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November 20, 2017, 09:28:06 AM

Author Topic: Correct Galaxy page colors are not being assigned to the largest NPCs in SFCO  (Read 2990 times)

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Offline Admiral T-Wayne

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BFG folks,

Could you please at least respond to this issue?

BTW, this is NOT equivalent to "I'm huge, so all the targets that spawn off the smaller fry show as deep green".  This is, "ALL the targets, including the targets that spawn off the very largest players, including me, are showing to me as deep green".

It would be great if you could reach out to your developers and get confirmation from them regarding how the RSPs values for the largest NPCs are set.  Based upon what the larger players are seeing, across all the Unis, there appears to be a maximum RSPs value that is EVER assigned (at least for Galaxy page display purposes) to an NPC. 

Example:

In SFCO:
NPCs that are known to have spawned off llaubacher (largest player in the game) show to me (today) with RGB 402 (a green that largely can't be distinguished from pure green).  Shouldn't these be red, to match how I see llaubacher in the Galaxy page?
NPCs that are known to have spawned off Bruce Mays (a step below llaubacher in RSPs) show to me (today) with RGB 402.  Shouldn't these be some shade of pink (RGB less than 255)?
NPCs that spawn off me show to me with RGB 402.  Shouldn't these be white (RGB around 255) to me?

Tomorrow, as I get a bit larger, this lowest-visible RGB value will increase to 403 or 404, EVEN AS THE NPCs GROW IN RESPONSE TO PLAYER GROWTH.  As time marches on, it will be 510, EVEN IF THE NPCs DOUBLE OR TRIPLE IN SIZE.  (The fact that the lowest RGB value consistently increases, even as the NPCs increase in size in lock-step with player growth, is my evidence that a "hard floor" on assigned NPC RSPs value exists.)  Once the NPCs all display with RGB 510, scanning for targets becomes a totally futile waste of time (too many targets to check) and it will be time to "go fishing permanently" -- leave SFC for good.

Even we "huge players" need some way to distinguish target size, and we are losing that ability.  A very easy-to-implement approach is to (perhaps) change the way you assign RSP values to NPCs, at least for display purposes.  If you simply assign to the NPC the RSPs value of the person from which the NPC spawns, that will provide a workable range of RSPs, for all players, that will enable us to distinguish "large" NPCs from "small" NPCs, forever.


Offline Monkey D. Luffy

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Yes... please BFG - aka, Matt - Please... this issue is happening in X2 as well... - is there only a single NPC script, that runs for all of the universes?... - Please address this issue...

Also, as a separate issue... for the last 3 days I haven't found 1 single NPC that was worth attacking... (and was only finding about 5 or 6 NPCs total, in my 80 system hunting zone), so I've been fleetsaving without attacking at all the last 3 days... If you haven't already today, Can you please restart the NPCs for X2? - they don't seem to have been spawning correctly... (I haven't checked yet today, so forgive me if you have already done so today)
~Monkey D. Luffy - Retired.

Offline Zarchne

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RGB 402

Just out of curiosity (I have nothing substantial to contribute), how are you calculating "RGB" values again?  I seem to remember it's a script.  I just ask because talking about "RGB" values of 255 = white,  255 < green and 255 > red is a bit nonsensical... it wouldn't make sense to a developer except with the added context of how you were taking the actual RGB values and mapping them to the range; except that, of course, the game does some sort of reverse mapping... which is the question you're asking.

Offline Admiral T-Wayne

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Hi. Zarchne,

If you take a look at the detailed javascript code that is generated for each Galaxy page, you will see that each planet, moon, Heph, NPC -- whatever -- is assigned a color code based on its RSP value, relative to the viewing player.  For example, a pure-green NPC has the color code, "00ff00".  The eljercode script, SolarSystemSummary.js, takes these color codes and calculates/prints a severity code  (what we are calling an "RGB value") for each Galaxy page planet/moon/Heph/NPC.  The severity code ranges from 0 (this would be assigned to a Galaxy page element that shows to the viewing player as being pure-red) to 255 (this would be assigned to a Galaxy page element that appears to the viewing player as being pure-white) to 510 (this would be assigned to a Galaxy page element that shows to the viewing player as being pure-green).

The issue is that there appears to be a maximum RSPs value that is assigned to any NPC, at least for display purposes, and this maximum RSPs value doesn't grow as the targets themselves grow.  As a player grows and his/her RSPs value exceeds this pre-set maximum value, "all" targets begin to appear some shade of green to the player.  Further, as the player continues to grow, all targets tend toward appearing to be pure-green, and the lowest severity code that SolarSystemSummary reports inexorably advances toward 510.  We use target color and/or the severity code to quickly filter out which targets are worthy of being probed.  Once all the targets become indistinguishable from pure-green (and we are getting there for some of us, already) and all the severity codes get close to 510, we won't be able to identify worthy targets based on color or severity code.  Target scanning will become excessively time-consuming at that point. 

