Author Topic: A new piloting tool: Ship Stabilizer  (Read 4812 times)

Offline Schwerbelastung

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A new piloting tool: Ship Stabilizer
« on: May 03, 2014, 06:27:36 am »
Hey there, got a small inspiration when playing another game (Space Engineers) where you have spaceships that have "dampeners" that stabilize your ship.


General idea: You have a mechanic - a piloting tool that occupies one slot - that you can use to have the ship automatically stabilize itself using the engine and the insert/release gas to the balloon mechanics. If it was possible, the piloting tool could use hydrogen and kerosene/moonshine (if the pilot had chosen them) to stabilize the ship sooner, and the stabilizer would do damage to the balloon and the engines as long as the ship is still moving. After the ship has stopped moving, the downside of the stabilizer is that you effectively cannot move any more.

Target audience: Sniper ships and other ships that benefit from relocating and then trying to stabilize the ship asap. This would add versatility to ship/pilot builds if it was considered powerful enough.

Pros: There isn't a piloting tool like this in the game currently. This would be a viable and hopefully not too good piloting tool for long range builds.

Cons: I'm not sure if the idea itself is enough to warrant picking it over a combo such as claw/kerosene or moonshine/hydro or tar.

Potential modifications: Maybe there could be an added bonus, such as the balloon and guns taking 25% decreased damage from enemy fire to make this a "sniper" or a "turret" tool? Remember that the stabilizer tries to stabilize the ship and combat any momentum - you couldn't effectively start or keep moving the ship with this buff on. The ship (hull+hull armor) would go down just as fast as before, but you would be a stronger disabler and supporter in long range battles due to added durability to guns and the balloon.


Any comments?
« Last Edit: May 03, 2014, 06:29:23 am by Schwerbelastung »

Offline GeoRmr

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Re: A new piloting tool: Ship Stabilizer
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2014, 06:35:29 am »
Sounds interesting, rename it to "anchor" =P I don't think it needs to damage balloon and engines, perhaps it could remain active for a few seconds after use (impact bumpers and drogue chute don't damage anything). I can imagine this being used outside of sniper builds to quickly reduce momentum before making sharp turns.

Offline Schwerbelastung

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Re: A new piloting tool: Ship Stabilizer
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2014, 06:36:54 am »
Sounds interesting, rename it to "anchor" =P I don't think it needs to damage balloon and engines, perhaps it could remain active for a few seconds after use (impact bumpers and drogue chute don't damage anything).

Good point. They do not damage the ship, but at least the bumpers (and likely the chute) decrease engine output. I guess this function has already been kind of built in to the anchor, huh? I like the name suggestion too.

Offline Squidslinger Gilder

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Re: A new piloting tool: Ship Stabilizer
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2014, 07:07:18 am »
Basically iron sights and prone mode in a FPS. Run around, stop, crouch, sight down barrel. Sniping doesn't need a special tool. Think aside from Ducks and Gents, most players/casters, would rather there be less sniping.

A tool like this would be problematic for balancing. Like say the anchor drops and yeah plants the boat. But at the same time it effectively disables the ship. Can't move or turn even after it is released. Say 5-10 seconds. You make it like that and you got something no sniper will take as losing the ability to evade or duck to cover for even a few seconds could cost a match. Without that it is just too powerful a tool even if it did damage components/etc.

Offline Schwerbelastung

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Re: A new piloting tool: Ship Stabilizer
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2014, 07:11:30 am »
Basically iron sights and prone mode in a FPS. Run around, stop, crouch, sight down barrel. Sniping doesn't need a special tool. Think aside from Ducks and Gents, most players/casters, would rather there be less sniping.

A tool like this would be problematic for balancing. Like say the anchor drops and yeah plants the boat. But at the same time it effectively disables the ship. Can't move or turn even after it is released. Say 5-10 seconds. You make it like that and you got something no sniper will take as losing the ability to evade or duck to cover for even a few seconds could cost a match. Without that it is just too powerful a tool even if it did damage components/etc.

