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  1. WARNING : LONG POST AHEAD. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED. Construct VS Construct, the point of debate and curiosity of many people. "This is not like Star Citizen's World War 2 in space dogfighting battlecruisers, what gives?" "What gives" are the distances involved. Space is big, really big, therefore, spaceship battles won't be operated within 100 meters between each ship, as even WW2 battleships, fought at 5+ Km worth of distance between each other, so, it's only logical that a starship will have to utilise some of the same principles of compensation of weaponry for these distances, in a non-simulated combat enviroment like DUAL's. So, we'll have to take into account that projectiles are NOT physical objects, therefore, everything can come down to raw stats comparisons and statistics' inputs So, without any further ado : TWERKMOTOR's Call of Math : Pythagorean Warfare. (sorta my idea, for all I know, the Devs have already thought of this) This thread will focus first on : 1. The Way a turret can aim in First Person View and Lock-On, as well as the gameplay around it. 2. How to make the "miss" mechanism believable, instead of floating letters that say "Dodged!" 3. How each individual damage model could function on this model of CvC. 4. How Automation will be hindered by this mechanic. 5. Multicrew functionality and the Emergent Gameplay around this mechanism as weaponry wears and tears with usage. This thread will NOT focus on : 1. Damage calculations 2. Material integrity on ships' armors. 3. If the fight between a large battleship and a helpless Space-trucker is fair. (It won't be, get over it). So, let's do this. DISCLAIMER : If you are allergic to math, this is your warning. I won't be dwelling into how or why ratios are the numbers they are. Learn how to calculate triangles' sides with only the angles provided, then make an arguemtn against this model. This is a suggestino for the Devs, you won't be seeing equations on your screen, but a neat interface of circles the close in on the target to improve your accuracy and damage consistency on the area of effect you go for. 1 . The way a turret can aim in First Person View and Lock-On. (A Good Day to Lock Hard) What are Cones? A cone is a three-dimensional geometric shape that tapers smoothly from a flat base ( most of the times ) to a point called the apex. Exactly. If you look at a cone from its side, it is a triangle, therefore, time to implement Pythagorean Theorem. We can utilise Cone of Fire, by having the distance of the target dictate the surface area we can generate Damage Bubbles (think of the Mining Tool, only operated differently to accomodate Voxel Durability and Weapon Type). A Cone of Fire, in most First Person Shooters, is the circle at the center of your screen, indicated via the crosshairs surrounding it. That area, is where your bullets will fly to, the more you fire the gun, the more the Cone Spreads, because the barrel overheats, which is simulated in the game with the Cone expanding, until your bullets fly everywhere BUT your target, therefore, missing all of those shots. Simple, you aim at a ship, you lock-on the ship, then begin Compensating before you fire, establishing a Base Area on your Cone of Fire in which Damage Bubbles will be dispersed. The tighter the Cone, the more consistent the damage bubbles on the place you want them to be will be. Compensation is, as we all know, the act of taking into account things like bullet drop, gravity, windage and all that, when a sniper or an artillery operator, or a turret operator on tank or a ship, is planning a trajectory for their projectile. In DUAL, that can be emulated with a predefined time of "tightening" the Cone of Fire's Appex Angle, to reduce the Base Surface Area in which your target is in. YOu can fire at your enemy as soon as you see them, just don't expect to hit them really much, if they are like a fly at 100 meters, but if you take your time tightening the Cone of Fire, your chances of creating a Damage Bubble on the target increase dramatically ,as the Base Surface Area decreases. Depends. How many rounds does your Ballistic Turret holds in its magazine? 10? Good, you get 10 Damage Bubbles dispersed in your Cone of Fire's Base Area. Make sure you compensate hard, so you make all 10 count, and pray your ship's navigator is keeping the ship steady. Okay, fine, if you insist.. A wild Spaceship appears. You, on the space station you work for your organisatipn, jump on one of the defense Turrets set for them pirates to be deterred. You notice the Pirate ship is at 10 Km aways, but you have a problem given the distance. You are Doctor Bones from Star Trek, you're a doctor, not a gunner. So you wait, knowing you can't get a tight Cone at such distances, but within 100 m, you will be just fine, so you lock-on the target and begin Compensating before you click to fire the turret. Within the 1 Km range, given you have NO skills invested into Gunnery Training, you begin Compensating the target, which means you narrow the Cone of Fire of the Turrets initial Cone of Fire of 30 Degrees (for the sake of the example, numbers will be kept