Three shades of stealth

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

Moderators: Oberlus, Oberlus

Post Reply
Message
Author
Ophiuchus
Programmer
Posts: 1158
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:01 am
Location: Wall IV

Three shades of stealth

#1 Post by Ophiuchus » Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:21 pm

This is a spinoff topic from Oberlus Stealth mechanics proposal

I thought I had written a more elaborate post about this (kinds of stealth/colours of stealth) but I could not find any, so here is a summary.

I was thinking of having different kinds of detection/stealth:
  • electromagnetic-active stealth - radiation from your ship (detectable by passive scanning tech)
  • electromagnetic-passive stealth - the way your ship influences other radiation (prone to active scanning tech)
  • gravitonic stealth - the way your ship influences the gravity ship (hard to detect but almost(?) impossible to hide)
To be undetected you would need to have better stealth than detection for each kind (or taking in Oberlus proposal: the worst stealth-detection difference counts). Different ship hulls would have different base stats (huge ships would have bad gravitonic stealth)
Being active (moving, shooting) would mostly affect the electromagnetic-active stealth.

Hiding in asteroid belts would help all hulls in gravitonic stealth, hiding an asteroid in asteroid belt would boost electromagnetic-passive stealth as well and so on.
Gravitonic detectors could be expensive (core slot maybe) and hard to research. A battle-scanner could target ships with gravitonic detectors especially (destroy the enemie's detectors using long-range or hidden kamikaze in one turn, next turn advance your main fleet).

Hiding electromagnetic-active emissions on planets is the easiest, good stealth species probably have electromagnetic-passive boost. Gravitonic detection helps find the planet/ship (but not seeing what is on it). Gravitonic detection is enough to attack an enemy ship but not an enemy planet.
For the research race the stealthy species would have mostly to research electromagnetic-active stealth tech while a normal one would need also to research electromagnetic-passive tech.

Active scanning parts would also reduce the mounting ships's active stealth.

As an extension going silent (as a third option for setting fleet options besides active/passive - never fight even someone shoots at you) would probably provide an active-stealth bonus.

There are open questions about UI and backend mechanisms for this.

In a minimal implementation gravitonic stealth could be simply a property of a hull (not changeable by tech), passive/active stealth level could exist on the conceptual level and shown as the normal stealth meter. In this case meter value would be passive stealth minus radiation from the ship/planet.
So if we add standard radiation to ships, a normally operating ship would lower the passive stealth meter by its radiation value. If you go silent with the ship it has the normal passive stealth value.
Normal detection works against the normal stealth meter, we add code which alows basic detection against gravitonic value. E.g. the gravitonic detection part has an effect which reduces the target's stealth meter by (a multiple of) the target's hull's gravitonic value.

For implementing passive-only detection the stealth meter must become a max or target meter and the comparison would work against that max/target value. But probably also drop this.

p.s.: I also saw that geoff had a definition for active scanning vs passive scanning tech, but that is a completely unrelated topic. I should come up other terms than active/passive in this context.

p.p.s: I mentioned it in a recent discussion with Oberlus about distinctioness of features
Oberlus wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:55 pm
Ophiuchus wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:05 pm
the three colors of stealth i proposed are actually distinct. On one axis of difference, active/passive depend on what you do with your ships (e.g. move), gravitonic does not depend on what you. On another axis research properties are different (e.g. detecting active ships is easy, researching detecting gravitonic is hard, but stealthing gravitonic is very hard). And they aggregate in order to : IF grav_detection > grav_stealth OR active_detection > active_stealth OR passive_detection > passive_stealth THEN ship_detected. Also usually gravitonic_stealth > passive_stealth > active_stealth. ...
I like all this. If adding three different stealth meters to ships and planets is a problem (I think it is), the single stealth meter could show the minimum value of the three (maybe taking a different shade/color corresponding to the stealth type with minimum value), and hovering the mouse over it could show the individual values for each stealth type.
edit1: found a solution for minimalistic gravitonic stealth in ships
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

Post Reply