About skill, missiles and gimbals

RadiantFlux

Posts: 8306

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Edited: by RadiantFlux
Posted: -
Hey there :)

I created a new video with my thoughts on skill, missiles and gimbals in StarCitizen.
Maybe some of you might like it. :D

In the community hub:
https://robertsspaceindustries.com/community/citizen-spotlight/7128-About-Skill-Missiles-And-Gimbals






EDIT:
To explain the missile mechanic a bit better in possible technical in-lore logic:

The missile gets a 100% signature image of its target at the beginning if you manage to lock it on perfectly. The longer you paint the target during the lock-on time, the better and stronger the initial target signature is. That image degrades until the missile is totally blind and has no longer a target it recognizes.

Basically the % you start off with decreases with the duration of the missile life - above 90% countermeasures are not effective at all, while at 10% they are guaranteed to work, in addition to the other stuff in the video. :)
“The Eleventh Hour
  • Tewee

    Posts: 11013

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    Nice, will watch it later but I have a feeling I know already a bit of what it will consist of!
  • Manowars

    Posts: 831

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    Ill watch it later but I swear if theres one thing about gimbals taking no skill.....
    PURGE THE HERETICS, KILL THE PAGANS!
  • Wolfpack9

    Posts: 793

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    Edited: by Wolfpack9
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    In the future will we have gimballed missiles?nothing OP but something small like a 686
    Bring Back TrackIR
    ಠ_ರೃ
  • KristovK

    Posts: 2146

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    Nice vid, but disagree with your opinions generally.

    +42
  • KeithStorm

    Posts: 931

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    Very nice video almost as good as the one you did on struts. I think the size difference in gimbaled weapons already balances it pretty well. If you want to undo the size thing and balance it another way that would be ok. The missile thing was interesting but you didn't really address that there is already a time restraint on using missiles and the skillful use of chaff and flares that can make a missile fail. In the PU there will also be the limit on how many you have and the cost.

    I am an older person and skill is just a silly discussion for me anyway. I am as likely to be competitive in this game as I am to being able to do a gymnastic beam routine. 90% of skill is youth and that is just a sad fact for your more mature player. We will always be at a disadvantage to kiddies and use surprise and a shotgun but mostly avoid confrontations with skilled opponents if possible.

    I am not in this game to compete and I do not expect to win. I will look for fun and besting someone at something so I can brag about it is no longer on that list for me. In 2.5, I could complete Vanduul Swarm with several ships. I haven't played 2.6 but I have heard that it is much harder and of course players are harder still. I do hope that combat isn't made so difficult that I can't do it at all. Just remember 750,000 people will be worse than average they need to be able to play the game also. Most people think they are in the top 5%. Most people are wrong.
  • Weyland-Industries

    Posts: 790

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    Amazing video, wonderful suggestions... +42


    I do not however agree with what you propose for missiles, not in the least.

    The Corporation
  • Farenheit

    Posts: 464

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    I like your approach and think it's a good way to include skill into missile play. I think this would work well for targets in visual range..i.e. missiles designed for short-intermediate range. The acquisition cone size obviously could be based on the type of tracker used (emissions), what possible countermeasures the opponent might have (speaking to the future when there's actually radar/sensor components and choices other than chaff/flare). This would increase variety, load out options and trade-offs as opposed to the mechanic we have now. I mean at this point it doesn't really matter what "type" of missile is tracking you vs. what size it is. Boring!

    I don't see it working well for BVR weapon systems. It's a large assumption on my part, but I not-so-secretly hope there will be BVR in Star Citizen. Yeah, I realize it's a long shot as the trend is for cinematic combat and glory kills. I can only imagine what capital ship combat is going to look like at 1km...lol....sorry getting off track here.

    For BVR, IMO the skill needs to come from (edit:) manipulation & use of sensors, tracking, jamming, decoys, stealth, etc.

    0pGmDhU.jpg
  • Farenheit

    Posts: 464

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    I honestly think CIG needs to re-think missiles in general (and probably guns as well). In a way they are putting the cart before the horse, building weapon systems before deciding how everything else will work. It's a completely bland, and broken mechanic right now.

    If I were designing missile systems for this game, I would want the player to make choices. Those choices would have consequences.

    First & foremost: What is my quarry? What are their capabilities & weaknesses?

    2. Range of weapon (along with this, what range gives me the advantage)
    vs.
    3. Target acquisition & guidance (active, passive, semi-active, home on jamming)
    vs.
    4. Payload (HE, plasma, projectile, fragmentation, *best payload for my quarry)
    vs.
    5. What can my ship carry? What do I sacrifice with a specific load-out [weight?; maneuverability?; signature?] How adept am I at manipulating a particular weapon system?

    Edit: Guns are in a much better state but when other game mechanics (like capital ships) start getting introduced, there will probably be some serious game breaking issues which may mean a major overhaul and all the associated drama that comes with it.


    0pGmDhU.jpg
  • RadiantFlux

    Posts: 8306

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    I just added this as a comment in the video about the missiles:

    In-lore technical reasoning:

    During the lock-on time, the targeting laser "paints" the target. The better and longer it does that, the clearer the signature is. Due to signature diffusing paint/systems on all ships, the missile lock-on-signature degrades with time.

