The Star Citizen Thread V10

I don't think many want overly long travel times. But, both for conveying sense of scale and making an explorer career a tough one, it somehow has to. If any point in the galaxy is just a few clicks away, there's no challenge, no sense of accomplishment.

Is it fun? No... Well maybe for some, but does it have to be? As for trading or mining or even fighting, there may be more interactions with the environment than with deep exploration but the result is the same: only those who can afford what's required (be it skill or time given the activity picked) will succeed. And I'm OK with that. I'm OK some more invested than me found the first Guardian sites, or unriddled the Thargoid ARG, or even simply reached the Anaconda.

Now let's put things on perspective: what's long trips in ED? going through and through the galaxy and some few times a remote station or planet far from its main star. Are they mandatory? No. Unless you want to do certain mission or unlock certain engineers/components based on this precise topic: exploration.

What's long trips in Star Citizen? Basically going anywhere in this tiny half-baked star system (I'd say even walking inside cities is a chore). Is it mandatory? Well basically yes as anything currently requires you to move inside this pocket-sized 'verse.

Some seems to think CIG will learn from FDEV's "mistakes". Ha! I don't think so as they're totally focused on making you live "fantabulous ship activities" during your travels, and making you witness the fidelicious fidelities of their assets by making any mundane activity as fidelicious as poosible, be it sitting in your cockpit, carrying crates, fulfilling missions, taking the train, taking a dump. You name it.
 
This is where Star Citizen has an advantage over Elite. It can learn from Elite's mistakes. They should be cutting down travel times. There should never be a situation where a bunch of friends want to meet up in the game, and by the time they'd gotten themselves sorted out and are all in the same location, it's the end of the night.
Indeed, however, as things stand, you can meet up quickly in ED as long as you have a decent jump range ship, even if you start the session on other sides of the bubble. And multicrew sends you direct to the ship.

The question for ED is what happens when we have space legs. Will they do away with MC telepresence and make people meet up, transfer over, or will they keep telepresence as well as having the option to physically meet up.

What SC could do with is provide some sort of teleport system for players to get to their friends ships to meet up... although i can imagine the reaction from the hardcore people to that suggestion.

As things stand, CIG seem to be taking some of the worst aspects of ED and making them (subjectively) worse.
 
Imho, long travel times should be a feature of space games that style themselves as "sims". Because if you take that away, you might as well be playing War Thunder with an extra button to teleport to a different map. And because from a universe-building perspective, the second your universe has people traveling to the next star system in less time than it takes me to commute to work in the morning, goods distribution concerns and economic believability are gone.

The caveat, of course, is that there needs to be a point to the long travel and/or a way to skip/mitigate it.. The latter has been thrown out the window by the premise of multiplayer, meaning that the core tool in simulators to alleviate uninteresting travel time, namely time compression, is gone. So your only option then is to only have it vaguely-longish-but-not-really and giving it a point, and here imho is where ED fails and SC should pay attention. You want to provide a navigation challenge, some degree of mechanical requirements, systems to operate, maintenance to take care of, stuff to do that means flight isn't reduced to point-and-stare. But when the game premise is gravity-defying supercruise and ww2 combat, well, it's tough to give a point to smart navigation in the absence of long-range heat source scanning, hiding behind bodies or by going cold, drifting, trajectory calculation, ECM systems, and long-range weapons. Also, fuel not being a concern.

tl;dr: long-ish travel times could (should) be done well, but ED and potentially SC just don't care much about it and are trapped in arcade navigation/combat models anyhow.
 
Ah, still pretty much a fangirl. Stopped at a random point in the video and she is talking about the Fobes article and saying that people who are "outside" the project probably aren't lying or trying to mislead, they just don't understand.

Ugh....
They key to higher understanding is understanding that you don't understand.
 
The caveat, of course, is that there needs to be a point to the long travel and/or a way to skip/mitigate it.. The latter has been thrown out the window by the premise of multiplayer, meaning that the core tool in simulators to alleviate uninteresting travel time, namely time compression, is gone. So your only option then is to only have it vaguely-longish-but-not-really and giving it a point, and here imho is where ED fails and SC should pay attention.
IMO you fail to see what long travel in ED is for, which Skizomeuh defined quite well just a few posts above - it's for exploration. If you trade, PvP, PvE, do majority of the stuff in Elite, you don't need to encounter long travel. If you want to explore, you will encounter long travel.