What if it worked like Moonshine, added 1000% horizontal drag? You could still move, but very slowly. You would have to lift the anchor if enemies close in on you or move past your gun arcs too quickly. I'm not confident that this would be unreasonably hard to balance around, and it might not be that devastating even if used by competent snipers - if an enemy ship closes in, the tool would be rendered near worthless unless the enemy stays in your arc on purpose. Unlike tools like kero, moonshine, claw, and hydrogen, which continue to be potentially useful throughout the match.

edit. Spelling mistakes.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2014, 07:25:37 am by Schwerbelastung »

Offline Richard LeMoon

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Re: A new piloting tool: Ship Stabilizer
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2014, 10:27:49 am »
I think the proper name and actual mechanism would be 'gyroscope'. A large gyroscope would do everything you have requested, as well as damage the ship with the torque it generates.

Rather than damage engines, I would make it damage the armor if you try to use any engines or balloon, and increase damage to the armor if impacted. You could still move and adjust your ship slowly, at the risk of losing some armor.

Also, since that is not really the best pro/con ratio to warrant its use ever, add in complete removal of ship 'bobbing' and partial stabilization of all guns, as if heavy clip was loaded. Not complete reduction of recoil, but maybe 50-75% dampening.

Offline Schwerbelastung

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Re: A new piloting tool: Ship Stabilizer
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2014, 10:32:11 am »
I think the proper name and actual mechanism would be 'gyroscope'. A large gyroscope would do everything you have requested, as well as damage the ship with the torque it generates.

Rather than damage engines, I would make it damage the armor if you try to use any engines or balloon, and increase damage to the armor if impacted. You could still move and adjust your ship slowly, at the risk of losing some armor.

Also, since that is not really the best pro/con ratio to warrant its use ever, add in complete removal of ship 'bobbing' and partial stabilization of all guns, as if heavy clip was loaded. Not complete reduction of recoil, but maybe 50-75% dampening.

That doesn't sound too bad.

So basically, we would have a stabilizer/anchor/gyroscope, which would effectively stabilize the ship and damage it in case you tried to move, would combat any attempts to gain momentum by the player, and perhaps protect the balloon and the guns a little.

You would be a sitting duck in a sense, not being able to move your ship very much at all as long as the buff was on. However, you would be able to slowly turn your ship, your main engineer could use his/her mallet to compensate for the turning/altitude change damage, your gunners would get a good shot but the tool would basically only be really good when there are no enemy ships too close. If the phoenix claw is the "op" (more or less must have) brawling tool.. maybe this would be a good alternative for a long range tool?

Offline Richard LeMoon

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Re: A new piloting tool: Ship Stabilizer
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2014, 03:08:18 pm »
This tool would actually be a must-have for lesmok Gatling+Flak/hwacha Spires, or other builds using max range on high recoil guns.

Offline Schwerbelastung

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Re: A new piloting tool: Ship Stabilizer
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2014, 03:10:15 pm »
This tool would actually be a must-have for lesmok Gatling+Flak/hwacha Spires, or other builds using max range on high recoil guns.

Yes, if it had the added function of stabilizing ships or reducing recoil. That wasn't in my initial idea, but I'm open when it comes to playing around with ideas. The problem I see with reducing recoil is that it could make gunners even less needed, as if you could be a buff engineer with just burst rounds and a sort-of heavy clip (with burst rounds, no less!) through a piloting tool it might be hard to balance.

Can you please elaborate on your idea a bit and consider if it could be balanced considering everything else?

Offline JaegerDelta

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Re: A new piloting tool: Ship Stabilizer
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2014, 03:16:56 pm »
i am torn.

i love the idea of a ship stabilization tool. but i dont want to make it any easier for snipers :P.


