Escape Pod as Standard OXZ

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Redspear
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Escape Pod as Standard OXZ

Post by Redspear »

Beginners tend to die a lot, and in some ways so they should! It's good to have costly mistakes to learn from, but those mistakes tend to be consistently fatal in the early game.

Management of player frustration can be a tricky thing, especially for players who have yet to experience the highs that the game can offer. So this is a way to extend their game (and story - both wins and losses) without having to simply restart/reload, both of which remain options.

What does it do exactly?

Grants player ship a free escape pod that is immune to damage but won't appear on your inventory.
Replaces said pod each time it is used, currently free of charge (besides loss of any cargo).

Why give away free stuff?

The escape pod is an item you typicaly don't want to have to use. Yes, you will get free transit to the station and get your ship replaced but you will also lose your cargo.

Won't ejecting just be bankrupting a beginner, whose wealth is nearly always in his/her hold?

Well, that is a risk but then there are missiles to sell, a laser if you're desperate, and even asteroids to destroy. If you were to sell the laser then that's quite a bit of cash in the early game and it might be wise not to invest all of it at once.

Shouldn't there be a cost for getting your ship replaced? Even the original 1,000 Cr was a bargain!

If you are playing ironman then yes, 1,000 credits is an absolute steal. If not, it would be cheaper to reload, save paying the 1,000 Cr and keep any cargo. Maybe that's not in the spirit of the game but it remains convenient and easy and doesn't require you to abandon all of your progress. Besides, the beginner usually can't afford that anyway.

In terms of believability, consider it a lifetime insurance policy that the player paid when they bought the ship. Maybe that's why they've only got a measly 100 credits left. Maybe there's an undoccumented tax on the player's trading profits. Or, if you prefer, by the will of an unknown benefactor who will always pick you up but will never carry you.

This is a way to encourage an 'ironman' game, or at least something of an ironman play style. Take the hits on the chin, suffer every loss and savour every victory. Dock at that station the pirates stopped you getting to and perhaps marvel at the profit you could have made... or spot a more profitable trade item for next time. Knowledge is power and this way you can survive a bad mistake or an unlucky encounter and learn from it in game.

And if your chips really are all spent then you can still start again, just like before.

To be available from the in-game manager shortly.
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Damocles Edge
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Re: Escape Pod as Standard OXZ

Post by Damocles Edge »

Makes a helluva lot of sense.
I suppose an analogy of it would be like asking if in real life there is a car that doesn't come with seat belts?
And if there was, why would you buy it?
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Re: Escape Pod as Standard OXZ

Post by Redspear »

Damocles Edge wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:55 pm
Makes a helluva lot of sense.
Or at least as much sense as paying a one-off 1,000 Cr lifetime warranty for a 100,000+ Cr vessel + systems. Especially when that that cover is valid against pirates, police, bounty hunters, assassins, thargoids and even accidentally stuttering on the escape key.

It's a gameplay device but yeah, your seat belt analogy holds true I think.
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Re: Escape Pod as Standard OXZ

Post by Norby »

Alternatively use the ship as a big escape capsule: an emergency shutdown procedure ejects the instable fuel to prevent explosion, leaving the ship without energy but technically immune to further hits. When attackers see that the ship is disabled then just steal cargo and left it alone. Later a tugship tow it to the main station, where must pay the fee of rescue and fixes (up to 1000cr, less in safe systems). A timeskip can cover all of these, just the game time should get a significant improvement. Even more time if not enough money left, maybe a whole year, assuming the pilot must gather money by working in the station.

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Re: Escape Pod as Standard OXZ

Post by Redspear »

Norby wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:31 pm
Alternatively use the ship as a big escape capsule: an emergency shutdown procedure ejects the instable fuel to prevent explosion, leaving the ship without energy but technically immune to further hits.
Interesting idea as it would explain why you don't have to replace your ship.
Norby wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:31 pm
When attackers see that the ship is disabled then just steal cargo and left it alone. Later a tugship tow it to the main station, where must pay the fee of rescue and fixes (up to 1000cr, less in safe systems).
It occurs to me however that the puirates could do the same. If they don't have a tugship then all they'd need is one of then to have fuel scoops, refuel the player ship, ransom, eject or enslave the pilot. Even if they couldn't do that, they could fully destroy the ship and scoop the alloys.

It's no worse than my idea I just think it might be a little more complicated in a game sense.
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Re: Escape Pod as Standard OXZ

Post by phkb »

Some of this I tried to implement in [EliteWiki] Ship Repurchase OXP. You might be able to lift some useful bits from there.

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Re: Escape Pod as Standard OXZ

Post by Redspear »

I'd forgotten about that one to be honest. As usual, your grasp of java script is way beyond mine :-D

It's very well thought out and I really like that it brings the 'lesser' player ships into the game. Sure, you can start in a mk 3 but you'll have to fight to keep it. The Moray especially, is a good candidate for a starting ship anyway (and the only one besides the mk 3 that aegidian granted a speed boost to: 0.05, same as the cobra).

However, we both still have the same problem I think. Namely, that the player is always paying far less than the ship's value.

That's how insurance works of course but it relies on claims being irregular events. Here however they can occur with alarming regularity. In short, it's hard to see how any insurer would grant the player any such deal. I notice your frequent claim penalty which partially accounts for this but (admittedly, without doing the maths) I think it remains the case that there's no realistic fee that a beginner could afford and an insurer might demand.

