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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:00 am 
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Quote:
Sorry if I offended.


Nah, I've got tough skin. I was getting a bit annoyed though. It's not a problem. It'd be hypocritical of me to ask for advice and then go off on someone that gives it to me because it implies I wasn't right to begin with. No worries. In fact, I can be abrasive myself quite frequently.

Quote:
It's just I don't think I've run into a game where there hasn't been someone like me who's anal retentive enough to have all this stuff written down.


lol, that would be me. I love to know all the formulas there are, so if the players in general actually did know this stuff, I would be me who had it down by heart, but as it is, the formulas are for the most part not available to anyone who doesn't have a copy of the code. I'm actually considering downloading the code myself and looking at it, though I'm not a programmer; I'm a mathematician ;)

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If I remember correctly they are also in the Information port in sector 1 (Sol)


Yeah, Nomic posted them there, but when his account was purged, the post dissappeared.

Quote:
We have an excel spreadsheet that has not only the level/capacity ratio built into it but has the same thing for power. He uses it to determine EXACTLY how much power he can carry around to fuel his beams AND shields while still taking 0 damage from Sector Missiles.


Alright! Eh, Sage, though I never got around to that, that's exactly the kinda thing I would do. In the end, it comes down to my impulse to know everything versus my overriding laziness. :P



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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:28 pm 
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Thanks for the help Tonto, I've popped a PM over to Roin. One for you too, Tarnus.

Valience, I'm much the same way. That's probably why I'm in such a rush to get a hold of everything. I don't want my inspiration to run out or I'll wind up giving up before I start.


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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:44 am 
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Honestly I've never experimented with sector missiles too much, so really I've just calculated the levels required to not be wasting any energy. I think that even with what I have now, I could still take damage from sector missiles, as Shields only use 40% of the max energy. That should still leave the other 60% to be used against you. If that's the case, then with full power, 20% would still cause damage to your armor.

I intended on messing around with that more and see what I can come up with, but really I mostly use the spreadsheet to plan out my upgrade path.

http://www.lonestar-programming.com/aatrade_empty.xls

peace,
CR


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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:57 pm 
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Can I chime in on this?

Reason? I'm a newb. I stumbled across this game after getting frustrated to death with an online game that continues to have a near continuous stream of server "issues". Once I found it I brought a friend along with me to the game.

First thoughts when I found the game...Trade Wars! Now I'm no spring chicken anymore....I used to be an AVID Trade Wars fan, back in the day of old slow dial up BBSes.

So, as per typical tech users these days, I jumped right in without reading a dang thing and off I went...jumped about 4 sectors, hit Dr. Chti's mines and started over, took off to do some trading and ran out of turns in about 15 minutes. Then I went and did a little reading.

Now as good as the guide is, about anyone can vouch for the fact that it's just not the same when trying to read a guide and put it to practical application with what you see and do on screen.

Strategy isn't discussed much..cause most bigger experienced players want to protect "what they know" so they stay on top in the scores.

The game is pretty complicated and even though I've been playing for something like a grand total of a week or so now, I still struggle trying to figure a number of things out: Like just HOW did a dignitary I have no idea I had manage to send me 15 bil credits? And just how am I supposed to know just how to find my way back to fed space after getting myself good and lost with a gazillion one way warps and a map that don't seem to make a lot of sense. (Ok a stretch, I'm SLOWLY starting to figure a few things out...but you get the idea).

So..long story short, heck yes, Mentors would be a HUGE help in the game and would be greatly appreciated. Even so much as maybe a list that's easy to find of willing and able mentors and a way to contact them.

Butch Carter


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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:17 pm 
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Welcome to the game Butch.

First off, ask in the shouts, send the top guys a note, everyone of them is more than willing to help and answer your questions. Watch who is answering questions in shouts and message them. We also have a user built wiki available, its not complete but we have several users contributing. Also the blogs have a ton of info.

The fed info port is loaded as well.

Maybe we should attach a note to peoples profiles of players willing to help mentor. As a beginner in a game thats been running a bit it can be tough, but we want new users to be able to play. We have talked about making a training ground game where players can experiment and not get killed but thats not an easy task to create. Especially since the game is constantly evolving.

Ask anything in the forum too. But dont be afraid to ask anyone questions.95% of them wont give you bad info as its in the games best interest to get more players... none of us like it being too easy.



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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:12 pm 
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Our biggest problem is having an actual GUIDE written for the game that details what everything in the game does. We would love to have one but creating one is a very time consuming and detailed project. :( Unfortunately Tarnus has a REAL job that takes all of his time and I spend a lot of my time programming and testing things out for the game as well as other projects.

That is one of the reasons we created the WIKI. If we could get enough good information from the players about the game we could then create an entirely new GUIDE for the game.

