Author Topic: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)  (Read 9503 times)

Offline Teal_Blue

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #30 on: March 17, 2014, 05:58:00 PM »
Am I the only one who preferred the previous slightly simpler combat model. It didn't have too much to think about and allowed me to quickly get back to the solar map portion of the game which even in it's basic form I'm enjoying.

The combat portions seem to be taking precedence over the actual game and I want them over quickly as they are only a small part of the actual game.

Perhaps the text based interface will solve this and to me sounds like a better way of dealing with combat. And the moment it feels like the game has a bit of an identity crisis and is trying to cater for two very different types of gamers.

I hope this doesn't come across as too negative but I really hope the more strategic section of the game gets some loving and the combat is not given quite so much attention.


This is just an opinion, but really i think the combat 'has' to be as enjoyable as the strategy part, or else the game is going to seem too heavy on one side and too light on the other. When i play SPAZ (its not all that strategic) i enjoy how the combat compares to the solar map side of things.  If one was quicker, or less interesting, then i think the game as a whole would suffer. Which would be a shame, its a really good game, and i think the same applies here, for TLF to have a good shot at a decent run, all the parts need to be as good as can be made in the time we have. If we fudge and hope for the best later, then there may not be a later. We need to get the combat good, and it looks like it is coming along by leaps and bounds and the players seem to be enjoying the new direction and the new tweaks alot. Which speaks volumes.  :)  Anyway, thats my two cents. Don't sacrifice one part for another and hope it'll do well. Each side needs to be deep and involved.  :)

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Offline Misery

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #31 on: March 17, 2014, 06:04:02 PM »
Ah, right.  Originally I wanted to have those be inescapable, but people complained about that early on in.  The AFA, Burlust Duel, and Assassination missions in particular I wanted to be inescapable.  I suppose that on Hard and Misery difficulties, I could just go back to that...

It would a lot more organic to simply make it more difficult to escape rather then just ban it outright, wouldn't it?

That's true... all I have to do is jack up the speed on those flagships to an insane amount, and then the only way to escape would be to use afterburners.  That might make those fights impossible, though.

Perhaps the 'inescapable' style missions should provide a penalty to withdrawing, or something of an opportunity cost. What do you lose by escaping an assassination attempt as oppose to blowing up your pursuer? Perhaps you could have a situation where a player is basically dogged by as assassin they keep escaping from, and each of those 'battles' is essentially moving the game clock forward and preventing the player from advancing their goals until they deal with the situation once and for all. Withdrawing from a battle might be the better choice as a temporary measure if bad timing put the player in a weak state, but the best long term benefit would be to finish the battle, putting a moratorium on future such events.

Right now the penalty is that the race thinks less of you for running away like a coward.  Introducing a reward for killing them is not a bad idea.


Hmm, that penalty though.... dont they already utterly loathe you, if they're sending assassin fleets at you?  Simply having them hate you more seems a bit redundant and pointless when that's the case.

It seems like there needs to be something else there.

What about putting something else in that complicates things a bit?  Like, say, maybe a couple of the ships in the assassin fleet are putting out some sort of field that prevents you from warping out, and they need to be dealt with before you can escape?  Best I can think of, at any rate.




All the stuff you said sounds good to me. The whole thing is alot like a shmup overall, except..... tactical.  Most of that genre are not very tactical, hah, unless "SHOOT ALL THE THINGS" is considered tactical somehow.

As a longtime shmup fan, I feel the need to point out that many of the best entries in the genre do have fairly complex scoring mechanics, or simple mechanics that nonetheless produce excellent gameplay.

Yeah, I know, I've played the genre absolutely to death.  Particularly danmaku types like Futari.  Even with a complicated scoring system though, many games in the genre can be beaten by sheer memory; you dont need to figure out new strategies every time you play.  That's what I mean by tactical here; you have to analayze things anew every single time, as it's never completely the same, and you have multiple weapons you need to deal with when approaching each fight.

Offline Cyborg

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #32 on: March 17, 2014, 06:21:33 PM »
I think I'm going to call uncle on the combat stuff. It's just not for me, although I appreciate that others like it. Have at it. I still do like the solar map, and I will be focusing on that instead.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #33 on: March 17, 2014, 06:47:35 PM »
Yeah, I know, I've played the genre absolutely to death.
He's not kidding.  When he goes to a bullet-hell main menu it doesn't say "Start", "Options", and "Quit", it says "Ahhh!", "Not You Again!", and "Please Don't Hurt Me!".

All the enemy fire is just (futile) self-defense.
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Offline Teal_Blue

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #34 on: March 17, 2014, 06:55:41 PM »
I think I'm going to call uncle on the combat stuff. It's just not for me, although I appreciate that others like it. Have at it. I still do like the solar map, and I will be focusing on that instead.


Sorry to hear that, perhaps the text driven combat will be a better fit for the strategy side?
I'm hoping to see some of that in video soon to, to see how it plays out. 


Offline x4000

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2014, 07:52:39 PM »
I think I'm going to call uncle on the combat stuff. It's just not for me, although I appreciate that others like it. Have at it. I still do like the solar map, and I will be focusing on that instead.

