Distant Worlds 2 - A Journey of Discovery





EXPEDITIONARY ROUTE & ITINERARY
LINK

AN INSIGHT INTO PLANNING DW2
LINK

ORIGINAL EXPEDITION & CG PROPOSAL
LINK




The Road to Launch (archived news updates):

2017 - October : Erimus Kamzel meets DW1 participants at Frontier EXPO. Ideas for a DW2 are discussed.
2017 - October : DW2 Announcement (Link).
2018 - January : Original Expedition Proposal and Community Feedback Discussion (Link).
2018 - January : Partial Distant Worlds 3302 Organisation team reassembled (~12 members).
2018 - January : Geology, Science Project, Trans-Galactic Metallicity Survey, MediCorp, and Fleet Logistics Projects added to DW2.
2018 - February : Fleet Roster Sign-Ups open (Link).
2018 - February : 1,000 Commanders signed up.
2018 - March : The Tour Guide Project added
2018 - April : DW2 Route Scouting Event opens (Link).
2018 - April : 2,000 Commanders signed up.
2018 - August : The Glowing Green Giant Survey added.
2018 - September : DW2 Route Scouting Event ends.
2018 - September : DW2 Website Launched (Link).
2018 - September : Organisation team expands to 30 members.
2018 - October : Distant Worlds Starfleet is officially commissioned to construct the Galactic Core Starport during DW2 (as outlined in January's CG proposals).
2018 - October : Industrial-based Projects added to DW2 (via Mining-based Community Goals).
2018 - October : 3,000 Commanders signed up.
2018 - October : DW2 ED:RPG Campaign added.
2018 - October : Fleet Mechanics Role added.
2018 - October : Expeditionary Route scouted to Beagle Point, and Waypoints selected.
2018 - October : Expedition Overview Thread posted (Link).
2018 - November : DW2 Promotional Video released (Link).
2018 - November : Distant Radio 3305 launched (Link).
2018 - November : Organisation team expands to 42 members (Link).
2018 - December : Community Goal Introduction Thread posted (Link).
2018 - December : Discoveries Submission Framework Thread posted (Link).
2018 - December : Launch Date announced (Link).
2018 - December : 4,000 Commanders signed up.
2018 - December : Preparation Week Thread posted (Link).
2018 - December : FleetComm Discord DW2 channels opened.
2018 - December : Outbound route reduced to 12 Waypoints (Link).
2018 - December : 5,000 Commanders signed up.
2019 - January : Expedition Squadron applications open.
2019 - January : 6,000 Commanders signed up.
2019 - January : 7,000 Commanders signed up.
2019 - January : 8,000 Commanders signed up.
2019 - January : 9,000 Commanders signed up.
2019 - January : 10,000 Commanders signed up.
2019 - January : 11,000 Commanders signed up.
2019 - January : 12,000 Commanders signed up.
2019 - January : 13,600 Commanders signed up.
2019 - January : Expedition Launch from Pallaeni (Link).






DISTANT WORLDS 2 - A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY
EXPEDITION OVERVIEW AND PROJECT SYNOPSIS




Logo by Qohen Leth (original concept by Hi-Ban) with assets borrowed from Frontier Developments PLC
Animated by Placyde





Introduction
(updated June 2019 with post-event emphasis)


"Distant Worlds 2 was a six-month expedition to the far outer rim that culminated at Beagle Point. It launched from Pallaeni, a frontier system, on January 14th 2019, and ended at its final waypoint (Beagle Point) during May and June 2019. Its mission statement was to take thousands of CMDRs on a journey of discovery, to see what mysteries the galaxy contains, and to construct a starport at Sagittarius A* (via two mining-based community goals).

For those new to mass expedition events, the basic premise was as follows; Fleet members would travel the route either alone, with friends, or in wings, and would regroup at designated waypoints along the journey. Those waypoint gatherings began on a Friday and ended on a Sunday with a fleet launch event. There were 15 waypoints to visit along the designated route.

Over a 'Waypoint Weekend' there were all sorts of events and projects to take part in. Participation in events and projects was 100% voluntary. What was new to all players on this particular mass expedition was its focus on Discovery - the journey to each waypoint being ts own mini expedition, with the goal being for people to see if they could uncover any of the anomalies and mysteries of the galaxy, and submit them for the sake of the whole expedition".
- Erimus Kamzel (DW Project Leader).


Expedition Ethos

The expedition is composed of several thousand commanders, and therefore several thousand play-styles. The goal of the organisers is to accommodate as many play-styles as possible. The general ethos is one of freedom and diversity, but within a cohesive structure that is geared toward keeping the expedition on schedule and primarily aimed at its social events throughout its duration. Participants are able to take part to whatever extent they like, as there will be plenty of activities and goals on offer for you to experience along the way.

In order to keep the fleet as a fleet, and the expedition as an expedition, efforts will be made to keep things structured. Stage Maps will only be revealed when it was time to explore them, and CMDRs who rush on ahead will be removing themselves from the fleet, and therefore this is highly discouraged as there will be no credit awarded for doing so. There will be plenty to do and see between waypoint meetups, and as such the organisers are requesting that players do not treat the journey as a buckyball race from waypoint to waypoint. For the amount of work that went into the pre-planning and route preparation, all we ask is that participants respect the guidelines that are set out.

Revealing the route in stages will also help encourage the emphasis of the DW2 expedition to lean toward a more thorough and slower-paced attitude to exploration and discovery during our journey into the new unknown.

The average waypoint to waypoint distance will be around 5,000 Light Years, therefore as a rough guide, a travel time requirement of around 2 hours spread over 5 days for a 45 LY ranged ship (the fleet average) is required. Two of the latter waypoints are in excess of 14,000 LYs apart, but these will be covered over a two-week journey time between them. This will be part of the Aphelion Mapping event.

