ID Computer

General discussion for players of Oolite.

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Should Oolite have an Ident computer like some other versions of Elite?

Yes, you should always have it right from the start.
3
15%
Yes, but it should be an additional piece of equipment to buy.
10
50%
No, the missile targetting system works fine already.
1
5%
No, lets just enhance what is already in place.
6
30%
 
Total votes: 20

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Darkbee
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ID Computer

Post by Darkbee »

I just wanted to collect everyone's thoughts on the IDentity computer that some people have mentioned. I remember when playing the Atari ST version of Elite for the first time, I was slightly disappointed to discover that it had this feature (unlike the Speccy version). I felt that it kind of took away some of the fun of trying to Identify ships visually. Having said that, I did use it a fair bit (just out of laziness!)

I personally think that Oolite has got it right, the way it is now with the missile lock identifying the target. It seems more logical to me.

Perhaps, if radio messages are added then you could have a message asking a ship to identify itself (Which, naturally it could refuse to do).

Furthermore, we have already briefly discussed additional data that could be displayed by the scanner upgrade.

So the question is, do people think we need an additional ID computer (probably activated by a key-press)?

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Post by Jaybee »

I used that on the Amiga too. Using the missile targetting is something I do with Oolite to identify ships, but it's just too tempting to press 'M' rather than 'U'. A clean rating is soooo difficult to keep these days!

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Post by Darkbee »

Jaybee wrote:I used that on the Amiga too. Using the missile targetting is something I do with Oolite to identify ships, but it's just too tempting to press 'M' rather than 'U'. A clean rating is soooo difficult to keep these days!
But at least obtaining a Fugitive rating isn't fatal in Oolite!! I marvelled at the AI the other day when I helped the police to destroy a pirate only for them to turn on me! I seem to remember that some versions of Elite were virtually impossible to trade in illegal goods. Not so with Oolite! Now you really do have choices when it comes to which side of the law you want to be on.

Anyway, we digress... :lol:

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Post by Jaybee »

To digress a little further:

I seem to remember that the Amiga version of Elite also locked you out of space stations depending on your legal status, sometimes they would also send hoards of cops after you as well. I wonder if this is something that could be used? I seem to recall something like this mentioned earlier this week.

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Post by Darkbee »

Jaybee wrote:To digress a little further:

I seem to remember that the Amiga version of Elite also locked you out of space stations depending on your legal status, sometimes they would also send hoards of cops after you as well. I wonder if this is something that could be used? I seem to recall something like this mentioned earlier this week.
I don't remember that happening in Elite but it certainly happened in Elite 2. It might have been the case that your docking computers were disabled but you could still dock manually. Not 100% on that one.

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Post by stevesims »

Interesting poll...

Right now we have a "Scanner enhancement" upgrade, which draws a box around your targetted craft.

I always thought that an ID system should be an enhancement to this upgrade, i.e. make the upgrade more expensive but add in ID as extra functionality.

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Post by Jaybee »

Yeah, I love the target box on the scanner enhancement. Which makes me wonder, how far does the tech level go up to Oolite where further enhancements can be purchased?

The highest I have found is 15 in Galaxy 2, although I believe it was a poor industrial system, of which I have forgotten the name. I haven't got to the point where I've started to create a Commander's Log. However ...
Ad astra per aspera

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Post by Darkbee »

stevesims wrote:Interesting poll...

Right now we have a "Scanner enhancement" upgrade, which draws a box around your targetted craft.

I always thought that an ID system should be an enhancement to this upgrade, i.e. make the upgrade more expensive but add in ID as extra functionality.
Does that mean that you want the ID on missile targetting to be removed? I don't want to put words in your mouth but it would seem like the ID extra would be a pointless upgrade if you already have the missile targeting ID.

Perhaps rather than the ID computer being an upgrapde to the scanner enhancement, perhaps it can be an upgrade to the weapons targetting system i.e. the missile targetting system.

I still think that the scanner enhancement should do more than just draw a target box but it is a welcome upgrade as it stands.

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Post by stevesims »

We've discussed the scanner upgrade here before. Whilst I do think its useful as it is right now there have been a few other suggestions for how it can be improved. For example the upgrade could put a box around every ship that's close to your sights.

I think that the current missile ID system is fine, although maybe it should be removed. I don't think it was present in the original Elite, just some of the later versions, although that shouldn't really be a big factor in the decision making. Whilst when I wrote my last message I hadn't considered removing the current ID system, and when I read your message my first thought was that it should stay, I'm starting to think that maybe it should go. The scanner upgrade needs to provide a little more value IMHO and this feels like a reasonable idea.

