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New weapon part - Gamma Burst Slingshot (aka Arc Disruptor)

Posted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:53 pm
by Ophiuchus
edit: After discussions and two polls the Gamma Burst Slingshot weapon was renamed to Arc Disruptor

The gamma burst slingshot is a cost effective automated weapon for bringing down unshielded ships. It is able to bring down up to three comsats in a turn. In its final tech refinement it is comparable to a plasma-3 weapon part. Unless your enemy uses shields in which case it is pretty useless.

PR-2688

Researching the first Gamma Slingshot tech for 24RP will unlock a 40 PP external weapon part with 3 shots with damage 3. At this level it is the most effective weapon damage-per-PP-wise for shooting down comsats starting from first combat bout.

The second tech for 20 RP will upgrade weapon parts in supply to damage 4. Weapon is now on par damage-per-PP-wise with mass driver 4 against unshielded enemies.

The third tech for 100 RP will upgrade weapon parts in supply to damage 5. Weapon is now about the same damage per PP as Laser-4 if enemy is unshielded.

Against shields 3 this one slightly better than mass driver 4 damage-per-PP-wise, but needs a much larger RP investment.

Species' weapon traits do not affect the damage.

Technology fluff:
Reactor energy is used to excite matter inside a warhead, pumping it up into a semistable state.
The stabilizer integrated into the missile keeps the state and delivers the warhead into combat range, pointing into direction of the target.
Stabilization ceases, the matter falls back into stable state, delivering a concentrated beam of gamma radiation your target.

Strategy/balancing things:
This offers an alternative to fighters for handling comsats. If you bet your enemy will not use shields, it is a solid replacement for mass driver technology. As shields is an obvious counter to this this hopefully makes shields more relevant.

p.s.: one alternative to this scheme: downgrade base hull to two PP again and start with N shots of damage 2 and let pilot and tech level increase damage by one each, making this scale like laser weapons. Also we could add a mass driver 5 tech for 100RP which ups maximum damage to 7.

Re: New weapon part - Gamma Burst Slingshot

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:12 pm
by labgnome
Ophiuchus wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:53 pm
The gamma burst slingshot is a cost effective automated weapon for bringing down unshielded ships. It is able to bring down up to three comsats in a turn. In its final tech refinement it is comparable to a plasma-3 weapon part. Unless your enemy uses shields in which case it is pretty useless.
I will say that I like the idea of the weapon, but I really dislike the name. Are you open to brainstorming another name for this weapon?
Technology fluff:
Reactor energy is used to excite matter inside a warhead, pumping it up into a semistable state.
The stabilizer integrated into the missile keeps the state and delivers the warhead into combat range, pointing into direction of the target.
Stabilization ceases, the matter falls back into stable state, delivering a concentrated beam of gamma radiation your target.
This is a bit confusing, and the fluff seems a little muddled. Is it supposed to be like a missile or like a beam weapon?
p.s.: one alternative to this scheme: downgrade base hull to two PP again and start with N shots of damage 2 and let pilot and tech level increase damage by one each, making this scale like laser weapons. Also we could add a mass driver 5 tech for 100RP which ups maximum damage to 7.
If we do that I would propose we simply use the "pulsed laser" idea and art assets for this weapon idea.

Re: New weapon part - Gamma Burst Slingshot

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:15 pm
by Oberlus
labgnome wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:12 pm
If we do that I would propose we simply use the "pulsed laser" idea and art assets for this weapon idea.
I agree.

Another, bigger multi-shot weapon (maybe one that requires a core slot) could use the slingshot fluff with some improvements.

Re: New weapon part - Gamma Burst Slingshot

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:12 pm
by swaq
Ophiuchus wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:53 pm
It is able to bring down up to three comsats in a turn.
Unless your enemy has reinforced hull in which case it's one comsat per turn (3 shots to kill). Or 1.5 comsats per turn once upgraded (2 shots to kill).

Re: New weapon part - Gamma Burst Slingshot

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:44 pm
by Oberlus
swaq wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:12 pm
Unless your enemy has reinforced hull in which case it's one comsat per turn (3 shots to kill). Or 1.5 comsats per turn once upgraded (2 shots to kill).
It always bothered me that the effect of RH is so biased towards small hulls.

Re: New weapon part - Gamma Burst Slingshot

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:57 pm
by swaq
Oberlus wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:44 pm
swaq wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:12 pm
Unless your enemy has reinforced hull in which case it's one comsat per turn (3 shots to kill). Or 1.5 comsats per turn once upgraded (2 shots to kill).
It always bothered me that the effect of RH is so biased towards small hulls.
Maybe it should be a percentage improvement instead?

