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 Post subject: Caduceus
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:32 am 
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30/01/09
Right, final major update 4 oxp's in one. Read the readme after unzipping

Image

www.crimsonforge.co.uk/cloister/caduceus.zip

Backstory:
Overview
"Piss one of those things off the last thing your going to see is a sea of plasma green" Sector chief besieged navy sector station 4-994.

There are many rare things in the 8 galaxies, the natural phenomena and then the sentient made from monuments to orbital grave yards. There are one or two oddities that fall into both categories, the Caduceus being one of them.

It is believed (according to several well read yet unofficial dossiers) that the Caduceus was the brain child of Udian Foraga Shulth, the youngest (and arguably most talented) son of the bio-maniac Mirias Shulth. Whilst several thousand books, personal testimonies, holo-recordings and overly sentimental documentaries have been penned as to the exploits of his father. Little is known about the informative years of Udian (most official records having been lost in the first great shard bio-purge). He does surface as a young adult embroiled in the new genesis war as something of an unlikely hero. Saving several sub-core trading systems from the gene-menace through the unlikely unification of celltec and nano-mechanics.

One of the few quotes directly attributable to Udian is also probably the most telling: "I don't build ships, I birth them. They are my children and like any good father I watch over them." Indeed most traders, pirates (who survive) or military personnel who happen to see a Caduceus, concur that there is something distinctly biological about its construction. They tend to be encountered cross station side of industrial planets, dropping in and out of the atmosphere delivering god knows what, to god knows where, for god knows who.

Few cast iron facts are known about these ships capabilities outside military circles, although this hasn't stopped the intergalactic rumor mill from churning, fueled by chance encounters and the odd station landing. Whilst sifting through this mass of conjecture, has been likened to digging through boobian bug guts looking for a nega-mass gem stone, certain "facts" appear more widely independently replicated and therefore believable.

Notable features
It would appear that these ships tend to be above average in most respects, lower top end in most categories. A speed 0.5 shy of half light, quickish turning circles, pitch and yaw, good shields and an apparent ability (as reported by station engineers) to successfully utilize a patch work quilt of non standard upgrades. So far 10 separate ships have been documented;

Arc Of Radiance
Apex Of Reason
Shard Of Destiny
Point Of Action (destroyed)
Edge Of Infinity
Circle Of Time
Crucible Of Destruction
Vortex Of Hate
Annulus Of Deceit
Digon Of Truth

Leaked military records recently reported at least one Caduceus has been confirmed destroyed (see above). This event occurred several cycles ago during a fierce Thargoid insurgency. It appears that the battle not only engaged the military, but also many reservists and privateers who were caught in the cross fire. Details are sketchy (the documents are heavily censored) but the battle appears to have taken place some where along the outer edge of galaxy 4. The ship in question seems to have purposefully maneuvered in between several invading warships then proceeded to deliver a barrage of devastating broadsides, to both ships simultaneously. A tactic repeated several times until it was eventually overwhelmed by robot fighters. Although not pivotal to the subsequent rout of the invading fleet, the Caduceus's actions "significantly influenced the tempo of the battle" (Vice Admiral Mineemer).

Controversy
The real eye opener for the military was the subsequent annihilation of the remaining Thargoid ships involved in the conflict 5 days later, and the complete sterilization of all Thargoid held worlds within a 15 light year radius of the fleet. This count included two heavily defended system hatcheries.

Dispatches from Naval HQ indicates it is involved in "sporadic but ongoing negotiations" with the Shulth family regarding the acquisition of hyper-biomechancial ship building technology and any other advanced tech which may help secure victory in the on-going war. It is extremely rare to find one of these ships not in the hands of a Shulth or one of their associates. Still these ships occasionally appear for sale, always stripped down and curiously enough never in the hands of pirates.

Given the multi-generational reputation of its pilots and masters, the mere reporting of a Caduceus in system has been known to empty orbit stations soft-bars of pirate informants, hackers and one shot cargo ejectors. Oh and if you see a ship bay on station that appears to be empty but the dock manifest indicates it's paid for three times over, best not try and park in it eh?

