Game version 3741: Sneak peaks

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Upcoming features

Some of the upcoming features, in a new format. The changelog can be difficult to read, over the next few days we'll be posting new features of the game in a friendly format.

1. Tractor beams of the Galactic Colossus

These never really did function! But soon, they will! We're working on it on Github where you can preview the working behavior via the attached video.

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2. Tactical missile defenses

They've always felt a bit underwhelming - and that is because they were. They typically overkill their targets, causing them to be unreliable at best. We're working on fixing this on Github, where you can preview the working behavior via the attached video. Finally A tactical missile defense can properly counter a tactical missile launcher that fires at the same rate and takes only one strike to take down.

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3. Game results

A brand new implementation on how the game results are being tracked is available on FAF Develop! Now that we have all the files in the repository we can finally properly investigate what is going on. And with that investigation an alternative system of determining the game results has been implemented. This system has already been live for about a week - as the date of merge on the pull request suggests!

I'm quite confident that this:

  • Gets rid of the 'draw bug' once and for all
  • Reduces the amount of 'unknown results' to practically 0

The previous implementation was a fix over a fix, over a fix, over a ... bug. While they didn't manage to tackle the core issue that showed up all over the base code, and apparently also in the game results computation. As a result, one army was sometimes not considered defeated until the next tick - the source of the draw bug. It is quite technical, I won't dive further and keep it brief.

Note that when you draw you can still lose or gain rating: the idea is that if you draw you should be of equal rating, and therefore the players 'move towards each other' rating-wise.

4. Projectiles that hit but miss

There are a lot of situations where projectiles hit (read: collide) with a unit, but they do not deal damage to that unit. This is a consequence to how the engine works: the collisions are computed at tick n, the consequences of the collisions are computed at tick n + 1. One tick later, the unit may have moved so far away that it can miss area damage, especially when the radius of the area damage is low. The full fix, along with videos can be found on Github.

To describe it visually:

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A scout at maximum velocity, red marks the old damage location where as blue marks the new damage location. The collision boxes are also rendered (in blue), clearly showing that the old damage location is no longer in reach of the spy plane

Note that this primary impacts two type of situations:

  • Very fast units (> 15 maximum movement speed, usually planes)
  • Projectiles with a very small damage radius (< 0.5, the average land units moves at a speed of 5)

5. Range rings and performance

With thanks to @RutreD and @Kionx (who's not on the forums) another engine patch has been made and is available on FAF Develop! This patch improves the performance of range rings, with up to 20% to 50% more frame rate than before when rendering plain vision and range rings!

As an example, while having used the following console commands:

  • ShowStats
  • sc_VerticalSync 0
  • sc_FrameTimeClamp 0

You can reproduce these results yourself - I highly encourage you to do so and report back 🙂 !

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Current FAF game type, looking at 500 asf: ~150 fps

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Current FAF Game type, 500 selected asf: ~100 fps

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Current FAF Develop game type, looking at 500 asf: ~250 fps

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Current FAF Develop game type, selected 500 asf: ~150 fps

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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reserved for changelog

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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The changes to the tractor beam of the colossus are in - I highly encourage you all to find the bugs before they run out! On top of that, the second sneak peak is ready 🙂 !

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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Big fan of the TMD change, always felt their functionality was a bit broken.

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Jip doing god's work

FAF = Femboy Alliance Forever
Come check the draft of the FAF website 4.0! https://www.test.faforever.com/

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I love the new TMD change, will the enhanced logic apply to Aeon flares too?

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That TMD change seems like it hugely shifts the balance of basebreaking back to the defender since TMD is way cheaper than cruisers and part of the reason you could eventually break bases came from the fact dumping a giant line of TMD was never efficient and you had to both waste space so they wouldn’t shoot the same thing and waste buildtime as your engies move from isolated TMD to isolated TMD. It also encouraged slowly breaking TMD since them being spaced out meant all TMD aren’t covered by all other TMD.

This could make it orders of magnitudes more painful to break bases, especially competently shielded ones.