That makes me really glad I'm going to be focusing on also having the text-based version, then -- glad you're enjoying the solar map stuff.  I also have plans for more "things to do" that don't involve combat, so that combat isn't as overrepresented as it currently is.  That stuff is inwork at the moment, though, so I understand if you want to take a break and come back fresh when those things are in -- it's up to you, but I'd rather you not burn out just for the sake of trying to keep up with a part of the game you don't enjoy.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #36 on: March 17, 2014, 08:39:54 PM »
I think I'm going to call uncle on the combat stuff. It's just not for me, although I appreciate that others like it. Have at it. I still do like the solar map, and I will be focusing on that instead.

That makes me really glad I'm going to be focusing on also having the text-based version, then -- glad you're enjoying the solar map stuff.  I also have plans for more "things to do" that don't involve combat, so that combat isn't as overrepresented as it currently is.  That stuff is inwork at the moment, though, so I understand if you want to take a break and come back fresh when those things are in -- it's up to you, but I'd rather you not burn out just for the sake of trying to keep up with a part of the game you don't enjoy.
This works for the tester group, but I wonder: if someone picks the game up after release, picks the default settings (presumably including a combat-difficulty setting that isn't Auto-Resolve) and gives up their first game because they just couldn't enjoy the combat... how likely are they to try a second game with the auto-resolve setting?

Whether or not they've got the game already (or it's a demo), there's word-of-mouth to consider.  And reviewers, though I'd hope they'd try with and without auto-resolve.  On the other hand many of them operate on tighter schedules than that.
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #37 on: March 17, 2014, 08:44:48 PM »
Also consider the long term fracturing of the community of the start.

You will have those whose tactics involving autoresolve, and those who do not. Since it cannot be switched mid game, the two are forever separated. Wasn't the whole point of no mod in air wars to prevent this?
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2014, 08:46:36 PM »
You will have those whose tactics involving autoresolve, and those who do not. Since it cannot be switched mid game, the two are forever separated. Wasn't the whole point of no mod in air wars to prevent this?
Since AIW is MP, it's more important there.

But it would impact community discussion to some degree, sure.
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2014, 08:50:31 PM »
I think the impact is going to be bigger then that though. Anything that influences combat is gong to be different, so solar map strategies will be different as well. It will be a far reaching effects I imagine.
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Offline x4000

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #40 on: March 17, 2014, 09:12:59 PM »
That's a really good point, chemical_art.  Several, in fact.

Cyborg: can you explain what your troubles are with the current combat model?  Not to flog a dead horse or anything, I'm legitimately asking.  I don't know if it's kind of a fatal "I don't like things that are combat like this, with that SPAZ sort of element" or "this implementation is off in XYZ ways that might be resolvable."  If the former, that's enough for me, but if the latter I wonder if you might elaborate.

In terms of fragmentation of the community... well, sometimes there's a necessary evil there, I guess.  Although I suppose that it may argue in favor for these not being entirely separate modes, but instead being an option where you don't have to restart.  If we do it that way, that's more like Total War or similar, where you can fight some and skip some.  Which people would probably appreciate.  It makes the design task harder on me because I have to be able to account for things that I would abstract away if it were just its completely own mode (guns you choose, etc).

But by the same token, in a lot of respects combat boils down to two things:
1. Skill check.
2. Tactical decisions that affect the larger sim.

The idea of the text-based approach is that it completely eliminates #1, but still gives you #2.  However, it would ALSO be eliminating any sort of need to upgrade your ship with things that would affect the skill check, so to some extent there would be a build-up portion of the normal solar map progression that these people could skip.  Unless I factored that into the text-based stuff, which would be a lot more challenging but still possible, I guess.
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Offline Cyborg

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #41 on: March 17, 2014, 09:23:42 PM »
That's a really good point, chemical_art.  Several, in fact.

Cyborg: can you explain what your troubles are with the current combat model?  Not to flog a dead horse or anything, I'm legitimately asking.  I don't know if it's kind of a fatal "I don't like things that are combat like this, with that SPAZ sort of element" or "this implementation is off in XYZ ways that might be resolvable."  If the former, that's enough for me, but if the latter I wonder if you might elaborate.

In terms of fragmentation of the community... well, sometimes there's a necessary evil there, I guess.  Although I suppose that it may argue in favor for these not being entirely separate modes, but instead being an option where you don't have to restart.  If we do it that way, that's more like Total War or similar, where you can fight some and skip some.  Which people would probably appreciate.  It makes the design task harder on me because I have to be able to account for things that I would abstract away if it were just its completely own mode (guns you choose, etc).

But by the same token, in a lot of respects combat boils down to two things:
1. Skill check.
2. Tactical decisions that affect the larger sim.

The idea of the text-based approach is that it completely eliminates #1, but still gives you #2.  However, it would ALSO be eliminating any sort of need to upgrade your ship with things that would affect the skill check, so to some extent there would be a build-up portion of the normal solar map progression that these people could skip.  Unless I factored that into the text-based stuff, which would be a lot more challenging but still possible, I guess.


