Author Topic: Feature wishlist - Requests & Comments  (Read 25815 times)

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Offline Backslash

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Here's a crazy question for discussion:

Which would be better on the Team Select screen:
  A way to show 4 wings at once (of up to 4 ships each)
OR
  A way to show 3 wings of up to 6 ships each
?

I'm not promising anything yet, but I MIGHT be able to do one of these (not both!) while preserving backwards compatibility, interface-wise at least.  (I'd have to learn more from another coder about if/how that would affect actual data packets sent/received.)

 

Offline karajorma

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Funnily enough I've actually been thinking about changing that myself today.

I think having more ships in the wings the game will allow is the better solution. Both for single player and multi. Adding another wing would have no effect on TvT. TvT currently only allows 8 players. Alpha and Zeta wing would still be limited to 4 players so no net effect there. It would however require a bump in the number of max players the game supports in order to have any effect in the other modes.

Allowing 6 players in Alpha and Zeta wing would probably allow you to move up to 12 player TvT. This wouldn't require a bump. In fact if we're lucky it's possible that the interface rather than any back-end code is actually what limits us to only 8 players in TvT and only minor changes would be needed for the rest of the code.

We'd still have problems if someone tried to make a 18 player Coop or Dogfight mission though.

SP would also be the one that benefited more from the change. If you allow a 4th wing the question becomes "Which wing?" Many missions have been built based on the assumption that Delta and Epsilon wing are NOT visible to the player in loadout. Very few missions have been built with more than 4 players in Alpha, Beta or Gamma wing precisely because of the interface limits and it probably wouldn't break them even if we did add the extra ships.

And that's before we get to the simple fact that (3x6) > (4x4) :D
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Offline Backslash

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Good points.

The 12 player max limit -- is there anything tying this to packet size or anything like that?  I mean, obviously there's bandwidth problems if we have 64 players :p but how about 16?

TvT... well one reason I thought of 4 wings was the idea of TvT with 2 wings each, depending on what the engine permits.  Worst case, 3 ships per wing if the player limit just can't be bumped.  Some coding required of course.  Either way, I love the idea of a more complicated TvT where each wing of a team has a different role.  Long term goal!

Single player -- valid concern, but what we could do is leave things as they are for missions that don't support them, and tie the support to the "$Starting wing names:" line in FRED.
In fact for single player I could easily do BOTH features and then some: there's room for 4 wings of 8+ ships.  It's just the multiplayer interface that lacks room.

 

Offline karajorma

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he 12 player max limit -- is there anything tying this to packet size or anything like that?  I mean, obviously there's bandwidth problems if we have 64 players :p but how about 16?

The game can currently deal with 16 people connected. 12 players + 4 observers (or 3 and the standalone). I'm not sure what would happen if I tried to bump it to 16 players and to be honest I don't really consider it worth trying for such a small change. If we're going to bump MULTI_MAX_PLAYERS we should be looking at much larger bump so that we don't have to bother with it again. i.e 32 or 64 players.
 Now we can tell people not to actually try 64 players or even artificially keep the number in release builds low but I don't see much point in combing through the code looking for numerous bugs when bumping it to 16 only to have to do it all over again a year or two from now when someone decides to bump it to 24 or 32.

Quote
TvT... well one reason I thought of 4 wings was the idea of TvT with 2 wings each, depending on what the engine permits.  Worst case, 3 ships per wing if the player limit just can't be bumped.  Some coding required of course.  Either way, I love the idea of a more complicated TvT where each wing of a team has a different role.  Long term goal!

I'd love that as a long term goal but unlike the above we might be able to get 12 player TvT with only a few minor changes since as far as I know all the packets in the game are already built to deal with 12 players anyway. That's definitely worth trying as a short term goal (Let's at least see how much needs fixing!). It's only a small change but I know that I've seen several posts from players saying that enough people turned up for a game that they couldn't play TvT and had to play dogfight all night cause there are no coop missions fit for 12 players and Coops takes a long time to FRED.

