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Author Topic: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons  (Read 33593 times)

Tartiflette

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Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« on: October 08, 2015, 01:31:17 PM »

Fighters changed quite a bit with time, both lore-wise and in their implementation. At first the carriers where supposed to have a mini autofactory onboard and the fighters were merely an Universal Access Chip with some limited uses you plugged in, thus the limited replacement and the obligation to have a flight deck to support your fighters. Then the fighters became ships of their own, only needing a carrier to be repaired in combat as long as you had replacement chassis available, but otherwise not bound to a flight deck if any. And recently with CR everything got muddier, they got some form of invincibility, being impossible to wipe out as long as a carrier remains, and kinda immune to harry since even at 1%CR they can deploy at full strength. They also can be part of a fleet regardless of the availability of a carrier, with often the lore-breaking sight of a fighter-only fleet casually cruising in hyper despite not supposed to have any hyperdrive...

What I'd like to see, if the fighter effectively becoming the weapon of a carrier. Intuitively it makes sense as carriers are force projectors: they are useless without fighters, and fighters don't have the range (or the hyperdrive) to be useful without a carrier.

In term of gameworld, the fighter would become and UAC again that allow the carrier to build them on the fly in combat at the cost of it's own CR. The carriers would then be cheap to deploy (routhly the cost of a combat ship of the same power minus the flight decks), but rebuilding more fighters would raise that cost, and of course rebuilding a Talon wouldn't put much of a dent in it's CR while a broadsword wing would lower it a few percents. The fighters would be traded not like ships but like weapons and be installed on the carrier during refit like as usual, with each flight deck able to maintain two wings (one wing per deck seemed a bit low):



In combat they would still behave as they currently do: you can give them orders, and deploy them or not (but only if their carrier is deployed too, otherwise they would never die again). The carrier would probably have some sort of limitation to avoid eating all it's CR in one battle. One suggestion from Gothars was to have the rebuilding take more and more time once its CR drop bellow 30%.

What issues would that solve:
 - No more carrier-less fighter fleets. If the carrier goes down, the fighters too. If the wing survived the pilots can be rescued, but the fighters can't be maintained or rearmed without the corresponding UAC.
 - No more exploit of super heavy fighter fleets that only have one carrier just to prevent their death.
 - No more obscure cost of fighter deployment due to the losses. The carrier CR recovery is all that matter.
 - Better control on the amount or fighter replacements. If you want more Piranhas, you only need to deploy that wing and not any other: the carrier will spend all it's CR to rebuild that one.
 - Lootable fighter wings. As any weapon, an UAC could be found in the post battle looting.
 - Clean Lore explanation that support the gameplay instead of excusing it.

[EDIT]
Tentative mockup of what it could look like in campaign:



I replaced the "1 flight deck" with an icon of the installed fighters, and linked them to their carrier in the widget.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2015, 11:27:15 PM by Tartiflette »
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Thaago

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2015, 01:38:31 PM »

I would enjoy this greatly! Though I do think that it would need to be a little more complicated than just slots for wings - a Talon is a lot less combat effective than a Broadsword, but they make up for it by being cheap. A carrier gets hangar points again? (I always liked hangar points, having them was one reason I used to use the old Hammerhead.)
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Tartiflette

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2015, 01:43:20 PM »

Indeed, but with this idea, the cost is transferred to the Carrier: it would cost almost nothing to deploy, but rebuilding a fighter would reduce it's CR (raising it's deployment cost) and of course rebuilding a Talon would barely make a dent when a broadsword would probably lower it by 1%. Actually, with that principle we could even get rid of the replacement limit and streamlining the fighter mechanic even more. Edited the OP to reflect that.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2015, 01:48:20 PM by Tartiflette »
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Thaago

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2015, 01:49:42 PM »

Interesting... I can see that working. I guess my issue is that I really like Talons, but only in high numbers; the proposed system would really push the player into using higher quality fighters due to limited slots. Though maybe if the cost were really skewed in favor of the Talon... its still a bit of a concentration of firepower issue.

Still, I really like the base idea! Fighters are my favorite.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2015, 01:55:45 PM by Thaago »
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Tartiflette

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2015, 01:55:48 PM »

Updated further the OP: you want more Talons? Don't install any other wing and the carrier will spend it's whole CR rebuilding them.
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The Soldier

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2015, 01:56:25 PM »

I'm always for the fighter gameplay - and I like this, it's pretty interesting and fits the lore perfectly. :) The bit about reducing CR with each fighter deploy might cause some issues, though - is there a set limit for when it stops reducing CR?  Otherwise it looks like the crew is starting to pull apart the ship for parts to feed into the minifac with weapons and engines malfunctioning below 20% CR.

Some of the finer details of your mechanic might need to be fleshed out - like if fighters still appear on the tactical map, if they'll react to (or even prioritize) targets from the base ship, etc., (things that I'm usually interested in, heh) but it's incredibly interesting.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2015, 01:58:23 PM by The Soldier »
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Thaago

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2015, 01:59:31 PM »

For me what I meant was not teh number of replacements, but how many are out at a time. For example, if I only have 2 slots, 2 Broadsword wings beat out 2 Talon wings. But if I had 3 Talon wings instead of 2 Broadsword wings (about the current ratio?) then its good.

