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psandak
07.15.2017 , 04:32 PM | #14
Quote: Originally Posted by sentinel_vickers View Post
MY question is, why can't the space missions (Fondor Escort, TAspan Ambush, Sarapin Assault, etc), be modified to allow GSF or even 2 or 4 man co-op. The missions are already created, scripting for more ships is not overly difficult, plus it's not a major modification to the game. Setting awards for GSF ships instead of personal starships would need to be worked out, but it shouldn't be a total rewrite of the game. OR just give the standard exp/cxp if that is too difficult to do.

OTher than that, kudos to the OP.
It is a shame that space combat (the single player on rails stuff) has been basically abandoned, but I'm going to be blunt and state: you have no idea what you are talking about. Reworking the existing on rails space combat to accommodate multiple players and be off rails would be a monumental undertaking.

Firstly mission design:
As it stands on rails if you miss a target you have little to no chance to hit that target again meaning that if you miss that target you have a harder time completing the mission. Granted there are usually more than enough targets of opportunity to make up for a missed target so it is not that big a deal. That said I am more talking about the bonus mission portions of the space combat missions. Off rails would mean that if you miss a target you can go back and get it.

fix #1: the mission timers would have to be such that turning back for a missed target would result in time expiration and mission failure.

fix #2: reduce the targets of opportunity such that one MUST turn back if a target is missed.

Either way, for all intents and purposes we'd be back on rails anyway, because players would publish optimized paths for maximum potential.

Secondly, enemy ships would have to have AI installed. As it stands right now they fly a fixed path; they come on screen they fly around, they move off screen and you never see them again. That is not AI that is programmed pathing. For an off rails space combat system those ships would have to have an AI installed, not to mention that the system would have to track where they are throughout the mission.

Thirdly, off rails for those missions would be a lot harder than you think...
All that space you see around you in space combat is currently little more than mat paintings...scenery NEVER designed to be interacted with. They would have to completely redesign the space to allow ships to interact with that space.

I am reminded of when Blizzard introduced flying mounts into WoW, and players immediately asked the question: "when will we get to fly over Azeroth?" It took 4 years from the introduction of flying mounts in The Burning Crusade and two more expansions (WotLK and Cataclysm) to get flying mounts to work in the original world content...for the EXACT same reason; the space above the landmasses of Azeroth were not designed for flying around in, they had to be completely redesigned.

Lastly, do you REALLY believethat multiplayer compatibility is as easy as flipping a switch in code? Let's assume for just a moment that it is really just that simple:
would the mission parameters remain the same?
Would a simple increase in health and damage be an acceptable retuning?
What happens if one player's ship gets destroyed?
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