Since Pioneer is a new project entirely... is there any chance of a Freelancer-style multiplayer? (not massively multiplayer, but something in the vicinity of 20-50 players at once, on a dedicated, persistant server... this would be awesome.)
Pretty much the same way to freelancers boosted speed mode. WC knows the concept of fuel scoops and retracting them would allow for insane autopilot like speed. Only problem would be how to prevent the players from escaping a fight too easily.
That, or a simple flag being turned on as soon as someone targets you and opens fire...
*LOAF targets me and pulls the trigger once*<Hypothetical, of course
PC:!setvar in-combat 1
*I mash the autopilot button*
PC Message: Cannot autopilot, enemies near
*LOAF decides to be merciful, backs off*
<thirty seconds pass>
PC:!setvar in-combat 0
<autopilot light kicks back on>
Combining that with a 10-second warmup for autopilot would work....
hmm, perhaps if both players disengage, and don't face each other for 30 seconds... that and autopilot would be just like it is in Freelancer, to an extent... your ship enters autopilot, orients itself towards the navpoint, you hear a scoop-closing sound(something obviously mechanical), and you get an afterburner-style thrust effect from inside the cockpit, climbing in speed until you near the target (let's say, the ship climbs in speed constantly until you get about 20k out, the fuel gauge constantly dropping(not the AB gague, perhaps an OSD in the nav screen?), and when you reach 20k out, you hear the scoops open again, and you decelerate from your full speed down to cruising speed within 10k to mark(giving you a deceleration effect by lurching the cockpit). Travel wouldn't take terribly long(I'd estimate about 3-5 minutes would be sensible, breaking off in range of obstacles, and enemy contacts), and would give people incentive to navigate around asteroids/known pirate bases(unless, of course, you were a pirate)...
Just a thought.
still, you need to make a good enviroment enjoyable for everyone, nobody wants to be hammered into oblivion his first time out by a juiced up ship. you could simply disconnect and freeze your stats, your ship would disappear, and reappear with
the exact same stats the server had at your disconnect. i don't think that is the way
to do it.
it would be fair to actually only calculate your stats when you touch down, so if
you lose in-flight, your'e back in the game where you last left off, and can re-evaluate your strategy, skills and armarment before returning to combat/trade.
in-flight should be inflight, you can autopilot, but time won't speed up, and while your'e off to make coffee your computer alerts you that there is an unfriendly contact or a nav point
I recon there should be autopilot but no time compression/speeding up. This not only eases stress on a server but also helps give players time to get to know each other more and hopefully time to plan out an attack (no leroy jenkins on my wing!)
Sort of a way of helping people come together in a community.