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 Post subject: Oolite 2.0 or II
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 5:21 pm 
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I would say regarding Oolite's balance and general playability that there are three general strands of thought for what sort of game Oolite should be:
- as faithful a reimplementation as possible of the original Elites (inc Elite+) on modern hardware
- a modern reimplementation of Elite with its own extensions and feel
- a space trading-combat game loosely in the spirit of Elite

Generally I think in practice it fits somewhere between the 1st and the 2nd, and given what the project is moves towards the 3rd would be immensely controversial.

On the other hand, I think the 3rd is probably necessary to make any significant progress on these problems - an Oolite II rather than an Oolite 2.0 which started with far more of a blank slate, because a lot of the current issues are inherited from the bits of the 1984 version it would feel most wrong to move away from for Oolite (or, at least, one would never get any consensus about how to move away from them).

1) The map scatters safe and dangerous systems largely randomly, so you can in practice see basically all the game without ever leaving the Old Worlds.
2) The trade goods are pretty boring and don't take system danger into account, and there's really only two economy types and one plausible trade good each way
3) Ship equipment is by far the most significant factor in quality - a fully equipped Cobra III is virtually impossible to kill, whereas a stock one is a tough challenge to survive in even for a top pilot. (Injectors are particularly crucial in this respect)
4) Ship specs and design is still based around the player only ever actually flying the Cobra III
5) Every ship is multi-role, and most of them are terrible at it. Freighters like the Python and Boa are basically just much bigger versions of the Mamba or Sidewinder - they fly about the same, they're just slightly tougher (and not even that much tougher). Compare with something like Tie Fighter or Freespace where a freighter is very definitely not a slightly bigger fighter.
6) Changes in graphics resolution since the 1980s have meant the particular scale choices and the game mechanics resulting from them which worked then work much less well now.
7) Missiles basically have the same problem the Energy Bomb had, weapon balance in general is still based very strongly on the original.
8) Interactions with NPCs are basically "shoot/flee" or "ignore", and a clean player will be picking "ignore" almost all the time.
9) Game balance strongly encourages keeping clean status - piracy is not really a supported career beyond a very basic being possible, smuggling anything except Narcotics is less profitable than honest trading, and a Fugitive status will clear back down to Offender on one jump.
10) Ships (other than the player ship) are essentially either fully capable or dead.
11) Once a fight is started, it basically must end in the destruction of one side. (Unless you have injectors, and then you can basically leave any time you like)

Of course, if anyone wanted to go for solving those - and other - issues, it's basically all OXPable.
I think we have to agree on what the problems are/what needs to be improved in order to reach consensus on what to do. So I'd like to know:

A) If people agree on these points (I do for the most part),
B) If people see other "gameplay" problems that need to be fixed.

Next, I'd love to see people interested in this topic to propose a set of changes that solve the issues. Those topics have been discussed in the original thread and certainly other threads, but I think "linear" forums like this one don't help with seeing the big picture. I think we should even consider using the Wiki for this.

Depending on the set of changes we want to make, and what solutions we come up with, the result could be Oolite 2.0 or Oolite II. But maybe we can also be almost there with some scripting API support and a consistent set of OXPs (probably the best outcome).


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 Post subject: Re: Oolite 2.0 or II
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:12 pm 
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Of course I started this thread because I had my own ideas on this :lol: :

1) The map scatters safe and dangerous systems largely randomly, so you can in practice see basically all the game without ever leaving the Old Worlds.

I don't see the problem of seeing the whole game, because it feels natural that the galactic map is common knowledge. The exploration part can be done on a dedicated 9th sector (that was just discovered) in order not to interfere with existing OXPs and provide a good background story. Alternatively, it could be done in system (far asteroid fields or dwarf planets etc.).

