Explorers wishlist for 2.4 and beyond?

Regarding to Zac's post yesterday:

https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/354066-Elite-Dangerous-2-4-and-beyond

What explorers wish to see with 2.4 and beyond? Improvements, additions, fixes?

Lets say we leave out anything new content out of the equation and concentrate on the content at hand. Whats your wishlist for improving the current exploration content?
For me:

- ability to explore with a friend with one ship using multicrew. (another on can continue the trip while another is logged out)
- cold/hot planets and their effects on the ship/SRV. (too cold and you will freeze to death in SRV, too hot and your SRV melts)
- more versatile planet surfaces (caves, deep canyons, etc)
- ability to bookmark coordinates at planet surfaces
- ability to leave beacons at planet surfaces and you could add a text informing someone who might find it ("this huge cave site was found by CMDR Henkka77 in October 3303")
- ability to salvage stuff, other than just some random cargo crates (for example, if you find a crashed ship on a planet surface you could salvage it for selling)
- more meaningful stuff (for example, if you find an escape pod, you could have a message saying "you have found very important person, bring him to us and we will pay you well")

Theres few cents of mine, im sure i have much more ideas in my brains but they wont come out atm. :)
 
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Regarding to Zac's post yesterday:

https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/354066-Elite-Dangerous-2-4-and-beyond

What explorers wish to see with 2.4 and beyond? Improvements, additions, fixes?

Lets say we leave out anything new content out of the equation and concentrate on the content at hand. Whats your wishlist for improving the current exploration content?
For me:

- ability to explore with a friend with one ship using multicrew. (another on can continue the trip while another is logged out)
- cold/hot planets and their effects on the ship/SRV. (too cold and you will freeze to death in SRV, too hot and your SRV melts)
- more versatile planet surfaces (caves, deep canyons, etc)
- ability to bookmark coordinates at planet surfaces
- ability to leave beacons at planet surfaces and you could add a text informing someone who might find it ("this huge cave site was found by CMDR Henkka77 in October 3303")
- ability to salvage stuff, other than just some random cargo crates (for example, if you find a crashed ship on a planet surface you could salvage it for selling)
- more meaningful stuff (for example, if you find an escape pod, you could have a message saying "you have found very important person, bring him to us and we will pay you well")

Theres few cents of mine, im sure i have much more ideas in my brains but they wont come out atm. :)
Caves are major technical challenge, beacons on the other hand would make FDevs servers explode. They can hardly cop with exploration tags. :)

Multicrew exploration: shared ship would be a great idea. Cost shared 50-50, and whoever logs in first gets the helm.

I don't think there is an issue with planet surface variations in terms of canyons, there are some fantastic places, I'd rather see more global features, such as that huge heart shaped, discolored part on Pluto. I.e. regions that pop your eyes even from supercruise.
That was already improved around 2.2 with ice caps on rocky ice worlds, but still.

I hope they will get the colors right on all planets, and further refine volcanism.
 
Regarding to Zac's post yesterday:

https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/354066-Elite-Dangerous-2-4-and-beyond

What explorers wish to see with 2.4 and beyond? Improvements, additions, fixes?

Lets say we leave out anything new content out of the equation and concentrate on the content at hand. Whats your wishlist for improving the current exploration content?
For me:

- ability to explore with a friend with one ship using multicrew. (another on can continue the trip while another is logged out)
- cold/hot planets and their effects on the ship/SRV. (too cold and you will freeze to death in SRV, too hot and your SRV melts)
- more versatile planet surfaces (caves, deep canyons, etc)
- ability to bookmark coordinates at planet surfaces
- ability to leave beacons at planet surfaces and you could add a text informing someone who might find it ("this huge cave site was found by CMDR Henkka77 in October 3303")
- ability to salvage stuff, other than just some random cargo crates (for example, if you find a crashed ship on a planet surface you could salvage it for selling)
- more meaningful stuff (for example, if you find an escape pod, you could have a message saying "you have found very important person, bring him to us and we will pay you well")

Theres few cents of mine, im sure i have much more ideas in my brains but they wont come out atm. :)
There's some there that could probably come under both headings, however my single greatest desire is for some sort of search pattern overlay so I could look at a planet and say, "I've looked there, but not there." Even surface bookmarks would help greatly in this regard, the number of times I have accidently found the same volcanic site twice while searching a small moon is verging on irritating. being able to bookmark craters and canyons I have searched would just by itself be an immense help. The bookmarks wouldn't even have to be persistent, just last as long as I am in the system, they can throw them away once I jump out of the system.

