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Thread: Round Up of 3.3 Impressions - FDev Community Visit

  1. #1

    Round Up of 3.3 Impressions - FDev Community Visit

    Regarding this recent visit. (Group pic here)

    They're all under NDA so can't go into great detail or new content, but there are some broad themes:



    Obsidian Ant & DJ Truthsayer in a round table

    I've paraphrased here:





    Reactions on the Forum Thread:

    Alec Turner

    If I say what I saw was awesome your expectatations will go through the roof and when Q4 drops you'll say ... but Alec, I thought you said it was going to be awesome. On the other hand I could say meh and deliberately play the game then you'd all be pleasantly surprised at how good it is and think I was a grumpy. I don't know what to say, it's like thermonuclear war! Who fancies a nice game of chess?

    Alec Turner

    Here's a thing that happened ... so they were about to show us something in mining. They reckoned they knew what the reaction was gonna be so it turned out Will filmed it. Anyway, they did the thing and yeah ... the room went frickin' nuts. After the mining section ... well, you know how most everyone thinks current mining is really boring ... well the buzz around the room was "hell, when this drops I'm heading into the rings and I ain't ever gonna come back out again!"
    How's that for hype?

    Vingtetun

    Frontier dedicated 5 of their team for the entire day to presenting many of the changes and improvements coming to the game in the next release.

    It was by no means a polished puff piece for streamers, it was a detailed exposee and q&a on the content, with senior staff on hand asking questions of us, feedback on what was good and what needed work or improvements. There was very little of the 'it is on the roadmap for later' and an awful lot of 'let me just go and ask that part of the team' where we got into detail and provided constructive feedback on the new items we have seen already in live stream but also things they will be revealing over the forthcoming weeks.

    They took away extensive notes from a broad range of the audience based on how their communities would react to certain elements, where the areas of improvement were wanted and how the new mechanics would affect people's gaming time.

    Our questions weren't dodged, they weren't cagey about their answers and no, wasn't the community team presenting. They were there but the presentation was done by the team doing the doing not the talking about, if you see what I mean.

    Whilst some streamers were there, others of us were representing chunks of player groups or event/content creators for in game fun.
    Stuff we CAN talk about at the moment: Exploration. Works nicely, looks great, really makes you feel like you are working to discover things and not just honk jump magic wand discovery.

    The mining things that were first talked about at Lavecon have come along really nicely. Once again, there is a lot more to do whilst mining. I reckon people will enjoy it.

    The lighting changes shown at Lavecon... Was nice to see it in action on a 'live' build and not just screenshots. Once again, think once people get into beta, they will be pleased with it.

    Shout out as usual to the sound team. Got a big round of applause at one point. Couple of times we all shushed each other so we could just listen.

    The stuff we can't mention yet as it isn't public. A huge amount of work and thought has gone into it all, am looking forward to getting my teeth into it both testing in beta and in final live release. Lots of the regular grumbles have been addressed.

    It really is a large body of work. Took 6 hours to fully showcase the lot and there is still more we didn't get see. We over ran by over an hour on their plans as we were asking so many pointy questions and debating their answers. A number of the visitors put some STRONG pressure on frontier on various matters on behalf of wider player audience.

    To the question earlier about the 'feel' in the office.... quite a few of the team members dropped their heads in to say hi, some of them were new faces had not met or seen on live streams before. There is a good vibe about the office there, happy looking staff (we quizzed one and the answer was 'even better now that the food isn't as bad as it was at the old office ;-) ). Delicious sandwiches btw.

    For the record, yes, the numbers of people working JUST on ED are what they say, their other games were on other floors and no, jobs like HR and finance etc staff weren't part of that number,.It was all people actively working on Elite. Compared to my last visit, they arent kidding when they say the team has never been bigger. The sweeping improvements and changes have satisfied me that they havent been idle in the last year of the free 'Beyond' update.

    All in all, and I appreciate there will be lots of 'but why wasn't xxx person invited', and realise I am lucky to have been invited. Am hoping we did you lot proud in terms of shouting loudly about things we are all passionate about, was great to see huge progress and my goodness am I going to have to set aside a whole day just to read the patch notes. Can't wait to get my teeth into it all.

    Sir.Tj

    Well I don't stream content or have any kind of Internet presence apart from the forum and twitter both of which are to be honest pretty minimal.

