[DW2] Distant Worlds 2 - A Journey of Discovery

Congrats on reaching the end goal Nazo (y)

If its any comfort, I heard from a guy a few months ago whose still out there from the DW1 days, and hasn't made it back yet from that first expedition! I'm sure there are others still out there too - still following the DW1 or DW2 routes and visiting the POIs and basecamps along the way, after all this time. :cool:
I am actually still en route to Beagle
Congratulations Nazo! I didn't leave Beagle Point until 4 months after DW2 was finished, and I'm still within 400 Ly of Beagle Point now. Just leisurely jumping and mapping when I feel like it. Enjoying the amazing sights and solitude.
I'm still somewhere off the outward side of between Colonia and the bubble on my way back meandering around. I think maybe it's partly my excuse to not progress more in the meta game and just enjoy the galaxy for a while... in spite of not being a huge fan of the intended exploration game-play since the Exploration update.

Anyway, congratulation Nazo and others as well, of course. o7
Heck, I'd recommend the DW2 route to anyone new to the game who has an interest in extreme-long-range exploration and wants to see some of the more amazing places in the game. I didn't finally get back to Explorer's Anchorage on my exploration account until June 2020...

IMO, the view of the Milky Way from Semotus Beacon is enough to justify the trip. I still have that as my desktop background on my computer.
I know what you mean, though Beagle Point will have to suffice for now... :)






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.



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

(updated June 2019 with post-event emphasis)

"Distant Worlds 2 (also known as DW2 or DWE 3305) was a five-month expedition to the outer galactic rim on the far side of the Milky Way. It was the successor to the Distant Worlds 3302 Expedition (DWE) that launched three years earlier, which in itself was the successor to the Distant Sun Expedition of 3300 (the first galactic crossing).

DW2 launched from Pallaeni, a frontier system, on January 13th 3305, and culminated at
Beagle Point during May and June 3305. Its mission statement was to take thousands of CMDRs on a journey of discovery, to see what mysteries the galaxy contains, and along the way to construct a starport near 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 12 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 its 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 Codex, and submit them for the sake of the whole expedition".
- Erimus Kamzel (DW1 & DW2 Project Leader).

Making History

Distant Worlds 2 was composed of approximately 13,600 commanders, making it the largest community created event in Elite Dangerous history, and possibly the largest player created event in gaming history. After becoming aware of DW2, Guinness Book of World Records indicated that had the game developers themselves recorded event participants in some in-game official capacity, then its likely DW2 would have been accepted for review. This is something the organisers of the Distant Worlds events will look into doing if there is to be a Distant Worlds 3 Expedition in future.

In addition, Distant Worlds 2 was covered in over 30 magazine articles, including the New Scientist, 16 Jan. 2019 edition. It received coverage on mainstream German radio, was showcased on NowThis, and was voted #2 on the Gamerax top 10 'Gaming Events that achieved the Impossible' (receiving 5 million views).

In game, DW2 set several records; the largest number of players taking part in a community-created event, the largest Community Goal ever attempted (Tier 11), with approximately 6,000 commanders contributing to delivering over 1 million tons of mined materials for the galactic core starport construction, 51 million worlds were scanned by the DW2 starfleet during the journey, with over 1.2 million worlds being mapped.

For the full list of statistical records set by the DW2 Starfleet, please visit this thread: Link.

DW2's lasting legacy will be the Explorer's Anchorage starport, which acts as a rest-stop for explorers travelling through the galactic core, and beyond. In addition, the DW2 CGs also lead to the construction of the New Horizons Science Relay, and the DSSV 'Distant Worlds Megaship', which periodically travels around specific scientific points of interest within the galactic core.

