Elite Expedition: The Search for Color! (sequel to: The Wrath of Beige)

This is the third expedition in a series of expeditions:

  1. Elite Dangerous: The Motion Picture
  2. Elite Dangerous: The Wrath of Beige
  3. Elite Dangerous: The Search for Color

(See this thread by Obsidian Ant for the background story!)

Expedition Mission Statement:

To boldly go forth into space and find color in the galaxy again!

Running Beige Counter:
  • Number of completely beige High Metal Content planets = 247
  • Number of non-100% beige High Metal Content planets = 1
  • Number of completely beige Metal Rich planets = 25
  • Number of non-100% beige Metal Rich planets = 3

Mission Background:

Recently the galaxy has been plagued by an unidentified phenomenon which has stolen the color away from landable planet surfaces, leaving them completely beige! Both high metal content (HMC) and metal rich (MR) worlds seem to be infected the most, while rocky worlds, rocky ice worlds and ice worlds appear to have not contracted the phenomenon (yet!). Entire landable planets which were once interesting looking and colorful are now totally beige and boring in appearance. Explorers working for Stellar Cartography have sunken into a severe state of depression, which is quickly becoming as rampant as the unidentified phenomenon itself!

In light of this, the mission I am undertaking is to survey countless worlds, noting their planetary information as well as taking pictures of both their detail scan surface maps and from high orbit.

Primary Mission Goal: To scientifically determine the extent of the plague while possibly identifying any patterns or common symptoms.

Secondary Mission Goal: To look very hard to find an interesting looking HMC or MR world. Before the plague there were plenty of HMC/MR worlds which were intersting to explore and look at, the question is: have any worlds escaped the phenomenon?

And so, the journey begins with me flying out into deep space in my trusty Asp Explorer the Amity 2 (which means "friendship" by the way) to search random systems while hunting down and scanning landable worlds to compare their appearances and colors. Will we find high metal content worlds that are more than just beige? Will we find metal rich worlds with interesting surface features? Will we succumb to the beauty of a colorful rocky ice world and smash our ship into a canyon wall?


**(This space reserved for any future scientific findings)**

"Let the searching commence!!!

The hunt begins in a random SYNUEFE system which contains a total of eight HMC planets! Five around the parent M class star and three more orbiting the distant red dwarf. Let's see what they look like...

Here is the surface map for planet A1:


Well, the surface map sure does look monotone beige, but lets see how the planet really looks:


Aw, looks like this world has been infected. It's all beige save for a couple of slightly darker beige spots.

Maybe A2 will be different?



Nope, this world looks very much like the other one, maybe a slightly darker shade of beige.

Maybe the next few worlds will show some signs of color and variety:







Well that's disappointing. All five HMC worlds look very much the same and are all completely beige. A5 is a slightly darker shade of beige, and A4 has a tinge of redness in it's very sparse canyons, but all five look very beige and bland.

But there's still three more HMC worlds in this system, let's see if they have any variety in them!







There's a little bit more variety here than the first five HMC's had. B3 is just as bland and barren with regards to surface features as the first five BUT it's coloring is more of a light tan than beige. This could be due to the planet being the most distant from all sources of light in the system. Planets B1 and B2 however are back to beige, but their surfaces have more features and are more interesting than the other six HMC's. B1 and B2 both have more pronounced mountain ranges and a greater network of canyons than the other HMC's, both of them also have very slight redness to their canyons like A4 had, just more canyons overall.

Still, overall we have eight HMC worlds here all being roughy monotone in shades of beige and looking very much identical.

This system also has three icy worlds in it orbiting a gas giant. Let's check them out and see what they look like:







Wow! Look at the variety these three worlds have in both terrain and colors! Planet AB1A is light blue with darker blue canyons across the entire planet and light yellow mountains dotted about. AB1B is a light sand color with deep pink canyons all over it's surface and some rather large bright yellow mountain rangess. And planet AB1C is a very light pink color, with fewer coffee colored shallow canyons but again yellow mountains scattered about it's surface.

These three ice worlds have a great degree of variety in their appearances. I think it's safe to say that they have not been infected with the stellar beige plague that the HMC worlds seem to have.

More investigating will need to be done. There must be non-beige high metal worlds out there, maybe if I find one it will reveal some clues as to what is causing this galactic sickness...
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I think I found your problem... Your Asp is too bright.

Here's what a proper exploration ship looks like... ;)


Well, other than being docked at a station, of course. :eek:


I don't really have a problem with the beige words, assuming they're rendered and reproduced accurately. I wouldn't mind a little more local flavor with my beige though...

