Orbital units - 2 directions

Discussion in 'Planetary Annihilation General Discussion' started by neutrino, August 28, 2013.

  1. kryovow

    kryovow Well-Known Member

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    no time to read it all...

    I suggest we keep the simple orbit mechanics, just for being user friendly. I have talked to some people, that liked the game trailer from kickstarter, but are not into super heavy RTS. They fear, as do I, that multiple planets will not be easy to manage. Add a realistic orbital layer and it will get even harde. Maybe, after the multiplanet support is in, we may think about how to modify orbital units....

    And on a second note, they have probably antigrav engines, which means, they can go in what orbit they ever want.
  2. aeonsim

    aeonsim Active Member

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    Because if the enemy base takes up 1/3rd of the planet with orbits that means it's 2/3rds of the planet your Sats can't fly over if they want to miss the base, when using true orbits with no active correction. Think about it for every region on a planet there is an antipodal region on the opposite side that is in the same simple orbit which is now also blocked.

    Aircraft do not have that limitation as if the base takes up 1/3rd they can still cover the other 2/3rds as they do not have to fly straight all the time.

    So sure you could Switch to using Geosync orbits this allows you to have a satellite over the antipodal base area, but now your having to manage several orbit types and as I've said before once you start using Geosync why would you consider using standard orbits the geosync are more consistent, you always know roughly where your Sats are making them significantly more valuable than straight orbits & they stay guarding the region or in the region your guarding!
    Last edited: August 28, 2013
  3. dabullet

    dabullet New Member

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    Why is everyone so afraid of their satellites being shot down?
    Balance the anti-sat defences and it should be ok.
    Limit their range, give it an appropiate cost (for each missile) and it should be no problem at all.
  4. RCIX

    RCIX Member

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    My personal opinion is that as long as orbital remains mechanically similar/same to air, it's a reskinned/retuned air layer and isn't ultimately what I was looking for. That said, I couldn't precisely define for you what I do want in an orbital layer, sooo....
  5. aeonsim

    aeonsim Active Member

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    Awesome, can we also have a "Solar Array Pumped Laser" & and "Asteroid Citadel"! I promise only to use the for mass Annihilation! Pretty please :D

    On a more serious note those books would be a nice source of ideas for Orbitals.
  6. nanolathe

    nanolathe Post Master General

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    Firstly
    Hell yes. Thank you Neutrino. you have my deepest appreciation for doing this.

    ---

    Second; Oh... boy... 120+ posts already. Give me a minute here...

    Ok, thought number one; differentiation from the Air layer by "cost".

    In a scenario where two (or more) players start on disparate worlds what viable interactions can there be between players if you make Orbital an Adv. Unit only? I'm aware that there were no-rush-timers in SupCom and starting on different worlds with the required time to advance to the Adv. Units stage of the game acts as a 'soft' no-rush-timer... but such things were never part of standard play, and definitely not competitive play. Even in Total Annihilation, raids, rushes and scouting information were paramount within the first five minutes of play and helped define that low-eco start with something for the players to engage in, rather than just Eco-whoring.

    If it takes say... fifteen minutes to get the economy to support this 'Cost Differentiated Layer', then... is that not a very boring fifteen minutes, where you are utterly unable to interact with your opponent(s) in a meaningful way? (smack-talk doesn't count)

    What thoughts do you have on the subject of early-game Orbital Units that would allow player interaction within the first few minutes of play? (rather than after a very slow and completely uneventful start)

    You want to keep your players on the edge of their seat, especially at the start when they are vulnerable. Letting them relax at the beginning sets a dull tone for the 'standard' units and renders them ineffective for the beginning of the game, unless you both start on the same planet.

    Orbital Units, and I must stress that this is in my opinion, should be something you can go for, pretty much right out of the box. Maybe not in the Commander's build selection, but certainly buildable by the standard Fabrication Bot/Tank/Plane/(Boat?). They should also be cheap enough to use within the first five minutes of play. I can only imagine the pain you'd be putting on casters and for tournament watchers if the first quarter of a standard game is played without the opponents so much as seeing each other, let alone actually engaging in combat of some form.
    Last edited: August 28, 2013
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  7. athamas

    athamas New Member

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    I had an idea that i would like to share that goes on from a suggestion someone made a while back,

    split orbital into two forms.
    Geostationary and polar,
    The geostationary area is the middle ~40 deg band of the planet, in this area objects are moved about as normal and will stay where they are put. This is where all 'buildings' would be built and could be the limit of where 'big' orbital structures can be. I would see this as where the likes of orbital T2 equivalent power generators, any fabrication systems, and maybe a big orbital space ion cannon of doom that can have a big beam of death at a massive power cost, can be constructed by orbital fabricators.

