Looking for comment/suggestions: Tinker redevelopment WIP

Post ideas & suggestions you have pertaining to the game here.
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Song
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Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:17 am

Intro/About

So it's been maybe a year since I first looked at revamping the Tinkers in vanilla. Things didn't go very well IRL so I stopped work on my prototypes. But I'm coming back to it and starting to write up my rough suggestions for comment before I work on prototyping them further.

Tinkers at present are a bit iffy: a lot of their crafting doesn't really work out as worthwhile, and some of it is fairly boring. I'd like to rework the crafting recipes entirely along the lines of making unique items based on existing tech, rather than crafting enhanced versions of store items. In addition, crafting enhancement items...so you can make nice custom gear without locking yourself away from enhancements unless you choose to add one yourself.

I need feedback and suggestions to move on with this project to turn it into a full proposal (which it is not, as of right now. It's not finished after all). So, here's what I'm planning to suggest as of now. I'll update with edits as required, and annotate in replies when I do so. :)



Laser and particle weapons


First off, I propose removing the omnidirectional X-ray laser from the tinkers and placing it (and a single X-ray laser, based at Level 4) in the standard Bushido lineup. This improves the lineup of vanilla omni weaponry (though balancing it for commercial sale might mean a fairly high price or rarity value). It also leaves room for the following:

Sidemount/secondary weapons

Side-mounted laser cannon: Level 1, rare, single-slot. Uses the standard linked-fire sidemount system. Not overly useful, but can be a boost to firepower and a useful system for NPCs.

Side-mounted turbolaser cannon: Level 3, rare, single-slot. An extremely useful item, but fragile like all sidemounts. This is the most popular sidemount in SM&M++

Side-mounted particle beam weapon: Level 4, rare, single slot. Not tested as it isn't in SM&M++....but I think it should balance like the other guns fairly well.

Primary weapons

Quadruple laser cannon: Level 3, might be worth having as a VeryRare rather than NotRandom. 2 slots. Effectively on-par with a dual turbolaser cannon. Not overly amazing, but a nice flavor-gun. Crafted with 6 standard lasers in SM&M++

Quadruple turbolaser cannon: Level 4. 2 slot. On par with dual X-ray. Crafted with six turbolasers in SM&M++. A very, very competitive gun for ships like the Wolfen

Quadruple Particle beam weapon: Level 5. 2 slot. Does not exist in SM&M++. Preferable to a quadruple X-ray cannon as even if we add the single X-ray laser you'll never find six of them in time.



A note on quadruple weapons

Quadruple weapons have roughly the same spread as a dual weapon, with two closely-grouped shots on each side. Thus for damage calculations they're probably twice as effective as a dual weapon (although there are cases where a quadruple VS a dual weapon, each with the same total damage, will differ between the two guns). They use the configuration:

Code: Select all

                       <Configuration aimTolerance="5">
				<Shot posAngle="90" posRadius="10"/>
				<Shot posAngle="270" posRadius="10"/>
				<Shot posAngle="90" posRadius="5"/>
				<Shot posAngle="270" posRadius="5"/>
			</Configuration>
Matter weapons

This is still something of a work in progress, so things may change. None of these have been trialed in SM&M++ except for the Mark I sidemount and the dual Mark I (and the stock dual Mark III)

Secondary weapons

Side-mounted AK15 Partisan cannon: Level 3, single-slot, rare. The AK15 is a good gun, so side-mounting it makes sense. There's no quadruple gun to correspond to this though (and no dual because there *should* be a dual Partisan in the standard lineup but there isn't...yet).

Side-mounted AK505 Ballista Cannon: Level 4, VeryRare, single-slot. This is absurdly impractical and frankly reckless to try and use. As such it should be good fun on the rare occasions it gets used.

Side-mounted Mark I howitzer: Level 5, single-slot, VeryRare. There's a bug with how recoil is managed that can affect this gun. Does not benefit from Makayev enhancement?

