Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by Gimi »

Next topic up for discussion in the DDF.

"Captain's journal. Stardate: uhhh..." Player Logs in Elite: Dangerous
Barry Clark, Designer- Elite: Dangerous wrote:Hello forum backer people,

Yes, it's my turn to announce a new proposal for your perusal, and this time it is the Player Log, a place to record events, interactions and achievements that happen to players as they traverse the universe of Elite.

Having a player log will:

  • Provide a place players can view and sort through their in-game achievements.
  • Allow players to quickly and easily reference past events.
  • Allow us to track events for use with the background simulation.
How will it work?
For the player log to be useful, it has to be a reference for the player. Players should be able to look at past events and useful locations, and find out when specific entries happened and with whom.

All entries will have metadata for location, time & date, NPC names, etc., so that they can be hooked into other in-game systems:
  • Useful Locations – players should be able to select a log entry and be shown the location that the entry took place.
  • Information on NPC’s – if an NPC has been met before, the log entry should be viewable through the targeting interface.
  • Points of Interest (POI) – any discovered POI that is highlighted on the galaxy/system map should link to the relevant entry in the log (date and time discovered, description), and vice versa.
  • Faction data – any significant changes in reputation or events within a faction should link to new feeds for that event.
  • Mission links/data – any event that links to a current mission.
More mundane data should be logged as well, so that players have a list of achievements that they can view at a glance.
  • Profit and loss made on trades.
  • Changes in ratings/rank/reputations.
  • Criminal activity (e.g. witnessed crimes, police responses)
  • Etc.
Each player log entry will have a limited life span, and will eventually be removed from the log after a TBD amount of time. The log itself will be represented in a list, on a screen that can be reached via hotkey. Each new entry will be displayed on the cockpit HUD briefly, so the player is aware that one has been added.


Types of Log Entry

NPC Entries
Whenever a player interacts with an NPC, a log entry will be created:
  • NPC name, location, type of interaction and the result of that interaction will be collected.
    • The AI will have a small number of actions that they can decide to do in each situation.
    • Only significant actions should register data, accidentally grazing a ship shouldn’t get added to the log.
  • A coherent entry will then be created for the log, for example:
    • Traded with NPC A at Lave, made 10,560cr profit.
    • Declared piracy on NPC B in the Sol system, he dumped his cargo and fled.
    • You were attacked by pirate NPC C at Barnard’s Star.
    • NPC D saved from marauding pirates.
Mission Entries
Whenever a mission event happens, a log entry will be created:
  • Location, type of mission event and the results will be collected.
    • Missions will have an entry for acceptance and completion, as well as any major events during.
    • There may be overlap with NPC entries.
  • A coherent entry will then be created for the log, for example:
    • Accepted Federation mission to deliver food to Lave, from the Jupiter orbital bulletin board.
    • Successfully cleared out all pirates from their base at Alpha Ceti.
    • Delivery of Item A failed, you dumped the cargo in the Sol system.
Event Entries
Whenever a player event happens, a log entry will be created:
  • Location, type of event and the results will be collected.
    • Events (discoveries, encounters and in-space happenings) will have an entry when they start. Any other entries will be created depending on the type of event.
    • There may be overlap with NPC entries.
  • A coherent entry will then be created for the log, for example:
    • New discovery: A derelict space ship found in the Sirius system.
    • You were attacked by Player A outside Rogan Station.
    • You’ve stripped an asteroid in the Kuiper Belt of all mineable materials.
    • Asteroid 101B scanned, contains X.
Achievement Entires
Whenever a player achieves something significant, a log entry will be created:
  • Location and type of achievement will be collected.
    • An achievement would need to be significant in order to be logged. For instance, managing to dock on a station would not be log worthy, but reaching a new rating would.
    • Achievement log entries can be positive or negative.
  • A coherent entry will then be created for the log, for example:
    • You have arrived in the Barnard’s Star system.
    • You have lost reputation with the Federation.
    • You lost 3,450cr selling Battle Weaponry at Saturn station.
    • Congratulations! Cobra Mk III has been purchased.
Filters & Ordering
Filters will be included with the player log, so that entries of a certain type or collection of types can easily be found. Multiple filters can be setup to allow finely tuned searching.

