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Wormhole Implementation

1A. Intrastellar
Total votes: 14 (9%)
1Bi. Interstellar - Local - Discovered
Total votes: 11 (7%)
1Bii. Interstellar - Local - Undiscovered
Total votes: 22 (14%)
1Biii. Interstellar - Unrestricted
Total votes: 31 (19%)
1C. Inter-temporal
Total votes: 10 (6%)
1Di. Inter-universe - Expansive
Total votes: 4 (3%)
1Dii. Inter-universe - Pocket - Stable
Total votes: 14 (9%)
1Diii. Inter-universe - Pocket - Unstable
Total votes: 10 (6%)
1E. No wormholes
Total votes: 1 (1%)
1F. Other (provide details below)
Total votes: 1 (1%)
2A. Stable
Total votes: 25 (16%)
2B. Unstable
Total votes: 16 (10%)
Total votes: 159
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Re: Wormholes (in-depth)

#16
I do like the nuance that the wormhole "recharges" over time.
A wormhole doing the disappearing act might be a too-high an impact. Specially if it's the only way to reach a sector.
Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.
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Re: Wormholes (in-depth)

#17
Gazz wrote:
JoshParnell wrote:Finally, a quick idea on stability - I would like to propose that we unify the concept of stable and unstable wormholes. Let's say that each wormhole has a "strength" associated with it. Whenever matter passes through the hole (thanks for throwing that idea out there!), the hole will collapse with probability 1 - e^(-m/k), where m is the mass passing through, and k is the hole's strength.
Weber's Wormholes in the Harrington series use a neat mechanic.

<snip>
(Minor spoilers for Echoes of Honor, by David Weber)
David Weber wrote:Nor could they go through together. Oh, it was tempting. There was an absolute ceiling on the amount of tonnage which could transit through any wormhole junction. In the case of the Manticore Junction, the maximum possible mass for a single transit was approximately two hundred million tons, which meant he could put that much of Eighth Fleet's wall—twenty-two SDs, for all practical purposes—through the junction in one, convulsive heave. Unfortunately, any wormhole transit destabilized the termini involved for a minimum of ten seconds, and vessels which massed more than about two and a half million tons destabilized it for a total interval proportional to the square of the transiting mass . . . which meant a maximum-mass transit would lock the route from Manticore to Basilisk solid for over seventeen hours.

If twenty-two superdreadnoughts were sufficient to deal with what White Haven feared the Peeps might be up to, that would pose no problem. But they might not be, and he had fifteen more of them, plus twelve dreadnoughts, under his command. They were the only ships which could possibly reach Basilisk in less than thirty hours, and he dared not leave any of them behind.

But that meant sending them through one by one. As long as there were no hostile units in range to engage them as they threaded the needle back into n-space, there was no tactical reason why he shouldn't do that, and he should know whether or not any bad guys were likely to be in range before he began sending them through. Yet each individual transit would also destabilize the junction route, even if for vastly shorter periods.

His screening units, up to and including his battlecruisers, would each produce a ten-second blockage of the route for whoever came next in line, but his dreadnoughts would close the route for almost seventy seconds and each superdreadnought would shut it down for a hundred and thirteen. Which meant that cramming his entire fleet through would require a minimum of a hundred and eight minutes. Add in the time required just to reach the wormhole terminus, and it would be over a hundred and sixty-six minutes—over two and three-quarters hours—before his last ship could possibly reach Basilisk.

That was an immensely shorter response time than for anyone else, but it was still too long to save Medusa. And to achieve even that, he had to cut the transit windows to the bare minimum, which was going to give ACS fits. Under normal circumstances, the minimum allowable transit window was one minute. Usually the windows actually ran considerably longer than that, since the number of ships awaiting passage was seldom large enough to cause ACS to push the minimum. But that limitation had been adopted for a very simple reason: to give people time to get out of the way.
- The Snark Knight

"Look upward, and share the wonders I've seen."
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Re: Wormholes (in-depth)

#18
Yah, effectively this... but I built a bit of a buffer into the system so that under "normal conditions", a wormhole would be always up, making the system less fiddly.
Only when someone passes a large mass through it, the downtime feature starts to kick in.