    (Also the % of missile lock on can also have an impact on how effective countermeasures are.)

    Basically the missile gets a 100% good image of its target at the beginning if you manage to lock it on perfectly. That image degrades until it is totally blind and has no longer a target it recognizes.

    Basically the % you start off with decrease with the duration of the missile life and above 90% countermeasures are not effective at all, while at 10% they are guaranteed to work. Something like that :)
    “The Eleventh Hour
  • RadiantFlux

    Posts: 8306

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    @Farenheit what was BVR again?

    The thing is that I don't want to see missiles in the game in a black/white way.
    If someone comes along with missiles and can kill everything and is totally helpless after the missiles are gone, then the entire game has a problem.

    So we do need some kind of more "gamey" mechanic for it one way or another.
    “The Eleventh Hour
  • Farenheit

    Posts: 464

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    Ah, sorry...BVR = Beyond Visual Range.
    0pGmDhU.jpg
  • RadiantFlux

    Posts: 8306

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    [hide]

    Ah, sorry...BVR = Beyond Visual Range.

    Ah, understand. :D

    Oh, I too hope that there will be BVR gameplay in SC. And I think there will. Long range scanners and all, but whatever we can shoot off for such distances should be very expensive and not too difficult to dodge or shoot down, yea.


    PS: Added extra "technical" explanation to OP too.
    “The Eleventh Hour
  • sabre-tooth

    Posts: 9242

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    Edited: by sabre-tooth
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    I enjoyed the Video that is very well done much but I need to observe that increasing the Skill ceiling will, necessarily, to my viewing, reduce the amount of players being able to "Master" it, so to speak.

    For a number of reasons be it time at hand to practice, slower reflexes, whatever the reasons etc. etc. while I seem to understand that the intended Design does not want to penalize those players not having extended time to play and, infact, the idea of selling UECs at the official store would be, to my understanding, to give to those players the ability to "catch up" even if they did not have much time at hand to play the game extensively and, thus, practise with its mechanics. So, I seem to understand from that, that equipment would be superior then actual skill otherwise, the practice time would always beat equipment and it would make not much sense to purchase UECs to "catch up", would it ?

    Furthermore, being Star Citizen an "entertainment" Service it would be important, at least to my viewing, that it aimed at being enjoyable by as many users as possible while, having too much a high kill ceiling would, instead, reduce the number of users able to be competitive which, eventually, could lead to shrink its users' base and make it end up being a niche product.

    I also need to make an observation on the Missiles suggestion.
    The need to keep "on lock" the target for an X amount of time in order to improve Missiles effectiveness would end up resulting, I think, way detrimental against larger, non-combat Ships which are slow and bigger and, thus, would be way much too easily achieve to have Missiles ending up hitting them 100% of times including Data Spike Missiles which would bring all of their systems down for good....

    Instead, on fast and nimble smaller Ships against which the large, non-combat Ships would need to defend from, they would become night to impossible to use Missiles against.

    Basically, such a mechanic would make it way, but way much easier (as if this was needed....) to win over larger, non-combat Ships and it would result for non-combat larger Ships to almost be impossible to defend against fast and nimble smaller attacking Ships trying to use Missiles.

    Thanks but no.
  • Jezzail

    Posts: 1373

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    Posted:
    @sabre-tooth

    Basically, such a mechanic would make it way, but way much easier (as if this was needed....) to win over larger, non-combat Ships and it would result for non-combat larger Ships to almost be impossible to defend against fast and nimble smaller attacking Ships trying to use Missiles.

    It can't be easier than pressing the same button two times man. The next easier thing is just having to press one button and the other ship just explodes.
    Read all my posts in a loud and angry voice, as if I were writing in all caps, bolded and underlined. Your's sincerely, the worldeater.
  • RadiantFlux

    Posts: 8306

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    [hide]

    I enjoyed the Video that is very well done much but I need to observe that increasing the Skill ceiling will, necessarily, to my viewing, reduce the amount of players being able to "Master" it, so to speak.

    For a number of reasons be it time at hand to practice, slower reflexes, whatever the reasons etc. etc. while I seem to understand that the intended Design does not want to penalize those players not having extended time to play and, infact, the idea of selling UECs at the official store would be, to my understanding, to give to those players the ability to "catch up" even if they did not have much time at hand to play the game extensively and, thus, practise with its mechanics. So, I seem to understand from that, that equipment would be superior then actual skill otherwise, the practice time would always beat equipment and it would make not much sense to purchase UECs to "catch up", would it ?

    Furthermore, being Star Citizen an "entertainment" Service it would be important, at least to my viewing, that it aimed at being enjoyable by as many users as possible while, having too much a high kill ceiling would, instead, reduce the number of users able to be competitive which, eventually, could lead to shrink its users' base and make it end up being a niche product.

