Ship classes

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Atarlost
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Sun Jun 07, 2015 5:00 pm

Wolfy and I developed a taxonomy. The introduction of internal structure has messed it up in places , but it's based on roles considered from first principles. Specifically the existence of fixed stargates and stations in predictable orbits.

For my part a lot of my view of gates comes from the Starfire novels by David Weber and Steve White.
Atarlost wrote:This theory of military roles is from long ago IRC discussions between myself and Wolfy regarding TX2. The theory is mostly based on the Ares and Sung force mixes. The Marauders also manage a poor man's version of the force mix used by the major powers.
  • Turret: These are deployed around lightly defended stations in contested areas and in rings around border stargates. Example: Ares turret, Commonwealth turret, Sung turret
  • Fortress: These are larger fixed installations guarding stargates around capitals and other critical systems, and on peaceful borders where they act as customs stations. They require too long to build and add too little value to use on hostile borders, though the Commonwealth may attempt to use CSCs in this role. Examples: Sung Fortress, CSC
  • heavy door knocker: These are big heavily shielded and armored ships for breaking through the above mentioned defenses. They are typified by fast firing or very numerous medium weapons and possibly a single big gun for tackling fortresses. Such ships are the first things through a hostile stargate. Examples: Phobos, Dragon Slaver, Tripoli (when using brutes or broadswords)
  • light door knocker: This is an alternate method of breaching a stargate, trading the risk of an expensive dreadnought for the certainty of losing many cheaper gunships. This role is typified by fire and forget missile armaments. Examples: Britannia, Tundra, Corsair II (with stiletto or broadsword missile load)
  • Heavy Gunship: These are expensive gunships with powerful weapons capable of threatening capital ships. Examples: Tundra, Chasm, Barbary, Steel Slaver (not a typical example, but capable of filling the role because of their cyberdecks)
  • light Gunship: These are cheap gunships for commerce raiding, protecting capital ships and stations from heavy gunships, and acting as cannon fodder. Examples: Centurion, Ronin, Sandstorm, Wind Slaver, any Charon or Marauder gunship except the Barbary
  • cruiser: These are the workhorses of the fleet to be sent through to secure a system once the stargate defenses are breached, or to prevent an enemy who breaches your stargate defenses from having free run of the system. They tend to be smaller and cheaper than doorknockers because they don't have to go through a choke point one at a time, mount the longest range weapons they can, and carry base busters. This can be subdivided into purer bombardment platforms like the Drake and Cometfall and more balanced designs like the Tripoli, Charon Frigate, and Deimos. Examples: Cometfall, Drake, Tripoli, Charon Frigate, Deimos, Aquila, Earth Slaver, Urak Destroyer, Hurin Destroyer
  • Logistical Support: freighters. Examples: Drake, everything with freighter in the name :P
A serious defense would start with a ring of turrets about 10 ls less than their range in radius, a fortress about 10 ls beyond the expected range of enemy doorknockers, a squadron of heavy gunships, and a substantial number of light gunships. Cruisers and more gunships would guard stations deeper in the system and more cruisers would be on patrol.

A serious assault would be lead with a heavy doorknocker to draw fire from defending turrets, followed by light doorknockers to mop them up faster, gunships to drive away defending heavy gunships, and cruisers and light and heavy gunships to secure the system.

A probe would lead with light doorknockers, wait for one to gate back and report the gate clear, and then follow with various gunships and then cruisers.

Not all factions need all roles, but any faction that fancies itself a major player should have most of them. Unless there's a good reason not to we should probably try to have EU art assets for all the roles for all vanilla factions. In my thinking the Huari don't need doorknockers because of their purely defensive strategic posture, and other factions may be in a similar situation. Low tech factions may not be able to practically fill all the roles, especially the heavy gunship which to a significant degree only exists because a few advanced weapons have poor range and need a fast ship to bring them to bear.

In TSB the CW has gained a heavy doorknocker mounting several Katanas and multiple NAMI heavy launchers, a bombardment "cruiser" with sustained XM900 capability, and a heavy gunship using the Earth Industries Plasma Cannon. The Ares have gained a battlecarrier for the fortress role. I believe the Ranx are filled out, though I'm not clear on the details with all the revisions. They may lack doorknockers other than the experimental superdreadnought.

I believe the Huari have adequate coverage, lacking only doorknockers and heavy gunships in TSB. The Urak, unless they're supposed to be expansionist, only really need a freighter, though a heavy gunship using the advance mass driver is possible.

Notable oddballs are the Kobol, who manage to fill the cruiser roles surprisingly well with their missile gunships and massed omni gunships, and the Dwarg, who, if they're expansionist, should probably have a cruiser variant of the behemoth with a longer ranged main gun and certainly need a freighter.
Wolfy wrote:Ok, so I added this just this morning, and am going to give it a spin (note that in my tests I discovered I break the forum tables if I messed up, so I'm keeping it off the main posting panel for now)

I got a start here, thuogh I haven't done all of them yet

[EDIT - pardon the massive space, I need to figure out how to negate that]

Template:

Code: Select all

[tr]
[td]Faction[/td][td]Orientation[/td]
[td]Turret1[/td][td]Turret2[/td]
[td]Fortress[/td][td]Fortress2[/td]
[td]Hvy Doorknocker[/td][td]Light Doorknocker[/td]
[td]Cruiser1[/td][td]Cruiser2[/td]
[td]Adv.Gunship[/td][td]Gunship1[/td]
[td]Gunship2[/td][td]Gunship3[/td]
[td]Freighter1[/td][td]Freighter2[/td]
[/tr]
FactionOrientation Turret1Turret2 FortressFortress2 Hvy DoorknockerLight Doorknocker Cruiser1Cruiser2 Adv.GunshipGunship1 Gunship2Gunship3 Freighter1Freighter2
AresOffensive Ares Sentinel- Battlecarrier (needs name)Canonical Carrier?* PhobosTundra Deimos- ChasmTundra Sandstorm- Polar-
CWBalanced? CW Turret- Militia FortressCSC Monitor (forgot name)Britannia AquilaScorpio EIPC gunship (need name)Britannia Centurion- NAMI freighter (in progress)Aurochs
SungOffensive Sung Turret- Sung FortressSung Citadel Dragonslaver- Earth Slaver- Steel SlaverWind Slaver -- Sung Transport-
Ranx EmpireOffensive Heavy Turret (WIP)Light Turret (WIP) Ranx Fortress- Super RDN (WIP)Adv. Gunship (WIP) RDN- Adv. Gunship (WIP)Gunship -- Military Freighter (WIP)-
MaraudersDiffuse Offensive -- Fortress- TripoliCorsair II TripoliDrake BarbaryCorsair I/II Viking I/II- DrakeRaid Platform
AnsabiDefensive Positron TurretIon Turret Fortress (WIP)- Neutronium CS- Oxygen (WIP)- Silicon (WIP)Carbon -- Cesium (Hvy, WIP)Hydrogen (Light)
DomainBalanced Micronode (WIP)Subnode Defense Node (WIP)- NodeshipNo name (WIP) Cruiser (need name)- Heavy Gunship (need name)Drone Gunship (need name) -- Heavy Freighter (WIP, name)Light Freighter
CoalitionDefensive Turret (WIP)Heavy Turret (WIP) Fortress- KomodoCobra PerentieWolf (CI, WIP) CobraViper Drone shipCoyote (CI) Husky (CI)-
SolaritesOffensive ?? Fortress (WIP)- No name (WIP)No name (WIP) No name (WIP)- No name (WIP)No name (WIP) -- No name (WIP)-
*Someone found references to this in a TODO list in the source code
Wolfy wrote:Right, the roles themselves are idealized; you can sort of think of it in a way like Plato's ideal forms - the planners & tacticians & military theorists create this idealized nomenclature (like physicists describing physics with their mathematical models), and then the engineers take this information and make the best of what they can fulfilling the design requirements that the brass want (which in turn is usually governed by their own budgets and strategic views)

I definitely agree that we don't want to have cookie-cutter factions. To that end, we've been pretty careful about ensuring diversity. For example, the Phobos is still rather centric around its main gun, and has much less secondary weaponry than the CW's Monitor (which has no truly primary weaponry, though it does carry a set of heavy NAMI launchers); this means that the actual ideal function of each ship is different. Its also an older design (if by merit of the CW Monitor design being of the same vintage as the Gen 4 CSCs)

I also have syrtian war era Ares ships planned for example (I'm thinking of making a library of Syrtian War era content for the people who want to make registered mods of the area; I've already gotten two requests on IRC) - a number of the factions will have older-era ships (though not all, for example, the Coalition gave most of their old, dated ships to the Rean Empire), but some still have them in active military service (such as the Gen I and Gen II CSCs by the CW Fleet; the smaller carriers built prior to the CSC Gen 1 have been mostly given to the militia, and a number were sold off as surplus; for example, we were thinking that one or two mothballed ones may have been obtained by Korolov, and would play heavily in an assault-on-charon mission)

There is also a good deal of duplication/overlap going on where some ships can be used in multiple roles, but the table doesn't show that very well without becoming ridiculously large and complex.
Atarlost wrote:Yeah, the way a role is filled varies.

As an example, the Heavy doorknockers of the major vanilla powers:
The Phobos is the quintessential brick: slow and very tough. It uses a small number of rapid fire turrets to mop up hostile turrets and a single big gun to take out fortresses.
The Worldship is also a brick, but it uses a bunch of guns the same size with a slightly weaker high WMD weapon for station killing.
The Dragon Slaver is not a brick at all. It's fast and maneuverable even for a small capital ship and should actually be able to sweep along the turret ring blasting them with its main gun faster than it can kill them with its particle beams, which it uses more for defense against gunships.

The current Phobos and Worldship are capable of a supercruiser role. The Dragonslaver is not capable of the traditional cruiser role with its short ranged main gun, but with its superior speed it can probably be used as cavalry support for an Earth Slaver battle line.

Not every faction needs every type either. Defensive factions don't need doorknockers. Low population/wealth ratio factions may skip the lighter gunships. If a faction lacks a type, though, there should be a reason. Every faction is looking at what their neighbors are doing and should be trying to answer those roles as best it can within its technological and sociological constraints.

Filling all the roles is also good prep work for the possible future Transcendence RTS.
Literally is the new Figuratively

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JohnBWatson
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Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:20 am

Atarlost wrote:Wolfy and I developed a taxonomy. The introduction of internal structure has messed it up in places , but it's based on roles considered from first principles. Specifically the existence of fixed stargates and stations in predictable orbits.
System generation seems to work in a way that suggests stargates are in orbit rather than perfectly fixed in space. As the universe is expanding, a stargate that is fixed would quickly lose its position.

Apologies if this was what you meant.
Atarlost wrote:This theory of military roles is from long ago IRC discussions between myself and Wolfy regarding TX2. The theory is mostly based on the Ares and Sung force mixes. The Marauders also manage a poor man's version of the force mix used by the major powers.
I'd think that the Ares, Sung, and Marauders would have different needs, and thus different force mixes. The Sung are a slaver empire, so I'd imagine their fleets are based around defending against retaliation from inferior, less organized forces, and raiding less defended targets for more slaves. The Marauders are pirates, so their forces are built around destroying and looting freighters while avoiding attacks by the Militia. The Ares are a full fledged military force, so I'd imagine they have a conventional army.
Turret: These are deployed around lightly defended stations in contested areas and in rings around border stargates. Example: Ares turret, Commonwealth turret, Sung turret
There's a logistics issue in maintaining turrets far from any base of operations and easily susceptible to hit and run attacks. Also, turrets tend to be short ranged and in need of protection from gunships at the stations they guard.
[*]Fortress: These are larger fixed installations guarding stargates around capitals and other critical systems, and on peaceful borders where they act as customs stations. They require too long to build and add too little value to use on hostile borders, though the Commonwealth may attempt to use CSCs in this role. Examples: Sung Fortress, CSC
Seems reasonable as a role, but I'd add that they don't have to be too close to stargates. Their main weaponry should not reach the gate, but their gunships should be able to easily patrol it.
[*]heavy door knocker: These are big heavily shielded and armored ships for breaking through the above mentioned defenses. They are typified by fast firing or very numerous medium weapons and possibly a single big gun for tackling fortresses. Such ships are the first things through a hostile stargate. Examples: Phobos, Dragon Slaver, Tripoli (when using brutes or broadswords)
I don't see why the Marauders would want to breach a stargate, they have nothing to gain from large scale war. It'd be like the Somali pirates charging Washington Navy Yard.

In any case, I'd say that doorknockers fit my definition of dreadnoughts. A dreadnought gates into a system, destroys the main defensive infrastructure, and leads major offenses.
[*]Heavy Gunship: These are expensive gunships with powerful weapons capable of threatening capital ships. Examples: Tundra, Chasm, Barbary, Steel Slaver (not a typical example, but capable of filling the role because of their cyberdecks)
Steel Slavers don't really present a threat to anything with internal HP. I'd say that their role is more of a support gunship, disabling an enemy's shields and armament to give the Wind Slavers a chance.
[*]light Gunship: These are cheap gunships for commerce raiding, protecting capital ships and stations from heavy gunships, and acting as cannon fodder. Examples: Centurion, Ronin, Sandstorm, Wind Slaver, any Charon or Marauder gunship except the Barbary
I'd break the cannon fodder from the dedicated defender units. A Centurion is intended to come back from a mission and defend stations for long periods of time, a Sandstorm isn't.
[*]cruiser: These are the workhorses of the fleet to be sent through to secure a system once the stargate defenses are breached, or to prevent an enemy who breaches your stargate defenses from having free run of the system. They tend to be smaller and cheaper than doorknockers because they don't have to go through a choke point one at a time, mount the longest range weapons they can, and carry base busters. This can be subdivided into purer bombardment platforms like the Drake and Cometfall and more balanced designs like the Tripoli, Charon Frigate, and Deimos. Examples: Cometfall, Drake, Tripoli, Charon Frigate, Deimos, Aquila, Earth Slaver, Urak Destroyer, Hurin Destroyer
Cometfalls and Drakes can't do much for patrolling. I'd say they're dedicated offensive units that carry out lower grade offenses than dreadnoughts, such as quick attacks on individual stations or CSCs. Otherwise, a fairly good role. As I see it, cruisers would function as a means of hindering enemy logistics and scouting operations, and providing support in the event of a major offensive or defensive operation.
A serious defense would start with a ring of turrets about 10 ls less than their range in radius, a fortress about 10 ls beyond the expected range of enemy doorknockers, a squadron of heavy gunships, and a substantial number of light gunships. Cruisers and more gunships would guard stations deeper in the system and more cruisers would be on patrol.

A serious assault would be lead with a heavy doorknocker to draw fire from defending turrets, followed by light doorknockers to mop them up faster, gunships to drive away defending heavy gunships, and cruisers and light and heavy gunships to secure the system.

A probe would lead with light doorknockers, wait for one to gate back and report the gate clear, and then follow with various gunships and then cruisers.


I'd put the turrets slightly farther out(10 ls more than their range), but having a dedicated fortress to maintain and support them makes this much more plausible. One thing to note is that homogeneous systems are fairly unrealistic, given how factions tend to bleed into each others' territory and the fact that space is massively big, and impossible to fully guard, even with the natural chokepoints that stargates provide. While a capital would be well under control(take St. Katherine's as a model), most systems would, while possibly dominated by one faction or another, not be perfectly secure, simply because the massive opportunity cost of completely securing a star system isn't really worth it.

An example of what I'm thinking: An Ares dominated system would have outposts present about to conduct patrols and warn of any major activity, communes in the more secure areas that can provide logistical support to patrols and maintain a few Deimoses to watch over the system, and one or two shipyards grouped with the communes. Ranx and Teratons would have a presence, being neutral to the Ares and in search of resources and space, and Kobol raiders would have some limited presence preying on freighters that wander too far from help. Ringers might have a handful of defended stations, and likewise a few Commonwealth settlements could have gone undetected. Luminous would likely be too much of a hassle to get rid of, especially considering its non - hostility to Ares forces, and a CSC could be present at the outskirts of the system, but not within patrol range of a major Ares station.
In TSB the CW has gained a heavy doorknocker mounting several Katanas and multiple NAMI heavy launchers, a bombardment "cruiser" with sustained XM900 capability,
Hadn't heard of those. I must wonder how they're maintained, but it's possible that Juno would be enough, given what the EP factions have going on.
and a heavy gunship using the Earth Industries Plasma Cannon.
I've been confused by that one for a while. Unless the EIPC gets a major shot health buff, I don't see how they could really harm Ares capitals. On a slightly off topic note, I've loved the idea of a plasma cannon that worked as a defensive weapon, with a high firerate and shot health making up for low range. If the Athena makes use of it, those would be some good changes.
The Ares have gained a battlecarrier for the fortress role. I believe the Ranx are filled out, though I'm not clear on the details with all the revisions. They may lack doorknockers other than the experimental superdreadnought.
The Dreadnought is fairly equipped to lead an assault. Aquilae tear it to shreds, but that's mainly due to the damage type curve being unforgiving, and I can't imagine they'd be common enough to keep around in a sustained defensive role across an entire system.

