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Nightchade
08-04-2012, 01:28 PM
Exactly as it should be... I think the problem with most modern games is that they are made for profits, not the love (or passion, whichever fits) of the game, and that is where quality and creativity go down the drain. Minecraft is an excellent example. Made by two guys with a passion for gaming, it has become one of the bigger names around, and they are working on more. I personally believe that game design (modding for sure) should be based on the premise that the ppl making the games LOVE the games. It is obvious from the amount of detail in XTM and XTC that the teams responsible for the mods truly love the games which the mods enhance. This is what sets XTC apart from almost every other mod out there, the passion to start (and see through to the end of development) a project of this size. This is where the love comes in at: if the dev team didn't love the game they were modding, we never would have seen 1.2a, let alone 2.0..... It does make me wonder, though... XTC's dev team can obviously do a better job than egosoft at this style of game.... so why don't you guys start a studio, and make a game? Something like XTC would be awesome, but i would have to make a suggestion - multiplayer, even if only for LAN, would be SWEET. It is, imho, the one area the x series of games has always been weak. Even without SETA, XTC would still be SICK with other, non-npc wingmen. The thought of making a persisting universe comes to mind, and instead of SETA, a freelancer-style cruise drive could help to spped the game up.... just a thought, btw, although I may be speaking of an MMO-style game, but there is no other game like that out there (I've looked), and there is assuredly a shortage of space shooters (ESPECIALLY multiplayer ones!) out there....otherr than freelancer, the last good mp space shooter/combat sim I played was Tie Fighter Vs. X-Wing, and it's been a while... like i said, just a thought.

Solitas
08-04-2012, 03:55 PM
A multiplayer/mmo X games was my dream since X2.....:txuflag: I think it would be a strong rival to EVE if it would ever come out...

thetack
08-04-2012, 09:54 PM
one point you missed nightchade this game isnt a space shooter it is far more complex than that, it is possible to build an empire without shooting a single thing in the vanilla game (i would say imposible in x tended) half the game is not shooting its thinking and to enable this game to be MMO you would need to dum down the gameplay (as i get a nasty feeling rebirth will do) and find a way to police the game to prevent some 15 year old whos been told to get lost by his 14 year old girl wiping out thousands of hours or work of more mature players.

i hope the guys do stay together and continue their great work, but think the reason this is sutch a great game is the lack of financial pressure, the guys are able to get things working in their own time no overheads building up to bankrupt them (i hope not) if they formed a studio they would need to get an income to cover their costs and proberly loose the fun they have making this game.

Aragon Speed
10-04-2012, 09:53 AM
Split posts off into a new thread.

The thing is, it is much easier to alter an already created game than it is to create one from scratch. The ES dev team are just as passionate about space game as we are, but they have to create one from nothing. This is so much harder than modding a game.

The XTC team thought about creating our own game about 1 year ago, we quickly dropped the idea of creating our own space game engine from scratch as we simply do not have the manpower for it, so we looked about for another engine we could convert to our needs. Unfortunately there really isn't one. ES also found this when they started on Rebirth, which is why they had to write their own engine from scratch.

K.J.
10-04-2012, 11:23 AM
That's why i hate it when somebody says something like "ES did such a crappy job, the" - for example - "xtc team (or modders in general) made it much better"
There would be no mod if there was no game. It's freakin easy to improve something that is already there. Add little bits here and there.
Creating everything(!) - sounds, models, effects, textures, engine, scripts, etc - from scratch is such an enormous task ...

And yes we put a lot of passion and love into it. Problem: Love and Passion doesn't feed you or your family. I'm sure ES would have done the same thing as good, if they had the time. I certainly wouldn't want to work at the same thing in my freetime if i did the same thing as a fulltimejob 8h a day.

multiplayer, even if only for LAN
there is no difference in development if its "just lan" or internet - same amount of work

H-K
10-04-2012, 12:33 PM
Respect to anyone who can think up a multiplayer X-game that is fun to play for anybody even after some of the diehards own half the galaxy :)

Joelnh
10-04-2012, 04:06 PM
The only way I can see a X-MOO working is if they make it limited online.
similiar to what NWN2 did... you can modify your own universe and have it open or invite only as well as egosoft official ones.

this would allow for filtering out undesirables... and allow for XTC Online.....

stemardue
10-04-2012, 05:40 PM
and allow for XTC Online.....

tbh there is some 'minor' details to adjust before... like for example re-writing the whole game engine to allow the 'concept' of more than one single player interacting with the game at a time... I'm not talking of protocols, data transfer, client/host networking and all the rest in the 'technical side' (that also would be needed), but simply of how this (series of) game is conceived: single player only. Think that you can't even see a different sector in 'live mode' in any way in game... the live sector is the one you are in. All the others are barely simulated (that also causes the OOS fights to be so different from IS battles... to say something).

So, forget about that, folks. Either ES projects a multiplayer game, or there won't be any done by modders.

Galder
10-04-2012, 06:29 PM
KJ is a bit right about the game as such. It's always easier to change something existing. However, as far as i'm concerned and the work i did in XTC, i literally started from scratch, with ships and a completely empty universe. So, XTC isn't that far away from a reinvention. Of course, we always had the stencil of TC, that makes it a little bit easier, but i think from the script perspective, data files and son on, there's nothing left which hasn't changed. You can tell this when thinking of ES Patches. XTC doesn't need to think about it, as it was already changed before, and the mod is completely independent. Sartorie even killed god... that alone is something remarkable which wasn't done in other mods ;) Anyway, i'm often very disappointed by the lack of common sense and straight thinking, which is putting severe dents in the gameplay and some other important parts of the game. I started to mod, because i was disappointed by TC... alot. But it may be personal preference.

Now, the multiplayer part.
There are always suggestions, wishes, even advices which always contain a certain, brilliant sounding addon or improvement. There's nothing wrong about that, but it's always a dream, how this or that would be, and dreams can pop just like a soap bubble. The hard part is that the people who have suggested something a deeply disappointed. I saw that recently about smoe balance topics and 3d models. Ingame mechanics do not support reality ;) The problem with the multiplayer is not the multiplayer itself, but the game. The X series is back since X2 a classic arcade shooter. It's Call od duty or Battlefield in space. That's the reality, but people tend to see more, and they're not wrong about that. They see a Real Time Strategy title, a Space Sim title or even a Manager like game. These are parts of the X series, but they're just additions. You need to reduce the game down to the part you, as a player, can directly do. You're able to sit in a ship, you're able to move around with that ship, and you can fire the weapons of that ship. Nothing more, this is the most basic level of gameplay in the X series. Station building, trading and other things are build on top of these game abilities. The game is centered around these in sector actions.

