cloaked ships don't masslock you

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Cmdr James
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Post by Cmdr James » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:11 pm

There are 2 situations here, should a cloaked ship itself be mass lockable and should being in the presence of a cloaked ship cause mass lock. I guess it should be symmetric, but Im not certain.

The bug is that when you meet a cloaked ship, you do not get mass locked. This feels wrong somehow, and it isnt at all clear to me why it should be so. The ship still has mass for collision damage (momentum) etc.

I think, but Im not sure that if the player cloaks they are still subject to normal mass-locking.

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Post by Eric Walch » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:57 pm

Chrisfs wrote:See I see it as the opposite way. A cloaked ship should avoid getting masslocked, otherwise the usefulness of a cloak is quite reduced.
That are two different things. You talk about being mass locked by your own cloaked ship. That should of cause be the same as not being cloaked.

Here is at issue: should a cloaked npc ship mass lock the player. Technically the change would be easy. We already have a test:

Code: Select all

if ([ship isCloaked])  drawClass = CLASS_NO_DRAW;
And it would be very easy to just add to this:

Code: Select all

mass_locked = YES;
(In a way it excludes the player) The MASC does mass lock the player.

The main question is: Is it a bug or expected behaviour. Is it the pure mass that locks, than it is a bug, but if it is a technical thing that activates a mass lock, than it could be explainable. e.g. big asteroids or hermits also don't mass lock so it is not the presence of mss itself that locks the speed.

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Post by Cmdr Wyvern » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:06 pm

Chrisfs wrote:
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.
I'm not so sure about the cloak having a limited usefulness, despite it's heavy power requirements.
Engaging the cloak makes hostile NPCs stop in their tracks, or choose another target they can see. If you have the fuel - and providing you ignore the bug or didn't know about it in the first place - then it's possible to injector away from trouble, and shake pursuit under cloak.
And the cloak is the ultimate missile countermeasure. Toggling the cloak on for a second or two makes any missile on your ass lose lock and self-destruct.
The cloak also allows pre-emptive strike surprise attacks, which I admit doing on strong NPCs because I could. :twisted:

But I feel the torus not masslocking in the presence of a cloaked NPC is a bug.
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Post by Commander McLane » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:09 pm

Bug. Squash it. 8)

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Post by Eric Walch » Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:53 pm

I am still not sure if it is a bug. One of the things that would change for bad is the cloaking mission. And just as I was thinking about it I read elsewhere:
Smivs wrote:Hi all, I've just jumped to Galaxy 5 and keep getting attacked by "Clean" Asp Mk IIs. My status is clean and has been for a good while now. Some of these Asps seem to appear from nowhere and then disappear again just as suddenly. There are often two or three of them and they seem to lurk near the Witchpoint beacon. Although they show as "clean", killing them doesn't affect my clean status. I'm "Dangerous" and run an Iron-Ass Python (fully loaded inc NEU) so they are easy enough to deal with, but they are an un-welcome distraction. Does anybody know what's going on here?
another_commander wrote:Make sure you destroy the one that appears and disappears and once you've done that, make sure to clean up the area of all the debris. Sorry, I can't say anything more than that
When the cloak would mass-lock, you would discover the asp probably on the first jump because you would be wondering why you are locked
:?
Without mass-lock it might leave you puzzled for several jumps.

But, although the internal variable name is also "mass_lock", it has nothing to do with mass. Rocks don't trigger it while wormholes do. I see it more as an automated safety feature that triggers when the scanner start detecting something. And cloaked stuff is not on the scanner.
Besides, the mass_lock variable is used only a few lines from were there is a check for cloaking. This also suggest it is not forgotten and was always deliberate this way.

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Post by Loxley » Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:01 am

Interesting points, this is a tricky issue as far as game balance is concerned. On the one hand the cloak shouldn't be too easy to acquire but on the other a cloaked attacker is currently no threat unless accompanied by uncloaked vessels.

For my 0.2Cr I'd say the current situation still feels wrong, but the decision rests with far wiser heads than mine of course.
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Post by Disembodied » Sun Feb 14, 2010 1:14 pm

If masslocking is a safety feature, why doesn't it come on for asteroids? I'm sure I can't be the only person who's ploughed into a rock, waiting for the masslock to come on ... :D

In the original game there would only ever be one cloaked ship: first the Asp, then the player. But if the cloaked Asp doesn't masslock the player, wouldn't that imply that a cloaked player wouldn't be masslocked by other ships? To me, that would seem like a game-breaker: masslock is pretty much fundamental to the gameplay. So for the player, at least, the cloak can't have any effect on masslocking. We could handwave our way around it, but it seems a bit odd.

I don't think there's any huge game-advantage for cloaked ships not to masslock players. Quite the reverse, really: it would seem needlessly confusing. Get attacked by Cloaky and friends, kill the escorts, don't see any more targets, zip off under torus; make the next jump, get attacked, kill the escorts, zip off under torus ... and so on. Who is this cloaked ship, where does he keep getting replacement buddies from, why does he hate the player so much and how come he always gets to where you're going first? Players are going to be a bit puzzled by the sudden hostility of the "clean" Asps anyway: they'll figure out that something odd is going on. Personally I think the easiest fix is to make sure that cloaked ships masslock the player.