    Frontier at points were robustly challenged on aspects of the update and productive discussions followed.

    This is a pretty big update with a broad range of new features and updates to existing features at the same time. From what I have seen there has been a large amount of work out into this and from my point of view it was all positive.

    Explorers get done great new content to make traversing the galaxy more enjoyable and engaging.

    BGS fans again have a lot to look forward too with the codex etc..

    Miners again get some great new features and from someone who's never been interested in mining I'll definitely be giving it a go.

    Visual improvements are always a good thing and a lot of work has been done on it, Audio is as ever stunning Ed and I agreed that the audio team are vastly underrated on how good they are.

    The passion FD still has for the game and the community is very apparent and I can't see that dissipating any time in the future.

    I've tweeted a few things about the visit this being one of them https://twitter.com/TjdaMod/status/1...722963968?s=19

    Yeah not everyone is going to love every aspect of the update but they should be encouraged that FD are still working very hard on the game we all love.

    StuartGT - [On the new USS system]

    we were very impressed by what we saw.

    StuartGT - [On the new Discovery Scanner mechanic]

    Wait for the live stream demoes. There's a learning curve and depth, yet with experience it should be quick and easy to identify interesting Star Systems.



    Some Bonus Bits on Staffing:
    Which mirror Vingtetun's take above etc:

    StuartGT

    Morale is great internally, they're hyped for the community's response when 3.3 is demoed and goes live. The Elite Dangerous devroom has 100 people (+- 5) for gameplay/content creation; this excludes QA, audio recording, trailer team, website, etc who were in a different area.

    ObsidianAnt & DJ: 'Half a floor' of the new building for ED, told they were 'dedicated to ED', and not including QA testers, HR etc

  2. #2
    More feedback from helloitskolo on Reddit:

    I can completely echo what others have said about the staffing levels. There is half a floor, exclusive to ED. I can also confirm that many of them came to say hi and were genuinely interested in our reactions.

    The presentation was done mostly by Adam. It included actual game play as well as video stuff. We bombarded them with A LOT of questions and they did not make a habit of avoiding them. More than once, the answer wasn't known and someone left the room to go find out what it was; they genuinely were interested in hearing thoughts. It was not FDev sitting us down and presenting AT us; it was two way; they wanted feedback and were excited to share. The consensus in the room was definitely positive but don't let that make you think that no-one challenged anything. Things WERE challenged. Tough questions were asked, and responded to. Any comments, suggestions, any questions unknown were all recorded to be looked into. I did not feel any of the comments made were ignored.

    When FDev first did the live stream and explained a little about the exploration changes, I was worried that it wouldn't flow; that it would be like a clunky mini game. It's not. It's far more intuitive and smooth than that. The sound team have absolutely out done themselves, I would have loved to meet some of them, shake their hands and fan girl all over them. The sound is just absolutely wonderful.

    I'm going to *have* to try mining now; I've never done it before and I want to see the 'before'! The mining updates are wild. More than one mining-adverse person in the room declared 'Well... I'm a miner now' after we saw the mining stuff.

    There is also a lot more to this update than exploration and mining. There is so much to be excited about, but I'm very wary of hyping everything up massively as I would never want people to be so over-hyped that they would then be disappointed by *anything*, regardless of what it is. This means that in some ways, I'm holding my hype in! I don't want that to translate as me being unexcited; I am very excited.

    EDIT: More feedback from PixelBandits:

    Yup yup, I have to say I agree completely with (almost) all the points above. After seeing what they had to offer I am not greatly worried about squadrons and think it's going to be something that will be of benefit. However the mining and exploration were both amazing and got a HUGE reaction from the room



    As an explorer myself, I am loving the upcoming changes. I was another who was a little worried that it might be a little awkward or adding bits for the sake of adding bits, however the gameplay really does add to exploration, making it hugely engaging, and a lot more fun.

    As Not A Miner.... well.... I may well become a miner when Chapter 4 drops. It really is that good, and tied together with exploration changes as well it's a really holistic approach



    Regarding staffing, It really can't be stressed enough. I am lucky enough to be an ambassador for both JWE and ED and see a lot of people saying that one development is taking away from the other but this couldn't be further form the mark. the elite team is sizable, and still growing through an already expansive office (where they are very good at hiding their screens!)
    EDIT2:

    Some more bits from Alec:

    VR was touched on briefly in the context of the new ADS scanning screen, really just to confirm that it had been tested in VR. I have no reason to suspect that any of the new Q4 stuff won't work well in VR but neither did I pick up on any major new developments for VR at this time.

