Public Message Device: Declair Intent, Ask for Help, Advertise Your Station

XenoCow

Master endo
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
516
#1
Problems:
Currently, typing out messages while flying in the belt can be dangerous as you cannot type and fight/avoid asteroids. Also, stations can only say the name of the station via their transponder.

Proposed Solution:

A device that can transmit a message in some radius with a message attached that can be read by other players. The device could be a revision of the current transponder, or could be a new device that is purpose designed. The device would have the following fields:
  • DeviceActive: On/Off (1/0)
  • Message: String to be transmitted when device on
  • SignalRadius: Radius that your signal can be seen by other players (0-50,000) (arbitrary upper limit)
  • Visability: Who can see the signal? 0=everyone, 1=friends, 2=company, 3=friends+company
How would the message be viewed by other players?
I can think of three ways:

  1. Message picked up by a receiver and displayed on text panels
    1. The receiver could either be another device or three more fields in the message device:
      1. Incoming: How many messages are being received
      2. Index: Which message should be displayed
      3. Received: The string message that is being selected by the index
  2. Message viewed on HUD like current usernames and transponder signals
  3. Message sent to chatbox. This could either be the same chatbox that exists for typing out messages or another one just for device messages
Imagined Situations:
Here are some situations that I imagine this device being used in that would otherwise be impossible or difficult.
  • While in the belt, a player runs out of fuel and doesn't have a crafting bench / the resources to craft any more. The player then types up a message: "Help, need fuel, will pay, Coords: X,Y,Z" and presses the on switch for the message device. Either help, pirates, or both then can arrive. Or was the player without fuel just tricking to lure in prey?
  • A station just got in a large shipment of rare ship blueprints and wants to sell. The station owner types in an advertisement to bring customers to come and buy the goods.
  • A pirate spots a lone ship outside the safezone and wants to extort the player for money instead of blasting the ship to pieces and killing the player, ruining any chances of getting anything valuable. The pirate presses a button that triggers the message: "Surrender and pay 5mil credits or be destroyed." The lone ship sees this, and worried about losing a ship, presses a button that states: "I Surrender" then sends over the funds. The two go on their ways and both have undamaged ships.
  • A siege is just about to start and fighters line up outside the station and capitol ship. Commanders send quick messages via keyboard bound buttons to alert their squadmates about tactics without cluttering the comms. Also, players from each side trash talk each other, "Kingdom stinks," "Empire is for babies," etc.
Possible Exploits:
There may be others, but I can see these devices being exploited in the following ways.
  • Circumventing the profanity filter: I don't think that YOLOL is checked for profanity, and since these devices are accessible via YOLOL, the strings that are broadcast may contain banned words. Perhaps a check on strings in the message field could solve this.
  • Spamming: Ships could have many of these devices and send tons of the same message, effectively causing a DDoS to any other player using these devices for legitimate purposes. Potentially this is a valid jamming tactic, but would just lead to players relying on outside messaging tools more.
  • Social Engineering: Players could pretend to be friendly faction members or offer rewards from outside the safe zone to draw new players out and into danger. If the messages can be color coded or somehow sorted by source, this may help to limit this exploit.
Potential Modifications to Add Detail:
I think that the base idea is good enough as it is. However, there are some areas where it could be changed to behave in interesting ways.
  • Signal range receivable outside of selected range if using more powerful receiver. This could be a use for the large receiver if they are modified to be able to pick up these kinds of signals. Large listening posts could be built that listen to messages from super far away.
  • Sending signals to friends/company only requires matching key pairs. A physical key needs to be inserted into a key holder device with multiple slots. Keys could be stolen and messages intercepted if destroyed ships are not successfully scuttled. Companies would also want to replace their keys every now and then to prevent stolen keys from being useful to their enemies.

What do you all think? I mostly want this device so that messages can be said quickly before combat with unknown players in the belt. Maybe we both think the other is looking for a fight and start shooting because we don't want to be the second one to shoot. Easier communication could help to reduce the amount of frustration pirated players feel if they are at least given some choice first. Pirates might also feel better knowing that their victories in combat are well deserved since their opponents were willing to fight.
 

Haladin

Active endo
Joined
Sep 16, 2021
Messages
39
#2
I like the general idea, especially since it could also be used for positioning (if our existing nav receivers could get a signal strength from the transmitter).

I feel like the existing receiver tech is basically set up to support something like this, since we have the frequency selector that's ~useless right now.
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2021
Messages
133
#4
The pirate presses a button that triggers the message: "Surrender and pay 5mil credits or be destroyed." The lone ship sees this, and worried about losing a ship, presses a button that states: "I Surrender" then sends over the funds. The two go on their ways and both have undamaged ships.
...The pirate gets the loot and 5 000 000 space credits. :devilish:
 

XenoCow

Master endo
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
516
#5
There is already device that does this. It's just not available to players: https://wiki.starbasegame.com/index.php/Radio_transmitters
Yep. However, this device requires that players are looking for a particular frequency. This would not be useful for those that are signaling for help or for players who want to alert others to their intentions with just a keypress.

I could see the radio transmitters being modified to allow for this larger range of ability that I am suggesting.
 

Haladin

Active endo
Joined
Sep 16, 2021
Messages
39
#6
Yep. However, this device requires that players are looking for a particular frequency. This would not be useful for those that are signaling for help or for players who want to alert others to their intentions with just a keypress..
It *could*. If we, as a community, declare that frequency 9 is for SOS, and 7 is for long-range chat - say. And setup our receivers to scan those. Or leave receivers on 0 to see anything nearby (if we're out of range of the origin markers).

Seems like there's plenty of opportunity with what's (almost) there already.
 
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