Scooping gold, platinum and gemstones

An area for discussing new ideas and additions to Oolite.

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Re: Scooping gold, platinum and gemstones

Post by SandJ »

Why a few grammes of gems weigh a tonne: Love Actually, the necklace purchase scene.
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Re: Scooping gold, platinum and gemstones

Post by snork »

Commander McLane wrote: Precisely for this reason—and because it sorts out the problems of assuming masses so nicely—it makes much more sense to assume that every time when the letter "t" or a word resembling "ton" is used in the game, they refer to a volume, not a mass.
I'm afraid it doesn't - load 1000kg (501kg I think to remember will do, too) of gold, and it reduces your available cargo space by 1-t. so in this case "t" is defined by mass. at other times volume does make more sense.

So, to me it is either "forget about trying to make sense of Oolite units" or "it is volume, not mass" (or any such attempt to "solve" these mysteries)

though at times I do admire the creativity and persistence folks invest in coming up with a "Oonified Theory" that explains it all. 8)
another_commander wrote:As Switeck said, it makes for good gameplay and that's all that is important.

:)

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Re: Scooping gold, platinum and gemstones

Post by Cmdr James »

It still makes more sense to look at t meaning a unit of space. 1000kg of gold takes 1t of space, but so does 2kg of gold if it is in a 1t canister on its own.

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Re: Scooping gold, platinum and gemstones

Post by SandJ »

When scooping stuff, I would have expected the auto-cargo-hold-loading feature to be a rather simple affair, given it is an add-on to Fuel Scoops. Would it not just put things in the next cargo hold shelf space, and it is not until you get into dock that you can properly organise the hold and amalgamate the contents, and/or transfer the valuables to the glove compartment?
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Re: Scooping gold, platinum and gemstones

Post by Commander McLane »

snork wrote:
Commander McLane wrote: Precisely for this reason—and because it sorts out the problems of assuming masses so nicely—it makes much more sense to assume that every time when the letter "t" or a word resembling "ton" is used in the game, they refer to a volume, not a mass.
I'm afraid it doesn't - load 1000kg (501kg I think to remember will do, too) of gold, and it reduces your available cargo space by 1-t. so in this case "t" is defined by mass. at other times volume does make more sense.
I guess "kg" and "g" have to be taken as volumes as well. :wink:

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Re: Scooping gold, platinum and gemstones

Post by ZygoUgo »

To me it would make sense to have a universal canister size, I would personally like to change the 't' to something else to reflect this, don't know if that's doable, I'll have to take a look.
A universal canister would ensure that cargo items are kept packaged in a secure and regular way, this would keep space clearer of drifting cargo items (that otherwise may not even be in any form of container) and maximize scoop-ability, again keeping space cleaner. I guess the actual size of the canisters would be down to durability and the factors of weight/material usage/cost, whilst being capable of containing as much as possible without encroaching on these needs.
This would also explain why you can still buy rarer cargoes by weight, and why they can still come packaged in full size canisters.
It would seem that all ships are capable of packaging items by themselves, I guess this would be an inbuilt standard that flat alloys are carried in order not to affect cargo space, and upon collection of raw scooped materials or kg/g items forms a canister from the alloy and seals it, an on demand cruder canister that would be disposed of upon docking.
Quite why they would be so concerned about the danger of drifting junk when everyone is blowing the kahooney out of each other is the only remaining uncovered factor, but I guess you could just put that down to the bureaucrats and general ass-covering.

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Re: Scooping gold, platinum and gemstones

Post by Duggan »

I suppose..One could always buy the stuff from Rock Hermits. I know its not free like scooped stuff , but generally speaking one can still make a decent bit of profit at main stations. :)
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Re: Scooping gold, platinum and gemstones

Post by Commander McLane »

ZygoUgo wrote:To me it would make sense to have a universal canister size, I would personally like to change the 't' to something else to reflect this, don't know if that's doable, I'll have to take a look.
Make a copy of descriptions.plist and place it in a directory named "Config" inside "AddOns".