    I also need to make an observation on the Missiles suggestion.
    The need to keep "on lock" the target for an X amount of time in order to improve Missiles effectiveness would end up resulting, I think, way detrimental against larger, non-combat Ships which are slow and bigger and, thus, would be way much too easily achieve to have Missiles ending up hitting them 100% of times including Data Spike Missiles which would bring all of their systems down for good....

    Instead, on fast and nimble smaller Ships against which the large, non-combat Ships would need to defend from, they would become night to impossible to use Missiles against.

    Basically, such a mechanic would make it way, but way much easier (as if this was needed....) to win over larger, non-combat Ships and it would result for non-combat larger Ships to almost be impossible to defend against fast and nimble smaller attacking Ships trying to use Missiles.

    Thanks but no.

    @sabre-tooth For me a perfect skill ceiling is one that nobody ever really reaches. :)
    Like in real life: There is always someone who is better than you.

    And only because hardly anyone reaches the mastery level does not mean that there are no many who are really, really good.

    There will for sure be many, many, MANY players who only play SC occasionally. Yes. Fully agree. And those players should have just as much fun as the hardcore and full-time players. But I don't see why they would not?
    The game will be populated with 90% NPCs and most of those NPCs will be easy to kill. Also of the 10% playerbase we have compared to the NPC population maybe 5% will be combat pilots and of those maybe 2% really good at PvP combat.

    In addition to that there will be safe-zones and also a regulator as to how many PvP interactions players like, so the players who don't want to get into a fight with top-tier players might have that at a chance of a natural disaster: Unlikely. Unless they vanture into dangerous space - but there I also expect the NPCs to be really dangerous and plentiful.

    Not to forget that anyone can hire NPC crew and wingmen, so even if someone is not a good pilot he can have decent firepower to protect himself.

    Also as we have the missile system right now the bigger ships already have to rely on countermeasures. So where is the difference there between the current system and the one I propose? It is just a question of how the countermeasures are designed. And small missiles are agile and are going to hit, but against the shields of a really big ship they are nothing.

    And the really big ones are slower and can be avoided, even at 100%
    This is not a question about the targeting system, but rather about how countermeasures work and how the missile sizes are balanced in their maximum tracking, speed and maneuverability.
    “The Eleventh Hour
  • sabre-tooth

    Posts: 9242

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    [hide]

    @sabre-tooth

    Basically, such a mechanic would make it way, but way much easier (as if this was needed....) to win over larger, non-combat Ships and it would result for non-combat larger Ships to almost be impossible to defend against fast and nimble smaller attacking Ships trying to use Missiles.

    It can't be easier than pressing the same button two times man. The next easier thing is just having to press one button and the other ship just explodes.
    But at least, it would be likewise easier and not "extremely" easier against large, slow, clumsy non-combat Ships and "utterly" difficult (almost nearing impossible ?) against small, fast and nimble attacking fighters.....

    It would skew the odds of combat way, way, but way more in favour of small Fighters and to the disadvantage of large, slow and clumsy non-combat Ship making that particular gameplay even more difficult and "unfun".
  • sabre-tooth

    Posts: 9242

    Posted:
    Edited: by sabre-tooth
    Posted:
    Edited:
    [hide]

    [hide]

    I enjoyed the Video that is very well done much but I need to observe that increasing the Skill ceiling will, necessarily, to my viewing, reduce the amount of players being able to "Master" it, so to speak.

    For a number of reasons be it time at hand to practice, slower reflexes, whatever the reasons etc. etc. while I seem to understand that the intended Design does not want to penalize those players not having extended time to play and, infact, the idea of selling UECs at the official store would be, to my understanding, to give to those players the ability to "catch up" even if they did not have much time at hand to play the game extensively and, thus, practise with its mechanics. So, I seem to understand from that, that equipment would be superior then actual skill otherwise, the practice time would always beat equipment and it would make not much sense to purchase UECs to "catch up", would it ?

    Furthermore, being Star Citizen an "entertainment" Service it would be important, at least to my viewing, that it aimed at being enjoyable by as many users as possible while, having too much a high kill ceiling would, instead, reduce the number of users able to be competitive which, eventually, could lead to shrink its users' base and make it end up being a niche product.

    I also need to make an observation on the Missiles suggestion.
    The need to keep "on lock" the target for an X amount of time in order to improve Missiles effectiveness would end up resulting, I think, way detrimental against larger, non-combat Ships which are slow and bigger and, thus, would be way much too easily achieve to have Missiles ending up hitting them 100% of times including Data Spike Missiles which would bring all of their systems down for good....

    Instead, on fast and nimble smaller Ships against which the large, non-combat Ships would need to defend from, they would become night to impossible to use Missiles against.

    Basically, such a mechanic would make it way, but way much easier (as if this was needed....) to win over larger, non-combat Ships and it would result for non-combat larger Ships to almost be impossible to defend against fast and nimble smaller attacking Ships trying to use Missiles.

    Thanks but no.

    @sabre-tooth For me a perfect skill ceiling is one that nobody ever really reaches. :)
    Like in real life: There is always someone who is better than you.

    And only because hardly anyone reaches the mastery level does not mean that there are no many who are really, really good.

