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Suggestion for Version 2.0

posted Dec 31, 2012 18:47:44 by RussJudge
After having examined a lot of the different Mods and Missions that are out there, I think a good enhancement to see for Version 2 would be a way to include a vesselData.xml file in the mission folder that might add special ships and be merged with the stock vesselData.xml file, but not affect the stock vesselData.xml file. I've stumbled onto a few missions where all they want to do is add some special ship, but have to modify the vesselData.xml file to do so (and thus making it a Mod, instead of just a mission).
Author of Artemis Mod Loader.

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218 replies
Jim Johnson said Mar 15, 2013 03:56:33

I have mixed feelings about these lights. They would communicate information about the systems being powered; but, I also take your point that a lot of this game revolves around efficient communication between crew members. Give players too much info and they'll never talk to each other.

Chris and Captain:

As someone who plays Engineering a lot I can tell you that I don't always wait for people to make power requests, either. If I hear the captain order us to make a big turn, I'll just shuttle a little power to maneuver automatically. A good engineer should never need to be told to change power settings.

Also regarding the lights, I don't always want the other crew to know exactly what I'm doing. Sometime I need to take a system offline, and they freak out about it. One time the captain of our battleship kept standing off and firing ordinance from a distance; so, I reported "a problem with torpedo launch control" (took the tubes offline), which forced him to go in with beams. Now, if there was a light on the weapons screen that had glowed red when I did that, I'd be headed for a court martial!!
TaigiaReilly said Mar 15, 2013 04:07:28
I have mixed feelings about it too but it came to me as something better then the often requested status bar for helm and weapons.
Mike_Substelny said Mar 15, 2013 15:41:10
Jim, even without an indicator light you should have been headed for a court martial. :-)
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
Eric said Mar 15, 2013 18:51:42
I understand the purpose for limiting information, but I think it would be more "realistic" if each console knew exactly how much power their particular system had. If I'm the weapons officer, it would seem logical that I would know how much power I'm putting into my weapons. I.e. the captain orders 300% beams, the engineer acknowledges the order and changes the power, and then weapons officer confirms that power is indeed at 300%. This could also lead to another area to grow the complexity of the game in that if the engineer did put 300% to weapons, but weapons doesn't read it, where is the problem and can we track it down in order to fire before that Torgoth cruiser eats us for lunch?

Alternately, what if the individual stations had a power meter for their station that they requested power through? The engineer could then comply or not at their discretion. So the weapons officer could put 300% to beams, but if the engineer didn't follow suit, the beams would fire at only 50% or even misfire. Actually, thinking that through I don't think I like that idea. Because of the continuous nature of change in the engineer position that would leave you mismatched most of the time. Ok, scratch that idea.

However, I would like it if each console had a precise read on how much power they have. Barring the precise data, a four light system would be good. Green for 75%-100%, orange for 1%-74%, red for no power, and psychedelic tie-dye for anything over 100%.
ZacharyDanielBringham said Mar 15, 2013 19:45:47
You could just have one red indicator light per relevant system that blinks/steady on/steady on for damaged/unpowered/powered. That way each console knows if they can request power or not, but not exactly how much they have. Additionally, weapons needs feeback on which beams have fired, maybe a list of charge meters, similar to the torpedos.
ZacharyDanielBringham said Mar 15, 2013 21:52:13
As I thought about having beam charge indicators, I though about how useful that would be to weapons. Granted, right now there aren't separate systems for the separate beam emitters, but several nodes that all pertain to the main beam weapon. If each emitter was its own node, then weapons could have charge indicators for each emitter. That way they could have an idea of power allocation. If the beams aren't charging, then there's obviously no power. Also, the indicator could flash to show that a beam emitter is damaged. Since there's currently no real feedback to weapons about whether or not the beams are firing (without looking at an visual screen or the sound effects), or which beams are firing, this would cover that as well.
The indicators could be grouped according to sides, like front, rear, port, starboard. Then the weapons officer could have a quick reference to see which target would be the best. Especially when fighters are buzzing around you, this would be super helpful, since you can only target one ship at a time.
I've attached a outline of what the weapons station could look like. In the top corner you have the ship outline with charge indicators for each of the (in this case) 3 firing arcs. Buttons for selecting beam frequency and toggling autobeams would be below the charge indicator area and the torpedo quantities would be above the tube area. Just a rough idea.

