Battlestar Galactica Online - Developer Blog 8 - Strike Controls

30 August 2013

Hello Pilots,

There’s something big coming that we’ve kept a bit quiet for a while, but it’s time to show it to you. We’ve been working on new, mouse-based controls for the strike ships. These controls bring a whole new dimension to piloting a strike, and they are currently playable on Kobol.

So What’s Different?Edit

We’ve designed these controls to be an action-oriented control scheme. These controls will give you a sense of the direction we plan on taking strikes in the future. There’s a lot that’s different and it might be a bit overwhelming when you first get in and play.

Mouse Controlled Pitch & YawEdit

Your strike ship can now be controlled with your mouse. When you move your cursor away from the center of the screen your ship will begin to turn. There are two ways you can engage the cursor:

  1. Hold Right Mouse: Holding the right mouse button will allow you to move with your mouse. You can also select objects with your cursor in this mode. If you want to select something else while not moving, simply release right mouse and mouse movement will be disengaged.
  1. Middle Mouse Toggle: If you don’t like constantly having to hold down your right mouse button, then you might want to toggle the cursor. By pressing the middle mouse button, the control cursor is toggled on. Any mouse movement will control your fighter. To turn the controls off, simply press middle mouse again.

Combat CrosshairEdit

First off, there’s now a crosshair in the center of the screen. It gives you a rough idea of where to get your enemy to get your guns to fire. The thing to keep in mind is that your fire arcs are much narrower than they used to be, but the improved control should make it easier to get your guns on a target. Your guns will fire automatically like they did before, but you must get the target close to the crosshair for them to start firing.

Built in SlidingEdit

Now you are finally able to slide like you see in Battlestar Galactica. With our new sliding mechanics, strikes can slide and maneuver just like they do in the show. Along with that, when you turn on your RCS Slide ability, you will continue your backward motion while still being able to slide.

Distinct Ship ManeuveringEdit

Part of our long term goals for making ship roles and is giving each ship a more unique feel in maneuvering. You’re going to see that each ship has very distinct maneuvering attributes, and the ships have been designed along those lines. Some ships will be more agile, while others will be tougher. I’d like to give brief description of each ship and its role:

  • Viper Mk II / Raider (Interceptor): The interceptor is highly maneuverable with the highest slide speed. Very good at close range fighting with its improved turning and slide rate.
  • Viper Mk VII / “Cylon War” Raider (Heavy Fighter): The heavy fighter is able to with stand punishment and engage targets with a vast array of weaponry, but is not as maneuverable as the interceptor.
  • Viper Mk III / “Cylon War” Raider Mk II (Strike-Fighter): The strike fighter fills the role between the heavy fighter and the interceptor. Less maneuverable than the interceptor, but carrying heavier armor, the Strike-Fighter is a well-rounded vessel.
  • Rhino / Marauder (Gunship): The gunship is designed to take a lot of punishment, but is the least maneuverable of all the vessels. It has exceptional boost acceleration, with the highest boost acceleration of all the ships in the game.
  • Raptor / Heavy Raider (Command): Command vessels are designed to support their fellow pilots with Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) attacks and Electronic Counter-Counter Measures (ECCM). It has decent maneuverability, but it is vulnerable to more maneuverable vessels like the interceptor and fighter.

How Do I Choose a Control Scheme?Edit

The old controls are still active (we are calling those “Classic Controls”) and the “Advanced Controls” are available for pilots who still wish to use them. To choose between the previous controls you have to install a module in your ship, and you can only do this when docked. There are two modules, one that activates the old controls and another that activates the new mouse-based controls. They will both be placed in your locker. There is a module for each ship in the game. The two modules are:

  • Combat Avionics Maneuvering System (CAMS): The CAMS module provides all players with the full capabilities of the new mouse-based controls. This module will be installed in all strike ships by default.
  • Basic Avionics Maneuvering System (BAMS): The BAMS provides players with the classic controls you have always known. If you don’t like the new controls, simply change the CAMS module out for the BAMS module.

Known IssuesEdit

There is a known issue with these controls. They are sensitive to a high ping. If your ping is above 150 milliseconds, you might find some issues with responsiveness. We’re looking for solutions for this issue, but at this time you might find them a little sluggish if your ping is high. Also, with a high ping you might also see a bit of “jittering” in the crosshair.

Advice for the ControlsEdit

These controls take some getting used to since you’ve been playing a specific way for quite some time. Most of the initial feedback shows that it took about 30 minutes for veterans of the game to really get the hang of the controls. Also, there’s a mouse dead zone setting in the options menu and you can make adjustments there if you find them a bit too sensitive. It’s a very different kind of game with these controls, and they will probably feel a bit off until you get some experience using them.

In ClosingEdit

These controls are the first step in a much larger plan that we’ll be sharing with you soon. They reflect the core direction we see the game heading in the future. I’ve been working for a long few months to get these feeling right, and we plan on iterating on these controls as we push forward on some of the core changes we want to make to the game. We’re putting these controls up on Kobol, and we need all of you to get in there and play with them.

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