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Radio expansion[message #344552] Tue, 15 March 2016 16:42 Go to next message
Morbo513

 
Messages:36
Registered:February 2015
Location: West Yorkshire, United Ki...
Communication plays a huge part in combat, and I don't feel JA2 does a great job of representing this. The Radio Operator is a start, but has no impact on the performance of the mercs themselves.
What I'm suggesting is that individual radios be added to the game, and using them would grant a squad of mercs certain bonuses.

There would be several different types of radio available, each with certain stats:

Range - The distance in tiles a transmission can reach without being degraded. If the recipient is beyond this range, there is a chance that the bonuses will not be applied, increasing as the distance beyond range does.
Volume - The loudness of an incoming transmission - if a merc is within say 10 tiles of an enemy who hasn't detected them, receiving a radio message may be heard by that enemy, giving away the merc's position. Headsets would be available for most radios to nullify this, but would take up one of the "Face" slots. This would, however, slightly reduce the hearing range of the mercs wearing it, the degree to which depending on the type of headset.
Battery life - How many days/hours the radio's battery will last before requiring replacement (As an aside, this would be nice to have for NVGs too).
Full/Half duplex (FDX/HDX) - Whether multiple mercs can successfully use their radio in the same turn (Full) or if only one (or two or 3) communication can be heard in the same turn (Half). Half-duplex would be the most common and least expensive, but would negate the effects of any other transmission in addition to any effects of traits/skills as described below. Full duplex would be rarer and more expensive, but do not suffer from this drawback.
Channels - How many different channels a radio has. Especially if you're using HDX radios, it may be wise to have different squads on separate channels so they're not interfering with each others' communications when they're operating in the same sector
Frequency - Basically, which range of channels the radio can listen and communicate on. Radio A uses frequency "1", so it can communicate with radio B which is also on the same frequency, but has more channels. Radio C however, is on frequency "2", so it cannot communicate with radios A or B.
Strategic range 0/1 - Whether the radio can be used in the same fashion as the current game radio, to call in mortars or reinforcements. Doing so would require that the recipients also have a radio with the same capabilities and using the same frequency.
Jammer 0/1 - Whether the radio can be used to interrupt transmissions
Encryption 0/1 - Whether the radio can be eavesdropped on


Additionally, radios would have varying degrees of durability. If they degrade beyond a certain point, it would have the same effect as being beyond range, ie having a chance of applying no bonus (or preventing the sending of a message) the more damaged it is.

So, what are the effects of radios?
Communicating target positions - Let's say merc A sees an enemy, but the enemy is out of merc B's visual range. With this system, knowledge of that enemy would no longer be telepathically communicated to merc B (Unless they're both within a certain number of tiles - Vocal range)
If merc A uses his radio merc B would now see any targets seen by merc A at the time of transmission, then allowing them to engage. Additionally, if merc B then moves to a position in which they can see that target, they will receive a flat CtH bonus for that turn. For example, merc A is inside a room with an enemy and B is outside. A uses his radio to call out this target. B then enters the room, and with knowledge of the enemy's position, is better prepared to successfully engage them. However, if both A and B were in the room to begin with, this communication would provide no advantage.

Character traits, personality and deputy/squad leader - any effects of these would be applied if the pertinent mercs both have radios, so long as they're in range. Additionally, Loners would occasionally turn off their radios if they're far away from the rest of their squad.

Radio operator - A merc with this perk will multiply the bonuses/maluses they apply to other mercs by default, eg. a Radio Operator with Squad Leader would be even more effective, or there would be a higher CtH bonus on targets they call out.

Enemies - Some enemies, and most elites will have radios of their own, and will use them to communicate your mercs' positions. Those of them who are radio operators may also attempt to jam your own communications, nullifying any bonuses or abilities applied through that frequency. You can also do the same.

[Updated on: Tue, 15 March 2016 16:44]

Re: Radio expansion[message #344556 is a reply to message #344552] Tue, 15 March 2016 21:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3049
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
Hmm. This would require not only keeping track of which merc knows the location of which enemy (which the code already does), but also which merc received information about what enemy by what other mercs. This would then also have to be updated. This has to be done separately of the current system - on your second example, B would get a bonus against the enemy if A communicated about the enemy prior, even if A no longer sees the enemy... this is somewhat convoluted.

To be honest, while I appreciate radios getting more useful, I don't really see the gain. If the boni are small, one won't bother with this. If they are huge, one will have to constantly radio whenever we see a new enemy, or just upon switching positions/every new turn. This seems very tedious to me.

Note that I recently removed the need for batteries from radio sets. Maintaining batteries is boring - the optimal way to go is to simply have them, there is no benefit in choosing differently here (as we have for different, incompatible attachments). You simply have another thing to take care of, but there are no tactics, thought or anything involved. Batteries for NVGs would be even worse - one has to acquire tons of batteries and check for those dumb mercs to always have some. Strictly speaking, the same argument goes for food and gun cleaning as well.

[Updated on: Tue, 15 March 2016 21:29]




Saren threw his head back and screamed in impotent fury, before falling to his throne, head in his claws, trembling in horrified disbelief.

Then he heard a faint chime as Sovereign subscribed to her ECHO channel.

If you want, you can donate to me. This will not affect how and what I code, and I will not code specific features in return. I will be thankful though.


Re: Radio expansion[message #344557 is a reply to message #344552] Tue, 15 March 2016 23:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
smeagol

 
Messages:2702
Registered:June 2008
Location: Bremen, Germany
Well, I agree that batteries for NVGs and even the Radio are tedious micromangement... but Food adds a new layer of strategical depths. I think the micromangement involved there this is quite worthwhile (and also allows me to add tons of new items).


Re: Radio expansion[message #344575 is a reply to message #344557] Thu, 17 March 2016 02:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Morbo513

 
Messages:36
Registered:February 2015
Location: West Yorkshire, United Ki...
Regarding complexity vs gain, I figured as much, thought I'd post it anyway
Re: Radio expansion[message #344595 is a reply to message #344575] Fri, 18 March 2016 00:34 Go to previous message
Flugente

 
Messages:3049
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
Nothing wrong with that - it's a good idea, the work/gain ratio is just unfavourable.



Saren threw his head back and screamed in impotent fury, before falling to his throne, head in his claws, trembling in horrified disbelief.

Then he heard a faint chime as Sovereign subscribed to her ECHO channel.

If you want, you can donate to me. This will not affect how and what I code, and I will not code specific features in return. I will be thankful though.


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