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Author Topic: Modifying Star Control Ships! - Thraddash Edition  (Read 12708 times)
Shiver
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Modifying Star Control Ships! - Thraddash Edition
« on: April 26, 2008, 08:08:51 am »

This thread is a continuation of some argument over a very bad video I posted. To be concise, the issue is that the Thraddash Torch has insane speed, extremely long range and an insignificant price tag. The ship is completely broken and not terribly fun to play with. If you want some more context, go ahead and skim over it. There were some ideas thrown around about what it would take to make the Thraddash Torch a balanced ship in net melee. After some extensive prodding by C_Bob, I'm bringing the issue back up. This thread is not idle musing; Elvish Pillager has made complete variants of UQM's combat engine before and would be willing to do so again.

My own suggestion is to change the Torch's peashooter into a short-ranged shotgun that can inflict meager crew damage and take up a large portion of the Thraddash's battery, perhaps even the entire bar. The primary weapon should be junky, and only something you use when the afterburner clearly isn't viable. With the afterburner, give flame jets a longer duration on the field so that a Thraddash could surround an opponent with them. Possibly even make the jets require less battery power to create. The idea is to make the flame jets a decent weapon that's fun to use against people.

Any input on what could possibly make Thraddash playable would be appreciated.
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C. Bob
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Re: Modifying Star Control Ships! - Thraddash Edition
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2008, 08:28:08 am »

In my old ideal scenario, the Thraddash Torch was designed more or less along the lines of the Scout and Stinger; instead of a highly-damaging secondary, the main gun was made shorter-ranged, but rapid-firing; in other words, a lethal macgun. This was to counter out the Stinger and Scout, which had weak primaries but good secondaries. The afterburner did no damage, but still had 2 armor. The ship moved faster on a normal basis, but the afterburner speed boost was made weaker.

Now, I'm not so sure. I can see the desire to improve the afterburner as a combat tool, but I'm not altogether sure it's viable at achieving the goal of making the Torch exciting, without doing some extensive changes. The simplest, most direct alteration would be to make the gun into a lethal, almost Ur-Quan-ish main, consuming basically the entire energy bar, and slowing down the afterburner. The gun change seems rather like what the Thraddash might like, but it may not 'scale' with their technological ability. Such a weak change to the afterburner may not really resolve the problems with it.

Thirdly, we could make the Torch gun fairly long-ranged, still (not as much as it is now), but the Torch virtually immobile in normal flight, only moving to acceptable speeds with the afterburner. The afterburner would still have a high cost, so as to permit only a few moments of extra-fast movement. The gun damage could be bumped up.

All in all, it's a difficult line of discussion, but I'm confident that with sufficient dicussion, a suitable solution to this problem can be determined, and we can regain the use of the Torch in netplay. The current situation, banning it, is really a band-aid fix and doesn't do anything to alleviate the underlying problems.

- Bob
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Elvish Pillager
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Re: Modifying Star Control Ships! - Thraddash Edition
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2008, 12:26:41 pm »

I think you're both missing a bit of perspective here. The Thraddash Torch is so fundamentally broken that "fixing" it is equivalent to adding a whole new ship to netplay. In what way will this new ship by Thraddash? If it's supposed to be loyal to the storyline, then I can't agree with modifications that makes the afterburner their most effective weapon - you'd think that if the Thraddash had a giant flaming weapon, they'd use it.
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Re: Modifying Star Control Ships! - Thraddash Edition
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2008, 11:28:12 pm »

I think you're both missing a bit of perspective here. The Thraddash Torch is so fundamentally broken that "fixing" it is equivalent to adding a whole new ship to netplay. In what way will this new ship by Thraddash? If it's supposed to be loyal to the storyline, then I can't agree with modifications that makes the afterburner their most effective weapon - you'd think that if the Thraddash had a giant flaming weapon, they'd use it.

No, this has nothing to do with the storyline. So let's add a new ship to the balance mod and try to make it fun.
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Re: Modifying Star Control Ships! - Thraddash Edition
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2008, 01:50:19 am »

What about making the Thraddash's projectiles inflict knockback on the enemy ship?  The thing about the afterburner trails is that you'll never be damaged by them if you just don't move, and this would give the Thraddash a way to deal with that.  Might be too powerful though, even with altered range and energy usage.
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Elvish Pillager
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Re: Modifying Star Control Ships! - Thraddash Edition
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2008, 02:01:16 am »

Hey, that might be a decent idea. Just change the main weapon to give significant knockback and zero damage.
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Death 999
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Re: Modifying Star Control Ships! - Thraddash Edition
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2008, 10:56:08 pm »

Or just make the afterburner flames move.
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Cedric6014
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Re: Modifying Star Control Ships! - Thraddash Edition
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2008, 12:21:41 am »

Something I don't understand here. You want to make the thraddash MORE powerful?

