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Re: damage types and interactions

special effects like that eating away is covered in the
Effects part of the
<effecf, magnitude, cause>

if you get battered down by a couple of dinky fighters then you havent equipped approbiate weapons, regardless of weapon type.

Your anti fighter guns should be fast, if they're not, you made a mistake before you even considered the weapon type.

And as i already said, with only a few types in every area of space you'd just have to consider "they are good against my shields", which you would have nevertheless if they specialise in anti shield weapons.

If you dont care it doesnt make much of a difference to your system
"Those weapons are good against my shield, those not"
The base considerations are the same as with your variant.

With only 3 types available its as likely to be at a disadvantage as to be at an advantage.

With my system its just that not everything is set in stone.

Thinking, discovering, change.
That are things that make a game interesting over longer terms.

preventing the player from growing tok comfortable in his position.
As players who dont fear anything are bored players.

without a dynamic damage type system there would be prepared for everything

With a dynamic system there would always be some weakness you cannot be prepared for.

Something to fear, some new challenge

Re: damage types and interactions

msh's system is essentially cornflakes's system except that instead of a continuum of shield types, which could be developed in any direction in response to any stimulus, you've now just got a two-layered shield system (shield+hull) with set-in-stone specialty.

Set-in-stone specialties are subject to rock-paper-scissors dynamics, which while suitable in some games, doesn't seem to be in the spirit of this one. Why not have a continuum? Is it really that hard to understand?

Another point is that rock-paper-scissors essentially *forces* discrete choices on the player, while a continuum does not necessarily. The continuum method can be min-maxed or largely ignored, depending on how the *player* wants to play - and isn't that half the point of LT? Let the player decide?

EDIT: In fact, msh, your system is less effective than rock-paper-scissors, because the player has no choice in shield and hull - there exists only rock-paper-scissors in weaponry. This is an extremely simplistic mechanism since there is no longer a long-term meta-level interaction between the attacker and defender (or if there is, it's pretty stunted imo).

Re: damage types and interactions

^That's very kind of you~

But this is your idea. I think it would be worth writing a 'guide', as if in a manual, to explain the mechanism. e.g. "When choosing your weapon and shield types, you as a pilot will have to make some decisions regarding how you outfit your ship, since you will be facing combat as you live your career in the LT universe. This means understanding how weapons and shields [and potentially subsystems, we don't know too much about that, right?] interact. Here is a brief description: "

According to the adage "the best way to learn is to teach', if you could formulate such a document, inconsistencies or kinks in the problem could get ironed out.

Personally I'm not sure how I feel about the affinity thing, it seems like an extra layer of needless complication that could be absorbed into the "type" component without too much loss of complexity.

Re: damage types and interactions

Well, the affinity stuff is part of the type component, how types interact with each other.

without affinity its just that shields block good against the type they are designed to block, and bad against everything else

So without affinities we'd need multiple type shields, that they dont get too specialised, only useful in a very specific usecase.

With affinities shields would need only one type, and would have their interactions defined by the affinities between types.

With affinities and multiple types it would get really messy.
As how to handle types that are not explicitly covered by your shields?
Use the most advantageous for you?
Use an average affinity value of all types?
Choose one at random?
i dunno.

I'm torn between affinities and multi-type shields.
As both have their own advantages and drawbacks.

Multi type is easy to gasp, but relatively static and shields are out of principle useless against things you dont know.

Affinities are harder to gasp, but very dynamic and rewarding, and your shields are not useless per default.

I guess i'd favour affinities and leave defences to single type

Re: damage types and interactions

Right, I'd thought that affinities would exist in addition to shield types i.e. that they would essentially provide a perturbation around a 'pure type'.

I do like your 'only affinities' idea - so let me get this straight:

I have a shield. Its *type*, like all shields, is generic, but it has a single affinity on it which gives it a better defence against lasers. Is this right? I'm getting confused between this and what you said earlier as e.g. "plasma vs laser".

Re: damage types and interactions

No, the shield just has a type.

The affinity is how a type relates to another type.

So theres an affinity value between any and all types.

Plasma has for example +50% affinity towards laser.

so a plasma cannon does +50% damage vs a laser type shield.
And vice versa.
Laser vs plasma shield -> +50% damage.

The affinity is dependent on the type the shield or weapon has, but is independent from the actual equipment.
Eg any plasma cannon does +50% damage vs laser shields

(Affinities can also have negative values, which reduce damage accordingly)

An affinity of 0% means that a weapon does its base damage against a shield, 0% damage bonus.

Re: damage types and interactions

Oh right, so an affinity is just a modifier that defines the type dynamics. Like a proportionality constant between damage input and damage received, depending on the input and receiver type.

Ok ok that makes sense. That's... Really simple too.

Research could perhaps open the door to multiple affinities? So for example base plasma could have 50% affinity to laser but tier one could make it 45% to laser, 6% to projectile?

Re: damage types and interactions

Its already multiple affinities per default.

Every type has an affinity with any other type that exists or will exist.

So when you develop a new type already has an affinity towards all other types that were around before.

Else travelling around gives you nothing to explore, as with your suggestion any unknown type would just have 0% affinity and would do 100% damage, but with my system any and all new types can be a shift in the whole universe, as it could be a screw over for everyone out there (how unlikely that ever would be)

Re: damage types and interactions

Right. I was about to suggest that research into a newly discovered type could 'manufacture' affinities, but since affinity is symmetric that would mean it would implicitly affect every other type's affinity definition.

But with this system as you describe, doesn't that put an effective cap on the numbers of types that could exist? Shouldn't there be potentially infinitely many types (or at least, some large number of types)? Does that mean each type has potentially infinite affinities? I understand that these affinities should remain hidden to the player until the relevant types are discovered, but it seems awfully deterministic?

