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Cloaking Tech

Cloaking tech  

62 members have voted

  1. 1. Dynamic constructs only

    • Yes no restrictions
      7
    • Limited and costly but viable
      46
    • Do not add this the game will die before it begins
      9
  2. 2. Static constructs only

    • Yes no restrictions
      7
    • Limited and costly but viable
      36
    • Do not add this the game will die before it begins
      19
  3. 3. Players only

    • Yes no restrictions
      5
    • Limited and costly but viable
      34
    • Do not add this the game will die before it begins
      23


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Personally I don't have a problem with cloak technology as long as they would do it like in most games and moves : #1 any aggressive action you make takes you out of cloak. #2 cloak works best when your not moving. #3 If you get hit while cloaked its a 50/50 chance you might get knocked out of being cloak! #4 short range cloak countermeasure devices which would be costly just like cloak.

 

Basically cloak being used to observe targets or slip by enemies  and sometimes used to get a first strike but never over powered where you can constantly attack someone and remain cloaked which would be over powered and broken game play.

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1 hour ago, GunDeva said:

Personally I don't have a problem with cloak technology as long as they would do it like in most games and moves : #1 any aggressive action you make takes you out of cloak. #2 cloak works best when your not moving. #3 If you get hit while cloaked its a 50/50 chance you might get knocked out of being cloak!

i can just repeat myself again and again, no magic tricks in a hard sci fi game !

CLoaking means technology (shape, surface, fields etc.) that reduces the signal close to backgroundnoise level, they don't get automatically disabled when someone attacks. What could happen is that a scanner on the other ship picks up the direction of the attack and thus look for minimal signals and lock on in this way, that would require another module again tho.

Also cloaking doesnt magically disable upon being attacked, only when the module/structure was destroyed.

 

i hope we see heat sinks, anti radar plating, mass cloaking fields etc. but please, don't suggest those fantasy mmorpg mechanics that are highly illogical. (and especially nothing like a 50/50 chance, any random chance mechanic just destroys good pvp)

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I would have no problem with a magical invisibility cloak - If the ship is completely blind then too and has to rely in sensors or stuff...

 

Such a mechanic needs delicate balancing otherwise or just gets abused

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1 hour ago, vylqun said:

i can just repeat myself again and again, no magic tricks in a hard sci fi game !

CLoaking means technology (shape, surface, fields etc.) that reduces the signal close to backgroundnoise level, they don't get automatically disabled when someone attacks. What could happen is that a scanner on the other ship picks up the direction of the attack and thus look for minimal signals and lock on in this way, that would require another module again tho.

Also cloaking doesnt magically disable upon being attacked, only when the module/structure was destroyed.

 

i hope we see heat sinks, anti radar plating, mass cloaking fields etc. but please, don't suggest those fantasy mmorpg mechanics that are highly illogical. (and especially nothing like a 50/50 chance, any random chance mechanic just destroys good pvp)

Attacking (or being attacked) doesn't remove stealth. Just greatly increase your heat signature, which means pretty much the same.

 

And if we have two separate devices:

Detector (wide detection angle - to get the first contact)

Tracker (very narrow detection angle - can be locked on already detected enemy, or used manually at anticipated enemy position)

Then once someone fire once, he get tracked and an't really go back to stealth again (unless he breaks LOS, which may be tricky in open space)

 

I agree - no randomness, no magic.

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4 hours ago, Lethys said:

I would have no problem with a magical invisibility cloak - If the ship is completely blind then too and has to rely in sensors or stuff...

 

Such a mechanic needs delicate balancing otherwise or just gets abused

Well with out some balance I would vote NOT ! Cloaked ships firing weapons and staying cloaked is a broken and not fun system garneted to be abused! 

 

5 hours ago, vylqun said:

i can just repeat myself again and again, no magic tricks in a hard sci fi game !

CLoaking means technology (shape, surface, fields etc.) that reduces the signal close to backgroundnoise level, they don't get automatically disabled when someone attacks. What could happen is that a scanner on the other ship picks up the direction of the attack and thus look for minimal signals and lock on in this way, that would require another module again tho.

Also cloaking doesnt magically disable upon being attacked, only when the module/structure was destroyed.

