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[NEBULOUS: Fleet Command] is basically an Expanse combat sim

Lord_AsmodeusLord_Asmodeus goeticSobriquet:Here is your magical cryptic riddle-tumour: I AM A TIME MACHINERegistered User regular
edited February 2022 in Games and Technology
NEBULOUS: Fleet Command is a game I just found out about yesterday and I already love everything about it. It's an indie game being developed by a four person team that aims to add realism and hard sci-fi to the 3D space combat genre. The game just launched for early access and already looks very playable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcDlzuv4ujI

The game aims to emulate realistic physics, radar and radio detection, ship damage modeling and repair times, etc. etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ent4u3JrM8Y

It basically seems like a very in depth and realistic space tactics combat simulator and I love that concept. I don't really have much else to say, the above video does a way better job of breaking down the game's mechanics than I could and I just really wanted to talk about this game.
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Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. - Lincoln
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    InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    I picked this up yesterday and went through the tutorials, it seems super cool.

    Going to try to wrap my brain around the ship builder later today.

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    Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Oh.

    Oh no.

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    InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    edited February 2022
    Join us.

    (No seriously, this game seems fun but having like, 3 commanders on the same team on voice seems 10x more fun.)

    Inquisitor on
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    Lord_AsmodeusLord_Asmodeus goeticSobriquet: Here is your magical cryptic riddle-tumour: I AM A TIME MACHINERegistered User regular
    Yeah I finished the Tutorial this morning and I'll probably mess around with the fleet editor after work. I probably just need to get used to it but something about the movement system I sometimes find a bit frustrating to try and get it to where I want it to, I know there's a way to lock the sphere azimuth, but unless I've missed it I don't think there's a way to lock your cursor/selection in place and spin the rest of the camera around it, because when trying to plot a course I feel that would be super helpful.

    Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. - Lincoln
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    AvalonGuardAvalonGuard Registered User regular
    Can you play vs ai with other players yet?

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    MechMantisMechMantis Registered User regular
    Can you play vs ai with other players yet?

    Yes. That was in the initial early-access release.

    The AI is murderous.

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    AvalonGuardAvalonGuard Registered User regular
    OK, rad. If Elden Ring wasn't dropping in three days I'd grab this. Maybe in a month or so.

    I've been deep into re-reading The Expanse and seeing a ton of Steam reviews in Belter cant makes me smile.

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    InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    edited February 2022
    Dabbled a little with the ship builder before getting overwhelmed and deciding just to use the pre-built fleets until I get a better idea of how ships work. Used the basic fleet that has 3 identical light cruiser gunships against the all frigate default force (which is a matchup that definitely favors me). Take-ways so far:

    - It's very easy to panic and forget the options that you have available when you are suddenly jammed and there are a million fake radar contacts on your screen (I need to remember burnthrough).
    - I need to develop a better method of locating the enemy position other than "Well all the missiles came from that direction". I keep losing the EWAR fight.
    - This game doesn't tell you when enemy ships are dead, they will still give a radar signal, you can still pound them with your guns. It... may have took me over a minute to realize it. There are visual indications that a ship is knocked out.
    - It is perhaps, not the best idea to fly close to dead enemy ships to confirm they are dead. I learned this when a dead ship's engine went nuclear and nearly crippled and otherwise healthy ship from my fleet.
    - Overlapping point defense saves lives.
    - Ships are both very fragile and very durable, a lucky hit can ignite your ammunition stores. But an on fire ship can be saved by a good Damage Control team and come hurtling back into the fight.
    - Lock targets. LOCK. TARGETS.
    - Even with the medium size ships, reorienting can be painfully slow, you need to plan not only your approach, but your next multiple follow up moves so you don't end up having to do an about face.
    - This game is really fun.

    Inquisitor on
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    Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    edited February 2022
    Hmm, the movement system looks like its a mesh of standard blue-water naval movement in space with three dimensions of movement, rather than actually simulating movement in space. What I mean is that a ship on a heading accelerates to a top speed and stays at that speed, rather than accelerating on a course and coasting once the desired velocity is achieved or flipping over to slow down when approaching a target. But it's still space so there's effectively no friction, which means you can send ships drifting in a given direction at a given heading.

    I supposed this is to simplify things for the average player (and probably the AI) so moving to a position doesn't require outright calculus to figure out arrival terms while under acceleration and deceleration. A little disappointing, but not terrible and the presentation is still tasty-looking.

