October 27, 2011 at 2:53 pm #58683
While trying my hands on a new mission type, apart from the purely technical problems of not yet knowing the API enough and not being really familiar with Lua, there’s also conceptual problems cropping up, which have to do with the so far pretty unknown technological capabilities available in the Pioneer universe.
Now, some of this gets answered by ships stats, which tell us that basically power generation is not an issue (those drives throw out a few hundred Megawatts with ease), we have found some kind of magitech that does something eerily similiar to breaking the law of conservation of energy (inertial dampers) and we most probably can accelerate particles to FTL speed (no fuel consumption while on sublight drives. This was different in Frontier, but even there the fuel consumption was so marginal that an eshaust velocity > c was neccessary). We also seem to have practically unlimited FTL communications, as people that gave me a delivery mission pay me a few seconds after arriving a few lightyears away. Beyond that, there’s not that much I can make out.
Now the purpose here should not be to nitpick about physical impossibilities, ridicoulosly overpowered drives etc. That stuff is all pretty much a given and won’t (and shouldn’t) get changed anymore, or Pioneer will be a completely different game afterwards. But when we start to add mission types and similiar, it would be very nice to have a bit more information about what the tech is able to do and what not, to start bringing in some consistency. For example, do we have instant FTL comm over hundreds of lightyears only on planets, where they have McGuffin relays, or is it something any ship is capable of doing?
If it’s restricted to planets, then a scout type mission means I have to get to a waypoint, make my scan, and then go back to the nearest planet to transmitt my results to my employer and get paid. If it’s commonly available on board, my mission is finished as soon as the scan is finished.
Similiarly interesting (for this particular case) would be to define tracking capabilities. If there are planetary installations that can comfortably see what’s at the other side of a system, then Scouting missions in inhabited systems make no sense in the first place (of course I know that there ain’t no stealth in space, but things might still need investigating although you know that there’s something there). And in uninhabited systems, Pirates would be a rather doubtfull occurence…
It’s really only little conceptual stuff like that that will shape a good deal of what the game will feel like, and I’d say it would be a good point in time to define some guidelines to get better consistency of the “background story” later on. Let’s not forgett that an open ended universe that doesn’t have a good background story can get a pretty dull afair. Since I don’t suppose that there is too much consensus on those matters, I thought it might be worth to have a thread on it. Discuss, please.October 27, 2011 at 6:08 pm #84170
Personally, I don’t think we should have any interstellar communication except by courier. That’s the Elite way, and always has been.
My opinion on fuel and propellant is lengthy, and documented at length here. I don’t think there’s much enthusiasm for conservation of momentum, which is the principle that outlaws reactionless motors in real life. Pioneer’s thrusters are completely reactionless; your ship doesn’t get any less massive, no matter how long you use them. My suggestions in there try to add interest and fun to the game, not just impose realism.
As for FTL? Well, in Newton’s model of gravity there was no limit to speed. Pioneer uses a simplified Newtonian model, so we’re not bound by any of the restrictions imposed by relativity. Hyperspace drives exceed the speed of light, as can regular spacecraft thrusters, given time and patience. There’s no time dilation, even near black holes or when travelling at extreme velocities. Simultaneous events are meaningful even at a distance. The combat target, when set to a ship that’s a long way away, provides real-time feedback of its position. We can request docking clearance instantly, from any distance, and are instantly notified of its expiration.
Might as well take that and run with it; we’re not in Einstein’s universe, after all. I’m perfectly happy to see instantaneous communication within a system, despite its non-realism. Fun takes precedence over realism any day.
So, after all that, I’m happy with most suggestions, as long as it basically still feels like Frontier did. Frontier really pushed my buttons.October 27, 2011 at 7:53 pm #84171GeraldineParticipant
Well when it comes to talking about comms in Frontier, I always imagined they worked the same way as the jump drives did, by way of “tunnelling” through hyperspace just as the ships do. However, due to comm traffic having little or no mass, they travel more or less instantaneously.
Interestingly, one of the competing particle physics theories states that the recent puzzling FTL measurement of neutrinos sent by CERN to the physicists at Opera in Italy, was due to the particles temporally leaving our universe (and Einsteinian physics behind too) and then returning just in time to be picked up by detectors. However, this leaves the door open to the possible occurance of receiving a message before it is actually sent. Crazy stuff indeed! 😯
If this was indeed what happened (and I stress if), it still leaves the golden questions of why and how did the neutrinos manage it. If we could answer those questions, we could very well be on the road to becoming a real space fairing race. Then again it might all be down to a measurement error, which at this stage is more likely.
So anyways, perhaps the Frontier model for comms might just be the correct one?October 27, 2011 at 8:47 pm #84172Geraldine wrote:…was due to the particles temporally leaving our universe (and Einsteinian physics behind too)
Perhaps they dipped into Pioneer’s universe. It’s non-Einsteinian.October 27, 2011 at 11:51 pm #84173MarcelParticipantQuote:Personally, I don’t think we should have any interstellar communication except by courier. That’s the Elite way, and always has been.
Then you wouldn’t get paid instantaneously from another system. You’d have to jump back to get paid. It’s not quite the Frontier way, but I like it. I imagine courier drones that jump to the next system and back, transmitting and receiving data between systems. There could be robotic post office stations on the edges of systems to refuel them.October 28, 2011 at 3:07 am #84174Marcel wrote:Quote:Personally, I don’t think we should have any interstellar communication except by courier. That’s the Elite way, and always has been.
Then you wouldn’t get paid instantaneously from another system. You’d have to jump back to get paid. It’s not quite the Frontier way, but I like it. I imagine courier drones that jump to the next system and back, transmitting and receiving data between systems. There could be robotic post office stations on the edges of systems to refuel them.
