Cloaking

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
Here's an interesting question about Cloaking - from cut Prophecy material we know that the Nephilim supposedly have a way to detect when cloaked ships, what exactly is the context for this?

The reason ask is simple, the Star*Soldier release seems to contradict this, with I think two ships that were deployed during the Nephilim War to combat the Nephilim that have stealth capabilities, one of which is even used in a behind-the-lines strike that saves the battle.

Is the cloak-not-working reference considered non-canon because it never actually appeared in the game?
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
Those lines in Prophecy were to explain to the player why cloaking is not available - the out-universe reason is clearly that cloaking would make gameplay too easy. As for Star*Soldier mentioning that Confed developed stealth ships, I don't think it's too hard to imagine that technology improvements later in the war could have led to some sort of cloaking capability against the Nephilim.
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
As for Star*Soldier mentioning that Confed developed stealth ships, I don't think it's too hard to imagine that technology improvements later in the war could have led to some sort of cloaking capability against the Nephilim.
I'm still curious, the cut material from the game...do we consider that canon? And what does that say about the unpublished scripts in various versions?

Also, just to clarify, it's the Cat's that develop some sort of Cloak, for the Paktahn bomber variant from Arena, I believe.
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
Kats, Confed, whatever you all... uh, I mean, you both make cloaking devices... :)

(For those who don't know, I'm grossly paraphrasing one of Maverick's taunts from WCP.)
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I'm still curious, the cut material from the game...do we consider that canon? And what does that say about the unpublished scripts in various versions?
We do not consider the quote canonical - we must believe it was removed for a reason. The fact that the Nephilim seemed to take out cloaked Excaliburs very easily suggests but does not confirm that old cloaks don't function, though..
 

Lt.Overload

Rear Admiral
The fact that the Nephilim seemed to take out cloaked Excaliburs very easily suggests but does not confirm that old cloaks don't function, though..
They could have special radar equipment to see in all space conditions, including cloak, by tracking heat, like heat-seeker missles. Also keep in mind they fact they they have jamming technology, which, could deactivate cloaking devices or stop them from working.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
It's also worth pointing out that *Confed* had developed anti-cloaking technologies by the eary 2670s... there's an anti-cloak gun in Proving Grounds and then the Lance in Wing Commander IV seems to mount some technology capable of seeing through active cloaks.

... then there's sonar bursts in Arena that negate cloaking devices. They were really only the end-all of technologies for a brief period at the end of the Kilrathi War.
 

Pedro

Admiral
We do not consider the quote canonical - we must believe it was removed for a reason. The fact that the Nephilim seemed to take out cloaked Excaliburs very easily suggests but does not confirm that old cloaks don't function, though..
I was under the impression that it was time/technical reasons, but since I can't even remember where I heard it that it probably doesn't hold much merit. I won't have either a manual or the guide to hand until next week, do either mention if any of the WCP fighters were equipped with cloaking devices?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
No, none of them do.

I believe the scene was removed for the reasons you specified - they had cloaking working in one graphics mode but not the others and decided to just drop it since it would only happen once to show why there wasn't cloaking in the game.
 

BrynS

Mr Kat says...
There's a line on P.11 of Victory Streak under the 2669 GCM Competition Results which states that "this annual show of skills featured the first-ever appearance of the Confederation stealth fighter prototype, along with its integral MX-27BC guided-proton warhead."

Perhaps it was just an Excalibur with an early Shroud Device attached (offering sensory cloak only), however given the importance of cloaking for the Temblor Bomb strike and the pretty good intelligence gathering the Kilrathi seem to have during the war, I doubt Confed would have wanted to show their hand too soon regarding the Excalibur's full capabilities while the Temblor Bomb was still an option.

All speculation of course, but the phrasing also suggests that this prototype may offer a full visual cloak, i.e. saying "stealth fighter" at the time rather than "fighter with stealth enhancement" or low radar signature or similar would likely make most pilots think of a Strahka equivalent instead of a typical fighter that doesn't show up on enemy radar. Perhaps this prototype was an early offshoot of the Excalibur/Lance development path?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Much has been made of this little reference over the years. My personal feeling is that it's *meant* to suggest the Excalibur and the T-Bomb... but also that it can't actually, since that wouldn't make any sense.

(I don't think your argument works too well, though - since the same Victory Streak has a long interview with Flash about the Excalibur's specific capabilities... it can't have been too big a secret.)
 

PopsiclePete

Mission programmer
I believe the scene was removed for the reasons you specified - they had cloaking working in one graphics mode but not the others and decided to just drop it since it would only happen once to show why there wasn't cloaking in the game.
HCl and I have done research in that matter - all evidence found did lead me to believe cloaking was removed because it was only going to be used as a multiplayer "powerup" and not in the main campaign; since multiplayer was dropped it didn't make sense to complete the implementation of the cloaking functions.

Traces of the cloaking code are still in the released game. The functions needed for the cloaking visual FX were only implemented in the glide GL, and even if there are still "cloaked" flags in the ship objects, we couldn't see any code leftover that would have made use of it. (We would have expected to see some sort of check in functions like radar plotting and target selection, for example).

So as far as we can tell from the released game, functional cloak wasn't yet close to completion when multiplayer (and cloaking) was dropped.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
That's interesting, but it reminds me of something - I have the faintest memory of someone talking about the choice and attributing the removal to how they had the Vision engine set up for the Playstation port (which, like multiplayer, was cancelled during development.)
 
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