Elite Dangerous: Odyssey Mission Q&A - Recap

Dealbreaking Question: Will NPCs bunnyhop in low gravity?

Genuine Question:

Did Armstrong and Aldrin bunny hop because of low gravity or because their movements were restricted by 1960's spacesuits?

Personally I think spacesuits had quite a bit to do with it them skipping in 1/6 gravity (demo was 1/2) but I think there might be a point, 1/10 gravity or 1/50 where you need to move more carefully even in a 3307 suit. I don't know if FD have said anything but SRV thrusters help to keep that on the floor. Do the FPS jetpacks do the same?
 
Love the look of these missions, perhaps my biggest concern is that surface missions may only happen at these (small-ish) installations, and there's a limited number of mission templates, then gameplay could get samey very quickly. Ideally they'd add "wrinkles" that'll spice missions up. E.g. a security ship shows up on a random patrol and starts scanning which changes the nature of your mission. Or some installations may not be approached from the air so you need to escape (steal?) an SRV to get away and back to your ship etc.

The mission gameplay in ED generally is a bit static and templatey... Go here, do X, then go there and do Y, mission over. Few surprises or natural feeling gameplay.

TBH, I think if on-foot combat zones are a thing, they might be far more entertaining. Attack a settlement that has a lot of challenging NPCs, sounds great. Or for a non-lethal option - act as medevac for combat zones. Flying in, picking up wounded and getting them outta there, under fire.
Well, there is only so much you can make with procedurally generated missions.
Yes, they could do a story mission or a series of story missions but players would fly through them quickly anyway and then complain there is nothing to do.

So far I am fine with what I am seeing. They can always add more “templates” later.
In any case, Elite: Dangerous and Horizons with the “templatey“ missions entertained me for almost 2000 hours (and still do) and Odyssey might be a huge improvement to all this.
 
They would have to make different animations for all the different types of gravity out there. I can't really see that as happening, I would imagine that could take ages to work out, and probably not worth all the effort. It needs fun and engaging, not realistic and possibly boring.
I disagree.
It needs realism or it will lose the sim appeal and thus isn't Elite. Doesn't mean it can't be fun. It just wouldn't fit in.
But well, that's the choice they got to make I guess, and even if thousands of new and old players will like it, I'd still be sad seeing Elite losing more and more of the sim with every update.
 
Love the look of these missions, perhaps my biggest concern is that surface missions may only happen at these (small-ish) installations, and there's a limited number of mission templates, then gameplay could get samey very quickly. Ideally they'd add "wrinkles" that'll spice missions up. E.g. a security ship shows up on a random patrol and starts scanning which changes the nature of your mission. Or some installations may not be approached from the air so you need to escape (steal?) an SRV to get away and back to your ship etc.

The mission gameplay in ED generally is a bit static and templatey... Go here, do X, then go there and do Y, mission over. Few surprises or natural feeling gameplay.

TBH, I think if on-foot combat zones are a thing, they might be far more entertaining. Attack a settlement that has a lot of challenging NPCs, sounds great. Or for a non-lethal option - act as medevac for combat zones. Flying in, picking up wounded and getting them outta there, under fire.
I'd recommend watching the stream from yesterday - it's a supercruise news, but they actually spend most of the stream talking about the mission in more detail - made me feel more optimistic about those missions.
 
I disagree.
It needs realism or it will lose the sim appeal and thus isn't Elite. Doesn't mean it can't be fun. It just wouldn't fit in.
But well, that's the choice they got to make I guess, and even if thousands of new and old players will like it, I'd still be sad seeing Elite losing more and more of the sim with every update.

Elite is half simulation and half game and I doubt it will ever leave that path. The 20-year-old space game Terminus already had more "sim appeal" than Elite has had at any time.
 
I'd recommend watching the stream from yesterday - it's a supercruise news, but they actually spend most of the stream talking about the mission in more detail - made me feel more optimistic about those missions.

Will there be a summary of this stream in text form? As a non-native speaker, it is almost impossible for me to follow what they are saying unless I see it in text form.
 
I disagree.
It needs realism or it will lose the sim appeal and thus isn't Elite. Doesn't mean it can't be fun. It just wouldn't fit in.
But well, that's the choice they got to make I guess, and even if thousands of new and old players will like it, I'd still be sad seeing Elite losing more and more of the sim with every update.
I have never seen ED as a full on sim anyway. ED has sim like parts, but it is far more a game then a sim.
 
Almost certainly the same fade to black transition we have now.
I was rather asking about lore/theory - what will it be officialy? Will it be telepresence or physical presence. If physical then question is will it still autodestruct on 20km distance or SLF will be a regular ship on its own (propably without FSD functionality)
 
Genuine Question:

Did Armstrong and Aldrin bunny hop because of low gravity or because their movements were restricted by 1960's spacesuits?

Personally I think spacesuits had quite a bit to do with it them skipping in 1/6 gravity (demo was 1/2) but I think there might be a point, 1/10 gravity or 1/50 where you need to move more carefully even in a 3307 suit. I don't know if FD have said anything but SRV thrusters help to keep that on the floor. Do the FPS jetpacks do the same?

I looked this up when the first trailer came out (and it was a pressing question of the day). The astronauts could actually walk normally for short distances, but it was demanding and tiring because humans use their body weight for countering their inertia and momentum during a walk, and in lower gravity you have less of that, which makes a walking rhythm harder to sustain, and it's difficult to train for it on Earth before you go to the moon.

Presumably our Commanders and NPCs have experience of walking in low G and building the required skills and strength from a young age, and the suits are probably some kind of powered support that helps assist with starting and stopping and maintaing a rhythm.
 
I did but there wasn't answer to this questions.
I was listening between other chores (despite pausing a few times on the bits that caught my interest) and had hear 'lots' but missed chunks to - hence the suggestion.
Sorry it wasn't answered.

So far I am fine with what I am seeing. They can always add more “templates” later.
One of the bits I did pick up from yesterday's stream was that there were around 50 different 'new' Odyssey missions.
 
I was listening between other chores (despite pausing a few times on the bits that caught my interest) and had hear 'lots' but missed chunks to - hence the suggestion.
Sorry it wasn't answered.


One of the bits I did pick up from yesterday's stream was that there were around 50 different 'new' Odyssey missions.
That sounds plenty.
I am sure there will be similarities between these 50 missions (there definitely won't be 50 unique and completely different types) but it is better to wait and see how it is to actually play them.
 
Greetings Commanders!

Last week was big for Elite Dangerous: Odyssey news! Not only did we release a brand new look at Odyssey pre-alpha gameplay, we also revealed that the alpha will begin on March 29 on PC (more details on this soon). The gameplay reveal was followed by a live interview with developer Gareth Hughes, answering questions around the mission itself, and giving more interesting insights into Odyssey! You can watch the entire interview over on YouTube, but if you prefer to read, we've got a refined version of Gareth's answers after the mission playthrough video below.


Let's get straight into the questions:

Q: So this is pre-alpha footage we're seeing in this video?
That's right! Things have changed rapidly, we're in that end phase of development where we are really balancing and polishing everything. We're seeing pretty dramatic day-to-day improvement, the quality level is going up and up and up!

Q: This video showed off one particular mission, at one particular site, on one particular planet - and this is scaled galaxy wide?
That's it! We're looking at 27 different settlement types, spanning six different themes: agricultural, industrial, extraction, tourism, research, military. There's a really wide variety of settlements, each of the themes has unique building types that can facilitate unique mission types. We also have more generic missions that work across all of the themes. There's lots of variation depending on the planet, the type of faction that currently has ownership of the settlement (via BGS) and more.

