CPU & YOU --> What does it mean?

Discussion in 'Experimental Features Discussion' started by Our Grid, Jan 8, 2019.

?

CPU Should Be...

  1. Fixed Amount by class HV/SV/CV/BA.

  2. Expandable but Expensive to do.

  3. Buried Alive, never to see the light of day!

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  1. Liang

    Liang Commander

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    Yep, we are talking about expansions though. To increase power limits. Most of what is currently in the Workshop for example are built pre CPU implementation and we are trying to figure out a way to help the Devs deal with future changes also. By having CPU power expansions we add more items for players to build as well as a way to allow for more power to prevent harsh building limits like as an example, only enough power to have 3 turrents or drills going at once.

    CPU expansion = more end game content via needing more materials to get more power which leads to more powerful vehicles/bases.
    It also allows them to have limits for early vehicles.

    The game needs a boost to both middle and end game, this helps provide some, without also handicapping the game via power limitations. It also can provide a larger variety of multiplayer servers. If everything is configurable/moddable, it will allow someone to say, limit a CPUs expansion total for those that want make servers vehicle PPV harder (limiting CPU power to the point where only 1 or 2 turrets can be used at a time!).
     
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  2. geostar1024

    geostar1024 Rear Admiral

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    Designs are going to have to be revisted/refitted anyway when shields, sensors, and research systems are implemented (all of which might consume considerable volume depending on the implementation). Until all major ship subsystems have been implemented, I don't think it makes any sense to try too hard to preserve old designs.

    In any case, the system you're describing is basically how Avorion does things with system modules (though even Avorion has CPU-producing blocks).

    Precisely. The amount of starting CPU, CPU consumed by devices, and incremental CPU from additional CPU-providing devices should be set appropriately so that basic structures require few, if any, CPU-producing devices.
     
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  3. Liang

    Liang Commander

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    Really not one to just toss out ideas just because in the end it may happen anyway. If we can come up with ideas to limit the damage CPU changes may produce by combining the idea of CPU expansion, with the CPU itself...we can come up with ideas for future changes so we dont end up all having to build ships much larger than they are now.

    This is our job as testers anyway, to come up with ideas. So, you named a few more possible coming changes that will require space. Lets come up with ways to make that take up as little space as possible.

    Example.

    Shields, sensors, research system.

    Well. All of them would require a computer to control (for realism) them so how about a Central Computer being 1 block. A sensor would also need an antenna, a Shield would need a (poor example but an example) bubble type thing outside the ship to project it. 3 actual items. 1 being inside the ship only taking up a single block with 2 items being small and outside the ship not requiring the ship to be increased in size. All 3 of them taking power to use.

    And now you suddenly have those 3 things represented somewhat realistically in game, and did not just destroy all previous designs while making the game suddenly start to have nothing but over-sized ships. See, items represented in the game, and not causing havoc.

    Just remember that there are already HV and SP vehicles in game that already push the size limits for hanger doors and these new devices arent even in game yet...and we, as testers have to keep in mind that one of the stand-out things this game has right now is the ability to create amazing vehicles so we need to catch changes that can harm that and help the developers implement new things without damaging that. New ideas, will do that. So lets do it!
     
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  4. geostar1024

    geostar1024 Rear Admiral

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    Or ships will simply need to undergo specialization in order to stay small (e.g. by losing armor or thrusters to gain additional shields or sensors).

    That only works if each of those systems can be adequately captured by adding a single block (in the case of shields, one could envision 3 different blocks: capacitor, recharger, and emitter). Sure, a basic sensor or shield system for a small craft could consist of one or two blocks, but larger craft should require proportionally larger arrays of devices (which might well require redesigns depending on the capabilities that the designer wants to add).

    I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult for the devs to give us even larger hangar doors (especially given that the existing ones are all scaled from the same model).

    In any case, the volume required for any particular subsystem depends strongly on the stats of the blocks that make up that subsystem. So, the real issue is to balance all of the subsystems together to produce a set of stats that allows for ships of the size that we want. Attempting to balance any particular subsystem in isolation isn't going to yield useful results (as should be evident from much of the devs' past "balancing" attempts).
     
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  5. Pach

    Pach Captain

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    ... not necessarily, since you are talking about computer/controller power.

    A software upgrade could enhance/improve computing power, without ever once requiring more space.