Beacons? Would be nice but I am sure I can envisage problems, such as I am certain some CMDRS could figure out a way to game the system, for instance deploying thousands of marker around a planetary base just to create lag and connection problems for other players, it would be nice but I would have to limit it to maybe one a planet or even one a system to keep it under control.

Missions, what we might call emergent missions, would be good. If I am flying through the black and find a crashed ship there are a number of missions that could be generated from that discovery, such as getting the black box back to the starport, recovering human remains and returning it to the family, ships logs that could lead us further afield to lost bases etc, and these in turn could lead to linked missions, finding out why they were out there and what caused them to crash, leading us on linked missions that take us across the entire galaxy.

There's plenty of idea floating around, I suspect not all of them are easily implemented, but some should be relatively easy to get in game, depends what the dev priorities are I guess.
 
Actually locateable geysers / fumaroles, say from a 1000km distance.
That alone would be a great addition.
That would remove all gameplay/challenge in locating them. I'd say make it easier, a bit like SRV scanner is used finding mats, so that we have a chance finding them on large planets too.
 
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Caves are major technical challenge
Agreed, because it's a height map system even overhangs won't work, it would be a pity to have caves that were all the same, hand placed caves I can see because you can build them like a base, just like the asteroid bases only on a planet, in fact underground bases in caves where you had to fly into a slot in the side of a cliff and manoeuvre around cave chamber to land would be a great addition, but procedural generation would require changing the way the planet surface was generated altogether.

Actually locateable geysers / fumaroles, say from a 1000km distance.
That alone would be a great addition.
Seriously Traesha, I can see how this would be great from a beginners point of view, but I tend to think the tourist sites are useful for that, being able to immediately locate geysers and fumaroles from 1000km away would take most of the fun of the search away. Oh I could see it being very useful on the BIG planets, 6,000+km in radius, but for the small bodies it's basically an "instant find all the vulcanism" scanner. I don't have much trouble finding them as it is, just a proper search grid system would do me, and for the big planets a scanner for volcanic areas that didn't necessarily pinpoint the sites but gave a region to work in where the chances of finding volcanic sites was high.
 
- I would like planets selected from a wider colour chart other than beige

- I would like to be able to stick a marker onto a planet in the system map so I don't have to fly around it 12959175 times trying to find the same point in the system map to land on, this should also be tied in with coordinates which should be displayed in the system map and the ability to set a marker.

- I would like to see coloured planets back on the system map like 2.1 beta (I think), not these stupid wire frames so we have to fly 1509175917359ls to find out the topography is crap. (and beige) I hate beige!

- I would like more topography on planets rather than boring beige (arggghh beige!) flat planets, mountains more specifically mountain ranges

- SRV like scanner or some kind of scanner on the ship to use in orbital cruise to find POI / Geysers / fumaroles / Brain trees etc.

- more brain trees, not just 15-30 in a random area, I want to see loads of these "fields" of them

- some kind of iteration with human CMDR's - this may get complicated bear with me (growls like a bear haha no seriously)... if you're out in the black how close are you to another CMDR, possibly within 1,000ly maybe, it shouldn't show where they are but if we could "hail" them for a friendly o7 and try and meet in the black if both inclined to do so yes please!

- Lastly Dare I say atmospheric planets with lakes and vegetation / greenery - I don't care about legs yet but please atmospheric landing sooner rather than later!
 
My main bug bear (growls included fro McGrew!) is that the Detailed Surface Scanner is totally wasted. I would like to see it have functions such as identifying POI regions from supercruise view so we can land in specific areas of the planet to find more stuff.

More love to the DSS please!
 
- I would like more topography on planets rather than boring beige (arggghh beige!) flat planets, mountains more specifically mountain ranges
There is nothing wrong with the topography at the current state of the Stellar Forge. Smaller planets have pretty dramatic landscapes, whereas larger ones are understandably more flat.
There are planets with mountain ranges or regions with more mountains... I was searching such a planet in the Conflux. :)

I think/hope, that the applied geography will be richer, resulting in more distinct regions on each planet, increasing variety, Like frozen hydrogen plains, penetrated by rocky mountains, all these with distinct features and coloring. Also, I'm looking forward to see those placeholder volcanoes (i.e. cone shaped mountains without caldera) in action.
 
That would remove all gameplay/challenge in locating them. I'd say make it easier, a bit like SRV scanner is used finding mats, so that we have a chance finding them on large planets too.
There is 0 "challenge" to locate earth-like worlds these days. Just plot a route through F stars, hit the ADS and you'll get them.
I don't see how geysers / fumaroles should be different. Especially since geysers / fumaroles doesn't give any credits to discover them.