    There will for sure be many, many, MANY players who only play SC occasionally. Yes. Fully agree. And those players should have just as much fun as the hardcore and full-time players. But I don't see why they would not?
    The game will be populated with 90% NPCs and most of those NPCs will be easy to kill. Also of the 10% playerbase we have compared to the NPC population maybe 5% will be combat pilots and of those maybe 2% really good at PvP combat.

    In addition to that there will be safe-zones and also a regulator as to how many PvP interactions players like, so the players who don't want to get into a fight with top-tier players might have that at a chance of a natural disaster: Unlikely. Unless they vanture into dangerous space - but there I also expect the NPCs to be really dangerous and plentiful.

    Not to forget that anyone can hire NPC crew and wingmen, so even if someone is not a good pilot he can have decent firepower to protect himself.

    Also as we have the missile system right now the bigger ships already have to rely on countermeasures. So where is the difference there between the current system and the one I propose? It is just a question of how the countermeasures are designed. And small missiles are agile and are going to hit, but against the shields of a really big ship they are nothing.

    And the really big ones are slower and can be avoided, even at 100%
    This is not a question about the targeting system, but rather about how countermeasures work and how the missile sizes are balanced in their maximum tracking, speed and maneuverability.
    "There will for sure be many, many, MANY players who only play SC occasionally. Yes. Fully agree. And those players should have just as much fun as the hardcore and full-time players. But I don't see why they would not?
    The game will be populated with 90% NPCs and most of those NPCs will be easy to kill. Also of the 10% playerbase we have compared to the NPC population maybe 5% will be combat pilots and of those maybe 2% really good at PvP combat.
    "

    At least personally, at this current time I have "no clue" how easy the game's mechanics and provided "tools" will make it for players to actively find and seek out fellow players or, how it will be possible to tell players from NPCs.

    Because, I would guess, that such easiness will matter for those having less time to "practise" skill versus those having more time at hand for such a practise in the game, because for those having less time to spend in Star Citizen, I think it will much depend on the likeliness to bump into other players whether in the end, that would result in "fun" also for these players having much less time to spend in the Star Citizen's Universe and, thus, to practise since whenever they will meet those players with more "hours" into the game, they will likely end up losing.

    That is, I would imagine, that those having more time to practise and thus reaching higher towards that skill ceiling, would attempt to more actively seek other players since their chances at winning would obviously be higher having reached a higher skill level.

    Thing is, is my question, in order to also ensure fun to those players having less time at hand to be in Star Citizen's Universe, "how easy" will the Design make it for players to actively seek and also identify players over NPCs ?

    Because, if the tools at hand (scanners' ranges, NPCs Artificial Intelligence, lack or not good PvE/PvP slider etc.) will make it rather easy for players to actively seek and hunt down other players such a heavy weight on "skills" could make the game fun for few and unfun for lots......

    Would this really be the best thing for Star Citizen as a whole I wonder ? Or would it perhaps risk ending up making it a "niche" product with a much reduced player base where the funding structure, if I understood it as right, would be microtransactions (i.e. the more players the better...) rather then a monthly subscription ?

    I think that all of these things need to also be taken into account as players react to the "overall" gameplay not just to this or that particular mechanic.

    So, I think, one would need to look at the "Global" interaction of all mechanics and provided tools that would end up with "what" resulting gameplay ?

    One that would more cater to a smaller number of players ? To an everage mid-size of players ? To a much larger majority of players?

    Because, in the end, I think that Star Citizen's Universe will result to be what the Designed mechanics and tools, all interacting with one another, will make it to be. And players will then react to that resulting overall result in telling whether they will or not enjoy its gameplay.
  • RadiantFlux

    Posts: 8306

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    @sabre-tooth I think we are talking about a more fundamental thing here.

    In real life how much fun and chance would an average person have:
    - in a swimming contest against Olympic athletes?
    - In a boxing ring with a pro?
    - On a shooting range against military snipers?

    Immersion also mean difference in skill. And as StarCitizen does not have a simple leveling system like World Of Warcraft or Diablo, then the actual skill HAS TO be the factor.

    If you are a level 5 mage and encounter a level 30 mage in PvP you have no chance whatsoever.
    If in StarCitizen you engange a practiced player it is similar, but at least the theoretical ability to win is equal.

    So yea, there will be players that are so good that they kick the asses of beginners very, very easily if they wanted to, just as much as they can come to the rescue.

    This is also an integral part of a respectable reputation system, because if there is no really high skill ceiling, the reputation is just a fake thing based on how often you did not die on a mission or in other words: How many quests you successfully grinded.

    So yea, if a really, really good player comes along and encounters a bunch of beginners he might kill them and the noobs will not have fun getting killed. But then that also adds the fine kind of risk to the verse. A feeling of danger that is present - but really rare as for the reasons mentioned above.

    And then the Bounty hunters - the top level bounty hunters - top skill PvP bounty hunters go and hunt that person.
    That is the dynamic of this game and that is exactly what I want StarCitizen to be.

    I myself will probably have far less time for this game in the future years due to job and maybe kinds before the game is finished, but I still want to KNOW that if I wanted to I could get really good and that I can see others and know that they do the stuff they do because they got really good and not because the game made it so easy for them.

