Reconciling Fighter and Capital ship stats across the WC games

YCDTD

Commodore
Hey gang,

By the thread title I mean how are we supposed to reconcile the stats in the earlier games, when the later games give such massive increases to (some) ship stats ;maneuverability and armour especially. The Rapier's 10 degrees/sec maneuverability and 7cm of shielding cannot be accurate, right? That would make the Arrow 8 or 9 times more maneuverable, with more then 10 times (TEN TIMES!!) the armour!! 🤯

I have also noticed that the official stats list the WC1 and 2 era fighters as a lot smaller then the 3/4 ships (Rapier is 19 meters, compared to the Hellcats 27 meters). The Morningstar is smaller then an Arrow, but carries torps and the Mace!

This is part of my attempt to create accurate in-engine stats for all fighters, capships, weapons, etc. Then update the wiki accordingly.

Yes, I know the real reason is that the games makers didn't care about stuff like this, only us Wingnuts! 😁

UPDATED: May 5, 8:31pm
 
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tarsus

Commodore
I assumed the maneuverability can be explained by testing the speed to do a 360.

The shielding / armor: new technology. Basically fighters got phase shields and no longer use plastisteel but now use durasteel. :)

As for sizes, I would always say "a cockpit is 2-3 meters, scale the model from that.
 

MannerOfLoaf

Spaceman
I always figured that hard numbers in 'Claw Marks' or 'Victory Streak' should be taken with a huge grain of salt because they seemed to be amateur operations, put together by the crew on their down time and tolerated by as a relatively harmless outlet for the soldiers' frustrations*. The discrepancy between Rapier II and Arrow stats might have been a simple misinterpretation of data or due to different standards of measurement between different ships. Heck, command may have encouraged propagating bad stats for security reasons.

* Except for cases like Lt. Larry "Tooner" Dibbles. 'Hornet's Nest' spoke too much truth and he had to be silenced ☠️. Pls subscribe to my newsletter for details...
 

YCDTD

Commodore
I assumed the maneuverability can be explained by testing the speed to do a 360.

The shielding / armor: new technology. Basically fighters got phase shields and no longer use plastisteel but now use durasteel. :)

As for sizes, I would always say "a cockpit is 2-3 meters, scale the model from that.

The maneuverability thing is definitely incorrect. It does not take an Epee 18 seconds to turn 180 degrees!! Okay, so durasteel was a lot lighter then? So you could pack on more? Thoughts @Bandit LOAF?
 
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Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
The Rapier's 10 degrees/sec maneuverability and 7cm of shielding cannot be accurate, right?

I'd say yes and no in that order. The maneuverability numbers are objectively wrong because you can measure how the ships move yourself... but there's nothing specifically wrong with the shielding because there's nothing to say how fictional space shields 'should' be.

Anyway, you're seeing different errors in different generations of manuals:

- Wing Commander I doesn't measure the yaw/pitch/roll rates in degrees per second, it uses a set of comparative values (that go from something like 0-14). The manual doesn't understand that and simply reprints the in-game number with an inappropriate unit listed (in game numbers at the time Claw Marks went to press, anyway). The data is comparatively accurate but not across to a different game engine.

- Wing Commander III measures armor and shields in damage units (.1 cm) and not centimeters. The ship specs missed this point and So are all listed with ten times as much protection as they 'actually' had (at the time Victory Streak went to press).

- The lengths of the ships in Wing Commander 2 (and Prohecy and a few other places) are based on the actual 3D models created for the game. Wing Commander I had completely fictional numbers that were likely decided by someone who doesn't know that a meter is much longer than a foot. Wing Commander III and IV continue in that tradition and as with the turn rates you can see they're objectively not accurate... it would make all of the cockpits enormous and the longests fighters would be ridiculously so (the Lance is longer than a 737, the Dralthi IV would be ridiculously huge since it's so wide...)

How do you 'fix' these? Some are easier than others.

- The turn rates are likely impossible to get 'right'. "Just measure them!" you are thinking but there won't be one single value... they're going to vary massively depending on clock speed, framerate, etc. A Rapier is going to turn a lot faster on a 486+ than it did on a 386. Your best bet is to decide an edjucated guess of a turn rate for a single ship and then determine all the others based on the fact that we do know what they are /comparatively/. One potential 'canon' way to do it: bring the WC3 Arrow back to Armada, calculate the Armada Wraith based on that and then carry the Wraith back to the Academy Wraith.

- Just divide the WC3 numbers by ten. (Fans never want to do this because it makes their ships feel weaker!)

