Random terror~

Some random wish list things. Some are mutually exclusive! Some I have suggested before.

Repair modules could have infinite resources, but the repair rate is determined by the excess power on the ship.
Justification: It bothers me that hull damage is catastrophic and impairs the ship almost immediately.
Additionally: All ships should have a basic repair included in their profile, so they can infinitely, but slowly, self-repair.

Additionally: Auto-repairs can’t rebuild destroyed modules while the ship is under fire.
– Triage goes like this: People who are in urgent need of medical attention have priority treatment over those who cannot be saved.

Additionally: Excess power that is not being used to repair hull sections can be used to recharge shields/repair the flux capacitor to bring shields back up.
– The ‘cautious’ order will cause a ship to favor recharging it’s shields/repair rather than overcharging guns/speed.

Additionally: Excess power that is not being used to repair shields is diverted to the engines to increase ship speed.
– meaning at the start of the battle, ships don’t take 15 minutes to get in to range of each other.
– meaning the ‘keep moving’ order will cause a ship to favor powering its engines over repairs and overcharged weapons.

Additionally: Excess power that is not being used to repair shields/increase ship speed can be used to overcharge energy based weapons.
– meaning once your ship is in it’s happy optimum range, it hits much harder than one that is trying to move around.

Additionally: If speed of the vessel is determined by the excess energy on the ship, engine components are no longer necessary, or can be repurposed.
– the ship construction panel can be simplified, no more ‘ships must have engines!’ issues.
– players can choose to deliberately overpower their ships for greater tactical flexibility.

Additionally: Cruisers and frigates that move faster would look really, really cool.
– faster moving capital ships causes greater emphasis on accuracy boosting modules.

Additionally: Opens up the door for types of weapons that temporarily reduce power on the ship.
– a different option for EMP rather than knocking out all weapons, for example.

Result: Faster, aggressive ships that can shrug off incidental damage, recover from significant damage if given a chance to breathe (such as with a cloak), and noticeably more extreme survival/killing/manouver behaviour.

Shields should not go down until all shield modules are destroyed.
Justification: Because it’s cooler and more nerve wracking this way.
Additionally: Shields that are reduced to 0% continue to operate, and will block their normal amount of incoming damage, however the shield modules themselves will take damage in proportion to this.
– meaning a ship that momentarily suffers a heavy bombardment is not instantly doomed.
– meaning a ship that momentarily suffers heavy shield disruption is not instantly doomed.
– meaning that a ship with multiple shield units will have a noticeably different shield life span/recovery to others that do not.

Additionally: Shield modules that were destroyed but repaired can bring the shields back up.
– meaning a ship that gets a chance to recover CAN recover.

Result: Even a frigate has a chance to get back into the fray if it’s been heavily damaged. It’s just more fun!

Fighters have a maximum flight time, and if they cannot return to refuel, they fly on solar wind at a fraction of their normal speed.
Justification: Because it’s boring watching a squad of fighters destroy everything on their own.
Additionally: Allows for the use of support frigates/cruisers carrying refueling modules.
– meaning if you can’t catch the fighters, you can just blow away their support.
– meaning fighters would need a viable flight time (e.g 5-10 minutes).
– meaning fighter squadrons that are refeuling can also have their casualties replaced over time.
– meaning fighters aren’t lost through attrition/bad luck, and must actually be deliberately destroyed.
– meaning you can catch fighters with their pants down and destroy the ship carrying them.
– meaning even the best fighters still need support.

Additionally: Additional engines/power plants can increase the flight time of the fighter.
– meaning there is use to putting excess power on a fighter.

Additionally: Increase the number of defensive options on the fighter, eg shields, armor, point defense, many more (at least 4 modules and 1 hard point per fighter).
– meaning players can select armaments for their fighters based on what they think would be fun to field, rather than what they are forced to choose due to the very tight restrictions on modules/spaces.
– meaning players can have great variety in fighters, from great lumbering juggernaught bombers, through to super fast unarmored interceptors, through to more moderate gunboats.

Additionally: Allow the number of craft to be decided by the player.
– meaning players have a more finite control over specific squad roles.

Additionally: Allow players to craft squads by assembling individual fighters, rather than x of the same type.
– meaning players can have greater variety in their squadrons, making out some really tough squad leaders, or sneak in a few anti-cruiser bombers with those interceptors.

