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Author Topic: Randomness affects difficulty  (Read 1028 times)
zekaonar
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Randomness affects difficulty
« on: January 08, 2013, 08:23:14 pm »

I'm trying to play for the first time and I'm finding that random chance seems to heavily affect difficulty.  On mercury I had fireballs appear under me the moment I landed several times.  I couldn't choose a safe spot to land or avoid the fireball.  Only solution was to reload until you can get a chance that doesn't result in insta-death.  The same thing happened with the first ship battle.  The enemy appeared immediately behind me while my ship was turned away and the fight was over in .5 seconds.  Only solution was to reload until you can get a chance that doesn't result in insta-death. 

Is it possible to give the player a chance to play and remove the no-win starting conditions? 
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onpon4
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Re: Randomness affects difficulty
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2013, 09:59:51 pm »

You make it sound like these cases are the norm, but they're rather rare.

Mercury is pretty dangerous (though nowhere near as dangerous as some of the metal worlds in other systems), but it's incredibly rare for you to land right on fire right at the beginning (usually they're quite a distance away from you), and even in the worst case, it's quite possible to get the job done and lose only a few crew. If your lander does get destroyed, you can go back to the starbase and get a new one. They'll keep building new ones for you as needed until you finish the job, and they'll even supply you with a little fuel if you run out. And even if you find it dreadfully impossible, i.e. you can't get the radioactives you need after two landing parties, it really doesn't matter because there are two other, perfectly safe planets you can get radioactives from in the solar system. You need to search for them, but if you're finding Mercury to be impossible, it's not that big of a price to pay.

With the Ilwrath, the case you described is extremely rare, and although it isn't perfect (sometimes you get unlucky), the Cruiser can usually dispatch the damaged Ilwrath ship without difficulty.

Now, regarding removing "no-win starting conditions", here's the thing:

1. That is outside of the scope of the UQM project, so it isn't going to happen in the mainline release. It would have to be a mod.

2. It would completely change how the game works. My biggest worry, and why I am not interested in such a mod, is that worlds you normally don't have safe access to until much later would be immediately accessible, since the only way to ensure a safe landing is to not allow disasters to happen until after you've landed. This would create a window of opportunity to do things that are not supposed to be safe yet.

3. It's not a big deal anyway. If you land on a fireball and can't get out of it, press the escape key and your lander is saved. Sure, you take some crew losses, but that's to be expected. Ships can be lost much more easily in the fashion you described, but this all comes down to picking the right ships, and unless you have a ship you can't replace (which won't happen with ships that are particularly useful, since all of them are relatively fast ships), it's just a loss of money anyway.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 10:05:48 pm by onpon4 » Logged

Steve-O
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Re: Randomness affects difficulty
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2013, 03:30:20 am »

Is it possible to give the player a chance to play and remove the no-win starting conditions? 

Please don't take this the wrong way or anything, but I think you just need a little more practice playing the game.  I remember the first fight with the Ilwrath being "difficult" the first few times I played this game, but I still managed to muddle through.  Nowadays I hardly even bat an eyelash as I blow up their half-broken ship.  It's not even invisible, for crying out loud!

Keep at it.  Take your time and get the hang of the controls.
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Death 999
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Re: Randomness affects difficulty
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2013, 02:47:58 pm »

Last time I started the game, I had to go at it a second time because the Ilwrath started too close, literally within their firing range already.

Suggesting getting radioactives from Io instead of Mercury would make the landing part easier - though giving directions would be a bit harder.

And of course it would sure be nice if hot-spots mainly appeared on the sun side of airless worlds. The cold side of Mercury is hardly too hot to touch, after all... Then you could just avoid them, at the cost of not being able to pick up all the goodies easily.
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