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Hello there!

 

I know that a topic about stargates already exists in this forum, but I didn't find something about jump drives.

 

I just watched an interview with JC Baille on the XPGamers YouTube channel:

 

youtube.com/watch?v=m1WMwIDWFKI (I hope the link will work, since I'm writing on my phone)

 

One of the things they talked about was how the spreading of civilisation and the process of setting up a stargate could work - feel free to correct me, if I got something wrong:

 

- first thing would be sending some special kind of probe to a position you want to jump to - the probe would be propelled by standard (sub-lightspeed) engines, so it could take several months (in real life !)until it reaches its destination,

- when the probe has reached its destination, you would be able to make a first jump to follow it and set up a receiver-stargate

 

This kind of mechanic is meant to prevent players from spreading too fast and too far from each other, since the emergent gameplay (economy, custom quests and so on) would most likely not work, if there aren't enough players in one area.

 

That's what it could be like to work with stargates.

 

Well, the question that popped up in my mind was a different one:

 

What about FTL-travel beside stargates?

 

Will we have other options too, like jump drives?

 

I would really like to see some kind of FTL-device, especially on exploration ships. Of course there has to be a way to balance this.

 

Maybe they could use a similar mechanic like in Space Engineers, so the jump distance would be relatively limited. The weight of the ship would limit the distance and the available power would limit the recharge speed. If it works like this, there would be a "soft" limit to jump distance, as having more and more devices would increase weight and energy consumption to a point where it's not efficient anymore. By having this kind of mechanic, long distances would have to be split into separate smaller jumps and the recharge time between jumps would also add up to the travel time.

 

Another thing, that came to my mind, was FTL-travel with huge capital ships - is there going to be a limit to the size of the stargate?

What if a ship is too big to use it? Will those Mothership-types be able to jump at all?

 

I'm looking forward to read your opinions about this topic!

 

Greetings,

 

TheRealBeowulf

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In that Other thread... I described the Babylon 5 system which I think is great.  I'll advocate for it again here.

 

 

In the B5 system.  Jump gates allow access to Hyperspace.  Jump engines do the same thing but are so large and require so much power that only large ships can have them.

 

The Jump gates transmit lock on signals in Hyperspace... and thus provide landmarks in the otherwise featureless un-navagatable hyperspace.  Once you're in Hyperspace you use your regular engines to move around.   There's chaotic currents in hyperspace so you can get swept away if you lose engine power... and if you stray too far from the lock on signals you can lose them and thus be lost. (means combat in hyperspace is doomed to be a disaster for both sides)

 

If you don't have a jump engine and you're in Hyperspace then you need to go to a jump gate to get out... or be near a ship with jump engines and exit when it does.

 

 

So how are new jump gates built?  How do you navigate to a system with out a jump gate?  Well the jump gates that already exist provide landmarks so if there is a star system you want to go to without a gate... and that system is about half way between 2 systems that have gates... you can go to the mid point between the 2 gates in hyperspace and then exit there.  There would be specialized Jump Gate construction ships with the best sensors designed to precisely extrapolate from the lock on signals where a system should be and then jump out to real space there and build a gate.

 

 

Edit to add... just a simplified example... I know you'd more reference points in 3D space...

 

A note on range.  Since you use your regular engines to move through Hyperspace... and even just to hold position... This puts a limit on how far you can go before you need to jump back out to real space and resupply.  Which means Every Jump gate by virtue of existing becomes a valuable trade hub.  Also limits how long a fleet can loiter in Hyperspace waiting to jump out and attack.

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I, also, just listened to that interview. What stood out the most for me was the talk of travel times between stars.

 

I have to say that the idea of non-stargate travel between stars taking months really sounds like a bad idea that discourages exploration and emergent gameplay.

 

If you hate the idea of players exploring the cosmos you've created so much that you would make them pay for months of subscription time before they can even think about visiting the next star system, why even have a "next star system"? What is the point of a procedurally generated universe if it will take decades of real time just to get to the next constellation of stars?