One of the other things we have though about is adding tool tips for everything in the game. This way if you move your mouse over something you will get instant information about what the item represents or does. If we added something like that to each template we would have to add the ability to turn it off or they would get annoying after awhile. :)



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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:17 am 
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I add what I can to the wiki, but honestly, most of what I add is guesswork, excerpts from blog/forum posts and what I've gathered from some other players. And a lot of the time there is contradicting advice.
Stuff I THOUGHT I had down suddenly turns out to be false when I question someone about it, so even though I'm getting the hang of things and can build and get myself around okay, I'm still very green after months of running testbed games on other servers, drawing up spreadsheets and running formulas, and applying what I know into the main.

And without a definite, firm grasp of how everything fits together, there's only so much I, or anyone else, can do. Val's asking specifics about AR rules and he wrote the guide on attacking in the wiki. The formulas for planet or ship vs ship attacks are apparently not going to be revealed because they'd unbalance the game, so we're all left guessing.

For Butch:

The guide as linked in the main page and when you start a new game is outdated. It should probably link to the wiki, but doesn't.
Link to the wiki:
http://wiki.aatraders.com/tiki-index.ph ... g+the+Game

Answers to questions:
Like just HOW did a dignitary I have no idea I had manage to send me 15 bil credits?
It wasn't your dignitary. When a player captures a planet, they can place up to 5 Dignitaries on it. Dignitaries provide various benefits to planets such as booting production, credits, population etc.
But after a while (and I can only guess this has something to do with the value of the planet or how much its producing) dignitaries can embezzle credits stored on the planet and give them to a random player. They'll only embezzle a certain, small percentage of credits from the planet. Players can catch dignitaries who embezzle and dismiss them and they'll stop embezzling, but it's generally a given that all dignitaries will eventually turn into embezzlers. They still do their job, they just steal from the rich and give to whomever. Helps the little guys get a leg up when the game is established.

And just how am I supposed to know just how to find my way back to fed space after getting myself good and lost with a gazillion one way warps and a map that don't seem to make a lot of sense.
Yeah, that happened to me when I started, too. You can use warp links at 1 turn per move, but you're limited to only the links that are available, and they can take you anywhere; there's no way of knowing where beyond whether it is Fed Space or not. You can know the arm of the galaxy its in, but for the most part that's pointless info, especially early on. You have to give up thinking of moving in a spatial fashion because there's no need to. Sectors that are in close proximity are listed on the RS map in a 2d fashion, but they're organised based on distance in 3d space, which is why the RS map is so difficult to work with when you're trying to use one sector as an anchor and move around it.
This is getting a little too wordy, but when you're starting out, you want to ignore RS travel at the start and purchase Hull space, and keep track of your warp link pathway back to Sol. Try to find two ports close to one another that can trade together and make your money from that, then buy engines.

The reason for this is, Hull size determines how much money you can make, naturally. And Engines determine how many turns it takes to travel using RS. You could sink your start money into engines so you could RS around Fed space right away, but you'd be spending hundreds of turns making back that initial 10 million.
If you get lost trying to get back to Sol, your only options are to pick warp links until you find a green one that gets you back to fed space, and then either follow them back to Sol, or RS from there (as it will take far fewer turns from fed space). But until you have at least 100 engines, it'll take thousands of turns.

One of the hardest things of this game is how unforgiving the start is. Any navigational error is compounded by the low engine tech; and any financial error is compounded by the lack of steady income. Once you get a few planets established you can experiment all you like and if you should lose your ship, so long as you have a pod, you're okay. And you can hide away and rebuild your cash flow.


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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:28 am 
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InstinctSage wrote:
I add what I can to the wiki, but honestly, most of what I add is guesswork, excerpts from blog/forum posts and what I've gathered from some other players. And a lot of the time there is contradicting advice.
Stuff I THOUGHT I had down suddenly turns out to be false when I question someone about it, so even though I'm getting the hang of things and can build and get myself around okay, I'm still very green after months of running testbed games on other servers, drawing up spreadsheets and running formulas, and applying what I know into the main.

And without a definite, firm grasp of how everything fits together, there's only so much I, or anyone else, can do. Val's asking specifics about AR rules and he wrote the guide on attacking in the wiki. The formulas for planet or ship vs ship attacks are apparently not going to be revealed because they'd unbalance the game, so we're all left guessing.