Objects in space move very fast so yes hitting a large object is a 50/50 chance. Many nations have ben working on Cloak tech and most likely it will use massive amounts of power to bend light or project a image so yes by disrupting this ability  it would break a ship out of cloak not mention this tech will probably give off a lot of heat! Its a Sci-Fi game and yes we are allowed to tweak it for balance like many games have done be for and people do hate broken and over powered systems in games.

 

4 hours ago, CalenLoki said:

Attacking (or being attacked) doesn't remove stealth. Just greatly increase your heat signature, which means pretty much the same.

 

And if we have two separate devices:

Detector (wide detection angle - to get the first contact)

Tracker (very narrow detection angle - can be locked on already detected enemy, or used manually at anticipated enemy position)

Then once someone fire once, he get tracked and an't really go back to stealth again (unless he breaks LOS, which may be tricky in open space)

 

I agree - no randomness, no magic.

So in other word you have a unlimited amount of power for all ship systems ? That doesn't work in the real would not to mention it would break a game? Its not magic its balance just like most thing you have to do some type of management. I guess you could go with the endless power supply to all ship system shield , cloak , weapons , life support ...etc but I am sure most would view that as a broken system seeing you don't even get that in real life or movies. 

 

Finally key word is BALANCE : cloak tech is ok but there need to be balance. Can you lock or tab target that ship that's always cloaked or could jump back into cloak while in combat? NO You would have a ship that no one could touch or target which would break the game.

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32 minutes ago, GunDeva said:

Objects in space move very fast so yes hitting a large object is a 50/50 chance. 

pls, dont quantify things so easily, its certainly not 50/50 and its definitely not random, its a combination of sensors, inertia, speed of the attack, reaction speed of the targets system etc. etc. Its complex but absolutely not random!

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2 hours ago, GunDeva said:

Well with out some balance I would vote NOT ! Cloaked ships firing weapons and staying cloaked is a broken and not fun system garneted to be abused! 

Well even your rules are too weak and unbalanced. See Eve - cloaks are broken af there and not fun at all. And that's what Du can do way way better with a more complicated and deeper mechanic

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7 hours ago, GunDeva said:

So in other word you have a unlimited amount of power for all ship systems ? That doesn't work in the real would not to mention it would break a game? Its not magic its balance just like most thing you have to do some type of management. I guess you could go with the endless power supply to all ship system shield , cloak , weapons , life support ...etc but I am sure most would view that as a broken system seeing you don't even get that in real life or movies. 

I love those assumptions taken out of thin assir.

1. Cloaking means you can't be detected. It doesn't have to mean "visually invisible". It may mean "designed in a way that greatly reduce radar/heat/magnetic/mass signature". It's probably much easier to detect objects that way in space. And visual invisibility is bad for most pvp games that implemented it.

2. IMO being undetectable would be better as mostly passive action - not moving (too fast), not firing, not actively detecting, ect. Rather than active "turn cloak device on".

3. Ship designed to be stealthy would use much smaller part of it's mass/volume on firepower/armour/speed. And could be (as any other ship) built in a way where you have more elements that use energy than those that produce it - thus being forced to choose which system to power up.

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2 hours ago, Nebenfigur said:

I think 4 types of detection wouldn't enforce tactic, it would only enforce gambling.

If you were to analyse samples of the enemies fleet and place sensors which they are vulnerable to in places which are vulnerable to those ships then that is a strategy you could use.

 

On top of that you can also bluff. For example I could make sure everyone in my org knows about my one and only gravimetric sensor so the spies blab to the enemy about it. Little does he know I have a secret stash of other sensors.

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-this would only be true for wars between clans. Random encounters, piracy or basically every fight without scouting beforehand is still gambling.

 

-if both sides have scouts, they would just constantly switching their equipment to the best fitting without ever attacking.

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8 minutes ago, Nebenfigur said:

-this would only be true for wars between clans. Random encounters, piracy or basically every fight without scouting beforehand is still gambling.

 

-if both sides have scouts, they would just constantly switching their equipment to the best fitting without ever attacking.

It isn't though. In any scenario of attacking or defending you have the opportunity to gather Intel and do risk analysis. If you don't have foreknowledge then you have simply been outsmarted by the enemy or have judged that it would be too time consuming to gather intel. In the event of the latter, all forms of stratagem are effectively reduced to gambling anyway.

