Author Topic: [Answered] Aerospace Craft (Fighters, bombers etc)  (Read 13410 times)

RLS0812

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Re: Aerospace Craft (Fighters, bombers etc)
« Reply #75 on: January 23, 2014, 07:35:16 pm »
  As of right now, folks have been having space "fights" in another simulator, and have found that small space ships can easily wreck havoc with slower moving large ships, even when the larger ship has a good sized crew.

 I predict in the future that large ships will mostly be support ships, while small ships do all the fighting and raiding missions.
Interested to know which other sim. In a block-based world, unless there are inverse-scales applied, bigger ships = more power. At the very least, the big ship should be able to launch fighters at the incoming fighters to fend them off.
Last round we tried in the other sim, we pitted a 650 block long destroyer with 5 crew manning the turrets, and 1 driver against 1 fighter that was 8 blocks long and 5 blocks wide.
 Take a wild guess which ship was disabled at the end of the fight ?
 ( The large ship was slow to maneuver, and required large amounts of energy  to function )

 Even when BR gets updated with all it's new features, I still do not see large ships being used for much more than simple support ships. No one has been able to design a good practical combat vessel that is large in size.

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Me2005

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Re: Aerospace Craft (Fighters, bombers etc)
« Reply #76 on: January 24, 2014, 11:57:23 am »
Last round we tried in the other sim, we pitted a 650 block long destroyer with 5 crew manning the turrets, and 1 driver against 1 fighter that was 8 blocks long and 5 blocks wide.
 Take a wild guess which ship was disabled at the end of the fight ?
 ( The large ship was slow to maneuver, and required large amounts of energy  to function )

I'd guess the larger ship. Because it requires more energy to function, it should be able to do and absorb more damage; unless the energy per-player is artificially capped (which I've suggested should be done in the past, FYI).

If this mystery sim only had forward-facing weapons and large ships are automatically slower to turn (Starmade), then yes, a fighter with high maneuverability would eat that thing up. Once it got past the larger ship's gunports, the fight would be over, the larger ship would not get another chance to fire. But I'm pretty sure that's not the case in Starmade, since shields get stronger and stronger as they get larger (last I played, anyway); and you can certainly build turrets (each easily as large as and more heavily armed/armored than the fighter; since they don't need engines draining their power. If that's what you were doing, you may have done something wrong manning them, the AI is pretty competent IIRC).

I know that in Starmade they also have stealth that works only for smaller ships; equipping your fighter with that would make it more capable; but it should still be vulnerable to fire here and there; a single hit could take it out if you're using missiles.

I remember being in a medium ship in an early version of Pytheas and having trouble against fighters, but they were about the same mass as I was and there weren't really any damage mechanics in place (weapons just removed blocks).

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No one has been able to design a good practical combat vessel that is large in size.

In another game-engine. It's important to know which because then we can know whether or not it's a valid comparison. We have many examples of real-life situations where large ships dominate, especially in situations where there are no insta-kill weapons (a situation the dev's have repeatedly stated an interest in).

As another point of interest, what was your engagement range? We don't know much about how that will shake out in BR, but much of this discussion has revolved around ranges heading toward 'realistic-to-long'. Start with both ships well out of range of each other (Like 5-10x, if you didn't already) and see how that goes.
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RLS0812

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Re: Aerospace Craft (Fighters, bombers etc)
« Reply #77 on: January 24, 2014, 12:15:21 pm »
As of right now, it's difficult to predict the game mechanics of Blockade Runner, so all we can do is guess on what future updates will bring with them.
 I'm using simulations from Space Engineers as "guessing" as to what the game mechanics of BR may be like - until we get updated to the newer version and try stuff out.
 BTW - I dislike the simplified game mechanics of StarMade .

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Me2005

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Re: Aerospace Craft (Fighters, bombers etc)
« Reply #78 on: January 24, 2014, 01:11:09 pm »
As of right now, it's difficult to predict the game mechanics of Blockade Runner, so all we can do is guess on what future updates will bring with them.

We've got some dev input to go off of, but at this point where there aren't any mechanics, it's easy to try to steer development toward adding some that might help balance different ships against each other out. I wouldn't want a fighter/bomber to be able to single-handedly rip up a sufficiently-advanced cap ship, but I'd also prefer that the fighter can survive an initial encounter against such a ship; and that fighters are a worthwhile endeavor against something (be it caps, enemy bombers which are useful against caps, support ships, or something else). I think we can figure out the mechanics that would approach that goal.

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I'm using simulations from Space Engineers as "guessing" as to what the game mechanics of BR may be like - until we get updated to the newer version and try stuff out.
 BTW - I dislike the simplified game mechanics of StarMade .

And I don't know much about the mechanics of Space Engineers. I think I remember that the game has different sized blocks for different sized ships? If so, that could be a problem with your simulation, especially if the blocks have non-linearly scaled health.



