Pls Loosen the Screws on the Planet Generator :)

No.
So far the best Results came from the RNG being out of Control.
The more Screws and Limits you Add.
The more Equalized the Results are.
Because the more Strict the Range is on which the RNG can Add Features. The less Features there are and the less these Features Differ from each other.
So the more Screws are in Place. The more every Planet will look exactly the same.
Unlike others I think I get what you're saying and it's not ridiculous it's just that I disagree about what would be best for the game and think that the "tightness of the screws" that we currently have is a good balance between some semblance of realism and an interesting degree of variety in our planets (given the current capabilities of the terrain generation algorithm).

Just to lay my credentials on the table here, I have over 25 million metres (i.e. over 25,000 km or 15,000 miles) in the SRV. I've completely circumnavigated 2 different moons (Pleione 3A and Chi Herculis/Kumay), written articles in Sagittarius Eye magazine on the subject of both Planetary Circumnavigation and advanced SRV driving techniques, established the Pomeche Ridge Challenge (perhaps Elite's foremost standing SRV time trial event) and am widely known as a massive fan of both planetary terrain and SRV driving. That's not to say my opinion is any more valid than anyone elses, just that it's based on a LOT of experience.

I think perhaps the easiest way to illustrate what I mean is by showing a selection of screenshots of some of the terrain I've seen.








(ignore the pointing finger - that was to illustrate something else in the original use of that image)

























Oh, and I think the mountains we have are plenty extreme enough!

Source: https://youtu.be/8l8-itiyCpg


All that "loosening the screws" (as you put it) would achieve is to make those variations more extreme (pushing some generated surfaces outside the realms of believability), we wouldn't get new types of variation.
 
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Unlike others I think I get what you're saying and it's not ridiculous it's just that I disagree about what would be best for the game and think that the "tightness of the screws" that we currently have is a good balance between some semblance of realism and an interesting degree of variety in our planets (given the current capabilities of the terrain generation algorithm).

Just to lay my credentials on the table here, I have over 25 million metres (i.e. over 25,000 km or 15,000 miles) in the SRV. I've completely circumnavigated 2 different moons (Pleione 3A and Chi Herculis/Kumay), written articles in Sagittarius Eye magazine on the subject of both Planetary Circumnavigation and advanced SRV driving techniques, established the Pomeche Ridge Challenge (perhaps Elite's foremost standing SRV time trial event) and am widely known as a massive fan of both planetary terrain and SRV driving. That's not to say my opinion is any more valid than anyone elses, just that it's based on a LOT of experience.

I think perhaps the easiest way to illustrate what I mean is by showing a selection of screenshots of some of the terrain I've seen.








(ignore the pointing finger - that was to illustrate something else in the original use of that image)

























Oh, and I think the mountains we have are plenty extreme enough!

Source: https://youtu.be/8l8-itiyCpg


All that "loosening the screws" (as you put it) would achieve is to make those variations more extreme (pushing some generated surfaces outside the realms of believability), we wouldn't get new types of variation.
Oh thats some Really Nice Screens there.
Thanks for the Treat :)


More Importandly however.
These give me a Good Example. :)

Right your First and Second Screenshot. Is exactly why I want the Screws on the Random Generator Loosened.
Because you See.
Flat Tops.
Below that some Ravines.
A Typical case where the RNG likely was Capped out and thus the Surface was Flattened.
Same on the Eight one.
Nice Canyon. But bottom is Flat. And above is also Flat.
You can Literally Smell how the RNG basicly opened a Scar on that Planet. But then got Capped out on Top and Bottom.

I know that part of it is also because they dont want Players to Fall into a Ditch and get Stuck.
But this Elite "Dangerous" what good does it do to have things capped so you can pretty much Drive Everywhere lol.


I know that we wont get Caves and SubSurface Structures by loosening the Screws.
But I do think that exactly of these Screenshots you make there.
We could get way more of those. And some which would be even more Awesome :)
 
Right your First and Second Screenshot. Is exactly why I want the Screws on the Random Generator Loosened.
Because you See.
Flat Tops.
Below that some Ravines.
A Typical case where the RNG likely was Capped out and thus the Surface was Flattened.
Same on the Eight one.
Nice Canyon. But bottom is Flat. And above is also Flat.
You can Literally Smell how the RNG basicly opened a Scar on that Planet. But then got Capped out on Top and Bottom.
I would disagree that such capping out is unrealistic - also there are plenty of circumstances in ED where you can get your SRV into a non-recoverable situation or stuck.

