Proposal: alternative to outright removal of ADS instascan & system map minigame for explorers

There are a fair few long-time explorers vocally expressing their disappointment of the planned removal of the Advanced Discovery Scanner's blanket instascan, thereby removing their ability to immediately determine whether a system held any personally-interesting formations/sights. Currently they would use this to either further investigate and explore closer, or skip on to the next star system.

After arrival in a new star system, what many of those explorers seek is quick high-level information on the planetary bodies:
  • The number and layout of planetary bodies
  • Distances between them
  • Their types, i.e. rare (ELW, WW, HMC) or common (ice, rocky)
  • Whether ringed or not
Back during Beta 2.2 this was introduced to mostly negative feedback:



I propose this is re-introduced, with the system map populated with a full-layout of black, hollow circles, following a honk of the revamped Discovery Scanner. As this was a feature previously introduced for Beta 2.2, I guess it can be re-introduced without requiring much in the way of development resources (compared to a new feature).

As the Discovery Scanner can pinpoint the location of frequency signals, it is feasible to assume it can determine how many separate signals, their layout, distances between them, and whether they're are ringed or not. And then generate a "low fidelity", visual representation of the detected frequencies.

Further information could be provided in the system map's sidebar, displaying the approximate breakdown of the system's planetary bodies.

Here is my very bad mspaint draft based on the above image:



The percentages of the Estimated Breakdown would be very loosely based on the pre-determined data in the Stellar Forge. The goal being to hint that an interesting, high-value world will exist there. If the makeup of a pre-determined system is 3 ELWs among a total of 8 bodies (including main star), then the Earth-Likes percentage range would be relatively high, e.g. 10-40% (indicating between 1 and 3 ELWs exist in the system).

Selecting an unscanned world (black, hollow circle) on the system map will give only four pieces of information:
  • Ringed or not
  • Distance to parent star
  • Distance to parent/partner world where appropriate (a moon, or member of binary system)
  • Approximated size and/or mass
As worlds are scanned using the planned new mechanics, each respective object in the system map will be resolved, and their details becoming accessible in the system map's sidebar. The estimated breakdown could change too (this feature could be implemented at a later date) as worlds are scanned and identified.

One possible future extension of the above mechanics could be for CMDRs who choose not to equip a Discovery Scanner at all: the system map could gradually populate with black, hollow circles, as the CMDR's ship comes within visual range of the respective planetary bodies.

Another future addition could be the highlighting on the system map the area of the habitable zone for each star, once it has been respectively scanned of course. This could further assist explorers in "scientifically" determining whether a star system could support life (via an Earth Like world for example).
 
Last edited:
Nothing in the Ex-Reveal mentioned that players wouldn't be able to identify interesting items. They just said that with the new scanner a player's skill and experience would dictate how objects are found. Everyone has been asking for more depth to Exploration. Now that we see it, it's comes down to Cr./Hr. People are afraid they may be asked to learn a new task. It sounds like we are saying: "Make it more interesting, but don't make me do anything".
 
Exploration should be as skillful and activity as high level PvE, successful trading, etc.

If you want to make it about Cr/hour then follow the "Road to Riches" and make a huge, boring pile of money and rank. (Nothing against the R2R site, it's bloody amazing for people who want to do that sort of thing, it's just not for me)

Mapping planets and getting your name on something that takes longer than 4 seconds to do is what Exploration should be about.
 
Exploration should be as skillful and activity as high level PvE, successful trading, etc.

If you want to make it about Cr/hour then follow the "Road to Riches" and make a huge, boring pile of money and rank. (Nothing against the R2R site, it's bloody amazing for people who want to do that sort of thing, it's just not for me)

Mapping planets and getting your name on something that takes longer than 4 seconds to do is what Exploration should be about.
Ok. Now, what does any of what you said have to do with my OP?
 
Ring systems seem to be the most mentioned object regarding eye-candy for interesting places.

I'm pretty certain that rings will generate a quite distinct modifier to the energy signature and will likely be the first 'top-tip' to appear in this forum when this goes to Beta.

I do think the OP suggestion has merit - the blacked-out version of the System Map still gives that overview of the system.
 
Hahaha thanks, they took me ages to do :D
When you get down to the nitty-gritty, the ADS is really about convenience, more than anything else.

The loss of the current functionality is going to be felt by anyone who has ever outfitted an ADS for any length of time, but ironically, it's going to affect a certain subset of players far more than it does anyone else.

If the new hotness works the way Frontier says that it should, then I really think that it's going to be well-received by most Commanders who engage in Exploration-type activities.

