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Author Topic: Salvage & Recovery takes time  (Read 16163 times)

Morbo513

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Salvage & Recovery takes time
« on: May 06, 2017, 07:51:51 AM »

To increase the risk factor versus the reward of salvaging and surveying, the action should take time in the same manner as installing a comm sniffer. Right now, you can instantly restore a derelict to functioning condition, instantly loot a debris field, and instantly survey a planet. This means for each of these actions, you're not sacrificing or risking anything beyond the materials it consumes (Supplies, Machinery, Crew). In "reality", these operations would take a hell of a lot of time. With derelicts for example, there's the act of assessing whether it's capable of being restored, what cargo, weapons and materials can be stripped from it. Whether you restore it or not, there's the act of deploying crew, drones or ships to perform the operation, and in the case of restoration, transferring crew to the ship, patching up and initialising any basic systems and refuelling it. You can imagine the similar processes for scavenging debris fields and performing planetary surveys, each of which would probably take a lot longer than dealing with a single entity in space as opposed to an entire planet's surface, or random bits of junk floating about. The point is, it should take "real" time for these actions to be completed. It adds a tradeoff of vulnerability and passive supply consumption, as well as the possibility of failure meaning you've potentially wasted those supplies and made yourself vulnerable for little to no gain.

Edit:
A few more ideas and suggestions have cropped up throughout the discussion.

Some factions could have differing policies on salvage. For example, authoritarian factions like the Hegemony could declare scavenging of ships in their own space illegal, and confiscate the contents/scuttle the ship it if you're caught in the act, in addition to reputation loss and/or a fine.

Other (scavenger and pirate) fleets should contest derelicts either directly (ie pirates setting up an ambush, scavengers fighting you over a powerful ship) or indirectly (simply being there first). This could be expressed as an event upon interacting with the derelict, or (preferably, imo) by those fleets actually being there and having salvaging be in their routine.

Below is the previously included suggestion on surveys, but it's much less relevant at this stage, and my own opinion on it has changed.
Quote
I think the team is probably well aware of how bland planetary surveying is at the moment. So long as you meet the skill and materials criteria, you're able to perform the survey at zero perceptible risk, some people have described them as money printers. In my opinion, it'd be more interesting to have to commit an entire ship (Or several, if you choose), its crew and materials to a planetary survey. The initial survey is performed from orbit, for example picking up likely signs of ore deposits or ruins, but to establish the exact location and nature of these elements, boots must be put on the ground. If those initial results aren't looking promising, you can choose to abandon the survey with the preliminary data in hand, which would go for low prices to at least recuperate some of the costs of having ventured out and spent the time doing so. The "actual" survey data you currently gain would be done by establishing sites planetside; The more points of interest you choose to investigate, the more crew, supplies and such you must commit for a lengthy period of time, perhaps even allowing you to depart or hold in orbit if you choose to do so. The risk comes from the planet's hazard rating, and salvaging can be tied into this too. If you send a ship down to a high-hazard planet, you stand to lose that ship, along with the resources committed to the survey. The more you commit, the less time it will take. However, this allows for the possibility of several specialised ships: Recovery vessels that can find the crash-site, possibly rescuing those resources and crew, or if it has the equipment, towing the crashed ship back to your fleet in orbit for restoration. Other ships could be specialised in design for carrying out these hazardous planetary landings in the first place. You could have multi-role ships capable of all these tasks, but expensive in terms of cost and upkeep. Essentially, the idea is to have the player invest in their ability to perform planetary surveys beyond the skill if they want to be able to reliably carry them out, instead of being able to roll out with an almost entirely combat fleet and perform them with the same efficiency.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 09:45:50 AM by Morbo513 »
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BillyRueben

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Re: Salvaging & surveying takes time, and more in-depth surveying
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2017, 11:45:56 AM »

The more I read, the more it sounded like boarding making a comeback. No thanks.

I like how the game says "here is what this is going to cost", and then lets me decide if I want to proceed or not. I don't like it when games just up and decide to blow up a ship of mine because of some dice roll (unless the game is built around risk management).

Edit: And installing com sniffers is usually risky because they are actively patrolled by various factions. Having to sit and wait for a timer to survey and salvage would serve no purpose.
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Morbo513

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Re: Salvaging & surveying takes time, and more in-depth surveying
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2017, 06:10:46 AM »

I agree actually that dicerolls are a *** way to handle things. The point I'm trying to make is surveys are currently uninteresting. Starsector is absolutely though, a game about risk management, choice and consequence - right now, neither system carries very much of any; you could just as easily argue they currently serve no purpose beyond gaining you brouzouf (How much is, again, currently determined by a "diceroll")/a ship.  Short of what I suggest, or even less realistic, making surveys a minigame or extension of the game its self, I don't see any other way of changing that.

