Missiles and Jousting Combat

#24

I really like Lomsor’s ideas of different type of missiles.
Mines also sound interesting way to counter jousting.
And best of all at least for me it sounds doable,
and doesnt destroy immersion, and doesnt restrict controls of the ship directly.

#25

Isn’t there currently some form of aerodynamic lift in the prototype?
Because rotating and pitching is currently more effective then just yawing. It does kinda feel like a lifting surface.


Made a quick and dirty showcase gif of a mine hit in ROCKETSROCKETSROCKETS

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Ship Orientation Limit in FA on and Orientation Stablization in FA off
Roberts Space Industries - Star Citizen
#26

Yes, there’s some sort of aerodynamics in the prototype. I suppose there’s some argument to be made over what, exactly, constitutes lift here. I, at the very least, have been talking about lift as the dominant force keeping the ships in the air, which clearly isn’t aerodynamic in nature in Battlescape.

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#27

I think that’s a very good way to approach it.

Yes, please.

My expectation is that if I’m sitting 20 or 50km above a defended facility, I should be able to easily spot ships moving through the surrounding terrain. Masked approaches on a defended facility would be fairly pointless.

That changes if one of two things are true:

  1. The ship sitting above the facility is distracted. That’s just an issue of tactics. But if the entire defending fleet is hovering 25km above the facility as the best defensive location, would they ever all leave that important location?

  2. Sensors are artificially bad at spotting ships in canyons and such. This would permanently change the situation, requiring ships to patrol the surrounding terrain in hopes of spotting the guys using a canyon approach.

Sensors could also just be bad at differentiating a ship from something that it is near. So if I park a ship next to a big ring rock, I’m hard to spot on sensors. If I’m moving close to the surface of a planet, I’m hard to spot on sensors. And so on. That strikes me as the simplest and most universally-interesting solution.

False positives would be an interesting thing to throw into the mix.

I think pitch rates are just higher than yaw rates.

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#28

Drag and lift force are proportional to dynamic pressure. In fact, the equation is: Drag (Lift) = Drag (Lift) Coefficient * Dynamic Pressure

What matters, though, is the dynamic pressure direct affects the craft’s structural strength. A spaceship, designed for high linear acceleration along the engine axis, may have very low structural strength to a high pressure force normal to the engine axis. This is where the Dynamic-Q limit comes into play. For example, look at the F-22 versus the YF-23. The F-22 is designed for high Q maneuvers, but the engine is a box to support that stress. YF-23 has high maneuverability but it isn’t designed for high-Q maneuvers, hence the thinner body.

For this game, Infinity can incorporate the dynamic Q limit into aircraft. Interceptors > Bombers > Corvettes would be a possible balancing limit. The dynamic Q limit, interacting with atmosphere modeling, would drive different flight behaviors at different speeds and altitudes.

Heat loading should definitely be added to the game. This will change planetary entry tactics and flight behavior across the entire game.

Remember that flying low is to evade ground-based air defenses. If there is a target, it will be surrounded by air defenses, which may include AAA or missiles.

Against opponent aircraft, the low flying plane is at a strict disadvantage. The opponent plane has energy to maneuver into a favorable firing position, while the low flying plane has to climb up to gain favorable fighting position.

The only benefit is if you’re flying low to evade a sensor lock. Otherwise, low altitude is a strict disadvantage. Higher plane has greater speed, energy, ability to choose engagement type (boom and zoom versus dogfight versus standoff missile, etc. etc.).

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#29

The most realistic solution to the problem is to decrease radar resolution for low-flying aircraft. This was a problem in the early days. Later on, Doppler-radar allows for look-down capability. However, we can say that ships have internal jamming devices which decrease the Doppler accuracy of ships.

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#30

I strongly disagree to this line of reasoning.

Infinity is a game with massive ranges; a single focus point in a game could have as much space as the entire multiplayer map collection in Ace Combat, combined. The gameplay of infinity should be strongly influenced by the massive scale available.

The arcade use of missiles, and to be sure your missile description is very arcade, emphasizes short range combat. Missiles, in these games, are more like one-use powerups rather than a distinct weapon with distinct characteristics. They could be removed without any serious change in gameplay.

If I-Novae used your idea for missiles, then there would be no reason to engage anything at distance. The resulting gameplay would miss a very large element of what makes Infinity special. Instead, space and atmospheric combat would be indistinguishable from any volumetrically bound arcade flight game. Short ranged weapons will lead to short ranged combat.

