Author Topic: New version .816 out! (Combat Clarity! Better Flagship Physics! 6 Abilities!)  (Read 4578 times)

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 31,269
I totally get that the solar map is broken right now so I'll focus on combat thoughts:

Can you explain what makes you come to that conclusion?  Again, specifically so that I can fix it.  I know there are a number of bugs throughout that we are working to deal with starting today (now that combat is finally in better shape), but I don't want things that are important to slip through the cracks.

I encountered a bug late last night where the Skylaxians could gift any tech to anyone for cheap, without unlocking it themselves first. I assumed that they had access to every tech which was an issue in a previous version. Sorry to jump to conclusions! :D

Here's the save and screenshot: http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=13584

As far as I know, Peltians with the ability to gift tech can gift any tech when you speak with them in their deals menu. Friendly actions where you gift your own technolgoy work as intended. I don't know if the Andors actually work correctly with this as well, but here is a save.

Thanks!  Yeah, we have three other reports, so it's on our hit-list for today, heh.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline alocritani

  • Jr. Member Mark III
  • **
  • Posts: 92
I just tried 0.816 and I like how combat is now.
Only a couple of thinks to report:
I needed to read release notes to fully understand the new 2-speed concept and what red arrows means but I had quite an idea even without rel. notes
What I really missed is a way to know that I set maximum reachable range when moving: previously putting mouse pointer over the edge of movement ring gave me full reachable range for my ship, while now I continued to pan away / zoom out in order to check if I can "stretch" my white arrows further.
Related to this, I found that in these conditions (zoom out / pan) arrows don't "end" where the pointer is, but it seems like the pointer is "pulling" the arrows, and they cannot reach it. I don't know how to explain the concept, I'll try with a screenshot ASAP.

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 31,269
Yep, we know on the arrows pulling it -- that's one of those artifacts of the way that the current thing works.  I don't think we could address that, at least not in any reasonable amount of time.  For the movement ring... I hear you.  I think it's one of those things where you have to kind of get a sense for it, unfortunately.  I mean, I can put back in the ring, but it winds up being way way larger than you can actually go, because of all the acceleration and turning radius restrictions, etc.  That's why I took away the ring; you could only ever reach like 75% of the ring's size, and only after a few turns of going full-blast.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline alocritani

  • Jr. Member Mark III
  • **
  • Posts: 92
No way to make movement ring "adapt" to your current acceleration, etc...  so player can easily understand how far can he go in that turn?

Maybe I simply have to get used to the idea, but still is a bit strange because maybe I can move cursor further but I don't know it.
Nobody else with this feeling?

Another thing I found: hovering over enemy ships while firing (mainly with minigun) at them, listed DPS will go up as I fire at enemy ships and they take damages.  It happens with normal ships (not flagships) so shields are not involved.
No problem at all, I suppose, but still it seems strange to me.

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 31,269
Well, how far you can get is something that is based on the current path you have already assigned.  So... I guess I do see your point.  It will be sizing up and down like crazy as you move your mouse around, though (based on turns, etc).  I worry that will be distracting.

For the DPS, that is odd.  It might be that these were fighters with a deflection bonus, and that they were slowing down?  For some ships, the faster they are moving, the less damage they take.  But they slow down slightly when they are finishing a strafing run.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline alocritani

  • Jr. Member Mark III
  • **
  • Posts: 92
Well, how far you can get is something that is based on the current path you have already assigned.  So... I guess I do see your point.  It will be sizing up and down like crazy as you move your mouse around, though (based on turns, etc).  I worry that will be distracting.
Don't worry, I'll get used to how it is at the moment. Don't lose time on these small things, not now, at least. Combat is quite good, and in .817 it will improve even more (waypoints!)

For the DPS, that is odd.  It might be that these were fighters with a deflection bonus, and that they were slowing down?  For some ships, the faster they are moving, the less damage they take.  But they slow down slightly when they are finishing a strafing run.
Nice to know, I was not even imagining it - I'll check again and pay more attention to that deflection bonus.

