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Wilks Checkov

Debate 7: Modular Shielding

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Can't tell yet, not much info on that one. But stealth should require a ship to have a certain light weight about it, trading armor for the ability to scout enemies with relative safety, as the stealth mechanic should be linked to the craft's general weight for its power drain on the craf. IMO, that's balanced. No 10  metric kiloton invisible ships, but a craft? Why not. It's a scouting unit after all.

"By classical standards that is... A concept of heavy armour, heavy shield and efficient stealth may be hard, but it is possible. Novaquark hasn't exactly shed the light on how the stealth mechanics of the game will work."

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"By classical standards that is... A concept of heavy armour, heavy shield and efficient stealth may be hard, but it is possible. Novaquark hasn't exactly shed the light on how the stealth mechanics of the game will work."

Well, realistically speaking, your standards sound a bit OP and game-breaking, not "hard". It's an MMORPG, they won't let you be a rogue/mage/tank/healer. They did that thing in WoW, it was called a Druid Arena Season 1,2, 3 & 4. It was game-breaking and waaaay off balance. They did say mass will play a role in how many populsion thrusters you'll need, perhaps stealth will work on a similar basis, with your "cloaking field" duration being relevant to your overall mass., but negating you from using weapons in the process. Perhaps some people may find a way to make stealth bombers, who knows? Kudos to them. But having a 2 km ship, with stleath, armor and self-repair, it's way to op to be allowed by the game's physics and/or engineering logic.

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More possible shield mechanics:

 

As Cornflakes has stated, capacitors are an obvious base for shield tech. IRL it takes longer to charge when closer to full than when closer to empty. The emitters would charge slower and slower as they fill up.

 

And suppose that a power source provides a variable voltage to the shield emitters. In effect, this would enable shield to store energy indefinitely, acting as an energy sink. This might sound OP to be able to just pour energy in like this, but I would respond by saying that absorbing hits should consume charge instead of energy. This way, hits drain shields faster at a higher charge.

 

As a result, shields would be most effective only when they are fuller. A shield with twice the voltage has four times the energy stored. If you have a smaller shield emitter, a hit would reduce the charge, which would reduce the voltage by some amount. With larger shield emitter, a hit would reduce by the same amount of charge, but lose less charge relatively, and would reduce the voltage by some lesser amount. However, larger shield emitters would take longer to charge with a constant power source than a smaller shield emitter.

 

Shields should have user defined field geometry. You could have simple shapes, like a flat plane or a half cylinder or half sphere. The size and relative position and orientation would be user defined too. In order to balance this, charge loss would increase proportional to the amount of area projected.

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More possible shield mechanics:

 

As Cornflakes has stated, capacitors are an obvious base for shield tech. IRL it takes longer to charge when closer to full than when closer to empty. The emitters would charge slower and slower as they fill up.

 

And suppose that a power source provides a variable voltage to the shield emitters. In effect, this would enable shield to store energy indefinitely, acting as an energy sink. This might sound OP to be able to just pour energy in like this, but I would respond by saying that absorbing hits should consume charge instead of energy. This way, hits drain shields faster at a higher charge.

 

As a result, shields would be most effective only when they are fuller. A shield with twice the voltage has four times the energy stored. If you have a smaller shield emitter, a hit would reduce the charge, which would reduce the voltage by some amount. With larger shield emitter, a hit would reduce by the same amount of charge, but lose less charge relatively, and would reduce the voltage by some lesser amount. However, larger shield emitters would take longer to charge with a constant power source than a smaller shield emitter.

 

Shields should have user defined field geometry. You could have simple shapes, like a flat plane or a half cylinder or half sphere. The size and relative position and orientation would be user defined too. In order to balance this, charge loss would increase proportional to the amount of area projected.

For balance of game mechanics, indefinite charge of shields is quite impractical, but, if you meant indefinite as not "hard-capped" by the devs butactually capped by the wattage of the whole ship, then that's an entirely different notion and one that seems to balance itself out.

 

 

As for the custom shapes of screens, I find it quite difficult, given how many people don't get things like ... geometry. In my opinion, make the arrangemento f the emitters themselves to dctate the shield screen as a whole to emulate the ship's shape. It would be the easiest route for the devs, with how they implement modules.

