Accidents

If you’ve been playing Starfarer, you know that there’s no penalty to being over capacity in any of the various stats such as fuel or cargo space. Clearly, that has to change at some point.

The question is, how to keep the player within the set limits?

A straightforward approach would be to treat the limits as hard limits, and disallow the player from being over them at any time. For a straightforward approach, though, it’s not actually very straightforward. Let’s say there’s a cargo limit, and the player loses a ship. What happens now that their cargo is over the limit? Remember, cargo isn’t assigned to a specific ship, but handled as a total fleet-wide capacity. We could automatically dump some cargo at random – but that really hurts (bye-bye <important item>, which there’s no way to safeguard). We could add new mechanics to assign certain items to certain ships – but now we’re adding even more mechanics to make the new mechanics we’re adding “work”, and that’s not a good sign.

We could instead present the player with a choice of what to get rid of any time they’re over capacity. The trouble is, that could be awfully harsh too. Suppose they’ve got a few  ships that are just barely within their fleet points limit. Then they lose an officer that was providing a fleet points bonus – and now must choose which ship to get rid of, too. It’s also awkward to keep presenting the player with dialogs that demand attention and can’t simply be dismissed.

Besides, it would make sense that you could go over limits. An external cargo container attached to the hull with a magnetic grapple. A jury-rigged containment field to convert a cargo hold into a fuel cell. An improvised life support system to increase the personnel capacity of a ship. All these sound like they’d require some supplies to put together and maintain, but well within the capabilities of a well-trained crew. Even so, these probably wouldn’t be very reliable, would they?

Makeshift Capacity & Accidents

There are five limits each fleet needs to stay within:

  • Cargo
  • Fuel
  • Personnel (crew and marines, combined)
  • Fleet points (each ship uses some)
  • Hangar space (provided by ships, used by fighters)

You can go up to 50% over each limit without any penalty, except for an additional supply cost – to build improvised containers, account for unexpected logistical requirements, perform emergency maintenance on all the jury-rigged systems, and other such.

The revised fleet information display, with a tooltip containing a detailed logistics report

That’s a lot of information on the tooltip, isn’t it?  What really matters is the simplified panel on the right, though – all you need to worry about is keeping the accident risk down, and making sure you’ve got enough supplies to maintain the extra capacity. The tooltip is there if you’re interested in understanding exactly what’s going on, but it’s not something you need to look at often.

Now, on to accidents – if you run out of  supplies, or go more than 50% over any capacity, you run the risk of having a serious problem.

As best I can tell, a cargo crate containing weapons slammed into an improvised habitat. Ouch.

The consequences of an accident depend on its cause, but will always aim to bring your fleet closer to its limits. For example, a personnel-related accident will cause a loss of crew and marines – though it may also cause some collateral damage to cargo or fuel, especially if those are over capacity as well.

The consequences can be very harsh – up to the total loss of a ship – but accidents are also something you shouldn’t be seeing on a regular basis. They’re there for when you’ve made a mistake (didn’t carry enough supplies to support your fleet, say), or for when you’ve made a gamble and lost (can I tow this extra loot to the station to sell?).

Of course, this applies to AI-controlled fleets as well – so later on, you’ll be able to inflict grievous losses on the enemy simply by disrupting their supply chain. Freighters also become much more important – a particularly large fleet needs lots of supplies to stay in the field – and to haul off all the salvaged goods.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 at 2:46 pm and is filed under Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

144 Comments:

  1. One UI upgrade I’d like to see for this: multiple colors on the bars; something like a dark red for “over capacity but not yet at risk of accidents unless you run out of supplies”, and the current bright red for “over capacity and at high risk of accidents”. Make it so you can see at a glance if you’re in the danger zone or not.

    by Wyvern
  2. Sounds like a creative way to solve the logistics problem, but it brings up the question, is their a hardcap to the number of ships you can own?

    by Menden
  3. This sounds awesome. Gimme gimme gimme. :)

    I too wonder about fleet capacity. Are there really catastrophic accidents that can happen there? That could be exceedingly fun, haha.

    by icepick37
  4. Sounds like a great solution, more stats is never bad when you’re taking risks!

    by Stian
  5. I think when you have too much items it will affect you speed, both in combat and outside. When you get to a secretion point you cannot store more. The idea of having accidents sound cool, but a large plasma cannon is too bad to miss in a accident.

    by Two_Pawes
  6. Thank you guys, glad you’re liking the approach!

    @Wyvern: Excellent idea. Hmm… although, you can be at risk even when at <50% over capacity – if you're out of supplies. So that might be a bit misleading – the "Accident risk" indicator is the true measure of whether you're in the danger zone or not.

    @Menden: Fleet points – which right now are set to 100, but will later depend on your character's skills. It's not a limit on the number of ships per se, but each ship costs some points, and it's a limit on the overall strength of your fleet.

    @icepick37: That depends. Is losing an Onslaught, several hundred crew, and some cargo catastrophic enough for you? :) That can happen if you go over fleet capacity by a lot.

    @Two_Pawes: Well, if you don't want to have an accident, don't go over capacity :)

    by Alex
  7. Haha, YES! That is exactly what I mean.

    by icepick37
  8. Do you also intend to add to risks something like mutiny / sabotage due to lack of suppliespersonnelor even a moral factor ?

    by Troll
  9. Oh and YES the loss of an Onslaught would also make me cry, or at least make me search the universe for the responsible. And if there is none to be found, create one.

    by Troll
  10. @Troll: The lack of supplies can also cause accidents – the longer you’ve been out of supplies, the more severe.

    by Alex
  11. Well, yes – but lack of supplies leading to accidents is true if you’re over capacity or not. Perhaps a better mechanism would be to change the displayed numbers – make it so the listed capacity is the point where accidents start happening, and 2/3 listed capacity is where it starts costing extra supplies?