    The polar area is the rest of the map, any unit told to enter this area would start to cycle the planet at an increased speed, based on an orbit defied by where you told it to move too, always cycling over that point. Polar orbits could be given an offset from true so that they are not all going over the exact same spot at the poles [stops collision issues etc]
    This would be where satellites could be put, as well as defense platforms and small orbital-ground cannons. The increased speed allows these units to avoid [re % chance to dodge] ground based defenses, however they are not in place for that long.

    All units that could go into polar are fully able to sit in the geostationary area, but they are then stationary and easier to hit.
    Last edited: August 28, 2013
  8. nanolathe

    nanolathe Post Master General

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    And now you have!
    :p
  9. athamas

    athamas New Member

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    i was having issues with being a new user, something i typed counted as a link and would not let me post

    I also think the concept of orbital fighters is a little, human,
    If you want a weapons system in orbit there is no need for wings, no need to look sleek (though artistically it does look cool), what you want is a mass of weapons and armor.
    I personally think that calling the unit an orbital fighter inspires the wrong idea, people expect it to act and behave like a normal air fighter. Calling it an orbital defense platform, and making it look more like a drone missile launcher that you can mass produce as an answer to orbital units, in my opinion makes more sense, basically a mobile turret. Even if the effect of the unit is exactly the same game play wise. It also makes more sense as to why it would just hang around in orbit until needed.

    Also would the catapult make a good ground based orbital defense unit, [ob. with reduced orbital range?]
  10. nanolathe

    nanolathe Post Master General

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    It would only be a good option if Orbital Units make you move Heaven-and-Earth to afford; an idea I am strongly against.
  11. Clopse

    Clopse Post Master General

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    I don't understand the need for gas giants. As cool as they sound I just don't think they add anything to game game and have clearly a lot of downsides.

    I do think however that there should be a way to attack and defend interplanetary travel. Not sure how to implement this but maybe something along the lines of, if you scout the enemy's base, see they are building an egg or satellite you can send your avenger to the orbital area in the launch path of the orbital factory.
  12. vipez

    vipez Member

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    My 2 cents:

    2 Different styles of orbit units:

    Oribiting units:
    -satellite
    -
    -

    "Staying" orbit units:
    -"planes"
    -orbit fabbers
    -
    -

    With this style each person should be confident because we have orbiring as well as "staying" orbit units.

    And then we can even expand this list by for example dock stations build by orbit fabbers. These dock stations can be upgraded by weps for defense but can also be used that satellites can dock to them so they are now "staying" and bounded to the dock station. (can be un-docked when we want it to, but as long is it's docked, we have to give the station move orders for the satellite to move)

    My 2 cents
  13. nanolathe

    nanolathe Post Master General

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    "Upgrades" aren't in the game vipez. That's something Jon has been rather adamant about.
  14. YourLocalMadSci

    YourLocalMadSci Well-Known Member

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    Just my luck. I go to sleep, and suddenly this thread appears. Furthermore, I'm far too busy at the moment to bust out my usual essays on the matter. Still, kudos to neutrino for creating this. This is exactly the kind of community interaction i would like to see more of.

    A few quick points:

    Many of these points seem to be under the assumption that geosync and "real" orbits are mutually exclusive. That players orbital assets will constantly be being shot down as they eventually wander over an enemy stronghold. I disagree with this. I've already suggested that the orbital layer should consist of altitudes on either side of the geosynchronous orbit, meaning players would most likely treat a geosync orbit as their rally point for collecting their units together, and pack their structures and defences into points that they control.

