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Re: concealed weapons

#16
I'm saying the exact stats don't matter. Any player, unless they're frequently pausing their game, won't have time (or reason) to bother with exactly what a ship is equipped with beyond "How big is it" and "Is it already damaged". At least, if the gameplay is at all similar to Freelancer/the prototype.
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Re: concealed weapons

#19
Talvieno wrote:Tech level would be different. At-a-glance would probably show faction anyway, so you still don't need detailed hardpoint info for that.


Oooh, imagine a hardpoint that disguised your faction. :D
That's called altering your ship's transponder (which provides the name and type of vessel you have). Transponders should be a default characteristic of any ship. They are just like a license plate for a car (or VIN number anyway).
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Re: concealed weapons

#20
Talvieno wrote:Tech level would be different. At-a-glance would probably show faction anyway, so you still don't need detailed hardpoint info for that.
Or someone bought tech those ships dont usually have.
Or bought ships and equipped them with their own tech.

In freelancer you can go by faction because everything is static in that regard.

Scenario: you sit in a medium sized ship and see another roughly equal ship which you can usually defeat because they tend to use close-range weaponry and you kite them.
This one is equipped with new cannons with longer range.
With disguised hardpoints you prolly just assume the usual and get your back slapped to your face because you now dont outrange them anymore.

same with your shield heavy ship and their new shieldbusters.

Same with your missile frigate and their new point defense arrays.

Same with....
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Re: concealed weapons

#21
Hardpoint concealment is not relevant unless either targeting order is important or your ship can easily switch damage types immediately prior to engagement (but only with diffuculty during). Otherwise, there is nothing to do with the knowledge of a loadout anyways.
In the first case, take a large group of relatively small vessels. Some might be repair-oriented, while others could be damage-oriented, but the hulls are identical. Your ship can take any of them out, but only if they aren't being repaired. Now, you could just shoot at one at random and hope it's a repairer, but if it's not, you've wasted your initiative (and possibly the fight, if you were relying on an alpha strike). If you have good scanners, you can pick the repairers out and crush them early on.
In the second case, take a single ship which might be outfitted with antimissile point defense or with antiship guns. If it has antimissile PD, you want to counter with your own guns. If it has antiship guns, you want to sit back and bombard with missiles. Once you commit to a particular tactic, it is only with significant effort that you can change. A full volley of missiles is expensive if it's fired directly into a competent PDN, but so is your hull when exposed to proper guns.
In both cases, the agent with the greater equipment (conceal or reveal) gains an advantage.
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Re: concealed weapons

#22
Cornflakes_91 wrote: In freelancer you can go by faction because everything is static in that regard.
Right, I figure it would mostly end up the same way in LT. I mean, naturally so.

Regardless, for most players, checking hardpoints would be such a dull and irritating grind that they'd stop altogether. At that point, you might as well not conceal hardpoints at all. What's the point if no one cares?
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Re: concealed weapons

#23
Talvieno wrote: I mean, naturally so.
Because theres no tech development and trade?
Talvieno wrote: Regardless, for most players, checking hardpoints would be such a dull and irritating grind that they'd stop altogether. At that point, you might as well not conceal hardpoints at all. What's the point if no one cares?
You act like you have to check every single ship you come across for that mechanic to have a point.
You also act like everyone just blindly charges into battle with everything that has vaguely the right size to be vulnerable.

Of course you dont care as much if you know exactly what the other one has or if you are vastly superior anyway.

Theres also the strategic aspect of hiding what your ships can do, to prevent your enemy to develop methods of countering you.

Counterexample: me abusing complete knowledge about enemy equipment in stellaris.
before the war, a single one of my science ships moves through their territory, through the system with the enemy main fleet. I take a single quick look at their loadout and see that its exclusively missiles. I design and order a couple of flak equipped cruisers and destroyers and when the war starts i roll through them without taking a single hit because i trivially adapted to them because of the non-action of checking their loadout.
if getting their loadout were any less trivial it would have been more interesting and fun.
(or i wouldnt have bothered with it at all because i was much stronger than them anyway)
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Re: concealed weapons

#24
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
Talvieno wrote: I mean, naturally so.
Because theres no tech development and trade?
More the former, less the latter. Josh's last idea of research was that it was simply a re-allocation of existing "points"... an idea I very much abhor, but I suppose I can sort of understand from a balance perspective. There are much better solutions than this.

