Jocks' initial attribute values & skill values

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gazra
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Jocks' initial attribute values & skill values

Post by gazra »

As I was creating Jocks for my squad, to my complete amazement and annoyance and frustration, I noticed that the attribute values and skill values that a Jock initially starts with (before you begin spending Development Points) are determined by the Jock's name and callsign.

I also noticed that, if you swap around the Jock's name and callsign, then the initial attribute values and skill values remain the same. For example, a Jock with the name "Joe" and callsign "Bloggs" has the exact same initial attribute values and skill values as a Jock with the name "Bloggs" and callsign "Joe". I think this only works for certain combinations of names and callsigns (probably only simple names and callsigns).

These effects are case sensitive. For example, a Jock with the name "JOE" and callsign "BLOGGS" has completely different initial attribute values and skill values than a Jock with the name "joe" and callsign "bloggs".

Can anybody please inform me as to the exact algorithm used to determine the initial attribute values and skill values of new Jocks?

Can anybody please inform me as to the combinations of Jock names and callsigns that give the highest initial attribute values and skill values that you know of?

Can any veteran players please advise me as to the weapons that you think are the best in the game?

It seems that all of the weapons in the "Cannon" category have an unfair advantage because other weapon categories can be countered by equipment (i.e. shield hits negate any special effects of and all of the damage from energy weapons, and flares and E.C.M. (Electronic Counter Measures) can prevent G.M.H. missiles from hitting the target Titan).

I started playing FASA Corporation's tabletop game BATTLETECH in 1989. I have been a huge fan of ROBOTECH and the BATTLETECH universe ever since then! Thank you Vicious Byte and Matrix Games for making such a superb computer game and for making it freeware on the internet.
Thorgrim
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RE: Jocks' initial attribute values & skill values

Post by Thorgrim »

ORIGINAL: gazra

As I was creating Jocks for my squad, to my complete amazement and annoyance and frustration, I discovered that the attribute values and skill values that a Jock initially starts with (before you begin spending Development Points) are determined by the Jock's name and callsign.

[:D]
Notice that you're searching through a database of names, so it makes sense that each name/callsign corresponds to a set of skills. Of course, this is prone to being a bit exploitative, *if* you choose to go that way. It's not really fun to play a jock called "xgeiydbs" just to get some slightly better stats. [;)]
Can anybody please inform me as to the combinations of Jock names and callsigns that give the highest initial attribute values and skill values that you know of?

Now, that would spoil all the fun in finding those out for yourself... [:'(]
I once started compiling such a list, many many moons ago, but then thought it was pretty dumb, and quit.
Can any veteran players please advise me as to the weapons that you think are the best in the game?

Depends on your playstyle, what titan class you're playing, the role of the design, etc. There should't be any weapons dominating. They all have their place in the game. Sometimes one is considered overpowered, but that's really a matter of opinion.
It seems that all of the weapons in the "Cannon" category have an unfair advantage because the other weapon categories all have equipment that can counteract them (i.e. shields negate some of the damage from "Energy Weapon"s, and flares and E.C.M. (electronic countermeasures) can prevent "Guided Missile"s and "Unguided Missile"s from hitting your Titan).

Have you looked at the stats for cannons? They are larger, heavier, and have this thing called ammo that every so often tends to explode (from heat or from being hit) [;)] And that has even been reported to have run out in the middle of a battle... [:D] Plus, they can dud, etc.
BTW, flares and ECM only counter *guided* missiles, not unguided! UGMs are pretty much like cannons in that there's no counter to them except armor (except shields vs heat from NMs).
Iceman
gazra
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RE: Jocks' initial attribute values & skill values

Post by gazra »

Thanks for all of your helpful advice, Thorgrim. Much appreciated.

In BATTLETECH and MechWarrior, I've always preferred using the most massive Assault 'Mechs that are decked out with the most damaging energy weapons, but this game has some fantastic special weapons that I am tempted to concentrate on using instead, like the Meson Gun, Neutron Blaster, and E.M. Pulser. My only concern with the Meson Gun is that it uses ammo. In BATTLETECH and MechWarrior, I would usually never equip weapons that use ammo because I didn't want to risk my mechwarriors and 'Mechs taking damage from ammo explosions.

I'd be very interested to know what Titans and weapons and Jock races you favour (favor) using, and why you prefer using them.
LarkinVB
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RE: Jocks' initial attribute values & skill values

Post by LarkinVB »

Can S.R.M. Rack, L.R.M. Rack, and G.M.H. Rack weapons cause interior equipment damage if the armor is still intact?

Multiple hits on a single location are added and applied as a total. Therefore missiles can cause interior damage in theory. Statistically it is rare for small racks.

My favorite weapons are plasma gun and gauss cannon, dealing good damage with good accuracy on medium ranges. Of course I like laying smoke in team games therefore the AC7/12 isn't bad at all. All weapons have their pros and cons and heir usage does depend on your team, the enemy and the map.

If you prefer energy weapons you are at a disadvantage against a full team of shielded enemies.
Thorgrim
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RE: Jocks' initial attribute values & skill values

Post by Thorgrim »

Like Henrik already mentioned, the weapons that are overall considered as the best I guess are the PG and the GC. Solid medium weapons. I like most weapons, but I'm a bit partial to medium weapons too; love the AC12 and the LL too, for example. And the HMG [:D]   There's something to be said about LRMs too, especially the larger rack. I tend to favor heavy titans, one of my favorites being the Disruptor (twin HMGs and AC12s).
Iceman
gazra
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RE: Jocks' initial attribute values & skill values

Post by gazra »

Thanks for all of your helpful advice, Thorgrim and LarkinVB - much appreciated! This computer game is better than BATTLETECH because this computer game has much more sophisticated game mechanics (which allow for more strategies and battlefield tactics and things to affect Titans and Jocks during a battle), much more realistic engineering systems in the Titans, more variety with Jock races and all of the special weapons, the different weapons are more evenly matched (unlike in BATTLETECH, where the PPC, Clan Large Pulse Laser, and Clan ER PCC ruled the battlefield), and (most importantly) there is no perfect Titan design (unlike in BATTLETECH, which was its main fault). I bet multiplayer team games of this computer game would be extremely challenging and so much fun, no matter whether you were on the winning side or losing side!

How often do Jocks in your squad die in battle?

I'd still REALLY like other players to post a list of some of the combinations of Jock names and callsigns that yield the highest initial attribute values and skill values that you know of.
Thorgrim
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RE: Jocks' initial attribute values & skill values

Post by Thorgrim »

ORIGINAL: gazra
This computer game is MUCH better than BATTLETECH

I'm an avid BT fan, played it in most of its forms since its inception (including MechForce [:)] ). And I agree with this statement [:D] Henrik and Kai did a superb job! [&o]
Now, if only Kai would be so kind as to amaze us again, with his WoSP project... [:'(]
Thorgrim, where does the superb name "Thorgrim" originate from?

Hehe, people have asked that already quite a few times. It didn't originate in anything really, other than my brain - I don't recall any influence back then, that is. I've been using that as my character name in RPGs since the good old days of D&D/AD&D (early 80s) - I always rolled "lucky" for Paladins... [:)] I always had this interest in nordic culture, and that's basically where it stems from. I then used it in an awesome space strategy PBM/PBEM called The Last Empire, made by a friend of mine in college (gosh, that was 20 years ago!).
I've seen it used a few times now, particularly recently.
How does the game figure out which guided missiles are heat-seeking and which are energy-seeking, or are all guided missiles both heat-seeking and energy-seeking and the game automatically selects which seeking mode the missile will use? Does each slot of Guided Missile ammo that you allocate in a Titan have to be chosen as being heat-seeking or energy-seeking at the time you allocate the ammo to the slot during Titan design? When firing a Guided Missile Rack, do you have the choice of selecting the ammo type you would like to use for that particular salvo?

There are two different types of GMs: the GMH racks (heat), and the GME launcher (energy). They're pretty much descriptive [;)] They have different stats, they each have their own ammo, and they have different abilities. Check their descriptions in the factory. Also, check the guide that is available in the free game, in pdf format IIRC. It explains everything in detail.
How often do Jocks in your squad die in battle?

I haven't really played in a while, been busy with another project. But Henrik's new patch might just change that [;)]
Not too often though, except for the occasional explosion. I take care of my jocks, though I'll risk their lives for extra XP when I deem the risk worth it.
Do you accept the death of your Jocks as they occur during a battle or do you recall your squad from battle so that your veteran Jock cheats death?


I accept their deaths. Notice that you can also retreat from battle, in a legitimate way, by exiting all your titans from the battlefield.
I'd still REALLY like other players to post a list of some of the combinations of Jock names and callsigns that yield the highest initial attribute values and skill values that you know of.

