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Re: Friday, May 5, 2017

#121
[Long-time lurker activating communication-device...]

This is my idea on how sensors/scanners might work. (Just writing out my thoughts and trying to explain them. :) )
[Warning: Long post :ghost: ]

Every ship is equipped with a sensor-unit.
This sensor searches for new targets within its range.

The detection-range is determined by 4 things:
(1) The quality of your sensor-unit
(2) The size of the other ship
(3) Its stealth value
(4) Local obstructions (nebula/solar radiation)

Once a new ship is detected, it will appear as 'grey' marker (with the only information being the distance and a rough number about the mass) and an automatic identification request would be send (standard settings).
The other ship would then most likely reply by telling its identification (ship-class + faction) and would send its own request at you, which you would automatically answer if it is not an enemy.

Once you have exchange identification with a ship, if you are allied with one another, you start using the combined sensor-range to keep in contact (and ignore stealth values), as well as use each others sensors to get data on surrounding ships.
So you make a combined sensor-sharing-network and if the other ship was already in such a network you would become part of it and might get a whole bunch of information about the current system.

You can send a specific request at a ship to give further information such as weapon layout or current cargo. But in normal circumstances it would get denied as the other ship would most likely not share its own data for no good reason.
(Reasons could be being a freighter moving through military space [cargo request], or being in a small fleet found by police who want to know if you could become dangerous [weapon layout request].)

If a ship denies identification, it would be marked 'orange'.
Depending on the system you are in this could trigger a police interceptor to move close and scan the target at close range, or could get get it to be shot on sight in a highly military sector or near a pirate home-world. Or it could just, well, be ignored in the more barren systems. :ghost:

The sensor-unit has a second function which is to scan a target. For that you need to move closer, though how close depends on the unit you have. (Police interceptor might have a good scan-range compared to their sensors range while stations will have sensor-arrays that go mostly for sensor-range.)
Scanning allows you to find out the identification of a ship, even if it denied the request. If you scan the target for a longer time you can also get information about ship-details (engine/shield), weapon layout, cargo...
If your sensor/scanner is good enough, you might be able to fully scan a target without even getting into its sensor range and being spotted.


Incidently, sending an identification request at someone (whether it gets accepted or not) will give your position away and mark you also as 'grey' target for the other ship in case it did not found you yet. (If you want to stealth, you would deactivate automatic requests.)


If you want to attack a station in a big system, you could start by deactivating/destroying 'communication relay satellites' with a small strike team to interrupt the sensor-network and then move close with your main force unseen, while the local police/military try to figure out what is going on.
In the more barren systems there might not even be a system wide network. If a station is attacked it would need to send a quick 'messenger fighter' to get help. These could of course be intercepted.

If you want to smuggle some cargo, you have multiple ways of doing so:
You could either invest in good sensors/stealth and keep out of range of everyone in the system you are flying through.
Or you could improve your cargo hold to shield against scan-attempts and bribe the ships, who send you ultimatum-like cargo requests.
You could also hire someone/use another ship to take out the local sensor-array on the next station/satellite and use the now arisen opportunity to get through the system.


Lets say you have an asteroid field with a some miners in it, which is to far away from the next station/satellite to be in sensor-range. If one of the miners gets attacked by a pirate, he would relay that information to the surrounding miners, making it possible for them to get away.
If the miners are from different factions, then only a couple would be aware of the pirates in the vicinity. (Those close enough/with good sensor and those of the same faction as the one being attacked.)
If you are a freelancer miner you could make a deal with the pirates by giving them the location of the surrounding miners (selling them out :twisted: ) in exchange of being spared.

To prevent something like such an attack, the system security could invest in either a sensor-relay-satellite near the asteroid field or make police patrols to find incoming pirate strike groups. They could also position a frigate in the asteroid field as protection (and get protection money from the miners 8-) ).


If you enter a new system, you might want to search for a station or big carrier/battleship since they are (1) easier to find and (2) normally have strong sensors.
And even if they turn out to be neutral towards you, you can try to pay them with money to get into the local sensor-sharing-network and get information about the system.

In summary you would get a ship-settings-submenu about your sensors:
Spoiler:      SHOW
[+ = Standard Setting]

Send ID-Request:
>On (+)
>Off

Reply ID-Request:
>Off
>Allied Only
>Neutral (+)
>Everyone

Sharing-Network
>Off
>Allied Only (+)
>Neutral
>Everyone

Ignore requests from orange ships
>Yes (+)
>No

Cornflakes_91 wrote:i'd be very confused if i didnt have the data my scout is gathering the second it has it :P
Well I design this all in the mind of just having a single ship or a small group. It might need some adjustments when it comes to large scale fleet management. Especially how communication between multiple different systems work. (Seeing less than 1/4 of your assets would indeed be confusing...)

