Fractal Softworks Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Painting the Stars (02/07/20); Updated the Forum Rules and Guidelines (02/29/20)

Author Topic: Default Exposed Hull/Weakpoints  (Read 215 times)

Morbo513

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
    • View Profile
    • Email
Default Exposed Hull/Weakpoints
« on: February 16, 2020, 06:30:41 AM »

Logic:
In many ships' sprites, there are areas that aren't covered by armour and look like they'd be particularly vulnerable to frag weaponry. This is not currently reflective of armour coverage which is homogenous.

Gameplay:
Give ships some areas of "exposed hull" they have by default - the areas surrounding some weapon mounts, hangar bays, engine exhausts, that sort of thing. Adds a dimension to exploiting enemy ships' weaknesses and accounting for those of your own. Would make frag weapons more viable. Mainly the homogeny of armour makes the big picture of engaging a ship play out the same.

This could be compensated for with a hullmod, which applies 50% of the armour value for everywhere else on the ship, to those exposed areas. There could be different skins per ship to reflect this, in the same manner as Interstellar Imperium's Package hullmods (which is where I got the inspiration).


I'm not too invested in the concept myself, I'm not sure it'd necessarily make combat and loadout design more fun and rewarding, or if these weakpoints would just end up being a source of frustration, and if that'd be worth all the things it'd do for game balance. I'd certainly be interested to find out for certain though.
Logged

TaLaR

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 2097
    • View Profile
Re: Default Exposed Hull/Weakpoints
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2020, 06:55:38 AM »

At best this would be a mechanic only for player to exploit, with AI remaining blissfully unaware. It already doesn't take simpler (but important) concepts into account like:

- AI doesn't react to individual incoming projectiles/beams, only missiles. AI simply raises shield in direction of enemy that points weapon arcs at it. Same logic applies to dodging.
- AI can't properly kite even when it has significant combined range + speed advantage. Let alone more ambiguous cases.
- No notion of range bands (at which range it can win and which it will lose)
- No notion of attack timings (important with TLs/PLs, etc)
- No notion of cooldown timings for ship systems
... etc

I see no point in adding extra complexity that AI won't be aware of. Plus this would need to add more aim logic for auto weapon groups.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2020, 06:58:48 AM by TaLaR »
Logged

Plantissue

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1204
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Default Exposed Hull/Weakpoints
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2020, 07:56:42 AM »

From the Frequently Made Suggestions thread:

There should be of differing armor strength on the different parts of a ships hull.
Spoiler
Hello! : )

Varying armor strength sounds like an obvious design choice, after all its only realistic. There are some compelling reasons why it is not in the game, though.
Here's the argumentation of the developer:

This idea does come up a fair bit. The reason it's not in the game, well... let's take a look at what ships would be prime candidates for it, conceptually.

Anything with lots of front-facing firepower is a decent match at first glance. So, the Dominator, the Onslaught, maybe the Hammerhead/Eagle/Falcon. Perhaps a few other ships. Note that most of these (all the ones listed, at any rate) already have front shields. Combined with frontal-focused firepower and engines being in the back, it's already a great idea to flank them.

So, gameplay wise, what would this actually change? It'd either make the ships tougher from the front (which you could easily do within the existing framework by adjusting the shield stats) or make them even more vulnerable from the back (which isn't a good thing - they're already very vulnerable.

To top it off, ships aren't exactly like tanks. They're more like, well, ships. The nature of the combat means that hits to the back are at least as likely as hits to the front in anything other than a 1-1. A ship designer would probably go through great pains to make the engine section of a front-shielded ship as durable as possible - that's the Achilles heel of a large ship, after all.

The current system serves its role - rewarding surgical fire my making repeated hits to the same area more effective. Varying armor by location... well, I'm not going to say it would flat out be a bad thing. But at the same time, I don't see what compelling gameplay it brings to the table, and it does bring complexity. All this information would have to be conveyed to the player somehow.


As a general advice: It is a good idea to use the search function (upper right corner) to see if anyone posted a similar suggestion before ;)
[close]
Logged

Morbo513

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Default Exposed Hull/Weakpoints
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2020, 08:38:46 AM »

The main way this would differ to how it's expressed in frequently-made-suggestions is that it'd be binary - Each part of the ship is either armoured or unarmoured. But ultimately yeah, I don't think it'd work well, or make a significant difference to how combat plays out, because of the AI. It'd just be a matter of some ships beiing less survivable in their hands.
Logged