Elite Dangerous: Horizons |OT| Just scratching the surface

Oct 25, 2017
374
#1


Check the official Elite Dangerous: Horizons site for more information!

  • Developer: Frontier Developments
  • Release Date: 12/15/2015
  • Platforms
    • Elite Dangerous is 32- and 64-bit and available for PC, Mac OSX, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One platforms
    • Horizons is available on the same platforms.
  • Price: 60 USD/50 EUR/40 GBP

  • Trailers
What if you already own a copy of Elite Dangerous, or otherwise aren't sure which options are available? Frontier has you covered:



While Elite Dangerous has always been well-optimized, Horizons brings an incredible amount of planetary detail to render. Development of the game is ongoing, so these specs may change over time.

From the Frontier Store site:



Horizons is the first expansion for Elite Dangerous! Sometimes referred to as Year 2 or Season 2, the main feature is the ability to land on non-atmospheric "airless" worlds. These are 1:1 worlds, created based on our knowledge of the galaxy, as well as simulated worlds, and they can be explored in their entirety.

From these worlds, you can discover settlements and points of interest (POI), ship wreckage to search, ore to mine, minerals to synthesize, or pirate bases to raid!

For details on what is included in Horizons, please check out this compilation thread. It is comprehensive and regularly updated.

Frontier has released a Horizons video series:
I'll cover four of the biggest features in 2.0: Planetary Landings, SRVs, Settlements, and Materials.

Worlds in Horizons can be Metallic, Rocky, Rocky Ice, or Ice. To keep these from feeling too empty, there are points of interest on the worlds, as well as beautiful, naturalistic terrain and planetary structures.

Points of interest include:
  • Mining/ore deposits and Materials
  • Crashed and derelict ships
  • Secret pirate bases
  • Settlements (including military bases, prison colonies, surface ports, etc.)
  • Distress beacons
The worlds, and indeed the entire Elite universe, is created and powered by Frontier's Stellar Forge. What is the Stellar Forge? From a Frontier newsletter:



The above was written before Elite Dangerous was released--the engine has been constantly evolving and now handles generation of the planetary terrain. This is not just a simple randomized heightmap--Stellar Forge is guided by scientific and geologic data. The movement of tectonic plates is simulated and informs the creation of the landmass, and the planet's chemical makeup also controls its color and geologic layers.

Not insignificant blindspot: horizontal displacement. Horizontal displacement (sharp cliffs, overhangs, etc.) is not currently utilized, but it has been said that it is something they plan to revisit.

A part of this simulation is gravity. Gravity while flying in Supercruise has always been a factor, but now it is more present than ever. If you are in a planet's orbit, loose cargo, debris, etc., can float (or crash, rather) down to the surface. Flying near the surface in ships not designed for non-spaceflight can be difficult, especially in high gravity worlds. Take care, commander!

When you land on the planet, you're going to need to be able to get around--enter the surface roving vehicle, or SRV. These vehicles (not a buggy don't ever call it a buggy it's not a buggy no no no) are designed for surface exploration and come with a number of supporting features:
  • Turret: Use your turret to fend off enemy skimmers or to break down rock for ore/materials
  • Thrusters: Thrusters help normalize your driving on the surface. With Flight Assist on, they automatically thrust to keep you on the planet in low gravity, and keep you from running aground in high gravity. Of course, you can also manually control them for sick stuntz
  • Ship Control: Dismiss or recall your ship at command. This is useful if you want your ship to remain in standby or to come pick you up after a long day of surface exploration
To carry an SRV on your ship, you must install the following internal systems:
  • Planetary Insertion Module
  • Planetary Vehicle Hangar
The first SRV available is the Scarab, a six-wheeled single-pilot vehicle with a top-mounted turret.

Similar to star stations/ports, settlements can offer a variety of services for your ship, as well as Bulletin Board missions.

Settlements are arranged in a way that reflect their purpose and economy. You will find variation between settlements, but take care, as many have robust defense mechanisms that can make short work of your ship or SRV. Some missions may even have you raid a base, which you can choose to approach as desired. Settlements can have power and drone control stations that can be destroyed...or you can go in guns blazing.

