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Author Topic: Developing the Mora-class Carrier  (Read 38604 times)

Megas

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Re: Developing the Mora-class Carrier
« Reply #45 on: May 22, 2016, 06:20:17 AM »

Quote
David: “I like that angle. I suspect if we give it a burn drive, it’ll be used to kite. (Though what good is a kiting carrier that leaves its fighters behind?) The damage sponge idea is really neat too. Wonder if overloading on slots for the OP it’s given could be interesting so you could either go for bristling with guns for close support OR missiles for long range support OR systems to go faster / soak damage OR capacitors/vents to soak damage. Probably a bit hopeful to imagine players won’t find one most effective semi-broken build but … it’s a thought.”
If Mora has burn drive, and it is fast enough (no slower than Dominator), it will be used to kite!  Trust me on this.  I have kited with Heron flagship before, treating it as an extra large Wolf that trades Phase Skimmer for two flight decks.  Outranging and kiting the enemy is the best thing any ship can do to solo a superior fleet.  A carrier that can kite has the option of attacking and killing things, or running away if outmatched.
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Sy

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Re: Developing the Mora-class Carrier
« Reply #46 on: May 22, 2016, 07:51:06 AM »

yeah, i think giving it something to make it better suited for frontline combat than for kiting is great, helps differentiate it from other carriers in general and Heron in particular.

giving Damper Field to a cruiser that relies on heavy armor and flight decks more so than on shields and guns still sounds kinda crazy, though. maybe the system could be adjusted so that damage reduction and/or cooldown scales with ship size (if my worries turn out to be justified).
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Linnis

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Re: Developing the Mora-class Carrier
« Reply #47 on: May 22, 2016, 08:44:06 PM »

On the topic of aesthetics,

I really do think it needs some kind of grapple support arms showing from the bottom, Because it really looks like It can grab on to some buffalo or atlas cargo and carry it around below it.



I mean, we got the venture that is a miner, its got weapons for defense against angry asteroids and help break apart pirates for mining. The construction rig that is basically just an ship attachment and will help bring materials on and off of ships. Then the atlas and buffaloes / taurus for transporting cargo long distances.


It is supposed to have been modded for industrial purposes right? So a large carrier ship with low cargo capacity would logically be used for construction in a "mobile landing port" sort of way.

I could see it dragging say, heavy machinery and all sort of building material below it then all the construction small ships would launch from the hangar bays and also use the hangar to pre construct some other parts to be slapped together for say, an mining outpost or comm relay sort of stuff.

I mean, those are two really big engines

Edit: Also forgot to talk about the mount placement,

I do like that middle rear light machine gun mount, great placement. Also the two rear side facing small missiles make perfect sense as swarmer launchers for anti fighter measures.

But some of the other stuff don't seem to make sense to me, especially thinking from the perspective of both a player, and moreso, a hegemony ship designer.

1.  First of all is the two small rear ballistic slots. They are too far in for small PD weapons to really hit. From a hegemony perspective they really liked the vulcan. The vulcan turns fast but shoots short, so logically Vulcan would be placed on the outer edges of the ship, where its turn speed can make up for its shorter range. The two slots on the back positions would make more sense for beam based PD, where you want to turn less but worry less about range.
The two small ballistic on the two extreme sides are perfect for Vulcan defense like I said above.


2.  The small front energy hard-point is a really really weird choice. The best two things I can think of to put there as a player would be anti-matter blaster or emp. In actuality, I wouldn't even put anything there at all because it would be a waste of OP. From a hegemony ship designer point of view, you got a front line combat carrier, so it would be a important ship to keep alive so it would spent most of the time fending off attacks and supporting its fighters from close range. The whole ship profile screams (I am a dominator but with fighters). Maybe it could be replaced by a medium missle hardpoint. Annhilator vollys are powerful and it seems it fits right in with Hegemony tactics and the situations they often fight in (Fleets clashing head on face to face)

3. So here comes a little rant on the runways.
     There is three possible ways,
     a) Mostly front facing runways, like the first few drafts of the ship you did, minus the back side. This is like a condor, where its supose to sit behind the front lines of dominators and enforcers and just launch fighters, but we have the condor.
     b) Both front and back facing runways, this is what you have right now, It would seem like it is a ship designed for industry purposes, or in military use, it would have so much support it can have most of it unprotected by armor or weapons, because you this weird two sides with no guns.
     c) Back end facing runway, just like the Venture, it gives the ship a sense of fight in it. Because then you can have both focused firepower AND fighter support. I know the venture does this right now, I do feel like it is what this ship needs atm.