I predict that players who reach this point will decide to "go fishing" -- find something else to do with their time, other than play SFC.   Based upon the rate at which the severity codes are advancing for me, I can see my "go fishing" time occurring in the next 3 to 6 months.  I DON'T WANT THIS TO HAPPEN.  I greatly enjoy playing SFC.  But, once the time needed to scan/probe for targets changes from 45 minutes or so (probing and evaluating just a handful of targets as I scan through 900+ systems) to multiple hours (having to probe every candidate target), I'll have no recourse but to move on to something else to do with my time.


Offline Admiral T-Wayne

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Further, this color-coding issue with the NPCs is so easily correctable.  All that BFG needs to do is assign to each NPC, the RSPs value of the player from which the NPC was spawned.

I'm certain that there are other ways to fix the problem, but the above approach should be very easy to do, and it will fix the problem "for ever".

Offline Zarchne

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Right... just “eljercode SolarSystemSummary.js” was the only bit I was unsure about that I was expecting.

Offline Zarchne

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function fGetNPCSeverity(vBackcolor) {
   var vRsp=0;
   vRGB = vBackcolor.match(/^rgb\((\d+),\s*(\d+),\s*(\d+)\)$/);
   var vRR=("0" + parseInt(vRGB[1]).toString(16)).slice(-2)
   var vGG=("0" + parseInt(vRGB[2]).toString(16)).slice(-2)
   if (vRR=='ff') {
      vRsp=parseInt(vGG,16);
   } else {
      vRsp=510-parseInt(vRR,16);
   }
   return vRsp;
}

So, “severity” as calculated as the amount of green if red is max or 510 less red otherwise.  Thanks.

Offline Admiral T-Wayne

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Back on January 19, the smallest NPC severity number that I could see was 402.  That is, the largest NPCs in SFCO -- the ones that spawn off llaubacher -- showed as green to me, and the SolarSystemSummary eljer script assigned a value of 402 to them (0 is for pure red NPCs, 255 is for white NPCs, 510 is for pure green NPCs).

Today -- 17 days later -- the smallest NPC severity number that I can see is 426.  So, my available scale for discriminating NPCs based on size has shrunk by 22% in 17 days.  If this shrinkage follows a linear progression, all targets will show as "510s" to me in about 8 - 10 weeks.  At that point in time, I'll have no way to readily differentiate large targets from minuscule targets, and the effort needed to hunt for NPCs will  increase substantially (having to probe every Large Floating Colony, Floating Colony, Colossus, and Large Abandoned Leviathan is not something that is desirable).  What'll I do at that point in time?  I guess I'll need to put out a bounty to my smaller-fry buddies -- any target they point me to will get them either a probe ride or 10% of the res as a finder's fee.  This isn't an optimal approach, because I'm left at the mercy of the schedule of others.  But, it might just be what has to be done.  Either that, or go perma-d, or just quit the game.  We'll see which approach is more attractive to me, once all the targets show as "510". 

One thing is for sure -- unless we get some renewed differentiation in the NPCs, the ability of larger players to effectively hunt NPCs for themselves is drawing to a close.

Offline Matt H

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This should be fixed shortly.
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Offline Monkey D. Luffy

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This should be fixed shortly.
Hells-to-the YEA!!!!!!
~Monkey D. Luffy - Retired.

Offline Admiral T-Wayne

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Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I'm seeing "white" NPCs again!!!!!!

Offline Matt H

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Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I'm seeing "white" NPCs again!!!!!!

I'm glad it's working and I'm sorry it took us so long to get to this bug.
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Offline Admiral T-Wayne

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Hi, Matt,

The important thing is that you fellows listened to us, you recognized that this was a legitimate issue that could impair the ability of some devoted players to continue with the game, and you fixed the problem.

Again, thanks for listening to us!

Offline Admiral T-Wayne

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Unfortunately,

I'm seeing fresh evidence of a return of this game defect.  I've submitted a ticket to BFG.  I'll let you folks know what I find out.

Offline Admiral T-Wayne

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I believe the issue is caused when NPCs grow to such a size that the number which is used by SFCO to calculate Galaxy Page NPC color gets maxed out.  So far, my NPCs are the only ones which are large enough to cause SFCO to use this max number in its internal color calculations, rather than use the actual size of the NPC.  The issue becomes evident in the SFCO UI when the spawns of the impacted player (me, for now) all show using the same color (and they all have the same eljercode "NPC severity number").  Currently, when I view my spawns, they all show as a light green with an eljercode number of 313 (yesterday the number was 311).  Bruce Mays, who is the second-largest player in SFC, also has noted this problem with my spawns.  Even though my spawns are varying in actual size, he is seeing all of them with a consistent eljercode number of 100.

The impact of this "march of the NPC colors", if it isn't addressed, is the same as it was back in 2013/2014 -- eventually, the impacted player will not be able to distinguish NPCs on the Galaxy pages.  Once that occurs, it will be time to retire.

As time goes on and other players reach my current size, they also will experience this issue.  At current player growth rates, I expect that everyone who is in the Top 50 in SFCO will experience this problem within a year, and that most will be forced to leave the game once this issue afflicts them.

I do hope that BFG will invest some time into SFCO, to identify the source of this issue and address it.  Whenever I leave the game, I want to do it because I decided it was time to do so, not because an issue with how the game represents NPC sizes internally forced me to do so.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2016, 10:15:29 PM by Admiral T-Wayne »