Sending a scout in a system to scan the enemy fleet could go like this:
The scout is equipped with good sensors and scanners as well as having a good stealth value. You would also have a second ship watching from a little further away (out of range of the enemy) relaying the information the scout is gathering back to your fleet.
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Re: Friday, May 5, 2017

#122
Lyyrae wrote:(2) The size of the other ship
soooo.... a small ship with a very big very bright very hot reactor is less visible than a bigger, unpowered, chunk of metal?

if it isnt, which implies that you cant differentiate between a rock and a ship, are all asteroids in range marked the same way until they respond to an identification ping?
if the answer is no theres also no effective signature management by turning off/down your systems.
which would make sneaky ship designs pretty binary with just cloak on/off as signature management.
Lyyrae wrote: Once you have exchange identification with a ship, if you are allied with one another, you start using the combined sensor-range to keep in contact (and ignore stealth values), as well as use each others sensors to get data on surrounding ships.
So you make a combined sensor-sharing-network and if the other ship was already in such a network you would become part of it and might get a whole bunch of information about the current system.
if im allied with them, and share sensor data with them, why didnt i know what ship that is before i contacted it explicitly?

if not, why dont i have to do the same thing with my own ships?

Lyyrae wrote:Depending on the system you are in this could trigger a police interceptor to move close and scan the target at close range
how did i contact that police interceptor if communications range seems to be in the same order of magnitude as missile range?
why didnt the police inty detect that guy himself first?
(or the relay platform you use to contact him)
Lyyrae wrote:It might need some adjustments when it comes to large scale fleet management. Especially how communication between multiple different systems work. (Seeing less than 1/4 of your assets would indeed be confusing...)
maybe keep in-system communication free and easy and basically unlimited and make communications denial the active part in it?
every ship can communicate with every other object in a system (and within some limited interstellar range) but theres jammers which prevent (effective) communications

theres also a thread on communications already in place which would be the better location to continue that part :P
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Re: Friday, May 5, 2017

#124
Cornflakes_91 wrote:a small ship with a very big very bright very hot reactor is less visible than a bigger, unpowered, chunk of metal?
if it isnt, which implies that you cant differentiate between a rock and a ship, are all asteroids in range marked the same way until they respond to an identification ping?
if the answer is no theres also no effective signature management by turning off/down your systems.
You could build your medium sized ship in a way, where the core emits almost no energy waves and the hull of the ship is made of a specific material/shape/technologie which reduces sensor visibility. (Also reduce power core output to improve stealth.)
That way its stealth value would go up and it would be less visible than a generic fighter.

Once you pick a up a signal with sensors, you get very rudimentary information, which would include whether is is a ship or asteroid.
Cornflakes_91 wrote:if im allied with them, and share sensor data with them, why didnt i know what ship that is before i contacted it explicitly?
if not, why dont i have to do the same thing with my own ships?
Well, you did not know it was there and neither did it. You flew into a system without knowing the position of any ship/station so you would need to find someone (preferable someone with good sensors) to get system information.
And yes, everything I wrote would also apply to your own ships/assets. (In retroperspective, this all is a flawed idea... :? )
Cornflakes_91 wrote:how did i contact that police interceptor if communications range seems to be in the same order of magnitude as missile range?
why didnt the police inty detect that guy himself first?
It was a rather specific example where you at the edge of the communication-satellite's sensor-range and see the orange target only yourself - relaying this information the to the police.
Cornflakes_91 wrote:maybe keep in-system communication free and easy and basically unlimited and make communications denial the active part in it?
every ship can communicate with every other object in a system (and within some limited interstellar range) but theres jammers which prevent (effective) communications
Yeah, we should probably use a more simpler system in which we actually know where our assets are (like the one described in the linked communication-thread)... :P
The idea was more though out for playing as a single ship and kinda breaks together when applying to the RTS-features.
[Maybe someone ends up making a mod for the released game using such communication-tech-ideas.]