For Butch:

The guide as linked in the main page and when you start a new game is outdated. It should probably link to the wiki, but doesn't.
Link to the wiki:
http://wiki.aatraders.com/tiki-index.ph ... g+the+Game

Answers to questions:
Like just HOW did a dignitary I have no idea I had manage to send me 15 bil credits?
It wasn't your dignitary. When a player captures a planet, they can place up to 5 Dignitaries on it. Dignitaries provide various benefits to planets such as booting production, credits, population etc.
But after a while (and I can only guess this has something to do with the value of the planet or how much its producing) dignitaries can embezzle credits stored on the planet and give them to a random player. They'll only embezzle a certain, small percentage of credits from the planet. Players can catch dignitaries who embezzle and dismiss them and they'll stop embezzling, but it's generally a given that all dignitaries will eventually turn into embezzlers. They still do their job, they just steal from the rich and give to whomever. Helps the little guys get a leg up when the game is established.


Your close :) Actually a dignitary will either be an embezzler or another job. Once you get a good dignitary, they never can become an embezzler. It may take time to catch them though. About the only way I know to catch em is drop them one at a time on the planet and dont set any credit production. This way once they take a job and you start losing credits you can dismiss them till you get good ones. This works rather well but I am always impatient so I just wait till the spies report him NOTE: Having spies on your planet will help find the embezzler.


Quote:
And just how am I supposed to know just how to find my way back to fed space after getting myself good and lost with a gazillion one way warps and a map that don't seem to make a lot of sense.
Yeah, that happened to me when I started, too. You can use warp links at 1 turn per move, but you're limited to only the links that are available, and they can take you anywhere; there's no way of knowing where beyond whether it is Fed Space or not. You can know the arm of the galaxy its in, but for the most part that's pointless info, especially early on. You have to give up thinking of moving in a spatial fashion because there's no need to. Sectors that are in close proximity are listed on the RS map in a 2d fashion, but they're organised based on distance in 3d space, which is why the RS map is so difficult to work with when you're trying to use one sector as an anchor and move around it.
This is getting a little too wordy, but when you're starting out, you want to ignore RS travel at the start and purchase Hull space, and keep track of your warp link pathway back to Sol. Try to find two ports close to one another that can trade together and make your money from that, then buy engines.


We organized fed space to be clustered very close around sol. And fed space sectors have tons of 2 way links and is marked with a F=> Also all the easiest trades are in fed space. We did this to help the new players as best as we can. You can stay in fed space as long as you have a single ship and the overall ship avg tech is below 160. We are making plans to make trading outside of fed space more profitable as you move out toward the edges of the universe, but that is coming later. The mini-Nav map shows you the closest RS sectors in 4 directions. It also lets you travel based on where you click in the mini-nav map. the closest hops are closest to the red cross hairs. I use that map to help me find RS traderoutes that don't cost me a ton of turns as I upgrade my engines. The greater the engines the more places you can get to in 1 turn.

Quote:
The reason for this is, Hull size determines how much money you can make, naturally. And Engines determine how many turns it takes to travel using RS. You could sink your start money into engines so you could RS around Fed space right away, but you'd be spending hundreds of turns making back that initial 10 million.
If you get lost trying to get back to Sol, your only options are to pick warp links until you find a green one that gets you back to fed space, and then either follow them back to Sol, or RS from there (as it will take far fewer turns from fed space). But until you have at least 100 engines, it'll take thousands of turns.


May need a "Are you sure you want to leave fed space warning" for new players. Kind of like the 1600 turn noobie nice stuff.

Quote:
One of the hardest things of this game is how unforgiving the start is. Any navigational error is compounded by the low engine tech; and any financial error is compounded by the lack of steady income. Once you get a few planets established you can experiment all you like and if you should lose your ship, so long as you have a pod, you're okay. And you can hide away and rebuild your cash flow.


Note this game has evolved over the last 5 years we have worked on it. It is based upon tradewars, but is also based upon balance. We try to get a good balance between the attackers and the builders. One of the things we really need is a training ground or checks and balances to help a new player starting out. Kwaz had some great ideas I would love to see, its just takes time to implement them. We do alot of local lunch brainstorms, but PJ is the primary programmer while I am the playtester. And the users get to be beta testers as well much like Micro$oft (Nasty OS jab) :) This is why we have to rely on the users to help us document, not only because we suck at it, but sometimes its because it maybe a feature we have all taken for granted for a long time, then we may make a major change in a version and everything changes.



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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:17 pm 
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Tarnus wrote:
May need a "Are you sure you want to leave fed space warning" for new players. Kind of like the 1600 turn noobie nice stuff.

I'd prefer a marker that tells you it's a 2 way link. That might make SG hunting easier, though.

Better yet, set a cap on the amount of turns an RS trip can use.
I can't really understand the reasoning behind having it take 55000 turns to move from A to B because your pioneer has pitiful engines. It makes sense that better engines = faster travel, but there should be a cap on travel. You can spend the billions if you want to make it from one side of the galaxy to another in 1 turn, but generally it's more for combat than RS travel at that point. The point is the only time you get stuck in the middle of nowhere in a ship with no engines is when:
A) You're a newbie and don't know any better.
B) You got podded without setting a home planet, and then towed from Fed space.