Primary weapons

Dual AK505 Ballista cannon(s): Level 4, two slot. NotRandom. Crafting recipe uncertain. Recoil.

Dual Mark I howitzer: Level 5, two-slot, NotRandom. Heavy recoil.Inferior to the dual Mark III, but easier to make.

Dual Mark III howitzer: Level 6, two slot, NotRandom. Heavy recoil. Otherwise as-per existing weapon. Possibly make crafting recipe easier since it's hard to find Makayev enhancers.

Armor and Shields

This section is a placeholder, and will be edited in later when I've had time to brainstorm. Suggestions welcomed.

Current thoughts: Steel or plasteel barricades? Shields might be low-HP, high regeneration (like A30 and the like from SM&M++)? Or possibly improvements on some gimmick armors (XMH, photo-org, etc)?

Enhancement items

Rather than offering pre-enhanced items, the tinkers will instead offer crafting for specific enhancement items. This is still in the brainstorming phase, but some items have been planned already. None have been tested.

Armor pastes

Reflective armor coating: Crafted from gold ore (several tons), organic acid and hydrocarbons. Reflects laser weapons. Crafts one barrel at a time.

Particle reflective coating: Crafted from dwarg catoptric armor (one segment), degen nanos (1 barrel), and hydrocarbons. Reflects particle weapons. Crafts one barrel at a time. This is powerful but the ingredients aren't the easiest to get and there's arguably better pastes given that missiles are generally more dangerous than beams.

Device enhancement and enhanced devices

Shield Efficiency ROM: works as a cargo-hold item picker. Reduces energy consumption of a single shield by a certain percentage. Allows for early installation, but removes possibility of better enhancements.

Weapon efficiency ROM: As above, but for weapons.

Enhancement Device efficiency ROM: Reduces power cost of enhancement devices by a set %. Hard to set up, consider tentative idea rather than concrete proposal.

Devices

I've had ICX-like devices suggested for this, but haven't had time to develop them yet. They'd likely be in here too. For now, there's just one I have pencilled in (untested):

Improved Particle Accelerator: As per the vanilla "particle accelerator", this improves the damage of particle weapons. Unlike the standard one, it uses the same power but gives a 75% boost, not a 50% boost. It cannot be stacked with other particle accelerators (improved or standard)

--------------

Other Services

In addition to providing crafting services, Tinker stations will continue to offer their standard dock services and the trading of damaged equipment. However, they would gain an additional, randomised "Special Service", possibly including:

Software installation: For a small fee, the station will install software onto the players ship. We don't really have enough software to make this amazing, but this *would* make targeting ROMs not *essential*.

Device Repair: For a nominal fee, the station will repair devices in the players cargo hold or device slots. These must be non-alien/chimeric, LEvel 6 or below, and non-military. Dunno about illegals.

Device enhancement: VERY TENTATIVE. For a steep fee, get a random enhancement on an item. Might not be a good one. Maybe limit per station?

Surplus Store (needs a better name): An additional trading space where a small randomised selection of the rarer crafting ingredients (added to the station inventory after this option is picked) can be bought. Tentative.

Illegal weapon craftin: An additional crafting space where illegal/military weapons and missiles can be crafted from their own list. Would include the XM900 (or similar) and Reaper crafting, actinide waste cannon, possibly a set of low-damage thermo weapons based off vanilla low-level kinetic weapons. Might require Syndikat rank?

====================================================================================

Where this project is at

At this point, I have the bones of a proposal but lack specifics. Particularly in shields and armor, devices, enhancements and the illegal crafting options. I'm looking for feedback to develop this further into something that can be fairly easily written into a community-made or george-made-based-on-my-notes patch for the game. I haven't looked at altering the Tinker stations themselves as of yet, though that may also be a good idea. In short, I need to know what other people think of all this before I move on with it. :)
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PM
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Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:44 am

The main problems with crafting are:
* Too hard to get components before the crafted item is obsolete, especially if components are not readily found as loot.
* Most enhancements are undesirable for the cost.

