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Scoundrel67
04-04-2000, 04:19 PM
I mailed this to Lawrence Holland some time ago and have yet to receive a response. Does anyone know of any patches that a non-programmer could insert into the game to address some of these problems? What do you know about this "extension" planned for XWA? Obviously, Totally Games and Lucas Arts have had a falling out, so who is going to produce the "extension" for XWA?

Hopefully not the same nitwits the gave us Farce Commander. Talk about a dissapointment; anything in developement for 3 years shouldn't have pathfinding flaws, mediocre graphics, and this obnoxious interface. Check out dailyradar for an accurate review of this stinker.

Back to XWA--here's my letter:


Totally Games
PO Box 6248
Terra Linda, CA 94903-0248

(Please note that Brad X, Sr. Technical Representative at Lucas Arts [techsupp@lucasarts.com], wrote that the following questions and comments should be addressed to you at Totally Games. I apologize if I’m picking at a sore spot between your respective companies regarding the development of X-Wing Alliance, but I can’t help but think that somehow or other the ball was dropped when the game was designed. It succeeds so well so much of the time that the following omissions and oddities are particularly glaring and disappointing. I’m sending this via snail mail in the hope that you can find a little time to address some of my questions rather than dismiss and delete yet another unwanted piece of frivolous e-mail clogging up your account.)

March 16, 2000

Dear Lawrence Holland:

I am very pleased with the game, X-Wing Alliance, but why were the missile launchers removed from the larger Imperial capital ships? The capital ships in X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter and Balance of Power had them and this feature made them very enjoyable opponents. Larger capital ships, platforms, and military stations should all have at least one missile launcher, period. Whether or not we furnish them with missiles for skirmishes should be up to the players, not your programmers. Also, even when the AI skill level is set at Super Ace, capital ships on Strike don’t fire missiles or torpedoes unless they have been targeted. Try this one in the combat simulator.

Distance: 6 kilometers
Setting: deep space

Team 1
6 Asteroid warhead launchers set at Super Ace and armed with Advanced Concussion missiles on Superiority.
6 Asteroid warhead launchers set at Super Ace and armed with Advanced Torpedoes on Strike.
Factory type 2

Team 2
Pick a fighter of your choice and arm it as you wish on Superiority.
Select a capital ship set at Super Ace and arm it with Advanced Torpedoes set on Strike.

The warhead launchers set on Strike don’t do anything at all to defend the factory or themselves from the capital ship and the capital ship only uses lasers to destroy the factory and warhead launchers. Additionally, only after you target the warhead launchers armed with Advanced Concussion missiles will they fire upon your fighter. Their rate of fire isn’t very intimidating, either.

Please consider adjusting the firing intervals for all AI controlled warhead launchers to make them more aggressive. A Super Ace AI capital ship, station, or weapon emplacement should launch a first volley as soon as its designated target type (primary or secondary) is in range regardless of whether or not the target has locked its targeting computer onto the warhead launcher. When that warhead scores a hit or is destroyed by defensive fire the warhead launcher should immediately fire again, not necessarily at the same target. The AI warhead launcher should select the closest enemy craft of its designated target type that has selected it as a target. If it has not been targeted by anything, then the AI warhead launcher should launch at the nearest appropriate enemy craft according to the warhead launchers assigned duty (Strike or Superiority).

As long as targets are within range, a Super Ace AI should not give the opposition a moments rest. Less able AI warhead launchers should incur a 5-second delay for each AI skill level below Super Ace (e.g. novice AI warhead launchers will take 25 seconds to launch after a hit or the destruction of a warhead). You might want to increase their missile lock range, too, so that they can select an appropriate target and launch at 5km. Isn't that the whole point to having missiles--killing at a distance?

On a related topic, it is far too easy to destroy individual target components. Yes, it is fun to “pull teeth”, but when a ship’s shielding is still at or near 100% you shouldn’t be able to damage much of anything. Those warhead launchers in the above scenario are a case in point. You can fly right down the line and de-fang the allegedly Super Ace AI warhead launchers without breaking a sweat. Those Super Aces, aren’t.

To remedy this situation, when the shielding of the target is in the 76-100% category, individual components should take no damage. As the shielding falls, damage to individual components will then accrue ¼ their full value at 51-75%, ½ at 26-50%, ¾ at 1-25%, and full damage at 0% shielding. Always round points of damage up. With PCs doubling in capability every 18 or so months, this shouldn’t be asking too much of your programmers or the hardware of the future.

