The real DcCoy (er... I mean, "Decoy")


#1

I noticed in a recent battle that my decoy missiles were often stopping when only a few of them had been shot down by enemy point defense turrets. After watching them more closely for a while, I think I have figured out what is going on: Like regular missiles, there is one decoy warhead that is considered “real”, along with others that are the “decoys”. f the “real” decoy is hit the “decoy” decoys self destruct. This seems exceedingly silly, since the whole point of a decoy missile is that all of the warheads are decoys.

I suppose there can be an additional discussion on the behavior of regular missiles and decoys, since for some missile designs it might not be obvious when the real warhead was knocked out. Should the rest of the decoys continue their flight rather than self destructing? Some real warheads might look obviously different when they get knocked out by point defense, but I would think that better decoys would duplicate the real warhead’s secondary explosion characteristics to a certain extent so that the defense systems wouldn’t be able to tell they’d succeeded. From the description of the Point Defense Scanner module I assume there is some chance for a defense turret to see through the decoys and know which is the real warhead, but because there’s nothing visible to this, I don’t really know how it works (I’ve never used those of modules myself). Perhaps a ship with one could tell when it’s destroyed the right warhead and ignore the rest, while non-scanner equipped ships would target them all?


#2

I was confused when I first read this, but I get it now. You are suggesting that unless a PD scanner has correctly identified the real missile, that the pd weapons should be able to continue shooting at (and thus be tied up by) the decoys?


#3

I have been wondering about decoys myself and think that Missiles with Decoys, to my mind anyway, these decoys would be linked to the guidance system of the real missile and should either die when the real missile is destroyed - as happens now - or should just go dumb and fly in a straight line until fuel runs out and just stop and die.

Decoy Missiles from a Decoy Launcher I think should be independent of each other and allow the Firing Player to spam the area with decoys…this could have balance implications - I haven’t used Decoy Launchers to date as I haven’t seen any value in using them - but that’s just me lol


#4

That was more or less my second suggestion, yes. It does make some amount of sense the way it is now (you can assume that a decoy looks different to sensors when it is destroyed), but I think that missiles would be much more effective if the decoys didn’t self destruct when the real missile was shot down.

The first issue was regarding the module that shoots all decoys. Currently it actually launches a “real” warhead (that does zero damage if it arrives) and if that one is shot down, the other “decoy decoys” self destruct, just like the decoys for regular missiles. Even if you keep the existing behavior for the regular ones, this needs to be fixed if the decoy modules are ever to be useful (their short range already limits their value a lot; I only put them on my target-painting front-line tanks).

My preferred solution would be for all decoy missiles to keep flying until they are shot down or they reach their target. The PD scanner would have a modest (<50%?) chance of telling the PD turrets on it’s ship that a given missile in their range is a decoy (and it would do so for all of the missiles launched by the decoy launcher module). It wouldn’t explicitly say which targets are real because there may not be any. It might make sense for a decoy that was Identified this way to be ignored by the whole fleet (under the assumption that there is a fleet-wide PD fire control network), and perhaps a visual effect could show when it happens (the flare could go out or change color, for example).