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Combat - where is it going?

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DraQ
 DraQ
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So far the combat in Pioneer is pretty bare bones.

Essentials seem ok. - you have projectiles that move about fast enough to hit stuff and slowly enough to be dogeable (how fast do they move exactly?) which beats hitscan zapping, you have basic stuff like shields (decent looking ones, finally) and hull to absorb damage, but that's it.

So what would you like to see and what are those of you who are actively involved planning to do with combat?

In short:
What's your vision of Pioneer's combat?

Personally I'd see it as follows:

- Zoom and visual target tracking functions to help with the range and orientation issues
- Self contained, auto-tracking weapon turrets mountable on hardpoints, but more massive than their non-tracking counterparts
- Multiple hardpoints aiming in the same direction, weapons of the same type firing together.
- Location dependent subsystem damage, preferably with subtargetting, being dominant factor in combat
- More launched munitions with different warheads and flight characteristics, ability to fit more missiles on your ship
- Diverse combat scenarios weighing towards vicinities of planetary surfaces, asteroids, artificial structures and ring systems. Hopefully multiple combatants, and not just enemies either.
- Weapon impacts delivering momentum, even if the impactor's momentum was insignificant to begin with, vaporized hull material will still work as momentary powerful thruster.

Finally:
Diverse weapon types.
So far Pioneer, like Frontier before it, doesn't exactly shine in this regard. all it has is a number of differently coloured vaguely defined energy projectiles all working in the exactly same manner.

1. Autocannons.

First, I propose getting rid of energy bolts. No, I only mean in terms of fiction - projectiles themselves and general mechanics may stay, but make them tracers instead. They more or less look the right way already, and even Elite Dangerous seems to veer towards autocannons these days. There is no reason not to have red, orange, yellow, and green tracers depending on caliber.
Unlike energy weapons bullets have reasons to move relatively slowly, they can also be limited by ammo supply meaning more interesting gameplay tradeoffs. They can have relatively low heat buildup.

2. Unguided rocket clusters.

Next, current unguided rockets are pretty crap, but unguided rockets in general aren't - how about having multi-tube launchers firing accelerating rocket projectiles in simultaneous salvos or rapid bursts, for scattershot effect, with fairly lengthy reload delays in between? Insignificant heat buildup.

3. Flak.

Some weapons of either of those two classes may have time fused fragmentation warheads set based on distance to target at the moment of firing - good for getting small targets, but weak against well armored and shielded ones.

4. Railguns.

Next, I propose railguns - effectively slow firing cannons with faster projectiles and massive heat buildup. They could use the family of blue-ish bolts currently used by heavier pulse cannons - let's say they are plasma armature railguns and glow is caused by residual plasma sheath clinging to projectile.

5. Lasers.
Some true laser weapon may be called for as well, but it should have relatively modest damage output and high heat production to compensate for its effectively hitscan nature. Maybe require keeping the laser on same spot to cause worthwhile amounts of damage. No need for ammo (unless you also have chem lasers, but those generally don't overheat). A nifty trick would be increasing range instead of just power when using multiple lasers on the same target (diffraction limit).

6. Active defenses.
Anything from self aiming directional shield planes, through low powered missiles, cannons, flaks and lasers trying to shoot down incoming projectiles.

7. Thrusters.
Why not? They basically are relatively short range (before they bloom and unfocus), but very powerful particle beam weapons. Try to either keep distance or approach slightly to the side when getting on enemy's six. Obviously, shouldn't trigger unlawful discharge.

8. Cargo bay launched munitions.
Bombs and lances (unpowered kinetic munitions) of dumb, smart (weak maneuvering thrusters) and multiple warhead varieties. For when planetary bombardments and assaults on distant static objects are implemented. Using (cheap) cargo as improvised lances would be fun too.

9. Drones.
Basically small, unmanned ships. Remotely piloted or AI controlled. Remote linking could be used for some missiles as well.

10. Electronic warfare over comlink.
Attempts to hack into and disable or remotely control another ship or enemy drone, with its own attack measures and defenses of various grades.


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ollobrain
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All very good ideas


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Thargoid
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It sounds a lot like what Elite:Dangerous is coming out with.  Hard to differentiate though when both games are kinda doing the same stuff.

 

What worries me with Elite:Dangerous and hopefully doesn't happen with Pioneer is over complication.  In my opinion (and its just an opinion) is that too many options spoils the actual gaming experience.  Do you want to F about trying different guns in different combinations to see what is actually best?  Do you want to spend your gaming experience hunting for that extra 1%?  Or do you just want to slap some guns on your ship and blow some shit up?

