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Abandoned / Derelict Ships

#1
Just wanted to know if there was any talk of abandoned ships being discovered, whether for salvaging and tech discovery, or for the taking to use as your own. And also, will it be possible to make other NPC abandon their ships for you to capture, out of them fearing death? (kind of like in X3, you shoot at the ship enough, once it gets to almost be destroyed, based on a number of things, the captain might abandon ship, and leave it for you to take and capture)
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Re: Abandoned ships

#2
I know this topic's been touched lightly before but I don't know if there's official word on this, but I'd like for ships to be abandoned (even if it's by you in a previous game) and be able to salvage it or refit it for your own use.
In Josh we trust.
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Re: Abandoned ships

#3
Ateerix wrote:Just wanted to know if there was any talk of abandoned ships being discovered, whether for salvaging and tech discovery, or for the taking to use as your own. And also, will it be possible to make other NPC abandon their ships for you to capture, out of them fearing death? (kind of like in X3, you shoot at the ship enough, once it gets to almost be destroyed, based on a number of things, the captain might abandon ship, and leave it for you to take and capture)
Little events like this can add to the replay value. As long as those ships are decaying from the moment they are abandoned, we'll never get too cluttered with them and you won't get too much money.

If a big ship get abandoned it'd need to be in really bad shape, so you can't just leapfrog from a fighter to a cap ship. I enjoy the period in these games where its hard in the universe and I am starting as the underdog.
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Re: Abandoned ships

#4
The reason I haven't given official word on this yet is that it raises a surprising number of secondary issues. I love the idea as well, especially from a standpoint of yielding another way to make a living - getting really good scanning equipment and hunting for abandoned ships to salvage. That would be super cool :)

But, if we were to do this, I would want it (like most things in the game) to be "real," in other words, the ship was actually abandoned by its pilot, probably in the midst of a large battle, not just spawned randomly as a "special event." This brings up the question of ejection mechanics. If an AI pilot can abandon ship, presumably there needs to be some kind of mechanic for ejecting from a ship. Alternatively, we could have a mechanic for "killing the pilot without killing the ship," which seems a bit more tractable.

Then there's the question of recovery / salvage mechanics. If you actually want to be able to use the ship again, there needs to be a way for you to "inject" a pilot, which suggests that there needs to be a mechanic for transporting and managing your crew. That's something that I was avoiding, as I think a full-blown crew mechanic would add a significant cost in dev time to the game. Salvage seems more tractable, perhaps being able to use a mining beam to cut through the hull and retrieve alloys, basically treating the ship like an asteroid.

I'd love this feature, but as you can see, it ties into several other mechanics in a nontrivial way. I'm not saying I can't do it or that these problems are particularly hard, just stating that they do exist and will / would require more concepting & design time in order for this to be implemented. As such I won't promise it, and will leave it in the bucket of "things I'd really like to do if I had extra time." :thumbup:
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
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Re: Abandoned ships

#5
JoshParnell wrote:The reason I haven't given official word on this yet is that it raises a surprising number of secondary issues. I love the idea as well, especially from a standpoint of yielding another way to make a living - getting really good scanning equipment and hunting for abandoned ships to salvage. That would be super cool :)

But, if we were to do this, I would want it (like most things in the game) to be "real," in other words, the ship was actually abandoned by its pilot, probably in the midst of a large battle, not just spawned randomly as a "special event." This brings up the question of ejection mechanics. If an AI pilot can abandon ship, presumably there needs to be some kind of mechanic for ejecting from a ship. Alternatively, we could have a mechanic for "killing the pilot without killing the ship," which seems a bit more tractable.

Then there's the question of recovery / salvage mechanics. If you actually want to be able to use the ship again, there needs to be a way for you to "inject" a pilot, which suggests that there needs to be a mechanic for transporting and managing your crew. That's something that I was avoiding, as I think a full-blown crew mechanic would add a significant cost in dev time to the game. Salvage seems more tractable, perhaps being able to use a mining beam to cut through the hull and retrieve alloys, basically treating the ship like an asteroid.