It's also likely to be equivalent to current travel time, or cut down on overall travel time for those who are good at it. I don't think it's going to end up substantially increasing travel times, overall. The part that people are missing here is the Supercruise time to make the scans that are *worth it* is a few minutes' delay at the very least, but that could be upwards of 20-30 minutes of mostly flying in Supercruise (the lessening of which was a stated goal for the new mechanics). This could also make your fuel scoop size largely irrelevant, which is another side bonus, especially for those who like to play with fire, and run tight on power.

No one looks fondly on losing a convenience (and this is a big one for sure), but it's going to be better for the game overall, if it works they way it appears right now. The other two pillars of the game directly reward skill/knowledge, but Exploration largely does not. This new functionality will put Exploration in line with the other two, where knowledge of the Stellar Forge and skill with the new mechanics will be directly rewarded with Commanders being able to find what they are looking for (whatever that is) more efficiently than without those things. Once I thought about this, I stopped thinking that we should keep some form of the current ADS functionality simply because of the sheer number of systems in the game. The new way, if it works as stated, should be significantly better, overall.

Riôt
 
When you get down to the nitty-gritty, the ADS is really about convenience, more than anything else.

The loss of the current functionality is going to be felt by anyone who has ever outfitted an ADS for any length of time, but ironically, it's going to affect a certain subset of players far more than it does anyone else.

If the new hotness works the way Frontier says that it should, then I really think that it's going to be well-received by most Commanders who engage in Exploration-type activities.

It's also likely to be equivalent to current travel time, or cut down on overall travel time for those who are good at it. I don't think it's going to end up substantially increasing travel times, overall. The part that people are missing here is the Supercruise time to make the scans that are *worth it* is a few minutes' delay at the very least, but that could be upwards of 20-30 minutes of mostly flying in Supercruise (the lessening of which was a stated goal for the new mechanics). This could also make your fuel scoop size largely irrelevant, which is another side bonus, especially for those who like to play with fire, and run tight on power.

No one looks fondly on losing a convenience (and this is a big one for sure), but it's going to be better for the game overall, if it works they way it appears right now. The other two pillars of the game directly reward skill/knowledge, but Exploration largely does not. This new functionality will put Exploration in line with the other two, where knowledge of the Stellar Forge and skill with the new mechanics will be directly rewarded with Commanders being able to find what they are looking for (whatever that is) more efficiently than without those things. Once I thought about this, I stopped thinking that we should keep some form of the current ADS functionality simply because of the sheer number of systems in the game. The new way, if it works as stated, should be significantly better, overall.

Riôt
Great comment. My proposal is targeted at satisfying some/most of that certain subset whose playstyles (hunting for interesting sights; not credit-motivated) that will be heavily impacted by the ADS instascan minigame removal.

The new way as stated by FDev is perfect in my eyes, but then i'm not in that subset of "interesting-sight" explorers. It'll be a new learning curve, and should give substantially more gameplay and depth to overall exploration.
 
This is what I had in mind for a decent compromise. Staring at some abstract waveform does not appeal to me at all. Your proposal would take that abstract waveform minigame and translate it into a semi useful orrery-like visual. Then we could use the more in-depth DSS game play and shoot probes at all the bodies to determine more detail. With the above, I would be able to determine if the moon of a ringed body that also has a satellite is worth a quick look. The explorer doesn't get the "we can see the texture of all the planets" and has to invest a bit more time if they want to know what is out there but on the other hand can use experience and intuition to know that based on the star that the orbiting bodies are icy planets in a bog standard orbit and layout.

On a side note, I want to emphasize, I couldn't care less about the credit/hour. I'm of the opinion that getting credits for just a quick ADS scan is silly. You should only get credits if you perform a detailed surface scan. My reasoning is, if you look at what the ADS gives you on initial scan, it's nothing more than solar system layout with sizes. Nothing really useful to entities willing to pay. Even the scan of the star is kinda useless to cartography since telescopes can discern that very same information from observation. It's only when you do a detailed scan you get any workable information out of the bodies and as thus should prove valuable to mining/terraforming companies/governments from a lore aspect.
 
Last edited:
This is what I had in mind for a decent compromise. Staring at some abstract waveform does not appeal to me at all. Your proposal would take that abstract waveform minigame and translate it into a semi useful orrery-like visual. Then we could use the more in-depth DSS game play and shoot probes at all the bodies to determine more detail. With the above, I would be able to determine if the moon of a ringed body that also has a satellite is worth a quick look. The explorer doesn't get the "we can see the texture of all the planets" and has to invest a bit more time if they want to know what is out there but on the other hand can use experience and intuition to know that based on the star that the orbiting bodies are icy planets in a bog standard orbit and layout.