The expedition is broken down into 4 distinct stages, with each stage taking on a different set of challenges and goals;

Stage 1: Laying the foundations for Galactic Core scientific studies, revisiting mysteries of the past, and trailblazing the new age of discovery.

This will take the fleet from the bubble, out to the near edge of the Conflux where our first mining-based community goal will take place. Once complete, we'll continue to explore the mysteries of the Conflux and visit some of the locations of lore. We'll be relatively close to some outposts so those new to long distance events will have ample opportunity to regularly cash in their exploration data, stop for repairs, and have a chance to refit or rethink their ships and loadouts before the expedition turns coreward and leaves all remnants of human infrastructure far behind.

Stage 2: Building the Galactic Core Starport and discovering secrets at the heart of the galaxy.

Stage 2 will offer new challenges as we begin to leave the last human outposts far behind, in addition some of the optional points of interest along the Stage 2 route may be in locations requiring large jump ranges, and/or the use of neutron boosts if you want to visit them!

The main goal of this stage though will be to complete the 2nd phase of the community goal at the very heart of the galaxy, after which the fleet will continue to explore the core, and gradually make its way out toward the far side, visiting at least three more waypoints beyond Sag-A* before we begin stage 3.

Fleet attrition will most likely begin to bite during this stage, as was the case with DW1, many commanders see Sagittarius A* as an adequate goal in which to call it a day - and this is perfectly fine - DW2 will be no different!

Stage 3: Mapping the Aphelion.

This stage will test the endurance of even the most die hard explorers in the fleet. The Aphelion regions are a vast stretch of the galaxy that little is known about, with few points of interest to break up the monotony of the hyperspace grind. It is here were fleet attrition will be at its highest. The mapping event is designed to give participants goals to achieve, as well as providing a wealth of new information and interesting POIs for the Galactic Mapping Project - a goal that will benefit explorers and expeditions that traverse this region long after DW2 is over. A successful mapping event of the Aphelion will be one of DW2's lasting legacies.

Stage 3 will be one of the longest stretches between waypoints, in excess of 12,000 LYs between meetups, but players will have a longer time period to travel the distances required... 2 weeks between the scheduled waypoint meetups.

Stage 4: A journey across the Abyss... and beyond.

The final stage of DW2 will begin around 13,000 LYs from our final goal (similar to how the final leg was structured on DW1), and it will include our journey out of the Aphelion, across the Abyss, and on to the far outer rim where Beagle Point is located.

As was the case on DW1, stage 4 is the longest and loneliest stretch by design, as unlike the earlier part of the journey that encouraged social interaction and meetups along the way, this final part is something we try to encourage commanders to do at their own pace, often alone, and with no pressure to rush to meet a WP deadline. This is to try and recapture the feelings of solitude and remoteness that the first lone pioneers out here experienced during the early days of deep space exploration. The expedition officially ends for you, the participant, the moment you reach Beagle Point and post your arrival date, roster number, to the arrivals thread (that thread will be published around the last week of April).

It is expected that the remaining fleet members will be stretched out across tens of thousand of light years by the time the trailblazers reach the Abyss, and for this reason we will set a very flexible timescale for participants to reach the final waypoint system (Beagle Point) in order to be officially recognized as completing the expedition. The preliminary cut off date for participants to post their arrival information to the arrivals thread will be around mid-June - possibly the 6 month anniversary from our departure from Pallaeni.


Project Synopsis

The expedition encompassed a myriad of gameplay activities, with many of these coming from a variety of role-based projects. Choosing one role over another did not prevent players from taking part in any event or project during DW2 as many of the projects overlapped in certain aspects, and were written in a way that facilitated cooperation.

These projects fell under the following categories;
  • Discovery & Exploration - the heart of the expedition
  • Industry - the construction of a science station in the galactic core region
  • Mining - spearheading Deep Space Mining through the procurement of metals and minerals
  • Science - studying the galaxy and its mysteries
  • Tourism - share the experience, offering a seat in your cockpits to pilots in the Bubble
  • Cartography - the ongoing project to map the galaxy
  • Logistics - offering a mixture of roleplay and practical gameplay
  • Roleplay & Events - a chance to take part in an evolving story as well as blow off steam with some basecamp shenanigans




DISCOVERY & EXPLORATION
"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." ― T.S. Eliot


  • Distant Worlds 2 will pioneer the new mechanics of discovery via the new scanner mechanics and the codex.
  • The theme of the expedition, and goal of the role of the Exploration role, is to discover as much as we can while journeying to Beagle Point, and this will require exploring the space in between.
  • Explorers will be contributing to the expedition in many ways, from finding the mysteries of the galaxy for thousands of CMDRs to see, gather at, and study, to increasing the knowledge of humanity via the Codex, as follows:
  • The Codex has ‘Rumoured’, ‘Reported’ and ‘Discovered’ states;
  • Rumoured - If an item is listed as rumoured that means there is a possibility of finding it within that region.
  • Reported - When a Commander finds the rumoured item in question and scans it, it then shows up as ‘reported’ in the Codex, and update everyone’s Codex along with their name.
  • If you then find it, and scan it, that will then become ‘Discovered’ in your Codex.
  • The Codex has been filled with ‘rumoured’ discoveries in each region to give you an initial breadcrumb trail to follow.
  • Explorers will also be able to specialise, and receive missions and goals from many other departments such as the Science and Geology departments
  • Starting out from each basecamp launch event, A Journey of Discovery will be led by the Exploration Team as the fleet traverses the route to the next waypoint gathering.
  • The Exploration Team’s goals are to:
    • Help the exploration and discoveries flourish with structure
    • Provide ways of submitting discoveries and publicising them along with the discoverer
    • Organise events, such as creating missions to look for certain things or in certain locations
    • Help everyone with everything exploration related - you name it
    • Connect the findings and discoveries to all other roles and departments in the fleet.
  • Discussion and Coordination : FleetComm Discord [#dw2-discoveries-submission]




INDUSTRY
"Sagittarius A* at the heart of the Milky Way is the only supermassive black hole the human race has access to. Situated approximately 23,000 light years away, these days it is well within commute range of the scientific community. Close up scientific study of the supermassive black hole is an opportunity that humanity is about to embrace.