Components that are common drops from enemies are occasionally useful. I crafted dual turbolaser due to Vikings and other pirates dropping lots of turbolasers before I made it to Rigel. When components are mostly likely found by shopping for them at stores, you do not care about it unless the weapon is very powerful, like omni x-ray or dual mark III.

I am not opposed to Bushido selling omni X-ray; actually, makes more sense than tinkers making it. Part of what makes lasers more attractive than particle damage (and kinetic for that matter) is laser collimator adding +75% damage instead of +50% from the other global damage types. Knock laser collimator down to +50%, and laser might not be so dominating until ion/thermo damage show up.

No objections to side-mounts. Recoilless cannon and slam cannon seem like good candidates to side-mount. (In my mod, I limit side-mounts to relatively basic weapons.)

Indifferent to quad weapons for now. I would probably space my quad weapons differently.

Re: Enhancement items.
I have a few that levels up a few of my mod weapons by one level. Not much use to standard weapons.
Improved Particle Accelerator: As per the vanilla "particle accelerator", this improves the damage of particle weapons. Unlike the standard one, it uses the same power but gives a 75% boost, not a 50% boost. It cannot be stacked with other particle accelerators (improved or standard)
This is not possible at the moment. One time, I had a 3-way (with minor -slow) and a 5-way enhancer (with major -slow). Both had the same identifier, and which slow mod that got used varied. It was a pain (in my case, 5-way with 3-way's minimal -slow) and I abandoned that idea.

Suggestion for another series of crafts: Disposable launchers. For example, an external rocket pod that holds about 200 White Strelkas.
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PM
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Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:01 am

Shrike wrote:Current thoughts: Steel or plasteel barricades? Shields might be low-HP, high regeneration (like A30 and the like from SM&M++)? Or possibly improvements on some gimmick armors (XMH, photo-org, etc)?
What are A30 shield stats?

In part 2, Zhen Ma shields have half standard hp, regeneration of a shield one level higher... and still takes twelve seconds before resuming regeneration after shields go down, like most other shields. That is roughly "balanced" compared to shield with standard (hp and regen) stats.

Having your low hp shields evaporate then wait twelve seconds before you get hp back is a pain. Even Lazarus is annoying with about a two second recovery given how low its hp is for its level and how much power it takes, despite regeneration rate. In practice, Lazarus has a regeneration rate closer to recovery rate due to its low hp.

Low hp, fast regen shields are not very useful without fast recovery (except maybe for armor that regenerates based on shields, which part 2 has), but automatic fast recovery is worth much on balance algorithm.

I have considered shields with low hp, standard (or somewhat slower) regeneration, and much faster recovery (like about one second to recover instead of twelve).

For the moment, my mod has a series of low hp, high-regen, and fast recovery (three seconds instead of twelve), but are very expensive (about +50% value).
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Song
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Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:56 am

PM wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:44 am
Improved Particle Accelerator: As per the vanilla "particle accelerator", this improves the damage of particle weapons. Unlike the standard one, it uses the same power but gives a 75% boost, not a 50% boost. It cannot be stacked with other particle accelerators (improved or standard)
This is not possible at the moment. One time, I had a 3-way (with minor -slow) and a 5-way enhancer (with major -slow). Both had the same identifier, and which slow mod that got used varied. It was a pain (in my case, 5-way with 3-way's minimal -slow) and I abandoned that idea.
I don't *quite* understand that? Just by having type="particleAccelerator" in the <Enhance> section of the enhancer *should* prevent a stack with other enhancers with that type....which would prevent stacking with the standard particle accelerator. It's effectively the same unit, but better (and with a different UNID), with a block to prevent it being used in addition to the standard accelerator. In terms of the game applying only one of them and being a bit iffy over which...that's probably a failing in the game to not flag "you are installing a device that conflicts with an existing device" or something like that. A George Problem, rather than a problem with the device itself.
PM wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:44 am
Suggestion for another series of crafts: Disposable launchers. For example, an external rocket pod that holds about 200 White Strelkas.
I'm not a huge fan of disposable launchers, but that could be a very good idea. I'll take a look at it. Sadly I don't think I can make side-mount linked-fire missile pods or I'd definitely go for that for the strelka missiles (although it would cause SNAPSS issues)