 

I played alot of games Like Dune 2 and Command & Conquer and the simplicity: build a bunch of tank then wreak some f-ing havoc worked well for me.  Having to balance air, sea and land forces is too realistic and not really what I play games for.  

 

A few options of projectile weapons, a couple of lasers, some missile options, thats enough I reckon.

 

Bringing in some of that cool stuff above, such as launching a special weapon from a cargo bay could be mission oriented and not stock standard options.  That would be very nice 🙂

 

Anyway just my thoughts....


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fluffyfreak
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I like and agree with a lot of the options but it's not that we're lacking ideas around here it's that we're lacking the time to implement them.

 

You can help us to actually implement these things by breaking down the what we'd need, like how 3d models need to be put together, working out how fast things should go (missiles & projectiles), creating new textures, audio - we really lack good audio for a lot of things.

 

You can find a lot of this stuff on the net on free game asset sites but it takes a long time to gather together and alter (where necessary) the assets to get them into a Pioneer friendly format.

 

I've tried working on Turrets a couple of times and a lot of it is just back and forth with artists etc (Yes Noz' I do need to finish that off!) and then hacking through masses of code that wasn't written with it in mind.

 

Of course you can also script a lot of stuff, that's mostly done in Lua so that it's easier for people to contribute too.

For example you could help improve the current pirates attacking stuff - take a look at the Scout+ mod that Walterar has been working on and see if you can bring some stuff back into Pioneer itself.

 

Perhaps you could modify the communications screen to do some of the hacking stuff too - hack into your target and make them jettison all of their cargo and fuel?

 

So yes good ideas, but we've had them several times on this forum, it's implementation that's difficult and that you (and anyone else!) can help us out with.

 

Andy


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fluffyfreak
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Sorry I just re-read what I posted and it comes across as very negative 🙁

 

I do that sometimes and I apologise.

 

These are good ideas, and I like seeing them ventured (and I'm sure the other developers do to), all I mean by my response is that we could really do with some help to actually get them implemented.

 

Most of what I work on when coding (it may be different for other coders) is getting together all of the data that I'll need, designing logical models and trying to do the maths to work things out. Then comes the coding where I iterate an idea over and over until I've figured out how to make it work, then I implement it, then I usually re-implement it again to make it work well 😉

 

A lot of time though is taken up just working out what it is that needs doing in the first place, that gathering stage of assets and discussing things takes ages. Skipping that by having a good idea of what is desired, what assets are available to use... that can save days if not weeks of time and effort.

 

Even if you can't contribute via coding / modelling or making audio you can go into greater depth with ideas, discuss where resources can be found etc.

 

All of that stuff really helps.

 

Also, to get better visibility bring up stuff like this over on the developers forum.

I know that there are several people over there who are interested in the combat stuff.

 

Andy


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Vuzz
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Sorry I just re-read what I posted and it comes across as very negative  🙁

 

 

Ha, I see i'm not alone to have some times-blues ^^.


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ollobrain
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so another question is how does one network the game to would be development contributors, any idea where one could post to attract eyeballs to the game and hopefully get an interested party in contributing to the weapons code, let me try reddit where i have a presense.


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DraQ
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It sounds a lot like what Elite:Dangerous is coming out with.  Hard to differentiate though when both games are kinda doing the same stuff.

True, it's also hard to not come up with the similar ideas if they simply make sense - for example by being seemingly feasible ideas for weaponry, or by accounting for the fact that zapping each other with undodgeable hitscan lasers just doesn't make for terribly exciting combat.
 

What worries me with Elite:Dangerous and hopefully doesn't happen with Pioneer is over complication.  In my opinion (and its just an opinion) is that too many options spoils the actual gaming experience.  Do you want to F about trying different guns in different combinations to see what is actually best?  Do you want to spend your gaming experience hunting for that extra 1%?  Or do you just want to slap some guns on your ship and blow some shit up?

Actually I vehemently disagree with that. If I wanted to just blow shit up I wouldn't be playing a game where I have to worry about my delta-v budget.
Pioneer, at least according to my impressions, isn't meant to be the game about blowing shit up. It's meant to be a game to fill the niche between space shooters that have sci-fi only in name, because they don't concern themselves with making sense, and rigorous space simulations where you get to put a realistic space shuttle in orbit or dock with a space station and little beyond that, just as proper sci-fi fits the niche between documentary and full on space themed fantasy.

