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Varied Ship Materials for Different Races

#1
As the title suggests I was wondering if different races are going to use different materials as the main component in their ship designs, i.e. Race A uses iron to build their hull, support structures, and virtually everything important and Race B might use silicon.
Why this is relevant to gameplay: If you are a miner and you sell materials to factions it keeps the gameplay varied. If you can go from one location to another far distant location and both locations are going to require iron then all you really have to worry about is finding asteroids with iron in them. There is never any need to find another material to mine when iron is going to be so common throughout the universe (it has to be or every race would not be able to use it as their main building material).
Another added benefit is that if Race B uses silicon for their building materials then silicon must be common throughout that region of space. You can then mine silicon in region B and then (presumably) sell it at a higher price in region A where it is less common.

One other thing that I really want to know is if there are going to be any races that are going to use biomass for their space ships (assuming races use different materials). It can be a very small percentage but I think it could possibly add some nice variety to the game.

Also, I would love to have mirrors be an option if you can specify the look/color of your ship. I saw this in a movie or TV show and thought that this is a brilliant way to visibly cloak your ship in space. I think it would be great for pirates.
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Re: Varied Ship Materials for Different Races

#4
A "real" economy and faction-specific building materials would be great but how do you prevent it from breaking?

The flufferan faction spawns in a region of space where heavy metals are rare so they are kinda screwed when all their ships / weapons require large amounts of cobalt and they don't have the means to go / conquer places to fix that.

When trying to model many local economies on a large scale, the butterflies will kick your butt. =)
Some factions will quickly dominate because only they end up with the resources and resource requirements to build a powerful fleet - or trade for them with neighbors who don't have this option.

If you create an artificially stabilised economy, it's going to look a lot more like it's working but if you let the pendulum swing too far, you get complete stagnation like in X3 or all ELITE games.


You could, however, create equipment with material properties à la Dwarf Fortress. Iron armour has more tensile strength while rock / silicate based armour is better insulation against heat-based weapons like plasma or laser.
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
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Re: Varied Ship Materials for Different Races

#5
Gazz,
I was thinking that if a civilization lives in an area where cobalt is extremely rare then the race just uses a different material in their design. They are advanced races after all, so the design of a warp drive in low iron high titanium region of space is going to be different from the design of a warp drive in a low titanium, low silicon, high iron region of space. Basically races use what they have most of to build their structures (if life give you lemons and all that).
Furthermore the regions of high iron and low iron don't need to be next to one another. I was thinking of something like this:
Region
  • A >> B >> C >> D >> E >> F >> G >> H >> I >> J
Iron concentration
  • 10 - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5 - - - - - - - - - - - - -1
Silicon concentration
  • 1- - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5 - - - - - - - - - - - - 10
The concentrations of materials need to be far enough away that it if going to require a fair amount of work/time to trade between the two abundant regions. Also, the regions of the universe don't need to be divided evenly between 5-6 materials. 60% - 70% could be iron and the remaining 40% - 30% could be divided between 4-5 materials (and these don't need to be even either).
You could then buy blueprints that tell you the percent of each material needed to build the hull/warp drive/laser cannon/what ever makes sense. So in a iron rich region of space the components of a ship might be 60% iron, 10% titanium, 8% gold, 6% silicon, 6% copper, 5%, nickel, 5% lead. However, in a iron poor, titanium rich region the ship components might be 60% titanium, 10% iron, 8% gold, 6% silicon, 6% copper, 5% nickel, 5% lead. I am not suggesting that the different ship designs have any kind of stat changes because they are made of different materials (I think that would be a pain to balance). These different blueprint then allow you to build ships based on each races unique designs. (I don't know if that last sentence made sense. I am in a hurry and didn't really proof this post)
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Re: Varied Ship Materials for Different Races

#6
I LOVE this idea. I hadn't thought about that much, but it just makes sense. Why would you use something for your main material if it took more to get to it than it's worth? Plus, like mentioned previously, the game would get rather bland if it was all the same material.
"Though we've heard of the stupid haste in war, cleverness was never associated with long delays." -Sun Tzu
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Re: Varied Ship Materials for Different Races

