Author Topic: Mass Driver Packets  (Read 3365 times)

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Offline Rich.h

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #30 on: July 27, 2018, 12:36:22 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 ?

If it can be worked without causing massive resource drain I can second this idea. Obviously the civillians already can be targeted by forces and so sometimes require a military presence as protection. Perhaps set things so that unlike mass drivers which currently throw out packets almost constantly instead of waiting for them to be a full sized packet for the driver capability, allow the civillian force to take up the role. Either have it so you can set minerals up as trade orders as per the existing civillian trade supply/demand system. Or a check requirement that they only go to collect minerals when there is a sufficient amount at the location to fully fill their hold. In addition maybe make it a default thing that they then drop the minerals off at the nearest populated colony within the system.
 

Offline QuakeIV

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #31 on: July 27, 2018, 01:45:12 PM »
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.

You tend to see pretty long trails of mass driver packets already in flight in reasonably big systems, so you could potentially fly down the path of packets and get quite a lot of stuff.  In terms of catching them, it kinda seems like it would just amount to intercepting them, which fleets already do when joining task group formations.  That part is by all appearances easy.  I don't really see the can of worms you speak of.

I could grasp the concept of it not garnering a big gameplay benefit, piracy in general is totally dependent on being able to disappear off sensors and hide.  On the other hand, I think this would mainly apply to relatively unguarded systems anyhow.  I for one don't always have the resources to build a huge integrated sensor and defense grid to protect every mining operation.

It really depends on how difficult it is to implement.  Just using cargo shuttles I think is a good concept at least, since it doesn't require specialized parts (making it viable as an opportunistic thing rather than having to build special ships) and also doesn't demand that said parts be added into the game.


e:  Though I do really like the idea of space stations being able to receive mass driver packets, that way you could set up a resource accumulation station in a mining system right next to the jump node.   This would potentially serve as both something relatively easy for the enemy (or pirates) to pilfer while also increasing the utility of mass drivers (and their potentially stealable packets) quite a lot since its way more fuel effecient to collect your resources right at the node (rather than making your cargo ship fly potentially quite far into the system and then back again).
« Last Edit: July 27, 2018, 01:54:28 PM by QuakeIV »
 

Offline the obelisk

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2018, 07:13:23 PM »
I'm in favor of other empires being able to interact with the minerals as they're in transit, preferably with the minerals being transported by ship.  Even something as simple as a greater potential for commerce raiding would add very welcome nuance to the economy.
 

Offline SpikeTheHobbitMage

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #33 on: July 29, 2018, 02:04:26 AM »
drop the minerals off at the nearest populated colony within the system.
I must object to this behaviour.  The nearest populated colony is pretty much guaranteed to be the wrong destination.  Further, unless it considers jump travel, it will fail as mined systems don't always have populated colonies, and if it does, then the nearest colony has a 50% or greater chance of being in the wrong system.  Finally, if body motion is turned on, nearest won't even be a consistent location.
 

Offline Rich.h

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #34 on: July 29, 2018, 05:59:47 AM »
drop the minerals off at the nearest populated colony within the system.
I must object to this behaviour.  The nearest populated colony is pretty much guaranteed to be the wrong destination.  Further, unless it considers jump travel, it will fail as mined systems don't always have populated colonies, and if it does, then the nearest colony has a 50% or greater chance of being in the wrong system.  Finally, if body motion is turned on, nearest won't even be a consistent location.

All good points, in which case have an option on the trade screen to control this. Currently we have the ability to set a colony to be a source/destination of colonists, so have an additional check box for a colony to be a source/destination of minerals also. In systems where no jump gate exists this simply means you have made a central depot to be collected from. When things get larger with a network of jump gates then there could be a ground facility in place that works in a similar manner to the current sector command. So it will expand how many systems out the source/destination command is obeyed.
 

