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Topics - HamsterIV

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The Lounge / HamsterIV's new project
« on: October 25, 2018, 07:03:00 pm »
Hey there Guns of Icarus Community.

Things have not been very lively here in a while. I miss our banter and the troll replant nature Guns of Icarus the game imparted on its regular players. I am not saying I am gone for good, but I have been spending my creative energies elsewhere, specifically reddit. I found a writing related board called /HFY and am trying to entertain people with my words alone. I am posting this partially as a shameless plug for my attempt at a starting a writing carrier.

You guys, gals, and gender neutral alternatives have been a positive part of my life for several years now. I hope my interactions here have enriched your lives in some small way too. Maybe we meet again in clear skies.

Once again this is not a good bye, this community deserves better than to be ghosted into non existence.

- HamsterIV

Feedback and Suggestions / Statistic that predicts success
« on: June 07, 2018, 07:23:00 pm »
So I was watching Extra Credits:

And thinking about GOI, particularly how Muse could do a better job using player statistics to asses how "skilled" a player is for the purposes of match making, underdog, and crew form. The statistics "games played" and "Win/Loss record" are a good start, but what about utilization of in game communication tools?

If the game logged how often the player used crew or team text chat, the quick vocal tools, andcrew/captain voice chat Muse would have a better idea of which players are pushing the teamwork of their crew/teams. Another useful indicator is how often the player starts the game with a recommended loadout while crewing and how often the player gives recommended loadouts while captaining. Mix this stat with crew and team chat pre game and I am sure it will flag the players that are thinking strategically from the players who ready up with no plan.

Another suggestion is when presenting the player with a list of lobbies Muse should give the player an indicator of the lobby's average player skill relative to the viewing player. Thus newbies are warned away from lobbies filled with mostly vets and vets are warned away from lobbies of mostly newbies. If the population gets small players will join whatever lobbies that are available, but while there is some choice to be had we might as well furnish the information about the general skill level of the lobby to players at the lobby list level.

Feedback and Suggestions / New Lobby System Idea
« on: May 16, 2018, 04:46:29 pm »
This talk about stacked lobbies is old, but I am going to play arm chair designer and come up with a completely different lobby/match making system that hopefully reduces game wait times, spreads the pain of fighting stacked ships, rewards high level play, and dynamically resizes to run 3v3 and 4v4 games depending on player population.

The core idea behind this system is there is no rematch option and the performance of a ship as a whole is the determining factor for its placement in match making. Instead of joining a match lobby players will join a 4 person ship lobby. The ship lobby will have a rank assigned to it based on its wins/losses. This rank will determine which ships it is matched against and how much faction prestige and coin the players on that ship will receive per game.

New players can join the ship lobby and old players can leave and the ship will keep its rank, however if all players leave the ship it will be disbanded and all ships below its rank will rise 1 rank value. Players can create a new ship lobby at any time but that lobby will start at the lowest rank until they work their way up.

While in the ship lobby the player in the captain slot will have the ability to change the ship's load out, make equipment load out requests of the crew, set ship lobby settings, and filter for the type of game they want to join. The captain also can hit the Ready button to put the ship into the match making Queue. The Queue will dump 4 to 8 ships into a match lobby with an unstoppable 30 second timer until match start. This will give captains a short window to change ships to counter enemy builds or better conform to the map. However by readying in the ship lobby they have signaled that they and their crew are combat ready.

If all players on a ship leave in the 30 second match lobby or during a game play a new ship waiting in the queue can be pulled in to replace the missing ship. That ship will be given the same 30 second timer to asses the lobby before joining it. Also the players abandoning their ship mid game will loose their ship lobby's rank.

The previously mentioned lobby settings dictate how people can join the ship.  They can set the ship lobby to accept a player any time, only while the ship lobby is not in game, or lock the ship completely. While a ship is locked the only way a new player can join it is through an invite by the some one already on the ship. Players that get DC'ed can still rejoin within a time period (like they do today). The lobby settings also allow the captain to set a short advertising blurb about the ship lobby like: Clan recruiting, Russian speakers only, PvE for the Yeshan Empire, ect.

Players looking to join a game can create their own Ship lobby or see a list of existing ones. Each ship lobby in the list will show its rank, population, friends of the player (if any), Current game state, lock state, and captain's advertisement text. Clicking on a locked non started game will send a private message to the captain requesting to join the ship. Clicking on an unlocked game will put the player in the ship lobby.

At the end of the match each crew will told if their ship's rank went up or down  and how much prestige/gold the player got based on the outcome of the match. Since they won't be returning to the same match lobby players can jump out of the post game screen at any time to return to the ship lobby.

