Hi everyone! I have a small favour to ask. There are lots of gameplay mechanics I would like to incorporate into my upcoming campaign 'Causality' - if they are possible. But they might not be, or they might be too hard or too time-consuming to implement to make attempting them worth it. Since I'm still a mod creation noob, I'm hoping you veterans might be able to help me out here and tell me what can and can't be done. I can then plan my next steps / scale back my plans accordingly.
• Is it possible to set up a ship or a wing of fighters/bombers to guard a specific section or subsystem of a vessel? I'm thinking the four main guns of a Sath would be far less easy to defang if each had its own wing of dedicated defence fighters.
• Is it possible to set a fighter/bomber guarding a ship (or specific subsystem thereof) to deliberately 'take the hit' of an incoming missile, torpedo etc.? Kinda like what the sentinels did for the big mining things at the end of the third Matrix movie?
• Is it possible to give capital ships other than the lucifer shields?
• Is it possible to give capital ships weak shields over specific weapons or subsystems? (I'm thinking the main guns of a Ravana would be much more fearsome if you can't simply treb or maxim them from a distance.)
• Can the number of enemies in a wing be linked to difficulty level – Very easy = 2 easy = 3, normal = 4, hard = 5, very hard = 6 etc?
• Can we implement the Introns from BP AoA?
• Can we design it to have persistent strike craft and load-outs? Preserving wingmen would be vital.
• Possibility of branching/choosing missions as in Bem C? Ideally, this would affect the number of ships/weapons in future missions.
• Same for cap ships? If it is heavily damaged it won’t be available in the following mission or two. If destroyed, then not available at all? Might have to limit this to cruiser and corvette classes.
• Auto jump out for cap ships when hull drops to 10% or less? Unless the nav subsystem is destroyed, or damage builds too quickly - overwhelming shock jump from a Sath or Ravana for example?
• Can the stealth system in FSO be graduated by distance – i.e., not showing on the radar at all at say 10K+, showing as 'fuzz' at 5K and detectable as normal at 1K and below? (Ranges used as examples – I might need them to go up or down.)
• If this is possible, can this be moderated by ship size, so that something the size of a stealth corvette could be detected at a greater distance than say a Pegasus stealth fighter?
• Can hanger bays be made destroyable subsystems? If so, can a mission be set so that the ship/station etc. stops launching fighters and bombers from it if it is destroyed?
• Self-repairing subsystems for capital ships, similar to Homeworld 2, so that a disabled and defanged cap ship might become a threat again if ignored for too long?
The following are Quality of Life improvements I would like to add.
Known possible: These are present in other campaigns already so should only need porting over - in theory.
• On stealth missions - proximity bar as per Scrolls. Can we also add a directional indicator? Or have wings/ships that get too close become highlighted on the HUD with the direction and distance arrows?
• Radar icons – generic (Set as dependency on Knossos)
• GXYZ Causality (I'll make this)
• '*****ing Betty' from BP for warnings of shields, hull, ammo etc.
• Subsystem highlighting box
• Semi-homing rockets
• Landing bay rearm and repair as in Battle for Neptune - possibly limit the number of times per mission this can be done?
• Include the powered-down mechanic from BP? Could this protect against EMPs?
Requests/queries: I'm not sure if these have been implemented before anywhere, or if they are even possible in FSO. Please feel free to give feedback. If any of them is impossible, please let me know so I can plan accordingly.
• Auto-target bombers' weapon sub-system to stop them from firing?
• Auto equalise shields?
• Auto-target turrets on larger ships and gun platforms?
• Subsystem health bars similar to Homeworld 2 for cap ships? Same for weapons/turrets? Would this make the screen too busy? Perhaps have a level of detail toggle button on a loop cycle?
• Can jump points be highlighted on the radar to make it easier to tell when and where new ships have arrived?
• New arrivals - cap ships especially. Can they have the direction and distance arrows displayed on the HUD for a while to help orientate the player and direct their attention? (This should be a good middle ground between not doing anything and having a cutscene.)
• Can ships etc. that are talking be highlighted on the HUD with distance and direction arrows? This would help with orientating and knowing which wingman is calling for help.
• Can wingmen call for help sooner? As it stands, by the time they call for help it is usually too late. What is the trigger? If it is set by hull strength then perhaps increase the hull strength at which they call for help – say if it drops below 50%?
• Countdown timers for subspace drives? Shift power to charge them faster at expense of ETS? (Shift 50% of available power perhaps?)
• Ability to set rally points? Possibly by dropping nav boys - potentially virtual ones that would not be visible if sensors jammed?
• Can some ships jink/dodge sideways and up and down? This would be a quick lateral/sideways boost before their general XYZ speed kicks in. Would lateral and up-and-down afterburners achieve this?
• Combine this with flipping 180 degrees when pursuing them, so they flip, fly backwards, jink out of the way and start shooting back at you in about a second. (See Shivan's behaviour in Bem C)
• Ensure missions are coded to use GXYZ flight mechanics 👍
• Could we create something to visualise damage on screen? Perhaps have the HUD flash blue when taking shield damage, and flash red when the hull takes hits, and/or a ‘hull damage’ indicator plus message pop up? The player will know to break off the attack.
Colour-coded HUD linked to hull strength?
Bright green when 100-76%
Red 25-ded% 😜
(Even better - could it be a sliding scale?)
Many thanks in advance everyone. Please feel free to 'appropriate' any of these ideas