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  1. Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread. #1

    Chapter Four - Exploration Reveal

    Hello Commanders!

    We're going to be shaking the format up slightly for the final main topic of discussion surrounding some of the major features of Chapter Four of Beyond. We're soon going to be revealing more details about the next update, so for this post, we'd like you to share all of your questions and comments in reply to this thread, and we'll try to respond to as many as we can!

    In this post we’ll be presenting just some of the improvements coming to exploration in the next update. There's a number of benefits that we are aiming to bring in with this exploration overhaul which we've listed out below, with more detailed explanation underneath.

    Benefits of Exploration Improvements

    • Make exploration more involved: By introducing a process we aim to make exploration feel more meaningful, making the results more satisfying and rewarding.
    • Replace flying time with gameplay: We want to reduce the amount of time you have to spend flying to a planet just to discover it. The only time we want you to fly to a planet is because you want to visit it as there’s something there you want to see or do. Ultimately that will make exploring planetary bodies and getting first discoveries in a system quicker and more engaging at the same time.
    • Remove Random USS Spawning: You will now be able to use your skill to locate signal sources rather than rely on luck. you will have the ability to identify a USS from anywhere in the system and then explore and discover these locations.
    • Reduce the time to find planet surface locations: You will now be able to employ game play to make searching out interesting surface locations/POIs quicker and more interesting rather than flying across the planet in low orbit.
    • Improve multiplayer exploration: With both of the module upgrades we are making sure that wings and multi-crew are supported.
    • Holistic System:The improvements to exploration mechanics tie together not just new discoveries, but mining, missions and signal source location in one package.
    • All new "First mapped": You'll be able to add a first mapped across any planet within the galaxy, including within the bubble. Giving all players that have joined the game since it's launch even more opportunity to make their mark on the galaxy.


    Check out the full details below.

    The Discovery Scanner

    Because explorers ply their trade far from civilized space, we’ve decided to not add new module requirements. Instead, we’re improving the discovery scanner and detailed surface scanner so Commanders can jump right in as soon as the update is released, without having to spend time traveling back to a port to purchase new gear.

    When you activate the discovery scanner you will now be taken to an all-new scanning interface and view. In this augmented camera view you are able to interrogate the system using new functionality of the scanner.


    The process still starts with the “honk” (system scan), though its usage is now the start of a more engaging process (if all you did before was scan for some credits, don't worry, the scan still awards credits.)

    The system scan now returns an aggregated display of how energetic the electromagnetic emissions are in the system. Signals are sorted on a low to high scale by their apparent energy. For example, emissions from rocky clusters will appear at the lower end of the scale, hot gas giants at the upper range. This information requires some interpretation as signals can overlap.

    You are able to tune the focus of your sensors to a particular point on the scale, making emissions from objects at this range much clearer, at the cost of filtering out signals returned from bodies not emitting at this range.

    As you move the view around, you are aiming your discovery scanner sensors. To aid you, the discovery scanner view also features a repeating sweep of gravitational disturbance detected in the system. You can use this sweep to narrow your search for stellar bodies, as well as start your search around the star's orbital plane, which is revealed by the initial system scan.

    Emissions that come close enough to your view’s focus are represented by signature patterns around a central reticule. If you are tuned to the correct point on the energy scale the signal will show as a symmetrical pattern clearly showing the direction towards the origin of the signal, allowing you to locate it. The further away your energy tuning, the more distorted and asymmetrical the pattern becomes, hiding the precise direction and location.

    Once you have a candidate origin, you can use the scanner to reconstruct a massively zoomed in view. If you aimed precisely enough, you will discover the stellar body. If there are a number of stellar bodies in relative close proximity to your focus, you may need to repeat the process to isolate individual signals.


    As you locate and identify stellar bodies their emissions are filtered out, instead becoming markers on the energy range, making it easier to find the remaining bodies. It's at this point in that you will gain the “first discovered” tag, rather than having to physically visit the planet (you still need to sell the data at a port to gain the tag). All current first discovered tags will remain.

    Importantly, when you uncover a planet using the discovery scanner, as well as being informed of the resources available on it, the presence of unusual locations, such as Guardian sites, will also be revealed. However, their precise location won’t be shown until you have mapped the planet with the detailed surface scanner.


    Unidentified Signal Sources

    Along with the Exploration update, we are improving the way that USSs work. USSs will now spawn throughout the entire system when you first enter it. This enables you to use the new exploration tools to find USSs throughout the system, not just in the area around you. You can still interrogate nav beacons to find the locations.

    Whilst USSs do still have a decay time, the timers have been increased to allow you time to find and fly to the ones you are interested in. The decay time is also now displayed when targeted. Signal sources still obey rules determining where they can appear within a system, and mission critical signal sources will still be highlighted to differentiate themselves once located.


    The Detailed Surface Scanner

    Again, this module will not be replaced. Instead, the detailed surface scanner gains the ability to launch micro sensor probes in supercruise. You will use these probes to “map” a planet’s surface and locate resource hotspots in its rings.

    These flight-assisted probes are launched via a new aiming interface when activating the detailed surface scanner. The probes will arc towards a planet’s surface and when close enough will “display” sensor coverage over a large area. Once enough of the surface has coverage, the probes will collate and report their findings. To map rings around a planet you need to hit each ring with a single probe.

