Author Topic: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas  (Read 20619 times)

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
Yeah, I just meant it probably wouldn't need to tally up all of the torpedoes again every time.  That being said, you could probably get away with doing that every frame just fine as implied above.  Its not like we are trying to simulate thousands of bombers or something.

Whoops my bad. The Internet is horrible at communicating non-verbals. I think its possible to check every frame, but why do an inefficient operation that would consume unnecessary cycles when it can be done more efficiently :P

 

Offline Gee1337

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
It would need to recalculate for each ship of that class that would be effected, not just the player.

So say you have a few wings worth of bombers jump in and they release the bombs simultaneously, how would 8 ship recalculations impact gameplay? I'm talking things such as chop and lag.

I think this still circles back round to ship class, as you don't want that sub-routine to effect the other ships in that class.
I do not feel... I think!

 
Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
Yeah, it's a tiny addition on top of all the other **** the game does whenever you fire a torpedo.
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

 
Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
It would need to recalculate for each ship of that class that would be effected, not just the player.

So say you have a few wings worth of bombers jump in and they release the bombs simultaneously, how would 8 ship recalculations impact gameplay? I'm talking things such as chop and lag.

It's a very basic calculation. You just need to do it 8 times, which a drop of water in the ocean of processing the engine performs.

 

Offline Molaris

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
I have both sets of UEF and GTA Bombers in a mod file and I use both sets of bombs/torpedoes. Generally, I make the torpedoes travel faster than the bombs, but the bombs have a higher payload. Allow for more Torpedo Ammo, decrease lock time, increase rate of travel, but possibly make them do less damage. it kind of balances out IMO
"Hey, Mike, you think you can toss me my calculations? Thanks! Ah, here it is: "Breach Hull - All Die." Even had it underlined!" -Crow T. Robot-

 
Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
Something I've always wanted to see in FS is more strategic-ish 'bombing runs', as in, fly parallel to your target's surface and launch bombs onto it. Once you've made it close in to your target, why should you have to launch a miserable two bombs, turn around and head back out, only to start all over again?

Since a picture is worth a thousand words...



By these calculations the life of Brahmā seems fantastic and interminable, but from the viewpoint of eternity it is as brief as a lightning flash. In the Causal Ocean there are innumerable Brahmās rising and disappearing like bubbles in the Atlantic.
:eek2:


 

Offline mr.WHO

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
Umh, I have one question - if bombers can deploy decoy missiles to screen their torpedos then why UEF warships, like Karuna or Sanctus don't use decoys for their torpedos too? peace time cost savings? This would dramatically increase the effectivnes of their torpedo salvos to the point that they could be at least a match to Tev beams.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
Torps are already a decent (if asymmetric) match for Capella-era beams.

The Hydra torpedo already uses a multiple warhead to get some of the same effect. In general, there are so many Apocalypses already in store (and UEF logistics are so badly overtaxed) that new, expensive missiles are going to be spread pretty thin.

 
Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
Now that we are going to see some bombers get a power boost, will the AI Durgas throughout WiH get buffed, and will the Vajradhara's destruction in Icarus changed?
« Last Edit: July 27, 2015, 03:18:42 pm by Aslandor11 »

 

Offline mr.WHO

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
In general, there are so many Apocalypses already in store (and UEF logistics are so badly overtaxed) that new, expensive missiles are going to be spread pretty thin.

Isn't this another reason to try to cover your expensive missile with lots of cheap decoys to maximize the chance of successful delivery to the target?

 

Offline Jellyfish

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
Couldn't the bombs be very very fast, more or less like Stilettos? New Tev warships are suppossed to have better PDS, so it would balance.
"A weapon is only as powerful as its wielder. With this weapon, you'll be but an annoyance, which would greatly dishonor it. With this weapon, I can change history. With me, this weapon can shape the universe."

 

Offline QuakeIV

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
I think he was implying that decoy sub-munitions would be expensive to produce, if you wanted to make something that the enemy couldn't easily distinguish from the real thing.

