Radiation Guns


I’m fleshing out the idea for a new weapon, maybe for a new race…
The main theme is radioactive damage. So we would have ‘radiation guns’ which looked a bit like beam lasers, but fired a concentrated beam of deadly radiation at enemy ships (yeah lets use pseudo-science!).
The big ‘difference’ with radiation guns would be that they do damage over time.
So instead of suddenly doing 30 points of damage, you ‘infect’ the enemy ship which takes 1 point of damage a second for the next 30 seconds. (for example). Higher doses of radiation could cause more damage still.
Or possibly… there is no limit (or a really long ‘half-life’ so the damage is 5 points for the first second, 4 the next, then 3, then 2 etc…
The cool thing would be that your ship could be destroyed, and yet still inflict lasting damage after it’s death.

This could also be a missile-delivered weapon, like nuclear missiles…

Another thought is that the impact of this damage could be redistributed throughout the ship. Each second that it causes destruction could apply to a different internal module.

And that line of thought made me consider that possibly radiation weapons should have minuscule (or zero) shield and armour penetration. Maybe they do massive damage, but are useless against shields (making them great vs the tribe, but poor vs empire). You would need different ships (or secondary weapons) to lower the enemies shields before you could successfully make any use of the radiation weaponry.

This is all just musings for now, but as ever, I welcome the views of veteran players on how this might impact the game.


I think any new class of weapon is a good idea.

This reminds me of meson guns, actually. Give it a shield and armor penetration, and set the shield to 0 and maybe light armor penetration.

For missiles, I think a radiation value added to current missiles would be cool, even if the stock missiles had it set to zero. The idea is that it’s a modifier for nuclear missiles.

Neat stuff.


For players to want to use a DoT weapon of any significant length, there would need to be an advantage attached to that weapon, since you’re losing the ability to frontload.

Higher-than-normal damage is the obvious one, cost/efficiency another. A less obvious one might be something like the EMP effect - maybe not a full disable, but a disruption/slow of the reload/repair/recharge times of the various ship modules. EMP shields could probably double as a radiation shield.

The handling of crits, though, is problematic for a DoT - but that depends on application.


Massive damage = happy happy. I think zero or near-zero shield penetration makes sense, but a radiation weapon should have at least some armor penetration. I’m thinking that a lightly armored fighter should be SOL in the path of the giant Microwave Ray, but capital ships should have some base radiation deflection built into the hull and armor design. So your radiation gun can cook a ship like a giant baked potato BUT:

  1. Active shields deflect it all. Too bad, so sad.
  2. Any armor heavier than a tinfoil wrap will cut its usefulness considerably.

I think this would also be an interesting counter to all the “I play the Tribe all the time and it kills everything” that I see scattered through the forum. Fight the space-hippies with an ultra-focused tanning booth!


how about using this weapon as an excuse to model spinal mounts!



why not fix useless modules before thinking of adding new ones =P


One might also argue, why must it be an either/or proposition? Add new ones to take the pressure off the “useless” ones, then adjust things on the sly.


An original idea!
Sounds a bit harsh for the tribe, though. Maybe if the tick (Damage over time, 1 tick is each time the damage is done) or the DoT effect reduces a shields ability to recharge and repair modules to repair. And maybe the possiblity of stacking effects, so with enough power, maybe its possible to reduce shields to just another set of hit points, thus not making the weapons useless whenever someone has shields.

If they were useless then, it would be wasted money on a modules, as you could have a weapon doing damage the whole time. Armour would still be better against them, with the above effect, though this would still hurt the tribes ability to repiar, one of main strengths.
Id also suggest something like the fast recharge shield never gets its recharge rate to 0, unlike the other ships.

Also, why limit yourself to just one? Why not have the halflife module, the rocket, the armour or shield varietis? It adds more options, something that is very rarely a bad thing.