What about my idea that a significant policy was bought with the ship? Suppose that the true value of the ship were significantly less than its cost, then the replacement wouldn't seem so outrageous. The same could also be true of equipment.

For example, if 1TC of luxuries costs (at most) 100Cr then these credits are likely high value units. Perhaps a better measure would be gold @ approx 40Cr per kg. Whether dollars, euros or pounds, that's something like (with a quick check of online prices) a Cr representing roughly a thousand of any of those currencies. Corrections invited...

So, an 125,000 mk 3 would actually cost something like 125 million in today's money. That's something like the cost of a cutting edge fighter jet. Given the 1,000+ year gap between the game and today, that might be a reasonable comparison.

It isn't a true measure of course as we'd need an accurate intersystem record of the rarity and usefulness of gold and each of the other goods. Also, cobras are likely pumped out in greater numbers than military fighters (in civilian use after all), which could drive the price down (more economical to makes lots for sale than just a few).

This is all so speculative as to be near useless IMO. Perhaps everything you buy is significantly taxed (and that is already accounted for in current pricing) or we just ignore it as a gameplay concession.

Having just gone around that particular circle :D, I think I might leave this oxp mostly as it is in that regard. For anyone who prefers more explicit explanations, I think your oxp remains the better choice.

One thing I learned from your wiki page however was about damaged items remaining so after a standard eject. I rather like the idea that ALL of the replacement items might be damaged (consider them not fully installed/integrated) and that could even help explain how insurers make their money, especially if it were GalCop. Sure, they lose out on the regular Jamesons but with a fully kitted 'iron ass'...
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Re: Escape Pod as Standard OXZ

Post by gilhad »

I am not sure, where I read that, but for "normal people" to get their ship was just one way - sign up contract, where you work years on some company's ship basically for free, and if you survive all the time, you was awarded by ship of yours.
Now it would mean jump to some system (2 days in hyperspace at best, with Thagoids risc), flew to station (with all the pirates around) in few minutes/hours, eat some food, sleep 8 hours and again. that averages to something like 100-200 travels a year times couple of years - make sence to get awarded with obsolete jet-fighter and some pocket money, if you survived all those missions (especially when many simply died on the way).

(And if you want, it could cover some lifetime insurance too, given, that you are experieced with 1.000's travels, the chance you fail the next one is really small - in game - in reality the chance you fail your first one as player is much higher, but in game they could you kick out for failed mission without compensation, so you are supposed to have really high score and experience)

The other way is, that somebody insanely rich just bought you the ship (but then there may be the insurance insluded too) or that someone retired and pass his ship to you. Not much more options. And only small part of population can get there.
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Re: Escape Pod as Standard OXZ

Post by Norby »

Redspear wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:17 pm
the pirates could do the same. If they don't have a tugship then all they'd need is one of then to have fuel scoops, refuel the player ship, ransom, eject or enslave the pilot. Even if they couldn't do that, they could fully destroy the ship and scoop the alloys.
There is a big risk to attempt these because other ships can arrive in minutes, so smart pirates will leave as soon as possible.

Until there are other active ships nearby then first must disable those also, then scoop the ejected cargo pods. These consume important minutes, usually more time than a pirate likes to stay in the same place. There is a balance between the chance of reinforcements arrival and the needed time to do more steps than just scoop cargo. This is in the favor of traders at least in he safer half of the galaxy imho, but not in Anarchy systems which are missing Viper patrols. So an Escape Pod is still useful when no chance to save the ship in disabled form, just could use it much less times, which allow to increase the insurance fee or (as phkb made) to only give a cheaper replacement ship.

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Re: Escape Pod as Standard OXZ

Post by Redspear »

gilhad wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:24 pm
(And if you want, it could cover some lifetime insurance too, given, that you are experieced with 1.000's travels, the chance you fail the next one is really small - in game - in reality the chance you fail your first one as player is much higher, but in game they could you kick out for failed mission without compensation, so you are supposed to have really high score and experience)
So you imagine the 'beginner' as really a 'veteran' but in a new ship. That's a very interesting idea (especially if the player has experience of the game). Otherwise, as you say, there's a big difference in likelihood of ejecting between a beginner in a stock ship and a veteran in a fully equiped one.
gilhad wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:24 pm
The other way is, that somebody insanely rich just bought you the ship...
Yeah, that's very similar to one I mentioned earlier.

The damaged equipment idea I had is one I'll likely include at some stage however as I think it strikes a good balance between early and mid-late game. Losing your cargo as a beginner is serious but almost never a problem later on. Damaging your equipment as a complete beginner is irrelevant but later on becomes more and more serious...

Norby wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:54 am
There is a big risk to attempt these because other ships can arrive in minutes, so smart pirates will leave as soon as possible.
Depends how you imagine it happening I suppose. I say imagine because if we pretend that other ships have the torus drive then pirates likely wouldn't have very long at all. Then it further depends on whom it might be to disturb them... Splintering an already forsaken ship into alloys shouldn't take long however, so it still seems a strange choice to me.

However, choices are what oxps are all about, strange or otherwise :D
Interesting to hear your thoughts Norby, as always.
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