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Author Topic: Starsector 0.7a (Released) Patch Notes  (Read 547546 times)

Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.7a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #885 on: November 20, 2015, 05:54:19 PM »

I was being chased by a rather large group of pirates, but despite outrunning them, they caught up during the transition from hyperspace->normal space, since during the animation they are free to move around and jump through the gate while my ships are being anchored until the jumping animation completes.

Either giving them the same delay or pausing the game during the animation would work.  It does keep things tense during a chase, but it's kind of like the monsters that chase you in your nightmares as a child:   You suddenly find your legs can no longer move, but meanwhile that monster approaches steadily closer and closer...

They're not supposed to be able to engage you during the transition. They may catch up and start their own transition, but they can't actually attack. There may be an interval where they can, while your fleet is moving towards the point but hasn't quite started the jump yet, but it should be very short unless the jumppoint is moving quickly. Is that what you ran into?
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Sordid

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Re: Starsector 0.7a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #886 on: November 20, 2015, 06:01:16 PM »

Hmm. The thing is, AI reactions are not instantaneous or even frame-perfect (though they're pretty fast), its precision isn't exact, and it doesn't always (or even often) lead perfectly. Its maneuvering to avoid shots is veeery far from being perfect, as well - most of the shots you perceive as being dodged by it, it's not even directly aware of.

I mean, I can understand being frustrated - especially facing some of the faster frigates, such as the Pather Kite, or the smaller phase ships - but I don't think "AI cheating" is to blame here. I wouldn't personally call slightly-better-than-human reactions cheating, anyway - in most cases, it doesn't result in superior performance but instead barely makes up for not anticipating/planning ahead.

Alright, so maybe there's a variation of a few frames, but it's nowhere near enough. Like I said, when fighting a phase ship, it will vanish as soon as you click, with inhumanly fast reaction time. I mean, look at this!

Not a single hit in that entire time, at point blank range, with guns that fire immediately! I'd be hard-pressed to react that quickly even in a 1-on-1 situation, let alone in a big battle where I have to pay attention to half a dozen different ships and all kinds of other stuff besides. Using my usual pulse lasers, which have a half-second charge-up time, at optimum range? Forget about it. It vanishes as soon as the shot starts charging, before it even goes off. That ship is invincible until it veeery sloooowly runs out of flux capacity. In that time you'll either be flanked by other enemy ships or, if you face them, by the phase ship itself. God help you if you have to fight more than one of these things.

It's the same thing with everything else. The AI has near-perfect timing for raising and dropping shields, firing missiles, teleporting, etc. That's to say nothing of thoroughly human fumbles, like forgetting to raise the shield while engaging an enemy or accidentally shooting an ally (which isn't helped by the fact that allies from other fleets have HUD markers in a very similar shade of orange to that of enemies, btw) or failing to notice a ship approaching from behind due to engaging a distant enemy and having the screen shifted all the way forward, which are things the AI just never does. I wouldn't mind it if elite military ships were piloted by a perfect AI, but a ship with novice crew and no officer? That doesn't seem right to me. On the whole it feels like I'm fighting a bunch of robots. Which I suppose is true, but I don't think it should feel that way.

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As for going out of map bounds, it's a bit of an issue that only affects retreating ships, on both sides.

It affects me in every single battle I fight. Because allied AI is so useless, I tend to go solo. Because I go solo, I kite a lot. Because I kite, enemy ships try to flank me and surround me. Because they try to flank me, I strafe to the side. Because I strafe to the side, I bump against the edge of the map. Because I can go no further, enemy ships are free to flank me by going out of bounds. Because they flank me by going out of bounds, I lose. There are no words for how infuriating this is. Not that going solo really has anything to do with that, that's just an observation based on my current playthrough. The same thing kept happening to me when I ran a full fleet in my previous playthrough in the previous version. The need to maneuver exists in almost any situation.