 

There have got to be better ways to concentrate player density without such a limitation on travel time!

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I have to say that the idea of non-stargate travel between stars taking months really sounds like a bad idea that discourages exploration and emergent gameplay.

 

If you hate the idea of players exploring the cosmos you've created so much that you would make them pay for months of subscription time before they can even think about visiting the next star system, why even have a "next star system"? What is the point of a procedurally generated universe if it will take decades of real time just to get to the next constellation of stars?

 

There have got to be better ways to concentrate player density without such a limitation on travel time!

 

In Eve Online some of the largest ships take months to build, I don't see it being much different than that. 

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In Eve Online some of the largest ships take months to build, I don't see it being much different than that. 

 

So let's say you want to be an explorer. You have a ship that has FTL capabilities that took you a long time to build. You now want to explore another star system. You point your ship at the star you want to travel to, engage your warp drive...and then walk away from the game for months (while you are still paying for it!) because that is how long it takes to get somewhere.

 

Still think it is the same thing?

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So let's say you want to be an explorer. You have a ship that has FTL capabilities that took you a long time to build. You now want to explore another star system. You point your ship at the star you want to travel to, engage your warp drive...and then walk away from the game for months (while you are still paying for it!) because that is how long it takes to get somewhere.

 

Still think it is the same thing?

 

 

While I'm not an advocate for such a system if that's the only method of travel... We're in an interconnected Sci-fi universe here... So several things could be done to liven up the journey.

 

A few that come to mind...

NPC characters you control back at "home" which could be doing things from construction to crafting to selling things on the market.

The occasional ship board error that needs to be fixed.  or interesting things to encounter...

Interstellar capable ships might have to be large with several crew members needed to check in on them to keep them going.  If so... you could make the various systems require constant monitoring... and interaction to maintain stable flight... then you all could take it in shifts.

 

 

Interstellar travel can't be too easy or people will spread out to nothingness and none of the group infrastructure building would occur. 

 

 

But I advocate for a different system.  Where real space, travel would still take IRL months to cross between stars... but there's other methods... namely hyperspace available.  Which are must faster... so going the long way would just never happen.

In my Babylon 5 type system exploration would be difficult but not shackled by long boring times of inactivity... It would just be expensive... requiring the support of a large organization to have a ship capable of finding the right spot in hyperspace and being able to return to real space on its own to arrive in a new system.

 

Ancient jump gates could also be sprinkled about so if you had a really good sensor system you could pick up their weak lock on signal... and therefore go exploring with a much smaller ship.

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So let's say you want to be an explorer. You have a ship that has FTL capabilities that took you a long time to build. You now want to explore another star system. You point your ship at the star you want to travel to, engage your warp drive...and then walk away from the game for months (while you are still paying for it!) because that is how long it takes to get somewhere.

 

Still think it is the same thing?

 

He didn't say players were the ones making the trip, he said players would be sending drones out to their destinations which could take months to arrive. At that point players could jump to the beacon and construct the other end of their Stargates. 

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He didn't say players were the ones making the trip, he said players would be sending drones out to their destinations which could take months to arrive. At that point players could jump to the beacon and construct the other end of their Stargates. 

I would probably make a mobile stargate endpoint if possable and send that as a drone so its already done and can be used while in transit as well

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He didn't say players were the ones making the trip, he said players would be sending drones out to their destinations which could take months to arrive. At that point players could jump to the beacon and construct the other end of their Stargates. 

 

My question stands, because travel time in video games is a very important thing to do correctly.

 

I don't care if it is a probe or a player that is traveling between the stars, it shouldn't take months. If a game wants to make me pay for months of subscription time every time I want to explore a new star system, then that is a game that will die on the vine.

