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Author Topic: [In-Dev, not live yet] Domain Blueprint Encoder (DBE) - Blueprint Replication  (Read 3018 times)

angrytigerp

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This is the placeholder OP for this mod. There is no download yet.

    A mildly-inebriated space veteran beckons you to his table...

    Spoiler
    You've got the look of one of those folks who wants to know everything there is to know, or maybe build everything there is to build. I think I can help you there.

    Everyone wants to find those Blueprints for their Autofactories, right? One of the more powerful 'factions' in the Sector mounts an expedition to go digging for a Domain Data Vault or Research Lab, or scurry through the mud of a planet with ruins on it, hoping that among the wreckage they'll find one of those little chips that holds all the ins-and-outs of creating a brand-new spaceship or kick-ass gun. Everyone, by this point, has the chip for a Buffalo, or a Hound; those bloody things are everywhere. Everyone's HOPING to find their own personal XIV Battlegroup hull blueprint, or a chip to manufacture Mjolnir Cannons in their own industry.

    But what if I told you about another way to get these magical little doodads? I heard from a friend of a friend of a... well, you get the idea... that the Domain DID bring the tech that created Blueprints out here to the sector with them. They're still hidden out there, buried deep within some planets. The rumor goes something like this: you stick in almost anything, the facility tears it down atom-by-atom, and creates a chip that tells an Autofac how to recreate the thing piece-by-piece... in other words, what we know today as a Blueprint.

    Does such a thing exist? Eh, who knows? It's a rumor that's been running in spacer circles for years. It's probably a load of bollocks, another one of those comforting delusions we've created ever since the Gates collapsed. But, who knows? I'm past my prime, and my days of exploring are long gone. If you happen to find one of these things out there, remember your pal here, eh?
    [close]



    Domain Blueprint Encoder

    Quote
    Everyone knows what Blueprints are, but how did Blueprints come to be? Enter the Domain Blueprint Encoder. DBEs were, for lack of a better explanation, 3D scanners on steroids that systematically catalogued everything about how a piece of technology was built, be it the meanest Light Mortar to the astounding technological marvel of the Astral. Using the "Blueprint" thus created, one could program the ubiquitous Autofactory to produce the item in question.

    With the collapse of the Gate Network, the Domain became a distant memory in the Persean Sector, and the people reverted to a sort of techno-barbarism, having all of the technology but none of the knowledge. For some two centuries these disparate colonies grew in strength and number once again, and using the power of the Autofacs and Blueprints, were able to create massive space fleets to protect their interests and attack their enemies. However, while the primary means of acquiring blueprints is finding them out in abandoned Domain facilities out in the empty star systems of the Sector, or simply stealing them from your opponents, there is a path of less resistance -- to simply create your own.

    Scope of the Mod

    The goal of this mod is to create a new, RARE planetary condition, called "Intact DBE", with a guaranteed appearance on at least two or three planets per sector generation. It will function much like Ruins do, allowing the construction of a new Structure, tentatively planned to be called a "DBE Lab". The lore-y explanation here of why you need a specific facility will be that the DBE must be excavated out of whatever ruins it's within, powered up, and then a sterile environment must be maintained for cleaning the to-be-scanned piece of technology; this is to minimize the possibility of corruption of the Blueprint production from even so small a thing as a chunk of dirt.

    As is to be expected with providing power for such a colossal thing (imagine how large the 'workspace' must be to fit a Capital Ship inside!) and all the other logistical issues, it will cost a pretty penny to build, and have a ridiculous upkeep. Of course, use an AI Core and price AND demand goes down... and of course, there will probably be upgrades possible to the owning faction's prep facility to ensure higher success rates and a quicker preparation process...

    However, the process is not perfect: technology has diminished over the years and true sterility is difficult to achieve, and the DBE has suffered from its dormancy and lack of maintenance. Therefore, between errant contamination of the DBE, or through glitches in the system, it is unfortunately NOT guaranteed that you will get a blueprint. Obviously, the simpler and smaller the object is, the more likely the process will succeed, as it takes less time for the DBE to break down the object, and it's easier for the prep teams to clean it up to prevent contamination.