    Oh and generally, yes numerous concerns were raised by us throught the day (well, not concerns exactly, pretty much everything we saw looked awesome, mostly just questions really) and FD never avoided or dodged these. Will was sat at the back the whole time taking extensive notes and bits of feedback (I saw this at one point, it was a detailed document). Some of our questions were answered there and then, reasons for certain decisions (e.g. limits on squadron size) were explained (to my satisfaction at least) and suggestions were taken where potential issues had perhaps been overlooked,
    +
    I will say that I also felt that Q4 was going to make the BGS a lot more engaging and accessible and I could easily see myself (and others like me) getting more involved with it.

    + (my bold)

    For me "persistant" is one of the big keys ... USS's and conflict zones too are getting some big improvements (including, yes, some great audio as ever) but I really can't say too much in this area ... very excited about this tho, it felt like a significant change.

    +

    I would also say that there's something quite specific to do with lighting and visibility on planet surfaces that's coming in Q4 but I can't talk about that.

    EDIT3:

    Malik on the lighting changes:

    Yes, I would have to say the pictures that were given out several weeks ago do not represent what you can see in a live played version of the game in a video format.

    Is one of those things, if you are in an ice ring, the ambient coloring, effects, star color, nearby gas giant, shadows, it gives this feeling of "this is a cold place"

    If you are on a rocky body, back to the sun, just looking over the ground, the brightness, the sharp reflections off of glossy surfaces, you know this is a hot place before the camera was turned around and you see that the star is taking up half the sky.

    Because the lighting system is dynamic, you will see a totally different effect right after you drop out of hyperspace, vs if you travel the distance out to Pluto, are in different types of rings, etc. Overall I feel it definitely adds to the game.

    On top of that, there are performance improvements with the new system too.

    EDIT4:

    Psyche: FDev Visit Catch-up & Shenanigans




    25m50s - Lighting changes: Looks good, tweaks, lots of oos and aas in the room.


    28m30s - New ADS is amazing. Looks like a really fun, really engaging system. Looks like it's fun to watch. It's way more detailed than the existing system. Looks like it'll take a little longer to find certain things, but in a good way. The system for seeking out signals [EDIT: IE locating planets/moons and interesting clusters of worlds etc] look good, doesn't look too complicated. When there's multiple stellar bodies in one place right next to each other, you might have to go to a deeper level and scan again. Actually quite intuitive.


    Would imagine it will make Road to Riches a bit harder, but they are working out some solutions for that type of gameplay. (If it stays the way it was in the demo it might make it harder, but she expects it to change. They had some great ideas. Road to Riches should end up being totally viable based on that.)




    32m30s - They're considering feedback re 'auto detection' / honk and jump etc of ADS. Looking at ways to make good for both sides. Didn't feel like they sat on the fence, thinks there solution should work and be win-win.


    34m - The sound of the probe launching is really good. It's super satisfying.


    38m40s - It seems to be there will be shared credit for exploration Multicrew. (Unclear on 'first mapped' etc).


    39m15s - Locating surface sites is very intuitive, it makes sense, way way better than the current system. A lot easier now.


    41m30s - Codex: From an explorer perspective, and the idea of not using external sources, she gets the impression you'll be able to do more in-game IE track down things like the Guardian Beacons etc.


    It's more than just an 'in-game book' with a list of info. It has sections and each part has a different focus.


    43m30s - Mining: 'I'm a miner now'. Mining looks so good.... Mining looks amazing. Looking into profit vs time & difficulty. Would expect them to be higher across the board. Still quite relaxing but a lot more fun. (Exploration is still relaxing but a lot less boring). The animation and the look and the feel and the sound, the 'holistic experience', the visceral feeling, is so much better. Doesn't know if destroyed rocks disappear from permanent maps.


    47m - Ring scanning. You can find some info on where's best to mine. They're not very 'intrusive'. You can turn off the visuals, because the scanning stuff is a lot more detailed now.


