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Anatomy of a Starship


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#1 evilbobthebob

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 09:21 PM

Probably the best way to introduce the new space combat mechanics is to take a detailed look at our new (WIP) infobox layout. You may recognise many of the elements from the revamped land combat; many of the elements are also new. I'll go through each in the order they appear using the classic example of the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer. Please note that all values shown are WIP.

 

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Tactical Population Cost

 

This is a new number based on the total volume of the hull (or hulls in the case of a starfighter squadron). It is balanced around the idea that an Executor-class Super Star Destroyer consists of 400 population points, the maximum available space population. For carriers, it also includes the volume of all the starfighter squadrons as in the case of the Imperial II. This means that you can field 5 Imperial II-class and their entire complements at one time. These values are currently in the process of testing and tweaking, and the exact values may be different in the released version.

 

Starship Icon

 

All the starship icons have been brought into lineusing uniform lighting and rendering settings to create a better quality icon set.

 

Starship Name

 

As usual, we retain the full names of all ships, including their upgrade version.

 

Starship Class

 

From Starfighter through to Dreadnaught, a starship's class helps shape its maneuverability and sensor range statistics. It also determines which shipyard type is needed to construct it.

 

Special Abilities

 

With the new version, we have many greatly improved autofire scripts for ship special abilities, so we feel comfortable including more than the two accessible from the GUI. In most cases, the tractor beam will be the hidden, autofired ability, and it will usually target whatever the ship has been told to attack. Note here the Imperial II has a Tractor Beam, Emergency Thrusters (power to engines ability) and Blast. Blast is a new ability we have added to many main-line combat ships. It moves the firepower of the main battery (in this case, the octuple turbolasers and turboions) up a notch, so that has increased range and firepower.

 

Manufacturer

 

We have always included manufacturer bonuses on various appropriate planets such as Kuat. Now you can see exactly which ships will benefit, with the inclusion of the Manufacturer in the infobox.

 

Cost

 

This is the base hull cost, not including complement (which is included in the final cost at a 50% discount). Costs have been modified across the board to provide a more challenging economic planning experience.

 

Time

 

This is the base hull construction time, measured in galactic time. For the Imperial II, this is 15 weeks. Note that building over a world with appropriate shipyard bonuses, or by building more of the same class of shipyard, this time can be dramatically reduced.

 

Dimensions

 

Width x length x height, in meters, the basic size of the hull.

 

Volume

 

The total volume of the hull in cubic meters, often using exponential notation. Here for example, the Imperial II is 121 million cubic meters in volume. This statistic informs hitpoint calculations and has a great effect on the likelihood for a ship to be hit by enemy fire.

 

Acceleration

 

With the change to the new space combat mechanics, we have moved towards a more "realistic" approach. While ships still have a capped top speed, it is directly proportional to their acceleration. This is measured in terms of G-force, the acceleration experienced by a being on the surface of a planet with standard gravity, roughly 10 m/s2.

 

Maneuvrability

 

This statistic is the turning speed of the starship, measured in degrees per second. It is primarily class-based.

 

Hyperdrive

 

The class of the hyperdrive in the starship (if any), which determines its ability to travel across the galaxy in hyperspace. The smaller the better!

 

Shielding

 

Here is one of the new statistics. Shielding is now measured in Shield Points (SP) and has an absorption percentage shown after it. This is the amount of damage the shield can absorb from a single shot before it takes SP damage. So for example, a turbolaser shot hitting the Imperial II shield with a damage of 96 will do around 58 points of shield damage.

 

Hull

 

Hull has also changed a great deal. It is now measured in Hull Points (HP), like that of land combat. This value is primarily volume-based. Following the HP is the armour value and type. The Imperial II has 32 Vehicle armour. This means that it absorbs 32 damage from any incoming shot before the hull itself is damaged. For example, the same 96 damage turbolaser will do 64 points of hull damage on impact.

 

Range

 

This statistic shows the maximum and minimum ranges of the weapon systems on the ship, followed by its line of sight range. All values are in meters. In this case, the longest range weapons are the octuple turbolasers, while the shortest are the individual turbolaser cannons.

