Weapon Design - Research Weapon Styles and Mods

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

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utilae
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Weapon Design - Research Weapon Styles and Mods

#1 Post by utilae »

I was thinking of a cool idea which involves designing your own weapons (this could be part of the research system).

Basically you research weapon templates or styles.
eg "Beam Weapon" may be a weapon style. It has set characteristics and behaviours. The "Beam Weapon" would always be a weapon that consists of a line from the shooter to the target. However, certain mods added to the weapon style would change it.

Such mods may include:
"splash damage" - creates a splash damage effect over an area at the target.
"continue through targets" - the line continues forever through all targets and damages all targets it has gone through.
"curve" - the line curves round to a point (crazy I know, but could be useful)
"split" - the line splits into multiple lines that each go off to random targets


So if you create a weapon that is:
weapon style="beam weapon"
+"splash damage" mod
+"split" mod

You would get something like this:
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+++++++++++++/------------------O+++++++++
++++++++++++/++++++++++++++++++++++
-----------------------------------------O+++++++++
++++++++++++\+++++++++++++++++++++++
+++++++++++++\------------------O++++++++
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
key: + are space, O are splash, -- are beams, \ are splits

In this way we could create our own weapons during the game!!

Ranos
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#2 Post by Ranos »

This would do nothing more than complicate research as well as ship design. I don't think it is a good idea.
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utilae
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#3 Post by utilae »

It would allow for countless weapons and since you would create the weapon in the research screen
eg create mega laser, which is made up of:
weapon style="beam weapon"
+"splash damage" mod
+"split" mod

it would be available for ship design in 2 turns, as an example.

Then a spy could steal your mega laser and put it on their ships. They would not be able to change it though.

Maybe they could put it into a research project called "reverse engineer", which tries to reseach the weapon style and weapon mods it is made up of. They could then use the new weapon styles and weapon mods to make there own weapons. Once they make one in their research screen it cannot be changed. They can only make new ones, which requries some RP ot be spent torwards it.

It could even be the underlying system used to create weapons for FreeOrion, even if the player can't make their own weapons in the game. It would kind of be like the effects thing we are coming up with for buildings in that sense.

drek
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#4 Post by drek »

reminds me of an old amiga game (completely forget the name) wherein you designed your own spells. Each effect (sleep, burn, grow, shrink, etc. etc.) was a rune, as was each type of range (area, line, split), and a few conditions (do if monster, do if object). Combining the runes created something like a computer program.

It was fun to mess around with, but it's not a good idea for FreeOrion. Feature-creep is something we need to keep an eye on.

Impaler
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#5 Post by Impaler »

I agree that sounds a bit too complex. I think we should keep weapon Mods down to basic stuff like Range/Damage/Accuracy and other caracteristics that all weapons share. Special fancy things like beams that split or do splash damage should be features of seperate weapons. A limit of 3 Modifiers on a weapon woud keep things from getting too crazy. I will do some Screen Shot Mockups up of the Stars! style Design Interface I was planning.
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Geoff the Medio
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#6 Post by Geoff the Medio »

Impaler wrote:I think we should keep weapon Mods down to basic stuff like Range/Damage/Accuracy...
Having mods be nothing but alterations to basic weapon stats such as these seems a bit odd to me.

An alternative would be to have the various weapons have basic stats such as range/damage/accuracy which improve due to refinements, and for mods to add or alter things that generally can't be changed by refining alone.

What are acceptable moddable things depends on how weapons are set up. Eg. if various weapons all have different weaknesses / strengths against different defences, then a mod such as "shield piercing" doesn't really make sense either, as the ability of a weapon to pierce a shield would be a function of the type of weapon. If, instead, weapons have only generic damage ratings that apply equally to all defences (for unmodded weapons), then a "shield pierching" mod would make sense.

IMO, the principle that applies across the board is that adding weapon mods should not duplicate the results of refining or developing new weapons. Rather, mods should add extra or unique or special capabilities or characteristics that would otherwise be unavailable (for whatever weapons/armour/ships system is used). Having mods and refinements/new weapons do the same things is redundant.

Impaler
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#7 Post by Impaler »

I agree their definatly should not be any redundance betwee new weapons and weapon Mods. My idea would be something like....

Lasers - 2 damage per level, 1 range per level, 3 Accuracy per level, Energy Damage type, Direct Fire, Costs 1 per level
Mass Driver 4 damage per level, .5 range per level, 2 Accuracy per level. Kinetic Damage type. Direct Fire, Costs 2 per level

Mods

Rapid Fire - +50% Rate of fire, +75% Cost
Extended Range - +75% Range, +100% Size
Extream Long Range - +100% Range, +150% Size


Also on a Side note Missle weapons could have Mods for Warhead/Engine/Guidance system which determine each of these qualities, by combining these Mods you essentialy design your own missles. The part of the ship that launches the missle just improves rate of fire and alows larger missles.
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MisterMerf
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Re: Weapon Design - Research Weapon Styles and Mods

#8 Post by MisterMerf »

utilae wrote: "continue through targets" - the line continues forever through all targets and damages all targets it has gone through.
For the record, in a simulation of 3-D space (even if battle is nominally occuring on a plane) this would be fairly useless and additionally would require collision detection way out of proportion to its usefulness. (Even if it were easy and fairly cheap.)

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#9 Post by haravikk »

Isn't this idea essentially the same as MOO2 where you could mod weapons to be 'Continous', 'Enveloping' and so on? You just seem to be proposing these be customised seperately and named so they can be added to ships?

IMO the MOO2 system of ship design covered this, and each 'new' weapons was essentially the next level of base weapon that you can use.

