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Author Topic: Finer weapon control without needing more weapon groups  (Read 1856 times)

Gothars

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Finer weapon control without needing more weapon groups
« on: October 31, 2020, 08:55:49 AM »

I want to suggest a toggle in the weapon group menu that either unifies or separates different weapon types within a group.



If unified, they behave as now, all weapons in it will fire. If separated, the group will fire the weapons of one type only, and you have to select the group a second time to be able to fire the weapons of another type.

For example, you could put your two  Sabot- and two Harpoon-launchers into group 2 and choose "separated". If you hit "2"in combat, you fire only the Sabots with every click (either "alternating" or "linked", that toggle also still applies). Once the enemy shield is down, you select the group again with "2" and now fire the Harpoons with every click.



The advantage should be obvious, it allows you to put weapons that you'd normally put in different groups into one group, freeing up groups to control other weapons more precisely.


A disadvantage of such a group is that you can't fire all weapons within it together, so you give up max firepower for finer control. E.g., it's nice to have kinetic and HE guns fire separately as long as you are in a flux contest, but once the enemy is overloaded and its armor broken, you might prefer pure dps from firing everything at once. That would not work well with a separated group.

I think it's really best for weapons you never want to fire together, like missiles with different damage types, or two very flux limited weapon types with different damage types.


« Last Edit: October 31, 2020, 09:00:34 AM by Gothars »
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Finer weapon control without needing more weapon groups
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2020, 09:07:05 AM »

Why are we trying to achieve the effect of adding more weapon groups without adding more weapon groups?
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Gothars

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Re: Finer weapon control without needing more weapon groups
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2020, 09:09:07 AM »

The point is, it requires minimal UI changes, those being the main reason we don't have more weapon groups already.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Finer weapon control without needing more weapon groups
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2020, 09:16:04 AM »

Ah, I didn't know UI was the main reservation. Is the issue just that the list of weapon groups in the combat UI would be too long/take up too much space?
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Grievous69

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Re: Finer weapon control without needing more weapon groups
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2020, 09:30:22 AM »

What if I want to disable autofire of that group? It's still gonna disable/enable everything within that group. Sure it's better than current 5 and only 5 weapon groups but this seems like such an overcomplicated "fix" for something so basic as adding a 6th weapon group. I really don't think another group will screw the UI so much, besides, number of different weapons clutters the combat screen much more than number of weapon groups. If someone thinks even 6 groups is not enough then there should probably be a significant change of some sort.
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FooF

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Re: Finer weapon control without needing more weapon groups
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2020, 09:32:21 AM »

If you can get it to work, I don't see why not but the extra button presses will take some getting used to.

Does "separation" just parse out (and group) same-type weapons? Would we need a shift+hotkey to reverse the cycle order if you've got something like 3+ weapon types in one group? (For example, an Eagle with a Heavy Blaster, AM Blaster and 2 Reapers all in one group).

I presume this would have virtually no effect on AI loadouts.
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Ryan390

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Re: Finer weapon control without needing more weapon groups
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2020, 09:52:57 AM »

Kind of feels like solving a problem that doesn't really exist IMO.
I find the larger capital ships I end up using auto fire, as there's just so much going on and so many turrets to control you can't possibly.

Then in the smaller ships where you *would* want to control individual firing groups, that the existing mechanic works fine and is granular enough.
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Morrokain

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Re: Finer weapon control without needing more weapon groups
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2020, 11:54:20 AM »

I presume this would have virtually no effect on AI loadouts.

Hmm, I'm not super keen on additional things that further differentiate the AI and the player's capability - such as this implication would likely result in. The benefit of additional weapon groups is that it allows for more weapon types for AI ship builds as well. (UI issue makes that tough, certainly, but if work was done on weapon control I'd rather it be towards that then additional fine tune functionality for the player only.)

Now, if the AI could be adjusted to also support the unified/separated idea then I'd be all for it. I feel that the use case here is more for missiles than for other weapons anyway. They tend to have more niche uses that require timing to be the most effective - so grouping different types together is generally not a good idea.
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Schwartz

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Re: Finer weapon control without needing more weapon groups
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2020, 03:40:06 PM »

It's an interesting idea, but feels like a placeholder for more weapon groups... which I think will have to happen at some point anyway. Numbers are easier on muscle memory because a number corresponds exactly to the group you set it as, whereas with a subgroup selection you first have to learn which of the subgroups comes first - and is it always the same one? Does it depend on which weapons have autofired? Classic weapon groups require less game pausing so you don't screw up and fire harpoons when you meant to fire sabots, etc.

Not to mention that more weapon groups are in the AIs best interest too, so it has better control over which weapons are essential during high flux and which ones aren't. We could have the luxury of putting kinetics in their own groups.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2020, 03:42:12 PM by Schwartz »
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Gothars

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Re: Finer weapon control without needing more weapon groups
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2020, 04:33:37 PM »

feels like a placeholder for more weapon groups...

That it is. I'd also prefer more weapon groups, but they were requested for many years now. At this point I'm not sure if they will come eventually or never.

I thought of this as an (hopefully) easy to implement alternative.
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CoverdInBees

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Re: Finer weapon control without needing more weapon groups
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2020, 10:12:48 AM »

@Gothars @intrinsic_parity

In the thread about the patch notes Alex said he didn't want to add more weapon groups (for now) because it's a bigger task than what he's prepared to get into. (paraphrasing) He didn't specify that the problem was on the UI side, or any specific side, but was/seemed to be talking in general.

I took it as him stating that the weapon groups tie into more systems than might be obvious, as well as all the more obvious things that'd need work (like the UI side), and this all adding up to be a pretty daunting task when looking at the total picture.
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Alex

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Re: Finer weapon control without needing more weapon groups
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2020, 01:38:56 PM »

Argh, I might as well just add more groups! That UI would benefit from an overhaul, anyway.

https://twitter.com/amosolov/status/1323015744364388353

To clarify: it's the UI work, yeah (I'd say 75% of the work, because the old one totally breaks down if you add more groups, things just don't fit anymore), but also the number "5" being hardcoded for max weapon groups in an embarrassingly large number of places. I've done my best to scour through the codebase and change it (to 7, sigh), but if anything slipped through, you should probably blame Gothars.

(Edit: before anyone calls it out, I fixed the autofire checkboxes alignment issue :))
« Last Edit: November 01, 2020, 01:52:49 PM by Alex »
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c plus one

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Re: Finer weapon control without needing more weapon groups
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2020, 01:55:18 PM »

Argh, I might as well just add more groups! That UI would benefit from an overhaul, anyway.

Thank you, Alex! This is wonderfully beneficial  ;D
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SafariJohn

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Re: Finer weapon control without needing more weapon groups
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2020, 02:01:53 PM »

To clarify: it's the UI work, yeah (I'd say 75% of the work, because the old one totally breaks down if you add more groups, things just don't fit anymore), but also the number "5" being hardcoded for max weapon groups in an embarrassingly large number of places. I've done my best to scour through the codebase and change it (to 7, sigh), but if anything slipped through, you should probably blame Gothars.

Using magic numbers instead of a constant? Shame!
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SCC

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Re: Finer weapon control without needing more weapon groups
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2020, 02:08:26 PM »

Gothars is hardly the only one asking for this... I am happy to see more weapon groups.
But anyway, is there going to be a tooltip explaining that you need to press the weapon group to change it from linked to alternating and vice versa? I've seen a couple of people asking about that.
Also, are you touching upon weapon group related combat UI? If so, it would be nice if unselected groups showed only their autofire status and only the selected group showed the weapons.
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