Exploration II

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Exploration II

Postby jam » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:37 pm

Ok, in the first exploration build, waaay back in 2013, I put in just enough stuff to get colonies going. Later on, outer asteroid fields were added.

The systems involved were extremely primitive. I built on the already very primitive ship's computer, using its internal memory to do something it was never designed for - storing masses of soil sample data. This has caused numerous problems ever since and it needs to stop.

In addition, while I did want exploration to be a viable career for "newish" players (not necessarily day one newbies) I knew we were nowhere near that, and didn't stop to make it so as it was not the core goal at the time.

So the goals of this "mini" release are:

    1. Store soil samples and perhaps known asteroid compositions in a new way that's more robust and is exportable to some extent. (2nd part is a bonus not mandatory)
    2. Add a bounty system for exploration that enables it as a career from as early in the game as possible.
    3. Fix the remaining issue with hyperdrives - at low levels their range is so short newbies are basically excluded from exploration and need to "grind" up to a bigger ship before they can even contemplate it.
    4. Drop the class 1 hyp cost to a very low amount (the quest one) to reflect the desire to get newbs into exploration

So with that in mind, please restrict your feedback/ideas in this thread to these goals and these goals only. I am not talking about any big changes to exploration that require new art or whole new features. No little green men or lost civilisations yet. No outer wrecks yet. No alien technology etc etc. We're purely talking about minimum viable product for exploration as a career, starting as early in the game as is reasonable, and keeping it simple so it's achievable very quickly.

So for a release one, I think I'm aiming at:

    1. Store who's explored or been given data on what planet in a table. Explored = soil sampled in this case. This table is all numbers and nicely indexed so despite the fact that it's going to be huge, it should remain efficient. One problem is your existing soil samples wont be imported into it. It only works for "starting from now" soil samples.
    2. A second table of planet bounties (leaving belts aside for this version 1.0). This lets you set a minimum for each of the minerals, a maximum for SI, a minimum for geo, and a minimum fertility for each crop type (including tobacco), a bounty price and a number of planets you'll match.
    3. I'll personally put up 100k matching absolutely any planet, times many thousands. So that newbs exploring always get paid something for their efforts.
    4. When you take a soil sample, the second table is matched against. The HIGHEST matching record pays out into your bank account, and both you and the matcher get this sample in their database (new version, the first table). They also get an in-game mail about it.
    5. When you list soil samples in your computer (probably a new command for this so we don't lose access to the legacy ones right away, it then queries the new table and matches it. One advantage of this is that it will update when the system and planet names update.)
    6. When you view a soil sample (new command again) it will rebuild the data on the fly.
    7. Optionally / later we'll add a dump function for this. I'll probably have it spawn off a lower priority thread server side so it never disrupts anything time critical. If you're waiting 25 seconds instead of 20 to dump out your 20,000 planet soil samples, maybe you don't care as much as the guy who waits 6 seconds instead of 1 for his warehouse command to complete or whatever.

So, the part I'm not 100% sure on:

You only personally get to explore each planet once. But do we allow multiple people to explore the same planet multiple times, and match the highest matching bounty in the bounties table each time?

The first one potentially benefits bounty placers more, as you're more likely to be one of two people who know about a given planet. The second one benefits newbies more, as any given newbie might well get paid out for sampling a planet not very far out from the core systems.
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Re: Exploration II

Postby albrat » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:48 pm

add to the Hyperdrive cost a "round up to 0( 5- Cl lvl * distance / 2 )" claculation. So under class 5 the calculation is only half of what the distance calc is for above cl 5.

Yes it means a class 5 can not travel as far as a class 4... but it means a turtle player can jump further without really effecting the top end distances.


eg.

HD class * 1.5 * LY distance - (roundup to 0 ( 5-HD class *2 * distance) = Cost

this way the max discount is on cl 1, min discount is at class 5. Then normal costs after that.
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Re: Exploration II

Postby Sinstrite » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:53 pm

jam wrote:So, the part I'm not 100% sure on:

You only personally get to explore each planet once. But do we allow multiple people to explore the same planet multiple times, and match the highest matching bounty in the bounties table each time?


I think that player bounties should only pay out once for a certain time after someone has found a planet or moon that matches what the person was paying to find. If there are ten people paying for a planet with tobacco, and I find one, it should look for the person that is paying the MOST and then take that from the table. Now I could hop on an alt, and go explore the same planet again, and get the $ that 9th person was paying since it is now the most lucrative. To prevent that, possibly once a planet has been discovered/sampled and a payout has been issued, that specific planet is no longer able to give out $ for a certain amount of time or something. This would give other players a chance to find other planets that meet the same criteria and get the payout, rather than me taking advantage of it. I'm not sure if this makes sense, just a thought.
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Re: Exploration II

Postby albrat » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:55 pm

jam wrote:So, the part I'm not 100% sure on:

You only personally get to explore each planet once. But do we allow multiple people to explore the same planet multiple times, and match the highest matching bounty in the bounties table each time?

The first one potentially benefits bounty placers more, as you're more likely to be one of two people who know about a given planet. The second one benefits newbies more, as any given newbie might well get paid out for sampling a planet not very far out from the core systems.


I would say go with the Allow Multiple scans of the same planet. Match bounties that pay highest. once per player scanning of each planet.

The reason I say this is that after 18 months of people playing with this system.. a new player comes along. 1,500 Ly out the systems are explored and bounties all claimed. "Newplayer3,000,000,000" has no bounty systems that they can reach.



