Carrier Modules (in development)


#1

My final big feature to add before release is currently ‘Carrier Modules’.

These are cruiser modules which provide mid-battle repairs to fighters. If fighters have the ‘cautious’ order, they will retreat mid-battle to the nearest cruiser with an intact carrier module, ad dock with it. The carrier module acts like a repair module, but only repairs docked fighters, and also has the benefit that it can repair totally destroyed fighter armor (destroyed ship armor cannot be normally repaired, even by armor modules. Once integrity drops below zero it is written off).

The fighters are repaired in sequence of first come, first served and get released back into battle immediately after repair. The visuals have the fighters disappearing once they reach the ship, and re-appearing once fixed.
Whilst fighters are ‘docked’ they cannot be targeted or tractored or open fire, and are immune to area-of-effect explosions (shielded by the cruiser they are docked within). There is currently no limit to the number of fighters that can be stacked up in the hanger awaiting repair.
Right now, if the cruiser itself is destroyed, or the carrier module destroyed, the fighters are unharmed but instantly ejected. I’m not sure about this, maybe they should be destroyed…
The carrier modules have limited repair supplies just like other repair modules.
This is all planned for version 1.20. I’m currently at the testing stage, and haven’t got the module graphic done yet :D, or balanced out its requirements. I’m thinking high crew (lots of repair technicians).

Thoughts?


#2

What’s the effect of multiple carrier modules in one cruiser?

and what if the closest cruiser has a queue, but there’s one almost as close with no queue?

What do the “cautious” fighters do if there’s no carrier modules left? Run for the edge of the screen, or stand and fight?


#3

if the cruiser goes up … nothing should survive. especially not the fighter that was half in pieces near lots of explosive (the fighter hanger)

in the future, would a supercarrier that can repair frigates be possible? (i’m thinking this would have to be a dedicated hull… if only to look right as it envelops a frigate)


#4

I need to investigate and clarify the ‘multiple modules’ point. I think in terms of fighters seeking repairs, they should sensibly always go to the nearest one anyway. A fighter trailing smoke an flames at half speed will not last long in battle unless it docks quick.
I think letting fighters that are docked explode is acceptable. Ironically that means more code than letting them live :smiley:
Great feedback, cheers


#5

it’s simplest to go for the closest repair point. and then if the module’s currently full+busy - to just escort-range-100 orbit until it’s free.

i’m sure people would rather fighters hoofed it across the map to the unmoving repair station if the frontline one is full… but my opinion is ‘tough’. the game mechanics say the fighter will be fine to fly around for ages while spewing smoke and flame… the pilot has a different, and not entirely rational view of the decision though :slight_smile: she’ll just beeline for the closest. (and then the sunk cost fallacy will keep her waiting there. conveniently :slight_smile:


#6

Love it. I’d personally go for only one squadron docked at a time and a chance to auto-eject if the cruiser gets destroyed. Maybe implement something where a random number of pilots manage to escape before the inferno sweeps through the dock?


#7

i guess you mean one fighter? a squadron is 16 fighters… and it’s unlikely the whole squadron will come back for repairs at once … ?

as for ejecting. i do feel strongly that if the cruiser is destroyed, fighters being repaired shouldn’t survive. they’re in the dock with access panels hanging open and technicians halfway inside them. remember - the moment a fighter is repaired, it launches - so by definition anything inside the cruiser isn’t flight worthy :slight_smile:

absolutely the only good reason i can think for fighters to make it out a destroyed cruiser is if their engines don’t work. the reason for this, and why it’s gratutious are left as an exercise for the reader.


#8

Ah, hehe. No I did mean one squadron, but that’s down to my brain pigeonholing a squad as a single entity. God knows why, although I can probably put it down to too much red wine this weekend. More than one fighter should, obviously, be able to dock at one time.

I’m sticking by my other point though. It would be obvious to any self-respecting starship pilot that his or her mothership is going down; at this juncture, who wouldn’t hit the thrusters no matter how mangled their own ship was? Plus, it would look really cool to see a rag-tag group of battle damaged snub fighters escaping from a doomed carrier, and it adds some extra incentive to use the new module.


#9

Just a thought: what if fighters were made such that they launched from a cruiser when arriving in battle? So what would happen is that if you wanted to have fighters in your battle, you would require a cruiser with a carrier module on it, which would house maybe 2-3 squads of fighters. This could help balance out things with them since fighters suddenly require an associate cost to get to the battle and you can’t just spam millions of them all over the place without having the infrastructure to support them.