And if we're doing long term TvT changes we might as well think big again. :D

Quote
Single player -- valid concern, but what we could do is leave things as they are for missions that don't support them, and tie the support to the "$Starting wing names:" line in FRED.
In fact for single player I could easily do BOTH features and then some: there's room for 4 wings of 8+ ships.  It's just the multiplayer interface that lacks room.

The problem is that tying it into $Starting wing names would remove the same functionality from there, we'd need another option related to it but that's not hard.

There are a whole bunch of changes that the existing interface has forced me to abandon. (off the top of my head the biggest one is allowing the mission file to specify that certain ships in loadout can only be flown by certain pilots). To be honest I'm about a gnat's breath away from saying I should simply pull the old loadout interface and re-write the whole damn thing anyway. :nervous:

Anyway, I've added you on ICQ, if you want to bounce ideas around send me a message.
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Offline FUBAR-BDHR

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Here's another one.  The ability to take over a player's position if they drop and your an observer.

The biggest problem with that would be figuring out what to do with stats. If FS2NetD kept track of Kills/Death it wouldn't be too bad but otherwise this gives the player a second chance to score kills after his allotted number of respawns are gone.

Well the idea is to have them take over the current loadout and status of the existing player.  So if the player they are taking over has already used up all his respawns then the player taking over would still be in observer mode but in a player slot for the next game.  As far as stats go.  Right now if a player drops during the mission his stats are gone.  I say just have the joining player start from 0 kills and 0 points.  Team points and kills would still be cumulative. 
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Offline karajorma

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Suppose I play a game, use all my respawns and go back to observer mode. Then another player drops, If I choose to take over his remaining respawns what happens to the score I built up earlier in the game? Does it get wiped? Does it add on to what I get in these extra respawns?

Going back to 0,0 could be a really bad idea if the player I'm taking over only had one respawn left.
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Offline FUBAR-BDHR

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Suppose I play a game, use all my respawns and go back to observer mode. Then another player drops, If I choose to take over his remaining respawns what happens to the score I built up earlier in the game? Does it get wiped? Does it add on to what I get in these extra respawns?

Going back to 0,0 could be a really bad idea if the player I'm taking over only had one respawn left.

OK we are talking about 2 different observer modes.  First is the join as observer and second is dead observer mode. 

Join Observer takes over dropped player playing = player stats start at 0 and only has remaining respawns for player that dropped.
Dead Observer can't take over another dropped player since he is technically already a player.
Join Observer takes over dropped player in dead observer mode results in dead observer mode and no individual stats.  Only benefit is you get to start in the next game.   

I don't know how team scores (points for things like mission goals and events) are handled in the code so that may be a different scenario.  This may effect TvT missions as well.  Since they are normally shot missions you may want to just disallow it for TvT after mission start. 

Or course dogfights don't have a respawn limit so there is no dead observer mode.  Kills would just start at 0.

Now the one that would be tricky is a player drops and comes back taking over his own spot.  This is more of an ingame joining issue though.  Same with total kills for other players in dogfights with ingame joining enabled. 
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Offline Shade

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Ooh boy, so much to catch up on.

Quote
Which would be better on the Team Select screen:
  A way to show 4 wings at once (of up to 4 ships each)
OR
  A way to show 3 wings of up to 6 ships each
3x6, for pretty much all the reasons that have been mentioned above. Plus it would simply be nice to be able to have player wings the same size as AI wings. And it's 2 more players, which counts for, well, 2 more :p

Quote
If we're going to bump MULTI_MAX_PLAYERS we should be looking at much larger bump so that we don't have to bother with it again.
100% agreed. Bumping it to 16 would seem a waste on time since we're eventually gonna want more anyway, particularly for TvT. I've always wanted to try playing in an epic battle with 12+ players on each side just going at it with fleet support and everything - 4 players per side is good and fun, but in this particular game type higher player numbers truely would take it to another level entirely. Since 3x6 is 18, the bump should probably support at least two sides with that many players, which in practise would probably mean 64.

