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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Geoff the Medio
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#16 Post by Geoff the Medio »

utilae wrote: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).
The map editor analogy is a bit strained...

I'd be reluctant to decide to use any sort of slot-and-filler or formalized "mods" to various weapons at design time, before actually figuring out what all the weapons are going to be. Doing this could lead to limited creativity of weapons design (if you can't design a weapon to do anything not covered by the preset options, you might not even think to want to design such a thing) or could lead to a new mod or damage class or firing shape for every new idea that comes up, which ends up being rather redundant and complicated.

It might work out that the weapons that are designed can be simply described in the language of slots and filler and mods, but IMO it'd be best to describe them that way after the fact.

That said, in some respects, starting with various preset labels of weapon properties that fit into slots in the "weapon design" formula might be a good way to go. An example might be "damage type", for which slot and filler with preset filler options might be condusive to designing the overall strategic aspects of why certain weapons are good or not in certain situations (in a way that's easy for the player to understand).

The thing to avoid, IMO, is doing slot-and-filler for everything by default, for design-time weapon making. If the player was designing weapons in-game, such a system would probably be necessary (though I'm not terriby keen on that idea either).

Impaler
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#17 Post by Impaler »

I am starting to lean towards this idea as well, I particularly like the example Havarrick layed out
* 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)
This could dove tail with the Stack based aproatch I have been laying out in the other thread. The ships Hull is designed with Stacks of various Sizes and types. Then they can add a limited number of Mods to it. The "Core" Device like Laser vs Ion Cannon vs Hard Beam would just another Modifier its just the only required Modifier with all others being optional.

This aproatch works out well for Doing diverse things like Organic Ships. They might have a Stack of "Acid Tenticles" and you put the "Adamantine Carpapace plates" modifier onto the tenticle to make them do more damage.
Fear is the Mind Killer - Frank Herbert -Dune

Zpock
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#18 Post by Zpock »

This could dove tail with the Stack based aproatch I have been laying out in the other thread. The ships Hull is designed with Stacks of various Sizes and types. Then they can add a limited number of Mods to it. The "Core" Device like Laser vs Ion Cannon vs Hard Beam would just another Modifier its just the only required Modifier with all others being optional.
That's forcing the player to use one weapon type (neutron) with his hull, but he can still use a wide variety of mods on it...

Could be bad if you would like to change weapon type (neutron beam, laser beam etc) as you climb the tech tree. That would render the hull unusable. I think the player should be let to stick with his hulls so that they don't need to be re-designed.

On the other hand, if the tech tree works so that you pick your weapon type and then research it for refinement throughout the game (much like SEIV) then he will stick with his one weapon typ anyway without having the hulls forcing him too.

Impaler
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#19 Post by Impaler »

I think you could have them very Generic, say 4-6 weapon catagories total

Beam
Bomb
Tube (for missles)
Projectile/Gun

In Stars! most ships all the weapons fall into 4 groups, Beams/Torpedos/Guns/Bluguons and bombs were a seperate stack. Most ship designs have all one type of weapon. The senario I am laying out requires you to comit to a particular class of weapons for the Hull design but I think most people would already have in mind what they are going to build.

An alternative might be to have the stack types based on the "hull modual" concept inwhich they mearly give a bonus to a particular type of device but still alow other devices at a reduced efficiency. For example

Nacelle - Holds Engines well, other stuff suffers a penalty
Turret - Holds weapons well
Habitation - Holds Crew quarters and Troop Quarters well
Hangar - Holds Fighter Bays and Shipyards well
Bulk - Holds storage Containers and Mechanical well
Generic - Holds everything semi-well
Dish - Holds Sensors well

Once you have a hull designed you can theoreticaly change out everything and make it into a whole new ship with a differnt purpose but if your go against the prefered component type of the "Moduals" then the penalty will reduce the number of components that can be fit in it making the ship less powerfull. Generic serves as the same function as General Purpose in Stars! and is modestly inefficient at holding everything.
Fear is the Mind Killer - Frank Herbert -Dune

haravikk
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#20 Post by haravikk »

Why not have the hull spaces determine which mods a weapon can have by how big the spaces are etc, the player just chooses the technology to stick in and which mods to actually use.
Then when you develop 'splitting' weapons you can design or adjust a hull to have correctly proportioned slots for this new mod.
Like if each 'slot' or whatever it is called had a size class such as 'small' (low mass weapons, no mods), 'medium' (standard weapon sizes, armour piercing, shield piercing and fast-firing missiles mods only), 'large' (big weapons, all mods).

