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As I currently understand it, Stargates will be usable based on having the proper permissions or something along the lines of a key. The Stargate owner can collect fees when people use the gate. This is a nice system; it's simple, but I think it can be easily expanded. I think a system that can be based on the mass of the ship will allow for more emergent gameplay around stargates. People could of course choose to just have a flat rate, if that is what they prefer.

 

I propose three additions: 

  1. The ability to charge a fee for using the stargate based on the mass of the ship.
  2. The ability to set different tiers of mass that have different tax rates.
  3. The ability to crate different "keys" or permission levels that have different tax settings.

 

I will now go into more detail why I think this is good system and why it should be very easy to implement.

 

First, taxes based on mass: why? Well, it's more fair. Why should someone who is flying a tiny shuttle pay the same fees as a space trucker who is hauling millions of kilograms of goods? How do you balance the two if you can only charge a flat tax? A mass tax helps solve that. If you charge one Quanta per 10 kilos and the shuttle is 1000kg, then that person pays 100 Quanta whereas the massive freighter of, say, 10,000,000kg pays a million Quanta. The freighter can easily afford a larger sum because it will make money off of the cargo it is carrying and it is just a cost of doing business. The pilot of the smaller ship will be happy because their fees will be low, since they don't have to pay some middle ground, one size fits all rate. The stargate owner is happy because it let's them collect more taxes overall while still remaining competitive. How difficult would this be to implement? It shouldn't be too hard based on what we know. NQ have indicated that ship and cargo mass will be taken into consideration by the physics engine, so they data already exists and all that has to be done is some basic multiplication. The plus side of this is that since cargo is also already accounted for, an empty cargo ship pays less fees than one that is fully loaded

 

Mass tiers, this is where it really starts to get interesting. Users should be able to set "tiers" of mass that have different rates between them. For example, perhaps the rate for ships between 0kg - 10,000kg is 0.1 Quanta per kg, 10,001kg - 50,000kg is 0.5 Quanta per kg, and 50,001kg and up is 1 Quanta per kg. In this way, the large ships get the more they have to pay. Consider three ships:

Ship 1 is 5,000kg and pays 500 Quanta.

Ship 2 is 30,000kg and pays 15,000 Quanta.

Ship 3 is 120,000kg and pays 120,000 Quanta.

 

Why would you want to do this? To dissuade larger ships either for market reasons or military reasons. Or perhaps there is the theory that the bigger the ship, the more money the owner has to burn. That's up to the gate owner, but the true power of the mass tiers comes out with the third point.

 

Different keys. The tax settings should be tied to each key and not to the gate itself, allowing for different keys with different settings for different people. There are many reasons that people travel and this would allow the fee system to be better suited for each person. I will give an example. Perhaps someone is coming to tour an empire, or apply for a job or whatever, and they need to get around but don't want to spend a ton on fees. Naturally, the people who live in the region don't want somebody who may not be fully trusted dumping a ton of goods on the market to compete with local businesses or bringing in a large battleship and causing trouble, so the tourist is given a key designed to meet these needs. The key could be set so each use under 2,000kg is only 20 Quanta but over 2,000kg it's 20 Quanta per kg. So if that tourist tries to bring in a 20,000kg freighter they are going to be smacked with a 400,000 Quanta fee. More taxes for the gate owner and it strongly discourages that tourist from bringing in larger ships or a lot of cargo. It's emergent and not set in stone. You could also raise the price even further to really discourage large ships. Maybe over 10,000kg it's 500 Quanta per kg! That's 10,000,000 Quanta for that same 20,000kg freighter! :o Good luck turning a profit on that. So long as that tourist follows the guidelines of their key, they can avoid paying much in fees, but if they try to do stuff that they are not supposed to they will pay the price, literally. 

