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Battlefront 2 Space Battles

Archonitek's Avatar


Archonitek
02.19.2015 , 09:42 AM | #1
I loved the space battles in Battlefront 2, although I could never do online play since there were never any aussie servers up and trying on any other server was like playing whack a mole while holding the mallet between your toes while being hung upside down . It was still one of the main reasons that drew me to SWTOR and GSF. I tried booting up the old girl the other day for a bit of a spin, and to my surprise, i found the space battles quite clunky and slow. I know it's been a long time since BF2 came out, but it just seems my fond memories of flying didn't translate as well when I tried my hand at it again.

So my question is, when Battlefront 3 comes out with their space battles, would you prefer GSF type game play or Battlefront 2?
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Fractalsponge
02.19.2015 , 10:49 AM | #2
GSF, though obviously with the objective and ground integration of traditional battlefront. I think that the fluidity and sheer speed of gsf's combat has spoiled slower space combat gameplay for me. The transition is quite a shock whenever I try to play Star Citizen (though admittedly that was many builds ago).
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RickDagles
02.19.2015 , 11:26 AM | #3
I agree with Xi'ao, I think GSF is almost perfect gameplay wise. Even though they nailed the difficult part, they managed to screw up the easy stuff like lack map variety and poor matchmaking integration. Imagine they sold GSF as a standalone game on Steam for $20 and added in Stealth ships, 10 new maps, and 1 new game mode. I'd buy it. It would be awesome to not have to download ground-game stuff every tuesday just to play unrelated space-game.


As a bit of a side note, how do you guys feel about RNG? In other words, do you like the decision to include evasion as stat/gear option? Fast ships (i.e. Scouts) should be hard to hit, but should they be hard to hit when they're not moving? I think one tweak that may have improved the game would be to increase tracking penalty and decrease gear related evasion. That would really promote more "realistic" evasive flying and I think it would be a lot more rewarding. It's hard to say though, it might throw off the game balance. There are a lot of good GS pilots out there that can center up a scout that is flying and power diving around like mad.

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Nemarus
02.19.2015 , 01:18 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by RickDagles View Post
I agree with Xi'ao, I think GSF is almost perfect gameplay wise. Even though they nailed the difficult part, they managed to screw up the easy stuff like lack map variety and poor matchmaking integration. Imagine they sold GSF as a standalone game on Steam for $20 and added in Stealth ships, 10 new maps, and 1 new game mode. I'd buy it. It would be awesome to not have to download ground-game stuff every tuesday just to play unrelated space-game.


As a bit of a side note, how do you guys feel about RNG? In other words, do you like the decision to include evasion as stat/gear option? Fast ships (i.e. Scouts) should be hard to hit, but should they be hard to hit when they're not moving? I think one tweak that may have improved the game would be to increase tracking penalty and decrease gear related evasion. That would really promote more "realistic" evasive flying and I think it would be a lot more rewarding. It's hard to say though, it might throw off the game balance. There are a lot of good GS pilots out there that can center up a scout that is flying and power diving around like mad.
I think tracking penalty + Evasion is a huge reason GSF never took off. In every other space sim, you hit when your lasers collide with the target's hitbox. Not only does GSF not really have a traditional hitbox, but on top of that it has invisible "miss chance". You don't know if you're missing because of bad aim, Evasion, or lag. Players try out GSF, and to their eyes, they are just bombarding their target with Rapid Fire Lasers--except they see damage numbers only occasionally. It makes the game feel loosey-goosey and random.

We all have the knowledge of how to account for and mitigate Tracking Penalty, but even with that knowledge, most weapons are rendered impotent under a satellite because of it, unless you are using Wingman.

Part of the reason BLC's are so popular is because they all but ignore Evasion and Tracking Penalty. They make GSF feel more rational with regard to hits and misses.

If any kind Tracking Penalty is going to exist, it should just be a damage debuff.

And if any kind of Evasion exists, it needs to be active-only (no passive Evasion), and any miss caused by Evasion needs a clear indication.

The game should always feel like it feels when you have Wingman up. Yes, without other changes, that would make Railguns overpowered. But at least basic laser cannons would feel rational.
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DamascusAdontise
02.20.2015 , 10:57 AM | #5
I loved BF2 space battles. It was not as good as gsf space battles mind you, but it did have a very strong starwars feel. Being able to transition between ground and space (aka landing in the hanger to assault systems from within) was a stroke of genius as well.

I also enjoyed using the ships and other debris to fly/hide in giving the game that deathstar canyon run feel at times. My biggest problem with BF2 space battles was the servers. They were run by very regular people, and at times this caused issues. Most of the time when I found a good server I would be banned within a couple days for "hacking" or "cheating" which was never the case, it was that I focused the wrong person aka the server admin

As to RNG in GSF, no its not the greatest choice (ie it turns people away who dont understand whats happening) but it is now the central pillar of "damage mitigation" . Everything is balanced around accuracy, tracking penalty, and evasion. If RNG were suddenly removed from the game without further tweaks it would be devastating to the game. TTK would go through the floor and the problems we have now would just be exacerbated.

Unfortunately it was a base design choice, and despite wracking my brain I can't find a way to balance the game without at least evasion in the mix (since we lack actual damage reduction, absorb, deflection, or other mechanic that might replace it)

IMO they should remove tracking penalty (IE the arc) and make accuracy a sliding linear curve based on distance. They should remove the tracking penalty for both missiles and blasters. In addition to this they should add an accuracy indicator as part of the hud. It would show your true accuracy #'s in real time. This could also be a toggle for newbies with a green to red fading indicator showing if a hit is likely or unlikely.

At least with this people would understand without reading the forums, playing hundreds of games, or really delving into components what accuracy is and how it relates to them getting a hit.

IMO RNG might be intractable, but at least the tracking penalty could go away (and this would single handedly increase the value of all weapons, even without further tweaks)
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RickDagles's Avatar


RickDagles
02.23.2015 , 12:16 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Nemarus View Post
I think tracking penalty + Evasion is a huge reason GSF never took off. In every other space sim, you hit when your lasers collide with the target's hitbox. Not only does GSF not really have a traditional hitbox, but on top of that it has invisible "miss chance". You don't know if you're missing because of bad aim, Evasion, or lag. Players try out GSF, and to their eyes, they are just bombarding their target with Rapid Fire Lasers--except they see damage numbers only occasionally. It makes the game feel loosey-goosey and random.

We all have the knowledge of how to account for and mitigate Tracking Penalty, but even with that knowledge, most weapons are rendered impotent under a satellite because of it, unless you are using Wingman.

Part of the reason BLC's are so popular is because they all but ignore Evasion and Tracking Penalty. They make GSF feel more rational with regard to hits and misses.

If any kind Tracking Penalty is going to exist, it should just be a damage debuff.

And if any kind of Evasion exists, it needs to be active-only (no passive Evasion), and any miss caused by Evasion needs a clear indication.

The game should always feel like it feels when you have Wingman up. Yes, without other changes, that would make Railguns overpowered. But at least basic laser cannons would feel rational.

Good points, I think the way they designed the game made it difficult for new players to get into it. However, I also think the current setup is a big reason that we love the game so much. It adds more depth to the game than a simple point and click. Point and shoot games like Halo and Call of Duty are super popular but they definitely aren't as deep as more realistic shooters where you have to think about things like bullet drop, gun recoil, etc.

Also I would NOT want to play a version of GSF where Gunships had constant wingman. A good GS pilot almost never misses during those 20 seconds. Scouts would be terrible.

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Fractalsponge
02.23.2015 , 01:42 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by DamascusAdontise View Post
In addition to this they should add an accuracy indicator as part of the hud. It would show your true accuracy #'s in real time. This could also be a toggle for newbies with a green to red fading indicator showing if a hit is likely or unlikely.
Best idea ever.

