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Re: Derelicts & Shipwrecks

#46
Hey mate I like your idea. I love the thought of going up to these wrecked ships and then being able to collect something from them. That could be parts, information about how it got wrecked or where the ship has been to in the region that it has been found at. It could have useful trivial information that doesn't help you in the longer term, but still would be good to have e.g. bargaining techniques to use with merchants of a certain planet or another.
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Re: Derelicts & Shipwrecks

#47
TheSkyIsUp wrote:However, I think my suggestion is different enough to warrant this separate thread. From what I can tell over there, when they say abandoned ships, they mean ships that were working that were left adrift by the pilot. These ships could be collected and used again. Whereas I'm talking about totally wrecked ships where the pilots have died but the body of the ship remains. These ships would have no hope of repair. You wouldn't be able fly them, but you could salvage parts, material, and technology. Some nodes in the ship will be completely lost, but other things might still be useful. Players could get equipment designed for salvaging, or they could tow the wreck to a dock and salvage there.
I see what you're saying, but you have to keep in mind one major thing; there has to be a mechanic from within the game that will get a ship to this point. You're not going to go into an undiscovered sector and see space debris unless a ship actually was there at some point in it's life.

So to make sure I understand what you're saying, is that you're talking about the remains of a ship, like scrap or remnants from a larger battle?
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Re: Derelicts & Shipwrecks

#48
TheSkyIsUp wrote:This would add another mission type, which I believe we need. It will also add some excitement to exploring asteroid fields and perhaps even deep space.
Agreed completely, and I like your thoughts. Each Limit Theory seed’s planned to have its out layout, names, and tech, but without much in the way of old derelicts/wrecks and even other noteworthy (and salvageable) space litter there would only exist shallow in-game history and realism. Not to mention only shallow fun to be gained from exploration.

Imagine the significant amount of space junk in Earth's orbit from six decades of a limited and quantifiable number of space flights; then imagine a populated galaxy with hundreds to thousands of years of heavy space use. The universe would have an unmistakable archaeological record of human use beyond the systems and planets that are currently utilised and populated. Failed colonies, abandoned mining works, wars, lost exploration ships etc. Human spacefaring would leave small to significant traces (as abandoned materials/waste) throughout space/the galaxy.

Some of my favourite parts of Freelancer are the wrecks in the middle of nowhere with their own stories to tell, the vast junk debris fields, the systems that are scarred from war. The mysterious history of the Freelancer colonies is captivating gameplay. The same can be for Limit Theory as well!

On Earth, even small salvage companies can make millions, because there are real profits to made from recycling waste refined metals. It should be the same for Limit Theory – profit to be made from the galaxy’s history (via its valuable archaeology!).
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Re: Abandoned ships

