Page 1 of 8

Is it time to 'fix' the Anaconda?

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:55 am
by Smivs
The Anaconda is one of the biggest of the 'core' ships. It has a cargo capacity of 750TC, which is over four times greater than the Boa Class Cruiser (175TC), which is of a similar size being a bit shorter but much 'fatter'.
This discrepancy is famously due to a coffee stain on one of Bell and Braben's notes made while developing Elite causing one of them to mis-read 150 for 750, a figure then immortalised in the game code and subsequently adopted by Oolite.
Of course in Elite the Anaconda was not player-buyable so this was not an issue.
I think it is time to put this right and give the Anaconda the 150TC capacity it always should have had. I also think that now is the time to do this. With v1.77 of Oolite player ships can be changed in a way that will allow Capital Ships to be available to the player, and with at least one OXP Capital player ship already in the pipeline this is becoming an issue as these bigger ships will not make sense all the time the (relatively) small Anaconda has such a large capacity.
So, is it time to fix the Anaconda? What do you think?

Re: Is it time to 'fix' the Anaconda?

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:06 pm
by Disembodied
I think there is an argument that the Anaconda should be "fixed" - the 750TC capacity is OTT for a player-flyable ship, and only serves to highlight the problem of scale (*cough*). But I don't think it should be reduced to 150: that would mean that what is supposed to be the core game's big, slow cargo-hauler had a smaller capacity than the BCC. I'd "fix" it at maybe 250TC, myself (is it possible that it was a "2" which was misread as a "7"?).

Re: Is it time to 'fix' the Anaconda?

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:42 pm
by Smivs
Disembodied wrote:...I don't think it should be reduced to 150: that would mean that what is supposed to be the core game's big, slow cargo-hauler had a smaller capacity than the BCC.
I understand your point, but in terms of size the Anaconda and BCC are actually very similar. The Anaconda is an old, inefficient design from around the time of the original Boa, and this is reflected in its low speed. The BCC is much more modern, and is also a much stronger ship, so allowance should be made for its extra energy banks etc. I personally think 150TC is about right, but could accept up to 200TC considering its lower spec overall. Pricing is another issue - being old and ill-equiped the Anaconda looks a bit over-priced. As a 'big Boa' it should probably be priced at around 470 000Cr, between the Boa and BCC.

Re: Is it time to 'fix' the Anaconda?

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:48 pm
by Selezen
I think it should be fixed, yes. The BCC is the same rough size as the Annie and thus should have the same capacity. It's also not much bigger than a Cobra (rotated 0 degrees).

150 was what the developers intended it to be, so I say 150.

For the record I've never mentally held the Anaconda to be a slow, lumbering beast - just a more luxurious flight than a Python. Commodore Monty did well. :-)

Re: Is it time to 'fix' the Anaconda?

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:02 pm
by Shipbuilder
I also agree that the cargo capacity should be corrected now that the Anaconda can be purchased by players as the 750 capacity if definitely incorrect.

I would suggest going for the originally intended capacity of 150 so as to keep the core ships as envisaged by their creators. This seems to be a fair capacity and I agree with the argument put forward by Smivs regarding the older inefficient design limiting the cargo capacity to 150 rather than some larger figure in the region of 180-200.

Re: Is it time to 'fix' the Anaconda?

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:03 pm
by aegidian
I'd love to see a link for a source for the 'famously due to a coffee stain'.

If true, it'd certainly make sense to fix the Anaconda.

Re: Is it time to 'fix' the Anaconda?

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:55 pm
by Zieman
If Anaconda cargo space is to be fixed, then player Cobra mk 3 max speed should also be fixed, and (strict mode) energy bomb power too.

Re: Is it time to 'fix' the Anaconda?

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:00 pm
by JD
Not that I've ever considered buying an Anaconda, but there is one argument for not fixing it (or not lowering its capacity too much). Based on some of the discussions on the board, it appears that quite a few of us feel that the Cobra MkIII is in fact the best all-round (core-ship) option, and so there's relatively little incentive to upgrade within the ranks of the core ships. The fact that the Anaconda stands out from the crowd because of its extreme capacity at least provides one distinguishing feature that might make it attractive to some players.

Re: Is it time to 'fix' the Anaconda?

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:21 pm
by Selezen
Would the price be lowered in line with the cargo capacity?

Re: Is it time to 'fix' the Anaconda?

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:29 pm
by Wildeblood
Selezen wrote:Would the price be lowered in line with the cargo capacity?
To 1/5th? That would make it a bargain and a real game changer.

Re: Is it time to 'fix' the Anaconda?

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:43 pm
by JazHaz
Yes I think the Anaconda should be fixed. I think it ought to be 250TC capacity. If this is done, I think the view problems (ie the parallax between laser position and view position) should be sorted at the same time.

Re: Is it time to 'fix' the Anaconda?

