Balance discussion: Homing Missiles

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Balance discussion: Homing Missiles

Post by ratcharmer on Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:18 pm

Yes, I know this isn't the developer forum. I just wanted to get a feeling for how the community in general feels about a couple balance issues that are close to my heart. If this topic is popular I'll make a few more on other topics.

Homing Missiles
Not trying to dwell on the negatives here, but I feel like the tracking missiles, as they stand now, are broken. Sad
Let me illustrate with an imaginary 1v1 where a ship without tracking missiles (say a G5) tries to engage one that does (say a hammerhead). For discussion purposes the area immediately around the two ships is clear but there are asteroids nearby, and no outside ships (fighter or carrier) are interfering. Both ships start at full shields and afterburner. As the two come into range of each other it would be quite difficult for the G5 pilot to successfully land a rocket, however it would be very easy for the Hammerhead to get a lock and sic a homing missile on the G5.

Now the G5 has a few options for it's next move:
-Tank the missile and keep shooting at the other fighter. This ends very badly 95% of the time.
-Try to shoot down the missile. I have yet to get a good result this way. I can shoot the missile down, but the time spent doing so lets the other pilot go to town with their guns.
-Dodge the missile using afterburner to get behind an obstacle.
-Outrun the missile, again using afterburner.
The problem I have with this scenario is that every option that is not inherently suicidal involves the G5 giving up any further attempts to damage the other ship. No matter what the ship without tracking missiles does they end the scenario at a definitive disadvantage. Even if the G5 easily loses the missile and the Hammerhead doesn't pursue the Hammerhead is no worse off then they were at the start (dodging the missile also gives the other ship time to heal if you damaged them).

However, just today I ran across something I find even more grievous with homing missiles: spawn camping.
Apparently, it's possible (and not even that difficult) to sit just outside carrier gun range such that you can immediately lock on and fire tracking missiles at enemy ships as they launch. Using this tactic a relatively small group of enemy fighters (about 1/3 of the team) was able to "bottle" most of the other team in their carrier.
Speaking as someone who was on the receiving end of this, it was one of the worst gameplay experiences I've ever had: I didn't even feel like they were beating us. I simply felt like I wasn't even getting a chance to play (I joined late in the game, and the other team was already set up when I came on the scene).

About the only disadvantage to Tracking Missiles I know of is that Tracking Missiles are not as useful for destroying turrets. Really though, turrets are generally not considered a threat by veteran pilots.

Okay, that's it for me at the moment, feel free to weigh in.

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Re: Balance discussion: Homing Missiles

Post by DrunkenMonkey on Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:30 pm

You are right; that situation favors tracking missiles. Intercepting. But there are many situations where rockets are far superior.

The G-5 and X-99 are my two most used ships by far. I sorely miss what the other has at times, but that doesn't just apply to the secondary weapon. Sometimes I curse fast cannons or the machine gun, just as I do the rocket and missile.

Want to hit a maneuvering target around obstacles? High-five rockets. Want to take out that torpedo? High-five machine guns and rockets. Tight turning battle? High-five rockets. The explosion radius and manual exploding mechanisms have very nice benefits!

*Edit*
Don't underestimate the ability to lead targets with a rocket, especially without their knowing. The lack of a lock-on alarm, coupled with the ability to hit at unexpected angles, is another plus.

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Re: Balance discussion: Homing Missiles

Post by ratcharmer on Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:42 pm

DrunkenMonkey wrote:You are right; that situation favors tracking missiles. Intercepting. But there are many situations where rockets are far superior.

The G-5 and X-99 are my two most used ships by far. I sorely miss what the other has at times, but that doesn't just apply to the secondary weapon. Sometimes I curse fast cannons or the machine gun, just as I do the rocket and missile.

Want to hit a maneuvering target around obstacles? High-five rockets. Want to take out that torpedo? High-five machine guns and rockets. Tight turning battle? High-five rockets. The explosion radius and manual exploding mechanisms have very nice benefits!

