Missile Help

General discussion for players of Oolite.

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OneoftheLost
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Missile Help

Post by OneoftheLost » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:25 am

I really, REALLY hate missiles in Oolite. I don't mind that enemies have missiles. I DO mind that they have missiles built by a better company. To date, across multiple commanders and about of year of gameplay, I think I've had a missile actually hit its target once. I almost never use them. What happens is I'm right on my enemies six, I launch it, and for some reason, the missile feels the need to spin in a circle behind the enemy for ten minutes before blowing up harmlessly away from it. Meanwhile, a single hard head missile destroys my iron ass ship in one hit.

Am I the only one who this happens to? Why don't missiles hit NPCs? I havn't bought one in months because they are a waste of money. Am I using them wrong? They sure seem to hit me just fine.
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Re: Missile Help

Post by Solonar » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:30 am

I have observed the same unusual behavior with missiles, but at the same time I use it to my advantage. As missiles tend to circle around a target vectoring away from you, they will also do it for yourself. If you fly straight away at high speed and keep the missile behind you, you will observe the missile will perform this same circling pattern on your own six. If done right you can keep the missile in this position until its time expires and it self destructs. Works good in a pinch if one has a broken ECM or missile spoof.
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Telengo
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Re: Missile Help

Post by Telengo » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:08 am

You are not the only one. I think I have hit 3 ships over the years with missiles, I am not sure why I keep buying them. :?

Yet the NPC's seem to have an endless supply of the damn things, and managed to kill me outright a number of times.

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submersible
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Re: Missile Help

Post by submersible » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:57 am

Missiles are a very effective standoff munition. Outnumbered ? - loose a missile at one opponent to keep him occupied so you can kill or scare off the wingman. Count the number of times you didn't get spaced due to this single useful application of a missile. Busting a missile with ECM costs energy - IIRC that also applies to NPCs, so for a mere 30 credits a pop you can burn up your opponent's energy without warming up the laser.

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Re: Missile Help

Post by Smivs » Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:11 am

OneoftheLost wrote:...I'm right on my enemies six, I launch it, and for some reason, the missile feels the need to spin in a circle behind the enemy for ten minutes before blowing up harmlessly away from it.
As the others have said, think of missiles as defensive rather than offensive weapons. They are to take pressure off you by 'scaring away' one of a group, or a persistant nuisance like an Asp.
If as above you are on their six, why waste credits on a missile - just laser them!
And of course every missile deployed is profit down the drain, so their use should be very infrequent, and only where really necessary.
I normally carry two, one standard and one hardhead. Weeks or months can pass before I use either of them. The hardhead is for the times when things are getting really grim as described above and I really need to get rid of a problem (low energy, low shields and two or three other ships attacking me - that sort of situation). The standard is to get rid of a hardhead on my six when I'm low on shields/energy and out of fuel. Target the hardhead and lob a standard missile at it - hardheads don't have ECM. Normally in this situation though, I'll shoot it down with the aft laser and save 30Cr :wink:
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Re: Missile Help

Post by another_commander » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:10 am

You want more efficient missiles? Edit shipdata.plist, the "missile" entry in particular, and add something like accuracy = 9;. Then save & Shift-restart Oolite and observe how much better your missiles become. Obviously, this has the disadvantage that the same applies to the enemy missiles, but since you are already spaced more often than not by them, it won't really matter.

I wonder if we should up the default accuracy of missiles in the core game. I am reluctant because it changes balance and may affect Jamesons trying to survive, but if there is demand...

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Re: Missile Help

Post by Cody » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:15 am

another_commander wrote:I wonder if we should up the default accuracy of missiles in the core game. I am reluctant because it changes balance and may affect Jamesons trying to survive, but if there is demand...
I see no need - missiles work fine for me as a time-buyer, and they certainly work well enough for NPCs.
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Re: Missile Help

Post by Smivs » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:35 am

Agreed, leave it as it is. The Jamesons' have a hard enough time anyway and as another_commander has pointed out they can be made 'worse' if that's what anybody wants.

