[Ship mini mod] Argon Freightdrone (M3 size TS, docks at TL) BETA

The place to discuss scripting and game modifications for X³: Reunion.

Moderators: Scripting / Modding Moderators, Moderators for English X Forum

User avatar
Mergelsberg
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed, 27. Feb 08, 06:05
x3tc

[Ship mini mod] Argon Freightdrone (M3 size TS, docks at TL) BETA

Post by Mergelsberg » Wed, 8. Oct 08, 07:23

Introduction
Having just bought a shiny new Albatross, I was looking for a suitable way to supply it with all the stuff it needs. Thinking about this, it occurred to me that I'd seen a model in the modelviewer called a Freightdrone.
I gave it some basic stats, spawned myself a test subject and was basically stunned by how obviously this model was designed exactly to do this job. Namely supply TLs and other capital ships.

The Concept
Since the model is basically half a Merc on it's side, I used the most basic Merc as a guideline. The drone is classed as an M3, so it can dock internally on anyship that supports it.
It's lightly shielded and essentially unarmed, it can use Mosquito Missiles (for MDM) and fighter drones like any ship. It's main defense is speed and agility, although it can not outrun most fighters.
These drones are not cheap in a cargo-space-per-credit kind of way and they require the same rep rank to buy as a M6 and TL.


The Stats
  • Cargo bay: 1500-2500 XL
  • Shields: 1x25MJ
  • Shield Generator: 425MW
  • Speed (approx): 96-194m/s
  • Missiles: Mosquito
  • Lasers, Turrets: None
  • Reputation Required: 3333 - Argon Federation Guardian
  • Price (approx): 900k-1M cr.
Notes: (pro-tips wanted)
This is my first attempt at creating a ship from a "non-vanilla" model. This is there for very much a BETA. There is NO COCKPIT, I haven't figured out why the camera is stuck in the middle of the model yet. If anyone has a solution here, I'd be very appreciative.
So while you can fly the Freightdrone as a personal ship, you can't see anything and it might crash your game.
I have been using a few of them for a couple of days now and as long as I just use them as remote drones (eg. don't fly the drone personally) it works fine.

Download and Installation
This ship is packaged in XSP format, to be used with Cycrow's Plugin Manager. Because of server technical reasons, the XSP is packaged in a RAR archive. You can download it here.


I hope you find these Freightdrones as useful as I do. I'm open to any constructive critique, ideas on how to make this better and especially open to any golden tip on the cockpit issue.[/url]

(----____JEFF____----)
Posts: 266
Joined: Sat, 20. May 06, 14:55
x3tc

Post by (----____JEFF____----) » Wed, 8. Oct 08, 09:29

sounds like a very useful ship ;) As for the cockpit, I believe you can change that in the file of the model or in one or the "T" files. Maybe you can find something in one of the ship modding guides in the sticky.
Though I understand you want to fix that, I think the drones should not be flyable by the player, just like the fighter drones. It's just that it makes them more drone-ish if you can't fly them. But I guess that's impossible if it's an M3 :shock: :roll:

SecondAcc
Posts: 296
Joined: Mon, 3. Mar 08, 22:52
x3tc

Post by SecondAcc » Wed, 8. Oct 08, 14:21

Cockpit is more difficult.

You need a Body, that can be used as a cockpit (that's a digit in the subnetmask (i think it is called like that)).
Than this body has to be declarated to be used as a cockpit in the scene-file.
And third the entry in the TShips has to declare this body (and its position in the scene) to be a cockpit.
Since it's called "Freight Drone" it does not have a body like this in a scene, so you have to create one yourself (or take a prepared one).

But drones shall not be used as playerships :P

User avatar
Mergelsberg
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed, 27. Feb 08, 06:05
x3tc

Post by Mergelsberg » Thu, 9. Oct 08, 04:11

The more I research on cockpits the more confusing it gets. I figured the model isn't supposed to have a cockpit, neither does the repair drone or the fighter drone.