Off course, I mentioned 1000km as an example, I would allready be happy if we can locate them while in supercruise.
The thing is, everyone can locate earth-like worlds and they are virtually guaranteed to get them when plotting a route through F stars
However... searching for mostly moons with a radius of less then 600km and then actually finding the geysers / fumaroles is very different.

Seriously Traesha, I can see how this would be great from a beginners point of view, but I tend to think the tourist sites are useful for that, being able to immediately locate geysers and fumaroles from 1000km away would take most of the fun of the search away. Oh I could see it being very useful on the BIG planets, 6,000+km in radius, but for the small bodies it's basically an "instant find all the vulcanism" scanner. I don't have much trouble finding them as it is, just a proper search grid system would do me, and for the big planets a scanner for volcanic areas that didn't necessarily pinpoint the sites but gave a region to work in where the chances of finding volcanic sites was high.
Yeah, I know you have fun in locating the geysers / fumaroles, however I do think you are in the minority. I compare finding volcanism to finding earth-likes, which these days is simpler because we can plot a route through F stars only and "everyone" doing that will be guaranteed to find earth-like worlds.
But what kind of guarantee do we have to find volcanism if we don't make it simpler to find? I would even say, make the 1000km range optional so everyone having fun locating them by eye can do so when the 1000km scanner will be provided?
Have the "volcanism scanner" be an optional upgrade through engineering.
 
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Let's see then. In addition to the usual "more procedurally generated content please", here are some stuff I'd like to see:

  • Active scanners for locating things on planetary surfaces
    While an SRV-like wave scanner for them would also be nice, personally I'd prefer something more engaging. My idea would be an active scanner that can send out a ping (like D-scanners) out in an arc: if there's something of interest within there, you'd get a ping back. This would mean that once you have a vague location for the PoI, you'd have to get closer and do repeated pings to narrow down the search area. This would also help wing exploration, as triangulating things would mean finding them quicker, while solo explorers could still find stuff and not be excluded.
  • An alternative, more hands-on and risky way of FTL travel
    This would be in addition to the automated and passive way of FSD jumps. The idea would be to have to actually fly your ship in witchspace, and avoid obstacles. Think high-speed canyon racing for something similar. The danger you'd face should be proportional to the distance you wish to travel: you'd either have to spend more time inside the "danger zone", or you'd spend the same time but fly faster.
  • Missions started in deep space
    We already have long distance passenger missions, I'd like to see things like long distance rescue missions. For example, if you find some escape pods and scoop them, you'd be given a mission to take them home to a specific system. Finding wreckages could also lead to more stuff, like leads on valuable finds nearby, and so on.
  • Ability to set intermediate waypoints on your route
    For example, plan a route for 1000 ly, then extend that farther by selecting a new one farther away. Chaining destinations, if you will. There should probably be a limit to this, but even three would be useful.
  • A Gutamaya medium ship that's good for exploration
    I know that this falls under just more content, but I'd very much like to have one. At least a 45 ly jump range without too many compromises. And well, while Core Dynamics has plenty of ships already, they could at least have one that doesn't have a terrible jump range.
  • Mods for mining lasers and SRV bays
    I won't pretend I want anything other than lightweight mods for these, but there could be other ideas too. An example would be to trade in the SRV bay's auto-refuel capability for less weight. These would be very useful on small ships.
    Plus Torval's Mining Lance is the only weapon that has no mods. At least that should get them, if not the mining lasers.
That's about all I could think of right now. Plus the usual: orrery, SRV multicrew, other stuff for multicrew exploration, and so on.

Oh, and of course, I'd like to see atmospheric landing on barren planets at the very least, but I understand that expanding gameplay on the landable barren worlds we already have should come first.
 
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There is nothing wrong with the topography at the current state of the Stellar Forge. Smaller planets have pretty dramatic landscapes, whereas larger ones are understandably more flat.
There are planets with mountain ranges or regions with more mountains... I was searching such a planet in the Conflux. :)

I think/hope, that the applied geography will be richer, resulting in more distinct regions on each planet, increasing variety, Like frozen hydrogen plains, penetrated by rocky mountains, all these with distinct features and coloring. Also, I'm looking forward to see those placeholder volcanoes (i.e. cone shaped mountains without caldera) in action.
I strongly disagree - sorry there are lots of planets with miles and miles of perfectly boring terrain apart from the odd little crater or large crater sometimes randomly splatted across the planet, yes there is a small minority of pretty stunning dramatic landscapes but its a tiny minority and it shouldn't take you 100 systems to find one, especially with the crap dynamics we have for finding topography (i.e wire frame until we scan it - and even then its not like Google earth!)

