Some Random Suggestions


#1

I’ve played the demo, purchased, and played through GSB. I have a few suggestions and comments to share- I hope they are of use.

[size=150]Demo[/size]

  • I’d suggest allowing players to unlock a few bits of tech with honour points, and disallow the rest. My understanding is that you couldn’t unlock anything in the demo at all, which makes the concept for honour a bit hard to understand for new players. Three bits of tech would be a nice tease. :slight_smile: If I’m wrong, please ignore this for now- I didn’t play the demo long before purchase.

[size=150]Overall Suggestions[/size]

  • Hardware Mouse. I’d like to add my voice to those who’d like the choice of a hardware mouse pointer option. The software mouse pointer lags on my laptop, making it frustrating to use.

  • Custom challenge option: Select two saved deployments for a scenario. Flip the second (so it is laid out on the opposite side, facing the other way), and let them fight. I believe something like this is available when playing online (I haven’t tried this yet). An offline version would be good- it would make for interesting custom battles and makes hotseat play viable.

[size=150]Strategic View[/size]

  • Mouseover on honour could possibly show completed best-honour-so-far for this level, so you don’t have to memorise it from the previous screen.

  • Ship silhouettes are of little use when selecting craft- you have to mouseover and wait on each ship to get the name from the mouseover. After a while I figured out that it was in alphabetic order, but that still only helped a little bit. If printed in small font, you could at least get a few letters of each name overlaid on the top of each silhouette. This would make it much faster to place ships.

  • Bounding box selection is implemented, but I can’t select multiple ships by shift/alt/ctrl clicking them one at a time? This limits selection to cases where the ships are together already.

  • When you mass deploy, clicking on another ship by accident probably should do nothing, rather than canceling mass deploy. It’s frustrating without having a ghost location clicking several spots, and misclicking once and having it cancel.

  • If you mass deploy, then left click on another ship icon, it should probably change to that ship, rather than retain mass deploy.

  • A “show all ships” checkbox and “hide from this scenario” right click option would let you customise the selection of ships that appear for each scenario. I’d love to be able to hide my shieldless ships, for example, when playing on scenarios that include shields.

  • Hitting escape on the deployment screen will exit without confirmation or saving your layout. I’ve done that once while trying to cancel a mass deploy. I lost my layout. I swore. A lot.

[size=150]In Battle[/size]

  • When auto-tracking targets, it can be incredibly difficult to cancel the tracking. This seems especially true if you track an enemy fighter, and it is destroyed. I’ve had the most success in clicking the tracking icon, then the background, and repeating the process a few times. It’s sometimes hard to disable tracking. Also:

    • If you use the arrow keys, it fights against the tracking. It makes more sense to cancel the tracking, as the user clearly wants manual control again.
    • If you click on the map, it fights against the tracking. Again, it makes more sense to cancel the tracking, as the user most definitely wants manual control if they’re selecting the map!
    • Guess what I’m going to say about clicking and dragging on the background? :slight_smile:
    • If you click on track and then near a ship like a fighter, the intention was probably to select the fighter. I’d extend the selection range for fighters.
  • Does anyone ever really select 1.2x speed? It’s frustrating having to mash the button to speed up and slow down the game from say 1x to 4x. It’s worse when you speed to 4x to get foes to engage, then try to slow down. The UI isn’t too responsive at this point. Fractionals make sense below 1x though. It’s just above that they’re weird. Or I think so, anyway. How about changing the speedups to just go from 1x to 2x to 4x? Or letting me ctrl-click slowdown or speedup to get to 1x and 4x respectively.

  • It would be great if there was a mode for which the camera would automatically track anything “interesting”. That way, I could sit back and watch the battle. This would be neat for me, as I could set up a battle, and do

    • A simple algorithm would be to simply keep track of the recent damage done to all units in say, the last ten seconds or so, in a rotating pool of say two second blocks. You can periodically switch camera tracking based on a threshold of the last switch time and the difference between the current unit’s recent damage and the best unit.
  • When I select a ship, I can get all sorts of systems information about it- but not its name and class (design name). I can get the name via mousemover- but no class information?

[size=150]Game Balance[/size]

  • Fighters are overpowered. Pretty-much anything you can build has an effective, less expensive counter, except fighters, where the counter is “more fighters than them”. Many of the missions are made considerably easier by fighter-spamming. Their ability to dodge so effectively and get inside shields and get around to vulnerable targets is too powerful.

    A few ideas that could help balance things:

    • Improve the anti-fighter abilities of ships- eg. make them fire at tractored fighters more often, spread fire, etc. Suggestions below.

    • A point-defence-style laser or mini-gun weapon that can be used on fighters. Basically short-range, doesn’t miss (or doesn’t matter if is does), and deals continuous damage. Perhaps even deals an EMP effect.

    • An area-effect light yield EMP blast that disables weaponry in fighters only. Near-misses are good enough with area-effect weapons.

    • Insanely tight turning circle on anti-fighter missiles, possibly cheating to force an impact.

    • Missile smarts on anti-fighter missiles to get the missile behind its prey, then speed up into it.

    • Improve missile tracking when a targets is starting to get slowed by a tractor beam.

    • Beef up tractor beams so that they work faster, and immobilise the target quicker. If need be, give the fighters a chance to escape the tractor beam, but generally, a tractor lock should ultimately be a death-sentence for fighters.

    • Reactive armour available for cruisers AND frigates that has a regenerating component that is more effective versus small-caliber fire.

  • It’s too beneficial to build ships without engines, and it gets you back an extra slot or two. A slow, very-long-range, non-tracking weapon (eg. superheavy plasma launcher) would be good in “discouraging” this behaviour.

[size=150]General Ship Strategy[/size]

  • Ships with anti-fighter weapons who are firing at fighters should probably automatically bump up the priority of anyone caught in a tractor beam.

  • Ships with weapons strong enough to kill a target in one hit (eg. anti-fighter missiles) should probably not fire all of their missiles at the same target simultaneously without reason. If there are no orders pushing the ship to that course of action, they should probably scatter the shots a bit more.

  • Target painting should probably be distributed across multiple targets automatically without specific orders- it doesn’t make sense for multiple ships to paint the same target.

  • A delay on firing of inappropriate weapons (eg. heavy plasma versus fighters) would make sense. A cruiser about to engage other cruisers shouldn’t fire a heavy weapon at a fighter who is just a little in front of the rest.

  • Heavy ships shouldn’t chase fighters that are circling around them, as they simply can’t maneuver fast enough.

  • Ships with shield-crushing weapons should have the priority bumped up a little on shielded foes, and armor-crushers on unshielded foes, even without needing to give a specific order- or add a specific order to target effective weaknesses.

  • Even without “Keep Moving”, a ship should consider moving if several plasma shots are heading their way.

[size=150]Additional Order Suggestions[/size]

In a game where you have no direct control of your ships, the quality of the available orders is very important! I’d suggest a healthy set of orders. I’m not attached to these specific names.

  • Spread Fire: (seen this mentioned a few times) Concentrate on distributing your shots over multiple targets. Useful for eg. anti-fighter weaponry, where they aim is to maximise the number of targets attacked, NOT hit the same target with everything you’ve got.

  • Intercept: Find targets that are due to engage your allies the earliest (based on their speed), and move to intercept. Useful for fighters being directed at bombers or fast frigates.

  • Support: A cross between Protector and Escort, assist the selected ship but only if the attacker is listed as higher priority for this unit than the selected ship. For example, you could set up anti-fighter fighters or frigates that will cruise in to assist another, but only to help mop up the fighters.

  • Loose Formation: As formation, but keep a formation when “cruising” (not actively engaging the enemy), but break it once the formation starts taking damage. When it’s peaceful again, reform the formation, and move on.

  • Hold back: Generally hold back, and let other ships take the lead. Let friendly ships close, soak the fire, and then move in to assist. Generally don’t charge ahead of other ships into combat.

  • Mitigate: Hit ships with the highest recent damage versus defences ratio- ie. favour ships that are light on defences that are doing punishing damage. Also hit ships that are dealing effective EMP attacks (treat it as damage).

  • Harrass: Move within weapons range, fire, then back off or close in to keep fairly close to maximum weapons range. Keep moving. Useful when taking out ships that have neglected their engines.

[size=150]Order Tweaking[/size]

  • Allow orders to be tied to specific classes of target, eg. co-operative and vulture versus cruisers and frigates, but not fighters.

[size=150]Horse Out of the Barn[/size]

Suggestions that are probably too late now. :wink:

  • All ships really should require engines and power, and enough slots made available to handle this. “Extra-Light” reactors could be included to cover the creation of lightweight fighters, etc.

  • Different slot sizes, capacities, etc, to further encourage use of different hulls.

  • I love my EMP weapons, but they’re weapons. They should use up a hardpoint.

I hope these suggestions help in some way. :slight_smile:


#2

Are you updated to 1.24? The mouse has been improved as of that patch.


#3

Version 1.23 I believe. Full version, legit. I haven’t registered online yet, I believe upgrades are automatic if you are? There have been changes to the mouse support in 1.24?


#4

Yeah, Cliff changed mouse support to use the default Windows cursor - which is significantly more responsive. Updates are automatic if you have a legitimate version (make sure you’ve entered your key in the “online” menu).

The game checks for updates on launch once per day (so you may want to wait a day or adjust your system clock temporarily to cheat it).


#5

That’ll be my issue on that front- I haven’t tried hopping on online yet (no interest in the online side). I might try it some time anyway, just for the updates.


#6

Anti-fighter missiles (frigates), cruiser defense lasers and tractor beams all smash up fighters pretty well. A squadron of fighters generally costs well over 1000 credits while an anti-fighter frigate generally costs about 1000.

In the beta they did, I think the change was to help out the Imperials, who suffer from a lack of hardpoints generally.