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ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #106 
Quote:
Originally Posted by U.E. Admiral
Quick addition after a cursory skim of Ryleyra's post prior mine: the damage property on the PShock did do something, although the number had to be four times the desired in-game damage. So if you wanted a Pshock to do 50 damage to shields, the damage field had to be set to 200.


I found that the PShock damage value did something, but was unable to collect enough data to determine exactly what it was doing. And I was unable to confirm that the value that WAS appropriate to the PShock, hull damage, was altered in any way by the damage value. It was largely irrelevant, since a PShock would destroy an unshielded ship no matter what the damage was set to.

My best guess was that a PShock did its damage value every 1/100 of a second, and if shields were greater than 0 when the PShock hit, it would immediately stop further tics. So it did damageTorp5 to a shield and damageTorp5*100 to hull. Maybe the damage was divided by 4 against shields, just in case someone tried to edit the value, but it would then have to be rounded back up to 1.

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Maybe probes and beacons don't need damage values, but insofar as projectiles that impact other ships, they should absolutely have damage and speed values that can be adjusted, as well as a duration field, so that something can be slow but long lasting, or fast and short lived, or fast and long lasting, etc. Just for the sake of giving players the tools to make the game fun for themselves.


So you're saying tags should deal damage? Or have that option?

I'm just saying there should NOT be a damage value for ordinance that has NO potential to do any damage. If Thom has implemented the EMP so that it will never do standard damage, no matter what the damage value is set to, that property should not be in artemis.ini. Now, if you think Thom should add a damage value to EMPs which allow you to make it do standard damage that's another story. But note that adding the ability to deal damage to the EMP or Tag is something Thom will have to implement. He can't just add the property to artemis.ini and it will somehow work automatically.

ron77

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Reply with quote  #107 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryleyra
I'm just saying there should NOT be a damage value for ordinance that has NO potential to do any damage. If Thom has implemented the EMP so that it will never do standard damage, no matter what the damage value is set to, that property should not be in artemis.ini. Now, if you think Thom should add a damage value to EMPs which allow you to make it do standard damage that's another story. But note that adding the ability to deal damage to the EMP or Tag is something Thom will have to implement. He can't just add the property to artemis.ini and it will somehow work automatically.

I'm thinking this is where we either disagree, or we're simply at cross-purposes.

I agree that a tag should probably not do damage.
I agree that a beacon shouldn't do damage, even if you ran into it at warp 4 (because the game just doesn't support the tactical depth that requires this kind of thing).
I agree that if a probe did any damage, it would have to be so minimal that it becomes negligible.
I agree that mines, nukes, homings, EMPs, and p-shocks should deal damage, and I feel that the value should be adjustable.

Personally, I can't quite decide whether I prefer a seperate value for shield damage and hull damage, or a single value that is dealt to either shields, or hull, or both one after the other depending on the torpedo. The reason for this is that Artemis stock may require, say, EMPs to be a thing, while other fandom universes do not. For other universes, having the opportunity to change what torpedoes do would be lovely.

That said, this logic also calls for torpedo types to be numbered rather than named, or at least include the option to be renamed; so you can tell the artemis.ini that you want homing torpedoes to be called "awesomerockets" or whatever your fandom calls for. That, at least, would enable maximum compatibility with modding.
ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #108 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ron77

However, U.E. Admiral makes a good point, IMHO. He and I agree that the option to modify is always better than not being able to mod something, because every player group might be different and giving everyone the tools to make themselves happy is probably the easiest way to keep the fans content in the long run.


To paraphrase what I said in my reply to that post, a modification that is ignored by the game is not a modification. If you want EMPs, Tags, Probes and Beacons to deal damage, you will have to ASK Thom for that feature. No artemis.ini property will make any difference, damageTorp4 never worked, and damageTorp5 worked only if you took into account that whatever damage you entered would be reduced in game. I suspect Thom never intended for the PShock to do more than minor damage to shields, just as EMPs were never intended to do damage to hull.

