Ship categories and descriptions (very long but has pictures!)

Hi, so i was thinking about ship classes and figured why not document my ideas here. Not realy a “suggestion” per se since i’m sure INS already has a set plan for this, but anyway… Please note that the pictures provided aren’t actual examples but are more aimed towards the FEEL OF PLAYING with one in its role.

There’s 6 types of basic ship design:

  • Utility
  • Fighter
  • Corvette
  • Frigate
  • Cruiser
  • Capital

Utility - these ships are not self-sufficient. Carry zero or one pilot. These kinds of ships provide a specific task and are not customisable or upgradable. Examples of this are: Unmanned repair drone, inter-ship shuttle, asteroid scanner probe. Your typical “pet” in games.

Fighter - probably your first “real” spaceship. It can fly, take off and land and carry you, the meatbag, around. High-tech models may include an FTL drive or even shield generator but it does not have interstellar capabilities. By definition carries only one pilot and at least one gun. Is usually deployed or transported between stars by larger ship. Examples: Assault Fighter, Stealth Bomber, Interceptor.

Corvette - a bigger version of the fighter, if a Fighter is a nimble sports car then this is a Humvee. By definition it needs two or three players to operate and can carry heavier equipment and is usually specialised in a specific role. Like Fighters it does not have interstellar capabilities. This will often be used by a group of 2 or 3 friends.

Frigate - probably your first true independent spacecraft. It has a cargo hold, configurable weapons and systems and, most importantly, an autonomous interstellar drive (figthers and corvettes have none of those). Also serves as a very basic “player housing” platform, allowing you to customise the exterior and interior of the ship by buying designs from the market or real-money shop (monetisation model!!!), probably in the form of an item that, when used, changes the entire look of the ship (different colour, textures). All frigates by definition require only one pilot to operate but additional staff is welcome (as opposed to AI control).

Cruiser - the first team effort of a group of players, it requires SOME resourses to manufacture and has a minimum crew of 4 to operate and while it can be operated with less players it suffers tremendously. Usually it has a helmsman that is piloting the ship, a captain giving orders (like eve online piloting), an engineer that manages all internal systems and a weapons specialist that actively operates the weapons.
Each of those will have a sort of minigame in their own role such as the helmsman simply piloting the ship and following the captain’s orders, the engineer plays with the UI to keep the ship alive, the gunner playing the shooting gallery with turrets and their targets and captain’s job is pretty much the same as playing eve online (only your orders are displayed on everyone else’s screen and THEY execute them, you just sit back and watch). These ships has little to no customisation options but players are still free to find all the variety of ships. This is your typical 5-man party ship to play with friends on the weekend. Most players have their own ship and a group of friends may leave one of these docked for when they plan on playing together.

Capital - These are your end-game ships. Require entire guilds/corporations to manufacture and operate. The smallest ship probably requires at least 10 players to operate, the command trio (captain, helmsman and engineer) plus a player on each weapon and one on shield generator. Each of these roles will have their own UI minigame that is relevant to the role. A lone player cannot pilot this ship at all and requires at least two to simply move it (with no functioning shields or weapons).
Customisation is tied to corp/guild progress.
Vanquished a very dangerous enemy? New paint job unlocked!
Destroyed a player enemy corp in a pvp war? Fancy armor or engine trails!
Explored every dangerous “space dungeon”? Unique-looking antennas!

Ship Mechanics:

The “stats”. In a typical MMO there is Strength, Charisma or Dexterity. Here we have CPU, Power and Cooling systems. Various equipment requires different amounts of these “stats” to run it.

CPU has a total amount of performance measured in Flops and each piece of equipment may require a certain amount of Flops to complete its task and the lack of Flops simply translates in that task taking longer to acomplish.
An example of this would be an FTL jump: Your ship CPU has 10 Petaflops of power, your equipment takes 2 Petaflops to maintain and the (long) jump takes 10 seconds at 10 Petaflops. This means the fastest your engine can enter a jump is 10 seconds but due to your ship’s slower CPU it will take 12.5 seconds instead.