#49
Here's what I propose:
  • When any ship is destroyed, it will become a wreck unless done with extreme overkill.
  • The state and rate of deterioration of the wreck will depend on the type of ship it was, what weapons were used to destroy it and how much overkill was involved, among other factors.
  • After wrecks have deteriorated by a sufficient amount, they should dissipate into the void (freeing up computer resources).
    • The Weibull distribution is particularly good at modelling the time-to-failure of components. Whenever a wreck is formed, parametrise the distribution on the factors listed above and sample it by calculating the inverse of its cumulative distribution function, producing a random number between 0 and 1 using your favourite RNG and then plugging it into that inverse. The higher the overkill, etc. the earlier the expected time until failure from the distribution. After sampling the distribution, make the wreck gradually deteriorate until it reaches this point in time. They should then dissipate.
  • Wrecks should be salvageable.
    • The quality of items gained by salvaging a wreck should vary in direct proportion to the state of the wreck. More degraded wrecks should yield mainly scrap materials, like alloys, metals, etc. Higher-quality wrecks should be more likely to yield intact components in addition to these. There should be a stochastic element to this, so that it remains possible (if unlikely) to yield intact components from heavily-degraded wrecks (and vice versa with highly-intact wrecks).
  • A ship does not necessarily have to be destroyed to become a wreck. There will be a chance during combat that damage inflicted upon a ship at low-health will incapacitate or kill the pilot (and other crew). Ships disabled in this way can be salvaged with a much greater probability of gaining high-quality items than by salvaging wrecks.
    • This would leave the ship intact, and if the functionality can be implemented, allow the player to direct allied NPC's to capture it, or tow it back to a station and capture it for himself.
    • There should be specialised weapons in game that grant the player an increased probability of incapacitating or killing the crew of an enemy vessel without destroying the vessel. This should be at the expense of reduced DPS or some other penalty.
  • If procedural deterioration/damage of ships can be implemented in the game, the deterioration of wrecked ships should be visible. A player hanging long enough around a rapidly-deteriorating wreck should be able to see the deterioration occurring. Procedural deterioration should be easier for Josh to implement (since his ships are already generated procedurally) than for someone using static models, but I don't know how feasible this is.
The benefits of this implementation are:
  • It encourages a co-operative and competitive edge to salvaging. If news of a large battle is broadcast, then salvagers nearby will want to cash in on the sea of wrecks that will likely be left behind in the aftermath of that battle, because the production of wrecks is directly tied to the destruction of ships and not merely a random event that you will encounter every once and again while exploring. Self-interest will encourage NPCs to cooperate with some and compete against others to maximise their share of the spills.
  • It encourages the player (as a salvager) to think about the setup, capabilities and trade-offs of his salvaging vessel. Should he tailor his ship towards speed and agility, so that he can be among the first to reach the scene of a large battle and salvage wrecks before slower scavengers arrive? Should be beef it up with armor and powerful weaponry so that he can dominate and frighten off other scavengers when he does eventually show up? Should he specialise in the most advanced salvaging equipment so that, though he may claim a smaller share of the spills than the nimble or beefy scavengers, he can extract better quality items from the share that he does, and faster?
    • NPCs should be thinking along the same lines as this as well.
  • It gives the player the ability to influence the production of salvageable wrecks. If they have the guile for it, they could manipulate individuals or factions to become hostile to each other, increasing the likelihood they'll go to battle with each other and produce valuable wreckage that the player can claim. The player might discover a nest of pirates in high-security space, sell the information of their whereabouts to local authorities for profit, and then wait until the authorities destroy them to salvage the pirate wrecks for even more profit.
The limitations of this implementation are:
  • It can take a lot of computational resources to model the wreckage of a huge battle, the individual deterioration of each of them and the procedural visual deterioration if that's implemented.
  • It is somewhat unrealistic for extremely-degraded wrecks to just "disappear" after a set amount of time.
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Re: Abandoned ships

#50
ThymineC wrote:Here's what I propose:

<snip>
I like it.

You've actually made being a garbageman sound interesting and exciting. :clap:

I'm interested in how you might apply the same sort of system as an incentive for exploration. Any thoughts about more long-term wrecks you might find drifting in space? Something tucked away in a deserted system that no-one has visited in years?

Perhaps ships decay much slower when there is no traffic or activity in the system?
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Re: Derelicts & Shipwrecks

#51
DWMagus wrote: I see what you're saying, but you have to keep in mind one major thing; there has to be a mechanic from within the game that will get a ship to this point. You're not going to go into an undiscovered sector and see space debris unless a ship actually was there at some point in it's life.

So to make sure I understand what you're saying, is that you're talking about the remains of a ship, like scrap or remnants from a larger battle?
As I understand it, when you start a new game up for the first time, there is a simulation process that quickly runs through the universe and all the AI's doing their thing, to come up with a realistic economy. Obviously AI's will battle and be killed in this simulation, and their wrecked ships could be left behind. So yes, I expect wreckage to only show up where AI's have been. And I do hope some AI explorers will be lost in thought-to-be unexplored areas, so that the player might come across a nice surprise.

