Author Topic: TLF Version 1.700 Released (Spied, Probed, And Proven)  (Read 1625 times)

Offline x4000

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TLF Version 1.700 Released (Spied, Probed, And Proven)
« on: November 04, 2014, 09:15:56 PM »
Original: http://arcengames.com/tlf-version-1-700-released-spied-probed-and-proven/

Version 1.700 is all goodies for the base game, not the expansion.

The spy probes have been completely re-imagined, and I'm super happy with how those are turning out.   To some extent these missions can be very easy to "win" now, but I say win in quotes because that can be with the collateral damage of a lot of hatred from some races.  The Evucks in particular are really easy to piss off enormously if they are spacefaring too soon when you are still trying to help other races.

All that said, winning well, where you don't incur a bunch of influence penalties, is now satisfyingly hard but actually possible.  You're basically navigating through shifting, moving mazes of bullets.  The first mission or two might practically be "freebies" where there are next to no maze elements, but the more races that are already spacefaring, the more insane the mazes get.  I'm really excited about this, because it's something that really sets these missions apart from all other missions, and it gets at that core "maze navigation" type of feel that I always wanted for this mission.

Another thing is that now the Burlust Duels are more central if you're trying to get the Burlusts into your federation.  Before they'll even consider joining, you now have to duel one of their primes to death.  You don't need to do a bunch of duels, and you don't actually have to do ANY duels if the burlusts are just an antagonist race to you in your campaign, anyway.  But they want you to prove your mettle if you're going to be friends.

We're closing in on the release date for the official launch of the expansion. The target date is November 14th, so two Fridays from now. It's very exciting, and we're hitting a point where things are really settling down into a polished state, so that's quite nice.

 

Let us know how things are looking, if you have suggestions or bug reports, etc!

More to come soon. Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the in-game updater, or if you have Steam it will automatically update it for you. To force Steam to download it faster, just restart Steam and it will do so.
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Offline Misery

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Re: TLF Version 1.700 Released (Spied, Probed, And Proven)
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2014, 09:26:29 AM »
I gave this a go, and ran into pretty much the same issue that the original probes had:  The random generation quickly kills off the maze-like nature of the idea by being capable of generating impossible walls.  This isnt after like, 6 deliveries.  This is after 2. And frequent.  If the game is generating them in the way that I think it is, I suspect that on Misery, even doing one or two may be frequently impossible (or even always impossible).  And if there were a conceivable way of getting past them when they do that, I'd have found it by now. 

In an overall sense, this isnt actually much different from the original probes; instead, it's more like the "dont touch at all costs" red circles have simply become invisible until you get too close, since each probe essentially has a radius, the edge of which becomes a bullet wall when you are near enough for it to activate.  But it's now MUCH harder to spot a path, but not just that, it's also harder to spot if there IS a path.  Figuring out if it's actually doable or not now takes time, as the only way to do it is to navigate around a bit, and get near enough to the edge for some of them to activate, so you can see where the wall radius of each is.

In it's current state, considering what seem to be very heavy penalties for getting hit, this is likely to cause a great deal of frustration (and saving/reloading).

The problem with this as I see it isnt in the current actions of the probes themselves;  it's in the very, very high difficulty of randomly generating something like this that can still TECHNICALLY be dealt with every time (with total avoidance) even at very high levels.  I've seen this tried in shmups before (typically arena types), and.... ahh, the results frequently arent very good.  The rest of the game gets completely around this problem due to the extreme amount of room there is to maneuver in, alongside the fact that each individual ship has both different AI, and different goals/targets at any one time.  Even the chaotic Obscura can be brought into an entirely dodgeable situation by tactically peeling them away from one another, and doing tricks like that.  The basics of the combat gameplay and the variety of options the player has at their disposal all work together to make sure that truly unbeatable situations really dont appear. The nature of this mission however, nullifies all of that.  The probes exist in a very small and confined space, and there isnt anything the player can do about this.  The one thing that MIGHT help is to basically sit there and hope that enough of them slowly move randomly away from one another to create a temporary path.  The "red orb" probes, in large numbers, could only be dealt with in that exact same way.  As you might guess, this takes bloody forever to actually do.

So that's my initial thoughts on that bit.  I'm not sure what to suggest with this one, actually.


Oh, and one other thing:  Even if I sat perfectly still just watching them, sooner or later one or two would go berserk for no apparent reason (with me not even remotely near any of them, yet it COULD wait until I get close, it seems completely random) and charge at me.  I'm guessing this is a bug.



On another note, I sent an e-mail regarding a blob of issues I ran into when trying to do some balancing for the Obscura and such in Invasion mode (so that they work well in large groups together).

Ah, which brings up another thing.... if you want me to STOP doing that, as in, changing numbers / doing balancing on these new ships at this point, just let me know.  It occurs to me that I didn't actually ask about it before I started doing it.... er.... at least I think I didn't. 



Back to the patch, that's an interesting idea with the Burlusts.... hmm, have you considered the possibility of perhaps doing similar things for the other races?  Like, unique elements that have to be dealt with, for each individual race, to get them into the Federation?  Beyond just the usual relationship and influence numbers and stuff like that.  It could be an interestinc concept?  Though of course that'd be something for later on, but I thought I'd mention the idea. 

Offline x4000

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Re: TLF Version 1.700 Released (Spied, Probed, And Proven)
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2014, 04:41:03 PM »
Hey Misery,

Thanks for the notes on the spy probes -- I think those were something that were not completely limited to the highest difficulties, but they were very much exacerbated by it.  The latest version includes changes based on your feedback here, and it should be the sort of experience that more closely matches what I was having yesterday on normal difficulty.  But with a few improvements.

With them going berzerk occasionally, I think that was probably because maybe a passive weapon of yours hit them?  Not sure.  I put in a change so that can't wake them up anymore, though.  Bear in mind that if any of their shots strike you, that also wakes them up.

Regarding your email about the Obscura, thanks also for that, and fixes are in place for them too.  I responded via email on that bit.

And of course, please very much do continue helping balance the Obscura as much as you care too.  I mean, don't feel obligated to in any way, but I am more than happy to have the help, goodness!

Regarding having specific other requirements for the other races to join beyond just the Burlusts having one, I think that could be interesting, or it might be overkill.  Possibly just for the really not-naturally-friendly races it might be useful to do, not sure.  Anyhow, as you say, something for later with that.

Cheers!
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Offline Misery

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Re: TLF Version 1.700 Released (Spied, Probed, And Proven)
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2014, 07:25:45 AM »
Hm, with the spy probe random wakeups, I was using the Acutian ship.... ah, I forget if it has a passive or not, but I'll bet you remember if it does, haha.   I could swear though I hadnt hit them with anything.  One of the times in particular, I literally hadnt moved from my starting spot... this specifically being to see if any of them would randomly launch at me... so I was a very far distance from any of the probes, and indeed one did zoom over after a few turns.

I havent found any specific conditions that can easily replicate this... it really seems entirely random.

And the changes I made have been sent.   If anyone should find more issues with the new ships... and something tells me that'll happen... just mention it and I'll have a look at them.  I cant believe they'd be fully balanced just yet.

This time the Disc MAY have regained it's sanity.  Possibly.  Maybe.  I'm hoping so.  That blasted thing is like a mad science experiment gone horribly wrong.  But it behaved itself today.

Offline x4000

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Re: TLF Version 1.700 Released (Spied, Probed, And Proven)
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2014, 04:27:19 PM »
So you're still seeing ships go into wakeup mode, is that what you're saying?  Even in this release?  Hmm.  That's something I'll have to investigate on Monday if so. :/
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