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Ben Fargo

Alpha Team Vanguard
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Posts posted by Ben Fargo

  1. My expectation is that instead of a few large organizations, there will be a multitude of small to medium-sized ones, each with its own specialty.  These will not be connected by a hierarchy, but by a network of commercial transactions.  They will interdependent, so none of them will really dominate the others.


    If I am right, organizations will not have the resources to build whole cities.  There will be organizations that govern cities, but the buildings in them will belong to many different organizations, who will usually hire other organizations to design and build them.


    I do not know if this has happened in any other game, but I expect Dual Universe to be different than anything that has come before.  In particular, it will have a very powerful system for defining organizations and with it, I think the organizations will resemble those in the real world, more than those in other games.  Companies are outsourcing functions they formerly had internal departments for.  Cities that were built around one huge factory are now surrounded by industrial parks filled with many different businesses.  It is just my guess, but I think we will see those same trends in Dual Universe.

  2. I think trying to add all of those features initially would be a bad idea.  Even implementing them poorly could add a considerable amount of time to development.  Also, bugs do not necessarily limit their effect to the routines that contain them.  Rushing in some additional features might cause some core systems in the game to fail.


    While we should respect the developers' decisions to delay features, I think that should not discourage us from suggesting the things we would like to see in the game someday.  I have found that if I do not have time to implement something now, having even a vague idea of what I might change later makes it easier when I do.  On the other hand, changing something that is implemented the wrong way can be much more difficult than adding something that is not in the software at all.

  3. If food is introduced to Dual Universe, it should be done in a way that is as unobtrusive as possible.  It should be something people only need to think about when they do not have enough of it.  My suggestion for doing that uses three new kinds of elements: dispensers, preservation units and preparation units.


    The purpose of a dispenser would be to ensure people were fed.  Each dispenser would have a capacity and a range.  Capacity would be the number of people it could feed and range would determine the how close people had to come to it to be fed.  Eating would be what I call a background task, which means it is something we assume happens even when it is not depicted in the game.  As long as people periodically came within the range of an available dispenser, they would be considered fed and would not need to do anything else about food.


    Dispensers with greater capacity and range should require more resources to build.  The smallest range would be only the construct the dispenser was built in.  Dispensers in constructs with larger cores would have a larger potential range and so be more costly to make.  There would also be dispensers that could cover a whole hexagon/pentagon territory or even several adjacent territories.  Like any element, dispensers would have rights associated with them, so they could be designated to only feed certain people.


    Each dispenser would need one or more storage units attached to it to hold the food.  Food that was stored too long would spoil unless the storage had a preservation unit connected to it.  If it did, the food could remain in it indefinitely without spoilage.  An alternative would be to have elements that combined preservation and storage in one unit.


    A preparation unit would be an optional element that made food more effective.  It might let the same amount feed more people, it might make the period of time people remain fed longer or it might have other benefits.  Small capacity units could look like kitchen appliances while larger ones would probably have a more industrial appearance.


    If some was going to be outside the range of a dispenser for an extended period of time, they would need to carry or find food and eat it occasionally.  In the wilderness, how much and how often a person eats should require a conscious decision and be a deliberate action.  This also applies if a settlement or a ship is attacked and its dispensers are disabled or destroyed.  For role playing purposes, eating should be an optional action even when dispensers are available.


    Producing the food and the effects of eating or not eating food are also important considerations, but I consider those different topics. 

  4. I agree an organization should be able to designate someone to buy and sell for it, but as I understand the RDMS, that kind of right would be given to a member, not a legate.  For example, if an organization was modeled as a corporation, the stockholders would be the legates.  Even though they owned the corporation, they would not have the right to buy or sell its assets.  There would be certain employees (members) who could do that.

  5. A pirate is just a themed PvP:er. It has nothing to do with if the person is a douchebag or not, or if the PvP victims finds the person griefing - with the exception of abuse of mechanics, exploits, bugs, et cetera.


    This thread puts a lot of effort to glorifying simple PvP:ers. The game mechanics, the majority of individuals and the majority of guilds/orgs in-game will not judge you differently for your theme. I just don't see the point.


    Pirates attack people to rob them.  This distinguishes from, for example, someone who is defending their territory, although both would be PvPers.  I consider someone's motive extremely important.  Knowing it may help me negotiate with them if they attack or even avoid the attack completely.

