Author Topic: Harpoon Research Division  (Read 13558 times)

Offline ATeddyBear

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Re: Harpoon Research Division
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2013, 09:48:25 am »
I noticed something interesting using a Harpoon on my Junker while using Phoenix claw.  I literally threw a ship head long into a wall and it exploded. 
I'm unsure how much of this was situationally caused by the pyramidion that was harpooned relative speed at contact, but my god it worked wonderfully.

It probably worked so well since I believe the junker is the heavier than the Pyrmid. Or at least similar in weight. If you were to try this against a Galleon you would probably have the bizarre harpoon rope clipping through the ship.

First question would be were they traveling in the same directions as you, at you, away from you, etc?

Also. Next week I am going to be looking to do a get together for our first round of testing. If we can get at least 4 people on then we can do a private game with AI crews. I'm usually available during weeknights after 7 pm EST.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 10:25:23 am by ATeddyBear »

Offline Lord Dick Tim

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Re: Harpoon Research Division
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2013, 05:27:16 am »
Fancy that I'm available at that time on all days save wendsday.  I go nerd it up at the local comic store with some DnD.
In any event the harpoon has become a fixture on my junker, just for the sake of being unexpected and the awesome feeling I get when the junker goes super fast.

Offline ATeddyBear

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Re: Harpoon Research Division
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2013, 11:13:36 am »
I'll be looking to do the H.R.D. tonight @ 7:30 PM EST. Bring your ideas and load outs. We will first do a quick private match (if we get 4 players) with just us to discuss ideas and have some harpoon fun. We will most likely play Canyons as that has the widest assortment of testing environments. After that we can have some harpoon fun in public matches. I will be PM'ing you guys my steam id and match password later today.

For those who are intrested, but have not posted yet. Please post today or PM me here on the forums so I can give you the info. Current HRD memebers feel free to invite anyone you feel would be intrested in our work/want to be guinea pigs
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 11:16:14 am by ATeddyBear »

Offline krait

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Re: Harpoon Research Division
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2013, 07:31:32 pm »
I'd be interested in playing around with this mechanic. I've already done a bit of testing in a practice round, but the practice balloons are too radially symmetrical to simulate an attack on anything other than a spire.

Offline awkm

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Re: Harpoon Research Division
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2013, 11:06:27 pm »
I haven't read all the posts here yet but I've outline some changes I'd like to make with the harpoon with one of our programmers.  I'd love to hear what you guys WANT the harpoon to do.  Right now it's kind of... interesting.

My first thoughts is that it needs to not pull you in but maintain range where it doesn't let someone get further away... not just always pull someone in.

Offline -Muse- Cullen

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Re: Harpoon Research Division
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2013, 11:12:53 pm »
Well, here's the data we collected from our brief R&D. The main ship will be referred to as A, and the target ship will be referred to as B. A was a Squid, while B was a Junker and a Pyra. I have included the conclusions I have come to in accordance with the data. These things were tested more than once, so I feel more confident calling them properties of the harpoon. The theories that I have listed are things that I have observed, but we did not pursue them with more experiments.

Once hit, B could not turn away from A, but it could turn towards the rope; it could only turn towards A without difficulty.
Once hit, A had extreme difficulty turning away from B, but could turn towards the rope.
Conclusion: The harpoon can restrict the turning of an enemy ship when attached on its broadside.
Theory: When A is directly behind B, and the harpoon is attached on the bow or stern, the turning difficulty is mildly lessened, but is still definitely a noticeable restriction.

At complete stand-stills, and no one at the helm, Pyra B shot A with two harpoons. Both crafts began to reel in towards each other, but the Pyra's speed was increased drastically more than the Squid. When A shot Pyra B with one harpoon, both ships moved at about the same speed toward each other. At higher and lower elevations, the target ship would be pulled toward the main ship. It would also gain or drop altitude.
Conclusion: The harpoon has a 'reeling in' effect that brings both ships closer to each other.
A squid's armor can be destroyed with two harpoon shots.

Theory: Two harpoons increase the speed of the main ship, not the target.
The size of a ship does not impact pulling force.


