Author Topic: Obscura  (Read 1602 times)

Offline FortunaDraken

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Obscura
« on: September 23, 2014, 07:05:39 AM »
I don't know about anyone else but I'm very...unsure? About the Obscura as a whole. Being so ridiculously powerful (and still able to learn techs to make them even more powerful???) and the bullet-hell firing patterns...it feels so out of place in TLF :( I love TLF for being able to predict and avoid fire and carefully manoeuvre around to beat strong opponents. But the Obscura are so...random. I know they're supposed to be totally different from the other races, but this feels like they've jumped in from another game entirely.

I dunno, maybe it's just me? What do you guys think?

Offline nas1m

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Re: Obscura
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2014, 07:40:00 AM »
I quite like them and their shmup style bullet patterns so far I have to say :).
Although I definitely have to throw in a couple of combat practice sessions against individual types of Obscura ships to really have a chance
to figure out their patterns and how to dodge them. In a regular battle this is just too much havoc to figure out which shots belong to whom :D.

I can definitely see reason in the proposition of excluding them from the tech tree and tech upgrades altogether, though!

They are supposed to be a different breed after all and, in a way, tech upgrades should represent the effort of the federation to cope with them in my book.
Them doing regular research definitely feels wrong to me. Better have them be a mighty powerful entity bound on consuming the solar system instead, with a big tech/stat boost at the start which the races can then strive to mitigate via research.

That's my two cents anyway.
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Offline Misery

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Re: Obscura
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2014, 07:53:48 AM »
Believe me, they're not as random as they appear. 

I'm the one that made all of the patterns for these guys (and the new "normal" ships), and the idea of them having a bullet-hell feel, and patterns like this, came from the devs; this is why I was the one to do it, as I've played the shmup genre absolutely to freaking death. 

Everything with these guys, and I seriously mean this, can be dodged entirely.  Typically, you're going to take some hits against them;  I know not everyone has mastered the art of dodging stuff.  But that's part of the point.  These guys are supposed to represent inevitable doom, and they're meant to be seriously difficult.   Even playing on Misery though, and even facing 5 at once, I can still take them down, and I dont need to spam abilities at them.  That's how carefully calibrated all of this is.  Yeah, I know, it wont look like it..... that is also part of the point.  This even applies to those parts of certain patterns that include ACTUAL randomness.  Even so:  Still totally dodgeable.  I test the funky hell outta these, and because of my knowledge of that genre, they dont get submitted until I think they're totally ready to go. 

But it's not just that;  you've got all sorts of tricks up your sleeve, and you shouldnt be afraid to use them, even if it seems cheesy at times.  The Obscura DONT have all sorts of tricks. Like any other ship, they only have their one pattern, and that's it.  Well, with the 2 exceptions that are not finished yet.


Right now the one nasty one, that isnt meant to be super nasty, is the Disc, and that's just because of a stats problem.... it'll get dealt with.  Well, POSSIBLY nasty.  I'm not sure how bad it is on lower difficulties but for higher ones at least, that one needs.... uh, fixing. 


And yes, as Nas1m says, they take practice.  But depending on the difficulty level, dont be afraid to tank a few shots here and there.  And remember, you'll have allies alot of the time!  Use this fact to your advantage;  you can drag a couple of the Obscura away from the main group, and handle them that way.  Though again, even 5 at once, is doable. 


Each has a very unique pattern, practice against them, and learn what it is.  It's really not much different from the base game, because particularly if you're gonna play at high difficulties, you need to know what kinds of stuff the enemy is going to throw, and the kinds of patterns that GROUPS of things are capable of putting out when they're all attacking at once. 

And dont give up!
« Last Edit: September 23, 2014, 07:58:30 AM by Misery »

Offline nas1m

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Re: Obscura
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2014, 08:01:43 AM »
Yeah, the Discs have been giving me the most trouble so far ;)...
You really came up with a hell of a bunch of patterns, Kudos for that.
I did not know what to expect here until I saw it :P.

Also: Mantised the suggestion to exclude the Obscura from tech progression and research here.
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Offline Misery

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Re: Obscura
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2014, 08:14:40 AM »
Yeah, the Discs have been giving me the most trouble so far ;)...
You really came up with a hell of a bunch of patterns, Kudos for that.
I did not know what to expect here until I saw it :P.

Also: Mantised the suggestion to exclude the Obscura from tech progression and research here.

Yeah, the Disc had a little problem here, which actually has to do with it's aggro range and a specific part of it's pattern.  Fortunately, that seems to be the only one that's screwy.  Which is a huge relief, really.  I get paranoid easily and am not the most confident person ever, and was afraid I might blow up the whole game with these things!  But actually trying them out in the course of a PROPER campaign... yeah, they're what I wanted them to be, and from what Chris has said about them (and he seemed to be testing them with piles of them at once, whereas I was mostly testing in one-on-one situations), he seems satisfied with them as well.  Though of course I'll make any changes the devs should want here if they decide on any.

Hint for the Disc though on the chance that anyone's not figured it out:  You're meant to attack this guy from behind, NOT from the front. He creates a "road" behind him, and navigating that and STAYING behind him is the key to beating him.  Yes, even when there's other Obscura around.