Filtering by type of entry:
  • Related to NPC’s
  • Related to Missions
  • Related to Events
  • Related to Achievements
Filtering by elements:
  • Financial
  • Combat
  • Discovery
  • Rank/Rating
  • Reputation
  • Criminality
Filtering by player role:
  • Mining
  • Smuggling
  • Trading
  • Piracy
  • Bounty Hunting
  • Assassination
Every log entry will have a time & date stamp, the log will be maintained in time and date order, which can be switched between ‘newest -> oldest’ or ‘oldest -> newest’. This ordering will also be maintained whilst using filters.


Discussion Points
Does this provide enough detail for players to track their progress through the game?
Should every, single event be listed, or should it be only significant entries?
Should log entries be removed after a certain amount of time? If so, should that time be set by the player?
How do you see the player log being displayed? Should we add it to the cockpit HUD or keep it hidden to avoid cluttering up the view?[/color]
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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by Cody »

Does this provide enough detail for players to track their progress through the game?
Should every, single event be listed, or should it be only significant entries?
Should log entries be removed after a certain amount of time? If so, should that time be set by the player?
How do you see the player log being displayed? Should we add it to the cockpit HUD or keep it hidden to avoid cluttering up the view?
More than enough.
Only significant entries.
Undecided.
Keep it hidden.

That's my futile tuppence worth, anyway.

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by Disembodied »

Can the logs be exported as text files, so people can bore enthral each other with their exploits? Or even use it as a basis for writing up a more entertaining log?

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by Tricky »

Disembodied wrote:Can the logs be exported as text files, so people can bore enthral each other with their exploits? Or even use it as a basis for writing up a more entertaining log?
:smirks

There is a war going on in the DDF on that very subject. On one side of the camp there are those who say it is going to happen even if FD don't release API's for the app developers, on the other side of the camp there are those who say if FD do release the API's it will lead to cheating.

You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't! 8)

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by JazHaz »

I've asked for an option to save the logs to your computer on the DDF.

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by Disembodied »

JazHaz wrote:I've asked for an option to save the logs to your computer on the DDF.
Great! It should (I think) be easy enough to do ... the old (but utterly brilliant) 1999 strategy/RPG King of Dragon Pass produced a text-file "saga" of your game.

Actually, on an unrelated note, I see that KoDP is available now for pads, phones etc. - well worth checking out! It's a game pretty much like no other ...

KoDP official website
KoDP on Good Old Games (Windows only)

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by Gimi »

Next topic in the DDF. This has been up in the DDF for a while. I have been away on holiday and without Internet.

"I drink your milkshake!" Mining in Elite: Dangerous
Sandro Sammarco, Lead Designer- Elite: Dangerous wrote:Hello you lovely backers!

It's time for another (slightly belated) DDF topic. Mining! This will hopefully be a very interesting one; although seemingly innocuous, there are potentially many cans of worms waiting to be opened up here in terms of keeping the experience interesting, as well as the longer term issues of where we take this mechanic.

