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Re: Is this the right room for a jump gate?

#31
twitchYarby wrote:Possibly, for such systems, they manage the gate from a nearby space station. Such a circumstance does however present another excellent reason to maintain unmanned JGs. An unmanned JG is no longer strategically a target when trying to take control of it. Rather, the strategic target becomes where the key is. This prevents the gate (extremely valuable and sensitive piece of equipment) from taking damaged during a battle for it's control and being rendered useless to everyone until repaired.
Ah, I reckon that would be like trying to guard Fort Knox from a nearby house rather than the fort itself! It would be the important resource that is guarded, with whatever shielding necessary to protect the operators. The defensive armour/shielding of the gate would reflect its importance. Yes there's a risk of damage if attacked, but that should mean that most wannabe owners won't risk such an attack, instead using non-damaging means like sabotage/infiltration. Or if that's outwith the scope of the game, then we could just assume that attacking the gate complex enough to force a takeover won't damage the mechanism itself, just the defences. I see a key as nothing more than a travel pass - not an automatic "opener" but something that is automatically checked by the gate staff so as to skip a longer interaction. If they regard you as an enemy they'll deny you access and shoot, key or no. To do otherwise would allow a huge security weakness.
Yes, an Alcubierre drive requires exotic matter to function, but so do most theories for traversable wormholes. Alcubierre drives are not wormhole based, rather they create a localized spacetime distortion that propels the ship FTL by curving spacetime around it (inside the bubble you're motionless). Since all discussion of the science behind these phenomena is purely theoretical, we dont know yet what is possible.
Well, the Alcubierre drive works by shaping spacetime in a certain way. Stabilising a wormhole could only be done by shaping spacetime. That means if you have the technology to do one then you have it to do the other, though the energy budgets may be vastly different. BTW in Alcubierre, you're in free-fall, not motionless. The acceleration will depend on the degree of the shaping.
Also, since this is a game, he can define his own mechanics in which either/both are possible regardless of what current science states the energy cost will be.
True, but as it's a sci-fi game and not a fantasy one, I'd still advocate aspiring towards scientific rationalism rather than irrational "anything goes". That would mean an appropriate pseudo-science that justifies the game mechanics rather than using something more akin to magic. I reckon a "free energy" approach could lead to an unbalanced game anyway; if you have enough energy to do X (normally costly), then you could use the same energy to do Y, which could include destroying planets, galaxies, or pretty much anything that would make the game a bit pointless. If you can't, then the game is arbitrarily imposing inconsistent rules, at the risk of breaking immersion and challenge.
Wormholes shortcut through spacetime by traveling through other dimensions.The folding space description for wormholes is used only to help visualize that it's a shortcut, not as the basis of how one actually works.
Ah, no - the "classic" wormhole refers to 4D spacetime without any need for extra dimensions. It entails the topology of spacetime having loops whose spatial path is shorter than any alternatives. Of course if you DID use extra dimensions (e.g. M-Theory) you could have multidimensional wormholes too, but you probably wouldn't need to use them as you have access to multidimensional space with its own benefits anyway. An aside - I'm currently working on a multidimensional idea for hyperspace but not yet finished - keeping it rational AND balanced is a challenge!
In fact, the theories seem to read that if we could in fact get the math down to prove wormholes exist, then creating them would be theoretically possible, and if we had the math down to stabilize one then we could manufacture them
Yes - at vast energy cost. Think of a spacecraft with JD technology, with a spacetime shaping effect of, say 100m diameter. Then place one every 50m (allowing for overlap) for billions of kilometres so as to 'dig' a wormhole. Probably many more for stabilisiation too. How many would you need? That's the sort of energy budget we're talking, or maybe a few orders of magnitude more. And that assumes that spacetime is already so warped that your chosen path will be a short cut and not a long cut! If you can build that many ships with JDs, why would you ever bother with a wormhole? You could probably demand the leaders of the entire megacluster of galaxies prostrates themselves at your feet or you'll use your available energy to annihilate them! If you divert so far from rationalism, creating such wormholes & stargates is just like waving a magic wand. That isn't necessarily a reason not to (hey, it's not our game, we're just punting ideas), but it would be like making a game where there's a staircase to the Moon; it's a fantasy devoid of any attempt at rationalism, which sci-fi usually tries to have. Yes I know there are games out there which use such ideas and are fun, but I always regarded them as closer to fantasy than sci-fi and lack that 'realism' immersion. If there's a more immersive way of doing it, I'd advocate using that.

I'd suggest a better approach is one that doesn't really break current science including energy conservation, but uses the possibilities and vast gaps offered by speculative science, e.g. multidimensional spacetime could have mileage. There are all sorts of weird and wonderful hypotheses and research directions out there that could form a nucleus of an idea. As for lore, we would just base that around whatever mechanism is decided on. While lore is immersive, it would be based around the gameplay mechanism which itself would be based around the underlying idea, sci-fi or otherwise.

