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Re: Combat Drones & Why I Oppose them for Limit Theory

#31
McDuff wrote: OK. But why is a small drone hull the upper limit on the size of unit in which I can install a competent Drone AI autopilot? That's the problem to be addressed, making drones bigger not making fighters smaller.
It is not. Once a vessel is in the fighter category (and price), who drives it is semantic. As there is no "crew management" planned for LT1.0, having an AI (NPC) or an AI (non-NPC) driving would just change the upkeep (salary, sandwich, windows 3400XXP upgrades) form.
I assume you will have more or less smart and independent AIs, and a drone is at one side of the scale while the leader of a great faction will be at the other side.
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Re: Combat Drones & Why I Oppose them for Limit Theory

#33
AbhChallenger wrote:
Behemoth wrote:How many (simple) drones could a low-end computer realistically handle?
It all depends on how drone AI is implemented. However unless you want some gamey "magic physics" for drones they will still be objects that cost CPU like any other fighter.

CPU time that is far better used with NPC fighters. Especially if said fighters can be jumped to the front in highly specialized transports. And of course the classic carrier.
You didn't answer my question. At all. You just said "it depends", and gave an unrelated argument saying the CPU used for drones could be better used in fighters.

If you need some parametres to approximate:
As good physics as with ships
AI with decent pathfinding and aiming

Now actually give me an answer, please?
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I've never played a space sim. Ever.
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Re: Combat Drones & Why I Oppose them for Limit Theory

#34
McDuff wrote:Let's just make the game like eve! *eye roll*

In a free, procedural system, are you really saying you're going to stop me taking the mining drill of my drone design and gluing a laser on there? But what if I, like, want to? Will you give me a"not allowed because reasons" dialogue box?

It still comes down to the underlying mechanics for determining who exactly is piloting ships under your command, something people are assuming works a certain way even though we don't know how it works yet.
Do not compare my view to EVE Online.

#1 I do not like the decisions CCP makes. Ironically. What caused me to eventually leave was them nerfing the Domi (A drone boat) without taking in page after page of feedback saying it was a bad idea. (But hey it got used in that stupid tourney so I guess it must be overpowered right?) Same with Incursions, the drake.. Etc....

#2 EVE Online is completely different from LT. It does not have any real physics. As such there can be thousands and thousands of drones in a major battle. Every drone, every fighter in LT has to have AI and physics CPU cycles.

#3 That sounds less like a dedicated combat drone and more like some kludge of parts. What I am against is dedicated combat drones that are actually useful in combat.
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Re: Combat Drones & Why I Oppose them for Limit Theory

#35
AbhChallenger wrote:#2 EVE Online is completely different from LT. It does not have any real physics. As such there can be thousands and thousands of drones in a major battle. Every drone, every fighter in LT has to have AI and physics CPU cycles.
Do they, though? I mean, I'm fairly happy with the way drones are handled in EVE Online. I'd love for there to be a lot more complexity in the mechanics relating to them, such as designing them, controlling them, etc. But from a physics perspective I'm pretty happy with how EVE handles it all. Collision handling isn't so important since I imagine drones as being quite small and agile and should easily be able to avoid running into things or being run into. If something does hit them, they should probably just explode.

Personally I'm pretty happy with the way drones fly in EVE Online, and if their approach makes it possible to support thousands of drones at once, I say go for it.
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Re: Combat Drones & Why I Oppose them for Limit Theory

#36
Their approach does not use the local PC tho. They use EXTREMELY powerful servers that are normally used in enterprise settings.

And even with that they STILL need 10% TiDi

As far as making LT drones like that to save CPU cycles. Sure you could sorta solve that problem with such gamey mechanics. But what about the others? Worse if they are acting differently than normal physics (Even today Josh mentioned how the new drag system makes slower speeds more Newtonian like) such as the classic drone orbit of EVE. That makes them even harder to shoot. So that means more gamey mechanics to make them killable. Then more gamey mechanics to make them harder to hit with a stray shot.. So on and so forth.
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Re: Combat Drones & Why I Oppose them for Limit Theory

#37
AbhChallenger wrote:Their approach does not use the local PC tho. They use EXTREMELY powerful servers that are normally used in enterprise settings.

And even with that they STILL need 10% TiDi

As far as making LT drones like that to save CPU cycles. Sure you could sorta solve that problem with such gamey mechanics. But what about the others? Worse if they are acting differently than normal physics (Even today Josh mentioned how the new drag system makes slower speeds more Newtonian like) such as the classic drone orbit of EVE. That makes them even harder to shoot. So that means more gamey mechanics to make them killable. Then more gamey mechanics to make them harder to hit with a stray shot.. So on and so forth.
You're worried it might require skill to shoot down drones in a skill-based game? :P

It'd make complete sense for drones to do their best to avoid getting shot down, the same with all agents. NPCs shouldn't be stupid; they should be sensible and make sensible choices. For a drone, that means taking advantage of its small size and agility and remaining in motion to make them more difficult targets to hit. This will have to be balanced in some way to prevent them from being too difficult to take down, but it makes complete sense to me that drones should do what they can to avoid taking damage.
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Re: Combat Drones & Why I Oppose them for Limit Theory

#38
No I am speaking of drones that have "Magic Physics" (Not talking about your H-Drive idea of which I have no opinion at this time. I am speaking of giving them simple abilities not based on physics like EVE does)

Of course I would want drones be a pain in the ass to shoot down. However that difficulty should come because they are specialized to make best use of physics. Not given cheap game mechanics.

