Author Topic: What kinds of Fighters and Bombers is Freespace missing?  (Read 1269 times)

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Re: What kinds of Fighters and Bombers is Freespace missing?
I agree, but I also disagree. The Achilles is a warmachine fighter that is in a class above the others, if you consider FS1 fighters to be generation 1, FS2 gen 2, and post-capella production fighters gen 3, the Achilles is gen 4. There's no g3 fighter that can stand up to it overall, and if anything beats it out in a specific area it's by the very slimmest of margins. It can't mount the Sunflare, the helios equivilent, but it can carry the Shadowhawk, the cyclops equvilent, and a wing loaded with those can do some serious bombing in a pinch.

So why would the player choose g3 fighter over the Achilles? Quite simply, they wouldn't, unless they're intentionally challenging themself. Now there is another contemporary fighter or two that will have tradeoffs to offer at that grade of fighter, but beyond that, by only making the Achilles available on certain missions for story reasons, those missions can ask more of the player and their wing than missions where you fly g3 fighters. This design is still to an extent being proven out, but I think it can lead to a useful diversity of experience.

One idea I have is adjusting the AI so that the player gets targeted more often if they are in a fighter like the Achilles that has much more power.  Maybe even have the enemy send special elite squads to take the player down that the player would never see in a standard fighter

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: What kinds of Fighters and Bombers is Freespace missing?
One idea I have is adjusting the AI so that the player gets targeted more often if they are in a fighter like the Achilles that has much more power.  Maybe even have the enemy send special elite squads to take the player down that the player would never see in a standard fighter

I've done that with Bomber missions - The ripple effects on the balance are multiplying rapidly with such a scenario: the additional fighters may mop up your wingmen or attack and kill escort ships or cruiser in self-defense; or you make them so hyperfocussed that player just order the wingmen to take them on and not worry.
And that is before you have to account for the spread in player skills and players going into the mission blind.

If you gave a staff over testers doing nothing but play endless permutations of that scenario, it could easily be done - on a volunteer basis, too much work for too little pay-off.
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

==================

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"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nyrissa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline Melon

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Re: What kinds of Fighters and Bombers is Freespace missing?
What do you (or anyone else who wishes to reply) think needs to be improved the most about the Boanerges?

For me, the biggest problem with the Boa is a combination of only having a single primary bank and being unable to mount Harpoons. The Artemis has this problem as well, but it is far more maneuverable and at least has 4 guns on its primary bank. Meanwhile, the Ursa turns just as well, has a (slightly) better afterburner, has an extra ~60% hull hit points, and gets an additional primary bank at the cost of 10m/s normal flight speed, a worse distribution of its secondary bank capacity, and a target profile that resembles a loaded baked potato.

If a mission needs speed, I'd bring an Artemis instead; if it doesn't, I'd bring an Ursa. The Boa just doesn't seem to fit anywhere in the main campaign of FS2.
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Offline EatThePath

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Re: What kinds of Fighters and Bombers is Freespace missing?
One idea I have is adjusting the AI so that the player gets targeted more often if they are in a fighter like the Achilles that has much more power.  Maybe even have the enemy send special elite squads to take the player down that the player would never see in a standard fighter
Not the worst idea in the world, but often when we've made both ships available in missions to date I've viewed it as a sort of escape rope for players. Start them in the normal fighter, then if they end up scrambling back to the ship loadout screen there's a much better ship down the list they can hop into to take the pressure off. Not sure that's how we're going to play it in the future, nor is it the only way to handle such ships, of course.
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Re: What kinds of Fighters and Bombers is Freespace missing?
I'd like to see a dedicated anti-subsystem bomber. Probably make it as much as the Sekhmet as possible as it handles much like a heavy fighter, but give it the primary configuration of the Erinyes (just with 8 Maxims). Perhabs unusual for a bomber but it'd be mostly based on primary weapons so maybe even sacrifice a bit of secondary capacity (as Stilettos aren't as heavy as other bombs) to mount a 3rd primary bank with another 4 guns (so 12 Maxims in total). Alternatively you could add weapons for self-defense but that wouldn't be as effective with only 2 or 4 Prometheus S, so I think it'd make more sense to leave defense to escort fighters anyway.