The deployment of a science station in a system close to Sagittarius-A* will be an endeavor that the Distant Worlds fleet is proud to be at the forefront of. A new Age of Discovery out in the depths is about to begin, and this is your chance to be a part of this historical chapter of human endeavor and tenacity at pushing back the boundaries. The station will further science and act as a relay station for the discoveries dawning with the Age of Discovery."




The industrial aspect to Distant Worlds 2 will call upon the galactic community to help gather the materials to be used in the construction of the science station in the galactic core region, and again to help outfit the station once its deployed.

  • This will come in the form of two mining-based Community Goals. One at Waypoint 2, and one in the Galactic Core itself at Waypoint 7.
  • Successful completion of the second stage will see the deployment of a new Starport in a system neighboring Sagittarius A*.
  • Upon completion of the station, the DW2 fleet will depart the galactic core and continue its journey along the expeditionary route.
  • Discussion and Coordination : FleetComm Discord [#dw2-community-goals]
  • More details can be viewed here : Link
The Rock Rats will be organising and assisting with the industrial projects.





MINING
“Wherever he saw a hole he always wanted to know the depth of it. To him this was important.” ― Jules Verne, Journey to the Center of the Earth



The Mining Department expects to spearhead Deep Space Mining through the procurement of metals and minerals, attainable only through the mining and refining of asteroids, throughout DW2.

Mining Ops will begin with immediate effect. The department will be responsible for the organising and distributing of assets to maximise efficiency in an effort to provide the best possible foundation for a successful expedition launch. This will entail:
  • Encouragement and organisation of wing mining
  • Providing help and direction through our own knowledge and experience
  • Utilise resources for obtaining accurate Pristine locations and Resource Extraction Sites etc.
  • In the spirit of Discovery, if there's anything to be found in the rings, we'll find 'em!
Further into the expedition, equipment and all, the Mining Dept. will be hoping to work heavily on the system data collected by the Exploration and Science Teams as well as their own discoveries. The Mining Dept. will use this opportunity to display an abundance of grit and determination, setting a high bar in service and encumbered exploration. This data will be crucial to the organisation and scheduling of any potential mining opportunities at WP pauses. Mining Ops would require:
  • Any systems discovered that include Rocky/Icy/Metal Rich/Metallic Asteroid Belts
  • Any systems that include Icy/Metallic Belt Clusters
During any procurement periods, the Mining Dept. would like to offer its services in the ability to aid both Fleet Mechanics and Cmdrs with the acquisition of basic synthesis materials which can be used to replenish:
  • Limpets
  • SRV; Refuel, Repair, Rearm
  • AFM Refill
Finally, the Mining Dept. in addition to their prospecting arsenal, will be using this opportunity to figurehead the new mining technology by incorporating the latest releases in mining ingenuity to their vessel. The Mining Operations will lead the way for all to see in flying the flag for Deep Space Mining during the Distant Worlds 2 Expedition.

Project lead: Polish Dan, head of the Intergalactic Mining Union - iMU Discord





SCIENCE
"No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess." ― Isaac Newton


  • Joining the Trans-Galactic Metallicity Survey provides an opportunity for participants to perform real science during the expedition, advancing our understanding of how the Stellar Forge works and how the map of the galaxy it produces matches or differs from real world observation.
  • The method of data collection has been tweaked to eliminate needless procedure and minimize the amount of manual record keeping required.
  • This project will be headed up by Satsuma.
  • Discussion and Coordination : FleetComm Discord [#dw2-scientists]
  • Project Details : Link

  • The Geology department is devoted to the study of all unique features that can be found on the surface of airless worlds.
  • Working hand-in-hand with the Explorers, we seek out volcanic activity, organic life forms, unusual terrain formations, and other mysterious things for further investigation.
  • By signing up as a Geologist, you will be helping to locate and survey sites of interest on planet surfaces (Horizons required). Duties include gathering scan data, images, and notes about geological features and organic life forms, for input into a catalog of DW2 discoveries.
  • Working with the Resource Acquisition Team and Scientists, our data will be analyzed for the purposes of material gathering and enhancing the scientific understanding of our galaxy. Scenic views will be featured in DW2 publications, and events and games will be planned at some of the most unique locations found.
  • This project will be headed up by MadRaptor.
  • Discussion and Coordination : FleetComm Discord [#dw2-geology-and-organics]
  • Project Details : Link

  • This will be in association with Sapyx’s project to locate and catalogue Gas Giants that display glowing or fluorescent atmospheres.
  • These worlds are particularly rare and will offer exploration wings within the fleet an opportunity to set up field trips to seek out these mysterious worlds for the GGG Project.
  • Discussion and Coordination : FleetComm Discord [#dw2-discoveries-submission]
  • Project Details : Link




TOURISM
“Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space” - Douglas Adams