On a side note, I want to emphasize, I couldn't care less about the credit/hour. I'm of the opinion that getting credits for just a quick ADS scan is silly. You should only get credits if you perform a detailed surface scan. My reasoning is, if you look at what the ADS gives you on initial scan, it's nothing more than solar system layout with sizes. Nothing really useful to entities willing to pay. Even the scan of the star is kinda useless to cartography since telescopes can discern that very same information from observation. It's only when you do a detailed scan you get any workable information out of the bodies and as thus should prove valuable to mining/terraforming companies/governments from a lore aspect.
Agreed, that's what I was thinking about when reading the variety of "we don't like the ADS removal" feedback.
 
There's a lot of worry about a mechanic we don't even know how is actually going to work yet.

There's a lot of "Explorers" that don't actually want to explore.

There's a lot of people who complained about the honk being shallow, and now its going to be given depth are complaining it's not going to be shallow enough.

Have i missed anything?
 
There's a lot of worry about a mechanic we don't even know how is actually going to work yet.

There's a lot of "Explorers" that don't actually want to explore.

There's a lot of people who complained about the honk being shallow, and now its going to be given depth are complaining it's not going to be shallow enough.

Have i missed anything?
You have not.

Riôt
 
There's a lot of worry about a mechanic we don't even know how is actually going to work yet.

There's a lot of "Explorers" that don't actually want to explore.

There's a lot of people who complained about the honk being shallow, and now its going to be given depth are complaining it's not going to be shallow enough.

Have i missed anything?
That about covers it tbh
 
Personally I'm all for losing the instascan. Makes cherrypicking harder and gives a reason to linger in systems longer - which will be helped by having things easier to find, plus when we have more planets landable. Yes, it slows exploration down, but in my opinion the constant jump, honk, jump, just scanning the best options is too mercenary an approach to exploration. Exploration should be about discovery - of the mundane as much as the exciting, not simply cherrypicking only the most valuable objects to scan. But that's just me - I know many wouldn't agree - that's ok, we don't all have to agree. Remember we will now also have the first mapped by tag too, with associated credit rewards I would expect. If only we could get first discovered by and credit rewards for finding things on planet surfaces to boot ......

My only disappointment about the proposed exploration gameplay is it's 2-3 years later than it should have been, in my opinion.
 
Last edited:
I've sort of come to like the new ADS method, to an extent, we can't really decide till we see it in action.

But no matter what you think, it's selfish to discount other people's concerns.
The big one is time, there's a chance that the new method will significantly increase the time it takes to complete all other gameplay functions.
Passenger missions, trading, looking for res sites, delivery missions, material hunting, anything that requires you to go to a system and identity a body within it, could end up adding a lot of extra time if you have to do a full blue blob scan first to find out where you should be going. None of these people will be happy if their game time is seriously affected by having to spend another 10 to 30 minutes in every system (total guess) doing something that last week took 5 seconds.

For explorers, great, I agree that this has a lot of potential, but for people just meandering around, doing missions, or looking for interesting system features, then yeah, it'll take longer. I'm ok with this (maybe, if it works like we imagine it might), but an awful lot of people are going to be upset, and we should try and not completely alienate them.

The bit I'm not sure on, which might make this less of an issue, is do all stations show up with the initial ADS scan? Various dev comments have contradicted this "only the main star, nothing else" has been mentioned twice, so I'm not sure.

But hey I'm just guessing :)

My biggest concern.... You jump into a system, you start up your new scanners, you're in supercruise, in a separate UI, you can't see your main vicinity scanner, you might be scanning blue blobs for 2,5,10,20 minutes, with no way of knowing if another ship is sneaking behind you with hard points engaged.. Suddenly a lot of explorers might find themselves getting interdicted a whole lot more.
 
  • Like (+1)
Reactions: NW3
The bit I'm not sure on, which might make this less of an issue, is do all stations show up with the initial ADS scan? Various dev comments have contradicted this "only the main star, nothing else" has been mentioned twice, so I'm not sure.
This was answered by Adam Waite in the main thread:
Q: yes, then there seems to be a problem while not exploring but just travelling around the bubble. could the honk reveal the system map in the bubble? or at least starports and outposts? edit: or, yeah, will the nav beacon still work?

Adam Waite: Players will automatically gain the location of starports and outposts when they enter the system.
And all populated systems within the bubble have Nav beacons, which can be scanned to reveal the whole system too.
 
The bit I'm not sure on, which might make this less of an issue, is do all stations show up with the initial ADS scan? Various dev comments have contradicted this "only the main star, nothing else" has been mentioned twice, so I'm not sure.
All stations show up in system map without the need to honk. This is how it work currently, and it will continue to do so after Q4 release. This was confirmed by a dev.

edit: ninjaed :p
 
Top Bottom