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Chasing spacecraft

Discussion in 'General' started by Sagi, Feb 23, 2018.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

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    Drag force would be applicable to a chase in a planet’s atmosphere, but not in the cold vacuum of space. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves now...
     
  2. sioxernic Senior Engineer

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    And with your guys amazing dynamic speed systems, how will you solve people just not putting thrusters on things, putting parachutes on them to drop them? Suddenly that is the best idea ever! Because a single thruster will increase the falling speed.

    This is what I talk about with unintended unintuitive behavior.
     
  3. PLPM Junior Engineer

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    Space is not empty, indeed, but no, it doesn`t have a lot of "stuff" over a specific volume, an atmoshpere like earth`s is many magnitudes more dense.
    --- Automerge ---
    Sorry, could you iterate?

    If by drop you mean on earth-like`s atmosphere and only needing to use a parachute, I don`t see an issue. As for the thruster affecting falling speed, if it is oriented in the direction of travel, and actively outputting thrust, yes. It will drop down faster.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. sioxernic Senior Engineer

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    @PLPM The point was the opposite, the ideas so far have been:
    1) Max speed is based on direction with the highest potential thrust (on or off)
    2) Fixed increased speed if thrusting
    3) Frictionfilled space? I think

    The ones suggesting 1) essentially says that having no thrusters is the best idea when you want to drop things, because if a single thruster is present it simply falls faster.

    2) Also has unintuitive behavior that stopping the thrusting decreases your speed... Kind of defeating the purpose of being in space. Where you thrust until you have achieved desired vector, then wait.
    3) Frictionfilled space seems wrong, and doesn't feel very spacey honestly.

    Essentially all three of these have very unintuitive and weird behaviors. 1) and 3) also includes complicated behavior along with the unintuitive behavior.

    I'll support the idea of thrust based speed increase if someone can make an elegant, simple, non-exploitative solution that achieves essentially what just setting the speed to like 100/150 does (allowing people to actively catch up to max speed vessels.) while not including unintuitive and weird behavior like different falling speeds, viscious vacuum and the likes.

    For mine there some might complain you can't catch up to small ships, but small ships are really not worth anything in terms of resources. Grind down a few large modules and you got yourself a fleet of small ships.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. ViroMan Senior Engineer

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    @sioxernic Ok but, if your suggestion comes to be, your essentially endorsing "small grids gone big" You will see a resurgence of huge small grid ships because going faster is better in some peoples eyes. Sure they are paper ships but... the whole "glass cannon" thing. Or at least large grids with small grid thrusters pods like crazy.

    I am not shooting down your idea to say it is crap... just that so far everything has ups and downs in extremes.
    Sure friction space is kinda "...wut" but, there are plenty of games out there that do that so its not completely unintuitive but, it does go against realism. Then again this is a game that has a max speed of 100m/s so I think that is by FAR the most unintuitive. Understandable after is explained why but, ya.
     
  6. PLPM Junior Engineer

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    I believe both have completely different understandings of the subject.
    Your take on 1) is completely off by my perspective, in fact, 1), 2) and 3) are incredibly close in how they work. Just that, I think, 3)? also takes into account how much surface of area you have.

    You say that things are unintuitive, and I agree, the game is completely bollocks. The current top speed is awfully implemented, you`re accelerating at a linear rate and then suddenly, you are not because you hit a hard cap, that`s terrible design and it should only be considered as a placeholder. Changing the cap to 150 for small grids and 100 for large grids is better than what we have, but it is unintuitive too, so what now?

    Planets blow in the realism department, they`re just like space but with orbiting mechanics turned on, (shame we don`t have the speed or finetuning for that).

    And realistically speaking, you`d start to desaccelerate even in space from all the micro-particles that do exist, and you`d slow down if you didn`t apply thrust, there are no hard caps in real life, so dont use the "unintuitive" aregument, we`ve had years to get familiarized with this easily reachable hard cap, it seems normal by now.
    --- Automerge ---
    Honestly speaking, the meagre 100m/s is bad from all sides of the argument. I`d rather have the collision box of grids be enlarged at high speed to counter-act phasing through (Which would be the easiest with small grids) this would make close formations of fighters a possible nightmare, but man would it more than make up for it.

