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Topics - LucusLoC

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Suggestions / Save File Format (Game arcitecture)
« on: January 18, 2020, 01:48:40 PM »
I am currently playing through a "full colonization" play-through, and this playstyle is really taxing the games ability to handle data. My save file is getting really close to 50 MB of XML, and when the game needs to access some random data (say colony info) things really chug as the file is parsed and the needed data is located. It occurs to me that we could probably get better performance by breaking save file down into discrete chunks so that only the needed data would need to be parsed, instead of the entire save file.

As an example structure:
  • Sector main: raw sector info. IDs for systems, planets and other "natural" features.
  • Character main: Money, Fleet info (ships and inventory), level info.
  • Sector Activity main: Info on all the various fleets moving about, individual entities not attached to markets, various bits of intel, faction data, quest data and the status of bits of loot floating around. 
  • Market files <system ID#>: individual save files for each system's markets, as well as "system ownership" status. Could also include things like Remnant stations, occupied stable points, and other miscellaneous info that is dynamic within the system.
  • Other main: A dumping ground for unclassified data that needs to be remembered, but has no other good place to be kept (i.e. does not need to be accessed at the same time as other data). Would also be a good place to store mod data that does not fit neatly into the other categories. 

The idea here is to reduce the "seek time" when the game is accessing various bits of data. In this example, when a player wants to bring up colony management info, instead of crawling through a 50MB XML file looking for the tags for that one colony, the game would only need  to crawl the "Sector main" file for the proper system ID, then crawl the appropriate "Market file" for the colony in question. This should reduce the data being parsed to a few MB at most, which should drastically increase the speed of accessing that data.

I would also recommend a move away from XML, but I understand that moving away from that format would make support and modding significantly harder. That wold probably go against one of the main paradigms of the game's design. (also, not being a Java programmer I am not 100% sure how much performance there is to gain from switching from XML to some sort of raw binary data. Maybe someone else can offer some insight there. Learning Java is on my to-do list, so feel free to delve into details.) I would hope that cutting down on file sizes would offer enough of a performance improvement to make such a drastic change unnecessary.

There is a downside to such a change, however, and that is (probably) increased save times. Instead of doing one file access and write operation the game would need to stage and execute multiple file writes for every save. To do the save properly ("robustly") the game will need to track the status of the various writes, and have some way to roll back in case of failure (or else risk corruption should some cross-file references go missing). Personally I find the trade-off of longer saves to be worth less lag while actually playing.

Let me know if anyone else things a save file architecture change would be worth the time and effort.

General Discussion / Optimization?
« on: January 11, 2020, 04:51:33 PM »
So I am working through a "full colonization" game with a few mods to make life easier; nex, better colonies, terraforming etc., but no extra factions, ships or stuff like that.

Anyway, I am up to around 150 markets under my control, plus most of the original faction markets, plus a bunch I gave to the indies 'cause I did not want them. Call it 250 markets in total. I am noticing the game starting to chug, especially when loading colony management stuff. Is there anything I can do to optimize things, either in the settings or specific game-play behaviors? I am no where near a full colonization, and my worry is the game will become unplayable before I finish (just like all my Dwarf Fortress megaprojects).

(I have already done the basics like increase the ram and thread priority, so I am looking for stuff that may optimize the file parsing or something like that. My save file is like 40 meg, and I bet the lag comes from lookups in there.)

General Discussion / Green Warning Beacon
« on: January 07, 2020, 02:35:46 PM »
So I just found this:

And I have no idea what it does. I am tempted to put down a colony here to see what happens, but I am a bit low on funds. Also I looted the ruins before I read the beacon, so there is that too. . .

Anyone know what this does and what mod it is from?

General Discussion / Industry Mod?
« on: January 06, 2020, 02:58:16 PM »
I am finding myself in need (flavor wise) of a hydroponics industry. Anyone know of a mod that adds this?

(bonus points if it requires a water commodity. Bonus bonus points if that water commodity plugs into the terraforming mod)

As a side note, if no such mod exists I am no stranger to coding, but since java is not a well known language to me I would like to make my first project a collaboration with someone more familiar. Ping me if interested.

General Discussion / Small thing; sidebar notifications.
« on: January 06, 2020, 01:39:06 PM »
is there a way to make the sidebar notifications last longer? Or is there place where you can go and review a complete list of them (a mod I presume)? I am running Nex and have a bunch of colonies, and sometimes more notifications pop to the sidebar than I can review before they disappear (espcially since some windows do not seem to pause the notification timeout even though they pause the game).

What I really want is a tab in the intel screen that is just a list of all popped notifications with a date, so I can review at my leisure without having to worry about them going away never to be seen again.

General Discussion / Economy overhaul?
« on: November 26, 2019, 04:18:18 PM »
I was wondering if there were any known plans for changing how interplanetary commerce is going to work in the future.

Currently so long as there is even one planet in the sector that can "export" at a rate to meet the import demand of all planets, then that single planet can meet the demand of the entire sector. So a planet with an export of 8 stuffs can meet the import requirements of every planet with an import requirement of less than 8 stuffs. It would be nice if instead of this being a simple comparative process it became an absolute process, so that export of 8 stuffs could only satisfy up to 8 units (total) of imports, either one planet with a demand of 8, or multiple planets with demands of less than 8 but that add up to 8.

Of course this would probably require other economy overhauls, and eventually it would probably be best to get past these abstract numbers to something along the lines of actual production and consumption rates, but that may be an even longer journey.

Absent any official word on the topic, are there any mods that change how the trade economy works?

General Discussion / Gifting AI controlled colonies.
« on: October 22, 2019, 04:22:20 PM »
Hey all, I have a question about gifting colonies. I see that this seems to be a thing you can do, but I am not sure if it requires a mod. I cannot find a way to do it in the vanilla game. (if it is a mod, can I install that mod after the game is started?)