2) The trade goods are pretty boring and don't take system danger into account, and there's really only two economy types and one plausible trade good each way

I'll adopt the point of view of Disembodied, more or less. Make the generic trading barely profitable, and make the cargo contracts more diverse, more colourful and as profitable as generic trading is currently.
The reason why I want to "nerf" one and "buff" the other is that players are greedy :-), so they'll go where the money is. But on the other hand, adding something that is even more profitable than the current trading will only result in players snowballing money faster.

3) Ship equipment is by far the most significant factor in quality - a fully equipped Cobra III is virtually impossible to kill, whereas a stock one is a tough challenge to survive in even for a top pilot. (Injectors are particularly crucial in this respect)
4) Ship specs and design is still based around the player only ever actually flying the Cobra III
5) Every ship is multi-role, and most of them are terrible at it. Freighters like the Python and Boa are basically just much bigger versions of the Mamba or Sidewinder - they fly about the same, they're just slightly tougher (and not even that much tougher). Compare with something like Tie Fighter or Freespace where a freighter is very definitely not a slightly bigger fighter.
7) Missiles basically have the same problem the Energy Bomb had, weapon balance in general is still based very strongly on the original.
8. Interactions with NPCs are basically "shoot/flee" or "ignore", and a clean player will be picking "ignore" almost all the time.
9) Game balance strongly encourages keeping clean status - piracy is not really a supported career beyond a very basic being possible, smuggling anything except Narcotics is less profitable than honest trading, and a Fugitive status will clear back down to Offender on one jump.
10) Ships (other than the player ship) are essentially either fully capable or dead.
11) Once a fight is started, it basically must end in the destruction of one side. (Unless you have injectors, and then you can basically leave any time you like)

I propose three ship categories: Fighters, Couriers and Freighters combined with a shifumi (rock-paper-scissor) design:
couriers lose to fighters, fighters lose to freighters, freighters lose to couriers. This must be understood as "usually" or "in general". With skills and equipment a courier can win against a fighter for instance.

Each category has exclusive features:
- fighters can have fuel scoops
- couriers can have injectors
- freighters can have pylons

For couriers and freighters, the idea of the exclusive feature is to provide for the ship a way to escape a lost fight. This "escape" in spirit shouldn't be something that one can use every time. It's more a protection against bad luck than again bad decisions.
Fighters are naturally fast so they should be able to run away in most situations. Their exclusive feature makes them ideal for pirate role or bounty hunting.

As for the equipment I would really consider to remove shield and energy bank upgrades. That leaves us I think with "software" upgrades (ASC, targeting system etc.) and laser upgrades. No cargo bay extensions or passenger berths. Passenger berth are built-in feature of a ship. More generally special features like extra fuel tanks shouldn't be an equipment but a ship feature. That makes OXP ships more attractive.
Replace equipment upgrade with ship upgrade, i.e. buy a better ship. I've not looked into it seriously yet, but I think that the core ships can provide already at least 3 upgrades for each category.
A resell value at 90% or 100% of the original value would be welcome. I would also suggest not to transfer any equipment to the new ship; just refund or resell them.

6) Changes in graphics resolution since the 1980s have meant the particular scale choices and the game mechanics resulting from them which worked then work much less well now.

I think it is referring to "pixel sniping". I propose to make the damage a function of hit distance. Not on all weapons because this is controversial, but as a property (more specifically the rate R in damage=(-R * distance) + base damage). It allows to implement "shotgun-style" lasers (high damage that decreases quickly with distance), and more generally introduces more variety.


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 Post subject: Re: Oolite 2.0 or II
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:49 pm 
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This is tricky stuff...

Firstly the original Oolite 2 concept was shelved IIRC, which suggests that it is not a simple matter.
Secondly, the influence of elite (on both the game and many of its players) is so pervasive that it's almost everywhere you look. Any move away from the 'feel' of the original risks loosing many of those who regard Oolite as special; and many of those 8-bit relics constitute the 'feel' of the game. Oolite occupies its particular niche quite successfully but how well it would do moving away from there is debateable.

In any case, you asked, so...