I am comparing kinds of difficulty. I absolutely HATE cheap difficulty. The only games that are allowed to do that are joke games in my opinion like the new AVGN game that parodies the cheap difficulty of some NES games.
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Re: Combat Drones & Why I Oppose them for Limit Theory

#39
AbhChallenger wrote:No I am speaking of drones that have "Magic Physics"

Of course I would want drones be a pain in the ass to shoot down. However that difficulty should come because they are specialized to make best use of physics. Not given cheap game mechanics.

I am comparing kinds of difficulty. I absolutely HATE cheap difficulty. The only games that are allowed to do that are joke games in my opinion like the new AVGN game that parodies the cheap difficulty of some NES games.
Can you clarify on what you mean by "magic physics"? To explain my own position in regards to physics, I think that drones should be handled just like any other kind of mobile entity except that collision handling can be simplified or ignored. But I'd still want my bullets or lasers to inflict damage on them if I fire them their way. Does that count as collision handling? If so, then I specifically mean you can simplify the code that checks if drones have run into anything (or vice versa).
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Re: Combat Drones & Why I Oppose them for Limit Theory

#40
"Magic Physics" is EVE Like. They do not have collisions (Which is silly) and they are not handled by the game's physics engine (No drag or anything else) They simply move wherever their AI tells them to move. And have a hard coded limit on speed as opposed to the drag system.

I was reading a topic on a sim forum recently talking about a hyper realistic mod for the old sim Falcon 4.0 . A user was trying to make the case that the team should use a gamey mechanic to implement IFF and that user was told straight up that the mod was not going to add a gamey mechanic for the sake of having that mechanic.

LT should be the same.
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Re: Combat Drones & Why I Oppose them for Limit Theory

#41
AbhChallenger wrote:"Magic Physics" is EVE Like. They do not have collisions (Which is silly) and they are not handled by the game's physics engine (No drag or anything else) They simply move wherever their AI tells them to move. And have a hard coded limit on speed as opposed to the drag system.
But does it necessarily matter? The drones in EVE Online handle fine in my opinion. Since they're small and agile, it makes sense that they can accelerate fast enough to their top speed that drag can be abstracted away if it needs to be. I mean, are you going to be staring at these (say) fist-sized objects so intently that you'd actually notice whether or not they accelerated with quadratic-based friction? If larger entities behaved like that, then it would be a problem I agree, but I think with drones these things can be simplified or eliminated with little change to the player's experience.

And how often do you expect to see drones colliding with anything? And if they do, will it be necessary to make them do anything except explode?
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Re: Combat Drones & Why I Oppose them for Limit Theory

#42
Collision detection requires CPU cycles. Yes you can make it a very simple shape but it is still CPU use where every cycle counts.

Then you have to worry about AI. that means the drones need to know not to fly directly into a object. More CPU cycles.


We are going in circles here. And I think we have made our views on the subject known.

In the end I can only hope that Josh leaves combat drones out of the game. In my opinion there are enough reasons to leave them out and instead provide the player plenty of ways to specialize NPC craft to have drone like agility. As well as ways for players to get those ships to the front.
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Re: Combat Drones & Why I Oppose them for Limit Theory

#43
CSE wrote:Once a vessel is in the fighter category (and price), who drives it is semantic. As there is no "crew management" planned for LT1.0, having an AI (NPC) or an AI (non-NPC) driving would just change the upkeep (salary, sandwich, windows 3400XXP upgrades) form.
I'm not sure I agree.

The key advantage of sentience is environmental adaptability. I like the notion that drones can do just one thing well and don't have financial or emotional goals, while NPCs are OK at several things (and possibly really good at one thing) but need some form of upkeep.

That makes people valuable. So you'd reserve expensive fighters with life-support and defensive systems for NPCs, while drones would be considerably less capable but also significantly cheaper. And the result of that difference would be tactical flexibility, leading to more enjoyable gameplay.

On combat drones specifically, I can see a number of plausible options. There are probably more, but I find these interesting:
  • One basic weapon (poss. upgradable through research)
  • No weapons; mining drones attach themselves to target ships and "dig"
  • The drone is the weapon; mining drones can make one kamikaze attack
I'd be fine with any or all of those, personally.

One other thing: we've been talking about drones in their autonomous form, but drones can also be remotely piloted. Should that be an option for drones in LT?

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