Stealth

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

Moderators: Oberlus, Oberlus

Post Reply
Message
Author
kte608
Space Krill
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:30 pm

Stealth

#1 Post by kte608 » Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:47 pm

I have a couple of ideas on stealth ships and their uses.

Stealth ships could be good for the following:
* Enabling/Enhancing planetary espionage and sabotage.
* Spotters for ships with long range weapons
* Keeping track of an enemy's activities system-wide
* Surgical strikes.

Imagine the following:

A ship enters an enemy system. The ship appears at the star-lane regardless of stealth. If there is no combat for a specified number of turns the 'attacker' has the option of eluding the defender and staying in the system for a turn.
During this turn planetary espionage and sabotage are enhanced/enabled.

If there is a defending ship in the system which can detect the elusive ship at any range then on the next turn the game of cat and mouse repeats (this allows speed to be a substitute (albeit poor) for stealth). If the elusive ship cannot be detected at any range then there is a probability that it will be detected. If the elusive ship is detected then the battle will commence with the stealth ship within detection range of a defending ship. This should give the defender the chance of finding elusive ships without the need to hunt the system every turn.

If the elusive ship is not detected the attacker (commander of the stealth ship) still has the option of joining battle. This allows a buildup of stealth ships in a system to perform a surgical strike (say against a shipyard) and then melt back into the darkness.

If an attacking fleet arrives the attacker should be able to place elusive ships that were already in the system anywhere on the battle map as spotters. This allows the attacker's long range weapons to be immediately effective.

It is important that stealth ships appear when they first enter a system. This gives the defender the chance to kill them when they arrive and alerts the defender, if the ships is not destroyed, to the presence of elusive ships. In late game there might be a technology that causes ships to falsely appear at all star lane entrance points to confuse the defender.

Hope this helps.

User avatar
Bigjoe5
Designer and Programmer
Posts: 2058
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:33 pm
Location: Orion

Re: Stealth

#2 Post by Bigjoe5 » Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:02 pm

I don't think that stealthy ships should nessecarily be shown to the defender when they enter a system. I think that if the attacker has such massive stealth bonuses that the defender can never see him, then stealth and espianoge are obviously his main focus in that game and he should be granted the bonuses that naturally go along with that. A player devoted to stealth will have limited military strength if he wants to maintain balance in the rest of his empire. Therefore, the main thing that makes his ships deadly is stealth, the ability to attack when the enemy does not expect it even though he might not have won otherwise.
Warning: Antarans in dimensional portal are closer than they appear.

User avatar
Pasi
Space Squid
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 3:35 pm
Location: Finland

Re: Stealth

#3 Post by Pasi » Thu Sep 27, 2007 6:20 am

When playing stars! my main focus usually was on stealth and sneaking around...


not the most easiest way to victory (not that I have ever won a single multiplayer game of stars! for that matter) but for me, it's damn fun to hide an entire fleet of ships near the enemys supply planet and when they attack us on our frontier, we kicked their entire planet out :wink:
I'm not a programmer... but I play one at Microsoft!

kte608
Space Krill
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:30 pm

Re: Stealth

#4 Post by kte608 » Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:45 pm

I think the idea about being able to not even be noticed entering the system
is a good idea (provided that it costs extra).

Consider the following scenarios where a stealth ship enters
a system in order to become an elusive ship (staying there
for several galaxy wide turns without combat):

1 Stealth ship is detected entering the system from a certain
star lane but enters too far away to be within sensor range
of the defending ships.

In this case the defender makes a mad dash to the star lane
in hopes to detect and destroy the stealth ship. If the
stealth ship gets away and becomes elusive the defender may
move a special stealth hunting ship to the system to root
out the elusive ship.

2 Stealth ship is detected entering the system from a certain
star lane but there is no defending ship able to detect the
stealth ship at any range.

In this case battle should be joined (the stealth ship should
not immediately become elusive since the defender should not
be alerted that someone has the ability to remain undetected
at any range) and the defender again makes a mad dash. The
stealth ship will become elusive in the system and the defender
may choose to bring in a stealth hunting ship from another
system. The defender will know the star lane that the stealth
ship came from and can then guess its owner.

3 Stealth ship is detected entering the system but the exact star
lane is unclear.

In this case the defender's mad dash is confused as is any guess
as to the stealth ship's owner (or direction of travel if it
transits the system).