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For balance of game mechanics, indefinite charge of shields is quite impractical, but, if you meant indefinite as not "hard-capped" by the devs butactually capped by the wattage of the whole ship, then that's an entirely different notion and one that seems to balance itself out.

 

 

As for the custom shapes of screens, I find it quite difficult, given how many people don't get things like ... geometry. In my opinion, make the arrangemento f the emitters themselves to dctate the shield screen as a whole to emulate the ship's shape. It would be the easiest route for the devs, with how they implement modules.

1. Yes that is what I meant

2. Well, we will be expected to build ships with thrusters placed to counter both forces and torques in order to get it to fly in a straight line. Not to mention what kind of cargo or inventory mass there will be to deal with dynamically. If we can do that, then "geometry" isn't so difficult.

 

I've also realized that making shield emitters modular with custom geometry would allow for emergency bulkhead seals in the case of a breach.

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1. Yes that is what I meant

2. Well, we will be expected to build ships with thrusters placed to counter both forces and torques in order to get it to fly in a straight line. Not to mention what kind of cargo or inventory mass there will be to deal with dynamically. If we can do that, then "geometry" isn't so difficult.

 

I've also realized that making shield emitters modular with custom geometry would allow for emergency bulkhead seals in the case of a breach.

Well, for sealing hull breached sections, I don't know, we'll have to see how the game handles shields, if they are a "temporary" constuct, therefore being used as force filed gates as well, if a constant power supply can be provided, like on a city.

 

 

As for the center of mass and weight distribution, that depends as well with how the devs will handle carog, if it's gonna be something physical in the ship, or a series of boxes that act as containers for whatever the player bought off a marketplace in-game and stored in their ships. If the cargo is boxes, then it's safe to assume the devs don't want people to actually put effort in thinking how their ship may misbehave due to uneven weight distribution. If they make it something actually physical in the game though, then boy oh boy, how many people don't know physics, or math, or geometry, that will be whining that the game is broken.

 

 

My suggestion is still the same, make the shields be attachable elements on the hull of a ship, beneath the armor, and act as a "buffer" before the armor starts taking damage beyond a threshhold. Simple and makes a bit of sense.

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As for the center of mass and weight distribution, that depends as well with how the devs will handle carog, if it's gonna be something physical in the ship, or a series of boxes that act as containers for whatever the player bought off a marketplace in-game and stored in their ships. If the cargo is boxes, then it's safe to assume the devs don't want people to actually put effort in thinking how their ship may misbehave due to uneven weight distribution. If they make it something actually physical in the game though, then boy oh boy, how many people don't know physics, or math, or geometry, that will be whining that the game is broken.

 

why would cargo boxes remove the mass balancing dance?

cant boxes have mass dependent on their contents? :P

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why would cargo boxes remove the mass balancing dance?

cant boxes have mass dependent on their contents? :P

Well, that's an idea indeed :V

 

If the lore has FutureSpace metal that can absorb gravity, then alloys can be made to reallocate the center of mass.

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If the lore has FutureSpace metal that can absorb gravity, then alloys can be made to reallocate the center of mass.

 

you dont need such fanciness...

 

just simplify that every cargo box has an identical center of mass regardless of its filling state.

 

like every container in every game :V

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Tonight - the debate I thought of bringing up is an idea on Modular Shielding. 

 

Essentially here is the shield idea in a nutshell:

 

 

Modular Shielding:

 

Essentially modular shielding would not use a singular shield generator, instead it will be using shield emitters that are placed on the surface of the hull to provide coverage. 

 

An emitter can be overloaded by sustained fire on that emitter grid. Having a reserve shield emitter grid as a backup would be critical especially for long drawn out confrontations. 

 

Shields are limited by the amount of power that can be dumped into them at a single time. They can be enhanced by various skills of players / engineers / technicians. 

 

Shields can have frequencies that enable it to protect from one type of damage better than others, however the downside of this is you are nearly entirely vulnerable to all other forms of damage. The upside is, if the enemy uses primarily one type of weapon - you can protect yourself very well against it, absorbing nearly all incoming damage. 