Option C also goes along with what Alex had in mind of a "tanky carrier"

So the goal is a dominator, but with less firepower and fighters.

The logical design would make more runways lead from the backside (protecting the fighters as the launch in the center of a shooty bullet storm) Then adding Armor and more hard-points on the front end of the ship.

4. The two front side medium (hybrid?) turrets. Game-play wise, those two are perfect, the bread and butter of fighter and shooty combo. Putting things like two needlers or heavy mauler on there with fighter support seems devastating. Perfect in Mega's dreams, but them seem too slapped on. Just compare the two medium to what almost every other ship has, it feels like the gun is just hanging loose there, and any random shot would tear the weapon off even before hitting the armor.

My solution? Make them more centered inside the ship, and restrict their side angles, we want this ship to FACE the enemy, not be a all position brawler like the enforcer or medusa, the ship's got fighters, It can focus on the main target while fighters can cover for it against flanking ships. Also medium weapons on cruisers are a very integral part of what they are, we should not treat them like just some slap on after design decision.


2+4. Alternatively we can have two front facing missile hard-points on that slab on orange on the ship's left side, it makes perfect sense as a forward weapons platform.

5. Dat small missile mount on the left front there. OMG its like a mutated extra 6th finger stub someone has on their hand. Can we just cut that off?

6. Lastly, we got that middle right small mount on the front there, it is ruining that dagger like feeling of the ship's hull. Feels like it should just be armor there right? Classic Hegemony toughness. Below, instead of gun assembly would be a logical place for fighter's stuff.

« Last Edit: May 22, 2016, 09:25:26 PM by Linnis »
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Goumindong

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Re: Developing the Mora-class Carrier
« Reply #48 on: May 22, 2016, 11:35:00 PM »

So fresh off of buying a vanity heron (I don't even have the fighters to field) and having read this blog earlier I kind of came to the realization that all of the dedicated carrier designs in starsector are terrible. I don't mean they're aesthetically unpleasing I just mean they don't make sense.

And they don't make sense from two ways. One is that they have big launch pads. In the real world carriers are alligned linearly because airplanes need/want to be flying into the wind when taking off and landing. You point the ship into the wind when doing operations so planes can land and take off easiest. But we are in space* fighters only need space to slow down if making a hot landing and there is no necessity for the landing and takeoff decks to be aligned.

The second is that these carriers are nominally designed to be combat vessels and so are expected to be trading shots with various types of (ideally smaller) ships. Unless these carrier pilots want to be launching fighters with their engines facing the enemy** they're going to be launching or landing rights right through a hail of laser and cannon fire. No wonder the life expectancy of a talon pilot is under two minutes :D

I think that abandoning this unseen assumption can open up a lot of interesting carrier design. Fighters can launch at angles from where they land. Launch area can be very small and you can have catch arms or nets a traditional deck could go through a ship laterally while the front is up armored. A ship could be designed liked the conquest with a specific "side" to show the enemy. (Which of course the AI would promptly ignore).

For instance on this ship of you keep the between engine landing decks you could put the launch pad on starboard or port and then turn the front and non-launch side into "up armored" section where the firepower is. This makes the carrier portion of the ship kind of a flying right triangle always trying to keep the long side to the enemy (which holds regardless of what that "long side" looks like). Aside: it could also work to put a fixed non frontal shield on the ship

*there is also no rust in space D: though I can't imagine anyone really caring about this.

