// Energy Fuel

Here I ask your opinion and feedback on specific aspect of the game, or feature I am working on.
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Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:40 pm

I'm a bit new here, but if the plan is to keep fuel somewhat realistic, we might also need to consider a final tier for FTL travel.
To summarize, a lower dimensional plane that is breached via the FTL drive using a set amount of fuel, traveled through, then breached again to reenter normal space. The second breach action will have a cost directly proportional to distance. This will enable the use of a high initial cost mechanic and a distance limited system.

The fuel used should not, I think, be an exotic particle that our contemporary physics has not discovered yet. However, using antimatter would leave FTL as an extremely rare commodity. In fact, using any specific fuel at all would unnaturally weight that fuel in the marketplace, and it would become one of the most valued items in the marketplace.

Therefore, I think the best course of action is to not base the use of FTL on a specific fuel, and instead allow any power system to charge the FTL drive (with a minimum power recharge requirement). This would keep players from being stranded in a star system if that system has been drained of all FTL-specific fuel.

I also like the suggestions given here of a tier system based on current rocket science and energy research. (Chemical propellants into Fission NTRs into Fusion into Antimatter into Zero-point energy).
My ships are usually designated with IF (Imperial Fleet).
I build Star Destroyers, original designs, and things in between.

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Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:54 am

So, taking my previous idea and slimming it down some, to reduce complexity:

Gas Combustion - Could use various fuels to fill multiple roles, including metallic gas and others. (by having various fuels this could scale as viable from early game to mid or even late game)
Solar Panels - Leave as-is
Fission/Fusion - Remove one and leave the other, just to simplify things as they more or less fill the same niche
Anti-Matter - Leave as-is
Void Sail - A combination of solar sails and void for a very fragile end game fuel-free power source (the entire sail would have comparable health to a single solar panel, making it much more vulnerable to attack when unfurled)

This more streamlined set of power sources would be the way to go if more focus is wanted on a chemistry module for production of various fuel types.

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Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:11 pm

I find myself agreeing most with Sullos as far as the tiers are concerned, but caution that there needs to be both advantage and disadvantage to each tier. Also, given that whatever construction process is used in the game eventually, it will certainly be nanotech-based, meaning that it should be able to directly bypass primitive internal combustion systems, so no coal/petroleum/biofuel. Battery/capacitor storage systems have already been implemented as a good start, so the generation progression should be:

Tier 1a: Hydrogen fuel cells. H2 is the most abundant resource in the universe, easily obtainable from water, ice, or perhaps scooped from gas giant atmospheres. I never was comfortable with Elite's stellar corona-scooping.. it's hot in there :? Advantage cheap and easy, disadvantage... bulky storage and, well, BOOM.

Tier 1b: Solar power. Let's be honest- solar power is weak and probably always will be even given advances like quantum dot technology. It is, however, free apart from infrastructure. It should be limited to fixed structures and more efficient in space where there is no atmospheric attenuation. It's ideal for powering bases and devices like a hydrogen generator, not so much for vehicles. Advantage free, disadvantage- low potential; bulky, fragile collectors; inconsistency on planets once they are implemented.

Tier 2: Fission power. Preferably something based on molten salts- hardier and less problematic than current primitive systems, with little-to-no waste. Advantage strong consistent power, disadvantage bulky shielding, rare and toxic fuels, possibility of radiation leak if damaged.

Tier 3: Fusion power. Back to H2 as a fuel source, and far more powerful than fission. This should be the mid-game standard and the minimum for advanced weaponry. Advantage cheap easy fuel and less BOOM potential than fuel cells since there is no oxidizer. Disadvantage bulky shielding, rare materials to construct.

Tier 4: Antimatter. At least an order of magnitude more powerful than fusion, but generation should be more difficult. I'd advocate having to construct some kind of space-based particle accelerator plant to turn hydrogen into antihydrogen. we can already do that today, but it's slow. Advantage lots of high-density energy potential. Disadvantage difficult and expensive to create and high BOOM potential.

Tier 5: Casimir energy. "Void" or zero point energy, pulled from the fabric of space-time itself. Definite end game power source. No fuel requirements, but that should be balanced out by difficulty building and perhaps needing constant maintenance of some sort. Damage to/ failure of the system could be... catastrophic. :o

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Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:10 pm

Otter wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:25 pm
I have no preference in what the fuels are, or how they're gathered/made, you'll likely get a lot of good ideas from others here as well.

My only request would be that you consider the tiers and system from an end-game perspective. Similar to what I cautioned in the energy system thread, end-game players typically have enough money that the cost of things is no longer a barrier. And if there's always a trader that sells top-tier fuel, 'rarity' is no longer a barrier, either.

I like diverse games, especially when they're PVP. Making all items better in some ways but worse in others (beyond price and rarity) adds to the ecosystem of what players consider when building. When top-tier items are better than other-tier items in every way, because price and rarity are no longer barriers, all players build and look the same by end-game. Min/maxing drives the build meta, and build meta reduces creativity in PVP games.

But beyond that caution I like the ideas you have, I look forward to seeing some of them tested. :)
Everything he said

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