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Author Topic: EMP Weapons  (Read 4937 times)

Blips

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EMP Weapons
« on: June 27, 2011, 02:13:48 PM »

Just an idea for a new form of weapon. Could be delivered as missiles, bombs, some sort of large wave cannon, etc:
  • Knock out shields
  • Temporarily disable ships
  • Kill missiles in mid flight (they'll drift along last vector, but no more engines / homing)
  • Reveal stealth ships?
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Alex

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Re: EMP Weapons
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2011, 02:17:24 PM »

You know, the Omen ECM frigate is slated for a system that would do all that almost to a T :)

... if you've been wondering why it's so godawful in its current state, that's why. It's been pre-balanced to account for a powerful system that it doesn't yet have. Ahem.
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Blips

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Re: EMP Weapons
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2011, 02:21:43 PM »

You know, the Omen ECM frigate is slated for a system that would do all that almost to a T :)

... if you've been wondering why it's so godawful in its current state, that's why. It's been pre-balanced to account for a powerful system that it doesn't yet have. Ahem.

That sounds great.  ;D
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Mercurio

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Re: EMP Weapons
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2011, 10:18:00 AM »

Will the EMP be like a shockwave that affects friendly ships and missiles too?  Or will it be like in GSB where a tiny missile hits your cruiser's shields and it knocks you out for decades?..

I think there's a lot that can be done with the flux mechanics, too. Just make a flux bomb that overloads every ship and structure in a certain radius. Every freighter could use one of those to fend off incoming pirates  ;D
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Flare

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Re: EMP Weapons
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2011, 04:15:17 PM »

Wouldn't all the electronics on a starship already be shielded from electromagnetic interference? There's a massive amount of it in space, and even today, almost all modern battle tanks are shielded to protect them from emp attacks.
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The battle station is not completely operational, shall we say.

"Now witness the firepower of this thoroughly buggy and unoperational batt... Oh, hell, you know what? Just ignore the battle station, okay?"

Mercurio

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Re: EMP Weapons
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2011, 05:32:49 PM »

Wouldn't all the electronics on a starship already be shielded from electromagnetic interference? There's a massive amount of it in space, and even today, almost all modern battle tanks are shielded to protect them from emp attacks.

I don't know how far you wanna push the realism but "In space, nobody can hear you scream", pretty much sums it up...
Might as well mute the sound and make it impossible to fire ballistic weapons because of the knockback and whatnot...

A 100% realistic space game would probably take years to play, let alone because of Einstein's funny lightspeed thing...
« Last Edit: June 30, 2011, 06:54:07 PM by Mercurio »
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Flare

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Re: EMP Weapons
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2011, 06:08:39 PM »

You don't have to abandon an idea just because it runs against reality, all you need to do is think of an explanation of why it would work in the setting ;).  Perhaps, you can't protect the electronics portion of the shields due to the nature of it. The ballistic kick back is countered by anti-kinetic thrusters. And the sounds you hear are from the insides of the ship, or perhaps a cheap device that is placed on the ships themselves that transmit vibration frequencies into sound and broadcast them on a certain frequency.
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Quote from: Thana
Quote from: Alex

The battle station is not completely operational, shall we say.

"Now witness the firepower of this thoroughly buggy and unoperational batt... Oh, hell, you know what? Just ignore the battle station, okay?"

CommComms

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Re: EMP Weapons
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2011, 06:38:09 PM »

The basic idea with the sci-fi genera is that if something happens that doesn't actually work that way in real life, it's because there's some technology in place to make it so.  Just because right now we can't conceive of a mechanism that would fire a ballistic weapon without any recoil doesn't mean the Starfarer universe doesn't have sets of parallel flux capacitor centrifuges attached to all the guns to make them work like that.

And sure, ships are certainly shielded against the kind of EM interference buzzing around in space, but why can't you put something on a missile that makes a different kind?  Or just makes the same kind, but makes it 1000x stronger?  If you want your ships to be protected against that, you'll probably have to put in some subsystems that will deal with it.  Or maybe a different kind of shield, or armor, or something that rapidly repairs/reboots you systems after an EM torpedo crashes them. 

Gameplay is gameplay, and why not consider what could improve it just because it clashes a little with a reality we're already quite distanced from?

I like the idea, and hope to see it implemented in an interesting and balanced fashion.  There are some ion cannons and other weapons that increase the target's flux already, but a lot of the other suggestions in this thread seem like they'd be pretty cool.
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Mercurio

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Re: EMP Weapons
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2011, 06:51:03 PM »

Wouldn't all the electronics on a starship already be shielded from electromagnetic interference? There's a massive amount of it in space, and even today, almost all modern battle tanks are shielded to protect them from emp attacks.
So you say that, because in reality ships are immune against electromagnetism, in game it should be the same?

You don't have to abandon an idea just because it runs against reality, all you need to do is think of an explanation of why it would work in the setting ;).  Perhaps, you can't protect the electronics portion of the shields due to the nature of it. The ballistic kick back is countered by anti-kinetic thrusters. And the sounds you hear are from the insides of the ship, or perhaps a cheap device that is placed on the ships themselves that transmit vibration frequencies into sound and broadcast them on a certain frequency.

