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Author Topic: Mobile dock: A Capital support ship for swarming fleets.  (Read 2314 times)

bobucles

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Mobile dock: A Capital support ship for swarming fleets.
« on: October 03, 2019, 01:37:28 PM »

The idea here is to have a capital ship that provides large indirect combat boons targeted at frigate and destroyer themed fleets. There are some implicit issues, for example the fleet cap is simply X ships, and choosing larger ships will naturally give the player more fleet power than smaller ships. Those issues aside, here I go.

The capital ship is essentially a flying mobile shipyard. The main design largely resembles a pontoon boat. Two pontoons surround a skeletal docking berth, large enough for frigates and destroyers. Dockyard machinery faces inward and additional docking arms stick out one side, showcasing an ability to handle small ships inside or attach to larger ships outside. Hangars on the other side hold worker drones. A forward facing shield represents the "umbrella" it uses to protect its dock while on the move.

Combat stats are largely non existent and it is not meant to ever enter combat. Defenses are restricted to small and medium guns, and loadouts don't get fancier than point defense. Armor is weak and speed is fast among capital ships (I.E. kinda slow). If more than a couple frigates assault the capital ship, it's in serious trouble.

The key selling points lay in its innate skills. It is essentially a mobile shipyard. Extensive docking and repair facilities provide the "almost always recoverable" trait to all frigates inside the fleet, and boost recovery rates of all other ships significantly. Smaller ships can be fully shut down inside its shielded dock, while larger ships may be serviced from the capable external dock. These facilities make deep space retrofitting easy, granting ships a -75%/-75%/-33%/-33% bonus to retrofit costs, depending on ship size. The docking repair equipment and crew also allow additional supplies per day to be distributed on fleet repairs. This allows tiny, crippled or high tech ships to be repaired extremely quickly and be put back into the fight. Repair allocation is 5 supply/day distributed across frigate/destroyer/self, and an additional 5 supply/day distributed across any ship.

Work hangars provide 1-2 bays of heavy worker drones, which can be used as combat drones in a pinch. These drones are essential to the mobile dock's frigate recovery and docking facilities and can not be trivially changed.

The same ship maintenance facilities and drones lend themselves well to salvage efforts, providing the "Salvage Gantry" capital class hull mod.

It is not a militarized ship and has the "Civilian Hull" mod. There is a massive crew requirement (trained dock crew), but it separate from skeleton crew to make the +100% crew of the militarized hull mod less punishing.

