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Woodsman

Am I alone in thinking that Stargate Probes are a bad idea?

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"you cant possibly enjoy this camping trip without the six hour car travel to our camping location!"

:rolleyes:

 

 

and i dont say that jumpdrives are bad, i say that freeform drives without any limitations on arrival point are bad.

 

when you can fly around without any limitations (and you explicitly said it doesnt need limitations....) every semblance of strategy goes out the window.

 

 

 

 

with the difference that having to get something thats interceptable to the target before you can jump in your whole fleet changes the whole game.

 

its not "suddenly, fleet" its a possible entryway for the fleet you can plug without having to engage the attacking combat fleet with a more-than-equal defense fleet.

shifting some of the advantage back to the defender, leading to more stability for the non-fighting population.

 

 

other pretty simple additions could be spool up and spool down times for any variation of jumpgate/drive tech.

the stargate probes are lighting up for a while until they are ready to be used (preferrably with some time of standstill)

and jumpgates couldnt just be switched off when someone you dont like comes in sight, but have to be slowly wound down during which the wormhole/whatever connection stays active.

 

 

and what "interceptable" FTL? you said yourself that that is not needed :P

"Limitations? What limitations? Perhaps fuel based limitations for ships and crafts? Or limitations based on the character's need for sleep? Limitations based on wear and tear? In my opinion, fuel based limitations will both be the most realistic and the worst one. It adds an immersive touch to the game, but it will turn out to be a real pain in the neck, especially if fuel is needed to simply move from point A to point B, talk less of FTL or "full steam ahead" two month voyages. If you have any ideas, perhaps, you'd like to share?  

 

As concerns cool-down timers for star-gates, I completely agree with this. There's no nervousness or anxiety in simply dragging and dropping a star-gate and presto! It works. It should be more of defending it and securing it while it powers up than dropping it and saying hasta la vista!

 

As for interception for FTL, it may not be needed, but it could be added. Placing things like FTL disruption objects miles out from your base or cloaking your base in them makes sure that no one can simply drop in and vanish as they like. To do that, they'll need gates and the developers have already told us that building them won't be an easy task. Why would I let you build a star-gate outside of my territory, well knowing your intentions?

 

"

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"Limitations? What limitations? Perhaps fuel based limitations for ships and crafts? Or limitations based on the character's need for sleep? Limitations based on wear and tear? In my opinion, fuel based limitations will both be the most realistic and the worst one. It adds an immersive touch to the game, but it will turn out to be a real pain in the neck, especially if fuel is needed to simply move from point A to point B, talk less of FTL or "full steam ahead" two month voyages. If you have any ideas, perhaps, you'd like to share?

"

Well, for example limited emergence positions would be one limitations.

 

From a certain location you can only reach a certain hard limited set of positions (for example hyperlanes from stellaris, node drives from sword of the stars, hyperdrives from independence war 2)

 

interstellar FTL could also be limited to "domains".

Every star would be part of 1-4 domains, each domain contains 2-5ish solar systems.

And one can only use FTL drives to travel between stars inside one domain.

when a star is part of a domain your starting system isnt part of you have to go sublight and pass the domain border with the interplanetary drives.

Domains would only border on each other or domain walls can only be passed inside of solar systems

Forcing you into detectability and into an interceptable state.

It would also impose some structure onto the universe without removing the general freedom of movement.

As an exploring player doesnt have much problem with domain borders, but systems with high connectivity (being part of a large amount of large domains) would emerge as trade hubs due to them being easily reachable from many systems.

I'd also make stargates obey those limitations, for simplicity, unification and not to subvert the whole domain system.

 

Another way would be something similar to EVE onlines cynosural field generators or the proposed stargate probes.

You have to have something already there to make a manned jump to that location.

The problem with that in DU is that there is no other way to get from star to star.

So there has to be another way to get from star to star.

 

Thats a few examples i can give you.

 

The range/fuel limitations are a small problem in my eyes (not no factor, mind you!) But limitations in terms of connectivity are important to keep strategy in the game, to keep fleets from jumping freely through interstellar space undetected/uninterceptable.

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"you cant possibly enjoy this camping trip without the six hour car travel to our camping location!"

