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Topics - PCCL

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Suggestions / [wall of text] A proposal for ambush mechanics
« on: June 04, 2023, 08:15:54 AM »

I’d like to discuss 3 issues (in my opinion) with the game as it stands which can be remedied with one proposed mechanic. These issues are:
  • Strategic (campaign level) maneuvering has very little bearing on the tactical situation. As it stands, the best you can do is put the battle in a nebula, or in an asteroid belt, etc., none of which have a large effect on how the tactical battle is fought;
  • There are very few options on how to build your fleet to challenge a superior foe than “more bigger ships”. In other words, all else being equal, it is very difficult for a smaller fleet to damage or defeat a larger fleet.
  • Phase ships (somewhat) lacking strategic impact.

What can be done to tie all these together into a potentially satisfying mechanic that address all of these issues? Introducing:


I suggest a mechanic being implemented for a small fleet to catch a larger fleet unawares via strategic maneuvering. Once a larger fleet is caught unaware, the small fleet can choose to engage elements of the larger fleet, either disrupting its logistic capability (and therefore its ability to carry out its mission) or defeating it in detail. This can be done by a small, maneuverable fleet running dark in a nearby piece of space terrain, or by a small (or even medium sized) phase armada, which will be the experts in ambush tactics.

The particulars

While this mechanic can be implemented in any number of ways, here’s one possible version that highlight some of its benefits:

  • When a fleet engages an enemy it did not detect until shortly before engaging (say a day, or half a day), and when the enemy has detected that fleet before that time, that fleet is “Ambushed”.
    • Two fleets who stumble upon each other, neither having detected one another before engaging, engage normally and the ambush mechanic is not triggered.
  • When engaging an Ambushed fleet, the attacker can choose to proceed with battle normally (move in to engage, attempt to disengage, etc.), but can also choose to “Isolate and attack the enemy fleet in parts” – this would be an additional dialogue option.
    • In addition, an Ambushed fleet can never pursue – giving the ambusher some degree of safety after a successful ambush or in case an attack goes badly.
  • If the Isolate and Attack option is chosen, both fleets are divided into smaller “elements” by the ambusher. Conceptually, this represents the ambusher dividing up its own forces and isolating smaller elements of the enemy force as it sees fit.
    • A dialogue screen (similar, perhaps, to nexerelin’s special task group screen or vanilla’s ship collector sale screen) can be used for this. Each element would be approximately the max disengage size, and the number of elements should be limited so that each element is not much smaller that.
      • For example, default max disengage size is 150dp, so each element can contain up to 150dp. An Ambushed fleet of 350dpcan be divided into up to 3 elements, an Ambushed fleet of 500dp into 4 elements, etc.
      • However, no matter how small the Ambushed fleet is, the number of elements it can be divided into will never be less than 2.
    • After the elements are chosen by the ambusher, the Ambushed fleet chooses an element to protect. This element cannot be targeted by the ambusher. Conceptually, this represents the core of the ambushed fleet, containing its most important/vulnerable ships, which the ambushed fleet takes greatest care to avoid putting into danger.
    • The ambusher then chooses one of its elements to attack an enemy element, resulting in a disengage style battle. If the ambusher is victorious, it may conduct salvage operations. This process repeats itself until either fleet runs out of elements to attack/be attacked, or terminates when the ambusher chooses.
  • After the Ambush, the ambushing fleet may choose to fight the Ambushed fleet normally, or perform salvage operations and withdraw. Again, if the ambusher withdraws, the Ambushed fleet cannot pursue.

Ambush in practice

Below are two examples of how the ambush mechanic may work in practice. The first is a basic scenario, where the player uses it to isolate important elements of a superior enemy fleet. The second is a larger application, where we demonstrate the use of multiple ambusher groups, and the cutting off of elements of the enemy fleet from supports needed to synergize with it.

