Ideas on the Role of Crew

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    Longwinded post, so tl;dr up front:
    Crew should be TOS redshirts for repairs, boarding, and defense from boarding. You should want interiors so that the crew can get around to defend and repair the ship.

    So, there's a lot of things crew could do, but I've thought a lot about it and I have some ideas on them having rather narrow roles. First off, game design-wise there are two principles that I think should be followed for crew:
    1. Crew should not do anything a block could do. Things blocks can do should be handled by blocks because they're the core of the game. Crew add nothing gameplay-wise if they're doing what a block could do.
    2. Crew should be desirable to have, but not required. If crew are undesirable, they add nothing gameplay-wise. If crew are required, they harm getting your ship up and running.
    So now, let's consider what crew do in science fiction and what of that can be done in the game. I'm mainly talking Star Trek here because it's familiar and this question comes up a lot in it, mostly because it's very ship-centric (like StarMade):
    1. Make ship control decisions the computer cannot (diplomacy etc. included here)
    2. Secure the ship against intrusion
    3. Carry out tasks off-ship (fighting ground battles included here)
    4. Repair the ship
    5. Create things the ship currently doesn't have (ship modifications, new tech, etc.)
    Right off the bat, 1 is (mostly) out, ignoring for a moment that they can't think and instead going to decisions via lua script, a block could do that too.
    2 is good, they'd have mobility turrets do not.
    3 would just be boarding, which is certainly something StarMade should have. Other types of away missions really wouldn't make sense.
    4 is also good, as mobility would give them an edge over set blocks in that they could go around the ship, rather than having some radius. Sure, a repair block could be shipwide, but then it's too unrestricted. Crew allow for logical restriction by needing things accessible, and can be blown up.
    5 is something a block could do.

    One common idea people toss around is crew as a percentage buff to chambers or alongside chambers. I think this is wrong because a block could do the same thing; there's nothing special about mobility that'd affect this, so you might as well make a block that requires whatever resource crew need to do it. It'd also not make sense for crew to just sit there somewhere doing nothing all day.
    Plus, it wouldn't be interesting as far as needing interiors, other than very forced "you must have X living spaces" style systems.
    Crew going around actually repairing naturally requires some interior corridors or voids, which would do a lot at even a very simple level of crew just wandering about.
     
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    Genious.

    Their script could attract them towards damaged sections, they'd get as close as they can, go into some arc welder animation, and start healing damaged and missing blocks around them in an x radius.

    Also, it's just not the same taking that shuttle ride to the surface without a few redshirts tagging along:

    "-Um, Boss? How will we lug all that ore back to the ship? This tin can's crammed full enough already, just with the lot of us."

    "-Don't you worry a thing, ensing. There'll be plenty of room for the ore. By the way, did you know this place is called the Spider Planet?"
     
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    Genious.

    Their script could attract them towards damaged sections, they'd get as close as they can, go into some arc welder animation, and start healing damaged and missing blocks around them in an x radius.

    Also, it's just not the same taking that shuttle ride to the surface without a few redshirts tagging along, fully knowing that on the way back most of those passanger seats will be folded up...

    "-Um, Boss? How will we lug all that ore back to the ship? This tin can's crammed full enough already, just with the lot of us."

    "-Don't you worry a thing, ensing. There'll be plenty of room for the ore. By the way, did you know this place is called the Spider Planet?"
    Certainly you'd want to crew your shuttle for crazy survivability and some better (more protected than them all just flying out of the mothership) boarding. I just don't think that we'll be doing any actual missions beyond taking something over, because of the editable nature of the environments.
     
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    Oh good :D

    "-Sir! The portside engine pod is about to fall off!"

    "- Hold it tighter ensing! I didn't leave that last adamantium rock on the surface so you can twiddle your thumbs in the passanger seat!"


    But seriously: There's your away mission.

    1. - Some sort of valuables that can't be snatched up by salvage beams from space; too hidden, too fragile, etc.

    2. - Ridiculiously lethal wildlife and natives, too small, numerous, and nimble for orbital weapons.