For gameplay concepts, those which emphasize the scale of the gameplay environment and seamless orbit to surface interaction should be strong candidates for inclusion. If we restrict missile combat to a few kilometers at most, we are not including one of the most appealing aspects of the I-Novae engine.

For missile combat, what this means is that the game probably should take some cues from modern missile weapons. There should be long range anti-ship missiles, dozens to hundreds of kilometers, and there should be the capability to shoot at aircraft while in orbit (at least from a capital ship). The balancing component is through an advanced sensor model. If we include a reasonably detailed sensor / jamming model and allow for terrain masking through sensor noise / reduced effectiveness near the surface, then long range missiles will only be effective against opponents who are not flying optimally.

In this case, you still get the capability to shoot at targets from a very long range, unique to Infinity, but the opponents also get to play with altitude and terrain, also unique to Infinity.

I think that a short-ranged, arcade based missile gameplay will lead to fights which do not show off the uniqueness of the I-Novae engine.

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#31

Well that’s definitely a different viewpoint.

What I don’t see is how what I imagine you propose is engaging and fun to play for both sides.

Attacker does:

  • Aiming or clicking at icons
  • locking on (waiting)
  • Fire
  • Do nothing

While the oponent has to:

  • See incoming missile
  • Evade / HIde

And boths switch sides every now and then. Without ever seeing the opponent. How does that show the scale of the I-Novae engine off? Sure you are able to engage from mind boggling distances and big numbers show up underneath the icons but I think that should be put in its own gameplay mechanic, like I-Novae planed, Destroyers that have long range weaponry and can attack ground installations. Giant beams hundreds of KM long.

#32

Talking about missile mechanics, i would like to expose my ship’s stats mechanics idea:

Block based system, no it’s not minecraft, it’s just about the ship stats!

ship properties:
-Size (+blocks)
-Armor (-x blocks from size)
-weight (used blocks including areodinamics and cargo)
-Aerodinamics (-x blocks from size)
-energy reserve size (-x blocks from size)
-ballistic ammo reserve size (-x blocks from size)
-Engine+Thrusters(-x blocks from size)
-Cargo (-x blocks from size when used)

ship stats:
-OSMF–Open space maneuverability factor (100 points max).> -weight + engine.thrusters
-AMF --athmospheric maneuverability factor (100 points max).> -weight - size + aerodinamics - athmosphere density
-GFMF–Gravity field maneuverability factor (100 points max).> -weight - gravity -size + thusters *damage received if factor is negative
-HRF --Heat resistance factor (100 points max).> -Tº +Armor *uses energy depending on Tº
-ARF–Athmospheric resistance (+/- 100 points max).> -size+aerodinamics- athmosphere density *damage received if factor is negative
-BAR–Base Armor resistance (100 points max).> +armor -weight - gravity -size -Tº
*Distance from the local star also affects Heat + gravity in open space

size:
-small : 20 blocks
-medium : 40 blocks
-big : 80 blocks
-small capital : 400 blocks (?)
-medium capital : 1200 blocks (?)
-big capital : 3600 blocks (?)

Armor:
-Weak (1 block used each 20 blocks available)
-average (2 blocks used each 20 blocks available)
-good (4 blocks used each 20 blocks available)
-Bulk (8 blocks used each 20 blocks available)
-multiple layers (16 blocks used each 20 blocks available)

Aerodinamics:
-none (0 block used each 20 blocks available)
-spaceaero (1 blocks used each 20 blocks available)
-aerospace (2 blocks used each 20 blocks available)
-aerodinamic (4 blocks used each 20 blocks available)

energy reserve size:
-kinetic (1 block per 20 blocks available)
-ergo (2 block per 20 blocks available)
-energetic(4 block per 20 blocks available)
-autonomous (8 block per 20 blocks available)

ballistic ammo reserve
-pacifist (0 block per 20 blocks available)
-secure (1 block per 20 blocks available)
-defender(2 block per 20 blocks available)
-fighter(4 block per 20 blocks available)
-atacker(8 block per 20 blocks available)

Engine+Thrusters
-Station (0 block per 20 blocks available) <-actually a joke
-Pod (1 block per 20 blocks available)
-explorer (2 block per 20 blocks available)
-propelled (4 block per 20 blocks available)
-powered (8 block per 20 blocks available)

Cargo
-none (no blocks used)
-cargo (can use all the unused block to transport stuff)