The fact that there even exists an arbitrary box that physically prevents my spaceship from moving through empty space is just mind-boggling to me. I get it, an infinite battlefield would be really difficult to do, so that's a no-go, but these edge cases really, really need to be handled better. Preferably in a way that doesn't involve bumping into them. I have no idea how your implementation works, but I'd probably center the battlefield on the player so that it's impossible to leave it. Any ships that stray far enough from the player are despawned and their fights auto-resolved. To prevent the battle from breaking up into several fights that drift apart from each other, the farther an allied ship is from the player, the more it prioritizes moving towards the player. I know you're never going to do that, but it's just a quick idea of how I'd handle it. A much easier solution would be to just limit the AI ships to the same rules as the player, or even better, prevent them from going anywhere near the edges of the map, reversing the situation.

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As far as the friendly AI, btw: it's exactly the same AI.

Yes, it is the same AI, and I bet you if the AI could speak, it would complain about other friendly ships passing through its firing arcs too. Maybe it shouldn't be the same AI? It seems entirely logical to me that the player's ship should be treated differently. When one AI ship does something frustrating to another AI ship, nobody cares, it's just AI. When it does it to the player, it makes the game less enjoyable. To my mind that's a problem.

This also relates to my previous point about AI ships having perfect awareness of what's going on around them. They can stop shooting to avoid hitting allies very reliably. Humans can only look at one thing at a time. Often I have to keep my eyes on the edge of the screen to see what that big cruiser is up to and only keep track of the little frigate I'm firing at out of the corner of my eye. When an AI ally passes in front of me in such a situation, there's no way I can notice it in time to avoid blasting it to bits.

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I feel like in both cases, it's a question of learning how the systems work and making them work for you. Want an escort that's not aggressive, for example? Put a timid officer in charge. Etc.

Not to be overly sarcastic here, but I haven't seen a "won't pass through your firing arcs while you're firing" among officer personality traits yet.

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That said, thanks for your feedback! It's definitely valuable seeing how someone perceives what's going on, coming from a different place. I mean, "how things work" isn't more important than "how they're perceived", and I'll certainly keep this in mind. I will say I don't assign the same priority to "fixing" this that you do, and am not even clear on what "fixing" it would mean, given what's going on. My apologies; we're just not on the same page here.

You're welcome. As for not prioritizing fixing these things, I get it, fixing seemingly minor problems and polishing gameplay mechanics isn't the same kind of fun as adding brand new features, but I'd really hate to see this game go down the same path as Mount&Blade and a lot of other indies whose developers just kept adding rough features and never polishing them until they got bored and abandoned the projects, and the games ended up being clunky, disjointed messes. You're not falling into that trap too badly yet, but I'd really, really hate for that to happen to Starfarer.

Oh, and btw, one other thing that may have been mentioned already. Investigations into ties with other factions are just crazy. All I did was hunt some pirates for a Ludd bounty, then a bunch of investigations of my ties to them came up, and now everyone hates me for it, even factions that are on friendly terms with the Ludds. :(
« Last Edit: November 20, 2015, 06:03:27 PM by Sordid »
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Hopelessnoob

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Re: Starsector 0.7a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #887 on: November 20, 2015, 06:05:21 PM »

I love this new update though I will admit I cheated to get some levels early on as starting out at level 1 for about the millionth time just gets old! I love the new officers and how you can have allies in battle it really makes it feel more epic on the occasion that I find a big battle or a big battle finds me but I am frequently annoyed by how empty the world feels at times. With such small sensor range everything feels empty.
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Clockwork Owl

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Re: Starsector 0.7a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #888 on: November 20, 2015, 06:13:11 PM »

If it makes you reload, yeah. But if you have to deal with it? This is the kind of thing where iron mode (or self-imposed iron mode) can really add to the experience. A matter of taste, of course... I just find dealing with unexpected difficulties fun. And here, as a bonus, it's even entirely your own fault :P
True... I meant just that I feel stupid.
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Cosmitz

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Re: Starsector 0.7a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #889 on: November 20, 2015, 06:16:02 PM »

Oh my. I'm still on Fallout 4. Thankfully i have a month off in a few weeks. :) Can't wait to get my feet wet in 0.7.
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Histidine

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Re: Starsector 0.7a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #890 on: November 20, 2015, 06:18:27 PM »

