Handling of the Titan Action-Menu
The way the move- and attack menu's are designed in Tos:WS has one important intention:
It helps you giving only neccessary and useful commands to your Titan.
Any action like an attack or a move is consuming a certain amount of time which we call "game seconds".
The main idea in this case is to stop the display of the menu's until it's useful to give a new command to your Titan. This should enhance the gameplay by prompting the player with the menu only when the last action is done (move or attack) or when a really important change of the situation has occured. This does work because a Titan can perform exactly one move action and one attack action at a time.
Let's look at a common game situation, for example the first game second when you have to give your first commands to your Titan. Mostly you'll be prompted first with the move menu. At this time in the beginning of the duell you'ld like to move your Titan to a better location.
To move your Titan, let's say to the next hex in your current direction, you give the move command "RUN". After you've clicked the "RUN"-Button you'll be prompted with the move menu again as soon as your Titan has ended his move. If a move into the next hex would last 15 game seconds you'll be prompted with the menu exactly 15 seconds after you've given the move order. There is no sense in prompting you again with the move menu in second 2 or 5 or any other, because you've already made your move decision. Worse, if you use the call move button your current move would be spoiled.
NOTE: use the "call attack" and the "call move" Buttons very carefully! Normally you are automatically prompted whenever your recent move or attack action has been completed. Using the "call attack" button in the move menu (because you have the feeling that the last attack command takes too much gametime) directly cancels the current attack action. If you are not shure what kind of attack or move your Titan is currently performing, use the info button which is available in both menus. Check the Titans currrent action in the 1st page of the information window.
If you've ever reached a good firing-position that you want to hold for a long time and you don't need the move menu any more, just proceed as follows: Click on "WAIT" and then "WAIT-ON-CALL". This disables the move-menu until you reactivate it from the attack mode (or after a VERY long time in game seconds has passed). In attack-mode you can click on "CALL-MOVE". This will immediately reactivate the move-mode and you'll be prompted with the move menu. But be cautios with "CALL-MOVE", because it spoils the current move order. That is ok if you gave the move order "WAIT-ON-CALL", but if the last move order was something like "WALK-FORWARD" or "RUN" you are going to break this move and all the game time the Titan has already been moving is lost. He won't leave his current hex and has to start a new move at the full cost of game seconds.
If you're not sure when to leave the current firing position (the hex your standing in) you have the opportunity to disable the move mode for a certain time. It'll be prompted again automatically if the game seconds you wanted to wait have passed. To do this, click on "WAIT", "WAIT-ON-TIME" and then define (in the "WAIT-ON-TIME-MENU") how many game seconds should pass until you want to give an new move order. A good alternative is to shut off the move mode until the enemy you are firing on has made a move action. Do this by clicking on "WAIT", "WAIT-ON-UNIT" and then click on the name of the enemy you want to wait for.
Another situation may be the following:
You've jumped on top of a big hill with your Titan. A look on the map tells you that there's a much better positon on the hill a few hexes in your direction. You can't reach this hill by walking or running because you haven't got the right "max-climb-rate" to leave your current position. The only chance to leave the hill your standing on is by jumping, but you've already spent most of your jump time by reaching this hill. So the only chance is to wait until your jump ports are fully recycled. As there is no other chance to leave your position it's not necessary to give any move order (may be except a swivel or turn for a better fire angle). The recycle of the jump ports will take, let's say, 40 game seconds.
There's one clever way to disable the move menu until you are able to leave the hill. Click on "WAIT", "WAIT-ON-RECYCLE" and then "JUMP". This will tell the game system to wait with the move-mode until your Titan has fully recycled the jump ports and is able to leave the hill position. If - in the meanwhile - something important happens so that you have to make a move like turn or swivel you can always reactivate the move mode by clicking "CALL-MOVE" from your attack menu. In this case it wouldn't even spoil something, because you've only been waiting for a recycle, and this can't be spoiled like a "walk-forward" or "run".
The attack menu works in the same manner. After you've given an order in your move mode you'll be prompted with the attack mode. As you don't have a target lock in the beginning of the game you can't attack in the first second. So what command may be useful at that time? Well, there are different choices:
If you've already spotted an enemy and he is in the range of one or more of your weapons it'll be nice to lock him as a target. In this case you give the order "LOCK TARGET". The locking will take a few game seconds to be completed. You'll be prompted with the attack menu again at the moment the locking is complete. Now it's time to click the "FIRE"-Button. This initiates the targeting of the weapon and getting ready to fire. After a few game seconds you'll be able to shoot. This means, you'll be prompted with the attack mode again and you have to choose one of your weapons to fire at your locked target. After finishing the attack you close the attack window and you are prompted with the attack menu again. This time it makes sense to click on the wait menu and then on "WAIT-ON-RECYCLE" followed by "ANY WEAPON". This means that you don't won't to be prompted again with the attack menu until the next weapon has recycled and is ready again to be fired. This "next weapon" will be the weapon with the fastest recycle time.
If you haven't already spotted an enemy and you also haven't got defense systems like "Flares" you may want to disable the attack menu until an enemy comes into your scan range. You click on "WAIT" and then "WAIT-ON-UNIT" and finally on "NEW-ENEMY". With this procedure you tell the game system that you don't want to be bothered again with the attack menu until an enemy get's visible. You will then only be prompted with the move menu if you haven't already made a move order or the last move order is finished. It may take a lot of game seconds to spot an enemy (and may be you've made a lot of movement before you really spot an enemy). But if this happens, you'll immediately be prompted with the attack menu because you've said "WAIT-ON-ENEMY->NEW-ENEMY".
During the ongoing of the game it may happen that your Titan gets very hot because of firing and/or damage of the heatsystem. All weapons are ready and you still got a lock on an enemy Titan, but you fear that the next shot will heat up the Titan from "heat-level-yellow" to "heat-level-red". So you decide to wait a little time till your Titan has reached a lower temperature to avoid the shutdown. If there are no other actions useful during the cooling down you should proceed as follows: Click on "WAIT", "WAIT-ON-HEAT" and then on the specific heat level you want to reach. You won't be prompted again with the attack menu until the temperature has fallen just beyond the border of that heat level you're waiting for.
There are many more triggers for a "WAIT ON..." action either in move or attack mode. Take a look at the manual. Clever use of these options can speed up the game, cause everyone is only taking action when necessary.
< Message edited by LarkinVB -- 4/29/2010 3:34:03 PM >