round). Within the 0.5 Km, you are 50% compensated. Within 100 meters, you are 100% compensated. Now, the Turret is not magical, it has a minimum Cone of Fire, which is 5 degrees. Now, if you were to shoot at the target at the 1 Km mark, the Base area would be. B = 223,760 Km^2 Because of Cone Calculations where : Initial Cone of Fire Appex angle= 15 Degrees Lnegth Distance from target = 1000 meters Slant Distance = 1035 meters Base Area Radius = 223.760 Sq. Meters Now, that area of 223,760 Km^2, seems pretty bleak on the possibility of hitting... anything, right? Exactly. But on the 100 Meters Compensated Shot, you get B = 251.83 Sq. Meters Where : Final Cone of Fire Appex Angle = 5 Degrees (compensated at 100% ) Length Distance from target = 100 meters Slant Distance = 100.4 meters Base Area Radius = 251.83 Sq. METERS Oh boy, seems like you will be melting those pirates within those 100 meters... but then again, you had to wait for them to practically be right in front of you. And you were on a station... a stationary station... you would have not to suffer from motion loss of accuracy. In simple terms, if you Compensate while moving, you take FAR FAR longer to fully compensat, if your pilot moves up and down and left and right, that may cause even the Cone to widen even more due to that. Get a good navigators for your ships. Is that a segue ? Why yes it is 2. How to make the "miss" mechanism believable, instead of floating letters that say "Dodged!" (How to do the Harlem Shake is Space) On the aformentioned example of a turret locking, compensating and firing, we had a Base Surface in wihch the Damage Bubbles would occur in, their number dictated on the turret's magazine size and their ratio of popping up, on the Weapon's fire rate. Chill, the great brains behind spacecraft building got you covered. Remember that base surface area on the cone? Well, the cone can't "target" voxels it cannot spotlight with its surface area. A. Have a slim fronta profile on your ship, means you mitigate the chance of a direct hit. B. SPEED IS KEY. When the other guy lock's on to you, their weapon's projectile speed is put up in comparison to your speed and direction, as well as Distance between you two. If your speed is greater than your attacker's projectiles and you move away from them, then the "damage bubbles", take time to appear, therefore, creating a sense of missing the target, while making you actually feel that you were responsible for the opponent missing the shot. Your ship's surface area exposed to the enemy, dictates your chances of being hit in this Cone of Fire suggestion. Learn to fly with style and always keep your slim profile facing the enemy, or your reinforced side, I don't care, it's your ship. Only if they have ZERO skillpoints invested into gunnery. A player who invested heavily into gunnery will start pumping lead into you from kilometers away. Yes. Just because space is empty, doesn't mean the smartest way to go from Point A to Point B is a straight line. Lua scripts are needed for that reason, preplanned maneuvers that throw your enemy's aim off. Oh, another segue. Lucky me. 3. How each individual damage model could function on this model of CvC. Kinetic Weapons = They have certain speed, they come in varieties of ammunition typ,e from armor piercing to simple chunks of metal in a the form of a giant bullet, for them railguns. They follow the standardised model of compensation, as described above. Energy Weaponry = This is tricky and depends on the type of laser. If the laser is based on a fission explosion with the cannon directing a very dense X-rays wave in the direction of the enemy, then the laser would be using the Cone of Fire, as an interference-to-distance pattern, which means the laser's damage is divided equally on the surface area it is applied, which means that a laser can do X amount of damage, but it is divided across the surface area it is applied. If the laser is a Lamp-style laser, then it has a "charge-up timer" replacing the Compensation mechanism, which makes it very precise, but very slow to ramp up to the task. Explosives = They can be missiles that will go DIRECTLY where you aim them and depending on their quality and distance, they can counteract a ship's lateral speed bonuses on avoidance of the missile's Damage Bubble. Good for taking out engines, IF you manage to tail the opponent to get a good shot at their engines. Bombs are also a good way of looking at this, althought they won't be as "smart" as the missiles are, for a much more powerful boom. Electromagnetic weaponry : Same deal as the Lasers, only they can't do damage to Voxels, but they can scramble electronics. Yes, it means you can wear down an enemy's shield as you approach for a firing pass with a fission laser, then use your heavy hitter railguns and missiles to do the real damage. Those missiles sound expensive. You will know who is a bad pilot, from the amount of missiles they use. Yes, aim at a target, like a hovertank, fly over them, let the bomb go. Boom. They can sure as heck damage an enemy's sensors, flight controls and drain shields. Makes for some sweet sweet specialised ships that can do nasty things in battle. Another segue ! (Got bored on trying to come up with something stupid ) 4. How Automation will be hindered by this mechanic. You may build a torpedo boat in space, sure, but you're running on an inherit problem here. Lua scripts will have limit on how many actions they can execute per second. Players though not, especially if they are a multicrew ship, not to mention all those Lua scripts will have a very VERY heavy tax on your RAM. Good luck playing a game at 10 frames per second. Have you ever heard of Battery Crews on ships? Also, segue. 