Summer Update - 029

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Re: Summer Update - 029

Postby magnutc » Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:49 am

I think the important thing here isn't the relative perception of time by units in different hexes; that's just the intriguing ground-level view of what it feels like to live in a tactical strategy game. The real meat of the update is in the concept that "the only thing that matters is the ORDER of our actions". Think about it from a SRPG standpoint - though I'm not yet convinced that Erfworld is meant to parallel videogames as much as a tabletop concept given Parson's intro way back when. Take Disgaea, especially:

You have a Turn. All your units get to move in a turn, and act if you choose to order them to. When you select to act, you can choose to do it right then, or wait for the end of the turn. The order people move/act in is important, because it determines how they are able to interact with each other; you can't perform a team combo with your Ninja if he didn't move into place prior to the attack. Similarly, you can't heal your unit if your healer didn't get in range prior to attempting a heal. So order MATTERS... even if the imaginary "perceived time" of the unit doesn't. Hell, that ninja might have had to move 20 spaces to get in place, while the Fighter moved one. And nevermind the time spent with a cursor hovering over your head while the player figures out what he wants to do. :)

The thing that actually intrigued me about this post is that the sun moves at all in the sky; I'd have guessed, based on prior revelations about turn structure, that dawn is a universal event, and the sun hangs in the sky without moving until some milestone passes (determined by unit order), at which point it cha-chunks into noontime position, until further turn-based actions snap it forward into Sunset mode, signaling end-of-turn-near, then the moon popping up to signify that the turn is over. The interesting implication, since I think we've established that turns end at night (maybe I'm wrong about that), is that you can run out of time in a turn simply by virtue of the sun going down in your home hex and you not having been quick enough about performing your actions. Turn end, in other words, might not be totally consensual.
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Re: Summer Update - 029

Postby mortissimus » Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:24 am

So that is why Ansom so quickly could make it to Jillian and the wounded dragons.
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Re: Summer Update - 029

Postby Wren » Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:25 am

I really like the relative time in each hex, but I think he is setting himself for some huge metaphysical problems later by making the movement of the sun relative to the movement of units within the hex. You could easily have more than 24 hours pass within one hex while no time has passed in surrounding hexes.
this leads to problems of what the sun should be doing in each, as it only becomes night when turns end (as shown in the comic when Ansom ends turn and the sun sets)
i.e.: unit a has 3 move. he moves from hex 1 to hex 2, scouts for 12 hours, circling the hex repeatedly. The sun has gone down. He returns to hex 2 where no time has passed. he reports his findings and moves back into hex 2 where he moves around 12 more hours and the sun comes back up. No turns have passed for either hex, but the sun has moved twice in hex 2.
There is the additional problem of time passing while you are away. What happens to the sun while unit a is gone, but other units are running around?

Relative time in each hex works. Having a universal measure tied to the movement of the sun does not. minutes and hours can exist and make sense, but a "day" can't be 24 hours if "days" are also tied to turn start and end. I think we will have to see some backpeddling on this for consistency to be maintained. The movement of the sun must be tied to whose turn it is. It would move proportionally through the sky for each turn that was ended. This will allow it to be consistent for everyone and still have relative hex time.

p.s.: General or Special Relativity and quantum physics have nothing to do with this discussion. It is a totally independent and unique set of physical laws.
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Re: Summer Update - 029

Postby Anton Gaist » Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:39 am

darthoctopus wrote:Has anyone noticed something weird about this? This appears to function in a manner opposite what Special Relativity would predict.

Consider the paradox of the twins, say. It is the twin who gets left behind who ages more than the twin who gallivants around the universe. This is because the moving twin measures proper time, and the twin who stays at home measures coordinate time. On the other hand, to the poor victim who goes on a scouting mission, far more time has elapsed than to the Thinkamancer who sits at home waiting for a status update.

