Author Topic: Beam Fire Controls  (Read 7773 times)

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Offline alex_brunius

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Beam Fire Controls
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2013, 01:18:19 PM »
What about making "Beam Fire control range" cheaper to research so you can reach the maximum earlier and have one or two levels higher then currently for the same cost?

That would probably provide a solution for 98% of the problems (the remaining 2% being at max level beam weapons), make spinals rangeboost useful and doesn't inflict with any light speed realism issues either.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 02:13:27 PM by alex_brunius »
 

Offline Bremen

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« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2013, 04:24:25 PM »
That would be the "ultimate" maximum range. :)

As in: "It ain't likely to change" :)

John

There seems to be confusion about what exactly I'm suggesting. ~1.5m km is the range limit due to speed of light, and I am not suggesting it be increased. Rather, I am suggesting that spinal weapons have a range boost within that limit, so that they could reach out to 1.5m km with less than maximum tech. Improving tech would then improve their accuracy at 1.5m, but never let them exceed 1.5m.

Mechanically, this might involve them having their own built in FCs, like CIWS, or having them fire as if a target was closer, like a reverse of how Nebulae work.
 

Offline byron

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« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2013, 12:23:21 AM »
But you can't. Then the weapon would be FTL.
I'm aware of that.  In this case, I would file it under "reasonable abstraction".  It may not be technically correct, but we don't worry about light lag for sensors or communications.  Hitting a moving target with a long lag is theoretically simple.  I'm suggesting very low tracking speeds to simulate the uncertainty involved in doing so.
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Offline byron

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« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2013, 12:53:54 AM »
I'd like to raise three more points in defense of allowing longer beam ranges:
1. They're already in the game.  A max tech PDC beam fire control will do 7.5 ls.  The universe hasn't imploded yet.
2. If the energy detected by the sensors travel superluminally, then it's unlikely that we won't be able to send energy back.
3. The beam weapons are already FTL, or everyone in Aurora is very stupid.  A ship travelling at 1250 km/s (basic tracking speed tech) that random-walks in a cone 1 degree wide has a positional uncertainty of +- 21.8 km/s.  Even at 5000 km, that's +-364 meters, or the size of a large-ish ship.  Yet the most basic firecon you can build will hit it 50% of the time, and a system that can be built with the same tech will do so 87.5% of the time.  And the ship's forward velocity will be slowed by .015%.
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Offline Charlie Beeler

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« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2013, 07:15:25 AM »
I'd like to raise three more points in defense of allowing longer beam ranges:
Been here, done this...  Steve is unlikely to capitulate now.

1. They're already in the game.  A max tech PDC beam fire control will do 7.5 ls.  The universe hasn't imploded yet.
While you can design a PDC with a range greater than 1.4m/km the games code has a hard maximum limit of 1.4m/km which is actually a little short of 5 light seconds.  The same goes for ship/missile speed, there is a hard limit of 299k/kps which is a little short of light speed.

2. If the energy detected by the sensors travel superluminally, then it's unlikely that we won't be able to send energy back.
This argument has been made before...no change.

3. The beam weapons are already FTL, or everyone in Aurora is very stupid.  A ship travelling at 1250 km/s (basic tracking speed tech) that random-walks in a cone 1 degree wide has a positional uncertainty of +- 21.8 km/s.  Even at 5000 km, that's +-364 meters, or the size of a large-ish ship.  Yet the most basic firecon you can build will hit it 50% of the time, and a system that can be built with the same tech will do so 87.5% of the time.  And the ship's forward velocity will be slowed by .015%.
This has also been brought up before.  The short answer is that in the interests of game play and ease of coding the entire deviation potential is being ignored.
Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics - paraphrase attributed to Gen Omar Bradley
 

Offline xeryon

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« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2013, 07:45:12 AM »
The bigger problem is the turn length.  If a ship was at 2m k and you fired your laser with appropriate tech to hit your target there would be a turn increment in the middle of the weapon payload travel.  When you fire a laser the ship on the receiving end should have no warning as any possible warning signal would not travel faster than the light speed weapon travelling towards the target.  So knowing that the laser was fired and impact would happen at the same time.  If there is a play stoppage mid weapon travel you (the player) can thwart the laws of physics and you will now have an advance warning of a light speed weapon approaching.  Thus your sensors, albeit your optical sensors and not in-game sensors, will have created a ftl alert of incoming laser fire.