Second, even relatively simplistic and honest about it games about blowing shit up are more fun when they still have some layer of complexity for player to mess around with. Would original Doom be any better if it only had 1 weapon, one monster type to kill with it and open, featureless arenas for levels? Would Tyrian (a vertical scrolling shmup, for those who don't know it) be more fun if you couldn't customize your ship with metric crapload of different weaponry?
 

I played alot of games Like Dune 2 and Command & Conquer and the simplicity: build a bunch of tank then wreak some f-ing havoc worked well for me.

Sorry, but I find "build a blob and steamroll enemy base" the unappealing aspect of RTS games. It's where they diverge from this scheme they actually become interesting.
 

Having to balance air, sea and land forces is too realistic and not really what I play games for.

So what do you play games for? Clicking button repeatedly, then watching explosions? Because I don't really think you need open source indie projects for that - mainstream games already cater to such needs with much superior graphical fidelity.
 

Bringing in some of that cool stuff above, such as launching a special weapon from a cargo bay could be mission oriented and not stock standard options.

Well, lances and bombs are generally useless against anything that can just move out of the way, so I'd imagine them being mission oriented.
Drones could also be shove-out weapons, but useful for more generic combat situations as well.
You could have non-combat drones of all sorts as well.
 

I like and agree with a lot of the options but it's not that we're lacking ideas around here it's that we're lacking the time to implement them.

Well one of my main reasons for starting this thread was probing the community (and hopefully catching some of the active devs along with it) for what are those ideas. Because while I'm certain that everyone has some, I don't see them being talked about and my impression is that open source projects like that often get sidetracked with minor or optional aspects as long as it allows postponing actual decisions - even about far more important stuff.
 

You can help us to actually implement these things by breaking down the what we'd need, like how 3d models need to be put together, working out how fast things should go (missiles & projectiles), creating new textures, audio - we really lack good audio for a lot of things.

Ok, as far as 3D models go, I think that Frontier's approach is the sanest one - main ship model + attachments.

I picture ship models having some places for weapon models to fit, corresponding with ship's hardpoints.
Weapon models themselves would be built out of 1 (fixed), 2 (directional gimballed with limited coverage, for example frontal/rear turret), or 3 (dorsal/ventral/lateral turret covering an entire hemisphere) parts that could move relative to one another and may be animated themselves.

For fixed weapons that part would be simply the gun itself rigidly attached to the ship. For frontal/rear turret you'd have base and gun moving in two planes, but always oriented the same side 'up'.
For side turrets the aforementioned model would look weird, so they would be composed of base (stationary), turret body (rotating in horizontal plane respective to the base) and gun (able to be raised to no more than 90 degrees relative to the turret).

Edit:
Actually, now that I think of it I'd scratch the second type of turret as separate weapon type. It should be featured as special sort of hardpoint (or multiple hardpoints on their own sub-hull) - like in frontier (but supporting all the weapons) - but have limited tracking speed. This would save us excessive weapon types proliferation and make mounting auto tracking turrets on lateral turret hardpoints not superfluous as it would allow for enhanced tracking performance (large turret would rotate to keep the target in its frontal FoV, while the turreted weapon mounted on it would track the rapidly moving target in its cone of fire).

I'm also toying with concept of having internal laser emitter equipment piece (determining power) and hardpoint mounted optics determining range and tracking ability.
Optics could also double as telescopes providing zoom function, which would work without laser source as well.

I think it would also be a neat idea to abandon separate gun and missile hardpoints, and instead having generic hardpoints capable of mounting both guns and missiles or launchers for one or more missiles each (possibly disposable), as well as possibly additional equipment such as directional defences or sensors - more customization that way and customization is fun.

As for velocities - how fast do projectiles go in current version? Because it seems about right for dogfighting. In general for unpowered munitions the best idea seems to be taking realistic values and tweaking if necessary, missiles should have their own AI and thrusters and try to either impact the target (no braking!) or get close enough to harm it with explosion. Dumb rockets should simply accelerate as long as they have delta-v.

I might help with ideas, maybe even some code and concept art.

As for sound, other than interior sounds and chatter I don't think it should be high priority for a spacesim. 😉
 

I've tried working on Turrets a couple of times and a lot of it is just back and forth with artists etc (Yes Noz' I do need to finish that off!) and then hacking through masses of code that wasn't written with it in mind.

Wouldn't just one generic fixed gun model (cut out from Sinonatrix, for example) and base integrated with vaguely spherical immobile "turret" (with other 1-2 parts having no vertices) for both kinds of turrets work as decent enough looking placeholders having all the functionality necessary to implement beautiful unique animated models later on with no nasty surprises?

