Recently a patch has been added to the netrek-server repository with the
following description:

 * asstorp_modifiers
 Add multipliers to torp cost for asstorping. Affects fuel, etemp, and
 wtemp cost of firing rear torpedoes. Contributed by Ben Dehner, 2nd
 March 2010.

To summarize what the patch does, it adds a sysdef controllable option
(default: standard bronco settings, no change) to add multiplier costs to
photon torpedo fuel cost, wtemp cost, and a new etemp cost to firing photon
torpedoes depending on the angle of the torpedo.

My problem is this: it's too complex.  Great dogfighters know the exact fuel
cost of torpedoes and phasers.  The new patch adds a scaling cost to both
fuel, wtemp and etemp for torpedoes fired outside of roughly a 90 degree
forward arc of your ship heading (45 degrees to the left and 45 degrees to
the right).  The formula is complex enough that one will not be able to be
able to know the fuel cost before firing torpedoes outside of this arc.
Furthermore, the server does not communicate with the client what the
settings are for the multiplier costs, so the client has no way of even
estimating what the cost would be.  This is bad game design.  Netrek is
complex enough as it is.  New features like this would break dogfighting by
making it horribly complex, not to mention punish good dogfighting practices
like shooting sideways while dodging.

The way the new torp/wtemp/etemp cost is determined is as follows: The
formula for calculating cost first checks angle between torp and ship (this
number can range between 0 and 180 degrees).  If the angle is less than
roughly 45 degrees, there is no penalty.  If the angle is between roughly 45
and 135 degrees (side fired torps), there is a medium penalty in the form of
a first multiplier.  If the angle is greater than roughly 135 degrees (rear
fired torps), there is a large penalty in the form of a first multiplier.  A
second multiplier is then calculated, based on the sysdef multiplier setting
for fuel/etemp/wtemp, your ship speed (the faster your ship the larger this
term) and the first multiplier from torpedo angle.  This second multiplier
is then multiplied by original fuel/etemp/wtemp cost.


I can't be the only one who finds this objectionable.  "But it can be turned
off and defaults to off" some people might argue.  Just because it can be
turned off, and is off, doesn't mean it is worth including in the code.  In
fact I would argue this feature does way more harm than good by obfuscating
game play and adding an unnecessary penalty to good players.  Adding etemp
to firing weapons, really?  How about adding code that turns the planets
into Pokemon and rewarding us when we collect them all.  That would make
about as much sense as this patch.  I vote for removal from the repository.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...