Cholmondely wrote: ↑
Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:00 am
Have we arrived at a definitive answer here? I'm editing the witchspace & buoy pages on our wiki and am a tad unsure what to write!
You could just say something like "The location in the system where inbound traffic emerges from Witchspace is marked by a navigation buoy", and leave it at that. Certainly, in actual gameplay, the buoys have no actual effect: if you blow one up, ships will continue to arrive at that location - but there are good fictional and OXP possibilities in e.g. Cody's scenario:
Cody wrote: ↑
Wed Dec 23, 2020 11:36 am
a ship can jump into a system regardless, but without a witchpoint beacon to lock onto, the location of the point of entry is unpredictable. It could be close to the space lane/station, it could be way out in deep space, it could be too close to the planet, it could even be deep within the star's corona. In other words, it's simply too risky if there's no witchpoint beacon!
A planet is ravaged by a mutated virus, and supplies of a new vaccine are urgently needed. Unfortunately, the gooks have destroyed the witchpoint beacon. Your mission, should you accept it, is to deliver that vaccine come hell or high water!
Perhaps it takes time for the lack of a buoy to have an effect: maybe the buoy makes a dimple in the ultrastructure of the witchspace–realspace bulk, which causes inbound wormholes to open there, at a safe distance from any nearby gravity well. (I don't have to remind anyone what can happen if a wormhole opens on any sort of gravitational gradient! We've all seen the training videos.) If you destroy the buoy, though, the dimple persists: the ultrastructure is only semi-elastic, and takes time to rebound. After a few (hours/days/weeks/whatever) though the dimple will flatten out and any incoming wormholes will open anywhere in the system. Odds are good that it'll be somewhere empty: any given star system is mostly empty, after all. But you could be a long, long way from anywhere - or worse, you could roll snake eyes and pop out really close
to somewhere, triggering a full quirium cascade inside your ship.
Equally, though, someone might prefer to have a no buoy = system cut off scenario. If the locals can't replace it, then you'll have to send a buoy there sub-light, through realspace, which could take decades … this could be a good way to pop a new system into existence for the player to scout out. Or a way to snip off a star cluster from the rest of the galaxy where the only way out is through a crafty misjump.