Sorry if I'm slow with this~

Re: damage types and interactions

The affinity doesnt have to be calculated until you actually encounter the type.

In theory the affinity value doesnt even have to be stored.

Every type has a seed value which you put into an algorithm with another types seed and what pops out of the algorithm is your affinity.

This value would only have to be stored as short as its needed and just be recalculated when needed.

So you dont waste storage space on storing affinities.

And as long as you dont know the type you encounter and as such its seed you cannot calculate the affinity.

Its not even hidden, its unknown

Re: damage types and interactions

That works for me. Now just tell me research fits into there somewhere! Is there a way I could give my plasma weapons a different 'affinity profile' from my opponent's plasma weapons?

Speaking of profiles, a graphical presentation of affinity for a given weapon or shield could yield at-a-glance info on its performance against known types, especially if types have non-zero affinities across the known spectrum- but that's another matter.

Edit - the more I think about that, the more I like it. Having a generally finite affinity across the spectrum of types could avoid being overly complicated if it's presented in such a form, while strongly maintaining LT's sense of continuum.

Edit 2 - i remember Josh's little fake graph on the bottom right of the screen a few updates ago. I think that would make an excellent affinity profile display for say, your primary weapon

Re: damage types and interactions

Well, research comes in when developing new types.

All weapons of the same type have the same affinity graph.

So if you and your opponent both use weapons of type "plasma" you both have the same affinities.

You could develop a new type thats closely related to plasma, "fusion plasma" or something else, but an established type cannot be changed anymore.

Well... a finite amount of something spread over infinite parts is zero per part.

The average over all possible affinities could and should be zero, that way no type is inherently better than another.

A type might be better in a limited spectrum over another, but over the whole it should even out.

A graph on the HUD would not be very useful i think... as you cant change it on the go...
It would just be a static graph.
Not much sense in cluttering your HUD with an image ;)

And your talking about spectrum gives me an idea:

A weapons type is a spectral graph.

Every type is a more or less random graph in a form like the one showed in the sensor interface mk2.

And the affinity is in short how much those graphs match.

0% affinity is when the average deviation between the graphs is zero, which is the case between 2 completely random spectra or when the graphs perfectly match.

Positive affinity is when both graphs are the same but one of them is higher in its amplitude, same graph, higher amplitude -> positive affinity.

Negative affinity is when the average deviation is negative.
Same graph, lower amplitude -> negative affinity.

When we limit the total amount of spectrum we prevent the theorethic "all at max" type from appearing

This makes affinities asymmetric, though.

So a plasma weapon vs a laser shield would have +50% affinity, but a laser weapon vs a plasma shield would have -50% affinity.

It makes it a little bit more complicated, but very logical at the same time.
Plasma is good against laser, under all circumstances.

this also makes out of the infinitely connected graph of independent types a big coherent whole which follows strict, reproducable rules

the spectral approach also makes it more understandable for research, as you know what you have to do to build a counter to the enemies tech

Before you claim that this is the same as your RGB idea i say:
Yes, in a sense, but my system calculates the relative affinity differently and has a muuuuuuch higher variability.

With 24 bit rgb you have 256*256*256=256^3 possibilities.

With for example 256 spectral lines with 256 possible states you have 256^256 possibilities, which is sliightly more ;)

Re: damage types and interactions

Cornflakes_91 wrote:You could weight the types of course.

For example that the types that kinetic weapons have are tendentially more effective against the types armor has and such things

InfelixTurnus wrote:chemical/reaction based ones like ion beams could be more or less damaging depending on the type of ion fired and the coating on the ship hull.
If your beam weapon is dependent on secondary, chemical reactions to do damage you are not accelerating the beam enough.

Theres a reason why chemical weapons are only effective against living enemies (in RL)

A human is screaming in pain and lies on the ground if you acid-burn a patch on his skin.
Or dies due to suffocation/haemmoraghing if you damage his lungs.

Tanks dont feel pain nor die if you etch a few holes into its air intake or flake off a milimeter of its armor.
Chemical weapons are completely useless against mechanised targets.
Especially in space where any reagent would evaporate away into the vacuum.
If enough reagent would even reach the armor to do something.

Its very likely that it would be more effective to just use the chemicals to make explosives
I was under the understanding that ion cannons worked by highly accelerating charged particles (i.e. ions) at the target, and that when they contacted the energy transfer would disrupt molecular/atomic structure because they, as high energy particles, can break chemical/molecular bonds, which is to say attack them chemically on an atomic/molecular level as opposed to subatomic one. There's no difference between your supposed 'chemical reaction' where something slowly eats away at a substance and this other than the speed at which the reaction occurs, because in one energy is supplied quickly and in the other energy isn't as quickly supplied. It's still a chemical attack, even if that doesn't fit your preconceived notion of a slow-acting poison-gas-cloud chemical attack.

Re: damage types and interactions

Well, that maybe has a small effect, yes.

  1. you cant keep charged particles together, they'd repel each other and would disperse into a gentle breeze pretty fast
  2. the kinetic/thermal damage is already high enough that you dont need any chemical reactions.
    Chemical reactions, regardless of energy level, are still slower than a kinetic impact with the same energy
  3. you dont need much material flow because the kinetic/thermal energy transfer is higher/more material efficient if you accelerate fewer matter to higher speeds
  4. the material flow in a particle beam is pretty low, as it is hard enough to accelerate low amounts of matter, so you wouldnt have much reagent available at the first place
  5. the electrical damage caused by the big amount of charged particles would also likely bs higher than the chemical effect (somewhere between EMP and electrowelding)

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