// 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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Balijana
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Mon May 14, 2018 5:26 pm

Personnaly I'd prefer a combination of fight type:

small ship / intruders, you engage intruders and harass big ships with slow but very powerful rocket/missiles

big ship, more tactical fight, you target big ship stations and use dca to fight intruders (need bots, droids, crew assign to turrets).

intruders could be swifter than rocket/missiles and have automatic countermeasure (very effective because of small ship size) and would be fighted with lasers.

big ships would be more targetable by missiles and beams which would do more damages where light weapons like laser would be absorbed by shield.

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schlid
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Tue May 15, 2018 4:15 pm

Noname117 wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 8:47 am
<Your earlier post>
In response to your earlier post on the previous page, although you've made some interesting suggestions, I feel like you've made it vastly overcomplicated. You've included concepts like barrel airtightness and so on, whereas it's not even confirmed we'll get Oxygen/Atmospheres in ships. In the end if ship atmospheres were to be added, it would most likely be in the form of "there's an atmosphere within the shield" or blocks that propagate an atmosphere around it so the crew areas can keep people alive in them.

If you want something to base complexity of off if you choose to write a simplified further post, look at mechs. You have a simple concept that allows for the user no matter their skill level to make something functioning. It doesn't require you to consult a wiki every 10 minutes, to find out which specific compressor and pneumatic parts you need, and the valves and controllers and so on; a mech only requires the controller block, and the joints placed for each limb. It doesn't matter from there whether your mech is a stick man or some 1km tall Gundam, it'll just work.

The main focus of a weapons system in my opinion is for rich customisability, without unnecessary complexity. This means keeping the block codex clutter free is a must, and making your first weapon shouldn't be a formidable challenge.

To close, Skywanderers is a game with coffee cups and cubes. If you're anticipating a weapons system as complex and hyper-realistic as you're suggesting, I think you'll be disappointed.
fantastique

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Noname117
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Tue May 15, 2018 6:36 pm

schlid wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 4:15 pm
Noname117 wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 8:47 am
<Your earlier post>
In response to your earlier post on the previous page, although you've made some interesting suggestions, I feel like you've made it vastly overcomplicated. You've included concepts like barrel airtightness and so on, whereas it's not even confirmed we'll get Oxygen/Atmospheres in ships. In the end if ship atmospheres were to be added, it would most likely be in the form of "there's an atmosphere within the shield" or blocks that propagate an atmosphere around it so the crew areas can keep people alive in them.

If you want something to base complexity of off if you choose to write a simplified further post, look at mechs. You have a simple concept that allows for the user no matter their skill level to make something functioning. It doesn't require you to consult a wiki every 10 minutes, to find out which specific compressor and pneumatic parts you need, and the valves and controllers and so on; a mech only requires the controller block, and the joints placed for each limb. It doesn't matter from there whether your mech is a stick man or some 1km tall Gundam, it'll just work.

The main focus of a weapons system in my opinion is for rich customisability, without unnecessary complexity. This means keeping the block codex clutter free is a must, and making your first weapon shouldn't be a formidable challenge.

To close, Skywanderers is a game with coffee cups and cubes. If you're anticipating a weapons system as complex and hyper-realistic as you're suggesting, I think you'll be disappointed.
Ok, I was trying to build off of the idea of having barrels be made up of several parts, as suggested previously, but thinking about it now, yeah, that idea does seem really complex. And maybe barrel air-tightness isn't really for the game (although, if it is, then the system I suggested is probably the simplest and most intuitive way to deal with it which functions somewhat realistically and within the mechanics of the game's universe).

But my basic system idea is still relatively simple while offering a semi-realistic representation of how guns function, and even with the seperate addons I suggested earlier building a first gun (and we're talking projectile weapon here; since you could make energy weapons simpler) shouldn't be that difficult. I mean, you need 3 parts to make a basic gun function, and maybe a few more parts of 2-3 more types more to get the basic versions of other guns functioning.