The second part of this question is is there any drawback to gifting an AI managed colony? Do the other factions leave it in place?

As far as strategy is concerned, should I sell off all the local production on the colony? Build expensive industries that consume raw materials? What is the best way to make the colony most profitable to me by giving it away?

General Discussion / Colonizing Core Systems
« on: October 10, 2019, 07:12:50 PM »
I have spent the last little bit clearing out the Hegemony from some rather choice real estate. I have let the sit fallow for some time to clear out any detrimental effects from the eviction, and am now ready to colonize them. Unfortunately the systems now say they are claimed by the independents, who I am very friendly with. I tried to get a commission with them but that option does not seem to exsist (forum posts indicate that is possible, but the wiki does not include them in the list of commission giving factions).  Is there a way for me to keep them in the system without *** them off? I know they have some behavioral differences from the other "more normal" factions, does that include not getting *** off about co-colonization, despite what the flavor text says? I wold even be willing to take a rep hit, but only if it is temporary. . .

General Discussion / Question about Cryorevival Facility
« on: October 07, 2019, 08:52:34 PM »
Is there any point to this structure after hitting colony size 10?

General Discussion / Trading AI for rep
« on: September 21, 2019, 01:56:20 PM »
Hey all, I have decided to dump a bunch of spare gama cores for rep, but I am unsure how to go about doing that. The faction I am trading with is hostile (-100), so I have to trade with them with no transponder, and that means I do not seem to get the rep boost from dumping AI cores on their open market. Is there a way around that? I have also tried talking to their administrators, but I have no options other than to just close the com link. Any advice would be great.

General Discussion / Quick Load
« on: September 20, 2019, 11:00:57 PM »
Is there a reason the quick load does not work from within a battle? I just went through 30 minutes of watching my fleet get torn apart (ambushed by 3 superfleets as soon as I went through a jump point) with zero possibility of disengaging. I tried fighting, retreating, and eventually had to settle for letting the battles destroy every last ship in 3 successive fights. Sad thing is I knew I lost as soon as I got jumped, but I had no way to reload since F9 does not work in the battle screens. There needs to be a way to exit a battle without loosing a quick-save.

I am sure someone has though of this before, but tariffs should be tied to faction rep. The higher your rep at that market the lower the tariffs should be.

Another thing I would like to see is the ability to bribe your way into an open market after coming in secretly. This would let you get full reputation for trading there "openly" while still letting you come in secretly. Maybe instead of seeing a greyed out "open market" button you instead got a "talk to the port authority" button instead. That would open up a interface that lets you talk to the various station administrators and lets you offer them bribes. Some would be more loyal than others (to either you or their faction), and your individual reputation with them would also impact the price and success rate. Successful bribes would build your rep with that administrator, but not with the faction. This means you could be super friendly with an administrator, even if you are at war with that faction. A failed bribe would immediately alerts all faction fleets in the vicinity of your ID, almost like you had just flashed your transponder on and off.

Expanding on the market access thing (and also something I suspect has been suggested), we should have a way to spoof our transponders, setting up alternative IDs. I am not sure if the best way to balance that would be to require a "spoofer" module on each ship, or if it should be a fleet level skill for the player, but the general principle is you would have access to a number of different IDs to build reputation under. There would always be a risk that these IDs would get associated, with negative reputational consequences, but this would let you maintain the ability to trade with factions your real ID was not on friendly terms with. This would obviously need to include things like being able to see the reputation of each ID with all the various faction, and which IDS they know are associated with each other. Such a mechanic may even allow you to spoof IDS that belong to a specific faction, letting you seed hostilities under a false flag (though it should obviously be very difficult and unreliable to get and use such IDs).

General Discussion / Best way to get in good with Pirates?
« on: September 20, 2019, 08:32:25 AM »
Hi all, I am starting a a colony system with 4 planets, and I am starting to see pirate raids. I am also trying to get in good with the pirates so they are more inclined to leave me alone. Currently I am doing this via basic trading, but that basically only cancels out for the rep hits I get from killing raids. Is there a faster way to gain rep with them? I currently have to trade with them transponder off, since we are on pretty unfriendly terms, and that does not seem to get the full effect of the trade rep, even when using the open market.

so the question is how to I make them like me faster? I do not want to give them a bunch of plans or other advantageous gear, 'cause I still want to keep them from murdering other factions I want to keep around, so I want whatever I do to be as low impact as possible. Anyone have experience with this?

(100% vanilla game)

Are there any mods that allow you to set way-points, or that otherwise help ships *not* try to fly directly through stars? I am tired of sending fleets off to another system, only for them to decide that the jump point directly across the star is more attractive than the one in the outer system and then slam face first into the star itself, *then* faffing about trying to find a way around, while spiking my supply usage from under 10 per day to 100+ per day, sometimes for days on end (for bigger stars).

I would like something that either let me directly select which jump points to use, along with way-point to navigate in between, or even something with a simple "stay away from dangerous terrain" check box.

General Discussion / Salvage a station?
« on: September 09, 2019, 10:30:05 PM »
I have been reading about salvage, and the way it is described leads me to believe you can salvage some of the larger objects in the game if you get enough salvage ships. Is this correct? I have a system with a large derelict station (not one of the ones that gives you free storage, this one says "derelict sporeship station" and the only interaction I can do with it is "leave". I have been stockpiling salvage rigs, and am now up to 9 of them, but it seems like no number is enough. Is it even possible to do? If so, how many salvage rigs do I actually need? Is there a list anywhere of all the stuff you can actually salvage, or am I stuck guessing? Help is appreciated.

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