Surely they should be pretty much independent? An active sensor is, after all, just a passive sensor with an emitter to 'illuminate' your target.utilae wrote:Ok, that would just require increasing a ships detection rating by a larger %. It's a balance issue really, tweaking is all that is needed.Sandlapper wrote: @ Utilae
I think you need to dramaticly increase your active detection. I would think passive would be no better than 10% of your active sensors at best.
So passive sensor range depends more on the 'noisyness', or output, of the enemy, while active sensor range depends more on the enemy's ability to absorb your sensor's emitter output.
So, a ship with radar absorbent paint would be harder to detect via active sensors than a ship without it. If it had stealthed engines it would also be hard to detect passively. HOWEVER: if it started to use an active sensor itself, it would suddenly become highly visible to ships using passive detectors. The same would apply for firing weapons (though i think that some weapons, e.g. stealthed missiles, should be a possibility, and wouldnt affect your stealth rating).
The point being that a ship using an active sensor would be detectable by a passive sensor just as far away as its own detection range (or in fact much further).
This could lead to some interesting cat & mouse gameplay. If you feel you have a superior force, you might choose to use active sensors in order to seek out the enemy quickly to engage them, not really caring that they cant see you easily. However, if you are at a disadvantage, or are not sure of the enemy's numbers, you might wish to go fully passive, and hope to spot the enemy before they spot you, and try to get in a decisive first strike.
However I agree that in the general case, when neither ship is emitting, active sensors will have a much greater range than passive ones (10x is a bit much though - maybe 4x). My point is that this shouldnt be just a straightforward relationship, but that the design and behaviour of the enemies ships should also be taken into account.