Author Topic: Mass Driver Packets  (Read 4016 times)

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Offline Steve Walmsley

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Mass Driver Packets
« on: July 20, 2018, 12:05:37 PM »
Quick Question - should mass driver packets be visible to all for C# Aurora?

In VB6 Aurora you detect mass driver packets with sensors. However, the technobabble for why wrecks are visible and ships are not, is that ships operate mainly in the 'Aether' fluid dimension, which means you need to detect them, while wrecks emerge fully into normal space and be easily detected (just as you can easily detect tiny moons at huge distances).

With that in mind, mass packets are a lot more like wrecks than ships so probably should also be generally visible. That would add an extra decision to whether to use mass driver or freighters and provide 'breadcrumbs' when scouting alien systems. Also would be a little better on performance.

Comments?
 

Offline alex_brunius

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2018, 01:22:34 PM »
I would prefer long term if actual ships ( which can be intercepted and destroyed ) had to make the travels from mining colony to production site, so it can be blockaded, although this would need to be automated for civilians in that case.

For packets always visible works fine IMO especially if it otherwise could have a performance impact.
 

Offline JacenHan

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2018, 01:57:14 PM »
I agree that removing mass drivers entirely in favor of more robust orders for freighters (especially something like "Load all minerals when X total minerals available") would be more interesting, but that might be something to save for after a release, or a feature to add in addition to mass drivers. I don't think you would need to make this a civilian thing, as cycling orders makes it pretty easy for the player to manage themselves.

Can mass driver packets even be destroyed? I've never tried it, but if you can't then I don't see any reason to show them in the first place. Otherwise I would err on the side of better performance, since it doesn't seem like it would have a large impact on gameplay.
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2018, 02:24:51 PM »
Can mass driver packets even be destroyed? I've never tried it, but if you can't then I don't see any reason to show them in the first place.

At the moment, you can't destroy them in C#. However, visible mass driver packets would tell you if there were alien populations in a system, before you detected those populations via sensors (also would pinpoint your populations for aliens). This adds a meaningful decision as to whether to have the convenience, but also the visibility to potential enemies.
 

Offline Whitecold

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2018, 03:48:10 PM »
At the moment, you can't destroy them in C#. However, visible mass driver packets would tell you if there were alien populations in a system, before you detected those populations via sensors (also would pinpoint your populations for aliens). This adds a meaningful decision as to whether to have the convenience, but also the visibility to potential enemies.
While I personally don't mind mass driver packets be visible, I don't agree with convenience as meaningful decision criterion. You are playing an empire, not mineral transport simulator. Visibility vs fuel consumption and travel time (for ultra far away comets) should be consideration, as far as convenience goes, you should be able to make a order for your shipping lines to collect the minerals at reasonable intervals.
 
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Offline Zincat

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2018, 04:42:37 PM »
... well. I will be honest, it never made sense to me that wrecks were so easily visible. It's... not so easy to do so fast. Same is true for small moons and asteroids.

But aside from that, for the very same reason mineral packets HAVE to be visible. They are not ships so it stands to reason that they should be as easy to detect as asteroids. I very much dislike exceptions to rules, and so by the "rules" of the technobabble, they HAVE to be visible. That it helps performance is just a plus. And if that reveals colonies, so be it.

That said, I also dislike mass drivers in general, but I understand the "gameplay" need for them, to a degree. I try to never use them when I can, honestly.
 

Offline SpikeTheHobbitMage

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2018, 05:20:59 PM »
Speaking as someone who uses mass drivers extensively, and who is also an advocate for more robust hauling, there should always be trade-offs.  Visibility vs fuel consumption seems to be a viable choice.

I vote in favour of packet visibility.
 
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Offline QuakeIV

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2018, 08:04:06 PM »
I know there has been talk of how cumbersome ship orders simulates administrative clumsiness for governments but it's not really true.  Governments can potentially control gigantic logistic mechanisms with highly easy and declarative orders at the highest level, it just goofs up occasionally.

This just puts an upper limit on the number of ships based on what one person will put up with and isn't nearly as prone to the same types of errors.  Either the rout is correct and keeps going until needs change or the ship dies, or they aren't and get fixed.  Government goofups are much more along the lines of loading the wrong crates or whatever on an already established rout.  There isn't generally a large scale lack of enough accountants to get themerchant fleets moving.

e: mind you, i fully agree with the idea that fancy shipping nonsense should probably wait to avoid feature creep issues
« Last Edit: July 20, 2018, 09:20:21 PM by QuakeIV »
 
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Online King-Salomon

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2018, 01:37:25 AM »
to be honest, I would go with the solution which is more performance friendly...

both solutions have pros and contras from a technobable point of view but other than that...

for me the main point would be: what is the performance cost/gain, and will the "gain" of the more performance using solution be worth the cost...
 

Offline Indefatigable

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2018, 02:08:48 AM »
A vote for performance option.

I never really use mass drivers simply because they feel "too easy" solution compared to setting up a shipbourne logistics chain.
 

Offline chrislocke2000

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2018, 04:08:19 AM »
I like the idea of the packets being visible but if going to do that would also like other player races or NPR’s to be able to interact with them by being able to target and destroy. Having experienced the “fun” of loosing control of a receiving mass driver when you have incoming mineral packets it would be great to be able to use mass drivers as a bombardment weapon as well.
 

Offline sloanjh

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2018, 08:54:50 AM »
I'm in the performance camp.

John
 

Offline Profugo Barbatus

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2018, 03:37:09 PM »
I vote for it being an option, but really, its pretty insignificant. Mass Drivers make the logistics of mining pretty automated on the system scale, then you still have to have a logistics train to get the materials from those systems to your empires heart. But I don't think they really need any sort of breadcrumbs system. Not because they don't need a downside, but because it doesn't take much of a sensor package to find a colony of significance anyway. Doesn't take much time to manually figure out the most likely colonized worlds either, since we get full readings on gravity, atmosphere, and water immediately.

Performance wise, its probably cheaper to always see the packets just so they're not included in detection calculations.
 

Offline alex_brunius

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2018, 06:41:32 PM »
I'll just pop in to ask a provocative question:


Could a pair of Mass Drivers be replaced by instead giving Spaceports the ability to target a location and "spawn" a temporary civilian freighter that uses the same speed as normal civilian freighters and with cargo/frequency resulting in the same capacity as the mass driver pair? Basically this spawned ship would then make a one time trip to a destination within system to load/unload minerals and then returns to despawn.

The Spaceport could work either in delivery mode or in pickup mode ( but not both ) and target one other location in the same system for automated mineral transfers from the targeted body or to it.


This would make mineral packets both interceptable and lootable, although it might have a performance impact due to the detection ( which could be reduced by reducing the spawning frequency ). It could probably also tie into some logistics techs to make them more interesting.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2018, 06:45:40 PM by alex_brunius »
 

Offline the obelisk

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2018, 10:01:19 PM »
I know there has been talk of how cumbersome ship orders simulates administrative clumsiness for governments but it's not really true.
Even if the point was simulating government limitations, there are better ways to do that, to be honest.
 

 

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