This also helps with defending.
If someone could keep sending large numbers of ships through a wormhole, any defenses could be zerged.
If you know what kind of mass can pass through it, you know what kind of forts you'd have to build in case someone attacks through the wormhole.
You wouldn't need infinite defenses.
That's an important point because it would be impossible to secure any place if there were unlimited wormholes into every rear area.

X3 with it's jump-everywhere-anytime Jumpdrive can serve as a bad example here. =)
Any attempt to build sensible defenses is futile because AI (or player) ships can simply pop up in every sector so there is zero strategic depth. Boooring.


Uncharted wormholes could also be A Big Deal™.
If you know a shortcut that nobody else knows, you have a major edge.
I imagine that the "power" of a wormhole would translate into how easy it is to find.
A weak wormhole would be terrifically hard to find. They could also (usually) be farther out in systems, making them ideal for shady characters who don't want to be seen coming and going.
Research / survey ships need something to look for. =)
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
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Re: Wormholes (in-depth)

#19
Gazz wrote: Uncharted wormholes could also be A Big Deal™.
If you know a shortcut that nobody else knows, you have a major edge.
I imagine that the "power" of a wormhole would translate into how easy it is to find.
A weak wormhole would be terrifically hard to find. They could also (usually) be farther out in systems, making them ideal for shady characters who don't want to be seen coming and going.
Research / survey ships need something to look for. =)
Here's where things become hard to believe for me... That the player could still find an unknown wormhole, just by scanning for it. Unless it's possible to go so far from civilisation that nobody with the right scanning equipment had the opportunity to scan there yet. I don't know how possible it will be to be a true pioneer and go somewhere where no NPC has gone before.
Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.
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Re: Wormholes (in-depth)

#20
Scanners that are good enough to find them with a decent chance of success are a recent development. =)

And if it required bulky and expensive equipment (or a lot of luck with a "small" scanner) then not everyone would have the resources to go hunting for such anomalies.

Another possibility would be that every ship might rarely detect a hint to a wormhole. A scanner ping that seems to originate from a random spot in a huge area of space around the wormhole.
A survey vessel trying to nail down the position would "only" have to search this huge area of space - not all of space. =)
And maybe you only find an asteroid with a defective nav buoy. =)
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
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Re: Wormholes (in-depth)

#21
Gazz wrote:Scanners that are good enough to find them with a decent chance of success are a recent development. =)
In the entire infinite universe? It will already be weird that all factions are more or less on the same technological level.
Gazz wrote:And if it required bulky and expensive equipment (or a lot of luck with a "small" scanner) then not everyone would have the resources to go hunting for such anomalies.
That's probably the way i'd prefer it. A bit like the EAS Cortez, Babylon 5's explorer class ships.
I like the idea of having to make a huge investment to have a realistic chance to find a wormhole. Selling the wormhole data should be relative lucrative in its turn.
This wouldn't mean a player or npc can't get extremely lucky and accidentally pass by a wormhole and detect it.
Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.
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Re: Wormholes (in-depth)

#22
I really would like the implementation of wormholes. If possible they should not be restricted due to technical difficulties of the implementation,

so wormholes can be stable and/or unstable (maybe there is some technology to "repair" unstable/nearly collapsed wormholes),
allow time travels (past and future),
either end can be stable at a fixed location or they could travel somehow around
and maybe there are some wormhole systems that connect more than two endpoints. This would resemble something like the slipstream travels from andromeda.
And just for fun wormholes with only one endpoint :D
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Re: Wormholes (in-depth)

#23
One thing that comes to mind about those 'uncharted wormholes' has a lot to do with the AI and history.