The point is debatable really, its all dependent on how clearly the GTVA can see the missiles.  How many small details need to be mimicked?  Is it enough to just be a lump of metal flying in formation with the real deal, or do you have to do things like replicate the apocalypse's physical appearance and engine signature?  Heck, they might even need to put a fake warhead and sensor system in.  (whatever it is they do to hit the weak points in armor, if anyone happens to remember that explanation for slow bomb lock time)
« Last Edit: July 30, 2015, 04:53:51 am by QuakeIV »

 

Offline Aesaar

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
In general, there are so many Apocalypses already in store (and UEF logistics are so badly overtaxed) that new, expensive missiles are going to be spread pretty thin.

Isn't this another reason to try to cover your expensive missile with lots of cheap decoys to maximize the chance of successful delivery to the target?
  You can't just strap decoys to an Apocalypse.  It still needs to fit in the same launchers.  Having a decoy-equipped torpedo would mean designing a new one, and size constraints mean that, even if you just modify the Apocalypse, you'd need to make significant cuts to either fuel load or warhead size. 

 
Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
And more importantly you'd need a factory to do the refits and transports to move the decoy missiles around and the UEF just do not have the capacity to do that right now. What they do have is ****loads of Apocalypses that they've already paid for, so simply flinging more of them at the enemy is a pretty great strategy.
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

 

Offline -Sara-

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
    I always felt Freespace 2 lacked a clear differentiation between bomb behaviour and function. I always felt there should be a clear difference in bombs:

PENETRATORS

These bombs penetrate thick armour. This allows them to do massive damage to major subsystems by tearing right through them, but the damage is fairly centred with a narrow blast radius, meaning this bomb is not ideally suited for taking out turret subsystems. Smaller vessels may even find an exit hole on the other side of their hull, caused by the blast itself.
  • Average hitpoint damage.
  • Massive subsystem damage.
  • Small blast radius.
  • Single projectile.

SCRUBBERS

These bombs explode on the surface, probably fired in a salvo. The damage to the hull is limited, but its wide spread blast will damage many turrets on the surface. These bombs are used similar to carpet bombing and will scatter to hit a large surface area. Ideally suited to knock smaller turrets off large capital ships, or to overwhelm smaller cruisers by blasting away on their hull in large numbers.

  • Little hitpoint damage.
  • Average subsystem damage.
  • Massive blast radius.
  • Mostly fired in salvos.
[/list]

BUSTERS

These bombs are meant to penetrate the upper layer of capital ship armour, blasting away inside the hull. Similar to a bunker buster, this bomb slams into the ship, before exploding inside, doing a lot of internal damage while blowing away large chunks of hull. While not as merciless to subsystems as a penetrator, it's ideal for taking down large, heavy hulls. Smaller cruisers may literally break in two upon impact.

  • Massive hitpoint damage.
  • Little subsystem damage.
  • Average blast radius.
  • Fired as a single projectile, or in small salvos.

As for bomber designs, I always wondered if the GTVA would build a bomber based upon the SF Seraphim design. It's long 'arms' would allow it to carry bombs in sequence, making for a far shorter reload time since bombs can reloaded/chambered far more quickly.

I'll reply on the UEF bomber designs at a later time.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 05:31:47 am by -Sara- »
Currently playing: real life.

"Paying bills, working, this game called real life is so much fun!" - Said nobody ever.

 
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.
I'm not sure I follow. Do you mean this from a story-perspective, or a mission/game-design perspective, or what?


----

Personally, I think the greatest regret should have been the fact that you don't get to call in Mr. Sathanas as reinforcements, like with Aristea. Because for warships, nothing sucks more than a Sathanas shock-jumping your ass out of nowhere. That, and a surprise Sathanas is practically a canon-enforced meme. (I kid, I kid)
Delenda Est delenda est.

(Yay gratuitous Latin.)

 

Offline Rabid

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
A few things that could spice up bombing runs -

A dumbfire mass of armor and payload, a true hit-or-miss projectile that either doesnt have any propulsion or only fires its (large) propulsion package right before impact to burrow deeper. The pros being that this warhead could reasonably do a lot of damage and be untargetable (ECM if need be to make it plausible). It could either be designed as a subsystem disruptor - something that embeds itself into the hull and then activates and broadcasts TAG to help guide in artillery or does the opposite -- Jams the ability of the impacted ship to scramble targeting. Or the warhead could just be a big bomb. Either way, this option could ignore the hassle of effective range and targeting, so long as you can guesstimate a clear shot. This could be a choice weapon of the dive bomber.
(A warhead designed this simply could probably be adapted to one or more torpedo/bomb bays found on UEF fighters. Its essentially a single payload package, wrapped in something dense for penetration, optionally with a thruster.)

