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Thargoids are a bit stupid

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:21 pm
by Mad Hollander
I've just completed thargoid plans and found their resistance a bit clumsy - they shoot at beacon :facepalm:
The pirates or assassins are much more dangerous.

Re: Thargoids are a bit stupid

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:26 pm
by Cody
A couple of questions: which version of Oolite are you running... and which ship do you fly?

Re: Thargoids are a bit stupid

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:13 pm
by Mad Hollander
I'm using 1.79 some development version and the ship is Asp mk II

Re: Thargoids are a bit stupid

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:09 pm
by Duggan
In defence of the Thargoids...They have had their fear glands removed.

Re: Thargoids are a bit stupid

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:49 am
by Diogenese Senna
Duggan wrote:In defence of the Thargoids...They have had their fear glands removed.
and write pretty good OXP's :)

Re: Thargoids are a bit stupid

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:08 am
by Diziet Sma
One could argue that destroying the beacon is tactically clever.. it stops enemy reinforcements from being able to easily jump into the system..

Re: Thargoids are a bit stupid

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:05 am
by cim
Mad Hollander wrote:I've just completed thargoid plans and found their resistance a bit clumsy - they shoot at beacon
I've removed buoys from their priority target list (they'll still shoot them if there's nothing better around)
Diziet Sma wrote:One could argue that destroying the beacon is tactically clever.. it stops enemy reinforcements from being able to easily jump into the system..
Though it doesn't have that effect in practice, of course. It could be implemented - some options are:

1) Destroying the buoy prevents initiation of further witchjumps to that system. "Reinforcements" (i.e. hapless trader convoys) dry up after N hours depending on system of origin. A force will be dispatched from the planet to drop off a new buoy. The player will on occasion not be able to initiate jumps to systems (especially bottleneck systems) - if they wait a couple of hours, then they can jump in normally, but will see unusual activity around the witchpoint. Initiating a jump to a nova system is impossible. Attacking the witchpoint buoy is a Fugitive-level offence. Specially-equipped ships can ignore the jump restriction but their witchspace drives take several days to charge.

2) Destroying the buoy prevents witchjumps to the system. Ships currently in transit are either destroyed, exit witchspace hundreds or thousands of kilometres off-course, or suffer a misjump. Acceptable player-centrism suggests that the first should never happen to the player, but the other two will. The player can initiate jumps into the system and has no way to know it's not going to work in advance. Normal service will be restored as in option 1, though the restoration convoy is likely to end up guarded by everyone in the system in a temporary truce. Initiating a jump to a nova system is possible but has a significantly increased misjump chance. Attacking the witchpoint buoy is a Fugitive-level offence; destroying it sets your scan class to CLASS_THARGOID. The witchpoint buoy is considerably tougher and has permanent defense in all but the worst-equipped systems (the restoration convoy's main ship will be a Boa or Anaconda and serve as the buoy in the interim, rather than dropping a new one off: reconstruction of the installation will take considerably longer)

3) The buoy is just a marker for the natural witchspace exit position for the system. Destroying it means that ships attempting to navigate to the witchpoint through real space have errors in their navigation. The player's ASC will calculate an approximate position and mark it with a waypoint so that they can do the same. Normal service will be restored as in option 1, though perhaps with a little less urgency. Occasionally the buoy will be missing on system entry - in this case the ASC will set the witchpoint waypoint to the player's entry position. Destroying the buoy is a serious but not Fugitive offence.

Re: Thargoids are a bit stupid

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:58 am
by Disembodied
cim wrote:[...] some options are: [...]
Interesting ideas! It brings up a further thought: the WP buoy clearly marks the nearest point to the planet where ships can jump in (if ships could jump to the buoy wherever it was, then it would make sense to put it a lot closer to the station). The reason why the WP has to be out where it is, is (probably) gravity. Any closer to the planet and the exit wormhole would fail to form. So this could be an opportunity to add a bit more physical variety to different systems. The game already stores information on the radius of all the various planets: could this be used to vary the distance at which the WP is located? Currently, it seems as if the WP is slightly closer to large planets than to small ones, although this might just be an optical illusion: maybe the WP could be noticeably further away from planets with large radii (and consequently higher mass)? It would make the planetary radius meaningful: a jump in to an Anarchy system with a small planet would be a little bit safer than a jump into an Anarchy system with a large planet, because the WP would be that much closer to the station. Of course, the number of ships on the lane would have to be adjusted to reflect this difference, otherwise you'd get the same number of NPCs jammed into a smaller space.