    Hm. While we’re on the topic – another number showing total supplies divided by supplies per day would be nice. Call it “cruise duration” or something – to hopefully make it clear that getting into a fight and having to make repairs might seriously cut back on how long you can stay in the field.

    by Wyvern
  12. when will something like this take place… cause as of now im at Fleet size..2383/200.
    Fleet accidents will hurt..

    by Emots
  13. @Wyvern: I guess it’s 6 of one and half dozen of another – but it doesn’t feel right to me to have the stated capacity of a ship be something where you incur a penalty for using all of it. Besides, then the question would be “ok, how do I see the point where there’s no penalty?” :)

    Hmm. About the extra number – it might be misleading, when you’re using extra supplies for repairs (which’ll only last a day or two more), but then your “cruise duration” shows as really short for that time. Seems like it’s not too hard to divide the two, anyway – for all the good it’d do you to see the almost-guaranteed-to-be-incorrect number of days…

    @Emots: Well, since the new version will very likely not be save-compatible, that shouldn’t be a problem. Ahem.

    by Alex
  14. Heres a scenario I would like to put forward: Often at the start of the game I will scramble a fighter wing with my first frigate. Since I have no flight bays or hangers and the fighters tend to eat resource and repair very slowly I run out of supplies often enough.

    Now with this system in the early game, ran out of supplies with my small force, am I gonna enter into the catastrophic accidents zone? Especially since the start frigates dont tend to have the cargo space to store the spoils of a victory.

    To put anouther way am I going to need to buy a destroyer or cargo friagte straight away?

    by Cryten
  15. Well, it should be simple enough to have it calculate how many supplies repairs will take, total, and factor that in…

    Really, though, a duration of supplies display will be more important once multiple systems are in – if you’re planning a long exploratory mission, for example, you need to know not just Range, but also Duration, so you can cover yourself adequately on both fuel and supplies – and so that (assuming it’s easy to see how long it takes to get back to home base) – it’s easy to figure out when you need to turn around and go back.

    Maybe even (configurable) warning points – “Warning: low supplies; 10% margin of error remaining on returning to nearest known star base.” But that’s fancy stuff that doesn’t need to go in yet.

    * * *

    Even if it just goes in the tooltip, I would like some way to see the accident cap, though – in the first screen shot, you have to bring up the tooltip to see that you’re too far over on explicitly cargo, and you have to (gasp!) do the math yourself if you want to know that you’re at 650/630 cargo accident cap, and could prevent any chance of accidents by jettisoning 20 units of cargo.

    by Wyvern
  16. I’m glad that you are thinking about these things Alex, in terms of the tech that matches the genre. It does make sense that they would be able to attach cargo outside of their ships, etc.

    I mean, here you have beings capable of space travel, FTL, energy shields, and beam weapons – but hauling an extra suitcase, or two…that’s just too complicated?

    I say – cool sci-fi tech tech to the rescue.

    I’m not sure if it would work with how you are designing this, but what about dumping cargo into space – and picking it up later…if nobody else steals it? Maybe you could leave a defensive detachment. Would make a new kind of mission also – attacking/raiding a cache of goods, etc. But maybe that’s getting a little more into RPG land than you are planning.

    by adc
  17. @Cryten: Some more playtesting is needed to definitively answer that, but yeah, if you’re looking to loot significant amounts of anything, you’re going to need something with some cargo space. Even something as cheap as a Hound would do, though.

    @Wyvern: Right, yeah – I can see making enhancements when the higher-level picture is more clear. Fair point about seeing the cap, though that’s also the dividing line beween “Minor” and “Major” risks – “Minor” risks can be dealt with via supply use, while “Major” and “Critical” can not. But that’s not really explained anywhere.

    @adc: I like that idea a lot, actually. Give a bit of life to the landscape.

    by Alex
  18. To follow up on was adc said, what if battles left behind “ship graveyards” or something that you could loot for parts,survivors, broken ship hulls, that sort of thing. There’s nothing more frustrating than chasing a group of pirates for two weeks only for them to run straight into a Hegemony defense fleet and get instantly killed.

    by anon
  19. @anon: Yeah, I’d love to add something along these lines later on. Would again add a bit of life to the universe to see the remnants of past battles floating around.

    by Alex
  20. The way I see it, If you have too much cargo, you have to move slower.If you have to many crew, they might starve or mutiny (as in kill other crew and comandeer one of your ships). If you have too much fuel, some of it could be accidentally ignited, causing massive damage to the ship carrying it. Going over fleet points could also encourage crew to mutiny and leave with one of your extra ships. Those are my ideas on the subject. I don’t know what I would do about hangar though.

    by Cenoh
  21. Great ideas Alex! These sorts of small design decisions really add to player choice and ultimately fun. Nice work.

    by Nick
  22. This proposed update got me thinking.
    Being new to Starfarer I’m not sure exactly what happens when you run out of fuel. I haven’t run in to that problem yet. But I was thinking it would be interesting if your fleet could carry trucking on under solar-power. This would mean you move extremely slowly across the map, but can build up some boost and momentum if you slingshot around a star (in opposition to the current planet/mass slow down). I know it’s a leap from the current topic but it might be an interesting mechanic. Your thoughts?

    by Josef
  23. I agree with the idea of having supply caches or ship graveyards floating around. I think salvage would be a nice medium-risk way to make money, in between hunting pirates and trading. Maybe you could also have some pirates in the ship graveyards, where one of the “derelict” ships could turn out to be an ambusher.

    by Minno
  24. Sweet! That’s a really elegant way to handle it.

    by Trylobot
  25. can someone please tell me how to separate items in the bases? Sometimes I just want to buy a few marines and not the whole “pack” since I can’t afford it.
    I apologize if this question has been answered several times and I’m just annoying you.

    by Zettimation
  26. Why is there even a fleet point limit?

