Destroying a derelict should not count as a kill

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dybal
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Destroying a derelict should not count as a kill

Post by dybal »

As can be seen here, currently a player can increase his/her ranking by searching derelicts left from NPC's conflicts and destroying them.

I propose changing that, so when the player destroys a derelict it isn't counted as a kill, but increasing the player's score when a NPC chooses to abandon ship when attacked by the player (at the core game level - if an OXP forces the ship abandon, as Towbar does, it should handle the increase in player's score itself).

This has the added benefit of creating a way for players with moral objections to killing to improve their kill ranking, which is necessary for the more lucrative contracts.

I have been running this mod for the last month and a half without surprises, so I created a Pull Request for it.
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Re: Destroying a derelict should not count as a kill

Post by another_commander »

This is a core gameplay change and those kind of changes normally require ample justification, especially when they can be implemented as OXPs.

How often does one meet derelicts in the game? And by that, I refer to core game. I am not sure I remember when was the last time I encountered any. It looks like this change affects thargons too and that conflicts with the very valid strategy of Thargoid hunting and killing off the robot craft once the motherships are down.

Still, it would be interesting to have some more opinions.
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Re: Destroying a derelict should not count as a kill

Post by Cholmondely »

What are we talking about here? The real number of kills? Or the decisions by a sub-committee of Galcopian bureaucrats as to how these are tallied?

The answer is - of course - the second.

Those wishing to change matters need to apply to the 73rd Sub-Committee of Galcop. They will probably need to hire several translators and visit all 8 galaxies. I'm happy to join up if there is a spare berth going! But I will need to bring a decent tea-maker.

When done, it should be written up as Oolite fiction. We could do with some more of it.
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Re: Destroying a derelict should not count as a kill

Post by Cody »

another_commander wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 2:38 pmHow often does one meet derelicts in the game? And by that, I refer to core game.
Very rarely!
Cholmondely wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 2:47 pmThose wishing to change matters need to apply to the 73rd Sub-Committee of Galcop. They will probably need to hire several translators and visit all 8 galaxies. I'm happy to join up if there is a spare berth going! But I will need to bring a decent tea-maker.
<sniggers>
Cholmondely wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 2:47 pmWhen done, it should be written up as Oolite fiction. We could do with some more of it.
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Re: Destroying a derelict should not count as a kill

Post by dybal »

PR updated so a thargon destruction still count as a kill.

I find plenty of derelicts created by NPCs, but I'm looking for them... in "safe" systems they will be few and far between, but in "interesting" systems there will be plenty.

Those NPCs might have been spawned by OXPs, but their behaviour is core game: the code for the NPC to abandon ship if the energy is low is in ShipEntity.m, the OXP code to help create derelicts that I know of is a worldScript event handler from Towbar, player only (and mimics the core game abandon-ship-when-energy-is-low parameters, though without using a random factor).
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Re: Destroying a derelict should not count as a kill

Post by Reval »

I for one would be all for the forcing of a miscreant to abandon ship to be accounted a 'kill' on the Elite scoreboard, as opposed to the complete destruction of his ride or himself. That is, if I have understood the issue aright. Should indeed be added to the core game! Not even Elite Trader would penalize that.
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Re: Destroying a derelict should not count as a kill

Post by montana05 »

another_commander wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 2:38 pm iStill, it would be interesting to have some more opinions.
I would agree with dybal, while it might not be a big issue for a vanila game various OXP's using this feature. Lets face it, Oolite's biggest advantage are actually 1000+ OXP's you can use to create your personal universe.
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Re: Destroying a derelict should not count as a kill

Post by another_commander »

Oolite development has for years followed a straightforward principle:

OXPs change in order to follow the core game. The core game does not change in order to follow OXPs.

This seems to have served the game really well so far. I do not know whether it is the right approach or not, it just looks like it has worked till now. Personally, I can see things getting complicated fast if every request of every OXPer is granted without careful consideration. Still, changes in the core can be acceptable, but when it comes to core gameplay elements that have been around since at least version 1.65, then we need to understand why the proposed changes are really the way to go.

So far I have not seen justification why the approach of not awarding kills for derelicts and awarding a kill upon enemy abandoning ship is better than what we currently have. In my opinion it is neither better nor worse; it is just a different approach. That's why I need something more than just a "wouldn't it be nice if..." in order to justify this gameplay change and that is why I remain open to discussion.

Moreover, this proposal is implementable as OXP. It is not something that can be "fixed" by a core code change only. Which brings us to the second principle that we have tried to follow in development: If it can be done via OXP, then let it be done as OXP.

To keep it short, what I am missing here and hope to be able to find in subsequent responses, is the answers to these questions:
1. Why exactly is this change considered a preferred option? Why is it superior to what is there now?
2. Why is it proposed as a core change, when an expansion pack can already be created to achieve the same goals? What is earned by having it in the core instead of the Expansion Pack Manager?