Remember: if you can't find an open landing pad, just land somewhere nearby!

New to the Elite series are materials. Materials are the building blocks of the Looting & Crafting system, coming with 2.1; however, even at launch/2.0, materials can be used for Synthesis.

Materials can be found from roving the surface and exploring POIs. Materials themselves are "discovered" as you find them and can then be used to synthesize certain components. These components have three tiers of quality:
  • Tier I: Synthesized resource does its job (more fuel, more ammo, etc.)
  • Tier II: Synthesized resource does its job + offers 50% bonus (shield capacity, jump range, etc.)
  • Tier III: Synthesized resource does its job + offers 100% bonus (shield capacity, jump range, etc.)
Naturally, the higher tiers require more and better materials. These bonuses can be significant--doubling your jump range can be crucial on an exploration trip where certain locations are just simply out of range or too far out of the way.

Elite: Dangerous is the latest installment of a long series of epic space games, starting with the release of Elite in 1984. Elite is widely considered the forefather of space simulation games today. This installment is an open world space trading, exploration and combat sim set in a 1:1 scale of the Milky Way galaxy with around 400 billion star systems where you can choose what you do, who you are and where your alliances stand. In a true pioneer fashion, you are given a spacecraft, a few credits and are left to your own devices. Become a trader, pirate, bounty-hunter, explorer, assassin or all of the above!

Elite: Dangerous started as a successful Kickstarter crowd funding campaign on January 4th, 2013. In two short years David Braben and his team have managed to create a space simulation game of incredible scope set in a full–scale recreation of the real Milky Way galaxy's 400 Billion star systems. Allowing you to explore the vast expanses of our Galaxy and pursue an array of activities within that space.





These are the main games modes in Elite:
  • Solo: Play alone with AI/NPCs
  • Private: Play with friends or a group with AI/NPCs
  • Open: Play with other players and AI/NPCs
  • CQC: Play arena-based fighter combat
Elite Dangerous and Horizons require a connection to play, even in Solo mode, due to the persistent and shared nature of the universe. Sorry :(

Bear in mind that the universe is shared across all these modes (less so CQC, as it's not fully integrated into the main game yet). This means that you can influence factions, systems, Powers, etc. either alone or with other players.

We're particularly fond of Mobius Group, a dedicated PvE group. You can play online with a ton of other CMDRs who are dedicated to cooperating (no PvP).

Open Play brings its own set of risks and rewards. High population areas can be extremely dangerous, as pirates and other scum prey on new players. If you are aligned with a specific Power, you may be hostile, by default, to other players. Take care, CMDR!

Wings, added in the 1.2 Elite Dangerous update, let you group up with three other CMDRs and share rewards and experience. From the Wings page:



Rewards, including bounties and exploration data, are shared across all members of the Wing, provided the Wing member contributed. For something like a bounty, this means that you shot the target at least once--the bounty is then split amongst you and other Wing members. While this may sound like it cuts the profit too much, consider that you can destroy ships much faster as a team!

With something like exploration, Wings are less practical, as exploration data is only shared if Wing members are in the same system as its scanned. This requires more coordination than is often possible; however, with Horizons, exploration of planets may make exploration Wings far more useful!

Added in the 1.3 Elite Dangerous update, Powerplay adds another layer to the background simulation metagame of the the Elite universe. From the Powerplay page:



Essentially, Powerplay is a metagame within the human-controlled space of Elite: Dangerous. You ally with a Power and then complete goals for each of them to increase your rank. Higher rank gives you better bonuses: weekly payout, access to Power-specific modules, and a greater ability to guide the direction of the power via Command Capital, which all allied players use to guide the growth and dominance of a power.



