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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: Hyperspace Topography (10/12/22)

Author Topic: Ambient Flux Accumulation  (Read 1615 times)


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Ambient Flux Accumulation
« on: April 05, 2013, 04:00:58 PM »

So I was looking at all the delicious purple space-aether venting off into ... wherever it goes, since it doesn't stick around, and I thought, where does it actually go?

Then I thought, well when its vented its purple, p-coils glow purple, and every other thing in this game has to do with p-space. So maybe it vents into into phase space?

By then I was on a roll so I kept on thinking and damn the torpedoes, and I was wondering, once it goes into p-space, does it accumulate?

Surely the local concentration around a venting ship must be higher than the base ambient levels, at least for a while.

So, what would happen if ambient flux could - temporarily - accumulate in Starsector? Can we get some interesting gameplay from it?

How it would work:
  • Actively venting flux creates an area of elevated ambient flux around the ship. The more flux you vent, the higher the concentration.
  • The area falls off in strength from the centre. The curve works like the 'gravity' slow down stars and planets have in the campaign map.
    Envisioned as a curve, the area right under the ship would be the flat-top area of highest concentration, and then it falls off from there smoothly to the edge.
    The code is there, and consistent mechanics are good.
  • The flux dissipates over time.
  • High ambient flux concentrations decrease flux venting performance, both passive and active.
    Passive venting numbers go down (you get to overload risk faster) and actively venting all your flux takes longer.
  • High ambient flux concentrations decrease movement speed for phased ships going through the area.

Two set-ups for the system spring to mind right now.

In one, flux accumulates rapidly and dissipates rapidly. Venting flux creates a short-lived area where ships will overload faster.
In other words, once you vent flux, MOVE!
Also adds an (extra) element of risk to moving right up to a venting ship to pound it with your short-range hard-hitters: get the timing wrong, and you could be in trouble, but on the other hand if they don't move, they're in trouble!

Another way is to have flux accumulate and dissipate slowly.
Here a single ship venting doesn't do a whole lot, but if you're in, say, a 200-FP 0.6 battle, the area around a heavily contested battlefield objective would become extra-dangerous.
If there's 2 capitals slugging it out every time they vent life just gets that much more dangerous for everyone around them.

There's a few more details to play around with:
  • Does the high-flux area spread out as it fades, like a gas dissipating would?
  • Is the size of the area related to the size of the ship that created it?
  • What should the cap on its effects be?
    You almost certainly would not want it to go to 100% - that would be no flux venting at all and ships in p-space can't move. Something like 25% or 33% might work.
  • What does it look like?
    I don't think anybody would want large obnoxious purple clouds around even when ships aren't venting, and we certainly do not want yet another little bar in the corner to keep an eye on.
    Moving glowing purple sparkles over the background, maybe. Bigger, more frequent, faster-moving sparkles the higher the concentration.
    If you have a powerful machine, maybe a heat-wave like distortion haze too.
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Re: Ambient Flux Accumulation
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2013, 05:01:54 PM »

In principle I'm all for a changing battlefield, but this doesn't sound as if it would work very well, sorry.
It basically just means you have to keep moving. There are already a lot of reasons to move though, fast ships generally try to utilize their speed and slow ones do what they can to either pursue or back off.

If camping at some safe point and firing from there was a problem in the game this might be a solution, but since that problem does not exist...

Besides, a weak glitter effect would likely be overlooked in the midst of combat.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 05:04:32 PM by Gothars »
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Re: Ambient Flux Accumulation
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2013, 01:05:10 AM »

So I was looking at all the delicious purple space-aether venting off into ... wherever it goes, since it doesn't stick around, and I thought, where does it actually go?

Plasma disperses at a rate of a few thousands of metres per second when placed in a vacuum, I'd imagine it's pretty much the same for the particles in whatever makes up the flux cloud.
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Re: Ambient Flux Accumulation
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2013, 08:39:08 PM »

Yes! Stop the pollution of p-space!

Could also help spin the Cult of Ludd (or whateverthefrackitscalled) as environmentalists. :D
If by "good guys" you mean "elitist regime that suppresses colonial independence and thrives off of an overwhelmingly deep gap in wealth between social classes," then yes.