Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Cody »

phkb wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:18 pm
Yes, some pirates or assassins might follow you if they're really keen.
I seem to recall squads of bounty-hunters hitching rides on occasion, but I've not seen it for a while.
I think any ship trapped in interstellar space will do it. Holy Joes do it, but that's an OXP.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Rekrul »

How about if the game semi-randomly created shortages of certain items, mostly the higher priced stuff like computers and luxuries, but all items could be affected? Some planets that normally have a good price for those things might be sold out, or only have a few for sale. This might even drive up the price at other worlds if there are none, or few of those items for sale in the nearby systems.

The fluctuating availability wouldn't be player-centric and would somewhat simulate an active market that was being influenced by others.

Ideally, the game would keep track of the markets for all the systems in the current galaxy and change the quantities/prices every 24-48 hours or so. When I say semi-random, I mean that it shouldn't just randomly decide that a system has no computers when they had 80t the day before. More like it would decide that the system was going to sell out and the quantity would decline by a certain percentage over a period of a few days until they hit zero, which might persist for a few days, or for several days they might only have small quantities available. This might cause the systems around them to increase the prices they pay for those items while the shortage lasts. Conversely, a system might be overrun with an item, which would drive down the price that they pay. The nearby systems might have plenty to sell, but the player would have to travel farther to find a system willing to offer a good price.

Maybe there could even be a feature where for a small charge, the player is able to contact other systems and get a market quote on availability and pricing, but that quote would only be good for maybe 12 hours and may change by the time the player is able to get there.

It would make a more dynamic market and the player wouldn't always be able to count on trading the same goods between the same systems all the time. It wouldn't necessarily be designed to suddenly create a shortage in the systems that the player is in (to keep it non-player centric), but by manipulating the markets of all the systems at once, trading becomes more unreliable and not such a guaranteed money maker.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Redspear »

Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:28 pm
The problem with too much randomised price variance is that it all just becomes a crapshoot.
I said price variance. No one wants 'too much' price variance ;)
Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:28 pm
And how long will prices persist? What if you turn up at planet A, find a great price for Liquor and Wines, take it to the Industrial planet B next door, nip back to planet A again, and the prices have all changed, in a matter of hours? Or will Planet A always produce incredibly cheap L&W? In which case, there's the chance of finding a nearby world with very high L&W prices - creating a free money pump.
Both of the options you describe sound problematic don't they? And I'd have to agree that neither is particularly desirable. You don't appear to be considering another variable that already exists, however: quantity.

So, for a quick fix of the scenarios you describe...
Suppose that the great price for liquor/wines on planet A is consistent - you can count on it next time you visit. Suppose further that the quantity available is not consistent - you can't guarantee that when you return you'll be able to buy anywhere near as much, or perhaps even any... Free 'money pump'? Not so much now I think.

Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:28 pm
With the current model (or indeed anything like it, where the player looks to buy low on one planet and sell high on another) there will always be the problem of milk-runs and money-pumps. Every Elite-alike game I've ever seen falls into this same hole (probably because, as in Elite, the trading is just there as a basic mechanism to enable the player to earn credits to improve their ship and go out and shoot more bad guys).
Firstly, I'm not sure that I understand the difference between a 'money pump' and a 'milk run', so if it's important then please explain.

Probably because, like Oolite, they just lifted what works. Commercially, if it works in the short term then that is enough for most games (less true in the present perhaps). Also, I think that some/many of those games did a much better job of expanding the other career paths that elite promised but barely delivered on, so trading related issues might be less obvious.
Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:28 pm
It will also never match the sheer range of cargoes that we can imagine an entire planet might produce.
I don't think you can realistically achieve that with your model either, or even get close.
Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:28 pm
This latter is a big one, for me: it's so small-scale. The entire output of a world can be covered by just 16 things, all virtually indistinguishable from the same things produced elsewhere. We can try adding granularity to it, by creating sub-types, and sub-sub-types, and so on, but it rapidly becomes overwhelming.
Here you seem to be describing trying to create your wish of a wide range of cargoes within the current system and how it won't work very well. I agree and I think this might be at the heart of our difference.

By being specific about cargo goods, I think both the current model and your model will only succeed in further highlighting how just few things there are to trade in across approx. 2,000 systems. Ironically, I think that really would become overwhelming...
How many are you going to create?
How are you going to cover (almost) everything?

