// Weapon System: Ideas for addons and more

Here I ask your opinion and feedback on specific aspect of the game, or feature I am working on.
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Tue May 01, 2018 6:45 am

So as I am about to start to work on the weapon refactoring I would like to hear your input on this.
What kind of space battle dynamic you would like, what kind of weapons on top of laser/beam/missiles?
What are the games where you particularly enjoyed the space battles?

On the building side I want to do a base block stackable with addons like other systems. So the system is easy to gasp for newcomers but allows for some freedom for advanced designs.
I already have ideas for a few addons type but I want to hear yours first ;)
  • Capacitor: the capacitor would give a burst capability. The weapon would be able to fire several shots in a row, before having to recharge. It wouldnt increase dps per se, but could definitely be useful as you are not always shooting at your target. On a beam it would just increase the firing time.
  • Barrel: placing a barrel at the top of the laser would increase the weapon range and projectile velocity.
Regarding the overall dynamic, I am shooting for a system where small light fighters can coexist with bigger ships.
Bricks weapon will be less powerful but will have a builtin gimbal, so shooting at a fast target will be efficient.
On the other side bigger ship could use bigger block based weapons. These wont have any gimbal feature, but they could be mounted on turret of course. The heavier the turret, the slowest it will be to rotate. At one point for very big weapon it would be faster to have a hard point and just rotate the ship ;-)
At the end it will be difficult to shoot fast moving fighters with big weapons, so big ship might need some light anti-fighters turret systems.

Thanks for your contributions!

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Tue May 01, 2018 11:15 am

i have an idea but it isnt specifically a weapon BUT its heavily combatrelated. (also i assume people are already spamming weapons here)

my idea is: smart armour. here is my thoughprocess:

so the game has alot of really smart systems that make life for the players easier if its about creating. for an instance we have the option to change the entire ships paintjob once we have applied it once to any colorsheme we like in a simple menue. or we have freeformblocks to avoide a lot of clutter in our inventory.

so i had a similar idea of a system that could help with an easily doable system for armour.
the way shiphulls are in the game right now is essentially basic blocks that take a set ammount of damage and then break and thats all fine and dandy but i think we should probably be able to have some heavyer armour, so i came up with this system:

this system would hinge on an "armour booster"-block. an armour boosterblock would "select" the 2 or 3 outermost layers of blocks on a ship and reinforce their toughness at the cost of slowing your ship down. the more of these blocks you have the thougher your outer layers of blocks become but the slower you get (this would in my opinion make them balanced)

[this is an optional thing that could be added] to add more complexity: we could have a block that can be attached to the armourbooster wich increases the ammount of layers that are fortified at the cost of energy or speed. so each of these blocks makes the armour account for more layers of blocks.

[this is an optional thing that could be added] to add another strategic element to this idea: the block could require energy to work so that players are more paranoid about their powersupply since after the shields ae down all that would protect you is your armour.
sorry for the wall of text but i really thought this may be a usefull system that would make armouring ships less of a hassle. :mrgreen:

TL;DR: specialarmourblocks that boost hull toughness based on the ammount of these blocks used but remove speed.

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Tue May 01, 2018 12:13 pm

What I would like to see is to keep it simple, like barrels increase the range/accuracy to a point and capacitors increase the damage but has a drawback of taking more energy to fire the weapon and it also has a lower rate of fire, this can be used on both beams and cannons.

Though for cannons there could be different modes for it like a gatling mode that has a high rate of fire but low damage or a howtizer mode that has high damage and a large explosize radius but is highly inacurate and takes a while to reload.

Beams could work like in mechwarrior online, dealing damage over the beams burn time. This could also allow for different beam emitter sizes like a smaller one that is shorter range, has a short burn time but deals low damage and takes less energy while the bigger ones have higher damage and range but a longer burn time and takes more energy to fire.

For weapons like missiles I'd say have different sizes of launchers that can fire different sized/ammounts of missiles, these missiles can also be modified simliar to FTD but is more simple:
  • Fule tanks increase range
  • Rockets increase speed of missile
  • Warheads increase damage of missile
  • Maybe also a tracking part that allows the missile to track selected entities or heatseak to a target
This is all I really have to other on the whole subject.

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Tue May 01, 2018 12:17 pm

Thanks for giving us an opportunity for suggestions!

