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 Post subject: Variable jump times
PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:21 pm 
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I'm thinking about how to dethrone the Cobra King as the perfect multirole ship without one-uping its speed and/or its bay size, but also without "nerfing" it.

One possibility is to make the jump duration (i.e. the travel time between systems) depend on the mass of the ship, with the idea that it would make it advantageous to use a lighter ship for parcel and pax contracts and by contrast introduce a downside to medium/big freighters.


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 Post subject: Re: Variable jump times
PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:28 pm 
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Sounds like an interesting idea … there would need to be a relatively easy way for players to see/calculate jump times, though. If it was possible to make the player's actual experience of the jump time shorter for small ships and bigger for large ones - just a few seconds would be enough - it would help make different sizes of ships "feel" different too.

How would the game cope with ships sharing a wormhole? Would the jump time be determined by the ship that made the wormhole? Or the biggest ship in the convoy? Or the total mass of ships?

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 Post subject: Re: Variable jump times
PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:25 pm 
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I like these ideas :P

I propose the travel would depend on the total mass of ships. Which means the hole initiator could be late through some other fault.
Which could spark interactions :P
And a hole sharer could not be sure of the time lost in the jump; free-riding should have incertitude, and this is a good one.

Yet, I have a big ship, and I deliver goods, on time or I ain't paid. What would you do of me and my associates, pal?


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 Post subject: Re: Variable jump times
PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:01 am 
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How about a formula based on energy (fuel) / mass / distance / speed ?

The bigger a ship the more fuel would be required to keep the same speed or jump the same distance. Ships could save fuel by traveling slower while every additional escort would require more energy to open the wormhole.

A variation of hyperdrives could be available, all with a maximum speed so a player could chose the favorite way to travel, of course additional fuel tanks would be necessary as well, otherwise the gigantic ships like Andromeda would need years for a simple jump.

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 Post subject: Re: Variable jump times
PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:09 am 
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Quote:
there would need to be a relatively easy way for players to see/calculate jump times, though
I believe it's important only when you're planing your route for a contract, and the advanced navigational array gives the total travel time. I was maybe slightly ambiguous, when I talk about "mass" I actually think about cargo bay size. Although it doesn't have to be exactly that.
Quote:
How would the game cope with ships sharing a wormhole?
Good point! So actually it's more a property of the wormhole and it's generator. A player who wants to follow through would have to guess the timing by the size of the ship, but the wormhole scanner could display it.

Are there other gotchas? Like a core or Random Hits mission implicitly expecting a certain jump time? Hmmm... Maybe RSS missions could be a problem.
Quote:
Yet, I have a big ship, and I deliver goods, on time or I ain't paid. What would you do of me and my associates, pal?
I guess you worry about cargo contracts? The deadline calculations would certainly have to be revised to take the longer travel times in consideration. The other contracts shouldn't be changed. Which makes it harder to fulfill them for big ships. It's only fair; small ships don't have access to cargo contracts :-).
Quote:
The bigger a ship the more fuel would be required to keep the same speed or jump the same distance.
Actually, fuel is more expensive for bigger ships already. Nobody notices because fuel is as cheap as water.
Quote:
gigantic ships like Andromeda would need years for a simple jump
Actually I was thinking about a logarithmic formula (here is a helper if your maths are a bit rusty), so very big ships wouldn't be harshly penalized. This is necessary anyway just because of the Conda and its 750TC if we consider only the core ships.

But it could be a key in the ship properties, so ship builders could adjust it to what feels right to them.

So the formula would be Time= (k*Distance)^2, with k being the ship's constant (k<1 for small ships, k>1 for large ships, k=1 for the Cobra III). k being based on the log of "ship size" could be either a rule of thumb for makers or computed by the game.


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 Post subject: Re: Variable jump times
PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:36 pm 
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But it could be a key in the ship properties, so ship builders could adjust it to what feels right to them.
The problem is that we already have superfast multiturretted superships with a massive cargo bay, and often with bonus features like smuggling capabilities, autorepairing gadetry and whatnot. What we dont need is to make these superships even more comical by making them "clippers" or some such other which allows them to jump in 1/10 the time it takes anyone else.

Maybe it isnt the place for the core game to make restrictions, but honestly I think the temptation is too great, we will see almost no lumbering slow ships, they will I predict all be at least as fast as now. If this is going to be done Id like to see guidelines, maybe not hard and fast rules, but a clear guide, perhaps by category. You can define your ship as a "fighter class" with the current time for a jump, "trader class" 20% slower or "big" 50% slower.

I know, I know dont install them. But please, dont allow people to make even more ludicrous ships.


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 Post subject: Re: Variable jump times
PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:51 pm 
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Quote:
Quote:
How would the game cope with ships sharing a wormhole?
Good point! So actually it's more a property of the wormhole and it's generator. A player who wants to follow through would have to guess the timing by the size of the ship, but the wormhole scanner could display it.
If travel time depends on the ship generating the wormhole, then this would introduce a tactic of having the smallest ship in the convoy make the jump … not necessarily a bad thing, but might get complicated AI-wise. Unless - as a workaround - a small ship's wormhole only stays open for a very short length of time, so there's no way a whole convoy could pass through (small ships' wormholes already close faster than those created by big ones, but times might need to be fiddled if this tactic is seen as undesirable). Or there might be restrictions on how big a wormhole has to be before a ship of size X can enter: could an Asp make a wormhole which a Behemoth could use?