    That would fit in with the "armor slot" idea: it's not armor boots you are adding, but upgrade chips, and just plugging them into existing slots on the controller.
     
    #25
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  6. Liang

    Liang Commander

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    It isnt as long as people seem to eager to dismiss ideas outright instead of trying to formulate a way to make it work and the devs arent provided any ideas...I get it, you want larger stuff, no further discussion will be forth coming towards you on this topic. It will go towards those that want to work out ideas to keep things closer to current levels while still adding new things to the game.
     
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  7. IronCartographer

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    Incremental changes do not allow escape from local maxima.

    In other words: Sometimes you have to change many things at once in order to get any improvement at all.

    Geostar isn't being deliberately obtuse here, or whatever else you might think of him.
     
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  8. Liang

    Liang Commander

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    Didnt hint at him being obtuse. Just set on what he thinks is the correct path and dismissing what doesnt fit that view.

    I fully believe that all these things can be implemented, and done so in a way that doesnt greatly increase the size of ships. What is really harmed by the idea of adding in CPU power expansions via CPU slots like armor currently has expansion slots? Or adding a power expansion bay that takes up 1 block, but the device has armor like expansion slots that can be filled with more power units to increase CPU power?

    Ideas that adds items to the game, expands it, and limits the amount of new space required instead of just leaving it out there for ever more space taking individual items? This is a futuristic game, we are not limited in design types stuck in current day technological designs, lets work on ideas that both makes sense, and doesnt bog the game down at the same time.

    I personally would hate to see a shield console, a sensor console, a research console, a turret controller and how many other things when here we are today, with smart-phones with dozens of apps on one tiny screen that allows you to find anything online(research), scan an item and give you an idea what it is (type of sensor), provide you with a detailed map of your area (another type of sensor) while tracking your vitals (health scan!), lock your front doors, change the temperature of your home...and so much more. What will we have in the future? This game should have one controller for many uses, leaving just a visual for use like an antenna on your vehicle for sensor and the like that I mentioned before.
     
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  9. geostar1024

    geostar1024 Rear Admiral

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    Consider what's happening when you search for something (say, "what is a cat?") from your phone (using a data connection for example):
    • Phone contacts cell tower and tells it to deliver some packets
    • Cell tower contacts a router and tells it to deliver the packets
    • Router contacts another router (and possibly several more) and tells it to deliver the packets
    • The packets get delivered to a Google data center, where another sequence of routers and load balancers delivers the search text to a parsing system
    • The parsed search goes through another sequence of hardware to an array of database servers where a result is determined and sent back up the chain
      • The information in that database itself was the product of countless hours of other systems spread across potentially multiple data centers requesting billions of webpages and parsing their content and links
    • The results of your search are finally returned via the cell data connection and appear on your phone
    Note the sheer amount of hardware that it took to process such a simple request. My point is that software upgrades aren't enough; you still need physical hardware to run all that software on, and that's not going to change much, if at all, in the future: no matter what hardware and software look like in the future, you will always likely have hardware that performs the computations and software that instructs the hardware how to perform the computations. The goal of the CPU system is to abstract the complexities of modern computing and networking into a single number that represents the capacity of the ship's computer system to process/transform/transmit data. Different ship subsystems will need more or less of this computational resource depending on what they're doing (i.e. how computationally complex their tasks are).

    When I talk about other ship systems, I'm always talking about hardware (I assume that the software comes with the hardware and executes on ship computers once the hardware is installed). For shields, that's physical objects like shield capacitors to store energy (drained when the shield takes damage), specialized recharging equipment to re-energize the shield capacitors by drawing on the main power grid, and emitters that project and maintain the shield itself around the ship. For research, that's mainly physical analysis chambers for analyzing items and/or conducting random experiments. For sensors, that's tranceiver equipment (for projecting and detecting sensor pulses). Now, subsystems may have components that are software as well (for sensors, extra processing options that would consume extra CPU for a time to improve the quality of a signal; for research, analysis of experimental data to increase the knowledge yield or random simulations), in which case no extra physical space is required if the computational requirements are already met (if not, you'll need more CPU-producing blocks).

