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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).
Russ
Author of Artemis Mod Loader.

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218 replies
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edward.cope said Mar 27, 2013 11:29:39
Just putting in my 2 cents after reading through all the suggestions.

It seems to me, with my crew that the players need something "to do" in two phases that occur in each game, "In combat" and "Out of combat". The engineer and helm always seem to have something to do, which is great. Science and Comms have less to do in combat and weapons has less to do out of combat.

Suggestions:

##### Science #####
- We use a jump drive primarily and so our science officer helps greatly with planning our attacks. When we use warp he is less involved and needs more to do.

- I can't tell you how many times I've wanted A LOT more information on what we are jumping into for an attack. The science officer should be able to perform more scanning on enemies, at least to the point where they can pull up at least all the information on an enemy vessel that comes included in the manual. Why not let them see fire arcs, number of beams and torpedo tubes, their manuever and impulse, scan for special abilities etc. Much of this info can be displayed by successive scanning. This would let them help plan attacks, even with warp drives, like avenue of approach, what to expect from special abilities, etc.

- Let engineering assign and control power to the shields, but allow science to have more control over where the power is distributed, a top-down ship display with icons showing front and rear and let them more quickly shift power bewtween the two.

- Give enemy ships different beam attack freqs and allow science to modulate shields to counter-act. This would give them more to do in combat

##### Comunications #####
- Missions: I think it was artain5 who suggested more "random events". My comms station is usually like our mission tracker as well. I think there should be a lot more random missions that pop up other than the normal fetch and deliver ideas:
* Reapair/Upgrade Freindly: Perform a delivery mission from a station to a Destroyer or other Station which upgrade them to have (better)weapons. If a Destroyers shields/hull need fixing, you could deliver them energy from your supplies to repair/regen
* Scan Nebulas/Singularities/Anomalies. Provide the normal rewards for these
* Find missions: station or destroyer requests a certain gas/mineral which you can scan for in nebulas and return to them
* Destroy Missions: Pick single enemy ships to destroy
* Lay minefields: Plant a certain number of mines in a particular strategic sector
* Escort Missions: Redevous with transports and stay with them until a certain destination is reached
They could also have varying levels of difficulty.

- Controlling Drones +1
- Mine Laying: Add new allied ship minelayer and allow comms to send it commands to lay mine in particular sectors
- More combat commands. Allies target my target, allies changed beam freqs, allies target particular systems, more that can be thought of
- Upgrade to Interface. I think missions, and emergency requests for support should be coloured differently, maybe quests in green and emergency requests in red. Also, i like the "twitter dashboard" sort of layout, but maybe have a right-hand section specifically for the issue commands window which leaves the current comms feed still displayed.
- Also, i've noticed with my iPad that if the app crashes and I go back into comms, all of the feed is missing. Ensuring the comms feed is displayed again after connecting/disconnecting from comms would be good.

##### Weapons #####
- Just want to say that my weapons person usually does the front screen switching. The first command I order is who is in charge of the main screen. Although if playing with a dedicated comms officer i think it would make sense for them to be able to change the screen as well. When in combat, the weapons guy is usually busy :)
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Jim Johnson said Mar 28, 2013 03:18:00
I usually have Helm take care of the screen switching, especially since all the necessary controls are on the joystick. Even in the middle of a fight, he's never that busy.
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zthumser said Mar 28, 2013 14:05:06
I have helm control the screens for the same reason. I also have helm handle shields, since they have to coordinate shield state with warp. Of course, I have helm using a Thrustmaster Flight Stick X, with Xpadder mapping all the buttons. That way, helm is so streamlined that they never have to touch their keyboard so I feel like they have the spare time to do that, even in combat. I'm not sure I'd want to put all that on helm without the joystick. Admittedly, that leaves weapons with a lot of down-time outside of combat, so they're usually the first station to be doubled up with science or comms when there aren't enough people.
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hancock.steven said Mar 29, 2013 00:09:18
Science and Comms have less to do in combat...

Prior to engagements with enemy fleets i give a strategy briefing and then during combat have science direct helm, tactical and comms. Normally I want the weakest enemies targeted first, to take them out of the fight quickly. Science accesses this info then allocates a target, calls out target designation, forward or rear shields, and frequency. Helm keeps it in our arcs, aggressively of defensively according to my strategy, tactical targets them with the required weapons. If I am looking to seek enemies' surrender, Science will call cease fire when the enemy's shields are down and they are taking system damage, direct comms to request surrender and allocate a new target.

This involves science significantly during combat. It allows me as captain to monitor the big picture, keep an eye on other issues like energy, ammo, and damage levels; monitor enemy activity and plan the next move. I guess it depends how you play it.
[Last edited Mar 29, 2013 00:12:37]
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TaigiaReilly said Mar 31, 2013 08:00:39
Rail gun. Spinal main weapon. Big badda boom.

I know I'm not really offering up any good suggestions at this point but I got nothing. I just want to see what other people are still thinking.
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outomaisteri said Apr 02, 2013 22:03:07
Thought I'd share my thoughts about Comms, since there's been quite a lot of talk about it. I like the idea of hacking or jamming communications, but rather than making it complex, I have a few quite simple ideas how to keep Comms "group focused" while making it more engaging.