I'd love this feature, but as you can see, it ties into several other mechanics in a nontrivial way. I'm not saying I can't do it or that these problems are particularly hard, just stating that they do exist and will / would require more concepting & design time in order for this to be implemented. As such I won't promise it, and will leave it in the bucket of "things I'd really like to do if I had extra time." :thumbup:
A more simple way to do it

Neutral Faction (Call it abandoned)

If a ship is at 5% or less health, there is a one in a hundred chance of it turning into the abandoned faction. The pilots dead or ejected or whatever you like, if you'd want a small pilot capsule ejected with it for asthetics fair enough. Ships in the abandoned faction take 1% damage every *Insert time here*.

You can inject an AI program into this faction's ships. In lore terms, the program is replaced at the nearest starbase ;). You could make this more complicated by making a more expensive program depending on the size of the ship, or just have it free for all ships.
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Re: Abandoned ships

#6
No, you misunderstood.

Making a ship abandoned or a pilot eject is not the hard part.
It just wasn't really worth it because...

Why would it happen?
How often did you find it advantageous to abandon your own perfectly usable ship?

And then there would be a need for a whole host of mechanics for modeling crew/pilots, towing/recovering/salvaging ships, changing ownership of ships... none of which are needed without the "abandon ship" feature.
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
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Re: Abandoned ships

#7
Or just invent salvage / repair nanites! If its worth fixin' repair it to the point that you could board and transport it or inject a crew member (which could be biological or AI). Or just break it down for components and raw material.

How the ship became abandoned in the first place? Well that's subjective but the circumstances should be extremely unlikely as your chances for survival in space becomes exponentially more difficult when you are just a floating pressure suit of some form. This should be extremely rare. Salvage seems like the most likely outcome.
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Re: Abandoned ships

#9
HowSerendipitous wrote:Who says they're abandoned? Could just be filled with corpses. :twisted:

Or ghosts! :ghost:
I believe the classic approach on what's going on in the creepy abandoned space hulk would be someone getting a face full of alien wing-wong. :shock:

But back to the abandoned stuff, pilots ejecting only works up to a certain size of ship. Once you get to a few dozen crew members, "abandoning ship" is a pretty involved process. And to be quite honest, it this thing was a warship, it's highly probable that it will be either scuttled or booby-trapped to prevent capture.

Still, there has been a high demand for a boarding option, which I believe would need to use a similar mechanic of injecting a crew/pilot. In both cases, it requires that the crew and the ship are actual separate entities, which might complicate things programming-wise. The other question is, why would an AI entity abandon ship? In case of imminent destruction, the ship is unlikely to survive. In case of a functional ship, the crew is unlikely to leave. Since the player can't get stranded due to engine damage, neither can the AI.

I guess the only likely reason is forceful removal of the crew via boarding mechanics or weaponry that specifically attacks the crew, neither of which is implemented or ready for implementation in short order.
Hardenberg was my name
And Terra was my nation
Deep space is my dwelling place
The stars my destination
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Re: Abandoned ships

#10
Gazz wrote:No, you misunderstood.

Making a ship abandoned or a pilot eject is not the hard part.
It just wasn't really worth it because...

Why would it happen?
How often did you find it advantageous to abandon your own perfectly usable ship?

And then there would be a need for a whole host of mechanics for modeling crew/pilots, towing/recovering/salvaging ships, changing ownership of ships... none of which are needed without the "abandon ship" feature.
I would find it very useful if I was about to die.

There is no need for a whole host of mechanics. Only one very simple AI routine - pilot to a location. I will explain below.
Hardenberg wrote:
But back to the abandoned stuff, pilots ejecting only works up to a certain size of ship. Once you get to a few dozen crew members, "abandoning ship" is a pretty involved process. And to be quite honest, it this thing was a warship, it's highly probable that it will be either scuttled or booby-trapped to prevent capture.

Still, there has been a high demand for a boarding option, which I believe would need to use a similar mechanic of injecting a crew/pilot. In both cases, it requires that the crew and the ship are actual separate entities, which might complicate things programming-wise. The other question is, why would an AI entity abandon ship? In case of imminent destruction, the ship is unlikely to survive. In case of a functional ship, the crew is unlikely to leave. Since the player can't get stranded due to engine damage, neither can the AI.
There is no need to complicate anything - The AI would just be used to tow or autopilot to the nearest base to fix up the ship, it'd have no combat capabilities. Whereby it'd be replaced with crew.[

This means you have to defend it all the way in, giving you some challenge. In addition I was thinking about it and at such high damage most ships won't survive anyway as the remaining shots on the way will kill them. So it is unlikely a big ship would survive anyway, but make it a nice rare find when it does, whereas smaller ones will be more likely to avoid the last hits.