I believe the Huari have adequate coverage, lacking only doorknockers and heavy gunships in TSB.
The Urak, unless they're supposed to be expansionist, only really need a freighter, though a heavy gunship using the advance mass driver is possible.
A decent solution to the Urak is to swap the mass drivers so that the destroyers can defend themselves and the sentinels can deal damage, and have the destroyer double as a frigate(like the Resurrectors, Lumiere, and Curators have). The Urak are warlords that started out as a plague - crippled group of settlements, so I'd imagine their leadership most closely resembles tinpot dictators like Kim Jong Un with little interest outside of running their own little autocracy, knowing they'd be smashed if they picked any real fights.
Notable oddballs are the Kobol, who manage to fill the cruiser roles surprisingly well with their missile gunships and massed omni gunships,
The Kobol are raiders with no interest in monopolizing systems. They prey on freighters made insecure by the war, and make a healthy living that way. Their settlements just need a good concentration of firepower to keep away unwanted attention, which is filled by the spare gunships and Tev9 turrets.
and the Dwarg, who, if they're expansionist, should probably have a cruiser variant of the behemoth with a longer ranged main gun and certainly need a freighter.
The Dwarg appear to be raiders. Every mobile force of theirs requires a Master for leadership(as Zoanthropes fare poorly without a handler), which doubles as support in the same capacity as a Steel Slaver, stunning targets while its thralls tear through their armor. For attacks, Behemoths are crewed by expendable Zoanthropes, and serve to raze stations with sufficient supplies to offset any losses. Loot carrying from freighters can be done by the Masters, and station raids' products can be taken by the Behemoths and Masters back to their bases.
Wolfy wrote:Right, the roles themselves are idealized; you can sort of think of it in a way like Plato's ideal forms - the planners & tacticians & military theorists create this idealized nomenclature (like physicists describing physics with their mathematical models), and then the engineers take this information and make the best of what they can fulfilling the design requirements that the brass want (which in turn is usually governed by their own budgets and strategic views)

I definitely agree that we don't want to have cookie-cutter factions. To that end, we've been pretty careful about ensuring diversity. For example, the Phobos is still rather centric around its main gun, and has much less secondary weaponry than the CW's Monitor (which has no truly primary weaponry, though it does carry a set of heavy NAMI launchers); this means that the actual ideal function of each ship is different. Its also an older design (if by merit of the CW Monitor design being of the same vintage as the Gen 4 CSCs)
Very nicely planned. I'd mention that factions also have different needs, which should be accounted for. Raiding factions have little use for freighters, as their goods are obtained through theft and the time it takes a freighter to get them can't be counted on, hence the use of armed transports and frigates. Dreadnoughts are only used by factions at war with major powers, as nothing other than a brawl between capitals or a major offensive operation requires such concentrated firepower.

Also, are CSC generations still canon? George's new design differs quite a bit from what I saw in the thread.
As an example, the Heavy doorknockers of the major vanilla powers:
The Phobos is the quintessential brick: slow and very tough. It uses a small number of rapid fire turrets to mop up hostile turrets and a single big gun to take out fortresses.
The Worldship is also a brick, but it uses a bunch of guns the same size with a slightly weaker high WMD weapon for station killing.
The Dragon Slaver is not a brick at all. It's fast and maneuverable even for a small capital ship and should actually be able to sweep along the turret ring blasting them with its main gun faster than it can kill them with its particle beams, which it uses more for defense against gunships.
As I see it, the Phobos is a dedicated attacker intended to blitz the enemy and give them little time to prepare. It relies on a shield that is intended not to fall and a main gun that can kill most things that it gets the jump on. The Dragon Slaver follows a similar design, being fast, well shielded, and having a main gun that kills stations rapidly. The latter is more specialized, in that it can't really handle as much trouble as the Phobos can.

The Worldship effectively is a mobile city, and can thus not risk as much harm. It features long ranged, omnidirectional weaponry, tries to get rid of threats before they close the distance. It functions more as a raider than a conventional attacker, destroying and looting stations to survive(assumed from its cargo and the empty station it spawns with). Unlike the above two, it can't go home to repair and lick its wounds, so it needs to provide more sustainable power.
The current Phobos and Worldship are capable of a supercruiser role. The Dragonslaver is not capable of the traditional cruiser role with its short ranged main gun, but with its superior speed it can probably be used as cavalry support for an Earth Slaver battle line.
I agree with this. I'd need to know more about the Xenos to understand what their goals are, and thus what they need to accomplish them. My present guess is that they want to disrupt human activity in the Outer Realm to prevent the quarantine from being breached and thus further alien contact, fearing what might result from that, which their current forces and actions match fairly well.
Not every faction needs every type either. Defensive factions don't need doorknockers. Low population/wealth ratio factions may skip the lighter gunships. If a faction lacks a type, though, there should be a reason. Every faction is looking at what their neighbors are doing and should be trying to answer those roles as best it can within its technological and sociological constraints.
Exactly what I'm thinking.
Filling all the roles is also good prep work for the possible future Transcendence RTS.
I like the idea of war in CSC America being asymmetrical, with the player commanding squadrons of gunships to perform precise, calculated actions, and friendly capital ships being used in a 'support power' role.

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Atarlost
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Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:34 am

JohnBWatson wrote:
Atarlost wrote:Wolfy and I developed a taxonomy. The introduction of internal structure has messed it up in places , but it's based on roles considered from first principles. Specifically the existence of fixed stargates and stations in predictable orbits.
System generation seems to work in a way that suggests stargates are in orbit rather than perfectly fixed in space. As the universe is expanding, a stargate that is fixed would quickly lose its position.

Apologies if this was what you meant.

Fixed orbits. Stargates and stations, like planets, move in wholly predictable paths subject only to acceleration due to gravity.
Atarlost wrote:This theory of military roles is from long ago IRC discussions between myself and Wolfy regarding TX2. The theory is mostly based on the Ares and Sung force mixes. The Marauders also manage a poor man's version of the force mix used by the major powers.
I'd think that the Ares, Sung, and Marauders would have different needs, and thus different force mixes. The Sung are a slaver empire, so I'd imagine their fleets are based around defending against retaliation from inferior, less organized forces, and raiding less defended targets for more slaves. The Marauders are pirates, so their forces are built around destroying and looting freighters while avoiding attacks by the Militia. The Ares are a full fledged military force, so I'd imagine they have a conventional army.

The Sung and Ares have exactly the same needs: they're expansionist powers that also hold territory. The marauders already have a similar force mix and must own their own shipyards to produce their ships which indicates they also hold territory
Turret: These are deployed around lightly defended stations in contested areas and in rings around border stargates. Example: Ares turret, Commonwealth turret, Sung turret
There's a logistics issue in maintaining turrets far from any base of operations and easily susceptible to hit and run attacks. Also, turrets tend to be short ranged and in need of protection from gunships at the stations they guard.

Not a meaningful one. If there's any presence at the stargate at all you're already sending ships there.
[*]Fortress: These are larger fixed installations guarding stargates around capitals and other critical systems, and on peaceful borders where they act as customs stations. They require too long to build and add too little value to use on hostile borders, though the Commonwealth may attempt to use CSCs in this role. Examples: Sung Fortress, CSC
Seems reasonable as a role, but I'd add that they don't have to be too close to stargates. Their main weaponry should not reach the gate, but their gunships should be able to easily patrol it.

Why would you not want your main weaponry to reach the stargate? If the stargate isn't in weapons range the fortress does nothing to prevent an enemy from massing forces on the near side of the stargate.
[*]heavy door knocker: These are big heavily shielded and armored ships for breaking through the above mentioned defenses. They are typified by fast firing or very numerous medium weapons and possibly a single big gun for tackling fortresses. Such ships are the first things through a hostile stargate. Examples: Phobos, Dragon Slaver, Tripoli (when using brutes or broadswords)
I don't see why the Marauders would want to breach a stargate, they have nothing to gain from large scale war. It'd be like the Somali pirates charging Washington Navy Yard.

Not at all. First, the marauders are not anything like the Somali pirates. They're more like the Barbary pirates. Militarily significant and sponsored by real, if not generally recognized as legitimate, state infrastructure. Second, breaching stargate defenses is necessary to get raiding forces into the systems trade routes run through. Not the front line defenses facing the Sung and Ares, but more primitive versions of the same defense. This is because gate defense is by many orders of magnitude the cheapest way to protect shipping. Have you ever read the Horatio Hornblower novels? One of them describes a section of the French coast where there is a series of coastal islands protecting a coastal waterway and how the English had to infiltrate boats through narrow gaps between those coastal islands or land marines and guns upon those islands to raid French shipping. In a setting with stargates the stargates provide that sort of protection except more so because there are fewer passageways and it's not possible to land marines on a stargate and shell shipping in the next system or fire through one. You have to get ships through and raiding is only possible so long as the internal defenses that operate against piracy aren't well enough funded to be effective.

In any case, I'd say that doorknockers fit my definition of dreadnoughts. A dreadnought gates into a system, destroys the main defensive infrastructure, and leads major offenses.

No they don't because you're defining dreadnoughts in terms of size not role. The Ranx DN is certainly not a door knocker: it lacks effective turret killers.
[*]Heavy Gunship: These are expensive gunships with powerful weapons capable of threatening capital ships. Examples: Tundra, Chasm, Barbary, Steel Slaver (not a typical example, but capable of filling the role because of their cyberdecks)
Steel Slavers don't really present a threat to anything with internal HP. I'd say that their role is more of a support gunship, disabling an enemy's shields and armament to give the Wind Slavers a chance.

These posts are from a thread that predates structural HP. The Steel Slaver was a heavy gunship because it can stun lock a capital ship and whittle it down at its leisure.
[*]light Gunship: These are cheap gunships for commerce raiding, protecting capital ships and stations from heavy gunships, and acting as cannon fodder. Examples: Centurion, Ronin, Sandstorm, Wind Slaver, any Charon or Marauder gunship except the Barbary
I'd break the cannon fodder from the dedicated defender units. A Centurion is intended to come back from a mission and defend stations for long periods of time, a Sandstorm isn't.

Cannon fodder is a "how" classification not a "what" classification. A gunship that is expensive and survives fills exactly the same role as a gunship that is cheap, numerous, and disposable. To be useful for revising and designing factions the classification must address what purpose ships have, not how they accomplish that purpose. The only reason to even distinguish between gunships and capital ships is that countering capital ships is a different role from countering gunships.
[*]cruiser: These are the workhorses of the fleet to be sent through to secure a system once the stargate defenses are breached, or to prevent an enemy who breaches your stargate defenses from having free run of the system. They tend to be smaller and cheaper than doorknockers because they don't have to go through a choke point one at a time, mount the longest range weapons they can, and carry base busters. This can be subdivided into purer bombardment platforms like the Drake and Cometfall and more balanced designs like the Tripoli, Charon Frigate, and Deimos. Examples: Cometfall, Drake, Tripoli, Charon Frigate, Deimos, Aquila, Earth Slaver, Urak Destroyer, Hurin Destroyer
Cometfalls and Drakes can't do much for patrolling. I'd say they're dedicated offensive units that carry out lower grade offenses than dreadnoughts, such as quick attacks on individual stations or CSCs. Otherwise, a fairly good role. As I see it, cruisers would function as a means of hindering enemy logistics and scouting operations, and providing support in the event of a major offensive or defensive operation.

That's completely backwards. Cometfalls are not used for low grade offenses. They're used in the grand attack on Point Juno. None the less, they're cruisers. They mount powerful anti-ship missiles. The AI isn't capable of properly selecting missiles for different targets and never uses their anti-ship missiles, but the drawbacks of the AI are a gameplay-story segregation issue. and irrelevant.
A serious defense would start with a ring of turrets about 10 ls less than their range in radius, a fortress about 10 ls beyond the expected range of enemy doorknockers, a squadron of heavy gunships, and a substantial number of light gunships. Cruisers and more gunships would guard stations deeper in the system and more cruisers would be on patrol.

A serious assault would be lead with a heavy doorknocker to draw fire from defending turrets, followed by light doorknockers to mop them up faster, gunships to drive away defending heavy gunships, and cruisers and light and heavy gunships to secure the system.

A probe would lead with light doorknockers, wait for one to gate back and report the gate clear, and then follow with various gunships and then cruisers.


I'd put the turrets slightly farther out(10 ls more than their range), but having a dedicated fortress to maintain and support them makes this much more plausible. One thing to note is that homogeneous systems are fairly unrealistic, given how factions tend to bleed into each others' territory and the fact that space is massively big, and impossible to fully guard, even with the natural chokepoints that stargates provide. While a capital would be well under control(take St. Katherine's as a model), most systems would, while possibly dominated by one faction or another, not be perfectly secure, simply because the massive opportunity cost of completely securing a star system isn't really worth it.

That's stupid. If the turrets don't cover the stargate they're completely pointless. If they're 10 ls from being able to range on the stargate the enemy has more than 10^20 cubic kilometers in which to mass their forces on your side of the stargate without fear of the turrets. Factions bleeding into each others' territory is a false impression given by the pilgrim path leading mostly through contested systems and the lack of any implementation of faction territory. It's another gameplay-story segregation issue and making setting assumptions based on it will lead you wrong every time. The opportunity cost of securing a star system is not dieing. Securing a stargate means strongly securing a small sphere around a stargate. The sphere can be just a few light seconds across in reality, though the 2d game and collision mechanics force a larger zone to be used in game. To secure a station a sphere more than 240 light seconds across must be secured. For every station. Space is big, but stargates are small. It is absolutely ridiculous to only have a defense spread across light minutes while neglecting to set up a defense concentrated on a small number of objects each not more than a hundred kilometers across.

An example of what I'm thinking: An Ares dominated system would have outposts present about to conduct patrols and warn of any major activity, communes in the more secure areas that can provide logistical support to patrols and maintain a few Deimoses to watch over the system, and one or two shipyards grouped with the communes. Ranx and Teratons would have a presence, being neutral to the Ares and in search of resources and space, and Kobol raiders would have some limited presence preying on freighters that wander too far from help. Ringers might have a handful of defended stations, and likewise a few Commonwealth settlements could have gone undetected. Luminous would likely be too much of a hassle to get rid of, especially considering its non - hostility to Ares forces, and a CSC could be present at the outskirts of the system, but not within patrol range of a major Ares station.

Ridculous. The inherent ease of gate defenses compared to patrolling a system dictate that systems are the basic unit of sovereignty. The only non-Ares you'd find in an Ares system would be criminal factions derived from and parasitic upon the Ares the way the outlaw miners are derived from and parasitic upon the Commonwealth.
In TSB the CW has gained a heavy doorknocker mounting several Katanas and multiple NAMI heavy launchers, a bombardment "cruiser" with sustained XM900 capability,
Hadn't heard of those. I must wonder how they're maintained, but it's possible that Juno would be enough, given what the EP factions have going on.

The same way the Aquilas are maintained. With most work done by their crews and major work done at Gunsan, Theia, the unnamed NAMI shipyard, or possibly at Argo.
and a heavy gunship using the Earth Industries Plasma Cannon.
I've been confused by that one for a while. Unless the EIPC gets a major shot health buff, I don't see how they could really harm Ares capitals. On a slightly off topic note, I've loved the idea of a plasma cannon that worked as a defensive weapon, with a high firerate and shot health making up for low range. If the Athena makes use of it, those would be some good changes.

The EIPC's failings are almost certainly from a persistent flaw in the shot collision handling. Gameplay-story segregation again. Plasma wouldn't be stopped by shooting it with a laser or autocannon.
The Ares have gained a battlecarrier for the fortress role. I believe the Ranx are filled out, though I'm not clear on the details with all the revisions. They may lack doorknockers other than the experimental superdreadnought.
The Dreadnought is fairly equipped to lead an assault. Aquilae tear it to shreds, but that's mainly due to the damage type curve being unforgiving, and I can't imagine they'd be common enough to keep around in a sustained defensive role across an entire system.

The Ranx DN is not capable of leading an assault. It can't mop up turrets of the quality that would be present in the region fast enough. It's fills the cruiser role well, but nothing you will see experimenting on the intro screen is like breaking a concentrated stargate defense. Indeed, incorrect abstractions in the 2d collision detection make simulating a stargate defense in the current game misleading: stargates should not interact with projectiles because they provide no cover and are not themselves targets.

I believe the Huari have adequate coverage, lacking only doorknockers and heavy gunships in TSB.
The Urak, unless they're supposed to be expansionist, only really need a freighter, though a heavy gunship using the advance mass driver is possible.
A decent solution to the Urak is to swap the mass drivers so that the destroyers can defend themselves and the sentinels can deal damage, and have the destroyer double as a frigate(like the Resurrectors, Lumiere, and Curators have). The Urak are warlords that started out as a plague - crippled group of settlements, so I'd imagine their leadership most closely resembles tinpot dictators like Kim Jong Un with little interest outside of running their own little autocracy, knowing they'd be smashed if they picked any real fights.

