Author Topic: Mass Driver Packets  (Read 4017 times)

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Offline MarcAFK

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2018, 12:48:29 AM »
I'm all for making mass driver packets visible as long as the new AI is capable of making intelligent decisions about their use. Otherwise giving the player more flexability as well as another tool for finding enemies while the AI has no idea is just going backwards.
Depending on the circumstance an AI might decide to not use mass drivers due to risk of being discovered, unless absolutely pushed to doing it, maybe for fuel or distance reasons, but once they know they're discovered maybe they can change their mind?
However, maybe enemy mass driver packets should be treated like any sensor contact, you can only see them if they're in res 1 sensor range? I know the technobabble about the aether disagrees with this, and its a huge overhead as discussed before.. Maybe like sensors it could be an option, always detected if in the same system, only detected if in sensor range, or maybe only detected with appropriate level of deep space tracking station?
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Offline DEEPenergy

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2018, 01:34:21 AM »
I'm voting for performance, but it would be interesting if there were targetable by area defense  :)
 

Offline Father Tim

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2018, 05:41:29 PM »
Mass Driver packets should be visible. . . and steal-able*.

.

*Presumably via Tractor Beams and empty Cargo Holds; or maybe Salvagers.
 
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Offline SpikeTheHobbitMage

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2018, 09:48:45 PM »
Mass Driver packets should be visible. . . and steal-able*.

.

*Presumably via Tractor Beams and empty Cargo Holds; or maybe Salvagers.
This is an even better trade-off vs freighters than just visibility.  I vote for TB and humbly request a copy of your newsletter.
 

Offline Garfunkel

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2018, 12:22:36 PM »
Always visible.
 

Offline Happerry

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2018, 05:37:22 PM »
Being visible seems reasonable to me.
 

Offline Caplin

Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2018, 06:05:36 PM »
Visibility is fine by me. If nothing else,  wouldn't their oddball trajectories stand out?
 

Offline Bughunter

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2018, 03:58:59 AM »
Mass Driver packets should be visible. . . and steal-able*.

.

*Presumably via Tractor Beams and empty Cargo Holds; or maybe Salvagers.

I don't have a strong opinion on visible or not so go with visible for performance. I also like the possibilities of packet loss due to piracy. Like if some aliens spot juicy mass driver lanes they may target them with raiding operations, or even pirates of your own race spawning at some point creating a need for internal patrolling/policing.
 
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Offline QuakeIV

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2018, 08:25:04 PM »
Mass driver packets being steal-able is an awesome concept, I like it.  Nuisance pirate aliens that just steal what they need to keep their really fast stealy-ships going sounds like a very fun thing to deal with in general. 
 
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Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2018, 04:04:42 AM »
Mass driver packets being steal-able is an awesome concept, I like it.  Nuisance pirate aliens that just steal what they need to keep their really fast stealy-ships going sounds like a very fun thing to deal with in general.

For mass drivers to be stolen, there needs to be an ability to intercept them mid-flight. That could take the form of a mobile 'catcher', but that would mean such tech would exist for 'normal' mass drivers and they would no longer be restricted to planets. That might get complex - what if the catcher moved for example? I know planets 'move' but they do so in a predictable way.

One option might be that a freighter could move into formation with a mass driver packet and use its cargo shuttles to load the minerals. That doesn't change any of the existing rules.
 
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Offline Whitecold

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2018, 04:51:41 AM »
Mass driver packets being steal-able is an awesome concept, I like it.  Nuisance pirate aliens that just steal what they need to keep their really fast stealy-ships going sounds like a very fun thing to deal with in general.

For mass drivers to be stolen, there needs to be an ability to intercept them mid-flight. That could take the form of a mobile 'catcher', but that would mean such tech would exist for 'normal' mass drivers and they would no longer be restricted to planets. That might get complex - what if the catcher moved for example? I know planets 'move' but they do so in a predictable way.

One option might be that a freighter could move into formation with a mass driver packet and use its cargo shuttles to load the minerals. That doesn't change any of the existing rules.

It would raise the question why you could not unload cargo mid flight and let it coast on, transporting stuff without needing a freighter... Or why you could not unload rocks for orbital bombardment. Or unload missiles, letting them coast to their target without needing any fuel. Or unload other ships, for that matter.
 

Offline DIT_grue

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2018, 05:04:22 AM »
Mass driver packets being steal-able is an awesome concept, I like it.  Nuisance pirate aliens that just steal what they need to keep their really fast stealy-ships going sounds like a very fun thing to deal with in general.

For mass drivers to be stolen, there needs to be an ability to intercept them mid-flight. That could take the form of a mobile 'catcher', but that would mean such tech would exist for 'normal' mass drivers and they would no longer be restricted to planets. That might get complex - what if the catcher moved for example? I know planets 'move' but they do so in a predictable way.

One option might be that a freighter could move into formation with a mass driver packet and use its cargo shuttles to load the minerals. That doesn't change any of the existing rules.

It would raise the question why you could not unload cargo mid flight and let it coast on, transporting stuff without needing a freighter... Or why you could not unload rocks for orbital bombardment. Or unload missiles, letting them coast to their target without needing any fuel. Or unload other ships, for that matter.

Not really. So long as the ships would only be loading from the packets, we can point to the need for facility-scale equipment resting on a planetary mass in order to launch the packets on a Newtonian trajectory (rather than the "stop in place unless under thrust" behaviour of trans-Newtonian technologies). And a ship rendezvousing with them is no different than doing the same for any asteroid.
 

Offline TMaekler

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2018, 06:25:17 AM »
For mass drivers to be stolen, there needs to be an ability to intercept them mid-flight. That could take the form of a mobile 'catcher', but that would mean such tech would exist for 'normal' mass drivers and they would no longer be restricted to planets. That might get complex - what if the catcher moved for example? I know planets 'move' but they do so in a predictable way.
I would second the idea of having a ship module "Mass Driver", so I can slingshot Mineral Packages to a Space Station at a jump point which then automatically slingshots it through the JP to a station on the other side, which then slingshots it to the target planet... .

Well, just a thought :-)
 

Offline DEEPenergy

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2018, 10:48:06 AM »
Stealing mass driver packets is cool but I don't think gameplay would benefit considerably or that it would even be a smart thing to do in game.  If you want to steal an enemies packets you're going to have to go into hostile territory with a freighter and warship protection for maybe 300 tons of minerals every 5 days.  And there's the question, if someone is stealing your mineral packets, why not just turn the mass driver off and wait for them to leave? It's what the player would do if a hostile alien was stealing their minerals.  Then you have to have the ship continually place itself between  the two bodies to steal the packets, does this take fuel? What if the ship isn't fast enough to get between the two planets when they change their position? It opens up continual cans of worms for something that most players (I think) won't use.

TMaekler's suggestion about ship module mass drivers is very interesting, because that would create a some good gameplay decisions.  It could be a massive ship module that's meant to be stuck on space stations.  Do you set up a more automated empire that uses a lot of mass drivers and requires a lot of space stations but leaves a ton of breadcrumbs for aliens to follow, or do you use less conspicuous freighters instead? A logistics train based on ship based mass drivers would also have the disadvantage of being crippled if a single link is broken.  You could even mix them, using ship based mass drivers in a dead end sector and freighters on the frontier.
 

Offline littleWolf

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2018, 12:10:41 PM »
Maybe just remove MD from the game, replacing the contracts for the delivery of ore for civilian shipping companies ? And to make for them small (1000-2000 tons) cabotage trucks ?
 

 

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