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FreeSpace Discussion / Re: Screencap Contest: April 2020
« Last post by Nyctaeus on April 08, 2020, 07:17:17 pm »

FreeSpace Discussion / Re: A celebration of Freespace
« Last post by Nyctaeus on April 08, 2020, 07:06:43 pm »

May happen. Maybe it even will.
The Aftermath: Reboot / Re: RELEASE: The Aftermath II - The Blue Guardian
« Last post by CT27 on April 08, 2020, 05:55:12 pm »
To be fair, I think some of the speeds of ships were reduced from the version of TBG I got for testing back in September.  Now there are only a few instances of capships going 90-100 (it was more before).

I've played through most of TBG now (the only mission left to play is the final mission and I'll try to get to that next week or so).  I'll give my thoughts on what I've played so far (mechanics wise...I'll try to talk about the story later).

Generally, I haven't found many technical/gamebreaking errors.  However, my personal opinion is that the game is a little too difficult.  If you play The Aftermath/Reboot and TBG on the same difficulty level you will notice a tangible jump.  (I'll try to also give suggestions on how to improve things/constructive criticism).

In the second mission of Act 1, it is impossible to get the primary and secondary objectives achieved.  I managed to disable and destroy all the escort capships and then the Lucifer class ship...but I never got a message to return to base or anything like that.  On the other hand, I did get clearance to jump out at the end of the mission if an escort ship escaped earlier.  Another weird thing I ran into on that mission was that as soon as I started the mission the "Demora" objective in Directives was blued out.
Also, I would suggest adding "Disable Demora" as an objective in the Directives list because it can take people by surprise.  Or, since you already have lots to do in the mission, I would suggest having the Demora start disabled to slightly lessen the difficulty.

In the final mission of Act 1, it does seem rather long for what's essentially a prologue.  I think the amount of enemies need to be reduced.  Even if you have your whole squad pounding on an Asura it can take a while.  I think there should only be one Asura.  (Like Nightmare said, I'll try not to ask too much for speed redesign though I think some would prefer that).  I also think there were a couple too many of those large sentry guns you had to destroy.  Like the Asura, they take a while to destroy even if your whole squad is shooting at one.  Honestly I'd say reduce the health and number of those sentry guns in that mission.
Also, in that reduce the time length of the mission...perhaps have the Reliant come in after the sentry guns are destroyed.  It would start/jump in near the opening of the Shivan facility. 

Like someone said before, the dynamics are very different between Reboot and TBG.  In Reboot the good guys have high technology but relatively lower numbers and the bad guys (Shivans) are swarms of numbers but lower technology.  So your one squadron against three of four of theirs creates a challenge but not one that can't be overcome.  Plotwise it does create a sense of challenge (and pilots do wonder if they'll ever be able to overcome the vast hordes of Shivans), but gameplay wise it doesn't feel frustrating.
However, in TBG,
until Act 4 and 5 mostly though you do see a hint in Act 2
  you are mostly facing an enemy that is for the most part your technological peer.  So if you put the same numbers of enemies in that you faced in Reboot, the difficulty will go up dramatically.  It can feel like a chore to go through multiple squadrons.  I know the
bad guy/rebel Vasudans
you face are supposed to outnumber you in the plot...,but gameplay wise that ratio should be reduced in a number of missions.  I also think the health of the newer Vasudan bombers/fighters is fine...but I honestly feel the health of Serapis and Horus fighters should be reduced since that's mostly what you seem to face  I'm not saying they should be paper thin like in FS2, but they shouldn't be as tough as they are in TBG.  I tested on very easy at least once and a Serapis ate multiple dual launched Trebs...that just doesn't feel right.  Again, I'm fine with the enemy outnumbering you in TBG, but the numbers you face (or their fighter's health) should be reduced somewhat.

Maybe I encountered a technical error, but I think the new Blizzard cannon needs a bit of a subsystem damage buff.  Since a primary tactic against the enemy is attacking reactor or weapons subsystems, a disruptor cannon is important.  The Blizzard only seems to do a tiny bit more subsystem damage than the Maxim...but the Maxim has a much better range.  Since enemy cruisers have deadly anti-fighter weaponry it doesn't make much sense to choose the Blizzard over the Maxim.  So I would say enemy cruisers need to be slightly reduced in weaponry or the Blizzard needs to do a little more subsystem damage (I'm not a FRED expert but I guess the Blizzard option would be easier to program in) to cause someone to want to choose the Blizzard over the Maxim.

I also encountered a technical error in "Long Shot".  Only cannons 1-4 work using the number keys.  Cannons 5 and 6 don't work using number keys (you have to go through a couple manual steps through communications to use Atlas cannons 5 and 6).  So either you need to get 5 and 6 working somehow...or just take them out entirely.  However, if you remove two cannons and the player now only has four, you'll likely need to remove a number of enemy forces as well to compensate (or make cannons 1-4 more powerful and have a quicker refire rate and longer range perhaps).
I will say the first part of "Long Shot" was easier than the testing version I got months ago.  In that there were more enemy fighters and bombers attacking your AWACS so you had to divide your attention a lot more.
As for the second part of "Long Shot", I don't have technical issues to report, but I agree with some who say Courtney's "horny" line feels weird and out of place.  I would recommend taking that part of her line out.

Someone reported a technical problem with "Lightning From Heaven" in that the enemy corvettes wouldn't die.  I didn't run into that problem, but perhaps take the corvettes out.  That would help reduce the difficulty of that mission (you get a lot of stuff thrown at your destroyers) and remove a technical problem.