1) The map scatters safe and dangerous systems largely randomly, so you can in practice see basically all the game without ever leaving the Old Worlds.
  • If it doesn't look any different then does it matter? Of course a more dangerous system can offer a different experience but much greater system variation is needed IMO. Station Variation oxp (infinished) is an attempt to bring the system inhabitants in to play as a flavour for the non human systems.
    In terms of danger, the map has been divided into sectors already so each could have a modifier to average government, say -2, -1, 0, +1, +2.
2) The trade goods are pretty boring and don't take system danger into account, and there's really only two economy types and one plausible trade good each way
  • I've made some suggestions on this one recently (and I'm not alone there...)
3) Ship equipment is by far the most significant factor in quality - a fully equipped Cobra III is virtually impossible to kill, whereas a stock one is a tough challenge to survive in even for a top pilot. (Injectors are particularly crucial in this respect)
  • Oolite introduced some new equipment. The wormhole analyser was a result of other ships being able to jump; the witchdrive enabled escape (of both combat and mass-locks); whilst the shield boosters and military shields appear to be there as things to save up for once you've bought everything else (note the very high prices). These last two make you so much tougher and, IMO, should only be avaliable to the likes of the large freighters.
4) Ship specs and design is still based around the player only ever actually flying the Cobra III
  • That's one of the things I was trying to address with Equipment by Ship Class (which is ready for an overhaul once I get around to it - don't hold your breath).
5) Every ship is multi-role, and most of them are terrible at it. Freighters like the Python and Boa are basically just much bigger versions of the Mamba or Sidewinder - they fly about the same, they're just slightly tougher (and not even that much tougher). Compare with something like Tie Fighter or Freespace where a freighter is very definitely not a slightly bigger fighter.
  • As well as my EbSC oxp, the rescaling experiment looked to address this (and did so quite well, I thought).
6) Changes in graphics resolution since the 1980s have meant the particular scale choices and the game mechanics resulting from them which worked then work much less well now.
  • Again, in the rescaling thread there's stuff about reducing the laser ranges and how I found it to be more fun.
7) Missiles basically have the same problem the Energy Bomb had, weapon balance in general is still based very strongly on the original.
  • Hardened missiles were a nice addition, I thought, however something needed to be done with regular missiles - granting them greater range than the lasers (again, in the rescaling thread) was something I found to help.
8) Interactions with NPCs are basically "shoot/flee" or "ignore", and a clean player will be picking "ignore" almost all the time.
  • This is where mass-lock is a PITA. By widening the space lane (yep, that thread again), you can thin out the traffic, encountering less mass-locks (and less ships) along the way. Of course that can mean less combats per journey but I actually think there are too many at present. I've only got so long to play and I don't want to be wondering if I've got time to make it all the way to the next station or not.
9) Game balance strongly encourages keeping clean status - piracy is not really a supported career beyond a very basic being possible, smuggling anything except Narcotics is less profitable than honest trading, and a Fugitive status will clear back down to Offender on one jump.
  • Well, some of that should be a relatively easy fix (I recall fugitive status being more persistent in elite but I could be mistaken), some suggestions already made in the thread where these points originated.

10) Ships (other than the player ship) are essentially either fully capable or dead.

  • Freigters should not be easy prey for just anyone with a beam laser, I think. And why don't freighters drop cargo? A python could drop half its hold and most pirate packs would then leave it alone (they can only scoop so much (and many pirates have no cargo capacity at all!)
11) Once a fight is started, it basically must end in the destruction of one side. (Unless you have injectors, and then you can basically leave any time you like)
  • So how about more chance of an intervention? Could be police showing up, rival pirate gangs, thargoids, solar flare, space debris, etc. Of course there's already dropping cargo pods and injectors don't always enable you to escape (and fuel does tend to run out). Boarding would be really nice but it doesn't really suit a lone-wolf pilot.
At the risk of stating the obvious: concensus is an elusive beast, often because there is no 'right' answer, just answers that feel right to some.