In any case, whatever JG idea is used would still mean using a region of space as an entry/exit point, likely enclosed by housing for whatever technology is used. A JG could be a large sphere with an entry and exit tunnel. Awaiting ships are guided through the entry tunnel to the interior of the sphere, where they form the package. Possibly an inner sphere forms the mechanism of the package itself, so is what does the travelling with the ships enclosed. This would work for a linear start/end topology, or even mith multiple branches and routes just like a railway network. When a package arrives, the ships are guided through the exit tunnel to the outside. All much like departure/arrivals at an airport or a ro-ro ferry. Thank you for travelling InterGate, have a nice day!
An interesting point i hadn't considered is that having the gates and controls separated, even accounting for a secure (possibly wormhole driven comm system) you could theoretically hack the gate controls and activate it yourself.
I don't know if LT has any hacking, but that idea (plus infiltration) could be useful for this and other areas. For example, your equipment could include a robotic infiltration team which includes hacking technology. If you can suppress a station or ship's defences, you can attach a probe which allows the infiltration team to enter. They try to take over the target, success depending on whatever game factors. That way you could potentially take over a station, JG or ship. Of course you'd have to have already battered down their defences to a level where you can attach the probe. That would get around the lack of boarding, as it's all done in an abstract way while you remain in your cockpit. You end up with a signal saying success or fail, and possibly a new vessel you can control. For a JG, that should likely be the only way you can gain access if you're refused. Plus, you still need to have access to the other end, assuming linear. You're not cracking a lock and sneaking in, you're invading the station and taking control of the systems.
No, they'd add mass compared to not having those sections at all. An empty section has more mass than a vacuum.
I was meaning large hollow sections where the ships would berth, thus in vacuum. I'm assuming all the berthed ships would have to be inside the ship in some kind of large hollow "parking garage" areas when the ship jumps.
It doesn't have to be - they could just attach to an open framework. The shape of structure is irrelevant as long as it does what it's meant to i.e. transport ships. However, enclosed and concave is probably more LT-engine friendly. An enclosed structure would presumably still be a vacuum - what would be the point of pressurising such a vast volume? I'm assuming that attaching a ship would still mean docking i.e. the crew could still reach the hab area with shops and services, albeit simulated in the game by menus.
The biggest difference i see is that container ships are designed to carry those tons in discrete units of identical dimensions whereas a ferry would need to carry a [profitable] number of ships of varying size and shape. This reduces usable space by introducing dead space around each ship. Energy price fluctuation is always relevant when discussing how profitable a vehicle is.
Just as it costs more per kg to ferry a car than transport a container, the ferries would adjust their prices to sustain demand and make a profit. If they can't, they just don't do that route. Energy use is proportional to mass, so any dead space would laregly be irrelevant as long as they can fit a full load on board that reaches the mass limit. A tonne of lead and a tonne of feathers would cost the same to transport in terms of energy. The only issue is that if ferry runs with a bulky load far below its mass limit, e.g it's full of feathers and only at 1% of mass limit, the charges should reflect that. That way if you have a bulky load that takes up the whole ferry, whether internal volume or external attachment points, you should probably pay the same as a full load of smaller ships. Or pro rata. Of course if you had such a load, you'd use a commercial freighter rather than a ferry as the pricing structure would be more suitable.
The key is designing a ferry that IS cheap enough to operate that profit can be found in the days of jump-capable ships. I did postulate: "Perhaps they filled the void when the technology was first invented and required truly massive engines, but as technology advanced, the JD would also become smaller, cheaper, faster, more efficient
Including JDs mounted on ferries. Thus they will always have the advantage of greater efficiency and economy of scale.
I do have to admit that getting away from drag does tend to remove the alot of the curve. This would indeed make sub-light drive fuel costs more proportional
The relativistic velocity relationship refers to a vacuum; the Lorentz curve refers to the inherent nature of spacetime, not drag.
but there's that little issue with increasing speed ... This basically states that, while mass causes a proportional energy increase, as speed increases, the energy required to increase speed further increases on a curve. Since travel through a wormhole is considered sub-light, the same principal applies as we theorize that spacetime follows the same rules inside the wormhole.
Exactly. That's why even using a wormhole would probbaly only be feasible with FTL traversal through it, unless its route happens to be very short - very unlikely. Fortunately the JG technology would almost certainly include the means of FTL traversal as it's the same tech that is used for stabilisation. That's why I refer to sending a package or bubble - a small managed region of flat spacetime that does the traversing. Alcubierre for wormholes, more or less.
