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From the error log: 

03/07/2018 17:52:40 (8.024)
-----------------------------------Error-----------------------------------Log String: Load error: System.IO.DirectoryNotFoundException: Directory '/private/var/folders/63/qx_zv2_j3v7d1dlznwstggv80000gr/T/AppTranslocation/17778F11-6340-436D-A710-7BBD944A46E1/RuntimeData/Music/Ingame' not found.
  at System.IO.Directory.GetFileSystemEntries (System.String path, System.String searchPattern, FileAttributes mask, FileAttributes attrs) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at System.IO.Directory.GetFiles (System.String path, System.String searchPattern) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at Game.PopulateMusicLists () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at Game.GameForm_Load () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at Game.ContinueInitializeGame () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
Stack Trace:   at System.IO.Directory.GetFileSystemEntries (System.String path, System.String searchPattern, FileAttributes mask, FileAttributes attrs) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at System.IO.Directory.GetFiles (System.String path, System.String searchPattern) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at Game.PopulateMusicLists () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at Game.GameForm_Load () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at Game.ContinueInitializeGame () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0

(Filename: /Applications/buildAgent/work/cac08d8a5e25d4cb/Runtime/ExportGenerated/MacStandalonePlayer/UnityEngineDebug.cpp Line: 54)
Came into this discussion a little late (actually it seems that the discussion exploded!), but I've viewed what people are saying on both this forum and Kickstarter.

I agree with the overwhelming consensus that shields should go. They don't add much to the game (in my opinion), and they even create a significant balance concern, where Keith was adding a 4th category to the Rock-Paper-Scissors style paradigm he was using, which just felt really out of place and I'll be happy when things are simpler on that front.
AI War II / Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Last post by eRe4s3r on Yesterday at 02:02:16 PM »
Mhhhhh, I think the only relevant answer to this would be, does removing shields make the game more fun or more tedious? If that is a yes to more fun then imo it should be done, not with a poll, but flat out. If it does add more tedium then the answer should be no.

At the core, the question is really pointing to another problem, namely that you got a fleet combat game without fleet controls. The more units you allow, the more you have to abstract CnC elements to allow them to be easily controlled, and thus bombers and fighters, frigates and starships get problems.

In an obscure japanese fleet rts game, fleets were "single units" that were in range when the front ship was in range (rather they only started firing then) with long range ships firing their long range weapons etc. The tactics came from positional things and admirals, front lines and skirmish squadrons that were heavily armored and had hard-hitting close rang weapons that couldn't be intercepted by AA etc. Shields existed in this game and long range fire would have a 1% hit chance (but very high damage IF it hits) at best on max range, so it was only to hold a front line light show basically.

Map tactics were done via impassable nebulas or minefields or dust clouds or other anomalies. Fortresses were extremely tough challenges as their long range weapons had huge AOE and you needed to pincer and circle like crazy. Just describing it to establish a reference frame really.

Should shields be in the game? Well.... the only thing shields do is add HP on top of the HP bar, so the answer is no. If you have shields and ARMOR as PART of HP functionality then it should be in 1 bar too. HP|Armor|Shield hh|aa|ss<-- HP bar ?

Basically, I don't see exactly how removing shields would make the game more fun and not more tedious to play. Can someone playing the beta describe how it would / wouldn't do that?
AI War II - Lore, Vfx, Sfx, Code, & Meta / Lost Fleet fan among the devs?
« Last post by ynof on Yesterday at 01:05:17 PM »
I couldn't help but notice that in the star maps uploaded on Kickstarter, there were lots of star system names taken from the Lost Fleet military science fiction series. Who of you is a Lost Fleet fan? Not a bad series...did you get any in-game ideas from there?
I am not really sure about removing shield entirely, though the unit shields may work. I am also wondering why the poll isn't a poll?  That seems kind of odd, wouldn't it be easier to see the general preference if it was instead of everyone who wants their opinion heard having to make a comment and you having to read them all?
But one of the very biggest things, to me, is that we need to get away from the fleet-ball mentality. It should be absolutely moronic to bring your bombers into a ball against a ball that has fighters in it, because those fighters just absolutely wreck your bombers. We recently upped the bonus against unlike-types from 300% to 900%, but it may need to go even higher, we'll see.

