Lingon_'s shower and 02:00 thoughts

Lingontuva

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#1
Over the past month or so there has been a significant uprise in content discussing changes that should be made for the game. Mainly here on the forum by a certain guy with a monochromatic profile picture ( :p ), but also over on the official Discord.
As I've been speaking with people over on the Discord I have developed two core ideas that I would like to see in the game that could lead to some rebalancing of things.
I am sure others have already had these ideas to some degree but I don't think that I've seen them documented anywhere.

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Idea: Maintenance gameplay
Reason: Larger ships will almost always be at a disadvantage compared to smaller ships
Result: Should make large ships, multi-crew, and ship interiors more appealing
Original discussion start: StarbaseDiscord

Large ships are currently at a disadvantage compared to smaller ships based on almost any metric, multi-crew isn't viable either as two fighters would be more useful than a pilot and co-pilot on a larger ship. While the specific implementation is hard to decide on over text I think we got a pretty good idea either way.

So, what is the reason for this problem? Mostly the way the game is structured, to be honest. I looked into how Space Engineers does large vs small ships a little as I remembered it being quite balanced on the larger faction war servers that I used to play on back in the day and it was mainly based on giving each type favorable traits, as well as non-favorable ones. [here is an example video]

We discussed a little about these traits and ended up on a maintenance system which I bet can be a bit controversial by some but that could be implemented in a good way if you manage to get the specifics down. Core criteria are that small ships and large ships should both be viable without either type being naturally better than the other. Below are a couple of example ships that I will explain further down:

Ship 1: Small single-person fighter
Has 2 autocannons, a couple of batteries, and good thrust.
This ship would not need a lot of maintenance as the maximum power consumption as power consumption realistically isn't that low for this ship.
Maybe sometimes, but it shouldn't need to be of big concern for the pilot.​
Ship 2: Medium single-person fighter
Has 6 lasers.
This ship would need maintenance as the maximum power consumption would realistically be a lot higher than ship 1. It would be important to check your status before entering a serious scenario.​
Ship 3: Heavy single-person fighter
Has 15 lasers.
This ship would need frequent maintenance as the maximum power consumption is very high. This ship would suffer from problems during combat due to issues listed later and might not fare that well during a fight with only a pilot.​
Ship 4: Heavily armed multi-crew ship:
Has 25 lasers.
This ship would need very frequent maintenance as the maximum power consumption is very high. This ship would suffer from many outages during combat due to issues listed later and would not be usable in a fight by only the pilot without severely limiting the total EPS of the ship. The ship would need a crew of at least 2 or preferably 3 to keep running during combat.​
Ship 5: Large miner:
Has 20 mining lasers.
This ship would like its fighter counterparts also need maintenance as the EPS to keep the ship running is high.​

So there were a few examples of some ships and their maintenance levels, the idea here was to try and keep small ships viable by allowing them to be piloted by a singular player as long as they do not stress the network all too much while also still having these large weapon and tool counts still be possible with a sizeable crew. I am sure that my example ships here are flawed in some ways but they can be tweaked of course to be better on a gameplay standpoint!

Maintenance items:
Many things in the game could be given the need to be maintained but primarily there are 3 candidates for it.

  1. Generators
    This is definitely the main item that I could see being reasonably added to the game, what we primarily discussed on the discord was a sort of "fuse" that can blow there being too big of a power draw. Here it would be important to note that you can't really make this a thing per generator and that it really needs to be based on the entire ship's power network. The failure rate of components would scale exponentially based on their tier and the ship's current power draw, say that the ship is drawing 6ke/s at a certain game tick then the failure rate of a generator chamber popping its fuse would be low, but if the draw is 20ke/s then the dice-roll would be much larger. The fuse itself could visualize being popped by leaving a voxel hole in itself that needs to be repaired with a build tool.

    Maintenance would also be a reason to use larger components like the large generator as it would mean that you only need to maintain one item, and not 23.

    Side idea:
    Higher-tier fuses would require less frequent repairs, but might need 2 or even 3 different materials to be repaired. Having multiple materials would require the mechanic to run back and change their inventory as the backpack only holds 2 materials which works as a natural trade-off for the greater performance that they bring.

  2. Weapons
    This was another natural contender although one that I don't see as as viable as generators, while it would make sense to have to replace barrels on weapons and maybe the capacitors here too it would require the mechanics to go out on the outside of the ship which might feel weird in gameplay.

