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SageThe13th

The Cube Meta and How You're Helping To Enforce It

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I completely disagree with everything said in this thread.

 

The real meta in any game where you can build your own things, is of course the penis!

 

Not the block. Silly idea!

 

::)

 

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Thrusters and engines dealing damage to anything in their way. RIP everyone's designs for a bit, before they all melt. Alternatively:

 

Disable thrusters and engines in any covered directions. RIP everyone's designs.

 

A bit on the crazy side, but: make shields scale off of exposed surface area (like how hangar bays work but covered shields don't add capacity at all) or add a shield variant that works this way and is stronger across the board by mass, health, and cost.

 

In general, make things require exposure to work. Solar panels, thrusters, engines, heat sinks if that becomes a thing, possibly shield generators?

 

I'm just spitballing here.

 

Ya spitballing is right.

 

EVERY one of those suggestions would mean CUBE is king!

 

The enter topic is on how to stop the cube meta not enforce it.

 

while every thing you have said might presumably be necessary in real life it would not make nice gameplay or aesthetic ships.

 

I say presumably because if tech goes the way  of frequency and finds the wavelength of gravity every thing changes :) 

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the only argument i have seen against cubes is how they look.

so:

 

4FEEFA7D4456CC315FB0BE8D9BA156AB38825DE3

we are only bound by our creativity. hologram blocks ftw.

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thanks, i think.

 

yeah, its hard to find the right colours on the palette when they all end up glowing pastel versions.

im working on a celtic design using 0.1x0.1 blue lines on a 33x33 black cube at the moment. trying not to have more than 0.3 worth of black space around any blue 'pixel'.

it will be fiddly and intricate, but monochrome for ease of painting.

i found some great 400x400 pixel art images that i would like to try out for my next cube, but im not sure where the forum draws the line between art and porn, so i might pick something else. it would be a great distraction in pvp though.

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ok, almost 1/4 of one face done...

 

EA390DF55F61979D0459634554B7AF318D46D912

 

problem is, that's over 6k blocks and the game is getting...  unhappy with me.

maybe save this level of detail for small borders or highlights.

 

but the point stands. cubes are only as ugly as you are willing to let them be.

 

maybe keep it simple though, like this

 

5DE936FB6617CE56C3577DFD78CD5459F61180FA

 

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Something can be pretty and still boring.  I applaud your creativity and dedication to create the intricate designs on your cubes, but the ship can be pleasant to look at while still lacking any real visual interest.

 

The laws of thermodynamics dictate that we will likely never see sphere or cube shaped spaceships in real life, for two main reasons: delta-v is expensive, and vacuum is a perfect insulator.  Therefore, the spaceships we make now, and any we design in the future (unless we come up with technologies that violate the laws of physics as we currently understand them in order to produce things like reactionless drives or anti-gravity), will need to have their primary thrust applied on a single axis and will need to have a huge surface area in comparison to their total volume to radiate waste heat.

 

In Avorion, on the other hand, delta-v is free, and heat doesn't exist.  Meaning the most efficient shape is, indeed, a cube, since having a large volume in relation to your surface area is an advantage, not a detriment.  Another big contributor to this efficiency in the game is that, as far as I can tell, all of a ship's thrust is applied directly to the center of mass, not to location on the ship where it's installed.  Mounting thrusters farther away from their axis "increases" their thrust not because of their physical location, but because it applies a multiplier to the force they exert on the COM.

 

All of this, in addition to the volume-based block mechanics previously discussed, means that cube ships will always remain an ideal design.  They may not be required for an effective design, and I don't think it's detrimental to the game, as long as it's something the dev team's aware of and things don't progress any further towards making them the absolute best combat configuration.

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One of the biggest issues with spherical ships is that you don't get 'easy' ratios. My base design right now is all spheres, which I can just plug and play together, but the original design took some math work to get right :)

 

So the rib ratios I'm working with on the different blocks are 1.08, 2, 2.61 and 2.83 :)

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Well, it's actually true that cubes are better than any other shape in Avorion, but ships are also the reflection of how fancy or utilitarian they and their crew are. The Borg use cubes because they are the Borg, as drones they try to be as utilitarian as possible, while our time's rocket-like long ships are made for thrust and atmospheric piercing (another utilitary design for another use).

In contrast, fancier and less optimized designs show freedom, individuality or other desires to get away from being drones, showing, in other words, that space is not (yet) an unforgiving and cruel enough place, fit only to the most efficient and rational designs.

 

Though nowadays the mace designs may have gotten the additional advantage of dodging some torpedoes by spinning, though I've seen torpedoes explode just before colliding. Mace designs also profit from "load-bearing" (when someone fires at a block at the center of a line to destroy it, she needs to deal enough damage to destroy at least half the blocks of the line, negating need for any lateral armouring ! I've seen that in station designs with proeminent load-bearing generators, adding insult to injury by making a traditional weak spot the strongest on the station ::).

The only weak spots would be the edges of the stick: put a slightly bigger armor block (with some microscopic integrity field generators) and the spot isn't weak anymore, as removing the block would need ten times it's health in damage, probably killing the ship way before removing the block.

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If we actually want to discourage cube ships, there are plenty of options.

 

1. Make local damage not respect block size. A 1 meter thick armor plate that's 100 square kilometers in area is just as easy to penetrate as a 1 meter thick armor plate that's 10 square meters in area. Let blocks be partially disabled by concentrated fire.

 

2. Require (or at least strongly reward) some blocks to be distant from the center of mass of the ship. Thrusters are too effective when close to center of mass if we don't want cube ships.  If a cube ship, even with all of its outer layers composed entirely of thrusters, had rotten turn radius, and instead required long pylons to give the thrusters leverage to turn its massive bulk, that would discourage tightly compacted ships, especially cubes.

 

3. Have components generate heat, and have to radiate it out to space. Yes, you'd end up with cubes covered with spikes, until local damage shoots off enough of the spikes to let the ship's waste heat cook its crew.

 

I don't know that any of these options are good ones, but they all would have some effect to reduce the relative power of cubes vs. everything else. As long as compact structure, small surface area, and large solid blocks are favored, cubes will dominate.

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Give server owners/moderators the power to grant additional armor effectiveness, shielding, and/or other bonuses to player ships that look nice and non-cube?

 

Granted, for that to work it would require good server moderators, but...

 

 

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I've always built my ships in a cube shape, for one simple reason.

 

Cube-shaped ships are easier to edit, in particular, easier to upgrade.

 

If I want to attach, say, a hangar to one of the ships I see on the steam workshop, I might as well scrap the ship and use a different one.

 

But with a cube-shaped ship, its perfectly doable. Cube-shaped ships are modular, you can easily swap out bits, upgrade things, etc.

 

That is THE reason I use cube ships.

 

Not any of this stuff about surface-area-to-volume ratio, or armor plat HP, or similar.

 

Simple ease of editing.

 

If you want to discourage cube-shaped ships, then you need to make it easier to edit/refit/upgrade ships.

 

Start out by giving us better control of the editing camera. Editing something inside my ship should not be so hard.

 

Alternatively, forget about the idea of making ships pretty. Avorion is a primarily single-player game. Even in multiplayer, the universe is vast, and I will never see most other players' ship.

 

How ships look doesn't really matter. Practical concerns are vastly more important. We're building warships here, not luxury liners.

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I've always built my ships in a cube shape, for one simple reason.

 

Cube-shaped ships are easier to edit, in particular, easier to upgrade.

 

If I want to attach, say, a hangar to one of the ships I see on the steam workshop, I might as well scrap the ship and use a different one.

 

But with a cube-shaped ship, its perfectly doable. Cube-shaped ships are modular, you can easily swap out bits, upgrade things, etc.

 

That is THE reason I use cube ships.

Not any of this stuff about surface-area-to-volume ratio, or armor plat HP, or similar.

 

Simple ease of editing.

That's a reason to use ships with low block count. Shape of the ship has no bearing on that really.

Besides, even if the ship exterior is extremely complex, if it is built in few blocks on the inside, it is still possible to easily modify it.

 

If you want to discourage cube-shaped ships, then you need to make it easier to edit/refit/upgrade ships.

 

Start out by giving us better control of the editing camera. Editing something inside my ship should not be so hard.

You're always welcome to give specific suggestion on how that process can be made more convenient. From where I see it, its something the ship designers might consider themselves, and not something one should shove to the developers, who already made good building tools with very few apparent problems.

 

Alternatively, forget about the idea of making ships pretty. Avorion is a primarily single-player game. Even in multiplayer, the universe is vast, and I will never see most other players' ship. How ships look doesn't really matter. Practical concerns are vastly more important. We're building warships here, not luxury liners.

Tell that to the people, who spend weeks building absolutely amazing designs. These are warships also, but people build them for other people, who can't spare that time or have no aptitude to build them, but want to use pretty ships still. These people answer accordingly, which is why beautiful ships get the top ratings across the board.

 

Whether another player will ever see your or someone's else beautiful ship is largely irrelevant, because that's what you want to look at. Everyone has the ability to make modular designs, where internal components can be replaced block-by-block to fit the expectations of the player using the ship etc, but even then it has little to do with meta-game.

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I appreciate the work people put into beautiful ship designs on the workshop. When getting my friend into the game, they really helped him enormously.

 

I've just found workshop ships really hard to edit, let alone upgrade. My friend largely gave up trying to edit his ship, he just made it bigger and strapped extra things to the outside. Most steam workshop designs aren't modular at all. They're not designed to be something you can upgrade, or even edit really. Replacing internal components is tough, chiefly due to the difficulty of getting the camera to do what you want. For example, try selecting a block deep inside a ship. Its hard. You have to find some angle and zoom where you can get close enough through the ship to select it. Forget simply moving your camera freely - that, as far as I am aware, doesn't exist, and it should.

 

In some of my avorion play sessions, the camera has given me more trouble than groups of enemy ships.

 

If the game simply let us move the camera however we wanted, ship design would be much easier.

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I appreciate the work people put into beautiful ship designs on the workshop. When getting my friend into the game, they really helped him enormously.

 

I've just found workshop ships really hard to edit, let alone upgrade. My friend largely gave up trying to edit his ship, he just made it bigger and strapped extra things to the outside. Most steam workshop designs aren't modular at all. They're not designed to be something you can upgrade, or even edit really. Replacing internal components is tough, chiefly due to the difficulty of getting the camera to do what you want. For example, try selecting a block deep inside a ship. Its hard. You have to find some angle and zoom where you can get close enough through the ship to select it. Forget simply moving your camera freely - that, as far as I am aware, doesn't exist, and it should. In some of my avorion play sessions, the camera has given me more trouble than groups of enemy ships.

 

If the game simply let us move the camera however we wanted, ship design would be much easier.

That is true. For the most parts people just use way too many blocks to outline every detail - that's what bugs me the most. When a ship features thousands of blocks, where it could look nearly as good if made by few hundreds, given some deliberate limits to resolution (few or no blocks less than 1 in any dimension is a good start), it makes it hard to to make any mods. The relatively recent function of hiding blocks (which shows only specific blocks) on its own allows to work on internal components without messing with ship's hull. Focused-based camera is really not that bad. However, I've also noticed many ships has severely fragmented systems too, which cannot be worked around.

 

So for me the problem is mostly with that most players do not pre-plan their builds, and therefore have to add extra system blocks multiple times to achieve balance. The only reason I'm not uploading my own designs to Steam is because I want to release some of them together with the Google Spreadsheet toolkit for pre-planning and pre-balancing the design... and finishing it is tough, because mining the values manually is pretty tiring. There's of course some of them on wiki, but they are insufficient or even outdated:sintetdesignassistant3234700.jpg

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If you want to discourage cube-shaped ships, then you need to make it easier to edit/refit/upgrade ships.

 

Start out by giving us better control of the editing camera. Editing something inside my ship should not be so hard.

You're always welcome to give specific suggestion on how that process can be made more convenient. From where I see it, its something the ship designers might consider themselves, and not something one should shove to the developers, who already made good building tools with very few apparent problems.

It's quite simple, actually.  We need a "hide specific block" option.  When you use the hide specific block option, all blocks you presently have selected get hidden.  This way, you can bore down to the center of your ship and edit exactly what you need to.

 

Also, the problem with the hide block options right now is that when you hide a blocks, you can't place blocks on the other side of the blocks you have hidden.  Hidden blocks should not block your ability to place of new blocks!!! I'm NOT talking about removing the restriction that two blocks cannot occupy the same space.  I'm talking about the fact that you can't actually place a block where it would fit and there's nothing in the way, simply because there's a hidden block between where your camera is and the place you are trying to put the block. 

That's BS.  If I delete a block in the center of my ship, I shouldn't be forced to zoom my camera all the way in to the void I created in order to place the replacement blocks!!!  AND NO, converting the block to a new block is not good enough.  Sometimes you need to delete a large block and replace to with multiple smaller ones.

 

We need to be able to  hide specific blocks, not just specific block types.

And hidden blocks between your camera and where you want to place new blocks should not prevent you from placing the new blocks.

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It's quite simple, actually.  We need a "hide specific block" option.  When you use the hide specific block option, all blocks you presently have selected get hidden.  This way, you can bore down to the center of your ship and edit exactly what you need to.
Well, I usually just hide all blocks aside from one I'm interested in and replace it, or I remove it and highlight another block nearby to use it to place new blocks on.

 

Also, the problem with the hide block options right now is that when you hide a blocks, you can't place blocks on the other side of the blocks you have hidden.  Hidden blocks should not block your ability to place of new blocks!!! I'm NOT talking about removing the restriction that two blocks cannot occupy the same space.

That is incorrect. You can place the blocks trough the hidden ones easily. You just cannot clearly see where you're placing them, because the placement ghost is overridden by the hidden blocks still, but it uses the same placement logic as usual. Its a matter of figuring out what blocks are adjacent to the ones needed to be replaced and using their faces to place new blocks.

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Yes I have cube-like ships. I really love my simple designs.

Star wars destroyers are just enlarged mouse-pointers, they are simple too!

 

With the possibility of cloaking coming to this game (and before torpedos and productions were added) I wanted to be able to upgrade my ships with ease in the future. So I have very simple ways to update my ships as you can see in this post I made. Explaining how to do it. https://www.avorion.net/forum/index.php/topic,4089.msg29025.html#new

 

-Just select the "view blocks only" button

-Select the type of material and blocktype I mention for each ship. (or see in the picture)

-Change the blocks into what you want for your ship!

-Easy isnt it?

 

The bigger problem is that my ships are all ogonite based so you cant really use them  in early game, but yes they can be upgraded with ease.

 

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