Poll

What did you think about BPC difficulty

Consistently too easy
1 (1.3%)
Consistently too hard
5 (6.5%)
Generally balanced
36 (46.8%)
Some missions were too hard(post which)
34 (44.2%)
Some missions which were supposed to be hard were too easy(post which)
1 (1.3%)

Total Members Voted: 77

Author Topic: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]  (Read 22032 times)

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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
So, is it all a matter of Shivans being impossible to calculate a precise jump? Ok, in some cases this explanation fits.

But it doesn't seem Sathanas didn't know Orestes exact location if it was pursuing it. The prelude to the mission was moreless like that: Sathanas pursue Terran battlegroup, Terrans jump out in different directions. Sathanas keeps a track on Orestes trajectory and exit vector (that's why Sathanas knows where to follow Orestes).

Also, this doesn't fit the three destroyers jumping in 12 clicks away from Temeraire. Shivans have just deployed a Demon and a Ravana and Temeraire was not moving at all. So they could easily deploy those three destroyers within fire range.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Knowing where your opponent went isn't the same as fixing their position down to a precise realspace location, then putting yourself on a small colocal jump target with a juggernaut-sized mass after your opponent has been nipping at you with a series of hit-and-run attacks.

The three destroyers you mention don't arrive at shock jump range for some of the same reasons the Atreus doesn't land on top of Rheza Station. Subspace jumps are hugely stochastic, and even if point B and point C are right next to each other, A->B might be orders of magnitude easier to compute and execute than A->C...especially if point B is farther from the dangerous ****.

More importantly, though, Shivan behavior isn't locally optimized. The AoA Shivans seem to like to use their Ravanas and Liliths for standoff attacks, maybe because the closest thing they've had to armed resistance for fifty years can't retaliate effectively at range and can't afford even the smallest strike craft attrition.

 
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Knowing where your opponent went isn't the same as fixing their position down to a precise realspace location, then putting yourself on a small colocal jump target with a juggernaut-sized mass after your opponent has been nipping at you with a series of hit-and-run attacks.

The three destroyers you mention don't arrive at shock jump range for some of the same reasons the Atreus doesn't land on top of Rheza Station. Subspace jumps are hugely stochastic, and even if point B and point C are right next to each other, A->B might be orders of magnitude easier to compute and execute than A->C...especially if point B is farther from the dangerous ****.

But this is something totally different to what we see in FS2. From the first mission, Psamtik vs Belisarius, through Ravana vs Actium and Lysander, Colossus vs Repulse, Nebiros vs Colossus, Sathanas vs Colossus in Their Finest Hour - both Shivan and GTVA ships were usually jumping in within firing range or just beyond it with no problems.

There are only few cases where ships start beyond each other's range. Colossus vs first Sathanas for example, but in this case Colossus was deployed further in purpose - to give bombers time to destroy the beams.

I always thought Atreus didn't land on top of Rheza Station because it went straight for an easier target first - Bretonia. Kill one target with no risk, then go for a harder one if possible.

Quote
More importantly, though, Shivan behavior isn't locally optimized. The AoA Shivans seem to like to use their Ravanas and Liliths for standoff attacks, maybe because the closest thing they've had to armed resistance for fifty years can't retaliate effectively at range and can't afford even the smallest strike craft attrition.
Well, if there were only beam-less Demons and Cains in AoA, you'd have the point. But in AoA's alternate universe we fight FS2 Shivan armada which must have joined the Lucifer armada in some moment after the GTA was destroyed. They all have beams, so it's hard to imagine they could apply FS1 tactics of standing, firing useless blobs and deploying fighters and bombers. When we first encountered Shivans in FS2, they momentarily knew how to hit us. GTC Vigilant was smashed by the Rakshasa, although they never fought GTVA ships armed with beams before.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Knowing where your opponent went isn't the same as fixing their position down to a precise realspace location, then putting yourself on a small colocal jump target with a juggernaut-sized mass after your opponent has been nipping at you with a series of hit-and-run attacks.

The three destroyers you mention don't arrive at shock jump range for some of the same reasons the Atreus doesn't land on top of Rheza Station. Subspace jumps are hugely stochastic, and even if point B and point C are right next to each other, A->B might be orders of magnitude easier to compute and execute than A->C...especially if point B is farther from the dangerous ****.

But this is something totally different to what we see in FS2. From the first mission, Psamtik vs Belisarius, through Ravana vs Actium and Lysander, Colossus vs Repulse, Nebiros vs Colossus, Sathanas vs Colossus in Their Finest Hour - both Shivan and GTVA ships were usually jumping in within firing range or just beyond it with no problems.

