Forums » Suggestions

Eventual Behemoth Direction - Request For Comment

Nov 07, 2005 incarnate link
Hi. So, I'd like to make a short proposal that will probably cause a lot of controversy. This is not a short-term thing, it will not be happening immediately. But I would like to explain some of my intentions and the impacts they may have, and get some input from you all.

The behemoth was intended as a cargo vessel (obvious, right?). However, it was not intended as a heavily armored cargo vessel. It was made that way to make it immediately useful, with the long-term intention of rebalancing it as soon as escorts became available.

Basically, in the long run, I would like traders to take escorts, and escorts to hire themselves to traders, and in either case the trader or the escort (or both) could be an NPC. This is part of the greater "player interchangability" direction. Now, we all know NPCs aren't as good as a solid human pilot, but they don't always need to be.. they mostly serve as a distraction to allow the escortee to escape. I think you're beginning to see from our convoys that they can be a pretty effective distraction.

Now that we're starting to move towards having Escort Missions available and such, and the like, this has begun to bubble to the surface of my concious mind again. It is my intention to make the Behemoth rather less armored than it is at present, and probably slower as well. Variants might appear, but the standard would be fairly weak. Greatly in need of protection.

Again, this is not something that's going to happen immediately, or even Soon. I need to put other things in place first, and my plate is full. But I would like to give people a heads-up on my intentions and start the process of taking any flak over this choice ;). Some traders who generally trade alone will find this idea most undesirable. You will still be able to trade "alone", but you may want to do it in a Maud or other more flexible craft, or hire defensive protection for dangerous runs. The latter option of hiring escorts *will* be available before I make this change.

So. Opinions?
Nov 07, 2005 Spider link
Fro me: aye to anything that increases the amount of player interaction. However, I certainly hope that there will be robot escorts avaiable. : )
Nov 07, 2005 Beolach link
I'm more in favor of cutting the Behemoth's max speed than cutting its armor (although a small reduction in armor would probably be good). The reason being, in order for its escort(s) to be worthwhile, they need to have enough time to destroy the attacker(s) before the Behemoth is destroyed. If its armor is lowered too much, then the attackers can just focus on the Behemoth and boom it, and even if after the Behemoth boomed the escorts manage to destroy all the attackers, the trader has already lost his cargo (he might be able to get back and pick it up again, but that's iffy, and the attackers can return, too), so the the hiring of escorts becomes less worthwhile.
Nov 07, 2005 mgl_mouser link
I guess there's a balance to be reached in reducing it's speed and armour.

If you reduce the armour too much, escort or not, it may be get to be too easy to smash one to bits. Any escort, robot or not, can't stop rockets and missiles from reaching it. It would only take a well coordinated attack of, say, a spam rag and a couple of light fighters to handle the escort.

So, max speed of the moth should probably be in the vicinity of that of rockets or missiles. Lets call this the 'missile factor'. So, to hit it, you'd have to be on a collision course or be close enough.

It's armour should be strong enough to withstand at least one full spam rag's worth of it's meanest setup (I believe someone spent the time, before the recent nerfing, calculating the max amount of dammage one can do--it'd be interesting to redo the math). Let's call this a 'spam rag unit'.

So, in different moth versions, you could have these 'missile factor' and 'spam rag unit' vary:

.8 Missile Factor
1 Spam Rag Unit

Moth Mk2
1 Missile Factor
1.2 Spam Rag Unit

Moth Mk3
1.5 Missile Factor
2 Spam Rag Unit

Toy with these numbers and use either Moth versions depending on mission and available escort and you may have a fun combo.
Nov 07, 2005 Person link
I am very much in favor of this idea, but like everyone else, I can't help but protest that if the armor gets too low, it can be killed before escorts can respond. In fact, that's what I've been doing to some of the convoys recently. Megaposi+2Guas takes out the current behemoths in 4-6 seconds. The escorts usually haven't even started shooting me by the time the moth splodes. Anyway, I like the idea of requiring escorts, but I don't see how it would be implimentable unless you have smarter NPC escorts.

You could possibly have a system where the escorts can be assigned to one of four tasks:
1) warn someone when they are within 1000m, and attack when they are within 500m
2) only attack when someone attacks the behemoth they are guarding
3) stay within 50m of the behemoth, and only attack when all other escorts are outside of 500m
4) stay within 50m of the behemoth and look threatening

And if we wanted to extend the escorts to combat situations too, (VERY fun IMHO) Escorts could follow these 5 tasks:
1) attack the closest hostile to the player they are assigned to.
2) attack all hostile forces within 1000m
3) attack all hostile forces within 500m
4) attack another player/bot only if their employer tells them to. Maybe something like /msg "Escort Eckala-Something" sick "LeberMac"
5) attack all people desgnated on a list of hostiles that the employer provides. For example, escorts would automatically join the employer's group, and the employer could say 'hostile "bla1" "bla2" "bla3" "etc"' and escorts set to this behavior would automatically attack any of these players should they enter the sector.

That's about all to my suggestions. Great work Incarnate, keep it up!
Nov 07, 2005 Priapus link
I think you'd have to be careful with the implementation of buyable bot escorts. People could find all sorts of nefarious uses for their own pet bot, so you either need to stop them, or think about what effect that might have in the wider world of racing, ctcing, piracy, etc.

As for the moth, I agree with the others... nerf it if you like, but not too much.
Nov 07, 2005 Phaserlight link
YES! I heartily agree, incarnate. I would also like to echo Beolach that I'd like to see the Moth's top speed take a bigger hit than its armor, for the reasons he enumerated.
Nov 07, 2005 Renegade ++RIP++ link
I don't know how to comment on this, but I'm surely no believer in escorts making transports safer. In many cases you can easilly ignore escorts and kill the tradeships. Being this npcs or real life people. The only however is when there are way more escorts then pierats, but most of the times this involves mines and some sort of rocket-blanketcovering (ff) of the transport.

