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Thoughts on Slow Yaw?


ExpandingMan
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Hello all.  As many of you probably know, Elite Dangerous features a yaw rate which is much much less than both the pitch and roll rates.  Apparently, in ED this is a universal feature of the flight model and not just a peculiarity of particular ships.  As many new people are coming into Elite with the standard beta, many of these people (myself included) have been complaining on the Elite forums.  Over there, most of the posters fanatically defend FD's choices about the flight model.

 

People are always so much more amicable on this site than in game forums, so I was curious how does everybody feel about the slow yaw rate?  Is it just something that Elite devotees are fanatical about, and these people are also being seen in other (particularly SC's) forums, or perhaps I'm not in the minority, and most people hate this feature as much as I do?

 

As for my own thoughts on this, I try to keep an open mind, but I just can't see a good enough reason for it (and I'm not necessarily saying that something else shouldn't be done to take the place of it).  The two things that the defenders of the slow yaw say over and over again are that it "prevents turretting" and is "more fun".  The latter is completely subjective.  To me, it is most definitely not more fun.  Also, I really can't understand why turreting+rolling is SO much better than just turreting that it can possibly be worth the awkward feel of the very slow yaw rate.  Believe me, in ED the roll rate is VERY fast so it's very hard for me to imagine the actual impact on peoples capabilities being that significant.  

 

Sometimes people say that without the slow yaw, playing a space sim requires "no skill".  This is of course absurd, and not really worthy of further comment, other than to say I challenge any one of those people to a game of Unreal Tournament and see how well they do, since it requires "no skill". 

 

I think I can show what I think about the slow yaw with an analogy.  Suppose I were to make a first-person-shooter in which the look up/down rate was much much slower than the look left/right rate.  It would encourage jumping.  It would provide some additional ways to evade your enemies.  It would definitely reduce whatever "turreting" there is in the FPS.  Being so jumpy might, on occasion, for some people be "more fun" but most people would hate it, and find it a completely unacceptable feature, regardless of what problems some people think it may solve.  I've been shocked to find out that most people don't feel exactly the same way about the slow yaw rate.

 

Ultimately, I'm actually very ok with this as a feature in ED.  It's an oddity, and that's ok, different games should feel different.  What absolutely chills my soul, however, is the idea that this will become a universal feature of every one of the new wave of space sims.  A lot of people have been asking CIG for this feature in Star Citizen.  That would make me very upset.  It's annoying, silly, and it's just one more thing that makes it that much harder to feel a little bit like you're flying a spaceship.

 

My solution, that I think would keep everybody happy is to make different ships have different capabilities.  Some could have great yaw, some great pitch, some may be mediocre at both.  That way, different ships would actually feel quite different (so we get SOMETHING out of the bad turning), we'd all get what we'd want, and everybody would be happy, right?

 


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lightgemini
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I havent played ED and dont have a first hand experience of how this slow yaw feels, but the only reasonable reason for it is G force. Human body tolerate way less  horizontal Gร‚ยดs than vertical so it makes sense to be able to pull the stick harder goig up than to the sides. That would be a limit in human "performance" not a limit on the ship itself, it would be way more funny for the game to let you suffer  damage to  your internal organs for turning around too fast.

 

As for it being a solution for this "turreting" thingy (first time I hear that), its totally  the designers fault in my opinion. By droping more realistic newtonian physics they created a first person shooter not a sim, and because theres barely any cover in space then this is what you get, an Unreal / quake game with 100% Line of sight and no place to hide. Getting slow yaw to make combat less dumb is to create artificial impediments to create fake need of tactics, when the real thing would vastly give you lot more tactics and thinking. Im certainly not impressed at all with the kind of combat gameplay I see in videos, and im quite against it.


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curlsworth
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I just grabbed the beta last night. The yaw is a bit off putting at first, but I think I like it. 

 

In a way it is a huge throwback to the old space sims like the original X-Wing. The limitations of your ship are much more apparent than many other games. Your fighter, while advanced for sure, has nothing on the ships from.. say the X universe. When you're zipping around trying to get a bead on the other fighters, the stress of those turns.. you can almost feel it. 

 

Also when turning becomes more dependent on your ability to manage speed, roll, and yaw on the fly, it does become a more complex of a skill. That isn't to say there isn't any skill the other way, it just requires more. Elite Dangerous is seems to be one of the most demanding and simulator-y space sims I've ever encountered.

 

All that being said, I'm not saying I think it's a superior way to do space combat. But I do think you should really give it some time before you write it off. 


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Pyros
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Well, I'll start with a little caveat - I'm a ED backer (and also a SC supporter)

 

Question is that the yaw/turreting is in fact a FPS based behaviour of maneuvering over the horizontal plane. That makes very very familiar to many players, specifically to keyboard+mouse combo.  

 

ED went in the way of nerfing yaw to dramatic levels (they almost removed it altogether). It was partly due to "tradition" but mostly the outcome of their internal testing: the strong roll led to a better dogfight with ED physics engine and ship momentum in 6doF. 

 

There is nothing wrong in having different FM, that also cater for different tastes. Personally I don't have issue with space games that don't have any yaw at all (like the original Elite) or with having a strong yaw. 

 

Finally, I don't think that ED will necessarily set a trend there, although it works very well in their flight model - which, btw is "delicious". I concur with curlsworth here ๐Ÿ™‚


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ExpandingMan
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After gradually getting slightly more comfortable with the ED flight model (not that my opinion of it has necessarily changed), I then made the mistake of going back and playing IWar2 a little bit.  10 minutes of that is enough to make ED seem horribly wrong again.

