How Does Avoiding the Spacelanes Break Gameplay?

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byronarn
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How Does Avoiding the Spacelanes Break Gameplay?

Post by byronarn » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:46 am

I have seen a couple people on this forum suggest that the trick of avoiding the spacelanes by moving perpendicular to the planet for a few seconds before heading to it breaks gameplay. Can someone explain this thinking? Thanks!

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Re: How Does Avoiding the Spacelanes Break Gameplay?

Post by phkb » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:22 am

I don't know about breaking gameplay. Nothing breaks internally if you do this. But none of the AI's are programmed to do this, so the only entity in the universe doing it would be the player. So what's really at the core of the problem is why player feel they need to do this or recommend the practice in the first place. The question relates to game balance, particularly in the early part of the game when a new player is particularly vulnerable to piracy. To recommend to new players to avoid fighting in a game where fighting is a major component of the game would appear, on the surface at least, to be counterintuitive.

I think that sums up most of the argument. Additional thoughts, anyone?

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Re: How Does Avoiding the Spacelanes Break Gameplay?

Post by spara » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:26 am

Original Elite spawned ships around the player, so where ever the player was there were perils. In Oolite NPCs fly on lanes and are not spawned around the player. So basically skip the lane and miss the game. To put it bluntly.

Should we also discuss about the game breaking nature of the torus drive? :mrgreen:

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Re: How Does Avoiding the Spacelanes Break Gameplay?

Post by Norby » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:29 am

In the core game the space out of lanes is not populated so maybe unfair to easily choose a sure free way to the planet. You can balance this somewhat using Deep Space Pirates OXP.

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Re: How Does Avoiding the Spacelanes Break Gameplay?

Post by spud42 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:28 am

i thought there were 3 themes to the game, explore,trade and fighting. If someone wants to concentrate on the first two and avoid fighting, if they can, then what is wrong with that? i have seen many games ruined by noisy players in forums complaining of one style of play , then the developers change the game to suit them and ruin it for others.
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Re: How Does Avoiding the Spacelanes Break Gameplay?

Post by spara » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:52 am

This is an awesome topic :).

For me the concept of lanes and the concept of torus drive have been a total game/immersion killer. I just can't get around the conflict in my mind about a non-player centric Ooniverse where I can drive around in god mode while everyone else drives sluggishly in nice lines just waiting to be butchered.

As for the exploit/cheat idea. If the game permits it, why on earth would you not use it? Even if it means missing a big part of the game. In my opinion, in a sandbox game like this there can't be rules you have to follow.

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Re: How Does Avoiding the Spacelanes Break Gameplay?

Post by Cody » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:01 am

spara wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:52 am
In my opinion, in a sandbox game like this there can't be rules you have to follow.
No rules?

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Re: How Does Avoiding the Spacelanes Break Gameplay?

Post by gsagostinho » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:44 am

Norby wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:29 am
In the core game the space out of lanes is not populated so maybe unfair to easily choose a sure free way to the planet. You can balance this somewhat using Deep Space Pirates OXP.
Yes, Deep Space Pirates, and also Skilled NPCs OXP, make the game much more interesting in my opinion. Going outside the space lanes become much more dangerous, but if you want to take the risk then can beat the traffic 8)

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Re: How Does Avoiding the Spacelanes Break Gameplay?

Post by CmdrGumbo » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:26 pm

spara wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:52 am
This is an awesome topic :).

For me the concept of lanes and the concept of torus drive have been a total game/immersion killer. I just can't get around the conflict in my mind about a non-player centric Ooniverse where I can drive around in god mode while everyone else drives sluggishly in nice lines just waiting to be butchered.

As for the exploit/cheat idea. If the game permits it, why on earth would you not use it? Even if it means missing a big part of the game. In my opinion, in a sandbox game like this there can't be rules you have to follow.
You know, space *is* huge and even pirates/mercenaries/bounty hunters can't be everywhere in the galaxy. So to a certain extend the off-lane areas may represent this fact. Commanders making a living off one of the above businesses know this and thus they tend to scoop those regions of space where regualar space travel promises worthy cargo. And traders tend to travel along these lanes since they hope for assistance from fellow traders in the same system if they get hit.

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Re: How Does Avoiding the Spacelanes Break Gameplay?

Post by Smivs » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:39 pm

Nothing wrong with going off-lane.
As for not meeting anybody else doing it, well that's the whole point isn't it? In reality there are no off-lane NPCs, but even if there were you would rarely if ever meet them, so it is easy enough to imagine they are there in-game, trying to avoid trouble just like you, but never seen.
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Re: How Does Avoiding the Spacelanes Break Gameplay?

Post by byronarn » Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:02 pm

spara wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:52 am

For me the concept of lanes and the concept of torus drive have been a total game/immersion killer. I just can't get around the conflict in my mind about a non-player centric Ooniverse where I can drive around in god mode while everyone else drives sluggishly in nice lines just waiting to be butchered.
NPCs don't use Torus drives? I have always assumed that when a non-pirate mass-locks me, I am also mass-locking them. I figured I'm as much an annoyance to them as they are to me.

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Re: How Does Avoiding the Spacelanes Break Gameplay?

Post by byronarn » Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:05 pm

CmdrGumbo wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:26 pm
You know, space *is* huge and even pirates/mercenaries/bounty hunters can't be everywhere in the galaxy. So to a certain extend the off-lane areas may represent this fact. Commanders making a living off one of the above businesses know this and thus they tend to scoop those regions of space where regualar space travel promises worthy cargo. And traders tend to travel along these lanes since they hope for assistance from fellow traders in the same system if they get hit.
This is also m thinking. Seems logical to me.

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Re: How Does Avoiding the Spacelanes Break Gameplay?

Post by Day » Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:13 pm

spara wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:52 am
For me the concept of lanes and the concept of torus drive have been a total game/immersion killer. I just can't get around the conflict in my mind about a non-player centric Ooniverse where I can drive around in god mode while everyone else drives sluggishly in nice lines just waiting to be butchered.
Well, are they butchered?
I mean, most of them are corporate-type employed pilots moving cargo, and relying on the assistance of policed worlds.

When they are in another system, they religiously follow their company regulations which, based on their insurance company stats, states that the cargo and ship survival rates are higher when being in the middle of a group of foreign traders.

When an attack occurs on such a group, depending on the situation, the odds are sometimes better to flee the group, and sometimes better to destroy the menace so as to avoid being unprotected outside the main lanes.

YOU are not in God-mode. You ARE an independent businessman, Commander. Free to follow your whims, and to hit the space bar whenever you fancy it.

PS: for a glass or a reboot, as you wish.

----------------------------------

Well, at least, that's the rationale I use.

I can't understand people going in the slow lane in Oolite. But in the real world, I can't understand any better the people who become employed and must follow their employer's regulations while being mostly forbidden to act according to their own understanding.

So I've been "educated" to perceive this rationale.

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Re: How Does Avoiding the Spacelanes Break Gameplay?

Post by ffutures » Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:59 pm

byronarn wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:02 pm
spara wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:52 am

For me the concept of lanes and the concept of torus drive have been a total game/immersion killer. I just can't get around the conflict in my mind about a non-player centric Ooniverse where I can drive around in god mode while everyone else drives sluggishly in nice lines just waiting to be butchered.
NPCs don't use Torus drives? I have always assumed that when a non-pirate mass-locks me, I am also mass-locking them. I figured I'm as much an annoyance to them as they are to me.
It would make sense but would make the game a LOT tougher - because if you got away from pursuers then switched to Torus drive, anything that mass-locked you would give the pursuers a chance to catch up, which rarely happens unless the mass lock happens REALLY quickly.

But the Torus drive has been in the game since (I think) the BBC version - it was certainly part of the first IBM compatible release - and I can't see it going away, on runs without opposition the game is just too slow without it.

Has anyone ever made an "NPCs have Torus drive" add-on? It'd be interesting to see how much difference it really makes.

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Re: How Does Avoiding the Spacelanes Break Gameplay?

Post by Astrobe » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:10 pm

spud42 wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:28 am
i thought there were 3 themes to the game, explore,trade and fighting. If someone wants to concentrate on the first two and avoid fighting, if they can, then what is wrong with that? i have seen many games ruined by noisy players in forums complaining of one style of play , then the developers change the game to suit them and ruin it for others.
In my personal opinion, trading, exploring and fighting go hands-in-hands. Exploring assumes some kind of danger, otherwise we are talking about "discovering". Trading without some kind of danger has little interest: you trade in order to upgrade your ship in order to make more money in order to upgrade your ship faster...

Vanilla Oolite doesn't offer much in the three aspects (by today's standard). Exploration becomes worth it if you have OXPs that add things (multiple planets and moons, rings for instance). Trading becomes interesting if some OXP disturbs the quite predictable system markets. And of course you can easily avoid most fights or make encounters a non-issue with good enough lasers and good enough shields, unless you install DSP or Skilled NPCs.

"We have OXPs so everything is fine and good" is the typical answer but I don't like this solution because it's a double-edged sword: everyone plays the game they want, but nobody plays the same game - which is different from nobody plays the game the same way. The difference is: community fragmentation, and also fragmentation of the improvement efforts. The correct answer, in my opinion, is that everyone plays the same game in a different way. It's not easy to achieve because it requires a lot of thought about game design and a feature-rich yet consistent game.

For instance, maybe one could satisfy those who don't like the fights by providing different escape methods/devices. One immediately think about fuel injectors, but also about some sort of stealth and maybe mines to deter chasers. Then one can say "well, this equipment has a cost, especially those injectors that are 400% more fuel efficient" so players have a reason to accumulate credits. But then, it would probably make the game to easy for the "fighter" type of player, so buying that kind of equipment should impair your ability to fight in some way.

As a side note, the various types of players have been identified and described by Richard Bartle in this reference article (MUDs are the ancestor MMORPG - same thing, but with a pure text interface).

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