List of Items for Improving NPC Utilization

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aihnsa

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List of Items for Improving NPC Utilization

Postby aihnsa » Sat Jul 16, 2016 6:41 pm

What I Need to Move All This Stuff

I think we need the following changes to the game and UI to keep moving everyone’s stuff with NPC’s without pulling what’s left of my hair out. A lot of experiences lead me to this list, but in the interest of brevity I will stick to the items and not belabor the background behind each.

From the gameplay standpoint (in order of priority):

1) We need the senators voting fixed ASAP. Without this fix, we cannot link new systems by gate, limiting NPC trade and hindering game growth. This is really affecting game development and player retention: at least, I haven’t heard from the BLADES since they collided with this problem.

2) We need NPC transaction records. Presently, sellers get in game mails if players buy, but I need to know when my NPCs buy and sell (and when they don’t or can’t). Without this troubleshooting a large fleets is very complicated. A happy side effect of this is that players would learn if an NPC was milking them dry, too.

3) We need a way to specify what goods an NPC will trade in rather than just let him trade willy-nilly. For example “Trade <iron> and <fruit> between <Turtle Strippers Club AC> and <Fleabase 9>.

4) We need a command that can prompt an NPC to dump his cargo mid flight, or unload it at a specified player owned station. Or both. “Clear Hold of <hydrogen>” or “Unload <all> at <Garden of Khadesh>.”

From the Manage Pilots UI standpoint (in order of priority):

1) We need a “destination” field, showing not where the NPC is currently flying to, but what its ultimate destination on the current leg of its journey is. The “current order” field is not very useful because it only lists the next system the ship is travelling to, and when you have dozens of ships passing through bottleneck sectors on multiple buys, the fact that a ship is flying to or through that sector tells you almost nothing. Alternately, and better if we could get it, we could use an “orders” field that shows the actual order given by the player to the NPC, such as “trade between x and y.” At present if you ask the NPC what they are doing, they only return what is in the “current order” field.

2) We need a “cargo” field that works. A start would be if it accurately showed how much cargo the NPC was carrying, but a better one would show types of cargo as well as tonnage. Failing this, we need a “your cargo” query that works, rather than returning neither the cargo nor the empty status half the time. Note that for large fleets, “your cargo” will be unbelievably tedious since it will have to be issued to each ship, so the working “cargo” field is a much better outcome.

3) We need stock markets that accurately reflect who is buying and selling what at what station. As it stands, the current stock market search lists buys and sells at stations that no longer exist, as well as buys that are inactive due to a lack of credits. These two factors combine to create the situation that virtually every trade route must be manually scouted to be sure sells and buys are actually possible at both ends, as well as requiring each player to build their own list of stations that don’t actually exist anymore. Small buys are not worth this effort, because there are few new players with small hulls to invest the effort.
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Xanuri

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Re: List of Items for Improving NPC Utilization

Postby Xanuri » Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:44 pm

+1 here

what I don't mind, having to hire NPC's and purchase ships to move product from my colonies to my OSB's, there is nothing wrong with this as a sink hole in the economy.

I do believe that this activity should be private.

Here are a few ways to handle this

Each resource has the following properties.
Reserve: this is the amount of that resource that will not be touched by resource movement activities or sell orders. it allows you to maintain a certain amount for use by the local colony/OSB for consumption.

Example:
reserve carbon 2000

This will set aside 2000 carbon to be maintained for local usage, should resources fall below this # it will be filled/replinished before any is available for transport or sell orders.

(optional) Supply Order. Supply <resource> <priority> <enable/disable>. this is a simple on/off mechanism to allow you to enable or disable a resource as a source of supply and set their supply priority. Priority would be a number ranging from say 1-4, this would allow you to prioritize your supply resources

Example:
supply carbon enable 1

This will enable carbon as a supply resource and assign it as a priority 1, meaning you want to move carbon out of this location before any other location. so long as the amount exceeds the reserve amount set. if the reserve amount set is not met then this is simply ignored.


(optional) Demand Order: Demand <resource> <qty> <priority>. This command sets the amount of resources you want to have at a particular location and allows you to assign a priority to that demand.

Example:
demand carbon 1000000 1

This sets a demand for carbon to 1 million with a priority of 1, the npc's would work hard to keep this resource stockpiled before moving other lower priority resources.

NPC AI Options for moving product idea: (pick one or suggest others)
  • Assign NPC to be a trade NPC, nothing more. Control is all in the priorities set. ALL trade NPC's will work to fill a Priority 1 demand before they work on the next lower priority.
  • Assign NPC's to a trade priority, the npcs will work to fill the demand orders only for the priority they are assigned too. You can re-assign them as needed.


Stock Market:
(optional) Sell Order: price/t, max qty.

(optional) Buy Order: price/t, max qty.

I was always taught that if you are going to complain about something, don't just complain, provide a better solution...so I have attempted to provide what I think would be a valid solution for controlling internal supply and demand and provided the more simplified buy/sell orders. I think this is a simple solution and might not require too much in terms of coding but still provide a mechanism to do internal product moves.

If anyone else has constructive contributions to this setup please post them, I'd like to hear them.
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cannibal

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Re: List of Items for Improving NPC Utilization

Postby cannibal » Tue Jul 26, 2016 3:25 pm

Yep another great bunch of ideas +1
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Re: List of Items for Improving NPC Utilization

Postby Duke » Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:20 pm

I've always thought that there should be 'stock market' and a 'logistics market' in the game. The difference between them is one is for players buying/selling and the other is for NPCs buying/selling. The logistics market should be able to identify NPC's hauling for the owner, NPC's on a friends list, and NPC's from unknown players. This would allow players to actually manage supplies at colonies and OSBs, and control how they affect/interact with the economy.

The other thing that I would like to see is a traders space in the SS Plato where players could list contracts for other players or accept contracts from another player. If I have 18 M tons of iron I need moved from a system to another system but don't have NPC's to haul - I list a contract for someone else to do the hauling for me. This would have lots of possibilities for the game.

Jam has a great game here, but there are too many 'early release' games that content and quality is just so much excrement. I have faith that Jam will do it all, but he has to feed his family first. Priorities, JAM, priorities.
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