After ramming into a ship attached with a harpoon, the rammer would bounce away from the target a short distance, but the target would only turn- not shift location.
Conclusion: Ramming a hooked target will prevent it from absorbing ram momentum and spinning away.

From a close distance, A shot B Junker and put on full reverse throttle with moonshine. The reeling in effect increased exponentially the farther out the rope moved, eventually slingshotting both ships to switch places- the squid hit 88MPH and the junker hit warp speed.
Conclusion: The harpoon's 'reeling in' effect is exponential- The longer the rope gets after the initial hit, the stronger the pull force is.

The 'Hug' maneuver mentioned earlier in this topic was attempted, and worked. However, both ships narrowly missed each other as the main ship dropped. Both ships were moving at a medium speed, which would have guaranteed medium collision damage.
Conclusion: The 'Hug' maneuver is possible.

Other conclusions without a story involved:
There is a max distance that the rope can cover- it seems to be about half a square.
The harpoon's rope lasts a long time- I would wager between 8 and 15 seconds- long enough to pull a maneuver when within half a square of distance.


There were many cases, though, where things didn't seem to be able to be recreated. Therefore, I also conclude that the harpoon has strange properties that takes all variables into account- distance when fired, distance away from target after initial hit, altitude, both ship's momentum, and area of the ship harpooned.

Offline -Muse- Cullen

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Re: Harpoon Research Division
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2013, 11:15:48 pm »
My first thoughts is that it needs to not pull you in but maintain range where it doesn't let someone get further away... not just always pull someone in.

I would love it if a harpoon could attach to a ship, and then the gunner on the weapon could choose to keep both targets stuck at that maximum distance, or reel the target in. As of now, its very random, and its exponential, rubber bandy nature makes it difficult to use with calculations- it requires just as much luck as positioning.

Offline N-Sunderland

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Re: Harpoon Research Division
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2013, 11:22:06 pm »
My first thoughts is that it needs to not pull you in but maintain range where it doesn't let someone get further away... not just always pull someone in.

I would love it if a harpoon could attach to a ship, and then the gunner on the weapon could choose to keep both targets stuck at that maximum distance, or reel the target in. As of now, its very random, and its exponential, rubber bandy nature makes it difficult to use with calculations- it requires just as much luck as positioning.

I like that idea. You're not going to be doing any zooming in with the harpoon anyways, so mouse button 2 could be assigned to reeling in.

Offline awkm

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Re: Harpoon Research Division
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2013, 12:30:07 am »
There were many cases, though, where things didn't seem to be able to be recreated. Therefore, I also conclude that the harpoon has strange properties that takes all variables into account- distance when fired, distance away from target after initial hit, altitude, both ship's momentum, and area of the ship harpooned.

Yes, while the harpoon physics is modeled after reality... currently there are too many things to keep track of and makes it too unpredictable to use.  The aim is to gamify it more and make it simpler.  To me, the greatest benefit would be to keep ships in range or drag ships around.  You could get your harpoon ship to stop a Squid while another person opens fire on it.  That could be very interesting and promote team tactics and maneuvers.  Maybe even interrupt long range strategies.

Offline -Muse- Cullen

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Re: Harpoon Research Division
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2013, 12:38:55 am »
...currently there are too many things to keep track of and makes it too unpredictable to use.  The aim is to gamify it more and make it simpler.

If the harpoon were to be fixed, it would add a new game play style, which is always acceptable in my books. I'd also end up using it a ton, haha. I hope that our research division made an impact on pushing for its change!

Offline Lord Dick Tim

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Re: Harpoon Research Division
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2013, 01:57:01 am »
I had a lot of fun working on the research, and I gotta say that at the very least the junker benefits from using a harpoon, that sob goes into plaid speed.

Offline Sgt. Spoon

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Re: Harpoon Research Division
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2013, 02:43:36 pm »
I'm soo happy to see the harpoon getting it's moment, finally

Offline krait

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Re: Harpoon Research Division
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2013, 11:09:46 pm »
I'd love to hear what you guys WANT the harpoon to do.  Right now it's kind of... interesting.

My first thoughts is that it needs to not pull you in but maintain range where it doesn't let someone get further away... not just always pull someone in.

