Redesign of Fighter mechanics


#1

@mel @joe The current fighter mechanics is quite unintuitive.The hangar is basically just a regular kinetic weapon with higher damage and longer charge time that fires an icon that looks like a fightercraft. This also makes it a pita to balance as if it fires too fast these weapons will obliterate fleets, if they fire too slowly, the battle is over before they have an effect.

Id rather see a much different mechanic for fighters. That in itself is also a very simple rock paper scissors kind of system. Make hangars carry one of three types of squadrons or wings. Bombers, Interceptors and Fighters. This can easily be done by creating three types of hangar modules. For simplicity, give the player a fleet toggle with two options for starters, with potential for more preset options for fine-tuning them later in development. Simply, defend or attack. This set at the fleet screen at the starmap like we do other fleet options.

Interceptors counter incoming threats to the fleet and always stay home, the only squadron class that can target torpedoes. Fighters either stay home if set to defend and thus helps the interceptors by targeting incoming fighters or attack to try to shoot down enemy fighters/Intercetors guarding the enemy fleet. Bombers targets capital ships and are very weak vs other squadrons.

Interceptors: Always stays with the fleet defending it against incoming Fighters, Bombers and Torpedoes. Implement a “Behaviour tree” random number generator rolling a dice for every fighter, bomber or torpedo that reaches the fleet to see if they are intercepted. The more Interceptors in each squadron that are alive the higher the chance of inteception. Bombers and fighters fight back, bombers very weakly and fighters strongly so you take losses of Interceptors when there is an intercept here, how much depends on relative strenght of the craft infolved and the current strenght of the wing (how many interceptors, fighters or bombers are alive). Torpedoes intercepted are simply shot down, but they have a health number on how many hits they can take so if theres very few interceptors left in a wing and a very advanced torpedo they may not do enough hits to it in time to shoot it down. Torpedoes is at the very end of the targeting tree so if the opponent wants to prevent their torpedoes from being shot down, they need to send fighters or bombers on attack to keep the interceptors occupied. Gives incentive to add some form of fighter screen to a fleet. Interceptors will not leave the fleet to chase down Fighters so if enemy Fighters are occupied elsewhere the interceptors will go directly to targeting incoming torpedoes until some enemy Fighter squadrons or Bomber squadrons gets to the immediate vicinity of the fleet…

Targeting priority tree: 1. Bombers > 2. Fighters > 3. Torpedoes

Fighters: Fighters are fighter craft that have weapons that are strong vs other strike craft but weak vs capital ships. They are faster than bombers and will thus reach the enemy fleet before the bombers, occupying enemy interceptors. If both sides has fighters the speed of the fighters, the fact that interceptors stick close to the fleet and the targeting priority trees ensures that the fighters will then meet and dogfight between the fleets. Its squadron vs squadron so if one side has more fighter squadrons than the other then the squadrons not engaged, or who wins their engagements, will race on to face the opposing sides interceptors, hopefully in time to cover for the slower bombers or torpedoes. On a defensive setting it works in a similar way but the fighters will not race to attack the enemy interceptors but will be content to meet enemy fighter squadrons halfway and hold the line if they prevail, keeping the friendly interceptors clear to engage bombers and torpedoes.

Targeting priority tree: 1. Fighters > 2. Interceptors

Bombers: Pretty straightforward. Slow moving bomber craft flying in squadrons straight at the enemy capital ships.They do great damage to capital ships but they have to overcome several hurdles before they get there. They are easily countered by enemy Interceptor Squadrons. So to be able to accomplish their mission they need fighter squadron support to deal with enemy interceptors (if any). When on defensive setting they will simply hang back with the friendly fleet or not launch (both are fine).

Targeting priority tree: 1. Capital ships

This system ensures that there is checks and balances in place for a very powerful hangar based weapon (the bomber in this case) that can be allowed to launch without long delays during battles that today already are very short, without creating a balancing issue. This also adds simple mechanics to make small craft gameplay an exiting an intuitive part of fleet combat. It also gives a venue to counter the very destructive area effect torpedoes for factions with smaller and weaker ships like Mankind or Ripchee if they focus on torpedo defence with interceptors and fighters in front of focusing on covering bombers. This can all be controlled by the player by what type of hangar they add to their ships as each hangar contains X squadrons of either Interceptors, Fighters or Bombers. How many they contain can be part of a research progression tree. Then if one wants to add more granular control over this mechanic, the developers can add more controls than the Attack/Defend one much later in development. But it will be a balanced and competent system in itself with just Attack/Defend.


#2

If we’re going to make wings a bigger part of the game then I also think we should be talking about adding a weapon class for ships that is built to counter fighters. We should have light, short range weapon with a high rate of fire, and fast tracking. These would excel at eliminating fighters while doing minimal damage to ships.

If we are going to allow interceptors to target torpedoes then I would suggest that the interceptors would only be able to take out one torpedo before needing to return. That way it’s effectively one large weapon slot cancelling another large weapons slot. If the interceptors could take out more torpedoes then it makes torp battleship a lot less valuable.

Here’s what I’m thinking:
Capital ship armor > bomber > fighter > interceptor > light weapons
Of course capital ships weapons would eat the armor off other capitals.


#3

I’d like some sweet Battlestar galactica Flak cannons,

hangers should be only able to be mounted on a special ship that’s designated as a carrier or we are going to have every little destroyer in the game running around with hangers on them.


#4

Not many small ships have large slots to mount them.


#5

Large weapon slots were removed from any ship that had them outside of Tier 3 for Alpha 3. So there is no destroyer with large slots. Some had it in Alpha 2 and the models remain on the ships but its still only medium weapons that fit there.


#6

I would love to see something like this implemented. I’m always one who likes more options in ship design, and tactical options. If you find yourself facing a new empire, which unlike any other, utilizing a particular weapon system then you’d have to adapt your vessels armaments and tactics to maximize odds of survival. And i’m with Lord_Emperor, i’d LOVE to see some sweet sweet Battlestar Galactica Flak cannon action. It would be good against both fighters and missiles. But when you design ships with this in mind you are limiting that ships effectiveness in other areas, which i like. Forces you to makes decisions and do your best to work with those even when faced with a sub optimal situation due to a particular vessels intended operational conditions.


#7

I don’t literally mean every small destroyers but having fleets of just hangers and medium weapons on T3 destroyers seems unbalanced, they should instead massively buff the hangers but limit them to a single ship to make them special and strategic like real life carriers.

This is what battles should feel like with flak cannons.


#8

What’s a T3 destroyer?


#9

Tier 3 ships, you know ships that can only be built with T3 ship builders or higher. in the top right corner of the blueprint it shows the tier of the ship.


#10

There is no destroyers in Tier 3. Thats battleships and Cruisers. Also you will not see only ships with hangars in fleets because they have a 500 MW power cost. This amount can be tweaked further by the devs if they see the need. Today if anyone tries to build such a fleet they will have no armor or shields and that in itself will be a design choice of that player thats easy to exploit by others.

The scenario you are worried about thus does not exist.


#11

Right. Those aren’t destroyers, as Aletheides explained in more detail.


#12

Thank you for your great ideas! We will take them into consideration. :slightly_smiling_face:
And having various interesting battle mechanics is one of our main goals