Let's argue about cargo holds!

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Derakon
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Let's argue about cargo holds!

Post by Derakon » Mon May 01, 2017 3:08 pm

A quote from the New player with questions thread:
If it wasn't for the 5000 credits from the agricultural station, I might had even run out of money for fuel, such is the harship of a new player with a small cargohold.
The player in question was flying a Wolfen, which has the smallest cargo hold. But it's still the case that for every ship barring the EI500, having a cargo hold makes a huge quality-of-life improvement, to the extent that not having a cargo hold amounts to a "newbie trap". They'll try to play with the default hold size, largely because they don't realize that there are better options. They'll have less fun, and some percentage of them won't pick up the game again.

You can argue about whether the hold sizes should be rebalanced, or holds made more common, but I have a simple proposal that I think should at least solve the "newbie trap" issue: give every ship a "standard cargo hold" outfit (the max capacity/no special abilities hold) as starting gear. Experienced players can still switch to a different hold, or choose to uninstall it altogether, if they so desire, but newbie players will have a vastly more pleasant experience, especially since I strongly suspect most newbies are drawn towards the Wolfen as the "most fun to fly" ship, which also has the tiniest default cargo hold.

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Re: Let's argue about cargo holds!

Post by Xephyr » Mon May 01, 2017 3:13 pm

I always play with the Wolfen and I almost never use a cargo expansion. I remember my very first time playing the game I chose the Wolfen as well.

I think its probably fine for players who pick to Wolfen to run into cargo issues very quickly. If they loot everything they find they'll run into space issues very quickly, and then they are introduced to the mechanic. If they don't like the Wolfen's limitations, then they can just switch ships when they die (which happens often for new players).

Every ship has some sort of tradeoff that a new player might not pick up on right away, like the EI500's weapon limits or the Sapphire's low armor mass limit, but I think they're critical for introducing players to the mechanics.
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Re: Let's argue about cargo holds!

Post by Ferdinand » Mon May 01, 2017 4:51 pm

The first time I played Transcendence there was no choice, only one ship was available, there was no Wolfen or EI500 to choose. And there were no cargo holds either....

So the game came a long way....

I remember vast swarms of Corsairs and Centauri raiders from those early days, maybe at least 25 or more of them attacking you from all sides. Their numbers have dwindled however in the newer versions.

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Re: Let's argue about cargo holds!

Post by Derakon » Mon May 01, 2017 6:16 pm

Xephyr wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 3:13 pm
I think its probably fine for players who pick to Wolfen to run into cargo issues very quickly. If they loot everything they find they'll run into space issues very quickly, and then they are introduced to the mechanic. If they don't like the Wolfen's limitations, then they can just switch ships when they die (which happens often for new players).
A couple of questions here.

First, do you think new players are likely to restart when they die, or are they more likely to continue (violating the permadeath conduct) in an attempt to see the entire game in their first play? My intuition says the latter; it's certainly how I chose when I played the game the first time. Violation of permadeath doesn't feel like a tough decision when you're still learning the ropes -- who wants to replay the early game over and over again so they can learn the many ways that you can accidentally die?

Second, do you think that preallocating a cargo hold is a bad idea? I get the important balancing factors that make each ship viable, but the majority of players on these forums seem to refuse to play the Wolfen without a cargo hold, or the EI500 without a drive, etc, so these balancing constraints really seem to be more about how many device slots you have free, and about how aware you are that there are options that make the different ships "fun" (by whatever metric you define fun). Pre-allocating a cargo hold to the Wolfen would seem to be a no-brainer decision that just makes play more fun for the majority of players that don't enjoy juggling inventory in a very small hold. And like I said, those players who don't want the hold can easily remove it and sell it for a whopping ~500-credit bonus. Hell, reduce the player's starting cash to compensate.

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Re: Let's argue about cargo holds!

Post by Xephyr » Mon May 01, 2017 7:16 pm

Derakon wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 6:16 pm
First, do you think new players are likely to restart when they die, or are they more likely to continue (violating the permadeath conduct) in an attempt to see the entire game in their first play?
It can go either way, but when the player dies they are returned to the intro screen, and if they are unhappy with their ship choice, they are going to have the option to switch ships several times before progressing through even a couple systems. I've seen some people play the game who try out all the ships for a couple minutes before settling on one.

And, it isn't bad if a new player is forced into a strategy because of their ship choice. There are different ways to play the game and the restrictions on ships facilitate that very well. I could see a player being equally unhappy with the EI500's limited weapon slots because they want to try out everything they find, but I don't think a good solution would be to increase device slots just because of that.
Derakon wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 6:16 pm
Second, do you think that preallocating a cargo hold is a bad idea?
I do. I think if it would be a good idea that we would have at least seen it in mods by now.