#7
Sounds like my "procedural periodic table" idea. The short version is that various elements have different, known stats (strength, heat capacity, electrical conductivity, for example). These stats can even vary a bit between seeds. Raw materials can be combined in different ratios to form alloys that have modified stats. (example: iron has a strength of 5, carbon 3, but combined in a 80-20 to make steel with a strength of 30. Combined 95-3 with 2% nickel makes a steel with a strength of 40. It costs more to make, but may be worth it to some folk). Blueprints then take the material and make even more modification (armor plating with a steel strength of 30 is 300 hp, except a steel strength of 40 will be 400).
David -- Proud to be saving the world since 1984
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Re: Varied Ship Materials for Different Races

#8
sounds more complex than it should. sure i can see difrent systems ( therefore race i guess) using diffrent build materials ( you would use what youhave on hand) but delving into a complex and deep metelurgy (minigame i would call it) would as you say be expencive and very research and time consuming. granted developing the LT equivelent of Adamantium would definitly be worth it in the end. but tthere in lies the rub instezad of people marveling at the difrent races use of difrent metals and designs you instead have players on the quest of the fastest and most efficient path to the holy grail.

I hate to beat an old horse but ill again bring up one of my favorite games minecraft. startign out you begin literally smashing things with your fist with the end goel to (and i know theres no real 'end') is to obtain diamonds for endgame gear. and for the newb gettign those diamonds takes weeks. for a seasoned player however if you dont have a house a farm and full diamond in a few hours of play something is wrong. there are guides upon guides out there for skipping the intermediary stages of the game (or the bulk of the content) and jumping straight to the end. i cant tell you the last time i used anything but diamond for anything. in fact 3/4 of the content is disposable just for the fact its nether diamond nor helps me get more diamonds. and i fear this is where metallurgy tinkering would end up. yes its interesting and as a Min Maxer from way back id tell you id spend ages playing with just base metals lone looking for the most efficinet way to milk each point from my resources...the question is Is it fun? is in needed?

different races? sure. different ships and stations that reflect those races? a must have. a miguffin that drives new player to the proguids to skip 78% of the game? god i hope not.
If I've rambled and gone off topic im sorry but i tend to be long winded as you might notice if you stumble across my other post XD. thanks for reading.
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Re: Varied Ship Materials for Different Races

#9
Dadalos wrote:sounds more complex than it should. sure i can see difrent systems ( therefore race i guess) using diffrent build materials ( you would use what youhave on hand) but delving into a complex and deep metelurgy (minigame i would call it) would as you say be expencive and very research and time consuming. granted developing the LT equivelent of Adamantium would definitly be worth it in the end. but tthere in lies the rub instezad of people marveling at the difrent races use of difrent metals and designs you instead have players on the quest of the fastest and most efficient path to the holy grail.

I hate to beat an old horse but ill again bring up one of my favorite games minecraft. startign out you begin literally smashing things with your fist with the end goel to (and i know theres no real 'end') is to obtain diamonds for endgame gear. and for the newb gettign those diamonds takes weeks. for a seasoned player however if you dont have a house a farm and full diamond in a few hours of play something is wrong. there are guides upon guides out there for skipping the intermediary stages of the game (or the bulk of the content) and jumping straight to the end. i cant tell you the last time i used anything but diamond for anything. in fact 3/4 of the content is disposable just for the fact its nether diamond nor helps me get more diamonds. and i fear this is where metallurgy tinkering would end up. yes its interesting and as a Min Maxer from way back id tell you id spend ages playing with just base metals lone looking for the most efficinet way to milk each point from my resources...the question is Is it fun? is in needed?

different races? sure. different ships and stations that reflect those races? a must have. a miguffin that drives new player to the proguids to skip 78% of the game? god i hope not.
The only way I could really see this being a problem is if there is one alloy that truly outclasses all others in every way. As long as all the alloys have their Pros/Cons people won't be working towards one alloy and not needing/wanting any others. Each alloy could have a higher resistance to a certain type of damage (kinetic, explosive, thermal) causing you to change your alloys based on the main type of weaponry your enemies use. Some alloys could give you a higher highpoint total, some could weigh less, and some could be cheaper, thus causing you to change your alloys based on whether you need speed more or hitpoints, and you'd also have to worry about your budget. Of course the differences would have to be fairly substantial so your choices would have a larger impact on gameplay.
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Re: Varied Ship Materials for Different Races