There was a technical problem I ran into with the
Donald Esquire
missions.  The first mission "Deadly Contraband" went fine, but when you jump out and the second mission "Reunion" begins I was in the Eclipse gunship even though I was in a fighter in the previous mission (since the game proceeds right from that first mission to the next and doesn't give you a debriefing I would presume you're supposed to be in the fighter you were in the first part of the mission).  It wasn't a gamebreaking error since I was able to play and win the second part but a weird technical glitch.

"Solar Eclipse pt. 2" was a real challenge and frustrating.  Depending on how much damage the
Sol Gate and control facility
take you can get slightly different dialogues at the end.  However, I found it impossible to get the light or even moderate damage dialogue lines.  I think there were too many enemy fighters and bombers in that mission and they should have their numbers/health reduced.  This was one of the more challenging missions and it didn't seem this hard in testing months ago.  In addition to slightly reducing enemy health and numbers, perhaps don't have the enemy bombers come in right away.  Have them come in a little later so your fighters can take out more of the enemy fighters before they have to help you with bombers.  I would also give the player some warning that the cruisers are about to decloak so the player can get in position.  If you want it to at all be possible to get the light or moderate damage lines (in addition to what I've said before) I'd suggest not having the cruisers be able to fire right away after decloaking.  Perhaps have Courtney say something like "The cruisers have decloaked but will need some time to begin firing.  Hit their reactors before they can do damage to our facilities!"
Also, I ran into a technical error in that part of the mission.  In this mission most of your allied squadron never fired weapons.  You would have three or four fighters behind an enemy but just chasing it and never firing.  So somehow in part 2 (and sometimes it happened in part 1 of Solar Eclipse as well) most of your fighters seemed to lose their weapons.

I forgot the name of it but the mission where you
send your ambassador to meet with the Rigelians and try to prevent Akhmim's Vasudans from doing the same
really needs a difficulty rebalance.  You face three enemy squadrons while having to destroy a dozen transports.  It's near impossible.  Plus the transport you're escorting gets ambushed by enemy bombers while you're doing other stuff unless you're in exactly the right place almost..  I felt lucky to make it past this mission.    Enemy health of fighters/bombers need to be reduced here...or lessen their numbers somewhat (perhaps face two squadrons and eight transports instead of three/12).
There is also another suggestion if you don't want to do that:  let the player have access to Widowmakers.  Not just in this mission but you should have access to Widowmakers more often (that would also help reduce the difficulty that people are mentioning).

One more technical error I've noticed (though this one isn't gamebreaking):  At some point in Act 4
Richter says you can have his Phantom fighter
however I never saw that fighter available.  In the ship selection screen I never saw that I could pick it.

Admittedly I'm biased, but I do see good in this campaign.  I'm just talking as a FS player and fan here as to what I see that could be improved (and also taking other thoughts that were put out here into consideration).
The Babylon Project / Re: Question about wing commands
« Last post by 0rph3u5 on April 08, 2020, 04:46:22 pm »
Inside the missions themselves would this be done by +Orders Accepted: 0?

The value of +orders accepted is a bit field, it is best to not alter it with a text editor.
Mission & Campaign Releases / Re: AI sound deepfakes
« Last post by 0rph3u5 on April 08, 2020, 04:44:30 pm »
to cut through the necessity of VOs in anyone's mods?

IMO Voice acting is not essential except for a limited number of genres, such as Horror.

This might be the acquired bias from years of cRPG fandom talking.

you could even use other canon voices, like admiral Petrarch or whatever.

Maybe this is something that has been in your minds since ages, and I'm an idiot for bringing this up, I'm just asking where your thoughts are on this.

I would consider that application to be unethical. It is one (acceptable) thing to substitute an actor with another for a role; after all the role does not belong to the actor, it's their interpretation of the role that does.

However using technical means to mimic another person's voice without their consent is a different matter entirely. (If consent is given, the matter is changes significantly - it would acceptable but aweful, and recasting would be preferrable.)

For one, not recasting is to essentially deprive the actor to be newly cast of an opportunity. Secondly, this has the potential to narrow the range of performances you present to your audience.

Thirdly, (its a different argument so it has to be) Additionally, actors can be a great source of feedback, esspecially when it comes to sensitivy in writing. Having them alter or refuse a line and then to engage in a dialogue about said alteration or refusal can make you a better writer.
The Babylon Project / Re: Question about wing commands
« Last post by wesp5 on April 08, 2020, 04:33:53 pm »
Inside the missions themselves would this be done by +Orders Accepted: 0?
The Babylon Project / Re: Question about wing commands
« Last post by 0rph3u5 on April 08, 2020, 04:31:09 pm »
Every order to the AI in-game is given a "Priority"-score, an order with a higher score will be executed first. Player orders have scores that range from 90 to 100, but the full range of scores is from 1 to 200.
The Babylon Project / Re: Question about wing commands
« Last post by Nightmare on April 08, 2020, 04:24:06 pm »
Go to ship editor (or double click on the ship), then on the box "Player Orders".
The Babylon Project / Question about wing commands
« Last post by wesp5 on April 08, 2020, 03:44:30 pm »
Another question to you specialists out there about a mission detail which I noticed while checking MAGs training campaign "Io Training Wing". Is it possible to make a friendly fighter ignore commands? Because your instructor will do whatever you tell him and this just doesn't feel right ;)!
Mission & Campaign Releases / Re: AI sound deepfakes
« Last post by Nightmare on April 08, 2020, 02:01:13 pm »
Interesting idea though, probably not good for emotions and whatnot.

Pretty much. There's some software out there that works on machine learning to recreate speech already, but as you can imagine the AI doesn't know how to take context into account so is unable to convey emotion. I've been using a few of them in Solaris with mixed results.

Mind providing a list for that?
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