This week sees the release of the latest Xbox One Content Update, this brings the Xbox One version into line with the season one components of the PC/Mac 2.02 release.
Characterisation and a more personal connection to the game world has always been one of the goals for Elite: Dangerous. It’s such a massive play space that it’s easy to feel dwarfed by it and the current impersonal contacts inside the game only enhance that perception. In an interesting coincidence I saw some lovely concept that fans had created for personalities and as part of the mission flow. This is something that we’re working on as part of the 2.1 release (as with the 2.0x point releases some of the changes will be applicable to season one owners).
We’ll leverage the work we’ve done on that Commander Creator) to provide headshots of specific contacts. The focus for this will be mission givers and mechanics (these are loot characters) and the intention is that every mission giver in game (also equivalent to the minor factions) will be a specific individual. This should be consistent for all players.
Your relationship with the minor faction will determine who within that organisation you will deal with, so the better your relationship with them, the higher level character you will deal with. So maintaining a decent reputation with that minor faction is a wise policy!
As well as providing a face for your interactions with that minor faction they will offer more information about how the minor faction is doing and how you can help them. This will be accompanied by a number of changes to missions to facilitate this, there will be more details on this over the coming weeks.
Mechanics are individuals with their own characteristics, history and specialisations who will facilitate crafting. They are spread throughout human space and they are the people to see about implementing changes to your weapons and modules. The release of season two saw the first steps in loot and crafting and this will developed to a much greater degree in 2.1 - we’ll delve into more details on this soon as well.
Over the past year we’ve made a number of changes to some of the visuals (most notable are the asteroids) to improve performance – note that this had nothing to do with the Xbox One release as that uses a different profile. This has impacted the visual quality of the asteroids and we will be addressing some of the causes of that in the 2.1 release. Some of those changes were due to changes in other areas of the game (such as environment map capture) needing to be rebalanced. Whatever the cause we’re evaluating the lighting, fog, shadows and loading issues. Some of these fixes we may limit to certain graphics quality options to make sure all our players enjoy good performance and improved visuals with respect to their systems capabilities.