If this were the case the Urak wouldn't exist outside the Urak system. They must have been expansionist in the past. Possibly they're a nonsensical faction.
Notable oddballs are the Kobol, who manage to fill the cruiser roles surprisingly well with their missile gunships and massed omni gunships,
The Kobol are raiders with no interest in monopolizing systems. They prey on freighters made insecure by the war, and make a healthy living that way. Their settlements just need a good concentration of firepower to keep away unwanted attention, which is filled by the spare gunships and Tev9 turrets.

If the Kobol are a criminal faction with no territory they may indeed be adequate without more designs, but wherever you got this notion from if it's a real source it wasn't one published when the taxonomy was developed.
and the Dwarg, who, if they're expansionist, should probably have a cruiser variant of the behemoth with a longer ranged main gun and certainly need a freighter.
The Dwarg appear to be raiders. Every mobile force of theirs requires a Master for leadership(as Zoanthropes fare poorly without a handler), which doubles as support in the same capacity as a Steel Slaver, stunning targets while its thralls tear through their armor. For attacks, Behemoths are crewed by expendable Zoanthropes, and serve to raze stations with sufficient supplies to offset any losses. Loot carrying from freighters can be done by the Masters, and station raids' products can be taken by the Behemoths and Masters back to their bases.

The Dwarg already have too heavy a force mix to be pure raiders. Behemoths are already door knockers in comparison to the level of military preparedness seen in the ungoverned territories. I also categorically reject the laziness of dropping nonstandard ships into an amorphous support role. Killing enemies by paralyzing them and then plinking them to death is not a different role than killing the same enemies by just shooting at them with guns that do damage.
Wolfy wrote:Right, the roles themselves are idealized; you can sort of think of it in a way like Plato's ideal forms - the planners & tacticians & military theorists create this idealized nomenclature (like physicists describing physics with their mathematical models), and then the engineers take this information and make the best of what they can fulfilling the design requirements that the brass want (which in turn is usually governed by their own budgets and strategic views)

I definitely agree that we don't want to have cookie-cutter factions. To that end, we've been pretty careful about ensuring diversity. For example, the Phobos is still rather centric around its main gun, and has much less secondary weaponry than the CW's Monitor (which has no truly primary weaponry, though it does carry a set of heavy NAMI launchers); this means that the actual ideal function of each ship is different. Its also an older design (if by merit of the CW Monitor design being of the same vintage as the Gen 4 CSCs)
Very nicely planned. I'd mention that factions also have different needs, which should be accounted for. Raiding factions have little use for freighters, as their goods are obtained through theft and the time it takes a freighter to get them can't be counted on, hence the use of armed transports and frigates. Dreadnoughts are only used by factions at war with major powers, as nothing other than a brawl between capitals or a major offensive operation requires such concentrated firepower.

Every faction with more than one station needs freighters. Raiders just need some of their freighters to be armed. Every faction that cannot pass stargates covertly or under diplomatic cover (eg. the black market or the corporate factions) and do not operate solely in a region with no effective government (eg. some TSB factions) needs a door knocker if it wishes to even raid any star nation that holds territory.

Also, are CSC generations still canon? George's new design differs quite a bit from what I saw in the thread.

George's "new" CSC that I've seen is his old CSC design more polygons and fits in the same place in the CSC generations.
As an example, the Heavy doorknockers of the major vanilla powers:
The Phobos is the quintessential brick: slow and very tough. It uses a small number of rapid fire turrets to mop up hostile turrets and a single big gun to take out fortresses.
The Worldship is also a brick, but it uses a bunch of guns the same size with a slightly weaker high WMD weapon for station killing.
The Dragon Slaver is not a brick at all. It's fast and maneuverable even for a small capital ship and should actually be able to sweep along the turret ring blasting them with its main gun faster than it can kill them with its particle beams, which it uses more for defense against gunships.
As I see it, the Phobos is a dedicated attacker intended to blitz the enemy and give them little time to prepare. It relies on a shield that is intended not to fall and a main gun that can kill most things that it gets the jump on. The Dragon Slaver follows a similar design, being fast, well shielded, and having a main gun that kills stations rapidly. The latter is more specialized, in that it can't really handle as much trouble as the Phobos can.

They're quite the opposite in how they fill the role, but they fill the same role. It's not your dreadnought role, though. The Phobos is slow and relies on its turrets. The Dragon Slaver is fast and uses its main gun like a gunship. The Dragon Slaver lacks the range to attack stations safely and is can't stand up to proper capital ships long enough to overcome its poor range unless deployed en mass, which appears to not be within the Sung capacity. The Earth Slaver is a far better station killer because it out-ranges common station defenses and the Dragon Slaver doesn't.

The Worldship effectively is a mobile city, and can thus not risk as much harm. It features long ranged, omnidirectional weaponry, tries to get rid of threats before they close the distance. It functions more as a raider than a conventional attacker, destroying and looting stations to survive(assumed from its cargo and the empty station it spawns with). Unlike the above two, it can't go home to repair and lick its wounds, so it needs to provide more sustainable power.

If the worldship were a mobile city it would not operate in contested territory at all. Once you account for the size of the drive and the amount of fuel it must require the worldship is a moderately sized office tower. The Ark is a mobile city. The worldship is a raider.
The current Phobos and Worldship are capable of a supercruiser role. The Dragonslaver is not capable of the traditional cruiser role with its short ranged main gun, but with its superior speed it can probably be used as cavalry support for an Earth Slaver battle line.
I agree with this. I'd need to know more about the Xenos to understand what their goals are, and thus what they need to accomplish them. My present guess is that they want to disrupt human activity in the Outer Realm to prevent the quarantine from being breached and thus further alien contact, fearing what might result from that, which their current forces and actions match fairly well.

That's certainly wrong. Xenophobe doesn't mean fear of little green men. It means fear of people from other cultures. The Xenophobes certainly do not describe themselves in such terms, but are so described because they fight everyone and do their utmost not to leave survivors. They are almost certainly another manifestation of Oracus' influence similar to but larger in scale than the Penitent Order.
Not every faction needs every type either. Defensive factions don't need doorknockers. Low population/wealth ratio factions may skip the lighter gunships. If a faction lacks a type, though, there should be a reason. Every faction is looking at what their neighbors are doing and should be trying to answer those roles as best it can within its technological and sociological constraints.
Exactly what I'm thinking.
Filling all the roles is also good prep work for the possible future Transcendence RTS.
I like the idea of war in CSC America being asymmetrical, with the player commanding squadrons of gunships to perform precise, calculated actions, and friendly capital ships being used in a 'support power' role.
CSC America is more single player oriented than the RTS contemplated at the time. I have my doubts, though, that it can succeed without multiplayer and that will have to be symmetrical and may require more factions as well. Warcraft got by with just two, but there are already other factions in the setting with partial or complete assets.
Literally is the new Figuratively

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Atarlost wrote: Fixed orbits. Stargates and stations, like planets, move in wholly predictable paths subject only to acceleration due to gravity.
A logical assumption.

The Sung and Ares have exactly the same needs: they're expansionist powers that also hold territory. The marauders already have a similar force mix and must own their own shipyards to produce their ships which indicates they also hold territory
Are the Sung at war with a major power like the Ares are? From the game text, they appear to only pick on weaker nations that they can take slaves from without consequence.

I know the Militia attack them from time to time, but they don't seem to attack the Commonwealth back.
Not a meaningful one. If there's any presence at the stargate at all you're already sending ships there.
Ships take time to reach a gate, and turrets die quickly without support. From experience, they only seem to provide a real defense against swarms of light gunships and enemies that are otherwise engaged.
Why would you not want your main weaponry to reach the stargate? If the stargate isn't in weapons range the fortress does nothing to prevent an enemy from massing forces on the near side of the stargate.
On a strictly gameplay basis, the interaction with collision mechanics makes things a bit strange.

In practical terms, stations are expensive and function primarily as bases of operation. Their major function should not be as stationary turrets.

BOTOR seems to use your line of strategic doctrine in the Point Minerva system, and the gameplay there feels somewhat off. It takes away from the atmosphere of space being vast, ungovernable, and chaotic, and that's one of the things that originally drew me to the game. Having systems that are completely owned by one faction or another works for massive scale strategy like Anacreon, but it doesn't really fit the 'low fantasy' feel that Transcendence has.
Not at all. First, the marauders are not anything like the Somali pirates. They're more like the Barbary pirates. Militarily significant and sponsored by real, if not generally recognized as legitimate, state infrastructure. Second, breaching stargate defenses is necessary to get raiding forces into the systems trade routes run through. Not the front line defenses facing the Sung and Ares, but more primitive versions of the same defense. This is because gate defense is by many orders of magnitude the cheapest way to protect shipping.
But it's very well established that shipping systems aren't completely clean. Every Korolov base has a matching Charon Stronghold, and that's in the most secure section of human space. Plus, the Commonwealth is like America in the frontier era(I suppose the influence of space westerns is quite significant). Laissez Faire, large, ambitious, but lacking in order, especially in its outer settlements. Shipping has to occur throughout human space, from Eridani to St. Kat's to the outer CW colonies to the Ringers and the Fleet. It's impossible to completely secure that route given the state of the CW and CH. Neither has that degree of resources.
Have you ever read the Horatio Hornblower novels? One of them describes a section of the French coast where there is a series of coastal islands protecting a coastal waterway and how the English had to infiltrate boats through narrow gaps between those coastal islands or land marines and guns upon those islands to raid French shipping. In a setting with stargates the stargates provide that sort of protection except more so because there are fewer passageways and it's not possible to land marines on a stargate and shell shipping in the next system or fire through one. You have to get ships through and raiding is only possible so long as the internal defenses that operate against piracy aren't well enough funded to be effective.
While stargates would make good bottlenecks, it's effectively established at this point that most systems can't use them that way. Stations and turrets near them would take too long to construct, and wouldn't have a chance of going undetected. While it would be plausible for capitol systems(indeed, St. Katherine's could use a few border turrets, given the presence of stations there), most are too vulnerable to assault. I imagine the fall of Charon's Korolov station would be the a good indicator of what would happen to most attempts at securing stargates.
No they don't because you're defining dreadnoughts in terms of size not role. The Ranx DN is certainly not a door knocker: it lacks effective turret killers.
The main gun and Akans are both turret killers. I've seen it use them. Also, I am speaking in terms of role. Dreadnoughts are ships intended to lead major offenses, cruisers are ships intended to patrol and engage in defensive operations, and bombers are intended to destroy dreadnoughts and cruisers.
These posts are from a thread that predates structural HP. The Steel Slaver was a heavy gunship because it can stun lock a capital ship and whittle it down at its leisure.
I remember them from back then, and I suppose they could've worked like that, at least for an unescorted capital. For now, I stand by my suggestion of swapping their weapons with the Wind Slaver and buffing their cyberdeck effectiveness.
Cannon fodder is a "how" classification not a "what" classification. A gunship that is expensive and survives fills exactly the same role as a gunship that is cheap, numerous, and disposable. To be useful for revising and designing factions the classification must address what purpose ships have, not how they accomplish that purpose. The only reason to even distinguish between gunships and capital ships is that countering capital ships is a different role from countering gunships.
Cannon fodder is strategically different from survivable gunships. Cannon fodder can't provide long term defense of anything effectively, making them a more offense based category by necessity.
That's completely backwards. Cometfalls are not used for low grade offenses. They're used in the grand attack on Point Juno.


An attack that does not require breaching defenses and consists primarily of gunships. Strategic importance and scale are two different things. A large scale attack is focused on multiple stations across one or more systems, and is led by one or more dreadnoughts.
None the less, they're cruisers. They mount powerful anti-ship missiles. The AI isn't capable of properly selecting missiles for different targets and never uses their anti-ship missiles, but the drawbacks of the AI are a gameplay-story segregation issue. and irrelevant.


They're too slow in turning to reliably hit anything that knows how to dodge, and too expensive to be fielded in numbers that circumvent this issue.
That's stupid. If the turrets don't cover the stargate they're completely pointless. If they're 10 ls from being able to range on the stargate the enemy has more than 10^20 cubic kilometers in which to mass their forces on your side of the stargate without fear of the turrets.


They can theoretically use the inside of the stargate for this purpose regardless of turrets, if we're using gameplay mechanics as the sole basis for strategy. In addition, turrets can't really scratch capital ships, and putting them right next to a stargate guarantees they'll be destroyed before setup is complete.

Factions bleeding into each others' territory is a false impression given by the pilgrim path leading mostly through contested systems and the lack of any implementation of faction territory. It's another gameplay-story segregation issue and making setting assumptions based on it will lead you wrong every time. The opportunity cost of securing a star system is not dieing. Securing a stargate means strongly securing a small sphere around a stargate. The sphere can be just a few light seconds across in reality, though the 2d game and collision mechanics force a larger zone to be used in game. To secure a station a sphere more than 240 light seconds across must be secured. For every station. Space is big, but stargates are small. It is absolutely ridiculous to only have a defense spread across light minutes while neglecting to set up a defense concentrated on a small number of objects each not more than a hundred kilometers across.
We go through multiple systems that are of major importance to factions, none are perfectly secure. Charon has a Korolov station(though not for long), St. Kat's has stations in the outer asteroid belt, Point Juno has two communes. The amount of resources required to defend important stations is less than the amount of resources required to completely secure a system from anything that might theoretically try to move through it.
Ridculous. The inherent ease of gate defenses compared to patrolling a system dictate that systems are the basic unit of sovereignty. The only non-Ares you'd find in an Ares system would be criminal factions derived from and parasitic upon the Ares the way the outlaw miners are derived from and parasitic upon the Commonwealth.
Outlaw miners, as far as I know, sell to non - CW aligned factions, which is why they're illegal.

In any case, if the Ares had systems that were perfectly secure near the warzone, that's where they'd put their shipyards. The fact that they're willing to put such huge investments in vulnerable areas makes it clear that they do not have such an option.
The same way the Aquilas are maintained. With most work done by their crews and major work done at Gunsan, Theia, the unnamed NAMI shipyard, or possibly at Argo.
Argo?
The EIPC's failings are almost certainly from a persistent flaw in the shot collision handling. Gameplay-story segregation again. Plasma wouldn't be stopped by shooting it with a laser or autocannon.
Agreed, shot HP needs a rework.
The Ranx DN is not capable of leading an assault. It can't mop up turrets of the quality that would be present in the region fast enough. It's fills the cruiser role well, but nothing you will see experimenting on the intro screen is like breaking a concentrated stargate defense. Indeed, incorrect abstractions in the 2d collision detection make simulating a stargate defense in the current game misleading: stargates should not interact with projectiles because they provide no cover and are not themselves targets.
We don't know the scale of stargates, but I'd guess that the moving parts might make shooting something inside one tricky.

Regardless, 3 WMD turrets and an area damage omnidirectional gun is better for turret clearance than anything else I've seen.
If this were the case the Urak wouldn't exist outside the Urak system. They must have been expansionist in the past. Possibly they're a nonsensical faction.
The initial plague and subsequent coup could have occurred across multiple systems. I'd imagine they spread to less well governed and defended systems in search of resources, but I don't see them picking any major fights.
If the Kobol are a criminal faction with no territory they may indeed be adequate without more designs, but wherever you got this notion from if it's a real source it wasn't one published when the taxonomy was developed.
They only ever appear as raiders, and attack both the Fleet and the Ares. I'm not perfectly sure, to be honest, but between their tendency to attack freighters, their mutual hatred of any faction that could theoretically be potential prey, and their shooting at Ferians(something only them, the Xenos, and the Rogue Fleet do, the rogue fleet explicitly being pirates), it's a logical assumption to make.
The Dwarg already have too heavy a force mix to be pure raiders. Behemoths are already door knockers in comparison to the level of military preparedness seen in the ungoverned territories.
They've been used in two missions as station killers during raids. Their reliance on Masters makes them very risky for major assaults, and they lack any long range weaponry.
I also categorically reject the laziness of dropping nonstandard ships into an amorphous support role. Killing enemies by paralyzing them and then plinking them to death is not a different role than killing the same enemies by just shooting at them with guns that do damage.
They don't kill enemies by 'plinking them to death', they kill them with their swarm of Zoanthropes. Without the zoanthropes, they're easy prey for anything with even the starting shield.
Every faction with more than one station needs freighters. Raiders just need some of their freighters to be armed.
Factions with self sufficient stations do not need freighters, period. The Himal are an example of this. Raiders can get their supplies from raiding nearby factions, and if that's not a viable plan then logically they shouldn't exist as a faction, as they'd be operating on a net loss. Minor transfers and sales can be performed by frigates that aren't raiding or defending stations.
Every faction that cannot pass stargates covertly or under diplomatic cover (eg. the black market or the corporate factions) and do not operate solely in a region with no effective government (eg. some TSB factions) needs a door knocker if it wishes to even raid any star nation that holds territory.
There's no reason to raid heavily defended areas. Pirates don't want to pick a fight with someone that'll retaliate("If they attacked a Corporate Fuel Station, they'd have Admiral Decker himself leading the liberation force"), generally going after freighters in less secure areas and slum stations without effective defenses.
George's "new" CSC that I've seen is his old CSC design more polygons and fits in the same place in the CSC generations.
Just curious. I'd think that if the weaponry updates were still canon the new CSCs would be using them.
They're quite the opposite in how they fill the role, but they fill the same role. It's not your dreadnought role, though. The Phobos is slow and relies on its turrets. The Dragon Slaver is fast and uses its main gun like a gunship. The Dragon Slaver lacks the range to attack stations safely and is can't stand up to proper capital ships long enough to overcome its poor range unless deployed en mass, which appears to not be within the Sung capacity. The Earth Slaver is a far better station killer because it out-ranges common station defenses and the Dragon Slaver doesn't.
The Phobos isn't slow, it's faster than an Aquila, and most other capships to boot. Stations are largely guarded by gunships and turrets, and the Dragon Slaver's turrets can wipe both out easily.
If the worldship were a mobile city it would not operate in contested territory at all.