Elite's devs know exactly right what long times are used for and proved this repeatedly by cutting down the in-Bubble travel times over time to an amount that is accepted by players. If you are in the Bubble, you can get anywhere within few jumps (remember, it's only ~300 Ly across, 10 jumps from one side to other for average jump range ships, usually less). If you explore, you cannot - and that is appropriate.
 
Imho, long travel times should be a feature of space games that style themselves as "sims". Because if you take that away, you might as well be playing War Thunder with an extra button to teleport to a different map. And because from a universe-building perspective, the second your universe has people traveling to the next star system in less time than it takes me to commute to work in the morning, goods distribution concerns and economic believability are gone.

The caveat, of course, is that there needs to be a point to the long travel and/or a way to skip/mitigate it.. The latter has been thrown out the window by the premise of multiplayer, meaning that the core tool in simulators to alleviate uninteresting travel time, namely time compression, is gone. So your only option then is to only have it vaguely-longish-but-not-really and giving it a point, and here imho is where ED fails and SC should pay attention. You want to provide a navigation challenge, some degree of mechanical requirements, systems to operate, maintenance to take care of, stuff to do that means flight isn't reduced to point-and-stare. But when the game premise is gravity-defying supercruise and ww2 combat, well, it's tough to give a point to smart navigation in the absence of long-range heat source scanning, hiding behind bodies or by going cold, drifting, trajectory calculation, ECM systems, and long-range weapons. Also, fuel not being a concern.

tl;dr: long-ish travel times could (should) be done well, but ED and potentially SC just don't care much about it and are trapped in arcade navigation/combat models anyhow.
There's a very good reason why ED functions the way that it does: it's a game that is supposed to be entertaining to a reasonably broad audience. Putting in hyper-realistic mechanics will restrict the market to a tiny minority of players. I would never call ED a sim, it's more a sim-lite - gives a sense of scale and piloting but definitely plenty of non-sim/'arcade' aspects.

RE: believable, I would say that in a game or other fictional endevour 'believeability' is mainly down to internal consistency. yes, rules are different from real life but you can immerse yourself in the process. Hyperspace/warp/FTL travel is a standard science fiction mechanic or trope simply because it cuts down on time taken, and puts travel over vast distances in a humanly comprehensible fashion. Going full sub-C travel only will mean decades are spent on interstellar travel. How do you represent that in a multi-player environment? Or in a way that actually has involving gameplay?

Star Citizen appears to be less sim-like than ED. And they also want to sell to a large audience (if the game ever gets released).

I cannot see a mainstream game that has commute-length system travel. Hell, I'd not play a game like that.
 
IMO you fail to see what long travel in ED is for, which Skizomeuh defined quite well just a few posts above - it's for exploration. If you trade, PvP, PvE, do majority of the stuff in Elite, you don't need to encounter long travel. If you want to explore, you will encounter long travel.

Elite's devs know exactly right what long times are used for and proved this repeatedly by cutting down the in-Bubble travel times over time to an amount that is accepted by players. If you are in the Bubble, you can get anywhere within few jumps (remember, it's only ~300 Ly across, 10 jumps from one side to other for average jump range ships, usually less). If you explore, you cannot - and that is appropriate.
To me, that's close to the worst of both worlds. Shipping goods light-years away is shorter than my 21st century morning commute, yet people somehow starve if I don't do a round to the grocery planet in the next system. And while exploration involves a longer time gate (and yes, it's very much needed), that time gate is 1) stupidly short in-universe (how the galaxy is only settled in two locations when random Joe can fly to the galactic centre in a few hours remains a mystery) and 2) completely devoid of interest from a mechanical point-of-view. Supercruise was a player-driven afterthought and it shows, the game was by far a better fit for PoI microjumps. That said, it means we get a pretty way to zoom around, whereas the original design would have deprived us of those sights, so it's not necessarily for the worst in that regards: the sightseeing is imho a major plus of the game. But it massively breaks the believability part of the in-game universe and still fails to address making navigation involved and/or interesting. Considering SC operates under the same constraints (scifidrive + multiplayer + point-blank combat), I'm not sure how they can address this but I'm curious to see them try if they get there.
 
Well, according to their development plan and the ships currently in the game there will be multiple ways to get around that will cut down on travel time.

  • Olisar to ArcCorp 15 minutes for a small ship / 4 minutes for a large ship / most likely less than 2 minutes for a capital ship
  • Public transport for players to get around with
  • Ship transport services
  • Player created ship transport services through carriers
  • In-system jump points as shortcuts within systems for some ship sizes (Rumors, no facts)
  • Improved quantum drives (not sure if even A rated quality drives are in the game atm)
  • Oversized quantum drives for short-medium range at cost of heat and fuel (Avenger Titan can use a S2 quantum drive for example)
It can also be well used for how missions are presented where there are plenty of missions created for small ships around a planet and it's moons and the larger ship you have the longer range mission you can take since the travel time would be equivalent between larger planets across a system.

