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Ayelis

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Hi folks. I'm looking for some insider info on the Comms console.
I know that the Science console often gives you some flavor text regarding the captain of the enemy ship, but my question is this; is this more than just flavor text?
Does the Science console hold the key for how the Comms console should be taunting the enemy? For instance, if Science states that the captain has no living family, should Comms start looking for an option to insult that captain's parents posthumously? Or is it all completely random?
Are there certain captain descriptions for captains that might be willing to surrender before a shot is even fired, or is it a waste of time to request surrender before heavily damaging the enemy?

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ryleyra

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You are correct, except the Science console's Intel information gives the clue as to which taunt Comms should NOT use. Usually this is self explanatory, but as an example if you are hailing a Kralien ship, if the captain "does not practice the Kralien religion faithfully" you should avoid the taunt "Hey wormface! Can I borrow your Holy Scroll of Amborax? I need to wipe my stinky feet!" You can actually see these taunts and the Intel that goes with them in the vesselData.xml file.

In short, you have two taunts that work and one that the captain has an "immunity" to.

If Intel reports that a captain is "cowardly", it is very easy to make him surrender, and you should ask for surrender after dealing only a little damage. If the captain is "brave" it will be very hard to make him surrender and you should wait until he is almost dead. Note if I understand how surrender works, you MUST do some damage or the captain will just ignore you. I typically always wait until a ship's shields are down before asking it to surrender. I have no idea if taunting a ship that rejected your offer again will work.

A captain can also be "duplicitous", which means he may pretend to surrender and then come back when he is healed up. An "easily offended" captain presumably will be taunted for a longer period of time than other captains. (This latter isn't verified, but seems reasonable)

Here's some more "Advanced" hints for the Comms console:

Ask the person who sets up the mission to put Friendly ships in the sector and make use of them in the mission. Escorts and Destroyers can be deadly when timed so they make their attack at the same time you do. Since they take a while to get across the sector, you can either make them hunt down single targets while your ship is busy elsewhere, or make hit and run attacks to harass the enemy until you can get to them. As above, you will want to work with Science to know when an AI ship is strong enough to fight and when it should run before its shields give out.

Non-combatant friendly ships should be instructed to stay out of the combat area. Monitor their communications and watch for problems (like a reactor failure) or side missions that you can report to the Captain. While some crews don't like bothering with these distractions, they can earn you powerups, and supposedly in the next version of Artemis they will add to your final score.

A lot of mission scripts are tailored for Comms, and its role becomes much more important. As of the last version, 2.6, Comms became the only player console to be given buttons to interact with the script. (The GM also has buttons, but most scripts are not written for a GM)

A lot of people apparently think that Comms should be monitoring the LRS screen. (Possibly because this is the job of Relay in Empty Epsilon) While it is helpful to visually know where everything is, Comms role is more INTERACTING with the sector. Comms is essentially the crew member that is most in touch with the game's AI, allowing you to take the initiative instead of letting the enemy come to you.

Check out this wiki page for more details on the Intel screen: http://artemiswiki.pbworks.com/w/page/104159545/Intelligence%20Display

Side missions and Rescue missions are described on the Comms page here: http://artemiswiki.pbworks.com/w/page/39352366/Comms  Alas, there are no pages yet that list all of the missions.
Steve Smith

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Very well written--thanks!
Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #4 
Ryley is right about everything he says, except I think an "easily offended" captain has no taunt immunity. That is, even though he doesn't practice the religion or his whole family is dead, he will still get pissed off if you insult the Holy Scrolls or his father.

I am personally disappointed by these aspects of the Comms console and I hope this will be expanded in the future. Originally the taunts were probabilistic; there were only three taunts in the game and they all had an equal probability of working/failing.

Here is how it exists in the game now:
  1. Every enemy race has three taunts.
  2. Every enemy ship is immune to one taunt. This can be discovered by the second Science scan, which brings up an intelligence report on the ship.
  3. If players attempt to use the immune taunt the enemy captain decides that you are an idiot and won't listen to any more taunts.
  4. The other two taunts are guaranteed to work.

As planned, there were supposed to be a second type of enemy:
  • They would have one guaranteed-to-work taunt that could be discovered by the second science scan, e.g. "The Captain does practice the Kralien religion faithfully" or "The Captain holds her father in great esteem."
  • The other two taunts would be probabilistic. They might work or they might make the captain judge you to be an idiot.
At the time of release Thom didn't think the extra complexity was worthwhile so he left it out. But now that everyone has seen all of the Science scans and taunts a zillion times, perhaps it is time to add some depth.