Quote
Suppose I play a game, use all my respawns and go back to observer mode. Then another player drops, If I choose to take over his remaining respawns what happens to the score I built up earlier in the game? Does it get wiped? Does it add on to what I get in these extra respawns?

Going back to 0,0 could be a really bad idea if the player I'm taking over only had one respawn left.
I'd say track respawns on a per-ship basis and kills on a per-player basis, but don't allow players who have run out of respawns to jump into another ship - Only people who started as observers or joined as observers during the game. It wouldn't do much good anyway to rejoin after running out, as once you run out, other ships are bound to be close anyway, and the AIs are generally wiped out well before the players.

The reason this request actually came about is that yesterday we had too many players for a mission and Fubar volunteered to go ops, only to see a player drop out within the first 5 minutes of the game. It's those situations that this should cover, not those where a pilot has already spent his all respawns and has to wait 2 minutes for the match to end.



Whew. Onwards. Assuming the suggestions here come through in some form, dogfights would be a lot more limited than TvT due to the fact that all players can see all other ships, effectively limiting it to 18 players. But why is this the case? Why show opposing players the loadout of all other ships? Shouldn't it really just display a 1-ship wing for each player regardless of how they're actually organized so you can keep your loadout choices secret from other players? Currently, the last player to commit actually has a fair advantage over the rest, as he knows what they're packing and they haven't a clue about him, which seems unfair to me. And changing it thus would also do away with the art limitations and allow you an arbitrary number of ships up to whatever number is supported by the game.
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Offline karajorma

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OK we are talking about 2 different observer modes.  First is the join as observer and second is dead observer mode. 

Join Observer takes over dropped player playing = player stats start at 0 and only has remaining respawns for player that dropped.
Dead Observer can't take over another dropped player since he is technically already a player.
Join Observer takes over dropped player in dead observer mode results in dead observer mode and no individual stats.  Only benefit is you get to start in the next game.   

I don't know how team scores (points for things like mission goals and events) are handled in the code so that may be a different scenario.  This may effect TvT missions as well.  Since they are normally shot missions you may want to just disallow it for TvT after mission start. 

Or course dogfights don't have a respawn limit so there is no dead observer mode.  Kills would just start at 0.

Now the one that would be tricky is a player drops and comes back taking over his own spot.  This is more of an ingame joining issue though.  Same with total kills for other players in dogfights with ingame joining enabled. 

Yes but unless you allow any observer to take over dropped player slots you face the issue of dead observers quitting the game and then rejoining in the hope of getting the now vacant slot. That's going to increase the server load for no good reason. And there is no easy way to stop this. All player data is flushed as soon as a player drops. There's no where to keep it either IIRC unless you want to prevent new players from joining.

The most sensible course of action is to allow people who joined as observers first shot at new respawn slots followed by anyone who died. Which gets us right back to the issue of what to do with their previous score. :D
« Last Edit: March 16, 2008, 01:29:32 pm by karajorma »
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Offline Shade

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Actually dead observers quitting and rejoining to play on would be fine with me. They'd sacrifice their kills in doing so just like anyone else who drops out, so it's a tradeoff, and if they want to do that then it's fine with me.

[Edit] Oh, and:

Quote
It's only a small change but I know that I've seen several posts from players saying that enough people turned up for a game that they couldn't play TvT and had to play dogfight all night cause there are no coop missions fit for 12 players and Coops takes a long time to FRED.
We actually fixed that by taking a bunch of the toughest 8 player missions and making 12 player versions of them (minus any medals they might have). One is already validated and several others are on the brink of being tested enough for it. The trouble is, we've started to occasionally see over 12 players too now... and there's no way we can fix that :p
« Last Edit: March 16, 2008, 01:41:22 pm by Shade »
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Offline FUBAR-BDHR

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If your getting more then 10 players split into two games. Gives people more options and since the more servers there are the better the chance one will be in forming stage people won't have to wait as long for a game.   I'd much rather see 5 servers with 4 people then 2 servers with 10.