  • Small ships = Local Planet and Moons
  • Medium Ships = Local Planet Cluster in system
  • Large Ships = System to System mission
  • Capital = Multi-System Travel
Now, when/if/how those mechanics gets put into the engine unless they are revised and completely changed that is another issue entirely.
 
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We wouldn't need to bother about travel times with time compression, but since we're stuck with MP as game concept there is concessions to be made. I wouldn't have made them as harshly like having to press "J" 50 times and make ppl go through the same thing over and over, but then again, game engine might limit what I think would be best in the MP environment.
 
I cannot see a mainstream game that has commute-length system travel. Hell, I'd not play a game like that (SQ42 is another beast entirely).
To be fair, Chris Roberts and CIG was pretty clear on the part that SC would NOT be a mainstream game that would hold your hand.

It will be more akin to EVE online in what people are drawn to it with grouping up in fleets during an hour, travel to another location for an hour and wait two hours while getting drunk and waiting for an enemy and HOPEFULLY get a 10 minute fight.
 
Shipping goods light-years away is shorter than my 21st century morning commute, yet people somehow starve if I don't do a round to the grocery planet in the next system.
Well, it's a game. Elite is clearly almost a post-scarcity society (you can mine anything, you can build anything fast, shortages shouldn't exist, ...), but tbh, a post-scarcity gameplay wouldn't be fun - everything is fine, there are no conflicts (why would there be conflicts when you can have anything?), etc. Even Star Trek (which is a true post-scarcity society because of replicators) doesn't have in-society conflicts and as such they need outer conflicts - with scarcity societies, with aliens, getting lost in universe, etc. There are basically no Elite-like conflicts within Star Trek, exactly because they wouldn't really be there, but on the other hand that would mean a Star Trek-like MMO would be purely about the outer conflicts with aliens (i.e. PvP), because the others need too much effort to create. And it actually is - there are no Star Trek-like encounters otherwise.

tl;dr It's tough to make a gameplay when the society is (should be) perfect.
 
everything is fine, there are no conflicts (why would there be conflicts when you can have anything?)
Easy, People create tension and friction by all sort of means. Its not dependant on money or items in general. A simple difference in view is sufficient to trigger an escalation and violence. And people cannot have "anything". You might meet someones needs in all things in life but you cannot prevent envy or simple inequalities which again is enough to trigger a conflict.

Just wanted to add this, have nothing further to say :)
 
that time gate is 1) stupidly short in-universe (how the galaxy is only settled in two locations when random Joe can fly to the galactic centre in a few hours remains a mystery)
I would also like to point out that Commanders aren't "random Joes". Commanders are supposed to be the top of the top already, even Harmless ones are something like top 1 % of the top 1 % of the population (yes, even NPCs, even if their dialogues are weird and stupid). And even then, it takes coordination of few thousand of such commanders (see DW2) to make a single station, because it simply needs huge amount of resources.

The point, eventually, also comes to "Why would you settle in different location?" Yes, people could make a station anywhere, but... why, when you can build it faster, cheaper and better strategically located on the outskirts of the Bubble? Making a station elsewhere needs to be motivated - by Thargoid research, by random accidents like Jaques, by rare materials, etc, otherwise there's basically no motivation to build there (not explore, though, that's something different).
 
Easy, People create tension and friction by all sort of means. Its not dependant on money or items in general. A simple difference in view is sufficient to trigger an escalation and violence. And people cannot have "anything". You might meet someones needs in all things in life but you cannot prevent envy or simple inequalities which again is enough to trigger a conflict.

Just wanted to add this, have nothing further to say :)
Of course, you always have stuff like jealousy for a woman or such, I agree with that :) But majority of human conflicts aren't about that. You could also argue about views (see also: religion), but what issue is with that when you can collect your stuff and go make a separated cult on a goddamn planet or a system?

In the end the only conflict might be some big schism and/or politics, but that wouldn't require you to go and do fetch quests for few tons of biowaste, would it? ww
 
I would also like to point out that Commanders aren't "random Joes". Commanders are supposed to be the top of the top already, even Harmless ones are something like top 1 % of the top 1 % of the population (yes, even NPCs, even if their dialogues are weird and stupid). And even then, it takes coordination of few thousand of such commanders (see DW2) to make a single station, because it simply needs huge amount of resources.

