[Concept]: Outlaw miner update

Discussions on patches, enhancements, and other engine changes.
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JohnBWatson
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Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:18 pm

Shrike wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:14 am
Reinforcements reduce the kiting problem, but yes, there's an issue there. However,that's just that George never coded a way to limit reinforcements. Either you have nothing (which has some significant issues) or you have a constant, never-ending stream (except when the game detects camping and freezes respawn for a while, which isn't very consistent. The solution is for George to give more options for respawn intervals and how many "waves" can turn up before it goes on cooldown for a while. I'm not holding my breath for it though.
Can always script it manually. I'm pretty sure my Syndikat code(now in main build) would only need very slight modifications to do exactly what you're thinking of.

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Shrike
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Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:52 am

George very kindly took a look at this and sent his thoughts to me via PM. As is often the case, I've given him ideas. But I'm mostly sticking to the original plan, which I'll revise a little soon and then maybe actually start some coding. For reference, here's what he sent:
This is very cool, and I'm very supportive of your plan. A few comments:

1. In order to accept changes into the official game, I will need written assignment of intellectual property. Generally, I will send out an email describing the terms (basically, that you voluntarily are giving your contributions to Kronosaur Productions) and the contributor will send back an email saying they agree.

This means we need to make sure we know exactly who contributed to the code. If you're planning on taking arbitrary submissions, then just keep track of everyone who contributed so that I can send them the agreement. This will be very easy if you just do everything via GitHub (but we will make it work either way).

GCabbage and NMS are already on record, so you can take their changes. [Note also this only applies to people submitting actual code/XML/text/images. Ideas, feedback, and suggestions don't count, since they are already covered under the Terms of Service.]

2. I really like your plan for staging the changes. I think that's a good sequence.

3. The Borer was always meant to be a short-range ship, so I like the idea of increasingly more powerful mining laser. We might also consider giving them a mining cargo hold (though maybe tweak the drop chance so it doesn't turn into a loot piñata).

4. We should consider some cosmetic modifications to the Borer to make them distinctive. Particularly between the outlaw and non-outlaw versions. Also, maybe the higher-level ones could look slightly different. This can happen towards the end (and I'm happy to help out).

5. I like the idea of Borers (and other ships) carrying mining charges, etc. These items were added after the original Outlaw Miner work, so we should add them.

6. Long-term, it would be great to come up with some different mechanics for taking over mining stations. For example, maybe destroying the station just results in a buried pile of junk that can't be looted. Instead, maybe the attacker needs to either threaten them (extort loot) or kill them via radiation or virus or something. Or, imagine that high-level mining stations are completely underground and only mining weapons work on them. [These are just examples--my point is to come up with some new ideas.]

7. Long-term, I would like to add connections to the Black Market. At the higher levels, the Black Market should (maybe) protect these stations.

Anyway, I love the direction you're going and I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

p.s.: I just realized I probably should have just posted this to the thread; feel free to share any and all of the above if you want.
So apart from incorporating some of the simpler stuff from there, it's basically Plan A, but with some streamlining.
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Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:16 pm

Few comments:

Outlaws (and Marauders), are part of the reason difficulty of Ungoverned Territories varies. Particle damage would be practically obsolete before 1.7 (when Sung resisted particle instead of blast)... if not for the glut of Outlaw Miners in some games. I had games where the vast majority of enemies in Ungoverned Territories were Outlaw Miners and Marauders, instead of Dwarg and Sung. Because of that, particle damage was effective despite every midgame enemy (at the time) had particle resistance because I encountered mostly early-game ships or barely upgraded versions of them. It seems much of the Miners' firepower later in the game are from the Moskva 33 turrets, which are relatively easy to neutralize. Upgraded Outlaw ships would be a good idea.

Mining does not care about damage type. If I want to make a "balanced" mining weapon, especially for Vault of the Galaxy, I would want to use laser or kinetic, and have slow fireRate, so I can pile on the damage. I do not care much if the weapon can scratch enemies or not (unless I pilot a ship that can only install one weapon at a time). I want my mining weapon to extract ore, preferably in high quantities and not one ton at a time. One thing to keep in mind is if the mining laser damage scales upward to compete with plasma torch, I would not want to use the torch. That said, plasma torch has aged poorly for its intended purpose, and mining with it is a pain due to how particles calculate damage.

