An update on Damage mechanics, thrusters and bonuses


#1

Hi all!
I’m currently working alongside an able assistant on the battle mechanics side of things, and thought I’d update you on a few decisions and stuff that has gone in…

Damage Mechanics
All weapons now have a ‘base damage’, a hull damage multiplier, armor damage multiplier, shield damage multiplier, and armor and shield penetration values.

Example:
Weapon A has
BaseDamage 100
HullDmgMultiplier 1.1
ArmorDmgMultiplier 0.5
ShieldDmgMultiplier 0.5
ArmorPenmetration 30
ShieldPenetration 50

It hits a ship with a shield resistance of 40 and average armor of 9. Total shield is 20, total armor is 20 (both in 1 module each)

So it penetrates both shield and armor and can thus inflict damage at all levels…

of it’s 100 damage, 20 are needed to take down the shield, but effectiveness here is 0.5, so that takes up 40 of the 100 damage, and knocks out the shield.
The remaining 60 gets through to the armor. where again there is 20 armor but this takes 40 damage to wipe out, leaving 20 to get through to the hull…
That 20 hull damage effectively means 22 damage to the ships hull (hull multiplier is 1.1.

I know its complex but I hope it makes sense, plus it allow for some awesome combinations. Some weapons (radiation?) can be catastrophic against hull, but trivially soaked up by armor. Some other weapons could deliver awesome damage to all 3 if only they can penetrate. Setting a multiplier to 0 effectively makes it useless against that type of defense. (before modders ask, no, I’m not sure yet if negative values work :D)

Thrusters
Thrusters are a new thing. Basically maneuverability is now separate from top speed, meaning we can have engines with low thrust but high agility, and even have engine add-on modules that provide zero thrust but tons of agility (side-thrusters, basically).

Hull Bonuses
Two new hull bonuses are currently being tested. Agility boosts, and Targeting boosts. Agility boosts act as a final multiple on the ships maneuverability, as determined by its maneuverability from each engine/thruster module. Targeting boosts improve the tracking speed of every weapon on the ship.


#2

I like the way this is sounding. I could conceivably make a “shield-smasher” weapon that has a ridiculous amount of damage but .05 effective against armor and 0 against hull. Or any other permutation one could think of. I agree that special weapons such as radiation should have a “standard” setup (i.e., not necessarily hard-coded, but “official” weapons are set up that way) of perhaps virtually nil vs. shields, very ineffective against armor, and “dead ship walking” once they burrow down to the hull.

For clarity: are the penetration mechanics remaining the same as GSB1?

With firing arcs, this only makes sense. You might not want to invest in huge engines for your giant battleship, but you will definitely want it to be able to turn new banks of weapons on its targets as quickly as possible.

Excellent. I’m the sort of modder who is happiest when every characteristic of a ship can be fiddled with (heck, if you could figure out a way to apply variable modifiers to size, I’d be all for that).


#3

Yeah! Now, ships have the “ability to turn” (;p).

But does their captain have the ability to make their ship face a specific direction? Can we make broadside ship? And, if yes, can we make ship that only got one side with cannon? (like a one “edge” broadside?)


#4

The damage mechanics are as described above, but nothing else has changed, in terms of how damage is distributed over armor modules etc, if thats what you mean? 2% lucky shots still exist.

Turning is a tricky one, because the AI involved in ships turning a specific weapon are practically unsolvable, so the extra agility will just let bigger ships perform better with the ‘keep moving’ orders. Reasons why turning to engage is tricky…

Say your turn speed is slow, and all forward firing weapons are recharging. Do you turn now, risking that enemies will have moved/been destroyed before you turn, and also therefore taking potentially faster-recharging forward weapons out of targeting?
If the enemy is moving away from you, and potentially out of range, do you still turn to face side/rear weapons? risking they will be out of range before the end of the turn?
This sort of stuff is very hard.

I may try and find time to work on a broadside order to co-ordinate weapons fire, but that suffers from similar issues, and is hellishly involved. I may start a new thread on it, or a blog post…


#5

So a weapon deals no damage if your weapon’s penetration value (armor or shield) is below the target’s resistance value (armor or shield)? GSB1 did no damage in this case, but for GSB2 there was a discussion to possibly change this. Thats presumably why he was asking.


#6

this is a dilemma that i’m sure has gone through many a navy captain’s mind. here is the thing though, ships that broadside do not chase faster ships they slug it out with ships of equal size. I can asuer you that in the final game if a ship with every weapons on its side DOSE not try to get them a firing solution on the target it will anger people more than if it does but that ship gets out of range. This is basically where a player will say they are fighting the game and not the enemies.

ultimately i can’t decide this for you (nor would you allow me to) because i just don’t know what it is you have in mind for the finished product, and its also your game


#7

I am fairly sure from what I’ve gleamed from reading former posts and game play firing arcs will not be something geared for broadside type battles. It looks predominately Forward facing and then an ever widening arc. I have not memorized every video Cliffski has put up - but everything I have seen is pretty forward facing with one frigate having an arc almost covering it’s rear.