*Edit*
Don't underestimate the ability to lead targets with a rocket, especially without their knowing. The lack of a lock-on alarm, coupled with the ability to hit at unexpected angles, is another plus.
I'll give you taking out torpedos with rockets. Not sure how I forgot about that. Most of your other points, however, can be negated by the fact that you can fire tracking missiles without a lock and they travel straight just like rockets do.

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Re: Balance discussion: Homing Missiles

Post by DrunkenMonkey on Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:47 pm

Rockets reload faster, explode wider, and when you want them to. That's why Smile

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Re: Balance discussion: Homing Missiles

Post by imda on Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:49 pm

Any Heavy vs. a properly piloted G5, is at a serious disadvantage in the above conditions, the only way the Heavy has a chance if it engages from behind with the element of surprise. It's easy to avoid a missile head-on.
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Re: Balance discussion: Homing Missiles

Post by Loki on Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:02 pm

There is actually a pretty big discussion on the Userecho forum about tracking missiles...http://moonbreakers.userecho.com/topic/122805-making-missiles-fun-again/

Some tips;
- don't fly head to head (especially against a Hammerhead); treat the enemy like a turret and come at them from an angle while firing rockets at them, even if it means you might have to tank a missile (this advice is not appropriate for a Sidewinder; when flying the F3X, the appropriate response is outrun everything)
- your rockets are excellent countermeasures vs missiles if you time your remote detonation correctly
- breaking line of sight to evade a missile almost always puts you out of line of sight from the ship that fired it; exploit this by being unpredictable while behind the cover and position yourself to take advantage of the player (you can figure this part out)
- the opposite side of this is that you should predict what the enemy is doing behind cover when you can't see them
- rockets and missiles are excellent for dumbfire sniping out to about 300m, but rockets have an advantage that if you miss, you can still right click to deal a little damage
- any time your ship is even partially obscured, they cannot lock on with a missile; edges of asteroids, carrier hull features, and other ships all prevent a solid lock, but only if they haven't fired yet.

Don't worry so much about missing out on damaging the other ship while you evade a missile; a minor hit on them usually isn't worth the damage to you. It's better to take the advantage by making them fight on your terms and wipe them out all at once instead of picking them apart a little at a time. Favourable terms for you; no chance of missile lock from them; no other enemies around; they don't know where you are; catching them from the side or from behind.

As for the spawn camping...this has been an ongoing issue, though it's far better now than it used to be (I'll explain below). I see it as possible abuse of the long range missiles on the A80, since the carrier would have to shoot down two missiles instead of just one and you generally have no cover at all in front of the hangar (by design, the procedurally placed asteroids are supposed leave 1000m clear in front of hangar). My solution; jump in a Mamba/Sidewinder/Viper/Krait/Kingfisher/Swordfish and afterburn straight out of there at an off-angle, dash for cover in the general direction of the offender, then circle around and take him out. After you get them the first time, hunt them down wherever they go for the rest of the match to let them know how unhappy you are about it. Chase them into their carrier if you have to (a G5 or F3X is actually really good at this due to fast rocket reload time).

Spawn Camping and Launchpad Trolls when I started were horrible. This was back when we only had 2 regular turrets inside the hangar instead of the heavy beam turrets we have now. You know those 10 seconds you sometimes sit on the launch dock? You could be killed then. It was not uncommon for a bomber to fly a Grizzly into the hangar and sit there for a bit while they picked off the recently deceased. The two rows for launching could also mean a death sentence for you if you happened to be behind a bomber in any other ship; when launching, you'd accelerate straight into them and bounce around a couple times before blowing up.
Trolls on your own team would sometimes sit in bomber in front of launch lanes.
We now have some limited invulnerability (no collisions) on launch because of this. Yay.
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Re: Balance discussion: Homing Missiles