Another noteworthy deficiency is the curious response of craft to friendly fire. I have seen TIEs chasing TIEs and rebel fighters pursuing other rebel fighters. It’s usually comical to watch, but this shouldn’t be happening. It’s not so comical when you’re in a dogfight against a TIE Defender and an X-wing in your squadron starts launching missiles at you after it flew into your line of fire. If your wingmate takes a full power quad burst or less in damage, a harsh rebuke would be sufficient. Damage from a deliberately locked missile attack or more than the damage equivalent to a single, full-powered quad-linked cannon burst should invite both a surly response and an attack. “Receiving friendly fire, returning same with smile!” On ships with only 2 cannons, anything more than two full-powered, twin-linked hits should be required to trigger a friendly fire counter attack.

One final series of omissions need to be examined by some of your technical people. On the defensive sub-menu, the manual lists 4 different options. I have never seen more than 2 on my screen. As listed in the manual numbers 1 (defend my target) and 2 (watch my six) simply do not exist. The MFD lists only 1 (help me out) and 2 (evasive maneuver). Also, when does the support craft menu come into play? I have never seen the opportunity to be reloaded by the CUV support craft in a tour of duty and cannot get the CUV to reload me during a skirmish. Reloads must be had in the hangar bay of the command ship during a tour of duty; otherwise, none are available. Why may I not reload in skirmish mode?

Another curiosity is the lack of hull strength and shielding on large gun emplacements with warhead launchers as compared with large gun emplacements without warhead launchers. The GW/P has a shield/hull rating of 8/2 and the G/P has a shield/hull rating of 80/19. Why the gross disparity in survivability? And not only does the GW/P have a glass jaw, it never launches any missiles, either. Why not? If it has launchers, it should launch. Will there be a patch for this?

The X-Wing series of games has evolved into a superbly rich gaming experience. The improvements in 3D graphics and 3D sound, chatter from your wingmates, and cut scene quality are all noteworthy in caliber. Keep up the fine work, fix the aforementioned glitches, and you will be getting more of my money if and when the next space combat simulator in the series is released. That’s a promise.

Thank you for the hours of entertainment.


Respectfully,

Fel Crynyd
04-04-2000, 10:37 PM
OK
First Totally Games And Lucas Arts have gone seperate ways. So unless LA doses a patch or another game on there own this won't happen. Also some thing you suggest can't happen to the game. I am not saying that they are not good fixes but to change the enemie AI you would haft rewrite part of the programing of the game. No patch can do that. We all wish for another installment but it dosen't look like it is going to happen.
http://www.xwingalliance.com/forums/frown.gifDAM http://www.xwingalliance.com/forums/frown.gif

------------------
Commander Fel Crynyd
XO of Hope Squadron
New Republic Marines
Wow, General, I never considered you the frontal assult type!
-Starcraft

Scoundrel67
04-04-2000, 11:55 PM
Your assessment of the situation is correct--LA and TG are through doing business together. What brought this dissolution about is what I'd like to know. I posted my letter to get some feedback from others interested in purchasing a "Balance of Power" type extension from LA for XWA.

Perhaps some of you out there with ties to LA or this Verant company that LA is currently working with could send some information my way. Also, if there's enough consumer interest in an extension, LA would be foolish not to create one. LA should put a poll on their web site and query the gaming public about this. If someone reading this has some pull with the company, please consider asking the consumers what we want from you. That would be a novel idea, yes?

I'm sure there are plenty of people with ideas much more insightful than mine with something to contribute. How about responding to this thread and then the operators of this site may forward the feedback to LA. The more intelligent the input, the more likely we are to at least get a response to our inquiries/grievences.

Admiral Alistair
04-05-2000, 01:37 AM
personally I believe that if they don't plan on giving us updates or new games, like Nob Akimoto suggested, they should release the source code so that we the consumers may make our own updates and patches for the game.

------------------
OMEGA_ALISTAIR
admiral_alistair@hotmail.com
OMEGA Ensign,Mission Designer

DarthHulkster
04-05-2000, 01:56 AM
I heard Lucasarts are real @$$holes. I remember from this board that one of the world's top 50 game makers worked for LEC and he said shove it to LEC and left. Plus i heard LEC don't give a crap about what WE the people have to say. As far as I'm concerned they should get there act together and get back with TG or give us the source codes.

