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Author Topic: I was pondering the weapon/engine disabling functionality.  (Read 5625 times)

Zarcon

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I was pondering the weapon/engine disabling functionality.
« on: December 19, 2011, 01:47:17 PM »

I was pondering the weapon/engine disabling functionality, and a possible idea for shields came to mind.

In reading a post earlier where you talked about having to turn your ship when the weapons on one side became disabled due to enemy fire, it occurred to me that having something similar for shields would be rather interesting.

I really enjoy the way shields work currently, and I don't really want a huge change to them, but it would be fascinating to see a heavy salvo of torpedoes overload the port shields, and leave you scrambling to turn the ship around to avoid being so vulnerable while that shield projector rebooted/repaired itself.

The obvious downside to this idea, is that it might take a fair amount of development time to put into place, and considering how excited I am to see the next iteration of the game on my computer, far be it from me to slow you down, ha ha.  :)

But on the outside chance that such a thing wouldn't be too hard to put into place, this could be pretty fun to see in game at some point.  And from my point of view, very little would have to be changed "visually" to make this work.  For instance, on the forward shield version having half the shield fail shouldn't be too complex of a job, but where I see possible issues, are having an omni shield partially fail, I suppose it could be done by not allowing the omni shield to traverse on the "broken/failed" half of the ship for the duration of it's downtime, hmm, yeah that might work.  I suppose that 360 shields would be as relatively easy as the forward shields, just have the damaged half stop rendering/having effect.

Anyways, just a fun idea, that came to mind while thinking about the new changes to combat brought about by weapon and engine disabling functionality.  I can't wait to see those changes in the game itself, very exciting indeed.
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Alex

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Re: I was pondering the weapon/engine disabling functionality.
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2011, 04:38:12 PM »

Hmm. Shields actually do have a "disabled due to enemy fire" aspect - namely, running out of flux and causing an overload. So from that point of view, all four layers of defense - shields, armor, movement, and PD weapons - can be disrupted by enemy fire, making you fall back to ones that aren't.

It's not a bad idea, though. Every so often I come back and start thinking about something similar, in the same vein of making shields more interactive. The thing is, it's hard to come up with something that's doesn't over-complicate things, and is a natural fit for how the game already works.

For example, I think having "half" of the shields fail is straining the current concept of how shields work - the trouble with applying this idea to omni shields is indicative of that. I'm just trying to imagine how that'd play out ... we're adding an extra reservoir for shields - in addition to flux - which has a limit, a recovery rate, and needs to be displayed to the player - and there are possibly two of them per shield. I don't see it adding enough value to gameplay to justify the drastic increase in complexity, especially considering there's already a way for shields to fail.

That doesn't mean there isn't any way to do something along these lines - I'm just very, very hesitant to heap on complexity, but certainly open to ideas.
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Zarcon

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Re: I was pondering the weapon/engine disabling functionality.
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2011, 08:52:58 AM »

Hmm. Shields actually do have a "disabled due to enemy fire" aspect - namely, running out of flux and causing an overload. So from that point of view, all four layers of defense - shields, armor, movement, and PD weapons - can be disrupted by enemy fire, making you fall back to ones that aren't.

Very valid points sir.  :)  I think this idea can safely go under the heading of an interesting idea that just doesn't have a very elegant or feasible implementation protocol.  :)  ha ha

Btw, on an unrelated note, I have a question about Crew skills and if slot type changes on ships will ever be possible in the campaign without third party modding?  I ask this because I'm not really a fan of Missile weapons in general, and I would be tempted to take any available skills that would allow engineering to refit a missile slot into a ballistic or energy slot.  I could see why you wouldn't want to allow this, to maintain the uniqueness and relative balance of individual ships, but I thought I'd ask and see what your thoughts currently are in this regard.  :)
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Alex

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Re: I was pondering the weapon/engine disabling functionality.
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2011, 10:33:29 AM »

Btw, on an unrelated note, I have a question about Crew skills and if slot type changes on ships will ever be possible in the campaign without third party modding?  I ask this because I'm not really a fan of Missile weapons in general, and I would be tempted to take any available skills that would allow engineering to refit a missile slot into a ballistic or energy slot.  I could see why you wouldn't want to allow this, to maintain the uniqueness and relative balance of individual ships, but I thought I'd ask and see what your thoughts currently are in this regard.  :)

Some hulls are more dependent on missile weapons than others, but for a lot of them, you could simply not put anything in those slots and save the ordnance points for hull mods or flux vents and capacitors.

As far as converting slots, it's one of those "under consideration" things. It sounds like something that could be a lot of fun, but I want to see how the current refitting rules play out before adding ways to break them.
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Thana

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Re: I was pondering the weapon/engine disabling functionality.
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2011, 10:49:51 AM »

As far as converting slots, it's one of those "under consideration" things. It sounds like something that could be a lot of fun, but I want to see how the current refitting rules play out before adding ways to break them.

