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I had an interesting discussion with Yamamushi via discord today about cargo containers and cargo and how they would be handled in the game.  This also ties in with how ships might dock to one another.  Mostly this is a bunch of questions and speculation, but here goes.

We were thinking about how cargo will be moved around, and wondering if it would make sense to have it stay in the cargo containers rather than being piped around like in Space Engineers.  We both agreed that it would make more sense for the cargo to stay in the containers and have a system for swapping out the containers on cargo vessels rather than having magic pipes.  One possible RP explanation for this is the storage method that compresses the matter, as is described in the various story episodes in the devblogs.  The container is the vessel that holds the matter in it's compressed state, and in order to remove the matter it would have to be reconstituted to it's original structure.  This would make trading a bit easier as well, because instead of trading ore or raw metal by the kilo or cubic meter or whatever, you just trade it by the cargo container.  It also makes it important that the cargo containers remain powered, lest they lose containment and make a big mess.  If this is a feature, I would suggest that as well as not being powered they should have to sustain a certain amount of damage to go poof.

In a similar vein, there should be some cargo that is more unstable than others, for instance certain types of fuel that are more efficient should have higher power requirements to maintain containment. 

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I can see the cool gameplay it would open up to see a landing bay full of small vehicles moving around carrying boxes of cargo, I also see the downside of needing to physically unload each cargo container one at a time...

 

I'm thinking that we're going to have lots of time in between skills completing in our skill queues, so perhaps loading and unloading cargo might not be such a huge issue.

 

Plus it will making landing bays feel much more alive, like airport terminals, if there were people who were paid to deal with moving shipping containers around in large trading stations.

 

Part of the station docking fees might go towards paying those people even if the organization behind the station managed everything well. 

 

It sounds like a boring job, but it's not something you would do for very long before you earned enough to go do something else. 

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Im against this, mostly because this is how it works today, you are not taking in 500 more years of innovation. I drive a fork truck for a living, there are also already gps/robotic fork trucks, so if we already have that.......why now just do the pipe method, or a transporter beaming them from one ship to another.

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What if we had cargo containers that could be accessed by a robotic arm and then pull cargo from there? This could easily be a logistics job to, selecting containers to move could be automated with scripting. Power could be used as the requirement for crane operation and could be bypassed manually with a ladder.

 

4qle2x.jpg

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Well very appropriately, some new container models were released this week by the devs :)

 

They're perhaps not the massive cargo containers that you all are discussing here...but maybe they do compress matter  :o

 

Cpsp0-3WYAEkRoJ.jpg

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My only concern is in the compressed matter of containers, Not specifically that you are compressing it...

But that people will fill containers with a different tonnage of items. 1 Cargo container might have 10,000 iron ore, and another 20,000 iron ore.

 

Would people be able to see the difference ahead of time?

 

Gallo makes a point, I drive a semi around, the direction of the industry is definitely moving towards automated everything. At least for the routine stuff, there will probably still be specialist drivers and FL operators to an extent for all eternity. I guess it may be possible with the dpu's we can automate many things.

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Im against this, mostly because this is how it works today, you are not taking in 500 more years of innovation. I drive a fork truck for a living, there are also already gps/robotic fork trucks, so if we already have that.......why now just do the pipe method, or a transporter beaming them from one ship to another.

 

They've already stated about the need to physically travel to another market if you buy something remotely to go have to pick it up, so I'm not sure how the beaming mechanic would apply in that case. It seems like we're going to have to go carry our cargo from the markets we purchase things from, and needing to load that cargo into containers to move it further seems like the natural progression.

 

Also, they have models for containers, so why wouldn't they be put to use?

 

https://dual-static-web.s3.amazonaws.com/static/img/pictures/elements/16_container_v2.jpg

 

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CEgKHT5W0AAWC6p.jpg

 

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CGwHU45WcAAtx6u.jpg

 

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CHUMW2oWsAEuvSO.jpg

 

 

 

Also, there is a lot of talk about scripting, but who is going to write all of that? If you (not you specifically, just whoever is reading this) wrote it all, would you give it away for free? 

