Tried combat... twice and was blown to bits!

Discussion of the release version of the game. Includes discussion of Beta #5.
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RiTz21
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:58 am

Tried combat... twice and was blown to bits!

Post by RiTz21 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:29 pm

Howdy!

I tried combat today (first time, as a privateer) where I have to go upspin to face enemies.
Both times I tried, I was destroyed without being able to hit back: The enemy were firing, but were not visible until I went straight to them... by which time my shields went down, and I was floating junk....

Are we suppose to fire in the general direction from where the incoming fire comes?
Am I missing something? (like why can't I see the enemies, yet they don't have issues firing in my direction all the time?
Would it be because I use Medium (125%) text size?

Help!

RiTz21

Steve
Site Admin
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:33 pm

Re: Tried combat... twice and was blown to bits!

Post by Steve » Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:44 pm

The game runs under OpenGL which should show missiles and lasers from extreme long-distance just fine on any decent video card with updated video drivers. Several people have reported problems with laptops with inexpensive video cards without proper OpenGL support, but we've been unable to reproduce the problem over here, and don't have the budget to either buy laptops or convert the graphics engine to Direct3D.

From the main menu/settings, have you tried running the game in a window? fullscreen? checked the mini map against what you see on screen? tried F11 for full-screen combat without the controls visible?

Worst-case, have you tried installing the express edition of the game? Changes enemy weapons to negligible damage.

RiTz21
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:58 am

Re: Tried combat... twice and was blown to bits!

Post by RiTz21 » Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:12 pm

I see incoming missiles and laser fire just fine...
As I mentioned in my initial post, I see the incoming firing... but I can't see the source ships.
I tried full screen to see if it made any difference, and it does not. (image attached - oups.. I get Could not upload attachment to ./files/5347_6b55a7307ffc215b90f1e88518be1271.). Here is a link outside the forum - two ships (can't see them) are firing at my ship Image
I am on a DeskTop, with a powerful graphics card, and not on a Laptop or notebook.
No, I did not install the 'express' edition...

Perhaps this is the normal behavior of the game?

Thanks for your time!
RiTz21

Steve wrote:The game runs under OpenGL which should show missiles and lasers from extreme long-distance just fine on any decent video card with updated video drivers. Several people have reported problems with laptops with inexpensive video cards without proper OpenGL support, but we've been unable to reproduce the problem over here, and don't have the budget to either buy laptops or convert the graphics engine to Direct3D.

From the main menu/settings, have you tried running the game in a window? fullscreen? checked the mini map against what you see on screen? tried F11 for full-screen combat without the controls visible?

Worst-case, have you tried installing the express edition of the game? Changes enemy weapons to negligible damage.

Steve
Site Admin
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:33 pm

Re: Tried combat... twice and was blown to bits!

Post by Steve » Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:55 pm

Sorry about the misunderstanding, unfortunately this is the desired behavior. Quite a few people were involved in this project, and most of them have moved on. The combat algorithm is fairly simple: turn towards the player's current location, thrust at full speed towards the players current location, fire any and all weapons continuously if within range with no leading the target or dodging in any way.

Without major changes in the combat engine, I don't see any quick fix. We tried reducing the range of all weapons alone (equally for player and NPC ships), but it actually made combat even more difficult. Most players use long strafing runs where they fly at indirect angles towards alien ships, aiming and trying to get a few hits as they flyby. This becomes almost impossible with short-range weapons. Giving the players weapons longer range than the aliens is easy enough to exploit, but is fairly annoying in practice. Star Control used 1vs1, large fixed turning positions instead of continuous turning, and automatic zoom in/zoom out to good effect, and if someone wants to try to implement something like this, please contact me.

If you want to modify acceleration rates, turning rates, top speeds, shield and armor strength, weapon firing rates and weapon damage use a text editor on data/globals.lua. Alien ship specs are in data/encounters/various lua files. If you have any good settings which you believe are more well-balanced, I'd be happy to test them over here and implement them in the next version if I agree.

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