Implemented New Cargo System!

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    Alright, so while this may be my first forum thread, this will not be the first time I've navigated the forums. Forgive me if any of the images/concepts are a little hard to follow.

    Before the Q&A last night, I was feeling that it would be pretty fresh to get a new way to store the materials we get from the planets and asteroids all you miners (and soon to be farmers!) get on your adventures. Hopefully a system that would involve a physical representation of your cargo, to not only allow a purpose for the large freighters and cargo ships I see flying around, but also throw in some cool meta that wasn't in the game beforehand.

    Imagine, in the not-too-distant future, that we would have our NPCs walking around in a large cargo bay, checklists and spreadsheets in hand, checking that all of the cargo is in the right places. Each pallet its own resource, and neatly organized to allow anyone to the amount of resources at any given time.


    The idea, put into a feasible game mechanic, would involve repurposing the current docking modules and enhancer effects. Rather than having a green box, this new Cargo Module would have a yellow designation box. Similar to the Plex-Storage, you would be able to open same window and drag the items into the Cargo Module. As a new way to stack items, this would go hand and hand with the new stack limiting mechanic that will take place in the future. For sake of example, we could use stacks of 1000 to represent the single crate block that is found in the Cargo Module.



    Enhancers can be used just as in docking - to increase the dimensions of the cargo areas.

     

    Crimson-Artist

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    very interesting. if we had a block that allows your ship to access build mode of another ship while your still in yours then i can see Construction ships being a new category of ships that ppl make. and it would add more emphase on the ship building mechanic.

    remember, minecraft's fun was found in necessity with an acceptable level of tedium
     

    ImperialDonut

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    Simply put; YES, yes yes yes yes yes

    I used to store all my valuable blocks in MC as physically placed blocks in a warehouse, looking at your cargo is oh so cool. That, and actually having the need to build freighters that can carry huge amounts of cargo, building a titan would mean having to do regular supply runs during construction even with big cargo ships. Anything to promote ship roles!

    Creating a variant of the docking module that renders stored blocks full-scale in its area is perfect. Inventory spots should still stack ofc, but with the planned stack limit, any more materials would need to be pulled out of your cargo areas via a nifty shipwide GUI.

    Probably won't be a priority any time soon (might not even be the first time its been brought up), but this has my long-term endorsement!

    Edit: I would propose really storing blocks 1 at a time tho, rather than stacks of 1000, meaning when you build a frigate, you have to build a frigate-sized freighter to haul in the required materials.
     
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    Thanks for the support ImperialDonut, I can understand the want for a 1:1 ratio of blocks in the cargo holds, but I feel that putting each block represented as a stack, it will make it less of a hassle in the single player scene.
    Reguardless of the details, the end product will see freighter routes hauling materials from supply zones to home bases, giving pirates and mercenaries alike a job in-game.
     
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    It's a cool idea, but with PlexStorage blocks, I don't really see a cargo system having any practical use other than an aesthetic one. Maybe of there were limitations to the number of blocks a person or a storage block can hold, on every slot It might have some sense to stack them outside a Plexstorage when space runs out.

    What I'd like to be implemented however, is a ship-wide conveyor system that transports items from one storage block to another via interconnected tubes or belts, and a tram system for faster navigation on large ships.
     

    ImperialDonut

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    It's a cool idea, but with PlexStorage blocks, I don't really see a cargo system having any practical use other than an aesthetic one. Maybe of there were limitations to the number of blocks a person or a storage block can hold, on every slot It might have some sense to stack them outside a Plexstorage when space runs out.

    What I'd like to be implemented however, is a ship-wide conveyor system that transports items from one storage block to another via interconnected tubes or belts, and a tram system for faster navigation on large ships.
    Well, this would replace PlexStorage ofc, wouldn't be very useful otherwise :P
     
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    Replace a block that stores cargo with a cargo system that stores blocks that takes up more space than it should?

    Alrighty then.
     

    ImperialDonut

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    Replace a block that stores cargo with a cargo system that stores blocks that takes up more space than it should?

    Alrighty then.
    Hey, alpha's alpha, everything in the game is subject to change if it benefits the game.
     
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    This suggestion is wonderful, I also feel that the blocks would need to represent full stacks, mainly because items stack in your inventory. If your player inventory holds more items than a ship's cargo bay, then the cargo bay is useless.

    Imagine being able to pick out ships will full cargo, not because a sensor on your ship said so, but your intuition telling you that it's decreased mobility means it has a higher mass.
     
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    ImperialDonut

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    This suggestion is wonderful, I also feel that the blocks would need to represent full stacks, mainly because items stack in your inventory. If your player inventory holds more items than a ship's cargo bay, then the cargo bay is useless.

    Imagine being able to pick out ships will full cargo, not because a sensor on your ship said so, but your intuition telling you that it's decreased mobility means it has a higher mass.

    Inventory stack sizes are planned to be limited tho, so say your max stack sizes are 100, you'll definately need a freighter to keep the materials coming in for your building project.

    Also, on topic of the 1:1 scale storage of blocks, dont forget that a tiny 10x10x10 area already holds 1000 blocks, more than enough for a decent sized fighter. Now picture a regular dedicated freighter with 6 100x20x20 medium sized storage areas, good for a combined 240.000 blocks.

    Basically, your freighters only need to be a little bigger than the ship you are building to transport all the required materials.
     
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    Replace a block that stores cargo with a cargo system that stores blocks that takes up more space than it should?