    By glassing the rock, you'd glass the loot as well, so naturally you'll pack a shuttle full with your best, most expendable boys and head down there to slog it out.
     
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    Lone_Puppy

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    My recent ship designs have crew in mind and also have secured doors with configurable locks. Would be awesome if NPC crew could note only use the locks but set them to. But that could be asking a bit much i guess.
     

    OfficialCoding

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    Oh good :D

    "-Sir! The portside engine pod is about to fall off!"

    "- Hold it tighter ensing! I didn't leave that last adamantium rock on the surface so you can twiddle your thumbs in the passanger seat!"


    But seriously: There's your away mission.

    1. - Some sort of valuables that can't be snatched up by salvage beams from space; too hidden, too fragile, etc.

    2. - Ridiculiously lethat wildlife and natives, too small, numerous, and nimble for orbital weapons.

    By glassing the rock, you'd glass the loot as well, so naturally you'll pack a shuttle full with your best, most expendable boys and head down there to slog it out.
    Yes. I've been wanting to see this for a while. Hopefully in The Universe Update.
     
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    Edymnion

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    Personally I would like to see crew be the means through which more things are automated.

    As in, I want to be able to set up factories to create finished goods without having to set up a dozen different factories for individual steps. Instead of making factories that auto-queue, it would be better (IMO) if you told the crewman what you wanted to build, and they then moved components around and re-programmed the factory to make it.

    Heck, I'd like to see crew be required to do things like load/unload cargo instead of it just magically teleporting through rail blocks.
     
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    the looks you describe is star trek, especialy the red engineers. also i think when ship cores overheat on things like faction ships then i think the ship cores would spawn a crew member with the affiliation of whatever the faction of the ship that overheated was. same player-wise so when a ship core overheats that you are in you just float in space. also crew should be able to sit in seats that are ai detected as "seats" with some sort of weapon computer in front of them as they work the weapons. maybe they could be required for the flagships of fleets and when said fleet is attacked maybe they could order a defense fleet to defend them. also just something cosmetic, maybe they could have skins and have "text bubbles" that appear randomly. and maybe easter eggs for when you rename crew members certain names like "schine" or "caboose" or "dave" or even "steve" they could get special skins or have certain cosmetics or have special animations. finnaly crew member should be given an ai overhaul to allow ordering them or giving them a set of orders in an order like "programming" them. they could automaticly abandon ship when the ship core overheats. maybe they could also automaticly get in fighters when engaging in combat. and last but not least, they should leave behind dead bodies behind when they die floating in space to contain what they had without you losing stuff. also you can put them in an escape pod for a makeshift coffin and send them away in like a torp bay like in that one star trek movie when spock died.
     
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    I personally just want my crew to add life in my ship.
    I would be happy if I could just give the crew an order to pilot fighter or turret instead of IA (for an energy economy maybe?), and then see them eat and sleep while they have no order.
     

    OfficialCoding

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    I personally just want my crew to add life in my ship.
    I would be happy if I could just give the crew an order to pilot fighter or turret instead of IA (for an energy economy maybe?), and then see them eat and sleep while they have no order.
    Yeah definitely as an option. They should not be required though
     
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    just a bit of a thought avalanche that i had with another guy on the StarMade Trello Roadmap over the last couple of days, summarised slightly. It was basically born around the idea of capturing prisoners:

    the crew would be able to be killed in combat. they could get sucked into space if their Quarters are breached, then they have a timer before they run out of life support and die. This would allow players to attempt a rescue op to recover their Chief Engineer, or an enemy player could capture him/her.

    there could be an interrogation system where if you have an interrogator on your crew, you set him/her on the prisoner and after a certain period of time, theres a random chance (swayed by a 'loyalty' stat) that they could be 'turned', and either have them join the capturer's crew, or agree to sabotage the original captain's ship (it could be jettison cargo, shut down <X> systems, shoot other crew, assassinate the captain, attempt to start a ship-wide mutiny...).

