The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => General UQM Discussion => Topic started by: Shiver on January 22, 2009, 02:16:57 am



Title: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: Shiver on January 22, 2009, 02:16:57 am
Over the past couple of months I've gotten pretty good enough at messing with UQM's ship code. Sooner or later I intend to release a game balance mod intended for online melee based on this tinkering. Most recently I made two changes to the Arilou Skiff's teleport function:

• The Skiff will no longer appear close to an enemy ship. There is a circular "do not spawn here" zone around it.
• The Skiff will no longer appear on top of planets, asteroids or enemy ships.

Essentially, I've created an experimental Arilou Skiff variant that can teleport for defensive purposes only. A teleportation function that can't kill you anymore, but you can no longer spam it repeatedly to achieve an ideal attack position. This removes a gameplay mechanic which many net melee enthusiasts find obnoxious. On the other hand, chain teleportation does make combat with Arilou rather unique. The question I want to ask of the community is this: Which teleportation scheme would you like better, the classic or the experimental?


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: jaychant on January 22, 2009, 02:54:31 am
I think the new one sounds better. I don't usually find chain teleportation effective anyways, and when using it for defense, appearing right next to the opponent doesn't help at all.


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: Lukipela on January 22, 2009, 07:24:36 am
How large is the zone around the enemy ship?


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: Alvarin on January 22, 2009, 11:31:30 am
I like the new scheme . I would also increase the amount of energy needed for teleporting .


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: jaychant on January 22, 2009, 12:21:29 pm
I like the new scheme . I would also increase the amount of energy needed for teleporting .

I disagree. More energy cost would eliminate that teleport's use.


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: Shiver on January 22, 2009, 10:02:38 pm
How large is the zone around the enemy ship?

The radius is 300 max zoom pixels, or double the length of a Chmmr laser.


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: SweetSassyMolassy on January 23, 2009, 10:21:09 pm
Warping into the planet is annoying and a relatively small chance, so to do away with this annoyance is nice.

I think it's annoying when players continually warp in order to find the best attack position, but if this option is taken away the Arilou is hardly worth its 16 points anymore, which it wasn't really worth to begin with. I usually use Arilou to catch slow-turners by surprise by warping closely
 behind them.  Without this it just becomes a glorified Fury with no respawn.  If the close warp radius is taken away, I think the point value should be lowered or the crew number increased.


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: countchocula86 on January 24, 2009, 06:20:19 pm
Eh, I dunno. I like chain warping until Im an Ideal attack position.

But I dont net melee and Im not a skilled player.


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: Shiver on January 24, 2009, 07:07:47 pm
I think it's annoying when players continually warp in order to find the best attack position, but if this option is taken away the Arilou is hardly worth its 16 points anymore, which it wasn't really worth to begin with. I usually use Arilou to catch slow-turners by surprise by warping closely
 behind them.  Without this it just becomes a glorified Fury with no respawn.  If the close warp radius is taken away, I think the point value should be lowered or the crew number increased.

Yes indeed. The experimental Arilou is less powerful than the classic. My plan is to use either a 10-12 point experimental or a 14 point classic. The 6 crew I won't touch, as I feel the fragility of the ship is part of what makes it unique.

In any case, I've started up a change log of the mod on Ultronomicon for anyone who's interested. Witness the new, horribly violated UQM (http://wiki.uqm.stack.nl/User:Shiver/Balance_Mod).


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: Alvarin on January 24, 2009, 09:14:32 pm
This mode will be present in all of the game's parts , right ? Not only in netmellee ?
I like it a lot !


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: SweetSassyMolassy on January 24, 2009, 10:03:39 pm
A few things about the balance mod:
-I noticed a lot of ships point values are raised or lowered by one point. Is there a reason for only one point?
-Spathi Eluder lowered by 6 points? I've always used the Eluder as a powerful capstone to my fleet. I thought the 18 point value seemed fair.



Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: Shiver on January 24, 2009, 11:12:25 pm
Quote from: Alvarin
This mode will be present in all of the game's parts , right ? Not only in netmellee ?
I like it a lot !

You can play the campaign with it if you want, though I don't know why you would. Only difference I can really see is that you'll fight Super Dreadnoughts instead of regular ones, but they'll still be kind of easy to beat with Spathi.


Quote from: SweetSassyMolassy
A few things about the balance mod:
-I noticed a lot of ships point values are raised or lowered by one point. Is there a reason for only one point?
-Spathi Eluder lowered by 6 points? I've always used the Eluder as a powerful capstone to my fleet. I thought the 18 point value seemed fair.

Yes, I wanted even point values. I could divide them all by 2 now, though I'd rather the prices be easy to compare to vanilla UQM prices.

Spathi is terrible in PVP from my experience, though I may have reason to bump it up to 14 if I see enough passable performance from it.


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: Death 999 on January 26, 2009, 08:47:22 pm
I would suggest an alternate solution, which comes in two parts:

1) If you are closer to the enemy ship than you are to the planet, teleporting should be safe, perhaps totally safe. As the planet gets closer, the risk should increase; as the enemy ship gets closer, it should decrease.

2) if you do teleport into a major body:
if you have enough energy to teleport again, the ship takes 1 damage, and autoteleports again
otherwise, it is destroyed.


SO:

you can charge in and be assured of getting away safely
But if you chain, you're going to get into trouble quickly.
But it won't be so roulette-y. You will lose a crew here and there, not the whole ship at once.


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: Shiver on January 27, 2009, 05:18:03 am
It's worth stating that I do not view Toys For Bob's Arilou Skiff as fundamentally broken. Chain teleportation does lead to long fights, but these are usually not longer than the typical Mmrnmhrm Transformer long range missile siege against a slower adversary. Whether I change the Skiff or not hinges upon how well the experimental ship fits into the game.

I would suggest an alternate solution, which comes in two parts:

1) If you are closer to the enemy ship than you are to the planet, teleporting should be safe, perhaps totally safe. As the planet gets closer, the risk should increase; as the enemy ship gets closer, it should decrease.

2) if you do teleport into a major body:
if you have enough energy to teleport again, the ship takes 1 damage, and autoteleports again
otherwise, it is destroyed.


SO:

you can charge in and be assured of getting away safely
But if you chain, you're going to get into trouble quickly.
But it won't be so roulette-y. You will lose a crew here and there, not the whole ship at once.

While irritating to program, I can probably pull that off. But why? I don't see how this is any better than the alternate teleporter which I've already put together.


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: Death 999 on January 28, 2009, 04:11:32 pm
It allows teleporting to still bear some risk and opportunity; but it makes the risk more evenly distributed (at present rates, many arilou players will never realize that they can explode), and discourages the most abusive behaviors.

With yours, there is a strong limit on how good a sweet teleport can be.


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: Yetiers on January 28, 2009, 05:05:00 pm
(I hope you don't mind if I interject here)

With Death's variant, if the risk of teleporting into a major body is too high, teleportation becomes weaker as a way of avoiding enemy fire (especially long-ranged enemy fire) while severely weakening chain teleportation, and if the risk is too low, it doesn't solve the problem with chain teleportation.
With Shiver's variant, chain teleportation is completely removed from the game without weakening teleportation as a way of avoiding enemy fire. Plus Death's variant is weird.

By the way, why can't Shiver just implement a second teleport function (activated by, say, holding down Down for two seconds) that always gets you near the enemy, while keeping the normal teleport function as it is? Since chain teleportation comes with a risk, you could hard-code a higher probability of getting into a major body when using the second teleport function.

It's late and I'm tired. There's probably something I'm missing, but I'm posting this anyway.

EDIT: It seems that fossil and Valaggar Redux approximated the probability of a "telefrag" in this topic (http://forum.uqm.stack.nl/index.php?topic=4233.0). By the way, how did Valaggar manage to post as a guest, I thought guest posting is disabled here?


