Fixing "Dogfight" to fix strikecraft behavior

Didn’t read all yet, sorry.

I’ll put here the dogfight we used in the previous HWR MOD (not GBX related)
It used the script of Alex Drake’s dynamic fighters mod.


(disregard the scoul spinning behavior)

obs.: In moddb, choose DEMO 510. The feature was taken out in later builds.
In the videos, there is the link to download the mod if you happen to have the old relic game.

Seems I could change secondaryTurnAngle to keep them from making those gentle sweeping turns and hopefully make them overshoot to do tight ones? But probably not really. Can see the same sorts of problems in that video.

I didn’t really consider playing with it anymore because it’s just obvious things need to be added to the engine for a new style for it to really work properly.

NewShipType.secondaryTurnAngle = 45
//directly affects speed of turning in a given direction(small numbers = low speed, high numbers = high speeds)
NewShipType.maxBankingAmount = 85
//affects the speed of universal heading adjustments either "up" or "down", literally pitch

And banking amount is how much they roll into turns, not pitch.

Is this the only issue?

Well no the other is the lack of consistency. AttackRun is quite consistent, which is the only thing that makes it good for gameplay imo.
But you can probably largely solve both issues with one change (IE, making them continue to move away from a target for some duration or range after it has left their front hemisphere before they try to turn back around, instead of constantly trying to keep gun on the target when that target is trying to do the same to them). Would roughly be combining the two, without the issues AttackRun has.

It’s hard to tell exactly what, if anything, needs to be changed after that, or if that’s even the best way to make this work.
Like say you make them continue straight for a while to get distance after something leaves their forward hemisphere, well what if they’ve shot over the front of ships targeting because things lined up just right like that? So now those are on their tail, which could be bad by some accounts.
Then they loop back around after that distance/time argument for how long they should go around. Well I think the ships they shot past that are now on their tail will stay on their tail after they try turning around, and you get a turning war.
A lot of this sort of stuff has the potential for happening because the ships have no “reaction time”. They’re perfect AI when you remove the randomness. But giving them reaction time is hard since you have to make sure they can aim their guns.
But anyway, might then also need something that tells ships to break off when they’ve been within attack distance for a while yet unable to shoot at their target.
Don’t really know since I can’t see for myself. GBX might have different/better ideas with it through working on it. I just hope they don’t recreate the problems that AttackRun has where units often feel lethargic or that they aren’t obeying orders, and are attacking very suboptimally.

If you micro the units, these things don’t really happen with them getting locked up turning into each other unable to hit. These issues come up when left to their own devices.

To me, lack of consistency sounds like a good thing.

And this also sound like a good thing, and really is no different then how it works now. People managing their fighters are going to beat people who don’t.

Eh… I mean yeah it’s definitely good how they respond to micro well. You can micro them much better like in HW1. But they shouldn’t be bad when you DON’T micro them. It has to work for different subsets of players.

Too much inconsistency is bad. It means you have (not microed) 40 interceptors vs 40 and sometimes one player has 15 left, sometimes the other, and other times it’s nearly even. That’s too much of a variation. You’re basically talking RNG. When microing, yeah the better microer is generally going to win, but that would still be true with the things I suggested.

What I’m saying is, those things I suggest don’t interfere with their responsiveness to micro like AttackRun does. You should still be able to micro them well so the person that micros better has a pretty clear advantage, but they shouldn’t do this stuff when not microed.

Lack of consistency is a horrible thing. Imagine 10 squads of fighters on two sides, fighting each other. Sometimes they kill each other with almost no ships left, sometimes one side wins with 7 squads, sometimes the other side wins with 4 squads… That would be a total balancing nightmare.

Innociv kinda beat me to the point, too…

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Yea, sounds more realistic. The engine is RNG anyway right? And if it does end up being so I nconsidtent as you just described, tweek it. If better consistency can’t be found, remove it then. But this looks way to cool to leave out.

Besides. Actual management of strike craft should be more involved than re attacking every time one squad is killed and watching 5 icons waiting for 1 to turn yellow then dock.

Improving it so there is more consistency is what I was suggesting to do. It won’t make it look less cool or be less realistic.

Yes! Please put Frontal Attack as the attack pattern for the Turanic and Kadeshi Motherships! This is how it was in HW1C and it felt very strange to have them not orient themselves properly to attack your capital ships with their ion cannons.

It also made them dramatically less threatening and kinda cheapened the missions they were in. In HW1C, going after the Kadeshi MS with your capital ships in particular could be very dangerous, not only because of it’s front-facing ion cannons, but because it would try to ram your capital ships (for a gaurenteed 1-hit KO)! In HW1RM the Kadeshi MS appears to not do these things.

