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Railjack Open World?


Jax_Drades

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So I had a thought, we've got grineer open world, corpus open world, infested open world, probably orokin open world with duviri. What if we had a Railjack Open World? ( I know this is done to death but I hope this is an interesting spin.)

Take the P.O.E. for a second, there is a cave system that leads under the barrier to a grineer camp, and we have the RJ open world function like that. The planets being the "open areas" and the junctions between planets acting as the "cave systems" leading to each new open world. 

Instead of selecting each new mission to take on each proxima, have it be a proximity system where Cy will let you know that you could exterminate a corpus vessel or a grineer weapons platform because it's "on the scanners" 

While going from planet to planet with the solar junctions, let there be a random chance event between derelicts to raid and pirates attacking with Cy again alerting the players to the option to stop and loot or continue for the derelicts, and fight or run from the pirates. Or just getting pulled from super speed by corpus or grineer interference.

It would take a little longer to go between each proxima, but the players wouldn't have to keep hopping into nav to go somewhere, but the option to use the nav is still there.

Please leave your thoughts in the comments below, I would love some feedback. :D

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A map that big would give you floating point errors and jittery movement in Minecraft, to say nothing of this game. A thousand times more damage calculations, ten thousand times more polygons, a billion times more particle effects

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12 minutes ago, TARINunit9 said:

A map that big would give you floating point errors and jittery movement in Minecraft, to say nothing of this game. A thousand times more damage calculations, ten thousand times more polygons, a billion times more particle effects

You do realize that not everything is in memory all at once, right?

Just like with the existing open worlds the only things that are currently in memory are generally the things currently around you.  The Plains of Eidolon, Orb Valis, and Deimos don't have hundreds of enemies all loaded at the same time.  Hell, most games don't even worry about rendering things behind the player to save on rendering.  Warframe definitely does this, and you can see it yourself.  If something is generating particle effects in front of you, they look normal.  Once the source goes off screen, suddenly their quality drops.  They're still there, but lessened.  There's likely a point where they cease to be considered at all.  Even the next room isn't in memory until the door opens.  Usually you never notice because it's loaded before the door opens, but sometimes you can catch it when the door fails to close, or you're in a laggy session.

Also so what if Minecraft couldn't do it?  This isn't Minecraft.  By the same logic it should be fine because No Man's Sky deals with vastly larger areas no sweat.  Maybe one would say "Warframe's engine couldn't handle it."  Well, before the announcement of railjack, probably nobody thought Warframe could handle a 27000 cubic kilometer play area, but by gum they did it.  It's not perfect, but it largely works.

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It's the direction Railjack needs to go tbh. Railjack should be more like how Sea of Thieves does it: one big map for each Proxima, where you enter the map at a location and can travel around to different missions/POIs. Alternatively they could do big procedural maps using clusters of large set pieces, like in the new Corpus Proximas, or a mix of the two with some large static areas like major asteroids with procedural content scattered around them. The current Railjack is stuck in the same tired load-in-load-out mission structure we've had since 2012, that DE's rarely if ever tried to venture away from.

28 minutes ago, TARINunit9 said:

A map that big would give you floating point errors and jittery movement in Minecraft, to say nothing of this game. A thousand times more damage calculations, ten thousand times more polygons, a billion times more particle effects

Didn't Steve talk about fixing their floating point precision errors? IIRC they talked to some devs from another company and it was solved by changing some order of operations. Either way, Railjack maps are already like 30km3 with no precision issues.

The other concern are kind of nonsensical, we don't have these issues in open world zones despite the size difference because DE doesn't put enemies on the other side of the map and because of standard tech like LODs...

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33 minutes ago, PublikDomain said:

Either way, Railjack maps are already like 30km3 with no precision issues.

Actual size is maybe around 3km3. Remember, Railjack and Archwing were scaled down ten times of the original size. That’s why you used to get weird “Giant warframe” bugs, the game failed to scale down the models.

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2 hours ago, (PSN)Lollybomb said:

You do realize that not everything is in memory all at once, right?

