Author Topic: Why can't player races use their ships to ram?  (Read 4025 times)

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Offline Vandermeer

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Re: Why can't player races use their ships to ram?
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2015, 12:57:21 PM »
My stance on everything in a game with serious realistic simulation ambitions is that nothing should really be prohibited in the end. Realism over everything, - nothing should be barred out, unless it is still under construction or just too ambitious to achieve.
So the reason why ramming is rightfully left out at the current state is that it is unrealistically powerful. Actually, if you consider the trans-newtonian "infinite acceleration/force" physics to be real, it might even be realistic, in that context. But clearly that is not intended this way, and probably the consensus would be to have a simulation of just classical naval battle ramming, which the game simply can't give at this point.

However, this could be fixed by just adjusting the ramming rules until they fit the simulation that was desired. The shield thing that GreatTuna complained about could for example be left out (shielding should maybe just be able to intercept usual weapon caliber attacks, not ship or asteroid sized threats), and then you could make successful ramming much more difficult the smaller the target vessel is compared to your own. These two rules combined would effectively and well explained ban these dreaded ramming leviathans before they arrive for example.
That would still leave the 100-ton+ sized vessel ramming problem; no idea how to deal with that yet, but there might be a way if the thinking keeps going. Hmm, maybe reduce ramming damage the smaller your ramming ship is compared to the target ship, so there manifests an exponential drop that makes anything that is factors below the target basically a waste of resource to sacrifice.(so you would only crash the fighters when they are lost anyway, like it should be)
- Your ship too large => Hitting very unlikely
- Your ship too small => Hitting likely, but does only insignificant damage

What would stay is a zone of slightly below and slightly above mass neighborhoods for each ship where ramming seems to be an appropriate tactic. That could maybe still be exploited, because a specialized ramming design could here potentially still sort out vastly more tech savvy opponents at little cost if the engine is halfway appropriate.
A little mitigating counter could be that shock damage could be more severe when appropriate ramming damage has been received, so hitting a near-equal or larger opponent is very likely to destroy you, even when using "all-armor" specialized ramming designs.
..Just keep thinking, there might be a way to make it fair altogether, and I would hate the classic naval tactic being banned just because people (like me) would abuse it.

The chance of ramming should be based on speed difference, only a significantly faster ship should be able to ram somewhat like boarding action.
I agree with speed being a major factor in hit chance, but if there is nothing done about it being the sole dominant factor, we will only get the specially manufactured metal blocks with rockets that would currently result from the game rules, and not the nice last resort tactic that actually needs rendering.

Quote
It's not looking good for the idea that a heavily damaged ship could ram as a measure of last resort, but really if a ship has severe armour damage and isn't particularly fast of course it wouldn't really be able to ram.
If you are getting destroyed anyway, you don't care how much armor damage you already sustained. ;)
Of course, if your ramming ship has really become slower than the enemy, then the only way to really do the maneuver is to have him fail at moving away soon enough, or maybe having him encircled with a couple ships, so he can't avoid them all. The trick in those types of situations would be to spot a future loss soon enough as a captain, so you initiate the maneuver before it is too late.(some difference to naval can probably not be overcome when no momentum or bearing is involved in the potential tactic crafting)

///
I thought about an alternative rule set to the one above that could also make ramming more fair:
- Your ship similar or large => Shock damage starts much earlier, and will likely destroy your ship even when the enemy was puny and cheaply constructed in comparison (+ your 100 armor layers won't help you too)
- Your ship too small => ..Yet, damage falls of exponentially via the size-to-size comparison from before, and when too small for shock damage to trigger, ramming does achieve too little to be economical as a clean war tactic.(still does at least something in lost cases ofc.)

It kind of brings back the leviathans this way, because they could simply become so large that most ships you encounter fall under the "too small for shock damage" threshold, but I still figure this set better than the other, because I find to hit penalties due to size very difficult to justify scientifically in this computer-precision navigation age.
I feel there must be a better way to do it still, that just has it all.(and not require Aurora to introduce any lofty extra calculation while doing it)
playing Aurora as swarm fleet: Zen Nomadic Hive Fantasy
 

Offline xeryon

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Re: Why can't player races use their ships to ram?
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2015, 01:42:32 PM »
An extremely less complicated response to the "it can be exploited" reasoning (if that was the sole reason):  We have SM mode already.  Anyone that wants to pretend to ram a ship can make it happen anyway but it just takes more effort than it should and is left to the imagination of the player to determine the outcome.
 

