Author Topic: Planetary Shield Units, like STOs, but with shields.  (Read 434 times)

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Offline xenoscepter (OP)

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Planetary Shield Units, like STOs, but with shields.
« on: April 07, 2021, 10:44:15 AM »
 - Exactly what it reads on the tin, I suggest / request Ground Forces, but with shields for the planet. You would use designed shield generators to absorb damage from bombardments and such. Currently, shields don't affect boarding combat, so ground force invasion shouldn't be affected. Have the Ground Support Fighter mission which targets STOs also allow them to target Planetary Shield Units, or maybe split them into two separate orders.

 - Like an STO, you design a Shield Generator and add it to a Static-type Ground Unit.
 
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Offline Migi

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Re: Planetary Shield Units, like STOs, but with shields.
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2021, 03:57:55 PM »
A ground unit feels too small scale to cover a whole planet with a shield, I think it would feel better to have it as an installation. However that would loose the ability to customize them which would be a shame.
Would it be possible to add customized installations? Side note: DSTS would be another installation that would be better if you designed their capabilities based on your tech rather than having them improved automatically by a tech line.

You'd have to add the ability to target installations (in the same way you can target STO's rather than general ground units).

The other problem is balance, how much shield power and regen could a single installation generate without being unbalanced?.
 

Offline swarm_sadist

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Re: Planetary Shield Units, like STOs, but with shields.
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2021, 04:46:56 PM »
Something similar to Construction units might work. It applies to the attached units first, then subordinate formations and so forth. The more it is spread out, the less effective it is.
 

Offline Droll

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Re: Planetary Shield Units, like STOs, but with shields.
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2021, 08:35:08 PM »
Something similar to Construction units might work. It applies to the attached units first, then subordinate formations and so forth. The more it is spread out, the less effective it is.

Under your system a shield unit only protects ground units and yields no protection to installations and populations. This might still be acceptable but it does conflict with the ideas some others have here. Also worth noting, what type of ground weapons do these planet level shield bubbles protect? Do the block infantry weapons, AT, AA or do they only block medium/heavy/long range bombardment as well as OBS. Having infantry ignore such shields might give good reason for people to create offensive infantry formations beyond RP reasons.

Having shielding work like PPV might work. Depending on the surface area of a planet you need to have a certain amount of shield units in order to provide 100% planetary shield. Less than perfect coverage means there is a chance orbital bombardment goes through and hits the planet anyways (so 80% coverage means 20% chance a shot ignores the shields). This has other problems - what determines the shield strength when there are different units that potentially have different shielding levels? Do you individually track which shield units have shields up? Do you take an average for planetary shield strength?

I think the best way would be to have a binary system for protecting the planet itself. If you have enough shield units to provide full coverage to the planet, then you have a functioning planetary shield with the shield strengths and regen rates of all those units being added to the planetary shield in a simple sum. If you don't meet the requirements then you can't form a cohesive shield across the entire planet hence 0 shielding. You do benefit from having more than necessary to cover the planet since the shield is stronger and can take more punishment but depending on surface area you have a minimum requirement to put the shield up in the first place.
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: Planetary Shield Units, like STOs, but with shields.
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2021, 03:58:05 AM »
There could be two types of shields... a facility that protects the planet and troops from indiscriminate bombardment and unit based that protect against tactical bombardment only. So general shields do not help against tactical bombardment at all which are directed by Forward Fire Observers.
 

Offline Migi

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Re: Planetary Shield Units, like STOs, but with shields.
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2021, 10:51:47 AM »
Protecting the planet from bombardment in general vs protecting units (in general or specific ones) from bombardment vs protecting units (in general or specific ones) from other ground units are at least 3 separate use cases and should be discussed separately IMO.

IMO it would be more logical to build a network of hardened bunkers rather than using semi-mobile vehicles to provide permanent defences for the whole planet, whereas providing shields to specific units (or formations) would be appropriate for a vehicle.

I like the idea (thematically) of a distributed network of vehicles providing a planetary shield but it's fairly different from how Aurora is currently designed, so my assumption is that it would require more work to implement and Steve is less likely to want to do it.

Both of these reasons was why I advocated for an installation rather than a ground unit to provide shields to a colony.


