Monday, December 9, 2013
Fixed headlights are shiny but I can't see much of a purpose for them beyond being shiny.JoshParnell wrote:I'll also probably experiment with "headlights" at some point this month, since people have asked several times about that feature and it would be easy with the new rendering pipeline
They could be useful on small ships with great turning rates where the entire ship becomes the searchlight.
Now a Searchlight... that's where things get more interesting. Searchlights search for hard-to-find stuff
(Bet you didn't expect that!)
- Stealthed ships (mostly fighters I'd guess) are hard to get a lock on with "sensors".
If they get caught in a searchlight, all their fancy stealth evaporates.
That can also be used for missiles.
A cheap missile might actually lose sight of a stealthed ship... unless you paint the target with your fighter's headlights.
I could image "extreme stealth" missions like getting sensor info on a defended base where you have to "evade the beams" to sneak in close enough.
(I played the bits off of Microprose's Night Hawk: F-117A Stealth Fighter)
- Mines (the explodey kind)
If they are very hard to find without a special scanner that ships don't carry casually, search lights would have another role.
- Small pockets of precious metal that rarely pop up when working an asteroid with a mining laser.
Hard to detect but if you have a good working light...
- Different colours of light highlight different ore areas on an asteroid, letting you target distinct ores while accepting more loss on others.
The red light shows you X, the green light Y.
Fire up both and you get yellow light, which shows you Z.
This way you can use "weapons" (searchlights mounted in hardpoints) to enhance the mining mini game... without an additional interface.
- Targeting things becomes harder when someone shines a MW-ranged searchlicht in your face.
Damn you, lens flare!
- Optically tracking missile may be "stunned" when illuminated from the front.
- Any kind of construction work is done faster if the ship / wreck is being illuminated by 1 or 2 external lights.
Yeh, that's pretty gamey but who knows...
- Painting targets / terminally guided munitions.
Your behind-the-lines missile frigate launches a swarm of FF missiles, aimed "to whom it may concern".
Once the missiles get close enough to "see", you in your small and agile fighter highlight interesting targets for them without having to do a lot of target switching and button punching.
- Lighting up a target confers an aiming bonus, reducing the spread of a long range gun below it's normal value.
That's an abstract implementation of having a forward observer.
As a result, lights may start to play a role in the energy distribution because you'd need a pretty bright light for a distant observer to get the maximum benefit.
(I'm talking about gameplay here - too much actual light is bad for the visuals =)
- The "detecting stealthed ships" from above could also work like...
a stealthy ship increases the spread of weapons that shoot at it.
Illuminating it takes away this advantage.