Author Topic: Possibilities of a Nomadic Race  (Read 3039 times)

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Offline sluissa

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Possibilities of a Nomadic Race
« on: February 20, 2010, 08:06:18 PM »
I notice this board isn't used much, sorry if this is the wrong place to put this, but I was wondering if anyone had considered a race of nomads among the stars. Not so much an exodus, like in Steve's storyline, but a race that has no real home, or doesn't want a home or perhaps lost their home with no immediate hope of finding a new one. I'm thinking something akin to the Colonial Fleet in Battlestar Galactica, or perhaps more closely to the Quarians in Mass Effect, or the way the player's fleet is in Homeworld, simply hopping from one area to the next, harvesting what they need, creating from the harvest, fighting if necessary and moving on.

I've found it incredibly difficult, if not impossible to make a viable race that does this, even cheating tremendously with the research.

My method was to create a very low population race. I started at 100 million, simply because any lower left me with practically no capacity to do anything. I chose to bump my mining and production up by giving myself all of the research related to those areas. Even with that we were talking about a small fraction of what a normal race mines or produces even without any additional research. Even with this low population, I was unable to fine a reasonable way to transport them all at once, or even in relatively few trips. The best I could do, was a 250,000 person colony ship. With 4 of those I was able to reasonably carry a million people at a time, but that would still mean a good 100 trips to carry everyone, not even counting population growth. From scratch, these ships took decades to mine the minerals for and build and they were very slow and incredibly vulnerable. It was at this point, with an entire fleet mostly SM created and still unable to do what I wanted that I gave up. (I'm not even getting into the cargo problems of carrying significant amounts of research labs and mining equipment among other things.)

I'm curious if anyone has any ideas on how to adapt this. My original plan which would have been to simply drop the population on a planet along with mining equipment, let it strip-mine a planet and then turn the minerals into useful products, and then take off again, with more to work with for the next destination. I highly doubt this plan is possible, but if anyone has any suggestions, I'd like to hear them. This is an idea that I'd like to try. I'm not saying it'd be competitive against a more traditional empire, but I'd like it to have a chance, no matter how slim, of working and possibly creating interesting stories to write about.

Ideas I haven't had a chance to try with this plan yet:

Bumping up the racial tolerances for planets to their max and creating numerous smaller colonies. No real homeworld, so to speak, but lessens the problem of population storage and provides more opportunity to use installations.

Ignoring the efficiencies of scale and trying a large number of small cargo and colony ships rather than the massive ones. Perhaps even cargo and colony barges.
 

Offline sloanjh

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Re: Possibilities of a Nomadic Race
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2010, 09:36:17 PM »
Quote from: "sluissa"
Not so much an exodus, like in Steve's storyline, but a race that has no real home,

If by "exodus" here you mean the book Exodus by Steve White, please be aware that Steve White (the collaborator with David Weber on the Starfire novels) and Steve Walmsley (the author of Aurora) are not the same person.  It's very confusing and coincidental, since they're both Steve W.s and they're both intimately involved in Starfire (Aurora's predecessor was Starfire Assistant, a program for doing bookkeeping in Starfire campaigns), but that just proves out the Perversity of the Universe Principle.

  Apologies if I'm confused in my perception of confusion.

  EDIT: Oops, I forgot that Steve's latest storyline is called Exodus.  Guess I was confused :-)

John
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Possibilities of a Nomadic Race
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2010, 05:03:19 AM »
For a Battlestar Galactica type scenario, the easiest thing would be to generate a game normally, so you can create a species based on your homeworld tolerances, then when you are finished creating the 'rag tag fleet', just delete the starting population. There are several types of ships you will need to include within your fleet, such as colony ships, freighters, fuel harvesters, asteroid mining ships, survey ships, tankers, colliers, ships with maintenance modules (so can establish a temporary maintenance facility) and perhaps even tugs towing shipyards, plus Warships obviously. It might be worth including freighters carrying fighter and ordnance factories so you can setup a temporary colony when you need to manufacture new ordnance. Because of a lot these functions are automated, you wouldn't need a large population.

Steve
 

Offline TrueZuluwiz

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Re: Possibilities of a Nomadic Race
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2010, 12:56:59 PM »
And if this was a Machine race, it would be a lot easier yet. No planets needed, except for minerals. Think of the Berserkers. Move into a system, exterminate the populace if any, build a base, harvest all the minerals, build what ships and ordnance you need, construct some new Machines, then pack everything up and move on to the next system (which your scouts have already located.) This sounds a lot like the Bugs, except they came to stay.
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Offline sluissa

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Re: Possibilities of a Nomadic Race
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2010, 10:12:09 PM »
Thanks for the ideas Steve. :) I'll try those out, it's not exactly what I was looking for, but still sounds like it could be fun. At the very least, it'll give me something to try while 5.0 bugs are still being worked out.

TrueZuluwiz: I've done a search on the forums, and I've tried myself, but I've been unable to figure out how to designate a race as a "machine race" That sounds closer to what I wanted to try, but I'm lost as to how to do it. All I found was some vague reference to the feature coming at some point in the future in a post from 2008.
 

Offline Redshirt

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Re: Possibilities of a Nomadic Race
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2012, 11:12:46 PM »
I've given a lot of thought to a robotic race.

Lots of xenobiologists are pretty certain if humans encounter any intelligent aliens, they will be machines. (And if we encounter any aliens, away from earth, it will be through robotic drone proxies.) Of course, simulating a robotic alien race in aurora is pretty much game-breaking. They would need no oxygen to colonize a world, and wouldn't care about gravity or any toxic gasses except for ones that would corrode metal/silicon. They would be a massive hive-mind, all interlinked- and the FTL properties of Trans-Newtonian physics that allow instant communication would make it even worse; they would think faster than any biological race, most likely researching tech at unbelievable speeds. I don't even want to think about ground combat- it'd be something straight out of the Terminator movies.