Wow, that was a long winded response about something I only know of in theory...I hope I am right.
 

Offline Bgreman

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« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2013, 09:58:55 AM »
I too think that the light-speed restriction should be lifted.  We're already throwing a lot of physics to the wind by invoking "Trans-Newtonian" physics.  Why not just claim that lasers/etc that use TN systems are capable of super-luminal energy/matter transmission?  It already happens for comms and sensors, as has been noted.  There wouldn't even be much gameplay impact, except that your beam weapons now have longer potential ranges.  Frankly, I think multiplying a lot of the beam weapon range values by two or three would go a long way toward making beam weapons more balanced with respect to missiles, something people have been clamoring for for ages.

I am not suggesting that beams be implemented such that they turn into an energy packet that hits on a later increment; they'd still be "same-increment" weapons, it's just that, if someone did the calculations, the beam front would technically have gone faster than light speed.  I fail to see how this could be used to violate causality in game, so I'm not sure what the real reason for keeping it the way it is is, other than "It would be a lot of work to implement," which is probably valid.

I understand if Steve wants to stick fast to this restriction; it's his game, after all.  I just want to throw my voice behind removing the restriction as well.
 

Offline byron

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« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2013, 12:07:42 PM »
Been here, done this...  Steve is unlikely to capitulate now.
I was not aware of this, but I'm certainly not regretting trying.

The bigger problem is the turn length.
You're right, so long as we assume that the beam propagates at a speed no greater than c.  If we remove that, then the problem goes away.

I am not suggesting that beams be implemented such that they turn into an energy packet that hits on a later increment; they'd still be "same-increment" weapons, it's just that, if someone did the calculations, the beam front would technically have gone faster than light speed.  I fail to see how this could be used to violate causality in game, so I'm not sure what the real reason for keeping it the way it is is, other than "It would be a lot of work to implement," which is probably valid.
It couldn't be used to violate causality.  I believe the model the game runs on is that there is a universal reference frame, in violation of relativity.  (This is actually a plausible mechanism, because we might have simply not discovered it yet.)

Quote
I understand if Steve wants to stick fast to this restriction; it's his game, after all.  I just want to throw my voice behind removing the restriction as well.
Couldn't have said it better myself.
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Offline FyrenEyce

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« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2013, 04:32:49 PM »
Quote from: xeryon link=topic=5731. msg62740#msg62740 date=1367412312
If there is a play stoppage mid weapon travel you (the player) can thwart the laws of physics and you will now have an advance warning of a light speed weapon approaching.   Thus your sensors, albeit your optical sensors and not in-game sensors, will have created a ftl alert of incoming laser fire.

Sensor ranges are determined by the amount of thermal and EM radiation the sensed object emits.  Since any such radiation would be contained in the particle packet of any cohesive particle beam weapon, they would not be detected until the beam arrived at it's destination.  Similarly, railgun and GC are lethal not because of the size of the payload but the kinetic energies the payload carries.  Since velocity x mass determines their kinetic energy, and it takes less overall resources to increase speed than the mass of every shot fired, their ammunition masses would likely be measured in grams or at most a few kilograms.  Keep in mind the minimum given sensor range vs.  size is 6 MSP or 300kg.  Furthermore, not having any engines or components they would not give off any detectable levels of EM or thermal radiation.  This would make their detection ranges with even the best sensors effectively 0.  Optical sensors detect visible light so they would of course be limited by the speed of light.  In short the player should remain blind to incoming beam fire, making any intentional dodging impossible.  Of course random changes or speed and/or heading should be SOP in any engagement but that's another discussion.

The only reason beam weapons cannot exceed the 5*c limitation, in my opinion, is purely due to coding difficulties.  Adding an additional object and making it visible to the program and not the player seems like it should be easy enough, but I'm not a programmer so maybe it's not.
 

Offline xeryon

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« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2013, 09:34:39 AM »
I mostly agree.  I didn't really think about the packet being visible to the game and not the player.  The problem still stands, but the situation is now different.  Once you are aware that the opponent is wielding a weapon with a fixed trajectory and requires more than one time increment to deliver that you can conduct evasive maneuvers to completely eliminate the weapons chance to land a hit.  I agree evasive maneuvers should be a standard procedure in a battle but the fact that you could completely negate an opposing weapon system and may be able to destroy an enemy task force with impunity just because you zigged is a hurdle to address.
 

