Why can we only Land on Barren Planets after almost 5 years?

I think you’ve highlighted the main issue,i’d consider mining feature complete you are using it as an example of how broken the game is.
Fair enough... But I'd first suggest there's a danger of you misrepresenting me with, "you are using it as an example of how broken the game is."

I'm highlighting how IMHO, how (needlessly) poor the management and design of ED has been over the past four or so years at times, including even a recent significant development, such as Mining 2.0.

So if you feel my points about Mining 2.0 are unfair or unfounded, that fine. But I do suspect for example, many people mining might from time to time question why is this middle tier of mining, "sub-surface" deposits, so (needlessly) pointless? Why wasn't it balanced so it's a viable/worthwhile feature? Or why is the PWA not very useful at doing much more than motherlode->motherlode->motherlode?

Ultimately, the mining mechanics could easily have given a far better result IMHO only for want of better design and probably little/no more development effort. And given I feel this has been a trend for four or so years now, I'm concerned for the outcome of the huge development now underway. eg: Consider if numerous core areas of its mechanics are as needlessly unbalanced/pointless as sub-surface deposits. Or worse still, if entire aspects of it are as ill-considered and ill-conceived in viability as Multicrew...

As I've said before, I sincerely hope next year's release is some epic bar raising development... But give the past four+ years history, I'm concerned. I truly hope my concerns prove groundless!
 
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The same will happen between every update. The numbers dwindle until the release a new update.
I think what's different this time though is the overall package is so crumbly from design and development skills, decisions to simply not fix bugs (it takes them 2 weeks + fix time allowance to patch elite if they raised their hands to do it).. the sum of the whole is looking pretty shabby at the moment. If only from lack of coverage, its never been so pockmarked before.

Just keep in mind, on ps4, you can't even confirm changes to control settings because you're unable to highlight the dialog box option. You have to use the global shortcut, or turn off confirmation i assume. Frontier are completely fine with this since beyond dropped. Insert your favourite bug here. Can you still cheat?

We all know about the fss. But they had to double smack us with a universally disliked 100% screen tint feature just to rub salt in. They actually sold this like its an exciting feature.. When you're just there for work its pretty telling in any industry and profession.
 
Going back to the OP's original question, one thing to consider is that Frontier want and partially need (due to expectation) to model a certain realism into atmospheric worlds of any type. To do that you need at least two major land form modelling techniques:
1. Is to have hills and mountains you need tectonic activity and from what I see only impact and hot spot uplift features are currently modelled with some transform faults on ice worlds. I can't identify subduction, mid ocean ridge/rift valley or other plate vs. plate features.
2. As soon as you put any fluid (liquid or gas) on the surface, whether volcanic or otherwise, you need to model erosion features e.g. dunes, sedimentary basins and probably the hardest in realtime are catchment basins (sources, to streams, to rivers, to estuaries/deltas to seas and oceans).
I can't think of another title that has done both of the above using procedural generation across billions/trillions of bodies in a real time rendering engine, although there are partial examples in Space Engine. Can anyone else?

There is a third aspect which is portraying realistic liquids on surfaces - the normal "fudge" is to stick a single layer of liquid, which is revealed where you erode the land below that layer (CryEngine uses this as does DCS). Liquid flowing downhill is quite difficult and "expensive".

I have a feeling since Horizons, that Frontier have been working on this and my hope is we will start to see some of that effort revealed, but I could be wrong, as its very difficult to do and is certainly not a case of calling a few API functions i.e. its going to be largely bespoke coding at a core engine level, which needs a high skill level and high budgets (both of which Frontier have).
 
We all know about the fss. But they had to double smack us with a universally disliked 100% screen tint feature just to rub salt in. They actually sold this like its an exciting feature.. When you're just there for work its pretty telling in any industry and profession.
Sorry to hijack your post/point, but IMHO the FSS - ignoring its core mechanics, love them or hate them - is another example of the poor designing going on. eg: Consider how needlessly disjointed it is as regards:-
  1. No effort to allow its mechanics to add to Multicrew's depth - eg: Why can't crew members be using it while the CMDR flies to a body to do a Surface scan?
  2. No effort to allow its mechanics to utilise and add purpose and important and variety via the Supercruise Assistant - eg: Why can't a CMDR set off to a body using the Supercruise Assistant and then use the FSS to identify other remaining objects in the system.
Anyway, apologies again for basically hijacking your point. But it's another recent example IMHO of a (needless) lack of joined up vision/mechanics.
 