Since people will spend less time in match lobbies there should be a series of "taverns"  for players to socialize while they look for a ship or wait for their ship to deploy. Taverns should be on a separate voice channel from ship lobby so players can organize their crew or recruit from taverns at the same time.

If a troll joins a ship the captain and crew can leave the ship and form a new one to exclude the troll. The troll will inherit the ship's rank while the original crew would start at the bottom, but the troll will be matched against more experienced crews due to their higher rank and probably get crushed until they rage quit.

An option for a custom lobby should still exist separate from the ship lobby for clan matches and tournament play, but most players would find their game through the ship lobby match maker.

Remove the Match Lobby and do match making on a 4 person Ship Lobby. Give captains more control over who is on their ship at the ship lobby level. Move the social aspect of the game to chat rooms called taverns.

Gameplay / Best Ammo for each Gun
« on: May 15, 2018, 12:27:41 pm »
I don't play as much as I would like, and I am sure there are a lot of new players who are looking for answers. So lets compile a list of the best ammo types for each Gun.

Whirlwind Gatling Gun.
Ammo: Charged
Reason: Best all round for increased DPS while still effective at medium range
Ammo: Greased
Reason: Best DPS but only at short range due to increased aim giggle.

Mercury Field Gun.
Ammo: Charged
Reason: Increases Dammage while maintaing 2 shot clip size

Scylla, Double-Barreled Mortar.
Ammo: Lesmok
Reason: Compensates for slow projectile speed and increase odds of hitting fast ships at medium range.
Ammo: Greased
Reason: allows for maximum DPS for the brief window when the armor is down.

Barking Dog, Light Carronade.
Ammo: Heavy
Reason: Removes shotgun scatter and ensures all pellets hit the balloon.
Ammo: Incendiary
Reason: Gives each pellet a % chance of starting a fire, scatter effect causes a lot of fires in different parts of the ship.

Banshee, Light Rocket Carousel.
Ammo: Greased
Reason: This gun is used as much for the ignite chance as the explosive damage. More shots fired means more ignite chances. Range and accuracy is already high on the weapon so Greased Round's negatives do not hinder the weapon performance much.

Dragon Tongue, Flamethrower
Ammo: Lesmok
Reason: Extends range of flame thrower if the captain can't get you close enough
Ammo: Greased
Reason: Sets fires faster but shortens range. Directly targeting weapons with greased flame can induce flame lock in a few seconds.

Please post with the weapons I missed or corrections to the weapons I included. As I said, my knowledge of the meta is a bit out of date. See Echoez's guide, which is a bit out of data for more answers.

Gameplay / PvE Engagement Curve
« on: September 12, 2017, 08:03:57 pm »
The game play of PvE seems less consequential than the PvP. There are fewer moments of frantic button mashing followed by cathartic release. Bringing down an enemy ship is less of a rush and the Game Over Screen does not leave me overly proud or regretful. I acknowledge that bots will never be as fun to stomp on as your fellow man, but I think there is more at work here. I would like to address the pacing and the engagement curve of the PvE mode.

I am referencing concepts brought up in the Extra Credits video:

Whether intentional or not GOI's PvP adhered strongly to the ideal engagement curve:

1)    Initial spot
1.5) No shooting approach phase
2)    Guns in range
2.5) First clip expires or first mallet
4)    Armor strip
4.5) Armor recover
5)    Armor strip again
5.5) Armor recover
6)    Final Armor Strip
6.5) Mortars going out
7)    Did the mortar hit before armor recover?
7.5) Ship killed
8)    Victory cheer
8.5)  Back to spotting

Yet in PvE the steady stream of enemy ships with trivial armor and hull values means the player is at a constant level of stress with less peaking and release. The obligatory boss ship encounter does up the difficulty but it is more of a steady rise than a peaking and release.

Games like Left 4 Dead handle the engagement curve very well for a dynamic PvE experience. For a lot of the play session the player is moving cautiously with periodic spikes in intensity from special infected. Bigger spikes come in the form of zombie swarms or Tank battles. The players are allowed lulls and safe rooms to reset the base line with the climax being the 2 tank finally with multiple swarms. The desperate rush to the extraction point from the best defensible position providing that last little spike at the end.

I would like Muse to reexamine their AI director and Allicance NPC ship designs with this  peak and release design philosophy in mind.