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 Post subject: Re: Variable jump times
PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:13 pm 
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Quote:
The problem is that we already have superfast multiturretted superships with a massive cargo bay, and often with bonus features like smuggling capabilities, autorepairing gadetry and whatnot. What we dont need is to make these superships even more comical by making them "clippers" or some such other which allows them to jump in 1/10 the time it takes anyone else.
One of the reasons why I removed almost all OXP ships from my ooniverse.


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 Post subject: Re: Variable jump times
PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:10 am 
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If travel time depends on the ship generating the wormhole, then this would introduce a tactic of having the smallest ship in the convoy make the jump … not necessarily a bad thing, but might get complicated AI-wise.
Currently one uses no fuel when one uses a wormhole not generated by ourselves, so the fuel is used to generate the wormhole itself. The wormhole as no length (or is very short) but the fact that we still arrive "later" on the other side suggest that time in the wormhole is very slow (if a jump did actually last 5 years, nobody could achieve Elite rank except maybe Captain Blood).

So currently it would be better normally if an escort ship generates the wormhole, because the main ship can keep its fuel for emergency situations. The opposite happens in Escort Contracts for instance. Also, in theory convoys could double, triple, quad... jump by using hyperdrives in a round-robin way. Then very large trading companies or high-value convoys could just ready a small ship at the WP, or it could be a business on its own...

I think one can use yet an other little "poetic license" to preserve gameplay features like the fact that pirates can chase you through wormholes and that you can do the same; seeing ships on the other side sometimes only (when ships are similar) because our model of wormhole physics requires it is certainly more accurate but it would look like a bug to most players, I think.


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 Post subject: Re: Variable jump times
PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:12 am 
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Quote:
it could be a business on its own...
Yes, some captains just park at witchpoint and send messages to the arriving ships about where would like to jump, he will open a wormhole for some credits, then go sunskimming, back to the witchpoint and wait for the next customer.

Moreover they probably like to use SunSkimmerPod, in this case they just stay at the witchpoint and if a client arrive too early then report the needed time when his pod will arrive back with fuel.

Even in all systems could be frequent offers to all neighbours, just anarchies have low chances and high prices. This would be the highway across the galaxy. :)

The player also could choose to do this job if NPC customers would be implemented who ask for jumps.

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 Post subject: Re: Variable jump times
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:10 pm 
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Quote:
How would the game cope with ships sharing a wormhole? Would the jump time be determined by the ship that made the wormhole? Or the biggest ship in the convoy? Or the total mass of ships?
You can not go through a wormhole that was created by a ship that is lighter than you, because that wormhole is 'too fast' for you.

So if you're into this 'rent-a-wormhole' business, you better have a heavy ship so you can serve more customers, or you better have a light ship so you can serve customers in light ships who are in a hurry.

Maybe (through OXPs) you can mount a 'Python-grade witch drive' on your Cobra.


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 Post subject: Re: Variable jump times
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:46 am 
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A noob question of mine, how Oolite actually calculates jump time ? I recognized a 4 LJ jump for 16 h (4h/LJ) and a 6 LJ jump for 36 h (6h/LJ).

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 Post subject: Re: Variable jump times
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:48 am 
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Quote:
how Oolite actually calculates jump time
The duration of a jump is a square of the distance.

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 Post subject: Re: Variable jump times
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:50 am 
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Quote:
Quote:
how Oolite actually calculates jump time
The duration of a jump is a square of the distance.
Thanks a lot

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 Post subject: Re: Variable jump times
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:23 am 
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Just some thoughts of mine because I stumbled over this topic in another life before,
naturally its just one out of many possible ideas:

Currently a Cobra Mark III (214.738 t) and a Andromeda (255,843.936 t) need exactly the same amount
of fuel to travel at the same speed over the same distance:

Between 1 unit of fuel for 1 LJ in 1 h and 7 units of fuel for 7 LJ in 49 h so roughly between 8760
and 1251.429 faster than light.

Based on the Cobra (and very simple calculated) this means 0.0046568376 fuel / t for 1 LJ
which would add up to 1191.424 units of fuel for the Andromeda to travel at the same speed. :shock:

By adding new hyperdrives with variable jump times to the game a more realistic approach could be done.
In my opinion if every drive offers 4 possible selections (25% / 50% / 75% / 100% energy) more variation
would be included but the ueber-drive could be prevented.

Personally I dislike the current fact that I could pack most equipment in every tiny ship, Phkps ship configuration
and Norbys limitation to weapons are hopefully the first steps to fix this discrepancy. However, by using TC for drives
there is another way to stop small ships from getting an ueber-drive.

Of course the idea that a generator creates a wormhole which just slows down over distance but don't care
about the mass transported got it benefits and since its si-fi (nearly) everything is possible.


a) Ship mass based on Gallery OXZ by Norby

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