Then open the descriptions.plist-copy and find the lines

Code: Select all

    "cargo-gram" = gram;
    "cargo-grams" = grams;
    "cargo-grams-symbol" = g;
    "cargo-kilogram" = kilogram;
    "cargo-kilograms" = kilograms;
    "cargo-kilograms-symbol" = kg;
    "cargo-refused-short-%@" = "You don\U2019t have enough inventory to deliver the %@.";
    "cargo-ton" = ton;
    "cargo-tons" = tons;
    "cargo-tons-symbol" = t;
    "cash-@-load-d-of-d" = "Cash: %@. Load %d of %d t.";
You have to change the letters/words behind the "=". Note that there are some more appearances of "t", "kg" and "g" in other parts of the plist. Perform a search for them and replace them as well.

Restart Oolite (with SHIFT pressed if there already was a "Config" directory inside "AddOns"). Voilà.

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Re: Scooping gold, platinum and gemstones

Post by SandJ »

I think cargo canisters are flat-pack, lightweight, very cheap items. Because:

- when you scoop splinters or Thargons, then eject them, they are ejected in canisters. This suggests to me the Fuel Scoops component that handles cargo must pop up a flat-pack canister, put the item in there, then stack it in the hold.

(Just like Real Life™ removals vans have hundreds of flat-packed boxes either tucked in a false floor or into the van's wall panels, so cargo holds may have stacks of flattened canisters along with the bungee cords, packing tape, chunky marker pen, chalk and WD-40.)

That would account for each scooped item taking up an entire cargo canister.

And, just as Real Life™ removals people don't like using other people's boxes, maybe as a canister is scooped it is automatically opened and its contents transferred into the waiting empty one. Then you don't have to worry about the quality or integrity of the scooped container.

And when scooping gems and metals, you wouldn't want them just dumped in the cargo hold - the gems would get lost and the metals would damage the hold as your ship manoeuvres. They would need to be put in something and secured. But you can't expect a Fuel Scoops add-on to do warehouse management in your hold and combine the contents of containers while in flight; the space required would take up too much of the hold.

In a space station, or anywhere else with proper docking facilities, containers get combined because they have the space, staff and equipment to do so.
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Re: Scooping gold, platinum and gemstones

Post by richard.a.p.smith »

I like the trade mark! :lol:
I lost the thrust of what I was saying earlier in the thread; I wasn't for a moment saying we should scoop a tonne of platinum on a regular basis, the argument was more like this. Oolite wants you to chuck 1000 kg of platinum into a far larger space for some reason or other. Because Elite never did this it must have originated in One Version Of Real Life™ (memo to legal team - can I do that?) as seen by the dev team. I'm not totally against it but if a change like appears then it is sensible to consider whether it's, er, sensible. Thus the argument about why it isn't sensible to pick up only 2 kg from a tonne container so you'd be picking up 1000+ kilos - not sensible either - and the one about "the volume of platinum is actually not that much so why do you have to move it at all"? Changing tack slightly, maybe a "safe expansion" upgrade is in order to cater for the upper-end of the cargo transport contracts - unless you spend an extreme amount of time getty lucky amongst the asteroids - that might be a pre-requisite for contracts, maybe, or increase the chance of getting a precious metal/gems contract somehow. Back to the earlier tack (if that's the nautical expression which I doubt), the standard volume for other cargo is something that in my book can be explained away easily, as has been pointed out quite a lot.

Back to my Version of Real Life now . . . :wink:

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Re: Scooping gold, platinum and gemstones

Post by Cmdr James »

Elite didnt have delivery missions where you could easily acquire large amounts of gems etc. This feature of oolite led quite commonly to people flying a small single seat fighter and carrying a bajillion tonnes of "free" cargo because it occupied no space.

The in game thinking is that each ship has some storage, often called the safe in the cockpit, which allows some storage but this isnt infinite and so any overflow needs to go somewhere. Think of it like your car, you can stick a couple of gold bars in the glove comparment, and a few more under the seats. But pretty quickly you need to use the boot.

I would think a "safe expansion" would take the form of a ruggedised cargo canister, perhaps with a big padlock. Remember we are talking about hauling large amounts of precious metals in trading ships.

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Re: Scooping gold, platinum and gemstones

Post by richard.a.p.smith »

My wife would start complaining at me here that I am refusing to see alternative points of view but it's not that, I understand the idea of the overflow from the glove compartment but maintain that kind of concept simply doesn't work out; the game-play reason for doing that is flawed and the real-life reason for doing it is also flawed, the latter quite badly.

