Question about modular components.

Dyret

Super Carrot!
I'm no expert, but I'm quite sure the militia won't do big inter-system operations that requires that kind of thing at all.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Whether they do or not, refueling ships can be as little as fighters themselves. You could actually get by with something much smaller than a Drayman.
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Like a converted Camel or Hunchback. Either of those would be far cheaper and more reasonable to operate. I don't know if you guys realize this, but those Draymen are big ships. Easily comparable to a liberty ship from WW2 (in size, but also partially in role). Kinda overkill for most operations.
Anyway, I'm not sure to what extent we're going to model all the behind-the-scenes stuff in the game. It's entirely possible that you'll just run into a flight of FRLN Scimitars - I'm not at all convinced that we need to go to the trouble of simulating the entire network of FRLN support ships required to make that flight of Scimitars possible. Sure, it'd be cool, but I'm not sure if anyone would actually notice, and it's a lot of work to go through for something with very little payoff.
 

Ijuin

Admiral
Meh, using converted Camels sounds good too--the fighters could dock with one and refuel/rearm the way that you do with the Condor-class ship TCS Redeemer in Prophecy.

As for needing refueling--IIRC, normal (non-jump) fuel seems to be needed for afterburners and cruise flight in Pioneer, so even within their home system fighters may need refueling.
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
I believe afterburners in Pioneer work exactly the same way they did in Privateer - they're powered by the ship's generators, not fuel. The normal cruising fuel is going to use a simplified simulation of the bussard and collector fields from the novels. This is a simple system because wwe're really only using it to keep the player inside each system. It's the limiting factor on why you just can't take off into interstellar space by your lonesome. There's also the matter of time spent travelling, (Auto pilot) but I don't know the specifics for that system. Brad designed and concepted out all that, so he'd know better than I.
 

Ijuin

Admiral
IIRC, the fighters in WC1 used some form of ion propulsion, as stated by the damage readouts when your engines are damaged. With real life ion engines, the exhaust speed (and hence thrust per unit fuel) increases with the square root of the voltage applied, so having afterburners that consume extra power makes sense in such a context.

As for military fighters using the kind of afterburners that consume extra fuel instead of just extra power, it is probable that such afterburners allow a higher peak speed (e.g. 1400 k/s for Ferret and Stiletto vs. 1200 k/s for the Demon in the same time period), and take less bulk and mass, despite being fuel-inefficient. Also, a military fighter is more likely to need all of his reactor power for his guns--powerplant bulk/mass is also a consideration.
 

BradMick

Vice Admiral
Fighters burn fuel when they light the burners. On the fuel gauge there will be a different colored section on the fuel readout which indicates about 20% of the ships overall fuel supply. That is the fuel dedicated to afterburning. As you kick in the burners, that 20% indicator will get smaller. Once that is gone, you're alotted fuel for your burners is gone and you're now burning you're ships regular fuel supply.

now, when you're cruising normally, your fuel collection/consumption rate is balanced. Acatually, you take in a little more fuel than you burn in order to make up the difference, so you don't have to land out. But, it takes a while, as you only take in about 10 - 20 pts more fuel than you burn.

The way the scoop system works. Basically, if you fly with scoops full open and hit the autopilot, you're going to take forever and a day to get to where you're going. At 360kps, it'll take you about 12.9 days to travel 375,000,000 km. You don't really want to do that, as some missions in Pioneer will be time sensitive. So....how do you get there faster? Well, you kill some scoop power and sacrifice some fuel. So it works like this. To achieve a velocity of 5,000 kps, and still retain some fuel you pull the scoops back to 1/4 on. (it goes: on, 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, off) Now, you've just gained 1,120% more speed, but only collect 40% fuel, while burning 15% more fuel.

phew, long and complicated, but hopefully it explains how the whole system works. You can play around with the scoops while flying. turning them off gives you full newtonian physics, and any setting in between affects maneuvering and all that. Anyway, enough on that.
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Ahhh....Why don't they just work the same way as they did in Privateer? That was a reasonable gameplay mechanic, and you didn't need to be good with fractions to understand what was going on.
 

BradMick

Vice Admiral
cuz i did all the math and craziness for it. it all works out pretty well, its just a pain in the ass to explain. in spread sheet easy read form, its perfectly logical. but, in my crap ass attempt to explain....meh.
 

BradMick

Vice Admiral
all the player will ever have to do is specify how much scoop power, or how fast. that's it. When you pick your scoop setting, it tells you the top speed and how much fuel you'll have left. the mechanics of it the player will never have to deal with as thats all going on behind the scenes.
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
Halman said:
And making the player worry about that at all is a weird overcomplification.

Somehow this thread have eluded me so far, but no more! ;) I can't agree with Halman -- speaking for myself I must say, that I love this kind of complications (not that I would consider THAT to be in a bit complicated), which just add another tier of realism to the game. I prefer this to some arcade-style "hit A and get wherever you want in no time".
 

Vinman

Vice Admiral
BradMick said:
all the player will ever have to do is specify how much scoop power, or how fast. that's it. When you pick your scoop setting, it tells you the top speed and how much fuel you'll have left. the mechanics of it the player will never have to deal with as thats all going on behind the scenes.
I'm just sort of surprised that we will be able to travel at 5,000kps, I mean if that was possible in the time frame of wing commander 1 wouldnt we have seen it?
 

BradMick

Vice Admiral
You couldn't turn off fuel scoops. In the books we know that you can. You turn those off, you constantly accelerate. Now, the speeds have been revised for the simple reason that getting up to 5,000 kps will take forever.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
which just add another tier of realism to the game

You and reality have different definitions of realism.

I'm just sort of surprised that we will be able to travel at 5,000kps, I mean if that was possible in the time frame of wing commander 1 wouldnt we have seen it?

This was the conceit the books invented to explain travelling long distances across starsystems -- a ship can spend an hour accelerating to thousands of kps, and then must spend another hour deccelerating. It would be pointlessly confusing to put this in a game -- the 'A' key works fine.
 

BradMick

Vice Admiral
the 'A' key is still there, initially when you 'plot' your course, you set scoops settings and the computer calculates how long it will take you to get to you destination. And by plot I mean select your nav point. It would generate an arc (since the systems are realistically generated, orbits being realistic etc..) and you could set the scoop setting to give yourself more speed, or set the speed you wanted to travel. It would factor in the acceleration time, and then deceleration time and spit out the time to arrival. But, I dunno....haven't gone 100% either way on how it'll be.

The way i see it working is like this:

player hits 'n' nav map comes up.

player clicks on the nav point, a dialogue pops up 'set travel speed' its default is whatever your ship is currently traveling at.

player clicks 'ok' and it tells you how long it will take and how much fuel you'll have left when you arrive.

anyway, as i said, dunno yet. it all depends on if we have missions that are time sensitive. while you can move quickly, you burn a lot of fuel in that time you spend accelerating...which could necessitate you land out, top off, and then move out. who knows, we'll see.
 
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