 

I've been somewhat pleased to see more people on the Elite forums continuing to complain about some aspects of the flight model (some are starting to realize how badly FD screwed up FAOff, a bigger issue than the yaw, although I have slightly more sympathy for why FD did it).

 

I think what it comes down to is that some people would like to play a space sim, and some people would like WWII in space (not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that, but when I expect a space sim and find this, I become disappointed).  My understanding of physics gives me strongly ingrained expectations for certain aspects of the flight model (universally slow yaw not being the strongest of these, after all), so features which seem enjoyable to some are "broken" to me and others.  Other genres which have been being made continuously for the past 20 years have more standardized expectations.

 

At the end of the day, IWar feels like a spaceship, ED certainly does not.  It's fun, I'll definitely be spending a lot of time playing it, but it seems like such a shame that the game that has the entire milky way galaxy feels like flying a P-51.  I'm hoping CIG will think of IWar2 as there starting point, if they can improve upon the flight mechanics of that game, I'll be playing a lot more of that than Elite.  


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trumpet
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I had major issues with it too. I got a Logitech joystick though & can fly ok now.


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ExpandingMan
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I've been bouncing back and forth between mouse and X52.  I've been favoring the mouse, but surprisingly I don't think either method is all that much better than the other.  They are good at different things.  It is much easier to be steady with the joystick, but if you need to change directions rapidly the mouse is better.  Of course, you have to switch the mouse to pitch/yaw.  The roll is so fast doing it with keys is fine.  I have my joystick on ptich/yaw as well, have done that ever since X-Wing came out.


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curlsworth
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I'm back after buying an X45 off of ebay. $48. It's been four days now and I'm in love. Unlike the X52, the rudder is on the throttle and it is way easier for me. Handle twist rudders have always been too much for me to deal with. Flying with it is an absolute dream. Combining it with one of the hats for directional thrust has allowed me to pull off some pretty fantastic manuevers. You can dip, duck, dive and dodge all over the place. Hell, you can reach max speed using any of your directional thrusters.

 

 

So you're right, it feels like you're flying an airplane to a certain extent. But it also doesn't. You can't do half of the things in an airplane that you can with those ships. In the end I'd say it feels like you're flying a spaceship that has been designed with human physical limitations in mind. The human body can only handle so much stress. Spin around too fast and you'd black out.

I wasn't totally sold on the yaw before, but while using the X45 Elite Dangerous I've experienced the best space combat I've ever encountered.


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ExpandingMan
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In the end I'd say it feels like you're flying a spaceship that has been designed with human physical limitations in mind.

 

Sorry, but no, just no.  Seriously play IWar, Elite feels nothing like a spaceship.


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partybuddha
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Personally I am not a fan of the slow yaw. You could argue it's for realism. But you could easily have faster yaw and explain it away by saying there's inertial dampening technology. Besides, what's the rate of acceleration in supercruise? I'm not doing the math but I'm fairly sure it's more than the human body can handle.

 

I'm guessing the devs have thought about this more than I have, so there's probably a good reason I'm not seeing. But it seems to me that faster yaw would make maneuvering more fun and it would add some much needed depth to dog-fighting. Of course if it were up to me I'd have super fast Battlestar Galactica dog-fighting.


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auryx
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You know, I've been reading this thread since the first post, and now I feel it's the right time to admit that I don't know what "yaw" means.... ๐Ÿ˜€

 

I guess it means "turning to left or right" rather than up/down or rolling? That's what I've assumed so haven't googled it!

 

auryx

You look good through a crosshair.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 53 years ago
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You know, I've been reading this thread since the first post, and now I feel it's the right time to admit that I don't know what "yaw" means.... ๐Ÿ˜€

 

I guess it means "turning to left or right" rather than up/down or rolling? That's what I've assumed so haven't googled it!

 

auryx

 

Yes

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/54/Flight_dynamics_with_text.pn g" target="_blank">http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/54/Flight_dynamics_with_text.pn g"/> &imgrefurl= http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yaw_(rotation)&h=1536&w=2048&tbnid=IUEKwAA0j-GlVM:&zoom=1&tbnh=142&tbnw=189&usg=__XbPBZ7tWpL1z1Rl4Rd2KCdxPZN4=&docid=fWsqdWouS2p3WM&ved=0CCUQyjc&ei=T5dJVNStF6LWmgXtp4KAAw


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Pyros
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Personally I am not a fan of the slow yaw. You could argue it's for realism. But you could easily have faster yaw and explain it away by saying there's inertial dampening technology. Besides, what's the rate of acceleration in supercruise? I'm not doing the math but I'm fairly sure it's more than the human body can handle.

 

I'm guessing the devs have thought about this more than I have, so there's probably a good reason I'm not seeing. But it seems to me that faster yaw would make maneuvering more fun and it would add some much needed depth to dog-fighting. Of course if it were up to me I'd have super fast Battlestar Galactica dog-fighting.

 

 

There is no inertial dampening technology in ED universe, nor artificial gravity. The main compromise technology-wise are the hyperspace jumps. The rate of acceleration in supercruise is quite low, as it is a Alcubierre drive (yes, based on currently existing physic theory, although truth be told the technology needed to make it possible - as well as the theoretical advances - it might be magic ;)).

 

Within an Alcubierre drive bubble, the ships is going slow  - space is being compressed and expanded. 

 

The other main compromise is gamewise - the quite low speed limits on real space for the ships.

 

The stated reasons for the low yaw are the ones I posted - in the opinion of the devs (after testing) they found low yaw led to a better gameplay - dogfighting - experience, and a higher need to plan ahead.

 

True or not, it is their game and vision they are implementing.


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