ANNOUNCEMENT January Update - Beta is live!

we don't really have a proper Black Friday anymore either. All that happens now is that the stores raise their prices leading up to it and then drop them back down.

I have a bunch of stuff bookmarked on Amazon and I've been watching all the prices creep up about 20% over the last week. I bet the big Black Friday deal will the all the prices getting lowered back to what they were a couple of weeks ago.

meh.
Meh! indeed, the UK is even worse, prices rise over a couple of months then are "slashed" to just over the base price they started from a lot of the time - plus (does it happen in the US too?) those 'amazing' prices are even less in a couple of months following :)
 
I drove ~900 miles and will be spending the week with family I don’t often get to see often so no video games for me.
Enjoy the family, have a great time!
The beta includes some 'changed' graphics effects, the skybox tinting has been toned down even more, the FSS changes (for me) are a slowdown, but for those waiting 20+ seconds will be a boon, VR moon orbit lines / FSS are still bugged...
Below - 'new' NS cone graphic, this animation is incredible!
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Back out again today, so if I see anything else new, I'll post screenies for your delection :)
 
Seriously? another whiny american bitching because a BRITISH company with a global IP is releasing a beta for everyone on a non-British holiday?
As I said, I don’t particularly care. Betas are for FDevs benefit and it would do them well to put them on when more people can participate. I just don’t want to see another disaster update due to lack of testing. Thanks for the insult though! Much appreciated!

Enjoy the family, have a great time!
The beta includes some 'changed' graphics effects, the skybox tinting has been toned down even more, the FSS changes (for me) are a slowdown, but for those waiting 20+ seconds will be a boon, VR moon orbit lines / FSS are still bugged...
Below - 'new' NS cone graphic, this animation is incredible!
View attachment 153131

Back out again today, so if I see anything else new, I'll post screenies for your delection :)
VR orbit lines are a bummer. For me, I haven’t encountered many of the bugs getting fixed except desync when fighting goids in wings or MC. I hope those got fixed.

thanks for the update on the update!
 
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As I said, I don’t particularly care. Betas are for FDevs benefit and it would do them well to put them on when more people can participate. I just don’t want to see another disaster update due to lack of testing.
The elephant in the room is the extremely limited time frame for this beta anyway. IMO it should run right until they are ready for release, one week is way too short.
 
The elephant in the room is the extremely limited time frame for this beta anyway. IMO it should run right until they are ready for release, one week is way too short.
I agree that a couple of weeks minimum, a month preferably (to try out the new BGS states - if they are 'swingable') to really give it a good hammering, but I guess servers are expensive if they are just to offer an olive branch...
Add to that 'fixes' can be made and added as a mini-patch (as today) and we could have a running beta that incorporates fixes to test too...
 
The elephant in the room is the extremely limited time frame for this beta anyway. IMO it should run right until they are ready for release, one week is way too short.
agreed. It IS possible that this is just a first pass of several and they will actually try to fix some of the bugs discovered. Otherwise this is just pointless fan service and another waste of players’ time.
 
I'd love to take part. But I need you to re-enable controller support that you seem to have inexplicably removed in both the beta AND the main game.

Will it's re-addition be in the final release come January?
 
Thank you making the Beta available! Download and install went smoothly and was up and running as soon as my network bandwidth allowed it. Controls and all work fine.

I do quite a bit of exploring and care about it a lot in this game, so I concentrated on that aspect now. FSS, the bread and butter of exploring. No, the breath of exploring. Cool feature I really like over the older scanning system. After a quick test runaound of plowing thru about 20 systems and 400 bodies, things work as advertised. No crashes or anomalies yet (well, a few "flickers" when zooming into a body in FSS, but that's ok, fine, normal and nothing to worry about, really).

But, the new "probability" display. At least the current way to display it is confusing and actually slows down scanning thru entire systems. If the purpose of this is to really combat the long planet surface generation time, then it really feels an over-engineered solution (yes, I am a software engineer myself and awfully too familiar with the trap myself) and not very effective in its current implementation.

Starting from the confusion aspect:

When you start FSS scan of a body, the first thing you will always immediately see is "LOCATIONS: NONE" and you think... ok, scan complete, definitely nothing here. Took me a few systems to realize (after starting to wonder why there's nothing even in any those bodies with clear volcanic activity) that no, there was more to it. If I still wait - after being told there is NONE(thing) there - for a few seconds the panel suddenly changes to "FEATURES: GEOLOGICAL LIKELY"... ah, so there MAY be something here - why didn't you say so immediately! Or somehow immediately indicate that the scan is not definitive or complete yet!

There used to be the whirling thingy in that LOCATIONS-panel to show that it the scan is still in progress. From that, it was always clear if things are really done or still in progress. That was good useful information. If scanning a body started to take more than a couple of seconds, I knew there really might be something there and I could leave it and continue to skim the other bodies while leaving that scan progressing in the background. And later come back (after the other bodies have been skimmed or scanned) to really see the definitive results.

