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Author Topic: Environmental Battles  (Read 8255 times)

Morrokain

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Environmental Battles
« on: December 11, 2014, 03:31:39 PM »

I am not 100% sure where you are planning to go next as far as features are concerned, Alex, but I thought I would bring something up I haven't seen mentioned here in a while.

I would like to see environmental battles implemented in the near future in the campaign.

For instance:

Battles near nebulae in the campaign map have a lot of nebulae clouds in them and maybe in lower sight radius on ships.

Battles near asteroid fields have larger and more menacing asteroids in them that can seriously damage ships/hold pirate bases.

Battles near stations or planets have the stations or planets in them somehow.


I think it would really open up the game's immersion and create some interesting tactical choices much like the mission scenarios would imply.

Of course it would be even better to see mod support for different battle variants/scenarios too. Modders could really use them in creative ways.

TwigTech station battles anyone?  ;D
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Midnight Kitsune

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Re: Environmental Battles
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2014, 03:36:38 PM »

I am not 100% sure where you are planning to go next as far as features are concerned, Alex, but I thought I would bring something up I haven't seen mentioned here in a while.
I would like to see environmental battles implemented in the near future in the campaign.
For instance:
Battles near nebulae in the campaign map have a lot of nebulae clouds in them and maybe in lower sight radius on ships.
Battles near asteroid fields have larger and more menacing asteroids in them that can seriously damage ships/hold pirate bases.
Battles near stations or planets have the stations or planets in them somehow.

I think it would really open up the game's immersion and create some interesting tactical choices much like the mission scenarios would imply.
Of course it would be even better to see mod support for different battle variants/scenarios too. Modders could really use them in creative ways.
TwigTech station battles anyone?  ;D
You already see this a bit in the campaign when you fight in and near asteroid fields, but yeah this would be nice to have.
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Cheyney

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Re: Environmental Battles
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2015, 12:35:24 PM »

I agree.  Asteroids need more credit.  I think it would add some tactical variance to battles if there were larger asteroids in the play field.  I also think game play would be more interesting if they did more damage.  Maybe as much as a heavy weapons hit? 
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Alex

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Re: Environmental Battles
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2015, 11:43:35 AM »

A bit late to the party here, but thought I'd respond anyway :)

The only one of these I could (potentially) see happening is space stations. The other ones would really, really mess with the AI - that's the main problem with having more interesting environments. The ways of dealing with them are very hard for the AI to handle, and so it would just end up being a way to cheese the AI rather than bring variety. Well, I suppose that's variety in some sense, but not good variety.
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Silver Silence

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Re: Environmental Battles
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2015, 12:29:52 PM »

I agree.  Asteroids need more credit.  I think it would add some tactical variance to battles if there were larger asteroids in the play field.  I also think game play would be more interesting if they did more damage.  Maybe as much as a heavy weapons hit? 

Personally, I am not a fan cos I've lost count of the amount of times I burn into a battle and while having no control of my ship, I smash into an asteroid at 600 meaningless-units-of-speed/second, knocking out a gun or two and blackening a chunk of the armour. A good thing about Starsector is that if you want to try out having asteroids hit harder, go into the ship_data file and amplify the mass of all ships. Double or triple their mass, possibly more if you feel a little adventurous. More mass drives up collision damage across the board without adjusting the maneuverability of a ship so a ship could have the mass of a black hole and be as agile as a Hyperion. Of course, if the black-hole ship touches nearly anything, it's gonna suffer several thousand damage from catastrophic impacts.
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Wyvern

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Re: Environmental Battles
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2015, 12:39:40 PM »

I'd imagine that there are some things that'd work - for example, the AI shouldn't have much trouble dealing with extra hostile targets, such as you might expect to see in a battle in an old domain-era minefield that nobody has the IFF codes for anymore.
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SafariJohn

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Re: Environmental Battles
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2015, 01:37:22 PM »

I agree.  Asteroids need more credit.  I think it would add some tactical variance to battles if there were larger asteroids in the play field.  I also think game play would be more interesting if they did more damage.  Maybe as much as a heavy weapons hit? 

Personally, I am not a fan cos I've lost count of the amount of times I burn into a battle and while having no control of my ship, I smash into an asteroid at 600 meaningless-units-of-speed/second, knocking out a gun or two and blackening a chunk of the armour. A good thing about Starsector is that if you want to try out having asteroids hit harder, go into the ship_data file and amplify the mass of all ships. Double or triple their mass, possibly more if you feel a little adventurous. More mass drives up collision damage across the board without adjusting the maneuverability of a ship so a ship could have the mass of a black hole and be as agile as a Hyperion. Of course, if the black-hole ship touches nearly anything, it's gonna suffer several thousand damage from catastrophic impacts.

I would think it would be the other way if it was a change in momentum-based calculation. More mass ships + same old mass asteroids = less damage to ships. Or at least the same damage to ships and way, way more to the asteroids.
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Alex

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Re: Environmental Battles
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2015, 01:44:12 PM »

I'd imagine that there are some things that'd work - for example, the AI shouldn't have much trouble dealing with extra hostile targets, such as you might expect to see in a battle in an old domain-era minefield that nobody has the IFF codes for anymore.