    Practical gameplay effects translation of the lore spiel (and other notes):

    • The less the OP/DP or fitting size/hull class of the weapon/ship, respectively, the less time the scan takes and the more likely it is that it will succeed.

    • Both success and failure result in loss of the item (read above re: complete deconstruction of the item), but at least with success you get a BP out of it. You must be willing to part with the thing to be prototyped, so don't give it your one and only Light Needler and panic when it fails...

    • The structure will cost a lot to build, and a lot to upkeep, so it's really only practical for mid- to end-game, so that you either have a fortune amassed or other colonies that can 'eat' the financial shortcoming.

    • The current roadmap is to use the 'unique submarket' concept you may have seen in other mods to produce a new, specific-to-DBE-structure submarket that will allow for you to input items to await the results of the Encoding. This is so that the UI of this process will be relatively graceful, and also to force the player to have to travel to the colony with the DBE to physically drop off an item (not so easy when you think you're gonna be clever and fly a mothballed Onslaught with 5 D-Mods halfway across the Sector)
    .
    • Since it would be impractical (and pointless) to have a mod that just played with your heart with an RNG curse, you'll be able to upgrade it a tier or two to increase probabilities.

    • There will be technology that can't be properly recreated because it contains advanced materials the DBE can't make heads nor tails from, which JUST SO HAPPENS to be things you can't otherwise find blueprints for anyways. Basically, there will be an allowed whitelist of replicable gear, just normal stuff you can find in markets for example; and things like [redacted] gear will be unreproducible, as only the whitelisted things can be turned in.

    • I would like to incorporate modded factions, but (to make perfectly clear) I will not do so without explicit permission and input from the mod author. This is to allow them the chance to set a whitelist of their choosing for what equipment they would like to be replicable, or indeed whether they wish to be party to the mod in the first place.

    Credits and Acknowledgements
    • So far, just SCC for giving me the idea of doing 'discovering some archaic Domain tech' during chatter on Discord, rather than my original alien technology idea.


    Stay tuned for all the inevitable name drops of folks I'm hoping for help in the more fiddly bits of code and scripting...[/list]
    « Last Edit: March 22, 2019, 11:20:10 AM by angrytigerp »
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    angrytigerp

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    Reserved for probability breakdowns and other fancy math as I get to that part.
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    Wyvern

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    As a note, this is going to run into the same issues as mods such as Omnifactory or Vesperon Combine: it plays poorly with other mods that have either unique equipment, or special manufacturing methods (Tiandong's ship conversions, for example).

    If the goal is specifically improving blueprint availability, you'll want to implement a whitelist (or, perhaps, get permission to use the same whitelist as Vesperon Combine?) so that other mods don't get messed up by the ability to generate blueprints that shouldn't exist.

    If the goal, instead, is to just have some unique facilities out there that justify colonizing otherwise non-viable planets, I'd suggest looking into options that don't generate blueprints.  Perhaps a special manufacturing center that has a higher ship quality bonus than the standard Orbital Works, or a military training base that improves the officer level of your patrols - and guarantees that the local comm directory gets several high-level officers you could hire each month.
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    Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.

    angrytigerp

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    As a note, this is going to run into the same issues as mods such as Omnifactory or Vesperon Combine: it plays poorly with other mods that have either unique equipment, or special manufacturing methods (Tiandong's ship conversions, for example).

    If the goal is specifically improving blueprint availability, you'll want to implement a whitelist (or, perhaps, get permission to use the same whitelist as Vesperon Combine?) so that other mods don't get messed up by the ability to generate blueprints that shouldn't exist.

    Didn't we already have this conversation on the Discord? Because I already had this conversation on Discord with someone. Maybe not you, but someone. Anyways, I literally already said:

    • I would like to incorporate modded factions, but (to make perfectly clear) I will not do so without explicit permission and input from the mod author. This is to allow them the chance to set a blacklist of their choosing for what equipment they would like not to be replicable, or indeed whether they wish to be party to the mod in the first place.

