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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:01 am 
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Moderator: Split re-scaling experiment discussion from Planet Express thread in Expansion Pack.

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EDIT:
For those looking to immediately get to the good stuff in this experiment, you'll need a number of things. Just what you'll need to do, depends on your preferred approach.

If you wish to compile Redspear's code yourself, see the list of changes to the Oolite core code in this post. Alternatively, there is now a rescaling_experiment branch in the Oolite Github repository. You will also need Redspear's Rescaling OXP, which can be downloaded here.

If you'd rather just use a precompiled executable (Windows only at the moment) you can get the current 64-bit Dizzy's Build™ here. For the 32-bit version, click here. Note that these will often contain several different testing versions of the executable, and possibly required .dll files as well. To use these, you will need to download and install the current Nightly Win64 Oolite-Trunk build if you don't already have it, make sure it is up to date, and then swap out the oolite.exe file for one of the Dizzy's Build ones (and add any additional supplied .dll's as well), as well as downloading and installing Redspear's Rescaling OXP.

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Quote:
Seems like we spend a lot of time here treating the symptoms instead of curing the disease...
That's because the disease is incurable.. as Aegidean has pointed out more than once, when it comes to fixing the (multiple) scaling issues in Oolite, the simplest way would be to scrap the entire code-base and start over.

So.. 'tis not happening. Unless some seriously masochistic individual takes it upon themselves to re-write Oolite from scratch.

Quote:
Before I waste more hours on re-scaling it (again), and re-writing the plist(again) etc, is there anyone actually planning on flying this ship on a regular basis?
Why not just bundle the original and new versions together? Each in their own .oxp folder, and let them pick whichever one they like? It would save you having to put more time into it.

Had I realised it would come out the size of an Adder, I'd probably have said something similar to McLane.


(As a general guide for future reference, McLane's advice to multiply by 3 is good.. when beginning the Oolite project, Aegidean took all the ship dimensions, and where-ever the word 'feet' appeared, substituted 'metres' instead. With the result that the ships all turned out about 3 times original size. But without that, they'd be too small to see at any sensible distance)

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Last edited by Diziet Sma on Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:15 am, edited 7 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:55 am 
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...(As a general guide for future reference, McLane's advice to multiply by 3 is good.. when beginning the Oolite project, Aegidean took all the ship dimensions, and where-ever the word 'feet' appeared, substituted 'metres' instead...


And what a complete and utter cluster-phuq that created.
Quote:
...With the result that the ships all turned out about 3 times original size. But without that, they'd be too small to see at any sensible distance)
Other flight/dogfight sims don't suffer from this...

What if... our 10k short range sensor were reduced to 3.3k with laser ranges shortened accordingly? Would not a ship 1/3 the size now appear to be the same as a ship 3 times bigger but 3 times further away? And think of how big a station would seem then! I don't know, but sure seems simple...

I know, I know... I am beating my head against a dead horse. It's never going to be fixed. It's just very discouraging.

I will re-scale etc tomorrow... maybe...

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:42 am 
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What if... our 10k short range sensor were reduced to 3.3k with laser ranges shortened accordingly? Would not a ship 1/3 the size now appear to be the same as a ship 3 times bigger but 3 times further away? And think of how big a station would seem then! I don't know, but sure seems simple...
That's the very reason I enquired about tinkering with laser ranges in the musing about source code thread recently...
Of course a consequence of that (as there is with many types of fix) is that you now have faster ships (I.e. they close on you faster and are harder to target) but that might be good for those who like a challenge.

I was going to try rescaling the laser ranges and some of the ships (I thought it might be nice to keep the freighters big) nut not the scanner.
I thought that keeping the current range for missiles might make them more interesting and that it would make more sense that ships appeared on your scannner before you could really engage with them.

I chose not to mention my thoughts at the time (although I suspect some may have guessed) for fear of starting a small riot;-)

One of the lines I've read the most on this subject goes along the lines that, "it can't be fixed; any adjustment is at the cost of some other element and a complete rescale would be more realistic at the cost of playability".
A fair point but I don't think that means that things are already as good as they can be. We don't have to "fix" something in order to make it better.

If I ever get around to testing it (laser ranges already adjusted thanks to cim's help and ships partly rescaled) then I'll let you know how it plays...

