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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 8:30 am 
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pick a random roleWeight
Very good ideas, except the randomness: should avoid different results when retry.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 9:21 am 
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Well, yes, I was planning to make sure multiple tries produce the same result. :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:22 am 
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Firstly, if the player has a bounty, you won't be able to see any destinations or request any launch slots before or after ships.
Secondly If the ship is already hiding their destination, they presumably don't want any one following them, so the launch requests won't be available.
Then, I need to work out the matrix of ship roles to player role weights.
-- If the ship role is "shuttle", "trader", "trader-courier", "trader-smuggler", pick a random roleWeight from the player and if it contains "pirate", or "assassin", then a request to launch before/after will be denied.
-- If the ship role is some form of "pirate", pick a random roleWeight from the player and if it contains "hunter" or "assassin" then a request to launch before/after will be denied.
-- If the ship role is some form of "assassin", pick a random roleWeight from the player and if it contains "assassin" then a request to launch before/after will be denied.
-- If the ship role is some form of "hunter", pick a random roleWeight from the player and if it contains "assassin" or "pirate" then a request to launch before/after will be denied.
There still will be a (small) chance that for example a player-pirate can request a launch before/after a trader?

Perhaps these role weighings could also be somehow connected to the player skill ( harmless larger chance -> elite smaller chance )
makeing it for beginning players easier/more interesting.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:40 am 
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Thoughts?
It's still making the game much easier. If the player is simply a trader, with no time penalties, they can just use this to make long jumps without using any fuel. An example: a beginning player, once they've earned enough to buy injectors, can jump for free between Ensoreus and Isinor, and then just inject their way past any trouble they might encounter on the way. Dock-to-dock turnaround is reduced to a few minutes of actual flight. Allowing the player to pick a launch slot makes the game too easy, I think. I'd suggest turning it the other way up:

I agree with this:
Quote:
Firstly, if the player has a bounty, you won't be able to see any destinations or request any launch slots before or after ships.
Secondly If the ship is already hiding their destination, they presumably don't want any one following them, so the launch requests won't be available.
But I'd restrict the ability to request launch slots to occasions where the player has actively been invited to share an NPC's wormhole, e.g. if the NPC role is "trader", "trader-courier", "trader-smuggler", AND their destination is sufficiently dangerous (on a sliding, slightly randomised, scale - a "trader" might be nervous about heading to a Communist world; a "trader-courier" might be looking for company in a Multi-government system; and a "trader-smuggler" might want help when visiting a Feudal or Anarchy system), then they could ask the player to join them. The chances of this happening would also depend on the player's role: if it contains "pirate" or "assassin", then they won't get an invite. If it contains "trader", "trader-courier", or "trader-smuggler", they might. If it contains "hunter", then they probably will.

There could also be a small chance of the player being ambushed. If the NPC role is "assassin", and the player is "trader-courier" or (especially) "hunter", then the NPC might try to lure the player off to an ambush somewhere. This would have to be announced when the trap is sprung, though, so it doesn't look like a bug. And it should be very rare - something that really stands out when it happens.

The rarity of events has a value. It makes them special - and a player receiving an invite to accompany an NPC should be relatively unusual. At the moment, if you're just trading, every single trip can be a hitch-hike on someone else's wormhole. I think it would be better if these trips were rare occasions. At first, at least: a player who develops a high reputation as a bounty hunter might find they get invitations every trip (although maybe not going the way they want to go, but still: people want their company). This would show the universe reacting to the player's reputation. Nobody's going to invite Nooby McNoob to share their wormhole: who knows if the putz can even fly straight? But "Trip" Hazzard, famous and deadly bounty hunter? That's a different matter ...

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 11:06 am 
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Quote:
The rarity of events has a value. It makes them special - and a player receiving an invite to accompany an NPC should be relatively unusual. At the moment, if you're just trading, every single trip can be a hitch-hike on someone else's wormhole. I think it would be better if these trips were rare occasions. At first, at least: a player who develops a high reputation as a bounty hunter might find they get invitations every trip (although maybe not going the way they want to go, but still: people want their company). This would show the universe reacting to the player's reputation. Nobody's going to invite Nooby McNoob to share their wormhole: who knows if the putz can even fly straight? But "Trip" Hazzard, famous and deadly bounty hunter? That's a different matter ..
Perhaps the McNooby invite could be accompanied by a gift.

You're welcome to launch with us for 250 credits and 2 Ly fuel After payment SDC enables the launch before/after...


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 11:09 am 
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Just chiming in to say that I second everything Disembodied has said on this subject..

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 1:59 am 
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Thank you to everyone for your comments! I've taken it all on board to produce this next release. Given the changes I might take the time to describe them in a bit more detail.

@beo: Thanks for offering your suggested populator changes. I tried them out, but I'm afraid I'm going to need a bit more convincing! The issue I found is that stations end up too unpopulated, which means there are almost no regular ship launches. But for your convenience I've put your alternate settings in as a switchable config item: just go to line 1460 of "stationdockcontrol.js" and change var calctype = 0; to var calctype = 1; and you're good to go with your version.

What I have done is taken the different Wildships station roles and split them into different populator lists, so a mammoth Habitat station has more ships than a solar station.

@Disembodied/Anonymissimus: I've adjusted the "Launch before/after" options to (a) be off by default, and (b) to only become available once the player is recognised by NPC's in a particular role and the destination system is suitably dangerous. This should mean that the availability of free wormhole travel is much more restricted, and should change over time as the player improves and becomes known for particular activities. A newly minted Jameson should get nothing. An Elite-rated hunter should get a few, but hopefully none to easy systems. Let me know what you think of my logic - you can find it between lines 3561 and 3655 of "stationdockcontrol.js". Basically the routine $getDestinationByRole does all the work. Destinations are hidden by default, and the calculations are to determine if the player will be shown the destination, and therefore be able to launch before or after those ships. Because of the new design I've also expanded the viewing period from 4 to 12 hours, essentially undoing a change I made previously in an attempt to limit the wormhole availability.

