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Rehash of an old idea(ship armament configuration)...

Posted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:25 pm
by Legacy
I've been playing CM again after a little hiatus, and I still think it would be neat to be able to select missile loadout at the beginning of missions.

But there are certain objections to that kind of system:
1. The armament of a given ship is actually part of its design, and has a significant impact on how a ship is used, e.g., bombers have Plectrons and Yatari, fighters carry Daycorns.

2. The price of a ship has to be recalculated depending on whether that ship has all one type of missile, or whether it's got a variety of missile types.

3. You would have to spend a lot of time configuring ships before missions.

4. The AI would have to have some sort of mechanism for deciding its equipment that would be both appropriate to the mission, and still leave it a variety of weapons.

The way I see it, there are two possible solutions:
A. Leave the ship designer and cost system exactly the way it is. Then, in the pre-mission ship select area, add an interface to swap out missiles. This system would address concern #'s 1, 3, and 4 by providing a default loadout. To address #2, the system would treat the different missile types in a design as separate magazines. A ship loaded with two racks of Plectrons and three racks of Daycorns would have two magazines. One could hold two sets of one missile type, and the other could hold three sets of another missile type, thus maintaining accurate ship cost. You could load both magazines with the same type of missiles, but would in effect be sacrificing the extra two credits that were spent in design to allow for the option of two different missile types. That way, ship cost wouldn't have to be recalculated on the fly.

B. Change the ship designer so that, in addition to current missile configuration, individual universal rack components or missile pods could be added as objects. A pod could be added like other components, and fill up one of the 8/side slots, or even attach over the armor. In which case, the pod would be vulnerable to enemy fire. If it's an internal rack(the better option in my view), like I imagine our current missile selection is stored in, then that's not an issue. The universal weapons rack would have to cost at least seven credits, and possibly weigh more than current missile packs, to keep it balanced. It would provide more flexibility for lighter ships, and allow more expensive ships to opt to not load missiles into their universal mounts in order to cut down on their weight if the pilot doesn't anticipate needing a full compliment.
This system would preserve current missile setups, so ship designs would still have the character of at least a basic default loadout. The cost of the racks should make it cost prohibitive for low-cost ships to have completely modular weapon systems. It would add more character and variety, as some ships would have slightly more firepower, and others will rely on flexibility to accomplish a wider variety of missions, thus addressing #1. Since each rack has its own, more expensive base cost, and leaving the rack empty could lighten the ship at the expense of wasted credits, it solves #2. Since only some ships will have these racks, and probably not many of them, configuration could be quick, and a simple drag and drop interface could be included in the mission planning window, taking care of #3, and for the AI, a randomizer, or simple select criteria(defense missions use these types, attack missions use those) takes care of #4.

Just some thoughts. I don't think it's quite as complex as it sounds. It would actually be sort of akin to the omni slots on battlemechs in Battletech/Mechwarrior, but for missiles, not entire weapon and equipment systems.

Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:24 pm
by TheKangaroo
I don't really know why, but I'd lean towards plan B. Maybe because it'll leave the basic designs untouched and just give an additional toy to custom ships.

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:41 am
by McLauren
I like plan B. That make good sense and would be neat. I would also be nice if the ships were classed. Fighter, Bomber, and multirole. The multirole ships could be the ones that allow for full customization of the loadout. The others could work perhaps the pods idea you described. But there would have to be some limit on the the multirole ships that would encourage players to still fly the other ships, like making multirole ships more expensive or perhaps limiting them in some other way. just a thought.

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:35 pm
by Legacy
McLauren wrote:But there would have to be some limit on the the multirole ships that would encourage players to still fly the other ships, like making multirole ships more expensive or perhaps limiting them in some other way. just a thought.
That's why having each of the multi-purpose missile racks cost at least seven, instead of five like a second of any one missile type would cost.