It's...complicated. First things first: check out this list of brief videos from FD:
Next, I highly recommend checking the sub-reddits for each Power. One thing the game is lacking is any way to coordinate and communicate with your Power in-game; Reddit, and online in general, are the only real options.
CQC, added in the 1.4 Elite Dangerous update, introduces arena-based ship combat to the Elite series. From the CQC page:



As you can see, this is fast-paced, quick action. Jump in, select a small fighter, and pick a mode to get started.

Because the ships are much smaller than your average ship in Elite, fights tend to be over far faster, but are also more hectic. Smaller ships are extremely maneuverable and can stop on a dime--use this to your advantage as you weave in an out of stations and asteroid fields!

While CQC is currently completely separate from Elite universe, you can still earn credits by progressing in the mode. In the future, CQC will be positioned as a career that can be pursued within the Elite universe.
Elite: Horizons is the first major gameplay expansion for Elite: Dangerous. The full season of Horizons encompasses five expansions, starting with 2.0 "Planetary Landings". Iterations for the rest of "Season 2" will be 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, and 2.5.

The following are some features and expansions that are coming in Year 2:
  • Confirmed for 2.1: Crafting & Looting: Use raw materials to create new and enhanced ship components
  • Multi-crew: Command your ship with up to four friends, each focused on a specific role
    • Max four crew per ship
    • Four roles: Helm (piloting), Fire Control (turrets/weapons), Countermeasures (shields, tactical), Engineering (sensors, navigation, repairs)
    • Balance focused to make it on-par with having a Wing of four ships
    • Uses Wing system
    • Can "hotswap" between roles (even solo players!) but Helm has ultimate control over assignments
    • Teammates can move to fighter craft and deploy from docking bay
    • Uses SRV-style "neural link" or UI interface (source)
  • Commander Creator: Create and customize your in-game avatar
  • New SRVs: New variations of SRVs are coming, with different purposes and equipment
  • More ships!
  • Volcanism: Volcanic activity, including ice volcanoes, is coming! Geysers may make an appearance, as well.
  • Weather Systems: Very rudimentary weather systems may come to Horizons (yes, this is separate/different from fully atmospheric worlds)
  • Thargoids: Thargoids are on the cusp of making contact--expect to meet them in Year 2!
  • Mission System Overhaul: The mission system is said to get a major reworking to make missions more desirable, challenging, and enjoyable
No one is certain what Year 3 and beyond will bring. This was shared on a recent (11/2015) community stream:



However, here are some of the features that Frontier has already discussed and has said is in the plan:



In addition, check out this Top 10 Future Updates & Expansions vid for an overview of planned features and expansions.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
761
#21
It's ironic, but this new ResetEra forum on the XenForum software is a great sneak preview to how the official Elite Dangerous forums will look sometime next year. They are going to be migrating the official forums to this new software too, along with all the great features. It won't be all purple and stuff like this, but all of this nice new functionality will be there.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,062
#24
There is a distinct lack of complaining about Elite and fdev on this page for the thread to really feel like home.
Lemme fix that.

Why don't we have instant ship transfers yet?
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,673
#25
My immurshun. That's why. Don't question why when you die in a journey you're actually using an escape pod but sent back to the last place you were docked rather than the closest station.
 
#27
There is a distinct lack of complaining about Elite and fdev on this page for the thread to really feel like home.
Lemme fix that.

Why don't we have instant ship transfers yet?
I suppose it may trivialise exploration and distance of space and could be open to exploitation possibly, I'm not too sure what the consequences could be if you could instantly transfer all your ships from like Sol to Colonia for example, I can think a situation like people rigging up a ship with insane fuel tank, fuel scoop, and jump distance mods/engineered that would be gimped and crippled in a fight but allow you to get to a far away place very quickly and then instantly just transfer your PvP/combat ships afterwards. Besides that I can't think of much other reason besides for immersion.
 
