A Rethinking of Responsibilities

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maplealmond
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A Rethinking of Responsibilities

Post by maplealmond » Wed Sep 23, 2015 3:11 am

The game that got me into Pulsar was a bridge sim called Artemis. While Pulsar is an objectively superior game at this point, IMO, there are a few things Artemis does really well. One of those things is shifting responsibilities to ensure communication between crewmembers. The Captain doesn't even get a controller in some games, he has to ask his fellow crewmembers to put information up on the main screen.

Artemis also got a few things wrong (see: the communications officer which does not, in fact, do anything useful most of the time) but for the most part, you're playing the game "right" when players are chatting information at one another all the time. Conversely in Pulsar, the crew can very often not communicate with one another at all, as long as the pilot keeps enemy in weapons arc you'll barely hear any communication at all unless the engineer needs to fiddle with the power.

Let's try to fix that.

First, no global information. No bar at the top that shows ship health, let alone enemy health. Information about ship health is given to the Engineer, although some basics can be found on the various displays throughout the ship. Information about enemy health is given to the Science officer. It's up to those two to communicate to everyone else how things are going.

Expand what science does. Rather than "push button, execute program" give them a number of programs they can run at once, and make them a turn on / turn off deal which has to be balanced carefully the way engineering has to balance power. Even determining how many HP an enemy ship has should be an accomplishment for Science. Targeting should be the job of science, hopefully following the orders of the Skipper. The one thing I'd take away from science is changing the shield settings. That should go to engineering, with engineering switching shield configs based on the information provided by Science.

The weapons officer now has to rely on science a lot more, both to designate who he's shooting at, and also for any specific weaknesses. (The ability to tune weapons would be quite useful here.)

The pilot doesn't even know how damaged the ship is -- his job is to fly and maneuver. He should know the position of enemy ships, but keep rangefinding to science and weapons. That way weapons will be the one calling to get closer or further away, instead of the pilot automatically knowing to close to 8km (or whatever range the weapons officer likes) and holding it there.

Now you have a flow of info. Science communicates to engineering how the shields should be configured. Science communicates to weapons how the weapons should be configured. Science communicates to the pilots the number of enemies and which ones are being designated. Weapons communicates to the pilot ranges and arcs. Pilot and weapons communicate to one another about things they get a visual on (like big, slow moving missiles that need to be shot down.) Engineering communicates health and status to everyone.

The captain, amid all this, gets the ability to provide morale buffs. Figuring out which buffs to apply means knowing what's going on, so he's listening to the flow of information and reacting to it. He's also making decisions, trying to keep the big picture in his head, and also hopping on various stations -- grabbing a secondary turret or whatever.


Finally, and this is just for kicks, the jump drive sequence should be adjusted as follows. The "computing the jump" is initiated by science, but computing the jump only works for a specific sector -- the one the captain entered into the map. Charging the jump drive still is done by engineering, but actually activating the jump requires the pilot. Thus the sequence is -- captain designates a node, science calculates the jump path while engineering charges up, pilot points the ship and hits the switch. The pilot cannot engage the jump drive to any node except the computed one. That means pretty much everyone but weapons will be required.

Alymon
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Re: A Rethinking of Responsibilities

Post by Alymon » Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:10 am

All great ideas. Voice chat would also greatly help.

kir2yar
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Re: A Rethinking of Responsibilities

Post by kir2yar » Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:41 pm

But don`t forget about bots. They should dump useful info in chat.
Sorry for my English, not native speaker.

noobvannoob234
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Re: A Rethinking of Responsibilities

Post by noobvannoob234 » Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:54 pm

maplealmond wrote: Finally, and this is just for kicks, the jump drive sequence should be adjusted as follows. The "computing the jump" is initiated by science, but computing the jump only works for a specific sector -- the one the captain entered into the map. Charging the jump drive still is done by engineering, but actually activating the jump requires the pilot. Thus the sequence is -- captain designates a node, science calculates the jump path while engineering charges up, pilot points the ship and hits the switch. The pilot cannot engage the jump drive to any node except the computed one. That means pretty much everyone but weapons will be required.
^This is an extremely awesome idea.

Calladium
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Re: A Rethinking of Responsibilities

Post by Calladium » Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:30 pm

The weapons officer now has to rely on science a lot more, both to designate who he's shooting at, and also for any specific weaknesses. (The ability to tune weapons would be quite useful here.)
YES!!! The first thing that I thought of when I heard of Pulsar was this exact scene from Generations.

https://youtu.be/7PQ36c9Uo6A?t=56s

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Tajin
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Re: A Rethinking of Responsibilities

Post by Tajin » Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:18 am

+1
Really nice collection of suggestions. :mrgreen:
but computing the jump only works for a specific sector
I was always wondering how they manage to compute a jump without knowing where to go ^^
Always happy to team up with English or German speaking crews that use TS3/Mumble.
Contact me here or on steam!

(I'm usually available around 1800 – 0300 GMT)

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TeslaCuil
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Re: A Rethinking of Responsibilities

Post by TeslaCuil » Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:02 am

These ideas are all excellent, I also wanted to add that the programs the scientist has access to should be changed a bit to act more like enemy debuffs.

A few examples:

reduce enemy thruster speed by 20%
reduce enemy fire rate by 10%
reduce enemy shield recharge speed by 10%
increase enemy core temperature by 20%

The percent value would scale with the level of the program as well.

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