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Thread: "Where we're going... we don't need eyes to see!" Revised Explorers in Elite

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

    "Where we're going... we don't need eyes to see!" Revised Explorers in Elite

    Hello all!
    I've given Explorers a quick run through to add in some extra detail and clarifications, we're happy this one is going so well and please continue discussion!

    In Elite: Dangerous explorers are players who travel out into undiscovered areas of the galaxy, hoping to find previously undiscovered systems and locations. Explorers scan and record data wherever they go, and can sell that data on to various interested authorities. Explorers can also sell on data they have discovered to other players, allowing them to sell the co-ordinates of a valuable find to the highest bidder, or keep their discoveries to exploit for themselves.

    Explorer players must discover different points of interest using different methods
    • Explorer players’ main method of making money is through selling details of points of interest they discover
      • Points of interest players can discover include:
        • Star Systems
        • Dark Systems (systems without a star, but other features)
        • Stars
        • Planets
        • Asteroids, comets
        • Moons
        • Structures
        • Other Phenomena
      • These Discovered locations may include:
        • Secret Locations
        • Resources
        • Events/Missions (time limited and permenant)
        • Beauty spots (usually attached to other entities)
        • Messages/Beacons
    • Players explore to build up the details on their galaxy map
      • When starting a new commander the player will have some details on their galaxy map
        • This will allow the player to travel to any locations they have map data to, without having to explore
      • Players can buy map data from authorities to expand their ships computers library of maps
        • New map data will allow the player to travel to new locations without needing to explore
        • Map data that is bought from authorities is not to the highest level of detail and can be improved with player gathered data
        • Map data includes hyperspace routes to systems and major points of interest in that system

    • Players can use scanning equipment and probes to detect systems and record new hyperspace routes
      • Scanners are used to detect any nearby systems that are within the players jump range
        • Scanners will give the player a vague indication of the direction of a system
        • High end scanners can give the player a better details of the system they have detected (is it a star, an asteroid field etc.)
      • Players can then launch hyperspace probes that will give the player more information on the part of space they are looking at
        • Probes will give the player heat-map style data to help guide the player to the correct co-ordinates for a jump
        • Heatmap data might be ambiguous, creating skill based gameplay where the player learns to interpret the readings they recieve
        • Different equipment can determine the quality of heatmap data
        • Different probe ammo can provide different information, or react based on objects in the target system
      • Using the data they have gathered the player must align their ship as best they can with the target system and activate the hyperdrive to jump to the system
        • The player’s ship records data of any successful jumps the player makes
        • The pilots federation will always pay players for the first successful jump they make using the exploration method (If the player bought the map data for the jump they cannot sell the data), even if the player is not the first person ever to make the jump (the pilots federation use the data to improve their telemetry and keep maps up to date)
        • If the player is the first person to ever make the journey they receive a bonus for discovering the hyperspace route
        • The closer the player lines up their jump to the target system, the higher quality the data the players ship will gather on the jump. Higher quality data is worth more money when sold to authorities
      • If a player’s jump is not accurate enough they may suffer a miss jump
        • Longer distance jumps require a higher level of accuracy
        • A systems contents may also affect how accurate a players jump must be to avoid mis-jumping


    • Players use scanners to detect points of interest within systems
      • The player’s scanners detect various points of interest around the player
        • It takes time for players scanners to detect points of interest
        • Player’s proximity to a point of interest can affect the time it takes to detect
        • Proximity may often have risks associated with it - Solar Radiation for example
        • Players ship facing can affect the time it takes to detect a point of interest (e.g. pointing my ship at a undiscovered point of interest will allow me to scan it faster)
      • Different types of points of interest can require different player actions to detect
        • For example to detect a mineral rich formation of asteroids the player must launch probes around an asteroid field
        • The probes provide a cross section from their perspective of the asteroid field they’re launched at
          • Each additional probe the player uses provides more details on the target asteroid field
        • The player uses their scanner to view the data from the probes, and must tag the areas with the highest concentration of minerals in the field
        • Once this process is complete the point of interest is completed
          • The quality of the players scan of the area affects the value of the data
          • The quality of the player’s scan can affect the amount and type of materials found in the asteroids
    • Players can sell the information that they discover through these methods
      • Players will have to travel back to sell the data they acquire while exploring
      • The first player to sell/discover the information recieves a greater reward
      • Information by become redundant from time to time as the galaxy moves and it can then be resold


    Players can sell information they have gathered to other players as well as authorities. This is done through a trade interface similar to the trade goods trading interface. Players can sell hyperspace routes from their location to any single system they have explored to. The purchasing player then offers a price (this can be 0 if it is a gift), and if both players are satisfied they agree to the trade. Players can also trade in system data including locations of points of interest using the same method.

    • Players can take photographs (essentially screenshots) from their view ports (with and without cockpit and GUI etc)
      • Player photographs can be submitted to a regular photography contest
        • Players can only submit one photograph each
      • Players can vote on a selection of the best photographs
      • The player(s) who get the most votes wins the competition
        • The winner gets a (in game) cash prize (plus prizes for 2nd 3rd most weird etc.)
        • The photograph (and other user submissions) will be used in appropriate places in the game (billboards, news papers, etc.)


    Players who decide to go exploring are jumping into the unknown, and without high end kit, often with little to no knowledge of the dangers they are jumping in to. Alongside the risk of encountering hostility when jumping to an unknown system, explorers scanners attract a lot of attention, generating lots of heat. Explorer ships will need to be prepared to face hostile activity when exploring, and players need to be ready to fight for their claims or run for their lives.