:rolleyes:

The road trip is often more enjoyable than the destination. To each their own.

 

and i dont say that jumpdrives are bad, i say that freeform drives without any limitations on arrival point are bad.

 

when you can fly around without any limitations (and you explicitly said it doesnt need limitations....) every semblance of strategy goes out the window.

No limitations? Everything I've said is about limitations. Strategy goes out the window when movement is removed from the equation... i.e. when you can travel vast distances quickly and without consequence.

 

When you want to get from point A to point B there are a lot of decisions to make. How long will it take? What/who will I take with me? What/who will I leave behind? Do I need to keep the journey secret? How? What happens if we're discovered? Home base is attacked while the main force is in the middle of nowhere? What route do we take? What obstacles (environmental and man made) might we encounter. These are things that matter when travel times and routes are an issue. Mobility is one of the most critical military issues.

 

with the difference that having to get something thats interceptable to the target before you can jump in your whole fleet changes the whole game.

 

its not "suddenly, fleet" its a possible entryway for the fleet you can plug without having to engage the attacking combat fleet with a more-than-equal defense fleet.

shifting some of the advantage back to the defender, leading to more stability for the non-fighting population.

There is no "jumping". Your fleet has to travel the whole way. Much riskier than throwing out a probe!

 

There's no "suddenly, fleet". It has to travel the whole way.

 

other pretty simple additions could be spool up and spool down times for any variation of jumpgate/drive tech.

the stargate probes are lighting up for a while until they are ready to be used (preferrably with some time of standstill)

I agree there should be a spool up time, a spool down time, and a scalable fuel requirement for every stargate jump. Jump drive (for individual ships) should definitely not exist (and thankfully NQ have said that it won't).

 

As I was thinking about it I came to the same conclusion that stargate probes have to have a long standing time once they reach their destination before anything can jump to them in order to limit their use as mobile jump gates. Something on the order of 6-24 hours.

 

and jumpgates couldnt just be switched off when someone you dont like comes in sight, but have to be slowly wound down during which the wormhole/whatever connection stays active.

I'm pretty sure you're making this up. Stargates will all be player built and therefore player owned. The RDMS system will allow the owner to decide who can use it and under what circumstances. Stargates would have to be a strange exception for this not to be the case and I haven't read that anywhere. If I find a direct quote on this I'll post it.

 

and what "interceptable" FTL? you said yourself that that is not needed :P

No, I said that there don't need to be any different rules/elements for intercepting ships in interstellar space. They are traveling so slowly anyway - at the same speed as ships traveling between planets within a single solar system - so the same rules should apply.

 

Regarding interception of ships traveling at FTL, I much prefer Elite Dangerous' interdiction method to Eve's.

 

I was just reading the ask us anything event and Nyzaltar has actually said that nothing will stop players from making interstellar journeys on their normal FTL drives, just that it will be long and difficult and risky, so probes will probably be the preferred method. This is exactly what I'm talking about except I'd prefer if they balanced the two methods by making probes much slower.

 

EDIT (quote from Nyzaltar)

 

 

Can we get devblog about how Stargates are going to be built? Will players be able to fly for months to their stargate destination instead of sending probes?

We will make a devblog when we have finalized all the details. The preferred method will probably be to use SG probes, but you could very well travel to the destination directly with your ship or your colony. However, it's likely going to be very hard to get there and survive. Think about energy, fuel, and all these elements that will be difficult to acquire on the way. But it could be a hell of a journey, yes!

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No limitations? Everything I've said is about limitations.

 

[Citation needed]

Flight time and whom i take with me arent much of an obstacle when i can just log off with that character and play with another for the duration of the flight :shrug:

 

There's no "suddenly, fleet". It has to travel the whole way.

 

It definitely is "suddenly, fleet" for the destination.

because they dont have any information about the big blob of ships incoming before it is in interplanetar-ish range.

So when they are already in the system.

 

 

 

I'm pretty sure you're making this up. Stargates will all be player built and therefore player owned. The RDMS system will allow the owner to decide who can use it and under what circumstances. Stargates would have to be a strange exception for this not to be the case and I haven't read that anywhere. If I find a direct quote on this I'll post it.