Another thought about shields: In Escape Velocity (Classic), smaller ships's shields typically regenerated quickly while larger ones more slowly. Granted, there was a "sheild regen" number for each ship. Perhaps setting it up so a larger ship has a hard time mounting more shield generators but not capacitors would help with balance? For an example from EV: Most fighters were one-two shotted by large, expensive, weapons (missiles, torpedoes, rockets), but regenerated almost instantly from minor damage (blasters, some of which cost & massed as much as a single shot from a large expensive weapon but they got infinite rounds). The cap ships could take boatloads of damage (20+ of the large weapons before the shields drop), but their shields regenerated very slowly - never in a normal engagement without landing somewhere to repair. I think we could emulate this by making shield generators energy hogs (and have use scale exponentially) while shield capacitors just store the generated shield, and do it much more efficiently (i.e.: Generator makes 10 shield/sec for while capacitor stores 100). Then provide capital class weapons that can one-hit fighters but aren't great at doing so and regular weapons that don't one-shot anybody. Anyway, it's a thought.
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Strait Raider

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Re: Aerospace Craft (Fighters, bombers etc)
« Reply #79 on: January 24, 2014, 01:46:58 pm »
Don't forget either that the square-cube law cuts both ways.

The larger a ship gets, the lower the amount of surface area it has proportional to its volume. This means that the larger a vessel gets the more difficult it is going to be to manage the heat that is generated.

On a small fighter or bomber the huge surface area relative to volume means that it will probably be able to cool itself in combat through ambient radiation off the armor. (as a sidenote, this is good for newbie players as they aren't overwhelmed with mechanics on their first ships)

Larger ships would have to dedicate hull space to radiator systems (and internal space to heat pumps and coolant, and power for the pumps) which means that in addition to losing some efficiency (to the cost, space, mass, and power needed to manage heat) they also gain more weakpoints in the form of the fragile external radiators, without which the ship may be reduced to a fraction of its maximum power output to avoid cooking itself.

Still larger ships would reach the point where even covering their entire surface area in radiators would not be sufficient to get rid of the massive amount of heat generated by its systems. At this point the ship would have to rely at least partially on thermal energy storage systems, which would accumulate excess heat until the ship reduces heat output to below the level that the radiators can handle. Effectively, larger ships would have a natural endurance limit on how long they can operate at high output. (in addition to devoting still more internal space to thermal energy storage)



As a sidenote, this would have some other interesting effects on large-ship design as well.

Perhaps my favorite thing about this is that it encourages more aesthetically interesting ship design. Typically a spherical or near-cubical ship is the most efficient ship in terms of armor coverage, target profile size, and maneuverability. (thanks to the square-cube law) However, since heat efficiency decreases with the square-cube law, the most efficient of these ship designs are the least heat-efficient ship designs. This should encourage more interesting designs rather than everyone just building Borg Cubes.

A large ship would be something of a balancing act in terms of power output. Since operating at 100% power all the time might rapidly fill the thermal stores, a ship might try to run regularly at 60 or 70% power. In combat this may mean powering the shields and the weapons at max but having the engine shut off. Meanwhile a fighter or very small ship could run max weapons, shields, and engines at the same time.

Likewise, larger ships might prefer to carry more armor than shields. The extra mass of armor wouldn't be as big an issue for a ship that wouldn't generally be doing acrobatic maneuvers, but the ability to turn off the shields to let the heat system clear itself without getting instagibbed could be invaluable.

Me2005

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Re: Aerospace Craft (Fighters, bombers etc)
« Reply #80 on: January 24, 2014, 02:08:29 pm »
*Snip*

Mostly only applicable IF heat mechanics are added. More heat still means you're capable of doing/absorbing more damage, but yes, it's a good trade off for large vs. small. For my above shield setup, generators might create loads of heat (easily dissipated by small ships) while capacitors generate almost none. Thus large ships wouldn't want many generators, but have the massive capacity to absorb anything a single fighter can hope to throw at them (and the generative capacity to simply brute-outpower the fighter's weapons anyway).
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Aaron

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Re: Aerospace Craft (Fighters, bombers etc)
« Reply #81 on: January 24, 2014, 03:47:32 pm »
How we see Fighters being used, in a nutshell:




- Fighters are essentially 'smart ordinance' that can avoid enemy fire better than missiles and can be given custom multi-role purposes after being deployed.

- Fighters are meant to be one of the 'special weapons' your ship is deploying.  The space required to house and support the fighters in a hangar bay could be used for other purposes, so it's a tradeoff of "Fighters as a special weapon vs. More Shields / More Cargo / More Laser Energy".

- A single fighter will not be intended to be able to take on a competent freighter on its own.

- Heat mechanics are intended to be a key role for fighters.  Radiators make Star Fox "shoot the blinky spots" make total sense and give targets of opportunity for the fighters without them having to dismantle the entire freighter to "win".


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I'm using simulations from Space Engineers as "guessing" as to what the game mechanics of BR may be like - until we get updated to the newer version and try stuff out.

Trying out other voxel games' combat systems is a good idea.  Entirely destructible vehicles is a brand new frontier that needs many many experiments to get right.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 03:53:12 pm by Aaron »
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