Cargo Wingmen - a development

Development directions, tasks, and features being actively implemented or pursued by the development team.

Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby travists » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:00 pm

Hey, the description for this patch on svn is listed as: "Patch by IAmDave: some new, useful flightgroup commands to form up with target (instead of with me), and hold position."
Is this accurate?
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby TBeholder » Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:53 pm

travists wrote:Hey, the description for this patch on svn is listed as: "Patch by IAmDave: some new, useful flightgroup commands to form up with target (instead of with me), and hold position."
Is this accurate?
Unfortunately, no... I wasn't right about rams either, though, if only because unless physics/collisionDamageToAI is set to true AI don't suffer from collisions with any units except player ship and missiles. So
Code: Select all
                   ord = new Orders::MoveTo(targ->Position(),true,4);
instead leads to this. See the second Progeny?.. :twisted:
So i'd rather have them "Form Up" with the target. Speaking of which, "escort that guy" makes sense on its own and almost all directives (except "attack target", obviously) can be paired for player/target.
Also, "else if" selector can be replaced with "switch-case", i.e. we set the default target = leader, grab the first character of the directive, and then instead of having a lot of duplicate code have compact, uniform and transparent
Code: Select all
        break;
    case "p": //protect my target
    case "P":
        targ = fg->target.GetUnit();
    case "h": //help me
    case "H":
        ...<<protect *targ code>>
        break;
Or a tiny bit slower, but even more compact and transparent -
Code: Select all
if dirchar=="p" || dirchar=="P" || dirchar=="k" || dirchar=="K" <and so on>
    targ = fg->target.GetUnit();
...
        break;
    case "p": //protect my target
    case "P":
    case "h": //help me
    case "H":
        ...<<protect *targ code>>
        break;
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby travists » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:09 pm

Best part of this thinking is it sets the stage for full on fleet operations.

Jacob's Hammer, take your load of uranium to Atlantis. Delta wing you're on escort. Alpha wing, pirates have been interupting our trade in the Bzztkizz system. Search and destroy! Beta and Gamma wings, you're with me. Jimmie's Revenge, hold here.
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby TBeholder » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:16 pm

yup, and if "target" is extended to FG plus selector... he-he...
BTW, look at 0.6 Roadmap. Role-sensitive overhaul of Flightgroups is mentioned there, as well as form-up-on-this-guy and stuff ("AI spec drive use, escorts...").

in other news: overhauling upgrades so that weapons are in "upgrades" and refer to Mount numbers can allows variety of ammo: the weapon is in upgrades, ammo with its own stats is in Mounts and compatibility is... well, written somewhere, probably an extra weapon property for both (optional, like everything in XML). Even if VS won't need these, e.g. Privateer has installable missile and torpedo launchers, so...
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby travists » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:59 pm

Turbo Beholder wrote: in other news: overhauling upgrades so that weapons are in "upgrades" and refer to Mount numbers can allows variety of ammo: the weapon is in upgrades, ammo with its own stats is in Mounts and compatibility is... well, written somewhere, probably an extra weapon property for both (optional, like everything in XML). Even if VS won't need these, e.g. Privateer has installable missile and torpedo launchers, so...


I loved the original Privateer, One thing I'd think though there should be several classes of missiles/launchers. Massive, one per hardpoint type one shot one kill. Smaller rack mounted ones about a third the power, but fits three or four. Missile Pods are what Privateer had, takes two to kill even the lightest ship, but each hardpoint can house up to ten missiles.

Anyway back to cargo wingmen, did not see much in the present roadmap about ordering a flightgroup about. (nor the free market stile economy either, but that's several threads on its own.) I also think that the switch control key is fine for now, but you should have to go down to the flight deck, launch, and land back on the mothership before resuming control of that mother ship, rather than teleporting between the two.
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby IAmDave » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:50 am

travists wrote:...Alpha wing, pirates have been interupting our trade in the Bzztkizz system. Search and destroy!...