    If a mod author wants to opt out completely, they can. If I don't get anyone interested? It's only vanilla stuff. The only and specific reason for this endeavor is for a late-mid-/ end-game player to be able to choose, through an organic and somewhat-directed manner of their own volition, to be able to build a fleet of the ships they want with the weapons they want to 'bring home' a game where they're at the point they're just conquering other factions, with the same practical limits to BP availability as the default (which is to say: if you can't find the BP from the 'normal' methods, you won't be able to reproduce it here.)

    The player is still free to go surveying for blueprints, if they wish to acquire them that way. They're still free to raid colonies, if they wish to acquire them that way. They're free not to download the damn mod, if they wish to not have the possibility. With all that said, the entire point is that the only thing this mod does vice just doing random dice-rolls for random gear, is a directed choice as to what to get BPs for... while also sacrificing the item for only a POSSIBILITY of BP-ing, astronomical costs for the infrastructure, and likely (due to procgen) having to build a colony in the middle of nowhere.

    "But what if it procgens in the same system as the player starts?"

    Well, what if the game procgens ruins that give you a catalog BP set in the starting system? If anything, that's even more imba than my mod concept. Many a Nex game, I've surveyed Ruins within the first 5, 10 minutes of the game that gave me something like the entire mainline SRA catalog, or the DA weapons collection, etc. etc., all within close proximity to the system I started in (with the SRA example, I found it in literally the same system as I started. How exactly is this, for example, somehow more imbalanced or more fair than

    • having to find the facility (planet condition)
    • establish a colony
    • build and upkeep the structure
    • loot or buy the desired ship or equipment
    • 'roll the dice' that you get a 'successful' BP-creation roll
    • if it was the only one you owned and the BP creation fails, bummer?

    I mean, please, explain that contention, that it's somehow imbalanced to me, because I don't get it. I only see this being practically usable by a player who's already in a roflstomp murderfleet anyways, and just wants to be able to specifically have 3 or 4 of X destroyer for the sake of faction/thematic consistency, but also already killed off that faction from the game and doesn't want to go running around surveying for it.

    If you and I didn't specifically have this convo already, then I had it with someone else, and frankly I just don't get the furious pushback. All you'll have is the BP; even if you give it, say, a mod's battlecruiser (say the mod author disallowed the flagship battleship, and that's fine), you would still need the industrial capacity to build it, just as with any other BP. This is not Omnifac, I'm getting sick of hearing it's Omnifac (when I literally state I'm not rebirthing Omnifac), the facility doesn't produce the product. (EDIT: I realize I didn't state that in the OP of this, I did in my other tentative one. But yeah, I do not want to create Omnifac 2.0)

    Quote
    If the goal, instead, is to just have some unique facilities out there that justify colonizing otherwise non-viable planets, I'd suggest looking into options that don't generate blueprints.  Perhaps a special manufacturing center that has a higher ship quality bonus than the standard Orbital Works, or a military training base that improves the officer level of your patrols - and guarantees that the local comm directory gets several high-level officers you could hire each month.

    Literally the entire point of this mod is to generate blueprints. The planet thing is just the methodology for doing so.
    « Last Edit: March 21, 2019, 08:16:32 PM by angrytigerp »
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    Wyvern

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    • I would like to incorporate modded factions, but (to make perfectly clear) I will not do so without explicit permission and input from the mod author. This is to allow them the chance to set a blacklist of their choosing for what equipment they would like not to be replicable, or indeed whether they wish to be party to the mod in the first place.
    Ah, I missed that detail.

    And no, you didn't have this conversation with me, because I'm not on discord.

    As for how it's imbalanced without a whitelist, consider instead the following example: someone acquires a unique, high performance mod cruiser, or perhaps just something that's supposed to be acquired by upgrading a regular ship rather than constructed from scratch.  They save, then feed it into the deconstructor; if they get the blueprint, then they now have an infinite supply of that cruiser.  If they don't, they reload and try again.  In terms of actual effect, this basically -is- omnifactory; once you've got a blueprint, you can acquire as many ships as you have cash to purchase and time to wait for - that's exactly what you could do with the old omnifactory.

    I only see this being practically usable by a player who's already in a roflstomp murderfleet anyways, and just wants to be able to specifically have 3 or 4 of X destroyer for the sake of faction/thematic consistency, but also already killed off that faction from the game and doesn't want to go running around surveying for it.
    That... doesn't make any sense to me.  If the goal is to get blueprints from a destroyed faction, where are you going to get the ships to deconstruct?