**special shout out to how the AI has no clue how to pilot the conquest here!
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Goumindong

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Re: Developing the Mora-class Carrier
« Reply #49 on: May 24, 2016, 12:41:07 PM »

So basically something like this



But you know, not ugly, or shoddily done in paint, and not looking like a brick. Its not a unique weapon orientation/defensive/offiensive profile (if possible to get a 45 deg locked front shield) and cool flight deck orientation.
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DatonKallandor

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Re: Developing the Mora-class Carrier
« Reply #50 on: May 27, 2016, 11:25:14 AM »

I really like the visuals of the ship. Especially the launch bays (which don't have holes in them - there's one ship with holes in the flight deck, which...just doesn't work when they're clearly supposed to be naval carrier flight decks in space) they look awesome.

Connected to the launch bays, the 3 small mounts at the back make a lot of sense - if it's a carrier intended for high density strikecraft use, covering the approach angle where your fighters are going to be slower because they're coming in to land is just good design. In terms of gameplay it's also good design - you want PD coverage at the back anyway cause the worst thing is heat-seekers in your engines (or bombs).

The abundance of missile mounts (although that seems to have been curbed somewhat) is worrying though - the Venture already exists (please don't give it Shepherd-style drones, it'd be entirely contrary to it's missile boat design) and it happens to be both a slow carrier, cruiser sized and probably the best price-performance missile boat in the game (an incredibly effective combination of ship system and available mounts). A full on Brawler carrier is more unique. If it does have to have missile mounts, a single large one would be cool, because there really isn't a good way to get large missiles at all currently - and there are some interesting brawling options in the large missile category.

Oh yeah, and if it is supposed to be a brawling carrier, the AI needs to be taught how to handle that, because it currently can't. Not your department I know, but something to keep in mind.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2016, 11:26:58 AM by DatonKallandor »
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hellsdottir

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Re: Developing the Mora-class Carrier
« Reply #51 on: May 29, 2016, 11:40:41 PM »

Your attention to aesthetics is commendable and quite interesting to read about. You wrote something both entertaining and educational *hat-tip*.

I've some experience with military and engineering, and the intersection of the two. The ship design you came up with certainly meets your criteria, but I don't think it met your design objectives. That is, it is a wonderful bit of art, but it does not connote the original concept - to me. Art being subjective, yadda, but still...

I'll state some design goals as I see them:
0. large ship
1. relic of Dominion warfleet
2. previously decommissioned
3. recommissioned
4. carrier
5. bruiser

Some 2nd order guidelines:
0. large ship -> clunky, chunky, or dangerous .. uparmored, slow, sluggish(?)
1. 1. relic of Dominion warfleet -> Hegemonistic style, but license to be different
2. previously decommissioned -> license to be different, elements of non-Hegemonistic style
3. recommissioned -> hastliy perhaps .. odd clusterings and layouts of design elements
4. carrier -> hangers ... natch ... large bays, focus on point defense, limited direct-fire options
5. bruiser -> uparmored, sluggish but bristling, some direct-fire options

Guiding principles:
0. needs to communicate 'carrier' at a glace:
  - bays
  - work areas
1. needs to communicate odd history:
  - discordant design as things were sliced off/added:
    - chunks from other races
    - unexpected angles or curve/block juxtaposition
    - different color design on components bolted on from other places
    - yellow/black caution stripes, hazard orange...
    - engine pods of different design
2. needs to communicate uparmored:
  - good tie-in with 1 above
    - bolted-on plates and discordant chunks of beveled metal (rivets+shading makes a cover an armor plate)
  - sluggish movement (lots of turret points + fighters)


The current design, to me, looks like a battleship that was in assembly, someone came down and said:
manager: 'we need a carrier yesterday',
foreman: 'well, as you can see we have a battleship on the line -'
manager: 'blast that. Is the superstructure solid?'
foreman: '(worried) well, yes, as much as of it as we have...'
manager: 'is the drive section done?'
foreman; '(can sense where this is going) that's about all that's done.'
manager: 'right. Strap two cruiser engines on that pig, bolt on covers and catchplates and shove as many flightdecks as you can in it.'
foreman: *angrily muttered curse as he sweeps everything off his table on to the floor*
manager: '(over shoulder, walking away) it goes as soon as the last weld cools.'

