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Friday, April 5, 2013

Catalyst vs Hulk: Let's Get Real

In my last post, Everything Must Have a Price, I made the case for adding risk to ship bumping. As it stands now, there is no risk to the bumper. There is also no risk to the bumpee. This is not how the real world works. Since "Eve is Real" is a CCP motto, I want that realism put into Eve.

To that end, there are some very well established equations for calculating how much energy a bumper imparts to a bumpee. These are the physics equations for kinetic energy. As Rammstein pointed out in the comments last post, the simplest of these equations is E = 1/2 mv^2. In English, that translates as energy equals one half mass times velocity squared. This assumes a non-rotating rigid body and no acceleration. For the purposes of this post, I will use a MWD Catalyst versus a Hulk in a game of bumping. The assumptions for this first calculation are that the Hulk is stationary and the Catalyst is already moving at max speed using my skills.

E = 1/2 (1,550,000 kg)(1846.11 m/s^2) = 2,641,294,652,377.5 Joules = 2,641,294,652.3775 kJ

To give you an idea of how much energy that is, it is nearly 1 trillion Big Macs worth. Or, in a more standard comparison it is 0.63 kilotons. That's a considerable amount of kinetic energy. So how much velocity could our catalyst impart to said Hulk? This is a more complicated question. However, for the sake of this blog let's assume all the kinetic energy of the catalyst is imparted to the hulk. I simply solve for velocity of the Hulk by reworking the above equation: v = sqrt (2E/m) with E equaling the amount of energy delivered.

v = sqrt (2*(2641294652377.5 kJ))(40,000,000 kg) = 363.40711690729861103876847365741 m/s

Interestingly enough, that seems to correspond with what I have personally seen when two such ships bump. But don't don't forget Newton's Third Law: F2 = -F1. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, and objects at rest tend to stay at rest. The Hulk gives back to the Catalyst the full force of the impact - all 0.63 kilotons... of... it... wait a moment, that's wrong (get the pun - math geek humor!) I haven't actually calculated force. The above equation only calculates for energy. It says nothing about force or momentum/impulse.

See, it isn't enough to just calculate the energy of the collision. We must determine the force imparted by the collision. That involves momentum which was also discussed in the comments of the last post. I don't know what the acceleration of our Catalyst is, but I can calculate it's impulse momentum when it acts upon the Hulk. The equation for impulse is: I = m(v1-v0). That's impulse equals mass times the change in velocity. For our Catalyst, the impulse is:

I = 1,550,000 kg (1846.11 m/s - 0 m/s) = 2,861,470,500 newton-second

From this known impulse, I can now calculate the force of the collision. With a known impulse, force is equal to impulse divided by the change in time or F = I / (t1 - t0). The smallest unit of time we have for this equation is a second. I will assume the Catalyst goes from full speed to zero speed in one second.

F = 2,861,470,500 newton-second / 1 second = 2,861,470,500 newton = 291.7887853286805 kilotons

Whoa, that is a huge jump in effect. The energy of the bump is less than one kiloton, but the force of the impact is enough to level a medium sized city. Do you really think an unreinforced Catalyst can withstand that amount of force intact? What are you smoking?

The Catalyst is not a fragile ship but it certainly is no battleship either. Though I don't know how much energy a shield hit point equates to, I do know what the total power output of an unmodified  Catalyst is. A Catalyst's power grid can generate 70 megawatts.

The conversion to Joules per second is easy: multiply by a million. The Catalyst generates 70 million joules of power per second. If all that power went to the shields, it could compensate for 0.00001673 kilotons of energy. That's not even close to compensating  for the 0.63 kilotons of energy the bump generates, let alone helping deal with the 291.79 kilotons of force exerted on the ships. The shields should just collapse.

That is why I say a Catalyst must be reinforced to withstand the collision. If it can make a Hulk suddenly jump to 363 m/s, that same Hulk will kick it's nose in because F2 = -F1 - just like you saw on the ship pictures from the last post.

