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November DevBlog 3: The Maneuver Tool and Disconnecting Ships!

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Good day, Noveans!
 

Much of the allure of Dual Universe is the ability to be the captain of your own destiny as you pilot the ship of your dreams. Piloting your ship requires skill and a strategic use of the tools available.
 

The Maneuver Tool is an important part of that toolbox. In its current state, however, it wasn’t working quite the way we planned. As we approach the launch of the 0.23 update, we wanted to talk about changes we’ll be making to the Maneuver Tool as well as changes to issues around what happens when you’re disconnected from the game (intentionally or not) when actively flying your ship.
 

The Maneuver Tool is for maneuvers

The Maneuver Tool was originally introduced to offer a simple way to get your ship out of a small hole or to flip it over when it landed upside down. It also provided a handy way to lift your ship off the ground a bit so you could work on it from below.
 

But as is often the case when designing video games, the cunning imaginations of players found unexpected ways to use the tools that were not intended by the designers, some of which are detrimental to gameplay and could cause issues in the not-so-distant future. Let’s take a closer look at some of the issues caused by the “creative” use of the Maneuver Tool and the upcoming changes we’ll be implementing in the imminent 0.23 update to correct them.
 

Cooperative play is all about collaboration and players helping other players. That’s great, and we don’t want to discourage players from doing that, but how it’s done is important. The Maneuver Tool was not intended as a way to move a ship “by hand” over kilometers or to create a ladder of two ships used as intermediary steps to reach space. These uses went clearly beyond the original intent of the tool.
 

To address this, we’re introducing some limitations in line with the purpose of the tool: 

 

  • A ship will not be able to move more than 50m in total between accumulated uses of the tool. The distance between the start and end points is added at each run of the tool. The moved distance is reset after three minutes to ensure that players aren’t stuck forever. It is, of course, a per-construct limitation. 
  • Unless the player was in contact with a planet ground or a static/space construct, a ship will no longer freeze in the air during the use of the Maneuver Tool. This will make it possible to lift it up to work under it, but no higher than that.


No more instant stopping of ships upon disconnection

Everyone has “the need for speed”, the desire to get from Point A to Point B in the shortest time possible. So you pull that throttle back, amp up the power and blast off. The danger is that if you don’t carefully monitor your speed, you’ll smash full-force into a planet, your ship will blow up, and you’ll find yourself either returned to your bind point or resurrection node. Ouch!
 

A common workaround for this has been to disconnect from the game just before impact. Upon reconnection, your speed would be reset to zero, and thus you could approach with a safe speed. Although it’s convenient, that’s not how it’s supposed to work.


With the upcoming change, upon reconnecting, as soon as you get in range of the construct, the speed and rotation will be restored to whatever they were when travel was interrupted. The benefits to this change are twofold. First, it will close the aforementioned loophole. Second, it will prevent you from expending twice the amount of fuel to reaccelerate a ship at maximum speed if you had been disconnected for whatever reason.
 

Further, if you disconnect while another player is in range, the server already assigns the task of handling the physical properties of your ship to that nearby player. This means that your ship will continue to move in this situation. On a large ship with many people on board, disconnecting will no longer have the effect of freezing your ship because there will always be other players nearby to continue the simulation of your ship’s movement.
 

We will also add the option to have the Emergency Control Unit (ECU) activated in that case, so that an emergency “braking” can take place if the ship capacity allows it.
 

Keep Doing What You’re Doing
 

We tip our hats to the ingenuity of our Beta testing community. The way you use the tools and mechanics we toss into the sandbox gives us lots of food for thought, showing us the changes we need to make to make the game we all want to play. We encourage you to maneuver your way to the discussion thread to tell us what you think about the adjustments we’re bringing to DU! ❤️ 

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