From what I can gather, hexes function as both inertial reference frames (to some extent) and quantised regions of spacetime; if we quantify velocity as the rate of movement between hexes relative to an observer's reference frame (in which he is stationary) we realise that either our definition of coordinate and proper times must change, or the rules of Relativity of Time in Erfworld are very different from the ones here. For one, relativity of time (and time dilation) arises directly from the assumption of a universal speed limit, c. No matter how fast we move, c-invariance dictates that the flow of time from our reference frame slow down to accommodate that speed limit. As we see here, we instead have time contraction: the flow of time speeds up (for you) as you move between hexes. Either there is a universal lower bound on velocity in any reference frame (which doesn't even make sense), or this is definitely not relativity as we know it.

Also, I don't see any references to length contraction (or, if the Lorentz factor is less than unity in this universe, length dilation). Weird.</geekfest>


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This update is the best in the whole summer. A universe where the movement of the sun across the sky depends on the presence of an observer... this is a universe where time and space are different dimensions!

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Re: Summer Update - 029

Postby DevilDan » Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:50 am

We can't forget that "time passing" may or may not have any larger meaning except for how much a unit is able to accomplish. The laws of thermodynamics, for example, don't quite seem to work on Erf. We don't know that units age—and if they do it would be because of turns passing and not because of "time" passing, probably. Units don't get hungry except for what they need for upkeep; they don't really get tired except in terms of expending move or juice (probably no unit is going to collapse from exhaustion since it can't move past its limit, unless there's a special "extra move now and collapse next turn" rule).

The ideas are fun and intriguing, and I'm sure that Parson will find some way to game or hack this. But I don't think we'll get very far in analyzing it using the physics rules and concepts of our universe. We take too much for granted, and those assumptions will bite you in the boop every time.*

In the above example, the "poor victim" is schlepping around while the thinkamancer gets to sit in "condensed" time. The time ratio difference doesn't really affect the "victim" in any significant way as far as I can tell.

*Consider that thinkagrams, despite the time-ratio fudging, may possibly be an instantaneous means of communication.
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Re: Summer Update - 029

Postby the_tick_rules » Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:50 am

Very complicated. I'm guessing this is based off the idea of no longer how much time it takes you to do what you can in your turn it is seen by the others in a kind of adjusted time. It reminds me of turn based games where you watch your opponets turn like in heroes of might and magic III for instance. You can go take a break for an hour but the enemy still sees your turn as if you didn't sit there for an hour. Like they said in turn based time the order of events is important. They don't have our real time where duration is important.
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Re: Summer Update - 029

Postby SteveMB » Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:54 am

Wren wrote:I really like the relative time in each hex, but I think he is setting himself for some huge metaphysical problems later by making the movement of the sun relative to the movement of units within the hex. You could easily have more than 24 hours pass within one hex while no time has passed in surrounding hexes.
this leads to problems of what the sun should be doing in each, as it only becomes night when turns end (as shown in the comic when Ansom ends turn and the sun sets)
i.e.: unit a has 3 move. he moves from hex 1 to hex 2, scouts for 12 hours, circling the hex repeatedly. The sun has gone down. He returns to hex 2 where no time has passed.


If a unit stays in a hex until the sun has gone down, then its turn (and everybody's turn) is over. No moving to another hex until tomorrow.
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Re: Summer Update - 029

Postby Lemarc » Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:55 pm

Banjooie wrote:Well, no, because Parson's world being one hex would raise a series of intriguing questions, not the least of which being how war is carried out.

It should, for instance, be easily possible to cross the entirety of the world in every single military action, and back, and forth, repeatedly, with absolutely no issue, if it's a single hex.


I didn't say it is the same as a single hex, I said that it would be the most convenient way to explain it. Erfworlders already understand the passing of time within a hex in a similar way to us, and they must be able to understand different speeds of movement within a hex - an arrow moves faster than a walking man in Erf, regardless of how much Move the man has. Actions within a hex appear much closer to real-time than cross-hex actions, so that too will help put them in the right mindset. By making the statement that his whole world is one hex to begin with, and then explaining the nuances of movement speeds, fatigue, time, etc Parson ought to be able to make himself understood.
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Re: Summer Update - 029

Postby Mr. Goodwraith » Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:35 pm

I'm wondering whether "turn-length fairness" is built into Erf time. Let's suppose that day and night are equal in length, each 43,200 seconds long, and that a really complicated battle involves eight sides taking turns in the same hex. If turns are completely arbitrary in length, the first side could simply stymie the other seven by using 11 hours and 59.9 minutes to take their turn; or, conversely, if the first seven sides can't do much and end turn quickly, the last side gets all of the day that's "left over". I'm going to guess that, instead, each side's turn is limited to 43,200 / 8 = 5400 seconds (1.5 hours); if a side doesn't voluntarily end turn by that deadline, any remaining actions they might have taken are forfeit, and if they end turn early, no other side benefits. However, this begs such questions as, "When and how exactly is the 'extra' time made up if a side uses only 45 minutes and ends turn?"
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Re: Summer Update - 029

Postby Sintar07 » Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:39 pm

Banjooie wrote:Well, no, because Parson's world being one hex would raise a series of intriguing questions, not the least of which being how war is carried out.

It should, for instance, be easily possible to cross the entirety of the world in every single military action, and back, and forth, repeatedly, with absolutely no issue, if it's a single hex.


But you have to remember that within one single hex, movement and time are no longer relative. A perfect example would be when Stanley and Jack escaped from Jillian and the Transylvito task force. It took Stanley a couple minutes to get out of the hex. They realized where he was maybe ten seconds before he escaped the hex. Jillian tried to intercept, but didn't reach him in time, even though her gwiffons appear to be faster than dwagons, because time is only relative across different hexes. As soon as you enter the same hex as somebody else, you all snap to the same time (usually the time that the person inside the hex was already at). So if it takes time to fly across a small hex in Erfworld, then it makes sense that it would take lots of time to cross an Earth sized hex. It would also explain (in Erfworld mechanics) how 'everybody's turn all the time' works, and how everybody has universal time in the first place. It explains quite a bit, actually. Thank you, Rob and Jamie. I think I understand this world of yours a little bit better now.
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Re: Summer Update - 029

Postby Krennson » Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:31 pm

Sintar07 wrote: As soon as you enter the same hex as somebody else, you all snap to the same time (usually the time that the person inside the hex was already at). So if it takes time to fly across a small hex in Erfworld, then it makes sense that it would take lots of time to cross an Earth sized hex. It would also explain (in Erfworld mechanics) how 'everybody's turn all the time' works, and how everybody has universal time in the first place. It explains quite a bit, actually. Thank you, Rob and Jamie. I think I understand this world of yours a little bit better now.


But as someone else already mentioned, and as also occurred to me as soon as I read the strip....

If the sun ONLY resets if someone else is in your (new) hex, doesn't that mean you can tell if an enemy is hiding in the hex you just entered, based on the sun resetting?
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Re: Summer Update - 029

Postby MarbitChow » Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:35 pm

Krennson wrote:If the sun ONLY resets if someone else is in your (new) hex, doesn't that mean you can tell if an enemy is hiding in the hex you just entered, based on the sun resetting?


That would require that you leave the hex, the enemy enters the hex, their time passes, and then you reenter the hex, all in the same day.
Since you can only move on your turn, this would not be possible.
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Re: Summer Update - 029

Postby DevilDan » Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:56 pm

We don't quite know what happens when a turn is ended and opposing troops are located in the same hex, right?
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Re: Summer Update - 029

Postby Weimann » Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:15 pm

If time works like that, I can't help but wonder why the Erfworld units have words like "hour" and "minute" at all. They should use a more variable time unit, since it obviously carries little relevance with fixed ones.

From a meta-analysis point of view, I feel this system can get really confusing at some point.
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Re: Summer Update - 029

Postby DevilDan » Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:32 pm

Weimann wrote:If time works like that, I can't help but wonder why the Erfworld units have words like "hour" and "minute" at all. They should use a more variable time unit, since it obviously carries little relevance with fixed ones.

From a meta-analysis point of view, I feel this system can get really confusing at some point.

It carries a lot of meaning inside an individual hex.
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Re: Summer Update - 029

Postby teratorn » Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:50 pm

Ok, this is the right thread now...

Oh yeah, I was so distracted by the mention of booze that I forgot to mention the art. It's a very good counterpart to the text, I like it. Got to compliment our guest artists folks. I'd like to see Wanda done by someone else, but maybe Jamie is of the jealous kind.