Example 1 – underground bounty

A bounty hunter fleet (the player) is tasked with an underworld bounty – a Hegemony patrol. The disposition of the forces are as follows:

  • Medusa (Flagship)
  • Medusa
  • Wolf
  • Wolf
  • Buffalo

Hegemony Patrol:
  • Eagle (Flagship)
  • Dominator
  • Hammerhead
  • Hammerhead
  • Lasher
  • Buffalo (A)
  • Buffalo (A)
  • Dram

A more confident player than I may decide to take the patrol on directly, but let’s presume for this exercise that the player cannot win that fight straight up. However, he observes that:

  • There is an asteroid belt near the area the Patrol is stationed, allowing for an ambush
  • The patrol is far enough from any Hegemony market that destroying its logistic train could cause it to run out of supplies before making port.

The player lays in wait, running dark in the asteroid belt until the Patrol comes in close, then attacks. The ambush is successful, and he chooses to isolate the elements of the patrol for defeat in detail. He isolates the Patrol as follows:

Element 1:
  • Eagle (Flagship)
  • Hammerhead
  • Lasher

Element 2:
  • Dominator
  • Hammerhead
  • Buffalo (A)
  • Buffalo (A)
  • Dram

Each element is individually weaker than the player’s full fleet, and each element, if attacked, can achieve the player’s objective. (Of course, the flagship is the bounty – if the player destroys the Eagle, he can leave the rest of the fleet and the bounty would complete). The player is not obliged to and does not divide his own fleet into elements. It would be a meaningless exercise since there would only be one ambushing attack.

Let’s say the Hegemon commander, unwilling to risk his flagship (and his life), Protects the first element. The player attacks the second element. While the Dominator is a hard target to engage, the player’s superior maneuverability allows him to attack the logistic ships (which are forced to deploy in a disengage battle) directly. The battle resolves as follows:

  • Medusa – Undamaged
  • Medusa – Undamaged
  • Wolf – Moderate Damage
  • Wolf – Disabled

Hegemony Patrol:
  • Dominator – Light Damage
  • Hammerhead – Light Damage
  • Buffalo (A) – Disabled
  • Buffalo (A) – Destroyed
  • Dram – Destroyed

The ambush is over and, still finding himself weaker than the Patrol, the player disengages after some quick salvaging and stalks the slower patrol from a distance.
Over the coming days, the Hegemon Patrol limps back to home. However, due to the sheer distance between it and the closest market, it runs out of supplies and is forced to scuttle its Dominator and Hammerheads.

The player once again engages and his two Medusa and Wolf makes short work of the Eagle and Lasher remaining in the patrol. Mission accomplished.

Example 2 – pitched battle

Let’s consider a larger application of this mechanic, and how multiple combat elements can be used by the ambusher. In this scenario, the player is tasked with stopping a large pirate force en route to raid his fledgling colony of Ilium. Disposition of forces are as follows:

  • 2x Aurora                  (30dp x 2 = 60dp)
  • 2x Fury                     (20dp x 2 = 40dp)
  • 2x Doom                   (35dp x 2 = 70dp)
  • 4x Harbinger             (18dp x 4 = 72dp)
  • 1x Medusa                   (12dp x 1 = 12dp)
  • 4x Wolf                     (5dp x 4 = 20dp)
  • 2x Buffalo (TT)           (3dp x 2 = 6dp)
  • 3x Phantom               (10dp x 3 = 30dp)
  • Total            310dp

  • 5x Atlas MkII             (24dp x 5 = 120dp)
  • 5x Eradicator(P)         (22dp x 5 = 110dp)
  • 3x Venture MkII         (14dp x 3 = 42dp)
  • 3x Colossus MkIII      (8dp x 3 = 24dp)
  • 8x Buffalo MkII          (4dp x 8 = 32dp)
  • 5x Manticore(P)         (12dp x 5 = 60dp)
  • 3x Shrike(P)              (8dp x 3 = 24dp)
  • 2x Mule(P)                 (7dp x 2 = 14dp)
  • 8x Wolf(P)                 (5dp x 8 = 40dp)
  • 8x Kite(P)                  (2dp x 8 = 16dp)
  • 6x Hound(P)              (3dp x 6 = 18dp)
  • 10x Buffalo(P)           (3dp x 10 = 30dp)
  • 4x Phaeton                (4dp x 4 = 16dp)
  • Total         546dp

Once again, a better player than I may take this on directly. However, for the purpose of this example, let’s say the player is of such a skill level that a head-on attack is inadvisable. Instead, he lays in wait near the magnetic field of an irradiated planet between his colony and the nearest jump point. The pirate force stumbles by, and the Player’s fleet moves in to ambush. The battle is joined.

