Forums » Suggestions

Temp Shields

Apr 24, 2003 drageo link
Might of been mentioned before, might already of been implemented.

Simply buy a pack of 10 temporary shields from the dock and each one lasts say 20 seconds.

Don't know costs or how well they would protect you, but it would provide some help in protecting your ship against missiles etc.

Perhaps only the bus could have a shield, or only bigger ships etc.

Or a missile redirector shield which just redirects the missiles to next nearest target.

These ideas would allow for some great graphics and stuff.

Apr 24, 2003 gregpooh link
Don't know if I like the Idea of shielding that makes you invulnerable even for a very short period of time, too much room for abuse. I am, however a big fan of the shield concept and would love to see some kind of regenerating protection on the ships; particularly if the coverage was broken down into different locations. (front, back, sides)
Apr 24, 2003 Celebrim link
I'm opposed to both shields granting invincibility and shields that are merely regenerating hit points, but I won't go there again.
Apr 24, 2003 Suicidal Lemming link
Celebrim, imagine you have 2 objects.
Object 1) 1" thick sheet of styrophom
Object 2) 1" thick sheet of titanium

Ok, now lets give you two tools
Tool 1) C4
Tool 2) Axe

IF you use the C4 on the strofome you will waste it, if you use the axe on the titanium you will waste it, imagine the styrofom as sheilds and titanium as armor.

C4 are rockets, axe is energy weapons. Energy weapons are good against sheilds, rockets are good against armor, sheilds will be easy to get by it is just there to stop people from being nuked effectively, also screamers would do both damage because they use energy.
Apr 24, 2003 Urza link
actualy i think you'll have better luck trying to waste the titanium with the C4...
Apr 24, 2003 Celebrim link
SL: Let me ask you a question. Do you play EVN?

It seems to me that every side of the shield debate is basically saying, 'I wants shields implemented the way I'm familiar with.'

Yes, I do think that some weapons working better against shields and others against armor could concievably be used to make for a more tactically rich environment. But I really think that is a secondary problem - at least in the game I would want to be playing. I at this point do not know for sure that the game I want to be playing is the game that the devs want to make, although there is every sign that they are similar.

In the game I want to be playing, there is a rich sci-fi universe with all the attendent elements of a classic space opera. That is to say there are big capital ships, merchants, privateers, and daring ace star fighters. I could care less if this universe has shields so long as it supports that rich environment, and the only things I want to see added to the game are things that support that (to my mind) currently unsupported environment and NOT things that resemble the other games I have played just because that is the way I am familiar with.


That said, my primary interest in shields/armor is in making interactions between fighters and capital ships interesting, and as such I don't care if fighters ever get shields, but I think that giving capital ships some sort of 'armor' or 'shields' is one approach to making that interaction interesting. There may be others.

And I haven't seen a regenerating shields system described, nor do I know of one which is particularly useful for solving that problem I'm most interested in.

Apr 24, 2003 Pyro link
"Do you play EVN?"
Do you really need to ask that? :P Ory'hara... Ory'hara... Mmm... Iuso's Raven with modpersships and lotsa upgrades... *drool*
Apr 24, 2003 Suicidal Lemming link
Listen, if you have been reading my posts ever since i came back, you would realise, yes i do play evn, i like the way it is handled, i don't want invulnerability, thats like saying "Hey 2 avalons comeing this way, click, hah no harm done!", and with that you can simply turbo to the avalons quickly.

And adding sheilds to the game is very important to this 'games' goal, to test a game engine, and the game engine is supposed to have many features, a space game engine without sheilds is like eggs without bacon!

(oh and to you 'new' people like pyro\renegade, yes i did take a break, not dureing your time though)

Hey a1k0n (or anyone who has acces to that data), do you think you could tell me the date i joined?
Apr 24, 2003 Celebrim link
I don't keep track of who plays what. I do know what EVN's feature set is, and I gathered from the feature set that you were trying to impose on Vendetta that you had played EVN.

"a space game engine without sheilds is like eggs without bacon!"

