Targeting system changes

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Re: Targeting system changes

Post by george moromisato » Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:07 pm

PM wrote:That must be part of the targeting changes from 1.7 beta 3, assuming said omni weapon relies on standard targeting.
Yes, it is indeed a new feature in 1.7 Beta 3, which I'll carry over even after I revert the other changes.

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Re: Targeting system changes

Post by pip » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:51 pm

JohnBWatson wrote:
Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:50 pm
PM wrote:Linked-fire weapons with fire-arcs automatically fire at enemy targets that are out of range of the primary weapon. Some improvements for that would be one, include angry objects regardless of blip color for automatic targeting (currently, only enemy reds are targeted)
Not true in my experience - angry friendlies have also been autotargeted by my omni weapons.
One of the most frustrating things in T is "angry" friendlies, as they are definitely not in my experience automatically targetted by omni or missile weapons.
This is one of the biggest hurdles in the early game - you absolutely need a targeting rom before you can complete the arena arc because picking out and fighting the Molotok without targeting is both difficult and tedious.
(Not to mention some of the possible arena fights themselves are frustratingly difficult without targeting.)

Imho, being able to target ships and other objects is such a basic function that it should be intrinsic to the player's ship rather than an upgrade you have scrabble round and maybe find.

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Re: Targeting system changes

Post by PM » Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:30 pm

pip wrote:
Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:51 pm
Imho, being able to target ships and other objects is such a basic function that it should be intrinsic to the player's ship rather than an upgrade you have scrabble round and maybe find.
THIS! This so much! It already is for every AI ship. Why not the player?

That said, some adventures may not want targeting. I would not want it for the Star Castle adventure or maybe any other retro-game remake adventure I may build.
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Re: Targeting system changes

Post by Xephyr » Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:21 pm

PM wrote:
Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:30 pm
pip wrote:
Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:51 pm
Imho, being able to target ships and other objects is such a basic function that it should be intrinsic to the player's ship rather than an upgrade you have scrabble round and maybe find.
THIS! This so much! It already is for every AI ship. Why not the player?

That said, some adventures may not want targeting. I would not want it for the Star Castle adventure or maybe any other retro-game remake adventure I may build.
What if we had an intrinsic targeting system that only targeted, and nothing else? Let's say this can be uninstalled like the ship's autopilot if you don't want it in an adventure.

Then, things like armor/hull HP and distance to target would be available through a targeting scanner enhancement. Devices like the Uzon targeting scanner would have this capability. It could also be a ROM or algorithm cube enhancement, because its not a good idea to restrict the functionality to needing a device slot.
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Re: Targeting system changes

Post by pip » Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:59 pm

Something else that could use some attention is the "behind the scenes" of targeting itself.
In particular a problem which arises when a ship has both swivel and omni weapons installed.
Swivel appears to take precedence over omni in a frustrating way.

Eg:
If a ship has a swivel mount weapon as it's primary and a secondary weapon with omni (or vice-versa), the auto-targeting (aka the red highlight box) only appears when a target passes within the swivel range of the relevant weapon.
If the target moves outside of this cone then the "lock" is lost and the omni secondary weapon stops tracking it and fires striaght forward as if it has no target. In effect having a swivel weapon on a ship converts ALL omni weapons on that ship into swivel.

You can still manually target objects behind you and re-enable omni fire against that object which is fine, but the loss of automatic 360deg tracking for omni weapons is a huge liability.
And probably the single biggest reason I avoid swivel weapons like the proverbial plague, no matter how good/useful/interesting they are.

This probably comes from there not being any means in vanilla to ever mix the two, so it was a problem that was either never found or judged to be irrelevant.

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Re: Targeting system changes

Post by PM » Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:28 pm

Omni should take precedent over swivel. If not, it is a bug.

George posted a chart of straight, swivel, and Omni interactions on Trac years ago, then Trac shut down and it was lost. That chart needs to be reposted somewhere.
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Re: Targeting system changes

Post by digdug » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:07 pm

I kept it:
Ticket #772 (closed defect: fixed)
Omni weapons don't combine properly with device slots with fire arcs
Fixed with the following rules:

If a weapon is omnidirectional then it stays omni, regardless of the device slot [this fixes your problem with the Deimos].