The moon orbiting our own earth is by far more interesting than most things the stellar forge can thrown at you... then there's mars, & x,x,z





and here is the stellar forges attempt



Seemingly there is too much crater RNG going on and not enough mountain RNG, but random craters just don't cut it for me - my opinion and all but there are plenty of planets to look at for inspiration, and non of them look like the pizza planets we currently have!
 
There is 0 "challenge" to locate earth-like worlds these days. Just plot a route through F stars, hit the ADS and you'll get them.
I don't see how geysers / fumaroles should be different. Especially since geysers / fumaroles doesn't give any credits to discover them.

Off course, I mentioned 1000km as an example, I would allready be happy if we can locate them while in supercruise.
The thing is, everyone can locate earth-like worlds and they are virtually guaranteed to get them when plotting a route through F stars
However... searching for mostly moons with a radius of less then 600km and then actually finding the geysers / fumaroles is very different.
But the aim is not to remove, but add gameplay to exploration. Identifying ELWs is one thing, perhaps discovering other stuff that belong to it is another. Now we can only land on airless planets - and the only meaningful 'natural' content is volcanism.

You bang the ADS, see candidate planets. You fly closer, and get an idea about its composition, volcanism. Then you need to actually do some efforts to locate the sites or features, whatever it may be.
I agree that the current is just too difficult and makes searching larger planets impossible.

I think an SRV-like scanner on the ship would be fine, and I would also make some of the sites much larger, especially on larger planets. Some of them should be visible from low-orbit.
 
I strongly disagree - sorry there are lots of planets with miles and miles of perfectly boring terrain apart from the odd little crater or large crater sometimes randomly splatted across the planet, yes there is a small minority of pretty stunning dramatic landscapes but its a tiny minority and it shouldn't take you 100 systems to find one, especially with the crap dynamics we have for finding topography (i.e wire frame until we scan it - and even then its not like Google earth!)

The moon orbiting our own earth is by far more interesting than most things the stellar forge can thrown at you... then there's mars, & x,x,z

http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/map-of-the-surface-of-earths-moon-everett.jpg

http://www.celestiamotherlode.net/catalog/images/screenshots/various/marsbump_16K_Mars_Normal_Map_1__Jestr.jpg

and here is the stellar forges attempt

http://i.imgur.com/IpwTyku.jpg

Seemingly there is too much crater RNG going on and not enough mountain RNG, but random craters just don't cut it for me - my opinion and all but there are plenty of planets to look at for inspiration, and non of them look like the pizza planets we currently have!
the planet you've pictured is presumably a quite large planet. Usually you can find volcanic ranges and other stuff down there, that aren't visible at this distance.

On the other hand, we're talking about similar idea - planets having distinct global features, that make them unique even from a distance. And again what you've posted is a perfect example how most of them are generic in such terms.
 
Agreed, because it's a height map system even overhangs won't work, it would be a pity to have caves that were all the same, hand placed caves I can see because you can build them like a base, just like the asteroid bases only on a planet, in fact underground bases in caves where you had to fly into a slot in the side of a cliff and manoeuvre around cave chamber to land would be a great addition, but procedural generation would require changing the way the planet surface was generated altogether.
Would it be too hard to separate the two procedures? They can make procedurally generated caves independent of the surface maps. Place the caves in the hollow void beneath the paper thin surface with a cave entrance hole in the height map. Won't need to change how planets are generated, just add holes in the map and place entrance. Difficulties just come in blending the entrance so it doesn't seem super out of place on the surface of the planet, and they aren't all identical. Though they don't really seem to mind doing that with volcanic sites.
 
There was a huge thread on this in October: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/299492-Exploration-Scans

Myself and many others made a lot of really good suggestions. Given that the thread was started by Sandro I think it's safe to say that it'll be the basis for many improvements to Exploration.

Also as it was near enough the only thread (other than QOL Improvements: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/296231-Quality-of-Life-Improvement-Suggestions) I think it's safe to assume that Exploration improvements will be one of the first to come :)

The message I posted over and over on as many pages as possible was for them to go back to this concept:
 
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the planet you've pictured is presumably a quite large planet. Usually you can find volcanic ranges and other stuff down there, that aren't visible at this distance.

On the other hand, we're talking about similar idea - planets having distinct global features, that make them unique even from a distance. And again what you've posted is a perfect example how most of them are generic in such terms.
exactly my point generic planets really irritate me and account for 95% of what's out there - its just not enough, when you think about it the RNG computer is either putting craters in or a little mound or a canyon (the latter two obviously set to a lower frequency)

Therefore X+Y/Z-6(INT(RNG))= Beige boring planet

and if wire frames exist after 2.4....
 
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