Hmm, yeah, that's true. Adding a third hostile "side" would have its own challenges, but yeah, that could be workable. Although, consider how the AI currently deals with enemy drones - target priority in a setup like that is non-trivial to figure out.
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Wyvern

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Re: Environmental Battles
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2015, 02:52:11 PM »

Yeah, something drone-like might cause issues; I was thinking more frigate-level "asteroids with guns" sort of thing.  Edit: Or multi-stage missiles that start out looking like asteroids and then launch when targets get too close...

(Incidentally, these days, I deal with drones and fighters via heavy burst PD - since they save charges for & prioritize such targets, they work quite well, and I no longer need to do the dance of "pause, target one fighter so my phase beams will kill it, unpause, wait, repeat".  Of course, this requires a ship with enough weapon mounts that you're not losing primary firepower...)
« Last Edit: January 22, 2015, 02:54:35 PM by Wyvern »
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Cheyney

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Re: Environmental Battles
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2015, 04:48:28 PM »

OK.  Well, if you guys think my suggestion sucks, how about tractor beams?  A tractor beam could pull asteroids toward the ship and use them as armor.  That would be sweet.
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SafariJohn

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Re: Environmental Battles
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2015, 05:19:50 PM »

OK.  Well, if you guys think my suggestion sucks, how about tractor beams?  A tractor beam could pull asteroids toward the ship and use them as armor.  That would be sweet.
Space Battleship Yamato vibe achieved. I haven't even watched more than a few clips of that show...
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Morrokain

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Re: Environmental Battles
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2015, 02:50:18 PM »

A bit late to the party here, but thought I'd respond anyway :)

The only one of these I could (potentially) see happening is space stations. The other ones would really, really mess with the AI - that's the main problem with having more interesting environments. The ways of dealing with them are very hard for the AI to handle, and so it would just end up being a way to cheese the AI rather than bring variety. Well, I suppose that's variety in some sense, but not good variety.
Welcome to the party  ;)

I am more concerned with the ability to differentiate battle types based upon overworld map position honestly. I have plans for that :)

But yeah I understand A.I is tricky business for some things, just certainly not everything.

For instance as far as nebulae are concerned.. I think it is perfectly acceptable to use something like that to have an advantage against the A.I in actual combat, but the A.I response to it would rather be at the campaign level than on the battlefield where it there would have to be a separate AI written to account for it. Larger, slower fleets simply would avoid those areas and be unlikely to chase you into one. Pirate raiders would favor them and the player then has to decide whether to engage unfavorably or not if they have a slow fleet.  The balancing part would be how often do you find them and making sure you cant use one to game an entire faction or something like that.

Writing A.I for those things on the campaign level wouldn't be nearly so hard because there is less to account for.

For asteroid fields, same response campaign level, but simply add asteroids to the list of pd targets with priority depending on the size of the asteroid (a.k.a how much damage will it do if it hits me?) and make asteroids less common or not exist at all outside fields.


At the end of the day, I think it is way better than the same thing every time. Or even worse, random battlefield objectives or hazards such as the current set up. Random is almost never good in that kind of situation because it either has to be trivial enough to be meaningless (as it currently is) or can be a frustrating experience for players if it makes too much of an impact and is completely beyond their control.

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ahrenjb

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Re: Environmental Battles
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2015, 09:58:21 AM »

... old domain-era minefield that nobody has the IFF codes for anymore.

I just wanted to mention that I really like the idea of encountering old Domain era relics throughout the game. Some dangerous, some beneficial, some just interesting. Some maybe all three depending on how you interact with them. Would certainly add to the story depth of the campaign. Old automated defenses that you might have to fight, or depending on your skills might have other options for avoiding or disabling. Ships, docks, factories that can be located and possibly used to the players advantage. It would be a good opportunity to do a little lore-sharing while making for interesting player - game world interactions.
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Morrokain

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Re: Environmental Battles
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2015, 02:11:02 PM »

... old domain-era minefield that nobody has the IFF codes for anymore.

I just wanted to mention that I really like the idea of encountering old Domain era relics throughout the game. Some dangerous, some beneficial, some just interesting. Some maybe all three depending on how you interact with them. Would certainly add to the story depth of the campaign. Old automated defenses that you might have to fight, or depending on your skills might have other options for avoiding or disabling. Ships, docks, factories that can be located and possibly used to the players advantage. It would be a good opportunity to do a little lore-sharing while making for interesting player - game world interactions.

Yeah I think this would be really cool and bring a lot of life to the game.
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Tartiflette

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Re: Environmental Battles
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2015, 03:30:12 PM »

*Omnious laughter*
 ;D
I've been working on something these past 6 months to just fill that spot ^^ (now if I could just manage to finish Scy quickly and concentrate on this)
Granted the suggestion was made for Vanilla, but mods are better than nothing, right?
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