    49m40s - The preview was in-game, not a video. [EDIT: For all of it]


    52m05s - Squadrons: The system is pretty robust. There's a lot of different bits on pieces she kinda thinks they've hit the nail on the head with for more social features. Looks like it has a lot of detail to it. Got lots of feedback on possible additions.


    1h5m30s - The unknown things aren't 'a whole new game' (IE Legs style stuff) but exciting.


    1h7m - Should explorers be excited? 'Yes, yes, yes.' I said I wouldn't overhype, but as an explorer myself I'm very excited.

    1h13m45s - 'My highlight was the Codex. No, my highlight was the probes.'

    1h14m50s - Feels like the new system brings back some of the engagment of the old hunting for stars via parallax

  3. #3
    Excellent, thanks Golgot!

  4. #4
    Great work for that sum-up! There is indeed a lot of interesting stuff. I hope my expectations aren't too high again but everything sounds like we get a blast in chapter 4

  5. #5
    Well done Golgot. Another well put together thread containing all the pertinent points.
    3.3 is begining to sound very decent.

    Flimley

  6. #6

  7. #7
    To be honest I'm only really interested in when the beta drops so I can experience the update for myself.

  8. #8
    Nice post, OP.

    From that photo, you'd think they were not only required to sign a NDA, but also to wear sombre colors.

  9. #9
    Originally Posted by Golgot View Post (Source)
    Regarding this recent visit. (Group pic here)

    They're all under NDA so can't go into great detail or new content, but there are some broad themes:



    Obsidian Ant & DJ Truthsayer in a round table

    I've paraphrased here:





    Reactions on the Forum Thread:

    Alec Turner

    If I say what I saw was awesome your expectatations will go through the roof and when Q4 drops you'll say ... but Alec, I thought you said it was going to be awesome. On the other hand I could say meh and deliberately play the game then you'd all be pleasantly surprised at how good it is and think I was a grumpy. I don't know what to say, it's like thermonuclear war! Who fancies a nice game of chess?

    Alec Turner

    Here's a thing that happened ... so they were about to show us something in mining. They reckoned they knew what the reaction was gonna be so it turned out Will filmed it. Anyway, they did the thing and yeah ... the room went frickin' nuts. After the mining section ... well, you know how most everyone thinks current mining is really boring ... well the buzz around the room was "hell, when this drops I'm heading into the rings and I ain't ever gonna come back out again!"
    How's that for hype?

    Vingtetun

    Frontier dedicated 5 of their team for the entire day to presenting many of the changes and improvements coming to the game in the next release.

    It was by no means a polished puff piece for streamers, it was a detailed exposee and q&a on the content, with senior staff on hand asking questions of us, feedback on what was good and what needed work or improvements. There was very little of the 'it is on the roadmap for later' and an awful lot of 'let me just go and ask that part of the team' where we got into detail and provided constructive feedback on the new items we have seen already in live stream but also things they will be revealing over the forthcoming weeks.

    They took away extensive notes from a broad range of the audience based on how their communities would react to certain elements, where the areas of improvement were wanted and how the new mechanics would affect people's gaming time.

    Our questions weren't dodged, they weren't cagey about their answers and no, wasn't the community team presenting. They were there but the presentation was done by the team doing the doing not the talking about, if you see what I mean.

    Whilst some streamers were there, others of us were representing chunks of player groups or event/content creators for in game fun.
    Stuff we CAN talk about at the moment: Exploration. Works nicely, looks great, really makes you feel like you are working to discover things and not just honk jump magic wand discovery.

    The mining things that were first talked about at Lavecon have come along really nicely. Once again, there is a lot more to do whilst mining. I reckon people will enjoy it.

    The lighting changes shown at Lavecon... Was nice to see it in action on a 'live' build and not just screenshots. Once again, think once people get into beta, they will be pleased with it.

    Shout out as usual to the sound team. Got a big round of applause at one point. Couple of times we all shushed each other so we could just listen.

    The stuff we can't mention yet as it isn't public. A huge amount of work and thought has gone into it all, am looking forward to getting my teeth into it both testing in beta and in final live release. Lots of the regular grumbles have been addressed.

    It really is a large body of work. Took 6 hours to fully showcase the lot and there is still more we didn't get see. We over ran by over an hour on their plans as we were asking so many pointy questions and debating their answers. A number of the visitors put some STRONG pressure on frontier on various matters on behalf of wider player audience.

