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Re: concealed weapons

#31
0111narwhalz wrote:To make concealment worth it, we need multiple damage types.
Again, the utility of this system hinges on the ability of ships to change their damage types between the scan and the first shot.

While I agree that multiple damage types are necessary for LT to have interesting combat and research trees, I don't agree with ships being able to change weapon systems on the fly (unless they are docked at a station or carrier). I do however agree that ammo types should be able to be swapped out on a moments notice to better adapt to various situations. I also like the idea of a simple bar system which quickly displays the defense types a ship has. Perhaps this system could be an expanded version of the current sensor game mechanics where ships with different strengths of shield generators have different energy signatures or energy output signatures at a specific frequency.
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Re: concealed weapons

#32
Maybe the notion of "concealment" goes away -- or gets more interesting? -- if we rethought the notion of hardpoints as only for mounting weapons.

I don't know about going to a single generic "slot" model where you can mount any kind of thing into any slot. It probably makes some sense to distinguish between power, shield/armor, and other kinds of systems, for example.

But stopping at "other" could be pretty interesting. Let's say you see a ship of a certain class with, say, five general hardpoints (beyond those specifically available for power and shields/armor). Your passive scan shows you that this ship sports five general hardpoints, but you have no way of knowing what's mounted in them. Everything looks like a gun, but it might be five guns, or five missile launchers, or five mining drone pods, or five cargo bays, or four sensor rigs and an extra computer rack for the really powerful scanning capability a small, nimble scout ship might want to have. Or maybe it's two guns, one sensor rig, one computer rack, and a booster engine for a small exploration ship.

The point is that even though you can see how many hardpoints a ship has -- they aren't concealed -- you can't know what's mounted in them except by scanning that ship. This delivers the value of concealment, and of sensors, and of sensor-based gameplay prior to the onset of hostilities, without needing to resort to special-case code to hide hardpoints somehow.

Would this way of looking at hardpoints make the whole "sensor scan" thing tolerable as a feature Josh might include, even for those who don't think they'd be interested in using it themselves?

Re: concealed weapons

#33
To make concealed weapons work, there needs the be a general trade-of between weapons and other aspects of the ship.
True, any thoughtful observer (AI or player) would expect a ship wich can have like 8 hardpoints, not to fill them all up. (thus implying concealed hardpoints anyway)

Unless: NOT filling up hardpoints gives the ship other advantages.
This could be a general tradeoff between:

weight / total mass of the ship:
more mass due to weapons means less space for cargo, other modules and less acceleration speed.

power:
more energy drawn by weapons means less power for shields, scanners or engines (in the case of electric ion-engines for example)

space:
hardpoints in general are structures that also use up space inside the hull to support and run them, not placing a hardpoint means more space for other hull
structures.

mainframe:
any system needs to be run by the central computer and communicate over the central data-bus. And especially weapons need a lot of it for targeting. Not running them will free up capacity for sensors/scanners for example.

When there is a tradeof, then there is also a reason to do as such. (eg, not filling hard points, or hiding to have them secretly filled)

To make this visible to the player:
there should be a ship information on the HUD such as: "frigate class ship, 2 / 10 hardpoints detected."
So the player can guess if the ship is hiding weapons, or (in the case of a merchant) actually just needs the space for more cargo modules.

Strategies for the player:
-fully equipped visible hardpoints: battle setup
-using only 1/10 hardpoints but full cargo: trading setup
-using no hardpoints and no cargo: speed setup, to deliver small packages or explore for example.
-only concealed weapons: pirating setup, surprise attacks OR: playing bait for pirates, they think one is defenseless, so they see an easy target.
otherwise the pirates might avoid a fully armed ship...

Re: concealed weapons

#34
Damocles wrote: space:
hardpoints in general are structures that also use up space inside the hull to support and run them, not placing a hardpoint means more space for other hull
structures.
thats something for the ship design phase, not ship equip phase.

i totally dont want the hull strength or cargo capacity of my ship change because i mounted a missile on an external hardpoint :P

Re: concealed weapons

#35
Why not? That would make the ship more static in terms of its properties.
The player would have to build a completely new ship to change those properties then.

But what if you are attached to that specific ship, and want it to perform better in a specific situation?
For example you want it in one case to be more battle ready, in the other case you just want it to be fast, etc...

I dont like when the game forces the player to have dozens of ships (and thus no attachment to them), and rather have a few that can be upgraded and altered.

Its a general balancing question: should there be shiptype wich are in any property superior than the "older" models,
or should every model have its own unique strength.
How much should be configurable, and how much should a ship have defined properties?