There are only few cases where ships start beyond each other's range. Colossus vs first Sathanas for example, but in this case Colossus was deployed further in purpose - to give bombers time to destroy the beams.

My last post touches on this. The Psamtik intercepts the Belisarius after the Belisarius makes a clearly vectored jump, and it doesn't even have its weapons completely ready when it arrives. The Ravana jumps in after a rolling engagement that lasted quite a while. The Colossus arrived at a pre-planned ambush point. The Beast and Sathanas #?? jump the Colossus after a lengthy engagement with Shivans on the scene.

Jumps are stochastic. Subspace isn't simply connected to realspace. Depending on the configuration of mass in the system, the exact point you're departing from, the recent use history of your drive and power systems, your computational resources, the amount of hurry you're in, the precision of your observers on the far end of the jump, and a bunch of peculiar subspace factors, it may be easy to show up in a good firing position — or you may only get a satisfactory arrival solution a long ways out.


Quote
Well, if there were only beam-less Demons and Cains in AoA, you'd have the point. But in AoA's alternate universe we fight FS2 Shivan armada which must have joined the Lucifer armada in some moment after the GTA was destroyed. They all have beams, so it's hard to imagine they could apply FS1 tactics of standing, firing useless blobs and deploying fighters and bombers. When we first encountered Shivans in FS2, they momentarily knew how to hit us. GTC Vigilant was smashed by the Rakshasa, although they never fought GTVA ships armed with beams before.

Having beams is an excellent reason to use stand-off engagements against opponents who can't hit back at that range.

The Vigilant was ambushed at the Gamma Draconis jump node, which is one of two strategically interesting places in the entire system.

 

Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Problems with calculation of precision jumps in case of the shivans seems to be noexisting, and should be especialy in BP. As far as I remember, in BPverse Ravana has somekind of semi-subspace portal onboard, and main beam of the Lilith is somehow directly linked to Sathanas juggernaut spinal beams via subspace. Not to mention Capella, shivans demonstrated extremly advanced subspace technology that is also one of their signature features in both FS games. You guys extended this even more in BP. Calculating a precision jump seems to be actually pretty trivial and basic process for Shivans, especialy compared to other examples of sophisticated usages of subspace technology.

Terrans and vasudans are a different matter.
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Offline QuakeIV

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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
It's worth noting that the Shivans seem to deliberately confound prediction.  They wont neccesarily achieve predictable performance, in fact I think the constant debate their behavior is driving was kindof the point for them.  Who knows what the hell they are capable of, or what they will do, aside from 'lots'.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2016, 04:25:33 am by QuakeIV »

 
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
You greatly underestimate the vastness of space if you think 10km from your target isn't an extremely precise jump. They also had nothing else in the area to vector in the Sath.
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Problems with calculation of precision jumps in case of the shivans seems to be noexisting, and should be especialy in BP. As far as I remember, in BPverse Ravana has somekind of semi-subspace portal onboard, and main beam of the Lilith is somehow directly linked to Sathanas juggernaut spinal beams via subspace. Not to mention Capella, shivans demonstrated extremly advanced subspace technology that is also one of their signature features in both FS games. You guys extended this even more in BP. Calculating a precision jump seems to be actually pretty trivial and basic process for Shivans, especialy compared to other examples of sophisticated usages of subspace technology.

Terrans and vasudans are a different matter.

BP is based on the fiction of retail FS2, where the Shivans do not repeatedly drop their destroyers in exactly optimal position.

Shivans don't use their capabilities optimally (because of the nature of how they think and their ultimate goals).

 

Offline Snarks

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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
I think it's also worth noting that BP's own canon suggests that TEI is not the end all to the Shivan threat. TEI is a response to recorded Shivan activities, which makes sense why it's evidently effective against the Shivans. In the long run, TEI will fail, which is why the UEF solution may be the better one, even if militarily, they are less adept at fighting the Shivans.

I'm kinda curious to what the Shivan response to TEI will be. Will the Shivans take on more advanced subspace vectoring to outmanuever sprint drive technology? Perhaps they will resort to improved strikecrafts that will nullify the beam advantage from TEI.

(These last set of posts seem to have gotten on a bit of a tangent with regards to the actual topic. Maybe splinter this off?)