The big problem is the purple wave shots.  Those have a very specific purpose, and are currently the source of the trouble with this one.  But it'll get dealt with.  It might actually be a good idea just to dramatically lower the damage this one can do until it gets fixed....
« Last Edit: September 23, 2014, 08:17:50 AM by Misery »

Offline FortunaDraken

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Re: Obscura
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2014, 09:41:33 AM »
Assuming the disc is the one that has the red shooters making said road...I dunno, I find it so much easier taking him from outside the road or from the front (it's remarkably easy to stay between his purple shots so long as you stay away from him). I've been able to manage them a bit better now, though I have to admit, I still don't like the shump still. It doesn't feel right in TLF at all. And I can't tank shots from these guys at all, I'm only playing on Normal and most of them take my entire shield away with one hit ._.

Except the guy who shoots out lines of shots that go at right-angles. Him I like.

Definitely would like it better if the Obscura were barred from tech, though they aren't advancing very fast at all in my current game. But given that the battles are half the draw of the game and are essentially knocked out entirely, leaving just the mildly boring "wait x time until thing y is complete"...dunno. So far I'm liking the Betrayal more, and that has saddened me with it's winning being borked XD But beta is beta, so I am waiting happily for that one to be fixed :3

Offline Misery

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Re: Obscura
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2014, 10:08:50 AM »
Assuming the disc is the one that has the red shooters making said road...I dunno, I find it so much easier taking him from outside the road or from the front (it's remarkably easy to stay between his purple shots so long as you stay away from him). I've been able to manage them a bit better now, though I have to admit, I still don't like the shump still. It doesn't feel right in TLF at all. And I can't tank shots from these guys at all, I'm only playing on Normal and most of them take my entire shield away with one hit ._.

Except the guy who shoots out lines of shots that go at right-angles. Him I like.

Definitely would like it better if the Obscura were barred from tech, though they aren't advancing very fast at all in my current game. But given that the battles are half the draw of the game and are essentially knocked out entirely, leaving just the mildly boring "wait x time until thing y is complete"...dunno. So far I'm liking the Betrayal more, and that has saddened me with it's winning being borked XD But beta is beta, so I am waiting happily for that one to be fixed :3

Ehhh?  Hm, the Disc, taking him out like that actually isnt supposed to work.... but I'll worry about that later.

As far as tanking shots... uhh... if you're on Normal, most of those actually SHOULDNT be dealing that much damage to you. Not "erase your shields with a single bullet" type damage. Not close to that.  I can tank some even on Misery, which is why I say that, and I rarely power my shields more than halfway.  I cant imagine which shots OTHER than the Disc's purple lawnmower shots would do such amazing damage.  Note that I'm not saying "tanking 30 shots shouldnt do much", but just tanking one, from the Obscura as a whole, shouldnt have that effect. 

If you can figure out a specific one that appears to be causing this issue the most, I can look into it.  But it shouldnt be happening at all....   But yeah, if there's really specific problems with some of them that you can think of, feedback on that can really help alot.


As far as them having the wrong feel.... honestly, I have to disagree (and not because I made them).  Typically when playing the base game, it could get just like this.  The Obscura use so many bullets as a way to compensate for the fact that unlike all the others, they cannot summon squadrons of ships to help them out.  For other races, they can still generate 10 bazillion shots as it is.  Based on the way the whole battle system works, increasing the number of bullets *is* the way to increase difficulty.  Expert or Misery VS Normal, for instance.  Aggro ranges on every enemy, on those two, are much larger than on Normal.  Quite alot larger.  So alot more enemies will be firing at once, because alot more of them will be aggroed at once.  This makes for ALOT of bullets.   Tons.  Everywhere.  I could dredge up screenshots where the screen is seriously drenched in bullets.  And I can get into Obscura fights that actually dont contain as many as that, even with more than one of those guys at a time.  That's one of the reasons why I got into this game so much, was because it could create those awesome bullet-hell situations just via the RNG alone.   And then it adds all the tactical abilities and strategy and such on top of that.

And one way or another... these guys really are just meant to be that much more difficult. 


That all being said, this mode isnt going to be for everyone. Definitely not.  But as with Arcen's other games, there's a bunch of different modes and options, and of course you always have auto-resolve.

And the feedback always helps regardless, too.


....HOWEVER, I do think the option to lower the amount of Obscura that appear per fight on average might be a good idea.  5 at once is fine for me, but can seem overwhelming to others.  A "weaker fleet" option that can be chosen at start, maybe?   Hmm. 

Or an "easier patterns" mode.... hmm.  Typically in shmups, lower difficulties will have the same patterns, but made up of less bullets to allow for more room, and often a little slower.  Same neat attacks, but a bit less complexity.  Theoretically, it's possible that I could make versions of each Obscura ship that adhere to that rule, if the devs were to want to add in such a mode, which'd probably be easy for them to do, but.....   arrrgh, that wouldnt be a quick process, or simple to do.   Well, no, it wouldnt take THAT long, it's all about numbers, not remaking the blasted things.... but I'll wait and see what they think though.  It might actually be a good idea.