P.S. Nice ship model by the way :-D

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:08 am 
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And what a complete and utter cluster-phuq that created.
Not really. A unit is a unit, and OpenGL doesn't care if that unit is called a metre, a foot, or a light-year. There are only two places in Oolite itself which mention metres: one is in the F7 screen, and we don't make the planets their labelled size anyway, and the other is in the Scanner Targeting Enhancement, where you could change "km" to "kf" (kilofeet) - instantly, everything is 3.3 times smaller - ranges, speeds, ships, etc. (Or change it to "mm", for "Oolite: Fantastic Voyage")

There are essentially four different scales in Oolite:
- ship scale (including stations, weapons, scanners). The freighters and stations could perhaps be a bit bigger, but the scale here is fairly consistent. Ships introduced from other SF universes won't necessarily work without rescaling - but that's the same for most pairs of SF universes.

- planetary scale (100 times smaller than ship scale)
i.e. for realistic scale the planets should be 100 times bigger

- solar scale (~25 times smaller than planetary scale)
i.e. for realistic scale the suns should be 2,500 times bigger

- inter-planetary scale (~1000 times smaller than planetary scale)
i.e. for realistic scale the suns should be 100,000 times further away from the planets

In 1.78 or earlier you also have the problem that anything more than about 10^6 units from the origin had coordinate precision problems, so you can't make the inter-planetary scale much different (even Sensible Suns is running into the absolute limits of what's usable). In 1.79 you can go to at least 10^15 units (which if the units are metres is about 10,000 AU) so there is in theory room to start adjusting the scales a bit.

In practice, the scales are all very difficult to adjust. For instance, one change could be adjusting planetary scale to be a bit bigger, so that rather than the planets being 100 times "too small", they're only 20 times "too small". This would make it possible to have a Torus station in orbit without it clearly being the same size as a System Redux moon.

This causes a whole range of problems: leave aside for now that the texture pixels on the planets would be several square kilometres in area, and the corners on the planet model would be even more visible as those are relatively easily fixable in theory.
- if the planet is five times wider, then the sun also has to be five times wider (at least). It therefore has to be five times further away.
- if the spacelanes are now five times longer, you need five times as much traffic on them. However, the lanes are now also aiming for a much bigger target, so you actually need closer to 125 times as much traffic on them to keep a similar density of ships. That takes you way over Oolite's entity limit (and even if it didn't we'd need to seriously rewrite the entity simulation code to get it to run at any decent frame rate even on modern hardware: the most obvious optimisation of multi-threading it would need to be handled extremely carefully to avoid giving OXP writers serious problems)
- it also takes you five times as long to get in-system, so any consumable items for fights have to be spread out to last five times as long (or there have to be places to resupply on the way in), and it becomes much less feasible to escort ships to dock.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:20 am 
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...With the result that the ships all turned out about 3 times original size. But without that, they'd be too small to see at any sensible distance)
Other flight/dogfight sims don't suffer from this...
Oh, they do! Every single one of them. You just may not notice it, because you're not modding for them. As long as you only played Oolite, you didn't notice it either.

The reason is simple and—as Diziet Sma already stated, and cim has now explained in detail—incurable: nobody put it in better words than Douglas Adams:
Quote:
Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.
Anything even remotely resembling a realistic scale would completely break any game mechanics, thus each and every space sim is doing the same thing: condensing space. You cannot, however, condense the ships, because that would make them invisibly tiny. Thus you invariable end up with a scenario where the ships are out-of-scale with the environment. And humans—because they tend to be smaller than ships—need to be even more out of scale if you want to make them visible.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:15 pm 
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Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
...You cannot, however, condense the ships, because that would make them invisibly tiny. Thus you invariable end up with a scenario where the ships are out-of-scale with the environment. And humans—because they tend to be smaller than ships—need to be even more out of scale if you want to make them visible.
I would, perhaps naievely, disagree with this...
Firstly I absolutely agree that smaller ships means less visible ships, which when you look at what people like Griff are creating would be a sad loss.
However, by reducing ranges we necessitate ships coming closer (as I think Paradox was suggesting).

True, there could be a speed issue that I mentioned above but even that could be altered (lower speed compensated by higher torus drive multiplier maybe) but I'm not sure to what extent (if any) that would be necessary.