    In fact, I`d go for that and place a soft cap where the extended hitbox is simply too annoying.
     
  7. SoftwareEngineer42 Trainee Engineer

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    Yes, drag is an unwelcome mechanic when it comes to space; though there IS drag in real space, it's the sort of thing you'd probably ignore in a simulation game. Kerbal Space Program, for instance, does not model drag in space. However, KSP also doesn't have velocity capped and is a much "harder" simulation of spaceflight overall. The rocket equation actually applies, fuel use is closer to reality, thruster placement is VERY important, and there is no such thing as artifical gravity.

    SE does have a velocity cap, it doesn't use fuel realistically, thruster placement isn't terribly important other than the axis it points in (no torque). In general it is a "softer" simulation and if the game, for either UX, playability, or physics stability, needs to have a velocity cap I personally would prefer if it also offered gameplay options and wasn't just an intrusive "wall" where thrusters being on or off simply no longer matters.

    Any modification to net thrust from thrusters I showed would not apply to a thruster that was not being used. The messy thing with the logarithms only changes the amount of trust applied to the grid when you are using thrusters; at some speed the amount of thrust bottoms out. You could still keep thrusting but it won't do a lot. The presence of a thruster block would have no affect on freefall speed if it wasn't being used because that formula only affects what thrust you are using. I personally prefer smooth transitions to sudden walls.

    I am having trouble parsing your criteria.

    If you mean to favor (1) if there are no strange side effects like increased freefall velocity on grids the have thrusters versus those that don't, then there is a straightforward solution. Set no global speed cap, but cap the speed attainable by a grid from the force of thrusters.

    That is, say a grid is determined to have a thrust-based speed cap of V via whatever heuristic one chooses. If the grid is traveling at a speed v >= V, then thrusters will provide no thrust and the ship will not accelerate due to thrusters. However, it is free to accelerate from, say, gravity, artificial or otherwise. Since SE is using a physics engine for all of this, it would possible to keep the two things separate. In fact, if the speed cap applies to grids in freefall right now I'd vote for this immediately.

    (2) is the same as "There is drag equal to thrust whenever the grid is traveling faster than V" plus "There is drag if the grid is traveling faster than V". It's gamey and is basically how (I think) jetpacks work right now. It has the advantage that your average person intuitively "gets" drag, and that there are speeds at which it is negligible.

    (3), drag, is just a different kind of capping the velocity, only you can make it a smooth transition rather than a wall. It's not supposed to be modeling a real physical effect of space and you can make the drag behave however, even steep enough that it 'feels' like a wall. I'm not proposing space be filled with sludge all the time, only that at some speed which may be determined by grid properties it becomes exceedingly hard to go faster. Not impossible, but very hard. The first idea would reduce overall thruster effectiveness (which DOES have unintended consequences), the second just means that you have to start fighting space at high velocities. Such a system, for instance, allows grids to orbit, but makes it difficult.

    ETA: PLPM, I only used "drag" as a name; I do not suggest there be an actual drag model taking into account surface area, though taking into account grid mass or number of blocks or something isn't a bad idea. Only that there is a force that counteracts acceleration that is proportional to velocity; it wouldn't even apply in space when you aren't using thrusters in the direction of travel (you wouldn't start slowing down and could coast).
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  8. Taemien Apprentice Engineer

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    I think a simple fix is, if its not propelled by thruster, then max speed is 95m/s. Sometimes realism has to take a backseat to gameplay.

    Also wouldn't be opposed to an afterburner effect on hydrogen engines that uses more fuel than normal to break speed barriers slightly for short bursts.
     
  9. PLPM Junior Engineer

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    Oh I see...
    Well that`s an even more interesting solution, nice.
     
  10. Dax23333 Junior Engineer

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    You'd have to differentiate between gaining speed and losing it doing this, otherwise you'd get stuck going very fast in a straight line.
     
  11. SpecFrigateBLK3 Senior Engineer

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    That's the same as the current paradigm, any maneuvers will bleed off velocity so the current max is only a straight line as well.
     