    I never suggested (or intended to suggest) that subsystems need specialized controllers that are the only way to interact with those subsystems. Subsystems should consist of some number of physical functional parts that are placed on the structure grid and consume resources, and can be managed in a straightforward way via the Control Panel or by physically interacting with a generic console (from the Tech Deco blocks). And I agree that requiring such controllers would be rather duplicative considering the CPU system (and it's one of my issues with the way the devs implemented storage arrays; there are some technical Unity reasons why they decided to go that route, but it doesn't make any sense from an in-game perspective).

    I'd also like to point out that armor slots are (I believe) intended to represent physical space (since player armor isn't built on its own grid like a structure is). For example, an armor booster isn't just a computer program inserted into a suit that somehow magically reduces damage; it's also supposed to represent extra physical plating that does the damage reduction. I'm not opposed to the idea of slot-based upgrades for structures but they need to take up space in the grid somehow (for example, one could imagine mod blocks that could accept a number of different, potentially hot-swappable, modules that modify various ship systems, which could be potentially useful for tweaking a ship's performance while in the middle of combat when running around with a multi-tool isn't really an option).

    All of this is to say that simply adding virtual slots somewhere is no substitute for physical blocks when it comes to implementing subsystems for structures. And to reiterate: the amount of volume consumed by various subsystems depends on how the stats for the blocks in those subsystems are set: if you turn up the thrust from a thruster enough, then you only need one in each direction; if you turn up the CPU output of a CPU-producing device, then you only need one (etc).
     
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  10. banksman45

    banksman45 Rear Admiral

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    With the current Volume and weight system. You're going to need to build bigger ships anyway. That is just a fact of life. Which I'm happy about because no shuttle size SV or little car size HV should be carrying 4 CV thrusters and 20 CV blocks or 200 Base blocks. After weeks of testing out new volume system ships will have to get a little bigger t unless you want to make more trips. Space games such as Empyrion look better with bigger ships in space when you're showing the game off in my opinion. That is one of the other big selling points of Dual Universe they showed off a ship in their last Video that was bigger than most 90% of the CV ships in Empyrion and it's not even 20% close to the size limit in that game.
     
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  11. Combat Wombat

    Combat Wombat Commander

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    NPC crew (and all the support that would go into it, bunks, food, air, pay) to expand ship function past CPU limitations. Bing Bang Boom

    People that don't want to deal with npc crew can keep not having them and people that want big ships can have those.
     
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  12. cp6891

    cp6891 Captain

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    @geostar1024 I really like this concept of expansion slots in the CPU block to boost certain systems. Increasing physical available CPU should require placing devices. After all, if I want more RAM in my computer, I don't download software, I install more physical RAM. But software can change how efficiently my computer uses that available RAM.

    If an upgrade used a couple points of CPU power, and maybe increased CPU power consumption by a small amount, I think it would be a great way to further tune our ships for specific tasks. Weapons boosters could be added to improve targeting, reload speed, and maybe even give a boost to range of weapons. Assuming we get shields at some point, an upgrade to the CPU could boost the recharge rate. Thruster upgrades could increase the amount of force the thrusters give without increasing the amount of fuel they consume. Engines, RCS, Sensors, constructors... So many things in the game could have "software upgrades" that install into a CPU similar to how armor upgrades install in our suits. Maybe CPU boosters could even be managed from the control panel, and the more CPU's you had, the more upgrade slots you could have. I think there are some great possibilities with this idea.
     
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  13. Liang

    Liang Commander

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    Yes, you have points I agree with. The points I disagree with are those you are basing off of modern technology for a futuristic game and a game not based on realism on top of it. This allows for new ideas to be formulated to allow things to be implemented in game, without it having negative effects.

    Example. Both Star Trek and Star Wars had shields...Trek pushed it to the forefront and tried to explain and use them in realistic ways so viewers will believe its realistic. Wars said they were there, and a few times even showed them...didnt try to explain, or make them realistic. We dont need to be bogged down with realism.

    Say we have shields. Have a shield power requirement, have them represented with an object like the one I described in an earlier post.

    Want even more like the shield capacitors you mentioned in your post? Add on expansion slots to engines, power cores...something. This game already has expansion slots in armor. Lets add them to other items to increase a vehicles ability....can even add volume to the expansion slots...we do not need separate items for every single new addition to the game forcing larger and larger and larger and larger vehicles.

    So in the end, you and I are caught in a loop now. I keep coming up with ways to keep things small while still adding new items to the game and you keep coming up reasons to want monster machines....

