Please read the enclosed recommendation to improve surface prospecting play in Elite Dangerous. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Pilots are aimlessly driving about for hours on end searching for surface raw materials they need. Unlike mining with a Pulse Wave Scanner or exploration with a FSS surface prospecting is a mindlessly dull random and ad hoc method to collect raw surface materials. As with exploration or mining it should be more efficient. This is 3307 after all!
My recommendation is to have a system like a Pulse Wave Scanner and Prospector Limpet Controller for surface prospecting call a SRV Mortar (SRV-M). Add a SRV-M as a module on SRVs to assist with and focus surface prospecting. This will not make surface prospecting easier but far more efficient and skill dependent in lieu of blind ad hoc luck.
I am currently flying my ASP Explorer transiting the The Formidine Rift Region on my way to the Outer Arm Vacuus. I am down to 28 premium FSG injections. I stopped off at a nice little out-of-the-way planet to replenish my stores of rarity grade 5 polonium. It is available at 0.5% on this lovely little rock. I have been driving in my SRV for hours traveling at a base azimuth of 090°, more or less. With all this free time on my hand I was thinking of a way to be just a wee a bit more efficient looking for the polonium I need to continue my journey.
This led me to thinking of planetary exploration way back in the day. You just flew into a system and depending on your system scanner strength you either got to see all the planets or just the ones that were within your scanner range. If I am remembering correctly that’s how it all went back then.
Then, Frontier came up with an awesome Full System Scanner (FSS) and the planetary mapping model. It is arguably THE BEST of any MMOG available.
Furthermore, when mining in rings and asteroid belts the Pulse Wave Scanner highlights asteroids containing resource deposits and the Prospector Limpet Controller determines the composition of an asteroids. Brilliant tools for the miner who wants to be more efficient with time, resources and effort.
SURFACE PROSPECTING SOLUTION EXPANDED – SRV MORTAR
An SRV Mortar (SRV-M) could be module that can be purchased and mounted on an SRV.
There would be three sizes small (60mm), medium (90mm) and large (120mm). Each size would be subdivided by class A through E. Depending on the class and the size each mortar would have varying characteristics. These characteristic differences would include range, scan radius, rate of fire, magazine size, SRV speed, SRV Fuel consumption and blast/interrogation radius. The SRV-M could be used in the Survey or Combat mode
CONCEPT OF OPERATION
Using the SRV-M in the survey mode will identify surface POIs and asteroids the same way as a Pulse Wave Scanner does for highlighting asteroids that contain resource deposits. Once a surface asteroid or POI is identified within the survey radius the driver would fire a second interrogation round. If the Interrogation round impacted within the interrogation radius the round would identify the composition of an asteroid or surface POI. Furthermore, if the first survey round impacted by chance near an asteroid or POI within the interrogation radius the round would both perform a survey within its class radius, and it would also simultaneously identify the composition of an asteroid or surface POI that is within the interrogation radius. A lucky shot. Or just call it a Hole in One.
Once an asteroid or POI is interrogated and its composition is known the driver can decide if the asteroid or POI is something they need or not.
Used in the Combat Mode the SRV-M could be used to attack POIs, facilities, SRVs, ships and people on the surface. Using the SRV-M in the combat mode would arm the warhead. Upon impact anything within the blast zone would be damaged or destroyed. The blast zone is the same size as the interrogation zone when the SRV-M is used in the Survey MODE. Both the Interrogation and Blast Zones are much smaller than the Survey Radius.
Again, using the same mortar as used in Survey Mode there would be three sizes small (60mm), medium (90mm) and large (120mm). Each size would be subdivided by class A through E. Depending on the class and the size each mortar would have varying characteristics. These characteristic differences would include range, scan radius, rate of fire, magazine size, SRV speed, SRV Fuel consumption and blast/interrogation radius.
The recommended characteristic of the SRV-M are:
· The SRV must be stationary to fire
· Must be fitted to the SRV as a module
· Range and probe strength dependent or size and rate
· Contacts that are acquired are listed in the Contacts Panel
· Increased mortar size increases fuel consumption and reduces speed.
· Must stock rounds like the SRV’s repeater
· Skimmers within the probe radius will be activated
· Blast impact area will damage ships, SRVs, equipment and objects and will injure exposed people.
I hope that Frontier will consider my proposal. Surface prospecting needs to be more efficient. Not easier but more than just random luck while prospecting for raw materials. Mining and exploration have come an exceptionally long way. The skill and pilots efficient use of his or her tools in both activities greatly determines how efficient that can be.
By acting on the recommendation surface prospecting would change from random boring luck to a more skill-based activity.