 

Travel time between star systems should be possible in a single play session. My choice should be between spending an hour, or maybe two, going the long way to another star; or using a player made stargate for fast travel. If you want to make me pay a company for months (without content) just so that the "lore" is pure...well, good luck getting those player densities you want.

 

Again, what is the point of a procedurally generated universe if you are going to make people wait an exorbitant amount of time to explore it? If they don't want people to explore other star systems, then why put other star systems in the game?

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My question stands, because travel time in video games is a very important thing to do correctly.

 

I don't care if it is a probe or a player that is traveling between the stars, it shouldn't take months. If a game wants to make me pay for months of subscription time every time I want to explore a new star system, then that is a game that will die on the vine.

 

Travel time between star systems should be possible in a single play session. My choice should be between spending an hour, or maybe two, going the long way to another star; or using a player made stargate for fast travel. If you want to make me pay a company for months (without content) just so that the "lore" is pure...well, good luck getting those player densities you want.

 

Again, what is the point of a procedurally generated universe if you are going to make people wait an exorbitant amount of time to explore it? If they don't want people to explore other star systems, then why put other star systems in the game?

 

Define explore.

 

There will be fast travel between systems... the stargates are that... And there's a debate on... on how we think they should work.  We don't know how many systems will be connected with such gates at the start.

 

Exploration could mean visiting where you haven't been before... or it could be visiting where no one has been before... 

 

Going where you've never been before... could have lots and lots of content... where ever gates have been made.

 

Going where no one has gone before... well then you're going to have to be the one building the gates... and that's going to be a social thing. 

 

 

This game is all about the player driven social interactions and large group actions.  Not about the individual wandering off alone in the vast universe to parts unknown.  If you want that... There's a game called No Man's Sky coming out very soon... But it is not what Dual Universe is.

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Okay, that seams to be a topic that some of you take really serious. I see that you also would appreciate a non-stargate type of FTL-travel - and as far as I know, they didn't say that there won't be one. I was just wondering on how that could work and how it would be balanced.

 

A thing that we have to keep in mind is, that JC Baille only explained a single kind of mechanic - he didn't say that this would be the only way for FTL-travel, he just said that setting up stargates could work like this.

 

Also, if I got him right, he didn't say that going to the next star system will always take months, just that it could in some cases. I believe there will also be systems that are much closer.

 

The DEVs said, that they want scanning, exploring and trading information about your findings to be a part of the economy.

 

That's why I think we don't have to fear interstellar travel being something odd and boring.

 

Also, you still can do other things while your drone is on it's way. And since stargates will be very expensive, it's actually a good thing if other methods of travel take much longer, so people will have to use the gate.

Imagine your organization has invested so much time and resources in a stargate to a new system, than you would really want to make some money out of it ;)

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@Fitorion:

 

I like the Idea of the Babylon 5 hyperspace-mechanic, but I don't know if that is suitable for stargates.

 

For ship based jump drives this could definitely be an option.

It would actually be very similar to how the Nether in Minecraft works - I'll give a short summary, in case there are people here that haven't played Minecraft:

 

The Nether is a kind of sub-dimension in minecraft, that you can enter/exit via portals (they can be placed anywhere).

This dimension is connected to the "overworld" in a way, that when you enter the nether at one point, travel 1000m, and then build a portal and go back to the overworld, you exit at a point 8000m away from your starting point - in the same direction.

 

This mechanic is often used as a fast way of travel in Minecraft and should be doable in a similar way in DU.

 

Another way of fast travel (also FTL but not only), that came to my mind is the Mass Effect Drive - if course from the game Mass Effect.

 

This kind of drive uses electrical energy to reduce the mass of the ship on a, let's say quantum particle base (I don't know how the exact fictional explanation was, but I'll explain the mechanic).

That means if you continuously power the mass effect core with a certain amount of energy, it reduces the mass of your ship to a certain amount - allowing a significant better power-to-weight ratio. If the ratio is high enough, you can also go faster than light.