It's really harsh to take thousands of turns off a newbie for something like that, because I'm sure it happens to just about EVERYONE when they're starting out. B is something that's always bugged me. Home planets solve this in a big way, if you've set one, but I just find it weird that even the best player is prone to getting podded, then towed, then stuck in the middle of nowhere and facing a harrowing trip back to safety while they're in a ship without an escape pod and still a valid target for half the universe. If you're a million miles from Sol or your SG, you're out of luck. Especially if you don't have so many turns banked.

But if it cost say, 200 turns tops to RS move anywhere, people can't really abuse the system, as fas as I can tell. The most I could see you doing is saving yourself a billion on Engines at the cost of 200 turns to move from one spot to another in rare circumstances where that's actually a valid option. You still need engines, but the punishment for not having them isn't going to kill newbies.

Tarnus wrote:
Note this game has evolved over the last 5 years we have worked on it. It is based upon tradewars, but is also based upon balance. We try to get a good balance between the attackers and the builders. One of the things we really need is a training ground or checks and balances to help a new player starting out. Kwaz had some great ideas I would love to see, its just takes time to implement them. We do alot of local lunch brainstorms, but PJ is the primary programmer while I am the playtester. And the users get to be beta testers as well much like Micro$oft (Nasty OS jab) :) This is why we have to rely on the users to help us document, not only because we suck at it, but sometimes its because it maybe a feature we have all taken for granted for a long time, then we may make a major change in a version and everything changes.

I don't mean to be overly critical or sound harsh because I know you guys are doing all this in your spare time. It's a great game. But it does take weeks to get the hang of the basics. It's idiosyncratic to the max, so assumptions you're likely to make as a new user turn out to be completely false. It's a constant cycle. I only vaguely remember some of the things I thought this game was about during my time learning it. I had visions of trading, upgrading to a new ship, trading more, etc.
Then I loaded up on colonists by accident and had to capture and indy just to get rid of them. Then I was capturing indies everywhere without basing them.
I don't know. I never can quite put my finger on what makes this game so difficult to learn compared to other BBGs. I can usually pick up and play any other game and learn the ropes in a few hours or days, then I can see the tactics the big players are using and see how the system can be gamed for maximum benefit, just like everyone else is doing.
But in this, I'm taking snapshots of my planetary production and doing the maths and coming back with alterations and thinking I've got everything down and then someone comes along and says "Oh ho ho ho, no you're doing it all wrong."
And damnit, I always AM.


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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:01 am 
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InstinctSage wrote:
I'd prefer a marker that tells you it's a 2 way link. That might make SG hunting easier, though.


Yeah, we used to have colors depict 2-ways, just made them way too easy to spot. So we had to do away with that.

Quote:
Better yet, set a cap on the amount of turns an RS trip can use.
I can't really understand the reasoning behind having it take 55000 turns to move from A to B because your pioneer has pitiful engines. It makes sense that better engines = faster travel, but there should be a cap on travel. You can spend the billions if you want to make it from one side of the galaxy to another in 1 turn, but generally it's more for combat than RS travel at that point. The point is the only time you get stuck in the middle of nowhere in a ship with no engines is when:
A) You're a newbie and don't know any better.
B) You got podded without setting a home planet, and then towed from Fed space.

It's really harsh to take thousands of turns off a newbie for something like that, because I'm sure it happens to just about EVERYONE when they're starting out. B is something that's always bugged me. Home planets solve this in a big way, if you've set one, but I just find it weird that even the best player is prone to getting podded, then towed, then stuck in the middle of nowhere and facing a harrowing trip back to safety while they're in a ship without an escape pod and still a valid target for half the universe. If you're a million miles from Sol or your SG, you're out of luck. Especially if you don't have so many turns banked.


You will only get towed if you have more than one ship stored. Now that there is the Home planet option, it makes it easier. Course a home planet could get you killed out of the game if you didn't select correctly. I know I set my home planet to something that is fairly safe and not in my SG while I sleep, but then if I am out attacking I may set that home planet inside my SG. You just need to strategize a bit and know that if your killed, you appear without a pod.
Getting tossed is a good reason to make friends in the game. Most of the larger players are always willing to throw a link if you find yourself wayout and no warplinks. If your getting booted out of SOL and fedspace, your not considered a noobie anymore so better do some due dilligence. I usually look at the news before I have logged on. If the news shows I lost a ship, I check the timer before I login, that way I don't get tossed the second I login, once I login I got 4+ minutes to buy some engines and a pod.