    If you want a UI system, I suggest one in my Example thread. It's not perfect, primarily because of the fact that an orbit has six parameters, while a single free mouse-click only really contains two parameters. I was forced to suggest a combination click-drag-click system, but I actually think this would be very intuitive once players got to grips with it. Furthermore, i do believe it synergises well with almost all of the other UI paradigms in a TA style game. Different orbital paths can be shift-queued (although probably wouldn't be that necessary), attack orders would start with a rendezvous task using the lowest energy path that can immediately be enacted, as would assist orders, allowing players to rendezvous just by giving one click. Other rendezvous trajectories are available, such as a high-pass or low pass bi-ecliptic (the latter of these you are already implementing for asteroids), but i don't think it matters too much as long as it is a reasonably sensible form of trajectory, and it is consistent. I would like to develop this a little more, but i'm somewhat busy at the moment. The only thing i would like to add now is that i think simplifications can be done by snapping orbits to resonance trajectories with the parent body, as i think this would resolve issues with orbital precession. I would like to explain this in more detail, but it would have to wait.

    Finally, the suggestion that "we want real orbits because they are realistic". This is not an argument I have ever put forwards or subscribed to. Realism is not a style that be-fits this game, nor has it ever done so. However, realism has always played in inspirational role in these games. Where other RTS games simply have weapons-fire governed by hit-scan and armour types, TA, SupCom and PA have physically simulated the trajectory of projectiles. I'm sure that this isn't realism for the sake of realism, but the realisation that occasionally, just occasionally, realism throws us really interesting phenomena that could translate into fascinating game mechanics. I am firmly of the opinion that orbital mechanics is one of these, even if it was substantially simplified.
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  15. kryovow

    kryovow Well-Known Member

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    neutrino seemed to want the orbital layer to have lots of units and unit types. If we want a realistic orbital layer, that wont be true. I agree somehow, that an orbital layer with air unit layer behaviour, and air unit functionality, is quite "redundant". What if the orbital layer would only have reconnaissance and special functionalities? This would mean for example:
    • super radar, vision benath it
    • radar jamming
    • influencing of orbital launches
    • stop incoming interplanetary stuff
    • small tactical rocket/nuke launchers
    • special functionalities for gas giants
    • can only be shot down by anti sat missiles, much like anti nuke. Thos anti sat missiles can be ground/navy based and orbital based, or even interplanetary (you might want to destroy gas giants orbital layers)
    • there will still be a stationary orbit (but probably with the current orbit physics and speeds that orbit would be farther away from the planet than the moon orbit, am I right? Planet rotations seems to be slow compared to moon revolutions)
    That would make orbital units something special, and not another air, and would not be a problem if they "orbit" and lack the precise control of regular air or land units. The UI would be something like in the system editor: Players can define the final wanted orbit (and change it, but maybe just a limited amount of changes? Fuel limitations?) and the engine will automatically reach that orbit (this aint too hard, hohman transfer + inclination change). You would also not exceed 20 orbital units because it just would not make sense. And I like that.


    @Nanolathe: I would not take esports or competitive games into account here. I guess for those games, there will evolve a standard setting, probably on a small to medium planet, with some moon/asteroids around him. Multiple planet setups probably never will be fast paced in the first minutes.
    Last edited: August 28, 2013
  16. qwerty3w

    qwerty3w Active Member

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    Yeah, always think a planet type that only allow the activity of a single unit set doesn't sound like a good idea, perhaps we need a way to create lands there, maybe by building platforms.
    Last edited: August 28, 2013
  17. YourLocalMadSci

    YourLocalMadSci Well-Known Member

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    Where on earth did you get that idea from? I already proposed over 20 different orbital units/structures in the example thread, and theres room for many more.

    I'm really wondering where all these odd preconceptions about what orbital mechanics actually entails are coming from.
  18. aeonsim

    aeonsim Active Member

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    Remember they were a stretch goal so whether or not they're needed, some people want them and as a result of the Kickstarter they now need to be in the game.
  19. kryovow

    kryovow Well-Known Member

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    you are probably right, there "can" be so many types, probably every other unit type in the game can have its equivalent in the orbital layer. But in my opinion that isnt adding to the game much. Its just my opinion, so Im perfectly fine with your opinion of adding lots of units ;) well probably the game will have something like you want, and im okay with that too.
  20. dabullet

    dabullet New Member

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    I really hope Uber manages to implement all this stuff in time, but IMO it's a bit unrealistic
    with Beta in sight. But this is an entirely different topic :confused:

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