To create a multiplayer, you need to rebuild the entire game from scratch. You'd need to add some kind of player interaction apart from shooting, which are part of the basic gameplay. Such as team cooperation, having different roles to fulfill. If not, a multiplayer would be very disappointing, as you would just have the choice to shoot or not to shoot. There are enough cheap shooters out there who are simple as that, and nobody wants to see an X game that bad. It'd be like the first Duke Nukem. A plain arcade shooter. The X games are exclusively single player, and you're only able to trade and build empires because nobody is interfering. There's no limit and no balance in trading, fleet building and so on, and it'd be a tough competition if everything would be unlimited. Imagine only a player with enough money to spend on complexes, and he will rule a whole slice of the universe. You'd be forced to trade with him... the current situation on the gas and fuel market with BP, Exxon, Shell and so on would seem like neo socialism against a situation like that. There's no way to remove this player from his established corporation. Or Imgaine a duel with somebody in a M2 who knows what he's doing. You wouldn't have a single chance. As it is a arcade shooter, there'll be always people who can fly a lot better than you, just because they don't use the mouse steering. In the beginning of the XTC mod, i listened and talked a lot to people about their way to fly, fight and trade, and i can tell you, that the opinions are so different, that almost no one plays the game in the same way like some other player does. There are some who are playing it more plain orientated, and there are some who really do put the 3 dimensional surrounding to use. There are some who are limited by the 3 key (pressing) limitation of the keyboard, and some who do more than 5 things at the same time. Now consider someone who's able to fire his guns, rotate his ship, accelerating, giving commands and strafing all at the same time. Impossible? No. As the game treats bullets as objects with an own vector and only applies damage when two objects collide, there's no to hit ratio, there's no DPS, there's only damage per shot. The rest is entirely down to your skill to let bullets make contact with another ship. There's no guidance like in rts games or round based MMOs like WoW or SWTOR. There's no team play like in COD or BF.

To fight and trade alongside with other X players is not only problematic because of the technical side, the game lacks the most basic multiplayer abilities at all. The best comparison would be Diablo 2, a simple hack and slay. Everything else must be reinvented to get at least a little bit of gameplay. Now you may say the OOS code is already a sim, it is, you're right about that. But do you really think it would be entertaining to watch OOS maps and do OOS fights? That is as far you would be able to bring a multiplayer game, and it'd look like a pretty sad clone. And consider that even in AP OOS combat is not balanced at all. If this sim would add some IS structures, liek ship models and zoom, well, it'd be still never something X like. A Homeworld clone eventually, but not an X game. No, a X multiplayer would have to be build entirely from scratch, as the current X games are exclusively single player, and the gameplay wouldn't work in a multiplayer environment.

A wall of text, i know, but although this is only a short question, it deserves a suitable explanation to avoid disappointed people and short "Not possible, take two Aspirine and come again next year!" answers ;)

Joelnh
10-04-2012, 07:12 PM
I knew X games were far from a online game, but didn't really think of how far until I read the WOT's....

I knew XTC online would be very unlikely, but it was said as a 'I wish' statement.

K.J.
10-04-2012, 09:19 PM
as far as i'm concerned and the work i did in XTC, i literally started from scratch, with ships and a completely empty universe. So, XTC isn't that far away from a reinvention.
ships... they were already there, their names, their models, textures, descriptions, a class system, rules and systems how they work/ how they are set up. Same about the universe - stations and their way how the economy works, objects that you put in space, tools to place everything, the hole sector system with gates and different sectors, everything. Just think of all those little things you usually don't really pay attention to. The little blobs you see as dust in sectors? Somebody had to made those. And the ambient grumbling noises of stations...
I don't want to devaluate your, our, or anyone else's work , i know how much efford it did take to make all that. But starting from scratch is something entirely different.

Just to underline the comment about us not having the manpower for an own game: From Aragon's blog about the beginning of XTC you can read that the mod-development started with the release of X3TC (Oct 2008 ) - look at what date we have now :lol: and we "just" made it to have a very big modification in its 2.0 version almost ready.

I propably sound like a ranting grumpy guy now, so would like to say that i'm actually really happy with how everything turned out. After quite some months of X abstinence (modding a game doesn't necessarily mean playing it^^) i now got hooked again and can't wait for 2.0 to be released like the rest of you guys to really start playing xtc poperly for the first time - you heard that right. I just wanted to open your eyes abit.

Crellion22
11-04-2012, 06:59 AM
Guys you are my heros and x3r x3tc and xtc are the only single player games that have ever dented my personal life so badly. On the other hand I have been playing eve - online off and on for 7 years now (more on than off) and it IS x3 online with on major difference: the core gameplay that was mentioned earlier i.e. sitting in your ship (shooting and) FLYING IT. Eve as amazing pvp with one difference: you do not fly your ship per se, you give it commands and point and clicks. All guns are turrets none are "main guns". If you make a team of people and go over to CCP and come up with a plan to import "flying" and "main guns for frigs" in that game it would be a VERY excisting proposition.

For me it would make the king space game of all space games. From their perspectice (if they realise this) it would be a breath of fresh air in their game drowing additional crowds. For you it would be a dream come true (imagine 200 Mamba raiders in a system duking it out split in 2 different teams) as gamers and potentially, a hell of a lot more professionaly (ok iffy bit here).

For me as a gamer of both games it would be... something to experience before I pass lol.

Galder
11-04-2012, 08:39 AM
I don't want to devaluate your, our, or anyone else's work , i know how much efford it did take to make all that. But starting from scratch is something entirely different.
No offense taken, i know what you mean ;)

But i have to disagree on everything being there.
There was no universe map, and there were no ship classes anymore. I started literally from scratch, even writing the tutorials for the different ship values and how they're used. The universe map hadn't even a single blob, and if the guys weren't insisting on using DSEs map, i'd have done it from scratch also. Everything you can see in the universe was placed by Alex Vanderbilt and me. You may also remember that stemmy and me went through literally every sound played in game. Compare the sounds, and you find that even that humming on stations in space you mentioned is a custom sound. Trickmov and me have even custom blocks in the sounds, leaving no more space for other custom entries, and stemmy did almost 200 new spoken names for all sectors. The economy, as you see it now was at an early stage of development completely removed, with me even introducing a new terran economy system. Stations aren't the ES type anymore. Have a look at sartories WareTemplate and you'll see that there is no vanilla anymore. In fact, almost 30% of all settings in (stock ES vanilla) economy weren't happening in WareTemplate but in the universe map by simple scripting, because nobody cared to write a clean one. TShips, TBullets, TCockpits TMissiles, everything written from scratch with the purpose to look and feel like the original X series. It'd have been easier if we could apply our own rules. The discussion about the own game was only forced by the remark in the interview as far as i remember.

I know that you don't rant and that you don't want to devaluate the work, but we do not need to hide. Especially the modellers team shouldn't do so at the moment ;) If i have to judge about the files i dug through in all those years, i have a pretty clear image of how the work was done. The ES TShips, TCockpits, TBullets, TLasers have evolved from game to game, with nobody keeping an eye on them. The people working on the game were only throwing ships inside and never cared about looking at the old ones already existing. The stock ES TCockpits is a nightmare which is dating back to XTM. The work from Mox (and others) is still visible.

Now i have to put on the "rage" mood a bit ;) (Don't worry, but i do have to speak a bit more openly ;) ) I have been just a translator for XTM 0.74 and 0.75, but i still experienced the 0.73 situation. Back in 2006/2007, it was the same like now after the XTC 1.2a. A large part of the crew which was responsible for TC, was the old XTM team, and they simply vanished. Imagine that you have 1.2 out, a mod which runs fine, but is so incomplete, that you have even tutorials pointing out that plots do not carry on, because they're unfinished. And this was it... suddenly *POOF*.... team gone, not even a word "Sorry, we're now working for ES..." This was the situation for more than a year. It was Aragon Speed and Mokonzi who were building up a new team to finish the mod once begun by the people now working at ES. XTM 0.75 was already a major update. The whole terran plot line, half of the goner plots were written by Droffy and kevso, the very FIRST MD missions. Long before the ES team wrote something similar for TC. The only other mod which was also a bit more advanced was Transcend by Observe and his team, and in the follow up, New Horizons by Phlt/Elffin and his team.