Part of this boils down to enemy composition needing to be more nuanced than it was in the first game (and -- sidebar -- at one point the first game worked like this, and fleet balls were less of a thing). You send in your fighters and your missile corvettes first, clear out certain forces there, and then send the bombers in, etc.

That sort of thing used to exist, and that doesn't require any sort of terrain. It just requires a clear and effective rock paper scissors mechanic. This is one of those things that I think we can focus on better with shields removed, to be honest. Right now there are some things that are "paper actually beats scissors and rock if it's under a shield, but otherwise it loses to rock a little and scissors a lot." Whut?

We had this at one point, and lost it. At one point I'd never have thought of approaching a variety of positions with my bombers along because I'd just be out bombers without them accomplishing anything. Other places it was a matter of keeping my fighters away from the enemy missile frigates, and letting my bombers and missile frigates close in and wreck the enemy before I resumed chasing.

It's only when the enemy gets so homogeneous and swirled-together that the players have to resort to the same. We have to stop that, and then I think the shields piece is moot.

The nice part about what I'm describing above is that it's only the loosest form of micro, and it's not on/off. Keep your bombers generally back, but if the enemy gets off a couple of pot shots then it's not like the bombers are insta-toast. You're not trying to get bombers or any other ship type to within a few pixels of a certain position, in other words. You're working in broad strokes as to what you put where.
No offence,  but that seems to me to be far more than "the loosest form of micro," with what you are describing, you would need to be able to tell the exact composition of the enemy fleet to make sure your fighters or whatever aren't weak to it, you would need to remember a ton of different counters if the number of ship types is anything like it was in classic, you would need to make SEPARATE control groups for every single ship type, and keep putting the new ships into the appropriate control group, as the shipyards can be set to put all their units in a certain control group, but not different types into different groups, and it would be hard to avoid them getting close to their counters if you don't have separate control groups. Also, if a fighter and a bomber were similar in actual combat strength, with that 1 fighter would theoretically be able to defeat 9 bombers, and no matter bombers being less able to fight fighters well, I can't imagine any possible situation where 9 or 18 of them wouldn't be able to defeat 1 or 2 fighters, that seems to be a bit high for the strength against the types they counter.
AI War II / Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Last post by ynof on Yesterday at 09:26:25 AM »
From a gameplay perspective, we would need something else to make sure command stations and other important structures aren't too easily killed. In AIWC, forcefields and shield-mounting Modular Fortresses ensured my planets could ride out attacks too powerful for the defenses to wipe out until reinforcements arrived. Otherwise, the only way to reliably defend high-value structures is to destroy every single attacker befroe they get into range.

A couple of possible alternatives:

-Cloaking: As mentioned by others in this thread, cloaking may fill this role nicely. Though you'll probably have to do some balancing to make sure it's not too easy or too hard to destroy important structures.

-'Barriers' instead of forcefields: Why do forcefields have to be circles? You could instead reinvent them to be one-dimensional barriers in space. When you place two or more 'Barrier Generators' in range of each other, they 'link up' to create barriers that can't be moved through by most enemy ships and absorb a lot of fire.

From a lore perspective, shields and forcefields are one of the main defining characteristics of the Spire (The others being absurdly powerful beam weapons and absurdly large modular warships, hehe). To be honest I don't want them to be too different to the Spire in AIWC, I like them as they are. Though I guess you can just increase their health, armour and deflectors and keep the other stuff. Please don't give the Spire cloaking, that would be way too radical a change.
AI War II / Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Last post by Draco18s on Yesterday at 03:29:54 AM »
I'm ok with them not existing because of how it screws up the balance. Command stations always had this health number that never got buffed (it was like 20k when a fighter did 4k a second before bonuses).

