Solar items increase reactor efficiency instead of refueling

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Re: Solar items increase reactor efficiency instead of refue

Post by JohnBWatson » Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:53 am

I'd be okay with just having a flat reduction on power use when near a star - it's simple and it works well enough. That said, batteries could be an interesting mechanic, with one caveat - I don't think people would like the idea of degrading equipment. Degrade over time mechanics, while common, are rarely popular. I would suggest a percentage 'leak' of power stored over time as an alternative, which would keep consistent proximity to a sun relevant without frustrating the player.

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Re: Solar items increase reactor efficiency instead of refue

Post by relanat » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:17 am

Shrike wrote:Having more innovative "support" armors at later levels would also help in the longer term.
I agree. For blast resistance in armor you can start off with the reactive armors, move to light blast plate, then blast plate. For solar armor you only get the one choice. IMO a few more choices would be a good idea, varying the recharge rates as well as the resistances to damage (and price obviously).

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Re: Solar items increase reactor efficiency instead of refue

Post by snafu » Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:01 am

[quote="Shrike"][/quote]

Several interesting ideas in this thread. I'll throw in a few of my own:
  • The 'battery' that George mentions should have a finite lifetime/usetime & disappear from the slot once used up. It cannot be recharged, but is available from any suitable (starton, mil, BM, nrg etc but not general traders) station in quantities of 1 only.
  • Alternatively the battery would be a device-slot consumable (similar to the expendable missile racks) but can be recharged /if not completely empty/ (if completely emptied it vanishes). Only 1 can be slotted at a time (manual changeover needed; disallow >1 battery in <player> inv at any one time). I'm also undecided as to allow a %age of ship power or a fixed amount (for charging or absolute)..*
  • Perhaps the 2 above ideas could be conflated, with the latter available only from tinker crafting?
  • How about adding L5 solar 'barrels' to enhance armour (up to lvl 5 or maybe even 6)? This would give the selected armour a boost WRT fuel replenishment, but not enough to make it overpowered for the lvl. /Retain the fixed slow charge rate/ ofc to prevent exploit without a load of grinding
  • Batteries cannot be ejected to use as ersatz mines, nor can they be sold; if a battery is ejected (to a station/hulk/WHY) it /instantly/ disintegrates (causing damage to <playership> & others via AoE. Whether they cause station/ship hulk complete destruction is up to you (but I would prefer 'Yes' to both). I add this to prevent easy exploitation to gain cash of whatever sort
* idea: 1 x 'battery' can refuel a ship to 100%.. but it takes 2x (or whatever) time to refuel the battery /after/ the ship has been refuelled. That's provided that the 'remainder' isn't thrown away (disappearing or causing dmg to <playership>) in the process

I like the idea of 'drop-off' WRT charge efficiency vs range-from-star; similarly I like the idea of adding grav fx to stop star/planet-sitting..
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Re: Solar items increase reactor efficiency instead of refueling

Post by Derakon » Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:13 am

Given how slow the forums are, I hope nobody minds if I necro this thread. :D I'm firmly a believer in the idea that the various "optimal" (most likely to succeed) ways to play the game should not have any tedious, repetitive, or boring-but-safe strategies. That flies in the face of both solar panels/armor and asteroid mining (but fortunately you can just "mine" the Borers at illegal mines if you want to stock up on ore).

I personally have never really felt badly-constrained by fuel, which leaves me kind of baffled by the players who insist on always having solar armor available and (ab)using it as much as possible. If you're reasonably competent at fighting and prioritizing loot to sell, you should always have a decent supply of money and looted fuel. Do you resent having to reserve some cargo space for fuel? You shouldn't need to dedicate much space to your reserve fuel; just enough to fill the tank once, I'd say. That shouldn't be more than 5 tons' worth at the very most. Alternately, get a cargo hold and you can carry as much fuel as you like.

I'd favor having solar panels simply produce power, as was suggested upthread. Non-bankable, but they improve your efficiency by letting you limit use of your (fuel-consuming) main reactor.

It might also be worth considering making it impossible to "park" on stars and planets. The fact that they can be flown through but they block projectiles is a little weird. And it leaves open the occasional abusive combat strat of poking your guns out of the perimeter of a planet so you can ineffectually shoot at enemies from safety. See also: preventing boring-but-safe strategies.

