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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
EliWintercross said Jan 25, 2013 11:40:09
"-Manage main view screen!
My helm and weapon officer would really appreciate that. Cause when battle begins, theyre often too busy to do it. Might as well give it to COMMs who does almost nothing during battle."

I would like this too, helm and weapons tend to be too busy in battle to give me the screen view i request
TaigiaReilly said Jan 25, 2013 16:52:29
I liked controlling the view as the helm because I had the main viewer in front of me so I was able to change view to something that help me navigate the ship.
Mike_Substelny said Jan 29, 2013 00:22:59
COMMs used to control the main viewscreen. I think it was taken out because it caused so much confusion for new crews when three different people were controlling that screen.
"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).
xavierwise.tsn said Jan 29, 2013 18:30:25
Really I just get helm to set the view screen on something useful before we enter combat e.g. Tactical Screen. I tend not to have it switched when I know Helm is busy. I find the external views are usually the least useful (and I can just select the Visual on my own captains console), along with the LRS screen (again, I can just select it on my own captains console). Tactical and Status are the two that I find the most useful as they give me much more information about the immediate situation e.g. damage, energy levels, current orientation and manoeuvring in combat, location of near by enemies etc. I find that I often have Status up after a combat anyway, and therefore there is usually a lull in the amount of work my Helms Officer has to do.

If it was transferred to the Comms officer (or made available to them) it is going to add more confusion e.g. who is going to be changing the view screen? and potentially clutter the comms console (it seems to fit well on tactical and helm already). As for the comms officer having almost nothing to do, therefore we 'need to create more work for them'.... well I have very different opinions on that to most it seems.
FuretMasquer said Jan 30, 2013 05:24:01
There should not be any confusion as to who switches view.
Its the very first order I give as a captain.
I assign the duty of view management to one of them. (Would give it to COMM if it was possible as I mentioned earlier.

All in all, it all depends on what we get for COMM in the futur. If nothing is planed. I'd really like view management to be shared between those 3 stations, freeing my helm and weapons some work load and give the comm something to do and feel a little more usefull as she says.

xavierwise.tsn said Jan 30, 2013 19:40:31
There wouldn't be confusion if I played with a regular crew. In games, I have tried a "Captain's Brief" beforehand but you can guarantee someone isn't listening properly, or forgets what I have said. And as we just turn up and have some fun, a Captain's brief seems OTT for the occasion. I do all of my playing over the internet however, which makes it a little different to playing in a room of people.
EliWintercross said Feb 01, 2013 05:38:37
How about making View screen control a selection in the console selection screen? That way you can have whoever you want to control the view screen, and the appropriate buttons appear on screen when it's chosen.
EricMallory said Feb 02, 2013 21:14:37
I'll add my voice to others with my opinions of v2 features:

* A more integrated way to add mods/missions, as suggested, without having to replace files before launching and with a description field that's viewable from the main screen when selecting it. And an indication of what version of Artemis the mission was developed/last tested/verified to work with. And a way to make them persistent. Like the way Civ V handled mods. Someone makes a cool mod that adds a cloak, let me turn that on, along with another mod that allows for a comms mini-game. Now start up a regular invasion mode game.
* An option for the main screen to show the observer view. This is the most fun view for observers, and some players.
* Take away Long Range, Tactical, and Status from the main screen options. While it's nice for helm and others to see tactical on the main screen, it's more fun and interactive to have to get that information from someone else. That's what Science has. You want to make Science more interesting? Take away the ability to short-cut science by putting Long Range and Tactical on the main screen. You want to know how to get to SB2 without falling in to black hole? Ask Science.
* Add fleet maneuvers for Comms. Wouldn't it be cool if Comms could gather 2 or 3 Destroyers and send them as a group towards that fleet bearing down on DS2?
* Better AI for all the bad guys. Lets give them a little more smarts, like an attempt to go around a mine field or black hole that's in between them and their destination. If you're taunting them, maybe they'll go through the mine field (see Mike's sig for a real-world example of that), but not as regular behavior.
* The option for bigger maps. Maybe with a map editor and an option to load a custom map for an invasion mode game.
* Built-in Player vs. Player options.
* Maps with DSes that only 1 ship can dock with.
* DSes that can defend themselves from other players
* I'm not sure about the 3D thing. While I agree it's more realistic, I'm not sure how or if it would be more fun. It will certainly add a whole lot of complexity.

