New Jameson here, some initial feedback

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by Day » Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:35 pm

TS13 wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:35 pm
I am really missing an option to magnify my optics (not talking about the scanner, I mean the space and ships around me- there is no option to magnify, right?)
Well... There is an option that can be enabled when compiling Oolite.
With this, I have a "Zoom/Unzoom" axis on my joystick.
Personally, I wouldn't play Oolite without it.

But that means having to compile Oolite yourself.

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by spara » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:02 pm

One of my favorite topics over the years is brainstorming how the game would need to be changed for the Adder start to be the default start.

Try starting the game in Adder. Even with the cargo expansion hack from the Start Choices OXP, you'll notice that it's a huge effort to cumulate enough capital for the next ship (Cobra I maybe?) and eventually Cobra III. To make the game work properly with such a start, something radicalish would have to be done about the pricing of the ships and/or other sources of capital (in this case parcels, passenger transport and mining). Maybe introduce core hit missions or make mining more profitable.

With the current design, it's overwhelmingly rewarding to move on from Adder (or if you're a masochist, Mining Transporter, which has no hyperdrive) to the next ship. I think it's a shame the game does not feature any progression from small ships to medium size ships, but as stated in the previous paragraph, it would require quite a lot of redesigning.

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by Grindalf » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:20 pm

I find this discussion of the Adder start intriguing. I'm always fiddling around with gamedev so this is a topic that is right up my street.
I may have to start a new game with the Adder and see how it goes

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by another_commander » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:08 pm

TS13 wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:24 pm
Yes, I meant that I can't see the enemies because they are too small. Apparently, I am not too small for them. Fine, I will move closer when I want to fight, but it is still a weird design decision. On the other hand, I read that some commanders snipe with the military laser. It blows my mind that it is doable.
It is not so much a design decision, it is more of an AI simulation result. Not every NPC pilot is an ace. Generally, the AI of the pilots you will encounter in the unmodified game goes to a maximum equivalent rating of "Poor" and you need OXPs to get better AIs than that. Each NPC gets assigned an accuracy property which decides how good in combat they are. Some times they will mostly be able to hit you from far away, other times (when their accuracy is low) will miss their shots a lot. You will have a chance to witness this as you gain experience in combat. Additionally, if you are keeping your course mostly on a straight line as you are trying to keep them centered, you are offering them a predictable target and that could also increase the chances of them landing successful shots on you.
If I want to dogfight lone weak enemies, what type of sectors should I be looking in? I am currently well-equipped enough to start looking for trouble, but I want to take it step-by-step and get experience.
Difficult question this one. There is no specific place in the universe where it is mostly lone weak opponents, versus a place frequented by aces. Probability plays an important role as far as spawning opponents goes, but usually chances of lone pirates could be higher in the more politically stable systems. Anything above confederacy should be preferred, but you have to remember to check out the neighborhood; if too many anarchies are around, chances that you will hit organized pirate groups increase.

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by TS13 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:36 pm

I had my first kill! A group of three pirates piled on me. It was battlestations! I couldn't gain distance, so I had to fight like a hero...

In fact, no. It was some poor chap who was being chased by the police at the borders, while begging to be allowed in. I joined in the action and shot him down. He did not even fight back. He was probably being chased due to an unpaid parking ticket or something. Yay, I guess. We all have to start somewhere.


On a potential Adder start:
OK, of course I am not very experienced with the game yet to have an important opinion on the matter, but here are some thoughts, and make of them what you will. From what I see on the wiki, Adder has no cargo space (just 2T of space with no ability for an extension as far as I can see). The main question is how money is going to be made. Here are the options I think the commander will have:
- Gems/gold trading.
- Parcel carrying.
- If it is acceptable, maybe it is worth considering introducing a minor cargo expansion of a few tons (as an item for sale at the stations), just for ships with very little cargo space. That way, the player is also going to be able to get into the Passenger carrying business.
- Not sure currently if an experienced Adder commander can also get into the piracy business, if targets are carefully chosen.

I think that should be enough? It is not going to be easy, but it is not supposed to be easy. Also onsider giving the player fuel injectors from the start, in the case of an Adder start.


More general feedback:
I have to say that I am more and more impressed with the game. The dynamic nature of the world, with stuff happening irrespective of my presence, is a joy to behold. Yesterday I was parked outside a station waiting for docking clearance, when a huge fight between the police and some offenders broke out all around me. I was worried that I might accidentally shoot the station if I joined in, and also I was perfectly lined up for docking. So I just stood there totally still (in retrospect, probably a stupid idea), watching the fighting all around me. It was breathtaking.

I am currently deep in the cargo business, traveling all around the 1st Galaxy, still avoiding Anarchies. My next step is getting experience as a fighter.


@another_commander, cheers, I will try to not avoid the space lanes of candidate sectors, especially when I have enough fuel for escaping (in case things go wrong, which they will).