I do agree with Zarcon's impression of missiles being weak compared to ballistic and energy weapons. Torpedoes seem to fit well into the "chancy but extreme pay-off" niche they're designed for but other missiles I've found to be of only negligible to slight value. They get one of the big downsides of torpedoes - the possibility of PD interception - as well as a more extreme version of the ballistic weapons' limitation (low ammo) in return for a range advantage that doesn't seem to often matter that much when the enemy seems to be able to either evade (they seem pretty clumsy) or block them with shields (and since most missiles do high explosive damage, that's a big waste in and of itself).

Of course, maybe things will look different in the campaign mode, but this has been my impression so far.
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Zarcon

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Re: I was pondering the weapon/engine disabling functionality.
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2011, 10:57:09 AM »

As far as converting slots, it's one of those "under consideration" things. It sounds like something that could be a lot of fun, but I want to see how the current refitting rules play out before adding ways to break them.

That makes good sense.  :) 

I do agree with Zarcon's impression of missiles being weak compared to ballistic and energy weapons. Torpedoes seem to fit well into the "chancy but extreme pay-off" niche they're designed for but other missiles I've found to be of only negligible to slight value. They get one of the big downsides of torpedoes - the possibility of PD interception - as well as a more extreme version of the ballistic weapons' limitation (low ammo) in return for a range advantage that doesn't seem to often matter that much when the enemy seems to be able to either evade (they seem pretty clumsy) or block them with shields (and since most missiles do high explosive damage, that's a big waste in and of itself).

Of course, maybe things will look different in the campaign mode, but this has been my impression so far.

Indeed, and it is even possible that the current Development version of the game has had the various missiles tweaked a bit to make them more effective, etc, we are working with a very old copy of the game, and sometimes I need to remind myself of that, lol.   :)
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Alex

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Re: I was pondering the weapon/engine disabling functionality.
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2011, 11:17:55 AM »

Are you guys talking about Pilum LRMs (the super-long-range missiles), or all missiles in particular?

I've found Harpoons (blue flame, medium range) to be really effective for doing burst damage to an overloaded target - it's meant as a finisher type of weapon. If you'll notice, that's how the AI uses them, and I must say I've gotten killed by that probably more than anything else.

The Sabot (the one that flies towards the target and then shoots out a kinetic energy projectile) is good against shields, and isn't much affected by PD - the payload is usually released from beyond PD range, and is nearly impossible to shoot down. It's best used in a burst to overload enemy shields, and doesn't have the maneuverability to tackle frigates.

The Pilum LRM is kind of weak, sure - but it's just a medium slot. It's main usefulness is to give the enemy something else to worry about - even something like a Tempest is a lot easier to hunt down if it's got some LRMs on its tail. It's not a powerhouse, but for comparison, a Flak Cannon fills the same size of slot. The Pilum can also be used by fire support ships from very, very far off - so it's useful as a means for ships to a far away battle in safety.

For medium slots, though, I definitely agree there isn't a lot of good choice for missiles - just the Pilum, which isn't one-size-fits-all, and the 5-shot torpedo launcher. There'll be medium-sized Harpoon and Sabot launchers in the future though, and I think that'll turn it around. Imagine having a 20-shot Harpoon launcher - with a longer refire delay than the triple-rack version, but still.


I'd love to hear more specifics of your impressions on missiles, though!
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Thana

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Re: I was pondering the weapon/engine disabling functionality.
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2011, 11:22:55 AM »

I'd love to hear more specifics of your impressions on missiles, though!

I may look into it in the next few days by making some custom missions and picking missile-heavy ship variants.
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Zarcon

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Re: I was pondering the weapon/engine disabling functionality.
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2011, 11:25:31 AM »

Are you guys talking about Pilum LRMs (the super-long-range missiles), or all missiles in particular?

I've found Harpoons (blue flame, medium range) to be really effective for doing burst damage to an overloaded target - it's meant as a finisher type of weapon. If you'll notice, that's how the AI uses them, and I must say I've gotten killed by that probably more than anything else.

The Sabot (the one that flies towards the target and then shoots out a kinetic energy projectile) is good against shields, and isn't much affected by PD - the payload is usually released from beyond PD range, and is nearly impossible to shoot down. It's best used in a burst to overload enemy shields, and doesn't have the maneuverability to tackle frigates.

The Pilum LRM is kind of weak, sure - but it's just a medium slot. It's main usefulness is to give the enemy something else to worry about - even something like a Tempest is a lot easier to hunt down if it's got some LRMs on its tail. It's not a powerhouse, but for comparison, a Flak Cannon fills the same size of slot. The Pilum can also be used by fire support ships from very, very far off - so it's useful as a means for ships to a far away battle in safety.