 

If you look at the context im saying there that spool-up and spool-down times make it impossible to just switch off gates.

Not that NQ said they wouldnt be able to being just switched off :P

 

No, I said that there don't need to be any different rules/elements for intercepting ships in interstellar space. They are traveling so slowly anyway - at the same speed as ships traveling between planets within a single solar system - so the same rules should apply.

 

You definitely need some other form of interdiction for interstellar space:

Example:

Say you can detect a ship up to ten minutes away in FTL from your position and maybe two minutes of that range are interdictable.

from your own statements lets assume that a system is roughly 1 hour in radius, 2 hours in diameter.

thats about 1/12 of a systems diameter scannable from a single ship, which seems about right for me for large sensors and in-system play.

 

to guard a systems borders at the 1-hour-radius mark you'd have to keep an eye on 45000 square minutes of surface area.

a ten minute detection radius would have a cross section of about 314 square minutes (the volume of the detection sphere doesnt matter because the intruder has to fly through your cross section to be detected).

so you'd need 144 ships, which is

bit higher or lower because you cant fill a surface with discs but you can let your ships patrol which closes the gaps.

so lets assume that the 144 is a valid number. which is the ratio of system radius to scan radius times two squared

so you need (rsec/rscan)²*4 ships to cover a given system from intruders from outside it.

which gets highly highly uneconomical very fast

for 1h+10min warning time you need 14² ships or 196

for 1h+20min you need 16² = 256 ships

and so on.

 

its not economical to prevent any incursions into a system from the outside without any extra trickery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

when writing this i had an idea about how to statisfy both of us:

 

what if active FTL drives would produce a "streak" forwards and backwards along its current orientation, a streak you can detect "long" ahead of the actual ship (hours to days) when it passes through your sensor range?

it would keep the free movement and give defenders time to react to incoming fleets from outside their systems without making sensor ranges in general gamebreakingly long.

and for travelers into unsettled space it doesnt matter because theres no limitation on movement.

 

for traders it would introduce a game of deception and a bit of luck to avoid being ambushed in unsafe areas, as fling just straight ahead could lead you to an ambush of someone who already came across their streak, but changing course could lead to you being detected in the first place when you wave around that beacon.

 

maybe with a bit of an opening angle that aiming-a-bit-past-your-target is unfeasible.

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     "when writing this i had an idea about how to statisfy both of us:

 

      what if active FTL drives would produce a "streak" forwards and backwards along its current orientation, a streak           you can detect "long" ahead of the actual ship (hours to days) when it passes through your sensor range?

      it would keep the free movement and give defenders time to react to incoming fleets from outside their systems               without making sensor ranges in general gamebreakingly long.

      and for travelers into unsettled space it doesnt matter because theres no limitation on movement.

 

     for traders it would introduce a game of deception and a bit of luck to avoid being ambushed in unsafe areas, as fling      just straight ahead could lead you to an ambush of someone who already came across their streak, but changing            course could lead to you being detected in the first place when you wave around that beacon.

 

     maybe with a bit of an opening angle that aiming-a-bit-past-your-target is unfeasible."

 

 

 

one thing i feel the need to ask about in this brilliant senario is: can you figure what is making that streak? otherwise there is no way to tell if its a single guy with antimatter bombs or a simple merchant

 

i feel that attack fleets would be more obvious since there'd be a lot of streaks close together but the defenders could just place explosive mines on the exit point so that would mean enabling a way to exit FTL shortly before the assigned destination to avoid an ambush of the attackers and reengage from a slightly different angle which would then make it slightly more fair.

 

does the size of the streak change with ship size? or mass? i feel the "streak" idea to be great but all it tells you for sure is there is a ship coming. that would necessitate essentially a welcoming party for every unscheduled ship that seems to be arriving which would actually make for an interesting gameplay mechanic since patrols would have more use

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I'd like to think that the streak changes with the drive causing it and its load state (big drive, small mass, like an empty freighter).

So with a database of hyperdrives and ship masses you could take a guess to what kind of ship is coming towards you.

 

And from what i know about the ftl drive is that it'll be a very free type of movenent, without any fixed emergence points.