The max disengage size is 150, so the player has to divide his fleet into 3 (310/150, rounded up). The pirate fleet, being 546dp in size, is divided into 4. Each element can contain at most 150dp worth of ships.

The player divides his fleet into a conventional assault element, a phase assault element, and a logistic element as follows:

Element 1:
  • 2x Aurora          (30dp x 2 = 60dp)
  • 2x Fury              (20dp x 2 = 40dp)
  • 1x Medusa         (12dp x 1 = 12dp)
  • 4x Wolf              (5dp x 4 = 20dp)
  • Total         132dp

Element 2:
  • 2x Doom           (35dp x 2 = 70dp)
  • 4x Harbinger      (18dp x 4 = 72dp)
  • Total         142dp

Element 3:
  • 2x Buffalo (TT)          (3dp x 2 = 6dp)
  • 3x Phantom              (10dp x 3 = 30dp)
  • Total         36dp

Of course, in practice, nothing stops the player from dividing ships of the same class among multiple elements (2 wolves in 1, 2 wolves in 2, for example). However, here for ease of illustration, let’s say he doesn’t.

Note that element 3 is completely unfit for combat. That’s okay. The ambusher is not obliged to deploy every single element, so a spare element can be reserved for non-combat ships. Even when a non-combat ship is forced into a combat element, the nature of a disengage style battle is such that it does not necessarily need to be deployed. As such, the ambushing fleet enjoys much greater safety for its logistics train.

As to the pirate fleet, the player observes that it contains high damage, but squishy Atlas MkII’s, somewhat lower damage but more survivable cruisers, many smaller ships, and a sizeable logistics train. In a conventional battle, all these elements work to support each other and is difficult to deal with. However, if cut off from each other, they can be made much more manageable.
The player divides the pirate fleet as follows:

Element 1:
  • 5x Atlas MkII             (24dp x 5 = 120dp)
  • 4x Buffalo MkII          (4dp x 4 = 16dp)
  • Total         136dp

Element 2:
  • 5x Eradicator(P)         (22dp x 5 = 110dp)
  • 2x Venture MkII         (14dp x 2 = 28dp)
  • Total         138dp

Element 3:
  • 1x Venture MkII         (14dp x 1 = 14dp)
  • 3x Colossus MkIII      (8dp x 3 = 24dp)
  • 4x Buffalo MkII          (4dp x 4 = 16dp)
  • 5x Manticore(P)         (12dp x 5 = 60dp)
  • 3x Shrike(P)              (8dp x 3 = 24dp)
  • Total         138dp

Element 4:
  • 2x Mule(P)                 (7dp x 2 = 14dp)
  • 8x Wolf(P)                 (5dp x 8 = 40dp)
  • 8x Kite(P)                  (2dp x 8 = 16dp)
  • 6x Hound(P)              (3dp x 6 = 18dp)
  • 10x Buffalo(P)            (3dp x 10 = 30dp)
  • 4x Phaeton                (4dp x 4 = 16dp)
  • Total         134dp

Element 1, then, is a large group of unsupported Atlas MkII’s, easy pickings for a well-organized strike force; element 2 is a cruiser croup that may present the biggest challenge for the player fleet, but doesn’t necessarily have to be engaged right now; element 3 consist of weak cruisers and pirate destroyers that the player can defeat in a conventional brawl; and element 4 contains weak pirate escorts and the entirety of the pirates’ logistic train.