Yes, it would be awesome, but that involves stuff happening in other sectors when you're not there, and as far as i'm aware, vegastrike doesn't do that. Maybe in version 1.0?
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby travists » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:05 am

My understanding it that the engine simulates a few systems around you. Actual dogfighting is unnecessary for this to work, skill + class+ loadout + random(luck) = success/failure. While the ultimate level of such is out of reach at present, the underlying command structure to make it happen even within only three systems of you would be great! Even within one system you could have one wing fly escort of you, one scout ahead, two or three other capships follow along, and a third wing can be unlaunched in reserve.
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby TBeholder » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:08 pm

travists wrote:I loved the original Privateer, One thing I'd think though there should be several classes of missiles/launchers. Massive, one per hardpoint type one shot one kill. Smaller rack mounted ones about a third the power, but fits three or four. Missile Pods are what Privateer had, takes two to kill even the lightest ship, but each hardpoint can house up to ten missiles.
Currently it's done via mount/ammo volume: set volume of one missile's to 1, another to 10 and mount's to 10. Not properly set everywhere in units.csv yet, but it's there - e.g. check Admonisher.MilSpec vs. Admonisher.PuristSpec: load Hephaestus and fill ammo in the first mount, one can hold 15000 shells, other 20000.
For turret autocannons, ammo could be something like anti-missile frag vs. anti-fighter AP.
travists wrote: Anyway back to cargo wingmen, did not see much in the present roadmap about ordering a flightgroup about.
Specifically this - isn't, but then it's a prerequisite for structure / role profiling, which is there.
travists wrote: I also think that the switch control key is fine for now, but you should have to go down to the flight deck, launch, and land back on the mothership before resuming control of that mother ship, rather than teleporting between the two.
My thought is that this can be done via existing base interface - e.g.:
Bridge: Pilot chair - fly the ship; Engineering - fine-tuning: set up weapon groups, change priorities for repair-bots, send rearming and armorer bots outside, that sort of thing.
Cargo bay/Launch bay: docked ships - choose, then fly, transfer cargo and overhaul (same screens as on base, just set amount from cargo, prices to 0, add some expedables for generic repair, such as hull patches, count fuel explicitly... and that's about it), organize in groups (e.g. shuttles all do the same task), set missions (more when the nav computer will do more than highlighting jump lines) and launch away.
Though IMO main "Launch" should be done from cycling VDU under cargo, much like missiles under guns. Except assisted launch systems that also count as missile-like weapons (like drones/interceptors of "Base_Patrol" FGs now) if loaded with a commandable ship (these can be also used to provide kick-start for a token price).
travists wrote:My understanding it that the engine simulates a few systems around you. Actual dogfighting is unnecessary for this to work, skill + class+ loadout + random(luck) = success/failure.
Yeah, FGs "fight" in SimulatedDukeItOut :D - applying a random portion of their firepower to each other and looking how much ships it was enough to kill.
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby travists » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:14 pm

Turbo Beholder wrote:My thought is that this can be done via existing base interface - e.g.:
Bridge: Pilot chair - fly the ship; Engineering - fine-tuning: set up weapon groups, change priorities for repair-bots, send rearming and armorer bots outside, that sort of thing.
Cargo bay/Launch bay: docked ships - choose, then fly, transfer cargo and overhaul (same screens as on base, just set amount from cargo, prices to 0, add some expedables for generic repair, such as hull patches, count fuel explicitly... and that's about it), organize in groups (e.g. shuttles all do the same task), set missions (more when the nav computer will do more than highlighting jump lines) and launch away.
Though IMO main "Launch" should be done from cycling VDU under cargo, much like missiles under guns. Except assisted launch systems that also count as missile-like weapons (like drones/interceptors of "Base_Patrol" FGs now) if loaded with a commandable ship (these can be also used to provide kick-start for a token price).

You lost me on the assisted launch, but I agree with the rest. Much more practical than, though not as much eye candy as, walkable interiors. And Births would be for changing crew assignments. Actually most such tasks should be able to be accomplished, albeit with less control and ease, from VDUs in the cockpit/bridge. Thus enhancing the "big ship" feel when you do get a ship with multiple rooms.
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby TBeholder » Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:50 am

In other news, it's not save game! It's cargo itself. Switch control to a bigger ship, tractor in smaller one, jettison it back - your ship is reduced to "shipname.stock" configuration. :evil:
Must do it with via Unit::ForceDock, once i figure out where to process disabled ships and bolt it all to ship trade interface.
travists wrote:You lost me on the assisted launch,
<Missile name="Seaxbane" mountsize="heavy-capship-missile"> and so on. It's the right idea, but a few adjustments may improve it (e.g. prevent the carrier from slamming interceptors into target point-blank :) ).
BTW, to be accurate, catapults and lifeboat launches should be done via special "docks" (just another flag) paired with mounts (for a repulsor, at least).