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:45 pm
by Duggan
I also note that some of the haulage contracts made available to the player in the contracts screen can involve cargo in excess of 200 t. This would be rendered academic if no core player ship existed with such a capacity in their cargo hold. :)

Re: Is it time to 'fix' the Anaconda?

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:53 pm
by JazHaz
Duggan wrote:I also note that some of the haulage contracts made available to the player in the contracts screen can involve cargo in excess of 200 t. This would be rendered academic if no core player ship existed with such a capacity in their cargo hold. :)
Yes. If the Anaconda is fixed, then this should be too!

Re: Is it time to 'fix' the Anaconda?

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:16 pm
by Smivs
OK, several points I'd like to raise here then.
Firstly the capacity. As it stands the Anaconda is roughly the same size as the BCC and therfore the capacity needs to be similar if it is to make sense. 150TC is what it should have been and that is my preferred option. There may be a case for 200TC, but really any more and the 'problem' is not being addressed. It seems quite reasonable to have a 200TC limit on any ship 'small' enough to dock!
As far as contracts go, I do not favour limiting these. The whole point of this thread is to discuss how the core game and ships are going to fit in with the new Capital player ships which are going to come along now, and how we deal with the glaring anomaly which is the Anaconda. With big ships becoming available to players, big contracts will be needed to fill them. Already many of the contracts are irrelevant to most players but the game is changing and the core game needs to keep up with OXP developments as well as developments within the core game.
To put all this into context, my Goliath WIP is a 300m ship (almost twice as long as an Anaconda/BCC and much more capacious), and when I started deciding on the spec I was determined to make it fit-in with the core game in all respects, size/cargo capacity ratio, available equipment, price and weaponry. For instance it will not have plasma turrets. These are not in my opinion suitable for any ship of less than 1Km due to the massive energy reserves they would need. Also it has a useful but modest top speed. And it is going to be expensive.
I looked at all the core ships and then decided to ignore the Anaconda as it is such a mis-fit. The Goliath therefore is going to have a capacity of 250TC - it is twice the size of a BCC and has 75TC more capacity, which is modest but balanced in my view. It may well be that other authors may produce even bigger player ships in the future, and a ship of say 500m would probably have a reasonable capacity of 3-400TC.
With the new features brought to us by v1.77 the game is going to change, and my concern is that these changes hang together and make sense without unbalancing everything. Many OXP ships are already plain silly in lots of ways, and I think if we can come to a consensus about the Anaconda here we can set out our stall clearly. We want to improve things and give players more options, but we want to keep it sensible.
So this debate is not necessarily so much about what individuals want or think about the Anaconda, but about what we think and say about our game and where we want it to go.

Re: Is it time to 'fix' the Anaconda?

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:19 pm
by DaddyHoggy
aegidian wrote:I'd love to see a link for a source for the 'famously due to a coffee stain'.

If true, it'd certainly make sense to fix the Anaconda.
I recall reading an interview with Ian Bell where he certainly implied that a mark on a piece of paper where the TC capacity of the Anaconda was scribbled - tweaked it to 750. (and I so wish I had bookmarked it, because my Google-fu is weak and I have never found the word combo to find it again (save being dragged back to this very forum!)

150 seems to small.

I know the BCC is modern - but I like to think of the Anaconda as cutting edge (in terms of capacity) for it's time and would fail every modern (in Ooniverse terms) Health and Safety check - tiny cabins - few failsafes - paper thin hull (like old single skin Oil Tankers) - minimal shielding on engines - no recreational facilities - small mess area etc...

It was/is a dangerous ship to own/crew - but the potential income generation made it worthwhile...

Personally I'd like to see an Anaconda with c. 250 TC capacity (given you can't sell more than 128 of something - that's double the market of a particular commodity) BUT I'd also like to see this be a variable number - so that more modern Anacondas with more safety features have reduced capacities... While this wouldn't effect the game (other than to reduce how much you could carry) - it adds to the "background" of the ship.

Should we ever add proper crews - they might work for less money on a safer Anaconda.
More modern Anacondas could pay less docking fees (easier to dock, less chance of spontaneously blowing up)
More modern Anacondas could have a faster recharge rate
More modern Anacondas could have/support more OXP equipment fitted than older ones (the computer interface of which cannot cope, or mount points not available in older superstructure, power conduits would overload)

etc.

So perhaps old, unmodified Anacondas have a 250TC capacity but newer ones (as more and more H&S was included as they were built over time) that drops down towards the 150 TC mark.

Perhaps they don't/can't actually make Anacondas any more - perhaps the newest ones flying are at least a generation old...

I like the Anaconda - I accepted the 750 TC because when I saw one in the original Elite it didn't matter that in some dimensions it was almost the same size as the Cobby 3, you just knew it was BIG (because it had such a huge capacity).

Now you can own and fly one - it makes sense to make this number "more sensible" and for the scale junkies "more plausible" - but let's do it with grace and style and think about ways of making the Anaconda even more important to the game and not just another big old hauler - let's keep some of the sense of grandeur she always had back in the "old days"...