However I do agree that truly realistic scale presents a host of problems for minimal benefits.

Once again cim, a very helpful explanation. Am I understanding correctly that all the problems that you mention are created by making things bigger?
By making the player entity (i.e. the ship) smaller those issues don't occur???

Apologies Commander McLane as I seem to recall reading that you find this issue tiresome (apologies again if I'm wrong...) but adjusting the laser ranges is something that I can't recall being discussed before with regards to game-scale (I'm no expert on searching here, so once again an apology from me may be due...)

As Paradox explains, by shrinking the player and comparable ships, everything else appears much bigger (I've tried it :-) ) and the main issue then becomes the one that Commander McLane explained above: ship visibility, which can be addressed by altering the laser ranges.

So what I'm hoping to determine is will the next 'domino effect' that this approach would present (i.e. faster ship approaches and perhaps targeting issues) be a problematic one? I suspect that it might be more of a quirk but I'm not confident about that yet.

You may notice that I haven't mentioned anything of the havoc this would create in terms of all the oxp ships out there which would then all be 'out of scale', but you may also note that I haven't suggested this as a change to the downloadable game. Rather it is something that interests me and I was planning to let others know if, after some tests, it produced anything interesting.

If I'm missing some other elephant (real life scale perhaps ;-) ) of a point then please let me know.

Thanks :-)

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:17 pm 
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Oops, I botched that quote box :oops:
Sorry folks...

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:56 pm 
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- if the spacelanes are now five times longer, you need five times as much traffic on them. However, the lanes are now also aiming for a much bigger target, so you actually need closer to 125 times as much traffic on them to keep a similar density of ships.
I don't see that this necessarily follows.. ok, with current densities, your encounters with other ships would be less frequent, (hey, space is BIG, right?) but you'd still meet the same number of other vessels.. an increase in ship densities would probably just ensure nobody ever made it to the station, what with running out of missiles, and damage to the ship and equipment along the way. I'd say, if you increase the scale by 5x, leave the densities as is.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:50 pm 
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Quote:
Once again cim, a very helpful explanation. Am I understanding correctly that all the problems that you mention are created by making things bigger?
By making the player entity (i.e. the ship) smaller those issues don't occur???
If you shrink the ships, ranges, and ship speed, by a factor of 3, then that's equivalent to making the planet, sun, and distances between bigger by a factor of 3. Making some things bigger is identical to making the other things smaller.

If you shrink the ships, laser range, but not speed by a factor of three, then the planet scale problems don't come in, but everyone is flying around on the equivalent of half-injectors all the time, which would seriously affect combat.
Quote:
I'd say, if you increase the scale by 5x, leave the densities as is.
Okay, that's true. Then you'd only need perhaps 25 times as many ships to have the same number of encounters on a trip along the lane, which is still more than the engine can really deal with at the moment. (And you would have the problem that the reduced linear density would make it less likely that ships from one group interacted with ships from another group)

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:35 pm 
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Does this count as a thread derailment yet?
If so, I apologise...
Quote:
If you shrink the ships, ranges, and ship speed, by a factor of 3, then that's equivalent to making the planet, sun, and distances between bigger by a factor of 3. Making some things bigger is identical to making the other things smaller.
Ok, that was a poorly considered question on my part.
Quote:
If you shrink the ships, laser range, but not speed by a factor of three, then the planet scale problems don't come in...
That's more what I was getting at, or at least meant to...
Quote:
... but everyone is flying around on the equivalent of half-injectors all the time, which would seriously affect combat..
Ok, so let's assume for the moment that would make combat unworkable...
  • 1. Reduce speeds accordingly
    2. Increase Torus-drive multiplier accordingly
    3. Increase Injector multiplier accordingly
Result (based on my admittedly limited understanding):
  • 1. Stations, planets, suns and indeed systems all appear bigger relative to the player ship
    2. Docking is easier
    3. Space takes longer to cover at conventional speeds but the same time on torus or injectors
    4. When not using injectors, mass-locks from stationary bodies and from ships headed past you will take longer to clear but those headed where you're going (the most frustrating) will take just as long as before
    5. Ships appear on scanner long before they are within laser range
    6. Missiles gain a range advantage over lasers
Speaking personally, of the above #1 is very attractive, #2 is not a concern, #3 is probably as it should be without slowing the game down too much and #4 presdents the only real concern but I think it might be ok (I don't mind chasing something that I'm interested in, it's trying to catch up with something that I only wish to leave behind that's frustrating). #5 is as I thought it always should have been and #6 makes missiles more interesting tactically (maybe I could up their cost if I thought it necessary).