 

You must have a player engineer / technician on hand to change frequencies, and their skill effects the damage reduction ratios of the types of incoming damage.

 

Shield generators are effected by the amount of energy that is rolled into them, the more input the more damage they can take. Varied on player skill as well. 

 

 

 

Anyway these are a few of my thoughts on how the shield system could go. What are your ideas on shielding, would you change how it is laid out? Did I miss anything?

 

 

Anyway enjoy debating. . . and have fun.

I really like this idea, But they have said that the weapons will use a lock and fire system so they will need to make a way to pick the section of the ship that is going to be fired on.

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what would definitely bring forward sectioned shields would be to have shield projectors not generate closed bubbles but only single polygons of shield "plates".

 

a single projector would generate a corner/vertex of a shield and it has to connect to other projectors to provide the other vertices for plates/bubbles.

the projection distance could be configured per projector to make the system a bit more flexible.

 

single projector -> point (pretty useless)

two projectors -> line (a bit less useless, but people are creative)

three projectors -> a closed triangular sufrace that provides protection against projectiles that would cross it.

 

four or more projectors could completely enclose a volume.

 

every projector could be part of multiple polygons to generate closed bubbles without gaps.

 

this would enable custom shield forms for any form of ship in a relatively easy to understand fashion.

(the whole wireframe shield bubble could be smoothed over afterwards to provide more pleasing shield shapes, if so desired)

and would also provide sectioned shields for localised damage modeling on shields.

in addition forcefield doors, shield domes and other uses with custom shapes would come for free with the system.

 

damage/power needs could be distributed per shield projector or maybe to shield generators by which the projectors have to be supplied from.

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Just crossed my mind - figured I would bring it up - but do you think shields need to be invisible when on - only to show a "shield impact effect / animation" when they are hit by something to cause damage, or should they always appear on?

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what would definitely bring forward sectioned shields would be to have shield projectors not generate closed bubbles but only single polygons of shield "plates".

 

a single projector would generate a corner/vertex of a shield and it has to connect to other projectors to provide the other vertices for plates/bubbles.

the projection distance could be configured per projector to make the system a bit more flexible.

 

single projector -> point (pretty useless)

two projectors -> line (a bit less useless, but people are creative)

three projectors -> a closed triangular sufrace that provides protection against projectiles that would cross it.

 

four or more projectors could completely enclose a volume.

 

every projector could be part of multiple polygons to generate closed bubbles without gaps.

 

this would enable custom shield forms for any form of ship in a relatively easy to understand fashion.

(the whole wireframe shield bubble could be smoothed over afterwards to provide more pleasing shield shapes, if so desired)

and would also provide sectioned shields for localised damage modeling on shields.

in addition forcefield doors, shield domes and other uses with custom shapes would come for free with the system.

 

damage/power needs could be distributed per shield projector or maybe to shield generators by which the projectors have to be supplied from.

 

To add to this, perhaps damage should be localized. Each polygon surface should function individually. That way, you can "punch" holes in the shield grid. I like this since it adds to the tactical combat mechanics that DU is aiming for.

 

Generators, as opposed to projectors/emitters, could be linked together to produce different effects. Generators linked would be in "parallel" and would increase the capacity of stored charge. Generators not linked would be in "series" and would increase the recharge rate. You combine these in different ways. Few, large chains would have huge charge capacity, but very low recharge rate. Many small chains would have lightning quick recharge, but tiny storage capacity.

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To add to this, perhaps damage should be localized. Each polygon surface should function individually. That way, you can "punch" holes in the shield grid. I like this since it adds to the tactical combat mechanics that DU is aiming for.

 

didnt i say that already?

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I love this concept and really like the different ideas people have brought forth. This is a good example where scripting can make a huge difference by diverting power to the areas that need it the most. I really think scripting should be part of any good ship design and should have a large impact on that ship and it's capabilities. We do have to keep in mind however that any all actions will have a slight delay so we probably won't see a system where changing how the shields are powered every second is possible, otherwise large battles would cause immense server load.

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