What are A30 shield stats?
Keeping in mind that I'm thinking more a shield like the A30 (because any such shield would be a crafted item, it would need to be better than the standard A-series shields which are balanced for starter-ships, NPCs, and shop-buying), rather than copy-pasting it, here's the A30's attributes:

Code: Select all

	
		<Shields
				hitPoints=		"20"
				regenTime=		"10"
				regenHP=		"6"
				depletionDelay=	"25"
				powerUse=		"150"
				/>
It mostly works pretty well as a purchased item, though I was never quite sure on the balance/level (there's no real algorithm of testing shield balance right now). It worked very well in swarms, but missiles left the player vulnerable. DepletionDelay is hard to mess with: too long makes things useless. Too short means you can't put on NPCs at all and it loses its main weakness.. I'm not sure shields are really the way to go for the Tinkers though....armor (like the nanoforged stuff in EP) might be a better solution, especially as shields are overdue for a rebalance anyway, so shield stats are rather up in the air. The more I think about it, the more I feel that armor is the better route rather than shields. There's a lot of low-level gimmick armor that can be used for crafting better things.
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PM
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Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:30 pm

Shrike wrote:In terms of the game applying only one of them and being a bit iffy over which...that's probably a failing in the game to not flag "you are installing a device that conflicts with an existing device" or something like that. A George Problem, rather than a problem with the device itself.
That describes the problem. If you have the stock particle accelerator (+50%) and your new enhancer (+75%), with the same blocking id, you do not choose which gets used. More precisely, there is no way to force the +75% to unconditionally override the +50% if +50% gets chosen.

Re: Disposable launchers. I usually do not care about them because you cannot refill them and replace them. (The one or two disposable launchers my mod has can be refilled.) Being a recipe means you can replace them on demand, as long as visiting Tinkers is convenient. As an example recipe for Strelka launcher, it would probably be something like 200 White Strelkas and maybe one ton of plasteel ore.

There is a balance algorithm for shields, but it is a pain to do by hand. (However, 'balance is a property, and you can objSendMessage it.) And it does not account for special abilities you think of. Curiously, most of the shields with standard stats are underpowered somewhere between -30 and -10. Lazarus is considered a bit overpowered by the balance algorithm.

What level is the A30? I guess it is level 4, based on powerUse?
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NMS
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Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:29 am

Tinkers are already useful financially. I don't know if they also need a huge number of new features. Repairing damaged items (up to a reasonable level) would be on-theme though. Mostly, they need need recipes for items that are useful but not overpowered at levels where you can find the stations and the components.

relanat
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Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:04 am

Great idea. It makes sense that tinkers can offer a range of widely different services.

Borocarbide paste barrels option. Either sell or apply. Could be even more expensive than now. It would make these useful as they never are in the standard game because they are so rare.

Pre recent changes tinkers could be used to generate cash. Create new weapon from scrap for 50 credits then sell weapons = $$$. Not an option any more so items have to be worth it. Can sell damaged devices there but little other use now except sometimes you can find damaged higher level armor there.

Making overpowered weapons can be balanced by frequency but could also be balanced by randomizing their occurence. So not all appear in every game.

Could offer plain cargo hold made from damaged hold of any sort?
Craft a solar refuel array for those who want to use that?

Side mounted options sound good. A great addition.

Maybe somehow level up the scrap items found in the tinker stations as the system level increases. So you can find damaged high level items in tinkers after St Kats. And have two tinker stations,one standard and another with heavier armor for high level systems. Then low level crafted items could be offered in low level systems and higher level items as you enter higher level systems.