    ...Come to think of it, there's also a potential conflict with Nexerelin: that mod adds a "blueprint trader", the limitations of which break down if the player can just manufacture blueprints of ships they've already got.
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    Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.

    angrytigerp

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    • I would like to incorporate modded factions, but (to make perfectly clear) I will not do so without explicit permission and input from the mod author. This is to allow them the chance to set a blacklist of their choosing for what equipment they would like not to be replicable, or indeed whether they wish to be party to the mod in the first place.
    As for how it's imbalanced without a whitelist, consider instead the following example: someone acquires a unique, high performance mod cruiser, or perhaps just something that's supposed to be acquired by upgrading a regular ship rather than constructed from scratch.  They save, then feed it into the deconstructor; if they get the blueprint, then they now have an infinite supply of that cruiser.  If they don't, they reload and try again.  In terms of actual effect, this basically -is- omnifactory; once you've got a blueprint, you can acquire as many ships as you have cash to purchase and time to wait for - that's exactly what you could do with the old omnifactory.

    This is... the entire point of the whitelist (or blacklist, if you're a glass half-empty person). Mod creator [Guy] says "Hey, I want the player to be able to reverse-engineer X, Y, and Z 'normal' ships, but NOT [super ship]!" And I'll be like "Okay, [Guy], I will set it up that way. [super ship] will not be blueprint-able!" You mention savescumming, but frankly if that's your contention, I'm not sure I track how that differs from any other similar abuse... or using the console or something to add the BP, or hell, the ship. Sure, this can be abused... just like anything else.

    I mean, I just am not sure how this is 'imbalanced' when all I'm doing is offering a method through which you can try to acquire BPs within the confines of investment in the gameplay itself. You have to invest the time, money, and resources to accomplish this goal.

    With regards to just throwing money at the problem... I mean, yes, you're right, you can buy up and throw dozens of Whatever-Class Battleships at the DBE, and theoretically still fail to reproduce the BP because non-guaranteed possibility. But every single time you have to buy a new one to 'analyze'... why didn't you just stick it in your Stockpile or Fleet and just use the damn thing? If you similarly stock up hundreds of Pewpew-Class weapon to hedge your bets... you might as well just not use the DBE at all because you have plenty of Pewpews to use.

    If anything, the main accomplishment here is it lets your own faction's fleets use the specific ships or weapons you want, or allow you to reproduce a specific ship you like if you fail to recover it after a big battle. Or maybe you really want [sicknasty frigate from that mod you like] filling up your small combatant slots, but don't want to have to sit at the market of the faction to buy it up every time it shows up.

    I only see this being practically usable by a player who's already in a roflstomp murderfleet anyways, and just wants to be able to specifically have 3 or 4 of X destroyer for the sake of faction/thematic consistency, but also already killed off that faction from the game and doesn't want to go running around surveying for it.
    That... doesn't make any sense to me.  If the goal is to get blueprints from a destroyed faction, where are you going to get the ships to deconstruct?

    High-End Seller (Which up-prices everything anyways)? Random seeding in other fleets (which is at the faction's author, granted, but still possible)? Maybe you already have one of their [neat destroyer] that you looted during their last stand, you think "hmmm... I think I'll take my chances on being able to replicate this..." and stick it in the DBE. Which, as I have iterated multiple times, is not a sure-fire method, so now you have to ask yourself -- do I like this destroyer so much that I'll roll the dice on being able to reproduce it? Or do I keep it as the last legacy of [faction] in the Sector?" And see above re: savescumming, I don't really acknowledge that as a valid criticism because you can savescum for a lot of stuff in this game (accidentally engaged the wrong fleet? Wanna retry that failed 55% force balance market invasion? Try that raid again to see if you get better stuff? Etc.)

    ...Come to think of it, there's also a potential conflict with Nexerelin: that mod adds a "blueprint trader", the limitations of which break down if the player can just manufacture blueprints of ships they've already got.