* Oh, and Rob, when do we get a discussion on the more "intimate" aspects of Erfworldian life?
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Re: Summer Update - 029

Postby moose o death » Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:12 pm

so you're all thinking about time as a constant and trying to wrap your minds to think of it as a local variable

people living outside the USA should struggle less with this, or if you deal with timezones alot due to daylight savings.

right now it's 11am in aus,but in the usa it's about 6pm the day before. but if i start an msn conversation with a yank i'm not sending the data backwards through time. no matter what your local time is the same instance in time exists in both places.

now for the people claiming it would take hours to scout a single hex, based on what? it's likely you would simply see and acknowledge the hex, vinnies doombats fly around on the spot based on one panel of art.

your getting in a fluster about the passage of time, but you forget the old adage, time flies when your having fun. if your actively and mentally engaged time will appear to flow faster for you. if your doing very little the day will appear to drag on forever.

simply remember the earthly laws of physics do not really apply in erfworld, time is relative to the unit and not to light and gravity. if your move is nearly exhausted it''ll look like 6pm
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Re: Summer Update - 029

Postby barawn » Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:22 pm

Wren wrote:I really like the relative time in each hex, but I think he is setting himself for some huge metaphysical problems later by making the movement of the sun relative to the movement of units within the hex. You could easily have more than 24 hours pass within one hex while no time has passed in surrounding hexes.
this leads to problems of what the sun should be doing in each, as it only becomes night when turns end (as shown in the comic when Ansom ends turn and the sun sets)
i.e.: unit a has 3 move. he moves from hex 1 to hex 2, scouts for 12 hours, circling the hex repeatedly. The sun has gone down. He returns to hex 2 where no time has passed.


I don't think that comic implies that ending turn causes the sun to set. I think that comic implied that Ansom's turn was last, and he waited to end turn until the last minute.

I doubt each side can take as long as they want for each turn - that'd be an obvious delaying tactic.

So in your example, the unit's turn would end when the sun sets, and he wouldn't have move to go back to hex 1 (which is what you meant to say, because he already was in hex 1).
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Re: Summer Update - 029

Postby Gez » Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:02 am

Here's a possible exploit if you are separated from your enemy by one hex, want to buy time, and your turn comes before the enemy's turn. Send a scouting stack in the boundary hex. Let it wait just next to the boundary until it's very nearly dusk in that hex, and move back out. When the enemy enters the hex, end of turn happens to them before they can finish crossing it.

This assumes that the time-out end of turn times aren't different for each side. This won't work if the cutoff point is, say, at noon. But then you have the "sun jumps suddenly" effect. But then, there's a different problem. For example, if turns are defined by being dawn-noon then noon-dusk. You end your turn early and remain at dawn. In enemy hex, time reaches noon. They move and enter your hex where the time is still dawn. Sun jumps backwards to them, and now they are before their turn (before noon) so it's no longer their turn!
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Re: Summer Update - 029

Postby moose o death » Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:39 am

Gez wrote:Here's a possible exploit if you are separated from your enemy by one hex, want to buy time, and your turn comes before the enemy's turn. Send a scouting stack in the boundary hex. Let it wait just next to the boundary until it's very nearly dusk in that hex, and move back out. When the enemy enters the hex, end of turn happens to them before they can finish crossing it.

This assumes that the time-out end of turn times aren't different for each side. This won't work if the cutoff point is, say, at noon. But then you have the "sun jumps suddenly" effect. But then, there's a different problem. For example, if turns are defined by being dawn-noon then noon-dusk. You end your turn early and remain at dawn. In enemy hex, time reaches noon. They move and enter your hex where the time is still dawn. Sun jumps backwards to them, and now they are before their turn (before noon) so it's no longer their turn!

you still don't get the way this concept works

the way i see it in my head is as follows:
your move is a product of your movement speed divisible by twelve hours, if you have 12 move you can walk/mobilise at 1Mph [assuming one hex is one mile] when your move is exhausted it's time to setup camp. if an enemy were in the next hex you would either attack or avoid, they will start their turn with 100% of their move regardless
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