    The 3D sphere control system definitely needs some work. As a bit of advice, use the azimuth lock button heavily while setting waypoints; toggle this option to lock your current heading on the horizontal, then can select your heading on the vertical. This makes setting waypoints for moving around things MUCH easier as you can then make sure your destination is in the right direction first and then at the right height with discrete controls for each, rather than trying to manhandle the clumsy sphere control system into doing both at once.

    Other than that, wow. This combat system could support an intense level of depth with the sensor, ECM, and weapon systems they have. Being able to blind-fire missiles to scout out enemies is awesome, and the "fog of war" aspect with sensors and ECM is nice and crunchy here. Oh, and when firing missiles to scout, you can fire multiple missiles in a broad search pattern from the final checkpoint. Every time you alt+click, it adds a missile with the specific current heading you have selected; if you pick one heading then move over slightly and alt+click again, the second missile will fire on the new track. Now one missile salvo can search a very large area instead of a relatively narrow path.

    EDIT: Oof, the AI is just straight-up unfun. I get a distant glimpse of an enemy trying to force my way through the clumsy-ass interface, the next thing I know one of my ships is getting plastered with a couple dozen missiles while I'm just trying to get my other ships pointed at the first ship I found. I guess it really helps that the AI doesn't have to actually use the control interface. The training talks about rolling and shit and I just don't get how you're even possibly supposed to issue commands and movement flexibly enough to do anything but obliterated by AI that does all of that instantly.

    Ninja Snarl P on
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    InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    The game reminds me of the expanse and its “working man” SciFi approach.

    So there are nods to realism but the game chooses fun over it. Like, at the start of a mission your ships come in backwards retro burning thrust, and all the ships have front mounted engines for braking. But it’s not actual space physics.

    Or the game has EWAR be a thing when in space you could proooobably just use heat signatures and see everything fromsuper far away.

    So far I only played one match against the AI, and I came out on top of that. Overlapping fields of point defense fire from multiple ships seemed key to surviving the initial missile onslaught.

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    Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Yeah, I assumed thermal signatures were going to be a thing, but I wasn't surprised to see they weren't. No way you can actually hide something like that against the backdrop of space, even just the maneuvering thruster plumes would give off huge thermal indicators

    And seeing the way battles start with your fleet coming in engine-first is enough to make me happy. It means they acknowledge how the actual travel would happen and this is all that happens in the local space when you actually get there, zeroing out things like orbits and whatnot because it's all in relatively small space.

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    EchoEcho ski-bap ba-dapModerator mod
    Liking that chonky Homeworld aesthetic.

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    InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    Ohohoho, you can fit super powerful torpedoes on the tiny, nimble attack corvettes.

    This pleases me.

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    taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited February 2022
    This is pretty great. that is the extent of my thoughts after finishing the tutorial and heading into my first skirmish where no doubt shit will hit the fan

    edit: omgwtf all my ships are dead and i'm not sure if i fired a single shot. I love it

    taliosfalcon on
    steam xbox - adeptpenguin
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    Lord_AsmodeusLord_Asmodeus goeticSobriquet: Here is your magical cryptic riddle-tumour: I AM A TIME MACHINERegistered User regular
    If anyone wants to play some multiplayer after I get back from work (3:30PM EST or thereabouts) I'd love to, so far I've only won one match against the CPU, and that was an open space battle where I had a battleship against four frigates, and I was mostly just fucking around because I wanted to see how well the BB I made would do.

    Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. - Lincoln
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    InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    If anyone wants to play some multiplayer after I get back from work (3:30PM EST or thereabouts) I'd love to, so far I've only won one match against the CPU, and that was an open space battle where I had a battleship against four frigates, and I was mostly just fucking around because I wanted to see how well the BB I made would do.

    Darn, I’ve got wrestling after work today (and tomorrow) so not really free until 8pm PST or so. But hopefully as a group we can set up an attempt at battling the AI soon.

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    Lord_AsmodeusLord_Asmodeus goeticSobriquet: Here is your magical cryptic riddle-tumour: I AM A TIME MACHINERegistered User regular
    We'll have to decide if we each want to go with generalist fleets or specialize

    Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. - Lincoln
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    InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    What? I can’t hear you over the sound of all my torpedo corvettes.

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    Lord_AsmodeusLord_Asmodeus goeticSobriquet: Here is your magical cryptic riddle-tumour: I AM A TIME MACHINERegistered User regular
    I SAID-

    I like some of the ships I've made, I think they're fairly decent for first attempts. Overall I think I probably over-designed them, by default I always kind of want to fill up every available slot or I feel like I'm wasting it. And I think I had a tendency to focus on weapons over auxiliary and support equipment.

    Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. - Lincoln
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    taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    I don't know what i'm doing wrong but the AI detects me waaaay before I detect them 100% of the time; and cuts through my ECM and blows away 3/4 of my ships before I see them. It doesn't seem to matter how many sensors I put on my ships and I always have radar and transmitter off for everything except my scan ships until they detect me :(

    steam xbox - adeptpenguin
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    InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    I don't know what i'm doing wrong but the AI detects me waaaay before I detect them 100% of the time; and cuts through my ECM and blows away 3/4 of my ships before I see them. It doesn't seem to matter how many sensors I put on my ships and I always have radar and transmitter off for everything except my scan ships until they detect me :(

    Do you have any ships running the ES22 Pinard? I’ve been finding that helpful.

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    taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited February 2022
    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I don't know what i'm doing wrong but the AI detects me waaaay before I detect them 100% of the time; and cuts through my ECM and blows away 3/4 of my ships before I see them. It doesn't seem to matter how many sensors I put on my ships and I always have radar and transmitter off for everything except my scan ships until they detect me :(

    Do you have any ships running the ES22 Pinard? I’ve been finding that helpful.

    Yeah; just to test i made a cruiser with a bullseye radar pointing *every* direction, a pinard, supplemental radio amplifiers a track correlator and all the intelligence sections; a stealth drive unit, and then had it sail ahead with comms off; AI still sees me waaaay before I see them. I must be mucking something up but fucked if i can figure out what

    edit: figured it out. I specifically needed telescope radars; everywhere! all the telescope radars!

    taliosfalcon on
    steam xbox - adeptpenguin
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    Lord_AsmodeusLord_Asmodeus goeticSobriquet: Here is your magical cryptic riddle-tumour: I AM A TIME MACHINERegistered User regular
    edited February 2022
    I kind of wish I could watch an AI vs AI fight using fleets I've put together

    Edit: The obvious way to do this after 5 seconds of thought is to just add an AI ally and give yourself a single ship with almost no radar signature

    Lord_Asmodeus on
    Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. - Lincoln
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    taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    I just won my first multiplayer game! By literally equipping every slot in my 4 ships with point defense except for one rail gun. and roughly 8K rounds of 20mm PD slug ammo. By the end of the 4v4 all my ships were empty; so I went through 32000 rounds of point defense as 3 of their players unleashed all their missile spam on me. Then all my ships lived and slowly plinked them to death with their railguns since they had nothing but missiles..

    Moral of the story the missile spam meta in this game is real and ridiculous

    steam xbox - adeptpenguin
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    Lord_AsmodeusLord_Asmodeus goeticSobriquet: Here is your magical cryptic riddle-tumour: I AM A TIME MACHINERegistered User regular
    I still haven't played the multiplayer yet, how does it compare vs the AI?

    Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. - Lincoln
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    taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited February 2022
    I still haven't played the multiplayer yet, how does it compare vs the AI?

    The general consensus is the AI plays better with player fleets than players do due to not needing to fiddle through the ui for all the separate systems, so it’s actually a bit easier in that respect, but there are some very well done fleets you run into and as mentioned a ton of missiles so be ready for that. The multiplayer community seems to be very chill and friendly though

    taliosfalcon on
    steam xbox - adeptpenguin
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    webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    Hmm, the movement system looks like its a mesh of standard blue-water naval movement in space with three dimensions of movement, rather than actually simulating movement in space. What I mean is that a ship on a heading accelerates to a top speed and stays at that speed, rather than accelerating on a course and coasting once the desired velocity is achieved or flipping over to slow down when approaching a target. But it's still space so there's effectively no friction, which means you can send ships drifting in a given direction at a given heading.

    I supposed this is to simplify things for the average player (and probably the AI) so moving to a position doesn't require outright calculus to figure out arrival terms while under acceleration and deceleration. A little disappointing, but not terrible and the presentation is still tasty-looking.

    The 3D sphere control system definitely needs some work. As a bit of advice, use the azimuth lock button heavily while setting waypoints; toggle this option to lock your current heading on the horizontal, then can select your heading on the vertical. This makes setting waypoints for moving around things MUCH easier as you can then make sure your destination is in the right direction first and then at the right height with discrete controls for each, rather than trying to manhandle the clumsy sphere control system into doing both at once.

    Other than that, wow. This combat system could support an intense level of depth with the sensor, ECM, and weapon systems they have. Being able to blind-fire missiles to scout out enemies is awesome, and the "fog of war" aspect with sensors and ECM is nice and crunchy here. Oh, and when firing missiles to scout, you can fire multiple missiles in a broad search pattern from the final checkpoint. Every time you alt+click, it adds a missile with the specific current heading you have selected; if you pick one heading then move over slightly and alt+click again, the second missile will fire on the new track. Now one missile salvo can search a very large area instead of a relatively narrow path.