That's irrelevant regarding floating point errors. FP errors still happen with as little as ONE thing in memory: the player

2 hours ago, (PSN)Lollybomb said:

By the same logic it should be fine because No Man's Sky deals with vastly larger areas no sweat.  

Not really, NMS doesn't handle open worlds the same way Minecraft or Warframe handle open worlds. Minecraft may divide it's map into chunks, but in a half-measure that still leaves it vulnerable to FP errors; that's why the Far Lands used to happen. NMS uses smoke and mirrors, because it's basically a bunch of MMO instances/servers. Lastly, Warframe doesn't chunk up or use procedural/dynamic loading in its maps at all. It might only add objects as they become relevant to keep memory free, but the entire map is loaded at once. Even the on-foot sections of enemy Crewships are loaded in.

Then there's the whole "27,000 meters" claim (imma ping @PublikDomainfor this too). That's another magic trick, Archwing (except Sharkwing) and Railjack distances are multiplied by 4 by the HUD; so objective markers might claim 28,000 meters, internally it's only 7,000 meters

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2 hours ago, -AncientWarrior- said:

Man Railjack in the form of the very old Freelancer space game would be kinda cool..

I absolutely adore freelancer.

And have been preaching for railjack to be a "space game" like it. You know, give some meaning for your ship and crew.

But of course people hate it. They absolutely worship this taxi-style, extended playable loading screen railjack that we have right now.

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Now I'm gonna go off the rails with this idea. this is purely speculation and hypotheticals, and I very highly doubt that DE is actually going to do this, so don't criticize me, because I already know all the reasons that DE can't do this. but...
imagine that it was all Railjack Free Roam, or at least an alternate game mode sort of thing. You can have like a railjack with your NPC crew, going around the system rather than staying in your orbiter waiting for your next Dragon key to be built. You can explore the Origin system in more depth. You can go to the different mission nodes from your railjack, moving close to it with your railjack then going down with your archwing, then doing a mission like normal. When you get to extraction, you can just archwing back to your railjack, and head back in orbit. Planet Limitations (though it's unlikely you'd find much cuz you need to complete Second Dream in order to get a railjack, which reqiures neptune.) could be in order like it was previously: Installing navigation segments into your railjack. Your forge could be a foundry, and you could actually get raw materials like Rubedo, Ferrite, and Gallium by scavenging asteroids, while raiding derelicts and doing typical mission nodes would also give you refined materials like Alloy plates, circuits, etc. The current Railjack Exterminate and Defense missions would become the new normal. For Excavation missions you can have built excavators on your railjack, and your railjack could send them down, excavating materials (and there would also be a cap to how many you can have active at once.) Invasions could be more space-faring as well, with fighters being sent to either side to combat each other, and you would be in a wing with fighters depending on the side you choose. If you were done with the planet you were at, then you could go into the nav console and select a different region to go to (another addition could be the Asteroid Belt between mars and Jupiter, which would provide a good mining place.) then your ship would zip right over there. There could also be different incursions that happen while in free space as well, for example, finding a ghost ship going in the middle of nowhere, and boarding it, you realize that it is a ship that had been studying infestation, but it broke free and took over the ship. Or perhaps a Murex appears on sensors and sends Gyrix and Ionyx fighters after your ship (the Sentient ships in Scarlet Spear.) You could have a selection of prepared warframes and weapons that you could easily swap in and out of while in free space, and being able to swap what you have prepared if you go to relays. Your orbiter would only be there for the starter players who have yet to get a railjack, and it would be like normal for them, or perhaps your Orbiter wouldn't even be there anymore, and you would instead use relays to choose mission nodes, get weapons, swap out your arsenal, etc.
Heck, maybe even when the New War kicks into full gear you could go to Tau itself, finding the home of the sentients, saving the Lotus (to those who are unaware, why don't you check out what Natah said during Orphix Venom.) or having incursions with the sentient warship that we saw in the New War teaser. Intercepting Condrix/Orphix squads sent to a certain planet for whatever reason.