Let’s say the pirate warlord decides to protect element 1. He thinks it’s important to preserve his most valuable warships for the raid ahead, logistic train be damned. After all, his Ventures (which are tough enough to maybe withdraw, especially grouped with Eradicators) and Hounds (which are fast enough to be all but completely safe in a disengage style battle) still carry significant amount of supplies and, hey, if there’s not enough supplies to make it home, he’d just have to take some from the poor citizens of Ilium.

The player proceeds to attack. He deploys his element 1 against the pirate’s element 2. His faster, better organized fleet route the pirate cruiser force, let’s say the battle resolves as follows:

Player element 1:
  • 2x Aurora          2x Light damage
  • 2x Fury             Light damage, Moderate damage
  • 1x Medusa           Light damage
  • 4x Wolf             2x Disabled, 2x light damage

Pirate element 2:
  • 5x Eradicator(P)         4x Disabled, 1x Moderate damage
  • 2x Venture MkII         2x Disabled

A good start – the enemy cruiser line is severely damaged and the player’s front line is more-or-less still ready for further action. The player still has its elements 2 and 3 to deploy against the pirate’s elements 3 and 4. He deploys his element 2 against pirate element 3.

While not as competent in a straight up fight, the player’s phase ships use their time acceleration in phase space to catch up with the pirates’ retreating ships and inflict heavy damage on the slower cruisers. However, some of the faster destroyers get away. Let’s say the battle resolves as follows:

Player Element 2:
  • 2x Doom           2x Light damage
  • 4x Harbinger     2x Light damage, 2x moderate damage

Pirate Element 3:
  • 1x Venture MkII         Disabled
  • 3x Colossus MkIII      3x Disabled
  • 4x Buffalo MkII          4x Disabled
  • 5x Manticore(P)         2x Light damage, 2x Moderate damage, 1x Disabled
  • 3x Shrike(P)              1x Light damage, 2x Disabled

Satisfactory result – the pirate’s cruiser force is further eroded, but 4 manticores still pose something of a threat. The player now only has its element 3 remaining against the pirate’s element 4. Obviously, Element 3 was never meant to enter battle. The player chooses not to deploy and ends the ambush.
Disposition of forces after ambush is as follows:

  • 2x Aurora          (30dp x 2 = 60dp)    Light damage
  • 2x Fury             (20dp x 2 = 40dp)    Light damage, Moderate damage
  • 2x Doom           (35dp x 2 = 70dp)    Light damage
  • 4x Harbinger     (18dp x 4 = 72dp)   2x Light damage, 2x Moderate damage
  • 1x Medusa        (12dp x 1 = 12dp)   Light damage
  • 2x Wolf             (5dp x 2 = 10dp)   Light damage
  • 2x Buffalo (TT)  (3dp x 2 = 6dp)
  • 3x Phantom      (10dp x 3 = 30dp)
  • Total         300dp (10dp lost)

  • 5x Atlas MkII             (24dp x 5 = 120dp)
  • 1x Eradicator(P)         (22dp x 1 = 22dp)   Moderate damage
  • 4x Buffalo MkII          (4dp x 4 = 16dp)
  • 4x Manticore(P)         (12dp x 4 = 48dp)   2x Light damage, 2x Moderate damage
  • 1x Shrike(P)              (8dp x 1 = 8dp)      Light damage
  • 2x Mule(P)                (7dp x 2 = 14dp)
  • 8x Wolf(P)                 (5dp x 8 = 40dp)
  • 8x Kite(P)                  (2dp x 8 = 16dp)
  • 6x Hound(P)              (3dp x 6 = 18dp)
  • 10x Buffalo(P)           (3dp x 10 = 30dp)
  • 4x Phaeton                (4dp x 4 = 16dp)
  • Total         348dp (198dp lost)

The pirates are still strong enough to push on to Ilium, so the player decides to engage the remaining forces in a conventional battle. He takes some losses, but at least the colony is safe.

Ambush in the grander scheme of the game

In addition to a fun way to defeat larger fleets, this mechanic opens up new ways for AI to interact with the player, and to interact with other AI. It can also interact with other mechanics like bar missions and officer skills.