Test: Small weak spaceaero ergo defender explorer cargo ship
-Size: 20 blocks
-armor: -1 block
-Aerodinamic: -1 block
-energy: -2
-ballistic: -2
-engine+t: -2
– unused blocks: 12
-cargo: 12 blocks

Base Stats around an earth like planet (no calcs done here, no formulas developed to do so, so i did it on a x/10 basis based on my personal opinion)
*Cargo is empty

-weight: 12
-OSMF: should be around 6/10
-AMF: should be around 5/10
-GFMF: should be around 3/10
-HRF: should be around 2/10
-ARF: should be around 4/10
-BAR: should be around 1/10

Ideas are welcome to include missiles here

#33

Lomsor, I think you’re missing some gameplay aspects which would make this situation far less dire than you suggest:

To begin with, you have to consider the scale of the game. Why is the attacker (in this case) at that point? It is probably because there is a critical facility there. Instead of being an arbitrary ‘Attacker’, the ‘Attacker’ here is likely a strategic defender, trying to guard a point target.

The first step for the ‘Attacker’ is to find the ‘Defender.’ Here is where Infinity’s scale comes into play. An ‘Attacker’ will have to patrol thousands(!!!) of square kilometers to cover all the approach routes to a target. If we restrict sensors to a forward arc (a requirement if long range missiles are in play) and decrease sensor reliability through decoys and low altitude masking, an ‘Attacker’ has to maintain a ceaseless patrol, constantly turning and scanning in different directions. Finding the opponent is a major task in this game and gameplay should reward people who find (or evade) their enemy.

Let’s turn this around and look at the ‘Defender’. The ‘Attacker’ is flying in circles broadcasting his position with a high-powered search radar. The ‘Defender’ has perfect knowledge of the ‘Attacker’ and can divide his forces to evade the ‘Attacker’. Or send escorts up to engage the ‘Attacker’ to draw away fire. The escorts can fire using passive homing, aiming at the emitting ‘Attacker’.

As for the rest of the engagement, the ‘Attacker’ has to spend a lot of time waiting for the ‘Defender’ and positioning himself to be in the right place. Then the engagement goes:
‘Attacker’ does:

  • patrol looking for ‘Defender’ on radar, exposing himself to attack by emitting sensor noise
  • detect ‘Defender’ on radar
  • engage targeting radar for missile quality lock

‘Defender’ does:

  • fire passively guided missile at the ‘Attacker’ radar
  • engage jamming to reduce ‘Attacker’ radar range

‘Attacker’ does:

  • break from approach to evade passively guided missile
  • close range to power through jamming, or fire different (less reliable) class of missile

‘Defender’ does:

  • fire off decoys to lure away missile
  • split force to make ‘Attacker’ divide his attention
  • maneuver

‘Attacker’ does:

  • close to short range to ensure kill

What is missing is the interplay of different gameplay mechanics:

  • sensor modeling
  • ECM and ECCM modeling
  • different guidance types: Radiation seeking; active radar homing; infrared homing

If Infinity goes with long range missiles, then the above needs to be modeled to give enough gameplay depth.

But, there is a much larger picture here which is missing in the missile discussion.

Say that the game only has short ranged combat. This will give a massive advantage to any bombers. The goal of a defense force is to engage bombers far away from the target, so that no single bomber can close to the target to deliver a payload. If defense fighters only have short ranged weapons, then the optimal strategy for the bombers is to approach the target from all directions of the compass. In that case, the defenders could only respond to one or two bombers at a distance, while the other ones close in from other directions.

Again, we have to recall that defenders are guarding over thousands of square kilometers, while attackers can come in at very high speeds for the final run into the target. Without long-range weapon mechanics, there are no reasons to fly at low altitudes, so attackers will run in at high altitude and high speed.

For historical analogies: US Strategic bombers were trending towards supersonic aircraft until the development of reliable long range air defenses. Then there was a very sharp shift towards low altitude flight. Compare B-1B to XB-72.

Long range missiles give the defenders some chance against a reasonable attacking force. The missiles will drive attackers to lower altitudes and slower speeds and defenders can attrite an attacking force.

To emphasize: without long range weapons, there is /no/ reason to fly at low altitude. High altitude and high speed is optimal if weapons are short ranged only.

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#34

Yes and I inferred that. But that has nothing to do with the actual weapon system available. Scouting will play a more or less important role depending how scouting and sensor data is balanced.
That’s why I didn’t mention it. It does go well with it yes but so does a fleet with close range weapons waiting for the scouts to find the target.

Yes I agree. Still doesn’t make the actual missile warfare more interesting. Having to find the enemy adds to the fun of the game in general.


