Elite: Dangerous Blog

News and events from the Elite Dangerous galaxy

It came from LaveCon 2016

This year’s event was great and I think people enjoyed my VR shipyard. A couple of CMDRs even crashed my racing Courier, although Kerrash failed to live up to his name – he only dented the shields!

I had a hilarious game of Artemis with Frontier & the Elite Ambassadors – they made me captain (eek!) but we didn’t die, so that was a result even if I have no idea how our score rated.

The Q&A session with Frontier was a highlight and FD didn’t disappoint, giving out special edition LaveCon skins for the Eagle, Asp scout, FDL and Anaconda! For both PC and XBOX CMDRs.

skins

Information obtained

I asked Michael Brookes some questions, carefully, because he was taking a six-foot-high axe out of his car at the time!

Will Elite support Nvidia’s new Ansel 360 degree pause and screenshot system?

There are no current plans, but maybe in the future.

Is there a (lore) reason the Imperial Eagle – a Gutamaya ship – has a Core Dynamics logo on the cockpit?

It’s a bug.

Michael also said that the new ship launched fighters would change the dynamic, making traders much more dangerous if they had them. Something we suspected would be the case.

The Frontier Q&A revealed more

Jacques station is going to end its wandering to start 2nd human “bubble”.

2.2 will introduce a local “player journal” containing a wealth of data for 3rd party interfaces and apps. Details to follow.

Passenger missions – CMDRs will need to scan objects at location to confirm they visited. These will include Battle locations and Historical sites. Some as far as 65-70,000 Lyr’s out. Frontier hope to expand the lore and story of the game though some of this “historical sites”.

Community Goals at Jacques will be coming, but will run for a month, to allow CMDRs to make the trip.

Q: System security around start systems?
Would like to increase system security.

Q: What did Frontier think was justified criticism of Engineers?
Material collection was too hard initially. Made mistakes with balance. Weapon effects were supposed to be super-rare. But FD changed tack when they became a role meta. Healer. Tank etc. so make the “exchange rep for desired effect” mechanic.

Q: Ship kits for more ships? More ship kits are coming.

Q: 2.2 A.I. Crew? Multi-crew is purely multiplayer. No AI Crew in the pipelines.

Q: Building based on planets? It's coming, but not this season.

Q: Group management tools? Changing over time. Nothing to announce right now.

Q: Why are all the stations the same? "GamesCon"

Q: Cross platform play with Xbox? Not currently possible.

Q: Planet tourism. Tour buses? Probably.

Q: Jump gates / faster way to get to Jacques station? Michael Brookes said “Like modded FSD drives you mean? Never say “never”, but Jump Gates unlikely.”

Q: Beluga liner? "Wait and see"

Q: AI wing men "escorts"? Can't say anything right now..

Q: Ship naming? "desirable feature" did not elaborate.

Q: Vive rendering any fix? One fix has already been issued, but the problem requires re-engineering - no ETA.

Q: Why no Landing lights when gear deployed? "Good idea"

Q: Decals? More soon.

Q: How is placement of objects and events decided? It depends on context, there are no hard rules. There is no FD Community Goal dartboard!

Q: Where is Formadine rift? Can't help you.

Q: Any plans for group ID in game? E.g. Clan tags.  Michael Brookes said he would prefer to utilise in game minor faction as an ID. Sandro "would like this" but said there are some technical hurdles to overcome. Not straightforward.

Q: If my faction loses all rep, will it be removed from the game? No faction can be kicked from their home system.

Q: The Galaxy map for VR is hard to use. Any changes in the pipeline? "Being looked at"

Q: Slaves. If they "go off" can they be sold as meat or fertiliser? Sandro asked “don’t we vet these questions?” but the answer was “probably not!”

Q: Where are the race of felines from early elite? They are not in ED, so you can decide what happened to them!

Q: Rise of the alliance? Maybe soon-ish.

Q: Could CMDRs with little time drop autonomous materials collectors, then come back for them – say a week - later? Doable but not planned.

Q: Could we have player created ships? New ships are great, but player created ships are not going to be a thing.

Q: Large ships at outposts / supersize ships too large for stations. Can we have them? Outposts don't support large ships for gameplay reasons. FD could do it. If there was a reason.

Q: When can we summon ships? Nothing to announce now. {GamesCon again maybe?}

LaveCon ship brochures complete

I have completed my ship manufacturer brochures for LaveCon.

cover Eagle Mk 2 Vulture Federal Dropship Federal Assault Ship Federal Gunship Federal Corvette cover Diamondback Scout Diamondback Explorer Keelback Type-6 Asp Scout Asp Explorer Type-7 Type-9 cover Sidewinder Cobra Mk III Cobra Mk IV Viper Mk III Viper Mk IV Python Anaconda

cover Imperial Eagle Imperial Courier Imperial Clipper Imperial Cutter cover Hauler Adder Fer de Lance cover Orca

Click on a brochure cover to view the set.

UPDATE: IMGUR gallery links are in comments.

PDFs  core-dynamics-brochure.pdf (10.05 mb)

falcon-delacy-brochure.pdf (4.26 mb)

gutamaya-brochure.pdf (1,008.52 kb)

lakon-spaceways-brochure.pdf (6.75 mb)

saud-kruger-brochure.pdf (1.83 mb)

zorgon-peterson-brochure.pdf (17.54 mb)

And here are the full IMGUR albums:

Core Dynamics http://imgur.com/a/3Lmmu
Falcon DeLacy http://imgur.com/a/Z7urs
Lakon http://imgur.com/a/Y7L6F
Zorgon Peterson http://imgur.com/a/y424S
Saud Kruger http://imgur.com/a/JZ7zJ
Gutamaya http://imgur.com/a/jNxKd

Something for LaveCon

Last year at LaveCon (the annual Elite: Dangerous convention) I took my Oculus DK2 along and ran a "VR Shipyard" to let people who had never experienced VR, or seen the amazing cockpits of the ships in game, to have a go.