  • On Distant Worlds 2 we’re yet again pushing the boundaries of human expansion, and diving even further into unexplored space – but this time everyone can be a part of this push.
  • To make this historic event as attainable as possible to as many people as possible, we at the Galactic Travel Agency have committed to opening our ships to all who wishes to come aboard. Our goal is simple and precise; to democratize exploration!
  • Sign up to become a Galactic Travel Agent, providing a service to the CMDRs in the Bubble for whom the act of spending months out in the black, away from responsibilities, family, friends and civilization is simply too big a sacrifice to make.
  • This project will be headed up by Kolato.
  • Discussion and Coordination : FleetComm Discord [#galactic-travel-agency]
  • Project Details : Link




CARTOGRAPHY
“Maps codify the miracle of existence.” ― Nicholas Crane


  • This will be held in conjunction with the Galactic Mapping Project.
  • The Boreas Expanse is a region beyond the Perseus Stem; vast, but of which little is known in terms of community-submitted points of interest.
  • The GMP would like to add more POIs to the community maps for this region, and as such the DW2 fleet will pass through its heart en-route to the Abyss.
  • This is an opportunity for explorers to seek out interesting places and submit them to the mapping project as candidate POI locations.
  • This project will be headed up by The Galactic Mapping Team.
  • Discussion and Coordination : FleetComm Discord [#galactic-mapping]
  • Project Details : Will be posted once the Fleet reaches Waypoint 10 (circa April 2019).

  • During the expedition, the best screenshot submissions will be highlighted in the weekly DW2 newsletter.
  • Photo Sharing : FleetComm Discord
  • Submission Thread : Link




LOGISTICS
“The line between disorder and order lies in logistics.” – Sun Tzu


  • Fleet Logistics is a semi-roleplayed / semi-practical project.
  • There are two aspects to this idea. Supply and Trade. Supply will carry food equivalent to the amount required to support a fleet of this size as it journeys into the black. Traders will carry various rare commodities for use in celebrations, or to trade with non-human settlements we may encounter.
  • The Logistics Department and role will handle other logistical matters such as winging people in to instances and more.
  • This project will be organized by Olivia Vespera and the Fleet Logistics Team.
  • Discussion and Coordination : DW2 Logistics Discord
  • Project Details : Link

  • Introducing an all new role for DW2: Discovery - the Fleet Mechanic Arm will be on hand to repair ships after mishaps.
  • The original expedition in 3302 saw pilots taking damage from collisions, asteroid impacts, landing damage and an abundance of enthusiasm with high-gravity planets. And now the risks are even greater with explosive mining, a larger fleet, and more.
  • Before, pilots with hull and canopy damage were doomed to spend the rest of the expedition flying cautiously; this time around, the Fleet Mechanic Arm will be there as the pilots to hold the fleet together.
  • Find us amongst the fleet, at basecamps, or if things are desperate, via our emergency channel.
  • Organised Fleet Mechanic assignments will be coordinated by Alex Brentnall.
  • Discussion and Coordination : FleetComm Discord [#dw2-fleet-mechanics]
  • Project Details : Link




ROLEPLAY AND EVENTS
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." – James Howell's proverbs


  • DW2 ED:RPG is a role playing game based in the Elite Dangerous universe. Join us as the players work on the Puzzle of the Crystalline Keys and make a shocking discovery during the expeditions journey across the galaxy. (Emma Storm story arc - Outbound).
  • The DW2 Role Play team will also help coordinate and facilitate, as well as act as a hub for any and all role play events associated with Distant Worlds. Please be in touch if you have any proposals.
  • This project will be headed up by Wishblend.
  • Discussion and Coordination : FleetComm Discord [#dw2-roleplay]
  • Project Details : Link
Basecamp Events
  • SRV Tag Extreme
  • Whack-a-Rat
  • SRV Canyon Races
  • Fighter Races
  • Sanctioned Fighter Dog-Fighting Events
  • SRV Mountain Climbing
  • SRV Destruction Derby (reserved for journey's end)
  • Skeet Shooting
  • Sanctioned Basecamp Air Shows
  • Buckyball Races (between designated galactic POIs)
  • Much more!



Expeditions, what are they and how do they work?
- for those new to Elite Dangerous and/or Deep Space Events


The basic premise behind an expeditionary event is to provide a set of waypoint locations along a pre-defined route, present an itinerary and schedule, and provide a framework for events and activities for participants to get involved in at those waypoint meetups.

Waypoints are the gathering points, usually set several thousand light years apart, and often at iconic or interesting locations along the route. It is at these waypoints where the bulk of the participants taking part meet up (usually once per week), as travelling an expeditionary route is on the main a solo or wing pursuit (due to the differing timezones involved or the amount of gametime participants have to commit).

Key Aspects

There are several key aspects to make an expedition work in a structured and cohesive manner.
  • Objectives
  • Pacing
  • Trust
The objective of an expedition is to take a group of players on a journey of exploration out into the depths. The objectives need to capture the imagination, as well as provide enough gameplay activity for participants to get involved in because such events commit players to spending a considerable part of their gametime far from the inhabited parts of the galaxy.

Pacing is a key aspect in so far it has to be set at something that the majority of participants are comfortable with, as well as allowing enough time for them to actually explore or take part in any events or projects associated with that expedition. With current gameplay mechanics, around 4,500 LYs to 6,500 LYs between weekly waypoint meetups seems to be the norm.

Trust is the fundamental aspect on which all expeditions work. Without trust among its participants, the social aspects that binds the expedition together and makes the weekly waypoint meetups, events, and projects work, unfortunately breaks down - and it doesn't take much for this to happen. Trust is therefore paramount, and that is why all 40 major expeditions since DW1 have been wholly focused on taking place in Private Groups, as PGs are the only mode where trust can be encouraged via specific PG rules - with consequences of expulsion from the expedition for breaking those rules. DW2 will be no different in this respect and will be focused on PG mode gameplay. The organisers and PG owners can take no responsibly for what occurs in Open Play, and those that use Open must accept all the consequences that occur there.

