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maxZZzzz

Will automation be a first class citizen in the game

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This is about how far you will go with the scripting system.

Sorry if that has been asked before. But I could not find it in the forums. Maybe I am just blind.

 

So here we go:

* How many scripts can a player run in parallel?
* Will there be a limit at all?
* Will scripts on different grids be able to communicate through some sort of wifi potentially over long distances?
* Can scripts be part of a blueprint?
* Will scripts be able to do everything that a player can?
    > Can the script trigger and read everything from a module a player can
    > Can a script select the blueprint for a replicator
    > Can a script create new blueprints programaticaly (oh! i love fractals)
    > Will there be modules to get a map of the environment
    > Will there be some sort of positioning system? Space engineers has absolute coordinates. ComputerCraft gives you the distance to a wifi device and allowing the player to calculate its position.
* Will it be possible to solo the game?
    > EVE has removed that possibility by limiting your capacities per player quiete severly. You can only have so and so many productions running. Players can not produce all items that are required to create ships. You always need to pay for something with credits. Like blueprints cost money. You can not get all the resources you need for a ship on your own because some are in very dangerous areas you can not go in the begining.


So I am thinking Computercraft and Factorio here. Inventing celver ways to automate stuff. No space sim I know of does this right. Space engineers does some of the above points right but never intended for real automation. So some cruical parts are missing. Like blueprint selection. Or The physics being to unpredictable to even dock a ship autoatically without it exploding sometimes.

 

What I want to create is something like the Xenon from the X Series. There would be different AI scripts that control different abstract levels of my fleet. At the bottom level ther would be drones that fulfill a specific task like scanning, mining, transportation, offence/defence or prouduction. At the next level there would be information AIs that provide services for the drones like gps, mapping, sharing information on drone positions, storage capacities, production outputs. At the next level there would be management AIs which use the information to shedule drones for specific jobs. For example order defencive drones to fend of an attacker, shedule logistic drones to deliver fuel or materials to other drones. At the next level there would be a strategic AI that selects sites for expansion and materials on an inter outpost level.

And then there would be an bootstraping script. This script can turn any drone it runs on into a bootstraping drone. Which contains all blueprints and scripts to recreate everything from scratch. So it would be like a virus spreading through the galaxy. And ideally you never could get rid of it entirely. If it is really good it would be a challenging opponent.

 

But getting there would be the actual fun part. It would probably take years to develop and fine tune all the scripts. With monumental failures along the way. But if the above is at least theoretically possible it would mean that automation will not have some frustrating limitations.

 

So the question is: Will a playstyle like this be actively supported? Will automation be a first class citizen in the game?

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The following is my current understanding of the scripting:

 

In DU, there are items (ship parts, structure doors, light fittings, etc.) that are created by NQ, called "elements". These elements will have predefined functions which will be able to be accessed from within Lua scripts (e.g. turn light ON, turn light OFF). Players cannot define new functions for elements, only use what NQ provides. Players will craft these elements, probably using blueprints.

 

Combat actions will not be accessible from Lua scripts, so no way to fire guns via a Lua script, for example, otherwise a single player would be able to fly a battleship by themselves and fire all 20 cannons remotely.

 

It seems that the intention of the Lua scripting is not to allow automation, but rather to modify the behaviour of the element.

 

So a factory unit will probably not have a Load.Blueprint.From.Inventory() function, but rather something like Increase.Operating.Speed(), for example, which may increase it's power draw as a side-effect.

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2 hours ago, maxZZzzz said:

This is about how far you will go with the scripting system.

Sorry if that has been asked before. But I could not find it in the forums. Maybe I am just blind.

 

So here we go:

* How many scripts can a player run in parallel?
* Will there be a limit at all?
* Will scripts on different grids be able to communicate through some sort of wifi potentially over long distances?
* Can scripts be part of a blueprint?
* Will scripts be able to do everything that a player can?
    > Can the script trigger and read everything from a module a player can
    > Can a script select the blueprint for a replicator
    > Can a script create new blueprints programaticaly (oh! i love fractals)
    > Will there be modules to get a map of the environment
    > Will there be some sort of positioning system? Space engineers has absolute coordinates. ComputerCraft gives you the distance to a wifi device and allowing the player to calculate its position.
* Will it be possible to solo the game?
    > EVE has removed that possibility by limiting your capacities per player quiete severly. You can only have so and so many productions running. Players can not produce all items that are required to create ships. You always need to pay for something with credits. Like blueprints cost money. You can not get all the resources you need for a ship on your own because some are in very dangerous areas you can not go in the begining.