Which tells me only that having shields in the game would be good for marketing purposes. It tells me nothing about whether it would actually be good for the gameplay. And while there are good marketing reasons for worshiping sacred cows, there are also good marketing reasons for being original and different.

I'm glad you understand why invulnerability would be bad. I can come up with worse scenarios than that.

Can you explain to me what problem regenerating shields is supposed to solve? Can you explain to me what problem having SFB style shield facings is supposed to solve? In other words, if you are drawing on features from other games because you liked the way they worked in those games, can you explain what they are supposed to do in the context of this one.

Apr 24, 2003 Pyro link
Say you accidentally smack into a roid while exploring... Wouldn't it be nice to not be running around at 50% armor because the closest dock is 20 or 30 jumps away?
Apr 24, 2003 Celebrim link
So are you suggesting that the reason we should have shields is because it allows people to get away with being clumsy and incautious?

For that matter, are there other ways to protect a ship from accidental collisions that don't involve regenerating shields, and why shouldn't we also consider them as a solution to this 'problem'?

PS: No, it wouldn't. Maybe it is the DM in me, but I think that everything should have a price. Even when I'm a PC, the 'campaign' I want to play in is one that tests my skills and doesn't give me freebies.
Apr 24, 2003 Spellcast link
I would not mind the idea of a shield linked to battery power, provided it could be turned on or off.

A sheild is designed to protect a ship, against a small amount of fire it should be able to completely protect the ship at the expense of draining battery power in porportion to the amount of damage it deflects (say 1 power per 20 damage,which works out to 50 power out of every 1000 damage). also I think that if you have an ACTIVE SHIELD you should be unable to shoot out through it (to prevent pirates from using it to kill noobies who would be unable to deal enough damage to drop the shield and the hull) on this note I think a shield should have a charge time, say 5 seconds.. once you turn it on it takes x (i'm thinking at least 5) seconds to power up. (to prevent the pirate from making an attack, flicking on the sheld, absorbing the counter, dropping the shield firing again etc etc.)

obviously there are some problems with this approach. and as ususal these are only rough suggestions.
Apr 24, 2003 Celebrim link

Well, at least you are willing to consider alternative approaches.

Ok, basically the 'X energy for X protection' is the 'mana shield' model of the shield. Is there the potential that this will in the end increase the damage inflicted when you are seriously hit, as you not only take damage but are then 'stunned' and inable to respond to the threat because you have lost energy as well?

As for the other suggestion, that you should not be able to shoot through an active shield, in my opinion this is a short sighted limitation on the shield because it not only fails to address the principal reason for having shields, it actually worsen the problems shields are intended to solve. If you cannot shoot through an active shield, then the shield becomes more of a hinderance to a capital ship (which must stave off multiple attackers at once to be effective) than a help.

However, I salute you for noticing the other problem with that approach and attempting to devise a solution. As you probably decided, it turns shields into something that computers have an absolute 'reflex' advantage in controling - in that they can also toggle the shields on and off faster than a human and exploit a briefly down shield better. You might as well remove the pilot from the equation, unless you limited the time required to restore shields to something reasonable for human reflex.

So despite the problems, that's good brainstorming nonetheless.
Apr 25, 2003 Spellcast link
hmm an interesting point about the cap ships. i'll address that later on. (btw this is a longish post)

I do not think that it would apply any extra damage to the ship simply because you've run out of energy for the shield, the detrement is already there in the fact that you have no turbo/weapons of your own without energy. The problem with this is that it leaves traders in a veunerable position vs pirates, as you have to have full energy to warp, the pirate hammers on the shield and keeps you from jumping. (I've had time to think since last night) this could be solved by allowing ships to use cargo space/weapons pods for extra batteries, and then allowing you to link specific modules to specific batteries, eg 1 battery for the engine, 1 for the weapons, & 1 for the shields. of course this just creates new problems, for instance keeping track of each battery would require extra battery indicators on the hud, tho maybe something like the cargo tab that could be turned on/off would be nice.

on to the next point, about not being able to fire through an active shield. I dont see anything unreasonable about this, the theory is that a shield is a barrier of energy that deflects/dissapates the force of beams/projectiles that impact it. It's designed for defense, not to help with offense, if the idea above (About extra batteries and linking them to specific items were implemented) my trade ship (a centaur) would have 3 fast charge batteries, 2 to the shield and 1 to the engine, and no weapons.