Going back to the OP's original question, one thing to consider is that Frontier want and partially need (due to expectation) to model a certain realism into atmospheric worlds of any type. To do that you need at least two major land form modelling techniques:
1. Is to have hills and mountains you need tectonic activity and from what I see only impact and hot spot uplift features are currently modelled with some transform faults on ice worlds. I can't identify subduction, mid ocean ridge/rift valley or other plate vs. plate features.
2. As soon as you put any fluid (liquid or gas) on the surface, whether volcanic or otherwise, you need to model erosion features e.g. dunes, sedimentary basins and probably the hardest in realtime are catchment basins (sources, to streams, to rivers, to estuaries/deltas to seas and oceans).
I can't think of another title that has done both of the above using procedural generation across billions/trillions of bodies in a real time rendering engine, although there are partial examples in Space Engine. Can anyone else?

There is a third aspect which is portraying realistic liquids on surfaces - the normal "fudge" is to stick a single layer of liquid, which is revealed where you erode the land below that layer (CryEngine uses this as does DCS). Liquid flowing downhill is quite difficult and "expensive".

I have a feeling since Horizons, that Frontier have been working on this and my hope is we will start to see some of that effort revealed, but I could be wrong, as its very difficult to do and is certainly not a case of calling a few API functions i.e. its going to be largely bespoke coding at a core engine level, which needs a high skill level and high budgets (both of which Frontier have).
It's an interesting question/set of points.

I suspect procedurally generating a surface that looks weathered and viable based on Stellar Forge's information as seeds should be possible? At least to within certain limitations?

I'd envisage the issue you raise with water and its interaction (visually) with the surface is a good one! To my mind it would seem a tricky one, but maybe its do'able these days with some clever coding? Water appearing at higher altititudes in procedurally generated streams, feeding into procedurally generated rivers, feeding into calculated oceans etc. And with waterfalls where applicable etc? It does sound tricky though :)

Then we get onto weather of course too! Clouds? Fog? Storms? Wind? Rain? Snow? What about lightening and aurora? :)

As for Frontier working well ahead of the curve to these sort of ends, eg: With the technical developers behind Horizons working on atmospheric world tech? Can but hope! Maybe their work on their other titles' terrain has been useful too?


EDIT: Personally? I'd absolutely love to see the above sort of stuff, and if you'd asked me four years ago on the back of the release of Planetary Landings, I'd have predicted atmospheric landings being delivered by FD in the following 2-3 yrs. But now, I just can't see FD doing it given the past four years. ie: There's little in the past four years that seems to imply to me FD are willing/capable of a development of that nature/scale :(
 
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I claim the trademark to "half-baked". It should be written as half-baked™. Just saying!

 
It's an interesting question/set of points.

I suspect procedurally generating a surface that looks weathered and viable based on Stellar Forge's information as seeds should be possible? At least to within certain limitations?

I'd envisage the issue you raise with water and its interaction (visually) with the surface is a good one! To my mind it would seem a tricky one, but maybe its do'able these days with some clever coding? Water appearing at higher altititudes in procedurally generated streams, feeding into procedurally generated rivers, feeding into calculated oceans etc. And with waterfalls where applicable etc? It does sound tricky though :)

Then we get onto weather of course too! Clouds? Fog? Storms? Wind? Rain? Snow? What about lightening and aurora? :)

As for Frontier working well ahead of the curve to these sort of ends, eg: With the technical developers behind Horizons working on atmospheric world tech? Can but hope! Maybe their work on their other titles' terrain has been useful too?
Yeah I know from Dr Ross's Stellar Forge presentation(both the YT one and the Expo 17) that there are variables for bodies that are not yet featured in the game and I'm pretty sure the list that scrolled at Expo 17 was culled for the YT video, so its pretty certain it can provide data on what kind of features should be there e.g. there's water and tectonics and the age of the planet is 4 billion "years", so we need water and erosion and mountains and craters will be few etc. I wonder how detailed those variables go and what is up to the procedural algorithms to produce based on pseudo randomisation.

The code to make that display/render is another matter - there obviously is some that makes the texture for non-landable planets, but that's very different from height mapping and rendering surface features. For example there are some fractal techniques for catchment basins, but inserting that would not be trivial and we already see "funky" edge cases in terrain that need to be "controlled/moderated".

Regarding the weather - yeah agree there - there's a ton of layers on top of the base terrain and textures that need coding - its a massive task and I hope that the other titles are feeding back useful code into ED's development.

I hope we get atmospheres and legs, but I'd be happy with either and I certainly don't expect a big bang release, but more a roll out of planet types over time from an initial "wow" release in 2020. I reckon the earliest we'll see anything is E3 next year, but it could be as late as Gamescom 2020 for a Xmas release date otherwise early hype can boil off, or worse lead to over hyped expectations (of the playerbase's own making imho).
 
Sorry to hijack your post/point, but IMHO the FSS - ignoring its core mechanics, love them or hate them - is another example of the poor designing going on. eg: Consider how needlessly disjointed it is as regards:-
  1. No effort to allow its mechanics to add to Multicrew's depth - eg: Why can't crew members be using it while the CMDR flies to a body to do a Surface scan?
  2. No effort to allow its mechanics to utilise and add purpose and important and variety via the Supercruise Assistant - eg: Why can't a CMDR set off to a body using the Supercruise Assistant and then use the FSS to identify other remaining objects in the system.
Anyway, apologies again for basically hijacking your point. But it's another recent example IMHO of a (needless) lack of joined up vision/mechanics.
Based on my own attempts to use of the masslock effect to actually use the FSS on the move (briefly), I don't think it's necessarily needless. There are some rather unpleasant side effects when ships move between spheres of influence, which are themselves a necessary weasel to model orbital mechanics on a personal computer. Personally, I'm willing to put up with those side effects (I've learned how to minimize them) if it meant being able to use the FSS on the move, but I can imagine the number of complaints this would generate.

Whether or not Frontier attempted to fix the problem before giving up, have someone still trying to fix the problem, or simply decided the amount of effort wasn't worth the results is another matter entirely. 🤷
 
Based on my own attempts to use of the masslock effect to actually use the FSS on the move (briefly), I don't think it's necessarily needless. There are some rather unpleasant side effects when ships move between spheres of influence, which are themselves a necessary weasel to model orbital mechanics on a personal computer. Personally, I'm willing to put up with those side effects (I've learned how to minimize them) if it meant being able to use the FSS on the move, but I can imagine the number of complaints this would generate.

Whether or not Frontier attempted to fix the problem before giving up, have someone still trying to fix the problem, or simply decided the amount of effort wasn't worth the results is another matter entirely. 🤷
Not wishing to take the topic off topic - The notion of the logic of making FSS unusable while moving, thus why we can't have multicrew making more of it, or being able to utilise the Supercruise Assistant with it, either:-
1) Automatically compensate the FSS view for movement/angles.
2) More simply, base the main FSS view on a scan taken when entering the FSS, thus it's static (akin) to its default behaviour, no matter what speed you're doing, or what you're ships doing [edit: With an option to rescan potentially]. ie: A small bit of hand-wavium for a bigger opportunity to improve gameplay/mechanics.
 
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2) More simply, base the main FSS view on a scan taken when entering the FSS, thus it's static (akin) to its default behaviour, no matter what speed you're doing, or what you're ships doing. ie: A small bit of hand-wavium for a bigger opportunity to improve gameplay/mechanics.
I like this one!
It would also give some importance to where you honk. If you do it too close to the star then some planet will be hidden so you'd better find a further location first. And then while the ship is travelling in auto-supercruise you can take another one to update the position to show what was hidden before.
 
Fair enough... But I'd first suggest there's a danger of you misrepresenting me with, "you are using it as an example of how broken the game is."

I'm highlighting how IMHO, how (needlessly) poor the management and design of ED has been over the past four or so years at times, including even a recent significant development, such as Mining 2.0.

So if you feel my points about Mining 2.0 are unfair or unfounded, that fine. But I do suspect for example, many people mining might from time to time question why is this middle tier of mining, "sub-surface" deposits, so (needlessly) pointless? Why wasn't it balanced so it's a viable/worthwhile feature? Or why is the PWA not very useful at doing much more than motherlode->motherlode->motherlode?