The Freighdrone isn't meant to be flown personally, we agree on that, but that doesn't take away the fact that at the moment it can be flown by a player and that it will most likely cause a crash to desktop if they do so.
See the thing is, I have tested this and it seems rather random. I've sat through a whole docking procedure with SETA on when I messed up at the shipyard and the whole time it was fine. But I've also selected it by accident when swapping ships and was dumped to my desktop within seconds of the inside of the ship showing up on screen.

I'm more concerned with it not doing this CTD thing anymore, which seems to be cockpit related, rather than the drone being a ship that people can actually fly themselves with a good looking cockpit.

I made it with the idea of it being more practical for hauling goods than a fighter, but still being able to dock unlike a TS. Like these I can send 3 of to various stations in a sector and wait for them to get stuff back to me. Instead of having a TS that needs to be jumped to the relevant sector or having a wing of fighters which needs to do like 30 runs to get any significant amount of stuff moved.

User avatar
beyer_garratt
Posts: 276
Joined: Tue, 25. Dec 07, 09:13
x3

Post by beyer_garratt » Fri, 10. Oct 08, 00:39

I am very much liking the idea of this freight drone, haven't tried it just yet but I have a few questions/comments.

1) A basic mercury with cockpit, full pilot amenities, complete control panel, heavy shielding capacity and a single weapon costs about 200,000cr. Why is this drone almost a million? If it were me I'd set it around the 120,000cr mark. It lacks all the above equipment so it should be drastically cheaper.

2) [Answered it myself]

3) Is it possible to forbid an AI pilot from being placed on a ship? You should look into that.

4) Also, for RP purposes, scripting out installation of Transporter devices and Jumpdrives would be awesome. Don't know if it can be done though.


EDIT: I just had a marvelous idea. This ship can mount the Ore Collector upgrade. Is it possible to produce a *Miner version of this ship? Have the standard version for sale at Argon Prime, and the miner variant at one of the other two Argon shipyard.s

That is, equipped with Special Command Mk.I and the ore collector as standard. Then you have an 'automated' mineral collector for those people who like to utilize the garbage floating around most sectors.

This ship gets a 5/5 for utility value from me. :D
Q) What do you call an unimpressed Kha'ak scout?

A) A bemusa triangle!

Bazza's better PPC mod! - Makes flying a capital ship much more... satisfying.
Mergelsberg's Transport Drone & my own version. -M3 freighter for TL ships.

Pogi
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu, 13. Apr 06, 12:35
x2

Post by Pogi » Fri, 10. Oct 08, 04:47

"Reputation Required: 3333"

I dropped this down to 333...Much more realistic 60k-120+K rank 5 now..Will use this for my Herc and maybe Nividium selling...

Nividium Sector Scanner

Nividium Mining Relay Station

Nividium as Secondary Res.

Perfect ship for that operation.
X3..The most fun a man can have...With his clothes on.

User avatar
beyer_garratt
Posts: 276
Joined: Tue, 25. Dec 07, 09:13
x3

Post by beyer_garratt » Fri, 10. Oct 08, 05:11

Pogi wrote:"Reputation Required: 3333"

I dropped this down to 333...Much more realistic 60k-120+K rank 5 now..Will use this for my Herc and maybe Nividium selling...
Not to trample all over Mergelsberg, but would you be so kind as to upload your edited version, or tell me how to do the same edits?

My opinion is the base ship should cost about $120,000. The L version, with the $85,700 25MJ shield should be $205,700.

I agree with changing the reputation too. It's not as if this ship is a dangerous piece of military technology, after all.

Cheers. :)
Q) What do you call an unimpressed Kha'ak scout?

A) A bemusa triangle!

Bazza's better PPC mod! - Makes flying a capital ship much more... satisfying.
Mergelsberg's Transport Drone & my own version. -M3 freighter for TL ships.

Pogi
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu, 13. Apr 06, 12:35
x2

Post by Pogi » Fri, 10. Oct 08, 07:16

Just open the ship in the ship creator and go to customize ship/set to preset/accepted advisor..The price will go up or down as you set the rank where you want.
X3..The most fun a man can have...With his clothes on.