Post by Mikey1 on Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:36 pm

As a noob, destroy me kindly... =)

- natively i speak in a weird metaphoric language
like the children of tama. - forgive me.


my humble response...

you cut hard straight up, after burner and *the key

deploy flares and SPIN - WE HAVE TO HAVE!!! COUNTERMEASURES!
sorry.
(not dev forum) ... i know.

im old school FS2... you never go head on... unless you have a BEAM CANNON. =)
*Poof!*

so i go head on, spin out, flip quick *you guys are way better
and nail ya with a tracker while I bug out and find a new attack path.

i love homing missles... piranha.

you dont... engage... like that.
pass, pass, pass done.

you lurk like a shark. hanging around the asteroids.
and pick off/destroy those that stray too close...

from a distance. =)
and if they survive *they will.... hunt em' down.


otherwise... what's the alternative? i end up running into half of people.
=) nobody banks off and we always collide like idiots.... and survive =)

#MachineGuns (and a rocket) + Shielding vs... #MachineGuns (and my tracker) + Shielding.

From a distance... I've never hit anyone and destroyed them in one shot.
it just "pisses em off" =)

in a team it can be devastating. *icing on the cake.


But normally... i just RUN into people who dont Bank
and shielding usually allows me to survive...

But Im fodder after that so...

*Im still Learning and Im a noob so I dont count but...

I love 'em

My Merlin is Calling.



*Please delete and re-phrase at your leisure... =)


Mikey


Last edited by Mikey1 on Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Balance discussion: Homing Missiles

Post by the-anger on Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:53 pm

good points...

"Trolls on your own team would sometimes sit in bomber in front of launch lanes." - some players still do this as recently as a month ago from personal experience.

i wont discuss here what is already discussed on userecho, don't want to double up the arguments... but since it came up, my 20c on this...

rocket ships (rocket reload time): mamba (3.5s), krait (3.5s x2), sidewinder (1.75s), kingfisher (1.75s), nighthawk (1.75s)
SR missile ships (missile reload time): viper (5s), merlin (5s), piranha (5s), swordfish (5s)
LR missile ships (missile reload time): stingray (2.75s), hammerhead (5.5s), barracuda (5.5s x2)

rockets and SR missiles travel at 300m/s, LR missiles at 325. for comparison, machine gun bullets travel at 750m/s.
unupgraded, rockets fly for 3.5 seconds, SR missiles for 4 seconds, LR missiles for 6 seconds.

rockets have a blue tail-flame, missiles are a dull orange.

rockets do less base dmg than missiles, but have a higher scaled % dmg.

missiles can be shot down by pretty much anything coming in contact with the missile.
rockets cannot be shot down by gunfire.
rockets can collide with other rockets, missiles, torps/nukes. yes, this implies that rockets can shoot down other rockets just like missiles (someone pls test & confirm this, i have seen it happen but have not tried this myself).

remote detonating rockets on krait results in the left rocket detonating only because it is fired first, the second one cannot be detonated remotely.

don't ask why, i dont know, but it's true: a remote detonation will cause the rocket to explode, but the explosion epicenter is a game tick or two behind - where the rocket disappears visually, is roughly where the splash damage bubble ends (the center is 100m or so behind it). at the time of remote detonation, there is a white flash 50m across - this is exactly the epicenter of the splash dmg, look for this when adjusting your aim, not where your rocket disappeared.

