Make Fuel scooping fun again

When I first discovered the fuel scoop years back, I thought "Awesome! Never pay for fuel again!" I immediately went to circle a nearby star and watch my fuel gauge rise while keeping an eye on my heat and maintaining a steady speed so I didn't fall out of the corona or take heat damage. That was a fun gameplay loop.

Then I made a few more discoveries:

1: You can scoop while sitting still (relative to supercruise speed, I mean.)
2: Fuel is cheap. DIRT cheap.
3: Bigger scoops let you get fuel faster and from a MUCH safer distance.
4: Fuel can't be sold. Hydrogen fuel--the commodity--can, but, inexplicably, fresh-from-the-sun fuel, perfectly usable for all our spaceship needs, cannot. The two are also not interchangeable, for reasons beyond my imagination.

I haven't revisited this notion for a while, but these design choices perplex me. A potential player career path, albeit a fairly simple one; a reasonably simple, yet still engaging gameplay loop and a way to not only close the economy a bit, but get players directly involved in it--all wasted.

Now, since we know Fdev's stance on redesigning things (they don't wanna!) I propose an obvious solution: Engineered fuel scoops. The mechanics are in place, the engineers are primed, the UI design work is 90% done, all we'd need is to pick an engineer or two (or add one) to apply engineering recipes and tune the numbers. Workshop pending, example recipes could include:

Pneumatic scoop: Increases fuel scooped based on FSD momentum, but collection drops off quickly with deceleration. Good for a "skimmer" pattern where you keep a steady orbit at high speed while keeping your heat below the danger zone.

Hot scoop: Increases fuel scooping dramatically as distance to the star decreases, but creates additional heat generation while scooping. Encourages a "dipper" strategy where you dive in close, scoop a big chunk, then back off to cool.

Vacuum scoop: increases general scoop speed, but adds power draw. For those who like it vanilla but are willing to give up some power for a bit faster scooping. Naturally, it should be nowhere NEAR the extra speed of the other two options when flown as intended; otherwise this whole proposition is self-defeated.

Of course, we could include some obligatory experimental effects like double bracing or efficient, etc etc, but these ARE still just fuel scoops; I don't imagine a ton of experimentals off the top of my head, but I could be wrong! Surprise me!

As a complementary change, I would allow us to set our fuel percentage like we do with limpets, letting us buy or sell as much fuel as we need, possibly encouraging the generation of hyrdgoen fuel on the commodity market. I have a hard time believing it's not the same "fuel" so I don't see the harm in opening up a little design space. I'd also suggest slightly to moderately decreasing the ranges at which fuel can be scooped; otherwise, again, this whole solution is pointless.

The whole proposition adds an element of reward versus a risk, albeit a manageable one, to fuel scooping, while adding variety in styles and methods. There's likely a possibility for emergent tactics with this too, as I'm sure some among the community will likely discover. I'm sure the Fuel Rats would love this new functionality.

Any gaps in the logic? Any ideas for other recipes or experimental effects? Sick of engineers and just hate the whole idea? Discuss.
 
I like some of these ideas. They should only be available in open though, because: weak reasons.

I always thought it would be interesting if somehow you could fuel scoop a solar flare. Make the game play somehow more dangerous and requiring skill or mini-game like neutron star boosting.... but if you manage to scoop a flare your tanks would be filled Completely immediately. If you fail..... boom!
 
Power draw in a fuel scoop is largely inconsequential, as you can just stick it at lowest priority and have it safely turn off with hardpoints deployed. I guess it would make you burn more fuel per hour, but if that's an issue, you could just power it down.


Carriers could refuel off of ship fuel! I suggested that already, it actually gives a POINT to optional fuel tanks! That, and stashing an 8A scoop on your carrier. 'Spensive, though.
 
+support

So question... my courier hits 80% scooping after each jump (max scoop rate at max speed) with barely enough time to fill the tank before overheating. Which of your options would be best for me?
 
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Sounds reasonable. Would suggest Supercooled Scoop to trade scoop speed for significantly reduced heat build up (whilst actively scooping) and maybe Flow Linked Scoop to allow you to equip more than one scoop at the same time?
 
Sounds reasonable. Would suggest Supercooled Scoop to trade scoop speed for significantly reduced heat build up (whilst actively scooping) and maybe Flow Linked Scoop to allow you to equip more than one scoop at the same time?
However much I'd like to see such a scoop it might just be unobtainable. It is not the scoop that is overheating close to a star, it is the whole ship. If you come without scoop it will overheat just the same. Seems far-fetched to have a scoop that would cool the ship while right next to a star.

Otherwise nice ideas in the thread.
 
Two points:

Heat is energy, so, if you have an effective system, you could filter the heat off as an additional energy source. This is, after all, the principle behind any turbine driven power system.

Corollary of that is that you could use a heat jettisoning system such as the X-Ray refrigerator laser in Sundiver to eliminate heat at the expense of a slot. The down side would be that it would be a massive emitter making your ship much more visible.
 
Two points:

Heat is energy, so, if you have an effective system, you could filter the heat off as an additional energy source. This is, after all, the principle behind any turbine driven power system.

Corollary of that is that you could use a heat jettisoning system such as the X-Ray refrigerator laser in Sundiver to eliminate heat at the expense of a slot. The down side would be that it would be a massive emitter making your ship much more visible.
Incorrect, heat is simply vibration of molecules.