Ambush tactic and AI fleets

As a part of the implementation of this mechanic, I propose a new class of AI fleets – the ambusher. These would be separate fleet definitions much like a Fast Picket, Detachment, or Trade fleet. Ambushers go to a predestined area of operations (which, unlike patrols, don’t have to be in its home system) and lays in wait for targets of opportunity. Occasionally, it will change positions to pick up other targets or to avoid detection. Ambushers can be found around markets of a hostile faction to conduct commerce raiding, or deployed near home markets to deter attackers.

Pirates and Tri-Tachyon are masters of ambush tactics, with pirates particularly favoring smaller ships and Tri-Tachyon favoring phase ships.

With ambusher fleets lying around, even a well defended trade fleet ran by the player may have to take care to avoid common ambushing spots such as nebulae and asteroid fields, and players undertaking an attack on pirate bases may have to take different routes or take care to root out ambushers on the way to their target.

Bar missions

A bar mission/contact mission can also interact with this mechanic, in addition to the obvious use of this mechanic in bounty missions. Concerned traders or military officers can ask the player to root out ambushers in a large area. A player may be given information something like:

  • Traders are reporting losses between Volturn and Nortia, we suspect pirate ambushers are responsible.
  • Based on survivor reports and rate of losses, we estimate 2-4 ambusher fleets may be involved.
  • You are asked to destroy these fleets within 60 days, with a bounty for each fleet destroyed.

The player would then go on patrol in the general area, with a focus on ambush-favoring terrain, and hunt down these ambushers.

Officer skills

Officer skills can be added that specifically synergize with ambush warfare, in addition to combat skills favoring fast, smaller attack ships naturally favoring ambush tactics and navigation/sensor skills making ambushes easier. For example, leadership skill can be added to favor ambush tactics by increasing the number of elements involved by 1 or give various combat bonuses in ambush battles.

Personal bounties

One other quick note – certain personal pirate bounties can venture out of their rumored hiding spots and instead hide elsewhere to ambush the player fleet – a bit of a twist to the somewhat monotonous gameplay loop of “go to system, fight fleet, get paid, come back”.

Defense against ambush

Three main ways of defending against ambushers are:

  • Avoiding areas conducive to ambush;
  • Using active sensor burst to scope out suspicious areas before passing through; and
  • Including ships with higher resolution sensors in the fleet to passively pick up ambushers.

Of these, 1 and 3 require significant changes in how the player plays, but 2 may be too easy – if all we’re doing is dropping a sensor burst before passing asteroid belts, ambushes may be too easy to avoid. I’d like to add a little more risk into that. To that end, I propose that, in addition to triggering when a fleet is attacked by an opposing force it hasn’t seen in the past day (or so), ambush also triggers when a fleet is attacked in the middle of an active sensor burst. After all, the active sensor burst requires putting ships into a lower state of combat readiness. The duration and effectiveness of active sensor burst should be tuned such that it remains an effective way of rooting out ambushers, but only if the fleet takes some precaution to stay some distance away from the potential ambusher’s hiding spot.

This has the added benefit of giving players a new way to deal with patrols – a patrol that otherwise cannot be defeated straight on can be dealt with by hiding from them and, when they inevitably use a sensor burst to find the player’s fleet, rush them, defeating a portion of it in ambush, and (hopefully) fighting the remainder in a more even battle.


This mechanic, of course, has many balance levers – element sizes in ambush, time window to trigger an ambush, ability specs of active sensor burst and run dark, sensor ranges of fleets in general, etc. etc., so I think it can be balanced properly one way or another. However, as an initial suggestion, I propose that the mechanic be balanced so that:

  • From a hiding spot (mag field, asteroid belt, nebula), a conventional fleet should be able to ambush an unsuspecting fleet 2-3 times its size.
  • From a hiding spot, a phase fleet should be able to ambush an unsuspecting fleet 4-6 times its size; and
  • A phase fleet running dark should be able to ambush an unsuspecting fleet 2-3 times its size from open space.

