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Re: What about civilians?

#91
Planetside civilians can simply be counted as cargo/commodities, except that they have a tag that allows them to "reproduce" at a fixed rate - which, realistically, is about 1.2% per year... which is a bit slow for a game like limit theory, so we'd just kick it up a notch to where the game would actually be playable. Games in real time aren't generally fun. My personal suggestion would be to kick it up to something per hour[, but ultimately, it just needs to be whatever balances best with the rest of the game - i.e. planets don't reproduce like rabbits, nor does all life in the galaxy die out. There's a wide margin of error there.
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Re: What about civilians?

#92
Talvieno wrote:Planetside civilians can simply be counted as cargo/commodities, except that they have a tag that allows them to "reproduce" at a fixed rate - which, realistically, is about 1.2% per year... which is a bit slow for a game like limit theory, so we'd just kick it up a notch to where the game would actually be playable. Games in real time aren't generally fun. My personal suggestion would be to kick it up to something per hour[, but ultimately, it just needs to be whatever balances best with the rest of the game - i.e. planets don't reproduce like rabbits, nor does all life in the galaxy die out. There's a wide margin of error there.
This is the one side of civilians I do like. Different types of planets would have different population caps and reproduction rates. Your faction would feel the need to protect planets under your protection and do what it could to encourage growth. It would give a good reason for empire builders to protect and secure their worlds and systems.
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Re: What about civilians?

#93
Your faction would feel the need to protect planets under your protection and do what it could to encourage growth. It would give a good reason for empire builders to protect and secure their worlds and systems.
Yeah, that's kind of the idea behind space civilians, too. It gives you something to protect. If you're protecting the planet, you're probably protecting the trade lanes, too, so it wouldn't really be too much harder. Protecting planet-to-planet transports would encourage growth, while neglecting them would discourage it, or even leave you in a political fiasco. With their escorts, they could protect themselves from random attacks on their own - it's just when they're actually targeted that it would become an issue.

With planetside civilians only, all you need to do is secure the planet, and the rest of the system can be as full of enemies as you like. With civilians in space, you need to protect the area between the planets and stations. It gives you a reason to want to defend more than just your planets - and a good reason to want to expand: expanding your stock of inhabited planets increases the growth of your colonies, which increases planetside production, as well as generating new NPCs of the worker variety.

Freelancer, which Limit Theory draws most of its inspiration from, had civilian ships too - which were all basically large transports, the same as I'm suggesting. (I'm not suggesting privately-owned ships or anything.) The difference here is, Freelancer's didn't serve any real purpose, and had no impact on the game other than that you could attack them if you wanted. We're just giving them a purpose.
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Re: What about civilians?

#94
Honestly i would just really love to see some of the "dumb" npc traffic from X Rebirth.
Even if it followed a spline and had no AI to speak of (didnt try to avoid collisions, since they would be on rails until disturbed).
Despite how many wrongs there were in that game, the ambient npc "zerg" traffic added an incredible atmosphere i haven't seen in any other space game.
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Re: What about civilians?

#95
Baleur wrote:Honestly i would just really love to see some of the "dumb" npc traffic from X Rebirth.
Even if it followed a spline and had no AI to speak of (didnt try to avoid collisions, since they would be on rails until disturbed).
Despite how many wrongs there were in that game, the ambient npc "zerg" traffic added an incredible atmosphere i haven't seen in any other space game.
Agreed. :thumbup: :angel:

I'm trying to understand why it's necessary to justify the inclusion of civilians every time someone raises an objection to their presence. Call them part of the furniture if you want as long as they give the illusion of a thriving, bustling area of space I would settle for that. If it costs someone a few ships in their fleet or whatever to provide this kind of atmosphere then, frankly, that's tough IMO. :mrgreen:
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Re: What about civilians?

#96
Just read the thread and all I have to say is +1 to the whole idea :clap: This would add so much for me to the game. And what I would really love to see is a planet where the citizens are all coming not leaving and coruscant is born. :D You could have multiple space stations circling outside it or maybe a small moon of metal and ships ;)
"That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.”
– Sam
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Re: What about civilians?

#97
I like the idea of doing civilians like X Rebith, as long as it's not done like X Rebirth does it.

It's been a while since i've been able to play X:R (using linux full time now), but the way I remember it the civilians around stations were coming out of nowhere and going nowhere. What I'd love LT to do is just generate some civilian traffic going between stations, or planet and stations.

I'm not sure what Josh has planned for the improved highways, but I'm sure he'll make them in a way so collision detection isn't a big problem. This would mean that plenty of real traffic could make use of them, making the extra "fluff" not really CPU intensive.
Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.
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Re: What about civilians?

#98
darkhorizon wrote:Just read the thread and all I have to say is +1 to the whole idea :clap: This would add so much for me to the game.
:D :thumbup:
Katorone wrote:What I'd love LT to do is just generate some civilian traffic going between stations, or planet and stations.
:D :thumbup:
Katorone wrote: I'm not sure what Josh has planned for the improved highways, but I'm sure he'll make them in a way so collision detection isn't a big problem. This would mean that plenty of real traffic could make use of them, making the extra "fluff" not really CPU intensive.
Good to read, Katorone. :angel:

So any chance of some extra "fluff", Mr Parnell?
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Re: What about civilians?

