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Author Topic: Personal Contacts  (Read 10971 times)

FooF

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Re: Personal Contacts
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2020, 06:14:14 PM »

Very good!

Reminds me of contacts in City of Heroes: you run low-level missions for them in an arc and as you progress through that arc, your relationship with them strengthens. Something to steal from that system if you feel so inclined: after you reach a certain trust status with the contact, you can "call" them without physically being in front of them. So in this system, perhaps after level 4(?), you get access to a direct (encrypted!) line with the contact so that you can communicate directly. Perhaps you still have to be near a Comm Relay but you get the idea.

Perhaps you can't say too much yet but will the rewards of these missions be non-standard? Credits, ships, and weapons are fine at first but by end game you're swimming in them. I presume blueprints, AI cores, Nanoforges, etc. will also be offered eventually, as well. But what about useful Intel like a completely surveyed system (with a high-value planet) or the locations of rare derelicts (like the Legion XIV)? I can think of other things more exotic but toward mid-game, I know that rewards that save me time or reduce the tedium factor are precious.

Finally, and I don't know how much espionage you're planning, I think it would be really cool if one contact put a hit out on another existing contact of yours (I could imagine Underworld contacts doing this!) Maybe the (lucrative) reward is worth it, maybe it isn't...but it adds a level of choice.
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Eji1700

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Re: Personal Contacts
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2020, 06:45:41 PM »

I haven't slept most of this week so this all just kinda popped into my head while i was giggling reading the update.  Feel free to just take it for the lunacy that it is and skip it.
Spoiler
With the closing of the comlink the contract is signed.  The order for fuel needs to go through.  A brief stop at an abandoned terraforming platform and a month later the pilot arrives at a tiny colony at the edge of the cluster.  A backwater to backwaters this worthless speck of dust, rock, and cold has barely even been able to provide fuel for itself let alone the order requested, but that cannot do.

Mass industry begins to mobilize as credits pour in to attract enough bodies to handle the demand.  No longer a hidden wasteland to fade from the eye of civilization, every suitable inch is to be converted into anti matter producing factories.  The logistic railways of the future are laid across the stars and access to the barely born colony begins to flow while the factories begin to grow.  What once could have easily passed for yet another uninhabited hellscape has become a industrial mecca at the end of a credit fueled pilgrimage.  The order might be filled.  Profit begins to flow as for the first time since life graced the surface, the colony has an export and for the first time the market is aware.

The industry is humming and the fuel is pumping when pilot pulls from their cargo holds a metal seed that will grow into plenty.  A pulsating metallic heart of an empire long past, the Synchrotron liberated from the decay-less death of space is plugged in, hums to life, and beats as though it had never stopped.  The order will be filled.  The market is concerned.

What was once a view of the galaxy unhindered is now blocked by the bulk of the shipping freighters arriving around the clock, bringing precious materials before filling up with as much fuel as they can carry and burning out again.  An infinite stream of life stretches across the horizon and the past and present can be seen in real time.  Next Tuesday arrives as the most recent birthed star of engine light at the edge of the gate while last Wednesday continues to burn its way through the gridlocked sky. The market is now in panic. The order must be filled.

Grudges forgotten and status quo's threatened a crusade of violent metal is assembled as livelyhoods collapse.  What was once a vibrant economy has been submerged under the constant infinite flow of the fuel from the edge.  It began as concerns about warehousing and illicit surplus, but has devolved into quaking panic as entire moons are overflown with the annihilator mana. A commodity who's scarcity balanced the relative tranquility of drowsy toddler empires is now so abundant as to be as worthless as the lives of those conscripted in the eyes of their terrified lords.  Sent off to build a dam of corpses and stem the flow.

The rate is incalculable. Impossible. Inhuman.  The worst is assumed and the final fleet is dispatched. The taboo is broken clear as the order in the chaos and it must be cleansed.  For the many lives that are about to be lost it will be because they have nothing left in the crush of an economy they could not understand, but for these souls it will be because of a threat they wish they could only be ignorant of.  Whatever the normal citizen fears from the false gods of trade they do not know the eldritch terror of the unhindered AI.

The colony becomes the star of malevolence when the fleets meet in the soundless trenches of space.  The profit has been spent and the system fortified. A hardened shell of weaponry and income, the battle rages from hyperspace to surface in an endless pile of rearranged carbon and light. Though the fuel is beyond measure the defenses are not, and through the splintered hulls and bone the invaders continue to press.  Glory to those who will fill the order.

