[BUG] problem when approaching wormholes

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[BUG] problem when approaching wormholes

Postby Satorin » Mon May 06, 2013 8:38 am

Hi all,

I am quite new to the game. Sometimes it happens that SPEC switches off when approaching a wormhole but I cannot reach the wormhole with the afterburner because it is slowly drifting away. Jumping then does not work because I cannot get close enough. Can anyone explain why this is happening and what I can do then to get into jumping distance?

Thanks,

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Re: problem when approaching wormholes

Postby klauss » Mon May 06, 2013 9:40 am

Satorin wrote:Hi all,

I am quite new to the game. Sometimes it happens that SPEC switches off when approaching a wormhole but I cannot reach the wormhole with the afterburner because it is slowly drifting away. Jumping then does not work because I cannot get close enough. Can anyone explain why this is happening and what I can do then to get into jumping distance?


You probably have a very overloaded ship - accelerating into the wormhole's frame of reference can thus take a long time. We have been pondering how to change game mechanics to alleviate this confusing and generally undesirable aspect, but it's surely rather realistic: if you transport thousands of tons, it'll take time to reach the wormhole's orbital speed.

Patience is the solution here. Either don't overload your ship, or don't accelerate to full-speed during transits.
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Re: problem when approaching wormholes

Postby Deus Siddis » Sat May 11, 2013 8:20 am

klauss wrote:We have been pondering how to change game mechanics to alleviate this confusing and generally undesirable aspect, but it's surely rather realistic: if you transport thousands of tons, it'll take time to reach the wormhole's orbital speed.


The solution is a balance one. Reduce cargo capacity for player focused ships to keep them within a reasonable ratio to thruster output. Then increase the profitability for heavier cargoes.

With proper balance, one trade item category should not offer the same trading experience as another, but each should have profitability proportional to the difficulty of transporting it (plus the difficulty of locating a destination where it is in high demand). So just as contraband is extra profitable because of the difficulty of eluding patrols, cargoes easily liquidated on the black market should be extra profitable for the increased risk of pirate attack and high mass cargoes should be extra profitable for the additional time, fuel and seasoned piloting skills required to transport them.
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Re: problem when approaching wormholes

Postby klauss » Sat May 11, 2013 10:19 am

Deus Siddis wrote:
klauss wrote:We have been pondering how to change game mechanics to alleviate this confusing and generally undesirable aspect, but it's surely rather realistic: if you transport thousands of tons, it'll take time to reach the wormhole's orbital speed.


The solution is a balance one. Reduce cargo capacity for player focused ships to keep them within a reasonable ratio to thruster output. Then increase the profitability for heavier cargoes.

With proper balance, one trade item category should not offer the same trading experience as another, but each should have profitability proportional to the difficulty of transporting it (plus the difficulty of locating a destination where it is in high demand). So just as contraband is extra profitable because of the difficulty of eluding patrols, cargoes easily liquidated on the black market should be extra profitable for the increased risk of pirate attack and high mass cargoes should be extra profitable for the additional time, fuel and seasoned piloting skills required to transport them.


Yeah, I think a big part of the problem, is that the heavier items, as inconvenient as they are, are only marginally profitable, which is both a disincentive and ridiculously incoherent. They should be cheap to buy, and very profitable to transport.

Though that can only be easily modeled with missions, otherwise it would require great care when setting a base's item price.
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Re: problem when approaching wormholes

Postby Deus Siddis » Sat May 11, 2013 10:32 am

klauss wrote:Though that can only be easily modeled with missions, otherwise it would require great care when setting a base's item price.


Why is that?
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Re: problem when approaching wormholes

Postby klauss » Sat May 11, 2013 1:28 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:
klauss wrote:Though that can only be easily modeled with missions, otherwise it would require great care when setting a base's item price.


Why is that?


Profit = Price differential.

Coordinating prices among the myriad stations around so many systems would be tricky. Possible, but tricky. The only easy way to assure this kind of balance without such a complex economic overhaul, is missions.

