Weapon Delivery Systems

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Bigjoe5
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Weapon Delivery Systems

#1 Post by Bigjoe5 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:02 pm

A lot of other weapon delivery systems besides basic direct fire, missiles and fighters have been suggested. They're not necessary for v.4 of course, but could later be implemented to supplement the basic trichotomy of PD, SR and LR weaponry, without necessarily destroying the tactical relationship between these three weapon types.

The question is what general methods could be used to integrate these interesting weapon types into the tech tree (or other means of acquiring techs), and into combat so that they are distinct both strategically and tactically. For example, several progressively more powerful PD weapons might be found in one branch of the tree, and a more expensive field-type or wave-type weapon might be found around the middle of an opposing branch, both of which could potentially be very useful for defeating LR weapons, the same way PD would. Such a weapon might be mountable only in an internal slot, further distinguishing it from standard PD weaponry.

Certain ships might be able to do damage via a certain delivery system by virtue of their hull type, rather than any specific parts. An organic ship/space monster might use a contact-type attack. An energy ship might generate a damaging field within a short distance, defending it against weakly armoured LR weapons.

Field or wave-type weaponry might also damage friendly ships, meaning that there would have to be an advanced AI to avoid unnecessary friendly fire. Such weapons would also have the advantage of damaging even stealthy ships in the area, allowing a potential counter to stealth tactics, which wouldn't be a totally fail-safe large-scale counter to stealth due to friendly fire considerations. Such weapons might even be sufficiently rare as to be considered special systems, which the player can turn on and off at will, but this might end up causing micromanaging problems. The most important thing about adding a new type of weapon is that it is intuitively and appropriately integrated into combat without breaking the tactical balance or causing otherwise annoying problems. These various types of weapon delivery can hopefully be creatively and intuitively added to the system so that no such problems are caused.
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Re: Weapon Delivery Systems

#2 Post by RonaldX » Thu Dec 24, 2009 5:30 am

If you're only asking how to implement these delivery systems into a tech tree, it would be easier to categorize them based on their combat function, whether the component is defensive or offensive in nature, and slot them into the tree at a progression-appropriate branch. Or else determine similar technologies and have them branched off those as logical possibilities for further research of completed technologies..

For example, a hypothetical field-type defensive component called the "Lightning Shield" which blasts nearby ships with massive electrical surges could branch from another Energy-Based Point Defense system, as a progression of point-defense technology (new technology, same or similar function), or it could branch from a direct-fire energy weapon which overloads and shuts down enemy computer systems as a logical research progression (new function, same or similar technology).

From a player's perspective, the dilemma is that I'm always going to try to min/max. Introducing dozens on dozens of different kinds of weapons isn't going to be worth it if they are rarely used. If the best weapon in the game is a straight-up mass driver, then I'm going to research straight to that technology and not bother with a weapon that will give me a small advantage IF my enemy decides to pursue a specific research path. Going for a specialized weapon, even if it gives me a decisive advantage over one opponent, is not going to be a priority if it will be useless against my other seven opponents.

Since refitting is expensive and time consuming, and maintainance chews up resources better used for production and research, a small generic fleet with no specialization is all I keep around until I know what I'm up against. Nothing is worse than producing a massive death fleet only to find out that it's worthless against the enemy you meet later (what do you mean he maxed out his ECM? I spent this whole game researching missiles!) and the whole thing is either going to head back for an expensive refit, or else get obliterated, both at a huge resource cost.

Making a weapon interesting and giving it a niche is the fun part. Integrating them into the tech tree is fairly easy and you have a number of ways to go about it, but integrating them into combat means making them useful enough to be worth researching and installing on a ship.

-Ty.

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Re: Weapon Delivery Systems

#3 Post by Bigjoe5 » Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:40 pm

RonaldX wrote:If the best weapon in the game is a straight-up mass driver, then I'm going to research straight to that technology
Are you really? Even if you don't want anything else in that section of the tree, and there's an only slightly less effective weapon in the part of the tree with the rest of the stuff you want? Giving the weapon strategic significance is just as important as giving it tactical significance, and how the weapon relates to other weapons in the tech tree is a big part of that.

