Author Topic: A strafing ship?  (Read 3834 times)

Offline Eukari

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Re: A strafing ship?
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2013, 04:28:42 pm »
That's exactly what I meant; it looks awesome. Although, I just now noticed that you've got the helm pointing to the left...I think that might make it very hard for people to pilot. I know what you're going for, but I think having the helm point forward like normal, then just leave a good field of view to the left would work best. I mean, can't you just swivel 360 degrees on the helm anyway?

Sorry to be so picky; I really do think it's a good idea for a ship. :D

Offline Rainer Zu Fall

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Re: A strafing ship?
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2013, 04:36:05 pm »
Well the idea on the second blueprint/layout/design is that you're below the actual deck, so you can look around but there will be some massive pillars blocking your on certain angles. So that 360° look on the helm wouldn't be given anyway.
I think it's quite a nice idea to have the helm centered at where your battles should be held and sometimes looking where you're actually going.
Of course, this is a ship that would be really, REALLY hard to pilot. Let's be honest, it would take some practice to get used to it.
On the first blueprint you always see what everyone is doing, you don't have to look around, you automatically see the combat field and your crew likewise.
On the second blueprint you've got quite a look from another perspective, but I guess it might be easier to keep the guns aimed at the enemy - and of course being that close might introduce a new ambience!

And no, it's good you're so "picky", as you put it. That's the way things are being improved!

Offline Eukari

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Re: A strafing ship?
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2013, 05:24:39 pm »
You've got three decks- the upper catwalk between the balloons, the main deck of the ship and the lower deck. Across those three decks we need to place the helm, the main engine(s), the turning engine(s), the hull repair point, the balloon repair point, one heavy gun and two light guns. That's seven-ish points across the three decks.

What if we broke it down like this:
  • Catwalk- Balloon repair point aft, port-side light gun at the front. This is where the secondary Engineer will end up being placed; they man the port light gun and keep the balloon repaired, and can jump down to the main deck quickly if there's an emergency.
  • Main deck- Helm amidships, giving the Pilot a good view to the port and starboard sides of ship. Directly forward and back will be blocked by the support structures for the balloons and catwalk. The hull repair point is just in front of the helm, and the main engines (two, as with the Squid) are behind, hanging off the rear of the ship. The starboard/forward light gun is at the front of the ship on this deck. This deck is where the Pilot and primary Engineer will hang out, flying the ship and keeping it alive respectively. In an emergency, you have two people on the hull very quickly, and it gives the main Engineer easy access to the other two decks. The light gun is in reach if needed.
  • Bottom deck-The final deck houses the two turning engines aft and the heavy gun amidships on the port side. This is where the Gunner will go, obviously sitting in the heavy gun. They can also do quick repairs on the turning engines if needed.

I know you wanted to put the helm on the bottom deck, but I just think that's too much of a change. Even veteran pilots would struggle to fly a ship they can't see in front or behind at all. I think by placing it on the more open main deck, but by blocking the view fore and aft you still reinforce the "The most important direction is left" while not totally throwing people for a loop. I'd be worried about 90-95% of captains who'd fly it once, go "That's really hard!" and never touch it again.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 05:28:26 pm by Eukari »

Offline Eukari

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Re: A strafing ship?
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2013, 06:02:56 pm »
Now that I think about it, I wonder if it would be better to take the Galleon/Squid crossover to its logical conclusion. Same basic layout as above, but with some tweaks:

  • Catwalk- Balloon repair point located near front of ship, turning engines located at the back.
  • Main deck- Helm in the center on slightly raised platform, main engines at the rear of the ship, hull repair point forward, single light gun facing to the left.
  • Bottom deck- Two heavy guns, once facing starboard and one port.

Here's my thinking- the ship's design is meant to create a vessel with great speed and acceleration, but that turns very slowly. It's typical attack would be to fly by an enemy, empty its guns, then zoom off before the enemy ship can retaliate. The current setup works quite well for that, but the asymmetry with the heavy gun makes me very uncomfortable. As I said before, limiting most of your firepower to just one side is very restricting, especially when one of the hallmarks of the ship would be its slow turning speed. The other asymmetrical ships- the Pyramidion and the Mobula- focus most of their firepower in a logical manner. The Mobula is 100% forward firing, but that's a natural direction- much of the time you're flying toward the enemy, so it's easy to get a firing arc. For the Pyra, which only has guns on two sides, it also focuses on the frontal guns. I can't remember the last time I flew on a Pyra where the side guns were more than an afterthought.

The two basic layouts currently are focus-forward (Goldfish, Pyramidion, Spire, Mobula) or broadsides (Galleon, Junker). The Squid is the odd man out, with its forward/right/rear configuration. It's also the most agile ship, which makes up for its odd placement. In fact, that's why I think a totally asymmetric build on this ship would struggle- a good Squid would easily be able to dodge its left gun and tear you apart. By balancing its firepower to the left and right, you still keep it in the role of a strafing ship- you can only damage the enemy if you're passing them. But, you limit its blindsides to the front and back- say you get attacked from behind, and you can simply hit the gas and pull out of range quickly. If the attack comes from the front, you can either back up or try and dodge above or below the enemy ship. You're still vulnerable, but less likely to be a sitting duck. (and with the light gun to the left, that's still your "kill side")

Offline Dutch Vanya

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Re: A strafing ship?
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2013, 07:03:20 pm »
Great discussion guys, i like seeing new ship designs and i'm working on one myself! @Eukari it just really bothers me that you said the mobula is asymmetrical, it really isn't, unlike the squid and spire.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 07:04:57 pm by dutchvanya »

Offline Eukari

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Re: A strafing ship?
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2013, 07:18:37 pm »
@Eukari it just really bothers me that you said the mobula is asymmetrical, it really isn't, unlike the squid and spire.

I suppose that's technically correct.* What I meant more was that it only has guns on one side, while every other ship has at least two directions to fire in. My point was that it worked for the Mobula because the one side it had guns on was the front; it's far more natural and flexible to keep your front pointed at an enemy than to keep just one side (right or left) on them. The original suggestion was basically for a left-facing Mobula build, and I was trying to explain why I think that wouldn't work very well.

I may have misspoke- the truly asymmetrical ships are the Pyramidion and the Squid; the Pyra is blind to starboard and the Squid can't fire to port. (not being able to fire to the rear or front doesn't really count) Both of those ships have advantages that outweigh the weakness of their asymmetry- the Pyra's main power comes from its front guns, with the side guns relegated to support/secondary fire; and the Squid is fast and agile enough that it can easily keep its guns on pretty much anything but another Squid. I don't consider the Spire to be asymmetrical for the same reason I don't consider the Goldfish to be such- their main direction of attack is to the front, with the side guns being secondary.

*The best kind of correct.