Here I tried to list all the ideas that directly interface with the missiles that you mentionend:

You mention the drawback yourself:


I-Novae plans to have ground and space defence installations that would encourage back-door routes.

Now, giving the players and not only NPC long range weapons to have fun with isn’t a bad idea. I-Novae allready plans to do so with the Destroyer.
It probably will only be able to shoot at big targets and have a low firing rate. I think using a giant LAZOR shows the scale and seamlessness more then a missile in that situation though.


It’s not like the game couldn’t have both. Mine and your idea. They said they would do missiles but they have limited funds.
I personally think missiles should be as much castrated as possible, because we want to show our skill in those battles and not have drones and AIs fight for us.

Sure we can prove that trough scouting and tactics too, but as I showed above, scouting and tactics would be very similar no matter if we use my missiles, your missiles, both or none.

#35

I think we’re forgetting something. There’s going to be two different kinds of ship in the game, with two different kinds of gameplay. Having short- and long-range missiles need not be mutually exclusive. It’s simply a matter fitting them into the gameplay they most compliment.

A singleship is never going to be fighting at ranges longer than, say, 10 kilometers, and more often at ranges shorter than 2. Their targets are going to be agile and fragile. Balance short-range missiles around providing a satisfying dogfighting experience.

A capital ship, on the hand, is going to be engaging targets at tens to hundreds of kilometers, if I’ve interpreted the gameplay storyboard correctly. Its targets are going to large, armored, and slow or stationary. A capital ship’s gameplay is going to be less about tactical skill and more about strategy, positioning, and resource management. Balance long-range missiles around that; cracking stationary, hard to damage targets.

Missiles balanced around singleships aren’t going to bother capitals: there’s not enough armor penetration (if that’s a thing) or raw damage. Missiles balanced around capitals aren’t going to bother singleships; they’re not agile enough to catch them.

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#36

I disagree with this assessment, or at least this division of roles.

A single short range dogfight is fun. A single short ranged dogfight in the trenches on a planet is awesome. But that loses it’s appeal if every battle is a dogfight on a planet’s surface or a short ranged dogfight. Gameplay design which pushes craft into a single combat mode will make that combat mode lose it’s excitement and become boring.

The advantage of adding long range missiles to singlecraft (I prefer Strike Craft) is that it gives an alternate mode of gameplay. If dogfights are the only allowed attack method, then speed doesn’t really play a role in strike fighter combat. In fact, short ranged missiles could be removed from the dogfighting game altogether.

One tendency which I worry about is the desire to force ‘cool’ combat scenes, instead of letting them naturally evolve from the tools at hand. If there is the combination of high-powered long range ground defenses and short ranged missiles, the game is forcing canyon fights for every scenario. That will become boring, even though it seems very cool in the abstract. A long range weapon allows for different fighter / bomber tactics, so that players can mix it up against a mono-strategic opponent.

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#37

Perhaps you should give a few details on what strike craft are for and how speed plays a role.

My only interpretation of this is that strike craft using long range missiles can hit big targets (capitals, ground installations), requiring the defenders to buster their interceptors to reach the strike craft before they get in range. But that’s not a dogfighting scenario, so I’m not sure why you’d bring that up here.

I’m fine with long range strike ships, but not to deliver missiles against fighters at long ranges. That produces atrocious gameplay in the form of a Pavlovian game of “hear bell, maneuver hard until bell stops.”

I’m not sure how introducing long range missiles would introduce any sense of evolving tactics. Once the tools/rules are in place, the tactics tend to stagnate. Now if the game started with short range missiles and later introduced long range missiles, then you’d see an evolution of combat tactics because of the changing tool set. I highly recommend doing things like that to keep gameplay fresh.

Of course, players can also be sticks-in-the-mud, hating any change that compromises their carefully-tuned leet situation. The answer to that is to make sure that destabilizing changes take place regularly. Nobody gets a chance to get too comfortable with the rules one way.

Note that once long range missiles are in, they can be taken out again. Or the supply can be incrementally restricted. Or the supply can be modified procedurally so that nobody knows what’s going to happen.

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#38

I think balancing range and payload against maneuverability is a perfect way to balance missile combat.

You want anti-fighter missiles? They don’t last long (remember how impossibly long they lasted in ICP? T_T ), and if they aren’t fired correctly can be largely ignored. Countermeasures should be reliable, but limited in capacity. To be perfectly honest, I don’t mind them not existing at all. As has been noted before, skilled pilots learned to orbit their opponents, because most vessels were hard enough to hit/durable enough to require sustained fire to take down, and jousting prohibits that. I think the most effective counter to jousting is to simply make it ineffectual, through shields and repairs.

