Cargo drone as a more interesting way to do logistics

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Average, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. Average

    Average Commander

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    Empyrion's building system is second to none. You can build huge ships and vast sprawling stations with many rooms, or great halls or warehouses. And there's almost no reason to ever walk through them.

    Between the P menu and logistics (F4) you just need to stand next to your base or ship to manage basically everything. You don't need to walk around inside. The design of the inside doesn't contribute much to gameplay apart from aesthetics. You could even have a base where the entire storage and almost all the crafting stations where completely enclosed in a concrete box which you never see inside.

    This sucks because all those amazing game assets, the interesting hallways and rooms that might make it feel like a realistic spaceship or station, it kind of goes to waste. Yes you could go stand there just to admire it, but it would be better if you were actually doing interesting stuff like moving things around inside your station. After all, if I wanted to manage resources only using a menu I could play a traditional strategy game - much better that Empyrion resources management involves carefully thinking about Empyrion's cool 3D block designs and layouts. An additional bonus is that you can't run into friends in a menu - but encountering them in a station, or walking around as a group, that's fun!

    If I understand correctly logistics was partly introduced because it's not very immersive to have 3000 ton of concrete blocks travel via getting placed in the player inventory in order to get moved to another ship. But for servers where players don't like logistics, it would be nice to have a better viable alternative. My suggestion is a cargo drone.

    A cargo drone station would be a placeable BA/CV device that has a heavy looking drone rest on it. A player would need to walk up to the drone and activate to take control. The cargo drone then acts like a larger version of the personal drone, would have a large inventory space of its own, and would be allowed only to access a box it is near touching. It would need to then fly to another cargo controller (or other receiving box) where it could drop all its inventory.

    Now when you arrive at a station in your CV to drop off a mining load, (several) players could fly cargo drones back and forth to ferry goods. This is immersive as the drone could realistically carry bigger loads than a person. It's more interesting because you have to walk through your ship to a drone station to activate, and then the drone has to navigate the cargo bay, fly over to the station to drop off cargo, and perhaps enter the station's cargo area, then fly back. A lot better than dragging icons from one box to another! And, if you work as a team, or if you just run into other players and their drones in a busy station, a lot more social too. It might even matter where you put your cargo containers now too!

    This could optionally create interesting risks of drone sniping and theft if the server manager wanted to enable it too. Drones would drop their cargo in a box to facilitate this. On PvP servers you could optionally also let drones get shot in PvE zones.

    Once a cargo drone is a thing, options might emerge in future for mining drones, building drones, or repair drones.

    Like CPU or W&V this might not be for everybody, but for those of us that think making logi feel like moving desktop icons around cheapens the sense of value resource have, this would be a really valuable addition to the game options.
     
    #1
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
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  2. Track Driver

    Track Driver Rear Admiral

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    I like the idea of having something visual in regards to moving resources, We have these wonderful cargo pallets that are nothing more than strangely shaped storage containers. It would be great if those pallets could be moved (loaded with cargo) by your drone or HV or some other conveyance from one point to another.
    2019-11-13.png
    It may be a limitation of the game engine that prevents this, I don't know. In any case , the Cargo Drone sounds workable.
     
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  3. Kostriktor

    Kostriktor Commander

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    well the idea of the logistic-network exactly exists to avoid tedious and repetitive "storage-management".
    if to you guys that is actual gameplay, then i think i´d be fair to be able to disable the logistic-network.

    if said drones you´re asking for would be "programmable" and fly automated, then sign me up.
    this would bring in fact more Factorio to the game, and Factorio is always the right choice !

    if i have to fly that drone myself, no thanks. to me and >90% gamers i know, "base-management" as in "opening 100 boxes" and walking back and forth, is absolutely tedious and a waste of game-time.

    the logisitc-system in Empyrion is one of the best things in this game.
     
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  4. Average

    Average Commander

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  5. geostar1024

    geostar1024 Rear Admiral

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    It'd be ok for moving around small amounts of cargo, but after your 10th (or 100th) trip back from mining or salvaging POIs, do you anticipate that it would still enjoyable to manually distribute the loot across however many cargo boxes constitutes your organization system? I agree with @Kostriktor: if it's not something that can be automated, then its potential will end up being fairly limited.

