Author Topic: Missile Based STO  (Read 973 times)

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Offline ArcWolf (OP)

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Missile Based STO
« on: August 12, 2022, 11:27:39 AM »
I did a quick search of the forum for Missile STOs and came up with nothing, So i wanted to share what i was thinking. If anyone knows of a post/discussion concerning them please share it, otherwise i would like to see your opinions/counter-points etc.

The Basics:
Missile STO's would be built based of Box launchers. This would make them "realistic" but also work as a balance mechanism.

The STO's Mass = STO Chasse + (Mass of Box Launcher * # of tubes), a STO can be  designed with 1,2,4 or 8 tubes that would all fire simultaneously. (Number of tubes are up for debate).

Why I think it is balanced:
1) As box launchers, they would have a re-load in Hrs, not seconds like other STOs. Therefor you get Range and Alpha at the expense of DPS and PD capabilities.
2) Like all missile systems, they have the added cost of using Missiles and they are susceptible to PD.

Possible additional balance options:
1) Since STO Missiles would have to fight gravity & air resistance, having a range modifier (for example x.5), if possible, could be used to semi-nerf the ranges of missiles.

Other benefits:
1) Makes NPRs a bit tougher to assault.
2) Adds an extra layer to layered defenses.
3) Could help protect NPRs from *Spoilers*


Thoughts? Suggestions? Comments?
 
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Offline Droll

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Re: Missile Based STO
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2022, 11:45:49 AM »
I did a quick search of the forum for Missile STOs and came up with nothing, So i wanted to share what i was thinking. If anyone knows of a post/discussion concerning them please share it, otherwise i would like to see your opinions/counter-points etc.

The Basics:
Missile STO's would be built based of Box launchers. This would make them "realistic" but also work as a balance mechanism.

The STO's Mass = STO Chasse + (Mass of Box Launcher * # of tubes), a STO can be  designed with 1,2,4 or 8 tubes that would all fire simultaneously. (Number of tubes are up for debate).

Why I think it is balanced:
1) As box launchers, they would have a re-load in Hrs, not seconds like other STOs. Therefor you get Range and Alpha at the expense of DPS and PD capabilities.
2) Like all missile systems, they have the added cost of using Missiles and they are susceptible to PD.

Possible additional balance options:
1) Since STO Missiles would have to fight gravity & air resistance, having a range modifier (for example x.5), if possible, could be used to semi-nerf the ranges of missiles.

Other benefits:
1) Makes NPRs a bit tougher to assault.
2) Adds an extra layer to layered defenses.
3) Could help protect NPRs from *Spoilers*


Thoughts? Suggestions? Comments?

Discussions regarding MSTOs have happened before but I don't think they ever got a dedicated thread. Regardless instead of having a flat debuff on range I would suggest that it scale with the gravity and atmospheric pressure of the system body they are on. Though idk how that works with TN lore.
 

Offline Destragon

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Re: Missile Based STO
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2022, 12:07:09 PM »
I would like missile STOs so that the conventional empires can finally start with ICBMs again.
 

Offline Aloriel

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Re: Missile Based STO
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2022, 03:10:33 PM »
The OPs proposal is sound and balanced IMO.
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Offline Vandermeer

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Re: Missile Based STO
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2022, 01:15:45 AM »
I also miss the ability for ground missile bases. I still remember how often NPR planets had peppered my approaching forces with (supposed) AMM spam and sunk my huge frigates or cruisers.
Many RP fantasies also relied on having a planetary launch facility to find a good representative of the sci-fi franchise lore that I usually try to implement.

Generally I think the whole STO setup needs to be looked at again as a whole however, because also the way you control them is currently quite manic. The targeting priorities don't really let you discern between civil and military targets for example (very relevant for multi-faction start), and all your STO formations are on the same screen, which makes it troublesome to find the relevant batteries in an expansive empire. You can also only change targeting behavior one at a time.
I am sure Steve will come around to that however, since I would say the current system seems like a construction site interim solution. When he does, I reckon there is a chance he might also find a way to introduce ground missile launch in some way. Perhaps he might even pop another questionnaire regarding the topic like he did in the past.(eg the officer assignment system)


Regarding the missile base range debuff, I don't think that would be a good idea. Range for munitions is not based on the launcher but the missile itself, so it would be rather challenging and a code exception to make them run shorter just for ground bases. (and Steve stated the base philosophy for C# being 'least exceptions')
'Air drag' in an age where the lore has you dipping into a fluid extra-dimension to fly, is also rather dubious as an explanation for this. Though to be fair, there used to be protoplanetary-nebulas (also dearly missed), so there is some precedent for real matter presence limiting the scope of movement, yet those would also only slow you down while in them, not actually reduce the range. Translated to comparably thin atmospheres, this effect would also be negligible.
The whole tech-lore also functions under pretty much anti-gravity/ignore-gravity assumption, so this can't be it either.
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Offline Sebmono

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Re: Missile Based STO
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2022, 03:48:20 AM »
Can't we already do this today with an engineless fighter chassis carrying a single box launcher+MFC+missile?

I would like missile STOs so that the conventional empires can finally start with ICBMs again.
 

Online nuclearslurpee

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Re: Missile Based STO
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2022, 10:47:43 AM »
Can't we already do this today with an engineless fighter chassis carrying a single box launcher+MFC+missile?

I mean, you can also put a spinal laser on an engineless chassis and yet we still have spinal laser STOs.

The main reason missile STOs are not in the game is that missiles, unlike beam weapons, require a bunch of extra logistics - magazines, reloading (and how to control interaction with the planetary stockpiles), sensors/MFC resolutions, and so on. How do you control which missiles are loaded, or change the loadout? If you put a passive-targeted missile into a STO, does it need active sensors or a MFC larger than 5t? Current STOs use auto-designed BFCs and sensors, for missile STOs that would not be adequate so you add complication to the interface (which for Steve means a bunch of work to design a useful GUI).