EDIT: Does the tech level of a sector (and surroundings) play a role in determining the level of pirates (ship/competence)?
Last edited by TS13 on Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by Cody » Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:50 pm

TS13 wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:36 pm
The dynamic nature of the world, with stuff happening irrespective of my presence, is a joy to behold.
<nods> Many's the time I've sat in the middle of a firefight, simply watching!
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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by another_commander » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:32 pm

Cody wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:50 pm
TS13 wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:36 pm
The dynamic nature of the world, with stuff happening irrespective of my presence, is a joy to behold.
<nods> Many's the time I've sat in the middle of a firefight, simply watching!
Hey, I often spawn huge battles with the console. Watching those is deeply relaxing, if I may say so.


EDIT: Does the tech level of a sector (and surroundings) play a role in determining the level of pirates (ship/competence)?
It seems that the tech level plays a role in the number of aegis raiders spawned, which are generally competent pilots.

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by stranger » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:32 am

Really intersting discussion, gentlemen :D

Oolite is a Darwinian world like real reality. Nobody cares if you have only pulse laser and almost useless missiles starting game. It is your problem if you haven't adequate survival skills. We have no difficulty slider in Oolite from Kindergarden to Insane, but we have ton of options to configure game challenges individually using OXPs, altering game mechanics. Seems confusing for new Jameson “recommend me must-have starter OXPs please”, but having some game experience you have option to assemble your unique game world and possibly to redefine vanilla game rules.
Yes, there are players who prefers to have the best starter ship and to complete upgrade it as soon as possible and dive into battles and long travels. So we have option to select starter ship seeking more challenge or just start on well balanced ship like in old good Elite. Nice.
Agree with Redspear: Cobra Mk III is well balanced universal ship. The best ship in default set. I always has feeling it is too good as starter ship. You definitely need to deserve it.
Start Choices is must-have personally for me, but my favorite starter ship is not Adder, it is Cobra Mk I. Comparing dimensions of Adder (28 x 15 x 51) and 1 ton cargo pod (9.6 length, approx 5.8 diameter) I feel 5 tons declared in Start Choices for Adder hard to place in ship internal volume (unfortunately, my graphical presentation of issue with Adder posted in Russian forum was lost). You can place up to 6 pods into Adder internal volume, but how about room for hyperspace capable ship engine? Of course, I understand, 5 tons for Adder in Start Choices was declared to provide option to install passenger berth. But honestly, Adder is too small and too slow for such business (maybe Adder Sport modification with 300+ speed will be option for parcel delivery?).
The same issue in more extreme form is with Transporter: having dimensions 30 x 11 x 43 you have no internal volume to place 12 cargo pods declared in ship specifications. Cobra Mk I is honest ship: you really have internal space for declared 10 tons of cargo.
I have Skilled NPCs, Deep Space Pirates and Random Hits Shipset in my must-have list too. Not recommended for new Jameson until you’ll be familiar with basics of survival in game. Sometimes you’ll get advice like “start without such OXPs, upgrade your ship and install it later”. IMHO it is wrong approach. Having iron-assed ship too early and too easy it is hard to develop skills of tactical awareness, such as visual observation, evaluation, making decision to fight, run or cover, close to dogfight or hit from distance. So my advice – a bit practice with game without these OXPs, install it and start again. It is really cool experience to just survive in early game.
There are also Custom Shields and Breakable Equipment – nice mods redefining vanilla game mechanics and making game more challenging. And can I recommend Missiles Modification? This mod makes vanilla missiles partially resistant to ECM (but not so resistant as hard-headed missiles), so you’ll have really useful missiles as defense weapon on early game.
Moreover, I prefer to play with my tailor-maid modifications of game economy and ship specs. Fuel injector costs 2500 Cr in my Ooniverse instead vanilla 600 Cr for example, so starting with Cobra Mk I I need to survive 7...10 game days in dangerous flights between Leesti and Diso or between Tionisla and Isinor to collect enough money to get this critical upgrade. Not for casual gamer, of course.
I have also more strict rules to obtain some battle equipment. Vanilla Military laser is too overpowered and too easy to obtain for green Lave Pilot Academy graduate? Well, let’s give chance for poor bastards. I must have record of 8+ kills to upgrade to Beam Laser and 64+ kills to upgrade to Military Laser, so I have plenty of time for gun practice, selecting adequate opponents and avoiding too dangerous – usual learning curve for fighter ace pilots in real reality.

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by Redspear » Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:15 am

One thing I like about the Cobra Mk I start is that you still start in a Cobra, it's just not THE Cobra.

The other candidate for the core set super-ship is the Boa Mk II/Boa Cruiser. Tough, huge cargo capacity and faster than some fighters, once you've got a bit of capital behind you it can quickly become a money-making machine.

On the subject of speed again, another interesting addition by aegidian (via oxo) was the Python Eunectes Turbo. Significantly boosting the Python's speed to (no surprise) 0.35LM, exactly that which he chose to grant to the Cobra Mk III as the default player ship.

