Sublight warp as a way to allow walking around during flight (Damocles idea)

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Average, Jun 19, 2020.

  1. Average

    Average Commander

    Jun 22, 2019
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    The following is my attempt to refine and adapt Damocles' suggestion for walking on ships, I hope they do not mind. For reference:


    The ability to walk on ship while moving has been one of the single most requested features in the suggestion forum. Though Eleon is very tight-lipped about the reasons why, I believe that it is difficult for them to implement in the current engine/codebse. I suspect it is related to ability to achieve reasonable walking physics when the ship location is potentially being updated at up to 150m/s, particularly in multiplayer where a 0.1 second timeframe on the update could easily see you 15m through the floor. Perhaps one day this can change with a major re-write, but in the meantime....

    The proposed solution is for a ship to have the ability to enter a sub-light warp travel mode when in space that will allow walking around. It does this by getting the game engine (on the passenger's PCs) to treat the ship as if it were still / stationary, while the game *logic* considers the ship to be moving forward at high speed. To prevent loading problems, the game engine stops calculating or rendering other objects except for planets and maybe asteroids during this time.

    Ships only activate sub-light warp from a stationary position, and the ship must be at least 2km from the nearest object. During warp, velocity and orientation cannot change. The sub-light warp ends when the pilot stops this warp or the ship comes within 2km of something.


    While the game logic considers the ship to be moving, as far as the physics engine is concerned, the ship effectively is treated as if it was standing still in a separate warp-only playfield (or simply placed outside the normal coordinate range). It is made to stay still, allowing players to walk around freely. They can also use their drones while seated.

    In order to give the feel of warp, there is appropriate sound effects, and a swirly graphical effect (basically just an animated transparent box or sphere with swirly graphics).

    When the ship comes out of this mode, all ship movement is disabled for 5 seconds, which gives passengers a chance to re-seat if they haven't already, and also gives a chance for the game-engine to load the nearby structures.


    From the perspective of players observing a ship, the ship is rendered as normal, except for a blue swirly effect trailing the ship. The ship will move quite fast, say 300m/s (perhaps more or less depending on how many blocks it has, to give small ships warp advantage). I suggest this speed as it gives a good reason to use it, but does not make space feel small by allowing you to travel too quickly.

    Moving this fast also does not cause loading problems for passengers, because they do not load any game object (for example, a nearby BA) until arrival. So, even at 300m/s, a ship cannot accidentally fly through another object, because the game will stop your warp as soon as you are within 2km of anything, giving enough time for it to load.

    For other players, they may attempt to pull people out of warp by getting a ship or structure within 2km their path. This might be an interesting combat mechanic.


    FOR FTL?

    Travelling a long way between point A and B in the large galaxy format is very repetitive. Perhaps if you either get the coords from a mission or you have visited it before, or just anytime, you could fly directly to a star system in this mode, bypassing all the frivolous little connections, and allowing you to walk around your ship during flight.


    • I believe faster than 150m/s means objects don't load fast enough, and that is why they have that hard limit on speed.
    • Ships should be stationary at start and end of warp, so that there is a chance to get seated again, and so pilot cannot easily fly off without you in multiplayer.
    • I think we should avoid extra UI. Pointing ship and activating would be smoother imho.

    Keen to hear your thoughts, feel free to critique.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2020
    Pear78, Sofianinho and Krumbotor like this.
  2. Krumbotor

    Krumbotor Ensign

    Jun 15, 2020
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    Great suggestion, and well layed out.

    The sub-light warp you are describing is similar to the Pulse Engine in No Man's Sky.
    In my opion, this suggestion tackles a greater issue than moving around while a ship is moving: Those boring trips to that moon that is 13km away and back while moving only at 130m/s.

    Another thought: A Vessel should not be able to engage sub-light warp jump, if it has been shot at in the last 30s. I think Eleon has this "combat detection routine" already in place, since you can't repair a ship with station services, if it has been damaged in the last 30s.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2020
    Average and Germanicus like this.
  3. Germanicus

    Germanicus Rear Admiral

    Jan 22, 2018
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    As much as I am intrigued by such an Idea...

    Walking on ships is not practical in our - as we know now - Galaxy. Our max Jump Rang IS 30 LY. A Jump that is performed within a few seconds. Therefore is the moving around WHILE in the time of doing this jump not realistic. We don't have hours between entering the Jump Phase and leaving it.
    If the whole point would be to move within Ships while the Ship Moves in general is a different, and from the current situation of the Game-Programming not achievable Status. The calculation which the Game performs while moving your Vessel are already at a very high level.
    Each Block within your Vessel must be taken into account for calculating its Position for each inch it moves.

    As all of our Vessels are "build-by-hand" of thousands of can't compare it with other games in which your Vessel is ONE moving BLOCK.

    In the long Run, besides of a nice Idea of Yours, an almost impossible achievement.
    Sofianinho and johnietoth1967 like this.
  4. Average

    Average Commander

    Jun 22, 2019
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    I agree it would not be possible in that jump range with the current setup. But you may have misunderstood - the core of the suggestion describes something a player would use to move around within the playfield, as I mentioned travelling at 300m/s. I did also briefly suggest (at the end of the post) the player could use it as a way to travel between systems, but I talked about it as a means to travel vast distances (eg. 500 LY) in the galaxy, replacing many tedious small jumps with a single warp sequence. This could conceivably take a few minutes, which would be a similar time to the current method (of repeated clicking on the galaxy map and warping). I believe walking around the ship for a few minutes would be vastly more enjoyable and useful than clicking on the UI repeatedly.

    I discussed this "calculation barrier" in my post. Obviously, if you're the ship pilot, a faster speed means your PC is loading surrounding objects too quickly if it's faster than 160m/s (the current hard limit). This is why I said that the engine shouldn't render objects other than planets while in sub-light warp mode. The ship is locked in a predictable path (as I suggested it could not change orientation or velocity). It would also never interact with other objects in this mode, as I suggested it exits the mode as soon as anything is within 2km. There is no performance or calculation penalty.
    Pear78 and Sofianinho like this.
  5. Pear78

    Pear78 Captain

    Dec 18, 2018
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    Im all for it, I love to use the actual boxes / devices in a ship, rather than through the P menu (even if its faster to do so) immersion!

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