Suggestion - Solar commerce and Solar Jumpdrives

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Sabin Stargem
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Suggestion - Solar commerce and Solar Jumpdrives

Post by Sabin Stargem »

I have been thinking about three things. One of them is that we need a better way for transporting goods so that supply-lines are more effective, ways to make planets defend themselves beyond the Ion Cannons, and performance. From those things, the thought emerges: Why not introduce Solar Jumpdrives, that would allow small ships to travel within a solar system?


By introducing them, we can have populated solar systems to automatically send small groups of cheap and short-range vessels to nearby gas planets, constructors, asteroids, and other worlds in the system to move resources, tourists, and population. The larger, player-designed freighters can then be dedicated to do trade on a galactic level while most solar systems handle the details. The galactic traders go to the best planet in a solar system, from where the goods are then sent by Solar Freighters to the other planets. Furthermore, a Solar Jumpdrive could be significantly slower than that of a Galactic Drive, but still a bit faster than Engines.

As such, they are cheaper to produce and much smaller, being able to be fitted onto Fighters. A spacestation, carriers, or worlds with fighter installations can then send them to other parts of a solar system to take down the enemy - not unlike how we have terrestrial aircraft carriers, who do not enter into direct combat, but is necessary to house, repair, and transport the fighters over Galactic distances.

In my mind, I think these additions would help improve performance for the game by making it so that less Freighters, Passenger Vessels, are required for the economy. In the case of the military, there is a reduced need to defend solar systems that have a strong fighter presence, thus less ships and movement is needed.
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Data
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RE: Suggestion - Solar commerce and Solar Jumpdrives

Post by Data »

I like it, a couple of counter arguments spring to mind but overall I think it would be a good addition
+1
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Sabin Stargem
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RE: Suggestion - Solar commerce and Solar Jumpdrives

Post by Sabin Stargem »

Go ahead and make the counter-arguments, they might help with making flaws and improvements more clear. :)

Speaking of which, one of the reasons why that I want Fighters with a Solar Jumpdrive is to better mimic real-life and games like Freespace 2. For me, it feels like that it would add flavor to the game.
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Data
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RE: Suggestion - Solar commerce and Solar Jumpdrives

Post by Data »

it will surely do that....my main concearn was to the processing power needed for this extra feature aside from all that we already have in the game
but I'm not a developer, it may be that it will not cost that much in terms of cpu or graphics
...Igniting stellar cores....Recharging reactors...Recalibrating hyperdrives....
Sabin Stargem
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RE: Suggestion - Solar commerce and Solar Jumpdrives

Post by Sabin Stargem »

I have a couple of thoughts on that. The easiest but most boring way would be to add "sparkles" by each planet location. They are jumpdrives initiating, thus each sparkle is a transport that is headed to another place. The more ships that are transporting goods, the more sparkles. A blockaded world has no sparkles, or maybe some of them are turned into explosions instead, with the number increasing as the world is more blockaded.



However, I think it would look more interesting and has more future potential if instead we have convoys of small ships headed to other planets in the solar system. These ships could be attacked by pirates or other empires to destroy them and get resources, but each convoy has a number of ships that reflects how tough the group is and how many goods are being transported. Each transport has one Weapon, one piece of armor, one engine, one cargo bay, and one Jumpdrive.

Considering that each world can have up to 5 different resources, plus they can move people to other locations for migration or tourism, I think we can have 7 ships per convoy. Something like this:
Earth to Pluto convoy

Earth has Iron, Lead, Gold, Dilithium, and Loros. The Earth is overpopulated, and Pluto has scenic ruins. As such, the convoy consists of:

1 ship for Iron
1 ship for Lead
1 ship for Gold
1 ship for Dilithium
1 ship for Loros
1 ship for Migrants
1 ship for Tourists

Pluto is also sending ships back to Earth. Pluto has Iridium and Chronium, and is sending tourists to Earth which is the homeworld, thus has a history behind it.

The convoy is...

3 ships moving Iridium, because Earth needs more Iridium
2 ships dedicated to Chronium
2 ships moving tourists

7 ships, but a different allotment of cargo to compensate for needs and what resources a world can produce. In the case of Pluto's tourists, there isn't anyone who wants to migrate away, so the spare ship is used for tourism.

I think that we need to have each world sending at least one convoy to every other planet in the system, but I am not sure if that should be the maximum or the minimum number of convoys. Furthermore, the thought occurs to me that maybe the number and size of convoys should gradually increase according to what population a world has. A newly born colony could only send one convoy, and that convoy starts out with one ship. As those convoys make a successful trip, they each gain one more ship, gradually filling out to 7 ships.






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Data
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RE: Suggestion - Solar commerce and Solar Jumpdrives

Post by Data »

well, I'm sold [:)]
based on that we could expand to trade routes with some degree of control for us
there is potential in this, you should wishlist it
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Sabin Stargem
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RE: Suggestion - Solar commerce and Solar Jumpdrives

Post by Sabin Stargem »

I added it to my overly large post in the Wishlist thread. Hopefully some of the other posters can come up with more ideas on how to handle things. :)
Abraxis
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RE: Suggestion - Solar commerce and Solar Jumpdrives

Post by Abraxis »

I think this is a great idea, It would also help centralize trade/economy information so it could easily be displayed on an information screen, on a star system basis.  Making the whole thing much more transparent. 