    the prisoner(s) could also try to escape the capturer's ship by means of escape pod/stealing a docked ship/killing all of the crew (stealling THE ship)/jumping into space/other. this mechanic gives opportunity to allow the crew member back onto the crew, as they could have legitimately escaped.

    for NPC captains, there should be a calculated chance of when finding the crew member, whether to bring them back onto the crew, at which point the sabotage tasks could begin; for player captains, this would be a real judgement call.

    certain tasks would take different amounts of time, and would also require opportunity, for example to start a mutiny the NPC would have to come into contact with, say, 2/3 of the total crew before initiating the revolt, but depending on the loyalty and morale of the other crew members, it could either be successful, or they could tell the captain/defend him/her and it would fail.

    there should also be a chance on each type of task that it will fail, either because the NPC loses his/her nerve and keeps quiet, or because if its not their department (i.e. a weapons expert trying to shut down the thrusters), if another NPC sees them they call them out and a shoot-out ensues (punch-up if unarmed), which decides whether the captain is informed, or the sabotage is successful.

    all crew can ALWAYS track their captain's ship and try to return, so an attacker can follow them without them noticing if the attacker has good enough stealth, without ever actually capturing them (if they just fancy picking a fight with the main ship!)

    this would mean that the crew would have an accepted manner in which to return to the ship regardless of being captured or not. their only limitation would be how; either they have to buy/steal a ship, or convince a passing neutral/allied ship to provide them passage. this could be directly for now, but maybe as the game expands, it changes so that they have to use trade routes to get to their captain like a bus service, but can send messages from certain trade hubs to pick a rendezvous location, or receive severance pay and be free to move on.

    a missed message could make them go rogue and desert the crew, but also affects the captain's reputation and has a small chance that they will turn sour and seek vengeance for the abandonment.

    it could be that if a ship has a member(s) of someone else's crew, they can track them regardless of distance and stealth rating once they have successfully turned the captive, meaning that they could catch back up to them - then its a question of how they place the captive so that they can get back to the ship.

    if the attacker can get close enough and the defender has a teleporter on board, the captive can 'hack' a link to the pad and beam him/herself back and sneak onto the ship, but with a higher failure chance as other crew might notice him/her not having been publicly returned to the roster - also if anyone sees him/her teleporting back, its instant failure. the teleporter can then stay linked until the ships fall out of range, meaning they could mount an attack in a similar ilk to 'from other suns', making pirates much more of a threat if a ship has ever lost a crew member, as it could mean that the pirates could board the ship (as soon as the shields go down, of course).

    as the teleporter is linked, this could also build a completely new method of combat where someone can make themselves look like a good target (NPCs included) and 'lose' a crew member in a short fight, then scarper... the member has little loyalty so is easily turned, but when the attacking ship chases down the defender, they link the teleporter and mount a raid... however, the rest of the crew on the defending ship then storm the teleporter and invert the attack, with the potential to overthrow the attacking ship.

    if crew stuff went deep enough it could get to the level where a captain (+security officer?) design battle plans for the ship, and actually if someone reaches HIGH enough loyalty, they can be assigned as 'potential decoy' and they will jump off the ship to become potential prisoners of the enemy ship, however they will show as easy targets to that enemy.
     
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    just a bit of a thought avalanche that i had with another guy on the StarMade Trello Roadmap over the last couple of days, summarised slightly. It was basically born around the idea of capturing prisoners:

    the crew would be able to be killed in combat. they could get sucked into space if their Quarters are breached, then they have a timer before they run out of life support and die. This would allow players to attempt a rescue op to recover their Chief Engineer, or an enemy player could capture him/her.

    there could be an interrogation system where if you have an interrogator on your crew, you set him/her on the prisoner and after a certain period of time, theres a random chance (swayed by a 'loyalty' stat) that they could be 'turned', and either have them join the capturer's crew, or agree to sabotage the original captain's ship (it could be jettison cargo, shut down <X> systems, shoot other crew, assassinate the captain, attempt to start a ship-wide mutiny...).

    the prisoner(s) could also try to escape the capturer's ship by means of escape pod/stealing a docked ship/killing all of the crew (stealling THE ship)/jumping into space/other. this mechanic gives opportunity to allow the crew member back onto the crew, as they could have legitimately escaped.

