Star systems should be hidden until spotted on scanners (or revealed by intel)

Tannhäuser Cake

First Lieutenant
Nov 22, 2020
244
696
The first contact and intel improvements in 3.0 has completely changed the exploration experience, for the better. One further improvement would be having star systems remain invisible on the map until they have been within our hyperlane detection range or we get intel on them by other means.
  • Experientially, this would increase the sense of discovery as we explore the galaxy. We would no longer know in advance what positions and types of hyperlane-connected star systems may be found as far away as the other side of the galaxy. The galactic hyperlane network beyond our hyperlane detection range would be truly unknown, not partially known from day 1.
    • It would also be less weird and more consistent when new/special systems are added to the map during the game (precursors, Hyacinth, Rubricator, Paridayda, the L-Cluster). It would play out the same way as with every other star system: a new discovery adds another star system to the map.
    • We would not know the location of the sealed psionic entity system before we actually open the wormhole.
    • Systems in special locations, such as outliers beyond the edge of the galaxy or bridging the gaps between spiral arms, would be surprises during the game rather than known from aforementioned day 1.
  • Thematically, it makes no sense that we would know exactly which star systems are connected to the hyperlane network on the far side of the galaxy while they are still far beyond our hyperlane detection range. There are usually hundreds of billions of stars in a galaxy, meaning that there is about one hyperlane-connected system per billion stars. The alternative explanation, that even the farthest systems would be seen far in advance, is similarly difficult to reconcile with there being too much dust and interference in the way (the far side of the Milky Way is called its "dark side" for a reason); if that issue is explained with references to super-advanced astronomy, it instead becomes unreasonable that we would still run into previously unseen stars in our own backyards (see the special systems mentioned above). Thematically, limiting the visibility on the map to systems that we have previously gained intel on would be the most logical approach regardless of which model be prefer.
  • Under the alternative interpretation that the hyperlane network connects all star systems in the galaxy, but we have to settle for a small number of systems as representative of the galaxy due to processor and design constraints, it makes no sense that we would have perfect knowledge of the stellar objects on the other side of the galaxy (there is too much dust and interference in the way) while still running into several previously unseen stars within our own territories.
  • Visually, the nebulous image of the galaxy would still remain in the background, showing us where we can expect greater and lower densities of stars.
  • Practically, gameplay-wise, the "precognitive" beelining for particular system types beyond our hyperlane detection range would no longer be possible (short of using the "observe" cheat command). There would be more reason to send explorers on long-distance missions, ahead of the system surveyors, to chart the hyperlane network and identify interesting systems and areas.
  • Looking ahead, this could also allow a novel solution for the hyperlane gore problem (when a newly created system's hyperlanes cross other hyperlanes on the map). Rather than generating new systems and hyperlanes during the game, all of the special systems could exist from the beginning but have their hyperlanes remain hidden until their respective event chains grant you intel on them. This would in turn support completely new design approaches to the precursor quests and other further improvements to exploration and discovery in the future.
 
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nat.hol

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May 6, 2016
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But it doesn't make sense, as long as those civilizations have telescopes, they must've been able to map the stars for quite a while before even getting ftl tech.
But they wouldn't know which of the billions of stars in the galaxy are part of the hyperlane network. The actual difficulty is hyperlane mapping, and since this is sci-fi material, anything goes.
 
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Tannhäuser Cake

First Lieutenant
Nov 22, 2020
244
696
But it doesn't make sense, as long as those civilizations have telescopes, they must've been able to map the stars for quite a while before even getting ftl tech.

The Milky Way contains somewhere around 100-400 billion stars. A medium map contains 600 systems. If we assume that the Milky Way corresponds to a medium galaxy and that there are 300 billion stars in the Milky Way, and ignore the issue of multi-star systems, that could be interpreted as only 1 in 500,000,000 star systems having hyperlane access. In the game, the ability to detect hyperlanes is limited by the hyperlane scanning range.

If we want a "sciencey" explanation for applying fog of war to distant star systems, it should be enough to say that it is impossible to know beforehand which systems have hyperlane access, and that the only reasonable approach is to not include yet unscanned systems in the hyperlane map.
 
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Tannhäuser Cake

First Lieutenant
Nov 22, 2020
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696
/facepalm
As the science and logic were seemingly not enough to convince you, for reasons unknown given that your reply is what it is, I would also like to point out that the explanation model in your previous post also does not account for the many systems that appear out of nowhere during the game (the precursor homeworld systems, the Hyacinth system, the Rubricator system, the Paridayda system, the L-Cluster). None of them is visible before their location is revealed.
 

Ninjamestari

Banned
Nov 16, 2016
136
139
As the science and logic were seemingly not enough to convince you, for reasons unknown given that your reply is what it is, I would also like to point out that the explanation model in your previous post also does not account for the many systems that appear out of nowhere during the game (the precursor homeworld systems, the Hyacinth system, the Rubricator system, the Paridayda system, the L-Cluster). None of them is visible before their location is revealed.

You do realize that A) the Galaxy is an abstraction, not a billion star galaxy that only has so many star lanes, it really is just an 800 star galaxy because its a game, and B) the hyperlanes ARE hidden in the very beginning, so the situation in game already reflects "reality" as you describe it. I just find it cute that you think that "science and logic" are on your side in this argument. Hence the facepalm. I really was hoping you'd figure it out on your own.
 

Tannhäuser Cake

First Lieutenant
Nov 22, 2020
244
696
You do realize that A) the Galaxy is an abstraction, not a billion star galaxy that only has so many star lanes, it really is just an 800 star galaxy because its a game, and B) the hyperlanes ARE hidden in the very beginning, so the situation in game already reflects "reality" as you describe it. I just find it cute that you think that "science and logic" are on your side in this argument. Hence the facepalm. I really was hoping you'd figure it out on your own.
A)
1) If you have any source for your claim that the visible star systems are supposed to be abstractions, rather than the billionth (or so) of systems that happen to be part of the hyperlane network, please do share it.
2) Under the "abstraction model" you espouse, it still makes no sense that we would have perfect knowledge of the stellar objects on the other side of the galaxy. There is simply too much dust and interference in the way. The opposite side of the Milky Way is known as "the dark side" for a reason. In other words, keeping systems hidden until (hyperlane) detected is sensible regardless of which model you want to believe in.

B)
I get the impression you are deliberately misinterpreting me. You point out that hyperlanes initially are invisible past the detection range and claim that this somehow means that 'the situation in game already reflects "reality" as you describe it' - even though my position is that because hyperlanes initially are invisible past the detection range it would make sense for the systems to be invisible too, especially since we cannot reasonably know in advance which billionth of the systems are connected to the galactic hyperlane network.
The Milky Way contains somewhere around 100-400 billion stars. A medium map contains 600 systems. If we assume that the Milky Way corresponds to a medium galaxy and that there are 300 billion stars in the Milky Way, and ignore the issue of multi-star systems, that could be interpreted as only 1 in 500,000,000 star systems having hyperlane access. In the game, the ability to detect hyperlanes is limited by the hyperlane scanning range.

If we want a "sciencey" explanation for applying fog of war to distant star systems, it should be enough to say that it is impossible to know beforehand which systems have hyperlane access, and that the only reasonable approach is to not include yet unscanned systems in the hyperlane map.
(If further elaboration is needed: the systems are part of the hyperlane network, and by seeing them in advance we effectively see the "nodes" of the network, and the hyperlane network is thereby partially known even outside of our hyperlane detection range.)

C)
Again, the "abstraction model" does not satisfactorily account for the many systems that appear out of nowhere during the game (the precursor homeworld systems, the Hyacinth system, the Rubricator system, the Paridayda system, the L-Cluster). It is illogical that we would have failed to notice those systems while somehow having spotted every stellar object on the other side of the galaxy. In-game, the Hyacinth event chain even describes the new system as "previously uncharted", rather than "previously unseen", which rhymes better with the "rare hyperlaned systems model" than the "abstraction model".
has managed to track it on an outbound trajectory towards a previously uncharted star

D)
Regardless of which thematic explanation model one wishes to be more applicable to the game, you still have not answered any of the actual reasons (as opposed to thematic justifications) for making the change, such as it being better for the gameplay with a more seamless playing experience and a greater sense of discovery and exploration of the map. I would like to know - do you think the gameplay would be worse if systems outside of the hyperlane detection range were not visible until first detected? If so, why?
 
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