    I'd also point out that, no matter how it's done, manual inventory management inevitably ends up being an exercise in rearranging icons.

    That's not to say that the concept of a cargo drone wouldn't be useful, say for transferring resources between structures that are out of direct network range. But a signal logic tie-in for it in combination with some simple inventory signals (full, empty, x number of y items, transfer x number of y items from a to b) would reduce the rearranging-icons aspects of inventory management quite a bit.
     
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  6. Kostriktor

    Kostriktor Commander

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    as said, every developer can learn from the Factorio team.
    logistic requester slots, logistic trash slots, just the right way to approach your gamers.
    were not all sunday-gamers, we grind these survival games !!
    and spending 60% of playtime in base ordering chests is just last-millennium-gaming
    Eleon made this is one so great !
    every game i play now, besides Factorio obviously, i miss Eleons logistic-system

    edit @Average im sure you loved Subnautica-logistic yeah ? ^_^
     
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  7. Darak

    Darak Lieutenant

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    It bothers me how the logistics system is so powerful there is no reason to have a nice base layout or your ship's facilities manually accessible. You can make your ship/base just a big sealed block of armor with everything inside and in fact there are incentives to do so. I wouldn't mind if logistics were nerfed a bit, and not only for immersion purposes.

    I don't like the idea of having to manually take control and fly cargo drones in order to move things around every time, though. Perhaps if you could automate them in some way, but it sounds like an overly complex system, to be honest.

    What about just adding an optional delay for logistic network actions? Just imagine if there were some invisible 'drones' actually performing the task (of course it would be better if actual models of drones traveling between the containers were shown, but no need to the things to be even interactive, they may be just some visual flair). If the delay depends on the distance between containers, that would add just an incentive enough to create more sensible bases (with cargo boxes closer to the ship unload area, for example).
     
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  8. Kostriktor

    Kostriktor Commander

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    maybe make even more docking-blocks, a type of block that docks your vehicles to the BA, only then you can use logistic-system...
    just to replace the wireless, in case that is too broken for PVP.
    it could infact be hard to raid concrete-block-bases...
    as a reformed christian, im not into raiding anyways, but you know... theres many terrorist-minded-ppl out there !
    they also deserve to play the game in a playable way...
     
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  9. Average

    Average Commander

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    I'd support cargo docking points, where both containers have a point that needs to be touching in order for stuff to get transferred between it. I tend to play on servers with increased stack sizes too, which makes resource management a lot easier and therefore there is room to take a bit of a nerf without frustration. And I definitely don't mind some sort of internal automation, like tubes going from one cargo box to another and automatically moving certain types of stacks around.

    I'd prefer to basically do away with remote logistic though. There are multiple reasons, but #1 is the need for the insides of ships and bases to matter beyond aesthetics, giving them reasons to be physically used enough for the aesthetics to count. And I wouldn't want to automate everything - then there's no reason to walk around and interact with the interior and visitors.
     
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  10. Izzin

    Izzin Lieutenant

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    I would love to see an umbilical type connection from ships to bases or ships to ships. Not only to permit transfer of items (instead of wireless) but also in verse, where you have a "master" side of the umbilical which can provide power to the docked ship(s) so that the ship now runs off of base/master. This way we can repair ships and not lose our crops when we have to turn off the ship.

    This is no different then when an airplane comes into a terminal and they run the umbilical connection for power/ac at an airport.

    --izz
     
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  11. geostar1024

    geostar1024 Rear Admiral

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    Well, if valid paths were generated between cargo controllers and the outside of the ship, and energy was charged for transfers made without a valid path, then that would tend to encourage more logical interior design. This would combo nicely with functional NPCs (one could imagine NPCs with cargo pallets walking back and forth).
     
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  12. Kostriktor

    Kostriktor Commander

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    since i played ARK and ATLAS, having NPC-crew is just a MUST !
    so im up to ensalve all them savage talons and give them a cargo-rollo !!

    upload_2019-11-20_19-28-9.png
     
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