MMORPG - Preferred game mechanics

What kind of multiplayer gameplay would you prefer?

  • Real-time massive multiplayer "RPG", and I don't care about FTL or other game-reality compromises

    Votes: 44 42.7%
  • Real-time massive multiplayer "RPG", but no sci-fi under pain of death

    Votes: 24 23.3%
  • MMORPG - "time bubble" system, many separate "smallverses"

    Votes: 18 17.5%
  • A simple dedicated server with host-controlled time acceleration

    Votes: 31 30.1%
  • None - I prefer singleplayer

    Votes: 11 10.7%

  • Total voters
    103

Face

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Details may be found here.

---------- Post added 11-25-09 at 08:34 AM ---------- Previous post was 11-24-09 at 03:30 PM ----------

With 16 users now voted, things are on par :( . Majority seems to be on the MMORPG train, but no clear winner on SciFi vs. non-SciFi yet.

Please keep voting!
 

BHawthorne

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Well, at the very least it shows that the project overall goal of multiplayer is 90% well received so far. That surprises me as I thought there would be more resistance to the idea than that.
 

Face

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Well, at the very least it shows that the project overall goal of multiplayer is 90% well received so far. That surprises me as I thought there would be more resistance to the idea than that.

I think most of the potential single-player-voters just don't care about the poll at all.

What is interesting is the acceptance of SciFi elements in supporters. This will make decision on content-model easier.
 

BHawthorne

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I think most of the potential single-player-voters just don't care about the poll at all.

What is interesting is the acceptance of SciFi elements in supporters. This will make decision on content-model easier.

That caught my attention also. IMHO, it means that whatever compromise we do we can pretty well target the largest cross section by conservative use of sci-fi only in so much as is needed to glue things together and everything else being strictly regular physics based. Minimalist sci-fi might work for the majority. The devil is in the details though. Just what is the minimalist sci-fi needed to pull things off?

What I think is bothering most on the fence is that FTL will be an "I win" button feature of sorts where it takes the strategy and difficulty out of the game play. I think that if a version of FTL was used within the system it needs to be designed with difficulty, strategy and fuel constraints in mind that it might make it a lot more acceptable. My suggestion would be it would be either cost or fuel prohibitive or some other combination of limitations where it would not be feasible to just be FTLing around daily. The focus of Orbiter has always been spaceflight under normal physics limitations. Anything to cut down on FTL use would be my preference. FTL might be a necessary evil to bind long range locations together within the framework of the setup though.

It was also mentioned about using FTL gates vs FTL retrofitted ships. My thought process of using FTL gates is that the ships could remain FTL-less and not be contaminated by sci-fi systems while the FTL gates would be only used as needed to cover vast distances required to get between the blobs of activity in the system. But ultimately we're still trading off real science for pseudo-science with FTL. Gates are Babylon 5 and Stargate pseudo-science while ship FTL is Star Wars and Star Trek pseudo-science.
 
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Face

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That caught my attention also. IMHO, it means that whatever compromise we do we can pretty well target the largest cross section by conservative use of sci-fi only in so much as is needed to glue things together and everything else being strictly regular physics based. Minimalist sci-fi might work for the majority. The devil is in the details though. Just what is the minimalist sci-fi needed to pull things off?

Some years ago, I implemented a [ame="http://www.orbithangar.com/searchid.php?ID=2609"]FTL "jump-drive"[/ame] based on a very interesting concept-study by ZCochrane. Basically it is providing only fixed-length jumps, so users need some skills to use it (even if it is only basic geometry). I even wrote the documentation similar to what you'd put FTL officers through in flight academy :) .
The implementation featured "fuel-cells" that you filled up with your fuel in order to use. Careful route-management and fuel-planning is needed to use it successfully.

Unfortunately, it never got too popular, since it was too hard for SciFi-fans, but too SciFi for reality-fans. Maybe it fits in here now...

Please take a look and see for yourself.

regards,
Face
 

Face

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Please keep on voting... do we really have mere 27 persons interested here?
 