Mines - a blossom deployment (5 mines perhaps per salvo, spread out) of countermeasure sized bombs. Slip in on a slow or stationary capship, pop a few volleys in front of the hangar-bay, and bounce out. If the capship moves, it'll probably just eat the mines with its hull. If it doesn't, then the next wave of fighters or so out of the hangar are in for some rude ****.
 -Give them slight propulsion/guidance and have them auto-lock onto the nearest enemy fighter. This makes them useful for shaking anyone on your tail in addition to the above.
- Give them the ability to retain their momentum? Park-and-pop for stationary mines, or just dump them in an afterburner-fed spin-dive toward the enemy capship and fighter screen. Plenty will hit something (depending on how far out you wanna try releasing your swarm)

Otherwise perhaps refine some form of TAG/ECM or other gimmicky weapon for the UEF. Perhaps the UEF could sacrifice a few mothballed ships (I cant find it now but its a small red one with a gravity drive, the predecessor to the Naraynas and Karunas.) as Drone-piloted or Nav-slaved Kamikaze ships similar in function and deployment to the GTVA's AWACS guided subspace missile strikes. That could serve as a nasty surprise to the GTVA warship push on Earth, if only accurate targeting and positioning could be delivered. Especially if the small UEF capships used for this stunt were already cruising at a good speed when they entered/exited subspace. (to minimize interception) I recall a few GTA warships in FS1&2 exiting subspace at dangerous speeds. Seems like a viable unplayed card, if the UEF could manage to kamikaze those mothballed ships without losing any crew in the process.

Lastly, perhaps using the stealth fighter for some bombing runs. We had some neat options for filling this role loosely in Act 3, but since the stealth has very limited secondary space it would need to be a fancy weapon that does something other than straight damage.
Or perhaps the Feydayeen have a stealth bomber.

TL;DR

Gimmick weapons are fun, consider inertial-based dive bomb weaponry, or Mines, or a combination of the two.
Consider a one shot weapon for use in a mission to deliver a clutch move at a critical moment. The weapon itself is insignificant, but what it enables the whole UEF defense to do is huge. The main invasion is brewing, and the UEF needs an ace in the hole (besides the ones we're aware of like defecting ships)

 

Offline Doko

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
Here's my recommendations and thoughts on bombers!

Gameplay aspects:

The biggest problem about flying a bomber from a gameplay point of view is that if the player is caught, he's dead. And there's really nothing he can do about it. This leads to a mission design that must be extremely lenient in how the player is attacked, or have a very scripted way for the player to perform the mission in order to not die. Because of that I would recommend giving the player some "Cooldowns" to spice gameplay up a bit and give the mission designers some freedom.

# Massive afterburner acceleration and top speed.
The player has the option to use a special afterburner that allows for 500-600m/s speeds that effectibly allow you to escape fights. X uses per mission

# Shield overload
Every 2 minutes you have the option to overload your shield generation by something like 200-300% for around 10-15s to put serious damage on an enemy that needs to go down fast

**********************
Shift the focus from bombs to guns for anything below destroyer killing:

Flying a bomber (specially the heavier ones) should feel like
https://youtu.be/XZ-EOg38t1o?t=47s

- When the player is facing something that thing is dying... fast. Guns should do absurd amounts of hull damage. This also relates to mission design, see next section.
- Guided ordinance should be the exception, not the norm against capital ships. Missiles are great, but from a gameplay perspective... boring, wait for targeting solution, press button, turn around, light cigarette. Pat each other in the back and yell GOT EM. I'm of the opinion that the dumber the missile, the larger the damage should be.
- Salvo fire rockets over 5-10 seconds depending on desired balance constrains that requires bombing runs to not waste ordinance but are deadly when properly executed.

With that said, not all missions have to be about killing capital ships. The lighter bomber variants could be tasked with other goals such as sentry deployment or mine laying while carrying extremely long range fighter supression weapons to repel incoming reinforcements from intra system gates while still being able to tear cruisers appart.