(insufficiently tested) a single rocket ought to be able to take out multiple missiles at the same time, but in practice i haven't been able to confirm this as a certainty vs barracuda - shooting down one missile is definitely possible, depending on lag / rocket accuracy it is possible to get both, but in the instances where this happened it was out of my FOV.


if you're finding it hard to aim rockets, try firing them like you would a machine gun with 2x the lead distance on your target (how far you compensate for your target's movement). you won't actually be able to keep track of it in-game, just use it as a guide before refining your aim.

help with aiming & timing remote detonating rockets:
- be aware of your reload time on rockets, this more than anything determines your max range for detonation. on krait/mamba it is 3.5*300 = 1050m, otherwise it is 525m.
- ensure that this distance is small enough not to your target, but to where you intend to detonate the rocket. ie, if chasing, you often won't hit a target further than 150m from you.
- use the desired distance to judge the timing of the detonation - to detonate at 300m exactly, wait 1s before detonating (distance = speed * time).
- don't be afraid to let a rocket go past the detonation timing; there are situations where your rocket is more helpful by flying off into the distance rather than detonating, particularly to throw off your enemy's ability to guess when you will fire your next rocket.


the sidewinder is a force to be reckoned with when the pilot knows how to use rockets - even a little bit of splash dmg resets the shield regeneration timer, combine this with bursts of machine gun fire and insane maneuverability... i dare say the sidewinder loves furballs in the right conditions, just on the fact that it can evasion-tank up to 3 enemy ships while taking them out one by one. but more often then not, you will live longest with it by guerrilla philosophy.
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Re: Balance discussion: Homing Missiles

Post by DrunkenMonkey on Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:14 pm

Yes, rockets can take each other out. AoC and I did it to each other two or three times in a row with our G5s.

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Re: Balance discussion: Homing Missiles

Post by Twilight Sparkleā„¢ on Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:46 am

Tracking missiles are okay already. my only complain is that they lock on too fast to give any challenge to lock on a target,
Which creates the fact that mambas can't get a chance to kill anymore because of a heavy fighter army that locks on the next second after they fire a bullet.
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Re: Balance discussion: Homing Missiles

Post by ratcharmer on Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:34 pm

Loki wrote:
Don't worry so much about missing out on damaging the other ship while you evade a missile; a minor hit on them usually isn't worth the damage to you. It's better to take the advantage by making them fight on your terms and wipe them out all at once instead of picking them apart a little at a time. Favourable terms for you; no chance of missile lock from them; no other enemies around; they don't know where you are; catching them from the side or from behind.
I don't think I properly made the issue here clear.

First off--I don't think homing missiles are so much overpowered as they are broken. That is to say, mechanically awkward and unpleasant in the game.

The issue I was trying to point out in my example is that as it stands right now a homing missile effectively removes an opponent from combat for a good 15-20 seconds even when it misses. In a one-on-one this isn't a big deal, but in larger fights this is devastating. I frequently have games where I spend pretty much the entire time dodging homing missiles and doing nothing else. It isn't much fun.

Similarly, I don't find using Tracking missiles much fun either--on the few occasions I've used them I often didn't even know who I was shooting at. I just pressed the fire button whenever I got a lock and watched the kills pile up.

This is actually what I would propose as far as changes to the homing missiles:
-Buff lock-on time and rate of fire
-Have the icon around the ship you have a lock on change to indicate who you are targeting
-Have the lock on area follow the crosshairs, but make it smaller
-Nerf the turning radius considerably--I want to be able to dodge the missiles as opposed to outrunning them.

As a final note, right now a lock-on from a homing missile is pretty close to an instant death sentence for a newbie, and I think this is part of what drives many newbies away.

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Re: Balance discussion: Homing Missiles

Post by the-anger on Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:28 pm

ratcharmer wrote:
Loki wrote:
Don't worry so much about missing out on damaging the other ship while you evade a missile; a minor hit on them usually isn't worth the damage to you. It's better to take the advantage by making them fight on your terms and wipe them out all at once instead of picking them apart a little at a time. Favourable terms for you; no chance of missile lock from them; no other enemies around; they don't know where you are; catching them from the side or from behind.
I don't think I properly made the issue here clear.

First off--I don't think homing missiles are so much overpowered as they are broken. That is to say, mechanically awkward and unpleasant in the game.