Also consider that we are referring to circles and spheres.
No, as we're referring to a non-flat region of 4D spacetime. The geometry gets complicated. It would map to a 3D spheroidal region away from the mouth, though.
Either object experiences an exponential increase in surface area, and thus would require an exponential increase in energy usage to generate.
Hence the need to have a localised region of flat spacetime for the ships to reside - the package. The shape outwith that isn't important as long as it's stable and the package can traverse.
The only factor I can't seem to Wiki is energy cost versus distance, but Stargate (the only show to explain their wormhole theories adequately enough to somewhat understand it) does seem to postulate that increased distance causes a non-proportional energy increase.
LOL! I don't recommend Stargate as a basis for scientific calculation! The energy use could be approximated to the same as Alcubierre for traversal of the shortcut distance, though you'd also need to add the energy cost of continuous stabilisation. That's another region to use a package - full stabilisation is only necessary in the vicinity of the package, but ideally there's very little stabilisation required elsewhere including the mouths as there's no destabilising metric i.e. introduced matter. It's the idea that collapse only happens because of adding something, so it's only where that exists locally that stabilistion is required. The package would have a far destabilising effect too, but countering it would be minimal. I'd estimate Alcubierre requirements * 10, off the top of my head. If so, you're breaking even if the shortcut is 1/10 of the normal route, for all the ships in the package.
This is where we experience exponential increases in energy are required: the FTL more than the sub-light drive.
Which is why it very likely isn't possible at all in our own universe even if suitable exotic matter exists. FTL always requires taking major liberties of likelihood. However, that's still a better option than using the idea of magic!
I'm not certain about the wealthier of more cooperative
If we're not, it's unlikely we'll manage interstellar. Thankfully it is the overall trend since the last ice age (and quite possibly long before), albeit with major ups and downs. Arguably if the Romans hadn't triggered the Dark Ages we'd be reaching the nearest stars by now. Rationalism always seem to resurface and advance. However, that's just my opinion! ;)
physical trade would be the driving force of economy.
Like the present and future game, literature and music industry? :) I fail to see how physical interstellar trade could happen if there's no FTL, whereas information could be a very marketable commodity even over decades. Physical trade would be important locally, but not over vast distances. With FTL, though, that would change.
I dont think the isolation will be complete/long enough for that to occur
If we never have FTL, it will be long enough and the likelihood is that the genetic exchange would be so small that divergence would be the dominant trend. Plus, that only refers to two groups - there would likely be a diaspora spreading out from the centre. How would one edge exchange genes with an opposite edge? As colonies mature it would be an irrelevant trickle at most.
Yes, everything gets cheaper as production is streamlined. As for AI carrying out the construction, that is possible to a point, but with something as intricate as a JG, some of the work would require humans to perform.
I don't see that it would necessarily be intricate - just very energy hungry. In any case, why would robots be incapable of intricacy?
The reason you don't see many civilian ships with reactors is the need for specialized crew to run and maintain them coupled with the issues associated with getting permission from regulating authorities
That's part of the reason, but they are much more expensive to run anyway. I agree there's no ecomomy of scale, but the overhead of handling it far outweighs the raw cost of the fuel, unlike hydrocarbons at present. Of course hydrocarbons have their own problems and will likely be largely replaced some time in the future. I suspect we'll get so good at central generation and storage (various technologies) that most future vehicles will be based around rechargeable energy storage devices, with the exception of upper atmosphere and spaceflight which need reaction mass.
The reason the USS Kitty Hawk stayed commissioned for so long was that Japan wouldn't allow us to operate nuclear carriers in their waters, and the US Navy has accumulated over 5,400 "reactor years" of accident-free experience and NEVER had a nuclear related accident
Well, you can understand Japan being a bit more sensitive than most, and recent events only feed into that. While most western countries have a good safety record, others don't so there's always a concern about the inherent risks. Also if you make rules you have to apply them evenly or face a diplomatic backlash. There is a certain irony that a technology that removes the need for refuelling actually prevents the possibility of refuelling! The limits of currently known reserves of uranium likely mean it won't be a technology that vastly expands, especially having to compete with public central generation if carbon-based is scaled back before new technologies can come on line. Where's my tokamak?!?
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Re: Is this the right room for a jump gate?

