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[Suggestion] A simple (ish) suggestion for promoting player interaction in multiplayer

Discussion in 'General' started by 101m4n, Jan 5, 2018.

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

    You split players just to pvp and pve play styles by administration tool. There are millions players in SE and huge amount of them wants pvp. But not just offline griefIng. Pvp interactions should not be Just a kill or destroy but also competitions or preventing of some kind of other player actions such as expand or domination.. that could not be added by administration tool and must be part of game core..

    PvP is extremelly important for sandbox simulation engineering game. That must be part of engineers inventions to react for other players actions.. but in this stage its sterile and its not a simulation when administrator forbit some aspect of human nature. .

    Im sure administration tool is a great idea for Rp,Pve and scenarios servers as well but its not solution ..
  2. 101m4n Apprentice Engineer

    I agree, PvP needs some more depth. Personally I'm not much of a PvP person, and the couple times I have tried it, I have either been stomped into oblivion by some established player the moment I spawned or had my base looted while I'm offline. The reason I like the whole "heat signatures" idea for PvP, is that it provides players with agency over how detectable they are. You want to build a stealth recon ship? Put a minimal number systems on it. Want to make your production facility invisible, build it inside and asteroid and use efficiency modules to reduce your heat signature. Whenever you are flying around looking for people, you never know who can see you, and there could be a quiet little base tucked away just about anywhere. I think it would ass a bit of tension to the whole process. I also like it because it adds a little depth without just creating a "detect everything" situation like some of these "detect all the things" radar-block suggestions I see from time to time.

    I agree. But imagine you are the admin of a PvP server, and the following series of events occur:
    1. you notice that one of your established players is stomping all over fresh-spawns on your server. This is bad because it turns away new players, so you ask him to stop, and he does.
    2. Your server continues to dwindle in player-base until at peak time, only one or two people are ever on.
    3. Then discover a message on your server steam group (which you never look at) from an angry player claiming he was destroyed the moment he re-spawned 3 times in a row and quit the server.
    Now, what do you do?
    The obvious answer is: you find out who is spawn camping, and you ban them. But how? At the moment, the server doesn't log anywhere close to enough to actually figure out which players were responsible for which events on your server. So even if you have a "no spawn camping" rule, it's impossible to enforce. You can't actually find out who's doing it, could even just be the same guy, waiting for you (the admin) to go offline. This is what I mean by "lack of administration tools". Just ways to enforce rules that the server owner has decided on. Because at the moment, we don't really have any.

    Another thing to note; non-pvp servers are also very important to the game. But they just don't exist because of the lack of admin tools! The reason other survival sandboxes (here comes the minecraft comparison again) have been so massively successful is because of the sense of community that forms around servers. People would join servers, enjoy themselves, make new friends, then get their own friends to buy the game and so on. In PvP where everyone is out to get each-other, that doesn't really happen. In my opinion, if SE is going to flourish as a game (and yes, I think that it still can), it needs some of that minecraft community feeling, and for that, we need better ways for server admins to stop people from PvP-ing when it isn't desired. For reference, minecraft has (at the time of writing) just under 300,000 players online, space engineers all-time peak was 23,000 back in october 2014 and these days it averages 3-4000 tops. It's 100 times smaller.

    Nope, it's not a solution. There's no way to make a foolproof automatic anti-grief rule enforcing system. There will always need to be a human admin in play somewhere. As for reworking core gameplay, I'm not sure with the weapons and destruction physics that the game currently has there is a good way to actually do that...
  3. Mosseman Apprentice Engineer

    Invulnerability Field Generator (large grid block)

    While online, has the following effects within a ~1km radius:

    Players cannot be harmed.
    Voxels cannot be changed (no mining)
    Small grids cannot be damaged.
    Large grids cannot be damaged.
    Station grids cannot be damaged.
    New grids cannot be created.
    Merge blocks function, but cannot be used to join two separate grids.
    New blocks cannot be placed.
    Partially built blocks cannot be modified.
    Blocks cannot be repaired (or ground down).
    Block ownership cannot be changed.
    Grids cannot be converted between station/ship.

    IFG requires a fairly lengthy spool up period before it takes effect(~15min).
    If the IFG moves while spooling up or running, it deactivates and must begin a new spool up cycle.
    IFG cannot be activated while inside another IFG field.
    IFG has a high(ish ~1MW) power requirement.
    IFG acts like a beacon with a ~1km broadcast range that cannot be turned off while operating.
    IFG spool up process causes beacon effect to flash on UI - this effect cannot be turned off.

    The IFG is designed to work in a PvP sandbox MP survival setting, allowing people to log off while assured their home won't get raided while they're offline.


