1.6 Beta 2

New releases and announcements from George and the staff.
ahrenjb
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Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:08 pm

I actually had that same crash a couple of time in Beta 1, just didn't get around to reporting it. It does somehow seem to be related to the map, I got it once while traveling in the map screen and another time either opening or closing the map.

Vannor
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Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:22 am

Well, nothing urgent, as it doesn't affect gameplay at all, however now that the warpgates are bigger the Korolov freighters still seem to be aiming for the old warpgate size and spin around if they miss even though they are in a place they should be ok to jump out from.

Like I said, not important, but a little odd looking.

NMS
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Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:30 am

Removing the armory from Commonwealth fortresses is just as annoying as I anticipated. [Enter][V][Enter][Enter][V][Enter][Enter][V][Enter]...

And you can't buy ammo for weapons you don't have installed through dock services at all, unless they don't have weapons services.

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JohnBWatson
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Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:42 am

Removing the armory from Commonwealth fortresses is just as annoying as I anticipated. [Enter][V][Enter][Enter][V][Enter][Enter][V][Enter]...


Really? I prefer the new system quite a bit. Not as easy to sell their weapons to the Black Market, I suppose, but the Militia doesn't intend for you to do that. They sell you the weapons for you to use, so they set up their docks for that purpose. Better immersion that way.

NMS wrote:And you can't buy ammo for weapons you don't have installed through dock services at all, unless they don't have weapons services.


Can't you use commodities exchange? If I'm understanding you correctly, it seems to be working properly.

NMS
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Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:06 am

JohnBWatson wrote:Really? I prefer the new system quite a bit. Not as easy to sell their weapons to the Black Market, I suppose, but the Militia doesn't intend for you to do that. They sell you the weapons for you to use, so they set up their docks for that purpose. Better immersion that way.
Maybe, but from a gameplay standpoint, that cheap equipment is the reward for doing all their missions. The inconvenience and cost of installing and removing them isn't going to stop me from buying all the weapons and shields and at least some of the reactors. Armor and ammo, yes.
JohnBWatson wrote:Can't you use commodities exchange? If I'm understanding you correctly, it seems to be working properly.
Sure, but some stations (now including fortresses) only sell items through dock services. I'm not saying it's common, but I might want to stock up on Lucifers or buy Broadswords for resale even if I don't currently have a NAMI launcher.

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JohnBWatson
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Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:00 am

NMS wrote: Maybe, but from a gameplay standpoint, that cheap equipment is the reward for doing all their missions. The inconvenience and cost of installing and removing them isn't going to stop me from buying all the weapons and shields and at least some of the reactors. Armor and ammo, yes.
I thought the reward was Jenna and Rama, as well as the Military ROM, given that the player effectively has infinite money from St. Kat's onward. That's how I always played it, anyways.

A large part of the problem here is that missions only occasionally affect the system in a positive way. Destroying a station is beneficial to security, yes, but most missions just spawn in more enemies and have you kill them. Paths like the Fleet, Korolov, and the Militia would be a lot more enjoyable and worthwhile if the player's actions made a noticeable difference. Having militia craft patrol the systems for hostiles and decreasing the amount of enemy encounters after the situation has turned in the Militia's favor would make the militia quest-line much more worthwhile.
JohnBWatson wrote: Sure, but some stations (now including fortresses) only sell items through dock services. I'm not saying it's common, but I might want to stock up on Lucifers or buy Broadswords for resale even if I don't currently have a NAMI launcher.
Ah, I can see that. Fortresses and CSCs have no reason to offer you ammo you can't use, but other stations that sell ammo should certainly offer a commodities exchange.

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Shrike
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Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:04 pm

There is one major, major reason for allowing weapons to be purchased without installation.


The auton bay exists. And for people using it, they aren't just installing stuff on their own ship.



Getting guns for an auton swarm can be really tricky, and being forced to loot all of them doesn't help. Admittedly, most military weapons are too big for stock autons....but still.
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JohnBWatson
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Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:11 pm

Shrike wrote:There is one major, major reason for allowing weapons to be purchased without installation.


The auton bay exists. And for people using it, they aren't just installing stuff on their own ship.



Getting guns for an auton swarm can be really tricky, and being forced to loot all of them doesn't help. Admittedly, most military weapons are too big for stock autons....but still.
A good point. Perhaps the Armory should return.

But, in the spirit of Roguelikes, there should be some kind of Consequence for buying ludicrous amounts of weaponry with no intention of using it for system defense. Perhaps armory access should be limited, or selling military armament to the Black Market could have a chance of getting you caught.

A good system could be derived from UQM's slave trading. If you've sold any amount of Militia equipment to the Black Market:

"We've heard reports that you've been hanging around Black Market stations. Those parasites arm some of the most horrific criminals in the Ungoverned Territories, so it's best to stay away from them."