Offline Schwerbelastung

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Re: A new piloting tool: Ship Stabilizer
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2014, 03:19:06 pm »
i am torn.

i love the idea of a ship stabilization tool. but i dont want to make it any easier for snipers :P.

Well, you have to consider that it's a double-edged sword. It's only really useful for snipers if the enemy doesn't get close. If an enemy gets close, they no longer have 3 effective anti-brawl tools (kero/moonshine + claw + hydro/tar for instance), but 2. :)

Offline JaegerDelta

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Re: A new piloting tool: Ship Stabilizer
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2014, 04:13:36 pm »

Well, you have to consider that it's a double-edged sword. It's only really useful for snipers if the enemy doesn't get close. If an enemy gets close, they no longer have 3 effective anti-brawl tools (kero/moonshine + claw + hydro/tar for instance), but 2. :)

this is true. just not sure if it will be enough of a handicap against a skilled sniper team that no longer has to deal with their own ship's movements, its really close. like i said, i love the idea, and it could potentially make things very interesting.  could even see some use on more mid-range oriented builds for situational movement control.  It definitely merits testing.

Offline Richard LeMoon

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Re: A new piloting tool: Ship Stabilizer
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2014, 05:00:28 pm »
My main concern with just a stabilizing tool is that it is not needed, and is sort of redundant. Turn off your engines and kick on moonshine, and you stop turning completely. Feather the throttle and balloon a bit, and being motionless is easy. Tiny thrusts of moonshine while turning, or using bumpers makes micro adjustments simple. These tools are also great if they start closing, or get to you.

Really, it is not even needed as a sniping aid. Sniping is pretty easy as it is, and I don't see making your easily stable platform even more stable as something anyone would need or use. Would it actually add much to sniping? Not really. No real benefit warranting replacing tools that are useful for stabilizing and combat/escape. It kinda seems like it would be an 'Easy Button' for pilots of sniper ships, which have a rather boring job as it is.

If you added the gun dampening feature, it would not help the long range guns at all, since they have little to no recoil. The ship stabilization would help some at long range, but not really enough to warrant bringing it. That would put it right in the mid-range, high reward, high risk area of combat. Mid-range because of the heavy-ish gun dampening. High reward because of the improved hit chance of mid-short range guns with higher recoil, and use of higher damage ammo. High risk due to the sacrifice of combat and evasive tools, and that you will actually damage your own ship if you even try to evade during the release cooldown (lasts X seconds after tool is deactivated).

Let's take the example of the dual hwacha, gatling Galleon. Mid range disable, close range kill build. It is also easy to close on with fast ships, easy to snipe out with long range builds, and easy to kill with mid-range builds. These things can be overcome with other pilot tools to some extent. Using the stabilizing/dampening tool would change the behavior of your ship quite a bit. Yes, you could get rid of your gunner, but I would not, for the following reasons.

1. Lesmok would actually have a use in the hwacha, and be far more useful in the gatling. You can get an increased rate of disable at the extent of the hwacha range, almost being able to contend with most sniper builds. You can also get more accurate shots at mid range on rapidly moving ships.

2. You don't want to only have lesmok. That makes a gunner necessary already on any hwacha/dampened ship.

3. Incendiary would be much more useful making it a more viable ammo. Most of the time if it is brought, it is the third "What else should I bring?" "Don't care. Incend if you want", just used if the enemy ship is already crippled ammo. This would make it more viable as an offensive ammo at max close range. You would no longer load hwachas and carros with incend for the lulz. With spit second coordination between pilot and gunner, it would prove greatly effective. At max incend range, the pilot orders the ammo loaded, kicks in the gyros, takes some armor damage as the ship shudders to a halt, and orders the barrage. Of course, a poorly done maneuver like this will end with your ship immobilized and vulnerable.

4. Burst, of course. What is not to like about more burst shots hitting?

5. Heavy clip. Still needed as the go-to first contact ammo choice. Even better with the dampers bringing the ship to a screeching halt right before you fire.