Arrowstar

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Some years ago, I implemented a FTL "jump-drive" based on a very interesting concept-study by ZCochrane. Basically it is providing only fixed-length jumps, so users need some skills to use it (even if it is only basic geometry). I even wrote the documentation similar to what you'd put FTL officers through in flight academy :) .
The implementation featured "fuel-cells" that you filled up with your fuel in order to use. Careful route-management and fuel-planning is needed to use it successfully.

Unfortunately, it never got too popular, since it was too hard for SciFi-fans, but too SciFi for reality-fans. Maybe it fits in here now...

Please take a look and see for yourself.

regards,
Face

Might be a nice way of implementing it. Replaces the skill of setting up a transfer orbit with the skill of pointing your ship the right direction and firing, but I suppose it's a skill to be mastered. And it sounds like it can't be abused very easily, so that's nice. Maybe this is the way to go, versus gates?
 

combrown

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Keep it functional.

The realistic thing about Orbiter that we all know is that it takes a long time to get certain places in the real verse, based on current technology.

I think personally stuff like the star trek ships are rediculous for orbiter they don't do it justice and in that way they should have their own verse.
Obviously I don't think it would be right for me to say they should be excluded, but the idea of pulling up along side the enterprise in my delta glider would annoy the hell out of me.

But things like descates and interplanetary ships with plenty of Delta V would be good so you can plan a serious high speed burn to the moon or other planet.

Additionally like orbiter in single simulation mode I can add and remove ships with the scenario editor and jump in another ship whilst I wait for an interplanetary cruise to be up.
This would be a good feature in OMP but I guess users should be limited to how many ships they can have in their fleet.

I just recently got back into orbiter as I was happy to find that realtime module which allows me to turn my pc off and save power and keep my imagination running as I know I will log back on and see the progress off my flight, I was thinking I could do that back in 2003. (I was wrong)
If OMP could have that function and then you can email users as to the progress on their flight trajectory and any planetary bodies they may be approaching as a proximity warning, this is helpful if they have not logged on for a while or the flight is long and heavily in need of cryo sleep chambers.

Sorry have not had a chance to see if anybody else has wrote about this but I thought I would add it whilst it is fresh in my head.

I will have a look at this OMP, I heard it was not that great as one ships had to stay still whist the other rendezvous with which I guess is needed anyway.
Better to have a waypoint to meet at like a Nav bouy or station.

I like putting nav bouy sats around the place to align orbits and meet certain places.

Makes it more fun.
Navigation is a cool historical part of orbiter.

Cheeeeeerrs

---------- Post added at 09:41 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:31 PM ----------

Some years ago, I implemented a FTL "jump-drive" based on a very interesting concept-study by ZCochrane. Basically it is providing only fixed-length jumps, so users need some skills to use it (even if it is only basic geometry). I even wrote the documentation similar to what you'd put FTL officers through in flight academy :) .
The implementation featured "fuel-cells" that you filled up with your fuel in order to use. Careful route-management and fuel-planning is needed to use it successfully.

Unfortunately, it never got too popular, since it was too hard for SciFi-fans, but too SciFi for reality-fans. Maybe it fits in here now...

Please take a look and see for yourself.

regards,
Face

Yeh I think I tried that and got disheartened quickly at the early lack of success, even though I was sure with time I could master it.

But it's nice to have something that can get you there when you simply select your destination.
I liked the concept of the Babylon jump gates, but I thought they were so huge they were out of character even though they are designed to also accomodate lager ships.

It would be nice to enter a FTL phase and simply come out where you want to be, understanderbly you need some sort of waypoint but I prefer nav bouys as they are discrete and like an out marker in space.
(Navigation waypoint)
Then you could have limitation on jump mass to only get to a certain waypoint based on distance and then a pilot has to orbital transfer to a near by station to refuel then return to the nav bouy for continuation of their journey to deep space.
You get my drift.

I am yet to see something like this.
I guess I could do it myself with a little work, but time is always a problem.

Hope this is good input, and not negative in any way.

Cheers

To add, you know it takes light speed a certain time to get a certain distance.
Well you can have a choice of travel, light speed or faster than light and they can all come at some sort or econimic cost.
If you travel at light speed it saves fuel but it will take the time that light speed takes to travel the selected distance.

FTL can come at a higher cost but you either get their instantly or just quicker than light depending on the selected speed that is actually faster than light.

And if ya want to create fictional wormholes and creat fancy appealing effects, well I guess that can be done as well.
 
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Face

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Please keep in mind that this poll was made for the MMORPG development inspired (and still lead???) by BHawthorne , not for OMP itself.
I understand that the position of this poll and the associated development thread within the Orbiter Multiplayer Project forums may cause misunderstandings, but please keep them separated. OMP is not MMORPG project and vice versa.

OMP will implement the time-bubble system, so there is no need for FTL systems within it. Of course you can use one, if it is compatible with the framework...

On a side note: the MMORPG development got pretty silent lately. I hope this is just due to holidays and not because of the usual drop in interest after first fiercy enthusiasm (as always observed with the multiplayer topic) ;) .

regards,
Face
 

hribek

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Hello. I voted "A simple dedicated server with host-controlled time acceleration".

I found that to be the most fitting option. Here's why.

Co-operative multiplayer

Most of today's multiplayer online games are competitive. But why do that, when the worst adversary is the hostile environment of space?

Has anyone thought about it before? I haven't found anything myself looking around the threads in here. I first discovered this concept about two months ago when I was messing with OpenTTD. Surprisingly, this solves all time-management issues.

The simulation remains paused when there's no-one (or not enough people) to participate in the simulation. Time acceleration is set to suit the current simulation state by the host or by anyone with a bit of experience controlling it. Because everyone has a common goal, this is not a problem!

Offline participants would not have to be afraid about missing their maneuver times, launch windows, rendezvous, orbit insertions ... because it would be ensured that there is no time acceleration when these need to be performed, and that the simulation does not continue at all when there is not enough pilots to control the vessels/carrs/UMmus simultaneously at any point in time.

Furthermore, by recording the simulation using the Orbiter's record & playback feature, people could catch up on what happened while they were gone, or entire simulations and scenarios could be reviewed for future reference.

---

Originally, I had a concept idea about dealing with time and time acceleration, somewhat similar to the "time bubbles". Then I realized how complex both of them would be. Both these solutions can't compare the above - in simplicity, efficiency, and spirit.

If anyone is interested, I can explain my original idea at length - it might improve the time bubble concept. But I'd prefer if we could have a go at co-operative multiplayer first.
 
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Kaito

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While the above might be the best and easiest solution, I dont think many people want to wait 2 days to rendezvous with the ISS, like what happens in real life, nor do they want to wait 3 days to land on the moon. I like being able to launch to the moon and be back in time for dinner.

I guess maybe we should start with that "no time accel" solution, but then evolve into something more complex as people join the server and more ideas/problems arise.
 

Ghostrider

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Most of today's multiplayer online games are competitive. But why do that, when the worst adversary is the hostile environment of space?

Because there's a whole lotta satisfaction in throwing your adversary into the hostile environment of space and watch it go all, well, not so hostile-y anymore.
 

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I dont think many people want to wait 2 days to rendezvous with the ISS, like what happens in real life, nor do they want to wait 3 days to land on the moon.
That can only happen when there are other things to do in the meantime! Meaning - if there's nothing to do in the simulation, time gets warped to the point where something gets interesting, and then it continues at a normal rate.

Example: Earth-Moon transfer, cruise phase (time is warped because nobody wants to wait for several days - there are no planned activities during the cruise phase)

Or the opposite case - when there's too much to do and too few people to do it, the simulation will be paused until there are enough pilots.

Example: while one person can oversee a whole fleet of ships headed to a distant location and perform mid-course corrections for all these ships, because it's not so time-sensitive, two people will be having a very hard time landing six DGIVs on Earth simultaneously.

I like being able to launch to the moon and be back in time for dinner.
So do I! Let's see how that would work, on a simple scenario.

Albert, Bob and Cindy decide to set up and play a UCGO Lunar Base resupply scenario.

First, Albert and Bob load, fuel and crew their two DGIVs, Cindy sets up the lunar base, The gliders are launched to LEO by Albert and Bob, with Cindy playing mission control. Then Albert has to go away from keyboard (to sleep, eat, learn, whatever). So Bob and Cindy can perform the TLI burn with the gliders while still flying in formation. Alternately, Bob does it all by himself using DGIV's remote thrust or the RemoteControlMFD because he thinks he's tough enough, or because Cindy prefers to play mission control or mess with UCGO crates on lunar surface to flying gliders.

After they're both done, they decide to warp the time to the mid-course correction, which Bob performs by himself, and waits for Cindy to finish the UGCO base preparations - she's cleaning moondust off the landing pads and taking out the trash. Then they warp the time again to the point where the supply gliders arrive to the Moon. They pause the simulation, because they decided it would take all three of them to land the gliders and control the lunar base, then all three controlling various UMmus to greet themselves and unload the cargo, making it a fun session.

Ten minutes later, Albert gets back and they're ready to proceed.

---

In effect: no-one's getting bored, nobody has to wait days to get to the Moon, there are no crashed gliders, etc. Yes, of course, the fact that the three of them got together and agreed on a flight / development plan is a key point.

---

@Ghostrider:

I can't quite understand what you meant, so, well, assuming that you suggest violence is important in Orbiter multiplayer, I guess you should start developing some sort of a gun/weaponry addon? Or did I get you wrong?
 
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Zilesio

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I don't think you can realistically build a MMORPG with Orbiter preserving the immense freedom of options a user can enjoy with the single player... and I'm sure you all agree with me on this

If I'm trying to fly an apollo to the moon while you're warping your Enterprise to Saturn we'll have problems, because I'll need to be able to control time acceleration (even just to get to the right launch time window) in a way that will disturb your mission.

Anyway I could also have a constructive opinion, but I'm not quite sure to what voting option it would correspond:

- No general time acceleration ever possible

- a specific option (maybe an MFD?) to instantly materialize a virtual launch base or space station located in a spot that will have a launch window for optimal launch from a selected planet/space station to a selected orbiting or ground target within a selectable amount of time (i.e. if I want to fly a DG to the moon, Ill' imput "Start": Earth, "TGT": Moon, "Time to Launch Window": 3 mins, and my DG would be positioned on a runway instantly "built" on purpose in a place that will be in a suidable position within 3 minutes)

- a specific teleportation or "Newtonian Mechanics based Light speed warp" MFD (you must have it newtonian on a MORPG and not relativistic! time must tick the same for everyone) that:
* takes your ship to any point you might like to pick on your CURRENT trajectory, at the SAME SPEED you had when you started warping (better not to leave freedom of choice on arrival speed)
* only allows warps when all engines are off
* sucks an amount of main fuel in proportion to warp distance.
* leaves option between teleportation (Earth to Ganymede in no time) and Lightspeed (Earth to Ganymede in about 45 mins). people will pick whatever option they like.
NOTE: like I said, this can't be relativistic/realistic if you want it to be multiplayer: during your "lightspeed" trip to Ganymede, the satellite's rotation and revolution speeds will just stay the same like every other thing in our virtual solar system.


I'd say nothing else is needed to make the whole system work, don't you think?

I hope somebody likes my idea :) thanks for reading it anyway!
 

johan

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One of the limitations for FTL drives could be that, for safety reasons, you should be well away from any major gravity sources. I.e. if you went FTL from LEO, or from the Moon, you could end up literally anywhere in the universe (how about smack bang in the middle between two galaxies?).

It's a good way to force 99.99 percent of jumps to occur from far enough away from any activity centers (you'd have to find the right value for "far enough" by experimenting), while still allowing you to travel to other solar systems, or even galaxies. Yet this solution also allows a panicked Han Solo style jump if the only alternative is certain death (let's say the police are chasing you and have cornered you orbiting pluto, and they're about to blast you to smithereens).

In fact, if you define it in terms of the total effect of gravity on your ship, it opens up other interesting possibilities, like jumping from a lagrange point.
 

