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

Details about updates to Shores of Hazeron

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

Postby Vectorus » Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:48 am

If Hazeron were a unified setting such as Starfleet, with cast-iron technological rules, then tying a ship's capability to its overall size would make sense. In the films, Sulu's Excelsior ship was bigger than the Enterprise, and so it was straightforwardly more powerful. But Hazeron is more like the container for multiple sci-fi factions and universes. Should a Borg and a Starfleet vessel have to share a hull volume to share capability? Does a Babylon 5 White Star have to be as big as a Vorlon battleship? Now what about a Borg cube and a White Star, or a Star Destroyer and the Jupiter 2 from Lost in Space? I wonder if all the mobile phones across Hazeron are going to be the same size too; maybe the Mars Congressional Republic and the Covenant and Weltreich in-game empire all buy their tech from the same company. Perhaps this all obviously silly to other people, and my sense of the absurd is failing me today.

Look at what we have so far. Jack and I both have frigate-like dropships with ramps. His if ten times the size of mine, but mine has more hp. Mr. Mortius has a personal yacht with the defenses of a larger warship. Minty has a tiny flying saucer which nevertheless functions as a proper ship. Ximulator has giant, spindly abominations and Ikkir has a hoverboard. The Atlantis is a kilometre long but it looks like an explorer ship and it's weaker than most of the above. We live in a truly alien universe: when you see a new ship, it feels different and other and you have no idea what it can do or is meant to do. That's exciting. We're there because people could make their aesthetic idea come true first and make it work later. I'm worried that if the hull bounding box is king, we'll live in a universe where carefully dimensioned cubes and mile long leviathans are all we'll see. What if a slender, high-tech nuclear submarine can't take down a massive rusty cargo hauler, just because there isn't enough space to allocate to weapons? Or a spry little fighter can't take down a lumbering, vulnerable zeppelin? This goal is not silly.


The method of achieving it, however, is definitely silly. Copying and pasting hull so it overlaps is counter-intuitive and slightly insane. So is berthaporting. All I'm asking is that, as with berthaporting, we be allowed to keep the silly method until a non-silly method is ready to use. Dean's double-duty modules or my slider are just two examples of such a method (I feel the slider has more flexibility and freedom, while the modules promote fairness and predictability).

I think ship classes are a great idea. They should be implemented without prejudice to aesthetic freedom. Designate a ship as a battleship and its armour volume counts for ten, manouevre drive for one tenth. Fighters get ten times weapons and ten times engines; one tenth armour and shields. Carriers get the acceleration penalty for towing and docking reduced, and one troop can direct the fire for ten point-defence turrets. And so on. A scout ship can be aesthetically the size of a battleship, if your artistic vision for your Empire includes that, but its class, as shown on sensors, will make it behave in a way that can be readily understood and countered by other players. Best of both.

p.s., pizzasgood diagnoses certain people with a psychological disorder. I'm actually not qualified to judge that and I'm not sure I'd say so if I were. Maybe I suffer from it myself. But breaking the link between volume and performance reduces the temptation for such people to fill our universe with death boxes, in visual terms. In performance terms, they will always find a way to do so.
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Re: 2018-04-04 Load Balance, Airports and Cities, Sticky Gro

Postby Deantwo » Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:30 am

Vectorus wrote:If Hazeron were a unified setting such as Starfleet, with cast-iron technological rules, then tying a ship's capability to its overall size would make sense. In the films, Sulu's Excelsior ship was bigger than the Enterprise, and so it was straightforwardly more powerful. But Hazeron is more like the container for multiple sci-fi factions and universes. Should a Borg and a Starfleet vessel have to share a hull volume to share capability? Does a Babylon 5 White Star have to be as big as a Vorlon battleship? Now what about a Borg cube and a White Star, or a Star Destroyer and the Jupiter 2 from Lost in Space? I wonder if all the mobile phones across Hazeron are going to be the same size too; maybe the Mars Congressional Republic and the Covenant and Weltreich in-game empire all buy their tech from the same company. Perhaps this all obviously silly to other people, and my sense of the absurd is failing me .

