Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

General discussion for players of Oolite.

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Reval
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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Reval »

Many (most?) here will consider my modest suggestion a heresy, but one of the first things I did with Oolite was go into equipment.plist and, under EQ_WEAPON_MILITARY_LASER, add the line

Code: Select all

 available_to_NPCs = false; 
Now, with at most _beam lasers_ the mobs of pirates and hunters have a much harder time reducing me to wreckage and hamburger, and Oolite is suddenly a delight to experience. Couple the above with the PopulationControl OXP while avoiding the 'corridor' and the entire Ooniverse becomes a trader's untroubled paradise. ;)

Oh, and don't forget to pack your ENERGY BOMB!

<Commander Reval now ducks and covers his head>
Dor 'call me Grocer' Reval (a Xexedian Laver) was always considered a little backward.

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Shindo
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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Shindo »

I must say I love how the enemies aren't a push over in the game. I'm not the best combat pilot out there (I'd even go as far as saying I need to get in a lot more practice to improve my meagre skills), Yes I die a lot but I take it as learning opportunities.

But with that said there is room for improvement on the side of the AIs for the enemy pilots. The following are observations based on having played other games with bots/reactive enemies in them.

Combat ability should be based on their skill setting with the following as examples
  • Their ability to aim at range should be based on their combat rating, an elite enemy shouldn't be missing a small ship much from 20km out vs a mostly harmless pilot who couldn't hit an Anaconda from 5kms out.
  • when missing their shots or you start to evade, the elite pilot should quickly compensate while the mostly harmless one will probably overheat his laser strafing all over the place
  • When evading fire the enemy pilots combat rating should have an impact on how innovative they are in the methods employed to break your direct fire. Elite rated pilots should be unpredictable, some times rolling and yawing while diving and climbing while the mostly harmless pilot will pick a strategy and stick with it during combat.
  • Changing speed during evasive and engagement manoeuvring would also make a difference with more experienced pilots lowering their speed briefly to allow for tighter turns while the less experienced pilots stay at full speed making their turning circle so much larger
Subtle changes like those listed above allow for a much greater variation in encounters without having to drastically alter the core balance and mechanics of the game itself. The only thing that would possibly need to be addressed is making the distribution of rated enemy pilots seem relevant. Not every pirate band is going to have an elite rated pilot in it and with the ability to adjust things via OXPs it is then possible to increase or decrease the difficulty of your own instance by tweaking the general rating of pirate encounters.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by another_commander »

Hi and welcome

Most, if not all, of what you have proposed is already implemented. But it will be tricky to see it in the core, unmodified game. There are no Elite rating pilots in the standard game; the most you will encounter are at around the Poor level. If you install the hardening OXPs like Skilled NPCs, you will be able to see how the higher AI levels react, especially their evasive actions. Try dogfighting with an accuracy 9 or 10 Sidewinder - it can get wild.

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Reval
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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Reval »

Shindo wrote:
Thu Nov 05, 2020 7:17 am
I must say I love how the enemies aren't a push over in the game.
You know, in my short time here, I'm becoming more and more convinced that this 'pirate question' is an age thing. For many of us (for me at least), combat puts an unacceptable strain on the old carpals and the old eyesight - not to mention raising stress levels and heart-rate. (never a good thing over 60, hehe). And in Oolite it has to be conceded that this frantic grappling with keys and joystick is extreme.

The great, great thing about Oolite, though, is that it effortlessly accommodates all tastes and inclinations (and ages). A few little tweaks and OXPs and you can be whatever your heart desires. Yea, even a harmless amphibioid Space Grocer shuttling furs and comps between Xexedi and Laenin ;)

You can live in a peaceable Ooniverse or a violent one by simply choosing to travel - or avoid - the space lanes. And you can let your imaginatioin and fantasy have free rein...

Your suggestions are valid and creative (though whether practicable or attainable is another matter, as another_commander said).

Welcome aboard, Cap'n Shindo, and have at them miscreants! ;)
Dor 'call me Grocer' Reval (a Xexedian Laver) was always considered a little backward.

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Cholmondely
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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Cholmondely »

Shindo wrote:
Thu Nov 05, 2020 7:17 am
Yes I die a lot but I take it as learning opportunities.
Welcome to the merry throng!
Denizen of the Dark and Dismal Deserts of Digebiti.

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