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: jaychant on January 28, 2009, 09:12:43 pm
By the way, how did Valaggar manage to post as a guest, I thought guest posting is disabled here?

That's because Valaggar's account was deleted.


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: Shiver on January 28, 2009, 10:45:39 pm
By the way, why can't Shiver just implement a second teleport function (activated by, say, holding down Down for two seconds) that always gets you near the enemy, while keeping the normal teleport function as it is? Since chain teleportation comes with a risk, you could hard-code a higher probability of getting into a major body when using the second teleport function.

 ;D Funny you should mention that. I'm trying out different offensive teleportation schemes at this moment.


Quote
EDIT: It seems that fossil and Valaggar Redux approximated the probability of a "telefrag" in this topic (http://forum.uqm.stack.nl/index.php?topic=4233.0). By the way, how did Valaggar manage to post as a guest, I thought guest posting is disabled here?

Valaggar probably scuttled his account. Or Meep-Eep banned him without saying anything to anyone else, which isn't entirely beneath him. To be quite honest, I figured you were Valaggar's next account.


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: Lukipela on January 29, 2009, 06:14:30 am
To be quite honest, I figured you were Valaggar's next account.

He certainly sounds a lot like Valaggar.


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: Death 999 on January 29, 2009, 04:34:49 pm
Plus Death's variant is weird.

Yes, and that's the only reason I don't like it. The reasoning on it was that it would give both players some control over how effective it was; and also, it came with handy narrative justification!

If you're facing the Arilou and you don't want them teleporting, head to the nearest strong gravity well and orbit it. That'll mess them up. They'll have to come at you honestly, and won't be able to skip away safely much of the time. On the other hand, Arilou fight well near gravity wells. It could lead to more interesting battles.



As for how frequent - do recall that even a botched teleport will kill ONE crew. If you set the peak rate around 8%, you won't be able to spam teleporting, but it's still highly worth it to dodge.


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: Shiver on January 31, 2009, 09:13:09 pm
Here's my second incarnation of the Arilou Skiff:

* Point value remains at 16 for now, though this may fluctuate.

* Teleport delay has been increased from 2 frames to 5 frames. This has no effect on game balance, but it does make Arilou teleport spam somewhat less seizure-inducing.

* The Skiff has been given two different teleportation functions. The offensive teleport is triggered by pressing "Up + Special", while the defensive teleport will kick in when the Special key is pressed in absence of the Up key.

* Offensive teleportation will move the Skiff a fixed distance forward in whatever direction the Skiff happens to be facing.

* Defensive teleportation will move the Skiff to a random location that is always a long distance away from the Skiff's opponent. Remember to take your finger off the accelerator if you want to escape.

* A safety measure has been added to Arilou's teleportation function which moves it to another random location whenever it appears within solid matter. Chain teleportation has been nullified, so the threat of teleportation-related death is no longer necessary for game balance.



I seek three things:

1) Outside input on the mod. Anyone can help me here. Even faulty input helps me look at things from every possible angle.

2) Volunteers to play the mod. If you can get into #uqm-arena, you'll do. EP and Gekko are my preferred opponents, but they are not around nearly enough. Ideally someone beneath my skill level would play against another volunteer rather than myself.

3) Someone who can compile UQM for Mac, or teach me how to do it despite not being on one myself.


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: SweetSassyMolassy on January 31, 2009, 09:35:54 pm
Heh, I hope I'm not one of the "faulty" ones, but I think you might be making this more complicated than it needs to be.  I really like the idea of going a fixed distance ahead in the direction the Skiff is facing. In my opinion, this should be the only form of the special attack. The defensive special move isn't really necessary since the Skiff can use the offensive manuver as a defensive tactic. 