I would like to see 'mods' being researched seperately from the main weapon tech itself though.

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utilae
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Re: Weapon Design - Research Weapon Styles and Mods

#10 Post by utilae »

Impaler wrote: I agree that sounds a bit too complex. I think we should keep weapon Mods down to basic stuff like Range/Damage/Accuracy and other caracteristics that all weapons share.
It is a little complex. I just figured since we were probably gonna have seperate mods that are researchable (as you want it Impaler) we might as well make some interesting ones. And the weapon styles are pretty much just like researching a weapon that the mod would be attached to. Only the weapon/weapon style represents the generic appearance and behaviour of the weapon, eg laser = line from shooter to target.

If anything we could design our weapons to be as original and interesting as I have stated, though they don't have to be designable in the game by the player.
Impaler wrote: Special fancy things like beams that split or do splash damage should be features of seperate weapons.
Yes, that is true. But if we did want to go further, then thats what my idea is for.
MisterMerf wrote: For the record, in a simulation of 3-D space (even if battle is nominally occuring on a plane) this would be fairly useless and additionally would require collision detection way out of proportion to its usefulness. (Even if it were easy and fairly cheap.)
Not necesarily. In 3D it might be impracticle, but in 2D you could track what tiles (rather than pixel based collision) the beam goes through. Besides you get to hit the initial target, any other ships hit are bonuses.
haravikk wrote: Isn't this idea essentially the same as MOO2 where you could mod weapons to be 'Continous', 'Enveloping' and so on? You just seem to be proposing these be customised seperately and named so they can be added to ships?
Yes, but the mods I propose are way more interesting than merely changing the damage of a weapon, or allowign it to pierce shields. The mods I propose change the way the weapon looks and the way it can be used.

Also, with weapon styles, you would not have laser, fusion cannon, because they are both beam weapons. You would have "beam weapon style", and then make your own laser or fusion cannon by attaching mods. I was thinking too that the weapon style may store the base stats, and mods can change the stats, as well as the stats being able to be increased through refinements.
haravikk wrote: IMO the MOO2 system of ship design covered this, and each 'new' weapons was essentially the next level of base weapon that you can use.
Each new weapon was basically just a refinement of the previous weapon and were not 'new' imo. eg Laser cannon, Fusion Cannon, Neutron, Graviton, etc were pretty much all the same. Sure there were stat changes here and there, increasing damage etc, but the only real difference in my eyes was that the weapons changed color. They still were of the beam weapon type (line from shooter to target) so in my eyes they were merely refinements of each other. This is why I want more original weapons in freeorion.
haravikk wrote: I would like to see 'mods' being researched seperately from the main weapon tech itself though.
Yes, this has been brought up and based on that I developed this idea (in this thread).

Ranos
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#11 Post by Ranos »

Remember: KISS. If we have to go through the tech screen and click on the tech we want to research, like in Civ, the fewer techs we have, the easier it will be for the player and the less micro there will be. If we use the MOO2 style or the proposed style in the Ship Building HOI style thread here: viewtopic.php?t=907&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0, that would allow for fewer techs.

If research will prety much be automated like in MOO3, then using a MOO3 approach to mods and improvements would be fine. Since the player wouldn't have to hassle with clicking something new every turn, there would be no problem with having hundreds of individual techs.

I think that research is going to be more Civ-like though, so I really do think that mods being separate techs should be up fordiscussion.
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#12 Post by haravikk »

Ah I'm growing to this idea a bit more, but I think we should still have technologies (laser, fusion etc) to determine the base damage:
  • Add beam weapon to ship
  • Specify technology as 'neutron' for base damage of 20 and mass of 10
  • Add discharge to create a lightning discharge effect against nearby ships (only researchable for pure energy weapons)
  • Add ionisation to reduce shield effectiveness (vs subsequent hits)
  • Add ordnance weapon to ship
  • Specify technology as 'Photonic'
  • Specify type as torpedo for 200 damage and mass of 30
  • Add multiple war heads (x4) to split into 100 damage torpedos when targetted by point defence to reduce chances of destruction
  • Add dodge ability to evade point defences (decreases range before warheads split)

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#13 Post by Ranos »

I think instead of adding to the uniqueness of each weapon, it would take away from it. Instead of each weapon having set attributes which are unique to that weapon as well as mods which allow you to make it better, you allow any weapon to have anything. I think it was also mentioned that this could be done in the design process and not during the game. Then what's the point of it? Here in the forum we can make a list of all the weapons in the game, what their attributes would be, what mods would be allowed on them and how much they could be refined before unlocking the next tech. This seems far easier to me than listing all of the possiblities and then glueing them together to make weapons.
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utilae
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#14 Post by utilae »

Ranos wrote: I think instead of adding to the uniqueness of each weapon, it would take away from it. Instead of each weapon having set attributes which are unique to that weapon as well as mods which allow you to make it better, you allow any weapon to have anything.
Well weapons would be unique by player design.
Ranos wrote: I think it was also mentioned that this could be done in the design process and not during the game. Then what's the point of it? Here in the forum we can make a list of all the weapons in the game, what their attributes would be, what mods would be allowed on them and how much they could be refined before unlocking the next tech. This seems far easier to me than listing all of the possiblities and then glueing them together to make weapons.
I think I said that this system could be used for the designing weapons while the game is being developed, if it is not used for designing weapons in game. This is like how a programmer would make a map editor to make maps for his game, rather than making a map manually (eg filling an array with numbers corresponding to the tile to be used in each square of the map).

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#15 Post by haravikk »

Most weapons aren't that unique anyway, just more powerful versions of previous ones.

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