The issue I was trying to point out in my example is that as it stands right now a homing missile effectively removes an opponent from combat for a good 15-20 seconds even when it misses. In a one-on-one this isn't a big deal, but in larger fights this is devastating. I frequently have games where I spend pretty much the entire time dodging homing missiles and doing nothing else. It isn't much fun.

Similarly, I don't find using Tracking missiles much fun either--on the few occasions I've used them I often didn't even know who I was shooting at. I just pressed the fire button whenever I got a lock and watched the kills pile up.

This is actually what I would propose as far as changes to the homing missiles:
-Buff lock-on time and rate of fire
-Have the icon around the ship you have a lock on change to indicate who you are targeting
-Have the lock on area follow the crosshairs, but make it smaller
-Nerf the turning radius considerably--I want to be able to dodge the missiles as opposed to outrunning them.

As a final note, right now a lock-on from a homing missile is pretty close to an instant death sentence for a newbie, and I think this is part of what drives many newbies away.
this is pretty much what im arguing on userecho - missiles aren't OP in a sense of dps or even alpha damage, but they have benefits far above every other weapon by comparison (as you noted, whether it hits or not it takes you away from the action and you may as well have been killed with it). what was suggested on that thread was to bring the turning rate down to about 60% of what it is now, granting more opportunity to dodge missiles as you would any other weapon fire.

the parameters involved in dodging a missile currently look like this:
* missiles fly at 300m/s minimum (325m/s for LR)
* (SR) missiles take approx 1.25 seconds to turn 360 (0.625s for a u-turn) - they can take longer due to imperfect flying by the target, but this is the fastest i have seen it (done by video capture)
* 300m/s for 1.25s implies a turning circle of circumference of 375m, the diameter of this circle is roughly 120m.
* without running away (letting the missile give chase) or using cover, the only option to evade it is to get your ship inside that turning circle.

the problem here has nothing to do with missile damage, it is just that to dodge a missile without running or hiding from it, your ship has to broadside the missile at an angle tighter than the missile can turn into, even momentarily. this 'evasion zone' is a torus around the length of the missile, 120m thick (240m wide) - getting your ship in this zone will count as a dodge so long as the missile doesn't turn back around quick enough.

what makes it absurd to expect anyone to do this on demand? the difficulty in dodging lies in swerving into this 'evasion zone' as it is chasing you at 300m/s. you will have to give yourself a small buffer zone as to not actually collide with the missile in doing so, making this region equal 120m - <ship size>*2 in size... its a wonder it can be done at all lol when i see the figures... lowering the turning speed is the first thing i suggested there (but certainly not the only option possible) because it directly affects the size of the evasion zone - the larger it is, the easier it becomes to dodge by about the same factor.

the biggest resistance to changing the turning rate is that missile ships need all the firepower they can squeeze out of missiles, chiefly A80, FH-90 and FH-100. also some find it not a problem to dodge missiles but i will argue that avoiding a missile hitting you (by running, hiding, or dodging) should be distinct from actually dodging the missile (actively making the missile miss you in open air, without having to run away from it). dodging it in this sense is currently only viable in agile ships or facing the missile head on and flying right past it (but stops working once your ping approaches the time it takes for the missile to reach you, ie, the fractions of a second just before impact, due to missile's physics being controlled at the server and your ship is 'remote')

arguments for why this dodging should be available is as you have stated - its a catch 22, either the missile takes a solid bite of hp, or you're chased out of play which in some situations is as bad as being killed, just no points are awarded. shooting missiles down - well you're already often favorably oriented to dodge it if you can aim at it; rockets the exception, other weapons aren't as reliable at shooting them down so often 'avoiding' (not so much dodging) is a safer bet than trying to machinegun down an incoming missile. it does work but when attempted you are risking not only a hit from the missile (if you cant hit it) but creating risk of further damage from orienting yourself to shoot down the missile.

hoping that makes sense... i have paraphrased on the subject so many times i cant tell if it's legible anymore
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Re: Balance discussion: Homing Missiles

Post by ZigZagJoe on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:01 pm

LR/SR Missiles are just too similar, and yes, there is a major overload of ships with missiles.