Ultimately, the mining mechanics could easily have given a far better result IMHO only for want of better design and probably little/no more development effort. And given I feel this has been a trend for four or so years now, I'm concerned for the outcome of the huge development now underway. eg: Consider if numerous core areas of its mechanics are as needlessly unbalanced/pointless as sub-surface deposits. Or worse still, if entire aspects of it are as ill-considered and ill-conceived in viability as Multicrew...

As I've said before, I sincerely hope next year's release is some epic bar raising development... But give the past four+ years history, I'm concerned. I truly hope my concerns prove groundless!
Your opinion doesn’t appear to account for the difficulty involved in developing a game like ED. The ambition should be applauded.
I’m sure they could have decided to simplify the game drastically with a handful of ships and systems,reign back the complexity and by now we’d be playing a more realistic version of NMS.
What you call poor management I call a tremendous achievement.
 

sollisb

Banned
I don't know about NMS's latest update. I do know that the mining and exploration update was great, and some of the little "shiny things" they released this year make some of the "core gameplay" more pleasant for me. I like what Elite is for the most part. I think your problem is your vision of what you want it to be doesn't align with what the developers want it to be. If you like NMS so much, nobody is forcing you to play Elite instead.



So you are denying that Elite was released as a minimum viable product with a plan to continually develop and refine it over a period of years ( let's say about ten )?
There is no denying that it [Elite] was released as minimum viable product. As you are accusing people of only seeing what they want to see, you are also seeing what you want to see.

There is also no denying that the entire development after the initial [partial product] has been disjointed and lack-lustre in approach, design and delivery. Every release has been buggy, and build upon the myriad of bugs lying beneath it. You cannot deny this, it is fact. Thargoid were added as an fater-thought, were buggy, and attached to a story that gets changed on server restarts. That i'm afraid is not good content or story telling.

Claiming anything in relation to a 10 year plan is to also relegate Elite to the same corner as SC. Both are incomplete, the difference being one was released half-baked and incomplete, and the other is waiting for to be completed. Additionally as already mentioned claiming a grand 10 year plan was in existence has been debunked and claiming otherwise is folly. If such a plan was in existence, where is it? What is it? We are 5 years down the road, and even you can't answer that one.

The big question can be brought back to your own claim 'it is what the developers want it to be'. The problem is that it appears we, nor the developers, know what they want it to be. What we do know is it is unfinished, buggy as heck and unlikely to change no matter what they add. I for one do not in any way feel assured they have the where-with-all to actually complete it. And added this is the fact that 10 years down the road, Elite will be a 'vintage-game'... Do you really think Elite Dangerous will be top shelf gameplay in 2024 ?

What you did get right was that we each have a choice to play what we like, when we like. That in itself raises huge concerns for a playerbase, when the company [frontier] refuse to converse or be let known, what to expect in the future. For all I [or indeed you] know, they might decide next quarter to drop Elite and work on something else. Who is to say any different?
 
Your opinion doesn’t appear to account for the difficulty involved in developing a game like ED. The ambition should be applauded.
I’m sure they could have decided to simplify the game drastically with a handful of ships and systems,reign back the complexity and by now we’d be playing a more realistic version of NMS.
What you call poor management I call a tremendous achievement.
And your response continues to seemingly ignore examples such that when designing Mining 2.0, failing to even make sure subsurface deposits are just a meaningful tier in the new mechanics, rather than something all but ignored by many, is down to nothing more than seemingly poor design (ie: It requires no more development time to "do it right", just design quality). And when there's other mechanics too which again are needlessly questionable and lacking, simply down to their design?

And of course examples such as Multicrew being given the greenlight even when from the outset players were asking FD if they were sure there was the gameplay depth and mechanics to make it a worthwhile allocation of significant development time. And features repeatedly getting dropped/delayed, just a few months before their supposed released, is another hint at poor design/management.

ED is/was an ambitious title, but I'd suggest far too many of the developments over the past four years have been poorly chosen and poorly implemented and have been FAR from ambitious. The past four years really has left me scratching my head at the nature, quality and rather small bolt-on size of the developments TBH!

Ultimately there's been little quality "ambition" over the past four years I've seen worthy of truly applauding, especially when it's been underlined by questionable choices and designs.

ps: And let's not even get into the Thargoid Invasion, which with years to prepare for and to get some meaningful gameplay mechanics in place to then leverage and make the most out of the event, instead basically no mechanics were put in place, so now our alien invasion is all but a bunch of boss ship mini-game fights we can spawn into, along with a Thursday morning attack by invisible Thargoid ships. I'm sure when most people envisage an alien fleet attacking they at least imagine the game benefiting from mechanics and gameplay with a depth akin to games from 20+ years ago!