 

*snip*

 

Alright so, lot of questions here. I don't know all the answers and I don't think all the answers are out there yet. I'll do the best that I can.

 

* How many scripts can a player run in parallel?

* Will there be a limit at all?

If you mean on a single grid, then a bunch. Control units can have multiple scripts on them that run when and event is met, or just continuously. There will probably be limits, but they are not yet known.

 

* Will scripts on different grids be able to communicate through some sort of wifi potentially over long distances?

This isn't known yet either. There are a lot of potential elements for communication, like radar and sensors, but not a lot has been revealed about their function.

 

* Can scripts be part of a blueprint?

Yes, scripts are included when a blueprint is created.

 

* Can scripts be part of a blueprint?

Lot of sub questions here but I can tell you the current limitations. Mining cannot be automated. Weapons will probably be limited if used by scripts. Anything else hasn't been revealed. Each element will get its own set of available actions, and I imagine those will change and adapt over time. I imagine the some of the things you are asking about will be possible, at least eventually.

 

* Will it be possible to solo the game?

Dual Universe will be pretty much the same as EVE in that respect. Can you solo real life? You can try... But working together will almost always yield better results.

 

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DU is a social game which enforces social interactions. 

You can modify certain aspects of an element or construct with lua, but you can't fully automate things. That's not what a mmo is there for

 

Can't answer in length, forum is buggy atm

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Aw, man, this is disappointing. I'm a bit sad that I can't make a swarm of von Neumann probes to steadily take over the entire galaxy while I sit back and do nothing. (Mining would have to be automatable)

 

In all seriousness, though, I can see why you wouldn't allow this, but I'm still frustrated. What concerns me is this: How will single-pilot ships work at all, if guns can't be automated? Will there be a way to shoot a turret while piloting the ship? If not, that... kinda makes it impossible to have a viable one-person ship, which is going to make doing just about anything much harder (organizations will need to find two people who work well together and are online at the same time, rather than just sending one person whenever)

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12 hours ago, maxZZzzz said:

* Will there be a limit at all?

 

I assume that there is a hard local limit, but NQ hasn't mentioned one yet. The only limit on scripts that I've ever heard of is distance. Your scripts stop running once you get so far away from them, and they stop effecting other things past a certain range as well. 

 

12 hours ago, maxZZzzz said:

* Will scripts be able to do everything that a player can?

 

No, there are some player activities, such as mining, that will not be scriptable, and scripted weapons will be far less efficient than their counterparts. I would imagine the same will be true for other game concepts, but those are the only two I've heard specifically mentioned so far.

 

12 hours ago, maxZZzzz said:

> Will there be modules to get a map of the environment

 

Every player has a built-in map system in their character's suit, but it's unclear at this time how that will work exactly, or whether you'll be able to use it to send data to scripts and other elements.

 

13 hours ago, maxZZzzz said:

* Will it be possible to solo the game?

 

Contrary to what some people think, I would say absolutely. It will certainly be harder in many ways, and there's obviously going to be some content you can't access at all (can't fly a battleship by yourself after all), but generally speaking I'd say yes. Now, that doesn't mean you'll be able to be 100% self-sufficient, but you can still grow and thrive on your own, even if it's just as a part of a larger organization that lets you do your own thing. I'd also say that it's going to be much more difficult in the beginning, when there aren't established player markets and everything is a lot more wild-west, but give it time and you'll get there.

 

13 hours ago, maxZZzzz said:

At the bottom level ther would be drones that fulfill a specific task like scanning, mining, transportation, offence/defence or prouduction.

 

The only one of these that would be potentially viable is the transport role, and even then only as a drone that follows you around, as demonstrated in the most recent developer diary . While you could certainly attach guns to a drone to make it fire for you, those weapons would be far less effective then you using them yourself, and the drone would cease to function once it got a certain distance away from you, so you'd be better off using those resources to build a construct that you piloted yourself. Perhaps defense drones wielding forcefield projectors could be used effectively on combat, but that's still entirely hypothetical. As for mining, JC has emphatically stated that there will not be any means of automating mining at any point.

 

So, while I hate to burst your bubble mate, I don't think a career as an automator is going to be particularly lucrative. At least not in the way you seem to be thinking. I'm sure there are tons of organizations that would love to use your Lua skills however, as prime scripting is clearly going to be critical to having the best ships in the game.

