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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:52 pm 
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With one or two exceptions all the ships of this time are pure spacecraft, built solely to fly between Star Systems, with the GalCop stations that orbit all inhabited Worlds as their departure and arrival points. As a consequence they have no atmospheric or planetary-landing capability as these are simply not needed. They are therefore built in space at huge orbital shipyards which are dotted around the Eight at suitable planets and moons.

Due to the difficulties of working in zero-G, the need was for designs that can be fabricated relatively quickly and easily. It therefore soon became clear that the optimum manufacturing method was to design and build large, un-sophisticated hulls, with huge panels of Duralium Alloy being welded together into simple, easy-to-construct forms. The Duralium panels used can be as large as five by three metres and are nearly 1/2 metre thick, as this offers maximum protection against micro-meteorites and radiation, and also some protection against laser fire.

By building the ships as large as they are, it is also possible to include all the equipment, running gear, engines, fuel tanks, holdspace, living quarters, life support and ordnance within the hull itself. This offers maximum protection to all the ship's systems.

The size of the ship is not the only limiting factor where equipment is concerned. My opinion is that it is very likely that some of the equipment items themselves are vast and so even a 'big' small ship may not physically have the available space for some items. I also think that older models in particular were simply not designed to have more recent equipment fitted so the control and power infrastructure is absent and difficult/impossible to retrofit. Older ships also date from safer and more peaceful times, so the fitment of Military grade equipment was also not considered necessary when they were designed, and so again the associated power and mountings etc are not in place.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:07 pm 
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Thanks Zireael. I'll likely be tweaking it a bit more (military shields on a sidewinder but not an Asp probably isn't right and there should probably be more advantage for high-tech ships).

Mohawk, thanks for your input.
Firstly a couple of clarifications.

If you're flying a Cobra III then this system will restrict you from using only one item (large cargo bay) but even then you can use it for a while until you've saved up for your military shields. Iron assed? I think so

This oxp was developed primarily for those who like to start with a much less impressive ship than the Cobra III, so that the possibilities (and indeed the game) might slowly open up to them as they trade up to more impressive ships. Starting with an Adder, if not popular, is still not unheard of (mossfoot even turned it into a saga). With ship value working the way it does, I found it odd 'iron assing' and Adder only to 'trade up' to a Cobra I with just a pulse laser.

The size issues for fighters is important, as you suggest. My own personal take on that is covered in the rescaling experiment rather than oolites inherited 'compressed scale' ship size variations.

I didn't want this oxp to be too much of a 'straight-jacket' and so it is possible for many ships to alter their grade (service, civilian or military) and that's how you can create an iron assed Cobra III (a service 'upgrade' would have kept all of the civilian benefits but added a large cargo bay - military or service upgrade, it can't have both). Several items have remained unrestricted in that they are useful but unglamorous (e.g. heat shielding), affect gameplay significantly (ecm, advanced compass) or are important later in game (energy unit - fuel scoops as well perhaps?).

There's also potential here to create, or enhance, significant ship variants. Eg. Asp II and Sidewinder 'special' variants could be higher tech custom versions of the core game models.

Getting this thing right is tricky (I've had several re-thinks already) and so your thoughts are appreciated and may well flavour some future rethink of mine...

Thanks.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:27 pm 
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Smivs, thanks for that quote. It does read to me like 'handwavium fudge' to explain the 'compressed scale' I mentioned earlier but it still doesn't sit right for me personally and I find the 'every ship can use everything' reasoning unsatisfactory.

I agree that there is much more to equipment installation than ship size or tech. For example, a really old car could 'equip' a smart phone or GPS with just a simple adaptor but other 'lower tech' items might not be compatible.. The 'grade' category was to address some of the issues that you mention.

Getting back to that quote, I suspect it was written to explain the status quo rather than as a design strategy. It explains something that might seem odd yet retains that oddness for only questionable benefit - the player starting with the massive mkIII and many of the smaller ships being unavailsble on account of no witchdrive.