Now if you could separate out hull damage and shield damage and say "PShocks do x damage to hull" and "EMPs do x damage to shields" where x is set by a property in artemis.ini, that's fine. But right now there is no difference between hull damage and shield damage. The torps have to be programmed to act according to special rules to act they way they do. And EMPs don't even do value based damage, they deal damage as a percentage.

Quote:

Giving each tube different values for every torpedo (and I really mean not using a single value more than once) does nothing but confuse players, expecially since they currently have no way of knowing what each tube is programmed to do. And because of this, I feel that setting damage for torpedoes per type is enough "moddability".


Well, there is already plenty of potential for confusion in setting damage by torpedo type, as I noted before. I'm merely trying to suggest an alternative that is easy to implement, and encourages flexibility. It's similar to Mike's idea, except that his idea is even better because it's back to damage by torpedo type, and not tube. But his idea would ONLY define damage for the damage dealing ordinance types.

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True. I'm just not sure the game takes its variables from general torpedo speed rather than a fixed and possibly hard-coded value in the game's code.


The speedTorp3 value worked previously for Mines, so I'm assuming that still holds true. I think the only actual hardcoded speed value is for Skaraan drones. (Assuming the speed of Torgoth drones depends on their range)

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Oh, I very much disagree. Why limit torpedoes to warp 1? Why not allow for modders to make them faster than that, if this suits their needs?


But if you're not going to limit torpedoes to Warp 1, why not make them all travel faster than Warp 1? U.E. Admiral made some good arguments for making some torpedoes slower and some torpedoes faster, but we're talking about a percentage of a base speed. However, if you want different torpedoes to have the potential for different speeds, there's really no need to implement anything but speed per individual torp.

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Take, for example, Mark Bell's airship mod which he created for Armada IV. In an airship mod, not having warp makes a ton of sense. What if someone decided to make a mod with airplanes where warp is simply not an option? Airships (or whatever they may be called in any given mod) could go at once or maybe twice the impuls speed of Artemis scouts (topspeed=0.8 or 1.6), with no warp capability, and fighters could go at maybe 4 times that speed.


While this is logical, and I would simply say that a torpedo would rationally go about 8 times the speed of your "base", or twice the speed of a fighter, in fact in this game you have a BIG problem with speed which is caused by the difficulty modifier. If you have an object which is moving with a speed of 3.6 or 7.2 it can become impossible for the slower ships to catch up with it at 3 or 3.4 times that speed. You'll be basically playing a chasing game where you can't catch up to the enemies until they stop at your stations, and if they finish off the station and move on before you can catch them, you'll lose the game without being able to fire a shot.

If you have Warp or a "boost" drive you can position yourself to intercept the attackers, but even then you will probably have to make the player ships MUCH faster than the enemy ships. Artemis works best when all of the ship speeds are close to each other, and fighters and faster enemies are only slightly faster. Difficulties 10 and 11 throw those speed ratios way out of kilter, and there have been plenty of posts about how drastically that effects the game. In fact, U.E. Admiral's argument basically boils down to the fact that at Difficulty 11 it becomes far too difficult to hit some enemies with torpedoes that only move at Warp 0.5.

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Alternatively, a probe could be controlled from the Science screen to go here, then stop, then go over there. To limit the power of probes they would need a timer which, after it runs out, means the probe just stays at its last known coordinates and transmits no further data. It would be fun to be able to pick up and refuel a probe, expecially with the cargo management system that Thom is working on.


I believe Thom is trying very hard not to duplicate Empty Epsilon. However, I find the idea of plotting a looping "path" for a probe to be a good one. The concept has been suggested before of "waypoints", where Science could indicate points on the map to provide more complex course information for Helm. Maybe a probe could be programmed to follow those waypoints.

Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #109 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ron77
I'm not sure money is needed. Energy could be used as an abstract form of currency, because energy is essentially the most important thing for any starship to function. However, I can see the benefit of "money" when you include having to pay for refuelling at stations.


I guarantee to you that there will be money in the inventory system. To introduce it stealthily, at Armada IV we had characters on video talking about the different currencies used by the Terrans, Skaraans, Kraliens, etc.. Of course the use of money might be mostly for pirates. While a TSN cruiser can just request that a TSN base expend some materials to build some torpedoes, a pirate needs to find a seedy civilian base and pay cash for torpedoes from a smarmy arms dealer. [cool]

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DupeOfURL

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Reply with quote  #110 
Mike - Pirates??   Pay cash?!?   ONLY as a #LastResort!  I'm picturing the gun store scene in "Terminator".  #JustWhatYouSeeOnTheShelfBuddy   
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jediknightjared

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Reply with quote  #111 
This may very well have been suggested before but I thought it would be a cool idea to have a way for the comms officer to communicate with the fighter pilots. Obviously, this would be less useful if they were in the same room but it would make the fighters a little more realistic, and in my opinion more interesting, if the fighters were in another room and the comms officer had to message them to tell them when to launch/return. 

Possibly in addition to this, a way for the fighters to message back so they can confirm that they received the message.
ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #112 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jediknightjared
This may very well have been suggested before but I thought it would be a cool idea to have a way for the comms officer to communicate with the fighter pilots. Obviously, this would be less useful if they were in the same room but it would make the fighters a little more realistic, and in my opinion more interesting, if the fighters were in another room and the comms officer had to message them to tell them when to launch/return. 

Possibly in addition to this, a way for the fighters to message back so they can confirm that they received the message.


Actually, I think this might be a good place for the pre-defined messages Comms has for players. So different messages from the ones already defined, but predefined messages for Comms to direct the fighters (do fighters appear in the Player menu?) and the pilots to respond. (using an interface unique to their console)

BTW, the pilots can select Comms on their console and use the chat feature. They'll have to identify themselves since the Comms messages will all be from "Artemis", but it should work.

Elestan

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Reply with quote  #113 
Forgive me if these have been suggested before, but having just played for a while at a convention, I have several ideas for enhancements:
  • Provide a visual indication at the appropriate station when its power levels have been adjusted by Engineering.  Currently, a good Engineer can make a massive difference in the ship's effectiveness, but it's really hard to notice them doing it.  A numeric indicator might be easiest, but a color or brightness change to indicate over/under charged systems would look cooler.
  • It would be helpful for Engineering if double-tapping on a coolant icon both set the coolant level, and set that system's power level to the appropriate constant-heat point.
  • It would be nice if Engineering had a "Temporary Boost" function, that boosted a system for 5-10 seconds, and then returned it to its previous level.
  • When Sensor power is reduced, I think I would prefer to reduce the sensors' range, rather than making the screen flicker.
  • It would be nice if the Captain's console could specifically designate a destination point (in addition to having its own selection).
  • It would be nice if the Captain's console could specifically designate a primary target (in addition to having its own selection).
  • It would be nice if the main ship's VIS display showed the same sort of 'Directional Ring' as the fighters have (showing the Captain's designations, if any)
  • Pressing the 'R' key on a fighter should make it auto-pilot back to its carrier (until the pilot hits another control).
  • It would be nice if the Science officer had more to do during fights.  My suggestion is that at close range, with two scans, the Science officer should be able to bring up an Engineering (or Status)-style view on an enemy ship, and to use that view to help designate locations and/or frequencies that can allow the Weapons officer to score critical hits.
  • I also feel like there is an opportunity for defensive operations to be more actively managed in a fight, with one of the players adjusting the ship's shield frequencies and focal points to ward off enemy attacks, and possibly using anti-missile weapons to try to shoot down projectiles before impact.
  • One the topic of shield frequencies, I would suggest that instead of the rather generic A-B-C-D, use colors (Red-Yellow-Green-Blue), and make the beams' color change accordingly.
ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #114 
A lot of these are ideas that have been suggested before in one way or another, but let me put my two cents' worth in on these. You've given me a few ideas...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elestan

  • Provide a visual indication at the appropriate station when its power levels have been adjusted by Engineering.  Currently, a good Engineer can make a massive difference in the ship's effectiveness, but it's really hard to notice them doing it.  A numeric indicator might be easiest, but a color or brightness change to indicate over/under charged systems would look cooler.