I'd like to see, in order of my preference (high to low):

1) the ability to reel in or slacken rope on command (perhaps forward and backward movement keys for that), and as now, the ability to manually release the cable. A ship can never be "pushed" using the tow line, just as a ship can never be "pulled" via ramming.

2) Right now harpoon-forced turning seems unpredictable (though it's hard to gauge with a constantly retracting rope), but controlling enemy facing is generally a far more effective tactic than towing, and intuitively seems like it should be easier to accomplish, even with a large ship-to-ship mass ratio.  Ideally, there'd be a noticeable ability to turn a ship when the harpoon pierces the bow or stern of a ship, particularly when the harpoon gun's facing is also perpendicular to the target ship's orientation; effect would be relative to the center of mass, so piercing amidships would have little effect on turning and more ability to tow, as would piercing the fore or aft sections when both attacked ship and angle of attack are parallel in orientation (firing the front of a galleon from the rear of a squid).

3) tow rope does not ever "time out" or automatically snap at a certain distance, but rather the harpoon component gets damaged with stress; any force greater than that of reeling in the line when both ships have engines idling will cause damage, proportional to the excess force; when the component gets destroyed (including by weapons or fire), the cable snaps. Buffing would increase the winch strength (thus reel-in force, and in turn decrease the amount of damage that stress causes).  The winch force would ideally be lower than it is now, and perhaps without the harpoon being occupied, the rope would lose all tension until it extends to maximum length; this would mean that, except at maximum range, two crew members would be needed to carry out a sustained harpoon attack (one for repair, and one to just keep the rope from slipping).

4) a noticable effect of relative ship mass on the ability to pull -- a pyra harpooning a galleon can get dragged easily, but when attempting to tow a stationary galleon, acceleration would be extremely low.

5) Enough force in counter-directional force causes the equivalent of ramming damage on any ship to which it applies. Inertia is one such force (so getting yanked to a stop or getting yanked into motion does general damage). Being harpooned by two ships travelling in opposite directions may cause the pulling ships no damage but cause the targeted ship ramming damage.

Some practical effects of the above:

A rear-facing harpoon would be useful on the squid (perhaps the squid's rather large array of engines could counter its low mass, though it could still get yanked around from sudden moves by the target vessel). Such a squid cruising past a galleon at full speed and harpooning in alignment with the center of mass, especially while reeling in, would cause the harpoon to break almost immediately.

A side-harpooning pyra would be useful (particularly from the foreward port-side hardpoint), as that would allow the pyra to reliably orbit a ship while keeping the aft port-side weapon on target. The front tip of a galleon would be a good target for this. This tactic could provide a counter to the typical under-use of the pyra's side-facing weapons (which go completely unused in many games). A somewhat similar, but lesser effect would apply to a harpoon on the galleon's left broadside (since the heavy guns are fore of the center of rotation, while the light hardpoint seems somewhat rear of center).

Spires would be rather difficult to force-turn, since the ship is radially symmetrical; conversely a front-facing harpoon on a spire wouldn't be too useful except when towing closer to blast with a double-carronade -- the harpooned ship would probably have to be directly behind the spire and moving away, before the tension would cause the spire to spin around towards the target.

A squid fleeing a pyra's port weapons could fire their harpoon toward the far aft of the port side while travelling away at full speed. When the harpoon attaches, the initial energy would go into turning the pyra, and if skilled, the gunner could cut the rope just the pyra is facing exactly away, preventing what otherwise would have been a yanking stop for the squid as energy transfers from turning to towing; this would also leave the pyra to continue spinning its angles of fire further away from the squid.

I think all of the above could be achieved without needing to treat the rope itself as a physical object. I imagine that snapping the rope unconditionally by having a third ship cut across it would be immensely more difficult to achieve, so I'm not asking for it ;)
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 11:29:06 pm by krait »

Offline Pickle

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Re: Harpoon Research Division
« Reply #28 on: March 22, 2013, 07:32:38 am »
I would be interested to know if the harpoon line has any degree of modelled elasticity..

Offline TheMick

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Re: Harpoon Research Division
« Reply #29 on: March 22, 2013, 11:36:28 am »
 Any more research outings planned? I kinda want in on this even if it's just to patch up the holes after each test lol