The main targets would be Shivan cruiser/corvette/destroyer turrets. The Maxims range + speed of the Sekhmet (for scale) should be pretty effective. The biggest (and most important target) would be Saths main beams, so it must be able to wield 2 Helios torpedos which (in combination with Maxim-treatmeant) knock out one of the turrets; ideally a wing of 4 (probably 6 with 2 backup) of these bombers and a escort wing for each bomber should be able to leave a Sath temporary inoperational.

 

Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: What kinds of Fighters and Bombers is Freespace missing?
Flyable gunship like ac130.

 

Offline Trivial Psychic

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Re: What kinds of Fighters and Bombers is Freespace missing?
Kinda like the Custos-X?
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Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: What kinds of Fighters and Bombers is Freespace missing?
Kind of.  But I thought this was a retail kind of thing.

 

Offline CP5670

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Re: What kinds of Fighters and Bombers is Freespace missing?
I agree that a Vasudan elite fighter like the Erinyes would be good (the fanmade Reshef is perfect). The Tauret is close but its primary energy capacity is too small and it doesn't support Maxims.

The Boanerges was great in some multiplayer missions because of its 2/4/4 arrangement of Helios bombs, as opposed to 3/3/3 for the Sekhmet or Ursa. You could even use a glitch ("lagbombing") to make them all fire off at once. It's useless with Cyclops though.

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: What kinds of Fighters and Bombers is Freespace missing?
Okay, I am bored with all the "I want plane [whatever] IN SPACE"...

Considering I put in my scheudle to give these fighter types to the Shivans this weekend, why not discuss it for the GTVA as well:

- A Homeworld "Defender"-class ship
Basically, a ship with no much in terms of forward speed but considerable acceleration across all 6 axis - to enable strafe dodging. With a weapons array to match - a non-combinable long range/short range primary combo and multiplock swarm missiles.

- A forcemultiplier electronic warfare fighter
Basically a pocket AWACS, with limited capability to for omnidirectional long range TAG and short range EMP capabilities in liue of a tradition array - I already got that those two working for allied fighters using Herc R; implimentation as a hostile ship is planned. For the Shivans, I gave a similar role to the Gorgon, though the concept is for it grant a "hidden from sensors"-bubble rather than a random EMP attack (Ghenna's Gate was good reminder that random EMP bursts against the player are not very fun).

- A forcemultiplier support fighter
With 21.4. the "heals"-flag for weapons is now finally a thing. So let's have a fighter whose role it is to boost allied fighters shields - either through "heals"-type weapons and armor-type manipulation. (Shield bubbles with a mesh are also possible with ships.tbl, though last time I tried it there were some issues with shield impacts becoming miniscule as a result).
« Last Edit: September 10, 2021, 12:32:23 am by 0rph3u5 »
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

==================

"I am Curiosity, and I've always wondered what would become of you, here at the end of the world." - The Guide/The Curious Other, Othercide

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nyrissa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: What kinds of Fighters and Bombers is Freespace missing?
As for the Bobo vs Ursa-debate:

I am not the first to say that the FS's "dive bomber" standard model for the bomber gameplay really needs to be stripped to the bone - and then throw those bones away.

While that standard model is fine for hostile bombers, giving you a definitive windows of time to intercept and cooldown period when the AI has to reorient after a successful attack run (unless of course its stops dead to keep firing) - for actually controlling a bomber there are a lot of options that can implimented that work better - starting with strafing and reverse thrust for all bombers, and ending with getting rid of the vanilla munitions in favour of munitions that don't require you to fly straight for an extended period of time (Cyclops/Helios) or you constantly have to check if they haven't been shot down (Stilletto), while not having cross contamination with weapons to mitigate fighter's disadvantage by not being able to carry heavy munitions (Maxim & TAG-A/B) or weapons designed to extend a fighters range of action so more enemies can be deployed during the mission (Trebuchet).