Offline Bgreman

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« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2013, 10:18:12 AM »
Keep in mind the minimum given sensor range vs.  size is 6 MSP or 300kg. 

Just want to be pedantic and note that 6 MSP is 6/20 HS = 0.3 HS, or 15 metric tons (15,000 kg, not 300).  And actually the game uses 0.33 HS (6.6 MSP) for the minimum size, not 0.30 (6 MSP) as the game displays indicate.
 

Offline byron

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« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2013, 12:21:17 PM »
I mostly agree.  I didn't really think about the packet being visible to the game and not the player.  The problem still stands, but the situation is now different.  Once you are aware that the opponent is wielding a weapon with a fixed trajectory and requires more than one time increment to deliver that you can conduct evasive maneuvers to completely eliminate the weapons chance to land a hit.  I agree evasive maneuvers should be a standard procedure in a battle but the fact that you could completely negate an opposing weapon system and may be able to destroy an enemy task force with impunity just because you zigged is a hurdle to address.
The problem goes away if we assume that the weapon propagates at superluminal speed.  There are several reasons to accept that as a possibility, as I outlined previously.  The point you raise is exactly why I'm convinced that they don't travel at the speed of light.  Particularly with (practically) infinite delta-V, dodging is just too easy at anything over point-blank range.
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Offline Polestar

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« Reply #27 on: May 03, 2013, 06:25:54 AM »
This is a game where gravity and momentum, to say nothing of relativistic effects or the third dimension, don't exist for spaceships. Getting exercised about the speed of light is, to be perfectly blunt, an unusual intrusion of physical reality into space combat. Aurora almost never lets that sort of thing get in the way of the sort of game it wants to be. I cannot at present think of any other instance of allowing physics to limit decisions made about game balance.

Even if Steve chooses to make an exception for and respect c, making weapon and fire control ranges match better can be done in at least two ways:

A. Reduce the ranges of beam weapons at all tech levels. I don't recommend this; the ratio of the distance ships can travel in a game tick and the range of beam weapons is already low.

B. Allow arbitrary beam ranges. Just have the beam pulse (a firing event) impact in following ticks. If we want to do this simply, we just save the beam pulse data, calculate its arrival time, and apply it then - don't worry about ship movement in the meantime. Later feature polishing could include adjustment of arrival time if ships move relative to each other. Dodging would not be allowed, or only allowed through a abstracted process.


Frankly, what this game *really* needs - perhaps in an Aurora II - is to get rid of the 5-second game pulse . However, this would pretty much require a complete coding overall, so this is pie in the sky for anyone other than a very determined Steve.
 

Offline Charlie Beeler

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« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2013, 08:13:54 AM »
Gentlemen,  the beam fire control limits have nothing to do, functionally, with Relativity.  For all intents and purposes it is nothing more than an arbitrary limit that can be described as a carryover from board/tabletop games (fiction as well) that describe ranges in relation to light seconds/minutes.

The decision was made early in development that beams either struck during the smallest game impulse or missed and would not be tracked into later impulses.  I highly doubt that Steve will change this since it is a basic fundamental of of the coding.

Also early on it was decided that defensive maneuvers/dodging would be assumed to always be occurring and thus abstracted by lowered fire control ranges.  This was done to releave a need to calculate the effects of movement for both ships on accuracy. 

If you really want beam fire control ranges greater that 5ls, and have the database password, you can have it.  It's a simple change to the tech systems table.  Be forwarned if you do, that this is only a personal change and is not to be distributed.  Also, if you start having "issues" related to range they are not to be reported in the bugs threads since end-user database changes are not something Steve has any desire to attempt to trace through the code.
Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics - paraphrase attributed to Gen Omar Bradley
 

Offline alex_brunius

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« Reply #29 on: May 03, 2013, 08:42:49 AM »
I highly doubt that Steve will change this since it is a basic fundamental of of the coding.

...

If you really want beam fire control ranges greater that 5ls, and have the database password, you can have it.  It's a simple change to the tech systems table.

That is not making much sense for me. Either the change is simple or it's not. It can't be both of them at once.

If it was a basic fundamental of the coding it normally would be either impossible or very complex to change.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 08:45:00 AM by alex_brunius »
 

 

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