  12. sioxernic Senior Engineer

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    And you will see troll drives of various designs... Now you have a negative and really bad side effect. (there is more ways to gain free force that is not a gravity drive)

    Also it would mean grids can attain speeeds in excess of thousands falling onto planets, and they could phase straight through planets, since there is no max.

    That is not how the jetpack works. The jetpack has a nice linear acceleration until you hit your cap.

    Still unintuititive and leads to the exact same problems as I described in the beginning.

    Since you will not be able to have a hard cap, you cannot even have the same formula for jetpacks. Jetpacks HAS to be able to accelerate infinitely, because they have to be able to catch up to any grid, and you can't reduce the thrust on the jetpack over time, since otherwise a jetpack in a ship going (what ever random number) close to the infinitesimal acceleration simply goes super slow in one direction traveling relative in the ship.

    It might seem like a neat solution, but it is riddled with problems.
     
  13. chrisb Senior Engineer

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    Well that scuppers, that idea then.. ;)
     
  14. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    If you're playing using vanilla settings and a ship is rocketing by you and you're not within 800 meters at full speed, then you won't catch them. Someone who is retreating needs to only maintain the same vector and you won't catch them. As the fleeing player, you have an advantage if your only concern is getting away.

    If you're in a large ship with a jump drive, you can jump yourself 5000 meters or more ahead of a fleeing ship (if you're in free-space). Small ships don't have jump drives. So large ships definitely have an advantage IF the player knows how to play and is resourceful.

    The balance is acceptable.
     
  15. PLPM Junior Engineer

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    Then there could be very easily a hard cap that is at the top of the soft-cap, there you go. That would be the solution for the non-thruster situations.

    In the case of gravdrives make it so that grav-gens do not affect mass blocks in the same grid or in sub grids, you could still circumbent it by landing gears or connectors, but it would be much less safe.
     
  16. sioxernic Senior Engineer

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    @PLPM I said that is NOT a gravity drive. A byproduct of how physics calculations work you can use a rotor or piston to propel you.

    So even if you do that, you just make troll drives more effective than thrusters no matter what, since you can always bypass the soft cap by abusing physics.

    So compared to earlier where all you could with troll drives is achieve max speed near instantenous... Now you can achieve max max speed above others without a single thruster while others with the same size vessel will be INCAPABLE of that speed.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Malware Master Engineer

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    Mass compensation is already being done for the subgrids, this wouldn't be much different.

    Unfortunately I doubt they'll remove the gravdrives now. If they'd only had the guts to remove it for vanilla but leave it a moddable option - even provide a mod for it...
     
  18. PLPM Junior Engineer

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    Sorry, sorry, I know you weren`t specifically talking about grav-drives, but they are by far the most problematic along with the merge block paddle boat, thinking about grav drives tends to strike a nerve of mine.
    ...

    Well then, a speed cap for all grids, as long as they`re not thrusting, if they`re thusting, they`ll work on a TWR basis along with expontial loss of efficiency but only above the hard cap.
     
  19. SoftwareEngineer42 Trainee Engineer

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    That sounds good to me. I should mention that I mispoke and used the term 'exponential' when what I wrote was actually a power function. Exponential falloff is more appropriate and useful.

    I'm want to mention that even Kerbal Space Program, which is again a harder simulation, has center of mass exploit drives using fuel transfer and has a glitch drive involving phantom forces deriving from surface friction in gravity wells. They aren't super efficient, but that are there. It's an unavoidable feature of simulations that don't conserve energy in the system or don't follow Newton's laws precisely.
     
  20. Calaban Junior Engineer

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    I can catch them, I need to be in a large grid though.
     
  21. sioxernic Senior Engineer

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    @Calaban
    And multiple... and I repeat MULTIPLE experiments by a variety of people have been done. What you are seeing is not your true speed (since it somehow factors in your acceleration along with your current speed). You are still only going top speed. This becomes evident if you make the most super overpowered gravity drive ever, and you can make it go (based on speed indicator) like 150 or 200 m/s but you are not even close to that speed.
     
  22. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    Hmmm... max speed being derived from the maximum thruster force/mass in that vector? I wish there was an easy way to code this for evaluation. It would be a mod I would investigate. It's not true to physics but would be interesting to balance.
     
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