So you say that, despite in reality ships are immune against electromagnetism, in game it should be different?...

I just dont get what you're trying to ask/say/do here  ???

I was just implying that you shouldn't think about that kind of things if you are going to play sci-fi games xD
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Flare

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Re: EMP Weapons
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2011, 05:43:34 PM »

The basic idea with the sci-fi genera is that if something happens that doesn't actually work that way in real life, it's because there's some technology in place to make it so.  Just because right now we can't conceive of a mechanism that would fire a ballistic weapon without any recoil doesn't mean the Starfarer universe doesn't have sets of parallel flux capacitor centrifuges attached to all the guns to make them work like that.

That's the basic idea behind all fiction unfortunately. Everything that appears out of the ordinary needs some sort of explanation explaining why it is that way. Sci-fi just exaggerated that.

Quote
And sure, ships are certainly shielded against the kind of EM interference buzzing around in space, but why can't you put something on a missile that makes a different kind?  Or just makes the same kind, but makes it 1000x stronger?

Because the only reaction capable of creating that much em interference is likely to just wipe out the ship itself and scorch a nearby planet :P.

Quote
Gameplay is gameplay, and why not consider what could improve it just because it clashes a little with a reality we're already quite distanced from?

The dichotomy between gameplay and realism comprehensiveness is a false one. It's quite possible for something to be quite realistic and still be fun to play or remains functional. The common way of supposrting this view is to make up absurd design decisions and show that some realism just can't be placed in a game. Well of course that can't be implemented in any functional way, you've made it absurd in the first place!
All you need is some explanation as to why something contradicts our basic understanding of the world. It doesn't have to be complete, it merely needs to address it in some capacity.

Wouldn't all the electronics on a starship already be shielded from electromagnetic interference? There's a massive amount of it in space, and even today, almost all modern battle tanks are shielded to protect them from emp attacks.
So you say that, because in reality ships are immune against electromagnetism, in game it should be the same?

You don't have to abandon an idea just because it runs against reality, all you need to do is think of an explanation of why it would work in the setting ;).  Perhaps, you can't protect the electronics portion of the shields due to the nature of it. The ballistic kick back is countered by anti-kinetic thrusters. And the sounds you hear are from the insides of the ship, or perhaps a cheap device that is placed on the ships themselves that transmit vibration frequencies into sound and broadcast them on a certain frequency.

So you say that, despite in reality ships are immune against electromagnetism, in game it should be different?...

I just dont get what you're trying to ask/say/do here  ???

I was just implying that you shouldn't think about that kind of things if you are going to play sci-fi games xD

I should think about that sort of game if I were playing a bad fantasy game :P. The general rule of science fiction is that they generally go to much further lengths to explain why something is the way it is in the world.


Suppose I made a game myself. It is a linear crime thriller set in the 1930s with amazing historical detail and adherence to real world physics. In one level while you're giving chase to the main criminal through the streets of London, with every pedestrian you hit, a hooker and some whiskey suddenly appears in your trunk.

If you've noticed something odd about that description congratulations, you're sane! If that odd thing you've noticed was the hooker and whiskey magically appearing in a world that in all counts isn't a magical one and one that sticks to reality as much as relevant, congratulations, you now have Astute Thinking level III *fanfare*!

Suppose that, the whiskey and the hookers in the trunk serve some sort of functional ends, it helps gameplay in other words- somehow. I think it would still egg a lot of people about just what the hell happened that caused those illustrious men and women to appear in the trunk in tandem with the whiskey. There is nothing in the story so far that explains the reaction of hitting pedestrians and professional escorts appearing our of space time, nor from what is traditionally understood of the setting to explain such an occurrence.

EM attacks are obviously something in the game that runs against our common understanding of military software, all I'm asking the devs in my first post is how they plan to address this issue, it's certainly not to change it or signalling that I'm against because it doesn't conform to a strict sense of reality.
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Quote from: Thana
Quote from: Alex

The battle station is not completely operational, shall we say.

"Now witness the firepower of this thoroughly buggy and unoperational batt... Oh, hell, you know what? Just ignore the battle station, okay?"

Alex

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Re: EMP Weapons
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2011, 06:00:14 PM »

Wouldn't all the electronics on a starship already be shielded from electromagnetic interference? There's a massive amount of it in space, and even today, almost all modern battle tanks are shielded to protect them from emp attacks.

EM attacks are obviously something in the game that runs against our common understanding of military software, all I'm asking the devs in my first post is how they plan to address this issue, it's certainly not to change it or signalling that I'm against because it doesn't conform to a strict sense of reality.

Fair enough. I'd say that our common understanding of military software/hardware is so out of date as to be entirely unapplicable to the SF universe. It's called EMP because that's a concept we can relate to and one that explains what it does, but it stands for some other process that is capable of temporarily knocking out military-grade equipment of the SF time period and tech level.

As far as realism vs gameplay, my stance is that while gameplay generally trumps realism, things should not be so absurd as to break immersion - which I think is the point you were making. IMO, the world should make enough sense that if you encounter some mechanic, you should be able to think up a reasonably acceptable explanation of how/why it might work. Further, I don't think it's the game's responsiblity to explain everything in terms of techno-babble. That's just bound to confuse things.
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