PG vs Open Play

Unfortunately there are many pitfalls when trying to be inclusive to everything and everyone on an expedition, as some gameplay styles for events like this simply do not mix with the current game mechanics. The main one of these is that the game modes on offer are polar opposites in so far as one mode (Open Play) is a no rules 'wild west' environment, wholly suited to locations where players can easily get back on their feet after a setback during a PvP encounter, whereas the Private Group mode, which is advocating a purely PvE environment, has rules to adhere to precisely to prevent the kind of gameplay seen in Open which can quickly undermine the fundamental aspects of long distance & long duration events. There is no middle-ground in Elite Dangerous at the moment, and as a consequence this polarizes the community.

Deep space expeditions are a unique event in the world of Elite. They're unique in a sense that players taking part in them risk far more than any other play style in Elite, precisely because of the practicalities involved. An expedition commits a player to spending months of their gameplay far from any re-spawn points, and takes them to locations that can often be difficult to reach due to the jump distances involved (eg. DW2 will include several such locations along its route!). As such the emphasis is invariably put on jump range and exploration-based loadouts as to make participation viable for many commanders who have limited gametime to keep pace, or who want to visit some of the extremely hard to reach locations - something that only a purely stripped down exploration build is capable of reaching. This obviously puts explorers at a disadvantage if operating in Open Play mode, and as a consequence, organizers will always promote Private Group mode over any other mode when setting up events.

Deep space events are not like running the BGS or bubble-based missions, where death via PvP or NPC encounters can be overcome in minutes, and where the player can get back to doing what they were doing with little upheaval or fuss. Instead death during an encounter on an expedition far out in the depths of space not only means that player losing all the data they amassed along the way, but they're also reset back to a station that can be 10's of thousands of LYs away. Therefore it should come as no surprise that out of the 40 major expeditions in Elite Dangerous that have taken part to date, every single one of them have been primarily aimed at PG gameplay, as this is the only viable way to make them work as intended.

Why not create defensive roles?

The bottom line is that it is impossible to vette hundreds of players for such roles. Defenders and 'security' role gameplay is futile because you never truly know the motives of the players or groups who take those roles – it only takes a handful to betray their role and use it against those they're tasked to protect - and that alone instantly undermines the whole concept and destroys the trust. Additionally, as it stands, the game itself conspires against this kind of gameplay as it becomes incredibly time consuming and logistically frustrating trying to make it work effectively across many different instances. The role works on paper, but when its applied to any event that has trust as its key foundational aspect, it simply does not work at all because it can be so easily manipulated and undermined.

It is an unfortunate fact that until Elite Dangerous has more adequate tools to utilize that will protect the integrity and cohesion of player created events, expeditions like DW2 will always be primarily aimed at those playing in PGs, since PGs are the only means in which organizers can impose strict PvE rules to adhere to, and although not 100% safe, PGs at least give that trust between its participants a chance to flourish. Therefore we encourage participants signing up to DW2 to consider one of the PGs, or starting one of their own, to be their prime mode of play during the journey we're about to embark on.

Fly safe commanders o7.





Primary contacts:
Erimus Kamzel - Dr. Kaii




Distant Worlds on Wiki
 
This is the unabridged and out of character version of the article I was asked to write for Sagittarius Eye magazine (issue #22 contains the in-character version).


Distant Worlds 2 - Laying foundations for a great adventure, and creating its lasting legacy...

An insight in to how the early plans of the Distant Worlds 2 Expedition were formed, what motivated them, and how they were eventually implemented.

By Erimus Kamzel (DW2 Project Leader)





The first early plans for a new Distant Worlds expedition began during the Frontier EXPO event in October 2017. I remember meeting a lot of fellow explorers there, some of which had been participants on the Distant Worlds 3302 expedition (DW1), and who still talked fondly of that journey and were keen to know when the next DW event would take place.

At the EXPO, Frontier announced their plans for ‘Chapter 3’ of Elite Dangerous, and attendees got to chat to the Game Developers about some of the interesting new ideas and gameplay content that was in the works, all scheduled for the next series of major updates set to be released throughout 2018. Among other things, Mining was to be given a whole new lease of life with some innovative and explosive gameplay mechanics, Fleet Carriers were announced, along with Squadron options, revamped Ice Worlds were being promised, and to top it all off, explorers would have a reworked exploration mechanic, including planetary mapping, and a whole Codex full of new content seeded throughout the galaxy to discover.

Although not all of the content made it into the Chapter 3 release, this was the kind of excitement that we had been waiting for before announcing a followup to DW1, and coupled with the lingering enthusiasm that the original DW event still had amongst those who experienced it, I felt the timing was right to start seriously thinking about its sequel.

Additionally, I felt that a new Distant Worlds event needed a background narrative to play against, and be more inclusive to different playstyles via various fleet roles, as this would appeal to a wider scope of players. Back during DW1 we semi-roleplayed this as creating the first Jumponium highway across the galaxy, and loosely based the practical reasons of why we were embarking on such a trek, as being to seek out Jumponium-rich systems from Pallaeni to Beagle Point for the Galactic Mapping Project. This provided reasons for ‘prospectors’ to take part on DW1, which ultimately encouraged emergent gameplay ideas and lead to the birth of the Rock Rats player group.

For DW2, another trek across the galaxy needed to have a different reason for us to go again - and this time something with a lasting in-game legacy along with a narrative that participants could invest themselves into - something they could look back on and feel a sense of achievement and pride for being part of this grand adventure. So a journey to seek out unique anomalies and content for the Codex, and the building of something out there in the depths, far from home, would give DW2 just that - both its narrative and its lasting in-game legacy.