Cornflakes_91 wrote:theres also a thread on communications already in place which would be the better location to continue that part :P
Perhaps we should move the entire discussion in said thread?
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Re: Friday, May 5, 2017

#127
I think it can stay, as this topic kinda went from 'SHINIES :o ' to 'fighter design' to 'how ships are represented on the HUD' to 'how to recognise friendly/foe' to 'IFF/Sensor' with no clear break-off-point.
As long as this discussion does not continue for like another 2 pages I think it's fine.
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Re: Friday, May 5, 2017

#128
Lyyrae wrote:I think it can stay, as this topic kinda went from 'SHINIES :o ' to 'fighter design' to 'how ships are represented on the HUD' to 'how to recognise friendly/foe' to 'IFF/Sensor' with no clear break-off-point.
As long as this discussion does not continue for like another 2 pages I think it's fine.
i did fork into related threads, the two topmost ones in the suggestions forums.
Post

Re: Friday, May 5, 2017

#129
RE: Flatfingers, Silverware:

to recap: we pretty much only disagree on two points:

detection range addition with active IFF depends on
  • the searching ship - IFF gets detected at some range dependent on the sensor. range doesnt get modified with the identified ship
  • both ships - detection range is defined by the sensor capabilities of the scanning ship and any stealth/emissions on the identified ship
and
aquiring IFF data
  • doesnt make you visible - you can just passively collect broadcasted IFF data without other ships being informed that you are there collecting data
  • makes you visible - requesting IFF data sends an equal set of data, making both ships known to each other at IFF time

beyond those two points both systems behave identical.
(except the points of what kind of data the IFF systems should provide, but thats a less fundamental question)

so, i think that both ships + visible generates the most gameplay because it generates the most choices with all parties
everyone can gain something by thinking about how IFF works and how it interacts with other areas.

freighters in dangerous areas would have a reason to invest in stealthy craft, because the IFF doesnt give away their position by default.

a freighter could decidedly keep its IFF active to be able to get warned if any other craft that are around detect it.
or turn it off to deny itself the intel but also deny the other party the information, maybe deterring them.

a scout ship can decide if it wants to reveal itself but gather a lot more intelligence by gathering IFF responses from ships it has detected, or stay stealthy and itself undetected and walk away with less data.

and so on.
Post

Re: Friday, May 5, 2017

#130
OH! You are arguing to have IFF reading make you visible?
Oh I am all for that, hadn't really thought of that as an option.

Yeah that works in my books.



With the first one.
Why would stealth impact the IFF? IFF is not designed to be sneaky, it's designed to allow for others to find you.

IFF is a loud broadcast, not designed to be made sneaky.
And if you are also getting the other guy made visible, then it makes little sense to make it affected by stealth, as the moment YOU detect them with IFF on, your now visible to them.
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Toba - A Development Dump
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Re: Friday, May 5, 2017

#131
Silverware wrote: With the first one.
Why would stealth impact the IFF? IFF is not designed to be sneaky, it's designed to allow for others to find you.

IFF is a loud broadcast, not designed to be made sneaky.
And if you are also getting the other guy made visible, then it makes little sense to make it affected by stealth, as the moment YOU detect them with IFF on, your now visible to them.
it removes your stealth as soon as you are in the "maybe" section of their scanners.
theres some return, but nothing solid to target on or anything.

the more stealthy, the closer you have to be to be challenged for IFF at all.

aka IFF doesnt broadcast you, but only identifies you when you are already somewhat detected.
Post

Re: Friday, May 5, 2017

#134
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
Silverware wrote: With the first one.
Why would stealth impact the IFF? IFF is not designed to be sneaky, it's designed to allow for others to find you.

IFF is a loud broadcast, not designed to be made sneaky.
And if you are also getting the other guy made visible, then it makes little sense to make it affected by stealth, as the moment YOU detect them with IFF on, your now visible to them.
it removes your stealth as soon as you are in the "maybe" section of their scanners.
theres some return, but nothing solid to target on or anything.

the more stealthy, the closer you have to be to be challenged for IFF at all.

aka IFF doesnt broadcast you, but only identifies you when you are already somewhat detected.
I can get behind that system. So, what information can be gathered while outside of IFF sensor range, and what information becomes available once within it? Or is is possible to spy on your own assets without knowing that they are your own?
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Re: Friday, May 5, 2017

#135
BFett wrote: I can get behind that system. So, what information can be gathered while outside of IFF sensor range, and what information becomes available once within it?
outside? not much.
its the range where the player would use the manual scanner readouts and NPC's react however NPC's react to signatures outside their "locking" sensor range.

the more important point is that the "IFF sensor" range is just the normal sensor range a ship would have to another ship anyway.
a cloaky fighter can get much much closer to something before being detected (and challenged for IFF) than a big chunky freighter with hot engines.
BFett wrote: Or is is possible to spy on your own assets without knowing that they are your own?
what would that give?

maaaybe if you or them are completely jammed and dont have contact to the communications net to tell each other who is who...

hm...

you got me thinking with that actually...

but its mostly rare edge cases instead of something that needs to be there (and would introduce a ton of extra headache)

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