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Thread: News on in-system travel

  1. #1

    News on in-system travel

    Frontier have just released an updated in-system travel proposal. You can read all about The Frame Shift Drive if you have DDF access, or wait a few weeks for it to go in the archives. It's about twice the length of a normal proposal, so this post will try to paint some broad brushstrokes to prepare you for the fine detail.

    The Three Modes of Travel

    Ships in Elite: Dangerous can use three distinct modes of travel, for travelling exponentially different distances:

    • Hyperspace jumps - hopping around within or between systems in near-instantaneous jumps, but with limited control of exactly where you end up
    • Super-cruise travel - roaming about at high speed within a system
    • Conventional flight - moving, fighting, docking and mining in a smallish area of space

    Although each mode of travel has different properties and uses different in-game technologies, for readability this post will talk as if ships had a single engine with three gears - a "top gear" that's the next best thing to teleportation, a "middle gear" that's optimised for urban transport, and a "first gear" that goes at walking speed.

    Meeting other players

    Real-life technical considerations mean players can only interact with a small set of other people at a time, usually called an "instance" (although this particular proposal uses the word "session"). Switching gears also punts you into a different instance, and there are three ways to try and follow someone into a new instance:

    • Flight control - friends can let each other "slave" their drives together so they all change gear at the same time (and in middle gear they can all travel in formation)
    • Follow the trail - switching up into middle gear leaves a Back to the Future-style flame trail you can follow, and switching into top gear leaves a residual opening that can be analysed (or in extreme cases tailgated)
    • Pray to the matchmaking algorithm - the game will generally try to put you in an instance with other players you would enjoy playing against, so you might bump into your target without doing anything special

    None of the above are guaranteed - for example, you can't slave a huge pirate gang together and force your way into a nearly-empty instance. But with a bit of skill you can play a good game of cat-and-mouse with all this gear-shifting.

    Interstellar snooker

    Although you can plot any route at any time, players will usually aim at a point in space, shift up to middle gear to get in position, up to top for a the long haul, down to middle gear to get to their approximate destination, then finally down to first gear to interact with the world.

    But no matter how fast your top gear is, a straight line journey to the dark side of the moon is still going to leave a pancake-shaped splodge on the moon's near side. If your ship was a snooker ball, you would need to bounce it off the cushion to make a shot like that. So what does a cushion look like in space?

    Well, super-cruise travel works by warping space, which means it warps gravity too. That will make a ship that normally handles like a bumble bee fly like more like a whale in tornado, but it also means a careful commander can do a real-time gravitational slingshot - making a hyperspace jump to Mars, a quick half an orbit around to line themselves up for the moon shot, then a hyperspace jump back to the part of the moon they were aiming for.

  2. #2
    I have to say that the proposal is just frankly $$%*%*$ amazing.

    IT opens up gameplay to some stunning manouvres and puts to bed concerns over the key feel factor for the game..

    We will be in the HOT Seat making the ship do what its doing!!

    Awesome Frontier... take the rest of the week off!!

  3. #3
    Originally Posted by Andrew Sayers View Post (Source)
    Frontier have just released an updated in-system travel proposal. You can read all about The Frame Shift Drive if you have DDF access, or wait a few weeks for it to go in the archives.
    If its just been posted in DDF are you allowed to post it open forum?

  4. #4
    Originally Posted by LCplCombat View Post (Source)
    If its just been posted in DDF are you allowed to post it open forum?
    Copy/pasting into the general forum is seen as bad form, because a lot of people that signed up for the DDF don't post, so early access is all they get for their money. I was minded to bend the rules today because this topic has been anticipated so widely for so long.

    Summarising the proposal bends the rules quite severely, but I hope to get away with it as a one-off because it provides a more approachable summary, and because it gave me a bunch of DDF questions that wouldn't otherwise have occurred to me.

