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Author Topic: Having an issue with the combat camera.  (Read 4183 times)

Klokinator

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Having an issue with the combat camera.
« on: November 01, 2019, 01:00:26 PM »

Whenever I enter combat, here is my general flow.

1. Deploy ships.
2. Press Tab, issue orders to those ships.
3. Press F to follow one ship's POV.

I don't like to play as a ship if I don't have to, since the top-downRTS-commander angle appeals more to me. Anyway, once I reach step three, this is where the problem occurs.

If I am viewing the game through a ship's video feed, I press tab (to issue orders or whatever) and press tab again, my view is no longer fixed on the ship, but instead jumps to the very bottom of the screen at the middle. I can press F and view a ship again with F, but if I tab to the overview screen and tab out, I always get forced back to the bottom.

I don't think I have a way to pan the camera, do I? I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong, if this is a knopwn issue, or if I'm missing something really obvious. Why would tabbing in and out of the overview menu yank my camera to the bottom middle of the battlefield?

This section, for reference:

https://i.imgur.com/ir3PoCW.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/1ByFMHG.jpg

Note: I have six mods installed.



These might be causing the issue, but I think I had the problem before installing them.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2019, 01:02:00 PM by Klokinator »
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Sundog

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Re: Having an issue with the combat camera.
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2019, 02:41:25 PM »

I'm pretty sure this is working as intended rather than a proper bug. The game tries to anchor your view on one of your ships to prevent you from seeing the awkward transition of enemy ships fading/popping in and out of view (edit: enemies you shouldn't be able to) due to the fog of war. However, considering the number of RTS style players like you and the clumsy way the camera is handled when there's no ship to anchor on, basic camera-panning might be a good addition in spite of that. Alternatively, a simple spectator mode could work well. At the very least, I don't think opening the tactical overlay should clear your video feed selection.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2019, 09:18:44 AM by Sundog »
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Alex

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Re: Having an issue with the combat camera.
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2019, 05:10:19 PM »

Right - this is a "how it works", though I do agree that in your use case it's... not ideal. Closing the map resets your view to your flagship - otherwise, if you used "F" you'd have to somehow manually cancel that to get back to your flagship, and that would I think cause more confusion/issues than the current behavior. If you don't have a flagship deployed, then it defaults to a "command pod" at the bottom middle of the map.

basic camera-panning might be a good addition in spite of that.

(Ships don't actually pop in/out of the fog of war, so free camera panning would let you see a lot further than you're otherwise able to...)
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Klokinator

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Re: Having an issue with the combat camera.
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2019, 06:57:45 PM »

Yeah, one of my bigger problems with this game is how it seems to present the option to play it somewhat like an RTS in combat, but the actual options for us RTS-lovers are very sparse, the AI for controllables is super-dumb, and stuff like this camera glitch, limited command points, and so on make it very not-fun. The Overview Menu also has very limited info on offer, while the top-down in-battle view can only zoom out so far and won't allow me to see as big a chunk of the battlefield.

I know that allowing actual RTS-style gameplay probably wouldn't be ideal... but... I dunno. I feel like right now, it's not even half-assed for what we have, more like a quarter-assed or a tenth-assed. When I saw Seth's video on this game, I got the impression that you had the option to play it more like an RTS in combat, and frankly it's like, I look at it and all the pieces are there, but the game feels like it doesn't want you to commit.

Here's a suggestion... why not offer something like two battle modes? The current one, and something like a Commander mode, where you enter a battle as an omnescient observer? There, the AI would be a bit smarter, but you have no option to actually pilot a ship. Maybe your commands would be a bit more precise and ships would listen to your orders more accurately to compensate.

It's not like it doesn't fit. Everything is already ingame, it just needs some elbow grease. Alternatively, maybe a modder will take up the task, idk.

Anyway, this camera issue is annoying enough that now I can't not notice it, so it's actively making my combat less fun. Constantly having to press F to jump between ships instead of just staying focused on the last ship I selected when tabbing back to the main battle makes for slightly wearisome gameplay. Any suggestions to mitigate it?
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Alex

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Re: Having an issue with the combat camera.
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2019, 07:15:26 PM »

You could run the game in devMode (by editing settings.json) and there, pressing F10 will cycle between several camera modes, one of which is "free pan". Running in dev mode comes with some other potential problems, though (it's dev mode for a reason!), so I wouldn't exactly recommend this.

But, generally, yeah, the game expects you to pilot a flagship. If you go in expecting RTS-like obedience to orders... the game just doesn't work like that. It's still entirely possible to play without commanding your flagship directly (and, btw, you're free to deploy your flagship and put it on autopilot, if you like), but just overall that's not what the game aims for. So: you can do it (and a number of people do), but there will be rough edges.

Also, you'd really have to figure out how the AI works to get the most out of a command-only playstyle, since, again, it doesn't have an RTS-style level of obedience to orders. I mean, I totally get that you might want that instead! It's just - trying to get that out of the game is a square peg/round hole situation as far as what the game actually is, if that makes any sense.

Having an AI that's fun to fight alongside and against, while piloting a ship directly... there are some fundamental contradictions with also making it making it slavishly obey orders, and the game intentionally aims for the former at the expense of the latter.

(There are also certainly some improvements that could be made as far as obeying orders without compromising the primary goal; so, not claiming it's perfect or anything like that.)
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Klokinator

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Re: Having an issue with the combat camera.
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2019, 08:42:00 PM »

Awesome, thanks for the replies, Alex. Despite my issues with the game, most of them relate almost entirely to UI decisions. I like how everything actually plays, and everytime I think I've understood something, I find there is another level deeper I can go. Thank you for taking ten years to develop such a well-crafted, comprehensive space sim.
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Alex

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Re: Having an issue with the combat camera.
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2019, 08:47:31 PM »

Thank you for understanding, and I'm happy you're enjoying the game overall!

FWIW, I totally agree that the video feed UI flow is... well, it's just clunky, honestly. Let me make a note; it hasn't been a priority to look at, but maybe I'll get a chance to at some point.
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Scorpixel

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Re: Having an issue with the combat camera.
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2019, 08:58:44 PM »

Glad to know others are having the same playstyle^^

Honestly it's not a big issue to have the view at the bottom of the map, learning to press F again instead of tab comes rapidly, and you can always "take command" of any ship during the battle and leave it on autopilot.

It's very handy as you can use it to instantly correct the behaviour of ships like forcing them to back-off and vent or unleash their missiles/focus an enemy/activate it's special, also works as "free" actions if you can't spare command points!

Until now the AI does good in the standard battle situation as long as you give them objectives and update them when needed, only warning: timid, cautious and reckless officiers are a pain, steady on ships that are too dependent/fragile to be isolated/exposed and aggressive on everything else.
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Sundog

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Re: Having an issue with the combat camera.
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2019, 09:42:08 AM »

(Ships don't actually pop in/out of the fog of war, so free camera panning would let you see a lot further than you're otherwise able to...)
Ok, gotcha. Not sure where I got that impression. Edited my response.

If you don't have a flagship deployed, then it defaults to a "command pod" at the bottom middle of the map.
This seems like the biggest problem here. If the player has deployed ships, but not the flagship, why not anchor the view on one of those? Especially if the player has already selected one of them to view?

Here's a suggestion... why not offer something like two battle modes? The current one, and something like a Commander mode, where you enter a battle as an omnescient observer? There, the AI would be a bit smarter, but you have no option to actually pilot a ship. Maybe your commands would be a bit more precise and ships would listen to your orders more accurately to compensate.
I know this isn't what you're suggesting, but I just want to make sure you know that there are ways to move the game in this direction. And, perhaps counter-intuitively, one of the best ways involves deploying a flagship. It's not available initially, but there's a hullmod called "Operations Center" that increases command point recovery rate by 250% as long as it's installed on a deployed flagship. Coupled with autopilot, this should help facilitate your playstyle.

Klokinator

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Re: Having an issue with the combat camera.
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2019, 06:54:58 PM »

Quote
I know this isn't what you're suggesting, but I just want to make sure you know that there are ways to move the game in this direction. And, perhaps counter-intuitively, one of the best ways involves deploying a flagship. It's not available initially, but there's a hullmod called "Operations Center" that increases command point recovery rate by 250% as long as it's installed on a deployed flagship. Coupled with autopilot, this should help facilitate your playstyle.
Funny you mention this. I discovered this mod and it tripled my enjoyment of combat. Now I just mindlessly aim half my fleet at one ship and the other half at a second ship, allowing me to tear through the enemies systematically.

The camera thing is still annoying, but since I deploy my command ship every combat, it's much less of a problem.
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Plantissue

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Re: Having an issue with the combat camera.
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2019, 10:09:54 AM »

I admit this annoys me as well when I don't have a deployed ship to pilot for whatever reason. I also wish that the tab view had an option of showing the ships in real space so I can quickly see and udnerstand the battlespace at the glance.

I found that changing "maxCombatZoom" in "setting.json" in the starsector-core>date>config file to a higher number is useful. It's not perfect as you still cannot pan naturally, but as you can sort of screen scroll further, I find it helps substantially especially when there are two or more engagements occuring far from each other so it's easier to see what the rest of the fleet is doing. It does however enable you to see enemy ships a lot further than you expect, but you can just limit yourself to not "cheat".
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