Additionally: The refuelling method may take the form of a simple module that fires a tractor-beam like attack on to friendly fighters that repairs/refuels one fighter every second or so.
– meaning Cliffski doesn’t need to code docking procedures.
– meaning fighters can refuel from any ship with a reflight module and aren’t bound to a specific ship.
– meaning fighters escorting a ship with a reflight module will be continually topped up without having to abandon their position.

Result: Fighters are a lot more fun, have greater variety, and players can spend as much effort tailoring them as they do their frigates and cruisers, without having to create a whole lot more module types.

Have the number of crew available impact on the repair rate/fire rate/armor and shield stability recovery of ship components.
Justification: Because what else are they doing?
– meaning that extra crew aren’t just dead weight.
– meaning that players can choose to take bigger crew compartments for ship performance on their main fighting ships, and min max on others.

Additionally: Update the repair rate/fire rate as crew suffer casualties.
– meaning that if crew compartments blow up, it’s really bad.
– meaning that a ship that is reduced to 0 crew doesn’t repair or fire anymore. (It could spontaneously combust.)
– Crew compartments that are damaged have less crew.
– Crew compartments that are repaired should have their crew reapper - they ‘got better’. Preferable to having ships totally crippled from lucky chain hits on a single crew compartment.

Result: Allows for even greater variety in ships, and makes crew ‘do something’ instead of just taking up seats in my ships. Lazy buggers.

Edit: Added some variety for ease of reading.

Your wall of text needs spacing out some.
Justification: More people would bother reading it.

impenetrable wall of text or no, all his points are good suggestions.

I like several of the ideas presented, especially regarding supplies and crew importance.

I think adding supply requirements for many kinds of ships and/or modules would make a lot of things more interesting. One thing I found interesting in the Lost Fleet series of books was how the protagonist had to always adapt his fleet’s plans around the fact that several of his ships were slow and vulnerable supply/industrial ships. Those ships were major tactical liabilities during the battles in the books, but on a strategic level they were essential to keep the fleet going. I’d love for something like this to be possible in GSB.

I think the Space Empires series of games had fairly good supply mechanics that were not very complicated. Many modules consumed a “supplies” resource when they were used, and most of them provided a modest amount of supply storage as well. If a ship needed to be able to stay in the field longer, it could have additional supply modules added, or for bigger ships, modules that would generate new supplies while in flight. I think that this could be combined with some of supply transfer modules or docking bays in a way that would allow ships to fall off the front line, resupply from a tender, and return to the fight. If we eventually get more interesting maneuver orders, these supply ships could be vulnerable to flanking or center-penetrating attacks. Of course, rather than having dedicated supply ships, you can use low supply-consumption weapons and engines, or stick a supply storage module on each of your ships (or just go all out on DPS and hope you win before you run out of supply).

In another thread somewhere I’ve suggested some ideas for what the game should do when crew modules are damaged, but I think there’s a new idea here that would be interesting. I arrived at it by combining two of your suggestions, from different sections: Crew modules should be able to slowly repair the ship, but compared with regular repair modules they should have a lot of (or unlimited) repair supplies.

These ideas have some merits, but I would caution against making surplus power or surplus crew useful. Doing so, takes away the challenge of good ship designs that very nearly have 100% utilization of the power and crew resources.

There’s some realism to planning for more crew and power than is strictly necessary, though. In modern ships, redundant systems (and yeah, for this purpose, crew could be considered a system) make it harder for one lucky hit to outright cripple a warship. Extra crew can man stations if the primary crew become casualties, they can also assist in damage control. Spare power generation or storage stop one hit from disabling every power-dependent system on the ship.

Of course, in a realistic setting, these ships would be designed with missions other than ‘blow up other spaceships’ in mind, and would have to account for that. things like carrying troops or aid on relief missions, customs inspections… all three of those missions would benefit from having more than the absolute bare minimum crew on hand, not counting the fact tht you can’t have all your crew on duty all the time in a real-world situation. (I’m not advocating that a game called Gratuitous Space Battles should have to worry about designing ships for disaster relief, don’t worry…) Although, a mission involving crushing orbital defenses, bombing surface defenses, and landing lots and lots of very angry marines on a hostile planet could be really cool.

I would suggest that extra crew and power should be useful, but the break point should be that their point of diminishing returns is just below the point of putting in an extra (insert affected system here.)

So, an extra crew module would provide some redundancy and aid in repairs, but wouldn’t be as effective in that role as a dedicated repair module. Extra power would provide slight boosts to engines, but not so much as actually tacking on an extra engine. Extra power could also boost fire rates of weapons, but the percentage should be small, meaning it’s almost always better to add another weapon than another generator.