Discussion: Radiation overhaul possibilities.

Post ideas & suggestions you have pertaining to the game here.
Post Reply
User avatar
Shrike
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
Posts: 2598
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:27 am
Location: Scouting the borders of sanity (there's a lovely view of the abyss).

Discussion: Radiation overhaul possibilities.

Post by Shrike » Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:01 am

Over the years people have sometimes talked about changing radiation, and George often gets asked about it on IRC days. But there hasn't really been a major look into it.....and since Wolfy was egging me on to write up an idea I had in our Seeeeeecret discussion channel (for plotting regdev stuff), and I'm unwilling to ticket something this big without it being forum'd first....let's have a nice big discussion about our favourite ancient mechanic, radiation.


Currently, radiation is a binary effect. In more than one way: You're immune to it, or you aren't. And if you get hit by it, you are dying unless you get to a convenient station or use (very rare) decon gel to clear it out.


Here's the idea that prompted wolfy to poke me over here. Keep in mind this was invented in under a minute on IRC, so it's not fleshed out fully. It's also not the proposal of this thread, so feel free to have a competing idea for how radiation could work.


Shrike's Spur-of-the-moment IRC idea:


Radiation weapons would switch from "Radiation 1" to a 1-7 value, similar to WMD. They'd also, as with all weapons, have their damage roll. One of these two would need to be used for the strength of the contamination, the other would need to determine the duration. There are good arguments for using each one in either slot, so I'm not going to bother trying to nail it down.

Each ship and station would track its radiation level, starting at 0. When it reaches a certain value, a timer starts. This tracks time until fatal exposure. The amount of time increases as your radiation level decreases (through time or decontamination), and decreases as further radiation is applied (so irradiating something to death in seconds would be possible with a suitably insane weapon). However, recieving a dangerous dose alone wouldn kill you: The timer would. So going a little bit over wouldn't be an instakill, and NPCs would be more resilient.

Now there are at least two ways to handle the actual method of doing this, so here's the ones I can think of. Either:

1. When a radiation overlay is applied, that overlay applies a radiation value to the object it hits, until the duration of that overlay ends. When it is removed (by time or by a decon barrel), that value is removed. This might require allowing radiation overlays to stack, and probably some graphical tweaks.
OR

2. Each overlay applies Damage Over Time to your rad count, increasing it at a rate set by the weapons attributes. Your value would have natural decay. This would mean that even after the overlays are gone and your ship stops glowing, you need to be careful about radiation exposure if it's passed the "potentially fatal" level. Having an autodoc on hand would significantly improve this decay rate.


Again, there's reasons I can think of for both methods. The first is simpler and more intuitive, the latter is more realistic and also lessens the inevitable nerf to radiation weapons that this whole line of thought would bring in. The latter also would allow partial decontamination methods: Eg: Using organic acid to try to dissolve the contaminant off your armor, at the cost of some HP. (Yes I do want organic acid to be a "universal bandaid for status effects that hurts you a lot")

There's also some questions about immunity and resistance. Should it stay as a binary yes/no? Or should armor mass play a role in exposure instead/as well as flagged immunities? And should more gear become rad-vulnerable so the system can get brought into more use? (Armor rebalance is coming...eventually...so now's the time to think about this, I think)

Ideally when genome customisation is introduced, further radiation resistance (and recovery rate modifiers?) could be set on that....but that's a way-off thought.

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

So that's my thinking....what have other people got? The point of this thread is really to collect more ideas, feedback on ideas, and maybe come up with something that could theoretically get introduced for 1.7 or 1.8. Radiation weapons haven't changed since the game was brought in, and that's a problem. They're an instakill on enemies, and have no effect on living stations. There's a lot of possibilities, and it'd be nice if we can work out some ideas that might go somewhere. So let's give this a go, shall we? :)
Your friendly local genderqueer weapons designer & forum moderator. My pronoun is "They".

Image
Shrike's Mines and Missiles++. Includes parts of the old Auton Overhaul and Allegedly Superior Sounds mods as well as an updated version of the MOTM-winning SM&M! Designed for Version 1.6.3

User avatar
Wolfy
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
Posts: 5340
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:10 am
Location: Somewhere in the Frontier on a Hycrotan station, working on new ships.

Re: Discussion: Radiation overhaul possibilities.

Post by Wolfy » Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:22 am

I really think we should do something of this sort, I was there in that discussion.