    It just pointlessly limits you. Why couldn’t you assemble a megafleet if you wanted to? Why is there this magical number of ship-size that you can’t go over?

    by Combustible Lemon
  27. Although Im likely alone in this, personally I would prefer penalties to going over limits, or failing that simple hard coded maximums. The idea of random chance accidents, that could potentially ruin a game, strips away some of the fun factor. Again though that is just personal preference.

    Loving the sound of the wrecks/graveyards idea, have always thought more games should support scavenging or looting as career paths.

    by Bansh
  28. How about this method:
    All excess Crew/Fuel/Fighters are counted as cargo. Carrying upto cargo capacity has no penalty but exceed it and suffer a % reduction of speed on map movement. Example 50% over cargo capacity 50% less map speed. That way you have a choice to limp to a station and sell junk or jettison it. Just an idea.

    by Andrew
  29. This post makes me instantly more interested in this project.

    by Jabberwok
  30. This might be off topic Alex,but how about having ballistic weapons not designed to penetrate heavy armor bounce or do less damage on ships that have it? i mean, the heavy armor feature doesn’t do much like the hardened shields do. or maybe that’s a bit much?

    by ValkyriaL
  31. I think that if you do go in a scavenging/trading direction – then it might make sense to break cargo up into actual materials and objects needed for things – and of different values in trade. Already, this is awesome with the loads of weapons and stuff – but perhaps cargo could consist of other interesting and functional items. Perhaps certain ship mods require certain items or materials – same with repairs?
    If you ever get into any sort of construction – ships, stations, whatever -this would be interesting as well.

    PS. @anon – the only remedy to that problem…is to become the Hegemony Defense Fleet…

    https://twitter.com/#!/wtc/status/180533983581450240/photo/1

    ;)

    by adc
  32. Would it be possible to add outpost between systems and linking defensive batteries to it. You can refuel/resupply in between system. The bigger the outpost the more guns you can link, more supply/fuel you can stock on them

    by Emots
  33. @adc: Well, I’m not sold on having too many different resource types – having a few different types of construction materials, for example, might be too much – but there’ll definitely be lots more types of cargo.

    @ValkyriaL: It certainly is :) But – that’s actually how armor basically works already – you take less damage when you have more of it. Perhaps the effect isn’t pronounced enough in some cases, though.

    @Andrew: That’d certainly simplify things, but I like the separation of cargo, fuel, personnel, and hangar space – it leaves room for specialized ships to carry each (tankers, freighters, transport ships, carriers) – and that’s nice. I don’t actually like the slowdown mechanic – it seems like all too often, it just boils down to asking the player to be bored – because most of the time, you’ll just absorb that 50% penalty and limp to port to sell off the loot.

    @Bansh: Hmm. What you’re describing sounds exactly like the approach I’ve outlined, if you treat accidents as something of a “hard” limit. They certainly aren’t something that should be happening often, if you’re managing it right.

    @Combustible Lemon: You could make the same argument about any limit whatsoever. Why limit the player’s health? Why limit their ammo? Why limit the number of enemies? Etc, etc, etc. The answer is that limits are needed to make the game into a coherent whole, instead of a broken mess.

    @Zettimation: Shift-click, or Shift-click and drag to split a stack.

    by Alex
  34. i been wondering about how u were going to adress this and was REALY hopeing u would not do a hard limmit :) thank u soooo much for not doing one XD

    … also a itch i gota scrach why is the LMG so powerful? like i have 5 of em on the lasher and it owns EVERYTHING :) well other than capital class and anything faster than the lasher but still it eats threw the shields then smashes everything, guns are almost instantly blasted to hell and armor though slowes it down, doesnt last long against it, sooooo my question is are there going to be a few more wep balances(buffs(the 2xLMG is quite weak compaird to the LMG when compairing costs) or debuffs) or are u keeping them the way thay are?

    by Lawlmanz
  35. @Lawlmanz: Part of it is the AI needs to handle being shot with it better (lower shields, instead of getting overloaded). In general, we’ll be improving weapon balance as we go, so you can expect to see lots of changes.

    @Emots: Well, that’s a possibility, but a bit early to think about in earnest :)

    by Alex
  36. I think that a level system should be implemented soon. In my mind, an inexperienced commander could only command a small fleet, whereas a better commander could command more men, therefore, I think the fleet point limit should increase as you level up.

    by Cenoh
  37. Excellent improvements.