    To the question earlier about the 'feel' in the office.... quite a few of the team members dropped their heads in to say hi, some of them were new faces had not met or seen on live streams before. There is a good vibe about the office there, happy looking staff (we quizzed one and the answer was 'even better now that the food isn't as bad as it was at the old office ;-) ). Delicious sandwiches btw.

    For the record, yes, the numbers of people working JUST on ED are what they say, their other games were on other floors and no, jobs like HR and finance etc staff weren't part of that number,.It was all people actively working on Elite. Compared to my last visit, they arent kidding when they say the team has never been bigger. The sweeping improvements and changes have satisfied me that they havent been idle in the last year of the free 'Beyond' update.

    All in all, and I appreciate there will be lots of 'but why wasn't xxx person invited', and realise I am lucky to have been invited. Am hoping we did you lot proud in terms of shouting loudly about things we are all passionate about, was great to see huge progress and my goodness am I going to have to set aside a whole day just to read the patch notes. Can't wait to get my teeth into it all.

    Sir.Tj

    Well I don't stream content or have any kind of Internet presence apart from the forum and twitter both of which are to be honest pretty minimal.

    Frontier at points were robustly challenged on aspects of the update and productive discussions followed.

    This is a pretty big update with a broad range of new features and updates to existing features at the same time. From what I have seen there has been a large amount of work out into this and from my point of view it was all positive.

    Explorers get done great new content to make traversing the galaxy more enjoyable and engaging.

    BGS fans again have a lot to look forward too with the codex etc..

    Miners again get some great new features and from someone who's never been interested in mining I'll definitely be giving it a go.

    Visual improvements are always a good thing and a lot of work has been done on it, Audio is as ever stunning Ed and I agreed that the audio team are vastly underrated on how good they are.

    The passion FD still has for the game and the community is very apparent and I can't see that dissipating any time in the future.

    I've tweeted a few things about the visit this being one of them https://twitter.com/TjdaMod/status/1...722963968?s=19

    Yeah not everyone is going to love every aspect of the update but they should be encouraged that FD are still working very hard on the game we all love.

    StuartGT - [On the new USS system]

    we were very impressed by what we saw.

    StuartGT - [On the new Discovery Scanner mechanic]

    Wait for the live stream demoes. There's a learning curve and depth, yet with experience it should be quick and easy to identify interesting Star Systems.



    Some Bonus Bits on Staffing:
    Which mirror Vingtetun's take above etc:

    StuartGT

    Morale is great internally, they're hyped for the community's response when 3.3 is demoed and goes live. The Elite Dangerous devroom has 100 people (+- 5) for gameplay/content creation; this excludes QA, audio recording, trailer team, website, etc who were in a different area.

    ObsidianAnt & DJ: 'Half a floor' of the new building for ED, told they were 'dedicated to ED', and not including QA testers, HR etc
    +Rep

    Thanks a million for the summary Golgot!

  10. #10
    This was really good read, thx @Golgot! (yeah, now I can not wait for Q4 even much more... )

  11. #11
    No worries . Interesting how much synthesis there is on the main beats. Should at least be a chunky update at any rate.

    (Now I'm gonna kick back and try and forget about it so any new stuff is a pleasant surprise )

  12. #12
    Originally Posted by Golgot View Post (Source)
    No worries . Interesting how much synthesis there is on the main beats. Should at least be a chunky update at any rate.

    (Now I'm gonna kick back and try and forget about it so any new stuff is a pleasant surprise )
    Malic just said a few mins ago on his first stream back that exploration is going to be "awesome", based on what they were shown. His exploration worries seem to have been allayed.

  13. #13
    Thanks OP and thanks Fdev! So glad you're working hard on elite. Knowing that you care is all that's important. Will definitely be buying a big pack of frontier points to say thank you. My fear was the game was dead. I know this isn't the case now and whatever happens with the patch I won't be disappointed. Thanks guys

  14. #14
    I must say it all sounds very promising, I know impressions are subjective but it sounds like there wasn't a person there who wasn't impressed by the changes or the amount of work that's gone into it, and that's got to say something. Maintenance mode my foot.

  15. #15
    An interesting read and despite everyone who went seeming to dampen their enthusiasm for fear of building hype the reactions to both the work done and the event itself seem genuinely positive.

    I'm excited for the future.

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