To be honest, I've always found the star trek/star wars type of shield that you can shoot through to be kind of silly from a physics perspective. (how does the energy in the shield know which direction the energy thats hitting it comes from? star trek at least explained it by the theory that the "frequency" of the energy in the shield and the energy in the weapon fired out were the same, but I have a whole different set of arguments with that that don't really apply here.)

Ok capital ships, I left this for the end of the post because it draws on some of the points I've already made.
Capital ships are not going to be powered by batteries, (at least I hope not, I'd hate to think of the number of heavy batteries you'd have to buy to run enough firepower to make a capital ship worth the size of the hull. I would definitely like to see a different type of power for a cap ship.) If capital ships have some kind of constant power generation system, then the amount of damage it would take to drop the shield on a cap ship is only going to be accessable 2 ways. another capital ship, or a LOT of avalon's. nothing else comes close.
To me, a capital ship should be more or less inveunerable to small fighter craft firing beam weapons of fighter craft size. The only way for small fighters (such as we are using now) to harm a Capital ship IMO when the shields are on should be to fly inside the shields (have a null shield area around the docking bays so that the capital ship can laucnch it's own fighters out) and take out specific turrets/modules on the capital ship hull. of course this would be very dangerous and potentially suicidal, it's a capital ship after all.

This brings us to the two ways that I feel a capital ship shields should be veunerable. WE'll start with avalon's because of the current uproar about them.
I like them as an anti-cap ship weapon, however.. they need some safety features. an arming time is the main one. give them a flight time of at least 10 seconds before they arm, they would still be useful against capital ships because a cap ship is not going to be able to change course very fast, but 10 seconds to a fighter is a lifetime. other than that. I think they are fairly good.
other capital ships. should balance much like fighter vs fighter as far as combat goes, capital ships should not be much use against fighters due to speed issues (think open water, a speedboat WILL outrun an oil tanker), and captial ship vs capital ship shopuld work on a biggger scale with less maneuvering and more strategy (as opposed to fighter tactics) with combat at MUCH larger distances and slower speeds.

unlike with fighters, turning the shields on and off is an option in combat with capital ships because 5 seconds of powerup time is not going to allow a killing blow to be dealt since cap ships should have huge hit points and I see the combat taking place over longer spans of time between shots.. I can see the bridge of a cruiser now.. (
(nav officer) range 3 kilometers.
(captain) shields down,
(gunners mate)all torpedo rooms aim and fire.
(nav officer) range 2.7 kilometers
(gunners mate)fire volley number 2, bringing beam cannons to bear on target.
(nav officer) incoming!!!!
(captain) bring ship right 10 degrees, cut speed in half and rotate 45 degrees down. shields up!!!

Shields on a fighter size ship to me are an aid to those who do not wish to participate in combat. otherwise, they become exploitable by the players that do want to fight. on a capital ship, manual control by a team is going to make the difference.
Apr 25, 2003 Celebrim link
Spellcast: Extra batteries are an extremely powerful advantage. While I do want to see some ships with 2 battery slots, I'm not convinced that it is balanced to have ships be able to exchange cargo for advantages as large as battery slots - although exchanging them for extra ammo or other small combat advantages would be fine.

Besides which, any ship that is allowed to equip a second battery MUST be required to equip a second engine in order to keep not only the balance but very basic notions about game play (such that the ammount of energy available for turbo is limited unless you take other large penalties). In other words, mounting two batteries should equate to doubling your turbo costs as well.

Mounting four or more batteries probably needs other disadvantages inherent in the design otherwise you have a 'first stike' problem with agile ships being able to mount enough firepower to kill foes in a single blow (one of the real problems with multiple railguns).

And as you noted, separating the energy pool out involves interface design issues.

