This is a cut and paste of what tzlaine wrote as the framework of discussion. We'll be using any good ideas from here to work into the other discussion, and hopefully form the 0.4 document.
tzlaine wrote:How far can units see?
How far do weapons reach?
How does stealth work?
To make the discussion more concrete, let's assume that all star systems in the game are 100AU across (or 50 AU radius from the star). It's a nice round number, and it's approximately how far out Pluto reaches in our own system. We might change this scale later, or not use AUs in the actual game, but for our purposes, let's use this convention. Note that this has the nice property that 1AU is equivalent to 1% of the system's width.
Here is a list of specific questions we need to answer, though it may not be all of them. "Range" below needs to be two numbers: the minimum-tech-level value and the maximum-tech-level value, so we can also discuss how the values evolve over time to some degree. Important: for the first part of the discussion, let's assume the tech level is exactly in the middle. In other words, let's determine the relative ranges of everything first, assuming a mid-game scenario. At the end we can determine how the ranges should scale over the range of tech levels.
What is the basic detection range of ships?
Does ship size impact detection ability, and if so, how do the sizes compare?
What is the basic detection range of fighters?
Does stealth merely modify the above ranges, or do something else?
Do we want a continuous value for stealth on ships (0%-100%)?
If so, how does a ship's stealth value affect its visibility? Does it just extend reduce the range at which it can be detected, or do something else?
What is the basic range of SR?
What is the basic range of LR?
What is the basic range of Fighters?
Bonus questions, to be answered after the above:
Do we want to have special detection equipment for ships? If so, how should it work?
Do we want to have special stealth equipment for ships? If so, how should it work?
What (besides possible special stealth equipment) affects a ship's stealth?
How do the various ranges change during the progression through the tech levels?