travists wrote:but I agree with the rest. Much more practical than, though not as much eye candy as, walkable interiors.
It should be the same base interface. And no point to do anything twice. One's ship would be as much walkable as bases.
Though implementing SpaceQuest(TM) series as a single VS mod would be sort of amusing, in a perverted way. :lol:

travists wrote: And Births would be for changing crew assignments. Actually most such tasks should be able to be accomplished, albeit with less control and ease, from VDUs in the cockpit/bridge.
IMO, a thing should be doable from main cockpit interface if it's time-critical or constantly used, such as autopilot, basic weapon control and emergency ejection. Once there will be a half-decent generic control system, no point to put into cockpit controls anything for which python based GUI is enough.
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby travists » Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:28 am

Turbo Beholder wrote:
travists wrote:but I agree with the rest. Much more practical than, though not as much eye candy as, walkable interiors.
It should be the same base interface. And no point to do anything twice. One's ship would be as much walkable as bases.
Though implementing SpaceQuest(TM) series as a single VS mod would be sort of amusing, in a perverted way. :lol:

travists wrote: And Births would be for changing crew assignments. Actually most such tasks should be able to be accomplished, albeit with less control and ease, from VDUs in the cockpit/bridge.
IMO, a thing should be doable from main cockpit interface if it's time-critical or constantly used, such as autopilot, basic weapon control and emergency ejection. Once there will be a half-decent generic control system, no point to put into cockpit controls anything for which python based GUI is enough.



My thinking on the walkable interiors is more that the present base interface would work well enough for moving about the ship. When walkable interiors/bases comes online, the control panels would stay the same, just change how they are accessed.

for cockpit control room control duality lets look at a couple of things. Power management, from the cockpit all you would want is shifting the balance, not fine tuning. Fighter launching from the bridge would mostly be a scramble order. A fighter has an engineering panel, but it lacks some of the features of a big ship and everything is on one display. I am far from hung up on using the VDUs and some more advanced controls would have something like the nav computer to use them.
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby TBeholder » Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:32 pm

A little fix to it - allows to order FG to planets and sets a somewhat reasonable distance.
Doesn't remove the main problems, though. Ships are still "docked", but not present in "My Fleet".
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby travists » Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:54 pm

It looks like the save game fleet save stores the ships and locations with a sector/system string. Would a meta-system be possible such that the sector is My Fleet and the system is the ship with which it is docked?
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby TBeholder » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:56 pm

Returning to ammo, there are also several possible launcher types. Internal/external mounts are always possible, but with missiles aside of the hatch you have pylons (probably should be done as a subunit), bundles on pylons, tractor-based pylons, and by the way different exit velocity - e.g. you could push missiles away (especially when there already are repulsors), then do ignition. Which would keep it farther from your guns' line of fire and look more badass as a bonus.

travists wrote:It looks like the save game fleet save stores the ships and locations with a sector/system string. Would a meta-system be possible such that the sector is My Fleet and the system is the ship with which it is docked?
For now, it's easier to just have them processed like those in "My Fleet", save as parked in the same system, then load right into hold. If and when saves will consider locations, this will fix itself, special cases are unnecessary, especially while otherwise you still can get ships parked around the system for free.

Patch: this one adds basic reporting to new directives and streamlines the unecessary reporting mess in general.
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby travists » Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:34 pm

Got to messing with the new wingman commands, a potential bug is that they don't follow the "dock at my target" unless you have initiated docking mode by requesting docking... I'd still prefer to sen my fleet on various missions, but one hurdle at a time I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Also, anyone know if it is possible to switch to the ship already in space without launching the docked one first? When your wingman follows "dock at my target" switching to that ship takes you to the base, so if you can leave it there and switch back...
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you don't have a cargo wingman yet and want to play with one launch, eject, respawn, then launch. You will have a stock version of the ship you ditched as a wingman!
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby travists » Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:57 pm

I was reading back through this a little while I grabbed the patches and had a thought.
TBeholder wrote:A little fix to it - allows to order FG to planets and sets a somewhat reasonable distance.
Doesn't remove the main problems, though. Ships are still "docked", but not present in "My Fleet".

I suspect that this arises due to "cargo wingmen" being just that, cargo" While the buy ship option in the shipyard adds the ship to your fleet the buy ship in the cargo room just adds it to your cargo. I'll check to see if I can grasp the code enough to make the change, but if on recycles the ship adding code from the shipyard screen to the cargo screen when buying ships it may be possible to fix this, only problem I can see now is doing so without being able to eject any cargo and it be part of your fleet.
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby travists » Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:09 pm

OK, looks like the computer screens are internal. That puts me out for making the change, I'd be happy to help test the change though!
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby IAmDave » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:00 pm

Wow, it's been a long time since I looked at this! Life got busy (you know how it is!).
I've made the change to the 'dock with me' command so that it only applies to the targeted wingman. I'm wondering about changing the other commands so that if a flightgroup member is targeted it only gives the command to that one. Bigger fish to fry first though!