    EDIT: Oof, the AI is just straight-up unfun. I get a distant glimpse of an enemy trying to force my way through the clumsy-ass interface, the next thing I know one of my ships is getting plastered with a couple dozen missiles while I'm just trying to get my other ships pointed at the first ship I found. I guess it really helps that the AI doesn't have to actually use the control interface. The training talks about rolling and shit and I just don't get how you're even possibly supposed to issue commands and movement flexibly enough to do anything but obliterated by AI that does all of that instantly.

    So at least all the ships I've used so far have front engines, so they don't have to flip around to slow down. I remember reading somewhere that they tried to do that for the Expanse show as well, but they vetoed those ship designs since you almost never see them in fiction.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
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    Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    webguy20 wrote: »
    Hmm, the movement system looks like its a mesh of standard blue-water naval movement in space with three dimensions of movement, rather than actually simulating movement in space. What I mean is that a ship on a heading accelerates to a top speed and stays at that speed, rather than accelerating on a course and coasting once the desired velocity is achieved or flipping over to slow down when approaching a target. But it's still space so there's effectively no friction, which means you can send ships drifting in a given direction at a given heading.

    I supposed this is to simplify things for the average player (and probably the AI) so moving to a position doesn't require outright calculus to figure out arrival terms while under acceleration and deceleration. A little disappointing, but not terrible and the presentation is still tasty-looking.

    The 3D sphere control system definitely needs some work. As a bit of advice, use the azimuth lock button heavily while setting waypoints; toggle this option to lock your current heading on the horizontal, then can select your heading on the vertical. This makes setting waypoints for moving around things MUCH easier as you can then make sure your destination is in the right direction first and then at the right height with discrete controls for each, rather than trying to manhandle the clumsy sphere control system into doing both at once.

    Other than that, wow. This combat system could support an intense level of depth with the sensor, ECM, and weapon systems they have. Being able to blind-fire missiles to scout out enemies is awesome, and the "fog of war" aspect with sensors and ECM is nice and crunchy here. Oh, and when firing missiles to scout, you can fire multiple missiles in a broad search pattern from the final checkpoint. Every time you alt+click, it adds a missile with the specific current heading you have selected; if you pick one heading then move over slightly and alt+click again, the second missile will fire on the new track. Now one missile salvo can search a very large area instead of a relatively narrow path.

    EDIT: Oof, the AI is just straight-up unfun. I get a distant glimpse of an enemy trying to force my way through the clumsy-ass interface, the next thing I know one of my ships is getting plastered with a couple dozen missiles while I'm just trying to get my other ships pointed at the first ship I found. I guess it really helps that the AI doesn't have to actually use the control interface. The training talks about rolling and shit and I just don't get how you're even possibly supposed to issue commands and movement flexibly enough to do anything but obliterated by AI that does all of that instantly.

    So at least all the ships I've used so far have front engines, so they don't have to flip around to slow down. I remember reading somewhere that they tried to do that for the Expanse show as well, but they vetoed those ship designs since you almost never see them in fiction.

    They're very inefficient. Plus it's easier to build the ship and crew accommodation if multi-G burns are only coming from one direction. People don't like Gs directed in the wrong direction, they pass out. :P

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    InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    Man. Did the tutorial cover the different formation rules and I just missed it because hot damn it’s a game changer.

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    taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited February 2022
    Inquisitor wrote: »
    Man. Did the tutorial cover the different formation rules and I just missed it because hot damn it’s a game changer.

    This just made me experiment with it because no, the tutorial did not mention shit and i never looked at it and omg loose form is life saving under fire. THANK YOU!

    The other thing that's super handy i don't think the tutorial mentioned is hold down shift to issue orders to your entire formation at once

    taliosfalcon on
    steam xbox - adeptpenguin
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    InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    Inquisitor wrote: »
    Man. Did the tutorial cover the different formation rules and I just missed it because hot damn it’s a game changer.

    This just made me experiment with it because no, the tutorial did not mention shit and i never looked at it and omg loose form is life saving under fire. THANK YOU!

    The other thing that's super handy i don't think the tutorial mentioned is hold down shift to issue orders to your entire formation at once

    What?!?!?

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    DarmakDarmak RAGE vympyvvhyc vyctyvyRegistered User regular
    Picked this up last night but have been working too much to have time to sit and dedicate myself to learning this yet. But I'm excited to start, probably tomorrow or the next day!

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    FleebFleeb has all of the fleeb juice Registered User regular
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