Shields should (usually) be visible on ships.

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PM
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Shots do not need to hit the visible shield. They hit the ship, and the shield flickers or something. This is not a problem if the shield is a thin outline. For an example in action, look up Vindicators arcade (tank game) at YouTube.

Visible shields are nice because we can see shields on the enemy (or your ship if you do not look at the HUD) at a glance, and watching the shields flicker or change color as their strength changes is a nice touch.
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JohnBWatson
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PM wrote:Shots do not need to hit the visible shield. They hit the ship, and the shield flickers or something. This is not a problem if the shield is a thin outline. For an example in action, look up Vindicators arcade (tank game) at YouTube.

Visible shields are nice because we can see shields on the enemy (or your ship if you do not look at the HUD) at a glance, and watching the shields flicker or change color as their strength changes is a nice touch.
Exactly what I was thinking.
bzm3r
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PM wrote:Visible shields are nice because we can see shields on the enemy (or your ship if you do not look at the HUD) at a glance, and watching the shields flicker or change color as their strength changes is a nice touch.
I think it takes away from gameplay. You should have a targeting computer that is able to give you shield strength information, and only then should you know how strong shields are.

If anything, we should have a combat system where targeting computers only give you an estimate of enemy shield strength, based on the quality of the targeting computer, previous experience with enemies, and so on. In my dream world, you might even be able to hack an enemy ship's computer to *purposefully* throw off the shield strength estimate given by the targeting computer.

Plus, if you can constantly see shields, it means that *a lot* of power is being wasted by the shield system as visible light. So, from a sci-fi standpoint, its very flakey.

I guess the explanation for visible shields could be: "it's a HUD effect painted on by the targeting computer, for easier presentation of information to the pilot". So, maybe my points aren't necessarily valid. That would also solve the "increased hit box size" issue, since the visible shield is only a HUD effect, and the actual honeycomb effect only shows up when the shield is hit.
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Ttech
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Personally this might be a very distracting element that would be visible for most ships. Maybe an icon when you have enhanced huds, but a full visual might be very distracting.
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Vachtra
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I'd have to agree that visible shields would more distract from the game play. If the shield on the other hand actually extended past the ship as in the domina power sustain (at least I think it does) then the shield being visible and useful for defending escorted ships would make more sense. Also at that point a variable extension / power ratio would be neat too. That is to say if you want to extend your shields out twice as far then the shield would significantly reduce in strength but it might be what you need in a situation.
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Ttech wrote:Personally this might be a very distracting element that would be visible for most ships. Maybe an icon when you have enhanced huds, but a full visual might be very distracting.
I'm all for additional HUD enhancement ROMS(and possibly a few more negative ones), and showing shield strength on ships without visible shields would be nice, but I still think giving a few rarer shields visible effects might be nice. The Iocrym and Trenton, at least, could make it work, given their rarity and alien nature.

On a similar topic, perhaps the health bars for capital ships should be linked to a ROM rather than being there by default. I feel like a stock civilian ship wouldn't really need such a function, especially if targeting programs are considered superfluous.
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