1.7a1 Weapon effect feedback thread

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Shrike
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1.7a1 Weapon effect feedback thread

Post by Shrike » Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:45 pm

So. New effects. Let's have some feedback. And if you've put ministry tickets up for anything already, link them.


Stuff I've noticed (note: in general I like the new effects. I'm mostly pointing out what I think needs work):

-Urak Howitzer renders incorrectly because the main projectile is only set to have 1d6 damage (Ministry Ticket here)
(This probably affects other projectiles as well)

-Particle trails from projectiles should probably stop when the projectiles do

-M2 and M5 missile effects extremely weedy, nowhere near as impressive as the old ones (granted, my old ones had SM&M++ making them look even cooler)
-The different effects on the M2 and M5 explosions tend to separate, making a lop-sided and odd-looking explosion. I think the dull orange cloud is moving forward slightly, while the bright orange effect is staying put.
(In general I really don't like the new M-series effects...I'm reverting to the old ones for SM&M++ until the second of those two issues gets fixed and I can try making good in-engine effects for them. I think Luminous is better at large explosions than the game engine)

-Hiteffect for large particle-beam hits is a little underwhelming, and spends too much time onscreen.

-New plasma effect is nice, but feels very difficult to work with as a modder.

-Generally speaking I like the smaller procedural hiteffects. Larger ones not quite so much.

-Kinetic rounds in general a little too big. I liked the old size more personally, but they'd be fine if they didn't look like you're firing hornet-sized projectiles at people.

-Positron effects are really, really boring. They look like the plasma launcher/cannon on the chimera ships. A procedural effect that looks a bit more like the older effects would let this damage type look fairly unique and interesting. Right now it's......mostly unique, except against chimeric plasma weapons, but really dull.

-Lasers are cool though. The automatic colour-detection for muzzle effects should probably look at the colours of the beam effect, rather than using damage calculations though. It makes modding new laser colors more annoying.

-Flares from kinetic weapon fireeffects are too large and can be uncomfortable to look at (plus I question the wisdom of putting a bunch of flashing lights on screen all the time. Dunno what the risk to epileptics is, but it's something to think about). Generally, the fireeffect of a weapon should never be as large as its hit effect, and it should never be larger unless there's a really good reason for it.


And from a perspective of a modder.....the new effects, mostly the particle system ones, are hard to mod.The old system is more flexible for most purposes, more intuitive, better documented, bugs out less, doesn't refuse to render as much, doesn't render as white-only graphics as much....and granted, this is mostly me being unfamiliar with a new and somewhat undocumented system.....but there's another issue: it's a lot easier to find the effects in the first place. Having to open a whole bunch of XML files to find each individual procedural effect is....troublesome. Then trying to swap from a procedural system to a hard-coded one without having a template to work from.....it's another barrier to less experienced modders, and one that I've been increasingly concerned with. It also means that you (still) can't really override weapon effects without completely overriding the weapon itself. And if you're making a new weapon from scratch....there's nothing you can copy and play with in XML. It's mostly procedural code using tlisp. So you have to work out what lines should be there in order to make new effects. I don't think there's a solution to this.....but it's something that needs to be considered when splitting effects like this. We need more templates and examples in the source code of how effects work without the scripting that the game uses as a shortcut to get around individually coding effects.
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Re: 1.7a1 Weapon effect feedback thread

Post by NMS » Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:30 am

I also like the new effects overall, but think they're excessive in some ways. In particular (no pun intended):

- Many fire and hit effects are distractingly bright.

- Blast and especially thermo hit effects are way too big. Shots that only hit a single target shouldn't obscure entire ships and make them look like area effect weapons.

- Standard projectile effects are too long. Even at the low end many of them are longer than most ships. And we can see ships pass harmlessly through the tail of the projectile often. That's OK when it's a solid object with a trail, but strange when it's a beam. Effectively, only the first 48 pixels of a lightspeed beam are damaging. I agree some effects can be longer than that for visibility, but they shouldn't be anywhere close to 5 times that long, which some of them currently are.

- Kinetic projectiles' lengths scale very differently from other damage types. The length depends on the speed, which makes high speed, medium damage shots like the Flenser look similar to low speed, high damage shots like the AK505. Also, the ratio between the maximum and minimum lengths is only 2, whereas for most types it seems to be around 3 2/3.

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Re: 1.7a1 Weapon effect feedback thread

Post by PM » Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:44 am

Most of the new effects are good. Overall, they are an improvement, but there are exceptions.

I prefer the older kinetic bolts. The new ones are too long. Bring back the old smaller stubby bullets.

I prefer the older particle beams. The new beams are mostly whitish with green particles.

Particle and ion beams look better without the particle comets, especially if shots are strung together by a lancer.

Thermo explosions are too transparent. Blast looks fiery and solid - nice. Thermo looks like a red ghost, weaker than blast.

Positron is full of tear drops. (I made custom positron effects for my weapons because I dislike the standard.)

I agree that M2/M5 effects are underwhelming. They are too small. The big clouds seems to be the hitEffects that appear on the targets struck, and not part of the explosion. The explosion itself appears to be a solid shrinking orange orb.

One more thing. Many thermo explosions, especially from shockwaves, can easily slow down the game. I retired one of my superweapons because it slowed the game too much in 1.7 alpha, but not in 1.6.
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Re: 1.7a1 Weapon effect feedback thread

Post by JohnBWatson » Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:25 am

I like the new kinetic effects. They seem more like weapons now.
-M2 and M5 missile effects extremely weedy, nowhere near as impressive as the old ones
Have to agree on that one - the old vanilla m3 and m5 animations really did hammer in that 'endgame launcher' feeling in. They could use some extra effect on top of them to replicate that feel. The explosion size is fine, and might get distracting if it's made any bigger.
-Positron effects are really, really boring. They look like the plasma launcher/cannon on the chimera ships. A procedural effect that looks a bit more like the older effects would let this damage type look fairly unique and interesting. Right now it's......mostly unique, except against chimeric plasma weapons, but really dull.
I've only seen the APC, which looks about as impressive as it ought to given the nerf. I'd give it a bit of a buff to make it worth using again(maybe not back to where it was) if I were giving it an effect as distinctive as the previous one.
-Lasers are cool though. The automatic colour-detection for muzzle effects should probably look at the colours of the beam effect, rather than using damage calculations though. It makes modding new laser colors more annoying.
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Re: 1.7a1 Weapon effect feedback thread

Post by Xephyr » Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:33 am

My only gripe is the ZG24 cluster mag effect, which looks a lot worse now than it did.

Beyond that I haven't run into many issues.
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Re: 1.7a1 Weapon effect feedback thread

Post by PM » Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:33 pm

Yes, I miss the old flame star ZG24. It was prettier than the new brown shard explosion.
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Re: 1.7a1 Weapon effect feedback thread

Post by AdmiralZo » Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:57 am

I like most of the new weapon effects, except for the Vulcan and Nemesis. They are meant to be one of the strongest missiles in the current game, however they don't look any deadlier than the XM900.

I also find the hit effects too large and distracting. While fighting a large number of ships, all the colourful flashes make it feel as if you're at a disco. :D

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