    Wouldn’t it be funny if there was a chance that some of your crew / officers would instigate a mutiny on their ship and leave the fleet if living conditions didn’t meet their expectations. The CO’s magnetic personality can’t work every time, can it?

    by ruoste
  38. @Cenoh: That’s the plan.

    by Alex
  39. also i know that your not doing a MP but would adding a chat be posible? for example say a chat down on the right hand side for when out of combat/trade where you can talk to other people in a simmlar state where u can talk about stratagy, help newbs or just chat with and make friends. also haveing different tabs for topics or private chat(i know theres a fourm but it would be a cool feature). out of personal exp. i kinda get lonly doing a single player game by my self this would add alot to a already cool game.

    by Lawlmanz
  40. please dont… if you do make it optional…i dont wanna deal with a bunch of 10year olds while playing a solo game…

    by Emots
  41. And wouldn’t that need a server anyway ? I’d prefer the time effort and funds recquired to run it to be invested on the game itself.
    Maybe we could make a Steam group for those who use it or somethingelse. If the game ever coms to Steam it will have its group :)

    by Troll
  42. it wouldnt need a server i think or if it does thay can do that threw a free 3rd party chat host if its nessesary to have a server i see them around on sites i go to im sure it can be converted to be used in game

    by Lawlmanz
  43. @Lawlmanz: Troll is right; if Starfarer comes to Steam, you’ll have the Steam overlay to chat with others. Regardless, it’s certainly not a feature that needs to be built into the game. If you need help playing, there will be game groups, websites, guides, and FAQs for that sort of thing. Neat idea, but not one I really care about either way.

    by Christopher
  44. I don’t really see the need of a chat in game but, it could just use a IRC chatroom so it wouldn’t need to run it’s own server.

    by misterjscape
  45. I don’t understand people who say “if cargo limit exceeded, make speed slower”… guys, were not driving cars here, its space. the only limiting factor for speed is engine acceleration. If im not mistaken, weight cant really be a factor where there is no gravity.
    What im trying to say is… NO TRAVEL SPEED PENALTIES FOR EXCEEDED CARGO. But i cant disagree on a mobility penalty, or adding an “acceleration” attribute… make ships speed up slower (noticeable only in battle, i suppose)
    love the game so far, it has ALOT, and i mean A FUCKING LOT of potential. Hell, even more than ‘X’

    by Bling
  46. Just wondering, will there be any fast travel warps? Or like an intergrated misc add-on that can enable fast travel across different systems? that would be cool.

    by Captain Obvious
  47. @Bling While it may be true that the limiting factor of a ship’s speed would be its ability to accelerate, additional mass would affect that ability. You’re right this wouldn’t necessarily affect top speed, but it should most certainly result in a longer acceleration curve.

    Plus, we’re not just talking about increasing internal mass; it seems to me that strapping external cargo containers onto the hull of a ship may very well additionally limit that ship’s ability to accelerate, if for no other reason than the containers themselves could come loose and wreak havoc. Maybe that means the risk of accident should only be present during acceleration, breaking, and maneuvering?

    by Christopher
  48. An not only acceleration, but don’t forget inertia. Sure there is no hard limit for speed, but the heavier you are, the harder and longer it takes to brake. The pilot would impose himself a speed limit so that his ship stays maneuverable enough to not crash every single time.

    by Troll
  49. @Alex

    Sure, some limits are necessary. But I think there should rather be less limits than more limits and the fleet limit is the most needless one of them all and I see no problems arising from removing it.

    Or at least make an ability to split your fleet so you don’t have to liquidate everything over the limit. Or/And maybe you could give some ways to enhance the fleet limits, like buying special extra-rare people like “generals” who would increase the fleet limit because they coordinate the fleet?

    by Combustible Lemon
  50. Re: chat – the way I see it, there are lots of other ways to chat. Adding it to an SP game would be rather odd.

    Re: fleet top speed – well, that depends on the tech used for propulsion, doesn’t it? Lore-wise, in the SF universe, the technology used is not reaction-based and has a top speed that depends on the power of the engine and the mass it has to move.

    @Combustible Lemon: What is a game but a collection of limits? The fleet size limit has plenty of reasons to exist – the game is being tuned to work with fleets of a certain size, and lots of things won’t work as well if fleet size can go up beyond a certain point.

    But! There will absolutely be ways to raise the limit – raising character skills will be the primary way to increase your fleet size, for example.

    by Alex
  51. This sounds like a great idea and it’ll add more value to having cargo vessels in your fleet.

    Perhaps cargo ships can have their own cargo window where you can specifically place important items for storage. Also, perhaps storage space can be purchased at stations where you can also safely store important items. This could require a monthly charge.

    by McFurious
  52. @Christopher yes, thats exactly what i mean!
    @Alex …oh. RIGHT, lore! Gotta love it

    by Bling
  53. I think that one way to protect the items that you care the most about should be when an item (or ship) is higher up in the order, it is at a lower or not at risk for accidents. That is where you assign your best resources to protect something like a plasma cannon or a capital ship. If this is put in, there should also be a individual status bar that show the risk of a certain item being lost whenever the ship is clicked on.

    by Me
  54. @combustible lemon
    I like the ability to split up a fleet. Maybe you could take over a supply station and could then traid freely. Or you could build your own supply station that orbits around Corvus 1 for storage of ships and equipment. You would have to manage it to a certain extent as well (ie assign a flet to protect the station) but the rewards p having it would be awesome.

    by Me
  55. One otherthing is I do not like the idea of a fleet point system. I don’t think that there should be a limit on home many ships you can have.

    by Me
  56. @Me I disagree. There could be a great many reasons, and though we aren’t privy to all the details yet I can think of several perfectly valid ones off the top of my head. Of course, there doesn’t need to be anything more complicated than “gameplay balance.”