    for NPC captains, there should be a calculated chance of when finding the crew member, whether to bring them back onto the crew, at which point the sabotage tasks could begin; for player captains, this would be a real judgement call.

    certain tasks would take different amounts of time, and would also require opportunity, for example to start a mutiny the NPC would have to come into contact with, say, 2/3 of the total crew before initiating the revolt, but depending on the loyalty and morale of the other crew members, it could either be successful, or they could tell the captain/defend him/her and it would fail.

    there should also be a chance on each type of task that it will fail, either because the NPC loses his/her nerve and keeps quiet, or because if its not their department (i.e. a weapons expert trying to shut down the thrusters), if another NPC sees them they call them out and a shoot-out ensues (punch-up if unarmed), which decides whether the captain is informed, or the sabotage is successful.

    all crew can ALWAYS track their captain's ship and try to return, so an attacker can follow them without them noticing if the attacker has good enough stealth, without ever actually capturing them (if they just fancy picking a fight with the main ship!)

    this would mean that the crew would have an accepted manner in which to return to the ship regardless of being captured or not. their only limitation would be how; either they have to buy/steal a ship, or convince a passing neutral/allied ship to provide them passage. this could be directly for now, but maybe as the game expands, it changes so that they have to use trade routes to get to their captain like a bus service, but can send messages from certain trade hubs to pick a rendezvous location, or receive severance pay and be free to move on.

    a missed message could make them go rogue and desert the crew, but also affects the captain's reputation and has a small chance that they will turn sour and seek vengeance for the abandonment.

    it could be that if a ship has a member(s) of someone else's crew, they can track them regardless of distance and stealth rating once they have successfully turned the captive, meaning that they could catch back up to them - then its a question of how they place the captive so that they can get back to the ship.

    if the attacker can get close enough and the defender has a teleporter on board, the captive can 'hack' a link to the pad and beam him/herself back and sneak onto the ship, but with a higher failure chance as other crew might notice him/her not having been publicly returned to the roster - also if anyone sees him/her teleporting back, its instant failure. the teleporter can then stay linked until the ships fall out of range, meaning they could mount an attack in a similar ilk to 'from other suns', making pirates much more of a threat if a ship has ever lost a crew member, as it could mean that the pirates could board the ship (as soon as the shields go down, of course).

    as the teleporter is linked, this could also build a completely new method of combat where someone can make themselves look like a good target (NPCs included) and 'lose' a crew member in a short fight, then scarper... the member has little loyalty so is easily turned, but when the attacking ship chases down the defender, they link the teleporter and mount a raid... however, the rest of the crew on the defending ship then storm the teleporter and invert the attack, with the potential to overthrow the attacking ship.

    if crew stuff went deep enough it could get to the level where a captain (+security officer?) design battle plans for the ship, and actually if someone reaches HIGH enough loyalty, they can be assigned as 'potential decoy' and they will jump off the ship to become potential prisoners of the enemy ship, however they will show as easy targets to that enemy.
    That's going to be quite the challange for the AI script, but it would indeed be nice to have all these abilities for our crews.

    As for the original suggestion, I think that some overlap between crew and blocks is unavoidable for the sake of immersion as many task can be done by robots aswell as manual labour. But we could give the two types some differentiation through the use of resources. If someone has/got themselfs easy acces to plenty of food and housing, tasks like collecting more recources or building ships could be done by an army of NPCs. If one got the recources for a few shipyards or big mining ships that could be the preferred way to go.
     
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    Captain Skwidz

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    for me crew makes the most sense as useful if turret ai as well as other ai is weak and crew ai is superior at making the best decisions so crew are best used for turrets and piloting fighters, drone centers, support ships, etc. Efficiency buffs from crew would also be nice. Perhaps instead of accessing the somewhat ugly system blocks directly they would have to use maintenance and control terminals linked to the system blocks somehow. Perhaps the current console (the fancy grey thing which looks a bit like a star trek console) can be used as a crew control console
     

    OfficialCoding

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    Longwinded post, so tl;dr up front:
    Crew should be TOS redshirts for repairs, boarding, and defense from boarding. You should want interiors so that the crew can get around to defend and repair the ship.