It's a Worldship.
That's certainly wrong. Xenophobe doesn't mean fear of little green men. It means fear of people from other cultures.
In our present definition. We have not met aliens.

Their theft of the Iocrym artifact that Taikon was researching to break the quarantine is evidence for my theory, as is their possession of CW luxury items. If they hated the influence of other human cultures, they'd have no interest in the Iocrym artifact and they'd certainly not be carrying Commonwealth goods. This is all WMG, but I've backed it up with some evidence in support of it. George probably knows the truth here, but I doubt we'll hear about it soon given his preference for hinting at things rather than stating them outright.

Of course, your theory about Oracus's influence is likely correct, assuming Domina is really the one sending the player outward to break the quarantine.
CSC America is more single player oriented than the RTS contemplated at the time. I have my doubts, though, that it can succeed without multiplayer and that will have to be symmetrical and may require more factions as well. Warcraft got by with just two, but there are already other factions in the setting with partial or complete assets.
Isn't America built with multiplayer in mind? I think I recall George saying that.

My guess is the multiplayer would be either CSC vs CSC or coop, rather than Ares being a playable faction. It makes much more sense than balancing static structures against carriers for equal battles between players. Buildable structures in real time goes against established gameplay, and would seem unrealistic regardless. The effort needed to make anything other than the Fleet a playable faction would take too much away from other things.

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Also, Sol, Centauri, Sirius, and Oromarch from EP. The origin of humanity and thus homeland for all 4 terran factions is infested with hostiles, and canonically has Luminous building an assembler there. Centauri is the effective capital of the CH, and there's no stargate defenses there, despite your claim that they're able to secure entire shipping routes. Sirius houses what is effectively a heaven for the ludicrously successful, and the only defenses present are on the station itself. Oromarch is the only system close to a perfectly secure capital, being governed by an AI orders of magnitude more competent than anything any human government has, and even they focus their defenses in a ring around their main station.

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For what it is worth, Huari have destroyers circling their stargate at all times.

Also, Ares have turret rings around where alpha and beta attack fleets spawn.

Having lots of guns around stargates to the point of overkill might make sense, but would not be a very fun game. Player would need to use stargate as a shield, maybe use particles weapon or something that can shoot at enemy, while not getting shot back. Sort of like firing Fracture Cannon at the ICS, while you sit on planet. You can hit ICS, but ICS cannot hit you back. Player will need to do similar against a turret ring around stargate. Of course, defenders can start using XM900 missiles or other area effects to hit such savvy intruders,
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PM wrote:For what it is worth, Huari have destroyers circling their stargate at all times.
Ships patrolling the stargate in anticipation of an attack is fairly reasonable, and has also been shown by the Ares when they prepare to attack an inbound Aurochs. In a capital system, it's certainly to be expected.
Also, Ares have turret rings around where alpha and beta attack fleets spawn.
Those rings are in the middle of nebulae and quite out of the way, meaning they're unlikely to be discovered in the middle of setup, and aren't intended as long term installations, so some of the logistical issues don't take effect. Given the presence of two communes in the system, it's reasonable that they'd be able to set them up over time without detection, similarly to how the CH set up a staging platform for the attack on the infested lab.

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Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:44 am

JohnBWatson wrote:
Are the Sung at war with a major power like the Ares are? From the game text, they appear to only pick on weaker nations that they can take slaves from without consequence.

I know the Militia attack them from time to time, but they don't seem to attack the Commonwealth back.

Yes. The militia attacking them means they're at war with the Commonwealth. They don't attack back because almost all enemies avoid stations in order to avoid stripping systems of important player services. Repeat after me: gameplay story segregation.
Not a meaningful one. If there's any presence at the stargate at all you're already sending ships there.
Ships take time to reach a gate, and turrets die quickly without support. From experience, they only seem to provide a real defense against swarms of light gunships and enemies that are otherwise engaged.

Oh, you mean combat support not resupply. No support is needed for turrets to be better than nothing. Some may need armament revision with internal structure, but the outlaw turrets show that projectile firing weapons can be turret mounted.
Why would you not want your main weaponry to reach the stargate? If the stargate isn't in weapons range the fortress does nothing to prevent an enemy from massing forces on the near side of the stargate.
On a strictly gameplay basis, the interaction with collision mechanics makes things a bit strange.

Repeat after me. Gameplay story segregation. Stargates, though, should lose their shot interaction.

In practical terms, stations are expensive and function primarily as bases of operation. Their major function should not be as stationary turrets.

That's an unsupported assumption. Stations are cheaper than ships of the same capacity. They don't carry large engines or need near as much fuel.

BOTOR seems to use your line of strategic doctrine in the Point Minerva system, and the gameplay there feels somewhat off. It takes away from the atmosphere of space being vast, ungovernable, and chaotic, and that's one of the things that originally drew me to the game. Having systems that are completely owned by one faction or another works for massive scale strategy like Anacreon, but it doesn't really fit the 'low fantasy' feel that Transcendence has.

This doesn't mean anything to me. BOTOR is an undefined acronym and I've never heard of any Minerva except an Olympian goddess and a character in the Harry Potter books. If you want space to be vast, ungovernable, and chaotic you need a less constrained FTL paradigm.
Not at all. First, the marauders are not anything like the Somali pirates. They're more like the Barbary pirates. Militarily significant and sponsored by real, if not generally recognized as legitimate, state infrastructure. Second, breaching stargate defenses is necessary to get raiding forces into the systems trade routes run through. Not the front line defenses facing the Sung and Ares, but more primitive versions of the same defense. This is because gate defense is by many orders of magnitude the cheapest way to protect shipping.
But it's very well established that shipping systems aren't completely clean. Every Korolov base has a matching Charon Stronghold, and that's in the most secure section of human space. Plus, the Commonwealth is like America in the frontier era(I suppose the influence of space westerns is quite significant). Laissez Faire, large, ambitious, but lacking in order, especially in its outer settlements. Shipping has to occur throughout human space, from Eridani to St. Kat's to the outer CW colonies to the Ringers and the Fleet. It's impossible to completely secure that route given the state of the CW and CH. Neither has that degree of resources.

Charon presences make no sense as they currently stand. My preferred justification is an uncharted system on the Magelen network like Huarmica, but that would only give access to one or two systems (presumably Charon). To access other systems they have to run convoys through gates, hence the need for door knockers. Which they happen to have.
Have you ever read the Horatio Hornblower novels? One of them describes a section of the French coast where there is a series of coastal islands protecting a coastal waterway and how the English had to infiltrate boats through narrow gaps between those coastal islands or land marines and guns upon those islands to raid French shipping. In a setting with stargates the stargates provide that sort of protection except more so because there are fewer passageways and it's not possible to land marines on a stargate and shell shipping in the next system or fire through one. You have to get ships through and raiding is only possible so long as the internal defenses that operate against piracy aren't well enough funded to be effective.
While stargates would make good bottlenecks, it's effectively established at this point that most systems can't use them that way. Stations and turrets near them would take too long to construct, and wouldn't have a chance of going undetected. While it would be plausible for capitol systems(indeed, St. Katherine's could use a few border turrets, given the presence of stations there), most are too vulnerable to assault. I imagine the fall of Charon's Korolov station would be the a good indicator of what would happen to most attempts at securing stargates.

For stargates to not be used as bottlenecks requires every single politician and military leader in the entirety of human space to be a complete and utter moron.
No they don't because you're defining dreadnoughts in terms of size not role. The Ranx DN is certainly not a door knocker: it lacks effective turret killers.
The main gun and Akans are both turret killers. I've seen it use them. Also, I am speaking in terms of role. Dreadnoughts are ships intended to lead major offenses, cruisers are ships intended to patrol and engage in defensive operations, and bombers are intended to destroy dreadnoughts and cruisers.

We know this is wrong with as much certainty as we know anything not attested in a dockscreen conversation. The Point Juno assault uses no dreadnoughts. The Antarctica assault uses what you call defensive cruisers. Ares bombers are never used against dreadnoughts and cruisers, but against a station. This is because your ship classification isn't connected with the actual tactical needs of star nations in the Transcendence setting.
These posts are from a thread that predates structural HP. The Steel Slaver was a heavy gunship because it can stun lock a capital ship and whittle it down at its leisure.
I remember them from back then, and I suppose they could've worked like that, at least for an unescorted capital. For now, I stand by my suggestion of swapping their weapons with the Wind Slaver and buffing their cyberdeck effectiveness.

You're just making random suggestions without first coming up with a framework for how ships should be used that makes sense and accounts for the known facts of the setting (most importantly the existence of stargates).
Cannon fodder is a "how" classification not a "what" classification. A gunship that is expensive and survives fills exactly the same role as a gunship that is cheap, numerous, and disposable. To be useful for revising and designing factions the classification must address what purpose ships have, not how they accomplish that purpose. The only reason to even distinguish between gunships and capital ships is that countering capital ships is a different role from countering gunships.
Cannon fodder is strategically different from survivable gunships. Cannon fodder can't provide long term defense of anything effectively, making them a more offense based category by necessity.

This is false. Cannon fodder is equally ineffective in all roles. Cannon fodder is used defensively both in game and in the real world.
That's completely backwards. Cometfalls are not used for low grade offenses. They're used in the grand attack on Point Juno.


An attack that does not require breaching defenses and consists primarily of gunships. Strategic importance and scale are two different things. A large scale attack is focused on multiple stations across one or more systems, and is led by one or more dreadnoughts.

That's ridiculous. A dreadnought is a terrible platform for an attack on multiple stations. They can only be in one place at a time. That's the situation for which you most want to have a larger number of smaller ships.
None the less, they're cruisers. They mount powerful anti-ship missiles. The AI isn't capable of properly selecting missiles for different targets and never uses their anti-ship missiles, but the drawbacks of the AI are a gameplay-story segregation issue. and irrelevant.


They're too slow in turning to reliably hit anything that knows how to dodge, and too expensive to be fielded in numbers that circumvent this issue.

The primary prey of cruisers doesn't dodge and they are fielded in numbers the one time we see them. Their great expense is only in your head.
That's stupid. If the turrets don't cover the stargate they're completely pointless. If they're 10 ls from being able to range on the stargate the enemy has more than 10^20 cubic kilometers in which to mass their forces on your side of the stargate without fear of the turrets.


They can theoretically use the inside of the stargate for this purpose regardless of turrets, if we're using gameplay mechanics as the sole basis for strategy. In addition, turrets can't really scratch capital ships, and putting them right next to a stargate guarantees they'll be destroyed before setup is complete.

Gameplay story segregation. Stargates in 3 space do not provide any cover. That they do in game is a bug or misfeature. And what are you talking about "destroyed before setup is complete?" An armored transport circles the stargate dropping turrets and they're done in a day if in game speeds are exaggerated or in an hour if they're not. Until the turrets are deployed there have to be cruisers or long endurance gunships on station.

Factions bleeding into each others' territory is a false impression given by the pilgrim path leading mostly through contested systems and the lack of any implementation of faction territory. It's another gameplay-story segregation issue and making setting assumptions based on it will lead you wrong every time. The opportunity cost of securing a star system is not dieing. Securing a stargate means strongly securing a small sphere around a stargate. The sphere can be just a few light seconds across in reality, though the 2d game and collision mechanics force a larger zone to be used in game. To secure a station a sphere more than 240 light seconds across must be secured. For every station. Space is big, but stargates are small. It is absolutely ridiculous to only have a defense spread across light minutes while neglecting to set up a defense concentrated on a small number of objects each not more than a hundred kilometers across.
We go through multiple systems that are of major importance to factions, none are perfectly secure. Charon has a Korolov station(though not for long), St. Kat's has stations in the outer asteroid belt, Point Juno has two communes. The amount of resources required to defend important stations is less than the amount of resources required to completely secure a system from anything that might theoretically try to move through it.

Gameplay story segregation. The game is wrong. There are criminals with no need to travel between systems hiding in some systems, but the Point Juno setup is nonsensical. That means it's something that should change, not something that the setting should be warped to fit.
Ridculous. The inherent ease of gate defenses compared to patrolling a system dictate that systems are the basic unit of sovereignty. The only non-Ares you'd find in an Ares system would be criminal factions derived from and parasitic upon the Ares the way the outlaw miners are derived from and parasitic upon the Commonwealth.
Outlaw miners, as far as I know, sell to non - CW aligned factions, which is why they're illegal.

Nope. They're illegal because they violate property law by mining asteroids claimed by others. One of the mining station missions makes this explicit.

In any case, if the Ares had systems that were perfectly secure near the warzone, that's where they'd put their shipyards. The fact that they're willing to put such huge investments in vulnerable areas makes it clear that they do not have such an option.

Gameplay story segregation again. There are shipyards in unsecured systems because the system generation code used in D&O doesn't support differentiation in station generation other than by level.
The same way the Aquilas are maintained. With most work done by their crews and major work done at Gunsan, Theia, the unnamed NAMI shipyard, or possibly at Argo.
Argo?

A Commonwealth shipyard dating to the Syrtis War that is still in use. Its capacity is unknown.

...
The Ranx DN is not capable of leading an assault. It can't mop up turrets of the quality that would be present in the region fast enough. It's fills the cruiser role well, but nothing you will see experimenting on the intro screen is like breaking a concentrated stargate defense. Indeed, incorrect abstractions in the 2d collision detection make simulating a stargate defense in the current game misleading: stargates should not interact with projectiles because they provide no cover and are not themselves targets.
We don't know the scale of stargates, but I'd guess that the moving parts might make shooting something inside one tricky.

They're approximately 1000 km if they're on the station scale or about a quarter of a kilometer if they're on the station scale. Since the ICS couldn't fit through them if they were a quarter kilometer they must be 1000 km. That's about 1/300 of a light second. The rotating bits do not provide continuous cover and would no more prevent forces outside the gate from firing on ships "hiding" inside it than Roland Garros's propeller prevented him from shooting down three German planes on the 1, 15, and 18 of April 1915.

Regardless, 3 WMD turrets and an area damage omnidirectional gun is better for turret clearance than anything else I've seen.

Tests made in game aren't likely to be relevant. A turret circle should be denser than you get on the intro screen or spawning objects with g.o.d. mod.
If this were the case the Urak wouldn't exist outside the Urak system. They must have been expansionist in the past. Possibly they're a nonsensical faction.
The initial plague and subsequent coup could have occurred across multiple systems. I'd imagine they spread to less well governed and defended systems in search of resources, but I don't see them picking any major fights.

This supposition is completely without support. The description of the plague talks about "the system." That's a singular definite article there.
If the Kobol are a criminal faction with no territory they may indeed be adequate without more designs, but wherever you got this notion from if it's a real source it wasn't one published when the taxonomy was developed.
They only ever appear as raiders, and attack both the Fleet and the Ares. I'm not perfectly sure, to be honest, but between their tendency to attack freighters, their mutual hatred of any faction that could theoretically be potential prey, and their shooting at Ferians(something only them, the Xenos, and the Rogue Fleet do, the rogue fleet explicitly being pirates), it's a logical assumption to make.

The faction relationships tend to be distorted by a desire to avoid fratricide among enemies of the player, but if they're pirates that's fine.
The Dwarg already have too heavy a force mix to be pure raiders. Behemoths are already door knockers in comparison to the level of military preparedness seen in the ungoverned territories.
They've been used in two missions as station killers during raids. Their reliance on Masters makes them very risky for major assaults, and they lack any long range weaponry.

