100% Proof Planets have lost their colour. [UPDATED with official Dev reason and plan to improve]

Michael Brookes

Game Director
Frontier
My apologies for not responding sooner, this issue has been on my list to chase up for a while. The reason for the difference being observed on the rocky worlds is the change to the new material system - in theory this is more accurate as it uses the chemical properties to determine the colour (obviously I'm simplifying a bit here!), however the problem is that those colours were based on Earth standard colouration for those materials, and most of those are beige/brown rather than the colours you might observe in the myriad of other possible conditions. We're currently working on a more flexible material system, and this will necessitate a fresh balance pass on these. That's not going to be in 2.3 though.

Michael
 
My apologies for not responding sooner, this issue has been on my list to chase up for a while. The reason for the difference being observed on the rocky worlds is the change to the new material system - in theory this is more accurate as it uses the chemical properties to determine the colour (obviously I'm simplifying a bit here!), however the problem is that those colours were based on Earth standard colouration for those materials, and most of those are beige/brown rather than the colours you might observe in the myriad of other possible conditions. We're currently working on a more flexible material system, and this will necessitate a fresh balance pass on these. That's not going to be in 2.3 though.

Michael
Thanks for the update Micheal, greatly appreciate it! :)

Is there anything you can tell us about the apparent geometry changes on some of the planets?
 
My apologies for not responding sooner, this issue has been on my list to chase up for a while. The reason for the difference being observed on the rocky worlds is the change to the new material system - in theory this is more accurate as it uses the chemical properties to determine the colour (obviously I'm simplifying a bit here!), however the problem is that those colours were based on Earth standard colouration for those materials, and most of those are beige/brown rather than the colours you might observe in the myriad of other possible conditions. We're currently working on a more flexible material system, and this will necessitate a fresh balance pass on these. That's not going to be in 2.3 though.

Michael
Hi Michael,

Cheers for the response. Does the same explanation go for the HMC planets?

edit: Nevermind, I am an idiot. Rocky Worlds as in the scientific term, not the Elite Rocky World. So HMCs included I assume :)
 
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My apologies for not responding sooner, this issue has been on my list to chase up for a while. The reason for the difference being observed on the rocky worlds is the change to the new material system - in theory this is more accurate as it uses the chemical properties to determine the colour (obviously I'm simplifying a bit here!), however the problem is that those colours were based on Earth standard colouration for those materials, and most of those are beige/brown rather than the colours you might observe in the myriad of other possible conditions. We're currently working on a more flexible material system, and this will necessitate a fresh balance pass on these. That's not going to be in 2.3 though.

Michael
Thanks Exec.
 
My apologies for not responding sooner, this issue has been on my list to chase up for a while. The reason for the difference being observed on the rocky worlds is the change to the new material system - in theory this is more accurate as it uses the chemical properties to determine the colour (obviously I'm simplifying a bit here!), however the problem is that those colours were based on Earth standard colouration for those materials, and most of those are beige/brown rather than the colours you might observe in the myriad of other possible conditions. We're currently working on a more flexible material system, and this will necessitate a fresh balance pass on these. That's not going to be in 2.3 though.

Michael
Fer my part, thank you fer replying. Those 5 lines do actually make a difference because now at least, there will be no dashed hopes when 2.3 release notes are published. It tells us its an unintentional side effect of another change which was done fer realism...so thats the console critics argument shot down...less salt is always a good thing which is something we all agree on...or most of us anyway.

Btw, any idea why vi.ag.ra is a banned word? Its part of my first choice ship name...now we have yer attention. Ill quit after just this one last thing and Ill go play something ^
 
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Michael Brookes

Game Director
Frontier
Fer my part, thank you fer replying. Those 5 lines do actually make a difference because now at least, there will be no dashed hopes when 2.3 release notes are published. It tells us its an unintentional side effect of another change which was done fer realism...so thats the console critics argument shot down...less salt is always a good thing which is something we all agree on...or most of us anyway.

Btw, any idea why vi.ag.ra is a banned word? Its part of my first choice ship name...now we have yer attention. Ill quit after just this one last thing and Ill go play something ^
The console argument for changes in graphics don't apply - we have separate settings and render paths for the consoles, both of which are higher than our min spec PC anyway.

Michael
 
My apologies for not responding sooner, this issue has been on my list to chase up for a while. The reason for the difference being observed on the rocky worlds is the change to the new material system - in theory this is more accurate as it uses the chemical properties to determine the colour (obviously I'm simplifying a bit here!), however the problem is that those colours were based on Earth standard colouration for those materials, and most of those are beige/brown rather than the colours you might observe in the myriad of other possible conditions. We're currently working on a more flexible material system, and this will necessitate a fresh balance pass on these. That's not going to be in 2.3 though.

Michael
Thank you kindly for explaining the situation. It makes a world of difference to not be so in the dark about it.

Much obliged. Hope you have a nice day.
 