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Re: Solar items increase reactor efficiency instead of refueling

Post by sun1404 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:58 am

I think those of us who needs fuel are mainly those who likes to heavily farm, not for equipment or credits but for score. Score farming can take far longer than your fuel can hold out, even if you stuff your hold full of Pteracnium rods. Also sometimes the game can be pretty cruel and many systems are without any stations who can refuel you, so every time you need to refuel you must go back, or push forward into the unknown hoping there's a station in the next system.
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Re: Solar items increase reactor efficiency instead of refueling

Post by PM » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:32 pm

When I first played Transcendence, nearly all of my earnings from loot or missions were spent on refueling the ship. Fuel drain is hunger more akin to Nethack than Angband. Once I learned of solar items, I sought them out every game. With solar items, the time pressure is completely removed, and I can move along at any leisurely pace I desire, instead of racing through before my money literally goes up in smoke. In addition, I do not need to spend money on fuel. In fact, I can use fuel I loot as a commodity to sell (or donate to Sisters for attitude points that can be redeemed for free aid later), and ice farms pay the most for helium fuel (or at least they used to if they do not now). Later, I dump fuel into the Teraton fabricator.

Also, I spend a lot of time hauling loot from system to system. It is worse in early game because Salvagers infest early game systems, and it takes time to mule items from one safe system to another. I compulsively hoard everything I do not sell, and like to keep that stash handy. Two reasons for this: One, amass enough items to sell in bulk to partially defeat buying limits. Two, Teraton fabricator; even after the nerfs it received over the years, it is still very powerful. It can turn a low-level box of scraps into highly valuable high-level stuff.

Once I get Domina power Ingenuity, I combine it with solar items to spam Ingenuity on all of my equipment. It is either free money or free powerup.
Derakon wrote:It might also be worth considering making it impossible to "park" on stars and planets. The fact that they can be flown through but they block projectiles is a little weird. And it leaves open the occasional abusive combat strat of poking your guns out of the perimeter of a planet so you can ineffectually shoot at enemies from safety. See also: preventing boring-but-safe strategies.
Celestial objects blocking weapon fire is a big headache when trying to add fun weapons and other items without them being game-breaking overpowered. Weapons that can passthrough planets are overpowered. Devices that do things for you can be overpowered if they function while player is completely safe.
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Re: Solar items increase reactor efficiency instead of refueling

Post by Derakon » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:29 pm

My very first game I got into fuel trouble, but that was because I spent all of my money (including selling most of the contents of my hold) to buy a new reactor so I could power a new gun...not realizing that new reactors are empty to start. Selling the old reactor got me some fuel but not enough to maintain. In games after that fuel has not been an issue, and I'd argue that if newly-purchased reactors came fully-fueled instead of nearly-empty, or at least if they transferred the fuel that your old reactor had in it (never mind issues of compatibility), that would be a good change.

Regarding hauling loot from system to system, it sounds to me like you're trying to extract every possible credit from every ship and station you destroy. Is that accurate? I can see why some players would behave that way -- it's free stuff! Why wouldn't you sell it? But it's really boring, and IME not necessary. Just installing a cargo hold and taking only the high-value loot, you should be able to amass hundreds of thousands of credits while still buying regular upgrades.

I'm reminded of Angband, where back in the old days, players would routinely devote a significant portion of their backpack space to carrying salable loot -- items they had zero intention of using, but that would be valuable to the shopkeepers at the town. The game loop back then was "clear a level, hoover up all the high-value items, return to town, sell items, repeat." The constant returning to town disrupted the main gameplay (of exploring the dungeon), and constantly shuffling your backpack to drop the lowest-value item so you could pick up the slightly better Dagger of Slay Orc or whatever you just found was tedious and uninteresting. The response by the devs was to add a "no selling" mode, where the shopkeepers are no longer a source of cash. Instead, cash drops in the dungeon were increased. So players get approximately the same amount of gold in a game, without having to constantly return to town. And they can use their entire packs for tactically interesting gear, instead of having to jettison the more marginal items to make room for loot.

