waypoints post 2.2, and most of the location still look awesome, see below (I wanted to spolier it, but hell, I won't ). I do think that all the 'beigification' is more down to having lost the freshness of the experience, and not the actual downgrade. Some worlds look way better than before, and being on the surface is much better than pre 2.2.

    On the other hand, I have the same feeling right from the beginning, that FDev missed the opportunity to create hand crafted fantasy nebulae away from Humanity. At least a couple.

    CMDR Mr Crown Vic P71

  14. #14
    I wouldn't completely write off the next year of updates. We've been told that "season 3" will be revisiting the core mechanics of the game; I believe that exploration is one of those core areas that probably anybody would put high on the list to be revisited. When talking to Sandro Sammarco at Lavecon earlier in the year, he didn't disagree with suggestions from me and others that exploration should be early on the list for season 3. So I'm hopeful that there will be some improvement to exploration during that time.

  15. #15
    (I decided to spoiler the wall of text and just leave this summary!)
    TL;DR : Exploration has changed from establishing the limits of and finding the most significant features on a map to learning about what is to be found. It is becoming more about surveying and adventuring. The biggest problem exploration has for the future is the lack of consequence in finding anything. Atmospheric and life-bearing planets can bring new challenges and locations but there needs to be new gameplay for all worlds. A lot is hanging on the Frontier Expo! In the meantime, try to find a way of playing your own way, with whatever objectives most matter to you. Sometimes taking a break is the only way to find out what you really enjoy, though.

    You have seen Elite: Dangerous go from being a handful of systems prior to release to a complete galaxy awaiting exploration and now that great big map has had all the large scale details filled in. A glance at EDSM shows how much has been discovered, with all the regions named and probably every major nebula recorded. This does not mean that exploration is dead, only that it must enter a new phase. There are still those who push the Galactic limits, with supremely-tuned FSDs and ships and there are still some places just out of reach but who knows for how long? The future of exploration is not so much establishing the limits as learning about what is in them. To me, the future is not so much exploration as adventuring.
    .
    I can empathise with much of what you have said, for slightly different reasons in some cases. I have also lost interest in exploring the surfaces of airless worlds but in my case this situation has been exacerbated by software/hardware problems that prevent the terrain being generated properly (or at all in some patches - 2.2 was especially poor on my laptop). I would like to be able to find volcanic sites and life forms like the 'brain trees' or perhaps lost and abandoned settlements (not necessarily human!) but do not want to spend days or weeks eyeballing the surfaces of planets and moons, never knowing if I've missed something because I blinked or didn't see that one pixel out of place... . I have a fighter with me on my current expedition to give me more options but the terrain generation problems mean I don't know if I'm supposed to be flying over a mountain or a crater - I'm fed up with glitches and can't afford new hardware that might work better (I think a large part of it is down to low RAM - Support have told me my machine is below minimum specs). Suppose I could find these things, though: what then? There are no consequences to finding them. They might be a clue to presence of Guardians in that region long ago but nothing more. You can shoot them to get materials that you can find elsewhere but not take samples back for analysis, nor does the fact you've found them change anything, any more than finding an Earth-like World changes anything. No one tries to colonise new worlds without a CG, nor has any light been shed on the nature of the different forms of life - and the main in-game interactive storytelling has been via CGs and reported in Galnet, with the exception of the April 29th event revolving around Salomé and one or two livestreams that revealed the existence of CGs. This is the problem facing adventuring and exploration both: the lack of consequence. What goal is there to achieve from either if your only result is some entries in a database?
    .
    At the moment I am trying to 'blaze my own trail' in finding a solution to this problem, by going on an expedition to survey the borders of all the distant permit-locked regions. In doing so, I hope to discover useful and interesting places for future gameplay to take place, if these areas become accessible. I would like to find traces of Thargoid activity (or any other spacefaring race) but I do not expect this to have been implemented whether or not this is the right place to find it, so I have other goals that will help to make my discoveries more useful in future, like finding Earth-like Worlds and Ammonia Worlds and systems with all the materials needed for FSD boosting. It is not what I would call exploration, though it does include it; it is more adventuring and surveying, as I have specific things to look for and record, whilst being prepared (insofar as is possible) for the unexpected. Once complete, however, there is not much more than Buckyball Racing to entice me to log in. Where do I go then for new experiences, or where to explore with consequences for my findings? I do not have answers to those questions. That is a problem. Even atmospheric landings would not be an answer - I would feel the same way now even if there were such a feature in place and all planets with an atmosphere could be visited and landed upon (those with solid surfaces and survivable pressures). What would be the goals of a Distant Worlds 2, even with atmospheric landings? Where would the destination and waypoints be and why? What experiences would people want from visiting a new planet or moon - would it be enough just to see the nearby star(s) rising or setting over the horizon?
    .
    I am hoping that some of this will be addressed at the Frontier Expo. Meanwhile, 2.4 is going to be about an evolving storyline, though I have no idea how interactive it will be or if exploration will have any effect on events. It would be terrible if it turned out to be nothing more than having systems stand or fall based on a long series of combat CGs. Storyline by CG alone is not going to be interesting (although CGs are very good in some ways, they are a form of collective decision-mkaing, where the response is usually 'yes, give us the credits and we'll do anything'). When it comes to the announcements concerning 3304, exploration needs badly to have some consequences for the exploration being done. It needs atmospheric and procedural life-bearing worlds as well and new challenges that those features might bring but without consequences it just delays the problem, it does not solve it.
    .
    I suspect that one of the reasons nothing has been said about atmospheric planets is that the flight model needs a lot of work to get it to happen. This was FD's approach back in the early development of Elite: Dangerous: get the flight model spot on and everything else is going to work much better, even if not everything is perfect. I suspect the same approach will apply to atmospheric flight and it will initially be more about getting combat right before exploration gameplay is revisited. I don't know what gameplay they are planning to add but if it's not anything more than what we already have; if it's just 'you can now land on atmospheric planets, enjoy the new scenery' then that is not adding new gameplay, it is adding new locations. I really hope that there will be more gameplay and that the Frontier Expo will tell us what is coming in that regard.
    Yggdrasil race thread

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