I don’t like the idea of having to return to origin for payment. It would make the game centralised. I.e. You’d do a job, get back, do another job, get back, etc. Only switching systems when you feel like it. The “do job and find a new one where you are now”-routine makes you see new places pretty mich aitomatically, and forcing a player to mpve around is vastly important for a procedurally generated game, otherwise the whole unlimitted size is completely lost.
The automated courrier drones would make sense, and could be simulated by a delay between mission accomplishement and payment, but if that takes several days or even weeks it would break the gameflow too much i’m afraid. Planet based ftl com and inersystem ship ftl com though would mean that it would be very easy to relay messages as long as there is a colony in the system, making interstellar communication again accesible from on board…
As fa as i can see, the immediate landing clearence request is the only hint for shipnoard ftl com, though. If the range for landing clearence would be limited, we would have pretty sound grounds to say that ftl coms are only available on planets, which would be the best way to go game mechanics wise, imho.October 28, 2011 at 3:17 am #84175robnParticipant
I always sort of imagined that interstellar comms was possible between stations (that have some kind of magical hyperspace radio), but ships only have enough power/magic to communicate within the same system. I don’t know what the technology for all this looks like though. And nothing explains “Right on, commander.”October 28, 2011 at 7:37 am #84176GeraldineParticipantBrianetta wrote:Perhaps they dipped into Pioneer’s universe. It’s non-Einsteinian.
😆 😆October 28, 2011 at 11:16 am #84177Marcel wrote:Quote:
Then you wouldn’t get paid instantaneously from another system. You’d have to jump back to get paid
As you do for assassinations. For deliveries, though, there’s a recipient. They can pay you. Alternatively, the package could contain a chip, with a cryptographically signed instruction to the local bank to pay you. Anything’s possible, and little of it relies on contacting the station of origin. You could even be given the name of the recipient, so that you must actually give it to the right person, rather than the one who’s trying to steal deliveries.October 28, 2011 at 11:19 am #84178Quote:For deliveries, though, there’s a recipient.
oh, right… totally forgott about that little detail. 😆October 28, 2011 at 12:03 pm #84179s2odanParticipantQuote:That’s the Elite way, and always has been.
I never got the impression that Elite didn’t have FTL comms, after-all your delivering packages and people which require FTL teleportation not communication 🙂 So even with FTL comms there is still a market for one-man delivery ships…
In FFE you also have the books/journals which are updated with some psuedo FTL mechanism. If the distress call comm option had actually worked, that would have been FTL too…
Or perhaps it did work but was Lightspeed, which is why no-one ever got picked up hehe 😉
I suppose Frontier and FFE are newtonian, which also means no Light-speed barrier.. Therefor no limit to how quickly messages can travel I presume. ❓
Really all the strongest evidence for FTL comms lies with FFE, perhaps there is some with Frontier but I played that far less and dont recall any evidence of it at all.
I’m not against a lack of FTL communications at all, I’m just saying it was in FFE… sort of 😉
There’s an interesting set of books by Peter F Hamilton where there is no FTL communication (I think its the Reality Dysfunction), everything is sent VIA ships. Brian I bet thats why your sweet on this idea hehe, they are bloody good books and IIRC you told me you were reading them..
But theres something else very cool from those books… Planets had unique resources which opens up interesting trade opportunities. 🙂 Like Ironwood (or whatever it was called) from Lalonde 😉Quote:Alternatively, the package could contain a chip, with a cryptographically signed instruction to the local bank to pay you.
Thats a nice idea.
Also wrt assassination missions, how would the Contract issuer know that you had in-fact completed the mission?
Gun camera footage perhaps? But then the police should be able to perform a random search and check the camera 🙂October 28, 2011 at 5:43 pm #84180
s20dan: I am reading them, but no – the real reason is (are) the various novellas set in the Elite and Frontier universes. Stock prices couldn’t be broadcast – you had to fly to another star system to find them out. It was, as I said, the way.
Frontier might not have had a light speed barrier, but even in a Newtonian universe, light travels at… the speed of light. It’s tautological, really.October 28, 2011 at 6:55 pm #84181s2odanParticipant
Ah yes but in our Pioneer newtonian universe, light travels instantly as you said before 😉
So yes light travels at the ‘speed of light’ its just that it is infinitely faster than it should be 😉October 28, 2011 at 7:10 pm #84182fluffyfreakParticipants2odan wrote:Ah yes but in our Pioneer newtonian universe, light travels instantly as you said before 😉
So yes light travels at the ‘speed of light’ its just that it is infinitely faster than it should be 😉
Pedant! 😛 Awesome though you are 😀
My own 2p opinion; Comms are instantaneous, there’s plenty of instant comms in Sci-Fi and we already take great liberties with the tech’ so lets not get bogged down with pedantry and correctness over this one. Especially as in Frontier it was always physical packages that had to be delivered and yet the confirmation messages were always from the original sender (I may be inaccurate on this by 1 bottle of wine and am hereby exempt from criticism! 😛).
This does limit mission possibilities, recon missons for example, or stealth nukings where the enemy can’t be allowed to warn anyone that sort of thing. Let them be big complicated structures on planets/stations so the player can destroy them on scripted missions et voila, you have a relatively plausible system that most people will be happy with.
That’s my slightly pissed opinion anyway. Check back tomorrow to see what I think with a hangover! 😆October 28, 2011 at 7:13 pm #84183
Well, in a nod to our galactic map, let’s call light years light years and say that light takes a year to travel one of them. In-system, though, sure – instant communications seem to be possible. I would recommend, though, that we don’t draw attention to this fact. Space is nice because it’s quiet.
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