Of course that may not cure the "bomber disease" but only be an intermediate step to actually reworking how damaging capital ships is supposed to work - I think, it is majority agreeable that "poke it till it dies" has outlived it charm by at least a decade.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2021, 01:10:25 am by 0rph3u5 »
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

==================

"I am Curiosity, and I've always wondered what would become of you, here at the end of the world." - The Guide/The Curious Other, Othercide

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nyrissa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 
Re: What kinds of Fighters and Bombers is Freespace missing?
I agree, but I also disagree. The Achilles is a warmachine fighter that is in a class above the others, if you consider FS1 fighters to be generation 1, FS2 gen 2, and post-capella production fighters gen 3, the Achilles is gen 4. There's no g3 fighter that can stand up to it overall, and if anything beats it out in a specific area it's by the very slimmest of margins. It can't mount the Sunflare, the helios equivilent, but it can carry the Shadowhawk, the cyclops equvilent, and a wing loaded with those can do some serious bombing in a pinch.

So why would the player choose g3 fighter over the Achilles? Quite simply, they wouldn't, unless they're intentionally challenging themself. Now there is another contemporary fighter or two that will have tradeoffs to offer at that grade of fighter, but beyond that, by only making the Achilles available on certain missions for story reasons, those missions can ask more of the player and their wing than missions where you fly g3 fighters. This design is still to an extent being proven out, but I think it can lead to a useful diversity of experience. 

Yeah that's typically how real fighter craft are designed to my knowledge. They're designed to not just win, but win so decisively they're a deterrent in themselves.

I would think this would be balanced in FS terms by these ships requiring both prohibitive cost, logistic support and pilot training to operate so many next-gen systems. A justification to keep them for elite wings such as the Blue Lions and the SOC. The real world comparison would be the rollout of the F-22 being slowed to a crawl not by war, but the military's budget.

 

Offline CT27

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Re: What kinds of Fighters and Bombers is Freespace missing?
For those who think the Terrans need a new and better heavy bomber in the FS2 era (and since the Boanerges seems to be generally disliked and the Sekhmet seems to be generally liked):

Since Vasudans are able to make their craft to accommodate Terran pilots...should the Terrans buy from the Vasudans the right to make Sekhmet bombers for Terrans to use?

 

Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: What kinds of Fighters and Bombers is Freespace missing?
For those who think the Terrans need a new and better heavy bomber in the FS2 era (and since the Boanerges seems to be generally disliked and the Sekhmet seems to be generally liked):

Since Vasudans are able to make their craft to accommodate Terran pilots...should the Terrans buy from the Vasudans the right to make Sekhmet bombers for Terrans to use?
Yes. They should just replicate it using terran components, without changing a damn thing in the performance.

...or actually it sounds stupid. They should request a bomber of similar features from somebody who actually know what he's doing, instead of letting RNI Systems's lobbyists **** on terran fleet. The tech is being shared freely via BETAC if I remember correctly, and terrans already use lots of zod tech [Deimos' reactor for example]. It's not a problem to copy some zod tech or just straightforward integrate vasudan components into new, potential bomber design.
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Offline CT27

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Re: What kinds of Fighters and Bombers is Freespace missing?
For those who think the Terrans need a new and better heavy bomber in the FS2 era (and since the Boanerges seems to be generally disliked and the Sekhmet seems to be generally liked):

Since Vasudans are able to make their craft to accommodate Terran pilots...should the Terrans buy from the Vasudans the right to make Sekhmet bombers for Terrans to use?
Yes. They should just replicate it using terran components, without changing a damn thing in the performance.

...or actually it sounds stupid. They should request a bomber of similar features from somebody who actually know what he's doing, instead of letting RNI Systems's lobbyists **** on terran fleet. The tech is being shared freely via BETAC if I remember correctly, and terrans already use lots of zod tech [Deimos' reactor for example]. It's not a problem to copy some zod tech or just straightforward integrate vasudan components into new, potential bomber design.

On the topic of Terran bombers:  What do you think of the superbombers that campaigns like Inferno use?  Is that a direction GTVA Terrans should consider?

 

Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: What kinds of Fighters and Bombers is Freespace missing?
There's a line, but along as it fits the story/ gameplay.  It's all good 🤣