    So, there's a lot of things crew could do, but I've thought a lot about it and I have some ideas on them having rather narrow roles. First off, game design-wise there are two principles that I think should be followed for crew:
    1. Crew should not do anything a block could do. Things blocks can do should be handled by blocks because they're the core of the game. Crew add nothing gameplay-wise if they're doing what a block could do.
    2. Crew should be desirable to have, but not required. If crew are undesirable, they add nothing gameplay-wise. If crew are required, they harm getting your ship up and running.
    So now, let's consider what crew do in science fiction and what of that can be done in the game. I'm mainly talking Star Trek here because it's familiar and this question comes up a lot in it, mostly because it's very ship-centric (like StarMade):
    1. Make ship control decisions the computer cannot (diplomacy etc. included here)
    2. Secure the ship against intrusion
    3. Carry out tasks off-ship (fighting ground battles included here)
    4. Repair the ship
    5. Create things the ship currently doesn't have (ship modifications, new tech, etc.)
    Right off the bat, 1 is (mostly) out, ignoring for a moment that they can't think and instead going to decisions via lua script, a block could do that too.
    2 is good, they'd have mobility turrets do not.
    3 would just be boarding, which is certainly something StarMade should have. Other types of away missions really wouldn't make sense.
    4 is also good, as mobility would give them an edge over set blocks in that they could go around the ship, rather than having some radius. Sure, a repair block could be shipwide, but then it's too unrestricted. Crew allow for logical restriction by needing things accessible, and can be blown up.
    5 is something a block could do.

    One common idea people toss around is crew as a percentage buff to chambers or alongside chambers. I think this is wrong because a block could do the same thing; there's nothing special about mobility that'd affect this, so you might as well make a block that requires whatever resource crew need to do it. It'd also not make sense for crew to just sit there somewhere doing nothing all day.
    Plus, it wouldn't be interesting as far as needing interiors, other than very forced "you must have X living spaces" style systems.
    Crew going around actually repairing naturally requires some interior corridors or voids, which would do a lot at even a very simple level of crew just wandering about.
    I feel this discussion has strayed far from the OP. Crew should be an option but not required. You should be able to have a fully functional ship without crew.
     

    NeonSturm

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    Longwinded post, so tl;dr up front:
    Crew should be TOS redshirts for repairs, boarding, and defense from boarding. You should want interiors so that the crew can get around to defend and repair the ship.

    So, there's a lot of things crew could do, but I've thought a lot about it and I have some ideas on them having rather narrow roles. First off, game design-wise there are two principles that I think should be followed for crew:
    1. Crew should not do anything a block could do. Things blocks can do should be handled by blocks because they're the core of the game. Crew add nothing gameplay-wise if they're doing what a block could do.
    2. Crew should be desirable to have, but not required. If crew are undesirable, they add nothing gameplay-wise. If crew are required, they harm getting your ship up and running.
    So now, let's consider what crew do in science fiction and what of that can be done in the game. I'm mainly talking Star Trek here because it's familiar and this question comes up a lot in it, mostly because it's very ship-centric (like StarMade):
    1. Make ship control decisions the computer cannot (diplomacy etc. included here)
    2. Secure the ship against intrusion
    3. Carry out tasks off-ship (fighting ground battles included here)
    4. Repair the ship
    5. Create things the ship currently doesn't have (ship modifications, new tech, etc.)
    Right off the bat, 1 is (mostly) out, ignoring for a moment that they can't think and instead going to decisions via lua script, a block could do that too.
    2 is good, they'd have mobility turrets do not.
    3 would just be boarding, which is certainly something StarMade should have. Other types of away missions really wouldn't make sense.
    4 is also good, as mobility would give them an edge over set blocks in that they could go around the ship, rather than having some radius. Sure, a repair block could be shipwide, but then it's too unrestricted. Crew allow for logical restriction by needing things accessible, and can be blown up.
    5 is something a block could do.