    So this is where you can let me know that you dont want to keep things normal sized or not so we can no longer reply to each other on this topic? I dont see a point continuing if you have no desire to actually discuss ways of keeping things small.
     
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  14. geostar1024

    geostar1024 Rear Admiral

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    I don't see how requiring blocks/devices for subsystems is bogging down the game with realism. In any case, consistency is what I'm going for rather than perfect realism (it just so happens that it's easiest to get consistency by starting with reality and abstracting away details in a rigorous manner).

    Plus, I will point out that subsystems in both Star Trek and Star Wars take up space. Consider the size of a warp core or deflector dish in Star Trek, or the size of the bridge deflector shield generators on a Star Destroyer (and the size of the hyperdrive in the Millenium Falcon, for that matter). Subsystems don't necessarily have to have "realistic" volumes (or other stats), but they do take up physical space no matter what sci-fi universe you look at.

    I will quote (most of) the last paragraph of my previous post again:

    Again, what I'm saying is that how large a structure ends up being depends on how many blocks each particular subsystem requires, and the number of required blocks depends on how "strong" each block is (what its stats are). So, with the right set of stats, one could make a rather compact ship that still has a multitude of functional subsystems in it (basically each subsystem would be one block at that point). I understand your desire to keep ships small, and I'm trying to show how that can be achieved while continuing to add subsystems as physical blocks.
     
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  15. H.P. Strangelove

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    This +++

    I really do not want to see CPU become an arbitrary limitation where adding more of 1 block type can 'fix' or alleviate design limitation. It just feels rather boring and pointlessly limiting. We've got the ship class system and functional block limits in place that are already quasi-checks to big builds - if that is indeed what they are attempting to 'fix'.

    CPU in my estimation would be better served as a kind of command point system related to player character level advancement (and possible perk systems) in conjunction with hirable and customizable NPC crew. It seems that Eleon are laying some type of foundation for factions and AI crew so this would be a logical (if difficult to fully develop) extension.

    Also if we're going to be seeing more 'blocks' to solve this, make the blocks interesting and offload some functionality to some of the deco that isn't being used for anything, such as console screens. They did this with the blueprint repair system and it works rather well.
     
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  16. Andreykl

    Andreykl Commander

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    CPU limit does sound like a nice way to balance things, especially if it is a soft limit (aka when you are over limit you guns take longer to aim and shoot, factories get delays between constructing, generators waste more fuel), but doesn't make sense much in engine department. Mass/volume/energy is the limiting factor for engines, they do not need more limits. If you want an agile fighter, you are already severely constrained by mass. If you want an armed and armored fortress, you again are limited by mass, since too much mass will require too much engines and as result too much energy to move - energy is CPU limited so you cann't scale it up indefinitely. Too little engines and you are almost stationary and stationary CVs in empyrion are target practice.
    CPU limit makes even less sense for cargo. I have no idea why it is needed besides preventing players from building freighters... which doesn't make sense. It is one thing to have ammo loading containers that consume a bit of CPU, and another to have box with mass sitting tight doing nothing. Mass is enough of constrain for freighters as is.

    P.S. A central computer that helps with targeting, detecting, crafting e t c makes sense... Having a single one without backups - does not.
     
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  17. Liang

    Liang Commander

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    I dont think you do understand as more physical blocks requires a larger size. Thus pushing the game larger and larger. On a server with PvP? See a large ship, run. No question about it. Its larger than you, its more powerful than you. No surprises...no getting swatted by that tiny ship...limited variations in gameplay!

    The amount of effects on the game is far reaching and unnecessary.

    And all for what? Because stronger means bigger! No. A foot of concrete is not stronger than an inch of steal and we have, today things stronger than steal while being even thinner. Bigger is not stronger and bigger would not be more powerful when factoring in new technology for power also.

    Example: Star Trek and Dilithium Crystals powering engines. Star Wars (not that Disney fuel garbage) but Hypermatter that allowed even single, one man fighters like X-Wings to hit light-speed and make a jump to hyperspace, just like larger ships, and did not require a massive size engine to do so. So why cant futuristic tech be both small and powerful, capable of running more systems?

    The point is. An X-wing was small. It was fast. It had 2 kinds of weapons, the 4 lazers and 2 torpedo launchers, it had radar and sensors, life support and ejector seat, a harpoon magnet lol, two types of targeting systems, basic deflector shields (yes, go watch the original 2 movies again) supply case with some kind of electronics that was never explained, Repair console (were R2-D2 sat)...all in that tiny ship.