Q: Could you talk about what kind of NPCs we might encounter at a settlement?
Generally we split the NPCs into two distinct types in terms of behaviour. There's the guards that you were fighting against, and the civilians. Obviously they are different in terms of loadout and how they act in the settlement but I think the more fundamental thing that drives your interaction with settlement NPCs is the background simulation and your relationship with the faction. If you have a friendly relationship with that faction then you're free to pretty much go anywhere and explore, maybe you'll find some mission givers there that you can interact with. However, if you have a bad relationship with that faction, that settlement may just end up in a shoot on sight situation.

If you go in shooting, that's going to upset even the most friendly NPCs! As soon as you're killing NPCs without reason, you're given a bounty straight away, and you're pretty much fair game! The settlement doesn't have a hive mind in terms of what you're doing. If you're detected doing something that's going to elicit a hostile response from the AI, before the whole settlement is aware of that, the message has to be radioed out - you're given a window of opportunity to interject before they can send that message out.

Q: Sometimes the NPCs will ask you to stop for a scan, can you talk about this?
That's right, they have the same scanning device as you do, and it can pick up on your existing criminality. You might have a cordial relationship with the faction, but if you do something suspicious, they'll scan you with the Profile Analyser, if they detect an in-jurisdiction crime on you, then they will react immediately. You also see in the video, that some buildings have gating. There are a few ways to get through that day, either via overloading the mechanism, or you'll also notice a number '3' above the panel - this is the authorisation level required. The way you get this authorisation is by scanning an NPC that already has it - you're effectively stealing their identity. The NPCs don't like you doing this, and if you get scanned whilst in possession of a cloned authorisation, they will react.

There's lots of ways you can approach a settlement, it's not the case that you have to go in guns blazing. It's also not the case that you can't achieve mission objectives that are nefarious by stealthing your way in and avoiding criminality that's going to get you in trouble straight away.

Q: If you've been scanned once, will NPCs just leave you alone?
NPCs can be interested by suspicious stimuli. So for instance if they saw the cut panel on the floor, they'd know something didn't seem right, and if they see you near the panel - they'll investigate you. If you have just been scanned, another NPC won't just come and scan you again instantly, but if you're moving through and setting off all these stimuli, they're going to respond!

Q: Are there things that a player can do to avoid settlement defences like turrets and Goliaths?
Absolutely, what you did in the mission playthrough was like the ultimate 'pull the plug' - taking the regulator will shut down pretty much everything like turrets, that does mean all the NPCs will react to that though. If you're doing a more stealthy approach, the command building often has multiple consoles that you can access to turn off various security systems. If you're patient, you can scan the AI, understand the patrol routes, apply some mods to your suit to make you more stealthy, or use a silenced weapon, you can get to that building and disable those features to make your life easier if you don't want a firefight. If you're detected in an area that you don't belong, they'll warn and fine you at first, but if you're persistent things will get more aggressive!

We've got some classic missions like assassinations, and new missions like sabotage and heists. Some of those may give a bonus payment if you're not discovered or don't kill anybody. We're trying to give the missions a lot more flavour and storytelling in terms of the context around them.

Q: Can you talk about what happens if you fail a mission, or die?
If you die, you fail the mission you're currently doing. When you die, you get a choice of two things. If you're on foot and don't have a ship (which is possible in Odyssey), you'll respawn at the nearest port or outpost. If you do have a ship, you'll get a choice to respawn at the port, or in your ship. If your ship is on the planet surface, you'll respawn in your ship on orbit, if it's docked at a port already, you'll respawn in your ship at the port. Anything that's in your backpack inventory (different from permanent storage) is lost when you die.

Q: The NPCs in the video weren't so tough compared to others, can you talk about NPC difficulty?
This relates to the classic time to kill question. The answer is it's incredibly variable, as it's all gear driven. If I have the worst gear against AI or players with the best gear, they're going to have a significant advantage over me. They're going to feel spongey to me, and I'll feel easy to kill for them. If we're on a level, then it's a lot of different. In terms of AI, there's also behavioural elements to combat that scale up when you fight higher tier AI, including things like accuracy, dodging etc. If you're doing difficult missions, you're going to get good rewards. Once you scan players or AI, you can tell exactly how powerful they are.

