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Author Topic: Getting New Blueprints - Maybe a way to 'reverse-engineer' stuff? [Math Inside!]  (Read 340 times)

angrytigerp

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WARNING: There's a bunch of me attempting to think of fancy computer math and probability-finding the further you read!

The TL;DR -- Add new colony structure for reverse-engineering, sacrifice a weapon or hull to the structure, do some math based on weapon size and OP cost or ship hull OP value, bingo-bango-bongo you may or may not have the blueprint for that item, or have a higher chance of succeeding the next time you try.

So, after like a year off, doing my annual "let's reload SS with every mod we can find" playthrough (it's a tradition, kind of like Skyrim runs). I'm really digging the colony thing (to date myself), custom industry, blueprints, expeditions, all that. Out of curiosity, has it been proposed or discussed at all whether or not we could have some means of acquiring blueprints outside of finding them in random caches on the outskirts of the sector, or from raiding markets?

I'm not sure this is really a vanilla-affecting issue, if it's only mods my issue is less significant (but still present!) but... I noticed some factions will sell me some blueprint sets in their marketplaces; whereas others (like the ones I'm maining right now, Dassault-Mikoyan specifically) seem to never sell their schematics, and since I haven't raided them, all I have to show for it are (what I'm guessing are) random BP spawns from random research stations out in the galactic boonies.

So what I was thinking was, what if there was a way to reverse-engineer stuff? When I say this, I don't mean old Omnifactory-style "give them the stuff, they immediately figure it out", but rather have it tied to skills or something. The process, in my mind, goes something like this:

1.) You have a weapon or hull that you want to reverse-engineer. For the sake of balance and fairness, let's say rare stuff like redacted ships and weapons can NOT be reverse-engineered, and there's a flag in the ship info that bars you from even trying. Of course, this frees modders to then decide what 'experimental' or 'exclusive' high-end equipment their faction has and pick and choose the things they want excluded from the process.

2.) You take it to a player-owned colony with some particular structure. I'm thinking, for the sake of making it more of an investment (so if you want to go the route of reverse-engineering, you REALLY need to commit to it), there's a specific new "Research Facility" or "Stellar Engineering Bureau" or whatever that serves the exclusive and precise purpose of allowing you to attempt to reverse-engineer stuff. It has a high upkeep and a decent set of demands -- basically, make it so that if you want to reverse-engineer, you need to be in end-game anyways, where if you weren't doing R-E, you'd be stampeding across the galaxy anyways stealing blueprints from factions through violence.

3.) You give the weapon or hull to the Facility. It uses the same month-based ticker that I'm gathering every other industry uses, so at the end of the month it is decided whether you reverse-engineered the thing successfully.
  • 3a.) If possible (although it would require yet another backend layer), EDIT: Fixed this already by the time I finished writing the post; add a 10% chance per failed attempt to reverse-engineer. Donezo.

4.) Success of the process is NOT guaranteed. This is how I envision it differing from old Omnifac-style set-and-forget. Every successive weapon size or hull size, and maybe OP cost for further randomization, requires a better roll.



So let's say the behind-the-scenes math looks something like

Chance of Successful Reverse-Engineering Weapon (Expressed as probability where 1.00 meaning guaranteed success) = (Base Chance of Reverse-Engineering) / (OP Cost) + Weapon Size multiplier [0.5 for Small, 0.3 for Medium, 0.1 for Large, something like that]

So a 10 OP Medium weapon would have, assuming a base chance of 1.00:

Code
1.00 / 10 + 0.3 = 0.4,

or a 40% chance of reverse engineering the weapon successfully.



Now, in spending about 5 minutes trying to come up with the above equation, I admit I'm not the best at this whole coding thing, but that appears to be serviceable enough. The only 'guaranteed roll' here are Small weapons of 2 or 1 OP (and if you're reverse-engineering those, you probably deserve to have them). Then, obviously, add in an Industry Skill that increases base chance (to 2, 3, and 4 with each successive level, which brings our above example to 50, 60, and 70% respectively), although I'm loathe to think how you express that in the skilltip to the average player; and then ditto add-in parts for the Facility (another +1 to chance), maybe even upgrades (MORE +1s!) to the building for higher tiers.

EDIT: I actually think the weapon size might be an unnecessary value. It's far too easy to (doing up an example spreadsheet) easily pass 100% chance, and given as I wrote this that there's a "rollover" bonus for failed attempts... yeah, you know what, scratch the weapon size mult.

I think it would be better off in this sense, where it's hard to ever get 100% certainty for the highest-OP, largest weapons, because the entire point is that the player should have to risk that rare one-off weapon that they have sitting in their storeroom that they really like, for a 30, 40% chance of getting production rights to it.

Now, ships.... those are a bit trickier. OP cost is a lot easier to factor than OP possession. Hmm. I think this one won't be tied to size in any way, but rather OP specifically, because I can't think of a graceful way to account for high-OP frigates vs low-OP destroyers:

Success Rate = Base Chance of 1.00 / Ship OP Value * 20

This one's rougher, and I based the final multiplier on the Hermes (20 OP). So given that the Onslaught is 360 OP (most in vanilla, right?), this leaves you with a painful

Code
1.00 / 360 * 20 = 0.0555555

5.5% chance of R-E success at base values (!!!). Even assuming, let's see here... 3 skill tiers, a plugin module, and even 2 Facility upgrades, that increases base chance to 7.00, which leaves you with a more palatable (but still bad)

Code
7.00 / 360 * 20 = 0.3888888

38.8% chance.

But I'm not entirely sure this is a bad thing? Again, this is supposed to not be a guaranteed ace-in-the-hole for the player. You have to invest a lot of money into the facility and 'project' weapons/hulls, XP into the skills, and time into finding that (those? Multiple tiers maybe?) plugin. Oh, and of course, luck and/or RNGesus blessings. If you really want Onslaught rights, make sure you bring several to the Facility and cross your fingers.

And while even the main meat of the idea itself is barely fleshed-out, maybe... Hmm, going back to 3a.) above, maaaaybe add an extra value to the equation for every failed attempt on that particular part? So the Onslaught, and anything else you attempt to reverse-engineer, after every failed attempt, gets a hard 10% multiplier, so that you are GUARANTEED to succeed no later than (assuming maxed-out Facility and skills) 6 or 7 tries. So the equation looks like:

Success Rate = Base Chance of 1.00 / Ship OP Value * 20 + (0.1 * number of attempts so far)

Yeeeeah, there we go. That fixes it. Ditto for the weapons, I suppose.



Anyways, congratulations on reading through all this, if you did. Alex, if you got further than the first paragraph (because you already have the answer, "no and we aren't doing it period"), then thanks for your time. And if not... hey, your vision, your game, we're all just playin' it.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2019, 05:41:04 PM by angrytigerp »
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SapphireSage

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If I might make a recommendation for the ships, rather than using their OP to use their Deployment Costs instead. Many ships' powers and capabilities are often in correlation with how many Deployment Costs are needed.
For example, the Hyperion, Harbinger, and many mod "High-end frigates/destroyers" are worth a similar amount of DP as cruisers for the amount of power and combat ability they bring and are also balanced out with their rarity.

Having it based on OP would mean even the normally rare Hyperion would be a very likely guarantee despite its combat capabilities because it has frigate level OP.

Lastly, DP is more like the OP of the combat layer, since OP limits what you can place onto a ship and DP is meant to limit what ships you can bring out onto the field simultaneously.

Otherwise, I agree with the thoughts behind the rest of the idea, as currently the only way to get blueprints you desire without mods are to regularly farm raids on a specific faction. I understand that the chances are going to go up in version .1, but its still a waiting game for something that's eventually going to happen late game when there's not much capable of stopping the player and I would not mind the costs that devoting ones economy would bring to increase the chances of making blueprints for a vessel via the industry recovery skill.
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angrytigerp

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If I might make a recommendation for the ships, rather than using their OP to use their Deployment Costs instead. Many ships' powers and capabilities are often in correlation with how many Deployment Costs are needed.
For example, the Hyperion, Harbinger, and many mod "High-end frigates/destroyers" are worth a similar amount of DP as cruisers for the amount of power and combat ability they bring and are also balanced out with their rarity.

Having it based on OP would mean even the normally rare Hyperion would be a very likely guarantee despite its combat capabilities because it has frigate level OP.

Lastly, DP is more like the OP of the combat layer, since OP limits what you can place onto a ship and DP is meant to limit what ships you can bring out onto the field simultaneously.

Otherwise, I agree with the thoughts behind the rest of the idea, as currently the only way to get blueprints you desire without mods are to regularly farm raids on a specific faction. I understand that the chances are going to go up in version .1, but its still a waiting game for something that's eventually going to happen late game when there's not much capable of stopping the player and I would not mind the costs that devoting ones economy would bring to increase the chances of making blueprints for a vessel via the industry recovery skill.

Good point, got much the same from live Discord feedback. I also had a rather interesting insight from them: What if this replicator were a specific, very rare flag on planets that allowed you to build the replicator structure?

That way, it's not like "okay, founded my first colony, time to start churning out whatever I want", you have to literally build up the replication AROUND that particular planet.
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SapphireSage

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I'd say that's an interesting thought. Could make it show up only on high hazard planets of 175%+ to help make it a late game thing, so that only other established colonies can fund the endeavor as well as require more significant investment if the player wants to have it capable of protecting itself sufficiently.
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Megas

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I'd say that's an interesting thought. Could make it show up only on high hazard planets of 175%+ to help make it a late game thing, so that only other established colonies can fund the endeavor as well as require more significant investment if the player wants to have it capable of protecting itself sufficiently.
This is similar to a tech mine.  Keep this new chop shop operational until you have all of the blueprints, then abandon it (unless it is 75% Terran or other desirable, in which case, replace the chop shop with something better).  I guess this along with blueprint raids on core worlds may spend up how quickly player gets all of the blueprints he cares about before tech mines and new chop shops outlive their usefulness.  Just another way to get blueprints faster.

If enemies attack, either add your timely personal intervention to yet another chore (on top of pirate and pather base extermination) for you to do to the yearly defense quota, or abandon it then rebuild it later when you can be bothered to babysit it.
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