You seem to assume that Haxus is making Hazeron to be able to contain all over science fiction universes in it. What if Hazeron simply has its own universe and its own lore?
The lore is Hazeron is a little thin if there at all, and some we make up for our selves. Some of it I have made up for myself in an attempt to explain odd game mechanics, such as Avatar respawning and teleport abilities. But don't treat Hazeron like it should allow every little science fiction idea in existence, that will just make you more annoyed when your favorite sci-fi show doesn't work in Hazeron.

The only reason this is an issue now and wasn't before, is because we have more creative freedom now and you got used to an exploit that made life easier.

It is an issue that the new QL system encourages CONSTANT redesigning of spacecraft designs in order to keep up to date with your empire's highest possible technical level. But there are other ways to handle this issue than to keep an exploit in the game.
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Re: 2018-04-04 Load Balance, Airports and Cities, Sticky Gro

Postby Vectorus » Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:12 am

Deantwo wrote:You seem to assume that Haxus is making Hazeron to be able to contain all over science fiction universes in it


I'm not actually saying that; sorry if I worded it badly. I'm saying that in scope, Hazeron is as broad as any one science fiction universe, or even several put together. Not that it should contain any other specific universe. As you know, my own ships are original and not copied from any franchise or continuity.

If you look at the empires list you will find that Hazeron is, de facto, a container for a group of factions more varied than you will see in the average sci-fi setting. Foxtail and RDSG are more different than the Federation and the Klingons. The Mars Congressional Republic and Equestria Imperium could not coexist in any planned setting, but they are contributing to create Hazeron's unique and freeform setting, simply by existing. I think that their aesthetics should be able to reflect that, and that size, space and use of space are important components of an empire's aesthetic. A pyramid is much bigger than a sixteenth century Italian crypt. There is no practical reason for it to be; they perform exactly the same function. But it is. That was the Egyptian aesthetic, and size was a non-trivial part of it.

I'm not asking for Hazeron to support Star Trek-style time travel, or Stellaris-style interdimensional invaders, Farscape style wormhole technology or any other fundamental universe laws from other settings. I agree with you; that would be ridiculous and setting ourselves up for disappointment, while disrepecting Hazeron's unique atmosphere. Avatar respawning etc. would be examples of such laws. I'm asking for something really quite limited: ships and buildings to look as different in shape and size as if they came from totally isolated cultures. Not for them to work as differently as if they came from different games!

I'm also slightly mindful of the fact that Haxus' own favourite ships were the Enterprise and the Klingon warbird, and that his own ship is based on Silent Running ;) Surely part of his reason for the new designer is that the old Enterprise was so obviously the wrong size! Hazeron has little lore because its lore grows organically: we are making it now; I'm asking that one important avenue of its growth not be limited for the sake of the physical realism of volume. The physical realism of volume does not seem to be a cornerstone of the Hazeron universe; something important enough to place such a limit on visual experimentation. If Haxus were to make it so, then I would accept and support that. But cargo holds, city storage and cryo berths etc. would also have to be nerfed. I would cite, on the other hand, something like the speed of light or the effect of the gravity well as something very fundamental to the Hazeron universe, something which should never be bent for the sake of expressive freedom.

Deantwo wrote:The only reason this is an issue now and wasn't before, is because we have more creative freedom now and you got used to an exploit that made life easier.


Yes! We discovered that freedom by accident, found it good, and now we want a fairer and more intuitive way of implementing it. Just as we did with berth-a-porting. Do you abstain from using it because it's an exploit? If it were taken away, would you ask for a more legitimate replacement? If this is a bad thing, you may need to explain a bit more to me - I'm not being sarcastic, I'm genuinely asking, since I'm not sure what this means.

If you think that everything not transparently in the game rules is a bad thing, then I understand you and there are many games where I would agree with you 100% - any exploit should be squashed. But my own feeling is that, by opening up his patch notes to discussion and having an Arena of Ideas subforum, Haxus is inviting us to influence the development of Hazeron's rules themselves. Discovering loopholes in the existing rules is an important way of doing just that. It's called Common Law :lol:
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Re: 2018-04-04 Load Balance, Airports and Cities, Sticky Gro

Postby jakbruce2012 » Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:17 am

I too support a decoupling of hull mass/volume, and ship capability. Hull volume should maybe have some effect, but it would be helpful to have a slider, or some kind of other input for the design, that sets material cost and overall capability of the ship. Perhaps this could be the "minimum quality" box, where all ships of that minimum quality have the same allocable volume for systems, miniaturized or not. Produced at higher quality through manufacturing the ship would retain the systems capacity of the original design, to prevent scaling issues, or high tech shuttles spawning in with 95% fuel tank, and not enough engine to move it.

