New / Exotic planets and star systems

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Xephyr
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Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:40 am

This is partly expanding on this Ministry ticket, but I would also like this to pertain to mods as well.

An issue with current systems is that they're pretty homogenous. After you start noticing how little variation there is in systems, it's hard to not notice it. Although, it is undoubtedly better than pre-1.0 versions currently, I see a lot of room to expand. The primordial system is a great example; it uses current mechanics (nebulae) to create a new kind of system, along with new planet graphics and everything.

I've been adding a lot of new planet and star system types to my extension - since it's a pretty short extension, that means there's a lot of room for variance between star systems, which I think is what Vanilla will eventually look like.

So, what are some of your ideas for new star systems? Brown dwarfs, neutron stars, binary (or even quadruple) star systems in tight orbit? How would those look or function when put into the game?

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Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:20 pm

 Having made a close binary system myself, I can tell you that they handle pretty much like a standard single-star sytem. (See here over in the picture thread for an idea of how it looks.) Wolfy also made one for TSB that’s not as close a binary pair as those two, but it still functions mostly the same way. The main difference on a close binary system like that is that the innermost orbit will be a bit further out than it would otherwise be.
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Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:52 pm

Neutron stars could hurt ships just like white dwarfs.

And maybe we could even have...black holes. :shock:
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Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:19 am

How about unstable suns that periodically flare to generate dynamic "space weather" that can impose transient effects like -noshields, cause certain damage types to be more/less effective, interfere with radar or weapons tracking, etc?

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JohnBWatson
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Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:41 am

I've got some:

- A system with a long dead star, with barren planets and low light levels. Probably filled with the sort of people that want to avoid attention from vigilantes and the state, and thus hiding where the solar panels that support many long term official operations will not work.

- A Petravore infested system, with all of the asteroids mined dry and covered in holes, and wrecks with Petravores inside of them. Sparse traffic, and abandoned mining stations throughout.

- Massive, multi - star systems. We've seen that up to five stars can share a system.

- Terraformed systems, with all industry built up around a planet suitable for human life. These would feature a vast farming industry on the planet's surface, with stations in orbit to export goods. Their wealth would make them fairly safe, with a few pirate stations hiding on the outskirts to prey on traffic.

- A very hot star that damages unshielded ships that are nearby.

How about unstable suns that periodically flare to generate dynamic "space weather" that can impose transient effects like -noshields, cause certain damage types to be more/less effective, interfere with radar or weapons tracking, etc?
I like it. Perhaps some systems would decrease the effective range of matter weaponry, the power of energy weaponry, or ship speed.

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Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:04 am

JohnBWatson wrote:I've got some:

- A system with a long dead star, with barren planets and low light levels. Probably filled with the sort of people that want to avoid attention from vigilantes and the state, and thus hiding where the solar panels that support many long term official operations will not work.

- A Petravore infested system, with all of the asteroids mined dry and covered in holes, and wrecks with Petravores inside of them. Sparse traffic, and abandoned mining stations throughout.

- Massive, multi - star systems. We've seen that up to five stars can share a system.

- Terraformed systems, with all industry built up around a planet suitable for human life. These would feature a vast farming industry on the planet's surface, with stations in orbit to export goods. Their wealth would make them fairly safe, with a few pirate stations hiding on the outskirts to prey on traffic.

- A very hot star that damages unshielded ships that are nearby.

How about unstable suns that periodically flare to generate dynamic "space weather" that can impose transient effects like -noshields, cause certain damage types to be more/less effective, interfere with radar or weapons tracking, etc?
I like it. Perhaps some systems would decrease the effective range of matter weaponry, the power of energy weaponry, or ship speed.
Only the first two make sense for Transcendence. Multi-star systems are absolutely miserable to play in. And there aren't any bigger than the Alpha Centauri trinary near Earth. In fact I don't know if there are any beyond trinary anywhere and the third star will always be very distant to be stable. It needs to be far enough out from the closer pair's barycenter that they don't perturb its orbit. There are a canonically three habitable planets in the QZ: Earth, Incandescent, and Ares Prime. Stellar damage has some subtle problems. The AI can't deal with it and will create a wreck field unless coupled with gravity, which would be a far worse AI issue on a central star than it is on the white dwarf in Sirius and it's not good there.
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Xephyr
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Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:22 am

Atarlost wrote: Only the first two make sense for Transcendence. Multi-star systems are absolutely miserable to play in. And there aren't any bigger than the Alpha Centauri trinary near Earth. In fact I don't know if there are any beyond trinary anywhere and the third star will always be very distant to be stable.
Depending on how far the QZ spans, there's plenty of oppurtunity for multi-star systems. For instance, Mizar and Alcor form a sextuple system. The system lies about 78 light years from Earth, which quite reasonably could be in the QZ. It's a system I'm using in my own adventure.