    To allow for skilled play you can aim probes away from the planet, allowing them to arc around it, potentially letting you hit the surface on far side of the planet. If you aim too far away, the probe will fly right past and miss, but by using mass and size information displayed on the HUD you will be able to lob probes and get full coverage without having to fly around the planet.

    You will be able to synthesise micro-probes for the detailed surface scanner, but the better aim you are, the less probes you will need to get complete coverage.

    When you do achieve this, any unusual locations will be revealed to your ship’s navigation systems. So no more eyeballing an entire planet to find those brain trees!


    First Mapped By

    We are also adding a new opportunity to get your Commander's name immortalised in the game with the new 'First Mapped By' tag. The first person to successfully map a planet to 100% and sell the resulting data at a port, will be awarded this tag. This also applies for planets that have already got a 'First Discovered' tag as well.


    Multi-Crew

    As part of the exploration update, we are making sure that multi-crew members can use the discovery scanner and detailed surface scanner at the same time and all discoveries are shared among crew or wing.

    This allows wings or commanders in multi-crew to engage in exploration together, each earning credits and exploration rank and making the process more efficient.


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    We'll be revealing more details about Beyond - Chapter Four in the coming weeks and we can't wait to show you, but in the meantime, please post your feedback regarding Exploration in this thread and we'll try to respond to as many queries as we can.

    This particular thread is not an area for debate between community members – it’s fine to read what others have put, but try to ensure your posts are directed at us rather than your fellow posters.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Are you my long lost brother?

  4. #4
    My first impression of reading the Exploration update is an entirely positive one. The new mechanics seem to flesh out the existing ones nicely, giving commanders always something to do but not something that would become annoying. Of course, to fully understand precisely how the new scanning mechanic operates it will have to be seen & tried but it does sound a good step in the right direction.

    Regarding USSs, this also sounds like a major quality of life improvement that, if I've understood correctly, will result in commanders no longer spending possibly 30 minutes orbiting planets waiting for a mission USS to spawn (it will appear with the scan). If this is the case it is a most welcome change & will make many mission types a lot more enjoyable imho.

    Thanks for the hard work, sounding good,
    CMDR Justinian Octavius

  5. #5
    What will be the differences between the Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Discovery Scanners post-update?

  6. #6
    If the USS are no longer random, does that mean they are finite? If i am going to a certain type of system to search for certain types of mats in High Grade Emissions? are there only going to be 1 or 2 spawning? Before, with randomness I could fly and farm them as long as i wanted to play... Do we have the ability to still aquire the same amount of HGE in 1 system or do we now need to fly out and back in? Is there a decay on how long they are up? are we waiting 10 minutes like the mission board for USS spawns?

  7. #7
    Q.

    Have the devs noticed how much longer it takes if an explorer wants to scan a entire system with the new system against what we have now?

    Without seeing it in use, it sounds like it'll dramatically slow down exploration.

  8. Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread. #8
    Designer- Elite: Dangerous Frontier Employee
    Originally Posted by Zurie View Post (Source)
    If the USS are no longer random, does that mean they are finite? If i am going to a certain type of system to search for certain types of mats in High Grade Emissions? are there only going to be 1 or 2 spawning? Before, with randomness I could fly and farm them as long as i wanted to play... Do we have the ability to still aquire the same amount of HGE in 1 system or do we now need to fly out and back in? Is there a decay on how long they are up? are we waiting 10 minutes like the mission board for USS spawns?
    The USS will be finite, but we plan to have more that one or two at any one time. The USS do decay, they only last for a certain amount of time, and the remaining time is displayed to the player. More USS will spawn and appear over time.

  9. #9
    I wonder if there could be an engineered version of the scanner offered that a bounty hunter / search and rescue role players could use.

    S/he uses the engineered scanner on the resulting illegal cargo post ship destruction to detect where the cargo came from which immediately removes the illegal tag.

    Some reward is gained for not only taking the time to perform the scan(s) but also recognizing the value in their return in such a way that perhaps doesn't effect the bgs

  10. #10
    Originally Posted by Aya Reiko View Post (Source)
    What will be the differences between the Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Discovery Scanners post-update?
    This. Interesting question.

    And this will open the door to more "mysterious things" in Patch Notes that we must find using our keen intellect with the new tool?

    Otherwise, very cool mechanics here.

  11. #11
    Do I get this right ?

    Do you still need to travel to a system in order to discover its planets ?

    Or can you discover planets from a nearby system ?

    I'll rather have the former if anything.

  12. Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread. #12
    Designer- Elite: Dangerous Frontier Employee
    Originally Posted by Remus View Post (Source)
    Do I get this right ?

    Do you still need to travel to a system in order to discover its planets ?

    Or can you discover planets from a nearby system ?

    I'll rather have the former if anything.
    You can only discover stellar bodies in the system you are currently in.

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by Adam Waite View Post (Source)
    You can only discover stellar bodies in the system you are currently in.
    Will we see any orbit lines after honking?

  14. #14
    Regarding exploration and multicrew, any news on the multicrew vs SRVs issue? I'd love to go around with a team where one of us might drive on one of the planets investigating something, or collecting materials for us, while the rest look for and map further planets.

  15. #15
    One thing that might be VERY important: If we find something in a system and want to share it, how do we do that now?

    Currently, we can just given them the body name and they already have an ADS to find it. Can the new system include some way of sharing a location; such as coordinates or scanner settings for them to find the same body?

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