Side note: An annoying thing about mining since 1.5 is the player that barely meets the damage thresholds extract ore one ton at a time. This gets very annoying when asteroids start hosting dozens or even hundreds of the ore, because player has dozens of ore objects that clutter the screen, and the player needs to dock at each one to collect. It would be nice that if ore gets extracted at all, it should extract much more than a single ton at a time if the asteroid has many tons.
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Shrike
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Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:31 am

I must be frank and say that my original armor scheme for the new ships would have been a bit too particle-resistant. I'm going to think about what might work (UAS usually uses ceramic on their basic stuff, so I was going to use ceralloy. Maybe a metallic or blast-resistant armor instead?).



The plasma torch will, without a doubt, get an indirect nerf as a result of this. I really can't do anything about that. It's not a weapon I'm planning on altering myself and because of the (in my view ill-advised) damage threshold system for mining it's already bad enough I usually don't use it (I used to pick one up to help grind Rin). The way I see it though....it's not fit for purpose now, and that won't change. What will change is that there will be, up to a point, a set of mining weapons that are fit for purpose. This gives some leeway to fix the ferian technology later..maybe a damage multiplier against asteroids or tweaks to its attributes....whatever. Until it gets fixed, there will be an alternative that works.

One thing I can say though is that based on my earlier mod work and the drafts I wrote up last time....more powerful mining lasers will reduce the amount of 1t ore drops for a reasonable proportion of the game.
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Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:24 pm

Shrike wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:31 am
I must be frank and say that my original armor scheme for the new ships would have been a bit too particle-resistant. I'm going to think about what might work (UAS usually uses ceramic on their basic stuff, so I was going to use ceralloy. Maybe a metallic or blast-resistant armor instead?).
Look at the autons. Autosentinel uses reactive armor, then defender autons use plasteel. (Then 1Ms use light blast plate, but nevermind that.) The point is low level ships may use ceramic, but for higher level ships, just use balanced armor, likely some grade of plasteel. As for blast resistance, Sung is generally the most common enemy in Ungoverned Territories, and they resist blast now. Marauder Tripolis resist blast too. I think we currently have a nice mix of resistant enemies in Ungoverned Territories.

Re: Plasma torch and mining
Plasma torch is awful late in the game, but it is the only option. Standard mining laser does not cut it in high-level systems even with +225% damage from +150% from enhancement and +75% from laser collimator. Even so, trying to mine asteroids in Heretic with plasma torch is too hard.

The problem with very powerful lasers found too early is it defeats the purpose of damage thresholds (and makes plasma torch obsolete). That said, damage thresholds can die in a fire. But, if damage thresholds are kept, the code should be changed to release more than one ton. Something like (damage * (random 1 (system level * 2)) / threshold) instead (damage / threshold), because damage will likely be close to threshold much of the game, and asteroids bear more and more ore later in the game.

It is possible to make weapons do more damage to asteroids to make them more effective at mining and not killing other things. I did that before on some of my mod weapons.

Charges need to extract much more than they do. Extracting four tons out of a hundred-something in Heretic with the biggest mining charge is lame.
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Shrike
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Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:38 pm

Bit of a progress report. I've been mocking things up as a standalone mod, but my thesis work has been making it slow. I've got the new ships in (but not functional) as well as some additional variants of outlaw mines I thought I might add in: uranium and gold for now. I'm thinking I'll have orthosteel as a third top-tier mine alongside duranium and pteracnium. Currently these new mines are identical to the ones at the same ore-level (albeit rarer than their counterparts) but given these are (except for orthosteel) more valuable and rarer ores...I'm considering giving them slightly better defences. I'll wait until the mod's functional and do a testing pass of them as-is before I do anything like that though. Probably they'll just the same except for perhaps some differences in turret setups.



Speaking of turrets, I have for now set the mod to give outlaw mine turrets simple slam cannons. It may be worth investigating having different tiers of turret.
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Shrike
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Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:31 am

Progress has been slow, since I do this in my spare time between bouts of thesis. George has given me some advice fairly recently and I'm redoing a few things. Nothing major.


I've added a new top-level mine into the game: the orthosteel mine. It uses the same defenses as pteracnium mines. Hopefully in a week or so I'll set this all up for testing and see how it goes with the new station levelling.

One problem that does arise is that the ore value by level is a tad....iffy. I may have to chat to George about it some time.
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Shrike
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Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:47 am

I've been doing some initial testing, and my first approach to reworking guards isn't working very well. I'll have to bump things up a little on the guards and down a bit on the turrets. I also need to rework some spawning codes. However the basics are working quite well.
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