Now, looking at TC, and what it's looking like, it's far from being entirely new written, it's not written from scratch. It's build on top of Reunion and Fan based mods. Some models have been imported from XTM, if i'm correct, some shaders and other technical things are coming from Observe, the universe map evolved since XBtF, and so did the ships. The X games are not written from scratch, and the people working on TC and AP did nothing else than we did. It's ok when there are things you don't like, you can never satisfy everyone. It's ok if there are some errors, nobody is perfect. But after seeing the entire XTM team breaking apart and vanishing, i'm not deeply impressed by TC (also not by the new terran models for some technical reasons ;) ) . Especially after playing it. I played it for around 8 weeks and never got back. This is not a rant, i'm stating this. I do hope that Rebirth will be a bit more complete, and i really do hope that this time someone else is responsible for ship balancing. If not, i can already tell that the drone feature will not work (to put that as diplomatically as possible :mrgreen: ) . Gazz mentioned some ideas for the drone carriers on the ES forum, and if i'd be the "designer", i'd have a splitting headache about this. The whole concept seems to be centralised, so if you remove the carrier, than everything goes down the drain, and i can imagine where this is coming from. Rebirth won't also be written from scratch. The impressive part will be the engine.

The XTC team does not need to hide, considering how the mod will look like after 2.0 is out. ;)
/edit:
Another wall of text ;) But this also needs a bit more explanation than a tweet to avoid the wrong impression. ;) It's not rage ranting.

H-K
13-04-2012, 12:08 PM
The XTC team does not need to hide, considering how the mod will look like after 2.0 is out. ;)

Seriously m8, this team should never have to hide even if 2.0 doesnt come out at all just because of all the awsome work they have done already.

But that's just my opinion, y'all keep on having fun with the mod and i'll someday enjoy the fruits :)

skylinedr
23-04-2012, 05:16 PM
Just a short question on the fight missions. Do all the mission scripts rly working correctly?

http://s18.postimage.org/5faf80eat/x3screen00100p99p.jpg (http://postimage.org/image/5faf80eat/)

This was an easy patrol mission with initially 150k reward (i think), my rank stands just at "Warrior". With these ships the pirates could easily destroy half of the sector if they want. Thats a little unbelievable to me, at least just for a simple patrol mission with no background story. What should i expect on 3 or 4 ranks higher? Are these missions still doable?

Galder
23-04-2012, 05:41 PM
Yes, that's a normal scenario according to your screenshot.

The difficulty of a mission is more or less only a hint. If you get a mission, it has a certain basic difficulty set. If you accept it, the enemies are spawned determinated by a fixed table, which is called OBS. One of the nightmares for the MD coders ;) It's working different, but to give you an image... this OBS is modifying the difficulty according to several factors. It spawns enemies not only according to your rank, but also according to the ship you're sitting in, and on higher ranks even according to the total property of the player. Your "Broccoli" is a M7, so it's easy to explain those 2 M7 you should deal with. The other ships are fighters spawned to fill the rest of the enemy variation. Technically it's done by setting a fix number according to the key values counting in that mission. These numbers are added or even multiplied, so you get an overall value, which is then broken down into ships considered as enemies. So, the difficulty gets adjusted to the players current situation. More or less... If you're in a M7 it doesn't make sense to send M4s and M3s against you. SO there are several M8s added to the mix. If this spawn is too high or too low is always a discussion on its own ;) But in a M7 you should be more than able to deal with a bunch of M8s. Remember that you can put two different types of anti missile systems to use, hte EMP, which works automatically, and the Chaffs. The EMP has a longer range the bigger the ship is, afaik. Try to get close to missile spamming ships. If they're actually in your EMP bubble (range), they're sitting ducks ;)

So you see, easy is just a label, not a fixed or certain statement ;) We had already epic battles, like the one from mightysword. Forget about the 150k credits. This is just to get you interested. If you destroy a single M7 from a certauin rank and up, it's almost worth double the amount of what they're promising to pay on the start. The money to earn can skyrocket together with the difficulty, and that's really interesting ;) If you want easier patrols, try accepting them in a M3 and make sure that no other ship is in the current sector, not even one of your traders. That'd have an impact on how many enemies you'll see ;)

/edit: And yes, the future missions in your game will be doable ;) But consider that you'll see some bigger ships. If you're in a M7, from a given rank up you'll have to deal with several M1s and M2s. As they're often more aggressive, it's not wise to count on sitting in the biggest ship. You're often outnumbered and you'll need to plan your next step.

Eliah
23-04-2012, 06:20 PM
Unfortunately, yes... The "mission difficulty" is not a universal difficulty indicator, but rather a scaled indicator - how biased to "easier" or "harder" the mission is relative to your fightrank. On the whole, it is still based first and foremost on your fightrank, and the difficulty just is one in a list of modifiers, as Galder said.

Since 1.2 there has been a bunch of work on the Opponent Balancing System.. I am not really qualified to say to what extent, unfortunately, so I can't assert whether you'll see mostly the same in 2.0 or not. Ofc there are a lot of arguments against level-scaling everything to the player (and a fair few *for* going this route), but it is still an Egosoft Design Principle, these rank-scaled missions, and the way OBS works, so.. we are using what most players are accustomed to.

skylinedr
23-04-2012, 06:55 PM
Hmm, taking the missions in a fighter and calling in the capships after that feels like "cheating the system" to me. And if i sit in a M7, i think its not really balanced, to send "playership x 2 + adds x 18" or something like that against me. That forces me to cheating the system.

To the M8s: These ships made me laughing all over again. :lol:
Scenario 1) 10 pirate M8's in a row attacking the sector defense, after the <xy>-ship was destroyed by only a few missiles, the rest of the fired missiles turn around and kill all the pirate M8s.
Scenario 2) M8's coming after me, fire their missiles, the ECM system starts his work and the ships are gone. I dont need to fire my guns.
Scenario 3) I'm surrounded by M8's, but they're not knowing what to do themselves and not defend themselves so i can easy kill all of them.

I would say, something has to be done with them, or with the fired missiles, they are 95% completely ineffective in the hand of AI.

Nemoricus
23-04-2012, 07:05 PM
Dynamic difficulty of the type used in X3 is something that I've never been particularly fond of. On an empire level, sure it makes that the universe becomes more dangerous as you increase in skill and size, but that has a reasonable explanation for it. The bigger you are, the more parties there are who are interested in redistributing your wealth, at gun point if necessary. But you can mitigate that difficulty by keeping most of your vulnerable assets in safer sectors. (A related problem is that there's no financial incentive to build and trade in border and frontier sectors, but that's a separate discussion.)

However, for missions the problem is two fold. First, there are no solid indicators of just how difficult a mission will be for you. It's ranked from trivial to impossible, yes, but since these are scaled with your level, there's no way to tell just what each of them means except by trial and error. If the briefing were simply inaccurate, that would be one thing, but since there is no information given whatsoever about what you'll be up against, you have to either walk away or pray that you're up for the job.