I don't see coops with more than 12 players being much fun with the current game limitations.  Just doing things like increasing number of fighter wings doesn't seem like a solution that will be much fun.  Doing things that require plot for 12 players is hard enough.  16 maybe doable but that only leaves you with 84 other ships/objects to work with.   Not to mention trying to figure out how 16 people can mess up a mission buy doing everything they aren't suppose to at once.

I'm with Shade on the observer thing.  I don't think people will drop and loose their stats just to take over another ship that might only have a few respawns left.  With ingame joining they could do that anyway.  Server option flag for dead take over AI?  I definitely wouldn't want that enabled for a TvT where in a coop it wouldn't hurt.
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Offline Shade

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Yeah, coops don't need more than 12. Dogfights and TvTs would definitely benefit, though.
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Offline karajorma

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I can't think of any good reason to limit the code for Coop games though. In general if we can do more than 12 players in dogfight and TvT, coop will automatically get the benefits.
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Offline Shade

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No reason it shouldn't be possible, it'll just be bloody rare for any decent missions to be made. I don't think any of us were saying it should be artificially limited, just that jumping through extra hoops to get there wouldn't be worth it.
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Offline FUBAR-BDHR

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Not saying it should be limited at all.  Just saying with the current engine limits it's not a major priority.  Now if the ship and object limits get raised then yea you probably could make a good 24 player coop.  Could you imagine a 24 player gauntlet?   :lol:
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Offline Shade

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You know... that would be impossibly awesome. It'd be a true battle of endor mission, except it would actually work. First fight through 10 waves of 50 fighters each, then come the star destroyers, more fighter waves, SSD (remember to task a few bombers to drop the bridge shields!), then finally throw everyone you have left at the death star :p It's just crazy enough that it could actually be a spectacularly cool mission to fly. Of course we'd have to wait for the SWC to get released, but if we can get this, then I'm willing to wait a few years.

[Edit] And actually, I think we can already use over a hundred ships in a mission. I know I've saved missions with higher numbers by accident because I left in a few unintended ones, and FRED didn't complain nor did I get a corrupt file out of it.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2008, 06:35:42 pm by Shade »
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"We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question that divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct." - Niels Bohr
<Cobra|> You play this mission too intelligently.

 

Offline Shade

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Another addition to the wishlist: Currently, in difficult missions where you die a lot, capital ship kills are often not credited to a player despite them having done practically all of the damage. The damage done on each respawn seems to be counted seperately (or reset on death), and as such it can easily happen that no players are credited with having done enough damage despite in fact having done so - Over a couple of respawns.

So, it would be nice if damage done to capital ships by a player could carry over through respawns, possibly as a setting available to the mission designer (in easier missions, staying alive to get the kill can be part of the challenge, but in some missions you just don't have a prayer no matter how well you fly and would need damage to carry over. So making it the designer's choice seems like the best way to me).
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<Cobra|> You play this mission too intelligently.

 

Offline karajorma

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It seems a little odd that it's not carrying over at the moment. I'll try to remember to take a look.
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Offline Shade

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Well, to be honest I'm not 100% sure exactly how it works, it just seems like it doesn't carry over. Generally speaking, in multi you won't get kills for anything above a cruiser unless you're using Helios. Cyclops just don't do enough damage on the single pass you get before being obliterated, and repeated bombing runs just don't seem to help any if you die a couple of times during them.

This is especially annoying due to the rearm bug, as self destructing (and thus apparently losing the damage you've done) may be the only way to actually get the ammo you need to kill the thing even if you are otherwise able to stay alive.
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<Cobra|> You play this mission too intelligently.

 

Offline karajorma

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Which rearm bug? This one?
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