Weekly Update #90

#14

The design as described sounds very much like Elite: Dangerous. It works okay there so no real problems, but it’s not very exciting as we’ve seen it before. I think you’d be better off focusing on a variety of interesting ballistic weapons.

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#15

One option would be to have the same customization system for all the weapon types.

My Idea would be to allow players to balance their own weapon stats, at least some of them. For instance:

  • Firerate
  • Precission
  • Damage
  • Weight / Drain (in % of total ammo storage / energy capacity) (Would affect ammo capacity and projectile speed)

If you want to increase one of the stats it would decrease all of the other stats. Pretty much like RPG skills with the options to lower one for the other. Nothing super innovative really.

The only difference between the weapons would then just be the inherent ones. Like Canons use ammo, missiles are guided etc…

There would, of course, still be some stats that wouldn’t change.

Doing this doesn’t help with visuals though. You would still have to do the work for each weapon type or accept that there’s essentially just one effect or even just model per weapon type … with maybe “stats” effecting different properties of said effect.

Still, I hoped for more focus on less widely used weapon types.

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#16

Since everyone keeps mentioning it but I can’t really think of it any…what ‘other’ weapon types would you like to see?

So far we have projectiles, guided projectiles (missiles), and energy (lasers/blasters). How else would you disable a ship with a weapon(excluding ewar) in space if not from those fundamental types?

Call me old fashioned but I can’t really think of another way of destroying a ship other than hitting it really hard with mass or energy. I guess you could teleport it into the middle of a star but that sounds like a bullshit weapon to me and it still involves hitting the ship with energy (heat).

Do you mean more variety within those base classes or something else entirely. I’m not sure what else can be done. There’s a reason those are fundamental weapon types in games because that’s all there really is.

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#17

I can think of plenty…

Bombs
Mines
Rockets
Missiles - confirmed
Lasers - confirmed
Blasters - confirmed
Projectile Weapons - confirmed
EMP Weapons
Nuclear
Chemical
Biological
Psy / Force Weapons
Gravitation Weapons
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#18

For heavy anti-capital weapons, there is that non-instant beam from the old Nexus 2 video, that looked pretty awesome.

It looks like a continuous beam, but acts like a very high rate of fire projectile gun. The resulting effect is a bright, continuous stream of energy that goes on spraying the target capital ship.

As for invisible lasers, it could work, but would require a very obvious impact sfx. A visible (and not only audible) hit indicator on the crosshair, like in most FPS, would also help in general. There could also be a HUD display to show the path of the weapon. Functionally, it would work like a weak beam, but would be more visually unique.

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#19

Lightsabers.

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#20

As much as I’ve said I support energy weapons for aesthetic and “cool” reasons, the idea of capital ship projectile cannons is beginning to appeal…

This, but in space, anyone?

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#21

It’s less about the number of types or even the exoticity of the weapon, it’s more about the difference in gameplay it creates. The presented weapons types do create somewhat differing gameplay. It’s just quite widely used and known. Sure people will know what to expect … just not a lot of reason remaining to open up I:B if the gameplay turns out similar to other games.

I quite like weapons that can be used defensively and aggressively.

Bombs/Mines with very high Damage Radius
Grappling hooks
Area Deniers (Block/Slow Weaponfire/Ships in an area, also allows players to create terrain where there is none (Hint: Space)

one idea that i’d like to import from Gundam is an idea for a defense system where a ship can fire off a few missiles that explode and fill a good area of space with a kind of interference causing material that seriously hinders energy based weaponry

it could be dual effect when you think about it
it does make a certain percentage bolts detonate prematurely
but that detonation would have more aoe than normal but be less powerful
combine that with big turrets of a battleship and you got yourself some flack

= @TheCoach

One more thing I’d like to see in sci-fi games is ships also deploying combat drones
small things with a sort of battery for a shot or two that essentially perform an attack from multiple directions

= Another idea from him

Definetly, and please not 5 weapons that are basically the same, every weapon should have unique characteristics, area control/denial, stun mines, temporary cloaking, mines, shield mines, emp blasts from capitals that disable weapon tracking, all thess different abilities would make it a really interesting and tactical game, I hope things like that will be playtested to see if the concept works etc. and balancing will be done im beta phase etc.

= @playbenni

From the Discord 6. November 2017

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#22

Look at the crop of modern action movies. The superhero stuff, Guardians of the Galaxy, whatever. There are tons of inventive minds in Hollywood that have come up with all manner of plot vehicles to accomplish all manner of results. (plot vehicle == gameplay)

Fire a beam weapon that ricochets or even fractures into multiple beams when it hits another ship’s shield. Have a “I only get one of those” Iron Man beam weapon that uses an expensive charge for a short duration high damage attack. Configure your shield, then slam into somebody to knock them off target.