This leads into the second problem I have with dynamic difficulty in the combat missions. If you do enough combat missions, your fight rank will steadily increase. However, the difficulty of the combat missions is also based on your combat rank. So, the more you do the harder they will get. This causes trouble because the difficulty of the missions can rapidly outstrip your ability to keep up with them, and the only option for a player in this situation is to stop doing them because they have no way of rolling back the difficulty to a level they can handle. Even the easiest missions can become quite difficult if the player doesn't have the resources to handle them.

In the base game, this problem was mitigated in the most recent versions by making the enemy force static at a given combat rank and difficulty. But if the player is regularly doing combat missions, it can still grow beyond their ability to handle it, as I learned the hard way when the game started spawning multiple frigates and then destroyers while I was still using corvettes as my main battle group. They also paid very generously, which helped to build up one's battle group.

However, if the player knew what each mission was likely to throw at him, and there's a sufficiently wide range of difficulties, the problem would largely go away. The player can think about whether the risk is worth the reward, and if it's not, they can turn it down instead of having to accept and pray for the best. As a point of comparison, let's look at the other mission types:

Transport Passenger: The player has more or less perfect information about the difficulty on this one. They know how much cargo space a passenger or group of passengers needs, they know if they have a passenger transport at hand, they know the start and destination stations, and the time they have to complete the mission in. This allows them to make a reasonable guess at how feasible the mission is, and allows them to accept or decline it on that basis. In the base game, these missions pay too much for too little difficulty, but that doesn't change the fact that the player can make a reasonable judgement about that difficulty.

Return Spaceship: In this mission, you have time limit and a difficulty and that's it. There's no information in the briefing about what type of ship you're going to retrieve or how far away it is. This makes these missions a bit of a roulette, especially early on when the player doesn't have jumpdrives. You could be asked to retrieve a fighter one sector away or a freighter three sectors away....and still be given the same hour for both and told that the mission is 'easy'. The luck based nature of this mission is a strong disincentive to take it, since it's either possible or it's not and you won't know until you take the mission. Some players might find this element of chance fun, but I don't, especially when X places such strong emphasis on Think. In that spirit, if the mission provided the class of the ship to be retrieved and how many sectors away it was abandoned, the luck component would be much reduced by allowing the player to judge how difficult the mission really is.

Assassination/Defend Station/Patrol Sector: Again, you're given a time limit and a difficulty and nothing else. You also have the luck factor from Return Spaceship, but much worse. In the base game, you have no a priori way of knowing how difficult a mission is really going to be given your resources at hand, your combat rank, and the stated difficulty of the mission. If I understand correctly and the combat difficulty also varies with player ship, assets in sector, and assets overall, this problem becomes worse still. In the Return Spaceship missions, you can eventually make an educated guess about how hard the mission could be, because the variables are far fewer. It's always going to be a mission to retrieve a spaceship a few sectors away, and only the type to be retrieved and the time given change. In combat missions, the possible range of difficulties is much greater, and a 'hard' mission could range from just scouts to destroyers, depending on the player's assets and rank at the time. Experience doesn't really help with this, because as a player's combat rank increases the enemy battle group both gets larger and gets larger ships.

If the mission briefing gave possible values for what the enemy fleet is made up of, the player can make a more accurate judgement of how hard it will actually be. Again, this seems like it would be more in line with X's Think attribute.

This still leaves the problem that the combat missions can outstrip the player's ability to do them as their combat rank increases. But if the difficulty of XTC's missions varies with what ship the player is flying and what assets are in sector, then this might be less of a problem. However, manipulating the difficulty of a mission like that seems somewhat artificial, because from an in-universe perspective, a given mission isn't going to change just because the player is in an M5 vs. being in an M2.

Anyway, that's my two cents on the matter. In the end, it's up to the developers to decide how they want to balance the difficulty of their missions.

Galder
23-04-2012, 07:55 PM
Try to do the same in a M6 and you'd start to worry ;) M8s aren't taking the M7 and up as their primary targets, that's a kind of design decision. If you happen to meet an enemy M7M, start to worry, alot... ;) Anyway, XTC wasn't made with the mission treadmill as the only source of entertainment, we're just used to it by playing TC. To get that straight, i played TC 2 times until i hit the final wall of having everything achieved. I simply reject even thinking about doing the Hub plot. Solving the mathematical issue on how many stations you have to place takes only 5 minutes. It may be even fun to build that complex, but the rest is sheer waiting. That's not a plot, that's a poorly hidden grind. So i earned enough money already in vanilla 1.4 to complete all plots. I was suffering the second time through the marine training. when there was always the Diiiiing when a Marine finished his expensive training. Ridicoulus, but i trained them up to 5 star each and raided half the universe. Due to an error in the assasination missions, i was even able to board a Khaak Destroyer. Missions were always repetitive, even so repetitive that you didn't read the text anymore. A mission should have at least an interesting story or reason, so it feels at least a bit unique. But in fact, all plots and missions are explained so dull and stupid, that, and i think we all agree on this, they are the very weak side of the game. The mechanics, how a mission will work, what enemes there are and so on is predictable down to the last point. Defend station, and the whole crew is heading for the station... even angy birds would be more surprising these days. And if i read something better than "Hi, pilot..." i would get a sudden heart attack from the sheer skill and creative writing of that wordsmith ;)

It's not that different in XTC, the missions are still repetitive, and the very short stories aren't breathtaking, but still, it's a bit better than in TC. XTC is virtually a new way of playing the vanilla game, hence the whole map, ships, weapons and so on are not the same anymore. But it should feel like you're still playing the X series. It'd have been easier to set everything to new rules. Instead of this, the missions were set up different to provide a challenge even on later ranks, so you'll never hit a wall where everything gets too easy. Certain aspects are already fixed (and can't be changed while the game is running), like the map layout and the challenge in trading. It would get plain boring to know that you can succeed in a mission, and you won't feel the gap when you upgrade from one ship class to the next biggest. Because of the weapon setup and the different requirements, every ship class requires an own think part, what you can do and how you do it. The missions will let you run into a wall, where you aren't able to handle them anymore, if you're using a ship too small. M7 aren't the top notch anymore. You won't succeed in them. There's a very good reason now to upgrade to M2s or using M1s with fighter wings. You aren't safe anymore. A Tepukei is a fine ship, but try to liberate some Xenon sectors outside of missions, and you'll want to fly something like a Titan, trust me. We're just too much used to this mission treadmill. One problem is, if missions are predictable, there's no challenge anymore, and that's boring if you have several M2s at your disposal. There must be a challenge left, and there must be situations surprising you, or you'd put the game aside, which happened too soon in vanilla. Look at the steam achievements in AP. Only 28% of all users have ever finished the flight school, would you believe it? That happens because the rest isn't even playing the vanilla part anymore. Some will only have bought AP because of the price, but the majority is playing mods. The game isn't accepted in its vanilla stage, it lives on mods.

