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Starship battles - How often should internal components break?

Discussion in 'StarLife' started by tiagocc0, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. tiagocc0 Arcane

    tiagocc0
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    In a starship battle:

    1.How often should internal components break?
    2.Should some components (or all) be repairable during battle?
    3.Should starships be able to shoot a determined component?
    4.How often should they hit their desired target when locking on a component?
    5.Misfired shoots when locking on a component would hit the ship instead?
    6.Should we add chance to shooting the ship(not a component)? Or could I assume that on that technological level hitting the ship is not a problem, hitting a component from a ship is what's hard.
    7.Shoots that hit the spaceship without locking on a component could have a chance to hit a component?
    8.Should the damage made to the spaceship be equally divided among the components in case it didn't hit a particular component?

    I'm planning on:
    1. Should be hard to hit but would break easily.
    2. Some could be repairable, critical components probably won't
    3. Yes
    4. Not very often
    5. Yes
    6. I vote for always hitting the ship, but not always a component
    7. Yes, but small
    8. Yes, but most would go to a component that's made for defense, like armor or ship structure. But if you get hit too much your internals will bleed
     
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  2. Destroid Arcane

    Destroid
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    These questions are a bit strange to answer because you clearly have a system in mind that is concerned primarily with systems and components rather than hull destructions. If you described the system you have in mind we could better answer these questions.
     
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  3. tiagocc0 Arcane

    tiagocc0
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    Yep, I thought that exposing the system like this if I was doing something terrible wrong someone could point that.

    Right now the system is divided like this:

    Ship contains Components
    Components contain Abilities

    We can have then a Laser ability, then a Photon, Mass Driver, Phaser and so on.
    Then we can mount a component that has one of those above, or more than one.
    Like a cheap turret that has two laser cannons.

    We would have all kinds of abilities too. Like Combustion Propulsion, Nuclear, Plasma. Living quarters for the crew. Command Center, Radar, Aiming SuperComputer and special abilities like Tractor Beam, Transporter, Mine Launcher.
    Then you could also try to combine then. Like a Phaser cannon with a Tractor Beam or something like that.

    I'm thinking of having these components pre-made, but if it really works out the way I want, some components could also be made in game while playing.

    Each component has an individual HP, a support Crew, a Complexity level and a Weight.
    The Ship HP, Crew, Complexity and Weight will be the sum of each individual component.

    But a Ship will probably get disabled or very crippled before it's HP reaches zero.
    So you will probably want to autodestruct your ship so it won't fall on enemy hands. But it's as simple as pressing a button.
    Autodesctruction will be a complex system that you will have to add as a Component.
    Your tech at start probably won't give you a good autodestruction system for big sized ships, so you will probably want to research better ways to pulverize your own ships on defeat.
    Or if you are with your tech far behind you will probably want to avoid autodestruction systems to save space.

    Weight will slow down two things, your movement and your initiative.
    Movements are how much tiles you can move per turn.
    Initiative will determine who plays first each turn.
    Command Centers will improve your initiative, other components will too.
    Complexity will dictate the Ship's price, maintenance costs and repair speed.

    As you research better techs the complexity of advanced components will decrease, as well as it's weight.
    So you will get to fit more components on a ship for the same price.

    That's all I can remember right now.
     
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  4. Norfleet Moderator

    Norfleet
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    Whenever they get shot. How many giant meter-sized holes do you think a piece of technological equipment can withstand, anyway? That said, anything critical to the functioning of the ship should have sufficient redundancy that the ship continues to function.

    Realistically, not unless something causes battles to drag out for extended periods of time. If I fire a bazooka into your car's engine, how long's it going to take you to fix that? While ships should almost certainly be capable of repairing themselves, it's probably not going to happen on the several-seconds-of-panicked-screaming timescale that covers "the middle of a battle".

    Be ABLE to? Sure. Provided you know where, exactly, the component is on the enemy ship, you should be able to target any portion of the any ship you want.

    Not all that often. Seriously, what are the odds you can make out, let alone hit, a dodging target with precision from several lightseconds away? It ain't happening. If, on the other hand, for some reason you're allowed to get into point blank range and want to perform some impromptu lazor surgery on an unsuspecting target? Yeah, knock yourself out.

    Realistically? You're lucky you hit anything at all. The shot hits whatever is there when it gets there. If there's no ship there when the shot arrives...then you don't hit anything.

    No amount of technological level is going to change the fact that if you fire a shot that's going to take half a second to get there, even if it's aimed dead on, if your opponent changes his course in the slightest, you're going to miss by hundreds of kilometers. This is SPACE. Space is HUGE. Ships are tiny. Shots hit whatever is there when it gets there. Period.

    Whatever happens to be in the path of the impending destruction takes damage. Period.

    No, if you fail to hit a component, it's because your shot landed someplace non-important, like an empty propellant tank or something. In which case there is now a big gaping hole there, except nobody really cares right now. Or maybe it just bounced off the armor.

    Combat isn't pretty. A good ship should be the one that continues to still function as a combat-capable unit after half of it has been shot off. A good design therefore involves decisions like "placing your crew quarters such that they funbction as as ablative armor". Because the crew doesn't really need a place to sleep if they all die in the battle anyway. They can worry about that afterwards.
     
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  5. tiagocc0 Arcane

    tiagocc0
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    Thanks Norfleet. I understand your point, but for some points I would not be able to comply because the level of realism of the shot is very low. Since it has no physics associated. So:

    So I don't know where the shot will hit since there's no physics, I can only put a random factor based on all components to see it hits something.


