cloaked ships don't masslock you

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cloaked ships don't masslock you

Post by Commander McLane » Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:34 pm

As observed by Loxley and reported here, it is possible to engage your J-drive in the presence of a cloaked NPC. I think it is also true if the NPC has a MASC'M installed, in other words for all ships with scan_class CLASS_NO_DRAW.

I consider this a bug in Oolite, because the proximity of a mass or another engine is supposed to masslock your torus drive, regardless whether it appears on the scanner. Undoubtedly even a cloaked ship continues to possess a working quirium engine, therefore it should lock you.

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Post by Chrisfs » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:45 pm

It kinda ruins the advantage of a cloak though.

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Post by Disembodied » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:15 pm

Chrisfs wrote:It kinda ruins the advantage of a cloak though.
Not really ... if you're under cloak, you wouldn't be able to use the Torus drive to get away from a non-cloaked ship, because it would be visible on your scanner and you'd be masslocked. And NPCs don't have a Torus drive, so it's moot as far as they're concerned. I suppose if there's a cloaked NPC around that you're unaware of, the fact that you're masslocked even though there's nobody visible on the scanner will be a clue that there's a cloaked ship somewhere close by, but I don't really see that as a disadvantage.

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Post by ADCK » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:19 pm

It could be that cloaking devices don't just render you invisible, but also put you out of phase with reality, like some sort of sub-space phenomenon.

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Post by Disembodied » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:53 pm

I like the way you're technobabbling there but cloaked ships can still be hit by lasers (not to mention crashed into by other ships). That might require a bit more handwaving ...

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Post by Cmdr James » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:56 pm

First, lets decide what behavior is most sensible from a gameplay point of view, then lets explain it away.

FWIW I think the ship should mass lock, otherwise there is a world of confusion about what happens when a player cloaks, and it may make it too easy to escape from a battle thats going badly with a cloaked ship.

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Post by Cmdr Wyvern » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:15 pm

This little glitch may have been around since the 1st release of Oolite.

Like many other commanders (I guess), if I was taking hits but no red blip on my scanner, then I would think "Aha! A cloaked ship! Forget the torus, it won't work." Then switch to my rear gun and hope to get a visual on the telltale flicker, or punch the injectors and get the frak outta there.
Either way, trying the torus never crossed my mind.
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Post by Eric Walch » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:26 pm

Cmdr Wyvern wrote:This little glitch may have been around since the 1st release of Oolite.
I think also so. Browsing through the code, I see that asking for the scanClass of a cloaked ship, it returns always CLASS_NO_DRAW.

And for creating a mass lock, the objects with CLASS_NO_DRAW are excluded. I think the code has always been this way.

(CLASS_NO_DRAW is used to prevent object from being drawn on the scanner)

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Post by Loxley » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:03 pm

Cmdr Wyvern wrote: Like many other commanders (I guess), if I was taking hits but no red blip on my scanner, then I would think "Aha! A cloaked ship! Forget the torus, it won't work." Then switch to my rear gun and hope to get a visual on the telltale flicker, or punch the injectors and get the frak outta there.
Either way, trying the torus never crossed my mind.
Fair comment. I think it was due to it being my first encounter with a cloaked ship plus the cloaking device not (as far as I remember) being available in BBC Elite that urged me to.. well.. experiment.

Apologies to the devs for adding to their already overlarge workload.
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Post by JeffBTX » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:05 pm

To echo Cmdr James ( " ... then lets explain it away ... ")

... maybe masslock isn't due to physics so much as a hardwired safety feature enforced by GalCop on manufacturers ... to prevent ships with with torus drives from careening off of other ships, stations, and so forth. Apparantly they don't care about asteroids. Asteroids won't file lawsuits.

... also the Cloak is supposed to be some newfangled rare technology anyway, so who knows how it might affect things ...
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Post by Loxley » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:38 pm

JeffBTX wrote:... maybe masslock isn't due to physics so much as a hardwired safety feature enforced by GalCop on manufacturers ... to prevent ships with with torus drives from careening off of other ships, stations, and so forth. Apparantly they don't care about asteroids. Asteroids won't file lawsuits.
Not sure about this, source materials and fiction are pretty clear about the mass lock concept.
On the other hand I don't really want the devs to be cursing my name for bringing this up and I have been thinking about some Picard manuvere style tactics.

Then again that would probably lead to another entry in the Darwin Awards thread. :roll:
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Post by another_commander » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:52 pm

Loxley wrote:On the other hand I don't really want the devs to be cursing my name for bringing this up <snip>
On the contrary, bringing up things like this is exactly why this subforum is here for. I have not looked at the relevant code, as Eric seems to be already on top of it, but it does sound like buggy behaviour to me.

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Post by Cmdr James » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:01 pm

JeffBTX wrote:To echo Cmdr James ( " ... then lets explain it away ... ")
Dude, you totally misquoted me. I was saying that we should decide what is correct before creating backstory to support it.

To avoid any ambiguity, I think this is a bug, and should be fixed.

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Post by JeffBTX » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:46 pm

Cmdr James; yup, sorry....

Loxley... You're probably right, it's been ages since I actually read the source materials in depth (though I was "withit" from the beginning... ). I guess my memory needs a refresh or three.
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Post by Chrisfs » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:02 pm

Cmdr James wrote:First, lets decide what behavior is most sensible from a gameplay point of view, then lets explain it away.

FWIW I think the ship should mass lock, otherwise there is a world of confusion about what happens when a player cloaks, and it may make it too easy to escape from a battle thats going badly with a cloaked ship.
See I see it as the opposite way. A cloaked ship should avoid getting masslocked, otherwise the usefulness of a cloak is quite reduced. Presuming a cloak draws a lot of power (as I remember), it is not an item that can be used for long stretches, One can not feasibly arrive at a witchpoint and coast all the way to the station on cloak.
It's for short term uses. So simply being able to cloak, but not get away quickly from a hostile is of very limited usefulness.

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