The biggest thing I hate about some AI is that they know everything. This wormhole has been around during the entire creation of history, what are the chances of it being truly undiscovered? Conventionalism aside (as we know Space is BIG and realistically we could easily miss something pretty damn close), the game knows about the wormhole and when pathfinding for the AI, will the AI automatically use it?

If the AI is trying to pathfind between two places it might just use this 'undiscovered wormhole'.

Next, if the pathfinding is brilliant (which it probably will be) then wouldn't that mean that these wormholes would have to be either far enough out or useless to the point where even the AI wouldn't use them? Besides, if they're THAT useful, why wouldn't they already be in use/discovered?

Sounds like a McGuffin to me.

Although, I am all for this because it's awesome, you know me, I like to play devil's advocate. :D

PS, Hardenberg, you need some sort of image macro for when you pull out the Big Guns. :lol:
Image
Early Spring - 1055: Well, I made it to Boatmurdered, and my initial impressions can be set forth in three words: What. The. F*ck.
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Re: Wormholes (in-depth)

#24
Katarone wrote:If this pocket universe is limited in size, I can see the value of it. It gives you a private area to play in without having NPC bothering you. With a single entry point the tactical advantage is considerable. I would assume jumpdrives couldn't be used to jump ships between the two universes?

But, if the pocket universe isn't really limited, or otherwise has all the other properties the normal universe has... Then what's it added benefit?
Wouldn't you be just as likely to find a remote system somewhere where you can set up shop?
I kind of agree with Katarone here; if the wormholes to "pocket universes" are natural features, then what stops the AI from using them and finding your stash, just as if it's in a remote system?

To get around this, I propose another type of wormhole that's not on the list: dormant. Dormant wormholes have the following properties:
  • They are more or less impossible to find except through incredibly detailed or technologically advanced scanning
  • They only link to pocket universes (or perhaps just systems currently a huge distance away from the edge of the known universe?)
  • They can only be activated by the player installing a jump gate that is security keyed to his ID
This would at least make having a hidden universe sensible.

On a slightly different topic, Josh said:
Josh Parnell wrote:EDIT : Man, the more I think about it, the more I am loving the idea of unstable wormholes. It could really be like a "regional event" if a well-known, highly-travelled hole suddenly collapses. Might totally alter the economy in the region.
I'm reminded of the Big Events thread here; if we're willing to have wormholes that can collapse - or perhaps just change their entry/exit points - then why not assign similar probabilities to stars etc.?
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Re: Wormholes (in-depth)

#25
My main experience with wormholes in space games is with Freelancer, with jump holes and jump gates.

Like Freelancer, Limit Theory has acceleration lanes for in-system travel. In Freelancer, all of these lanes led to planets, stations, empty junctions with other trade lanes, or jump gates, which were essentially natural jump holes stabilized by machinery (though many jump gates contained entirely artificial wormholes). In lore, Freelancer's jump holes were unstable, but such was not the case in actual gameplay. Jump holes were just as stable as jump gates.

So my thought is that if a wormhole is part of the man-made (or more generally, artificial, because aliens) network of lanes and wormholes, the wormhole should probably be stabilized. It wouldn't make a whole lot of sense for a truck to be rolling down the highway and have to stop because the exit ramp he was looking to take has disappeared. It's an established route for a reason, and if it's susceptible to probabilistic sabotage, then it's not a very good route.

Of course you don't necessarily have to have your stabilized wormholes at the ends of trade lanes. You could just as easily have them orbiting a planet or sitting in empty space, depending the level of the system's infrastructure.

But then we've got just regular old wormholes that aren't stable, and as a result they're popping up in random places before fizzling out a while later. (This doesn't mean, of course, that natural wormholes can't be stable, but it seems unlikely that they would be). In a high-infrastructure system, with lots of radio relay points, some well-equipped stations, and maybe a planet or two, there would probably be a laboratory with some telescopes capable of spotting new wormholes as they appear (and maybe they'd even be able to estimate how long the wormhole would be open, to measure the possibility of stabilizing it).

