Epilogue, Acknowledgements, DW3 Speculation & Organisation

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Epilogue, Acknowledgements, DW3 Speculation & Organisation

Post #1
  • Acknowledgements
  • DW2 in the Media
Post #2 (Link)
  • Distant Worlds 3 Speculation
  • Restructuring the way future Distant Worlds expeditions will be organised



Epilogue & Acknowledgements

Thank you, the DW2 team!

My thanks to the entire DW2 organisation team, its project leaders and their individual team members, the event creators, the Console team, and the Fleetcomm admins, moderators, and helpers for their time and dedication in helping to make this expedition into the amazing gaming experience it’s been. We also want to thank the Rock Rats, Iridium Wing, the Screaming Eagles, CoR, and DSN for their participation and roles on DW2.

This expedition was organised by a whole team, not by individuals. The vast majority of these people have worked tirelessly in the background with no public presence, but the work they've put into it has been integral in making DW2 an event packed full of fun gameplay, events, and social interaction that has been shared by thousands of players, had thousands more watch it unfold, and no doubt will have thousands more reading about it for a long time to come.


On a personal note I'd like to take this opportunity to mention a few people who helped lay solid foundations for DW2 in the early days of its planning and who helped bind things together ...

Special thanks to Qohen Leth. Qohen was one of the first people I brought on board to see the early plans for DW2 and help lay the foundation work for it, over 18 months ago now! The sheer amount of work he put into this project since then, with the setting up of the roster, website hosting, graphics, admin work, and interacting with the community on the forums and discord when promoting DW2, is something that we’ll always be personally grateful to him for.

And thanks must go to Kancro Vantas, Satsuma, NeoTron, and their moderator team and helpers for their dedication in administrating the FleetComm discord server - which over the space of a few weeks at one point had an influx of over 10,000 new members to deal with! Thank you for your time and patience, and for allowing DW2 to be hosted on FleetComm.

I also want to thank Charlie Hall from Polygon magazine, for committing months of his gametime to travelling with the fleet and promoting the event to the gaming world, for taking part in its events, and following the player stories as they unfolded across the galaxy, and chronicling his journey in a fantastic series of articles that perfectly captured the essence of what DW2 was all about.

Finally we'd all like to thank Frontier Developments for supporting DW2 with its Community Goals. They allowed the expedition to be the vehicle to create a new chapter of lore with the construction of a Starport right in the heart of the galaxy. That's a big deal for them as I'm sure they had plans of their own for that unique part of the galaxy, but they saw the potential of what DW2 was striving to achieve, and they supported the initiative - giving the players the opportunity to make some gameplay history and lore along the way.


Thank you, the DW2 fleet!

DW2 has been a journey, not just in the game itself, but a journey of social interaction, making friends, working as a team, and seeing peoples ideas flourish and be embraced by thousands of fellow explorers. As was the case on DW1, which gave rise to the Rock Rats & Candy Crew, DW has once again been the birthplace of more emergent gameplay ideas and groups, this time the community now have the amazing Hull Seals, the Kingfishers, and Distant Radio 3305, and we hope they’ll go on to be part of many events and expeditions to come.

But most of all its been fantastic to see so many thousands of players, many of them new to not only exploration, but also new to Elite Dangerous itself, come along on this journey of discovery and enjoy the best of what online gaming in a sandbox world has to offer. Without you, there is no event. Your participation on this journey will be immortalised on the fleet roster : Link.

The Explorer's Anchorage, DSSV 'Distant Worlds' Megaship, and Sagittarius A* Astrophysics Lab, which you were a part of bringing into being, will be some of the lasting in-game legacies of this adventure, and something future explorers will be visiting and making use of for years to come.

- Erimus Kamzel and the entire DW2 Organisation team.


DW2 in the media

DW2 may have made gaming history, depending on what metrics you use, but consider that this was a player run event, written by the players, organised by the players, and overseen by the players, it had almost 14,000 participants, and it all took place over several months in one the largest video game worlds so far created...we can't think of any other player created event in any other video game doing anything on this scale, or for this long, in this big a gameworld. Maybe it was a first in that respect?

DW2 was extensively covered in dozens of press write-ups, and around 30 magazine articles were written about it, including coverage in The New Scientist! The expedition was featured on mainstream German radio broadcasts, and thanks to Dr. Kaii’s PR, the expedition even received a good luck message from astronaut Chris Hadfield on the eve of its launch. It's been talked about far and wide because it caught the imagination of people who love to see this kind of creativity, energy, and enthusiasm from a gaming community.