Back to your points if we are talking about realism. As I posted a 1 in 100 chance to capture a ship fits your assessment of the odds of it being salvagable. Floating space debris is much more likely than just having nothing there. You'll have to excuse my not having played the prototype if this is already how it works. On a large ship, if the crew are in the middle of a battle, and its sustained that much damage many are already dead anyway and an escape capsule or two would make perfect sense.


Changing ownerships of ships is the only thing that might be harder, but only if the ships are coded in a way they don't have faction variable. In this all that needs to happen is, if the ship is in the abandoned faction - if the player hits the ships with an AI drone/missile/pod whatever he gets basic control over it.

Heck make it full control if you want to make it even simpler. We don't need to complicate this idea.
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Re: Abandoned ships

#11
Karrade wrote:
Gazz wrote:No, you misunderstood.

Making a ship abandoned or a pilot eject is not the hard part.
It just wasn't really worth it because...

Why would it happen?
How often did you find it advantageous to abandon your own perfectly usable ship?
I would find it very useful if I was about to die.
Hmm. Why would you find it more useful to die outside your ship?

If I was going to die (from a heart attack or whatever), I would have other things on my mind than abandoning my ship. What good would it be (for me or for anybody else) to eject in that situation? I can't see any advantages to it.

So I think Gazz's objection still stands.

On the other hand: if you actually meant to say: 'I would find it very useful if my ship was about to disintegrate.', then you'd have a very valid reason to leave your ship, but you wouldn't have a salvageable ship afterwards. :roll:
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Re: Abandoned ships

#12
I would suggest the following:

A ship once destroyed has a chance leave a wreck (either randomly or determined by which subsystems are still intact). This may then be salvaged to obtain the still functioning subsystems or their blue-prints/techs/basic components.
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Re: Abandoned ships

#13
I am flabbergasted by this thread.

Have none of you ever heard of life-boats? Why leave on a life-boat if you can't get the ship back? BECAUSE YOU'LL DIE OTHERWISE!

Holy smoke, if we want rational AI, they will try to NOT DIE, just like an actual human being will do.
Sure, you lost THAT ship, but you could potentially have 8 more on your private space station. If you die, you have nothing and start over.

I'd rather leave in my escape pod/shuttle/what-have-you than get blown up and have to rebuild my empire.

But hey, I'm just a rational entity, what do I know?
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Re: Abandoned ships

#15
Commander McLane wrote:
Karrade wrote:
Gazz wrote:No, you misunderstood.

Making a ship abandoned or a pilot eject is not the hard part.
It just wasn't really worth it because...

Why would it happen?
How often did you find it advantageous to abandon your own perfectly usable ship?
I would find it very useful if I was about to die.
Hmm. Why would you find it more useful to die outside your ship?

If I was going to die (from a heart attack or whatever), I would have other things on my mind than abandoning my ship. What good would it be (for me or for anybody else) to eject in that situation? I can't see any advantages to it.

So I think Gazz's objection still stands.

On the other hand: if you actually meant to say: 'I would find it very useful if my ship was about to disintegrate.', then you'd have a very valid reason to leave your ship, but you wouldn't have a salvageable ship afterwards. :roll:
I can't find it but I remember seeing a video from the deck of one of America's super carriers of an A-6 pilot who punched out on landing only to have the deck crew watch as the plane ran off the end of deck and continued to fly for about 6 miles on auto-pilot. So when one "punches out" is an entirely discretionary call on the pilot which may have little bearing on the actual condition of the space craft. So he thinks his fighter is about to vaporize, punches out, only to discover it held together. If the vessel that caused me to abandon then decides that if I approach my ship afterwards they will vape me, well I'm not in a position to argue.

That of course is only one scenario. Perhaps one finds a ship that isn't abandoned entirely... just the corpse(s) of the crew. In any case to say that there should "never" be any abandoned ships is only slightly less realistic than space proliferated with them. To be believable I think this situation should be a very rare occurrence, specifically when dealing with dedicated military vessels as most navies tend to require that you scuttle your vessel rather than let the enemy take possession of it. Regardless there should still be a chance (albeit a very remote one) of finding vessels and wrecks that are still functional... barely. There is a profession that could center around salvage.

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