Quote:
But if it cost say, 200 turns tops to RS move anywhere, people can't really abuse the system, as fas as I can tell. The most I could see you doing is saving yourself a billion on Engines at the cost of 200 turns to move from one spot to another in rare circumstances where that's actually a valid option. You still need engines, but the punishment for not having them isn't going to kill newbies.


I would be more inclined to make it 75-90% of your overall turns, if you cant make it back on your own and the turn cost is greater than what you have... Call it a fed tow back fee. I can usually use warp links to find my way back as fedspace links are clearly marked.

Quote:
I don't mean to be overly critical or sound harsh because I know you guys are doing all this in your spare time. It's a great game. But it does take weeks to get the hang of the basics. It's idiosyncratic to the max, so assumptions you're likely to make as a new user turn out to be completely false. It's a constant cycle. I only vaguely remember some of the things I thought this game was about during my time learning it. I had visions of trading, upgrading to a new ship, trading more, etc.
Then I loaded up on colonists by accident and had to capture and indy just to get rid of them. Then I was capturing indies everywhere without basing them.
I don't know. I never can quite put my finger on what makes this game so difficult to learn compared to other BBGs. I can usually pick up and play any other game and learn the ropes in a few hours or days, then I can see the tactics the big players are using and see how the system can be gamed for maximum benefit, just like everyone else is doing.
But in this, I'm taking snapshots of my planetary production and doing the maths and coming back with alterations and thinking I've got everything down and then someone comes along and says "Oh ho ho ho, no you're doing it all wrong."
And damnit, I always AM.


We came from the original BBS version of tradewars. Found Blacknova traders, played it for a bit and moved to NGS a fork of BNT. Found tons of balance issues in both and decided, hey lets make our own and we havent stopped since. The biggest challenge has been balance issues in the game. I dont think it took us that long to get the hang of it because we all had the original BBS game background. Like I said a training ground would help alot. One thing we have discovered if we leave the game as is for too long it starts to stagnate so thats why your seeing a constantly evolving game. And yes its getting harder in someways and easier in others to play, but if you played the original .10 and saw where we were and where we are now you would be amazed at the changes. :)

This is why we need people like you willing to help us, we fly with blinders on because to us everything seem easier than it did to start with. :)



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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:08 pm 
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Tarnus wrote:
You will only get towed if you have more than one ship stored. Now that there is the Home planet option, it makes it easier. Course a home planet could get you killed out of the game if you didn't select correctly. I know I set my home planet to something that is fairly safe and not in my SG while I sleep, but then if I am out attacking I may set that home planet inside my SG. You just need to strategize a bit and know that if your killed, you appear without a pod.
Getting tossed is a good reason to make friends in the game. Most of the larger players are always willing to throw a link if you find yourself wayout and no warplinks. If your getting booted out of SOL and fedspace, your not considered a noobie anymore so better do some due dilligence. I usually look at the news before I have logged on. If the news shows I lost a ship, I check the timer before I login, that way I don't get tossed the second I login, once I login I got 4+ minutes to buy some engines and a pod.

Yeah, Home planets really mean that your average player doesn't have much of an excuse for getting killed without pod. As an aside, I wasn't aware you didn't get towed until you were logged on. Technically that means anyone can sleep in Sol so long as they log off before they get towed though, doesn't it? Or is that the standard tactic and I've been sleeping in my SG like a fool all this time?

Tarnus wrote:
Quote:
But if it cost say, 200 turns tops to RS move anywhere, people can't really abuse the system, as fas as I can tell. The most I could see you doing is saving yourself a billion on Engines at the cost of 200 turns to move from one spot to another in rare circumstances where that's actually a valid option. You still need engines, but the punishment for not having them isn't going to kill newbies.


I would be more inclined to make it 75-90% of your overall turns, if you cant make it back on your own and the turn cost is greater than what you have... Call it a fed tow back fee. I can usually use warp links to find my way back as fedspace links are clearly marked.

See, that's just going to hurt the newbies as well. You'll rarely, if ever, need to deal with it and neither will any other experienced player, because you know how to get your way out of it. But a newbie who comes in, warp links around in Fed Space with no engines, and either leaves Fed space or says "Hey, I need to get back to Sol and I've lost my way!" is going to RS there and eat up thousands of turns for it. You only need to penalise experienced players for being too lazy to work their way out properly, and a few hundred turns is probably enough to do that. Some people might be more inclined to take the tow-back, others may not. But Newbies who don't know better aren't going to start a new game, and use up 90% of their turns through a common mistake. You could make it apply only to Sol if you wanted, that way you couldn't use the system to hop to your SG.

