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ron77

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi there,

I have a bunch of questions that I would appreciate some help with. I remember finding the answers to some of them in the forum, but I couldn't find then and wasn't able to retrace my steps from the last time I read them. In any case, the answers to some of these questions may have changed with the publication of 2.7.0 anyway, and it is version 2.7.0 I am referring to in these questions.
  1. What is the maximum number of beam arcs a ship can have? Can this value be edited?
  2. Beam arcs have coordinates set in the vessel data, they also have arc widths (where 1=360°). But how does the game know where to point the firing arcs?
  3. What is the maximum number of torpedo tubes a ship can have? Can this value be edited?
  4. What is the maximum number of torpedoes a ship can hold per type? Can this maximum value be edited?
  5. Torpedo tubes currently "aim" towards the top. Can this "aim" be changed?
MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #2 
I believe a number of your questions are answered here in the MOD FAQ
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Note - this is in no way intended to be an official position of Thom or Artemis, as I am not an official representative of the creator or game.
ron77

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkBell
I believe a number of your questions are answered here in the MOD FAQ

THANK YOU! This was indeed what I was looking for. The topic name should have been a dead give-away and still I read right past it. [crazy]

Do you happen to know the answers to the other questions?
MarkBell

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So, I'll answer the questions all here, and I'll update the faq with the answers that aren't there already.

1. I've put up to 24 beams on a ship with no problem before. I don't know if there's an upper limit. The game scans from the first declared beam to the last and shoots whichever it finds first that is in arc of the weapons locked ship and ready to fire (not recharging).

2. The game draws a line from the center of the file (0,0,0) to the beam port location (x,y,z). That line on the XZ plane is the direction it's aiming. So if we call directly in front of the ship 0°, then a point at 10,10 would be 45° from the centerline. The arc is centered on that vector.

3. 6, and no.

4. AFAIK, at least 64. I don't know if there's any upper limit.

5. Nope.

EDIT - corrected firing plane

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ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkBell
2. The game draws a line from the center of the file (0,0,0) to the beam port location (x,y,z). That line on the xy plane is the direction it's aiming. So if we call directly in front of the ship 0°, then a point at 10,10 would be 45° from the centerline. The arc is centered on that vector.


Note that beam port locations are best determined with Thom's Ship Editor. Beams are usually placed on the centerline of the ship, that is, where Y=0, and on the skin of the ship. As Mark implied, I believe if you place a beam above the centerline (say on a protrusion above the 0,0,0 point) the arc will still be horizontal and not point "upwards".

While I have placed firing points inside the skin of a ship (or outside) this can have unpredictable effects. At the very least, the beam will come from odd locations inside or around the ship.

I'll also add that while Mark described the firing arc as in the xy plane, which is fine for just thinking about it and plotting out arcs, it is actually in the XZ plane, and Y is up and down. This is due to the DXS format used for meshes.

I'll also note that while torpedo tubes have firing coordinates in the vesselData file, they are ignored. All torps come from (0,0,0) and fly straight up. That's a point on the neck of most player ships. (In fact, I'll bet those coordinates date all the way back to Artemis 1.0, when torps only fired forward and there was only one ship class. Note they're all the same)

MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #6 
As usual, you are correct 😉  The X-Z plane is indeed the vector plane, any Y offset is not considered.  Likewise, any offset in the Y axis during a game is basically ignored for purposes of determining whether or not a given beam is in range.  I suspect this is due to Y offset travel not being a thing in earlier iterations of the game, and thus not something Thom programmed for.

However, changing the Y offset does change where the beam comes from - I have verified that almost all of the beams I've generated do originate from the place on the skin that I've specified, regardless of where they are targeting.  It does make for interesting firing solutions when you've got beams placed under the ship and you're shooting at someone above you: "Did we put a beam bank in Ensign Ricky's quarters?  Cause I just saw one coming out from there."

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ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkBell

However, changing the Y offset does change where the beam comes from - I have verified that almost all of the beams I've generated do originate from the place on the skin that I've specified, regardless of where they are targeting.  It does make for interesting firing solutions when you've got beams placed under the ship and you're shooting at someone above you: "Did we put a beam bank in Ensign Ricky's quarters?  Cause I just saw one coming out from there."


Yeah, I was going to say something along those lines but could not express it quite so hilariously. 😃

Things work fine as long as you stay close to the centerline and enemies are about the same height, but major height differences and extremely wide firing arcs can cause beams to come from odd places. It can actually be difficult to plot firing arcs for ships that have their weapons in the front (such as a certain copyrighted starship with a saucer-shaped forward hull) but are able to fire those weapons in the rear arc.

If a beam is in front of the center of the ship, it MUST fire forwards. That's the rule. The only way to get around it is to fudge the beam location, and widen the firing arc so more of the rear is covered. 

MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #8 
Yeppers, as I am rather well acquainted with 😃  You can fake it a bit with widening the firing arc and putting it close to the Z centerline - a big arc will almost get to the rear.  In my mods, I ended up using the rear phaser emitter locations to do most of the rear coverage.   Stuff like the "ridged forehead alien birds of prey" have forward disrupters that are tough, because they're so far out to the side but are supposed to fire forward.  So in my mods they also apparently rotate most of the way to either side 😋
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Note - this is in no way intended to be an official position of Thom or Artemis, as I am not an official representative of the creator or game.
ron77

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Reply with quote  #9 
Okay, so just to make sure I understand this correctly:
  • The game draws the firing arc's direction centered around the vector from 0,0,0 to x,y,z.
  • The beam is actually generated not at 0,0,0 but at x,y,z.
  • So, technically, the beam can fire a larger fraction of the circle because of the location of x,y,z (i.e. let's say the firing arc is 0.25 or 90° and the beam port coordinates are 100,0,100; this would mean that the beam could shoot out at something like 93° as long as the weapons selected ship is inside the firing arc because of the relative location of the beam port relative to the firing arc).
Is this correct?
ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #10 
I believe this is true. The game acts as if the beam was fired from (0,0,0) on the source to (0,0,0) on the destination. The drawing of the beam from the firing point to the target point is only cosmetic.

Also, the firing arc is defined around the vector from 0,0,0 to x,0,z. (Not x,y,z) I BELIEVE the firing arc is a cone, not an arc of a cylinder transcribed by the firing arc. That makes it somewhat difficult to fire at ships directly above or below you. The y coordinate is used to draw the beam, and to determine target points for the Gun Camera.
ron77

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Reply with quote  #11 
So, I just tried giving a ship 24 beams, as per Mark Bell's answer, at range 1000. This worked perfectly alright.

Then I added 2 more (to a total of 26) and it still worked. However, I had also changed the range of the first 24 to 2400 but only 19 of these beams showed up in purple with the right range, the remaining 5 were set to 1000 and thus were displayed in green.

I then reduced the range of the first 24 beams to 2000 and kept the last 2 at 1000 and all beams showed up in the correct range.

Apparently there is some sort of weird maximum limit on how much reach beams can have, possibly determined by how long their combined reach is. Does anyone know more?

EDIT: fixed a typo.
ron77

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Reply with quote  #12 
I guess I found the limit to how many beam ports you can have: 38. The game won't display firing arcs after that.
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