In the immortal words of Constable Bob:
"Stay Frosty!"
TaigiaReilly said Feb 02, 2013 23:19:48
I am in completely agreement with the fleet maneuvers for comms. Just a form up command for Destroyers would be helpful.
xavierwise.tsn said Feb 03, 2013 00:44:28
You can already do fleet manoeuvres with comms. Say you have DE2, DE3, and DE4; order DE4 and DE3 to defend DE2. All you have to do then is order DE2 where ever you want and the others will follow.
TaigiaReilly said Feb 03, 2013 05:00:06
True but I mean for the times when an enemy ship(or ships) is close and I want to fly out to meet them but it would be nice for the Destroyer to give me back up.
xavierwise.tsn said Feb 03, 2013 12:02:29
Again, you can already do that. You need to make sure the Destroyers are in the right place at the right time (in other words, comms officer needs to be working to do his job). From the example above, just order DE2 to "Defend Artemis". The whole formation should move to you and form on your position. If you are stationary (why?! get moving!) they will circle you. When you move, make sure you keep at about 50 - 75% impulse and they will follow behind you. As you attack a fleet, they will fire upon whichever ship is firing at you. If you want them to break away, simple order DE2 to "Attack Nearest Enemy" and the small fleet will do so. Order the rest while in combat to do the same and they will provide you effective support.

A couple of things to note. Make sure you are completely aware of the position of the allied fleet at all times. I have been on a ship where the Captain conducted a "bombing run", mining the allies as well as the enemies. Your allies will not take evasive action to avoid your weapons fire, so be careful using Nukes and ECMs (you can't hit them with beams). The allies move a lot slower than you. They will not move at warp, but instead move at a speed of ~50% to 75% impulse. You will need to take this into account when planning your attack run, and helm will have to watch both the allied fleet as well as the enemy fleet as the distance is closed. You also need to make sure they are in the right place if you want to use them. Waiting for them to cross half the sector to get in to position can waste valuable time for the stations you are supposed to be defending.

Sorry about talking tactics when this thread is meant to be about development.
EricMallory said Feb 03, 2013 16:21:25
I don't think that fleet following me at 50%-75% impulse would ever be useful. As you say, I'm always moving. Usually at warp. I like what you're saying about the "go defend." I had not noticed I could do that with something other than a starbase. I'll try that next time. Now give the Destroyers Warp 1 capability, and I think I have what I'm looking for. A useful fleet that Comms can control.
xavierwise.tsn said Feb 03, 2013 17:15:54
For that, there needs to be an improvement in the Allies AI. They need to know when to accelerate to warp and when to drop back to impulse.

If you want to use them as I outlined above, you need a good comms officer who can plan ahead and a little luck. I have managed to have a small fleet follow the ship on one or two occasions, but it isn't easy to get it set up in the slightest. It took forethought and luck with timings. A skilled comms officer and an experienced captain can pull it off though. Basically, you have to set them up in the right place and have them move at the right time.

Warp is usually used to close the distance; impulse is used predominantly in Primary Beam engagements (from my experience). The Destroyers should be able to keep up if you have them located correctly and have timed it well.
artain5 said Feb 04, 2013 02:59:47
I really like some of the suggestions made on here, so I will try to make my suggestions different. As a stranger to the programming required to do any of these I'm going to make suggestions not based upon amount of time or work one would take but rather on a possible game mechanic that could be added or changed.

1) New play type: One of the crew members of a ship will randomly be assigned as "saboteur." As such they have a unique console that allows them to interfere, with limited ability, in the functions of some of the other officers. "I hope you didn't need torpedoes to overheat just now... I wonder what would happen if the ship lazily veered to starboard during warp?"

2) Expanding Comms to having a role that approaches a overall fleet strategist. This might involve telling stations to build defenses, or send probes out, or upgrade. This adds a sort of mini-game to their function. Multiple ship scenarios should delegate each ship's authority by the way to avoid the confusion that exists now.

3) With most astrological bodies moving in a rotational frame of reference, there's not a lot of mass that ends up going very far out of 2d. 3d might be fun, but I think it would be more fun to give the starmap a gravitational center, and each of the objects a particular orbit. The center point could be a sun, or a singularity, or a gas giant. Helm would need to work on aiming for moving objects, like space stations and asteroid belts would be a much more frightening challenge as well.

4) Randomized events to simulate a junk bucket ship: infrequent coolant leaks that need to be repaired (and replaced), solar flare knocks out starboard turning of maneuver (so you can only turn to port for a short time), jammed torpedo tube,

5) Kinetic effects when hit by a torpedo. The ship gets knocked back, and might list lazily and put a slight spin on the ship. Strong enough hit, might temporarily disable engines.

6) Major overhaul: create a sea ship version of this game. which involves sailing a galleon, sloop, man-o-war, etc around. Helm, Cannon-ear, Navigation, Marine Corporal, Repairs officer, captain.
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