Ideally, I think the answers would be found via oxp - a cornucopia of options to have your game just so. Of course some things are hardcoded and changing them is often much more controversial (again, see the rescaling thread :lol: ).

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 Post subject: Re: Oolite 2.0 or II
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:31 pm 
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At the risk of stating the obvious: consensus is an elusive beast, often because there is no 'right' answer, just answers that feel right to some.
Elite itself started as a consensus between two guys.

What prompted me to open this thread is that I see various people agree on various ideas, but everything is somewhat "diluted" in already 7 pages (which is however tiny compared to the 25 pages of the rescaling experiment thread :-). The title I chose is a perhaps too "inflated", because what I would really like to see here is the big picture - hopefully a bunch of big pictures.

Well, perhaps I could actually do something for once and summarise this discussion myself.


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 Post subject: Re: Oolite 2.0 or II
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:36 pm 
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My recollection is that Oolite 2 fell because when the Dev team of the time started canvassing opinions the whole thing just blew up in their faces. Everybody had something to say, and of course all the thoughts were different, and the discussion just turned into a mad wish-list-fest, with a sizeable chunk of the community looking on aghast at what could happen to their game.

The controversial bit...
I have wondered for a while now whether it might be time to fork Oolite. There will always be those who want a modern version of Elite - the old game but tweaked for modern computers. And there are those who see what we have as a good launchpad for something bigger, better (as in much more expansive) and more variable. So maybe it is time to consider two Oolites.

Oolite type 1)
This would be a modern Elite, based on a recent very stable, bug-free and mature version of Oolite? Maybe 1.82? This would be today's Elite with the old planets, markets, ships and gameplay features (even perhaps the Energy Bomb?). A game that a player from the '80s would recognise instantly and be able to play without learning more than maybe half a dozen new features such as injectors. It may be that in this version you couldn't even change your ship. Maybe there wouldn't even be OXPs.
This version would not be expected to require much if any maintenance as it would be pretty much a mature and finished article.

Oolite type 2)
This is the modern, feature-packed, modable space game for the 21st Century. This is where Oolite is currently going anyway, so release it from the shackles of heritage and go for it.
A much more complex Ooniverse with a huge variety of ships, developed and varied markets, more viable career paths and options. It could incorporate areas of known and un-known space, pretty much anything that the community wants.

I fully appreciate the amount of time and effort such a decision would involve if it were ever acted on, but right now I just offer my thoughts to keep the discussion rolling along.

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 Post subject: Re: Oolite 2.0 or II
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:41 pm 
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Elite itself started as a consensus between two guys.
Yeah, two...

I don't wish to belittle what you appear to be trying to do (after all, I 'joined in' as it were) but it's good to be clear about what we hope to achieve (beyond the concensus itself). Perhaps it is clear in your mind and I'm just not getting it - sorry :lol:

Just because something is difficult doesn't mean it's not worthwhile. I tried to demonstrate that with my work on rescaling. But yeah, maybe keep it shorter than that thread if possible, and friendlier than some of it's early exchanges too :lol:

Edit:
Quote:
I have wondered for a while now whether it might be time to fork Oolite. There will always be those who want a modern version of Elite - the old game but tweaked for modern computers. And there are those who see what we have as a good launchpad for something bigger, better (as in much more expansive) and more variable. So maybe it is time to consider two Oolites.
Quote:
Of course, if anyone wanted to go for solving those - and other - issues, it's basically all OXPable.
As long as the latter is true then I would have thought the former would be unnecessary.

Things are perhaps quieter than they were on the oxp front but not so long ago we had strict mode... until we found that almost no one reported using it.

I also recall some of the fears around making laser properties oxpable, as if [huge exaggeration]some sort of pandoras box were ready to unleash game balance armageddon[/huge exaggeration] :wink: and yet I don't recall many complaints of the game being too easy (I could be wrong there, I've been away for a while...)

Perhaps a cautious de-hardcoding of some of the games constants would mean that more people can have the oolite they wish for (or at least a little closer to it). I appreciate that there are various interdependancies that can make it a little more complicated than that but the more power we have to oxp (and there are some very capable programmers among us I think) the more these game issues can become game choices.