The overall dynamic and goal you outline sounds great, especially regarding the "Barrel" as a way to increase the range and projectile velocity of blasters, but how about an add-on to increase the damage of an individual projectile? Obviously this block should be costly when it comes to power and possibly suffer from diminishing returns, but I feel it would allow greater shipbuilding freedom and create a more diverse battlefield, while also reducing the need for a different base weapon to provide more damage. I can't think of a name for this block/brick right now, feel free to suggest some!

Also, you mention that brick based weapons will have a built in gimball which I am all for, I'm curious as to how large a gimbal this will be? 5 degrees each way is what I would go for (This will create a firing area of diameter ~17m at 100m range), so that fighters will still have to rely on their manoeuvrability and pilot skill to line up a shot. Image below shows the firing cone at this angle on a small, 12m fighter:

I would also like to suggest the option of fixed brick weapons too. These would provide skilled players with the choice to sacrifice the gimbal effect for a marginal increase in base damage.

As for weapon types, how about some munition based weapons such as multi-cannon, railguns and plasma accelerators?
Multi-cannon could provide increased damage to hull but have a lesser effect on shields, while also producing less heat than the blasters we currently have ingame. They would also be limited in ammunition capacity, which is also true for the following two types.
Railguns and plasma accelerators would both be fixed, block based weapons only and would fit well with the scaling methods you describe in Capacitor and Barrel blocks. Both would create a huge amount of heat, require a large amount of energy and be very heavy. Railgun projectile velocity is extremely high, hitting the target almost instantly, and deal increased damage to hull. Plasma accelerator projectiles would travel at about the same velocity as the current laser brick, and deal increased damage to shields.

To complement the new weapons, could we have an option for the hotkey brick to detect holding down of the mouse? Perhaps it sends a 1 signal on initial click, then a 0 when released. This would be super handy when designing automatic weapons, or firing a beam!

Look forward to seeing what you all have to say :)

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Tue May 01, 2018 2:12 pm

- Plasma Throwers (aka. Burn the critters to a crisp)

I suggested a Flamethrower for planet use some time ago, but that would not make a whole lot of sense, instead a plasma thrower could be implemented (not to be confused with peaches plasma accelerator) it would have pretty low range and low initial damage, but then lingering damage afterwards.
It would be useful on strike craft against ground targets and capital ships if you can manage the dive, or on mechs and hover vehicles for close range.
It should work like an automatic gun, meaning that it has a burst mode, which gets depleted and then it goes into a 'reloading' mode where it builds up more heated plasma.
It would also greatly increase the ships Heat production for a short time, which could lead to the destruction of 'Greedy' designs.

Does Not Make the most of sense, but would Certainly be cool.

Accelerator Barrel: Some coiled magnetic magic to Slightly increase Range and Speed the plasma has
Supercharger: Would increase the 'Heat' of the Plasma, meaning more DPS, could also shorten the reload time.
Additional Tanks: Longer bursts of Plasma, until the weapon has to heat more plasma

- Energy Siphon/Ion Cannon (Drain the enemies Batteries)

Would be a single shot but powerful round that when hits deals no damage, but drains the capacitors of the ship, which in some cases would mean the ship becomes disabled. If it hits a shield it would be an efficient way to disable the shields as it should prioritize the shields capacitors.
Basically a Pirates weapon of choice to hunt for new ships.

Ionizer: A component on the back of the weapon which increases the potential power loss

- Heat Beam/Microwave Emitter (What's more comfy than a warm ship in cold space?)

Basically just a beam weapon, which does poor direct damage, but fries the ship indirectly by heating it up, until the heat threshold is broken. Would work great against fighters that are only boosters, or greedy glass cannon ships.

Magnetron: More heat generated, but also on the own ship.
Focus Cone/Barrel: More range, less heat.

- Da Big Gun (More gun helps more)

Really high calibre Spinal Gun for capital ships, pretty similar to a cram cannon from 'From the depths'
High damage, High reload time, Shreds armour and shield, but is slow, and inaccurate. Prone to getting destroyed by Point defense

Barrel: More accuracy
Autoloader: Higher reload speed
Improved Warheads: More Explosive Damage

- EMP weaponry (Fry their logic)

No real idea how this would work, maybe a block that is mounted on a ship that deals slow AoE to all logic blocks around the ship (also on the ship itself). Larger ships with more armor blocks take reduced damage.