  5. #5
    Elite Global Moderator Jenner's Avatar
    That's really fascinating, especially the slingshot stuff! I think I need more information before I can really grasp the whole gameplay involved here, but so far I like what I see. Intra system travel is promising to be very cool indeed! Far more nuanced than I expected.

  6. #6
    Love it.

    Will make life in space not so lonely - and encounters a lot more interesting.

  7. #7
    Originally Posted by Andrew Sayers View Post (Source)
    a lot of people that signed up for the DDF don't post, so early access is all they get for their money.
    Proposal has been out less than 24 hours ....

  8. #8
    Originally Posted by Liqua View Post (Source)
    Proposal has been out less than 24 hours ....
    Less than 12 actually.

  9. #9
    Originally Posted by Liqua View Post (Source)
    Proposal has been out less than 24 hours ....
    Originally Posted by SnowGhost View Post (Source)
    Less than 12 actually.
    You guys do know that the DDF proposals are reposted, in full, often within minutes, on other forums, right? Better for the fans here (most of whom actually pledged something) to read about it here than have to skulk off to some third party place to get the full proposals, no?

  10. #10
    I have to say that given it is a revised PROPOSAL and may be subject to change it is risky to make it public.

    Balance that against its awesomeness and the general confusion and concern on this very issue.. I would say it is worth putting in general.

    I as a DDF member appreciate my payments made and the input I get, input... so sharing the information gives NOone any input,, just the WONDERFUL feeling of 'Frontier HIT IT out the park'

    So people can now see it will be an amazing game... there is NO enforced non disclosure for the DDF but with proposals there is little point reporting them unless they have been finalised...

    BUt even the DDF doesn't get that kind of information.

    So please take this post as it is intended..a chance to let go your concerns and see that this is The Game of 2014... and lets chill.

    It is a revised proposal....given how different it is to the original proposal... it could change........ but the overwhelming feedback is positive.

    Bravo.... and I would stand with Andrew on his posting. Good form sir.

  11. #11
    Originally Posted by jabokai View Post (Source)
    You guys do know that the DDF proposals are reposted, in full, often within minutes, on other forums, right?
    I appreciate the support, but I wouldn't want to disrespect fellow DDF members just because other people were doing it. I've tried to stay on the right side of the plagiarism here, and in fairness there's a lot of detail the OP doesn't cover.

    Originally Posted by jabokai View Post (Source)
    Better for the fans here (most of whom actually pledged something) to read about it here than have to skulk off to some third party place to get the full proposals, no?
    This part I definitely agree with though. Given how much interest there is in this specific proposal, the alternative would have been a few weeks of ugliness around who has the right to what information.

    As psykokow says, this is a very special case. I don't mind getting a rap on the knuckles if it means we can share a great community moment without setting a precedent that would devalue the DDF.

  12. #12
    Originally Posted by Andrew Sayers View Post (Source)
    I've tried to stay on the right side of the plagiarism here, and in fairness there's a lot of detail the OP doesn't cover.
    You are using that word wrong. 'Plagiarism' refers to cases where you copy someone else's text/ideas and claim that they are your own (without providing reference to the original source). Even if you copied the entire text from Frontier word-for-word, you would not be plagiarising it unless you claimed that you thought it up yourself.

  13. #13
    To summarise the summary, what's just happened is we got everything we asked for and more. It's a unique travel system that requires skill to use, gives complete freedom, and reveals the vastness of space.

    I think this makes the game.

  14. #14
    Even if this isn't close to what the final decission will be i still think FD is amazing.. they listened to their fan base and worked their a**es of to try and give them what they craved.

    So cudos to FD!

  15. #15
    Originally Posted by RobFisher View Post (Source)
    To summarise the summary, what's just happened is we got everything we asked for and more. It's a unique travel system that requires skill to use, gives complete freedom, and reveals the vastness of space.

    I think this makes the game.
    Yes, I think I must agree with your on that regard. I burn with desire to get some hands-on time with this system (or at least a nice video of it).

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