And with the stars themselves alight with chaos, and the blink of an eye production wonder reduced back to ash like some cosmic mayfly that has pulled the souls of its species with it, the pilot races through hyper space in their escape pod. The dark and crammed quarters finally illuminate.  Finally in range of a beacon, the message comes through. 

Contract complete. 150,000c transferred

"neat" says the pilot.
[close]

tl;dr;omg;wtf-
1. Log scaling is fun and I neeeeeed sleep.
2. Hope if we're going to give incentives to player colonies to fill orders that we've had some tweaks to the late game economy so that isn't an automatic declaration of galactic war like it is now.
3. I love the changes.  As always i enjoy seeing more player decision and depth added.  I'm sure it's going to come with some tweaking but the concept is great, and I'm hoping plays into other systems as well (black market cough cough).
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Histidine

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Re: Personal Contacts
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2020, 06:51:13 PM »

The real important revelation in the blog post is that titanium teeth are a thing in the Sector wait, a "Coronal Hypershunt"??

Oh, nice, we can draw GUI bars in a TooltipMakerAPI now

Future scenarios I'm having fun imagining:
- Handmade named characters as special contacts, perhaps even the faction leaders. "I get jobs from the Lion of Sindria himself!"
- [REDACTED] contact when

@Eji1700: I giggled
« Last Edit: August 13, 2020, 07:05:07 PM by Histidine »
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Cyan Leader

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Re: Personal Contacts
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2020, 07:02:35 PM »

Is this eventually going to tie in with the relationships you build up with random people across the sector (ie. station staff, fleet commanders, etc)? At the moment that is a very much unfinished and placeholder system which I always thought was going to be replaced eventually. Maybe that's in the plans for another update?

This is a little off topic but how's the balancing going so far for story points, by the way? I imagine that since the last blog post about them there has been a lot of playtesting, is the rate in which we acquire them unchanged?
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SonnaBanana

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Re: Personal Contacts
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2020, 07:05:18 PM »

What about a fourth type of contact, Scientific, whose interests revolve around surveys, scannings and Domain-era artifacts of various types? And of course, [REDACTED].
« Last Edit: August 13, 2020, 07:13:05 PM by SonnaBanana »
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Alex

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Re: Personal Contacts
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2020, 07:12:45 PM »

It could be interesting if sometimes you could find other faction contacts on your worlds - a Tri-Tachyon trader who stays on your world to manage trade routes, or a Hegemony diplomat/military attaché, for example. Holding out for such a contact would be inefficient for a player who wants to improve their standing with a specific faction, but a lucky player could take advantage of those contacts to streamline their core world visits. Those contacts could also have a lower maximum importance, too - after all, if they were really that important why have they been sent to someone else's planet instead of staying at their organization's HQ?

Hmm, yeah - like I mentioned earlier, the "how you get contacts" bit isn't exactly an area that's seen a lot of focus. It doesn't *need* is, specifically - I think the system works fine if you just get contacts without much trouble - but those sorts of things could all be interesting, for sure!


This is awesome! Pumped to see creating quests become more accessible.

It was fun/gratifying to see the specific shift from an imperative to a declarative system for the quests; I wrote my own wrapper to make quests declarative already, although yours is, of course, far more accessible and comprehensive.

Spoiler
https://github.com/davidwhitman/Gates-Awakened/blob/master/src/main/kotlin/org/wisp/gatesawakened/midgame/MidgameQuestBeginning.kt

Code
class MidgameQuestBeginning : BarEventDefinition<MidgameQuestBeginning>(
    shouldShowEvent = { Midgame.shouldOfferQuest(it) },
    interactionPrompt = {
        addPara {
            "You spot a familiar tattoo; a grey circle around the eye of a $manOrWoman" +
                    " in the corner of the bar, glowing a faint white. " +
                    "You realize that it looks a bit like a ${mark("Gate")}."
        }
    },
    textToStartInteraction = {
        "Move in for a closer look at the tattooed $manOrWoman's tripad screen."
    },
    onInteractionStarted = {
        planetWithCache = Midgame.planetWithCache!! // Must exist for quest to be offered
    }
.......
[close]

Cool! Yeah, going more declarative seems like very much the way to go. Finding the right balance is tricky, though, but I'm happy with where it's landed. And, yeah, what you've posted looks pretty solid, too. Same general idea, looks like - using a base class with some methods/data members to facilitate a declarative approach.