I could imagine making a Transcendence mod where most ships have only fuel or other consumables (armor patches, etc.), but slightly more frequently than in the current game you'd find intact equipment. Intact stuff sells for more than damaged gear, so you'd have about the same amount of money especially if you're willing to use some of the gear you find (rather than buy replacements). But the problem with that approach is that so much of the flavor of the game comes from the myriad items that only really exist to be sold -- food, ore, medical supplies, art, outdated armor and weapons, etc. may theoretically have some use but usually are just there to get you another 10% of the way towards buying that new reactor you want.

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Re: Solar items increase reactor efficiency instead of refueling

Post by PM » Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:05 pm

In my first game of Transcendence, I was burned hard by buying limits, and did not make much money. Combined with constant fuel drain, I had trouble keeping my ship fueled up, let alone upgrading it. I promptly restarted my first game. My first game was Nethack in space, Wizard starving to death.
Regarding hauling loot from system to system, it sounds to me like you're trying to extract every possible credit from every ship and station you destroy. Is that accurate?
Not exactly. One, save everything in case Transcendence played a bit like Nethack or adventure game where you might need that obscure item later. Two, years ago, Teraton fabricator was game-breakingly powerful, and shops did not have level-based inventory like today, meaning player could get jumpdrive fairly early, warp to Heretic, backtrack to a fabricator, and fabricate lots of endgame items to destroy the remaining two-thirds of the game.

And because I have been burned hard by buying limits, I hoard as much as I can so I can accumulate things then sell as much as possible for maximum profit. Sometimes, it is a good idea to hold on to items in case I find a station that pays more, or even better, some factory that consumes an item then produces other items. Factories that produce food that the fabricators like to eat are very good.

EDIT: Buying limits made items progressively worth less until they did not buy it anymore, unless you had more items than the shop. During 1.6, the progressively less buyback was removed, but it may be back in 1.7.
But it's really boring, and IME not necessary.
May be boring, but it is or seems optimal, and if I think I can get a significant advantage doing it, and it works as planned, I am doing it, boring or not. It is like classic RPG wizard - cry now, rock later.


I started on Angband around 3.0.9, then promptly stopped playing when I kept getting killed by some form of hound pack (or paralyzed by gorgimera for one human mage) as soon as entering level 20+ without getting a move off. (Only won once legitimately with a dwarf priest during those days, and even then, he almost died to time hounds.) Older Angband felt like a luck-based mission - a significant chance of dying with nothing you can do to avoid it. Not YASD, but pure YAAD. Getting the guaranteed first move some version later fixed that nonsense.

Yes, I hauled back loot precisely for money, just in case black market offers a six or seven-figure item like <x> of speed, potions of augmentation or life, or the ninth spellbook. As soon as I saw no selling/increased money drop proposal some time ago, I thought it was a good idea.
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Re: Solar items increase reactor efficiency instead of refueling

Post by Derakon » Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:15 pm

PM wrote:
Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:05 pm
In my first game of Transcendence, I was burned hard by buying limits, and did not make much money. Combined with constant fuel drain, I had trouble keeping my ship fueled up, let alone upgrading it. I promptly restarted my first game. My first game was Nethack in space, Wizard starving to death.
I should preface my experiences with noting that my first game was on 1.6. I'm sure the game has changed drastically over the years.
And because I have been burned hard by buying limits, I hoard as much as I can so I can accumulate things then sell as much as possible for maximum profit. Sometimes, it is a good idea to hold on to items in case I find a station that pays more, or even better, some factory that consumes an item then produces other items. Factories that produce food that the fabricators like to eat are very good.

EDIT: Buying limits made items progressively worth less until they did not buy it anymore, unless you had more items than the shop. During 1.6, the progressively less buyback was removed, but it may be back in 1.7.
It's back, and the implementation is IMO buggy. Stations scale how much they're willing to pay for something by how much of that thing they already have in stock. So e.g. the first fuel rod you sell to an ice farm will be at a +50% premium, but the 50th will not be worth nearly so much...if you sell them 1 at a time. But if you sell a massive pile all at once, then you get the best price for all of them, and you can go well past the point where they'd normally stop buying altogether.

IMO stations should give the same payout whether you sell items one at a time or all at once, and e.g. if the station doesn't want more than 100 fuel rods, they shouldn't buy more than 100 fuel rods. This would make the price calculation code for stations more complicated (you'd have to integrate over the quantity of items sold to determine the overall sale price) but would remove the incentive to hoard up a big pile of the same item to get the best possible price.
May be boring, but it is or seems optimal, and if I think I can get a significant advantage doing it, and it works as planned, I am doing it, boring or not. It is like classic RPG wizard - cry now, rock later.
Right, I wasn't trying to say "So don't do that then", but rather pointing out that if the game rewards boring behavior, then players will play in a boring way, and be bored thereby.
I started on Angband around 3.0.9, then promptly stopped playing when I kept getting killed by some form of hound pack (or paralyzed by gorgimera for one human mage) as soon as entering level 20+ without getting a move off. (Only won once legitimately with a dwarf priest during those days, and even then, he almost died to time hounds.) Older Angband felt like a luck-based mission - a significant chance of dying with nothing you can do to avoid it. Not YASD, but pure YAAD. Getting the guaranteed first move some version later fixed that nonsense.
Angband has a number of issues like that -- there's lots of ways to die in a single turn if you aren't prepared, and no way of knowing that you aren't prepared without spoiling yourself on the lategame threats. I wouldn't remotely claim that Angband is a well-designed game by modern standards, but that doesn't mean we can't learn from the things it does well.

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Re: Solar items increase reactor efficiency instead of refueling

Post by JohnBWatson » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:59 pm

Right, I wasn't trying to say "So don't do that then", but rather pointing out that if the game rewards boring behavior, then players will play in a boring way, and be bored thereby.
Strongly agree. Things like howitzer kiting, loot hoarding, and luring all fit this trend.

Hording, at least in recent versions, has been improved - NPCs will clean areas around stations, making NPC v NPC generated loot something you've either got to get right away or do without. Having them clean crates in a similar manner could get rid of the exploit that gets around this, further improving the situation.

Luring can be fixed pretty easily - plenty of NPCs stay away when the player is near a friendly station. Just expand this behavior to cover neutrals(to take care of Black Market luring) and make the orbit radius a bit farther out could solve this.

Kiting only really works because 99 percent of the game's enemies fall into one of two categories: small, weak gunships that can keep pace with the player but are completely unshielded and can't take a hit, and capital ships/heavy gunships that the player can easily outrun, and won't retaliate at range due to either poor equipment choice or the AI range glitch. This is a balance issue rather than a code issue, and can be fixed by making some of the faster enemies a bit hardier(creating a niche for weapons that are neither flyswatters nor howitzers) and giving a speed boost to ships that really need it(IE: Sandstorms, Corsairs, Dwarg raiders).

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Re: Solar items increase reactor efficiency instead of refueling

Post by sun1404 » Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:05 am

I agree that Sandstorms could do with speed improvement, but I don't think Corsairs should get one. Even now I sometimes have trouble hitting them with forward weapons when they're dogfighting me, which actually makes me try to kite them. Kiting works like putting your back in a corner in this case, limiting the direction the enemy can come from. The Corsairs can still catch up, but they are more or less grouped behind you now instead of circling you from every directions. No matter how much boost it gets this won't change, it would only make kiting more necessary.
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Re: Solar items increase reactor efficiency instead of refue

Post by shanejfilomena » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:36 pm

JohnBWatson wrote:
Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:05 am
Similar to what I suggested in that thread. I think having them provide extra(free) power when near a star is the more interesting mechanic, though - it lets players use weapons and shields above their reactor level, but limits where that can be done. Creates a lot of interesting choices and strategies.
One answer : Too Much Math, not enough Science.
Orbiting the Earth are objects that would not operate without solar panels : but these devices operate low draw systems : like in Transcendence....the higher the draw of your ship's systems, the less effective the Solar Panel is....

Obviously whomever gave the Post's author the misleading observation, obviously
never played the full game using solar or operating on Batteries.
I have, many times : but the devices had to be customized.....which is why you can get batteries and custom devices in Mods ...many of us have walked down this dark road.

the RamScoop is a great tool, but you have to be flying....I have used that for awhile in testing but I like to sit and watch the NPC activities so the RamScoop was not entirely what I wanted : useful but only to a point.

