Moriarty wrote:There are two types of visible in this game. Sensor visible - which is what your ships fire at - if you can see it on sensors (the black area with green grid) then you can fire.
There is also Sight visible. This is solely in the game to make life hard on you the player - as in you can't center on an enemy ship with the camera until its in "visible" range, which seems to be about half sensor range.
And my ships are firing at stuff which isnt visible in either way. Not visible on the sensor screen, not visible on the 3d screen. I cant see it, i cant order my ships to attack it, but theyre happily launching missiles at it anyway.
Example: cleaning up defense platforms, these things are trundling around the planet waiting for you to kill them one by one (for the hundredth time). Youre trying to speed things up (so you dont have to do this for yet another round) by trying to convince your fleet to fly around the planet in the opposite direction instead of just squash up against the side of the planet in a brainless splodge. Missiles are coming in from platforms outside your sensor range. That's fine, maybe they have better radar than me - but my ships are firing missiles right back at them.
Eventually the platform in question lumbers into view on my radar screen, and sometime after that (if it survives long enough) it will appear on the 3d screen and i can actually order my ships to attack it (assuming i havent yet researched whatever sensor tech it is that stops me having to switch between 2 screens every couple of seconds). My ships can see it. It can see them. They can target it. It can target them. I cant see or do anything. So what exactly is my role in all of this? I thought it was supposed to be me
playing the game.
When stuff like that happens it breaks my sense of immersion far more than having individual bump mapped weapons on every ship helps to create it.
The more types of ships there are in combat, the slower it is to load (Zanzibar says it's pre-rendering which would make some sense).
So this is really a flaw with the AI in that you get attacked by a fleet of 50 ships, there WILL be 40 different classes of ships in that fleet.
Pre-rendering, disk accessing, calculating pi to twelve million places, whatever. Its either bad coding and/or bad design and/or i need to upgrade. When you start autocalcing battles because you cant be bothered to wait, when youre making a decision to sacrifice ships (cos you will lose more in autocalc) not for some strategic reason in the game, but to save you having to look at the effing progress bar for another 3 minutes, then you have to wonder why youre bothering to play at all.
I wouldnt mind, but i dont actually think the game even looks that good. My machine handles games with far more going on than this graphically without any problems. If the designers actually think that modelling the hairstyle of the captain of each ship adds more to the game than having to wait 2-4 minutes for every combat subtracts from it, then... um... well, actually that would be in keeping with a lot of the other decisions theyve made, i.e. 3-d graphics are more important than playability.
Actually though, i suspect they just have some bad memory management code. Even once the battle is loaded and your ships have arrived, there is a 10 second or so pause before you can actually do anything. The same thing happens when loading a game, or indeed after every turn in the strategy map. Something very inefficient is going on somewhere. Maybe its my machine, but i can walk from one end of the country to the other in oblivion and not get a single pause due to loading, so i doubt it.
Zanzibar wrote:I mean... really... go ahead, zoom in on a ship... all those little details take time to generate!
Which is all well and good until you reaslise I do all my combat with Sensors (as you can't see your ships at range outside of sensors) and thus have three different sized triangles to represent both sides' fleets. Thus its a waste.
Agreed. Are there people out there that actually play this game zoomed in all the way? Really? Or is all this stuff just there to look good in magazine screenshots?
Here's the thing: in a first person game like Doom 3 or Halflife 2 or Oblivion or whatever, you get to look at things close up, a lot. If youre fighting a monster hand to hand, then youre going to be right up close in a one-on-one situation. If youre controlling a fleet of ships, then youre going to be looking at them from a distance that takes in quite a few of them at once. Youre not going to be close enough to see individual guns recoil as they fire.
The other thing is: graphical porn gets ignored after the first hour of play anyway. Once youre actually getting into playing the game, your brain stops noticing it. Sure, everyone will zoom in on that first dreadnaught they build and go "oooohh". But after that, unless you somehow get sexually aroused by polygons, you will be trying to actually play the game instead.
Trouble is, i dont actually think theres much game under there.