How do we process things when the sheer variety is confusing? We tend to put them into categories. You passed or you failed. You got an A or a B grade etc. That's a fish, a bird, a mammal. It's a simplification but we do it because it's convenient; because if I had to exhaustively list all the animals I knew of then it would both take me a considerable amount of time and I would almost certainly forget some (oops - I forgot all the invertebrates!...)

So you can be specific at one end or general at the other. At the extreme specific end, everything is unique, while at the extreme general end, everything is just cargo. So you can have as many or as few categories as you want but if you want to do away with them altogether then (unless you have an awful lot of time on your hands or an extremely elegant name generator programme) I see clear ommisions presenting themselves over time. Worse: the more you play, the more they will become apparent and the more the variety of existing goods will seem small.

So you see the current model as limiting, I see it as inclusive. It appears that we are both hypothesising accordingly.

Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:28 pm
I think these should definitely all be used, but there aren't nearly enough of them. There's maybe ten or twenty planets in each galaxy who are famous for one product. I'd hard-code these in, so they crop up in those particular named systems, but they'd just be one item on offer in a whole medley of cargoes.
Well again, it depends on how restrictive you wish to be. For example, there are planets with demands too.
Civil war (firearms/textiles/food)
Disease (narcotics)
Killer thingies (firearms/radioactives)
Boring (luxuries/narcotics)
Love of tourists (slaves :wink: ) and so on...

Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:28 pm
the player's first contract page could offer a 10TC contract to Zaonce and a 5TC contract to Isinor.
Things aren't so different now are they (without contracts I mean)? As a beginner you can't always get a holdful anyway.

Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:28 pm
I also agree that the current setup is not helpful. My personal preference would be to divide the galaxies up into subsectors, with different piracy ratings. The Old Worlds could be pretty calm and peaceful, regardless of political rating (and shipping fees within the Old Worlds could be low because of it).
As a beginner though you'd still be trapped in a little cluster, much like you are now. I make it to Isinor, I pick up some goods but I want to keep some injector fuel handy for pirates, so Ensoreus is out. Zaonce or Tionisle? One will likely be more profitable but wll it be by much? (to be clear: describing the current model).

You're proposing a bold new model but I'm not convinced that will improve the game, or even change it in quite the ways you appear to imagine it would.

I could be wrong of course... lots of experience of being wrong :P
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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Redspear »

Rekrul wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:11 pm
How about if the game semi-randomly created shortages of certain items...

...The fluctuating availability wouldn't be player-centric and would somewhat simulate an active market that was being influenced by others.
Ah, you beat me to it :)
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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Disembodied »

Rekrul wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:11 pm
How about if the game semi-randomly created shortages of certain items, mostly the higher priced stuff like computers and luxuries, but all items could be affected?
There is a basic problem, which is that the in-game economy is Not Very Good (I mean, for a bolt-on afterthought to a 32K game it's outstanding, but …). It has in-built money-pumps, and fiddling with it is notoriously prone to producing wild imbalances and unforeseen consequences. There is a further problem, which is that all economies in all games are Not Very Good. EVE Online appointed Yanis Varoufakis as a consultant, and even with thousands of real-life players their in-game economy is - when compared to what the economy of a truly vast, interstellar trading network would be - Not Very Good. Faced with the prospect of making do with something that is Not Very Good, or disposing of it altogether and just faking it, I'd vote for faking it.

The in-game economy - trading - is there so players can earn money and improve their ship, and to provide a rationale for moving from one star system to the next, and to explain what the other ships are doing too. But if there is another mechanism whereby players can earn money to improve their ship, and to give a reason to travel from one system to another, and to explain what the other ships are doing, then buying and selling sixteen standard commodities is not actually necessary.