#32
DWMagus wrote:When you start dealing with in-system jumps, there's nothing stopping you from warping in a fleet a few AU from a planet (far enough from where you would be detected/seen/pursued) in even a secure system, amassing your entire fleet... And then suddenly you're at the doorstep of a capital planet, bombarding it, then jumping away again.
If such jumps are limited to lagrangian points, then that would be a major restriction. Defenders would have time to organise, assuming they're aware of enemies in the system. A further restriction could apply to size of ship using the lagrangians, ruling out caps.
This also makes blockading a system for tactical reasons damn near impossible.
Well, blockading should be hard - you need enough ships to enforce one. You'll have the dilemma of concentrating them near the blockaded object so as to concentrate fire, or dispersing so as to have more reaction time to catch interlopers. It's a trade-off. What other way should it be? If you could enforce a blockade with a single ship, there's something wrong with the game mechanics.
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Re: Is this the right room for a jump gate?

#33
Alright, then I pose this question to (mostly) JabbleWok, twitchYarby, and especially Gazz;

Utilizing the ideas mentioned, and being able to jump in and out of system at pretty much anywhere, how would you go about blockading a system? A siege is a valuable military tactic and I'm curious as to how you all would solve that issue.

I do agree though, one should NOT be able to blockade a system with a single ship or a small number of ships. Something would be very wrong indeed.
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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: Is this the right room for a jump gate?

#34
DWMagus wrote:Utilizing the ideas mentioned, and being able to jump in and out of system at pretty much anywhere, how would you go about blockading a system? A siege is a valuable military tactic and I'm curious as to how you all would solve that issue.
That will depend what you're blockading it from; the requirements to stop smugglers will be very different from stopping a battle fleet.

For a start, probably the most important component is enough scanner ability to detect anything entering the system. Whether this is one ship with a system-wide scan ability or a number of roving scouts with shorter range gear will depend on the techs available.

Once you detect your interloper, then you have to deal with it. If it's a fast smuggler, then you either need a faster ship to catch it or enough well-placed ships to intercept it. If it's a slow gunboat then you need a bigger one (or several) to stop it. If you're expecting caps then have more caps at your disposal.

If the system is fairly isolated, then you might know that only a few types of ships will have the ability to reach it, so prepare for those. If there's a JG, control it. If there's a ferry port, shut down its operation. Are you blockading one particular planet in that system? If so concentrate your forces around it with a few dispersed scouts for detetection.

Really, there is no one single solution to enact a blockade, and a 100% effective seal is probably impossible anyway. You just have to be prepared for what you're likely to encounter, and that may vary significantly as the game develops.
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Re: Is this the right room for a jump gate?

#35
Obviously we're talking point-to-point jumps here because blockading a single jump gate is not rocket science.


To still make a solid two-way blockade possible, both start and destination location of the jump must be limited.
Say, 1000 km from planets or whatever makes sense.
Stations may need a no-jump zone, too. Just not as large.
Otherwise you would have no way to prevent anyone from jumping out.

You wouldn't be able to close off a patch of vacuum somewhere out there but no one said it would be easy. =)


The other thing is travel time.
If you cannot intercept potential blockade runners, you have to physically surround the object in question. With a planet, this would be silly.
Jump travel time prevents the attacker from pulling a rabbit-and-hedgehog on the blocking force and gives the blocking force a chance to redeploy to head off intruders.
You'd still need a lot of ships to completely blockade a planet but you wouldn't need a solid wall of hulls around it...

Travel time would also be important to avoid exploits.
There is a wing of 20 fighters bearing down on me.
I jump the battleship Windshield Of Doom 50m in front of them and watch the *splat**splat**splat**splat**splat*...

If the destination formed as a jump anomaly first, the fighters would evade that. This avoids gamey deaths - both intentional and accidental. =)
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
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Re: Is this the right room for a jump gate?

#36
If you have a JD ship in the outer jump-friendly zone, then you should be able to jump to any other part of that zone. This would be very useful if an interloper jumps in or a fast ship is making a breakout.

I'm not sure how the game would let you do that in terms of choosing a destination - maybe display a sphere and allow you to pick a destination anywhere on it. That could be a useful way of picking a jump destination at a far system as well. If all the system's items of interest (e.g. planets) are on a plane, then a circle could work as a compromise.

Similarly if lagrangian jumps are allowed for some ships, then you could park blocking and/or chase ships at one of them at least.
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Re: Is this the right room for a jump gate?

#37
I love the idea of Jump-Gates and beacons, however instead of using two jumpgates for any jump, I would like to suggest another approach.

A player with a Jump Drive enabled ship would be able to jump towards any location at a far increased speed, however coming out of the faster speed state would be difficult without use of a Jump-Beacon. A jump beacon would allow the exit of the faster speed state with a far higher probability of exiting safely next to the Jump-Beacon. This system would allow for players to exit the faster travel state (for this case I will call it hyperspace), using skill and guess work to calculate where the ship could come out of hyperspace.

It would also for sensible progression of equipment.

Ships
- Jump Drives (to speed up reaching hyperspace)
- Jump Stabilisers (to allow you to more quickly and accurately leave hyperspace).

Infrastructure
- Jump Beacons (build or disable, changing the way that you can move around the system).

The avantage of this approach is it would allow for navigation to new uncharted systems and would make a nice progression of technology that would really affect gameplay as finances and priorities shift throughout the game.
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Re: Is this the right room for a jump gate?

#39
A player with a Jump Drive enabled ship would be able to jump towards any location at a far increased speed, however coming out of the faster speed state would be difficult without use of a Jump-Beacon. A jump beacon would allow the exit of the faster speed state with a far higher probability of exiting safely next to the Jump-Beacon. This system would allow for players to exit the faster travel state (for this case I will call it hyperspace), using skill and guess work to calculate where the ship could come out of hyperspace.
Would be somewhat pointless - as all solar systems are basically "rooms", and not all that large (Josh already mentioned Freelancer as an inspiration for the expected "size" of systems), miscalculation of the destination would be a minor inconvenience at best, but no limiting factor in itself.