Stats:

size:WxHxL: 100x47x136
cargocap:36
extention:14
Max speed:0.44 LM
Roll:3.0
Pitch:2.0
Energy banks: 8
Energy recharge rate: 5.8 (very good)
Gun mounts: fore aft. 6 broadside mounted low yield plasma cannons.
missile slots:8
shield boosters:yes
military shields:yes
hyperspace capable: yes
oxp
available to player: yes
base price: 1200000


File fixes 21-01-09
flightspeed adjusted from 5.1 to 4.4
Roles tweaked.
conditions code rechecked.
Text file back story adjusted.
Hud preference removed.
shader moved and effects layer rebuilt.
shipyard.plist issues resolved.

File fixes 30-01-09
ship views expanded upon. Adding some more close ups, cinematics and centring the exisiting views.

Turrets tweaked to be non-smooth (a turret should look like a turret, not a gynecological examination device).
lower res texture version.
Final checking of special uber-caduceus "hammer of sorrow" to be added as a seperate "optional" extra with the exisiting oxp.


Acknowledgments
Cmdr Wyvern for helping fix my broken ass code
another_commander for helping fix my broken ass shader code
Eric Walch from pointing out how to trouble shoot code so I don't end up accidentally publishing another beta.

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Last edited by ClymAngus on Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:59 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:55 am 
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Can't believe I'm the first to comment - that's a fantastic ship! And a wiki ready backstory t' boot! Fantastic. Keep up the good work.

I love this comoonity!

<Mega_oolite_hug> :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:52 pm 
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I like it! :)
Looks a little bit like the firefox aircraft from the Clint Eastwood movie.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:09 pm 
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Or the ship from the Babylon5 spinoff (Excalibur?)

But yes, quite like Firefox, I concur.

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Oolite Life is now revealed here


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 Post subject: Re: Caduceus
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:39 pm 
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Quote:
Gun mounts: fore aft. 6 broadside mounted low yield plasma cannons.
Hmmm. Either I have to wait until I encounter one (instant download when I saw the pic), or someone has to explain this to me.

6 broadside mounted plasma cannons...what does this mean? 6 turrets? Multiple lasers? I'm asking because I still do have the problem to find a proper ship for me. The GriffBoa is very nice, but the three turrets do not replace lasers, and when fighting really big ships, I do even need side lasers in order to be able to fire continuously, however, if there's at least fore/aft laser and additional turrets, then this might work well for me. Hmmmm...I wonder how long I have to fly around until I find one for sale...

From the stats, it looks like that's my ship. From the looks, it definitely is. The front side material appears to be a bit similar to that of the B5 shadow vessels, which were also living technology...and to be true: I found them to be real beauties, concerning the sight, not their behaviour...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:42 pm 
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It's odd, (and others who have designed ships and sorted out the ship lists will attest to) but it's one thing to "wings" the model, paint it up in photoshop, work out how deep you want to go with the textures and hot wire the plists.

It's something else to actually fly your creation. It's like.... "this B***tard thing has kept me away from my friends and family and, and, and...... I don't really care. Because it's mine and it flies, and it kicks ass, and it's beautiful, and it fits in the docking bay, and it's beautiful" etc, etc, etc.

There are many times that creators go from hating to loving their creations. I have found this switch, to be one of the most enjoyably violent. (3am in the morning when the turrets actually started working. (wyvern, your programming is flawless, I should have trusted your plists from the beginning instead of trying to go "off road".) Hell emptied and the splendor of light was shown unto me).

Setting spirituality aside for a second. I reallly really didn't want to create an uber ship. Just something sleek that (for the most part)adds to the atmosphere of the game. The Caddy won't be coming for you like the monks will, it'll just float, enegmatically (and darkly) trading. If you can get hold of one (I've tried with my limited knowledge to make it rare) then by god she's a wonderful ride and the turrets in a dogfight are more fun than a crotch full of freshly greased grass snakes.

Yes there are better looking ships, yes there are better textured ships. But this ones mine, and nothing makes you love a game more than being a maker of that game, as well as a player. This has been a truely emotional experience and for that, I thank each and every one of you.

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Last edited by ClymAngus on Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Caduceus
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:58 pm 
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Mr Screet.....

I wanted to see what it would be like to bring a bit of the spanish main to Oolite. If your in a ship, then you should be able to fire a broadside. If not, can you really call yourself a captain?

3 turrets mounted on starboard and 3 port of the vessel mean that you actually have to study navy tactics, to use this ship to it's full capability. "Crossing the T" with a Caddy actually means something again.

In a dogfight, passing an opponent becomes a viable tactic, (as it used to be) to bring your guns to bare.