The ship, even an Adder, is rather larger than a car and the materials of concern are much more dense than other stuff and the masses limited so these are points that can't be ignored.

Regarding carrying loads of gems and platinum - if you don't sell them then you don't get the credits so, from a game-play perspective, it doesn't matter at all.

If you then start to worry about the volume the stuff is taking up then you are applying something realistic which is fine so let's work on that one.

Gems (diamond and sapphire at least) are about 4 times the density of water (and so food), gold and platinum about 20 times. Because gems are dealt with by the gramme we'll ignore them; one litre of gems is 4000 grammes - I'm sure no-one will disagree that for storage this is not going to be a problem for even fairly ridiculous amounts.

But the metals are another thing - you are required to move a microwave-oven sized amount of the metals into a cargo container which can according to the game take at least ten microwave ovens worth. Here the "scooping a tonne" idea is an unavoidable concept. If you scoop a container that contains food because it survived you killing the innocent trader then you get one tonne. If you scoop platinum in a container where the innocent trader has been forced to put it in the hold because the glove compartment isn't big enough then you get . . . a fraction of a tonne. This is just silly! The platinum is vastly more durable than the food, for crying out loud! So you should get a tonne of platinum every time you scoop any platinum at all or at the very least quite regularly. So it just doesn't work out.

The application of reality is at first used and then dropped and as far as I can see, game-play was never significantly affected so why bother? Okay, I'll try to stop ranting now; I'm happy to accept I've missed something but so far I haven't read anything that makes it hang together in terms of a reason for the way it is now.

I'll try not to think about it too hard - it's still a cool game. Rich.

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Re: Scooping gold, platinum and gemstones

Post by Smivs »

It's simple, really. Think of the 'Tonne' as a volume rather than weight and the 1TC cargo pod as a universal container. Everything can be packed in it. It has to be a certain size because one Tonne (volume) of something very un-dense (eg food) must fit in it. You can obviously put much smaller things in it like 23g Gems. Lots of empty space in the container there.
There is only one size because all the automated cargo handling gear both in your ship and at a station is set up for that one standard size.
Remember you don't actually 'Scoop a Tonne' as you put it - When you scoop something you are told what it is at the time, but only find out how much upon docking. Mostly you will have 1 Tonne of most things (each of which will have filled its container to a greater or lesser extent).
If the 1TC cargo pod contained gems or precious metal, the quantity will vary depending on the shipment. Retailer 'A' might only buy 10g Gold wheras retailer 'B' might have ordered 55g Gold. If you scooped both those pods (2x1TC cargo pods) and dock, you will find you have 65g gold, which can then be moved into your cockpit safe.
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Re: Scooping gold, platinum and gemstones

Post by Cody »

Smivs wrote:When you scoop something you are told what it is at the time, but only find out how much upon docking.
Que? Am I mis-reading stuff tonight, or what? I scoop a pod and I'm told '9kg Platinum', for example.

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Re: Scooping gold, platinum and gemstones

Post by Switeck »

richard.a.p.smith wrote:If you scoop platinum in a container where the innocent trader has been forced to put it in the hold because the glove compartment isn't big enough then you get . . . a fraction of a tonne. This is just silly! The platinum is vastly more durable than the food, for crying out loud! So you should get a tonne of platinum every time you scoop any platinum at all or at the very least quite regularly.
That you scoop Gold/Plat/Gems at all is because the only way to "offer" that to the player currently is through a cargo container rather than something smaller representing either the "safe" or loose items floating in space. It'd be nice if there were a "locked safe" to be salvaged, but making such stand out would be too convenient. :twisted:

Economics-wise, there simply isn't very many traders that carry a full tonne of Gold or Platinum. The player has to jump through quite a few cargo contract "hoops" before even being OFFERED their first Gold/Plat/Gem cargo contract, giving the impression that couriers of such are a rare, almost-elite group. So it's unlikely at the least that they'll have more than tiny quantities due to supply and demand. Even if they gather such through normal trading, they likely won't accumulate large quantities due to them wanting to sell cargo to increase their credits.

...However this could also mean that Asps and even Sidewinder escorts might be carrying tiny quantities of Gold/Plat/Gems.

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