Author Topic: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas  (Read 20620 times)

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Offline Gee1337

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
One particular point that piqued my interest was the bomber ability to "spray counter measures" everywhere. This got me thinking of an old fighter game (the name escapes me) where there were two kinds of countermeasure. You either had a choice of using a flare or a chaff. A flare would usually be more successful.

In FS2 and all mods that I have seen to this date, all the countermeasures have been what I would describe as "flare based". I have not seen the equivalent of a chaff.

If a chaff is to be used on UEF bombers, I would ask if this could be confirmed and if possible, please provide a screeny of what it would look like ingame.
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
Chaff is just a bundle of thin metal strips used to create false radar signatures. In real life, chaff is a countermeasure against radar-guided missiles, whereas flares work on heat-seeking missiles. In each case the goal is to create a false target that the missile thinks is more real than the actual aircraft.

FreeSpace countermeasures aren't really either — they're more like big floating transmitters that (I guess) spoof an entire fake spacecraft.

As you've seen in Act 3, we're moving towards countermeasures that look more like real-life flares, because they're a lot more visually striking. Standard CMs aren't very readable, and when you have warships spewing out two dozen countermeasures against an Apocalypse salvo, you want to know it.

You can get a good sense of what a big countermeasure spread looks like by booting up 'One Future' and hitting the 'countermeasure swarm' ability.

 
Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
One particular point that piqued my interest was the bomber ability to "spray counter measures" everywhere. This got me thinking of an old fighter game (the name escapes me) where there were two kinds of countermeasure. You either had a choice of using a flare or a chaff. A flare would usually be more successful.

In FS2 and all mods that I have seen to this date, all the countermeasures have been what I would describe as "flare based". I have not seen the equivalent of a chaff.

If a chaff is to be used on UEF bombers, I would ask if this could be confirmed and if possible, please provide a screeny of what it would look like ingame.
Was it Star Wars themed? Because this is exactly how X-Wing Alliance did it.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
Flares in Alliance actually pursued and attacked incoming missiles — or even spacecraft.

 

Offline Gee1337

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
No, I think it was more Olympus Has Fallen themed if I'm honest. I think it was that film where I'm thinking of something like a B-52 bomber spewing out flares. The game I'm referring to is VERY old... literally before the time of the A10 Thunderbolt Tank Killer game that was around the same time as the ORIGINAL Mechwarrior game. I'm talking early to mid nineties here (damn I feel old).

Edit:- I just realised that as per usual, I am not describing my thoughts too well (too much JD). The scene I had in my head was from Olympus Has Fallen which would look something like this...


But in terms of the different kinds of countermeasures, I was thinking of a very old fighter combat game! I hope this makes a bit more sense. :)
« Last Edit: July 04, 2015, 02:48:17 pm by Gee1337 »
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Offline CT27

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas


Yes, because they're terrible. In the modern battlespace they're built to fail. Consider the Ursa!

Jobs: Get close to a target. Shoot lots of bombs at it. Hold off fighters with a turret and heavy shields. Drive away and jump home.
Problems: Slow, so it can't get close. Carries lots of bombs, but they are only useful up close against lightly defended targets. Clumsy, so it can't really hold off fighters. Isn't tough enough to survive long enough to fire all its bombs.

What's your opinion on the Boanerges?

 

Offline crizza

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
The multi lock thing is a good idea... target a turret or subsystem, wait for the lock, once you have it, move for the next target and so on.
Maybe give the capital ships a ECM feature to scramble the lock, so you can't simply target all major systems and fire at all of them at once. Plus, let's say you have... twelve boms, you have a lock on six targets, firing two boms at each... bombs are going to be shot down. Maybe the targeting mechanism tries to add more locks untill you fire... so, two locks, four bombs and you have eight remaining... dunno if this makes sense :D
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Offline Scotty

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas


Yes, because they're terrible. In the modern battlespace they're built to fail. Consider the Ursa!

Jobs: Get close to a target. Shoot lots of bombs at it. Hold off fighters with a turret and heavy shields. Drive away and jump home.
Problems: Slow, so it can't get close. Carries lots of bombs, but they are only useful up close against lightly defended targets. Clumsy, so it can't really hold off fighters. Isn't tough enough to survive long enough to fire all its bombs.

What's your opinion on the Boanerges?

It's bad.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
As a random aside I will note that I also more or less fixed one of my great regrets about Delenda Est. It should be much more unlikely for the Katana to jump in before you're done with the Carthage air wing.

 

Offline Bobboau

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
Have I ever mentioned how you guys are pros? I'm not even complementing you, it's just an observation. I mean, are you using some form of Scrum?
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Offline Darius

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
Bomber gameplay is still a WIP and continues to evolve.
However, I'll put this here as an example of basic bomber gameplay without the sexp or lua-triggered "abilities".

You'll also see how Sledgehammers and Jackhammers behave differently in flight.


 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
At first I'm like 'our invincible point defenses will handle this' but at 1:30 I'm like



Have I ever mentioned how you guys are pros? I'm not even complementing you, it's just an observation. I mean, are you using some form of Scrum?

Haha, I had to look this up, but I guess so! We sprint whenever there's a mission designer available to FRED for a few weeks. The rest of the team solves problems in the designer's way, creates new opportunities (I made some cool guns, here's a new ship, I found some music), and hammers on the mission to create work items for the designer.

It's pretty informal. The big thing is fast iteration with early testing, hanging out on IRC, and never ever waiting for assets. You FRED with what you've got. I guess the other big thing is being okay with failure. We made and then threw out a lot of ****, including a full campaign at one point.