Oct 26, 2017
637
#32
Waiting until next year might be best. What do you currently have?
A hand me down X52. I modded it with extra magnets to cut down on the dead zone. The hats on the stick are mushy and becoming borderline unusable. Sometimes the joystick acts like it's not centered even though it is, and I have to disconnect it from the throttle and reconnect to reset it. The throttle is actually in pretty reasonable shape.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,673
#33
A hand me down X52. I modded it with extra magnets to cut down on the dead zone. The hats on the stick are mushy and becoming borderline unusable. Sometimes the joystick acts like it's not centered even though it is, and I have to disconnect it from the throttle and reconnect to reset it. The throttle is actually in pretty reasonable shape.
Mine is pretty much exactly in the same condition. Hasn't bothered me enough to upgrade considering I don't play it heavily. The dead zone issues and having to reset the stick due to drift does suck.
 
Oct 26, 2017
251
#35
Hey everybody! Long time no see or something.

Thanks to the people keeping up with all the happenings and making the migration possible! :)
 
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Oct 25, 2017
2,062
#37
I suppose it may trivialise exploration and distance of space and could be open to exploitation possibly, I'm not too sure what the consequences could be if you could instantly transfer all your ships from like Sol to Colonia for example, I can think a situation like people rigging up a ship with insane fuel tank, fuel scoop, and jump distance mods/engineered that would be gimped and crippled in a fight but allow you to get to a far away place very quickly and then instantly just transfer your PvP/combat ships afterwards. Besides that I can't think of much other reason besides for immersion.
Lol I mean yeah at this point the only legitimate reason why there is no instant ship transfer is because of "immersion". There are genuinely no real downsides to it. Like the most "exploity" thing that I can think of is exactly what you said, people making ships to fly to colonia and showing up to transfer their combat ships instantly. Though that isn't even that big of a deal. If some one tries to gank you, you just do a 180 turn, boost, target nearest system, jump out and switch to solo play lol. But honestly elite dangerous COULD really benefit from some sort of instant action. The game's biggest weakness from day 1 is how long it takes to get ready to do anything.

Some one in the old thread said it best "Elite should be my favorite game, but I have a hard time wanting to play it"

And it's true. I genuinely love the game, but I think because of that love I tend to be extremely critical of it :P
 
Oct 26, 2017
251
#39
Lol I mean yeah at this point the only legitimate reason why there is no instant ship transfer is because of "immersion". There are genuinely no real downsides to it.
The legimate reason is immersion assholes apparently making a considerable, vocal part of the Elite community. They want to enforce their shitty "roleplay" on others. Frontier complies.

I've played in some Pen & Paper RPG groups over the years and I've played in some LARPs. There are many great ways to create an immersive roleplaying experience. Forcing people to wait for something, because otherwise it would not be realistically represent the ingame flow of time, is not one of it. That's some wannabe second-life level bullshit, for people who lack the imagination to accept that there's just been a jump in time to offer an experience condensed on the key points, rather than realistically playing out the menial time filler parts. Even worse, these people could easily recreate their own personal "immersive roleplay" requirements: Make a bloody private group and play out the waiting time for their ship transfer. For themselves. No, they won't have it. Any pseudo-immersive bullshit must be forced onto anybody, instead of making it a voluntary opt-in feature. Frontier's game design can't be relied upon to counter-balance this in any way. They don't exavctly play on the same level of the the stellar audiovisual departments at Frontier. Considering they've spending now more than a year backpedaling from the initial Engineers release (2.1 summer 2016, 2018 "Beyond" => strictly progressive Engineer rolls...), I have my doubts if they play their dev builds under close to real world conditions extensively at all. And if they do, their test focus is definitely not "is it fun?" or "does it make sense?".

Then there's the strawman argument of balance. I've yet to see a compelling argument for why combat players ought to have more of their personal free time wasted on menial bullshit vs. other types of players. But there's a sad antagonization of combat players in the Elite community due to PvP being equaled to griefing. Which isn't completely wrong either, because Frontier explicitly wants open PvP to be a part of the game, but the game doesn't give non combat players any options to cope with it. Hire NPC escorts? Nope. Hire PC escorts? Nothing to gain but boredom for the escort players. No proper way to pay them either, so nope. Again, a house made problem that goes far deeper into how the game is designed and what features it has and doesn't have.