After you've sold 100,000 credits worth of armament:

"A few minutes ago we received confirmation that one of the weapons fielded by the Death Drug Cartel was registered as property of the Militia. Our database states that it was registered to you, [Militia rank] [name]. When military weapons aren't properly controlled, innocent lives are in danger, including those of your fellow militiamen."

After you've sold 250,000 credits worth of armament:

"It's now all but certain that you've been involved in funneling our weaponry to the Black Market. While Regulation 115 - C prohibits Militia stations from conducting trials for non - violent criminal offenses, you are officially dishonorably discharged from the Militia. We have confiscated your Military ID[, as well as all military grade equipment aboard your ship], and order you to proceed to the nearest Commonwealth station to be tried for high treason."

In addition, the next CW station the player docks with will try them for treason, with a conviction chance based on their BM rank.

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Shrike
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Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:28 pm

JohnBWatson wrote:
Shrike wrote:There is one major, major reason for allowing weapons to be purchased without installation.


The auton bay exists. And for people using it, they aren't just installing stuff on their own ship.



Getting guns for an auton swarm can be really tricky, and being forced to loot all of them doesn't help. Admittedly, most military weapons are too big for stock autons....but still.
A good point. Perhaps the Armory should return.

But, in the spirit of Roguelikes, there should be some kind of Consequence for buying ludicrous amounts of weaponry with no intention of using it for system defense. Perhaps armory access should be limited, or selling military armament to the Black Market could have a chance of getting you caught.

A good system could be derived from UQM's slave trading. If you've sold any amount of Militia equipment to the Black Market:

"We've heard reports that you've been hanging around Black Market stations. Those parasites arm some of the most horrific criminals in the Ungoverned Territories, so it's best to stay away from them."

After you've sold 100,000 credits worth of armament:

"A few minutes ago we received confirmation that one of the weapons fielded by the Death Drug Cartel was registered as property of the Militia. Our database states that it was registered to you, [Militia rank] [name]. When military weapons aren't properly controlled, innocent lives are in danger, including those of your fellow militiamen."

After you've sold 250,000 credits worth of armament:

"It's now all but certain that you've been involved in funneling our weaponry to the Black Market. While Regulation 115 - C prohibits Militia stations from conducting trials for non - violent criminal offenses, you are officially dishonorably discharged from the Militia. We have confiscated your Military ID[, as well as all military grade equipment aboard your ship], and order you to proceed to the nearest Commonwealth station to be tried for high treason."

In addition, the next CW station the player docks with will try them for treason, with a conviction chance based on their BM rank.
This would be reasonable. Although to be a bit more fair, maybe make it a little more complex:

When you start out, you have a % chance of suspicion. This is increased by each trade that you do. Each trade also rolls a check against this value. If it fails, we get called to the CO and get the "We're a bit concerned by your activities" warning the next time we dock at a militia station. From there, the system moves to the next stage.

When you're suspected of smuggling, there is a % chance of detection on each trade. It goes up each time you trade, and goes down temporarily if you perform a mission for the Black Market, or gain a rank. For each rank in the BM, you also get a small permanent decrease to detection chance (as the BM will cover for you......a little). If detected, punishment is a demotion from the militia, and if you're caught 3 times you lose your military ID and get blocked from further service. The BM also isn't happy with you because you messed up, and might give you a warning or demote you one rank. They won't kill you or throw you out though.


The downside to this (and your own system) is that items would need to be able to be flagged mid-game for their origin, unless you want to punish peeps universally for selling to the BM (which could be fair enough). This isn't supported right now, but could be very nice to support more detail in the future: having customs react diferently to looted goods than purchased ones, having companies get suspicious if stuff stolen from a destroyed corporate station turns up in your hold, etc. It's probably not an easy thing to code though.
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JohnBWatson
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Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:01 pm

Shrike wrote:
This would be reasonable. Although to be a bit more fair, maybe make it a little more complex:
The reason I structured it as I did was so that the slave freeing code could be reused as a base. I agree that it should optimally be more random than that.
When you start out, you have a % chance of suspicion. This is increased by each trade that you do. Each trade also rolls a check against this value. If it fails, we get called to the CO and get the "We're a bit concerned by your activities" warning the next time we dock at a militia station. From there, the system moves to the next stage.
I'm not quite sure what you're saying here.

