Author Topic: [Chris note: actually an interesting conundrum] Respect Munition Flight Times  (Read 1622 times)

Offline Elestan

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One irritation I have with AIW1 is the way that shots are considered to have hit as soon as they fire.  So often, I have a starship poke its head into a system, only to hear a OMD fire from the other side of the system.  After that, even if the starship flees and would be long gone before the mass driver shell arrives, it doesn't matter; the ship just dies when it tries to leave the system.  If it boards a transport, it becomes "undead", and dies as soon as its unloaded.

In the same vein, it's kind of silly how a ship can tickle the outer edge of a missile frigate's range, have a missile fired at it, retreat...and have the missile chase it through the system indefinitely until it hits.

In AIW2, can we allow ships to flee from incoming fire, and limit the flight times of missiles appropriately for their range?
« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 11:29:11 AM by x4000 »

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Request: Respect Munition Flight Times
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2016, 01:28:47 AM »
One irritation I have with AIW1 is the way that shots are considered to have hit as soon as they fire.  So often, I have a starship poke its head into a system, only to hear a OMD fire from the other side of the system.  After that, even if the starship flees and would be long gone before the mass driver shell arrives, it doesn't matter; the ship just dies when it tries to leave the system.  If it boards a transport, it becomes "undead", and dies as soon as its unloaded.

In the same vein, it's kind of silly how a ship can tickle the outer edge of a missile frigate's range, have a missile fired at it, retreat...and have the missile chase it through the system indefinitely until it hits.

In AIW2, can we allow ships to flee from incoming fire, and limit the flight times of missiles appropriately for their range?
Welcome to excessive micromanagement 101. I see where you're coming from and it is sort of silly, but without this mechanic it becomes all about gaming firing ranges and micromanage every battle.
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Offline Elestan

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Re: Request: Respect Munition Flight Times
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2016, 02:08:37 AM »
In AIW2, can we allow ships to flee from incoming fire, and limit the flight times of missiles appropriately for their range?
Welcome to excessive micromanagement 101. I see where you're coming from and it is sort of silly, but without this mechanic it becomes all about gaming firing ranges and micromanage every battle.

To me, the silliness outweighs the micro here, especially when it makes me lose expensive units in an unrealistic manner.  If we want to reduce the micro, it could always be made autonomous, like kiting.

Offline Sestren

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Re: Request: Respect Munition Flight Times
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2016, 02:30:23 AM »
Welcome to excessive micromanagement 101. I see where you're coming from and it is sort of silly, but without this mechanic it becomes all about gaming firing ranges and micromanage every battle.

On the other foot, if there's an OMD in the system, I guarantee you I am ABSOLUTELY micromanaging SOMETHING to remove it...

If a mechanic winds up encouraging micromanagement of valuable things when the player is likely micro-ing anyway, I don't see that as a problem. If a mechanic winds up encouraging micromanagement of relatively valueless things frequently, then its a problem. If you feel the need to carefully protect a blob of MK 1 fleetships because something in the balance incentivises it, then yeah, something is dangerously wrong. But if I'm trying to protect my golem/spirecraft/Mk 5 starship/etc. then I prefer the additional options. (In this case, I just want the option to dodge things via wormhole. Trying to enforce strict projectile lifetimes would wind up being frustrating more than anything else. Especially as lots of the existing targeting logic assumes that all fired shots will hit their intended targets.)

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Request: Respect Munition Flight Times
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2016, 08:37:28 AM »
What's already in the design document:
* no infinite ranges
* shorter ranges

What I vote for adding to the document:
* faster projectiles
* also keep instant projectiles (railguns and stuff)

The system would be exactly the same (no micro etc) but even the fastest unit must not be faster than the slowest projectile.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Request: Respect Munition Flight Times
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2016, 10:30:22 AM »
Wait, what?  We specifically made changes years ago to make it so that shots would not immediately damage their target, but that the amount of "incoming damage" was calculated for purposes of not overkilling ships.  So if you manage to get into a transport or out through a wormhole fast enough, those shots should cancel and nothing should happen.  Unless something changed since I was last looking at this.

Was this something you've observed in the most recent versions of AI War Classic, or is this going back a long way...?
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Offline Elestan

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Re: Request: Respect Munition Flight Times
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2016, 10:49:38 AM »
Was this something you've observed in the most recent versions of AI War Classic, or is this going back a long way...?

I know it definitely happens in the current version with Ion Cannons and OMDs.   

With OMDs, I had my Champion running between two close-together wormholes, with an OMD on the other side of the system.  The Champion exited the system long before the OMD shot could reach it, but the damage got recorded anyway.

And I accidentally unloaded a group of engineers in a system with an Ion Cannon, heard it fire, and immediately reloaded them and had it flee the system.  I could see the engineers in the transport, but when I tried to unload them, they just disappeared.  Perhaps even if the damage was cancelled, the insta-kill still took effect?