That is a lasting testament of how everyone pulling together; organizers, participants, and game developers, can create a little bit of gaming history. We all now have a new benchmark to live up to for DW3!

Sagittarius Eye, 18 Nov 2017 (issue #3)
GameStar, 5 Feb. 2018
Sagittarius Eye, 18 Jul 2018 (issue #11)
Polygon, 28 Dec. 2018
KnowTechie, 28 Dec. 2018
Gamerz Unite, 29 Dec. 2018
MeinMMO, 30 Dec. 2018
HiComm, 31 Dec. 2018
UploadVR, 2 Jan. 2019
Union Cosmos (blog), 3 Jan. 2019
Polygon, 7 Jan. 2019
Polygon, 9 Jan. 2019
PC Gamer, 9 Jan. 2019
DerStandard, 10 Jan. 2019
Polygon, 11 Jan. 2019
Kotaku, 12 Jan. 2019
Polygon, 14 Jan. 2019
GameStar, 14 Jan. 2019
Rock Paper Shotgun, 15 Jan. 2019
PC Gamer, 15 Jan. 2019
AltChar, 16 Jan. 2019
New Scientist, 16 Jan. 2019

GameStar, 17 Jan. 2019 (German)
Polygon, 18 Jan. 2019
Rock Paper Shotgun, 29 Jan. 2019
Polygon, 6 Feb. 2019
Polygon, 18 Feb. 2019
Polygon, 8 Mar. 2019
Polygon, 6 May 2019

Sagittarius Eye, 13 Jun. 2019 (issue #22)
Kotaku, 18 Jun. 2019
Rock Paper Shotgun, 8 Jul. 2019
Kotaku, 8 Jul. 2019







Distant Worlds 2 YouTube Playlist - A collection of videos created by fleet members during their journey across the galaxy





Distant Worlds on Wiki
 
Distant Worlds 3 Speculation

A new Distant Worlds event depends wholly upon new content, features, and gameplay to warrant the sheer amount of work that goes into them. Since there are no major updates planned for Elite until late 2020, its unlikely that there will be any meaningful talk about Distant Worlds 3 by the organisers until at least then.

It also depends on having new challenges to overcome; like environmental hazards, new hard to reach locations, and more exploration-related unknowns to discover in the far reaches. There needs to be new galactic content to explore - especially in the Aphelion regions where there is a stark contrast between the variety of hand-crafted nebulae and star clusters we can see and enjoy in our local Orion Spur region, but that is nowhere else to be found in this galaxy. Atmospheric worlds to land on and explore are another major addition that, if implemented, may lead to another DW event. Maybe FDev should consider opening up the Magellanic Clouds and introduce the technologies to get there? "Distant Galaxies" has a nice ring to it!

Either way, for another DW event to be feasible, there needs to be a reason to go again, and ones that build upon what has been experienced on DW2 and the 40 other major expeditions since DW1.

On DW2 we were able to incorporate more practical gameplay via mining, prospecting, fleet mechanics, and logistical roles. We feel that this is a step in the right direction as it adds more varied gameplay and is inclusive to more playstyles. For the next adventure these are all aspects that need to be considered too.

Whatever happens, as with the previous DW projects, I will post a new expedition proposal thread when the time comes, which will open up DW3 for community discussion to see where that takes us. We can pour our ideas and speculations into that, based on what’s feasible within the framework of where Elite Dangerous is at that time.

But until then, please check out what new adventures are on the horizon from the exploration community, and please support them as you supported DW2!

- Erimus Kamzel (Distant Worlds Expedition Project Leader).


Restructuring the way future Distant Worlds expeditions are organised

If there is to be a DW3, it is likely to be organised in a different way to how DW1 and DW2 were. The sheer size that these events grew into from humble beginnings consequently meant that the amount of work that went into creating them grew to a point where some of the organisation team had to commit long hours, week after week, for the duration of its planning and execution. This lead to burnout for several team members.

Creating something as ambitious as DW needs to be an enjoyable experience from beginning to end, not just for the participants, but for the organisers too.

