Author Topic: New version .817 now out! (Waypoints, Escape Pods, Keybinding Updates)  (Read 942 times)

Offline x4000

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Release notes: http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=The_Last_Federation_Alpha_Release_Notes#Alpha_Version_.817

Restart steam to force a quicker update if you like.

Combat is definitely even better in this version, as is the solar map.  You guys were right, waypoints really rock.  Also, the balance is better on both parts of the game, and I'm really enjoying combat even more because of that.

The new escape pods for pilots are something where you can collect them, but not yet use them.  The purpose behind them is to give you another tactical consideration: do you go in and rescue the pilots and then later cash them in in some way for a benefit?  There are three overall ways planned, but not yet implemented (tomorrow, likely).  Or do you keep a safer distance, since there is likely lots of hostile fire near those pilots?  Similarly, your shots can hit the pilot escape pods, but enemy shots do not.  So if you want to go up near those pods, you either need to anticipate what autoaim will do, or use a different firing mode, to make sure you don't accidentally pop the pod yourself.

This is actually super important to me in terms of adding to the tactical depth, because it gives you conflicting goals.  On the one hand, you want the cheddar, so you want to get in close.  On the other hand, that's dangerous.  It's not a huge overarching goal of the game, but collecting a bunch of pilots really can add up for you in terms of gaining a lot of Credit or Influence or otherwise.  It's also by far the easiest way to gain Leverage on the Burlusts, or Voting Proxies with the Peltians, which I know is always a big desire.  This is the first way you can do that without directly doing missions for those races.  Well, anyway it will be once we add the functionality of actually using the pilots you capture. ;)

There are a bunch of hotkey changes this release, so experienced players are going to have confused fingers tonight.  Mine are only now catching up, too.  Why the changes?  Well, I moved some less-important stuff out of the center of the keyboard (the speed controls used to be something you had to reach easily when this was realtime, but that is no longer true).  Additionally, WASD in battle now pans the viewport, in addition to the arrow keys doing that.  That was just something that I (and apparently others of you) would naturally try to do after being trained to do that from so many games.  And it's also way easier for the fingers to reach than the arrow keys, to boot.  And that meant that the existing things on WASD had to move, even though I didn't really want to.  The thing that was on W just went away, so that was easy.  And then ASD became FGT.  F and G being the two you use a lot, so easily accessible.  And then T instead of H, since H centers the view on your ship, and displacing that isn't a great idea since that is a standard key for the genre.

On the solar map side, you should find that things happen at a MUCH more reasonable pace, so that dispatch missions aren't hosing you over.  But if you still feel like something is off with the pacing there, please let us know, of course. :)

Also, there's going to be a new batch of testers tonight!

Caveats (Same as last time):
1. All of the Operational abilities are still having their ships slaved to your attacks, and I don't intend for that to remain the case.

2. If you are running into specific mission types that are un-fun slow in the new combat model, then please send us saves.  I tested (for instance) dropping off spacefaring tech, and it was a tense 60-second excursion or so.

Enjoy!
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Offline x4000

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New testers today:

johnnyr
Smithgift
nas1m
Vyndicu
Hamster
Leglaen

It's a smaller batch than usual, but I will be adding batches of testers with more regularity after this.  At the moment, after these folks, we have another 45 in the queue, and only 2ish weeks until release.  If you are on this list (or the stickied list of testers above here) and don't have a PM from me shortly, PM me back.

Cheers!
« Last Edit: April 03, 2014, 10:33:21 PM by x4000 »
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Offline Azurian

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Can't wait to play test the combat, its going to be sweet. I was wondering is there an Alpha and Beta, or just an Alpha then release?
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Offline Histidine

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Quote
Capturing prisoner pilots later lets you do a prisoner exchange for Credit, Leverage, or Voting proxies; or you can set them free for Influence. Or if you are a bad, bad person, you can also sell them into slavery at the black market.
But can we send the uncooperative ones out the airlock with the rest of the trash?  :P

Offline Misery

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Ok, will give more impressions later, but one big one before I forget:

The smuggling missions, they got MUCH worse.  Possibly game-crashingly worse on some systems.  I experience slowdown on mine. 

I see a couple of things happen here:   Number one, a monstrous blob of ships can burst out of positions that are NOT probes... just blank space.   And two, upon dropping off the tech, ALL of the probes burst, releasing a seriously absurd number of ships.  I mean, really, it's a totally insane amount.  Every time I see it, I'm surprised the game DOESNT crash.   Also makes the missions take forever to beat, due to the ridiculous number of Hypersonic Pods that chase you all the way out, constantly increasing the time needed to warp.

A very easily reproduced problem, it does this every single time.


EDIT:

Ok, further feedback.... there isnt much.  Currently, it's become unplayable again.