Instead of just talking about it, I should of course try it (gulp :shock: )

Sure, I'd have to:
  • 1. Write some shipyard overwrites (not forgetting views and positions of course). Maybe 15% done so far
    2. Transform some dat files (and being sure to include cargo and escape pods etc.). Maybe 30% done at present
    3. Tweak a few things in the source. 60% done but only 30% tested so far
#1 is the real time consumer but I could dodge some of it for the purpses of testing. Views are only necessary for the player ship and strange scoop and missile positions could be tolerated in testing I think (subenties should probably be adjusted though...)

I don't consider this a massive reworking and I might actually have the time to test it over the holidays.
So before I make a massive fool of myself (if it's not too late already :D) ...

Any glaring ommisions from my projected results?
Would the npc ships' AI struggle with any of these changes?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:56 pm 
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Quote:
Quote:
What if... our 10k short range sensor were reduced to 3.3k with laser ranges shortened accordingly? Would not a ship 1/3 the size now appear to be the same as a ship 3 times bigger but 3 times further away? And think of how big a station would seem then! I don't know, but sure seems simple...
That's the very reason I enquired about tinkering with laser ranges in the musing about source code thread recently...
Of course a consequence of that (as there is with many types of fix) is that you now have faster ships (I.e. they close on you faster and are harder to target) but that might be good for those who like a challenge.

I was going to try rescaling the laser ranges and some of the ships (I thought it might be nice to keep the freighters big) nut not the scanner.
I thought that keeping the current range for missiles might make them more interesting and that it would make more sense that ships appeared on your scannner before you could really engage with them.

I chose not to mention my thoughts at the time (although I suspect some may have guessed) for fear of starting a small riot;-)

One of the lines I've read the most on this subject goes along the lines that, "it can't be fixed; any adjustment is at the cost of some other element and a complete rescale would be more realistic at the cost of playability".
A fair point but I don't think that means that things are already as good as they can be. We don't have to "fix" something in order to make it better.

If I ever get around to testing it (laser ranges already adjusted thanks to cim's help and ships partly rescaled) then I'll let you know how it plays...

P.S. Nice ship model by the way :-D
Thank you for the compliment! }:]

I am also sooo glad that you at least understand what I was trying to say. I must admit, I had not thought about the speed issue (as I am sure there are a great many things I have not yet considered, not being a programmer...), hmm. Slowing ships to 1/3 brings back balance to the dogfight, but makes the trip to the station/planet/sun 3 times longer... increasing injector/torus speeds balances that, except then when we encounter "traffic" we would fly past it before we could react. Make the short range sensor a short/long range sensor, perhaps in 2 colors the outer half green which would indicate where objects/ships/mass lock (just as it does now), and the inner half red which would indicate weapon range? No real change to it, just some kind of indicator to show when an object has entered weapon range as opposed to mass lock range. I would leave stations/planets/suns the same size...

Hey, what do I know... Just thought since you seem to be the one playing with code I would give you something more to play with. };]

And I see that before I even post this, you have already addressed it all. Going to go read the new posts now.. Just ignore me...};]