    One common idea people toss around is crew as a percentage buff to chambers or alongside chambers. I think this is wrong because a block could do the same thing; there's nothing special about mobility that'd affect this, so you might as well make a block that requires whatever resource crew need to do it. It'd also not make sense for crew to just sit there somewhere doing nothing all day.
    Plus, it wouldn't be interesting as far as needing interiors, other than very forced "you must have X living spaces" style systems.
    Crew going around actually repairing naturally requires some interior corridors or voids, which would do a lot at even a very simple level of crew just wandering about.
    I think you make a few good points but something is a little bit off.
    For #1 I give no full support, but your 2nd point is valid.

    Crew should do what computers are not allowed to do.
    Some servers may allow fully automated combat drones, other servers may say that "sentient beings", also players or NPCs, should choose which targets deserve elimination and which targets only defensive actions.

    So, depending on RP-settings and desired playing experience, either the ship-AI or NPCs do the decisions!
    Big ships should at least be able to disable their targets without NPC onboard, but lethal weapons might need NPC crew on some servers.

    Side-Note for what I write after it.
    Logically, the player itself is also crew and I think players should have a family of characters. This would not only allow to have different names or factions on a server without requiring more than one account, but also add something for game-play.
    Most games may have research or skill trees, but I think at max. a personal and a global skill level of 1, 2 or 3 would suffice completely.


    The crew could add perks to a ship independent of ship design and if a player logs out, an NPC may remain on the ship.

    Some crews could buff the jump drive so that it uses only 80% of it's charge because they fine-tune the jump-parameters depending on scan-data or be able to reduce the inaccuracy of where you arrive.
    Some crews could buff weapon efficiency by using superskills on predicting the enemy shield frequency based on psychoanalysis which is forbidden to do for computers.
    Now you have 2 good reasons why crew should replace under certain conditions maybe a percentage of required blocks.

    Perhaps you can even convince the RP-server-admin to grant your family member or an NPC of yours special abilities if you provide a good story of why they have it which you cannot get by just building blocks.

    Hurrican "Neonstorm" raped over your landscape =D
    [doublepost=1540473008,1540472119][/doublepost]
    just a bit of a thought avalanche that i had with another guy on the StarMade Trello Roadmap over the last couple of days, summarised slightly. It was basically born around the idea of capturing prisoners:

    the crew would be able to be killed in combat. they could get sucked into space if their Quarters are breached, then they have a timer before they run out of life support and die. This would allow players to attempt a rescue op to recover their Chief Engineer, or an enemy player could capture him/her.

    there could be an interrogation system where if you have an interrogator on your crew, you set him/her on the prisoner and after a certain period of time, theres a random chance (swayed by a 'loyalty' stat) that they could be 'turned', and either have them join the capturer's crew, or agree to sabotage the original captain's ship (it could be jettison cargo, shut down <X> systems, shoot other crew, assassinate the captain, attempt to start a ship-wide mutiny...).

    the prisoner(s) could also try to escape the capturer's ship by means of escape pod/stealing a docked ship/killing all of the crew (stealling THE ship)/jumping into space/other. this mechanic gives opportunity to allow the crew member back onto the crew, as they could have legitimately escaped.

    for NPC captains, there should be a calculated chance of when finding the crew member, whether to bring them back onto the crew, at which point the sabotage tasks could begin; for player captains, this would be a real judgement call.

    certain tasks would take different amounts of time, and would also require opportunity, for example to start a mutiny the NPC would have to come into contact with, say, 2/3 of the total crew before initiating the revolt, but depending on the loyalty and morale of the other crew members, it could either be successful, or they could tell the captain/defend him/her and it would fail.

    there should also be a chance on each type of task that it will fail, either because the NPC loses his/her nerve and keeps quiet, or because if its not their department (i.e. a weapons expert trying to shut down the thrusters), if another NPC sees them they call them out and a shoot-out ensues (punch-up if unarmed), which decides whether the captain is informed, or the sabotage is successful.