4 Stealth ship is not detected entering the system but there is a
defending ship that could detect it if were close enough.

In this case battle should not be joined. The stealth ship immediately
becomes elusive without the defender knowing anything. In subsequent
turns the elusive ship may be discovered by the defending ship with
keen sensors. If this happens battle should be joined with the stealth
ship within sensor range. It will be as if the stealth ship were discovered
on a routine in-system patrol. There should be an associated probability
of this happening every galaxy wide turn.

5 Stealth ship is not detected entering the system and there is no
defending ship able to detect it at any range.

Again battle is not joined. This time the defender must, by dumb luck,
decide to move a spy hunting ship to this system and then by dumb luck
again, happen to catch it within sensor range. This is the ultimate
stealth craft.

Perhaps all of these scenarios should be possible from the very beginning of
the game but be influenced by advances in technology. A rudimentary device
to hide star lane activity may allow situations 4-5 in the early game but if
the defender deploys better sensors the same stealth ship may then only
find itself in situations 2-3.

Would this be interesting/fun? Is there something that is too complicated or
that requires micro-management? Is there something that wouldn't be a good
idea?

I would love to have a stealth carrier in an enemy system that harasses its
asteroid mining bases from time to time ... that would be cool.

Rho
Space Floater
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 6:33 pm
Location: Finland

Re: Stealth

#5 Post by Rho » Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:25 pm

So far, _our_ technology is going into detecting rather than hiding. Stealth technology would have to mask heat, x-ray, visible light, and a number of other radiations. Larger ships may even have to mask gravity - and this can't be done by painting them black to the sensors, due to, even witha carefully planned route, background radiation.

A radiation scrambling field would work, until someone realizes the radioclouds are masked ships. That's one tech.

Shifting the ships one up or down a fourth dimension of space might also work, but who knows what the effects of this is - and how they're detected. But if ships can go there, so can particles. If particles can, sensors can read it.

Creating a bubble with holes only for sensors might also work. The problem is, sensors could still pick up radiation that has accumulated bouncing around in the bubble.

Projecting a 3d-screen of space behind the fleet is a fun idea for someone thinking graphically. It'd look really cool. Although careful examination of space in that direction would reveal it to be not nearly as far away as it should be - so that technique also has its backside.

--

Depending on a planet's sensor tech, it might be able to pick up the presence of cloaked ships, but not necessarily the number of ships, their exact position, or their affiliation. There's a gameplay effect of stealth.
--
.rho

User avatar
Pasi
Space Squid
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 3:35 pm
Location: Finland

Re: Stealth

#6 Post by Pasi » Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:25 am

IMHO stealth should be available only to smaller ships ... which would make them easier to hide
I'm not a programmer... but I play one at Microsoft!

Rho
Space Floater
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 6:33 pm
Location: Finland

Re: Stealth

#7 Post by Rho » Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:54 pm

If applicable to larger ships, stealth would be all the more beneficial to them. If you can render an entire fleet undetectable, you could just rain damage on a world and they couldn't even see you. Although we'd expect detection technology to race ahead of stealth technology. You need to see what you have to hide. But a far more advanced civ could just sit around, dropping bombs on a helpless enemy colony.

Maybe planets could be hidden as well. Maybe an entire solar system? "Out of phase" as the scifi shows call it.

Imagine the following: A new enemy sends two small ships to one of your colonies to establish contact and make their demands. You refuse and kick their asses. The next turn, your colony has been destroyed. The turn after that, two ships appear in another system, and the enemy makes demands in exchange for peace. You refuse, and your colonies is a goner. You discover "atomic phase dissonance mapping" or another generic detection tech, and reveal enemy fleets in three of your systems. You kick their asses with whatever planetary superweapons you've got. You soon discover "atomic phase resonance field" or whatever that made them invisible in the first place. You try the same tactic on an enemy that hasn't developed "atomic phase dissonance mapping". You pwns them.
--
.rho

User avatar
eleazar
Design & Graphics Lead Emeritus
Posts: 3858
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:09 pm
Location: USA — midwest

Re: Stealth

#8 Post by eleazar » Wed Oct 03, 2007 5:11 am

There has already been an official threadon this topic, though not all aspects have been decided.

Post Reply