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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:56 pm 
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I've been bothered off and on by an apparent contradiction: It is possible (in fact, standard procedure) to make a hyperspace jump shortly after launch, as soon as we clear masslock from the main station. However, we continue to see individual traders and entire convoys braving the dangers of the spacelane to make their way out to the witchpoint beacon.

I believe that I have come up with a reasonable (In-world) explanation:

Every Jaimeson on the spaceways knows that jumping through hyperspace requires very precise calculations to prevent such mishaps as running right into a star, or bouncing through a supernova. What they may not have realized is that, for these calculations to be effective, the computer needs to know not only where it is going but also where it is beginning. Planets, stations, and their associated beacons, are always in motion. Using them as a starting point is chancy, as the computer needs to also be able to trust the ship's chronometer down to the microsecond. Jumping from the middle of empty space is just as bad.

A well maintained hyperdrive and navigation array can make a free-jump, at the cost of some greater transit risks, and extra strain on the components. Longer jumps are harder to make than short ones, due to the extra intervening interstellar features. Wise commanders, however, prefer to start their hyperspace journeys from a calibrated location at the witchpoint.

(End in-world justification)

For purposes of this discussion:

A 'free jump' is just jumping from wherever, as most of us do now.
a 'calibrated jump' is:
  • Within scan range of the witchspace beacon
  • Scanner locked on the beacon
  • throttle <25%
  • oriented as per this oxp:
I'd like to latch into the Service Level of the ship, as well as the distance to the target system, and change some risk levels.

'Good condition' means not in need of ship overhaul.
Code:
Jump Distance:                                    <2.5 LY                                      2.5-5.8 LY                                              > 5.8 LY
Good condition, Calibrated Jump:            Same as core jump ---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Good Condition, Free jump:                     same as core                      x3 sl reduction chance, x1.5 misjump                         x4 sl reduction, x3 misjump
Rough condition, Calibrated:                   same as core                                  x1.5 misjump                                             x2 sl reduction, x2 misjump
Rough condition, Free jump:      x3 sl reduction chance, x1.5 misjump             x4 sl reduction, x3 misjump                         50% jump aborts, x6 sl reduction, x5 misjump if jumps

I'd also like the trader AIs to take this into consideration when deciding whether to jump immediately, or to run for the beacon.

Thoughts on how difficult this would be, or gotchas regarding how exactly it would affect game balance, would be appreciated.

EDIT: Sorry for the hand-keyed spreadsheet thing. Apparently, BBCode tables are disabled?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:01 pm 
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I've been bothered off and on by an apparent contradiction: It is possible (in fact, standard procedure) to make a hyperspace jump shortly after launch, as soon as we clear masslock from the main station. However, we continue to see individual traders and entire convoys braving the dangers of the spacelane to make their way out to the witchpoint beacon.
This was certainly the case with the original 'Elite' but Oolite is much more sophisticated. Most of the traffic you encounter on your way in from the WP is travelling in the same direction as you, from WP to station, or is lurking for some (usually nefarious) purpose. You will occasionally see Viper patrols heading to the WP from the station, of course.
Most of the traffic leaving the station will jump out almost immediately, just like you do, unless they are shuttling down to the planet.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:16 pm 
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You will occasionally see Viper patrols heading to the WP from the station, of course.
Squads of bounty hunters too, I think... and sunskimmers. We still have sunskimmers, don't we?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:50 am 
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Hmm... I'd swear that I still see a clean boa + escorts outbound fairly regularly. (Though, not as frequent as inbound traffic.) That really does not sound like a bounty-hunter squad to me.

If I'm wrong, okay, I may have missed something. I still like this OXP idea as something that a commander needs to keep an eye on...
Quote:
We still have sunskimmers, don't we?
I believe so, but I don't go that direction often.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:00 pm 
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I'm not sure about factoring-in the service level because currently players have no control on it, in the sense that a) it is mostly hidden (you can try to keep track of it by monitoring the resell value of the ship, but it only gives a rough idea) and b) one cannot do a maintenance overhaul at anytime.

I think an OXP that allows players to do maintenance is needed anyway because it would also solve the situation when you've finally found your next ship with the right equipment and the right livery, but you're only slightly above the maintenance threshold so you have to wait (and risk that the ship disappear from the shipyard), or waste hard-earned credits.

Adding a strong incentive for players and AI to jump at the witchpoint is an idea that I had in mind too. It's more compatible with the way the game currently works than making it possible to jump only at the witchpoint because it would forbid emergency jumps both for the player and the AI.

It seems though that it makes sun skimming even less attractive because it doubles the distance you have to travel. Same goes for extra planets. I can't decide if calibrated jumps works in favor of feature-rich systems where players would stay longer or in favor of reinforcing the jump/fight/trade/refuel/jump pattern. I'm personally focused on improving the witchpoint-sun-planet triangle. My current setup adds kiota stations exclusively near the sun and phkb's fuel tweaks makes sun-skimming worth it (at least early game). a priori, the "hassle" of returning to the witchpoint to perform a safe jump can both encourage to take all of the profit opportunities the system has to offer or it can encourage not to bother going to the sun and back. That probably means that the profit opportunities have to be more interesting, which seems to be a good thing because it helps players that start with e.g. an adder (a second focus of mine is building an enjoyable progression path with the core ships) and later in the game, it could help with breaking the jump/refuel pattern (often in-system are not very profitable and not worth your time compared to contracts or regular trading).

