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V2.0 civilian ships: The Luxury Cruise Liner

posted May 30, 2013 16:07:28 by ThomRobertson
I've gotten 4 new civilian ship models for the V2.0 of Artemis; the cruise liner, the science vessel, the transport, and the cargo vessel. These civvy ships will make each game more complex and interesting (hopefully).

But in the existing version of Artemis, "neutral" ships are bone stupid, and (unless ordered otherwise) proceed in a straight line to the edge of the map. So I'm hoping YOU can suggest missions, behaviors, and situations that you would like to see for these ships.

This week, let's look at the Luxury Cruise Liner.

[Last edited May 30, 2013 16:08:00]
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17 replies
xavierwise.tsn said May 30, 2013 16:35:43
I must say, that ship looks beautiful!

Well, I reckon those aboard the Luxury Cruiser liner would like to see the sights, so the Captain would probably take the odd detour to check out things of interest such as the Space Whales. Some of the more stupid captains could promise a sight of the Space Monsters, or even a black hole, potentially getting themselves into a whole lot of bother! If you're adding in other new space phenomena too, some may make interesting sightseeing opportunities. The more beautiful and dangerous the better!
Captain said May 30, 2013 16:52:35
Vwry nice Thom. I would agree with Xavier. In the 2.0 update it had mentioned a tractor beam. I think it was only a skarran elite ability but if you happen to give it to the artemis you could pull them out of the black hole as a mission. As for basic paths I would have them following space whales, on the edges of nebulas, occasionally stoping at stations. The type of rewards they would give you would be questionable. Luxury ships wouldn't have things warships needed. There is no cash in game and luxury food is no benefit. Doubt they could charge your ship but you never know. That's my thought.
To Mankind
And the hope that the war against folly may someday be won, after all

Isaac Asimov
matt.schillinger said May 30, 2013 21:31:07
Visiting planets and stations would be my first expectation for a cruise liner. Now, if it was a Carnival Cruise ship, I think we could devise numerous possibilities for catastrophe! ;)

Is there any chance that enemy fighters could board the liners, or have some kind of boarding mechanism for one or more alien vessels?

While there isn't cashflow in Artemis, I think the riches and number of people on a liner could be a good carrot for pirates. When the Admiral of the fleet is on leave, and the ship he is vacationing on is taken over by pirates...
I totally plan on building that type of a mission!

sayabodohproductions said May 31, 2013 11:16:16
how big is it compared to the artemis?
aconrad103 said May 31, 2013 12:41:22
Perhaps the reward for helping them could be an increase in station production speed. The ship would not have the equipment to upgrade Artemis, but they can support the war effort. Actually, any upgrade to the stations make sense, since the stations can hire more people or purchase better equipment with the money that a cruise liner could donate.

EDIT: I agree that the cruise liner should path to space whales, black holes, nebula, and stations.
[Last edited May 31, 2013 12:47:45]
cdm014 said May 31, 2013 14:56:24
I like the idea of having it select a target from a set of interesting things (black wholes, nebulae, space whales, asteroid fields) and moving slowly from one to the next, perhaps tracking which ones it has seen so it doesn't repeat.

Since I don't know that asteroids are currently grouped into fields, maybe have it so that when the set of targets is loaded it automatically discards targets that are within a certain distance of an existing target. That way for auto-generated things even if every asteroid is loaded as a target only some of them actually get added to the list.

For bonus points the threshold of how close it has to be can vary with the target type so it goes inside a nebula, stays further back from black holes, and skimming right along asteroids. It might have to use pathing to make sure it doesn't get too stupid.

For Missions:

1. Deliver repair parts - a cruiser has some sort of damage and needs you to pick up supplies from one of the space stations and deliver.

2. Escort Missions:

A. Coming in with enemies behind - Probably only useful at the time the cruise ship is created, but have enemies created at the same time and specifically targeting the cruise ship. Once the ship makes it to the space station and their are no enemies within a certain distance, the mission is complete.

B. Escort to the edge of the next sector - The cruise ship is on it's way back home, but needs an escort. It needs to get to the far side of the map and then needs to remain safe for long enough to setup and make a long range jump. [A]

3. Trojan Horse - enemies have control of a cruise ship and are planning on blowing up a DS with it. Destroy the cruise ship at all costs before it reaches the station.

4. Sensors down - The sensors on the ship are malfunctioning so it can't figure out how to get where it needs to go. Comms has to guide it safely to it's location. (Mix with the escort missions for extra fun.)
badgeguy said May 31, 2013 15:14:18
It may be possible to replenish DamCom teams with those aboard on vacation during a rendezvous. A minor reward, and one that puts those on vacation in peril, but do we really concern ourselves with the red shirts anyway?
matt.schillinger said May 31, 2013 18:16:50
Towinf mission. Towing a broken down cruise liner in with multiple tractor beam equipped vessels.
Mike_Substelny said May 31, 2013 19:15:53
Historically, ocean liners have played many significant roles that could be adapted into Artemis:

1) It seems illogical that a luxury liner would go sightseeing in the middle of a battle. But if Artemis 2.0 includes a "sneak attack" mode in which the mission starts off during peacetime and the players are not permitted to fire first, then a luxury liner could be sightseeing *and* it could be a prime target for enemy attack.

2) During wartime a luxury liner could be transporting diplomats. It might even host a peace conference. Diplomats aboard a luxury liner could lead to numerous missions:

a. "Rendezvous with the (alien race) ambassador's liner and transport the ambassador to DSx. Success means that the (alien race) fleet will not attack DSx."

b. "Rendezvous with DSx to pick up special diplomatic (or life support) equipment, then rendezvous with luxury liner carrying famous USFP ambassador. Success means that the the famous ambassador is aboard the players' ship. While the ambassador is aboard your surrender demands have a greater chance of success. A famous ambassador can even get undamaged enemy ships to surrender sometimes.

c. The peace conference scenario would be better suited to a mission script, not a mini-mission.

3) During wartime luxury liners might be used as big transport vessels or supply depots. They could carry large amounts of supplies, personnel, and energy. In effect, completing a mini-mission might convert a luxury liner into a mobile station with the capability of docking, building torpedoes, etc.

4) Luxury liners might be used as Q ships. Completing a mini-mission might equip the liner with a couple of beam weapons plus reinforced shields.

5) If the game ever accounts for the number of crew members (and maybe boarding parties) aboard, getting a liner to a base might give that base a large number of spare crew.
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
matt.schillinger said May 31, 2013 20:38:12
Now we will be able to make mission versions of "The Love Boat" episodes!
silerdesign said May 31, 2013 21:25:22
Great looking vessel!

I've actually been working on a mission where the Artemis has to run around a major transport hub with ships of all sorts, performing TSA-type scans on some ships, protecting the hub from incoming debris and such. I echo Mike's sentiment about a luxury-liner's role during wartime/with nearby conflict. Essentially, fulfilling the role of a support vehicle.

Maybe, the Artemis could order the Cruiser to dock with the nearest station, disembark all passengers and crew, then remotely crash the behemoth into an enemy flagship/fleet in a blaze of shrapnel and glory.
xavierwise.tsn said May 31, 2013 21:35:38
Mike, I agree that in wartime those are some pretty good uses of the Luxury liner, but at the same time, the Artremis timeline isn't just continual wars. What about in between the wars? There would still be clashes, border disputes, maybe even larger engagements that dont fall in to a proper "wartime" period; things that spark off unexpectedly.

In those times, Luxury liners could still be getting in to all sorts of trouble and be in sectors where combat takes place like "wrong time, wrong place" scenarios. Maybe the Kraliens show up to do some "rent collection" as a luxury liner is touring a sector. Plenty of rich people to intimiate and get their tithes from.

Some liners may even venture in to more dangerous border territories because that is where the tourists want to go to see some kind of fancy star formation, or a population of space whales.
[Last edited May 31, 2013 21:40:30]
Mike_Substelny said May 31, 2013 23:49:33
You're absolutely right, Xavierwise. And there is certainly plenty of room for mission scripts that take place during peacetime.

I was simply responding to Thom's question about missions that would involve the luxury liner. I interpreted the question to mean mini-missions when playing in Invasion Mode. Any time you play in Invasion Mode it is, by definition, wartime.

And as I said above, if Thom adds a Sneak Attack mission to Invasion Mode, then it would be reasonable to have the luxury liner behave as a luxury liner during an Invasion Mode mission.
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
RobertSawyer said Jun 03, 2013 13:00:48
I really love the addition of ships like this one. If nothing else, it helps to add a real story, and I'm personally not bothered by a bit of suspension of disbelief of having a cruise liner randomly doing something in invasion modes. For a purely random pickup invasion mode, it'll just add to the depth of options.

Some things that might be worth doing with the cruise ship...

1. Cruise Ship in distress of any kind might flood the comm station with lots of needless SoS messages. It'd help to keep comms interesting if it has to weed out the useful messages in there, and might make part of the reward for saving the Cruise Liner simply clearing some future chatter.

2. Reward for a Cruise Ship could be a simple energy fuel up, extra coolant, etc. They'll have those around. Another benefit for saving them might be almost a preventative measure, you can have an enemy ship gain a big boost if it manages to destroy the cruise liner, or even take the ship over, and make it a giant explosive that will turn red and go self destruct on a starbase (possibly having a complicated means of defusing it without killing everyone on board or forcing the players to destroy the cruise liner before it gets to the starbase)

3. I like the sensor systems down approach as well, having Science and Comms working together throughout the mission to help guide them into port seems a fun thing.

4. Dead in the Water, having the cruise ship be dead in the water and need a jump could work. Easiest way to do it I think would be scanning the cruise ship to find it's shield frequency, and setting lasers to it's highest rated shield frequency and fire, turning the engines back on. You could also have a button to transfer energy or homing torpedoes to do the same.

5. Out of control systems: Require using an EMP to reset their systems.

6. Rogue System, boarders, or AI: Must hit and destroy a particular subsystem on the Cruise Liner. Comms can work with the cruise liner to sort out which system needs to be destroyed, and ask them to lower their shields.

Just a few ideas. I think even without adding extra abilities or UI to the game there is opportunity to creatively use what exists for more interesting random scenarios.
Mike_Substelny said Jun 03, 2013 16:54:28
Whatever its reason for being present during a battle, a luxury liner could be a great prize for an enemy to capture. I could imagine the distress calls:

"Hurry Artemis! Our shields are down to 25%! If they get below 10% we'll be forced to surrender!"

A surrendered liner immediately becomes an enemy ship attempting to leave the sector, and all the passengers become hostages. Thereafter it is up to the players to rescue the hostages. This could be done using boarding parties or Space Marines or something like that.

Of course capturing leads to a programming problem: If a Skaraan, an Arvonian, and a Kralien are all shooting at the liner when it surrenders, who gets the booty? Does the liner become a Skaraan, Arvonian, or Kralien ship? Do the three races fight each other over the booty?

It would be easy to just say whichever race fired the last shot gets possession of the liner, but that would be illogical. It should be the most powerful ship present (the "leader").

To solve this, I suggest having the enemies treat a USFP luxury liner a little like they treat space whales. For example: Arvonians like to capture liners, Torgoths like to destroy liners, and Kraliens & Skaraans ignore liners. Thus when a liner's shields get below some threshold it will always offer to surrender. If there is an Arvonian carrier nearby the liner automatically becomes an Arvonian ship and the players must rescue its passengers. If there is no Arvonian ship nearby then check to see if there is a Torgoth ship nearby. If there is, the liner starts pleading with the Torgoths:

"Please . . . please . . . we surrender! This ship has women and children aboard! Please spare our lives!"

If there is neither an Arvonian nor a Torgoth around then the damage must have come from a mine, space monster, black hole, or friendly fire. If it was friendly fire the liner should chastise the players vociferously. Otherwise they should just call for help.
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
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