It affects me in every single battle I fight. Because allied AI is so useless, I tend to go solo. Because I go solo, I kite a lot. Because I kite, enemy ships try to flank me and surround me. Because they try to flank me, I strafe to the side. Because I strafe to the side, I bump against the edge of the map. Because I can go no further, enemy ships are free to flank me by going out of bounds.
I don't know if it's changed in 0.7, but in 0.65.2a not only do enemy ships not go out of bounds to any meaningful extent, if they're going to they turn around and fly back in at right angles to the map edge. This makes them almost harmless for several seconds while front shields and weapons are pointing away from you.
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Toxcity

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Re: Starsector 0.7a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #891 on: November 20, 2015, 06:33:57 PM »

Sordid, if you ever have to take stock of your situation in battle you can always press the Spacebar to pause or Tab to open the tactical view. Pause lets you change weapon groups, auto/un-auto weapon groups, and move the camera without hassle. The Tactical view lets you see everything not in the fog of war w/ information like CR%, Hull, and Flux.

EDIT: Also related to Phase Ships, giving them a delay on all but the very best ones could easily turn into the opposite problem, where you can easily exploit them by blasting them with a strike weapon, backing off, and repeating until they're dead. I've also caught phase ships unaware, and managed to damage them when they still had flux available. Maybe if phase ships had longer Overloads it wouldn't seem as bad fighting them.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2015, 06:44:40 PM by Toxcity »
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Baqar79

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Re: Starsector 0.7a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #892 on: November 20, 2015, 06:34:34 PM »

I was being chased by a rather large group of pirates, but despite outrunning them, they caught up during the transition from hyperspace->normal space, since during the animation they are free to move around and jump through the gate while my ships are being anchored until the jumping animation completes.

Either giving them the same delay or pausing the game during the animation would work.  It does keep things tense during a chase, but it's kind of like the monsters that chase you in your nightmares as a child:   You suddenly find your legs can no longer move, but meanwhile that monster approaches steadily closer and closer...

They're not supposed to be able to engage you during the transition. They may catch up and start their own transition, but they can't actually attack. There may be an interval where they can, while your fleet is moving towards the point but hasn't quite started the jump yet, but it should be very short unless the jumppoint is moving quickly. Is that what you ran into?

Sorry, I may not of explained it quite right. 

They can't engage my forces until after the transition, the problem is they can move towards you and catch up during the jump animation.  So if for example the pirates where chasing you at about 400 pixels away and you start a jump out of hyperspace; by the time you can finally move (after the jump animation), they are directly on top of you and so you have no opportunity to run away.
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Thaago

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Re: Starsector 0.7a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #893 on: November 20, 2015, 06:40:18 PM »

@Sordid
Would you mind sharing what specific ways the allied AI is bad? It is the same AI as the enemy, so it benefits from all of the same reaction times, etc, so I find it to be quite competent. If you have been playing without them you might be surprised at how much better it has become over the years. Especially with officers giving them skills.

I agree that fighting phase ships can be frustrating, but the alternative where they mess up and take hits, is far worse. They would become essentially useless. Unfortunately the only thing to do with them is to wait them out; its very easy with other ships in the fleet, but it is boring. (This is what phase ships are good at - fighting 1 other ship. They don't do well when outnumbered.)

I run large fleets with escorts and don't have problems shooting allied ships. I typically have my turrets on autofire and my locked weapons under manual control. I'm not discounting your experience, but I just don't have the same problem, so I don't think anything needs to be done.
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Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.7a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #894 on: November 20, 2015, 06:45:10 PM »

Alright, so maybe there's a variation of a few frames, but it's nowhere near enough. Like I said, when fighting a phase ship, it will vanish as soon as you click, with inhumanly fast reaction time. I mean, look at this!

I'm not going to say fighting phase ships 1v1 is the best experience ever. It's doable with the right tactics, though. Expecting to score hits with that approach isn't going to work, generally; if you could, phase ships would be useless in AI hands.

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As for going out of map bounds, it's a bit of an issue that only affects retreating ships, on both sides.

It affects me in every single battle I fight.

This is the behavior I see near map bounds:
Spoiler
[close]

Occasionally, there's some dipping beyond the boundary, but no more than what your ship can also do. I don't know what you're seeing.