  6. My reason for voting no for gravity units is that I think being in space should be a different experience than being on a planet.


    I think the reason many game set in space have some form of gravity units is that we have become accustomed to them from TV and movies.  When someone is filming a show, it is much easier if the actors can walk around the sets than if special effects are needed so they appear to float.  Because of this practical production reason, even ships that always remain in space are designed like vehicles on earth.  Everything is oriented so the same direction is "up".  I think this has had a strong influence on games, even though they do not have the same limitations.


    I would like acceleration to be the only way of simulating gravity.  In a stationary construct, there would not be any sense of up or down at all.  That means all surfaces could be used as living area, so they could be structures unlike anything built on a planet. Ships would be more challenging since they would have an up-and-down orientation only while they were accelerating or landed on a planet.  They would need to be designed to be occupied both with and without gravity.

  7. My plan is to start by mining and selling all of the resources to those who will be building refineries and factories, then to someone who plans to rent out dock space.  When the components and the space are available and I can afford it, I will build a vehicle.  After that, I expect to phase out the mining and focus on hauling materials.  Of course, I may need to change my plans if that does not work.

  8. And because tactics. If there isn't a siege ladder in the form of a jump drive, then battles will be quite frankly impossible, as every time one fleet crosses a stargate, there will be a slugfest that the defending side wins.


    Even without jump drives, I think battles would still be possible.  Each side could construct their own stargate to a system and use it to establish their own territory there.  Battles would result when these territories encroached on each other.  Many of the ships involved might be ones built in those territories.


    I am not against jump drives, but I think interesting conflicts can develop even if they do not exist.  It would just be a different type of combat that would require a different type of  strategy.

  9. I have been an individual member of the Cinderfall Syndicate since October.  Recently, they added the Blue Moon Crew to their list of member organizations and I would like to thank them for that recognition.  


    The Crew looks forward to providing transport services to all fellow members of the Cinderfall Syndicate.

  10. It is really the combination of features that excites me.  I expect to spend a lot of time building and designing, but it is the interaction between organizations that will create the need for constructs and make them meaningful.  I am not interested in combat in the kind games where every player has to pick a side and they are rewarded for fighting the other side and that can never change.  However, if it is a real choice, it is very interesting.  I am the type of player who avoids combat as much as I can, but I enjoy the challenge of avoiding it and I can only do that if it is an option. 


    Organizations need constructs.  Constructs require resources.  Organizations are formed to trade, negotiate and fight for resources.  It is not any one aspect of Dual Universe, but the way it brings all of them together that makes it so attractive.

  11. Dual contouring is a technique that existed before Dual Universe was started.  I found references to it that are ten years old, so the use of that technique might be one of the reasons they chose the name.  I would not be surprised if there was also a reason connected to the lore of the game...if it had a dual meaning.

  12. ... How do you envision game-play for individual crew members?


    Things may not actually work out this way, but for now, I envision these roles for the crew.


    My role will be the engineer.  I will be the one to design the ship, build it and write the code for the scripts.  There will probably be a series of ships, so we can start very small and grow larger, but never too large.  I expect this to be an ongoing process of making improvements.


    A critical role would be the logistican.  This person would study available jobs and market prices, then develop a plan of what jobs to do, what items to buy or sell and what route to follow to accomplish that efficiently.


    Another role would be the negotiator, who would look for opportunities were the crew could socialize with our clients and suppliers, then try to convince them to give us better deals.  I think it would be appropriate for this person to be the captain, since that might give them more influence with the people they deal with.


    Much of the game-play will be flying the ship from one place to another.  Depending  on how complex that is, we may want to have a dedicated pilot or it may be something crew members with other roles can do.  If there are crew members who normally play at different times, they might fly the ship in shifts, one group taking it to the first destination and leaving it for the next group to go further.


    We will not look for combat, but it will probably happen to us anyway.  There may be times when we need to fight off boarders or defend ourselves from ambushes on planets.


    I do not want the crew to be only about business.  There should be times when we go somewhere just to see what other players have built or take part in some event they have set up.


    The last thing I am going to emphasize is that this is a partnership.  No matter what role people have, every member can express their ideas on anything and all significant decisions will be made by consensus.