 

Offline QuakeIV

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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Maybe they will resort to psychological/electronic warfare style attacks?  That seems like a relative weakpoint of the GTVA, and might be the better vector of attack at this point.  Especially if they are trying to act as a fitness function that creates well rounded species and destroys whoever doesn't make the cut.  (which seems to be a reasonable generalization of what they were doing in the first incursion)

 
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
You greatly underestimate the vastness of space if you think 10km from your target isn't an extremely precise jump. They also had nothing else in the area to vector in the Sath.

This. You can know your opponent is somewhere within a 50 km radius sphere, but try to randomly pick a spot in that sphere and land within 10 km of your target. You'll miss far more often than you will hit. That doesn't mean I don't know where my opponent is (especially when I'm considering that he might be almost anywhere within a star system, or even in orbit around a planet). It just means that I can't jump within weapons range without fail.

 

Offline QuakeIV

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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
When considering jump precision, I think its kindof pointless to consider the vastness of space instead of things like weapon range.  If you missed by ten kilometers thats pretty bad.  It seems to me that regardless of how difficult it was to achieve even that accuracy, it for practical purposes is garbage and needs to be improved ASAP.

Heck, you may as well gauge processors by comparing them to people.  'this can complete computaitons thousands of times faster than a person, what do you mean two thousand operations per second is slow?'

 
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
When considering jump precision, I think its kindof pointless to consider the vastness of space instead of things like weapon range.  If you missed by ten kilometers thats pretty bad.  It seems to me that regardless of how difficult it was to achieve even that accuracy, it for practical purposes is garbage and needs to be improved ASAP.

Having something to vector in a strike is important. You need a precise location to hit before you can actually hit it.

 
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Yes, and obviously needing subspace nodes for intersystem travel is impractical and needs to be improved ASAP. Too bad it isn't that simple.

Another way to look at it would be that Shivans might be able to jump with ludicrous precision but they can't know where the Orestes is exactly. Even with sublight speeds the Orestes could've moved ~4km in any direction in the 20 minutes it takes to recharge their jump drives. That's an 8km sphere already, factor in subspace behaviour and just how difficult it would be to track a precise point in an entire system without anything there to vector you in and 10km is extremely precise.


"Improving" that would probably only be possible with insane luck or some kind of system-wide sensor net(something we know the Shivans didn't have or didn't use in that scenario).

A better question would be why the Shivans didn't jump in a wing of fighters first to vector in the Sath for a shock-jump but that can be explained by Shivans not being locally optimized.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2016, 05:38:51 pm by FrikgFeek »
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 

Offline QuakeIV

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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Yes, and obviously needing subspace nodes for intersystem travel is impractical and needs to be improved ASAP.

Well, yeah.  That would probably be pretty ideal.   ;)

e:  And I mean we dont really have any evidence that that isn't possible.  The Shivans seem to scale their tech somewhat to the local scene, it could be entirely possible to travel without the need of nodes.  Heck, probably a lot of the shivan ships are capable of it, they just dont.  Its not like the Demons had beam cannons until the GTVA got them.

e2: While I'm at it, since IIRC blue planet is trying to consider Vassagos Dirge canon, the scene where it engages at extreme range seems relevant to the discussion as well.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2016, 07:32:26 pm by QuakeIV »

 
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
My last post touches on this. The Psamtik intercepts the Belisarius after the Belisarius makes a clearly vectored jump, and it doesn't even have its weapons completely ready when it arrives. The Ravana jumps in after a rolling engagement that lasted quite a while. The Colossus arrived at a pre-planned ambush point. The Beast and Sathanas #?? jump the Colossus after a lengthy engagement with Shivans on the scene.

Jumps are stochastic. Subspace isn't simply connected to realspace. Depending on the configuration of mass in the system, the exact point you're departing from, the recent use history of your drive and power systems, your computational resources, the amount of hurry you're in, the precision of your observers on the far end of the jump, and a bunch of peculiar subspace factors, it may be easy to show up in a good firing position — or you may only get a satisfactory arrival solution a long ways out.

(...)

BP is based on the fiction of retail FS2, where the Shivans do not repeatedly drop their destroyers in exactly optimal position.

Shivans don't use their capabilities optimally (because of the nature of how they think and their ultimate goals).

I don't think FS canon specifies in any point that precise jumps are easier to calculate if other ships were deployed in the area recently. It is possible and sounds realistic, but for my best knowledge it's non-canon. No ship behaviour or techroom entry in FS2 indicates that. Where the hell in FS2 are Shivans jumping in as far as Shivan capships in AoA?

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Having beams is an excellent reason to use stand-off engagements against opponents who can't hit back at that range.
Exactly. And if, as a Shivan, you want to use this advantage, you have to arrive WITHIN fire range, in other case you have to hold enemy bombers until you can fire and your advantage may likely go to hell.

