3.3 Exploration Tools - still need a little spit & polish

This isn't a big game-changing thing, nor is it a single bug that would be better suited to the Issue Tracker.

I really feel the exploration tools need another close pass just to sand off the large number of issues and rough edges that still make that particular area of the game feel a bit unfinished.
  • Excessive queues of object discovery popups from individual asteroid clusters.
  • Codex discovery popups being suppressed by object discovery popups.
  • Body type being hidden by popups on the discovery screen.
  • Bodies appearing with scan overlays when they haven't been scanned (still happening).
  • Planet info not always appearing on the body discovery screen.
  • Long delays on resolving geological signals.
  • Geological/biological signals listed on discovery screen but not listed on system map view.
  • Terraformable status listed on system map view but not listed on discovery screen.
  • Junk text appearing when finding new traits in anomalies, etc.
  • Wrong images occasionally appearing for Codex entries.
  • You can't skip through the materials list on the discovery screen, you have to wait ages for it to cycle itself
  • Etc.
I'm not suggesting changing the way anything works. I really like it as it is. It just needs a serious tidy-up, especially since these tools are almost the entirety of gameplay while out in the black.
 
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  • Long delays on resolving geological signals.
This is particularly irritating - I play on 2 different machines - the time taken to resolve seems to depend on the pc - 30sec's for geology on the big pc, as long as 1 minute per body on the laptop - it sometimes takes 20-30 minutes to scan a full system on the FSS - this sucks as I can make only slow progress in a session of 1-2 hours. On the other machine I can make much faster (albeit frustrating) progress.

Now as I scan it's "oh no!, a planet with geology" - surely this is not the idea?

The rest is also annoying but less impactful.. still untidy.
 
This is particularly irritating - I play on 2 different machines - the time taken to resolve seems to depend on the pc - 30sec's for geology on the big pc, as long as 1 minute per body on the laptop - it sometimes takes 20-30 minutes to scan a full system on the FSS - this sucks as I can make only slow progress in a session of 1-2 hours. On the other machine I can make much faster (albeit frustrating) progress.

Now as I scan it's "oh no!, a planet with geology" - surely this is not the idea?

The rest is also annoying but less impactful.. still untidy.
That seems to suggest the computer is actually calculating something to determine how many signals should be on the panet (working out tectonic plates or something, maybe?). That would at least explain why it happens.

But it could at least indicate what is there while it's still working out the numbers.
 
This is particularly irritating - I play on 2 different machines - the time taken to resolve seems to depend on the pc - 30sec's for geology on the big pc, as long as 1 minute per body on the laptop - it sometimes takes 20-30 minutes to scan a full system on the FSS - this sucks as I can make only slow progress in a session of 1-2 hours. On the other machine I can make much faster (albeit frustrating) progress.

Now as I scan it's "oh no!, a planet with geology" - surely this is not the idea?

The rest is also annoying but less impactful.. still untidy.
This drives me up the wall. And to be honest, here is what I don't get...

To date, I've never seen two different types of geological sites on the same planet. If they do exist, please correct me! Same goes for biological signals. I've never seen brain trees and mounds, as an example.

So riddle me this...if there is only ever ONE type of geological signal and ONE type of biological signal...does the count even matter? Surface scan shows me its location, so it's not like a higher count increases chance of finding it. What's the point of the count? Does it inform that there might be more variation in the surface...which is useful to, ummm...

Base Jumpers and Photographers?

I'm not a programmer, full disclosure, but may I suggest this:

If Biological Signals Present, display: "Biological Signals Detected"
If Geological Signals Present, display: "Geological Signals Detected"
etc...

Literally a binary display code. No calculations. Did stellar forge include a signal on this planet: yes/no. Because the planet isn't be rendered during FSS (I certainly hope not, that'd be a bit silly)...so the only calculation I assume is taking place is it has to figure out how many signals spawned based on stellar forge, when all it really needs to do is tell us IF they spawned.
 
This drives me up the wall. And to be honest, here is what I don't get...

To date, I've never seen two different types of geological sites on the same planet. If they do exist, please correct me! Same goes for biological signals. I've never seen brain trees and mounds, as an example.

So riddle me this...if there is only ever ONE type of geological signal and ONE type of biological signal...does the count even matter? Surface scan shows me its location, so it's not like a higher count increases chance of finding it. What's the point of the count? Does it inform that there might be more variation in the surface...which is useful to, ummm...

Base Jumpers and Photographers?

I'm not a programmer, full disclosure, but may I suggest this:

If Biological Signals Present, display: "Biological Signals Detected"
If Geological Signals Present, display: "Geological Signals Detected"
etc...

Literally a binary display code. No calculations. Did stellar forge include a signal on this planet: yes/no. Because the planet isn't be rendered during FSS (I certainly hope not, that'd be a bit silly)...so the only calculation I assume is taking place is it has to figure out how many signals spawned based on stellar forge, when all it really needs to do is tell us IF they spawned.
I believe you can get different types of volcanism on one planet. I could be mis-remembering, but back when 3.3 came out, I spent quite a bit of time exploring volcanic sites and definitely seem to recall finding, say, sulphur dioxide vents on planets with iron magma vents.

But that doesn't preclude anything else you said. I also don't see why it can't immediately come up with something like the following while it's crunching the numbers:

Biological (5)
Geological (scanning...)
 