  3. Thrusters
    Like weapons this too does not really feel as viable as generators but here we already have parts that could need to be maintained being the converters.
Additionally, I would love to see the damage dealt by weapons actually be meaningful for ship systems, maybe a hole in the generator would mean that it would start leaking coolant, resulting in overheating, and eventually a meltdown?

This feature might also bring more utility to the ship diagnostic scanner which could be used to display the health of different components in an easily understandable way, maybe even a bit akin to Star Citizen*s upcoming engineering feature which has a type of map over the ship:

(Having a map might of course be a bit out of scope as our ships in Starbase are player-made, but some kind of visual element to what needs attention would be nice)
1710873130794.png


Would love to hear everyone's feedback on this but I see it as a viable implementation with a bit of work.
Currently, multi-crew ships have more issues than just being outperformed with how turrets are just unreasonably inadequate, but I believe that actually is something that Frozenbyte has been thinking of, especially with the coming ball turret.

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Idea: (mostly) Physicalized storage
Reason: There is no drawback to having too many ships stored, nor is there any grounded basis for station storage
Result: Should make station ship and item storage more realistic

In a perfect world, there wouldn't need to be "magic storage" and everything could just be spawned in, but sadly the world isn't magical.
The proposal is a type of storage added to stations that would work based on volume. Each part would get a volume in m^3, every ship would have a calculated volume based on its part list and ores would keep their volumes akin to their physical size.

There would then be a storage block of some kind that can be placed down on a station each block adding the size of the block to the station's storage, while it is obviously gamified (as you could just make a long pillar and store an entire freighter inside of it) it would still work to ground the station storage to something physical, and not work as some kind of magical cloud storage

(another alternative could be to have it be built similarly to hangars are right now, and then calculate the m*3 based on the dimensions (just like the hangar) although the storage would obviously appear to be solid)

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Thoughts and further development of these ideas are very much welcomed :)
 

Askannon

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#2
I don't think large ships, at least combat ships, need any more hits at the moment.
Civilian ships maybe, though I also don't think that it's really that needed.

If you want multi-crew, they need to be more efficient on one big ship than on multiple smaller ones. If you punish large ships more than small ones, why would there be a reason to go big if you can stay small? Also don't forget that you want activities for the crew in exchange for being limited in their agency (since they aren't flying a ship). Fixing holes that pop up is not a nice way of doing that (reminds me a bit of quick time events). I'd rather see devices that can use human interaction to be more efficient, than devices that need human interaction to function at all. For an example of what I think would be a better form of promoting multi crew: Void Crew


Though sadly that will force certain things to be off of YOLOL (e.g. alloy crafting) or for them to be better without YOLOL (e.g. turrets, if they'd work)
 

Askannon

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#3
Also, just remembering. There are/were a few parts that need maintenance.
Fuel Rods & Propellant Tanks
Coolant Cells

Fuel Rods and Propellant Tanks are long time maintenance and essentially got patched out if you only use the repair hall.
Coolant Cells and their Recharge Rack were a maintenance like you would have wanted (only with moving things). They are powerful, but people don't use them. Why? Because requiring Maintenance is a narrow line between annoying people and being redundant.
Fuel and Prop are a fine solution, cooling cells aren't.

This maintenance gameplay you'd like is also one of the reasons, why I don't like the Warframe space ship battles and eventually noped out completely. Because damage would open up holes to fix, which is just needless busywork, forcing multi-crew by way of punishing, not rewarding.

Unless you want more reasons not to go big ships than there already are.
 

Lingontuva

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#4
I don't think large ships, at least combat ships, need any more hits at the moment.
The plans here wasn't to make large ships more unfavorable... rather the exact opposite.
It would place what is essentially a cap on how much firepower you can have on a small ship, while allowing for higher firepower on multicrew.

If you want multi-crew, they need to be more efficient on one big ship than on multiple smaller ones. If you punish large ships more than small ones, why would there be a reason to go big if you can stay small?
Again this is the opposite of the proposal, as proposed with the ships here a single seated fighter might only be able to have a consumption of 5ke/s to not risk blowing a fuse during combat, while a larger ship could have a much larger consumption by having someone else on the ship keeping the systems maintained.
 
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Lingontuva

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#5
I'd rather see devices that can use human interaction to be more efficient, than devices that need human interaction to function at all.)
That was literally what I was suggesting :|

A large ship with only a pilot would not function due to needing the manual upkeep, if you want more guns, you'd need more crew.