 

Armament

 

We have greatly condensed the weapons display into a shorthand that provides much more information. We have done away with "light", "heavy" and so on, instead simply telling you the weapon type, their number, and their damage output. So, here the Imperial II has 6 octuple turbolasers with 240 damage per bolt, 2 octuple turboions with 240 damage per bolt, 2 triple turbolasers with 144 damage per bolt, and so on. Note that ion weapons do 200% damage to shields, but cannot damage anything except Droid armour. The number of tractor beams is also noted, which adjusts the cooldown of the tractor beam ability.

 

 

I hope this little snippet has provided some insight to the changes we've been making over the past 18 months. If you have any questions, I will endeavour to answer below, however note that I did not implement these changes myself.


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#2 skie9173

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 09:46 PM

Can armor fully absorb a blow?
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#3 evilbobthebob

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 10:02 PM

I believe that all shots do at least 1 point of damage, and looking at our damage/armour matrix confirms it. However, on a ship like the Imperial II, that's pretty insignificant. Note that certain weapons are armour-piercing, and can bypass a certain amount of armour. I'll make a news post about weapons at some point I expect.


Edited by evilbobthebob, 22 June 2014 - 10:04 PM.

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#4 skie9173

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 10:06 PM

Ok. Interesting, looking forward to it
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#5 johnchm.10

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 01:19 AM

I already have a bunch of questions, but I'm going to limit myself to 2 questions. Most importantly, will there be a new or updated guide or manual to reflect the changes? Secondly, what version would this be considered, again, given the changes?

#6 SpardaSon21

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 01:32 AM

As someone who plays pretty much just Skirmish since I'm not too fond of your big GC campaigns (I'd really like some GC campaigns built in a more traditional RTS style with a clustered set of planets for each side and lots of neutrals to conquer before meeting the opposition), how will these changes affect the balance there?



#7 evilbobthebob

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 01:39 AM

I already have a bunch of questions, but I'm going to limit myself to 2 questions. Most importantly, will there be a new or updated guide or manual to reflect the changes? Secondly, what version would this be considered, again, given the changes?

 

1) Hopefully  2) It's probably going to be v1.3 but we're not entirely sure.

 

 

As someone who plays pretty much just Skirmish since I'm not too fond of your big GC campaigns (I'd really like some GC campaigns built in a more traditional RTS style with a clustered set of planets for each side and lots of neutrals to conquer before meeting the opposition), how will these changes affect the balance there?

 

You'll probably enjoy the changes we've made to our GCs, we have a number of smaller options now for faster play. Skirmish wise, we haven't done very much testing. I still need to resize all the skirmish maps and reorganize them to take into account the changes in scale we've been making. It's just not very high on our priority list at the moment, sorry.


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#8 a.fake.name

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 03:23 AM

Great to see some of my suggestions appear to have had an influence.

As for the ions, question, is it possible to make them do hull damage but just set it to a much lower value ?

Because Ions are supposed to cause physical damage as well, even if on a scale much lower than lasers.

Also, can we see more infocards of various types of ships for comparison ?


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#9 johnchm.10

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 08:41 AM

From what I can surmise, a fighter-sized ion cannon does about as much actual damage as anything between a pistol to a light repeater, depending on the target. I'm not sure that it would be worth the time and effort coding the weapons to work like that, especially the fighter mounted ones. Hell, an ion cannon mounted on an Immobilizer 418 hit an X-wing and only managed to damage 1 or 2 parts, 1 of which was considered a minor problem. Granted a 418 isnt exactly the biggest ship out there and the X-wing is a military grade spacecraft, that was still a capital grade ion cannon. You'd need a turbo ion to really get any damage, which would be may be the equivalent of a light laser.

#10 megabalta

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 10:28 AM

I'm not sure I follow (ion cannons do no hull damage), but having played the new system, I must say fighter sized ion cannons work just fine against capital sized ships too. Fighters without ion cannons are a different story completely.