I believe you can get different types of volcanism on one planet. I could be mis-remembering, but back when 3.3 came out, I spent quite a bit of time exploring volcanic sites and definitely seem to recall finding, say, sulphur dioxide vents on planets with iron magma vents.

But that doesn't preclude anything else you said. I also don't see why it can't immediately come up with something like the following while it's crunching the numbers:

Biological (5)
Geological (scanning...)
Indeed, instead of waiting on a 'final report'.

Still...even with multiple types of signals on the same planet, the binary approach could work: you just have to decide if it is worth investigating, as normal. I've landed on hundreds of 50+ signal planets...and not seen but one type, so the signal count literally means nothing to me in its current form. Now, I'd like the FSS to tell me if multiple types are present. That'd be handy. Too easy, but the system is what it is already...

So now we've got 'If signal present, N+1. This leads to "Geological Signal Present: N" where N is the number of signal types that registered as +1, which was based on the original binary present/not present. Still no rendering involved theoretically.
 
It would help if the UI differentiated between locations you've visited and those you haven't. I've seen over 40 locations on a planet and the only way to track where you've been is with a pencil and paper.
 
If it gets to the stage where FDEV say, there that's finished we no longer need to improve it, that will be a sad day. Even stuff that looks and works really good now can still be improved, of course there are areas that need immediate attention, exploration and the exploration tools is one.

It would help if the UI differentiated between locations you've visited and those you haven't. I've seen over 40 locations on a planet and the only way to track where you've been is with a pencil and paper.
You could start at 1 and work your way up ;)
 
I'm not suggesting changing the way anything works. I really like it as it is. It just needs a serious tidy-up, especially since these tools are almost the entirety of gameplay while out in the black.
So refreshing to see a FSS thread that isn't an argument to scrap the whole thing. I absolutely hated, despised, really was annoyed by the FSS mechanics when i was new to the game ~3 months ago. I've gotten a lot more used to it now, and completely support your ideas to tidy it up.

I have poetry, it just works in an ordered and rational way! 🍻
I can drink to that. 🍺
 
This isn't a big game-changing thing, nor is it a single bug that would be better suited to the Issue Tracker.

I really feel the exploration tools need another close pass just to sand off the large number of issues and rough edges that still make that particular area of the game feel a bit unfinished.
  • Excessive queues of object discovery popups from individual asteroid clusters.
  • Codex discovery popups being suppressed by object discovery popups.
  • Body type being hidden by popups on the discovery screen.
  • Bodies appearing with scan overlays when they haven't been scanned (still happening).
  • Planet info not always appearing on the body discovery screen.
  • Long delays on resolving geological signals.
  • Geological/biological signals listed on discovery screen but not listed on system map view.
  • Terraformable status listed on system map view but not listed on discovery screen.
  • Junk text appearing when finding new traits in anomalies, etc.
  • Wrong images occasionally appearing for Codex entries.
  • You can't skip through the materials list on the discovery screen, you have to wait ages for it to cycle itself
  • Etc.
I'm not suggesting changing the way anything works. I really like it as it is. It just needs a serious tidy-up, especially since these tools are almost the entirety of gameplay while out in the black.
I like these ideas. All good.

As for the amount of time the FSS takes to tell you what POI is on the planet, I would make it so it just tells you the type and then you get the number from using the DSS probes. That should speed up the FSS as it isn't having to find out how many there are, just the basic type.

I would also prefer it that after the FSS scan, the info panel for the planets only tell you it has geological activity but not the type. It should just list the POI types it has detected, such as geological, biological, technological etc. Again that should be left to the DSS probes to tell you the exact geological structures ar eon there.
 
Oh, I'll also add to the above list:

Annoying "FSS failed" popup persisting too long and hiding planet info for several seconds.

Especially happens if you're quickly clicking through bodies while glancing at the surface signals.
 
Return back the ADS ... at least partially.
If I could identify all USS on honk it would be GREAT.

I can understand if detailed body identification would still require FSS.
 
All very good improvements; +1 behind it all. Although most have been raised many many times already.

My vote is also to the FSS only showing the types of POI, leaving the numbers to the Surface Probes.

The FSS UI itself, as mentioned, needs cleaning up. On the whole I really like it but the various bits of missing polish do grate after a while. I'd also change the information overlay bits so they don't zoom in/out with the actual scan.
 
It has been noted before that how long the POI scan takes is tied to the frame rate. So if your machine is capable of running the FSS on 300 FPS, it'll be done faster than if you're on 60 FPS, or even lower.

That said, yes, the FSS and all could use plenty more polish and QoL features as well. OP made a good list, but it could be done even better - and this isn't touching on VR yet.
 
This is particularly irritating - I play on 2 different machines - the time taken to resolve seems to depend on the pc - 30sec's for geology on the big pc, as long as 1 minute per body on the laptop - it sometimes takes 20-30 minutes to scan a full system on the FSS - this sucks as I can make only slow progress in a session of 1-2 hours. On the other machine I can make much faster (albeit frustrating) progress.

Now as I scan it's "oh no!, a planet with geology" - surely this is not the idea?

The rest is also annoying but less impactful.. still untidy.
Can you post your computer spec? On both Laptop and PC? Is one wireless while the other connected to the Modem?
 
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