As for not being able to find one well, they are restricted to industrical worlds with a high tech level and you'll need a good mill to buy one (six turrets comes at a cost, it has to). Of course you could always make the 1.2 mill then hack your caracter file it's not really cheating. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:01 pm 
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Quote:
I reallly really didn't want to create an uber ship. Just something sleek that (for the most part)adds to the atmosphere of the game.
...and that's why I was soooo happy when I saw the stats. I could edit them, sure, but that always feels wrong. Seems you've selected quite in my favorite range.

Until now, the Merlin was my favorite concerning many aspects, but it was too small, making it an über-ship because NPCs were practically unable to hit it. I then tried to set the Jabberwocky to Merlin stats, nice idea, but a few things annoyed me (guess that's not the place to list them here), thus switching to a GriffBoa and then noticed that it doesn't feel right. Edited speed and recharge rate (to less than the Merlin), but it still didn't feel right. I would have loved it earlier in the game, when I was flying Python (horrible) and the Boa Class Cruiser (probably the best of the ships that come with the game). Obviously, my problem with the Griff Boa is the single laser. I just cannot play without aft laser.

It really looks like you managed to create the ship I was looking for all the time. Yesterday I was so annoyed that I began considering to paint something up on paper, select proper stats and try to find someone to build it for me...well, you made a pretty quick delivery without me even asking for it ;) Thank you very much for this OXP!!!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:09 pm 
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I personally, am not going to cheat. I'm going to wait in a high tech system with my 1.2 mill and when I've got my hands on this baby. I'm going to bag me a monk!

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 Post subject: Re: Caduceus
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:18 pm 
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Quote:
I wanted to see what it would be like to bring a bit of the spanish main to Oolite. If your in a ship, then you should be able to fire a broadside. If not, can you really call yourself a captain?
Good point! Side lasers don't give that feeling and only come to action against big ships where two lasers overheat too much without delivering enough damage.
Quote:
3 turrets mounted on starboard and 3 port of the vessel mean that you actually have to study navy tactics, to use this ship to it's full capability. "Crossing the T" with a Caddy actually means something again.

In a dogfight, passing an opponent becomes a viable tactic, (as it used to be) to bring your guns to bare.
...and that's good! The GB has very powerful turrets, but it's difficult to use them, because there's only one turret per side. Thus, the player has to try to move into a very special angle in order to get three turrets firing...and then the enemy ship typically is moving away within a second.
Quote:
you'll need a good mill to buy one (six turrets comes at a cost, it has to). Of course you could always make the 1.2 mill then hack your caracter file it's not really cheating. :)
I do consider that very cheap. Really. Flying that BCC, I made 60-100K per hour. Wasn't much fun, though, as I'm more the hunter than the trader. I spent almost as much money as this one costs for the Merlin, which made the amount of money to be made dropping dramatically, but still I had good income and much more fun flying. Because of a stupid bug, I now even have >4mil instead of 3mil credits at hand...together with the money I had, it was enough to buy a ship for more than 5 mil, but it's stats were so immense and the bug even gave me so many credits back for that buying, that I reverted back to my old save file ;) I'm curious which price L's routine would calculate for this ship. Guess I wouldn't be able to afford it at the moment...

As I said: From the stats and image, this ship is what I've been looking for! Maybe I still miss side lasers when fighting a big ship, but I'll only know after finding one for sale. Multiple side turrets surely make things interesting against a Thargoid Battleship.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:38 pm 
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The B5 reference, and this ships texture struck an idea just now... I don't have the skill to do it, so posting here, in case someone wants to be nice and see how this would work...

What about combining the "moving camoflage" mentioned recently with this ship, to REALLY give it that B5 Shadow cruiser image?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:45 pm 
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Quote:
The B5 reference, and this ships texture struck an idea just now... I don't have the skill to do it, so posting here, in case someone wants to be nice and see how this would work...

What about combining the "moving camoflage" mentioned recently with this ship, to REALLY give it that B5 Shadow cruiser image?
Hey, I gave away my rights to this model with the txt file in the zip. (I also attached some slick turret designs in multiple formats (a la commander wyvern.) It's slightly beyond my know how to fix a moving texture (the plist code is crude at best). That said the caddy has a high chance of being cloaked when encountered, so it kind of applies.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:34 pm 
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Quote:
wyvern, your programming is flawless, I should have trusted your plists from the beginning instead of trying to go "off road".
Thank you. :)
I too tried to give player turrets custom AIs at the beginning, an experiment that as you've no doubt found out doesn't work as well as one would expect. In the end, the same AI on player turrets as on NPC turrets works flawlessly: NullAI.

