1

(42 replies, posted in Services and Discussion)

Yep, Euphoric paid out on a 1m/10%/10days.

The simple answer is that enforcing, however it is achieved, a bot-density cap will not "solve" a "blob" problem.

At best it will create spatially-extended phalaxes crammed together at exactly the bot-density cap. (And my guess is interference won't achieve that universal enforcement of a bot-density cap.) These phalanxes might be more boring for the players in the middle, with nothing to shoot, and the numerically-inferior side (though buffed by comparison to before, since their incoming damage will decrease) will still complain about numbers being the deciding factor.

The force towards "blobs" or "phalanxes" is very strong, and it's called "defeat in detail". In general, dividing your forces leaves you open to someone else dividing their forces less, and overpowering each of your divisions one at a time.

If we want to create an incentive to small-group combat, we would need powerfully motivating spatially-extended objectives - incentives to hold large sections of space, rather than disincentives to go above a density cap. For example, in the game of Hex, you need to spread from one side of the board to the other, and / or prevent your opponent from spreading in the same manner - the objective of the game is completely based on spatial extent.

Creating and guarding long chains of relay towers as they transmit freight or energy, might be thematically appropriate.

The phenomenon of players on alpha overharvesting is known as the "tragedy of the commons" - because players have no ability to prevent other players from overharvesting, plants on alpha will end up overharvested. Ideally, corps on beta should be able to invest effort in a region, carefully not overharvesting it, and also preventing others from (over) harvesting, and gain a profitable plantation.

I believe the Devs anticipated this phenomenon - it should be possible for alpha-only players and corps to obtain some helioptris and triandlus but at bad prices. The good helioptris / triandlus prices should only be on beta - in particular in the center of long-held, well-defended territories.

In order to get the fun, emergent, human complexities such as communicating "don't overharvest here" policy to corp / alliance members, guarding "owned" plantations, raiding "enemy" plantations, it's important to avoid hard-coding an ownership mechanism. Real emergent ownership comes from defending it from overharvesters, not by the devs handing you a key. (Also, locks and keys make sense for containers, but not plants - not even Monsanto has that much control.)

The "planting" mechanism that you describe is (if I understand correctly) a function of the anticipated terraforming feature; the devs have thought about it / are thinking about it. The devs are smarter than me, but I hope planting / growing will have a fairly long interval (12-48 hours or more). That way planting, whether for harvesting or for defensive walls, is an investment, not useful for immediate rewards.

This is unlike your seeding and harvesting group idea. Making harvesting more complex / fun would be fine, but we need more ways to invest long-term effort into specific regions, and if players could seed their own fields whenever / wherever they want, they wouldn't  even have the current emergent complexity of noticing / scouting fields while doing other things.

4

(6 replies, posted in Feature discussion and requests)

Would it require line of sight, like a sniper's eyepiece?
Or are we talking about a repeater from some forward eyes?
Or a view from on high - satellites?
Or a lower aerial view, something like a camera ammo that you can load and shoot that sends back snapshots, plunging video, or slowly drifting video from a parachute or similar?

Isn't there a spawn patrol route feature already? Or am I hallucinating the servant grunts outside Asintec walking back and forth?

Roaming might be approximatable by longer, larger patrol routes, and/or "patrolling" patrol routes. I imagine 3-hour, 1-day, and multiple-day cycles on top of one another would look moderately "dynamic" while still offering a significant amount of control to the devs, who probably don't want too much or too little npc density.

This is good advice, but if you don't want to spend that much immediately, Basic Robotics 4 is the extension to get first / safest choice. Almost everyone who does any driving around in the world will want that much.

7

(4 replies, posted in Services and Discussion)

You're entirely correct, unsecured bond offerings are risky - I hope more corporations arrange to accept investments and grow them like IRS, and that investors investigate closely so that honest dealers gain advantages - lower interest rates, for example - from their honesty. Despite the risks, I endorsed the IRS offering.

Ember, if there is a liquid market with both buy-side and sell-side, I completely agree regarding selling the collateral and buying it back. My impression was (when I posted this) that people were buying, but not selling kernels. I could be mistaken, or it's possible the situation has improved since.

8

(4 replies, posted in Services and Discussion)

Exactly, Excel - like a pawnbroker. Loans are tricky, and not easy to price (that is, interest rate is correct?) You have to know what you're doing to benefit from buying/selling loans, on both sides.

Here's a scenario: A new player wants to get into doing transport assignments, as part of working their way up in NIC and rep. In order to do that they need a Sequer. Their fastest means of making money is to farm kernels. They could farm up enough to buy the Sequer, and then sell them. But that's kindof a waste if they wanted to research those kernels personally or give them to a researcher alt or a corp researcher.

So they could farm up the kernels, then take a loan secured by that kernel stack (basically, the collateral is a protection against the new player ripping me off), and buy the Sequer, then make the principal+interest back using the Sequer, and terminate the loan in exchange for their kernel stack.

In this scenario, the loan is a way of buying the Sequer using transportation assignment nic, even if you're a new player without a corp that might just give you a Sequer or money for a Sequer.