Quote
As far as the friendly AI, btw: it's exactly the same AI.

Yes, it is the same AI, and I bet you if the AI could speak, it would complain about other friendly ships passing through its firing arcs too. Maybe it shouldn't be the same AI? It seems entirely logical to me that the player's ship should be treated differently. When one AI ship does something frustrating to another AI ship, nobody cares, it's just AI. When it does it to the player, it makes the game less enjoyable. To my mind that's a problem.

This also relates to my previous point about AI ships having perfect awareness of what's going on around them. They can stop shooting to avoid hitting allies very reliably. Humans can only look at one thing at a time. Often I have to keep my eyes on the edge of the screen to see what that big cruiser is up to and only keep track of the little frigate I'm firing at out of the corner of my eye. When an AI ally passes in front of me in such a situation, there's no way I can notice it in time to avoid blasting it to bits.

The thing is, literally no matter what the AI does (unless it does nothing at all), it's going to do something that's not to someone's liking at one time or another. That's just a reality. You can choose to get aggravated by it, or you can choose to treat it as something to figure out and work with. You might feel that these things in particular are major aggravations, and I certainly can't say that you're wrong - it's a subjective experience, and (in the least condescending way possible) I'm sure it's true for you.

What I can say is, given the situation, I'm pretty positive that "fixing" (in quotes because in my view, they mostly aren't problems) these things would create much bigger problems, from my subjective perspective. So, I'm not not fixing them because working on new features is more fun or whatnot. I actually enjoy working on AI a lot, and probably spend more time on it than is prudent, but I feel it's very important to a single-player game. We just don't see eye-to-eye on the specifics here, and I'm not sure that we can.

Regarding shooting allies: if you're continuing to fire without looking where you're firing, I have to say, that's entirely on you. You can put the guns on auto-fire, you can even pause the game while do it or while you look around, or you can stop firing for a second while you're not looking - which often isn't even a DPS loss, since it's generally limited by flux not time on target. The AI may be to blame for passing in front of you, but it isn't to blame for being shot.


Not to be overly sarcastic here, but I haven't seen a "won't pass through your firing arcs while you're firing" among officer personality traits yet.

"Timid" is pretty unlikely to do it.


Oh, and btw, one other thing that may have been mentioned already. Investigations into ties with other factions are just crazy. All I did was hunt some pirates for a Ludd bounty, then a bunch of investigations of my ties to them came up, and now everyone hates me for it, even factions that are on friendly terms with the Ludds. :(

Well, the point is to - at this point, in a rather heavy-handed way - force you to fight faction-level enemies in the late game. For the current implementation, "realism" wasn't a partcular concern, so I'd say it's working as intended :) (Side note: to actually hostile-level hate you for it, they'd all have had to have investigated you at least three times each, so it's not exactly as though you've just hunted a few bounties...)


Sorry, I may not of explained it quite right. 

They can't engage my forces until after the transition, the problem is they can move towards you and catch up during the jump animation.  So if for example the pirates where chasing you at about 400 pixels away and you start a jump out of hyperspace; by the time you can finally move (after the jump animation), they are directly on top of you and so you have no opportunity to run away.

Ah - that's pretty much working as intended, then, at least in terms of not pausing. Pausing wouldn't eliminate the possibility of unpleasant surprises waiting for you on the other side, anyway.
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Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.7a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #895 on: November 20, 2015, 07:02:42 PM »

The range on "Squall MLRS" seems to be either incorrect or bugged.
It shows the range as 2000, but when fired the missiles seem to "shut down" at 500 and then disappear completely at around 1000 or so range.
(Fired from Apogee with ECCM package just to mention it)

(Took a look, seems to be working correctly. Even tried it with a safety overrides variant just to make sure that wasn't affecting it.)
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Sordid

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Re: Starsector 0.7a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #896 on: November 20, 2015, 07:14:58 PM »

It affects me in every single battle I fight. Because allied AI is so useless, I tend to go solo. Because I go solo, I kite a lot. Because I kite, enemy ships try to flank me and surround me. Because they try to flank me, I strafe to the side. Because I strafe to the side, I bump against the edge of the map. Because I can go no further, enemy ships are free to flank me by going out of bounds.