I could agree that maybe cargo expansions should be a little more common in the game though.
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Re: Let's argue about cargo holds!

Post by JohnBWatson » Mon May 01, 2017 7:21 pm

I agree with Xephyr here. That said, the game could do to make having a cargo hold expansion less of a quality of life thing and more of a genuine mechanic. Having NPCs clear out abandoned and undefended wrecks and having trade algorithms account for distance to a source of what is being bought(or a buyer of what is being sold) when determining price would reduce the effectiveness of making many boring, repetitive trips when trading or looting with a small hold while adding non - QOL benefits to installing or having a larger hold.

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Re: Let's argue about cargo holds!

Post by Derakon » Mon May 01, 2017 7:33 pm

I suppose I should note for the record that I personally, when playing with a small cargo hold, will not bother with making many repetitive trips to sell loot; I'll just pack in as much high-value stuff as I can and consign the rest to the void. The consequence of having a small hold then is less money (and less fuel and ammo, fewer repair items, etc.), because I refuse to trade tedium for in-game currency.

I can't possibly claim to speak for everyone here, of course.
Xephyr wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 7:16 pm
I could agree that maybe cargo expansions should be a little more common in the game though.
What would you think of forcing Starton Eridani to have a cargo hold and having the tutorial missions mention "by the way, if you want more cargo space, go to Eridani and install a hold"?

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Re: Let's argue about cargo holds!

Post by Xephyr » Mon May 01, 2017 7:37 pm

Derakon wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 7:33 pm
What would you think of forcing Starton Eridani to have a cargo hold and having the tutorial missions mention "by the way, if you want more cargo space, go to Eridani and install a hold"?
I think it would work best if you can get a guaranteed hold via the tutorial missions, like the smart cannon. But maybe you should have to choose between a cargo hold and some other useful item, like a drive or the smartcannon.
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Re: Let's argue about cargo holds!

Post by Derakon » Mon May 01, 2017 8:20 pm

Xephyr wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 7:37 pm
Derakon wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 7:33 pm
What would you think of forcing Starton Eridani to have a cargo hold and having the tutorial missions mention "by the way, if you want more cargo space, go to Eridani and install a hold"?
I think it would work best if you can get a guaranteed hold via the tutorial missions, like the smart cannon. But maybe you should have to choose between a cargo hold and some other useful item, like a drive or the smartcannon.
Hm, I could see that working, but I'm not clear what the advantage is compared with making one available at the outfitter. Other holds are almost universally found only at outfitters (I think I've seen one smuggler's hold as loot, once), and I have no idea how you could gracefully implement a mutually-exclusive choice either.

Plus of course, the SmartCannon is there to ease the player into combat mechanics and to give them something reasonably effective against Penitents. I don't want to see a newbie trying to plink down Penitent ships with a light recoilless cannon just because they wanted extra cargo space.

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Re: Let's argue about cargo holds!

Post by Xephyr » Mon May 01, 2017 8:27 pm

Derakon wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 8:20 pm
Hm, I could see that working, but I'm not clear what the advantage is compared with making one available at the outfitter.
I don't want it to be trivial to get a cargo hold, having it in the tutorial means the player has to take time to get it. That said there already is a pretty good chance of finding a miner's hold in Eridani with how often mining colonies spawn.
Derakon wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 8:20 pm
Plus of course, the SmartCannon is there to ease the player into combat mechanics and to give them something reasonably effective against Penitents. I don't want to see a newbie trying to plink down Penitent ships with a light recoilless cannon just because they wanted extra cargo space.
It would mean altering the tutorial mission somewhat but I think it would be nice to have different outcomes based on the decisions made in/outcomes of the previous missions, ie. being bad at aiming gets you the smartcannon, being slow gets a drive (if not in the wolfen/fast ship) and having a full cargo hold gets you a cargo expansion. Or something like that.

If the player isn't prepared to fight the penitents because of this Benedict could just give them a missile rack or something.
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Re: Let's argue about cargo holds!

Post by Derakon » Mon May 01, 2017 8:44 pm

Xephyr wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 8:27 pm
I don't want it to be trivial to get a cargo hold, having it in the tutorial means the player has to take time to get it. That said there already is a pretty good chance of finding a miner's hold in Eridani with how often mining colonies spawn.
Yes, I generally start with a mining hold for this reason. However, the problem isn't so much cargo hold availability as it is player cognizance of that availability. It's entirely possible that players will discount the mining stations out of hand -- they may have no interest in asteroid mining, and there's nothing on the face of it to suggest that any equipment sold by a mining station would have general utility. Similarly, players may not realize that smuggler's holds are available (and that they won't themselves get you into trouble with the Commonwealth). And standard holds are so rare as to be practically nonexistent.

