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Living ship - an experiment in script and balance 
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Post Living ship - an experiment in script and balance
NOTE: This ship WILL require alterecco’s DSF.

***Still very much in the brainstorming phase, so feel free to suggest new stuff***

So I decided to push the limits of scripting and balance, and came up with this:

(The cockpit is subject to change - I was fed up with tinkering with materials for hours and just went with it as it was at the time... I'll probably find something better later)
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///EDIT: new cockpit///
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///EDIT2: the 'child' ship///
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///EDIT: young guardian///
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///EDIT: guardian (not yet fully implemented)///
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It's a living ship, for use by the player.
The idea is that it's a ship that will grow in power as the player does, gaining new weapons and abilities. The ship's normal loadout isn't anything terribly fancy, and in fact looks a bit inferior in some areas to the stock playerships at first glance.
Propose current starting loadout;
-max 2 installable weapons [Looks like the freighter here]
-max 4 installable devices total* [Falls short of everyone here]
-starting cargo space 50 tons(?) [about on par with the sapphire]
-max cargo space 120 tons(?) [only beats out the wolfen by a little bit]
-speed .27c [a nice speed advantage, perfect for chasing down other fast gunships, only area where it soundly beats the others]
-max armor mass 7 tons per seg [only ahead of the sapphire, and not by much]
-25MW starting reactor [not too shabby here either...]

* - not including pre-installed devices

So in conclusion, it looks like a rather sub-par ship on the surface, as that lack of device space REALLY hurts, and the speed and starting reactor simply aren’t that big of a deal in the long run. The armor limit also looks uncomfortably tight…

But wait… What is this?

Your armor… is healing? How can that be? You don’t have patcher arms or a patch spider…
Suddenly you realize that there is a whole lot more to this ship than meets the eye.

This is the living ship, a ship that is capable of not only self-repair over time, but also a number of other feats, such as growing new weapons, UI modules, learning and more!
This ship can: (Current idea list)
- repair its armor over time [this ability increases with level]
- grow new weapons (cannot be installed/uninstalled- they take 0 slots and are virtual. They can be internally disabled to prevent them from taking up space when cycling through weapons) [a new weapon is granted at certain milestone levels]
- learn to target or display nearby friends and enemies, among other stuff [once again, granted with levels]
- grow a little ship that can be upgraded as well (basically like a wingman) [this is granted at level 10, which is the highest realistically attainable level] – (a literal mothership)
- improve its organic equipment by ‘feeding’ it items (different items have different levels of effect; ie, feeding armor to armor is optimal, but feeding it raw ores will yield a small improvement, though feeding it map roms will do nothing.)

~~~ Growing ~~~

The current proposed weapon list is: [from emergent level to max level of growth]
Level 1-3: Spike – fires a kinetic projectile. Comes already grown. (Essentially like a recoilless gun)
Level 3-5: Acid venom – fires a ‘generic damage’ projectile that applies a short-lived decay overlay to the affected ship [like the organic acid effect…]
Level 6-8: Ion Pulse – a fairly generic ion weapon, though with appropriate damage for its level
Level 9-11: Plasma arc – This weapon is the slowest to grow larger, but when fully grown, is a weapon to be feared

The natural weapons of this ship can be made more powerful by feeding them various things, ranging from longzhu's, enhancers, fuel, even consumables!

Armor can be installed like on any normal ship, though it can be healed by the ship; at first, this rate of healing is rather slow, but by feeding armor and fuel (or other items for less effect) to the organ that controls this ability, the rate of healing will be increased.

Your cargo hold will grow over time up to its maximum; its growth is proportional to the growth of other parts of the ship. You can also spend one of your valuable device slots on a cargo hold, but there are other things that your slots would be better spent on.

Your drive's thrust can also be grown over time; here though, the growth can be stimulated through feeding it fuel.

~~~ Learning ~~~

The ship can learn to display more UI information over time, starting out with a UI like a normal ship [probably with new graphics though], but eventually gaining the ability to display things such as enhanced visual, targeting abilities, health of other ships and the like.

Some skills learned are directly combat related; the ship can learn to tweak your shields to be slightly more effective against a certain weapon types for a short duration of time. It can learn to fire all the weapons on the ship (alpha-strike!) (though it exhausts the ship very quickly and consumes A LOT of power).
The list here is still under construction...

~~~More stuff~~~

~~~ Adventure Extension ~~~

Thank's to Betel, I got inspired to look into making an adventure extension... :D

~~~~~~~~~~~~More to Come!~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Last edited by Wolfy on Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:59 am
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I don't know how doable it is at present but intrinsic cargo hold and drive might be interesting.

Maybe incorporate a scanner mod or enhanced vision that can be improved to show better eyes. (maybe have overlays showing the new eyes?)

I don't know where the intelligence is at but maybe you can start with no one friendly to you and one of the first things to do would be learn to communicate.

Maybe a side effect of feeding would be to add fuel. (as a supplement to directly refueling)

just some random ideas :D

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Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:09 am
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^^
Thanks for the ideas!

I think I figured out how to script a growing cargo hold and drive (it's actually a series of virtual devices that get installed in growing succession)

Also, I think that your other idea would make for a good adventure extension. (the ship selection bug got fixed in rc6, so that helps a lot)

We still need the ability to set exact overlay positions (or do we have that already?)

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Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:17 pm
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:D
I'm almost done!!!
I've finished the DSF hook, but not the normal dockscreens branching off of it...
I'm almost done with the item swapping/upgrade events...
... and that's all there is to it!

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Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:52 pm
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Makes me want to pull out DarkStar One and give it another playthrough.

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Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:16 am
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A rough beta is up on xelerus, but it's very much not totally working. It's mostly not working. For some reason I can't get the DSF stuff right... :?

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Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:51 am
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This does look very interesting. I will definitely play a game or two with it, when it is finished. I do have a couple of questions, though.

How exactly will it gain levels? Will it be by time spent in the game, enemies destroyed, distance traveled, or what?

If the "child-ship" is destroyed, will you be able to generate a new one? Or is it a one time thing?


Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:00 am
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at the moment, level gain is done by distance travelled.

not sure about the second one yet. it's not coded yet

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Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:22 am
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If it's a literal mothership then...
...
...


Once it attains that level, give it psionic abilities for the referential lulz.

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Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:01 am
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Updated to .8b on xelerus; contains some balance fixes, working script!

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Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:19 am
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i know this is horrible of me to ask, but can you make a living freighter? i haven't played gunships in so long i forget how. :(


Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:28 am
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:lol:
I actually do intend to make more variants of the wyvera ships (primarily for TX2 and the Adv Ext, though they will be released in a playership pack for vanilla as well), though this one is the foundation upon which I'm creating all the script.

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Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:36 am
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~~~updated on xelerus to .9~~~
-adds a new ship, and umimplemented ship graphic
-some more rebalancing
-some new virtual items (for the new ship)

Soon to come: more ships, more stuff

I'm also putting up pics of the new ships momentarily...

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Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:27 pm
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wow, i thought your preview image was just a zoom in, but no, the ship really is that big. looks really awesome.


Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:19 pm
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^^
hehe... I'll work on getting .9a out with the guardian's xml finished (though only ingame w/ godmod, since I don't have any stations set up for them yet...)

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