    I'm not sure I'm following your logic here. The BP trader has a random smorgasbord of all sorts of stuff. If they have a BP for [cool cruiser] of [faction X], who you haven't even encountered in-game yet (whether on allied terms or as an enemy), you can buy it...

    Unless (and I acknowledge this to be a large issue) you meant to point out that you could throw a bunch of relatively-high-chance blue-printable items into the DBE, then just offload them at the BP trader for relatively risk-free points. Was... this what you were saying and I didn't quite understand? Between this and (if I did it that way) not having mod-author-specified whitelists, these are really the only issues I see. The latter is, well, solved by whitelisting, and the former... okay, yeah, that one's a roadblock.

    But frankly speaking, I really see no balance issues here, because if you have the money to afford examples to prototype, you have the money to buy them and just deploy them in the first place. If you get lucky and roll the BP the first time, cool, you still need the manufacturing overhead to produce it, and what makes [mod-added general purpose cruiser] so much better than an Eagle or something? If [mod-added cruiser] is so much better that getting its BP and being able to reproduce it wildly imbalances the game, then that is the faction author's issue, not mine.

    Since you won't be able to reproduce some Arcade-mode super ship or upgraded IBB version or whatever because of the whitelisting (unless the author specifies they want it, which... I mean, whatever, their call), the only thing you'll be manufacturing is one of their 'standard' warships.
    « Last Edit: March 21, 2019, 10:09:10 PM by angrytigerp »
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    Vayra

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    The smart way to do this would be to set it up like Vesperon where whitelisting something means It Just Works without you having to update the mod for it -- hopefully without the crash bugs that plagued early versions of Vesperon, though. ;D

    Also, the OP still says blacklist, not whitelist, and I know we've talked about the differences between them.
    « Last Edit: March 22, 2019, 10:00:28 AM by Vayra »
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    Kadur Remnant: http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=6649
    Vayra's Sector: http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=16058
    Vayra's Ship Pack: http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=16059

    im gonna push jangala into the sun i swear to god im gonna do it

    angrytigerp

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    The smart way to do this would be to set it up like Vesperon where whitelisting something means It Just Works without you having to update the mod for it -- hopefully without the crash bugs that plagued early versions of Vesperon, though. ;D

    Also, the OP still says blacklist, not whitelist, and I know we've talked about the differences between them.

    Yeah, we did... I know :(

    Okay, since I clearly don't have any idea what hell the difference is between a whitelist or a blacklist or whatever, let me just say my intended path:

    Every individual item that can be replicated will be added to a manually set array dictating input to output (Give item "Lasher", output item is successful is "Lasher BP". Since I will be manually making all these inputs, rather than doing a call for a defined value (have the system look for the DP value for the ship, use that for probability roll, then yield the BP for the item*), it will require active participation on my part to keep things updated with every vanilla update and, more dangerously, every mod update, I realize this.

    However, this does still have a Just Works effect, as I'll just have an available list for every mod faction (that participates) in the package, and so long as the faction mod author doesn't change hull or weapon IDs, it should still yield the same results; I just will be missing whatever new main line ships they add until I update my lists.

    I don't want a default-on effect, because with that theoretically you could just stick whatever mod in and get what you want no matter what. It's more work that way, but more controlled to add to a list rather than subtract from one.

    *On that note, is it even possible to tell the system "receive X from player, get X's BP" with X being a freely defined value based on the player input? Because while I know the game generates BP items for everything, I'm not sure how to set it up to do that outside the initial loading process.
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    Blothorn

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    I'd incline to push all configuration to a whitelist file in the other mods; don't underestimate how much of a headache potentially needing to re-release with every big change for every supported mod is going to be, both for you and players.

    Also, is there a reason to give a physical BP rather than directly adding it to the player's known ships/weapons? The only option I see it closing off is the ability to reverse-engineer something to give to the pirates, and it avoids issues such as manufacturing BPs to sell to the Prism trader. That said, if you know how to get the BP item for something it is trivial to add it to the player's cargo.
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    angrytigerp

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    I'd incline to push all configuration to a whitelist file in the other mods; don't underestimate how much of a headache potentially needing to re-release with every big change for every supported mod is going to be, both for you and players.