The point, eventually, also comes to "Why would you settle in different location?" Yes, people could make a station anywhere, but... why, when you can build it faster, cheaper and better strategically located on the outskirts of the Bubble? Making a station elsewhere needs to be motivated - by Thargoid research, by random accidents like Jaques, by rare materials, etc, otherwise there's basically no motivation to build there (not explore, though, that's something different).
We're getting sidetracked way too much into ED's design which wasn't my original intent (was just using it as the closest thing we have in terms of design, and as an example to discuss travel times) so I'll leave it at that, but to answer your "why?", the answer is all too human: because it's there. ;)
 
To be fair, Chris Roberts and CIG was pretty clear on the part that SC would NOT be a mainstream game that would hold your hand.
To be even more fair, CRobber has said “yes” to every characterisation of the game that has ever been offered, which is how they got stuck in this mess of not having any clear goal to aim for, and which also explains the schizophrenic backer narrative.

It's supposed to be a hardcore high-fidelity super-realistic space sim because The Man™ wants to deprive the (minutely tiny niche of) True Space Sim Players® from that experience. It will also run on “rule of [borrowed] cool” because the ultimate goal of any True Space Sim is to let players relive their Star Wars fantasies, or Dune fantasies, or [whatever] fantasies, and that's a must to be the best damn space sim ever.

It won't be a niche game (because if it were, it would already have saturated its market and have no future) but rather see millions in year-on-year sales until it competes with CoD — it will be that good and popular and attractive to all audiences — and will get there by leveraging the kind of multiple-thousands-of-dollars hardware that only high-end PCs will sport (said $x000 rigs have since become obsolete three times over). Because that's how you attract the broad PC market.

It will be a skill-based game, which is why there are so many system automations to file off all edges and remove differences, and also why everything punches above its weight and you can buy the bigger, betterer, awesomererer ship and equipment to really outclass those low-skill scrubs.

So obviously, it will also have an unprecedentedly realistic depiction of foreshortened and scaled-down space where these cut-down distances (for gameplay reasons) take ages to traverse (for realism reasons).
 
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To be fair, Chris Roberts and CIG was pretty clear on the part that SC would NOT be a mainstream game that would hold your hand.

It will be more akin to EVE online in what people are drawn to it with grouping up in fleets during an hour, travel to another location for an hour and wait two hours while getting drunk and waiting for an enemy and HOPEFULLY get a 10 minute fight.
As Tippis has said, Chris Roberts has said a lot of different things.

Is there interstellar flight in SC yet?
 
Well, it's a game. Elite is clearly almost a post-scarcity society (you can mine anything, you can build anything fast, shortages shouldn't exist, ...), but tbh, a post-scarcity gameplay wouldn't be fun - everything is fine, there are no conflicts (why would there be conflicts when you can have anything?), etc. Even Star Trek (which is a true post-scarcity society because of replicators) doesn't have in-society conflicts and as such they need outer conflicts - with scarcity societies, with aliens, getting lost in universe, etc. There are basically no Elite-like conflicts within Star Trek, exactly because they wouldn't really be there, but on the other hand that would mean a Star Trek-like MMO would be purely about the outer conflicts with aliens (i.e. PvP), because the others need too much effort to create. And it actually is - there are no Star Trek-like encounters otherwise.

tl;dr It's tough to make a gameplay when the society is (should be) perfect.
I've found that it helps to think of the Elite Universe as what you get when a cyberpunk setting discovers easy space travel. It has extremely powerful corporations who have replaced governments, supposed democracies that are puppets of the same, wealthy individuals who have become "Space Romans," warlords and pirate captains who rule over multiple star systems, and a shadowy criminal cabal that manipulates everyone in Human space for the sake of power, wealth, or merely their own amusement: the Pilots Federation.

Yes, society would be better if everyone cooperated, but instead the powers-that-be are way too invested in not only retaining what power they have, but also getting a lot more.
 
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What SC could do with is provide some sort of teleport system for players to get to their friends ships to meet up... although i can imagine the reaction from the hardcore people to that suggestion.

As things stand, CIG seem to be taking some of the worst aspects of ED and making them (subjectively) worse.
That's the problem when you're trying to make a game that's all things to all men. I guess it's better to keep the game the dream which it is in each individual backer's mind

I fear Skizomeuh may be right. Chris Roberts is proud of his creation and he'll make sure you see every damn inch of it, no matter how long that takes. If Squadron 42 comes with unskippable cut scenes then that will be me out
 
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