Jump Fuel Indicator

Howard Day

Random art guy.
No, that's almost right.
There are two types of fuel - Jump fuel (used every once in a while)
and "Normal" Fuel. Normal fuel is used whenever your ship is accelerating or maintaing a constant speed. You have a finite amount of this fuel, and your almost consant usage of it is offset by your magnetic scoops intake of various free-floating particles. This intake also slows you down, keeping you from accelerating infinitely. This fuel will concievably run out - but only if you've turned your scoops off. Your afterburners use energy because they're running large amounts of power through the remaining un-burned fuel coming from the engine exhaust. Thus igniting it, and causing additional, sudden bursts of speed. So, you've got three major resources: Jump Fuel ( Used by the jump drive), Normal Fuel (Uses by your engines and afterburners), and Power (Used by your guns, shields, tractor beams, afterburners and generated by your engines).
This make sense?
 

Ijuin

Admiral
Does this then mean that you are in fact consuming your normal fuel at a faster rate when you afterburn?

Also, being able to turn scoops off implies to me that you could use it to cruise faster between distant navpoints, but at the expense of not being able to use the scoops to top off the tanks--you are draining the tanks instead of filling them. Or am I wrong, and you never actually run a fuel surplus using your scoops?
 

Cargoman

Spaceman
Howard , if I follow your explanation ,
Your scoops (when in operation ) are constantly replinishing your non-jump
fuel , at a much slower rate than your consumption . This reduces your need
for non-jump fuel slightly . The afterburner is a huge power drain , which
by throwing a lot of energy into the exhaust causes the normal afterburner
effect of a quick bost to your speed . The power that the afterburner uses
is from your reserve that also powers guns .
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
Cargoman said:
Howard , if I follow your explanation ,
Your scoops (when in operation ) are constantly replinishing your non-jump
fuel , at a much slower rate than your consumption . This reduces your need
for non-jump fuel slightly . The afterburner is a huge power drain , which
by throwing a lot of energy into the exhaust causes the normal afterburner
effect of a quick bost to your speed . The power that the afterburner uses
is from your reserve that also powers guns .
I guess I'm completely lost, now I don't even have an illusion that I ever knew how it works... ;)
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Nope, Cargoman is correct. Jump fuel is used by the jump drive, normal fuel is used all the time and slowly replenished by your scoops, and afterburners use no fuel at all - they just dump large amounts of electricity into your drive exhausts, causing a large boost in speed.
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
Howard Day said:
Nope, Cargoman is correct. Jump fuel is used by the jump drive, normal fuel is used all the time and slowly replenished by your scoops, and afterburners use no fuel at all - they just dump large amounts of electricity into your drive exhausts, causing a large boost in speed.
So how precisely those scoops work - is there a possibility, that without turning them off you will be left without a fuel? Or do they replenish a fueel with the same speed as it is being used? What if all fuel is gone? Will scoops work, while I am not moving? (they gather freely floating molecules in space - and the density of such molecules is very low - from thousands to hundreds of thousands in one cubic meter - so there's a need to move in order to scoop anything rather quickly). Details, but those are the funniest thing :)
 

Cargoman

Spaceman
I belive that you would need to move in order to collect a noticable amount
of fuel . Though kentic energy would keep you in motion if you cut your engines.
Scoops only aquire non-jump fuel , so if you lost/used all your supply of normal
fuel you would need ? days ? to aquire enough to travel any where ?
If you had also lost/used all your jump fuel as well you would truely be in trouble .

The only modern example I can think of is a small water still from an emergency
survival kit . It would maybe collect enough water to keep you alive , maybe .
 

Ijuin

Admiral
Is there going to be any sort of fail-safe to prevent players from becoming stranded due to using up their normal fuel? It could be an emergency tank that is only used when the normal tank runs dry (along with a warning issued to the player that the emergency reserve is being used and the player needs to get refueled ASAP), or perhaps the player can send out a distress signal to call somebody to rescue them when stranded?

Alternatively, you might allow the player to still fly, but at a VERY reduced speed (say, ten percent of normal cruising speed--so 25-45 kps or so) in order to reach a refueling station.
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
I think that worries about all that "fuel is gone!" issue are a little bit exaggerated. Guys will surely do it in a way, that the game will not be over with the last drop of fuel in your tank. :)
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Dyret said:
I think the scoops in Wing Commander gathers fuel for the regular engines, not the jumpdrive or afterburner.
It depends on the ship and engine type. We see ships with antimatter engines and the necessary intakes replenish the regular/afterburner fuel in the games just fine.
 

BattleFate

Spaceman
If I remember correctly, and I admit I may be wrong, but in Action Stations, the scoops allowed you to collect fuel even if you were out. But that was because the ship still had enough kinetic energy to drift. I would hope some backup battery allowed you to open the scoops though in that situation if they were closed (nothing like being stuck with no fuel and the ability to refuel, but you can't use it).

In the book, it said it took days to collect enough fuel to ignite the engines again, but I can't imagine making the player wait days. Maybe make him wait for a full minute to ignite the engines for a thrust, then he would have enough speed to collect fuel at a faster rate, thus meaning after another 30 seconds he could turn on his engines again and keep them on this time. Running out of fuel should be rare though an only happen if the main fuel tanks are ruptured or the pilot was careless. Nothing can kill the fun of a game faster than overly long waiting periods appearing more frequently than they should...
 

Ijuin

Admiral
I would prefer to simply have an emergency fuel tank (maybe it has to be purchased as an upgrade?). The emergency tank would not be touched until you run out of regular fuel, and you are charged money to replenish it when you land. This would give you some back-up fuel in case you run out, and if you are foolish enough to continue onward instead of turning back and heading for a base when you start tapping your emergency fuel, then you deserve to have to reload your saved game.
 

Nachos

Swabbie
Banned
I don't see an issue with there being some variability in jump energy requirements. Established jump points would be known for a given ship, plus for unknown jump points there may be certain basic rules of thumb.
 

Madman

Vice Admiral
I'm not sure whether words jumping and realistic fit together. Remember - if jumping would be real it would be based on the fact, that jump drive uses some gravitational time space anomaly and somehow enlarges or exploits it to pierce the fabric of timespace thus creating a wormhole through which your ship is flying. The ship itself doesnt move (fly) a single centimeter and so doesn't use a fuel in classical way we understand it (the longer the distance the larger the fuel usage). Then, please, tell me, why should I need more fuel to warp to a system 700 LY away than to some closer system? If you want do this in a REALISTIC way, IMO you should give every anomaly some value of how difficult it is to warp it and jump throug it - and then there could be places (i.e. those close to singularities) where the anomalies would be so strong - that they would jump a ship without even enabling jumpdrive - we could call those anomalies regular wormholes, I guess.

Phew I'm glad you cleared that up - I'd assumed that teleportation was just as unrealistic as piercing space time and making wormholes! ... ;)
 

Madman

Vice Admiral
This sentence isn't 100% true. I remember well, that in WC3 (of that sequel I am sure) the afterburner fuel was being used up during a mission, and when it has been finished your ship's maximum velocity was a cruising velocity.
Not only that, but definitely SWC has the same, if you finish the afterburner fuel, you're stuck with a 50 kps cruising velocity. Not sure if WC1 has the same though.
 
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