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Energy and Systems Management

#1
i've made some thoughts about energy management and came to the conclusion that something like my Pipelines UI could be used as well for energy management (i assume that everyone read the linked thread, to get some basic idea of how the details should look)

albeit with small changes
Image this first image shows the basic types of nodes.
  • Reactors
    the core elements of all energy management.
    they create power that is then distributed along power lines.
    if power is input to a reactor, it distributes this surplus to its connected systems according to their settings
  • capacitors
    capacitors store energy that can be released on command into connected systems
    release can be triggered by hotkeys or the specialised "trigger" input connector
  • systems
    systems are everything that needs energy.
    weapons, drives, shields etc.
    they only have inputs for energy but outputs for "trigger" signals that go into capacitors.
    these tiggers are caused by actions on the system
    a weapon might cause its trigger signal when fired, a drive when the player presses the "afterburner" key, a shield when it gets below a treshhold etc.
    this trigger is shown by the red line in the first image
  • groups
    groups are "black box" constructs without any physical manifestation that just serve the purpose of making management easier.
    so one might create 2 groups containing different weapons, to allocate energy independently to them
    groups are also collapsible, to reduce interface clutter
all systems are nodes in a graph.
all nodes can receive and send out power along power lines.
power lines are defined by a common drag-a-line style interface, so you start creating a power line by dragging from a connector on one node to another connector
connectors are either input or output, so that the direction of energy/command flow is always defined between 2 connectors.

parametrisation of connectors (how much energy) should look like the comfort zone settings for Pipelines

when one drags a node over another one the dragged one gets added as "child" to the static node.
causing all connections to go from the static to the dragged one.
this makes setting up hierarchies very fast, as you just drag things onto each other.

nodes that cannot have children, because they only support ingoing connections will form groups when dragged over each other
Image this shows a basic group structure.
the reactor feeds the different groups (weapons, drives, shields) which feed their respective sub-groups
in this case weapon group 1-3.
if one of the super-groups gets more energy allocation, the sub-groups automatically get more energy.
according to their settings.
Image this can also be used for generating different subnets.

in this example weapons have an independent energy supply that is different from drive and shield supply.

this is interesting for big military ships, which may mount multiple smaller generators instead of one bigger one.

to provide redundancy for their weapon systens, that they can stay combat worthy even if their main reactor is damaged / destroyed





(gosh... how i hate writing!)
Last edited by Cornflakes_91 on Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Energy and Systems Management

#2
some things i forgot to mention at 2 AM yesterday (today ._.)

command / trigger signals can also be routed from group nodes to other group nodes or systems.

this issues the command authority of the connected nodes to the node from which the signal comes from

this way multiple turrets can be controlled as one (like multi-turret assemblies in X3)

or multiple turret assemblies can be ordered from a single control node.
(imagine turret command in EVE online, but with more fine control)

so you might slave the control of a few turrets to good gunner NPC's and slave them to the command of a good commander, coordinating their fire.



another thing was:

this hierarchial gouped nodes are also present in the simple energy control interface (like the one that was included in the prototype)

so instead of having directly energy management -> weapon 1, weapon 2, weapon 3, weapon 4
you have energy management -> weapons -> weapon group 1 -> weapon 1, weapon 3

allowing a very fine but still quick control over energy assignments

from the simple interface one cannot change the groupings or routing, but can make much quicker adjustments to specific groups/systems
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Re: Energy and Systems Management

#3
So, to put it in simpler terms so people like me can understand, this is a system that allows you to group things up so as to control a group of one thing as opposed to controlling one thing at a time? :crazy:

Did I get it right? :think:
Image The results of logic, of natural progression? Boring! An expected result? Dull! An obvious next step? Pfui! Where is the fun in that? A dream may soothe, but our nightmares make us run!
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Re: Energy and Systems Management

#4
Idunno wrote:So, to put it in simpler terms so people like me can understand, this is a system that allows you to group things up so as to control a group of one thing as opposed to controlling one thing at a time? :crazy:

Did I get it right? :think:
well, yes.

And it allows you to define from where systems get their energy and which way the energy takes to the systems.

You can also define which weapons and turrets get controlled as one, as weapon banks
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Re: Energy and Systems Management

#5
I like it. A way to group hardpoint controls in any way I like for various reasons and redundancies sounds great. How will the AI know what to do though?
Image The traditional view of robotics, the metal servant who doesn't ask questions, is merely nostalgia for slavery.
User: JoshParnell is accountable for this user's actions.
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Re: Energy and Systems Management

#7
Hyperion wrote:How will the AI know what to do though?
The AI would need a way of detemining energy allocations nevertheless, so it can still use its normal routines.

For the trigger controlled caps it only needs to know where the energy ends up when it uses them.
Which it would need to know already.

Trigger controlled caps only apply to player-owned ships tough
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Re: Energy and Systems Management

#9
CutterJohn wrote: Down with magic energy teleported in from the aether! A ship is its own little micro economy, every action should have a power cost, paid for from the ships total power budget.