Frigate Recovery system won't work when the dock is at critical CR. The capital ship will prioritize self recovery before all else, representing the dock needing to repair itself before it can resume service.


~~~~~TLDR~~~~~
Crew: 300-500 skeleton + lots of dock workers (500-1500)
Armor: Low (fragile capital)
Defense: Frontal shield (180 arc)
Speed: Moderate (Light weight capital)
CR cost: Extremely high (30+%)
CR recovery: 6% (docking module self repair)
CR cost: 50 supplies (extreme issues from entering combat)
Weapons: Token defense, 1-2x fixed hangar bay (work drones)

Hull mods: Frigate Recovery Systems(for fleet), shielded Destroyer-class dock (5 supplies/day), simple Capital-grade dock(5 supplies/day), Salvage Gantry(capital), Civilian-Grade Hull

TaLaR

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Re: Mobile dock: A Capital support ship for swarming fleets.
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2019, 01:46:44 PM »

Swarm fleets are not viable for different reasons: officer and fleet size limits. This wouldn't do any good for frigate swarms.
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Boris Megalev

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Re: Mobile dock: A Capital support ship for swarming fleets.
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2019, 02:46:36 PM »

I would like to see something like this
a cruiser with drones to repair and refit ships
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Plantissue

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Re: Mobile dock: A Capital support ship for swarming fleets.
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2019, 04:07:11 PM »

Fleet limits exists so, apparently so that you wouldn't have to fight swarms of frigates. The boosts of this logistical ship that is to be useless for combat would be better encompassed by skills I would think. The reason for frigate and destroyer fleets is for a high burn speed, so a capital ship ruins the point of such fleet. Also your idea seems way too complicated. Frigates already have a unique purpose; when pursuing they can enter on the sides of the map.
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xenoargh

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Re: Mobile dock: A Capital support ship for swarming fleets.
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2019, 09:26:36 PM »

I could see this being a reprise of the Repair Shuttles from Vacuum, but specific and writ large.

Maybe it can revive dead Frigates and get them running again, making for a whole new kind of gameplay?
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Noviastar

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Re: Mobile dock: A Capital support ship for swarming fleets.
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2019, 02:46:23 AM »

Ok.  here's the ticket!

A Guild High liner!(Dune)  I just want to store my fleet and jump somewhere.  Make it a reward at the end of a story quest.  Requires "spice" lol.   

Think its just my love of the Dune series I want to make games more like that.  Great houses, fleets of ships.  Faction wars.  Worm Emperor dudes that live for 3000cycles. 

With a few tweaks this game could easily go that way. 

Don't think Frank Herbert ever really went into detail on what space ships looked like. 

Phase ships=No-ships!
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Plantissue

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Re: Mobile dock: A Capital support ship for swarming fleets.
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2019, 03:21:04 AM »

I was thinking that there is some merit to the idea of a bonus to retrofit costs, but applied fleetwide instead of to encourage a certain type of fleet build. What if you could swop out fighters before a fight? Change loadouts to fight unexpected enemies?
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Hrothgar

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Re: Mobile dock: A Capital support ship for swarming fleets.
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2019, 03:46:31 AM »

You can make this mobile dock as a special carrier- with dedicated only for him , special frigate-like fighter-bomber wings. It would differ from most carriers anyway as 9 on 10 is armed at least with several weapons, not mentioning things like Astral, Legion or mod ships.
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TrashMan

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Re: Mobile dock: A Capital support ship for swarming fleets.
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2019, 04:20:38 AM »

You are basically describing the Omnissiah - except it doesn't have the "full refit in space" option because I'm a terrible programer, but I wanted it.
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goduranus

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Re: Mobile dock: A Capital support ship for swarming fleets.
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2019, 05:34:00 AM »

yess, how about a big super carrier that carries other warship and launches them like fighters? Maybe overpowered in player hands but could be some sort of boss enemy.

bobucles

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Re: Mobile dock: A Capital support ship for swarming fleets.
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2019, 05:55:12 AM »

Quote
You can make this mobile dock as a special carrier- with dedicated only for him , special frigate-like fighter-bomber wings. It would differ from most carriers anyway as 9 on 10 is armed at least with several weapons, not mentioning things like Astral, Legion or mod ships.
So it'd be a logistical fleet support ship, except it doesn't support the fleet and it goes directly into combat. C'mon! That's not even close. ::)

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The reason for frigate and destroyer fleets is for a high burn speed, so a capital ship ruins the point of such fleet.
I wouldn't call it useless for that reason right away. Most capital ships have burn levels of 6, 7, or 8. Frigates typically have burn 9 or 10, and only 1 vanilla frigate has burn 11. It's no stretch of balance to start the capital dock with burn 7. Augmented drive field +2's it to burn 9, and militarized hull +1's it to burn 10. It's now keeping pace with frigate fleets, if the player so desires. You won't be sacrificing combat utility in your wolf pack, because it's not a combat ship.

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Maybe it can revive dead Frigates and get them running again, making for a whole new kind of gameplay?
That's essentially the idea with blanket tagging all frigates as "almost always recoverable". Typical space recovery involves duct tape and prayer, but a mobile dock has the facilities to take a broken frigate spine and weld it back together. It's like the difference between having a human field surgeon vs. having 200 ton mobile hospital on wheels. Except in space.

