Author Topic: Not all hulls alike  (Read 2328 times)

sandbags

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Not all hulls alike
« on: April 26, 2015, 07:55:48 am »
I think it would make the game a lot more interesting if hulls had characteristics within ranges, rather than fixed values (especially using a normalised random distribution as I have discussed previously).

That would mean you'd actually have a reason to trade in a hull you liked for the same hull in better condition. Or perhaps be a source of missions for parts to upgrade a hull.

It would also add a little excitement looking for that "perfect" version of a certain hull.

MenschMaschine

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Re: Not all hulls alike
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2015, 08:19:30 am »
Good idea, a cheaper, stripped version of the Freighter might only have one weaponhardpoint.
To balance that out, it could have more cargospace, or better steering.
No Berries!

sandbags

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Re: Not all hulls alike
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2015, 09:37:39 am »
Good idea, a cheaper, stripped version of the Freighter might only have one weaponhardpoint.
To balance that out, it could have more cargospace, or better steering.

While I do think there should be more hull templates here I was more reflecting that you're not (at least as I understand it) buying a new, shrink wrapped, hull direct the manufacturer but getting something that's had some service. So maybe the armour isn't quite all there, or one of the mounts is a little cranky, or a type I instead of a type II, or the manoeuvring fins are a bit out of whack, etc...

The idea being that all the generated hulls are some random variation on the template and only a few of them will be "good as new" and, hence, something worth looking/trading for. Battered, dodgy, hulls could also be cheaper.

m/

Hammish

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Re: Not all hulls alike
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2015, 04:38:42 am »
You could actually do this within reason using mods; just create a few variations on the hull you want to do up this way, then use the same description and icon for the ship.  Voila, now the game will spawn different copies of that ship with different stats.  Not wholly randomized, but... pretty close. :)

MenschMaschine

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Re: Not all hulls alike
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2015, 04:47:25 am »
Yes, thanks to the openness of VE, much can already be added
regarding content and variation, it is just much work.

And with scripting one could (i think) actually do real randomization.
No Berries!

sandbags

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Re: Not all hulls alike
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2015, 12:54:28 pm »
You could actually do this within reason using mods; just create a few variations on the hull you want to do up this way, then use the same description and icon for the ship.  Voila, now the game will spawn different copies of that ship with different stats.  Not wholly randomized, but... pretty close. :)

Agreed you could. I could script something to generate a few hundred variations of the same hull within limits.

One thing I would really like to see the team add is a way of controlling distribution to make items rare. At the moment I think tech-level is the only factor here.

m/

Hammish

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Re: Not all hulls alike
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2015, 04:12:37 am »
Yeah, there's nothing like an item rarity, just tech level (used in the calc to determine what is a valid object for placement) and how many items in each class are used in a station type.  That does mean that it's possible to make a 'hull shop', though, that you could seed either randomly or in places like the capital sectors, which I always thought would be a neat idea and makes sense to me based on assumed proximity to shipyards.  Severely lessen hull spawns in other shops to make up for it, voila!  Edit: It is worth noting that you could probably create shop slots that were 'reserved' for a certain rarity of item like this:

1) Create a new attrib name.  Let's call it RARE here.
2) Create a new variation on the tech-level search function.  This function will not only require that an item matches a minimum tech level but also possesses the RARE tag.
3) Install the new function in some shops so that it procures items.  You could even get fancy here and put it into regular stations; if X is the number of items in a category a station normally spawns (defined in the station XMLs), instead have the tech-level search function call X-1 items and 1 of your new-function items.
4) Add the RARE tag into whatever items you want potentially filling that slot.

Now, if you REALLY wanted to get fancy, you could randomize the RARE slot number in a shop.  Have the scripting RNG a number between 0 and 100.  If 0-89, Y=0.  If 90-99, Y=1.  If 100, Y=2.  Now have the station generate X-Y basic items and Y RARE-tag items.  You now have items that you still can't set with individual rarities, but you have a rarity you can adjust (via the 0-100 formula) for a specific subset of items, and you've done it without bloating the number of items in shops.

True randomization is out, though, unless people get REALLY creative with the scripts and come up with a way I haven't found yet.  In order to be listed as a valid shop purchase a ship needs to have an associated ID tag with it, and the XML for that ship is loaded when the mod loads (and compares the ID tag to the file name, no less.)  Thus, in order to actually do true randomization, the script itself would need to be creating actual-new XML files on your local machine... but even that wouldn't help, because they won't load into the mod immediately.  To say nothing of the fact that I'd have a thing or two to say about a mod demanding those kind of write privs on my local drive. ;)

Also, be careful with exactly how many variants you generate, if you go that route.  I'm starting to run into the issue with BTC where you can make the mod file... well, awfully clunky, with the amount of custom stuff trying to load at once.  Too many variants and you're going to start running into performance issues, especially with people that have machines with less RAM.  Just a pointer. :)
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 04:23:46 am by Hammish »

MenschMaschine

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Re: Not all hulls alike
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2015, 04:06:51 pm »
Hammish, thank you for the notes about randomization :)
Hm, in real life, we have gas stations now that sell bread
and flowers and all sorts of stuff, but... no cars ;)

Personally, if i were (able) to make such a mod as you described,
i would go all the way and (if possible) make a new station,
for hulls only, maybe that also would result in more freedom
filling it with proper items/controlling what can be bought there.

So you would have to fly to a shipyard in freedom space to be able
to buy a freedom-y shiphull as an example.
No Berries!

Hammish

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Re: Not all hulls alike
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2015, 03:31:58 am »
Doing factional stuff would actually be a lot easier, since you already have faction tags in the game that you can rely on. ;)

Basically shops just go through every item in the game when attempting to stock a slot, and if it doesn't meet X, Y and Z parameters, it moves on to the next item until all slots are filled.  For the hull section, X might be 'hull' tag to stock hull slots; now you just need to make Y or Z into 'freedom' and voila, the only thing that will will ever even possibly go into those slots is a 'hull' item that is tagged 'freedom'. :)

Also, we do, kinda!  Look at some of the cross-itemization that Walmart is doing, and they're even global.  Some of their stores now have car lots on them, gas stations either on-premises or nearby, auto repair stations in many of them, pharmacies, lawn & garden centers... yeah.  Stations in VE, totally the Walmarts of the future.