This year I will be doing the same, however there are now 29 ships in game, so "prospective buyers" will be able to sit in the cockpit of 25 ships at Mars High station. No flying, just trying! The rebuy on my Imperial Cutter is quite a lot. I will be letter people have a go with the SRV on Europa at some point too.

Anyway, to make the wait for each person's turn less dull, I have created ship manufacturer brochures (modelled on car showroom brochures) to flick through while they wait.

UPDATE: The complete finished set is now available here.

Using the ED Tracker Pro with Elite

EDTrackerPro (200x150)While at LaveCon I had the chance to see the ED Tracker, a low budget motion controller for the PC that works with games like Project Cars, Eurotruck Simulator and of course, Elite: Dangerous.
“Why would you want one of those, you’ve got an Oculus?” I hear you ask. Well, firstly I cannot afford another DK2 for my children and my younger son plays a lot of EuroTruck and some Elite. Also, the hot summer weather in the UK has meant I haven’t been using the Oculus as much, to avoid having a stroke – yes, there are brief moments in the UK when it isn’t raining!

So, what is it like? What do you get for £45 ($70)? (Assuming you don’t build it yourself)

Firstly, I would like to say thanks to Dan and Becky at ED Tracker. At LaveCon I mistakenly picked up two ED Trackers instead of two ED Tracker Pros and didn’t spot my mistake until I got home. They shipped out replacements very rapidly, so kudos to them for excellent customer service.

The ED Tracker is a small black plastic box, the size of a matchbox, with a mini-USB socket on one side. To install it, I attached it to the top of my headphones headband with one of Mrs Arithon’s hair-ties (she’ll never miss it) and plugged in with the USB braided cable I bought from ED Tracker.

Windows 8 made the usual “boing” noise and listed “ED Tracker Pro” as a new joystick in my “Devices and Printers” list.

I then downloaded and ran the ED Tracker Pro software, which detected the device immediately and instructed me to calibrate it. This involves turning your headphones around on various axis.

calib

Once that’s done, you find the 3D head model on the screen moves to mirror your own heads tilt and turn.

Getting it working with Elite: Dangerous

This was a little harder, as the instructions on ED Tracker’s website didn’t match the current version of the OpenTrack software used. I didn't get the joystick selection right and couldn't figure the OpenTrack setup. Never fear there’s loads of information on Forums everywhere! I got mine here. The OpenTrack software turns your virtual joystick into an emulated TrackIR.

So, having got it working, what was it like?

Well, it isn’t an Oculus, since you don’t have 3D vision and for 18% of the cost, I wouldn’t have expected that. But it is pretty damn good! You move you head left or right slightly and the screen turns to match your head movements. In combat you can look around to follow the action (very useful when pulling up and banking to follow a target) – you can look up and down and tilt your head and Elite’s display matches.

It is very good for viewing side panels too. All in all a very cool solution for anyone who doesn’t fancy the Oculus or cannot afford one (or is just waiting for the CV1) and a much cooler option for the hotter weather.

I will set up my second unit on my sons PC for him to play EuroTruck and get his input – saving it for the dull end of the school holidays!

Details of new ship emerge from LaveCon 2015

top_secretThis weekend is LaveCon 2015, the convention for the game of Elite and the science fiction universe that surrounds it.

The event is organised by the creators of the Lave Radio podcast, the weekly web-based chat show and this year the event is pretty big. I’m told the first LaveCon was just 40 people. This year added a hundred to that number at least.

One guest today was Frontier, who held a Question & Answer session, open to the floor. Michael Brookes, Chris Gregory and Sandro Sammarco were on the panel with Sarah-Jane Avory and Mike Evans also present.

So did they spill any beans?

Well.. yes!

Firstly they gave away a unique paint skin for the Vulture, Cobra and Asp – but sadly for you, only to those commanders present for LaveCon. This was a flaming Elite logo and a flame skin. So if you see these in game, you know that commander was here!

laveskin

They then announced a new ship variant, the Imperial Eagle (Impegal) a stylish (and blue lit) variant of the Eagle, less manoeuvrable but fast and tough with a medium hard-point on the top and a bigger power plant. This Imperial variant will be very like the old Frontier II version of the Imperial Eagle (or that at least is the intention). David Braben specifically requested this ship variant.

impegal3

Other gems of information that were “leaked” when the panel were questioned by the audience.

  • The Thargoids are still a way off yet, however there is already evidence of them to be found in the game.
  • The game has a ten year plan.
  • All the ships fit on a “backbone” which is an outline of the total ships and where they fit in the game, although this backbone is revised based on player feedback after each ship is introduced.
  • The LaveCon skin was done by one of the Frontier artists in his evenings to get it done specially for LaveCon.
  • No part of the game is currently considered finished. That is Frontier feel that there is plenty of room for addition and adjustment (see ten year plan).
  • The power-play characters appearance was modelled initially on the actors David Braben would have selected to play them in an Elite feature film (“which is not being made” – Michael Brookes). According to Sandro they are not all modelled on the actors that some have speculated.
  • The PC release of the free CQCC expansion will follow as rapidly as possible after the XBOX One release. So it will be exclusive for an exclusively short period!