In closing, all the above is my personal opinion. If any of the other project devs with github merge rights decide that they are good with it and want to merge the request, I will not object nor question their decision.
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Re: Destroying a derelict should not count as a kill

Post by dybal »

dybal wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 3:54 pm I find plenty of derelicts created by NPCs, but I'm looking for them... in "safe" systems they will be few and far between, but in "interesting" systems there will be plenty.
It occurred to me that it also depends on one's game style: if your game involves deadlines, as in parcel/passenger/cargo contracts, or your are an inter-system "tramp" trader (as opposed to cargo delivering contract shipper), or you like to do missions, you spend too little time in a given system for the NPC's conflicts create derelicts; if your game involves in-system trading, mining, hunting+salvaging, you might spend time enough in a given system for it to happen: I had a commander that spend more than 6 months in-game-time hunting/salvaging in each of the Devil's Triangle system in G1 (more than 900 kills in each system), and at times there were 100+ derelicts in-system before I started salvaging (that requires a ship with more mass).
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Re: Destroying a derelict should not count as a kill

Post by montana05 »

another_commander wrote: Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:38 pm been around since at least version 1.65, then we need to understand why the proposed changes are really the way to go.

In my opinion it is neither better nor worse; it is just a different approach. That's why I need something more than just a "wouldn't it be nice if..." in order to justify this gameplay change and that is why I remain open to discussion.
With all due respect a_c, how many changes has been done since 1.65 ? A lot (essential) as much as I recall.I do understand your point about if an OXP could do it there is no no need to change the core-game but what core-ships would we have now if the core-models wouldn't be upgraded, obviously a task any OXP could handle.

Personally, I believe that the latest updates mainly focused on visuals for the last 2 upgrades, while its not wrong some more features for developers would be appreciated.
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Re: Destroying a derelict should not count as a kill

Post by dybal »

another_commander wrote: Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:38 pm 1. Why exactly is this change considered a preferred option? Why is it superior to what is there now?
Because what is there now allows the player to increase his combat ranking without combat.
another_commander wrote: Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:38 pm 2. Why is it proposed as a core change, when an expansion pack can already be created to achieve the same goals? What is earned by having it in the core instead of the Expansion Pack Manager?
The events that would allow an OXP to be aware that the core game made a NPC bail out due to player attacks and distinguish it from an abandonShip called by any other script, priorityAI included, aren't there.

But this seems a moot point... you've made your mind, and a quick look at the commit history for the core game shows how few the active core game developers actually are, and how rare it's for a new contributor to join in.

And, frankly, I find the recurrent talk about "OXPers" and "Scripters" offensive. The issue at hand in this PR is minor, but the issues of keeping a healthy and contributing community aren't.
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Re: Destroying a derelict should not count as a kill

Post by another_commander »

dybal, I did not expect that my response would offend you like this.

You are, in fact, mistaken. I have not made up my mind, that's why we are here discussing it. You have already provided two points to the questions put forth, they will be considered.

Scripters and OXPers are not meant to be in any way derogatory terms, I just use them to refer to people who contribute OXPs but are not members of the official dev group. On this subject, I will let you know that I, personally, have invited almost all of the developers who participated in the dev team in the last ten years or so, so I find your remark on how rare it is for a contributor to join in unfair and unwarranted.

Also, I see you have closed your PR. Why? It is still being discussed. I reopened it.

Edit: Changed the word "difficult" to "rare".
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Re: Destroying a derelict should not count as a kill

Post by montana05 »

another_commander wrote: Thu Dec 17, 2020 3:34 pm I will let you know that I, personally, have invited almost all of the developers who participated in the dev team in the last ten years or so, so I find your remark on how difficult it is for a contributor to join in unfair and unwarranted.
Well, last time I looked at the code it's not a very important one, just because nowadays you are worried to change major features doesn't mean that they are not justified.
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Re: Destroying a derelict should not count as a kill

Post by Cholmondely »

dybal wrote: Thu Dec 17, 2020 3:06 pm The issue at hand in this PR is minor, but the issues of keeping a healthy and contributing community aren't.
Personally, I think that this quote of Dybal's is the most important thing about this entire business.

On the one hand, A_C has been keeping the development going with very little help compared to the Cim days and earlier.

On the other hand, Dybal (and Montana) have been doing wonders for reviving old .oxp's, writing new ones, and maintaining what we have got.

Personally, again, I am very grateful to all of you for making the Covid days much brighter than they would be otherwise. For me, this community is very important. Can I help in any way?

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Re: Destroying a derelict should not count as a kill

Post by Cody »

Cholmondely wrote: Thu Dec 17, 2020 4:59 pmOn the one hand...

On the other hand...
And on the gripping hand!
I dreamed I saw the silver spaceships flying, in the yellow haze of the sun
There were children crying and colors flying, all around the chosen ones
All in a dream, all in a dream, the loading had begun
Flying Mother Nature's silver seed to a new home
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