Quote: Originally Posted by RickDagles View Post
A good GS pilot almost never misses during those 20 seconds.
I know you don't play GS very much, but from the other side of the scope, this comment is totally wrong. Even with wingman, perfectly lined-up shots will routinely miss scouts, even non-boosting ones. That said, removing tracking and RNG requires a total rework of the game, with all the attendant unknowns. It's hard to think what would be good and what wouldn't without a lot of playtime.
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Ramalina's Avatar


Ramalina
02.23.2015 , 04:34 PM | #8
As far as tracking penalties and evasion go:

GSF uses RPG hit mechanics, slightly disguised so that piloting beyond the level of, "make sure target isn't behind you," is actually rewarded in gameplay.

The base mechanic is as follows:
Select target
Mouse-over target
Left click target
Hit target with 100% success rate.

To this is added the RPG style modification:

Subtract defensive modifiers from 100% hit chance.

So from an MMORPG or RTS background, the hit chance works in a very traditional manner, and players that know those genres should understand it quite easily, as long as they don't confuse GSF with an air/space combat sim design heritage.

It's also really a lot more beginner friendly than a system that relies on physics or geometry based calculations where you're comparing a weapon trajectory and a target volume and checking for an intersection. In that sort of system, a direct hit from piloting or turret control is the ONLY kind of hit. Being Pi/2 radians off target and being 0.0002 milliradians off target are both equal, and both are complete misses. It's basically like GSF if you never target any ship when shooting primary weapons. Add flight time for projectiles and you open up the possibility that an "on target," shot with proper lead when fired still misses because the target changed course after you fired.

In GSF everything except mines and missiles behaves like a shotgun with a choke that clusters the shot in the middle of the pattern. It's a lot easier for a noob than a system that acts like a rifle when it comes to targeting fast moving flying targets. You may not always hit on a, "direct hit," but you pick up a great number of hits that would have been near misses under a traditional flight sim model. The net gain is very large.

This also affects the pace of gameplay. The rapid pace of GSF is based on the combination of Mach 8-10 boost across small battlespaces, short TTKs for most ships, and a, "kind-of-close is good enough" treatment of the piloting component of aim.

Start taking those things away and the pace and nature of the game changes. In a system where gunnery is serious business there is a lot more time spent setting up shots, less shooting, and a lot more misses.

After all, with fixed guns if Bioware were to suddenly become fans of a logical system we'd get something like this in patch notes:

Firing arcs on blasters and laser cannons have been reduced to 0.3 degrees, railgun firing arcs have been reduced to 0.1 degrees, and rocket firing arcs have been reduced to 3 degrees.

Ta-da! Logic and tracking penalties of 0%.

It would suck from a gameplay POV though. Just like making railgun projectiles travel at realistic speeds would make railguns completely useless against any maneuvering target more than 1-2 km away (leading a target by more than 0.5 seconds isn't very practical).

For logic that doesn't cause problems, making Laser Cannons shots travel at the speed of light would work, but then they would have wasted a lot of dev time on the whole target lead reticle, which would no longer be needed for laser weapons. Hm, I guess they could tweak values and still use it for railgun shots of less than 3 km.

The lack of explanation that GSF uses RPG mechanics rather than sim mechanics is confusing to anyone expecting gameplay similarity to classic space combat games. Once you get past the mixed up expectations though, the GSF system is actually a lot more beginner friendly than a classic sim because the process for maximizing hit chance is very simple and there is some 'forgiveness' for not being precisely centered on target.

In a classic space combat game if you want the ease of gunnery we get in GSF you usually do it by adding AI controlled turrets to the ships.



It's also worth noting that the RPG style mouse-click based system makes dealing with latency and imprecise input hardware a lot less troublesome.



More sim-like hit calculation isn't a bad thing, and it's present in a lot of my favorite games. I just don't think it's a good fit for GSF without radically redesigning the whole combat system in ways that the game engine might not support very well.
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Baron_FireStorm
02.24.2015 , 10:24 PM | #9
Anyone remember Ecliptical Realms? The tournaments?
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