 

I think if I wrote automation for a cargo bay, I wouldn't give it away in any form, I'd take my development time into account when charging people loading/unloading fees.

 

That was probably off topic a bit, not an attack, just an observation I randomly had. 

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They've already stated about the need to physically travel to another market if you buy something remotely to go have to pick it up, so I'm not sure how the beaming mechanic would apply in that case. It seems like we're going to have to go carry our cargo from the markets we purchase things from, and needing to load that cargo into containers to move it further seems like the natural progression.

 

Also, they have models for containers, so why wouldn't they be put to use?

 

https://dual-static-web.s3.amazonaws.com/static/img/pictures/elements/16_container_v2.jpg

 

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CEgKHT5W0AAWC6p.jpg

 

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CGwHU45WcAAtx6u.jpg

 

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CHUMW2oWsAEuvSO.jpg

 

 

 

Also, there is a lot of talk about scripting, but who is going to write all of that? If you (not you specifically, just whoever is reading this) wrote it all, would you give it away for free? 

 

I think if I wrote automation for a cargo bay, I wouldn't give it away in any form, I'd take my development time into account when charging people loading/unloading fees.

 

That was probably off topic a bit, not an attack, just an observation I randomly had. 

im hoping logistics and shipping is a thing in this game. if its not well...pirates and privateers are going to be bored.

 

far as the automatons unloading the cargo bay....i wouldnt sell them or tell anyone how i made or scripted, it would be strictly for the organization i was in.  if i can have a monopoly on logistics in a sector i will

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I think perhaps he was going more for, you drive up close and then it magic beams over to the other entities cargo containers. not necessarily long distance market transfers.

 

I'm really down for this idea, even if the devs dont do it, it follows the basic principles i deal with every day.

 

Bring a loaded cargo container to a place, set it down, pick up an empty cargo container next to it.

 

If you ran a company in the game that bought a ton of iron, you could contract a logistics company. have them bring their Logistics company cargo containers to your base and set it down in a specific spot, automate a crane to move it to a transfer terminal.

that first driver will have to leave empty with no container, but the company undoubtedly has more somewhere he can go get.

when the next guy comes to bring a container, the first cargo pod """should""" be waiting empty, all he has to to is drop it where the iron company wants, and take his empty pod away.

 

The contracts are all handled top level, all that driver has to do is worry about getting that raw iron or whatever to the landing pad.

 

You are also correct, the tech will come and not everyone will share its secrets. Some of it will be defunct and crash into the landing pads. but eventually someone will get one that works well and itll be worth a lot.

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I can see the cool gameplay it would open up to see a landing bay full of small vehicles moving around carrying boxes of cargo, I also see the downside of needing to physically unload each cargo container one at a time...

 

I'm thinking that we're going to have lots of time in between skills completing in our skill queues, so perhaps loading and unloading cargo might not be such a huge issue.

 

Plus it will making landing bays feel much more alive, like airport terminals, if there were people who were paid to deal with moving shipping containers around in large trading stations.

 

Part of the station docking fees might go towards paying those people even if the organization behind the station managed everything well. 

 

It sounds like a boring job, but it's not something you would do for very long before you earned enough to go do something else. 

Boring job? :P It beats doing the generic "Slay 500 Crystallised Piglets" for 10 Spacebucks. At least the guys doing the whole thing will have something to do, while they upgrade skills. Some people might NOT want to be a space-trucker or a PvPer, but simply want to upgrade their skills to reach a certain quota before rolling into another gameplay.

 

 

Plus, the idea behind the parking fees going towards the guys working in the loading bay is amazing, that is, if the cargo is a physical thing in the game and not teleported upon purchase to the buyer's nearest cargo holder within proximity of the terminal he bought something. But still, if the loading bay is not a job that can exist, then repair and refuel will be. And the same guys that work the commercial area of sch jobs COULD go up and become military personel on military installations with the possibility of working on-board a carrier ship.

