Way back in the old forums there was a good discussion on the different types of aim assists, how they influenced gameplay and players, and the pros/cons of each system. If I or someone else can dig it up, it was one of my favorite threads.
=========One of the big dynamics ESP changed was the ability to aim while in heavy deflection (high rotation rates). Most atmospheric combat has optimal and suboptimal turn rates for precision, which means .
Oversaturation was the accidental or lucky dynamic that space sims had in the alternative to all the simulated rotational complexity of atmospheric combat games. It forced players to have input sensitivity curves, meaning that a typical setup would be:
- low deflections/slow rotations = low sensitivity = high precision
- high deflections/fast rotations = high sensitivity = low precision
Thus, a core dynamic was made: choosing between offensive and defensive flying.Something as simple as circling an enemy made aim difficult (but as a result, made fighting back equally as difficult). But when ESP is introduced, that choice is removed from the player: they get to be BOTH offensive and defensive, because they can rotate hard . This leaves more time in the game where players are trying to aim precisely.
=====And that brings me to my biggest feedback: ESP is only necessary because so many game elements force high and constant AIMING PRECISION demands.Given any other flight situation and players can usually depend on a nice sensitivity curve to control their ship. But when it comes to , now all of a sudden 1st order control falls short, and devices like gamepads don’t even step up to the plate. This problem has existed, as far as I have observed, ever since PIPs were introduced in a 0.9 patch (note how PIPs are tiny boxes that require precision to hit, because the old 0.8 aim assist no longer helped).But it really doesn’t have to be this way, and so little of it has to hamstring flight, or demand an aim assist that is disruptive like ESP. That’s why I created overly long feedback thread 🙂
The short of it?
– Aiming is made too difficult, and done for too long, such that aiming precision is such a necessary element in combat.
– Thus, aim difficulty needs to decrease, aim time needs to decrease, and aim rewards need to decrease
My thread is more comprehensive, but the key aspects are:Aim difficulty needs to be decreased by:
– Slightly slowing down combat pacing
– Decreasing combat range through shorter PIP initialization distances
– Decreasing combat range through shorter max weapon ranges
– Implementing a better, more universal aim-assist to create a baseline accuracy for all devices and players (that does not disrupt gameplay dynamics like ESP does)
– Increasing the rate-of-fire of all SC weaponry
– Applying a very slight weapon spread to all weaponry
– Increasing DPS that each individual round has
– removing PIPs and increasing projectile velocity for user-capable leading, or
– Making PIPs 100% accurate (potentially through an aim-assist)Aim time needs to be decreased by:
– A slight 5-10 degree/second overall rotational velocity cap reduction, and/or
– Decreasing rotational acceleration rates, and/or
– Dealing with the gimbal control mechanic
– Applying situation specific weapon inaccuracy factors based on:
– fire rate / length
– movement intensityAim reward needs to be decreased by:
– Removing or reducing ballistic penetration
– Applying better armor protection to vital components / increasing vital component health
– Increasing the hit-size of shields
– Eliminating cockpit shots entirely
– Reducing the chance of vital component destruction / ship explosion
Note that most if not all of this is entirely outside the lines of the flight model or IFCS. It is mostly a Gunnery, UI, or flight balance issue. Idk if you want to pass this on. Maybe it went unseen, but it might be an alternative resolution to ESP, as well as many flight balance issues.
Tl;dr – I agree that it sucks your system seems to need assistance, but I don’t actually think it is your system’s fault. You are trying to solve a problem that shouldn’t even exist in the first place, given your system. 1st order control of 3rd order motion shouldn’t cause headaches….and it doesn’t, when the player isn’t being asked to aim at tiny pixels so much.
This is all very interesting and I am reading through it. But I am curious, when you describe all of the ways ESP is an undesirable part of the game, is this true even at the times when it has worked as intended, such as 1.3 and 2.4, the points where most people I’ve talked to said it was at its best? The reason I ask is because I personally have always seen it as an unfortunate necessity given the realities of our space combat. But I get a lot of feedback from people who, when it was working properly, mostly didn’t think about it when playing, but recognize that it’s serving an important purpose and needs to be there.
We do have a system where 3rd order control is necessary. And space combat does tend to be high speed and long range. Is it a better solution to force a short range, slow mode of combat, or to provide targeting assistance that allows the pilot to be effective at longer ranges and higher speeds and maneuverability?
Ultimately, what ESP deals with is a lack of precision. There just isn’t enough precision in input to provide the fine change in velocity that one needs to track a target. Any small change in input results in a large change in angular velocity. When we have an angular velocity maximum of 120 degrees per second and you can reach that angular velocity in 0.8 s, your target is 500 m away and changing velocity from 100 m/s to the left to 90 m/s to the left, the target’s velocity changes by 10 m/s, which requires an angular rotation rate change of about 1 degrees/s, which for a linear input curve means you need to change your input by 1/100th of its full displacement. With a decent curve, get that up to MAYBE 1/10th, but that’s pushing it. This is ultimately the issue. The size of input change relative to the change in motion of the target is not reasonable without some assistance. ESP attempts to provide intelligent, dynamic damping of input so that larger changes in input map to smaller changes in rotational rate, and when it works, it works well. And this analysis is just looking at rotational magnitude, not rotational direction, which ESP also addresses independently. The difference in x or y input of your stick to correct for a change in direction of your target under these conditions is just VERY small, too small to reasonably manage. That’s what ESP fixes. And when it works, it does so without most people even knowing it’s on.
There are many things that factor into this, that lead to this lack of precision. High rotational rates, long ranges (and I don’t consider 500 m that long), target size, target speeds, etc. But we took the approach that we wanted to have a certain type of combat experience, and we wanted to find a way to make that possible. And, again, when it has worked properly, ESP has given us that. It’s just broken at the moment, or still trying to find its legs with the IFCS changes and tuning changes since 3.0.