    “The Eleventh Hour
  • Jakster

    Posts: 1907

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    Nice vid. I have to say thanks for expending that level of effort in promoting your ideas.

    I think, however, there is a more fundamental issue at the moment which confounds individual weapon mechanic changes, even their design.

    Consider the origin of the need for turrets in a simple naval ship scenario. It arises from a relationship between the targeting ship's ability to change heading (keep a target under fixed guns) and the target's ability to change position. At long engagement ranges, the issue is less pronounced than at shorter ranges. At shorter and shorter ranges, the target's position angle changes faster and faster as it moves tangentially to the targeting ship's fixed weapon boresight. A naval ship mounts weapons in a turret precisely to increase weapon slew rates in order to maintain a firing solution on the target because the maneuvering ability of the targeting ship is less than the maneuvering ability of the target. Its not a skill issue, per se, that gimbals allow constant targeting, rather it is a simple weapons design concern. All weapons development is concerned with lethality; the ability to more quickly destroy a target (eliminate its combat potential). Its much the same way regarding missiles; they are meant to quickly destroy a target. Its not a skill critique to say those weapon system components are simply working as intended.

    In the real world, a kind of rough balance exists between maintaining a firing solution and avoiding one; its part of the "arms race". That "arm's race" is a concurrent development challenge between weapons and counters to weapons, based upon technology and engineering constraints. Our "problem" exists because there was no "arms race" and there are no engineering or technology constraints in SC. There has been no "arm's race", that I can perceive, during SC ship weapons system development. Consider missile "lock on". There is no counter to acquiring a missile lock; no jamming equipment, no spoofing equipment, no real stealth tech, nothing to stop or help prevent a "missile lock". Countermeasures, as implemented, are reactive systems, not proactive systems. Well, with the exception of the temporary chaff blinding we used to have. I don't use missiles any more so I don't know if chaff can still interfere with a missile lock attempt or not.

    Instead of critiquing the counters to, or the constraints upon, gimbals and missiles you are forced to critique gimbals and missiles, themselves. Your "circle of lock-on" is an "arm's race" limitation based upon what we HAVE, not what we NEED, or should have. It's the lack of logical weapon system DESIGN in SC that is the problem. No design counter to gimbals, or equivalent constraints upon them, arose during any SC development "arms race" (the minus one gun size band-aid came about post facto). No counter to missiles arose in an SC development "arms race". Anti-missile systems exist now IRL, but not in SC. No engineering or technology constraint limited missile, or gimbal, development. No counter mechanics exist, other than what you, and others, come up with based upon what we HAVE to work with. That will never provide a logical, nor balanced, weapon system, because what we HAVE is not logical from a weapon systems perspective.

    I don't believe "fixes" to what we have are the solution. We need real counters and constraints, integrated into overall ship design, that actually balance weapon systems. "Fixes" will invariably lead to conflicts elsewhere, which is why complete elimination of gimbals and missiles often comes up as the the only viable solution.

    Current ships and objects have, as far as I can tell, XML placeholder values without any "engineering" constraints upon them. You want a ship to strafe well, you put a huge thrust value in for a thruster. If a ship designer had fixed thrust values for thrusters, based upon a thruster type, they would have to build the ship to available thrust, not arbitrary performance goals dictated by whim. They would get the performance they designed in, not make it perform AFTER they added all the bells and whistles they wanted cause they have unlimited thrust to work with. Constraints; its hard to build logical systems without them. There are no constraints upon ships or objects which require a logical consideration in further design choices. Guns too hot? Just increase their cooling rate. They are building SC to arbitrary gameplay requirements, not to the logical consistency required by a combat simulation. Its seems "arcadey" to many, and it is. We're in Alpha, where these things are fleshed out, but at some point CIG will HAVE to decide how much thrust a particular engine can produce, or how much mass is required for armor, or how much heat a stock piping system can transfer. Once they make an actual constraint, dozens of other ship values will fall into place, naturally and by necessity. Until then, we'll keep seeing design-by-dart-throwing. Until CIG considers weapon systems evolution as a product of both lethality AND counters to that lethality, we'll have unbalanced combat. Guns and shields and armor are further along than missiles, but even those are not in a logically balanced state.

    Once some criteria for an actual ship constraint is determined and ships have logical design limitations, we can talk about the impact of skill on the game. Until then, all we can do is talk about poor game design. IMHO.
  • RadiantFlux

    Posts: 8306

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    Posted:
    Hey @Jakster :)

    Consider the origin of the need for turrets in a simple naval ship scenario. It arises from a relationship between the targeting ship's ability to change heading (keep a target under fixed guns) and the target's ability to change position. At long engagement ranges, the issue is less pronounced than at shorter ranges. At shorter and shorter ranges, the target's position angle changes faster and faster as it moves tangentially to the targeting ship's fixed weapon boresight. A naval ship mounts weapons in a turret precisely to increase weapon slew rates in order to maintain a firing solution on the target because the maneuvering ability of the targeting ship is less than the maneuvering ability of the target. Its not a skill issue, per se, that gimbals allow constant targeting, rather it is a simple weapons design concern. All weapons development is concerned with lethality; the ability to more quickly destroy a target (eliminate its combat potential). Its much the same way regarding missiles; they are meant to quickly destroy a target. Its not a skill critique to say those weapon system components are simply working as intended.