Offline nas1m

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Re: Obscura
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2014, 04:36:49 PM »
And I can't tank shots from these guys at all, I'm only playing on Normal and most of them take my entire shield away with one hit ._.
I see where you come from a bit better now I guess.
A few years into my invasion game trying to intercept a single Obscura raiding armada usually goes the following way:
1. I and 11 Obscura ships spawn
2. I give my first command
3. I die in a gory explosion of one-shotting projectiles

I am exaggerating a bit for the sake of drama here ;).
I was able to kill one or two ships by pulling one ship from the pack and using my abilities, but there just seems to be too much stuff that kills me in a single projectile.

Can't say which ship they come from unfortunately. Too much chaos :).
Will have to try to reproduce this in a controlled environment (i.e. combat practice), I guess.

Don't get me wrong, I am okay with say ten projectiles bringing my shields down and ten extra ones killing me, but at the moment there seems to be some Obscura out there being able to do it in one or two.

Might be related to them still getting tech unlocks in 1.501, though, come to think of it.
I will have another look when the new version is out.
 
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Offline x4000

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Re: Obscura
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2014, 07:33:18 PM »
This should be a big hit, I think:

* Fights with the Obscura are now far better balanced in terms of still being insanely tough but not just "hi, you die now immediately" hard:
** Normally only 12 flagships can be visible in a fight at one time, and excess ones "warp in" to the battle as a battle progresses.  Previously, the Obscura stuff was just using this same logic.  However, now the Obscura ships are handled separately from the normal flagships, and they have a max count of 4 visible per battle at once.  This makes it so that you still have a ton to face if you want to try wiping out an entire armada (good luck with that), but the screen isn't literally solid bullets.
** Additionally, Obscura ships now will always have to spawn at least 600px away from all other ships, so that they don't wind up stacked on top of one another so tightly at the start.
** And finally, your ship will always start at least 2000px away from any Obscura ships, so the chances of you taking immediate fire on the very first turn are now quite low.
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Offline Misery

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Re: Obscura
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2014, 08:49:23 PM »
Okay.

I went and had a look at these guys, strictly to check their damage output.  Checked them out on Normal.

Now, this is testing at the very beginning of an Invasion mode game, not like 50 years into it.  If they're only doing this kind of damage later on, that's a whole other issue.

But anyway.  For the most part.... these seem fine.  Their damage levels are actually TOO LOW.  I can crash right through their patterns, like, hitting 15 shots in a line, and not really take all that much damage.   Shields on my ship are like, ahh, about 200,000 on average?  Most Obscura shots with the current setup do 4000-9000 damage per hit, and that's BEFORE shield damage reduction is calculated.  At this level, a single Obscura by itself should be having a good bit of difficulty doing damage to you.

Only the Disc is putting out something that can wreck shields in one hit, and it's only those purple shots.   They've been showing up in literally every battle for me, are they doing that for you guys?  Hmmm.  At least I think only the disc is doing it.... The Razor technically could do it but you'd have to be running into the stationary bombs it drops, which you probably wont as they burst into a tornado with an obvious core to them (individual shots from that not doing all that much, and if you crashed into it it'd be super obvous that you'd just smacked into like 50 bullets at once).  And none of the Obscura are causing clumped up blobs of their own shots.

Though the Disc is a little more messed up than I'd thought, it's AI seems to get a little.... odd.... I've caught them not moving at all, just sitting there.


But yeah, as a rule here.... I'm not seeing any of these problems with damage.   But then, I'm testing their initial state;  if you're getting this later on, it might be tech upgrades giving them such power.  I wish I could actually see these battles you're getting into where this is happening.... argh.



That being said though, those changes Chris explained there should certainly help with the numbers and them suddenly ambushing you at the start of a fight (argh, yeah, they did that to me a few times).  But the bit with insta-death bullets is..... I dont even.  Argh.

Offline FortunaDraken

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Re: Obscura
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2014, 10:01:43 PM »
Yeah, the insta-death happened to me before the changes (haven't had a battle after them yet). If I didn't cloak immediately after a fight started, I died because of how many were near me right at the start of the fight.

Things do seem to be better as of 1.501 though, I didn't have nearly as much trouble with them, aside from the Disc's shield eating purple shots (3 or more of those things after me is a nightmare). I was pretty early on in the game, I don't think they'd researched any ship upgrades except for like, the small ship defence one in a tech breakthrough.

I might livestream a second game of Invasion, if I have trouble I'll make sure to save the recording.

Offline Misery

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Re: Obscura
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2014, 10:22:26 PM »
So not necessarily problems with any individual shots, then, but problems with just too many of the things being in your face?  That makes a bit more sense if that's the case.

And yeah, the Disc's purple lawnmower shots need a looking at.  I'll have a go at them later.  Heck, playing on Misery, those things do well over 400,000 damage per hit (and you dont have nearly as much shield/hull when playing that difficulty).... yeah.   I'll mess around with them tonight and see what can be done.   It's the one thing with these guys that isnt quite working the way I'd planned.

 

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