What we want isn't always what's best for us but there's one way to find out...

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 Post subject: Re: Oolite 2.0 or II
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:40 pm 
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Oolite still ships with strict mode included, as far as I'm aware.

As for 'releasing the shackles of heritage': has to happen sometime, I suppose - but in a coherent way.

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 Post subject: Re: Oolite 2.0 or II
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:32 pm 
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I think Oolite's base is fine(great) as it is.
Probably none of the people playing ever have the same install ( oxp/oxz etc) and the game just runs.

I see Oolite as a modern elite and therefore i want to recognize certain elements, shapes, trading goods.
Even after 47 years ( 2001 1968 ) i still smile when An der schonen blauen donau plays when docking.

One of the powers of Oolite is certainly the oxp/oxzs perhaps there lays the solution for the fighterpilots
looking for more challenge and a decked out cobra iii should be i think a very good universal solution for most problems :)

Personally i fly mostly python / boa / cruiser variants, normal trading, no illegal stuff for me it is no drawback to
sail all the galaxies avoiding hotspots although sometimes the game will surprise me.
I have one laser, i do not know which one, i only use it when my energy is depleting rapidly.
Though I love my injectors :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Oolite 2.0 or II
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:27 pm 
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Quote:
Perhaps a cautious de-hardcoding of some of the games constants would mean that more people can have the oolite they wish for (or at least a little closer to it). I appreciate that there are various interdependancies that can make it a little more complicated than that but the more power we have to oxp (and there are some very capable programmers among us I think) the more these game issues can become game choices.
There's certainly a lot of truth in what you say - and I know I for one have been guilty of excessive caution as regards what should and shouldn't be open to manipulation (and I'd really like to try your rescale, if a Mac version becomes available!). However, there is one huge game element which I don't think can be altered by OXP - one on which an enormous amount of gameplay depends: masslock/Torus drive.

It makes the game practically unplayable in ships slower than a Cobra III, and that's a major stumbling block. Ideally, the player should start in the smallest, cheapest ship that can carry cargo through hyperspace - an Adder, in other words - and work on up from there. A new, slightly bigger, slightly better ship should be a significant but not hugely rare step on a long career ladder, where the player aspires to own a Cobra III one day. This of course would need a huge overhaul in ship and equipment pricing, in maintenance costs, etc., although this isn't insurmountable: a look at the ship pricing structures from other games, like Frontier or Escape Velocity or Elite: Dangerous would be a big help here.

Yes, an Adder start is technically doable in the current game (I've done it myself, and had fun doing it), and injectors can help, although you have to have enough fuel to spare - but it's a hard, hard row to hoe for all but the experienced and whimsically masochistic; asking a beginner to start in an Adder isn't sensible in the game as it stands. The ideal solution would seem to be to replace the Torus with a TAF, but we know the problems with that: the game engine can't handle the accelerated movements of all the ships in a system. So is there another solution to this core problem - even an OXPable one? Can we make slow ships tolerable and playable for starting players, whilst allowing people to fast-forward through the empty parts, keeping the sense of scale without making people eat every inch of it?

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 Post subject: Re: Oolite 2.0 or II
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:46 pm 
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Quote:
(and I'd really like to try your rescale, if a Mac version becomes available!).
Cool! but I can barely manage getting the Windows version together I'm afraid :P
Quote:
However, there is one huge game element which I don't think can be altered by OXP - one on which an enormous amount of gameplay depends: masslock/Torus drive.
That, perhaps along with the 7LY limit, really would take some shifting and may be as close to a sacred cow as oolite has.

