We’ve already covered how detailed the heat system in Elite: Dangerous is: Frontier have tied it directly to sensors, so the more active your are the more visible you become to other players.
There’s now footage showing off exactly how this all works. It’s hot stuff.
The set up for this video is that the pilot has chased a wounded ship into an asteroid belt, hoping to collect the bounty on their head. The damaged ship is dribbling heat and appears easily on the pilot’s sensors:
The number of options the pilots have, as both hunter and hunted, is excellent to see. The hunter is able to go in hot, engines and shields up, trying to scare the damaged ship into running and lighting themselves up like a beacon in the process; or, as in this video, they can shut down all unnecessary systems and glide in, using short controlled bursts to sneak up on the prey. The prey can activate shields and weapon systems ready to defend theselves but that means they're guaranteed a fight. And both of them have the option of expelling a heatsink, a component that absorbs the ships heat and can be launched out into space, acting as a distraction for the other player's sensors.
I like, too, how Frontier have tied so many systems together so that your actions have visual responses. For instance, when the hunter goes on the run and shuts down as much systems as they can and the cockpit’s canopy begins to frost over, making it difficult to see out into space, that’s a wonderful touch.
I can’t wait to get my hands on the game to try it all out for myself.
Steve’s been the lucky one on the team to preview the game, so definitely read that because he loves it.