There has been much discussion amongst the player base regarding the colours of planetary surfaces, especially on metal based worlds – since the release of 2.3. Although the surface quality increased quite substantially, it has been noticed that many planets lost their unique colouration and reverted to many tones of beige. Today Michael Brookes responded to a long running thread started by Obsidian Ant with the following,
“My apologies for not responding sooner, this issue has been on my list to chase up for a while. The reason for the difference being observed on the rocky worlds is the change to the new material system – in theory this is more accurate as it uses the chemical properties to determine the colour (obviously I’m simplifying a bit here!), however the problem is that those colours were based on Earth standard colouration for those materials, and most of those are beige/brown rather than the colours you might observe in the myriad of other possible conditions. We’re currently working on a more flexible material system, and this will necessitate a fresh balance pass on these. That’s not going to be in 2.3 though.”
Additionally Frontier programmer Anthony Ross responded with some comments regarding the ‘nerfing’ of some planets more notable features with the following explanation,
“There were some changes done which will have affected the geology in some certain circumstances. These were only done as otherwise it was producing terrain that would crash in some cases or have other bad bugs like being able to fly through the terrain. It would result in players being kicked to the main menu, so the issues had to be addressed.
Rocky ice planets were a prime example of some particular combinations of geological data causing rifts too sharp and severe for sensible physics data to be produced. Sometimes the rift would be so sharp, unfortunate saw-toothing artefacts would be produced.
“There were cases where overlapping large craters were not being handled quite right, causing drops sheer enough to look wrong and also cause bad physics data again. Sometimes the crater would get filled with very incorrect roughness – fixing this was a scientific accuracy concern.”