Hacking, I think, could benefit from some more discussion - my concept of it is very rough and basic ATM.
 

Sorry I just re-read what I posted and it comes across as very negative 🙁
 
I do that sometimes and I apologise.

No need to - I'm a regular on RPGCodex. 😀

Still, I do need to test the waters, so to speak, before doing anything constructive - be it taking the subject to dev forum/github, or trying to hack at the code myself.


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pebblegarden
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While I really enjoy Pioneer, the combat has never really worked for me. The projectiles are much too slow and it's very difficult to score a hit. I always die, so I almost never take any of the dangerous courier/taxi/hit missions.

 

I sorely miss the beam weapons of Frontier/First Encounters. Beam fights were tricky, but if you aimed at the target and swished your aimpoint around, every once in a while you'd score a devastating hit. Missiles were kind of meh, as you could only fit a few on your ship and they weren't all that reliable. (Oh, and outfitting a Panther freighter with top and bottom turrets was insanely fun. I'd load up on shield generators and fly into dangerous systems and just beat on the pirates, laughing inside my (mostly) impregnable ship.)

 

Anyway, to my main point. I've been playing the quirky but ambitious game Rodina and the combat is really fun in a way that Pioneer's is not. The mechanics are really simple. It has:

  1. missiles that really work! And you can load a bunch of them, and
  2. a gatling gun with high-velocity rounds that scatter in a cone.

I think this is a winning combination, as the cloud of gatling rounds makes scoring hits much easier, but it's also possible to jink and dodge a lot of them if you're a good pilot. Here's a sample of what I'm talking about:

 

 

So my recommendation is to have three basic weapon types: missiles, gatling guns with dispersing rounds, and beam weapons. And since they're already implemented, pulse weapons, which I will probably never use.


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fluffyfreak
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I'll try to respond to this tomorrow, worth nothing that yesterday I got a PR up for the Turrets.

Just a static graphical one, with auto-aiming to come later.

 

There is already code to support adding gun meshes to hardpoints/tags, it what I've built atop of for the turrets, it's just never been supported or used because we don't have a variety of gun models.

 

If you take a look at some of the existing models and see where the gun tags are you can work out how odd they might look having an additional mesh stuck onto them. In many cases there isn't supposed to be an externally visible weapon, only the barrel protrudes if anything.


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Cosm1cGam3r
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I would really want to see option to switch into beam type weapons. I know all that fuss about lasers unrealistic in space etc. but it was main fun in F:E2 to just hit stuff with laser.

That canons in Pioneer are silly. They are called cannon but uses same naming as lasers in F:E2 also they dont need ammo....

 

So I think that adding optional thing to switch game into lasers/beam weapons would be fun to use for many people so what is the problem for just simple option?

 

 

As for combat. I played for some time several versions of Pioneer and I never meat any pirates or anybody that would be aggressive towards me. Even with package missions that stated that there can be danger. I never meet any danger. Only combat was from police after me attacking port. So huge boring stuff happens in Pioneed.


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DraQ
 DraQ
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While I really enjoy Pioneer, the combat has never really worked for me. The projectiles are much too slow and it's very difficult to score a hit. I always die

Isn't that a bit self contradictory?
If it's so difficult to score a hit, why do enemies do?
 

I sorely miss the beam weapons of Frontier/First Encounters. Beam fights were tricky, but if you aimed at the target and swished your aimpoint around, every once in a while you'd score a devastating hit. Missiles were kind of meh, as you could only fit a few on your ship and they weren't all that reliable. (Oh, and outfitting a Panther freighter with top and bottom turrets was insanely fun. I'd load up on shield generators and fly into dangerous systems and just beat on the pirates, laughing inside my (mostly) impregnable ship.)

I don't. In both games I switched back to pulse lasers rather quickly (5MW pulse or even 30MW mining) because they provided much more oomph per ton, don't need to be kept on target to provide optimal damage output and I'm pretty good shoot.
 

I think this is a winning combination, as the cloud of gatling rounds makes scoring hits much easier, but it's also possible to jink and dodge a lot of them if you're a good pilot.

(...)

So my recommendation is to have three basic weapon types: missiles, gatling guns with dispersing rounds, and beam weapons.

Why only three? The more the merrier, as long as they fit and work.

And since they're already implemented, pulse weapons, which I will probably never use.

 I'd repurpose them as autocannons (gatling or otherwise) firing tracers.
 

If you take a look at some of the existing models and see where the gun tags are you can work out how odd they might look having an additional mesh stuck onto them. In many cases there isn't supposed to be an externally visible weapon, only the barrel protrudes if anything.

