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General Category => The Last Federation => Topic started by: nas1m on September 23, 2014, 04:28:41 PM

Title: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: nas1m on September 23, 2014, 04:28:41 PM
Since you glossed over it here (http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=15835) I will simply repeat my question on the forums ;):

I noticed that it is often possible to search the ice/asteroid belt for Hydral tech at planets for which no Hydral signal has been reported (but which allegedly are near one or two of said belts).

Is this intended? I always felt this to be a little weird as well as exploitable in case the original reporting race does not like the Hydral enough to grant him the leave to search "their" belt...
Title: Re: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: x4000 on September 23, 2014, 07:38:03 PM
You're able to search the asteroid belt launching from any planet OR outpost in the ice or asteroid belts, regardless of what race it logs it under.  It only logs it with a race at all because there has to be a race associated with all the alerts.  Internally it's just a counter saying "okay, you can go find a new thing now, wherever you want."  There's no associated locality with it at all.
Title: Re: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: nas1m on September 24, 2014, 02:27:46 AM
Thanks for clarifying :).

Did you ever consider to make it so that the tech can only be obtained at the reported planet?
Could lead to some interesting trade-off if having to make the client race like you enough to let you go searching etc. ...

The current approach seems less interesting to me than it could be.
I could throw this on Mantis if you want ;).
Title: Re: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: Misery on September 24, 2014, 03:07:36 AM
Ya know, something occured to me with that when playing through one of those missions recently...  is it just me, or are the defending golems and such a bit too easy?

I could be wrong, I dunno how others view them, but I tend to find them kinda.... weak.  Particularly the missile things, since missiles are so very slow.
Title: Re: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: nas1m on September 24, 2014, 03:37:52 AM
Ya know, something occured to me with that when playing through one of those missions recently...  is it just me, or are the defending golems and such a bit too easy?

I could be wrong, I dunno how others view them, but I tend to find them kinda.... weak.  Particularly the missile things, since missiles are so very slow.
I think you are right here. What is more, these missions currently can be utterly trivialized by always being auto-resolvable in 3 days of game time (or some other ridiculously low value - there is no way I can finish the mission in a better time than the one I get with auto resolve which is kinda beside the point...).
Title: Re: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: FortunaDraken on September 24, 2014, 04:02:19 AM
Yeah, I usually get a 5 turn auto-resolve. I don't find them easy myself, rather they're a pain in the butt to fight. But since it is a docking mission, I don't see it as too much of an issue.

I mostly find it odd that they're always associated with one of the other races, when they're described as Hydral sentinels. Maybe since there's now officially Hydral ships with Betrayal mode, they could be changed to actually be Hydral associated?
Title: Re: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: nas1m on September 24, 2014, 04:08:26 AM
I mostly find it odd that they're always associated with one of the other races, when they're described as Hydral sentinels. Maybe since there's now officially Hydral ships with Betrayal mode, they could be changed to actually be Hydral associated?
This always bothered me as well. Seconded.
Care to throw this on Mantis?
Title: Re: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: Misery on September 24, 2014, 05:45:22 AM
Not even just a matter of auto-resolve (which I dont use).  Even on the difficulty level I'm at, these guys are seriously way too easy.  They just cant put up much of a fight.  They seem like they should be boss-level encounters (but not on the level of the Obscura), since Hydral tech is really useful in all sorts of situations.

Though yes, I can see why a super-short auto-resolve would also be a problem.  It seems to me like they kinda need a rework overall.  And I dont really mean in terms of attack patterns here, though that's one way to do it.  It just.... I dunno, it needs something more.  That mission type should feel like you're heading into quite the dangerous and risky area, on your way to acquire powerful lost technology from a defeated race... it's such an awesome scenario, but the current structure of it doesnt lend itself well to that.


Most battles in the game really do work out pretty well at this point, but.... yeah, there's still a few that could do with changing. 

The Burlust Warlords are scheduled for that, at least.  Not immediately though.  Still two Obscura left to go, and those two will take awhile.  The Warlords wont be nearly as tough as the Obscura though. 

And the Spy Probes.... ugh, I've had problems with those for awhile now.  That entire mission structure (smuggle tech) could do with a total overhaul.  I'm sure the creative minds at Arcen here could probably come up with a new and awesome way to do that, yep, if they should think it's a good idea.

I forgot what else I was going to say. 
Title: Re: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: nas1m on September 24, 2014, 05:50:27 AM
It seems to me like they kinda need a rework overall.  And I dont really mean in terms of attack patterns here, though that's one way to do it.  It just.... I dunno, it needs something more.  That mission type should feel like you're heading into quite the dangerous and risky area, on your way to acquire powerful lost technology from a defeated race... it's such an awesome scenario, but the current structure of it doesnt lend itself well to that.
How about making it so that the various golems can only be stunned and/or "misled" for one or two turns so that the player has to set them up somehow in away that allows him to dock with the Hydral lab? To me these missions mainly are so boring because the approach to tackle them is always the same. Kill all enemies, dock the lab, rinse, repeat - not much tension involved here.