This would be a total decoupling of mesh geometry from ship capabilities, allowing for total artistic freedom in design. I don't expect many to want a universe full of Borg cubes and spike balls, because they are the most efficient design.
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Re: 2018-04-04 Load Balance, Airports and Cities, Sticky Gro

Postby pizzasgood » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:42 pm

Why put so much effort into letting people design their own ships if the designs of those ships are meaningless? If I wanted to make a bunch of consequence-free ship designs, I'd just go fire up Blender and post renders on Deviant Art, or maybe look into Second Life. Hazeron is not an art program or a chat program. It is a game. Games are not about having unlimited creative freedom. They are about making meaningful choices. If the choice between a big or small ship has no impact on anything but aesthetics, then it is not meaningful. It is masturbation.

That doesn't mean we can't have variety. Provide incentives to make small ships instead of always making big ships, and then the choice becomes meaningful. Are you trying to make a bulk transport ship, or a blockade runner? A battle ship, or a scout ship? A fleet fuel tanker, or an emergency refuel craft? In all of those examples, it makes intuitive sense for the second to be smaller than the first. Yet, we currently have no reason to do it that way. This is the problem that needs to be fixed. Make smaller ships more nimble, more stealthy, and harder to hit compared to bigger ships built with the same tech, and this will change. No arbitrary ship classes required.
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Re: 2018-04-04 Load Balance, Airports and Cities, Sticky Gro

Postby Greydog » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:45 pm

I stands to reason that a ship with more volume would be able to hold more or larger "stuff" inside it, or that a ship with greater mass would be harder to maneuver. What you design the ship for is what drives this. I'm thinking that a slider working off the volume is a good start but doesn't quite cover what we need.

As an example the Millennium Falcon is less than 40 meters in length, is relatively small in volume but still has the power for good weapons, shields, maneuverability, speed and a hyper drive. It is balanced such that it is the equal or better of most other ships in it's size range, and can hold it's own long enough to make an escape from pretty much anything else.

While the slider we have atm is good, it just doesn't allow for much diversity in abilities. I'm thinking we could use varying "tiers" or "marks" relating to different size classes for the different components needed to build a ship. Each balanced so that the slider gives them better functionality at lower or higher volumes.

With this a 50m ship still wouldn't stand a chance against the guns on a 1km ship but it could still have 2 - 3 times the speed and maneuverability of the larger ship. It is possible though that multiple smaller ships could cause much strife for that lone leviathan out there.

(this is all really kind of moot till we get better combat tactics though)
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Re: 2018-04-04 Load Balance, Airports and Cities, Sticky Gro

Postby the Lana » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:50 pm

The essence of the problem isn't so much "Gotta make a bigger ship" as it is "Gotta make a better looking ship with a more functional floor / door / window plan than ERRYBODY ELSE." and that's just how it's gotta be done, son.
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Re: 2018-04-04 Load Balance, Airports and Cities, Sticky Gro

Postby Minty » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:45 am

I definitely agree that a compromise would be the best, rather than removing the hull volume effect altogether. My tiny little UFO shouldn't have the hitting power or HP of a gigantic, moon-sized battleship, but it should certainly have qualities that make it just as good of a choice - as Greydog said. There's just currently no option to make a zippy little ship. It's either make the biggest ship you can, or you'll lose. And that's just not as fun!
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Re: 2018-04-04 Load Balance, Airports and Cities, Sticky Gro

Postby AnrDaemon » Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:45 am

the Lana wrote:The essence of the problem isn't so much "Gotta make a bigger ship" as it is "Gotta make a better looking ship with a more functional floor / door / window plan than ERRYBODY ELSE." and that's just how it's gotta be done, son.

The issue is that "bigger is ultimately better".
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Re: 2018-04-04 Load Balance, Airports and Cities, Sticky Gro

Postby jakbruce2012 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:46 am

I suppose the other option is zippy little ships for personal use, and massive battleships and carriers for defense. but with the current system you have to do both.
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