On a side-note, has anyone read Blindsight by Peter Watts? Fascinating sci-fi novel investigating whether or not consciousness/self-awareness is necessary for intelligence. In Aurora it's not- you're the consciousness of your entire race, if you want to be. Then again, you lose out on some RP bonuses...
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Offline telegraph

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Re: Possibilities of a Nomadic Race
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2012, 06:37:44 AM »
In my view you would need:
1. at least one large naval shipyard.
2. at least one habitat.
3. large freighter fleet to move your stuff(installations and minerals). Remember how large laboratories are.
4. large maintenace fleet to take care of your ships.
5. enough tugs to move shipyards and habitats.
6. enough colony ships to move population.
7. sorium harvesters. Not strictly needed, but nice to have.
8. some battleships.
9. Installations: mass drivers, LOTS of automated mines, construction factories, ordnance factories, fighter factories, laboratories ...

You go to new system.

You put a colony mark on any uninhabitable planet and put you habitats and shipyards there. Move your maintenance fleet there and start overhauling your fleet.

Survey the area. Start stripmining the bodies.

Deploy your installations on the "colony" planet and produce/research what is needed. Expand your fleet.

When system is bare - take your stuff an move on. You can leave the resources on the planet if you like to return later if need be. You can construct some PDCs to protect your stash.

when you have a large enough fleet - split it in two and continue your locust journey through the galaxy. You can even build one-way gates as you move, so you will not need monstrous jumpdrives. Just be sure to send outriders first to see if the next system is not a blackhole.
 

Offline BwenGun

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Re: Possibilities of a Nomadic Race
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2013, 04:04:18 AM »
Just going to say, that would make a really interesting Alien race akin to the Swarm or Precursors.  A large fleet that strip mines entire systems, but remains technologically stagnant apart from what they can disassemble from wrecks. Obviously if they stumbled into Sol early on then it would end the game fairly quickly.  On the other hand though finding them ten systems out would add a really interesting dynamic, especially if their AI is programmed so that they essentially follow the gate network, making the assumption that they can find habitable planets and populations to add bio-mass to their own habitats and also possibly get some new technical toys.  The result being that suddenly you have a very large, very imminent threat advancing down your jumpgates, and worst of all it's getting larger and more dangerous as it does so because every system it passes through is strip mined and turned into new ships.  Sure they may be badly designed, inefficient and made with cobbled together tech.  But even so sheer numbers can make up for that.
 

Offline Maharava

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Re: Possibilities of a Nomadic Race
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2013, 05:27:04 AM »
I like this idea, especially as an NPR.  Can you imagine happily exploring without Jump Gates on all Jump Points, then suddenly coming across a series of Gates? All of them one way? And knowing that at the end of those Gates is a fleet with more ships than you have population.
I, for one, would leave the Gates alone lol
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Offline telegraph

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Re: Possibilities of a Nomadic Race
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2013, 03:54:20 AM »
Leaving gates alone would not really save you. You would want to kill this NPR as soon as possible, because minirals are the only finite resource in this game, and these guys leave you with a tail of barren systems. I assume they would even spleet their fleet once in a while, if their current fleet is becoming too large.

If there will ever be such an NPR it would be great for it to utilize all available arsenal, including HPM and boarding. This way it will have a big variaty of ships stolen from other races(including player) and will have it's own ships built from salvaged components. I can envision an organic matriarch carrier with a bit of duranium patches where it was repaired and a precursor missile launchers built into some of it's eye holes.
 

Offline Jakalo

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Re: Possibilities of a Nomadic Race
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2013, 04:08:35 AM »
I would think that sufficiently advanced player controlled fleet could defeat almost unlimited amount of relatively low tech NPR controlled fleet.   I would think that by the time the universe has no more mineable minerals in it the player would be too high tech to be beaten by the Nomads.
 

Offline Alfapiomega

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Re: Possibilities of a Nomadic Race
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2013, 05:09:50 AM »
Extremely hard to code but addding this into the game would be extremely, extremely awesome.
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Offline MarcAFK

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Re: Possibilities of a Nomadic Race
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2013, 06:50:53 AM »
Quote from: telegraph link=topic=2272. msg61010#msg61010 date=1362650060
Leaving gates alone would not really save you.  You would want to kill this NPR as soon as possible, because minirals are the only finite resource in this game, and these guys leave you with a tail of barren systems.  I assume they would even spleet their fleet once in a while, if their current fleet is becoming too large.

If there will ever be such an NPR it would be great for it to utilize all available arsenal, including HPM and boarding.  This way it will have a big variaty of ships stolen from other races(including player) and will have it's own ships built from salvaged components.  I can envision an organic matriarch carrier with a bit of duranium patches where it was repaired and a precursor missile launchers built into some of it's eye holes. 
Parts of this sound very similar to a certain spoiler, especially the trail of barren systems, but i really like the idea of a NPR that salvages whatever it finds and adds it to it's wall of battle, a ramshackle collection of every random tech in the galaxy then sends every damn ship it has across the stars like a plague of passenger pigeons.
Back on topic, I'm considering putting my current recently started game on hold and starting up one of those Battlestar Galactica inspired exodus scenarios, I'll see if i can devise a starting fleet that'll provide something like half the normal game start production levels, but with a decent fleet of large higher technology warships/freighters, perhaps even tow around a 300'000 ton shipyard or two.
In fact, though I have a terrible history of abandoning let's play's back on the dwarf fortress forum, I would probably enjoy committing myself to producing a detailed after action report somewhere on these forums.
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