Id like to have these weapons on my front line ships, the ones that die in seconds, can still hurt the enemy as they sink! Muahahahaha.
Also, please dont nuke nerf the tribe. They are maybe a bit too easy to use, but that doesnt mean you make a weapon just agianst them :wink:


I like this. Maybe several different variations on the radiation gun, linked by the DoT concept. Would make it superbly suited to the basis for a new race’s armament.

I agree, not a weapon just against the Tribe, since that would just be a different kind of “this always works” problem. But given the explosive use of the Tribe, it wouldn’t hurt to have something that’s effective against most ships, and 10% more effective against the Tribe - not specifically because they’re Tribe, but designed to be a wee bit better against unshielded ships specifically, since the Tribe seem to be the only ones who habitually do without.


don’t forget that the tribe have more hitpoints, meaning the same radiation damage will take longer to destroy a tribe ship than anyone else, so it won’t be too bad.
It also opens up the theoretical possibility of modules with radiation shielding, or even dedicated radiation shielding modules… And area of effect damage when a radiated ship explodes…and… etc. :smiley:


See, Cliff, this is why you’re the designer and we’re just a bunch of random goons blowing up stuff. :slight_smile:


UNless the coding is too difficult, I’d suggest adding "radiation_damage = " and “radiation_damage_radius =” to existing weapons. Of course current weapons would not have those 2 lines, and would then default to “none.”

This might allow some interesting possibilities later.


While I apparently differ in my opinion in that Tribe should be nerfed, a damage type intended for them would probably backfire and hurt the other races more - The only thing Tribe can’t do baseline just as well as the other races is armor resistance value and shield sink strength.

Unless you’re using some sort of insane percentile damage algorithm, in which case all bets are off.


All this discussion of the radiation gun is good, but I’ll throw in on the graphics of the thing. What a chance to do a PPD effect. That’s Plasmatic Pulsar Device, if I’m remembering correctly. Or some kind of really scary looking blob of oooooozy light. Gratuitously blobbish and oozy would be best. That nasty green from radiation signs, maybe. Toxic green. Yeah. Might even be like a jello shotgun. Yeah. Jello Shotgun. You heard it here first.




Jello Shotgun? Yeah, I think I’ve got a few of their albums. :wink:

I agree that a weapon that spreads around horrid, corrosive radiation is a grand opportunity for some spiffy effects. But why just green? If there are multiple radiation weapons as discussed earlier in the thread, you can use all kinds of colors - I’m partial to the color of the fluid in Lava lamps with purple liquid and magenta lava. Ewww. You just know that can’t be good for you.


I suppose its not gratuitous as a radiation gun, but when I thought of a radiation gun I thought of some Hard Sci-Fi (for the time) RPG’s and I thought a Particle Accelerator Cannon described the weapon you were thinking of making well.


Thing is, modules like this, like the emp resistance, are a bit too situational. If the radiation weapons are balanced against these modules, i think its end up that if someone posts a challange with these on their ships, you just dont use those weapons and theyve wasted money on those modules, or if someone doesnt have them, just use those weapons and bam, the balance is off.


The long term plan for the game (campaigns!) will address this, because your fleet will have to prevail against more than one encounter and one enemy.


radiation would kill the squishy things inside the vessels (unless piloted by droids) and cause systems damage.

is there anyway to get different weapons to damage certain modules first and if so is there any effect at damaging a crew module before any others? (or weps that target engines)

personally i’d like to see a gribbly/bio alien type race that fires organic matter/acid/radiation

damage over time is cool but will make the sometime random nature of ship flights in this game seem annoying as rather than getting ‘stuck in’ they tend to wander sometime when the ranges are set.

Maybe altering the flight path of ships so they defult to ‘flanking’ manuvers rather than turning around and flying in circles.

or is this the ship trying to get all its ranges right as its bein ‘boxed’ in?

Other things to consider, timed warheads, plague/bio weapon missiles


With all due respect, Cliffski, the longest term plan for any game is its user generated content, which in this case in the challanges. If we can make campaign challanges, then Im fine with this.
If not, then we are going to need one set of rules for the singleplayer and one for the online. Cause disbalance on one side doesnt make for an interesting game. Or, at least, a less interesting one.