Continuing the argument against your other points:
  1. In LT, there is always another target. You can always just choose someone else. At best, concealed hardpoints would be most useful during bounty missions - but only after you had taken the mission and there was no point in caring anymore.
  2. Combat happens too quickly in LT for this to matter. In the prototype you hardly had time to divert power to different systems. In freelancer it was the same, in freespace roughly the same except you had different hotkeys to help you do this. Combat happens, you either run or you fight. It's very fast-paced. There is no time to sit there pondering at your scanner.
  3. Nobody is going to care what you have. They won't even pay attention. You are one ship among thousands. Nobody is going to try to research new equipment just to take you down. Maybe your faction as a whole, sure, but you? Not a chance.
  4. I'm a hardcore Dwarf Fortress player. I love detail. This, however, I have no interest in: =the moment I'd discover it happens to also be the exact moment that I would care the least. That's poor game design. The only alternative is if you had the ability to pause the game whenever you chose and just look at charts and such. Josh was rather against that and has been from the beginning, as I recall.
  5. Your stellaris counterexample: The only way this means anything in LT is if all ships conceal all their hardpoints... and you're not allowed to take a peek at their market to see what they're selling... and you never happen to see any of them in combat.
My point being, I don't really see a point. It's yet another feature coming at the expense of much more coding time for Josh, except this feature is one that most people won't pay attention to most of the time - not to mention how much more complicated it would make AI, because then you'd have to simulate educated guessing so the AI didn't seem eternally retarded when it came to figuring out what hardpoints you had. In a world where Josh was twenty people, why not? Most people wouldn't care or even pay attention, but a few like yourself surely would on occasion. As it stands, I see it as too much effort for too little reward.
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Re: concealed weapons

#25
These are good counterarguments.

In particular, the point about tactical pacing seems strong. But consider: it only applies after combat has started.

Up to that point, LT doesn't have to be fast-paced at all... which is time available for using sensors, or checking the markets, or managing mining drones, or looking at maps, or creating production projects, or anything else at a higher level than pew-pew.

To put it another way: what do you imagine players of LT will want to do when they're not shooting at NPCs? Can you imagine some value for interestingly functional sensors during these times?
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Re: concealed weapons

#26
That's a good point, Flat. If you're out of combat, spending a few minutes looking at sensor data shouldn't matter. I still don't see the point of concealing sensor data, though.

I'll list a few examples, because that's the only way I know of how to get this across.

EXAMPLE 1
Situation: All hardpoints are always visible. However, given that you can only put a set number of hardpoints on a ship, it's safe to assume that all hardpoints are filled. You can tell the strength of a ship just by its class and size.
Outcome: You'll never look at sensor data because it has no outcome on a battle. You can tell everything you need to know just by looking.

EXAMPLE 2
Situation: Some hardpoints are concealable. However, given that you can only put a set number of hardpoints on a ship, it's safe to assume that all hardpoints are filled. You can tell the strength of a ship just by its class and size.
Outcome: You'll never look at sensor data because it has no outcome on a battle. You can tell everything you need to know just by looking.

EXAMPLE 3
Situation: Some hardpoints are concealable, and ship hardpoint count is unrelated to ship size. Hardpoints are rarely concealed and finding a ship with concealed hardpoints is a surprise.
Outcome: You'll look at sensor data, not because of concealed hardpoints, but because ship size and class means nothing anymore. If a ship has concealed hardpoints, it'll be unavoidable. It may turn the tide of a battle, and if you get killed because a ship had concealed hardpoints, you'll be terribly annoyed because it was an unfair death you had no control over.

EXAMPLE 4
Situation: Some hardpoints are concealable, and ship hardpoint count is unrelated to ship size. Hardpoints are concealed frequently and is rather expected.
Outcome: Your scanners mean nothing, and your eyesight means nothing. The small rinky-dinky "miner" you think you see could have the strength of a destroyer for all you know. Combat is harsh and unfair to either one side or the other. No one gets into battles unless they know they have overwhelming firepower - and even these can die seemingly at random. Scanner data is completely ignored.
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Re: concealed weapons

