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  1. I've made this suggestion in another thread, but decided to break this specific suggestion into its own topic as per the Idea Box rules. Computing Power - How to balance Auto-Turrets on constructs EDIT: Before I define what I mean by Computing Power here, let me define what I mean by an Auto-Turret. Auto-Turret is a gun that can be manned by a player, but instead has an Auto-Fire module installed. When the Auto-Fire module is active, the turret with target and fire at attackers using its own gunnery and accuracy stats (no buff from a player) and will function even if there is no player online on the ship. It is a player weapon turned Automated Defense System. The purpose of this post is to describe a way where such a system could exist in a balanced way, in-line with the design intent of NQ. Let me define what I mean by Computing Power here. Computing Power would be a resource provided by core units of constructs. Each system that relies on computing power will occupy a static amount of your ship's total computing power, and only while it is "on" and in use. Flight systems, certain scripted elements, weapons, and auto turrets are examples of systems that would use Computing Power. This resource would be more or less a non-issue for most constructs and would mainly exist as a balance mechanic for PVP constructs. Here is a proposed example of the Computing Power resource at work. Medium ship core has a computing power of 80 Cells. Below is a breakdown of how my 1-2 player ship uses those cells. Flight control scripts require 40 cells. Flight controls might be a flat value, but with Lua scripting the door could be opened to have a more complex flight script that requires more cells. The ship's primary weapon (forward cannon) requires 25 Cells to aim and fire manually. The ship's secondary weapon (side-mounted gatling gun) requires 10 Cells to aim and fire manually. The ship's shield generator requires 5 cells to maintain, but requires 15 cells to re-boot if completely depleted. This means to re-boot the shields, the secondary weapon must be taken offline automatically, or manually. There is an auto-fire module attached to the primary weapon that requires another 45 cells to operate. I cannot turn this module on while the ship is flying, it must be parked. There is an auto-fire module attached to the primary weapon that requires another 25 cells to operate. I cannot turn this module on while the ship is flying and while the primary weapon is in use. This can be turned on if I'm flying solo and want to focus on maneuvering only. There are several ways the ship could be spending those 80 Cells of computing power, but I can't have it all. If I'm flying the ship solo, I can't use the Main and Secondary weapon simultaneously (since I'm just one player). I can alternate between the two, but I can't fire them simultaneously. I also don't have enough Computing Power to have my secondary weapon auto-fire while using the Cannons. If I had a 2nd player on-board, we could be using the cannons and gatling gun simultaneously, however if our shields drop completely, we would have to cease the use of one of our weapons to get our shields back. This creates some compelling pvp decisions as to when to turn off a system, when is the right opportunity to disable a weapon to re-boot the shields. If I park the ship, I can set the cannon to auto-mode, but if I do then the ship can't re-boot its own shields without taking the cannon offline. This gives the ship some means of defending itself while I'm AFK or logged off in a non safe zone, while also making it way less effective than if I were there to use the weapons. If I decided to put the Machine gun on auto mode instead of the cannon while parked, the shields could re-boot or re-charge without losing the gun's functionality, but it would be unable to drive-away a tough ship. Some other features of the Computing Power mechanic... Setting a hierarchy for use using scripting. Lets take the 2-player piloting example from above. If we are both using weapons and the shields drop, there is no longer enough Computing Power to re-boot the shields. With a scripted power-hierarchy, the ship could automatically disable certain systems to free up resources for essential ones (like shields or thrust). Sample or Default hierarchy... Shield - Passive maintenance Flight systems Shields - Reboot Primary Weapon Secondary Weapon Primary Weapon auto-system Secondary Weapon auto-system The hierarchy would disregard any system that is manually disabled. For example a Parked Ship would not consider flight systems when managing its hierarchy. That way the 2-player piloting example would immediately disable the Gatling gun when the shields drop and promptly re-boot the shields to recharge them. Similarly, when the ship is Parked, it could auto-fire the cannon and switch to the Gatling as soon as it needs the computing power to re-boot the shields. This same systems management would work for Static Construct defense systems as well, managing computing power for AFK shielding, managing which turrets should fire, etc. I envision that a large base might have an array of 12 auto-turrets defending the exterior and 6 anti-personal turrets defending the Interior. The interior turrets would be higher on the power hierarchy than the exterior turrets, since fighting off intruders would be more important than supplying Computing Power to the west side of the base (that isn't under attack). The base might only have enough Computing power to fire 3 of those exterior turrets at a time, but could power all 6 of the interior turrets (since antipersonell weapons are smaller, the targets are closer and not moving as fast). A Base might be unable to destroy a heavily armored troop transport ship, but the troops might not be able to overcome the anti-personel defenses and the Base would still be in fine shape. What happens when a player just sets up several constructs in a small area, each with automated defenses? is this haxx? Captaintwerkmotor brought up this issue. There are two environmental limiting factors on automated systems, mainly automated defensive weapons. Each Sector of Space, and each Territory on a Planet has a maximum number of entities (using a max of 3 for examples) that can have automated defenses "turned on" same time across all players (including logged-off, this removes the incentive to multibox or have alts set up stations next to yours). The server decides which entities' turrets get turned on based solely on the entity's type and size. -Mobile and Immobile entities are counted separately, but a parked ship could be counted as an immobile construct for this count. -The constructs with the largest core are counted first, ties in core size are then determined by which entity has the most cores, followed by who entered the sector/territory first. -Once an area has "counted" all of the entities that will be able to use their auto-turrets, anyone else that attempts to turn their auto turrets on will get a "too much interferance" error and they will not activate (nor will they use up computing power). -If a player owns a TU, they can unilaterally give out permissions as to which immobile constructs can turn on turrets. Even if they give out permission, the "max entities per territory" cap will kick in as it normally would. Again, parked ships could count as immobile constructs for this count (to prevent players from designing "ships" meant only to park and supplement a base's defenses). This system should help with server load, to prevent a hundred automated weapons all firing at once in a fleet engagement. It also perfectly prevents a player from setting up a ton of tiny structures with auto-turrets to protect an area.
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