While I do see what you are looking for, I disagree that what you are asking for is either appropriate nor necessary - flattening out in valleys/canyons and on the top of hills/mountains can occur naturally as a result of different things. There are natural points of equilibrium (e.g. sea level, the water table, mantel depth) and events (e.g. glacial movement, lava spread, impact events) that can result in natural flattening - you would need to know the entire history and current status of a particular body to truely assess whether a particular surface geometry is inappropriately artificial in nature.

None of Alec's screen shots seem to me to be particularly unnatural in feel.
 
Yeah, I think I will have to agree to disagree with @Sunleader here. The flat surfaces in my first few screenshots are just the natural land level of the plains into which valleys have then been carved rather than any capping of the terrain generation and I really love the flat bottomed canyons. They're wonderful to drive along and I included those as specific examples of that kind of terrain, there are plenty of cases where the canyon bases aren't remotely flat but continue to be jumbled and craggy (not remotely nice to drive on). My main (only?) real quibble with ED's terrain generation is that the mountainous areas all exhibit/illustrate use of the same kind of terrain generation algorithm, just to varying degrees (see those sulphur coloured mountain area screenshots). They remind me of that thing where you illustrate what happens when you overlay more and more sine waves of varying frequency and amplitude. You get this seemingly random pattern - but, there's still a saminess to that pattern which isn't quite natural.

Re: flat bottomed canyons, I just wanted to include one more example. This was a glorious canyon run towards the end of my Kumay circumnavigation. A really narrow gorge which I followed out of a deep canyon complex all the way up and out onto the flat plain beyond.

Source: https://youtu.be/si0NLK6HN40
 
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As others have said, vast canyons and multi
-Everest-sized mountains are very, very common in the game. They just don't seem to be on that scale because the airless planets we can visit currently don't have the phenomena that give us that sense of scale on Earth: clouds, Rayleigh scattering, smoke plumes, trees and birds, etc.

True vertical cliffs and overhangs would also add a lot to the "epicness" of geological features. Unfortunately, the planet generation isn't capable to producing those, as it's essentially a heightmap graph. They could build rock and cliff 3D model assets and have the game somehow place those in the right spots. But given all the floating rocks and teleporting fumeroles we see currently, I'm not sure that wouldn't just look terrible without a lot of work. Not so much a case of loosening screws as bolting on a whole new extension.

Caves would also be amazing but are similar in principle to overhangs.

There are cliffs and overhangs at Engineer sites, but they are hand-placed. Same goes for caves and the inside of the Thargoid bases.
 
Speaking of loosening the screws, have you folks seen the images of the planet that DasExorcist found?





 
Interesting debate. Personally I get that allot of the planets look similar, but we do still see some interesting geography. Making the planets more extreme in thier makeup I'm sure is a fair request for future versions which could make the environment more realistic and interesting (across the galaxy) - when done in the right way. I.e. what we don't want is just a quick load of random shapes / colours randomly placed on surfaces unless it's still aligned with what we know of the diverse range of real planets so far. For that to happen I would suspect it would need a significant dev resource balance vs other demands. So given that we can only land on non atmospheric planets at the moment (which I daresay largely negates the weather issues too) and given that we / Frontier are at the mercy of dev resources I think all we can really do is reach out further to ourselves in the know / astrophysics experts etc and get thier take on improving the diverse look of planets. Anyone know a Brian Cox? If not I vouch in the next update that they should at least make our earth flat and the moon here made out of cheese..
 
You weren't here before the last planetary design change, I presume. Things were really short on variety back then.

But anyway, like metatheurgist says, we're only landing on airless rocks, they're not going to look all that different. FD took the decision back when they were first creating this game (and essentially continuing a principle that goes back to Elite 2) that their design philosophy will always favour realism over fantasy thrills. That's not going to change.
Ok let's look at realism today: This planet, Mars the two we know the best both have Water/Canyons/Mountains and weather. Now lets look at pre-man earth another pesky fact- all of the prehistoric records. No one is asking for Fantasy worlds just realistic worlds based on known facts. But what we have is almost an entire Galaxy full of the same worlds with slight color(colour) differences. And the lifeforms are pathetic, geological formations on one planet are renamed as lifeforms on anther planet and they even look the same have the same names.
 
