From the desk of Executive Producer, Michael Brookes
This week’s dev update is the penultimate update on the changes to missions coming in the (2.1) release - The Engineers. The topic I’ll cover is the variety goal and next week I’ll cover the final goals of consequences and rewards.
Variety at its most simplistic is making sure that more missions (and variants) are available, but beyond that tweaking them to make them more accessible and having a better sense of predictability, so if you’re looking for a particular type of mission then you can determine the best places to find them.
We’re tackling variety with a host of changes – the first is ensuring that more missions are available at the neutral reputation stage. Developing your reputation will reveal more missions, but more importantly – more valuable missions. We’re also removing the rank requirement for missions. The rank will now be an indication of difficulty (and by association, rewards) and generally will generated around your relevant Pilots Federation rank. You can take on more difficult missions to try and grasp some big rewards, but there is a risk in doing so.
Missions will be generated by stricter criteria so that the majority of missions offered will make sense in the location that are offered. A three stage hierarchy will govern how the missions are created.
First by the state of the minor faction, so if they are in famine, or at war, or any other state missions to address that state are generated.
Secondly, the type of market for the port, so that they match the economic activity for that market. An obvious example is creating mining missions from extraction economies.
The third stage is determined by the government type and this reflects the character of the minor factions and the types of operation that they indulge in. For example dictatorships are more likely to indulge in overt assassinations and so send a visible message, while democracies will conduct their wet work through covert operations.
Within the offered mission there will be a description for why that mission has been generated and what effect it will have for the minor faction. This clearer communication of the interaction with the galactic simulation will make it easier for you to pick the relevant missions for your goals.
We’re also looking to reduce the barrier of inconvenience for some of the mission elements – my favourite here is not having to drop out of supercruise to listen to alternate offers. The time limits for missions as well as which elements make them easier, or more difficult are being reviewed and addressed.
Another exciting change is how missions and USSs interact with each other. USSs for missions will now generally be located at specific bodies within a system which have can be located using a discovery scanner, although the usual ranges apply. If the system has a nav beacon then these can now be scanned and the scan will reveal these mission locations as well as providing any exploration data for that system.
In conjunction with these changes the general distribution and generation of USSs is also being updated. There are now concepts of different parts of space within a system, like traffic lanes and hubs and different contents can be generated at each. They are also created spatially rather than by time range so you can no longer just sit and wait for one to appear, you will need to look for it.
One other significant change for USSs is that they can be scanned to reveal more information about them without having to drop out of supercruise.
There’s still a ton of details for changes of other aspects of the game coming after next week’s look at mission consequences and rewards.