Homer acquisition cone toggle for D2
#1
Since unifying the codebases has been an ongoing project, I'd like to suggest a toggleable return of D1's homing missile mechanics, more specifically the acquisition cone of the missiles, which was 40 degrees in D1 and has been reduced to 20 degrees in D2. I know you don't like messing with gameplay mechanics, such as fusion power etc, but the latter can be changed through descent2.HAM, and the acquisition cone cannot, since it appears to be hardcoded elsewhere. Giving the players the liberty to go back to the old cone would spice up the gameplay by making homing missiles more terrifying and Lou Guards (and super hulks in custom missions) less of a pushover. 

Of course a simple toggle in the options menu would be way too XL-ish, so only pilots who know exactly what they're doing should be able to make the change, that's why I think a dxx.ini file parameter would be the best way to go about it, kinda like the old -legacyhomers parameter. What do you think, is this feasible?
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#2
It's feasible, but I've developed a strong aversion to making any change that involves homing weapons in any way. Every time that code gets touched, somebody screams.

Disclaimer: I don't recall what the cone is in either game. I'm replying on the assumption that you are correct about their properties.

If this were done, it would need to be synchronized in a multiplayer game. It could be done that a command-line option (and the ini file is really just a set of command-line options to save you retyping them on every run) is advertised out by the host to the guests so that guests pick up the host's choice. I did something like this when I added mouselook (which is configurable in the in-game UI).

Depending on the use case, I might be inclined to make wide-angle homing weapons a mission-configurable property so that maps that want aggressive homing weapons can have them automatically, and maps that are not meant for them retain the more restrictive cone. I can envision that some very open maps would be nearly impossible with wide-angle homing weapons, if the map designer provided nowhere to hide (instead assuming that pilots must exploit the acquisition cone to dodge the missiles) and insufficient shields/firepower to cross by brute force. If such maps are semi-common, it could become irritating for players to switch between narrow-angle homing weapons for those maps and wide-angle homing weapons for others.
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#3
Mission-specific could certainly work too. The angular values I gave you were obtained from testing and code examination, so they should be correct. That said, restoring D1's 40 degree acquisition cone (no one's asking to go any further with that) would make a clear difference in close quarters, yes, but the difference in open spaces wouldn't be as severe. Descent 1 gives few opportunities to test your dodging skills against red hulks' homers in open spaces, usually placing them in tight quarters. But when that happens, like in level 7's boss room, the homers are possible to dodge and lose lock of with nothing but 2-axis movement or even trichording. Descent 2 adds the afterburners too, which makes this kind of dodging even easier. 40 degrees would be tough, but not broken, since D1 players still have to deal with it to this day.

But yeah, having the 40 degree cone for homers and megas as a mission-specific property would definitely be awesome. Once again I'd like to stress that it's only about bringing back D1 combat mechanics, not about any further alterations. Many people still play and enjoy D1 over D2, and the difficulty of shaking off homing missiles in D1 is definitely part of the charm for some.
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