#11 Aizen Teppa

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 12:51 PM

Interesting to say the least. Waiting of course for final release to evaluate all fun things for myself.

 

Knowing limitations of EaW/FoC engine I'm fairly certain that it is not possible to simulate different types of armor on one ship, it would be fine addition. Depending on a (bolt/projectile) hit place hull plating would absorb more (armored citadel with power generator[s]) or less damage (e.g. outer shell with waste disposal facilities).



#12 a.fake.name

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 04:09 PM

I'm not sure I follow (ion cannons do no hull damage), but having played the new system, I must say fighter sized ion cannons work just fine against capital sized ships too. Fighters without ion cannons are a different story completely.

In the books (not to mention X-Wing for those that play vintage games) Ions do some physical damage, just nowhere near the amount of lasers.


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#13 megabalta

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 05:01 PM

I don't know about the books, but I'm positive in X-Wing and Tie Fighter ion cannons didn't do any hull damage, only shield and permanent system damage.


Edited by megabalta, 23 June 2014 - 06:58 PM.


#14 evilbobthebob

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 05:37 PM

I should mention that ion cannons have a disabling effect that can slow enemy ships and prevent them using their hyperdrives.


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#15 a.fake.name

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 08:25 PM

I don't know about the books, but I'm positive in X-Wing and Tie Fighter ion cannons didn't do any hull damage, only shield and permanent system damage.

In the original X-Wing they did do damage, just much less than lasers.

For comparison, the Y-Wing's ions did much less damage than it's lasers, but you could still blow up ships with them if you were not careful.

In the books, the same has been mentioned (largely the X-Wing series).

In the later games of the series, Ions simply disable however I always viewed that as an oversight.


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#16 P.O._210877

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 11:48 PM

I don't recall ion cannons doing any damage in X-Wing et al to be honest.


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#17 johnchm.10

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 01:15 AM

I think that if anything, the damage would be that of an electrical overload frying some components. What happens from there...



Corran's bird had some fried components that needed to be swapped out

Edited by johnchm.10, 24 June 2014 - 02:00 AM.


#18 Aizen Teppa

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 06:13 AM

I should mention that ion cannons have a disabling effect that can slow enemy ships and prevent them using their hyperdrives.

Would hit with planetary Ion Cannon make ships defenseless hulk in space? Bulwark or Praetor are big things not easy to knock-out permanently but take a Carrack, Nebulon-B or Action Transport. Technically one hit (with multiple ion pulses) should be enough to fry all electronics on-board. Right?



#19 P.O._210877

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 09:14 AM

The nature of ion weaponry in SW is weird, it's essentially plasma with/or ionized particles. So technically it's an ionized blaster bolt... So yea, it should behave like any energy weapon and be able to physically burn holes thru an object like any blaster/laser bolt; albeit at a lower magnitude of damage. Plus I never bought the "inoffensive to organics" part, pass a current high enough to disable battle droids thru any flesh/nervous system and tell me that being is OK... :glare:


Edited by P.O._210877, 24 June 2014 - 10:09 AM.

If it's hard then it's worth doing.

 


- Alcor, Alcor pardonne-moi mais je ne veux pas que tu meurs. Je ne veux
pas que la planète bleue soit mise à feu et à sang par ces monstres. Je
me battrai pour les empêcher de détruire ce qui est devenue ma Terre.
Goldorak m'aidera. Au besoin, j'irai jusqu'au camp de la Lune Noire
puisque c'est là que Véga et ses monstres ont établi leur base. Et je la
détruirai.

 

Actarus


#20 evilbobthebob

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 09:49 AM

 

I should mention that ion cannons have a disabling effect that can slow enemy ships and prevent them using their hyperdrives.

Would hit with planetary Ion Cannon make ships defenseless hulk in space? Bulwark or Praetor are big things not easy to knock-out permanently but take a Carrack, Nebulon-B or Action Transport. Technically one hit (with multiple ion pulses) should be enough to fry all electronics on-board. Right?

 

 

Yeah planetary ion cannons have a very long disable time built into them, and reduce weapon rate of fire as well.


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