I've said the following before (more or less) but no one else seems to have made anything of it (so I'm either on to something or talking nonsence... often a fine line in my case :wink: )

The mass-lock that Oolite inherited:
  • Mass-lock comes from elite
    It enables encounters with other ships to occur
    Despite its flaws, it does its job
The mass-lock that Oolite implemented:
  • Mass-lock takes longer to escape (due in part to graphical upgrades as mentioned by cim)
    Mass-lock is more frequent (due to greater system traffic)
    Mass-lock with traders is more common (non player-centric design often suggests more prey than predators)
    Mass-locking of ships heading towards the station (rather than away as was often the case in elite) is far more common
So mass lock has become:
  • More frequent
  • More time consuming
  • More problematic (e.g. trying to overtake an Asp headed in the same direction)
  • Less likely to result in combat (I edited the post to add this one...)
I don't think it needs to work that way in order to retain the flavour (or even the function) of elite.

There are ways to rationalise a skewed encounter ratio (more pirates/police than traders) without needing to justify a different traffic ratio (e.g. some seeking to mass-lock and some avoiding: travelling across the wp-planet path, rather than along it; no witch-point beacon but rather a random entry point or a greater random distance from the beacon).

I can think of reasons for more traffic to be headed in the opposite direction (e.g. rescue, salvage, witch-jump without being tailed, help-requests, advertising etc.)

And even for repeat mass-lockers to be reduced (if it escapes your mass-lock by moving away from you, wouldn't it likely torus away anyway? probably at higher speed? even if it was then 'removed' from the traffic wouldn't that be a victory for gameplay over realism?)

We could actualy have a mass-lock that was closer to elite and it would be less irksome, rather than moreso... or at least IMHO anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Oolite 2.0 or II
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:43 pm 
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We could actualy have a mass-lock that was closer to elite and it would be less irksome, rather than moreso... or at least IMHO anyway.
I agree, but it would only make slow ships - where they're liable to be caught and overtaken from behind - slightly less unplayable than they are already.

Perhaps it would be possible to have a system where masslocks happen as normal, but - if there's no hostile intent - there's a brief exchange of signals between the player and the NPC, and it's possible to "agree to synchronise drives". The effect of this would be to allow the player to torus on past the masslocking NPC. It still means that the player is the only ship in the game with a torus drive, but I can live with that: after all, that's the current situation anyway. NPC traffic can remain largely inbound, and it wouldn't matter if the player was flying an Adder or an Asp - they could still, if they wanted to, torus past any masslocking ship that wasn't hostile.

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 Post subject: Re: Oolite 2.0 or II
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:23 am 
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Quote:
Quote:
We could actualy have a mass-lock that was closer to elite and it would be less irksome, rather than moreso... or at least IMHO anyway.
I agree, but it would only make slow ships - where they're liable to be caught and overtaken from behind - slightly less unplayable than they are already.
I actually think it would make them much more playable than at present, potentially even moreso than the mkIII is in the standard game. Here's why:

If you can skew the traffic to make pirate/police interactions more likely then you can afford to reduce mass lock encounters generally, thereby maintaining the excitement whilst reducing the tedium.

Imagine a grid where the vertical lines are inbound traffic to the planet and the horizontal lines are pirates looking to intercept said traffic. If the lines are spaced wide enough then the horizontal approach becomes no less viable than a vertical one at intercepting, whilst keeping pirates away from the aegis. Space is 3D rather than 2D of course but then so is the mass-lock radius and traders are typically much more common than pirates. So, if balanced right, significantly less encounters resulting in less time spent in mass lock. Of those encounters, more will be combats and less will be crawl-bys.

Furthermore, with more traffic travelling in the opposite directions, even the slowest ship in such instances would be able to overtake the fastest ship, in fact, the faster the better!