Along the line of protecting ground units from other ground units, you could design a vehicle shield generator with a certain capacity and shield strength. It adds this shield strength to the armour or HP of it's own formation (or maybe a subordinate formation) and thereby protects units directly.
To prevent abuse only the strongest shield value would apply to that unit, but extra units provide redundancy. Maybe you could have a decreasing bonus for each additional unit but that would depend on balancing.
Maybe you could have shield strength apply to Armour and shield regen apply to Health.
The vehicle might need to be designed with a specific number of targets which can receive the bonus (more targets requiring higher cost), otherwise it might make infantry too powerful.
And you might be able to have some sort of ability to avoid the shield bonus based on the mobility of the unit (which would effectively penalize static and heavy vehicles and buff light vehicles and infantry).
 

Offline Droll

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Re: Planetary Shield Units, like STOs, but with shields.
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2021, 02:15:33 PM »
Along the line of protecting ground units from other ground units, you could design a vehicle shield generator with a certain capacity and shield strength. It adds this shield strength to the armour or HP of it's own formation (or maybe a subordinate formation) and thereby protects units directly.
To prevent abuse only the strongest shield value would apply to that unit, but extra units provide redundancy. Maybe you could have a decreasing bonus for each additional unit but that would depend on balancing.
Maybe you could have shield strength apply to Armour and shield regen apply to Health.
The vehicle might need to be designed with a specific number of targets which can receive the bonus (more targets requiring higher cost), otherwise it might make infantry too powerful.
And you might be able to have some sort of ability to avoid the shield bonus based on the mobility of the unit (which would effectively penalize static and heavy vehicles and buff light vehicles and infantry).

I think the shield could just be a component that you add to individual vehicles and it just adds a flat shield value to the vehicle and a regen per combat round. It's literally a second health bar that regenerates. Having group-shields that protect formations would complicate things. This would also add further nuance for the heavier multi-component unit types and differentiate them from light combat vehicles.

When a shielded vehicle is hit:
1- First the shield gets hit. If the attack can't fully penetrate the damage of the attack is deducted from the shield and no further action is taken. If the shield is penetrated, shield hp hits 0 and the attack now has damage = initial damage - shield strength. The AP of the attack is unaffected (otherwise heavy armor and shields could become ridiculous).
2- The armor penetration calculation is run like usual since AP has been unaffected.
3- The kill chance is rolled as usual depending on the new reduced damage attack that had to penetrate the shield
4- Assuming the hit vehicle survives, next combat round the shield regenerates depending on the regen tech level

As for shielding a planet from OBS, probably a good idea to just use an installation. It would need some work on the attackers end to implement the shield getting hit and drained, but the game already can track installation-based stats for planets like with DSTS installations so not much work would be needed on that end. Even for hit calculation it would be the same as usual, just that the shield owner is a system body and not a ship.
 

Offline Migi

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Re: Planetary Shield Units, like STOs, but with shields.
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2021, 04:21:07 PM »
You're right that a shield could just be a component which gets selected for a unit like power armour or terrain training.
Alternatively it could take up a weapon slot (this would mean you couldn't use them on STO's though).
Either would probably be simpler than adding another unit and making it affect other units in the formation (or lower formations).
Personally I think those options are a bit more boring than designing a new unit and trying to build a formation around having enough shield capacity for all the units.

However adding regenerating shield points to each vehicle would change ground combat significantly.
Regenerating health would make sense if the current ground combat system involved damaged units, however at the moment ground units either die or survive unscathed.
In the current system the shield should either make it more difficult to kill the unit or make them more difficult to hit.
I'm not 100% sure why Steve didn't include damaged ground units but I imagine he decided it would add too much hassle for too little gain.
 

Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Planetary Shield Units, like STOs, but with shields.
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2021, 04:50:33 PM »
However adding regenerating shield points to each vehicle would change ground combat significantly.
Regenerating health would make sense if the current ground combat system involved damaged units, however at the moment ground units either die or survive unscathed.
In the current system the shield should either make it more difficult to kill the unit or make them more difficult to hit.
I'm not 100% sure why Steve didn't include damaged ground units but I imagine he decided it would add too much hassle for too little gain.

The major reason for this, aside from not wanting to model to that granularity, is that the combat is implemented per group of elements rather than per individual element. If you have, for example, 30x medium tanks and 300x infantry in a formation, the game models these as two targetable groups rather than 330 individual targets. Given that ground combats can easily involve millions of tons of units and thus potentially millions of elements, it's not too hard to see why this simplification is necessary for performance reasons, but it does mean that damage levels on individual units are not really technically feasible.
 

 

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