Berny
Reversing engines so a damaged cruiser can get out of line fast and let a someone else take his place would be cool.


#8

I’ve been mulling this over, and although I think ‘turn to line up guns’ is a very tricky AI problem, I do think ‘fire broadsides’ is still an order that could be programmed.
For example, if we give every weapon a ‘delay-fire’ timer, and make that (for example) twice its current fire-interval, and state that ‘this weapon is prepared to wait this long to synchonize with others’.
The code then holds back weapons until one of them hits that counter OR all are ready to fire, and at that point it ‘releases’ that timer and allows all weapons to fire right away.
Obviously you need to ignore any weapon without a current target, and this could be restricted to weapons that do over a certain amount of damage (you dont want to synchronize tiny anti-fighter weapons).

I think it is doable though, and allows you to favor a single alpha-strike mentality for a single ship, which possibly overwhelms enemy repairs. The other question of course, is whether this only appliers to weapons with the same target. Maybe it should?

Thoughts?


#9

yes.
sort of

it is possible that a ship will have to enemy ships, one on either side.

i think (and i say this with no coding experience) that if you designated several slots on a ship to be broadside weapons those weapons would focus on doing synchronized firing.

the more we talk about this the more i think about empire:total war and yes that game is not all it could have been, but i think it has waht i was thinking of for a broadsiding ship


#10

I like Daf’s idea… Could not there be in the design stage a number of weapon ‘banks’. Once a weapon is in that bank it will follow the same AI routine for each other weapon in that bank. Then a player during deployment can add firing orders to specific banks. The larger the ship the more banks available. That way a Dreadnought with lets say 3 banks would have one bank dedicated to alpha-strikes (broadside), one bank dedicated with missiles to target only ships at x range and beyond, and one bank for pure defensive (retaliate command). A fighter, corvette may have only one bank, Frigate 2, Cruiser 3, etc. It might make for more time in the initial deployment but once a player saves this preferences for that ship for a player deployment would be easier.

Although the programmer might lose hair trying to implement. As I am not a programmer I do not have to deal with this - just employees who are currently wanted and being hunted down by the police.

Berny
Empire: Total War + Darth Mod = excellence but now just crashes :<


#11

I am low on hair as it is!


#12

This just passed through my mind:

Assuming stations, outposts and satellites are implemented (or modded) for survival scenarios or hypothetical “attacker vs defender” online challenges, they could equip “side-thrusters” to rotate. The keep moving order would then be interpreted as keep rotating. Stations with limited firing arcs and agility > 0 would then be able to rotate and bring guns in firing position regularly.


#13

Since “speed” and “turningspeed” are now two seperate values, you should quite easily be able to make a stationary satelite hull by simply giving it a -100% SPEEDBOOST. If you want it to be completely still, without any rotation, you could also give it a -100% AGILITYBOOST.


#14

Thank you for your response ponyus. I already knew I can have -100% SPEEDBOOST as hull bonus to set the speed to 0, and I assumed I can do the same with turningspeed thanks to the new AGILITY hull bonus cliffski implemented. But I wanted to say something different… I wasn’t able to express myself well enough because English is not my native language. I want to try it again:

If I have a station hull with -100% SPEEDBOOST I can still have agility > 0, which allows my station to rotate to align with the target. This is fine, but I thought it would look much cooler if the station could rotate CONTINUOUSLY, without aligning to the target (like rotating stations we see in current sci-fi movies, to generate gravity for the crew). This behaviour could be triggered by a new “keep rotating” order.

As a welcome side effect, this continuous rotation would allow weapons with limited firing arcs to come regularly in firing range.

Summary:
Request for a new “keep rotating” order, because it would look cool on stations.
Rotation speed will be defined by the AGILITY (AGILITY must be > 0 in order to work).


#15

Outstanding proposal. This stops GSB2’s starbases (huge but immobile) from being enveloped and too easily destroyed. Preventing the starbase’s weaponry from frequently being “masked”/out of arc is a very important situation to avoid creating, and this “controllable-by-player-ingame” ability (no advance modding necessary) would cover the situation.


#16

wait did i miss something, are there going to be space stations in the base game?


#17

This was proposed by cliffski himself this past April, and the resulting community response was positive. After that kind of feedback (same thread), there’s no reason why starbases aren’t good enough for GSB2.


#18

I’d love to include starbases, but I don’t want to just throw them in quickly, because I think they could be really awesome. I’d like, for example to have them built in a modular fashion, so that individual sections could be destroyed, and stuff like that. This involves some major engineering, so I’d rather turn my attention to it once the normal game is done.
Plus it would be extra cool to have counter-rotating sections :smiley: and multiple-refuel and carrier launch tubes for starbase-mounted fighters