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Author Topic: A kinetic torpedo?  (Read 1110 times)

Grievous69

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A kinetic torpedo?
« on: July 02, 2020, 11:37:00 PM »

Writing about Sabots in a different post got me thinking, there really should be a different (maybe more common) kinetic missile but I don't want it to be too similar to Sabots. Now the biggest thing for me is seeing if it would work well on high tech ships that really need kinetic help. Most of these ships have mobility systems that can really close in on fast. So why not have a slower missile that synergizes well with those same fast ships.

I was thinking somewhere along these lines:
''Potential kinetic torpedo pod''
Range: 1200 900
Damage: 1500
Ammo: 10
Speed: Fast
Tracking: None
Refire delay: 10

I think the damage is reasonable for an unguided torpedo with the same speed as Reapers. You could drop shields to take a hit but not multiple times or with exposed hull so it's not too easy to counter (other than just dodge it). Small version would have 2 ammo. Thoughts?
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 01:31:53 AM by Grievous69 »
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Morrokain

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Re: A kinetic torpedo?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2020, 01:14:34 AM »

Other than maybe a tiny bit less range to reinforce the hit and run style and, more importantly, synergize better with the AI considering low range energy weapons would often make this missile "wasted" before the ship could get within firing range, I really like this idea. It is definitely a niche that could stand to be filled.
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Grievous69

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Re: A kinetic torpedo?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2020, 01:21:04 AM »

Oh yeah you're absolutely right, I was just looking at other weapons trying to figuring out what the norm is, but I guess this is gonna be something different either way. I'm gonna edit the numbers and take your suggestion.
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DatonKallandor

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Re: A kinetic torpedo?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2020, 04:47:41 AM »

Having done some Sabot experimenting of my own, I suspect that those torpedoes would be completely overshadowed by Sabots.
Several factors work together to make kinetic burst missiles either really awful or way too good. Sabots are the latter, and I think these torpedoes would be firmly the former.

But hey, if you end up making them, test them out and let us know how it works. I know I'd be very curious about the results.
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Grievous69

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Re: A kinetic torpedo?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2020, 05:27:10 AM »

Unfortunately I won't be actually making these since currently I don't have the time to go into modding (I'd love to one day tho). This was more of a general idea/suggestion to improve on the vanilla game. But why exactly do you think they would be awful? I get that Sabots are really strong so most things in comparison may seem weak, that's why it would be nice to have alternatives.

Maybe the torpedoes wouldn't have limited ammo, it'd reload one missile maybe every 25 seconds or so? So you'd have an option of taking a weaker, less reliable kinetic missile but it would be useful throughout the battle. May actually help with the ''once it runs out of Sabots it's almost useless'' problem some high-tech ships have.
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Megas

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Re: A kinetic torpedo?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2020, 06:01:32 AM »

A Sabot alternate?  How about kinetic version of Annihilators, with enough ammo to last as long as Locusts with Expanded Missile Racks or longer.
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DatonKallandor

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Re: A kinetic torpedo?
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2020, 08:08:25 AM »

Unfortunately I won't be actually making these since currently I don't have the time to go into modding (I'd love to one day tho). This was more of a general idea/suggestion to improve on the vanilla game. But why exactly do you think they would be awful? I get that Sabots are really strong so most things in comparison may seem weak, that's why it would be nice to have alternatives.

Maybe the torpedoes wouldn't have limited ammo, it'd reload one missile maybe every 25 seconds or so? So you'd have an option of taking a weaker, less reliable kinetic missile but it would be useful throughout the battle. May actually help with the ''once it runs out of Sabots it's almost useless'' problem some high-tech ships have.

The conclusion I came to when trying out various sabot alternatives is this:
You need an EMP component because the AI is far too good at just flickering shields off and making the entire anti-shield component useless, which is obviously awful in a limited ammo weapon.
The 2nd-stage direct fire component is too good because it stops PD from doing it's job, lets the missile do some weird stuff on misses or when the target switches and makes it a pure reaction game with random timing when used against the player.

So I thought, hey, why not switch around the harpoon and sabot missile styles? The result:
HE Sabots are fine. Because the default state is shields-on not reacting fast enough isn't an issue for either side. The HE damage being spread to smaller instances of damage stops it from just being basically an atropos in how it's supposed to be used and gives it some nice variable output depending on target size. Obviously tweaks to pattern, spread distance and damage could optimally position it as a more interesting missile. TLDR: Please get rid of Harpoons, Alex!

