Summary of The Engineers changes revealed
Even though Frontier announced many of these changes already, a brand new post popped up on the official forums listing all currently known features of the upcoming major patch for Elite. The expected release for patch 2.1 - The engineers is somewhere in May.
- Persistent, mostly generated NPCs will be added: mission givers + engineers, will have some form of mug shots based on the future commander creator/character editor
- Relationship with minor faction will determine which character will be mission giver
- NPCs will give feedback about the situation of a minor faction and ways to support them
- Engineers have their own backstory and specialization
- Engineers are spread throughout human space (initially ~30 engineers)
- Engineers can modify weapons and modules (using loot)
- Player ranks/alignments/other parameters affect options offered to them by engineers
- There is a minimum requirement for player ranks/alignment/stats for using an engineer's service
- Engineers are found on isolated surface facilities
- Wrecks will be added (unclear if surface only or space as well), loot and crafting gameplay will be associated with wrecks, concept art of SRV scanning data recorder in wreck was shown
- Options screen will have collapsible sections for easier navigation
- Adding new hardpoints including huge weapons (concept for large+huge multicannon shown)
- Asteroid graphical fidelity improvements
- Star light has been fixed so that it retains its colour over distance
- Bookmarks will be added
- Systems/planets/stations/asteroids can be bookmarked
- Bookmarks have a custom text, can be edited and deleted
- Bookmarks will be visible on the galaxy map and can be selected as navigation target in route planner
- SRVs will leave tire tracks on planet surfaces
- Community goals will be marked on the galaxy map and system map, will also appear on any bulleting board regardless of system
- Community goals may have multiple commodities involved.
- "Revamp" of outfitting screen, different classes have different purposes, will become more clear
- Flatter difficulty curve for low rank NPCs, more challenging high rank opponents
- effective missile + torpedo usage at high ranks (when opponent shields are down)
- Increased damage avoidance by high rank AIs
- High rank AIs flee for recharging shields before attacking again
- High rank AIs will try to counter players who use the reverse thrust tactic
- AI can't use energy weapons when overheating anymore
- chaff spam decreased, only using chaff when taking damage from turrets/gimbals
- AI doesn't get stuck rotationg in one place anymore
- No more hatch breaker spam
- Better pip management for fleeing and pursuing
Changes for/to missions grouped by broad high level concepts (dev updates from January to March):
- persistent mission givers, treatment of player depends on player ranks/reputation/alignment
- Docking greeting messages change depending on alignment/rank
- NPCs remember having had contact with the player before
- NPCs inform player about the status of a faction (civil war etc.)
- NPCs inform player about the effects their actions are having (status changes for minor factions)
- Mission selection improved depending on a factions status
- One additional positive alignment level to faction alignment (Hated, Disliked, Neutral, Liked, Allied, +?)
- The mission board in station services replaces the old bulletin board
- Expanding the functionality of the inbox so that messages will persist
- More missions are available at the neutral reputation stage
- Rank requirement for missions are removed - the rank will now be an indication of difficulty + rewards
- Missions will be generated around players's Pilots Federation rank
- Three stage hierarchy governs mission generation:
- Minor faction state
- Market type at the port (e.g. mining missions in extraction economies)
- Government type of minor faction (e.g. dictatorships => overt assassinations)
- Missions will provide description why they have been offered and what effect their completion will have
- "Barrier of inconvenience" for some of the mission elements reviewed e.g. "not having to drop out of supercruise to listen to alternate offers"
- "The time limits for missions as well as which elements make them easier, or more difficult are being reviewed and addressed."
- The cockpits will receive a clock
- USSs for missions will now generally be located at specific bodies within a system, not randomly spawned as time goes by
- Bodies with USS signals can be detected with the discovery scanner, normal range limits apply
- Nav beacons can be scanned (in normal flight) to receive system exploration data and to reveal mission locations
- USS placement depends on specific places like "traffic lanes" and "hubs" in a system
- USS can be scanned from supercruise to reveal more information about them!
- Exact indication of influence isn’t (!) part of the mission changes (only indicates positive/negative impact) as of 2.1, unlike reputation and state changes, which are indicated
- "With minor faction states we’re intending making their effects more noticeable on available missions, ship traffic and composition, and markets." (Less subtle changes)
- "authority response if they are attacked will be sharper."
- "treasure" locations as new additional mission reward type (missions may lead to cache with vouchers/other items => crafting! )
- Crafting materials as additional mission reward type as well as hard to obtain commodities and "salvage only items". Some commodities possibly only obtainable through missions.
- "varying rewards for effects on minor factions which are getting a balance pass to make changes in state more likely as well as more noticeable"
- "rewards will be balanced to scale better with difficulty and also be more lucrative if you’re well regarded by the minor faction"
- "conducting a pass through the mission templates to make them more reliable and address issues seen in the current build"
- "adding more scenarios for the various mission types and also to better reflect the active states in the system"