    Alrighty then.
    The issue with the current system is that the blocks you are storing have no physical representation, and the current storages break many possible immersive features. The devs are well aware that they need to cap stack sizes, and doing so would be greatly complimented by this new system. The current storage is a black hole, the only limitation being the amount of types of blocks you put inside. Introducing this feature adds more than just aesthetics, this module alone will add challenges to the current system that are greatly needed in order to develop a proper transportation economy.
     

    ImperialDonut

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    Come to think of it, this would completely balance part of SM's economy I think. No more instant disassembly of ships/stations, you have to build up storage and ships alongside to advance your goals.....

    The natural progression would become:

    1. Build small harvester with starting blocks
    2. Build small storage facilities from blocks collected in limited inventory
    3. Build bigger harvester to start filling up said storage
    4. Build big storage facilities to stockpile for building projects
    5. Build ships like you would do from the start now



    /le epic realisation.....
     
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    Winterhome

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    Come to think of it, this would completely balance SM's economy I think. No more instant disassembly of ships/stations, you have to build up storage and ships alongside to advance your goals.....

    /le epic realisation.....
    Planet salvagers would be much, much larger than just flat checkerboards. ouo
     
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    Inventory stack sizes are planned to be limited tho, so say your max stack sizes are 100, you'll definately need a freighter to keep the materials coming in for your building project.

    Also, on topic of the 1:1 scale storage of blocks, dont forget that a tiny 10x10x10 area already holds 1000 blocks, more than enough for a decent sized fighter. Now picture a regular dedicated freighter with 6 100x20x20 medium sized storage areas, good for a combined 240.000 blocks.

    Basically, your freighters only need to be a little bigger than the ship you are building to transport all the required materials.
    Donut has the right idea, as the dry dock is implemented (mentioned in the stream), there will be a need for multiple trips in order to supply the materials to build military ships, that would in turn escort the transport ships. This would mean coordination and tactics in factions will be highly sought after and advantageous.
     

    Winterhome

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    Replace a block that stores cargo with a cargo system that stores blocks that takes up more space than it should?

    Alrighty then.
    It wouldn't take up "More Space than it Should" since it'd be compressing thousands of blocks of stuff into a single cubic meter.
    Considering that the current lack of inventory stacks is making fighters just as good at looting stations as dedicated freighters...


    Also, +1 to this entire idea. I very much like it, but I really hope that the default size of the storage area is 1x1x1, and adding a single enhancer doesn't expand it in every direction. I'd very much like to be able to have complete control over my cargo areas, and most of them aren't 7x7x7 open spaces or more.
     
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    ImperialDonut

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    Donut has the right idea, as the dry dock is implemented (mentioned in the stream), there will be a need for multiple trips in order to supply the materials to build military ships, that would in turn escort the transport ships. This would mean coordination and tactics in factions will be highly sought after and advantageous.
    Hmmm, I can already see the countless scifi series repeating themselves, cargo ships being attacked, supply lines being set up, economy becoming this big complicated network of infrastructure for big factions.....
     
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    Planet salvagers would be much, much larger than just flat checkerboards. ouo
    Well, actually, planet salvager would need to be accompanied by freighters, as in the MMO EVE. Or, you could jettison a cargo container and come back to it later in single player. Solo operations in a multiplayer server will be a thing of the past, whether it be fighting with your battleships fresh off the dry dock or the mineral-filled freighters
     

    ImperialDonut

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    Well, actually, planet salvager would need to be accompanied by freighters, as in the MMO EVE. Or, you could jettison a cargo container and come back to it later in single player. Solo operations in a multiplayer server will be a thing of the past, whether it be fighting with your battleships fresh off the dry dock or the mineral-filled freighters
    Well, unless you build a miner/freighter combo, but the bigger you get the more you'd want to seperate the two. Some way of remotely transferring cargo automagically between ships would be fair tho.
     

    Winterhome

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    Hmmm, I can already see the countless scifi series repeating themselves, cargo ships being attacked, supply lines being set up, economy becoming this big complicated network of infrastructure for big factions.....
    Cargo space will become a REALLY big deal for shipbuilding, I imagine. Military ships would need only space for things like rations and ammo, if those are ever implemented, but civvie ships are probably going to be seriously restricted in potential power by the requirement for cargo space on any level.

    Freighters that sacrifice power, guns, and thrust for space to haul stuff along would become a huge thing. Space trains would finally exist. Destroying a cargo block = dropping the cargo, and the ship would have an option to dump cargo from a given cargo module.

    I imagine that massive salvagers would likely end up being monstrous combinations of salvage cannons at the front end and cargo space at the rear, with very little defenses, if operating in faction space...
     
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    Even if it might look good. Dedicated space filling with blocks everytime you store items is performancewise not the best idea i guess.
    What would happen if these blocks get hit? Will they just behave like normal ship blocks? What if someone unloads a huge chunk of blocks (10000) at once?
    If every block would be represented by a singleblock it would be too much loading/unloading i guess.

    Another much simpler system would be implementing a cargoblock/redesigning plex storages.
    For every cargoblock (just a solid block/nothing fancy) you add, the ships inventory will increase its capacity by 10 mass.

    Another approach would be that these cargo blocks would need to be linked to a computer to form an inventory. And you can access each inventory using each computer similar to the weapontab.

    In any of the above suggested storagesystems it would make sense if:
    ...the inventory could be directly accessed from a ship tab and could be transferred to other ships (maybe using docking or another system).
    ...the player inventory would be limited heavily to maybe 100 mass = 1000 blocks or something.
    ...it would be possible to construct a ship directly from the inventory/cargo of a near ship.

    Above numbers are just thrown in and could probably be fully configurable in the serverprops anyways.
    Just some thoughts :)