#101
Katorone wrote:It's been a while since i've been able to play X:R (using linux full time now), but the way I remember it the civilians around stations were coming out of nowhere and going nowhere. What I'd love LT to do is just generate some civilian traffic going between stations, or planet and stations..
Yup, I mentioned that too in my suggestion. :D

I'm all for extra fluff, so long as it adds this much immersion to the game. :D
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Re: What about civilians?

#102
As to the purpose of the ships:
For each station and planet, you also include a value, ValueX. (Name to be determined. It basically represents civilian happiness: luxury, connections to the outside world, visits from family members, etc.) ValueX slowly degrades over time, with the degradation rate increasing based on the size of the population. When ValueX falls below 67%, your station's productivity begins to decline, starting with 100% productivity at 67% and ending at 0% productivity at 0%. (All arbitrary, changeable values). When ValueX falls below 33%, your population begins to leave (at a slow rate, starting slowly at 33% and increasing the rate of disappearance as it approaches 0%).
I was re-reading some of this and I had an idea I might suggest. Once the level is low enough to facilitate or trigger the population decline, that it would only go so far before reaching a new equilibrium, that over time may start going down again, or rise depending on circumstances. If I understand the original idea, once the decline started, it would just keep going unless you took direct action.

Since irl it would be based on the supply of resources etc for a given population, once that population got lowered to a certain amount, the available resources would be enough to satisfy the remaining population. That way, it would at least slow down the population drop and do it kind of in stages with plateaus of stability for a while.

Just a thought.

EDIT

Also, embargoes vs sieges. You could embargo a planet and prevent goods from being sent and cause a slower attrition of population, while a siege would cause an immediate outpouring of civilians rather than a slow drop in population.

So you could drive down a planets population if you wanted, by hindering their ability to get goods, provided you were the one supplying a large chunk of their trade, or by just shooting the crap out of anything that was trying to supply them, with the natural consequences of those actions of course.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
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Re: What about civilians?

#103
I am really not sure why the topic of computational caps and limits keep coming up with regard to civilian traffic given that generally speaking a system that is generally lawful would have say 60-80% of the "ship cap" as civilians. If conflict brews naturally that number would be dwindled down due to destruction of ships and lack of reproduction due to the on-going conflict as well as the potential non-destroyed civilian ships seeking refuge inside stations or on planets. So ultimately this 'problem' will always balance out. If there is no conflict you'll have civilians. If there is minor conflict/raiding the civilians will slowly drop, if there is heavy conflict you'll probably find that the ratio of civilian to non-civilian (Dumb/Fluff/However you want to portray them) will obviously change. Also you have to think from a game play perspective that any civilian heavy system is likely well developed, which means it is probably well defended. If you seek to bring conflict to such a system you are likely to meet a pretty quick end unless of course you are bringing a significant offensive force. I envision a system like this having a significantly developed and strong military defense force stationed on the planet so if you wanted to bring a fight you'd very quickly turn the tables on the Civilian to Military ship ratio.

So when the topic keeps coming up that people are concerned that the civilian ships might reduce the max amount of non-civilian ships that can exist you really need to understand that from pretty much every angle that simply isn't going to be the case. Game play wise it'll balance out. Logic wise it will balance out. Performance depth it will balance out. No matter how you look at it the issue will balance itself out in game.

As far as justifying it goes, there is no need to justify it. Civilians justify themselves. The game can work off an abstract system so that we don't actively see them, but there is really no need to do that. It would actually seem and feel out of place for Josh to do that. As a few have pointed out. The game that Limit Theory draws most of its inspiration from is Freelancer. What Freelancer had better than most games even today was atmosphere. Civilians create atmosphere. Having a vibrant visually living game world (In this case systems/universe) is key. If the only ships you ever saw were ships with express game purposes such as pirating, mining, military jobs etc then you'd lose a lot of atmosphere that even Freelancer had. Freelancer had a lot of meaningless traffic, a lot of civilian traffic. Those ships gave the game atmosphere. It made the player feel small. It made the player feel like just another person in the universe. LT needs that.

So pretty much however you want to swing it there is considerable favor towards having them. If you think because there are Civilians that you are not going to be able to be a war monger or fleet admiral then you aren't really thinking it through. Or you are being selfish in wanting the game to be developed primarily for you and you aren't going to be particularly impressed by them or Josh spending any degree of time adding them in. I hope that isn't the case, but if it is then please remember Freelancer. If you haven't played freelancer I suggest you do so. Then you might gain an appreciation for the small things and the value that they can bring.
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Re: What about civilians?

#104
*applauds* Excellently said, TGS... You're right, it would balance things out evenly.
  • Naturally, a young system would focus almost completely on Industry, as it's just starting up. Everyone there would want to be building and expanding. There would be great numbers of mining ships, transport ships, etc, with a smattering of pirates and mercs. It's the wild west, basically.
  • As a system ages and begin to fill up and reach the max pops, resources are plentiful, and mining becomes less lucrative. Mining ships move out, leaving more room in the pop cap for civilian ships.
  • In wartime, civilian ships would get destroyed, as would mining ships, leaving more room in the popcap for military vessels.
It all balances itself out... and it might even have a better balance than without civilian ships, come to think of it.
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Re: What about civilians?

#105
Bump. I was thinking about this in conjunction with the culture things which Josh has recently shown... Perhaps civilians could act as a 'cultural vector', where addding civilians of a certain culture will 'dilute' the average culture of the place they are arriving to, and slowly replace it with their own culture? I imagine a mass exodus of aggressives into a peaceful nation will eventually have some effect.

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