And to make that easier, have a go at Better-missiles OXP :D
OK, so I knocked it up in 5 minutes, it's untested and is therefore at v0.9 (beta). Anyone wants to try it, have a go and leave feedback here and if it's OK or needs a bit of tweaking we can fine-tune it.
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Re: Missile Help

Post by Eric Walch » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:57 pm

Smivs wrote:OK, so I knocked it up in 5 minutes, it's untested and is therefore at v0.9 (beta).
For the "override.plist" it is enough to add the accuracy parameter :P

And yes, it is a pity that almost no missile oxp tries to sell alternative missiles that only differentiate by the accuracy. Most not even use this parameter that is present since at least Oolite 1.65

Starting with 1.77, this accuracy will be read/write by script. Gives interesting options, like an intermediate version between hardhead and normal missile. e.g. an accurate hardhead that looses accuracy when hit by ECM. :lol:

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Re: Missile Help

Post by Smivs » Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:07 pm

Eric Walch wrote:
Smivs wrote:OK, so I knocked it up in 5 minutes, it's untested and is therefore at v0.9 (beta).
For the "override.plist" it is enough to add the accuracy parameter :P
I just c&p'd the core shipdata and added the accuracy key. :wink: I left the rest there in case feedback suggested other changes that might be good - data can be changed, added or removed through the fine-tuning process.
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Re: Missile Help

Post by Diziet Sma » Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:24 pm

Smivs wrote:The standard is to get rid of a hardhead on my six when I'm low on shields/energy and out of fuel. Target the hardhead and lob a standard missile at it - hardheads don't have ECM.
So there actually is something a standard missile is capable of hitting? :shock:

Who'da thunkit?
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Re: Missile Help

Post by OneoftheLost » Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:48 pm

another_commander wrote:You want more efficient missiles? Edit shipdata.plist, the "missile" entry in particular, and add something like accuracy = 9;. Then save & Shift-restart Oolite and observe how much better your missiles become. Obviously, this has the disadvantage that the same applies to the enemy missiles, but since you are already spaced more often than not by them, it won't really matter.

I wonder if we should up the default accuracy of missiles in the core game. I am reluctant because it changes balance and may affect Jamesons trying to survive, but if there is demand...
That is interesting! I never knew about that. However, I want to stay vanilla, so I may avoid OXP solutions. The reason for the thread wasn't to complain(although I may have come across that way.) I was actually looking for strategies on how to use them effectively. I've never really used them as a 'time-saver' because it seemed a bit pricey. I might reconsider that.

@Solonar I have no idea why this never occured to me. Thanks! I will definately try this.


@Smivs ooh! I might check that out, but for reasons above, it may not be anytime soon.

Sorry if I came off as a bit irate, its just something that as always irritated me about Oolite. I don't remember missiles being like this in the original. I also come from flight sims, where missiles are extremely accurate once you lock on. With locking on being the more difficult action.
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Re: Missile Help

Post by davcefai » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:11 pm

I haven't investigated, BUT, missiles manufactured by the Missile Machine (there's an OXP) seem harder and more accurate thatn shop-bought ones.

Your mileage may vary.

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Re: Missile Help

Post by Switeck » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:31 pm

A missile's turnrate (max_flight_pitch) doesn't need to be very high to work well, but its ROLL rate (max_flight_roll) needs to be high relative to its turnrate and speed.
So a faster missile tends to do worse with the same roll rate as a slower missile.
Higher accuracy (up to 9 or 10?) also makes missiles less likely to wander off in loop-to-loop/figure-8 circles.

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Re: Missile Help

Post by Diziet Sma » Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:06 am

davcefai wrote:I haven't investigated, BUT, missiles manufactured by the Missile Machine (there's an OXP) seem harder and more accurate thatn shop-bought ones.

Your mileage may vary.
The Missile Machine missiles are like_shipped from the generic Oolite missiles, but are actually 7% slower and 11% less powerful. However, since their pitch and roll rates remain the same, they may do slightly better at hitting their targets.

However, a big part of why I like them so much is it means I can have hardheads for approximately the same cost as a standard missile. :D
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

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