 

Kinda like an afterburner on crack, or similar to the cruise drive of the game freelancer if you have played that.

With you being able to change course and dis-/engage it largely at will.

 

The streak wouldnt mark the designated exit point but only the path through which the streaking ship would fly along if it kept its current heading.

(and where it came from if it didnt change its heading)

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so how far in each direction does the streak extend? because if its until it hits the edges of the universe, and the game has a significant player base then lines would just be everywhere in populated systems in a big mess on a sensor screen.

 

and if a streak is being monitored would you be able to detect if the ship causing it is about to drop out of FTL?

 

Also if all you see is the streak passing through the solar system it would be very difficult to tell exactly where it will drop out into sub-light speeds, but that might be balanced actually, since the attackers will attack and the defenders can predict whats coming but not precisely enough to set up an all destructive ambush. 

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so how far in each direction does the streak extend? because if its until it hits the edges of the universe, and the game has a significant player base then lines would just be everywhere in populated systems in a big mess on a sensor screen.

 

and if a streak is being monitored would you be able to detect if the ship causing it is about to drop out of FTL?

 

Also if all you see is the streak passing through the solar system it would be very difficult to tell exactly where it will drop out into sub-light speeds, but that might be balanced actually, since the attackers will attack and the defenders can predict whats coming but not precisely enough to set up an all destructive ambush.

As i already said, the streak would go for a "long" but limited distance.

A few hours to days of flight forwards and backwards.

Enough that defenders have time to detect incoming ships and organise something.

 

 

well, the streak would vanish if the ship drops out of FTL.

Maybe some measurable effect could travel through the streak when you actually drop.

(If it takes a few seconds to go sublight)

 

And yeah, it cannot tell you the emergence point because neither the game, nor the player controlling the streaking ship have to know it at the point where you can detect the streak.

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One problem I see is that for example, in a trading hub, your screen might be absolutely filled with streaks. That might be unacceptable. In the same vein, perhaps it could be a subspace streak, where you have to rely on some sensor component to get even more advance warning than normal sensors would detect the ship normally. It would have a large radius, and would ping anytime a streak penetrates the surface. It would be able to show a ray which points back to the FTL ship.

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[Citation needed]

Flight time and whom i take with me arent much of an obstacle when i can just log off with that character and play with another for the duration of the flight :shrug:

 

That's not necessarily the case.  NQ have said that it will be dangerous and risky to undertake such a journey, which implies it will require attention and care to ensure your ship isn't destroyed.  If a 20 man ship needs a minimum skeleton crew of at least 2 people actively manning the ship at all times that doesn't leave much time for anything else is most people average 4 hours a day.  And if a ship needs to be halted completely when no one is logged in, that will greatly extend the travel time for smaller ships.  Even if a significant portion of time can be spent AFK travelling through interstellar space (which would be very disappointing), the hardware is still absent from any useful location while in transit, which is a cost.

 

It definitely is "suddenly, fleet" for the destination.

because they dont have any information about the big blob of ships incoming before it is in interplanetar-ish range.

So when they are already in the system.

 

Again, you're ignoring the fact that complete control of a solar system by a single faction is not likely to happen for a very long time if at all.  Seeing an enemy fleet at the edge of your peaceful solar system is a lot more warning time than coming from a neighbouring planet, or an army drive/march over from a couple of hundred kilometres away.

 

If you look at the context im saying there that spool-up and spool-down times make it impossible to just switch off gates.

Not that NQ said they wouldnt be able to being just switched off  :P

 

It's not about switching them on and off, it's about giving permission for them to be used.

 

You definitely need some other form of interdiction for interstellar space:

Example:

Say you can detect a ship up to ten minutes away in FTL from your position and maybe two minutes of that range are interdictable.

from your own statements lets assume that a system is roughly 1 hour in radius, 2 hours in diameter.

thats about 1/12 of a systems diameter scannable from a single ship, which seems about right for me for large sensors and in-system play.