I was also told that it’s a good idea regardless and you could rebalance TMD so that they shoot less often so basebreaking remains the same, except that would now make TML way more oppressive since TMD can barely shoot down a TML in time when it’s in front of the target as it is.

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just build battleships bro

profile picture credits to petric

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@ftxcommando said in Game version 3741: Sneak peaks:

I was also told that it’s a good idea regardless and you could rebalance TMD so that they shoot less often so basebreaking remains the same, except that would now make TML way more oppressive since TMD can barely shoot down a TML in time when it’s in front of the target as it is.

I don't think that's gonna be a problem, as what is meant by slower is most likely not the reaction time of TMD nor the speed of it's projectile but rather it's reload timer. So it's still gonna be as effective against single missile but will take more time to go after the next one in the voley. And well, now you can just dump all the TMD in front of the protected target in the same place as they no longer waste shoots on the same missile.

And yeah, I fully agree with the rest of your post. Especially when it comes to the t2 land stage and dealing with some firebases at this stage. As it seems MML will also be in dire need of buffs or TMD of massive nerfs not to make t2 arty the only possible counter to fire bases.

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@ftxcommando The solution Jip came up with was increasing the TML missile's hp (cruiser one). This would counterweigh the buff of the TMD and allow for more natural linear scaling of your TMD defenses. Right now the first few TMD's give a lot of value while consequent ones give less and less utility. That kind of solution would benefit from not touching the TMD vs single TML (non-cruiser one) interaction. It would buff TMD vs massive TML barrages but I don't think that's an issue.

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Alright I just kinda assumed from the OP

“Finally A tactical missile defense can properly counter a tactical missile launcher that fires at the same rate and takes only one strike to take down”

that cruiser missile hp was staying the same. What about mmls? Are they getting any hp change or other related buff?

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@tagada said in Game version 3741: Sneak peaks:

Right now the first few TMD's give a lot of value while consequent ones give less and less utility.

Should honestly think about whether or not this is actually a bad thing.

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There's a fix merged into FAF Develop, fixing shielded units from surviving the devastating tractor beam. On top of that - the tactical missile changes have been merged!

To compensate for the higher effectiveness, tactical missiles from cruisers and aircraft carriers have one additional hit points.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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And the next sneak peak is available - all about game results!

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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Awesome! Looking forward to functioning TMD for non-Aeon 😄

On the other hand, doesn't this open a can of worms? What about AA overkilling their targets? (Draining all SAMs on a few spyplanes and letting the bombers behind pass, etc.)

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@jcvjcvjcvjcv Well all units overkill their targets.
But that TMD overkills, while SMD does not makes no sense and from what i understand it's a stat of the unit being hit. So the missile has a stat saying how much anti-missiles should be fired at it at most, assuming each of those does 1 damage.
Since there is more than one AA weapon in the game, the air unit won't know how much damage incoming shots would do (and if they even hit), so you can't use the same mechanic on aircraft. But i think differentiating between units and uncontrollable missiles is fine.

Also, about the part with the shots not hitting:
Is there TMD that misses? And if so, how does it affect this? Will it shoot one anti-missile and if it misses your out of luck?

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A reliable Tractor Claw?! I was actually giggling like a little girl while watching the preview vid. That the fire-rate is now visibly consistent is just so good.

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Is there TMD that misses? And if so, how does it affect this? Will it shoot one anti-missile and if it misses your out of luck?

It will try and fire again.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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@jcvjcvjcvjcv said in Game version 3741: Sneak peaks:

On the other hand, doesn't this open a can of worms? What about AA overkilling their targets? (Draining all SAMs on a few spyplanes and letting the bombers behind pass, etc.)

The 'can of worms' argument is also considered the 'slippery slope fallacy' - just because we fix one issue and similar issues exist, it doesn't mean that we shouldn't fix this one issue.

As Nex describes - the reason this works is because the amount of damage that TMDs do is uniform. That doesn't apply to other weaponry. Hence even if we'd want to fix this, we couldn't reliably put a 'count' on it. Let alone that it is a property of projectiles that we're using here, not a property of a weapon or unit.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned