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Oolite Bulletins • Add an engineering licence / roadside assistance career path
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Add an engineering licence / roadside assistance career path

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:12 am
by Malcius
Hi. I haven't scrolled through the entire list of suggestions, so I apologise if this has already been suggested.

In the game (not sure whether in the core game or added by OXP) you can buy various licences, such as the Escort licence, which allow you to access a greater variety of missions. My thought is to add an engineering licence.

Initially, the player would have the possibility of 'enrolling' on an engineering course for a fee. To add a bit of colour, the player might need to have Ship's library installed and have a 'course book' or two added, although, of course, the real training is done by hypnotic suggestion to save time. After a set amount of game time, the player would receive a graduation message upon landing at a space station (possibly above a certain tech level).

After this, the player is a qualified engineer and can stock up on alloys to carry out hull repairs (either on their own ship or a ship belonging to an NPC who will pay for the privilege) and on machinery to repair ship's systems. Some systems might also require gold or platinum for certain electronics, while lasers might require gemstones. Radioactives and Computers would also be useful for some repair jobs. You might also need to carry the appropriate engineering tools (with, maybe, different sets available for different job types) that can be purchased from the F3 Ship Outfitting screen.

You could have an engineer/roadside assistance career path similar to those for other roles, so that with more repair jobs you gradually become an elite engineer. At lower levels you may not be able to carry out certain repairs but learn to carry them out as you gain experience.

You could have missions similar to the "tow the hospital ship" one that is activated when you buy the towbar, except that, instead of towing ships to a space station for repair, you repair them on the spot.

Of course, repairs take time, so while carrying out a repair job you are vulnerable to attack unless defended by escort ships or any automated defence systems that can be set up. For certain missions, you might be assigned a Viper escort, while for others you might request an escort for an appropriate reduction in earnings for that job, You might have to fly around or fight your way through pirates, Thargoids or other enemies to get to a ship in need of assistance.

I haven't a clue about programming OXPs, or any other programming for that matter, so if any of you programmers think that any part of this would be a good idea, please feel free to take it on.

So, what do you all think?

Re: Add an engineering licence / roadside assistance career path

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:53 pm
by Astrobe
I'll throw some ideas in the pot:

I'd make the qualification part a real thing. That is, the players would need some knowledge to properly do their job. More on this below.

A typical mission could be as follows:
  • We receive a request for repairs, meaning we have to go to certain coordinates provided in the request and automatically entered in the ASC
  • (optional) The request is broadcasted; first ship on the spot gets the contract. This introduces a little race event. Maybe some NPC could be sneaky there by stalling you with a dogfight while their buddy rushes to the spot
  • We scan the damaged ship; it gives hints on what's wrong. We use our knowledge to infer what is needed to repair the ship: materials and/or repair drone(s)
  • We go back to a station and buy the required stuff (here from a scripting perspective I think it's easier if only drones are needed)
  • go back to the ship and launch a repair drone(s). This lets the players defend themselves the damaged ship (and their own ship) against pirates etc.
  • ... go back again to the station if you forgot to buy something or bought the wrong drone (or maybe you start without any knowledge and learn by trial and error? I think it could be better than having a reputation system to increase the contract prices - because the players become more efficient at this job, they raise their credit/hour ratio by being faster)
  • The owner is with us in an escape pod (that's a cheap repair service after all, no passenger berth - or maybe you can bill that as an extra). When the repair is done you launch him/her/it and it takes control of his/her/its ship.
But I think phkb has something similar in one of his OXP?

Re: Add an engineering licence / roadside assistance career path

Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:17 pm
by Malcius
Thanks for the suggestions, Astrobe. The solutions for some/all of the jobs could be included or hinted at in the course book(s) mentioned in my initial post and maybe you could acquire more advanced text books as your reputation grows. When you reach certain levels you could possibly also hear about technical whizzes in various parts of the galaxies who have developed new techniques and go and get books from them.