    I think that the technological level would allow for far more precise shooting and if we think of spaceships more like ships instead of airplanes then it moves slowly and predictably.
    Also, I don't like games where you have to rely too much on luck. A fight where you see a lot of miss, miss, miss is a huge turn over for me, especially when it says you have 70% to hit, but you miss 8 times consecutively.
    So to simplify the system all shots will hit, but just hitting won't kill your enemy as fast as you would want, so hitting it's components would be more efficient.


    I say this because when you get hit, it's going to place a hole on your ship and it's going to shake it, shake it badly. So I theorize that your ship's component would eventually fail from all that shots at your armor.
    And because it would make battles that would last that long and would also make armors not the ultimate defense. So adding huge amounts of armor won't save you.



    Perfect statement, can I use it in-game?
     
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  6. Norfleet Moderator

    Norfleet
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    Well, if you don't want to model it with complex physics, you could just draw paint a shot circle centered around the "X" where you choose to target the ship. The tightness of the circle depends on the range to target, and the accuracy of the shooting ship in terms of how accurate the targeting system is and how precise the gun is. Then you roll randomly to determine where in that circle projected onto the target ship the shot lands. Whatever stuff happens to be within that impact is what gets it.

    Honestly, though, space-physics pretty much approaches the ideal simple case. All the simplifying assumptions like "spherical cows in vacuum" pretty much apply to space. Even if you choose to go with a fairly physics-light approach, it can't hurt to have a nice damage model.

    Then increase the number of shots fired. If the hit chances are low and few shots are fired, then luck is heavily a factor, but if thousands of rounds are fired to achieve a kill, then not so much, the law of averages catches up.

    Honestly? A ship isn't going to shake very much unless it gets hit with a fairly high-momentum projectile. EM radiation carries very little momentum and the ship isn't going to shake much at all, whether that radiation comes in the form of a lazor beam or a nuke going off. Armor penetration should be a major factor, along with getting shots into places that can't effectively be armored, like the engine ports. Feeding rounds up someone's tailpipe should be a tactic, much in the way a hyena going after a dead elephant goes for the soft, unprotected anus.

    Knock yourself out.
     
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  7. tiagocc0 Arcane

    tiagocc0
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    Hmm, I will study this approach.


    Too many shoots will get the player to forget what's being shot to pay attention only at the result. I know from experience from playing games like this, I don't want the player to hit a button to shoot and then just hopes something gets trough after loads of shooting animation.


    Sure, but shaking could represent actual shake or radiation or a hull breach or anything nasty that the weapon in use would leave behind after hitting.
    I'm still thinking about a ship getting behind another, if I'm able to develop it the way I want ships will have a direction and weapons will have an arc that limits it.
    But still have to think about components placement, without a good system to position components the shooting system won't make sense.
     
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  8. Norfleet Moderator

    Norfleet
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    Well, if you're going with "simple and accessible", based on your talk of "tiles", it's probably 2D. So, a ship shoots. A cone is drawn in direction of shot. This cone, presumably, intersects your opposing ship in some way, at least partially. The shot is then fired, somewhere within that cone. Whatever happens to be in that direction of fire now gets hit. Your shot now mauls everything in its path until it runs out of energy to punch through stuff.

    Your ship, therefore, is some kind of zoomed in model of components positioned in a hull, perhaps on a grid. This mapped shot line will pass through one or more compartments of the ship. Those compartments are variably mangled, mauled, irradiated, and vented into space. Every component in those compartments is now so much mangled scrap. Everyone in those components is now fatally dead. If you are fortunate and those components contained nothing that you'd miss right this very moment, then your ship sustains superficial cosmetic damage and you keep fighting. Otherwise, you now have to start learning to do without. Tiles like armor, obviously, can resist and absorb a fair deal of damage before being penetrated through, while tiles like the Transdigital Freon Converter, not so much. On the other hand, your crew will probably survive doing without the ice machine, so it might be wise to use such expendable systems as ablative armor to protect important stuff, like the bridge. Things like "Sewage Processing", "Life Support", are all things that you can do without: You might have to abandon the ship after the battle if you can't get life support working again, but realistically, life support isn't actually a thing you need in the heat of battle. People don't all just drop dead the moment life support is switched off. Assuming that ships don't purely exist just for killing each other, there's probably going to be a lot of things on the ship that don't pertain to anything important in the middle of a battle at all. A well-designed starship, therefore, positions these systems in such a way that they screen more important stuff from being shot first. The hydroponics bay is a lot more expendable than the reactor core!

    Now, in the best case scenario (for the defender), the defender's ship is too small to even block the entire shot cone. The shot line doesn't happen to intersect the defending ship at all! This is what we call a "miss". This is great news.
     
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  9. tiagocc0 Arcane

    tiagocc0
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    Thanks for the detailed explanation, I will consider this approach, I still have some things I want done first like getting weapons to work, then I will see what system I will use.
     
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  10. Destroid Arcane

    Destroid
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    There is a tabletop that uses a 'battleships' type system - there is a 2D grid with a representation of the ship, and the attacker rolls to see which coordinate is struck. A larger ship takes up more of the grid and is thus easier to hit, it's a pretty neat system (although doesn't take range into account like the cone does).
     
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  11. tiagocc0 Arcane

    tiagocc0
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    Thanks, I will take a look at it too.
     
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