I guess I would accept greatly increasing the frequency with which standard holds are generated instead of forcing one to generate at Eridani. The fact that they're so rare currently definitely feels like an outlier, considering how common the other two hold types are if you know where to look for them. Indeed, given the commonality of mining holds, I'm curious why you (seem to) think forcing one to generate at Starton Eridani isn't a good idea.
It would mean altering the tutorial mission somewhat but I think it would be nice to have different outcomes based on the decisions made in/outcomes of the previous missions, ie. being bad at aiming gets you the smartcannon, being slow gets a drive (if not in the wolfen/fast ship) and having a full cargo hold gets you a cargo expansion. Or something like that.

If the player isn't prepared to fight the penitents because of this Benedict could just give them a missile rack or something.
This is an interesting idea, though obviously more difficult to implement. If we're willing to make that battle more scripted, we could also have Benedict fly in to participate personally if the freighter you're supposed to protect drops below some health threshold. He does have his own ship now, which I imagine wasn't the case when this mission was first added.

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Re: Let's argue about cargo holds!

Post by Shrike » Mon May 01, 2017 10:19 pm

In order, I think that.

Yes it's a good idea to look at their balance and mechanics. It's an old system, and periodic review is always good.
No they shouldn't be standard. They can sap performance massively if you use them incorrectly, and having reduced cargo space is a good way to introduce mass limitations.
Yes there should be an obvious way in which they are introduced.


It may be worth considering as a mission line in the future. Maybe a low-volume, high-value cargo mission of some sort (thus why the player's ship might be used rather than an actual freighter). Regardless, having the values and limitations of cargo holds spelled out at some point in the relatively early game would be a good idea.

It's also worth noting that item values have never actually been balanced. When/if that happens, trade will change significantly.
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Re: Let's argue about cargo holds!

Post by shanejfilomena » Tue May 02, 2017 2:32 am

My first games were in the Freighter : I did not realize I could select a different ship.

Anyway, yes, Cargo size does matter, but it totally depends on how you play....
how you set up the ship :: I used to try to take a Hyperion Reactor back to Eridani and fly forward, a few times I died because I failed to carry enough fuel.....

I like to Mine, so I ALWAYS want the Miner's Hold.
I DO switch it out for a regular expansion once I have most of what I assume my financial needs are for upgrading in the first few systems : very rarely do I mine past Charon. And that would mostly be to get Ore for the factories.

the #1 item in my hold is Fuel : #2 Missiles : makes a nice big bang when I die too :)
Mules are great for hauling stuff for selling , until the Packer Auton came around I used Mules to haul my Ore to the Ringers....yes, that is alot of systems to travel with up to 8 Mules & try to protect them all. ( The Ventari were always good for killing 1 or 2 )

I recently did customized ships : gave each a Cargo Hold Expansion....If anything were to be adjusted to the expansions in stock ships ; the Cargo Hold ( and / or ) expansion area should listed and take damage as part of the PlayerShip........

This would very well increase the awareness of the Hold, it's value .....and increase sales too :)
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Re: Let's argue about cargo holds!

Post by digdug » Wed May 10, 2017 9:54 pm

Yes there should be an obvious way in which they are introduced.
what if the Korolov station to have some flavour text about the cargo hold ? maybe the player talking with some freighter pilot, can be suggested that smaller ships can install a cargo hold.

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Re: Let's argue about cargo holds!

Post by PM » Thu May 11, 2017 6:18 pm

50 tons is perhaps the least I tolerate on a ship. Any less and I want a cargo hold! Even those ships with 50 tons, I want a cargo hold too! No such thing as too much cargo space, only not enough. At the very least, I want to stash loot I find at a safe place, and it is too hard with a tiny cargo hold.

I guess with stock changes, miner's hold may not be guaranteed for sale like they used to. I almost always go to a mining station and buy a hold.

For me, cargo hold is mandatory on a Wolfen. (Wolfen is the ship class I play most by far.) I get very irritated at the Nares station because I must remove one of my must-have non-weapon devices (either jumpdrive or cargo hold) to play their minigame. As such, I refuse to play unless it is the very last I can take. (Usually, I do Taikon and Ringers and finish before Iocrym escalate their attacks.)
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