Hyperspace travel is one of the cornerstones of the Star Wars universe, and consequently, our game. It was important to us from early on to create a usable hyperspace system that wasn’t constricted by Freelancer’s reliance on trade lanes and jump points. Thankfully, we achieved that.
As of now, players can use precalculated jumps at various points throughout the galaxy to travel, or, perhaps more conveniently, plot their own jumps to travel, with few restrictions. The system itself works, but we’ve had a number of concerns and suggestions thrown our way that prompted us to take another look at how we handle hyperspace.
For instance, one of the things we hear often is that jumps can take an excessively long time. We understand that long downtime during travel can make the game feel a little lifeless, so many of these changes aim to remedy that. They also aim to make jumping more interesting for both the person making the jump and any potential pursuers.
In short, we want to make sure we’re maximizing the fun and minimizing the things that people may find tedious or boring. Now, on to the proposals:
- Calculation times entirely removed
- Custom jumps will always be unstable
- Jump difficulty baseline is easier than the current unstable jumps at 0% (something like 30%).
- Multi-hop jumps and scout jumps have increased instability
- Jumping too soon after exiting hyperspace increases instability
- Scale instability with current shield health
- Instability can potentially be so high as to make the jump impossible (no checks against it) if enough modifiers are stacked.
- In summary: Jumps will be harder in general, but if you can pilot well enough, you can make multiple successful jumps in a row
- Precalc jumps remain stable all the time
- Cooldown, shield health, etc. do not affect it, making jump points the safest, most reliable means of travel
- Jump lengths increase with instability
- Multiplier should be 1x at 100% and 0.1x at 0%
- Multiplier does not clamp at 100% instability (so length increases beyond 100% instability), but the ratio is reduced so the length is just ~1.5x at 200%
- Jump lengths rebalanced so the longest (single-hop) jump is around one minute and the shortest jump is at minimum 15 seconds (not considering precalc)
- The current shortest jump is Bespin-Hoth at 0.282842 stellar distance units (SDU)
- The current longest (single-hop) jump is Kashyyyk-Coruscant at 5.001 SDU
- Probable values would be 0.3 SDU taking 15 seconds and 3.5 SDU taking 60 seconds, with linear interpolation
- Make sure scout jumps follow a similar pattern, with a duration cap
- [Future] Successfully completing unstable jumps grants XP based on the jump’s stability, length, and how many collisions were experienced during it
- Cargo is no longer lost on dropping out, instead the ship drifts for a few moments much like an ion pulse’s effect
- Add precalc jumps in most systems, including intra-system lanes
- Only very rarely frequented systems such as The Maw should lack them
- They represent locally known good hyperlanes, not necessarily officially curated and widely available paths
- Cooldowns are eliminated in favor of stacking instability per jump
- Essentially, the cooldown timer still exists, but it controls how unstable the next jump(s) is(are) going to be, rather than outright denying the jump
- The ship will refuse to jump if the cooldown timer is too high (determined per ship)
- There’s always a fixed 10 seconds delay before the next jump may start (calculations may still be run ahead)
- Add gravity well mines
- 5k range, 1-2 can be stored in shuttles, very low health, small profile
- 10k range, 1-2 can be stored in corvettes, low health, medium profile
- 20k range, 1-2 can be stored in destroyers, medium health, large profile, pirate only
- Stacking mines have no effect
- Trade between ships is disabled short of jettisoning cargo
- Mines all fully deploy when jettisoned, preventing transfer
- Cargo cannot be bought by ships of the wrong class
- Come in three variants:
- All mines are just cargo that is jettisoned to spawn a gravity well mine (just a ship without engines)
- All mines slowly lose health as they remain in space (fixed amount per second, so larger mines last longer)
- Can only be stored in ships of the correct type through a “licensing” system
- Jumps still display a %, but it is instability instead of stability and can go over 100% for particularly nasty jumps
- Percentage is color coded to indicate difficulty (0-25% green, 25-50% yellow, 50-75% orange, 75-100% red, 100+% purple)
- Cursor is forced to the center of the screen during the jump in animation to prevent straying from the center path
- Lengthen mag/ion durations quite a bit (2x), disable cruise for a similar period on hit
- [?] Scale ion effect with ship size (mass?)
- At least double the range of all current interdictors
- Add a hyperscanner to track ships which just jumped
- Large and reusable or small and single-use?
- Instability and such is relative to their own ship status, not the ship which performed the jump first, so they could be faster/easier or slower/harder
- Hyperscanner is stored in cargo and takes cargo space
- Scanner enables ships to perform a scan for nearby hyperjumps which happened recently
- Scanner has a fixed duration cooldown (30s) between uses
- Scanner displays all hyperjumps that exited from the nearby region (10k radius) and allows the player to load any of them up into their navigation computer
Once again, we’re really looking for feedback from the community on this one! If you have thoughts, concerns or suggestions on these changes, follow the links below to get in touch with us.
Recruitment for the New Republic and Empire are open! Send your applications to Kalis and/or Volume_9 and they will get you sorted right away.
Want to get in touch with the devs and join the community? Join our Discord Channels! Click on the links below:
For the latest development videos, please check out our YouTube Channel! Or, visit us on the Freeworlds Forums, Facebook, or leave us a comment or question here and the developers will respond! We also have a Steam group that’s updated weekly with our news posts, and our community is always welcoming new gamers!
Don’t forget to like, subscribe and share!