Re: New weapon part - Gamma Burst Slingshot

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:07 pm
by labgnome
swaq wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:57 pm
Oberlus wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:44 pm
swaq wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:12 pm
Unless your enemy has reinforced hull in which case it's one comsat per turn (3 shots to kill). Or 1.5 comsats per turn once upgraded (2 shots to kill).
It always bothered me that the effect of RH is so biased towards small hulls.
Maybe it should be a percentage improvement instead?
Maybe it should exclude the "comsat" hull?

Re: New weapon part - Gamma Burst Slingshot

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:36 pm
by Ophiuchus
labgnome wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:12 pm
Ophiuchus wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:53 pm
The gamma burst slingshot is a cost effective automated weapon for bringing down unshielded ships. It is able to bring down up to three comsats in a turn. In its final tech refinement it is comparable to a plasma-3 weapon part. Unless your enemy uses shields in which case it is pretty useless.
I will say that I like the idea of the weapon, but I really dislike the name. Are you open to brainstorming another name for this weapon?
If there are better suggestion, this can be changed any time.
labgnome wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:12 pm
Technology fluff:
Reactor energy is used to excite matter inside a warhead, pumping it up into a semistable state.
The stabilizer integrated into the missile keeps the state and delivers the warhead into combat range, pointing into direction of the target.
Stabilization ceases, the matter falls back into stable state, delivering a concentrated beam of gamma radiation your target.
This is a bit confusing, and the fluff seems a little muddled. Is it supposed to be like a missile or like a beam weapon?
The idea for the fluff stems from the problem that you can not really focus laser style weapons over long distances. This system brings the beam source closer to the enemy so focusing is easier. Note that such kind of fluff does AFAIK not anymore in the game, only on the forums here. I needed an in game explanation for not giving species weapon trait bonus, so I can not describe it as a directly controlled weapon system. Missiles or other autonomous weapons work fine.
labgnome wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:12 pm
p.s.: one alternative to this scheme: downgrade base hull to two PP again and start with N shots of damage 2 and let pilot and tech level increase damage by one each, making this scale like laser weapons. Also we could add a mass driver 5 tech for 100RP which ups maximum damage to 7.
If we do that I would propose we simply use the "pulsed laser" idea and art assets for this weapon idea.
The pulsed laser art is not really good/directly usable. (No numbered version and the colour basically makes it look like a death ray). And there are no source assets.

Direct beam weapon fluff would work for the 2-damage version, as it would scale with pilot weapon trait.

Re: New weapon part - Gamma Burst Slingshot

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:04 pm
by labgnome
Ophiuchus wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:36 pm
The pulsed laser art is not really good/directly usable. (No numbered version and the colour basically makes it look like a death ray). And there are no source assets.
I can change the coloration and add numbers in GIMP if that's what it needs. It's basically the regular laser with a different beam effect.
Direct beam weapon fluff would work for the 2-damage version, as it would scale with pilot weapon trait.
I think I'm more for that version.

Re: New weapon part - Gamma Burst Slingshot

Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:07 pm
by Ophiuchus
labgnome wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:04 pm
Ophiuchus wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:36 pm
The pulsed laser art is not really good/directly usable. (No numbered version and the colour basically makes it look like a death ray). And there are no source assets.
I can change the coloration and add numbers in GIMP if that's what it needs. It's basically the regular laser with a different beam effect.
The pulse laser is the same OK for both fluff versions, so if you could prepare the art assets that would be great.
labgnome wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:04 pm
Ophiuchus wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:36 pm
Direct beam weapon fluff would work for the 2-damage version, as it would scale with pilot weapon trait.
I think I'm more for that version.
I thought a bit more about the 2-damage version and it shares some balancing problems of the 3-shot version.

Downing 2-hp decoys should not be the only reason for using the weapon in the game.
Basically it should deliver a cost-effective option to deliver raw damage (e.g. about 50% compared to mass drivers) but with the obvious counter of using shields - that is if you put enough research into it. So the first tech should be cheap and the part could be even slightly more cost-expensive than mass drivers (else there would be no reason to use mass drivers - enemy does not have shields early in the game).
It should already be usable for shooting down comsats when you invade using mass drivers.

If going with a 2-damage part with 20PP cost, having good or great weapon pilots gives a laser weapon boost (+2 / + 4 damage per bout) for mass driver research level and part cost level (as the first tech should be cheap enough for MD invasion). A 20PP part should probably start at 2 shots. A great weapon species empire would probably skip mass drivers and maybe delay researching lasers - maybe just investing in the first tech to get a weapon doing 0.4 damage per bout per PP (slightly better than MD-4 or Laser-3; slightly worse than Laser-4) and go for plasma. So this would be a buff to weapon trait which I think we do not want.