In short, I think this tool would make a gunner far more effective with an increased number of viable ammo types.

The big con, of course, is that any time you do use it, your ship is almost completely immobilized, much worse than using bumpers or chute, and takes damage if you try to adjust. The effect would last for several seconds after you stop using it as your gyros spun down. Perhaps the gun dampening would only last while the tool was in active mode, removing the cooldown time as part of the beneficial 'heavy-like' gunning period.

A lesser con is that it would only help much on guns with recoil. It would help some with long range braking after repositioning, but moonshine is a much more viable tool when it comes to bringing your sniper ship's rotation to an instant halt.

I feel that these things would make the tool a balanced offensive, crippling defensive tool, which I feel are lacking in the pilot's arsenal. There would always be some risk in turning it on, and would entirely depend on your piloting preferences. Using it correctly at just the right time would be devastating to your foes. Misjudging the timing would mean certain defeat.

Offline Schwerbelastung

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Re: A new piloting tool: Ship Stabilizer
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2014, 05:27:48 pm »
You make a fair amount of good points. The thing is that I am a little afraid of the gunner class's viability as it is, and I would think that buffing engineers with one superior round type + normal rounds would be fairly powerful after this change, if the pilot could bring a "50%-75% reduced recoil semi-heavy clip" for "free". Yes, the gunner can bring 2 additional rounds, but in my eyes the added repair/rebuild/firefighting ability - especially with the improved flamers - is a lot to sacrifice for the extra ammo.

However, what if the gunners were the only ones who would benefit from the reduced recoil? There might be coding issues behind this, but it's a fun idea to play around with regardless. This way you could get both the increased efficiency from the tool, making it a fairly strong one, and still keep the gunner class viable. You wouldn't need a gunner for this tool to be effective at stabilizing your ship, but if you wanted to be a true turret/sniper, you would bring a pilot and a gunner - and of course the weaponry - to go along with the build.

Now, about the point that this could be a redundant tool for experienced players, that is a possibility. A helm tool whose only job is to stabilize the ship would not be attractive to people who already know how to stabilize their ship manually. However, if the stabilizator actually interacted with the thorttle and the rudder - a sort of cruise control/autopilot if you will - a new player would see what he would need to do in order to stabilize the ship. This could possibly make the tool a newbie friendly way of learning how to control the ship. Eventually they would get the jist of it and be able to switch the tool to something else and still be effective at stabilizing their ships.

The trick that in my eyes would make this superior to manually stabilizing your ship would be the reduced damage taken to balloon and guns. Your light guns would no longer be one shot with an Artemis (the Mercury could still probably do the trick with a direct hit), and your balloon wouldn't be as vulnerable.

It's true that another tool like the chute vent which is very, very rarely used to great effect is probably not worth the coding hours. However, with tweaks such as the gun dampening effect or reduced damage to guns/balloon, it could be a viable - a different - approach of building a ship that is mainly designed to be a long range support - with its drawbacks, of course.

Offline Deltajugg

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Re: A new piloting tool: Ship Stabilizer
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2014, 06:45:09 pm »
The trick that in my eyes would make this superior to manually stabilizing your ship would be the reduced damage taken to balloon and guns. Your light guns would no longer be one shot with an Artemis (the Mercury could still probably do the trick with a direct hit), and your balloon wouldn't be as vulnerable.

That's a bad idea.
First of all, I think there's some kind of logic behind every aspect of other tools, why is it exactly that parts are damaged etc. Having an anchor, or any kind of ship stabilizer shouldn't anyhow affect the durability of ship parts IMO.
But that's only about my sticking to some sort of in-game logic in the mechanics, the real problem is the damage reduction from a pilot's tool would make it ridiculously beneficial not just for sniping ships, but for every single ship in the game, especially for Pyramidion.

Overall I like the idea of the tool itself, it would be a real nice option for the sniping ships to keep your ship stable. But providing you with additional damage reduction from enemy fire is another thing that I don't see working well.