Shut down ship to evade NPC's

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phkb
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Shut down ship to evade NPC's

Post by phkb »

What would be the feasibility of enabling the player to fully shut down their ship, essentially turning it into a hulk in space, to evade pursuers? So the player's ship goes from being a yellow or red dot on an NPC's scanner to a white dot. It probably wouldn't do anything if the player and their pursuer are the only things in scanner range, but in a big furball when there's a lot of things going on, or in an asteroid field with lots of other white dots, it allows for more emergent play. The downside is (obviously) no shields, so if you get picked out it's straight on the hull. There could also be a delay in startup, so it's not like the cloaking device which you can turn on and off instantly. You would still be able to rotate the ship, but I think the HUD should be off (or maybe just some components, like the space compass), making it difficult for the player as well. There should be a time limit as well, 20-30 minutes before you run out of air because the life support system is offline, so you can't just sit there forever with your ship in shut down mode.

What do you think? Feasible? Useful?

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Norby
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Re: Shut down ship to evade NPC's

Post by Norby »

Interesting idea. I see more ways:

1. If it is a player-only feature then balancing is a hard question. I think with your ideas it is still make the game easier which should be mentioned.

2. If you write an AI which can use this feature against the player then probably the game will be harder and some players will hate it, which is not a problem due to anybody can unistall it in the case of too hard or annoying. But need more work to make.

3. Detecting is important so I think if shutdown is possible then all ship is equipped with other (visual) sensors to determine if a sign is a rock or a frozen ship. In this way the dot will not be white nor yellow but either blue (as derelicts) or a new color and should be ignored by NPCs until there are another active target in sight.

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Re: Shut down ship to evade NPC's

Post by Layne »

I'd say it's an interesting idea but if a ship goes derelict in my sight, I'm still aware that that's a ship. This might only work well if the NPC's are otherwise distracted, or you're on the edge of their scanner, or there are a few asteroids in the area to blend in with. I like the idea but given how sparse things are in space, even a derelict ship attracts attention.
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Re: Shut down ship to evade NPC's

Post by Smivs »

Also, to pull this off your attacker would expect to see you eject, thus rendering the ship derelict, just like you do. I don't think anyone would be fooled by the ship they are attacking/pursuing just seeming to shut down.
So if you can release an escape capsule and then shut down, it might just work...but then again it might not. What do you do to derelict ships? :D
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Re: Shut down ship to evade NPC's

Post by cbr »

Let the ship keep its current speed with no means to slow down or go faster except turning 'the equipment' on.

A band of npc pirates showing up by turning their ships 'on' with no scanner warning would be a nice surprise too. :)

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Re: Shut down ship to evade NPC's

Post by phkb »

Smivs wrote:I don't think anyone would be fooled by the ship they are attacking/pursuing just seeming to shut down.
I agree. It's not a tactic that's going to work in smaller battles. I was thinking more of big battles where there are multiple ships on both sides, or battles inside asteroid fields. It could also be used as a way of spying on passing ships, watching for bounties, that sort of thing.
Norby wrote:If it is a player-only feature then balancing is a hard question.
Yes, for it to work properly it would have to be available for NPC's which would mean new AI's. Having a group of pirates hiding out in an asteroid field, waiting for a miner would be an effective tactic.

Honestly I don't know if it would be feasible. It seemed like a good idea when I suggested it! :)

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