The strong side of the gameplay is the sandbox game, and doing too many missions does have side effects which aren't easily handled in the development. Search for your very own and special way to play XTC, and you will see how much more rewarding it gets. Also, let the vanilla expectations aside, especially about the mission requirements. There are missions which will show you that you can't succeed, you need to think around. If you hit a wall of ships which you can't handle, it's time to care about doing other mission types, or to care about your empire. Ever dreamed about having an own Xenon fleet? Or even a Khaak capship fleet guarding your assets? Everything is possible, you just need to get them bailed ;) (or boarded... but that's another story) Have you ever searched for some pirate caps roaming around? Seen and challenged a pirate drone carrier or thought about boarding it? Try also to make your way to the very last north western Xenon sector, that can get pretty exciting ;)

XTC is not TC anymore and you need to find other ways to overcome obstacles. In return you get a sandbox where you aren't forced to play only in a single way, you have the freedom to choose, and you'll never encounter a specific enemy so strong that you can't deal with him 1 on 1. But the more enemies there are, the more interesting it gets, and sometimes you have to struggle for your life, and if you really did it, it feels like you deserved it. You know that it was a very hard work. Just try to do missions outside the territory where your traders are working. A simple mission can ruin the economy for a whole ingame day if it takes place in a knot sector where a lot of traders have to go through. Originally the Aldrin sectors were supposed to show these large fleet combat missions, but unfortunately it was planned a lot different than written in the later missions. That's also a reason why there are so less stations, apart from some very weird lore questions... These sectors were supposed to have max FPS for combat situations, but they were added later on. Too late i must say, the connections changed also, so the setup was only dreaming but never filled with written code. Anyway... if you trade with the Argons, do not do missions in their territory, rely on missions preferbly far away, in Teladi or paranid territory, or their economy will suffer.

Nemoricus
23-04-2012, 08:37 PM
It would get plain boring to know that you can succeed in a mission, and you won't feel the gap when you upgrade from one ship class to the next biggest.

I agree with most of your post, and so I'll focus on the parts where I think you misunderstand my point of view. The key point is that I consider missions that contain high elements of luck to be problematic. Return ship missions can readily swing from trivial to impossible depending on the parameters, but after a while you can begin to predict how difficult they are likely to be. However, even if the odds are in your favor because that element of luck is still there, which makes them a little more interesting.

Combat missions, on the other hand, provide next to no information about how difficult they are *likely* to be. Because the factors that go into determining the actual difficult vary so much with time, experience is not enough to make that call. This is why I suggested that the briefing should include the likely ranges of the enemy battle group's composition. Again, the emphasis is on 'likely'. Having that information available lets the player know if they have the ability to do the mission at all. However, the ranges only cover the most probable outcomes. It would be entirely possible that the enemy fleet would be bigger than expected, or much weaker. If the former possibility is likely enough, the player still runs a good chance of getting in over their head, but unlike before they are not going in completely blind. The ability to assess the difficulty of a mission beforehand seems like it would fit better with X's overall themes, but that doesn't mean that they have to be completely predictable.

That said, all of the generic missions suffer from the problem that they are bland, uninteresting, repetitive, and disconnected from the game state. And this is not something that can be resolved in any form that still allows for generic missions to exist. They still have a role, though, and I think it should mostly be as a bootstrap, to help the player get from next to nothing to the beginnings of a trade empire. After that, though, the player's main sources of income and entertainment should be directly related to their overall goals for the game.

Dillpickle
23-04-2012, 08:46 PM
Mission Difficulty is a tricky subject.
First off, due to different peoples play styles what one person considers an easy mission, another would say it was hard.

The same difficulty system is used for all mission types, ranging from Trivial to Impossible. Combat missions are in fact the easiest to scale the mission to the difficulty level, as you can throw more challengng enemy fleets at the player.
Passenger Transport, about all you have to play with is the mission time, it then becomes a simple case of either you can get to the stion in time or not, it doesn't matter whether you have 5 minutes or two hours, it takes the same time to fly between two set stations in a given ship.



Return Spaceship: In this mission, you have time limit and a difficulty and that's it. There's no information in the briefing about what type of ship you're going to retrieve or how far away it is. This makes these missions a bit of a roulette, especially early on when the player doesn't have jumpdrives. You could be asked to retrieve a fighter one sector away or a freighter three sectors away....and still be given the same hour for both and told that the mission is 'easy'. The luck based nature of this mission is a strong disincentive to take it, since it's either possible or it's not and you won't know until you take the mission. Some players might find this element of chance fun, but I don't, especially when X places such strong emphasis on Think. In that spirit, if the mission provided the class of the ship to be retrieved and how many sectors away it was abandoned, the luck component would be much reduced by allowing the player to judge how difficult the mission really is.

So a player comms a station and is told that there is an M7M sitting abandoned in sector X, and he will be paid 1,000,000 credits to return it. Do they:
a: accept the mission, claim the ship and return it, or:
b: Ignore the mission and go and clam the ship for their self?

There have been some changes to the way difficulty works for combat missions in 2.0 - so whilst an Average mission will have enemies based on your combat rank, a very hard one will be based on a combat rank several levels above your actual rank


This still leaves the problem that the combat missions can outstrip the player's ability to do them as their combat rank increases.

Then it's time to get a bigger ship/fleet, it may mean trading or doing other mission types to get the rank/money to finance it. That's where the 'Think' comes in.

skylinedr
23-04-2012, 08:59 PM
M7 aren't the top notch anymore. You won't succeed in them. There's a very good reason now to upgrade to M2s or using M1s with fighter wings. You aren't safe anymore. A Tepukei is a fine ship, but try to liberate some Xenon sectors outside of missions, and you'll want to fly something like a Titan, trust me.

Originally i was thinking about to purchase a Raptor. Vanilla i always sit in a M1 class. But that foolish Split Captain bails his Tepukei and as i looked at the turret and laser capability of his vessel i was shocked. 6 forward and backward, 4 at the side and up/down, reload rate is set at 53k. Wow. Thats a lot for this type of ships, it can measure itself with a M1, and it turns faster than my old Katana. Sure, the guns i can mount are ridiculous except in the forward turret, but it can hold M6/TS. Why should i still go for the Raptor? Because of the fighters? No. I think i save the 80 millions and take the Taipan or Olympos as my next playershi, unless another foolish Split gives me his Raptor. :lol:

In my game i've discovered way over 100 sectors now on day 5 i think, and still no Xenon sectors on the horizon. Everyone wants to stay friendly with me, even if i dont care. The Khaak are rly rare since ~2 days now, the only enemy i can speak of are the pirates. :cry: I would cut off the nose from my Tepukei for a gate into at least one Xenon sector.


Speaking of the economy:

At the beginning the only ware i dared to build a complex for are drugs. They're sell very well. But nearly all the other stuff i'm afraid to sink my money in. Guns and shields are everywere to get (manual selling is getting on my nervs), food is not that much credibility, hightech wares like chips, tubes and so on are full stock on every npc station i've looked. Noone wants to buy that stuff. The only thing i found interesting are advanced satellites, there are only two stations in the entire universe at the moment. Maybe i havent looked deep enough, but i'm afraid to sink 50 millions in a complex of wares noone cares about. What are you guys thinking of that? Which wares you make a lot of cash from?

Nemoricus
23-04-2012, 09:07 PM
So a player comms a station and is told that there is an M7M sitting abandoned in sector X, and he will be paid 1,000,000 credits to return it. Do they:
a: accept the mission, claim the ship and return it, or:
b: Ignore the mission and go and clam the ship for their self?

This is why I specified that the range to the sector the target ship is in should be provided to the player, not the exact sector. The sectors are reasonably consistent in size, so the time to traverse them is going to be about the same. Even better, the maximum distance to the target would be provided, which gives a greater range of possibilities for where the ship might be.