Steel/plasteel/more barricades are an excellent idea. Especially with 20 ton armor limit EI200 playership now in the game. Heavy, so a speed penalty on already slow ships, but great protection.

Device repair idea is great. Sorely needed IMO. Expensive with a chance of failure so money lost. Link to system/station level maybe so can't repair high level items until later in the game. Would need to price it so it can't be used as a money maker.

PM
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Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:29 pm

NMS wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:29 am
Tinkers are already useful financially. I don't know if they also need a huge number of new features. Repairing damaged items (up to a reasonable level) would be on-theme though. Mostly, they need need recipes for items that are useful but not overpowered at levels where you can find the stations and the components.
Yes, Tinkers are a great place to sell damaged loot, and is a significant chunk of income.

Repairing devices could be handy. Most options to repair stuff are in the Outer Realm, after most items are obsolete.

They do not need new features, but the features they have should be more useful, or more relevant. Having most recipes that are not practical is disappointing. Crafting items is generally not useful. The recipe I seem to use most (early) is the dual turbolaser, followed by box of XM900s. I guess patcher arm recipe would be nice if I bothered with identifying barrels. Omni X-ray is great, but I do not find the dual x-ray when I need it, and by the time I could get one, I already have the omni particle turret or TeV 9. Same thing with dual Mk III howitzer.
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wolfwalker_prime
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Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:42 am

Certain level armor + 4 barrels repair nanos + one something-watt reactor (to power the nanites for a long time) = armor with regeneration.

("Certain level" and "something-watt" are for scale-to-fit. In the first levels it might be plasteel and a 10-watt, at higher levels worldship plate and 500-watt.)

You could do a LOT of stuff with armor...

Certain level armor + 2 barrels monopole dust + 2 barrels repair nanos = same level Novaya armor. But that's only in CC, not vanilla.

giantcabbage
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Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:25 pm

If there is a Tinkers station in system then there should be a chance for friendly ships to be equipped with Tinker upgrades - similar to a low-level, player-friendly Omnithor (obviously works quite well with the selection of side-mount weapons).

Other Services

The tinkers should have a Meeting Hall for missions / rumors (eventually every station should have one), and the buy/sell scrap could be replaced with a standard commodities exchange button.

Software installation - as you say there isn’t that much software at the moment. Maybe just add the ROMs to station inventory

Device enhancement - could also be a reward for a tinker mission

Illegal weapon crafting - I don’t think this should be a separate service. Just add them in the normal Custom work area either: randomly for certain stations, as a mission reward, with Syndikat rank

Surplus Store - again the components could just be offered through commodities exchange (also see below)


I agree with PM that one of the main problems with crafting at the moment is the difficulty in finding the components required. I suggest defining components for many of the standard weapons and devices, so when the player is looting they have a chance of finding crafting components rather than damaged devices e.g. make use of items such as: Cerium Electrode, Erbium Rob, Holmium fiber, Lanthanum glass, Neodymium Magnet, Neural Processor, Hyperfiber
Prices / rarity could be modified as required (and probably add a few more standard components).

Tinkers could slowly break down any damaged equipment in their inventory to components which the player can purchase (similar to how a Manufacturing Plant produces items). We could also have a small chance that the tinkers will repair a device, or craft items if components are available, and then add it to the inventory for sale.

Alternatively the player could use degenerating nanos to break down the devices themself. This would be skill based, and not produce as many components as the Tinkers can.

Salvagers could also drop off damaged items at Tinker stations.

nemo88
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Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:14 pm

Hay. I just have some ideas for Thinker stations is crafting so much use full items, their is so many types weapons ,armors ,shields ,mystical ,armors... I would add some reactor's with some little effects e.g.

a) generates secondary shielding
b) transform ores in to barrel's
c) increases currently installed shield hitpoint's
d) protects against emp attacks
e) increases radar range
f) decreases ship's mass increasing max speed
g) add's quantum cpu
h) add's equipment slots

P.S. I've miss 'light saber' weapon

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