I've never worked in the games industry but I'm a dab hand at my Direct3D, HLSL, and Math. I have a ROAM based planet with a real atmosphere which will run over the several cores of the 360 - I get a stonkingly good triangle throughput. It looks something akin to the Infinity engine (I actually think it looks and performs better although I don't have any folliage - that was not my aim though).
My question was more out of curiosity as I created this not because I intend on releasing anything, but because I wanted the challenge of doing the spherical ROAM algorithm better than anyone else.
So my question is... what kind of algorithm is earmarked for Elite IV planets? Will it be ROAM? will it be n-patches? Or does Frontier have something new and even more exciting up their sleeves because Frontier and First Encounters appear to both use a rudimentary ROAM algorithm but they were released before the ROAM algorithm was even dreamed up by scholars.