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Author Topic: What does Star Control II lack?  (Read 5206 times)
onpon4
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What does Star Control II lack?
« on: June 09, 2010, 09:07:24 pm »

In a previous topic, I asked you what's great about SC2. This topic is exactly the opposite: What do you feel SC2 lacks?

Please don't post just to say that "nothing" is missing or wrong with SC2. Although I too love SC2, such posts add nothing to discussion.

Like in the last topic, I'll wait to post my opinion for a while.
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Alvarin
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Re: What does Star Control II lack?
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2010, 09:13:32 pm »

The one thing I can think is the strategy factor in the battles - one-on-one battles are not right when you have fleets.
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storyyeller
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Re: What does Star Control II lack?
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2010, 09:45:40 pm »

The main thing I don't like about Star Control 2 is the clumsy controls and lack of a quest log.
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Re: What does Star Control II lack?
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2010, 11:06:28 pm »

More planets, colonies, something. It's hard to understand why, exactly, of all the sentient races roaming the galaxy the only ones with a colony of any sorts are humans.
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Alvarin
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Re: What does Star Control II lack?
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2010, 11:42:21 pm »

Mycon too. But the claim is valid.
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Draxas
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Re: What does Star Control II lack?
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2010, 12:33:24 am »

Despite their importance in the first SC, it seems the only races with starbases in SC2 are under slave shields. That's always bothered me.

Some of the races simply aren't fleshed out enough to compare favorably with the others. Supox are the worst offenders here, but not the only ones.

Where do Tanaka and his harem settle down? Despite his offspring joining the alliance, their new home is never identified.

Most of those are minor, nitpicky things, which really speaks volumes. Of course, the most important thing SC2 lacks is a sequel that does it the justice it deserves. Wink
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Alvarin
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Re: What does Star Control II lack?
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2010, 01:12:11 am »

Tanaka's family, as far as I understand, settled at Earth's starbase.
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onpon4
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Re: What does Star Control II lack?
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2010, 02:06:14 am »

Alright, I guess I'll answer now.

The main thing that I dislike is the combat system. It has one major advantage: since you have full control over every ship, AI stupidity can't possibly mess you up. However, in addition to being unrealistic, it offers few possibilities for combat; to be exact, 625 in SuperMelee and 320 in the main game (including fights against the Sa-Matra and Tanaka). Here is my math (Note: brackets [] explain where the numbers came from):

SuperMelee: 25 [total number of ships] ^2 [because there are two players] = 625
RPG: 16 [number of "ally" ships, including flagship] * 20 [number of "enemy" ships, including Sa-Matra and Tanaka, but not the damaged Ilwrath] = 320

I think a much better system would be to send all ships into battle at once, with a main ship controlled by the player (the flagship in the RPG, and a designated ship in SuperMelee) and the rest controlled by AI. This would do a few things: First, it would make combat more intense and fast-paced. Second, it would be more realistic. And third, it would allow for many, many more different battles; 6.76*10^14 in SuperMelee, and (excluding fights on homeworlds) about 41860 in the RPG (there are far fewer in the RPG because you wouldn't be able to select your "lead" ship, and enemy groups can only consist of a single type of ship). Here is my math (Note: brackets [] explain where the numbers came from):

SuperMelee: (25 [number of possible ships] nCr 13 [number of possible slots, excluding the "mother" ship]) ^2 [because there are 2 players] * 25 [number of possible "mother" ship selections] = 6.76*10^14
RPG: (15 [number of "ally" ships, excluding flagship] nCr 12 [number of "slots" for ships]) * ((18 [number of enemy ships found in groups] * 5 [assumed max group size]) + 2 [Sa-Matra and Tanaka]) = 41860

Both of my RPG calculations are horribly simplified, mostly because I didn't take into account the many different possible configurations of modules for the flagship, but we can still compare them. Also, in case "nCr" isn't understood, forgive me; my math teacher only briefly went over it and I don't know how to do it by hand or even vaguely understand how it's done. That's just the function on a graphing calculator for calculating the number of possible combinations (i.e., order doesn't matter).

