Whoo. Lots of discussion here...
Darkevilme wrote:I have no problems with saying Simon can have the mod hat for this game. By virtue of being the only trustworthy candidate...And also the only candidate.
Thanks for the vote of confidence, but could you please at least try
to think of someone else? I nominated myself mostly because I was the only SDNW4 mod with even the slightest interest in trying again, and because I figured that even if I didn't, someone would probably name me.
But it's not reassuring not to have backup. I'm only going to have so many hours in a day. And sooner or later I'm going to have to recuse myself from something.
I don't think the Cluster's idea is a good one but we might be able to hybridize it to get something else? I'm not sure but here's an idea from a while back that didn't exactly work but might be fixeable.
We might be able to keep the idea of a somewhat more flexible map while not having 'everyone outside your circle is the same as any' if we go with a node map. This was tried prior albeit with star systems as the nodes while we'd probably need to go with sectors here. But the basic gist is that nodes are connected by FTL routes that link to specific other nodes. So you have to hop through nodes to get to other nodes. This means that proximity is always somewhat relevant. These nodes and how they link up don't need to correlate to actual space so if new connections open up and old ones close we can easily shift the roster of neighbours as the story requires and add new players without wondering how a whole star nation fits in there or why no one has dealt with them much till now.
Now, how do we track which nodes connect to which? I'm envisioning- assume a map with roughly the same number of squares as we had in SDNW4- a... I think it would have to be about a 500x500 grid, so that each node has its own entry, with a "yes" for every pair of nodes that are connected, and a "no" for every pair that aren't. With the right optimization software, or a good enough graphic artist to draw a node map, you could actually figure out how to get from one side of the map to the other, without getting lost.
I am not writing that software, or drawing that map. I probably lack the skill for the first, and lack either the skill or the time (or both) to do the latter. You know anyone who's interested?
The problem would get simpler with fewer sector/nodes, but still be... there's got to be a better way to implement this, I just can't think of it right now. Sorry. How did you do it that other time?
However. There are two major problems with node systems that must be addressed before even I will consider using them again:
Blockades: Unless the entrance area to an inter node route is absolutely collossal then it's a natural choke point. This changes the feel of interstellar warfare significantly.
A world of only highways: Last time we used nodes for our map we had the problem that seen as all nodes were owned by someone and not many people liked the idea of folks from across the map driving fleets across their front lawn it effectively made every event a local event. Only those people who were near the stuff that was going down would get involved and even if they wanted to distant powers wouldn't be able to wheedle their way to the event in any timely fashion.
Of these two issues the first is somewhat more flavour really and might be mitigated if we solve the second issue. However the second issue MUST be rectified if we're to use node graphs for our map.
A proposal to mitigate it could be that shoal space is simply anywhere off the beaten path. The general principle is it should be possible to bypass nations but it should take longer. So in shoal space these node connections are much more unstable and shorter so you need more hops and more time between hops to find a connection going in the right direction. Although this'd run into the fact we're using a flexible correlation between realspace and the actual map. But maybe we can handwave the time it takes to do off road transits as the story requires. Honestly I'm not sure if this fixes things.
Tempting. In effect, all hyperspace travel becomes shoal travel, with wormholes scattered about the map to allow rapid transit from point to point.
Now, how do we track which points have wormholes? Can we get everyone to agree
on a wormhole layout? Remember, there's a reason we never mapped the hyperspace lanes in SDNW4, with a few exceptions: no one was actually likely to agree on where they were. That's one reason why the rule-draft I'm constructing, purely to have a starting point for discussion, doesn't
have hyperspace junctions or explicit talk of lanes. There might be fast routes through hyperspace, but writing them into the explicit rules and maps doesn't work well in most cases.
I don't want to take responsibility for arranging the wormholes. Maybe Sorchus would like to do it.
White Haven wrote:
The node thing does remind me of something that I, as a late-joiner, ran into a LOT in 4. Specifically, hyperlanes, and where in the blue blazes they actually were. When they're such a crucial component of strategic mobility and trade, having them totally undocumented was...well, it was enough to make me want a Collector hyperdrive system just so I could ignore them in-character as much as I did out-of-character from ignorance.
. Hyperspace lanes, and other similar "this way to go really fast from A to B" ideas, are great in theory. In practice, they require extremely detailed mapping and planning of a sort I can't imagine being able to do in the context of these games.
Akhlut wrote:About the easiest thing I can see done for the nodes idea is to shamelessly steal crib the idea of mass relays from Mass Effect to link clusters together. I'm not sure how well that would work out, though.
We've already got the functional equivalent of mass relays. They're called "warp gates." I'm seriously suggesting making them more powerful in SDNW5, explicitly
to enable fast, flexible transit. I seem to recall Sorchus came up with that, and I think that was one of his better ideas.
Esquire wrote:On the subject of a hybrid cluster/free sailing map: suppose we used something like the hyperspace cannons from Star Wars EU?
Like I said, they're called "warp gates," and someone already thought of them for SDNW4. Although you need a receiver as well as a transmitter to use a warp gate- they're point-to-point teleportation, not point-to-anywhere.
Siege wrote:That's why this stuff ought to be settled now rather than once the game is on the road. I want to know how everybody proposes to deal with problems like vast numbers of idle players before setting off, because from past experience we can tell that dealing with that particular problem once we run into it doesn't work. It didn't work in #2, it didn't work in #4, so chances are it won't work in #5, and therefore we ought to settle on an approach before it gets to that point.