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Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:58 am

Atarlost wrote: In fact I don't know if there are any beyond trinary anywhere and the third star will always be very distant to be stable.


http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-33428506
There are a canonically three habitable planets in the QZ: Earth, Incandescent, and Ares Prime.


That can always be altered - so long as Earth, Incandescent, and Ares Prime are *especially* favorable to human life, their plot significance is unchanged.

In addition, things like the original Syrtian colonies can fill a similar role, as can planets that are uninhabitable to humans but settled by neo - humans.
Stellar damage has some subtle problems. The AI can't deal with it and will create a wreck field unless coupled with gravity, which would be a far worse AI issue on a central star than it is on the white dwarf in Sirius and it's not good there.
Any new system type with an impact on gameplay will require some kind of modification to the code. In this case, 'Don't put anything in the center of the system, and have ships avoid it as if it were a hostile station'. It's likely possible to jury rig this using the hostile station avoidance system in combination with a subsection of the system around the star where no stations are allowed to spawn.

That said, a general 'AI ships should stay away from this general area' marker would be a good addition to the game's toolset. At the very least, it would prevent wandering Ranx Dreadnoughts from clearing out minefields laid in Fleet missions with their hulls.

More ideas:

- A very large system with intra - system stargates. AI ships could use these too, with a bit of code.

- A system noticeably 'altered' by core races. Orbitals arranged in some manner of symbol, asteroids all mined out, or other subtle things indicating something was done here by a more advanced species. Could be a hotspot for researchers.

- A small, dense system, where hiding is more difficult and thus the balance of power is more consolidated in the hands of one dominant faction, which is harder to avoid or flee from.

- A system that is past its prime - the ore that brought a vast mining industry been mined, the strategic value that gave it a military presence is lost, or the settlers that bought its consumer goods moved on to greener pastures system. A larger degree of crime, several major stations that are either fully or partially abandoned, and less resources than most systems.

- A system with far off planets ideal for hidden loot stashes(Surrounded by mines) or criminal hideouts.

- A system with a gas giant containing valuable resources, with activity related to harvesting it taking place.

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Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:58 pm

-What about a Comet? Nah, it will make game more laggy to my laptop.
-I read an article that showing a planet have three star, maybe we can apply that?
-There a system that have all planets with very short orbit distance. We can add it to game?
-Where is the moon?
-Can we call it system even without star and with randomly planet?
-A lone star system, there is no planet with it. Make it hard to navigate station.
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Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:57 am

I like the idea of having a comet! A big one entering the inner system would look spectacular!

- Probably code-intensive, but having objects actually move along their orbital paths would be cool (mostly asteroid belts and high-speed inner planets).
- An idea I've been toying with recently is a gate to a rogue planet. This would be a tiny system centered around the planet and would most likely serve only as a special place to complete a side quest. (I actually have plans to use this one in a mod so I'm "copyrighting" it until said mod gets released)
- Supernova remnants that still have stargates from back when the star was younger; these nebulae are now "mined" for gasses by (neo)humans.
- Some pulsars are believed to still have planets orbiting them; one such pulsar also has leftover gates. As it shoots out its beams of damaging radiation, ships (especially the player) would have to take shelter behind the planets or specially constructed radiation shields (stations with virtual armor immune to whatever damage type the pulsar uses) to avoid being destroyed. This foresee this one being particularly... interesting to code, and it would definitely be subject to all that nonsense about white dwarfs and traffic not mixing well.
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Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:17 am

catfighter wrote: - An idea I've been toying with recently is a gate to a rogue planet. This would be a tiny system centered around the planet and would most likely serve only as a special place to complete a side quest. (I actually have plans to use this one in a mod so I'm "copyrighting" it until said mod gets released)
 …I’m not sure you can really “copyright” an idea here that someone else suggested, especially since it’s already been done: I have a test mod from last year already half-way typed up for TBR with a very similar setup, heh. My backstory on it is that the gates were put in orbit around the planet in a perfectly normal system, and the planet was later ejected from the system by gravitational shenanigans. …Also, another system that is mostly a nebula with a pair of stargates in deep space, with no stars or planets or even asteroids within light years, though that one is barely out of the planning stages.
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Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:41 am

That was meant as a half-joke, sorry. Guess I need more than just quotes and an emoji wink that failed to appear in the final post...
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Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:08 am

 Oh, I figured, and apparently I “played along” a bit too well, heh. But yeah, it’s kind of a neat setup, totally worth trying out.
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Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:11 am

Hehe, totally fooled me :P
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Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:45 pm

JohnBWatson wrote:- A very large system with intra - system stargates. AI ships could use these too, with a bit of code.
Good one. I like this idea. Say 3 or 4 suns with the old smaller stargates scattered around to travel between them. But the suns still close enough that you could travel between them conventionally if an intra-system stargate didn't spawn at one of them. Maybe loot in the voids between the suns to balance making conventional travel between the suns worthwhile. Could take a while to generate the system though.

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