As an example I have listed my own personal roles and responsibilities on DW2 below to highlight a lot of what was expected of some of the team members. Some of these responsibilities date as far back as October 2017 when I wrote the first draft proposals, and they continued through until late June 2019. That's an enormous commitment for any one person, and I know there were several other team members who had similar amounts of work to do on DW2.
  • Wrote the expedition outline and original CG proposal in the wake of meeting DW1 participants and Frontier Devs at the Frontier Expo Event.
  • Refined the CG outline doc with mining factions in mind and presented the ideas to the Rock Rats, and later the IMU, and gave both lead role on overseeing DW2 mining operations.
  • Defined the fleet roles and pitched projects to community members where each role would have practical gameplay associated with them - prime example being mining and logistical gameplay.
  • Brought the early team leaders and project creators together and made sure the team was made up of some of EDs best content creators and expedition veterans that were available and committed - invited them to discuss the proposal and ideas, and helped them refine their projects and ideas to fit into the overall framework of DW2..
  • Brought Qohen in to oversee the roster and worked with him on how it was to be presented.
  • Brought MadRaptor to the team to oversee the Geology aspect of the expedition.
  • Brought Alex Brentnall to the team and asked him to implement his Fleet Mechanics ideas.
  • Brought Koala to the team and asked him to implement his Tour Guide Project.
  • Brought Zulu Romeo on board to implement the DW2 CQC Tournaments.
  • Wrote the Galactic Mapping events, scheduled for the latter stages of the expedition.
  • Worked with Wishblend in bringing practical gameplay aspects to DW2 that would be triggered from events taking place on the DW2 ED:RPG.
  • Wrote the 'Bandits' blueprint.
  • Launched the DW2 scouting event, and collated 3 months worth of data.
  • Scouted the entire DW2 route to BP and back, selected waypoints, basecamps, and intermediate POIs for the itinerary.
  • Created the route, the maps, the schedule, and linked everything up to EDSM for easy reference guides to each POI and WP the fleet would visit.
  • Worked closely with FD on CG revisions.
  • Wrote and presented the expedition Overview thread.
  • Constant dialogue with team members on issues and ideas.
  • Constant revision and updating of official DW threads.
  • Daily answering of queries from team members, participants, Frontier Developments, and Gaming Press, via email, forum PM, and Discord.
  • Promoted DW2 in interviews and on the various threads, reddits, and discord chats.
  • Created and oversaw three of the official DW2 Squadrons.
  • Worked with FC admin in the background for over 6 months of intel gathering related to PG security.
  • Liaised with many different groups, collating information and background checking to identify possible alt-infiltrators.
  • Created and presented the Voyager Trail route map for the journey home, and linked everything up to EDSM for easy reference guides to the POIs along it.
  • Created the DSSV Distant Worlds Journey of Scientific Study route for Frontier Developments to be implement after DW2 was over.
  • Collated the list of beacon candidate systems from multiple sources, and presented them for voting with pictures and synopsis of each POI. Presented the candidate systems to FD as requested.
  • June 2019, spent a month after DW2 ended on collating a wealth of feedback, having discussions with team members and participants, and wrote up the after event doc - presented it to the DW2 team for after event discussion and guidance on what worked well, and what needs refinement or reworking for DW3. This doc feedback became the basis for this whole restructuring discussion I have posted here.
  • All in all I authored over 30 DW2 organisation-related documents and wrote in access of 500,000 words in those documents, which touched on almost every facet of the expedition.

To avoid burnout, in future we may decide to break the event down into more manageable chunks, have it possibly Squadron-based, and split the organisation up into several different teams that will be responsible for their own Squadron, its events, its admin, its PR, roles, and projects. So effectively DW3 will have many different team leaders, working on their own aspect of DW3, but all flying under one banner of "DW3" and all still following the same basic outline of a mass expeditionary event with common goals in mind.

DW3 (if it happens) is still some time away so there is no need to further flesh out these ideas and thoughts or open things up to further dialogue at this time. All that can come when discussions on the next DW event are officially opened.





Distant Worlds on Wiki
 
A glimpse into post-expedition statistics

Before the expedition started, I estimated a few global journey statistics from the number of signups. A few weeks into the Arrival timeframe, I can look back on those and bring much better accuracy. With the help of EDSM* as a reference point, I've been able to extrapolate some pretty interesting and awe-inspiring numbers :)

Taking into account the extended launch day (timezones...), the early and late goers, the chaos and deaths, the curious bystanders and the official Pallaeni traffic reports, it's very likely that more than 9,000 Fleet members took off from Pallaeni on launch day (about 68% of the registered Fleet). Each waypoint saw roughly 5% of the registered Fleet drop out of the journey; for an attrition rate of (so far) 105 Cmdrs per kilo-lightyear. At the time of writing, there are 1,577 confirmed Fleet member arrivals at Beagle Point, a shy above 11.5% of the Fleet -- still far from DW3302's ~50%, but more people than there were in the whole of DW3302.

