It seems like some modules it doesn’t matter if they are destroyed. So far I can not tell any difference if power generator, shields, or crew cabins are destroyed. There could be others, but that’s what I can think of off the top of my head. Seems like something bad should happen if they are. Are there any plans to implement anything like this?
Shields that are destroeyd won’t work, but crew and power are effectively just big chunks of hull once battle has started. Their significance is purely in terms of making other modules neccesary.
As I recall, powerplant output determines the force of the area of effect from a ships final destruction.
In theory, crew and power could become ‘rela-time’ needs for modules, but this could cause more confusion and irritation than it boosts in terms of gameplay. Presumably, there would need to be a system that determines ‘which’ crew get killed in a blast, and what power gets allocated to which system.
Imagine a situation where the enemy has 20 fighters, but they are all now destroyed. Meanwhile, a plasma torpedo rips through the hull and wipes out 30 of your crew.
Are these the crew that man the shields, the power gen, or the tractor beam? Clearly now the tractor beam is useless.
You might think the ship can calculate that easily.
But it gets more involved…
What if the ship has an ECM beam, used against missiles. So far so good, only maintain its crew if the enemy has missile launchers. BUT what if the enemy missile launchers are currently damaged BUT they have autorepair systems… BUT they are low on supplies AND there are other modules damaged, so we have no way of knowing if its worth our while keeping crew manning the things. etc etc…
Instead of tracking individual crew/power as they’re destroyed, you could just impose slight penalties based on crew/power remaining depending on the modules’ “equip” requirements. Shields could recharge more slowly as overall power drops, missiles might reload slower as crew drops, etc. That’d give some flavor to loss of power and crew without needing much in the way of extra tracking.
This could also encourage adding more than the bare minimum power and crew requirements to delay the onset of the penalties.
Something like this could work. It doesn’t have to be too harsh, too extreme, or too complicated. I just thought of this entire thing when i realized I was happy when crew/power modules where destroyed first on my ships so other system kept working. Seems like an odd thing to be happy about
Has this always been the case? I had a bug about fighters that would retreat to the left of the map and they did it if either the power plant OR the weapon had taken damage (and not necessarily complete damage at that)
Did you give them the cautious order? That’s exactly what it does: when a ship has taken x% damage, it will retreat from battle, back to its starting position.
Gets my vote. Dunno about ‘slight’ penalties though… if all of the crew are dead (nanobots and droid crews notwithstanding) then the ship should cease functioning altogether.
Adds more options for ship design too… maybe add weapons specifically designed to kill crew rather than directly damage the ship (neutron blaster?), and armoured/shielded crew modules designed specifically to counter this. (and armoured power generators too).
Maybe make the more powerful generators less stable, more susceptible to damage?
I think this is a great idea. What I’d suggest is for each ship to have an “effectiveness” score which is based on the power and crew requirements of all non-destroyed modules. If the ship can’t supply enough crew or power due to damage to quarters or power plants, all the other modules would work at a lower level in some way (shields would recharge more slowly, weapons would take more time between shots, engines would generate less thrust, etc). I can think of two different ways to calculate the effectiveness rating, each of which would be interesting in a different way:
Effectiveness_1 = (1 - power_shortfall/power_needs)*(1 - crew_shortfall/crew_needs)
Effectiveness_2 = ((1 - power_shortfall/power_needs) + (1 - crew_shortfall/crew_needs)) / 2
For both versions, power_shortfall is the amount of additional power needed to power everything fully, and crew_shortfall works equivalently for crew. If there is an excess of either power or crew, the respective “shortfall” is zero (they are never negative). To avoid feedback effects, it would probably be necessary for powerplant and crew quarters modules to ignore effectiveness ratings for their own outputs. Otherwise if you lose crew due to damage the powerplant would give out less power because it is understaffed, which would in turn cause the remaining crew modules to support fewer crew members due to low power, causing a further reduction in powerplant effectiveness, and so on (there’s probably a way to directly calculate the final equilibrium, but this sort of feedback would be unexpected and hard to balance).
Effectiveness_1 would make ships very vulnerable to losing a few critical modules, and would make redundancy of both power and crew modules very important if the ship is going to function at all while taking internal damage. Losing either all of its crew or all of its power would immediately make a ship dead in space, since its effectiveness would go to zero.
