New Jameson here, some initial feedback

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by spara » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:28 pm

Grindalf wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:52 am
@starting with the Adder
I've restarted with the Adder and to be honest I'm not finding it difficult at all. I just corkscrew to avoid pirate fire, make sure I buy things at a good price and sell at a good price. The big problem is its a long haul to be able to afford a new ship and without cargo expansion being available to the Adder I have no alternatives other than the long grind ahead of me. A possible cargo expansion of 5TC for the Adder would at the very least make the grind a little shorter. But it makes the thought of eventually upgrading to the CobraMKIII a good one
Adder is an underestimated ship :). The hardness comes from the grind, IMO. You can't really do cargo contracts, mining is very limited as well as scavenging. +3 cargo helps a little, but not that much. With +3 cargo you can do some passenger shipping, but you won't be doing any scooping any more, since the berth occupies your hold. That basically leaves you with gem trading and parcel contracts. I have not played the game for a while, but at least with the previous versions, the parcel contracts did not scale very high. Please correct me, if this has changed. Also to my recollection, gem business is a bit on the lucky side, as opposed to doing regular milk runs on a Cobra.

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by Nicksta » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:05 pm

@TS13

Happy to help and I appreciate your feedback. The newbie perspective is very important when the game tends to guide them into the deep end of the pool.

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by Cody » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:08 pm

Adder is an underestimated ship
Indeed it is!
spara wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:28 pm
... the parcel contracts did not scale very high. Please correct me, if this has changed.
I don't think anything has changed, but with patience and hard graft, parcel contracts do become quite lucrative. Even early on, a few parcels can earn much needed cash.
For example, a virgin Jameson at Lave will find a 436Cr parcel contract waiting on the board. That's not bad for starters - if said Jameson dares to attempt the run.

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by Nicksta » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:14 pm

For example, a virgin Jameson at Lave will find a 436Cr parcel contract waiting on the board. That's not bad for starters - if said Jameson dares to attempt the run.
Yes. I discovered the reason for the generous fee the hard way.

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by Cody » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:16 pm

<sniggers>

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by Redspear » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:30 pm

Disembodied wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:00 am
There is of course a way around this, but it requires yet more guddling about with the original game: the creation of a (nearly or completely) safe "core systems" set of planets, where the police are plentiful and pirates rare to nonexistent. The profitability of trade within any such core systems, of course, should be lower, but it would be a place for Jamesons to pooter about in their Adder, learn the basic game mechanics, and shoot a few asteroids, before scraping enough credits together for a few bits of decent kit (or maybe even e.g. a Moray or a Cobra I) and setting off for riskier, and more rewarding, trade routes among the Outer Worlds.

If I were to try such an approach...

1. Remove influence of Riedquat et. al. on neighboring systems (within the 'paddling pool' area)

Riedquat could remain an anarchy but for whichever reason you might choose, it's pirates not stray to nearby Diso. Could be an honour thing - real pirates aren't afraid of competition. Otherwise it makes sense for only the toughest pirate groups to try their luck in the safer systems, making them not that safe at all... I prefer to think that the police have already 'won that war' and so only desperate, lone pirates who can't get near the front of the queue in an Anarchy might try their luck.

2. No need to adjust prices

Trading profit = price difference x quantity. In a default adder, quantity is usually 2, therefore profits are already capped significantly - even in a Cobra Mk I it is only half that of the Mk III. Throw in repair costs and the like and you're still a long way from rolling on money. When you have some better equipment, parcel missions become more viable and you are ready to leave the pool.
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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by Disembodied » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:29 pm

I think, if it was thought desirable to set up a "paddling pool", it would be best to go the whole hog and redraw the map. Put a little cluster of half-a-dozen systems, all within a jump or two of each other, with only one longish jump route out to the rest of the galaxy. Make the 6 systems a mix of Democracies and Corporate States, with maybe the one on the route to the outside a Confederacy, linking to (say) a Communist or Dictatorship. Keep the Anarchies at a distance. Make the 6 starter systems a mix of average-to-rich Mostly Industrials and Mostly Agriculturals, to keep the profits down. Provide a couple of friendly missions - ferrying parcels at close range, say, and helping to clear unwanted debris from the spacelanes.

Ship and equipment prices would have to be altered to let pilots kit out the Adder into something at least nominally survivable within a relatively short space of time (maybe by making equipment prices at least partly dependent on ship price - so e.g. a Beam laser for an Adder is much cheaper than a Beam laser for a Cobra III). Players should also be able to upgrade to e.g. a Moray or a Cobra I reasonably quickly, too.