So you need a barrel, which can be 1 finely re-sizable piece which comes in a couple of different types. With an ingame description you can make the advantages of the barrels clear (such as a rifled barrel offering a little more accuracy at the cost of speed, and, if they're included in the game, not being able to use Sabot rounds entirely or guided rounds effectively). For your basic cannon firing basic AP or HE shells, the decision to pick between a smoothbore barrel and a rifled barrel could just be which effect the players would like more.

Then you need some sort of loader, of which you have several types. You only need one (heck, I think you should only be able to have one). You can convey the purpose of said loaders through the name and their descriptions.

Then you need somewhere to store the ammo. Although I'll admit this part can get a little complicated, with the most complicated systems (likely restricted to larger guns on larger ships) requiring 2 ammo storage areas (one as a clip attached to the loader and one elsewhere in the ship), along with piping (which Tsuna said he's OK with) to move the ammo from one location to another. You might need some sort of special piping to get shells from a pipe into a turret mounted gun though. Or even an automated crew-loading-from-pipe sort of feature. And I assume teleporting the ammo could be another option if you have the power for it.

Ok, maybe there could be upgrades to non-crew-based-loaders to make them faster, but that wouldn't be necessary for your first gun. And any barrel attachments I suggested aren't necessary for your first gun.

As I said in a previous post, the actual gun part of an early machine gun would require just the barrel, a belt loader, and storage for the ammo belts.

If you make ammo changeable from the menu of the gun itself, then you remove a lot of the annoyances you get with FTD's system of ammo customization. Right there you can see how the ammo for your gun would perform, and make easy adjustments to it. The ammo factories just allow for some of the logistics regarding ammo, which would add more depth to the game and encourage the use of home bases of some sort.


And in regards to this I don't think normal guns should be the first thing players go for. A basic gun might be a second-tier construction regarding weapons for a new player, with the first tier likely being an energy weapon of some sort. You could make those 2 resizable pieces minimum and allow for a good, simple system more in-line with what others have suggested for guns. (actually, wait, no, you'd need 3. Something to determine fire-rate in addition to a barrel-like piece and an ammo storage tank, which just stores liquids or gasses which can be used in the weapon).

But that's the thing. Building a basic gun probably isn't any more complex than getting a couple of early bits of machinery hooked up to a batbox and a passive generator in the IndustrialCraft 2 mod for Minecraft. Probably less so if the system is done in an intuitive and well-explained way ingame. And with your plasma cannon (let's just call it that for now) acting as a toned-down version introducing you to the principles of gun design first.

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Cpt_Fortius
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Fri May 18, 2018 3:42 pm

For weapons, I'd like to see some sort of dynamic projectile scaling.

The ability to build a thicker cannon that shoots larger bullets. Thicker laser weapon that projects wider beams. A larger missile.

Ex; You build your cannon bricks in a 2 by 2 shape and they become larger.

Something entirely different and way more distant would be gigantic shells and missiles built from bricks or blocks for really huge ships. Those would need some method of launch, and some sort of explodey block to deal damage on impact. Also a way of storing them, and feeding them to a weapon.

I also find myself very much agreeing to the damage model shown in the latest combat update video.
Disabling the entire system group when one of it's component blocks takes damage is a good idea.
There's shields and armor plating to protect them, so I'd say it's pretty balanced. Even a violent explosion is not too far fetched.

No doubt someone would counter this effect by spreading out their system blocks, but that could be discouraged by making one big group have a greater output and lesser power consumption than many small groups. Then every builder would be free to find a balance between redundancy and effectiveness that suits them best.

Fast, brutally damaging combat is fun to watch, and exciting to play out, at least for me. So long as there's a way to painlessly repair a disabled ship, there should be no hard feelings.

VIPMTHE2ND
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Tue May 22, 2018 8:05 pm

Somewhat off-topic, but I'm worried about how ground combat would look if the weapons table stays in as-is.

Specifically, if players can create and use fighter-sized weapons as personal firearms. While there probably should be a way to create personal weapons that can damage small spacecraft or ground vehicles, having everyone carry fighter grade autocannons as pistols would get slightly comical.

A few half-baked suggestions for improving this:
'Stability' as a mechanic for personal firearms. The firearm's aim-point wobbles randomly around the player's cursor depending on the stability: the less stability there is, the more violent the wobble. This is separate from the accuracy of the weapon itself.