    I do like the idea of splitting up fleets, though. Many times I’ve wished I could detach a small fleet to do a cargo run or chase down a fast enemy fleet. It would make sense that you could select ships to detach from the main fleet and retain direct control over whichever fleet your command ship is in.

    by Christopher
  57. Really ? is sounds logical to me if we take in count that we will be a commander with a leveling system with perks specializing in different aspects of your fleet as well as officers for you ships.
    There is no need for any sort of chain of command if you have access to an unlimited fleet siez that won’t suffer from its own overpopulation.

    by Troll
  58. Really guys? Saying fleets need fleet points and cant be unlimited? Cant understand it. I, for one, would love to fly around with hundreds of capital ships and thousands of fighters. It would be great….it would be so balanced

    Sarcasm, if you didnt get it.
    Cant really wait for the officers and leveling system.

    by Sartek
  59. @Troll
    stop making orthograph faults, read yourself before posting.

    by Troll
  60. On-topic I really like the idea of the fleet accidents, I never even really notice when I go over any of the limits at the moment
    Off-Topic On the subject of ship graveyards and capturing ships in general, I would love to see a feature where you actually send marines across to a ship to capture it during the battle and then they can discover whether it’s still usuable and try to capture it, or whether it should just be scrapped. The current system of making a ship ‘boardable’ seems a bit random to me, I get how to make a ship surrender though. Massive post ftw!

    by SonaShaS
  61. Been thinking a bit about supplies. When we get this limit finally, and crew consumes supply as well ( food etc), I just feel that ammo and repairing supplies should be different from the supplies crew consumes. If you get what I mean.

    For example, if I plan to make a long trip without getting into any large battles, I should be able to buy supplies only for my crew and take only bare minimum for repairs.

    Of course, all this is irrelevant if I misread something somehwere and crew wont be consuming supplies.

    by Sartek
  62. If it’s suggested that extensive cargo is slapped somewhere outside on the hull of the ship – then it’s logical to be damaged everytime your ships get shot at during combat. Might as well add travel and combat movement penalty for the fleet that is “overburdened”. And of course accidents is also a great idea to punish an extremly greedy player :)

    by frptunz
  63. Are there any plans for being able to have multiple fleets or will I always be able to use just one?

    by Sebastian
  64. Hey, still loving the game so far, but I just only have one minor niggle. The Tachyon uberbattleship is gone without a trace in the new campaign mode, I can’t find it anywhere save One tri-tachyon fleet and I kinda need them at the moment as I turned on the hegemonys.

    Oh and just one other tiny thing – nerf fighters! Crikey 2 squadrons can deplete your shields waaayyy fast. They should have fighter specific weapons that deal less damage, if you can squeeze so many into a fleet.

    by Sam
  65. @Sam
    Haven’t tried full-damage yet, but for now, owning just a hyperion frigate, going head on against two frigates and three squadrons of fighters/bombers is basically an equal fight.
    Its why i love this game, its not a forced-strategy game. i like my battles close and personal, so for me, fighters aren’t a problem.
    But i see your point, the A.I. is kinda bad against fighters (if i add some broadswords to my fleet, i can safely take on three times bigger fleets than mine)

    by Bling
  66. [...] Starfarer blog has an article about accidents which talks about stat [...]

    by Spacey Snippets – 3/27/12 | Space Game Junkie
  67. “Sir, we just lost our engineering!”

    “How did this happen?”

    “Sir, you ordered us to…”

    “oh.”

    by misterjscape
  68. well, after reading through the comments, im wondering why no one has mentioned in battle penalties for the whole penalty thing. seems to me if a ship has a bunch of fuel strapped to the outside and gets shot it would explode and deal damage no? also if i where a pirate and i say a fleet with a bunch of red barrels strapped all over i might be more likely to take a risk moving in. just some food for thought ;D also to those who complain about fleet points, think of them as charisma in fantasy rpgs. they reflect your ability as a captain to manage more ships.

    by jdb1917
  69. @jdb1917
    Or you might as well jettison all exterior cargo and leave them nice and tidy behind you while preparing for battle. But taht would also mean it needs a mechanics for when you run from a battle where you leave behind surplus.

    A while ago I spoke of mutiny, and I will again. I asked if some was going to happen but not the way it could be ilustrated. Is there anyway that worse than accidents some of your ships will run away to join other groups or simply attack you ? or worse, betray you during a battle and take you from behind while you deal with the ennemy fleet ?

    by Troll
  70. @Troll
    getting rid of all your access cargo makes sense, but if you do that it would still be nice to have an in battle penalty such as a reinforcement point penalty at the beginning of the fight to simulate the time it would take to properly remove it…

    by jdb1917
  71. after thinking abit about the scrap heap/graveyard thingy from downed fleets, such there is a potential exploit when pulling larger fleets into a lets say hegemony defense fleet letting them take care of it then grab the remains for yourself without firing a shot so possibly something like a timer on how long an enemy fleet thats alot larger then you will chase you might remedy that potential exploit.

    by Bitzeit
  72. awesome idea tho ^^

    by Bitzeit
  73. @Troll: Mutiny and such is a possibility down the line. Right now, crew and officers aren’t sufficiently fleshed out for it to really work.

    by Alex
  74. Alex, how about adding an even larger ship class? like Dreadnoughts? also, i would like to see much more powerful pirate fleets. they are way to weak since you can just *let your second in command handle it* when you reach around halfway on the fleet limiter. =) or at least make the AI fleets get stronger as you do.

    by ValkyriaL
  75. @Valkyrial I like the sound of that. I would also want some AI settings I can change suchs as how much they will flee when you come or if you will all attack you ect. I hope it will come sometime in the patchline.
    P.S. how many people are you working on the game? :)

    by Sebastian
  76. @Valkyrial You have to remember that this is just one system. There will be a whole galaxy to explore later on (phase ships anyone?)
    So I figure some systems will have much tougher pirates, and worse, to deal with than others like humble old Corvus.