User avatar
Gazz
Posts: 12430
Joined: Fri, 13. Jan 06, 17:39
x3tc

Post by Gazz » Fri, 10. Oct 08, 07:31

beyer_garratt wrote:3) Is it possible to forbid an AI pilot from being placed on a ship? You should look into that.
No. The "Pilot" is just a string value.
4) Also, for RP purposes, scripting out installation of Transporter devices and Jumpdrives would be awesome. Don't know if it can be done though.
That is possible if you forbid the ship to carry M cargo or bigger.

A script approach would either be inefficient or extremely wasteful.
My complete script download page. . . . . . I AM THE LAW!
There is no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

User avatar
Mergelsberg
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed, 27. Feb 08, 06:05
x3tc

Post by Mergelsberg » Fri, 10. Oct 08, 09:13

beyer_garratt wrote:I am very much liking the idea of this freight drone, haven't tried it just yet but I have a few questions/comments.

1) A basic mercury with cockpit, full pilot amenities, complete control panel, heavy shielding capacity and a single weapon costs about 200,000cr. Why is this drone almost a million? If it were me I'd set it around the 120,000cr mark. It lacks all the above equipment so it should be drastically cheaper.

2) [Answered it myself]

3) Is it possible to forbid an AI pilot from being placed on a ship? You should look into that.

4) Also, for RP purposes, scripting out installation of Transporter devices and Jumpdrives would be awesome. Don't know if it can be done though.


EDIT: I just had a marvelous idea. This ship can mount the Ore Collector upgrade. Is it possible to produce a *Miner version of this ship? Have the standard version for sale at Argon Prime, and the miner variant at one of the other two Argon shipyard.s

That is, equipped with Special Command Mk.I and the ore collector as standard. Then you have an 'automated' mineral collector for those people who like to utilize the garbage floating around most sectors.

This ship gets a 5/5 for utility value from me. :D
It doesn't come with lots of stuff by default, such as software and ore collectors etc, because I don't know how to do that.

The reasons I picked a high reputation requirement and a high price for it, is because it's not intended to replace the TS for daily use. TS are the cheap bulk haulers, these are meant purely as resupply drones for TL and other capital ships.
And compare it to other M3 class ships, the drone carries 8 times as much cargo as the largest buyable M3. Yet as is it only costs half the amount to buy it. Also bar the Mamba no M3 can effectively keep up with it.
The reputation is this high, because of the amount of cargo that is squeezed into a relatively small ship. As for military purposes, it poses no more significance that the TL it's supposed to serve, I agree. However, from a military point of view, the drone is far less vulnerable than a TS. It can be safely tucked away behind the shields and guns of a TL or M1.
Also the reputation requirement is there to protect the TS class.

Essentially the drone is a product of convenience. It's more practical than either a TS or M3 when it comes to supplying a capital ship. This kind of convenience and practicality simply doesn't come cheap.

Frankly if it was cheaper and more easy to get, I'd feel as if it'd be cheating.

User avatar
beyer_garratt
Posts: 276
Joined: Tue, 25. Dec 07, 09:13
x3

Post by beyer_garratt » Fri, 10. Oct 08, 09:37

As is always the case when it comes to 'balance', 'playability' 'realism' and so forth, there will be differing opinions and none of them will be correct. :shock:

My opinion is, that as a TL service-ship only, this drone would optimally be:
  • 1) Slow. Max 50m/s slow.

    2) Weak. An unmanned transport simply doesn't need weapons, or heavy shielding either. 25MJ I think is fine, but perhaps knocking some off the generator power might be on the cards.

    3) Slow. Acceleration of a dead cat.

    4) Slow. Turning rate of an American muscle car.

    5) Cheap. Because all it's ever going to do is run from TL to base, rarely more than 5-10 minutes in space at a time. It doesn't even have to be air tight, when you think about it. Massive savings when you can just use old-fashioned steel to build it.
Adding to that, the ship carries 3x freight pods for 1500 cargo. A standard Mercury carries 6 for 3000 cargo. There isn't anything more complex than what's found on a stock Mercury here. Also, as I mentioned above it lacks many of the advanced features found on a Mercury.

Basically make it so utterly useless as a TS that no-one would consider using it for more than the few hundred meters between their complex and the TL stationed just outside it.