 

 

I mean, it makes sense. Engineers would need to be efficient on a station before being taken seriously on a mobile platform like a super carrier. 

 

 

So yeah, it IS an interesting field for people to specialise and get appropriate training into to work in a loading bay. As I said, not everyone is good at piloting or has the accumen to work in a coordinated strike force on the ground. I mean, if I can be an engineer on a super-carrier, I would take that over ANYTHING else.

 

 

To be honest, the whole "pilot large superships" fantasy has become stale for me the latest years. No other MMO so far has offered people the option of being an engineer on board a super carrier and I know from personal experience, that I, like many others, like to play support roles, because :

 

 

1) Makes us indispensable

2) Secures a place in a group

3) Creates opportunities for major social interaction

4) Let us stand out from the mass of "Top Guns" and "Picards". :P

 

 

Also, working as a medic on board a super-carrier is an excellent job, because NOBODY would ever attack a super-carrier, hence, you get paid for doing nothing.

 

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Just to clarify a few things, I am strictly opposed to anything going from one container to another without some form of physical connection or somebody actually grabbing it and moving it by hand. 

My thoughts on how moving cargo from where you make it to where it's used are pretty simple.  I'm going to use the mining example, but this could work for other things like refined metals or other goods.  Basically, the mining tool gathers materials in whatever way it ends up doing that, and in the process compresses it, much like how the Nanoformer works.  The compressed matter is injected directly into the storage container, which has the tech to keep it in it's compressed state.  When the container is full, you have to swap it out, as the conduit from the compressor only has a limited range before the compressed matter becomes unstable.  This mechanic could be done a few ways, for instance, if you wish to put materials into a container from a production element you would have to attach the output to a compressor element, which would then have an attachment point for a cargo container on it.  This might seem complex, but if you have a huge factory that makes ships or whatever, and you're buying a lot of ore to refine and form into the hulls, all you have to do is buy the full containers of ore and hook them up to the refinery modules.  Then you could have an automated system that swaps the containers when they get empty.  You can then take the empty containers and sell them on the market or return them to your mining guy.

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Just to clarify a few things, I am strictly opposed to anything going from one container to another without some form of physical connection or somebody actually grabbing it and moving it by hand. 

My thoughts on how moving cargo from where you make it to where it's used are pretty simple.  I'm going to use the mining example, but this could work for other things like refined metals or other goods.  Basically, the mining tool gathers materials in whatever way it ends up doing that, and in the process compresses it, much like how the Nanoformer works.  The compressed matter is injected directly into the storage container, which has the tech to keep it in it's compressed state.  When the container is full, you have to swap it out, as the conduit from the compressor only has a limited range before the compressed matter becomes unstable.  This mechanic could be done a few ways, for instance, if you wish to put materials into a container from a production element you would have to attach the output to a compressor element, which would then have an attachment point for a cargo container on it.  This might seem complex, but if you have a huge factory that makes ships or whatever, and you're buying a lot of ore to refine and form into the hulls, all you have to do is buy the full containers of ore and hook them up to the refinery modules.  Then you could have an automated system that swaps the containers when they get empty.  You can then take the empty containers and sell them on the market or return them to your mining guy.

 

I think for the most part I agree depending on what your definition of a physical connection is. I think you should have containers/ship container elements. There must be a connection to move resources from one to the other but I think that interaction should be mostly done via physical interaction or a panel. If i want to move stuff from my inventory to my ship I should have to touch my ship. However, if I land my ship on my station I should be able to access a panel on the station/in my ship that allows me to transfer from my ship inventory to my station inventory or place items on the market (depending on how market storage works). I do not think you should have to touch one container and carry it to another. This should be controlled by an element that allows a linked inventory, be it a docking element or some very short range teleporter.

 

In general I don't think inventory management is something that needs to be heavily modified. The inventory systems in other games do a good enough job for DU's needs. Making inventory management too cumbersome and tedious is very bad in my eyes and will drive people away from the game. The system needs to be easily used and simple while still maintaining the physical connection that puts resources at risk and adds a dimension of danger to transporting inventory.

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