2018-04-04 Load Balance, Airports and Cities, Sticky Ground

Details about updates to Shores of Hazeron

2018-04-04 Load Balance, Airports and Cities, Sticky Ground

Postby Haxus » Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:40 pm

Load Balance
Server load balancing was thrown out of whack by some recent changes. Those jerky servers should smooth out now.

Star Map Admin and Airport
The star map data now includes information about city administration (Capitol or Military Headquarters) and airports (Airport Terminal or Military Air Terminal).

This information is shown in the tree of star map places.

This information is included in the XML output. The tags are 'admin' and 'airport'.

Airport and City Mission Orders
Land at airport, land at city, and orbit over city mission order UI now lists new style airports and cities. The airports list shows Airport Terminals and Military Air Terminals. The cities list shows Capitols and Military Headquarters.

Now that star map data includes airports and cities, they will be listed when creating an order in the context of a distant system. Previously, insufficient information about the city was available to do that.

Land at Airport AI
AI now knows how to land at the spacecraft landing spots of a new style airport. I tested this with my airport terminal model, which has one spot on the ground and the other on an elevated platform. AI will land at whichever is unobstructed, otherwise they treat it like a land at city order and just land somewhere.

Airport Platform Bug
Vehicles on top of the platform at the airport tilt as if they are orienting to the terrain that is directly below them, below the platform. Fixed. As a consequence of this change, all top surfaces of buildings are treated as if they are level. A vehicle driving on top of a sloped roof will not orient to the roof slope; it will remain level.

Sticky Ground
Spacecraft that landed on the ground became stuck there, unable to take off. AI could not take off either. You had to take the helm and wiggle them around to break free. That bug was fixed.

City Facilities Bug
The cities list on the governance window does not show the facilities at new style cities immediately after a server restart. It might never have shown them, until a building was added or removed from the city. That is fixed.

Occupied Console Bug
I am the only one aboard a ship. I sit at the helm. Then I exit the station and sit at a command chair. I can access the helm as if it were occupied. Fixed.

Hull Volume Bug
Due to overlapping parts, it is possible for the hull volume calculation to produce a result that is larger than the box extents volume of the ship. Fixed. The hull volume calculation will now return the volume of the hull extents if the volume of the parts exceeds it. The hull volume is determined when a design is finalized. Existing finalized designs will be unaffected.

Object Manipulator Bug
The UI to manipulate static displayed objects moves objects in units of feet instead of meters. Fixed. Added a .001 value to the combo box, for 1mm movements.

AK Reload Button Bug
AK shows a Reload button when it is in simple bludgeon mode. Fixed.

Store Paper to Storage Device
Papers can now be stored onto storage devices.

Light in Designer
When the off line designer is launched, your avatar is now equipped with a candle in one hand and a lantern in the other. These should help when previewing dark places in a design.

Mouse wheel to select the one you want. Push U to turn it on and off. Middle mouse button click also does this (click with wheel).

Building Construction Collision Checks
Buildings are now permitted to overlap other buildings when placing them. It is up to you to put together something that is esthetically pleasing. When two sites overlap, it is unpredictable which one you will be determined to be standing in.

It is possible the server will decide you are in one site while your client program thinks you are in the other. This could cause confusion when using the building UI to manufacture, transfer or purchase commodities.
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Re: 2018-04-04 Load Balance, Airports and Cities, Sticky Gro

Postby jakbruce2012 » Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:59 pm

well, I knew the box extents nerf was coming. Too easy to make a tardis type craft otherwise.
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Re: 2018-04-04 Load Balance, Airports and Cities, Sticky Gro

Postby Vectorus » Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:53 pm

Haxus, thanks so much for these really meaty fixes, especially since they come at such a difficult time for you. I appreciate it more than I can say.

Haxus wrote:Hull Volume Bug


I do disagree with this one, though. The important limiting factors for spacecraft are, and should be, tech, time and how many resources you are willing to throw at it - I'm really not sure what aesthetic volume adds to this.

If I have a specific ship in mind, maybe from my imagination or maybe from a franchise, once I reach a high enough quality/technological level I should be able to make it look right. I don't want my Millenium Falcon to be a mile long just so it can perform as well as it does in the films. I don't want the Enterprise to be the size of a Star Destroyer - it feels wrong, and it limits the new and precious freedom of the designer in quite a severe way. Empires have different aesthetics, which imply different technologies and strategies. One empire may want super-sleek, petite starships like my own Dulcinee and others may want rustbucket leviathans. A universe where only titans permit optimal gameplay is palpably little poorer for it.