... was a sort of "fuse" that can blow there being too big of a power draw ... based on the entire ship's power network. The failure rate of components would scale exponentially based on their tier and the ship's current power draw, say that the ship is drawing 6ke/s at a certain game tick then the failure rate of a generator chamber popping its fuse would be low, but if the draw is 20ke/s then the dice-roll would be much larger. The fuse itself could visualize being popped by leaving a voxel hole in itself that needs to be repaired with a build tool.
 

Vexus

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#6
Maintenance gameplay exists but due to the SSC there’s no reason for it. Also repair/building tool doesn’t work on a friend’s ship which is the main problem. But there are ways to repair damage in combat. Again the SSC just makes it unnecessary since you can make a better ship that can be instantly repaired and so on.

The storage cube idea is pretty good. Like a large container that adds storage to the station. That needs power to run :) i.e. some cost involved! ;)
 

Lingontuva

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#7
Maintenance gameplay exists but due to the SSC there’s no reason for it.
Wouldn't really call this proposal maintenance in the same as the current implementation works as it really only applies if you've already won the fight you took part in.
I guess my system is more of a part degradation system that would tie into the gameplay, and not be something that is done separately outside of the main gameplay.

On a side note I feel like the repair hall should be nerfed if my system ever gets added to not cover these things, it should only be for lost parts and wiring.
 
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Askannon

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#8
That was literally what I was suggesting :|

A large ship with only a pilot would not function due to needing the manual upkeep, if you want more guns, you'd need more crew.
You are literally suggesting devices that need human interaction to reset to a working state (fuses).
What I mean with more efficient is not "your ship gets to work at all" but "your ship gets to work better than just working".

Your proposal BTW makes large ships multi-crew ships. It doesn't make large ships better, unless you think multi-crew ships are better. I would happen to disagree until such a time where multi-crew actually works, but even then I will disagree with a maintenance system that requires you to keep busy at all times if you want something along the natural progression path (as in: stuff grows larger for efficiency at scale).

That "keeping busy" gameplay is also why I couldn't get into Warframe's ship system, as all that was was keeping you busy: Damage (and boarders) produces hazards that need you to walk over and repair it with a . To repair you need to make stuff in the fabricator on board, especially since you can't really stockpile it, but you can't queue more than one per slot, meaning you need to babysit the 6 fabricators or so there are. And while all that is going on, you need to keep fighting a battle with your ship, though there are ships that are much easier to kill when boarded... It was all busywork, just to give a reason to go multi-crew. Just like this proposal of introducing more maintenance and scaling it based on effectively size (exponentially I might add, when the very nature of large ships already introduces more failure points), to give a reason to have multiple crew members.


Sorry for the rant, but that introduction of ship combat in Warframe caused me to drop a game I had played for years for good (Easter 2013 or 2014 - 2020) and I'd hate to see a similar approach for "how to make multi-crew good" be done in Starbase.
 

Lingontuva

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#9
What I mean with more efficient is not "your ship gets to work at all" but "your ship gets to work better than just working".
Dude come on, this is practically a nitpick, my suggestion was never a "do this and nothing else" i said i was open to suggestions.

I would happen to disagree until such a time where multi-crew actually works, but even then I will disagree with a maintenance system that requires you to keep busy at all times if you want something along the natural progression path (as in: stuff grows larger for efficiency at scale).
That goes for practically all suggestions, as said this was my showerthought, i typed ot up after i came out of the shower.

Your proposal BTW makes large ships multi-crew ships. It doesn't make large ships better, unless you think multi-crew ships are better. I would happen to disagree until such a time where multi-crew actually works, but even then I will disagree with a maintenance system that requires you to keep busy at all times if you want something along the natural progression path (as in: stuff grows larger for efficiency at scale.
this proposal doesn't really have anything to do with the size of the ship, but the complexity of the ship. There really isn't any drawbacks whatsoever currently for just putting 30+ guns on your ship, that's where the thought came from.
 
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Lingontuva

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#10
The ship combat was never necessary in warframe either, not sure why that would make you drop the game unless you werent even liking the game in the first place
 
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Askannon

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#11
The ship combat was never necessary in warframe either, not sure why that would make you drop the game unless you werent even liking the game in the first place
It was one thing in a long line of additions that just didn't work out for a player like me. I tried to like it, but in the end I had to admit that the game I liked wasn't going to get developed anymore but changed into a different direction.
But of all the aspect of it, the forced busy bodying was what turned me off the most. I don't care if group play/multi-crew is more powerful. In the example of Warframe, Eidolons (Open World raid boss) were one such examples where due to a damage/gear check group play was more powerful than solo. What I don't like is when you get overwhelmed by stuff because you don't have enough hands on deck.
 