That would be George not making a new ship when he should have. Probably because he isn't really organized about ship designs. The Dwarg missions should be using longer ranged cruiser variants. By my definition of cruiser.
I also categorically reject the laziness of dropping nonstandard ships into an amorphous support role. Killing enemies by paralyzing them and then plinking them to death is not a different role than killing the same enemies by just shooting at them with guns that do damage.
They don't kill enemies by 'plinking them to death', they kill them with their swarm of Zoanthropes. Without the zoanthropes, they're easy prey for anything with even the starting shield.
Every faction with more than one station needs freighters. Raiders just need some of their freighters to be armed.
Factions with self sufficient stations do not need freighters, period. The Himal are an example of this. Raiders can get their supplies from raiding nearby factions, and if that's not a viable plan then logically they shouldn't exist as a faction, as they'd be operating on a net loss. Minor transfers and sales can be performed by frigates that aren't raiding or defending stations.

Himal raiders don't have enough cargo capacity to shoplift a case of beer. They're serviced by the T series freighters under the independent trader catch all sovereign. Both the independent trader faction and the Himal are BM associated, though. The former because they can carry BM IDs and the latter because they supply drugs and the BM controls the only drug markets that independent traders stop at.
Every faction that cannot pass stargates covertly or under diplomatic cover (eg. the black market or the corporate factions) and do not operate solely in a region with no effective government (eg. some TSB factions) needs a door knocker if it wishes to even raid any star nation that holds territory.
There's no reason to raid heavily defended areas. Pirates don't want to pick a fight with someone that'll retaliate("If they attacked a Corporate Fuel Station, they'd have Admiral Decker himself leading the liberation force"), generally going after freighters in less secure areas and slum stations without effective defenses.

All areas should be defended and pirates pick fights with people that will retaliate all the time. Pirates are generally not very good at making long term decisions. That's why they become pirates.
George's "new" CSC that I've seen is his old CSC design more polygons and fits in the same place in the CSC generations.
Just curious. I'd think that if the weaponry updates were still canon the new CSCs would be using them.

gameplay story segregation. George uses heavily scaled down capship armaments. For an obvious example the Aquila has three times as many turrets on the model as it has guns.
They're quite the opposite in how they fill the role, but they fill the same role. It's not your dreadnought role, though. The Phobos is slow and relies on its turrets. The Dragon Slaver is fast and uses its main gun like a gunship. The Dragon Slaver lacks the range to attack stations safely and is can't stand up to proper capital ships long enough to overcome its poor range unless deployed en mass, which appears to not be within the Sung capacity. The Earth Slaver is a far better station killer because it out-ranges common station defenses and the Dragon Slaver doesn't.
The Phobos isn't slow, it's faster than an Aquila, and most other capships to boot. Stations are largely guarded by gunships and turrets, and the Dragon Slaver's turrets can wipe both out easily.

The Phobos is not faster than the Aquila and both are slow compared to the Dragon Slaver, especially in helm response, which is the most significant element of ship agility. The Dragon Slaver's turrets are fast firing, but don't hit very hard and the unavoidable fact is that it has to get close to its enemies and the Earth Slaver doesn't. Range matters for the anti-station role.
If the worldship were a mobile city it would not operate in contested territory at all.


It's a Worldship.

So? A pretentious name doesn't make something bigger than it actually is and Worldships aren't that big.
That's certainly wrong. Xenophobe doesn't mean fear of little green men. It means fear of people from other cultures.
In our present definition. We have not met aliens.

Their theft of the Iocrym artifact that Taikon was researching to break the quarantine is evidence for my theory, as is their possession of CW luxury items. If they hated the influence of other human cultures, they'd have no interest in the Iocrym artifact and they'd certainly not be carrying Commonwealth goods. This is all WMG, but I've backed it up with some evidence in support of it. George probably knows the truth here, but I doubt we'll hear about it soon given his preference for hinting at things rather than stating them outright.

The items are, and I really wish I didn't have to keep repeating this, gameplay story segregation. There are standard loot tables. They have CW goods on them. Everyone uses them. They stole something from the Teratons because they don't hate the Teratons. No, you don't have evidence.

Of course, your theory about Oracus's influence is likely correct, assuming Domina is really the one sending the player outward to break the quarantine.
CSC America is more single player oriented than the RTS contemplated at the time. I have my doubts, though, that it can succeed without multiplayer and that will have to be symmetrical and may require more factions as well. Warcraft got by with just two, but there are already other factions in the setting with partial or complete assets.
Isn't America built with multiplayer in mind? I think I recall George saying that.

Most RTSs have single player campaigns only as an afterthought.

My guess is the multiplayer would be either CSC vs CSC or coop, rather than Ares being a playable faction. It makes much more sense than balancing static structures against carriers for equal battles between players. Buildable structures in real time goes against established gameplay, and would seem unrealistic regardless. The effort needed to make anything other than the Fleet a playable faction would take too much away from other things.

Coop is not likely to make for satisfying multiplayer. CSC vs CSC would get old pretty quick. I can't think of a single RTS that succeeded without multiple factions with either different art or mechanical differences or usually both. And Warcraft is the only one I can think of that had only a single set of mechanics with only art variation between factions. Realism has never been a concern for Transcendence game play and I don't expect it to start in the RTS.
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Song
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:05 am

Not gonna wade into the war of nitpicking going on (doing so wouldn't be possible without spoiling stuff). Just keep in mind (on all sides) that canon is flexible and can (and has) changed previously. As such, endlessly debating current stuff is problematic: we don't have complete canon, canon changes, and at the end of the day a universal system covering all ships by all the (many) factions and races is unlikely to be workable without a lot of special classes and cases. Less nitpicking and more idea-floating is more useful.....and won't kill the thread and prevent useful ideas from coming out of it.



Please note also, again: devwiki lore not in the game is restricted content and should not be given out in random arguments, not least of which because it is not in the game and subject to change at any time. There's only a snippet in this thread thus far (and it's of no consequence) but it seems prudent to bring this up to prevent anything further. Also that purple colour is physically painful to look at.
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:13 am

Actually that wasn't devwiki lore iirc, it was actually in a private conversation between us (Atarlost and myself) and george, and any spoilers on D&O stuff weren't devwiki at the time - as devwiki didnt exist when i first found them, it was stuff I found on IRC or in the xml.

Though to that end, I should point out that things in TSB *have* changed, and some content has been pushed around to other future extensions or shelved for the time being. The overall concepts however have remained.
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:22 pm

Atar, if you're going to format like this, at least pick a different color each time. It gets disorienting.
Atarlost wrote: Yes. The militia attacking them means they're at war with the Commonwealth. They don't attack back because almost all enemies avoid stations in order to avoid stripping systems of important player services. Repeat after me: gameplay story segregation.
Aside from Goron and Xenos, nobody attacks anybody outside of missions. In missions, stations are indeed attacked by factions at war with them or seeking to raid them. Examples: Dwarg raiding UAS and Corporate, Ares attacking CSCs.

As George mentioned that the Sung try to avoid angering the major powers by picking on the Huari instead, it's assumed they don't want to disrupt key trade routes or destroy major stations either. Considering what the CW is willing to spend on fighting the Ares, who aren't even close to home, I'd imagine the Sung are quite justified in their desire to avoid a war with them.
Oh, you mean combat support not resupply. No support is needed for turrets to be better than nothing. Some may need armament revision with internal structure, but the outlaw turrets show that projectile firing weapons can be turret mounted.
Better than nothing is only relevant if building them is free. Turrets must be reasonably expensive considering stations don't build more of them around themselves, and putting them somewhere they'd be destroyed quite often if they even manage to be completely set up would be a very high cost endeavor with minimal benefits.
Repeat after me. Gameplay story segregation. Stargates, though, should lose their shot interaction.
Camping them is already quite easy. I suppose it could work so long as incoming reinforcements were less single - minded, and would stop to fight back if attacked. This is a particular issue for the Urak.
That's an unsupported assumption. Stations are cheaper than ships of the same capacity. They don't carry large engines or need near as much fuel.
They also require long term life support, repair and refueling facilities, equipment to maintain a stable orbit, and many other things. Also, nobody's going to volunteer to be on a station that acts as a stationary turret.
This doesn't mean anything to me. BOTOR is an undefined acronym and I've never heard of any Minerva except an Olympian goddess and a character in the Harry Potter books. If you want space to be vast, ungovernable, and chaotic you need a less constrained FTL paradigm.
Battles of the Outer Realms. One of the most ambitious mods ever released. Overall fairly enjoyable, but the assumptions drawn from breaking current gameplay conventions get a bit weird. Centurions loaded up with howitzers, and the like.
Charon presences make no sense as they currently stand. My preferred justification is an uncharted system on the Magelen network like Huarmica, but that would only give access to one or two systems (presumably Charon). To access other systems they have to run convoys through gates, hence the need for door knockers. Which they happen to have.
Charon presence as it currently stands is canon. Changing everything wildly just to make you feel better about it is ludicrous. In addition, Magelen stargates aren't something that just show up when it's convenient. There are a grand total of two sets of them in the game, one at Sol and one that the Huari managed to find by sheer chance somewhere in the UT.

The Drake class already has a logical role in attacking heavier freighters and destroying troublesome stations, and it has been shown multiple times to operate in this capacity.
For stargates to not be used as bottlenecks requires every single politician and military leader in the entirety of human space to be a complete and utter moron.
The myriad logistical issues and massive incentive to destroy them before completion complicate your supposedly simple solution to all crime and military issues.
We know this is wrong with as much certainty as we know anything not attested in a dockscreen conversation. The Point Juno assault uses no dreadnoughts. The Antarctica assault uses what you call defensive cruisers. Ares bombers are never used against dreadnoughts and cruisers, but against a station. This is because your ship classification isn't connected with the actual tactical needs of star nations in the Transcendence setting.
The Point Juno assault is not a major offensive. It is a rapid attack set up to destroy a single lightly defended high value target. Your claim is absurd as saying tanks are obsolete because none were used in the Kennedy assassination.

The Antarctica assault is not a conventional attack at all. They appear as a last resort attempt to stop the Antarctica before it gates, after the player does not carry out his mission.

The Cometfalls are not used against Dreadnoughts because the CW doesn't have any, nor do any Ares enemies. They are not used against cruisers because they only appear once, while attacking a non - Ares target. Bombers are useful against both stations and capitals, due to their ability to cheaply inflict large amounts of WMD damage.
You're just making random suggestions without first coming up with a framework for how ships should be used that makes sense and accounts for the known facts of the setting (most importantly the existence of stargates).
Steel Slaver is a support gunship. It lacks WMD, and is thus not heavy. It has shields and survivability, and is thus not light. The Wind Slaver has an expensive weapon yet currently operates in a role where it can expect to be killed quickly and en masse, and the Steel Slaver could use that weapon much more effectively. My suggestion is tactically and strategically valid.
This is false. Cannon fodder is equally ineffective in all roles. Cannon fodder is used defensively both in game and in the real world.
In game? Yes, but not effectively.

In the real world? Not in any comparably recent battlefield. Ever since the machinegun, cannon fodder has been obsolete defensively.

In defending light freighters, Ronin A gunships are a very efficient investment, keeping light Charon ships away. In light attacks consisting of gunships, Corsairs(for Charon, against freighters and stations) and Ronin As(for attacks on Charon Strongholds) are somewhat effective, distracting the defenders while heavier ships perform the kill.
That's ridiculous. A dreadnought is a terrible platform for an attack on multiple stations. They can only be in one place at a time. That's the situation for which you most want to have a larger number of smaller ships.
A dreadnought is less subject to attrition than a group of gunships, and can thus participate in large scale attacks more effectively. Not all stations need to be destroyed simultaneously.
The primary prey of cruisers doesn't dodge and they are fielded in numbers the one time we see them.
A patrol is intended to kill scouts, primarily gunships. Patrolling with things capable of killing a capital ship is ridiculous, as it puts costly bombers at risk and expends a ton of fuel. If you expect one to show up, patrol the stargate with lighter ships and call for reinforcements from a station maintaining bombers if one arrives.
Their great expense is only in your head.
Large amount of armor + Expensive munitions + very expensive launcher.
Gameplay story segregation. Stargates in 3 space do not provide any cover. That they do in game is a bug or misfeature. And what are you talking about "destroyed before setup is complete?" An armored transport circles the stargate dropping turrets and they're done in a day if in game speeds are exaggerated or in an hour if they're not. Until the turrets are deployed there have to be cruisers or long endurance gunships on station.
"Dropping turrets".

Not once have we seen this ingame.

If an assault can't get through some gunships and cruisers, turrets are extraneous. If an assault can do so, they are useless.
Gameplay story segregation. The game is wrong. There are criminals with no need to travel between systems hiding in some systems, but the Point Juno setup is nonsensical. That means it's something that should change, not something that the setting should be warped to fit.
If you consider everything that has been set up thus far to be wrong, my response is simply no. You do not get to decide that the game should be a completely different game just because you dislike it. The development time it would take is completely disproportional to the fact that it would only please a single person.
Nope. They're illegal because they violate property law by mining asteroids claimed by others. One of the mining station missions makes this explicit.
The mining mission does say this, but I'd assume that the other issue takes precedent. If someone mines uranium in a national park and then sells it to North Korea, it's the latter they'll be hanged for.

Indeed, considering they set up in the UT, where there are few to no legitimate CW mining operations...
Gameplay story segregation again. There are shipyards in unsecured systems because the system generation code used in D&O doesn't support differentiation in station generation other than by level.
You contradict yourself. First you say we do not encounter any secure systems though they exist, then you claim that Shipyards should only spawn in secure systems. If both of your claims are true, they should not exist within the game's resources, yet they do.
A Commonwealth shipyard dating to the Syrtis War that is still in use. Its capacity is unknown.
Ah.
They're approximately 1000 km if they're on the station scale or about a quarter of a kilometer if they're on the station scale. Since the ICS couldn't fit through them if they were a quarter kilometer they must be 1000 km. That's about 1/300 of a light second. The rotating bits do not provide continuous cover and would no more prevent forces outside the gate from firing on ships "hiding" inside it than Roland Garros's propeller prevented him from shooting down three German planes on the 1, 15, and 18 of April 1915.
I'm going out on a limb here, but do we know the ICS gated normally? The Jumpdrive proves that alien races have other ways of achieving FTL.
Tests made in game aren't likely to be relevant. A turret circle should be denser than you get on the intro screen or spawning objects with g.o.d. mod.
So, how many turrets?

For reference, a CW station holding millions of people has less than 10 mounted on it, and that's only in hostile territory. A colony has 4 outside.
This supposition is completely without support. The description of the plague talks about "the system." That's a singular definite article there.

Code: Select all

The Urak never recovered from the plague that "
"hit their colonies. Now they follow a military dictator "
"and fear all outsiders.
Is this what you're referring to? "The system" in the context of Benedict's text refers to Eridani.
That would be George not making a new ship when he should have. Probably because he isn't really organized about ship designs. The Dwarg missions should be using longer ranged cruiser variants. By my definition of cruiser.
At present, they work just fine. The Behemoths aren't long ranged like a dreadnought or bomber might be, but they're much more expendable. More than one way to skin a cat, as they say.
Himal raiders don't have enough cargo capacity to shoplift a case of beer.
They're self sufficient, not raiders.
They're serviced by the T series freighters under the independent trader catch all sovereign. Both the independent trader faction and the Himal are BM associated, though.
I've seen that too, but it's not a dedicated freighter of theirs. It likely trades them drugs for supplies, like the ones that dock at CW stations do.
All areas should be defended and pirates pick fights with people that will retaliate all the time. Pirates are generally not very good at making long term decisions. That's why they become pirates.
"Let's go steal from this heavily defended military base!" is not a long term decision. Indeed, it is very, very short term, as is their lifespan from that point forward.
gameplay story segregation. George uses heavily scaled down capship armaments. For an obvious example the Aquila has three times as many turrets on the model as it has guns.
While I'd say that's true for some ships, I'd doubt it with regard to CSCs. Better armament and they could kill a Phobos, which wouldn't really be balanced. In addition, their fighter wings would no longer constitute a majority of their firepower, which would make their role as carriers somewhat bizarre.
The Phobos is not faster than the Aquila and both are slow compared to the Dragon Slaver, especially in helm response, which is the most significant element of ship agility. The Dragon Slaver's turrets are fast firing, but don't hit very hard and the unavoidable fact is that it has to get close to its enemies and the Earth Slaver doesn't. Range matters for the anti-station role.
Anti - major military station, sure. Anti colony, slum, or other target the Sung are likely to hit, not as much. The Dragon Slaver is more of a shock unit designed to lead major assaults, though, so it's true that Earth Slavers would be more useful for smaller scale attacks.
So? A pretentious name doesn't make something bigger than it actually is and Worldships aren't that big.
They have no stations, and the model is covered in lights from windows. That, along with the name, makes it a reasonable assumption.
The items are, and I really wish I didn't have to keep repeating this, gameplay story segregation. There are standard loot tables. They have CW goods on them. Everyone uses them. They stole something from the Teratons because they don't hate the Teratons. No, you don't have evidence.
The alien artifact is useless to anyone not researching alien technology. The Teratons want it because they like to experiment with things they probably shouldn't. Taikon wants it to break the quarantine. If the Xenos didn't have an interest in it, they wouldn't have stolen it.
Most RTSs have single player campaigns only as an afterthought.
I'd say otherwise. For many, the single player campaign is the primary attraction. Considering the primary market is Transcendence players, and Transcendence is a single player game, I'd say the campaign is going to be more of a priority than in most RTSes. Indeed, multiplayer is likely to be the afterthought, if anything.
Coop is not likely to make for satisfying multiplayer.
Source? RA3 was fairly successful, and Coop was their most unique feature.
CSC vs CSC would get old pretty quick.
With current force mix, sure. With a tech tree and customization, like what's planned, it'd have a lot more staying power. I'd say a CSC set up to field lots of Centurions against one focused on a minelayer or stealth gunship oriented strategy would be a more interesting battle than Terran vs. Zerg, but that's just me.
I can't think of a single RTS that succeeded without multiple factions with either different art or mechanical differences or usually both.
CSC America isn't a traditional RTS like Warcraft or C&C. Persistent, individual units, a procedurally generated campaign, and indirect commands are all very different from most of what's on the market.