I am definitely with you that these missions should pose a highlight especially due to the high reward involved - currently they are more or less the opposite :-\...
Title: Re: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: Misery on September 24, 2014, 07:13:08 AM
Yeah, I can agree with all of that, that sort of idea sounds alot better than the current stuff.

Though, jumping into a new game here..... uuuugh.  The SPY PROBES. 

It might be that the things dont scale well into the higher difficulties, so even the very first smuggle tech mission has the goal point surrounded by an utterly impenetrable wall of probes.  There's no holes in this, as a rule.  One way or another, the only tactic is to charge at it, and try to rush through.   Nothing else really works here.

And even when I've done these missions with that NOT being the case, they're also just the least interesting of the different mission types. 

I cant really think of any suggestions to make though...
Title: Re: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: nas1m on September 24, 2014, 07:20:40 AM
Though, jumping into a new game here..... uuuugh.  The SPY PROBES. 
...
I cant really think of any suggestions to make though...
How about this:
- Keep the current mission focus of building a maze of Spy Probes the player has to navigate through, but:
- Make it so that there are few enough Spy Probes to actually let there be a (possibly shifting) path at all times.
- Set some probes to something like patrol duty to interfere with the player simply navigating the maze after the route has been found.

The general premise of navigating through shifting terrain made of ship detection spheres seems interesting enough to me.
There is just not enough danger involved at the moment as well as too many probes spawned to really ensure the maze can be "won" (in terms of being navigated without waking any probes)...
Title: Re: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: FortunaDraken on September 24, 2014, 07:35:39 AM
Funnily enough, I've never had issues getting past spy probes ever since I learned you can go into their range just slightly without waking them up. But yeah, I would definitely like it to be easier to get past them (I've spent over 10 turns trying to get in the only open spot, sob) and definiteeeeeely need to be easier to beat! They're so fast D|
Title: Re: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: nas1m on September 24, 2014, 07:56:02 AM
Threw the suggestions and complaints regarding Smuggle Spacefaring Tech (http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=15856) and Hydral Tech (http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=15855) missions on Mantis.
Just in case you want to vote or chime in...
Title: Re: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: x4000 on September 24, 2014, 08:31:43 AM
Misery, I think I am going to be enlisting your services in designing bullet patterns for the Hydral stuff as well as the spy probes.  Having a shifting pattern of stuff that you have to navigate through is absolutely a goal of mine still with the spy probes, so I may think of some other solution.  But for the Hydral thing, I think that it's a matter of probably the new style of bullet patterns.  Not Obscura-crazy, but like the stuff that is planned for the Burlust Warlords.

We'll see.  The docking mechanics are also something I want to reconsider.  I have an idea for that that I think will work, at least: have docking automatically hit your shields to 0, but otherwise that's it.
Title: Re: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: Misery on September 24, 2014, 08:58:21 AM
Misery, I think I am going to be enlisting your services in designing bullet patterns for the Hydral stuff as well as the spy probes.  Having a shifting pattern of stuff that you have to navigate through is absolutely a goal of mine still with the spy probes, so I may think of some other solution.  But for the Hydral thing, I think that it's a matter of probably the new style of bullet patterns.  Not Obscura-crazy, but like the stuff that is planned for the Burlust Warlords.

We'll see.  The docking mechanics are also something I want to reconsider.  I have an idea for that that I think will work, at least: have docking automatically hit your shields to 0, but otherwise that's it.

Allright, that sounds good to me.

Hm, is there something wrong with the docking then?  It never seemed that much of an issue to me, though at the same time, if I'm docking with something, everything else is likely already beaten...  On the difficulty I'm on at least, I've found that's pretty much the only way to do it (stationary = suicide!) so maybe I'm not the best judge...

But yeah, reworking the Hydral thingies would be good.  And entertaining.  Though I'm guessing the Burlust are a higher priority?
Title: Re: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: FortunaDraken on September 24, 2014, 09:02:04 AM
...docking removing your shields sounds like it'd just wreck any chance of docking quests working, especially with the damage resetting turns AND if you're against a race you really don't want to lose influence with via ship kills.

I like how docking works right now, especially since I usually don't want to kill ships when I'm doing so. Why not make it that the missions with docking objectives require you to not blow up ships? Like...the scientist who's running away will only do so if you don't kill any ships, and with the stations, blowing up ships gives the race time to arm the station to explode or something of the sort so there's a time limit to capturing them? That way you have to manage docking while also trying not to lose turns and not kill anything.
Title: Re: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: nas1m on September 24, 2014, 09:06:01 AM
Misery, I think I am going to be enlisting your services in designing bullet patterns for the Hydral stuff as well as the spy probes.  Having a shifting pattern of stuff that you have to navigate through is absolutely a goal of mine still with the spy probes, so I may think of some other solution.  But for the Hydral thing, I think that it's a matter of probably the new style of bullet patterns.  Not Obscura-crazy, but like the stuff that is planned for the Burlust Warlords.