But Kinetic Harpoons either suck or are way too good. Having them be single-stage is obviously better for gameplay because now PD can do what it's supposed to do. But limited ammo in a single missile means shield flickering is far too good, so the kinetic damage has to be really high to make sure the hard-to-get shield hit actually matters. But if the kinetic damage is enough to do that, it's too good against hulls and armor anyway so it turns into a no-downside weapon. (The reason the 2nd stage of Sabots got turned from single-projectile to shotgun in the first place!)

Now your torpedo version I think falls right into that issue - it's either gonna have enough kinetic damage to make sure the rare shield hit has a big impact on combat (and be too good against hull) or the kinetic damage is so low that a small ammo pool just makes it useless and the few shield hits you do get just don't feel impactful.

One of the teasers from Alex for the next version gives us the solution though I think:
Now that scripted non-standard damage modifiers are on the table, a single-stage, possibly multi-launch (x small, decently fast missiles per trigger pull), kinetic and emp missile with low kinetic damage but a scripted mulitiplier to shield damage could be the balanced Sabot alternative that works. That would let the missile have enough shield damage to make a hit worthwhile, without requiring it to have so much kinetic damage it starts being a ship killer. And the single-stage keeps PD viable, while the multi-missile component keeps shield flickering harder but not impossible to do - and makes it much less binary of a matter because you can partially succeed or fail at the flicker.

As a side note, ammo is a huge issue with kinetic missiles, because by definition the defense they're supposed to counter is infinite, while missiles are not (while HE missiles are targeting a finite defense - Armor and HP). One of the reasons Squalls work is the very deep ammo pool.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 08:12:11 AM by DatonKallandor »
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SonnaBanana

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Re: A kinetic torpedo?
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2020, 08:26:12 AM »

I think a kinetic torpedo should have far more range and speed than Sabots.
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Crimson Sky Gaurdian

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Re: A kinetic torpedo?
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2020, 08:32:35 AM »

Isn't that just a gun at that point?
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MajorTheRed

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Re: A kinetic torpedo?
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2020, 08:46:17 AM »

Mostly agreeing with DatonKallendor, it's hard to make balanced and interesting missiles because of their niche role and limitations

I made a similar test with an AoE kinetic energy large mount. I found it hard to balance: to be interesting against a cruiser or capital ship, you need a large amount of damage per shot. But if you add an AoE (since its a torpedo) it become an insane anti-fighter weapon. Even if the damage type is kinetic, it's compltely wreck armor and hull of fighter. But if I remember correctly, torpedoes can be set to make no damage to fighters.

Another missile type created was a low-budget kinetic salvo launcher. Four missiles, low damage, high speed, poor tracking so you have to face the enemy ship with it. It actually work nicely and is quite efficient against destroyer and to an extent against frigate.
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Grievous69

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Re: A kinetic torpedo?
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2020, 10:10:48 AM »

@DatonKallandor

Fair points, I agree with all of them, especially the limited ammo vs limitless shields. And the whole point why I made this suggestion is because I don't think we'll ever get a decent anti-shield energy weapon on small or medium mounts (autopulse being the closest thing I'd call good vs shields). So I thought, why not have more kinetic missiles. Yeah I get that they're tricky to balance and make them useful at the same time but seeing so many high tech ships filled with synergy and missile mounts makes me sad because there's little choice there.

Kinetic Annihilators sound cool actually, Megas.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 10:21:12 AM by Grievous69 »
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DatonKallandor

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Re: A kinetic torpedo?
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2020, 10:13:49 AM »

I know Black Rock Drive Yards has what is essentially a kinetic annihilator (with a bit of extra stuff on top), and it works decently well.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: A kinetic torpedo?
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2020, 11:06:00 AM »

What about a slow but high durability kinetic torpedo that smaller ships can kite, but presents a big threat to large/slow ships?
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SCC

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Re: A kinetic torpedo?
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2020, 11:20:45 AM »

Sounds like tying a bunch of squall missiles together. Even better would be someone making it literal. Old sabots were already brutal, what would this one be?
HE Sabots sound similar to the missile Alex showed some time ago, though it's 6 missiles one by one instead of all at once.
KI Harpoons reminds me of old Raphiaels. They were so broken.

Mondaymonkey

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Re: A kinetic torpedo?
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2020, 11:33:52 AM »

Why not just energy torpedo?

Can be good as anti-shield due to long overload and anti-armor due a single-impact weapon. And it is looks like it do not have to be high-damage to do it's role, i.e. not to be an OP ship killer. And shield-flickering is futile. And, being modest multi-purpose weapon it can have wider racks, compared to specialized, which mean longer time till mount is empty. And AI have no chance to waste kinetic on armor or HE on shields...

Interesting concept.
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