With a totally fake economy running, then planets can export and import an endless variety of weird and wonderful cargoes, and the player can imagine fortunes being made or lost by merchant princes, hucksters, black marketeers and so on in the background. The player doesn't have to see any of it, though - any more that the player needs to see why this passenger needs to go to this planet, or that package needs to get there. If the player is being paid for their work - and the pay reflects the difficulty and danger involved, with a bit of luck on the side - then the rest of the game can carry on as normal.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Disembodied »

Redspear wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:42 pm
Firstly, I'm not sure that I understand the difference between a 'money pump' and a 'milk run', so if it's important then please explain.
More or less the same thing: a money pump is something where the player can't fail to make money, endlessly (Poor Ag > Rich Ind and back again). A milk run is a money pump with no (or very little) risk.
Redspear wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:42 pm
Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:28 pm
It will also never match the sheer range of cargoes that we can imagine an entire planet might produce.
I don't think you can realistically achieve that with your model either, or even get close.
Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:28 pm
This latter is a big one, for me: it's so small-scale. The entire output of a world can be covered by just 16 things, all virtually indistinguishable from the same things produced elsewhere. We can try adding granularity to it, by creating sub-types, and sub-sub-types, and so on, but it rapidly becomes overwhelming.
Here you seem to be describing trying to create your wish of a wide range of cargoes within the current system and how it won't work very well. I agree and I think this might be at the heart of our difference.

By being specific about cargo goods, I think both the current model and your model will only succeed in further highlighting how just few things there are to trade in across approx. 2,000 systems. Ironically, I think that really would become overwhelming...
How many are you going to create?
How are you going to cover (almost) everything?
Random Ship Names can generate huge numbers of non-repeating ship names, with different types of names for different types of ships. A similar process could be used to create huge numbers of non-repeating cargo names:

[Adjective] [Origin] [Product]

"Adjective" would be along the lines of Golden, White, Red, Blue, Frozen, Preserved, Salted … There would be different adjective sets for different products. "Origin" could be planetary, or just use the in-built random name generator. "Product" would be a type of the commodity - e.g. Golden Vigi Rice. It would need a sizeable database of types of commodities - food, textiles, Liquor & Wines, etc. Time-consuming, but not impossible. Quite a lot of the adjectives could be shared across products, and siphoned out of the Random Ship Names, too …
Redspear wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:42 pm
How do we process things when the sheer variety is confusing? We tend to put them into categories. You passed or you failed. You got an A or a B grade etc. That's a fish, a bird, a mammal. It's a simplification but we do it because it's convenient; because if I had to exhaustively list all the animals I knew of then it would both take me a considerable amount of time and I would almost certainly forget some (oops - I forgot all the invertebrates!...)
None of this would matter, any more than it matters whether you're carrying legal papers or blueprints or sports footage when you take a parcel contract. What would interest the player is how much they were being offered to take a cargo of fictional exotic stuff, how far away the destination was, whether they could get there in time, whether they could combine that cargo with this one, and so on.
Redspear wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:42 pm
Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:28 pm
I think these should definitely all be used, but there aren't nearly enough of them. There's maybe ten or twenty planets in each galaxy who are famous for one product. I'd hard-code these in, so they crop up in those particular named systems, but they'd just be one item on offer in a whole medley of cargoes.
Well again, it depends on how restrictive you wish to be. For example, there are planets with demands too.
Civil war (firearms/textiles/food)
Disease (narcotics)
Killer thingies (firearms/radioactives)
Boring (luxuries/narcotics)
Love of tourists (slaves :wink: ) and so on...
These demands don't exist in the game at present, of course - but they could be coded into the game. Certain types of cargo shipments could be more likely to have planets with demands for them as destinations.
Redspear wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:42 pm
You're proposing a bold new model but I'm not convinced that will improve the game, or even change it in quite the ways you appear to imagine it would.
To be honest, I'm talking through a hole in my head, and may be going slightly stir crazy … none of this is remotely likely to happen, and would require massive amounts of coding and testing even if it was!

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Redspear »

Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:12 pm
Faced with the prospect of making do with something that is Not Very Good, or disposing of it altogether and just faking it, I'd vote for faking it.
Interesting. I see the current model as faking it.

Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:12 pm
With a totally fake economy running, then planets can export and import an endless variety of weird and wonderful cargoes, and the player can imagine fortunes being made or lost by merchant princes, hucksters, black marketeers and so on in the background.
If using Planetfall, contracts could be to a planet surface or (more enigmatic but more oxp dependant) a moon or non standard station.

That's one thing I don't think weve discussed yet. The current model make more sense when it's a GalCop standardised market. They're all GalCop stations so essentially, you're being paid to ferry stuff for GalCop. You don't even reall know what it is. It's labelled food so take it to the food market, GalCop will do the real pricing when they sell it on. You have to buy it in the first place so that if your ship blows up, no problem...

Contracts suit (and already have with regards to parcels at least) more exotic cargo. But when that cargo is supposed to be conventional trading goods (however interstingly named) then the current model suffices for me. Your mileage may vary of course.

Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:36 pm
More or less the same thing: a money pump is something where the player can't fail to make money, endlessly (Poor Ag > Rich Ind and back again). A milk run is a money pump with no (or very little) risk.
Ok, thanks.

Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:36 pm
[Adjective] [Origin] [Product]
That would give you lots of different names but not so many different things. In a sense, we already have origin, it's just not included in the name.

So, If I can be forgiven for dismissing that then we'd have [Adjective] [Product]. You're still going to need a huge ammount of product names.
Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:36 pm
Time-consuming, but not impossible.
Agreed but very time consuming I think as (with or without the origin included) it would be the number and variety of products themselves that highlighted your success. You're faking it, right? So faking it for 10 minutes is easier than faking it for 10 hours.

Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:36 pm
None of this would matter, any more than it matters whether you're carrying legal papers or blueprints or sports footage when you take a parcel contract. What would interest the player is how much they were being offered to take a cargo of fictional exotic stuff, how far away the destination was, whether they could get there in time, whether they could combine that cargo with this one, and so on.
Can't we say the same about the current trade and contract system? i.e. That it's risk and reward that the player really cares about?
Perhaps you can't if you only see 16 commodities instead of 16 categories.

Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:36 pm
These demands don't exist in the game at present, of course - but they could be coded into the game. Certain types of cargo shipments could be more likely to have planets with demands for them as destinations.
Yep, could be an addition for either model. It's just the inspiration that is already there in the form of planet descriptions.

Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:36 pm
none of this is remotely likely to happen, and would require massive amounts of coding and testing even if it was!
Oh sure, even my minimalist tweaks are unlikely to get taken up :D

And I suppose when an only semi-radical change like the neighboring system influence later became so controversial, then one can understand a certain caution on the part of the devs.
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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Redspear »

Redspear wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:10 pm
That's one thing I don't think weve discussed yet. The current model make more sense when it's a GalCop standardised market. They're all GalCop stations so essentially, you're being paid to ferry stuff for GalCop. You don't even reall know what it is. It's labelled food so take it to the food market, GalCop will do the real pricing when they sell it on. You have to buy it in the first place so that if your ship blows up, no problem...
Actually that might present a good compromise (although perhaps not to everyone's taste)...
  • Market essentially as is (GalCop)
  • Cargo contracts (not just parcels) more like Disembodied's model (non GalCop)
  • More beginner suited contract jobs.

You'd no longer require the illusion of an exhaustive product list as GalCop's doing (or getting others to do for them) the real bulk trading. GalCop needn't even care where you ship it to. Inconvenience them by selling it to somewhere less advantageous, and the lower price there means you'd lose out - and your loss would be their compensation/profit.

Meanwhile your exotic/black market/independant trading (contracts) can ship whatever wherever. If the list of items seems limited then it no longer matters: GalCop's got fingers in every pie, the independants get what they can.

And if the beginning player's options in terms of travel are no more varied then they are currently, then nothing has been lost.

It's a rationale like any other, so it won't appeal to everyone but I'm liking it right now (having considered it carefully for a solid 3 minutes :lol: )


Yeah, I know, Oolite's not a remake of Elite but we can draw inspiration (and even explanation) from the manual, right?
Most space stations have made the process of trading very simple, in order to facilitate a fast turnover in goods and ships. Import and export tariffs - which are high on some worlds - are automatically added or deducted and this is reflected in the prices shown. The auto-trader system, employed by the Cobra, does not allow for more specific trading deals to be performed.

A selection of the more valuable alien items that are tradeable is [*] given in this manual, but the trader must deal with them in person.

Once docked you are linked directly with the CorCom Trade System. At your request you can obtain a list of basic trade items available for purchase.
* Presumably there is a missing 'not' here (and the manual does appear to have quite a few typos) as otherwise the sentence I think is not true.

After listing various examples within each category it goes on...
Most CorCom Trade Systems deal exclusively under blanket categories, including Food, Machinery, Minerals and Gemstones.
This may all be excuse making for the way trading worked in Elite but, as excuse making goes, it's not bad.

So there's two types of trade: CorCom or personal but in the actual game it was CorCom only.
To my mind at least, these two types of trading (and yes, contracts involve trading) are sounding very close to what I'm suggesting up-post.

Maybe in Oolite we can (ok, we sort of already do if you count parcels...) have both.
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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Disembodied »

Redspear wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:10 pm
I see the current model as faking it.
Well, yes, it's fake too, but it's still an attempt to make a model of an economy. Given that all model economies are either a) unsatisfactory; b) prone to producing money pumps; or c) both, I think it's better to ditch the idea entirely.
Redspear wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:10 pm
Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:12 pm
With a totally fake economy running, then planets can export and import an endless variety of weird and wonderful cargoes, and the player can imagine fortunes being made or lost by merchant princes, hucksters, black marketeers and so on in the background.
If using Planetfall, contracts could be to a planet surface or (more enigmatic but more oxp dependant) a moon or non standard station.

That's one thing I don't think weve discussed yet. The current model make more sense when it's a GalCop standardised market. They're all GalCop stations so essentially, you're being paid to ferry stuff for GalCop. You don't even reall know what it is. It's labelled food so take it to the food market, GalCop will do the real pricing when they sell it on. You have to buy it in the first place so that if your ship blows up, no problem...

Contracts suit (and already have with regards to parcels at least) more exotic cargo. But when that cargo is supposed to be conventional trading goods (however interstingly named) then the current model suffices for me. Your mileage may vary of course.
Yes, that's true - and a contract system that was able to include delivery to other locations, stations, rock hermits, etc. would be a great addition.
Redspear wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:10 pm
Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:36 pm
[Adjective] [Origin] [Product]
That would give you lots of different names but not so many different things. In a sense, we already have origin, it's just not included in the name.

So, If I can be forgiven for dismissing that then we'd have [Adjective] [Product]. You're still going to need a huge amount of product names.
A random generater will cover that, I'm sure. For stuff like food, there's an enormous amount of words to choose from, and all sorts of other tricks that could be used to increase variety - e.g. [Adjective] [Origin] (remembering that "origin" doesn't have to be the name of the planet it's from) [animal] [cut of meat]; [Adjective] [Origin] [random noun]-fruit; [Adjective] [Origin] [random noun]-berries; [Adjective] [Origin] [random noun]-nuts; and so on. The game can spin these out endlessly, just like the Random Ship Names (and also remembering that sometimes the Adjectives and Origin fields can be left blank). Food-adjectives could range from colour to texture to frozen, salted, preserved, fresh, pickled, dried, desiccated, dehydrated, reconstituted, predigested, raw, processed, tinned, fermented, sun-dried, vacuum-packed, sugared, spiced, … With a bit of weighting, making some adjectives (e.g. frozen or fresh) more likely to crop up than others (predigested), we could get hundreds of different foodstuffs alone.

And some other commodities won't need the same level of variety; there are only a few dozen likely candidates each for radioactives, minerals, and alloys, for example.
Redspear wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:10 pm
Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:36 pm
Time-consuming, but not impossible.
Agreed but very time consuming I think as (with or without the origin included) it would be the number and variety of products themselves that highlighted your success. You're faking it, right? So faking it for 10 minutes is easier than faking it for 10 hours.
Building the word-lists for the random generator would be time-consuming, but once they're created, the game can create all the variations we want on the fly.
Redspear wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:10 pm
Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:36 pm
None of this would matter, any more than it matters whether you're carrying legal papers or blueprints or sports footage when you take a parcel contract. What would interest the player is how much they were being offered to take a cargo of fictional exotic stuff, how far away the destination was, whether they could get there in time, whether they could combine that cargo with this one, and so on.
Can't we say the same about the current trade and contract system? i.e. That it's risk and reward that the player really cares about?
Perhaps you can't if you only see 16 commodities instead of 16 categories.
In the current setup, though, risk and reward are not connected. Any Rich Industrial > Poor Agricultural route will return top profits, regardless of how dangerous those systems are.
Redspear wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:10 pm
Disembodied wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:36 pm
none of this is remotely likely to happen, and would require massive amounts of coding and testing even if it was!
Oh sure, even my minimalist tweaks are unlikely to get taken up :D

And I suppose when an only semi-radical change like the neighboring system influence later became so controversial, then one can understand a certain caution on the part of the devs.
Yes, this is very much "How might we build a new version from the ground up?" I'll stop now before I start banging on about why the player should start off with a massive overdraft, too … :D

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Astrobe »

I think Cim's old "Risk based Economy" (basically the unsafer the system the better the prices) was a good idea except for the early game, when you cannot afford to take any risk.