Kerrash

Volunteer Moderator
I still see quite a bit a variation in planet colours. I guess I am just lucky? :S
 
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I still see quite a bit a variation in planet colours. I guess I am just lucky? :S
Which planets? The issue is with hmc and metal rich, with ice and rocks world largely or totally unaffected. Hmc terras are also not affected but ye cant land on those anyway ^
 

Kay Ross

Programmer- Elite: Dangerous
Frontier
Is there anything you can tell us about the apparent geometry changes on some of the planets?
There were some changes done which will have affected the geology in some certain circumstances. These were only done as otherwise it was producing terrain that would crash in some cases or have other bad bugs like being able to fly through the terrain. It would result in players being kicked to the main menu, so the issues had to be addressed.
Rocky ice planets were a prime example of some particular combinations of geological data causing rifts too sharp and severe for sensible physics data to be produced. Sometimes the rift would be so sharp, unfortunate sawtoothing artefacts would be produced.
There were cases where overlapping large craters were not being handled quite right, causing drops sheer enough to look wrong and also cause bad physics data again. Sometimes the crater would get filled with very incorrect roughness - fixing this was a scientific accuracy concern.
 
I suspect it was part of the same change. We've had a few changes so far that will change the planets topography - usually in small amounts, but it will vary.

Michael
Thanks again for this. :)

I know most people here are fully aware that Elite Dangerous is a constant work-in-progress, that is that one of the things that makes it so great; it's always improving. When there's a sudden change like the one with the planetary colours and geometry, it's very easy for people to start wondering about the direction of the changes - and not in a negative way, but rather in a way where they are facing "the unknown". :) It's great then to hear that the changes are indeed for scientific accuracy (as many suspected), but that also the wide-spread brown colours are an unintended side effect that will be improved upon in the future.

Really appreciate you getting back to us on this. :)
 
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There were some changes done which will have affected the geology in some certain circumstances. These were only done as otherwise it was producing terrain that would crash in some cases or have other bad bugs like being able to fly through the terrain. It would result in players being kicked to the main menu, so the issues had to be addressed.
Rocky ice planets were a prime example of some particular combinations of geological data causing rifts too sharp and severe for sensible physics data to be produced. Sometimes the rift would be so sharp, unfortunate sawtoothing artefacts would be produced.
There were cases where overlapping large craters were not being handled quite right, causing drops sheer enough to look wrong and also cause bad physics data again. Sometimes the crater would get filled with very incorrect roughness - fixing this was a scientific accuracy concern.
Issues or no, this is the kind of information I love to get. It's all very interesting, and I'd love to know more about the Stellar Forge.
 
There were some changes done which will have affected the geology in some certain circumstances. These were only done as otherwise it was producing terrain that would crash in some cases or have other bad bugs like being able to fly through the terrain. It would result in players being kicked to the main menu, so the issues had to be addressed.
Rocky ice planets were a prime example of some particular combinations of geological data causing rifts too sharp and severe for sensible physics data to be produced. Sometimes the rift would be so sharp, unfortunate sawtoothing artefacts would be produced.
There were cases where overlapping large craters were not being handled quite right, causing drops sheer enough to look wrong and also cause bad physics data again. Sometimes the crater would get filled with very incorrect roughness - fixing this was a scientific accuracy concern.
I can relate to this, as I have clipped inside of terrain on more than one occasion, so it is nice to hear that has been dealt with.

If you don't mind me asking, is it likely the terrain will continue to be modified on Rocky Ice worlds and metal worlds in the future, perhaps allowing for functional non-problematic versions of the spectacular terrain that we previously had?

(Don't get me wrong - there are still plenty of awesome planets out there, but some of the vistas we previously had can no longer be found - and the reasons you explain for that make a lot of sense, rather I'm just wondering if the current implementation is a hold-over until some of those other bugs are resolved)?

- - - Updated - - -

Issues or no, this is the kind of information I love to get. It's all very interesting, and I'd love to know more about the Stellar Forge.
Agreed! Stellar Forge is probably one of the most interesting aspects of Elite, and I would love to hear more about it (I'm sure many others would too). Sounds like a great subject for a live stream with Ed Lewis maybe? :)
 
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Good points :) I think there should be more variance in colour in general to be fair, maybe linking to actual surface mineral concentrations when it comes to collecting stuff in the SRV and possible future... surface mining? (give us some MB4s!)

And on review of my own videos, yes you are totally right, i stand corrected, that the colour shift to a base colour is present on some but not all planets and it largely depends on type and what the star in the system is doing the lighting. The green/blue baked words appear to be the worse offenders, were as the browner ones appear less prone.. at least in what i saw.

Agree with you completely that some of the geometry fixes, while some are welcome because they were obviously bugs, some of the pretty ones are kinda unfortunately fixed.

While on the subject, while nothing on a planetary surface is ever flat, i do kinda always get the impressions that when there are hills and plateaus that all said plateaus appear to be at exactly the same height, as though there high map doesn't have enough bit depth?

Still... any more optimizations coming for 2.3 ? the performance increase for 2.1 and 2.2 was great.
 
The reason for the difference being observed on the rocky worlds is the change to the new material system - in theory this is more accurate as it uses the chemical properties to determine the colour (obviously I'm simplifying a bit here!), however the problem is that those colours were based on Earth standard colouration for those materials, and most of those are beige/brown rather than the colours you might observe in the myriad of other possible conditions.
Was wondering if both of the above were true. Thrilled about the first! And also that you guys are working to correct the 2nd, not least because it hints at the possible depth of colors available with chemical reactions and weathering effects of atmospheres whenever they're released :D

Does this mean that we can hope for an accurately grey Mercury when the fix is issued?
 
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