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Ayelis

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks for the responses. These are very helpful tips! I'll let Science and Comms know they have a bigger job to do. [wink]
ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Substelny
Ryley is right about everything he says, except I think an "easily offended" captain has no taunt immunity. That is, even though he doesn't practice the religion or his whole family is dead, he will still get pissed off if you insult the Holy Scrolls or his father.


If this is true, then maybe an "exceptional" captain would not be taunted at all. He always calls you an idiot.

Maybe your idea of varying the effect of taunts could be worked into the "easily offended/exceptional" specials. An easily offended captain would work as you suggested, with the Intel reversing the normally displayed hint. That way you know which taunt to USE instead of which NOT to use. And even if you use one of the two others, there's a chance you'll tick him off anyway.

An exceptional captain would ignore the taunt he has an immunity to, as always, but choose one of the two others, and it works like your suggestion, 50% of the time the taunt works, 50% of the time he ignores you and can no longer be taunted.

That way Thom wouldn't have to change the rules for everyone, just certain captains would work differently.

I'll also note that as of 2.5, BioMechs react differently to taunts. Previously, the "good" taunts would stop a BioMech that was attacking because some enemy ship attacked it. In 2.5 however BioMechs enter an "enraged" mode if ANY of them is attacked by the player ship, turning their indicators on Science from brown to red. When in this enraged mode, picking the "bad" taunt will fail. Picking the "good" taunt will reduce the BioMechs' rage by 25%, and four in a row will stop them from attacking.

Only Stage 4 BioMechs can be communicated with, and when they are not enraged, the taunts are ignored by them. Intel will not tell you which taunt is the "bad" one, but it is easy enough to figure out, just try different ones until one works, and use it three more times. Thom mentioned he might come up with something more complex in the future, maybe that will be accompanied by this idea above. [biggrin]

Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryleyra

Thom mentioned he might come up with something more complex in the future, maybe that will be accompanied by this idea above. [biggrin]


You are right, Ryley. From the beginning Thom wanted the BioMechs to be enigmatic. Lately we have been lamenting that the BioMech Infestation mission is boring for Communications because the BioMechs are too enigmatic. Thom wants to brainstorm ways to change the BioMechs to make them more comprehensible to Science and Communications, giving both more to do.

My best suggestions won't be easy or quick to implement. I would like to see much more detailed terrain, with Science able to determine mineral content of asteroids and gas content of nebula.* Further, BioMechs would have a pattern of nutritional needs for maturing through each stage (a combination of minerals, gasses, and anomalies). Science or Communications might get hints from the BioMech about what it needs to eat at any given moment. That way it would be possible to know what any given BioMech was hungry for and where it should go next. BioMechs might have limited sensor range so they would wander randomly until they spotted an asteroid, nebula, or anomaly that met their current needs. Players might be able to make friends with a Stage 1, 2, or 3 BioMech by telling it where to find a tasty asteroid, nebula, or anomaly.

* I could make an argument that asteroids and nebulae on the map at the start of the game are all pre-scanned. That is, survey ships mapped the sector years ago and the mineral & gas properties are already known. New terrain (e.g. nebulae made by a Charybdis) would need to be scanned. Man-made terrain (anomalies) would definitely need to be scanned.

Unfortunately, these developments in terrain/cargo might still be in the far future.

In the short term, if you have a thought on a simple way to make the BioMechs more interesting to Communications I would love to discuss it.

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ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #8 
Well, the simplest solution would require you to switch taunts instead of being able to re-use the same one over and over. Using the "wrong" taunt or the same taunt again would reset the sequence to the beginning. So you would have to do enough experimentation to figure out which two taunts are good, and then alternate them four times.

More advanced ideas would require coming up with an additional interface, like the "Pulse" feature I brought up in another post. In this case, the specified taunt would case a Stage 4 to give you the proper frequency, and you would then send a pulse in that frequency. Which was Thom's original idea. Maybe it would take a sequence of pulses, which you would have to get from the Stage 4 by repeating the taunt.

If you want to make it tougher, the two "good" taunts would result in the Stage 4 giving you the sequence, but the "bad" one would make him refuse. You'd have to locate another Stage 4 and try again. It's up to you whether the pulse sequence would be good for the whole game, or if you'd have to find out the new sequence every time they go enraged.

And if you use my idea, the Pulse would be limited range, meaning you might have to move around and send it from different places in order to get all the BioMechs.

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