 

They don't need to switch out the cloaking tech on the scouts; they can just make them with all four cloaking techniques. The point of lethys' idea imo is to encourage specialised, immersive designs for stealth as well as alternative strategy. It would be pretty whack if all you had to do to make a scout ship was make giant Borg cube with a cloaking device. With his idea you have to make small black hi tech ninja ships.

 

You don't need to have only one cloaking device on your ship. It's just a question of how efficient you want your power usage to be.

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18 hours ago, Veld said:

They don't need to switch out the cloaking tech on the scouts; they can just make them with all four cloaking techniques.

My understanding of @Lethys post (and main point why I disagree with him) was that you can never fit all of them.

And you need to redesign whole ship to change type of stealth, while you need to switch just few elements to change detection.

Thus it's gamble for stealthy side, because you can never know what kind of detection they're using right now.

 

@GunDeva Great video. But remember that we're talking about game-play. Realism always comes later. And war without stealth would be kind of boring.

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1 hour ago, CalenLoki said:

My understanding of @Lethys post (and main point why I disagree with him) was that you can never fit all of them.

And you need to redesign whole ship to change type of stealth, while you need to switch just few elements to change detection.

Thus it's gamble for stealthy side, because you can never know what kind of detection they're using right now.

In that case, I agree, there's no real point in applying some sort of arbitrary balance. The way I would do it is just by qualities of the vessel with no drawbacks from cloaking methods in other forms of detection. I.e. no heavy dark blocks are needed to avoid lidar which consequently cause drawbacks for gravimetric.

 

Gravimetric: ship mass is large = detection

Thermal: engines low heat/off= no detection. (Eg rocket boosters have more heat than jets)

Magnetometric: shields off = no detection

Lidar: dark colours and low light engines = no detection

Radar: small cross section = no detection

 

This all equates to small, low armour, no shields, black, low profile engines

 

As for radar there could be an exception of a scrambling device.

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If stealth is just adding nothing to a ship, no one would build anything else than a pilot seat with a truster bolted at the back. I don't think stealth should be just a cloaking device, but something like it would make them bigger/expensive/and more specialized than just a brick with trusters.

And as I said before:

21 hours ago, Nebenfigur said:

-if both sides have scouts, they would just constantly switching their equipment to the best fitting without ever attacking.

 

It's like playing Rock-paper-scissors and knowing the answer of the opponent and he knows yours.

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2 hours ago, CalenLoki said:

My understanding of @Lethys post (and main point why I disagree with him) was that you can never fit all of them.

That's a vital point though.

 

If you can change elements instantly anytime anywhere, then the whole premise of different detection types (and damage types) basically falls flat on its face. There's no point in building a ship that's "invisible" to certain scanners if the people searching for you can instantly switch scanner types "on-the-fly".

 

And what's the point of different damage types if the target can just swap out defensive elements to best counter whichever damage your weapons are delivering ?

 

The whole point of having fixed loadouts on ships is to introduce uncertainty.

It means there's value in gaining intel on how an enemy's ships are built and what their preferred fits may be.

It means that there's an opportunity to catch a badly-fitted enemy and destroy them easily.

It provides a strong incentive to experiment with different loadouts and tactics that depend on those configurations.

 

We all want advantages in combat, but if everyone has access to the same advantages, then nobody has any advantage... :D

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4 hours ago, Nebenfigur said:

If stealth is just adding nothing to a ship, no one would build anything else than a pilot seat with a truster bolted at the back

Then so be it. There isn't anything stopping people making cuboid ships with no flair whatsoever outside of the context of stealth.

4 hours ago, Nebenfigur said:

It's like playing Rock-paper-scissors and knowing the answer of the opponent and he knows yours.

I don't see how that applies to a brick with thrusters. If it is immune to all forms of detection by being as bare bones as possible then it is simply immune. Period. No need to gamble.

 

The point of different sensor types is to ascertain what type of ships you are dealing with and coerce people into making realistic (if not slightly more so) scout ships.

 

In fact if players can switch between different sensors so quickly in order to counter the enemy then that implies they are easy to set up. Why can't they just have all the sensors then?

 

I think the sensors should be hard to install so players have to choose their sensors. If it were to be a system where people have to specialise detection systems then I would rework the model as follows:

 

Primary/expensive/long range sensors:

Thermal

Gravimetric

Magentometric

Secondary/inexpensive/ short range:

Radar

 

No lidar as it would be pretty obsolete. As an all rounder, radar does the job just fine.

For a planetside base use thermal to detect reentry heating

For a large space bastions use gravimetric to detect large cruisers and destroyers

For outposts use magnetometric to detect ships using FTL drives and any form of relevant equipment

For general use use radar.

 

Edit: the primary sensors can only be mounted on static constructs while the secondary can be mounted on dynamic

 

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4 hours ago, Nebenfigur said:
Quote

-if both sides have scouts, they would just constantly switching their equipment to the best fitting without ever attacking.

 

It's like playing Rock-paper-scissors and knowing the answer of the opponent and he knows yours.

 

To clarify: The fleet changes the equipment.

 

3 hours ago, Veld said:

Then so be it. There isn't anything stopping people making cuboid ships with no flair whatsoever outside of the context of stealth.

 

It's stopping people from building anything else. Because everything else is easier to detect.

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35 minutes ago, Nebenfigur said:

To clarify: The fleet changes the equipment

Should have said this in my post my bad: The primary sensors should not be able to be mounted on ships. Only radar can be used on ships. I agree the fleets should not have to change their sensors constantly - or have all at once as I said before. Either way it would be too demanding.

35 minutes ago, Nebenfigur said:

It's stopping people from building anything else. Because everything else is easier to detect.

The problem of there being no incentive other than aesthetic to build anything other than a floating cube is still without solution. Dull designs will be the meta in any case. But, in the case of stealth I've actually come up with a solution:

To prevent thruster bricks all you need to do is set a lower limit on the gravimetric sensors. For instance it can detect everything above 8 ton but not below..

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2 hours ago, Veld said:

The problem of there being no incentive other than aesthetic to build anything other than a floating cube is still without solution. Dull designs will be the meta in any case.

Given how voxels and elements in DU work, I'd say sphere, rather than cube. It has the best volume-to-armour ratio. :P
And there are some game mechanics that could be used to encourage some variety:

1. Some elements may require clearance on both ends (i.e. engines, recoil-less guns) forcing builders mount them on wings of some sort

2. If passages are narrow (between asteroids, hangar gates, tunnels, warp gates) then you need longer ships to accommodate more stuff (rather than increasing sphere size).

3. All external elements that doesn't need wide angle (i.e. heat-sinks, hangar doors) will be best put in deep groves, to protect them from enemy fire.

4. If your cross-section is the same size from all angles, you can't put the smallest one against enemy fire.

5. Guns and trackers require specific shape to maximise their firing angles.

6. If you hope to out-maneouver enemy, you may want to have side designed to face opponent (guns&armour) and side designed to be hidden (external elements, weak armour).

7. If it matters for detection which side is exposed to detectors, then it force diversification of external equipment placement.

 

Of course meta-crafts will be dull. But with just those few mentioned rules they will be shaped more like cucumbers, with some things sticking out the sides (engines), some recess (external elements) and turrets placed like on RL battleships.

And from that shape to interesting design is not that far, thus you don't sacrifice much to make it pretty and meta at the same time.

6 hours ago, NanoDot said:

And what's the point of different damage types if the target can just swap out defensive elements to best counter whichever damage your weapons are delivering ?

You mean active defence? Like LAMS, CIVS, shields? After playing FTD I'm in favour of NOT adding those to the game. Instead of making each ship good against specific weapon type, they just force you to place all of them or die in seconds against builds with mixed weaponry. Relying on simple armour, speed and agility (+ev. stealth) gives more interesting design choices.

And it can't be really swapped easily.

 

 

Back on topic ;)

6 hours ago, Veld said:

Edit: the primary sensors can only be mounted on static constructs while the secondary can be mounted on dynamic

I agree that some things can be usable only on static constructs (i.e. any offline protection like shields or automatic turrets). But forbidding usage of sensors on ships sounds artificial AF.

8 hours ago, Nebenfigur said:

If stealth is just adding nothing to a ship, no one would build anything else than a pilot seat with a truster bolted at the back.

That sounds like viable and realistic scouting vehicle (well, if you add anti-radar coating outside, and low emission thruster). IMO it's good that ship which have no chance in combat have some use in warfare. That increase fleet diversity.

To execute stealth attack, you still need ships that have a bit more meat than that, while still remaining quite low profile.

 

And I think that detecting things around large ships/bases/fleets should be more manual - by physically flying there with smaller scout boats, rather than just mounting bigger radars.

