Introduce Yourself.

General discussion for players of Oolite.

Moderators: another_commander, winston

Post Reply
User avatar
Thargoid
Thargoid
Thargoid
Posts: 5510
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:55 pm

Re: Introduce Yourself.

Post by Thargoid »

Oh, and slightly belatedly, you're welcome for OoCheat ;)

I must admit I've been pondering in the back of my mind for a little while now an OXP of small but cheap bolt-ons for new players which simulate a few of the more expensive equipment items in a more restricted way (e.g. an ECM system which is cheap but can only be used a couple of times) but haven't got around to it yet.

But has been already mentioned, what many players (old and new) don't twig is yes you start with very little in the way of credits, but you do start with quite a valuable ship and the game does include the ability to sell and trade down...

User avatar
cim
Quite Grand Sub-Admiral
Quite Grand Sub-Admiral
Posts: 4018
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:19 pm

Re: Introduce Yourself.

Post by cim »

Thargoid wrote:but you do start with quite a valuable ship and the game does include the ability to sell and trade down...
While that's true, if you trade down to a Cobra I, you'll need to accumulate around 80,000 credits just to get back to the Cobra III. With that sort of money you could fully equip the Cobra III.

And getting 80,000 credits in a Cobra I is quite a bit more difficult than doing the same in a Cobra III - it's got a tiny hold, and even with full shields it probably won't survive a missile: you trade your first 10 trips being a bit easier for the next few hundred being a lot more difficult.
Belisarius wrote:So to expand a little bit on the game opening experience
I agree that the game balance, especially at the start, needs a lot of work on it. It's not something which will have fast progress, but Here are my earlier thoughts on how it could be improved, if you're interested.

User avatar
Svengali
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2370
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:52 pm

Re: Introduce Yourself.

Post by Svengali »

Would it be possible to expose the key-setting to JS? Then it would be possible to create a tutorial...

User avatar
Commander McLane
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Posts: 9520
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:08 am
Location: a Hacker Outpost in a moderately remote area
Contact:

Re: Introduce Yourself.

Post by Commander McLane »

Belisarius wrote:No, for me the real "noob-killer" in the game is the enforced crawling around in a blind and substandard ship which is not learning but just bringing the gameplay dynamic to a crashing halt just to make the player feel truly insignificant.
I would respectfully disagree with your assessment of the Cobra III. In fact, it is arguably the best ship in the original set (OXP ships obviously notwithstanding). And it has to be, because in the original Elite you could not switch your ship. You had to stick with the Cobra III from the beginning till the very end, thus it had to be good enough to persevere against anything the game could throw at you.

However, you're also right. Only a fully kitted out Cobra III is really the best ship out there. But when you get your ship, it is still completely unequipped with anything but the most basic systems. Thus it feels a lot weaker than it will later be.

The important insight that you give to us from your beginner's perspective is that for a pilot in a basic Cobra III there is effectively no choice in career paths. Shooting asteroids with a pulse laser is not worth the while (mining isn't even an option, because you don't have scoops yet), and parcel delivery doesn't pay enough. So, the standard early career path is small scale trading in those commodities with the highest profit margin: furs and liqueurs from agrarian to industrial systems, and computer and machinery the other way round. Only that you still have to find out what the most profitable (legal!) commodities are at this point. A tutorial would at least help the new player with that. In fact, there is a tutorial that does just that in form of [wiki]Mr Gimlet[/wiki], the helpful dock master of Lave station. It isn't an in-game tutorial, however. Maybe it could be converted into one.

With doing what we call "milk-runs" (trading computers and furs between rich industrial and poor agricultural systems), you'll find yourself with a couple of hundred credits after a couple of runs, and can begin to upgrade your ship. Once you can completely fill your hold and have enough cash left for buying some equipment for the first time, you've effectively made it. From this point on progress becomes much faster. You can afford another piece of valuable equipment almost after each return trip (assuming you buy your equipment in the rich industrial system, which will tend to also have a higher tech level, and therefore more equipment items available). One of your first upgrades should be the Large Cargo Bay, because increasing your cargo capacity automatically boosts your profits per run as well.