Of course, the player can only go after the ship instead of taking the mission if the mission spawns the ship before it is accepted. In the base game, this is not the case. I've not examined XTC's version of the mission to see if this is still true. However, in XTC's version there is strong financial incentive to complete the mission, because the player is also paid what appears to be half of the ship's full value.


Then it's time to get a bigger ship/fleet, it may mean trading or doing other mission types to get the rank/money to finance it. That's where the 'Think' comes in.

The problem that I am pointing out is that there is no way to know a priori whether a combat mission is possible. It's only after a player has accepted a mission that they will learn whether their fleet is wholly inadequate or not.

Galder
23-04-2012, 10:00 PM
For Xenon sectors, try searching northwest of the westernmost argon sectors, deep into pirate sectors. You can also access them from split and boron territory after day 5 ;) There ARE xenon sectors, but they have a buffer zone. If you reach sector 404 (it really exists, no joke ;) ) start to make your way to the west and be prepared. It's good to sit in a ship like the Tepukei, which is a bit faster, and it's a good idea to have some e-cells left. Pretty interesting what those Xenons can do with sartories new command structure. A lot different than the MD driven enemies.

About the missions, i think you got the wrong technical idea of how a mission is generated. The mission exists only as a possible offer, which is only a small MD file running. How and where the mission starts is generated on accepting the mission itself, not before. If a mission would be pregenerated, it'd take a lot of cycles, as all missions in sector would be pregenerated. It's a technical requirement to lower the load of MD files running. So there is no jump range or enemy spawn before you hit the "Yes" button. That's why there can't be any range given. You can apply some thumb rules. There will be always the same ship class as enemies that you're currently sitting in. Probably multiple times. While your rank is raising, you can expect also several ships from the next highest class as enemies. If you happen to see M1s or M2s while you still sit in a M6, the game tells you politely it's time to uprgade a bit ;) The rest of the ships are always a ship class lower and they exist to wreak havoc upon the sector or to distract you.

skylinedr
23-04-2012, 11:46 PM
YES !! I knew it. The Xenons are afraid of me. :lol:

http://s13.postimage.org/c3h804ww3/x3screen00101p.jpg (http://postimage.org/image/c3h804ww3/)

According to your hint i went into some new boron sector far in the north, and finally there were two lonely PX roaming around. Attaaaaack !! But what are they doing? One CPU was switching itself off at ~15% hull, and the other one right beside his companion was calculating: "What he can do, i can do too!" ... :grin: So i claimed the very first Xenons in sight, both at once. The ship i sit in just carries the claim software, i was not fighting with.

So, let me see, i gonna break down these vessels into individual parts and hack their CPU... "where is the gate, where is it, cmon where are you hiding...." :)

Nemoricus
24-04-2012, 12:01 AM
About the missions, i think you got the wrong technical idea of how a mission is generated. The mission exists only as a possible offer, which is only a small MD file running. How and where the mission starts is generated on accepting the mission itself, not before. If a mission would be pregenerated, it'd take a lot of cycles, as all missions in sector would be pregenerated. It's a technical requirement to lower the load of MD files running. So there is no jump range or enemy spawn before you hit the "Yes" button. That's why there can't be any range given..

That's how they're currently written, yes. But to my knowledge, there's nothing stopping them from computing some of those at the same time that the offer is generated.

For Return Ship missions, the only value that would need to be computed before the mission is accepted is which type of ship you'll be asked to retrieve, since the range seems to always be between 1 and 3 sectors away. Incorporating the ship type into the mission briefing text would take some more work, though.

For combat missions....okay, computing the number of enemy ships that you can expect to see would not be simple, as there are eight classes of combat ship that you can face, and determining their numbers would take more work, especially if XTC's algorithm takes more than player fight rank and mission difficulty into account. And if there's a significant performance concern with just generating the offers, then that's not exactly feasible.

In any case, I'm mostly focusing on understanding how to write missions myself while I wait for XTC 2.0 to be released, and I appreciate the amount of work that goes into writing even fairly simple missions. I wish your MD coders and the rest of the XTC the best of luck while they quash the remaining bugs.

Dillpickle
24-04-2012, 04:51 AM
in XTC's version there is strong financial incentive to complete the mission, because the player is also paid what appears to be half of the ship's full value.

That was due to the mission file using the wrong value to generate the bonus payment...



That's how they're currently written, yes. But to my knowledge, there's nothing stopping them from computing some of those at the same time that the offer is generated.

For Return Ship missions, the only value that would need to be computed before the mission is accepted is which type of ship you'll be asked to retrieve, since the range seems to always be between 1 and 3 sectors away. Incorporating the ship type into the mission briefing text would take some more work, though.

There is nothing to stop them from generating the ship type before the mission is accepted, if you don't mind the impact on game performance... To generate a random ship type the MD basically has to consider every shiptype available in game, then filter that list dependent on race, classes available for that particular mission, whether the heavy variants can be chosen etc... and will then select a valid shiptype at random.

When you consider that the majority of missions generated are never accepted, the less stuff you have running before the mission is accepted, the better the game performance will be.

Nemoricus
24-04-2012, 04:57 AM
There is nothing to stop them from generating the ship type before the mission is accepted, if you don't mind the impact on game performance... To generate a random ship type the MD basically has to consider every shiptype available in game, then filter that list dependent on race, classes available for that particular mission, whether the heavy variants can be chosen etc... and will then select a valid shiptype at random.

When you consider that the majority of missions generated are never accepted, the less stuff you have running before the mission is accepted, the better the game performance will be.

I was thinking that it wouldn't go nearly that far. Just decide between M1-M8, TS, TP, TM, or whatever classes are valid for the mission, which is much less work. I'm sorry for the confusion.

Eliah
24-04-2012, 05:01 AM
That's how they're currently written, yes. But to my knowledge, there's nothing stopping them from computing some of those at the same time that the offer is generated.

For Return Ship missions, the only value that would need to be computed before the mission is accepted is which type of ship you'll be asked to retrieve, since the range seems to always be between 1 and 3 sectors away. Incorporating the ship type into the mission briefing text would take some more work, though.
Mm, no, it would require to actually create target coordinates, look up the coordinates of the station it is running on itself (never forget that different instances of an offer type can be seen across many stations, several sectors even!), and *calculate* the distance. Not to mention randomly selecting a shiptype is still somewhat costly. Yeah, one single instance wouldn't drain performance - the numbers you can see in game, these missions very well could.



For combat missions....okay, computing the number of enemy ships that you can expect to see would not be simple, as there are eight classes of combat ship that you can face, and determining their numbers would take more work, especially if XTC's algorithm takes more than player fight rank and mission difficulty into account. And if there's a significant performance concern with just generating the offers, then that's not exactly feasible. That is an insane performance load, yeah. Again, the key difference is that when you accept, you only accept one instance, and all the bad code needs to be executed once. On offer details, the code can be needed to execute many times over and over, and the results for each instance stored so that the promised enemies actually match the ones you would see by taking that offer... Basically, you'd get massive lag whilst all offers would recalculate themselves.

If iti s any indication, the performance issue we had back in 1.1 - the one that brought longer-running games progressively slower - was entirely MD-caused.. Just to outline that MD is perfectly capable and able to ruin framerates in this game. And for most people.. XTC is already close-to-slow, we have a ton of unnoticed performance-minded tweaks to squeeze out the last juices of the engine - this applies to everything, from all our scripts to even the soundfiles and bullet visuals (Galder would be able to provide a pages'worth of explanation on that, I reckon ;) ), and allowing something as horrible as massive calculations on MD offer-generation stage is just too far.