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Tue May 01, 2018 2:56 pm

There should definitely be weapons diversity, such as the ability to customize missiles and rockets, as well as projectile weapons (conventional guns and railguns). A cool thing to consider that many other games don't is artillery: weapons that fire in an arc, rather than straight at their targets.

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Tue May 01, 2018 3:42 pm

I particularly enjoyed space battles in Starsector. What they did is, they tied both heat(weapons) and shields into the same "flux" system.

A short recap on how it works: You have a set bank of flux. If the flux is maxed, your ship is overloaded and you basically can't do anything for a short while. Any time you fire your weapons or use some abilities, it generates soft flux that decays. Any time your shield is hit, it generates hard flux which doesn't decay. The only way to get rid of hard flux is to turn the shields off (and optionally actively vent it, further disabling your ship, but not as much as being overloaded).

What this meant is that, given time and proper tactics, the smallest ship can kill the biggest ship.

However, time was also not something you could waste since your ships could only be "battle ready" for so long before starting to run into issues like malfunctions and just in general siphoning too much of your money to be worth it. Additionally, small ships have a much faster "battle readiness" decay than bigger ships. Therefore you have to manage your ships, sending only a couple at a time, judging how much you're willing to spend on any engagement, and in the end, to beat a hulking battleship you have to use roughly the equivalent amount of resources in smaller ships.

Skywanderers already echoes some of the things that Starsector did right:
  • Disabling your shields is inevitable given time
  • Bigger shields take longer to recharge
  • Ships can be outmaneuvered (small ships are agile, big turrets are not)
But in terms of the weapons, honestly, the only thing i'd like to see is a good variety of "base" weapons that all feel unique to the player firing them and the player being hit by them. The best way to do this is make the inherent drawbacks of a weapon really pronounced.
An energy bolt with big projectiles and really strong damage per shot but the bolts are SUPER SLOW, a ring-shaped projectile weapon where the ring grows in size as it travels, potentially big enough to completely miss a target head-on, a kinetic railgun that creates enough recoil to severely affect the heading of even the biggest ships, a microwave pulse weapon that often creates enough heat while firing to damage your own ship, a rapid-fire minigun but with such inaccuracy that it's only really good for super close range, etc.
This makes it important for the person firing the weapon to know when its best to use, and it makes it possible for the player who is being fired on to figure out ways to avoid being hit, and i think this would make it more enjoyable.
Last edited by Apelsinsaft on Tue May 01, 2018 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tue May 01, 2018 4:07 pm

Here's what I'd like to see:
More fleshed out energy and projectile weapons.
What I mean is this:
You have energy weapons (lasers, beams) to doing heavy damage to shields, but negligible to armor/hull.
Then you have physical projectile weapons (gatling, missiles), which are not effective against shields, but rip through armor/hull.

This would allow for specialized fighters, but also require versatility for heavier ships, so they can be effective in combat.

As a follow-up, I wouldn't mind lasers/beams having a disabling effect to system blocks they hit. For example, say you fire your lasers to drop the shields then you fire them at thrusters, the thrusters could be disabled, either temporarily, or permanently (until repaired). This allows you to disable ships without causing a lot of damage (for salvaging, or stealing).

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Tue May 01, 2018 5:52 pm

Well, i'm have some ideas...
And i must say that i'm bad at English language, so there may be mistakes. I'm sorry.
First of all: weapons devided to energy and kinetic.
Energy weapons more effective against armor, kinetic against shield(more about this later).
Also, all weapons have different efficiency at different distances. According distance we can divide weapons to more classes:

Longe range weapons:
Big and powerful guns for long range combat. Power hungry, so ability to install on small vessels is very limited.

-Keenetic artillery: very long range, very high damage, medium projectile speed. For long range ship-to-ship artillery duels. Not a threat to fighters, shuttles or corvets. Very low turret rotation speed.

-Railguns: very long range, medium damage, high projectile speed, but needs long time to reload and recharge. Used for taking down vessels that smaller than battleship, but bigger than corvette or frigate.

-Javelin of Light: very long range, medium firerate, VERY power hungry, can make battleship out of commission with just a few hits, but usless against shields.

-Torpedoes: very long range, low projectile speed,huge damage. Passive guidance system, uses laser or radar targeting from mothership to pursue targets, so can't be disabled using countermeasures such as false targets, but can be destroyed easily by point defences.

Medium range weapons: Used for low-to-medium battles between all ships that bigger than a shuttle.

Laser canon: Low damage, high firerate, high projectile flight speed. Universal weapon.

Autocannon: Low to Medium damage, high firerate, low projectile flight speed. Projectiles can be configurated for diffirent purposes. SABOT for piersing shields then they seriously damaged or making small holes inside hull. HEAT will damage ship deep through the hull. Uneffective against armor, but effective against crew and devises such as power generators, shield generators, radiators and other. HE just have AOE damage. Tandem will pierse through shields, but deals wery low damage both to hull and shields. EMP will deal increased damage against shields and electronic devises, but deals no damage to hull. FLAK will create many low damage fragments, that are effective against groups of fighters.

Ion cannon: Low firerate, low projectile flight speed, VERY high damage against shields, but no damage against hull.

Beam lasers: Very low damage, very big firerate, power hungry and can pierse through several blocks, but not through shields.

Photon cannons: Very high firerate, VERY low damage, but will cause terget to quickly overheat.

Missiles: Active lock-on, high damage, but can be destroyed by PD's and false targets.

Plasma cannons: High damage, medium firerate, low projectile flight speed. Will cause enemies to overheat.

Low range weapons: Mostly used as PD's and anti infanty weapons.

Mashineguns: VERY low damage, VERY high firerate, high projectile flight speed. Used for topedo/missile defense, as anti fighter weapon, ad as anti personnel weapon.

Flux cannons: Like machinegun, but hit scan, power hungry and smaller fire range.

Microwave emmiters: Wery low range, usless against shields but instantly roasts every living being even through armor. With enough time it can overheat a small ship, such as fighter.

Cryo cannons: Deals low damage to shields and no damage to armor, but can freeze the target, so it will become motionless. Uneffective against targets bigger than fighter.

Let's talk about shields. Number of shield types that installed simultaneously is limited. Different shield types woks fully independently from each other.

Energy shields: Classic protectoin. Nothing more.

Nanite mesh generators: Effective from both energy and kineetic weapons, but have low capracity.

Double-flow shields: Twise smaller capracity, twise faster recharge speed. Can protect from shield piersing weapons.

Deflector Shields: Do not completely absorb damage, but reduce it. Very high capracity.

Keenetic Barriers: Protecting from keenetic weapons, but offers no protection from energy weapons.

Bubble shileds: VERY high capracity, VERY power hungry, slow recharge speed. Сreates a bubble around a ship. Does not protect from missiles/torpedos or fighters that can simply fly through.

This system can be greatly expanded in the future. More weapons and shield types, hull repair systems and much more.
Last edited by AngryHamsterVS on Tue May 22, 2018 9:03 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Tue May 01, 2018 6:02 pm

Some half-baked ideas:

Power Conduits as another universal addon in the vein of Capacitors. They increase the power input(and draw!) of attached systems, but not 100% efficiently-the difference comes out as heat damage. They can also be hooked up to reactors to increase fuel consumption, increasing power output but again not 100% efficiently, with the rest coming out as heat damage.

EDIT: In the case of blasters, Power Conduits would boost rate of fire, or the rate at which Capacitors recharge and thus decreasing the time between bursts.

Barrels as a weapons-only addon, but not just for blasters-kinetic weapons/payload drivers would benefit as well.

Kinetic weapons done FtD style but more so-ideally there'd be a system that covered guns, bombs, guided missiles, rockets, and every hybrid inbetween, but I'd understand if that proves impractical.

Electronic warfare packages-not 'stealth in space', exactly, but things like decoys, sensors jammers, stealth materials plating, sensor packages to improve detection and tracking. Effectiveness could cap off at a relatively small size and power draw, while range continues to rise with power draw.
Different kinds of sensors with different strengths, limitations and countermeasures, as well as seeker types for guided weapons.

EDIT: More half-baked ideas:
Two options for locking onto and tracking a target:
*Universal lockon: A tracking option available to anyone in the cockpit. Mostly for fighters and spinal guns. Can be either fixed to a given direction(probably to the front), or 'head cue' fixed to the camera angle.

*Targeting pod/radar dish: A place-able targeting pod or radar dish. Can be controlled like a turret, and locked onto targets to feed range and bearing data to linked turrets/gimbaled weapons. Could also feed data to logic systems to enable PMWs or other custom systems.

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