Sounds to me like a space-gauntlet has been jettisoned out of the airlock
What I'm thrilled about, personally, is the fundamental clarity that raw piloting skill actually, genuinely, no-holds-barred, for sure, actually means something very significant in AoA.
These tests prove there's no two-ways about it.
What we need to implement next (in terms of the combat skill arbiter) is a step outwards from the tactical to the strategic; where combat at an individual level is complemented by larger scale fleet decisions about fleet placement, engagement and target prioritisation: from the individual to the squad, to the wing, to the fleet. Comms and discipline, inexorably intertwined with raw piloting skill, will be the key to AoA alliance sovereignty.
Whilst I would say this... I do think it's shaping up to be, y'know, a bit ****ing awesome
One request for the next playtest (or any previously recorded playtests by any of you with a recording, if you're willing to go back over it)...
We're beginning to work on the tactical NPC AI. This is the decision-making that NPCs have (which is currently entirely 'dumb').
I would love for one (or more) of you talented pilots to narrate their PoV combat on a video, focusing on the "whys" of decision-making.
- Why you chose target X over target Y?
- Why you chose to break-off the attack at point Z?
- Why you chose to pursue this ship, and ignore that ship?
- If you split targets, what criteria you applied in making that decision?
- When/if you chose to run/regen, what were the precursors to that decision?
I'm really, really interested in the "why" of our top pilots' split-second (as well as medium-term) decision-making process.
It can only help the (reasonably sophisticated) individual/tactical decision-making AI we're building if we get some sense of your thought processes. We're starting at the individual level; then we'll build up to a squad/group level and then to the strategic level. I'll share more about the in-progress AI work in The Lounge in the next week or two.
Hoping for volunteers - either from current/next VT or from previously-recorded VT!