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Balanced Radar

Discussion in 'Balancing' started by Ithica, Dec 2, 2017.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Ithica Trainee Engineer

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    In its current state vanilla SE is simply too spacious to expect any serious pvp to happen. The combination of the jump drive and ubiquitous resource distribution makes it too easy for players to jump hundreds of KM away from anything interesting to build their empires. This may sound great for getting on your feet, but it’s a terrible idea long term as it is basically impossible to find someone else to shoot, that isn’t just starting.

    The solutions current pvp servers use to combat this are:

    • Some form of objective-based point system to motivate pvp.
    • Concentrating resources in an area to encourage fighting over those resources.
    • Using small maps to increase the chances of finding your enemy.
    • Using mods that change the way game mechanics work to encourage pvp. (IE radar)
    • Arranging battles.
    While many of these ideas could aid in making vanilla pvp viable, this post is chiefly concerned with the use of radar, so it is here I will concentrate my efforts.

    While many servers have attempted to use radar to give players the tools they need to find something to shoot at, it unfortunately is mostly used to crush starting players. In order to make radar viable for vanilla it must be balanced such that it is ineffective against starting players, but becomes increasingly effective the more established your target is. To achieve this I suggest the following:

    • A passive / active radar system.
    • Minimal power required when in passive (listening) mode.
    • Power hungry when in active mode, increasingly so with the area scanned.
    • When active, a radar ping is sent out in all directions, with a maximum radar return distance variable on a slider similar to an antenna.
    • If the distance of the radar return pulse is set to 50km, then the pulse will be given the strength to move out to 50km AND echo back 50km. This means that listening radars all the way out to 100km will hear the pulse, but only objects inside the 50km radius will be detected by the casting radar.
    • A radar pulse makes the caster clearly visible to listening radars. This increases the closer the listener is to the source of the pulse, and relative to the strength of that pulse.
    • Casting radars will not see clear radar returns until close to the target, relative to the maximum distance of the radar return.
    Example: A caster sends out a ping with a 100km return strength. A listener 90km away hears the ping and gets a somewhat clear picture of the direction the ping came from. Meanwhile, the caster sees the listener’s location as a wide area of potential. In order to get a clearer idea of the listener’s location, the caster must either increase their ping strength (and therefore their visibility) or they must move in the general direction of the radar return before pinging again. Only after several moves and several pings can a scanner be expected to find their target. The target on the other hand will have long since been alerted, and others from outside the scanners return range may also have been alerted. This gives advantage to the defender while adding risk to the aggressor.

    • Larger surface area of a scanned object increases the accuracy of radar returns.
    Example: A small fighter will be almost impossible to get an even remotely accurate read on until that fighter is very close to the caster, while a large base will be much easier to locate.

    • Large block radars have a massive maximum range (10,000km), but are naturally bad at detecting small objects.
    • Small block radars have dramatically less maximum range (25km), but will more easily detect small ships / objects.
    • Radar pings will not echo off rock but also cannot echo off any object hidden behind or inside rock either.
    Example: A small base is hidden on the underside of a large asteroid. A scanner on the upper side pings when within radar return range. Neither party will see the other, as the radar pulse is obscured by the asteroid. This makes it viable to hide bases or ships in asteroids or underground. Additionally, a player that is being “hunted” could attempt to play hide and seek by ducking behind mountains or asteroids.

    While this system may not be perfect, it does seek to give advantages to new players and small operations, while making it increasingly difficult for large, well establish groups to remain hidden. All while adding risk for aggressive parties.

    Please note this post does not attempt to discuses other significant problems impeding viable vanilla pvp such as uninterruptible jump drives and off line raiding, covered here.
     
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