    Well, the thing is that if we want to have everything built in a way that is truly as lethal as technically would be possible, we would have lasers at lightspeed which never miss even very high rangers, due to targeting computers.

    Also the need of turrets is not only because of the slowness of the turn rate of the entire ship, but also in order to defend the ship from multiple hostiles coming from several directions.The "dedicated turret" option I proposed kept that true, because the turrets that are made for being turrets would have fast turn rates. Only the guns that where merely upgraded to be that are slower, so even there I would not see a breach with basic logic.

    But is is a simply gamedesign truth, that some systems have to be adapted away from realism towards gameplay.

    In the real world, a kind of rough balance exists between maintaining a firing solution and avoiding one; its part of the "arms race". That "arm's race" is a concurrent development challenge between weapons and counters to weapons, based upon technology and engineering constraints. Our "problem" exists because there was no "arms race" and there are no engineering or technology constraints in SC. There has been no "arm's race", that I can perceive, during SC ship weapons system development. Consider missile "lock on". There is no counter to acquiring a missile lock; no jamming equipment, no spoofing equipment, no real stealth tech, nothing to stop or help prevent a "missile lock". Countermeasures, as implemented, are reactive systems, not proactive systems. Well, with the exception of the temporary chaff blinding we used to have. I don't use missiles any more so I don't know if chaff can still interfere with a missile lock attempt or not.

    The "arms race" is basically an technical evolution that we have to simply simulate in the game.
    Just like everything else in the game: Why human pilots and no AI, how did shields come to happen and who discovered how the ability for jumping wormholes?

    The gamedesigners need to artificially create the technical evolution and they have to do so adaptively and with gameplay in mind. So sometimes they have to create one thing and then reverse engineer the story behind it and maybe make it work in a different way to fit. Anything fictional works that way. Movies, games, books.

    So yea, I agree that it is too reactionary but it is mostly reactionary because systems that counter something are in the real world usually pre-prepared. You just press a button and the skill needed is to know if you have the right thing, which button it is mapped to and when to press that button. And if it does not work you are probably dead.

    That would work for a movie, but it would not be much fun in a computer game if there is basically only dead or not dead and not stages of real peril in between. (Because that is what I think we would get if we followed that path of thinking about usable methods based on realism.)

    Instead of critiquing the counters to, or the constraints upon, gimbals and missiles you are forced to critique gimbals and missiles, themselves. Your "circle of lock-on" is an "arm's race" limitation based upon what we HAVE, not what we NEED, or should have. It's the lack of logical weapon system DESIGN in SC that is the problem. No design counter to gimbals, or equivalent constraints upon them, arose during any SC development "arms race" (the minus one gun size band-aid came about post facto). No counter to missiles arose in an SC development "arms race". Anti-missile systems exist now IRL, but not in SC. No engineering or technology constraint limited missile, or gimbal, development. No counter mechanics exist, other than what you, and others, come up with based upon what we HAVE to work with. That will never provide a logical, nor balanced, weapon system, because what we HAVE is not logical from a weapon systems perspective.

    Well, SC does have point defense cannons as concepts.....
    But yea, there is not much there right now.
    And I would love to see some missile-countering system.... but that too wold in the end have to be some mini-game that would for sure be... well... gamey at it's core, even if designed well.

    As I said: It is all reverse engineering from what we have now. And maybe some fundamentals of the way how things work will change along the way.

    “The Eleventh Hour
  • RadiantFlux

    Posts: 8306

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    I don't believe "fixes" to what we have are the solution. We need real counters and constraints, integrated into overall ship design, that actually balance weapon systems. "Fixes" will invariably lead to conflicts elsewhere, which is why complete elimination of gimbals and missiles often comes up as the the only viable solution.

    The "fixes" are effectively part of the steps of reverse engineering if done well. As long as they do it adaptively and allow the new systems to also influence the main system they are built on they could transform the entire thing we have.

    Current ships and objects have, as far as I can tell, XML placeholder values without any "engineering" constraints upon them. You want a ship to strafe well, you put a huge thrust value in for a thruster. If a ship designer had fixed thrust values for thrusters, based upon a thruster type, they would have to build the ship to available thrust, not arbitrary performance goals dictated by whim. They would get the performance they designed in, not make it perform AFTER they added all the bells and whistles they wanted cause they have unlimited thrust to work with. Constraints; its hard to build logical systems without them. There are no constraints upon ships or objects which require a logical consideration in further design choices. Guns too hot? Just increase their cooling rate. They are building SC to arbitrary gameplay requirements, not to the logical consistency required by a combat simulation. Its seems "arcadey" to many, and it is. We're in Alpha, where these things are fleshed out, but at some point CIG will HAVE to decide how much thrust a particular engine can produce, or how much mass is required for armor, or how much heat a stock piping system can transfer. Once they make an actual constraint, dozens of other ship values will fall into place, naturally and by necessity. Until then, we'll keep seeing design-by-dart-throwing. Until CIG considers weapon systems evolution as a product of both lethality AND counters to that lethality, we'll have unbalanced combat. Guns and shields and armor are further along than missiles, but even those are not in a logically balanced state.