EDIT :: I posted over the time Sin posted... Very good idea about the planet blocking for x amount of time. Maybe a random time from 1 day to 5 days. If I scan planet X it then gets a random time block from being used as a bounty.
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Re: Exploration II

Postby rmartz » Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:06 pm

As a goal of building the combined database, I am and will be offering to pay for any and all planetoid soil samples. I am offering 100k per listing right now. So this fits well, if I can set my bounty offer to systems, or sectors too.

I think building in a default 100k per planet, no matter if they have been discovered or not is a good thing. This allows new players to explore established systems and still get a bounty. I was thinking about this last night and that was one of my concerns. I would not want to see bounties pushed out and dry up to systems close to Apollo.

Could a pay out by distance of Apollo be factored in? This lets the close in systems be hit by the newest and still gain from exploring while allowing one, as they progress in ship and distance capability, to gain more as they progress. 20K per sector distant? Is that too little? Gated systems would allow them to sample some without even a HD.
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Re: Exploration II

Postby jam » Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:57 pm

Maybe only match planets once but stick an UNCA default bounty of 100k for any planet, no matter if explored before or not?

The random delay thing... would it really stop people from alting up the valuable planets? I would guess not.
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Re: Exploration II

Postby jam » Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:11 pm

Do we need to also match on:

Ocean or not, atmosphere or not (these increase fertility concentrations but I'm not sure anyone cares since fertilities are so rare to start with you'd probably use a planet regardless of either ocean or atmo)

Ocean composition (has compounds with n, h, and o or not)
Atmosphere composition (has compounds with n, h, and o or not)

Or does this just complicate it over the top and turn it into a science lesson?
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Re: Exploration II

Postby Wulf » Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:13 pm

jam wrote:
So, the part I'm not 100% sure on:

You only personally get to explore each planet once. But do we allow multiple people to explore the same planet multiple times, and match the highest matching bounty in the bounties table each time?

The first one potentially benefits bounty placers more, as you're more likely to be one of two people who know about a given planet. The second one benefits newbies more, as any given newbie might well get paid out for sampling a planet not very far out from the core systems.



COOL love exploration stuff
multiple exportation. as players come and go or take breaks data will likely have to be done multiply times and may have more stats etc added to objects (planet moons etc)
first time bonus and reduced or flat reward on successive exportation. (flat reward plus first time bonus and lastly if the first time this object has been recorded for criteria match for possible 3 separate cash rewards).

if I may add something... a 'mark' on explored object so we know what has or has not been uploaded to new database? and/or a 'beacon' of object that has object stats (like a very tiny orbital probe that you can warp to instead of planet surface)
Personally i would love to build a atmospheric satellite and land probe these are launched from orbit and conduct analyses this is an expensive option to landing and doing EVA..


edit:
jam wrote:Do we need to also match on:

Ocean or not, atmosphere or not (these increase fertility concentrations but I'm not sure anyone cares since fertilities are so rare to start with you'd probably use a planet regardless of either ocean or atmo)

Ocean composition (has compounds with n, h, and o or not)
Atmosphere composition (has compounds with n, h, and o or not)

Or does this just complicate it over the top and turn it into a science lesson?


yes please but not sure how we get ocean analysis?
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Re: Exploration II

Postby albrat » Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:18 pm

jam wrote:Do we need to also match on:

Ocean or not, atmosphere or not (these increase fertility concentrations but I'm not sure anyone cares since fertilities are so rare to start with you'd probably use a planet regardless of either ocean or atmo)

Ocean composition (has compounds with n, h, and o or not)
Atmosphere composition (has compounds with n, h, and o or not)

Or does this just complicate it over the top and turn it into a science lesson?

As a early version I would say not to try and have this as part of it...

But build the feature as a future thing. It sounds like a good thing to include at a later time. (I prefer a planet with atmosphere, no matter if it is good, just as long as most gasses are combinable.)

Personally I prefer atmosphere's to none.
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Re: Exploration II

Postby OrrnGor » Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:25 pm

My prior reply seemed to have gotten lost.

Short summery then, the bounty system sounds incredibly BORING because:
1. Zero risk
2. Brain dead easy.
3. Not really that interesting. After 100 or so soil samples, I'd never want to do another one in my life : )

Give me the ability to create far flung outposts and star bases. Without the SC mechanic. But see my post on stellar credits on how I think that could be better managed.

Edit - Here are some ideas on expanding/adding to the bounty system:
A. Remove the requirement of a deed x number of LY from the inner nine. Remove the requirement of SC/month for a settlement/SB x number of LY from the inner nine.
B. Increase the risk of failure of a settlement at increments starting x LY from the inner nine. Pirate attacks, etc. There are numerous options. Make the risk real, but not impossible. So, just like real life.
C. Reduce (incrementally) the risk of "B" using several options.
i. Hire NPC help. - make barely adequate and/or require much more to achieve reduction of risk. Increase numbers needed as number of LY from central nine increase.
ii. Hire player help. - make good to very good at reducing risk depending on number hired. Increase numbers needed as number of LY from central nine increase.
iii. Hire government help - Requires SC, but almost guarantees removal of all risk. Almost, but not perfectly : ) Could add in the mechanic of the deed also. Increase numbers needed as number of LY from central nine increase? Note - this was a real life mechanic in the early frontier in US. Worked (most of the time).

Thanks,

Orrn
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