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Jessica VI
Posted - 2011.08.01 03:20:00 - [1]

FoF missiles need some love. I'm surrounded by hostile ships and turrets shooting at me and these little buggers decide to fly off behind me and attack a non combat facility.

I understand the reason why they're not all that smart is so people won't use them to afk missions... but... People kinda do that anyway once they get their drone skills up high enough. Sure, it's not the most efficient thing in the world, but they still do it.

Targeting the nearest thing that I can attack is a seriously flawed logic, even when using them for their original design purpose (using when being frequently target jammed). I wouldn't go so far as to say they're useless, but if you're sitting there watching your ship launch salvo after salvo of missiles at a completely irrelevant target, it gets frustrating. I remember reading somewhere that these missiles could be used just like regular missiles, in that if you had a target locked, it would prefer to attack that target. I can tell you that this is not the case, and I think that needs to be looked at to determine whether or not these are where CCP would like them to be.

Another thing I've noticed. Drones will attack something something similar to their size so the damage done is efficient. But if I'm using heavy FoF missiles, they just attack the closest thing to me... Which is generally frigates (assuming it's not the usual useless space junk target). That leaves my drones with nothing to engage.

The reasons I decided to try using FoF missiles instead of standard had nothing to do with afking missions, though I can see why one might assume that. It started when I was getting frequently targeting jammed while on missions. It got highly annoying to sit there and watch my drones fight and kill things without problems while I'm left feeling more or less useless. Later on, I started getting target jammed less, but instead I just started 1-2 shotting everything. When you're 1-2 shotting things at long ranges and the launchers fire the next salvo before the first one hits, the ammo is wasted, and so is the cycle time. With FoF missiles at least it would grab another target if one was in range when the first one went down. The time lost here isn't critical to survival, but it makes it kinda frustrating to be sitting there waiting on the long cycle time and knowing that you're wasting expensive ammo when this happens.

Perhaps there's a few changes that can be made. As far as what these might be, I don't know. I'm not a game designer. I do know that everyone I've asked claims they're useless and to not even bother skilling into them. I don't think CCP would have put something into the game knowing that it would be a useless waste of time or not worth the skill points or risks of using them.

I like to think that when these were put in the game, CCP intended for them to have a purpose and be used from time to time for those purposes. The problem is, due to design mechanics surrounding modules, reload times, and targeting times, no one has time to swap missiles and get a shot off before their target lock wears off. So even if they were useful for that purpose and didn't have such flawed targeting logic that they were frustrating to use, they probably wouldn't see much use anyway simply because you can't switch them into use fast enough.

Maybe CCP likes where they are. Maybe they don't. I don't know. It can't hurt to bring it to their attention.

Possible suggestions to change the way these work: Make the targeting logic smarter. No more targeting useless stuff. Possibly make it so that if you have these in your cargo when you get target locked, your launchers will automatically grab these and use them instead, with a lesser or non existent reload delay.

I think it might be worth the trouble to re-visit these and see if we can improve them so they might see more use, and less disgust :P

Posted - 2011.08.01 13:08:00 - [2]

Welcome to CCP AI development. Sentry drones attack targets only metres away (and thus do no damage), drones switch back to the previous target, or spilt targets despite being set not to, drones sometimes attack non-aggroed ships, FoF missiles attack whatever is closest, regardless of what it is, etc, etc.

I'm not asking for either drones or FoF missiles to have Sleeper level AI, but they could at least attack something within falloff range and similar size first.

Lance Stratos
Posted - 2011.08.05 00:08:00 - [3]

FoF are under-powered for everything but PVE. even then the lack of power and focus is questionable.

Reaver Glitterstim
Legio Geminatus
Posted - 2011.08.06 09:39:00 - [4]

I think F.o.F. missiles should be given a new AI which would fire forward (the direction the ship is facing) and then pick a target in that general vicinity, favoring whatever is closest to directly ahead of the ship, though with a bit of randomization. That would give a player some room to pick targets.


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