I'm almost tempted to suggest adapting EVE's jump system. Jump drives are large and inconvenient contraptions, jump fuel is comparably expensive and not that easy to obtain, in order to jump you need to establish a beacon at the destination...
...and, most important: jump beacons are visible for EVERYONE. And any ship with a jump drive can use it as destination. Really, it's like ringing a dinner bell. It attracts a lot of attention and can only be sensibly used in systems that are either friendly, or where you have space superiority. To make things worse, the beacon itself prevents cloaking, and the ship carrying the beacon is rather small and fragile.

Let's also assume that the beacon consume fuel (same as the jumpdrive, to keep things simple) to prevent it from running all the time, and that the jump drive requires some warmup time depending on the distance to the destination.


That's a lot of things to play around with. Basically, we want to avoid the players and NPC to make large fleets appear out of nowhere right next to your doorstep, but at the same time, the technology should be useful to bridge large distances and get your other ships somewhere else quickly. Hence, the player can only go where he has been before (as he needs a ship at the destination), and if he lights up the beacon with hostiles nearby, said ship is likely to face stiff opposition long before the jump can be made.
If he already bombed the opposing forces into submission, I see very little reason for not letting him use the drive nearby. However, hostile reinforcements might be able to use his beacon against him, if they're able to jump reinforcements in before the player shuts the beacon off again; if they're closer than the player's jump ship, they would be able to make the jump before him.

Interdiction/Denial? Blow the ship with the beacon up, you simply can't miss it when it lights up. Can't muster enough forces to do so? Too bad.
What about a jump interdiction system of sorts? In unoccupied and allied systems you can jump where ever you want but if you want to jump to a hostile area without the correct "key" the interdiction system would rip you to pieces so the jump self aborts. No the JIS is in no way related to the teraport denial system.
For the books, I'm against a magic "no jumpdrives allowed" field that's integral to a station or ship. If you really think hard about it, there would be absolutely no reason NOT to plaster every inch of your sphere of influence with one, especially since knowing the key makes it non-existant for your own ships.
Nice plot device for a story about stolen keys, but works too well in implementation.
Hardenberg was my name
And Terra was my nation
Deep space is my dwelling place
The stars my destination
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Re: Is this the right room for a jump gate?

#40
Hardenberg, I'm glad you commented on this. You seem to have ideas that I can plausibly see working to appease both parties in the argument.

Everyone usually takes a look at things like blockades from the point of view of the person in the ship trying to run the blockade. Most arguments I'm hearing make it seem like it will be relatively easy to do.

However, it goes both ways. If it really is that easy to do, then why would a player even try to construct a blockade?

We need to keep in mind that in this game, we are both the aggressor and insulator, and thus we need to realize that anything that can be exploited in our favor will also be exploited by the AI. If not, then that just cheapens the experience.
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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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NAVIGABLE HYPERSPACE

#41
There's a lot up in the air about the nature of fast travel (jump drives = JDs, jump gates = JGs) and the ability to mount and run blockades. A recurring theme is the role of beacons to enable jumps. One way that might work is to have a flyable hyperspace with guidance beacons.

For this I'm suggesting a lore of multi-dimensional space, and the usable hyperspace is an 'alt' spacetime which maps to regular spacetime. The two are separated by one or more extra dimensions which remain imperceptible to the player. Conditions between the two spacetimes are constantly shifting, so careful navigation is needed. For this, I'm throwing out the idea of wormholes and of FTL travel limited to 'normal' spacetime. I'm trying to keep the best ideas from earlier and work them into a more flexible system.


Hyperspace as a flyable region.

Fast travel is by JGs and JDs, both of which enable the player to enter and exit hyperspace. Regular control of this is by beacon, whose function is essentially half lighthouse, half air traffic control. Each developed system would have at least one beacon enabling and controlling regular travel. A beacon would transmit in both normal space and hyperspace, and control navigation to and from each. A compatible ship would need a) a JD, b) a Beacon Transponder/Communicator (BTC) and c) a hyperspace-compatible Nav system.

To jump to hyperspace, the player flies to a suitable jump-friendly region and uses the BTC to request a jump. Assuming permitted (as would be normal), the BTC enables the ships JD + Nav system (provides up-to-date low level nav data) , and the jump happens. The player is now in hyperspace, a flyable region, maybe with different physics. Hyperspace behaves a little like a 'shrunken' version of normal space, where distances are far less and nearby stars can be flown to in reasonable timescales.

Jumping can only happen from/to the extremities of a system, far up the gravity well, i.e. far from planet space. This would prevent massive battle fleets suddenly jumping in and destroying installations before a defence can be mounted.


Jump Drives and Beacons

In hyperspace, a number of beacons should be visible, each revealing the location of a 'normal space' beacon. Normally these would be located in star systems, though some could be in "rooms" representing other features such as wandering planets or deep-space facilities.

