Craft energy vs classic

General discussion for players of Oolite.

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Dunk
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Craft energy vs classic

Post by Dunk »

I had a poke around the Shipdata files at the weekend and saw what I thought were a few anomalies in terms of ship energy levels. I did a quick comparison with the energy levels for classic Elite (from Ian Bell's site) and a few things stand out. From the looks of things, a few of the ships have had their wings clipped whilst others appear to have really been hitting the gym. Cobra I owners, myself included, should be a little distraught at the fact that the similar sized ships (Mamba, Krait, Sidewinder) have been on a course steroids. Adder pilots should also feel a little hard done by but people who invested in a Fer De Lance will no doubt be up in arms - 1/2 million or so and you get something with wall to wall leather, lots of toys and a spaceframe made of paper mache.

Discuss. Or not.


Code: Select all

                   Elite            Oolite          Multiplier
Tharglet        20              150              7.50
Shuttle          32              120              3.75
Transporter   32              150              4.69
Viper           140              180             1.29
Cobra III     150              250             1.67
Python         250              450             1.80
Boa             250              450             1.80
Anaconda    252               500             1.98
Sidewinder    70               240             3.43
Mamba         90                240            2.67
Krait             80               250            3.13
Adder           85                 85            1.00
Gecko          70                250            3.57
Cobra I        90                150            1.67
Worm          30                  75            2.50
Asp            150                350            2.33
Fer DL        160                150            0.94
Moray        100                 240            2.40
Thargoid    240                 600            2.50
Constrictor 252                 450            1.79

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Post by Commander McLane »

Over the times there have been quite some discussions about the ship-specs and game balance, especially when it came to über-ships from various OXPs.

I think generally the ships of the original set are balanced, and for that we have to consider not only their max_energy. This has to be balanced against size, speed, agility, laser and missile mounts, cargo space, etc. In some cases that could mean ironing out and correcting an imbalance that was inherited from Elite, e.g. the Anaconda, which simply doesn't fit into the original Elite-universe, being far too small compared to its cargo capacity, when compared to other ships.

As far as I am concerned I don't have objections against the solutions found by our Master and Commander (and probably others who contributed their ideas).

I have to admit, though, that there is one exception: I do find the Fer-de-Lance too weak for what it is: one of the main pirate ships. I agree that for a ship of its size and use it has too less energy. Three energy bars? That really translates into, how have you put it?
you get something with wall to wall leather, lots of toys and a spaceframe made of paper mache
I agree with you in this. But with the rest I am fine.

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Post by Disembodied »

Commander McLane wrote:...I do find the Fer-de-Lance too weak for what it is: one of the main pirate ships...
Same here. IIRC in the original game the Fer-de-Lance was the preferred vehicle for bounty hunters: sleek, fast as as Cobra III, and hard with it. Always a pain to encounter if one's legal status was, ahem, less than spotless. Now it's pretty much the same as a Cobra I...

I think Zee Pee Gee went broke a while back, spending too much time on bo-wood consoles and ReactaGel acceleration couches and the like, while everyone else was improving their drive systems and shield generators. And Ferdys were always so fussy about what you could and couldn't squeeze into them: to fit an upgrade you had to take it in to a licensed dealer and get the damn thing practically rebuilt each time. Looks like they just got left behind by more recent developments.

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Post by Wiggy »

One thing not to be forgotten is that NPCs in Oolite can have any of the equipment that players can, so a ship might be kitted out with Extra Energy Units, which may add some balance.

In Classic Elite, the other ships were always the specified value.
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Post by Helvellyn »

Another oft-overlooked change is that the Oolite Cobra MkIII is significantly faster than the original (0.35 vs 0.28 ), which makes it harder to design additional non-uber ships that don't compare as well to the Cobra as they should, particularly in speed.

The physical size of the originals was limited by having nine-bit range (never quite worked out why one whole byte seemed to be used for the sign); the Python was actually slightly longer than the Coriolis station, and bigger than the Anaconda. I've no objection to Oolite changing that sort of thing to be more realistic. I do object to the whole hyperspace range and time model, but let's not go there again :)

I think I've said before that it's a pity Oolite didn't pick up some of the things Elite A did. In particular, I thought equipment costing more or less for different ships was a good idea, as was varying weapon power depending upon the ship (the Adder's military laser being comparable to a beam laser on a decent craft, for example).

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Post by Cmdr. Maegil »

Helvellyn wrote:I do object to the whole hyperspace range and time model, but let's not go there again :)

I think I've said before that it's a pity Oolite didn't pick up some of the things Elite A did. In particular, I thought equipment costing more or less for different ships was a good idea, as was varying weapon power depending upon the ship (the Adder's military laser being comparable to a beam laser on a decent craft, for example).
If we go that way, I'm an FFE man myself: spilt the equipment into ability levels and subtract each item's masses directly from the available room. Make the ships fully customizable... at the expense of its cargo capacity.

But it's not going to happen... :cry:

















Is anyone up to do an Oolite First Encounters? :oops:
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Post by Helvellyn »

Nah, I never liked the FE2/FFE style "use-up-your-cargo-bay" approach (which is what Elite A does too, although everything is 1 tonne, and missiles don't count). Too much equipment would have to sit in properly designed mountings for that to make any real sense for most of it. Whilst you may be able to squeeze a cargo canister or two into an unused laser mounting, it seems rather unrealistic for it to be easy or convenient. It would be easier to chuck some in the living quarters and spend all your time camped out on the bridge.

