Fuel price in proportion to ship?

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Post by Smivs »

But fuel scoops aren't really 'scoops' are they. They suck up cargo and escape casules as well, so surely they are more like a 'tractor beam' or field that draws objects towards the ship. I always think that once near the ship other mechanisms decide where to put that which is scooped. You wouldn't want a hold full of fuel or a fuel tank full of cargo pods, would you?
Anyway, on this basis the size of the ship is irrelevant, the only difference being that you might need longer to scoop fuel for a bigger ship as it needs more fuel.
But does it? I've never seen an explanation as to how hyper-jumps work, but as the fuel use varies with distance, there could be two explanations.
The obvious one is that the ship is 'under power' all the time it's in hyperspace. Logical and obvious, except that hyperspace works differently to normal space and as speeds can be in excess of lightspeed, mass may not be an issue. At the speed of light, mass equals Zero, and 'theoretically' above lightspeed you could have negative mass. This as far as I know is actual, real physics.
The second explanation is that the fuel doesn't drive the ship through hyperspace but is used to generate the Wormhole, and this would be 'longer' for greater distances thus requiring more fuel. Again, though the mass of the ship is irrelevant. A Boa will generate a wormhole for itself using a certain amount of fuel. But if it also has the usual four escorts, they will use the wormhole as well...lots more mass going through the wormhole but no more fuel used. And you can't argue that the escorts would generate their own wormhole either. Boas are escorted by Mambas and Sidewinders, neither of which are hyperspace capable.

Conclusion: Whichever way you look at it, bigger ships do not need more fuel than smaller ships, and therefore scooping time is constant for all ships, and the scoops (assuming they are physical bits of equipment) do not need to be bigger or more expensive for bigger ships.
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Post by Switeck »

Some wormholes stay open longer than others...probably because they were created by big(ger) ships.

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Post by Smivs »

Switeck wrote:Some wormholes stay open longer than others...probably because they were created by big(ger) ships.
Much more probably due to length. Wormholes will degrade naturally as they are influenced by the entropic effects of the space/time continuum, and a longer wormhole has more 'surface area' to be affected than a short one, so a short wormhole will last longer than a long one. This degradation is entirely predictable (in an average-ing sort of way), which allows our wormhole scanners to predict how long it will be open. It will scan the wormhole for destination (and hence length) and then calculate the average time that wormhole will be open. It would be unable to do this if it had to factor in the size/mass of the ship/s using the wormhole, as they may be long gone and therefore unknown when you scan the wormhole.
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Post by Kaks »

The x^2 => x^3 thing is a pretty good point, but:

if we were to modify scoop size we'd have a few inconsistencies: some oxps that now jam the scoop shouldn't be able to do so if we have a bigger ship than a cobra3, and smaller ships would have to have an increased chance of jammed scoops.

I do personally favour a single size scoop in the base game (handwavium bit: 'obviously' related to the Avogadro constant & any other size would not work due to exponential increase of energy required to maintain the scoop's field integrity).

I think it should be quite possible to to create a fuel compressor oxp - available only to ships bigger than say 2* the volume of a cobby3 - to increase the speed of scooping fuel from stars.
I haven't really looked into it, though. Do let me know if a fuel compressor oxp isn't feasible! :P


Edit: unless I'm remembering it wrong, the persistence of a witchcloud is in proportion to the mass of the ship(s) entering it. The more mass, the longer it stays open. The length of the wormhole might also be a factor, though.
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Post by Disembodied »

I said this before, but I think it's worth repeating: the point is not to try and make the "science" make sense, but to make the game more fun. Any inconsistencies can be ironed out with post-facto technobabble. Giving extra character to different ship-types, and giving players more things to consider when they're choosing a ship, is adding fun. We should decide the best way to add the most fun for the minimum of disruption, and then come up with an explanation as to why it all works that way.

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Post by Smivs »

Disembodied wrote:I said this before, but I think it's worth repeating: the point is not to try and make the "science" make sense, but to make the game more fun. Any inconsistencies can be ironed out with post-facto technobabble. Giving extra character to different ship-types, and giving players more things to consider when they're choosing a ship, is adding fun. We should decide the best way to add the most fun for the minimum of disruption, and then come up with an explanation as to why it all works that way.
But I like technobabble :D
On a more serious note, yes of course it should be fun first, and maybe strict science isn't too important, but we shouldn't overlook 'Oolite' facts.
Bigger ships are already more expensive to buy and run...My Clipper cost the best part of 3/4 million Credits and it's 'annual service' is 7 000 Credits, so it's not a cheap option.
But linking things like fuel quantities and scoop costs to size is a minefield. The only data we have regarding the ships is Width, Height and Length, but because of the varying shapes it is impossible to conclude either mass or volume from these dimensions.
On paper the Python (80wx40Hx130L) looks bigger than a Boa 2 (65Wx60Hx115L), but the Boa 2 is bigger because of it's more efficient shape. Because of its width a Cobra 3 is not unlike a Python in terms of overall size, but it's wide, flat shape limits it's volume.
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Post by Disembodied »