I'd make it less. My suggestion is keep the flames and the pea-shooter as they are, but when the flames are deployed, the thraddash still travels at its thrust speed - and doesnt go hurtling across the screen. this is what makes the torch so horrible to play against - you cant catch the damn thing.

You'd still keep the essence of the craft, but you'd still be able to hunt it down and destroy it. And it would be worth its 10 points
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Elvish Pillager
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Re: Modifying Star Control Ships! - Thraddash Edition
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2008, 01:04:28 am »

All of the suggestions given so far make the Thraddash weaker overall (assuming it's played to the limit.)
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Re: Modifying Star Control Ships! - Thraddash Edition
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2008, 02:30:33 am »

Maybe thinking up a niche for the ship before designing its abilities would be better. I've noticed that Syreen tends to tear through everything at or below its price, even in the balance mod. Why not turn Thraddash into a Syreen-killer that's mediocre against most other ships?
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Cedric6014
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Re: Modifying Star Control Ships! - Thraddash Edition
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2008, 03:31:18 am »

All of the suggestions given so far make the Thraddash weaker overall (assuming it's played to the limit.)

Well excuuuuuuuse me for not reading any of the posts in the thread properly.

I still think my suggestion is the bestest
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Re: Modifying Star Control Ships! - Thraddash Edition
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2008, 04:46:57 pm »

I think making the afterburner flames move would make the torch stronger, but the main effect would be to make optimal play not so damn irritating. I don't mind it being around as strong as a cruiser, if it takes some fun to play right. As it stands, if you don't abuse it, it's significantly weaker than, well, just about anything.
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Re: Modifying Star Control Ships! - Thraddash Edition
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2008, 01:04:18 pm »

Why not turn Thraddash into a Syreen-killer that's mediocre against most other ships?

Yeah, I can see that as being a good niche for the Thraddash.  But I'd also like  to see the modified Thraddash at least somewhat resemble the original ship.  It seems like it would be pretty difficult to design a Syreen counter with that restriction. 

Actually, I'd be impressed if someone could design a Syreen counter at all.  But then again, I'm pretty new to Melee compared to some of the people here, so maybe it's not such a daunting task to someone who has more thoroughly internalized the principles of the game.
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Re: Modifying Star Control Ships! - Thraddash Edition
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2008, 01:19:13 pm »

Speaking of Syreen killer , and please don't throw things on me for suggesting it , it should be a Taalo ship , as they are immune to the psychic compulsion , or , if only SC2 ships are allowed , it should be one of the mechanized races - Mrnhrm or the Slylandro probe . I'm not suggesting the Broodhome , as being way too powerfull .
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Re: Modifying Star Control Ships! - Thraddash Edition
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2008, 02:47:18 pm »

How about making the Thraddash behave more like a rhino in combat?


* Make the primary create and hold a "shot" in front of the ship, sort of like the Melnorme when charging.
* No energy requirement for the primary.
* Add knockback for the primary.
* Scale primary damage and knockback based on relative speed.
* If released, the primary's "shot" does not go anywhere - it simply disappears.

* Reduce the afterburn damage to 1 per fire.


This should result in more direct, adrenaline-friendly action where the Thraddash charge in to do serious damage instead of being most effective when running away.

I imagine that the experience would be that as the Thraddash, you would try to position yourself and then charge in. The exact distance would probably vary with the situation; if you start closer you'll have an easier time hitting the target but you'll also do less damage. Big, slow ships would be grateful distance targets. Sure, the enemy may try to drop stuff or shoot in your general direction, but your "horn" should be able to push through most things at sufficient speed.

As someone facing a Thraddash, I imagine you would be on your toes to try to stay out of the charging rhino's way. In hotseat games, you could taunt your opponent as if you were a matador. If you have a very small and agile ship, you might be able to actually play the part - such as with the Arilou, who should be relatively able to get just out of the way and then poke the Thraddash with that stingy laser.

As someone playing a Thraddash facing a Thraddash, the results ought to be... interesting.


At least, that's what I think.
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