Gameplay / Best loadout to solo a boss
« on: June 19, 2017, 02:09:10 pm »
I play Alliance solo a lot, and since the last patch I am having trouble beating the boss ships at a difficulty higher than normal on a non defense map. I usually run a Magnate with two front gats, a mortar manticore on one side, and a field gun H flack Mk2 on the other. I have also tried replacing the manticore with a carronade Mk1 hoping that balloon lock would ruin the boss ships turn rate. No build seems to be able to put out sufficient DPS to crack armor and do significant perma hull damage before the boss ship puts enough hurt on me to put the AI crew into permanent emergency repair mode.

Have any of you discovered builds or strategies that work against the Alliance boss ships in a 1 ship all AI setting?

Feedback and Suggestions / Guided missiles are too well guided
« on: May 03, 2017, 03:20:04 pm »
As I understand it the Tempest missile guidance system works like this:

When the user is on the gun the game does a raycast hit scan to detect the point in the world that the user's aim dot is over.
If the angle between the missile's forward vector and the vector form the missile to the aim point is greater than the missile's turn rate, the missile will turn towards the aim point.
In real world terms this functions like a laser guided missile. Only better since the missile will never loose the targeting dot, even if it passes the target.

I would like the guidance to work more like the more primitive wire guidance systems.
The algorithm that describes it as follows:
The game calculates the angle difference between the guns's forward vector and the vector from the gun to the missile.
If that angle is greater than a buffer zone the missile will turn by its turn rate in the direction of the ray cast from the gun's forward vector.

Making this change would cause the missiles to fly more erratically, eliminate their ability to loop back and hit a target they missed, move the technology level back to the 1940's instead of the 1960's, and give the weapons a higher skill ceiling to use effectively.

General Discussion / Captain Centric Game Modes
« on: March 29, 2017, 04:17:07 pm »
I would like to make the argument that Sky Ball and to a lesser extent Crazy King and VIP are too focused on the captain to provide an enjoyable experience for the rest of the crew. I am not proposing any solutions, but I think it needs to be said that the reason these game modes are not popular is because out of a lobby of 16 people only the actions of 4 of them really affect the outcome of the game. In Death Match and King of the Hill games good gunnery or good engineering can be a deciding factor, but in Sky Ball and Crazy King the crew are almost passive spectators to the Captain's skill and knowledge.

Muse probably thought these game modes would be fun because similar mechanics work in games where individual players control their positioning and tactics. However GOIO is not that sort of game.

Going forward I think Muse needs to put more thought into how new game modes will be experienced by the non captain players. If there exists a mechanic that can be exploited by not engaging, then the crew should have something better to do than keep up with a kerosene burn.

Feedback and Suggestions / Assign loadouts to AI slots
« on: January 25, 2017, 01:43:01 pm »
I was reading Richard LeMoon's ideas on mid game joining:

I think Lysanya has a good point. Gunner should always be in slot 2 once the match starts, even if they are not that way in the lobby. Maybe an auto-switch when someone picks gunner. Anyone joining the match NOT in slot 2 would NOT be allowed to choose gunner. Ever.

It inspired the following idea:
In the pregame lobby, allow the captain to assign one of the ship load-out options to the AI slot. This doesn't effect the in game AI, but when a new player wants to join mid game they have to click on the AI slot they want to replace. At that point the new player is given the recommended load out the captain set for that AI in the lobby before the game started. The player can either be forced into the configuration set by the captain or the game can give them the recommended load out popup before being allowed to join the game. If the captain didn't bother assigning a load out to the AI, the new player joins with their current load out.

I already emailed this idea to the Muse team.

Feedback and Suggestions / Ship Dock lobby
« on: July 19, 2016, 12:37:24 pm »
There is probably a good game design/programmatic reason not to do this but I wanted to share this idea for discussion anyway.

Instead of the standard lobby we are used to with the player's names in boxes I suggest making a mini game instance where all ships are tethered to a sky dock and the players can run around freely. The sky dock would have three areas: Red team's dock, Blue team's dock and the spectator platform. The airships of each team would be tethered to the dock in the configuration the captains had set for them.

To change airships a player would have to walk down the gangplank of their current ship, cross the dock space and walk up the gang plan of a new ship. To change teams the player would have to walk by the spectator platform and on to the other team's dock. Invisible walls would block players from doing things not allowed in the current lobby system. Such as joining a full ship, or team.

This would allow players and captains to flaunt their ships and costumes during the lobby phase. New players could walk the ships and be given instruction prior to match start.

World / The Cult of Phobos
« on: February 24, 2016, 01:54:03 pm »
There are sick individuals among us who worship the fallen god Phobos. They anoint their weapons with the tears of newbies and proclame "Hail Phobos" after each sacrifice. I know not what went wrong in their development as a person to take such a craven path.