The Canonization of Distant Worlds into Elite Dangerous Lore

The Distant Worlds Expeditions have become part of the official Elite Dangerous lore via the following;
  • The system description of Beagle Point.
  • The construction of the Explorer's Anchorage and the New Horizons Science Array by the Distant Worlds Starfleet during DW2.
  • The introduction of the NPC faction Transorbital Dynamics, based at the Explorers Anchorage. This faction was the fictional faction created by Kamzel that commissioned the Distant Suns expedition of 3300, and both Distant Worlds expeditions that followed. Frontier added it to the game as a nod to all those events.
  • The launch of the "Distant Worlds" Science ship (which periodically travels around the galactic core).
  • The Distant Worlds Historic Tourist Beacon in Pallaeni,
  • The 12 Distant Worlds tourist beacons that are now strewn across the galaxy at iconic locations that the expedition discovered or passed through on it way to Beagle Point.
  • Distant Worlds is referred to in the official elite novel; Elite: Premonition

Expedition Ethos

Since the expedition was made up of many thousands of players, it therefore had many thousands of play-styles to cater to. The goal of the organisers was to accommodate as many of those play-styles as possible. This was accomplished via a multitude of roles that players could take on, including; scouting, exploration, geological surveys of fumaroles and geysers, a science project, mining (for the CG), hauling, fleet maintenance (which lead to the establishment of the Hull Seals), and fleet logistics.

The general ethos of the journey was one of freedom and diversity, but within a cohesive structure that was geared toward keeping the expedition on schedule and primarily aimed at its social events throughout its duration. Participants were able to take part to whatever extent they liked, as there were plenty of activities and goals on offer for them to experience along the way.

In order to keep the fleet as a fleet, and the expedition as an expedition, efforts were made to keep things structured. Stage Maps were only revealed when it was time to explore them, and CMDRs were discouraged from rushing on ahead and posting spoilers of what they had discovered along the route before the bulk of the fleet had a chance to find them for themselves. There were plenty of exploration opportunities, mapping events, and activities to do, and points of interest to see between waypoint meetups, and as such the organisers requested that players did not treat the journey as a buckyball race from waypoint to waypoint.

Revealing the route in stages also helped 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 was 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) was required. Two of the latter waypoints were in excess of 14,000 LYs apart, but these were covered over a two-week journey time between them. This was part of the Aphelion Mapping event.

The expedition was 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

"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]

"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.

“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

"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

“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

“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

“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

"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!

[Note: The following was written during the pre-Carrier era, and therefore aspects of it may now be obsolete as Carriers have fundamentally changed the nature of deep space expeditionary events.]

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.

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.

Distant Worlds 2 will be no different in that respect and has been written specifically for PG mode only, as that is where all its communications and events will take place. Anyone tagging along in Open Play are not considered part of the event and have no cause to complain to the organisers or Frontier Developments for incidents that occur in that mode of play. Whatever happens in Open has no bearing on Distant Worlds and is not done in the name of Distant Worlds.

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 since Frontier can be petitioned for reimbursement* and relocation back out with the fleet if you fall victim to PG 'ganking', and offending players can be permanently banned from the PG thereafter. 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.

* Please note, Frontier deal with tickets on a case by case basis and therefore reimbursement is not guaranteed.

Fly safe commanders o7.

Primary contact:
Erimus Kamzel

Distant Worlds on Wiki

I've just read through this entire post again and it still amazes me what the Elite community created and did here. So much work went into this! I can't help feeling a little sad that I missed DW2. I watched it happen and read about it in the magazines at the time, its what inspired me to get Elite Dangerous, but by then DW2 was coming to an end. :cry:

I hope one day you guys annouce Distant Worlds 3. I'll be the first to sign up! :)
I've just read through this entire post again and it still amazes me what the Elite community created and did here. So much work went into this! I can't help feeling a sad that I missed DW2. I watched it happen and read about it in the magazines at the time, its what inspired me to get Elite Dangerous, but by then DW2 was coming to an end. :cry:

I hope one day you guys annouce Distant Worlds 3. I'll be the first to sign up! :)
There was talk of DW3 when Fleet Carriers were released. It was being pitched for once Odyssey was released.
But this was many months ago and a lot of those that coordinated DW1 & DW2 have moved on.
... and Odyssey isn't quite there yet
... and it's not yet out on consoles.

If you want to pencil something in, and if I was a betting man, any DW3 would be September 2022 onwards. There is a lot of logistics that need to be worked out.
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