I like the idea of doing it TLF style etc etc. I might have more better thoughts in the morning.

(And oh, by the way, Star Wars had tons of shields, usually on planets)
AI War II / Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Last post by TheVampire100 on March 16, 2018, 10:14:54 PM »
If we want to have ships with shields, we can do that in a TLF-style way by having basically a bar that recharges on them over time, secondary to the health bar.  That's more like deflector shields in Star Wars, or like the shields on the enterprise in Star Trek.  They prevent hull damage for that particular ship, but get weakened over time.  They don't really have a visual component other than the second health bar that is just for shields, because they are, well, invisible. 

And the way they differ from health is that they recharge over time if they have not been shot lately, for free.  Health has to be repaired by something else, for metal.
This sounds like the best ida in my honest opinion.
I will use another exaple of a video game, where they used shields.
Earth 2150, which is still to date one of my favourite sci-fi video games out there. Mind, this one is on earth (and occasionally on the moon), so no space battles. However, since both games use a 2d plane instead of  a3d plane to fight, there is not much difference except Earth 2150 has terrain and space obviously hasn't.

Shields in E2150 worked just liek you described. Units in the game could be designed by the player, they had a vehicle part that you could select and each vehicle could mount multiple weapons. You could also mount a shield generator for extra costs (once researched), which added a second life bar.
The trick about ths is, shields deflected energy related weapons (which made up most of the late game weapons, so basically the strongest weapons) but would let through conventional weapons like MGs and rockets. That way, the older but weaker weapons had still a use and could penetrate heavy shielded units.

I think Ai War 2 could use this as well, shielded units are frontline "tank" units that draw fire in for you but as in AIWC, there are units that can penetrate forcefields (Raider starship), s you have basically a forcefield/shield counter if you need one.
AI War II / Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Last post by Cyborg on March 16, 2018, 10:01:20 PM »

Something about Star Wars not having bubble shields? Couldn't find a smaller version. Also, other examples of bubble shields include the game Perimeter, Halo, anime such as Bleach (Seireitei is inside the bubble, if you remember). I could probably keep thinking of more, but there you have it.

That being said, I'm not attached to bubble shields if you can come up with something cool. If you go with individual shield bars, it would be nice if the graphics had some kind of shield effect for the different ammo types.

Chris, sometimes when you denigrate something about AI War, my knee-jerk reaction is to defend it with intensity, and then I remind myself that you invented it.  :)

It's the only game that has stayed on my hard drive for almost 10 years now. I still keep around the pre-Unity version because in some ways, it's a different game. People are attached to it. Hundreds of hours. So it's not just as simple as saying, "Forget about that, this is better!"

To everyone else, some of the sacred cows just have to go. I think the force fields present some major problems besides just theme. It would be more constructive to discuss the play styles and what makes things fun rather than get stuck on the bubble itself. Maybe the bubble comes back later, who knows.
AI War II / Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Last post by zeusalmighty on March 16, 2018, 09:24:14 PM »
I've like the idea of keeping a few shields around for the A.I. (1 per planet max and super rare). Individually they do stand out in a good way but they don't look good cluttered as such. Seems like a good compromise anyway (and I would be sad to see them gone altogether)

The issue about territory, or lack thereof, might be addressed with some other mechanics. Here is some food for thought:

Local hazards: Basic idea is to add more diversity to a given planet well by having avoidable "terrain"

A) (Static/fixed) Nebulous patches that interferes with targeting (e.g. gas clouds)
B) (Dynamic/shifting) ion storms that damage engines of ships
C) (Dynamic/fixed) Asteroid belt that operates like a floating mine field but can be "dodged"

Would be cool if this was also implemented with respect to planet types. Is any of this even feasible?

Sure other ideas like this would work as well.
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