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19 hours ago, Vorengard said:

So, while I hate to burst your bubble mate, I don't think a career as an automator is going to be particularly lucrative. At least not in the way you seem to be thinking.

 

Ghahaha  :'( Noooooooooo! Whyyyyy.

 

Ah. I guess I am getting used to it. So here is what is behind my questions: Full Automation would make the game actually very very hard. Instead of given a predetermined path and way of playing now everything is possible. And that includes very dangerous and unpredictable things, which could and would lead to the fatal collapse of the in game economy and their factions. But the game experience would be absolutly unique. It would feel very real. Being not in control, facing something so powerful and dangerous is indescribable.

 

Maybe that kind of game is just not compatible with MMO since the compay that runs it wants to keep as much players happy as they can. And the majority probably does not want a hard game.

 

The 2b2t Server in Minecraft comes to mind. Everything is allowed there. Including hacked clients.

Battles there are unfair. If somebody with a better hacked client found you and had better equipment, you would be toast in a second. Oh the hate. But. It forced you to find ways of dealing with it. Have multpile bases and backup stashes. Have an ALT somewhere that could bring supplies where needed. Teaming up to reduce the losses of dying. All on that server revolved around whom you could trust. Because if someone ever found your outpost it would be gone. So so unbalanced and unfair. But if you explored the server you would find abondened structures. Huge builds. From the moment of their inception doomed to be destroyed at some point. This place has a history. Unlike any other game I played before.

Losing our first base to someone like that: in any other game you would cry for stupid. But there being on your own with nobody to blame but our selfes for being naive. Something strange happened. We would accept it and think about how to make a better base next time. Every moment had value there. Because you never knew when you would loose it all. WOW.

 

 

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As far as scripts not firing ship weapons, how sure are we of that? I would understand the devs not wanting a single person flying a ship bristling in automated turrets, but it would make sense for a single pilot to be able to fire several fixed weapons at once. Most WWII single-seat fighter planes had several guns that all fired together, and the pilots and engineers managed just fine. 

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I definitely understand where you're coming from, and that does sound really cool in it's own way. But like you said, automation would force new players out of the market completely, and would eventually destroy the in-game economy if taken too far. So not including those types of features really is for the best. 

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On 9/7/2017 at 11:32 AM, Vorengard said:

I definitely understand where you're coming from, and that does sound really cool in it's own way. But like you said, automation would force new players out of the market completely, and would eventually destroy the in-game economy if taken too far. So not including those types of features really is for the best. 

It really depends on what advantages said automaton confers. If it doesn't increase RESOURCE efficiency much (or at all), then it wouldn't push new players out of the market. There'd still be reason to do it, since there's a lot of value in scale and time savings, but the unit price wouldn't be heavily affected.

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5 hours ago, Frenotx said:

It really depends on what advantages said automaton confers. If it doesn't increase RESOURCE efficiency much (or at all), then it wouldn't push new players out of the market. There'd still be reason to do it, since there's a lot of value in scale and time savings, but the unit price wouldn't be heavily affected.

 

So you don't want to increase resource efficiency but want to decrease time needed.....That's an efficiency upgrade and with less time needed = more resources than a newbro

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22 minutes ago, Lethys said:

 

So you don't want to increase resource efficiency but want to decrease time needed.....That's an efficiency upgrade and with less time needed = more resources than a newbro

The difference is that by not touching the resource efficiency, you don't affect the material cost to produce something. Sure a new player won't be able to make money as quickly as a big factory, but they'll still be able to make a profit on what they produce.

 

Example: new guy spends give minutes turning $10 worth of materials into a single element that sells for $11 They profit $1 per element crafted, once every 5 minutes.

 

In that same 5 minutes, megacorp can do that same process 10 times over, thanks to the efficiency of their factory. In five minutes, they can turn $100 worth of materials into 10 of that component, for a total sale of $110. They still each component at $11 a piece since any less wouldn't be profitable. They can make a profit of $11 dollars every 5 minutes (way more than the new player), but they don't prevent that new player from participating in the market since the unit cost remains the same.

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18 minutes ago, Lethys said:

If you're talking about factories or production, it's all good. Thought you talk about resource extraction there for a sec

No, I wasnt, but the same logic applies there. Party A mining oreX faster than party B doesn't stop party B from selling what little they pull up at the same unit price. The can still participate in the market, but their time is effectively worth less. That's fine though, since there's nothing stopping them from investing time and resources into faster mining methods too. Each unit of oreX they pull up will still sell for the same amount, but the rate at which they earn will increase.

