Transponder Identification

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Militia Lieutenant
Militia Lieutenant
Posts: 181
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:00 pm
Location: Off in the distance

I'm playing Starsector (it's a similar but also very different game). One of the key and simple mechanics is the ability to turn on/off your Transponder. The transponder increases the range at which your ship can be detected and conveys your ship's identity to everyone around you. This is important in Starsector since most factions require your identity to be broadcasted in their space. Otherwise, they will suspect you and try to scan your cargo hold. Get caught enough times without the transponder or found with a lot of illegal goods, you sour your relations with the respective faction. However, each ship has a sensor profile radius. You can manipulate the amount through the modification of your ship or by what ship you get. Have a low enough sensor profile radius, the patrols won't detect you. Of course, it's best to have a shielded cargo hold as a precaution.

So how does relate to Transcendence?

I think Transcendence would have a more dynamic gameplay with the concept of Transponders. Turn it off and both enemies and friendlies alike have a harder time detecting your ship. Fly through a nebula without your Transponder and you might just be invisible. Smuggling illegal cargo? Put on some stealth armor and turn off your transponder. You'll get by most patrols. However, some stations require you have your transponders on or risk an engagement. After all, they don't want an unidentified ship to dock. This mechanic also opens up the player to trade with Pirates and other not so friendly factions. Turning off your transponder will stop enemy factions from immediately blowing you up. At the same time, these factions may not care about who they trade with as long as they are not their enemies. How would they know if you don't have transponder off? Who cares. Money makes the world go round.

The idea of knowing who your enemies/allies are is barely tapped and I think it's something that Transcendence should look into. Personally, I find it fascinating whenever I play Starsector. Though not an apples to apples to comparison, I hope this can be implemented.
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:46 am

Sounds nice but the Smuggler's Cargo Hold does the job anyways of shielding illegal items through customs.
And trading with enemy factions will just make the game too easy . And wouldn't it break lore? Charon Pirates trading with a known Korolov Escorter they have fought before, just because the transponder is off?
I don't think it's a bad idea, but some things need to be thought. Where can one get a transponder? And if everyone has it, then wouldn't the enemy also be able to use it to fake as a friendly?
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
Posts: 2523
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:54 am

Nebulas increase the stealth and lowers perception of ships inside them. There a few gimmick stealth (military) armor items in the game.

Keep in mind that ships in Transcendence do not strafe or backpedal (except maybe during docking) like they do in Starsector, they fly much like ships in Star Control or classic arcade games. In a way, Transcendence plays more like a roguelike (especially Angband) that you want to detect enemies soon and react before you get into a deadly situation.
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