Author Topic: [DONE] [Feedback] [Documentation] Hunter-killer  (Read 23486 times)

Offline The Reaver of Darkness

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Re: Hunter-killer
« Reply #60 on: January 05, 2018, 10:15:09 am »
Also an idea of escorting X-Com transports by fighter planes came up in the thread. But it would be kinda difficult since if the UFO, which is almost always faster, picks the transport as a first target the fighter can't do much. There could be solution with either X-Com crafts flying in formations as single node on Geoscape which would need new systems to set it up. Or the hunter killer could just follow X-Com craft for some time at the begining of dogfight in similar manner X-Com can follow UFO, making it possible for another X-Com craft to join in into the fight and reducing this problem to normal one UFO vs multiple X-Com crafts battle. This solution is typical gamedesign avoiding of the problem, but I think it can work well enough.


I don't think Meridian is open to new ideas currently, unless they are very simple. But to make it so the player can use interceptors to defend transports, it could be done like this:

During dogfight, time continues on the geoscape at [5 sec] and you can minimize the encounter at any time. The dogfight remains active in-game and you cannot time-warp if you aren't at stand-off. You can thus go to the geoscape to add interceptors to the fight. The player would want to fly the interceptor very near the transport since they might not have much time to react. It would then be very nice if the player could add interceptors and transport to a squadron which flies at the slowest ship's speed--and for normal fuel, fuel depletes based on speed, with a minimum depletion at half the ship's max speed (it has to stay in the air).

Offline Meridian

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Re: Hunter-killer
« Reply #61 on: February 03, 2018, 10:04:13 pm »
Random facts a.k.a. feature description:
----------------
- UFOs can spawn as hunter-killers (HKs), if so configured, see ruleset below
- mission wave ruleset overrides ufo ruleset
- HKs re-evaluate best target every 10 minutes (criteria: transport/fighter, can/cannot land, number of soldiers and pilots, damage already taken)
- when HK starts hunting, it reveals itself, even outside of radar range (this is a temporary decision for testing/balancing, can be reevaluated)
- player is informed when a HK starts hunting any craft, by a popup
- game draws radar circle around HKs
- game draws a line (flight path) to HK's target
- UFOs stop hunting craft that get outside of their radar range (checked every 10 minutes)
- UFOs stop hunting craft that have landed in any xcom base
- UFOs stop hunting craft that were destroyed (in dogfight, during mission or during base defense)
- UFOs that stop hunting, resumes their original destination
- only 1 UFO can attack xcom craft at a time (others are following)
- if UFO attacks craft and craft attacks UFO as well... game treats it as "UFO attacked craft"
- many buttons are disabled in dogfight when HK attacks, attack mode is set to aggressive
- xcom CANNOT retreat from the fight initiated by a UFO
- UFO can abort hunting if it sustains too much damage (more than 33% damage to UFO and less than 50% to xcom => retreat), if it's fast enough
(please note that UFOs crash at 50% damage, so 33% total damage is technically 66% effective damage)
- if you don't use any of these features, the game should work exactly as before, no side effects

Disclaimer:
----------------
This is a very experimental feature... very hard to implement and even harder to test.
Expect crashes, endless loops and all that jazz... when it happens, please report it!

Code: [Select]
ufos:
  - type: STR_SMALL_SCOUT
    radarRange: 1000                # generous radar range, so that it can actually find a prey
    power: 100                      # big gun
    range: 50                       # decent weapon range
    reload: 10                      # dakka
#
    hunterKillerPercentage: 100     # always created as HK, default is 0
    huntMode: 0                     # 0 (default) prefer interceptors, 1 = prefer transports, 2 = random (generated at spawn)

Code: [Select]
alienMissions:
  - type: STR_ALIEN_RESEARCH
    waves:
      - ufo: STR_SMALL_SCOUT
        hunterKillerPercentage: -1  # default is -1, means use value defined at UFO level
        huntMode: -1                # default is -1, means use value defined at UFO level
      - ufo: STR_MEDIUM_SCOUT
        hunterKillerPercentage: 50  # 50% to become a HK at spawn
        huntMode: 1                 # transport killer
      - ufo: STR_LARGE_SCOUT
        hunterKillerPercentage: 100 # always a HK
        huntMode: 0                 # shoot down those xcom fighters

PS: I am also working on generating HKs by alien bases...

Download: https://lxnt.wtf/oxem/builds//ExtendedPlus/Extended+-3.10a-88c2903-2018-02-03-win32.7z
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 09:36:27 pm by Meridian »

Offline Ethereal

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Re: Hunter-killer
« Reply #62 on: February 04, 2018, 08:41:50 am »
Thank you very much! Was waiting for this feature for a long time!