#27
Talvieno wrote:
  • Combat happens too quickly in LT for this to matter. In the prototype you hardly had time to divert power to different systems. In freelancer it was the same, in freespace roughly the same except you had different hotkeys to help you do this. Combat happens, you either run or you fight. It's very fast-paced. There is no time to sit there pondering at your scanner.
who said in combat?
you look before engaging, when you are already in combat it doesnt matter anyway.
Talvieno wrote:
  • Nobody is going to care what you have. They won't even pay attention. You are one ship among thousands. Nobody is going to try to research new equipment just to take you down. Maybe your faction as a whole, sure, but you? Not a chance.
who claimed differently?

of course nobody with any kind of resources is going to spy on you and adapt to what you have on your dinky little ship.
guess why i made a stellaris argument :P
Talvieno wrote:
  • Your stellaris counterexample: The only way this means anything in LT is if all ships conceal all their hardpoints... and you're not allowed to take a peek at their market to see what they're selling... and you never happen to see any of them in combat.
just seeing them in combat doesnt give you their exact specs, though. at best rough estimates or what they chose to use at the moment (you wont see them using anti capital cannonry against a few dinky fighters for example)

i also assume that every military ship has at least some degree of concealment on its capabilities

Talvieno wrote: much more coding time
except not when the scheme i suggested a lot of times for a long time for doing scanning and scanner mechanics in general gets used.
there its just a numerical modifier on something thats already there.

linkedy link

and as im abhorring any kind of binary sensor mechanics (which josh already seems to avoid himself) its likely that some version of the base idea gets used anyway.

ease to detect something on a ship would already be a defined value. and a "concealed" weapon just has a modifier on how easy it is to detect / identify.

without any continous sensor mechanics the frequency domain scanner is pointless as well, because that would be a lot of wasted effort for something thats just a graphical nicety.
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Re: concealed weapons

#28
Talvieno wrote:That's a good point, Flat. If you're out of combat, spending a few minutes looking at sensor data shouldn't matter. I still don't see the point of concealing sensor data, though.

I'll list a few examples, because that's the only way I know of how to get this across.

EXAMPLE 3
Situation: Some hardpoints are concealable, and ship hardpoint count is unrelated to ship size. Hardpoints are rarely concealed and finding a ship with concealed hardpoints is a surprise.
Outcome: You'll look at sensor data, not because of concealed hardpoints, but because ship size and class means nothing anymore. If a ship has concealed hardpoints, it'll be unavoidable. It may turn the tide of a battle, and if you get killed because a ship had concealed hardpoints, you'll be terribly annoyed because it was an unfair death you had no control over.

EXAMPLE 4
Situation: Some hardpoints are concealable, and ship hardpoint count is unrelated to ship size. Hardpoints are concealed frequently and is rather expected.
Outcome: Your scanners mean nothing, and your eyesight means nothing. The small rinky-dinky "miner" you think you see could have the strength of a destroyer for all you know. Combat is harsh and unfair to either one side or the other. No one gets into battles unless they know they have overwhelming firepower - and even these can die seemingly at random. Scanner data is completely ignored.
both of which assume that concealment is absolute and cannot be broken without the concealing ships actions.
which is stupid as fark.
binary systems are uninteresting.
and make the obvious effort that already gone into the scanner system wasted.
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Re: concealed weapons

#29
Regarding Stellaris;

Stellaris is an RTS game where you're meant to be able to adapt on-the-fly. Research is relatively quick, and games aren't meant to last until the end of time.

In a game like Freelancer and/or Eve, research takes time. Even if you want to adapt to a single ship, or a single fleet, you could easily be overwhelmed before you finish your first bit of research.
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Re: concealed weapons

#30
To make concealment worth it, we need multiple damage types. One might conceal one's hardpoints, so that (for instance) shield-tanks would walk into engagement with shieldbreakers. But ships also need to be able to choose their outputs or resists just before engaging (but probably not during). Thus, a sensor-strong ship would find out that the opponent is a shieldbreaker, and bias its resistances toward armor-tanking. Or, if defensive hardpoints can be concealed, a ship would be able to decide whether to load antishield or antiarmor missiles into its rack based on its sensor readings.
And sensors need not tell you huge amounts of information; a simple bar would suffice in this two-damage-type model to indicate shield-armor bias in each of weapons and defenses.
Like this:
[|||||||][|] indicating heavy shield,
[|][|||||||] indicating heavy armor, or
[||||][||||] indicating a balanced build.
Again, the utility of this system hinges on the ability of ships to change their damage types between the scan and the first shot.

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