Make fuel trading less weird

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Make fuel trading less weird

Postby PaulTB » Tue 16. May 2017, 15:22

The situation with fuel trading is weird. How is it weird? Well, let's look at it in more detail.

Your space ship can hold between 80 and 120 tons of fuel in the fuel tank. This kind of fuel can be bought for around 1 cr / ton and sold for around 0.5 cr / ton.

However, there is also the sort of fuel that can be put in a cargo hold. One ton of this 'fuel' takes up an entire cargo slot and can be bought via trading for 10 cr / ton give or take a bunch.

It just doesn't make sense that these fuel categories are so different, but are apparently supposed to be the same thing. It is also strange that one ton of (fuel tank) fuel can take a tiny scout vehicle exactly the same distance as a massive battleship.

I do have some ideas for sorting this tangle out, but the fuel situation is a bit complicated so some compromises and decisions may have to be made.

1. Change fuel tank display for ships to a percentage based one. Ships will have from 0 to 100% full fuel tank. One move with pure fuel will usually* use up 1% of the fuel tank. * Ships that have small fuel tanks will use up a bit more than 1% per move. Ships that have, relatively, large fuel tanks will use up a bit less than 1% per move.

2. Fuel tank capacity (kg) will vary for each ship hull. A battleship might have a 10 ton fuel tank, a scout ship might have a 200kg fuel tank. Price to refuel will vary accordingly.

3. Trading prices and 'gas station' prices for pure, refined, fuel should match.

4. You could purchase a 'fuel storage kit' for your ship. This allows you to store fuel in your cargo bay. Without it you can't trade in fuel to / from your cargo bay. You also can't store raw fuel from gas giants in your cargo bay without it.

5. If you have a 'fuel storage kit' on your ship you could also top up your fuel tank from the fuel in the cargo bay. This would include fuel purchased by trading.

6. 'Raw fuel' wouldn't be a separate trading commodity. Instead the value of impure fuel would be reduced according to how impure it is (plus a penalty for the processing required?).

7. Note that item 5 and 6 leaves you potentially trading in fractional units of 'fuel' commodities. Which might be tricky to implement. It might be easier to eliminate fuel from commodity trading and instead only trade in it via the 'refuel' station and the 'administration' location.
PaulTB
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Re: Make fuel trading less weird

Postby magellan » Mon 29. May 2017, 06:59

You are right of course! The prices should match.
An oversight that they don't. Will fix.
I do assume that when you buy cargo it comes in adequate packaging. That would be one reason why you can't buy fuel for your cargo hold at the pump. So I am not sure for the need of a cargo-tank kit.

Not sure about the advantage of % display either. With tons you know how much it will cost you to fill your tank.

Bigger ships using more fuel: You do need a bigger engine if you want to move around in space combat for the bigger ships. At the moment though the assumption is that bigger engines are more efficient and use less fuel. A bigger engine using more fuel though would make sense too of course.
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Re: Make fuel trading less weird

Postby PaulTB » Mon 29. May 2017, 12:30

magellan wrote:Not sure about the advantage of % display either. With tons you know how much it will cost you to fill your tank.


Well the main thing is that cargo space is much, much, smaller than the fuel tank. It makes it kind of ridiculous if you consider that the biggest ships in the game have 20 times as much fuel in the tank as they can hold in the cargo bay. My ideas all stemmed from that central contradiction, although there are certainly a number of different ways to address it.
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Re: Make fuel trading less weird

Postby PaulTB » Mon 29. May 2017, 16:59

Thinking about it again - how about this?

If each cargo slot held TEN tons instead of ONE ton, and the average full fuel tank is ten tons instead of 100 tons, it would add up better, IMO.

On the boring roads of the United Kingdom a lorry can legally pull 44 tons. It is pretty silly that an armed merchant space ship could only have five or six tons in the hold.
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Re: Make fuel trading less weird

Postby magellan » Mon 5. Jun 2017, 16:12

Interesting Idea.
At the beginning I just had these diferrent things, cargo and fuel, needed different granularities with both (100s with fuel, 1-5 with cargo) and just called both "tons" because it sounds nautical. :)
I will definitely do something here.

Of course increasing the granularity with cargo would add some new interesting options:
Cannibalizing gear on abandoned ships could be easier but yield less, same with tasty and pretty animals.
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