The "moving forward" idea is great. Since it's tough even for the pilot to tell which direction the Arilou is facing at a single moment due to the tracking laser, the Arilou would often warp to a random location near the ship it's attacking.  This gets rid of the planet problem, or rather, makes the problem at the pilot's own risk.  At the same time it gets rid of the annoying player warping problem, since the Skiff must always be somewhere close to where it used to be. Also, the possiblilty of "jumping through" an opponent becomes another offensive tactic that actually makes the arilou way more powerful, especially if it's battling a slow-turner like a Broodhome.

If you really want to mix it up, have the Arilou always warp the same distance, but in random directions.

All-in-all, this could drastically change the way Arilou is played, probably for the better.


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: Death 999 on February 01, 2009, 02:58:01 pm
Shiver's version 2 allows offensive use, which is good. I just hope people don't get so good with it that they'll be able to make perfect attack runs all the time. It would be trivial to make a mod which shows the exact position the Arilou would come out, which would help that happen.

Assuming that doesn't happen, I like it.


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: jaychant on February 02, 2009, 03:00:42 am
I think you should make it Down + special for offensive instead because I usually continually accelerate. It would be annoying to have to release Up to teleport away to safety.


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: Death 999 on February 02, 2009, 06:12:23 pm
I don't think down is even a valid input key for purposes of melee. Remember how Supox's back-up combination is up+special?


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: Yetiers on February 02, 2009, 06:23:39 pm
Read Shiver's balance mod page on the Ultronomicon. The down key has been unlocked in the mod.


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: jaychant on February 02, 2009, 09:01:59 pm
Since Down is a key used in menus, I don't see why it would be impossible to use it in melee. The original UQM just doesn't utilize the Down key.


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: Alen on February 02, 2009, 10:33:53 pm
it depends it can be a pain when fighting an Arilou skiff when the player just teleports but the Arilou ship is designed for hit and run attacks it has 6 crew that's about its main function, teleport in lezerebeam pew pew teleport away


Title: Re: Arilou Chain Teleportation - good or bad?
Post by: Shiver on February 03, 2009, 01:27:09 am
Quote from: jaychant
I think you should make it Down + special for offensive instead because I usually continually accelerate. It would be annoying to have to release Up to teleport away to safety.

That would be unintuitive. The forward teleport is a decent escape mechanism most of the time, so it isn't usually a big deal for a player to slip up and use the forward teleport when they want the escape teleport.


Quote from: SweetSassyMolassy
[...]I think you might be making this more complicated than it needs to be.  I really like the idea of going a fixed distance ahead in the direction the Skiff is facing. In my opinion, this should be the only form of the special attack. The defensive special move isn't really necessary since the Skiff can use the offensive manuver as a defensive tactic.

It's true that the forward teleport is good enough to escape most adversaries. The escape teleport is still necessary. Fast ships like Pkunk, Slylandro and the Androsynth comet can actually run down an Arilou that tries to leapfrog with its forward teleport to get away, especially if that Arilou has spent most of its battery attacking just prior to that.


Quote from: Death999
Shiver's version 2 allows offensive use, which is good. I just hope people don't get so good with it that they'll be able to make perfect attack runs all the time. It would be trivial to make a mod which shows the exact position the Arilou would come out, which would help that happen.

Assuming that doesn't happen, I like it.

It turned out during play-testing that the Experimental Skiff II was quite overpowered even without a visible indicator of where the ship will spawn next. It's not hard to get a feel for the distance, and as Gekko can attest it's simply too easy to leapfrog towards the opponent, backstab them with the beam weapon and then use a defensive teleport to get clear. Recently I applied a few minor penalties to the ship. Among these, the forward teleporter was set to travel between 200-240 max zoom pixels forward rather than the 220 I had it at before.


Quote from: alen456645
it depends it can be a pain when fighting an Arilou skiff when the player just teleports but the Arilou ship is designed for hit and run attacks it has 6 crew that's about its main function, teleport in lezerebeam pew pew teleport away

How did a YouTube comment find its way into my thread? You must be lost.