SpaceCombat Counters

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

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utilae
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SpaceCombat Counters

#1 Post by utilae » Sun Oct 24, 2004 1:45 am

This thread is for counter systems to be used in space combat. Here are some examples of counters in other games:
StarCraft:
http://www.battle.net/scc/GS/damage.shtml
WarCraft 3:
http://www.battle.net/war3/basics/armor ... ypes.shtml

Now, so far there have been a range of ideas as to how counters would work in FreeOrion.
Hull/Shield/Armor/Size types as well as targeting types (eg wave type weapons can hit many ships at once, while beam weapons can hit one ship)

Now I think there are two parts to the countering system. The target and the targeter.
The Target includes:
Ships
------
Ship Armor eg Dense Armor, Heat Armor, Energised Armor
Ship Shields eg Particle Shield, Phase Shield, Subspace Shield
Ship Hull eg Metal, Organic, Crystal, Energy
Ship Size eg Tiny (Fighter/Missile), Small, Medium, Large, Huge
Ship Location eg one ship, a group of ships
Other Weapons eg Missiles

The Targeter includes:
Weapons
-----------
Weapon Type eg Beam, Missile, PD Beam
Weapon To Hit Target Type
Weapon Damage To Target Type
Weapon Targets eg Ships, Missiles, Many targets, One target

We can combine all these elements to make a countering system. Some elements may have to be toned down, because if they are all potent counters then making a strategic mistake would cost the player too much to recover.

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#2 Post by LithiumMongoose » Sun Oct 24, 2004 7:27 am

The only thing I'd add off the top of my head is... MOO3 had only two lifebars for a ship, shields and armor. MOO2 had four: shields, armor, hull, and a hidden fourth one, systems. Basically "systems" meant "engines", and this didn't come into play at all unless you were using one of the fancy add-on gadgets that would explicitly target engines iirc, which caused the ship to make a big explosion when it died (same as self-destructing) instead of just crumpling. And hull points didn't really matter much, since that bar never seemed to last very long once shields and armor were down.

Sooo... I think a reasonable thing to do, for the sake of simplicity, would be to drop the hull life bar, but keep the engine-targetting option in some form for coolness. Maybe allow the player to specify, as a global setting for a given battle, "disable" or "destroy", the former being used if you want to try and board them, and the latter giving a certain chance of hitting engines causing boom! over crumple, a chance you could increase with targetting gadgets.

However, if you *do* drop down to just two life bars like MOO3 has, I think it's necessary to roll "armor type" and "hull type" into the same list, with hull type probably taking precedence. I mean, as a simple matter of practicality, ppl would *probably* put metal-based armor on metal ships, organic-based armor on organic ships, and so on. You'd use your best materials for both hull and armor, since they're your best, and just adapt them for use as armor by hardening them or adding exotic materials or whatever. Besides, metal tends to mount the easiest on top of metal; organic armor is probably better off having an organic ship underneath to "live" with; and energy ships would look pretty silly suspending big floating metal plates outside as armor, imo.

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#3 Post by Impaler » Sun Oct 24, 2004 5:26 pm

Some Basic Ideas for damage types

Explosive - Caused by Missles, Mines, Ships Exploding :roll:
Thermal - Caused by Lasers and "Energy" weapons, and flying to close to the Sun
Kenetic - Cause by Bullets and Projectiles and Space Zerg that "bite" your ships
"Normal" - Dont have a good name yet but some kind of type which always dose full damage to all types of Armor/Hull but has no Bonuses. In StarCraft this was called Normal Damage, in WC3 its called Chaos.

Armor types

Basicaly 1 Bonus and 1 Penalty to 2 differnt Damage types. That means their are 6 Possible combinations

Ablative - Bonus vs Thermal, Penelty vs Kenetic, Inverse of Organice
Reactive - Bonus vs Explosive, Penalty vs Thermal, Inverse of Energy/Plasma
Crystaline - Bonus vs Explosive, Penalty vs Kenetic, Inverse of "Something Else"
Organic - Bonus vs Kenetic, Penalty vs Thermal (Zerg Flesh is squishy but burns easily)
Energy/Plasma - Bonus vs Thermal, Penalty vs Explosive, Inverse of Reacitve
"Something Else" - Bonus vs Kenetic, Penalty vs Explosive, Invers of Crystaline. If anyone can think of a good name for this please do so.

To keep the Math simple the Bonus and Penalty amounts should be consistent accross the board. As Utilae says the strength of this modifier needs to be well balanced so I think it would be wise if it were loaded off some kind of SMAC style Alpha.txt with a simple number for each which damage is multiplied by.

BONUS: .75
PENALTY: 1.25

This would alow us to fine turn the final values as much as we like.
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counters

#4 Post by guiguibaah » Sun Oct 24, 2004 7:51 pm

I'm in favour of counters, but not so much to the extend that things become overly complicated and / or exclusive.

Already, we will be having various ship types that each counter themselves (missile ships weak vs flak ships). Myself, I would prefer 3 types like Starcraft (explosive, concossive and regular) and the effects to be minor.

This way, you don't get the exclusive matchups in C&C generals, where I can build 30 infantry and 1 anti-air gattling cannon.. But if that gattling cannon dies, all my infantry get massacred by flying migs.
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#5 Post by utilae » Sun Oct 24, 2004 11:05 pm

Impaler wrote: Explosive - Caused by Missles, Mines, Ships Exploding :roll:
Thermal - Caused by Lasers and "Energy" weapons, and flying to close to the Sun
Kenetic - Cause by Bullets and Projectiles and Space Zerg that "bite" your ships
"Normal" - Dont have a good name yet but some kind of type which always dose full damage to all types of Armor/Hull but has no Bonuses. In StarCraft this was called Normal Damage, in WC3 its called Chaos.
Seems good enough. I'll try listing an idea of my own, and we'll compare I guess.
Impaler wrote: Basicaly 1 Bonus and 1 Penalty to 2 differnt Damage types. That means their are 6 Possible combinations
Yes, it is good to have 1 bonus and 1 penalty. What would happen if we had 1 bonus and 2 penalties. Would that open up the counters a bit, so that a weapon could affect two types of armors, etc.
Impaler wrote: Ablative - Bonus vs Thermal, Penelty vs Kenetic, Inverse of Organice
Reactive - Bonus vs Explosive, Penalty vs Thermal, Inverse of Energy/Plasma
Crystaline - Bonus vs Explosive, Penalty vs Kenetic, Inverse of "Something Else"
Organic - Bonus vs Kenetic, Penalty vs Thermal (Zerg Flesh is squishy but burns easily)
Energy/Plasma - Bonus vs Thermal, Penalty vs Explosive, Inverse of Reacitve
"Something Else" - Bonus vs Kenetic, Penalty vs Explosive, Invers of Crystaline. If anyone can think of a good name for this please do so.
I think I want to know a bit more about these armor types(or are they hull types), like what is Ablative, Energy/Plasma, Reactive.
guiguibaah wrote: Already, we will be having various ship types that each counter themselves (missile ships weak vs flak ships). Myself, I would prefer 3 types like Starcraft (explosive, concossive and regular) and the effects to be minor.

This way, you don't get the exclusive matchups in C&C generals, where I can build 30 infantry and 1 anti-air gattling cannon.. But if that gattling cannon dies, all my infantry get massacred by flying migs.
I don't know if this was the case, but in various C&C games I felt as if there were three types: Infantry, Vehicle and Building. It seemed for example that in Red Alert 2, the Prism Tank was good against buildings, but poor against infantry and vehicles (I forget exactly).

Weapon Types:
EXPLOSIVE-missiles, mines, exploding ships
ENERGY-torpedoes, wave, beam (lasers, etc), bolt, energy spores
(heat seems irrelevant compared to the destruction caused by raw energy and even an explosion causes heat, so it doesn't seem right to have heat, especially since heat shielding should be pretty good by this time, of course the heat of the sun would be the only thing that could not be handled)
KINETIC-bullets, projectiles, assault pods, fighters, non explosvie missiles, drones (that attach to ships and shoot lasers)
SUBSPACE-time/space based weapons, to do with he tearing of time and space and other dimensions. Sub space is like another dimension. All the strange weapons can go here, eg anything that travels through sub space whether it is energy, missiles, etc are considered subspace weapons (eg a missiles explosive type damage is distorted by subspace, so it is considered subspace type damage).
COROSIVE-radioacitve, acid, chemical, poision (poison type damage)

That is all I could really come up with, now armor/hull types (they will likely be so similar anyway):
DEFLECTIVE:+Kinetic, -Explosive
PHASED: +Subspace, -Kinetic
DENSE: +Explosive, -Corosive
ENERGISED: +Energy, -Subspace
ORGANIC: +Corosive, -Energy
(all other damage types to normal damage to these armor/hull types)

Shields are another matter which we should also think of types for, though the problem is that if both armor and shields have a type than the defender has two types to one weapon type. Maybe the shield shouldn't have a type.

Also I think that hull types should be able to fit all armor types, though each type is available at a certain level in the tech tree for a certian hull type. Maybe you have to refine the Organic hull 0 levels to fit Organic armor, but you have to refine the Organic hull 3 levels to fit Dense armor. This would be a good way to do it. In ship design you would fit one armor type to the hulll type, so you could have Hull=Organic, Armor=Corosive. This would allow for interesting combinations.

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#6 Post by Ranos » Mon Oct 25, 2004 12:07 am

Well I had a system mostly worked out until utilae posted and included subspace as a weapons category. How could I be so stupid to forget that? I'm trying to make adjustments and/or changes to put subspace in my system.

At the moment, I am playing with a 2/2 system, 2 strengths/2 weaknesses. It is far from finished though and seeing utilae's post and thinking as I type, it's going to need work. I'll hopefully post it tonight or tomarrow sometime. I'll also explain everything then.
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#7 Post by PowerCrazy » Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:10 am

So are we to assume that if it doesn't have a bonus or a penalty then the weapon does full damge?

Also How many weapons/armor are we going to have? If we have something like 6 or more any bonus or penalty would be superficial and unnecessary.

I'd like to keep the number down to around 4 of each. With semi-complex (interesting) interactions between them. And MAYBE some kind of weapon bonus dependent on the type of armor the ship is made of.
Weapon Type Lowercase Armor Type Uppercase.
a = bonus against B + C Penalty D normal A
b = bonus against C + D Penalty A normal B
c = bonus against D + A Penalty B normal C
d = bonus against A + B Penalty C normal D

Then you could have Armor
A = Bonus for an 'a' type Weapon mounted on it. Double Penalty against D
B = Bonus for an 'b' type Weapon mounted on it. Double Penalty against A
C = Bonus for an 'c' type Weapon mounted on it. Double Penalty against B
D = Bonus for an 'd' type Weapon mounted on it. Double Penalty against C
Normal otherwise.

No it doesn't make sense in for the armor type to have anything to do with the weapons. However if I have an Organic Race, then obviously they will be better at "organic stuff". thus they get an adavtage for using strictly organic weapons/armor. Also a Damage bonus can be due to more weapons per area being put into a single space.

However I think having a system similiar to this would allow for some interesting counters and strategys. Thus I know that I am facing an "A" race. So I design my ships to be a "c" or "d" type ship. Conversely I'm the "A" Race so I design a few of my ships to be "B" and "C" ships, built to take out my opponents "c" and "d" ships.

Then against the rest of the galaxy I use my "A" on "a" ships to great effect. Obviously certain races will have bonuses for building certain types of ships. The bonuses should probably follow a similiar progression.

So it boils down to, I am primarilly an "A" race, so I will maximize most of my fleet to be the bet damn A I can be. But I will have a few detatchments designed to counter my counter. Now there are all kinds of tactical options open to me. And an interesting game begins to unfold.
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#8 Post by discord » Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:51 am

how lovely, my little seed for damage types is finaly blooming, only took most of a year.....

and the way this SHOULD be handled is by way of dual(or triple) layer defense.

#1 shields(tech limits on how many types can be active on a ship, should be few.) wich just like armor is better/less good at handling different damage types, often close to the point of exclusion, until you get the mysterious 'hard shield' wich bascily acts like armor, just replenisihing such....

#2 armor, should ALWAYS be multi layered, different armor types handle different damage types better/worse....and should be layered ontop of each other for better allround protection, the question though is HOW to layer them, to counter what types of damage(and wich armor types you have avaliable, cost issues come in here aswell.), each new(mixed) armor type should be a separate research and/or production project.

#3 internal structures, again can handle different damage types.....

//discord

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#9 Post by Ranos » Mon Oct 25, 2004 6:14 am

Here is my proposal for a countering system. It includes only three items, weapons, armor and shields. Any more and the system could get very confusing and taking one of those three out would just not make sense to me.

Weapons

These could be broken up two ways. First is by weapon type (Beam, Bolt, Missile, etc.). Second is by damage type (Thermal, Explosive, Kinetic, etc.). Of the two, damage type is the best. It doesn't have as many categories as weapon type (I have six damage types) and is a little more understandable, IMO. So here are the weapon damage types:

Weapon - Description

Energy - Basic energy, this includes Fusion Cannon, Ion Cannon and Hard Beam.
Thermal - Heat energy, this includes Lasers, Plasma Cannon and Nova Wave Emitter. (Yes I have come up with a few names to include)
Phased - Fluctuating energy, this includes Phasors, Disruptor and Tachyon Beam.
Subspace/Gravity/Quantum - The leftovers, includes Subspace Disruptor, Black Hole Generator and Quantum Laser.
Kinetic - Projectile weapons, includes Mass Driver, Rail Gun and Particle Cannon.
Explosive - Weapons that explode, this includes Missiles and Torpedos. My thought here was that the explosive effect would be combined with one of the other five. Plasma Torpedo would be both explosive and thermal. Just a thought.

There have been other damage types posted and which I tried to fit in, but I couldn't think of more than a couple of weapons to put into them. I have a list of about 30 that I'll put at the end of this post for reference.

Armor

This could also work in a couple of different ways. My first thought was to use the four hull types (Metal, Organic, Crystal and Energy) and give each hull type, two armor types. This could be beneficial and hindering at the same time depending on how the hull types are given to the races. If all races were able to build all hull types, then it would work fine, but I think hull types should be preassigned to each race. Doing this would give the same races the same two armor types all of the time and therefore, certain races certain benefits and advantages. I think that it would make for a lack of diversity in builds but that my opinion.

The easier way was to come up with a few different armor types (six to be exact) and allow all hulls to mount them, but with different names. This would allow for broad diversity and hinder or help no one in particular. So without further speach, here are my armor types (listed by the metal name, some could be used with the other hull types but some would need to be changed. Maybe not now that I think about it. Anyway...):

Armor - Description - Strong against weapon type/weak against weapon type

Ablative - Pieces break off to prevent damage tranferring to other pieces. - Thermal & Phased/Kinetic & Explosive
Reactive - Explodes outward to deflect incoming shots. - Kinetic & Explosive/Thermal & Energy
Woven - Thin strands of armor materials woven together to form strong compact armor. - Energy & Kinetic/Subspace & Explosive
Polarized - A magnetic field runs through the armor giving it a minor shield effect. - Energy & Thermal/Phased & Subspace
Resonating - A sonic field runs through the armor causing it to vibrate microscopically. - Subspace & Phased/Kinetic & Thermal
Dense - Made of super tensil solids that are capable of holding together under extreme pressure. - Subspace & Explosive/Phased & Energy

Shields

These also have six categories and are usable with all hull types. I could only think of one way to do these. The list:

Shield - Description - Strong against weapon type/weak against weapon type

Energy - Basic energy is what powers this shield. - Energy & Explosive/Kinetic & Subspace
Harmonic - The field of energy created by this shield vibrates, causing a faint humming sound, if the ship is in atmosphere - Subspace & Kinetic/Thermal & Phased
Phased - This shield fluctuates in its frequency giving it added strength. - Phased & Energy/Explosive & Thermal
Particle - Made up of microscopic particles giving it added strength against certain weapons. - Kinetic & Phased/Energy & Explosive
Hard - This shields energy is so strong, a human could stand on it, if he didn't get vaporized first. - Explosive & Thermal/Subspace & Energy
Shield 6 - (Couldn't think of a good name when coming up with the others. Any suggestions and/or descriptions?) - Thermal & Subsapce/Phased & Kinetic

Here is the weapons list. If anyone can think of more, new names for existing, reasons for moving one to a different type or reasons why we should get rid of some, let me hear them.

