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Re: [Josh] Friday, March 9, 2018

#106
Just a guess but there might not be light or large mining ships... but ships with components slots for mining equipment like a mining laser and if there will be an editor to "build" ships then of cause you could try to give it the shape of what you think a mining ship should look like.

In terms of ships classes I would think of not more than 5 - 6 classes, fighter, captital, corvets, destroyer, cruiser and all the "special" ship could fall in one of those classes with more or less slots for equipments...
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Re: [Josh] Friday, March 9, 2018

#108
kostuek wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:22 am
Is there a need for "classes" at all? Just make the possible equipment dependent on the ship's size and tweak the random generator a little. Then you can have ships at any sizes with the emphasis for "fighting" or "mining" or even some mixed "classes".
That's precisely why I said it was likely to change throughout development. "Classes" are more likely to affect appearance than anything else. :P You want to have a fleet that looks good in this case, because the appearance is disconnected from utility a lot more than in many other games. We can afford to toy with the appearance because it won't have much effect on gameplay. Light miners could easily be a thing, but they would just be ships with mining gear. Refitting a ship could perhaps change its appearance in some way. I'll have to ask Lindsey about it and see what she thinks, though.
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Re: [Josh] Friday, March 9, 2018

#109
It might be useful to distinguish between ship classes and ship roles.

Classes have value for decreasing the amount of work the developers have to do. By specifying a nice number (10 or so? no more than 20?) of basic classes, where "class" is defined as a combination of a Hull Size (Tiny, Small, Large, Huge, Enormous) and a Hull Configuration (Cylinder, Wedge, Box, Sphere, Irregular, etc.), players get a rich set of Hull classes without the developers having to implement a freeform ship construction system.

Roles, OTOH, are more like what Hyperion was describing -- more a ship's function than its form, although it's reasonable to assume here that form follows function. To his list, I'd suggest:

  • Small luxury yacht
  • Large passenger liner
  • Pirate barge ("Gorram reavers!")

The value of ship roles, in which 1-3 ship classes are decorated in a visually (and functionally) distinctive way, is mostly for the players. To be able to see a ship -- maybe a representation if it's a long ways off -- and immediately recognize its role from its appearance (and, over time, its behavior) would help players understand the nature of the system they're in (safe? commerce-oriented? militarized?), and thus what kinds of fun they're likely to experience there.

So I favor discussion of both ship classes and ship roles.
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Re: [Josh] Friday, March 9, 2018

#110
Ultimately, I too am against the notion of defined ship classes, the idea that we should limit ourselves to how modern navies (civilian and military) are organized is quite silly. In the longer term, I'd love to see completely unique classes, evolving naturally to fill the various niches that arise. However, in focusing on getting content out the door for 1.0, A broadly defined set of classes, or design families sounds more effective. Yes, these classes should be flexible, and there shouldn't be any limitations to prevent you from trying to use your fighter as a passenger liner or putting a research module on it, but given that the class isn't really designed for those functions, your research fighter won't be making too many breakthroughs, and your 1-person-at-a-time passenger liner probably wont be very profitable, but have at it.

Classes, are in my opinion as much about communicating ship roles to the AI so that it can understand how to use them as they are about communicating function and aesthetics to the player.

One thing that I've been wondering about is the modularity of the AI, and how a ship's equipment affects the NPC's decision making process. Does adding a mining laser make an otherwise uninterested NPC more likely to seek out mining opportunities?
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Re: [Josh] Friday, March 9, 2018

#112
SeymourTheLlama wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:04 pm
your 1-person-at-a-time passenger liner probably wont be very profitable
Just you wait, my hi-speed taxi service for the rich and famous will rule this galaxy.
I can't wait to see the livestreams! :D :thumbup:
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Challenging your assumptions is good for your health, good for your business, and good for your future. Stay skeptical but never undervalue the importance of a new and unfamiliar perspective.
Imagination Fertilizer
Beauty may not save the world, but it's the only thing that can
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Re: [Josh] Friday, March 9, 2018

#113
kostuek wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:22 am
Is there a need for "classes" at all? Just make the possible equipment dependent on the ship's size and tweak the random generator a little. Then you can have ships at any sizes with the emphasis for "fighting" or "mining" or even some mixed "classes".
In the interests of delivery time, ship classes likely make sense. Better to have something in the next 12 months than perfection in 12 years.

