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Shiver
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Modding the Dreadnought, revisited
« on: October 19, 2009, 03:50:41 am »

After many plays with it, I'm starting to think that the current (v1.20) balance mod Dreadnought might be a bad addition. It's at exactly the level of power it needs to be to match Kohr-Ah and Chmmr, but the ship is sort of mindless during gameplay. There is almost no skill involved in playing as this ship and only a little when trying to stomp on it. The tension present in other game-deciding fights such as Druuge vs. Chmmr just isn't there with any of the frequently recurring Ur-Quan match-ups. Ur-Quan mod fighters just roll right over everything that isn't carrying a fool-proof countermeasure to deal with them. It was a mistake to place so much emphasis on an automated weapon.

So I'm going to try changing things around. If you have any ideas on how to upgrade the original Dreadnought, this is the place for them. I have some new ideas up on the drawing board already but I want to hear yours.
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Angelfish
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Re: Modding the Dreadnought, revisited
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2009, 11:34:37 am »

How about making the fighters have 2 crew instead of 1? That'd make fighter spamming a bit less profitable.
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Death 999
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Re: Modding the Dreadnought, revisited
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2009, 04:24:57 pm »

1) Greatly increase the fighters' speed (reducing duration to hold total distance traveled constant), but reduce their total damage output. This would lower the stakes so if one pair of fighters gets alongside early in its flight, you don't lose the whole ship. Options would include:
1a) limit their ammo. I'd suggest 3 or 4 shots. If the interdicting shots count, then raise that figure. There could be an excuse for interdicting shots not counting on this total.
1b) have each shot count down their return timer by a substantial amount
1c) slash their fire rate.

Alternately...

2) substantially increase their weapon range and have them stay at that longer range. It's much easier to turn and pick them off if they can't keep up with your turning. This will help some ships far more than others.
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Angelfish
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Re: Modding the Dreadnought, revisited
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2009, 04:35:58 pm »

To make them easier to pick off, you can also make them behave a bit more like standard small fighters, so instead of shooting from the sides they'd have to shoot from the front and thus make specific manoevers to be able to do this (engage, fire, turn around for another run). Not only would this make them easier to kill because somewhere during engaging or during turning they'd have to enter a firing field in which they are easy to pick off, but it also makes it look way cooler Smiley... But I can imagine that programming the fighters this way could prove to be a bit difficult.
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Death 999
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Re: Modding the Dreadnought, revisited
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2009, 04:12:13 pm »

It'd help for that purpose to make them able to pass through enemy ships. And while we're at it, asteroids. Make the opponent need to actually shoot them down...
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Shiver
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Re: Modding the Dreadnought, revisited
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2009, 05:21:12 pm »

Death999: Can't use any kind of super fighter. That means there either needs to be a tertiary ability, an upgraded fusion cannon or more ship mobility. Again, the problem is that the current mod Dreadnought takes no skill. It's already right where I want it in terms of power.

Angelfish: I can dial back different features on the current fighters no problem. But I'm not looking for fighter nerf suggestions, I'm looking for Dreadnought upgrade suggestions.


Quote from: Death999
It'd help for that purpose to make them able to pass through enemy ships. And while we're at it, asteroids. Make the opponent need to actually shoot them down...

The current mod fighters are already asteroid-proof and shipcrash-proof. Many of the features on the current fighter will carry over into later revisions of the Dreadnought.
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AngusThermopyle
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Re: Modding the Dreadnought, revisited
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2009, 05:40:02 pm »

How about something that makes the Dreadnought accelerate faster (and attain higher velocities) than it does currently when using a gravity whip? It would be difficult to control at first, but more powerful in the right hands.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2009, 08:29:10 pm by AngusThermopyle » Logged
SuddenDeath
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Re: Modding the Dreadnought, revisited
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2009, 08:45:34 pm »

How about something that makes the Dreadnought accelerate faster (and attain higher velocities) than it does currently when using a gravity whip? It would be difficult to control at first, but more powerful in the right hands.

Simply reducing its mass would do this, right?
In that case, it would also be more responsive to things like the Chmmr tractor beam.
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Death 999
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Re: Modding the Dreadnought, revisited
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2009, 05:32:23 pm »

Death999: Can't use any kind of super fighter.

it's a nerf. If you get fighters in on the enemy, how many hits do you expect it to inflict? Something like 6?

If it could only do 2 hits, then it'd spend a lot more time in transit, where it can be more easily shot down.
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CelticMinstrel
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Re: Modding the Dreadnought, revisited
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2009, 05:40:51 pm »

How about something that makes the Dreadnought accelerate faster (and attain higher velocities) than it does currently when using a gravity whip? It would be difficult to control at first, but more powerful in the right hands.