 

to guard a systems borders at the 1-hour-radius mark you'd have to keep an eye on 45000 square minutes of surface area.

a ten minute detection radius would have a cross section of about 314 square minutes (the volume of the detection sphere doesnt matter because the intruder has to fly through your cross section to be detected).

so you'd need 144 ships, which is 

bit higher or lower because you cant fill a surface with discs but you can let your ships patrol which closes the gaps.

so lets assume that the 144 is a valid number. which is the ratio of system radius to scan radius times two squared

so you need (rsec/rscan)²*4 ships to cover a given system from intruders from outside it.

which gets highly highly uneconomical very fast

for 1h+10min warning time you need 13² ships or 196

for 1h+20min you need 14² = 256 ships

and so on.

 

Nice maths :)  Actually 256 one man scout ships being able to give a 20 minute warning of incursion to the edge of a solar system from any direction sounds very reasonable.  There are many reasons why - first you wouldn't even necessarily need 100% coverage, and certainly not at all times, because you should have an idea of whether an enemy is launching an attack (remember it takes weeks to travel through interstellar space, you should have some intelligence), attacks are much more likely to come roughly in the direction of other stars (granted, not necessarily, but most likely), and you should have outposts set up around the solar system which should be able to take up some of the slack.

 

However those aren't the main reasons that 256 is a very reasonable, relatively low number of people for the kind of scouting you're asking for.  How many players do you think need to be allied in order for an entire planet to be under a single banner?  Looking at the size of the planets, I doubt it would take less than several hundred players at a conservative estimate.  For an entire solar system to be united - planets, moons, asteroids, stargates, space stations, comets, (kuiper belts and dwarf planets?) - under a single entity or group of allied entities you surely have to be looking at several thousand players at the very least.  Remember, if there is even a single moon or stargate that is controlled by a hostile organisation, travelling for weeks from another solar system to attack becomes largely irrelevant.

 

Compare also, the number of players it takes for full coverage of a solar system with the number of players it takes to cover a single 1km hexagon on a planet.  If the perimeter is 6km, sensor range is 1km, and tanks can travel at 10m/s (22mph, pretty slow), you're looking at around 35-40 players patrolling 5km out from the edge of their territory in order to give a 10 minute warning to incursion to the edge of their territory.  That's only a single order of magnitude in difference from being able to guard an entire solar system.

 

Obviously it's not as straightforward as any of this (what you're saying or what I'm saying) as there are many game mechanics neither of us know about, but I think it is worth keeping these things in perspective... plus it is fun to theorycraft like this :)  The point is, holding an entire solar system should be hard, and travelling for a month with your fleet to launch a single attack is far far far away from being anywhere near OP.

 

 

when writing this i had an idea about how to statisfy both of us:

 

what if active FTL drives would produce a "streak" forwards and backwards along its current orientation, a streak you can detect "long" ahead of the actual ship (hours to days) when it passes through your sensor range?

it would keep the free movement and give defenders time to react to incoming fleets from outside their systems without making sensor ranges in general gamebreakingly long.

and for travelers into unsettled space it doesnt matter because theres no limitation on movement.

 

for traders it would introduce a game of deception and a bit of luck to avoid being ambushed in unsafe areas, as fling just straight ahead could lead you to an ambush of someone who already came across their streak, but changing course could lead to you being detected in the first place when you wave around that beacon.

 

maybe with a bit of an opening angle that aiming-a-bit-past-your-target is unfeasible.

 

It's a good idea.  I'd be okay with it if it were implemented, perhaps with tweaks, like it takes a specialised kind of sensor that takes a lot of energy to power, and hence a specialised kind of ship to detect them.  But for the reasons I've given above, I don't think it's really necessary.  At the very least NQ may as well wait until entire solar systems are united before considering anything like it.  If it turns out that month-long travel between solar systems for military reasons becomes a thing and is OP, then this might be a good thing for them to consider implementing.

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It's not about switching them on and off, it's about giving permission for them to be used.

 

Seems like my thoughts didnt arrive at your end lol.

 

With the spool-up and spool-down i meant that a stargate would slowly create/desroy a wormhole or similar phenomenon that could be used by anybody and anything that reaches it.

so once a connection is established anyone who makes it to the wormhole can fly through.

"Usage permission" would be that the defense systems of the gate dont actively try to keep you away from the wormhole (shields, webs of tractor beams, old fashioned cannon to the face, etc).