We'll see.  The docking mechanics are also something I want to reconsider.  I have an idea for that that I think will work, at least: have docking automatically hit your shields to 0, but otherwise that's it.

Allright, that sounds good to me.

Hm, is there something wrong with the docking then?  It never seemed that much of an issue to me, though at the same time, if I'm docking with something, everything else is likely already beaten...  On the difficulty I'm on at least, I've found that's pretty much the only way to do it (stationary = suicide!) so maybe I'm not the best judge...
Same here. For me the point is more to make the player try docking before everything is killed. The existing docking per se is fine with me....
Title: Re: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: x4000 on September 24, 2014, 09:06:20 AM
Burlust are a higher priority, yeah, and I need to still set up the shots for the Hydrals anyway before I can give those to you.

And regarding the docking, to clarify: damage would NOT reset your turns to dock any longer.  The purpose behind the damage resets was to make it so that you couldn't just park somewhere, dock, and tank all the damage.  But that sort of "I got dinged by something, now I'm back to square one" is frustrating, so the thought of just making it so that literally you can't tank damage but it doesn't reset you was interesting to me.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: Misery on September 24, 2014, 09:13:02 AM
Burlust are a higher priority, yeah, and I need to still set up the shots for the Hydrals anyway before I can give those to you.

And regarding the docking, to clarify: damage would NOT reset your turns to dock any longer.  The purpose behind the damage resets was to make it so that you couldn't just park somewhere, dock, and tank all the damage.  But that sort of "I got dinged by something, now I'm back to square one" is frustrating, so the thought of just making it so that literally you can't tank damage but it doesn't reset you was interesting to me.

Thoughts?


Hm, yes, that all sounds good to me.   What about using abilities there?  Is that still going to reset?
Title: Re: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: nas1m on September 24, 2014, 09:13:50 AM
Burlust are a higher priority, yeah, and I need to still set up the shots for the Hydrals anyway before I can give those to you.

And regarding the docking, to clarify: damage would NOT reset your turns to dock any longer.  The purpose behind the damage resets was to make it so that you couldn't just park somewhere, dock, and tank all the damage.  But that sort of "I got dinged by something, now I'm back to square one" is frustrating, so the thought of just making it so that literally you can't tank damage but it doesn't reset you was interesting to me.

Thoughts?
That is another story. Sounds good :).

BTW: Did you catch my humble request here (http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,16392.msg181198.html#msg181198)?
Just asking, you know ;)...
Title: Re: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: Misery on September 24, 2014, 09:21:12 AM
Out of topic here, I know, but since you're already looking at this topic and because Yahoo is being a twit (and I've nothing completed to show today anyway), I'll mention here, I think I can have the Obscura Mothership and the Mite both done inside of a week, I think.  They'll take longer because of the seperate instead of incrementing patterns.... but after some experimenting, not really as long as I think.  I've gotten good at deciphering the mystical runes of the game's error messages when I inevitably leave some dumb mistake in there, and that's dramatically lowering how long it takes to do things.  Stingray took hardly any time, really.  But that's my current estimate, I figured I'd mention it just to give an idea as to how long it might take.  Though I get the impression there's no particular rush here.

Well, estimate as to their initial versions, anyway.  These guys might be.... difficult to balance.

Player reactions to those 2 should be amusing though.  Well, amusing to me, anyway.
Title: Re: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: FortunaDraken on September 24, 2014, 10:17:05 AM
I honestly don't like the idea of losing shields. I'd much rather keep the current set-up, since I've found if you circle in place you can usually luck out and get the five turns done, so long as a stray bullet doesn't hit you. Circling without shields sounds like a good way to die really fast, especially if you have strong opponents.

Probably in the minority here, but I'd much, much, muuuuuch rather the missions themselves be played with rather than the mechanics of docking. Right now they make sense: sit there, if something bumps you or you get distracted, you lose the connection and have to re-establish. Making a mission take longer in terms of docking time is much more favourable to me than having a mission cut short because you nearly died, and it seems a sure-fire way to have the Auto-resolve be abused more than it already is on those missions so you don't have to deal with the fall-out of losing a ton of time repairing.
Title: Re: A question regarding Hydral signals...
Post by: x4000 on September 24, 2014, 10:37:45 AM
Clearly the revised docking idea is controversial at best, and the current approach works well enough, so I'm going to leave that alone, heh.

Misery: all good on the timing, and sorry to hear that Yahoo is acting up.  I _also_ am looking forward to amusement at player reactions, heh.