Geoff the Medio wrote:
You seem to be confusing momentum (or intertia) with speed.
Inertia isn't necessary for fast ships to surround slow ships. All that's needed for that is that some ships be slow and others fast.
Well not necessary... Without inertia a slow ship could just "turn facing the opposite direction" and fire at the ship on his tail. Moreover a ship with a huge mass will need a lot of space to turn (i.e. no pirates of the caribbean-like u-turn in crowded space
It's much more intuitive to tell ships or fleet to "go here", and have them do so at maximum speed and then just stop, or slow down and stop nearly immediately.
Ok, so that's more animation-graphical stuff, than something inherent game mechanics, am I right?
People are used to, think of, and intuitively understand motion mostly in a high-friction environment, where limits to movement are describe as (maximum) speed, not accelerations, and units in RTS or TBS games are characterized by speed, not acceleration.
That's true, but in this way we could implement something new, which people had never seen in this kind of games (and usually I think that experimenting something new is always a plus for a game
)... and anyway switching off inertia would be really easy for players that can't get used to it (just pass mass=0.000...01 to the "physics engine"
This is mostly because Newtonian mechanics just isn't suitable for games. You could have a game where you accelerate at your target for hours, then fly past in an instant, then spend hours turning around, but that wouldn't be fun.
Of course, I'm not suggesting something "numerically" accurate, but just something that "gives the general idea" of. Starting/stopping an huge battleship could take, let's say, a couple, or three round: not so much, but neither so few to be neglected...