Now! The new and improved magic aether reactors!
You ever run out of hydrogen on the way to alpha centauri and had to limp to the next overpriced fuel station?
Not anymore!
The new magic aether reactor uses a patented array of unicorn horns to turn the energy of child laughter into megawatts of electrical energy!
never run out of power again with the magic aether reactor!



besides my little joke im on your side cutterjohn ^^
Last edited by Cornflakes_91 on Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Energy and Systems Management

#11
You convinced me to login and post from an iPhone. This idea is obviously superb.
If you could edit the power through some kind of modular system that would be pretty cool. For example, I could use the reserve resources of the ship to install a new secondary reactor and capacitor that seperately fuels the left side of the ship, so that now the right side weapons don't steal the power of the left research part of my super carrier.

I will clarify this if no one understands once I reach my computer..
Image
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Re: Energy and Systems Management

#12
Black--Snow wrote:You convinced me to login and post from an iPhone. This idea is obviously superb.
If you could edit the power through some kind of modular system that would be pretty cool. For example, I could use the reserve resources of the ship to install a new secondary reactor and capacitor that seperately fuels the left side of the ship, so that now the right side weapons don't steal the power of the left research part of my super carrier.

I will clarify this if no one understands once I reach my computer..
i understand you and that was more or less the intention why i proposed this system.

to enable multiple energy nets aboard a ship (for example left weapon banks and right weapon banks)
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Re: Energy and Systems Management

#13
Just a thought on capacitors. I would love to see being able to route my energy into a capacitor, and release it all at once into my lazors when the target is locked.

The AI should also sometimes choose this, going between a few strong hits or many weak hits depending on the situation and target (many weak lasers firing at those darting fighters, but firing the giant laser at the much less maneuverable battleship)

Capacitors when attached to lasers should in my opinion give out their maximum output rate until the capacitor is drained or the laser overheats.

Also for an interesting weakness, if a highly charged capacitor is damaged, it might explode with all the force of the energy inside, perhaps blowing up the whole ship it was on.
Image The traditional view of robotics, the metal servant who doesn't ask questions, is merely nostalgia for slavery.
User: JoshParnell is accountable for this user's actions.
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Re: Energy and Systems Management

#14
Hyperion wrote:Just a thought on capacitors. I would love to see being able to route my energy into a capacitor, and release it all at once into my lazors when the target is locked.

The AI should also sometimes choose this, going between a few strong hits or many weak hits depending on the situation and target (many weak lasers firing at those darting fighters, but firing the giant laser at the much less maneuverable battleship)

Capacitors when attached to lasers should in my opinion give out their maximum output rate until the capacitor is drained or the laser overheats.

Also for an interesting weakness, if a highly charged capacitor is damaged, it might explode with all the force of the energy inside, perhaps blowing up the whole ship it was on.

for this are the "trigger" signals.

attach cap to weapon, link weapon trigger to cap -> automatic overdrive when fired
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Re: Energy and Systems Management

#15
related stuff

Spoiler:      SHOW
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
Talvieno wrote: Let's say your weapons malfunction. This is important to know. Weapon jammed? Also important. Weapon destroyed? Very important. Shields idling at maximum? Important to conserve power, but not quite as important as your shields gone and armor failing. I suppose I should've said "critical".

However... it's worth noting that if you have a large battleship with 100+ hardpoints, that's going to be an absolute pain to fit on the screen at once. The bigger the ship, the harder to pilot because the HUD becomes messier? No thank you. Piloting a larger ship might take some juggling, but the difficulty should be in the piloting, not in the HUD.
if you have 100+ hardpoints its not that important which exact weapon failed.

a simple dot-bar-box graph could be very easily used for this
Image its pretty self explaining i guess.

the single dots represent single systems and the color represents the status of the system.

inside their box they could be sorted based on their type or systems group

this could also scale to very many systems, as you can simply make the boxes/dots smaller to fill the limited area

so you always have the amount of detail you need.

aboard a big battleship you dont need to know which status turret nr 234 has, but on a fighter it can be critical to know the status of your 5 weapons

Spoiler:      SHOW
Cornflakes_91 wrote:just recognised that i slightly missed the point ._.

im thinking about the HUD with my above suggestion, not the full hardpoint view.


i say hardpoints should be displayed on the ships holo view at the correct positions or at least some marker going from the hardpoint logo to the actual position
this markings should be colored akin to some filter (per default maybe damage status or something selectable by a dropbox or something)

to the side of that should be a hidable list view which is sorted by type of equipment, (weapons, engines etc) and in this sublist by the actual manufacture of the system (all mk3 plasma cannons in one bunch)

the dot graph could be in a corner of the screen, highlighting the system you click on on the graph, making finding damaged systems fast and easy

an image says more than a thousand words, so have 3003 words in form of pictures here
Image Image Image

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