    all crew can ALWAYS track their captain's ship and try to return, so an attacker can follow them without them noticing if the attacker has good enough stealth, without ever actually capturing them (if they just fancy picking a fight with the main ship!)

    this would mean that the crew would have an accepted manner in which to return to the ship regardless of being captured or not. their only limitation would be how; either they have to buy/steal a ship, or convince a passing neutral/allied ship to provide them passage. this could be directly for now, but maybe as the game expands, it changes so that they have to use trade routes to get to their captain like a bus service, but can send messages from certain trade hubs to pick a rendezvous location, or receive severance pay and be free to move on.

    a missed message could make them go rogue and desert the crew, but also affects the captain's reputation and has a small chance that they will turn sour and seek vengeance for the abandonment.

    it could be that if a ship has a member(s) of someone else's crew, they can track them regardless of distance and stealth rating once they have successfully turned the captive, meaning that they could catch back up to them - then its a question of how they place the captive so that they can get back to the ship.

    if the attacker can get close enough and the defender has a teleporter on board, the captive can 'hack' a link to the pad and beam him/herself back and sneak onto the ship, but with a higher failure chance as other crew might notice him/her not having been publicly returned to the roster - also if anyone sees him/her teleporting back, its instant failure. the teleporter can then stay linked until the ships fall out of range, meaning they could mount an attack in a similar ilk to 'from other suns', making pirates much more of a threat if a ship has ever lost a crew member, as it could mean that the pirates could board the ship (as soon as the shields go down, of course).

    as the teleporter is linked, this could also build a completely new method of combat where someone can make themselves look like a good target (NPCs included) and 'lose' a crew member in a short fight, then scarper... the member has little loyalty so is easily turned, but when the attacking ship chases down the defender, they link the teleporter and mount a raid... however, the rest of the crew on the defending ship then storm the teleporter and invert the attack, with the potential to overthrow the attacking ship.

    if crew stuff went deep enough it could get to the level where a captain (+security officer?) design battle plans for the ship, and actually if someone reaches HIGH enough loyalty, they can be assigned as 'potential decoy' and they will jump off the ship to become potential prisoners of the enemy ship, however they will show as easy targets to that enemy.
    One question before reading my answer:
    How far would you go? You might make some types of players obsolete by emulating their core behaviour when they want to have fun in SM.

    You may calculate a lower and an upper limit for chances (worst and best cases) and pick a chance if it has between greater60% and greater80% success rate.
    You may also calculate the average chance by picking a median value, but depending on the distribution of area/volume below the graph, it is not always a simple calculation.

    Depending on various variables --and most importantly variables the crew member doesn't know, which leads to false conclusions-- you get the same upper/lower/median values but still a totally distinct distribution of the area/volume below the graph.
    The enemy crew might then find a weak spot or fail to succeed depending on their own area/volume distribution and matches of sections.
     
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    I would love the AI and mechanics in the game to become so in-depth that you cant actually tell who is a player, and who is an NPC... especially if the NPCs were semi-persistent in the servers, so that you dont have an encounter then never see them again... a full NPC pirate crew (for example) could be made up of 20 NPCs and go about plundering the galaxy, having run-ins with other NPCs/crews without ever bumping into a player, but their effect could still add to player experience - imagine if they were so successful that other NPCs that the players interact with told stories or gave warnings about 'captain goldbeard and his crew' and warned you to stay away from certain areas, avoid trade routes, be careful talking to 'jimbo the merchant at 6, -2, 4; he'll check your ship out and report back'... i would love it.

    if it could run that smoothly and in-depth, a player might decide they dont even want to be a captain - they might be happy being a combat officer on a huge security ship, or an engineer who designs ships and sells them to in-game crews... it would be absolutely incredible! :P
     

    NeonSturm

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    It would really be incredible, but it goes far beyond gaming.
    e.g:
    It touches the "Fluch-Brecher by Richard Schwartz"-book's content.
    There, the consciousness controlled an Avatar 20 minutes after logoff in a game,
    where the barrier between NPCs and Players is reduced considerably.