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WEIGH STATION

NEXT RIGHT

OPEN WHEN FLASHING

 

That was my first thought anyway. :D  What you're suggesting is a logical way of going about it. A little one-man craft shouldn't pay the same as a 5 km long supercarrier, that's just dumb. You can fit thousands of one-man crafts on a supercarrier. However, I think there would be different aspects to take into consideration besides mass, and that is the number of players. You could have two ships that look identical and one has three players on it and a mass of 10 million kg (mostly ore), while the other ship has 200 players on it and a mass of 0.5 kg (lots of players, not much cargo). Should the ship with all the players getting a jump across the galaxy pay a tiny fraction of the cost that the other ship has to pay? I have a feeling there will be a lot of situations where an organization will worry more about the number of people coming through their gate rather than the amount of goods.

 

Along with that, I imagine organizations will work out their own systems as they see fit. They'll give people and other factions that they like discounts, or perhaps offer anyone the chance to have an up-front discount per use; a season pass sort of thing (pay 1000 quanta to use the gate once, pay 9000 quanta to be able to use the gate ten times).

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WEIGH STATION

NEXT RIGHT

OPEN WHEN FLASHING

 

That was my first thought anyway. :D  What you're suggesting is a logical way of going about it. A little one-man craft shouldn't pay the same as a 5 km long supercarrier, that's just dumb. You can fit thousands of one-man crafts on a supercarrier. However, I think there would be different aspects to take into consideration besides mass, and that is the number of players. You could have two ships that look identical and one has three players on it and a mass of 10 million kg (mostly ore), while the other ship has 200 players on it and a mass of 0.5 kg (lots of players, not much cargo). Should the ship with all the players getting a jump across the galaxy pay a tiny fraction of the cost that the other ship has to pay? I have a feeling there will be a lot of situations where an organization will worry more about the number of people coming through their gate rather than the amount of goods.

 

That's a good point, and should definitely a possibility.

 

Along with that, I imagine organizations will work out their own systems as they see fit. They'll give people and other factions that they like discounts, or perhaps offer anyone the chance to have an up-front discount per use; a season pass sort of thing (pay 1000 quanta to use the gate once, pay 9000 quanta to be able to use the gate ten times).

 

I'm sure many groups will have many different ways of doing it. I was just talking about game mechanics, and people can certainly do all sorts of things on top of that. 

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I like this idea. It would make much more sense than just one fee for all.

 

Regarding the refugee...uhm... peoples problem: this shouldn't be tied to fees or something but to emergent gameplay. If a shuttle with only 2000kg but 200 people on board want to use the stargate - sure why not. Pay the fee for mass. But you could be target of a random police control. I mean that's why they're there for. If that nation has a policy of "only 3 people in small ships" for whatever reason, the police force has to make sure people accept that. That's the whole point of a police force in the first place.

 

Wow, it's really hard not to mention walls here

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Price by mass is great idea if the game has some automatic ship weighting and payment system that works in real time. If the gates are managed by some use permission/key then hopefully its possible to set weight limits on different permits. You could do that as prepaid/time based system, tied to either person or ship. For example: Pay me this now and you can use all my gates with ships up to x kilos for y times/duration of 1 month.

 

Of course it would be nice to have restricted zones or traffic control. Only one gate to a system? Good no other organisation is allowed to bring military ships through and cargo will go through our trade port. (until someone with enough resources, and military power, sees opportunity and build another gate nearby). 

 

Hello again Lord_Void. Have you had any new evil business ideas since we last talked?

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This is a pretty good system, though I believe we, as players, should be given the building blocks to build a system like this ourselves. Then a system like this could be used for more than just stargates. And I don't think it will take much in the way of building blocks to accomplish. RDMS, a ship scanner and some LUA could conceivably be used to create the "Weighbridge of the Star(gate)s".

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Price by mass is great idea if the game has some automatic ship weighting and payment system that works in real time. If the gates are managed by some use permission/key then hopefully its possible to set weight limits on different permits. You could do that as prepaid/time based system, tied to either person or ship. For example: Pay me this now and you can use all my gates with ships up to x kilos for y times/duration of 1 month.