    I agree.
    As soon as the constraints are more clear things will find their place.... but also the things that don't fit will become more clear - and there we would then come back into "fixing" territory. Fixing or creating something new. But fixing is not a negative word. Even a workaround can work if implemented well, and fixes are not necessarily workarounds.

    Once some criteria for an actual ship constraint is determined and ships have logical design limitations, we can talk about the impact of skill on the game. Until then, all we can do is talk about poor game design. IMHO.

    Iteration is key.
    To build and change and adapt is always better than to throw away and redo. or to even try to get something right on the first try. :)
    Problems are noticed and recognized and changed and improved.

    And that is what we are doing here.

    Inspect.
    Adapt.
    Change.
    Inspect.
    “The Eleventh Hour
  • RadiantFlux

    Posts: 8306

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    I just watched a video about the new Legend Of Zelda and they talked about taming horses.
    https://youtu.be/9bnKkpdVjXY?t=4m43s

    There are horses that are easy to tame and others that are really hard to tame.
    They did this so that even beginner players can get a horse because there is for sure one that does not kick them off and which they can ride. But the horse that is really hard to tame is the strongest, fastest and best horse... but you have to work for it.

    And that is good.
    I see it as similar to my proposed missile mechanic.

    You can have missiles that are easy to lock on well and launch, but they are not as great.
    You have missiles that are difficult to lock on but worth the effort.

    And effort meaning: Actively doing something that is not just keeping the target in the general view area - because that needs really, really low flight skill and has only two states: Success or fail.

    How well you kept on target or how well you did no matter what has no impact at all and so it means that the missile (horse) of a noob is as effective as the missile (horse) of a dedicated gamer totally irrelevant of how well something was done.

    “The Eleventh Hour
  • Anora

    Posts: 1342

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    Great video, disagree with it but good video none the less. They could just give of back our speed and ability to maneuver again and all will be well with the world.
  • RadiantFlux

    Posts: 8306

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    Great video, disagree with it but good video none the less. They could just give of back our speed and ability to maneuver again and all will be well with the world.

    Thanks :)

    Well, the problem with gimbals and missiles already existed before they lowered the speeds so much, so.... I don't think that will solve it.
    “The Eleventh Hour
  • Anora

    Posts: 1342

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    [hide]

    Great video, disagree with it but good video none the less. They could just give of back our speed and ability to maneuver again and all will be well with the world.

    Thanks :)

    Well, the problem with gimbals and missiles already existed before they lowered the speeds so much, so.... I don't think that will solve it.
    I never thought there was an issue with gimbals before (im a m/k user), i do agree missiles need something done. i think the new FM just made what i saw as a small difference between controllers into a big difference, and it leans towards stick users. just my opinion.

    better yet they could just obstruck the view in all ships and make guns automated. lol
  • Krel

    Posts: 6180

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    Edited: by Krel
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    [hide]

    Great video, disagree with it but good video none the less. They could just give of back our speed and ability to maneuver again and all will be well with the world.

    Thanks :)

    Well, the problem with gimbals and missiles already existed before they lowered the speeds so much, so.... I don't think that will solve it.
    Nope. A little more speed will be good, I think, but I'm in the camp that thinks that lower speeds are an improvement overall. I do think they went too far, and the smaller ships especially need a good chunk of their speed back.

    Not going to fix the underlying problems though.
  • Skyfaller

    Posts: 6634

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    Missiles: Sorry, I see you put thought into this but I disagree entirely with the premise of % lock time and it influencing how the missile performs.

    That concept is extremely gamey and in my opinion, does nothing about 'skill' required to use it and hardly changes anything to the player on the receiving end other than 'I hope he didn't get a full lock on me' on top of the standard countermeasure spamming.

    I do like the concept of the size of the ring and lock time changing depending on the missile type..that part does, all on its own, make the locking/using missiles depend on the pilot and requires the pilot to do some actual flying... and the part of the missile lock effort interfering with gunnery is an excellent side effect.

    Since I would remove the part of the % of missile lock affecting missile performance I would suggest that missile performance be modified by things that are more interactive between the attacker and the target.... so I'd say the missile performance when it comes to tracking/chasing the target would be affected by:

    1- The missile itself. Missiles should be designed to have pros and cons... aka some would be very fast, others have long range (long flight time), others have excellent seekers, others have strong warheads... and a balanced mix/match of these stats. Some missiles can be independent (fire and forget) and some require host ship guidance (missile links with host ship's sensors/targeting systems to fly to target). Jumpgate did this with enormous success in its missile system.

    2- Attacker's ship sensors and targeting systems. Simply put, the higher the capability of sensors and targeting systems, the better the guided missiles perform and the faster the fire and forget missiles lock on. Sensors and targeting system performance also would change the max range missiles can be locked on to...for low end sensors would not have the resolution/power to acquire a lock at the max range a missile could fly out to for example.

