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Make an unresponsive neutral ship

posted Jan 22, 2013 13:20:59 by TimReiff
Hi all. I'm new to scripting missions, and I'm trying to make a ship graveyard. Essentially a bunch of damaged ships floating in place. I can do most of what I want easily, enough, but I am trying to make a neutral ship that won't respond to hails or comms orders in any way.

The illusion of a ship graveyard is sort of ruined if they respond to Artemis' orders, afterall.

I know I can use a generic mesh, but then they won't have some of the other properties I want them to have, so I'm in a bit of a conundrum. If anyone has any notions, I'd love to hear them!
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7 replies
MarkBell said Jan 22, 2013 15:40:42
Well, there is the "willAcceptCommsOrders" attribute for neutrals, that can be set to zero. Also, the throttle, steering, topSpeed, turnRate, shieldStateFront, etc can all be set in the script. I'm not sure about responding to hails, but at least taking comms orders can be set.
TimReiff said Jan 22, 2013 16:52:02
I'll have to fiddle with that setting a bit more. I think unfortunately, setting it to zero results in something like,
Comms: Send order to Neutral Ship
Neutral Ship: Sorry Artemis, we don't take orders from you.

I'd prefer it if I could make an exchange more like,
Comms: Attempts to send orders to Neutral Ship
Neutral Ship: no reply or possibly custom reply like *static*

Thanks for the thought though!
[Last edited Jan 22, 2013 16:52:21]
Mike_Substelny said Jan 22, 2013 17:51:53
I really think generic objects are the way for you to go. What property do you want it to have that a generic object lacks? Do you want players to shoot at it?

I think the trick will be to transform the generic into a real ship under certain circumstances.
"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).
TimReiff said Jan 22, 2013 19:10:01
Well, I'd like two things with the generic object:
1. For it to be destructable (not so much that I want players to be able to target it, but I want them to have to be careful not to nuke it....preventing collateral damage essentially)
2. To be able to size the generic objects properly. When I put in a generic object with the civilian mesh, it seems to be quite a bit smaller than a regular civilian ship.

The transformation idea is an interesting one, though I'm not sure how I would accomplish that. I mean, I guess when enemies get close, I could transform it at that time into a ship, and in the heat of the fight, maybe no one would notice they could give the hulk an order. That said, if I can't figure out how to fix the sizing issue, the transformation wouldn't be quite seamless either.

Edit: Oh, and the third property I'd like to be able to accomplish with with Generic Object is to display the vector and range on the Helm position. So when you're helm and you come near another ship (friendly or hostile) or a station, you get to see that bearing and range to that vessel. This is handy in my scenario because I want them to stay within a certain range of some of these objects. It's harder for the helm player to stay within a certain range with a generic objects, because they can't see what the current range is.
[Last edited Jan 22, 2013 19:18:30]
JSpaced said Jan 28, 2013 09:43:23
Hi Tim,
Can't help for the comms bit, I'd like to have more control over whether or not the ship responds. I have a mission where you can beam the entire crew off the ship, only to find someone's at home, answering hails!
1. The only way I know of to make it destructable is to make it a functioning ship. Perhaps an enemy ship with an empty AI stack? Although it would show up as red on the consoles. (Maybe red for space hazard?)
2. There is an "art scale" attribute that can be set, or you can use the above idea, or use a genuine neutral ship.

3rd issue - I thought this would be useful too, except that Artemis definitely draws a line between helmsman and navigator, with science/ captain's map filling the navigator role. Perhaps encourage your crew to think that way?
Science: "We're drifting out of range of the target. Correct 10 degrees starboard!"
Helm: "Correcting 10 degrees, aye."
"We should give him the send-off he deserves. He died saving us all. Prepare a Rocket-Shed for immediate launch."
TimReiff said Jan 28, 2013 13:17:54
Understood. Thanks for the art scale thought. I'll give that a try!
Mike_Substelny said Jan 29, 2013 00:40:23
There is no way to make an object that can be destroyed by weapons but can't be halied by Comms. One always goes with the other.

My advice:

Storywise: say that the hulk is abandoned but still has a functioning computer aboard.

Scriptwise: Classify the ship as neutral. Overwrite the name, class, and race fields to describe it as a dead hulk. Set the small text and Science text fields so that Sceince gets a detailed report of this hunk of space junk. Have the script constantly damage engines, maneuvering, shields, everything. When Comms asks for a status report the hulk will just respond that everything is damaged. The players can give it an order but it can't move. With its shields totally destroyed the slightest scratch will kill it.

You could surround the hulk with a ring of generic objects marking a certain perimeter, but I don't recommend it. In Artemis, Helm is not supposed to be able to do anything alone. It should be Science's job to warn Helm when the ship is getting too far from the hulk.
"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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