The Oolite NPC ecosystem (and other questions)

General discussion for players of Oolite.

Moderators: winston, another_commander

Post Reply
User avatar
Cody
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Posts: 13753
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:31 pm
Location: Corke's Drift
Contact:

Re: Where do pirates come from?

Post by Cody » Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:01 am

Zieman wrote:I think the memory is true.

I recall several similar occasions on C64. Being offender because of 32t of Narcotics in cargo bay, Police Vipers would regularly appear in the scanner behind you, and slowly overtake (them having max speed 3.2 and player Cobra3 only 3.0) - making using 'J' impossible and Narcotics-runs incredibly dull.
That sounds about right - mass-locked all the way in. Hmm... I now wonder if my other false memory is true - occasionally, the station would be on the planet's farside.
Their dreams a tattered sail in the wind

User avatar
Commander McLane
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Posts: 9520
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:08 am
Location: a Hacker Outpost in a moderately remote area
Contact:

Re: Where do pirates come from?

Post by Commander McLane » Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:51 am

Cody wrote:Hmm... I now wonder if my other false memory is true - occasionally, the station would be on the planet's farside.
That may indeed be the case. What I remember is that occasionally the docking computer would lead me very carefully to a seemingly random point in empty space, making the usual adjustments until it came to a full stop in what was still empty space, but seemed to appear as a docking bay to the docking computer. I always had the suspicion that somehow reversed coordinates were to blame, and that the actual station was just at the opposite side of the planet.

User avatar
Cody
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Posts: 13753
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:31 pm
Location: Corke's Drift
Contact:

Re: Where do pirates come from?

Post by Cody » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:21 am

Hmm... two out of two? Crikey! I'd like to see farside main stations in Oolite, but I presume it's not do-able?
Their dreams a tattered sail in the wind

User avatar
cim
Quite Grand Sub-Admiral
Quite Grand Sub-Admiral
Posts: 4018
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:19 pm

Re: Adjustments to roles

Post by cim » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:01 pm

Diziet Sma wrote:Probably showing my ignorance here, but will this automatically include OXP-added ships appropriately too?
Probably the blue highlighted roles will actually be called "trader", "hunter", "pirate" and "escort" in the implementation, so OXPs will continue to work and provide ships in the short term to at least some of the roles (and the most numerous ones, at that). Longer term hopefully the OXPs will be updated to take advantage of the new distinctions.
Cody wrote:I'd like to see farside main stations in Oolite, but I presume it's not do-able?
It's technically entirely possible - there's a bit in the system set up code that forces the station to be on the nearside, which could be removed. The flight code would cope fine with having to go around the planet, too.

There is however a compatibility issue: the station position is fixed per-system at the moment, so OXPers can add something to particular hard-coded coordinates [1] and get it to appear near the main station in a particular system. If we change the positioning algorithm, it might then end up somewhere else entirely.

I think there's also a usability issue: masslock jams on the spacelane are already an annoyance if you're trying to get somewhere fast. Trying to get around the planet will probably end up with a masslock even when there's no ships in sight. (Or to avoid that, moving wide off-lane to orbit the planet higher up, which then means you miss the spacelane) So I think there probably needs to be a main station on the nearside, at least in the core game.

At some point I'd like to look at allowing multiple main stations (each accessing the system market), and at that point the extra stations added to a system could be placed on the far side.

In 1.79 it will also be possible to make a (short) OXP which moves the main station and guarantee that it gets moved before anything depending on its position gets added to the system. So you could have farside main stations then (or even ones which are in a different orbital position each time you visited) subject to accepting the potential compatibility issue with other OXPs.

[1] Note to OXPers: best practice is to never add anything using hard-coded absolute coordinates... Always calculate the coordinates relative to existing objects. In 1.79, you'll be able to get Oolite to give you "safe" coordinates in particular regions of space relative to the major objects.