Thermoelectric energy is produced by a DIFFERENCE in temperatures, through magic. (Well, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_generator anyway.)

If we can make heatsinks, we should be able to just charge them up and deploy a big radiating fin. But with such EASY access to stellar fuel, other power generation things are kind of pointless.
 
Incorrect, heat is simply vibration of molecules.

Thermoelectric energy is produced by a DIFFERENCE in temperatures, through magic. (Well, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_generator anyway.)

If we can make heatsinks, we should be able to just charge them up and deploy a big radiating fin. But with such EASY access to stellar fuel, other power generation things are kind of pointless.
Learned something new, thank you. I had no idea we have a way to convert heat into electricity directly... Sounds too good to be true but the process is obviously not efficient enough yet.
 
Sounds reasonable. Would suggest Supercooled Scoop to trade scoop speed for significantly reduced heat build up (whilst actively scooping) and maybe Flow Linked Scoop to allow you to equip more than one scoop at the same time?

I'm not a big fan of the supercooled idea, since it eliminates the risk of fuel scooping, thereby defeating the point of risk vs. reward. If the risk is eliminated, the fun goes with it. As for the "flow linked" one? Hmm. Sounds a bit...inelegant, really. I have the feeling it would be the least well received by Fdev for some as of yet unknown reason.


I like some of these ideas. They should only be available in open though, because: weak reasons.


I always thought it would be interesting if somehow you could fuel scoop a solar flare. Make the game play somehow more dangerous and requiring skill or mini-game like neutron star boosting.... but if you manage to scoop a flare your tanks would be filled Completely immediately. If you fail..... boom!

Now THAT'S what I'm talking about! THAT sounds like the kind of a fun a hotdogging gambler pilot can get behind! What if properly scooping a solar flare gave you some form of temporarily enhanced fuel compression that gave you reduced fuel consumption until that portion of the tank was used...or something, I dunno. Scooping solar flares would be cool.


Power draw in a fuel scoop is largely inconsequential, as you can just stick it at lowest priority and have it safely turn off with hardpoints deployed. I guess it would make you burn more fuel per hour, but if that's an issue, you could just power it down.




Carriers could refuel off of ship fuel! I suggested that already, it actually gives a POINT to optional fuel tanks! That, and stashing an 8A scoop on your carrier. 'Spensive, though.

Yeah, trying to figure out what sorts of tradeoffs could be made in engineering is tricky, since the scoop is weightless and takes negligible power. Still, there's got to be some gameplay mechanic, statistic, or physical consequence we can leverage; we just have to examine all sides and be creative.
 
Learned something new, thank you. I had no idea we have a way to convert heat into electricity directly... Sounds too good to be true but the process is obviously not efficient enough yet.
Look up thermoelectric coolers, the reverse is true as well. It's not nearly as effective as using pumps and coolant. You can put current into a thingey, and one side gets hotter, the other colder. It's not very useful, though, there are various issues.
 
Fuel can't be sold. Hydrogen fuel--the commodity--can, but, inexplicably, fresh-from-the-sun fuel, perfectly usable for all our spaceship needs, cannot. The two are also not interchangeable, for reasons beyond my imagination.
So much this. I mean filling tanks/cargo racks with the commodity. Now Fleet Carriers might be refueld regulary, but Fuel Running for Stations or just the Jet Energy Factions, would be great. If it means increasing the cost of fuel so be it. (Or make fuel cost rise based on ship traffic and go down for deliveries)
 
Look up thermoelectric coolers, the reverse is true as well. It's not nearly as effective as using pumps and coolant. You can put current into a thingey, and one side gets hotter, the other colder. It's not very useful, though, there are various issues.
I would say the market disagrees with you given that I have a Peltier cooled wine fridge that is completely silent and handles 6 bottles.



Peltiers are also routinely used to suck heat away from CPUs to your classic venting systems, resulting in more effective hybrid systems, although I have seen computers that just use the Peltier and a heat sink.
 
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Nice ideas, I would of just liked the original concept idea, the screen shot originally showed scooping with adverse shake to are cockpit HUD, to give us that we are bouncing off the Stars gravity effect. But no it's as smooth as baby's botty. immersion breaking :(
 
I would say the market disagrees with you given that I have a Peltier cooled wine fridge that is completely silent and handles 6 bottles.



Peltiers are also routinely used to suck heat away from CPUs to your classic venting systems, resulting in more effective hybrid systems, although I have seen computers that just use the Peltier and a heat sink.
Yeah, that wine cooler is made to keep wine bottles a bit cool. Does not get anywhere NEAR as cold as a compressor cooling system.

We're talking about starships flying near suns here, the cooling system adequate to keep wine bottles cool is NOT going to cut it. :rolleyes:
 
Yeah, that wine cooler is made to keep wine bottles a bit cool. Does not get anywhere NEAR as cold as a compressor cooling system.

We're talking about starships flying near suns here, the cooling system adequate to keep wine bottles cool is NOT going to cut it. :rolleyes:
You're also making comparisons based on current technology when you want to discredit something 1,300 years in the future AND in a universe where Frontier has specifically stated that they violate uniform physical law in the name of design concpets and "balance".
 
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