Nice to have some more thoughts on the issue. Thanks chaps :)

Edit: I've just realised that was from your own oxp page Smivs and not a general years old wiki page. It seems I've been rather rude. Apologies :oops:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:01 pm 
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Ha, no apology needed.
Yes it is a fairly recent page, and yes it is mostly handwavium. The size of the ships is a 'fact' and of course they do at first glance seem unfeasably large, so I got to thinking how we could 'reverse-engineer' the backstory to fit the ships.
The funny thing is as I formulated this it actually made more and more sense to me till I've got to the point in my own mind that it is totally plausible. Others may disagree, but as a 'theory of everything' it does work pretty well.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:37 pm 
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Ha, no apology needed.
Very generous, oh pumpkinny one... :)
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The size of the ships is a 'fact' and of course they do at first glance seem unfeasably large, so I got to thinking how we could 'reverse-engineer' the backstory to fit the ships.
Which makes perfect sense for a 'classics' compilation - what with trade descriptions and all that :wink:
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The funny thing is as I formulated this it actually made more and more sense to me till I've got to the point in my own mind that it is totally plausible. Others may disagree, but as a 'theory of everything' it does work pretty well.
If I was to try and reason their relative sizes then I don't think I could do any better than your attempt, however, as you may have noticed by now, I have trouble leaving such things alone :D

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:39 pm 
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v0.3 is nearly ready and has had quite the overhaul.

Before I release, a few questions for anyone in the know:

I notice that EQ_FUEL_SCOOPS comes with EQ_CARGO_SCOOPS, does that mean that I could permit a ship to have one but not the other?

Would I be right in thinking that EQ_CARGO_SCOOPS is essential for one core mission and EQ_FUEL_SCOOPS (or fuel scooping capabilty) for another?
If so, which of the two is likely to be required first?

Thanks.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:27 am 
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Location: [p]laying [h]ard and [k]icking [b]utt somewhere in G7...
I'm not sure, but I think the better description is that EQ_FUEL_SCOOPS provides EQ_CARGO_SCOOPS. The EQ_CARGO_SCOOPS doesn't exist as a piece of equipment, but as a function of the fuel scoops. From the wiki:
Quote:
"provides" is added in 1.81, and is an array of equipment keys. This allows OXP equipment to provide some functionality from core equipment (or in theory other OXP equipment though this would need to be managed carefully between the OXPs). ...snip... While any string may be added here, only the following items have any in-game effect in the core game:
...snip...
"EQ_FUEL_SCOOPS": may scoop fuel from a star
"EQ_CARGO_SCOOPS": may scoop cargo. Note: there is no such core game item, but the core fuel scoops have this in their 'provides' list.
Based on this, I don't think you could restrict on "EQ_CARGO_SCOOPS" because it's not a piece of equipment (looking at my save files it's not in the list of installed items). I imagine you could create a piece of kit that only scoops fuel, or that only scoops cargo, and restrict on those equipment keys, but the core fuel scoop does both. Not sure about the order of requirement for missions, though.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 5:58 am 
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I notice that EQ_FUEL_SCOOPS comes with EQ_CARGO_SCOOPS, does that mean that I could permit a ship to have one but not the other?
Correct, and phkb is right about how this works.

It's mainly intended for scenarios to be able to provide a completely different equipment set to the core game, but if you wanted to separate them in the default game, have your OXP contain an equipment.plist entry for EQ_FUEL_SCOOPS (so overriding the core one) that didn't provide EQ_CARGO_SCOOPS, and then a separate EQ_MYOXP_CARGO_SCOOPS which provided the EQ_CARGO_SCOOPS

Regarding core missions, none require fuel scoops.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 6:50 am 
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Regarding core missions, none require fuel scoops.
Except the last one :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:56 am 
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Enlightening, chaps.

Thanks :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:21 am 
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Available via the in-game manager...

Version 0.3

Added a desription.plist file including inservice dates of vessels.

Less strict availability of equipment.

Other effects according to ship class.
  • Size: max aft shield; extra cargo space; injector speed factor
  • Tech: witchspace countdown; sun glare filter; maintenance costs
  • Grade: injector burn rate; missile load time; fuel costs
More detailed explanation of effects via frst post.

(Idea for sun glare linking to heat shielding pinched from spara)

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:56 pm 
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Spotted a couple of errors with v0.3 (including naming it by its version number again :roll: )

A fixed v0.4 should be available soon.

Meanwhile, concerning the ship's clock (and in relation to the inservice dates of this oxp), does a commander's career begin in the year 2084 or am I reading it wrong?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:19 pm 
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does a commander's career begin in the year 2084 or am I reading it wrong?
A commander's career begins 2084 kilo-days (and 4 days) after the start of the calendar system.

If you want to assume that it's also 3140ish AD as suggested by the Selezen timeline and other sources, then this puts the start of the calendar system in around 2500 BC (early Bronze age for humans)

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:41 pm 
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A commander's career begins 2084 kilo-days (and 4 days) after the start of the calendar system.
<chortles> I call them ship years.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:14 pm 
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Quote:
A commander's career begins 2084 kilo-days (and 4 days) after the start of the calendar system.
<chortles> I call them ship years.
Ah, so it's actually simpler than I thought :P

Thanks chaps.

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