 

Of course it would be nice to have restricted zones or traffic control. Only one gate to a system? Good no other organisation is allowed to bring military ships through and cargo will go through our trade port. (until someone with enough resources, and military power, sees opportunity and build another gate nearby). 

 

Hello again Lord_Void. Have you had any new evil business ideas since we last talked?

 

Definitely. I'm hoping that it would be very easy for the game to have an automatic mass fee system since the physics system already calculates mass for each ship. I like the idea of time based systems too. You could even make a limited number of "tax free" tickets and sell them for a high price, since the merchants would snap them up. Restricted zones and traffic control will probably end up being the first of lines of defense for empires, which means offensive gate building could definitely be a thing that happens.

 

Good to see you again Stig92. A few things here and there :) I've been on a bit of vacation from DU for a bit and am just coming back. Sorry it's been a while since we talked.

 

This is a pretty good system, though I believe we, as players, should be given the building blocks to build a system like this ourselves. Then a system like this could be used for more than just stargates. And I don't think it will take much in the way of building blocks to accomplish. RDMS, a ship scanner and some LUA could conceivably be used to create the "Weighbridge of the Star(gate)s".

That would be interesting, having a specific module that runs the weighing. Although since the stargate already is dealing with the ships mass, it may not need to "scan" the ship to determine its mass and therefore not need an additional module, at least lore-wise.

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 That would be interesting, having a specific module that runs the weighing. Although since the stargate already is dealing with the ships mass, it may not need to "scan" the ship to determine its mass and therefore not need an additional module, at least lore-wise.

I would still advocate a separate scanning element since they are going to be in the game anyway in various forms. Also I don't see the stargate as a scanner itself, it just has 1 job: to open that magical space to take people to a distant space. I doubt it will actually care about the mass going through it. Also not all orgs will necessarily care to add the "scanner module" to the stargate.

 

But all that aside, as long as it's possible, I will be most pleased.

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I would still advocate a separate scanning element since they are going to be in the game anyway in various forms. Also I don't see the stargate as a scanner itself, it just has 1 job: to open that magical space to take people to a distant space. I doubt it will actually care about the mass going through it. Also not all orgs will necessarily care to add the "scanner module" to the stargate.

 

But all that aside, as long as it's possible, I will be most pleased.

 

I suppose there is nothing wrong with more customization.

 

Agreed.

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Hopefully there can be elements which can transmit the ship's info to a mechanic as the "weighing" mechanics. As you are building a ship, the core unit tracks the amount of voxels used to build and creates an overall weight, a sort of stat for your ship. Each material has a general weight, track the amount of voxels of each material, multiply by their designated weight, add everything together and you have your ship's weight. If it is a carrier, then the CU can also factor in the weight of any items loaded onboard in crates or on people. When the ship gets scanned at the Stargate, the basic stats are relayed and that is how the final tax is created.

 

I think the idea is wonderful. It would most certainly create a more realistic view on trade and commerce because, like in the real world, when you transport items into countries, in DU it would be solar systems, they are taxes, especially when using a mechanic that takes an incredible amount of resources from the creator to build.

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I would still advocate a separate scanning element since they are going to be in the game anyway in various forms. Also I don't see the stargate as a scanner itself, it just has 1 job: to open that magical space to take people to a distant space. I doubt it will actually care about the mass going through it. Also not all orgs will necessarily care to add the "scanner module" to the stargate.

 

Are we sure it wont care about mass going through it? What if there were/could be different sized stargates. Like you can build small 'relatively cheap' but it can only send through fighter or shuttle. To send heavy freighter or battleship would require much larger and more expensive one. I though about a modular design where players can build bigger gates to send bigger ships further by building more of some gate elements into one structure, but that could turn out trickier technology wise (irl). 