I'm for really cheap detection equipment, so pretty much all ships have full set and similar range. So "louder" ship will be always spotted before "quieter" one.

Thus to scout core of enemy fleet, you need to get past perimeter guards undetected (you can see them first and keep safe distance).

 

Another thing that would make stealth-detection range more interesting would be diversification between active and passive detectors. With active ones giving you slightly more detection range, but at cost of making you much more visible.

Radar would be the best example: Active detects enemy at X distance. Passive detects active at 2X distance.

Thus being counter-scout relies on anticipating "where the heck enemy is" and switching active detector on only when you thing you'll catch them.

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3 hours ago, Veld said:

Should have said this in my post my bad: The primary sensors should not be able to be mounted on ships. Only radar can be used on ships. I agree the fleets should not have to change their sensors constantly - or have all at once as I said before. Either way it would be too demanding.

All ships would end up just having every type of available sensor, because it would be too much of a disadvantage not to.  I doubt it ends up being any different gameplay than magic cloaks, and magic see invisibility in the long run.

 

3 hours ago, Veld said:

The problem of there being no incentive other than aesthetic to build anything other than a floating cube is still without solution. Dull designs will be the meta in any case. But, in the case of stealth I've actually come up with a solution:

To prevent thruster bricks all you need to do is set a lower limit on the gravimetric sensors. For instance it can detect everything above 8 ton but not below..

I think adding optimizations to different build ideas has to be very carefully thought about.  Any time you make one design over another more optimized you reduce the viability of creativity in design.

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1 hour ago, Felonu said:

I think adding optimizations to different build ideas has to be very carefully thought about.  Any time you make one design over another more optimized you reduce the viability of creativity in design.

That's one of core decision for NQ to make regarding construction aspect of the game: If they want to make all design decisions affect it's performance (which may lead to very dull brick-like designs) or if they want to give full creative freedom regarding shape (which leads to dragon- or dick-shaped ships still being viable).

I'd go for the first one any day. Yes, it leads to meta, but it makes engineering feels much more meaningful. It also allows some judgement of ship properties based on it's looks (i.e. short and stubby - probably slow but armoured, thin and long - probably quite fast but not too agile).

 

And NQ could add various game mechanics, i.e. elements with vastly unique placement requirements, thus allowing way more viable builds. Thrusters for example could be of various types:

1. Rocket require just space behind. Thus can be used for brick builds. Not the most effective engine, but easy to use.

2. In-out engine require space behind and in front. Thus forcing designs to have them on wings (or whole ship need to by flying wing type)

3. Rail-propulsion require long elements to be placed facing each other with a lot of open space inbetween. Force whole ship to be kind of catamaran.

4. Heavy-radiation jets need to be mounted quite far from other elements of the ship (and each other), on long posts. Think of Star Wars pod racing or Star Trek enterprise engines.

Or mix of above requirements

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3 hours ago, CalenLoki said:

I agree that some things can be usable only on static constructs (i.e. any offline protection like shields or automatic turrets). But forbidding usage of sensors on ships sounds artificial AF

Not really. It can be made realistically feasible. Radar is cheap technology. It was invented in WW2. Whereas thermal, gravimetric and magnetometric are very modern or not invented yet (at least at long range)

 

The alternative is just letting everyone use every single detection device. Then there is no need to make them into distinct modules. You might as well make one detection device which covers all fields. Hence the device will be limited to just discerning the characteristics of ships and forcing people to make small ninja scout ships. But the encouragement of using your sensors wisely and specialising will be gone.

 

Either way, both ideas aren't too bad. I honestly don't think they will go into so much depth but a man can dream.

 

3 hours ago, Felonu said:

I think adding optimizations to different build ideas has to be very carefully thought about.  Any time you make one design over another more optimized you reduce the viability of creativity in design

I agree. But the lower limit allows a little breathing room for designers. Anything in the range of 0 to 8 ton is viable for being invisible to gravimetric for example. Rocket brick or ninja ship.

 

It wouldn't just work for gravimetric. It would for all the others.

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That's when "running silent" would work best.  Mitigate all emissions as best you can,  shut off all systems but life support and passive sensors.  Then all you have to worry about is your radar and optical signatures. I suspect most fast-paced battles will take place in atmo.  Fighting in space will be hard,  if not nearly impossible unless it's between galaxy class ships that aren't moving.  If the physics maintains a semblance of realism. 

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