It's rather dull that weapons should progress one after the other based on their combat function, and more or less a given that there will need to be some sort of conceptual basis for the progression of names and descriptions of techs.
Going for a specialized weapon, even if it gives me a decisive advantage over one opponent, is not going to be a priority if it will be useless against my other seven opponents.
I agree. This is why there should not be an over complex relationship between specialized weapons and even more specialized weapons to counter those specialized weapons, etc. Instead, specialized weapons should necessarily be primarily useful against any particular enemy strategy/tactics, but instead support the player's specific strategy/tactics in general, rather than against a specific opponent.
...integrating them into combat means making them useful enough to be worth researching and installing on a ship.
That's one of the things that I'd like to discuss. All ship parts need to be useful, but a given empire need not use every ship part. This means that there needs to be some redundancy between specific weapons and/or weapon types without negating the usefulness of either. This is supported by a carefully designed tech tree that has ship parts placed according to their relationship with other ship parts with which they may be redundant, or mutually supportive. Generally, mutually supportive ship parts should be nearby on the tech tree, while redundant ship parts should have a similar tactical function, and be further apart on the tech tree, so that a player following a particular path up the tech tree isn't bogged down by redundant options, but is able to have access to techs which support his particular strategy.
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Re: Weapon Delivery Systems

#4 Post by RonaldX » Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:08 am

Bigjoe5 wrote:Giving the weapon strategic significance is just as important as giving it tactical significance, and how the weapon relates to other weapons in the tech tree is a big part of that.
This is something I hadn't considered. My thinking was wrapped up in the tech pillar structure of Moo/Moo2/GalCiv2, where one weapon or armor technology is a straight upgrade in every way from the previous technology. Having components with slightly reduced effectiveness at a significantly lower production cost is one way of making them strategically viable. I'm sure there are others but that's a tangent I won't travel further down.
It's rather dull that weapons should progress one after the other based on their combat function, and more or less a given that there will need to be some sort of conceptual basis for the progression of names and descriptions of techs.
Agreed. This is one of the more dull aspects of research in most current and past 4x games.. Why bother to equip a fleet with this armor I just developed, because in 10 turns I'll have researched one that is superior in every way? Giving them unique properties is a clever way to make older technologies viable for longer.
This means that there needs to be some redundancy between specific weapons and/or weapon types without negating the usefulness of either. This is supported by a carefully designed tech tree that has ship parts placed according to their relationship with other ship parts with which they may be redundant, or mutually supportive. Generally, mutually supportive ship parts should be nearby on the tech tree, while redundant ship parts should have a similar tactical function, and be further apart on the tech tree, so that a player following a particular path up the tech tree isn't bogged down by redundant options, but is able to have access to techs which support his particular strategy.
The thought that I get here is that weapon and defensive technologies should be sorted into fairly broad categories as main branches, and vertical levels would represent significant developments in NEW materials or technologies, essentially full steps upwards in scientific progress, but following each of these major developments would be several less-expensive side branches focusing on how these major technologies or materials can be used in other ways.

Think of it like how a weapon system in Moo2 might be available for Point-Defense, Heavy Mount, Rapid-Fire, etc.. Except that you would be reseaching independantly a way to apply a given technology to different delivery systems, ie, Field, Contact, Wave, etc. These might not be all applicable to every type of material. But a race might, for example, research basic Gas Laser technology (giving them a Laser Direct-Fire weapon component), then they would have the option of going and making a jump to Plasma technology, or else doing some "side projects" and researching how to apply Gas Laser technology to create a Wave-type weapon component.

This offers some interesting possibilities as well for cross-tree applications, adding powerful components that might be made available once certain offensive AND defensive technologies had been researched.

To reduce the boring progression effect, certain materials and technologies might lend themselves better to certain delivery systems than others.. Laser-based contact weapons might be terribly inefficient but cheap to produce, while plasma is significantly better but much more expensive, and deeper into the tech tree. Races themselves might also prefer certain delivery systems, or may be able to enhance certain material types to increase their effectiveness.

-Ty.


Edit: As an aside to this, as far as integrating them into combat, it might also make sense that certain weapon delivery systems are more effective against certain armor types. For example a solid metallic armor material could excel at stopping direct fire weapons, but have a reduced effectiveness against a wave projection variant, while a phased armor type might function in the opposite manner.

