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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:56 pm 
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Had this idea while thinking of an SF justification for the scriptable pause or AutoPause device suggested by Astrobe.

There could be a number of temporal manipulation devices within the game, of which Astrobe's AutoPause might be considered one. An Instant Save device could be considered another.

The real moneymaker for REWInd Inc (Relativistic Energy Weapon Industries Inc.) would be the non-lethal but rather annoying Temporal Displacer, which, when a target ship's shield and energy levels are below certain thresholds will send that ship back in time, perhaps a week or so of game time, minus some or all of its cargo (perhaps any items bought within that period, if the game can determine these) which is left behind for the weapon user and any other scavengers to scoop up. If the saved gamedata is sufficient, the ship could, perhaps be sent to the location where it was at that time.

In practical terms, if used by a player against an NPC, it just removes the NPC more quickly than taking out his shields and energy banks completely and leaves a nice bunch of canisters floating about.

It would have to be quite expensive (I don't think you would want it to be happening all the time), maybe shot-limited and possibly restricted to certain ship categories. Another limiting factor could be to make it use up Quirium.

I imagine it might break some missions if not implemented well and if used against a player, but could actually make some easier if there is no location change.

It might have to work as a standard laser or missile up to the threshold point, as it would be impractical to switch weapons to use it, especially if you don't have the OXP that allows you to see a target's shield/energy levels. If used as primable equipment, you might need some sort of audible and/or visual alert to indicate when the target is vulnerable to temporal displacement and then it could be an area effect weapon that affects anyone below the threshold levels within a certain range. The player might find themselves being affected at the same time as the target NPC.

Any thoughts? I imagine technical difficulties would mainly revolve around the storage of data for teleporting a player ship back in time, provided we don't just hack the clock and forget about location changes and specific cargo removal. The other question is whether the in-game clock can or should be hackable.

A potential exploit might be to sun-dive and operate the device when your ship is below thresholds to expunge a recently acquired blot on your legal record or to give yourself more time to complete a mission, although this would be dangerous, as you would have to time it right and, if we don't shift the target's location, then you would still be dangerously close to the sun. One thought: should time travel restore shields and energy, or leave them the same as at the point of departure?

As mentioned in my previous posts, I have no programming knowledge, so if someone with the skills is interested, they will need to take it on.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:22 am 
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There could be a number of temporal manipulation devices within the game, of which Astrobe's AutoPause might be considered one. An Instant Save device could be considered another.
F2-enter at a convenient Rock Hermit isn't quick enough? Though TBH, saving game in mid-battle is probably not going to end up with happiness and joy. I'm currently dieing - a lot - dealing with a Snakeman-Chryssalid terror mission in OpenXcom, and regretting the save point.
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send that ship back in time, perhaps a week or so of game time, minus some or all of its cargo (perhaps any items bought within that period, if the game can determine these)
[...] If the saved gamedata is sufficient, the ship could, perhaps be sent to the location where it was at that time.
Hmmm, One of the trading OXP - I'm not sure which one - seems to keep track of your purchase prices ("32 TC of Furs @58.1Cr and 12TC @ 61.2Cr" - that sort of thing), but I don't think it keeps track of locations. So it's probably do-able, but at the cost of considerable programming and data storage for the OXP. A lot of work. A list of previous jump times and locations (vectors, "from" and "to") with the ship reappearing at the witchpoint in the appropriately-timed jump would be simpler than tracking the in-system movements.
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a target ship's shield and energy levels are below certain thresholds will send that ship back in time, perhaps a week or so of game time,
The same time difference every time? So, you'll re-emerge into the middle of that firefight you had a week ago, just in time to watch the 17 ASPs blow your earlier self to smithereens then turn on your shield depleted ship.
I think it would significantly change game play, create all sorts of problems with self-referential paradoxes (for a start, were you to jump into a system/ time combination where your ship already existed, how is the system going to handle the clash of names? And what happens if you slip past that paradox, make a week's progress to your mission goal, get whacked again and time-port back into the system where there are two existing copies of your ship. One of which you accidentally kill. Like playing a "grandfather paradox" on yourself.
If you're looking for ways out of systems where you're getting a pasting, there are several existing OXPs that fit an additional fuel tank (1LY, or 3LY ; costing cargo space, or a pylon) which give you the option of getting out of Dodge under most circumstances. And when you're carrying a high-value passenger and jump into an Anarchy at 6.8LY range and no escape route ... you know what is going to be waiting for you. Good luck, Commander. Check your Escape Pod insurance.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:17 pm 
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Even if you do manage to somehow set it up by clever scripting or mission variables in the save file or whatever, you still cannot create convincing time travel. The clock can be set by script only forward.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:17 am 
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If we're to fight other ships using time manipulation, would there be a way to create a weapon that would slow down time around your opponent? It could be quite expensive, hard to use, and be quite consuming in terms of energy, but if would pretty much put your opponents in slow motion mode, making them easier to strike, and their attacks easier to avoid.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:25 pm 
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It is possible to reduce the maxspeed, turn rates and energy recharge of a target, but laser fire rate should be reduced also and this is not writable. A wokaround if somebody create and replace the laser to a slower variant but this is a complicated way (for example incompatible with separated lasers). A reasonable solution could be a new missile which damage engines, thrusters and maybe energy generators also but not lasers.

Alternatively I can imagine a player-only time forwarder device, which could double the speed and turn rates of player at a cost of 2x time forwarding and offline weapons to avoid laser fire rates problem. Then you can set TAF to 0.5x and you will be normal, every others slowed down.

Note Torus To Sun already offer double speed but in green alert only. In yellow alert TimeControl can save real time for you, but in red alert I do not know any targeted solution yet.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:57 pm 
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It is possible to reduce the maxspeed, turn rates and energy recharge of a target, but laser fire rate should be reduced also and this is not writable.
Woah - hang on! The energy recharge rate (of a ship-energy-military booster combination, with or without the copper-coloured top) is going to ultimately limit the number of shots you can fire in a period of time even if you an dump heat from the lasers fast enough. Ultimately, this decreases the energy in your banks until one touch of the ECM or 'fire' button means it's "Press Space, Commander..." time.

I've always assumed (but never read the Source, Luke, to verify) that the response to the "fire" button for example implies "check bank for sufficient energy ; move energy from bank to laser ; draw laser bolt and sound effect ; compute laser temperature change (if temperature too high, flush "fire button keystroke buffer"). (Yes, there is a bug/feature in there, which gives particular observed behaviour.) Similarly there is something along the lines of a (clock-based) event that updates the energy banks from the previous clock-tick to the next in accord to the Energy Unit capacity, existing demands on it (eg, ECM or Ore Processor) including the "Fire" command. And another time for cabin temperature.

Given those assumptions, the energy demands of the laser system are going to limit fire rate eventually, if the temperature build up doesn't limit the fire rate first. And that's not an unconstrained variable, but the consequences of other characteristics of the ship.

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