The risk for me is kernels falling in price substantially, possibly due to devs changing NPC buy orders, and the player not doing the second half of the deal. The risk for the customer is me breaking my promise to keep the kernels available for the duration of the loan.

9

(42 replies, posted in General discussion)

All those reasons, plus Conspiracy is awesome. http://conspiracy.hu/

This has been proposed at least once before. http://forums.perpetuum-online.com/topi … -outposts/

I am not a dev, nor a mind-reader, but I believe the devs have no plans to change it for beta terminals, and I would guess player owned structures with the ability to exclude others are more than 3 months out.

11

(13 replies, posted in Feature discussion and requests)

Would you prefer this first, or terraforming first? If we had terraforming, maybe going around and destroying the plants you don't like, planting some that you do like becomes a strategic choice?

12

(3 replies, posted in Open discussion)

I see your point - in some ways , yes, it would be good if mining were a really excellent puzzle game. However, the MMO-nature makes game design very difficult - if you spliced SpaceChem into the mining system wholesale, you would annoy a lot of people who like the present system, please a few people like me for a short while - but then the SpaceChem levels would have well-known published solutions, or (if they were randomly generated) the puzzling would be automated - and we'd be back to the mining-by-time system.

(And I would loathe a system where you buy the game and then have to buy the level solutions list or bot in order to be an effective miner/industrialist/whatever.)

For example, Puzzle Pirates is an MMO where most of the verbs in the game are themselves fairly difficult-to-automate puzzle games - but they do have problems with bots.

As I understand it, MMOs and non-MMO games offer two different pleasant experiences, and neither substitutes for the other. SpaceChem has no pretensions of worldiness - there's no economy behind it, and you can't affect other players. Worldiness, economy design, making everything connected and relevant to each other, and durable, long-term play is what MMO game design is about, and what Perpetuum offers that SpaceChem cannot supply.

By the way, did you play it? Do you have any interesting solutions from the first four planets? (I don't want to spoil myself)

I like the idea, more dynamic/player-affected world, but would it make geoscanning obsolete? just go out and mine the worn/gravelly spots?

14

(42 replies, posted in Services and Discussion)

In accordance to Euphoric / Doctor Strangelove's request, I'm withdrawing my offer.

In general, operating in public/transparently is easier for honest individuals than it is for scammers - for example, it cuts into a scammer's profits if they can only do the scam once and then are blacklisted - so I think this insistence on pairwise / "confidential" deals is some evidence against IRS's honesty.

Sigh.

BeeZerk, the hit chance for turrets is described in the help under 'combat in numbers' - basically, you compare the hit dispersion of the weapon to the size of the target.

You're entirely correct, lasers have a lower hit dispersion than magnetics, and magnetics lower than firearms.

16

(42 replies, posted in Services and Discussion)

In the spirit of due diligence, I looked up all the referenced characters on this forum and in-game, and spoke to Ember a bit in-game.

Points I'm dubious about:
1. Doctor Strangelove has no prior posts on this forum - no face, name or rep to protect. However, Euphoric and Doctor Strangelove are admitted alts, and Euphoric has a few (very few) posts.
2. Doctor Strangelove admits he loves corp thefts - "are very tasty."
3. Doctor Strangelove lists Euphoric as one of his references; this is useless.
4. IRS in general and Doctor Strangelove / Euphoric in particular have some historical association with the Goons (SomethingAwful forums), who would probably praise and congratulate successful scams; this makes them more of a credit risk.
5. Ember was not able to cut and paste the corp bulletin announcing this internal investment possibility from the corp bulletin when I asked. Being able to do something like that promptly when surprised is something that an honest individual could do, but a dishonest individual could not (hard to make up such an elaborate deceptive document fast enough) - it would be strong evidence of honesty. The fact that Ember couldn't is therefore weak evidence against honesty; however, there are good alternative explanations, like that there might be sensitive information in that post, or that Ember was suspicious that I might be up to some espionage goal.
6. Doctor Strangelove's proposed "cascade" option is no protection at all against scammers - a scammer is less patient than an honest business dealer, but not so much less patient that they wouldn't give back 200k in order to eventually get a total of 1m or whatever the deal is.

Aside: There is such a thing as an honest cascade, but it's much slower. Basically, you have to be actually making deals and locking in profits - and the rate of increased trust has to be slower than the real returns. So the honest cascade is something like: you risk 100k, next week he gives back 110k, then you reinvest 105k and lock in a 5k profit. This is what Shaedys was referencing.

Risks I can see:
1. It's a remote possibility that the entire IRS corp could be one person or a small number of tightly-knit people.
2. It's a possibility that Euphoric / Doctor Strangelove has been running a Ponzi / pyramid scheme inside his own corp and now wants to expand beyond it.
3. It's a possibility (from your perspective) that I'm the same person, or closely associated with, Euphoric / Doctor Strangelove / IRS and am working to boost your confidence and increase the yield of the scam.