    Its just plain nuts to think we cannot keep things small while still having most if not all features in a vehicle in a futuristic game.
     
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  18. IronCartographer

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    This is why the core would provide some base value, and allow you to build small ships. Larger ships with more CPU would have diminishing returns so that larger does not mean better, but rather more specialized with great cost to achieve that specialization. Maybe you put more into thrusters, brute force (turrets), or scanning capability, what have you. With the right balance across all systems, it can be possible for a smaller ship to have an advantage over a larger ship that is specialized for the wrong thing.

    Far from making larger ships stronger, adding a "volume/mass cost" to specialization can allow smaller ships to be stronger than their clumsy, overgrown siblings. It is Empyrion's current use of linear limitations and no tradeoffs between systems that makes you think bigger is automatically better.
     
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  19. geostar1024

    geostar1024 Rear Admiral

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    If you're facing down a bigger, more powerful ship alone, then you might want to re-evaluate your strategy; that'd be the point where I'd want to bring in some allies (whether human or AI), or fight on more favorable terrain (narrow canyons or near armed allied bases). Maybe if you're a really good pilot with a really precisely-designed ship that is exactly the right counter to the configuration of the larger ship, you could pull off a win. Otherwise, discretion is the better part of valor.

    Stronger could mean bigger (where armor is concerned), but, as @IronCartographer notes, stronger could also mean smarter (in terms of ship configuration). As I noted above, a properly specialized smaller ship could prevail against a larger, generally more powerful ship.

    Dilithium crystals were used as a regulator; the actual fuel was antimatter.

    Small mass, small hyperdrive. Keep in mind that while X-wings had a class 1 hyperdrive, the Millenium Falcon (a decently larger ship) had a considerably larger but faster (class 0.5) hyperdrive. Meanwhile, Star Destroyers had massive hyperdrives but they only achieved class 2 despite their bulk (due to the large mass of the Star Destroyer). So, while all of these ships were able to make hyperspace jumps, the capabilities of each ship's hyperdrive were determined by the size (equivalently, number of blocks) of the hyperdrive and the mass of the ship it was attached to.

    The X-wing was decently small, though not smaller than a TIE/LN (volume-wise) or an A-wing. It was decently fast, though not faster than a TIE/IN or an A-wing. Its laser cannons were definitely standout in its class, though the original T65 models carried just 6 proton torpedoes. Its sensor system was pretty good, but not nearly as good as the recon variant (which swapped the proton torpedo launchers for upgraded sensor equipment). Its shields were ok (better than nothing of course), but nothing to write home about; consider that a few blasts from a TIE/LN destroyed an X-wing at the Battle of Yavin, while the Millenium Falcon was able to shrug off sustained fire from multiple TIE/LNs.

    So, yes, the X-wing was an effective starfighter and contained quite a few subsystems in it. But its size ultimately limited its capabilities, restricting it to interception and light bomber duties. Consider the B-wing, which was larger and had a slower hyperdrive, but carried substantially more weaponry and armor (as well as enough cockpit space for a gunner), and was intended for a more anti-capital-ship/heavy bomber role.

    The point here is that while you might be able to pack a lot of features into a small ship, it's unlikely to be able to excel at everything. But, while larger ships could be more capable because they can mount more blocks for all subsystems, they also face their own set of limitations, acceleration (both linear and angular) being a major one (the mass of a ship goes up as the cube of the linear dimension, while the maximum thrust only goes up with the square of the dimension (if thrusters must be unobstructed, which they should be); the moment of inertia goes as mL^5 (where m is the mass density of an RCS device), while the available torque only goes as mL^3). Add in diminishing returns for CPU as the number of CPU-producing blocks increases (as was in my original proposal for CUs), and large ships aren't guaranteed to be superior to small ships.
     
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  20. Liang

    Liang Commander

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    This was why we were talking about CPUs with expansion slots for more power. So we can also avoid handicapping vehicles or having limits that are a little too strict in game, so players are a little freer in designs and ensuring that there can be a large variety of ship types in all sizes. By making it so ships are "specialized' you create limits, increase expectations when you see them, remove that random effect and thus, make it predictable and boring.

    With slight changes like adding in CPU expansion slots, you remove those limitations.
     
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