Think I've sussed the tractoring if statement too, instead of:
Code: Select all
if ( target->faction == upgradesfaction || owner_rsize*nbig > target->rSize() || target->faction == owner_faction )


I included universe_util.h and used UniverseUtil::GetMasterPartList()->GetCargo() to get the target as cargo. Then I could compare the volume of the target ship to the empty volume in the hold, giving:

Code: Select all
Cargo *newCarg = UniverseUtil::GetMasterPartList()->GetCargo( target->name, dummy );
                if ( target->faction == upgradesfaction || owner_rsize*nbig > target->rSize() || superunit->getEmptyCargoVolume()>newCarg->GetVolume()  )


Does that look reasonable? It seems to work, but I haven't been able to test to see if the volume of newCarg is actually correct.
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby pheonixstorm » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:41 pm

I wonder if we shouldn't just rework fleet and cargo for ejection or at least work it out as ships and non-ships as far as cargo is concerned.

Anyone know how the games carrier AI handles this or does it even handle launching and retrieving fighters?
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby travists » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:59 pm

One way it seemes to be presently implimented (from weapon_list.xml):
Code: Select all
<Missile name="Hyena" mountsize="heavy-capship-missile">
<Energy rate="0" stability="6" refire="4" locktime="1">
</Energy>
<Damage rate="1000" phasedamage="1000" longrange="1" radius="100" radialspeed="100" >
</Damage>
<Distance speed="1000" pulsespeed="256" range="800000000" detonationrange="-300" volume="500" >
</Distance>
<Appearance file="Hyena" >
</Appearance>
</Missile>

<Missile name="Zhuangzong" mountsize="heavy-capship-missile">
<Energy rate="0" stability="6" refire="4" locktime="1">
</Energy>
<Damage rate="1000" phasedamage="1000" longrange="1" radius="100" radialspeed="100" >
</Damage>
<Distance speed="1000" pulsespeed="256" range="800000000" detonationrange="-300" volume="500" >
</Distance>
<Appearance file="Zhuangzong" >
</Appearance>
</Missile>

<Missile name="Progeny" mountsize="heavy-capship-missile">
<Energy rate="0" stability="6" refire="4" locktime="1">
</Energy>
<Damage rate="1000" phasedamage="1000" longrange="1" radius="100" radialspeed="100" >
</Damage>
<Distance speed="1000" pulsespeed="256" range="800000000" detonationrange="-300" volume="500" >
</Distance>
<Appearance file="Progeny" >
</Appearance>
</Missile>

<Missile name="Dostoevsky" mountsize="heavy-capship-missile">
<Energy rate="0" stability="6" refire="2" locktime="1">
</Energy>
<Damage rate="1000" phasedamage="1000" longrange="1" radius="100" radialspeed="100" >
</Damage>
<Distance speed="1000" pulsespeed="256" range="800000000" detonationrange="-300" volume="500" >
</Distance>
<Appearance file="Dostoevsky" >
</Appearance>
</Missile>

<Missile name="Goddard" mountsize="heavy-capship-missile">
<Energy rate="0" stability="6" refire="20" locktime="1">
</Energy>
<Damage rate="1000" phasedamage="1000" longrange="1" radius="100" radialspeed="100" >
</Damage>
<Distance speed="1000" pulsespeed="256" range="800000000" detonationrange="-300" volume="500" >
</Distance>
<Appearance file="Goddard" >
</Appearance>
</Missile>

<Missile name="Nicander.escort" mountsize="heavy-capship-missile">
<Energy rate="0" stability="6" refire="4" locktime="1">
</Energy>
<Damage rate="1000" phasedamage="1000" longrange="1" radius="100" radialspeed="100" >
</Damage>
<Distance speed="1000" pulsespeed="256" range="800000000" detonationrange="-300" volume="500" >
</Distance>
<Appearance file="Nicander.escort" >
</Appearance>
</Missile>


Some launching uses ships like missiles, just shoot them.