So far:
The expedition totals just under 8,500,000 jumps, which consumed just over 100,170,000T of fuel. High gravity, neutron jumps, white dwarf coronas and many more dangers allegedly claimed the lives of 5,551 Commanders, 1,825 of which self-destructed in fear of the journey ahead (or back). The largest Fleet of explorers ever has so far scanned almost 48,000,000 bodies and mapped 1,129,000 of them using (very) approximately more than 5,800,000 probes (yay space pollution!) Finally, this expedition, while still ongoing, totals more than 1,100,000,000 lightyears travelled, for more than 16 years spent in hyperspace (141,522 hours @ one minute per jump) !

We also received hundreds of Thank Yous, feedbacks and wonderful words, which the whole Org Team is incredibly grateful for. We never expected (or even hoped) things to grow so big, so thank you all for pushing the envelope!

*EDSM accounts for 55% of the registered Fleet, with about 350 log inconsistencies with the Form data. I've tried to account for most of those inconsistencies.

Update: June 2019: The infographics & statistics are now available in full, here: Link


DW2 Completion certificates

When filling the Arrival Form, you give us an email address for your decal redeem code. I will take this opportunity to send to everyone who qualifies for the decal a personalised Distant Worlds 2 Completion certificate, that you will be able to ignore, discard or print, sign and frame. These will arrive with the redeem code, we don't have a date yet.

 
Thank you for organising, planning and creating such a great community adventure.

Thanks to everyone who helped make the entire event brilliant.

Safe onward journey to all, were ever your destination may be!
 
DW2 was extensively covered in dozens of press write-ups, and around 30 magazine articles were written about it, including coverage in The New Scientist!
That's awesome!! Does anyone have a link to the New Scientist article (full version)?
 
Thank you all for this great expedition. I have been playing Elite since the public beta and exploration was one of Elite's most important features for me but somehow I never made it past the Lagoon Nebula and spend most my time in and around the bubble. With DW2 I decided to set that record straight and I am very glad that I did. The detailed itineraries, all the communication via Discord and the mass jumps made this a fantastic experience. I am still a few kly's out but thank you for all the effort you put in to this.
 
Thank you everyone who made the expedition something special. Ive had my first wing experience, a visit from a complete stranger who gave me a limpet as part of a hull seals call (cheers) and made numerous new friends along the way.

I did feel somewhat deflated at the lack of a fanfare on arrival at BP but I guess the distance involved may have been to blame in hampering some form of time related celebration.

I'm still trundling back to XA and the bubble - only 46KLY to Sol remaining.

Thanks
 
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Thank you so much to the DW2 organizers, the Geology team, and the mass jump maestros. I was hesitant to join the expedition because I wasn't sure if I could stand so many hours of jumping but I'm glad I did. I can honestly say this has been one of the most memorable moments in gaming I've ever had. It is with sadness to see it end but it has awoken in me a desire to explore and participate. I'll definitely be watching for new and exciting expedition opportunities from now on.

Thank you all again.
 
Thanks everyone. This has opened ED up to me in ways I didn't expect, and really gave me a sense of the community at the heart of the game. You should all be proud of yourselves for the years of effort and tight organisation it took to get this off the ground (geddit).

I hit Beagle Point tonight, and consider the gameplay experience you've helped to roll out as one of the finest ever.

Peace out and o7 CMDRS.
 
Thank you to everyone named for organising this wonderful, career-changing event. What a ride.

So many 'first' experiences, I can't recount them all.

Friends made that are going to be difficult to part from, when we each go our own way again.

Laughter and sorrow at the antics and mishaps that will echo in my mind every time I find myself in the flight seat. Sights I've seen and sites I've visited that I never thought I ever would, when I started as a Commander in 3302.

Learning experience upon learning experience...........the list goes on.

Having missed out on a DW2 Patch, I can barely wait for the Certificate to arrive and I'll probably start checking my e-mail tomorrow :D

To the rest of the DW2 fleet, I salute you all, o7 Commanders
 
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