Re: Thargoids are a bit stupid

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:16 pm
by Smivs
In my mind I'd always felt that the buoy was essential as a 'target' for the witchspace drive. These are placed by GalCop in all inhabited systems (which explains why you can't jump to un-inhabited systems) and therefor its loss would seriously disrupt traffic to a system.
I like Option 2 a lot as it fits in with the way I see these things working, and it also has a lot of interesting possibilities attached.

Re: Thargoids are a bit stupid

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:14 pm
by Diziet Sma
Man, I love the way in which a throwaway comment (I was just trying to suggest that maybe the Thargoids are smarter than they seem) can often lead to some seriously cool ideas on this board! Lots of intriguing ideas here.. 8)
Smivs wrote:In my mind I'd always felt that the buoy was essential as a 'target' for the witchspace drive. These are placed by GalCop in all inhabited systems (which explains why you can't jump to un-inhabited systems) and therefor its loss would seriously disrupt traffic to a system.
Likewise.. and it makes sense, if you think about it.. taking Earth as an example, it moves around Sol at a little over 100,000 km/h, (30 km/s). Our solar system is moving through the Local Interstellar Cloud at around 84,000 km/h (23 km/s) and at the same time orbits the galaxy at around 900,000 km/h, or about 250km/s.

Since everything is in motion relative to everything else, and most importantly for Oolite, even a few hours can make a big difference to the position of a planet within its' orbit, some kind of beacon as a target to aim at would be essential, if you are going to exit witchspace anywhere near the planet..

Re: Thargoids are a bit stupid

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:20 pm
by Cody
<nods sagely>

Re: Thargoids are a bit stupid

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:06 pm
by cim
Disembodied wrote:Currently, it seems as if the WP is slightly closer to large planets than to small ones, although this might just be an optical illusion:
The witchpoint distance should give approximately constant angular sizes for the planets, so the lane is quite a bit longer when the planet is larger. e.g.
Diso: 61.5km planet radius, planet 677km from witchpoint
Leesti: 30.9km planet radius, planet 370km from witchpoint
The 1.79 populator adjusts for lane length, though the 1.77 one doesn't: I find the difference between a short and long lane to be noticeable, though perhaps only because I know what to look for.
Diziet Sma wrote:Since everything is in motion relative to everything else, and most importantly for Oolite, even a few hours can make a big difference to the position of a planet within its' orbit, some kind of beacon as a target to aim at would be essential, if you are going to exit witchspace anywhere near the planet..
Maybe. All those movements are predictable, though - we can generate reliable ephemerides centuries in advance even now.

Re: Thargoids are a bit stupid

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:03 pm
by Diziet Sma
Good point..

Re: Thargoids are a bit stupid

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:20 am
by Switeck
Smivs wrote:In my mind I'd always felt that the buoy was essential as a 'target' for the witchspace drive. These are placed by GalCop in all inhabited systems (which explains why you can't jump to un-inhabited systems) and therefor its loss would seriously disrupt traffic to a system.
I like Option 2 a lot as it fits in with the way I see these things working, and it also has a lot of interesting possibilities attached.
To me, Option 3 is the "answer"...the beacon is there for convenience and in the past has been more of a hazard than a help! Rammed those annoying things on witchspace exit on occasion. Police and bounty hunters patrol the main shipping channel in an attempt to reduce piracy, which would be considerably harder if there were no buoy to mark the starting point.

Misjumps don't have buoys. And while misjumps in Oolite are to "normal space, just an inconvenient place" roughly halfway to the destination...OXP missions can now choose even more arbitrary distances.

Elite canon has the main character doing a deliberate 1/10th LY jump to rendezvous with an old ally. Pretty much not a witchspace buoy involved.

Re: Thargoids are a bit stupid

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:05 am
by Disembodied
cim wrote:The witchpoint distance should give approximately constant angular sizes for the planets, so the lane is quite a bit longer when the planet is larger. e.g.
Diso: 61.5km planet radius, planet 677km from witchpoint
Leesti: 30.9km planet radius, planet 370km from witchpoint
The 1.79 populator adjusts for lane length, though the 1.77 one doesn't: I find the difference between a short and long lane to be noticeable, though perhaps only because I know what to look for.
I really should pay more attention ... :oops: Is there any mileage (if you'll pardon the pun) in increasing the difference, so that a big-planet system is immediately and obviously different from a small-planet one, even to the congenitally inattentive?