Board a ship

don't let it run away

I'm trying to make a mission where the player has to board a ship. The ship is trying to run away. If the player succeeds in boarding the ship, everything is fine and the plot progresses. If the ship manages to run away, I want to run an on_whatever field. Specifically, I want to give the player another mission to chase down the target vessel in the next system.

The only way I can think to work this is to give this ship wimpy trader AI, ship goal board, and run a silent timer mission (with invisible ships that die). OnShipDone of the board mission aborts the timer mission. OnShipDone of the timer mission aborts the board ship mission, and starts the next board ship mission. So, if the time runs out before the player boards the target, then the player must chase the ship into the next system.

My solution works, but only barely. The player will have to move quickly, and use a tractor beam or ionization. Boarding can take some time (especially for players who haven't quite gotten the hang of it), and so the timer would have to be very long, much longer than it would take the ship to run away, leaving the player sitting there waiting for the "you failed, hurry, now chase it!" message.

Can anyone think of a more elegant solution?

I'd suggest a variation. Make an invisible mission that starts via invisible death ship when the player enters the system with the target ship. This mission has a one-day time limit and if it fails, it also makes the boarding mission fail. Make boarding the ship abort the time-limit mission.

That should do what you seem to want. If you don't catch the ship, landing or jumping will fail the invisible mission, which could then make the "catch it in the next system" mission start.

I love it.

Oh, one final thing I forgot to mention; boarding missions after the first should set the target ship to jump in after a delay. Otherwise, if the player misses the ship and then jumps straight to the next system, the second mission will start as the player enters the second system, which means that the ship won't show up if its set to be in the system already.

And I can't take too much credit for this; it's just a variation on the Azdgari mission in Override where you have to stop the Zidigar fighter that photoed your base from escaping (interestingly, I believe this is the only mission in any EV game that you had to fail to advance the plot). But thanks anyways. 😄

I love that mission, and it was indirectly the inspiration for this one. I always wondered how they got it to work. Never thought to check the time limit.

I missed the ship, went "aw crap did I just screw up my pilot?" and opened up Override in ResEdit before I landed. One of the most clever uses of EV/EVO mechanics of the original two in my opinion. And a great string in general.

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