 

A civilian or friendly ship would ask for permission to jump to prevent any negative reactions from the gate owner.

 

A military force wouldnt give much of a shit when the gate denies access unless the gate itself is a fortress.

But vs civilians or neutrals a few area denial systems would be enough.

 

Depending on the exact time it takes to spool down it would lead to hour to day long delay fights while the wormhole slowly collapses.

Or to the defenders cutting themself off ahead of time but by doing so they more or less abandon the area behind.

 

Actually 256 one man scout ships being able to give a 20 minute warning of incursion to the edge of a solar system from any direction sounds very reasonable.

Im not sure about the "one-man-scoutship" because ten flight minutes at FTL speeds are at least 1.25 times the distance earth-sun. (In a realistic system, at 1c)

Depending on how fast the drives are it could quickly become the best part of a solar system thats monitored with that single sensor.

Im not sure that that'd be balanced if you could fit such a sensor in a single seater.

 

I'd associate such detection ranges more with a big, dedicated surveillance station or system defense center than with tiny picket ships.

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One problem I see is that for example, in a trading hub, your screen might be absolutely filled with streaks. That might be unacceptable. In the same vein, perhaps it could be a subspace streak, where you have to rely on some sensor component to get even more advance warning than normal sensors would detect the ship normally. It would have a large radius, and would ping anytime a streak penetrates the surface. It would be able to show a ray which points back to the FTL ship.

UI options -> show streaks [x] (hotkey shift+S)

:shrug:

 

I'd not think of it being visible in normal space.

Its something your sensors can detect and show you when asked to do so.

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"The sensor streaks you mentioned shouldn't be available by default. They grant an advantage and as such need to be researched, obtained by skill level or manufactured."

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I know I'm setting myself up for some vitriol here, but I just have to say that I hate the idea of SG Probes being the "preferred" method of interstellar exploration and travel.

 

Hear me out, because I love the idea of Stargate Probes in general, it's just that one little word that gets under my skin.

 

Preferred.

 

Seems benign, I know, but it's actually a pretty significant word that we will come back to shortly.

 

To start with, let's look at what SG Probes are, because they're pretty dang cool.

 

A Stargate Probe is a freaking automated factory attached to a powerful FTL drive that travels through deep space before entering a distant star system and building a giant stargate that will (presumably?) connect back to the stargate that had previously been built in the home system. Some sort of mechanic wherein we build a Stargate somewhere, and then build a probe and launch it, and then wait for the first Stargate to turn on.

 

Which is really cool, no matter how you slice it. Especially when you add in the fact that they're probably going to make us LUA script the whole thing, all on our own. This will be an epic player achievement, make no mistake.

 

...now let's get back to that word, preferred. Especially in the context of a subscription-based sandbox MMO.

 

 

I have to say that I am disappointed to hear that the developers of a subscription-based sandbox have a "preferred" method of travel for players that includes months-long waiting periods. And, yes, the devs have stated that these probe might take months to reach their destination.

 

I know that it's a bit gauche to bring up something like this, but I've always had a fascination for elephants that are just sitting in the middle of the room, doing nothing in particular.

 

Let's say this game costs $11.99USD per month, for argument's sake. Let's say, also for argument's sake, that you took on the challenge of a crewed interstellar ship. You've done the calculations on fuel and energy, and spent some time building the appropriate ship. You know the journey will take months (2 months=$23.98USD, 4 months=$47.96USD, 8 months=$95.92USD!), but the devs said it was possible, so you had to try. You point your ship at the star you want, and......what?

 

Seriously though, what comes next? Do we just log off, pay our subscription for a few months, and hope we don't get the message that our characters have died and re-spawned back at the Arkship?

 

Why does interstellar travel have to take months? Is it punishment for not playing the way the devs want?

 

Every moment that I'm paying for a subscription to something, I'm asking myself why I'm paying for a subscription to something. And when it comes to subscription-based video games, that answer had better be "It's really fun and entertaining."

 

There is nothing fun and/or entertaining about traveling through deep space for months. 