Once a faster ship is off scanner (even if it has overtaken you) it could be allowed to disappear in most instances - as if it has a torus drive. Of course, it doesn't have a torus drive but why draw attention to the least non player-centric feature of a non-player-centric traffic system. I'm sure that losing ships like this would have an affect on the traffic interactions but with a wide enough lane they could be minimal (or at least minimised). If not, it could probably be spawned strategically elsewhere perhaps equidistant to its destination (if it were really necessary).
Quote:
Perhaps it would be possible to have a system where masslocks happen as normal, but - if there's no hostile intent - there's a brief exchange of signals between the player and the NPC, and it's possible to "agree to synchronise drives". The effect of this would be to allow the player to torus on past the masslocking NPC. It still means that the player is the only ship in the game with a torus drive, but I can live with that: after all, that's the current situation anyway. NPC traffic can remain largely inbound, and it wouldn't matter if the player was flying an Adder or an Asp - they could still, if they wanted to, torus past any masslocking ship that wasn't hostile.
A few things like this have been suggested before and whilst the scenario you mention is similar to one I have imagined, I lost interest in it on the grounds that it not only changes the simplistic nature of mass-lock (on scanner = locked) but also that I thought it could become repetitive (especially with the traffic concentrations as they are at present).

More ideas very much welcomed however!

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 Post subject: Re: Oolite 2.0 or II
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:02 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:54 pm
Posts: 5838
Location: Carter's Snort
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So, if balanced right, significantly less encounters resulting in less time spent in mass lock. Of those encounters, more will be combats and less will be crawl-bys.
Hmm … I'd have to see it in operation, I think, but it does sound like you might be on to something there! I think, too, that in any situation where new players are starting in an Adder, the safe systems have to become a lot more safe (and less profitable) - and/or pirates (or at least pirate packs: the situation could be different for lone-wolf operators) have to become a lot less interested in small-fry ships.
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A few things like this have been suggested before and whilst the scenario you mention is similar to one I have imagined, I lost interest in it on the grounds that it not only changes the simplistic nature of mass-lock (on scanner = locked) but also that I thought it could become repetitive (especially with the traffic concentrations as they are at present).
That's true (although perhaps less repetitive than chugging past another masslock), but it could be made easier/quicker if another major issue was addressed: the GUI. At the moment, pretty much everything works by keypress, as it did on the BBC, Spectrum and C64: if it was possible to activate these kind of in-flight commands - activating ship-to-ship signals, etc. - by mouse and menu, then it might make a larger variety of in-game interactions more practical, perhaps addressing Cim's point 8. Interactions with NPCs are basically "shoot/flee" or "ignore", and a clean player will be picking "ignore" almost all the time. Some inter-ship chatter (including news, trading tips, comments based on the player's reputation etc.) could make NPC encounters a little less same-y.

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 Post subject: Re: Oolite 2.0 or II
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:08 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:22 pm
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Hmm … I'd have to see it in operation, I think, but it does sound like you might be on to something there! I
I've widened the space lane before via source (which maintains traffic but reduces encounters) but this would also require (as I currently imagine it) pirates to travel a little differently, for packs to form mass-lock 'nets' to increase the likelihood of a 'catch'.
Quote:
it could be made easier/quicker if another major issue was addressed: the GUI. At the moment, pretty much everything works by keypress, as it did on the BBC, Spectrum and C64: if it was possible to activate these kind of in-flight commands - activating ship-to-ship signals, etc. - by mouse and menu, then it might make a larger variety of in-game interactions more practical, perhaps addressing Cim's point 8. Interactions with NPCs are basically "shoot/flee" or "ignore", and a clean player will be picking "ignore" almost all the time. Some inter-ship chatter (including news, trading tips, comments based on the player's reputation etc.) could make NPC encounters a little less same-y.
If done well then I'd be inclined to agree but if done badly it could be worse. Imagine the same request with just 3 stock answers, two of which have the same result. Until such a thing were sufficiently interesting, I think the single keypress, perhaps accompanied by a simple "Torus Synchronisation Request Accepted", would be preferable.

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 Post subject: Re: Oolite 2.0 or II
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:18 pm 
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"agree to synchronise drives"
There is a similar feature in [wiki]Synchronised Torus[/wiki] OXP, just use more strict rules for activation. A full auto variant is a good idea imho.

Until then [wiki]VariableMasslock[/wiki] make smaller lock radiuses around ships, about as in Elite.

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