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 What about gridding? 
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Unread post Re: What about gridding?
I'm curious, Sing, how you'd build the map with only the info I proposed providing.

A point that wasn't in the original post is that you'd only see the second warp # if you're plotting from a visited sector where you've already learned the warps out. If you plotted from an arbitrary unknown sector, you'd have a course like

(15) > (*) > (*) > (*) > (182)

And I think that's as little information as I can possibly provide here. You need to know how many hops from point A to point B. And if you know that information, then you can begin to build maps from adjacent pairs like

(15) > (93)

So building a ztm would reduce to randomly locating adjacent sector pairs. I'd have to do some additional analysis, but it seems like this would require a lot of plots, I think many more than is currently required. And with course plot pacing, it could be made impractical to map out a full universe in a reasonable time. So even if it will be possible to generate a map by ztm, it may not be practical or of any real benefit to do so.

I'm very interested in hearing how this could be circumvented, because if it is possible to disable ztm, I would like to provide that option, regardless of any other options, and provide a free map option to go along with it so gameops can just skip the ztm processing entirely if they want to allow early, free map generation.

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Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:57 am
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Unread post Re: What about gridding?
Ok, so in theory, if you have a limited number of turns, a 30K universe, you can't generate a map using ztm, you can't scout by monitoring CIM data, doesn't that slow the game down early on so that you have time to build a base without being discovered? And then, once you've had time to establish a base, what's the point in hiding? Isn't the point, once you've established a stronghold, to defend your base, not to keep it hidden? And if this is the case, then grids can be made to be more limited so that there is more mobility in the middle and maybe even the end stages. And the point was made that greater mobility means it's easier to find someone's base. That shouldn't be a problem. Once you've established a strong base, it shouldn't matter if someone finds you, as long as you're strong enough to withstand their attacks. And in the original design, it cost more to attack than to defend, so that the aggressor tended to expend more and make him or herself more vulnerable in the process (the Risk-like nature of the game as originally designed). So while you might find yourself knocked out by one or a few enemies, those enemies often exposed themselves to attack by expending their resources to defeat your base. It needs to be possible to locate and destroy an enemy's base, it just shouldn't be trivially easy, and it shouldn't feel as though a player has no chance of surviving by any means other than stealth, remaining hidden. Much of what I'm hearing in this conversation is that if you're found, you're dead, and that's not how the game is intended to play at all.

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Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:14 am
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Unread post Re: What about gridding?
John Pritchett wrote:
I'm curious, Sing, how you'd build the map with only the info I proposed providing.


There's a way. At least one that I know of. I
really don't want to go into specifics tho, incase
this particular feature is rolled out I would like
to keep my advantage for a while.

Still, if you look at current mapping and take a
deeper look into graph theory, I bet you'll find a
way that's equal to or better than what I'm
thinking. Maybe Rev or EP will chime in here,
this is a fun topic.

Really, the question comes down to identifying
what sectors are on a path as efficiently as
possible, then finding the most efficient plot
patterns. It's sorta similar to EP & Traitor's
"perfect" eprobe routine.

John Pritchett wrote:
So building a ztm would reduce to randomly locating adjacent sector pairs. I'd have to do some additional analysis, but it seems like this would require a lot of plots, I think many more than is currently required.


Not random. It would increase the number of
plots, probably take a day rather than 6 hours,
but that's not significant enough in a turns game.

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Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:15 am
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Unread post Re: What about gridding?
John Pritchett wrote:
Ok, so in theory, if you have a limited number of turns, a 30K universe, you can't generate a map using ztm, you can't scout by monitoring CIM data, doesn't that slow the game down early on so that you have time to build a base without being discovered?


Well, I know I can generate a map. So...

Additionally, without a map, you wouldn't be able
to grid at all. That's a guaranteed stalemate.
Nobody could get past a pdrop for any length of
time... let alone photons.

John Pritchett wrote:
And in the original design, it cost more to attack than to defend, so that the aggressor tended to expend more and make him or herself more vulnerable in the process (the Risk-like nature of the game as originally designed).


Which is why edits have changed this. Requiring
too many resources to attack makes the game
stale out.

John Pritchett wrote:
Much of what I'm hearing in this conversation is that if you're found, you're dead, and that's not how the game is intended to play at all.


Nod. But its a trade-off. If you get found, but can
always repel the attack, then the game stales.

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Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:19 am
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Unread post Re: What about gridding?
Yeah, my projections from a rough analysis, based on a 10 plots per second pace, were something like 14 days for 5000 sectors and over 500 days for 30K sectors. But this was just a rough, brute-force approach to searching for random sector pairs. I've had too much caffeine to do any serious thinking right now ;)

I kind of lilke the challenge of trying to put out a solution that you scripters couldn't work around, but I'd rather know that I have a winner before I commit to it so I don't end up with yet another failed feature. In this case, I think there's a definite answer to whether or not a ztm can be generated in a reasonable amount of time, because I don't think it's possible to present anything less than the number of hops between any two sectors. If I limited it further, I'm detracting from other tactics, and it sounds like even what I've proposed would do that.

If I could do anything I wanted here, I think allowing you to plot a course from any KNOWN sector to any arbitrary sector would really limit what you could get from plots for free, while still allowing you to explore your navigation options from known space. I mean, really, if you don't already know a map, why should you be able to generate course plots from two arbitrary sectors?

I know many advanced tactics require you to be able to plot courses between arbitrary points, but getting back to the basics of this game, I don't know that you absolutely need to be able to do that. Yeah, ultimately you might end up with a game where bases are too impregnable, but that seems like a better situation than one where players who build up for days or weeks are snuffed out the moment they're located, as it seems would happen without gridding. You can always have victory conditions to break a stalemate.

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Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:38 am
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Unread post Re: What about gridding?
@Sing, The point about stalemate is definitely understood, but I still think this is based on the assumption that victory must mean destroying everyone in the game. Why? Who says that's the most interesting metric for determining a winner? Why not how much wealth you obtain, or how many aliens you cap, or how much of the map you control, etc, etc. Obviously this kind of last-man-standing game should be among the options, but why the only one? Most other kinds of games can deal with more static bases, and actually would benefit from it.

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Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:44 am
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Unread post Re: What about gridding?
John Pritchett wrote:
Yeah, my projections from a rough analysis, based on a 10 plots per second pace, were something like 14 days for 5000 sectors and over 500 days for 30K sectors. But this was just a rough, brute-force approach to searching for random sector pairs. I've had too much caffeine to do any serious thinking right now ;)


I can beat random projections. I'm thinking it would be
O(n log n), but I would have to work out the details
further. Some of this information could be gleaned by
using non-CF plot information, and done in a burst that
would take essentially no time at all.

A good starting point would be converting this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanning_tree

Back into a full graph. I can get most of the spanning
tree details for free via other commands. Using that
information I can greatly narrow down what I need to
plot for adjacents. From there, I can narrow it down
further using other commands (that are going to remain
my little secret).

Now yes that will take more time, but the task can be
paralleled out better than the current ZTM. I could pass
distribute it amongst corpies using a bot-based approach
and the problem would become more-or-less trivial to
solve.

John Pritchett wrote:
If I could do anything I wanted here, I think allowing you to plot a course from any KNOWN sector to any arbitrary sector would really limit what you could get from plots for free, while still allowing you to explore your navigation options from known space. I mean, really, if you don't already know a map, why should you be able to generate course plots from two arbitrary sectors?


Game starts. I mow to dock, get a scanner, holoscan
out 3 sectors from dock, get a torp and sit. You have
no way to get past me now, you will always have to
find the next sector out and doing that slows you down
enough for me to torp you. Combine that with a map
(which I will have), and you've got no way for a new
player to outrun a torp.

This technique will make it very easy to shut down a
game, any time advantage will be compounded by it.

The reason people can generate arbitrary plots is
because they are needed. This would obviously need
to be an option so that people can shut it off after
scripters master it, otherwise the game will be unplayable.

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Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:55 am
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Unread post Re: What about gridding?
One thing you might think about on the "free" ztm is what it might do for red cashers. Currently they have two known refurb points of Dock and Terra. A full ztm makes it siimple to locate the other two points. In a corp game this may be of little consequence, in a solo you figure out where they are furbing, adjacent ptorp and wait. Makes furbing from Terra or Dock lot safer relatively speaking.

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Unread post Re: What about gridding?
Also makes early movement much riskier. With an insta-map,
you can be much more dangerous. One of the benefits of the
current ztm approach is it buys everyone a few hours of lower
risk startup time.

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Sat Dec 11, 2010 3:16 am
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Unread post Re: What about gridding?
Sing, there are a lot of things that factor into what you're describing. It just demonstrates that you can't make this one change and expect the game to suddenly be more accessible to less cut-throat players. If that ever happens, it'll take a number of edits working together, including turn limits, timings, etc.

But ultimately, if you're right that it's impossible to control the generation of game maps, then the conclusion is that maps need to be made available to the game independent of any elaborate 3rd party scripts, because the ultimate goal is for the game to be reasonably playable without all of these external tools. And if it generally takes 6 hours to generate a ZTM, then the game could make map data available at about that time so that you can have a delay without forcing players to use external tools and forcing unnecessary load on the server. It would be far better if this could be controlled so that gameops had more options on when and how much info to make available to players, but sadly that simply may not be possible. To me, the next best thing is for the game to provide an alternative to ztm in the most efficient and most uniformly accessible way possible.

I have to really assess my goals here as far as trying to provide gameops with the tools to create games that appeal to a different demographic than today's games do. I know it just may not be possible at all, because the game has deviated so much from its original design in so many different ways. No single change will matter. The most extreme option I can think of would be to allow a "one-at-a-time" mode, where only one Corporation at a time can be in the game, similar to the "bad old days" when only one player was allowed in the game at any one time, but with the advantage of co-op multiplayer play. But I wonder if even that drastic option would achieve my goal of making the game play more like the game that so many people remember.

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Unread post Re: What about gridding?
John Pritchett wrote:
But ultimately, if you're right that it's impossible to control the generation of game maps, then the conclusion is that maps need to be made available to the game independent of any elaborate 3rd party scripts, because the ultimate goal is for the game to be reasonably playable without all of these external tools. And if it generally takes 6 hours to generate a ZTM, then the game could make map data available at about that time so that you can have a delay without forcing players to use external tools and forcing unnecessary load on the server. It would be far better if this could be controlled so that gameops had more options on when and how much info to make available to players, but sadly that simply may not be possible. To me, the next best thing is for the game to provide an alternative to ztm in the most efficient and most uniformly accessible way possible.


Currently in the games I host I login under the Observer account and just run a CIM and export both the Swath and TWX warpsects. So for those that want the map it is available via website. The main reason is everyone is going to run them and I personally hate sitting waiting 6+ hours for a ZTM to finish. But an Option to allow players to login and run a CIM and get the entire map -ports would save Sysops from having to take that extra step.

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Unread post Re: What about gridding?
While we're talking about mapping, what I really miss is the graphic map display. I know Swath has it, and some of the older helpers still work in 5k universe games.

But that will probably be something to add to v4 rather than change v3 that much.

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Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:57 am
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Unread post Re: What about gridding?
Command [TL=00:00:00]:[19984] (?=Help)? : M
<Move>
Warps to Sector(s) : 7462 - 15907
To which Sector ? 222

That Warp Lane is not adjacent.
Do you want to engage the TransWarp drive? No

Computed.

The shortest path (25 hops, 50 turns) from sector 19984 to sector 222 is:
19984 > 7462 > 18866 > 15305 > 8831 > 17508 > 3720 > 4246 > (19381) > (17275)
(6580) > (2288) > (1801) > (19554) > (1702) > (18302) > (4750) > (6852) >
(12101) > (18712) > (13289) > (2424) > (8406) > (16733) > (6893) > (222)
Engage the Autopilot? (Y/N/Single step/Express) [Y] N
Command [TL=00:00:00]:[19984] (?=Help)? :




I can just Map like this John. Convert it to ZTM format and import.

This just gives the scripters a huge advantage until the scripts come out as public.

Then we are back to ztm's again

I cant get the whole map this way in one shot but enough to where it doesn't make any difference as I will be able to mow and twarp grid and others won't. Game will be over very quickly.

.

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Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:36 am
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Unread post Re: What about gridding?
Parrothead wrote:
That Warp Lane is not adjacent.
Do you want to engage the TransWarp drive? No


JP's proposal removes this information too.

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Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:45 am
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Unread post Re: What about gridding?
@t0yman, yeah, I just think if this is an inevitability, why make players and gameops jump through all the hoops to get it. Just put it out there. If it is possible to allow games to run in a "hidden game map" mode, it sounds like the changes necessary to make that happen are so extreme that it wouldn't be appropriate for v3 anyway.

So the simple solution to that is just to output ALL sectors as if they're known in the CIM "warp display" list.

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