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Author Topic: Dev Diary #7: Running the Trenches  (Read 2851 times)

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May 02, 2014, 12:27:38 PM

Offline Corey

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Dev Diary #7: Running the Trenches
« on: May 02, 2014, 12:27:38 PM »

Fighters have always been a vital part of space warfare in Star Wars, from destroying the Death Star at Yavin, to single-handedly flying into the command bridge of the Executor and making it take a wrong turn into the other Death Star, to launching Shadow Bombs against the Vong. How we intend to handle fighters has also been one of the most common questions, so we're going to address part of that today.



...Fighter Logistics...

In combat, fighters are going to be a bit more versatile than they are in base Sins, while also being a lot more vulnerable. Essentially, every ship in the mod will have some way to deal with fighters and bombers, but fighters and bombers will also be capable of making much more of an impact on their own. Although they're especially vulnerable to the CR90, Lancer and Asdroni, these ships don't spell extinction for them in the same way the Garda Flak Frigate did for fighters in Sins. We're still working on exact combat balancing however, so right now the more interesting (we feel) and better fleshed-out aspect of fighters is the supply system.



It's important for us to be able to represent in some way the canonical roles and abilities for ships, including fighter complement, without negatively impacting game performance Each ship, instead of having antimatter, now has a value representing the total number of fighters which they could hold, canonically. They are also gated by a second number determining how many squadrons a ship can sustain on the field at one time. Dedicated carriers will be able to sustain more fighters on the field at once. So, for example, the Imperial I can canonically hold in the neighbourhood of 72 fighters. It can maintain 2 of those squadrons on the field at any time. Every time it launches a squadron, 12 of its fighters are subtracted from the total.


The ISDI's unit card, displaying the squadron system.

For performance purposes, however, we're likely to combine the stats of a few fighters in each squadron into one fighter, so we will likely have a squadron of four representing all 12, for example. There are also some very powerful fighters which will be gated by taking up more of your fighter supply than others, for example the Imperial TIE Defender and New Republic K-Wing. The other important part of this system is that the fighter values, once used, do not passively regenerate. You will not be able to hang carriers back, and infinitely spam fighters. This means you have to use your available squadrons more carefully, plan your campaigns more thoroughly. It also makes ships with larger hangars more important strategically because they can be deployed for longer missions away from your own bases, even if tactically they tactically aren't at a huge advantage.  The Remnant will also have a researchable tech which can increase their hangar sizes, allowing them to have extra squadrons available.



...Supply Lines...
You're probably asking, "if my ships don't replenish their own fighters, how do I get them back?" This is part of a larger system which will be explained in its own update. However, the basic principles of this system as it applies to fighters are that you need to rely on resupply/repair stations at your own planets, so you'll often need to rotate fleets between battles after you've established yourself on a new world, and we have dedicated fleet tenders which can (more slowly than the stations) replenish your number of available fighters. These are the Altor for the Remnant, the Hajen for the New Republic, and the Alaria for the Empire of the Hand.

...Mod Progress...
Typically we don't give anything even vaguely resembling a release date or timeline, because there's every chance that whatever we say will be completely wrong. However, it's looking increasingly likely that we'll be able to get something out by the end of the summer. At the very least we should be able to have the first alphas started on the Remnant within a few weeks. I'll say right now that if we feel like the mod needs more time, we won't hesitate to delay it, but I'll be dedicating as much of my free time as possible to it. We're still taking applications for beta and alpha testers, so use the link below to get to the thread for that. We've also started working more on the wiki, which we'll be using instead of a manual. If you see something that's not on it, feel free to fill it in; that's what it's for. Also, we're still taking any ideas, suggestions or feedback for the mod. Especially tech and ability-related, so if you have anything you want to see, we encourage you to post it on the forums or ModDB, or even the Facebook or Steam groups. We check all of them regularly.

Finally, there's something we've been planning off and on for years and leaving some small hints/references for in news posts since the announcement. Recently we've gotten a bit less subtle. Shouldn't be too hard to figure out.