It's not insurmountable but it requires a lot of finicky detail work to get right, so I can understand why Steve doesn't want to do it very urgently. the PDCs in VB6 worked by basically being a special type of ship, which is a design pattern Steve wanted to move away from in C#, so simply reverting to VB6 mechanics is not the solution either. Basically, it is easy to say how a missile STO should work, it is harder to actually implement that into the game in a way that is not tedious or confusing, or otherwise bothers existing mechanics and interfaces. All of which is time taken away from perfecting elliptical orbits and new spoiler races.  ;)
 
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Offline Garfunkel

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Re: Missile Based STO
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2022, 11:21:46 AM »
Yeah this isn't going to happen until someone writes out the game-logic in full so that Steve doesn't have to spend a couple of days thinking about it. I'm sure everyone here would love it have but currently it's just a drag to implement.
 

Offline Vandermeer

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Re: Missile Based STO
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2022, 02:07:48 PM »
The main reason missile STOs are not in the game is that missiles, unlike beam weapons, require a bunch of extra logistics - magazines, reloading (and how to control interaction with the planetary stockpiles), sensors/MFC resolutions, and so on. How do you control which missiles are loaded, or change the loadout? If you put a passive-targeted missile into a STO, does it need active sensors or a MFC larger than 5t? Current STOs use auto-designed BFCs and sensors, for missile STOs that would not be adequate so you add complication to the interface (which for Steve means a bunch of work to design a useful GUI).

It's not insurmountable but it requires a lot of finicky detail work to get right, so I can understand why Steve doesn't want to do it very urgently. the PDCs in VB6 worked by basically being a special type of ship, which is a design pattern Steve wanted to move away from in C#, so simply reverting to VB6 mechanics is not the solution either.
I also concluded this to be the main reason, but now after reading I really wonder, -if MSTOs are ever to being a thing again-, what would be easier in the end: Having to have a special case of "ship" or having to come up with a whole cumbersome extra munition handling, design and targeting system, which would also just be a special case of the new STOs then.

So maybe launch bases would be something entirely different from the current STOs once more.
--Perhaps a "launch base"/"launch capacity" building? Something that comes from regular factory construction and bestows the colony with launch capacity directly as a colony feature?(eg "Launch Facilities: 220MSP") Then targeting and reload could happen on the colony tab or something where you'd portion your salvo however you like by simply clicking/adding the missiles available you want. I think the sheer size and availability of infrastructure on ground compared to anything spaceborn could easily explain the huge flexibility in portioning and targeting range here, especially if those "Launch Facilities" would be 25kt-125kt+ in size each like all the other buildings.--

Well, though I would in some shape or another find such a system acceptable as a solution, I also kind of like designing facilities myself, so considering that outside of making missile bases their whole own thing there would definitely be a special case (either for ship, or for STO), maybe the process can be made easier by instead having a special case for missiles instead.
If you'd just design specific ground to air missiles whose parameters are known and get locked, then you could make it so MSTOs handle them like STOs handle beam weapons and just purpose built themselves around the weapon they use. So if the missile has 50m range, maybe the base would automatically scale the fire control to match. (not sure how to handle active sensor here though. You'd probably still need a painter in orbit, which is not elegant)
The special case missile I would only argue for so that traditionally more flexible launch bases can perhaps kind of adapt. That is, these missiles could perhaps be part of a series and experience upgrades (eg "Dolphin Punch Mk2") without having to have a new STO.

Just playing some ideas though. I see how range would then still be limited since the STO can't upgrade its controls. Special missiles would only add a benefit for interception and damage I guess, so maybe not enough reason to introduce an exception.
If there would be a "ground force refit" mechanic, which I think is likely to come seeing how cumbersome modernizing and re-organizing ground forces otherwise is, all this need for special cases would vanish, and MSTOs could just be purpose built around the missile they use every time, with only questions for how to handle active sensor and targeting decision making still out as far as I can see.
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Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Missile Based STO
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2022, 03:00:22 PM »
Can't we already do this today with an engineless fighter chassis carrying a single box launcher+MFC+missile?

I mean, you can also put a spinal laser on an engineless chassis and yet we still have spinal laser STOs.

The main reason missile STOs are not in the game is that missiles, unlike beam weapons, require a bunch of extra logistics - magazines, reloading (and how to control interaction with the planetary stockpiles), sensors/MFC resolutions, and so on. How do you control which missiles are loaded, or change the loadout? If you put a passive-targeted missile into a STO, does it need active sensors or a MFC larger than 5t? Current STOs use auto-designed BFCs and sensors, for missile STOs that would not be adequate so you add complication to the interface (which for Steve means a bunch of work to design a useful GUI).

It's not insurmountable but it requires a lot of finicky detail work to get right, so I can understand why Steve doesn't want to do it very urgently. the PDCs in VB6 worked by basically being a special type of ship, which is a design pattern Steve wanted to move away from in C#, so simply reverting to VB6 mechanics is not the solution either. Basically, it is easy to say how a missile STO should work, it is harder to actually implement that into the game in a way that is not tedious or confusing, or otherwise bothers existing mechanics and interfaces. All of which is time taken away from perfecting elliptical orbits and new spoiler races.  ;)

Yes, this is the reason STOs only use energy weapons.
 

Offline TallTroll

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Re: Missile Based STO
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2022, 04:11:11 AM »
If you want missiles defending a planet, you can station ships, fighters or even a base with missile armament there. If your main concern is getting NPRs to do it, then the better solution would be changes to the NPR AI, so they are better able to assess planetary defence requirements, and do the same