A decent system, as I see it, would be to have 'suspicion', 'evidence', and 'value' be variables. Suspicion would go up whenever the player purchases more than one main weapon, more than one launcher, or more than [number of armor slots] armor segments per station. Every time the player makes a sale to the black market, multiply a random number from 0 to 1 by the profit on the sale, and multiply that by the suspicion factor. Add that number to 'evidence', and use that total for the method I described above. Value would be the Militia exp multiplied by the successful missions over failed missions, and would have a chance of reducing suspicion every time a mission was completed, and possibly a chance of giving the player a 'last chance' before being blacklisted.
When you're suspected of smuggling, there is a % chance of detection on each trade. It goes up each time you trade, and goes down temporarily if you perform a mission for the Black Market, or gain a rank. For each rank in the BM, you also get a small permanent decrease to detection chance (as the BM will cover for you......a little). If detected, punishment is a demotion from the militia, and if you're caught 3 times you lose your military ID and get blocked from further service. The BM also isn't happy with you because you messed up, and might give you a warning or demote you one rank. They won't kill you or throw you out though.
The Militia shouldn't be that forgiving of arming the people trying to kill them. Come to think of it, helping the Black Market should have some sort of gameplay consequence. Perhaps outlaw - aligned factions should get more prevalent and better armed as the Black Market grows in power?
The downside to this (and your own system) is that items would need to be able to be flagged mid-game for their origin, unless you want to punish peeps universally for selling to the BM (which could be fair enough). This isn't supported right now, but could be very nice to support more detail in the future: having customs react diferently to looted goods than purchased ones, having companies get suspicious if stuff stolen from a destroyed corporate station turns up in your hold, etc. It's probably not an easy thing to code though.
Give the item class a string value, "source". If the variable is blank upon transfer to a ship or station, set it to the name of the entity being looted or selling it.

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JohnBWatson
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Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:20 pm

I have identified the cause of the crashes. They are brought about when adding or removing an icon on the map.

PM
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Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:17 am

Found another possible bug: I cannot overwrite playerships if I include the Human Space library.
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AssumedPseudonym
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Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:06 am

 Found a bug, but I’m just going to drop it here until I’m sure it can be reproduced. I have Volkov as a wingman and have found his wife’s EI500. Trying to undock from it while he’s docked at it is causing my game to completely freeze. It doesn’t actually crash — no black sorry-for-the-inconvenience screen, no program-has-encountered-a-problem popup from Windows (or WINE, in my case), just… freeze. I wind up having to force quit the game. None of the mods I have loaded do anything to Korolov (unless Wolfy sneaked something into TSB I don’t know about).
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NMS
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Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:21 am

It seems like AI escorting behavior was changed in the beta as I suggested here: AI should stay closer to ships that they're escorting. Autons disengage more readily, which is nice. It also seems OK for Korolov freighter escorts.

The downside is with escorts that aren't much faster than the ships they're escorting, like Zulus and T31/55s. When they attempt to return to the freighter, it takes them a while. If they're attacked repeatedly, they'll oscillate back and forth some distance from the freighter, not fighting back much. Of course, AI can't do too much for Zulus; their equipment is utterly ineffective. Against the player, their only use is to make a suicidal all-out attack and hope it's enough of a distraction for the freighter to get away. The ideal behavior would include being able to fire at a target while moving in a different direction as I suggested here: AI should fire at targets of opportunity with primary weapons, but that might require a major AI rewrite. In the mean time, a few other things would help:
- Make Zulus faster or assign faster ships to escort fast freighters.
- Limit how frequently AI switches between fighting a target and returning to the ship it's escorting. (If this is how it worked before, then somewhere in between the old and new behavior might be better.)
- Keep the current behavior when attacked by AI, but go berserk and attack forever if attacked by the player.

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JohnBWatson
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Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:50 pm

NMS wrote:It seems like AI escorting behavior was changed in the beta as I suggested here: AI should stay closer to ships that they're escorting. Autons disengage more readily, which is nice. It also seems OK for Korolov freighter escorts.

The downside is with escorts that aren't much faster than the ships they're escorting, like Zulus and T31/55s. When they attempt to return to the freighter, it takes them a while. If they're attacked repeatedly, they'll oscillate back and forth some distance from the freighter, not fighting back much. Of course, AI can't do too much for Zulus; their equipment is utterly ineffective. Against the player, their only use is to make a suicidal all-out attack and hope it's enough of a distraction for the freighter to get away. The ideal behavior would include being able to fire at a target while moving in a different direction as I suggested here: AI should fire at targets of opportunity with primary weapons, but that might require a major AI rewrite. In the mean time, a few other things would help:
- Make Zulus faster or assign faster ships to escort fast freighters.
- Limit how frequently AI switches between fighting a target and returning to the ship it's escorting. (If this is how it worked before, then somewhere in between the old and new behavior might be better.)
- Keep the current behavior when attacked by AI, but go berserk and attack forever if attacked by the player.
A simple and reasonably elegant stopgap would be to have escorts attack any hostile that comes within a small radius (or attacks the freighter or its escorts), and return once it leaves a larger radius. If a ship that has been disengaged from attacks again, double the size of the larger radius when engaging that ship, and repeat the process as many times as it attacks and flees. This would also make for very human like behavior, responding to repeated attacks with increased fervor.

In addition, using a similar process for station defenders would fix quite a few problems.

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