However, I did find a few posts by Ember and Hehlol, and my overall impression is that Euphoric/Doctor Strangelove is behaving casually rather than dishonestly.

Currently, I think these guys are dealing in good faith, at least for small loans (below 1m) If you want me to put my money where my mouth is, talk to me in-game, I may be able to insure you - 5k gets you 40k or 50k gets you 400k if they default - corresponding to a 1:7 odds against IRS defaulting.  Or if you think I'm honest, but they're scamming me, you could pay 35k and get 40k if they default; either direction is fine with me.

Edit:

Artem wrote:

Or if you think I'm honest, but they're scamming me, you could pay 35k and get 40k if they default; either direction is fine with me.

On reflection, this doesn't make any sense - the only time you would want to take the opposite side of the insurance bet is would be you think they're more honest than my 1:7 odds, and want to increase your returns. Of course, later in this thread, Euphoric asks me not to do any third-party stuff, so I won't.

17

(42 replies, posted in Services and Discussion)

Thanks for making this offering; I'll talk to you or one of the IRS delegates in-game. Will you (now) promise to announce your (eventual) payouts here in this thread, with screenshots of the transaction log on your side, and request your investors to confirm with screenshots from their side?

18

(10 replies, posted in Q & A)

Even though this is reasonable from a lore / story perspective, adding "teleportation" like this would shrink the game world and markets in practice - no need for more than one refining specialist to be online at a time, for example.

Possibilities that (perhaps) would not shrink the world:
1. A long delay (10-30m) showing an animation of floating/flying while traveling.

2. A bulky or expensive "wormhole" good that is sold (or can be produced) at destinations, and then freighted to starting points (that is, 24 different kinds of wormholes, corresponding to the 24 different destinations). Using up a wormhole would allow a spark to transfer instantaneously from the starting point to the destination point. This means a corporation controlling an area decides how many wormholes to export and sell on open market.

Possibly you need a number of wormholes proportional to the agent's total spent EP to teleport (more bytes to transfer - and more markets destroyed if they move around rapidly). That might provide an incentive for established pvp corps to recruit more newbies - because they can reinforce attacked locations more quickly.

3. Connections can be severed anywhere, but they can only be reestablished at a major terminal (not outposts), and it's a headache for the megacorp that owns the terminal - you need X relation with a megacorp to teleport to that megacorp's terminal (and higher for beta), and it costs you Y units of relation (and higher for beta). This means it's only really useful for going "home" rather than "commuting", and the industrial types who would be destroying market locality via teleportation are also the ones that care most about relation ratio.

19

(1 replies, posted in Feature discussion and requests)

It would be neat to have a future mineral that grows in proportion to the local bot or cargo destruction rate.

20

(5 replies, posted in Resolved bugs and features)

To be clear, I was there when Gearfreak asked about being stuck in Help channel. No GMs were online at the time. I suggested relogging as a workaround, and then after Gearfreak could not get unstuck by that method, I suggested that he post here instead.

I like the idea, so long as sprint module charges are fairly expensive, using the sprint module causes a visible effect so people know why they're getting caught, and it doesn't increase the speed ceiling in the game.

Another possibility that would definitely not increase the speed ceiling might be something that simply switches from behaving like a (lower-quality) armor plate to behaving like a (lower-quality) lwf when the (single) charge is fired. Reload could be very slow, or not possible at all in the field. Useful if you expect to tank until some turning point, and then either give chase or run.

Since a dedicated group can work through the 10k guesses pretty fast (15 minutes worst-case for 10 players? even faster on average?), this strategy isn't a game-breaker.

I agree it would be nice to have "blast it open" as a strategy - but that should take significant time and have costs such as damaged / lost contents. It would also be nice to have a hacking module that has a decent chance per cycle to reveal the code, for players who can't be bothered guessing manually, but who have the NIC + EP + slot to fit it.

Fans of smart, rich, interesting science-fiction games might also like SpaceChem. It's the most recent, and awesomest so far of Zachtronics Industries "Games for Engineers". If you haven't played them, all the others are free, and Infiniminer was the direct inspiration for Minecraft.

The idea of SpaceChem is you're a nanotechnological engineer manipulating atoms; it's not realistic like FoldIt (which is also an awesome game if you haven't played it yet: http://fold.it/portal/) but it's design-based puzzling that really isn't like anything else.

http://www.spacechemthegame.com/

The only basis we can evaluate this on is in terms of game interestingness - not physics. Would the game be more interesting if empty bots were faster? Yes, there would be slightly more choices and consequences.

Since spending EP on anything costs more and more EP the more you spend, new players do catch up to existing players.

However, if the devs wanted to change the looks of the EP system for psychological reasons (not changing anything real, just the numbers people see) so that players get newEP at a varying rate, rather than EP at a fixed rate (e.g. total_newEP would correspond to sqrt(total_EP) or some other similarly-shaped function), that would be fine - so long as they also flatten the extension cost curves correspondingly.

However, I believe the population this change would be targetting (people who would enjoy catching up with newEP but who don't see that they're catching up in real capabilities with EP), would be smaller than the population turned off by being confused by it.