I'm assuming you're using a language that works on top of a jvm and compiles into Java bytecode? Not identifying offhand what it is - clojure, maybe?

Note: Below, I critique some example code from the blog post without full context of the rest of the API. What's more, this is *your* codebase and your project - please feel free to ignore my critique; I have my own baby codebase, I understand and won't be offended.

I do have a question; how much will the order in which you call methods in this new, declarative API matter?

That is, I presume that you must first call beginTrigger(...), then define triggers, and then endTrigger(). Is that the case, and if so, why not add a class to define a trigger so that the order that quest bits are declared doesn't matter (like a Builder pattern)?
eg
Code
beginWithTrigger(
  new HyperspaceRangeTrigger(planet, 1f, false, Stage.GO_TO_RUINS, new TriggerConditions() {
    triggerCreateFleet(FleetSize.MEDIUM, FleetQuality.DEFAULT, Factions.PIRATES);
    triggerSetStandardAggroPirateFlags();
    triggerFleetAllowLongPursuit();
    triggerPickLocationAtInSystemJumpPoint(planet.getStarSystem());
    triggerSpawnFleetAtPickedLocation(“$gada_pirate”, null);
    triggerOrderFleetPatrol(planet);
  }
);

Hmm. Honestly, I'm not sure that syntax is an improvement over having an endTrigger() call. It's an extra line and a bunch of extra syntax that imo reduces clarity - not that there's a *huge* difference.

But I think maybe we're talking about slightly different things. In my approach, you call beginTrigger() and endTrigger() to define a trigger; the various triggerXXXX methods are "what you do within the trigger", not separate triggers, right. The order of those calls may or may not matter depending on what they are, specifically.

Actually - I don't understand what you mean by "so that the order that quest bits are declared [in] doesn't matter". So I think I might just be missing something of what you mean.


Something to steal from that system if you feel so inclined: after you reach a certain trust status with the contact, you can "call" them without physically being in front of them. So in this system, perhaps after level 4(?), you get access to a direct (encrypted!) line with the contact so that you can communicate directly. Perhaps you still have to be near a Comm Relay but you get the idea.

Hmm, yeah. I've been thinking about something like this! The idea of unlocking it at a certain rep level is a very good one, though.

The question is how to "sell" a real-time conversation over hypercomm. It's all pretty vague about whether that's actually possible or not... and whatever solution there needs to be able to utilize the same exact interaction text; otherwise it's way too much work to be viable.

Perhaps you can't say too much yet but will the rewards of these missions be non-standard? Credits, ships, and weapons are fine at first but by end game you're swimming in them. I presume blueprints, AI cores, Nanoforges, etc. will also be offered eventually, as well. But what about useful Intel like a completely surveyed system (with a high-value planet) or the locations of rare derelicts (like the Legion XIV)? I can think of other things more exotic but toward mid-game, I know that rewards that save me time or reduce the tedium factor are precious.

Most of it is standard. Anything that ends up being a *common* reward from these kinds of missions would be standard by definition, though...

But, yeah, I have some TODO items specifically regarding special items and blueprints - though that'd have to be more rare, or those items become "standard" as well. Story missions, on the other hand, are more likely to give you things that are entirely non-standard, because those missions are one-offs, as well.

Finally, and I don't know how much espionage you're planning, I think it would be really cool if one contact put a hit out on another existing contact of yours (I could imagine Underworld contacts doing this!) Maybe the (lucrative) reward is worth it, maybe it isn't...but it adds a level of choice.

Hah! I actually had a TODO item for exactly this being a "complication" for an assassination mission. Not sure I want to go ahead with it, though; it's perhaps a bit too dark for my taste.


2. Hope if we're going to give incentives to player colonies to fill orders that we've had some tweaks to the late game economy so that isn't an automatic declaration of galactic war like it is now.

I've got a TODO item to look at this, somewhere...

3. I love the changes.  As always i enjoy seeing more player decision and depth added.  I'm sure it's going to come with some tweaking but the concept is great, and I'm hoping plays into other systems as well (black market cough cough).

:D

Yeah, we'll see where it ends up. A lot of potential avenues for expansion here!


The real important revelation in the blog post is that titanium teeth are a thing in the Sector wait, a "Coronal Hypershunt"??

Ha!

Oh, nice, we can draw GUI bars in a TooltipMakerAPI now

You can add relationship bars and importance bars, but I'm afraid the code is pretty specific and it's not "general purpose bar".

But hey, on the bright side - TooltipMakerAPI now supports adding tooltips to the UI elements in it, via .addTooltipToPrevious(TooltipCreator creator).

Future scenarios I'm having fun imagining:
- Handmade named characters as special contacts, perhaps even the faction leaders themselves. "I get jobs from the Lion of Sindria himself!"
- [REDACTED] contact when

Those sound like fun indeed. And would be pretty easy to do. Well, easy on the technical side; the real effort with these kinds of things is the actual mission content.


Is this eventually going to tie in with the relationships you build up with random people across the sector (ie. station staff, fleet commanders, etc)? At the moment that is a very much unfinished and placeholder system which I always thought was going to be replaced eventually. Maybe that's in the plans for another update?

To the extent that some of these people can become contacts, yes. E.G. when it's generating a military mission at a bar, it'll look for military-type people already in existence at the market and only create a new one if there isn't one already. So you might for example hand in a bunch of AI cores and (IIRC?) raise the rep with that person and then run into them at a bar and have a much higher starting relationship if they become a "contact".

This is a little off topic but how's the balancing going so far for story points, by the way? I imagine that since the last blog post about them there has been a lot of playtesting, is the rate in which we acquire them unchanged?

Not as much as you'd think; it doesn't make too much sense to playtest the campaign until all of these things are in. I did do a bunch of combat testing when tuning the high-level "special" bounties - since the balance is different now, with less capital ship heavy fleets, and the player skills being different, and so on. But as far as campaign playtesting, there hasn't really been any.

(Actually, that resulted in some combat changes I'm very excited about that make objectives relevant in an "actually fun" way...)


What about a fourth type of contact, Scientific, whose interests revolve around surveys, scannings and Domain-era artifacts of various types?

Fun fact: there's a (currently unused) "Science" contact tag. So - maybe? The amount of content that can be added here is literally endless. The corollary to that is only a small percentage of what's actually possible can possibly actually be in the game.
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SonnaBanana

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Re.: Personal Contacts
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2020, 08:29:17 PM »

Any plans for aptitude checks/rolls in dialogue options? Like counting the number of purchased tech skills and setting your chance of successfully hacking an old TT security system during story event dialogue or something like that.
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Wyvern

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Re: Personal Contacts
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2020, 08:51:41 PM »

The question is how to "sell" a real-time conversation over hypercomm. It's all pretty vague about whether that's actually possible or not... and whatever solution there needs to be able to utilize the same exact interaction text; otherwise it's way too much work to be viable.
Maybe it's something you can only do if you're at a hypercom?  Or only works if you've got an AI core (any grade) in your inventory?  I mean, I habitually activate old domain hypercom relays whenever I find them, but there's not actually a lot of reward for doing that right now...

(Actually, that resulted in some combat changes I'm very excited about that make objectives relevant in an "actually fun" way...)
Oh, this sounds interesting!  I do miss having objectives be relevant - there were flaws with the old objectives = deployment value system, but it did two things very well that the current system can't really do at all: it made objectives important to take and hold, and it made small fast ships have a place even in large fleet battles, since you needed to contest with the enemy's screening forces before you could put your main combat ships on the field.
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Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.

Alex

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Re: Re.: Personal Contacts
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2020, 09:09:44 PM »

Any plans for aptitude checks/rolls in dialogue options? Like counting the number of purchased tech skills and setting your chance of successfully hacking an old TT security system during story event dialogue or something like that.

We've had some conversations about it! Ultimately, I don't think it's a great fit. Rolls in particular, adding RNG to a dialog doesn't seem like it'd be fun unless it was backed by a lot more than that, i.e. if it was something the game was built around so there was some gameplay there, not just choices. And skill-related options... they're possible, but I feel like it steps on the toes of story point options, which roughly fill the same role already, and are easier to work with since you can just pick any angle instead of having to shoehorn aptitudes in.


Maybe it's something you can only do if you're at a hypercom?  Or only works if you've got an AI core (any grade) in your inventory?  I mean, I habitually activate old domain hypercom relays whenever I find them, but there's not actually a lot of reward for doing that right now...

Ah, that's super interesting! This could certainly handwave well - you need to be in close proximity to a comm relay, AND you need an AI core, so real-time comms aren't an everyday thing.

... maybe this could even *consume* a Gamma Core (say, it gets burned out), to make it not something you can do all the time - as I do rather like the idea of you going to visit a contact, since that gives places more meaning and that's overall a good thing.