Darth Massacator
04-05-2000, 04:46 AM
Well from what I understand L. Holland stated in PC Gamer sometime ago that he's through with the X-Wing series. And I'm not sure if my memory is correct but I don't even think he's with Totally Games anymore.
He didn't leave on bad terms from what I understand.
I doubt you'll get a response though, but good luck.

Darth Massacator
04-05-2000, 04:50 AM
Oh and one more thing regarding replies to emails. Big corporations usually take a lot of time responding to emails. Case in point, Wheaties (General Mills).
The day the U.S. Women's soccer team won the cup, A.B.C. news reported that Wheaties will not be manufacturing a box in their honor.
So I wrote a tactful and mature email to the company protesting their decision. About 2 months later I got a reply from their headquarters explaining their side of the story, that and they *did not* ever say they wouldn't honor their victory in the first place. Who says the news is always accurate, eh?

Scoundrel67
04-05-2000, 05:46 PM
I did e-mail my letter to Lucas Arts two months before I printed a hard copy and snail mailed it to Totally Games. Supposedly the people at LA forwarded the e-mail to Totally Games, but I did not receive a response. If customer loyalty means anything to these people, then they'll respond. If not, then that tells me something about the character of the people involved, doesn't it?

Nowhere in my letter was I profane or rude and I am a paying customer--they owe me a response. I might not like what they have to say, but I'd still like to receive a few answers. Wouldn't you?

Darth Massacator
04-05-2000, 06:25 PM
I totally agree with you, however, the term customer-loyalty is merely a myth these days. There are very few companies that follow that term anymore (although I've had very good luck with Thrustmaster). It's a dying phrase.
Once any corporation gets your money, the transaction is over in their eyes. They got your money, that's all they care about.
Don't take this as me ripping on you, it's just very tough to get any kind of response when you have legitimate questions and issues. I hope you do get a reply, but don't be surprised if you don't.

Scoundrel67
04-05-2000, 09:53 PM
No offense taken, friend. Do the moderators of this site ever put their two cents in on any topics? Anyone running a site such as this one must have at least the e-mail address and a decent relationship with someone at Lucas Arts or Totally Games.

If you know of such a person, encourage him/her to contribute to this thread and possibly pass the text along to a person in a position of authority within Lucas Arts. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

decoy
04-06-2000, 08:37 PM
Sorry to say this but, this site actualy died, not the forum but the site. The forum still runs and can give some good feedback on the game but the actual site died a few months ago http://www.xwingalliance.com/forums/frown.gif No more news updates or any of the other good stuff. So don't count on the people, who used to run this site, to get the message trough. I'm not putting down the site or the people who run it but i'm just giving the facts http://www.xwingalliance.com/forums/frown.gif Still the forum is nice to hang around i think "we" are the only reason the site still get's this amount of visitors. For some real up to date XWA news visit X-Wing legacy, Datamaster or SWSSG.

Ms. Talon
04-06-2000, 11:22 PM
Hey guys, try and get a grip on realty, OK? This site was handed to the fans simply because there will be no more games based on anything from the episodes 4-6. It's simple marketting. Any future SW games, whatever the genre, will be based on episodes 1-3, and likely geared more towards the average joe than serious gamers. sorry to be blunt, but c'est la vie. Remember they are in this to make money, not to make hard-core fans happy.

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gototalon@home.com
http://members.home.net/gototalon

Darth Massacator
04-07-2000, 01:11 AM
Oh, ok, thanks for snapping me out of my fantasy-land Ms. Talon. Wow, what was I thinking?

Ms. Talon
04-07-2000, 02:33 AM
NP, don't mention it.

------------------
gototalon@home.com
http://members.home.net/gototalon

Ikhnaton
04-07-2000, 03:34 PM
I'm not sure whether this site or any of the LucasGames network have any official affiliation with LucasArts or anything like that.

As far as news goes, there really isn't much to report. The only news seems to be about new missions/mods or craft that people are making on their own. Hell, if there was real news from LA, it would be posted. But the game is over a year old and it doesn't look like there will ever be an add-on or sequel to it.

c'est la vie, as Ms. T says.

