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STU Science Team: GravDrives

Discussion in 'General' started by RaptorMonkey, Feb 26, 2017.

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

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    1,787
    Holy shit you two, give it a rest. It doesn't matter who's right or wrong here, for all intents and purposes (by most metrics) gravity drives are an exploit due to the ludicrous efficiency of them. Gravity generators were added to the game as a fantasy gameplay element that let's us walk on our ships instead of trying to float everywhere. The science is irrelevant
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  2. bigsteve Trainee Engineer

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    90
    And how is every one liking the physics lesson today?
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. halipatsui Senior Engineer

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    Actually kinda entertaining.
    Would be fun to know how much of physics people here have studied
     
  4. fourthquantum Senior Engineer

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    It has got a little more 'heated' in the past. Some people don't like gravity drives because it doesn't make sense from a Newtonian view point.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Lynnux Junior Engineer

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    881
    Jeez ! It's a game ! And it's refreshening that you can build something out of what was not intended. To me, a grav drive which just works in one direction and its opposite is boring. To build one which is working in all directions in a not perfectly balanced object (e.g. containers may be empty or filled, other craft are docked, e.g. in a hangar) is not so easy. Not just this booster-style. And yes, the ship shouldn't begin to accelerate and/or spin and get out of control in a "rogue" gravity field like the one on a station or another ship to keep the astronaut on the floor. Something most people are easily forgetting. And it should have inertia dampeners because otherwise it'll either take forever to dock at a station or you'll crash into it.

    In other words: A grav drive which really can replace thrusters. That's engineering ! I did it.

    How would Leonidas say ?
    This is SE !
    It's fun ! :tu:
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. RaptorMonkey Trainee Engineer

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    9
    And thats why we started this project, because it was fun to try
     
  7. Antichton Trainee Engineer

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    IMO, Newton's third law is already broken by the existence of gravity generators (your engineer doesn't exert a force on gravity generators despite feeling a force from them). In fact, if the steel plates did not push the grid, they would be breaking Newton's third law again (if I jump onto a floating platform, I push it down and it pushes me up). That being said, how does the game prevent your engineer from "trolling" a grid (like the steel plates)? Couldn't this fix be applied to all floating objects?

    In terms of game balance, I think that grav drives probably need tweaking but aren't completely broken; it's true that they have the largest thrust to power ratio, but they won't work properly unless your ship is balanced. This is more difficult thanks to cargo in cargo containers affecting the center of mass - even if you perfectly balance your ship, you also need to balance any ammunition and supplies you're carrying. In addition, any other player can break your grav drive by creating a gravity field that intersects with your artificial mass blocks.

    As for general relativity and bending spacetime, I believe you are referring to an Alcubierre drive (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive). Key problem with this concept is highlighted in the article (section Difficulties):

    The metric of this form has significant difficulties because all known warp-drive spacetime theories violate various energy conditions.

    In addition, even our most optimistic estimates for the energy required to create a spacetime bubble is the mass-energy of Voyager 1, which is 17.5 billion kg of uranium ingots in game units....
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 2
  8. Taemien Apprentice Engineer

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    468
    Before JumpDrives were added. I created a 1:1 Scale Scout-Class Jumpship from BattleTech:

    [​IMG]
    As well as a 1:1 Scale Union-Class Dropship for it to carry:

    [​IMG]

    The Scout was 110 blocks long and the Union attached was 33 blocks wide and 31 blocks tall.

    The Scout was fitted with Mass Blocks that made up the spine of the ship within the center. A rod to simulate the Germanium-Titanium alloy 'antenna' used to power the KF-Drive. On its cardinal points I placed numerous gravity gens to be used to propel the mass of the ship. Basically using a grav drive to function as a jump drive in the days of Pre-Planet SE.

    Now for the reason I'm posting this. It was surprisingly stable. It would list to the side that the Dropship was mounted, but not by too much. It was capable of 0-500m/s (possibly faster) within a second or two. Now if billion kg of mounted ship(s) could be somewhat stable. That's saying a bit.

    The only limiting factor is getting the whole mess to stop. But with programming blocks. I don't see how one couldn't program GPS coordinates to let such a system work on its own.

    Is that Overpowered? I personally cannot say. In normal play, we've (friends who operate on a personal rented DS) attempted a grav drive recently with mixed results. It appears, at least on the surface to be something of an oddity. However... I could see the potential in a PVP setting where if someone tries to line up shots or a boarding action how zooming 100m/s in any direction (regardless of accuracy) could be seen as annoying and even difficult to deal with.