Continuing with the effectiveness part:

Ok, I played with this for a while and tried learn how it works a bit. After some of that, it seems that I practically have to wait at each and every body for that panel to switch to FEATURES-page to definitively see if there might be something or not or if things are still pending (never saw this last one tho). As most or good part of bodies definitely have nothing (e.g. they are not landable -> used to show immeadiately the LOCATIONS: NONE), these used to be quite fast to scan past, thus making more time available on more interesting bodies instead. Yes, I could use my Black-infused explorer eyes locate the "Volcanism"-row on the screen to get some hints or find that "Landable"-row... oh, there is no such thing... but it is slow and taxing on already long and taxing exploration runs. And this alone tends to negate the benefit of getting the probability done faster for all bodies than waiting for the full surface generation of the few interesting ones as there are some easy mitigating strategies to avoid being slowed down much by the long scan times of the more interesting bodies.

The mitigating strategies mostly include keeping side record of these findings manually. E.g. when waiting for FSS to scan an "interesting" body I make a mental note (or write it down to a paper next to my keyboard if there are many of them in the system - like in systems with 72 bodies and 37 of them having something potentially interesting) to come back to check what eventually the FSS found (signals of life perhaps?) and then plan if DSS and landings should be next.

With the pre-beta FSS, I really actually never minded the scanning of potentially interesting bodies taking more time. I can understand it. Even if it is only due a technical limitation it still makes real sense in the Game World. Detailed scanning of interesting surface detail in detail from hundreds of millions of kilometers away even with past-Y3K tech might well take a few seconds. It's ok, I think it fits just fine into the game. Even after about 40k bodies I've scanned, I find it fine. What I was actually hoping for the game to help here is to just show me clearly, what was found and what is still pending and to avoid me to do the manual pen'n'paper side records of these things. During Distant Worlds 2, I think I spent tens of A4 size papers just for side record for potentially interesting body scans.

It would be valuable (or perhaps even invaluable) if I could easily see what was found and what is still pending with FSS. E.g. in FSS and system map some colors, icons, markers, blobs, text, glows or something blinking (well, no, not blinking thingies...) of SIGNALS found by FSS. And having that information in the logs too would be super as it's really food for making travel reports of the findings or pushing interesting data to 3rd party tools like EDSM and such.

Following with some humble suggestion:

If you still decide to keep this probability feature in the final release, I would really hope a few simple fixes to it:
  • indicate clearly that the scan (/surface generation) is still in progres (e.g. that old whirly thingy in the LOCATION-panel) - at least the FEATURES-panel should show up immediately
  • when the full surface generation, replace the "likelihood" information with the accurate information and indicate to the player clearly that the final scan result is now available (now even after mapping the body and getting e.g. GEOLOGICAL (19) - the FSS still shows the body as "GEOLOGICAL LIKELY")
  • show the SIGNALS found with FSS in the system map (currently only shows LOCATIONS and only after mapping it)
  • show the SIGNALS found in logs - as its own entry when the FSS scan completes
  • in system map, show LOCATIONS and (the above requested) SIGNALS higher on the screen to avoid the need to scroll down on each body when looking for them - e.g. right next VOLCANISM or ATMOSPHERE instead of being at the bottom of the list after all the PLANET MATERIALS would be appropriate - they are a bit related, I think
Other unrelated minor and simple improvements to FSS I would like to see:
- show, voice out or have a sound effect for "Terraformable" state in the FSS somehow (love the sounds in FSS, btw - but for this alone, I have to use a 3rd party tool)

Other unrelated minor but possible less simple improvements to FSS I would like to see:
- have (optional) voice or sound effect for finding SIGNALS at least on previously unscanned ("WasDiscovered" in logs) body even if it would happen asynchronously i.e. only after the FSS scan has completed while already on doing something else (now I can "feel" a completion of long running FSS scan from the slight fraction-of-a-second freeze of the game - which actually is useful information to me in many systems even if involuntary and unintended ;)

Ending with feel good and love:

In the risk of repeating myself, I really like (or most Americans might say "love", but since I'm a Finn and we reserve that word for really, really special relationships, "like" shall do) this opportunity for beta testing the new release! I wish we had this opportunity during DW2 before one of the (in)famous updates came ;)


Yours,

CMDR Caldomir
Class of '84
 
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It IS possible that this is just a first pass of several and they will actually try to fix some of the bugs discovered.
Here's what was posted on this matter:

There is only one beta currently planned for the January Update and the fixes listed in the beta Patch Notes are the proposed changes for the final January Update. Once the beta ends, we'll review all the feedback and reports shared with us, and provide final Patch Notes closer to the January Update's release.
 
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