Note that I did propose such an overhaul a while ago. Just saying there's a simple way to get cargo missions saner.
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Re: problem when approaching wormholes

Postby Deus Siddis » Sat May 11, 2013 5:24 pm

klauss wrote:Profit = Price differential.


Is there no way to set the prices of nickel-iron extremely low at asteroid mines and high at refineries, for example? The type of planet / installation has no effect on the price of an item sold there?

Coordinating prices among the myriad stations around so many systems would be tricky. Possible, but tricky.
Note that I did propose such an overhaul a while ago.


Do you still have a link to your proposal? Would this overhaul require engine changes or just python changes?
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Re: problem when approaching wormholes

Postby TBeholder » Sat May 11, 2013 8:14 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:Is there no way to set the prices of nickel-iron extremely low at asteroid mines and high at refineries, for example? The type of planet / installation has no effect on the price of an item sold there?
Uh, price adjustments and deviations are set in Cargo_Import along with everything else. I'm not sure if it's possible to set up per-cargo type prices now, but it's obviously enough to move them into a separate category and tweak prices for that whole category.
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Re: problem when approaching wormholes

Postby Deus Siddis » Sat May 11, 2013 11:41 pm

TBeholder wrote:Uh, price adjustments and deviations are set in Cargo_Import along with everything else. I'm not sure if it's possible to set up per-cargo type prices now, but it's obviously enough to move them into a separate category and tweak prices for that whole category.


Yeah that's basically what I thought.

So I don't see what stands in the way of a trade rebalancing that makes heavier cargoes more profitable. And also makes more predictable where you should go to buy low or sell high a certain category of goods.
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Re: problem when approaching wormholes

Postby klauss » Sun May 12, 2013 3:33 pm

Problem: base type is not enough. Distance is an important factor of the equation, and those price adjustments cannot be parameterized by distance. Only missions can. For now.
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Re: problem when approaching wormholes

Postby Deus Siddis » Sun May 12, 2013 7:23 pm

klauss wrote:Problem: base type is not enough.


But is it not enough for now? Because we are not just talking about what improvements we want to have eventually, but what can be done for the next minor version release or the one after that.

Distance is an important factor of the equation, and those price adjustments cannot be parameterized by distance. Only missions can. For now.


Is a C++ feature needed for price to be effected by the proximity of nearby locations that consume or produce a given commodity? Or should someone do it at the Python level?
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Re: problem when approaching wormholes

Postby klauss » Sun May 12, 2013 10:18 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:
klauss wrote:Problem: base type is not enough.


But is it not enough for now? Because we are not just talking about what improvements we want to have eventually, but what can be done for the next minor version release or the one after that.

I think the next minor should focus on missions.

Deus Siddis wrote:
Distance is an important factor of the equation, and those price adjustments cannot be parameterized by distance. Only missions can. For now.


Is a C++ feature needed for price to be effected by the proximity of nearby locations that consume or produce a given commodity? Or should someone do it at the Python level?


It's all doable python. But overhauling the economy is a larger issue, one I don't think we can tackle in a short timeframe. There's no code right now to customize base cargo. Though possible with just Python, the API is there, the code and logic is not. So it's not just tweaking, it's writing from scratch.
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Re: problem when approaching wormholes

Postby Deus Siddis » Mon May 13, 2013 9:23 am

klauss wrote:I think the next minor should focus on missions.


What do you have in mind for missions?

But overhauling the economy is a larger issue, one I don't think we can tackle in a short timeframe.


For the short timeframe, all I was suggesting was to make larger price differentials going from one base type to another, such that heavier cargoes are more profitable and there is some logic to where one goes to buy a commodity cheap and where he goes to sell it high. All that can be done from (split) units.csv.

It's all doable python. There's no code right now to customize base cargo. Though possible with just Python, the API is there, the code and logic is not. So it's not just tweaking, it's writing from scratch.


Is there any API documentation or do you have to comb through CPP files to learn what the engine exposes to python?
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Re: problem when approaching wormholes

Postby klauss » Mon May 13, 2013 10:19 am

Deus Siddis wrote:
klauss wrote:I think the next minor should focus on missions.


