2016 Annual Report

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george moromisato
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2016 Annual Report

Post by george moromisato » Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:19 pm

Every year around this time I write up an annual report of what we did last year and what to expect for the coming year.

Here it is: http://multiverse.kronosaur.com/news.hexm?id=1765

Happy New Year!

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Re: 2016 Annual Report

Post by Shrike » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:25 pm

A good read, and interesting plans ahead.


....now go and post it on Steam as well :P
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Re: 2016 Annual Report

Post by george moromisato » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:29 pm

Shrike wrote:....now go and post it on Steam as well :P
:oops: Done!

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Re: 2016 Annual Report

Post by JohnBWatson » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:14 am

I liked it. If it's not a secret, what's the next major project, now that we've got the Sisters' campaign mapped out and a solid part II alpha? The release implied that we might see the Urak and Jiang's Star systems fleshed out to serve as proper capitals for their respective sovereigns, which is definitely a much awaited improvement.

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Re: 2016 Annual Report

Post by george moromisato » Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:18 am

JohnBWatson wrote:I liked it. If it's not a secret, what's the next major project, now that we've got the Sisters' campaign mapped out and a solid part II alpha? The release implied that we might see the Urak and Jiang's Star systems fleshed out to serve as proper capitals for their respective sovereigns, which is definitely a much awaited improvement.
I'm still working that out, to be honest. There are so many areas that could be fleshed out. Maybe at some point I'll do a poll!

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Re: 2016 Annual Report

Post by Shrike » Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:55 am

george moromisato wrote:
JohnBWatson wrote:I liked it. If it's not a secret, what's the next major project, now that we've got the Sisters' campaign mapped out and a solid part II alpha? The release implied that we might see the Urak and Jiang's Star systems fleshed out to serve as proper capitals for their respective sovereigns, which is definitely a much awaited improvement.
I'm still working that out, to be honest. There are so many areas that could be fleshed out. Maybe at some point I'll do a poll!
I'll put my hand up for "Rebalance armors and shields", since those are lagging behind weapons. ;)
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Re: 2016 Annual Report

Post by AssumedPseudonym » Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:59 am

Shrike wrote:
george moromisato wrote:
JohnBWatson wrote:I liked it. If it's not a secret, what's the next major project, now that we've got the Sisters' campaign mapped out and a solid part II alpha? The release implied that we might see the Urak and Jiang's Star systems fleshed out to serve as proper capitals for their respective sovereigns, which is definitely a much awaited improvement.
I'm still working that out, to be honest. There are so many areas that could be fleshed out. Maybe at some point I'll do a poll!
I'll put my hand up for "Rebalance armors and shields", since those are lagging behind weapons. ;)
 I’ll second that, even if it is going to require a massive rebalance of all of my own material.
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Re: 2016 Annual Report

Post by PM » Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:17 am

Not only armor and shields could use a long-awaited rebalance, but also weapons (at least the algorithms) could use another rebalance because that can save work later. Balancing the algorithms now means new (part 2) weapons will not need a total rebalance later. Making new items now, then changing balancing algorithms later probably means more work later.

Fixing of long-standing bugs have made tracking and radius weapons more effective than before. Tracking is about as good as Omni now, and radius weapons usually do full damage, or nearly as much, on a direct hit. (Well, fragments so close to target that it might as well be a direct hit.)
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Re: 2016 Annual Report

Post by JohnBWatson » Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:45 am

Regarding armor and shields, this is something that would definitely come up when discussing playable capships. While many people have asked about playable capships, right now there's not much advantage to being a capital ship. You can see this yourself with Relanat's change ship mod, though you may want to use my patch of it in order to make capships usable.

The issue here is twofold. First, capital ships' defenses don't really scale in accordance with their slower speed and larger profile. Their armor is almost universally usable by the Wolfen, and is thus balanced for a quick, agile fighter. The larger number of segments used to be enough to balance this, but now that capital ships are larger and the number of segments has remained constant, it is about as difficult to keep fire off of the more heavily damaged segments as it is to dodge weapons fire outright as a Wolfen or a Sapphire. Internal HP is similarly a weak substitute for better armor - ever since the buff to WMD, it's only ever been an obstacle to players who forgot to bring some explosives.

This issue also affects gunships, to some degree. The fast, agile Wolfen can use the same set of armor as the slow, clumsy EI500 or the supposedly much tougher Manticore - class. Either some of the more powerful armors should be moved into the gap between these ships' armor limits or the gap itself should be widened. In addition, we may need to add more powerful armors usable only by freighters and capital ships. Alternatively, the armor layering system discussed a few months back could be put into use. The benefits of doing this include the elimination of the need for new armors, a natural means of making WMD relevant in capital ship fights, and a mechanic that could potentially make the EI500 and space bus more viable and interesting as player ships.

A less pressing part of the defensive issue is that shields are naturally less useful to capital ships. Aside from the shield generator used by Anton Nasser's capital ship, all shield generators have constant power regardless of ship size. As we will naturally need to be able to install multiple reactors in order to power some of the more energy hungry ships, it may be beneficial to allow capital ships to have multiple, layered shield generators as well.

The second issue with capital ships is that their turrets aren't as useful as they ought to be. The only difference between an omnidirectional weapon on a gunship and a turret on a capital ship is the rate of fire, which is typically made irrelevant by differences in fireRateAdj. Thus, a Wolfen with an omnidirectional turbolaser cannon can effectively slug it out with a Charon frigate on equal ground, dodging most of the return fire easily as the frigate takes every shot that comes at it and making the fight feel considerably easier than it ought to and making capital ships feel less threatening and more clumsy than they ought to. If turreted fixed-fire weapons had some qualitative advantage over omnidirectional ones, like greater range, taking on a capital ship might feel similar to Luke Skywalker's trench run, letting the player better take the role of one pilot in a big universe. Similarly, taking the helm of a capital ship could feel like more of a tradeoff and less of a burden.

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