Back before this whole thing started, most of what we heard about with this game was that you had an awesome simulation going, and it wasn't going to be twitch or a shmup. I like to play thoughtful, intellectual games, and I'm not terribly good at games like this. I don't even get that little jolt of enjoyment that gamers usually get when they are having fun. I actually dread taking on the next mission. Part of it is the controls. Keep in mind that I also didn't play Valley without Wind for similar reasons. I just find this action combat thing kind of exhausting.


Some people played Zelda and really didn't like it. I think I only liked ocarina of time, and the combat in that was quite avoidable except for the bosses.


I don't think that this kind of combat is better than other space combats in the same genre, and if I was going to play one, it would be a different game. I maintain that your solar map is going to get high marks, and this combat stuff, well we can only hope, right? It's certainly better than what you had a month ago, but I just can't do it.


As far as the text combat, it is a good point that it's going to split the base and make maintenance a pain in the ass if this thing takes off. I really don't think you should try and accommodate someone like me, as I'm sure there is a great space combat player base that likes spaz (I have never played it) and twitch games like that. That's not me. I'm just a more thoughtful gamer, which is why the solar map is so pleasing.
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Offline madcow

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #42 on: March 17, 2014, 09:35:03 PM »
By the way, this is probably VERY late (going back to to the second post in this thread about a new wave of invites).

Could we get a separate thread that has the list of wave invites?

I'm not sure if you're PMing people as well or not (I don't expect to be picked till later anyways as I opted for a mid-to-late wave, so no soreness or anything on not being selected yet), I'm just trying not to spoil myself on the mechanics and would be nice to see the wave invites in one place instead of buried in posts I'm trying to avoid ;)

Offline x4000

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #43 on: March 17, 2014, 09:37:23 PM »
Thanks for the detailed reply.  In terms of maintenance... I don't know, I could eat these words, but I don't know that it would be a huge deal more for us as developers.  If this thing takes off, I mean.  If it's bringing in so many extra players that it can pay for itself, then that's where I mean the maintenance would not be an issue.  It's if we got caught in the middle where it sort of took off, but now we have a split playerbase that has tons of demands, that we'd really be up a creek.  And that's never happened before.  *cough*

Incidentally, the combat was originally side view, really relaxed in most senses, and really thoughtful, etc.  Unfortunately, it was thoughtful in the "pondorous" sense, not in the "mentally engaging" sense.  It really didn't work, in the end.

One idea that I have been toying with in the back of my mind is actually being able to build up a roster of mercenary contractors.  Basically these would work like the dispatch missions in FFT.  You'd have to sink resources into them, etc, but you could dispatch them into combat so that you didn't have to go.  That would be one potential form of auto-resolve that is actually more of a game-like thing, rather than just being an interface option.  I was thinking about these for non-combat purposes originally, but I think I've found a much better way of handling that without involving the middle layer of contractors (instead costing you sim-time but not real-time).  But for combat... I don't know, it could be interesting.

While we are talking about this, let's just step back a minute.  Cyborg: If I could wave a magic wand and make some combat that worked exactly the way you wanted, what would that be like?  Would it be abstracted away, like Paradox titles?  Would it be something more hands-off except for occasional tweaks, like with AI War?  Or something else?  One thing that I could add to the combat would be an auto-aim option like we had in Valley, where you basically didn't have to worry about targeting.  But you would need to worry about switching guns, and moving to appropriate locations.  And possibly ability triggering, I don't know.  That sort of thing then undermines the people who do like the more action-oriented stuff, because it seems like a cheat to them, but right now I'm really not trying to nail down anything specific, I'm just kind of mulling pro's and con's of every approach I can think of.

I and a number of people think that the current kind of combat is really fun.  I think that it is likely to sell the game to a substantial portion of people.  However, I think that it is also likely to highly alienate a certain group of more thoughtful players like yourself, and gosh darn it there's no reason that folks like you shouldn't be able to enjoy the solar map parts without the combat getting in the way.  The solar map is sturdy enough for that, I feel.  But there has to be some form of representation of your involvement in combat, or else a lot of this just doesn't make sense.  So that's where we are.  I have the one form of auto-resolve that I started working on but then had to set aside a few days ago to work on other things.  But it's early enough in to that that I'm certainly open to alternative approaches.

Gotta run for the night, but will check back in the morning.  Cheers all!
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Offline x4000

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #44 on: March 17, 2014, 09:38:45 PM »
By the way, this is probably VERY late (going back to to the second post in this thread about a new wave of invites).

Could we get a separate thread that has the list of wave invites?

I'm not sure if you're PMing people as well or not (I don't expect to be picked till later anyways as I opted for a mid-to-late wave, so no soreness or anything on not being selected yet), I'm just trying not to spoil myself on the mechanics and would be nice to see the wave invites in one place instead of buried in posts I'm trying to avoid ;)

Sure, no problem -- I have been PMing people, but having a separate thread for folks that should be in already is a great idea, since some people don't notice their PMs.  I have you down as not wanting to get into the game until Round 2 as your first preference, and we're still on Round 0, hence you haven't been even considered yet because of that!
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