If a device slot is omnidirectional then it stays omni, regardless of the weapon.

Otherwise, if a device slot swivels, then the weapon honors the swivel, regardless of weapon properties (e.g., if a weapon specifies a 30 degree swivel but the device slot says 10 degrees then the device wins).

Otherwise, if a device slot is fixed, then its fire direction is combined with weapon properties (e.g., if the device points 180 degrees and the weapon swivels, then the result is a swivel centered on 180 degrees).
Targeting has been a subject of discussion since I've been around Transcendence (9 years or so), maybe more.
Maybe to have the game more accessible to new players, all ships should have a targeting rom installed. If we do that, what are we losing ? And, do we unbalance some ships (the slower ones probably, like the Freighter) by making them more powerful in early game ? What's the trade-off ?

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Re: Targeting system changes

Post by Watch TV, Do Nothing » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:16 pm

Acquiring display enhancement and targeting ties in to a sense of progression, but it is unusual to potentially withhold a major element of the user interface/gameplay system until a non-guaranteed item is obtained. I call these two ROMs non-guaranteed because it is possible to progress arbitrarily far in the game without obtaining them, or even being aware that they exist. I'm not sure if the game is sufficiently complex to justify withholding both for so long just to avoid overwhelming a new player, especially when new players are also the least likely to find them in the course of normal gameplay. It doesn't help that they also look identical to two very harmful items.

It's not uncommon for RPGs to withhold certain game systems until certain mandatory checkpoints are reached. I'll use Skyrim as an example: the player starts completely unable to interact with the game except to look around. In the course of progressing through the opening areas, he or she gains in turn the ability to move, then a little later the ability to interact with objects and fight in melee combat, then a little later obtains a ranged weapon, and finally is deposited into the game's open world with full agency. These systems are introduced in sequence, not all at once, but it is impossible to avoid the checkpoints that introduce them.

It is less common to have core systems withheld until a non-mandatory checkpoint is reached, but examples also exist, even in Skyrim, albeit with a caveat. For example the Dragon Shout abilities are a major gameplay element, but is not "mandatory" to acquire any in order to explore the entire game world. However, once the player starts progressing through the game's main plot at least a few dragon shouts are guaranteed to be introduced the player. Likewise upgrading items through enchantment or smithing are useful game systems, with major hooks in opening areas to introduce them to players, but it is not mandatory to take these hooks to progress and IIRC the player doesn't start with the skills to enchant items right off the bat.

In Transcendence the "plot" (the pilgrim's journey) progresses along with exploration of the game world, because both the plot and the game universe have a direction (towards Heretic). The targeting ROM is nonetheless not guaranteed because the player can miss the story beat that grants a ROM via Korolov or decide that they don't want to do the missions. But a player who gets past St. Kat's without such a ROM is crippled (even if they are a new player who is unaware that it exists).

I'm not sure the Targeting and Visual Display Enhancement ROMs need to be loot item. Maybe St. Kat's outgoing gate should be a mandatory checkpoint that charges a fee to activate the targeting system before it will allow the player to progress, with the justification that it is too dangerous to go on without targeting, and it should be possible to activate VDE and targeting earlier through any one of a number of story hooks (e.g. upon accepting a dangerous Korolov mission or beating the arena.)

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Re: Targeting system changes

Post by Shrike » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:21 am

I think the ROM system is a bit of a throwback to old version of the game. It might be good to rework it so it lasts for more of the game, and isn't quite so abitrarily annoying (eg. Have the ability to just buy a program, or get it earlier/cheaper by taking risks on unknown ROMs).
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Re: Targeting system changes

Post by PM » Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:01 am

When I play EI500, start-scumming for targeting program is non-negotiable. For other ships, I do not tolerate playing the game without targeting for long.
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Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.

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Re: Targeting system changes

Post by tarbos » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:20 pm

Having several targeting modes you can switch between seems a good idea.
My favourite default would be "semi-safe-mode", meaning

* Target friendly ships as usual
* When fire key is pressed: display warning message.
* Release and press fire key to shoot

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