Greetings everybody. This week in Infinity: Battlescape, we have been working on the haulers implementation. The algorithm to figure out a navigation path between planets has taken more time than anticipated but should be resolved this week. We are actually planning on making it more generic than just establishing a route for haulers, so that the algorithm can be reused for AI bots later on when we revisit the AI commander which assembles a fleet of ships. At the moment the AI commander spawns the fleet in range of the objective ( a couple hundred Kilometers away from it ) which means that it is not possible to scout and prepare for an enemy fleet’s arrival. In the future, with this new navigation path algorithm each NPC in the assembled fleet could spawn at an ally team’s station and navigate through the star system to reach the objective to attack. This will make scouting enemy fleets a strategical part of the game.
Of course, we’re not there yet. For now this algorithm will be exclusively used for establishing a trade route for haulers. Haulers will enter warp once they reach low orbit, so as I mentionned last time, we’re going to introduce a warp interdiction mechanic in the next patch. The way it will be implemented is by introducing internal ship equipments that will consume cargo points ( bigger ships will have a higher amount of cargo points ). In the future we will also introduce more internal ship equipments and probably turn some of the existing functionalities ( ex.: warp drive ) into ship equipments. The goal in the longer term ( in a few months, but before beta ) is to introduce a loadout customization menu where the player can select which weapons to mount on hardpoints and which equipments to fit in the internal ship cargo. This might possibly affect the ship mass and physics.
This week I’ve also been investigating many technical bugs on the server side. I’m happy to report that two crashes were fixed ( the actual server hasn’t been patched yet though ) and a third one is currently under progress. We read some feedback from the community about weapons on capital ships lacking player skill, so in the next patch we are going to make an experiment for turrets that will now manually fire at the mouse cursor instead of being auto-aiming. This will only apply to the main / heaviest weapons, the light anti-fighter turrets will still pick up a nearby target and aim at it automatically.
Once the haulers patch is out, we’ll resume work on carriers spawning ( which sadly couldn’t make it into the alpha ) and the star map ( which is really a big blocker at the moment to figure out the game objectives ).