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Maintenance, an element-sink idea


Gottchar
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The problem: Elements never decay, ore is infinite.

 

A possible solution: Element decay and requiring maintenance.

 

Overview

-a second health bar

-decay is time based

-decay is in no way coupled with damage taken. Scrap stays the mechanic for damage related repairs.

-purely cosmetic items are excluded from this, no maintenance for plants, furniture, windows etc.

-no decay for items in containers

-a maintenance unit keeps the tedium at bay

-the maintenance unit is fuelled with elements of the same "family" as the items to be maintained.

 

The new bar:

With the repair tool in hand and ALT key held, elements show their decay status. Usually players will use their maintenance unit to check stuff though. The bar slowly fills with decay points and, when full, the item needs full replacement. This would on average take month to happen and is easy to avoid. The decay bar has as many points as the healthbar has health points.

 

Time based:

Any time a player enters the seat or build mode of a craft, or enters build mode, and at least 5 minutes have passed, the game runs the decay check. This also happens during server down time if it didnt happen for the last weeks otherwise. So most constructs have this happen to them spread over time, but even unused constructs do not escape decay.

During decay check the following is done:

-game checks time passed since last check

-game checks total hitpoints of all elements that can decay (cosmetics are excluded)

-multiplies the above numbers and a coefficient

-assigns those decay points, up to 5% of the bar of an element,  but on the healthiest (by percentage) elements first.

If you have two identical ships, but one is used every day, and the other every month, they still decay at the same overall rate. The first in daily tiny chunks, the other in big chunks whenever used. Please note it would still take months to actually destroy an item due to decay.

 

No cosmetic items:

Players are already discouraged from using cosmetic items, due to the tedium of repair. I don’t want to add to that.

 

No decay for items in containers

Especially now with core limitations and the renewed talk of "storage mechanics" for ships reemerging, having no decay for items that are not visible in the game world is a nice incentive for players to keep the world clear of their 40 ships they have in some corner. 

 

The Maintenance unit

Similar to a repair unit, but useful, this machine let’s you empty your decay bars. A ship in maintenance is temporily disabled, the unit can also be used to fuel all tanks.

 

The "fuel"

The most important part, in order to do the above, the unit must be connected to a container with items (and fuel). It directly transfers the decay points of elements on the construct to elements in the connected to container, and deletes them if the bar is full.  This only works for elements that share a group:
-atmo and space engines of each tier are a group

-ground engines and adjustors

-aerofoils

-containers including tanks

-AGG, pulsors, warp

-control units, electronics, elevators, force fields, other "system" items.

-industry units of the same tier

-doors, gates, landing gears

So unlike the repair units you do not need the exact item, but you do at least need something similar. This should also normalize different market prices of different elements with similar production cost.

 

Possible results:

-Every item is useful, if only as scrap. If a patch makes some item obsolete (like recently with scanners) they can still be put to use.

-just like the 4 different space fuels equalize the t2 ore prices to some degree, this would also equalize prices between safe/freight/military/maneuver engines.

-no item is a one time purchase, unless it is cosmetic. Equipping t4 engines mean from now on you need t4 engines to maintain them.

-You can not just only buy things on alioth and there is little commerce on other planets. because now, on every planet, there is a constant, if slow, need for elements.

-Ore prices steady and hopefully ore bots can be turned off again. A step towards a player driven economy.

 

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1 hour ago, Gottchar said:

The problem: Elements never decay, ore is infinite.

 

A possible solution: Element decay and requiring maintenance.

 

 

Broadly speaking, people generally dislike this kind of idea as it adds a level of inconvenient tedium to the game (I know nobody that enjoys having to take their car in for service). Your automatic service module and the destruction-timescale you propose would certainly help reduce the tedium, but the idea that someone could take some time off the game (say, for military deployment or disaster response) and find the first thing they need do when they return is patch all their stuff up will still annoy some people. It may also annoy casual players (on for a few hours each week) that they need to maintain their stuff just as much as someone who spends all their time playing (though if it didn't you'd risk incentivizing not playing to avoid decay).

 

1 hour ago, Gottchar said:

Time based:

Any time a player enters the seat or build mode of a craft, or enters build mode, and at least 5 minutes have passed, the game runs the decay check. This also happens during server down time if it didnt happen for the last weeks otherwise. So most constructs have this happen to them spread over time, but even unused constructs do not escape decay.

 

...

Please note it would still take months to actually destroy an item due to decay.

 

 

These increments... why? 

-Checking data on hundreds  or thousands of elements (my s-core has 200+ functional elements) every 5 min of interaction will just generate unnecessary lag spikes and element data, particularly if the period it is meant to destroy items over is months long.