It looks like the last third of a battleship was chopped off and made into an ersatz carrier - not an old warship that was decommissioned and then recommissioned.


As far as the military aspect .. what I would do it first rough out the old Dominion warship it was based on. The new version should retain some of the character and lines of the old vessel.

Going from military to civilian it would likely lose large weapons first, they are expensive to maintain and operate and often require specialized knowledge to keep and operate. Military parts are expensive and military technical knowledge is often not .. advertised. The next things to be lost would likely be the engines and power plant for similar reasons. Military combat vehicle engines are often fairly unique and not very efficient. How many tanks are there versus civilian cargo vans? Military engines are meant to get the !#@#! vehicle in the #@!! fight yesterday and operate for a handful of engagements with the support of a nation's (world's) war machine behind them while being shot at - not to run efficiently with minimal impact maintenance for years provided by a single person occaisionally hiring a mechanic. Military vehicles are built to distinct and different standards. Fighter aircraft are often built to be aerodynamically unstable so that they can pull off dogfighting maneouvers easily. Ground support aircraft are overdesigned so that half their engines or control surfaces can be blown off and the craft can still function. That type of overengineering or built-in instability is not something you want in a trading cargo vessel or a mobile factory. Military focus is the bottom line in terms of construction cost, civilian focus is the bottom line in terms of operating costs.

To communicate that, I'd take the roughed-out Dominion ship and cut holes for hanger bays where habitat or large weapon emplacements were. Pull out an engine pod, but leave the engine pylon. Better yet, mount different engines in different places. Perhaps one engine mount could be repurposed as a launch bay. Armor is nearly useless dead weight for civilian concerns, but a cheap force modifier for military concerns. There should be obvious, hastily-reinstalled armor plates. Civilian owners might have plated over or repurposed turret mounts for living areas, sensors or airlocks. Pressing the ship back in to service would mean that the old symmetry would be obvious to the eye, but where a turret should be there may be something else, and the turret may be mounted on some awkward outrigging welded to the side to get as close as possible to its original position. It may be impossible to rebuild all hardpoints back to their prewar condition. Add in some large or medium mounts, but have them only except turrets of one size lower, and have a simple-looking welded cover over the extra turret space. You may want to slice some random components from other vessels and see if you could assemble them on to the frame. Civilian owners would replace parts with whatever was available on the market. If they are already buying military surplus (the old battlecruiser itself), rather than contracting something to be constructed or buying civilian standard, they aren't likely to be too choosy when replacing parts or structural elements. They'd want what would be cheapest to operate, or just to get attached (engine 3 broke down in faction 2's space, so it was cheaper to slap in faction 2's engine than tow the beast all the way back home for repair). I am not advocating a full-on Frakenship, but that the old design should be apparent, but the compromises made in its civilian life and re-militarisation should be apparent as well. I'd expect it to be under-engined and fairly sluggish - the engines, center of gravity and superstructure all have changed, plus it has a lot more armor plating than its engines were expecting to push. Given technical advancements over the years (like shielding), I'd also expect it may have a generous power budget. Power technology tends to get smaller and better, so I'd expect ripping out the crap old powerplant and dropping in one or three new, smaller ones would likely give it a good energy budget (wow, look at this relic! What do you think this thing would do with a reactor built in the past hundred years?). I'd design it also to have a high PP cap, but very low initial vents. Venting and modern power technology is new, so the ship's superstructure and power conduits aren't built to accomodate it. It should easily overload with its base vents trying to support the power demands of modern offensive and defensive weapons. It IS repurposed however, so there are likely a lot of areas (sorry about the cafeteria folks, but either you can have the shield keep the ship from being sliced in half or have a nice place to sit down to lunch) that could be converted into massive vent banks, you just need to spend the PP budget on it.