As for stalking stations or ships .....most of us have done all these things.....it's not "proper" but, hey,
who's lookin?

You can't give the community a view, a solution..without trying to break the rules and making observations.
this "thing" with the solar panel is, in my opinion, not a complete observation as much as conjecture based on an encounter by a low level ship in the game.

Let that ship finish the game using that (stock) Solar Panel for fuel...
=============================================================================
Stations Buy/ Sell Limits will NOT be Broken by simply selling large amounts at once :
the stations has a limit on it's currency and even if it did restock that currency :
you gave it a zillion tons of one product already, it's still not going to buy more of the same.
* Exception to that is a manufacturing facility : because the product you sold will be gone and it will want more. However, BEFORE the Manufacture Run, you can hit the limit.
==============================================

And for those that don't actually know: EVERY game is different with the exception of the scripted systems.
However..how thing play out in those scripted systems ....you live or you die......
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Re: Solar items increase reactor efficiency instead of refue

Post by Derakon » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:26 pm

shanejfilomena wrote:
Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:36 pm
Stations Buy/ Sell Limits will NOT be Broken by simply selling large amounts at once :
the stations has a limit on it's currency and even if it did restock that currency :
you gave it a zillion tons of one product already, it's still not going to buy more of the same.
Let's say the station has 10k credits, and I want to sell it 10 tons of some good. It's currently offering 1k credits per good. If I sell them the good 1 ton at a time, then I might get 1k, 1k, 1k, .9k, .8k, .7k, .6k, .5k, .5k, .5k and they stop buying. I've gotten 7.5k credits from them. If I sell them all 10 tons at once, I'll get 10k credits from them. Either way they're no longer interested in buying more, but in the latter case because I sold them all at once, I got more money.

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Re: Solar items increase reactor efficiency instead of refue

Post by shanejfilomena » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:19 am

Derakon wrote:
Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:26 pm
shanejfilomena wrote:
Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:36 pm
Stations Buy/ Sell Limits will NOT be Broken by simply selling large amounts at once :
the stations has a limit on it's currency and even if it did restock that currency :
you gave it a zillion tons of one product already, it's still not going to buy more of the same.
Let's say the station has 10k credits, and I want to sell it 10 tons of some good. It's currently offering 1k credits per good. If I sell them the good 1 ton at a time, then I might get 1k, 1k, 1k, .9k, .8k, .7k, .6k, .5k, .5k, .5k and they stop buying. I've gotten 7.5k credits from them. If I sell them all 10 tons at once, I'll get 10k credits from them. Either way they're no longer interested in buying more, but in the latter case because I sold them all at once, I got more money.
And exactly what you said is encouraged to players as they gain experience in buying and selling : not just in the Universe, but maybe they will take those smarts with them outside the game & not simply pay or accept the price of convenience ( this game is played by several age groups).

However, the station inventory control / credit limitations has to do with more then simply buying from the Player.

Un-Modded games carry the buying of items from NPC traffic : whatever they have or loot along the way to the station.
this is exactly how a Corporate Enclave can suddenly tell you they don't want an Item w/in three minutes of the system being active - it had nothing to do with you, some NPC probably looted the wreck of a Borer or freighter and sold the goods before you got there. It happens.

I work primarily with the traffic code : always looking for ways to improve the flow of ships and goods within a system .....like recently, I was playing and I wanted a System Map...4 minutes later the Fuel Depot receives a map from an NPC and I can then buy it. ( ** normal Fuel Stations don't do that - I always thought they should, but they don't )
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Re: Solar items increase reactor efficiency instead of refue

Post by Derakon » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:06 am

shanejfilomena wrote:
Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:19 am
And exactly what you said is encouraged to players as they gain experience in buying and selling : not just in the Universe, but maybe they will take those smarts with them outside the game & not simply pay or accept the price of convenience ( this game is played by several age groups).
Remember that the original discussion here was about how we should not be encouraging boring-but-optimal playstyles. It's pretty boring to have to rack up as many of an item as possible so you can sell them for maximum profit; it involves a lot of tedious rearranging of inventory, stashing items on destroyed stations, etc. Much more fun if the station pays you the same total credits regardless of how many transactions it takes.

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