Even the code for this kind of change to the economy should be more efficient as it turns the galactic cluster-*** of freighters into a modular system.  Micro solar economies whose sum is the macro empire economy.

The convoy system is also a neat idea, it would make raiding a much more viable approach to undermining an enemy economy.

"These ships could be attacked by pirates or other empires to destroy them and get resources" -Sabin Stargem
^ That would also be amazing.  If cargo could be transferred from these convoys upon destruction, it would mean pirates could actually have their own economy (not sure if they do now, in theory they could be financed by money from AIs interacting with them diplomatically, but I suspect they're just hard coded to have around so many ships and that's that).  If they could actually steal resources though, then codeforce could just add independent trade bases (in addition to pirate bases, I'd say) where they would sell these stolen resources into kind of a black market economy, which players and AIs could further interact with in whatever fun ways they can think of.  That would be a whole new discussion though.  It would also make the alternative mode of play where you only control one vessel much more fun as you could be a pirate =P

Seriously though, I really like your ideas

+1

I hope Codeforce considers your post.
Sabin Stargem
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RE: Suggestion - Solar commerce and Solar Jumpdrives

Post by Sabin Stargem »

Thank you!
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J HG T
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RE: Suggestion - Solar commerce and Solar Jumpdrives

Post by J HG T »

Sounds like nice idea to me. I was worried about the "sparkles" [:D] first, but then you suggested convoys, which sounds just great to me. One of DWs charms for me has always been the way the game shows all ships moving around and doing their stuff. That "Living galaxy" feel.
Anyway, great idea and has some nice potential.
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unclean
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RE: Suggestion - Solar commerce and Solar Jumpdrives

Post by unclean »

Okay, since you want arguments:

1 - Wouldn't this cause some balance issues? Seems like there would be a less income from ship building in the private sector, and it would be harder to tie up enemies spaceports by raiding their civilian ships.

2 - If these convoys are so efficient and fast, how are pirates ever going to catch them?

3 - How much of one type of resource can they transport? How much population?

4 - Couldn't you just increase the launch range of fighters on space ports and defense bases instead to increase system defenses?

Letting pirates steal cargo sounds flat out awesome though, no problems there for sure.
Sabin Stargem
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RE: Suggestion - Solar commerce and Solar Jumpdrives

Post by Sabin Stargem »

1 - It is true that you get less money from shipbuilding, but I think it would also increase the amount of cash you get from tourism, plus it makes it so that resources are bought and sold at a more steady pace. Another effect it would have is to increase the growth rate of colonies that are located within the same system, since a crowded world is automatically having a portion of the population moved to empty worlds. I think that it would make the game easier for the player to manage, but would help the AI Empires most of all, because they are no longer bungling with disorganized trade routes.

However, it is true that the AI might have a harder time protecting trade routes. Still, the sheer number of convoys and tweaking the AI should help with protecting convoys. I suspect that allowing Fighters to have Jumpdrives would also help with the convoy defense issue.


2 - That is a good question. One part of it may be that the Jumpdrive works on a different level from the other ones. Let's say that your standard Engine is 36 speed, and a VelocityDrive is 36,000. A Jumpdrive should therefore fall down to something like 360 or perhaps 3,600. Fast on a solar level, but not that much when compared to Galactic speeds. A pirate vessel could be equipped with a gravity-trap component and hyperdrive, drop out of warp in front of the convoy's path, and then makes a profit. Should an incoming fleet or military escorts be detected, a pirate vessel can warp out of there, leaving a portion of the convoy destroyed but not annihilated. Pirate vessels that use stealth armor and are very small could use a Solar Jumpdrive* to sneak up on convoys as well, perhaps.

Babylon 5 also had pirates use fighters to destroy ships and then take the cargo containers, if I remember rightly. There is some thought that would have to go into handling piracy, but I think it could work. [:)]




3 - I am thinking that each convoy has 5 ships dedicated purely to resources, while the remaining two are for Population transport, be it migrants (growth) or tourists (income). Each ship has 1 cargo bay or passenger bay, depending on what it would be used for. With the Massive cargo bays, that means 1,000 resources per resource transport. I forgot what capacities are for the Passenger components, though.


4 - That would kind of work. Fighters are relatively fast with just their engines, but I think they might still take too long to be effective. However, I would like to follow the "rule of cool" for Fighters, and give them the ability for longish-range via Jumpdrive. Star Wars: TIE Fighter, Freespace 2, and other things that use the idea influenced me for it.


*Let's call the movement types "Engines" (Local), "Jumpdrive" (Solar), and "Hyperdrive" (Galactic). I am getting a little exhausted from attaching "solar" to the Jumpdrives. [:D]
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