I went looking for mine, but can't find it. Probably deleted it.
Iceman
n48
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RE: Jocks' initial attribute values & skill values

Post by n48 »

Don't forget that each shield hit creates - sometimes massive - amounts of heat on the target, specially on pre-made titans in a single player game. So shields sometimes aren't all that great at all... like when you notice your heat rocketing to critical levels! So shields aren't that much of a help on lighter titans.


I'd advise you to not powerplay this game so much or even at all...

Try doing an experiment: use a balanced approach in your sp games, say, weaker weapons (a single strong weapon on a chassis and a few weaker ones) or even try using pre-made titans consistently... roleplay a little... you'll see how ToS suddenly becomes much more deep and challenging then before, with an even greater replay value!

A totally different game...
Thorgrim
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RE: Jocks' initial attribute values & skill values

Post by Thorgrim »

Shields are useful for crossing burning woods, and decreasing the risk of being the target of called shots for example. And they´re great against CLGs, and help against mesons, among other things.
Iceman
CrushU
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RE: Jocks' initial attribute values & skill values

Post by CrushU »

Generally I consider shields very much Worth It and I factor at least the heat the shields themselves generate into heat balancing my customs.

Mostly because while that extra 25 heat from that tesla bolt striking your shields DOES kinda screw your heat up, it's better than 25 damage going into your leg and screwing that up. Heat is easier to fix than armor. :)

And the idea of RP in the game is a good one, to me, but hard to manage with just the SP... Hence why I proposed Multiplayer campaigns, in a different topic. ;)
SireChaos
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RE: Jocks' initial attribute values & skill values

Post by SireChaos »

ORIGINAL: gazra

Thanks for all of your helpful advice, Thorgrim and LarkinVB - much appreciated! This computer game is MUCH better than BATTLETECH because this computer game has much more sophisticated game mechanics and much more realistic engineering systems in the Titans, not to mention more variety with Jock races and the fact that some weapons have special abilities. Designing Titans is much more difficult in this game as there is no perfect design (unlike in BATTLETECH). But this computer game is much more ruthless than BATTLETECH because Jocks can die from just 1 lucky hit to the cockpit from many different types of weapons in this game. This computer game has far more strategy and tactics than BATTLETECH, and it is all the better for it. I bet team games of this computer game would be extremely challenging and so much fun, no matter whether you were on the winning side or losing side!

Kinda off-topic, but I am sort of curious what those "perfect designs" for BattleTech are. I haven´t found any - and believe me, I´ve tried.

I play both BT and Titans, and in my experience, I would say BT is more "ruthless", i.e. deadly. There are also several ways to knock out or cripple or destroy outright a ´mech in a single lucky roll in BT. And with the level 2 rules in particular (and the Clan/3050 technology) fights are usually over faster than in Titans.
CrushU
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RE: Jocks' initial attribute values & skill values

Post by CrushU »

Five CLPLs+TC and 52 Heatsinks on a 3/5 move Clan Assault with full armor strikes me as being one of said designs.

I play Invasion 3042, and custom mechs are (were) a problem there, but recently they were removed, no more can be built. ... There are 'only' 200 of those that I mentioned above left in the game. -.-;
SireChaos
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RE: Jocks' initial attribute values & skill values

Post by SireChaos »

ORIGINAL: CrushU

Five CLPLs+TC and 52 Heatsinks on a 3/5 move Clan Assault with full armor strikes me as being one of said designs.

If you mean, 26 double heat sinks, Clan technology, in a 100 ton chassis, yes that should work, but off the top of my head it would be an extremely tight fit, both space- and weight-wise.
Let´s see: 100 tons, minus 36 for lasers and TC, minus 16 for heat sinks, minus 25 for reactor, gyro and cockpit, minus 10 for structure leaves 17 tons for armor - full armor would be 19.5 tons IIRC.
An empty mech has 47 empty internal slots; 10 for the lasers, 5 for the TC, 32 for the heat sinks - that doesn´t add up, because there is no single-slot item that fits into the single empty slot in the head.

Plus, such a design must have one hell of Combat Strength point value. I could probably field 2 or 3 more conservatively designed units against that one - or 4 to 5 Inner Sphere units. You see, I mostly play in a community where matches are set up using more-or-less point values.
CrushU
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RE: Jocks' initial attribute values & skill values

Post by CrushU »

I'll go find the design and post it... Did you remember to remove arm actuators? One of the few real weaknesses it had was that all its weapons were torsomounted. It is NOT an XL. BV was something like 2400 under BV2 rules.

Hold a moment...