Yes, the remains of a ship after a battle. It might be neat if there were accidents or natural disasters too, but that could be annoying for the player if it happened to them.
Last edited by TheSkyIsUp on Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Abandoned ships

#52
I'm thinking NEutron based weapons might be a good anti-crew weapon for pirates. :mrgreen:
Xray lazers might me another good canadate.
Last edited by N810 on Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Abandoned ships

#56
ThymineC wrote:Here's what I propose:
  • When any ship is destroyed, it will become a wreck unless done with extreme overkill.
    ...
  • After wrecks have deteriorated by a sufficient amount, they should dissipate into the void (freeing up computer resources).
    ...
  • It is somewhat unrealistic for extremely-degraded wrecks to just "disappear" after a set amount of time.
Either overkill or hitting the right sub-systems to cause a big explosion. I suspect half or less of all destroyed ships should become wrecks. Maybe we should ask Josh about how much of a resource strain that would be. Maybe his engine would allow for this much extra resources? And if we have to make them just "disappear," what if it were simply a matter of the nodes holding it together slowly losing HP over time, and once they hit absolute zero, the wreck breaks apart and is treated in the same way as a totally blown up craft. It doesn't have to be unrealistic that much. I would hope this method would take a very long time though.
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Re: Abandoned ships

#57
Just_Ice_au wrote:I'm interested in how you might apply the same sort of system as an incentive for exploration. Any thoughts about more long-term wrecks you might find drifting in space? Something tucked away in a deserted system that no-one has visited in years?

Perhaps ships decay much slower when there is no traffic or activity in the system?
I'm not sure, that's a good point; add it to the "limitations" section. Your suggestion could certainly work. I won't spend time thinking it over now because I should be revising and I feel guilty enough as it is.
N810 wrote:I'm thinking Nutron based weapons might be a good anti-crew weapon for pirates. :mrgreen:
Xray lazers might me another good canadate.
I'm thinking more along the lines of gamma lasers; high-energy radiation that would cause a great deal of damage to living organisms and the electronic subsystems of a vessel while having relatively little effect on the structural integrity of the ship itself.
TheSkyIsUp wrote:Either overkill or hitting the right sub-systems to cause a big explosion. I suspect half or less of all destroyed ships should become wrecks. Maybe we should ask Josh about how much of a resource strain that would be. Maybe his engine would allow for this much extra resources? And if we have to make them just "disappear," what if it were simply a matter of the nodes holding it together slowly losing HP over time, and once they hit absolute zero, the wreck breaks apart and is treated in the same way as a totally blown up craft. It doesn't have to be unrealistic that much. I would hope this method would take a very long time though.
These are good suggestions. I agree that targeting certain subsystems should be a factor in the probability of a destroyed vessel becoming a wreck, and its initial state as a wreck. A player will have to make a decision about which subsystems to target based on whether they want to end the fight quickly or to increase the odds of having a decent wreck to salvage, and then have the skill and precision to follow through with that.

I agree with your second point as well. A destroyed ship should go through either one or two phases before disappearing; either it becomes a salvageable wreck which deteriorates over the time, and at some point crumbles into unsalvageable space debris; or else it goes straight to being space debris. At some point this debris will have to "disappear" to free up computer resources. If visual procedural deterioration can be implemented, you could just make the debris become smaller and smaller until it's no longer visible, at which point the game stops worrying about it.
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Re: Abandoned ships

#58
ThymineC wrote:Here's what I propose:
  • When any ship is destroyed, it will become a wreck unless done with extreme overkill
I'd personally limit the massive overkill to less massive overkill.
Around 10% or so.
fighter vs fighter with lasers would result in wrecks, but missle-kills would much more likely be complete destructions.
And in massive fleet battles would the capship-killed fighters be destroyed and not wrecked, but capships would be wrecked with relative certainity
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Re: Abandoned ships

#60
What I don't really understand is why can't abandoned ships be "out there" from the beginning of "the universe". The galaxy is p.generated from scratch (I don't know if all of it at the beginning or "on the fly" while we're playing). Like planets, systems, NPC-fractions, etc., space hulks could be p.generated somewhere at a very low spawn rate. Or if a system must be created because the player or AI-player decides to explore it, chances (like 0,01% or whatever) some kind of ancient structure appears in it could also exist... Or what I'm missing here?
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