 You could always have a visible port and most of the model inside.
 

I would really want to see option to switch into beam type weapons. I know all that fuss about lasers unrealistic in space etc. but it was main fun in F:E2 to just hit stuff with laser.

It's not like laser is unrealistic (it only is if it's visible without something to scatter the beam), but that it's boring.
In FE2 and FFE it helped that the AI was imperfect enough to miss, but with AI that aims properly it would basically boil down to who has bigger gun and more shields.
You might as well have autopilot do everything and let the game play itself.

Beam weapons might be a nice addition, but they need serious nerf. First they should be bulky and overheat. Second, they should have limited damage. Third, there should be means to mitigate or avoid that damage, for example, by forcing them to be kept on the same spot to actually be worth it.
 

That canons in Pioneer are silly. They are called cannon but uses same naming as lasers in F:E2 also they dont need ammo....

That's what I would like to see fixed - by making them proper autocannons.
 

As for combat. I played for some time several versions of Pioneer and I never meat any pirates or anybody that would be aggressive towards me. Even with package missions that stated that there can be danger. I never meet any danger. Only combat was from police after me attacking port. So huge boring stuff happens in Pioneed.

Combat in high-risk missions has been frequent for quite a few missions. It's still a bit boring because there are no diverse weapons, no subsystem damage and it occurs in deep space far from anything interesting.


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Cosm1cGam3r
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Yes autopilot is problem in combat. It is maybe to perfect in tracking objects.

I somehow didnt have to much opportunity to fight ( 0 to be precise) so I could not see how autopiloting on enemy would look like. But the simplest solution would be to make autopilot not allowed to be enabled on ships. Giving some information on screen that autopilot cannot track it and that is all it is needed to disable perfect aim with laser.

 

As fol laser it worked for F:E2 so all I asked is only OPTION in menu to enable lasers instead of canons I dont try to change pioneer mechanics. I just would love to see alternative option for all fans of F:E2

Nobody will be forced to use lasers but now everybody is forced to use canons. And i cannot take any fun from firing them. It would be perfect solution if there would be option for lasers and canons. Like ED lol but that may be to much to do. That is why I only ask for optional thing.

 

Or if it is so bad for programmers who decide how this game look like and they will not stand to make inside options optional switch for weapon mechanics change then at least someone please make  laser mod :/

 

I really don't want to discuss any laser problems related stuff I just would really love to use lasers in Pioneer like in F:E2 because I love that mechanics.


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fluffyfreak
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It's not just an option, the way that the lasers work is different. It can be done but it's not as simple as turning it on or off.

The code that would do the lasers is not there so it would need a way of rendering them, collision testing, AI rewriting, and doing that without breaking the existing code - as well as the option in the UI and translation.


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DraQ
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Yes autopilot is problem in combat.

You misunderstood me.

The problem isn't autopilot. The problem is that that once you eliminate possibility of dodging, combat reduces to both ships facing each other and happily zapping away until one of them explodes.

I'd rather have gameplay that involves, you know, gameplay.


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Cosm1cGam3r
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It's not just an option, the way that the lasers work is different. It can be done but it's not as simple as turning it on or off.

The code that would do the lasers is not there so it would need a way of rendering them, collision testing, AI rewriting, and doing that without breaking the existing code - as well as the option in the UI and translation.

Maybe in future there will be at least some mod so combat would be fun for everybody. For me that canons are just annoying and useless. Absolutely no fun just frustration.


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zzz
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For dogfighting I also suggest multiple high acceleratd projectiles instead of this big and slow laser? shots/bolts like ingame.

It's more effective in reality (velocity of a projectile is more important than its mass) and it would be more effective in Pioneer.

With a very little spread of your cannon barrels the weapon would behave like a high frequent firing shotgun. 

You can shoot thousands of these things and a few would hit in any case. 

The closer you get to the target the more will hit.

And you don't have to aim with pinpoint accuracy which you have to do now and miss anyway.

 

If there is a problem in programming that, make at least the current laser bolts hit with a little radius around the enemy ship.

Of course you have to alter the ai a bit, because if you hit easier, it also can and you are dead again.

 

In Pioneer I never hit a moving target that's smaller than...

better said I never hit a moving target. 😀   

 

P.S. I wrote the word "hit" 6 times in a post with 172 words. I'm ashamed of myself.

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Potsmoke66
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hmm... i haven't read all what's posted here, but my personal decision is "keep it simple", that's all.

 

to explain a little more, one was commenting quite a while ago one of my older pioneer clips on YT and wondered about the "cool space battle".

