Lavecon 2016 – Q&A

On Saturday the 16th July Frontier held an open Q&A session during the first day of Lavecon 2016. Below are a few points taken from the session that was attended by: Dav Scott, Sandro Sammarco, Michael Brookes and Mark Allen. There were many smaller things mentioned which you can listen to on the stream recording here (starting at 4 hours 40 mins). Note: Information here has been updated on the Horizons Preview post and ‘The Future?’ post.

Tourist Information

Michael Brookes explained that Tourism, which is just one aspect of the forthcoming ‘Passengers’ update, will hopefully guide some players into new locations, as suggested by the players themselves. When taking tourism missions the scanning of objects in the specifically requested locations will reveal the commander who suggested the location as well as integrating any relevant lore surrounding the area. This might be for example the scene of a historically important battle. Some trips will be up to 70,000 light years from the bubble making them long time-consuming affairs. It was commented that there would be a time limit to do the trips, but that it would be “generous”. To avoid any doubt it was confirmed that passenger specific ships (e.g. the Orca) would be better than non-passenger specific ones when doing tourism trips.

Jaques Station

Michael Brookes revealed that following suggestions from the players, Frontier will support the introduction of a new player inhabited bubble surrounding the station. Additionally any community goals would be given a longer time limit (a month of longer) to allow players to be involved.

Escort Missions

When asked at Lavecon 2016 Sandro suggested this was a ‘desirable feature’ and that it blended in with multi-crew and ship-launched fighters, but didn’t go as far as saying when it would actually appear.

Player Journal

The 2.2 Updates will see the introduction of a player journal into the game. Information will be written to a local file enabling 3rd party apps access to the data. Some of the developers of these apps have already been contacted in regard to this.

Consequences for Criminal Actions?

Sandro commented that although there is no ETA or guarantees, they are aware of issues surrounding this topic and want to improve it.

Engineers Criticism. Was it justified?

Sandro said that yes, some of the constructive criticism was justified and that he felt the team was lucky to be in a position to have a “second bite at the apple” in trying to improve the system. He said that they had made a mistake with the first balance pass and it was “too harsh.” Due to the game being based on geography and distance to travel places, the crafting aspect takes longer than in other games and changes have been made and would be made to amend this.

Additionally the introduction of special weapons was intended to be seen as ‘personalisation’ in the game, but in effect they created proto-roles within the game (ie. healer, tank). Sandro said the forums was quite correct in making this observation and that sometimes as a developer you can be too close to the game and “not see the wood for the trees.” This he felt, was one of those occasions. Sandro also commented,

“Now that the game has been live for a while, it’s a big complicated game.  When you add something to it, no matter how small and seemingly trivial, you pull on lots of different strings that effect lots of different systems, so we have to apply a cautious approach to any sort of improvement.”

Q. When will there be more variation in stations?

A. Gamescom.

Will there be cross-platform play?

Would love to do it, there have been discussions and despite limitations it is being considered.

Ship naming?

This question cropped up again and ship naming will be coming but again, no dates given.

Ship Delivery?

A question regarding this much asked feature was given a reply of “nothing to announce now.” However it might be noted that Sandro Sammarco commented during a live Q&A stream on the 19th May 2016,

“This is slated for Season 2.”

This might be Frontier being a little coy about an upcoming feature (which is my guess), but it might also suggest it has been moved in the schedule.