When I was at Bungie I would've caused major personal injury to get a team as sharp as the BP crew. Back when we were at peak pace in the leadup to War in Heaven, we had a 24-hour work cycle where Darius and I would hand off our progress as we woke up/went to sleep. It was so much fun. My work PC was at Rian's place, and I spent so much time there that my roommates thought I'd left town and threw me out of my apartment.

We can't pull that kind of intensity any more, since we have kids and jobs and stuff, but so it goes.

 

Offline Commander Zane

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
...but at 1:30 I'm like

Love at first sight.

 

Offline Leeko

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
The hype is upsettingly real. Looking forward to the end product of the Voice Acting Death March though!

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
Act 4 is a long way out, but I bet I can make some voice progress tonight. There are also other BP contingencies unfolding on side channels.

 
Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
rofl the ending to that video

rekt

 
Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
Act 4 is a long way out, but I bet I can make some voice progress tonight. There are also other BP contingencies unfolding on side channels.



I'm digging the design doc for the Bombers - Bomber missions always felt somewhat forced to me in the canon campaigns (I disliked the bombing missions against the NTF, and I *hated* the Sathanas beam kill mission (stupid bloody fragile Helios torps), so it's nice to see you taking a look at them not just from a how can we make this actually FUN but also how do we make you feel powerful and relevant in a world of heavy point defence and smart bomber interceptors, without making it so ridiculously OP that it breaks the game. (Ahh, balance, such a long, laborious process).

Replaying the WiH campaign just this week (including playing Ken at 1am in a dark room alone in the house, because who needs sleep) has me hyped, though the words "long way out" make me sad - but hopeful, too, because they aren't 'dead' or 'abandoned'. :)

 

Offline FIZ

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
Hello gamers!

I've thought about bombing missions before and how they play out in FS2 and mods.

This is mostly a stream of conscience of ideas I've played around with in the past, likes and dislikes:

How do FS2 bomber missions differ from what we've seen in past, present, and future?

-In Catch 22 our protagonist is one of the few examples of a dedicated bomber turning around and making a second bomber run.  For the uninitiated, it is a tactical bombing run where they miss and "hero" takes the bomber back not out of sense of duty but survival.  To paraphrase, 'we go back and make sure we hit that bridge, or else we are forced to face the same obstacles again tomorrow night!  Assholes!'
I feel a lot of FS2 has that 'let us linger and destroy' mentality, which just doesn't exist in strike craft since their inception.  I would rule out ships like the Spooky and AC-130, purposely designed for linger and engage in support operations, those aren't bombers but deserve tip of the hat.  A-10s might, but only with complete aerial superiority.

-One of the defining moments in sci-fi bombing runs, the Death Star 'Trench Run,' was completed by a fighter with a space-wizard pilot.  This was a contingency for when everything else failed, but the more I detail, the more I digress.  I think the one mission I've played is FS history that really captured that 'trench run' feeling:  Wings of Dawn - the mission where you are escaping with the Cordi queen through an asteroid field.  You are in a suped up fighter, oversized weapons firing from all directions, you just have to make through the grid of death.  One of my favorite missions of all time out of all mods released to date, I think it most encapsulated the trench run, even if that wasn't the designers intent.

-The biggest FS2 bombing failure: High Noon.  I think this is worth bringing up because not only is the mission boring, it's practically self playing and sloppy.  I can concede that one reason the mission feels so lame now is because it has both the Juggernauts slugging it out and back in '99 it would have been resource intensive.  I think the Sath defanging mission in AoA remedied much of what was wrong there.

-Diaspora and WCS both had great missions where you would return to base only to be scrambled to a new objective.  With vanilla FS2, you lurk with your bombs while your wingmen 'whatever.'  Both mods had a much more 'bomber feeling mode' where you release a payload or two, RTB, only to face new challenges.  While a bomber with a depleted payload shouldn't be much of a threat to an enemy strike, both mods played on this really well.  Even when secondaries run dry, an extra ship in the sky is worth two on the flight deck.  Add a pinch of 'may have tactical missile left' and it was good.

-This leads me to the Custos-X which I get a vibe where current bomber design in BP is headed.  Great mission.  Innovation and controls off the scale.  An intimidating amount of required microing.  A definitive proof of concept built upon The Blade Itself.  Are UEF bombers just going to feel like scaled back C-Xs?  Or more automated?

Bombing can certainly be fun.  The hold-lock-release formula can be great in small doses.  My opinion is that bomb missions should not be repetitive in form or function, need excellent background excitement, and the occasional kick in the butt that you thought X, but we're gonna put Y here to keep the adrenaline flowing.

Good luck devs, eagerly awaiting the infamous cigar chomping Tev bug turned feature  :cool:

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
One of our earliest prototype missions, from way back before War in Heaven released, was a pretty baller bomb run on a Tev destroyer group. Your A-10 namecheck reminded me of it. The brief was simple: bull your way down the threat axis, blow up the corvettes in your way, and maul the destroyer.

The whole time you were out there, friendly fighters were constantly pouring in to keep enemy interceptors off you, but they wouldn't last too long. So there was a cool rhythm in which you could push up as your fighters won, duck back (or dogfight) as your fighters faltered, then push up again when reinforcements arrived. The ticking clock on the whole thing was your total supply of friendly air cover.

 
Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
One of our earliest prototype missions, from way back before War in Heaven released, was a pretty baller bomb run on a Tev destroyer group. Your A-10 namecheck reminded me of it. The brief was simple: bull your way down the threat axis, blow up the corvettes in your way, and maul the destroyer.


The way you describe it sounds almost like an alternative to the Delenda Est battleplan, with bombers taking the place of the Wargods' Frigates.