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 31,269
Sweet!
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline alocritani

  • Jr. Member Mark III
  • **
  • Posts: 92
completely unrelated, but... Is there any benefit of holding fire against enemies  in combat (I mean on left side of the interface, where you set your enemies)?
I reported on Mantis a while ago about doing it reduces influence hits (don't worry, not complaining about that - other things have precedence over it) - but what is your idea about that?
I understand I can attack my allied and "backstab" them but not getting the point of the opposite.

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 31,269
The main point is that if you turn that on, your bullets pass by the enemy in question.  So in a multi-party fight, let's say that there is a swarm of small stuff of Race A guarding something Big Nasty of Race B.  You want to get the Big Nasty as fast as possible.  Hold fire against Race A, and you can shoot at Race B's stuff without them blocking your shots.

So it's somewhat niche to be sure, but still.  There are also benefits to not accidentally killing civilian stuff in similar situations.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline alocritani

  • Jr. Member Mark III
  • **
  • Posts: 92
Nice, now I'm understanding it...

Because you talked about civilian structure another suggestion (this one also on Mantis) is to report at battle end effects of destroyed buildings (like -5% ship building ships, etc...) and maybe on solar map also (this on could be hidden inside planet details or somewhere else)

Please forgive me if I "advertise" my ideas in this way, but it's nice to "chat" with you "live". It make me feel a lot like "these guys really care of their fans"

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 31,269
No worries at all. :)

That is on the list, it's just a rather big list, heh.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline doctorfrog

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 589
Sorry for the following post, I was reading about some shield talk in the beginning of this thread, and I wanted to trumpet my favorite shield description from any video game: the shields from the Independence War series.

Basically, shields act like point defense, rather than magic bubbles. They are basically shield emitters on very fast gimbals that rotate to disperse damage from a limited number of directions. In IWar, a ship has two of these, protecting two sides of the ship, and they are overwhelmed by more than one shot at a time: then the hull absorbs damage. Otherwise, they easily disperse energy, and "recharge" extremely quickly. It's great protection when you're up against a limited number of opponents, and you're positioned well, but more than a few guys shooting at you will definitely result in hull damage.

To top it off, IWar shields don't protect engine emissions, and your backside is 100% vulnerable.

To quote GameSpot:
Quote
Shields aren't all-encompassing energy fields, as in other space sims. In Independence War your ship has two shield projectors, one protecting each of its upper and lower hemispheres, and each projector is only capable of shielding you from one attacking ship at a time. Using your weapons and shields effectively is difficult, but until you learn how to do so you won't have much of a chance against multiple opponents. Even once you're experienced, you'll have to choose your fights wisely. This is definitely not a game where you can be successful by charging in and trying to blast every enemy in sight. Time to retire your "Iceman" instincts.

I am NOT proposing that shields in TLF work in this way, rather, that there may be a more satisfying and interesting way to deal with shields and recharging than the way they are currently being used. I also think point defenses are inherently cool, and marrying the rather boring play mechanic of shields to them is pretty neat. Is there something we can crib for TLF?

Offline Misery

  • Arcen Volunteer
  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,108
I just tried 0.816 and I like how combat is now.
Only a couple of thinks to report:
I needed to read release notes to fully understand the new 2-speed concept and what red arrows means but I had quite an idea even without rel. notes
What I really missed is a way to know that I set maximum reachable range when moving: previously putting mouse pointer over the edge of movement ring gave me full reachable range for my ship, while now I continued to pan away / zoom out in order to check if I can "stretch" my white arrows further.
Related to this, I found that in these conditions (zoom out / pan) arrows don't "end" where the pointer is, but it seems like the pointer is "pulling" the arrows, and they cannot reach it. I don't know how to explain the concept, I'll try with a screenshot ASAP.


Argh, yes, THAT was the other bit, that thing with the movement arrow/line was driving me up the wall too.   It kind of damages the effects caused by putting more power into the engines, because the line still wont really go any further due to this effect.   It's very confusing overall.  Is it that the ship will move to where the line ends, or is it that it'll move to where the pointer is if the pointer isnt out of range?

