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Re: Rebalance - third go

Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:41 pm
by FluffyFreak
1. I like your suggestions, probably need some testing and tweaking once implemented but they're a good solid start.
2. Do you mean limiting exactly where players arrive to specific areas? Or just concentrate pirates/police in the most likely arrival voumes?
3. I really like this idea actually, it's simple but makes a change.

Re: Rebalance - third go

Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:37 pm
by impaktor
And third, I think a bulk ship near a station would significantly affect commodity prices and availability, possibly planet wide.
The way I've been thinking about trade, is that all ships add/subtract commodities to the market, and price depends on the ammount in stock. Thus a large ship would have a significant impact.

Of coures, one could do it very simple: "Holy moly, a bulk ship here, that means there's a lot of cheap X! / or skewed prices leading to great trade opportunity"

Re: Rebalance - third go

Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:54 pm
by Marcel
Re #2: What I was trying to say is that, once we have the 3D coordinates of the surrounding systems linked to the player's current system, a line drawn from the current system to the destination system would have a point on it where the player exits hyperspace. Where that point is would be determined by the ecliptic plane of the destination system. I think the exit point should be either randomized into a likely arrival volume, or possibly by the effects of the current system's planetary and stellar gravity wells. You're drawing a line out of the current system that could be deflected somewhat. Either way the arrival volume would be in a consistent area. If that volume was along a trade route more pirates/police would be spawned than if it wasn't. It gives the player the option of jumping to an unoccupied intermediate system first in order to enter a system in an area where the player might avoid detection. Perhaps clandestine rendezvouses could take place in such an area.
I know that planets run on orbital tracks but I don't know if the positions of planets are randomly generated when the player enters the system. This stuff would work better if they have random starting points on 3200-01-01 and the game fast-forwards the orbital tracks to the current date.

Re #3: A bulk ship could also mean that you couldn't sell your cargo at the station (or perhaps the whole planet, based on the population) at a profit. A player might have to go to another planet in the system to make any money.

Re: Rebalance - third go

Posted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:44 am
by Marcel
Just a quick thought, what about requiring an upgrade to your hyper-drive for intra-system jumps?

Re: Rebalance - third go

Posted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:54 am
by brigman
Marcel wrote:
Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:44 am
Just a quick thought, what about requiring an upgrade to your hyper-drive for intra-system jumps?
A fantastic idea, in my humble opinion, and to all to all you decision makers, coders etc who take the time to read this, I appreciate your time.

I do have to apologise for weighing in after this conversation has petered out but I'm not so humble. Here's the not-so-humble opinion piece:


I have played most all the newtonian space sims -- well, all of them that stood out in reviews (etc) to the point I thought they were worth playing. Right back to Glyn Williams's 'Warhead' on the Amiga, Frontier and so on. The key point though is that I think Pioneer has the potential to be one of the best space sims ever, if not the best.

O K A Y , H O W ?

Well, there was this space sim that had a newtonian flight model, but did not have such liberty in regards to Hyperspace. Instead of hyperspace distances being determined by a function of drive class and ship mass, it was determined by 'jump points' that existed at Lagrange points between certain bodies in any given system. Entry to, and exit from hyperspace was almost always at such a Lagrange/jump-point. Although I don't personally think Pioneer needs this kind of constraint, in that game, they were always permanently paired with a jump point in another system. No-one was entirely sure what made the pairings, or even what made some Lagrange points stable enough to be used as jump-points, but there were evidently only 1-4 stable jump points per system -- with the accompanying fictional literature hinting that some jump points were only reliable under certain [planetary] alignments and other (short lived) jump points appeared for no known reason and disappeared similarly. Certainly their is scope for drives of different class being able to make safer (but not exclusive) use of 'less stable' jump-points.

Anyway, the bit of tech that enabled hyperspace at jump-nodes was called a capsule drive and the 'supercruise' equivalent was called LDS for (yawn warning) Linear Displacement System. LDS enabled non boring travel inside a given system and (clearly) exceeded the speed of light as you could get from the goldilocks zone of an M class star to the start itself in way under 8 minutes.

I digress though: The advantage of this game mechanism was to concentrate system traffic around the entry/exit points. This makes the whole notion of space pirates intercepting inbound traders far more plausible -- not to mention giving police/navy a realistic chance of policing a system. It really changed the dynamics of arriving in a poorly policed or heavily pirated system. As it stands in Pioneer, if you arrive in a system with a craft that has sufficiently high main drive acceleration, you can exit hyperspace, max thrust half way to the destination, flip the ship, max thrust in reverse until your speed is near zero and all the AI guided ships can't manage the intercept because they are using retro-thrusters. All you have to do is keep repeating that technique (because it will, at best, get you within 5% of your destination) until you are close enough to engage autopilot and you're safe. Contrast this with arriving at a lawless system via a well known jump-point, you literally drop out of the jump with a defensive, shields up configuration and immediately engage in radical evasive and defensive and/or offensive strategies.


The other 'cool' thing about this (other) game was that it gave a crap about heat management -- an important issue in the cold hard vacuum of space where convection is unavailable and passive radiation is your only choice. You would leave dock with a chunk of high specific-heat matter cooled to damned-near absolute zero (hey, the thruster fuel perhaps?) and use it as a heatsink to absorb the energy created by lasers, engines and other systems. Obviously chemical reaction engines are designed to run hot, and ship design can mitigate the engine heat problem to a large extent with a good choice of design, materials, construction and the use of the convenient insulating effects of the vacuum of space. However, LASERs (and energy weapons in general) would need to be aggressively cooled. This brings ballistic choices such as self propelled missiles (guided and dumb fire), ballistics (think 'bullets') and flack shells (a combination of both) in to the mix. They have obvious limitations around the mass, cost and volume of ammunition; but this all adds to the fun. Well, if you ask me it does.

Oh, by the way, the game that incorporated all this was Independence War 2 - The Edge of Chaos. Funnily enough, it was also designed by Glyn Williams, the deisgner and author of the previously mentioned Amiga classic 'Warhead'.

Re: Rebalance - third go

Posted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:59 am
by nozmajner
@brigman: Yeah, I-war 2 is a massive inspiration for me.
I was never a fan of the LDS drive, though I find it way better than the Frameshift Drive of E:D. They rob the actual interplanetary navigation part of the game. The actual newtonian stuff, setting courses, orbits, caring for propellant, stuff like that. Sure, it makes sense for the faster pace / multiplayer side of those games, but I'm more inclined to give challenges for the player not only trough combat. An exploration game is more challenging for example, if you actually have to plot routes in the system for example, not just zipping around looking for parallaxes until you buy the best scanner and can ping the system wholly (although the parallax stuff is quite neat).

THe L-Point jumping part is quite neat in my opinion, I was thinking a lot about how it could be incorporated into Pioneer. So ships won't have almost fraction-of-C deltaVs, and propellant/deltaV would be a somewhat of a concern It's an integral part of space travel that's rarely explored in games. And putting the navigation part closer to planets would provide more stuff to see for the same travel times you have to endure (IRL) from the edge of the system right now. And yes, L-Points would be natural bottlenecks, where you could actually meet other ships, and policing, piracy, battles and whatnots could happen.