To travel to such a system, the player simply flies towards its beacon. Possibly the BTC + Nav can enable an autopilot. Each beacon will have a unique ID for navigation, and could appear in the HUD or Nav map with the name of the system for convenience.

On reaching a minimum distance of the destination beacon, the player then uses the BTC to request a "drop down" to normal space. Assuming permitted, the JD + Nav makes the ship "drop down" so it reappears in normal space. Most likely you should be charged for such use of a beacon, though there may be multi-use deals available.


Fuel Use

Unlike normal space, going up to hyperspace costs fuel, flying in it costs fuel, and dropping back down costs fuel. Plan ahead. Bring enough. If you fail to, you'll be stranded and need rescued. Possible niche for a costly recovery service. You'll also be vulnerable to pirates, though it's debatable whether they or the recovery companies are the bigger sharks. Moral hazard. If in doubt, just use a JG or ferry. For handsome profits, pursue a career as a pirate or recovery service.


Jumping without Beacons

To fly without permission should be more difficult and need specialist equipment, always expensive and likely illegal in certain systems. Such equipment should allow you to enter hyperspace without a beacon, but you may sustain damage to your ship. There should also be a risk that you will appear some distance from where you want, and that dropping down takes you to empty space. This would allow the player to try to find rumoured systems without beacons, assuming they think the risks are worth it.


Timed keys

These are devices which enable your Nav system to take you in and out of hyperspace at little or no risk, but only for a single entry/exit and for a limited recommended time. After that time the dangers steadily increase back to normal, as the shifting conditions makes the contained nav information useless. They will also be illegal in various systems, but would be common as part of shady contracts e.g. a number of keys would be used to pick up a cargo and deliver it elsewhere, all before a certain date. Dodgy traders will sell them, and it may be possible to buy the specialist equipment that creates them by flying the route in question. It would be wise to not act on a rumour unless an associated key is available, though they will usually have a high price and even then there's no guarantee it's not a trap or scam.


Jump Gates

This is more like a railway service that uses hyperspace as its medium. It uses large automated containers that travel predefined routes using dedicated beacons, including branching. They are incapable of navigating elsewhere. There are little or no on-board services, though faster express containers with more services may be possible, at greater cost. They run to regular schedules, which would be frequent along busy routes. Perhaps delays could be caused by adverse conditions, such as the wrong type of cosmic radiation :D

You turn up to a JG, buy passage, and enter. Most likely it's a large box with an entry and exit tunnel. After entry you are contained within, and at the sceduled time it sets off up to hyperspace. It continues along its path automatically until it drops down at the far end. The junctions may be located at star systems or deep space, and your ticket may allow you to drop down at one and resume later. In other words you can buy single journey tickets (which may be direct or via junctions), or multiple journey tickets including stops.

If you take control of a JG, it becomes unusable unless you can take control of the beacons along its route and the JG at the far end. Or do a deal with whoever controls them. Controlling a single JG allows you to remove that node from the network, useful for blockades.

A JG may be owned by a different corporation than the one that controls the system, but they would have a working relationship. This could include a form of dual control where the system corp can 'switch off' the JG if it chooses (either switch off its dedicated beacon or the to/from hyperspace ability of the JG itself). This would allow JGs to be owned by network corporations, and blockading a system would not necessarily block the route that passes through it. Bypass only. Different network corporations would need to cooperate so as to enable travel between their networks. Lots of room for deals to be made and bottlenecks to be caused.


Ferries

These are a bit like JGs, but there are differences. Essentially they are huge container vessels with their own JDs and Nav which ply popular routes. Usually they will be faster than JGs and their range is greater, but they're more expensive and run less frequently. Exceptions will be backwater routes with no competition where ancient clapped out vessels can still make a profit. They have far more on-board services than JGs, and their bars and message boards are a place to hear rumours and pick up contracts. Essentially they are travelling space stations. They navigate by using dedicated beacons at ferry ports.

To travel, you turn up to a ferry port - itself a space station - and buy passage. When the ferry is docked, all waiting ships will board (prumably via menu) and the ferry sets off. At the far end, your ship simply disembarks. You could help seal off a system by shutting down its ferry port (takeover or beacon switchoff), or even taking over the ferries themselves.


In-System Jumps

None! Well, almost. Having thought about this, especially in terms of blockades and running, I reckon they're probably a bad idea. Just use accelerated time if you want faster gameplay.

The exception would be jumping from one extremity of the system to another, using the normal beacon mechanism. This would allow those controlling the system to quickly move a blockading force from one side to another, if trying to chase down blockade runners. This means that the arrival point of a hyperspace drop down should be selectable in the local system map.


Blockades

Enforcing: Have scanners that can cover the system. Include searches for illicit beacons, however briefly they operate. Carefully check the IDs of friendly ships in case of forgery. Control the beacons for normal nav, JG and ferries. Have a JD-equipped force to cover the system extremities, and fast chase ships for further in. Have enough firepower to deal with whatever you're expecting.