And if pierats actually do start a tussle with the escorts, then in most if not all of the cases they weren't that intent on pursuing the tradeship at all but where just there to pick a fight.

And any negative inclination to the armour of the trade-ships will just make it so that escorts are even more obsolete then they are now. But this is just my opinion.

And for the moment, the only way i could envisage making escorts usuable was by dropping the speed of (pure)tradeships to practically non turbo (or half turbo) but upping their armour to adjust the decrease in speed. Not to mention that escorts with repairguns will become even more feasonable although the danger in here will be that escort without repairguns will become impossible to deliver. Just as ctf used to be very escort dependent but where these ships got unfortunately blown up very fast due to lack of armour to cope with the massive dmg that got tossed around.
Nov 07, 2005 jexkerome link
If this is to be done then I agree with Beolach: a balance of speed and armor nerfing must be reached so the pirates don't go for the moth every time. I'm changing my stance on player escrots because I happen to know they work dirt cheap.
Nov 07, 2005 Phaserlight link
heck, the Vipers will do it for free if you ask
Nov 07, 2005 ctishman link
I think you should nerf top speed and maneuverability. Give it a turbo top-out of about 150, and it can only hold that for 6 seconds or so, and maybe even beef the armor a little so it can withstand a suicide attack by a single pirate in a rocket-rag.
Nov 07, 2005 yodaofborg link
Well, it should be a risk taking that much cargo from one point to another, right now it isnt. (unless you get unlucky) hell i've had more success chasing valks down :D

I'm for anything that increases player interaction, as long as it doesnt unbalance the game tottally (like the uber bp, ok, it got people working together, but well, heh) I'm personally up for trying anything that makes it more exciting for all, cos currently, traders dont really have a challenge, while even a good pirate doesnt usually stand a chance. (making it either boring or frustrating for both).

@ rene, the escorts do make it hard to take out even an NPC moth, that hardly turboes, errm when was the last time you played? (de-ja vu anyone?) Ok, probably not as effective as a PC gank squad after you, but by hell, lil NPC warthogs with agt+flares can bloody well hurt!
Nov 07, 2005 Lord Q link

incarnate is right, the moth isn't suposed to be a tank.

reduce the armor so that it is vulnerable to pirat attack. then the escorts will just have to learn how to defend a moth.

for one thing the maximum engagment range is around 800m - 1km. radar works for at least 2km (i don't know the actual maximum off the top of my head). learn to intercept posable threrats before they get too close.

secondly, the reason you can destroy the NPC 'moths before the escorts take notice is because the AI doesn't move to intercept possible threats, they wait untill the transport is under fire and then respond (a lousy way to protect a transport).
Nov 07, 2005 Cunjo link
hey... what of that cargo weight thread? we could give the moth a minor thrust nerfing and up the weight of the cargo, and it would make it vulnerable and in need of protection while loaded.

Think about it:

More escorts with a moth, means it obviously has cargo worth taking, or a loner could take a gambit and hope that nobody engages him by appearing to not be worth the time. Incentive to attack the heavily escorted moths would encourage more challenging undertakings.

Furthermore, I -do- want to see some cargo jetting becoming a viable escape tactic.


NPC escorts should be cheap, as they really are rather worthless if an attacker hits the moth suddenly and with everything... of course, a good combat pilot would be worth the extra price you pay them for their service.

I really don't want to see top speed take a big hit, if any, but thrust certianly... my main reason is the speed of travel to WHs, especially in long sectors onn long missions through monitored nation space would be exceptionally boring, if you made them take much longer... perhaps a slower, more heavily armored moth varient for trading in hot areas, and a faster, virtually unarmored varient for safe ones?

And give the moth a small port already! at least on one varient... and could we also have a varient with three large ports? I mean, ho cool would that be?

/givemoney devs 2c
Nov 07, 2005 tumblemonster link

Having spent a considerable amount of time chasing moths unsuccessfully, I would have to say they still move way to well, and have too much armor.

Increased dependency on escorts for large cargo vessels will also increase player interaction and make the game more fun.
Nov 07, 2005 Moofed link
Vulnerable moth good. It'll give a niche back to the maud, maybe.

We should consider the effectiveness of escorts if/when suggestions like missle chaff and destoryable rockets are implemented. This way escorts would have a chance of defending against rocket rags (short of trying to take the hit for the trader).
Nov 07, 2005 genka link
I think you're all missing the point:
OMG hi spider!
Nov 07, 2005 Doukutsu link
Yeah, I feel something has to be done about the Behemoth. They are just a little to tough to catch up to in flight. I don't know if it would be a good idea to cut the armor -drastically- say, like 50% or something, but certainly lowered in the range of 30-40%. I think the real key factor is the speed. It might even be a good idea to add another 20 to 40 cu of cargo space if you lower the speed and armor.
Nov 07, 2005 yodaofborg link
I think the speed is fine, acceleration is the problem, it gets to 170 fully loaded with ion cores, faster than a tpg maud type b, loaded with the same cargo, the only difference is the moth holds 120 cu, the maud 48(?)... so why is it easier to move larger amounts of cargo?

And yeah, sorry genka, hey spider, long time, no shoot, which hopefully means i'll pwn ya, get back inagme :D
Nov 07, 2005 Ghost link
Though it would be difficult, I think it would be very possible to defend a slower and less armored moth. It would be just like ctc except with a human transport pilot that would react to his surroundings. So difficult, yes, but possible. Plus, going along with what everyone else has said, yay for player interaction!