    However.

    As I've stated before, I like the idea of naval scale Rail Guns and Gauss Rifles. Grav Gens and Mass Blocks make it possible. They require an engineered solution tailored to the design of any ship they are on as well. So as I've said before.. Any nerf or fix to this phenomenom should be that Grav Gens do not affect the mass they are ATTACHED to. Thus Grav Drives will be fixed, but weaponized solutions are not.

    For those of you rankling with realism. Knock it off and press the 'I believe' button. The way I see it is Mass Blocks serve as a means of interacting with a magnetic material and manipulating it in a way that somewhat makes sense and isn't overly complicated to employ. You're going to be hard pressed to convince us that we should not have a means of firing a rod of mass blocks as a weapon, or as a catapult system akin to what's used on the newest generation of real world aircraft carriers to replace hydraulics.

    Instead focus on the balancing of the game. And ways that make it more fun or ensure it remains fun.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. dispair Apprentice Engineer

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    252
    Lots of fun here. Just wanted to point out that gravity does not follow Newton's laws. While Newton described gravity he knew he was only approximating it. Einstein made a dozen attempts before he got it. Gravity breaks Newton's laws and this break is covered by Einstein.
    When the moon circles the earth it changes direction several thousand times each second. This is a clear violation in the conservation of energy. However the earth distorts space-time and the moon is traveling in a straight line along this distortion, therefore no laws are broken.
    As previously stated, the energy required for 1 g is ridiculous. For gameplay I really need gravity on my ships, I am more than happy to ignore their power consumption. I will agree with Taemien, I am here to have fun. So long as each element has rules in the game, then you can engineer according to those rules. Mass blocks create a discordant space-time capsule and are ( by means of witchcraft) separate from the parent space-time distortion; there you go... Fixed.
     
  10. PLPM Junior Engineer

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    841
    "fixed"
    ...
    The grav drive has two things going for it; One positive, one negative. The positive one is that you need to account for your centre of gravity, so you need to engineer thinking about it and brings out several gameplay mechanics.
    The negative one, is that it´s totally unbalanced and makes a ship untochable in PVP, it´s "worse" than the jump drive in that regard; "bad spot? Just grav-drive away at 100m/s!" it doesn´t have any REAL drawback for that application and it´s simply not fun gameplay wise (design wise, it´s the bomb)
     
  11. halipatsui Senior Engineer

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    1,253
    Keen probably consentrates on balance issues like this in later stages of developement.
    My guess is that they will probably nerf gravdrive at some point.
     
  12. fourthquantum Senior Engineer

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    The person attacking as well as the person defending can also use a gravity drive...
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. PLPM Junior Engineer

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    841
    Obviously.

    Nevertheless, that doesn´t make it any better or more balanced.
     
  14. Lynnux Junior Engineer

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    881
    It's no more unbalancing than mods. The gravdrive is available for everyone. So if you still use "inferior" thrusters it'll be your fault.
    Wings are superior in atmosphere, modded engines are superior over vanilla ones, shields vs. no shields. Modded weapons with longer range are usually superior to vanilla ones.
    Hydros are superior to Ion- and Atmo-engines, especially in creative mode. Would be boring if everything would be the same. Show me the one using vanilla thrusters on a PVP-server with the Modular Thruster mod.
    Nothing new here...so where's the balance ?
     
  15. REDSHEILD Junior Engineer

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    888
    I can't speak to the new netcode, but back when I played PVP the fastest grav drives were owned by the people with the best graphics card. For some reason the sim speed difference didn't matter with thrusters but it was well pronounced with grav drives. With two ships going 114m/s with grav drives on the guy with .6 sim speed appears slower to the guy with .8 sim speed by a good 20m/s or so.

    The new netcode may have fixed this but I haven't played PVP MP for over a year.
     
  16. Lynnux Junior Engineer

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    881
    I wouldn't change the power consumption of the gravity generator since it's needed 24/7 to keep the astronaut on the floor.

    Possible solutions:
    1) Additional gravity generators/fields have a diminishing effect on mass blocks. E.g. 1 grav generator can apply 100% grav field strength, 2 generators max. 175%, 3 generators max. 225%, 4 generators 250%...
    2) Scale the power consumption of a mass block according to generators on the grid and connected grids affecting it.

    The grav drive should still be somewhat superior to thrusters since it's not so easy to realise a grav drive capable of fully replacing thrusters.
    How many grav drives do you find in the workshop which can do this ? I know the POLLYWOG but does it still work ? The rest I've found recently were "just" boosters.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  17. Malware Master Engineer

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    9,601
    Mods are a choice. The grav drive isn't. Mods do not enter the equation when determining balance. If the grav drive was a mod I wouldn't object to it. Even as it is, I'm more concerned about the enabling bug than the actual grav drive.
     
  18. Lynnux Junior Engineer

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    881
    ??? Strange logic. Of course they do:
    You enter a MP-Server. Some mods are active. It's not your server so you didn't choose them. Or you join a contest with some mods allowed to be used. You didn't choose them.
    So now you either use the (maybe superior) mods or not. This is your choice. Exactly the same as with the grav drive, right ? Right.
    It'll be your fault if you go to a gunfight with a knife and you could choose between the knife and the gun before (like everyone else). That's the point.

    But this has nothing to do with your "bug" which in turn has nothing to do with the experiment ("The main project goal was to try and get a vanilla ship to reach half light speed in 17 days with the assistance of Midspace's Unlimited Speed Mod.").
    RaptorMonkey could have used ion thrusters instead of the grav drive, too.

    @RaptorMonkey In case a game allows for such high speeds you wanted to achieve: fly a circle (or spiral). Many games become more glitched the further you are away from the center. ;)
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 3
  19. Malware Master Engineer

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    9,601
    From my point of view, thinking that mods will be accounted for during balancing is the strange logic. Keen cannot account for mods. It's simply impossible, because mods can do practically anything. This is official truth. Ask a Keen dev when you get the chance, they're easily enough available.

    The grav drive is not a choice, I can't "choose" that you as my "opponent" aren't allowed to make a grav drive when I find it a cheaty construction. I also cannot choose to play on a server where the grav drive is not a thing. But I can choose not to play on a server with given mods I do not approve of. Easily.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Lynnux Junior Engineer

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    881
    Ok, first there's the misunderstanding to be clarified: some people in this thread are talking about balance between blocks while others were talking about balance between players (in PvP).
    These are two different things.
    Balance in PvP is inherent: Every player can use the same blocks available in a world. With or without mods. This is the balance that IS. There's absolutely no need for KSH to do anything here.
    Balance between blocks can have an effect on game mechanics but most times other factors are influencing this even more. E.g. what if the top speed would be reduced to 10 m/s and weapon range increased to 2000m ? The advantage of the grav drive would be reduced to 0. Noone would complain about it's high acceleration anymore though the blocks weren't changed at all.
    So if PvP is fun or not is something related to many other factors.
    Balance between blocks is absolutely not required for playing LEGO (i.e. building something nice in creative mode). You just use the blocks as they are and try to make the best out of them.

    And I wouldn't use negative or inverted logic:
    Because the same applies to heavy armor (if I find ships made of them are cheaty constructions) and all other blocks, too. So this is totally moot because it just leads to the final step: not playing SE MP at all if you can't agree on the basic set of blocks provided by KSH.
     
  21. PLPM Junior Engineer

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    841
    Do not compare heavy armor, with grav drives... please.

    And you´ve got wrong the concept of how PVP balance works; not because two people can choose with free will between a rock, a stick and a gun, it means there´s an actual balance, there should never, EVER, be an alternative that beats out all the others in everything. That´s what grav drives do, at least how they´re balanced right now.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  22. Malware Master Engineer

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    9,601
    @Lynnux Heavy armor is a deliberate game mechanic. The grav drive is not. The comparison is nonsensical.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  23. fourthquantum Senior Engineer

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    1,286
    I can flip that around.

    Why don't you join a server that has a mod that disables gravity drives?

    Or make one. i.e. remove the artificial mass block as an option. If those mods don't exist I've got to ask why?