Breaking: Have a larger battlefleet than the blockaders, and a timed key for entry. Or use a fast ship and a timed key, and hope to outrun the blockaders. Or use stealth and try to avoid being detected. Or try to forge the ID of a blockader-friendly ship. Or do all of this without a timed key and accept the risk of damage/getting lost. Or arrange for an insider to broadcast a beacon, though this would obviously alert the blockaders who would try to destroy it. Minimise the risk by arranging only a brief transmit at a given time, in the hope it's not noticed.


Alternatives

Multiple hyperspaces! Different spacetime regions each of which map to normal space in some way. Or maybe which map to different hyperspaces in some way, e.g. to further enable travel over vast distances.

'Common' hyperspace would be as above, while other hyperspaces would need more specialised (and expensive) equipment to reach and navigate. Some factions may try to remain hidden in normal hyperspace, destroying any beacons that would reveal them, but would use one of the harder-to-reach hyperspaces for their beacons. They may even run parallel JG and ferry systems for exclusive use of themselves, much like hidden railway tunnels and 'false front' airlines.

Some of the mapping may not have the same cartesian relationship i.e. the positions would be different. This means that some very distant stars may be much closer, whereas some nearby ones would be further afield. Clearly this would need a consistent procedural-friendly transformation, and take into account sensible limitations so as to not break the engine.

A parallel would be the radio spectrum where most broadcasts are within a few bands, but further bands are used by restricted services using specialist equipment. Picking up a signal in one may direct you to another.
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Re: Is this the right room for a jump gate?

#42
OK, so this reply will be in several parts posted as I finish each piece.
DWMagus wrote:Alright, then I pose this question to (mostly) JabbleWok, twitchYarby, and especially Gazz;

Utilizing the ideas mentioned, and being able to jump in and out of system at pretty much anywhere, how would you go about blockading a system? A siege is a valuable military tactic and I'm curious as to how you all would solve that issue.

I do agree though, one should NOT be able to blockade a system with a single ship or a small number of ships. Something would be very wrong indeed.
[disclaimer]In this reply I discuss pure Newtonian concepts. I am aware the game is not pure Newtonian.[/disclaimer]
I disagree with the ability to jump in and out pretty much anywhere. I've always felt the best method is limiting jump capability to specific regions/points within a system. That said, blockades in Newtonian space are impractical and borderline impossible as you need enough ships in the blockade to cover 4πr² km of space and these ships will be at zero relative velocity to the runner meaning. You could implement a shifting blockade with fewer ships, but then your blockade has gaps and your ships expend more energy maneuvering. The problem of zero relative velocity when guarding the jump point is you will only have a short (<1sec) period in which your weapons will be in range then you'll need to turn and chase. This is not so much a problem when blockading a planet as the runner needs to slow down to enter the atmosphere, but you still need enough ships to ensure they don't sneak through a gap. When you know generally where the opponent will be coming from however, you can simply place your fleets at strategic points throughout the system and have plenty of time to intercept them before they get to their target. this allows you to cover more targets with fewer ships.
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Re: Is this the right room for a jump gate?

#43
@Jambo
The biggest issue I have with your idea is that requiring jump beacons or extremely expensive equipment to successfully jump severely limits a players freedom of exploration. With this method I have to grind to get enough cash to actually do what I want to be able to do (explore) in this game. You just made it SIGNIFICANTLY more annoying to play as i hate grinding for anything. This is the same reason I oppose ANY suggestion that jump capability be so expensive. I do, however, balance this by limiting JDs to near systems only. Perhaps a compromise could be that a more expensive JD exists with better range, but dont make me have to spend a small fortune just to be ABLE to explore.

@Quantimo
Why introduce another device/mechanic into the game when it's more sensible to just limit the entry and exit points of JDs.

@Hardenberg
Large inconvenient, expensive to operate systems impose alot of limits. I thought the whole concept of limit theory was overcoming limitations, not imposing them. I find the discussion about fuel pointless, we're most likely dealing with fusion, matter/antimatter, or something even more advanced for power generation. Either on of these cases fuel is cheap (especially fusion since it's fuel is the most common element in the universe). It's not like we're dealing with mechanical or chemical drive systems, so whatever we ARE dealing with will use electricity as it's energy source. At this point I feel we should move beyond discussing fuel at all.
As for requiring beacons and making them visible to EVERYONE... First, you're introducing more limits. Second, if jumping requires beacons then how do I explore new systems? The issue I see with this system is that it seems to have been designed around a universe where you can only go where the designers want you to (aka what systems they've designed). This limiting factor does not apply here as the entire universe has been generated versus a limited selection of systems that players can access. Also, how can I effectively exploit the resources of this system i just discovered without risking someone bringing a huge fleet and stealing it from me if these beacons are visible to everyone? I cant.
The KEY component of JD tech as i see it should be the ability to go ANYWHERE eventually. JGs are destination limited by design, but allow for travel beyond the range of a JD. JDs have more limited range (nearby systems), but travel cannot be blocked/regulated like with JGs. Here, if you want to reach a system, but they wont let you gate there, you could take the long way by JD. Freedom.
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Re: Is this the right room for a jump gate?

