The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => Starbase Café => Topic started by: Krulle on September 23, 2018, 06:56:39 pm



Title: Star Control Origins, game mechanics (Spoilers!!!)
Post by: Krulle on September 23, 2018, 06:56:39 pm
On a specific request by the forum admins, Origins discussions should be done here, in the Starbase Café.

So, I've been watching Marbozir (https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHQyGGzRHYIb3-02neWgc9DvmUOJr67ox)'s game of Origins.
And after episode three, I saw something hitting my nerve.The trading post (Episode 3, starting at 21:30) is needed to get something you should bring someone else.....
How can aliens accept RU's banked at the Starbase around Earth? You can't give them the RU, because the Ressources ar stored at Starbase (besides the ones you carry around, and scavenge from the last battles). But the RU's you sell them would also not be available for Earth's Starbase for Vindicator improvements and modules.

IMHO, aliens trading with you in RU would need their own accounting, otherwise Earth's Starbase and/or the aliens would have to ship ressourcs back and forth so that the aliens actually get the ressourcs they traded for.
Same with the alien starbase later in the game.

Logically, this is a breaker for me. How??.?


EDIT 27-Sep-19: edited title


Title: Re: Star Control Origins, storyline elements (Spoilers!!!)
Post by: PRH on September 25, 2018, 04:00:16 am
Your RU account is the same wherever you go in SCO.

Whether you're at the Star Control starbase around Earth, any of the Precursor starbases, an allied planet, or a neutral trading post, you still use the same RUs wherever you go.


Title: Re: Star Control Origins, storyline elements (Spoilers!!!)
Post by: Krulle on September 25, 2018, 08:52:01 am
How?
I mean, no-one is transferring the actual ressources from Earth's Starbase to the aliens, or vice versa.
Humanity has no hyperdrives,  so they cannot do it for you.
So, you actually pay with a check that has no value....

Man, this is a storyline breaker for me. A glaring one.

(And space is a little too bustling. And improving your ship while in combat???? A spaceship crew is good, but not that good.)


Title: Re: Star Control Origins, storyline elements (Spoilers!!!)
Post by: Death 999 on September 25, 2018, 04:10:29 pm
Maybe RUs are refined building-block materials you bring with you everywhere that take up very little space?

A bit like how you can scavenge RUs from destroyed vessels in combat in SC2, and they don't take up any cargo space.


Title: Re: Star Control Origins, storyline elements (Spoilers!!!)
Post by: Krulle on September 25, 2018, 09:08:50 pm
Wouldn't fit why StarControl wants you to bring as many RU back to Earth, to pay for the construction of your ship....


By now I also dislike the EXCEPTION NAMENOTFOUND stations, be ause I find they appear too often.
Although I do like the idea and implementation of how more tech gets available...

And the rescue when without fuel in hyperspace? Only one day back to Sol? I would've expected more time loss....


Title: Re: Star Control Origins, storyline elements (Spoilers!!!)
Post by: PRH on September 26, 2018, 03:57:14 am
The Tywom do mention that they use some kind of "hypergate" to transport you back to the Sol system. Presumably it's related to the Precursor hypergates that you find at their starbases.

Also, note that your flagship can only have one fuel tank extension at a time. Without the Precursor starbases, many locations would have been simply impossible to reach.
(click to show/hide)


Title: Re: Star Control Origins, storyline elements (Spoilers!!!)
Post by: Krulle on September 26, 2018, 08:23:27 am
Oh, I don't mind the starbases per se. I mind their abundance, and that they use the same RU account.

And no, the Tyworm do not use a "hypergate". (Why would they themselves fly through Hyperspace then?) They tow you back.
(an example of stranding in hyperspace: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n01K6nXkx1o&t=42m09s )
They use a hyperfield projector to tow you back to Sol. (44:49 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n01K6nXkx1o&feature=youtu.be&t=44m49s) of the same video)

And towing a very large ship (or even a whole fleet) usually slows you down quite a bit.


Title: Re: Star Control Origins, storyline elements (Spoilers!!!)
Post by: PRH on September 26, 2018, 01:39:45 pm
Right... I remembered wrong then. I only listened to that dialogue the first time around, and skipped it whenever it came up later.


Title: Re: Star Control Origins, storyline elements (Spoilers!!!)
Post by: Kwayne on September 26, 2018, 10:30:32 pm
RU is ultimately just an abstraction in a video game. I wouldn't take it so seriously.


Title: Re: Star Control Origins, storyline elements (Spoilers!!!)
Post by: Zanthius on September 26, 2018, 11:33:18 pm
RU is ultimately just an abstraction in a video game. I wouldn't take it so seriously.

I love that you cannot use RU when you trade with the Melnorme in SC2. It shows that the creators have a sufficiently good imagination of alien species to imagine that there might actually be alien species that couldn't care less about USD. Here on Earth, you can hardly find any human that doesn't accept USD as a currency.


Title: Re: Star Control Origins, storyline elements (Spoilers!!!)
Post by: CelticMinstrel on September 27, 2018, 04:51:27 am
I'd say they would've done better to call their currency StarBucks after SC1; Krulle's point about RU makes a lot of sense to me. Though as Zanthius says, it shows more imagination to suppose that perhaps not aliens accept the same currencies; but still, if there must be a universal currency, it makes more sense for it to be a fiat currency (eg coins) rather than a credit account. RU is definitely not a fiat currency in SC2; it's basically a form of credit account. "Since you brought me this much resources, I own you this much in return."


Title: Re: Star Control Origins, game mechanics (Spoilers!!!)
Post by: Krulle on September 27, 2018, 09:01:00 am
RU is ultimately just an abstraction in a video game. I wouldn't take it so seriously.

I love that you cannot use RU when you trade with the Melnorme in SC2. It shows that the creators have a sufficiently good imagination of alien species to imagine that there might actually be alien species that couldn't care less about USD. Here on Earth, you can hardly find any human that doesn't accept USD as a currency.
I also loved the UQM game to have two separate currencies (three, if you count crew members).
And only two of them were convertible to each other.
But in the Let's Play, when the player met the Maelnir (previously Maelnum, before that Melnorme), the RU account got shown.

I understand that Stardock had to move away from the way the original was played a bit, as with a separate "information account" (Interstar Credits) as the UQM-Melnorme might have been one more step towards substantial similarity. (Although there would have been the logical argument of story consistency, that logically the Maelnir never received the ressources which form the basis of the "RU-account", therefore they cannot trade using the "RU-account".

I also see nothing on the Origins-Vindicator that indicates you hauling tons of ressources around, with which you can pay any new ships you're buying.

It gets even weirder when you consider all the ships you collected and detached from (or could not add to) your fleet. It's okay that they get sent to the next station if you don't have the docking space for them, but you can then access them at ANY station. Without them ever having been moved. And where does the re-mobilized ships crew come from?
(It's also a pity you cannot move crew from a ship to the flagship, or vice-versa, if they're the same race, but then that's just one game-mechanic.
OTOH it's nice to not have to recrew ships yourself, a visit of a sufficiently large colony is enough to refill all crews from that race.)


Well, SC2 had lsome logical flaws too, but the ressource system was better. Mqybe just because of the fact that there was only one starbase, as all others in-game are simply locked to you (which I found weird in the case of the Syreen Starbase, their Starbase should've been able to refuel you just as well, once you brought them the required ressources to synthesize sufficient amounts of fuel).
But then, as hormone-laden teen I did not visit Betegeuse because I needed fuel...



BTW: do the Tyworm even appear if you're really far away from Earth and you run out of fuel?
If yes, do they still tow you to Earth? As instantaneous as if you're close to Earth?
Then that could be quite a time-saver when you need to get back to Earth from the upper regions of the starmap...


Title: Re: Star Control Origins, storyline elements (Spoilers!!!)
Post by: Deus Siddis on September 27, 2018, 04:10:40 pm
Maybe RUs are refined building-block materials you bring with you everywhere that take up very little space?

This was also my understanding of RUs (in SC2).  I got the impression they were raw material, not a currency of any kind.


Title: Re: Star Control Origins, game mechanics (Spoilers!!!)
Post by: Krulle on September 27, 2018, 10:49:08 pm
In SC2 definitely not.
Hauling that many RU around would've made my ship very inert to engine output.
I mean, I've been stacking more than 100k RU towards the end in one of my first games (been tryin gto defeat the UQ single-handedly while otherwise trying this and that to open new possibilities), and if 1200 RU made a new cruiser, how many tons must've been stacked somewhere?

Same issue in Origins... You would need storage space for those tons of materials...


Title: Re: Star Control Origins, game mechanics (Spoilers!!!)
Post by: meep-eep on September 28, 2018, 12:27:09 am
While it would have been nice to have an in-game logical explanation for such things as the RU logistics, this does not actually concern me much because of the Rule of Fun (https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuleOfFun). If an unrealistic mechanism makes the game more fun to play, then I want the unrealistic mechanism.

And apparently, Paul and Fred were also also aware of this principe when they created SC2. Here are a few places where realism gave way for fun. (There are probably many more.)
  • ships the size of planets (particularly in SuperMelee)
  • ships bouncing off of planets in SuperMelee
  • crew loss when a ship takes damage
  • a maximum speed of ships (non-relativistic)
  • resources are interchangeable (e.g. you can bring back a load of radioactives and antimatter and make a crew pod out of it)
  • the captain is allowed to decide everything he does on his own, even building alliances and putting the future of the Earth on the line

I usually consider such things as to be representative of what goes on in the game universe, not as what literally happened.

I have been watching the Youtube video's from Marbozir playing SC:O (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHQyGGzRHYIb3-02neWgc9DvmUOJr67ox), and I could spend quite some time discussing what SC:O lacks compared to SC2 (and also what it does right). But I don't hold things like magically teleported resources against it.



Title: Re: Star Control Origins, game mechanics (Spoilers!!!)
Post by: Shiver on September 28, 2018, 01:46:29 am
Nitpick time. I strongly dislike these power-ups floating around that seem to grant bonuses to that ship's side for the duration of the fight. Visually, they clutter up the battle arena with silly looking LEDs and make outer space less beautiful. Thematically, they don't make sense. How did so many of these things get distributed all over the galaxy? Mechanically, they incentivize the player to race around the arena collecting as many of the things as possible before engaging the enemy ship. If SC:O is played PvP, the smart thing to do is open with a very fast ship and steal as many power-ups as possible to get the upper hand on the battle. It looks like the AI makes no effort whatsoever to gather power-ups which likely impairs its effectiveness and will make PvC matches very different from PvP.

The wormholes, nebulae and so on are great additions to melee, on the other hand.


Title: Re: Star Control Origins, game mechanics (Spoilers!!!)
Post by: Krulle on September 28, 2018, 08:45:49 am
Both starbases basically said they can sythesize everything, but need raw materials. Just that rare ressources are difficult to synthesize, therefore you're faster collecting some things yourself.
Which sounds like matter/energy/matter conversion to me. (But then, why did Earth's starbase have problems creating radioactives for their energy core?)

Yes, I agree, for the game fun I can accept changed things. Rule of cool.
But the transported ships and ressources do somehow tickle me the wrong way.
Yes, it would be annoying to have tow separate RU accounts (possibly more, I stopped watching the videos, so I don't know if the Maelnir or other alien races also give access to their Starbases.)
With the Tyworm and the Squids, well I can see their economies to be strong enough to see that as an investment, and they "take" a credit from your slip they can spend at Earth Starbase then.

It's also a pity that their Shipdocks apparently do not have modules which are exclusive to their docks.
(Imagine a lander using a "slime" module to protect the lander against harsh winds and toxic environments.)
Instead they have the same modules every Starbase has. (Where did they get the specification? Apparently, the specification will be stored on your ship, and you bring it along to all other docks.)

Yeah, the gameplay is different from before. I also saw that there are minor quests which do not get logged in your questlog.
Not that it really matters.
Pen and paper is the way to go for me. IF I ever get around to a new machine AND finding the time to play. And this courtcase gets to an acceptable solution giving me the continuation of the story started in UQM/SC2 from FF/PR.


BTW: depending on how a spaceship contacts the atmosphere of a planet, a ship does bump back into space.

And apparently, Paul and Fred were also also aware of this principe when they created SC2. Here are a few places where realism gave way for fun. (There are probably many more.)
  • ships the size of planets (particularly in SuperMelee)
  • ships bouncing off of planets in SuperMelee
  • crew loss when a ship takes damage
  • a maximum speed of ships (non-relativistic)
  • resources are interchangeable (e.g. you can bring back a load of radioactives and antimatter and make a crew pod out of it)
  • the captain is allowed to decide everything he does on his own, even building alliances and putting the future of the Earth on the line

I usually consider such things as to be representative of what goes on in the game universe, not as what literally happened.
Me too.
  • Hence the size of ships compared to planets (otherwise the ships would be invisible, or the planets would occupy about 90% of the fight-arena.
  • Hence crew loss as indication of ship damage.
(Which also made ship repairs ridiculous cheap in SC2, in Origins ship repairs are even for free if you get to a colony of those crewing the ship. Which with the Tyworm technology seems to be correct anyway. "Glueing a ship having been cut in half within minutes.") (I also found it weird in SC2, that the collected salvage did not take up cargo space.)
  • The maximum speed was basically necessary to prevent ships flying as fast as some of the asteroids after you locked up. Kept the melee playable.
  • Your new lander is made out of radioactives and antimatter. Nobody realistically expected you to survive the headbutting with the Ur-Quan.
  • Starbase was doomed anyway, and there simply is no-one out there to check your actions.In Origins, there is an accessible Earth which could intervene. And in SC3 there was the council which would even fire you from your post.  But indeed, I always found it weird that someone would go into an alliance with you, when all you had was ONE starship.


I know, for any story deviations from reality have to be made, to keep the story tellable and quick-paces enough to be interesting. And playable.
It just itched me.

(Just like the wormholes in the new "fleet battles" itch me. And the upgrades in the arena. But somehow I can stomach those better than you hauling about tons of ressources without them using up space in your cargo holds, and the mass not influencing the inertia of your ship. (But then, that also rubbed me with SC2: a fully loaded cargo hauler Vindicator in SC2 had the same drive acceleration as an empty ship.))