Tarn Combat: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

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Tarn Combat: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Postby FeorieFrimon » Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:23 am

So, is this a thing? Combat on Tarn-back via the GM meter?

If so, how does it work? What's good about it? What sucks about it? Is it fun?
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Re: Tarn Combat: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Postby JackoS » Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:42 am

Tarn combat has been around for several years now. In its beginnings it used the same meter as the rider (the tarns were meterless and you had to hit the rider to do damage). Then the same 20 hit meter we know today came around.

It is a different type of fighting, reserved to people who can afford a tarn and fly it properly. It usually is done with bow and arrow (melee weapons don't do damage on the tarn and also trying to get close to hit with a spear can be really difficult).

Is it fun? I have been in many tarn battles, some with just a couple of tarns per side, others with multiple tarns and also infantry on the ground (tarnsmen acting as air cover and air support to that infantry). It is a lot of fun, it opens possibilities for other tactics to be used in combat and clearly it adds to the realism and immersion into gor.
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Re: Tarn Combat: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Postby Tantus » Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:06 am

Fair warning! I may be the only person who feels differently about this, this post won't be reflective of the common opinion on tarns.

Tarns have served two purposes during the past few years(I don't imagine anything has changed recently):
1 - Ferrying raiders from the docks and inside the city's walls(Some raid rules make this difficult)
2 - The tarn rider flies down to his opponent, attacks them with his sword then speeds away.

The second tactic is by far the most common use for tarns now. They are being used as glorified speed enhancers to zip around a sim, melee people on the ground, then fly away.

There is no tarn-to-tarn combat. And I will explain why.

Back in the day - and I don't mean so far back when tarns were flying rectangles. But when you had tarns from Toran Cult, Malice Vierra and my personal recommendation, from Havoc Rau. Then there were real tarn battles, in any raid there could be four of these birds in the air, giving support to your men on the ground. The tarn rider was deciding between ferrying men across the city, or landing to help break a choke point, or fighting off enemy tarns.It was hectic and you needed awareness of the entire battlefield to decide your next target. Tarn-to-tarn combat was possible too as these tarns were slower and you could down one in about 5 minutes of locking on.

Then a couple of ridiculous tarns came onto the market, they had small bodies(the size of a goat!) and flew too quick to be targeted. So on our sim we had a whitelist for tarns which included Havoc and Malice's. The criteria being:
- Must fly at a reasonable speed
- Must have a large body
- Cannot have phantom wings

That is what I recall now, this was around 7-8 years ago.

And then, Adovee Rau's tarns hatched onto the scene. Now as nice a lady as she is, I recall some conversations with her at the time explaining why a tarn using a jet-engine script isn't the best idea for GM metered tarns.

A GM arrow flies at 60 meters per second.
Havoc's tarns were flying at around 15 m/s
By my estimate, Adovee's tarns were flying at 50 m/s. There was no acceleration here, these tarns zipped about like dragonflies at full thrust in any direction.

So a whole new breed of tarnsman was born and they thought they were amazing tarnsmen for staying in the sky for hours without being hit(these tarns literally extended the duration of raids by hours since no one could hit them). I labelled them a griefing tool back then and have not used one since.

Whilst every amateur in BTB was equipping their new Tarn of Invulnerability +10. Adovee turned the offensive onto Havoc Rau's tarns. So excuse the length of this post, it's necessary to explain the downfall of tarns from meaningful air support, to cheap speed enhancers for cheaters. Adovee's supporters attacked Havoc's tarns, claiming they regenerate health and aren't fair for GM combat.

On one side you have tarns which fly close to the speed of GM arrows, have very small bodies, phantom wings, jet engine physics, can change direction in an instant whether forwards, reverse, up or down at full thrust with zero acceleration. And 50 hit points. In a tarn on tarn battle I probably couldn't down one of these, I'd be bored after 3 hours of trying.

On the other side you have a bulky tarn with large and solid wings. With flight physics based upon actual birds(i.e. you cannot do loop the loops or rocket skywards) It takes time to accelerate, ascending is slower than descending and reversing is very slow. And 20 hit points which regenerate at the speed of regular GM meters. In a tarn on tarn battle, I'd give myself 5 minutes to down one.