Idea:

SR Missiles -> Infrared Missiles

Require no lock to fire
Lower damage
Rudimentary tracking mechanism*
Short reload
No lock notification

An ambush weapon; most effective at close ranges and 1v1.

LR Missiles -> Radar (guided) Missiles

Require locked target to fire. Lock lost (and tracking stops) after 1-1.5 second of target not being in crosshairs. Increased damage, and endurance. Same tracking mechanics as now, otherwise. Weapon of choice at long range against any target, but unwieldy up close. Long reload.

Detail of rudimentary tracking mechanism:

- Tracks the largest "heat source" within a fairly limited cone of view. Flies straight at targets. Look at the early IR missile designs on wikipedia for ideas.

- Tracking Heat determined by (speed/max normal speed + heat/max heat) * class multiplier * target range multipler
- target range multipler would need playing around with to determine what feels the best, and detection thresholds and stuff.

Stationary fighters that aren't shooting are invisible (to missile) except for at very close ranges. Cruising fighters are visible only until about midrange (600-700). Afterburning fighters or high heat are targets of choice and are likely to distract missiles from other targets. Stupid tracking, but deadly in open space. Easy to avoid in roids. Stuff. Not sure why I'm bothering. Probably won't happen soon because it would require actual (albeit limited) AI, and who knows where their support is for that sort of thing.

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Re: Balance discussion: Homing Missiles

Post by ratcharmer on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:04 pm

@the-anger:
How certain are we that the figure of 300 m/s is accurate? Because my G5 has a top speed of just shy of 310 m/s (with afterburner) and SR missiles (fired by a Merlin) were definitely outrunning me earlier tonight.

Secondly, getting "inside the circle", sadly, does not work. The positioning required is too precise, and ships cannot come to a complete stop. What ends up happening is the missile briefly does a corkscrew around your ship before it hits.

As an alternative to nerfing the turn radius (which I still think would be a good idea) perhaps it could be changed so that a missile will lose it's lock and stop tracking if you are no longer in front of it (give the missiles something like a 120-degree visual arc)

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Re: Balance discussion: Homing Missiles

Post by the-anger on Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:28 am

300m/s for SR missiles, 325 for LR missiles (faster than G5). this is taken straight out of the game's data. Also, you will not hit that speed of 310 if you were tapping the boost - it must be held to hit that speed. if the time between taps is T, ship's accel is A and afturburner speed S, you have a condition T < (S-300) / A to fly faster than the missile. Im guessing the accel on it is about 100 (i think higher), so letting go of boost for even 0.1 seconds may result in your speed being below 300m/s. all that is very rough, there is probably a delay between speed dropping and boost being let go of, even so, the timing is fast that it is easy to lose pace and drop speed.

getting inside the circle does work, but as you noticed, the positioning and timing is very precise. on a good day i have found it possible to dodge this way %50 - %75 of the time under low latency/ping... turning radius adjustments would go a long way for this maneuver at relatively little expense in other aspects... but more to the point... neioxnet and myself have tested the viability of dodging missiles this way on an empty server before: he flew a merlin, myself in a krait, i would fly straight, and he would approach from behind and fire a missile from 800m, then 700m and so on, and we tried to see if it was possible to dodge this way.

yes. barely. at 500m, there is just enough time for a krait moving at top speed (unboosted) to turn around and dodge the missile. we spent some time practicing it to get the timing and angles right, so i can say with certainty that it is doable - but the focus, timing and spacial awareness it takes (assuming missiles come from all directions, not just behind you) are unrealistic with missiles turning the way they are now. 400m is the theorized limit, sooner than that you can't react fast enough let alone orient your ship in a good escape direction. from a random angle at 500m i can only dodge it if i can notice where it is before it comes within 300-400m of me, after that you can only run from it.