For more long term flexibility, other approaches may have better characteristics. For example, have just one ship class, then compose in the basic shape and all the desired behaviours, with constraints based on size, shape and even the other functions. The problem with this approach is that it takes a lot of brain power and lots and lots of iterations to get to a similar level of functionality as predefined classes.

Taken to an extreme, this structure could allow a player to land on a big asteroid, tunnel into it and add engines, sensors, cabins, weapons, and whatever. There you go, a huge capital ship with a ‘free’ hull.
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Re: [Josh] Friday, March 9, 2018

#114
if ship classification is introduced into the game then ships should be classified as:

(you must read the entire thread before you come to a conclusion as this would be a very important part of the game.)

fighter - smallest vessel, fastest, versatile, and weakest without shields or armor. (group size determined by player.)

bomber - can carry weapons meant to heavily damage vessels classified as corvettes or larger when used in squadrons (6) or wings (3) (group size determined by player.)

gunship - an offensive vessel that is fairly strong especially with armor and shields carries several powerful weapons but is easily defeated by larger ships that have strong point defense weapons.

escort - a defensive vessel used primarily to protect the players interests.

(roles past this point can harbor mine clearing technology)

corvette - an offensive/defensive vessel that is smaller than a frigate but is fast and maneuverable and has limited offensive capabilities and is recommended to be used in fleets and should be used for exploration/recon/surveillance or patrol.

ferry - smallest cargo ship but also the fastest.

minelayer- lays mines that destroy any vessel whose imf codes/transponder are part of a hostile faction (pirates, factions you are at war with). this vessel is essential for those who need to protect their territory. mines are quite material intensive to produce due to their quantities.

frigate - the most common ship used individually or in fleets for defensive or offensive roles can be used for a very large number of purposes making it an essential part of your fleet.

supply ship - equal balance of speed, size, and cargo hold size.

destroyer - similar to a frigate but with much more offensive/defensive capabilities as well as being used for many roles but should primarily be used for fleet assaults, patrol, exploration, and blockades.
freighter - slowest cargo ship, large and, mass cargo.

escort carrier - a ship with this class/role is dedicated to protecting and escorting ships of interest and has a complement of fighters to fill its role has a small amount of point defense to protect itself against gunships or smaller this ship is fairly large but is no bigger than a light cruiser.

light cruiser - this ship is an entry level combat fleet ship that has a strong complement of weapons and is used primarily for offense but is mainly cover ships that have a higher role/class than it. this ship can be used for defense (and will excel in this role due to its complement of weapons) but is better used in fleet offensives. a ship with this role/class can be used to complement stations. A ship of this class can be outfitted with hangars and can carry a complement of several dozen fighters, bombers and gunships.

cruiser (also known as medium cruiser) - this is a ship that has very strong offensive and defensive capabilities and is used in fleets for offensive purposes and is used to complement battleships, dreadnoughts, titans or if not in a fleet complements stations. can be made a flagship in fleets..

heavy cruiser - a bulky ship that has high hull integrity and strength especially with shields and armor. this class/role is the fifth strongest capital ship and is used for overwhelming offensives due to being more numerous than the 3 largest/highest capital ship roles. it can be used for many other roles just like the other classes/roles. can be made a flagship in fleets.

(roles past this point can withstand small enough minefields but will take serious damage. a minefield of sufficient size that contains powerful mines can destroy most vessels with several mine impacts)

battlecruiser - fourth highest/largest role and is powerful enough to attack stations, colonies, and create formidable blockades. can withstand small minefields if the only choice is to run right through one it is not recommended to go directly through small minefields with any ship with a role this smaller/lower than this. running this class through a small enough minefield should be a last resort if the mines are difficult to clear due to your current equipment and technology. can be made a flagship in fleets.

battleship - third highest/largest role which contains at least a hundred fighters, bombers, and gunships. these ship carry large numbers small, medium, and large weapons and carries enough point defense that several wings of bombers and gunships are needed to impact this ship strongly. can be used as the flagship of a fleet.

dreadnought - second highest/largest role and carries at least 200 vessels if it carries a carrier denotation. this ship can decimate fleets of ships and is used and built by very powerful factions and can be used a flagship in fleets. this ship is the second most uncommon role in fleets due to requiring a lot resources and crew to build and use. carries a massive amount of weapons.

