Exploration Scans

Sandro Sammarco

Lead Designer- Elite: Dangerous
Frontier
Hello Commanders!

There have been a number of threads and posts about the status of exploration scanning in the beta, including the detailed surface scanner module. This post is just to let folk know our thinking - I'm posting it here for maximum visibility.

For reference: currently in the beta, when entering a new system, you can use the basic discovery scanner to discover stellar bodies (up to the range of the scanner).

Discovered bodies will show in the system map as graphical representations, but in the planet map they will show as grid spheres.

You can perform a basic surface scan to learn details about the body and replace the grid sphere with a visual representation of the body’s surface.

Some folk have suggested that they would prefer to have the surface of a body revealed in the planet map by the initial basic exploration scan, as that detail can inform them whether they wish to investigate the body further. This is a reasonable suggestion.

Other folk have suggested that bodies discovered by a basic scan should remain as blank spheres in the system map until they have received the attention of a detailed surface scan, as the mystery would entice further investigation. This is also a reasonable suggestion.

And yet other folk think the current system is good to go and this is also clearly reasonable.

So it’s fair to say there are some different opinion on this matter :).

Whilst we can’t supply guarantees or ETAs, we just want to make clear that the current implementation does not necessarily represent the finished version of exploration scanning (or exploration in general, just the version that will go out with 2.2 The Guardians.

So please feel free to make suggestions for improvements (in this thread would be a good place to pop them) and to let us know what you think of the current implementation.
 
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Thanks Sandro!

You can perform a surface detail scan to learn details about the body and replace the grid sphere with a visual representation of the body’s surface.
This seems to suggest that we need to scan a stellar body with the Detailed Surface Scanner in order to reveal the fully rendered surface in system view. That seems contrary to Michael's Brooks reply to my original question on this subject ...

Basic will do.

Michael
Wherein lies the truth of the matter? ;)
 
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As long as the "listening" to the system map mechanic isn't discarded or made obsolete I don't mind.

For me that gives a reason to be involved in exploration. Without that bit it's just a matter of churning jump after jump. With the planetary sounds you really have to be present and focus on the result.

I'm also curious about the sounds in the Galaxy map. Are they as random as we think or are there clues to the makeup of the star in those repeating noises?
 
Hello Commanders!

There have been a number of threads and posts about the status of exploration scanning in the beta, including the detailed surface scanner module. This post is just to let folk know our thinking - I'm posting it here for maximum visibility.

For reference: currently in the beta, when entering a new system, you can use the basic scanner to discover stellar bodies (up to the range of the scanner).

Discovered bodies will show in the system map as graphical representations, but in the planet map they will show as grid spheres.

You can perform a surface detail scan to learn details about the body and replace the grid sphere with a visual representation of the body’s surface.

Some folk have suggested that they would prefer to have the surface of a body revealed in the planet map by the initial basic exploration scan, as that detail can inform them whether they wish to investigate the body further. This is a reasonable suggestion.

Other folk have suggested that bodies discovered by a basic scan should remain as blank spheres in the system map until they have received the attention of a detailed surface scan, as the mystery would entice further investigation. This is also a reasonable suggestion.

And yet other folk think the current system is good to go and this is also clearly reasonable.

So it’s fair to say there are some different opinion on this matter :).

Whilst we can’t supply guarantees or ETAs, we just want to make clear that the current implementation does not necessarily represent the finished version of exploration scanning (or exploration in general, just the version that will go out with 2.2 The Guardians.

So please feel free to make suggestions for improvements (in this thread would be a good place to pop them) and to let us know what you think of the current implementation.
Wait Sandro are you saying that when 2.2 goes live it will be as it is in Beta 7?

I sincerely hope not!
 
Thanks Sandro - well spoken.

My tuppence worth. I see it as the big honk reveals the basic information such as size, orbital information and the like, and this, in conjunction with honk return data (a sort of ping I suppose), would reveal such information as Water world, ice world, rocky, metallic, etc. The detailed surface scanner does what it says and reveals - surface detail which would include analysis of materials and possible POI's such as geysers or other geological interests. From the basic scan explorers can make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed with a detail scan. 90% of planets are not worth detail scanning and if they don't have the information available to them after a basic scan then I doubt that they would bother with exploration at all.
 
Whilst we can’t supply guarantees or ETAs, we just want to make clear that the current implementation does not necessarily represent the finished version of exploration scanning (or exploration in general, just the version that will go out with 2.2 The Guardians.
It's this bit that concerns me the most. It's either very badly phrased, or it means the grey blobs will stay for 2.2.

The latter is going to be bad. Very, very bad.

But before I start reacting, I'd like a clarification on that sentence, Sandro.