It would bring very much needed life to a very... lacking... mechanic. And I did want to add a bunch of radiation stuff for a TSB faction >.>
(shpOrder gPlayership 'barrelRoll)
(plySetGenome gPlayer (list 'hycrotan 'nonBinary))
Image
Image

User avatar
Xephyr
Militia Captain
Militia Captain
Posts: 748
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:52 am
Location: Orion Arm, Milky Way

Re: Discussion: Radiation overhaul possibilities.

Post by Xephyr » Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:20 am

I might get a use out of being able to make ships inherently immune to radiation, regardless of their armour. For that matter, it would make sense for there to be something similar for EMP/ion effects.
Project Renegade (Beta) : "The Poor Man's Corporate Command!"
"Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. " -Julius Caesar as written by William Shakespeare, a notorious permadeath player.

gunship256
Militia Commander
Militia Commander
Posts: 451
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2015 11:41 pm
Location: repairing armor

Re: Discussion: Radiation overhaul possibilities.

Post by gunship256 » Tue Mar 29, 2016 4:32 am

EMP and disruption effects don't kill the player, but radiation does, even though radiation shows up earlier in the game.

Is there some way that radiation can end up with a non-binary result in the end? Maybe the player gets increasingly sick, and it costs more to treat the disease the longer he waits (with the cost measured in terms of medical supplies required for treatment)? Medical stations could offer a cheap way to remove the status effect.

Ferdinand
Commonwealth Pilot
Commonwealth Pilot
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:35 pm
Location: Dancing in the universe
Contact:

Re: Discussion: Radiation overhaul possibilities.

Post by Ferdinand » Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:13 am

I've always found it strange that radiation could destroy a ship as it does in Transcendence. It should kill the people on board but the ship should remain intact albeit contaminated. So contaminated ships should not leave a wreck but an intact contaminated ship. However looting a contaminated ship would bring fully functional but contaminated items on board, that would kill you from radiation as time passes, unless you decontaminate them. This should even be the case if you have radiation immune armor. Decontamination gel can be used to decontaminate items looted from a contaminated ship. It would balance the fact that you can get all of the gear from contaminated (capital) ships intact, but you need to be able to decontaminate it or it will kill you. No station will buy contaminated items, or decontaminate items for you.

Also I think having certain medical supplies on board and using them should act to prolong the survivability of being contaminated. There should however be some indication of health status to make this work properly.

I like the idea of contamination build up. This is more realistic and does increase survival rates. Radiation should also wear off in time due to decay. The amount of radiation received from a weapon should matter in how contaminated your ship will be.

The density of armor should make a difference in how vulnerable it is to radiation. Dense armour should be less vulnarable or immune to it.

The cost of decontamination by a station should be proportional to the amount of contamination your ship received. If you have decontamination gel, it should only decontaminate to a certain amount so multiple barrels are needed when your ship is heavily contaminated.

Stations should also be vulnerable to radiation, but every station should also be able to decontaminate itself in a certain rate. So a station dying from radiation is possible, but you need to constantly contaminate it.

User avatar
Shrike
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
Posts: 2598
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:27 am
Location: Scouting the borders of sanity (there's a lovely view of the abyss).

Re: Discussion: Radiation overhaul possibilities.

Post by Shrike » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:38 am

Well, radiation destroying the ship isn't actually far fetched. Ionising radiation can and will destroy electronics: the people trying to clean up Fukushima got quite annoyed when they spent rather a lot of money on a state-of-the-art robot to explore inside an area of a reactor building that was incredibly radioactive.....and the radiation broke the robot before it to could survey they area they wanted it to. Radiation can also embrittle materials, degrade some plastics...and probably screw with electronics as well, although if it gets that bad you're probably dying anyway. I don't think the ship death is a huge problem...but the way it's handled could use a bit of smoothing out.
Your friendly local genderqueer weapons designer & forum moderator. My pronoun is "They".

Image
Shrike's Mines and Missiles++. Includes parts of the old Auton Overhaul and Allegedly Superior Sounds mods as well as an updated version of the MOTM-winning SM&M! Designed for Version 1.6.3

Ferdinand
Commonwealth Pilot
Commonwealth Pilot
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:35 pm
Location: Dancing in the universe
Contact:

Re: Discussion: Radiation overhaul possibilities.