Dillpickle
24-04-2012, 05:09 AM
If iti s any indication, the performance issue we had back in 1.1 - the one that brought longer-running games progressively slower - was entirely MD-caused..

And that was just one mission type running checks on suitable sectors for the mission... It has been fixed though. :)

skylinedr
25-04-2012, 06:29 PM
Ok, so i've completed a hard fight mission now, rank "Assassin". Text says: "Patrol over 3 sectors, reward 3.xy million."

What can i say, i destroyed overall 67 ships, over 20 M7, ~10 M6 and M8, small fighters i dont count anymore because it doesnt matter. The first sector took me about 1 hour to complete, the hull of my Tepukei was shot down to 55%. Doesnt matter, i dont give up. I need a cup of coffee.
In the second sector i fought about 2 hours, my hull was shot at 21% in the meantime, endless respawning ships. - doesnt matter, i dont give up. I had to jump from one gate to another to survive, it was a hard fight. Hmm, i was thinking about the repair costs of my M7, and i checked the mission reward: 3.xy mio+5.xy mio. Is it enough to cover the repair costs? Another cup of coffee....

After more than 3 hours now (realtime!!), i looked at the map, oh my god, another 2 sectors to clean up. But reaching the third sector there were no ships? Yea, i can breath. Proceed to the last sector, there were also no ships anymore, mission accomplished. Puh, please tell me that you guys have overhauled these way to long missions in 2.0....

Galder
25-04-2012, 07:41 PM
In the second sector i fought about 2 hours, my hull was shot at 21% in the meantime, endless respawning ships. - doesnt matter, i dont give up
:mrgreen: I don't know it the missions are overhauled or not for 2.0, but it sounds like a good challenge :mrgreen: And as you've written, you didn't give up, that's the spirit! The missions are not vanilla anymore, and the important thing to notice is that a M7 isn't coming out of the heat barely scatched. Next time you may want to have a M2 as a player ship, so there is a reason to fly these things, although they're slow. Now i played those missions a lot, so i know that the time scale is debatable. It takes a really long time sometimes. Fortunately there are several other variations, like defend sector or patrol a single sector, which are noticably shorter. Perhaps a bit less rewarding, because there are less ships. But you see that these missions can be done, and they do challenge the player.

For some shorter and more entertaining combat actions, there are always the Yakis roaming around the Aldrin sectors, even with some caps, or you go out hunting some Xenons, to collect weapons for your acquired Xenon Qs ;) You may want to have some Faunus ready when your shipyard has finished reengineering and rebuilding them. You can also start on going on a boarding spree when your first 5 marines have been trained to the max. Boarding is not that restricted and complicated anymore, due to the boarding extension. Boarding pirate M7s or Drone Carriers can be very rewarding and require a micromanagement of their own. I used to have two Hyperions stuffed to the brim with highly trained marines, going after the Cerberus in te far southwestern pirate sectors. Missions aren't the only thing to do ;)

skylinedr
25-04-2012, 09:15 PM
Missions aren't the only thing to do ;)

Thats right, but i needed the reputation for Anti Proton Guns, ammo and so on. But more than three hours.. cmon, half of the enemies would be enough. And it makes me thinking about the Raptor again, these little M5 ships are very very annoying. No missile can reach them, no sector pat, no police, nothing... they're flying from one civilian to another, no one can stop them unless i sit myself in a fighter.....pfff no, too dangerous. The civilians or weapon dealer or miner or whatever, which they attack were even not defend themselves for sometime. So i purchased some M5 by myself from the yard two sectors away, just to hunt down those things.

So, maybe you can explain me some things:
1. Why are nearly all missiles that slow? It doesnt make any sense in my eyes. And i dont buy a missile fregate just to shoot some small fighters.
2. If M7 are at ~50k laser energie, why you guys haven't doubled all M1 laser energie to hold the balance? (i know the weapon + shield charger)
3. Why are nearly all M4 that slow? Once they reach the flak range - down. No chance to escape. M4 are (usually) the top choice to build some fighter squads.

Maybe i dont see some game sensitives, but some choices you guys did - i dont get it. :)

Mangar
25-04-2012, 10:59 PM
Maybe i dont see some game sensitives, but some choices you guys did - i dont get it.

As a tester I had done a ton of fight missions. I remember the day a m3 could take down an M7 or make hell for an M1 or 2. That was kind of not real. As I have been testing a real battle in just a M2 I am able to take down another capship. But found my self annoid with a wing of fighters that lasted forever.

Later battles I sarted having a few escort types. My play has changed a bit, Don't get me wrong I still fly a M6 or TP+ for most in game play. Upon accepting a mission I have a capital ship I can fly in with its escort ships for taking on the enemy cap ships, and a M1 or carrair like ship to have some fighter support to take on those annoying M5's.

I guess what I am trying to say is there is no one well rounded ship that can do it all. After I get into the game you will need more then one favorite ship. At least a ship fitted with fast firing antifighter guns. If I am in a TP+ or M6 and getting my butt kicked, I will do circle around my tiger till a few fighter are taken out. Then finsih my fight.

Talking large Battles, Going into battle you can still be in the M2 or the M5 or in an M6. You just can not go in with all M2's. Sure you can kill all the other Cap ships, but you will be to slow to fire at or catch those small fighters. If you defend a sector, I think one class can not do it all. In the past In my opinion thats is why all those mod cheats came out like Energy thrusters to catch up to fighters?!?!?! But there is point to point jumps for that. However I prefer to let the caps fight it out, and I pilot smaller ships to take out dogfighting action.

I would rather let a verten person to make a nice write up for battle strategies. I found I need to have a balance of ships to cover the fighting classes I am going in after. Or stratagically use the local forces to my advantage of protecting the NPC at first, use them as a shield, buffer, then I stray away to do my own thing when the number of them thin out.

In my opinion I think they have done a great job re-balancing the game over. Makes you think twice how to approcah a battle line up.

skylinedr
25-04-2012, 11:48 PM
If you defend a sector, I think one class can not do it all

No one wants that. But think of it: If you reached some mid to higher fight rank, i think it is fair to say - it makes no sense to send dozens of M5 during a serious fight mission against you. They dont do any speakable damage, they're just annoying. If the mission script is checking my ship if i take the mission, it would give a better response to send a few really dangerous enemies against me, instead of many small fighters. The only "great" effect they have on the mission is to delay it all.

Mangar
26-04-2012, 01:18 AM
If the mission script is checking my ship if i take the mission, it would give a better response to send a few really dangerous enemies against me, instead of many small fighters.

I get what you are saying on your post. But be warned I have been in an M3 on "average" where 5 wings of 4-5 random fighter ships. Even M5's can be deadly in numbers to a M6. But I will say, building up one race rep my battles started off way easy 1 or 2 M5s. By the time I was hard I needed more then just 1 M7. after adding a few bailed ships to my fleet and fight rank increased. I headed over to another race area and the first ships given on easy were like 4-6 small fighters.

If I think I have you right you are saying it be better to send you a ship respone of a few harder ships then just some M5s. Try building up one race rep and you'll see missions will get harder, faster. AND Then if you switch gears to a new race, they might start off easy, but not as easy when you first started the game. I think it has to do with Rep and Fight rank, not sure if what ship your in makes a how much a of a difference? I dont know the formula or design.