Well, we're going to have to remove totally inactive people unless they have a really neat idea. It's simple as that. If they have a neat idea, we can relocate them to some remote corner of the maps or reduce them to a microstate so they "exist" without getting in the way.
For example, Stas's Commune is a neat idea, I like the idea that nanocommunists exist somewhere on the SDNW5 map. But in all probability, Stas Bush isn't playing the game- so as far as I'm concerned, the obvious thing to do is create a "Commune" micronation (or multiple microstates of nanocommunists) at a few remote corners and just let them be
there, if anyone has a story idea that would be catalyzed by having nanocommunists around. Likewise, Bragulans turned out to be a cool idea- if they don't already exist in the game, someone like Shep might choose to invent them. Which is fine by me.
We could do the same thing with any essentially neat ideas invented by ADHD lemmings in SDNW5- much as we might have done exactly that with the Commune in SDNW4, after Stas turned out not to have the time to participate actively.
Siege wrote: I wrote:
Siege wrote:Is a thread for designated 'what the fuck, dude' posts enough? I specifically want the opinion of the people who were incensed at Fin (you know who you are) on this: would, in their opinion, a thread where they could ask clarification and air their grievances have been sufficient to put a stop to the griefing?
Would you be willing to hear my opinion on this?
Of course I would.
In my opinion, Fin would not have paid any attention to such a thread, being convinced that he was in the right in all things on his side of the dispute. I, or someone else, might have been able to appeal to the people on the other
side of the dispute to knock it off, but it would basically have amounted to giving Fin what he wanted for the sake of keeping up a semblance of amiability in the game and for the sake of preventing him from ragequitting.
So no, I don't think the mere existence of a "what the fuck, dude" thread would have done much good in the case of the disputes involving Fin. Nor would it have helped much in other cases of a player who was at the center of a major dispute, with the possible exception of Force Lord and maybe one or two borderline cases.
Take it into the open in OOC. Get some discussion about it. If no amicable or grudging resolution can be reached, it becomes a mod problem.
Right; as long as this actually will happen then I daresay it would be a massive improvement. And again, it might require moderators to be more proactive in making rulings on these cases. That's something else that bears thinking about.
I don't mind that, but I do mind being expected to make rulings proactively if someone's going to shriek at me every time I make a ruling. Remember what happened when I ruled against Pollux
because he overbuilt his military
? And how I got objections
, from multiple people,
even though Pollux himself
later turned out to be totally OK with it?
Yeah. If I had that happening to me every week or two, it would get pretty damn discouraging. So unless someone else wants to mod the game, I have to ask: will people bear that in mind, if I start needing to rule proactively to keep the ADHD cases and random clowns and assholes from cluttering up the game?
If not, then either you can get someone else to do it, or you can accept that I'm only going to mod when I really
think it's necessary for the good of the game, which will probably take enough time for some serious bullshit to happen and some bad blood to be created.
I agree with Simon: Five is way too many. Three already might be, unless they're guaranteed (insofar as such things can be guaranteed, anyway) to all have sufficient time to actually do what they were appointed to do. And did what they were appointed to do, at that.
I can think of two reasonably trustworthy nominees, myself, but that's just me and they probably wouldn't thank me.
I'm willing to be the 'point mod' who is primarily responsible for keeping an eye on the game. The main reason to have backups is so that it's not
any kind of a dictatorship- so that there is someone to override the point mod if he makes a mistake, or to act in his stead if for some reason he just can't get involved as a mod.
One person really is enough, it's just that it may not always be the same person.
Siege wrote:As far as clusters/nodes go: I don't see the point. I only paid lip service to the concept of travel times in the last game and nobody noticed or cared. If the map has been carefully designed you don't need travel speed book-keeping. What are these things even trying to achieve? Force people to take the predictable route from A to B? Why would you want to do that? Was this a problem before? Because I don't think it was. Fleets got intercepted just fine in a galaxy where everyone could take every route.
I agree with almost everything you said, except that I paid a bit more attention to travel times because they were plotwise-relevant to me a number of times, and I chose to worry about it. If you didn't, it worked out well, so I won't criticize, and you're welcome to do it again next time.
OmegaChief wrote:Re: Nodes vs Freeflight.
Well yea, if we want fewer more large scale firm fleet actions where sectors are fougth for and lost at the node entries then going with a pure node map can work, it all depends on the kind of game and the tone of battles were going for, a compromise might work though, with nodes being easy quick highways that you -can- send a major invasion fleet through, but having some form of much slower free flight FTL (That might have to cope with being detected or flying through someone elses soverign space on teh way to it's target, also supplies being a problem) that would allow you to get the drop on people, at least locally.
Hrrrm, this might encourage people to pay faar more attention to thier neighbours even with being able to node across teh galaxy, if the guy 10ly away can just cruise on over to any point in your border anyway, he becomes much more tricky to deal with. Wait isn't this more or less the system you gusy had with SDNW4?
The latter was indeed the situation.
If we more or less just clone the SDNW4 travel rules for SDNW5, and I would honestly like to do that, then most major nations will be... between 0 and 48 hours' hyperspace flight from their nearest neighbor, by travel through space. The 'generic' rule was one sector per day, plus or minus a bit depending on how good the route was and how fast the ship was.
Faster travel could occur by teleporting between artificial warp gates, or along specific 'hyperspace lanes' that were never well defined with three
exceptions, two of which were created by Steve and one by me. I'd be just as happy to drop hyperspace lanes since they seem to be a pointless decoration of the ruleset. Warp gates, I want to keep and possibly make stronger.