Offline MarcAFK

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Re: Why can't player races use their ships to ram?
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2015, 07:57:10 PM »
I have one idea that's pretty simplistic, just consider the rammer as a missile, use standard missile intercept and hit chance mechanics.
Then it's entire remaining armour becomes a single warhead impact. The ship is then destroyed.
Should be sufficiently balanced but still exploitable if you wish.
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Offline alex_brunius

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Re: Why can't player races use their ships to ram?
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2015, 05:00:48 PM »
Why not make it a SM option order only then?

Then it's very clear it's not intended as a mainstream or balanced strategy, but only for special role-playing situations that require it?


I mean no one is complaining that we can use SM to add 100 times industry or a massive fleet, so "exploit" can't apply. SM options is just something that's supposed to be tools to facilitate role-play and make the game setup and execution easier?

 

Offline Garfunkel

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Re: Why can't player races use their ships to ram?
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2015, 11:12:36 PM »
At least make civilian captains not willing to ram. It's annoying in multi-empire starts on Sol when the the civilian ships ram PDCs and ships.
 

Offline iceball3

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Re: Why can't player races use their ships to ram?
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2016, 10:53:59 PM »
Sorry for reviving a thread, but at least it's been only two months. Anyway..
How about for ramming attempts, make it absolutely necessary that the ship's captain be able to maintain a higher initiative rating than their target to actually make a  hit? And by that I mean make it so that the task group attempting to ram has to be able to occupy the same space as it's target when the turn resolve, otherwise the ram fails automatically.
I'm not sure if I remember it correctly, but I remember having had enemy ships attempt ram me from mid-beam ranges. For a game where a big part of one weapon's potential is being able to be used point blank, that sure isn't very fun.

Alternatively, we can remove ramming entirely, and all NPR naval ships mount one or two Plasma Carronades by default, including missile and non combat ships. Or gauss cannons. This will give them much more appropriate close-range firepower that they should have, rather than being a warpspace barely-sub-c ballistic projectile. And limits the nastiness of, say, fighters who try to ram.
 

Offline AlqVeers

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Re: Why can't player races use their ships to ram?
« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2016, 12:22:23 AM »
I personally like the idea of being able to order a ram, but mostly for some RP ideas that I'd like to do eventually.

As for it's implementation and all the above discussion?, I'll leave that to you experts.  But I thought that it could be an order to be given, which is decided based on things like initiative, captain traits and stuff.
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Offline Felixg

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Re: Why can't player races use their ships to ram?
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2016, 10:34:33 PM »
It might be unpopular but why not take it out of the players hands?

Make it a function of the captain of the ship's stats? If he is within a 5 second increment of the enemy, and all of the weapon systems on his ship are disabled or destroyed then he has a % chance to ram the enemy ship.

Call it a Glory stat or someting. xD
 

Offline Nyvis

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Re: Why can't player races use their ships to ram?
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2016, 05:28:55 PM »
Quote from: Felixg link=topic=8063. msg86668#msg86668 date=1455683673
It might be unpopular but why not take it out of the players hands?

Make it a function of the captain of the ship's stats? If he is within a 5 second increment of the enemy, and all of the weapon systems on his ship are disabled or destroyed then he has a % chance to ram the enemy ship.

Call it a Glory stat or someting.  xD

Nah.  Taking control away from players, even when logical roleplay wise is the height of bad video game design.

Really, if you're afraid of exploits, make ramming less powerful and more damaging to the attacker than to the defender (lots of shock damage?).  Ramming shouldn't be something you survive, and only a desperation mode.  The chances the shock damage would trigger a chain reaction and make everything blow up is too big for even dedicated ramming ships to work.  Yes, naval battles used to have ramming as a genuine strategy rather than a desperation mode.  Before we stuck nuclear plants in warships.

On the other hand, being able to take down enemies with higher tech with the surprise effect doesn't seem like a bad narrative to me.  If they have superior tech, they should be faster or able to shoot you down before you reach them if prepared, so I don't see the problem.

Of course, the overwhelming size of space and the speed of ships make any attempt highly unlikely to succeed if the target is moving.  But what about ramming a station? Or crashing on a planet to take down stuff?

If we conclude ramming is impossible, NPC shouldn't be able to use it.  If we conclude it's possible, players should.  Worrying about exploits in a game with a readily available 'cheat' mode seems unreasonable.
 

Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Why can't player races use their ships to ram?
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2016, 11:17:15 PM »
the problem is specialist ramming bullsmeg - perhaps even commercial ships. Players have absolute mind control over their ships and don't actually care that their men die.

