Thursday, March 14, 2013
One thing that irks me in X3 is that capital ships use the "fighter" flight model and control scheme. Just with reduced turning rates.JoshParnell wrote:Interestingly, although I keep saying that the player can own and fly any kind of ship, I've never actually tried piloting a capital ship before...weird :| Today I did that, and made the necessary adjustments to bring it back into balance and make sure that piloting a battleship is hard but not painfully so. It's quite fun, being massive and all :) But it turns out I had to cheat the physics just a wee bit, because, in reality, piloting a battleship is truly painful, at least according to the equation for the moment of inertia of a block. But I've found a good compromise that makes steering one of these beasts challenging but still fun.
I actually created this as an X3 script. It's not perfect because the engine was never meant to do such a thing but I mostly did it to explain what I meant when I suggested this for Rebirth.
The best explanation is being able to do it ingame. =)
I copied the script description with minor alterations...
... and then I dumped a lot of it because I found something better. (which was in post #3)
So I edited the first post.
What is this?
A method to control your own ship's course. A combination of the classic follow-the-cursor and mouselook.
Know the situation?
You are driving a capital ship and decide to do a 90° turn.
A simple enough action, but in X3:TC you either have to...
- manually hold the controller in one position for a looong time - during which you can do absolutely nothing else
- program an autopilot course change on the sector map in 3 dimensions.
Neither is fun nor very rewarding. It gets really nasty if you want to order "simple course changes" like that for multiple ships.
You'd need 6 arms for that.
The real problem is that in Cursor-Following, the view angle is stuck to the ship's orientation.
If the ship turns slowly, I'm stuck with it for a long time.
What to do?
Get it un-stuck.
- Assume that you hold the RMB to enter "steering mode".
Double-click to lock if you don't want to keep pressing the stupid button.
- While in steering mode, you have mouselook like in [insert any FPS].
- Your ship does not steer as fast as you can change your view.
The ship's nose is simply lagging behind but it will align with your view... eventually.
- You can control course and rotation with the "normal" controls without having to "program" anything.
- Add another qualifier key and you also have Free Look without steering. Awesome for situational awareness.
Actually, it doesn't require another key. Could be something as simple as...
- RMB 1 click: Toggle Free Look mode on/off.
- RMB Hold: temporary steering mode
- RMB Double-Click: Enter permanent steering mode - no need to hold the button (which would get uncomfortable after a while)
- RMB 1 click: Doubles as off-switch when you're in Free Look or Steering modes.
You get your mouse pointer back and can operate menus normally.
- You could still have "fixed guns" on a fighter.
This particular HUD element would turn with the ship. Basically a circle in which the forward guns can be cursor-fired.
- Now this is really personal preference but ideally the movement of the aim / view would be crisp and instantaneous (making guns with high turning speed useful!) instead of the scroll speed being determined by the distance between pointer and middle of the screen.
Basically "free" mouselook instead of follow-the cursor steering... but with a twist so it's more of a ship-following-aim control.
PS: Vehicles in Borderlands use a similar control method.
You can mouselook / aim south without any delay. The vehicle will then try it's best to align to a southern heading. As easy as walking.