Tarnus wrote:
We came from the original BBS version of tradewars. Found Blacknova traders, played it for a bit and moved to NGS a fork of BNT. Found tons of balance issues in both and decided, hey lets make our own and we havent stopped since. The biggest challenge has been balance issues in the game. I dont think it took us that long to get the hang of it because we all had the original BBS game background. Like I said a training ground would help alot. One thing we have discovered if we leave the game as is for too long it starts to stagnate so thats why your seeing a constantly evolving game. And yes its getting harder in someways and easier in others to play, but if you played the original .10 and saw where we were and where we are now you would be amazed at the changes. :)

This is why we need people like you willing to help us, we fly with blinders on because to us everything seem easier than it did to start with. :)

I love the evolving nature of it.
I'm starting to feel like guides and FAQs and stuff won't cut it. What you need is some kind of online tutorial. A closed universe that's just scripted and runs step by step with the player. I don't know if that would be too difficult to organise, given the way the game runs at current.


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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:06 am 
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InstinctSage wrote:
Yeah, Home planets really mean that your average player doesn't have much of an excuse for getting killed without pod. As an aside, I wasn't aware you didn't get towed until you were logged on. Technically that means anyone can sleep in Sol so long as they log off before they get towed though, doesn't it? Or is that the standard tactic and I've been sleeping in my SG like a fool all this time?


No this is only the case if you were podded while off-line. If you were online, and had more than 1 ship you would be towed like normal.


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See, that's just going to hurt the newbies as well. You'll rarely, if ever, need to deal with it and neither will any other experienced player, because you know how to get your way out of it. But a newbie who comes in, warp links around in Fed Space with no engines, and either leaves Fed space or says "Hey, I need to get back to Sol and I've lost my way!" is going to RS there and eat up thousands of turns for it. You only need to penalise experienced players for being too lazy to work their way out properly, and a few hundred turns is probably enough to do that. Some people might be more inclined to take the tow-back, others may not. But Newbies who don't know better aren't going to start a new game, and use up 90% of their turns through a common mistake. You could make it apply only to Sol if you wanted, that way you couldn't use the system to hop to your SG.


I'd say the solution is not based on score, but is based on used turns. There is a 1600 turn noobie nice right now, maybe we have a secondary noobie nice that is around the 5000 turn mark that gives a warning when your clicking on a RS link, afterall if you enter a RS sector into the goto sector field it will come up and tell you how many turns. Or have it set a warning initially as a option you have to turn off in options so you have to actively get rid of the turn use warning in the options. I actually like this better. Add an explanation that you have to have engines in order to use RS effectively and we have a solution that doesn't change the game. :)

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I love the evolving nature of it.
I'm starting to feel like guides and FAQs and stuff won't cut it. What you need is some kind of online tutorial. A closed universe that's just scripted and runs step by step with the player. I don't know if that would be too difficult to organise, given the way the game runs at current.


Yeah one of the things we do in the main game when a change occurs we try to add it to the fedinfo port. And then a popup comes up for all players so they know something has changed. Unlike our predecessors we are in a constant changing condition. If you played BNT 6 years ago and then you played it now, there isnt much difference. All the same issues exist that existed existed 6 years ago. No major changes to enhance or evolve. Some don't like change, some do... I prefer change and a constant evolving fun game. Interactivity is critical to you learning to play efficiently. Just jumping into our game without user interaction might not get you anywhere... I want to see a system that pushes the user experience and interactivity rather than let them sit. Many big games have "Guides" Specific users that just help players. Maybe this is something we should use sometime. Let users volunteer to be guides and when a new user logs in they are notified who the guides are as well as the guides are notifies who the new users are. That way there is a system that will give a new user some clear channel of communication to start with.



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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 9:10 pm 
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Tarnus wrote:
I'd say the solution is not based on score, but is based on used turns. There is a 1600 turn noobie nice right now, maybe we have a secondary noobie nice that is around the 5000 turn mark that gives a warning when your clicking on a RS link, afterall if you enter a RS sector into the goto sector field it will come up and tell you how many turns. Or have it set a warning initially as a option you have to turn off in options so you have to actively get rid of the turn use warning in the options. I actually like this better. Add an explanation that you have to have engines in order to use RS effectively and we have a solution that doesn't change the game. :)


I wasn't proposing a change based on score. Just a flat change that applies to everyone. Only it naturally effects newbies in a positive way that can't be exploited by experienced players. I don't understand what's wrong with changing the game to eliminate thousand turn costs for RSing with no engines. Why do you want the game to punish people that much for simple mistakes, and then wave warning flags at newbies about it?

