Except that if the player wasn't moving so fast a couple of pirate patrols equipped with fast ships and some sort of AWACS-type ship to coordinate them would have plenty of time to intercept a player taking the off-lane route.Disembodied wrote:This wasn't possible in Elite, but is possible in Oolite. It's actually not got anything to do with the torus drive at all.
1.79 makes this bit easier - all the ships in the system have an origin system, crew and cargo manifest already set. (Crew is not yet readable by script, but will be before 1.80 is released)Disembodied wrote:Perhaps there's some mileage there: perhaps we can generate - with a bit of scanning - some manifests for ships: where they've last been, the name of their commander
That would be an immense project to get it right, but potentially very good indeed.Disembodied wrote:There might also be potential in communicating with ships
To digress slightly... I've recently been playing through the "Derelict" fan add-on for Freespace 2 (well worth a go if you enjoyed the original game). One of the things it has in it - to set up the ambience that you're based at a station on the fringes of inhabited space where not much happens - is a few early escort/patrol missions where literally nothing (in terms of Freespace 2's traditional combat-oriented missions, at any rate) happens, either for the whole mission, or for several minutes. It works, though, because while you're flying that distance the other ships in your patrol are chatting on the comms.
The problem with doing the same thing in Oolite, of course, is the scale - to get to Elite rank we're probably expecting the player to have built up several hundred (if not a few thousand) hours of flight time, so any comms chatter besides the professional (e.g. "target the Gecko", "requesting docking clearance", "your cargo or your life", etc.) basically needs to have a huge data source to work from so that it doesn't end up getting repetitive (something like CCL PhraseGen and similar can of course reduce the data needs, but not by a lot). The technical implementation would be relatively straightforward by comparison to the task of writing and collating all of that.
Similarly - and even harder in all aspects - with giving out mission hooks. Curse of the Black Sunspot was kind of an initial experiment in the direction of the sort of informal mission I think it would be excellent to stumble across (CotBS, because it's the only one, has to really give some heavy hints to the player as to where they should stumble about, and includes a lot more custom code) and choose what to do with. Similarly you might pick up a "routine" passenger somewhere, get dragged into the edges of something bigger when they turn out not to be who they claimed ... and it would be good to have "poke my nose in" and "get well clear of that sort of politics" both as valid options (and I don't mean "mission screen choices") with their own consequences. Somewhat difficult to code, but would need ridiculous amounts of background data .
 Well, to an extent. So long as it was being produced faster than the majority of players could consume it, it might be possible to do some sort of rolling release of that data file. That's still a big task, though.