Interesting. 50 DHS, Standard Armor and engine, Endo internals, 2LPL each in RT and LT, one in CT. Wow, it only has 16.5 tons of armor. They balanced it towards the front, 48 CT, 32 Side torsos, 6 RCT, 4 Rear side torsos... 2649 under BV2 rules. Wait, no. Sorry. After this thing was killing things right and left, a test was run, adjusting the LPL down to a lesser range and tohit mod... Then changed back, and added I think 40BV to each LPL on a mech. So it's slightly modified BV.

And yeah it was a tight fit... It was a custom mech. What custom mechs have you seen that DONT barely squeeze crits and tonnage into perfect harmony?
SireChaos
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RE: Jocks' initial attribute values & skill values

Post by SireChaos »

ORIGINAL: CrushU

I'll go find the design and post it... Did you remember to remove arm actuators? One of the few real weaknesses it had was that all its weapons were torsomounted. It is NOT an XL. BV was something like 2400 under BV2 rules.

Okay, without arm actuactors, you´ll have enough space.

I´m not sure about BV. There are two point values in BT... one is thought to measure the complexity of a mech (i.e. the resources that would go to producing it), to capture the "price" of the unit; the other measures its combat effectiveness (by for example reducing point value if the unit has insufficient heat sinks). Which value is which in English? I only ever played the German version.
Hold a moment...

Interesting. 50 DHS, Standard Armor and engine, Endo internals, 2LPL each in RT and LT, one in CT. Wow, it only has 16.5 tons of armor. They balanced it towards the front, 48 CT, 32 Side torsos, 6 RCT, 4 Rear side torsos... 2649 under BV2 rules. Wait, no. Sorry. After this thing was killing things right and left, a test was run, adjusting the LPL down to a lesser range and tohit mod... Then changed back, and added I think 40BV to each LPL on a mech. So it's slightly modified BV.

And there´s the mech´s weakness... ridiculous rear armor, no rear-facing weapons, no arm-mounted weapons. If the battlefield has any kind of cover (which they almost invariably have), a reasonably fast enemy (8/12 movement would be great, preferably with jump jets) can get close enough to it to get into its rear as soon as it wins initiative; then, one solid hit will lay open the rear armor and score critical hits.

I´m almost willing to bet that with that tactic, I could defeat your ´mech with a stock Blitzkrieg, or Fire Moth Prime or D, or Ice Ferret Prime. All of which IIRC cost far less points than yours.
And yeah it was a tight fit... It was a custom mech. What custom mechs have you seen that DONT barely squeeze crits and tonnage into perfect harmony?

Plenty. I´ve played around with the construction rules often enough. And I don´t focus on the heaviest unit possible. I´ll see if I find some of my old notes, so I can post an example or two.
CrushU
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RE: Jocks' initial attribute values & skill values

Post by CrushU »

I didn't say heaviest possible.

Yes, that is the glaring weakness. The reason it got made at all, is this game I was playing uses double-blind movement, not the CBT system of Initiative. :( Initiative would royally screw those mechs, which is why it had a low BV for how powerful it is; The BV2 system being used doesn't take into account double-blind movement. It's a large flaw, and ultimately ended up in customs being banned outright when it was finally noticed.

(It was hard to get in the rear arc, because you had to guess one of six hexsides would have the rear. Torso twisting being what it was, that one of six would also be the only one you could avoid being shot at. They would take these mechs and sit them in Heavy Woods, and just turn the facing whenever a faster mech got close. Very annoying.)
SireChaos
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RE: Jocks' initial attribute values & skill values

Post by SireChaos »

ORIGINAL: CrushU

I didn't say heaviest possible.

But the heaviest units are the ones most likely to be short on internal slots, with all the stuff they carry.
Yes, that is the glaring weakness. The reason it got made at all, is this game I was playing uses double-blind movement, not the CBT system of Initiative. :( Initiative would royally screw those mechs, which is why it had a low BV for how powerful it is; The BV2 system being used doesn't take into account double-blind movement. It's a large flaw, and ultimately ended up in customs being banned outright when it was finally noticed.

(It was hard to get in the rear arc, because you had to guess one of six hexsides would have the rear. Torso twisting being what it was, that one of six would also be the only one you could avoid being shot at. They would take these mechs and sit them in Heavy Woods, and just turn the facing whenever a faster mech got close. Very annoying.)

Do the rules you use include the ability of energy weapons to set fire to woods?