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8 hours ago, TARINunit9 said:

Then there's the whole "27,000 meters" claim (imma ping @PublikDomainfor this too). That's another magic trick, Archwing (except Sharkwing) and Railjack distances are multiplied by 4 by the HUD; so objective markers might claim 28,000 meters, internally it's only 7,000 meters

Right, it's a magic trick. Game developers use magic tricks and smoke and mirrors to make things happen, and you provided several examples of that. So why can't DE use magic tricks too? They already scale Archwing and Railjack differently, but there's no rule that says 1:4 scale is OK but 1:8 isn't. So halving the scale - if it was even necessary - would increase the play volume by 8 times. Would 54-60km3 be enough play space for "open world" Railjack? Probably.

And on the topic of FPP, the Far Lands are ~12.5 thousand km away from start. Railjack doesn't need the kind of scale where FPP becomes an actual issue.

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Expanding on current missions both in size and objectives and maybe introducing multiple railjacks in the same mission wouldn't be a bad idea, but the last thing this game needs is an "open world" in space, they barely made railjack playable, and it's still almost unplayable in random public, after 1 year and half since release

I'd rather not see Warframe become a space sim @Spoldozer and a buggy one at that, there's pleny out there if that's what you're looking for

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15 minutes ago, --EC--Adrenaline said:

Expanding on current missions both in size and objectives and maybe introducing multiple railjacks in the same mission wouldn't be a bad idea, but the last thing this game needs is an "open world" in space, they barely made railjack playable, and it's still almost unplayable in random public, after 1 year and half since release

I'd rather not see Warframe become a space sim @Spoldozer and a buggy one at that, there's pleny out there if that's what you're looking for

Pub and there internet connections are things DE can't fix. It's also our job to know our own setups and limitations. I don't think DE should halt ideas because of that.

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It'd be cool if Railjack open space was a big open world with chosable objectives and missions to do. Random space battles you can get dragged into. You would also be able to access normal mission nodes from Railjack too.

One issue with that in the current state is saving progress, which would not happen during the open world part. That needs to be changed to suppor this way of open world Railjack. We'd need some as-you-go mission system. I know for a fact that there's players here that will not shoot enemy ships and have fun with it if the game doesn't make it a mission. People want to be told what to do for it to have meaning. So this would be done by getting close to an angoing space battle and gaining objectives while nearby. But you'd also be able to just do caches and avoid fighting? Hmmm... maybe not a good idea, but yea optional to think about.

Thing is, if they implement open world Railjack like they did PoE it'd be bad. I like PoE and such, but there's just nothing to do. Yea you can go fishing, mining or pick up a bounty. But aside from that (and Eidolons) there's really nothing there. No villages, no NPC's, no random encounters or quests. Nothing that makes it feel alive. It also doesn't change. These stupid Grineer have been camping outside of Cetus for years and it doesn't matter how many we kill.

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1 hour ago, PublikDomain said:

They already scale Archwing and Railjack differently, but there's no rule that says 1:4 scale is OK but 1:8 isn't. So halving the scale - if it was even necessary - would increase the play volume by 8 times. Would 54-60km3 be enough play space for "open world" Railjack? Probably.

I think you're missing the point. The trick they use to "scale Archwing differently" doesn't actually make the map smaller, it just makes the player smaller and slower. The map itself is still 7 km, the player is just two feet tall

The short answer that all my pessimism is rooted in is this: If DE were to do any of this properly they would need to adopt an actual MMO dedicated server. And we all know that is strictly verboten.

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6 minutes ago, TARINunit9 said:

I think you're missing the point. The trick they use to "scale Archwing differently" doesn't actually make the map smaller, it just makes the player smaller and slower. The map itself is still 7 km, the player is just two feet tall

The short answer that all my pessimism is rooted in is this: If DE were to do any of this properly they would need to adopt an actual MMO dedicated server. And we all know that is strictly verboten.