What do you have in mind for missions?


Right now, missions base the reward money on the distance, danger (hostile systems in-between), and I think something else I forget. This could easily be expanded and tweaked to account for general inconvenience (mass, volume, whatever), and it could be also adapted to include the possibility to offer various deals for various volumes.

Deus Siddis wrote:
But overhauling the economy is a larger issue, one I don't think we can tackle in a short timeframe.


For the short timeframe, all I was suggesting was to make larger price differentials going from one base type to another, such that heavier cargoes are more profitable and there is some logic to where one goes to buy a commodity cheap and where he goes to sell it high. All that can be done from (split) units.csv.


There is quite a price differential already. Maybe not for raw materials, but many things have a decent differential so one can really make a profit. The problem here is increasing the difference among base types alone won't result in a balanced system, you'll have nearby bases with high differential and a relatively easy trip. It's long trips the ones that need the incentive, not short ones.

Deus Siddis wrote:
It's all doable python. There's no code right now to customize base cargo. Though possible with just Python, the API is there, the code and logic is not. So it's not just tweaking, it's writing from scratch.


Is there any API documentation or do you have to comb through CPP files to learn what the engine exposes to python?


Nope. There were some stubs in a VS.py, but I don't think they're up-to-date, and I'm not sure how they were generated. So... yeap... combing through CPP files.
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Re: problem when approaching wormholes

Postby Deus Siddis » Mon May 13, 2013 2:43 pm

klauss wrote:Right now, missions base the reward money on the distance, danger (hostile systems in-between), and I think something else I forget. This could easily be expanded and tweaked to account for general inconvenience (mass, volume, whatever), and it could be also adapted to include the possibility to offer various deals for various volumes.


Sounds like a plan.

So... yeap... combing through CPP files.


Complete documentation of the engine's python interface might be something worth putting somewhere on the road map.

It could be a solid step towards farming out development tasks to non engine coders.
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Re: problem when approaching wormholes

Postby klauss » Mon May 13, 2013 11:35 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:
So... yeap... combing through CPP files.


Complete documentation of the engine's python interface might be something worth putting somewhere on the road map.

It could be a solid step towards farming out development tasks to non engine coders.


Volunteers welcome. Not you, I know you're doing a lot. But really, documentation takes a lot of time, and that API I'm not superbly familiar with, I'd also have to comb through the CPP files to write it. So, I'll happily review submissions, but writing them myself from scratch is a bit low on my to-do.
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Re: problem when approaching wormholes

Postby Deus Siddis » Tue May 14, 2013 8:35 am

I did not actually have anyone in particular in mind for the task.

Maybe documentation work could be assigned to new contributors, as a "get to know the engine and document it along the way" task to break them in? Or maybe that would be disastrous...
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Re: problem when approaching wormholes

Postby klauss » Tue May 14, 2013 12:17 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:I did not actually have anyone in particular in mind for the task.

Maybe documentation work could be assigned to new contributors, as a "get to know the engine and document it along the way" task to break them in? Or maybe that would be disastrous...


I tried that. It never worked. Not sure why, it seems reasonable, but never did it work.
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Re: problem when approaching wormholes

Postby Deus Siddis » Tue May 14, 2013 10:01 pm

So is the python API defined in any particular cpp file(s) or is it scattered throughout the sources? Is there somewhere to begin looking?

Also where are VS.py and Director.py? I cannot seem to find them in the release even though they are imported in many python modules.
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Re: problem when approaching wormholes

Postby klauss » Tue May 14, 2013 10:07 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:So is the python API defined in any particular cpp file(s) or is it scattered throughout the sources? Is there somewhere to begin looking?

Also where are VS.py and Director.py? I cannot seem to find them in the release even though they are imported in many python modules.


VS doesn't exist as .py, it's exposed by VS itself. That's why a lot of the scripts can't run in standalone python, it needs the engine to provide that module. Director too, I believe.

VS functions are spread between universe_util, star_system_util and the blah_utils cpp files. All the definitions are in the python folder, but following those is quite tricky. I get lost every time I look for something.
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