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Balancing Ship/Base Storage vs Player Mules

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So I had a thought relating to one of the dev blogs or what not stating they want to avoid ships just using people to hold move cargo as mules. So how can this be solved? The best way I can think of it working is storage is done via storage voxels which produce a formulaic amount of storage. The more voxels you have placed connect/next to each other the more exponential the storage becomes. It would need to be set up in a way where a small single player fighter would only have enough storage space to equal say half of a player's innate storage capacity. For freighters though they could move huge cache of supplies that could jumpstart base construction or what not as they can have large swaths of their volume dedicated to storage voxels.

 

The catch is that this kind of storage eats up power since its essentially trying to replicate the tech used by each player at start, but unlike the starter tech that we have, its not a perfect replication. So the power requirements scale equally where as individual players don't have to pay power at all to store stuff on their person but could never compete with a freighter either.

 

Another cost is that if the ship ever loses power you can't retrieve the stored supplies or if the voxels are damage, what was in the storage for those voxels could explosively release and fuse with your ship/base. If it some how survives, you'll need to mine your way out or clear it.

 

Another aspect are storage crates, they can hold a lot, more than a player but you can't stack their effects like you would the voxels. Plus they are very large. These would be multi block assets/entities which can carry far more than a equal number individual storage voxels, but do not equal the total storage a group of voxels at an equal volume. The advantage to them though is they have their own dedicated power supply, or don't need it at all. Second, you can move the crates out the ship.

 

But wait, why not just make voxel crates that I can load into a ship? You can, however they need power to work and you also need assets that provide power and movement like you would any vehicle thus adding to its volume/shape in unwieldy ways. Where as predefined crates are good go and perfectly cubical.

 

At least that's my thoughts.

 

Now just watch, some mod probably posted on this and a solution is already in the works... and I completely missed it.

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I think a crate system will be implemented at some point so that people actually have to think about their stuff and how they want to move it. I'd prefer moveable elements there to possibly add cargo lifters later on.

 

Mule accs will happen anyhow - sometimes you just need that ;)

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Much depends on how much a player can actually carry in those belt pouches.

 

If it's a significant quantity in game terms, then players WILL use "mules" to turn a small shuttle into a high-speed superfreighter. Having multiple accounts will make that very convenient, of course.

 

The only way of preventing that happening is to introduce some "hand-wavy science" via the lore, which will somehow make it impossible.

 

Something along the lines of "acceleration interferes with the compression tech of the belt pouches" or perhaps "the belt-pouch compression tech emits a local field-effect that disables ships' engines". That would mean compressed resources would have to be transferred from belt pouches to "specially shielded cargo containers" aboard ship.

 

The storage crates themselves are easy to handle in game terms, because they are elements, not constructs. So their attributes are pre-determined by NQ. A player can build an elaborate "storage crate" structure out of voxels, but it will store nothing until the pre-made storage crate element is added. The element will determine the amount stored, the volume of voxels used in the "wrapper" will be irrelevant.

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I'm sure that storage capacity is something that will change over time. That's what alpha and beta are for, to find bugs but also help to balance out the game a bit, especially beta. Storage capacities for containers may be set, and then it turns out it's just super unbalanced... So, they'll be altered.

 

Mule accounts would be kind of cheap, but if you're transporting tons of items it may just end up being logistically easier in the end anyway to use tons of cargo space. Or not, and it will instead either be treated as a good workaround that will be encouraged, or it will be fixed.

 

Nevertheless, this issue will arise again on its own if it becomes a problem. 

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I think you should make a clear line between pvp for mining trade Transport
so you get some players who want to work freight for other players

here with a base and boxes etc. You just have the option of delivering it at a hub or at a freight company. One has made storage space for shipping the amount you stand and will have moved and the person has not expanded his base or skill enough the possibility of cargo must also be less .. just like in the real world you can not be good at all things ..

 

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I believe this is going to be a non-issue, as I have a gut feeling that the player storage space will only be convenient for setting up basic processing and production capabilities to pave way for "the real deal" in material storage and transport. You will then be accompanied in your mine-shafts by an ore elevator and transport for hauling it back (eg.: the sphere drone thing that followed the player automatically -Latest dev diary).

 

As an Example from the EVE universe, if we take an exploration frigate image.png.b5788aa49170694abcb8af2c757a3956.png as the biggest 'player' storage, with a cargo capacity of about 400m³, then our cargo freighter image.png.2af62e094780b06d6fad4ed5abebadb2.png    as the 'transport ship' with a cargo capacity of 750'000m³ requires 1875 'player' storages to match the hauling ability. Not to mention mules are incapable of storing larger monolithic items which simply do not fit in player's inventories altogether.

 

The only conceivable use I see for "mules" at present, is (if they introduce cloaking) intel bots, to watch and notify other players of possible threats.

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