In less-developed systems, wormhole spotting wouldn't be so simple. The player or NPCs would have to patrol regularly for the wormholes, especially if no stable entrance/exit has yet been established. Any aid or commerce relevant to that system would rely on natural and unstable wormholes unless naturally or artificially stable ones were available. This, I imagine, would be an exceptionally well-paying exploration-based job.
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Re: Wormholes (in-depth)

#26
Gazz wrote:Weber's Wormholes in the Harrington series use a neat mechanic.
...
Very interesting, I do think I like that more than the probabilistically-collapsing wormhole. It's less...scary, but still a fun mechanic :)

So now the number that characterizes the hole just controls the maximum energy capacity (hence maximum mass transport capacity). We could have the holes act like capacitors, in that x% of left-to-be-charged energy returns every unit time. This would introduce the interesting mechanic that small fighters would always be able to use virtually any wormhole, since the first bits of energy recharge must faster than the later bits. A carrier whose mass is close to the max bandwidth of the hole may have to wait a substantial amount of time before it can pass (and may get angry at any fighters that jump through and sap the energy pool :) :ghost: )
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
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Re: Wormholes (in-depth)

#27
JoshParnell wrote:
Gazz wrote:Weber's Wormholes in the Harrington series use a neat mechanic.


...
Very interesting, I do think I like that more than the probabilistically-collapsing wormhole. It's less...scary, but still a fun mechanic :)

So now the number that characterizes the hole just controls the maximum energy capacity (hence maximum mass transport capacity). We could have the holes act like capacitors, in that x% of left-to-be-charged energy returns every unit time. This would introduce the interesting mechanic that small fighters would always be able to use virtually any wormhole, since the first bits of energy recharge must faster than the later bits. A carrier whose mass is close to the max bandwidth of the hole may have to wait a substantial amount of time before it can pass (and may get angry at any fighters that jump through and sap the energy pool :) :ghost: )
I like the idea of wormholes functioning like capacitors. Ties in well with how I'm envisaging wormholes tie in with vacuum energy and such. If you want to model a wormhole's "charge" after that of a capacitor, the formula has the form K*(1-e^(-ct)), where K is a positive constant (in electronics, V*C), c is a positive (probably pretty small) constant, and t represents time passed since charging began. This will also mean that wormholes charge fastest the less charge they have.
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Re: Wormholes (in-depth)

#28
That whole honor harrington-esque mechanic of wormholes could also be applied to jumpgates.
As jumpgates are only artificially created wormhole connections.

This could bring two things:
  • different types of jumpgates
    The artificial wormholes could have different recharge rates or max capacities.

    This would bring economic and tactic decisions to jumpgate construction, extending the binary jes/no question.

    Backward systems would only have low charge/capacity gates while trade hubs have high class gates
  • jumpgate construction would not be "build both, switch on" but instead "build one, switch on, build second one on the other end"

    This would also allow "offensive" jumpgate using.
    You could build a gate to allow small ships to get in and out of enemy space.

    This would have to be severely limited.
    For example that the wormhole is far from being usable for anything larger than a fighter before you build the second gate on thr other side
Last edited by Cornflakes_91 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wormholes (in-depth)

#29
Interesting!

In case of the carrier I'd send my docked ships out first, so they don't increase the mass of the ship.
Incase of transporters, they could use cargo drones to shoot containers through the wormhole to another transporter at the other end. :D
Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.
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Re: Wormholes (in-depth)

#30
Katorone wrote:Interesting!

In case of the carrier I'd send my docked ships out first, so they don't increase the mass of the ship.
Incase of transporters, they could use cargo drones to shoot containers through the wormhole to another transporter at the other end. :D
This implies there wouldn't need to be some complex technology at play to prevent objects passing through the wormhole from getting destroyed. Fighters may be able to equip the tech with enough miniaturisation. I doubt loose cargo would survive. I don't think you'd want to expose many types of cargo to the vacuum of space anyway.

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