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Elite: Dangerous - Braben QA - Horizons beta 11/24, details on Season 2

Anton Sugar

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Jul 26, 2007
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This was actually a livestream from just an hour or so ago

Summary (source: reddit):

  • General Information
    • Beta will come in two stages: 1.5 "Ships" launches on Nov 9th, and Horizons/2.0 on Nov 24th
  • Multi-Crew
    • Want to do NPC Wingmates & Crew. Planned, but no timescale.
  • Planetary Landing
    • Schematic map for use on planets coming soon
    • Rings will cast shadows on planet's surface, but no timescale.
    • Is orbital cruise and instanced area? At the moment pretty seamless. Isn't sure on details on where the transition is. There is instancing on the surface.
  • Player Groups/Factions
    • Player groups functionality in game. 'Yes, but...' recognising player groups as sub-factions is the start, but it won't be exactly like other game's mechanics.
  • Loot/Crafting
    • Simple bits will be in 2.0
  • VR
    • Played it on Vive today. 'It's awesome'. Buggies didn't make him feel sick. Getting excessively tumbled did make another player who was more prone to motion sickness feel that way.
  • SRV
    • Turret with Hotas? You can configure as you like. Hat button etc.
    • Buggy too jerky in streams? Some were filmed with TrackIR, which can be less pleasurable for viewer than player, maybe the cause of concern.
    • Planetary approach suite fits in every ship. SRV takes up 4t of cargo space. Doesn't take up compartment.
    • SRV inside stations? Currently no, and probably not. Will look if worth doing.
  • Ships
    • Shark-tooth skin for the Python? Would love it, and they're looking into it, but no promises.
    • Asp scout? Not military version, another variant. More like the Asp out of Frontier. Slightly more budget.
    • Keelback? Lakon ship. You'll see in a week. Based on Type 6, but better, with more weaponry (more info next week)
    • High end FerDeLance? Not sure where this rumour came from. Not ready to talk about that yet.
    • Will capital ships be improved to be more fun to play with/against? Yes, there's more to come.
    • Cutter / Corvette? Both slightly bigger/longer than Anaconda, and have bigger hardpoints. And fit through the slot.
    • Ship naming? (Did we promised that? :)). He wants it. Says we will do it. I'll talk to the team tomorrow.
  • Settlements
    • Vid of buggy driving into settlement with Corvette nearby :)
    • How settlements work with single-player? Use deep ravines to approach 'under the guns' etc. The big guns don't decline etc. Only have to deal with the lighter skimmers. Could take out a generator, and both the lights and the big guns go down. Then call your ship in (if you've got all the generators). There are lots of bases, and they're varied.
    • NICE! SRV being lowered out of a Cobra, internal view as you exit. Animation looks good. Drives to large base. Hexagonal heat radiators.
    • Large cities? Ever bigger settlements coming. Big cities not in 2.0, but will come over the Season.
  • Engine Improvements
    • Plans to reduce current transition phases? Yes, and they're constantly being worked on. (Some regions, and some connections, have excessive transitions now, and they're working on them)
    • Game API? Looking at, in pipeline.
    • Multi-sourced lighting? On the list. Might only come in High and Ultra settings. No promises.
    • Expand 32 player cap? Could, but experience would suffer. Continually reviewing.
  • Character Creator
    • Character creator will be used for NPCS? Yes, and planned. But not straight away.
    • Will we see Cmdr faces through visors etc / when communicating? Yes face normally clear because ship pressurised.
  • Thargoids/aliens
    • Thargoids? Well.... He was impressed by Cmdr who decoded the signals. There's more exciting stuff to come.
    • Are there non Thargoid alien species? YES :D
  • Other
    • When will we see significant updates to the base game? DB counters that piracy forms & bounty hunting, and new professions (mining) are significant improvements. 'It's getting better by degrees'. Says bounty hunting in particular will change more and more through Season 2.
    • Plans to expand astronomical phenomenon? Accretion discs etc? Would love to do it. On the list. Comets are in the simulation, but getting them to look good and interact well with gameplay still need to be got right. You will be able to see medium-sized 'potato' asteroids even if you don't have Horizons.
    • Is Elite and MMORPG? By almost all measures, but suggests quality / connection limits means it can still improve over time.
    • Did he ever imagine in '84 Elite could look like this? Imagine yes :). Talks about under-promise, over-deliver in terms of creating impressive modern content.
    • Are you going to play SC? Yes, looking forward to playing it.
    • Asteroid stations? You can sort of see the first vestiges them in CQC. They will come. Don't have a timeframe. Hopefully back-end of Season 2.
    • More CGs to expand the human bubble? Yes, he thinks they're wonderful. Absolutely yes.
    • More difference between stations? It's coming, not sure when. Probably not in 2.0
    • NPCs in Horizons? NPCs driving skimmers already. NPCs driving buggies [?] unlikely in Season 2. Planetary ships, yes.
    • Transfer creds after certain rank? Suggest the cargo transfer, so not seen as a priority. Has air of exploit if done on large scale. (Says big cheaters are being banned).
    • Jettison all cargo? Why?? You don't have to do it ;). Makes your ship lighter. And it's a surprise.
    • Passengers? Planned, but can't remember exact timescale.
    • What will you see 20k from Sol? You will see more exotic things, there will be things to find, but doesn't want to spoil
    • How are the DDF 'near God-like powers' re background sim coming? Straight apology on slow progress. At some point there will be something to address that, but not for now.
    • Vessels over Season 2? First variants will be similar to the SRV, then more down the line. Handle differently and do different things.
    • Systems visited bookmarks? Doesn't know.
    • Models or kits coming? Models yes, not kits that he knows of.
    • Publishing the lore? Wants to. And bringing story more to fore.
    • They have rough ship layouts, but no walking etc in Season 2
    • [Mumbled] If you're in a wing should be able to share exploration data. Will look into it.
    • More CQC maps in 1.5, then more after.
    • Tier 2 persistent NPCs: Won't be in the sense that you can kill off all NPCs in galaxy, but small additions will come sequentially. No timeframe.
    • Orrery map still planned (old concept here), but no timescale. Will be at back end of Season 2 if it makes it in.
Also, if you are unfamiliar with the content included in Horizons, as a whole, check out this thread.