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JohnBWatson wrote:Atar, if you're going to format like this, at least pick a different color each time. It gets disorienting.
I use one color so other people can pick their own colors. You should try it: it really works much better than lots of little quote tags.
Atarlost wrote: Yes. The militia attacking them means they're at war with the Commonwealth. They don't attack back because almost all enemies avoid stations in order to avoid stripping systems of important player services. Repeat after me: gameplay story segregation.
Aside from Goron and Xenos, nobody attacks anybody outside of missions. In missions, stations are indeed attacked by factions at war with them or seeking to raid them. Examples: Dwarg raiding UAS and Corporate, Ares attacking CSCs.

As George mentioned that the Sung try to avoid angering the major powers by picking on the Huari instead, it's assumed they don't want to disrupt key trade routes or destroy major stations either. Considering what the CW is willing to spend on fighting the Ares, who aren't even close to home, I'd imagine the Sung are quite justified in their desire to avoid a war with them.

But they're not. the CW is launching missions against Sung convoys and there are people in CW bars complaining about having family taken by the Sung.
Oh, you mean combat support not resupply. No support is needed for turrets to be better than nothing. Some may need armament revision with internal structure, but the outlaw turrets show that projectile firing weapons can be turret mounted.
Better than nothing is only relevant if building them is free. Turrets must be reasonably expensive considering stations don't build more of them around themselves, and putting them somewhere they'd be destroyed quite often if they even manage to be completely set up would be a very high cost endeavor with minimal benefits.

A turret is an auton with tiny engines only suitable for station keeping. They are as good as free. That more stations don't have them is gameplay story segregation. Turrets around stations (unless implemented as ships like the Ares turrets) cause UI issues with docking.
Repeat after me. Gameplay story segregation. Stargates, though, should lose their shot interaction.
Camping them is already quite easy. I suppose it could work so long as incoming reinforcements were less single - minded, and would stop to fight back if attacked. This is a particular issue for the Urak.

You're trying to build lore from gameplay again. The first step is to figure out what should be going on in universe. The second step is to figure out what of that can happen in a game in 2d space. The third is to fix the AI to do that. Looking at the emergant properties of the old stopgap AI to create lore just reinforces the worst bugs in the AI by declaring them features.
That's an unsupported assumption. Stations are cheaper than ships of the same capacity. They don't carry large engines or need near as much fuel.
They also require long term life support, repair and refueling facilities, equipment to maintain a stable orbit, and many other things. Also, nobody's going to volunteer to be on a station that acts as a stationary turret.

People volunteer or are drafted to serve on CSCs and inadequately defended stations like Point Juno and on ships that are going to go out and deliberately get into fights with more advanced enemies. People in the real world have served in any number of stationary fortresses throughout history without mutinying; many of them volunteers. Most considered garrison duty easier than serving roles where they might be asked to fight field battles.
This doesn't mean anything to me. BOTOR is an undefined acronym and I've never heard of any Minerva except an Olympian goddess and a character in the Harry Potter books. If you want space to be vast, ungovernable, and chaotic you need a less constrained FTL paradigm.
Battles of the Outer Realms. One of the most ambitious mods ever released. Overall fairly enjoyable, but the assumptions drawn from breaking current gameplay conventions get a bit weird. Centurions loaded up with howitzers, and the like.
Charon presences make no sense as they currently stand. My preferred justification is an uncharted system on the Magelen network like Huarmica, but that would only give access to one or two systems (presumably Charon). To access other systems they have to run convoys through gates, hence the need for door knockers. Which they happen to have.
Charon presence as it currently stands is canon. Changing everything wildly just to make you feel better about it is ludicrous. In addition, Magelen stargates aren't something that just show up when it's convenient. There are a grand total of two sets of them in the game, one at Sol and one that the Huari managed to find by sheer chance somewhere in the UT.

Of course they show up when convenient. This is fiction. The Huari found one Because George decided they should. The notion that there are only two is unsupported and they can fix a number of problems with the spread of illegal factions.

The Drake class already has a logical role in attacking heavier freighters and destroying troublesome stations, and it has been shown multiple times to operate in this capacity.
For stargates to not be used as bottlenecks requires every single politician and military leader in the entirety of human space to be a complete and utter moron.
The myriad logistical issues and massive incentive to destroy them before completion complicate your supposedly simple solution to all crime and military issues.

There are no logistical issues to speak of. Ships are already flying to stargates all the time. Supplying stargate defenses is as difficult a logistical problem as resupplying a military base on the Panama Canal. There may be an incentive to destroy them before completion, but it isn't possible. They take almost no time to complete and no enemy can even try to monitor their establishment unless they already have the sort of permanent presence on their side that you're claiming is impossible.
We know this is wrong with as much certainty as we know anything not attested in a dockscreen conversation. The Point Juno assault uses no dreadnoughts. The Antarctica assault uses what you call defensive cruisers. Ares bombers are never used against dreadnoughts and cruisers, but against a station. This is because your ship classification isn't connected with the actual tactical needs of star nations in the Transcendence setting.
The Point Juno assault is not a major offensive. It is a rapid attack set up to destroy a single lightly defended high value target. Your claim is absurd as saying tanks are obsolete because none were used in the Kennedy assassination.

The Antarctica assault is not a conventional attack at all. They appear as a last resort attempt to stop the Antarctica before it gates, after the player does not carry out his mission.

The Cometfalls are not used against Dreadnoughts because the CW doesn't have any, nor do any Ares enemies. They are not used against cruisers because they only appear once, while attacking a non - Ares target. Bombers are useful against both stations and capitals, due to their ability to cheaply inflict large amounts of WMD damage.

So you're claiming the Ares have a ship for which they do not have a role rather than admitting that your claimed role is wrong. You're once again assuming that everyone in universe is a moron. That's a good way to wind up with a moronic setting.
You're just making random suggestions without first coming up with a framework for how ships should be used that makes sense and accounts for the known facts of the setting (most importantly the existence of stargates).
Steel Slaver is a support gunship. It lacks WMD, and is thus not heavy. It has shields and survivability, and is thus not light. The Wind Slaver has an expensive weapon yet currently operates in a role where it can expect to be killed quickly and en masse, and the Steel Slaver could use that weapon much more effectively. My suggestion is tactically and strategically valid.

The Steel Slaver renders one ship, be it a hornet or a Phobos, inoperable for around half an hour. It doesn't take many Steel Slavers to keep an enemy that can't run away stunlocked and it doesn't matter what gun you have against a stunlocked enemy as long as it's capable of doing any damage at all.
This is false. Cannon fodder is equally ineffective in all roles. Cannon fodder is used defensively both in game and in the real world.
In game? Yes, but not effectively.

In the real world? Not in any comparably recent battlefield. Ever since the machinegun, cannon fodder has been obsolete defensively.

Because nobody has ever bothered putting riflemen in defensive positions since the invention of the Maxim Gun. No, wait. That's not how things happened at all. Nobody has ever put poorly trained and equipped infantry in urban terrain to stall an attacker. Stalingrad didn't happen. I guess that explain why Russia is a province of Germany. No, that's not how things happened either. Oh, you meant more recent. So like the insurgency in Iraq. No, even if that was less effective than the defense of Stalingrad it still happened and was many orders of magnitude more effective than those same forces would have been at trying to eg. invade Kuwait again.

In defending light freighters, Ronin A gunships are a very efficient investment, keeping light Charon ships away. In light attacks consisting of gunships, Corsairs(for Charon, against freighters and stations) and Ronin As(for attacks on Charon Strongholds) are somewhat effective, distracting the defenders while heavier ships perform the kill.

In attacking Charon bases Ronin As aren't worth the fuel to get them out there.
That's ridiculous. A dreadnought is a terrible platform for an attack on multiple stations. They can only be in one place at a time. That's the situation for which you most want to have a larger number of smaller ships.
A dreadnought is less subject to attrition than a group of gunships, and can thus participate in large scale attacks more effectively. Not all stations need to be destroyed simultaneously.

Gameplay story segregation. In game ships do not suffer any damage to their combat capability until their armor is breached even though all weapons of necessity either have a hole in the armor in front of them or have some part that protrudes outside the armor. All turrets have to be the latter. This is because equipment damage is too punitive to players. In universe a dreadnought would not remain fully combat capable after any battle that its shield was not sufficient for. Ranx DNs in particular rely on armor repair and would lose guns all the time.
The primary prey of cruisers doesn't dodge and they are fielded in numbers the one time we see them.
A patrol is intended to kill scouts, primarily gunships. Patrolling with things capable of killing a capital ship is ridiculous, as it puts costly bombers at risk and expends a ton of fuel. If you expect one to show up, patrol the stargate with lighter ships and call for reinforcements from a station maintaining bombers if one arrives.

And yet the Deimos, Phobos, and RDN are commonly found patrolling. You can't ever expect something to show up. You can't see what's on the other side of a stargate. You either have to have forces in position all the time or you may as well have nothing at all.
Their great expense is only in your head.
Large amount of armor + Expensive munitions + very expensive launcher.

Not really. The player has no access to the Ares markets and the goods prices are set according to the Commonwealth and Ringer markets, both of whom are at war with the Ares. It's rare to find intact Ares launchers and Ares munitions. The very low supply pushes up the price.
Gameplay story segregation. Stargates in 3 space do not provide any cover. That they do in game is a bug or misfeature. And what are you talking about "destroyed before setup is complete?" An armored transport circles the stargate dropping turrets and they're done in a day if in game speeds are exaggerated or in an hour if they're not. Until the turrets are deployed there have to be cruisers or long endurance gunships on station.
"Dropping turrets".

Not once have we seen this ingame.

We don't see them being assembled in place either. Turrets are auton minus and have similar displayed size. From that we know they're small enough to drop from a cargo hold.

If an assault can't get through some gunships and cruisers, turrets are extraneous. If an assault can do so, they are useless.

This is related to a flaw in the internal structure balance. Internal structure is very new in terms of Transcendence's rate of development and the ramifications haven't been worked out. There are, however, turrets that are a threat to peer capital ships in a forced close engagement even if they aren't those of any major power. Turrets are certainly every bit as potent as gunships of the same technology level. If turrets are too expensive to place around stargates stationing cruisers there permanently certainly is.
Gameplay story segregation. The game is wrong. There are criminals with no need to travel between systems hiding in some systems, but the Point Juno setup is nonsensical. That means it's something that should change, not something that the setting should be warped to fit.
If you consider everything that has been set up thus far to be wrong, my response is simply no. You do not get to decide that the game should be a completely different game just because you dislike it. The development time it would take is completely disproportional to the fact that it would only please a single person.

Everyone knows the gameplay is wrong. NPCs don't use fuel. The player can see lasers before they hit him. There is no relativity for ships traveling at 0.35c. The damage done by kinetic weapons is not effected by the relative motion of the target. X-rays from bombs can hurt things that x-rays from bomb pumped lasers can't. The station distribution in the D&O system chain is still a random mess from back when Transcendence was just as casual about realism as Nethack. These don't even have to be corrected, but when writing lore and planning new content we can't act as though the gameplay simplifications are the way the world works.
Nope. They're illegal because they violate property law by mining asteroids claimed by others. One of the mining station missions makes this explicit.
The mining mission does say this, but I'd assume that the other issue takes precedent. If someone mines uranium in a national park and then sells it to North Korea, it's the latter they'll be hanged for.

Indeed, considering they set up in the UT, where there are few to no legitimate CW mining operations...

You're making stuff up again. We know what their crime is. There's no need to invent another. The lack of corporate mines later in the game is to avoid clogging the station table with them past the point where they're interesting. Station distribution along the D&O chain predates any interest in having a world more involved than Nethack and cannot be taken for lore.
Gameplay story segregation again. There are shipyards in unsecured systems because the system generation code used in D&O doesn't support differentiation in station generation other than by level.
You contradict yourself. First you say we do not encounter any secure systems though they exist, then you claim that Shipyards should only spawn in secure systems. If both of your claims are true, they should not exist within the game's resources, yet they do.

Station distribution in D&O predates any interest in story or realism on George's part. They exist because George felt like having a station that spawns ships. When the game is made more coherent or other games (like CSC America) are made that show a more story based and less gamist view of the world those stations should be moved into secure systems.
A Commonwealth shipyard dating to the Syrtis War that is still in use. Its capacity is unknown.
Ah.
They're approximately 1000 km if they're on the station scale or about a quarter of a kilometer if they're on the station scale. Since the ICS couldn't fit through them if they were a quarter kilometer they must be 1000 km. That's about 1/300 of a light second. The rotating bits do not provide continuous cover and would no more prevent forces outside the gate from firing on ships "hiding" inside it than Roland Garros's propeller prevented him from shooting down three German planes on the 1, 15, and 18 of April 1915.
I'm going out on a limb here, but do we know the ICS gated normally? The Jumpdrive proves that alien races have other ways of achieving FTL.

If they're station scale they're 250 meters, which is even smaller and has less justification for providing cover.
Tests made in game aren't likely to be relevant. A turret circle should be denser than you get on the intro screen or spawning objects with g.o.d. mod.
So, how many turrets?

For reference, a CW station holding millions of people has less than 10 mounted on it, and that's only in hostile territory. A colony has 4 outside.

Weapons in game do not correspond to turrets in universe. Look at the Aquila model some time.
This supposition is completely without support. The description of the plague talks about "the system." That's a singular definite article there.

Code: Select all

The Urak never recovered from the plague that "
"hit their colonies. Now they follow a military dictator "
"and fear all outsiders.
Is this what you're referring to? "The system" in the context of Benedict's text refers to Eridani.

No, the system is Urak in the Near Stars. It's clear in the dev wiki timeline.
That would be George not making a new ship when he should have. Probably because he isn't really organized about ship designs. The Dwarg missions should be using longer ranged cruiser variants. By my definition of cruiser.
At present, they work just fine. The Behemoths aren't long ranged like a dreadnought or bomber might be, but they're much more expendable. More than one way to skin a cat, as they say.
Himal raiders don't have enough cargo capacity to shoplift a case of beer.
They're self sufficient, not raiders.
They're serviced by the T series freighters under the independent trader catch all sovereign. Both the independent trader faction and the Himal are BM associated, though.
I've seen that too, but it's not a dedicated freighter of theirs. It likely trades them drugs for supplies, like the ones that dock at CW stations do.
All areas should be defended and pirates pick fights with people that will retaliate all the time. Pirates are generally not very good at making long term decisions. That's why they become pirates.
"Let's go steal from this heavily defended military base!" is not a long term decision. Indeed, it is very, very short term, as is their lifespan from that point forward.


gameplay story segregation. George uses heavily scaled down capship armaments. For an obvious example the Aquila has three times as many turrets on the model as it has guns.
While I'd say that's true for some ships, I'd doubt it with regard to CSCs. Better armament and they could kill a Phobos, which wouldn't really be balanced. In addition, their fighter wings would no longer constitute a majority of their firepower, which would make their role as carriers somewhat bizarre.

They have turrets several times bigger than a Centurion so the count may be right, but the guns are definitely not.
The Phobos is not faster than the Aquila and both are slow compared to the Dragon Slaver, especially in helm response, which is the most significant element of ship agility. The Dragon Slaver's turrets are fast firing, but don't hit very hard and the unavoidable fact is that it has to get close to its enemies and the Earth Slaver doesn't. Range matters for the anti-station role.
Anti - major military station, sure. Anti colony, slum, or other target the Sung are likely to hit, not as much. The Dragon Slaver is more of a shock unit designed to lead major assaults, though, so it's true that Earth Slavers would be more useful for smaller scale attacks.

The Dragon Slaver is not suitable for use against civilian targets. If you fire antimatter at something you want live prisoners from you'll be disappointed.
So? A pretentious name doesn't make something bigger than it actually is and Worldships aren't that big.
They have no stations, and the model is covered in lights from windows. That, along with the name, makes it a reasonable assumption.