Tarnus wrote:
Yeah one of the things we do in the main game when a change occurs we try to add it to the fedinfo port. And then a popup comes up for all players so they know something has changed. Unlike our predecessors we are in a constant changing condition. If you played BNT 6 years ago and then you played it now, there isnt much difference. All the same issues exist that existed existed 6 years ago. No major changes to enhance or evolve. Some don't like change, some do... I prefer change and a constant evolving fun game. Interactivity is critical to you learning to play efficiently. Just jumping into our game without user interaction might not get you anywhere... I want to see a system that pushes the user experience and interactivity rather than let them sit. Many big games have "Guides" Specific users that just help players. Maybe this is something we should use sometime. Let users volunteer to be guides and when a new user logs in they are notified who the guides are as well as the guides are notifies who the new users are. That way there is a system that will give a new user some clear channel of communication to start with.

I suppose whoever made BNT might have been happy with it, or moved on to something else. Pet projects can be abandoned pretty quickly, especially on the internet where a lot of programs exist purely to score hits for a site.
As for guides, I dunno. Maybe I'm caught up in the trend of making games more user friendly and accessible. I love those old stat based RPGs that most people look at and run in the other direction from. Certainly they have more depth than Diablo or somesuch.
But I don't think you have to sacrifice that "pick up and play" aspect in order to achieve true depth and potential in a game.
Saying "We need people to guide others on how to play this game" always feels like resigning to faults in the system. There's definitely some things about this game you don't want to lose. But it's esoteric nature isn't one of them. It just takes a lot of play testing and feedback from newbies. That's why when I hear about Butch's problems with the game, I'll explain things, but I'm thinking about how it could change so that that didn't happen to the next newbie to come along, in a way that doesn't change the game for the rest of us.


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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:19 pm 
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Tarnus Harten wrote:
The problem is, who is gonna know anyone is in that channel to help someone? The global Chat is usually pretty empty as it is.

If there was an indicator somewhere saying how many people were in the chat rooms that might help. with out someway of knowing if anyone is in there, even if we made a separate room, the user would sit there wwondering if anyone was going to show up.

Someone mentioned an IRC channel, we had one of those a few years back, but no one ever used it. We created our own chat room and there are times it gets used but someone has to be in there to drive users into it.


I am usually at least idling in the chat on the main site, and I am actually around to talk for several hours a night. If there was a way to get people to join that chat program, I could answer questions for them. If the chat was used a lot, I would like to see it treat whispers more like IRC treats private messages, in that it opens a new chat window per conversation, so I can have more than one going without confusion.

LordTonto wrote:
If someone sends a message to "Team: Generic" than everyone on that team recieves that message. Why not allow people with a Mentor tag to be considered part of 1 huge invisible team. Then when a message is sent to "Mentor" or something like that, every mentor recieves that message with all the rest of their messages. Only send it to the mentors that are online at a given time, that way players that are offline don't log on to see they have 15 new messages.

The counter to this, of course, is that if no mentor is online then the question goes unheard. Which is ridiculous.


I really like this idea, and would be willing to be part of the "secret mentor society". I may not always be online when someone asks a question, but I would always answer it shortly after I log in.

LordTonto wrote:
Then add a section to the player profile (or AAT Resume, as I consider it) that says "Mentor to:".

You could list all the profiles of players that have been mentored by so and so. That would create a sort of AAT family tree. Generations of players and playing styles based on who has taught who. Not to mention the fact that it's hard to get people to help for free... people want recognition. Something like a special mentor insignia, or a list of players that have chosen you as their mentor would encourage even the laziest of players to start giving away their knowledge.


I like this idea too, although I disagree that it is hard to get people to help for free. I will help anyone who is willing to be helped, and I don't need any recognition, but it would be very cool to be able to compete against someone, and then trace that person's playing style back to when and where he started.


InstinctSage wrote:
Engines are important for Real Space travel. Obviously taking fewer turns to RS to sectors means more turns free for other activities. More efficient play. Again, I can read: "If RS takes 100 turns with a level 1 engine it may only take 10 turns with a level 150 and 1 turn with a level 300."
Is this just a guess? A rough estimation? What's the formula?


I wish knew an answer to that. Basically, having played the main game exclusively, I know that the engine size basically means I need to get to 270 to get 1 turn real spacing. As was mentioned, it is based on distance, not just engine size and galaxy size, so you can't really know the exact turn cost at any given level, unless you use the button in the game that tells you how many turns it will take.