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by Grindalf » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:57 pm

Disembodied wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:29 pm
it would be best to go the whole hog and redraw the map. Put a little cluster of half-a-dozen systems, all within a jump or two of each other, with only one longish jump route out to the rest of the galaxy. Make the 6 systems a mix of Democracies and Corporate States, with maybe the one on the route to the outside a Confederacy, linking to (say) a Communist or Dictatorship. Keep the Anarchies at a distance. Make the 6 starter systems a mix of average-to-rich Mostly Industrials and Mostly Agriculturals, to keep the profits down. Provide a couple of friendly missions - ferrying parcels at close range, say, and helping to clear unwanted debris from the spacelanes.
Thats a good solution but maybe it would be best to create a whole new galaxy and leave the other galaxies as they are so that way it still stays closer to the original Elite. Maybe make the new galaxy a "galaxy 0" that you can only access from a certain selection from the start screen(Maybe have an "Original Start" and a "New Start" for the original experience at Lave or the new start in the new galaxy)

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by TS13 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:05 pm

Is it THAT impossible to enter normal gameplay with an Adder? Or is it just much harder?

If it isn't impossible, I don't think many changes are needed. The Adder start won't be (shouldn't be) the only start available, so commanders who choose it should be prepared for some hardship.

If it really is THAT hard in an Adder, or hard enough that it is not fun any more, I see various solutions (and I will echo some of the posts above):
a) Add some equipment that will only be available to the player's starting Adder and will make the Adder start bearable. Eg, maybe some kind of special fuel injectors that will allow the player's Adder to run away from enemies.
b) Choose the Adder's starting position wisely. If there is no starting place in all galaxies that is appropriate for an Adder start, I also like the idea above of a Galaxy 0 for the Adder start. This will take a lot of design and work, of course, and therefore this idea will need a very serious champion.
c) Instead of an Adder, you can introduce a different ship that is similar to the Adder but faster, and give this ship to the player instead. Not sure what additional deficiency this "faster Adder" should have to make things fair.

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by Redspear » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:09 pm

It's not that hard and it's certainly not impossible but it is very, very slow. Masslocks and low profit/jump ratio being significant.

I wish to stress here that I mean no disrespect to anyone with regards to the opinions that I'm about to express.

Firstly, I'd favour keeping the current government and map layout as it almost steers the beginner towards a safer route (e.g. leesti-diso or zaonce-isinor). When Bell & Braben selected which map was to be galaxy 1 I would have thought that this would have been a major consideration. Also, for the player to be encouraged to use strategy right from the beginning is a good (and potentially fun) thing.

IIRC the decision to let neighboring systems influence danger levels (unlike the original elite) was to make the 8 government types less 'samey'; in the sense that not every corporate state is as safe as you might think and some Anarchies are less forgiving than others. Sounds great and yet one could argue that it has actually made all 8 government types more 'samey' across the board - by blurring the boundaries between the system difficulties so that they are more complex and less useful e.g. this corporate state might be more dangerous than that confederacy.

I could talk at (even greater) length on how I do not believe that oolite is truly non-player centric but I'd rather make the point that I don't think it should be. Take the focus away from the player and you almost certainly take it away from playability. Games have players and put them up front and centre; don't do that and what you then have is starting to look at lot like a simulation.

The illusion of being non-play centric can be great: the game seemingly 'within' a simulation; supported but never trapped by it. In other words, a cooperation rather than a conflict. With this change however (of neighboring systems influencing safety) I would argue that oolite the simulation gained and oolite the game lost.

So to use this particular example of government types, the idea that every corporate system is as safe as the next one might appear nonsensical and yet the very function of government types within the game (as opposed to the simulation) is to rate (rather than influence) the danger level. A player centric challenge rating that is simple, useful and reliable.

So, beyond nay-saying what do I have to offer? If the game lost its system challenge rating then simply grant it another one. Add a danger or safety rating to the f7 screen. One way might be to make government type represent police presence and wealth or economy represent piracy. A simplistic notion of crime is that it occurs most where wealth meets poverty. Rich and Poor systems could attract more piracy than 'mostly' systems, thereby pairing greater risk with greater reward (i.e. the rich industrial - poor agricultural gravy train).

Examples:

Rich, Corporate, High Tech

Rich = well equipped pirates
Corporate = lots of police
High Tech = well equipped police (ecm/interceptors)

Poor, Communist, Med Tech

Poor = badly equipped pirates
Communist = average police presence
Med Tech = reasonably equipped police (ecm)

Mostly, Anarchy, Low Tech

Mostly = low pirate presence
Anarchy = poor police presence
Low Tech = poorly equipped police (no ecm)

Mostly, Corporate, High Tech = Safe as houses
Rich, Anarchy, Low Tech = Death trap

Too complicated?
Not realistic?
Doesn't play well with current distrubution of tech/economy/government types?

If all I've done is to highlight the elegant simplicity, functionality and playability of the original government type = danger level model... then I'm quite satisfied with that.
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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by stranger » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:36 am

@Grindalf
Technically "Galaxy 0" is already exists - numbers of sectors are in range 0...7 in internal notation. Seems it is still impossible to add extra sector without editing source code.