If we do not want that either we should do 40PP 2-damage part (e.g. starting with 4 shots) or nerf the weapon trait (e.g. +1 extra damage per shot for ultimate species on first tech, +1/+2 extra damage per shot for great/ultimate species if you research the second tech, and +1/+2/+3 damage per shot for good/great/ultimate species if you research the third tech). But still that would mean 8 shots per weapon slot for a great weapon species (6 shots per weapon slot for 20PP version). So combat reports would get a bit spammed i guess.
Not really happy about those options, maybe you have some ideas how to solve this.

One thing only the 3-shot version gives is a reason to use shield-5 parts.

Only slightly related - I think shield part cost should be halved so shielded ships become more frequent.

Re: New weapon part - Gamma Burst Slingshot

Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:39 pm
by labgnome
Ophiuchus wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:07 pm
labgnome wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:04 pm
Ophiuchus wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:36 pm
The pulsed laser art is not really good/directly usable. (No numbered version and the colour basically makes it look like a death ray). And there are no source assets.
I can change the coloration and add numbers in GIMP if that's what it needs. It's basically the regular laser with a different beam effect.
The pulse laser is the same OK for both fluff versions, so if you could prepare the art assets that would be great.
Done. Here is my first go in green like the regular laser. I can do another color if you like.
pulse-laser.png
pulse-laser.png (7.05 KiB) Viewed 293 times
pulse-laser-1.png
pulse-laser-1.png (8.04 KiB) Viewed 293 times
pulse-laser-2.png
pulse-laser-2.png (7.99 KiB) Viewed 293 times
pulse-laser-3.png
pulse-laser-3.png (8.21 KiB) Viewed 293 times
pulse-laser-4.png
pulse-laser-4.png (7.97 KiB) Viewed 293 times

Re: New weapon part - Gamma Burst Slingshot

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:13 am
by Oberlus
Ophiuchus wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:07 pm
If going with a 2-damage part with 20PP cost, having good or great weapon pilots gives a laser weapon boost (+2 / + 4 damage per bout) for mass driver research level and part cost level (as the first tech should be cheap enough for MD invasion). A 20PP part should probably start at 2 shots. A great weapon species empire would probably skip mass drivers and maybe delay researching lasers - maybe just investing in the first tech to get a weapon doing 0.4 damage per bout per PP (slightly better than MD-4 or Laser-3; slightly worse than Laser-4) and go for plasma. So this would be a buff to weapon trait which I think we do not want.

If we do not want that either we should do 40PP 2-damage part (e.g. starting with 4 shots) or nerf the weapon trait (e.g. +1 extra damage per shot for ultimate species on first tech, +1/+2 extra damage per shot for great/ultimate species if you research the second tech, and +1/+2/+3 damage per shot for good/great/ultimate species if you research the third tech). But still that would mean 8 shots per weapon slot for a great weapon species (6 shots per weapon slot for 20PP version). So combat reports would get a bit spammed i guess.
Not really happy about those options, maybe you have some ideas how to solve this.
Maybe easier to not let pilot species trait to affect fire rate, only damage. Fire rate only affected by tech refinement.

Re: New weapon part - Gamma Burst Slingshot

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:59 pm
by Ophiuchus
labgnome wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:39 pm
Done. Here is my first go in green like the regular laser. I can do another color if you like.
Cool :)

It should be obvious at first glance which weapon is in a slot, so it needs an unused color.
Maybe something violet like rgb(75, 60, 153) ?

Re: New weapon part - Gamma Burst Slingshot

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:06 pm
by Ophiuchus
Oberlus wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:13 am
Maybe easier to not let pilot species trait to affect fire rate, only damage. Fire rate only affected by tech refinement.
No, that explodes even sooner (e.g. 5shots x 2 damage weapon with would give a super-death-ray-boost +10 damage for a great species).
With the normal weapons, a level of species bonus is like a level of tech bonus, and you can research 3 levels of tech bonus so the species bonus is not soooo much better.

I think either the weapon will be OP for great weapon species or it will be UP for average weapon species.

I already felt the 3-shot variant to be too powerful early in the game using the standard weapon trait bonus.

Re: New weapon part - Gamma Burst Slingshot

Posted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 2:17 am
by labgnome
Ophiuchus wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:59 pm
labgnome wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:39 pm
Done. Here is my first go in green like the regular laser. I can do another color if you like.
Cool :)

It should be obvious at first glance which weapon is in a slot, so it needs an unused color.
Maybe something violet like rgb(75, 60, 153) ?
Can do, but I worry it's going to be too-similar to the magenta of the death-ray again. I'll give you some color options and see what you like.
pulse-laser_red.png
pulse-laser_red.png (7.68 KiB) Viewed 258 times
pulse-laser_purple.png
pulse-laser_purple.png (8 KiB) Viewed 258 times
pulse-laser_blue.png
pulse-laser_blue.png (8 KiB) Viewed 258 times