Overall, not bad, but there's a couple of things that set off the Uber Alert.

Now for for some cynical criticism. Brace yourselves...
<Cynic Mode on>
Quote:
Roll:3.0
Pitch:2.0
It's a large ship, yes? Thusly I find the turn rate swerving into the realm of uber. A Cobby doesn't turn this quickly, and it's a smaller ship. Plus, high turn rates makes long-range precision aiming difficult at best. Were it me, I'd select a R/P of 2/1 or less.
Besides, with turrets it doesn't need to spin around like a bloody skateboard.
Quote:
Energy banks: 8
This is stepping into uberness, and uselessly, at that. Pirates and Thargs never come at you one-on-one, and police, if you fly on the wrong end of the law, can and will call in reinforcements. Once the shields are gone and the ship starts taking battle damage, all that over the top reserve energy won't help you one bit; they'll chew your unshielded hull for breakfast rather swiftly, and have you yanking the eject handle in panic. B&B had it on the money all along; if 4 banks can't get it done, it can't be done.
It's more effective to install a better energy unit, than try to overkill with too many energy banks. To illuminate a clue: Charge rate, stupid, charge rate. For the record, a CR of 7 and higher is seriously stepping into uberland.
<Cynic Mode off>

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 Post subject: Re: Caduceus
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:42 pm 
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Quote:
I'm curious which price L's routine would calculate for this ship. Guess I wouldn't be able to afford it at the moment...
Cool new ship in an "upper" range. So I'll calculate after the new (Oolite Shipyards Extension) price algorithm:

CARGO CAPACITY (Cargo): 65 + tons %

REACTOR POWER (Energy Banks + Energy Recharge Rate): 20 + (EB + ERR) * 10 %

SHIP HANDLING (Speed + Maneuverability (aka Pitch+Roll)): ((S-0.02) * 3) TTPo3 * 70 + (P + R) * 10 %

WEAPONRY (Guns/Turrets + Missiles): 20 + (G + T + M) * 10 %

Caduceus:

CARGO CAPACITY: 50 tons -> 115%
REACTOR POWER: 8/5.8 -> 138%
SHIP HANDLING: 0.51LS/3/2 -> 272%
WEAPONRY: 2 guns, 6 turrets, 8 missiles -> 180%

Price: 150.000 Cr * 1.15 * 1.38 * 2.72 * 1.8 = 1.170.000 Cr

So the Caduceus is actually in the very same OSE-price-range of ClymAngus intuitive pricing. It is shown to be a bit above the power-region of Tiger Mk I and SuperCobra.

It's OSE TL availability would be from 10 to 14.

Glad to be of service to your curiosity

L


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:23 pm 
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Hi!

Compared with common ships, this is very powerful. On the other hand, there are many oxp's with powerful ships for NPCs...anyway, I believe the common ships should have some sort of upgrades, as oolite runs fine with faster ships and there are already quite some which are faster than the Caduceus.

Concerning the CM3-reference: Do you really know how big a CM3 is? People who had a look say it's same size as a BCC!
Quote:
Once the shields are gone and the ship starts taking battle damage, all that over the top reserve energy won't help you one bit; they'll chew your unshielded hull for breakfast rather swiftly, and have you yanking the eject handle in panic. B&B had it on the money all along; if 4 banks can't get it done, it can't be done.
It's more effective to install a better energy unit, than try to overkill with too many energy banks. To illuminate a clue: Charge rate, stupid, charge rate. For the record, a CR of 7 and higher is seriously stepping into uberland.
If you ask me, CR > 5 is extreme, because you typically won't see your banks influenced in any way.

On the other hand, I do believe that the game could profit from a different handling, but then, NPCs don't use shields at all. The point is, that many ships have much energy, but low recharge rate. When I did fly a Python, it took several minutes to charge the shields! After launching, witchspacing and flying to the next station through the lane, my shields still were not powered up completely! On the other hand, there's soooo much energy in the banks. I cannot understand why the ships would not drain the banks in order to maintain the shields! That way, energy recharge rate loses some of it's potential and the energy amount (banks) finally gets some influence beside the only question if a ship would survive an e-bomb or not.

Furthermore, I'd like turrets to use up energy, like lasers do. Would probably help to balance playerships with turrets, but then many ships surely would need better energy units.

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