A Stellar Phenomena (Codex content) discovered near Waypoint 2. Astrophotography by Erimus Kamzel.


In addition, an important aspect to deep space expedition events, are roles that players can take on. A variety of roles flesh out an event and open it up to being a multidimensional undertaking that caters for many different playstyles. Roles keep players invested in their journey via the social interaction and cooperation they’re built around. Those are core aspects of what Distant Worlds is all about - the diversity, the social interplay, teamwork, and emergent gameplay.

One such role that often cropped up in discussions was that of the ‘Miner’, and how it could somehow play a part that had a direct influence on the expeditionary goals (similar to how prospecting flourished on DW1). And with the upcoming mining updates, I was keen to incorporate this if at all possible, as not only would mining itself be an exciting revamped mechanic to utilize and experience far out in the depths of space at some of the galaxies most iconic locations, but it would also open the event up to incorporate all sorts of peripheral gameplay associated with it; such as transport roles and logistics via limpet supply, as well as facilitating a need for prospecting once again, and even the need for hull mechanics (since deep core blasting had an element of danger to it).

After returning home from EXPO 17 I began writing the first draft of DW2 - exploring ways in which, given the current features of Elite, and those scheduled for 2018, we could create practical reasons to include mining, prospecting, and logistical gameplay into a deep space event that had exploration and discovery at its core. I initially wrote two mining-based Community Goals for the expedition and shared the ideas with Dr. Kaii and members of the Rock Rats player group (Eisen and Baroness Galaxy), for their comments and input, before opening the proposals up for community discussion in early 2018.

The first CG proposed that the fleet build a science station at Sagittarius A* via a mining CG, the second one was designed to round off the expedition by having the surviving fleet members help build an outpost on the surface of Beagle Point, planet 2, at journey's end. This latter CG had to be reworked as FDev indicated that they preferred not to have anything built as far away as Beagle Point, and eventually that CG became the Omega Mining event held at Waypoint 2 instead, and its focus was to extract the raw materials needed for construction of the Sag-A* starport.



Fleet Miners extracting the raw materials needed at the Omega Mining Community Goal (Waypoint 2). Astrophotography by CMDR Arzae.


Ideas for having an Industry-class megaship or Fleet Carrier (acting as the flagship and CG Hub) accompanying the fleet across the galaxy, one that would require ice-based material (extracted by fleet miners) to refuel it at certain locations during the trip, were unfortunately something FDev couldn’t implement at the time, so this idea had to be withdrawn from the original proposal.



An early concept idea for DW2 involved an Industrial-Class Megaship or Carrier accompanying the fleet across the galaxy.


With the CGs, we now had an event to pitch that not only catered to explorers, but also incorporated industry and logistics-based gameplay. Projects based on these aspects were discussed and gradually over a period of a few months in early 2018 the roles associated with those projects were ironed out.

Expedition organizers are always looking for ways in which to link up community created content and include as many gameplay features as possible, as these invariably make long duration journeys far more engaging as well as giving participants lots to get invested in when far from the Bubble. I was keen to incorporate as many community created projects and role-based events as possible.

In early 2018, approximately a year before launch, I invited several content creators to become part of the DW2 organisation team; Qohen Leth implemented the fleet roster and helped set up the registration process. This became integral in promoting DW2, as alongside the roster sign-up, we presented the defined fleet roles that players could take on, with each role including a synopsis of what they entailed. This helped sell the idea that DW2 was going to be something far more ambitious than the previous DW event had been. Mad Raptor came on board to oversee the expedition geology project, the Rock Rats and Polish Dan from the IMU were brought in to oversee prospecting, the CG goals, and mining. Satsuma was brought in to set up his Science project. Kolato was invited to create the Tour Guides, and Olivia Vespera set up the fleet logistics aspect of the expedition with Alex Brentnall implementing and overseeing the fleet mechanics role. To round it off, an element of roleplay was included, and this came via Wishblend, who implemented the DW2 ED:RPG campaign, with Karnath working on bringing aspects of the RP campaign into practical gameplay scenarios.

These would be some of the early team leaders that brought their ideas and creativity to DW2's planning throughout 2018, helping to flesh it out and compliment the community goals, the Codex discovery events, and the mapping projects that would make up the core of the expedition.

DW2 would now include multiple aspects and roles based upon exploration, geology, industry, science, and logistics. As a result we now had an ambitious event that appealed to a much wider spectrum of the playerbase. But we had no idea that almost 14,000 people would eventually sign up to take part!

In the Autumn of 2018, the proposals were discussed at some length with Frontier Developments, and eventually after some amendments and compromises, we had an event that FDev could work with us on, and one that would give the expedition a chance to pack as much new content, objectives, and teamwork, into it as possible, with a fully fleshed out journey ahead of us and all playing out against that background narrative of building a starport at the heart of the Milky Way - The Explorer's Anchorage - a lasting legacy of what the Distant Worlds Starfleet accomplished during its 5 month journey of discovery across the galaxy.



The Explorers Anchorage, orbiting a system neighboring Sagittarius A*. Constructed by the Distant Words 3305 Starfleet. Astrophotography by Erimus Kamzel.





To Frontier Developments,

We hope that the popularity and success of Distant Worlds 2 has given you some food for thought on how expeditionary events can capture the imagination of thousands of players interested in exploration, cooperation, and the social aspects that these large scale events pride themselves on. The social aspects of DW2 worked well because they catered to a variety of gameplay styles and encouraged players to take on some semi-specialised roles that complimented each other and fostered teamwork.

Revamped mechanics like Mining and Deep Core Blasting were a fantastic addition to the game, and via DW2’s CGs we were able to give miners and prospectors a reason to embark on this deep space journey. Without the CGs, there would have been very little practical reason to include them at all, but as we discovered, industry, logistics, and the resource-gathering based gameplay that was required to complete certain DW2 mission goals out in deep space, and all the peripheral roles associated with them, proved to be some of the most enjoyable and successful aspects of the entire DW2 experience.