Back to the standard wp-station railway, Calibrated jumps probably works best if there are other reasons to go back to the WP, like e.g. constores (for the few extra credits), because players might be forced in some cases to go back to the main station to refuel again because they had to use fuel injectors. It is in particular more likely in the early game, when you would use injectors to avoid fights, don't want to risk a misjump and don't want to waste credits on maintenance.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:46 pm 
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I think an OXP that allows players to do maintenance is needed anyway
I'd agree. Perhaps something along the lines of what was discussed in this topic. At the very least, a rough indicator so that the player is basically aware of SL.

I'd actually like to see separate service levels for various basic systems, each with a set of actions the player can take that affect the time-between-services. We tend to redline our ships in OOlite, and there should be consequences for that. I've also been intrigued by some of the jury-rigged repairs as mini-game ideas that folat up from time to time. I'd prefer to keep that as a separate system, though, rather than trying to fit everything and the kitchen sink into one OXP.

Regarding what I'm trying to incentivize, not so much pushing for heading to the witchpoint on every run, more about making long jumps something that are only done after due consideration. Perhaps the chances that I listed need some tweaking, as short-range jumps should be something that you can comfortably make as a free jump.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:54 pm 
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a rough indicator so that the player is basically aware of SL.
ShipVersion OXP show it as an equipment and offer fixes in small steps.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:04 pm 
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Overall, I'm liking the concept.. but I'll give the idea a while to bake in my brain before I comment further.

On the subject of just when NPC ships jump out of system, I can assure you Sailsman63, that most ships departing a station jump out when not far from the station aegis. It can sometimes take them a while to get there, as they usually fly at cruise rather than flank speed.

Part of my playstyle involves regularly loitering in the station aegis for sometimes an hour or more, waiting to hitch a lift with a ship to my target destination. The task involves a lot of scanning of witchclouds, and they're never too far from the station.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:38 pm 
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I can assure you Sailsman63, that most ships departing a station jump out when not far from the station aegis.
I never thought otherwise. I had thought that, in addition to the jumpers that there were still trader ships and packs that would patrol out to the witchpoint and back. I've just done some test runs, focusing on ship spotting, and indeed, it appears that all traffic outbound in the lane seemed to be hunter-killer/escort types, with no freighters among them. Many groups did not even have a hyper-capable lead ship.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:09 am 
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How about having a fuel efficiency bonus for travelling to the waypoint (or a penalty for not doing so)? This wouldn't allow you to jump further, just leave you a little more fuel for afterburners or a second jump, once you get there.

Incidentally, as I'm pretty much a newbie, is it just one wormhole point for the system or is there a separate one for each potential destination? With something like this calculations thing, the latter would make sense to me.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:35 am 
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One witchpoint per system.

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But I wish, me my friend, I could sail to the stars
Have the gift to transport
My whole being, my whole thought
To a world of dreams, my friend


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:58 pm 
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Hmmm... What if we make it so that the player lands at the same coordinates in the new system? Given that the WP is always (0,0,0), it's the only safe place to jump from. Otherwise one might end up in the sun, a ship, an asteroid, a planet or a station (one should make an exception for wormholes spawned by the AI though, which requires some handwavium).


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:53 am 
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From the various bits and pieces posted so far, it seems that pretty much all of this is fairly doable, even adding a tracker to service level.

For this particular OXP, though, I wonder if the simpler thing might be to add an information line to the HUD when you start the jump countdown:

Hypderdrive condition {good/poor}, jump risk {normal/elevated/hazardous/extreme}

Though this could still be frustrating without the option to do system maintenance at will.

I should probably just build this as player-only to start with, and see how much of an effect it has on gameplay. I suspect that the hard part would be adding a tweak to the AI to make them consider this, (and have the player deal with the consequences if they choose poorly, and the player follows them through the wormhole)
Quote:
ShipVersion OXP show it as an equipment and offer fixes in small steps.
Looks like it could be handy. It'd be nice to develop this piece of equipment, and the maintenance options, out into an independent OXP, with perhaps some enhancements. (track level per major system, anyone?) In looking over the description, I really don't think I want the major part of ShipVersions in my own game.
Quote:
How about having a fuel efficiency bonus for travelling to the waypoint (or a penalty for not doing so)? This wouldn't allow you to jump further, just leave you a little more fuel for afterburners or a second jump, once you get there.
Could be another way of going about it, but not what I'm looking for. I've always figured that it takes the same energy to open a wormhole no matter what. The difference is in whether you can lock onto your destination accurately, and how much "Feedback" your systems takes in the process.
Quote:
Hmmm... What if we make it so that the player lands at the same coordinates in the new system? Given that the WP is always (0,0,0), it's the only safe place to jump from. Otherwise one might end up in the sun, a ship, an asteroid, a planet or a station (one should make an exception for wormholes spawned by the AI though, which requires some handwavium).
Not quite what I want to handwave, either. Could be very hilarious to watch, but not so much to fly in. (Infinite improbability drive, anyone?) I've got another couple of ideas percolating that depend on the traffic always dropping in at the witchpoint.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:56 am 
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Incidentally, does anyone know if ships jumping in ever leave a traverseable wormhole? If not, I did find at least one instance where an NPC ship jumped from the witchpoint. Not sure who, or what it was doing, but there were several interesting persons on the other end who gave me a very warm welcome....


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:01 pm 
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Wormholes are one-way only, and you will occasionally see ships hyperspace out from the witchpoint (and elsewhere).

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But I wish, me my friend, I could sail to the stars
Have the gift to transport
My whole being, my whole thought
To a world of dreams, my friend


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