In this way you would research mods, each mod would have a limit on the size it can be applied to. Some could be researched to be available at different sizes but for the most part the mods would have specific sizes of weapons, for example only heavy weapons can be converted to have the 'splitting' mod due to the generators required or such.

I think also that base technologies (lasers, hard-beams and so which the mods are applied to) would limit which researched mods would work with them. So Plasma cannons might have the splitting and enveloping mods, but simple lasers do not.
Unique attributes could easily be put into base-techs in addition (MOO2 had weapons that caused extra troop casualties etc), but I don't think that there are really that many different things you can do with weapons anyway.

Impaler
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#21 Post by Impaler »

Like if each 'slot' or whatever it is called had a size class such as 'small' (low mass weapons, no mods), 'medium' (standard weapon sizes, armour piercing, shield piercing and fast-firing missiles mods only), 'large' (big weapons, all mods).
That would significantly disadvantage smaller ships in my opinion as they would be unable to hold many of the modifiers. Further more Point defence weapons woud be handycapped too. I think Mods should be independent of the weapons size but some mods could incresse the weapons size if thats more apealing (esentialy the weapon acts as if it were in a smaller slot then it is in, so a Medium would be treated as a small).
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Zpock
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#22 Post by Zpock »

I kinda agree but for another reason. There will not be enough interesting mods to spread them out on different weapon types and sizes at the same time.

haravikk
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#23 Post by haravikk »

Well the limitation on mods would be sensible. Like point defence weapons wouldn't have enveloping available because they don't have the range to envelop a target, they wouldn't have the power required to cause lasting damage to an enemy's shields so wouldn't have the 'Ionise' ability and similar. There wouldn't be a huge number of mods unavailable for 'small' (I'm having trouble thinking of any!) but I don't think all mods should be available for all sizes.

The main thing is having mods limited for certain base techs which do not allow them, or incorporate some (for example Plasma cannons might be enveloping and cannot be altered).

Zpock
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#24 Post by Zpock »

The question is, why not? I think enveloping PD might be kinda cool. That argument smells a bit realism to me. I'm with you on limiting mods to certain types of weapon to make them unique tough. Big gun = big dmg in one piece + some other stuff like more range/less ROF etc is enough to make different weapon sizes unique IMO.

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utilae
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#25 Post by utilae »

haravikk wrote: Most weapons aren't that unique anyway, just more powerful versions of previous ones.
Exactly what I want to change.
Zpock wrote: That's forcing the player to use one weapon type (neutron) with his hull, but he can still use a wide variety of mods on it...
Er, Impaler (started the hull/weapon idea) weapons should be seperate from hulls. Ie when you design the weapon, you don't care what hull it is gonna go into (except for size related stuff).
Impaler wrote: I think you could have them very Generic, say 4-6 weapon catagories total

Beam
Bomb
Tube (for missles)
Projectile/Gun
Exactly what I am talking about: these would be the weapon styles in my intitial post. Mods would be added to them to make them vary and be unique weapons.
Impaler wrote: That would significantly disadvantage smaller ships in my opinion as they would be unable to hold many of the modifiers. Further more Point defence weapons woud be handycapped too. I think Mods should be independent of the weapons size but some mods could incresse the weapons size if thats more apealing (esentialy the weapon acts as if it were in a smaller slot then it is in, so a Medium would be treated as a small).
Yeah, mods shouldn't be restricted by weapon size, if you have the space on a small ship to fit a weapon with the the uber-massive mod then fit it.
haravikk wrote: Well the limitation on mods would be sensible. Like point defence weapons wouldn't have enveloping available because they don't have the range to envelop a target, they wouldn't have the power required to cause lasting damage to an enemy's shields so wouldn't have the 'Ionise' ability and similar. There wouldn't be a huge number of mods unavailable for 'small' (I'm having trouble thinking of any!) but I don't think all mods should be available for all sizes.

The main thing is having mods limited for certain base techs which do not allow them, or incorporate some (for example Plasma cannons might be enveloping and cannot be altered).
I think this should be half true. If you have the space to add mods that increase the range of a pd weapon (eg powere generators) then so be it, you have super long range enveloping point defense.

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