However the BTB sims, being ridiculous as they commonly are, were so in love with their new toys of invincibility, they banned Havoc's tarns for regenerating health and being unfair for combat.

So Havoc stepped up his game, he increased the speed of his tarns to 20 m/s and gave them 20 hit points to set the present 20/20 standard for tarns. Eventually Adovee met this standard too, reducing her tarns from 50 m/s, and their health from 50HP, to 20/20. However, they continued to use the same ridiculous physics and phantom wings.

So Adovee's tarns are still largely impossible to hit, from that benefit alone they became the most popular and now, the only tarn you see on raids. People no longer bother with tarn-vs-tarn battles because we all have better things to do with our lives. No one bothers with ground-to-tarn combat either. So the tarn rider flies down to melee people(Adovee's tarns are so small I've seen people flying them into houses, melee'ing those inside, then flying back out the door.)

It's a Speed Enhancer.

The Good = Havoc's tarns, which supports strategies for meaningful air combat.
The Bad = Dove's tarns that make you invincible.
The Ugly = Dove's tarns being exploited as speed enhancers that can fly you through narrow streets and open doorways without hindrance. Because they have phantom fucking wings and a goat-sized body!. And I will state here, people who exploit tarns in this manner are cheating.
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Re: Tarn Combat: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Postby Anarch Allegiere » Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:00 pm

I remember the story a bit differently.

Clearchus was by my will the first BtB sim to enforce a 20/20 tarn rule and it's why Adoveaa followed suit and updated her tarns to have a 20/20 version, eventually it became the main version as more sims followed the example.

I never liked tarns though within the GM combat system, except when I've to raid ridiculous fortresses, then I wish I had one.

There is no 'good' where tarns are concerned in meter combat. It's all bad and ugly. But I suspect my opinion too would be unpopular with the magnificent specimens of mankind that is the BtB Warrior Caste.
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Re: Tarn Combat: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Postby Glaucon » Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:31 am

I used tarns quite a bit, years ago. Mostly Havoc's. Tarn combat was sorta fun, back then. Was sorta cool, as Tantus described. Meaningful. Tarns were powerful but tricky to use. You could have good tarn battles in the sky. You could have an impact on the ground, though it was by no means true that you could take on several defenders on the ground yourself, without support on the ground. You were air-support.

And yes... there was this odd 'Rau' battle going on between Dove and Havoc (and some others). And of course, as happened all the time in SL Gor, you had the conflict of interest: Realism/balance on the one hand (for the good of all players) and individual fighters wanting to be bad-ass/the best fighters possible on the other, with the last motive being stronger than the first.

Something else played into it too: Those sims that focused on fighting, mostly (usually 'GE' sims) were already inclined to ban tarns altogether. They wanted to have a level playing field. And they wanted it for all genders (femlaws, panther-girls, etc.). Tarns came with this whole lore-based thing about who could realistically use them (which is really mostly city warriors, of which the pure combat sims had far less, and maybe some outlaws, like Tarl himself in outlaw), questions about where they could be used (could they be used in the Tahari, Shendi, Torvalsland, the Northern woods, the islands, etc.?) and there were already tiny 'fly anywhere' tarns around. So, many sims already banned their use. 'BtB' sims usually didn't really keep up with the technical side of things as well as the combat-focused sims.

Of course, Gor, filled with feuding sim-owners and group leaders with massive ego's, competing visions of what Gor was supposed to be, competing creators and individual players always looking to be the most powerful they could possibly be, never did manage to seriously collaborate on creating 'standards' for combat that would ensure some balance and realism for the combat side of things. It always an ever-changing chaos, with some sort of balance occasionally emerging and holding for a short time, until some new OP thing came along that wasn't banned by most sims quickly and managed to get used by a majority (which then made it impossible to get rid of because sim owners or their buddies and/or Masters would be among the ones using it, and no one in SL Gor ever wants to give up using anything). It seems Tarn combat was just fell victim to this total lack of self-limitation and organization.