Scoundrel67
04-15-2000, 03:41 AM
As far as marketing goes, where there's money there's usually a product designed to attract that money. Given the mutterings and contempt voiced by most people regarding that ghastly Episode I, the Pretty Mediocre, I doubt very many people will be lining up to purchase a space flight simulator based on I-III. If Lucas really turns things around in II & III, it might stand a chance. I don't see that happening, though.

Lucas reminds me of a certain other emperor, the one from the fairy tale entitled "The Emperor's New Clothes". No one seems to have the spine to give him a tap on the shoulder and a stern word or two when what he's doing is absolutely terrible. If this happens in II & III, nothing based on this trilogy will be very marketable. You just can't pollish a turd.

billybob
04-17-2000, 02:57 PM
I do think that a new Xwing alliance game should come out. But Its not going to happen!
Oh yeah I ate a Baby! Baby the other other white meat! Baby its whats for dinner!
I would type more but I've got a turtle head pokeing out here. Ohhhh Squngy.

Scoundrel67
04-19-2000, 09:05 PM
Thank you for that unintelligible response. It renews my faith in our public education system.

On to other matters. How many of you have downloaded new fighters or capital ships from Darksaber's Opt Station? How about other missions from various people? If I can't have a Lucas Arts extension of XWA I'd like to see what's being created by the devotees out there, but I don't want to take chances on something messing up my computer.

Any suggestions?

Ms. Talon
04-19-2000, 10:25 PM
Scoundrel, feel confident to try our battlesets, but DON'T get them from here, get them from our website (link below). The ones in the archives here were never updated. If you ask around you will find our battlesets very highly regarded.

There are 2 battlesets; one with 5 battles and 36 missions (standard format); and one that has 9 battles with 54 missions; but the latter requires you get the NCA v1.2 patch from SFAtech.

There are also plenty of screenshots from these missions in the "gun camera" link at our site. Give them a try, I think you'll have fun!

The files are set up so it's pretty easy to install with the info in the readmes, and please feel free to e-mail me if you have any problems.

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gototalon@home.com
http://members.home.net/gototalon


[This message has been edited by Ms. Talon (edited April 19, 2000).]

Scoundrel67
04-21-2000, 04:25 AM
Thanks for the information. In nutshell, what's the storyline of these "battlesets"? It's heartening to know that some people with computer knowledge are keeping things alive for XWA.

Why is Nob Akimoto so ticked off about that NCA thing? What is the NCA he's refering to on the RSF site that he has declared officially dead?

Ms. Talon, I believe I read at the RSF site that you've created an Imperial version of the Battle of Endor. My curiosity is piqued. I'll be visiting your site very soon...

Ms. Talon
04-21-2000, 02:59 PM
All descriptions for the battles are at our homepage as well as in the readmes in the files.

The Imperial version of the Endor dogfight requires you to install the NCA v1.2 patch.

The NCA patch adds a large number of ships to the game without affecting any existing ones. Unlike other ship add-ons it is self-installing and easy to use. All the new ships are beautifully rendered and the E-Wing even has its own 3-d cockpit! You'll see what I mean if you look at the screenshots at our homepage.
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gototalon@home.com
http://members.home.net/gototalon


[This message has been edited by Ms. Talon (edited April 21, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Ms. Talon (edited April 21, 2000).]

Coudrak
04-26-2000, 07:01 AM
Totally Games published its plans for the future (Opportunity and Technology). That can maybe interest some persons : http://www.totallygames.com/level2/wptechnology.htm

Scoundrel67
04-27-2000, 01:46 AM
Looks like they're trying to stay ahead of the technological curve and remain independent. Good for them, but they didn't mention any future projects with Lucas Arts. The burden is still on people like Ms. Talon to create new missions and improve the opts in the game.

Nice site, Talon!

Hans The Great
04-28-2000, 02:10 PM
LA is going to publish more SW based games but they are not going to be flight sims. Looks like they are going to be Jedi-Light-Saber based games only. It is painfully obvious that George L. just wants the money now, loyal supporters be damned.

A good add-on would be "The Battle With The Gungans" where you could do strafing runs on Jar Jar. Now THAT would make hard-core supporters happy!

K_Kinnison
04-28-2000, 05:03 PM
I still like "Star Warped: Bop the Ewok" where you have a Ewok running across a Forest Cat-walk, and trying to avoid you Pole. As you push the Ewok off you ahve Vader Cheering you on, as the Ewok screams.