Whether or not you agree with the three features, this is what I interpret to be the Problem Statement, and the desired solution should fulfill all requirements. Saying “requirement B isn’t really necessary” or interpreting the problem differently is valid but not for this thread. This is for theoretical discussion of this specific formulation of the problem, not about whether you think it is practical or right.
- “True Creative:” Creative-creative portals free with no limits (time, number, blinksec).
- “No disruption:” There should be no cheaper way to make a portal network or hub for survival planets than currently.
- “Same Universe:” If creative world CA orbits survival world SA and creative world CB orbits survival world SB, you should be able to go SA->CA->CB->SB. Whenever you are on CB, wherever you came from, you should be able to go to SB. Furthermore, if you carry warp conduits and coin, you should be able to warp in the same way that you usually do, to planets that you see in the sky.
- “Cheap connection:” Implicit here is that everyone would like a cheap connection between survival and their creative to receive visitors (this is also related to Same Universe).
Some direct consequences:
-If all creative-creative portals are free, if you can go from a creative world to even one survival world for free, you have violated No disruption. Hence, in “Cheap Connection” I will only focus on one-way travel from survival to a creative.
-“Same Universe”: Sorry, but in this interpretation, no funky sanctum or home beacon or saved-point-of-origin stuff (I like those solutions but they don’t fit with this formulation of the problem).
My partial solution
Satisfying “True Creative” is easy. Just let it happen, one way or another. Maybe you need a new type of portal fuel, new type of conduits, new kind of portal token that only works on creative-creative. We’ll assume that this is done somehow in a way that doesn’t disrupt our next steps.
From here on out we assume there’s a cheap and convenient creative portal network.
The issue with “No disruption” is that every creative world has been connected for free. So running 1 creative-survival link for each survival planet must be more expensive and less convenient than running a reasonably oort-efficient network. To ensure this, each creative-survival link should require the maximum amount of oort, fueled from the Survival side. To avoid having all T6 network planets available in a single place in two jumps (creative to any T6-orbiting creative, then to T6), blinksec limits in creative must be the same as in survival. I admit this is not perfect True Creative :).
Creative portals can make creative portal tokens, which can be placed into a creative or survival portal. Survival portals can make survival portal tokens (as they do already) which can only be placed into a survival portal.
In other words creative portals can only accept creative tokens (free fueling between creative-creative), survival portals can accept all tokens (always paid fueling).
But when a creative token is in a survival portal, no matter what the blinksec distance, the cost is maximum.
Only creative portal tokens can be carried from creative inventory to survival inventory (obviously).
This also solves the local hub problem (a creative world with portals to every region on its host world).
This deals with “No disruption” but leaves us with the questions of warp conduits and cheap connection.
One way to deal with the warp conduit problem is that the game should check for coin and deduct the coin from your survival-side inventory when going FROM creative TO survival. The coin cost will always be maximum in this direction to discourage this travel in order to protect No disruption. From survival to creative, 1 blinksec warp 100c as usual, from the host planet.
Lastly, the “Cheap Connection” requirement. It is easiest if the cheap connection is one-way, as any cheap connection from creative to survival jeopardizes either “True Creative” or “No disruption”. So I will only suggest a solution that provides a one-way cheap connection from survival to creative for a creative world to receive visitors. If you buy a creative world, you are given a single block of “landing pad” material to place wherever you like in that creative world. It creates a “Landing Token” you can bring to survival and give someone to put in their survival portal on the host planet. Survival portal displays the creative world as usual, but on the landing pad side there is no portal and no way back.
Remaining Problems with this solution:
Unfortunately my solution requires blinksec limits to be the same in creative as in survival, so it is an imperfect True Creative.
I also rely on asymmetry: easy to go from survival to creative but less easy the other way around. (sanctum/home portalling required in many cases) so it is an imperfect Same Universe.
I introduced 4 new items in the course of this solution: Creative Portal Conduit, Creative Portal Token, Landing Pad, Landing Pad Token.