- HKs re-evaluate best target every 10 minutes (criteria: transport/fighter, can/cannot land, number of soldiers and pilots, damage already taken)

Have a check on "allowLanding: false"? How AI distinguishes fighter from transport? With equality of seats and number of pilots, does the AI consider the ship a fighter?

- UFOs stop hunting craft that have landed in any xcom base

Logically, the AI, X-COM craft landed on the base, the within radar of the hunters, needs to give the location of the base.

- if UFO attacks craft and craft attacks UFO as well... game treats it as "UFO attacked craft"

There should be a comparative analysis of speed and acceleration. If the transport X-COM is faster than the hunter, he must be able to escape the attack. But only if he is not on patrol.

As far as I can see, there are no missions to rescue the crew. Does this mean that if the ship X-COM is crashed, everything is lost - the ship, tanks, equipment and the whole crew?

By the way, what happens when an attack occurs when a hunter and a fighter are flying to intercept each other? Who has priority in the attack?
« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 11:51:02 am by Ethereal »

Offline Meridian

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Re: Hunter-killer
« Reply #63 on: February 04, 2018, 11:15:45 am »
Have a check on "allowLanding: false"? How AI distinguishes fighter from transport? With equality of seats and number of pilots, does the AI consider the ship a fighter?

if hunting interceptors:
- allowLanding: false is preferred
- craft without soldiers is preferred
- the less pilots onboard, the more attractive
- the less damaged craft, the more attractive (just to allow damaged craft to escape easier when fighting more HKs)

if hunting transports:
- allowLanding: true is preferred
- the more soldiers onboard, the more attractive

Logically, the AI, X-COM craft landed on the base, the within radar of the hunters, needs to give the location of the base.

It could... but they can't do anything with that information anyway... until retaliation is spawned, which is a completely disconnected event.

There should be a comparative analysis of speed and acceleration. If the transport X-COM is faster than the hunter, he must be able to escape the attack. But only if he is not on patrol.

Sorry, can't do technically.
If you have a faster craft, you can escape the hunter before it reaches you...

As far as I can see, there are no missions to rescue the crew. Does this mean that if the ship X-COM is crashed, everything is lost - the ship, tanks, equipment and the whole crew?

Of course.
Last time I checked, when craft built by humans crash, everything explodes, burns and nobody survives.

By the way, what happens when an attack occurs when a hunter and a fighter are flying to intercept each other? Who has priority in the attack?

As I said before: if UFO attacks craft and craft attacks UFO as well... game treats it as "UFO attacked craft"

Offline Ethereal

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Re: Hunter-killer
« Reply #64 on: February 04, 2018, 11:50:09 am »
Quote
- the less pilots onboard, the more attractive

This is bad for my mod, because the transports do not have pilots.

Quote
It could... but they can't do anything with that information anyway... until retaliation is spawned, which is a completely disconnected event.

Why not? The base is more priority. Let them attack it, then the basic rocket missile defense will be useful. And there is no defense - get a full assault on the base. It seems like reinforcements have been called.

Quote
Sorry, can't do technically.
If you have a faster craft, you can escape the hunter before it reaches you...

On the oncoming course, the intercept will still take place. It turns out that even Avenger can not avoid him.

Quote
Of course.
Last time I checked, when craft built by humans crash, everything explodes, burns and nobody survives.

This is understandable, but too hardcore. Explicit bust. Let there be a mission, but only for high-tech ships of the late periud. We need a flag that initiates the appearance of a point for the mission after the crash. And the crew is placed in the buffer and is considered (on mission) while there is a point. With the success of the mission - the crew returns with injuries, and the equipment and the ship are lost in any case. If the mission fails or the point is lost - then the crew is considered missing.

And yet, will this feature be combined with OXCE +, or will it be an independent mod?

Offline Meridian

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Re: Hunter-killer
« Reply #65 on: February 04, 2018, 12:20:10 pm »
This is bad for my mod, because the transports do not have pilots.

That's why there are other criteria too, "allowLanding" has the biggest impact.

Why not? The base is more priority. Let them attack it, then the basic rocket missile defense will be useful. And there is no defense - get a full assault on the base. It seems like reinforcements have been called.

Why yes?
There will be mods and situations, where this is not desired... I don't want to hardcode it.

On the oncoming course, the intercept will still take place. It turns out that even Avenger can not avoid him.

I don't understand.

This is understandable, but too hardcore. Explicit bust. Let there be a mission, but only for high-tech ships of the late periud. We need a flag that initiates the appearance of a point for the mission after the crash. And the crew is placed in the buffer and is considered (on mission) while there is a point. With the success of the mission - the crew returns with injuries, and the equipment and the ship are lost in any case. If the mission fails or the point is lost - then the crew is considered missing.