This would be the classic route for a beginner. There are really no viable alternatives to it, apart from selling your ship, buying a weaker one, and using the spare money to equip it better. I agree that in a game whose unique selling proposition is that it offers the player total freedom of choice, the effective lack of choice at the very beginning is a weakness.

User avatar
Cody
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Posts: 13887
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:31 pm
Location: Corke's Drift
Contact:

Re: Introduce Yourself.

Post by Cody »

Commander McLane wrote:There are really no viable alternatives to it...
Hmm... one can work the dark-side, even as a Jameson. Definitely not dull, that career choice... but it's not for everyone.
A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous! Got me?

User avatar
Disembodied
Jedi Spam Assassin
Jedi Spam Assassin
Posts: 6511
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:54 pm
Location: Carter's Snort

Re: Introduce Yourself.

Post by Disembodied »

Commander McLane wrote:This would be the classic route for a beginner. There are really no viable alternatives to it, apart from selling your ship, buying a weaker one, and using the spare money to equip it better. I agree that in a game whose unique selling proposition is that it offers the player total freedom of choice, the effective lack of choice at the very beginning is a weakness.
Having recently tried beginning again (which I really must bring to a conclusion ...), I have to agree that it's not an easy game to get into. I wonder if, had I come to it fresh and unaware, whether I would have persevered.

One solution might be to create - with all appropriate warnings about how it's not the pure approach - an OXP with a different starting position. Either set the player up with a Cobra III fitted with an ECM, injectors and an ASC from the get-go, or create a new ship (the Cobra Mk II-A, perhaps?), which comes with ECM, injectors and an ASC fitted, and stats that are something like:

Size (W×H×L): 100m×20m×60m
Cargo capacity: 10 TC
Cargo bay extension: 5 TC
Maximum speed: 0.35 LM
Roll: 1.9
Pitch: 0.9
Energy banks: 3
Energy recharge rate: Medium (3.0)
Gun mounts: Fore, Aft
Missile slots: 2
Shield boosters available: Yes
Military shields available: No
Hyperspace capable: Yes
Base price: 125000 Cr

It's not a great ship, but it could hold its own in a moderate scrap, with sufficient pilot skill (and a beam laser - which the player would have to earn enough to buy). It could also have a chance of running away from hostile ships, and would be able to bull through masslocks. One of those, and 100Cr, and you'd have a lot more fun than you would trying to earn enough to make your Cobra III live up to its potential! And of course you'd have upgrading to the Cobra III to look forward to - which would come a bit quicker and easier than if you were stuck inside a Cobra I.

It's not Elite. But then, Oolite isn't Elite (hardheads, q-bombs, injectors, new ships ...). I do think the first few (even first few dozen) jumps can be a bit of a chore in a Cobra III: I don't think there's any harm in looking for ways around this.

User avatar
Cody
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Posts: 13887
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:31 pm
Location: Corke's Drift
Contact:

Re: Introduce Yourself.

Post by Cody »

<sighs>
A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous! Got me?

User avatar
Belisarius
Average
Average
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun May 05, 2013 5:34 pm
Location: Barcelona

Re: Introduce Yourself.

Post by Belisarius »

Thanks a lot for all the input and comment folks.

McLane's take on this is maybe the most pertinent. The game *says* you can be a trader, bounty hunter, miner, criminal, etc, but in fact it limits you to being a trader whether you like it or not. At least for a couple of hours. BTW my "substandard" rating on the starting ship refers to the extra gadget specs not the base ship which is clearly pretty good.

And to repeat again, despite the limitations of the start, I got over that with Cheat to make it fun enough, then I took out Cheat when I felt I was at a suitable beginning. [Used it again later when I felt a bit cheated by the docking mechanic cancelling my clearance and fining me without warning. And used it once more in a half-hour 800k cheat spam just out of curiosity to buy a "King Cobra" and see what it was like. Very nice indeed is the answer]

But now with curiosity satisfied about what the gadgets do, I restarted and am now doing a semi-pure replay. That's to say I won't start without a minimum spec of ASC, injector and scoop. After cheating enough to get these boredom-killers, I take out cheat and play it straight.

Now though you can see I'm still "poor" I'm very much enjoying cruising around. I don't feel any urgency to up my kill tally. I imagine there's plenty of slaughter yet to come and for now I just love following the various OXP ships around to see what they're up to. Fascinating, a true sandbox experience like Red Dead or GTA. Someone else mentioned Mount and Blade, and I especially remember the Western Mod of that. More primitive in technical terms but very similar as an experience.

Now memories dating back to the mid-90s are coming back...

I remembered the old off-plane method for hyperspeed cruising out of the lanes that I used in FFE to avoid traffic. I remembered Elite combat doctrine. I even remembered why I hated Thargoids.

But this is a memory-reboot that promises quite a lot more than the original. You may be hearing about a divorce in my family and various abandoned personal projects in coming weeks.

Not really of course - nowadays I can balance RL with gameplay and RL usually comes out better. Just today for example I actually did some work at home and USED SELF CONTROL to finish it without dipping into Oolite despite it being only one click away on the very same machine. Now that's moral strength, people.

User avatar
Belisarius
Average
Average
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun May 05, 2013 5:34 pm
Location: Barcelona

Re: Introduce Yourself.

Post by Belisarius »

One of those, and 100Cr, and you'd have a lot more fun than you would trying to earn enough to make your Cobra III live up to its potential!
That's the concept that seems to be missing at the start - fun.

User avatar
Cody
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Posts: 13887
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:31 pm
Location: Corke's Drift
Contact:

Re: Introduce Yourself.

Post by Cody »

Belisarius wrote:That's the concept that seems to be missing at the start - fun.
Disagree!
A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous! Got me?

User avatar
Disembodied
Jedi Spam Assassin
Jedi Spam Assassin
Posts: 6511
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:54 pm
Location: Carter's Snort

Re: Introduce Yourself.

Post by Disembodied »

Belisarius wrote:That's the concept that seems to be missing at the start - fun.
Yup, I do agree ... with the one reservation that, if you know what you're working towards, and - perhaps even more importantly - you know what you're doing and how best to do it, you can have a lot of fun soaking up the nostalgia. But for new players, fresh to the game, with no clue as to what awaits them, flying an unmodified Cobra III is both slow and hard. One can go off-lane, of course, but this is really just as much a cheat as fitting more kit to the ship.

There's a lot - a whole, massive lot - of game to get into. But I wonder how many people never get to find that out, because the first several trips are such a grind?

User avatar
Cody
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Posts: 13887
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:31 pm
Location: Corke's Drift
Contact:

Re: Introduce Yourself.

Post by Cody »

I'll not bother to argue with the majority. Give the starter ship injectors and a beam laser - instant fun, instant gratification!
A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous! Got me?

User avatar
Disembodied
Jedi Spam Assassin
Jedi Spam Assassin
Posts: 6511
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:54 pm
Location: Carter's Snort

Re: Introduce Yourself.

Post by Disembodied »

Cody wrote:I'll not bother to argue with the majority. Give the starter ship injectors and a beam laser - instant fun, instant gratification!
I wouldn't provide a beam laser. But I would recommend, at the absolute bare minimum, fuel injectors: they can get you out of trouble you're not ready for, and can help you past the masslocks. But since you have to watch your fuel, you can't just use them willy-nilly.

User avatar
CaptSolo
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 893
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:08 pm
Location: Preying Manta
Contact:

Re: Introduce Yourself.

Post by CaptSolo »

I have started over three... no make that four times now, and it's been fun each time. The first three times I left Lave with a few ton of cargo and nearly broke. My cheat was simply avoiding the space lanes, slowly building up credits and adding kit when I could afford. This was not possible with the player-centric original Elite. Trouble found you no matter where you were. Granted, this style of game play will not appeal to most. My newest commander has opted for a more challenging career. He traded down, added some essential kit and plies the space lanes meeting danger head on. If his ship is destroyed, it's game over.

Hans Olo
Dangerous
Dangerous
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:01 am

Re: Introduce Yourself.

Post by Hans Olo »

You may not be happy with it now, but it seems like most of us find the cobra mk iii to be a superior ship (I know I do). It just needs a few upgrades.

Post Reply