SL-gor is a nice micro-cosmos of what it would be like to be ruled by the Freedom Caucus. :)
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Re: Tarn Combat: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Postby Courgan Barzane » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:38 am

Oh, I disagree that the decline of Tarn has something to do with old history. It's rather simple: In the days of Tarn it was the unbeatable atomic bomb. You were 10 times as fast and ten times a smaller target than the slow guys on ground with 3,5 m splash zone around them. And if all went bad you just flew up to 500 m to recover. One mediocre tarn fighter could beat a bunch of much better bows that way. Now with the tarn bigger, slower and the targets on ground smaller due to direct hit everywhere ist less unbeatable, so less used.
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Re: Tarn Combat: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Postby Glaucon » Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:33 pm

Not sure when your old history was. I remember tarns that weren't A-bombs. I think most were Havoc's, then, just before he upped their specs. Those weren't small, they had hitpoints (I think), and were fairly hit-able, also because they moved like vehicles and so, couldn't really dodge all that well. Predicable paths. Not super-fast. Sure, they could be used to escape to a very high altitude and heal up there only to come back, but if someone with a bow (and cover) was on the ground, and dedicated to fighting the tarn, the tarn couldn't really win (unless the rider landed and went on foot). So, fairly easy to chase off. And sure, annoying if the person riding it just kept doing the 'attack-escape-heal-up' thing, but well... no idea if that happened a lot (would make little sense, RP-wise... and ultimately, if people want to fuck around rather than do something that makes sense in RP... they can find some way.

So, maybe the 'careful' tarn-rider back then seemed 'invisible' to someone on the ground, because they could not be downed if they kept escaping by flying high. And maybe one of those doing it and using (stupid-ass) long range arrows to fire at people, forcing them to go hide or fight back might seem to make them 'uber', they weren't really.

And if people back then had had the sense to ban long-range (limitless range, no weight) arrows (which are quite stupid anyway, another example of 'the arms race' left unchecked leading to silly stuff), those tarns would really have been pretty balanced (only being of use at medium range). And even with the long range arrows... well, someone in the sky flying a predictable path also makes for a fairly easy target with those long range arrows, if the person on the ground can dance the 'dodge', has his viewing distance high enough and zooms in. Even with the splash range. Especially when the tarn has limited hits.

Anyway... as I saw it then, and see it now (though I care a whole lot less :lol: ), a 'gorean combat system' in which tarns can't play a significant role other than the 'cheaty', gamey role described by Tantus... really fails, really is an embarrassment.
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Re: Tarn Combat: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Postby FeorieFrimon » Fri Nov 18, 2016 12:46 pm

Hmmm...this is disheartening.

I followed what you guys said, for the most part. :|

So, is there no good way to use tarns for a sim? And when I say that, I'm talking about 'dude on tarnback' vs 'dude on tarn back' combat mostly with a SMALL AMOUNT of 'dude with ballista shooting at tarns'.

You guys are KILLING my sim idea here... :cry:
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Re: Tarn Combat: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Postby Manon Seid » Fri Nov 18, 2016 5:57 pm

Years and years back I had great fun on tarn back too, I suspect that was back with Havoc's tarns as well. The race training track in Carters Treve was damn hard to get right but gee it was fun and the sparring with fellow tarn riders was even more fun. I haven't touched a tarn since though, so can't say anything about how fun it is today.
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Re: Tarn Combat: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Postby Adoveea Rau » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:23 pm

Actually I'll correct some of the history:

First off:
Tarns were not metered until late 2007
Stephan Nephilim made the first tarn, it flew in City of Treve-2007. He also made the basket that took folks up to the city out of minus.
In late 2007, Stephan Nephilim made a health meter for the tarns, I still have the very first original one-somewhere in a box in meter. Stephan Nephilim Combat Meter Script 1.1, that was the next one Stephen did,(My inventory date on it is Mon Aug 4 19:36:39 2008-) was the one that he gave out to everyone and it was the most used by tarnmakers then.