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Verdict:

We do not need complex MMORPG game mechanics, not at OMP's level. The prospect of a completely open sandbox makes the concept of OMP unique. It is non intrusive and due to time and distance players are automatically encouraged to file flight plans with each other and hone each others' skills in any mission at any location in the Solar System.

Converting OMP to a level-based MMORPG system is IMO, waste of time. If I wanted a squadron to progress from subsonic flight to sci fi pseudo-FTL, I'd lead the squadron myself and write my own story. Since we don't have massdrivers and guided missiles, no one is compelled to run amok and ruin others' gameplay. Infact, if someone wanted to use OMP as a singleplayer venue, he can as well - the other players/observers can even fill in a role as mission control to monitor the flight.

Unlike certain comments made on OMP, this is MASSIVE potential for "realistic" space launches and also very good educational value for those new to orbital mechanics. Why stick to elitist organisations that demand perfection from their recruits? I can teach anyone to do a precision launch to orbit in 5 minutes flat, using participation, live telemetry and plain old school diplomacy.

As most of our playerbase are mature enough to generate our own mission environments on the fly, we do not need you (or any future OMP coder) to invest thousands of hours into a slow clunky RPG system.

We already have an MMORPG system, and it's called international collaboration. From what I've seen over the past 4 weeks, it works great.

The USMC mantra of Keep it Simple, Stupid is always the best solution when it comes to optimising the use and potential of existing resources.

Erm...
So say we all? :p
 

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I am thinking of these concepts for an RPG extension to OMP:

- No resources (including fuel) or vessels are available for free. You can't create or change anything through scenario editor. You have to pay for everything.

- Player starts with Shuttle PB and small amount of cash and is free to do anything that allows his bank account. For example, he gets proposal from a real person or NPC to transfer one or two people to ISS (or any other UMMued station) or to the Moon (much bigger profit). The cash income from this mission will cover the fuel cost over and above. A few such flights and the player can buy DGIV or XR1 and transport UCGO cargo too. And so on...

- There will be plants which produce different resources in a form of UCGO cargo. Prices at these plants will be low. Transportation and selling will give a good revenue. Other plants will use resources to build vessels or base modules. Eventually the player will be able to build or buy his own resource or vehicle factory.

- Only UMMued vessels are allowed. Cargo vessels must support UCGO.

I will think of other rules later.

Don't know how about you, but I'm going to try all these at least in a sinlge player scenario, maybe using a special MFD or dialog that will control the cash amount and everything else.
 

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well, it would be nice, but the usual time warping problems still apply, if you're on your way to the moon, you'll want 1000x warp for about 2 sim days, someone going to the ISS would only want 1000x warp for a few seconds to do half an orbit to the next burn

and i dont mean to be pessimistic, but a system like that would be INCREDIBLY hard to implement, you'd need a whole currency system, then a block on the SCNeditor, then a purchasing engine and interface, not to mention the difficult cargo purchasing routine and/or passenger loading

if you can do it, you'd be a coding genius, but you need to think about the logical flaws before you start diving into coding bugs as well.

good luck man
-=-Grover-=-
 

vchamp

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well, it would be nice, but the usual time warping problems still apply, if you're on your way to the moon, you'll want 1000x warp for about 2 sim days, someone going to the ISS would only want 1000x warp for a few seconds to do half an orbit to the next burn

This is in a scope of OMP development, not RPG. I hope that the RPG extension will only use public interface provided by OMP to get the state of all objects and commands from them.

I don't think that purchasing interface and cargo loading are that hard to implement. I am not able to predict how all this economy will function in a full scale multiplayer, but a simple module that controls the mentioned actions is plausible. Thanks to Dan Steph for his simple and comprehensible cargo management SDK.
 

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What if you use a "Warp Interface" that slows down the movement of everything else - in your local simulation, not on the server - and then accelerates time in your simulation (in this scenario, clients tell the server where they are and how fast they are moving, but it's also possible to implement serverside).

That way you will be going at x times the speed while everything else will move as if there was no time acceleration and your other MFDs can still predict planet movement correctly.

When you go out of time acceleration the planets won't have moved much but you will. Not very realistic, but aren't we all superheroes on the internet?
 
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