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Re: Weapon Delivery Systems

#5 Post by Josh » Sun Dec 27, 2009 9:50 pm

It's all very cool, and I like where it's all going.

But... It does raise a few questions for me.

1. I don't know where this idea comes from originally, but in much of Sci-Fi, energy based shielding is often depicted as being able to regenerate or re-calibrate itself, some authors and game designers even speculate about solid armors that can seal themselves back up after taking damage. Perhaps then there should be a provision for self-repairing type defenses? I didn't see it stated explicitly in any of the descriptions, but generally people have been conditioned to assume that when you say shields, you mean magically self-replenishing energy screens. I don't know if this is true for FO though.

2. I can't tell what the difference between ablative and absorptive is right now game-wise. It could help clarify what a defense does by describing it terms of what sort of damage type it counters, like energy armor countering energy based weapons, or ablative armor stopping explosive weapons, and dense armor deflecting kinetic weapons.

3. I see kinetic-energy combination results in particle/plasma type weapons, if it was desired, energy could conceivably be split into another sub type (such as plasma), though I think it is very wise to have a catch-all damage type to balance the other three.

4. Field and wave sound suspiciously similar to each other and very similar to point defenses. I'm not suggesting adding another delivery type, but perhaps one should be more offensive? Rather than projecting a wide defensive field of damage around the firing ship, maybe it projects a smaller area attack directly at the enemy ship, not unlike certain weapons in some RTS's.

5. If point defenses shoot down incoming devices, does that mean point defenses could say, shoot down incoming ships? Or maybe incoming planets? (yes, that was a joke) What I mean is can they be used offensively against ships and planets as well (and I think I know the answer to this one...)

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Re: Weapon Delivery Systems

#6 Post by RonaldX » Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:34 pm

I'm only going to touch on the last 3 points.
Josh wrote:4. Field and wave sound suspiciously similar to each other and very similar to point defenses. I don't want to suggest adding another delivery type or else things will start to get out of hand with too many delivery types, but perhaps one should be more offensive? Rather than projecting a wide defensive field of damage around the firing ship, maybe it projects a smaller area attack directly at the enemy ship, not unlike certain weapons in many RTS's.
Imagine a standard pistol as a direct fire weapon. It shoots a bullet which hits a target, dealing all or nearly all it's damage potential on the first strike. This would typify mass driver, missile or standard laser technology.
A wave-type weapon would fire a wave rather than a bullet, which penetrates solid matter and deals damage to all targets in a line or cone. Field dispersion would suggest that these weapons might not be hugely effective, unless given some type of special function like the ability to disable crew or systems.
A field-type weapon is more of a "splash damage" weapon which hits everything in a radius around the emanation point. Minefields, large-scale "burst" weapons, or black hole generators might fit into this category.
A contact-type weapon is like a melee weapon. Virtually any technology could be corkscrewed into this kind of a slot, but some more effectively than others.

There are only a couple options for using these technologies as defensive components.. Your standard defensive technologies are going to involve stronger armors to counter kinetic forces, shields to counter energy forces, and ECM to counter missiles. Those are all passive components.

What these technologies offer you are active components which attack and attempt to destroy incoming projectiles/fighters/missiles/ships. Field-type delivery systems are the most obvious ones, but there exists potential for some wave or direct fire delivery systems: anti-missile-missiles, or a beam that sweeps over incoming missiles and fries their arming circuits. Not every technology can be applied in both ways, nor should it be, to avoid overcomplicating things, but some crossover from offense to defense would make the tech tree more interesting.
5. I see a lot diversity for weapons, but some combinations of payloads/damage grades seem mutually exclusive or arbitrary to me. What does a kinetic stationary weapon look like for example? Would that be like a lump of rock? Or is my antimatter spray a reactive direct fire weapon or a reactive-energy direct fire weapon? I think it only matters if you get to the point where modders playing FO and are suddenly stricken by the desire to make a new weapon. Or something.
You're correct in that not all delivery systems are viable for all weapon types. This takes some clutter and redundancy out of the tech tree. There isn't really a need for 50 types of direct-fire weapons, all of which can be modified into wave and field variants. If there are X weapon types, only half of those might be viable for multiple methods of delivery, and only one or two of each type will really excel in it. (Sure, we can make a plasma weapon that functions as a wave, but why bother when a tachyon ray works so much better?) There only needs to be enough redundancy to allow the player some flexibility without making the choice meaningless (strategy, cost, race, etc. might figure into this).
6. If point defenses shoot down incoming devices, does that mean point defenses could say, shoot down incoming ships? Or maybe incoming planets :)
What I mean is can they be used offensively as well (and I think I know the answer to this one...)
Point defenses could definately be used to shoot down incoming ships, provided the enemy comes into their limited range, and the point defense is some type of active defense.. A low calibre machine gun designed to shoot down missiles might never penetrate armor, but some kind of plasma spray might be a workable last-ditch weapon. That all depends on how powerful you make PD technology.