Post by Ferdinand » Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:04 am

To a certain point you're right Shrike. given enough time radiation can destroy everything. The higher the dose, the faster it destroys. Fukushima is at the extreme end of radiation as you would aspect of a nuclear powerplant.

However a very high dose destroys most lifeforms in hours to days, but a spaceship would take ages or rather millenia to be destroyed by high doses of radiation. Most electronics designed to be used in space are protected against cosmic radiation, being encased in titanium or other housings designed to protect them. Having worked with ionising radiation myself and having used equipment subjected to ionising radiation on a daily basis. Most standard equipment can handle this without any problems for decades. The equipment will more likely break of old age than of radiation.

relanat
Militia Commander
Militia Commander
Posts: 325
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:56 am

Re: Discussion: Radiation overhaul possibilities.

Post by relanat » Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:37 am

The main drawback to radiation at the moment IMO is the limited number of ways to decontaminate. Decon gel or a drydock/shipyard, Starton or tinker. Decon gel is fairly rare, nearly as rare as borocarbide paste. Maybe armor stations and tinkers could offer the borocarbide option even if you aren't radioactive. This would increase the number of armors you could use and still be rad resistant. It seems that by the time you can get decon gel or boro paste from a Trading Post (the only sure way I know of) the available armors are of high enough level that they are rad resistant anyway (armor of level 7 and above is automatically radiation immune unless otherwise specified).

The autodoc/medical items/medical stations idea is a good one. This could keep the player alive (extend the countdown or something) but leave the ship radioactive and you have to use some other means to decon the ship.

The idea of making some stations vulnerable is good too. But not too vulnerable.

And I agree with ferdinand that some visual indication is necessary to let you know instantly how contaminated you are (separate from how contaminated the ship is if this is how it ends up). Along with audio alarms when you are getting terminal.

I also like the idea of items looted from radioactive ships having a chance of being radioactive. Seems right but I've got no ideas about how to work it.

More vague thoughts include the bio-class ships in Part II (no idea about PtII except for the teasers so I'm guessing here) could be more vulerable than the other types (mech or archeo?).

And there could be a radioactive nebula or areas of radiation in nebulas (nebulae?). Or there could be star system types where the sun pumps out radiation. Or irradiating pulsars or black holes scattered about. Objects could either irradiate the ship or the player or both. Or using a stargate could irradiate you.

PM
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
Posts: 2153
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:54 am

Re: Discussion: Radiation overhaul possibilities.

Post by PM » Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:38 pm

I have no problem with radiation as it is. It would be nice if the timer could be set to anything other than three minutes, though. One possible idea: Weapons with radiation act as armor penetrator and/or additional WMD if target is already contaminated, to represent further radiation damage.

The one change I really like to see to radiation is to decouple the green glow from it so I can use a modified glow as form-fitting shields to ships, either as a replacement Domina Sustain/Defend effect, or as custom visible shields.
Download and Play in 1.7 Beta...
Playership Drones v7 (Beta): Acquire and command almost any ship in Stars of the Pilgrim or Eternity Port.
Drake Technologies (Alpha): More hardware for combat! (Stuff for part 2: VotG in development...)
Star Castle Arcade: Relive classic arcade gaming in a new Transcendence adventure!
Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.

gunship256
Militia Commander
Militia Commander
Posts: 451
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2015 11:41 pm
Location: repairing armor

Re: Discussion: Radiation overhaul possibilities.

Post by gunship256 » Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:00 pm

I think the current situation is fine too, but not if radiation weapons become more prevalent (and installable). Right now, it's pretty hard to get infected with radiation and hard to infect anything else other than with an illegal missile.

User avatar
TheLoneWolf
Militia Captain
Militia Captain
Posts: 792
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2013 5:03 pm
Location: Aboard the CSS Radiant

Re: Discussion: Radiation overhaul possibilities.

Post by TheLoneWolf » Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:15 pm

Create a new damage type. Blast seems weird for that weapon. And standing over stars has a chance to radiate you.
And we need more ships that use radiation weapons.
Plagues should spawn in lower systems too.
And instead of timer, we need armour damage over time.
Also, cloud effects should be rethinked and tweaked.
Maybe give radiation weapons pass through attribute.
And good compartment damage.
We can do a thing like radiation can permanently damage a piece of armour.
Shrike wrote: our Seeeeeecret discussion channel
:shock: :roll: :lol: :lol:

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests