Looks like ED might be getting an expansion sometime soon, this is from the weekly newsletters.
“Meanwhile, we’re preparing to launch CQC’s first test on Xbox One and we’re almost in place to make a colossal announcement at Gamescom in two weeks’ time.”
“This week, we’re ready for Gamescom. Next Wednesday we will make a major announcement coinciding with the opening of the show at 10AM CEST, and you’ll be able to read all about it and see our new trailer on our Community homepage.”
They’ve already said that it’s not “walking around” when people asked about it. In the same thread people also asked about planetary landings…they did not answer that for some reason.
They have also said that Thargoids are a long way off yet (not that they would announce that this way IMO).
They have also said that CQC/1.4 is not the announcement and that Powerplay is something they won’t have time to do any major changes too until next year (due to a already full schedule).
A competition at GamesCon will let people win the ability to name a planet.
This leaves very little wiggle room for anything else.
The lead designer have previously said that planetary landings is going to be the first expansion “within a year of the first release”. This was also confirmed by people talking to devs when they met them on the games launch party.
In January Michael mentioned planetary surfaces as something they saw as more “bang for the buck” compared to other celestial phenomena…two days later he talked about how they had expanded the team so that they could work on the core game while at the same time make expansions.
One of the producers at Frontier tweeted this yesterday:
“I haven’t said anything for months about what I’ve been doing on #elitedangerous. In a few days you’ll finally find out what it is! #EDGC15”
Now THAT would be a blast to watch. Although I dearly hope that they don’t announce it.
How about this: David Braben jumps out on the stage, and starts talking: “Remember when I told you that singleplayer mode was impossible? … SYKE!”, then throws his arms into the air and screams: “Singleplayer Mode for everyone!”
Yeah, it’s landings, with additional gameplay, here is the just released teaser.
Elite Dangerous: Horizons launches this Holiday. The first expansion, Planetary Landings introduces players to planet surfaces and the first all-new Surface Recon Vehicle (SRV) the ‘Scarab’. Scanning airless planets and moons brings new gameplay as players detect signals, crashed ships, mineral deposits, outposts and fortresses. Alone or with friends players will explore, mine and engage hostile forces as they attempt to infiltrate strongholds guarding valuable rewards. Players will explore new worlds, coasting over mountaintops, diving into canyons, landing on the surface and rolling out onto the surface in your SRV, all without loading times or breaks in gameplay.
So they seem to be able to pull off the opposite strategy than I-Novae. Release the game first and deliver on it’s promises later. I’Novae seems to go the route of making stuff ready first and releasing the game afterwards. Not sure which one is a better strategy.
I suggested a long time ago that Flavien get something out early and to then build on it. That’s the way I work and it has always worked well for me. It’s working for Braben as well. It’s software. It’s easily changed and updated. To forestall those who think I embrace shipping buggy code and fixing it later, no, that’s not what I’m talking about. This is about adding features over time. Building on a solid base of work that only gets more feature-rich over time.
That’s what I was waiting for. That all looked very cinematic. And cliche.
Someday, somebody is going to come out with a game that doesn’t have FTL rockets and all the other cliches and tropes in use today - and all existing space games are going to look absolutely foolish.
Here’s a reddit blog post from a few months ago where a guy summarized what has been said about planetary landings. It’s his take on things, but this was an interesting bit:
Landing will be completely seamless. Obviously there will be some loading involved, but Braben’s goal is to mask that incredibly well, probably through some breathtaking atmospheric effects. The interesting part is how this will be handled on planets with no atmospheres, like airless moons.
Certainly atmospheric effects are not how a transition would be made to an airless moon. It may be that they’re doing airless moons so that they can implement seamless transitions. Or they’ll just force a cut scene to the ship interior or some such thing before allowing the player to see the detailed surface of the moon.
If I-Novae Studios can Kickstart Infinity:Battlescape before this expansion, it would certainly be a big help. It would also take a bit of the wind out of Elite:Dangerous’s sails.
$60 for landing on moons seems a bit excessive. Of course, NASA spent rather more than that in the late 60s and 70s.