The idea has been heavily discussed already and was discarded.
This is an optional feature, if you find it too hardcore, don't enable it... or make the HKs weak enough for your taste.

And yet, will this feature be combined with OXCE +, or will it be an independent mod?

This is part of OXCE+.

Offline clownagent

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Re: Hunter-killer
« Reply #66 on: February 04, 2018, 01:51:44 pm »
What is the chance of detection of human crafts for the HKs?
Is it always 100% when in radar range?

Is it possible to mod a "stealth craft", which is harder to detect for the HKs than regular craft?

Offline Ethereal

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Re: Hunter-killer
« Reply #67 on: February 04, 2018, 02:02:31 pm »
Quote
Why yes?
There will be mods and situations, where this is not desired... I don't want to hardcode it.

Especially strongly encode and do not. Just an additional flag for the ship or mission - "AttackBase =". This would be very desirable. After all, all the defenses of the base are at war with only one single type of ship. And so - the variety when attacking the base and the usefulness of the starting defensive structures.

Quote
I don't understand.

Sometimes it happens that a slow interceptor, on a collision course, intercepts a UFO which is much faster than it. Ie, enters the combat mode for a moment, but the UFO immediately leaves. When intercepting an X-COM ship, there is no possibility to leave. Ie any UFO, on a collision course, can intercept any, even the fastest ship X-COM?

Offline Meridian

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Re: Hunter-killer
« Reply #68 on: February 04, 2018, 04:18:16 pm »
Especially strongly encode and do not. Just an additional flag for the ship or mission - "AttackBase =". This would be very desirable. After all, all the defenses of the base are at war with only one single type of ship. And so - the variety when attacking the base and the usefulness of the starting defensive structures.

I'll consider it.

Sometimes it happens that a slow interceptor, on a collision course, intercepts a UFO which is much faster than it. Ie, enters the combat mode for a moment, but the UFO immediately leaves. When intercepting an X-COM ship, there is no possibility to leave. Ie any UFO, on a collision course, can intercept any, even the fastest ship X-COM?

Just don't go on a collision course?
If you have a faster ship, go around :)

Also, although possible, this scenario is very rare. And can be avoided easily.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Hunter-killer
« Reply #69 on: February 04, 2018, 05:04:53 pm »
Logically, the AI, X-COM craft landed on the base, the within radar of the hunters, needs to give the location of the base.

it's already possible to create behavior you desire without needing to add an additional feature to the HKs - if you play with the 'Aggressive Retaliation' option, then all UFOs can detect XCom bases, not just those UFOs flying Alien Retaliation missions, and if a base is detected, it spawns an attack on that base.

So, if you launch an Interceptor and an HK decides to attack it with Aggressive Retaliation activated, then you run a serious risk of the interceptor base being detected as the HK turns towards the location of the base as it moves towards the Interceptor.

The HK won't attack the base, which is logical since it is meant for aerial combat, not ground assault, but it will relay the info to the Ethereal HQ, which will then activate a specific mission to take out the XCom base.

After all, all the defenses of the base are at war with only one single type of ship. And so - the variety when attacking the base and the usefulness of the starting defensive structures.

So, you'd have UFO scouts attacking alien bases and getting shot by Missile Defenses, or if the UFO lived, Base Defense missions where it would be 30+ soldiers/HWPs against 8-12 aliens, without any terror units or Blaster Launchers? This doesn't sound much of a challenge, just another repetitive training mission for the player to deal with those banzai/kamikaze attacks.

But let's consider that this is desirable for gameplay.

The major technical issue is that a ton of things about Base Defense is hardcoded - you'd need to create different alienDeployments for every UFO type that could attack the base, each with different numbers/types of aliens present, according to the UFO that attacked the base. And from my past requests to developers regarding Base Defense missions, I've learned that they consider Base Defense to be very challenging.

Plus, the numbers of aliens present on Base Defense depends on the size of the base and the number of Hangars present, so this opens a ton of different possibilities/challenges for balancing, which just complicates everything - the difficulty of base defense missions would be random.

However, you currently can have different UFOs attacking bases - it's just a matter of creating different Alien Retaliations, each with a different UFO that performs the attack run, and use missionScripts to switch between UFOs as the campaign progresses. They would all still use the same alienDeployment if they survived the base defenses, making balance a lot easier, but one UFO could be a Transport Carrier (little armor) while another could be a Battleship in the later stages of a campaign.

« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 05:26:27 pm by Hobbes »

Offline Ethereal

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Re: Hunter-killer
« Reply #70 on: February 04, 2018, 05:27:45 pm »
It's not about detection, but in the attack itself. Technically, the crew of the UFO attacking the base has nothing to do with the configuration and composition of the assault forces attacking the base. As I already wrote above - overcoming anti-aircraft defense, the aliens cause reinforcements with the help of unknown technology. Ie - the composition of assault units attacking the base is the same for all UFOs.

