The primary feature of Elite: Dangerous Odyssey’s third alpha phase has been the exo-biology gameplay loop, where players have to scan plants to earn a sample that can be sold to a station NPC for cash. That process has, at the brass tacks level, two parts: scanning a planet for life using the Detailed Surface Scanner (DSS), and performing a QTE minigame when manually scanning plants. According to the devs, both of those will be seeing adjustments.
First, the minigame portion of exo-biology will be removed completely either at Odyssey’s launch or shortly afterward following overwhelmingly negative feedback from testers. While players have called for the devs to simply replace the QTE with a more puzzle-based version instead, the devs stamped down the suggestion. “We can’t please everybody,” reads one such reply. “The majority of the feedback pointed to the conclusion that the Exobiology gameplay loop didn’t benefit from the minigame at the sampling stage.”
Second, problems with the DSS not correctly showing a heatmap of life as demonstrated in the initial exo-biology video and instead coating scanned planets in bright green is a known issue resulting from Odyssey’s new planetary tech not being in its final state. This issue is unlikely to be fully resolved during alpha, but the devs promise it will be cleared by launch once planetary tech changes are finalized.
In the meantime, yesterday saw a new hotfix applied that tries to address DSS visual issues, along with several stability fixes. For more of Elite’s Odyssey alpha, make sure to read our impressions of phase one and phase two.