Thanks in advance.
 
Thanks Sandro. I think whichever option adds the most DEPTH should be considered, not what makes it easier or difficult. It should above all else feel rewarding.

The idea of different scanners having different roles best tackles it in a way that is good for everyone, but doesn't specifically add any gameplay, it just creates more complicated options.

Personally I think having one solution is best. What I think is the scanner reveal the system map as it does in 2.1, then revealing the surface map upon a detailed scan is the way to go, BUT with the following amendments.

1) The scan range of bodies is increased by 5-10X, meaning you can scan small landable rocky bodies at well over 350 LS.

2) The payout for bodies increases exponentially depending on how many LY you are from Sol. Meaning that noobies can't go round scanning rockies for millions. But those explorers out on their own know that it's worth scanning a rocky body as they'll get good money for it.


Just my 2 cents, feel free to ignore :)
 
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Hello Commanders!
Hi there!


You can perform a surface detail scan to learn details about the body and replace the grid sphere with a visual representation of the body’s surface.
This scan should not reveal what your eyes can see in the first place because it will make is a redundant as it can get, but if that scan will reveal (as I think it does now) the composition and locations in it (how cool it could be to reveal actual POI's with this scan instead of giving just things to read).


Some folk have suggested that they would prefer to have the surface of a body revealed in the planet map by the initial basic exploration scan, as that detail can inform them whether they wish to investigate the body further.
Not with the basic scan but with the advanced scan it should give us the lovely looking planets. It is all about not wasting real life time in going to a place to just see a planet that was not worth the time spent to just go and take a look at it. I rather have the planets shown so I can decide if their features are cool enough to go there. Imagine travelling 140.000Ls (which is half an hour or so...did it myself in the past) to find out that it is just a Rocky planet with nothing of interest in it. Yeah again...time wasted.


Other folk have suggested that bodies discovered by a basic scan should remain as blank spheres in the system map until they have received the attention of a detailed surface scan, as the mystery would entice further investigation.
If you are using a "basic" scan, info should be basic yes. But planets were shown before 2.2, and now all planets are not going to be displayed? That seems like a couple of steps backwards to me.


And yet other folk think the current system is good to go and this is also clearly reasonable.
Those few playing in beta and not the major part of the player base...cool. :rolleyes:


I and most of the player base just want what was shown back in the day.
[video=youtube;vitmkDZm4D4]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vitmkDZm4D4[/video]
 
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This solution IMHO now is the best compromise I can think of without drastically changing the way scanners work. For all other solutions, especially when considering going more hardcoree (black representations of planets without appropriate scan) I guess one would have to look more close on gameplay influences, like on exploring as profitable income source. And when starting to change scanning at all it would be good to add additional gameplay (such as scanning for biological lifeforms (minigame?), thermal/geological anomalies/radiation levels, and other interesting things). To sum up, I like this compromise, when more changes are being planned it should be a complete update long term and thouroughly thought through. :)
 
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Sorry but just to clarify, is the exploration mechanic going to be;-

1. Class 1 scan (The Honk) : this will review the system map to the range of the scanner and every planet in range, you'll see a thumbnail of planet (not a black sphere) but drilling down on the planet will show the gird view.
2. Class 2 scan : By flying close to the planet, the discovery scanner will show basic details of the world and the grid view will be replaced by the 2.2 visual representation of the body’s surface.
3. Class 3 scan : By flying close to the planet with the additional surface scanner module will give you all of the class 2 details, the mineral breakdown and more money when you trade it in?

not had enough coffee this morning.
 
Personally, you should see the planets once the initial scan is made,lets be honest, you can tell from telescope in the 21st century the composition of a stellar body surface.ld like to think future tech will be slightly more advanced...
 
Sandro okay and thanks for your clarification.

Here's my opinion on the matter...

1) When the 3D surface map was revealed, it was touted as a general QoL improvement for all.

This feature should not just be for Explorers. There are other players who would use the 3D surface map to scout for interesting terrain to canyon race in, for example.

2) Hiding the 3D surface map behind a surface scan renders it pretty much pointless.

I found in pre-7 Betas that I was more likely to go and visit an interesting icy or rocky moon, purely because the ADS revealed the 3D surface map. I think you'll find that would be the case for the majority of the player base as well.

Also, why even bother looking at the 3D surface map, when by the time your surface scan has completed you can spend a couple of more seconds of flight time and view the scanned body directly?

3) As for the grey blobs thing (which I understand as being a bug) - I hope that never happens - it's absolutely horrible and a terrible immersion-breaking idea ("What, we don't have optical telescopes in the 3300's!?!?!?")

Regards o7
 
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