Re: concealed weapons

#36
because it would completely devalue ship classes.
if i can mold any ship to do anything just by reallocating arbitary volume points after construction i dont need more than one ship class.

why build dedicated freighters if i can just rip out the weaponry from my battleships and use the volume for cargo instead?


if you want to change your cargo space connect a cargo module to a hardpoint you dont need at the time, which costs more ship resources and money than building a dedicated hauler.
want a fast ship? rip out everything but thrusters and the reactors to drive them, which again costs more ship resources than building a ship thats only 1 reactor and 1 thruster hardpoint in the first place.
want a resilient ship? rip out the weapon power gen, replace it with a shield generator and hope that your main reactor can drive that.

ships that are just a blob of undifferentiated points to do anything dont make interesting decisions, or generate any interesting decisions when building/buying ships.

Re: concealed weapons

#37
My suggestion did not imply, that a ship can be altered beyond its class and type limits.
If a ship has a maximum of 10 hardpoints, the player can only assign 10 to it. Another shipclass can have like 20,
or 10 for larger weapon types.
A shiptype itslelf can have certain boni, that others in the same class do not have, or can only add with a tradeoff somewhere else.

Re: concealed weapons

#38
Damocles wrote:My suggestion did not imply, that a ship can be altered beyond its class and type limits.
what type limits?
that single dimensional number?

instead of diversified (size differentiated) weapon hardpoints, reactor hardpoints, thruster hardpoints and so on?

how would a single number create different ship classes?
Damocles wrote: A shiptype itslelf can have certain boni, that others in the same class do not have, or can only add with a tradeoff somewhere else.
soooo... instead of a hardpoint system that gears ships towards certain tasks replace them with a single size number and then introduce the characteristics in a roundabout way again?

seems not that interesting.

Re: concealed weapons

#40
Damocles wrote:you are making strawman arguments.
Where did I state that a ship should have a single dimensional number?

A limit is something that states an upper bound. But the assignable modifications can be somewhere within that limit.
sooo... it is a single dimensional number?
the maximum amount of assignable "hardpoints"
because thats the thing that defines the hull

(how is that going to work with actually placing guns on the hull and with size spreads of (200+)³ is a mystery to me as well)

Re: concealed weapons

#41
To visualize my argument, here a real-world example: Image This fighter-jet has a limited number of hardpoints, and can be configured depending on the situation.
-missiles
-extra fuel
-bombs
-intelligence equipment
-anti missile defense
-anti tank gun (maybe not on this one)

It will be not be fully equipped if the situations does not call for it (less extra weight)

Re: concealed weapons

#42
Damocles wrote:To visualize my argument, here a real-world example: Image This fighter-jet has a limited number of hardpoints, and can be configured depending on the situation.
-missiles
-extra fuel
-intelligence equipment
-anti missile defense

It will be not be fully equipped if the situations does not call for it (less extra weight)

can you mount extra thrusters on them?
extra armor?
cargo spaces?
does it matter for its hull strength if theres a missile mounted on there or not?
can i replace all those hardpoints and its main engines for an extra oversized engine?

cause thats what its doing by just defining a ship by the amount of its hardpoints :P

to ask it differently: what keeps me from just ripping out the guns from my battleship and use it as a freighter thats equally suited for hauling as a special purpose built freighter?

Re: concealed weapons

#43
Again, I nowhere defined a ship JUST by its hardpoints..

And for a fighter jet:
Each model has a specific range of puposes.
Some where designed to have a lot of modability to adjust for the tactical situation.

And some (like spy-planes or cloaked bombers) have a very narrow range of configurations.

Also: the number of attached missiles has a direct impact on the speed, range and manuverability of a jet.
As it introduces drag, and additional weight. -> the jet might only be able to launch from the ground and not a carrier, or be too slow to evade an
air superiority fighter.

The engines will likely not be upgraded, but the amount of extra fuel (attached to a hardpoint..) and the use of an afterburner are
chosen per tactical situation.

Re: concealed weapons

#44
Damocles wrote:Again, I nowhere defined a ship JUST by its hardpoints..

And for a fighter jet:
Each model has a specific range of puposes.
Some where designed to have a lot of modability to adjust for the tactical situation.

And some (like spy-planes or cloaked bombers) have a very narrow range of configurations.

Also: the number of attached missiles has a direct impact on the speed, range and manuverability of a jet.
As it introduces drag, and additional weight. -> the jet might only be able to launch from the ground and not a carrier, or be too slow to evade an
air superiority fighter.

The engines will likely not be upgraded, but the amount of extra fuel (attached to a hardpoint..) and the use of an afterburner are
chosen per tactical situation.
sooo.... exactly what i said and what was implied anyway (with mass and power limits)
if you want to change a stat, attach a module to do it :P
plus the secondary effects form power and mass limits

want a ship with lots of fuel capacity, get a ship with a large tank which is cheap ship resource wise or attach a fuel tank on the outside for more cost than the integrated stuff.

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