So many factors playing into each other and so many considerations that Frontier's design team seemingly never made. Part of that can be attributed to a two year dev cycle up to release. In hindsight, I'd say there was never even a chance of that being enough. For the time between Kickstarter and release, I already find Elite impressive.

Part of it however, I attribute to whatever school of thinking at Frontier still considers RNG to be a good idea when designing their game. Anything they've produced that has RNG at its core, I've found to be pitifully bad game design. Fucking inventory transfer waiting times (aka: "Logging off. Playing something that respects my personal free time. Bye!") are no different.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
98
#43
And here's the Elite OT - it's like nothing happened. Good to have regular threads to check again.

It's been some three months of on-and-off flying since I decided to hop to Sag A* with my DBX, and now I'm 60 jumps away from Colonia. The thought of actually docking kind of scares me. :p Should be a nice haul of exploration data though with quite a bit of earthlikes and waterworlds bagged. It hasn't been quite as mind-numbing as I expected (in small doses, with the aid of podcasts) and I'm probably going to get my feet wet on the neutron highway back from Colonia once I've sold all the data.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,760
#44
And here's the Elite OT - it's like nothing happened. Good to have regular threads to check again.

It's been some three months of on-and-off flying since I decided to hop to Sag A* with my DBX, and now I'm 60 jumps away from Colonia. The thought of actually docking kind of scares me. :p Should be a nice haul of exploration data though with quite a bit of earthlikes and waterworlds bagged. It hasn't been quite as mind-numbing as I expected (in small doses, with the aid of podcasts) and I'm probably going to get my feet wet on the neutron highway back from Colonia once I've sold all the data.
Nice. I really want to do some long range exploration, trips to Colonia, Sag A* and the rest, but frankly I’m kinda scared to commit to it. I should probably just man up and at least do the 5kLY for Palin to see how it goes. Got the ship (mines a DBX too), just need to get on with it.
 
Oct 27, 2017
98
#45
It's no biggie... just cast aside your earthly worries, fly in some direction for a couple of weeks and start wondering what the hell you are doing with your life. There have been enough interesting systems to see (and claim) that I'm actually interested in another trip. Wish they'd get a lot more exploration goodies in the game faster than q3/4 next year though.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,209
#46
Nice. I really want to do some long range exploration, trips to Colonia, Sag A* and the rest, but frankly I’m kinda scared to commit to it. I should probably just man up and at least do the 5kLY for Palin to see how it goes. Got the ship (mines a DBX too), just need to get on with it.
Its about that time of the year I go on a long expedition as well, usually go during the NHL season so I can watch something while exploring.
 
Oct 25, 2017
761
#47
Nice. I really want to do some long range exploration, trips to Colonia, Sag A* and the rest, but frankly I’m kinda scared to commit to it. I should probably just man up and at least do the 5kLY for Palin to see how it goes. Got the ship (mines a DBX too), just need to get on with it.
It's pretty much the only way I play the game. I'm currently 9000lys out past the Crab Nebula, so like 20,000 lys out from Sol on the galactic edge. The Thargoids won't be getting me here!
 

Gaz

Member
Oct 27, 2017
908
UK
#48
This game is getting a Scorpio Enhanced Patch so I think ill be pickling up the console Legendary Edition with Horizons. I have ED vanilla on PC but yolo, double dip why not, I've sunk thousands of hours into my (original) Amiga copy of FE2 and only a few hundred into ED so I don't mind throwing some more money at Frontier.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,673
#49
It's pretty much the only way I play the game. I'm currently 9000lys out past the Crab Nebula, so like 20,000 lys out from Sol on the galactic edge. The Thargoids won't be getting me here!
If I could pay a microtransaction to make a Thargoid hyperdict a commander...
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,284
Arizona
#50
I finally made it to Colonia. Total profit from en-route exploration (including 6 ELWs) is over 68,000,000 credits. I have been promoted to Pioneer, and I'm 22% into that. I plan to explore the neighboring systems before continuing on to Sagittarius A*.