    The issue with the proposed rules is the abuse from players wishing to keep themselves as safe as possible, even when they need to take the IFG offline. As an example, a defending player could run two IFG blocks, spooling each one up a few minutes apart. As a result, their operation would only present a window of time roughly half of what was intended. Obviously, the more IFG blocks used, the shorter this window would be and the harder it would be for an aggressor to make an attack. This is unfun and tedious to fight against as an agressor and unfun and tedious to manage as a defender, so it's not something I want to see become commonplace.

    This is where calibration comes in. The rules are complex and convoluted, but the short of it is that spamming IFGs in the hopes of making yourself nigh impossible to attack isn't possible.

    Here's how it works:

    A calibration cycle lasts ~15 minutes and during this time, a new spool up cycle cannot be started.
    If the spool completes or cancels (for any reason), all IFGs within ~1km must recalibrate before they can spool up.
    Spooling isn't canceled if a nearby spool is canceled.
    The calibration cycle starts upon block construction.
    The calibration cycle starts when block stops moving.
  4. halipatsui Senior Engineer

    Exploit 1:

    Create a grid containing large warhead(s) , battery, sensor.

    Attach this baad boy to your fighter with landing gear.

    Thanks to this invulnerability field fly straight to base and leave your bomb there.
    Make sensor to explode whs when enemy player is detected.
    Steal enemy ships with landing geears as you go

    Exploit 2:

    Create large ship with ifg.
    Park your ship 999 meters away from enemy base and wait the field to activate.
    Walk to enemy base.
    Loot! Rob! Explode!
  5. 101m4n Apprentice Engineer

    @Mosseman That's interesting... Invulnerability that also makes you highly detectable... It's a little convoluted though not sure I understand all the contrivances you put in.
    Personally though, I would settle for a white-list and some decent logging tools.
    Base griefed? Find the player who did it and ban them, done and done.
    But this presents a way for players to take more agency over the protection of their own base which is nice.

    Only trouble I can think of is that people may use the IFG beacon to locate other players, then stomp them when they come online. Not sure how much of a problem that would be though. Maybe ditch the beacon effect in favour of something more like my heat signature idea, then give the IFG a massive power draw when spooling?

    Another potential problem is that if there are a lot of invulnerably units on your server, then the DS has to check every world interaction against every ifgu, which could become a problem with a lot of them (and a lot of players).

    This actually gives me an idea though. You could just implement something like this on the server side, without the actual physical block. It would work something like this:
    1) For every stationary grid above a certain size, build a list of all players who own blocks on that grid. (prevent invuln-grid grief with lots of small indestructible grids)
    2) Discard owners whose blocks account for less than say 10% of all ownable blocks. (discard enemies who just weld one block onto the grid)
    3) If the server goes for 15 minutes without any of those majority owners online, protect the grid against building/grinding/weapons fire etc. (to prevent combat logging)
    4) Grids are re-enabled when one of their majority owners come back online.
  6. FlakMagnet Senior Engineer

    Interesting stuff ..... but.

    Big but.

    Why do people always want to enforce their playstyle preferences on open servers where people may enjoy playing in a different style? Coming up with extensive and complex control methods to restrict gameplay to force certain encounters just drives players away from a particular server

    This is a sandbox game, not an online shooter.

    The other issue would be how you implement the PvP mechanic to enhance PvP. This would require a lot of work. If you are expecting Keen to do it, then you are probably going to be disappointed. If Keen was planning to enhance PvP they would have more than 2 weapons
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. 101m4n Apprentice Engineer

    @FlakMagnet Because survival sandboxes like this inevitably devolve into pvp freeforalls. If you want server owners to have the option of anything else, servers need rules and administrative tools to back them up. As for the heat signature idea, it's just a neat gameplay mechanic that I think would enhance multiplayer by making the world feel less empty. That's all. The forum exists for the sole purpose of discussing such things, does it not?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Levits Senior Engineer

    With the lack of communication, I don't think anyone here is in a position to make that assumption. No one knows what keen actually wants for the game and as it stands, just because they only have 2 weapons CURRENTLY, that does not mean that they will not get around to fleshing out gameplay mechanics further.

    To me, It still feels like they have yet to create a actual game. Only going so far as to add a limited number of building blocks and features to what could be a engrossing game.
  9. halipatsui Senior Engineer


    Or maybe as a creative sandbox game SE tries to make people build their own weapons?

    You cant really say this game has only 2 weapons when you can build:

    Small missiles for atmospheric, space(here hydrogen or gravity driven) or both enviroments.

    These can be
    Kinetic for good cost efficiency or warhead armed
    Made to target static or moving target
    Made for short range or long range
    Homing or not
    Guided or unguided

    That already gives us over 40 ways to make a missile with significant differences.