No it doesn't. They're not that big. The size of the windows just reinforces their office tower scale. They have no stations because Benin isn't a system that exists in game, but they do have a city ship in one of the Heretic missions. It's not a worldship.
The items are, and I really wish I didn't have to keep repeating this, gameplay story segregation. There are standard loot tables. They have CW goods on them. Everyone uses them. They stole something from the Teratons because they don't hate the Teratons. No, you don't have evidence.
The alien artifact is useless to anyone not researching alien technology. The Teratons want it because they like to experiment with things they probably shouldn't. Taikon wants it to break the quarantine. If the Xenos didn't have an interest in it, they wouldn't have stolen it.

So now they want to research alien technology because they hate aliens. Or maybe they want to research alien technology for the same reason as everyone else: it has the potential to lead to advanced technology. There's absolutely no reason to think their ideology has anything to do with aliens. They hate everyone.
Literally is the new Figuratively

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Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:48 am

While I do agree that the colouring is better than quoting (although when you miss a bit it looks like you're arguing with yourself), your choice of colour blends in with the background and is physically painful to read.
Mischievous local moderator. She/Her pronouns.

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Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:28 am

I use one color so other people can pick their own colors. You should try it: it really works much better than lots of little quote tags.
I'll try it out. Someone tell me if it's better or worse.


But they're not. the CW is launching missions against Sung convoys and there are people in CW bars complaining about having family taken by the Sung.

The CW attack the Sung, but they don't attack back. There are isolated incidents of CW citizens being abducted, but in Transcendence that doesn't seem to be an act of war. I see the Sung as larger scale outlaw miners, in a way: They'll shoot CW ships that get close or otherwise bother them, and the CW disapproves of their existence and won't hesitate to attack them, but they know they don't have the power to win a real fight with a major power, so they don't start one.

A turret is an auton with tiny engines only suitable for station keeping. They are as good as free. That more stations don't have them is gameplay story segregation. Turrets around stations (unless implemented as ships like the Ares turrets) cause UI issues with docking.

Turrets can be given no dockingports, can't they? Or, indeed, spaced further out.

In any case, if omnidirectional turrets are cheap and easy to add to small ships, the Wolfen would have one.


You're trying to build lore from gameplay again. The first step is to figure out what should be going on in universe. The second step is to figure out what of that can happen in a game in 2d space. The third is to fix the AI to do that. Looking at the emergant properties of the old stopgap AI to create lore just reinforces the worst bugs in the AI by declaring them features.

Not saying there's a lore reason for stargates and planets blocking projectiles(indeed, I'd prefer they not do so), just saying we'd need an AI fix before we could change it to prevent exploits.

People volunteer or are drafted to serve on CSCs and inadequately defended stations like Point Juno and on ships that are going to go out and deliberately get into fights with more advanced enemies. People in the real world have served in any number of stationary fortresses throughout history without mutinying; many of them volunteers. Most considered garrison duty easier than serving roles where they might be asked to fight field battles.

CSCs were sent out back when the war was far in the CW's favor, and Juno, we can assume, was constructed back then as well(also, they had a CSC watching their backs until recently.) Ultimately, while a lot of the roles performed by Fleet troops are dangerous, stationary turret duty is practically guaranteed as a death sentence. Soldiers follow orders when there's a legitimate chance that their skill could save them from death.

While stationary fortresses have had people serving on them, fortresses aren't there to work as turrets, they're there to work as bases of operation. In the modern era, a building exposed to major direct fire is as good as razed. In medieval times, you may have a point, but in a setting with WMD weapons that can reasonably kill everyone in a given structure, it's a different story.


Of course they show up when convenient. This is fiction. The Huari found one Because George decided they should. The notion that there are only two is unsupported and they can fix a number of problems with the spread of illegal factions.

The Huari get one because they've been around for a long time, and know their region well. They also may or may not have some manner of diety watching their backs. Earth gets one because Earth. A bunch of criminals aren't going to be clever enough to find ancient stargates and use them for their operations when the region's legitimate government couldn't and neither could the ultra - efficient chamber of commerce entity.

There are no logistical issues to speak of. Ships are already flying to stargates all the time. Supplying stargate defenses is as difficult a logistical problem as resupplying a military base on the Panama Canal. There may be an incentive to destroy them before completion, but it isn't possible. They take almost no time to complete and no enemy can even try to monitor their establishment unless they already have the sort of permanent presence on their side that you're claiming is impossible.

Maintenance cost varies with distance. If you can reach a turret with a station's maintenance workers/drones/whatever maintains them, it's much easier to do so. Ditto refueling, repair, and construction. There's no proof of their time for setup(considering Juno has none, I'd assume it's longer than you think), and, as you said, ships move between stargates all the time, meaning that if something's going on near one, everyone's going to know about it.

So you're claiming the Ares have a ship for which they do not have a role rather than admitting that your claimed role is wrong. You're once again assuming that everyone in universe is a moron. That's a good way to wind up with a moronic setting.

Bombers can attack CSCs(which are capital ships, albeit unconventional ones), Aquilas(which are only seen ingame once, but presumably exist elsewhere), and stations. They indeed have a role, and it is exactly the role we see them in ingame. They attack capships and stations.

The Steel Slaver renders one ship, be it a hornet or a Phobos, inoperable for around half an hour. It doesn't take many Steel Slavers to keep an enemy that can't run away stunlocked and it doesn't matter what gun you have against a stunlocked enemy as long as it's capable of doing any damage at all.

That's not how software works. It's established that, in Transcendence, software vulnerabilities can be patched reasonably quickly(try abusing the jettison hack), and, indeed, a ship that has survived one cyberattack has done so because it purged the virus from its systems, so it should reasonably be more equipped to remove or prevent a second one, assuming they have Avast in the future. The fact that ships don't learn to resist cyberattacks is purely an abstraction driven by the fact that the player can't use them very frequently, and the factions that can do not use them frequently enough that it's become an issue.

Because nobody has ever bothered putting riflemen in defensive positions since the invention of the Maxim Gun. No, wait. That's not how things happened at all. Nobody has ever put poorly trained and equipped infantry in urban terrain to stall an attacker. Stalingrad didn't happen. I guess that explain why Russia is a province of Germany. No, that's not how things happened either. Oh, you meant more recent. So like the insurgency in Iraq. No, even if that was less effective than the defense of Stalingrad it still happened and was many orders of magnitude more effective than those same forces would have been at trying to eg. invade Kuwait again.

Riflemen can shoot from behind cover. Several ton spacecraft cannot.

In attacking Charon bases Ronin As aren't worth the fuel to get them out there.

They distract enemy defenders and turret fire. They'd be more useful with standoff, but they're still helpful as is. Try running the assault without any and see what happens.

Gameplay story segregation. In game ships do not suffer any damage to their combat capability until their armor is breached even though all weapons of necessity either have a hole in the armor in front of them or have some part that protrudes outside the armor. All turrets have to be the latter. This is because equipment damage is too punitive to players. In universe a dreadnought would not remain fully combat capable after any battle that its shield was not sufficient for. Ranx DNs in particular rely on armor repair and would lose guns all the time.

Turrets are small. Capital ships are big. It can be assumed that sniping them across light seconds is sufficiently difficult to be a rarity. Equipment damage after armor piercing can be considered the result of hitting internal systems critical to weapon functionality rather than the guns themselves, which also explains why they come back online after some time.

And yet the Deimos, Phobos, and RDN are commonly found patrolling. You can't ever expect something to show up. You can't see what's on the other side of a stargate. You either have to have forces in position all the time or you may as well have nothing at all.

The Phobos guards its station by orbiting it because that's what every hostile ship in the game does. As Militia bases can detect incoming convoys, it can be assumed that major activity is reported on by scouts of some kind.

Not really. The player has no access to the Ares markets and the goods prices are set according to the Commonwealth and Ringer markets, both of whom are at war with the Ares. It's rare to find intact Ares launchers and Ares munitions. The very low supply pushes up the price.

It's also set by the Teratons, who aren't at war with the Ares. We can assume military grade weaponry is somewhat more expensive overall due to rarity, but we've got nothing else to go on. The Ares don't have infinite resources, so we can assume that, though they are richer than the CW, the cost of their weaponry is reflected by both its rarity and the cost of CW counterparts, both of which indicate that the Ares Launcher would cost quite a bit.

We don't see them being assembled in place either. Turrets are auton minus and have similar displayed size. From that we know they're small enough to drop from a cargo hold.

For all we know, they gate in from Elysium by the grace of Domina. Basing entire strategies on unsupported guesses is poor logic.

This is related to a flaw in the internal structure balance. Internal structure is very new in terms of Transcendence's rate of development and the ramifications haven't been worked out. There are, however, turrets that are a threat to peer capital ships in a forced close engagement even if they aren't those of any major power. Turrets are certainly every bit as potent as gunships of the same technology level. If turrets are too expensive to place around stargates stationing cruisers there permanently certainly is.

Stationing cruisers around stargates permanently isn't needed. As I see it, they can be docked at major stations, patrolling when enemy presence is expected. Gunships can regularly scout the system and report on any hostile activity that might indicate enemy presence. I'd assume the stargate would also be under watch by gunships when an assault is expected, which fits precedent given the Ares's tendency to send ships to guard stargates when an Aurochs is inbound.

Everyone knows the gameplay is wrong. NPCs don't use fuel. The player can see lasers before they hit him. There is no relativity for ships traveling at 0.35c. The damage done by kinetic weapons is not effected by the relative motion of the target. X-rays from bombs can hurt things that x-rays from bomb pumped lasers can't. The station distribution in the D&O system chain is still a random mess from back when Transcendence was just as casual about realism as Nethack. These don't even have to be corrected, but when writing lore and planning new content we can't act as though the gameplay simplifications are the way the world works.

NPCs not using fuel is a result of poor AI. It doesn't need plot changes or a full rework of the entire adventure to fix. The HUD is not your naked eye, and it's assumed your ship has sensors that can detect lasers(given we have shields that can block them, not exactly unlikely). Kinetic weapons can be assumed to be fast enough that the firer's velocity is irrelevant, and dodging is only possible because distance is also lower than in reality. These are all simple things, and not at all comparable to a complete rework of the entire game that contradicts many missions, a great deal of the storyline, and much of everything else.

You're making stuff up again. We know what their crime is. There's no need to invent another. The lack of corporate mines later in the game is to avoid clogging the station table with them past the point where they're interesting. Station distribution along the D&O chain predates any interest in having a world more involved than Nethack and cannot be taken for lore.

Station distribution is similar in CC and EP. It's not the artifact you claim it is.

The mines are owned by the CW government, as is shown by their customs and their degree of protection by the law(generally, governments don't legislate so harshly against violators of private monopolies). It's established that outlaw mines sell to enemies of the CW, and that's a much more serious crime.


Station distribution in D&O predates any interest in story or realism on George's part. They exist because George felt like having a station that spawns ships. When the game is made more coherent or other games (like CSC America) are made that show a more story based and less gamist view of the world those stations should be moved into secure systems.

The major Outer Realms shipyard is also in a system with hostiles. As that system exists solely for that station, and it was made fairly recently, I'd expect it to have noRandomEncounters if your claim were true.

If they're station scale they're 250 meters, which is even smaller and has less justification for providing cover.

I agree that stargates shouldn't have collision, simply asking about your Iocrym reference.

Weapons in game do not correspond to turrets in universe. Look at the Aquila model some time.

The Aquila, certainly(indeed, I'd like to know why it's like that too. 4 turrets and 2 forward firing guns isn't exactly overpowered, though the 2 forward firing ones are somewhat pointless). The CW colonies, however, are harder to justify. They don't need to be balanced against the player, the turrets don't need to be dockable, and soforth.

No, the system is Urak in the Near Stars. It's clear in the dev wiki timeline.

Plagues can spread. That's how they work.

They have turrets several times bigger than a Centurion so the count may be right, but the guns are definitely not.

The story that there is on the topic seems to confirm them as Tev9s, but if there's a balance issue that's easy enough to alter. What would you recommend?

The Dragon Slaver is not suitable for use against civilian targets. If you fire antimatter at something you want live prisoners from you'll be disappointed.

I've no idea how survivability is supposed to work. Most times, everyone dies when a station blows up. Katami and the Black Market goons don't, though, nor does the chimeric stationgirl, nor the CW survivors of a Worldship attack. My guess is in most cases they dock forcefully, take who they want, then blow the rest of the station to conceal evidence and prevent the remainder from seeking revenge. In the case of armed or military stations of weaker factions, it's likely more efficient to destroy them first and gather anyone who happens to survive. The number of slave coffins found isn't exceptionally high, so they may not need that many. Just a wild guess, though, since we don't have them actively raiding anyone other than the Huari, who they blow up first.

No it doesn't. They're not that big. The size of the windows just reinforces their office tower scale. They have no stations because Benin isn't a system that exists in game, but they do have a city ship in one of the Heretic missions. It's not a worldship.

The ark isn't that much bigger than a worldship, and the lights are smaller on the Worldships(assuming they're not from communal areas).

Also, if the Worldships are raiders as you claim, do they gate through multiple layers of defenses to resupply the ark(s)? Seems inefficient, given the only ark we see is in Heretic and the Worldships are only survivable much earlier.


So now they want to research alien technology because they hate aliens. Or maybe they want to research alien technology for the same reason as everyone else: it has the potential to lead to advanced technology. There's absolutely no reason to think their ideology has anything to do with aliens. They hate everyone.

They want to steal alien technology to prevent Taikon from researching it.

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And in Deference to Shrike I'll try a different reply color.

But they're not. the CW is launching missions against Sung convoys and there are people in CW bars complaining about having family taken by the Sung.

The CW attack the Sung, but they don't attack back. There are isolated incidents of CW citizens being abducted, but in Transcendence that doesn't seem to be an act of war. I see the Sung as larger scale outlaw miners, in a way: They'll shoot CW ships that get close or otherwise bother them, and the CW disapproves of their existence and won't hesitate to attack them, but they know they don't have the power to win a real fight with a major power, so they don't start one.

The Sung are too advanced and heavily industrialized to be ignored as mere criminals and they are engaging in acts of war against the Commonwealth and the Commonwealth is engaging in acts of war right back. Attacking a sovereign nation when you get the chance is war. The CW isn't even using deniable assets. They're using card carrying militia officers.

A turret is an auton with tiny engines only suitable for station keeping. They are as good as free. That more stations don't have them is gameplay story segregation. Turrets around stations (unless implemented as ships like the Ares turrets) cause UI issues with docking.

Turrets can be given no dockingports, can't they? Or, indeed, spaced further out.

In any case, if omnidirectional turrets are cheap and easy to add to small ships, the Wolfen would have one.


The ability to place a turret is limited by game balance. If omnidirectional turrets are so expensive why do freighters bother with them even when the gun they mount on them is useless? Because if gunship NPCs all had turrets the game would be too difficult and if PCs had turret slots the game would be too easy and doing both would make combat less interesting and still muck up the difficulty.

You're trying to build lore from gameplay again. The first step is to figure out what should be going on in universe. The second step is to figure out what of that can happen in a game in 2d space. The third is to fix the AI to do that. Looking at the emergant properties of the old stopgap AI to create lore just reinforces the worst bugs in the AI by declaring them features.

Not saying there's a lore reason for stargates and planets blocking projectiles(indeed, I'd prefer they not do so), just saying we'd need an AI fix before we could change it to prevent exploits.

There is no further exploit. The AI issue in question is not limited to gating but continues for the whole transit to its station. Adding an extra few score pixels of vulnerability at the start doesn't make it worse.

People volunteer or are drafted to serve on CSCs and inadequately defended stations like Point Juno and on ships that are going to go out and deliberately get into fights with more advanced enemies. People in the real world have served in any number of stationary fortresses throughout history without mutinying; many of them volunteers. Most considered garrison duty easier than serving roles where they might be asked to fight field battles.

CSCs were sent out back when the war was far in the CW's favor, and Juno, we can assume, was constructed back then as well(also, they had a CSC watching their backs until recently.) Ultimately, while a lot of the roles performed by Fleet troops are dangerous, stationary turret duty is practically guaranteed as a death sentence. Soldiers follow orders when there's a legitimate chance that their skill could save them from death.

Stationary fortress duty is not a death sentence. Not any more than marching with a pike while someone fires at you with cannons. People used to do that for pay. Most fortresses will not be attacked in force. Most probes will fail if there's a fortress in place. But if you refuse to believe in the applicability of history, a fortress that doesn't bear on the gate is no less a target and is easier to destroy because it doesn't contribute to the interlocking defense that can actually keep enemies from engaging it. A pure logistics platform will die the moment the enemy pushes through a single fast cruiser. A proper fortress that contributes heavy fire to an interlocking defensive network will survive until the enemy commits a heavy assault because having several howitzers bear on the gate makes a difference.

