Frontier held a conference during Lavecon 2018 and we got some new info about the upcoming changes planned for the last quarter of the year…

Mining improvement

  • new in-ring scanner that tells you which type of asteroids are in your vicinity. There will be new ways of mining depending on the location of the ore. For example - if the ore is on the surface of the asteroid, the regular mining drill would just destroy it, so the new equipment will come into play to extract the ore safely.
  • prospecting limpets will get new functionalities as well
  • wings and multicrew will be supported and rewards will be in place for multicrew members (placing blasting charges, prospecting, gathering ore...)
  • mining will be a dangerous activity - either by simply getting damaged by explosion or asteroid debris, or encountering various effects like corrosion or sensor dampening from the dust
  • asteroids are getting an updated look and new models to reflect the upcoming activities

Lavecon 2018

Exploration improvements

  • detailed surface scanner is getting updated
  • you will be able to launch sensor probes directly in supercruise
  • the probes will follow a partial guided orbit
  • as they come closer to the surface they will uncover additional surface data
  • launching probes will require skill to perfectly probe a planet (ex. slingshotting around the gravity) – unexperienced players will need to launch multiple probes to compensate
  • multicrew will support launching probes
  • apart from discovering planet structure data, probing will discover all local points of interests like outposts, stations, guardian locations, Thargoid bases etc...
  • the galaxy will get updated with so called "discoveries" that will come in multiple categories (geological, biological, phenomena...)
  • discoveries may come with various interactions
  • the galaxy will get divided into regions to make exploration and orientation easier - this ties in with the CODEX

Visual improvements

  • improvements to ice planets (new ice shader)
  • improvements to game lighting (adaptive lighting, color grades...)

Lavecon 2018

Chapter 2

  • Installations are getting an overhaul similar to the megaship interactions (scanning will reveal tactical locations)
  • New interaction for existing and damaged megaships (escape hatches revealing escape pods you can then deliver back to the station)
  • new large Guardian weapons (plasma charger and cannons)
  • new settlements to find (with new Thargoid interactions)
  • 2 new ships announced (the Challenger is one of them, the Krait most probably is the other judging by the Q2 update reveal trailer)
  • the Challenger will have better manoeuvrability, more armor and more hardpoints than the Chieftan

The archived stream is available on Twitch if you still like to watch it yourself.