Note: Remember that specific references to 2.0 do not necessary mean the entire Horizons expansion. Horizons will have four major additions/content packages (2.0 is the initial; 2.1 is next, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, etc.). So if it's not in 2.0 specifically, that means it might still be in the expansion/season later in the year.
 

Dictator93

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Jun 29, 2011
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"Multi-sourced lighting? On the list. Might only come in High and Ultra settings. No promises."

What does this mean?
 

Serrato

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Jan 4, 2013
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"Multi-sourced lighting? On the list. Might only come in High and Ultra settings. No promises."

What does this mean?

If you are in a system with multiple stars, only the main star / closest one (if they aren't close to each others) will be a lightning source.

Since multiple stars = multiple light sources = multiple shadows = great stress on a GPU it will likely only be on high end cards if they ever add it.
 

Anton Sugar

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Actually really psyched that the transition to orbital cruise is basically seamless, but I'd still like to see it. Hope they can improve transitions out of SC with that tech.
 

Raytow

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Mar 10, 2005
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This 2nd season doesn't include crew in ships right? not gonna play again until that's is up.
 

Dictator93

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Jun 29, 2011
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If you are in a system with multiple stars, only the main star / closest one (if they aren't close to each others) will be a lightning source.

Since multiple stars = multiple light sources = multiple shadows = great stress on a GPU it will likely only be on high end cards if they ever add it.

Oh, thx for the replay.

That would be cool as a high end option.
 

Effect

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Jun 15, 2007
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Settlements are really big. Surprised this is coming so soon. Was expecting sometime in December. Glad it's at the end of the month.
 

Anton Sugar

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Settlements are really big. Surprised this is coming so soon. Was expecting sometime in December. Glad it's at the end of the month.

Also, for those dates, remember that's the beta. Beta period for Horizons would be, I assume, at least two weeks. 1.5 and Horizons are supposed to launch around the same time, too, even though they have different beta start dates.

I think, if the Horizons beta is 11/24, the earliest we could see the final release is 12/8. Would love to be proven wrong, of course :D
 

Effect

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Also, for those dates, remember that's the beta. Beta period for Horizons would be, I assume, at least two weeks. 1.5 and Horizons are supposed to launch around the same time, too, even though they have different beta start dates.

I think, if the Horizons beta is 11/24, the earliest we could see the final release is 12/8. Would love to be proven wrong, of course :D
Ah my mistake. Thanks.
 

Anton Sugar

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Has there been any talk about adding DirectX 12 to the game engine?

I don't think there has been any official word, but apparently Braben said at some point that he's excited for DX12.

They have also mentioned elsewhere that they tried really hard to "future-proof" the engine, considering they basically plan on supporting E:D for a decade.
 

Anton Sugar

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Relevant to "What do you do?", details from the latest dev update:

  • Surface starports are generally the largest structures and are very similar to orbital starports: have similar facilities, economies dependent on type of world
  • There are variations of surface starports
  • Surface starports have some new economy types that are unique
  • Missions can be taken from starports
  • Some missions will direct you to surface bases (both surface and orbital starports can issue you surface missions)
  • Mission variants that apply only to surface ops
  • Range of resources/commodities available at surface starports or points of interest
  • There is a new method for locating resources, as well as new uses for resources (acting as prelude to loot/crafting update--more on this soon)
  • Layout of settlements are representative of their purpose--for example, a prison colony is imposing/well-guarded
  • Prison break missions :D
  • Some settlements have dynamic infrastructure--you can hack data links, disable power to specific base sections by cutting off/destroying their power generators to disable lights and power to turrets
  • Skimmers can be taken out directly, but taking out towers that control them is just as effective
  • Secret research bases are a type of settlement
  • Some settlements are protected by capital ship-scale weapons which are designed to take out ships, but SRVs may be able to avoid
  • Again emphasizes "combined arms" ideas--Wing made up of a mix of players/vessels can be very effective
  • Size and frequency of settlements correlates with the world's population
  • Crime/ownership rules for settlements and surface ports are similar to space--some can be lawless, others have the law enforced
  • Bounties are available from settlements
  • Settlements in states of war will have conflict zones on the surface!
  • Next week they'll talk about the new point-of-interest scanner on the SRV