As for salvaging, let's say for example, you come across a derelict, but salvageable Onslaught. But, it's floating around in hostile territory, and has 4 D-mods. In addition, you're on a procurement mission that will expire in 4 days, 2 days away from your destination at best speed.
Now, with the current system, it's a no-brainer. So long as you have the crew and resources the system determines you need for the salvage operation, it's as simple as "Consider Ship Recovery" > "Recover" > Done. You now have an Onslaught in your fleet, but haven't increased the risk of being caught by pirates, and haven't come any closer to your mission's deadline. All you have committed to it can be expressed as elements of a spreadsheet.
Let's say then that with this system, recovering a ship of such size takes a day. Now this changes things; If you commit to the operation, not only will you be losing out on that day to complete your mission comfortably, but you also further increase the risk of failing it by staying stationary in hostile space to carry it out; an attack by pirates will interrupt the process, and possibly land you in a fight you could only hope to run from - meaning you might end up losing most of that day, then attacked, and possibly lose a ship or several, with nothing to show for it because you took a risk and it didn't pay off.

Planetary surveys are consequence-free to a similar degree at the moment. Right now, it's based around meeting the criteria for a given planet, then that's it. When with a more in-depth system such as the one I suggest, there is room for players to determine their own criteria beyond the bare minimum. "I can survey this planet" turns into "I can survey this planet, but".
« Last Edit: May 07, 2017, 06:13:15 AM by Morbo513 »
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Salvaging & surveying takes time, and more in-depth surveying
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2017, 07:20:49 PM »

I think the issue here is more that surveying is not a complete mechanic. I imagine in the future, you will want to survey planets as potential locations for outposts and that sort of thing. The act of surveying does not necessarily need to be exciting or risky, most of that will come with what you do with data. I imagine it will not be as profitable to simply sell it in the future. Maybe once the mechanic is fully flushed out, if you still think this is necessary, it might be worth talking about, but right now, there's no sense in trying to fine tune and unfinished mechanic.

I think that adding a time delay on salvaging might make the mechanic more interesting if you are a small fleet in the core worlds, running away from pirates and such, but for mid-late game fleets, there are very few actual threats. Maybe in a super dangerous [REDACTED] system you might think twice about salvaging , but in general, it would just make an relatively uninteresting task take longer, and I don't think thats the way to go.
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TrashMan

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Re: Salvaging & surveying takes time, and more in-depth surveying
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2017, 04:07:03 AM »

I like how the game says "here is what this is going to cost", and then lets me decide if I want to proceed or not. I don't like it when games just up and decide to blow up a ship of mine because of some dice roll (unless the game is built around risk management).

But that's just how it works. You don't know if the enemy has a self-destruct or if they are determined enough to press it.


Quote
And installing com sniffers is usually risky because they are actively patrolled by various factions. Having to sit and wait for a timer to survey and salvage would serve no purpose.

Yes it would, you simpleton.
It makes such operation risky as it opens you up to attack, as it should.
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Morbo513

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Re: Salvaging & surveying takes time, and more in-depth surveying
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2017, 04:37:51 AM »

I think that adding a time delay on salvaging might make the mechanic more interesting if you are a small fleet in the core worlds, running away from pirates and such, but for mid-late game fleets, there are very few actual threats. Maybe in a super dangerous [REDACTED] system you might think twice about salvaging , but in general, it would just make an relatively uninteresting task take longer, and I don't think thats the way to go.
The point is, even with a late-game fleet you're being subject to the same time delays (With adjustments depending on salvage gantries, skills etc), so it becomes a question of whether it's worth that time to salvage a debris field that might yield 5 supplies and 2 fuel when your fleet consumes triple that in a day, or whether it's worth the time to recover a wrecked-up Lasher when you've a fleet full of powerful capitals. It still delays you from carrying on with whatever your objective happens to be, it still leaves you open to attack if there does happen to be an enemy fleet powerful enough looking for you, and it still gives weight to an otherwise foregone choice.

I do agree with you on planetary surveys. This thread was just going to be about salvaging initially, but then I thought about surveys and might as well throw it in there, after all, ideas are free. I only made those suggestions because right now, the only thing you have to invest is skill points (Which is by no means insignificant) and the time, fuel and supplies to go around these outlying systems, and then it's constant payoff. It's like being able to buy an invincible ship; it cost you the initial investment, it still has passive upkeep and a deployment cost, but you're not risking or sacrificing anything beyond that to reap its benefits.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 04:44:04 AM by Morbo513 »
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BillyRueben

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Re: Salvaging & surveying takes time, and more in-depth surveying
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2017, 10:08:14 AM »

And installing com sniffers is usually risky because they are actively patrolled by various factions. Having to sit and wait for a timer to survey and salvage would serve no purpose.

Yes it would, you simpleton.
It makes such operation risky as it opens you up to attack, as it should.


When was the last time you salvaged anything within range of a fleet that could threaten you? Oh that's right, you can't, because the game won't let you. The time is simulated, so you don't have to sit in one spot and wait for ten seconds for a progress bar to fill. Unless there are scripted encounters when attempting to salvage or survey (and those terrible drones don't count), there won't be a risk, because 99% of the time there is never a threat nearby.
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Gothars

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Re: Salvaging & surveying takes time, and more in-depth surveying
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2017, 10:18:49 AM »

Yes it would, you simpleton.

