Forums » Suggestions

Exploits/Players/The Human Variant

Apr 27, 2003 xochiluvr link
I know it's been "discussed" in some other threads of late, but I felt like making my comments in a -slightly- more civilized manner.

I think it's time a lot of these exploits were dealt with. I think they need to be a priority - more than frigates, weapon balance, etc. You're hardly going to be able to sell a game no one wants to play because some immature people choose to be sphincters.

I'm having a LOT of fun playing this game. We've discovered bugs, we've done exactly what beta testers do - we've discovered problems. I think it was a1k0n who mentioned in another thread that the devs aren't in game a whole lot. I think perhaps you guys should spend a bit more time in-game, just to see what the environment is like for many of us players of ALL nations - it ain't pretty, and often lately, it ain't even fun.

As it stands now, a single experienced/well-equipped player can ruin the entire experience for twenty or more other people, and that's no exaggeration. Icarus station camping in that godforsaken slug and tossing out nukes and docking before he takes any damage. Nessus pirating empty busses (that's a contradiction in itself). I won't even get into StarFreeze's actions of late; I think I'd rather chase Icarus in a Pinto with the gas tank on fire.

I think it's time you balance the players. You can't tell them what to do, of course, but you can encouage players via gameplay to do specific things.

Here are my suggestions:

1. Put the newbie sectors on the OTHER side of the home sectors. Don't allow cargo to be bought in them, only sold (this will work well once the bots start dropping scrap metal). Dumb these bots down even further, and make them 50 point bots.

2. Auto-mute chat-spammers. If someone posts the same message 5 or more times in a one minute period, they're auto-muted for 5 minutes. No guide necessary. Auto mute those who swear constantly (x amount of swear words during x amount of time) as well.

3. Guides. I think what some of the guides and/or devs might have overlooked is the fact that if player 1 can, consistently, SO anger player 2, 3, 4, n as to make that player cuss and scream and moan, that IS a gameplay issue and a serious one. If player 1 is ruining the game for five or ten or twenty players be it verbally or through actual gameplay, and they're making a stink, you need to look more seriously at leveling a more direct and forceful response to player 1 rather than reprimanding the other players for verbal abuse.

This is a commercial game: The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. This is not enforcing moral gameplay, this is rule by the majority. If player 1's intent is to make the game un-fun for player 2, player 1 is the problem, not player 2's reaction. This is not morality, this is common sense, and for the devs this is commercial viability. If our money talks (or will in the future), then you need to listen. The sooner the better. I think that's called free-market capitalism.

4. Exploits. This is very simple, and there are a lot of relatively easy options. You can't dock without a full battery. You undock with an empty battery just like warping. You can't dock more than once every 30 seconds. You can't dock for a full minute after hitting any target within 200m of any -neutral- station. Heavily fine the repeat offender - if he exploits himself broke he won't have a ship to exploit.

The attack bots are a fine answer on the surface, but...Say an exploiter undocks, tosses two nukes and redocks. He then undocks and the bots kill him, but... he'd switched to a bus!

Another solution is right out of most any computer RPG - you can't sleep/rest/dock/etc. until a fight is over. This might be hard to implement here, considering that (non-hostile) members of enemy nations are often located in the same sector.

5. CTF. This is our only game-based goal right now, but it's not much of a goal at all anymore. Capping a flag barely covers the cost of a single battery right now. Up the rewards by a factor of 10: 40k for the capper, 20 for the team. Heck, even 40k barely covers the cost of one tricked out ship.

But make it harder. Capping the flag now, assuming no player defence, is actually easier now than it was in 3.1. Sector bots need to be HARDCORE. They also need to be more first-strike oriented. Right now Red has a VERY unfair advantage - the sec 13 bots all hang out near the 12/13 warpgate and cappers often get attacked. That needs to be changed, and the sector defense bots need to be much more antagonistic. It should be almost impossible for anyone in any ship (be it valk or promy) to cap solo.

Actually, we don't have sector defense bots, do we. We have station and flag defense, but no bots who's job it is to freely attack ANY player of any other nation simply for entering the sector, and is able to chase those players for considerable distances without making the flag vulnerable.

This gives us a worthwhile goal, is nation-oriented, and directs violence towards a purpose OTHER than general mayhem. It also doesn't add that much to the devs' workload, especially since CTF will most likely be going the way of the dodo when the game is ready for sale.

(A side note here. I don't remember where the idea came from, but some mensroom urinals in England and other eu countries have a bug (usually a fly) painted life sized on the inside. The theory is that this focuses the guy's attention towards a specific goal (ie, where's he's aiming), and therefore there's less, erm, "splash damage." My CTF idea is basically based on the same principle. Direct the players toward a specific, constructive, beneficiary purpose. Isn't that why CTF was implemented in the first place?)

6. We need a reputation system that is linked to the bots in EVERY sector. If offenders are chased in every sector by every bot, and they're not allowed to dock, pirating/n00b killing won't be as attractive. Offenders should automatically have higher bounty, too. A long time repeat offender's character (of the 6 in his account) should be rendered virtually unusable. No where to dock to trade, repair, chased incessantly by bots, perhaps unable to even capture an enemy's flag. Ships and cargo would become more expensive, or unavailable, or impossible to sell.

7. The special ships need a particular weakness and a particular strength. Right now the Marauder isn't -that- special a ship. It doesn't hold that much more than a centaur. It's offensive/defensive benefits are minimal versus the other two specials.

The suggestions I have for the specials are also RPG based.


Projectile weapons do 10% more damage than normal.
Energy weapons do 5% less damage than normal.
Cargo: 8
Hull is 24k


Energy weapons do 10% more damage than normal.
Projectile weapons do 5% less damage than normal.
Cargo: 2
Hull points: 12k.

Energy/projectile weaps do 5% more damage if ship is FULL of cargo.
10% increase in turbo at all times with no extra battery drain.
5% increase in cruising speed (not manuverability) at all times.
Cargo is increased to 20 (20=14 of the Centaur and the 6 a bus holds)
Hull: 18k

Energy/Proijectile weapons mentioned above don't count either of the mines or the avalon.

The changes in the promy hull is mainly to counteract avalon spam and to even the numbers (6k scale). The cargo changes balance what the ship is actually designed for. The valk is a fighter, why does it have all that cargo space? The promy is built for defense and bombing, not head-on attack, or even trade. The Marauder is a cargo ship - why doesn't it hold a significant edge over the next-best cargo hauler (one which, though less agile, is MUCH better armed)? I changed the cargo slots to reflect that the pizza ship is built for cargo, and the others are NOT.

The neutral ship is the only one not built for warfare. Even with the best pilot in her, she'd be hard pressed to beat even an average pilot in one of the two warships. The new advantages and disadvantages mean that different tactics need to be used to defeat the warships, and the Neutral trader has a chance at outrunning pirates/enemies.

Just some random thoughts. Feel free to critique -constructively-.
Apr 27, 2003 Renegade ++RIP++ link

Projectile weapons do 15% more damage than normal.
Energy weapons do 5% less damage than normal.
Cargo: 8
Hull is 24


Energy weapons do 5% more damage than normal.
move 10% faster "turbo and cruising speed, no extra drainage "
10% extra radarrange.
Projectile weapons do 5% less damage than normal.
Cargo: 2
Hull points: 12k.

Energy/projectile weaps do 5% more damage if ship is FULL of cargo.
5% increase in turbo at all times with no extra battery drain.
5% increase in cruising speed (not manuverability) at all times.
Cargo is increased to 20 (20=14 of the Centaur and the 6 a bus holds)
Hull: 18k

In my opinion "me being Itani", and since itani are primarily the scouting race. I thought our radarrange should be extended and we should be able to fly faster then any of our adversaries. Scouts are used for "scouting" deuh ;). this is taking the front piecs and looking out for threats by using stealthness, knowing of their surroundings and their natural speed. Scouts also mainly use light weapons.


PS: I hope this was constructive enough xoch ;)
Apr 27, 2003 Suicidal Lemming link
Know what would be cool? If you destroy the guards of a station you are allowed to dock and buy there 'sepcial' ship, for a bit more then normal though. But you only get like 1 minute before new guards are created.
Apr 27, 2003 Icarus link
I would like to make it known that i have only ever used Avalons 2 or 3 times so far! I have not been launching from a station, firing nukes, and docking at all. This was some BS fabricated by Arolte, and it seems everyone has bought it. I don't like using nukes cos the high price, and i think this tactic is way too cheap even for me!!! If any of you actually paid attention, you would notice that infact i tend to use a Prometheus ship loaded with an Advanced Gattling Gun. So how is it i am supposedly able to launch from a station and blow everyone up? I obviously must be using my Ultra Serco Issue Smart Bomb!?!

People are now saying the Prom is not balanced.. i think its not too bad, its just that these people are not using their heads when they attack one... I could easily outfit a fighter that could take down a Prometheus, its really not that hard...

Apr 27, 2003 roguelazer link
SL: Good idea

Renegade ++RIP++: All good, much improved from xochilovur's variants... Makes sense to me!

Icarus: I agree, the Prom is quite balanced all things considering

xochilovur: One thing I noticed was full battery for dock. This is BAD. When you are being chased by a pirate, or at least when I am, I often just boost into the dock because I know I can't warp out without waiting for my battery to recharge, during which time I will die. Therefore, that is a bad idea. Just make it you can't redock for 20 seconds or something. I know it's a long time, but if it was only 5 seconds, it would still be easily exploitable. Other things? Well, I strongly dislike the no sleep/dock/etc until a fight is over. Not good for space combat game where 3 shots with a gun can kill... The CTF idea is good, but I still say we should get score and money. Say, 40k money and 5k score for the capper, 20k money and 1k score for the rest of the team. Oh, and capping should make your bounty go up too. Say, when you steal the flag, the capper's bounty goes up by 1k, then by another 1k after it is capped (that way the bots will "reciprocate"). Oh, and with the weapons? The adv gatling turret should do full damage on the promy, because it is a weapon that fits the promy very well IMHO. Well, more to come later. :)
Apr 27, 2003 Renegade ++RIP++ link

i like the ideas you stated very much, and I can't wait for more, but am still wondering waht is thought about mine, BS, myeah good enough or ??



me whistles along with rogue :D
Apr 27, 2003 roguelazer link
/me looks around innocently
Apr 27, 2003 slappyknappy link
I think the ability to add multiple engines and batteries -- at the expense of weapon slots -- would be a good way to add more differentiation to the ships. But not unitl the current batch of ships and weapons is balanced.

Think about it: you want to scout fast? Add a bigger engine and a bigger battery, with onyl minimal (if any) weapons.

You want to trade? Maybe use an heavy engine and two heavy batteries: enough to keep a stready pace without battery drain, and some mines to drop if someone chases you.

You want to fight? Take a small fighter and put two efficient engines on it: you now have a FAST maneuverable ship, although without quite as much punch because you gave up one weapon slot.

You want an assault ship? One efficient engine, two heavy batteries, one or more missle batteries (depending on your base ship) and a gattling turret.
Apr 27, 2003 Arolte link
Icarus, I don't recall ever yelling, "ICARUS IS USING NUKES!!" I've only asked once or twice whether he was in chat, so that I would know whether to avoid the station you were in or not. I never declared that you used nukes. Other people have claimed that you used them though, and quite frankly I wouldn't find that hard to belileve. And yes, I have seen you use them in the past. But that was before you got your toy prometheus to play with. That's all.

PS: Enough with the finger pointing. The poster of this thread wanted a civilized discussion about a serious issue. He stated specifically that he didn't want a flame war.
Apr 27, 2003 Eldrad link
The Icarus using nukes. What has happened to me in sec 14:

Icarus was camping the station. A bunch of golds were trying to nuke him (I thought it was him doing the nuking) Then I went close to the base to try to dock, and my valk was destroyed, not by icarus, but by the people trying to nuke him.
I've fought him one on one, and he doesn't equip nukes.
Apr 29, 2003 Drooling Iguana link
"You can't dock without a full battery. You undock with an empty battery just like warping."

Great. Let's make it COMPLETELY impossible for a trader to avoid being pirated.

How about, instead of imposing arbitrary time/energy limits for docking/jumping, have it so that instead of simply appearing when you emerge from a wormhole or sector, you're instead launched at 200m/s. That way, traders will be significantly less vunerable to pirates, and station/wormhole camping will become impossible due to the time it takes to slow down and turn around. Perhaps they could also change the docking/jumping "activation" button to a toggle, so that you can't approach a station of wormhole unless you have the doxking/jumping switch set to "on," in which case either the station's shields will automatically drop and its tractor beam will lock on to you and pull you into a docking port (if you're near a station) or a wormhole's gravitional field will pull you into the next sector (if you're near a wormhole.)

I never liked needing to have a full battery to warp and ending up with an empty battery when I get to the next sector. It makes it too difficult to flee from an attacker.
Apr 29, 2003 Renegade ++RIP++ link
Ay , exactly my thought drooling, but it was for stopping a certain exploit of jumping in and out of warpholes

But they could have changed that with a 1 minut timer or something simular "as long as it would take to get from a empty battery to a full one"

But the devs know what they are doing, believe me ;)

I just hope they read this, and maybe give a little comment if they like it or not or what the heck just get on with improving the game :D