 

though to get a comment like this i feel we don't need all this sophisticated stuff.

 

only a beatable AI (and not one which is only to beat with a co-pilot) and a laser-gun, i even woudn't need missiles.

 

to me this is the funpart in the game and not to have advanced weapon systems of whatsoeverkind.


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Marcel
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Yeah! I've got a 2mw rapid-fire cannon with a cooling booster and 3 shield generators and I can take on anything!


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DraQ
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The main problem with keeping it simple is that stuff is really fun only when it isn't repetitive.

Once it gets repetitive, it gets boring.

 

Pioneer runs high risk of repetitiveness because it's mostly procedural and for the same reason you can't really help it by designing cool, handmade encounters and scenarios (you can, but they too will either start repeating or be one-shot occurrences antithetical to the nature of open, procedural game).

 

The best bet for salvaging it is increasing space of possible scenarios and you do it by making mechanics complex - many diverse weapon systems, subsystem damage, diverse ship configurations, preferably multi-ship encounters (because more ships, preferably on both sides = more chaos) and hostile encounter scenarios skewed towards interesting places (near planetary bodies, stations, large ships, wreckage and debris fields, ring systems, atmospheres) with player being given logical reasons to go there and enemies having logical reasons to be there and attack.

 

Usual deep space intercepts should be minority of all encounters.

 

Essentially, the more different things can happen in combat, the better, less boring and potentially more memorable encounters we will get.

 

Do note, that complex doesn't have to mean overwhelming or counterintuitive.

At the beginning you won't *afford* multiple diverse, or high end weapon systems, and you won't have enough room for them anyway and afterwards you'll probably come up with a setup that suits your playstyle and that you'll stick with.

 

@zzz

The main problem here is that Pioneer's gameplay is a balancing act. Apart from realism, you need to factor in other things - a combat where whomever shoots first blows the enemy to pieces with undodgeable high velocity KEW isn't going to be much fun. The projectiles could be a bit faster, but I remember trying to assassinate a Deneb in one of the much earlier builds and it basically amounted to it turreting around and zapping me to pieces at long distance without any chance to dodge.

Wasn't very fun.

 

One more thing - I'd really love some ammo management. First, it would be realistic with kinetics, second, it would add another variable to consider (how much ammo do you carry for each of weapons you have installed and how much total?), third, it would help alleviate spammy nature of combat - if combatants have to conserve ammo, shots will be fired only when they are worth it, resulting in more manageable approach (because you won't be flying upstream of massive rain of projectiles, closer range combats and less frustration due to endless missing. Overall it should be more fun, despite seemingly being more hardcore.

 

Mechanically it could be similar to fuel management - each projectile based weapon having internal magazine that can be refilled (and should do so automatically) with ammo carried in cargo bay. Refill should cause weapon-dependent delay.

 

OTOH I'd allow more numerous missiles, because the solution copied from original Frontier wasn't very good to begin with. Overall I'd divide missiles into three categories:

1. Heavy munitions carried in and launched from cargo bay (let's call them torpedos) - basically current missiles (minus pylons and crappy AI) released at near zero velocity and pursuing the target, you can carry as many as you can fit in cargo bay.

2. Missile launchers - potentially multi-tube "guns" going in weapon slots, launching homing missiles at considerable starting velocity, reload from ammo packs carried in cargo bay after all tubes are emptied (lengthy reloads).

3. Rocket launchers - same as above, but unguided and capable of firing in volleys with a bit of spread (for shotgun effect), rockets accelerate as long as they have fuel, launchers generally have more tubes.


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Potsmoke66
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opinions are quite different, i remember this from the very start of the project.

once i would have said, "which direction you (we) like to go?"

personally i feel, games with all that advanced weapon systems exist far enough, examples have been posted here.

but i don't like to dictate.

 

hmm... repetiveness, a racing game is as repetive as a game can only be, nonetheless it thrills me each time i play one, i start to sweat at my steering wheel and that's what i like.

 

would any "driving aid" make the game better?

 

 

@marcel

and you win? ok, i will have to download me a recent release before i can judge.

but i never had a chance to stand them since a while, either i'm such a lousy pilot...

ok, shields, yeah i guess hmmm.... wait... i guess shields won't work on a 10t capacity fighterplane...

i mean the direction i would have liked to go with pioneer is complete different to what we have now.


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Vuzz
 Vuzz
(@vuzz)
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i mean the direction i would have liked to go with pioneer is complete different to what we have now.