  13. Thanks to everyone for your comments and encouragement.  I am not thinking about giving up on the Blue Moon Crew.  The reason for my search was something that happened to me in another MMO.


    Their equivalent of organizations were called fleets.  I had started a fleet there, which no one had joined, but then I found out there was another fleet someone else had started that was really identical to mine--same concept, just worded slightly differently.  So I shut mine done and joined theirs, because everything was the same.  I did not expect that to happen again, but it was worth looking.


    Yamamushi, your idea for the Tempest Mission is fantastic.  Your offer is very appealing, but since I am still going to pursue my plans for the Blue Moon, I do not feel I could not dedicate myself to being on the crew of that ship, and it will need a dedicated crew.  I wish you the best of luck with it.


    Xplosiv, I do not think The Outfit would be right for me.  When I talk about being independent, I mean it in contrast to being someone's employee, not in the sense of being outside the law.


    ForlornFoe, if you do decide to join the Crew, you would be very welcome.  If you have any questions about it, I would be happy to answer them.


    Once again, thanks everyone.

  14. So far, no one has joined the Blue Moon Crew, so I have been searching the organizations in the community portal to see if anyone else has created a similar organization, so I could join them.


    By now, I would have expected there to be hundreds of organizations representing crews of all kinds, but that is not the way it is.  I could have missed some, but I only found a couple that might have been single ship crews.  (Those were either too mercenary for me or not accepting members.)  Most were things like corporations or empires.   Of course, there need to be those kinds of organizations, too, but it seems a little odd that more people are not forming crews. 

  15. That's exactly the same thing as the lp store proposal in the other thread. Thing is, with such a scripts it's easy to abuse them if they are not properly written (and a spai will definitely abuse this to hell). Every automation you implement is one branch of gameplay less. I do think though, that there has to be some kind of rep system.


    I agree people will try and sometimes succeed to take advantage of these scripts.  There would  be risks as well as advantages to using them.  However, while they would definitely change gameplay, I see them as increasing it, not reducing it.  As long as these are player-written scripts and organizations can pick which, if any, they use, then the scripts provide more opportunities to make choices that have consequences in the game.   Players would choose whether or not they wanted to be members of an organization that used scripts.  Leaders of organizations that were too large for them to evaluate each member personally would choose between using a script and delegating some of their power to certain subordinates.  If they use a script, they would choose between writing it themselves or thrusting someone else to do it.  Since this is a science fiction game, choosing when it is appropriate to depend on software to make decisions seems to be a valid theme for it.  


    Some people find the challenge of writing the best scripts they can as interesting as some people find developing the strategy that lets them win in combat.  Other people do not.  Allowing these scripts would change the game for everyone, whether they choose to write them or not, so it is  a decision that does affect how much the game appeals to different kinds of people.

  16. One way of implementing an organization standing system would be to say each character carries an identification device with them.  This device could run Lua scripts, like the elements in constructs do.  Each organization could designate a script that runs for all of its members.  When the player does certain actions, such as attacking someone or trading with them, it would trigger an event in the script.  The script might be written to increment a counter called standing or reputation, and when that reaches a certain value, the script could assign a new function (role) to the player.


    Using a script would allow this process to be as simple or as complex as the organization chooses.  Each organization could decide what values the script maintains and whether it acts on them or just reports them to the organization.  Organization scripts could be traded in the game, like any other script.  Of course, an organization could choose to not use a script at all.


    The RDMS would determine who could view the code for the script, who could change the code and who could see the values it maintains for each member.  There should be different rights for viewing and changing the code since, for example, some organizations might believe in open information and allow all members to know what code affects them, but still restrict changing the script to very few.

  17. I agree we do need some method that makes it easier to search for certain kinds of organizations.


    If types are used, they do need to be explicitly defined.  For example, if I saw corporation and guild without any definitions, I would not associate them with being private or public.  I would assume a corporation meant the organization was owned by people who were not necessarily members of it and guild would be focused on one specific activity, such as exploring, mining or trading.  Someone else might associate different meanings with those words.


    A difficulty with types is the number of them will double with every attribute we use them to represent.  I think instead of type, it would be better if we could attach tags to organizations.  Then each attribute, like public/private  single player/multiple organization could be handled separately.

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