Ok let's look at realism today: This planet, Mars the two we know the best both have Water/Canyons/Mountains and weather. Now lets look at pre-man earth another pesky fact- all of the prehistoric records. No one is asking for Fantasy worlds just realistic worlds based on known facts. But what we have is almost an entire Galaxy full of the same worlds with slight color(colour) differences. And the lifeforms are pathetic, geological formations on one planet are renamed as lifeforms on anther planet and they even look the same have the same names.
Earth and Mars both have atmospheres. The reason they implemented airless planets first is so they had time to develop all the stuff you're talking about for atmospheric planets, where you'd expect to find them.
 
Speaking of loosening the screws, have you folks seen the images of the planet that DasExorcist found?





Aye.
Another Great Planet.
Which is Clearly not Intended by the RNG.
Meaning its another Great Oddity that resulted from the RNG somehow having broken the Screws on it and was thus Able to Create something that actually is beyond the Standard.


Ok let's look at realism today: This planet, Mars the two we know the best both have Water/Canyons/Mountains and weather. Now lets look at pre-man earth another pesky fact- all of the prehistoric records. No one is asking for Fantasy worlds just realistic worlds based on known facts. But what we have is almost an entire Galaxy full of the same worlds with slight color(colour) differences. And the lifeforms are pathetic, geological formations on one planet are renamed as lifeforms on anther planet and they even look the same have the same names.
Exactly this. ^^

I dont ask for Fantasy Planets.
Albeit Honestly said that would be Very Hard in the First Place.
Because the only Planets we really know are the ones in our Solar System.

And outside of that. We have a very very VEEERY Limited Idea of what Planets even look like.

Depending on the Speed and Situation in which Planets Collide.
This can result in the Planet becoming an Molten Heated Ball of Matter and almost Instantly Converging into a Larger Spheric Shaped Planet within a matter of Days. And then needing Hundreds and more of Years before even the Surface Cools down again.
It can Result in a Massive Explosion which Shatters the Planets and Creates a Gigantic Dust Cloud which Envelops the entire Star in whose Orbit it happened. (Something Observed over 10 Years ago because the Scientist tought the Star was way Younger before they Realized that what they Saw was not a very Large and Bright Star but a Gigantic Dust Cloud around way smaller Star caused by Collission.)
Or if the Planets are Orbiting each other for a Long Time and thus Crash at Fairly low Speed (in Astronomical Standards) the Planets could effectively need Thousands of Years to Actually Converge into a Single Spherical Shaped Planet as the Gravity of Both Masses slowly Degrades and Melts the Matter of the Planet as it Converges together.
Meaning it could look like an Squeezed 8 for Thousands of Years.


This Game lacks alot of things when we Talk about Realism.
Because our "Realism" is currently extremely Limited in what we know.
And is mostly Based Solely on our own Solar System.


Earth and Mars both have atmospheres. The reason they implemented airless planets first is so they had time to develop all the stuff you're talking about for atmospheric planets, where you'd expect to find them.
Unlikely.
Because Atmospheres actually cause Planets to be more Flat and more Smooth.
Atmospheres create Dust Carrying Capabilities which are more Powerful the Thicker the Atmosphere is.
Thus slowly withering away Mountains and Filling Canyons.

So Planets without Atmospheres are in General much more Violently Shaped than Planets that have an Atmosphere.
 
Unlikely.
Because Atmospheres actually cause Planets to be more Flat and more Smooth.
Atmospheres create Dust Carrying Capabilities which are more Powerful the Thicker the Atmosphere is.
Thus slowly withering away Mountains and Filling Canyons.

So Planets without Atmospheres are in General much more Violently Shaped than Planets that have an Atmosphere.
Serious question... how many planets have you actually visited or seen real life detailed and accurate photographic imagery of? My guess is not enough to draw the kind of broad-brush conclusions you are trying to draw.

Geology, Oceanography and Meteorology (and similar related sciences) in general are rather complex subjects and largely based on a relatively limited range of empirical data - mostly Earth based. Yes, there is some additional empirical data from around our solar system but arguably while such data might be enough to make some reasonably educated guesses about how things might be elsewhere any such assessments would be purely hypothetical and far from being conclusive.

When I look at the examples you are complaining about I do not see anything that can be legitimately considered unrealistic without hard empirical evidence relating to the specific body in question to back up the reasoning.

It is not totally unreasonable to expect at least some degree of repetition across the universe, especially when you consider the principles of chaos theory and how it can be used to explain certain recurring patterns/themes on our own planet and possibly elsewhere.
 
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