 

btw. Has there been any mentions on range limitations on stargates. Can you jump from one gate to any other gate, or any other gate within certain range, or is each gate connected to some specific gate and only goes there. If it is one of the first two there could be some way for gate owner to limit gates that can connect to that gate, though there should be some limit how often that could be changed. This way hostile forces could attempt to capture gates that are allowed to connect to that gate for attack purposes. 

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Are we sure it wont care about mass going through it? What if there were/could be different sized stargates. Like you can build small 'relatively cheap' but it can only send through fighter or shuttle. To send heavy freighter or battleship would require much larger and more expensive one. I though about a modular design where players can build bigger gates to send bigger ships further by building more of some gate elements into one structure, but that could turn out trickier technology wise (irl). 

 

I've thought about this too and I think it'd be a really good way to do stargates, if it's possible with current technology. It'd make the game more immersive (cause having a 1km long ship go through a kinda small stargate is just gonna look terrible) and it'd mean that if you want to open up a trade route (or a military route) you have to make stargates big enough to fit all the ships you're expecting. This also means that, while people *can* build extremely massive and costly ships, it'd be more efficient to build some smaller ships that could potentially have more detail in them, and will probably require less crew to run. 

 

Stargates would only connect to other stargates of equal or greater size, which means you can't go literally anywhere just because there's a stargate in the system. You have to actually plan your routes. This also means that military forces can't just pop out of nowhere and murder your face. If there isn't a big stargate to your system, their Capital Ships have to go the long way to get to you. Of course, the opposite is also true. If you want to hit your enemy's base, chances are you're gonna have to take the long way. 

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Are we sure it wont care about mass going through it? What if there were/could be different sized stargates. Like you can build small 'relatively cheap' but it can only send through fighter or shuttle. To send heavy freighter or battleship would require much larger and more expensive one. I though about a modular design where players can build bigger gates to send bigger ships further by building more of some gate elements into one structure, but that could turn out trickier technology wise (irl). 

 

btw. Has there been any mentions on range limitations on stargates. Can you jump from one gate to any other gate, or any other gate within certain range, or is each gate connected to some specific gate and only goes there. If it is one of the first two there could be some way for gate owner to limit gates that can connect to that gate, though there should be some limit how often that could be changed. This way hostile forces could attempt to capture gates that are allowed to connect to that gate for attack purposes.

 

 

 

 

As far as I know, there is not any current plans to limit stargates based on mass. When you get down to it, it is a matter of lore and how they decide gates "work". Personally I see different sized gates being more of a pain than anything. Perhaps they could add a "black ops gate" that is much smaller and easier to deploy but has some severe limitations to mass transfer or range. I could see that being useful for smuggling or infiltrating a hostile star system.

 

 

I've thought about this too and I think it'd be a really good way to do stargates, if it's possible with current technology. It'd make the game more immersive (cause having a 1km long ship go through a kinda small stargate is just gonna look terrible) and it'd mean that if you want to open up a trade route (or a military route) you have to make stargates big enough to fit all the ships you're expecting. This also means that, while people *can* build extremely massive and costly ships, it'd be more efficient to build some smaller ships that could potentially have more detail in them, and will probably require less crew to run. 

 

Stargates would only connect to other stargates of equal or greater size, which means you can't go literally anywhere just because there's a stargate in the system. You have to actually plan your routes. This also means that military forces can't just pop out of nowhere and murder your face. If there isn't a big stargate to your system, their Capital Ships have to go the long way to get to you. Of course, the opposite is also true. If you want to hit your enemy's base, chances are you're gonna have to take the long way.

 

I do really like the idea of being able to restrict gate connections, but that then creates the problem of bottlenecks, gate camps and other kind of bleh things. I know you will be able to restrict who can connect to a gate based on permissions and such, but those can be bypassed. I do hope that the way gates work do promote some trade routes or space highways, since those are what give space it's geography.

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I hope they go for a more classical route

 

- stargates of same size for ships up to x km/mass

- jump drives for bigger than x km/mass ships

 

I like the idea of some kind of black ops gate for only small ships with x mass can pass

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