Rondel

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WKFO
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Rondel

Post by WKFO » Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:48 am

For future discussion on the restricted system.

For background info, what is Rondel?
Rondel is a lonely custom Haber system in the middle of SolFed territory, said to be a listening post, a "hidden dagger pointed at the heart of the Federation" as the author put it. There is currently nothing inside and it's a bunch of procedurally generated planets devoid of anything interesting.

So what's my plan?
So almost the whole system is a restricted military zone. The way I chose to restrict it was using "border guards", a fleet of 7 moderately-equipped ships to warn visitors to go away, and fire upon them if they don't within the given time. This is of course not a 100% guaranteed way to restrict the system, and it is indeed possible to defeat the guards or build a ship with high enough acceleration to escape into the system (at least for a while). However that's quite difficult and if a player can do that they should be allowed to do so.

If you manage to defeat all guards, you can get a really clear sensor view of the system at least momentarily, and that's something SolFed is interested in. If you make it safely back to a starport, and undercover agent will have your attention on the bulletin board and pay you a good amount of cash in return for access to your ship's sensor data. What they do with it doesn't affect the game universe.

That much above is already in the game now.

For future, I want the 7-ship fleet to warn another fleet on the brink of defeat, so you will be faced with an even stronger wave of enemies (after they make it to your position). Also, if you cooperate with SolFed, they can also clear your wanted status in the faction. (But you'll get a very high bounty in Haber.)

There is also the edge case that player might not have fuel to jump away, and not enough fuel in their newtonian reserves to pump from. Or their hyperdrives may break down just after they jump. In such cases, they will be allowed to fly to a small station orbiting the star to get a hyperdrive and fuel. That station is civilian and will have no secret operations going on (but is not used actively otherwise). You'll be escorted by the Haber fleet on the way there, ensuring that your ship's sensors are always oversaturated by nearby ships so you can't get good readings from deep inside the system.

OK, but how do you access the "restricted" system legally?

For that, you need to have no pending fines from Haber Corp and you need to complete some special mission <details pending> to get permit for legal access to the system. Or you have to somehow do a great service to the Haber Corp that they will recognize you as an ally of sorts. If you brute force your way through the guards and get to the military operations station illegally, you won't be given permission to dock and instead you'll be missiled to death. (You can't defeat that one.)

OK, but what is there to see in the system?

For the actual content in the system, I want to add a special restricted station where you can access military equipment (military hyperdrives, weapons, shield generators, cooling boosters) for a significantly lower price (and maybe some unique equipment as well.) Some other things too. <details pending>

Wait. Why is a so-called listening post not a secret establishment and the whole system is blocked?

Because SolFed is already aware of the system being used for "shady" purposes. Haber noticed it quickly and blocked the system to prevent anyone getting from getting meaningful intelligence data on their operations. The system being a listening post was SolFed's best guess at the time.

Why not set a HIDDEN flag for the restricted station, then you could get access to it's location instead of going through all the hassle?

Stations, in my opinion, are too big and power hungry to hide. Even a small one.
(There are "hidden" bases at Sag A* but that's because they are >20000 light years away from anything.)

OK, so why didn't I add all of that into the game?

If you put a station in Rondel, you need to stop the game from generating missions to these stations, as well as regular tradeship generation. You also need to create custom missions and you need to be able to manipulate equipment stocks and prices per station etc. Sounds like work.

impaktor
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Re: Rondel

Post by impaktor » Wed May 05, 2021 7:41 pm

Here's my thoughts as I read through the above.

I think the natural way to restrict a system is to not allow docking without a permit (needs some code for that).
If you manage to defeat all guards, you can get a really clear sensor view of the system at least momentarily, and that's something SolFed is interested in. If you make it safely back to a starport, and undercover agent will have your attention on the bulletin board and pay you a good amount of cash in return for access to your ship's sensor data. What they do with it doesn't affect the game universe.
I don't think it should be an advert after the fact of having visited. I think it should be reward & message / dialogue box triggered when landing on SolFed, or similar. So the way it is now, if the player lands they must notice there's a new advert on the BBS?
and maybe some unique equipment as well.
Yeah, I think unique equipment is more rewarding than just a discount. Can also be a service that hacks your engines efficiency or something similar.

Your 2nd and 3rd point from the bottom I'd file under "over thinking it".

But nice work, we need more special systems, and hand written stuff, that's not just procedurally generated.

WKFO
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Re: Rondel

Post by WKFO » Thu May 06, 2021 10:32 am

You have a good point. Yes, the player must notice a new advert. But easter eggs and things like this are usually easy to notice since they have no icon and unusual titles (especially if you've been playing long enough to take on Rondel guards). Maybe it can be changed to such a message and that would be better.

impaktor
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Re: Rondel

Post by impaktor » Thu May 06, 2021 7:00 pm

We don't have any module (yet) that opens a imgui chat dialogue outside of BBS context, e.g. triggered when landing, but I think it should be possible to do with not too much coding, sturnclaw might have some pointers on where to look / what it takes.

sturnclaw
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Re: Rondel

Post by sturnclaw » Tue Jun 29, 2021 8:37 am

sturnclaw mostly hangs out in IRC and on github and doesn't check the dev forum for months at a time, but... setting up a prototype chat window with NPCs can be as simple as stealing code from the CommsLog and ChatForm widgets and hooking them together with a new UI module, but making it work well beyond the initial prototype is where most of the work is. Once you have a proof of concept, you then have to effectively rethink the architecture of the module so it can work well with future expansions, new content from missions and other contributors, and people maybe wanting to make the chat window do something it was never designed to do; I can see impaktor wanting to turn it into a roguelite text adventure interface for "boarding" other ships for example. :D

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