In this week’s stream Sandro Sammarco talked with Ed Lewis about the new materials that can be found on the surface while in the SRV and the impact they can have on your ship and the SRV and I will expand upon this in this week’s dev update.
Materials for the Horizons Planetary Landings launch are raw materials that can be found on the surfaces of planets and moons. The types of these materials will vary depending on the geology of the body, the type of world it is and where it is situated. We’ve conducted a lot of research into this distribution and David Braben in particular has delved into the design of this new aspect of the game. As well as natural formations of these materials some can be found (and indeed, in some cases, unique to) special sources. Meteorites can be found and blasted to reveal materials. There are also more mysterious sources as well to be found!
Some 25 of these materials have been added and are essentially elements that can be combined to synthesise different effects. In this regard they are the prelude for the wider loot and crafting features coming later in the season. These materials are used in tiny quantities and don’t occupy cargo space, each Commander has an amount of separate space for storing these collections. They are then consumed by synthesis for different purposes relating to the ship and SRV. Each of these applications require a different mixture of materials.
The rarity or abundance of materials varies depending on the material. Some are incredibly rare, but these also confer more benefits when synthesised than more common materials. Finding these materials is one of the key functions of the wave scanner. Unlike the ship board discovery scanners the SRV’s wave scanner is more finely tuned for discovering elements and so requires some investigation compared to the powerful discovery scanners.
Materials have trace signals that the wave scanner can interpret from the surrounding region and the Commander uses a direction finding technique to locate the source of the signal. Different items generate different signals, so it is possible to identify the sources of signals on the scanner with some practice. The same techniques also work for points of interest and even settlements with the scanner being able to display signals from artificial sources like generators or crashed ships.
There will be six syntheses that can be applied – three for the ship including re-supply ammunition, restocking of the AFM and a temporary increase in jump range for the FSD. For the SRV the benefits include fuel for the SRV, repair and ammunition for the plasma repeaters. Higher quality materials can confer improvements, so refilling ammunition using a high quality mix of materials can increase the damage caused by the ammunition as these have better materials than store bought ammunition. Such a bonus will only apply until the ammunition is restocked.
As well as showing more about the Horizons gameplay the 1.5 beta starts this week. As part of this release we have the fruits of some of our Spanish community’s labours over the past few months. This was an incredible effort by them as the game has an enormous amount of text and keeps on growing!
Another change we are testing in the 1.5 beta is to how shield cell banks operate. It comes in two parts, the first is increasing the heat cost when you use a shield cell bank. This increases the risk of using these as the sudden heat build up can cause module damage, using two or more in rapid succession can even cause hull damage – so making these a defence of last resort rather.. The second part is there is now a delay when these are powered up. These delays also apply to a range other modules. We’re looking forward to seeing the feedback on these and the other changes in the 1.5 build.
We’re also increasing the benefits from hull health from the hull reinforcement packages.
The 1.5 and Horizons Planetary Landing release will contain some significant changes to missions (as mentioned in a previous dev update) and that means that when the release goes live all missions will be reset. We’ll let you know in advance when this will happen so you have time to finish any outstanding missions you might have.
Discuss Mike's dev update on the forum here.