Something that nobody really talks about here is multiplayer weapons. Unreal Tournament 2003 had the Onslaught game mode where players used their Link weapons to build the node network that was central to the game mode. But instead of simply pointing at the node and getting a green beam to build the node, you could point at another friendly who was pointing at the node to build the node even faster than two players could. And this could extend and build into an entire network of players linked together by green beams, building the node.

I’d like to see stuff like that as well. Imagine several ships employing a beam weapon like that. How about firing a beam at a friendly who “catches” it, then fires it again, only adding his own power - and getting a little extra power from the overall operation. Repeat that in a network to really amp up a single shot’s power.

Separately, I’ve already mentioned gun directors in the form of Interceptors. Well, you could also have target designators where Interceptors actively mark targets for large ship weapons. Suppose a capital can fire a salvo of up to 20 missiles or 8 beams or whatever else, but each attack requires its own designator. So you’ve just involved N Interceptor pilots to deliver those N attacks.

How about weapons that don’t just blow the crap out of the enemy, but ruin their ability to blow the crap out of you? Fire a Pulse round that detonates on or near a bunch of ships. It produces a blast that not only messes with their sensors, but even throws them around a bit. If ship alignment is at all significant (e.g. the beam weapon stuff above) then getting thrown around would complicate life. Perhaps an entire Interceptor group could be scattered by one of these things. How about firing them in rapid sequence to keep throwing the enemy around, allowing your own ships to get past a blockade?

There are so many possibilities that it boggles the mind.

In the end, what could make Battlescape stand out is weapon systems that require player skill. If all I can do is line up my ship at something and push a button then the gameplay will be the same stuff that’s been around since arcade days. To be different, the game needs weapons that involve skill during its active use. Not skill in buying them cheaply or configuring them optimally, but in using them. Coordination with other players, timing, positioning, fiddling with knobs and dials, etc.

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#23

Very much agree that mines and/or bombs would be cool.

Not saying I disagree with/dislike the other types, just that I hadn’t thought about mines/bombs at all.

#24

I think just limiting the weapons to blaster/lasers and projectile/missiles wastes a lot of potential.
In what other game would nukes actually be doable in a way that does not ruin gameplay?
Battlescape has huge battle areas and distances, why not use this potential to create something that hasn’t been done before?
Why not make purchasing nukes for a big amount of credits possible? 1 million credits = cruiser equiped with nuclear torpedo. The torpedo could even be made interceptable…

Not having any area control weapons in a game that is fundamentally about area control is nonsensical to me. Just shooting at stuff is played out.

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#25

Assault guns - high ROF, medium damage, good accuracy and range
Blast canons - medium ROF, high damage, good accuracy, lower range
Close-in guns - very high ROF, low damage, low range
Sniper weapon - low ROF, high damage, good accuracy, long range
Flak guns - medium ROF, low damage, long range, multiple projectiles per shot
Vulcan cannon, high ROF, high damage, low accuracy
Flechette guns - high ROF, low damage, medium range, multiple projectiles
Reaper - very high ROF, medium damage, medium range

With branded variants with slightly different stats within each type of gun.

It’s a game about shooting other people. There’s great benefit in “fetishising” the weapons that are available and giving the player a chance to have favourites.

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#26

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#27

I’m going to echo the basllistics squad. While you might not want to discard the laser stuff entirely, focusing on depth via different types of ballistics might be easier to develop and balance than having a bunch of different type of weapons, especially since ammo would be finite in every case.

I would also like to add onto @TARS’s thoughts that nukes could fit uniquely in this game like no other, because it has the scale for them to operate on.

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#28

Having somewhat dumb missiles in capital ships that can be directed by players seems like a cool idea. Imagine your capital ship fires a 10 missile salvo. Usually just half would hit and maybe take out a gun or two, but if 5 players directed it somehow, you could take out the 5 guns that are on the side that can aim at your team’s capital ship, giving it a huge advantage. Having somewhat bad missiles on fighters that require laser targeting to not be easily distracted by countermeasures would also be fun and match that whole “player skill should beat pure firepower” idea.

Having things like railguns/lasers on capital ships that require time to charge(visibly) and fire very accurately but to a fixed position(no auto aim) and for high damage would also make capital ship combat more fun than just pointing at the target and holding the mouse button so the auto turrets do the job. Add also a sort of “dash/dodge” on the capital ships that require to recharge and depletes energy(call it maneuvering thrusters overload) and you get a viable way to both have positioning/tactics as something important, but you also can test a capital ship player’s reflex(while reducing boredom by having the player require to keep concentration). I still remember all the cool stories that this type of capital ship dodge has made possible in the Halo books. In the books they could also be fired so that a ship could quickly be spinned to aim the railguns.

