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Devblog: Asteroids


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Ahh, those crunchy little rock nuggets, filled with fabulous sweet surprises. *nom nom nom* Okay, so they aren’t so little, and they probably aren’t all that delicious, but those sweet surprises are very, very real. Some say they smell like quanta.


Let’s take a look at asteroids, one of the key features coming in Apollo (0.26), now available on the public test server. What are they? What’s in them? How do you find them? How will they impact the gameplay of Dual Universe?



Asteroids are small, temporary celestial bodies. You will be able to track, discover, and mine them. They respawn in dispersed batches weekly, and asteroids in each batch will initially spawn over the first 24 hours.  


The addition of asteroids will bring some spicy elements to gameplay as they provide a real incentive for PvP other than mere pirating (not that there’s anything wrong with that if that’s your thing). Another upside is that locating and mining asteroids, along with transporting their bounty, will encourage cooperation and interaction between different groups of players. One can never have too many friends, right? 




At the end of the life cycle of these asteroids, they will be despawned, to make way for a new batch to spawn. For testing purposes, this is set to one week but is subject to change based on community feedback. 


And, last but not least, it’s always good to have another way to acquire resources. Asteroids are also more resource-rich than your average mining territory. The ore they contain is of varying tiers, depending on the area in which they are discovered. Higher tier ore will be found in the more dangerous PvP zones. The greater the risk, the higher the reward. 



Although it is technically possible to discover an asteroid as you’re roaming around in space, it’s more likely that you’ll need some mechanical assistance. 


Say hello to the deep space asteroid tracker (DSAT). It serves two general purposes: to display all existing asteroids in the system, regardless of their state, and to track undiscovered asteroids. Once an asteroid is discovered, you’ll use the DSAT to set a series of waypoints to it. 




The DSAT display panel shows: 

  • Rumored: Asteroids that exist but have not been discovered.
  • Discovered: Asteroids that have been successfully discovered.
  • Broadcast: The shared location of discovered asteroids. 
  • Discovered countdown timer: The length of time remaining before broadcasting the location of a discovered asteroid.
  • Scan: Click to begin scanning for an asteroid’s location. 




Information about the specific asteroid being scanned is displayed in the box above. The Rarity field shows the type of ore you will find there, ranging from Basic, Uncommon, Advanced, Rare and Exotic. 


From there, you can select an asteroid to track. The DSAT will ask you to scan several information points in the target area in order to zero in on the final location of the asteroid. These information points are unique for each player; sharing them won’t enable anyone else to speed through the scanning process. Once you have reached and scanned all the information points, the location of the asteroid will be revealed.


When someone touches down on the asteroid, the time starts ticking. In four hours, the location will be revealed in the Broadcast section of the DSAT display, visible to anyone with a DSAT unit.  


(Important note: The four-hour time limit is subject to change based on testing results and player feedback.) 



Good news for the lone wolves of the world: Single-player asteroid-hunting is completely feasible. It is about picking the right amount of risk and having a well-designed ship for dig-and-run action. A major perk of being the first to discover and begin mining an asteroid is that you’re pretty much guaranteed to pull out a few nodes of higher-tier-ore from the get-go. A tier-3 asteroid might contain a couple of tier-5 veins.


How long it will take to fully deplete all of the asteroid’s resources depends on a wide range of variables. How large is the crew? How good are they at working together? What equipment are they using? A well-oiled machine of a team with top-line equipment has the potential to complete the task before the four-hour broadcast timer dings. (Potential being the operative word there.) 


A more likely scenario is that you’ll have competition. Being the first to successfully locate the asteroid doesn’t give you exclusive rights to it. Anyone else can scan and locate it, too, or stumble upon it out of sheer luck. 



Although the basic mining gameplay and mechanics are in place, a big change for miners is that asteroids have extremely low gravity and no atmosphere to speak of, giving you the option to mine and dig entirely in jetpack mode if you so choose. 


Another significant departure is that with asteroids having the potential to spawn in PvP zones, this will also be the first time players can mine and fight in the same general area.



With plenty of options related to asteroids, you’ve got some important choices to make. 

  • Is your sole business to find asteroids and sell the location information to others before they are publicly broadcasted?
  • Will you stick to the safe zones and leave the dangerous resource gathering to others?
  • Do you use the Job Forum to hire help to mine and transport ore?
  • Will you scour the skies looking for miners to loot?

These are simply a few possibilities. There are countless more, and endless stories of victory and defeat waiting to be told. 


What will your asteroid glory story be? Share it in the forums

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