-Ty.

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Re: Weapon Delivery Systems

#7 Post by Bigjoe5 » Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:50 pm

I know there's a lot of discussion on that page about different damage types and defensive types, but those suggestions strike me as being overcomplex and too RPS-y. If there are different damage types, they should probably just be restricted to a graphical effect. As for defenses, I think the way it is is that armour just adds a bonus to the ship's health in combat, equal to the armour's "capacity". Shields on the other hand, absorb a certain amount of damage each combat turn equal to the shield part's "capacity".
Josh wrote:4. Field and wave sound suspiciously similar to each other and very similar to point defenses. I don't want to suggest adding another delivery type, but perhaps one should be more offensive? Rather than projecting a wide defensive field of damage around the firing ship, maybe it projects a smaller area attack directly at the enemy ship, not unlike certain weapons in some RTS's.
Perhaps a fighter part that uses a field attack instead of a direct energy attack, perhaps? Or are you thinking along the lines of Plasma Web from MoO2?

At any rate, there needs to be some discussion about whether or not wave-type and field-type delivery could actually work in combat. I'm getting dubious about whether or not they actually can, at this point...
  • * Should they damage friendly ships?
    ** Are allied ships considered friendly?
    *** Does the player have the option in the midst of combat to define specific ships or ships belonging to a specific empire "friendly" or "unfriendly", either in general, or with respect to a specific weapon type?
    ** If friendly ships are damaged, should the player have the power to control the (de)activation of the weapon, and would this be too much micromanagement?
    ** If the player doesn't have control over the individual sub-systems, how can the AI manage to use the weapon intelligently?
    *** Could there be general orders which apply only to ships with a particular weapon type to help with this? If so, what kind of options should be made available?

    * Should they damage cloaked ships? The answer is probably the same as "Should they damage friendly ships?"
    ** Should ships get a penalty to stealth on the turn they have been damaged? If so, this could make wave-type weapons a kind of manual radar, with the drawback that they also damage friendly vessels.
    *** Would this be overcomplex and annoying?
    *** Would ships constantly being damaged by a field-type weapon have a constant penalty to stealth for the duration of the attack?

    * Could some of the annoyance of having weapons damage friendly ships be alleviated by having a very low range on such weapons?
    ** Perhaps not, since ships can be collocated.
    ** Even a very short-range field type weapon would be useful against incoming missiles, but fighters might be able to fire from outside the range of the field weapon.