For medium slots, though, I definitely agree there isn't a lot of good choice for missiles - just the Pilum, which isn't one-size-fits-all, and the 5-shot torpedo launcher. There'll be medium-sized Harpoon and Sabot launchers in the future though, and I think that'll turn it around. Imagine having a 20-shot Harpoon launcher - with a longer refire delay than the triple-rack version, but still.


I'd love to hear more specifics of your impressions on missiles, though!

Hmm, interesting, yeah I remember dying to Harpoons (blue flame, medium range) a LOT, part of my problem may be when I choose to fire my missiles, I may tend to not wait for the shields to go down, thus screwing up their max potential, I'll do some playtesting tonight to check it out.  :)

"There'll be medium-sized Harpoon and Sabot launchers in the future though, and I think that'll turn it around. Imagine having a 20-shot Harpoon launcher"

Ok, I just imagined that, and I liked it a lot!  :)  ha ha. That might fix up some of my issues with missiles, I guess I just hate having only 3 or so shots for a larger ship's missile slot, so I didn't use them much.

But I have a feeling that if I modify my tactics when firing missiles, that will help a lot.
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BobNietzsche

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Re: I was pondering the weapon/engine disabling functionality.
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2012, 01:40:49 PM »

Have you considered offering the option of differing shield types? For instance:

Standard - Protection from all damage types, impact builds up flux causing possible overload.

Ballistic - Near-instant activation, disintegrates physical objects such as missiles instantly (possibly have it cause light contiguous damage to unshielded ships that stray too close?), offers little to no protection against energy weapons, constantly builds up flux while activated.

Phase - Very high chance of absorbing energy-based shots, zero protection from ballistics, flux is drained at an increased rate while shields are activated, absorbing shots builds up flux.



Just going with these three as an example, you keep the option of shielding as it exists currently, as well as...

You could go with a more hands-on ballistics version that you would want to activate for only a second or two at a time, strategically blocking off missile salvos and what have you before overloading. This would be a shield seen on a more offensive ship, which would require better reflexes and strategic judgment to keep together.

Then there's an energy shield, which would be geared more towards a defensive ship. Load the phase shield along with a bunch of PD to stop missiles, and you have a ship that can stay almost continuously shielded barring some extreme energy weapon salvo (probably needs to have a lower flux capacity), but uses the shield itself to vent constantly. Which means that you have a speed boost most of the time, important for getting to strategic defense locations, and your energy weapons will typically be weaker unless under heavy assault.
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rrrob

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Re: I was pondering the weapon/engine disabling functionality.
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2012, 06:32:21 PM »

I like the way the shields are working now.

The only thing I could see would be worthwhile to add that doesn't add any additional complexity is different shield coverage options of  for example 90, 180 and 360 degress. Selecting a 90 degree coverage drains less flux from damage than 180 or 360 degree. Who don't remember the scenes from Star Wars or Star Trek when they say "all power to forward shields!". The benefit of a smaller shield arc that generates less flux from damage is weighted against the potential of getting flanked making ship movement and positioning more important.

I can imagine strategies where you fire a salvo of missiles/torpedos from one direction to bait a big ship to angle their shield to block the projectiles while attacking with another ship towards the unshielded direction.
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ClosetGoth

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Re: I was pondering the weapon/engine disabling functionality.
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2012, 01:47:29 PM »

I definitely agree with the "all power to forward shields" idea, but I don't think it should be too much. I mean, with some ships (the Apogee, for example), having the shield on more than doubles your hitbox, and makes you tank a lot of hits that you could have dodged easily. But I do agree that directional shields should probably use somewhat less flux.

On the flip side, something that I just considered is that it may take a lot of energy to power movable shield mounts, and for gameplay purposes (as opposed to realism purposes), I think that shields are pretty balanced, with one change: Shields should reduce flux dissipation less if they are smaller. It would actually be pretty cool to have a ship with a very narrow shield, that is very quick to bring up and move around, and uses little power, that would be used for blocking larger and more explosive shots.
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Alex

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Re: I was pondering the weapon/engine disabling functionality.
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2012, 01:58:31 PM »

On the flip side, something that I just considered is that it may take a lot of energy to power movable shield mounts, and for gameplay purposes (as opposed to realism purposes), I think that shields are pretty balanced, with one change: Shields should reduce flux dissipation less if they are smaller. It would actually be pretty cool to have a ship with a very narrow shield, that is very quick to bring up and move around, and uses little power, that would be used for blocking larger and more explosive shots.

That's actually roughly how it works now - how much flux ships generate depends on how "good" they are, in terms of arc, absorption ratio, type, etc.
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