User avatar
Cody
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Posts: 13753
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:31 pm
Location: Corke's Drift
Contact:

Re: Adjustments to roles

Post by Cody » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:10 pm

cim wrote:In 1.79 it will also be possible to make a (short) OXP which moves the main station and guarantee that it gets moved before anything depending on its position gets added to the system. So you could have farside main stations then (or even ones which are in a different orbital position each time you visited) subject to accepting the potential compatibility issue with other OXPs.
Very interesting... especially the 'moving' station. There are some systems where I know the station's location - no compass needed. As for multiple main stations - yes!
Their dreams a tattered sail in the wind

User avatar
Smivs
Retired Assassin
Retired Assassin
Posts: 8408
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:31 am
Location: Disunited Kingdom
Contact:

Re: Where do pirates come from?

Post by Smivs » Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:19 pm

I believe that 'Elite canon' has it that each planet has multiple GalCop stations in orbit, and that the ASC simply locks on to the nearest to the witchpoint as the player emerges.
Perhaps it could be arranged that there are two per planet, the regular one and one diametrically opposite around the other side of the planet. Both would act as 'main station' in terms of game-saves etc.
Is this a possible option?
Commander Smivs, the friendliest Gourd this side of Riedquat.

User avatar
Eric Walch
Slightly Grand Rear Admiral
Slightly Grand Rear Admiral
Posts: 5536
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 3:48 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: Adjustments to roles

Post by Eric Walch » Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:36 pm

cim wrote:- there's a bit in the system set up code that forces the station to be on the nearside, which could be removed. The flight code would cope fine with having to go around the planet, too.
There are always that other bits that spoil an easy solution. e.g. the addition code that adds a ship on a random position between witchpoint and station does not expect to find a planet on its way. :twisted:

User avatar
Diziet Sma
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 6310
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:20 pm
Location: Aboard the Pitviper S.E. "Blackwidow"

Re: Where do pirates come from?

Post by Diziet Sma » Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:40 am

Cody wrote:
Zieman wrote:I think the memory is true.

I recall several similar occasions on C64. Being offender because of 32t of Narcotics in cargo bay, Police Vipers would regularly appear in the scanner behind you, and slowly overtake (them having max speed 3.2 and player Cobra3 only 3.0) - making using 'J' impossible and Narcotics-runs incredibly dull.
That sounds about right - mass-locked all the way in. Hmm... I now wonder if my other false memory is true - occasionally, the station would be on the planet's farside.
On the C64, I seem to recall a few occasions where the compass attempted to lead me through the planet. It turned out the Station was on the opposite side, and I had to go around.
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

User avatar
Diziet Sma
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 6310
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:20 pm
Location: Aboard the Pitviper S.E. "Blackwidow"

Re: Adjustments to roles

Post by Diziet Sma » Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:49 am

cim wrote:
Diziet Sma wrote:Probably showing my ignorance here, but will this automatically include OXP-added ships appropriately too?
Probably the blue highlighted roles will actually be called "trader", "hunter", "pirate" and "escort" in the implementation, so OXPs will continue to work and provide ships in the short term to at least some of the roles (and the most numerous ones, at that). Longer term hopefully the OXPs will be updated to take advantage of the new distinctions.
Ah good.. I'd hate to have a situation whereby if you spotted a clean non-core ship, you automatically knew it wasn't a pirate.. that would be even worse than what we have now, with Boas and BCCs never appearing as pirates.
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

User avatar
Wyvern Mommy
Deadly
Deadly
Posts: 185
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:14 pm
Location: Beyond the final Frontier

Re: Adjustments to roles

Post by Wyvern Mommy » Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:00 am

Diziet Sma wrote:
cim wrote:
Diziet Sma wrote:Probably showing my ignorance here, but will this automatically include OXP-added ships appropriately too?
Probably the blue highlighted roles will actually be called "trader", "hunter", "pirate" and "escort" in the implementation, so OXPs will continue to work and provide ships in the short term to at least some of the roles (and the most numerous ones, at that). Longer term hopefully the OXPs will be updated to take advantage of the new distinctions.
Ah good.. I'd hate to have a situation whereby if you spotted a clean non-core ship, you automatically knew it wasn't a pirate.. that would be even worse than what we have now, with Boas and BCCs never appearing as pirates.

Well, how about adding a little piracy to traders to begin with?
Maybe add a honesty property. A less honest trader is less likely to attack than a more honest trader ...