We hope you recognise the merit in this, as if expeditionary events are to evolve and push the boundaries of gameplay, there needs to be actual in-game reasons to warrant the inclusion of mining, prospecting, and logistical gameplay on multiplayer events far from the Bubble. The introduction of Fleet Carriers and player-owned mobile megaships would be a step in the right direction for this as, if implemented with logistical support in mind, they would provide a wealth of gameplay options for expedition organisers.

Distant Worlds 2 captured people's imaginations because it offered a wealth of interesting projects and roles to get invested in, all playing out against a journey of discovery. No other event has done that to this degree before. 14,000 players signed up, 30 magazine articles promoted it to the gaming world, the New Scientist magazine wrote about it too, and just recently the Guinness Book of World Records have been in touch and are considering it for inclusion as being the largest ever player created event within the largest ever virtual gaming environment.

This all stems from the creativity of a handful of your playerbase, who had a few basic ideas born out of the EXPO 17 meetup and based upon a few new gameplay features, and turned it into to what it became. Imagine what can be achieved if your playerbase had a whole host of new tools and features to take it to the next level for Distant Worlds 3.


Maybe this too will be one of DW2’s lasting legacies - with Frontier Developments seeing what a community event can do - given the tools - and paving the way for future expeditionary events to become much more inclusive to a variety of gameplay features, and the roles that emerge from them. - Erimus Kamzel.






Distant Worlds 3 Speculation : Link
 

drkaii

Volunteer Moderator
Distant Worlds Official Squadrons:

How Squadrons will work on DW2:

Squadrons come with pros and cons for an expedition so large that it's worth explaining how we are going to use them. Given that not everyone is going to want to be in an official squadron for the expedition, and that there are too many people to fit into a single squadron anyway, we are having to make sure that nothing squadron-based is mandatory, or required in any way for the experience. That being said, squadron play is something that can add a lot to the expedition so we are indeed going to be making some official squadrons (listed below) across platforms and using them appropriately. Let me stress that nothing that is announced or shared in squadrons, in an official capacity, will be exclusively announced/shared there. Things will get announced in squadrons as well, and bookmarks will be shared, as well as all other squadron related funs.

We anticipate the squadrons will form their own sense of togetherness and friendships, their own personalities and may well even compete with one another, in-expedition and as part of the general squadrons competitions.

All of the squadrons below will only be for those taking part in the expedition, until the expedition is over. This will be monitored and CMDRs whose names are not found on the roster may be removed. Squad chat will be expected to be of a high standard, and we will retain the liberty to kick anyone from the squad without explanation if we find they are bringing the conversation down with vulgarity, distastefulness, or aggressiveness. We aren't going to be making any hard and fast rules, and each squad will likely develop its own norms, but we expect people to use their heads and be mindful of the fact that there are many hundreds of CMDRs looking for a pleasant, peaceful and enjoyable experience, and we, the organisers, are very committed to providing this to them, over all other considerations. Squad chats for all is restricted to English, unless specified differently below.


OFFICIAL SQUADRON LIST:

PC

FleetComm
[FCDW]
Custodian: Dr. Kaii
Custodians: Olivia Vespera, Kelanen Alcatraz, Zulu Romeo, AlexBrentnall, Duncan Hunter
FleetComm itself is a discord group that was created to host the communications for the original Distant Worlds 3302 expedition and has continued ever since to serve the exploration community as an exploration hub, with around 10,000 registered pilots chattering as they explore the galaxy or go on expeditions. FleetComm will be one of the main comms platform for Distant Worlds 2, and a Squadron with its name will be one of the initial Squadrons to be "officially" hosting the expedition. Once the expedition is over it is expected to continue, and if spaces are available, it will be opened to anyone.

Distant Worlds - APPLICATIONS NOW CLOSED
[DWII]
Leader: CMDR Erimus (Erimus Kamzel)
Senior Officer: Qohen Leth
This squadron is one of the other official PC squadrons. Unlike Fleetcomm squad, it is not expected to continue adding new members once the expedition ends, but Erimus is likely to leave it active indefinitely for those existing DW squad members that want to remain a part of it after DW2 is over.

Distant Worlds 2 - APPLICATIONS NOW CLOSED
[DW2S]
Leader: CMDR Kamzel (Erimus Kamzel)
A second squadron with said name and same applies.

Distant Worlds 3 - APPLICATIONS NOW CLOSED
[DW3S]
Custodian: CMDR Zenika (Erimus Kamzel)
A third squadron with said name and same applies.

EDSM
[EDSM]
Leader: Anthor
Custodians: Sajime Chent-Shi
A fourth squadron, immensely grateful to have the honoured EDSM collaborating with the expedition and administrating a squadron for us. This squadron will generally be related to EDSM after the expedition. It was around before and will persist after.

DW2 Geo/Bio Dept
[GBS1]
Leader: Madraptor
Custodians: TBC
This squadron is set up by the Geology and Biology department, headed by the lead of the department. It is open to all distant worlds members, especially those with Geology or Biology roles, or those who want to keep up with what this department is doing.

XBOX
FleetComm
[FCDW]
Leader: CMDR EXC Xta80 (second account for Xta80, gamertag is Xta80)
Custodians: TBC


PS4
Distant Worlds 2
[DW02]
Leader: StormyUK
Custodians: TBC


French Community
DSN
[DSN0]
Leader: CMDR Kazhann Drahnn
This will be for the french speaking community, although english can be spoken in squad.

