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i figured i post this thread here for some long time discussion, as discord swallows a lot of answers and i do want as much input/feedback as possible.

I present to you WarpSpace.

WarpSpace replaces the vanilla FTL mechanic ("admin teleport") with a minecraft nether like space which you enter to travel distances quicker.

You enter the warp by firing your FTL drive, in the warp every meter travelled will translate in 10 meters travelled in realspace.

I already built it as a quick proof of concept mod and it does already work, Multiplayer tested.

Showcase video:

The video is of the 0.1 version, im at 0.3 now which brings in easier navigation as your navpoint is translated into/outof warp so you will know where to go to reach the desired coords. Also you will drop out of warp if you are going to slow, experimental feature.

I did testplay it a bit, and it does work well after a couple minutes of getting used to it.

The main problem i see is that since warp entry points are every 10 sectors (a side effect of how warp position is translated), you will always have to travel a couple sectors after dropping out of warp.

Simple example: (which i playtested)

Travel 4 systems to the nearest asteroid belt.

thats 16sectors x4 systems realspace + 6 sectors diagonal to get from the systems edge to the asteroids.

70 sectors, assuming a 10 km sectorssize thats 700 km.

closest warpentry point is at max 7 sectors away (diagonal of a 5x5x5 sector box)

so you hop into warp and the 700km get scaled down to 70 km. Thats 140 seconds flighttime at 500m/s

so 2 minute warp traveltime, + 7 sectors to get from the entry point, to the target, another 2 minutes.

This leads to 2 main problems:

a. travel time from warp exit point to target will always be a couple sectors

b. travel time in warp scales linear. so it will still take a long time to cross bigger distances (2 minutes for 4 sectors, 20 for 40)

in conclusion:

there is an inherent risk that players are forced into annoying long flights.

A side effect is that warpgates still work as vanilla, so they are suddenly the best way to travel longer distances bc they are instant, precise and you dont have to be afraid of being attacked in the warp.

So to tackle the flight time problem, there are some possibilities.

a. reduce warp flight by scaling up the warpfactor. so instead of 1:10 you could do 1:100

Benefit: you now only have to fly 1/100 of the realspace distance.

Problem: warp exit points are now space 100 sectors apart. so for our example above, you only travel 7 km in warp, but then have to travel 70 sectors from the warp exit point to your target.

(kind of like a highway exit thats far away from your hometown so youll have to travel a long time across countryside)

So just scaling up warp does not do the trick

b. allow precise warpdropout. instead of rounding the warp coordinates to its scale (1 entry point every 10 sectors), you could either drop out precisely to your navigation waypoint or translate your position in the sector in warp to the realspace position. (latter option would be a playtime nightmare to navigate).

Problem: this takes away warp entry points. these entry points are known to everyone and are (right now) the only way to jump into a system. at scale 1:10, each system has 4 entry points which could be defended by a faction, used to prey on passerbys etc. They are essentially node points of travel. I would like to keep them if possible. also entry points open up the possibility for other mechanics that fill that gap, like a warpbeacon chamber that allows precise drops. If you allow players by default to do precise drops you run into the same problem vanilla FTL has, almost admin teleport, where you can just drop and any pursuer cant follow bc he doesnt know what sector you dropped to.

c. multi level warp. Introduce more levels of warp. This is the most complex version and might be the most confusing.

The idea is that have 3 levels of warp. each level has a higher scale and you switch between them to reduce travel time while maintaining semi precise drops.

so you enter warp at level 1= 1:10 scale. if you need to go big distances, you jump again to get to level 2= 1:50. you are either teleported to another space so that warp levels are completely separeted, or all warplevels could share the same space. for very big distances you can go to level 3 which is 1:100 or even more.

this way you allow the player to choose which scale to travel at, and also allow him to drop out at a 10 sector spaced exit point, and not 100 sectors away.

Please give your thoughts on these ideas, note that this feed not mainly about FTL alternatives in general, but this specific warpspace idea.

I am open to any ideas, but there are limitations of what is possible through my coding skill and the way starmade code behaves.