 

2 hours ago, Gottchar said:

Possible results:

-Every item is useful, if only as scrap. If a patch makes some item obsolete (like recently with scanners) they can still be put to use.

-just like the 4 different space fuels equalize the t2 ore prices to some degree, this would also equalize prices between safe/freight/military/maneuver engines.

-no item is a one time purchase, unless it is cosmetic. Equipping t4 engines mean from now on you need t4 engines to maintain them.

-You can not just only buy things on alioth and there is little commerce on other planets. because now, on every planet, there is a constant, if slow, need for elements.

-Ore prices steady and hopefully ore bots can be turned off again. A step towards a player driven economy.

 

-I still use scanners.
-4 different fuels is a thing because it annoys a bunch of people in to quitting when they move to a new planet and discover they are stranded because they can't manufacture fuel, it has nothing to do with "price equalization". Fuel-sales bots weren't always a thing, but they are now more or less required to solve the issue given core placement mechanics. If you want to argue for the removal of X2-4 though now that the bots sell fuel, be my guest :)
-Requiring months to push an item to the point of replacement is unlikely to substantially augment the market-need for items.
-There is already a need for elements on other planets, it isn't just new people buying things. Player-driven economies have this habit of eventually picking one location to congregate in to. All the buyers go there because "everything is there" so they don't waste hours flying around to a dozen markets, all the sellers go there because all the buyers are there, the cycle snow-balls until finding equilibrium in a 7-11 vs Walmart kind of way, or something prevents people from going to the chosen market-congregating area.
-Ore prices seem steady (if low, since everyone is auto-mining), and only ever seem to dip on weekends because of the asteroid rush, but they come right back a few days later.

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i think it makes it complicated, add a decay and just use scrap to fix up, constant scrap usage?

 

i mean we dont really know what the ore production/consumption rate is, with the new changes i reckon we really need to let it settle maybe

 

also more options to burn fuel? more missions i heard :)

 

and i suppose an element recycle option for some matts might happen later, could help clean up a lot of the elements sitting around...salvaging inc

Edited by Skyreaper
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I was gonna reply to something you wrote on discord, but it became longer than I thought it would, so I'll put it here instead.

 

Quote

Anauine: Ya something like this with also full element destruction forcing you to fully replace the element if not maintained

 

Quote

Gottchar: that is the plan, dont maintain it ever, element is gone

 

Seems pretty odd. If I fail to maintain my car, its engine doesn't just poof out of existence. :P

 

Rather than delete items if they are not maintained for long enough, it would make more sense with a decay. Similar to mining units.

You could have a grace period of, say, a week, and then after that, you would lose 5% thrust on your engines per week (etc.), up to some cap. For instance, up to 75% loss of effectiveness.

 

That way, your old beater would still get you from A to B, if you just run it on its dry weight, but if you need to actually use it for anything, you will need to bring it back up to spec.

 

I don't like the idea of just deleting things that haven't been used for a while, and I also don't like the idea of having to maintain a fleet of ships too often. It'll end up being as tedious as calibrating miners.

 

Edit: I agree with Taelessael too, it could be a lot of extra unnecessary strain on the servers.

Edited by Mncdk1
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Exactly why I left ARK. I was in the alpha tribe on an official PVP server. It got to the point where so much of the time was spent going from base to base to outpost to outpost to server to server to reset the decay timer on everything, less we loose allot of hardwork that we would have to do again.  It became a chore and I taped out. 

 

I also know players who stepped away for a month or two because some new game came out. And they eventually came back, but all there stuff was gone so they did not stay. 

 

What you propose is good for a server that is going to be around for a year or two and keep players grouped fairly close. AKA something like Rust.  But its not good for a game like DU, that is supposed to be long term. 

 

There is only two things that should rid of material in the game. PVP and EVP. 

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Such a decay would cause a not so small number of players becoming very unhappy, of which many would leave the game. Careful with such wishes. I don't even understand, why you wish for such, to be honest.

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On 2/6/2022 at 1:04 PM, Hirnsausen said:

Such a decay would cause a not so small number of players becoming very unhappy, of which many would leave the game. Careful with such wishes. I don't even understand, why you wish for such, to be honest.

IMO the main reason why people leave the game these times is not some mechanics that make the game a bit more inconvinient for the "not so small number of players" but the fact the there is no reason:

- to produce anything, because once you bought something you almost never loose it (unless you left the game, or you are unlucky mission hauler)

- to PvP, as there is no good PvP objectives

- to PvE, as there is no PvE at all (except atmo burn and gravity)

- to build anything, as there is no use to what you build

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