There's a new broken enemy type now, the Lancers.  It's not even their attacks that are the problem.... sort of.... instead, the game has become completely obsessed with them, and is spouting them out more than even Interceptors.  And they take FOREVER to kill.  They have WAY too much health for something with an undodgeable attack.  You HAVE to attack them from a zillion miles away, or you die.  30 minute or higher combat missions are possible due to the mere existence of these things.  I'm not patient enough to deal with that, so I cant test any further at this time.

I hadnt even been seeing the things hardly ever in the prior versions of the game.

In addition to this, I've got opposing factions not firing at each other at all.  I'm including a save here.   The Boarines and the Evucks in it should be chaotically attacking each other, but instead they just.... sit there.  Unless I get close, then the Evuck group goes nuts at me.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 04:57:49 AM by Misery »

Offline x4000

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Can't wait to play test the combat, its going to be sweet. I was wondering is there an Alpha and Beta, or just an Alpha then release?

I have you marked down as preferring Round 3 right now.  Is that something you want to keep -- basically very late in the process -- or are you wanting to be earlier now?

In terms of a beta, it will be a lot briefer.  Generally a beta is once things are "feature complete," whereas an alpha is still adding features.  I expect to switch to beta -- knock on wood -- on Monday or thereabouts.

Quote
Capturing prisoner pilots later lets you do a prisoner exchange for Credit, Leverage, or Voting proxies; or you can set them free for Influence. Or if you are a bad, bad person, you can also sell them into slavery at the black market.
But can we send the uncooperative ones out the airlock with the rest of the trash?  :P

Hahaha.  You can shoot them out of the sky before ever beaming them aboard if you feel like it. :)

The smuggling missions, they got MUCH worse.  Possibly game-crashingly worse on some systems.  I experience slowdown on mine. 

I see a couple of things happen here:   Number one, a monstrous blob of ships can burst out of positions that are NOT probes... just blank space.   And two, upon dropping off the tech, ALL of the probes burst, releasing a seriously absurd number of ships.  I mean, really, it's a totally insane amount.  Every time I see it, I'm surprised the game DOESNT crash.   Also makes the missions take forever to beat, due to the ridiculous number of Hypersonic Pods that chase you all the way out, constantly increasing the time needed to warp.

A very easily reproduced problem, it does this every single time.

Got it, I can see why that would happen.  Will fix! ;)


Ok, further feedback.... there isnt much.  Currently, it's become unplayable again.

There's a new broken enemy type now, the Lancers.  It's not even their attacks that are the problem.... sort of.... instead, the game has become completely obsessed with them, and is spouting them out more than even Interceptors.  And they take FOREVER to kill.  They have WAY too much health for something with an undodgeable attack.  You HAVE to attack them from a zillion miles away, or you die.  30 minute or higher combat missions are possible due to the mere existence of these things.  I'm not patient enough to deal with that, so I cant test any further at this time.

I hadnt even been seeing the things hardly ever in the prior versions of the game.

The only thing I can think of would be the change to how things deploy based on the number of deployment tanks they cost.  I think I have an idea of what is going on there, actually.  Will deal with it.

In addition to this, I've got opposing factions not firing at each other at all.  I'm including a save here.   The Boarines and the Evucks in it should be chaotically attacking each other, but instead they just.... sit there.  Unless I get close, then the Evuck group goes nuts at me.

I'll check it out, thanks.
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Offline x4000

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@Misery:

I've put in changes to fix all of the above, and make the smuggling of spacefaring tech both more challenging and interesting and rewarding.

That said, with the NoFire.save, it actually is acting properly -- all the races are neutral toward one another for some reason.  I have put in a new feature that lets you hover over the race icons to see what their alliances are.  I have been meaning to do that for a while, anyway.  The bigger question is WHY they are all neutral to one another, as that is not proper.  I've put it on Keith's list to look at, but if you have info on what you did to get into that combat, that might help him track it down.
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Offline GenScorpius

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the smuggling mission is actually a bit strange ...
I never had any bad reactions from it although the mission text says I could incur influence penalties with other space faring races. Makes me wonder when that would be triggered? after activating spy probes (only problem being probes activating themselves without me entering the red circle) or only when killing them?
Furthermore, I'm not certain at what point it's better not to spread space tech any further (potentially due to the high risk) and concentrate on other activities...


Since I seem to start with the cloaking device with the acutian start, the mission is easy. Cloak, max speed and plotting the course to the drop zone and then get the hell out of there. In and out within a couple turns. ;)

True the obstacle course will be bigger after each time but right now I feel its not really challenging.

Offline x4000

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I just did make the smuggling missions more challenging, actually. :)  The cloaking stuff may need to be disabled in those missions, though, not sure.  A "cloaking field disruptor" or some such nonsense. ;)
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