EDIT: Anyway, I'm guilty of dragging this thread off topic. I'll give it a rest!
 
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There are four active games that need updates, and DLC revenue.
Gee, I wonder why there's nothing major for ED until Q4 2020?
 
And your response continues to seemingly ignore examples such that when designing Mining 2.0, failing to even make sure subsurface deposits are just a meaningful tier in the new mechanics, rather than something all but ignored by many, is down to nothing more than seemingly poor design (ie: It requires no more development time to "do it right", just design quality). And when there's other mechanics too which again are needlessly questionable and lacking, simply down to their design?

And of course examples such as Multicrew being given the greenlight even when from the outset players were asking FD if they were sure there was the gameplay depth and mechanics to make it a worthwhile allocation of significant development time. And features repeatedly getting dropped/delayed, just a few months before their supposed released, is another hint at poor design/management.

ED is/was an ambitious title, but I'd suggest far too many of the developments over the past four years have been poorly chosen and poorly implemented and have been FAR from ambitious. The past four years really has left me scratching my head at the nature, quality and rather small bolt-on size of the developments TBH!

Ultimately there's been little quality "ambition" over the past four years I've seen worthy of truly applauding, especially when it's been underlined by questionable choices and designs.

ps: And let's not even get into the Thargoid Invasion, which with years to prepare for and to get some meaningful gameplay mechanics in place to then leverage and make the most out of the event, instead basically no mechanics were put in place, so now our alien invasion is all but a bunch of boss ship mini-game fights we can spawn into, along with a Thursday morning attack by invisible Thargoid ships. I'm sure when most people envisage an alien fleet attacking they at least imagine the game benefiting from mechanics and gameplay with a depth akin to games from 20+ years ago!


EDIT: Anyway, I'm guilty of dragging this thread off topic. I'll give it a rest!
The to-do list is endless,you would have them pool all resources into sub surface mining and then move on to something different that grinds you gears.
But,we’re not here to effect some sort of change to development,we’re just flapping our gums because it’s fun.
I’d just prefer it if we didn’t have be nasty to the developers who gave us a reason to get our knickers in a twist;)
 
Fair enough... But I'd first suggest there's a danger of you misrepresenting me with, "you are using it as an example of how broken the game is."

I'm highlighting how IMHO, how (needlessly) poor the management and design of ED has been over the past four or so years at times, including even a recent significant development, such as Mining 2.0.

So if you feel my points about Mining 2.0 are unfair or unfounded, that fine. But I do suspect for example, many people mining might from time to time question why is this middle tier of mining, "sub-surface" deposits, so (needlessly) pointless? Why wasn't it balanced so it's a viable/worthwhile feature? Or why is the PWA not very useful at doing much more than motherlode->motherlode->motherlode?

Ultimately, the mining mechanics could easily have given a far better result IMHO only for want of better design and probably little/no more development effort. And given I feel this has been a trend for four or so years now, I'm concerned for the outcome of the huge development now underway. eg: Consider if numerous core areas of its mechanics are as needlessly unbalanced/pointless as sub-surface deposits. Or worse still, if entire aspects of it are as ill-considered and ill-conceived in viability as Multicrew...

As I've said before, I sincerely hope next year's release is some epic bar raising development... But give the past four+ years history, I'm concerned. I truly hope my concerns prove groundless!
I'd say Frontier was always useless when it comes to balancing. That's not a thing of the last 4 years but a problem that was already there at release. So I absolutely expect the new stuff to be poorly balanced as well.

Just as example:
At release rares were probably the most profitable thing in the game. Then they nerfed it and buffed trading and combat. They also added biowaste hauling which was the new most profitable thing. 6 different unbalanced additions later void opals make everyone a millionaire and most people only know rares from unlocking Engineers...
 
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Okay, if you insist!!! Now where did I put all those terrible shadow videos....
My favorite bug is the simple sprite/shader animation used for coronal mass ejections that are rotational anchored to your ships rotation. It's really ugly. I hope it'll be fixed finally in 2020.
 
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