But then again I really like having the fighters be more like weapons. So maybe have multiple sized slots? Interceptors fit in light fighter slots? Eh, might be too complicated.
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The Soldier

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2015, 02:16:09 PM »

Hm, I don't think having multiple sized slots is something.  Each fighter is good at something - be it interceptor, multipurpose, assault, or bomber - and between these classes, they aren't better than one another.
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Tartiflette

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2015, 02:20:24 PM »

I'm always for the fighter gameplay - and I like this, it's pretty interesting and fits the lore perfectly. :) The bit about reducing CR with each fighter deploy might cause some issues, though - is there a set limit for when it stops reducing CR?  Otherwise it looks like the crew is starting to pull apart the ship for parts to feed into the minifac with weapons and engines malfunctioning below 20% CR.
And why not? ^^ If the CR drop too low, you can retreat the carrier... Or could if the order weren't that limited. Okay that could be an issue. Of course there has been suggestions to make the orders slowly replenish over time, or the carrier could have an auto-retreat threshold you set the way you can change the ship CR in refit, or the fighters could stop being rebuilt once the carrier reach 30% CR (but could still be reloaded and repaired).

Some of the finer details of your mechanic might need to be fleshed out - like if fighters still appear on the tactical map, if they'll react to (or even prioritize) targets from the base ship, etc., (things that I'm usually interested in, heh) but it's incredibly interesting.
For me what I meant was not teh number of replacements, but how many are out at a time. For example, if I only have 2 slots, 2 Broadsword wings beat out 2 Talon wings. But if I had 3 Talon wings instead of 2 Broadsword wings (about the current ratio?) then its good.
They would still act and appear as they currently do, iirc if they have an escort order, they prioritize the target of that ship. The wings size would remain the same too.

I think the refit screen could also display the amount of replacements you can get from the current CR.



That also beg for a hullmod that double the repair/reload/rebuild speed but only allows one wing per flight deck... Or the opposite for installing a third wing.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2015, 02:27:07 PM by Tartiflette »
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Gothars

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2015, 02:28:33 PM »

I really like the idea! It is a neat concept.

So when I'm saying this I'm really just playing devil's advocate: Do the relatively small benefits really warrant a rework of a well functioning system at this point of development? It seems like all the major problems this solves are with the lore and immersion, not with the actual gameplay.

Is there really an "exploit of super heavy fighter fleets"? It seems to me non-replenishing fighters can only work against fleets which are a weight class below you anyway and could be beat by many other means.


So maybe have multiple sized slots?
That, or have heavy fighters block additional slots.


The bit about reducing CR with each fighter deploy might cause some issues, though - is there a set limit for when it stops reducing CR?  Otherwise it looks like the crew is starting to pull apart the ship for parts to feed into the minifac with weapons and engines malfunctioning below 20% CR.

- It's kinda OK, since the main function of a carrier is to build fighters. Other ships also fire their weapon until they fall apart.
- This could be smoothed by progressively reducing build speed with sinking CR, so a low CR carrier doesn't knock itself out too fast.
- Maybe you could switch of the flight deck like a weapon group? Or give an order to your AI carriers to do so.
 
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The Soldier

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2015, 02:33:11 PM »

Eh, don't like the flat-out Retreat Threshold - maybe just stops the production of fighters.  Carriers aren't going to retreat if they've got 20% CR (despite it being a good idea) - they've still got weapons and support options, so I'd rather have them poke the enemy than not.

@Gothars
Yea, I'm thinking about having an option to just turn off fighter production once CR hits the designated level.  That'd be nice.  Also, being able to manually turn off fighter production when you are the carrier (and maybe if you're not, if you can figure out a smooth enough way) would be nice as well.

Also, who says this has to be implemented?  It's a suggestion that Tartfillette thought would be a nice addition (if I can speak for you, at least) - sure, it'd be awesome if it were implemented, but it's not nessesarily taking into account everything else.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2015, 02:36:47 PM by The Soldier »
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Megas

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2015, 02:40:59 PM »

Flight deck is worth about six small slots.  Could have flight deck slots.
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The Soldier

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2015, 02:42:57 PM »

I just realized this - it'd be pretty hilarious to see what the Astral's refit screen would look like with 6 flight decks and 12 fighter slots, heh.

Flight deck is worth about six small slots.
Erm, what do you mean?  A figher wing is worth 6 small weapon slots, that kind of thing?

Could have flight deck slots.
Yea, those are kind of in there (if I get what you're saying) - you can assign two wings to a single flight deck.
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Gothars

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2015, 02:50:45 PM »

To really stay analogous to the normal weapons though, it seems better to really have three slot sizes, and the slots visually positioned on the sprite (where the decks actually are).
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SafariJohn

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Re: Fighter as a Carrier's weapons
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2015, 02:51:17 PM »

What if instead each carrier has fighter points (maybe hangar space), separate from flight decks.

Fighter points determines how many replacement fighters a carrier can launch. Different types of fighters cost different numbers of points per fighter.

Say a Talon costs 4, a Broadsword costs 5, and a Condor has 100 points. If you had only Talons you'd get 25 replacements, but if you only had Broadswords you'd get 20. If you split it you'd get 12 Talon replacements and 10 Broadsword replacements. Numbers for demonstration only.

Maybe have stat for the most fighter points a wing can use, so you'd have to have two Talon wings to use all 100 fighter points.

This would allow differentiating carriers with the same number of flight decks.


Needs more thinking about, but I'm out of time for the moment.
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