Neptune's Pride - Proteus - Wormholes

I want to implement Wormholes this week.
There a number of ways I could do it so I would love to hear if any of you have any thoughts before I do.

A Wormhole connects two distant stars and allows carriers to travel between them without regard for hyperspace range. Its a way for us to fold the galaxy in on itself to make more intresting borders and connectedness. In theory it should be better than maps that wrap around becuase we’ll have the freedom to connect things in all kinds of intresting ways.

edit: I was thinking a wormhole would have just two openings in a map, and that they would be a fixture in the map, not something that could be built by players.

Option 1:
Players can land and occupy both stars as normal, and there is a button on each star screen that let you transfer ships to the other side of the wormhole, the distant star. If there are enemies, a combat will begin immediately (or in the following tick). You may or may not be able to see ships on the distant star.
Con A Players will have no warning of an attack through a wormhole.
Con B When you arrive at the star, you need to login to activate the transfer to the other side.

Possible solution to Con A would be to have some fixed time delay, and give the exit start a warning that ships are incoming.

Option 2:
Stars can simply fly between wormhole connected stars as if there were near each other, using the standard path plotting mechanics. Perhaps the travel speed is 6 or 10 times faster than normal speed for the wormhole span. Basically a super warpgate. Perhaps carriers traveling via wormhole could be on a curved path to show that its not normal travel.
**Con A ** Might be a bit silly to have to scroll all the way to the other side of the map.
Con: If you are guarding a wormhole, you will still need to watch the path between the two stars becuase incoming carriers will be moving very fast.

Anyhow, any thought or ideas would be welcomed!


What if:

  1. A wormhole can’t be owned (or created, or destroyed)
  2. If a wormhole is in your scanning range, you can scan some amount around the other end
    a. Easy, way: your scanning level around the other end
    b. Hard, more correct way: you just see “the rest of the way” at the other end. So if you can scan 10ly but are 8ly away from the entrance, you can see 2ly at the exit
  3. Travel is instantaneous, and so requires another waypoint on the other side
    a. This means you can’t stop at a wormhole, but I think it would be OK for combat to take place at them.
    b. If combat were going to take place at them, I think it should take place at both ends using all fleets at either (because of instantaneous travel between them)
  4. You can’t “bounce” off of one end, so you either go through or you don’t go.

How do you select that waypoint. Do you click the wormhole, then we pan the map to the exit, the you click again to choose the exit destination?

edit: I like the idea that they can’t be owned and you can’t stop at them. solves a few problems.

Yeah I think that would be how it would have to work. I suppose this implies they occur in pairs, and a wormhole only works with its partner.

Oh yeah, Thats what I was thinking but I forgot to include it above.

If you wanted to make them createable dynamically, I think there would be some things to try to mitigate.

They’re potentially very powerful, so if you were just going to buy them, they’d have to be very expensive. In that case, I think they’d just help the top of the leaderboard run away with the game.

What if, instead of that, a pair spawned (maybe still with some cost, maybe not) with the start end in empty space in the middle of some number of warp gates. If it required 5, imagine one in the “middle” of 5 stars that have gates. Maybe you can even pick the exit. It should require keeping the required gates around to keep the wormhole. That might make it sufficiently risky, in that somebody coming through has a fast/gated path out.

If a “rich” player can create them as a shortcut, it should have a trade off. In this scenario the trade off is having to defend several gated stars around at least one end of the wormhole. If you don’t or can’t do that, you’ve just created a superhighway into your stars.

Just a thought, though I kind of like the idea of them being naturally occurring better than making them creatable.

Oh yes, sorry I was also assuming they were map features, not something you could buy.

I was thinking for proteus that warp gates could be be upgradable. (I may also change them to be called warp beacons - a suggestion from the forums that I really liked. )

Isn’t this what happened with NP1 speed tech ?

It seems that you could just link this into the navigation system so that all the current commands work w/r/t ship transfer and movement. Just make the distance between the two stars be 0.1-lyr for purposes of ship movement. This solves OPTION 1 : CON B certainly (if doable)

As for OPTION 1 : CON A - I think this is actually part of the fun of it. I should be able to destroy my side of a wormhole with will actually destroy BTOH sides (they are quantum linked)

So, for a wormhole to be created, I have to occupy both sides of it and it should cost 4x as much as the total of the two warp gates on those two stars.

Also, the wormhole only goes between those two stars.

Just some ideas…

No, the problem with speed tech was that there would be a big stand off for a few days, then you would wake up one morning and your empire would be gone.

If you create wormholes for Proteus, I think the two end points are distinct physical neutral locations, that cannot be owned, but can and must be stopped at, because ships arriving would need a new travel direction. So I think battles can take place at a wormhole.

What’s wrong with just requiring another waypoint on the other side? I think it makes sense that you’d be able to scan through a wormhole, so (based on existing mechanics) it makes sense you’d be able to provide normal star waypoints on the far-end of a wormhole.

And if we assume these wormholes work similar to Sci-fi TV and movies, then we can not scan the other side through them. Besides, the line of sights change directions at the entry and exit points of the wormholes. The only way to scan the other side would be if NP3 physics was different from Sci-Fi TV movie physics, or launch a scanner buoy through the other side until it is destroyed by the enemy.

NP2 carriers do not stop in mid-space to change directions, except for 1 tick at any star.
I think it is a direction change to enter a wormhole.

I think wormholes are not stars.

You could imagine the wormhole like spinning black hole and if a carrier hits it at the just the right angle you can get spat out the other side headed to the star you wanted.

So is this some kind of one way travel ? Is a round trip possible ? Is a second wormhole maybe not required ?

Line-of-sight point is fair, but if we already can’t stop ships in mid-space I don’t see why we’d need to start obeying theoretical/fake physics now :slight_smile:

I don’t like the idea of stopping at wormholes because if they occur naturally and are not stars I think you should have to “defend” them from stars, and not just camp directly on an end of the wormhole.

To that end, it might actually be better if there were NO combat at wormholes. That would buy you two things:

  1. You don’t have to coordinate with non-ally friendlies to use them, and
  2. If you don’t have to pass through one exactly on a tick, it should be easier on the code. They’re less of a special case (except for the drawing/UI) and more of a shortcut. Distance is just total distance minus wormhole distance, and travel time follows normally.

If the wormhole is some kind of useful black hole, then scanning the other side could be possible through some kind of gravitational lensing effects. Maybe friendly ships need to visit this black hole to allow scanning the other side. No visiting ships, then scanning is not possible.

Yeah, I like the idea that you have the few hours to see enemy ships emerge from the wormhole and travel to your star. - You dont really have to watch the other side of the hole. Infact, perhaps you can’t scan through them.

edit: Actually if you can’t scan through them, and because carriers dont scann, you have to fly blindly through and you dont get intel about what is on the other side until you actually capture and hold a star. kinda intresting.

Easy. The ancient hyper-advanced civilization that constructed the wormholes left stationary relay probes at either end. Once established, the physical distortions around each endpoint naturally prevent interfering with the probes.

Going with the science fiction theme, “unstable” wormholes might also be interesting. Either a stable entry with a moving or random exit (can’t go back through?) or they randomly appear for some amount of time, remain as long as carriers are going through them, and then disappear.