    But hey there are still large grid missiles etc.
    You can literally build an icbm in this game.

    Besides we have large ship missile launcher gatlingn turret, interior turret, rocket launcher
    Small ship, gatling turret, missile launcher, rocket launcher, reloadable rocket launcher and gatling gun. Thats totals into 9 seperate weapons instead of 2.

    Then there are drones, gravity guns and every who knows what else :D

    They just are not paste on your ships in most cases
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. FlakMagnet Senior Engineer

    I can say that. And it is 100% true.

    Keen only supply code for projectile bullets and explosive missiles. That's it. If players invent ways of throwing objects at each other, that's great but it isn't in any way relevant to the point I was making.

    All these are just stat variations in XML files. A small grid gatling links to an ammo definition, which has one of two possible roots. Missile or Projectile. You can vary the damage, ROF and suchlike, but these things all lead back to the same root.

    Single impact, all damage applied to the block impacted.

    Explosive area of effect based on the impact origin.

    I am not looking at the 'window dressing' I am talking about what is under the hood. Take a look at some of the weapon mod tutorials. It will show you the structure of the weapons and how they work.

    This is why bullet damage is so cruddy. The whole damage of the projectile is applied to a single impact block, and if that is destroyed instantly, no damage is carried over. There is no penetrating weapon code for beam weapons. No combinations of effects and no real variety. Just bigger or smaller.

    Again....if Keen saw this as a PvP focused game, you would have more variations and more depth of weaponry. No point in hoping for complex supporting mechanics in my view. If it can't be done by a modder, it isn't going to happen.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. kai769 Trainee Engineer

    For me the issue is things are just too easy to destroy or steal so its not worth the risk interacting with other people, we dont need ways of finding people, we need ways to encourage people to come out of hiding,

    what would get me interacting with people would be:

    Much stronger everything so weeks of work cant be destroyed in seconds,
    A way to protect my builds when im offline, there are mods that do that kind of thing,
    Some kind of safe area owners can set up where people can bring their ships without any risk of being robbed or destroyed,

    with those things in place the owner could just set up trading stations around so people can safely meet each other.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. halipatsui Senior Engineer

    In that case pvp could be encouraged by plenty resources and shortened build times.

    But i think these can be just world settings
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. 101m4n Apprentice Engineer

    I don't think KSWH really has a direction for the game at the moment, I think that should be making multiplayer a more engrossing community driven experience, but that's just an opinion.

    Wholeheartedly agree.
    But why not both?
    I still think the game needs some form of long-range interaction. Space is just too big.

    ding ding ding!
    Thats how you set up a pvp server alright, fast building, resources confined to central locations.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. FlakMagnet Senior Engineer

    This is a pint which has cropped up more than once, and in truth...KSWH doesn't have a game at all, let alone a direction for one.

    What it has is a physics engine in which a lot of time and effort was invested to allow multi-block objects to be built and destroyed in spectacular ways. On to this they taped a mine/refine process to allow you to construct the things. This they called 'survival'. Then there have been various extras added like planets .... and the brief arrival of cutscene building tools and scenarios which failed to herald a new direction.

    Some want to turn this into a PvP focused game. Others a survival PvE experience. In truth. Marek intended this to be a space building game with crash physics. Nothing more.

    Everything else is down to what players have made of it.
  15. FoolishOwl Junior Engineer

    The other day, I was going back through Marek's blog. Several times he talks about adopting a new direction -- in particular, he said a few times that, having almost completed developing Space Engineers, they were going to change emphasis to concentrate on developing "scenarios", to make SE more of a game. That's back in 2015. So, we got the Easy Start Scenarios.

    It looks a lot like SE's been on the back burner for a long time, though Keen pretends otherwise. I don't think we can count on them adding anything, and increasingly I think it'd be better if they just *said* they're done with it and any new features will have to come from modders. It'd be nice if they'd just fix the long-standing bugs, like mods frequently being corrupted on downloads (I can't get my head around how they can have a bug that serious and just ignore it).
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Timuroslav Apprentice Engineer

    I like the idea of heat signatures and detection, but I don’t see how it will positively affect players. To me it sounds like it makes it easier for people to grief. Especially, when middle schoolers come online and all they want to do is punish other players because the whole video games as baby sitters idea. Then there’s the Administrator problem.

    If you want players to interact in a non hostile way, you have to promote an interaction or peak an interest. Things like rare resources. Unbuildable station blocks, like hydroponics. Administrator stations that make docked ships invincible while the Administrators are online. Why should players gather, when they can do everything themselves. Games like Minecraft and Trove show that people can interact positively with one another, they just need a Greater Incentive to do so.

    I mean it’s easier to steal a cargo ship in this game, than to build from complete scratch. That’s why people play that way.