... I think we might be straying into thread-split territory.
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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by Grindalf » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:52 am

@starting with the Adder
I've restarted with the Adder and to be honest I'm not finding it difficult at all. I just corkscrew to avoid pirate fire, make sure I buy things at a good price and sell at a good price. The big problem is its a long haul to be able to afford a new ship and without cargo expansion being available to the Adder I have no alternatives other than the long grind ahead of me. A possible cargo expansion of 5TC for the Adder would at the very least make the grind a little shorter. But it makes the thought of eventually upgrading to the CobraMKIII a good one

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by Redspear » Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:28 pm

Once you've got a bit of extra kit installed, the Adder makes a good courier. Some missions don't require any cargo space and once you build up a reputation the rewards can be quite good.

They can also be a lot more fun than the standard milk run × 1,000.
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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by TS13 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:14 pm

Early feedback cont'd. This one is for OXPs again.

I am slowly going through the available OXPs, reading their wiki pages and picking. I strongly suggest to the OXP creators to be as newbie-friendly as possible. In particular:

a) Some OXPs do not explain themselves clearly on their wiki pages. I am not sure what some OXPs do. I know there is usually a link to the OXP forum for further discussion, but that's not ideal when I am interested in several OXPs out of a huge list at the same time. In addition, many OXPs set the background for the OXP by flavor text and cool stories. That's cute and I like it, but you first let me know what changes the OXP does to earn my interest, otherwise I am not going to read that. Lastly, I see that some creators do not get into the trouble of utilizing the "how game balance is affected" graphic. That's a very useful graphic, please use it.

I am not bashing anyone's hard work, I am just making suggestions for presentation improvement and newbie friendliness. Needless to say, several OXPs are well presented.

b) (This one may be partially my fault, but) For Ambience, the first OXP I installed was BGS. I was looking for an ambience mega-pack to get things going, and this is the one I found. However, it is not clear what other OXPs are included in BGS. For example, I see another OXP for sound, I install it, and I don't notice any changes. Is it already included in BGS? Is it incompatible with BGS? I have no idea.

So three things on this:
- I have to go read BGS forum to figure out what is going on. But this information should have been included on the wiki page, imo.
- For creators of other ambience OXPs: maybe it is a good idea to mention compatibility with Ambience mega-packs (like BGS) on the wiki page. Some do, others don't.
- I admit that maybe it was a bad idea to start with a mega pack, and should have taken it slower.

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by Nicksta » Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:14 pm

HellOo Commander (first and last time I use that pun on this forum).

I am new to the forum, but I have been playing Oolite for the past four months. I also played older versions of it briefly over the years, but I wasn't aware of the OXPs back then. This community has made a huge difference to the game's appeal beyond the classic Elite fanbase. Discovering interesting OXPs is half the fun for me, but it was also frustrating at the beginning.

I think that language barriers are part of the reason why some wiki pages are unclear. There are OXP authors around the world and English is not always their first language.

I think the "how game balance is affected" graphic is not always used because it didn't always exist on the wiki. Many of the older OXPs are no longer maintained, thus their wiki pages are no longer updated.

I don't blame you for choosing BGS as the first Ambience OXP. It's popular for a reason. I'm not sure if you meant to say meta-pack instead of mega-pack to describe it, but BGS is just one OXP. I know there are alternative soundsets, but I haven't tried them yet. I think that having more than one OXP that changes the same sound effects is bound to cause issues out of the box. The sounds that you end up hearing will probably depend on which OXP is loaded last when you start the game, which is hardly predictable.

There are plenty of opinions on where to start with OXPs and I have one too. I think any one who is new to the game should start with Library (not the Cabal Common Library, just Library). Some of the features are barely used at the moment, but the OXP configuration feature is worth the installation alone, especially when you have more than a dozen OXPs installed (I have about 95 at the moment). It also serves as a replacement of older OXPs that are still available for download, like OXPConfig and Hyperradio. The wiki page goes into much more detail.

Another good place to start when you have played the game for a little while is not really an OXP: it's a browser-based app called Keyconfig. You can find it with a wiki search and use it to create a custom keyboard configuration.

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by Cody » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:49 am

Nicksta wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:14 pm
HellOo Commander (first and last time I use that pun on this forum).
<chortles> Right on, Commander!
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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by TS13 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:20 pm

@Nicksta, very helpful reply, cheers!

Ah, I had forgotten that BGS is fully configurable. This solves most of my problems! I do have the library, BGS mentioned that it was required. But I had forgotten about it. Alright, I am happy with BGS again.

I called BGS a mega pack, because it makes a lot of changes. In addition, a few smaller ambience OXPs mention on their wiki pages that they have been included in BGS. This info should be mentioned on BGS's page too, imo.

No doubt about it, the OXP creators are awesome people. I both enjoy and appreciate their contributions. Here, I am trying to give them the angle of a newbie, in case they have forgotten what it's like to be a newbie being experienced with the game like they are. They can choose to ignore my opinions, I am just trying to help.

Yes, I agree that Library seems to be a no brainer for a starting OXP (unless it has worthy competition that I do not know about -very helpful OXP at any rate).

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