Perhaps their parents were using a favorite stuffed animal to smuggle drugs across the border when a loving hug resulted in an near fatal dose of black tar heroin. Perhaps in a moment of weakness and loss the little degenerate turned away from the traditional pantheon to a much darker deity. Or perhaps a life of wealth and privilege left them over exposed to the simple pleasures, and they turned to forbidden knowledge in order to sate their every growing need for excitement.

What matters is that this vile cult has found a haven in our community. Be on the lookout for potential cultists. You can recognize them by their maniacal laughter, distrustful nature, and pathological obsession with Mining things. Don't wait for a "Friendly Fire Incident" to claim the lives of you and your crew. Report any suspicious activity to your local angry mob.

Stay safe vigilant citizen.

Feedback and Suggestions / Non-Rematch / Rematch
« on: August 11, 2015, 01:37:19 pm »
I have noticed something peculiar when a lobby fails to vote for a rematch. After a very short period in the Match Making Queue our Ship is placed into a new lobby with the exact same ships that were in the last lobby. Often the teams are preserved (no ship shuffle) such that it is an exact repeat of the last match. This doesn't happen all the time and seems to happen more at hours where there are very few people online. So I suspect there are no other games for match maker to sort the 4 non rematch ships into.

I find it ironic that not voting rematch increased the likely hood of playing with/against the exact same people in some situations. At least when people vote rematch there will be a ship shuffle and the chance at a better ally.

I don't pretend to understand the black magic of the Match Making System, however there should be something that the devs can do to prevent a ship who wants different opponents from being sucked back into essentially in the same lobby it just left.

The Pit / Matrix Theory
« on: July 30, 2015, 08:01:30 pm »
I was reading an article on annoying plot holes:

And have come up with my own theory to explain why the machines in the Matrix were using humans instead of easier to maintain animals:

I like to think that the machines in the Matrix were keeping humans alive as a way of honoring their creators (humans). They knew Humans would never accept a world ran by machines and even triggered the Apocalypse in response to it.

Agent Smith talked about how the first matrix's were utopias where the residents wanted for nothing, yet the human mind would not accept it. The machines realized humanity needs a bit of suffering to make moments of bliss and joy worth while. So they created an adversarial system where the machines would impose enough suffering on humanity to ensure they had the will to live. Their main goal was to ensure that as many humans as possible would live to see the day where the planet could be habitable again.

The whole "they want to turn living breathing human beings into a battery" was just Morpheus trying to justify his rebellion against the machines. The machines needed humanity as much as a park ranger needs a bunch of endangered Rhinos in his wild life preserve.

Zion (the human underground city where the last free humans would live) probably was constructed and supplied by the Machines for the humans who could not accept the matrix. However with the machines unable to control the population down there they had to periodically do some culling to prevent starvation when the human population exceeded the machines ability to grow and smuggle food and energy to them. No doubt the first few Zions outgrew their resources and died of starvation and civil war.

Feedback and Suggestions / Alternate Engie Stamina: Reach
« on: May 04, 2015, 06:07:27 pm »
So gunner and pilot stamina seem to be nice additions that augment game play in interesting ways, but the engineer stamina seems more of a hindrance than an asst. With a slow computer and occasionally spotty internet connection I frequently get stuck on ship geometry. With the addition of a faster movement rate getting stuck has gotten much easier, and thus my engineer has become less effective when using stamina.

I propose that when an engineer has stamina active they can reach components from further away. That way the engineer can still reach a component 1/2 a second faster than another class without having to worry about clipping into a rail. It would also open up some more interesting Parkour routs and ninja repair angles that the other classes would not be able to do.

This range could be enough to reach the galleon's main engine from the bottom deck without relying on the trick jump to being able to repair the mobula's balloon from the hull side cavity.

Feedback and Suggestions / Visual feedback for ignition
« on: April 29, 2015, 05:17:35 pm »
When attacking a ship with a flamethrower success or failure is determined by if the other ship managed to get their chemical spray up in time. An observant gunner can see what components have the white goop on them and target other components until the chem spray wears off. However for ships like the spire, mobula and squid which have some vital components hidden behind ship geometry gunners don't get much visual feedback on if their flame attack was blocked by chem spray.

I suggest there be an additional component to the hit marker to inform the gunner if the hit managed to ignite a fire stack. That way our pyromaniac population (you know who you are) can scan the enemy ship for unchemed components and put the flame where it is most effective. It would also help new players understand what weapons do additional fire damage.

It would also be nice to see smoke or flame rising off the hull or balloon to indicate it is taking flame damage, but I understand that would be a significant amount of work.

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