An important thing is, that you can't use the drive continuosly. It doesn't really wear of, but the complicated particle / quantum (or whatever ;) ) mechanics cause it to get "dirty" and less efficient. In mass effect you can clean it by physically touching a big object like a planet (even gas giants) to slowly get rid of the particles and regenerate the core.

 

I actually only played a demo of the game, where I read about the backstory, and the principle of the mass effect drive.

Maybe someone who is more into this could explain it in detail :)

 

I think this mechanic could also be used in DU.

 

There could be some very odd appearances - for example a capital ship with the handling of a fighter, if someone manages to reduce the mass that much and has strong engines :)

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In the B5 Hyperspace system.

 

Gates would be spaced out... leaving numerous systems in between which would need to be explored by someone with an explorer class ship.  To determine if they are worth building a gate at.

 

The addition of each new gate would create a further bubble around it of systems an explorer class ship could reach while still being in range of the lock on signals from the gates so they can figure out where to exit... and so they don't exit into a planet... or a star...

 

It's basically the best of both worlds.

 

It slows expansion so populations remain concentrated but the actual act of exploration doesn't have long boring down times.

 

It slows it because ships with jump drives are expensive so need a large organization to finance them.  It provides a chunk of explorable space at a time contingent on new gates being constructed... or found and repaired and powered back up.

 

And the actual act is a matter of flying your jump drive equipped craft with explorer sensors to the point in hyperspace the computer says a unexplored system should be and returning to real space there.

 

 

And for everyone else... it means interstellar travel between places with gates doesn't require a big expensive ship... just any space worthy ship will do.  And long trips involve several jumps and stop overs to resupply and or trade things along the way.  And there's interesting military tactics that can be employed in conflicts.

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@Fitorion

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like it would be next to impossible for a small group of players (say 2-5 people) to have the resources to build/buy a ship capable of traveling to another star system without using stargates.

 

In MMOs, making something expensive doesn't necessarily mean it will be rare, it usually just means that only the rich get to play. I would rather see a system that allows small groups access to as much of the game as possible.

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@Fitorion

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like it would be next to impossible for a small group of players (say 2-5 people) to have the resources to build/buy a ship capable of traveling to another star system without using stargates.

 

In MMOs, making something expensive doesn't necessarily mean it will be rare, it usually just means that only the rich get to play. I would rather see a system that allows small groups access to as much of the game as possible.

 

 

In that system most ships would need to use gates.  Almost all ships would use the gates even if they could make their own jump points as gates are where they want to go any way and that way they don't have to spend the energy needed for it.  They'd only use their jump point generating capability during combat operations or exploration operations.

 

And just like in real life people finance to get large equipment. 

 

So a small group of people could not go outside the gate network unless they.

1. Get backed by a larger group.

2. Steal a ship.

3. Hitch a ride.

4. Take the long real space route.

 

 

 

But... remember what type of game this is.  It's sandbox... player driven... Not a themepark... not single player.  The focus of the game is the interaction with the other players and the large organizations they make.  It isn't designed for the individual or small group to be able to do everything and can't be.  if you can do everything independent of everyone else then there is no drama.  The barriers and overcoming them are what make games like this fun. 

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I actually really like the idea of an exploration ship. Not an official class ofcourse (this is a ship building game), but much like modern day rocketry, the requirement for a ship capable of FTL without a stargate could be set so that the majority of the ship would need to support it. You could make the distance it can travel decline exponentially with the mass, you could require a space bubble generators to surround the ship and thus limit it's military potential and practical size.

 

Think of something like this:

 

300614_warpDrive_1.jpg?ixlib=rails-1.1.0

 

 

This would mean that the majority of activity is still happening in known space and existing stargate networks, but you can still explore and scout other systems (At great risks and with limited supplies).