 

Also, what happens when one of these gates is destroyed? Everyone gets cut off from that star system for the next year of subscription time while new probes are constructed and sent? Talk about a divided player base.

 

If this game was a one-time purchase, I wouldn't feel this way about such a mechanic.

I think you have misunderstood the Stargate Probe mechanic. It's a robot with a tiny stargate that flys to the system. The Weeks or month depend on server allocation and how ready the dev's are with Easter eggs etc. It buys them time to build the system properly. Procedualism makes that fast and easy as No Mans Sky, Vladimir Romanyuk's Space Engine and Space Engineers, etc indicate but if you want story and lore you need to buy a tiny bit of time. (Someone should tell Sean Murrey.)

No one spends time riding that probe ship. On arrival a tiny ship is sent though the tiny gate with you, your nanofab gadgets and just enough stuff to build a bigger ship. Mine, build bigger stargate bring in bigger ships. Now you have a new system, trade and all that fun. 

 

The only question is that once built can it be cut off? This is promised by the dev's and is a key uniting plot tool, but it could really be inconvenient for those not in the fight if its a tree not a network. Does the stargate link to the nearest neighbour? Does it skip a dead link if close? Can it link to the system that launched the probe only or any gate in range on the network? Can a branch of gates be cut off the trunk without the twigs at the end somehow quickly reconnecting to the trunk, Atioth?

 

I suspect we will see a few fanatical PvE players get to a new system build a Resurrection node and then blow up the probe or never build the gate. 

 

If a gate is destroyed by war can those dependant on it go around the barrier in a reasonable time? Have you created zones? Can a distant corp on the edge of the network stockpile something in the Alioth system allowing a gates quick creation without sending a slow probe?

I presume the main stargate at Alioth once built will be effectively indestructible.

Will Banking system synchronise even though the gate is a shattered ruin.  Perhaps the interstellar financial system uses pinholes sized gates to maintain communications. A 1 atom at a time signal system. Cargo would be cut but not communication and some brokering. 

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There is another question. Will the stargates have ship size limits? This could be useful because it allows the big boys to fight it out in the big systems while smaller newbie players and small corps can play away in the pioneer without fear of a griefercorp dreadnought showing up to steal their whole hard won system. It adds layers of progression to the star system as you grow the gate capacity. 

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To jump, you need a stargate. If you can jump to a seed, then stargates are useless, and there's no reason to build them. So they'll probably be build, and then carried by a probe. Or maybe it'll carry a factory unit scripted to automatically craft a stargate from a blueprint? who knows...

I suspect the seed is a tiny stargate that handles only data and a few hundred kilograms. IE only the tiniest ships can jump to it and maybe a few fuel cans. How small and light can you make your minimalist ship? Is it called the flying coffin! All of the ships that JC Bailie has shown off may be too big for the probe! That is my preferred option.

Once though the probe your starting of with just the stuff you can carry and something only on notch up from a jet pack and reentry shielding. Geronimo.

Of cause it could handle more that one coffin so your mates can come and if it's not secured at the sending side everyone and his dog may be coming though with all sorts of funny shaped coffins. 

Someone is going to try for the group orbital paratroop world record. 

Meanwhile Bob parked his probe near an asteroid in another system and is building the space bug, while thinking planets are for noobs. 

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The best compromise probe design I can think up given the debates is as follows. 

 

  • The probe micro gate is a big heavy element that can be built into a suitable ship design.
  • Any Ship will do but it also needs a special deep space shield. This make it not attack-able or loot able as it leaves the system. It can be armed. 
  • It can't use a gate with this micro-gate installed. A gate can't go though a gate.  
  • It needs big rockets, power, etc: already available. 
  • The probe's micro gate is linked to one on a station that remains in system and needs a little maintenance. You use that to fuel the probe and cycle the crew.  These can be re targeted to a new probe, sold or re purposed when the time comes. 
  • The micro gate is operational with a limit of 300 kg: ie player and some stuff, fuel canister or personal storage canister. So you can crew your ship and supply.
  • Any added fuel, power or on board maintenance shaves some time off the journey time but not enough to make it trivial. You crew the ship as a day job. An org rotates people though that job.
  • The gate is two way so you can go back to the departure station but it requires more power.  Isolationists can simply not go home on their day off. A single player can travel relatively fast if they work hard. 
  • A gate can be sent to a non stellar target. 
  • You can send, build and deploy more than one probe and stargate into a system but only one can be activated at once per star link.  
  • On arrival in the target system you have the option of:
  1. Using the gate as a one man portal and build in the system using only it's resources. (somewhat anti-social)
  2. Salvaging most materials to build a slightly larger gate. Fighter sized ships and small miners can come though to pioneer the system. 
  3. Or building a big miner and then a medium sized gate.
  4. Or A more mature system or org can build a major gate that allows any sized ship. Be ready to defend it.  