Much easier, more dangerous, but with a chance to escape with the help of the simplest missile defense. And to clone "Alien Retaliations" without introducing a fundamentally new UFO is a bad and not an interesting idea. This functionality allows you to change the behavior of UFOs in the framework of current missions. And any of them.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 05:43:02 pm by Ethereal »

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Hunter-killer
« Reply #71 on: February 04, 2018, 05:45:27 pm »
It's not about detection, but in the attack itself. Technically, the crew of the UFO attacking the base has nothing to do with the configuration and composition of the assault forces attacking the base. As I already wrote above - overcoming anti-aircraft defense, the aliens cause reinforcements with the help of unknown technology. Ie - the composition of assault units attacking the base is the same for all UFOs.

This sounds to me like vanilla behavior.

It really doesn't matter how you justify the reinforcements - on vanilla base defense the aliens only attack the base once when it's detected, and it requires being detected again for subsequent attacks when the "logic" would be that they keep attacking until it's destroyed.

Quote
And to clone "Alien Retaliations" without introducing a fundamentally new UFO is a bad and not an interesting idea.

I wasn't clear - you clone Alien Retaliations precisely to introduce new UFOs to alienRetaliation attack runs, instead of the vanilla Battleship
« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 05:50:06 pm by Hobbes »

Offline Ethereal

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Re: Hunter-killer
« Reply #72 on: February 04, 2018, 06:18:00 pm »
I wasn't clear - you clone Alien Retaliations precisely to introduce new UFOs to alienRetaliation attack runs, instead of the vanilla Battleship

Without special need, you do not need to clone anything. And here there is no such need. You can assign any UFO from the list as a hunter, without touching the missions at all.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Hunter-killer
« Reply #73 on: February 04, 2018, 06:56:09 pm »
Without special need, you do not need to clone anything. And here there is no such need. You can assign any UFO from the list as a hunter, without touching the missions at all.

This is what I'm reading from the whole discussion.

1) The behavior you want can be replicated right now
* The size of the aliens during base defense is always the same, regardless of the UFO involved
* You can define different UFOs to attack the base, using alienMissions and missionScripts
* The base can be detected either through a vanilla Retaliation mission, or through all the alienMissions by using the 'Aggressive Retaliation' option, however to you how the base is detected is irrelevant
 
2) You don't make the ruleset changes because there's no special need
* Instead you want Meridian to add a new feature for your specific need, which will require more work to him

My conclusion: if you really want to implement this: use what's available and don't expect the developers to address all the needs of modders, because they have limited time and resources to spend in implementing features.

Otherwise, have patience and don't ask for it too much.

It took 18 months to find and convince a developer to add this 'hunter-killer' feature - and I kept waiting and talking about it because I knew it was a game changer, but I also realized that it was very demanding on the technical side, and unless a developer was interested and motivated, no one would ever pick it up.

So, with these kind of requests, either you wait and try not to piss off the developers with constant requests, or you learn to do it yourself, if you're in a hurry :)
« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 06:59:51 pm by Hobbes »

Offline Ethereal

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Re: Hunter-killer
« Reply #74 on: February 04, 2018, 07:28:00 pm »
Hobbes, You are fundamentally wrong. Read carefully the post of the same Meridian -

Code: [Select]
ufos:
  - type: STR_SMALL_SCOUT
    radarRange: 1000                # generous radar range, so that it can actually find a prey
    power: 100                      # big gun
    range: 50                       # decent weapon range
    reload: 10                      # dakka
#
    hunterKillerPercentage: 100     # always created as HK, default is 0
    huntMode: 0                     # 0 (default) prefer interceptors, 1 = prefer transports, 2 = random (generated at spawn)

Code: [Select]
alienMissions:
  - type: STR_ALIEN_RESEARCH
    waves:
      - ufo: STR_SMALL_SCOUT
        hunterKillerPercentage: -1  # default is -1, means use value defined at UFO level
        huntMode: -1                # default is -1, means use value defined at UFO level
      - ufo: STR_MEDIUM_SCOUT
        hunterKillerPercentage: 50  # 50% to become a HK at spawn
        huntMode: 1                 # transport killer
      - ufo: STR_LARGE_SCOUT
        hunterKillerPercentage: 100 # always a HK
        huntMode: 0                 # shoot down those xcom fighters

Ie the function of the hunter is designed to be added to the mission, and to a certain UFO. And I ask only to supplement the function in that it will facilitate modding not only fo me, but also fo others. In addition, it is quite logical that the UFO, found the landing of the transport, finds the base and attacks it. This functionality would allow creating a separate class of ships - hunters for X-COM, which can be added to any mission.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 07:33:37 pm by Ethereal »