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I actually really like the idea of an exploration ship. Not an official class ofcourse (this is a ship building game), but much like modern day rocketry, the requirement for a ship capable of FTL without a stargate could be set so that the majority of the ship would need to support it. You could make the distance it can travel decline exponentially with the mass, you could require a space bubble generators to surround the ship and thus limit it's military potential and practical size.

 

Think of something like this:

 

300614_warpDrive_1.jpg?ixlib=rails-1.1.0

 

 

This would mean that the majority of activity is still happening in known space and existing stargate networks, but you can still explore and scout other systems (At great risks and with limited supplies).

 

 

An example from the show I'm basing all this off of.

 

https://youtu.be/aPoqVgMSm1I

 

I've not been able to figure out how to embed video... 

 

That's a deep space explorer.

 

And here's a small single person size craft exploring a planet in a system with a recently discovered and reactivated ancient gate.

 

https://youtu.be/03Gug8rMTSI

 

 

This shows the range of possibility for exploration game play with this system. 

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An example from the show I'm basing all this off of.

 

https://youtu.be/aPoqVgMSm1I

 

I've not been able to figure out how to embed video... 

 

That's a deep space explorer.

 

And here's a small single person size craft exploring a planet in a system with a recently discovered and reactivated ancient gate.

 

https://youtu.be/03Gug8rMTSI

 

 

This shows the range of possibility for exploration game play with this system. 

 

Yes, I think we can all agree Babylon 5 was awesome, that's sort of besides the point.

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Yes, I think we can all agree Babylon 5 was awesome, that's sort of besides the point.

what point?

 

The point where we advocate for our favorite sci-fi mechanics to be included in this sci-fi game?  I think it's exactly on point.

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In a game like Star Citizen (a common comparison), the experience primarily revolves around spaceflight.  You're flying a ship, docking at stations, and landing on planets, but you're not exploring planetary surfaces for resources, gathering, building, and fostering ground-based civilizations.  It's a very limited sandbox, and emergent world-building is limited.  In a game like this, there will be entire worlds to explore and colonize without ever setting foot in space.  There will be infrastructure to be developed on a grand scale.  Discovering a single planet could open up a land grab contested by a vast number of players and organizations.  

 

While discovering a new planet in many other procedural space games is a novelty for the player discovering it that might offer some new resources, opening up access to a new planet in a game like this would bring with it an entirely new round of emergent gameplay on a grand scale.  New civilizations, politics, and economies would rise up and exert their influence.  A shift in the previously established balance of power would follow.  The consequences would reverberate throughout the game world and players and organizations would have to adapt accordingly.  This possibility is tremendously exciting, but it also means that discovering new worlds should be a task demanding a significant investment of time and resources.  Every time you stumble on a new world, you have done more than add another point on the galaxy map.  You've opened up an entirely new--but connected--game world.  

 

There will be players who are turned off by the fact that they can't slap an FTL drive on their single-person ship and jet off alone to all corners of the galaxy discovering interesting worlds, but there are other games for such endeavors that are much closer to fruition (e.g. No Man's Sky).  This game is something different, and it seems like a lot of people are coming to this expecting to play a voxel-based version of their favorite sci-fi space game subgenre.  Unfortunately, this game can't be everything to everyone, and I'm personally excited for the possibilities inherent by what is unique about this game, as opposed to re-creating experiences that are being addressed well by other developers.

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What I think of FTL drives, is that hopefully, we can find the worst and most crowded jump points and stand there, waiting for a clusterfuck to happen as ships crash on one another as they exit warp. Grim, but damn hilarious since this is a game.

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Well since we have gravity in game. Maybe we can build jump gates near gravity wells?  "Welcome to my jump gate fools!  Hope you built your ships with an overabundance of thrusters.  No?  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!".

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Well, i hope to be able to build ground based gates as well.

For lulz and easier ware transport between cities

I can imagine building a gate that leads to a planetary gate that its exit point faces down. Perhaps painting the entry gate with crayon, stateting "SAFE FOR USE". That would be hilariously sinister.

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