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Post by Dunk »

Wiggy:
One thing not to be forgotten is that NPCs in Oolite can have any of the equipment that players can, so a ship might be kitted out with Extra Energy Units, which may add some balance.
Absolutely - and Ferdy's are more likely to have them than most but I always considered things like that to be extras y'know. Unless of course we say that the first Shield Boosters etc were developed for the Ferdy, hence it's high classic rating, but now are more common. Maybe the Ferdy was always a lightly constructed ship and it relied on it's toys to give it strength.

Helvellyn:
Another oft-overlooked change is that the Oolite Cobra MkIII is significantly faster than the original (0.35 vs 0.28 ), which makes it harder to design additional non-uber ships that don't compare as well to the Cobra as they should, particularly in speed.
Yeah - I spotted that. That extra .7 does make things a bit different. It does seem a little odd chasing a Mamba down in a Cobra III. Bearing in mind Mambas were originally built for racing and came into service after the Cobra III. I wonder what would happen if you took one of those Kruger 'Lightfast' motors from the Cobra III and put it in the Mamba...

It's good to seem some light discussion on this. Like I said, it just struck me as a little odd, for a longtime classic player at least, and it certainly doesn't detract from the game at all.

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Post by Commander McLane »

On equipment costing cargospace: I never have played FE2/FFE, but may I mention again that I have played a lot the games of the Escape Velocity series, especially EVO and EVN?

There you have cargo space and weapons space. Each item of equipment costs you some of your weapons space, depending on its size and weight. So in the end you don't store your cargo in empty missile mounts, but you have fittings for your equipment around your cargohold. Makes more sense to me. You even can convert part of your cargo space into weapons space or vice versa, but each conversion costs you a total of 5 tons, as let's say the extended cargo bay itself takes of course more space then it finally can hold (there is a gross and a net volume, like with every container). And then there were some extremely expensive add-ons, allowing you to have 5 tons of extra weapons space by fixing some mounts outside to your ship's hull, but that could be done only once or twice, not again and again.

I still find this system superior to any of the others discussed.

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Post by Helvellyn »

It makes sense to have some items of equipment that could be fitted in the cargo bay, but by no means all. Being able to swap weapons space with cargo space seems absurd, but putting in items like extra energy units probably isn't quite so bad, and it makes sense that the equipment needed to scoop cargo into the bay and stow it would take up some space.

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Post by Cmdr. Maegil »

Commander McLane wrote:On equipment costing cargospace: I never have played FE2/FFE, but may I mention again that I have played a lot the games of the Escape Velocity series, especially EVO and EVN?

There you have cargo space and weapons space. Each item of equipment costs you some of your weapons space, depending on its size and weight. So in the end you don't store your cargo in empty missile mounts, but you have fittings for your equipment around your cargohold. Makes more sense to me. You even can convert part of your cargo space into weapons space or vice versa, but each conversion costs you a total of 5 tons, as let's say the extended cargo bay itself takes of course more space then it finally can hold (there is a gross and a net volume, like with every container). And then there were some extremely expensive add-ons, allowing you to have 5 tons of extra weapons space by fixing some mounts outside to your ship's hull, but that could be done only once or twice, not again and again.

I still find this system superior to any of the others discussed.
If you want to see how it goes on FFE, check this equipment list and the Cobra Mk III as a reference, and see how much equipament you can fit.
P.S.: the shields are cumulative so you can fit several units - and the more the merrier!

I agree with the cargo-pod-on-missile-pylon thing is a bit ackward, but in general I quite like this system
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Post by ovvldc »

Personally, I think the FDL is under powered for its description. It is described as a no-expense-spared, the top-of-the-line ship and the current stats are nice, but certainly not close-to-military specs that one would expect.

As for the cargo space model, I am fine either way. It is just a gameplay choice.

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Post by Captain Hesperus »

Well to be honest, the Oolite timeline is supposed to be after the Elite timeline, so it's likely that there will be ships that will be left in the wake. This will inevitably result in Dodos.

Consider, a little over 30 years ago the Ford Capri Mk.3 was considered an uber-car in Britain. So much so that the Metropolitan Police had to buy a number of Porsche's to keep up with criminals using the Capri as getaway cars (they were faster and more powerful than the police Rovers at the time). Now who knows anyone who drives or even owns one.....

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Post by Wiggy »

Captain Hesperus wrote:Now who knows anyone who drives or even owns one.....?
My mate, "Steve Capri", who is known for it.

I remember trying to design ships for the RPG Traveller, to which Elite is supposed to pay some 'homage'.
You specified the tonnage of your craft, which corresponded to an available area on a grid, in which you could place stuff.
So, the more space you allocated to engines, the faster your ship, but the smaller your remaining space for cargo, berths, weapon systems, living quarters etc.
I, obviously, wanted a craft with the best of all worlds, and was infuriated with the game rules that cunningly made compromises of size/speed inevitable!
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Post by LittleBear »

Agree that the fer-de-lance seems under-powered. However if you install the Fer-de-lance NG OXP (from Oosat1), you get a more powerful version of the fer-de-lance with some very pretty custom paint jobs to boot! :wink:
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