I’ve mostly enjoyed the combat system so far. However, there are two glaring problems.
NPC locomotives are exactly as fast as the player’s locomotive, and the computer has a huge advantage in perfect steering control and timing. If I pass an NPC engine going the way I came from, it’ll be long gone by the time I’ve got my engine turned around to pursue. In Sunless Sea, the player’s ship could put on an extra burst of speed for a short while, allowing players to catch up to and escape from NPC vessels.
NPC locomotives have perfect aim and can shoot the player from off-screen. I just lost a very unfair fight in which the AI pointed their locomotive towards mine, reversed their engine, and pummeled me from off-screen as I tried in vain to close the gap. I could’ve done more strafe dodging, but that would’ve made it even more impossible for any of my blindly-fired shots to land.
are you sure they’re only exactly as fast? I could have sworn NPC ships were faster. I was unable to catch one even when it took wide turns while i went diagonally to cut it off
I do agree a boost button would be nice. we already have a heat mechanic, it’d be fun to see it used more
Shooting from offscreen sounds bad, but i have found strafing to be pretty useful in fights.
For the main cannon, you have to imagine and envision an invisible laser beam protruding out from the front of your train, predict where the shot’s going to be when it reaches its limit and use that to hit the enemy. I probably have too much experience playing shooters, but i find it pretty intuitive and enjoyable
if all else fails, ram them and use the shotgun!
[color=#6666ff]Thanks for the feedback[/color]
After some more combat experience, I can confirm that NPC locomotives are indeed exactly as fast as the player locomotive. A fleeing marauder got off-screen before I could match its course. After I got lined up with the lingering smoke-trail I kept them just barely inside cannon range for a chase which covered a fourth or fifth of the Reach’s diameter. The player locomotive does seem to have a slightly better turning speed than the NPCs, which helps to balance out the AI’s more precise maneuvering and shooting.
As for strafing, I have been unable to use it in combat. When I’ve tried to do so, the game hasn’t responded to the key press. Strafing in general is kinda finicky, with inconsistent thrust and what seems to be a short cooldown between strafes (after the initial thrust, keeping the key pressed has no effect).