Ship Base Mass

One thing that I noticed when playing with fighter setups is that the hull itself seems to have zero mass. All hulls seem to start with 1.0 weight (probably to avoid divide by zero errors), but that weight disappears when you equip something to the hull. What this means is that the ship itself has no mass, so the pilot is apparently flying around strapped to an engine. I did the calculations for speed / (thrust / weight) and they always come out to a ratio of 1 regardless of which hull you are using (after adjusting for speed bonuses) and what you have equipped to the hull.

Now you may ask, despite being a tad unrealistic, why exactly is this a problem? Unfortunately it encourages minimalistic setups leaving slots empty, especially for fighters (i.e. achilles fighter + engine 3 + rocket launcher). You would think that 2 engines attached to the fighter would actually be faster, but in most cases it will actually slow the fighter down and make it more expensive. What I propose is that all hulls be given a base weight, with the smaller ships being lighter and the larger ships being heavier. To compensate, all engines would need a significant thrust increase.

The ultimate goal of such a change would be to reduce the cost effectiveness of minimalistic setups and allow for a larger variety and better balance of fighters. This would also help to differentiate some of the smaller cruisers and frigates from their larger brethren.

i do not agree.

if you are going to increase the ship’s weight and yet increase the thrust on engines, what’s the point? we’re not trying to make someone think they’ll be enveloped in space, we don’t need to be over realistic if it’s just going to be more work for cliff and not change gameplay. and the anchilles are in their rightful place, along with other rebel fighters – being some of the best fighters out there!

It makes a big difference. Giving ship hulls differing weights means that you can make ships more or less maneuverable even when they’re module-free, and adding a few more ways in which hulls are different doesn’t seem like a bad thing to me.

I think it’s an interesting point. It is unfortunate that the numbers mean you can make a slower ship by adding an engine… but changes like this need careful thought because they will, by definition, cause a lot of exiting challenges to become unbalanced, which is a bit annoying.

It’s the fact that the hull is powering the weapon system and engine. This can be done with some of the other ship classes, but those designs (which are usually quite ineffective) do not pose a problem like the rocket fighters do. Fighters do not have crew or the additional power drain of a shield to worry about… the presence or absence of a plant is dividing fighters into two classes.

Unfortunately some races would need an overhaul before logistical changes get crazy. Empire has nothing but 2 module 1 hardpoint fighters. They’d be incapable of making a single armored design if, say, a plant was required.

The rocket launcher does seem a bit underbudget on weight, though.