Askannon

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#12
Dude come on, this is practically a nitpick, my suggestion was never a "do this and nothing else" i said i was open to suggestions.



That goes for practically all suggestions, as said this was my showerthought, i typed ot up after i came out of the shower.



this proposal doesn't really have anything to do with the size of the ship, but the complexity of the ship. There really isn't any drawbacks whatsoever currently for just putting 30+ guns on your ship, that's where the thought came from.
In that case I'm sorry, but I really understood it as an attempt to make larger (size) ships different from small ships in a way that in my eyes punishes the large ship.
If you want to punish overly complex ships, maybe introduce systems that encourage spreading things out, though your approach certainly will encourage spreading things out for moving around to get to blown fuses.
One way of encouraging accessibility (low complexity) would be if it somehow scales with either efficiency, repairability, maintainability/operability or simply is a requirement.
Having things break down and needing repairs would probably fall under maintainability.
Pilot chairs requiring space and levers to be operated closeby falls under operability. Same with crafting benches.
Ease of repair after damage would fall under repairability (which currently doesn't really factor in so long as you can get a ship to a hangar by having enough redundancies).
Efficiency currently only affects generators (heat tokens and enhancers) and to a minor degree thrusters (nozzles and converters).
Requirements are stuff like Fuelchamber+Generator, though that particular example can also fall under efficiency and maintainability in the sense of fuelchamber to generator unit ratio.

I am not saying maintainability is a bad thing to encourage, but I would rather it isn't by stuff breaking, therefor leaking into requirements and operability (and considering how many give up before they learn basic maintenance (fuel rod), I would certainly wait with overly complex or frequent maintenance). I'm also not against introducing parts (or functions) that work exactly like you described, with them breaking on certain conditions. But to tie it to a basic component like the generator at all times is, I repeat myself, too punishing. You were right in pointing out I should maybe provide alternatives instead of only going on the attack, so here's one:
add advanced functions to components that allow them to run unsave, but in turn they are that much more. Essentially allow overclocking, but with the added risk of things breaking if done improperly. And if certain aspects of overclock need to be tuned manually with a tool you can either have a ship that has maybe two running modes, with one of them being a fairweather thing or you have a system that requires a bit of handholding.
One direction of a fairweather system could be: if you can manage to keep your network stable within 1 Generator unit production and no battery overcharge, you can increase the power production of your reactor (connected set of fuelchambers & generators). Otherwise either your battery blows (overcharge) your fuelchambers/generators break down (instable reaction after production rises too high) or your fuel resources just go to 0 (making it inert if production falls too low). And of course the usual ship spins out on empty battery or something more drastic. As well as some form of preventing rapid activation and deactivation.
So you want your ship to have an about constant power demand, enough batteries to catch any powerspike (like the one after turning it on) and access to reactor, battery or fuse (if fuse is a sacrificial battery) in case of either user error or any other reason for why this might fail.
But it would be a risk for the greedy, for the ones who want the cake and eat it too. But it would also be something for later in the progression, when game knowledge allows for it. Not at the beginning or all the time.
 

Lingontuva

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#13
One direction of a fairweather system could be: if you can manage to keep your network stable within 1 Generator unit production and no battery overcharge, you can increase the power production of your reactor (connected set of fuelchambers & generators). Otherwise either your battery blows (overcharge) your fuelchambers/generators break down (instable reaction after production rises too high) or your fuel resources just go to 0 (making it inert if production falls too low). And of course the usual ship spins out on empty battery or something more drastic. As well as some form of preventing rapid activation and deactivation.
So you want your ship to have an about constant power demand, enough batteries to catch any powerspike (like the one after turning it on) and access to reactor, battery or fuse (if fuse is a sacrificial battery) in case of either user error or any other reason for why this might fail.
But it would be a risk for the greedy, for the ones who want the cake and eat it too. But it would also be something for later in the progression, when game knowledge allows for it. Not at the beginning or all the time.
This is almost exactly what I was suggesting yes, what grounds the feature isn't that important. It is mostly the feature itself i am talking about. Specifically it would be based on the power consumption of the entire ship, not the power production.
 

Vexus

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#14
Starbase + Devices = solution.

For maintenance, a sort of fusion reactor that can be placed on a ship, which consumes any resource but also a certain amount of electricity based on the material being repaired - then can "produce" repair material for any part on the ship. So you have one device that you power on, throw some Bastium in it, and can paint-repair your ship back to full, not worrying so much about the materials.

Balancing the electricity cost with the difference in rarity of the material combined with density would be needed/cool, so for example using Bastium to repair Lukium plates would cost a lot of Bastium and a lot of electricity. Then there would be balance.