    As people have said before, if you get bored because you’re overpowered, start again. Or try and keep yourself within the fleet/fuel/cargo/crew limits and hit the hegemony fleets, just for a challenge :-)

    ..I wonder if you’ll be able to own a star system..? :-D

    by chevbob
  77. or if you get bored you can download one of the many mods for this game that give you twice as many weapons and ships and more factions and space-ports…. and a ship that costs 60 fleet points….

    by DarkWolf
  78. Well, i always stay within the limit. and a well built carrier fleet can destroy any other fleet in Corvus no matter how big that fleet is, since your carriers can repair fighters endlessly, and the larger ships will get outlasted,
    Witch brings up another question, how about adding a repair ship for the larger ships?

    by ValkyriaL
  79. I was also thinking about another feature. witch actually has something to do with accidents :P all ships have a fuel tank yeah, what if a missile or so hit the engines of a ship and ruptured the fuel tank, setting a ship on fire for a short time and burning out all its fuel, Crippling that ship. This would actually give tanker ships an in battle use. as they could rush together with repair and munitions ships. and refuel, rearm and repair this ship, returning it to the battle.

    by ValkyriaL
  80. @ValkyriaL yeah yeah yeah – the tanker could be some kind of repair/resupply ship. I hate running out of ammo/missiles!!

    by chevbob
  81. What about a wepon that sends marine so you can bord ships? you have to first lower shields and armor and such things?

    by Sebastian
  82. I love the idea of support ships… That would also put more value to strike fighters since they could snipe those pesky repairers… :)

    by Leuku
  83. Well, they have to add support ships somewhere in the future, in a drawn out battle, Battleships and other large ships are worthless as they run out of ammo very quickly while in constant fighting. That is why i rely on carriers and fighters, since you can basically fight forever.

    by ValkyriaL
  84. It sure stinks when your Onslaught still have a dozen a fresh targets to eliminate but almost no ammos in the bucket to fish them.

    by Troll
  85. Well, for what i can see, the onslaught is not complete yet, its got 4 small ballistic mounts in the rear witch aren’t being used and another 2 on the sides witch are all empty. It gets outmaneuvered and destroyed so easily because it cant defend itself very well from the rear. Its ammo problems will be solved with the munition ships that comes in 0.51B, so no worries on that front. =)

    by ValkyriaL
  86. Resident kitbasher here. Had a small question. right now, just as a ballpark figure completely subject to change later. about how many factions and hull designs are you planning?

    finally I recently played Atom Zombie Smasher, I noted they had a place to upload mods to (in game) for others to download, no clue how hard it is to implement, just some food for thought.

    by Medikohl
  87. On the other hand, i just took a close up look on it, those could also be gigantic bolts to hold the thing together. :P

    by ValkyriaL
  88. I love this idea and every aspect of it but after a little thinking (And not reading all comments) I thought that as you know ships have sections which take damage, and due to that I thought “why not have the extra resources hanging off the ship in battle” Its not like in a real life battle and a ships capacity was reach they would just hang it off the side so in a essence if they were to be engaged by lets say a pirate fleet, the fleet would aim to capture or completely destory your ships so if you were to be winning lets say there is one ship left, it notices you have a little crate hanging off the side so what do you think they would do… shot it because they would want to at least do some harm to you before they go down. Also there could be a mechanic where the extra crates or modules block flux vents or take up the capacitors for space and once the supplies or modules were taken off they would allow these flux units to work effectivly.

    So in short Im thinking, in acctual battles you would see little teathered crates hanging off the side which could be destoryed or damaged which would release some or all of the extra cargo and that the extra supplies may hamper your combat efficiency but in the long run may be quite useful

    by D3ATHbyFORC3
  89. Just fill railguns on hte side and point defence behind and you’re golden for long range.

    by Troll
  90. No need, i don’t use battleships, massive waste of supplies and fleet points :O

    by ValkyriaL
  91. But i was thinking about something, How about Battleships and other large vessels break in half or explode into several large pieces after being destroyed and those of them that doesn’t can be boarded? How does that sound??? =D

    by ValkyriaL
  92. What happends if you scrap ships insted of bord them? Do I get more cash for that or it it just waste for now?

    by Sebastian
  93. @Medikohl: The number of ships in the final game is TBD.

    Re: external crates in combat – presumably, you detach all those before battle. At first glance, it seems like any implementation of them in combat (especially attached to the ships) would look silly.

    @ValkyriaL: I like the idea of larger ships breaking up – in fact, it’s already on my (long) list of “nice-to-haves-I’m-not-sure-I’ll-get-to”. The problem is it’ll take a good bit of time to do right, and actual features end up taking precedence of what’s mainly eye-candy.

    @Sebastian: You get some extra loot for scrapped ships – same as for the disabled ones.

    by Alex
  94. Alex, while on the subject of large ships. Think you could put forward a large carrier design for the hegemony? like the astral-class for tri-tachyon?

    by ValkyriaL
  95. I love this! I’m really looking forwards to playing with this in the game.

    by John
  96. Hmm, if they were to be detached and floating in the middle of nowhere (of course just sitting there) wouldnt there be a chance of lets say pirates taking them. Lets say if you have gone over the limit by heaps and of course you detach them and allow them to just sit there, you dont think lets say for an accident you lose some of the cargo due to pirates being able to steal it before you get back… of course that is one example or there oculd be one where a few crates colloide and go off in random directions which in that case you would lose that cargo.

    Just a suggestion anyways so yeah

    by D3ATHbyFORC3
  97. Also. 2 large posts FTW

    by D3ATHbyFORC3
  98. Hello Alex, great work here, this looks like it’s going to be alot of fun.