I don't know if it's changed in 0.7, but in 0.65.2a not only do enemy ships not go out of bounds to any meaningful extent, if they're going to they turn around and fly back in at right angles to the map edge. This makes them almost harmless for several seconds while front shields and weapons are pointing away from you.

Yeah, they don't do that. I tested it just now to make sure. They do bounce back from the edges like the player does, but their bounces are a lot 'softer' than mine. They're able to 'dive' into the edge for quite a long time, and while they're in there they happily continue facing me and shooting me (especially fighters, holy crap, and yes, even a single fighter can be your doom when it blows up your unstable engines). They do seem to be extremely unwilling to follow me into a corner, though, which I didn't know about.

@Sordid
Would you mind sharing what specific ways the allied AI is bad? It is the same AI as the enemy, so it benefits from all of the same reaction times, etc, so I find it to be quite competent. If you have been playing without them you might be surprised at how much better it has become over the years. Especially with officers giving them skills.

I kind of already wrote a huge post on that topic. Specifically, I love my Medusa, right? And I keep my old Wolf. I'm fighting a big pack of enemies. I close in to pick one off, then use my skimmer to back off to vent. As often as not my escorting Wolf then decides "he's backed off to vent, better cover him!" and charges straight into the middle of the enemy pack. When we're the only two ships facing a dozen enemies, the AI should play super cautiously, in this specific case by using his own skimmer to back off with me. And then there's the firing arc crossing. I don't know what to say about that, sometimes the damn escort just decides to fly in front of me with his unshielded engines facing me while I'm blasting away at an enemy.

I haven't tried officers yet. Correct me if I'm wrong, but officers give stats, don't they? As opposed to actual better decision-making?

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I agree that fighting phase ships can be frustrating, but the alternative where they mess up and take hits, is far worse. They would become essentially useless. Unfortunately the only thing to do with them is to wait them out; its very easy with other ships in the fleet, but it is boring. (This is what phase ships are good at - fighting 1 other ship. They don't do well when outnumbered.)

Yeah, well, I kinda think they're a deeply flawed concept. Though I have to disagree that they're good at fighting one other ship. They're crap at that. All you have to do is shoot in its direction every two seconds to keep it phasing until it runs out of flux capacity, then just blow it up. IIRC the developer described them as the equivalent of submarines, and they really are. They need to operate in a wolf pack to be able to do anything, or at least cooperate with normal ships.

I'm not going to say fighting phase ships 1v1 is the best experience ever. It's doable with the right tactics, though. Expecting to score hits with that approach isn't going to work, generally; if you could, phase ships would be useless in AI hands.

I didn't make that video to demonstrate my technique of fighting these things one-on-one, I made it to demonstrate their silly reaction times.

Quote
This is the behavior I see near map bounds:
Spoiler
[close]

Occasionally, there's some dipping beyond the boundary, but no more than what your ship can also do. I don't know what you're seeing.

It seems to me the enemy can dip a lot deeper than me, for one thing. Even if that's not the case, the enemy dipping like that is a much bigger deal than me doing it. If I do that, I gain almost nothing. When the enemy does it and uses it to blow up my engines, I lose the battle. It's a lot more powerful in the AI's hands simply because there's a lot more AIs than me and I have much more at stake than they do.

Quote
The thing is, literally no matter what the AI does (unless it does nothing at all), it's going to do something that's not to someone's liking at one time or another. That's just a reality. You can choose to get aggravated by it, or you can choose to treat it as something to figure out and work with. You might feel that these things in particular are major aggravations, and I certainly can't say that you're wrong - it's a subjective experience, and (in the least condescending way possible) I'm sure it's true for you.

What I can say is, given the situation, I'm pretty positive that "fixing" (in quotes because in my view, they mostly aren't problems) these things would create much bigger problems, from my subjective perspective. So, I'm not not fixing them because working on new features is more fun or whatnot. I actually enjoy working on AI a lot, and probably spend more time on it than is prudent, but I feel it's very important to a single-player game. We just don't see eye-to-eye on the specifics here, and I'm not sure that we can.

