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[Suggestion] Ship creation, thrusts, power

Discussion in 'General' started by Zabza, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. Zabza Trainee Engineer

    Hello Keen software.
    First of all let me thank you for hearing players out and implementing/fixing stuff. I think SE moved in right direction.
    Cannot say much about latest updates did not try them yet, properly. I think it is better way than those grumpy parody of economy in modded servers. My point is that economy is not the point of SE game, because:
    1. it is is space sim and main focus is on ship build and exploration, adventure. It was fun finding abandoned ships.
    2. Servers do not hold many people, so who knows how necessary it is, only game play would show it.
    So, for now its hard to say how much good comes out of the economy. And yes it is BETTER to have it properly made than how it was done in modded servers, but I digress.

    I came thee to discuss a point which no one brought to you, probably. I think its one of stones that can hit Space Engineers game play drastically, if not done right, due to limitation it has on game play.

    I'm talking about ship designs. Unfortunately, a lot of companies started to make clones of the game and started fighting for player base in this genre.

    I am talking about - how easy it is to make brick ships. And hard to make proper ships. So far you need to take into account blocks weight, power consumption/production, fuel. And you are limited to predefined power and thrust output.

    Yes i know its a game and far out of real life. But please consider possibility - for player to design ship and then make up for thrust - power, fuel consumption. So many times gradually, continually I had to add thruster after thruster, reactors, armor and do it all over again or even from scratch - it is not that easy task to create a good ship. While you as creator can make it easier, so many new good ships would appear and players would have more fun. Yes ship design is its own game. But there is a difference in tools we can use and power then can provide to us.

    I think there is a way to make balanced creation of ship, when you can increase max thrust on thrusters, adjusting their size/weight/consumption in some proportions like -30%/+30% without having to grind all ship or make significant changes to it. The problem I have right now - I can use mods, but they differ from server to server, also some of them are not balanced. Also I'm using ships with several main thrust vectors. And so far I was not able to make good ship which can change thrust vector, for example up/forward direction - its actually pain to make one without mods or scripts.

    Also good point to add - consider some welding changes. When you print ship from blueprint - it can happen that some interior blocks are not welded and thus ship does not function. Proper welding/printing will make user experience more smooth.

    So Keen Software, please consider making thrust management/power production and consumption adjustable and balanced. Also I think its good to have some way to control vector thrust more easily. Also you can think of some ways to pre-calculate and suggest required thrust and power for user to consider.
    Please think it through and I can elaborate more with examples. We can even have players vote on it if needed.
    Thank you.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
  2. Calaban Junior Engineer

    In my opinion Weight/Power/Thrust ratio balancing is the point of the game. It is the game. "design a ship that works".

    Ive played enough (insane, really) hours that I've attained a "Feel" for how much is enough, given the constraints of the power/thrust/weight factors I have to deal with.

    One thing I have determined with the factors given, is that Ships work best when Car/tank sized small (Encounters ship Gerbil), Millenium Falcon sized large (Encounters ship Prospector). RedShip, and blue ambassador push the limits of practicality, and are really only frigate sized. When players start getting into Cruise Ship, or Star destroyer sized.... yeah.. good LUCK powering and propelling it. While the ship can indeed be built and powered and propelled, The builder will notice the hydrogen tanks only last 10 minutes (note how long the fuel lasts in a Prospector), among other unsat factors.

    Ultimately those building big create their own problems, and of course scream for mods to make their style of ship work properly. The thrust and power and weight systems are set to a certain ratio, and that ratio is small-ish sized. (most likely for engine/server performance)

    Similar story for Ship Printing. The engineer has to make the machine that works properly. If the printer didnt reach a spot... back to the drawing board on that printer. :)
    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. Lord Grey Apprentice Engineer

    Yep, I use more time planning ships than I actually play the game. It is difficult to get a nice, small ship that fullfills the role you need it for, but if you achieve it, it's so much more satisfying than the easy aproach that some other games have.
  4. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

  5. Stardriver907 Senior Engineer

    My response to limitations has always been "use a mod", but I concede that particular option doesn't work if you play primarily on servers that you don't own or operate.

    Big Red and Big Blue are the largest ships Keen envisioned when they started this game, and that seems to be the size they are sticking with. The simple truth is that if you want or need larger ships you will need to use mods. Larger ships mess with performance, so the solution is to discourage large builds. I like to think that if there was a way, Keen would implement it. They often feature large builds in their videos, and they have configured the game so that it's possible to build them, but if you want a stable lag-free vanilla game, especially MP, size must be limited.

    Maybe next game ;)
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    You can't build an "everything" ship and expect it to perform like a race car. If you want a ship that has high performance, then you have to consider its mass rather than just bolt on more thrusters.

    The first problem I notice with ships are far too many gyroscopes. The game mechanics limit the maximum rate a ship can rotate at as defined by its furthest point from the center of mass... in the arc that its rotating in. The further that point is from the center of mass, the faster it will be moving through space. Keen has hard coded a limit at which that block can travel. The further away that block is, the slower your maximum RPM will be.

    So if you keep piling on gyroscopes, it will attain its maximum rotational rate faster, but peg there anyways. Those extra gyroscopes are basically useless extra mass for you to try and push around.

    If you want speed, then extra gyroscopes, refineries and heavy armor are going to nerf your capabilities. Instead of piling on more ion thrusters and power sources, redesign your ship. Use interior blocks and catwalks in areas that don't need armor (like interiors). Don't build your ships out of entirely heavy armor. Just armor up the areas that need extra protection like large reactor rooms, etc.

    If you build a tank... well it will move like a tank.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

    I have been diddling around with a ship printer that, for the most part, works really well. Yeah...notice I said, "...for the most part..." That's the problem. My "test" build is the Deep Reach Miner mk2 because of its size and complexity (i.e., lots of little conveyor tubes and components, many of which are between and connected to much larger components). Here's what it looks like...



    My latest iteration of the ship printer has piston-controlled banks of welders on the sides and top, and a fixed welder array in the deck (bottom). The printer will weld all but two (2) small curved conveyor tubes! Just 2 out of 596!! That means more than 99.6% of the blocks were welded correctly. That should be good enough, right? Yeah...no.

    Obviously, it's still a work-in-progress. My next iteration will add movement to the bottom fixed array of welders. Maybe that will solve the problem.

    (Note that my ship printer has worked flawlessly for every other small-grid ship build I've tested.)
    • Like Like x 1
  8. hippybaker Trainee Engineer

    I have found that with ship printers, the design of the ship has to be printable... which is to say all blocks have to be connected in order that they will print.

    If you have a one sided block, like a gyro; the block it attaches to must be printed first.

    not every ship will print nice, and kind of needs to be designed with printing in mind, or it will have holes.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    I take the ease of construction into account when I design a ship. I want it to be reasonable to build on a server as a guest player. That means mining, production, and assembly. Uber fantasy ships are great. But if you can't build it on a server in a reasonable amount of time, it limits the true usability of the ship.
    • Like Like x 1