Well, the UGC Vulture is in game, with the dubious honor of being the first and probably the only fighter that has thruster bitmaps for rotating and strafing and the like. And boy, what a ride that turned out to be. You see, the way these $Thrusters are defined in the tables did not exactly align with what I considered to be... logical.
From the wiki:
Defines the maneuver that triggers the maneuvering thruster
List of maneuvers: Bank right, Bank left, Pitch up, Pitch down, Roll right, Roll left, Slide right, Slide left, Slide up, Slide down, Forward, Reverse
Syntax: ("String" "String")
This seems easy enough right? Now, let's get a picture from the interwebs so we're all on the same page:
in their infinite wisdom thought a bit differently about how these terms are used. The Roll keys are labeled as Bank in the FS2 control keyconfig. While Yawing is Turn.
So okay, weird, but this is the same developer that labeled the biggest capitalship as destroyers and the smallest ones as cruisers, while the inbetween is a frigate and a corvette. So hey, not the first time terms are used a bit differently from the norm.
So I got started with assigning the rcs thrusters in the table entry. The thruster on the top right and bottom left should fire if the ship rolls right, so I'd assign 'Roll right' to these. Now if the ship would slide to the right, I would want the thrusters on the left to engage. When the ship turns right... that would be banking, right? So the thrusters on the left would fire if the ship Banks right.
Ha! Joke is on me. None of these were true.
Cause you see. Banking is rolling. Rolling is turning. Slide right is actually Slide left. But then 'Roll right' and 'Roll left' don't follow that reverse logic of the Slide.
Makes perfect sense right? When none of the terms in the tables actually correspond to their actual movement and directions are reversed willy nilly. And the only real way to figure it out involves trial and error. Edit table, start up game, see what actually works, edit table, start up game. Rinse and repeat.
So boy, was I bamboozled
trying to make any sense of this.
But hey, here it is ingame:
Shooting so many guns at once feels good though.
The ship has a unique way of shielding that sets it apart from other fighters. Its shield mesh only covers the front end. The back and sides are completely unshielded. So the pilot has to keep facing its opponent at all times to keep its strong frontal shield to the incoming fire. (The AI is remarkably good at this, with the right ai profile) It's afterburner only provides a short 2 second speed burst and overclocking the engine doesn't give you that much of a boost.
The Zervium does lose a turnfight against a Ray3 though, if only slightly. So it's possible to simply stay out of its firing line. And yes, by manoeuvring you can make yourself dodge pretty much any non-hitscan primary.
Though you can still get from full health + full shields to dead in 4.7 seconds against 6 banks of the VK01N and no secondaries. Get hit by some point-blank darts or DRPs and that can easily go under 3 seconds.
The Ray3 rotates 2.9 2.9 2.9 vs 2.4 2.4 3.0 of the Zervium, if the Zervium loses this turnfight, its on the pilot!
I'll take a look at the TTK and tweak if necessary, those numbers you say seem a bit on the low end for what I want the player's survival time to be.