    * If there are certain special systems which can be turned on and off by the player at will, should wave and field-type weaponry be rare enough to fall under this category?
    ** There would need to be a way to order a wave or field to be activated from a specific location on the battle map without the need to select individual ships. Perhaps just a list of all the player-controlled special systems in combat and a mini-map would suffice. Then, the player could select the system he wants to use and the location, and the nearest ship with such a system would proceed to the location and activate the system.
    ** Should basic weapons systems really be this special?
As for direct contact attacks, I don't see a big problem with those in terms of manageability, but they probably would never be extremely useful. So perhaps such weaponry could be a property of the hull rather than parts. Certain hulls would be able to use direct-contact attacks. Alternatively, direct-contact attacks could also be used for things like boarding an enemy vessel, which would still make them useful even if they were harder to use than regular direct fire weapons.
Josh wrote:6. If point defenses shoot down incoming devices, does that mean point defenses could say, shoot down incoming ships? Or maybe incoming planets? What I mean is can they be used offensively against ships and planets as well (and I think I know the answer to this one...)
As far as I know, PD weaponry will be able to be used against ships as well. The main advantage SR has over PD is range, meaning that an SR ship can just stay out of the PD's range and destroy it easily. Even if the PD ship is significantly faster, SR's first strike advantage is still significant. Furthermore, SR can fire its entire turn's worth of fire-power as soon as PD is in range, whereas PD shoots once, waits a fifth (or whatever) of a turn, shoots again, etc. As for planets, their shielding will probably be strong enough to make PD weaponry more or less useless. If PD is attacking the defensive orbitals, they too will be able to return fire with PD from that range, so getting in with PD ships isn't really a huge advantage.
RonaldX wrote:Edit: As an aside to this, as far as integrating them into combat, it might also make sense that certain weapon delivery systems are more effective against certain armor types. For example a solid metallic armor material could excel at stopping direct fire weapons, but have a reduced effectiveness against a wave projection variant, while a phased armor type might function in the opposite manner.
Probably best to avoid going too far down that path of making very specific defences very specifically defend against a very specific type of offensive weapon.
RonaldX wrote:The thought that I get here is that weapon and defensive technologies should be sorted into fairly broad categories as main branches, and vertical levels would represent significant developments in NEW materials or technologies, essentially full steps upwards in scientific progress, but following each of these major developments would be several less-expensive side branches focusing on how these major technologies or materials can be used in other ways.
Or perhaps one branch of the tree could have very powerful, standard direct-fire weapons, whereas a different part of the tree could have a few weaker weapons of more exotic delivery types. Although they are less effective in a direct confrontation, they may have other attributes which make them better in other ways. In MoO2 for example, torpedos could never run out. There could be a similar LR weapon type in FO that can be used repeatedly without ever running out of ammo, but without the raw power of a missile. It would never really come down to a contest between picking one or the other, since their availability would depend on unrelated strategic decisions for going up a specific category of the tech tree, due to other techs perhaps unrelated to combat.
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Re: Weapon Delivery Systems

#8 Post by Krikkitone » Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:16 am

One point... "Contact" weapons are just a type of SR/PD weapon (with a Very short Range)

There are really only two 'types' of weapon systems
PD/SR... targets a thing at a certain range and does damage
IF(LR)... targets something at a certain range and does damage unless it is destroyed [Missile/Fighter subcategory of reloadable or not]

a "Multiple target" weapon system Would be different, but as mentioned above may be too complicated

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Re: Weapon Delivery Systems

#9 Post by Josh » Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:00 am

Okay wait, I just need to point out I didn't think I would get answered that quick or.. um... robustly. I was editing out a few points while they were posting, so the replies probably won't make much sense anymore in relation to what I just said. Sorry!
Bigjoe5 wrote:Perhaps a fighter part that uses a field attack instead of a direct energy attack, perhaps? Or are you thinking along the lines of Plasma Web from MoO2?
I meant more what ronald was saying:
RonaldX wrote:A field-type weapon is more of a "splash damage" weapon which hits everything in a radius around the emanation point. Minefields, large-scale "burst" weapons, or black hole generators might fit into this category.
Also, is that page I read Geoff's personal musings or is that stuff FO canon? I think I misunderstood completely.
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Re: Weapon Delivery Systems

#10 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:13 am

Josh wrote:Also, is that page I read Geoff's personal musings or is that stuff FO canon?
Unless it's in the design document, it's not official design. In particular, stuff on my wiki user page isn't official.

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Re: Weapon Delivery Systems

#11 Post by RonaldX » Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:41 am

Bigjoe5 wrote:At any rate, there needs to be some discussion about whether or not wave-type and field-type delivery could actually work in combat. I'm getting dubious about whether or not they actually can, at this point...
I think that they can, but you're right, there are a lot of details..

It would be easiest to say that: yes, they will damage anything in their range.

-A defensive "field-type" component would simply act as a passive defense and only engage incoming enemy missiles/projectiles, ie. Extremely close range, closer than any ship would ever be unless it was ramming. Think of it as an additional passive system that attempts to shoot down incoming missiles or redirect projectiles which bypass your shields and ECM. They're really just point-defense "weapons" which are employed in a purely defensive role.

-An offensive "field-type" component would fire a projectile of some kind which effects in one way or another a target space and a surrounding area as determined by the individual component. The player would have to be careful when aiming the device to minimize damage to his own units. Because this is just doing damage to anything within an area, cloaked ships would be damaged by it, but they could not be directly targeted by it.