IMHO what is needed is:
- A viable, medium difficult Adder start, so that you have a longer progression path (*)
- Different career paths so that when you have "finished" the game e.g. as a trader, you can restart it another role - or play multiple commanders at the same time. Potential careers suggested by the core game are trader, parcel/pax contractor, bounty hunter, pirate.

Ideally some core ships would be better for certain roles. It does not have to be about features only, it can and should also be about cost-effectiveness: the money you can make versus the operational costs (fuel, overhaul, repairs). It should be possible that an over-equipped ship would not be worth it unless its pilot is really good (this is where you buy a ship more fitted to your activity).
On the features side though, since we have shipyards, some purchasable extensions like the cargo bay extension and the passenger berth (perhaps the heat shield too) should be replaced by ship variants.

The one thing I would like to see is Lave at TL8 and match the TL requirement for injectors to that. Injectors are a central piece of equipment because it is (almost) the only escape device. It needs to be made accessible right from the start in many starting scenarios, and in case of breakage it should be easier to repair.

The other change I would like to see in the core game is to have rock hermits only on sun orbits, for two reasons: firstly, because doing shady business under the eyes of Galcop is a bit hard to believe and secondly, to create an incentive to travel to the sun and do some scooping while we are at it (the Adder comes out of the factory with a heat shield, you just have to add the fuel scoops).

The thing I want to add is a pylon-mounted fuel tank. Not exactly a new idea, but the twist is that the extra LY capacity you get depends on the fuel cost multiplier of the ship. So that small ships (like the Adder) gets more fuel than a Boa (which has more pylons). Perhaps also offer empty fuel tanks that can be filled while scooping, and using a tank would just empty it, not "consume" it, so players have an additional incentive to go scooping.


PS: I have modded Oolite and Minetest, and in both case I have seen good built-in features not used at their full potential. My approach is usually to find the minimal changes to use this potential.

---
(*) btw what is the adder's default cargo cap ? I have it at 5 but I have the bad habit of tweaking core files directly and I read 2 in the wiki and seemingly untouched files - which is not enough to bribe at least one pack of pirates.
Last edited by Astrobe on Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:36 am, edited 2 times in total.

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phkb
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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by phkb »

The default cargo space for the Adder is 2t. But if you have the Start Options OXP installed, the default was changed to 5t. Other OXP’s might do it as well.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Redspear »

Disembodied wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:15 am
Well, yes, it's fake too, but it's still an attempt to make a model of an economy. Given that all model economies are either a) unsatisfactory; b) prone to producing money pumps; or c) both, I think it's better to ditch the idea entirely.
Like any model, it depends on what you are expecting to get from it. Although based on your experience, I think your second sentence is still, at least partially, a list of assumptions.

Disembodied wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:15 am
A random generater will cover that, I'm sure. For stuff like food, there's an enormous amount of words to choose from, and all sorts of other tricks that could be used to increase variety
Oh, I don't think there's any doubt that it can, I just think you might be underestimating how difficult it might be to make one that was as comprehensive as either I would like or even to the extent that you would suggest.

Firstly, that 'enormous ammount of words to choose from' has to be typed in.

Secondly, you would likely have to account for appropriate/inappropriate combinations. So you'd have to 'teach' the random generator an appropriate 'grammar' along with all of the exceptions that might (and likely would) arise for that rule set. You could plan around that but you'd need to be sufficiently clever/selective for it not to compromise the possible outcomes significantly.

Thirdly I think, it would still essentially boil down to the noun all of the descriptors were attached to. Consequently you are left listing subgroups or specifics within the current 16 categories (we keep typing 16, so I'm assuming that's right). So whether or not it's sun-dried, forest-farmed, prime-cut, Zaoncian bacon, you'd still be shipping bacon and my concern is that the third or fourth time that I find myself shipping bacon (as that's the bit I'll likely remember) I'll be thinking that there's an awful lot of bacon around. For me, this is a problem in a way that seeing a lot of food around is not. True, you could make it [animal] [meat cut] but then I'd have the same problem as it would be the animal, the essential noun, not the cut that would stick in my mind.

Specifics restrain in a way that generalisations do not, they (i.e. specifics) just require (and arguably encourage) less imagination on the part of the player.
Therefore generalisations suit 'faking-it' (to the extent that is being attempted) much more IMHO.

Maybe that's why I prefered wireframes over the early 'filled in' ship models. With wireframes the limit was my imagination but once those frames were filled with bright colours my imagination felt compromised.


Disembodied wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:15 am
And some other commodities won't need the same level of variety; there are only a few dozen likely candidates each for radioactives, minerals, and alloys, for example.
I agree that some categories present much less of a problem.

Disembodied wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:15 am
In the current setup, though, risk and reward are not connected. Any Rich Industrial > Poor Agricultural route will return top profits, regardless of how dangerous those systems are.
Agreed but that's just that the association between economy and government type is currently random. Doesn't require a new model, just a tweak. Suppose instead of dangerous neighbours influencing piracy that it was instead lucrative trading areas... er, hang on, let me think about that one for a sec :lol:

Astrobe wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:20 am
I think Cim's old "Risk based Economy" (basically the unsafer the system the better the prices) was a good idea except for the early game, when you cannot afford to take any risk.
Good point.

Astrobe wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:20 am
The one thing I would like to see is Lave at TL8 and match the TL requirement for injectors to that. Injectors are a central piece of equipment because it is (almost) the only escape device. It needs to be made accessible right from the start in many starting scenarios, and in case of breakage it should be easier to repair.
This is why I made my indestructible injectors oxp. You've got fuel and you've got engines, maybe you don't need some fancy equipment to flood them with fuel. Also what's great about injectors is that they will only usually save your hide, not always. Otherwise, it just presents the same problem as Furs/Computers, rear mounted military lasers and buying cascade mines at corporate systems: it's so convenient that it spoils the fun.

Astrobe wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:20 am
The other change I would like to see in the core game is to have rock hermits only on sun orbits, for two reasons: firstly, because doing shady business under the eyes of Galcop is a bit hard to believe and secondly, to create an incentive to travel to the sun and do some scooping while we are at it (the Adder comes out of the factory with a heat shield, you just have to add the fuel scoops).
I like that :D

Astrobe wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:20 am
The thing I want to add is a pylon-mounted fuel tank. Not exactly a new idea, but the twist is that the extra LY capacity you get depends on the fuel cost multiplier of the ship. So that small ships (like the Adder) gets more fuel than a Boa (which has more pylons). Perhaps also offer empty fuel tanks that can be filled while scooping, and using a tank would just empty it, not "consume" it, so players have an additional incentive to go scooping.
Interesting. I made star fuel oxp in an attempt to address this (scoop incentive) in a very simple manner.

Astrobe wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:20 am
PS: I have modded Oolite and Minetest, and in both case I have seen good built-in features not used at their full potential. My approach is usually to find the minimal changes to use this potential.
Yes, I've said before that I think fuel scooping, for example, is much underused. Simplicity is genius, at least when it's done well.
"With our thoughts, we make the world" :-) - - - Game too slow for you? Masslock Compensators - - - Trouble getting out of trouble? Indestructible Injectors

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by gilhad »

Just few comments:
inappropriate combinations - I like "Edible Poets" :D

Fuel: there are http://wiki.alioth.net/index.php/ExtraFuelTanks and http://wiki.alioth.net/index.php/Fuel_Tweaks with tradeable Quirium Fuel

Also even with expensive ship and equipement I scoop fuel very often (and lot of missions have something around Sun) and use those Quirium Fuel to fill empty space in cargo, when there is shortage of something better on main station :)

Also it (going to Sun) helps to find Rock Hermits for cheap cargo, which helps a lot on begin of game (and the free fuel from scooping also help with cutting costs)

At some point the money became mainly pointless, (with fully equipped best suited ship and few Mega Credits) and the dangerous paths are more interesting, (or all kinds of missions and fame, like RSS, deliveries, Feudal status, Military Fiasco etc. etc.) so the beginers milk traces are abadoned.

(and yes, with Adder and pulse laser you get a lot of splinters over time, also the are bonuses not only for Asteroids, but for Boulders too (half and not announced on main screen/in voice, but added to your account anyway)) But for beginer in new ship is much better just leave Lave as soon as possible (and ideally just follow some merchant to his witchspace cloud, as it will probably go to safer planet and you will have company to Station too)
Lady of Fate, we adore you . . .

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