Please keep physics out of the discussion. If you are bothered by the lack of physics in concensus space combat (movies, games, or otherwise), something like shields are the least of your worries. I have 12 hours of college physics and quite a bit of engineering and that knowledge is not necessarily helpful in designing or playing games. :)

Capital ships should be equiped with batteries. 'Ship's Batteries' which fit in 'Ship's Battery' slots. A small ship's battery might produce 300 power/second and have a storage capacity of 6000 energy. A heavy ship's battery might produce 40 power/second and have a capacity of 10,000 energy. Bigger capital ships could mount multiple ship's batteries.

If capital ships are to be interesting at all, they need finite resources too if only because they are so much less manueverable (by consensus) than fighters.

You don't mind having the shields stop all weapons fire in or out , but you want to allow ships to fly through shields without smashing themselves? Explain that one to me?

We are basically in agreement over Avalons.

I agree that having the 5 second bring the shield back up time solves the flicker problem. I don't think it solves the problem of capital ship versus horde of fighters in a way that is fun for both the capital ship and the fighters.

Apr 25, 2003 Renegade ++RIP++ link
multiple batteries would have been a good idea,

at least it gives you a chance of running from pirates if this need arrises. One for the shield and one for the engine.

Now I don't know why I would even want to put 2 engines on, I wouldn't even need 2 batteries for 1 engine, because if you have a shield and you are willing to run, then you just wait untill you have full energy on your engine jump and start running again with your shield up. This way the pirat won't be able to hit you critically.


Apr 25, 2003 Celebrim link
Renegade: I think you are missing my point.

A second battery is a tremendous advantages. With every advantage there should come a coresponding disadvantage. If a ship can mount two batteries, turbo requirements are reduced to being trivial. Turbo becomes limitless. The choice to use turbo becomes trivial. This destroys a basic disadvantage that leads to tactics and gameplay. So to balance the increased advantage of a second battery, you force the player to mount a second engine using the RP explanation that a battery is so heavy (maybe batteries are the single largest source of ship weight) that additional proplusion is required to move the ship in the manner expected (without the second engine the ship becomes more sluggish than a Serco Prom on barbituates). This doubles the turbo requirements, leaving the ship with basically the same amount of turbo power and manueverablity - but double the excess energy to feed weapons with. That is in my opinion a balanced way to handle it, though there are undoubtably others.
Apr 25, 2003 Renegade ++RIP++ link
so for instance I mount 2 batteries, therefore I need to mount 2 engines. Now i put one of them to a shield and I put the other to the engine.

My battery is going down a lot faster then with only one batterie but the advantage is that my shield will now be able to function independent from the engine. Right ?

So in short when my shieldbatterie is death, I can still boost or when my engine batterie is death I can still take advantage of the shield being up. But when they are both wasted, then I'm screwed :D

Apr 25, 2003 Spellcast link
actually celebrim I DONT want fighters to be able to fly in and out of raised shields. I suggested a null shield area around the capital ship docking bay to let them in/out. However we can quite happily do away with this and require the shields to be down to launch fighters from the ship, not a problem as far as i'm concerned.

As to the battery issue.. the ships batteries you suggested are essentially the same thing I envision. I apologize, my phrasing was not as good as it could have been on that particular point.

Back to the fighters vs cap ships idea.

fighters have no buisness being able to kill a cap ship with beam weapons. and if even a swarm of fighters can't take down the shields of a cap ship without avalons, then what possible reason would the cap ship have for firing back. for that matter even your small ships battery and the shield damage/energy ratio I suggested allow this. 300 power / second = 6000 damage / second deflected without even draining the battery. of course all this could be tweaked.
besides.. as for being fun for both players.. if you have a capital ship, and don't have a fighter escort, you're nuts. if i'm in a cap ship, my target is other cap ships.. not those pesky little fighters that are gonna take an hour and a half to destroy me. thats plenty of time to call in help from friends/teammates. I'm more concerned with that enemy cap ship out there thats pumping 10 round bursts of avalons or worse at me.
Apr 25, 2003 Celebrim link
Well, sorta. Except I haven't said whether we are using shields or what shield model we are using or whether you are even able to tie a battery to a specific system.

All I've said is that if you are going to allow to batteries on a ship, then you have to impose some sort of extra disadvantage like doubling turbo cost.