Simply reducing its mass would do this, right?
In that case, it would also be more responsive to things like the Chmmr tractor beam.
Wouldn't reducing the mass make it less responsive to the tractor beam?
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Shiver
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Re: Modding the Dreadnought, revisited
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2009, 06:28:12 pm »

Quote from: Death 999
it's a nerf. If you get fighters in on the enemy, how many hits do you expect it to inflict? Something like 6?

High speed fighters sounds like a different can of worms, but I'll remember your suggestion.


Quote from: AngusThermopyle
How about something that makes the Dreadnought accelerate faster (and attain higher velocities) than it does currently when using a gravity whip? It would be difficult to control at first, but more powerful in the right hands.

I can program that. Ur-Quan wouldn't benefit from it much at all, though. Forward firing weapon + fighters which you need to break gravity whip to retrieve? It's not going to change any match outcomes. The same bonus applied to VUX, Mycon, Earthling, Kohr-Ah and maybe a few other ships would be devastating.


Quote from: SuddenDeath
Simply reducing its mass would do this, right?

No.
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Death 999
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Re: Modding the Dreadnought, revisited
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2009, 07:09:18 pm »

If they're high speed low damge, they act more like long-range missiles... which if they got shot down hurt you. You can't just get two lucky fighters through out of a squad of 8 and finish off a ship starting in good health, as you can do now.

But you're right. Ships like the Penetrator have a lot of trouble from fighters now; raising their speed even slightly would make the match insane.

Maybe the song can have a chance - maybe peaking at 10% nearby - of converting nearby CREW_OBJECTs to friendly floating crew?
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Rob
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Re: Modding the Dreadnought, revisited
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2009, 08:23:31 pm »

Fighters aside, I think it would be interesting to increase the speed, keep the firing rate of the fusion bolts the same or slightly higher, and make their range significantly shorter.
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Shiver
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Re: Modding the Dreadnought, revisited
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2009, 06:52:23 pm »

Fast Dreadnought would probably work, but it wouldn't be thematic to have a Dreadnought that moves faster than Kohr-Ah or Chmmr.


Something I've noticed about the Dreadnought (vanilla or mod) is that it almost always has excess energy around. This is not true of Kohr-Ah or Chmmr at all. Those two ships are constantly leveraging their energy against their opponent throughout combat. Both have energy hog weapons (FRIED, either Chmmr weapon) which are powerful but limited by how fast their ship can recovery battery. The best solution in my view is to nerf the fighters back down to a supporting role and make them cheap on energy to launch, then give Ur-Quan a powerful yet highly inefficient energy hog weapon. This way Ur-Quan players will use the ship's crew as a back-up weapon after their energy banks have been depleted. I can think of two approaches here:

A) Increase the velocity of the fusion cannon so that it functions as a long range weapon, but increase its energy cost significantly. Ur-Quan will be forced to use fighters to protect itself from flanking ships or when under attack while its battery is low. I can use either the jumbo bolt graphic or the regular one depending on how powerful this weapon turns out to be. The downside to this option is that the fusion cannon will be almost identical to the Druuge mass driver in function.

B) Add a third weapon that fires a long range homing projectile which does 1 or 2 damage and eats up 1/2, 3/4ths or even all of the Dreadnought's energy to fire. The downside is that this would be a full-blown third weapon in a game where every other ship has two, and I'm not sure that's a line I want to cross. Ilwrath's tri-flame does partially break this rule already.

Any thoughts on this?
« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 07:01:54 pm by Shiver » Logged
Rob
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Re: Modding the Dreadnought, revisited
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2009, 05:36:03 am »

Yes, I like this idea. It would also take care of the thematic problem, in fact it would add to the thematic element I guess you could say.

What about a Chenjesu type of modification to the fusion bolt? I have two specific ideas in regard to that.

a). Like the Chenjesu missile, the fusion bolt will propagate as long as you hold down the fire key. Once you release it, it would explode (by explode, I mean it would burst into small fusion blasts in multiple directions, like the Chenjesu shrapnel) with a power or range in proportion to how long you held the key (up to a maximum that would be roughly equal to the Kohr-Ah FRIED), which would thus dispel a range of energies (which makes it different from Chenjesu). Rapid fire of the fusion bolt would roughly follow the way it is now. An additional modification to not make the Dreadnought overpowered would be to decrease its speed slightly, but that can be worked out later.

b.) Turn the Dreadnought into a Broodhome with fighers. So, the fusion bolts would release shrapnel with a set range and energy. Might be interesting, might not.

Either way, I think you're pretty limited on your options unless you're planning on designing an entirely new weapon, right? You could either make the range bigger on the fusion gun, make it more powerful or make it do a trick (perhaps fire from different angles at the same time). Hope those ideas help.
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