 

 

one advice :   try the last version of Genesia 

 

Download link dircetly on my signature ^^


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Potsmoke66
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@vuzz, i will answer to this under a different topic.

 

neither i have a lot words to tell about "where combat has gone".

imho (but you know, opinions are like...) it has and will be gone with more advanced weapons.

if you like to counter repetivity, then i have one hint, don't think to much about weapons, this will change as much as the type of tires i mount to a racing car,

not more and not less.

what counteracts to repetivity in a racing game (sorry for this lame comparison) are the tracks. that in example a "Barber Motorsports Park" is n-times more fascinating as a "Hockenheim Ring".

if one is working hard here to counteract to repetivity then it's walterar and his "adventures", this is what the track means for a racing game.

it's what obstacles are for a golf course and the layout in general, not to fall into this "dogleg right - dogleg left" scheme, the clubs (weapons) i use, are really secondary.

 

but i'm sorry this isn't the topic here, thus i will stop to comment right now, before i make everybody angry (again).


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zzz
 zzz
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It doesn't matter how you look at it combat isn't fun or challenging.

It is beyond my imagination how players here are able to defeat an enemy with near equal weaponry. No way!

The AI hits you because it has autopilot and you don't.

So make weapons which you can hit easier or dumb the AI accuracy down or both.

 

No killing at first shot you still need many hits to destroy your target.

And dodging projectiles reminds me of Galaga:). No serious there is no need for that. I don't have premium beta but what I see in videos, none of the weapons in Elite:Dangerous is dodgeable and it seems everybody have lots of fun.

For Pioneer I think it's more important to make a believable world and set the game in it rather than make a game and build a world around it.

 

Back to dogfighting:

A big problem with the AI is that it shots you from every angle.

If you try to get behind him it just turns and fires at you.

So you end up accelerating, decelerating towards the enemy all the time and this finally ends in jousting. 

Has anybody found a thrilling solution yet having dogfights without jousting and without WW2 style, or is this it?

 

There's another approach of combat with only automated long range weapons(laser beams,drones,missiles...), but for sure nobody would like that.

 

And...Hud improvement: The distance readings to the enemy ship should be made bigger and clearer.

Because if it turns dark blue when the target comes nearer, you can hardly read it (with space as background).

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Potsmoke66
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hmm... ermpf... i didn't liked to comment here further i said, but you tickled me.

 

jousting, ha, ha, s2oDan very early argued about that, i guess it is this way, actually yes the AI didn't leaves you much chances, pointing always towards you.

besides interesting to hear that it didn't changed this jousting behave, well i would say it's what i expected.

 

making the AI less hard, right attempt i guess, it was far less hard until alpha9 i guess, of course jousting was the type of fight nonetheless.

it's not only that they have a "autopilot", you could "buy" yourself one to (crewmember), but this is no solution to me.

it's also that somehow drag has been removed from control, check the behave if you control the ship with the mouse, it's like pointing with a crosshair on the screen, no drag, no inertia, i never liked that.

 

even in space a mass is a mass and it needs something to compensate it's acceleration (even 0), this is what is left of inertia.

the "flipping", this behave that the AI always points on you is maybe even my fault, i used "engines off" to flip the ship, which gave me a little advantage, while the old AI used to make turns with "engines on" and drawed a wide parabellum. in fact for a external viewer it would look like my ship is almost fixed in position and works like a turret, while the AI has been flying around it like a gone-wild bee.

 

but nonetheless it was possible to match the speed and course of a ship, to hang on his tail and blast him off.

actually i know one can forget all this and like you stated i even have no idea how to beat them, pointing always towards me, especially if both have the same armament.

 

but before you could mess with a ship holding a plasma accelerator, even with a 1MW gun, it was just a question of patience, one could say.

 

i'm not sure if it's the behave of the AI only, it's the lack of inertia, something has changed to "lateral acceleration" and i'm not sure if this is realistic.

 

actually i revived "alpha8" i will open a topic soon, the behave of the ships is completely different, not only for the AI.

as example, whatever i do, how high i set lateral acceleration ever, i never get this behave that the ship moves like a crosshair on the screen, inertia is always there to put a drag on it.

 

it has stupid little missions, not much to do, but nonetheless "alpha8" i PLAY, anything later frustrates me.

jump to any system, depending on lawlessness a handful of pirates awaits you, that's enough for me, repetive yes, still it's action.

actually i have to refine this behave a bit, often they await you and you get killed before you "rematerialize" from hyperspace completely,

means you have no control over the ship yet, but they already fire at you - bang, you're ashes.