Power is your basic Electric Power Generator and is measured in Gigajoules. There is also a separate system (item) called the Capacitor that basically holds all energy generated. Those two can be managed separately. The ship and all its systems take energy from the Capacitor and the generator replenishes it. Upgrading the capacitor may lead to a bigger pool of energy to draw from and upgrading the generator increases the speed it fills up.
An example of this would be four Plasma Cannons on your ship: Each shot takes 12GJ to fire and deals a LOT of damage but your ship’s capacitor holds 70GJ so upgrading your capacitor to 100GJ would allow you to fire two volleys and most likely destroying the enemy instead of waiting longer between shots. Upgrading your generator will lead to higher DPS over time but the burst damage is still low

Cooling works by taking heat away from modules that need cooling and is measured by an arbitrary 0-100 heat bar (some modules may have 0-250 or 0-5000). The cooling system takes away heat from these bars at a passive rate split among all modules so if two modules need cooling each module gets cooled at half the speed. There is also a maximum cooling rate ofc. This is where managing your heat is important for gunner players in cruiser/capital’s.
Example: Each shot of that Plasma Cannon generates 30 Heat thus the first shot puts it at [30/150] and the Heat is being cooled off at 15 per second. If all four cannos are shot at once then each cannon gets only 3.75/sec cooling and will take longer for all 4 cannons to cool off. The player can unlock the heat limiters and allow the weapon to fire past the limit but each shot will do damage to the weapon proportional to how far over the limit the weapon is heated and is possible to wreck the weapon and needs a repair at station (partial repairs can be done in space if you have a Utility repair bot). Trivia: most cloaking systems reduce the cooling rate of your ship while active, so while you are allowed to fire while cloaked you will very quickly stop because you can’t vent the heat.

CPU is also used for Hacking (the equivalent of CC (crowd control)). There are simply Viruses and Anti-Viruses. Each V and AV have some stats but both the V and AV require CPU power to work - this means even if you have a small and weak ship but it has a really powerful CPU you can hack the enemy ships that have slower CPUs and disable their shields or engines or weapons and defeat them in that way (there is more to it but i’ll leave it at that).
Power and Cooling can be affected by combat. Each ship has bits of hull surface that, when precisely shot, deal damage to Power or Cooling systems. As you can imagine dealing damage and wrecking the cooling system will prevent the enemy ship from shooting or afterburning away. These are usually protected by armor or are hard to reach.

Don’t forget Bombers.


Oh yes, yes, bombers :smile: can’t forget those

Mobil repair, or a scrap tug?

That was classified as utility by the main post I believe.

[quote=“INovaeAndre, post:2, topic:77, full:true”]Don’t forget Bombers.[/quote]Those are in the Fighter category!

[quote=“Bentware, post:4, topic:77, full:true”]Mobil repair, or a scrap tug?[/quote]Depends, a small one may be Utility, may also be Corvette repairers or Cruisers for repair or scrap. The thing about them is that it requires a player to manually repair the ships, similar to a healer in MMORPG healing the group.

Destroyers? Usually listed between Frigates and Cruisers?

[quote=“thelazyjaguar, post:7, topic:77, full:true”]Destroyers? Usually listed between Frigates and Cruisers?[/quote]They are included in the cruiser category. What are the big differences between a destroyed and a cruiser?

As i described: Frigates are 100% operable by 1 player, Cruisers may be operated by one player but very inefficiently (you can fly it but unable to shoot or shoot without flying/targetting) and need 4+ players, Capitals need at least 2 players to just fly (without shotting/etc) and the smallest needs 8 players to fully operate.

So a Destroyer (i assume you’re refering to EVE’s destros) are either a kind of frigate with more guns or a kind of cruiser depending on how many players are needed to operate it (and respective balance/stats).

Ship types were already laid out fairly well before the forum crash.

Here’s a .jpg that a previous user (ShadowManipulation) left on photobucket listing what they were delineated as:

For simplicity, they were just dividing them up by overall ship length. The reality in real world navies today is not necessarily so straight forward.