Mining Process

We’re initially looking at three types of resources that can be mined:
  • Mineral bodies
  • Frozen liquid bodies
  • Gaseous/dust clouds
Mining is split into three distinct stages:
  • Detection – there are two stages to detection:
    • Initial find – commanders must utilise scanning systems to locate a resource point such as an asteroid field, dust or gas cloud within a system
      • This initial detection can involve the use of “far scanning”: micro drones or extended sensor scans that can over time allow initial detection in neighbouring systems
    • Once a find has been successfully located the commander can attempt to use further scans to determine the most efficient extraction points
      • Commanders can skip this step and attempt to extract resources in effect “blind”
      • Commanders can obtain data elements for their galactic map at a system level which contain resource information as if they had scanned it themselves
      • Information from detailed scans can reveal precise resource types as well as provide feedback to improve the moment to moment harvesting
    • Resources can range in size from tiny to huge:
      • In the case of mineral and frozen bodies this is based on a percentage chance of each body harbouring resources
      • In the case of gas/dust clouds it is described by the size and density of the cloud
    • Some resources are visually identifiable, others are not (they could potentially be extracted without detection but it would be pot luck)
  • Extraction – the method of extraction depends upon the resource type but importantly, all methods of extraction require moment to moment gameplay that rewards skilful and attentive players
    • Mineral and frozen liquid bodies can be attacked with mining lasers which “break off” flecks of resource
      • Depending on the accuracy of these attacks (based on data acquired through scanning) the flecks will:
        • Take longer to break off
        • Be more or less valuable
        • Poor accuracy can reduce the overall amount of resource obtained
      • Different resources can require specialised mining laser types to improve yield/allow extraction
        • Incorrect laser types can trigger potentially dangerous reactions as well as decrease yield
      • Flecks can be collected, at which point they become canisters of the appropriate resource
    • Gas/dust clouds must be flown through with an appropriate scoop
      • Depending on the accuracy of the flight path the yield may be greater or less
      • The cloud is dispersed over time as the commander flies through it
      • Some gas/dust clouds require specific types and grades of scoop
      • Some gas/dust clouds may suffer reactions based on vessel temperature and speed of travel
        • Incorrect management of speed and temperature can cause potentially dangerous reactions as well as decrease yield
      • For every X amount of a resource scooped an appropriate canister is created in the hold
    • In all cases, there are other potential effects from harvesting:
      • Contamination - this can occur during the extraction process, by collecting and storing the resource or simply by being within the vicinity
        • Specialised scanners and ship monitoring systems can alert the commander to contamination
      • Void creatures - space contains a number of base intelligence critters that can be disturbed whilst detecting and extracting resources
        • Most are hostile, a few can become valuable resources themselves
    • Drones - commanders may equip and employ drones to collect solid resources in the same way that they can collect floating canisters (this is an alternative method of collection for vessels without an operational cargo scoop
    • Auto miners - potentially not for release one: these are large deployed devices that can mine a location over time, allowing the player to collect them at a later date
      • They cannot be found by other human commanders unless the commander is also present at the location, though on return commanders may find that they have suffered malfunctions or been contaminated
        • More expensive auto miners are more resilient to adverse effects and can offer greater yields
Some resources may be subject to an NPC claim:
  • Such claims are normally broadcast via beacons placed at the resource location
    • The beacons transmit details of the claim
      • Some beacons can detect extraction and transmit alerts to the claim’s owner
      • Some beacons are mobile
      • Sometimes this functionality is carried out by a vessel (which may or may not be a mining vessel)
  • Claims create additional gameplay potential by weaving events and missions into the mining process
Issues

So, a bit to chew over. And here’s a few other things to add to the mix:
  • You can see that our mining process is fairly involved - but do you think it’s interesting enough? What are your suggestions for making it better?
  • Are we missing some obvious/totally awesome methods of mining?
  • Could claims be used by players? We almost certainly want this long term, but how might it work?
  • Refining and crafting? We actually have a rudimentary system for this in the game, but we suspect it is a massive can of worms on several levels? We’d like to get your opinions on this one!
And now, over to you guys! Dig in![/color]
"A brilliant game of blasting and trading... Truly a mega-game... The game of a lifetime."
(Gold Medal Award, Zzap!64 May 1985).

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by Gimi »

Next discussion topic in the DDF.

"I don't want to be a milkman anymore, Ted!" Passengers in Elite: Dangerous
Tom Kewell- Designer Elite: Dangerous wrote:Hi DDFers! Apologies that this weeks topic is a little late going up. Better late than never, here's a topic to whet your appetites:

Passengers

Players can carry passengers between destinations as a way of earning money (or other valuable resources) in Elite: Dangerous. Players can carry passengers in their ships cargo hold, if they set up their ship with the correct passenger cabin equipment, but this is considered a fairly rough way to travel and allows players to transport passengers from A to B for a basic fee.

Some passengers are looking to travel in a state of luxury, and will not accept anything less than the best service. In order to take these passengers players must invest in one of the games many passenger liners. These ships are kitted out with proper cabins for passengers and allow them to travel in style. They are fitted with luxuries such as communal lounges, dining rooms, observation decks and other things to ensure passengers have a high end, relaxing experience.

Not only can the player get more money for providing this level of service, but passengers will offer the player extra money or other rewards for completing missions related to their journey. For example, a player takes a job carrying 6 passengers from earth to lave in their luxury liner. On the way one of the passengers offers the player a mission to take them within 500km of a red dwarf sun so that they can take some readings. The player can ignore the request, or can acquiesce to earn an extra reward.