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Post by NoSleep »

If you wanted to upgrade the current missile targetting box, you could allow for toggling through the ships around you. Or would that make it too easy?
Darkbee wrote: But at least obtaining a Fugitive rating isn't fatal in Oolite!! I marvelled at the AI the other day when I helped the police to destroy a pirate only for them to turn on me! I seem to remember that some versions of Elite were virtually impossible to trade in illegal goods. Not so with Oolite! Now you really do have choices when it comes to which side of the law you want to be on.
Perhaps worth a thread to itself... I think it would be worthwhile making piracy a harder choice of career, just as long as the rewards repaid the extra risk.

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Scanners, ID's, Targetting and enhancements

Post by Darkbee »

I would like to pick Aegidian's brains about his intentions for weapons targetting, the scanner enhancement and the proposed additions (like the target range indicator and perhaps smaller target boxes around all in-range ships)

Are you planning on having an enhancement for the scanner enhancement? i.e. the target range indicator

This sounds like its getting more complicated than it needs to be. My preference is to only ever have a couple of levels of equipment and I think that the enhancements need to be justifiable in order to make the purchase in the first place. For instance I think that it is a bit pointless to have a scanner enhancement that only gives me a target box around the targetted ship and then have to buy an additional enhancement to have additional info displayed . I'd rather make the original scanner enhancement more expensive and have all of the functionality at once. Naturally other people will have different opinions but my main concern is not having equipment for the sake of it. Other examples of this are having a regular missile, ECM and Energy unit type and then having a Naval class type.

How about having the following:

You start out with a basic missile targetting system that does NOT tell you what ship you've locked onto.

You can buy a weapons targetting enhancement which :-
1) ID's ships
2) Puts a green coloured target box around the currently targetted ship
3) Puts red target boxes around non targeted ships(perhaps).
4) Any other useful weapons targetting enhancements you can think of

You can buy a scanner enhancement which:-
Does what?
1) Displays info on the currently targetted ship such as range (in Km's) and maybe current heading.
2) Opens up the possibility for rudimentary navigation? Like autopilot to the nearest space station, planet, sun whatever.
2) Any other suggestions are welcome here (I know Stevesims has a few ideas on this one)

As I said before my main goal is to avoid having a plethora of semi useful equipment , I'd rather have a smaller selection of more useful equipment. Let's hear your suggestions.

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Rationalising Elite missile behaviour.

Post by aegidian »

Looking at the traditional behaviour of Elite, it makes most sense to me if the targeting system is part of the missile, not the ship. Which explains why target lock is lost when the missile is launched and why you can't target missiles after the last one is launched.

If that's the case then:
  1. Any new targetting device would probably slave to the same system, which would mean it would have to take up a missile pylon.
  2. If each missile carries a targetting system, I don't see why one shouldn't have some means of switching between the active missile pylons.
That way one could (say) target missile number one onto an escort ship; press the cycle-active-missile key and target missile number two onto a second escort; cycle-active missile and target missile number three onto the cargo ship; cycle-active missile onto the last pylon (with your ident system) and check out if a fourth ship was a threat. Then you could hit cycle-active-missile and launch-missile three times in quick succession to fire off your missiles onto the three targets.
  • There would be an upgrade to allow active-missile-pylon switching, this would probably be a fairly expensive, high-tech computer upgrade.
  • There would also be a very cheap (missile price), mid-tech option of a non-launchable ident system for a misile pylon.
  • An extremely high tech option would be to have all the targeted missiles display info on-screen simultaneously, this would probably be a military reward only option.
  • Finally, it would open the way for expensive special purpose, or higher tech missiles.
What do you think?
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How do missiles work?

Post by stevesims »

Now I do agree that it makes sense that targeting is part of the missile.

However there is communication between your ship and your missiles - you do after all have some control over targeting and launch. The on-screen targeting box displayed with a scanner upgrade also implies that the target is communicated back to the ship.

Why then can't the ship computer send that target info on to another missile?

It seems that enemy ships can rapid fire several missiles already, implying that they have some kind of multi-targeting, or target sharing capability.

Given that there are already scanners on the ship I don't see why a new targeting device would take up a missile pylon. Enhanced targeting would surely be an upgrade akin to the scanner upgrade?

Should you be able to switch missiles? Well, if you only have a single missile launch tube then the missile switching may need a missile loader upgrade, and it would take time to switch missiles. With one launch tube per missile this isn't an issue. I am, of course, assuming here that missiles are stored inside the ship - after all we don't see them attached to ship hulls.

I do believe that there should be the capability of selecting different missiles, since I would like to see some different missile types. A stunner missile would be nice, coupled with a tractor beam upgrade so that you could board ships and steal them. :-)

I'm not sure about an ident system taking up a missile pylon. Why can't that just be a scanner upgrade enhancement?