    I have no job and don’t do anything but play videogames. I have a highly analytical mind from a life of squashed dreams and constant bad luck. I’ve been through pain.

    My point is I know the best game, what a game can be as I’ve played them for long enough to identify what kinds of gaming scenario cause the precise emotional responses.

    I very much like your plans to give a HUD readout for detrimental effects, but Especially the nebula slowdown.

    I believe this feature can bring a nice feeling of ‘high octane fun’, if expanded upon massively. Such as maybe a seperate, narrow battle screen, if many have surrendered, where you are given a chance to catch up, or to give an additional tractor beam weapon for ships with a hangar, to pull in fighters during this stage only.

    Like, you could control your fighters in this stage, or a frigate, catch up, take out some engines, or cut them off, then bring up your capital ship and suck them all in! I know it changes the mechanics drastically and presents a great opportunity for the player to get a big boost in fleet numbers, but maybe if the race was for a reinforcements beacon, which would call in a faction specific fleet, would up the anti-gain to balance.

    Also, I’d LOVE to see a kind of ‘shovel’ ship that could perhaps gather a few minerals – I know you’re maybe planning this way down the line, as you have resource management and bases planned, but as for now the combat applications are actually really fun. Shovelling a meteor along with a volley of cyclone reapers from a Conquest-Class is alot of fun, but a ship with a huge scoop could drag a whole bunch of them, and use them as a primary weapon LOL. It could have only rear shields, high frontal armour and maybe a couple of ion cannons at the sides? LOL Really weak weapons but really strong brakes?

    Just some suggestions Alex, I don’t know how it works, but keep up the awesome work my friend/s, I really enjoy this game.

    by Sam
  99. Tractor beams is probably one of the best things i have heard so far :P to slow down frigates and fighters and salvage wrecks. but that means you would have to look over basically every single ship to add a support mount, could be a lot of work.

    by ValkyriaL
  100. I dont know what ive done with the activation code and i have got a new computer! what shall i do?

    by Farlarzia
  101. @Farlarzia: Send me an email from the address you used to preorder the game and I’ll take care of it.

    by Alex
  102. Thanks! Its farlarzia@googlemail.com
    I can send you the billing email to prove it if you like!

    by Farlarzia
  103. And now that you’ve posted it here…

    Please send me an email from that address to confirm :)

    by Alex
  104. what is your addrees? send it the email?

    by Farlarzia
  105. Sent a email to fractalworks at blah blah blah, is that the one?

    by Farlarzia
  106. Do you have any idea when the next update will be?

    by Farlarzia
  107. Alex I would like to congratulate you on your progress so far with this game, it has been basically what I’ve wanted for ages and it does it nearly perfectly.

    P.S I havent brought the game yet but I will soon :P

    by D3ATHbyFORC3
  108. Alex, what did you think about the hegemony Super carrier? given it a though?

    by ValkyriaL
  109. I like the idea of accidents in a No-save difficulty.However, I think something that relays upon chance like this might just lead to more habitual saving.

    I prefer the idea of simply having the fleet slowed if it goes over cargo. I would also prefer that there would still be a hard cap.

    I also think any personal that goes over the limit should go toward cargo space, or just have a simple hard cap. Fuel should also go toward cargo as well.

    Anyways I really enjoy the game. Can’t wait till it’s finished!

    by Laozi
  110. @ValkyriaL: We’ll be adding more ships down the line. That’s as much as I’ll say about it :)

    @Laozi: Well, save/loading won’t help very much for accidents – as I mentioned, you’ll get the same result upon loading the game.

    by Alex
  111. YOU NEED TO HAVE AUTO SAVES! I just lost 3 drinde fihter squads, a odeesy class shit and and cruiser when i lost a battle and accidnetly saved. Auto svae, or a sre you sure you want to save when you try to save.

    by Farlarzia
  112. There’s a backup of the previous save in the save folder – campaign.xml.bak and another .bak file. Just use them to replace the new, bad save and you should be good to go.

    by Alex
  113. @Farlarzia

    you should get out of the habit of loading when something unfavorable happens. it makes games too easy.

    by cell
  114. What is going to be done about really rare ships like the OMen, long bow fighter, and some other fighters. Also i am really loking foward to the nextt update. Fuel is not ci=urrently used. What will it be used for? And do you have any idea when wwe be able to go to other systems. Great work as always. (Countnt find the save bit it dont know why but never mind. Thanks

    by Farlarzia
  115. Not sure what you mean, specifically – there’ll be ongoing tweaks to stuff. The Omen in particular is very weak, and I’m aware of that – so you can certainly expect it to change at some point.

    Fuel will be used for inter-system travel. No ETA on that, though – sorry :)

    by Alex
  116. I’m new to the game, but instead of having accidents when you go over fleet points, how about mutinies? The idea being that when you go over fleet points you can’t effectively command your ships and crews, so a crew member leads a mutiny, and those ships where the mutineers succeed would become pirates, causing the loss of the entire crew of those ships, while crew and marines would be lost for each ship where the mutiny was suppressed, along with damage to the ships.

    by Shmuck
  117. @Shmuck Yeah that sounded nice but that can be one of the accidents that occure when you have to many crew members. Otherwise I like the idé, it gives the game more tactical aproch.