FINDING AND ACCEPTING PASSENGER CONTRACTS
Players can find passenger contacts in a number of locations around the galaxy by docking and checking a locations bulletin board. Passenger contracts will appear there.
  • Players must dock at a station or other location in order to accept passenger contracts
    • The player selects the bulletin board from the menu once docked and selects the travel page
    • Available contracts are listed here and can be filtered by distance of destination, reward value, # of passengers, previously flagged etc.
    • Each of the passenger contracts will have a small number of relevant details listed under it’s heading
    • Selecting a contract will open a page with all the details of the job including:
      • Contacts name (the name of the NPC that posted the contract
      • Departure Location (This should be the players current locations unless there is some special pickup condition attached to the job)
      • Destination (With the distance from the departure listed
      • Money Offered
      • Number of Passengers
      • Willing to travel in stasis (players will need a passenger liner to take non-stasis passengers)
      • Deadline for completion of the contract
      • Other Information
  • From the details page of a job the player can select to either flag the task (highlighting it for later) or can select to contact the poster of the job
    • By communicating with the original poster the player can begin negotiating the terms of a passenger contract
    • Players can discuss the following terms:
      • Negotiate price
      • Time of payment (on completion, half advance, full advance, based on reputation)
      • Information on any Expected Risks
      • Information on any missions passengers might have
      • Any required permits (The passenger will provide one if they can get it, although they may ask the player to enter an illegal area without)
      • Deadline for completion
      • Accept or Reject the contract
    • When the player selects to accept the contract the passengers will be loaded into the players ship
      • If the players ship does not meet the requirements for the contract (e.g space for passengers, facilities etc.) the contract will be cancelled and the player will be informed of the cause for cancellation
  • The player can accept as many contracts as their ship’s capacity and facilities allow
DELIVERING PASSENGERS
Once passengers are loaded into a players ship they must deliver them to their desired destination to complete their passenger contract. Passengers in stasis are delivered simply to their destination, however passengers who are being delivered in liners will have additional missions to offer the player along their delivery
  • With Passengers in stasis the player must fly them to their destination within the time of the deadline for completion
    • Players must fly to and dock at the destination specified in the contract
    • Once docked the passengers will disembark
      • The players will receive any payment due and a message from the passengers
      • The players reputation for passenger delivery will increase
  • With conscious passengers the player still has a destination (or multiple destinations) to deliver their passengers to
    • Once on board passengers will offer the players missions to earn rewards
    • Players can acquiesce to a passengers mission or can ignore them
      • Passenger missions can trigger certain events, such as ambushes or pre-arranged meetings with other ships
      • Passenger missions can chain into a sequence of connected missions
    • Passengers may make requests to the player based on events the player encounters
      • E.g. Passenger is a Federation Officer. Will ask the player to intervene with any Federal requests for aid
    • The player may receive multiple missions from passengers on a journey
  • If the deadline for completion should pass without the player completing the contract the passenger contract is failed
    • Depending on the players proximity to the passengers destination and current situation (surroundings, ship status, and previous extensions). They may offer the player an extension on the contract with a re-negotiated reward
      • The player will lose a small amount of reputation for being late
    • If the player is too far from the destination, or in an undesirable situation the passengers will demand that the player delivers them to the nearest settlement
      • Failure to allow them off your ship will result in a crime being logged against the player
      • The player will lose a larger amount of reputation for non completion
  • If the players ship is destroyed with passengers on board the passenger contract is considered failed
  • If passengers are on board the players ship when it is destroyed they are killed
    • The player will lose a large amount of passenger delivery reputation if passengers are killed while on their ship
    • Players can order passengers they have on board to abandon ship
      • Passengers will enter escape pods. These can be collected like cargo containers for a short period, allowing the player to continue the passenger contract after the danger has passed
      • If the player’s ship is destroyed while passengers are in escape pods they will be recovered to the nearest safe location (like the player if they use an escape pod) and won't die
      • The Passenger contract will be over and the player will not receive a reward, but the player’s reputation will not suffer either
ISSUES AND DISCUSSION POINTS

What kind of passenger personality archetypes should we have for passenger missions? E.g. Scientist wants to be taken close to natural phenomena. Thrill seeker wants to visit dangerous areas. Retired military officer wants you to attack pirates.

What kinds of missions should passengers ask the player to take? Any examples?

As Elite Dangerous does not have a star dreamer (time dilation) device anymore, how much time should the player have to complete passenger contracts (or what is your preference)? Should the player have to race to make a deadline (minutes), or can they crawl around and drop passengers off at their convenience (hours), or a mix of both/something in between?