Alas, default economic scale from Poor Agricultural to Rich Industrial IMHO seems logically flawed. What does definition "Poor Agricultural" mean if market of Poor Agricultural system has more agricultural goods for lower price than market of Rich Agricultural system? Well, Gross productivity level of Rich Agricultural system will be higher having the same TL ang government, but how to explain this Gross productivity increase exporting less goods for increased price?
It will have sense having economy diversification - for example, Poor Agricultural systems exports mainly raw food, Rich Agricultural - high cost wines and furs. But again we have more wines and furs in Poor Agricultural systems.
Personally I prefer to think in terms of economic polarity instead richness:

Extreme Agricultural
Strong Agricultural
Common Agricultural
Mainly Agricultural
Mainly Industrial
Common Industrial
Stoing Industrial
Extreme Industrial

Safe swimming pool for green Jameson.
Personally I like Darwinian Ooniverse. If you are ready for challenge, you'll try Cobra Mk I or Adder as starter ship . If not - you have option to select Easy start or Fast-track scenario. No need for swimming pool IMHO, but I respect other opinions.
In any case starting on Cobby or Adder all you need - to survive enough to collect money for WFI. It is the only upgrade essential for survival. All other equipment upgrades are very useful, but not obligatory to survive in Ooniverse.

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by Cody » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:13 pm

stranger wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:36 am
Personally I like Darwinian Ooniverse.
<nods> Aye!

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by Redspear » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:58 pm

Cody wrote:
stranger wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:36 am
Personally I like Darwinian Ooniverse.
<nods> Aye!

Darwinian = survival of the fittest, right?
In a game sense: no special breaks for the player, right?
A safe area is a safe area for players and non-players alike, right?

My point was that we used to have these safe areas, these 'paddling pools', easilly accessible from Lave and (to a greater or lesser extent) throughout all the eight maps. They're not so safe since the change I mentioned but they're also more confusing. Difficulty is one thing but clarity, ease of use was also affected. We lost the system government type as a reliable indicator of difficulty.

There's some fluff text on the f7 screen of course but the main use of it was to easily and reliably summarise key information about the system:

Government = safety
Econony = trade prices
Tech level = shipyard
Radius = fuel scooping


There was already some variance (e.g. prices, ships available) but you knew what might appear and also what wouldn't. Jumped by 8 pirates in a corporate? Welcome to Leesti... How many can you expect to get jumped by in an anarchy (it's been a while for me)? Is it many more than 8? Complexity doesn't have to be a problem but I would suggest that a lack of clarity is. When f7 tells you it's safe and f6 tells you it's dangerous then I would suggest there is a problem.

So, if we're to stick with this system of neighbours influencing each other (not that it's in anyway my decision of course) then how about a new indicator on the f7 screen, a new way to reliable gauge a systems threat level? You could still have randomness: there's no guarantee that the next trip will be as safe as the last. Currently we have some corporate states that are reliably (perhaps even considerably in some cases) more dangerous than others. Yes, you can look at the f6 map and work it out for yourself but there are two problems here for me:

1. Less convenient, easier to misjudge and no more fun than before
2. Too many anrchies and feudal systems near to Lave and its environs to have a really safe route to get you started


You could perhaps argue that the second point is related to 'Darwinism' (in terms of getting started) but the first, I think, is unrelated. Without oxp the player has no escorts or fellow gang members for support, either as a beginner or as a veteran. Yes, you can run into support but the opposite is also (and often more frequently) true. Some things are already stacked against the player (and admittedly some others in the player's favour).

I suggested a slightly complex 'solution' above but even if it were just another line on f7 e.g. 'Pirate Threat:' ranked from very low through to very high, then that would be easy to use. As long as there were some low threat systems clearly labelled near Lave, with at least some economic variance, then all's well (at least in so far as I see it).

The paddling pools, however small, would then exist naturally, without the need for a beginner's area.
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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by Grindalf » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:40 pm

What version introduced governments influencing neighbouring systems? and can I download the version before that somewhere? That sounds way more fun, You can actually view the worlds knowing what they will be like and plot the safest route through the systems rather than getting jumped by pirates every single time. Ive been playing for maybe a month now and am enjoying it but this is not the first time I tried playing this game. I tried maybe 2 years ago got jumped by pirates turned to face them and was almost instantly obliterated. After that happening a couple of times I quit, I just recently tried again and found it fun this time(because I run away every time) but pirate hoards are a little ridiculous sometimes

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Re: New Jameson here, some initial feedback

Post by another_commander » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:54 pm

Grindalf wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:40 pm
What version introduced governments influencing neighbouring systems? and can I download the version before that somewhere?
The change was introduced in v1.80. The changelog of that version mentions:
Widened the difficulty gap between Corporate States (now safer) and
Anarchy (now far more dangerous) systems. System danger now also
depends to an extent on events in neighbouring systems.
Which means that what you are looking for is probably v1.78. All older versions of the game can be found at the archived releases drive. Remember, those versions are not supported anymore.

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