Another thing that bothers me (and it surprises me that no one has mentioned this) is the limit to only 16 viewing angles. This causes a few problems:
1. Ships appear much more sluggish than they really are
2. The movement is unrealistic
3. It is far more tedious to edit the graphics
4. The rotation "pops", i.e. it doesn't rotate very smoothly. Take a look at the flagship rotating at full speed in full zoom and you will notice that the rotation is far from smooth.
5. Firing angles are restricted

It would be much better, in my opinion, if only one sprite was used, and this sprite was rotated to achieve different angles. I don't know how easy or difficult it would be, but it would be a MAJOR improvement in my opinion.
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storyyeller
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Re: What does Star Control II lack?
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2010, 03:42:02 am »

It would be really hard to balance a fight with multiple ships though.
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onpon4
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Re: What does Star Control II lack?
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2010, 04:08:07 am »

It would be really hard to balance a fight with multiple ships though.

Perhaps, but in the end, that setup would prove to be much more entertaining (as long as it's balanced properly). The thing is, though, there's already a relatively large amount of imbalance in UQM; that's why Shiver made the balance mod.
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Re: What does Star Control II lack?
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2010, 03:45:48 pm »

Combat with multiple ships would've been cool, although personally I would have preferred a turn-based system if that were case.  Turn-based gameplay is becoming a lost art these days, though, so maybe that's part of it for me.

As far as what else could have been added - working with the technology of the time I have to say it's hard to imagine what could have been added.  I mean, TFB coded all those planets and their contents BY HAND from what I hear.  No random generation program or what not.  It seems to me they already bent over backwards loading it up with everything they could.  Voices were something I remember wishing for back then, but then the 3DO made that part a reality.

If we're talking magic wishlist, though, I wouldn't have minded a bit more detail on the Orz and their background, either as a side-quest or a storyline.  I mentioned in your other thread how I really loved customizing the Vindicator, so I'd have REALLY loved being able to customize ALL my ships on a similar, if somewhat smaller, scale.  The ability to target specific parts of a ship in combat to take out its weapons or its engines would also have been cool, though it really wouldn't have worked without a turn-based combat engine, I don't think.
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Death 999
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Re: What does Star Control II lack?
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2010, 04:12:43 pm »

They manually placed the stars, then they randomly generated the contents. They did tweak the random seed or the exact star placement to ensure that the results were reasonable (Alpha Centauri doesn't look accidental)

As for what SC2 lacks... I think multi-ship combat is way too central a change to be considered, but sure, that's a problem. Of the other points raised, I'd second more colonies and starbases, and more dialog (there's already a lot, but if they had had more time, a lot more could have been added).

New points: slaveshielded races that weren't in the AoFS; fortifications; smarter pursuit algorithms; being followed into and out of hyperspace; something visible occurring at Organon.

Fortifications and smarter pursuit algorithms would make combat capability substantially more important, as you can't just fly around in loops and go wherever you want.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2010, 04:20:32 pm by Death 999 » Logged
storyyeller
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Re: What does Star Control II lack?
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2010, 06:05:45 pm »

Actually I think TfB was originally planning a much larger role in the game for the Orz. Including *bad* stuff that would happen if you ever took them into Quasispace.
But since the game was 6 months behind schedule, they had to cut a ton of stuff.
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Alvarin
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Re: What does Star Control II lack?
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2010, 07:55:07 pm »

After watching some Youtube, I've realized one more thing - the ship description screens of SC1, these were awesome.
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Re: What does Star Control II lack?
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2010, 08:57:05 pm »

Quote
If we're talking magic wishlist, though, I wouldn't have minded a bit more detail on the Orz and their background, either as a side-quest or a storyline.


I'm glad they kept it vague to give some material for a sequel. With the Kzer-za and Kohr-ah defeated and the Sa-Matra turned into flaming wreckage, there needs to be more powerful, more mysterious enemy. Extra dimensional threat is not such a bad idea, although the blasphemous SC3 botched it horribly (along with almost everything else).
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