  2. #2
    Originally Posted by Dan Davies View Post (Source)
    • These Discovered locations may include:
      • ...
      • Messages/Beacons
    This may be a silly question, but I've been meaning to ask...

    I can see how beacons would be a good way for explorers to communicate, given how important territory is to them and how infrequently they're in any one place. But what does it mean to discover one? Surely the purpose of a beacon is to find you and not need discovering?

  3. #3
    Originally Posted by Andrew Sayers View Post (Source)
    This may be a silly question, but I've been meaning to ask...

    I can see how beacons would be a good way for explorers to communicate, given how important territory is to them and how infrequently they're in any one place. But what does it mean to discover one? Surely the purpose of a beacon is to find you and not need discovering?
    Don't forget that a (homing/emergency) beacon can be placed by a crippled vessel and they can last a very long time. Perhaps finding a dying beacon can lead you to derelict ship with cargo, tech, funds, information. It could also lure you into a trap...

  4. #4
    Can't see how this has changed at all - particularly not on the point about how we can already with today's technology tell the locations of all nearby star systems!
    Commander TheLand

    Don't forget: All PvP in this game is consensual. If you don't like conflict between human players, or just want to opt out of one particular PvP situation, simply switch to Solo mode and switch back to open play when you feel like it.

  5. #5
    Originally Posted by The Land View Post (Source)
    Can't see how this has changed at all - particularly not on the point about how we can already with today's technology tell the locations of all nearby star systems!
    I was wondering about that, I couldn't see any changes.
    Just like Tron, I fight for the users.

  6. #6
    Can we have police vipers with blue flashing lights yet ?

  7. #7

    Explorer - options for pretecting your finds

    Evening all,

    The proposition looks good, the only thing that seems to be missing for me is options for protecting a find.

    So I discover whilst out exploring an asteroid that's made of diamond. I'm feeling a bit greedy and I want it for myself, I don't want anyone else to know about it.

    I know that I'll have to 'pop' off to pickup my mining kit, but I don't want to leave my new find 'lonely', so what options do I have to attempt to protect it, could I envelope it in a potteresque invisibility cloak ?, slap a liberal dose of anti ship mines around it ?, float some proximity turrets out ?

    What say you fine folks ?

  8. #8
    Originally Posted by The Land View Post (Source)
    Can't see how this has changed at all - particularly not on the point about how we can already with today's technology tell the locations of all nearby star systems!
    I've been thinking about this and to be honest I am not sure that I am worried about it. We have hyperspace etc. so IMO this proposal is quite fine in this aspect (well, for me at least! )

  9. #9
    Nothing to add that I have not already said in the other thread. Really like how this proposal is shaping up. From a gameplay perspective especially. Really exciting.

  10. #10
    Originally Posted by withnail View Post (Source)
    I've been thinking about this and to be honest I am not sure that I am worried about it. We have hyperspace etc. so IMO this proposal is quite fine in this aspect (well, for me at least! )
    It's something that's going to irk me now I know about it

    I agree the proposal will work well, but equally there are alternatives just as good for gameplay that would irk me less
    Commander TheLand

    Don't forget: All PvP in this game is consensual. If you don't like conflict between human players, or just want to opt out of one particular PvP situation, simply switch to Solo mode and switch back to open play when you feel like it.

  11. #11
    Originally Posted by Dan Davies View Post (Source)
    • Points of interest players can discover include:
      • Star Systems
      • Stars
    Really don't like this. It's stupid. Why do we know less about the galaxy in 3300 than we do in 2013?

    The rest is fine, although again it doesn't seem to be revised much or taken into account any of people's comments or suggestions in the previous thread.
    Empty space.

  12. #12
    I dunno, this talk of a lining up your ship mini game..... I dunno.

    It's either going to be too hard and few people will be able to get it right, or too easy so as it becomes a chore. I'll reserve my judgement till I see it in action, but it sounds risky.

    Originally Posted by Dan Davies View Post (Source)
    The quality of the player’s scan can affect the amount and type of materials found in the asteroids.
    This, I absolutely hate. Sorry. If something is there, it's there. It needs to be much easier for people with good equipment to find, isolate and extract - but an ill equipped miner could still be able to get lucky.

    What happens when mr fancy pants explorer finds a rich platinum vein? Mr opportunist hides, carefully notes down the asteroid, waits for fancy pants to leave and moves in..... And only uncovers worthless rocks?
    Cmdr S. Kipper, Elite Anthology Organiser, Author and overworked web developer.
    Visit us: Elite-Anthology.co.uk | @EliteAnthology on Twitter | Elite Anthology on Facebook

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by Kipper View Post (Source)
    This, I absolutely hate. Sorry. If something is there, it's there. It needs to be much easier for people with good equipment to find, isolate and extract - but an ill equipped miner could still be able to get lucky.

    What happens when mr fancy pants explorer finds a rich platinum vein? Mr opportunist hides, carefully notes down the asteroid, waits for fancy pants to leave and moves in..... And only uncovers worthless rocks?
    I have a feeling that it relates to the quality of the information that you can use or sell rather than the actual quality of the deposits in the asteroid. I think this statement (from FD) is a bit misleading.

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by Juniper View Post (Source)
    Really don't like this. It's stupid. Why do we know less about the galaxy in 3300 than we do in 2013?
    Why would that be the case? I don't follow. Are there not some stars still to discover? I'm confused

  15. #15
    Originally Posted by withnail View Post (Source)
    I have a feeling that it relates to the quality of the information that you can use or sell rather than the actual quality of the deposits in the asteroid. I think this statement (from FD) is a bit misleading.
    You may be right. Change "found" to "he finds" ? (I'd do that anyway just cuz I hate the passive voice )

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