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Guys, keep in mind that HW series was always more about macroing not micro management - and where micro was presented in gameplay it was somewhat simplistic (like in ratamaq video about paper frigates, where in HW1 it was rather simply to pull off frigates with support against destroyers).
Evolution of gameplay from HW1 to HW2 was to elevate that game concept even more with automatic squads and strike groups in mind - the results in which they have succeeded and where not is a total different subject.
I do agree that too much of a randomness is a problem. But if some of you play classical board games you will know that proper balance is key for more fun games as compared to those which totally removes randomness.
I think that gameplay mechanic should keep in mind this concept of keeping game more about macro management as a whole and where micro is needed to keep it simple and easy to manage and pull off.
We already have heavy APM based RTS, and while it is fun to play and watch - most of us will not be at competitive level in that regard, and it would be nice to have this unique RTS where competitive doesn’t mean to be “from that part of the world where APM is proven to be the highest”.
Let HWR be more like a board/chess game, where APM is not equal skill, but understanding all game aspects is easy to grasp but hard to master.
This involves IMO to stay with AI that works in a way where simple micro makes difference in some situations (like in mentioned ratamaq video) but in others like in dogfight those crazy APM players who tend to point and click on each strike craft in squad will not make that much off a difference in a fight result against AI macro as this things shouldn’t equel skill in RTS games - but again it is my opinion, and I think this was HW designers opinion which we can see in gameplay.

Let me use that allegory to chess. It is more important to know game mechanics, what pieces you have, how they operate, what are the openings, counters and finishers. It doesn’t matter if knight if facing his head towards your enemy or backwords or side… When pawn kills something from the board it doesn’t require any special move of your hand or the way the killed piece is removed from it. I hope you understand my reasoning.

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Attack angle should matter. That is tactical.

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Eh? HW1 had a heavy focus on how you used your units.

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In mission 5 they recommend that you should take advantage of positioning your ships during battle, even though it doesn’t is as important in HWRE.

I’m with you on not wishing this title to dissolve into an APM-centric one, however placement and approach direction were always important as shown by resistance values for the armor on different sides of ships.

It’d be nice to have the behavioural option for fighters to instinctively adopt the actions which are often carried out currently through microing, so that there is less focus on who has the biggest magnifying glass placed over their squadrons and can reassign targets fastest (any trained pilot would already know what to do in such situations to inflict maximum damage) and more attention to the other aspects of micro and macro. I feel like when you drag attack a group of enemy fighters they should know to try take out the squadron with only a couple fighters left during the initial attack run to prevent the squadron having a chance to be refitted.

Just throwing this out there but maybe this could be worked into the ‘stances’ as part of the aggressive setting to have ships prioritize weakened targets first when given vague drag attack commands or after their designated target has been destroyed.

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Can’t agree with this. You’re on the way to turn based strategy if you get to the point of build-send-forget. I think HW struck a fine balance between counters and tactics. Hints, units like the gravwell (although way to effective now).

RTS has always been a genres that allowed for both, with some moving to one extreme or the other. It you create a system where the AI does it as effective on its own as a player micro managing you remove an entire part of the game that is fun for a lot of lovers of this game. And then where does it end with what the AI does for you? I saw it suggested that there should be a system where you research only destroyer tech and the game automatically researched all the prerequisites for you. WTF?

This ends with having 10 or so ‘strategies’ that are automatically done for you trainer style and you just pick one and watch the game hoping you made the right choice.

Please leave the swarmers, at least the HW swarmers, with some sort of a use skill gap that is more than ‘attack all the things’ then back to building, researching, harvesting, renforcing. Remember, those that try attempt swarm tactics may stand a better chance at winning the engagement, but run a higher risk of slacking off on the other parts of the game that the strategist has dedicated more time to keeping up with.

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I think it’d be an overstatement to equate adding a behavioural preset to turning the game into a turn-based strategy.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting anything like research should be given auto-pathing at the click of a single button or that we should eliminate microing, simply that this particular aspect would fit better as a fighter stance so players can concentrate on the other aspects of micro and macro management.

On your point about strategies - The stance system we have currently doesn’t serve all that much purpose outside of a few very selective scenarios. Personally I think it’d be nice to see it have more useful applications. To be clear, I’m proposing a model where fighter microing would still be used to manage fighters and gain an edge, but the advantage it grants wouldn’t be as pronounced as it is right now.

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I agree of this in itself, however it’s still relevant in it relative relevance. All of our lines will be different in where we enjoy placing the majority of our focus and how much we would like to allow the game to do for us. If you divide the actions you perform in game between overall planning, build, research, mine, position, engage, spectate, I prefer to spend the largest percentage of my focus in the engagement. Your line may be different.

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Good post innociv. I don’t do mods only make maps but familiar with tweaks on units speed, thrust accelerations, and break speeds. Have you tried to start off from zero accelerationAngle and work your way up or go negative and see how the ships react? You can probably notice the difference if you go 0 on your accelerationAngle=175 then try to put negative on your accelerationAngle=-175. try that like 1 at a time with the rest of the thrusterbraketime, rotationacceltime, etc… and see how the fighters respond

I posted about that, I think?

But I didn’t try negatives.

It seems like the values close to default for those properties seem to work best. Really high acceleration angles made for lots of funny random looking stuff. And really low ones would have them just do nothing when ordered to attack some stuff it seemed. Or not nothing but, they’d try to approach from the top and fire on at certain angles? Really have no idea.

It’s not possible to make it work really well without engine level changes.