Smivs wrote:But I like technobabble :D
On a more serious note, yes of course it should be fun first, and maybe strict science isn't too important, but we shouldn't overlook 'Oolite' facts.
Bigger ships are already more expensive to buy and run...My Clipper cost the best part of 3/4 million Credits and it's 'annual service' is 7 000 Credits, so it's not a cheap option.
But linking things like fuel quantities and scoop costs to size is a minefield. The only data we have regarding the ships is Width, Height and Length, but because of the varying shapes it is impossible to conclude either mass or volume from these dimensions.
On paper the Python (80wx40Hx130L) looks bigger than a Boa 2 (65Wx60Hx115L), but the Boa 2 is bigger because of it's more efficient shape. Because of its width a Cobra 3 is not unlike a Python in terms of overall size, but it's wide, flat shape limits it's volume.
Technobabble is great, but it should come in to play after the design decisions ... designing a game to fit pre-existing technobabble is putting the cart before the craboid ... :D

It is a tricky thing to do, right enough, and if it's going to be based on pre-existing stats like mass or size then I agree that it could get very tricky indeed. I don't know the ins and outs of programming, but maybe it would be better to use (or at least include in these calculations) some sort of cost multiplier? For example, I'd be happy to see a workhorse ship like the Python be cheaper to run and maintain than, say, a high-end killer ship like my own Wolf II SE. This might mean having to add in a value to every existing ship (although there could be a built-in default) – but it would allow ship designers to offset überness with high running costs, and make more modest ships more attractive to Commanders on a budget.

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Post by Kaks »

Wait, I'm a bit confused here: in trunk the scoop costs exactly the same regardless of the ship it's being purchased for.

I might be totally wrong - that trunk change was done a while ago - but the overall mass for a bcc is very similar to the one for a cobra 3. The fuel price increase for your clipper should be minimal - or it might actually be cheaper to buy fuel in trunk for you, the bcc's mass might actually be slightly smaller than the cobby's.

Only one way to find out for sure! Smivs, could you use a savegame with an empty-ish tank, then compare the price of fuel between trunk & 1.74.2?

I'm looking forward to the results of your investigations! :)

PS: Just to be clear, this change is mostly meant to add a bit of depth to the game, so the actual change in fuel prices for non-cobby3s is pretty minimal (and exactly zero change for cobby3s)!

We didn't go for the enriched fuel/high performance ship option mainly because it would have been a bit too much to try figure it all out for non-petrol heads like me... ;)
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Post by Bugbear »

...snip...
Disembodied wrote: This might mean having to add in a value to every existing ship (although there could be a built-in default) – but it would allow ship designers to offset überness with high running costs, and make more modest ships more attractive to Commanders on a budget.
This could also enforce a certain type of role on the more expensive ships (not saying this is a bad thing)...but only if the financial balance is right.

For example, an expensive, but small fighter ship may not be able to cover costs doing standard cargo runs, and will have to turn to assinations in order to make ends meet, but given some of the credit making schemes that have been added via OXPs, establishing this balance may mean some dramatic changes in the cost structure of the game.

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Post by Eric Walch »

Kaks wrote:Wait, I'm a bit confused here: .....

I might be totally wrong - that trunk change was done a while ago - but the overall mass for a bcc is very similar to the one for a cobra 3. The fuel price increase for your clipper should be minimal - or it might actually be cheaper to buy fuel in trunk for you, the bcc's mass might actually be slightly smaller than the cobby's.
now I start to get confused. I thought this feature was not in 1.74.

I just got the mass by the console, did set fuel to zero in the console and compared fuel costs for 1.74 / trunk

Code: Select all

Worm:   18 ton   14.0 / 13.7
Cobby: 185 ton   14.0 / 14.0
BCC:   182 ton   13.7 / 13.7
Anna:  429 ton   14.0 / 25.0
I was surprised by the differences in 1.74. Is there also a dependency for system? The BCC uses cheaper fuel. Or was this somehow in the savegame as that BCC commander was saved with trunk.

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Post by Smivs »

@ Disembodied
Ship running costs already depend on a multiplier...the more expensive the ship, the higher the overhaul cost. I honestly think that's the only way it could work. There are too many un-known variables involved in any other method.

@ Kaks
Your experiment might be interesting, but I have to confess I have no idea how to install/use Trunk.
In reality the fuel costs are so negligible in the overall scheme of things I don't lose any sleep over them. I'm a big Sun-Skimming fan as well, so only buy fuel at main stations occasionally, and almost never at Con-Stores, Rock Hermits etc.
Bugbear wrote:
This could also enforce a certain type of role on the more expensive ships (not saying this is a bad thing)...but only if the financial balance is right.

