Coops Skunk Works

It’s been a week of fiddling, editing, ripping out old code and replacing with new code. Yesterday (yes I code on Sundays as well) I completed one of my ‘to do’ list items. Well, two in fact but let’s not get distracted :)

Loot Items
This change relates to places in the game where you ‘discover’ or ‘locate’ or are ‘given’ an Item in a loot sequence. I want to first draw the distinction. An ‘Item’ could be a Weapon, system, reactor, expander, shields. It is NOT a resource or commodity. These do not live in Misc or cargo holds etc, these items are items you can fit to your main loadout. I’m labouring that point so there is no confusion.

OK Coops never mind that – what have you done!

When we started the game – waaaaay back when, we created a primary loot table for these items. This table hold (or did) around 1500 ‘Items’ that could be ‘randomly’ picked by the script when triggered. So you doing a profession – get to the loot screen and a Bar appears telling you that XYZ was located and placed in your ships hold.

Up till now (yesterday afternoon) this script would have looked in the pot and drew out at random an item you had the level to use. But of course with around 1500 items in the pot that’s a lot of items you could use. But in all honesty what is the point in a level 10 Weapon when your level 150. It’s just junk loot, might be handy if you were 10, but let’s face it all CE players are hoarders, so its stashed in the back with all the other level 10 weapons.

The change (yes I’m getting there) is that now the script has been given Brains :) From now on when these loot locations hand out ITEMS via the message bar it will look (still at random) in the pot but look for items between three levels below you and 1 level above you. So let’s say your level 50. That means the loots for items will now be from level 47 through to 51.

Uhhhhhh, ok…. but Coops – why would I want items below my level?

Brings me on to my Second fo the ‘To Do’ items :)

Skunk Works – Item Division
I have spent a lot of time fiddling with this new code. It’s almost damn sentient lol – or should be lol. It’s a Mini-me (well Bob actually) :) I often spend days at a time creating new items for the game. New Weapons, shields, expanders etc. I use slide rules excel sheets and various rule sets and then create images and eventually add them to the numerous tables to make them ‘live’.

Over the last 18 months close to 1200 items have been ‘quietly’ added. These ONLY appear in ITEM LOOTS (See above). Of course, they are normal items and can be traded or sold in the player’s emporiums and I’m sure many ARE currently sat in emporiums.

But my time is not what it used to be, but CE needs to continue moving forward and players always need to be finding new and improved gear to shuffle through. That’s half the fun of CE always looking for that extra Cargo extension or more Bang for your gun.

This is where Bob comes in. He has been tasked with doing all the above for me. I let Bob loose on CE weapons yesterday set him to ‘manufacture’ and he pumped out 200 new weapons. Good old Bob.

Bob and his minions (as I create them) will start beefing up / shoring up the game core content of items. These NEW items can be identified by their names and images. The images will have a Red background and the names all have a suffix of ADV-XYZ (where XYZ is a number) lol.

These are NORMAL items. They are subject to normal rules and can be freely traded AND Submoled. They even have a trade-in cash sale price. More Importantly, of course, they will all be injected into the ever-expanding ITEM Loot Table.

Suddenly your three levels below items will start to be FAAAR more interesting (as a few found out yesterday). Bob has been given a NEW rule book and seeing he doesn’t require Excel or a slide rule :) He is far more capable than me :)

Over time I expect Bob and his Cohorts to double the game Database of ship-based usable Items. Of course, you can still horde these as ever but as these are all submolable or sellable for a quick injection of cash I’d think twice about stashing too much away. Why not put them on your Emporium?

The Creation of Bob was the culmination of a lot of thought and testing but I feel it the best way to serve the community of CE, keeping it fresh and alive and giving me more time to return to the code elements.

Thanks go to Dennis Taylor for the mental stimulus to create Bob. Those of you who have read his trilogy will understand where I’m coming from. I often wonder if I’m not a Bob my self and no one thought to tell me :)

Followup – Week Later

I’ve been mega busy this week, tweaking original ‘Bob’ and now his cohorts :) We now have Four Bobs in total. Each looking after item creation for his own area of the game. The final Bob was activated this afternoon. He was checked, tested then activated and began creating new Shield Systems.

So far the new Bob’s have created close to 800 items since being added. I’ll slow down their activities once we reach around 1,000 new items. These are all the ADV red background items, so if you locate one in Loot you will know.

I’ve also been keeping a close eye on the Loot logs and verifying that players are indeed getting items awarded that are -3 to +1 of their current level. I have also rectified the errant snippet of code that led to the RAID PM email handing out the incorrect level items. This was the only section I appeared to have missed. (I verified that today by Manhandling a RAID on my own, lol not before he handed me my ass though).

With the Bob’s now active the games loot system will mature and grow over time. Leaving me some spare time to concentrate on other elements of the core game code.

All Hail the Bobs!



  1. akkamaddi says:

    I just realized I’m about to hit year FIVE on this game… šŸ™‚

    The skunk works loot is really interesting. You can get lucky and find some really hot loot, and then make it better with the Research Academy.

    I’m glad there are now a few altered mining lasers out there to find. I’m hopeful that one day there might even be skunked ship systems.

    Thanks, Coops!

  2. Honest Ivor says:

    An excellent addition to the game providing an increase in the availability of usable equipment for players at every level and a reduction of otherwise “useless” finds

  3. 5hortpants says:

    One of my favorite things in Core-Exiles is finishing up a long session of dispatching pirates and *ahem* pillaging their ships, and then checking my hold and finding bigger and better equipment for my next session. This change to the loot table drops is awesome! The equipment I find is new and exciting, and at levels that I can use!

    The drops of Alien equipment have even fired me up to get more of my Alien Certificates so I can use all this great stuff!

    If you’re new to Core-Exiles and this doesn’t make a lot of sense to you yet, you have so much to look forward to! Keep playing, and don’t be afraid to drop a few pounds (or dollars) in the CE store. (It is easier than dropping pounds at the gym!)

  4. MadMaxxx says:

    These new items have changed the game completely as it gave much variety to the game. Its much better to get a working Reactor/Cargo Expander/Gun or Shield than some space debris from Pirates or while mining.
    Thats gonna help increase number of submolled resources on long run too.

    Am loving it! As i got an awesome Reactor and Cargo Expander upgrades

    Best Regards
    Captain MadMaxxx

    PS: Come and try the game because the community is the BEST! Along side the DEV and Staffers of course šŸ˜€

  5. Ophelia says:

    I think the “skunk” scared everyone off šŸ˜€

    I personally like brains … “The change (yes Iā€™m getting there) is that now the script has been given Brains” .. anyone got any ketchup?

    The loot system now is excellent. Of course I wasn’t playing before (I only found this excellent game during the August Bank Holiday), but Coops you do a fantastic job and I am addicted already!

    For anyone looking for an amazing game with a lovely player community, this is the game for you! šŸ™‚

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