Offline Person012345

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #35 on: July 31, 2018, 05:43:50 PM »
If, eventually or immediately, mass drivers are to be replaced with civilian shipping, I would suggest colonies just set a "target mineral level" where civilians will look for colonies with more than their target minerals (ignoring amounts that are insignificant) to deliver to colonies below their target minerals. An amount for infinite should be included for pure destination colonies.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 05:46:34 PM by Person012345 »
 

Offline SpikeTheHobbitMage

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #36 on: July 31, 2018, 11:45:53 PM »
If, eventually or immediately, mass drivers are to be replaced with civilian shipping, I would suggest colonies just set a "target mineral level" where civilians will look for colonies with more than their target minerals (ignoring amounts that are insignificant) to deliver to colonies below their target minerals. An amount for infinite should be included for pure destination colonies.
If Steve goes this way, there should be both upper and lower bounds, and we try to keep between them.  In fact, if the current colonization control is kept, then I'd like to see that there, too.  It is quite annoying to set an overpopulated colony as 'source' only to have it switch to 'destination' because the civvies took too much.
 

Online Whitecold

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #37 on: August 03, 2018, 12:29:30 PM »
One thing I'd like to note is that a mobile mass driver unit would also well complement asteroid miners. The miners can all be on ships, but then you need that single installation to send the resources home.
 

Offline SimonS3

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #38 on: August 03, 2018, 01:55:01 PM »
My vote would be to make  Packets visible if one could either disrupt them or maybe steal them ( hook on with a tractor and tow it away, or transfer it to cargo hold within the fleet). Slightly off topic, having the ability to target mass drivers directly could be interesting if the removal of the receiving  driver caused Kinetic damage to the planet from the follow on packets.

My personal vote for getting rid of Mass drivers would be a NO!,  they are very useful, i tune mine by setting the reserve amounts in the minerals tab so that they only launch the minerals I want to send I. E.  send all the Duranium the cheap slow route, and send a freighter for the more valuable minerals or vice Versa, or just weight the reserves to the more needed minerals are loaded onto the packets first.

Cheers
 

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #39 on: August 31, 2018, 04:58:16 AM »
I suggest removing the simulation of the packets entirely.
They are behave in a Newtonian manner (otherwise they would need an engine, not a MD), and should follow orbital physics.  They are also very tiny compared to all other non-TN objects.
They give of no heat, and no trace in the TN space - and as such should be effectively impossible to trace.

Add to that that you cannot interact with them in any way, and you have a somewhat pointless simulation - and a waste of CPU resources.  Just let the minerals appear at the target instead of the mined location.
 

Offline MarcAFK

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #40 on: September 05, 2018, 01:51:57 AM »
It's important to still take into account the travel time, mass drivers are generally faster than using a ship, but they still don't instantly teleport across the galaxy. Theyt require some logistic thought to be taken into account from their use, sometimes chains of mass driver, cargo ship, then mass driver again.
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Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #41 on: September 11, 2018, 04:22:31 PM »
Packets are too much visual clutter. i turned them off an hour after i first used a driver, and only because it took me that long to notice the option.

You can give drivers a huge passive signature when in use, or just give a special case 'mass driver source' sensor contact that shows up if you have anything in system. 


 

Offline QuakeIV

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #42 on: September 11, 2018, 05:04:48 PM »
You could also just keep the option to turn them off, just that now includes other empires packets as well.
 

Offline Father Tim

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #43 on: September 12, 2018, 02:41:25 PM »
In my preferred universe, Mass Drivers would be gone and everything would have to move by ship.

If that doesn't happen then mass driver packets should be 'stealable' via Salvagers.  I even like the idea that said Salvager has to keep moving with the packets in order to keep salvaging, and might therefore run out of time to get everything before the packet arrives at its destination.  (I believe that Salvagers currently need to be stationary to do their jobs, so that might be too much re-coding.)
 

Offline QuakeIV

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Re: Mass Driver Packets
« Reply #44 on: September 12, 2018, 10:11:35 PM »
I personally like Steve's concept of just grappling them with cargo shuttles and hauling them aboard.  It's far from crazy and seriously punishes unguarded mass driver systems.
 

 

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