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:09 pm 
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Quote:
Does this count as a thread derailment yet?
If so, I apologise...
Quote:
If you shrink the ships, ranges, and ship speed, by a factor of 3, then that's equivalent to making the planet, sun, and distances between bigger by a factor of 3. Making some things bigger is identical to making the other things smaller.
Ok, that was a poorly considered question on my part.
Quote:
If you shrink the ships, laser range, but not speed by a factor of three, then the planet scale problems don't come in...
That's more what I was getting at, or at least meant to...
Quote:
... but everyone is flying around on the equivalent of half-injectors all the time, which would seriously affect combat..
Ok, so let's assume for the moment that would make combat unworkable...
  • 1. Reduce speeds accordingly
    2. Increase Torus-drive multiplier accordingly
    3. Increase Injector multiplier accordingly
Result (based on my admittedly limited understanding):
  • 1. Stations, planets, suns and indeed systems all appear bigger relative to the player ship
    2. Docking is easier
    3. Space takes longer to cover at conventional speeds but the same time on torus or injectors
    4. When not using injectors, mass-locks from stationary bodies and from ships headed past you will take longer to clear but those headed where you're going (the most frustrating) will take just as long as before
    5. Ships appear on scanner long before they are within laser range
    6. Missiles gain a range advantage over lasers
Speaking personally, of the above #1 is very attractive, #2 is not a concern, #3 is probably as it should be without slowing the game down too much and #4 presdents the only real concern but I think it might be ok (I don't mind chasing something that I'm interested in, it's trying to catch up with something that I only wish to leave behind that's frustrating). #5 is as I thought it always should have been and #6 makes missiles more interesting tactically (maybe I could up their cost if I thought it necessary).

Instead of just talking about it, I should of course try it (gulp :shock: )

Sure, I'd have to:
  • 1. Write some shipyard overwrites (not forgetting views and positions of course). Maybe 15% done so far
    2. Transform some dat files (and being sure to include cargo and escape pods etc.). Maybe 30% done at present
    3. Tweak a few things in the source. 60% done but only 30% tested so far
#1 is the real time consumer but I could dodge some of it for the purpses of testing. Views are only necessary for the player ship and strange scoop and missile positions could be tolerated in testing I think (subenties should probably be adjusted though...)

I don't consider this a massive reworking and I might actually have the time to test it over the holidays.
So before I make a massive fool of myself (if it's not too late already :D) ...

Any glaring ommisions from my projected results?
Would the npc ships' AI struggle with any of these changes?
We seem to be sharing headspace! };] Is there anything I can do to help? Not a programmer, but can feel my way around a shipdata.plist and rescale! };] Let me know.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:11 pm 
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Quote:
Sure, I'd have to:
If you're going to be changing stuff in the source anyway for this experiment, you'd probably find it considerably quicker to make the planets bigger (the sun and the sun-planet distance are based on the planet size, so they'll follow automatically), increase the default scanner radius, and increase the torus/injector modifier. Then you can keep all the models the same size as before, and most of the shipdata too. (Shrinking them, even if you reduce the speed, I think might have slightly odd graphical effects just because of where the 'near plane' of the graphics space is placed, and lots of little bits of the code probably assume something like the current ship scale - e.g. you might find your fuel scoop can grab cargo from implausibly far away)

(Relatively) increasing the scanner radius would mean you wouldn't need more ships to keep the same number of encounters. (But don't forget to apply the same multiplier to the explicitly-set scanner radius of the Thargoids)

NPC AI will probably cope fine for the most part, but a significantly higher injector modifier might well break something in the combat behaviour, or at least make an injector powered attack run behave oddly.

Increasing the torus modifier will mean it takes longer to stop. I think so long as you don't increase it by a bigger factor than you increased planet radius, that should be safe. This is another reason to go for largely making the system bigger than the ships smaller - if you keep the planet the same size and just increase the torus modifier, you'll probably find that you can crash into the planet while still slowing from torus speed.

#1 may also cause problems for sun-skimming in that you have further to travel through the heating zone before reaching the scooping zone. Especially true for NPCs which don't have torus and won't use injectors to make a sunskimming run, but you might leave the player rather short on safety margin too. And obviously the planets will look terrible close-up, but they already do...

#4 I think you're mistaken on: ships you're overtaking will also mass-lock you for longer. On the other hand, this is painful enough already that you probably should go around rather than past ships you don't want to interact with.

#5 is interesting. The fact that the military laser outranges the scanner does cause AI problems for ships at the moment.

#6 depends on exactly which variables you change.

I expect you have missed some other important things because the whole game is built around the current scale set up, but it might be easier to just test it than try to think of them all in advance.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:31 pm 
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How about increasing the planet size slightly - like, 10%, 25%? Would that improve the scale (station vs moon) situation?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:38 pm 
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Quote:
How about increasing the planet size slightly - like, 10%, 25%? Would that improve the scale (station vs moon) situation?
Bear in mind that the planets already range from 28km to 69km in in-flight radius (about a 250% increase from smallest to largest). You have to make fairly substantial changes for it to make any difference at all.

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