Strategic considerations.

  • Still takes time and effort to do.
  • Still encourages most to concentrate and cooperate. 
  • Almost griefer proof. You can build and deploy more than one stargate in a system but only one can be activated at once per star link (maybe per size class).
  • Back up gates are possible. Hide it well. 
  • Battle damage degrades a big gate to a smaller one but does not destroy it instantly. 
  • You can turn them on and off: Cycling them confuses ambushers and disrupts blockades as they need to find more than one target. Allows counter ambushes. 
  • Fleets coming though a gate can be broken up if you cycle the gate at the strategic time. They end up at two or more locations in system. They have to re group. 
  • It's a semi-free roam option. Fleets can go around a bottleneck if they are very organised. You can sneak spy's into a system but it's a little harder to slip in a fleet of dreadnoughts. Not impossible.  
  • Neutral cut off systems can bypass a battle zone if they have planned for it or teamed up to crew and supply that fast probe ship. The result is a slow growing net or web but a fluid self healing one.

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From what I understand the probes do not build the gate or fly with a gate.  The probes have enough power for one jump.  Once it arrives at the destination you will be able to use it for one jump BUT!!!  you have to bring with you the materials/people wanted/needed to actually build the gate.

 

The probe doesn't build a gate, it is only a one jump deal.  You bring materials and build the gate yourself.

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Would you ask a person on a wheelchair to stop making clinking sounds as he rolled his chair? Cause I'm colorblind and pink font is the only way I can keep track of people quoting me. If you have a problem with my arguement, don't focus on them.

 

Your arguements make ganking easy and seeing as you are part of a pirate organisation, I can see why. And being a pirate is impossible, when a trader ship can warp from one system to another, without any risk being taken. But you didn't think that through, did you?

Hahaha I guessed it. Good reason. I'm using green font some times for similar reason. Dyslexia. 

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seems to be the focus is to try to promote community so the game doesn't die off from lack of interaction. This is a real threat in a procedurally generated landscape that can expand forever. They have TONS of room from the huge planets in the system, there is no actual need to facilitate intersystem travel at all except to make it kewl. Intrasystem seems like it'd be enough. Is there going to be real unique landscape items or is all the unique stuff going to be player created? If it is driven by player creation than even more reason not to facilitate intersystem travel.

 

To make the community thrive, they need a natural growth and slow expansion so that the population and infrastructure density reaches high levels. Without that infrastructure creation and population density you won't have the production potential for new players to get off the ground fast turning the game into a slow slog.

 

There is a real joy to games that slow it down and create a barrier of entry in time and effort. If you can travel dozens of systems at a drop of a hat it cheapens what already exists. You gloss over the environment as you look for something unique. If they purposefully force you to build that infrastructure and population density then it becomes much more meaningful to gain that extra mile, that first asteroid, that first moon. etc etc slowly expand so that there is stuff there to interact with.

 

Players should be able to join the game and buy a ship and fight right there at the arcship. If everyone is 20 systems away than there is no community, no one building the ships for that newbie. Ideally there should be locations where people send weeks of their time and have a want and a NEED to fight the person next to them, if the universe is too easily accessed there is no NEED to fight over land.

 

It'd be nice to have an actual reason to decide, is it more costly to fight my neighbor for land or travel to a new spot.

 

Got to engage the players, keep them engaged. don't want people just wondering where everyone else is at. The stargates also give you another point of contention, driving conflict and consumption as someone destroys the stargate and you need to build another. Or launch a few to launch an assault. Need conflict drivers as they say.

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