Friday, May 24, 2019

Cosmoteer 0.14.11 - "Arcade" Style Ship Controls

Cosmoteer update 0.14.11 is now available for download! This update adds a "Direct Control Mode" which allows you to fly your ships "arcade" style using the keyboard and aim and fire weapons using the mouse. It also adds a handful of improvements to the regular tactical ship controls, makes balance changes to Domination mode, and has a bunch of other minor improvements and fixes.

What's New

Direct Control Mode

"Direct Control Mode" is a new mode that you can turn on that lets you fly your ship using the W, A, S, D, Q, and E keys (or the arrow keys) and aim and fire your weapons using the mouse.

To use Direct Control Mode, you simply have to enable it by pressing Ctrl+D or clicking its button:

Once enabled, you can use the W and A keys to move your ship forward and backwards, the A and D keys to rotate, and the Q and E keys to "strafe" from side to side. You can also use the mouse to aim and fire your weapons; simply move the mouse cursor to where you want your weapons to aim and click to fire.

By default, all turreted weapons like lasers and cannons are fired using the left mouse button, and all fixed-direction weapons like ion beams and railguns are fired using the right mouse button. But you can change what buttons fire which weapons by selecting the weapon, clicking its "extras" menu, and changing the binding:

There are also lots of options for customizing Direct Control Mode in the game settings. For example, if you want to fly your ship using the keyboard but want the A.I. to still aim and fire your weapons, you can disable direct weapons control. Of if you want your ship to automatically rotate to face the mouse cursor, you can turn that on too.

Tactical Control Improvements

For those of you who still prefer the existing "tactical" ship controls, don't worry, they haven't been forgotten about either! In fact, the existing ship controls have also received a couple of much-requested improvements!

First of all, the much-maligned collision avoidance is now optional on all ship commands, not just movement. To disable collision avoidance with any ship command, just hold the X key while issuing the command. Or if you'd prefer that to be the default, you can simply disable the "Enable Collision Avoidance" game setting. (The existing "Force Move" command has been removed since holding the X key while moving does the same thing.)

Another frequently-requested feature was a way to tell your ship to rotate to face an enemy ship and stay rotated toward it as it moves. This is now possible by using the "Rotate" command and clicking on another ship you want your own ship to stay facing toward. You can also face toward a specific part of another ship by holding the Ctrl key and clicking on that part.

Domination Mode Balance Updates

Those of you who enjoy the multiplayer side of Cosmoteer may appreciate some balance changes that have been made to Domination mode as a result of feedback after last weekend's PVP tournament. Specifically, the mechanics of capturing control points have changed so that, if multiple players are contesting a control point, it will no longer revert to neutral and instead will have its capture progress temporarily frozen. Additionally, the time it takes to capture a control point has been increased, and the random map generator has been tweaked to favor less distance between control points and to have spawn areas closer to the edges.

... And More!

This update also has a handful of other improvements and fixes, which you can read all about in the changelog.


Friday, May 10, 2019

Cosmoteer 0.14.10 - Ion Beam Prisms

Cosmoteer update 0.14.10 is now available for download! This update enhances the existing Ion Beam Emitter weapon and makes it WAY cooler by adding the Ion Beam Prism. It also makes a significant change to the game mechanics of structure pieces, as well as a handful of other improvements and fixes.

What's New

Ion Beam Prism

The Ion Beam Prism is a new 2x2 exterior ship component that combines and redirects any ion beams that are shot into it, resulting in a potentially far more powerful beam:

The Ion Beam Prism is mounted on a swiveling turret and can aim in a full 360 degrees, albeit very slowly. This feature alone makes the Ion Beam Emitter a much more versatile weapon, though at a significant cost increase.

But the real power of the Ion Beam Prism lies in its ability to combine multiple beams into a single, stronger beam. This makes it easier to focus all the power of multiple Ion Beam Emitters onto a single enemy target, as well as allowing the emitters to be housed within the interior of the ship while only exposing a single or small number of (ideally well-protected) Ion Beam Prisms to enemy fire.

Combining multiple beams is not without cost though, since each additional beam contributes 25% less power than the previous beam. To maximize the power of a single ion beam, it is optimal to combine exactly two same-sized beams per prism. Combining more than two beams in a single prism, or combining two beams of significantly different sizes in a single prism, will result in considerable power loss.

Ion Beam Prisms are also very fragile, and if they are destroyed while a beam is being shot through it, the resulting ion explosion can devastate the surrounding area as well.

To use an Ion Beam Prism, just build one in front of an Ion Beam Emitter, and the Emitter will be smart enough to shoot when the Prism is aiming at the enemy. You can also link multiple Ion Beam Prisms together to form a chain by selecting an individual Prism and clicking the "Link" button.

"Structure" Mechanics Changes

The "structure" pieces (those little girder tiles that hold the ship together) have also received a significant change to how they interact with the weapons on their own ship. Previously, structure pieces would block any weapons on their own or allied ships from firing over them, meaning you couldn't put any structure in front of your weapons without blocking them. But in this update the game mechanics have changed so that your own weapons can now shoot over your own structure pieces. This should make it easier to build and use Ion Beam Prisms, as well as make it easier in general to create clever ship designs.

The way that enemy weapons interact with structure pieces is unchanged (enemy weapons will still fly over them while damaging the first structure piece), with the exception of missiles, which will now fly over structure without exploding, unless the missiles were specifically targeting the structure.

... And More!

This update also has a handful of other improvements, fixes, and modding features, which you can read all about in the changelog.