When the player can explore their own ship, what level of interaction would you be interested in having with passengers[/color]
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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by Disembodied »

Tom Kewell- Designer Elite: Dangerous wrote:As Elite Dangerous does not have a star dreamer (time dilation) device anymore, how much time should the player have to complete passenger contracts (or what is your preference)? Should the player have to race to make a deadline (minutes), or can they crawl around and drop passengers off at their convenience (hours), or a mix of both/something in between?
This is an issue caused by, ultimately, multiplayer ... I don't think, in this context, it's worth measuring any kinds of delivery contracts in terms of time any more. How petty would it seem to have a passenger storm off in a huff because you took more than 30 minutes to transport them across 15 light-years? I think they should measure these contracts in terms of directness of route: how many stops the player makes on the way should be factored in, too, so players don't take a passenger contract to the third planet around the next star system but one, and then spend hours pootling around between every dockable in between.
Tom Kewell- Designer Elite: Dangerous wrote:What kinds of missions should passengers ask the player to take? Any examples?
Prisoner transport might be interesting ...

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by Gimi »

Next topic is here. Interesting one this.

“You are mine to toy with!” Slaves in Elite Dangerous
Sandro Sammarco, Lead Designer- Elite: Dangerous wrote:Halloo again, wonderful backers! It’s time for another discussion topic. Might be a tad controversial as well: slaves!

Slaves have always been present in Elite lore, and raise the issue of morality. Initially present as just an additional instance of risk/reward when trading, the concept broadened out slightly with sequels that introduced the concept of slavery as generally acceptable in the Empire.

To add some context to this topic, it’s worth spending a few moments about this facet of Imperial society.

Slavery and the Empire

Generally speaking, An Imperial citizen cannot be forced into slavery; instead they sell themselves into servitude, often as a way of bettering their situation – slave owners have a burden of care for slaves, including resolving issues the person brings with them.

Slaves also have a pretty good chance of regaining their freedom, often returning to free society in a better situation then when they left it.

Finally, slavery of this nature is not looked down upon; in a society where honour is all important, selling yourself into slavery - to clear a debt for example – would be seen as a noble act.

That’s not to say that it’s all sweetness and roses; no one in the Empire wants to be a slave and treatment can vary tremendously from owner to owner. But for the most part, slavery acts as somewhat as a safety net in a society that in many ways is extremely uncaring for an individual’s plight.

Slavery and the rest of the galaxy

Of course, slavery also exists outside the Empire, and here we’re talking about something far more recognizable and ugly. Whilst it’s illegal in the Federation and the Alliance, there are black markets for those that are in the know.

Independent systems vary massively in terms of what is acceptable behaviour and what is not, including slavery. So whilst it’s by no means commonplace, it’s perfectly possible to make a business out of.

And now, to the heart of the matter! Here are our thoughts on how slavery might crop up in gameplay terms:

Slavery legality

  • There are two types of slaves: slaves and Imperial slaves
  • Imperial slaves are always considered legal commodities in Imperial systems
  • Non-Imperial slaves are considered illegal commodities in Imperial systems
  • Both types of slaves are considered illegal commodities in Federal and Alliance systems
  • Both types of slaves may be considered legal or illegal commodities in independent systems, based on various system parameters (e.g. faction government type, security level, current events)
  • Slaves may be traded at black markets in systems where slavery is illegal
  • Carrying dead slaves regardless of whether a commander killed them via poor transport care or not, is considered as the crime of murder by most systems
    • Some black markets will buy stasis canisters containing dead slaves as though they were fertilizer commodities
    • Extreme (read: insane) faction systems and system events such as famine can cause markets to (temporarily) purchase such canisters as though they were meat commodities
Slave commodity rules
  • Slaves can be transported in stasis canisters
    • To transport a stasis canister of slaves (of either kind) the cargo hold must be fitted with powered cargo racks
      • Failure to use such racks kills the slaves after a time delay
Slaves and permits
  • Trading in slaves affects various reputations, such as criminality
  • Commanders can purchase citizen permits for different factions (as data chits that can be traded)
    • Using a cockpit interface a commander can apply a permit to a slave canister which converts them into a passenger
    • When docked, a commander can offload such passengers to local immigration
    • Some humanitarian contacts can take delivery of such passengers
    • These different outcomes affect commander reputations, such as humanity
    • Imperial slaves do not in general view being freed as a good thing; there is a chance (based on player reputations) that they will issue an Imperial attempted murder bounty on the commander that frees them
Passengers and slaves
  • Some contacts can offer a commander the ability to sell their passengers into slavery
    • This has an extremely significant impact on commander reputations
    • Selling Important passengers/contacts into slaves is possible and will feed strongly into the mission/event creation system
Slaves and Events/Missions
  • Trading and dealing in the slave trade opens up lots of interesting possibilities:
    • Sting operations when selling slaves to contacts
    • Revenge missions from
    • Imperial slave defectors
    • Betraying important passengers for a third party’s benefit
Time for you guys to tell us what you think, whether it’s a comment about proposed rules or the ethics of including them in the first place. Perhaps we should be considering more options for indenture and slavery (corporations, anyone?), maybe we are missing game play options by not having more slave types, or are we just putting too much effort into a rather tasteless concept?