I wouldn't say that an enhanced scanner upgrade to display all missile targets should be an extremely high-tech upgrade. After all you could simulate this effect by simply rapidly cycling through your targeted missiles. It should instead just be a more expensive version of the existing scanner upgrade from just 1TL higher.

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Re: How do missiles work?

Post by aegidian »

stevesims wrote:...there is communication between your ship and your missiles - you do after all have some control over targeting and launch. The on-screen targeting box displayed with a scanner upgrade also implies that the target is communicated back to the ship.

Why then can't the ship computer send that target info on to another missile?

It seems that enemy ships can rapid fire several missiles already, implying that they have some kind of multi-targeting, or target sharing capability.
Both of those make sense to me. And there's no reason why numerous missile can't be targeted on the same ship. Perhaps when switching missile station the station you switch to should inherit the last target if it's not already targeted on something.
stevesims wrote:Given that there are already scanners on the ship I don't see why a new targeting device would take up a missile pylon. Enhanced targeting would surely be an upgrade akin to the scanner upgrade?
I'm working onm the premise that there are a fixed number of missile mounting points (pylons) per ship, presumably with some sort of external covering (in order to keep the ship profile smooth in order to, err, *thinks quickly*, facilitate the witch-jump process which can't handle complicated ship geometries *phew*).

Enhanced targetting (switchng and copying between missile stations) would be an in-ship upgrade, but the sort of targeting missiles require does not, in my observations, seem directly compatible with the main scanner.
stevesims wrote:Should you be able to switch missiles? Well, if you only have a single missile launch tube then the missile switching may need a missile loader upgrade, and it would take time to switch missiles. With one launch tube per missile this isn't an issue. I am, of course, assuming here that missiles are stored inside the ship - after all we don't see them attached to ship hulls.
Obviously, that's not my reading of how the missile system works. A torpedo-style launcher in the style you suggest should be a possibility but I think it may be too large a weapon system for the relative size of the og craft.
stevesims wrote:I do believe that there should be the capability of selecting different missiles, since I would like to see some different missile types. A stunner missile would be nice, coupled with a tractor beam upgrade so that you could board ships and steal them. :-)
I'm far less sophisticated. I was thinking of cluster warheads spreading mines, mini-nukes and small, pulse-laser drones.
stevesims wrote:I'm not sure about an ident system taking up a missile pylon. Why can't that just be a scanner upgrade enhancement?

I wouldn't say that an enhanced scanner upgrade to display all missile targets should be an extremely high-tech upgrade. After all you could simulate this effect by simply rapidly cycling through your targeted missiles. It should instead just be a more expensive version of the existing scanner upgrade from just 1TL higher.
First point, I think it would have to take up some extra space, and a weapons mount is the perfect solution.

Second point, that's a fair argument. Maybe it should be wrapped into the price of multi-missile capability.
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Post by Darkbee »

This sounds like its getting really complicated! I do think, however, that being able to cycle through targets (or missiles) is a fairly realistic proposition, especially when I compare with conventional jet fighter aircraft. I'm no expert on jet fighters but I was under the impression that in some instances you can cycle through targets, that are in the locality of your radar (probably ground based) but have to obtain a visual lock for air to air missiles. However, once you have that lock, I think you can fire off a volley of missiles at one target. From that, I think that we are agreed that there must have to be some communication between onboard weapons computers and the missiles themselves.

I am almost dead certain that each ship in Elite had its own missile capacity. If memory serves correctly the Adder, for example, only had room for one missile. This would present a problem for upgrades that would require a weapons pylon. Does that mean that this ship should be penalised OR is it just part of the natural 'weighing of options' process when looking at different ships to buy? I realise that if your ship only has one missile pylon then cycling through missiles is a moot point, but I'm just thinking of the bigger picture since it seems like you already have a number of ideas for additional weapons.

I agree with Aegidian about the missiles being concealed in some sort of internal mounting as opposed to the torpedo tube idea (although it is a good one). That was always my interpretation anyway. I always put the ability to only fire one missile at a time down to being a limitation of the system (which then almost begs for some sort of weapons upgrade).

As I've stated before though, I really do politely and respectfully request that we avoid upgrades to upgrades of upgrades. I really don't care if my onboard toilet is just a regular flush handle or one that has two buttons for full or half flush or even automatic sensor flusher. The fact that the toilet flushes is all I'm interested in. In otherwords I think while some weapons/equipment have merits in being upgraded, a lot of the time, I'm only interested in the basic functionality.

Having said all of that, it seems that we are in agreement as to the fact of having:

1) A weapons targetting upgrade of some kind
2) Keeping the existing scanner enhancement

(we do agree on this don't we?)

Which is fine by me, we just need to agree on the functionality and purpose of each.

Am I sounding very bossy right now? (apologies if I am, I realise its not my project...honest!)

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