Regarding shooting allies: if you're continuing to fire without looking where you're firing, I have to say, that's entirely on you. You can put the guns on auto-fire, you can even pause the game while do it or while you look around, or you can stop firing for a second while you're not looking - which often isn't even a DPS loss, since it's generally limited by flux not time on target. The AI may be to blame for passing in front of you, but it isn't to blame for being shot.

Well... I kind of already addressed that in my previous posts where I detailed some of the reasons why no, it's not my fault when the AI gets shot. To briefly reiterate, the AI has perfect awareness of what's going on around it. Human beings don't. When my escort passes in front of me while my guns are blazing, it absolutely is his own fault. But again, I understand perfectly what's going on here. It's a case of "I made the AI, I spent a lot of time on it, therefore any problems with it are the player's fault, not the AI's." It's Apple's "you're holding it wrong" all over again. Disappointing. That M&B trap I mentioned? This is what it looks like when you're sliding down into it. It breaks my heart, but there's nothing I can do that I haven't already done. Thank you for taking the time to reply.

Quote
Well, the point is to - at this point, in a rather heavy-handed way - force you to fight faction-level enemies in the late game. For the current implementation, "realism" wasn't a partcular concern, so I'd say it's working as intended :) (Side note: to actually hostile-level hate you for it, they'd all have had to have investigated you at least three times each, so it's not exactly as though you've just hunted a few bounties...)

It was just a few bounties! I didn't count them, they were random pirates! There was no indication whatsoever that other factions might not like me killing pirates, and the investigations didn't start until after I'd done the damn bounties! Now my playthrough is ruined because literally everyone except Ludds and Independents hates me. I can't trade, I can't get missions, I can't get ships, all I can do is just constantly run away from everything I meet. I have no idea how to build the reputations back up, if it's even possible. Plus it would probably be more time-efficient to just start over and avoid killing pirates in systems that have bounties on them. Which I'm pretty sure is the exact opposite of what bounties are supposed to incentivize.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2015, 07:16:36 PM by Sordid »
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megalon

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Re: Starsector 0.7a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #897 on: November 20, 2015, 07:32:45 PM »

Long time player and forum dweller but haven't had an account until now. Just wanted to say .7a is awesome and this game is really shaping up to be amazing. Thanks for making it and stuff!
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Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.7a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #898 on: November 20, 2015, 08:02:14 PM »

Well... I kind of already addressed that in my previous posts where I detailed some of the reasons why no, it's not my fault when the AI gets shot. To briefly reiterate, the AI has perfect awareness of what's going on around it. Human beings don't. When my escort passes in front of me while my guns are blazing, it absolutely is his own fault. But again, I understand perfectly what's going on here. It's a case of "I made the AI, I spent a lot of time on it, therefore any problems with it are the player's fault, not the AI's." It's Apple's "you're holding it wrong" all over again. Disappointing. That M&B trap I mentioned? This is what it looks like when you're sliding down into it. It breaks my heart, but there's nothing I can do that I haven't already done. Thank you for taking the time to reply.

I'm happy to acknowledge and fix AI problems. It can always be improved! All I'm saying is, is "look where you're shooting" too much to ask? That... seems fairly basic to me.

I'm not saying it's a good thing when the AI crosses your line of fire. In many circumstances, it's a mistake. But, the consequences aren't all that bad if you handle it well, which is far from impossible, and which you have lots of tools to assist you with. Thus, while it's definitely an issue, it's not a particularly high-priority one in my view.

(Side note: I'm rather a fan of M&B. Great game! Not without a few issues, but even so.)


Long time player and forum dweller but haven't had an account until now. Just wanted to say .7a is awesome and this game is really shaping up to be amazing. Thanks for making it and stuff!

Hi, and welcome to the forum! Well, welcome to posting on the forum is more like it, I suppose :)
« Last Edit: November 20, 2015, 08:12:06 PM by Alex »
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Dri

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Re: Starsector 0.7a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #899 on: November 20, 2015, 08:03:11 PM »

Cheesus, Sordid, maybe you should stop being a lamer and do something other than border camping the map. :P
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