Movement may confer a stability penalty, as would excessive or continual recoil. Crouching would confer a stability bonus.

Requiring more handles or shoulder pads for bigger/longer weapons. A single handle weapon like the table produces now would be a 'pistol' sized weapon with a maximum size of half a full block (or 0.5 meters by 0.5 meters by 0.5 meters). Adding another handle allows a 'rifle' sized weapon, the size of a full block (1 meter * 1 meter * 1 meter). More handles probably wouldn't do anything, for lack of hands( and because it'd get prone to abuse if that was not the case...)
Size would be measured by volume used rather than dimension limits, allowing thin and long sniper rifles or shorter, stouter rocket launchers.

As weapons approach their maximum size, they may begin to suffer stability penalties as they reach the carrying capacity of the user. Shoulder pads, either in a rifle configuration (facing backwards) or in an over-the-shoulder configuration (facing downwards) confers a stability bonus.

Restrictions on bigger handheld weapons and where they can be used. If the player enters an area in which their weapon's hitbox wouldn't fit, the PC should automatically 'put away' the weapon and only return it to the hand when there is again space to hold it in.

Bipods/Tripods. Bipods would confer additional stability bonuses for crouching. Tripods outright fix the weapon into position when placed on a surface, and act like a player controlled turret until the weapon is picked up again (probably with an 'F' action.)

A few more generic suggestions:
*Have hotkeys, cameras and such work the same way on firearms as they do on piloted vehicles.

*Optic addons for cameras. Telescopes, additional sensors and the like.

*Have special tools that work on both ship mountings and 'firearms': For example, expanded repair/construction or deconstruction beams. Prevent the 'weapon' table from becoming a single-purpose gimmick.

Megabyte698
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Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:37 am

If you envision small fighters and carrier fleets, along with big ships, you must first adress the limitations and advancements of the universes technology in regards to the games physics. Time and time again, I see devs create specific counter balances in order to create the necessary variability in whatever combat mechanic system they create. From a purely realistic and historic account, the main motive behind modern aircraft carriers taking over battleships was due to cost effectiveness, range, and destruction capability of jets. Fighter jets and bombers today are just more destructive and economical than massive battleships and dreadnoughts due to their numerical advantage, which in addition to their long range capabilities made massive ships a money sink. The air defense turrets on those ships could not get the range needed to take down super sonic jets, while the jets themselves had missiles and torpedoes that could 1-4 shot a huge ship. So for skywanderers, the main points I see that need to be addressed to have both types of spacecraft viable, would be the cost and circumstances in which one or the other would be able to perform their dedicated tasks. For fighters, the key traits that need to be balanced are speed vs point defense, long term combat sustainability, and damage potential. For larger ships, it would be the scaleability for armor and shields against the fighters weapons, the range and tracking for pointdefense, and maneuverability and speed in which it can get its weapons to bare on target. This would most likely come down to ships rotation speed balanced against turret rotation speed. With enough turrets, any fighter can be taken down by the sheer saturation of enemy fire, however that effectiveness is dependent on the range of the turrets projectile and its tracking speed/accuracy. If turrets are not the primary defense against fighters, then its armor and shields must be sufficient enough that it requires large amounts of fighters to substatially damage it per unit of volume based off of material durability used. There would be no point in making a half a mile long battleship if the armor rating is uniform across its entire birth, allowing a squad of fighters to concentrate their fire on enemies large ship essential systems, rendering it dead weight. Disregarding a pure linear damage system, the way modern warfare counters modern armor is through the innovative designs of its armor that need to be taken into account against piercing rounds. Because of that, when engineering armored units, where, how much, and how well armor placement can deflect kinetic ballistic potential, determines the success in mitigating destructive potential. In terms of lasers and plasma weapons, it comes down to the dispersion of heat. One of my favorite science fiction books created a wonderful combat mechanic system that balanced fictional tech with real world science. In the book, armor material determined the resistance against ballistics, while energy reflective ablative coating would significantly reduce the energy damage from lasers and plasma. However, that coating would diminish in effectiveness and would need to be reapplied like paint that cakes under the sun, when in combat and after. Later in the book, the shield tech entered more into the science fiction aspect of technology, yet the principle of heat dispersion turned into heat absorption, relative to the power consumption of the shields. Kinetic projectiles still needing to be stopped by armor, until later in the book, where the tech advanced enough to do both. Revolving a balance between the weapons, defenses, and physics dynamics must not be static or definitive in its versatility. In order for fighters and large ships to coexist these challenges must be adressed and tested. A cheap and easy workaround to these complexities, would be to add limited system repair capabilities and moderate to high armor defense against energy weapons fighters have. I do not see it possible for fighters to utilize ballistic weapons in sustained space fights due to the ammo restrictions. However, those ammo restrictions may be a great trade off for high damage potential against larger ships, with energy weapons doing less damage to armor, but having more sustain damage potential in a fight. This would be purely due to a fighter not needing to resupply ammo like a fighter that utilizes ballistics. Energy weapon fighters would draw their ammo from whatever energy systems on board a fighter. It would force the players who utilize fighters to scale the fighters size to accommodate larger ammo storage and more fighter shields/armor in trade off with speed. This storage space also applying to energy weapons with their reactors. Assuming theres a tech level, I imagine it difficult for lower tier fighters competing against higher tier fighters 1:1. That becomes irrelevant by mitigation of fighter capabilities against numerical advantage. The offset of numerical advantage then calls into question the variable speeds fighters engines allow based off of better tech. In a high tier fighter system, it may be more economical for newbs to forgo fighters in favor for the larger ships that can actually compete against the maneuverability and better sustainability of higher tier fighters which realistically outprefor against lower tier fighters.