 

As long as there's never a way to undercut the new guy's prices such that you still profit but they wouldn't if they matched your price, everything works out. New players will be able to participate and profit, and experienced players / organizations have room to grow their profit/hour income rate.

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If you can effectively mine more in less time, you destroy the market for new players. Supply and demand - if you throw way more onto the market then prices go down, cutting the profit of newbros.

See eve for reference, if you don't have a serious mining operations running with dedicated t2 miner, then you won't makebe any profit at all (compared toto your little mining cruiser as newbro).

 

Solo/small gangs/people who try DU the first time should earn their share too so they have a reason to move on. Better skills and experience or larger orgs should benefit because of numbers and not because they kill the market for new players

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9 hours ago, Lethys said:

If you can effectively mine more in less time, you destroy the market for new players. Supply and demand - if you throw way more onto the market then prices go down, cutting the profit of newbros.

See eve for reference, if you don't have a serious mining operations running with dedicated t2 miner, then you won't makebe any profit at all (compared toto your little mining cruiser as newbro).

 

Solo/small gangs/people who try DU the first time should earn their share too so they have a reason to move on. Better skills and experience or larger orgs should benefit because of numbers and not because they kill the market for new players

Strictly speaking, you will still make a profit. I know- I did it. Was part of a 2-man corp. We mined enough to manufacture more than all the ammunition and PoS fuel we needed, and sold the surplus on the market. It wasn't our biggest income source, but it was reliable. Made decent money mining gas in my... Venture, I think, in wormholes. Again, nothing crazy, but since all I was spending was time, it was still profit.

 

Yes prices will go down as supply increases, but all a new player needs to spend is time (pulling the ore up by hand), so ANY amount of credits earned from selling said ore is profit. Will it be as many credits per hour as a major mining operation? No, but it's still profit, and thus income. If there were no benefit to big mining operations, then people wouldn't do them. Why invest all the time and resources setting one up when you can make just as much, just as quickly, solo? 

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Mining in whs, mining ice != basic mining tritanium with an osprey.

Those are different things in eve as ice and whs need a certain amount of skills and experience which a newbro doesn't have at all.

 

The statement 

13 hours ago, Frenotx said:

what little they pull up at the same unit price.

Is just plain wrong.

 

As I said, big groups have an advantage - numbers. So they make more ore for their projects. A base they build might cost 200k quanta or 30k iron. They just mine those 30k iron instead of buying those (what a solo player might need to do because he can't mine that much)

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Given the push to make this a social game, i'd like to see some automation, but not enough that I spend most my time meeting other players bots.
Curious to see how NPC driven content might work though.

I thought the guys over at Everquest next had the right idea, drive a large construction effort with massive scale missions given to large groups of players (like founding a new city), but the actual construction work could be done by drones that simply take the building materials supplied by players and apply them to the mission.

You could have missions like that run over a month long period or something and the outcome of the project based on how much work the player base chooses to put in.

The whole idea of corporations / organisations could be used to get new players up and running this way too. 

Just like Eve, drop them in to a large corp like "Scope" and ask them to get something done to raise a bit of starter cash, then scope gets a nice stream of manpower to get stuff done whilst the "pro's" can feed their own corps.

 

Taking it a bit further, area defences could be handled by weapon equipped defence drones as opposed to construction drones.

That said, too much automation goes against the current lore (AI is banned remember) but simpler forms of AI (non sentient) could be a possibility.

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No npcs are planned for DU

 

Letting drones construct stuff YOU want to build seems like a very bad choice for a mmo

 

If you want to get the players together you can do it yourself - you make those missions and "quests" for them. That's emergent gameplay

 

Gl forcing all players in one megaorg - that's not the idea behind DU

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I think you missed the point ... The Scope Org in Eve is nothing like that Lethys.
If I was able to build a construct that could place blocks or handle outputting stuff from a blueprint given the materials I could save a lot of time.

 

I'm fully aware that there's no plan for NQ to build such things, but that doesn't totally exclude the possibility that LUA scripting gives us.

and by drone I was more thinking "remote control" than fully automated.

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We don't know how blueprints work yet. So that's all speculation.

 

But it's just a bad decision for gameplay if drones do the construction part. This is a player run world with players running things - not drones.

 

People will already do crazy stuff with lua but th nq should (and possibly Will) limit that so that players are in charge of doing stuff and not some drone

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