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The boosts of this logistical ship that is to be useless for combat would be better encompassed by skills I would think.
Not entirely. The main feature of "spending more supplies" on repairs is extremely powerful in deep space. Take a single ship that gets wrecked by a hyperspace storm, it may take a week to become fully operational. But with the capital dock's support, it can fix up in just a day or two. That's amazing for CR turnaround times and may be critical for surviving a series of battles. The supply boon is deliberately split up because the main role is to support smaller ships. It can heal larger ships too, but a fleet without frigates and destroyers isn't taking advantage of the full package.

I did notice there was some discussion of an upcoming player talent that gives a blanket "recoverable" to all frigates in the fleet. A player skill and a ship skill doing the same thing would be a sad conflict, but they don't need to conflict. The capital ship can provide a flat size=1 (frigates) to ship recovery. The player talent can be a +1 to the existing fleet value. So if the player has the frigate recovery from the dock, the talent upgrades it to destroyer recovery as well. Nearly unlimited frigates and destroyers? Nice! It doesn't contradict the lore description of the dock, because the internal dock can fit and service destroyer ships. The player talent simply provides the necessary expertise to revive larger ships.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2019, 06:09:55 AM by bobucles »
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Morrokain

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Re: Mobile dock: A Capital support ship for swarming fleets.
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2019, 10:54:41 AM »

I like the suggestion as a whole. My only concern would be the easier refit portion of it. Everything else sounds pretty fun.

I was thinking that there is some merit to the idea of a bonus to retrofit costs, but applied fleetwide instead of to encourage a certain type of fleet build. What if you could swop out fighters before a fight? Change loadouts to fight unexpected enemies?

The problem with these kinds of things is that once you have the ability to do so, you feel obligated to do it to optimize each fight. That tends to bog gameplay down in load-out micromanagement between fights.

It sounds fun in theory, but ends up feeling like a chore once the novelty wears off.

It might be ok if that bonus was frigate exclusive (for Lore reasons its just that their systems are smaller and simpler to modify on the fly) because I remember a time when some players really enjoyed flying large frigate swarms that would take advantage of speed and chain deploying to win large fights. I think that was nerfed to the ground mostly because it was obviously optimal for skilled pilots, however.
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Plantissue

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Re: Mobile dock: A Capital support ship for swarming fleets.
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2019, 08:32:25 AM »

Well, in that case I see no merit at all. There's a mass of ideas, but there no "why" to it.
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bobucles

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Re: Mobile dock: A Capital support ship for swarming fleets.
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2019, 11:59:55 AM »

Well, in that case I see no merit at all. There's a mass of ideas, but there no "why" to it.
The "why" is in the very first sentence. The idea is a capital ship that can provide useful features to dramatically enhance frigate/destroyer themed fleets. A dedicated support ship can handle the weaknesses involved in such tiny ships, and introduce a new play style that can be a lot of fun.

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The problem with these kinds of things is that once you have the ability to do so, you feel obligated to do it to optimize each fight.
The cruiser/capital bonus was kept very small for this reason. Ships are rarely retrofitted in deep space, partially because it's so expensive but mostly because planetary docks do it for free. The mobile dock bonus isn't as good as free, but it does allow more rapid retrofitting at a reduced cost.

Are there issues with building dedicated weapon counters to an enemy fleet? I'm not entirely sure. There are huge choices when it comes to picking ship hulls and officers. From the gameplay I've seen the weapon choices are more a matter of finding a weapon combo that has good synergy with the ship. There are major types of enemies that can benefit from targeting specific strategies against them, but so many other fleet design issues pop up at the same time that you should probably go to a main base regardless.

The bonus does allow for picking up ruined frigates (there's more frigates to get overall) and gearing them up very quickly in deep space. That's the main idea, so you can enjoy frigate spam in all its glory. Whether or not the strategy is truly effective is a different matter.

I did not specify if "dock only" hull mods can be added or removed. Often times a major ship change will include changing major hull mods. That may be too powerful to allow, since you can do things like retrofit solar shielding every time a hyperspace storm shows up, or add/remove safety overrides at a whim. It'd be worth trying out, but I can see how it'd offer a bit too much flexibility and "require" constant fleet retrofits as a chore.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 12:03:53 PM by bobucles »
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Plantissue

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Re: Mobile dock: A Capital support ship for swarming fleets.
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2019, 04:26:15 AM »

The "why" is in the very first sentence. The idea is a capital ship that can provide useful features to dramatically enhance frigate/destroyer themed fleets. A dedicated support ship can handle the weaknesses involved in such tiny ships, and introduce a new play style that can be a lot of fun.
You didn't describe the right "why" which is "why" you want to  "provides large indirect combat boons targeted at frigate and destroyer themed fleets". But as it is the reason you have given now is sufficient, and it would be acceptable if only you had placed it in the original post, but your the solution seems to be predetermined for a logistical capital instead.
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