Megabyte698
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Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:45 am

On a side note, dont have weapons and combat like in starmade. It just incentivizes players to stack blocks for more range and damage to the point it was a, whose stick is bigger fight. That ruined the creative aspect of ship building that made pvp bland. Why build ships with dedicated roles and classes when a moon sized borg cube did better in combat because it just "had more". More shields. More guns. More power. Their was no reasonable counter to the combat mechanics besides more everything. In that game, fighters are truly and utterly useless since the tech used to make fighters followed the same scaling principle of the larger ships. In reality, fighters advantage comes from economy of space to utility, while big ships are economy of space to large size scalability for more power/defense/speed/ect.

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Dwarf-Lord Pangolin
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Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:03 am

I'm a bit late to the party, but here goes.
Megabyte698 wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:45 am
On a side note, dont have weapons and combat like in starmade. It just incentivizes players to stack blocks for more range and damage to the point it was a, whose stick is bigger fight. That ruined the creative aspect of ship building that made pvp bland. Why build ships with dedicated roles and classes when a moon sized borg cube did better in combat because it just "had more". More shields. More guns. More power. Their was no reasonable counter to the combat mechanics besides more everything.
This is a hugely important concern. When I played Starmade (granted, this was a number of years ago), adding more blocks to the main gun of my ship increased not only the damage (good), and not only the range (also good), but the rate of fire (bad; very bad!!). This got to the point where the main gun had the rate of fire of a machine gun, and a range long enough that it could hit things that only showed up on sensors, in addition to precisely the kind of damage you'd expect from something a couple hundred meters long. It was stupidly overpowered because there were no real cons to adding more blocks, only pros.

Going back to my old weapon balance thread, there are a number of different attributes a weapon can have. Broadly speaking, they are:
  • Range
  • Damage
  • Accuracy
  • Rate of fire
  • Projectile speed (where applicable)
  • Area of Effect (AoE)
  • Cost
... with Cost being broken down into a number of sub-categories, such as the heat cost, the energy cost, the material cost of the block itself, etc.

First, my suggestion is that adding more base weapon blocks should improve some attributes, while reducing others. Damage, range, and AoE (but also energy cost, heat generated, etc) should go up as weapon blocks are added, while things like rate of fire should go down. Others, like projectile speed, would depend on the weapon; adding more weapon blocks should increase the speed of the blaster type weapon we have now, but decrease the speed of the missiles.

