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HaydenBarca

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Posts: 198
Reply with quote  #16 
I really like the idea of just translating torpedoes to energy (both to rearm and "refund" unused torps on return).  It seems like Weapons could have a setting for the ship energy reserve level that couldn't be used to arm fighters with torps (e.g. below 500 ship energy, they don't get rearmed with torps, just shields and beams).  Of course, this would mean that carriers would need much larger energy reserves (5 fighters x 3 torps x 150 energy = 2,250 energy for one arming).  Dropping the torp-to-energy values would help this, but it would still remain.  Which just underscores how crazy free unlimited torpedoes is.  That makes a carrier full of bombers the ultimate long-range operators of the fleet (as long as they keep their onboard real torpedoes for energy reserves and leave the bombers to do the torping).

In my homebrew mod, I tweaked fighters and bombers to make them more specialized (in the original game, bombers are basically fighters with extra torps):

Fighters (light, maneuverable dogfighter)

<shields front="15" player="120"/>
<performance turnrate="0.030" topspeed="0.6">
<beam_port playerdamage="3" arcwidth="0.1" cycletime="0.5" range="600"/
<torpedo_storage type="trp" amount="2"/>
<long_desc text="TSN Fighter^One short-range rapid-fire beam, 2 homing torpedoes, light shields. Top speed: 0.6 Warp, Turn speed: 30."/>

Bombers (heavy, lots of torps for "bombing runs")

<shields front="20" player="180"/>
<performance turnrate="0.025" topspeed="0.5">
<beam_port playerdamage="2" arcwidth="0.1" cycletime="1.0" range="1000"/>
<torpedo_storage type="trp" amount="6"/>
<long_desc text="TSN Bomber^One long-range defensive beam, 6 homing torpedoes, medium shields. Top speed: 0.5 Warp, Turn speed: 25."/>

Shuttle (for comparison)

<shields front="15" player="220"/>
<performance turnrate="0.020" topspeed="0.4">
<beam_port playerdamage="1" arcwidth="0.1" cycletime="1.0" range="1000"/>
<long_desc text="TSN Shuttle^Armed only with a small laser and heavy shields, this shuttle is designed to move cargo and people over short distances. Top speed: 0.4 Warp, Turn speed: 20."/>

ryleyra

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Posts: 3,007
Reply with quote  #17 
Nice. I actually have a post around here where I suggested adding a button to the Fighter Bay interface so pilots can rearm their fighters, at 100 Energy per missile. Weapons receives 100 Energy for converting a Homing Torp to Energy, so they can just take their stores and convert them to Energy for use on the fighters. If 100 Energy seems excessive, it can be 50 per missile, or just 100 to reload the fighter, no matter how many missiles it happens to have left.

The thing is, there is technically no difference between a Homing Torp and a Homing Missile. Presumably a Torp is bigger, but the damage, range and speed is all the same. And it is well known that the Homing Torp is underpowered. I have suggested either tripling the damage, or allowing Weapons to load up to three Homings into the tube at the same time. In the former case, the fighter would have to do 1/3 the damage, in the latter, the ship will need a larger complement of Homings.

I originally suggested just paying the 100 Energy when the fighter was launched, but Mike Substelny pointed out that Captains would be upset if the pilots ran the ship out of Energy by launching repeatedly. So I came up with the button interface, so pilots would knowingly have to take Energy out of the ship's stores to reload the fighter before launching. The Captain could prevent this without this orders. It would probably be easy to give Weapons a control to turn the Fighter Bay controls on and off, or prevent them from being used if there isn't enough energy.

Really, you would think that loading fighters "into the tubes" for launch WOULD be the job of Weapons. However, I prefer the idea of Weapons coordinating with the launch bay to rearm the fighters, and then they launch on their own. Weapons could handle the re-arm from their console, or just provide the Energy.

As for your fighter designs, while they look great, when it comes to your description, remember that a fighter's max speed is three times its base speed. And a topspeed of 0.6 is not actually Warp 0.6. Impulse is actually 1/10 of Warp, so if a ship has a topspeed of 0.6, it travels 60 units per second at Impulse, and 600 units per second at Warp. At full Boost, a fighter is going Warp 0.3.

In the case of a Scout, which has a topspeed of 0.8, it travels at Warp 0.13 at Impulse, and Warp 1.3 at Warp. It SHOWS Warp 1 on Helm, but it's actually going Warp 1.3. At maximum Warp, it's going Warp 5.3. The topspeed rating isn't actually relative to Warp 1, because both Impulse AND Warp speed increase with topspeed.

We just assume that Warp 1 for a Light Cruiser is the standard against which the other ships are measured, but in fact we don't know that Warp 1 is the speed of light. It could be 1/10 the speed of light, or anything.
HaydenBarca

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Posts: 198
Reply with quote  #18 
Thanks I was wondering if we had an in-universe description of top speed (e.g. 0.8 whats per second).  It's a professional pet peeve to leave off units of measure, but ultimately not a big deal.  I guess I could always see how long it takes to transit a sector, since they're 20,000 km square, correct?
ryleyra

Registered:
Posts: 3,007
Reply with quote  #19 
Well, as I said, units of measure are intentionally vague. Thom says it is in meters, but that's not very realistic. If beam range is 1000 meters and Jump range is 50 kilometers, then our ships are moving about the speed of an sports car at Impulse. (134 mph)

I had a very involved post on the subject. You can check it out here and there is a subsequent post (with pictures) here. In short, my best guess for the scale of the game is that one "unit" is 500 km, but if you wanted to represent a planet in the sector, a better scale would be between 30 km and 1km.

Personally, I like either 500 km to make Warp 1 the speed of light, or 1 km so the planet can "loom" over the sector. The former isn't really conducive to showing planets in the sector, though, while the latter means actual FTL travel isn't possible in game. (Presumably, Warp is a "combat Warp" that only gets you to part of the speed of light)

Alternatively, the sector could be on a logarithmic scale, meaning that objects close to you are on a scale of 1km per unit (making beam range 1000 km, which is comparable to Star Trek) but the sector itself is 500,000,000 km across. (500 km per unit) That would basically mean that when you activate Warp in combat, it's about 1/10 the speed of light, but you hit the speed of light when you travel across the map.

Clarification, the entire game map is 100,000 units by 100,000 units. I usually refer to that as a "sector" although many players often refer to the subdivisions on the game grid as "sectors". Each of those subsectors would then be 20,000 by 20,000, or 20 km. Again, Jump has a maximum range of 50 km, or half of the map. So either the map is 100 km across, or the "m" in "km" is not a physical meter. 

I'll add that most of the time game distances are measured in "K", or units are not displayed at all. Jump seems to be the only place where the "km" connection is spelled out. 

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