First script used by Lothar and Havoc was a free heliocopter script that Havoc found. Lothar actually built the majority of the Rau tarn when we were all there in Torcandino, I was supposed to program and work on it ( one of my BS degrees is Computer Science)- but I was having too much fun roleplaying, and so didn't bother to do anything with the tarn project that Lothar and Havoc did.

I started making tarns in 2008.
My ancient hero of tarn creation were the Torans I thought the programming was great in smooth maneuvers and flight using the primitive prims we all had then. Prior to that tarns were up and down for vertical flight-no pitch, flew backwards and some banking, in other words just flying boxes in the air.

So I started programming as well, my first tarns were racers, not war tarns, as I experimented/programmed with speed then I worked with maneuverability . My first free giveaway racers were a marvel of wild barely controlled speed/maneuverability. Players from those days still have them in their inventory and pull them out for new guys to see them crash on them, sometimes they don't!

in 2008-2010, sims were fine tuning what they wanted in tarns.Sims were experimenting with tarn combat then

I put out my first war tarn on market in Oct 2008. It had the turns and pitch, something new, along with variable speeds-before you could only fly one speed.

1. Regenerating meters-I fought that battle against them, tarnsman would take damage, tarn would take damage and they would fly up in the air, and regenerate. Forever flying battlewagons invincible in the air.
It was a cheat.
It was VERY unfair combat.
I fought against regenerating tarn meters, here on this very forums and in gor sims.
I put out war tarns that did not regenerate and to win that battle, I programmed tarns to be capable of outmaneuvering any others then on the market in turns/pitch and have variable speeds along with banking-and then no backward flying at all. I matched the meter to be equivalent of what % hits were done back then as well.

I sold tarns in 30/20 speed back then as well, sims were making up their minds how fast tarns were to fly, so I simple bundled both speeds, two tarns into one package for same price, that way tarnsman could bring out the right tarn for whatever meter requirements were on a sim.
Eventually sims kept to the 20 speed as a standard.

You take that no regenerating meter as standard today, but it was an ugly battle I fought for no regeneration back then.

Then in 2009/2010 I stripped the mystery of the math off the tarn meters. Folks were having problems with % damage, they didn't know the math of 1 hit was certain % of a set value. So I took it out and made the tarns simple to understand for combat -20 points, 20 hits it's dead, no regeneration, falls out of the sky. Avatars by comparison are about 12 to 14? 15? total hits-something like that -sim owners, warriors and myself did the checks back then..and avatar meters regenerate..

2010 and beyond saw the new breed of tarnsman the ones that could fly, and maneuver in the air. No more flying boxes and instant poof you're a tarnsman-now you had to develop your own personal flying skills AND use your weapons too. Ask me and I'll give you the notecard of quotes-book, chapter, pages about spear use in tarn combat too. And nowdays I've seen the higher skilled tarnsman nail each other with spear and sword in the air as well.

Nowdays the controls are setup by the tarnsman for how they want to fly it-turns/pitch/speed/name etc.etc.
The 20 max speed and 20 max no regenerating meter health has been solidly locked in for years for gorean sims.

Tarn use isn't gratification instant easy. I will freely admit it takes personal skill.

I don't even begin to count how many women who generally play slaves or FW get on, for the first time, on a tarn and enjoy the flight but "I would have to practice this for hours!" as they try to manuever around like experienced tarnsman. Then there's the shock they had about how much control it takes to use one "I can't fly and shoot a bow! this is hard!"

Tarns- I listen and generally apply in programming whatever sims, sim owners, and the gorean tarnsman tell me about the combat or what they want on for the sims.

The biggest lack in tarn combat is the face you cannot hit a tarn with melee sword/spear and do damage-its a bit of a flaw with the gm meter. GM meter is made for avatars, and your weapons are phantom in your hands (if you didn't know that, anything you wear is phantom). Other meters have ways of doing this-and I've built battle birds for their sims with their meter.

I'm now working with experience key scripts and hope to overcome that metered tarn can't be hit by melee weapons in the future. You want to experience a glimpse of the future, come to Isle of Tarns and experience my Hawk Pursuit game.
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