 

Offline Iranon

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Re: Why can't player races use their ships to ram?
« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2016, 06:03:26 AM »
To be honest, I feel there's less of an attempt at realism and more of an attempt to port wet navies (age of sail to cold war, what fits does not depend on tech level but on designs&doctrine) into space. And ramming has been a part of naval warfare for a surprisingly long time (e.g. Glowworm vs. Admiral Hipper, and relative gun range was much longer in WW2: ~30min to cover the distance instead of ~1min in Aurora).

Consistency is the keyword rather than realism - many systems are open-ended and allow the player to find their niche, leading to a large variety of viable doctrines. I think it works much better than a system obsessing about realism.
 

Offline Nyvis

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Re: Why can't player races use their ships to ram?
« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2016, 08:07:34 AM »
the problem is specialist ramming bullsmeg - perhaps even commercial ships. Players have absolute mind control over their ships and don't actually care that their men die.

Banning it for commercial ships isn't hard. Dedicated ramming is a problem because there is no morale or political implication to crew losses. The only thing players have to consider is the economic viability of the manoeuvre. Making sure ramming isn't always successful and exposes the ramming ship should help.

Consistency is the keyword rather than realism - many systems are open-ended and allow the player to find their niche, leading to a large variety of viable doctrines. I think it works much better than a system obsessing about realism.

I definitely agree with you here. The game already goes against realism with transnewtonian physics, and as such, focusing on consistency and good gameplay is more important. But ramming is a consistency problem since NPR can use it.
 

Offline sloanjh

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Re: Why can't player races use their ships to ram?
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2016, 08:28:55 AM »
To be honest, I feel there's less of an attempt at realism and more of an attempt to port wet navies (age of sail to cold war, what fits does not depend on tech level but on designs&doctrine) into space.

Point of information:  The ultra-long missile ranges (compare to beam weapon ranges or even system size) were NOT motivated by the ultra-long SMM ranges (compared to gun ranges or even ocean size) of cold war wet navies.  They came out of Steve's drive for internal consistency within the game.  Prior to the change, the "physics" of missile engine power levels and fuel consumption was completely unrelated to that of ships.  Somewhere in there when Steve introduced gunboats/FAC and fighters, he came up with a "power level" model for engine physics - there was a quantized spectrum of power levels (commercial engines at the lowest end; missile engines at the highest) that traded power/engine ton for fuel consumption.  I can still remember the post where Steve said that he'd done the math and it ended up giving ultra-long missile ranges.  In fact, I think I remember this being where fighter engines came from - he was working on gunboat engines, and found that there was an empty power level in the progression (Commercial, Military, Gunboat, XXX, Missile) and he realized that the XXX engines made sense for fighters.  The observation that this was very similar to the introduction of ASM in post-WWII wet navies came from that discussion, not the other way around.

  Note that this engine mechanic is the one prior to the current one (where Steve removed the quantization/differentiation).

  Personally, I think it's more a case of convergent evolution and familiarity than emulation.  I think everyone thinks it's reasonable that the logistical and psychological challenges in space navies will be very similar to those encountered in age of sail wet navies, which is basically long travel times to remote destinations and the need to carry cargo between them.  So wet navies make a good model and source of ideas to use when considering game mechanics.  And the 2D vs. 3D thing is just because handling 3D UI is just too relatively hard to do when 90% of the mechanics/strategies/tactics will be the same in both cases.

John
 

Offline Sematary

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Re: Why can't player races use their ships to ram?
« Reply #28 on: February 22, 2016, 07:38:05 PM »
I don't think there is a problem with the last ditch ramming that this conversation seems to be focused on. The problem is if players are allowed to ram a completely unrealistic tactic comes up as a great idea. You would be able to build cheap ships that do massive ramming damage. Doesn't matter if the ship survives or not since it doesn't cost much to make. One of the things that makes that tactic so unrealistic is the fact that in the game crew is just a resource number, just like how many litres of fuel you have. Me as a person have no reason to care if I send 210 Terran Confederation Navy sailors to die every time I ram something, what I care about is I have 10 ramming ships and I better hope they don't have 11 ships to ram. However in that previous example, I just sent 2,100 people to their death because it was more resource efficient to do that than build a proper warship. In real life that would have such huge major consequences that no one would seriously consider that in any time except abject desperation. In Aurora there is no such consequence and no way outside of maybe extreme new mechanics to implement any consequences so there is nothing stopping me from something that arises simply because its a game.
 

Offline Iranon

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Re: Why can't player races use their ships to ram?
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2016, 09:24:21 AM »
The morale aspect depends entirely on the culture. And if we'd expect bigger losses in a conventional fight, it's debatable whether it's a moral problem.
 

 

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