Q: Can you give us some more examples of mission types?
An interesting one is kind of the inverse of what you did in the video! That settlement may be in an offline state, and you may be tasked to go down, get into the reactor building, and put that settlement back online. Some of the buildings might be on fire, so once it's online, you have to go building by building, de-pressurise, put fires out and so on. There may be scavengers or other NPCs there to make your job harder.

Q: Can you talk a bit more about the authorisation levels in settlements?
Yes, this is basically one of the ways we gate off areas from access. There is a consumable device in the game that's quite expensive which overrides something that usually needs a certain authorisation level. NPCs don't like seeing them, of course, but it's another way the player can move through the settlements. It's about choice, if I'm on a relatively low paying mission, do I want to use my expensive device, or do I want to swap into my Utility Suit and use my cutter and other tools?

Q: Can you talk about the different suits in Odyssey?
Yes, as you see in the video, players can take up different roles depending on the suit they use. The tactical suit for example, can carry two different weapons, which is unique to that suit, so you need to consider the best suit for the mission you're about to engage in.

Q: There are different types of weapons in Odyssey, could you tell us why a player might use them?
Way back when we started prototyping combat, it became quite clear to us early on that the ship combat has some really interesting concepts behind it, so we basically stole them! The premise is that kinetic weapons are good against armour, lasers are good against shields, and plasma re decent against both but not quite as good as the other two. When it comes to choosing a loadout, you'll want to choose your weapons to be the most efficient, so you may want lasers to take out shields and kinetic to finish them off. If you're working as a team, you can specialise, one player can be ant-shield, and another can finish them off via kinetic.

Q: For the getaway, we landed to the side of the settlement for a quick escape, there's been a small change in this, hasn't there?
Yes, you can now automatically land on planet surfaces. It's hard to encapsulate all the changes in a few minutes of video. When players get hold of the alpha, that's when they'll really understand what we've done.

Q: Can you talk about suit management?
There are different things that can pull on the suits' power. There's the life support machine, things like the shield (which is power hungry when turned on), and some of the tools can use your suit power. Survival actually starts to become something you need to become considerate of in certain situations. If you're at a settlement, there are areas where you can recharge your suit, but if you're out exploring, there's certainly a risk factor involved. Environmental factors can also have an effect on how hard your suit has to work to keep you alive. If you're in really extreme temperatures, you'll be taking physical damage. You can disembark somewhere on the planet with safe temperatures, but you can quite quickly end up somewhere where the temperature is much hotter, and end up in danger.

Q: Finally, how important is the upcoming alpha?
From my perspective, I'm interested in player feedback on the economy - how much is a bounty worth for example. When players start playing it, they'll quickly establish where we need to tweak things. There's also things like weapon balance that we'll be looking at, and we'll have time to take that on board and react.


Thank you again to Gareth for joining us on his birthday! With the alpha fast approaching on March 29, we'll have even more information on Elite Dangerous: Odyssey in the coming weeks. Until then, fly safe Commanders.


o7
here is a question: for suits equipment do you use the same credits as for ships or different type of money? Tis is important as for how much will cost a suit or a handheld weapon related to a ship or ship mudules and weapons. I cannot imagin a hand rifle to cos as much a ship multicannon, or a suit to cost as a ship. that would be crazy. also the payout from missions. cargo missions in t9 cannot be comparable to on foot missions. I see the only solutions the game to use different currency otherwise it would be crazy.
 
here is a question: for suits equipment do you use the same credits as for ships or different type of money? Tis is important as for how much will cost a suit or a handheld weapon related to a ship or ship mudules and weapons. I cannot imagin a hand rifle to cos as much a ship multicannon, or a suit to cost as a ship. that would be crazy. also the payout from missions. cargo missions in t9 cannot be comparable to on foot missions. I see the only solutions the game to use different currency otherwise it would be crazy.
I don't see this - we get paid to deliver X amount of Commodity Y for Z credits... At times a massive difference between the value of the cargo and the pay to deliver it, so nothing amiss in mission 'scaling'.

