Aircraft have been revamped, renamed, and are now Drone Platforms. Aircraft (Drones) in the Spring Engine are a difficult beast. They are unpredictable, impossible to really control. In a lot of ways, it’s almost as if aircraft in the spring engine follow form over function. By that I mean that they tend to look really good if you set them up properly, but at the same time, their dps tends to be all over the place due to unpredictable flight behavior, sometimes they will leave the map and become unresponsive, etc.
In the past, to deal with this, I have used the only aircraft type that is predictable, gunships. But gunships have their own sets of issues. Range in spring is calculated in 3d, which is extremely problematic when you factor in an aircraft that might be a value of 100 or more off of the ground. Not only does this affect the range of the aircraft, but also the range at which they can be attacked by ground units. If you have dedicated anti-air, then this isn’t an issue, but in Evolution RTS I prefer an “everything can attack everything” approach. In my opinion it makes for a much more diverse matchup and more interesting gameplay. As a result, I can’t just bandaid the problem by making a dedicated anti-air turret that does not attack ground with a bajillion miles of range like other games.
Remember I said that range in Spring is calculated in 3d and you’re screwed otherwise? There is ONE weapontype that defies this convention, beamlasers. Beamlasers can have virtually infinite vertical range. So the solution that I have come up with has quite a few facets, but here are the highlights:
- Super limited range, forcing the aircraft to be almost right above the target and forcing it to get closer in order to fire at it
- Exponentially increased hp so that even though your aircraft have to get well within firing range, they can take a beating
- Speed and strafing which adds a little bit of dodging and reduces the need to micromanage them in a way that is untenable
- Low cost, high supply requirements. This makes them fairly trivial to obtain, but makes it so that getting a proper flock of them takes time and money, eliminating the ability to harass with a few of them with no counter.
Admittedly, this is kind of a weird way to deal with things, but as weird as it is, it works. Moreover, everyone likes the way they operate, so… bonus!