And no, the Hulk might not survive either. I've not done that calculation but the power grid of an unmodified Hulk is half that of a Catalyst. However, the Hulk has more mass to absorb the impact with so maybe it won't insta-pop. You folks can argue that all you like. I only want to point out that ships aren't billiard balls and all that energy HAS to go somewhere. Now, you can invent all sorts of magical bullshit to explain away the laws of physics if you like. But I like hard science-fiction, not the fantasy-crap of the weak minded.

That said, impulse is very important for another reason. It is a method ideal for in-game physics engines. Look under paradigms in this article. Bottom line, Eve Online already has a game engine that models real world physics. I don't think much more work needs done to bring risk to ship bumping. It might be relatively easy considering the code already calculates damage over a very wide variety of situations - and the physics engine is already involved. How do you think missile damage is calculated? All PvPers should know it is a function of ship size AND speed coupled with the blast radius of the warhead. If that isn't physics in action, nothing is. And what's a ramming ship in reality if not a guided missile? So what about it CCP, can we get real now about ship bumping?

Fly Careful

36 comments:

  1. Heh, combining real world physics and Eve is an exercise in futility. I remember someone working out the math for an approximation of the fluid that space in Eve seems to be filled with...

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  2. Enjoyable post. But NO.

    New ganking = 5 catalysts (probably less) with 1mn MWD. No other modules required.

    Scale this up to other ships and you will probably have 100mn BS with as many 1600 plates as the can fit (or poly-carbs & nano's - dependent on which effects the equation more) "bumping" titans.

    The concept is game braking as oddly it would probably be more fun in the short term to not bother shooting anything....

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    1. I was very careful to never use the word gank in either post. This is about bumping, which is not ganking. I just want to make that clear to everyone reading this: Bump <> gank.

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  3. kiloton(1) of energy = energy released in the explosion of a kiloton(2) of TNT.

    kiloton(2) of mass = informal unit meaning a mass weighing a kiloton(3) of force while under a gravitational field equal in strength to that at the earth's surface. [or you could say informal unit of mass = to 2,000,000 pounds(2), where pounds(2) is the informal unit of mass that weighs a pound(1) under g]

    kiloton(3) of force = 2,000,000 pounds(1) of force

    These 3 definitions of kiloton are not equivalent, and you seem to have used the first and third in your piece. If you're going to use any of them, only use the first, which is the most well-known; using the second and/or third is severely confusing to the average reader, and using more than one in the same article even more so.

    That aside, I agree with you in theory, but CCP apparently tried to implement crash damage and couldn't come up with a playable version. Realism is great, and in this case I think realism consists of assuming that CCP has decided EVE's control system, while great for allowing battles of 2,000 on one server, is horrible for crash damage being fun.

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    1. You are correct of course - I am comparing apples to oranges. But I've taken physics courses (seems you have too) and most have not so I took liberties. To paraphrase a confessional, "Forgive me Father, for I have fudged." However, for the purposes of this exercise, which is to make the cause for a more realistic outcome to bumping, it suits my purpose.

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  4. I just wonder how the aggression mechanic will tie into this? Should the Catalyst earn a suspect or limited engagement flag for his damage inducing bump on the Hulk? How is this going to play out on busy docking ports like Jita 4-4?

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    1. I've not stated an opinion about this so I'll do so now. Bumping is not a criminal act nor should it be treated as such. It is also not harassment except as already defined by CCP. It is annoying and that is all. I only want the physics model mipped and tucked, not Crime Watch.

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  5. Just to point this out to you, this would not help you. It would make things worse. I can take say.. a Badger I and add a MWD for less than half the hull cost of a destroyer. It'll hit roughly about a third of the speed of the dessie, but has 12x the mass.

    I can toss the things out the airlock all day in fleets suicide ganking and destroying everything they come into contact to whole sale.

    And could you imagine the Jita undock?

    Now I'm not saying it's a bad idea to figure out counter mechanic against bumping. Depending on how it's implemented it could add something to the game. But off the top of my head I can't think of any solution that wouldn't be worse than the problem it's trying to solve.

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  6. I can see where you're coming from, but I don't agree that EVE's physics engine is anywhere near ready for these kinds of interactions to be implemented in any satisfying way. I'd rather see them fix the ship size/bubble issue first, and get an overall more realistic collision system going. Did you know that as far as the physics engine is concerned all ships are spheres with a diameter roughly that of the smallest dimension of the ship? See large blobs of titans for a demonstration!