Anyway, I´ve never played double blind, but from what you describe, my tactics against that mech would be to use two fast units with low BV, maybe Vipers or Ice Ferrets, and get them on either side of this mech - it could not turn in any way that would not have it end up with its back turned to one of them. That, and/or use fast-moving units that stay in the CLPL´s long range bracket, to keep your unit´s to-hit modifiers high.
CrushU
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RE: Jocks' initial attribute values & skill values

Post by CrushU »

Unfortunately, no, woods burning is not in. Presumably a coding issue, as the maps are all housed as databases on a server. (I think the maps are 125x125. Sounds large, but realize that there have been 200K BV on both sides of a fight a couple times, and higher is possible. The maps are unique to each zone being attacked... Anyway.)

Unfortunately, using a fast-mover to stay inside or just outside the CLPL bracket and keep tohit mods high isn't such a great idea. Because of the CLPL+TC making it a -3 tohit, it basically nullifies long range. Using the two fast ones *does* sometimes work quite well, the problems with that tactic come from three areas: Generally, whichever one isn't pounding the rear armor is getting wtfpwnt by 5 CLPLs, that usually makes it down to just one. Secondly, back shots are not guaranteed kills. They're Very Likely, but it is a Standard engine still, so you need CT shots, and arm and leg shots are quite possible as well. (Annoying to get a Viper-A behind him finally, smash an alpha, and have all shots hit arm/leg.) Finally, and this is the big one, in a LARGER battle, such as a 20k fight, with three or four of these things and a few others of a similar thought process (Lots of armor on front, ERPPCs+ERLLs+TC, 3/5 move, no arm actuators/only two arm weapons.) light mechs become less useful, as you'll ALWAYS be under fire because they set up rings, and light mechs don't stand up to constant fire very well.

There were two tactics that tended to work. One was using a Light 8/12/8 Custom with 1 ERLL+TC, and max armor. It would usually get lots better tohits than the opposing mech. The other tactic was to use something with a low-ish BV and lots of close range weapons, and hide out of LOS, getting in close and delivering fatal volumes of damage. (Hunchback IIC, with two UAC20s, wasn't a bad one for this. Linebacker-H was also useful for this reason. I had some success with a Warhawk-H as well.)

There's certainly issues with the battle system, but the coder is working on fixing them. If you'd care to try this out, the site is www.invasion3042.com and I'm in Clan Ghost Bear. (saKhan, actually) HIGHLY advised you get on IRC, irc.afternet.org and the #invasion3042 channel. I'll be saKhan|Carin_Tseng[CGB] there. Be warned, it's a Slow-paced game, save for the battles.
SireChaos
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RE: Jocks' initial attribute values & skill values

Post by SireChaos »

MegaMek has burning woods... among other things. http://megamek.sourceforge.net
 
So, if part of the basic rules haven´t been implemented, that is of course an issue that can unbalance the game. The point of balanced rules is that every tactic can be countered by a different tactic - such as, hiding in woods can be countered by setting woods on fire, or at least clearing them. This omission alone would almost be a game breaker for me.
 
And, if you keep running 10+ hexes per turn, and stay within the long range bracket, you´ll get a total modifier of +8 to your enemies´to-hit roll. Even with those -3, that´s a +5, for a 2d6 roll, the more so if you, too, are in a woods hex, or there are some woods in the line of fire.
CrushU
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RE: Jocks' initial attribute values & skill values

Post by CrushU »

Well, the admin is working on it even as we speak. He's well-known for answering any bug report within a week, and usually within a day.

But here's the thing... If you're facing this mech, camping in its Heavy Woods... The net advantage is 5 in its favor, if you stand still without cover. +2 to hit him for his HW, and he has -3 to hit you. So you need to offset this by at least 5. Running 10? Now it's 3 in his favor. +4 to hit him for your movement and HW, and +1 for him to hit you for your movement and his bonuses. Running 10 into heavy woods only gives you 1 in his favor still. You have to offset it with gunnery skill. Or by forcing him to change facing. Jumping 10 into heavy woods would also give the same net effect. So yeah. That's why this thing was so cheap, you could never get a better tohit than it had, unless you also used Pulse lasers/TC.

Artillery IS in, but you can't just fire randomly, aka the only ammo is Homing Arrow IV. The plus side is that it's coded so that you need to TAG a mech, and then can fire the Arrow, with tohit based on range: 1-17 4 tohit, 18-34 6 tohit, 35-51 8 tohit, 52-68 10 tohit, and anything further is impossible. No travel time for the shell, basically. Good when you have several Arrow with one Tagger, bad if that tagger dies. :p

And yeah, I know of megamek. I like the most recent version with Aerospace... Even though I don't know those rules. xD Simultaneous fire declaration is interesting, too.

:( No one interested in multiplayer ToS campaign? :'(
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