5. Multicrew functionality. Weaponry, with use, should suffer loss in quality and durability. For example, a turret, would gradually get its initial Cone of Fire enlarged, after being used repeatedly in battle, requiring recalibration to reset its Cone of Fire to its original state. It would also need repairs, because it got hit once or twice, and it would sure as heck require reloading. These things should be taken care of by a Battery Crew, engineers who work together with the Gunners to ensure a Turret works as intented. Because Lua will require power from the ship to run, power you could be using powering your shields longer, or having extra acceleration to catch up to a target. I don't know, who would want to play a space-trucker? Or an explorer, or a miner? Or a craftsman? Or a builder? That's right, many people. A dedicated Battery Crew, can be seen as those dedicated healer players in other MMOs that a guild is looking for all the time. We got to remember, a ship's crew will be an org on their own. And once people start seeing how effective those Battery Crews can be in combat situations, there will be a paradigm shift on what Emergent Gameplay can be. If you like keeping alive your budies to keep melting the enemy, a Battery Crew is your thing, as you are the last line of defense before the ship shuts down. BONUS ROUND OF QUESTIONS They are called surprise attacks for a reason. And just because they got the Alpha Damage on your, doesn't mean you can't retaliate. Wait till you see the comments below. Welp, this is not the game for you then :| It is not meant to be simple, as JC said time and time again, if they had not achieved the Kickstarter, they would have to simplify. Lucky for us, that won't be the case :| Said noone ever. By accelerating the Compensation timer and mitigating the Compensation timer penatly from moving and the distances involved. A Rank 5 Gunner with a Rank5 Advanced Turret Training, will be able to engage the enemy at 5 Km (as a rough example), therefore, giving his ship a greater range on the battlefield. A builder wil lhave the chance to research and produce Turrets a faction uses due to its tactics, therefore securing a market spot for his or her own. A miner will know that his faction favors iron, because they rely on Railgun tactics for Metal Storm barrages of turrets towards the enemy, therefore actively scanning for iron and mining iron to support their faction's war effort. Hardly. Your star-fighter is so small, that you would be throwing the enemy's aim off consistently. If they decide to go for a lock-on missile on you, you took one for the team. Also, you are flying with a squadron of other people, on star-fighters, on am ission to destroy a battleship's turrets. It's a suicide mission to begin with, but the good news are that you, as a jet-fighter, can be equiped with a missile launcher and actively go after the enemy's turrets It's amissile, it doesn't require any power generator to power up a laser or anything, it can fly on its own. In any case, good luck you crazy Top Gun you. o7 Nobody said you can put only ONE laser turret on the front of your ship and Lua rig them all to fire on a common point at the same time. If it was me for example, I may put 10, 100, or, heck , 1000 laser turrets, rig them to fire at once and watch as ships disintegrated in the distance under the immense heat of the impromptu Doomsday weapon. The real question is, if you can sustain the cost of such a weapon. Not to mention the Doomsday weapon would be a very high maintenance weapon. We're talking of an I-Win weapon that has a cooldown of days or weeks on having all its turrets recalibrated, or God forbid, repaired. While you cannot build a planet-destroying Death Star, nobody said the Death Star can't simply evaporate a Dreadnaught with sheer firepower. :| Yes. But then again, no pirate in their sane mind would go near a place with such a defense system installed. Not unless they use Stealth Modules and manage to blow your turrets up with a lightning assault on your station. I don't know. If they can transfer your viewpoint to another cluster, so you can have a closer rate of updates so you would be able to aim better at what you want to hit, maybe, but then again I'm making a suggestion for the CvC, not for sniping :| Well, up to something, not really, over something... maybe. Would I want to drop something to someone from over them as I drift in orbit on my ship? Hell yeah and you do too, don't lie ===================================================================================== Thanks for reading this sort of long post. Here's a scientifically accurate potato clock.
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