But, of course, this is just the way I want it... I'm not the one building it. :)

Would you perhaps make a version up just for me? I don't want to go over your head and mangle your ship in the creator, it seems kind of rude to me.
Q) What do you call an unimpressed Kha'ak scout?

A) A bemusa triangle!

Bazza's better PPC mod! - Makes flying a capital ship much more... satisfying.
Mergelsberg's Transport Drone & my own version. -M3 freighter for TL ships.

User avatar
Mergelsberg
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed, 27. Feb 08, 06:05
x3tc

Post by Mergelsberg » Fri, 10. Oct 08, 11:06

I don't object to people taking my work and tweaking it for their own use. As long as they give me credit where credit is due.

I also considered giving it only 1500 cargospace, but I figured that since it needs no life support, no weapons or anything like that, the cargo pods could be slightly larger. Also it has less hullpoints than a Merc, which in a way could be explained as the hull being less thick, leaving more space inside.

Making it go very slowly would defy it's point to me. But then my TL is an Albatross and getting it close to a station of any kind is really rather hard in many sectors.
So I tend to park the TL a couple of km off of the ecliptic plane, where the traffic is much much lighter. The drone has to be able to cover a reasonable amount of distance in not too much time.
And as I use my TL as a kind of mobile base, I'm IS a lot with it. The speed and turning rates are a godsent when it comes to the drone dodging things en-route.

Also I feel that the specs justify the price and rep requirement. If someone wants to use it as a TS, then so be it. I just wanted something that would make a good compromise of stats to supply a TL.

User avatar
beyer_garratt
Posts: 276
Joined: Tue, 25. Dec 07, 09:13
x3

Post by beyer_garratt » Fri, 10. Oct 08, 11:26

And of course all of your points are quite valid. :)

I tend to use my TL literally as a station. I've been known to sit in the same spot for (game) days on end. Getting transports in and out fast isn't really a priority for me, but I can understand its value to most other players.

The final stats for me version are:
  • Cargo bay: 1500-2000 XL
  • Shields: 1x25MJ
  • Shield Generator: 425MW
  • Speed: 56m/s (not upgradeable)
  • Acceleration: 2m/s (not upgradeable)
  • Turn rate: 2.5% (not upgradeable)
  • Missiles: Mosquito
  • Lasers, Turrets: None
  • Reputation Required: 333
  • Price (approx): 167,000cr (S) to 248,000 (L).
I suppose, one could say that my version is the "bare-bones, gets the job done" base version, while yours would be the "turbocharged, racing striped, body-kitted get it done FAST" TRD version. :D

Download it here.
Last edited by beyer_garratt on Wed, 10. Dec 08, 10:16, edited 1 time in total.
Q) What do you call an unimpressed Kha'ak scout?

A) A bemusa triangle!

Bazza's better PPC mod! - Makes flying a capital ship much more... satisfying.
Mergelsberg's Transport Drone & my own version. -M3 freighter for TL ships.

A5PECT
Posts: 4717
Joined: Sun, 3. Sep 06, 02:31
x4

Post by A5PECT » Sat, 11. Oct 08, 13:25

I agree with all of beyer_garratt's suggestions except for the turn rate. I think the Freight Drone should also serve as a flying ware collector, and the only reason I dislike using most TS's for this task is their inferior steering. This combined with the transports' low acceleration/deceleration, makes most TS's end up ceaselessly circling a container of dropped freight without acquiring the desired ware (a bit of an exaggeration, but it's still highly inconvenient).
Admitting you have a problem is the first step in figuring out how to make it worse.

User avatar
Gazz
Posts: 12430
Joined: Fri, 13. Jan 06, 17:39
x3tc

Post by Gazz » Sat, 11. Oct 08, 15:18

KloHunt3r wrote:I think the Freight Drone should also serve as a flying ware collector, and the only reason I dislike using most TS's for this task is their inferior steering.
There are already several scripts for that.
One or two "use" the transporter device, magically sucking up all cargo within 5 km.
MARS sends out fighter drones as "freight drones" to collect and tow containers back to the ship.
My complete script download page. . . . . . I AM THE LAW!
There is no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

Post Reply

Return to “X³: Reunion - Scripts and Modding”