Why don’t they just scale down the players and movement even more lol

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6 minutes ago, TARINunit9 said:

I think you're missing the point. The trick they use to "scale Archwing differently" doesn't actually make the map smaller, it just makes the player smaller and slower. The map itself is still 7 km, the player is just two feet tall

What difference does it make?  Because we have no actual measurement of the actual simulated game area, what difference does it make to the players if they double the size of the play area, or make us (and everything else in the world) smaller and slower?  The answer is none.  There is no difference because we lack any consistent bearing on anything.  It's like drawing a map on a piece of paper.  If I just change the scale used to draw the map, then suddenly I can fit a whole lot more onto it.  The area currently used for railjack is only 30km on a side because it's been defined like that.  Internally the engine almost certainly has no concept of what a meter is, or a kilometer.  The area is simply defined as X number of units.  How long is a unit?  However long it needs to be for a given situation.  On foot, 1 meter could be 128 units.  In archwing 1 meter is simply defined as 32 units (and everything scaled to match) and BAM!  The world just got a whole lot bigger without actually requiring any additional space.  It's all a matter of perspective, and our perspective is entirely at the mercy of the developers.

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50 minutes ago, TARINunit9 said:

I think you're missing the point. The trick they use to "scale Archwing differently" doesn't actually make the map smaller, it just makes the player smaller and slower. The map itself is still 7 km, the player is just two feet tall

But regardless of the internal scale of the map, the size of map that the player experiences is much larger. If someone says "the map should be larger" then it doesn't really matter if the map is made larger internally or simply presented as being larger than it really is: from the player's perspective, the map is larger either way. It doesn't matter how it's achieved.

52 minutes ago, TARINunit9 said:

The short answer that all my pessimism is rooted in is this: If DE were to do any of this properly they would need to adopt an actual MMO dedicated server. And we all know that is strictly verboten.

I don't see why this would need to be the case. If they wanted to make Railjack like Sea of Thieves in the multiplayer sense, then sure. Or if they wanted to update open world zones to be like Destiny's drop-in-drop-out instances. But to make Railjack like Sea of Thieves in the scale and presentation sense, then the P2P architecture is fine.

And if dedicated servers are truly necessary, players have been able to host dedicated Conclave servers since 2016. There's no reason DE couldn't leverage the playerbase to provide dedicated servers for PvE content as well, and there's no reason DE couldn't run their own servers where necessary.

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I would fully support a space-based open world: I generally dislike the ground-level "open worlds" (i.e. big, mostly empty levels) we have so far because they're isolated from the rest of the game and don't offer much once one goes through their specific grind. However, a RJ open world has the potential to connect the in-game world better than anything before it: if we could use our RJ to travel to a Relay or a Solar Rail, we could finally start traveling through the Origin System on our own terms, instead of fast-traveling from dungeon to dungeon. There are many technical considerations behind this, especially since Corpus Railjack has shown the game's limitations when it comes to mixing regular levels with RJ, but if it were possible, it could genuinely make the game so much richer.

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2 minutes ago, Teridax68 said:

I would fully support a space-based open world: I generally dislike the ground-level "open worlds" (i.e. big, mostly empty levels) we have so far because they're isolated from the rest of the game and don't offer much once one goes through their specific grind. However, a RJ open world has the potential to connect the in-game world better than anything before it: if we could use our RJ to travel to a Relay or a Solar Rail, we could finally start traveling through the Origin System on our own terms, instead of fast-traveling from dungeon to dungeon. There are many technical considerations behind this, especially since Corpus Railjack has shown the game's limitations when it comes to mixing regular levels with RJ, but if it were possible, it could genuinely make the game so much richer.

I definitely agree with this. A lot of it is still grind too, just a different type of grind. You don't NEED to do Heart of Deimos or Vox Solaris in order to get to the New War (I left out PoE cuz of Star Chart limitations, though you can just be taxi-ed to the Eurasia node to bypass the PoE.) You can completely ignore the Cambion Drift, Orb Vallis, and Plains of Eidolon for the most part too. Sure, it limits you, but you can. Another annoying thing that I find with the Open World things (I've noticed this a LOT in the Orb Vallis) is that you are constantly interrupted by patrols of enemies that can interrupt what you are doing. It's still combat rooted, and I think there should be less of that. With a Railjack Free Roam, it might not be as Combat based, and you actually get to see new things about the Origin System, perhaps finding secrets detailing the fall of the Orokin, or the creation process of the Sentients. It could add a lot more to the Exploration and Lore parts of Warframe rather than the hack and slash we all know today.