What I had in mind is quite simple. Not any minigames or other things to distract you from your crew, just a simple "click-and-done" action, with drawbacks. Maybe hacking would cost energy (50 per attempt?) and it could fail if there wasn't enough energy to Sensors (or a completely new system, though that might be too much). Maybe enemy ships had comm-frequencies akin to shield frequencies. That would already force Comms to talk to the Captain, Sci and Engineering to effectively hack/jam frequencies. Or if the energy consumption feels weird, maybe hacking would have a long cooldown period, during which YOU can't communicate. These drawbacks would give the mechanic a simple risk-reward balance of whether to try to turn the odds to your favor by trying to hack your enemy, or conserving energy/time for something more important.

I've been trying to think of all kinds of things to give Comms a bit more to do, but as Thom has put it, this is a group game. We want people to communicate with each other, so a simple solution like this would suit the "group aspect" of the game quite perfectly instead of complex, focus demanding mechanics. Especially if many of the other suggestions would be implemented (as in much more actual communication with other ships/stations), having your Comms offline because of a hacking attempt could result in some interesting scenarios.
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ZacharyDanielBringham said Apr 30, 2013 00:26:15
One thing that came to mind recently is the idea that all of the ships, regardless of size, have the same armor rating, IE 70 points. This seems counter-intuitive to me. I would think that a battleship would be harder to destroy than a scout once the shields are taken out of the equation. Most, if not all sci-fi franchises include the concept of armor in addition to energy shields. I would suggest having the armor strength be a parameter in the vessel data just like the shield strength.
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AdmlBaconStraps said May 02, 2013 11:39:28
One thing my crew has come up with with our limited multi-ship experience is proper PC to PC ship comms.

The ability to actually type to each other or an inbuilt VOIP thing. Something to that effect - we tend to have a lot of trouble coordinating fine manouvers with the base options given at the moment.
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JamesDunnem said May 08, 2013 13:44:09
Expanding the view from the bridge is something that adds greatly to the immersion; has the idea of being able to lock the view of an observer station (default cinematic cycle, or forward, back, left, right, up, down) been entertained?
Adding an observer station locked to an upward view and mounted to the ceiling (for instance), or left and right views on either side of the bridge would be a great option.
"There is an old Celtic saying: "Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde."
-Beware of the anger of a patient man.
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timechick said May 08, 2013 14:45:59
I'm all about incorporating a ship to ship "transceiver" into comms? Make it like skype or something with audio/video. Also give Comms the option of putting their video screen up on the main viewer.
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ErikBergman said May 08, 2013 17:46:01
Looked through quite a bit of this, but not all. Really would like viewport and first person (main screen out of the ship) style views, multiple possible at once, left, right, and up would be awesome.
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William said May 08, 2013 19:27:03
A feature that I would like to have is the ability to set a specific playing time in addition to the default ones that don't go above 30 minutes.
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ErikBergman said May 09, 2013 20:36:04
Agreed, William! At least one and two hour hour ones!
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amagi82 said May 10, 2013 08:29:07
Some things I'd like to see:

Science:
- Transporters. You could beam marines over to enemy ships when their shields go down and attempt to take them over. This would require you to drop your shields during the transport, so it requires quick coordination. On the plus side, if you take the ship over, you have another combat-ready vessel on your side, which Comms can order around. You could also use transporters to beam stuff back and forth between friendlies.
- Shield modulations. The enemy scans the player vessel occasionally and determines the player weaknesses (more often at higher difficulty). Science can detect this and remodulate the shields, which costs energy to perform, but randomly(or custom) changes the resistances.

Helm:
- The position of the warp slider makes it really easy to accidentally hit warp on tablets. Moving it further from where you hold the screen would be handy.

Comms:
- Enemy on screen. Contact the enemy and put him/her on the main viewer. Negotiations (choose your own adventure-style, a la Bioware) may commence. The ability to do this would radically increase mission possibilities. Even if the enemies are Star Control-style images on the screen, it'd still be really cool and open the game up.

Engineering:
- Presets. The engineer programs in a setting and clicks save in one of the slots for future use.
- Semi-automated repair options. Prioritizes certain systems for repair crews, but otherwise works as if automated. For instance, the captain orders warp drive back on line immediately, and engineering can press one button to order the repair crews to focus on that, without having to track down where the individual nodes are and send individual teams.
- Colored system usage. Any system that's currently being used changes color compared to unused systems. I.e., when the torpedoes are loading, the system turns yellow. When the ship is maneuvering, the maneuvering thruster system turns yellow. This sort of color-coding would let the engineer be more on top of things as they're needed.


Balance:
- The ship should mow through energy a little more slowly. Right now we have to revisit stations to recharge too often.
- Slightly more powerful beams, especially to shields.
- More powerful homing missiles
- Less powerful nukes and mines
- Faster enemies with better strategy (don't huddle in a convenient-to-nuke bunch all the time)
- Enemies should remodulate their shields occasionally. More often on higher difficulty levels
- Collision damage should be brutal.
- Some damage should be irreparable. Too many hits in a warp drive should sheer off the whole nacelle, crippling the engines. Only a station could repair it, and that would take considerable time. The system could track the damage beyond 100% in any system, and if it hits 200% or whatever, the system is completely destroyed, and would turn from red to brown or black on the engineering damage screen.

Missions:
- A mission to attack enemy bases, rather than just defend home turf, would be really cool.
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Mike_Substelny said May 10, 2013 18:46:12
The ship should mow through energy a little more slowly. Right now we have to revisit stations to recharge too often.


This depends on the difficulty factor. The higher the difficulty you select, the less energy efficient your ship will be.
"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).
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