i think people won't take kindly to the visual arc idea - even though you will seldom get outside of 120 degs of the missile's view, most here would expect the missile to come back around.

joe - sidewinder missile? either way i like where you're going with it. not thrilled about radar/laser guided, i still feel missiles can be balanced as fire-and-forget, otherwise it ought to have some insane damage and/or distance to it.

note on the IR tracking - it shouldn't need an AI, a simple procedure will do: pick the ship that has the best/largest signature as described (calculate it for all ships first), and fly at it. with 16 possible targets, thats peanuts in processing requirements lol....
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Re: Balance discussion: Homing Missiles

Post by ratcharmer on Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:33 am

the-anger wrote:300m/s for SR missiles, 325 for LR missiles (faster than G5). this is taken straight out of the game's data. Also, you will not hit that speed of 310 if you were tapping the boost - it must be held to hit that speed. if the time between taps is T, ship's accel is A and afturburner speed S, you have a condition T < (S-300) / A to fly faster than the missile. Im guessing the accel on it is about 100 (i think higher), so letting go of boost for even 0.1 seconds may result in your speed being below 300m/s. all that is very rough, there is probably a delay between speed dropping and boost being let go of, even so, the timing is fast that it is easy to lose pace and drop speed.

Well, tonight I definitely had missiles fired by a Merlin catching up to me by at least 50 m/s, seemed more like 100 (though that could just be subjective). Definitely well beyond what it should have been able to do based on the numbers. Not sure if this is a bug or what . . .

*edit* This was due to an in-game bug where my afterburner was not triggering.

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Re: Balance discussion: Homing Missiles

Post by ZigZagJoe on Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:28 pm

the-anger wrote:
joe - sidewinder missile? either way i like where you're going with it. not thrilled about radar/laser guided, i still feel missiles can be balanced as fire-and-forget, otherwise it ought to have some insane damage and/or distance to it.

note on the IR tracking - it shouldn't need an AI, a simple procedure will do: pick the ship that has the best/largest signature as described (calculate it for all ships first), and fly at it. with 16 possible targets, thats peanuts in processing requirements lol....

Would require an AI if it were to be able to be fired w/o lock, as well to deal with target occlusion (duck behind rock - lock lost, missile looks for a new target rather than magically continuing to track the initial target) and distraction (if a ship with a high heat flies across the missile's view area, it would begin tracking that rather than the first target).

And yeah, essentially an early sidewinder design. Sort of goes with the WWII theme.

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Re: Balance discussion: Homing Missiles

Post by the-anger on Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:29 pm

i guess it comes down to what you would call an AI...

every object in the game has code for it that runs every game logic cycle (as with all games), and any additional code for an object type would go there... by that description it isn't an AI as much as it is procedural logic, but if it became more complex (requiring decisions that need to be 'trained' rather than coded) then it would begin resemble an expert system AI.

details aside, you can add another condition for target selection - line-of-sight.

(i've spent a good 3 months of my life working on pathfinding AI's in garry's mod using E2 chips, line-of-sight conditions are about all you have to work with lol)
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Re: Balance discussion: Homing Missiles

Post by ZigZagJoe on Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:25 am

Didn't know how the game functions internally but yes, that is what i meant: code running at a defined interval.


Yeah, occlusion would be a basic feature (can't see through rocks)

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Re: Balance discussion: Homing Missiles

Post by Nightwing on Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:41 am

I like the suggestion of making missiles that behave like Sidewinders...
Basically, in order for the missile to track, the shooter would have to keep the target in a circle surrounding the reticule.
Essentially, this means that your ship would act as the tracking system for the missile. It could send maneuvering instructions to the missile.
Another alternative would be to give the missile passive radar. the ship could "paint" the target with radar, and the missile would use the returns to orient itself to the correct path.
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Re: Balance discussion: Homing Missiles

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