User avatar
Disembodied
Jedi Spam Assassin
Jedi Spam Assassin
Posts: 6371
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:54 pm
Location: Carter's Snort

Re: Where do pirates come from?

Post by Disembodied » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:10 am

There's still a problem with players being attacked by "Clean" pirates, and then getting a criminal record (and worse, being attacked by Vipers) because they're witnessed by the police firing back in self-defence. Perhaps what's needed in this specific case - assuming we want to have Clean pirates in the core game - is for these Clean pirates to be exceptionally wary of any police presence (that's how they stay Clean) and for them to immediately break off and flee as soon as any police ship enters scanner range. It won't prevent the player being seen by the police firing on a Clean (but justified) target, but it might make it less likely: the police could also use this behaviour (the immediate fleeing, and the lack of any distress calls) to help them decide who was the aggressor, and not immediately tag the player with a bounty and start attacking them. I think this is one area where a bit of player-centrism is probably required.

User avatar
Cody
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Posts: 13753
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:31 pm
Location: Corke's Drift
Contact:

Re: Where do pirates come from?

Post by Cody » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:08 pm

Disembodied wrote:There's still a problem with players being attacked by "Clean" pirates, and then getting a criminal record (and worse, being attacked by Vipers) because they're witnessed by the police firing back in self-defence.
I don't really see that as a problem... more a test of a player's situational awareness.
What are the actual mechanics of a Viper detecting player-fire on a clean ship, btw? Does the Viper have to be on the player's scanner?
Their dreams a tattered sail in the wind

User avatar
cim
Quite Grand Sub-Admiral
Quite Grand Sub-Admiral
Posts: 4018
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:19 pm

Re: Where do pirates come from?

Post by cim » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:19 pm

My plan is for the "opportunist" traders to only attack when their target is:
- probably outclassed
- the only ship on the scanner outside the opportunist's group
- and there are no other ships in a bubble somewhat larger than scanner range (the opportunist can't actually see this, but it's a quick way to simulate them waiting until they've not seen anyone else for a while and they're sure they're alone)

So they won't just be attacking the player that way. And yes, sometimes the police will show up and make the wrong call, but I think that's okay: it's going to be fairly rare that it happens to the player. (And in the sort of system where the police are likely to show up in the first place, the opportunists are going to keep a lower profile anyway)
Cody wrote:What are the actual mechanics of a Viper detecting player-fire on a clean ship, btw?
At the moment, the Viper will detect an illegal shot if the victim is on its scanner. The attacker being on its scanner is not necessary. (Conversely, if you can see the Viper, but it can't see what you're shooting at, it won't care)

UK_Eliter
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 1106
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:58 pm
Location: Essex (mainly industrial and occasionally anarchic)

Re: Where do pirates come from?

Post by UK_Eliter » Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:16 pm

cim wrote:My plan is for the "opportunist" traders to only attack when their target is:
- probably outclassed
- the only ship on the scanner outside the opportunist's group
- and there are no other ships in a bubble somewhat larger than scanner range (the opportunist can't actually see this, but it's a quick way to simulate them waiting until they've not seen anyone else for a while and they're sure they're alone)
Nice idea!

User avatar
Disembodied
Jedi Spam Assassin
Jedi Spam Assassin
Posts: 6371
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:54 pm
Location: Carter's Snort

Re: Where do pirates come from?

Post by Disembodied » Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:21 pm

Cody wrote:I don't really see that as a problem... more a test of a player's situational awareness.
It's a potential problem in terms of game design, I think. This is a situation which a player, especially one not aware of all the under-the-hood workings of the game, could find intensely annoying and even apparently buggy: "First of all, a Clean ship attacks me for no reason. Then, when I was defending myself, along comes a police Viper and attacks ME!"

Cim's plans for the "opportunists" seem sensible, and it'll keep them rare - although they'll be more frequent early on, because that's when the player is more likely to be outclassed. I think it would be sensible, then, to at least provide the player with clues as to what's going on - e.g. a demand from the opportunist that the player drops cargo - to let them know that, Clean or not, the attacking ship is a pirate, and the game hasn't gone buggy.

Post Reply