    What happens if you kill an NPC? Will it respawn like a player? Will it be only visible to other players which didn't kill him?
    Will you introduce "gods" or a "soul-arrangement beyond mortal realms", etc ... to describe things which should be impossible?
    And what will you do with players which try to physically/mentally abuse "ingame characters"?


    In the book, someone who sexually assaulted and robbed a female NPC, not just once, got hanged-up 17 times (ingame) which led to 1,2,4,8,16, 32,64,128,256,512, 1024,2048,4096,8192,16484, 32968 and finally 65936 minutes respawn time.
    That is about 1100 hours or 46 days, unless they pay 10% exp for respawning (reducing the level too).​
     
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    i would say that a dead NPC stays dead, but a new npc is spawned (wipe the dead NPCs data and rename them, basically starting again)
    in starmade, there wouldnt really be the problem of abusing other characters, as basically all you can do is align yourself, give orders, and fight. if this were to expand that would be incredible, but could be addressed as-and-when the potential for it arises.

    right now, you can still verbally abuse a player using the chat, and as such can be reported and kicked. just have a system where it flags up insults that can be addressed either by a more complex analysis server, and/or a server admin.

    i like the idea of the paying for killing, as it would alleviate random griefing, but should be a server settings option. that way you would only profit from killing any 'citizen' if:
    - they have a bounty on their head
    - you steal their cargo/ship and it is worth it (murderous piracy)
    - you are at war with their faction and it is considered fair game, so there is no fine*

    * on this, i would say if such a penalty system was implemented, then you could only kill an enemy and not get fined if:
    - their current ship is listed as a combat ship for the enemy faction
    - they disable crimes against themselves (as in Elite: Dangerous)
    - they fired a direct hit on your faction within the last 30 seconds (so you can weigh in to defend an ally/yourself)
    - they are 'enlisted' as combatants for the enemy faction (as opposed to a haulier or the likes)
     
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    NeonSturm

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    Theoretically, it would allow you to make a bounty and then kill him without punishment.​
    I think adding a bounty itself should be a crime - with limited exceptions to be able to avoid "higher crime".
    > Even listing a bounty is the same as adding a bounty or giving orders for the action the bounty encourages.

    To archive a full light-codex, first you need to know the main difference between simulated NP-C and P-C.​
    > Player-Characters enter to experience something distingtive, but they have many roles in many games and even life itself.
    > NonPlayer-Characters live there and the only alternative is "nothingness", "meaningless of self". The only way for NPCs to "archive meaning" is to "experience (either uniqueness or fullfillment of higher goals) and stay aware of self-integrity".


    They may respawn and are story-told to connect to an "mystical and ethical source/soul/god" of a given species​
    Perhaps they separate between "NPCs aka humans", "Angels aka heavenly/immortal" and "Demons aka hell-sent/immortal" and "Immortals".

    In this forum-section, we always have to keep in mind, that there may be servers with rogue-space/galaxies and servers with trading-guild-governed space/galaxies - perhaps even both types on one server.

    Personally, I prefer that there exists a "light-codex" among higher civilisations which work toward ascension and that there are these civilisations which work for pure survival. Both would handle it differently.
    > The ascending/civilised (level-3 or spirit-bound) peoples offer you to visit an educational centre and try to populate it lightly to diminish their enemies.
    > Others (level-2 or life-bound) may throw you either in prison, ban you from their territory (like PvP-flagging you within their bounds) or publish bounties in the hope to avoid further damage or as retailition or for their group's reputation.
    > Only the most primitive type (level-1) would act on directly apparent advantage only (pirates, primitive AI, etc).
    > Soulless/Undead/AI are Level-0 on the spiritual scale and use "whatever works" for their "forgotten purpose".


    Every level has a law/rule against every other level.
    Different actions belong to different levels of evolution.​
     
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    Generally in games, you can't take out a bounty on someone and kill them yourself :) I would just apply that rule in starmade!

    I like the idea of colonies having different reactions to situations, however 'striving for ascention' may be a little far... To try to simulate a player joining the game for some roleplay and enjoyment would - to me - be quite well suited...