Feature preview - version 1.7
More coming soon...
"Intel" - Satellites, sensors and sector maps
In versions 1.6.x it is not possible to view the sector map for sectors that you are not in. Why? In this version, each faction has an "intel" database but it only holds data on stations and wormholes. This means that owned ships can discover stations and wormholes in other sectors but you will never see the ships that they see. So if the sector map were shown for a different sector then it would be mostly blank. On top of all this, when pilotting, the HUD ignores the intel database entirely and does a completely separate scan of space.
In 1.7 a faction's intel database will be improved to hold data on all types of space object. This major engine change allows for the following new features:
- Ability to view the sector map in other (discovered) sectors that the player is not currently in and see what owned ships can see
- The HUD will use the intel database. This means that if an owned ship/station in the same sector can see a something, you can see that thing too.
- Sensor relay - if an owned ship can see a ship elsewhere in the sector that your own scanner cannot detect, you can fire at it (this comes useful when new long-range missiles arrive)
- New satellite station type - a small unarmed structure that possesses just a scanner (with range equivalent to a ship). The satellite allows the owner to view areas of space where there aren't any ships/stations.
- A new "Intel" screen, showing everything that your intel database holds and other options (e.g. setting a waypoint).
- Factions (including the player) will rely on the intel databse. They will not be able to cheat to bypass it as they currently do. This will have a massive impact on the game; Ships cannot plot a course to a completely undiscovered part of the universe; if you order ships to attack another ship in 1.7, you send them to attack the last known location of the target ship... If the last known location becomes too old, the contact is lost and they give up. And bounty hunters will no longer find their prey like a homing missile.
The above are features that will appear in 1.7. Beyond this update, there are plans to make intel a larger feature of the game, such as the ability to share intel with other factions, or sell it.