High maintenance ships

or 'Ever more ways to make the player's life difficult'

I've done quite a lot of design some time ago with pre-Nova engines, and am just investigating at the moment all the new possibilities the Nova engine opens up. This is probably a fairly basic one

I was going to make a post asking about the possibility of using crons, missions and outfits to have ships which require maintenance (ie, they get an outfit which impairs their ship's performance every so many days, and then you need to buy another outfit, or maybe do a mission, to get rid of it, etc). But then I thought I should probably do a search on the topic first (searching is my friend :)), and sure enough, this has been covered before.

So, now I know that it can been done. (Although I'm still some way from figuring out exactly how I think I'm going to need quite a bit of time and trial and error to get my head round crons.) Has anyone out there got something like this working well (in the three years since that earlier thread)? Or is this 'routine maintenance' thing an idea which has been widely used many many times, and since gone out of fashion?

Anyway, it's always nice to see, more generally, that there's still an EV design community alive and well here. 🙂

This post has been edited by pac : 13 December 2006 - 08:04 PM

I don't think anyone's actually implemented it before (that I know of), and it sounds like a good idea that would definitely be possible to do. Dark Revenant recently mentioned an idea somewhat similar to this (right here), although your idea would probably be more practical to implement into the scenario.

I'd be happy to help someone as esteemed as you, if you needed it. 😉

Hehe - don't worry, you'll get used to me soon and I'll stop being 'esteemed'. 😉

In the unlikely event that I do actually get the time to work on anything significant, it will be a long time coming - and I need to figure out all the basics of what the new fields and resources do by trial and error. And then if I'm going to get any of the basic ideas I have to work I'll need to learn or invent a lot more tricks as well. For now, I'm just trying to figure out what's possible.

Cost of living and ship maintenance are both in KFL and use random missions to fire crons that take away and replace outfits.

Look at the cheap Fission Reactor, cheap Thorium Reactor, and cheap Carbon Fiber. Those three outfits need maintenance and all that in the stock game.

You can go ahead and do it if you wish. However, I have a few ideas for you:

1. Make a "pre-disaster" thing, so that there will be a harmless effect you have that can only be detected with an inspection, so that bad things can be prevented before they occur.

2. Have the disasters get progressively worse (eg. Low oil, very low oil, absolutely no oil).

3. Don't require an inspection of your ship for the very bad cases of disrepair on your ships; any fool can notice what's wrong with your ship if it is sucking badly.

4. Don't shower the user with maintenance issues; add a "reload time" for the crön's so that you don't get the same thing again until several game months later. Use wildcards for your crön date ranges and set the percentage of getting it very low (5% or less).

@joshtigerheart, on Dec 14 2006, 02:53 AM, said in High maintenance ships:

Look at the cheap Fission Reactor, cheap Thorium Reactor, and cheap Carbon Fiber. Those three outfits need maintenance and all that in the stock game.

Yes, I'm aware of those. I've been trying to track down the misn resource(s) they're using in order to figure out how the whole chain is working, but haven't been able to spot them. Or does the whole process work without using missions in some way?

The context of the idea is that it would only apply to a limited number of ships. They're great ships, arguably the best in their class - it's just that they're prone to these expensive and annoying problems. And so most serious pilots shun them.

To apply it to every ship in a scenario would just be to burden the player with mindless drudgery they can't avoid Never the best way to treat the player (although it works for many turn-based strategy games ;)).

@dark-revenant, on Dec 14 2006, 03:03 AM, said in High maintenance ships:

1. Make a "pre-disaster" thing, so that there will be a harmless effect you have that can only be detected with an inspection, so that bad things can be prevented before they occur.

If you can prevent it all in advance, then it's not really a down-side - it's just another cost, which is a non-issue as the player (in effect) can always get more than enough money.

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2. Have the disasters get progressively worse (eg. Low oil, very low oil, absolutely no oil).

Oh, the idea's not for the ship to get run down completely - I think of very basic repair costs as being abstracted out of the system in EV somewhere (most simply, under fuel costs). Just to lose a little handling, a little something here and there, so that it's just naggingly running below spec.

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3. Don't require an inspection of your ship for the very bad cases of disrepair on your ships; any fool can notice what's wrong with your ship if it is sucking badly.

Oh, I would always assume that the pilot character knows his own ship like the back of his hand - he'd notice the instant something wasn't quite right (and so the player would get text telling him as much).

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4. Don't shower the user with maintenance issues; add a "reload time" for the crön's so that you don't get the same thing again until several game months later. Use wildcards for your crön date ranges and set the percentage of getting it very low (5% or less).

Yep, goes without saying, and this would only apply to a few ships, so in general it would not affect the player at all.

Thanks for the comments and the specific tips. I need to find some time to set things up and actually start experimenting with resources again.

The way you are doing it is significantly easier than the way I tried to do it. Good luck with it, as I hope the plugin comes out nicely in the end.

One other idea: allow the player to hire on-board mechanics. They would be able to keep certain problems from happening, but they cost significantly more than it would cost for the player to normally fix the problem; it would just be more convienient.

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