Second, at least some of those attributes should also have their own, dedicated addon blocks. Damage, range, rate of fire, projectile speed, and perhaps accuracy (if some kind of drift is implemented for the blaster thing) would all benefit. This would give players a deep degree of customization over their ships' weapons, letting them actually design them.

Third, increasing any single attribute with an addon block would decrease all the others. This would force players to focus on designing a weapon that could be very good in one or two areas, but would be weaker in the others; a weapon that focuses on range would have lower damage and rate of fire, and a weapon with addon blocks for both range and damage would have an incredibly slow rate of fire and an atrociously high energy cost, as well as not as much range or damage as a weapon that focused on just one of those. Two otherwise identical weapons would behave very differently based on which addon blocks were chosen for them.

Fourth, as Tsuna has indicated already, both the base weapon blocks and the addon blocks would follow the same adjacency bonus + diminishing returns rules as the system blocks that have already been implemented.

downer
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Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:12 am

Hello there. First I would like to say that I love this game: from functionality to look , It is truly awesome. As for WEAPONS: I would wonder if there is a plan to have customisable hand held weapons in the game? (perhaps this relates also to the question of customisable characters, armour, costume, look and utility items etc) I would love to see the possibility for the same kind of range of laser, missile, ballistic weapons but in a smaller hand held version...perhaps a weapon building block, an ammo creation block, a weapon modding block or console etc...This I feel would add another level of customisable gameplay at the level of the characters as well as the ships (intention here is not for added complexity but simply a smaller character scale weapon system...perhaps this has already been discussed? Apologies I am new here)...and further apologies if this is off topic...it is just a thought. Cheers and again I would like to express my admiration for this development...I missed the possibility to get a key so I am eagerly awaiting the first release iteration. THANK YOU Tsunamayo :D

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FlyingDebris
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Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:14 am

Howdy, lads!

Okay so here's my two cents on weapons balance as a veteran starmade player:

Multiple weapon types are nice, and necessary for interesting gameplay. That said, we NEED to ensure there are unique and equal drawbacks for each type that the others may not have. This way people don't end up just using one type of weapon over all others.

So, my proposition:


Weapons should have three types of damage. Heat, energy, and kinetic.

Heat: Fucks with the vessel's overall heat and can cause weapons struck to go into cooldown mode (More on this later.)

Energy: Fucks with the vessel's shields. It can take them down faster than other damage types.

Kinetic: Fucks with armor, systems, all that shit. This is the one that actually breaks blocks.



Weapon Types:


Beam/laser

Hitscan instant travel time shit, big glowy lasers, neat shit, right?

Pros:
Instant travel time.
Mid range.
Extra heat and energy damage.

Cons:
Damage mitigated by heatsinks/ablative armor.
Not really great against armor.
Low kinetic damage.

Projectile

Big booming cannons, ay?

Pros:
High alpha damage (Damage applied on projectile impact)
High kinetic damage.
Can be explosive.

Cons:
Short range.
Moderate travel time.
Low shield and heat damage.

Missile

There's no spam like missile spam.

Pros:
Really fuckin high alpha damage.
Long range.
Definitely explosive.
Payload can be tuned to favor damage types.

Cons:
Can be shot down.
Slow as fuck.



Defenses:


Armor
This should be pretty straightforward. Two classes of armor, with one cheap and weak and the other expensive and strong.

Heat sinks
Sucks up heat damage and dissipates it over time. God forbid something hits it, though. It can explode proportionally to the amount of stored heat.

Shields
Stops all kinetic damage until it's down, but can be killed easily by energy damage.



And here's some other effects to spice shit up.

Weapon groups have a heat capacity, firing them without giving them a place to dump their heat will cause them to enter cooldown mode and shut off for a bit. Heat sinks will absorb their heat and keep them functional.

Systems themselves are actually really squishy, but armor can take a lot more punishment. I'm tired of seeing people decide armor is only for looks or heat absorption. I'm open to ideas on how to make it so people don't just spam armor though. High weight is a possibility, but idk.



Open to comments and revision, since this is entirely a rough draft I typed up before dinner.
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