Not OK. Please keep the tone civil and the ad hominems out of the discussion.
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Morbo513

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Re: Salvaging & surveying takes time, and more in-depth surveying
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2017, 10:29:02 AM »

When was the last time you salvaged anything within range of a fleet that could threaten you? Oh that's right, you can't, because the game won't let you. The time is simulated, so you don't have to sit in one spot and wait for ten seconds for a progress bar to fill. Unless there are scripted encounters when attempting to salvage or survey (and those terrible drones don't count), there won't be a risk, because 99% of the time there is never a threat nearby.
The last time I salvaged anything within 10 seconds of an enemy fleet being able to threaten me was a good 70% of the salvaging I've done, particularly post-battle. The game only prevents you from performing salvage if there's an enemy fleet actively chasing you, and you're within their sensor range, and that's only derelicts/debris fields you encounter outside of battles. 10 seconds is very much long enough for the threat level to change, and for larger/more advanced ships, it'd take even longer.
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BillyRueben

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Re: Salvaging & surveying takes time, and more in-depth surveying
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2017, 11:42:48 AM »

The last time I salvaged anything within 10 seconds of an enemy fleet being able to threaten me was a good 70% of the salvaging I've done, particularly post-battle.

You have to be playing with mods that change the game then, because this contradicts everything I have experienced so far playing this game. In my experience, fleets of any meaningful size have always been at least an entire system away from each other. If a time was added to surveying and salvaging, it would just be more time staring at a progress bar with nothing else going on. It would almost be as annoying as those defense drones on every probe. Not a threat, just boring.
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Morbo513

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Re: Salvaging & surveying takes time, and more in-depth surveying
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2017, 04:51:44 PM »

The last time I salvaged anything within 10 seconds of an enemy fleet being able to threaten me was a good 70% of the salvaging I've done, particularly post-battle.

You have to be playing with mods that change the game then, because this contradicts everything I have experienced so far playing this game. In my experience, fleets of any meaningful size have always been at least an entire system away from each other. If a time was added to surveying and salvaging, it would just be more time staring at a progress bar with nothing else going on. It would almost be as annoying as those defense drones on every probe. Not a threat, just boring.
I can certainly see that aspect, but it'd still add more than it'd take away in my opinion. I also like the drone fleets - I think they should scale at least to a degree versus the player fleet though. And for the record, vanilla.
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TrashMan

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Re: Salvaging & surveying takes time, and more in-depth surveying
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2017, 11:23:19 PM »

When was the last time you salvaged anything within range of a fleet that could threaten you? Oh that's right, you can't, because the game won't let you. The time is simulated, so you don't have to sit in one spot and wait for ten seconds for a progress bar to fill. Unless there are scripted encounters when attempting to salvage or survey (and those terrible drones don't count), there won't be a risk, because 99% of the time there is never a threat nearby.

So?

a) let the game let you
b) have the salvaging take long enough that a fleet in-system might catch you

Salvaging is something that should take 24 hours at the very least.
Real Life salvage operation can last WEEKS, having them done in an instant is just stupid.
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PCCL

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Re: Salvaging & surveying takes time, and more in-depth surveying
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2017, 11:26:28 PM »

I honestly think this is a far more elegant way of handling salvaging/surveying. Instead of having the game arbitrarily decide when your fleet is "vulnerable", we simulate the implications of surveying (i.e that your fleet is at a low level of alert and focused on something other than hostile contact).
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Salvaging & surveying takes time, and more in-depth surveying
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2017, 11:30:51 PM »

This would just make some of the gameplay so terrible though. You stumble upon a group of derelict ships in a far flung system... and spend the next 5 minutes watching progress bars tick up before you get 30 supplies and 60 metal... I would just not bother to salvage things any more. It's already a part of the game that's kinda tedious, clicking on things one by one and confirming and stuff, and then you add time delays. It would just make uninteresting things more uninteresting.

I guess maybe a middle ground would be salvage time being related to size of object so small ships are instant but large ships take a bit of time, that way if it takes a while, you at least know you might be getting something good. I still feel like it would break up the flow of the gameplay way more than it would provide any benefit.
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TrashMan

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Re: Salvaging & surveying takes time, and more in-depth surveying
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2017, 11:51:02 PM »

This would just make some of the gameplay so terrible though. You stumble upon a group of derelict ships in a far flung system... and spend the next 5 minutes watching progress bars tick up before you get 30 supplies and 60 metal... I would just not bother to salvage things any more. It's already a part of the game that's kinda tedious, clicking on things one by one and confirming and stuff, and then you add time delays. It would just make uninteresting things more uninteresting.

I guess maybe a middle ground would be salvage time being related to size of object so small ships are instant but large ships take a bit of time, that way if it takes a while, you at least know you might be getting something good. I still feel like it would break up the flow of the gameplay way more than it would provide any benefit.

What a drama queen.

It only takes several seconds for a day to pass in Starsector.

Clicking on things? Yea, I know. Horrible. I don't want to have to click. At all. On anything. Better yet, I don't want to press keys on my keyboard repeatedly. So dull. Best make the game play itself and I'll just watch.
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