The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => General UQM Discussion => Topic started by: Zeep-Eeep on September 22, 2004, 05:48:54 am

Title: A question of style.
Post by: Zeep-Eeep on September 22, 2004, 05:48:54 am
I have a question, which has been in the back of my mind for a while
now. Namely, during melee, an Earthling ship's point-defence-lasers
will target and destroy astroids. However, a Chmmr's defences do
not target astroids. Any theories as to why this is? Is it a question
of style (the Chmmr don't see astroids as a threat) or a flaw in
automatic defences (Earthlings target any near-by object, but only on
manual command)?

Your thoughts?

Title: Re: A question of style.
Post by: Chrispy on September 22, 2004, 08:13:16 am
It makes sense that the cruiser would want to destroy asteroids. If it has a good rocket then it owns.

The avater does not rocket so much and this is not a problem.

On the other side, the avatar does not need to save battery power, but the cruiser does.

Title: Re: A question of style.
Post by: AnonomouSpathi on September 22, 2004, 09:55:11 am
A chmmr avatar is a state of the art, full-fledge combat ship designed by the most advanced race around.   Asteroids aren't really much of a threat, and zapsats are meant to blow up hostile aliens and their missiles.

Besides, Chmmr are part rock, and blowing up other rocks automatically for no good reason would violate the code of the rock-brotherhood.

Humans, on the other hand, fly around in ships assembled from whatever happened to be laying around.  Why do human point defense lasers target asteroids?  Because that 'point defense laser' is really just an antique asteroid defense weapon meant to keep humanity's ships from being smashed into pieces by space rocks.  This, of course, was designed before it was known that space rocks don't cause actual damage.  The miracle isn't that PDF lasers target asteroids.  The miracle is that A) they're capable of targetting anything else and B) anyone would get in one of those cruisers anyway.

Title: Re: A question of style.
Post by: 0xDEC0DE on September 22, 2004, 11:10:46 am
It was definitely a concious decision on the part of the creators -- flip a bit in the chmmr zapsat code and they'll shoot anything that gets too close, exactly like the Earthling PDL.

As for why they shut it off, I'm pretty sure it's to keep some measure of game balance.  The ostensible purpose of asteroids in melee is to introduce a bit of "uncertainty" into battles, either by getting in the way of otherwise perfectly placed shots, or bumping you off your meticulously adjusted course and speed.

The Earthling ship is heavily affected by asteroid strikes, it's low speed/acceleration and low mass makes recovery from such an ordeal.  So being able to avert "unplanned course corrections" at the cost of some combat energy is a feature.  And, of course, such measures must be initiated by the player.

The Chmmr ship has none of these characteristics; it has decent thrust/acceleration, it's massive enough to not be affected by asteroids strikes much at all, and most importantly, it's point-defense weapon is auto-firing and doesn't drain combat energy -- which means that it would be impervious to asteroids if the zapsats targeted them.  Since that would no doubt be an unfair advantage, the zapsats ignore them.  Otherwise it wouldn't be as "fun"  ;)

Title: Re: A question of style.
Post by: Sander Scamper on September 22, 2004, 04:35:34 pm
Never thought of it before...I always thought that it was because hunams KNOW that THE ULTIMATE EVIL is behind every asteroid...