While stationary fortresses have had people serving on them, fortresses aren't there to work as turrets, they're there to work as bases of operation. In the modern era, a building exposed to major direct fire is as good as razed. In medieval times, you may have a point, but in a setting with WMD weapons that can reasonably kill everyone in a given structure, it's a different story.

The whole point of a fortress on the gate is that it is very difficult to fire on. Most ships gating through will not live long enough to fire very many shots because a structure bigger than a dreadnought that doesn't need to waste any space on mobility can mount a *lot* of guns. The armament is probably economic, but however many guns you have the budget for a fortress capable of mounting them is cheaper than enough cruisers or dreadnoughts to mount them. It doesn't need big engines and doesn't need to have big engines maintained.

Of course they show up when convenient. This is fiction. The Huari found one Because George decided they should. The notion that there are only two is unsupported and they can fix a number of problems with the spread of illegal factions.

The Huari get one because they've been around for a long time, and know their region well. They also may or may not have some manner of diety watching their backs. Earth gets one because Earth. A bunch of criminals aren't going to be clever enough to find ancient stargates and use them for their operations when the region's legitimate government couldn't and neither could the ultra - efficient chamber of commerce entity.

It's not economical to look for Magelen stargates when circular stargates are also present because Magelen stargates are less conveniently placed. A system accessible only by a Magelen gate is many times more expensive to access than a system accessibly by a circular stargate. Criminals and desperate refugees are exactly the sort most likely to look for them.

There are no logistical issues to speak of. Ships are already flying to stargates all the time. Supplying stargate defenses is as difficult a logistical problem as resupplying a military base on the Panama Canal. There may be an incentive to destroy them before completion, but it isn't possible. They take almost no time to complete and no enemy can even try to monitor their establishment unless they already have the sort of permanent presence on their side that you're claiming is impossible.

Maintenance cost varies with distance. If you can reach a turret with a station's maintenance workers/drones/whatever maintains them, it's much easier to do so. Ditto refueling, repair, and construction. There's no proof of their time for setup(considering Juno has none, I'd assume it's longer than you think), and, as you said, ships move between stargates all the time, meaning that if something's going on near one, everyone's going to know about it.

Distance doesn't matter. Delta V matters. This is why nobody would bother looking for Magelen gates unless they wanted to hide, but the Delta V cost for a circular stargate is negligible. They're in the same orbits as other objects of interest.

So you're claiming the Ares have a ship for which they do not have a role rather than admitting that your claimed role is wrong. You're once again assuming that everyone in universe is a moron. That's a good way to wind up with a moronic setting.

Bombers can attack CSCs(which are capital ships, albeit unconventional ones), Aquilas(which are only seen ingame once, but presumably exist elsewhere), and stations. They indeed have a role, and it is exactly the role we see them in ingame. They attack capships and stations.

So what makes them not cruisers then? They attack capital ships and stations. How is that at all different from the cruiser role? What does a Deimos do that a Cometfall doesn't? The Deimos has a bit more combat endurance because it doesn't use ammo, but that's only relevant if it's not being shot at with anything effective.

The Steel Slaver renders one ship, be it a hornet or a Phobos, inoperable for around half an hour. It doesn't take many Steel Slavers to keep an enemy that can't run away stunlocked and it doesn't matter what gun you have against a stunlocked enemy as long as it's capable of doing any damage at all.

That's not how software works. It's established that, in Transcendence, software vulnerabilities can be patched reasonably quickly(try abusing the jettison hack), and, indeed, a ship that has survived one cyberattack has done so because it purged the virus from its systems, so it should reasonably be more equipped to remove or prevent a second one, assuming they have Avast in the future. The fact that ships don't learn to resist cyberattacks is purely an abstraction driven by the fact that the player can't use them very frequently, and the factions that can do not use them frequently enough that it's become an issue.

You mean that the player is not permitted to abuse overpowered mechanics. The Sung cyberdecks are repeatable. If they weren't there'd be no reason to keep them around because they would have been patched already. The Sung aren't new and they aren't rare and don't avoid attracting attention like (non-PC) CDM shards and remotes. Those cyberdecks are a huge part of their operations and if they couldn't work around changing security the Sung could have been easily wiped out just by rolling out a new patch simultaneously with a major offensive.

Come to that, your claim that defense would prevent repeat attacks implies that someone's writing and applying patches in real time on a ship under attack. I hope you recognize how silly that sounds. They would be applying patches to high powered equipment without time to test and if they missed cleaning out a single worm going root to apply a patch would just be handing their computers over as soon as they plugged them back into the network.


Because nobody has ever bothered putting riflemen in defensive positions since the invention of the Maxim Gun. No, wait. That's not how things happened at all. Nobody has ever put poorly trained and equipped infantry in urban terrain to stall an attacker. Stalingrad didn't happen. I guess that explain why Russia is a province of Germany. No, that's not how things happened either. Oh, you meant more recent. So like the insurgency in Iraq. No, even if that was less effective than the defense of Stalingrad it still happened and was many orders of magnitude more effective than those same forces would have been at trying to eg. invade Kuwait again.

Riflemen can shoot from behind cover. Several ton spacecraft cannot.

Actually, they can. We don't see them used by NPCs in the vanilla game, but there are free standing barricades that ships can use for cover. They have to move in and out of cover unless they have a turret on one end, but they can use cover. Cover aside, being within the defensive envelope of a fortress does wonders for their effectiveness. At least if friendly fire interactions are turned off. They can't accomplish much on their own (see Hornet lore) but if they have any ability to do damage at all they're at their most useful adding their fire to larger ships or armed stations. And armed stations should always be more capable than ships. They aren't because currently most loot comes from stations, but changing this dynamic to make stations more dangerous and harder to kill is a planned change, or at least it was last year.

In attacking Charon bases Ronin As aren't worth the fuel to get them out there.

They distract enemy defenders and turret fire. They'd be more useful with standoff, but they're still helpful as is. Try running the assault without any and see what happens.

A while ago you were talking about people not being willing to follow suicidal orders. Here's an in game counterexample. They never survive unless the PC manages to either lure everything or kill the station before they arrive. Either the PC does all the heavy lifting or the attack fails and usually unless the PC is very fast he's the only survivor. The most effective tactic is to hang back and spam longbows from maximum range and Ronin As trying to guard someone doing that aren't distracting enemy defenders or turret fire because they're not in range.

Gameplay story segregation. In game ships do not suffer any damage to their combat capability until their armor is breached even though all weapons of necessity either have a hole in the armor in front of them or have some part that protrudes outside the armor. All turrets have to be the latter. This is because equipment damage is too punitive to players. In universe a dreadnought would not remain fully combat capable after any battle that its shield was not sufficient for. Ranx DNs in particular rely on armor repair and would lose guns all the time.

Turrets are small. Capital ships are big. It can be assumed that sniping them across light seconds is sufficiently difficult to be a rarity. Equipment damage after armor piercing can be considered the result of hitting internal systems critical to weapon functionality rather than the guns themselves, which also explains why they come back online after some time.

Equipment damage doesn't get reversed. The smoke stops, but with the right weapon you can completely disarm one ot the Ares capships and it will follow you glaring impotently until you gate or you or someone else puts it out of its misery. Several weapons don't need to hit precisely: they effect everything. That includes the Ares nukes, the NAMI S3, S5, and XM900 missiles, and the high flux MAG off hand.

And yet the Deimos, Phobos, and RDN are commonly found patrolling. You can't ever expect something to show up. You can't see what's on the other side of a stargate. You either have to have forces in position all the time or you may as well have nothing at all.

The Phobos guards its station by orbiting it because that's what every hostile ship in the game does. As Militia bases can detect incoming convoys, it can be assumed that major activity is reported on by scouts of some kind.

That's only true if you assume the Militia is catching every single convoy. If they were the Sung and Marauders would either have beefy enough convoys to be invulnerable or would be dead for lack of shipping. The Militia gets a tiny fraction of convoys from spies. When the stakes are an invasion you need a 100% prediction rate. The only way to get that is to accept a 100% false positive rate as well and just keep forces on station.

Not really. The player has no access to the Ares markets and the goods prices are set according to the Commonwealth and Ringer markets, both of whom are at war with the Ares. It's rare to find intact Ares launchers and Ares munitions. The very low supply pushes up the price.

It's also set by the Teratons, who aren't at war with the Ares. We can assume military grade weaponry is somewhat more expensive overall due to rarity, but we've got nothing else to go on. The Ares don't have infinite resources, so we can assume that, though they are richer than the CW, the cost of their weaponry is reflected by both its rarity and the cost of CW counterparts, both of which indicate that the Ares Launcher would cost quite a bit.

You're not seeing the real CW cost either. You're seeing the market price. The CW does not pay 14kc for a TeV-9. If they did they wouldn't turn around and sell them to a pilgrim for 17150 credits even if he had blown up a few Sung for them. Maybe someone resident in the system who would stick around and use it for defending, but not a pilgrim.

We don't see them being assembled in place either. Turrets are auton minus and have similar displayed size. From that we know they're small enough to drop from a cargo hold.

For all we know, they gate in from Elysium by the grace of Domina. Basing entire strategies on unsupported guesses is poor logic.

We do know. We know their size. We know they're ship scale because of the Ares turrets and because it makes no sense for them to be larger based on their capabilities. We know objects that size can be launched from unmodified freighters. The idea that they have to be built in situ when anything can launch an auton is absurd.

This is related to a flaw in the internal structure balance. Internal structure is very new in terms of Transcendence's rate of development and the ramifications haven't been worked out. There are, however, turrets that are a threat to peer capital ships in a forced close engagement even if they aren't those of any major power. Turrets are certainly every bit as potent as gunships of the same technology level. If turrets are too expensive to place around stargates stationing cruisers there permanently certainly is.

Stationing cruisers around stargates permanently isn't needed. As I see it, they can be docked at major stations, patrolling when enemy presence is expected. Gunships can regularly scout the system and report on any hostile activity that might indicate enemy presence. I'd assume the stargate would also be under watch by gunships when an assault is expected, which fits precedent given the Ares's tendency to send ships to guard stargates when an Aurochs is inbound.

You're assuming your conclusion. Gunships can only scout an enemy system if there are no defenses. As soon as anyone sets up gate defenses assaults can only be predicted if your spies get lucky, not by military scouting.

Everyone knows the gameplay is wrong. NPCs don't use fuel. The player can see lasers before they hit him. There is no relativity for ships traveling at 0.35c. The damage done by kinetic weapons is not effected by the relative motion of the target. X-rays from bombs can hurt things that x-rays from bomb pumped lasers can't. The station distribution in the D&O system chain is still a random mess from back when Transcendence was just as casual about realism as Nethack. These don't even have to be corrected, but when writing lore and planning new content we can't act as though the gameplay simplifications are the way the world works.

NPCs not using fuel is a result of poor AI. It doesn't need plot changes or a full rework of the entire adventure to fix. The HUD is not your naked eye, and it's assumed your ship has sensors that can detect lasers(given we have shields that can block them, not exactly unlikely). Kinetic weapons can be assumed to be fast enough that the firer's velocity is irrelevant, and dodging is only possible because distance is also lower than in reality. These are all simple things, and not at all comparable to a complete rework of the entire game that contradicts many missions, a great deal of the storyline, and much of everything else.

We know how fast kinetic weapon shots are. Unless ship speed and weapon speed are lies (in which case they replace kinetic weapons not dealing damage based on velocity to the list of lies gameplay tells) the ship relative velocities very much are significant compated to weapon velocity. The presumption that shields must predict incoming fire is completely unsupported and shields do not act as proof of FTL sensors.

You're making stuff up again. We know what their crime is. There's no need to invent another. The lack of corporate mines later in the game is to avoid clogging the station table with them past the point where they're interesting. Station distribution along the D&O chain predates any interest in having a world more involved than Nethack and cannot be taken for lore.

Station distribution is similar in CC and EP. It's not the artifact you claim it is.

CC uses the legacy D&O system and EP uses chunks of the D&O topology and otherwise happens in a stateless region.

The mines are owned by the CW government, as is shown by their customs and their degree of protection by the law(generally, governments don't legislate so harshly against violators of private monopolies). It's established that outlaw mines sell to enemies of the CW, and that's a much more serious crime.

The rumors indicate otherwise. If the mines were any sort of monopoly the individual miners wouldn't be talking about getting rich from ithalium strikes because they wouldn't see more than a finders fee deliberately low enough to keep them from retiring. Flatly put the miners don't act like wage slaves. They act like entrepreneurs. You also haven't shown any evidence at all the outlaw mines sell to enemies of the CW. The CW isn't making organized efforts against them like they would for selling to enemies. They're just declaring that they aren't under the protection of the law, which is entirely appropriate for claim jumpers in a difficult to police armed society.

Station distribution in D&O predates any interest in story or realism on George's part. They exist because George felt like having a station that spawns ships. When the game is made more coherent or other games (like CSC America) are made that show a more story based and less gamist view of the world those stations should be moved into secure systems.

The major Outer Realms shipyard is also in a system with hostiles. As that system exists solely for that station, and it was made fairly recently, I'd expect it to have noRandomEncounters if your claim were true.

Which is more likely, that George forgot a tag or that the Commonwealth's enemies are all stupid enough to not attack Gunsan when they can set up stations within the same system?

Weapons in game do not correspond to turrets in universe. Look at the Aquila model some time.

The Aquila, certainly(indeed, I'd like to know why it's like that too. 4 turrets and 2 forward firing guns isn't exactly overpowered, though the 2 forward firing ones are somewhat pointless). The CW colonies, however, are harder to justify. They don't need to be balanced against the player, the turrets don't need to be dockable, and soforth.

Friendly stations are subject to even more rigorous balance concerns: enemy ships can be lured into them for easy kills.

No, the system is Urak in the Near Stars. It's clear in the dev wiki timeline.

Plagues can spread. That's how they work.

We know there's only one system because of the singular definite article.

They have turrets several times bigger than a Centurion so the count may be right, but the guns are definitely not.

The story that there is on the topic seems to confirm them as Tev9s, but if there's a balance issue that's easy enough to alter. What would you recommend?

My preference is to use Wolfy's setup and assume the TeV9 turrets aren't visible and make the big turrets mark Vs or thermo cannons depending on the CSC's vintage (the thermo cannon description said they were a very old design). This makes them less criminally underdefended. The other option is to use a weapon cluster of 8 TeV9s and represent it in game by giving a firerateadjust of 12.

The Dragon Slaver is not suitable for use against civilian targets. If you fire antimatter at something you want live prisoners from you'll be disappointed.

I've no idea how survivability is supposed to work. Most times, everyone dies when a station blows up. Katami and the Black Market goons don't, though, nor does the chimeric stationgirl, nor the CW survivors of a Worldship attack. My guess is in most cases they dock forcefully, take who they want, then blow the rest of the station to conceal evidence and prevent the remainder from seeking revenge. In the case of armed or military stations of weaker factions, it's likely more efficient to destroy them first and gather anyone who happens to survive. The number of slave coffins found isn't exceptionally high, so they may not need that many. Just a wild guess, though, since we don't have them actively raiding anyone other than the Huari, who they blow up first.

When you objected to fortresses you said WMD weapons killed everyone. Now you're saying it doesn't. Civilian stations aren't made to survive weapons fire. They're designed for ease of use. They're not going to have survivors if a military station doesn't. The small number of coffins is because all cargoes are several orders of magnitude smaller than they should be for the size of the vessel carrying them. It's another case of gameplay story segregation. This time related to concerns of not providing excessive loot or giving the player more slaves to recover than he can possibly have capacity for.

No it doesn't. They're not that big. The size of the windows just reinforces their office tower scale. They have no stations because Benin isn't a system that exists in game, but they do have a city ship in one of the Heretic missions. It's not a worldship.

The ark isn't that much bigger than a worldship, and the lights are smaller on the Worldships(assuming they're not from communal areas).

Scaling isn't linear. The ark is that much bigger than a worldship. It's so big we aren't seeing the long axis. There's a lot of Z depth on it.

Also, if the Worldships are raiders as you claim, do they gate through multiple layers of defenses to resupply the ark(s)? Seems inefficient, given the only ark we see is in Heretic and the Worldships are only survivable much earlier.

There are several arks as evidenced by the name table. There's some 3 dimensionality to the gate network and several lawless regions. The Xenophobes aren't necessarily a contiguous power and independent arks could operate in U2 (below the OR across from the Ares; reserved for canon expansion) and R4 (above UT; undeveloped but contains Huarmica). The OR is no one's territory so nothing stops the Xenophobes from operating freely throughout it. The UT are the ungoverned territories. They don't really make sense. I would far rather have them made sense of than keep them nonsensical.

So now they want to research alien technology because they hate aliens. Or maybe they want to research alien technology for the same reason as everyone else: it has the potential to lead to advanced technology. There's absolutely no reason to think their ideology has anything to do with aliens. They hate everyone.

They want to steal alien technology to prevent Taikon from researching it.

If they wanted to prevent Taikon from researching it rather than wanting to research it themselves they would have destroyed it.
Literally is the new Figuratively

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