    Is it because the tech of space engineers does not allow it or is it because no one has made one because it's not popular enough? I'm going with the later on that one because I know you can disable the building of certain blocks with mods.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  24. Malware Master Engineer

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    9,601
    @fourthquantum Because disabling gravity drives also disables the intended function of gravity generators and/or mass blocks.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  25. halipatsui Senior Engineer

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    1,253
    It is also significantly harder to find a server that disables gravdrives
     
  26. fourthquantum Senior Engineer

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    1,286
    I'm sure modders can disable gravity drives without removing a block.
    --- Automerge ---
    Which suggest most players want them or are not the bothered by them.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  27. IPD Apprentice Engineer

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    205
    I use grav drives in all my big ships, but then most of them i have the orientation as the direction you are going as falling. Also use gravity generator for long distance item transport by use a connector to shoot them to the planet were they land on collectors, I have special setting so this works.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  28. Malware Master Engineer

    Messages:
    9,601
    Grav drives are not intentional. There's nothing to disable, because the effect is caused by a bug in the gravity system. Mods cannot alter fundamental functions of the gravity system. Ergo, the only way to disable the gravdrive is to cancel the effect of one of the blocks. There is no other way (that I know of). Otherwise, given the number of people far more intensively anti-gravdrive than me, such a mod would already exist and be quite well known.

    I only play with like-minded, when I play multiplayer at all, so I don't need to disable the gravdrive. It's not a problem. It's also irrelevant. The grav drive is going nowhere. The problem is, as already said, the fundamental bug that enables the drive, and causes spinning and movement where there shouldn't be, gameplay wise.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
    • Agree Agree x 1
  29. Lynnux Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    881
    If the choice is between a toothbrush, a pen and a gun then the choice is uttermost easy: everyone will take the gun. And then you have a pretty balanced game. It may not be good, it may be boring but it's very balanced.
    As I said you have to distinguish between balance in PvP and balance between the blocks.
    Balance PvP-wise is solely ensured by the fact that every player can use the same set of blocks. That's perfect.
    The balance between the blocks determines the number of competitive choices and the style of the game.

    You may not agree to the available choices and the style of game but that's secondary for game balance because every player has to live with it. So far you were just hitting the "Disagree" button and were just babbling "unbalanced" without being able to tell what exactly is unbalanced and what has to be done to solve it. That's not enough to get rid of your obvious (and also understandable) dissatisfaction.
    I already made a suggestion how to improve that "issue" - ironically I personally don't have - with the grav drive. Where is yours ? ;)
    --- Automerge ---
    I found only two mods on the workshop:
    - "No Gravity" from Nila
    - Enhanced Gravity Generator from Digi (as already mentioned in this thread)

    No gravity removes grav generators from the world and turns the mass of artificial mass blocks off. This is pretty radical, of course.

    Digis generator with @counterpush is somewhat working but not fully. From time to time the 800 steelplates I dropped onto a platform were flipping which was treated as falling onto the grid and created an impulse => the platform was accelerated and started moving and rotating. This can only be countered by thrusters and a gyro. Looked like the acceleration with counterpush was somewhat lower but that's all counterpush did.
    To me this flipping of the steelplates seems to be a bug. Without that impulse the platform doesn't move with or without counterpush and even with thrusters off. Gravdrives are still fully functional.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  30. PLPM Junior Engineer

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    841
    @Lynnux

    My state on the grav drives is fairly obvious, I want them balanced, right now, they´re not. What I want is a better balance between the energy and effort input to the energy output of the grav drive, how to exactly tune it to perfection? I don´t know, but I´m willing to lend a hand if I can.

    On the first part of your message... Your "PVP" balance is right, if the two guys pick the gun, it is balanced at its uttermost. However, when I say balance within PVP, I mean how the blocks and their potential applications are laid out for the players to use, and that they should all have a place, that´s what I´m referring to, that´s what makes or breaks a game like SE when played that way, that´s the thing I´m advocating about; Apologies if I came off incorrectly, I thought it was implied I was referring to the blocks.

    BTW, I agreed with your suggestions regarding how to deal with grav drives; I´d personally place a penalty on mass blocks attached to the same grid as the gravity generator, that
    won´t hurt mass-block-oriented PMWs, but will put the grav drive on a more even ground. About the disagreeing; I didn´t find comparing grav drives with mods adecuate, I found it a ridiculous proposition due to one being Vanilla (Thus, part of the gameplay of the game since the start) and the other something you can install, that´s why I don´t -and I think Malware doesn´t either- have issues with mods that break balance, like reactors that use stone instead of uranium, the original game wasn´t built around that, and it actually takes away from the gameplay.

    The game is LEGO in space pretty much, but due to how it´s made, it can lend itself to many other applications; PVP, PVE and their derivatives. I don´t like grav drives because they can make blocks entirely redundant and that is the least you want in a game like this, just like how the laser antenna is almost completely outclassed by the normal one, or some conveyor blocks, you absolutely do not want this in a game like SE where it´s all about "engineering".
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
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