This is an initial proposal only, of course, and if this mechanic is implemented, all of the above noted balancing levers should be used in addition to requisite testing to make sure it plays well in the grand scheme of the game.


This proposed mechanic achieves the goal of remedying the issues mentioned at the start of the post, and has a number of other benefits, including:

  • Allows for multiple engagements in a battle (which, while being an existing mechanic, almost never happens – a bit of a shame, I think);
  • Encourages some degree of strategic planning in travel, even in the core worlds;
  • Is entirely optional - a confident pilot/admiral can simply take these fights head on;
  • Interacts well with other mechanics already existing in game;
  • Can be relatively easy to rebalance, considering the number of “balance levers”; and
  • Should be relatively easy to implement (though I’ll admit I’m not a programmer) since many requisite mechanics like battle dialog and escape style battles already exist in game.

Obviously, there’s many things about this proposal I may have thought of but couldn’t put into words, and even more that I haven’t thought of. Nevertheless, I hope this serves as something of a starting point for discussion for the implementation of some form of ambush mechanic, either this incarnation or something different.

Not sure if this should be modding bugs since this really only comes up when modding, but when you change combat speed in config/settings particles don’t seem to follow that. Meaning, if you turn combat speed way down, a muzzle flash (for example) will still move at regular speed and fly way off of the ship that’s firing it.

Over my last couple of playthroughs, I've found raiding convoys transporting heavy weapons to be by far the most profitable early game way to make money. Each convoy nets something like 100-300 heavy weapons, which can be sold for something like 1000 per weapon (especially since the raids themselves generate local shortages), so that's 100-300k right there, not to mention the hundreds of supplies usually carried with them. I think it should be toned down somewhat.

Perhaps the strength of convoy escorts can be made proportional to the value of the cargo? After all, a shipment of ore probably doesn't deserve the same level of protection than say enough heavy weapons to overthrow a planet. Alternatively, maybe heavy weapons, supplies, and such can be transported in specially designated "military convoys" or "logistic convoys" that have heavier escorts?

Another thing that can be done is maybe fleets simply shouldn't show what they're transporting? After all, it wouldn't make sense that we can tell a fleet is smuggling drugs and organs from sensor range while faction patrols have to get up close for a cargo scan (and even then they'd risk missing something). That way, players can only target high value convoys by receiving intel that a convoy carrying valuable goods is heading a certain way and try to intercept them.

Suggestions / uniquifying fleets within factions
« on: August 12, 2022, 07:56:28 PM »
So by next patch, we should have factions that feel relatively distinct to fight, which is great, but I'm wondering if measures can be taken to make fleets within a faction more unique to fight as well?

For example, Hegemony seems to have 2 somewhat distinct "tiers" of forces -- there's the somewhat hodge podge "local" security forces, with Condors, Kite/Hound (A)'s, Moras, etc., and then                  the more "elite", organized parts like the XIV groups. Perhaps different types of fleets can be found in different contexts in the game world, and that way the player has a little more to fight against

The League, likewise, has many different worlds, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. We also know from the missions that they have low-tech ships like dominators (PLS Praxis, for the greater lud) and high-tech ships like Astrals and Auroras (Coral Nebula, PLS Sirocco et al) -- perhaps lower tech, lower quality ships can be found in poorer worlds like Salamanca and Mairaath, while higher quality, mid/high tech ships can be found in richer worlds like Kazeron?

Suggestions / ship/hullmod specific campaign level abilities
« on: June 12, 2017, 01:24:42 PM »
I'm wondering how practical this would be, seems like it would grant a lot of flexibility for future features/modding. Basically give campaign abilities some type of link to hull features such that some abilities are only usable with certain mods on some/all of your ships. Some examples I can think of follow:

High Resolution Sensor Burst - More powerful version of Active Sensor Burst, requires some ships to have high resolution sensor to activate

Remote Survey - This would be a balance issue, of course, but something like the remote survey could require surveying equipment in addition to/instead of the skill

Fleetwide Phase dive - eliminates all sensor signature of the fleet (even the base 300) and increase burn speed at the cost of supplies, requires all ships to have phase field to activate

Mine Entity - If we want to maintain the mining role for ventures/shepherds, maybe they can be given a "Mining equipment" hullmod that allows them to have this ability which would extract resources from asteroids/gas giants and the like

Improvised Repair Yard - requires at least one ship to have a salvage/repair gantry to activate, slows fleet to a crawl/stop but increases repair speed and decreases supply consumption, also decreases/eliminates refit CR penalty while in the field.