Bigger targets (capitals, stations, structures) require bigger warheads. Bigger warheads reduce capacity for fuel. Fuel gives you range, so more fuel means more range. More fuel means more mass, which reduces agility. Long-range cruise missiles would be completely useless against anybody who does any evasion in a fighter/bomber/frigate, but the bigger the capital ship, the greater the range the cruise missile is effective from. Of course, these missiles would have to be launched from either a large vessel itself if you want multiple launches, or from many smaller craft dedicated to the purpose.

Large craft should always be a matter of logistics and strategy: do you build one now? Does your opponent have a more labor intensive, but cost effective counter?

#39

Not in space, it doesn’t. Instead, fuel gives you the ability to maneuver, and since larger ships will presumably be less maneuverable…

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#40

Not that I cannot appreciate the fact you’re correct, but my statement is also not false.

For one, I never said space, but I did mention structures, and by structures I meant planetary installations, which are very much not in space. If you want to launch a cruise missile from one side of a planet to the other (pick your reason: avoiding detection, avoiding danger, intend to fly the ship the opposite direction while the enemy is focused on the incoming barrage, etc), you’re going to need a great deal of fuel.

Fuel also gives you velocity. Capital ships accelerate slowly, but AFAIK there is nothing to make capital ships inherently slow. If you only pack enough fuel into your long range missile to get to X velocity, then all I need to do is reach X + 0.00000000000001 and your missiles are ineffective. Additionally, the faster your missile is moving, the less time I have to react, the more skill I need to destroy it, the more it can deviate from launch vector to correct for my evasions. The technical range of a ballistic object in space may be approximately infinite, but the practical or effective range is dictated by how fast it can move and how much it can correct/adjust its velocity.

#41

simple solution for jousting, just like in the aircraft games:

both ships get destroyed at direct impacts, they aren’t made to crash that hard, at very very very very, VERY low speeds they might survive

#42

This is a long topic, but I view strike craft as being exactly the same to modern day fighters. Small, strategically and operationally expendable vehicles, which can deliver massive damage through high-powered weapons. They pose major risks to large vehicles and are, at the same time, the primary protection against themselves.

That idea of missile gameplay comes from arcade sensor / missile systems. My whole argument relies upon the construction of a detailed sensor system, which is already going to be a necessity for other gameplay elements. If you’re being targeted by a missile, you’ve already made a mistake. (Flown too high, not enough jamming systems, etc.) The missile shot comes at the end of an interplay between pilot tactics and positioning, not at the beginning.

I don’t think you understand the interplay here between tactical possibilities. If Infinity goes with the short ranged missile / long ranged ground based air defense route, ground attack tactical possibilities are fixed to low altitude strike with dogfights in the canyons.

If Infinity goes with a: advanced sensor and ECM model (incl. imperfect sensors with limited arcs), long range missiles, gradations on ground based systems, the gameplay can evolve as the match progresses.

Here, the defending player can choose between buying fighters with long range missiles and sensors or upgrading the ground based air defenses. (A strategic choice) The attacker can respond by choosing long / high altitude attacks for cheaply defended bases or going to a low altitude approach for highly defended bases. (A responsive strategic choice) This also gives a nice pacing to ground attack. Early attacks and defenses are done cheaply and easily, later attacks against major bases require work and advanced flying.

The obvious problem here is development time. I’d like to think that I-Novae will spend a lot of effort on the sensor model. With an advanced sensor model, much of the tools are in place for enjoyable long range missile combat.

What I am concerned about is the desire to develop gameplay mechanics to promote a single form of combat or a narrow range of combat. Even the idea that controlling long range missile access during a map would lead to a nice cycling of combat options is too restrictive. I think it preferable that I-Novae develop gameplay mechanics: heat management, atmosphere and space flight, sensors and ECM. Within those overall movement and detection mechanics, a unique form of combat will appear. Trying to force a style of combat (short ranged or long ranged) will create a jarring disconnect between the rest of the game.

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#43

I like what you are saying. BTW, I have a huge mega thread for you to read. :wink:

(shameless self promotion incoming, take cover! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)

I’m a firm believer that the game shouldn’t be built to encourage specific tactics, rather tactics should evolve from the player’s understanding of a widely built sandbox of possibilities.