    Are there any plans on having different difficulties? If you have that then you can choose if you want to have accidents or not and if you want, what kind of accident and like “small accidents”, “Medium accident” and “Hardcore accident”.

    by Sebastian
  118. An accident is a accident, Don’t go over the limiter, simple as that. However, what really needs to change is the fighter/carrier repair queue. i hate seeing 10 squadrons of fighters sit at 1 carrier waiting for repair when you have 4 other carriers on the field without work. Think you could change that Alex?

    by ValkyriaL
  119. I dont know if its suggested yet but for the cargo limit problem i think u can make a fleet movement speed penalty in the galaxy view or/and in combat movement for all ships that have cargo holds. Its just as like with a camion there is an optimal weight limit by law but if you want u can stuff it “full”. It makes your vehicle slower and if you are unlucky youll get a nice “punishment” from the police. In the game your fleet will also get slower and punishment will be brought upon you by fleets of raiders or enemy factions faster than yours.

    by Princzep
  120. @ValkyriaL: The fighter-carrier repair issue is a bug and is on my list of things to fix.

    by Alex
  121. @Princ, have you even played the game? its always been like what you wrote right there. The larger your fleet gets, the slower it becomes, and you will get punished by any fleet stronger than yours, its kinda like Fishy, big fish eats small fish. =I

    by ValkyriaL
  122. @ValkyriaL: You didnt get what i wanted to say. I wrote about overstepping the cargo limit makes your movement slower as a penalty. Read it once more please :)

    by Princzep
  123. Well, i get your point. but cargo would not *slow down* your ships since your in space and space has no gravity, it would make your ship accelerate slower however due to the increased mass and i think the first few comments are about this already. but i don’t think that a galaxy map speed penalty would be so favorable, since your moving so slow already with a large fleet. I’m all in for a battle map penalty however ;)

    by ValkyriaL
  124. And while writing that comment i got a VERY good question Alex. How about industry? i mean, if you have 90.000 credits, you could use a factory that you have deployed to build an onslaught hull if there is non for sale and then produce weapons and stuff for it. How does that sound eh?

    by ValkyriaL
  125. fantastic it sound bloody fantastic

    by Farlarzia
  126. Not many comments anymore, something new is out? =/

    by ValkyriaL
  127. With 127 comments it’s surprising we haven’t ran out of things to talk about.

    by misterjscape
  128. And while someone is actually still here, i found a bug with the pirate base. they never replenish their crew stock and once they run out or at least close to, all their crew/marines becomes 0, costs nothing and you can buy any amount. so if you want you can buy 10.000 elite crew for 0 credits. think you could fix this to the next update?

    by ValkyriaL
  129. I still playes and love the game!

    by Sebastian
  130. i say… have an option for players to “rent a storage facility” on any stations where they can put excess baggage in without fearing of losing them.. pretty sure this will be a very welcomed update to the game but i dont think it works if you try to “deposit” some marines and crew for later usage as if they are weapons on crates.. (maybe you can have the option to rent an orbital dormitory? LOL but then it will makes you more a space faring agency/corp than a single one lone wolf with a fleet)

    by jeeves
  131. and oh.. given each faction always got a habit of attacking each other’s station.. the accident factor being “your cargo rode an incoming missile during the last attack” and of course “sorry.. got some pirate raiders happen to pick your containers..” or “we happen to sold some of your containers to pay for your late fees..”

    by jeeves
  132. That sounds like a good idea. Or that you can put in smaller ships that can repir and stuff there while you take your own fleet to attack or explore.
    By puttin wepons and other stuff on a station so you can avoid gettin overweight. Also deposit money so you can save it for a small fee every year, querter or month.

    by Sebastian
  133. Can you have somewhere to store your ships? So if i wanted could compose my ships of just fast ones to catch a fast but are ship, and then after get my heavy ships back and kill some capitals!!!

    by Farlarzia
  134. The 134th message on this blog post is going to be some guy bitching about there not being any updates in ages, and is bound to get downtalked from fellow posters, but what the heck, I WANT AN UPDATE ALREADY !!!

    by Dimitar
  135. You know what, fair enough. I hadn’t realized it’s been a *month* since the last blog post! Been so focused on getting the next release ready that the time went by all too quickly.

    by Alex
  136. Alex it is okey when that it takes time would just be happy to get some respons and a blogg update from time to time :)

    by Sebastian
  137. I dont care the sooner the next update the better as far as im concerned.

    by Farlarzia
  138. I’m fine waiting waiting for the next update, the longer the better in my case :)
    (That and I’m gonna be busy playing Dark Souls for quite a while).

    by misterjscape
  139. I like the way the game is turning out so far.
    Although I really hope you add a lot more than just more fancy ships and guns because even though the combat is extremely enjoyable, flying around on the other hand is extremely boring!
    Perhaps you could explore the wrecked hulks of ships left from previous engagements other than yours?
    Or maybe investing in lunar mining operations?
    I just hope you add some more intuitive ways to interact with your surroundings to make the game as immersive as possible; I’d really enjoy seeing some engaging dialogue for a change!

    by GUNINANRUNIN
  140. Oh yeah, and also, I don’t really like all this talk of storing ships and weapons on space stations.
    Banks are annoying.
    I always forget to go back and pick up my stuff.
    If only there was a better way..

    by GUNINANRUNIN
  141. @GUNINANRUNIN: That’s absolutely the plan. The current campaign is very bare-bones and, as you noted, is just a wrapper around the combat right now.

    by Alex
  142. I don’t know if this is a bug or not but when i put A thumper on a Hound Class frigate it wont shoot other ships but i have seen it firing at fighters so is this a bug ot is it intentional

    by Snukey
  143. It’s a bug, fixed for the next release.

    by Alex
  144. Great well done

    by Snukey