And since space is so big, maybe instead of dumb mines we could have special “shield wall” mines, that you would need to drop 3 of them near aech other so they could link and destroy/damage players that pass between them. Call them “barrier trap mines” or whatever. They would be inert until a high speed ship passes between them, then it would activate right before it goes through, making the ship take collision/energy damage if not fast enough to dodge. The farthest the mines are apart, the less damage it gives because the area of the triangle shield wall would be bigger, and the wall would be less dense. You could even use this as flak defense, having those mines take multiple shots of small missiles and survive, forcing enemy players to destroy one of the mines to break the link and allow the missiles to go through, or fire from a different direction. Basically making cover a thing again, but in space.

Another idea is a sort of harpoon mine, that latches on to the other ship and reels in to attach to the ship as it passes somewhat close. After that the payload can vary. Either it just blows up after it has enough time to reel in(you could be fast enough to spin and shoot it before that happens), or it could suck some of the ships power(less maximum or recharge rate, maybe), or disable targeting, or start hacking your missiles to lock them in the ship and eventually detonate them unless a teammate destroys it. Just imagine a timer ticking until they blow up, making people run for a teammate to shoot it off, or you carefully lining your ship in front of a capital ship turret, or diving in the atmosphere to burn it off.

Other weapons… hmm, how about a battering ram shield that can be used to hit another player and cause damage based on the speed difference. The shield would take some time to swap from “cover me from damage” mode to “stay in the front like spear” mode. Combine this on capital ships with the “dash” and you end up having combat like viking ships ramming each other. Maybe this could also be used to gain speed in atmosphere, at the expense of having no defense shield.Even better if you had to press a button to activate the shield just in time, or you would use too late/early, so and the shield would dissipate before(or not activate fast enough) and you would hit full speed with no protection.

For missiles, maybe there could be some that latch on to a ship and basically act as an ion thruster, sucking the ships power and using it to push it in the direction it hit the hull. It would be used to spin the capital ship out of alignment and mess with its aim until a player comes to destroy them, or until they run out. Maybe one could be countered by the maneuvering thrusters, but if a squad of bombers hits a capital ship with a few of those in the same spot, the capital ship would start to spin a lot, making it miss all shots for some time. A capital ship with no escorts would then be dead meat against an experienced squad of bombers.

More ideas… hacking rocket that allow you to do all sorts of fun stuff after hitting an enemy ship. Maybe you could make it so if that player fires a missile at you it blows up in the missile bay, or you could choose to disable/mess with that indicator of the future location you need to fire to hit a moving ship, or maybe you chose to have the controls randomly move a bit, or maybe you could set it so you would press a button and the current target hud thing keeps following your speed, but you could actually have stopped, or hidden behind an asteroid, so the enemy would be chasing a decoy hud icon. This would make electronic warfare interesting, and maybe instead of requiring to hit a special rocket on the enemy you need to be close to the enemy for X seconds and use a lot of energy to complete the hack.

Also, add a sort of chemical ammo that covers the enemy ship and catches fire/melts as it hits air/atmosphere. Damage would be even higher if fired in space, so if the ship enters atmosphere in x minutes the damage would be huge. Would allow you to use it to escape other ships by going to a planet after a quick orbit fight.

Another option is to make some energy weapons do very little damage, but instead severely cripple the other ship power system for a while. So much so that after enough shots the other ship shuts off a bit. This would allow ship builds where you shut off the other ship and get close to hit it with a sort of shotgun style gun, or dump high damage rockets. Crippling targeting systems and other stuff could also be a thing.

Other ideas with little explanation:
-attachable torpedo with gravity field that sucks in all projectiles and both pulls missing shots to hit the affected ship, but also slows down or warps the trajectory of the ship’s own weapons.
-trackers. Hit a capital ship with a tracker and run away, and you will know exactly where it is from anywhere in the galaxy. For a while.
-Small tactical EMP nuke torpedoes that disable enemy ships or damages its energy systems. Maybe only affects ships with shields down unless direct hit.