    Also, is there a reason to give a physical BP rather than directly adding it to the player's known ships/weapons? The only option I see it closing off is the ability to reverse-engineer something to give to the pirates, and it avoids issues such as manufacturing BPs to sell to the Prism trader. That said, if you know how to get the BP item for something it is trivial to add it to the player's cargo.

    I was curious about this, yeah. If there's a way to trigger the same function as is, essentially, accomplished by the right-click-on-BP-in-inventory function, I would like to do it that way; I'm just worried about it getting glitchy if you already know the BP and it tries to execute the action - in your inventory it does the squelch sound, no harm no foul, but when it's an invisible asset that's being manipulated...?
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    Alex

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    How about something like a "dbe_allowed" tag? Then you could figure out what hulls can be used for this based on the tag, which mod makers would include for hulls they wanted to participate in this. (I.E. it being a "whitelist", a "blacklist" would be if they had to add a tag to exclude a hull from being used.) You'd still need to manually handle vanilla ships since they wouldn't have that tag, though.

    Just a thought based on my admittedly cursory reading of this thread. If I'm off-base here, please disregard :)


    I was curious about this, yeah. If there's a way to trigger the same function as is, essentially, accomplished by the right-click-on-BP-in-inventory function, I would like to do it that way; I'm just worried about it getting glitchy if you already know the BP and it tries to execute the action - in your inventory it does the squelch sound, no harm no foul, but when it's an invisible asset that's being manipulated...?

    Just doing faction.addKnownShip(<id>, <true or false>) for the player faction should do the job. It'll do nothing if the player already knows the hull so no worries on that account.
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    Wyvern

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    Ah, yeah, like how the old omnifactory would just refuse to eat ships/weapons it could already replicate.  Doesn't completely resolve that issue - for example, a player could deliberately not learn any pirate blueprints, then feed in captured or purchased pirate vessels - but it's at least better.

    Or maybe, instead of generating actual blueprint items, it just directly applies 'okay, this is now a thing the player can manufacture', akin to the console commands command that just gives you knowledge of all blueprints?
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    Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.

    Dal

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    There is one advantage to actual blueprints in that you can feed them to pirates (and maybe some mod factions?) to use.
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    Vayra

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    Yeah, we did... I know :(

    Okay, since I clearly don't have any idea what hell the difference is between a whitelist or a blacklist or whatever, let me just say my intended path:

    Every individual item that can be replicated will be added to a manually set array dictating input to output (Give item "Lasher", output item is successful is "Lasher BP". Since I will be manually making all these inputs, rather than doing a call for a defined value (have the system look for the DP value for the ship, use that for probability roll, then yield the BP for the item*), it will require active participation on my part to keep things updated with every vanilla update and, more dangerously, every mod update, I realize this.

    However, this does still have a Just Works effect, as I'll just have an available list for every mod faction (that participates) in the package, and so long as the faction mod author doesn't change hull or weapon IDs, it should still yield the same results; I just will be missing whatever new main line ships they add until I update my lists.

    I don't want a default-on effect, because with that theoretically you could just stick whatever mod in and get what you want no matter what. It's more work that way, but more controlled to add to a list rather than subtract from one.

    What you describe is a whitelist, but a weird one that you maintain yourself! It should be possible to implement this without a manually set array in your code, which would be preferable for all involved since you won't need to update for anyone to include their stuff and they won't need to wait for you to update to include their stuff once they've marked it as include-able (aka whitelisted it) in a tag like Alex suggests or a merged JSON file.

    Quote
    *On that note, is it even possible to tell the system "receive X from player, get X's BP" with X being a freely defined value based on the player input? Because while I know the game generates BP items for everything, I'm not sure how to set it up to do that outside the initial loading process.

    I am fairly sure it is, as IIRC you can acquire individual blueprints for ships that are part of package bps through raiding when those ships don't normally have individual blueprints?

    You should be able to test this yourself, use Console Commands to spawn an individual blueprint for something that doesn't have the rare_bp tag. If it works, it should work in your mod. :)
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    Kadur Remnant: http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=6649
    Vayra's Sector: http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=16058
    Vayra's Ship Pack: http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=16059

    im gonna push jangala into the sun i swear to god im gonna do it