German Community
Explorer on Tour
[EoT]
Leader: Largo Ormand
This will be for the german speaking community.


ASSOCIATED SQUADRON LIST:
There are a few squadrons that will be officially associated with the expedition. Details will follow, and this list will grow, so please check back before we set off:
  • Fuel Rats
  • Rock Rats
 

drkaii

Volunteer Moderator
Two useful logging tools for PC users of the Distant Worlds 2 Expedition:

Introduction:


EDProfiler is a program I wrote a while ago to help create graphical profiles for the game that can be saved, and selected and applied before starting the game. It has evolved to do many things, including running custom files, changing some of the key .xml graphical settings, having a HUD colour editor that includes avatars and even provides a colour palette and several options to really craft a colour with a goal in mind. The latest tool added to EDProfiler is a Tone Mapping tool that lets you change the tone of the overall game, so you can make it look darker in the sky but brighter in the HUD, for example. It has a preview and lets you see what it will look like and is a really powerful tool for letting you achieve good results.


I have also written quite a few other programs for the game that haven't had the same success, so in the end I just incorporated them into EDProfiler so they can be in one place and maintained through that channel. It is a couple of these tools that I believe are actually going to be very useful to CMDRs on the expedition. One of them I am extremely proud of and have put a lot of hard work into, as it really is a useful idea.






CMDR Logs:


The first tool is CMDR Logs. This is a tool for note-taking/journal-writing/captain's logging etc, that is designed to do a lot of things automatically, the primary part being that it records the logs by detecting what you type into local chat, so you don't need to alt-tab out of the game to record your thoughts. It will record them for you in the layout below, either under the system you are in, or into a file of your choice (say, if you want all your logs in the same place on an expedition). It will add lots of details from the player journal to describe where you are and what you are doing (supercruise, on a specific planet, docked in a specific station), add times and dates and titles etc. It can also capture screenshots.


In case you are worried that it will go mad during DW2 capturing your entire local chat, it can be set to only capture if you prefix a message with the word "LOG".


We are considering the idea to hold a competition for the best log, which are all stored in .txt files. Of course, console users can participate too with their own logs; they don't have to be made using the tool. If you are already using EDDiscovery or Captain's Log (which I hope to integrate my tool into with an import one day), those will be fine too.


Note: one last important use of the tool, if not for logs, is to act as a bookmark system. Simply take a screenshot and let the tool put it into a file with the system name, and you can then have a bookmark system (which you can, of course, make notes on) with pictures showing why you bookmarked those systems, what they looked like, what awesome things you found there etc.


CMDR Logs Screenshot:








Chat Logs:


This is a simple tool that deals with in-game chat. It can either pull up a history of all your chat since you enabled logging (and definitely since player journals were added), or it can replicate your in-game chat live.


The reason I see this as important for a big expedition is it really helps to share locations, as well as other links and information. Squadrons allow us to share bookmarks within squadrons, but there will be many squads, and some people won't be in squads, so it's still a great tool that lets you highlight and copy whatever's in your chat. So if someone types in a system for you to go visit, or a link to eddb or some other site, you can alt-tab out, go to the tool, and bring it up in a way that can be directly copied for pasting back into the game or into a web browser etc.


It is, of course, also a great tool to keep your memories of the expedition, as I am sure everyone will make friends, and have awesome events, and keeping the logs of what was said will bring a smile to your face in a few years' time when reminiscing. It also helps you remember what was said as logs aren't kept indefinitely in game. Lastly, it helps you check if anyone said anything while you were AFK, or anything that generally got missed.


Chat Logs Screenshot:








Where to find the tools:


You can download EDProfiler here, and here is the forum thread for discussion, questions and more information. The mentioned tools are highlighted in the screenshot below:










As is tradition, official Distant Worlds mugs are available! See below.. If you wish to have a mug with your name and roster number (see below), I have provided a paypal donate button, where you can request this, and after a few days I will add the mug to the store and email you.


There may even be some special perks for those in the mug club, like special meetups and a secret newsletter and other fun stuff like that!


Instructions on getting a custom made mug with your CMDR Name:


First: DO NOT BUY A REGULAR MUG - READ CAREFULLY... If you would like a custom mug with your name and roster number on it, please click the donate button in the store or on the website, and make a donation (minimum £5, tips welcome), and on the next screen add a note stating which mug you want (black or white), your CMDR name and your roster number. Then await an email within a week or so with a link to purchase your mug for £14.50 + free shipping!
You'll also find a few other nice things I've designed as official memorabilia: laptop case, phone case, notepads, clock. See images below!


Merchandise Image : Link


Free shipping on all items!

All of the above is linked under Memorabilia on the Official Website found here: https://dw2expedition.wixsite.com/home

If there's anything specific you'd like made, feel free to ask and we can see what we can do.
 

drkaii

Volunteer Moderator
So we got a community goal at Sag A*? What about the megaship? Didn't have the time to read all of it yet.
Hi, due to the way megaships work, what we proposed turned out to be a technical impossibility, so there will be no megaship. I understand that some may find this disappointing, (others might be relieved - it was a bit controversial), but the goals, theme and projects of the expedition are going to be so awesome we won't even care :)

I am so excited, just look at what's on offer, this expedition is going to be UNREAL

I will add to this post that we foresee a lot of good things for mining along the way, even though some of our hopes weren't possible. They may not be what people were expecting and this may mean some people have to sadly change their plans, but we still see mining as being a strong part of the expedition. See the mining section above and await some more details to be revealed as we get closer to the date of departure. If it turns out that after everything some people are still disappointed, then alas, I am so sorry about that. Thankfully, we still have such an amazing expedition with so many outstanding things going on! Let's focus on this positive!

And I for sure am bringing along some mining beams :)

o7
 
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