#44
twitchYarby wrote: As for requiring beacons and making them visible to EVERYONE... First, you're introducing more limits. Second, if jumping requires beacons then how do I explore new systems?
With the flyable hyperspace & beacons idea, you can still explore but there are risks you should prepare for. The more equipment you have the better prepared you'll be. Just like in the days when caravels first made their way down the African coast - the well prepared explorers will fare better than those who are not. Perhaps something worth having would be the ability to slowly recharge the fuel/energy used for jumps, even from empty space or hyperspace. More expensive kit for the determined explorer. Auto repair should be recommended too. Of course, such equipment should not work too quickly, as smooth-running exploration should not be taken for granted.
The KEY component of JD tech as i see it should be the ability to go ANYWHERE eventually.
I agree, though it should never be completely risk free, and explorers should be prepared for that.
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Re: Is this the right room for a jump gate?

#45
Large inconvenient, expensive to operate systems impose alot of limits. I thought the whole concept of limit theory was overcoming limitations, not imposing them. I find the discussion about fuel pointless, we're most likely dealing with fusion, matter/antimatter, or something even more advanced for power generation. Either on of these cases fuel is cheap (especially fusion since it's fuel is the most common element in the universe). It's not like we're dealing with mechanical or chemical drive systems, so whatever we ARE dealing with will use electricity as it's energy source. At this point I feel we should move beyond discussing fuel at all.
As for requiring beacons and making them visible to EVERYONE... First, you're introducing more limits.
Let me bring you up to scratch on a few basics here...
Word of Josh is that each solar system exists as a "room", with the normal "doors" being Jumpgates (artificially made) and Wormholes (natural phenomenon). As such, the normal way of exploration would be to merely use these doors to go to the next unknown system.
The "Jumpdrive" we speak of in the latter part of the thread is designed to overcome this limitation, at a price. It's a fast-travel system designed to bridge vast distances, going directly from A to Z instead of taking the scenic route of A to B to C etc.

As such, YES, we're imposing limits here, since the jumpdrive is designed to circumvent normal travel mechanics. This must come at a price. Take also note that fuel consumption as proposed here is for the Jumpdrive ONLY. Normal space travel as well as using the jumpgates and wormholes doesn't use fuel. Tearing the fabric of space a new one, however, needs a limiting factor, else the jumpgates and wormholes will become useless and obsolete.
Second, if jumping requires beacons then how do I explore new systems? The issue I see with this system is that it seems to have been designed around a universe where you can only go where the designers want you to (aka what systems they've designed). This limiting factor does not apply here as the entire universe has been generated versus a limited selection of systems that players can access. Also, how can I effectively exploit the resources of this system i just discovered without risking someone bringing a huge fleet and stealing it from me if these beacons are visible to everyone? I cant.
The KEY component of JD tech as i see it should be the ability to go ANYWHERE eventually. JGs are destination limited by design, but allow for travel beyond the range of a JD. JDs have more limited range (nearby systems), but travel cannot be blocked/regulated like with JGs. Here, if you want to reach a system, but they wont let you gate there, you could take the long way by JD. Freedom.
And again: The Jumpdrive isn't designed to be an exploration tool. Exploration follows the jumpgate and wormhole network, as does the actual system generation. Unless Josh wants to change that, that's the principle the universe runs on. I'm merely proposing a fast-travel system that keeps backtracking from becoming a total PITA while still allowing normal trade flow through the gate network. The Jumpdrive is optional, since you can always take the scenic route, but obviously getting back to where you were two days ago and build your first factories shouldn't take another two days. By making it attached to a few limitations, it's kept from screwing up the local economy. (X's jump capable trader script V3 says hello, as that one was constantly (ab)using a jump drive and would outperform even a player who was trading manually.)

I see no problems with the limitations proposed here, but you're free to design and propose an alternative system.
Hyperspace as a flyable region.
As much as I'd like to see that, I'm not sure if it's feasible, given the technical limitations (each solar system being a distinctive "room"). You would need to design the navigable hyperspace as yet another room/"solar system", which wouldn't really work with a potentially unlimited number of systems which need to be represented within said room.
You could divide it into distinctive quadrants (basically, "local" areas of hyperspace) with additional connections in between each other, but since the game generates systems on the fly from the seed, the rooms that represent the quadrants need to be rather flexible.
It would basically require the equivalent of new planets constantly popping up in a preexisting solar system (in case of each system being generated once you enter it via "normal" means), OR require the generation of a very large number of systems at once (i.e., all of the systems of a "new" hyperspace quadrant), and might tax the engine beyond its intended limits. We'll have to ask Josh whether the idea is technically feasible.
Hardenberg was my name
And Terra was my nation
Deep space is my dwelling place
The stars my destination

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