(Side note:  My current "most annoying" bug in AIW1 is that the selective-unload from Transports is broken in two ways; it overlaps and mixes up input with the controls below it, and it can't scroll, so you can't see or select properly if you've got more than a few units in the Transport)

I don't specifically recall experiencing this with missiles/shells; my gripe with them is that once fired, they've effectively got infinite range to chase you around the system.

Offline x4000

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Re: Request: Respect Munition Flight Times
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2016, 10:58:30 AM »
Okay, this is probably specific to insta-kill shots, then.  That will inherently solve itself, then. ;)

Regarding other shots, I agree that faster flight times is ultimately the solution.  The reason we couldn't do that in some cases before was that at a locked 20FPS that looked horrible and was like a slideshow.  That won't be such an issue here, and having faster shots will feel better for a whole lot of reasons.

The transport unload issue is something we'll resolve in terms of having a completely new GUI anyway.
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Offline Timerlane

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Re: Request: Respect Munition Flight Times
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2016, 11:15:44 AM »
AFAIK, it happens with all shots, but few ships are fast enough(or shots both slow and long range enough) to make it 'easy' to see.

A Champion Frigate(Speed 160, I think?), for example, can pretty much outrun a standard Missile GP missile forever, but as soon as you duck into a wormhole: bam, lower shields/dead shield module(if applicable from damage).

I think I saw another prominent example just yesterday when I accidentally peeked my Mark II Raids into a planet with a wormhole right next to an AI Fortress, then paused and immediately ordered them retreated back; result: one missing Raid, no Reprisal Level 1 warning(which, to me, implies that the Raid was actually considered 'dead' on my side of that wormhole, or at least not on the hostile planet with the Fortress).

Offline x4000

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Re: Request: Respect Munition Flight Times
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2016, 11:28:38 AM »
Ohhhh!  I remember now.  We had a code change that explicitly made it so that shots would instantly speed up and hit your ship when you leave a wormhole.  We did change that a few years ago.

We added that because people were using some insane micro techniques that were huge cheese as well as annoying to use as a player.  Basically popping in and out of wormholes and transports to let their ships fire and then hide again before enemy shots hit, thus canceling damage.

The current system was discussed and we decided it was the lesser of the various evils when compared to the cheese and micro.  Faster shots would largely solve this issue, too.
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Offline Elestan

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Re: Request: Respect Munition Flight Times
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2016, 11:39:33 AM »
With Transports, I'd just have the shot change target to the Transport when its target loads.  That should keep it from being cheeseable.  With wormholes, this seems like a valid tactic to me, which could be countered by railgun weapons, stationing ships at the wormhole, and/or having a longer "warp-out" time.  It could also be countered by adding a "warp-in" time, such that the defenses get to fire on the incoming ship before it emerges and can fire its own guns.

Ohhhh!  I remember now.  We had a code change that explicitly made it so that shots would instantly speed up and hit your ship when you leave a wormhole.  We did change that a few years ago.

We added that because people were using some insane micro techniques that were huge cheese as well as annoying to use as a player.  Basically popping in and out of wormholes and transports to let their ships fire and then hide again before enemy shots hit, thus canceling damage.

The current system was discussed and we decided it was the lesser of the various evils when compared to the cheese and micro.  Faster shots would largely solve this issue, too.

Offline x4000

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Re: [Chris note: actually an interesting conundrum] Respect Munition Flight Times
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2016, 03:38:50 PM »
Yep, there's a lot of possibilities there.  It's kind of a matter of choosing the least annoying one, to some extent.  The load-in time when things are appearing and can be shot by waiting campers is a pretty big home-field advantage that I'm not sure we want to be giving the AI and players.  At the moment you have somewhere between 0.75 to 2 seconds to kind of orient yourself as ships come in.

The other thing is that making wormhole travel slower is something that seems like it would slow down travel around the galaxy in an annoying way.

Something along those lines might work, and the transport idea itself is mostly fine (except for the fact you could still use that to cheese having the transport being continuously repaired by an engineer and thus save lower-health ships that way, particularly if the ship-class bonuses are not in favor of the ships being cheese like that).

Ultimately most of those solutions throw up something to annoy the player in some manner or other in a whole lot of circumstances other than the one in question.  Simply having faster shots seems like item #1, and then we'll see better from there.
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: [Chris note: actually an interesting conundrum] Respect Munition Flight Times
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2016, 05:30:51 PM »
I like AIW because it is balanced against micro.

Please do not add any.
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: [Chris note: actually an interesting conundrum] Respect Munition Flight Times
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2016, 05:35:06 PM »
With inter-system shot capability, ships that retreat through wormholes could have the shots drop off the side of the gravity well and chase the same way cross-planet shots do.

Offline Tridus

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Re: [Chris note: actually an interesting conundrum] Respect Munition Flight Times
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2016, 07:18:50 PM »
I like AIW because it is balanced against micro.

Please do not add any.

This.