Lazy Jaguar, you found my old photobucket account! Oh memories :slight_smile:

I divided them by gameplay functionality:

  • Utility are non-playable ships, the usual “pet” style.
  • Fighters are stritcly 1-player ships and include interceptors, bombers and such. These are easily replaceable and offer a quick-drop-in-and-shoot style with no preparation or fear of loss of ships. This should be your typical 15-minute fun gameplay similar to a match of Call of Duty. You don’t “own” any fighters, you dock with a carrier or base, select one of the available fighters and click LAUNCH! If you die you simply pick a fighter again and respawn. Same for Corvettes.
  • Corvettes are similar to Fighters but they offer a co-op experience with another friend or two. Again there is no preparation, refitting, chosing weapons or fear of loss of ship - you log in, select your covette and go shoot some enemies.
  • Frigates is your standard solo ships. This is your first little precious thing. You customise it, chose the engines, shields, weapons, ammo, cargo, etc. You fly it by yourself or bring your newbie friends to the turrets if you have. This is the first ship that offers you the full experience with trade, travel, exploration, combat or anything else like in EVE Online.
  • Cruisers are for small groups and require at least 4 players to operate and encompasses any kind of ship that requires multiple people to operate, ranging from a small destroyer to big battlecruisers. Think of it as your first dungeon group in World of Warcraft. This is the ship you use with your guildies or IRL friends to take on some hard PvE content (such as a lvl3-4 deadspace complex in EVE) or some organised PvP. This is THE small group content, there is no customisation, you simply pick the available variants and go with it and is not a ship you fly on your own.
  • Capitals is for the big groups, often requiring your entire small guild of 12 people to operate. This is what you bring when your small guild was called by the guild alliance for a big fight and they need all the guns so you use this instead of [losing] your personal frigate. This category includes all ships that require 7+ people to operate, be it a 20-man Dreadnought or a 8-person mining barge stripping 6 asteroids at once.

Generally speaking i believe you will find the following types of gameplay supported by this:

  1. A new player who has no plans to stick around. He logs in and gets into a Shuttle (Utility) to travel to the nearest Carrier (Capital). In said carrier he choses a Raptor Interceptor (Fighter) that features twin-rotary cannons and 4 missiles. He launchers, finds the nearest battle, takes out a corvette by supprise and dies to flak from the enemy cruiser. He respawns at the carrier and picks a bomber, he shoots a couple of torpedoes but the shields of the cruiser hold and he gets out back to the carrier. He browses the menus and skills for 5 minutes and logs out.

  2. Another new player, he is excited. He goes through the tutorial and gets the starter Frigate at the end, he starts mining to buy better equipment and does a couple more story missions and proceeds to join a guild.

  3. A seasoned player logs in with his newbie girlfriend. They both go to a carrier and launch in a Corvette and have a similar experience to number 1 but together. She liked the game because she was playing with her bf on the same ship and didnt need to worry about picking a ship, doing the tutorial she didn’t care about and he didn’t have to worry about losing a ship because it was a corvette they leased from the cruiser and not his personal Frigate.

  4. A small guild with 4 players online just invited a new player to their guild who has no experience with the game. They needed one more to fully man the new Cruiser they got last week to do a PvE encounter on a moon’s surface (attack a base with lots of flying enemies). They told him “just shoot anyone with a red circle” while the others flew the cruiser. At the end they got some nice loot and helped the new player get his first Frigate.

  5. A big guild rolls out two capitals to go bash enemy ships. Everyone gets on teamspeak and docks their personal frigates with the shipyard to transfer, once all players enter the capital (by pressing a button on the station) the captain undocks the ship and the helmsman proceeds to manouver out and wait for the second ship. Both ships warp into battle and they fight, everyone listening on teamspeak and having a great time.

Heh, do those memories include what happened to your face? Like there’s something on it…like you need to get it off :smile:

Seriously though, you still have some nice pics floating around there.

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In-game of Alpha, Beta, or Released, where would non-combat vessels be classified as? Utility?

For example, Freighters.

[quote=“quazer, post:13, topic:77”]In-game of Alpha, Beta, or Released, where would non-combat vessels be classified as? Utility?[/quote]Those would be civilian or industrial ships. These here are combat ships.

I find these ideas silly rather bland, tried and true and cliched. Oh how I miss the old forums. I could have grabbed my old posts and wave it in your collective faces and say, “see, you are all killing us!”. but I can’t. Everyone spouts off about class this, class that, class everything and they really don’t even explain what class is!

What is this “class” you speak of? do you know? because I can tell you right now class means NOTHING. Class is just a method of forcing people into little, labelled boxes. The people here just hear the word ‘Frigate’ and because they have played EVE-Online, they think they know what it is. It’s meaningless. You guys would argue and never agree on what a frigate, a cruiser, a monitor, a (groan) fighter is. You don’t know. worse if you think you know, you’d have to define what era. Quit trying to copy what others do, think different(ly).

Don’t use class, use mass. Why? because you don’t get a ‘Frigate’. You get a light hull in which you can turn into a banana-boat, exploration ship, spy ship, brothel ship. whatever will fit into it. You don’t call any of those a frigate. Do you? Oh god you guys probably do. It’s hopeless.

Look, I’ll quickly go over what I posited in the lost forums.

  • A Classless Society:
    There are no ship classes except for purpose built small craft.
    Everything is built on a number of generic hulls (frames) in which the space ship has the basic visual shape, mass ratings, harnesses, slots, etc. Everything else is put into the hull to transform it into whatever the hull ratings can withstand. If you had a hull that was rated for xx tonnes of crap, you fill it up and make either, a hauler, spy ship, pleasure boat, missile frigate, gun frigate, a ASW frigate, submarine tender, a slave ship. oops. got into the wrong time frame. Anyway, everything is based on modules.

I won’t go into the silly notion of “fighters”. because my blood pressure is going up.


Oh my, what have you guys done… he was dormant all this time, but now it’s too late, he’s brought up the brothel ships DD:


Ugly Spaghetti kid is still alive I see. When you going to finish my Atomic “space Fighter”, never? :frowning:

Okay, for simpletons.

  • Really Small
  • Small
  • Not so small
  • Medium
  • A little larger than Medium but not too much.
  • Large
  • Quite Large
  • Awfully Quite Sizable.
  • Battlemoon

Now that shouldn’t be too hard and everyone can agree on those classes.

Isn’t that what the devs are already doing? With the “frigate” “destroyer” “super hauler” designations merely denoting the size class and general characteristics?

One problem is the definition denotes combat vessels. Now if the game only includes combat vessels that might make sense. However it’s my understanding that the combat is not the sole intent of any Space MMO that might come out in the distant future. Another problem, ‘Frigate’ isn’t a size. it’s a class of combat ships which definition changes every dozen years or so. Is it a 5th rate Ship of the line? Those sized anywhere from 30 to 80 guns in the 18th century. Even then the designation was waffle-y.

Just stick with mass sizes. let the user turn it into whatever he can cram into it. so a Pocket battleship, Armored cruiser, Heavy cruiser, or Battle-cruiser can be used interchangeably, depending on fit.

The original plan was to have combat, civilian and industrial ships separated - for example an industrial ship would have less armour and less hardpoints but more cargo space for the price. Names were simply chosen to give an idea of the size it corresponded. On a storytelling point, we can always justify by saying that ships of those size were actually used in precise roles before, but things got fuzzier once more modular technologies got used.
For example, for long-range patrol in unsecured space, quite big ships were used, and those were named “cruisers”. Smaller ships were specialized in small crafts destruction, hence “destroyers”, and so on…
For Battlescape, I guess only military ships will be used.

The gameplay reason to name ships like that is that it gives an idea of the importance of the ship. Sure, people will have to adapt a bit to Infinity if they come from Eve, Homeworld or Allegiance, but it shouldn’t be so hard. And “Hostile frigate” both sounds better and is faster for the brain to process than “Hostile 300m”.
Sure, there are a few bizarre bits like tugs being smaller hauleurs, but it should work anyway.
And at least, last time I’ve heard there are no battlecruisers planned.