Effectiveness_2 would not make ships quite so vulnerable, since a ship could have 50% effectiveness so long as it had enough of either power or crew, even if the other was gone completely. This could represent the crew’s ability to jerry-rig a basic power system even when the main reactor is down, and the ability of some crew members to survive using emergency systems even if the main life support systems in the crew quarters are vaporized.
I don’t like this idea. It means that a lucky hit can disable the entire ship. After all, which module gets damaged is random. If the crew module or power is the first to go down, the ship as a whole is toast.
Maybe this is realistic, but it’s adding even more randomness. Remember, this is still a game – the player still needs to be able to build strategies and find answers to the challenges. Too much randomness just means frustration, because this isn’t something the player can avoid.
I think it would be good for ships to start becoming less effective as soon as they start taking internal damage, rather than only when their weapons go offline. If a ship’s reactor goes critical or it loses life support, you really should notice!
Remember, most lucky hits that slip in from fighters getting under the shields or something won’t do enough damage to destroy a module outright. If a crew module take 10% damage, the ship as a whole might have its effectiveness reduced by as much as 10% if you are using the Effectivenes_1 metric, or up to 5% if you use Effectiveness_2. But those are the maximum possible reductions. It is likely that many designs would be better off because they have multiple crew modules or had a larger number of crew than are required to run the ship’s systems. If there were 10% more crew around than necessary, the ship would keep on going at 100% effectiveness.
You do have a point that trying to design ships that are resilliant under fire may be harder with this system. I think an addition to the after-battle statistics screen might help with this. It would show a graph of the ship’s effectiveness over time, perhaps along with shield, armor and total HP levels.
Ships already die too quickly as soon as shields are down. We don’t need to make shields even more important.
I wouldve though it went without saying that things would have to be rebalanced if this was implemented.
This would be best accompanied with a large, across the board increase in hull strengths. That would give slow degradation by module damage without making ships die like popcorn to lucky hits.
Everyone needs to keep in mind that the crew are not in the crew module during combat. It is for sleeping and off duty living.
Where are the command bridge modules?
Power generators should incur some kind of penalty on the ship if destroyed and not enough power remains. This would require actively tracking how much power is currently needed by the ship during battle.
In my posts I’ve often been equating crew modules with life support systems, since a bigger crew would need more air in addition to more room to live. It wouldn’t matter much if the living space gets melted, but losing the ship’s air supply is a much bigger deal.
Command and control facilities (bridge, CoC, aux control, etc) might also be considered part of the crew modules since their number should scale with the number of crew, but it might be interesting if they were handled separately. Perhaps each crew module should have requirement for a certain number of officers, who would be supplied by various bridge modules. Droid crew might need no officers (or maybe they’d need more, deepening on the setting’s assumptions about just how smart AIs can be).
Conceptually the ship would be less sensitive to crew module loss than power generator loss. As said, the crew aren’t going to just keel over if their beds (and portion of the oxygen generation system, even) are destroyed, they’ll probably stay kicking at least as long as the fight is likely to last. But some sort of penalty may be in order.
If the power generation drops below requirements, though, that should cause some kind of penalty. If a cruiser that needs 150.0 power is suddenly without power generators (just the juice from the hull), it should be pretty much out of commission. On the other hand, as was said, that has a profound impact on gameplay and increases the already dramatic importance of shields and random-number-generator quicks in the form of critical hits. Personally I think those critical-critical hits are part of the cool thing about gratuitous space battles in all those sci-fi shows, but it would make tournament/competitive play very tricky if a single wing of fighter-bombers could cripple the largest cruiser on a few obscenely good rolls in the first flyby (though perhaps the armor would stop it at that point).
Of course, I’d really like for ships to go major-explosion when their power cores go critical, but that’s another thing entirely.
Gratuitous Feature: Make the ship blow up if the power module is destroyed, and then make where the modules are placed on the ship matter more than just for the aesthetics of turret placement. This would make selection of ship hull much more fun for casual players who don’t know the difference between a hull boost of 10% v. 11%. Currently, I just pick the hull into which I can pack the most crap, or the smallest hull in which I can fit what I desperately need to add to my fleet to win a battle. Of course, this is probably WAY too big to be tacked onto the game at this stage. Perhaps GSB 2?
Side note: So the “reinforced” powerplant II is just a complete waste of money?! Crap!