*******************
The buddy system:

Engaging a bomber from the front should be suicide for an enemy fighter. The bomber / fighter relationship should feel like a team working together. Bomber pilots should be encouraged to taking part in preventing a frontal volley from interceptors. And instead force a pincer move by the enemy which in turn should be handled  by its fighter escorts. If the bomber is not attacking its intended target, namely capital ships, there should be a penalty in the mission design, but at the same time the bomber should try its hardest to avoid its escorts having to get too far ahead of them and help clear a path.
This type of interaction should be constantly reminded to the player through dialogue and consistant pilot escorts, it's much nicer when Jimmy the Ace has your back instead of Epsilon 4! It's a lot more fun when the AI fails misserably.

********************
Reward factor:

With all that said the bomber experience is greatly enhanced not only by the ship, but also by the design of the mission itself. The player needs to be useful in taking down challenges that fighters have trouble with. And those right now are basically.... cruisers?

- Add more and stronger sentry guns.
- Mine fields, which only bombers can detect or cost effectibly kill at long range.
- Missions that have multiple engagements (avoid fighters while killing a cruiser, jump somewhere else, clean a a minefield for another group of bombers that needs to do a run on a corvette. Bombers are, from the BP lore a very scarse asset and should work like surgical strikes, going in and out as needed.  This helps create a sense of urgency and gives meaning to every action the player takes.
- Keep the player updated through dialogue of how things evolve after his actions in previous engagements. This is very reinforcing if coupled with events that track how well the previous engagement went and makes small changes on the next one.
- Raid a supply depot / facility before reinforcements arrive with massive firepower that would otherwise require several fighter wings.
- Hit and run missions where your goal is to take out as many important subsystems in the shortest amount of time possible by smart use of gliding against awkwardly placed ships undergoing repairs before a group of fighter escorts acting as a decoy gets killed. (This would fit really well imho with the "Steele attack heart in xx days theme")

*********************
Making it look cool: This might be unrealistic but would greatly enhance the experience.

When you are not constantly trying to get a lock on an enemy fighter the pace of the game slows down considerably which exposes some of the uglier parts of the game a lot more.

- Areas on ships hit by bomber weapons could look more damaged, on fire or have some indication that the player accomplished something other than lowering the hull by 5%. It doesn't have to be something like the BP frigates that start losing chunks of ship in certain areas as that is not feasible on every ship, but rather better decals of damage on the ships themselves.

- Shooting a bunch of dumbfire rockets should generate some pretty big explosions, not just a tiny flash and a shockwave. Multiple colors for different weapons should also help with giving each weapon a distinct look.

 

Offline DPO

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
A thought I just had from pondering the differences between the Elite and Freespace combat experiences; what if the skill in playing a bomber on a bombing run were introduced by the ability to avoid fire with lateral movement?  That is not just moving forward and pulling up or down to change the direction of travel but using thrusters to jink left/right and up/down while the stick keeps the nose of the craft pointed at the target so locks and any other targeting processes can occur.  As long as there's some way to anticipate incoming fire to a degree then there's skill involved in avoiding it.  Jinking when you see beam flash on the right emitters that can be brought to bear on your craft, seeing and moving away from inbound flak projectiles before they reach range and explode, that sort of thing.

Revolutionarily the ability of the bomber to dodge would no longer be linked to forward movement.  Bombers wouldn't need to close any more than maximum weapons range if they felt they could accept the risk of torpedoes being destroyed in flight.

 

Offline DPO

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Re: Act 4 Preview: Durgas and Vajradharas
You need to know how FSO organizes ship data. There are ships, and there are ship classes. Every ship has a reference to a ship class. Changing ship class values directly is an obviously non-working idea, since you would be changing the behaviour of every ship of a class in the mission at once.

This is the basic problem. Any reference to a changeable ship class value will have to be checked and code inserted to check the ship's status to evaluate what the class values should be.

Not a modder, am a computer scientist, had an idea for a workaround.  If there's a way to seamlessly swap out one ship for another ship of a different class (I don't know) then it can be done in the manner of a finite state machine.  Want a bomber with 6 torps that gets faster as each one is fired, then you make 6 bomber ship classes that are exact copies except for the speed being tweaked, then put the player or AI bomber pilot in what's technically a ship of a different class each time they fire but looks and feels the same, copying over the ship's state data like speed, direction, damage, ammunition, etc. 

Apologies in advance for speaking about all this from a position of ignorance on the capabilities of the modding tools.