#10
It still seems like an unneccessarily convoluted way to implement this feature. You assume that the player has production capabilities, which he might not have until rather late in the game, or, depending on preference and playstyle, not at all.
It also cuts directly into the capability range that shields and armor should have (resistance against weapon type X, general damage absorption capacity), in case they are implemented. I have no problems with blueprints of some kind of anti-projectile armor needing more tungsten carbide and the anti-laser variety needing more silicate. That simply means I need more of material X if I want to mass produce it.
What I have a problem with is the fiddly do-it-yourself approach used to implement it. Why should I have to fumble with ingredient ratios and reverse engineering of unrelated components?

Think of it from another players approach:
1. Problem: I keep getting my ass handed to me by faction X. X uses laser-based weaponry. I'll need more protection against that.
2. Solution: Get laser-resistant shields/armor/hull plating/whatever. Preferrably by, you know, actually BUYING it somewhere. Trading game and all, yo?

1. Problem: I want a tougher ship.
2. Solution: Get a stronger hull from the shipyard. Why is that one more expensive? Oh, I see. More hitpoints and resistances. Great. I'll take it. I also see you guys pay a pretty penny for diamonds and nickel, I think I've got a few tons left in my cargo hold. You know, you go make that hull, I'll get you some more of those while I wait.

The first thing you think about won't be "Geez, let me mine a few dozen asteroids for samples, then get a foundry/production station installed here, and then let's see whether we can make some decent armor plating. Oh, and reverse engineer a few salvaged armor plates for a general hint what goes into armor in the first place.", when all you want is to armor up your personal ship.

Again, I have no problems with using different materials for the actual production of stuff, as indicated by their blueprint. That's more or less expected, else ore demand would be pretty uniform overall, which is undesirable for economic reasons. But the basic reasoning behind manufacturing goods should still be that the refined product is worth more than the sum of it's raw materials, not because it's the shortcut to becoming a combat god.

Repeat after me - KISS. If manufacturing stuff in a space game required a doctorate in fictive experimental metallurgy, something is going very, very wrong in my eyes.
Hardenberg was my name
And Terra was my nation
Deep space is my dwelling place
The stars my destination
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Re: Varied Ship Materials for Different Races

#11
Hardenberg wrote:It still seems like an unneccessarily convoluted way to implement this feature.

Think of it from another players approach:
1. Problem: I keep getting my ass handed to me by faction X. X uses laser-based weaponry. I'll need more protection against that.
2. Solution: Get laser-resistant shields/armor/hull plating/whatever. Preferrably by, you know, actually BUYING it somewhere. Trading game and all, yo?

1. Problem: I want a tougher ship.
2. Solution: Get a stronger hull from the shipyard. Why is that one more expensive? Oh, I see. More hitpoints and resistances. Great. I'll take it. I also see you guys pay a pretty penny for diamonds and nickel, I think I've got a few tons left in my cargo hold. You know, you go make that hull, I'll get you some more of those while I wait.

Again, I have no problems with using different materials for the actual production of stuff, as indicated by their blueprint. That's more or less expected, else ore demand would be pretty uniform overall, which is undesirable for economic reasons. But the basic reasoning behind manufacturing goods should still be that the refined product is worth more than the sum of it's raw materials, not because it's the shortcut to becoming a combat god.

Repeat after me - KISS. If manufacturing stuff in a space game required a doctorate in fictive experimental metallurgy, something is going very, very wrong in my eyes.
+10 i have to say im right in the same thought process as you on this. (granted I would have a doctorate in fictive experimental metallurgy and not complain about it by the time it was over) I do want the player to have production capabilities. mostly because I plan on being a miner for 98% of my play through. and being able to mine refine and then actually make something would be very cool. (you figure refined ores would both be more valuable and take u a lot less room than their unrefined counterparts making transporting a lot more efficient if you can refine it as you go.)
If I've rambled and gone off topic im sorry but i tend to be long winded as you might notice if you stumble across my other post XD. thanks for reading.

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