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Post by Kaks » Sun Feb 14, 2010 1:42 pm

Personally I'd go with the theory that mass lock is dependent on huge mass and/or quirium, which still disqualifies asteroids (but not rock hermits).

As far as the cloaking bit is concerned, well, it seems to work as a one-way glass for visible light, so it could well be doing the same for quirium disturbances to the space-time continuum (aka aether).
After all, your own quirium doesn't mass-lock you, somehow it's the interaction of two different quirium sources that causes mass lock for both...

Having said all that, I've no major bias either way! :P
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Post by Illuminaughty » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:36 pm

I could see this either way.

My first reaction is that cloaked ships should still mass lock. If I can still ram them or shoot them, they are still present in this reality.

But I have the Random Hits OXP installed, because of it's awesomeness, and I've been targeted for vengeance by groups of cloaked asps, and boy was I happy that the torus drive worked once they all vanished for one reason or another, from my screen.

So I thought, "Of course they don't mass lock me when cloaked. The device prevents all radiation from bouncing off of or leaving their ship. Their ship's drives, which would mass lock me, are hidden."

All the same, if someone came up with an OXP that made cloaked ships mass lock, I'd probably install it. It feels weird for them not to.

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Post by Frame » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:55 pm

Disembodied wrote:
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.
Actually that was how I discovered the stealth ship(not cloaked) in Commodore 64 Elite, I then began shooting at all pixels that looked like for away targets...

The torus drive wouldn't let me jump, even though nothing was on the scanner, and later when it came nearer it was still not on the scanner, as it was a stealth ship, not a cloaked ship..

The stealth ship was a ship that appeared once you had crossed all 8 charts and you would be ending up in chart 1 again.

And as a side note, I have still not seen anything here that resembles it..

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Post by Zieman » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:53 am

Frame wrote:Actually that was how I discovered the stealth ship(not cloaked) in Commodore 64 Elite, I then began shooting at all pixels that looked like for away targets...

The torus drive wouldn't let me jump, even though nothing was on the scanner, and later when it came nearer it was still not on the scanner, as it was a stealth ship, not a cloaked ship..

The stealth ship was a ship that appeared once you had crossed all 8 charts and you would be ending up in chart 1 again.

And as a side note, I have still not seen anything here that resembles it..

Cheers Frame...
Whoa!

After all these years, finally an explanation!
I remember wondering why I can't use the "interplanetary jump" while the planet is far away, the sun is far away and there's nothing in the scanner...

It wasn't the game (or my poor beaten-up C64) going bonkers, it must have been the stealth ship!
...and keep it under lightspeed!

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Post by Commander McLane » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:12 am

Zieman wrote:
Frame wrote:Actually that was how I discovered the stealth ship(not cloaked) in Commodore 64 Elite, I then began shooting at all pixels that looked like for away targets...

The torus drive wouldn't let me jump, even though nothing was on the scanner, and later when it came nearer it was still not on the scanner, as it was a stealth ship, not a cloaked ship..

The stealth ship was a ship that appeared once you had crossed all 8 charts and you would be ending up in chart 1 again.

And as a side note, I have still not seen anything here that resembles it..

Cheers Frame...
Whoa!

After all these years, finally an explanation!
I remember wondering why I can't use the "interplanetary jump" while the planet is far away, the sun is far away and there's nothing in the scanner...

It wasn't the game (or my poor beaten-up C64) going bonkers, it must have been the stealth ship!
Are there more people who can confirm the existence of a stealth ship in C64 (and probably other versions of) Elite? It seems to be a fairly rarely discussed subject to me, and I never heard of it or encountered it myself. The latter may have something to do with the fact that I never went full circle on C64 Elite. :wink:

In previous years there were threads and posts about "Easter Egg" ships in different versions of Elite, and maybe a "sort of" cloaked or stealth ship was mentioned, but it was never as clear as by Frame.

And of course, if more people can recall the encounter and probably even give an outline of what it looked like (difficult, I know, for a stealth ship :oops: ), we can think about how to integrate it in Oolite. :D

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Post by Frame » Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:57 am

it should be possible with an emulator, to rediscover the ship..

And a trainer would be welcome too..


However, downloading CCS, going secret ship hunting...

going to take a while though, without a trainer..

5000*8 credits + military gun needed...

Cheers Frame....
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Post by Frame » Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:42 am

My first attempt to use the psylink time machine ended in disaster.

Unfortunately I picked to link one of those very unfortunate people who ended up in a thargoid ambush right after their 2nd jump to isinor...

getting to link up with a more wealthy jameson would be a great time saver..

Cheers Frame...
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Post by Commander McLane » Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:37 am

There is also the question whether an emulator really fully emulates also this aspect of C64 Elite...

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