 

but i like to start my career with the weakest ship possible, no shields and a lousy weapon, it should be possible in this way.

starting the game and cheating myself money to buy a larger ship, shields or a better weapon, isn't playing the game to me. that's "alpha testing" but not playing.

 

playing is to start a career, you are "Jameson" the absolute mr. nobody, the "space rookie".

you inherited a ship fom whoever own $100 cash and that's it.

 

anything we add to this is the "cherry on the pie".

 

what i can imagine well has nothing to do with fighting or weapons.

i can easy imagine to start with a "shuttle" no weapon mountings, no hyperdrive, no autopilot.

first learn the mechanics of manual spaceflight, earn some money with trading goods interplanetary, maybe fulfill some easy reconaissance (scout) missions, or get a job as interplanetary "taxi driver", maybe to challange "fortuna" with mining, why not?

if one likes then to be a "trader", a "fighter", a "miner", a "scout" or even a "explorer", it should be his opinion.

if and how this will affect the game itself, this is written on a different sheet of paper.

 

and i'm sorry, yes repetiveness is unfortunately a part of all that.

i mean real life is repetive to, you have a job and it's often not very pleasing, often very repetive.

 

and if that "goddamn" autopilot fails to dock or land, well "shit happens".

if the guided missiles won't hit, "shit happens".

and if i can't interrupt a engaged hyperspace, or only with the cost of being thrown into "delta sector" (or losing the drive as a absolute minimum), "shit happens".

if i turn to ashes because i idiot forgot to mount a atmospheric shielding, "shit happens".

if i hang in the spacestation dock, because i forgot to refuel, "shit happens".

if the starport simply didn't exists in a certain system, "shit happens" (write a note, a blacklist, a log, but write it yourself. experienced "frontier" players know they need a lot of handwritten notes, i still have "tons" of them lurking around somewhere).

if i have to search the starport myself, "cool challange".

if my ship has so little capacity that i don't know on which equipment i will have to forgo for a specific task, "cool challenge"

(means: "i would need a hyperspace cloud analyzer, but to fit it i must remove something else").

if a ship gives me a lot of cargo space but isn't suitable for fighting, "cool challenge".

if i can't lift off because i'm overloaded, "shit happens" or "cool challenge"

(means a ship can prob. theoretically hold 500t, but you can't lift off with 500t at 1G gravity).

 

"act wisely, know the capabilties of your ship"

 

the imperfection will counteract well to repetiveness.

 

it's a game and you can reload, what matters?

 

and yes WW2 type of dogfight, why not?

truely the behave of the AI with it's steady pointing towards you is realistic, but dammit no human has such a precision.

just imagine yourself under conditions of free fall, aha, yes you "fall" in a certain general direction, imagine it as a tunnel if that helps you,

you can rotate the ship along all axes without affecting this general direction much (a matter of acceleration, on low levels you affect your direction, accelerated to 10km/sec you won't affect much to that with your lateral thrust, a reason why i tend to accel to 10km/sec in good old frontier to get best results in fighting), that's what the AI does actually, still there IS (should be) some inertia to the ship, if i can compensate this inertia by 100% something is tricked, something isn't realistic then.

and this i feel when i move the ship with the mouse, it's like pointing with a crosshair, no inertia to feel, is that realistic? i don't know.

it feels a bit like playing "Missile Command" with a mouse.

but like i said the precision is inhuman and further i repeat myself, i'm not sure if that what has changed to lateral acceleration is realistic.

in my humble opinion, someone blew out the life of the game, i only asked myself often "why?", why this, why change something which was good?

dammit yes, i often asked myself if the goal was to destroy PIONEER?

 

no, i don't like to hear now complicated expressions which should explain the mechanics of spaceflight, here are not many users who will understand this and one could tell us the blue from the sky.

but what we can is to imagine how a stone of a certain mass acts under conditions of free fall, for this we don't need a expression, just imagination.

 

and dammit if i'm in doubt i will ask, i don't know, dr. mitchell perhaps (or whosoever) at least someone who can explain this without mathematical expressions, or in a way a idiot like me can understand it.

 

someone who can visualize it!

 

 

BUT I BETTER STOP NOW TO "RIDE THE BLUE SKIES" (before everybody gets angry).

 


 

(looks better now)

 

what i liked to say finally to your comment "zzz"

i didn't need a HUD to beat a enemy in alpha8...

neither this weird directional crosshair, none of it, i just match speed and direction and "here we go".

of course the jousting isn't to avoid most time (except the ship is far "slower", weaker in thrust, then i can hang on it's tail)

but like i said i assume it's realistic, i assume - i'm not sure.


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