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I'm already out there looking(well, not at this moment as I'm logged out), so far beige is spreading like a virus across the galaxy, I'm really concerned my SRV and even worse my trusty Asp Amelia maybe affected, grey is bad enough, beige? NO!
I've watched Obsidian Ant's video series on this very issue, and I must say... I had no idea the problem was as wide spread as it turns out to be!

Kudos to you Mengy! For taking that ball and running with it.

However... Based on the technical nature of what I am seeing with the current color palette, I have a sinking feeling that your efforts are going to be in vane even before you leave space dock! :(

Frontier has done something to the game's rendering engine that resulted in this drab, monochromatic galaxy that we find ourselves in today. Despite the efforts made by folks like Obsidian Ant, other ED YouTubers and now yourself... Frontier has once again decided to ignore all those community members who have raised these flags of concern over the "dulling down" of even the most well known complex color planets out there!

Personally... I am baffled by all of this. It makes absolutely no sense! Especially from a realism perspective. I am of course referring to the wealth of photographic examples of our own solar system's vibrant color palette from the likes of Hubble, Spitzer, Cassini and going all the way back to the first dramatic images from the two Voyager space craft and even the Pioneer missions from the 1970s!

I'm really curious as to Frontier's motivation in maintaining this grossly inaccurate portrayal of planetary color across the game's entire observable universe. ???????
Some HMC planets think they are crafty, and use the light of their low wavelength emitting stars in an attempt to hide their beige. Sadly even the pitiful flashlights that our ships come with are capable of revealing the truth that is this beige madness.

The search continues.
Pluto isn't an HMC. There are no images of airless HMCs IRL. Mercury is probably the closest (thin atmosphere).

I applaud the search for a rare thing but what's the obsession with HMCs? Plenty of vistas on Rocky, Icy & Ice/Rock worlds for your screenshots.

What does an HMC give you that other landable types don't?
Thanks all!

The next few systems I explored all had rocky worlds, and judging by the variety of features and coloring they possess I do not believe they are infected with whatever has plagued the HMC and MR worlds.









Those worlds are a variety of colors with very interesting terrains, especially when compared to the HMC planets I found before.

But then I came across this rocky world:



This beige rocky world looks very much like the beige HMC's I've seen so far. If not for the detail scan I would swear that it was an HMC by looks alone. Same boring monotone coloring, same sparse features on the surface.

And then, just when I began to wonder if rocky worlds might be infected too, I found these two extremely colorful planets:





These rocky worlds are very colorful, with icy regions dotting their polar caps, and mountain ranges and canyons all over their landscapes. None of the previous planets had coloring anything close to these.

My hope is that I will eventually find at least one high metal content or metal rich planet showing this kind of variety. They can't all be homogenized beige! Off to look for more HMC and MR worlds...
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Hmm... i've found plenty of different coloured worlds. Support did say they belived the change was intentional to closer match what is presumed to be reality, so there is that.
Excellent work Mengy.

You prove yourself to be a true explorer. This is going to be a difficult expedition and you may be gone a long time. I wish you well. If I hadn't become totally sick of beige planets, unable to face another opening of the system map and abandoned my Anaconda somewhere near the core, I would have helped you in your worthy goal.
If you are looking for the old deep greenish shade, I think you are into a mission impossible. :)

IMHO the best looking HMCs or MRs are around blue-white stars, and I prefer regions (appear sulfur colored spots from orbit) where there are those nice volcano shaped mountains that -I recon- are indeed volcanoes without caldera - will be very nice when those will be updated.
If what we currently have is scientific accurate in regards to metal planets without atmosphere then I'm very dissapointed in our Galaxy. Can it really be that boring of a place?


Cant rep ye mengy but its there fer the future. Can say without any shadow of a doubt that the infection has spread everywhere as Im current halfway between ganktown and beagle point, so about 30klys out and every HMC and MR is a bland boring copy of each other with canyons only available in ice worlds and rock balls.

Exploring got a bit more boring when FD changed that...shame on FD and I care little fer their realism argument. Give me gamewavium if reality is this bland and boring and to hell with the inevitable backlash ^
I'm not buying the scientific accuracy excuse. Easier to implement, not bothered to spend more resources on, who gives a toss about planet colours, those I believe.


Heres a funny thing that will mess with the so called realism excuse. There are crater impacts on HMC and MR but none on other planets...so meteors which are made of metal are drawn by by other magnetised HMC perhaps and never hit anything else? Stick that in yer realism pipe ^
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