Oh, this sounds interesting!  I do miss having objectives be relevant - there were flaws with the old objectives = deployment value system, but it did two things very well that the current system can't really do at all: it made objectives important to take and hold, and it made small fast ships have a place even in large fleet battles, since you needed to contest with the enemy's screening forces before you could put your main combat ships on the field.

Ah, actually, let me paste the relevant patch notes! Basically, instead of just giving a small buff (which they still do), objectives also let you *do* something - deploy more ships. So that's real, qualitative impact - from playtesting, capturing one actually feels fun, since you're anticipating which ships you get to deploy.

This makes using smaller ships to capture and skirmish over them worthwhile. And there are supporting changes that both don't penalize you for putting officers in small ships, and remove any incentive for lugging around 10-15 "give me more deployment points" Paragons. And, capturing objectives doesn't let you snowball an advantage - it's more about evening out the playing field.

(This also connects up with using story points to temporarily hire above-the-limit mercenary officers; there's a lot of stuff that factors in.)

   Combat against REDACTED will have battle objectives (Nav Buoys etc)
      Staton battles and battles against automated defenses of salvageable derelicts still don't
   Deployment point distribution between opposing fleets now based primarily on number/level of officers
      Is no longer updated as ships are destroyed; only computed once when an engagement round starts
      Officer contribution does not depend on what type of ship they're in
         But they do have to be on a ship, unassigned officers do not contribute
   Battle objectives (Nav Buoys, Sensor Arrays, Comm Relays):
      Now grant bonus deployment points equal to a percentage of battle size
         5% for Nav Buoys and Sensor Arrays
         10% for Comm Relays
      Total with bonus can't exceed 60% of battle size (which is the normal cap for the larger fleet)
         So: no bonus points for a fleet that already vastly outnumbers the enemy
      Goal is to give player means to even out a battle where they're outnumbered through aggressive play/splitting their forces
   Adjusted enemy admiral AI to value controlling points more
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Thaago

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Re: Personal Contacts
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2020, 09:30:35 PM »

Oh wow, % of battle size. So for those of us playing at 4-500, one of the minor objectives is enough for a cruiser, while a major objective is worth a capital. Thats pretty significant!
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hyperdrive

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Re: Personal Contacts
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2020, 09:42:31 PM »

Hey Alex, I think it would be cool to spice up the rewards from these missions other than just cash.
Rewards could include a choice of ships, mid-level officers, a temporary (or potentially permanent) exemption from tarriffs from the local port or blueprints.
I would especially like to see blueprints here as its currently harder to get the blueprints of factions you are allied to, as raiding planets is a main way to reliably get blueprints.
obviously these would have to be scaled to fit the difficulty of the mission, but I think it would spice things up a bit from the usual cash and friendship reward.

Something else I think would be nice is to require a contact of the appropriate importance to vouch for you to progress in a faction from commission  -> friendly -> cooperative.
I think it would add some barrier to entry and more nuance than just chucking over 50 ai cores to become fully allied to a faction
« Last Edit: August 13, 2020, 09:59:14 PM by hyperdrive »
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ApolloStarsector

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Re: Personal Contacts
« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2020, 09:52:12 PM »

Very exciting! Can't wait to play around with the new content.
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Eji1700

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Re: Re.: Personal Contacts
« Reply #27 on: August 13, 2020, 10:08:06 PM »

stuff about objectives letting you deploy more
Dunno if it was intentional but I really like how elegant that solution is at also getting the player to think about deployment.  It's a neat system that feels completely overlooked as 90% of the playerbase likely just shows up in their initial fleet and begins chucking hulls at the enemy until there's nothing left.

Pausing to asses who's out of ammo and should retreat vs who can come in to replace them and similar things was a really cool way to find use out of some ships that I didn't really discover for awhile because deployment wasn't actively encouraged.
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Narvi

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Re: Personal Contacts
« Reply #28 on: August 13, 2020, 10:13:01 PM »

You should look up Star Traders: Frontiers, Alex. It has a similar contacts system, though it's a lot more complex since the entire game is built around it. The contacts there are faction-based, and are mission dealers, contact providers, service providers, etc, and they interact with each other and other factions.

This looks like it's going to add a great deal of depth to the game!
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SonnaBanana

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Re: Personal Contacts
« Reply #29 on: August 13, 2020, 11:06:09 PM »

Quote
   Deployment point distribution between opposing fleets now based primarily on number/level of officers
Oh yes!
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