Whilst the subject matter is rather dark and potentially quite emotive, I would ask that we all keep civil and sensible with our posts.

Have a read, have a think, and have a great weekend![/color]
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(Gold Medal Award, Zzap!64 May 1985).

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by Disembodied »

If they want to up the moral angle, one thing they should do, I think, is make slave-trading - legal or illegal - potentially very lucrative. It's easy to be moral, and not to trade in slaves, in Oolite, because they're not very profitable. You can make more money trading other, legal, cargoes that carry no moral cost. So slave-trading should offer the players potentially large, and relatively easy, profits, that the player - if they want to make a real moral decision - would have to resist.

There could perhaps be some hidden problems for slave-traders down the line, from anti-slavery activists, families trying to rescue relatives, ex-slaves with grudges, etc.: I don't think, karmically, slave-traders should get off scot-free! But it should be, or seem to be, easy money, at first. If they encounter problems later, they will be able to afford to equip themselves to deal with those problems.

I'd be wary of making Imperial slavery too "easy", ethically speaking. It might seem that way, on the surface, but there could be a huge gap between how it's claimed to work, and how it actually functions. What about, for example, the children of Imperial slaves? What happens to them? The Empire could also have a system of penal servitude: people convicted of (probably non-violent) crimes, like theft, could be sentenced to terms of slavery. How fair are the courts? How closely are prisoners' terms monitored? Do the courts have a financial incentive to convict? A couple of real-world examples that are not too far away:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kids_for_cash_scandal
and
http://prisonmovement.wordpress.com/201 ... r-exposed/

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by cim »

Agreed with Disembodied. In addition: the legal systems around slavery - at least in systems where it is illegal - should treat them rather distinctly from the various forms of contraband that people can carry. Elite (and hence Oolite) doesn't, and neither really did FE2/FFE, which leads to some ridiculous situations.

For example: original Elite, slave trading is "restricted" as with other controlled goods. It's legal to buy and sell, but not to export from a station. The penalty for breaching the export regulations, as for breaching any regulation serious enough to merit Offender status, is destruction of ship and cargo. That makes perfect sense as a response to a smuggler of narcotics or firearms. As applied to slaves, it ... really doesn't make sense if you assume that slave transport is controlled because Galcop is at least somewhat opposed to slavery. (Scrap that assumption and make Galcop into a slave empire facing a potential slave rebellion led by the Anarchy and Feudal systems, and it makes perfect sense, but is ... not the setting that people have otherwise decided on)

Though, at least in Elite you might be able to rescue a few slaves from the wreck. In FE2/FFE you couldn't even do that. Hopefully the "after a time delay" in the stasis canister mechanism is sufficient to scoop them up.

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by Gimi »

Revised mining proposal being discussed in the DDF.

"It hit with the force of 10,000 nuclear weapons" Revised Mining in Elite Dangerous
Dan Davies, Designer- Elite: Dangerous wrote:Mining is split into three distinct stages:

Detection

  • There are two stages to detection:
    • Initial find – commanders must utilise scanning systems to locate a resource areas such as an asteroid belts, comets, and dust/ gas clouds within a system
      • This initial detection can involve the use of “far scanning”: micro drones or extended sensor scans
      • Once areas have been located they will be visible on the commanders system map
    • Once a suitable area has been successfully located the commander can attempt to use further scans to determine the best candidate areas
      • Commanders can skip this step and attempt to extract resources in effect “blind”
      • Information from detailed scans can reveal precise resource types as well as provide feedback to improve the moment to moment harvesting
        • Scans will display a ‘heat map’ of the mineral make-up of a body, showing areas especially rich in particular resources.
    • Minable bodies/areas can range in size from tiny to huge:
      • Bodies of all sizes and masses will be spread around in a realistic gravitational manner, in a belt for example.
      • In the case of gas/dust clouds it is described by the size and density of the cloud
    • Each resource area will be composed of different sets of elements. These elements make up the composition of the bodies found within the area
      • Each body will have a different composition but it will contain many of the same elements as the rest of the resource area
      • The precise makeup is actually determined by the system itself and its makeup
Extraction
  • Players need empty cargo canisters loaded onto their ship before they can begin extraction
  • The method of extraction depends upon the resource type
    • Mineral Bodies (Asteroids)
      • Once a player has located a suitable body to mine they then equip their mining lasers and begin the mining process
      • Different areas of the surface will have different areas with different densities of certain minerals.
        • When the player fires at a particular area with their mining laser for the required amount of time, chunks break off and they can then be collected with a scoop
        • Each unit of resource collected fills an empty cargo canister, either as pure resource or as a mixed dust
        • Each unit of dust that is collected retains the elemental composition of the asteroid it was mined from
    • Frozen Liquid Bodies(Comets)
      • These work in a similar way to other bodies, but different equipment is required for extraction
      • Lower powered mining lasers are used extract chunks without melting them, these can then be collected in the same way as mineral bodies
      • Players can travel behind a comet and scoop their trails
    • Gas/Dust Clouds
      • Gas/dust clouds must be flown through with an appropriate scoop
        • Certain areas will be more dense and give a richer yield, the player should aim to fly though these areas as much as possible
        • Some gas/dust clouds require specific types and grades of scoop
        • Some gas/dust clouds may suffer reactions based on vessel temperature and speed of travel
          • Incorrect management of speed and temperature can cause damage to your ship, potentially dangerous reactions as well as a decrease in the purity of resources collected
        • After the required amount of time travelling through a resource area, an empty cargo canister is filled
      • In all cases, there are other potential effects from harvesting:
        • Contamination - this can occur during the extraction process, by collecting and storing the resource or simply by being within the vicinity
          • Specialised scanners and ship monitoring systems can alert the commander to contamination
          • Certain resources that are mined can have potentially damaging attributes, radioactivity for example
        • Void creatures - space contains a number of base intelligence critters that can be disturbed whilst detecting and extracting resources
          • Most are hostile, a few can become valuable resources themselves
        • Drones - commanders may equip and employ drones to collect solid resources in the same way that they can collect floating canisters (this is an alternative method of collection for vessels without an operational cargo scoop
        • Auto miners - potentially not for release one: these are large deployed devices that can mine a location over time, allowing the player to collect them at a later date
          • They cannot be found by other human commanders unless the commander is also present at the location, though on return commanders may find that they have suffered malfunctions or been contaminated
            • More expensive auto miners are more resilient to adverse effects and can offer greater yields
Refining
  • A refinery module is available to the player and when equipped it is accessed through a cockpit interface
  • Players put the units of unrefined asteroid dust they have collected into this interface
    • Units are split into their component parts
    • Refineries have a set of “hoppers” which fill up with the different elements produced by the process
      • Once a hopper contains an element it can only continue to take that element until it is full
      • Once a hopper is full it becomes a unit of refined resource
      • Refined units are worth slightly less than pure units
      • Waste can be combined into units of generic alloys
  • Both Refined and pure units of resources collected and refined whilst out mining can be sold up the players return to the station
  • Units refined this way can then be sold on the “Resource Market” (separate from the commodity market) at the station
  • Almost the entire periodic table of elements can be acquired in this manner
Claims

Some resources may be subject to an NPC claim:
  • Such claims are normally broadcast via beacons placed at the resource location
    • The beacons transmit details of the claim
      • Some beacons can detect extraction and transmit alerts to the claim’s owner
      • Some beacons are mobile
      • Sometimes this functionality is carried out by a vessel (which may or may not be a mining vessel)
  • Claims create additional gameplay potential by weaving events and missions into the mining process
  • Players mining in claimed areas can be at risk of a fine or being attacked by the owners
    • NPCs can be found patrolling claimed resource collection areas such as asteroid fields
[/color]
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(Gold Medal Award, Zzap!64 May 1985).

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by Gimi »

Next DDF topic:

"I need a man who has powerful friends." Contacts in Elite Dangerous
Barry Clark, Designer- Elite: Dangerous wrote:Good day backers! Time for more discussion and debate on the DDF, this time the idea of NPC "Contacts". AI pilots that like a player so much, they are willing to be all helpful & supportive, like a little computerised best friend of your very own.


NPC CONTACTS
The term ‘contact’ can be added to any NPC within Elite: Dangerous, and allows players to create a group of friendly AI, willing to help them and provide benefits & missions. Any Tier 2 NPC can be made into a contact, with each AI character having a tracked player reputation level that can be increased or decreased.

An NPC’s player rep. can be increased by the following actions (this is not an exhaustive list, more may added later):

  • Accepting and completing missions successfully for that NPC
  • Aiding that NPC’s associated faction in some way.
  • Completing successful trades with that NPC.
  • Aiding them in combat.
  • Rescuing an NPC during a mission.
An NPC’s player rep. can be decreased by the following actions (this is not an exhaustive list, more may added later):
  • Failing missions for that NPC.
  • Aiding an opposing faction in some way.
  • Attacking that NPC or his associates.
  • Committing a crime against that NPC.
Once the reputation level reaches a high enough threshold, the next time the player communicates with that NPC, they will offer to place the player onto their “contact list” (how this is phrased could vary, but essentially the NPC would be signalling their trust in the player). If the player accepts, then the following will happen:
  • They will be added to a Contacts list on the player’s communications UI.
  • The NPC will be contactable from anywhere, at anytime.
  • Which system they are in and approximate location will be known about at all times.
  • Whether that contact has work available for the player.
    • A small marker will appear over that character on the Contacts list.
Players will be able to remove contacts from their list at any time, through their Contacts list UI.


ARCHETYPES AND BENEFITS
Different NPC archetypes will provide different benefits and perks, ranging from a consistent source of missions to unique trading opportunities and removal of bounties. The benefits provided will be based on the archetype of that particular contact. For example:
  • Trader:
    • Will buy a limited amount of cargo for an inflated price.
    • Will always have trade good for ship-to-ship trading.
    • Will provide trade missions.
    • Will provide trade information on nearby systems (relative to the NPC).
  • Police/Authority:
    • Will allow the player to get away with certain low level crimes in their controlled systems.
    • Can be called on to provide aid to players in combat.
    • Can be bribed to remove bounties from the player (limited to local & friendly factions).
  • Smuggler:
    • Will provide smuggling missions.
    • Will trade in illegal goods for ship-to-ship trading.
    • Allows access to black market NPC’s at local stations.
  • Military:
    • Will provide that factions military missions (e.g. mercenary, espionage, assassination).
    • Will allow the player access to military installations associated with that faction.
    • Can be called on to provide aid to players in combat.
  • Bounty Hunter:
    • Will provide high level bounties and missions.
    • Can be called on to provide aid to players in combat.
    • Can be called on to locate other pilots.
    • Can be given a bounty by the players (this is limited to pilots with a criminal record).
  • Etc.

LIMITATIONS
Archetypes will refuse to become a contact with players who have contacts that are opposed to them. For example, a player currently has a pirate lord as a contact; they will not be able to make a contact within a police force or the trading community. The player will be able to raise any NPC’s reputation, but the ability to make a contact will not become available until the opposing contact is removed.

The player’s reputation levels will also have an effect, if, for example, a player has a high piracy reputation, then their reputation with traders will increase extremely slowly, to the point of never increasing at very high levels. This allows us to get across the lack of trust a trader would have with a known pirate.


DISCUSSION POINTS
  • Should the number of contacts be limited? Or expanded to create a web of AI allies? It feels like having too many contacts would become unwieldy, should we force limits somehow?
  • Should players be able to make a contact with Tier 1 NPC’s? Would having the President of the Federation as a contact be too OTT?
  • What about the limitations, should NPC’s have an automatic knowledge of the players associations?

That's ya lot, let us know what you think. Have a great weekend/bank holiday weekend everybody.[/color]
"A brilliant game of blasting and trading... Truly a mega-game... The game of a lifetime."
(Gold Medal Award, Zzap!64 May 1985).

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by Diziet Sma »

Barry Clark, Designer- Elite: Dangerous wrote:LIMITATIONS
Archetypes will refuse to become a contact with players who have contacts that are opposed to them. For example, a player currently has a pirate lord as a contact; they will not be able to make a contact within a police force or the trading community. The player will be able to raise any NPC’s reputation, but the ability to make a contact will not become available until the opposing contact is removed.
This makes no damn sense..

How do they know just who I know? For instance, in my life I've had contacts who included police, magistrates, politicians, lawyers, the rich & famous, fine upstanding citizens, criminals, motorcycle gang members, drug dealers, junkies, and prostitutes. But unless I was stupid enough to open my big mouth, not one of them ever knew who else I might have dealings with.. :roll:
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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