This is basically a feature from Star Trek: Bridge Crew. I think Thom left this out to encourage communication between the crew, i.e., Engineering has to confirm a power level shift before Helm or Weapons can respond to it. From my experience playing ST: BC, a visual indication of the power level available can be helpful, even if you heard the Captain give the order to divert power and heard Engineering respond.

However, in ST:BC only Helm can really see the power level of Engines. Weapons can only infer the Phaser power level by the range arc and possibly the recharge speed. Shield level isn't indicated. In Artemis, Beam power level doesn't effect range, and there's a known bug where the graphic on the Gun Camera which is supposed to indicate recharge doesn't correctly respond to Engineering Power Levels. So maybe this is a feature that should be applied with caution, possibly as an option that can be turned off.

Quote:

  • It would be helpful for Engineering if double-tapping on a coolant icon both set the coolant level, and set that system's power level to the appropriate constant-heat point.


Determining precise position on the slider to maintain power without gaining any heat takes some guesswork and is based on a formula that seems non-linear. That is, you pretty much have to know that two pips of coolant means 150%, four pips means 190%, six pips means 220%, and eight pips means 250%. Automatically setting the slider would take the guesswork out of it, reducing the usefulness of a truly skilled Engineer.

You can also do something similar to this with the presets. You can't set a single slider, but you can easily shift coolant around and adjust the sliders accordingly. It all depends on how you want to use presets.

Quote:

  • It would be nice if Engineering had a "Temporary Boost" function, that boosted a system for 5-10 seconds, and then returned it to its previous level.



Engineering is expected to do this "manually", by moving the slider to the new position for a few seconds, and then returning it. You can even do this with several systems, which takes some hand-eye coordination.

Quote:

  • When Sensor power is reduced, I think I would prefer to reduce the sensors' range, rather than making the screen flicker.



This is an idea commonly suggested along with the Sensors/Science revamp that keeps coming up every now and then. The problem is, any change to range has to take into account Unlimited Sensors, which has no range. If Sensor power reduced or increased sensor range, this would be ignored with Sensors set to Unlimited, and that's the default.

Of course Unlimited range could be changed to 50,000, which is the current maximum. That is set by artemis.ini and all other ranges are based on that. Thom has mentioned that he wants to expand the play area, or even make it infinite, and if so, I definitely think he should change the maximum range to 50,000, which will more or less cover the existing range of a "standard sector". In such a case, power to Sensors could reduce or increase that base range.

As it stands, though, power to Sensors only increases or decreases the time required for Science to scan a target. Other than that, there is no real reason to set Sensors to anything but 100%. A Sensor level of 50%, or damaged Sensors, causes them to "flicker".

Quote:

  • It would be nice if the Captain's console could specifically designate a destination point (in addition to having its own selection).
  • It would be nice if the Captain's console could specifically designate a primary target (in addition to having its own selection).


It might be helpful for Science or the Captain to be able to select a location on the sector grid, as the Gamemaster can, but I'm not sure about giving the Captain TWO selection cursors. If the Captain needs to point out a target and then look around at other ships' stats, he can just wait for Weapons to select the target.

