So … they’re not inclined to downgrade the appearance, but they downgraded the appearance.
Since Elite Dangerous got patch number 1.3, there have been some who complained that the game’s graphics appear to have also gotten a bit of a downgrade. The topic was actually the focus of a rather lengthy thread on the game’s Frontier Development forums. Among the things gamers were pointing to were graphical downgrades in areas like the dust and fog in ring systems as well as to the galaxy map and a few other areas.
Eventually, the comments got to the team that actually put Elite Dangerous together and Rendering head Greg Ryder actually commented that it did seem to be some graphical downgrades. He added that it doesn’t appear as if those were intended in the patch but were some unintended consequences. At least the scope of depth of the downgrades were unintentional.
“This was optimised due to a pathological case of overdraw (which looked very broken in a number of cases). There have been some changes,” Ryder wrote. “Performance and visual consistency should be improved in the general case, however it does seem that some systems are not looking as good as they did.” He added. The man in charge of rendering the graphics in the game also said that there are a number of issues the team is looking at, in order to get the look and feel of the game as top notch as possible. He finished with the comment that “Elite: Dangerous is built to scale on PC (including 16k screenshot ability and hopefully one day 16k game when the monitors & graphics cards exist). We are certainly not inclined to downgrade the appearance of anything in the game.”