InstinctSage wrote:
Some other things that aren't in the wiki:

Score: I don't know how its calculated. This is important as it affects bounties. Plus, what if I want to be number 1?
Rank: I'm unsure if this affects anything. I believe its tied to experience and I read last year's discussion on experience potentially affecting combat effectiveness as a tweak. But there's no in game mention of anything, so I'm ignoring it at present.
Kill Efficiency: No idea what this affects, how it's calculated or what it means.
Good/Evil: I believe Good characters can attack Evil characters bounty free, and vice versa, while Neutrals are protected. I don't know what affects your alignment in either direction, which seems an important factor to consider.
Experience: I'm unsure what experience is given for, or what it does.
Efficiency Rating: I believe it's a measure of how fast one is progressing, like score vs. turns used. But I don't know the formula.
Autotrades: I set one going and its done nothing. I asked LordTonto and he doesn't quite know how it works either. As far as I know its an ignored part of the game.
Map: The standard map sectors I've visited, but I don't know in what order. The numbers don't correspond to galaxy arm or any discernable part of the sector name. (Note, not the Local map or 3d Galaxy Map)
Mini Nav/RS Map: I'm still unsure how to properly read this from one sector to the next. I understand its split into quadrants, but considering the actual space is calculated as 3d I don't know how height is a consideration, or why I can move in one direction and then
be unable to find the sector I came from in the map.
Planetary Tech levels: As in the planet graphic representation of technology base. There are 10 levels, but I'm not clear on what affects the technology base. It could be average tech level, but then you're substituting avg. tech level for an arbitrary 1-10 tech level rating.
Commodity uses: Ore and Goods are eaten to create armor on planets. This isn't mentioned. All commodities are describes as purely arbitrary trade items for making money in the early game. This isn't true.


1. Score - Not really sure with score, but try tying score in with net worth, get thoroughly confused.
2. Rank - There is no "benefit" to rank, it just is basically a milestone to mark progress, and so people can call you "Commander" and such.
3. Kill Efficiency - Basically, it takes the value of a players ship, the type, and their size compared to yours, and gives an efficiency score based on it. It was designed to discourage people from "farming kills" by killing little players who couldn't defend themselves.
4. Good/Evil - In theory, building planets and trading makes you good, attacking makes you evil. Unless you attack another attacker, then you become good.
5. Experience - Has no bearing on anything at this point.
6. Efficiency Rating - Pretty self-explanitory, score divided by turns equals efficiency rating.
7. Autotrades - I've never used them, I have no idea what they do.
8. Map - The "Map" is a listing of the sectors in the order they were created (Sol is the first sector created, so that is first.)
9. Mini Nav/RS Map - This basically figures out what the CLOSEST sectors in each direction is, just because Sector B is the closest sector from Sector A doesn't mean the reverse is true.
10. Planetary Tech Levels - The 10 levels are not neccessarily based on tech levels, they are based on the value of the planet, in terms of colonists and tech levels. The reason for this is to have a way to measure the size of a planet visually.
11. Commodity uses - I agree, it isn't mentioned and should be.


Valience wrote:
Well that right there is not true, which is why, if you do get permission to edit the wiki, I would counsel caution. Don't change stuff that we've put on there or add something in if you aren't sure about it. Make sure you have a verifiable source for that kind of thing before including it, because we really don't want bad info in there. We don't have any yet. Here's how it does work. Over 140 hulls hits mines. Below 140 doesn't. The number of mines hit is absolutely random.


Actually, he is correct. The larger the hulls (And the ship class) the more mines are possibly attracted to the ship. This is still a random number, but when it could be a difference between a random number 1-1,000,000 and a random number 1-100,000,000, it is a big difference. To test it out, take a ship with 300 hulls through a minefield of 10m mines about a hundred times. Then take a ship with 150 hulls through the same amount of times. There will be a difference, I promise.

Valience wrote:
InstinctSage wrote:
Map: The standard map sectors I've visited, but I don't know in what order. The numbers don't correspond to galaxy arm or any discernable part of the sector name. (Note, not the Local map or 3d Galaxy Map)



You've got that right. I think it may have to do with when they're created, and the game has some means of organizing them, and creates them in certain places, but I don't know how it works. Quite frankly, it's unimportant. All that's really important is how far one is from the other in turns


That is not entirely true, knowing the order that sectors are created is useful for certain things, but I don't have the time to really go into the whole "sequential searching" aspect.

InstinctSage wrote:
I've seen the game settings page and I can get a few figures from there, and I know they can be changed, but isn't that more for balancing? I'd expect if the economic model is working pretty stable, then it's not going to be tweaked any time so


That isn't true either, perhaps for the main game, yes, but even so, things are changed every round. When you look at other servers, most of them are have different settings.

InstinctSage wrote:
Yeah, Home planets really mean that your average player doesn't have much of an excuse for getting killed without pod. As an aside, I wasn't aware you didn't get towed until you were logged on. Technically that means anyone can sleep in Sol so long as they log off before they get towed though, doesn't it? Or is that the standard tactic and I've been sleeping in my SG like a fool all this time?


The only time you DO NOT get towed until you login, is if you are killed and end up there. Look at it as if you never quite reach Sol until you login. Once you login, you have until the normal tick occurs to buy engines and a pod.


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