Quote
The Vigilant was ambushed at the Gamma Draconis jump node, which is one of two strategically interesting places in the entire system.
I know. I used this example to point out Shivans don't need time to adapt to new enemy's tactics as you suggested about the Demon.

So, let's sum up. If we assume (non-canonically, but it's ok, as you developed the FS2 lore much and added lots of new elements) that:
1) The larger the ship is, the less precise the jump will be
2) If other ships have perfomed jumps to a location recently, it is easier to calculate exact coordinates for next ones
3) There are plenty of factors difficult to foreseen that can make calculating jump coordinates more difficult

And refer this to AoA missions, then we can draw some conclusions:

1) Frankenstein's Monsters, Demon-attacking-Duke - mission can be explained with first contact with GTVA and no Shivans in the area, although the Demon could easily deploy fighters first to do the reckon and then calc more precise jump.
2) Preserving the Balance, with the three destroyers jumping in in a distance - no explanation you gave suits here. Temeraire was in a defensive position, it was not moving at all, Shivans were launching assaults against her including two destroyers and bombers, they knew their exact location. They could easily jump closer.
3) Time For Heroes - size of Sathanas and no Shivans in region is a kind of explanation here. Although basing GTVA tactics on a simple fact that this time the enemy will jump far enough so he have time to destroy the beams is risky.

  
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
So, let's sum up. If we assume (non-canonically, but it's ok, as you developed the FS2 lore much and added lots of new elements) that:
1) The larger the ship is, the less precise the jump will be
2) If other ships have perfomed jumps to a location recently, it is easier to calculate exact coordinates for next ones
3) There are plenty of factors difficult to foreseen that can make calculating jump coordinates more difficult

I'm not sure that 1) is an absolutely necessary requirement for the rest of your conclusions.

And refer this to AoA missions, then we can draw some conclusions:

1) Frankenstein's Monsters, Demon-attacking-Duke - mission can be explained with first contact with GTVA and no Shivans in the area, although the Demon could easily deploy fighters first to do the reckon and then calc more precise jump.
2) Preserving the Balance, with the three destroyers jumping in in a distance - no explanation you gave suits here. Temeraire was in a defensive position, it was not moving at all, Shivans were launching assaults against her including two destroyers and bombers, they knew their exact location. They could easily jump closer.
3) Time For Heroes - size of Sathanas and no Shivans in region is a kind of explanation here. Although basing GTVA tactics on a simple fact that this time the enemy will jump far enough so he have time to destroy the beams is risky.

1) Yes, fighters can perform recon. But we also know that Shivans use tactics that are non-optimised for the local environment. Perhaps in the absence of any targets for many years, Shivan behavior has moved to some other set of priorities than most efficient destruction of a disabled GTVA destroyer and four escorting fighters.
2) I have no reasonable response to this example other than an appeal to Shivan non-optimised behavior that is less convincing given previous missions.
3) Yep, GTVA tactics were entirely based on hoping the Sathanas would jump in far enough away to let bomber defang her. But only because they had no choice in the matter. If you have put yourself into a position where you can be shock-jumped by a Sathanas and can't jump away immediately, then you prepare for the only possibility that gives you a chance and hope it breaks your way.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Reread earlier posts in this thread. All your questions have been answered, in particular #2.

FS2 is full of ships, even and especially cruiser-and-corvette sized warships, popping in roughly within the engagement zone but not in any kind of optimum attack position.

The Orestes positioned itself for the engagement using its subspace agility, its sublight speed, and the advantages gained by spending a long while leading the Sath around by the nose and observing its pursuit behavior.

It's ezpz to think of this stuff using the tools the BP setting provides you. Just come at the mission with the question 'why does it work like this?' not 'why DOESN'T it work like this?' What happens in the missions by definition makes sense: it's the canonical material. If it happens, there must be a good reason for it.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
All fictional universes are ultimately built on arbitrary rules created by humans. They are not the merciless and autonomous issue of a blind tautological physics.

Understand this, and you can move from 'but this doesn't make sense' to 'what does this say, and what clues can we obtain from it?' This is how BP resolves all the weird inconsistencies between FS1 and FS2, for example. They must be true because they are present in the gameplay. What could explain them?

 
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Jumps don't have to be more accurate if you have assets in the area. It's just that having assets in the area helps you know where the **** you need to jump in the first place. Unless, of course, you have ridiculously powerful sensors that can poinpoint enemy locations down to the kilometre from half a system away.
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded