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Vehicle Combat
What you can expect

The first version of vehicle combat is coming as soon as today or tomorrow.

This version of vehicle combat is just the first version, and it's fairly basic covering only the basics. Advanced maneuvers, ramming, and so on will be coming later. What will the world look like after vehicle combat?

Probably very similar to what it did yesterday. In world, vehicle weapons have always existed. They've existed around the world, extremely common. Most characters born on Earth have likely seen an armed vehicle outside of dense city centers.

Withmore is different, having a strict gun ban and the means to enforce it, means most Withmorian citizens haven't had to worry about being mowed down by a vehicle with autocannons.

This isn't changing. What is changing is that vehicles will have the coded capability to support vehicle weapons.

At this time we're not putting an OOC restrictions on what you can or cannot do with vehicle weapons, but we ask that players be responsible and not abuse the system or we will put restrictions in place. It will be up to you to find out in game what this means for your character, or their criminal activities.

When the announcement is made, DO NOT and I mean DO NOT rush to go out to find how to get these. I know it's tempting. I know you want to. We will throw out hooks for you to follow in character, but as far as your characters are aware, nothing has changed.

We're looking forward to how players interact with these new systems, the new business opportunities that will open up, and more. This is the first step of many.

In Mirage's patch note, they mention some items being seeded into the world for the vehicle combat update. I've noticed what seems like some mismatches for ammo and items, did every weapon that released also have a corresponding ammo item that got seeded?
To answer my own questions for posterity: There is some ambiguous naming but everything works more or less as expected.
Through testing I found that heavy weapon skills did not seem to be factoring into attacks made with some vehicle weapons. I submitted this as a @bug and was told it was working as intended. If true this would mean there was a ton of misleading communication about the functionality and use of vehicle combat: Communications with staff during the implementation and bug fixing of this system very commonly used the term heavy weapons interchangeably with vehicle weapons, something that is also true of what little documentation there is for vehicle combat.

From help weapons:

Heavy Weapons - Mounted high power or high rate of fire weapons.

From help combat skills:

Heavy Weapon: Effective use and care of a variety of high powered anti-vehicle weapons, including gunner-fired vehicle mounted weaponry.

From help vehicle combat (which I wrote but staff approved):

Different vehicles have a variety of heavy weapons and armor they may equip just like characters can...

I feel like with a new, highly undocumented system, there needs to be some clarity about what skills are actually involved. Other weapons have very precise definitions about what skills factor into their use. I sought advice from NPCs about various parts of this system at various times and got no responses, so took it upon myself to learn how it all worked based on the limited staff documentation and information that was provided about it. If heavy weapons is not being rolled to make vehicle weapon attacks, then at a minimum there needs to be strongly clarifying rewrites of documentation.

(Edited by Mench at 4:03 pm on 3/23/2023)

Sorry about the code tag not closing after one line at the end there.
The difference between the skill usage and type of weapons looks to be intentional during my research for a certain race, based on their methods of use. I think that's all I can say without just saying it!
You're assuming the skill usage based on an expected difference in attack messages after increasing skills.

Fun Fact: If a weapon only has one attack message, it's only going to show you one attack message regardless of your level of the required skill.

The system is working as intended.

Well I remember there being six different attack messages for every weapon going in during implementation, I was there writing them along with other volunteers. I'm also considering damage against the same targets being the same, testing across three different widely different skill and stat levels over several months.

I'd be very happy to hear this is just confusing feedback that was different that what got written in the 12 hour lead up to implementation, and there is actually a weapon skill roll happening as documented, but 'working as intended' seems to be talking around something else happening that isn't what was advertised or documented.

If I'm wrong that there was misleading communication on this then I'm happy to hear it.

While I understand typically there isn't a lot of staff commentary on the functionality of skills or mechanics, in this case the system was released with almost no documentation anywhere, and how basic elements of it worked were a mystery even to other coders. I would say this situation is not inside the typical level of mechanics obfuscation, there is no confusion of whether swords required long blade skill for instance.

There hasn't been 15 years of knowledge base developing around it with staff teaching players teaching players teaching staff, nor even NPCs teaching players how to it works. Virtually all of the really slow rollout has been players blindly testing things that were often extensively broken or non-functional. Being able to good feedback about whether the system is working or not (I'm not anyone can say whether it's functioning as intended at this point) is going to require some baseline understanding on how it works.

So I think it's completely reasonable to ask: Do all vehicle weapon attacks roll for a heavy weapon skill check? Because that is what the communication and documentation describes, but it doesn't appear to be the case based on this conversation and other testing. If they do, awesome. If they don't, or sometimes don't, then there is definitely some bad communication and documentation that will require amendment because it could easily mislead players.

I just dug through the code, and it explicitly uses heavy weapons for all vehicle weapon attacks, regardless of the weapon. Dodging in a vehicle is based on either piloting or driving depending on vehicle.
May you live for a thousand years.
Okay, upon investigation and testing, I found a few issues, and also a code path I hadn't noticed that was using the driving/piloting skill for some situations. I've made some updates here, so that it works thusly:

If you are driving/piloting, and fire the weapons, it uses a combination of your driving/piloting + heavy weapons skill. Basically adds both up, then divides by two. If you are firing as a gunner, it uses just your heavy weapons.

That makes perfect sense, really. Thanks for the update, Slither.
Love those changes, thank you so much for digging into it Slither. This sounds like a perfect mix of accessibility to try things out and also rewarding specialization.
It's good to see the fixes. There's still so much wonkiness with vehicle combat. I'd like if we could get confirmation that NPCs who automatically respond to hostilities from PCs topside in rooms they're in are also responding appropriately to vehicle combat initiated against PCs and aren't just standing there.

But the blockade messages is something I've been asking to see get fixed for a long time so this so good to see.

After more testing, I think vehicle weapons could use a toggle functionality.

i.e. I turn off my missile launcher to use my gatling gun on someone and conserve missiles for a vehicle target.