...Further Information...
FAQ Thread - Progress Thread - Tester Signup - Mod Wiki

...Follow the mod...
Forums - Facebook - Steam Group - Youtube

I also have a YouTube channel where I talk about mod development and gaming, do tutorials, and Let's Plays. If you like the content, consider supporting it on Patreon


May 02, 2014, 01:08:57 PMReply #1

Offline Settra

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Re: Dev Diary #7: Running the Trenches
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2014, 01:08:57 PM »
Would it be possible to add techs to "upgrade" older ships fighter complement once the faction has access to newer ships and fighters. IE. older NR ships get the ability to change their fighters to E-wings if they so choose?

Also, dat Nebula
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May 02, 2014, 01:48:05 PMReply #2

Offline Slornie

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Re: Dev Diary #7: Running the Trenches
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2014, 01:48:05 PM »
Really glad that the fighter system has come together in the end, because I'm pretty sure it's caused Corey a few headaches over the past few months.  If my maths is right, the New Republic's Endurance-class Fleet Carrier will have 132 fighter points (11 squadrons)?  Dread to think what the Executor-class will have! :o
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May 02, 2014, 02:09:25 PMReply #3

Offline Mat8876

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Re: Dev Diary #7: Running the Trenches
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2014, 02:09:25 PM »
I always fought how you could have a limit to fighters rather than spawning them at will this is a really big thing for Ascendancy, The mod hasn't been made yet and it already has a lot of potential for being one of the best mods for sins. 
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May 02, 2014, 02:56:35 PMReply #4

Offline Corey

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Re: Dev Diary #7: Running the Trenches
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2014, 02:56:35 PM »
Would it be possible to add techs to "upgrade" older ships fighter complement once the faction has access to newer ships and fighters. IE. older NR ships get the ability to change their fighters to E-wings if they so choose?

Also, dat Nebula

We can't "replace" them per se in any clean way, but it shouldn't matter. Each ship has four fighter slots, and each faction has five our six fighters. You can make it so that launching a particular type of fighter requires a research subject, which we've done for all but the most basic in each faction, being the TIE Fighter/Bomber, X/Y Wing and Nsiss/Syca. So, for example, we can give the Quasar access to X/Y/E/B-Wings, however until the player researches the others, they can only use the first two. The higher tech ships would still have disproportionate access to newer fighters, though. Especially in the New Class program.
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May 03, 2014, 03:11:45 AMReply #5

Offline Meyer

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Re: Dev Diary #7: Running the Trenches
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2014, 03:11:45 AM »
Good to know that you can't just spam fighters at ridiculous rates anymore. And the concept of suppy lines is great, bringing more need for a strategic thought.
And while it's a rebel design the Nebula looks awesome.
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May 03, 2014, 12:46:13 PMReply #6

Offline Corey

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Re: Dev Diary #7: Running the Trenches
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2014, 12:46:13 PM »
Yeah, that might be my new favourite screenshot.
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May 05, 2014, 06:53:51 PMReply #7

Offline Settra

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Re: Dev Diary #7: Running the Trenches
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2014, 06:53:51 PM »
I'm quite curious about the supply lines idea and how far you are able to go with that with Sins. Will there be fuel/ammunition and potentially the need to add personnel to ships that had a severe amount of damage or it won't function as well? Overall a very exciting concept, albeit one that would probably need to be adjusted with game difficulty depending on how far into it you are able to go.
How do I even

May 06, 2014, 04:31:11 PMReply #8

Offline Corey

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Re: Dev Diary #7: Running the Trenches
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2014, 04:31:11 PM »
We can't create variables for the game to use (for this we even had to repurpose antimatter), so we can't do stuff with ammo, fuel or personnel unless we did really complicated stacking buffs which the player wouldn't have access to, would crowd out actual abilities, and would end up being more frustrating than interesting, along with potentially making the game lag to a standstill. It's based more around fleet tenders, supply/repair stations and the degrading performance mechanics. Eventually we may try expanding other aspects of it, but until we have the basics down it's not something we're not going too far with that.
I also have a YouTube channel where I talk about mod development and gaming, do tutorials, and Let's Plays. If you like the content, consider supporting it on Patreon


 

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