I'd love for a ship to be usable long term as I like to operate small crew ships. As it is, if there is anything wrong with a ship, just throw it away and print another, or repair the ship in the hangar hall without a thought. So sad.

I guess for the sake of knowledge; repairing a health-damaged large plate restores the health. So repairing a large ship does actually work for combat. Just hard to pull off and there are hosting issues.
 

Lingontuva

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#15
Balancing the electricity cost with the difference in rarity of the material combined with density would be needed/cool, so for example using Bastium to repair Lukium plates would cost a lot of Bastium and a lot of electricity. Then there would be balance.
Reasons to distribute power would be cool, kinda like many mech games / starfield / sundog does it, 80% thrusters, 20% guns, etc.
Guess you can kinda say that star citizen lands here too.

Not sure what i think of a device that repairs the ship, i feel like that kinda just defeats the purpose of this feature, what would be fun here is to manually repair stuff by going up to it imo.



I'd love for a ship to be usable long term as I like to operate small crew ships. As it is, if there is anything wrong with a ship, just throw it away and print another, or repair the ship in the hangar hall without a thought. So sad.
Personally there should be some great changes when it comes to buying ships, as well as repairing ships. For repair halls they should only fix missing parts, and not repair broken ones, which would also tie neatly into this feature discussed here.
When buying ships i do feel like the origin ssc should be nerfed a lot and only be able to spawn in smaller ships of lower tier, so early/mid game ships.
While anything larger or medium/high tier would need to be built with the blueprint projector, tbh all ships outside the origin should need to be made with the projector, but it feels like that was already the plan.
 

Erador

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#16
Well, I will keep from this discussion on a distance until the first real battles (to test and see the META and so on).
Although, I want to note one thing: you are missing the point that there is also "fixed" and "turret" like ships. Currently, there is no problems with the big ships if they use fixed weapons ( but potentials problems are: lags, torpedoes, kamikaze).
The "turret" ships - they are much weaker if comparing to their weight class "fixed" like opponent. And they are relatively weak at all sizes.
 

LauriFB

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#17
Viable large ships have been a dream of mine ever since SB development started. I'm not giving up on them, but admittedly there are certain challenges. I don't want to create a situation where multi-crew is required nor a situation where single seat fighters are obsolete, so large ships need a specific role(s). I'd say it's better to first come up with the ideas about the roles, as how to achieve that can be thought afterwards.

Since we're planning changes to the damage model it could open opportunity to tweak the damage model and other features to make multi-crew ships much more resilient for example, so maintenance would literally be live repairing of the ship.
 

Lingontuva

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#18
Viable large ships have been a dream of mine ever since SB development started. I'm not giving up on them, but admittedly there are certain challenges. I don't want to create a situation where multi-crew is required nor a situation where single seat fighters are obsolete, so large ships need a specific role(s). I'd say it's better to first come up with the ideas about the roles, as how to achieve that can be thought afterwards.

Since we're planning changes to the damage model it could open opportunity to tweak the damage model and other features to make multi-crew ships much more resilient for example, so maintenance would literally be live repairing of the ship.
Hmm ... very interesting, wonder how that would work. What i laid out here was my own thoughts on how to make both types of ships work, but a separate damage model would be very interesting, a bit more like space engineers then.
 

Askannon

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#19
Hmm ... very interesting, wonder how that would work. What i laid out here was my own thoughts on how to make both types of ships work, but a separate damage model would be very interesting, a bit more like space engineers then.
A separate damage model isn't strictly necessary, as parts already scale their resistance with size. So if even just large (by volume) plates that may or may not require additional hardware to move were to be added, it might be a niche they can fall into: sturdy beyond believe.
If boarding is feasible as well (e.g. due to low speed/maneuverability to balance the sturdiness), large ships could simply function as ships impervious to damage, being able to deal out damage if someone is in their area of control, but weak unless crewed by multiple people to keep watch over boarding attempts.
As to why one would want to make a slow ship that can be overwhelmed... combat hauler/blockade runner (or walker since slow), blockade ship, safe reconstruction machine point for a siege (so kind of like a forward operating base in relation to the capital ship) or other combat encounters, mobile carrier (if a way for that is devised that doesn't turn a held ship into a part of the mothership), shield for other ships to hide behind for approaching or breakthrough, (combat) tug boat and probably more uses that aren't particular combative (especially if exclusive parts aren't limited to plate sizes).
Maybe worth opening its own forum thread.
 
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