As for a new currency - would it be needed, in all truth? As far as I can tell from listening to the chat about Odyssey it will be engineering, once more, that defines the utility of handguns & suits, and some of those mats needed to 'upgrade' are new in Odyssey judging by the comments made in the streams.
 
here is a question: for suits equipment do you use the same credits as for ships or different type of money? Tis is important as for how much will cost a suit or a handheld weapon related to a ship or ship mudules and weapons. I cannot imagin a hand rifle to cos as much a ship multicannon, or a suit to cost as a ship. that would be crazy. also the payout from missions. cargo missions in t9 cannot be comparable to on foot missions. I see the only solutions the game to use different currency otherwise it would be crazy.

Based on what they've said, I have a strong suspicion that basic suits and weapons will indeed be trivially cheap in terms of credits, but any improvement over the vanilla three or four options will require modification/engineering and thus trading materials (and possibly more substantial amounts of cash) with specialist engineers.

I suspect almost everyone will be able to buy every suit and weapon available, and I doubt there will be an equivalent to "graduating to a better ship from a Sidewinder/Cobra/Python", but rather, you'll do more engineering for more features.

I think the "new currency" that's been hinted at is simply more engineering materials, or maybe some kind of favour token system for engineers.

Which I think some will not be happy about, hah!
 
Any idea if we can use multiple controllers? I don't really want to use my Hotas for legwork... (but I will if I have to!)

I don't think we know yet, although it should be possible for you. I think you can already add multiple controllers (try it with the SRV).

I'm interested too, but for the opposite reason. I don't want to have to take my hands off the Hotas if I don't have to, although I have kb/m already of course :)
 
I have never seen ED as a full on sim anyway. ED has sim like parts, but it is far more a game then a sim.
It's not a full sim, though even the devs call it a sim, actually. :D
In it's core though, it's a lot more space sim than any other game I know (apart from fan projects and Elite's prequels) and the on-foot part should reflect that and be sim at its core as well.
Of course they can choose to change their stance on the sim part even more than they did already and go full arcade with a few sim features attached, which I wouldn't like, but I guess it would sell better.

For me (that's me) the fun in playing Elite comes from the simulation and the science. The simulated galaxy. Sitting in the cockpit and Fa-offing through space and planetary surfaces. Seeing the wonders of space and knowing how much science there is in the game world. If I want fantasy space, I can play No Man's Sky anytime (which I regularly do, actually.)
 
It's not a full sim, though even the devs call it a sim, actually. :D
In it's core though, it's a lot more space sim than any other game I know (apart from fan projects and Elite's prequels) and the on-foot part should reflect that and be sim at its core as well.
Of course they can choose to change their stance on the sim part even more than they did already and go full arcade with a few sim features attached, which I wouldn't like, but I guess it would sell better.

For me (that's me) the fun in playing Elite comes from the simulation and the science. The simulated galaxy. Sitting in the cockpit and Fa-offing through space and planetary surfaces. Seeing the wonders of space and knowing how much science there is in the game world. If I want fantasy space, I can play No Man's Sky anytime (which I regularly do, actually.)
I think I would have to disagree. There are pure space sims out there. The Stellar Forge is a sim, and the BGS is a light sim. The rest though is all game attached to those parts. Remove the game and what you are left with is very little at the end of the day.

So no, I wouldn't ever call the game a space sim, as at its heart, its really nothing like one, its more like an adventures in space game and Odyssey just adds to our commanders adventures.
 
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