    3- Target (victim) ship's ECM capability. The victim ship can use ECM to interfere with both the target's sensors/targeting (which increases lock time or can even prevent a lock... send guided missiles off course and reduce tracking performance of fire and forget missiles). Finally, there's the victim's countermeasures and flying to take into account.

    IMO these 3 things alone replace the functionality you were looking at with the % of lock time affecting missile performance.

    Gimbals:

    Your preferred suggestion is one that from what I remember was discussed very early on..around 0.9 or ~2.0~2.1 I believe. The problem with such a system is that the gimbal mouse user also flies with that same aiming system so aiming=flying.

    Having the gimbal/turrets (ill just refer to these as articulated guns from now on) track slower than the actual flight mouse indicator would likely have a simultaneous and constant effect of:

    1- The user adjusting by keeping his mouse cursor ahead of the lead pip.... which results in the ship turning harder than it would now with the flight=aim cursor .... which exacerbates #2 below.
    2- Ship rotation rate will be used to aid the articulated guns to target... aka ship rotation+articulated gun slew rate. This in turn would make #3 more prominent.
    3- By having the ship rotate harder (#1) to make the rotation assist the articulated gun (#2) you end up with a very similar situation that was found in 0.8 : If you want to get shots into target then you end up flying yourself straight into the target. In 0.8 this was done by the forced aim-centric gameplay of the ships flying in pure pursuit all the time (ship nose/flight vector pointed straight at target). With the system you suggest you'd be forcing mouse IM players to aim+fly into lead pursuit the entire time. Both result in extremely fast closure rates on both ships which results inevitably in nonstop jousting or collisions.

    Finally, using this system still does not enable the articulated guns to use their entire range of motion. The ball of the hornet for example, is capable of firing in 360 horizontal and 180 vertical ... but with the current system and this suggestion, that range of motion will be limited to merely a forward arc with a small vertical arc.

    The problem with IM has always been that aim=flight. Those two should never have been put together. Aiming should be a result of flying not the other way around.... otherwise all you have is a click-shooter gameplay that is no different from any other arcade console shooter game out there.

    You probably know my preferred suggestion is to simply have articulated weapons be auto-tracking the currently locked target and having the guns lead-aim like they did in 0.8 .... which makes FLYING of the ship be a critical factor in the hit rate of the guns as the ship would need to be flown into a firing position where the target has little to no horizontal or vertical displacement relative to the attacker .... and this system allows the articulated guns make FULL use of their range of motion plus makes all input devices be 100% EQUAL in performance (since none is actually manually aiming) and regardless of input device, the input device is used only for flying. Since the articulated guns can, with a single button, be turned to fixed forward, any and all users can flip to manual aiming. Such a system makes gimbals be extremely useful in close range fights and yet have the flexibility to switch to manual fixed for longer range fire (where 0.8 aiming system would perform not so well and where manual aiming, regardless of device, is easier as distance makes aiming require less movement). Finally, things like ECM, chaff/flares and EMP can disrupt the gimbal's efficiency/aiming ability given they are tied to the sensors to function.
    dgEkA0d.jpg
  • Quantumalpha

    Posts: 127

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    how much do missiles cost?
  • KristovK

    Posts: 2146

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    Missiles, problems with...

    First off, you are basing your opinion on the state of things currently, which means an incomplete and barely functional system.

    Sensors are on, that's it, nothing else exists when it comes to them, which is why we can track targets literally clear across the Stanton system as it exists right now, and that's not even close to the intended functionality of sensors. There are no different forms of sensors, no ranges, nothing, just sensors on.

    We also have no means of countering sensors, despite having multiple ships right now that are designed to be hard to detect.

    So trying to come up with ways to make missile usage difficult is rather pointless currently.

    Gimbals, well, I personally prefer how Frontier deals with that in Elite: Dangerous, the ship's computer does the target tracking with gimballed weapons and their range of motion is very restricted and tied to your ship's sensor systems, as is their ability to track targets.

    Go with a cheap sensor system, which is very common, and your gimbals have a small cone of movement and don't track real well. Go with the most expensive sensors and your gimbals have a better cone of movement and track much better. That sensor system isn't too hard to fool however, Frontier gives multiple methods for that that are directly user controlled(heat sinks, chaff, running silent) as well as having ships that are simply harder to track by design, they are stealth designs, run cooler, less emissions over all. This system works well in ED, PvP players are almost exclusively fixed users, PvE players will use gimbals and turrets. Also, some weapons can't be gimballed or turret at all, they are fixed only, and those are the highest damaging weapons, rail guns and plasma accelerators. And like SC, gimbals in ED do less damage than fixed and turrets do less than gimballed. You give up damage for autoaiming ability, balances out nicely, especially when combined with the multiple ways those autoaiming systems can be countered.
  • LockeD

    Posts: 1147

    Posted:
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    The missile idea is good but the percentage part looks too artificial to me.
    As for the gimbals i stand by the idea of them being separated from pilot control. It's the only realistic one.

    All in all nice video and i definitely agree, they have to do something...
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