[Last edited Mar 15, 2013 21:53:32]
cmalott said Mar 15, 2013 22:10:00
Not to but into the middle of the indicator light debate, but I have suggestion regarding mines.

When I want to, I get very little opportunity to use mines as mines. It'd be nice to have the option of launching mines in a disabled state, then having Sci and/or Comm activate the mines at a later time. Until activated, the mines are present but inert (perhaps they show up as grey instead of white) letting ships fly amongst them unhassled. Upon activation the mines function as normal. This wouldn't have to replace the current method of mine deployment, just be an added option: "Weps, load mines in tubes 3 and 4, rig for remote activation and prepare to fire."

Right now it's my understanding that NPC ships ignore the presence of mines but that this behavior might change. If it does, then remote activated mines could be invisible to enemy sensors until activated. Nothing quite like luring a flagship into a field and sending the command...
ZacharyDanielBringham said Mar 15, 2013 22:35:03
That would be pretty rad. Plus it would make laying a minefield a lot less dangerous. You might want to have a few different activation frequencies, just in case
cmalott said Mar 15, 2013 23:24:09
Different frequencies could work like the beam frequencies. A-D or something, and you just select which frequency will activate it before launch.

Then you could, say, lay 4 fields, each activated with a different frequency. Or lay one field, but the mines are split up among all the frequencies, so you don't use them all at once.

Or you have the option of launching in an active state like normal, preserving bombing runs.

Perhaps randomly generated mines can be activated by the ship too? I don't really care either way on that one.
ZacharyDanielBringham said Mar 15, 2013 23:42:10
That would allow for the possibility of a minelayer ship, which could be fun. Might be a little tough without support, but if you have a ton of mines it could make for some fun strategy
Eric said Mar 16, 2013 02:04:20
I also think the beams being split into separate nodes would be great. I like the idea of being able to lock my beams on separate targets (not that that's efficient) if need be. Then I wouldn't have to redesign my ships to have oddly staggered beam recharge times just to feel like my beams are always going. We could fire the individual beam emitters separately (manually?). Then you could have three beam settings: auto-fire, manual fire general, and targeted manual fire (for the periscope view when attacking subsystems).
Captain said Mar 16, 2013 04:01:36
What about a double up for weapons. The one thing I noticed was how annoying it is to switch in and out of manual fire. So now you have two stations. One which does all normal weapons stuff. The other gets more specific controls for what beam to fire etc. if only playing with a standard crew then beams are auto fire. What do you all think?
To Mankind
And the hope that the war against folly may someday be won, after all

Isaac Asimov
ZacharyDanielBringham said Mar 16, 2013 15:39:27
I've always liked the idea of having a tactical and a weapons station. Tactical would assign targets to fire arcs, maybe by holding down a number key while clicking. If there is a weapons officer, he would get the periscope view of his assigned target. If not, the beams in that firing arc autofire. Tactical would also assign torpedo targets (it'd be awesome to be able to have a different target for each tube), and load and fire torpedoes.
toumaltheorca said Mar 17, 2013 00:07:44
Zachary, what you're suggesting sounds a lot like the stations in "Dangerous Waters". There was one station specifically tasked with identifying targets and putting them into a target queue, while the weapons station was doing the actual loading of missiles, firing, etc.

Since we already have the science station, I dunno if another station isn't a bit superfluous. I feel it could be a task for the science officer, if anything.
TaigiaReilly said Mar 17, 2013 02:18:29
After playing Artemis we made had an idea involving the using the jump drive. When we suffered from several long and mistimed jumps due to engineering not having the proper power into our drive system our captain asked "Why don't we have an 'Abort Jump' button?"

I wonder why we don't have an abort jump button? After all you can leave warp anytime you want but once you have started to jump you can't do anything. So if a skaaran appears right in front of you before you jump then you have to jump back to where you were to deal with them.
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