Again, this is not a suggestion for those abilities in particular, I just think campaign abilities tied to the ships would be an interesting system and the above are some possible ways to make use of it

sorry for the undescriptive title, I'm not sure what's happening here but it doesn't look right



Mostly because I'm tired of friendly patrols stealing my bounty. Can we have a simple dialogue option that allows us to preclude friendly ships from joining our forces?

Something like this:

Hegemony Patrol: Supporting your forces
The Pirate fleet maneuvers to prevent you from disengaging easily.....

You decide to....

1) Move in to engage
2) Transfer command before engagement
3) Attempt to disengage

Move in to engage

A Hegemony Patrol is nearby and willing to assist you in the upcoming battle, if you transmit your fleet's IFF codes to them.

You decide to....

1) transmit IFF codes
2) do not transmit IFF codes

Suggestions / explosion effects for "pound into scrap" command
« on: May 15, 2017, 10:44:39 AM »
small qol and probably not worth it unless it's done with minimal effort, but thought I'd put it up

when you pound salvage into scrap, there should be a few explosions like those found during battles, for realism and just so the player knows that something has happened. I have several times found myself waiting around aimlessly after giving the command, not noticing the thing is already a cloud of debris

The cost to recover display on the fleet screen does not seem to take into account the supply needed to repair damage until your fleet has fully recovered its CR. This leads to some misleading displays like this:

whereby the first image makes it look as though I won't need much more supplies to get the fleet back in working order but ticks over to the second after CR is recovered

Suggestions / surrender to stations
« on: May 05, 2017, 05:54:29 PM »
Basically, sometimes I come home from an expedition with 0 supplies and dwindling CR, and I forget to turn on my transponder. Some fast picket from across the system catches wind, the planet refuses docking, and I get to mull over my mistakes in low orbit for days risking accidents while they take their time moseying over to hand me a space-ticket.

Can we just tell the station "oops, our bad, here scan us" and be done with it?

General Discussion / what's the formula for repair cost?
« on: May 03, 2017, 04:44:37 PM »
Basically this^ What determines how much supplies it takes to repair a ship to full health/armor? Is it related to supplies/rec?

Suggestions / effect of stability on economy
« on: May 03, 2017, 02:59:36 PM »
I feel like there exists room for improvement on the current implementation of market stability, the whole "prices increase/decrease" thing isn't (imo) very exciting nor, unless I'm looking for a place to sell survey data, very useful.

I propose stability be present as a simple multiplier to supply/demand. This multiplier applies differently to different goods based on the following axioms:

  • In times of low stability, people hoard essentials, forgo luxuries, and seek to leave the planet.
  • In times of low stability, production of luxury goods shut down first, followed by industrial goods and finally essential/agricultural goods.
  • In times of high stability, production and consumption of all goods increase, with luxury goods increasing above the rest in proportion to total consumption (people want good stuff) and industrial goods increasing below the rest in proportion (only so much infrastructure)

Therefore, I propose existing goods be roughly divided into 3 categories: essentials, industrials, and luxuries (commodities.csv already has tags to a similar effect).