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  • It would be nice if the main ship's VIS display showed the same sort of 'Directional Ring' as the fighters have (showing the Captain's designations, if any)


Remember, the viewscreen has left, right and aft views. It should be possible to keep the target on the screen. A "locked on target" view has been suggested, where the view follows a target, but you would have to decide who designates it. (ST: BC solves this question by giving the Captain control of the screen, so it tracks his target)

Also the viewscreen (and the VIS screen) has a radar which displays the position of all enemies relative to your ship. The fighters need the directional ring basically because they don't have a radar. (Although the radar really isn't designed for 3 dimensions)

Quote:

  • Pressing the 'R' key on a fighter should make it auto-pilot back to its carrier (until the pilot hits another control).


I doubt this would pass the "don't leave the crewman (pilot) with nothing to do" test. It's bad enough pilots have nothing to do but play Blackjack while in the hangar.

Quote:

  • It would be nice if the Science officer had more to do during fights.  My suggestion is that at close range, with two scans, the Science officer should be able to bring up an Engineering (or Status)-style view on an enemy ship, and to use that view to help designate locations and/or frequencies that can allow the Weapons officer to score critical hits.


Here we are back to the suggestions for improved Science. There have been a number of ideas suggested, including having shield frequencies "rotate" so you have to scan the ship again, forcing a rescan when a ship moves out of sensor range or enters a nebula, or even giving Science control of a "sweep arm" that has to be turned in the direction of anomalies and ships in nebulas in order for the Captain to see them.

However, your idea combined with (again) ST: BC gives me another idea; a system scan where Science is given a list of internal systems on the ship and can select and scan them. This can even be combined with the existing readout of the systems that have been damaged. Basically, in order for Weapons to target a system with the Gun Camera and damage it, that system will have to have been scanned by Science first. This will apply to Beams, Manuevers and Impulse. Sensors and Front and Rear Shields would not be targetable unless target points are added to the Gun Camera. (Note that shielded ships have both Torps and Warp according to the scripting docs, but I don't know whether those systems show up in the system damage display. I should check on that)

Quote:

  • I also feel like there is an opportunity for defensive operations to be more actively managed in a fight, with one of the players adjusting the ship's shield frequencies and focal points to ward off enemy attacks, and possibly using anti-missile weapons to try to shoot down projectiles before impact.


Well, Weapons is responsible for shooting drones, but it has been suggested that Weapons could be given a multi-targeting interface that would allow you to direct fire at two or more targets as well as drones. I suppose another idea would be a drone defense beam that can be reserved for fire at drones in case your main beams are recharging.

Modders have had a lot of success modifying the vesselData file, though. For instance, a drone defense beam could simply have a range shorter than the main beams, a high fire rate, and low damage. The beam wouldn't fire at any enemy ship unless it got within the beam range, and the high cost of firing such a beam (because cost per shot is a constant) would make it prohibitive for normal use. (but valuable in finishing off an tough enemy)

As for shield frequencies, you would have to make the AI select a shield frequency, and it would just select the correct one unless you forced a delay while it scanned the player ship or made it randomly try out frequencies until it found the right one. Note that friendly AI ships ignore shield frequency too. Presumably, they just fire a spread of frequencies so the high damage and low damage balances out. They aren't smart enough to scan for weaknesses.

However, giving the Player ships shield frequencies in PvP and letting the Engineer or Weapons adjust them might be an interesting idea. Right now, just as with AI ships firing on the player, shield frequencies don't mean anything in PvP.

Quote:

  • One the topic of shield frequencies, I would suggest that instead of the rather generic A-B-C-D, use colors (Red-Yellow-Green-Blue), and make the beams' color change accordingly.


I don't know. Beams aren't necessarily laser beams of visible light (if Warp 1 is the speed of light, a beam would actually have to travel THREE TIMES the speed of light, although that's a rough estimate) and I don't see that different colors of beams would penetrate different shields. More likely, the Beam is some sort of particle beam that can be effected by Warp fields (Tauron particles if we go by the Beam Upgrade) and the light it emits is just a side effect.

You could have different frequencies, just like you can have different frequencies of radio waves or electrical generators, but you can't see the difference in the visible spectrum.