-An offensive "wave-type" component could be handled two ways.. as a ray or beam weapon which effects everything on a straight line over a given range, making it well-suited to engaging large formations of ships, or as a direct-fire weapon which streams (carries over) damage after the first target is destroyed, making it well-suited for engaging large numbers of small, low-health ships or fighters. Whether or not it would effect cloaked ships would be determined by it's application.

-A defensive "wave-type" component is unrealistic and too unwieldy for combat.

-Contact weapons are also fairly unrealistic. Ramming another spacecraft is just a great way of inviting hideous structural damage to your own ship. Maybe a kamikaze unit would make sense, but it sounds like a really unbalancing element, and I can see players cranking out thousands of cheap, fast kamikaze craft which would swarm and annihilate any "real" fleet of capital ships.

Logically, it makes the most sense to have more and more complex armors and weapon "materials" as your large research steps, and the smaller steps deal with application of those materials. In order to avoid overcomplicating the tree, it's easiest to just limit which material types can be applied to which delivery mechanisms. Between laser, mass driver, plasma, particle, tachyon, etc. etc.. there might only be one or two materials which present themselves well for a field or wave-type application. In order to unlock these "exotic" delivery methods, it might require the player to have prerequisites in another field as well as the associated offensive material technology. So a black hole generator "field type" weapon might require the player to research "Artificial Gravity Generation" as well as some level of missile technology as a delivery system.

I'd really like to think of ways to make Armors at least partially unique. That branch of research in just about every game is the most boringly linear of all. Research a new level of armor, get an extra 50 hit points. It might be the easiest way to go about it, but it isn't particularily interesting. Developments could even include things like laser-ablative coating, or explosive-reactive pods, which when applied to regular steel plate increase it's effectiveness versus different weapon types.

As far as damage types, implementation of 2-3 different types of damage is really just a fancy way of saying "armor piercing" or "shield piercing" or "normal".

-Ty.

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Re: Weapon Delivery Systems

#12 Post by Krikkitone » Mon Dec 28, 2009 6:18 pm

Note: Area of effect weapons are almost certainly too complicated, especially if they are Friendly Fire, for a good AI. Also they drastically change the balance between various ship types.

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Re: Weapon Delivery Systems

#13 Post by Bigjoe5 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:14 pm

Krikkitone wrote:Note: Area of effect weapons are almost certainly too complicated, especially if they are Friendly Fire, for a good AI. Also they drastically change the balance between various ship types.
Actually, I'm thinking they're too complicated, regardless of the AI, due to the difficulty in answering the questions I've posed on the subject. Perhaps however, such weapons could have other effects besides simply doing damage. An example of a stationary weapon could be a device which releases a miniature nebula, which covers perhaps a quarter of the system in combat. Ships within the nebula would have stealth increased by 9 and shields reduced to 0. This means that a ship which could be detected anywhere on the map by a ship in the center would only be able to be detected 100 units away, twice the range of basic SR, according to the scales of weapon ranges in the design document. A stealthier ship would not be visible until it actually fired on its target, giving a strong tactical advantage to such ships in combat. A ship with superior detection would have no trouble detecting an uncloaked ship anywhere in the nebula, but this can again be countered by superior stealth technology. In this way, the usefulness of this tech is unchanged by the mutual progression of stealth and detection technology.

The loss of shields is an interesting way to change the balance of tactical superiority in combat, and offers another potential tactical advantage for the defender. This would not, of course, apply to planetary shields, because that would completely break the balance between different ways of attacking planets. The stealth bonus would apply to planets, but the player should never lose visibility of a planet which he has detected at some point in the battle, since they have predictable circular (or elliptical, as the case may be) orbits.

In addition, this ship part would require "ammo" to be used, and therefore could only be used once before the ship's ammo is resupplied. It strikes me that such a part would fit into an internal slot and be very expensive, due to its special role in combat.

Other weapon types could potentially do other interesting things in combat. Perhaps two or more ships with the right parts could set up a miniature wormhole within the system, allowing them to cross instantaneously. Perhaps a repulser wave could spread out from a ship or planet in all directions, getting weaker as it moves outwards, and push ships and other objects back until the object's "mass" exceeds the wave's "strength", etc. Many such weapons are possible, and are potentially very interesting additions.
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