I haven't included the assassin trap functionality yet. My first attempt (of just setting a local witchspace destination) is insufficient, as the default assassin AI doesn't ever look to jump to another system - they wait for a courier at either the station or the witchpoint. So assassin's won't jump out without a kick in their AI somewhere, and even then, there's no guarantee they will pick the player as their target without another kick in their AI. So I'm open to suggestions on how to do this easily, without having to code up a lot of new AI.

Just so it's clear, you won't see the change to the dock list until you either (a) edit your save file and remove the "StationDockControl_Data" element, which forces the OXP to recreate your dock list (which isn't recommended!), (b) purchase something with a greater than 24 hour installation time, which again forces the OXP to recreate your dock list, or (c) jump to a new system.

So, version 0.10.0 is now available for download via the manager or links in the first post. Here's a complete list of changes:
  • Added more dock versions of ships from Random Hits OXP.
  • Ships that dock with goods illegal to import will sometimes get an increase to their bounty.
  • Added extra routine to check for orphaned group members in the rescheduler.
  • Divided up WildShip stations into different station lists to better match their individual roles.
  • If a station doesn't exist anymore while data resides in the array, ship data will now be slowly removed.
  • Added astrofactory from Dictators.oxp to station list.
  • Dock list destinations only viewable by clean pilots.
  • Dock list launch before/after request options only available to clean pilots.
  • Dock list launch before/after request will be hidden if the ship destination is also hidden.
  • The decision to hide ship destinations is now based on the player's role as perceived by NPC's and the danger level at their destinations.
  • Adjusted destination viewing period to 12 hours.
  • Changed the color of menu items so it's less yellow.
  • Adjusted the skip factor for adding hunters, making them slightly more regular.
  • Code refactoring.
  • Bug fixes.
As always, comments, suggestions and bug reports welcome!

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:08 pm 
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I updated the oxz and station dock control lost any use for a beginning and harmless commander.

I would suggest a small random selection of destinations per ship type with launch before/after option

Most oxps make oolite more difficult this one makes it easier for the elite hunter and useless for the starting player.
I docked at a mega kiota station and got no destinations whatsoever, the population of such a station alone should regenerate some hearsay/information for a visiting commander.

Well it's all about the balance :)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:25 pm 
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Quote:
Most oxps make oolite more difficult this one makes it easier for the elite hunter and useless for the starting player.
The vast majority of OXPs makes it easier I'd say. Even things considered "neutral" to balance. A HUD makes it easier to aim for instance.

Well, my "competent" commander who's killed quite some pirates basically never gets a launch before/after option now. That being said, I've changed my mind about that this is a better solution to the getting stuck in witchspace problem. It also means that I never arrive in any system with less than 2.4lf of fuel, so I carry the extra fuel tank again now at all times, only for use in the single event when the thargoids intercept on a 4.8ly+ jump.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:50 pm 
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For me the immersion is what i like most about this oxp, seeing part of the destinations and the ability to slip into a slot adds to the feeling of being in a train station/airport (and looking at the departure screens).

A solution could be a oxpconfig setting strict ( current settings ), medium ( previous settings) and easy ( see all destinations )


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:28 pm 
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Quote:
For me the immersion is what i like most about this oxp, seeing part of the destinations and the ability to slip into a slot adds to the feeling of being in a train station/airport (and looking at the departure screens).

A solution could be a oxpconfig setting strict ( current settings ), medium ( previous settings) and easy ( see all destinations )
Unfortunately, in most train stations or airports, you don't run a big risk of someone with a military laser tagging along when the 0930 Light Commuter leaves the station.

Most train stations, that is.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:10 am 
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I've got some ideas for how to cope with the early game. Will have to wait until later in the week though. Just with the family on holidays and for some reason they don't like me shutting myself off with my computer for hours on end. Go figure. :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 4:20 am 
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A bit more about my ideas. First, for new players who don't have any reputation, occasionally have a commander heading for a safe system allow the player to tag along by offering a launch before or after their ship.

Second, a new piece of equipment, the "SDC hack chip" which, when plugged into a GalCop station, will (a) reveal the destination of all ships and (b) allow the player to "turn on" the offer to launch before or after a ship. But GalCop systems are constantly monitoring for security breaches, so you will only have a short period of time (maybe less than a minute) to use the chip before getting discovered, whereupon you get dealt a hefty fine (bounty and credits). The time until discovery will depend on the techlevel and government of the system. The chip can only be purchased at rock hermits in lower end governments with high TL (9 or above) for something like 2000cr. The chip will only work with GalCop systems, so you can't plug it in anywhere.

I'm reluctant to just make all destinations visible by default, even if the offer to launch before or after was hidden, because I think it makes more sense in the game world, where the space lanes are dangerous places and commanders are risking their lives every time they launch. I think the above changes will give each stage of the game and style of play a way to use the system.

What do you think?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 6:49 am 
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Quote:
What do you think?
I like those ideas.

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Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:01 am 
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Good ideas there! I think atmosphere is at least as important as functionality, but an occasional offer to a starting player by a kindly NPC (which may, of course, make the new player paranoid :twisted: ) adds to the feeling of a living universe.
Quote:
GalCop systems are constantly monitoring for security breaches, so you will only have a short period of time (maybe less than a minute) to use the chip before getting discovered, whereupon you get dealt a hefty fine (bounty and credits).
I'd suggest adding "and the forced removal of the chip" - which would cost time as well as money.

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