I would echo some of the concerns above and ask you tone down the runways a bit. I know they do scream 'carrier', but they are not useful in space (*owch* my eyes are fighting my uh-mershun!). Sure, some runway-like launch area should definitely be visible through the hanger bay doors, but I'd recommend looking at some airport pictures, especially in dim and low light, for alternate design cues. I'd play up the navigational and guidance lighting and sensing/communications structures. You can also use the relative size and location of buildings to inform the placement of ship modules to transfer over the 'airport' aesthetic. Also take a look at some pictures of the sides of aircraft carriers; hit up Google images for 'aircraft carrier side hanger bay'. If you don't have atmosphere, you don't need the flattop for acceleration or deceleration. Your fighters could align themselves with the hanger bay and slow their relative forward velocity to anything using their own engines, and with nothing to pull them down they could just as easily float out of the hanger bay at any speed they want. Gravity and atmospheric friction require distance to speed up and slow down to flight speed.


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Serenitis

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Re: Developing the Mora-class Carrier
« Reply #52 on: June 10, 2016, 03:08:53 AM »

So basically something like this

Spoiler
[close]

But you know, not ugly, or shoddily done in paint, and not looking like a brick. Its not a unique weapon orientation/defensive/offiensive profile (if possible to get a 45 deg locked front shield) and cool flight deck orientation.

I'm gonna go the other way and say that 'path through' carrier decks not only look better (subjective), but are also far more logical.
You only need your recovery/launch equipment in one place.
You only have a single 'deck' area to maintain.
And this 'deck' won't kill your pilots if they fluff thier landing due to mechanical failure / being shot to pieces / being injured because there is no wall/bulkhead waiting to meet them if they can't stop in time.

eg: that 90o deck above triggers me something fierce. Just looking at it makes me think "I would HATE to be a pilot assigned to that thing."

You could probably rationalise this as low-tech carriers have 'path through' decks because they are easier and safer to build, maintain and operate.
While high-tech carriers can have virtually any layout because fancy technology allows you to mitigate or remove the problems you'd want to have a 'path through' deck in order to avoid.

Who knows ???
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Plantissue

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Re: Developing the Mora-class Carrier
« Reply #53 on: July 08, 2016, 03:07:31 PM »

Also was intending to include the (almost) every ship in Starsector image in the blog post itself but totally forgot to include it. So here you go anyway:

Spoiler

[close]

Enjoy!
Are those new fighters in there or are they old ships that were redesigned/cancelled?
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David

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Re: Developing the Mora-class Carrier
« Reply #54 on: July 08, 2016, 03:21:49 PM »

Are those new fighters in there or are they old ships that were redesigned/cancelled?

Old sprites for unimplemented ships. Some mods make use of them, however. I basically put the image together with the full contents of my Starsector sprite folder.
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Dri

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Re: Developing the Mora-class Carrier
« Reply #55 on: July 08, 2016, 05:14:10 PM »

Has the Mora's stats and weapon mounts/types been finalized? Could ya share some info about that?
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Alex

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Re: Developing the Mora-class Carrier
« Reply #56 on: July 08, 2016, 05:47:06 PM »

Well, nothing's ever "finalized", if you know what I mean :)

That said, the mount types are I think in a good place right now - 2 medium missile, and 8 small ballistic, of which 7 can face forward. The other stats are subject to change, depending on.... things.
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Dri

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Re: Developing the Mora-class Carrier
« Reply #57 on: July 08, 2016, 08:55:00 PM »

Oh snaps, 7/8 can all shoot forward? Dang, that does change some things - even though they are small mounts, that many forward can still tear some stuff up.

Also, you and your teasing of THINGS! ...Fighter wing things perhaps? ;D
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Megas

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Re: Developing the Mora-class Carrier
« Reply #58 on: July 09, 2016, 05:25:46 AM »

7/8 will not do much good if the Mora does not have the flux stats to back them up, not to mention it might need some or most of them for Vulcans for PD.

Another example, I would love to stack five IR pulse lasers on a Scarab and blast things during time shift, but that does not work because five IR pulse lasers generate too much flux too quickly, and I break time shift if I vent.
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Dri

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Re: Developing the Mora-class Carrier
« Reply #59 on: July 09, 2016, 11:22:41 AM »

I do hope the Mora got a little boost to its flux stats or OP count...
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