cliffski wrote:Revisiting this so as to ask for some more opinions, as I am experimenting with it today :D I'm linking it to the slot, rather than the weapon, which I think makes more sense, and for some more interesting decisions about equipping weapons and selecting hulls.
I agree with you.
I can support that, as long as the total number of weapon slots aboard the majority of GSB2 hulls is high enough, and blessed with a useful enough array of overlapping firing arcs, as to allow a total number of installed weapons that's sufficient to minimize lethal blind spots. (I don't expect blind spots to be completely absent in GSB2; just minimized.) This is crucial because if firing arcs are truly being implemented for the sequel game, they absolutely should also be 100% applicable to Point Defense systems, EMP Cannons, Target Painters, etc. -- PD being the most important of these, by far! -- not just for the offensive devices that rack up actual damage points on the target.
That, coupled with the fact of some firing arcs will surely overlap with numerous others on a ship while other arcs will overlap only slightly (or even not at all???), is going to concentrate firepower along some angles while greatly weakening it on other angles. Therefore, in order to not be too dangerously limited, every hull class in GSB2 that also existed in GSB1 is going to need noticeably (in some cases significantly) more weapon slots than it had in the original game. Implementing that change will be a benefit to gameplay in general (after all, we're here in order to get the maximum extent of pew-pew-pew! :P ), but will also be enough to achieve the "economy of scale" needed for firing-arc intricacies to bring to GSB2 at least as many tactical rewards as well as boundaries.
A potential problem is that, if the ship is given an overly narrow gun traverse for each weapon slot, the ship is going to be much too easily pecked to death with impunity by any attackers. That runs a substantial risk of draining the fun out of the game via having too many cheap kills. Of course I haven't forgotten how one aspect of combined arms operations means bringing along enough specialized "wingmen" to cover you. I just want to make certain that you resist the temptation to design each individual ship's firing arcs too creatively in such a way that cuts too close to the bone. ;)
While GSB2's ship diversity should be broader than that of GSB1, I think that we shouldn't have a gamewide firing-arc environment where every ship's officers are overly busy fretting about their own ship's "unshielded thermal exhaust port" to be able to carry out a successful attack against another ship. Here's what I mean...Starship AI code will need to take into account in which angles the ship enjoys heavy overlapping attack firepower, in which angles there is dangerously weak defense firepower, and steer the ship in accordance with those factors while also overriding them when necessary as a result of applying the human player's exact Combat Orders. The AI will need to be really good at meshing those imperatives together, because it cannot plan ahead to the same extent that a person can, nor can it actually think -- only the human player in charge grasps "the big picture".
Cliff, we have not yet begun to discuss the relationship between the following inter-related things:
- 1) The average traverse (width) values that GSB2 firing arcs will need;
2) The different kinds of tactical roles ships will have based upon the width of their firing arcs;
3) The average number of how many super-wide, wide, medium, narrow, super-narrow mounts will exist on each hull size;
4) The average number of how many forward, aft, left side, right side, and 360-degree (if any) mounts on each hull size;
5) Total number of all weapon slots per average hull size.
Also, this entire subject relates to GSB2's new spinal-mount weapons -- which, at a minimum, should cause immense damage to their target (16-20X the damage from the strongest GSB1 cruiser-sized weapon, scaled-up to GSB2 levels) -- and the weapon slots into which they can be installed.
We need to nail down some kind of preliminary numbers for the spread/arc angle for this type of mounting; I don't think that limiting them to a ultra-narrow, 1-degree straight line is necessarily the best plan. But making spinal slots able to traverse across more than, say, 22.5 degrees (one-quarter of a right angle) might not be a great idea, either. I think there's a happy medium between those extremes.
As we ascend the scale of hull sizes, we come to the question of how many spinal-mount gun slots "should" a ship have, if it's designed as being worthy of having any at all?
Depending on the other stats of those giant weapons, I could easily see the biggest ships having several (5 ?), while cruisers might have only one or two at most.
And should they all have the "traditional" (but useful) forward centerline orientation???
Hell, I can even see some desirability for forward oblique (60-degree offset from centerline; front-left or front-right) spinal mounts, and even aft centerline ones!
Oh, and one last thing:
All firing-arc stats must be made completely moddable.