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1 hour ago, (PSN)Lollybomb said:

What difference does it make?  Because we have no actual measurement of the actual simulated game area, what difference does it make to the players if they double the size of the play area, or make us (and everything else in the world) smaller and slower?  

 

47 minutes ago, PublikDomain said:

But regardless of the internal scale of the map, the size of map that the player experiences is much larger. If someone says "the map should be larger" then it doesn't really matter if the map is made larger internally or simply presented as being larger than it really is: from the player's perspective, the map is larger either way. It doesn't matter how it's achieved.

Because of how floating point numbers work. You can't just go bigger, you can't just go smaller. There is a limit in both directions.

This isn't as easy as 53,595+56,725. Nor is it as easy as 1/5+1/10. Once you go bigger or smaller than a certain range, some of those numbers literally do not exist in floating point numbers. Oh and did I mention you only have a trillionth of a second to fix any problems?

Now do that for fifteen enemies, both on a crew ship and in fighter pilots, each shooting different bullets that all use a collision detection "blockmap", each of them spewing particle effects

Do I expect DE to make it run at all? Yes. Do I expect them to make it run well? Hell no

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1 hour ago, TARINunit9 said:

Because of how floating point numbers work. You can't just go bigger, you can't just go smaller. There is a limit in both directions.

And that limit is so far away from what larger or more dense Railjack maps might need that I don't see how it's a real, practical issue. The current 30km3 or whatever it is play space was certainly chosen for gameplay purposes, not a mathematical limit. If you fly out to the edge of the map you don't find any spooky jittering because that problem won't manifest until much farther out. I'm also not sure what that "trillionth of a second" timescale has to do with this... Are you talking about hardware?

Edit: Either way, there are other tricks to prevent issues like jitter from being noticeable. I really need to track down Steve's stream where he talked about how DE has already had to solve this for Railjack, but for example they could build Railjack such that your ship is always at the center of the world and everything else moves around you. Infinite runners, for example. A fighter 100km away losing mm precision is never going to be noticeable, not that you'd ever need to put a fighter that far away from the player anyways.

Or, for example, DE could build an "open world" that's a bunch of connected smaller zones that need to be traveled to using a jump. Then they can have many, many, small clusters of content for the player to wander around in without needing to expand the play area itself. Distant clusters of content can be billboarded or LODd to still be visible at a distance, or just be points in space. See that Grineer prison asteroid over there? You can jump to it and find a place to infiltrate to do a rescue. That cluster of Orokin towers? That Derelict ship?

Or traveling a certain distance away could periodically recenter the world on a new tile, unloading old distant POIs and enemies and loading in new ones. Etc.

There are plenty of ways DE could go about it.

1 hour ago, TARINunit9 said:

Now do that for fifteen enemies, both on a crew ship and in fighter pilots, each shooting different bullets that all use a collision detection "blockmap", each of them spewing particle effects

Like they already do?

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3 minutes ago, Tesseract7777 said:

I'm not against the idea of this, but is it something Warframe's engine can really handle, especially with the dev teams insistence that toasters be able to run the game on low graphics? 

I have had a friend who was able to play on low graphics, and this is a computer from like 2005. Yea, it was a bit laggy, but it was certainly playable. The same could probably said for "Toasters"

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Just now, Spoldozer said:

I have had a friend who was able to play on low graphics, and this is a computer from like 2005. Yea, it was a bit laggy, but it was certainly playable.

My point is though, with DE's insistence to ensure that those who are running toasters can at least handle the game if they put it on low graphics, and the limitations of their engine that already exist, would an open world Railjack really be feasible with any kind of good performance for the average player? 

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