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  7. Noone uses freaking destroyers to bump mining ships. The bumpers first choice is the Stabber with 10mn MWD, the second choice the stabber with a 100MN MWD.

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    1. See equations: rinse, lather, repeat. I only used a Catalyst because it's a freaking cool name. Chemically catalysts are also freaking cool! The same goes for the name Hulk. I always wanted to paint mine green but CCP hasn't released ship skins... yet. *grin*

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  8. Mabrick, EvE physics are not, in any way, close to the reality. We have spaceships that maneouver like submarines, planets and suns which does not exert any gravity force over ships and solar systems with static, unmoving planets :)

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  9. If collision damage is brought in for ships, it then has to be brought in for everything else, too. How many times have you bumped a gate due to no fault of your own (or, rather, due to fault of the code for slamming your ship into the gate just out of warp)? Stargates would be destroyed everywhere. And then there's the Jita undock. Or Amarr. Or anywhere else.

    I'm not against realism, but when it impacts playability too harshly, something's gotta give.

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  10. Real World physics? Turn your AB off and you slow down. Space is thick in EVE. Ether is real?

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    1. What happens is that reverse thrusters are automatically engaged when an afterburner or microwarpdrive turns off.

      There's an explanation for anything.

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  11. I remember the first time I encountered "bumping." A friend and I were both flying Thrashers and we met up in a system somewhere. We started approaching each other and as we got closer I started thinking to myself, "oh, wait. I need to stop. How do I stop? We're going to collide and destroy our ships. How do I st-too late!!!...oh. We bounced like rubber balls. Oh."

    --------
    -Amari

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  12. The short answer is that collision damage is a bad idea. It WILL be exploited immediately, and certainly NOT to the benefit of the miners who are currently on the receiving end of unwanted contact. I imagine a heavily tanked battleship bouncing off a barge while doing 1000m/s would have far worse consequences for the barge than the battleship.

    There's plenty off other points I'd like to make, but it will have to wait until I get some time to write them out this weekend. I'll mail you a link to my blog post when I get it finished.

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    1. You are correct. However, EVERYTHING is exploited immediately in Eve Online. CCP can't make a change without bringing out the hacker-complex in all of us. It's the nature of gamers. We just push code to until it breaks. *shrug*

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    2. Anything not to the benefit of miners: bad.

      I like how you think.

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    3. Hardly.

      I was simply sticking to the example Mabrick used. There's plenty of other situations where bumping damage would induce plenty of QQing. Unlocks, fleets of any real size, bouncing off a gate/Titan/jump bridge/asteroid/LCO, etc. Take your pick.

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  13. First off - its well established that Newtons 3rd law does not apply to eve. There are many threadnaughts about the physics mechanics of the game which discuss this issue in detail. Thus you cant rl formulas and apply it to this game and demand that they function accordingly.

    Second, you keep forgetting the energy shields of the ships. Presumably, they will adsorb any significant damage from a potential ship collision.

    Finally, I recall reading (but i cannot take the time to find the link) that eve ships have built-collision prevention computers. The actually bumping mechanic comes from the computers moving the ships automatically out of each others way - no actual collision is involved.

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    1. Yeah, I've read all that: 90% of our ships are inertial dampers and we have a thruster system that can compensate for infinite speed and mass. Too bad CCP won't let us use them in actual ship combat...

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  14. Not that I'm opposed to better physics, makes things more interesting, however:

    "But I like hard science-fiction, not the fantasy-crap of the weak minded."

    I would love to hear your explanation for jump gates, instant communications across infinite distance, and the like. Eve is a sci-fantasy game, the only argument is degree.

    And as a general aside, decent fantasy is about Ur myths or moral and ethical ideas, not Elven chicks in leather bikinis slaughtering Orcs.

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    1. There are theories for wormholes that might be horn-shoed into an explanation for jump gates but let's face facts, any FTL drive is fantasy. It just isn't going to happen in our universe. However, it does have to happen to make Eve Online playable. I grudgingly accept it - as a reality. *LOL* Now, in another universe on another brane who knows. So, to make the game work we have to live with fantasies. My fantasy involves a bit more reality than most.