  • Blinding flare/torpedo. Essentially a continuous space flash bang that blinds both visually or just sensors. Could be used to hide incoming torpedoes from sensors. Or have a couple of those things set up so it hides an entire approaching armada.
  • lasers that deal more damage the longer they aim at the same ship(ideally the same spot in capital ship, but this might be hard to code), this would vary with the ship’s armor rating, so thicker armor takes longer to melt and expose the insides. Same idea as the laser guided missiles really.
  • Decoy torpedoes. Basically the torpedo would launch tiny decoy drones around it so one torpedo looks like 10. Have fun discovering the real radar blip to shoot at.
  • anti-figher swarm rockets. Capital ships could shoot “walls” of heavy damaging projectiles that are slow. Approaching bombers/fighters would then have to be nimble to fly through the holes in the wall.
  • adjustable timer flak guns. Capital ship flak guns where you have to adjust the detonation timer. Involves skill/timing to protect against fighters and missiles. Explain a lack of proximity detonation with “hacking or tricking the sensors”.

I better stop because it is 5 am…

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#29

Weapon types depend on the flavour and actual nature of the gameplay you want to create. Currently, there are only six ships in the game, which is fairly minimalist. If you want to keep that aspect, there should be a few well- defined weapon types. Typically this means making simple mechanics facilitate gameplay that is as varied or engaging as possible.

If minimalism isn’t what you wish to achieve, then a varied spectrum of standard and exotic weapons would work well.

I agree with the ideas of changing the terrain somewhat with energy fields that do different things and last for different durations.

I’m also a fan of the hardpoints being individually targetable. That would really reward gunnery skills.

#30



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#31

https://masteroforion.gamepedia.com/Ship_weapons

Here is a list of Master of Orion weapons. :smile:

Some good ideas and different ways to be killed (and vis versa)

Definition of torpedo

plural torpedoes
1 : a weapon for destroying ships by rupturing their hulls below the waterline: such as
a : a submarine mine
b : a thin cylindrical self-propelled underwater projectile
2 : a small firework that explodes when thrown against a hard object
3 : electric ray
4 : a professional gunman or assassin
5 : submarine 2

Using words to mean different things. That is were different languages come from. :frowning:

#32

What about a possibility of choosing ships loadout?
Not just deciding which weapon to load but how much ammo, how much flares/chaff, how much fuel. Of course this would have much more sense if ships wouldn’t consume fuel. What type of fuel? Maybe different type of fuel for different drives.

I imagine situation where ships would need to travel a great distance to a battle because there are no carries or other spawn point nearby. So to be able to do that pilot would need more warp fuel. He (or she :wink:) would need to sacrifice internal space by converting it into an extra fuel tank/cell.
When there will be a carrier nearby, then no extra warp fuel would be needed. Pilot could use empty compartment as an additional ammo storage. Maybe for some battery/capacitor to store energy which could be used for energy weapons, shields. Or even give up on extra loadout to be a bit more fast and agile.

This reminded me destroyer drones:

#33

This entire discussion is a classic example of why it is not smart to name things before you have to. “Guns” and “Lasers” and any name really instantly have associations and expectations attached. IMHO it would be much better to experiment with weapon mechanics and balance without naming the things beyond Weapon A, Weapon B, and so on. That way, you look at what works and is fun, and afterwards name it to something fitting. Naming first narrows the thinking and leads to a process where you design for preexisting expectations and paradigms, thus arriving at results very close to things that already exist.

If you feel like you absolutely need names during development, you could still use such names that describe what a weapon does, not how. For example, “gun” or “cannon” implies chemical reaction and gas expansion to propel a projectile. “Laser” has a fixed physical definition of what it is and can do.

If you instead said “Projectile Accelerator”, you leave open if it is electrical, magnetic, chemical or some other exotic form of projectile acceleration. If you said “Continuous Beam weapon” you would leave open what that beam is actually made of. And so on.

The 3 principle categories of projectile weapons, energy weapons and self propelled guided weapons make sense along with their fundamental attributes. Trade ammunition vs. energy management, trade burst damage vs. sustained damage and have different combat dynamics. A solid foundation to build on, that part i would not change or challenge.

Imho, this foundation is very much capable of providing variety and depth. Both in having a spectrum of simple weapons with different stats in each category, but also as the base of more exotic weapons. Who says what kind of warhead is inside a large projectile or missile? Can be everything from just something that goes boom, to some huge boom, to an area of effect damage/slow/attraction/sensor blinding/shot blocking effect. Energy weapons could have all sorts of primary or secondary effects.

And every weapon can have additional mechanics if wanted. Spinup, charge up, overheat, damage over time and many more. Any ship system that exists, from shields to weapons to engines can theoretically have weapons that are designed to disrupt it.

( And if the budget for visual effects and models was higher, you could design all sorts of weapons for the rule of cool, from squashing a ship round through a tiny black hole to ripping its armour off exposing the interior to cutting it in half with a death beam. But that is out of budget and scope for now. :wink: )

What is important is to experiment. Experiment boldly with many stupid ideas early on. Narrowing down from a wide field, instead of expanding from a narrow field. This is what i hope to see.

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