I see you did not like that raptors would out run some missles, there are some ships even faster than a raptor. But not all M5 can outrun them. Thats what I was trying to say you can not expect every mission to be a duplicate, nor expect that one ship can handle everything. There seems to be a swing in things that players are going to have to have their wits about them. I keep a wing of 5 fast M5's to chase down those, or keep them busy so my large ships guns stay focused on the bigger problems.

For me back in TC most missions were 80% duplicates that I felt like i did this already??!?!?! Now it seems half that, around 30-40% of the fights might seem duplicated. NOW Each fight kind of holds it own fun memory how I approch the fight, what ships I called in for support, or which ones I sent away because they were overkill. I am actaully enjoying looking for the next fight to see what it throws my way.

Galder
26-04-2012, 02:42 PM
@skylindr:

That's exactly what i meant. The missions are always a discussion topic on their own, and it's very hard to find a suitable setup for the majority of players. In this case, it depends on the presented enemies in missions, not the ship setup as such. It's annoying to destroy M5s in a M7 ;) But it's up to the XTC team whether they change it or not.

Personally, i don't have this kind of problem, as i tend to have several ships on board for personal purposes, and i really enjoy fighting in a M3/M3+. I normally use a M1 or a M7 to fly around, with suitable fighters docked. I clear the space from any hostile capships in sight first, then jump in my preferred M3 (normally a Pirate Kea) and start blasting away the remaining enemy fighters. The M7 is set to "Destroy anything that moves and looks slightly reddish" and enjoys itself, while i'm heading into the next furball. But that's my way to play ;) and not everyone needs to do the same.
In your case, i'd look at the weapons mounted on your ship, apart from the main guns. FAAs are nice to have, but they are a bit limited. Maybe you should go for PBEs if you have to much trouble with smaller fighters. If they're just too fast, all you need would be a fast docked ship. Perhaps you should use a Shrike or Cerberus for their ability to dock ships. Both can be boarded in pirate sectors.

/edit: As you have seen, there are some fighters which tend to stay alive, even if you as a player is fighting them. You know that the player himself is in fighting skills way above the abilitites of the AI. Now imagine what you could do, if you fly those tiny fighters yourself... XTC is not vanilla anymore, you can fly fighters without being instantly shot down. Unless you do something really suicidal :mrgreen: As it has been proven, you can even shoot down a M7 in a M3, but that is way beyond my patience, so i consider this as unholy difficult :mrgreen:

skylinedr
26-04-2012, 03:27 PM
Yea, i was thinking about the same as you. :) Doing several missions in a M7 was really enjoying to me, but during those missions i noticed that there aren't any missiles who could reach M5's (..too much vanilla thinking :p ). This knowledge annoyed me very much. And as i said, i dont sit my own ass in a M5, thats way to crazy for me. But to leave M5's out of missions above a certain fight rank would help to shorten the mission time, because you dont reach this (*xy*) fight rank without killing some capships.

Now i sit in my new M1 and i'll fill it up with some M4/M5 squads, so i can easily sip my coffee during the fight and let them do the tiny work. :D

http://s16.postimage.org/tjd38gan5/x3screen00109.jpg (http://postimage.org/image/tjd38gan5/)
I just have to feed my fluxcompensator with space fuel....

Galder
26-04-2012, 05:18 PM
That's a beautiful screenshot... you should consider to post that in the Community Screenshot thread on the ES board from EmperorJon.

Solitas
26-04-2012, 05:39 PM
That's a beautiful screenshot.. Indeed! :)
All praise the Split for being masters at combining beauty and overwhelming fire power and all hail the :xtcflag: devs for their work....

Dillpickle
26-04-2012, 06:04 PM
Puh, please tell me that you guys have overhauled these way to long missions in 2.0....

No, there have never been any complaints about these missions, or bugs tht I've seen, so time has been spent fixing bugs in other missions and writing new ones.



2. If M7 are at ~50k laser energie, why you guys haven't doubled all M1 laser energie to hold the balance? (i know the weapon + shield charger)

The main fire power of an M1 is the fighters it carries - the way I see it, it's main purpose is to get fighters to the front line, then withdraw from the main field of engagement, the guns it has should be able to cope with the smaller ships that catch it as it retreats.



But to leave M5's out of missions above a certain fight rank would help to shorten the mission time, because you dont reach this (*xy*) fight rank without killing some capships.

Impossible to do without a major rewrite of the main OBS file, and even then what one person considers a suitable rank to stop M5's another may disagree, then you get those that aren't bothered if they're there or not, and treat them as a challenge to overcome...

I know I have had to radically alter my approach to combat in XTC. In the vanilla game I used to do a lot of my fighting in the Hyperion Vanguard - with a suitable loadout of missiles it could even cope with Hard Missions at high combat levels...
With the greatly reduced missile range in XTC I've had to switch to bigger ships and support craft to fill the role of 'missiles'. or carrying a fighter on board for mopping up the smaller ships.

I'm glad to see you're the type of player that keeps going despite taking heavy hull damage -there's too many that hit reload if it looks like they may have to spend some credits on repairs/replacements...



That's a beautiful screenshot... you should consider to post that in the Community Screenshot thread on the ES board from EmperorJon.

I'd have to agree... :)

Raider480
27-04-2012, 01:02 AM
I hope the economy stalling features of larger combat missions has some sort of fix eventually (in reference to a comment a few pages ago). Very difficult to do any sort of economic work with the AI when nothing short of 100s of millions of credits worth of patrol ships everywhere can keep traders from cowering in the nearest station.
And yeah, nice screenshot.

skylinedr
27-04-2012, 12:03 PM
...to post that in the Community Screenshot thread on the ES board from EmperorJon

Maybe i'm blind, but i cant find this thread, link pls... :)



No, there have never been any complaints about these missions, or bugs tht I've seen, so time has been spent fixing bugs in other missions and writing new ones.

Thanks for the clarification. :D



The main fire power of an M1 is the fighters it carries - the way I see it, it's main purpose is to get fighters to the front line, then withdraw from the main field of engagement, the guns it has should be able to cope with the smaller ships that catch it as it retreats.

Thats correct, but that doesnt mean it has not be able to defend itself for more than ten seconds. Such a ship is worth more than 100 millions. In my opinion it must be able to hold the fire, the balance to higher ships comes from weak shields and gun counts. Its the same thing with all TL's. I've never understood this philosophy. A single M3 could destroy a TL, just because the TL is running out of energie after a few seconds. Thats ridiculous in my eyes, those ships are way to expensive for this kind of style. More laser energie does not mean it could build the front line on the battlefield, its just for the defense. The docked fighters are there because of the slow turn rates and to keep the enemy busy.

Anyway, thats my way to think of the game. ;)

Dillpickle
27-04-2012, 12:09 PM
Screenshot Of The Week [Community] (http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=321529)

skylinedr
29-04-2012, 12:38 AM
.....wibblewabblewobble.... you have been found unworthy... you have two days to pack up and leave..... :D


Just recieved this weird message, tell me: is it a bad joke or does really something serious happen then? Dont tell me what it is, but i would like to know if i've to prepare for something... :D

Aragon Speed
29-04-2012, 05:46 AM
It's just a random message from a UFO for a bit of fun. You can safely ignore it. ;)

This thread is now so far off topic it's actually scary. Gonna have to lock it.