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  15. Yeah because EVE is TOTALLY 100% real physics. That's why you slow down when your turn off your MWD.

    Also who the fuck bumps in a Catalyst?

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    1. No one, see reply above about freaking cool names.

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  16. Does that means when a mining barge warps to an asteroid field and land on a large veldspar astroid it would go boom?

    And hey, I can bump kill a concord ship now!

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  17. I could get behind this scheme, since in hisec miner bumping would be a clear act of aggression which could be rightly stomped on by CONCORD--as opposed to the childish "Look, I'm not attacking you!" it is now.



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  18. There is nothing real about EVE's physics engine - as with all game engines, it is designed only to make things look cool and interesting.

    In fact, modeling for realism results in nothing but boring. The earliest game designers discovered this when they coded the arcade game, Asteroids, using real math. It was realistic... and it looked bad. So, reality went out the door with the dirty bath water and has never again since been seen in a (released) game.

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    1. Actually Star Control (early 90s) used an actual gravity and inertia engine which could be used for rather funny fighting tactics.

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  19. Actually, Mabrick, there is a way to explain bumping. It's called electromagnetism. It could easily be argued that shields are very strong electromagnetic fields that polarize against eachother on proximity. Of course, the closer they get and the more force they have on approach, the faster they would be repelled from eachother by transforming work into increase of electromagnetic charge.

    Now even with this in mind, there would be mass considerations. An MWD'ing destroyer would be bumped off a mining barge with considerably more speed than the mining barge would gain because of inertia.

    Under those rules, bumping Titans out of shields would be much more difficult for smaller high-speed ships.

    Then again, as others have said, EVE physics are not quite what they should be. Or have you ever wondered why your ship slows down after you disengage your drives, and why do larger ships slow down faster than smaller ones? What is the medium that provides the friction eating up your inertia?

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  20. Sigh... This is a classic example of someone with a polarised view and clearly limited experience outside of their bubble proposing changes for their own benefit in very specific circumstances, which would actually affect lots of different gameplay styles.

    Skimming the above comments, has anyone considered that some people in Eve enjoy PVP, and that a lot of PVP doesn't involve miners, ganking or hisec at all? Have any of you ever needed to form a gatecamp or tackle a capital?

    BUMPING is a fun and legitimate tactic in REAL PVP (where the opponent is capable of/wants to fight back). You can bump someone away from a gate, or bump an aggressed capital away from a station. This is legitimate and FUN because it takes a bit of skill to successfully pump in REAL PVP (ok not so much caps but subcaps on gates take practice to bump well).

    Honestly I don't understand why most indy players in eve are so ignorant about pvp in general. I am a pvper who hates pve, so I have made myself very knowledgable about the economy and industry, and tbh, all game mechanics from every subset of eve. Indy doesn't take that much knowledgee or intelligence to get the hang of, so spend some time learning about other play styles so you sound like less of an autistic only child.
    I love your blog though :-) fly safe

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    1. Hey, I didn't call for the banning of bumping or even anything remotely like that so I have no idea where you got the idea I don't approve of it. I just want it to be different. I want it to be a tactical choice that enriches the game rather than something pre-pubescents can use to annoy other players. I specifically stated it should NOT be a criminal act. I just want some damage added to the contact. Is that such a bad thing? Would that stop it from being used in all those other play styles which you think I have no experience in? Incorrectly I would add, but meh. No, it wouldn't. However, it would make you THINK about it first. Hopefully that will spill over into other areas.

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  21. oh and also well done to everyone for knowing the physics to the level they teach 15/16 year olds in english schools

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    1. I can't tell if that's a troll or not. Perhaps the person who lacks the courage to identify his/her self forgot sarcasm doesn't translate well to the written word. Regardless, I don't expect everyone who reads this blog to have a PhD (or any degree whatsoever) in physics. I could have used my physics training, which is certainly beyond high school but just short of a BS, to make this into a science blog - but that's not the point is it? The point is to talk about Eve Online. The level of the discussion was perfectly appropriate. If you want something with a higher level discussion perhaps you can write Stephen Hawking - on second thought, don't bother. He has more important things to do. Cheers.

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