Essentials: food, domestic goods, organs (need those to survive, ya know), hand weapons (gotta stay safe somehow)
industrials: ore, metals, volatile, etc. etc.
luxuries: luxury goods, "chemical arts", lobsters

with only some back-of-the-napkin math, I tentatively propose the following functions for multipliers:

essentials: s = 1+ 0.075(x - 5)
industrials: s = 1+ 0.4(ln(x+1) - ln6)
luxuries: s = 1+ 0.6 (arctan (x-4) - arctan1)

essentials: d = 1+ 0.025(x-5)^2
industrials: d = 1+ 0.1(x-5)
luxuries: d = 1+ 0.02(x-6)^3

(graphs below provided generously by orost)

where a planet's final production is its initial production times s as a function of x (stability from 0 to 10) and final demand is its initial demand times d as a function of x

this means that at stability 10, for example, a planet will demand 128% more luxuries, 62.5% more essential goods, and 50% more industrial goods. It will also supply 37.5% more industrial goods, 31% more luxuries, and 24.2% more industrial goods. commodity prices can then shift based on those numbers.

heading out right now but I will go deeper into the advantages of this system when I get home

EDIT: right... ahem... thanks orost for the graphs. Basically from there, you can see that all markets produce at their baseline capacity at stability 5 (multiplier = 1) and will, for example, stop producing luxury items almost completely at stability 3. Below I briefly discuss the main properties of this system:

  • A natural, stable economy. Since (generally speaking) higher stability => higher demand and vice versa, and since demands being met and stockpiles being built up naturally increases stability (I believe this is the current state of affairs), markets will trend towards an equilibrium without outside influence. This gives markets a good baseline stability which we can then edit with various properties (region capital, military base, etc.) The only case where this system is unstable is...
  • Food shortages! Or in this case, essential goods shortages. This is by design as it, in addition to certain events (interception of essential good trading fleets, etc) allows disasters to organically occur. As essential goods supply decreases, the market demands more essential goods and simultaneously produces less, compounding the issue. This creates what is essentially the 0.7.2 version of the food shortage without artificially influencing the price and will not return to stability until an outside force is brought together to relieve it.
  • Not a current concern, but I believe this is something alex intends to work on at some point in the future: insurgency, revolution, and decivilization. As hand weapons and organs are essential goods, demand for them will naturally increase in a time of crisis. While in most cases demand of goods being met increases stability, these two goods are different as they're contrabands for the most part. This allows the player (or other nefarious parties) to fuel the crisis and make a neat profit (from local warlords) by smuggling those in instead of organizing relief like a good samaritan . Now THAT is what I call "meaningful choices" in the economic model (something alex strives for, according to the game's faq).

In conclusion. This seems to be a really simple change code-wise (take whatever function that generates commodities, multiply it by whatever function that commodity uses, give output) for a huge gain. I hope alex at least deigns to play around with it a little bit.

Suggestions / dropping off ships similar to cargo
« on: May 01, 2017, 10:05:12 AM »
perhaps one step removed from fleet separation mechanics, but this one should be a bit simpler to implement (if a bit more limited)

since we can already leave cargo to come back to later, I propose we be allowed to do the same for ships. A ship dropped off in space can be tracked permanently and will need to be supplied and crewed to maintain CR, otherwise it will lose CR as though it's unsupplied and mothball itself once CR reaches 0. Ships left in space will be subject to all terrain (nebula/asteroid belts, mostly) and will be running dark. Enemy fleets will not look for the ship unless they see you drop it or have seen your fleet recently (and therefore identify the fleet as missing a juicy freighter, for example). If they find the ship they will destroy/capture/loot it but if they're not specifically looking for it they will not interact with it in any way.

Suggestions / qol extension to ctrl-click behavior
« on: April 30, 2017, 09:28:09 PM »
suggestion: ctrl-clicking a good on the market should put all you can afford into your inventory if it is less than your full capacity, ctrl-clicking again gets you to full capacity, and ctrl-clicking a third time gets you the entire stack

so I'm on an expedition, minding my own business, when a scavenger fleet started chasing me. This has been known to happen from time to time, sure, scavengers see a target of opportunity and can't help but give chase. The problem is I think the way this is done is by assuming the player has done something to them? I didn't interact with this fleet at all and suddenly my transponder button started glowing red and it says turning it on would reveal my identity and my hostile actions to the independents

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