I have continually hoped that volume requirements would one day be abolished altogether and the fact that this workaround existed was something that always felt right to me. It has never been an exploit - the resource and time commitment has always been the same whatever the aesthetic volume. No one sizes up the strength of an opponent by size alone: they use their sensors and read the hp. You can't trick anyone into a trap using this.

The only restriction I would support is if this overall volume calculation were applied to the ground build limit. Otherwise, I'd be so happy if you were either to reconsider this, or were to add a slider for "hull capacity" that allows you to increase your capabilities up to the Q maximum. Of course, it is what you think is best that matters in the end.

One final point is that if my ship has to be twice as long, my repeating hull details have to repeat twice as often, increasing the blueprint size. A smaller ship can be more detailed per visible square yard - if my own ships were very much larger, they would have to compromise on hull detail, which is something I'd rather avoid.

Again, thanks for all the fixes. I'm deeply grateful. I know there are things on here that I have personally requested and it touches me that you remember and listen to them, amidst it all.
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Re: 2018-04-04 Load Balance, Airports and Cities, Sticky Gro

Postby Haxus » Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:11 pm

I suspect a misunderstanding.

It is not physically possible for the volume of the parts to exceed the volume of the whole. That is not an arbitrary limitation. It is a fact of the physical universe. :geek:

A friend used to say, "You can't put three pounds of crap in a two pound sack." :D
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Re: 2018-04-04 Load Balance, Airports and Cities, Sticky Gro

Postby Haxus » Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:14 pm

you remember and listen to them


I do try to keep an open ear and an open mind, though sometimes I might challenge the source. :lol:

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Re: 2018-04-04 Load Balance, Airports and Cities, Sticky Gro

Postby Mr. Mortius » Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:31 pm

I'd like to briefly weigh in on this as well, although in less detail than Vectorus.

The ability to overlap hull parts to increase the usable volume while keeping the ship aesthetically the same is invaluable. In addition to the reasons Vectorus mentioned above, I'd like to mention the time savings this had.

A detailed design in the new designer takes much longer to create than the old one. With the current system, I have been able to use the same design for multiple quality levels by simply copying and pasting a hull peice until the ship reaches the volume I want. In the new system, I will need to redesign the entire ship each time I want to have a stronger ship. This means either an enormous increase in the time dedicated to ship design instead of playing the game, or large and ugly ships composed of simple geometric shapes.

Because the only difference between the two approaches is visual, with health and all other variables remaining the same, I would recommend ship quality granting a number of points to allocate to systems, instead of volume. These points could work in exactly the same way as volume does now, but would prevent the issues mentioned above.
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Re: 2018-04-04 Load Balance, Airports and Cities, Sticky Gro

Postby Deantwo » Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:42 pm

Thanks for all the fish-... I mean fixes!
Haxus wrote:It is not physically possible for the volume of the parts to exceed the volume of the whole. That is not an arbitrary limitation. It is a fact of the physical universe. :geek:

I do agree with Haxus that it just doesn't make sense to have overlapping hulls work, but Vectorus does have some points too.

Could just be an advanced hull module or something that increase the total hull volume that can be allocated, at the cost of increased power usage or something. There are many ways to make technological advancement more interesting.
I do still think that the SpacecraftQL slider should be removed though, and instead use increasingly more advanced modules that require rarer materials. But that is a larger topic Haxus has to think about I guess.
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Re: 2018-04-04 Load Balance, Airports and Cities, Sticky Gro

Postby Haxus » Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:48 pm

You can have overlapping hulls. Its just that they will stop adding volume when it exceeds the actual size of the ship, if it were a solid block.
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Re: 2018-04-04 Load Balance, Airports and Cities, Sticky Gro

Postby Deantwo » Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:52 pm

Haxus wrote:You can have overlapping hulls. Its just that they will stop adding volume when it exceeds the actual size of the ship, if it were a solid block.

I think we all know that, sorry if we were unclear. By overlapping hull I meant having the overlapping add "extra" hull volume, which was clear not intended.
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Re: 2018-04-04 Load Balance, Airports and Cities, Sticky Gro

Postby Mr. Mortius » Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:00 pm

I suppose the new method is adding thin, invisible hull pieces that extend out along each axis to increase the size of the cube.
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