For example, an expensive, but small fighter ship may not be able to cover costs doing standard cargo runs, and will have to turn to assinations in order to make ends meet, but given some of the credit making schemes that have been added via OXPs, establishing this balance may mean some dramatic changes in the cost structure of the game.
My Contractor is a good case in point and is very aposite to this discussion.
1 250 000 Credits to buy and with an overhaul cost of 14 000 Credits and a meagre 5 Ton hold ownership of this vessel is virtually impossible to fund or justify. A really top-notch bounty hunter could do it, and I did insist on the 5 Ton hold capacity specifically to allow a Passenger Berth to be fitted, to enable this ship to be used as a super-safe, high class 'Taxi' for passenger contracts. But financially it is not a sensible prospect for most Commanders.
Of course being small it would not suffer from variable fuel prices/scoop costs etc, unless these were based purely on price when it would be hammered, and that's another reason I don't think this is a good idea.
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Post by Disembodied »

@ Smivs: right enough, I'd overlooked that. It would be very difficult to balance out.

@ Bugbear too: I think fundamentally the problem is that Oolite, like Elite, is not structured to deal with issues like running costs. If these were to be a significant part of the game – i.e. if players had to work to a budget, to plan ahead, to worry about maintenance costs and fuel costs beyond the very early stages of a career – then the game would need all sorts of extra structures to cope with that, not least some sort of ability for players to go into debt.

I think the best we can aim at here is a little bit of flavour, rather than anything that will significantly change the game. Which is not to say it's not worth doing!

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Post by Darkbee »

Agreed, the reason this is difficult is because the original game it's based on didn't have to worry about any of the things discussed here. Trying to bend Oolite to the will of multi-playable ships could well be a futile endeavor.

Just to throw some random comments on the fuel-scooping fire (and these aren't really well thought out but, ho hum...)

If the fuel scoop is truly a "scoop" that could one reasonably extrapolate that speed would play a significant factor in the ability to scoop. i.e. the faster you go the faster you scoop. I believe this already happens now to some extent but perhaps the effect should be more drastic such that smaller ships which are significantly faster will be able to refuel much quicker. (so in actuallity to make sun-skimming reasonable you'd probably have to increase the current time it takes to refuel to see more variability and adjust the "sensitivity")

Is this contrary to what is trying to be achieved? We actually want bigger ships to fuel faster?

I think Smivs raised the point scoops versus tractor beam. I think you could easily explain the scoop type behaviour with a modicum of hand-wavium by stating something like although the fuel scoop is consider one entity, in reality it consists of two distinct parts, one which scoops fuel and another which "captures" cargo. Presumably, you'd be able to do both at the same time, although I can't say that I've ever been in a position to do that. I suppose I could fake it by jettisoning some cargo near the sun and re-"scooping" it. :)
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Post by Kaks »

Eric Walch wrote: now I start to get confused. I thought this feature was not in 1.74.

I just got the mass by the console, did set fuel to zero in the console and compared fuel costs for 1.74 / trunk

Code: Select all

Worm:   18 ton   14.0 / 13.7
Cobby: 185 ton   14.0 / 14.0
BCC:   182 ton   13.7 / 13.7
Anna:  429 ton   14.0 / 25.0
I was surprised by the differences in 1.74. Is there also a dependency for system? The BCC uses cheaper fuel. Or was this somehow in the savegame as that BCC commander was saved with trunk.
As far as I know it's present, but disabled, in 1.74 (ie it doesn't try to calculate the fuel multiplier).

As I suspected, buying fuel for a BCC is slightly cheaper in trunk (which means faster skimming too)! Your trunk savegame must have contained the fuel multiplier. If you had a genuine 1.74 savegame the first cost would still be 14 cr for 7ly's worth.

Looking at your list, I reckon we could make the worm's fuel cheaper than 13.7 for 7ly.

Time to re-tweak the fuel calculation a bit?

Smivs, no real need for you to do anything now, since Eric has already checked the fuel prices for you.
In any case, if you know how to install Oolite, you already know how to install the trunk builds! Follow the same procedure, and the trunk build will install to a separate directory, with a separate shortcut, leaving your 'proper' Oolite installation unaffected... :)
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Post by Bugbear »

Darkbee wrote: If the fuel scoop is truly a "scoop" that could one reasonably extrapolate that speed would play a significant factor in the ability to scoop. i.e. the faster you go the faster you scoop.
Not having looked at the trunk code to find an explanation, I can only comment on my own observations...

I've always had the expression that a fuel scoop is more like a magnetic / tractor beam. While scooping a cargo pod, switch to external view (bottom view) and watch how the pod moves around as it's being scooped. Occasionally I get a pod that takes an extended amount of time to finish scooping and if I hit the injectors before scooping is finished, I find the scoop loses its 'lock' on the pod. I also observe that the act of injecting imparts some velocity on the pod, making it more difficult to re-scoop.

So, based on my observations, there appears to be an upper limit to the speed at which scooping is possible (at least for cargo pods), although this upper limit exists between maximum speed and injector speed.

Where am I going with this waffle? No idea at all!!!!! :-)

(actually, for those stubborn pods, I'd be willing to pay for an enhanced cargo scoop that is more efficient at scooping....)

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