And here is the implimentation in units.csv
It's the mount data for the Watson
Code: Select all
{Goddard;1;;special-missile;0;0;0;;;0;0;1;0;1;0;1;1}{Goddard;1;;special-missile;0;0;0;;;0;0;1;0;1;0;1;1}{Dostoevsky;3;;special-missile;0;0;0;;;0;0;1;0;1;0;1;1}{Dostoevsky;3;;special-missile;0;0;0;;;0;0;1;0;1;0;1;1}{Dostoevsky;3;;special-missile;0;0;0;;;0;0;1;0;1;0;1;1}{Dostoevsky;3;;special-missile;0;0;0;;;0;0;1;0;1;0;1;1}{CS_UV_Laser;;;capship-Light autotracking;1.897978;-0.019207;9.455606;;;0;0;1;0;1;0;1;1}{CS_UV_Laser;;;capship-Light autotracking;-2.155974;-0.019207;9.455606;;;0;0;1;0;1;0;1;1}{CS_UV_Laser;;;capship-Light autotracking;-2.637869;-0.019207;9.455606;;;0;0;1;0;1;0;1;1}{CS_UV_Laser;;;capship-Light autotracking;2.379874;-0.019207;9.455606;;;0;0;1.000000;0;1;0;1;1}


I have not figured out how to read the AIs yet, but I'm figuring out the data sets!
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby travists » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:02 pm

Anyway.... There needs to be a rework to some extent so your purchaced ships can be loaded and "cargo wingmen" can be upgraded. Even if this must be done dirt side right now.
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby Deus Siddis » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:59 am

If the goal is to make wingmen upgradable, there is another option which would be simpler for the player.

Have it so all of the ships the player owns but isn't immediately flying, are treated as wingmen following him around through space. This also solves the problem of your fleet remaining behind on whatever port you last left them on until you pay for their bizarrely instantaneous travel to your current port.

This way you take advantage of the ship upgrade mechanic that is already in place. And you don't need a carrier vessel to lug around ships that already have every flavor of faster than light travel, independently.

pheonixstorm wrote:Anyone know how the games carrier AI handles this or does it even handle launching and retrieving fighters?


The shaper carrier for example, "shoots" its progeny interceptors out of special "guns". However the AI might not know how to do this and probably has no idea how to retrieve them again either. But if you save hack yourself a shaper carrier (whatever its called) you can try this hack/feature for yourself, to see carrier ship mechanics work, independent of the AI mechanics.
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby TBeholder » Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:22 pm

pheonixstorm wrote:I wonder if we shouldn't just rework fleet and cargo for ejection or at least work it out as ships and non-ships as far as cargo is concerned.
Yep, right now it doesn't store in savegames any units not in "fleet", just types - which means launchables and subunits alike are reverted on load.

travists wrote:One way it seemes to be presently implimented (from weapon_list.xml):
Code: Select all
<Missile name="Hyena" mountsize="heavy-capship-missile">
<Energy rate="0" stability="6" refire="4" locktime="1">
</Energy>
<Damage rate="1000" phasedamage="1000" longrange="1" radius="100" radialspeed="100" >
</Damage>
<Distance speed="1000" pulsespeed="256" range="800000000" detonationrange="-300" volume="500" >
</Distance>
And since detonationrange is negative, Damage should only matter for AI (though i dobt it does currently).
travists wrote:Some launching uses ships like missiles, just shoot them. [...] I have not figured out how to read the AIs yet, but I'm figuring out the data sets!
In core, IMO simply upon MissileProbability check and doesn't see any difference. I can't remember how or even where it determines launchables are not missiles - that would make them explode on any collision and fly like dumbfires unless given named AI.

travists wrote:Anyway.... There needs to be a rework to some extent so your purchaced ships can be loaded and "cargo wingmen" can be upgraded. Even if this must be done dirt side right now.
Theoretically, a fix for buying functions in base computer and buttons "load"/"unload". I tried to dig into it once, there's a big mess - way worse than AI, and this says something. Needs more thorough (and long) examination than i did.
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby IAmDave » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:58 am

Deus Siddis wrote:Have it so all of the ships the player owns but isn't immediately flying, are treated as wingmen

That would do fine for what I want, provided you could give individual commands.

How about a couple of buttons on the 'my fleet' ship screens in the shipyard that would move the ship from the shipyard to a docking point (and back)?
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Re: Cargo Wingmen - a development

Postby travists » Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:15 am

This works as a stopgap, but actually carrying the ships should still be the goal. However, if Player Main Ship could be assigned as a system and planet, the current metric could well work.
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