titan highest/largest role and carries several hundred vessels or up to 1000+ if used as a dedicated carrier. carries a massive amount of weapons and requires the player/AI to have allies if they don't have sufficient power and resource to destroy it. can be made a main flagship. this is the least common ship in the game and requires many resources and a lot of time to build.

station/starbase - with the exception of planets and stars this is the largest object in the game and can be used for hangars, weapons, and markets. requires a large fleet offensive to disable or destroy (this choice is preferable as the opposing party may not be able to adapt it to all its needs.)

a ship that is a role/class of a light cruiser that is supposed to take the role of a carrier can be classified as:
T.N.C majestic galaxy class destroyer (20 (carrier)

20 indicates its vessel capacity and carrier in parentheses denotes that it carries fighters, bombers, gunships unless it is and escort carrier(carries only fighters).

while escort carriers are vessels that have hangars they should only carry fighters because after all it is an escort carrier.

these classifications are not solely indicative of ship size and are merely to describe a ships role in the players or A.Is fleet. these are primarily to give the player a clear sense of a ships role.

any of these ships can be used for mining but its best to have a ship that has at least the classification of corvette to get needed results.
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Re: [Josh] Friday, March 9, 2018

#115
Hyperion wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:58 pm
One thing that I've been wondering about is the modularity of the AI, and how a ship's equipment affects the NPC's decision making process. Does adding a mining laser make an otherwise uninterested NPC more likely to seek out mining opportunities?
I think, ideally, the NPC would only add a mining laser if it was already interested in seeking out mining opportunities. :P
jonathanredden wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:21 pm
-- giant in-depth post --
This all seems very well thought-out. :D If I recall correctly, the ship "classes" Josh implemented in the LTP were as follows (in order):
  1. Fighter
  2. Bomber
  3. Corvette
  4. Destroyer
  5. Frigate

So that follows along fairly closely to what you were already envisioning. A little less detail, perhaps, and the LT Prototype didn't have true capital ships.


On a slightly different topic, Josh has also stated there would be hardpoint restrictions, so that you couldn't take capital ship weapons and plop them down in a fighter, so there's that. The restrictions would mostly be "this item simply doesn't fit here". As such, it would make sense that there could be somewhat-defined "classes" of hulls with different hardpoint configurations - which is mostly what the classes meant in LTP and the dev video LT. One small hull might have more weapon slots, another might have slots for mining equipment, etc. Capital ships tended to be more "open and configurable", from what we saw - you could have a factory on board your battleship for creating new missiles from your cargo of materials, letting you create new missiles on the fly.


Final important note: Josh has said that there will not be minefields in vanilla LT. I'm sure they could be modded in, though. :)
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Re: [Josh] Friday, March 9, 2018

#117
jonathanredden wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:37 am
if ship classes are implemented they should be indicative of ship role and have no indication of a ships size and in the order of the list i created while some roles like gunship, ferry, minelayer, and supply ship can be left out

Why?

I don't automatically disagree; I'm just curious why you think Ship Class shouldn't communicate anything about relative size.
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Re: [Josh] Friday, March 9, 2018

#118
jonathanredden wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:37 am
if ship classes are implemented they should be indicative of ship role and have no indication of a ships size and in the order of the list i created while some roles like gunship, ferry, minelayer, and supply ship can be left out
Isn't the entire point of a size class to describe size?
Programatically speaking, it's much easier to ascertain a size class from an arbitrary ship than a role. Since LT ships are supposed to be form over function, it's also easier to design a ship based on a size class than based on its intended role. That's not to say that roles shouldn't have some bearing on ship design (e.g. hardpoint distribution, internal volume), but locking ships into a role is how you lose emergent opportunities like the cruiser-hull mining ships popular in EVE before the designated mining barges. The cruisers were effective not because they were "miners" but because their hardpoints, power supplies, and other properties were appropriate for the task at hand.
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Re: [Josh] Friday, March 9, 2018

#120
jonathanredden wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:37 am
if ship classes are implemented they should be indicative of ship role and have no indication of a ships size
Is this realistic? When you look at real world naval classifications, frigates tend to be smaller than destroyers, which tend to be smaller than cruisers. In fact, ship classes have been explicitly defined on a tonnage basis in the past (cruisers in the Washington Naval Treaty, for example).

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