Weapons

Energy
Fusion Cannon
Death Ray
Hard Beam
Static Wave Emitter
EMP Cannon
Ion Cannon

Thermal
Laser
Plasma Cannon
Hellfire Cannon
Megabolt Cannon
Plasma Torpedo (also Explosive)
Nova Wave Emitter

Phased
Phasor
Disruptor
Disintegration Beam
Pulsar Wave Emitter
Tachyon Beam

Subspace
Subspace Disruptor
Subspace Torpedo (also Explosive)

Gravity
Graviton Beam
Black Hole Generator

Quantum
Quantum Laser
Quantum Torpedo (also Explosive)

Kinetic
Mass Driver
Rail Gun
Particle Cannon
Quark Cannon
Neutron Cannon

I didn't list any explosive devices separately since I knew that was a definate category.
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#10 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Oct 25, 2004 7:03 am

Thoughts:
utilae wrote:COROSIVE-radioacitve, acid, chemical, poision (poison type damage)
Haven't seen many other people including a "chemical" damage type. IMO it's a good one to have, esp. for organic ships.

Consider including point defence as a defensive alternative to shields or armour. Don't assume you have to follow the MoO conventions in this regard.

Consider including delivery mechanism in the counters web. Possibilities include direct line, direct ring, guided indirect, piloted autonomous delivery vehicle, ballistic, spray, contact, stationay indirect, cloud... (I'm surprised there's so little of this actually, given the extensive discussion on the other thread where several people seemed to want it to be the only factor involved...)

Consider the side benefits of having certain ship components. Presumably ships with huge amounts of heavy armour are much less manoeuvrable / slower than ships with just shields or PD. Presumably ships with cloaks or "submarine" ships have special limitiations. Presumably certain types of ships will have advantages and disadvantages outside of battle, like big heavy ships being more expensive / slower to move around, or ships with armour being more expensive / difficult to repair in the field. Obviously some assumptions will have to be made about some of these issues.

And, most importantly, rather than coming up with a list of fluff names for various ship parts and their counters, it might be better to follow Powercrazy's lead, and design the countering system from an abstract view first. Decide how many types of defensive, offensive and delivery mechanism components you want, and how they form a web of strengths, weaknesses and mutual exclusions. Then, having an apparently well balanced and interesting web, decide on what fluff justifications are given to each. This might be impossible or impractical to do, but it's if it is possible, it's probably a better way to design this system. How well this system works doesn't really depend on whether or not "subspace" is a damage type and what it is weak or strong against, so much as whether the system as a whole is well designed.


Edit: Also, consider what diversity is. Is it more diverse for:

A) everyone to be able to build everything?

or,

B) each empire / race to have different limitiations on what it can build?

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#11 Post by Ranos » Mon Oct 25, 2004 7:27 am

Do us all a favor Geoff and don't bring the arguement from that thread into this one. Let's try and be productive instead of arguementative here.

I am going to state something here and I don't know if it's already been stated by somebody else. If we make a highly complex system of counters, it will be confusing for some people. The system I have listed above is about as complex as I'd like to get.

The above system is how weapons/armor/shields would interact. Bigger ships move slower and that would be a manueverability issue. Bigger means more stuff but slower and a 'hit them while they hit you' battle role. Smaller means less stuff but more speed and a 'hit and run' battle role.

If we attempt to link every aspect of countering together in one big countering system, it will create a very complex system and very hard to understand. If we link only one or two together into a group and then link the groups together, the system will be complex, but easy to understand.

Weapons/Armor/Shields counters work with weapons types in how damage is delt recieved. Damage being delt recieved is tied in with how fast ships move which effect how damage is being delt and recieved. Cloaking/submarining is tied in with whether or not weapons can be fired (I'm in favor of a Star Trek cloaking system, ships can't fire while cloacked).

I originally had chemical as one of my options but couldn't get enough fluff to it as you put it so I took it out. The problem with getting a system working and then adding fluff is that if we decide on only 6 different weapon damage types, then the fluff gets limited. If we come up with the fluff and work it into the system and allow both to made at the same time, we get both fluff and a working system at the same time.

Is there some way in which my system doesn't work? If so, please point it out to me so I can work on it.
Geoff the Medio wrote:Edit: Also, consider what diversity is. Is it more diverse for:

A) everyone to be able to build everything?

or,

B) each empire / race to have different limitiations on what it can build?
Since diverse means "different" and limit meams "boundary," I'd say A) "Everyone being able to build everything" which gives millions of possible combinations of weapons, armor and shields.
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#12 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Oct 25, 2004 8:15 am

Ranos wrote:Do us all a favor Geoff and don't bring the arguement from that thread into this one. Let's try and be productive instead of arguementative here.
Arguing about the relevant issues can be very productive. (Arguing about things other than the issues generally isn't though...)

Anyway, I wasn't bringing the argument itself, so much as ressurecting the idea of using weapon delivery mechanisms as part of the counter system. It's still an idea worth considering, regardless of the previous arguments / misunderstandings.
The system I have listed above is about as complex as I'd like to get.
Adding new concepts to the mix other than weapons, armour and shields doesn't necessarily mean the resulting system will be more complex. For example, you could start by scrapping 1/2 to 2/3 of your shield and armour types, lumping the shields and armours together under "defences" and (optionally) scrapping 1/3 of the damage types. Then add in factors relating to delivery mechansims to the mix (simplified from the previous suggestions), and then add a few different types of PD to defences, and maybe include engine speed and ship size factors as well. The resulting total number of part options wouldn't necessarily be much different than your list.
I originally had chemical as one of my options but couldn't get enough fluff to it as you put it so I took it out.
You lost me... "couldn't get enough fluff to it" ?
The problem with getting a system working and then adding fluff is that if we decide on only 6 different weapon damage types, then the fluff gets limited.
I don't follow... Whether you decide on 6 damage types before , simultaneously with, or after deciding what the types will be, you're going to have the same limitation: 6 damage types. Are you suggestiong there is some other limitation that arises...? How/why/what?
Since diverse means "different" and limit meams "boundary," I'd say A) "Everyone being able to build everything" which gives millions of possible combinations of weapons, armor and shields.
If you were playing an RTS, would you rather that (for example) all 3 playable factions/races had the same set of 60 units, or that each race had 20 units of its own that no other race/faction had? Which is more diverse?

Edit: Other thoughts.

The shape of the countering web need not be constant throughout the game. For a similar idea, consider the offensive / defensive balance in Civ3, which switches back and forth between favouring offensive and defensive fighting. With a reasonable (<= 5) number of "ages" throughout the game, with each one being long enough for the player to get used to the "lay of the land" strategically with respect to ship components choices, things could be interesting but not too complicated. This would create interesting tension with regard to needing to get your attacking done before your opponent (and you) get enough research done to move to the next age, at which time your advantage will be lost... or the opposite, needing to hold out until you get to the next age and can neutralize the opponents advantage. (Similar things could be accomplished with researching access to new classes of component that have new strategic roles in the web, without rearranging the preexisting web, however).

Also, perhaps the magnitude of the benefits / penalties associated with certain opposingn pairs of components should change over time, without a) the sign of the benefits / penalties changing, b) the topology of the benefits / penalties connections changing, but with the sign changing or c) without the sign or topology changing. Things could start off with very small advantages, where rock vs. scissors is 60-40, and grow to huge advantages where rock totally destroys scissors 90-10 at the end game, or could oscillate around 70-30, up and down from nearly even to hugely lopsided as the ages progress.

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#13 Post by krum » Mon Oct 25, 2004 8:47 am

Geoff the Medio wrote: Adding new concepts to the mix other than weapons, armour and shields doesn't necessarily mean the resulting system will be more complex. For example, you could start by scrapping 1/2 to 2/3 of your shield and armour types, lumping the shields and armours together under "defences" and (optionally) scrapping 1/3 of the damage types. Then add in factors relating to delivery mechansims to the mix (simplified from the previous suggestions), and then add a few different types of PD to defences, and maybe include engine speed and ship size factors as well. The resulting total number of part options wouldn't necessarily be much different than your list.
Good stuff there. What you listed as "other thoughts" is what can serve as real basis for a system, making up list after list isn't going to get us anywhere. It's putting the horse behind the cart, I don't mean to say it's not useful brainstorming for later, though. Also I don't mean to say that it's simply lists without a thought-out system behind it, but not focusing on the imediate issue of mechanics and jumping over to specifics doesn't provide for a meaningfull discussion.
Last edited by krum on Mon Oct 25, 2004 8:58 am, edited 2 times in total.

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#14 Post by LithiumMongoose » Mon Oct 25, 2004 8:56 am

I would collapse Energy, Thermal, and Explosive down into just Energy. Keep Kinetic, and make a third type called Exotic that is everything else. This greatly simplifies life, and puts the *primary* focus back on weapon delivery mechanisms where, imho, it belongs. Yes Kinetic is going to be a significantly smaller category than the other two under this scheme, but there's no law that says they all have to be roughly even in size; it gives it a nice "alternative, unexpected" feel.

There's nothing about tachyons that makes them particularly suited to the phased category; their special characteristic is being an FTL subatomic particle. What implications this has for game usage I don't know, but I'd tend to think of it as a late-game, insane-range, medium-damage beam weapon.

Need to put a huge, spinal-only, late-tech, planet-destroying "stellar converter" type beam in there somewhere. I just finished playing Star Ocean 3 which has a highly-silly but strangely-appropriate idea for this: the Creation Cannon. It uses Creation Energy, which the game explains is energy brought into our universe from the "theoretical" imaginary-number dimension, which you may remember from math class as something involving the letter i and most easily gotten by taking the square root of a negative number.

Need to have "dark matter" and "dark energy" based weapons, that was one of my favorite (and only) innovations in MOO3 heh. Probably kinetic and energy respectively.

Chemical as a damage type is an interesting idea. Unfortunately by definition it is matter acting on other matter (causing chemical reactions), so it would be limited to use on armor and hulls. If you think about it though, the cloud type "shape" is probably the only really suitable delivery mechanism for chemicals, and once the original missile has detonated releasing the cloud, the cloud is just sitting there (or moving very slowly), at which point shields would just kind of ignore it unless they were "hard". Thus it would be a natural shield-piercing attack, at least if you buy the SG-1 theory that shields generally only notice and attempt to stop high-energy "stuff".

Aaaand I still say drop armor types altogether and just use the hull types (metal organic crystal energy is a nice list). This keeps things simple while still providing 3 or 4 types on both sides. I really don't think we want more than that.

On shields I like the MOO2 approach: one type, energy. You can enhance them with optional "mods", for this I'd stick to just "variable random phase" and "hard", which add benefits at the cost of making the shield generators much larger/heavier.

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utilae
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#15 Post by utilae » Mon Oct 25, 2004 9:05 am

Ranos wrote: Weapon - Description
Energy - Basic energy, this includes Fusion Cannon, Ion Cannon and Hard Beam.
Thermal - Heat energy, this includes Lasers, Plasma Cannon and Nova Wave Emitter. (Yes I have come up with a few names to include)
Phased - Fluctuating energy, this includes Phasors, Disruptor and Tachyon Beam.
Subspace/Gravity/Quantum - The leftovers, includes Subspace Disruptor, Black Hole Generator and Quantum Laser.
Kinetic - Projectile weapons, includes Mass Driver, Rail Gun and Particle Cannon.
Explosive - Weapons that explode, this includes Missiles and Torpedos. My thought here was that the explosive effect would be combined with one of the other five. Plasma Torpedo would be both explosive and thermal. Just a thought.
I disagree with 'Phased' as you describe it. I think that phased should be closer to sub space. The way you describe it it is jut another type of energy that fluctuates. Also I think that thermal is too common, ie heat can possibly be found in all weapons (which is why you propose to mix explosive with other types, i don't like that idea).
Ranos wrote: Armor
Doing this would give the same races the same two armor types all of the time and therefore, certain races certain benefits and advantages.
That would be ok, if a race has a set hull, and the hull had set armor types (i like my idea for hulls and armor though, yeah i know, i am biased).
Ranos wrote: Armor - Description - Strong against weapon type/weak against weapon type
Ablative - Pieces break off to prevent damage tranferring to other pieces. - Thermal & Phased/Kinetic & Explosive
Reactive - Explodes outward to deflect incoming shots. - Kinetic & Explosive/Thermal & Energy
Woven - Thin strands of armor materials woven together to form strong compact armor. - Energy & Kinetic/Subspace & Explosive
Polarized - A magnetic field runs through the armor giving it a minor shield effect. - Energy & Thermal/Phased & Subspace
Resonating - A sonic field runs through the armor causing it to vibrate microscopically. - Subspace & Phased/Kinetic & Thermal
Dense - Made of super tensil solids that are capable of holding together under extreme pressure. - Subspace & Explosive/Phased & Energy
I don't think a very wide range is covered here. It seems like metal armor with small variations. I think woven isn't very good and resonating is like a subspace armor I guess, isnt it.
Ranos wrote: Shield - Description - Strong against weapon type/weak against weapon type
Energy - Basic energy is what powers this shield. - Energy & Explosive/Kinetic & Subspace
Harmonic - The field of energy created by this shield vibrates, causing a faint humming sound, if the ship is in atmosphere - Subspace & Kinetic/Thermal & Phased
Phased - This shield fluctuates in its frequency giving it added strength. - Phased & Energy/Explosive & Thermal
Particle - Made up of microscopic particles giving it added strength against certain weapons. - Kinetic & Phased/Energy & Explosive
Hard - This shields energy is so strong, a human could stand on it, if he didn't get vaporized first. - Explosive & Thermal/Subspace & Energy
Shield 6 - (Couldn't think of a good name when coming up with the others. Any suggestions and/or descriptions?) - Thermal & Subsapce/Phased & Kinetic
Harmonic and phased seem very similar, they both vibrate/fluctuate(same meaning). Particle needs a better description (everything is made up of particles on some level isnt it). Shield 6=Heat Shield ???
Ranos wrote: Cloaking/submarining is tied in with whether or not weapons can be fired (I'm in favor of a Star Trek cloaking system, ships can't fire while cloacked).
I reckon it would be cool if low tech stealth you had to decloak to fire. But high tech stealth you could fire while cloaked. Like in StarCraft you have cloaked units (Dark Templar) that can attack while invisible, though there are detectors to detect them. You could have a stealth value and a detection value. Whichever unit has the higher oposing stat can see/hide from the other, eg ShipA(stealth=100), ShipB(Detection=90). ShipA is invisble to ShipB and can fire while invisible. If shipB had 10 more detection, it could see ShipB.
Geoff the Medio wrote: Is there some way in which my system doesn't work? If so, please point it out to me so I can work on it.
With both shield and armor types the weapon has to get through two types of counters.
eg Kinetic weapon VS Particle Shield + Woven Armor
The weapons damaged is effectively reduced twice. And the weapon has to deal with two layers of counters, rather than just one.
Geoff the Medio wrote: Anyway, I wasn't bringing the argument itself, so much as ressurecting the idea of using weapon delivery mechanisms as part of the counter system.
I think delivery mechanisms adds too much extra complexity. Really weapon type sums up the delivery mechanism a little.
eg kinetic=mass driver or non explosive missile (even though the missile is self propelled, it is really treated like any other bullet) or bullet.

Things like the delivery mechanism are taken into account when you have the missile following a ship.

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