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Author Topic: Crippling ships  (Read 501 times)

Morbo513

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Crippling ships
« on: May 29, 2020, 02:11:34 PM »

A ship status between alive and disabled/destroyed.
Currently upon a ship's hull integrity reaching zero, the ship will explode and be rendered dead instantly.
Instead, ships would have an "overkill" threshold - Upon reaching zero hull integrity, the ship would be crippled - its weapon mounts and shield emmitter are blown out, its engines are barely functioning, but it can limp back and retreat under its own power, just about. Essentially, its CR has been set to 0 with some accompanying fireworks.
A ship that manages to retreat in this state would gain D-mods.
To be completely destroyed as they currently are, the ship would have to take damage beyond that overkill threshold - leading to the possibility they are irrecoverable. Obviously, eating damage beyond the threshold in one hit would still kill them outright.
Different ships, their faction/tech-level, their size class, D-mods and hullmods would influence their fragility in this state. It would have to be values that necessitate a degree of luck in escaping after being crippled.


This would have implications on progression and campaign difficulty - Obviously, with ships able to retreat post-death you will have to replace ships less frequently. I find that desirable, as it makes difficulty more elastic. You can still lose a battle but crawl away with more than you'd be able to now - it'd also help avoid instances where you've won a battle handily but still lost a valued ship that RNG decided is nothing but dust now. That's the most important part for me - making a ship's survivability past its capacity to fight much less arbitrary.
It also adds value to Low-tech ships which typically have greater hull integrity, while high-tech tends to be more fragile, further distinguishing the doctrines.

TL;DR, a second health-bar before a ship is killed, which upon being reached disables a ship's shields and most/all their non-PD weapons, enabling a ship to be defeated as far as the battle is concerned, but give them greater opportunity to retreat and remain intact (with D-mod(s) as penalty for "dying") for the campaign layer.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2020, 05:41:16 PM by Morbo513 »
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Thaago

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Re: Crippling ships
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2020, 03:29:20 PM »

Hmmm I think this really depends on the specifics and on the AI. Do you recover ships if you lose the battle? Will the AI keep shooting at the enemy 'hulks' that are slowly powering away? Would "overkilled" ships have lower recovery chances and more D mods than the current state, where a skilled player has a good chance of recovering their ships with minimal mods?

A lot of the time when allied ships die they are either overwhelmed or far enough away that I couldn't tell allies to go help anyways, so the hulk wouldn't survive long before exploding again and being put down for real, if the AI targets them. OTOH, if the AI is also "playing" at recovering enemy ships, then they'd have no reason to shoot hulks... same as the player really.
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Goumindong

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Re: Crippling ships
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2020, 03:56:51 PM »

Something that seems better than this that also works and is in the same vein.

When a ship retreats from the battlefield if that side loses the battle it can be in the recovered ships based on a percentage of its hull/CR left. Ships with less hull/CR would more likely to be recovered after a battle. When a player retreats from a battle they would have the option of of leaving ships behind in order to delay/prevent getting attacked.

The reason that this is better is that it doesn't require any more AI logic but still has the same effect in combat and strategy. Players want to retreat ships when they take hull damage anyway. It also has a bonus effect of not requiring the player destroy every ship they come in contact with if they want to have a chance a taking it.
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Morbo513

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Re: Crippling ships
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2020, 05:11:21 PM »

Hmmm I think this really depends on the specifics and on the AI. Do you recover ships if you lose the battle? Will the AI keep shooting at the enemy 'hulks' that are slowly powering away? Would "overkilled" ships have lower recovery chances and more D mods than the current state, where a skilled player has a good chance of recovering their ships with minimal mods?

A lot of the time when allied ships die they are either overwhelmed or far enough away that I couldn't tell allies to go help anyways, so the hulk wouldn't survive long before exploding again and being put down for real, if the AI targets them. OTOH, if the AI is also "playing" at recovering enemy ships, then they'd have no reason to shoot hulks... same as the player really.
All good questions, some of which I thought to myself. As I envision it:

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Do you recover ships if you lose the battle?
I'm torn. I think if you're fully wiped, you're fully wiped - those crippled ships that escaped the battle would be easy prey for the fleet(s) that you lost against. If you clean disengage, it wouldn't be unreasonable. In a disengagement battle they'd essentially be mothballed.
As for recovering enemy ships, it'd work the same as current. We can say their surviving crew scuttle the ship and the rest is left to RNG. That said, I can see the other side of it too, enabling the player more opportunities to gain rarer ships through salvage.

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Would "overkilled" ships have lower recovery chances and more D mods than the current state
Yes and no, respectively. A diceroll for one D-mod extra, but recovery chances unchanged. Successfuly-retreated crippled ships would be guaranteed recoverable.

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where a skilled player has a good chance of recovering their ships with minimal mods?
I don't have an answer I'm certain of, but the idea is to make the player more able to absorb casualties in battle, without necessarily being buggered for the campaign - particularly with regards to rare/unique ships. I think it'd make ironman gameplay a lot more attractive. So I'd err on the side of caution and say the recovery rate for destroyed ships remains the same.

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Will the AI keep shooting at the enemy 'hulks' that are slowly powering away?
Yes, but will prioritise "live" enemy ships in range. I also see the benefit of having enemies ignore them completely, intending to salvage them for their own purposes, but I think there still needs to be a decent risk of their destruction.
I was thinking a crippled ship could have a chance of keeping a few weapons operational, PD especially.
Regarding the manner in which ships tend to die, that's something of an issue of its own - but this is an edge-case sort of thing. If those ships that are cut-off do die, there's still the chance of post-battle recovery.

There's also the question of whether crippled ships must be "recovered" post-battle, or go straight back into your fleet. I think the former would make most sense, incurring the supply cost, but the latter would be most convenient.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2020, 05:20:29 PM by Morbo513 »
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Morbo513

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Re: Crippling ships
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2020, 05:34:22 PM »

Something that seems better than this that also works and is in the same vein.

When a ship retreats from the battlefield if that side loses the battle it can be in the recovered ships based on a percentage of its hull/CR left. Ships with less hull/CR would more likely to be recovered after a battle. When a player retreats from a battle they would have the option of of leaving ships behind in order to delay/prevent getting attacked.

The reason that this is better is that it doesn't require any more AI logic but still has the same effect in combat and strategy. Players want to retreat ships when they take hull damage anyway. It also has a bonus effect of not requiring the player destroy every ship they come in contact with if they want to have a chance a taking it.
I get what you're saying, but the main point is to give the player more insurance against losing ships completely. A situation I encounter often is ships still being killed by stray shots or a persistent fighter wing after making it half of the way to the retreat zone - In situations like this it'd give the ship an extra window to ultimately escape, but not without consequence on the campaign layer - right now it's a binary yes, it survived or no, diceroll for recovery; instead, your ships potentially escape with a d-mod or two as opposed to their recovery being solely determined by chance. Crippling or destroying the ship is still a victory for the enemy and loss for the player in the immediacy of battle, as crippling it renders it a non-threat and forces it off the playing-field.

As to AI, I doubt it's a particularly complex thing in that regard; they'd essentially behave as mothballed ships do, going straight for the retreat zone.

Moreover, I think it'd just be cool to see burning ships just barely limping away from the moshpits. The crippling of a ship would have to entail some explosions rippling across it.
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