Dave Thaler

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Reply with quote  #115 
I'd like to see the LAUNCH_FIGHTERS brain stack block support value2 like other blocks do (CHASE_PLAYER, etc) for the "if in a nebula" range.  Currently the range at which fighters will be launched (value1) is the same regardless of whether a player is in a nebula or not, whereas other blocks can allow a smaller value if in a nebula.
Darrin

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Reply with quote  #116 
Definitely a Wishlist item...

It's difficult for me to "build" a sector that looks similar to what the game engine can generate randomly, and I actually prefer the randomly-generated maps... however, recreating something with nebulae, asteroids, and other stuff takes up a huge amount of time.

Would it be possible to add a command inside a non-scripted mission that could generate a script output in XML that just builds a similar "sector"? Just a series of Create commands that puts down the non-moving objects and terrain? I can put in the enemies and the rest, but having the terrain already created to start with would be several flavors of awesomesauce. 
ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #117 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darrin
Definitely a Wishlist item...

It's difficult for me to "build" a sector that looks similar to what the game engine can generate randomly, and I actually prefer the randomly-generated maps... however, recreating something with nebulae, asteroids, and other stuff takes up a huge amount of time.

Would it be possible to add a command inside a non-scripted mission that could generate a script output in XML that just builds a similar "sector"? Just a series of Create commands that puts down the non-moving objects and terrain? I can put in the enemies and the rest, but having the terrain already created to start with would be several flavors of awesomesauce. 


I would like to second this suggestion. While it is possible to randomly generate maps (look at several of my randomized sector scripts, particularly my Sector Generator) the algorithm is incredibly complex and takes up hundreds of lines of code. It would be much easier to just be able to randomly locate some terrain features with a variation of the create command. Perhaps you could even limit the terrain to a region of the sector.

One suggestion I have made in the past is to give the command to ability to specify a "seed", which will then be used to randomly generate whatever terrain is desired. You can then use the same seed to recreate the exact same sector again, or change to a different seed to produce different results. Using a random seed or leaving the seed blank would result in a totally random sector.

The exact same commands could also be used to add the ability to randomly place items in a Gamemastered script, or linked to GM buttons. (Depending on if you want to build that capability into all Gamemaster modules or rely on the script to code it)

Matsiyan

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Reply with quote  #118 
Not perhaps exactly what you are looking for, but have you looked at the TSN Sandbox? That has a number of sectors precreated and the code to create a sector is not huge.
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ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #119 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsiyan
Not perhaps exactly what you are looking for, but have you looked at the TSN Sandbox? That has a number of sectors precreated and the code to create a sector is not huge.


The code to create a static sector is not huge. The code to create a truly random sector, however, either requires tons of variables (randomly generated coordinates for every single object in the sector) or a looping algorithm that creates the sector one object at a time, reusing the coordinate variables.

You could create a large set of sectors, each static, and pick one randomly, but that would not give you the same amount of variety. My goal, in fact, is to make my Sector Generator efficient enough that it does not take up that much more space than a bunch of static sectors. It's still not quite there, especially if you want to save the coordinates so the sector can be recreated.

I'll note that probably the most efficient way to randomly generate a sector would be to write an external program that will randomly generate the coordinates, and then automatically write a script using those coordinates to create the sector. That "stub" can then be extended to make it into a mission. The sector will be the same every time that one script is run, though.

I suspect the Mission Editor could be written with such a feature, assuming it doesn't already have one. I know that app has a visual editor to create a sector, and the Mission Editor will add the commands to create what you "draw".

guppster01

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Reply with quote  #120 
Star Ship Battle Royale mode. 

Been a long time since I have jump on the forums, but I think the ultimate expression of Artemis game play is PvsP, Ship vs Ship. 

Nice to have a bigger map, with stations to get/trade weapons/energy. 

Then go and battle against another ship. What better way to test your team than to go against another team that's around the world.

Need a mode like this to be competitive against other games coming on market.
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