Also makes Afterburner pretty bad.  Mostly because it's just this massive hassle to use, and it's very unclear as to how far it can or cannot go, as with the rest of the movement.  I end up avoiding using that particular ability just because it's too annoying.


EDIT:


First, the solar map event one, basically the thing that keeps happening is that within the 3 or so minutes it takes to do a 20-month dispatch (which I'm mostly doing to get credits), multiple major wars break out, and also finish within that time;  typically, in this short time multiple planets will change hands, or one or two races may also be wiped out.   There's some other things that seem to be happening a bit fast, but this save is mainly to capture the war issue.  I only did the one dispatch mission, which was immediately after a smuggling one or two, I think.

I gotcha on the wars.  I saw what you meant, for sure.  I just put in this:

The speed of each step of NPC vs NPC combat resolution has been slowed all the way down to one step per 50 days (50 seconds) instead of 3 days (3 seconds). This may be too much, but all the others were just bloody fast. These are millions of troops fighting, after all, and huge armadas fighting as well!

It may be too extreme, but we'll see.  There were a few other things that I noticed on my own, including the RCI bar changes, so those also are better now.



Also, I wanted to mention this real quick.   It wasnt just that the wars themselves were completing too fast.... though they very definitely were.... but part of it was that it seemed like the different races were hitting the point of going to war too fast in the first place.  It's like, ok, I'm 4 minutes in, and ALREADY all these guys are launching fleets and nukes and such at each other?  It creates more confusion and a feeling of "wait, what in the world could I have done about this? I dont even have any real options yet".   It also keeps making me think that the AI is glitching out.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2014, 07:46:09 PM by Misery »

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,506
The arrows don't reach the cursor because the combat physics is rather frankensteinian and is difficult to fully predict.

Part of it is that even before we had the arrows, your ship wouldn't go all the way to the clicked point.  It would stop X units short once the move order was satisfied you were close enough.  So the end of the arrow is where the quick-prediction-simulation says you'll actually stop.

Another part is that the game takes your clicked point, in some senses, as where you want to stop rather than where you want to go.  This means it needs to start decelerating before it actually gets there.  So the further away the point, the longer it can maintain "full burn", so to speak.  The utility of it doing any deceleration at all is debatable, and removing that would probably make the prediction (and actual result) closer to the mouse cursor.  But I'm not sure what that would cause in terms of making your ship behave like a drunken monkey on ice skates.

A third part is that your ship slows down while turning in a way which isn't easily folded into the prediction.


Overall it's something that can be improved, but could take hours of repeated "tweak, test, tweak, test", etc.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Misery

  • Arcen Volunteer
  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,108
The arrows don't reach the cursor because the combat physics is rather frankensteinian and is difficult to fully predict.

Part of it is that even before we had the arrows, your ship wouldn't go all the way to the clicked point.  It would stop X units short once the move order was satisfied you were close enough.  So the end of the arrow is where the quick-prediction-simulation says you'll actually stop.

Another part is that the game takes your clicked point, in some senses, as where you want to stop rather than where you want to go.  This means it needs to start decelerating before it actually gets there.  So the further away the point, the longer it can maintain "full burn", so to speak.  The utility of it doing any deceleration at all is debatable, and removing that would probably make the prediction (and actual result) closer to the mouse cursor.  But I'm not sure what that would cause in terms of making your ship behave like a drunken monkey on ice skates.

A third part is that your ship slows down while turning in a way which isn't easily folded into the prediction.


Overall it's something that can be improved, but could take hours of repeated "tweak, test, tweak, test", etc.



Argh, that's even more confusing.  Which seems like the biggest problem to me, just that it's going to confuse the heck outta many players.  That, and it just LOOKS glitchy way before you even click something.

I dont understand the deceleration bit though.  Generally, if the line isnt stretching right, it means I'm trying to use max move range anyway.... why would the ship need to decelerate at all in this case?  If the same set of movements were done in real-time instead of turn based, you wouldnt see the ship just randomly slowing/stopping/speeding up as it moved along it's line, right?