Author Topic: Scipio Ballistae, just a weapon mechanic idea.  (Read 499 times)

Offline Naoura

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Scipio Ballistae, just a weapon mechanic idea.
« on: September 15, 2016, 12:34:49 pm »
I was having a discussion with another player (I hate my memory for names), and he floated up the idea for a timed detonation weapon, something you could "cook" and attempt to air-burst on a ship. We discussed it for a while without any conclusiveness, but it got me thinking, so here goes.

Scipio Ballistae, a light weapon.

Basic appearance would be quite similar to the following: http://www.quirao.com/qimage/p/moy300/p29/maquette-canon-kit-mantua-arbalette-068810.jpg , except, of course, much more diesel-punkish and with a few sticks of dynamite quite literally tied to the tip. Yes, it’s supposed to be Arashi, why do you ask?

TL;DR: medium range weapon that has a detonation timer, dealing explosive damage either by air burst for a much higher damage, or else “sticking” to the enemy ship and dealing much less damage
Direct damage: ~30-35 piercing
Burst damage: (Stuck) ~40-45 (Air-burst) ~80
Fire chance: (Stuck) ~10-15 (Air burst) 30
Reload: 10s
Range: ~800-700 meters
Projectile speed: 150 meters p/s
Projectile drop: ~8-10 meters p/s
Detonation distance: 5.3 meters p/s
Arcs and turning speed: Too be determined.
All of the above is not only subject to change, but extremely likely to.


Timing the detonation is akin to simply lighting the fuse, which the arming timers on the side will start flashing faster and faster the closer the time to detonation. Firing the bolt regularly will automatically ignite the explosives, meaning that manual ignition would be the higher skill-based play.

The reward for the air-burst is primarily AoE, where the burst damage is simply explosive with a relatively high fire chance. Managing to land the AoE would have a powerful effect on the enemy ship, dealing ~80 explosive with a 30% chance to leave 10 stacks of fire in 45 meter AoE, basing the damage and range on the AoE off of the mines, but weaker. The higher fire chance gives it a tad more power for the use of disable, and to make it a little bit stronger in the fire regard.

Another part of the weapon that is crucial to its usage is the ability to “stick” an enemy ship. Unlike most of the other weapons, the Scipio would give the option for a guaranteed explosion, for reduced damage of around ~45-~50. The fire chance would also be greatly reduced to roughly 15% for 3 stacks. The reward for the air burst is much greater, but much trickier, and therefore rewards both high and low level play. Direct, of course, would be a very weak piercing of ~30-35, so as to discourage its use in armor penetration.

An important factor in the “sticking” mechanic is that it is highly audible aboard the ship that has been stuck, meaning that a skilled engineering crew would be able to tell that the detonation is coming, and would prioritize the hull in order to keep as much damage off of perma as possible. This is a slight balancing point to the weapon, as it would discourage sticking the enemy and reward air-burst more strongly. However, the hiss could also be used deceptively, as it would be the same sound for the entire duration. Say you managed to cook the detonation by a second or two, and then stuck the enemy. They may assume that you simply launched, and would not prioritize the armor when it is lower, allowing the detonation to go off before the focus is on the hull. It could, potentially, be used as a distraction, forcing the engineers to focus on their armor while an allied ship, or your own, closes in to hit a different component.

Max distance for a weapon like this would be roughly 800-700 meters, traveling 150 meters per second, leaving a base timer for detonation of around 5.3 seconds, basing it lightly on the range of the harpoon. However, the projectile drop will be more severe, due to the added weight of explosives, being ~8-10 m/s^2.  This would give it a respectable range while still having a somewhat difficult arc, requiring time to learn the drop of the bolt as it travels. Knowing the timing of the explosives does require an even higher level of skill, so as to reward higher level players at longer range.

Turning speed and arcs I have yet to determine, but I am of the opinion for a decent arc at slow speed, as the majority of the ballistae would be of heavier metal and would have a decent weight to it.

Now, the obvious question about this is what happens if you ignite the bolt on the weapon, and do not fire it. I’ve played around with the idea of self-damaging, but I believe that it would inspire too much trolling in players, and, as such, came to the conclusion that an automatic reload without a detonation would be the more appropriate choice. Perhaps with an increased reload timer to punish not firing the bolt after arming it.

Happy to hear any thoughts and criticisms of the Scipio. It’s just a theorized weapon, and I’m certain that it’ll go nowhere, but give me your thoughts, if you will.