If you had the artwork for it, it means you could also have “Flattop” carrier hulls or the like, which have bonuses to the number of squads they can carry into a battle as well as the repair supplies they hold in exchange for stuff like direct-fire weapons and the like, which would be tons cooler IMHO :smiley:


#10

Yes, the idea of required and dedicated carriers is a popular one, but I’m wary of changing that part of the game now. I suppose later we could have ‘deep-space’ missions where fighters were only allowed if they had an associated carrier module per squadron :smiley:
I quite like the idea of a few fighters escaping from a burning cruise,r even more damaged than when they docked, but on the other hand, I like the angst of watching your fighters limp home to the badly damaged carrier and screaming 'not there! it’s not safe!" at them :smiley:
Lets face it, if fighters are badly damaged and the nearest carrier goes foop, they are probably toast anyhow.


#11

In all honesty, I wouldn’t be wary of changing that part of the game. Its a very interesting mechanic and may be a very good way to change fighters to be more balanced. Hell, if one wanted fighters to be the old way, you could give them separate FTL modules that weigh a hefty bit, so you could have a huge mass of slow but deadly fighters that can act mostly independent or alternatively a tiny bunch of really fast, powerful ones that require a carrier to get there. Or you could mix up both and have a ton more tactical options available to you.
[/quote]
I quite like the idea of a few fighters escaping from a burning cruise,r even more damaged than when they docked, but on the other hand, I like the angst of watching your fighters limp home to the badly damaged carrier and screaming 'not there! it’s not safe!" at them :smiley:
Lets face it, if fighters are badly damaged and the nearest carrier goes foop, they are probably toast anyhow.
[/quote]
There should still be a threshold to the que lines that form for a carrier’s repair bay. So if theres around 20 fighters buzzing around a single repair module and its gonna take ages, a fighter should automatically switch to a carrier that’s free and can repair it immediately. Makes more sense that way


#12

I like the idea of requiring carrier modules for each fighter, and what I’d suggest is that carrier modules supply pilots to the fleet. Some scenarios could have very few pilots, so you’d need to bring carriers along if you wanted to field a non-trivial number of fighters. Perhaps some carrier modules would provide more pilots and less repairing capability, to make giant fighter fleets cheaper.

Regarding fighters that are docked when the carrier blows, I’d suggest dealing each of them some pretty hefty damage (or perhaps a random amount), and letting any that survive the hit fly away (perhaps to another carrier). There’s certainly Sci-Fi source material for small ships escaping from an exploding hangar (from maximum gratuitousness, the fighter graphics need to fly right out of the carrier’s explosion).

I’d like to repeat the question that was asked earlier: What will fighters with “Cautious” orders do if there are no surviving carriers? Can Cautious orders in general be updated so that ships that can’t repair will keep fighting?


#13

currently they do what cautious fighters already do, which is return to their rough starting position side of the map and just chillax.
In theory one day I could add an order that was fighter specific for repairing when possible. Like every change to a game this complex, just adding carrier modules has unwrapped a huge can of worms relating to Z-ordering that I’m still wrestling with…


#14

I’m just wondering what this causes to the balance… Fighters are already deadly in large numbers or in 2-4 squadrons. Now when you throw two repair cruisers and two protector cruisers for these repair cruisers… the end result could be annoying never ending swarm of mosquitos picking enemy’s cruisers down. :frowning:

Especially when the cautious value is set correctly so the fighters will shoot one torpedo, retreat because of damage and then again go shoot one torpedo and so on.


#15

still, the carrier idea is a great one, no doubt about that. even with the balance changes, it’s still an awesome idea.


#16

Well there is already a built-in limiter, in that the carrier modules are limited by repair supplies just like ordinary repair modules, so they arent an unlimited weapons factory by any means.
Plus, there is always the risk that the enemy takes out your carrier while it has a dozen partly damaged fighters onboard. The module itself is also heavy and requires a fair number of crew.
As a side effect, I’m hoping that this will make fighter armor more attractive. Right now many fighters don’t survive one serious hit. If you know you can repair them, giving them some defense against enemy fire is more worthwhile.


#17

This sounds simply gratuitous!

I like the idea of fighters surviving carrier death with extra damage. I also support maximum queue lines, which should be proportional to the number of carrier modules the cruiser has.

Requiring “dedicated” cruisers for some missions, with max # fighter squadrons = # carrier modules * some multiplier, would be awesome. It would also be a nice touch of fighters “launched” from cruiser modules in the start of battle.

Regarding balance, I just hope that dogfighting fighters become more deadly to counter hit-and-run bombing tactics.


#18

i would personally have prefered dedicated carrier hulls that look the part. especially given just how much extra pain repairing fighters brings to the fight. but i can see that at this point just a module is all that’s likely to happen.

will there be any visuals other than fighters teleporting in trailing flames, and teleporting out later?


#19

Hawt


#20

Yeah. Something like 1 module per normal ship (the shuttle bay) plus dedicated carrier hulls that come pre-fitted with one or two more extra fighter bays seems right to me. Perhaps with fixed positions to make coding (a little) easier (he says blithely, waving away any consideration of the artwork required for dedicated carrier hulls).