    People book it and become Space Nomads not because they don’t believe in people, but because they don’t trust Administrators to replace their stuff or be competent enough to check their mods for lag, etc. If people had confidence in their Administrators you would be surprised how loyal players can be to once server.

    Instead of trying to add a new block and game mechanic, I would argue that more Administrator support would be necessary. Administrator needs he ability to make station grids invincible.

    Although, in the long run, I would love a heat and heat dissipation like what the Original Poster offered.
  17. damoran Junior Engineer

    This is why game design is a thing and also why I believe Keen is lacking in this department.

    In my experience when considering what players can/will do in a multiplayer game, expect the worse and that's what it will be. If they can loot it, shoot it, crash it, cheat it etc. etc. they WILL do that, especially in a competitive environment.

    As the OP stated, the same is true for well intentioned players and their defenses against the negative aspects of multiplayer game play. If the solution is to ostracize one-self from the server population that is what they will do.

    In SE I believe players must have a way to "build up", where they are given a safe harbor to get a foothold before being thrown into the fray. The trick is figuring out how to do that, and then, when they reach a certain level of power they are expelled from this safe harbor to prevent it's abuse.

    The devs should not leave this to the players to provide. It needs to be part of the game design or at the very least providing a set of server side admin controls to correct damages done (although I see this as a bandaid for the absence of good game design)

    Keeping the wolves at bay long enough for players to climb back from a defeat or get that initial start is the first step in encouraging players not to hide and play like drifting hermits. Once this mechanic is in place the heat signature idea is a neat way for players to find one another, but as you are seeing, most of the feedback is fear that this tool will simply be a way for the griefers to find their next victim and as a direct result push players further apart.

    As for what this build up area looks like or what mechanics are at play, that is another topic.
  18. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    Radar, heat signatures, radiation detection are all ways of detecting someone. But once you start getting to these larger and larger distances from the center of the map, scan ranges of 50km radius are still too small to find anyone or anything. The other problem with heat signatures and detection buggers up planets. Scanning the surface becomes very easy. So it makes playing on planets worse.

    Being able to dynamically place fields of procedural asteroids would work better. Also, to modify the spacing of asteroids around the central point... especially exponentially. The further you are away from the center, the more scarce each asteroid becomes.
  19. Oskar1101 Apprentice Engineer

    That is a good idea but i don't think that it would be possible to balance that to help with finding players and at the same time keeping asteroids near distant planets.
  20. Ronin1973 Master Engineer


    Depends on the scale and how things taper off. Near the origin, asteroids would be in visual range of each other. As you go further and further out, you could end up with staggering distances between asteroids. Oh, and the ability to control resources in the procedural set-up. Elements that are rare could be abundant or even just available towards the center. Once you start venturing further out they become much, much rarer or non-existent.

    If you stay hidden, you grow slowly. If you're willing to risk detection and hostilities, you can grow quickly. i.e.- competition.
  21. Mosseman Apprentice Engineer

    The explosion does nothing as the base is still protected by the invulnerability field. A better trick would be to omit the sensor and use a PB to detect if the grid moves or any blocks get damaged/removed as this is a sure sign the invulnerability field is down and the enemy structure can now be damaged.

    Of course, the defending enemy has options to mitigate this damage.

    You can't loot/rob/explode a base that is protected by an invulnerability field.

    You can't establish a field while the IFG is inside an existing field. In addition, even if you do, your ship won't be anchored to anything (asteroids seldom spawn ~1km apart) which means you can simply use your own ship to ram theirs, forcing their IFG to shut down.

    I'm assuming standalone stations are disabled (the IFG balance assumes this is the case).
    --- Automerge ---
    The basic usage is this:

    Build IFG
    Let calibration timer tick down
    Activate IFG
    Wait for it to spool up
    Enjoy invulnerability

    If your sole interest in the IFG is keeping your base safe, this is all you need to know about it. If you want to get clever/cheeky with it, such as spamming them to negate the spool up time or if you want to use it offensively then all the nuances and caveats will be of interest to you.

    Yes, that is its purpose. Administration tools are fine, but this is for those that want a server's community to solve their own issues rather than rely on an admin.

    The primary purpose of the IFG is to allow players to log off a PvP server without worrying they'll be griefed while offline. It's not intended to protect weak players from strong ones.

    Problem should scale in the same manner as collision detection now. Any time damage would normally occur, the mod/game checks for nearby active IFGs and allows/denies as necessary.

    It's more work, particularly during battles, but I wouldn't expect the extra load to be unreasonable.

    Nice idea, but I prefer the IFG as it allows you to do something mist anti-grief measures don't: allow neutral players to visit your station.
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