- Either measure each ship based on the size of an average person in the cockpit... or create a rule that carries you backwards based on assuming the WC2 Rapier (accurately measured) is the same length as the WC1 Rapier (inaccurate).
 

YCDTD

Commodore
I assumed the maneuverability can be explained by testing the speed to do a 360.

I'd say yes and no in that order. The maneuverability numbers are objectively wrong because you can measure how the ships move yourself... but there's nothing specifically wrong with the shielding because there's nothing to say how fictional space shields 'should' be.

Anyway, you're seeing different errors in different generations of manuals:

- Wing Commander I doesn't measure the yaw/pitch/roll rates in degrees per second, it uses a set of comparative values (that go from something like 0-14). The manual doesn't understand that and simply reprints the in-game number with an inappropriate unit listed (in game numbers at the time Claw Marks went to press, anyway). The data is comparatively accurate but not across to a different game engine.

- Wing Commander III measures armor and shields in damage units (.1 cm) and not centimeters. The ship specs missed this point and So are all listed with ten times as much protection as they 'actually' had (at the time Victory Streak went to press).

- The lengths of the ships in Wing Commander 2 (and Prohecy and a few other places) are based on the actual 3D models created for the game. Wing Commander I had completely fictional numbers that were likely decided by someone who doesn't know that a meter is much longer than a foot. Wing Commander III and IV continue in that tradition and as with the turn rates you can see they're objectively not accurate... it would make all of the cockpits enormous and the longests fighters would be ridiculously so (the Lance is longer than a 737, the Dralthi IV would be ridiculously huge since it's so wide...)

How do you 'fix' these? Some are easier than others.

- The turn rates are likely impossible to get 'right'. "Just measure them!" you are thinking but there won't be one single value... they're going to vary massively depending on clock speed, framerate, etc. A Rapier is going to turn a lot faster on a 486+ than it did on a 386. Your best bet is to decide an edjucated guess of a turn rate for a single ship and then determine all the others based on the fact that we do know what they are /comparatively/. One potential 'canon' way to do it: bring the WC3 Arrow back to Armada, calculate the Armada Wraith based on that and then carry the Wraith back to the Academy Wraith.

- Just divide the WC3 numbers by ten. (Fans never want to do this because it makes their ships feel weaker!)

- Either measure each ship based on the size of an average person in the cockpit... or create a rule that carries you backwards based on assuming the WC2 Rapier (accurately measured) is the same length as the WC1 Rapier (inaccurate).
As always @Bandit LOAF , you are the man! Looks like I have my work cut out for me...
 

YCDTD

Commodore
A lot of things are (sort of) coming together. With @Bandit LOAF informing me that the initial intention of the designers of WC3 were to have the game take place a decade after WC2, it makes sense we see a big jump in shielding in that game. But it seems that armour, speed and maneuverability have only advanced incrementally from WC1 to WC4. But there are huge jumps in starfighter armour in WCP IIRC.

The Dragon would be a major breakthrough in range for starfighters for sure.

Edit: And the Arrow must have gone through a major revision, since it's WC3 variant carries missiles internally. Are there any blueprints around for the WC3 era ships like there were for the WC1 ships?
 

tarsus

Commodore
Would it be safe to assume that wing2/sm2 with the speed limiter and the 20 fps would be constant in terms of speed.
a ferret takes 3.5ish to do a 360 yaw, looks like 100 dps?
I cannot get WCA to load right now, but I would not be surprised if most ships scales similarly.
 

YCDTD

Commodore
Would it be safe to assume that wing2/sm2 with the speed limiter and the 20 fps would be constant in terms of speed.
a ferret takes 3.5ish to do a 360 yaw, looks like 100 dps?
I cannot get WCA to load right now, but I would not be surprised if most ships scales similarly.
I would expect that from such a small, low mass fighter for sure. As an aside, don't you think the Razor fighter from WC4 owes a lot to the Ferret?
 

tarsus

Commodore
epee = 2.5 seconds for a 360 so 144 dps
rapier seems to be the same
Sabre seems to be 3.5ish, so 100.
Morningstar seems the same
Crossbow is the same
Wraith seems 2.5ish, so rapier and epee maneuverability
Broadsword is actually interesting, 60 dps.
 

YCDTD

Commodore
epee = 2.5 seconds for a 360 so 144 dps
rapier seems to be the same
Sabre seems to be 3.5ish, so 100.
Morningstar seems the same
Crossbow is the same
Wraith seems 2.5ish, so rapier and epee maneuverability
Broadsword is actually interesting, 60 dps.
Oh boy. No way to reconcile this stuff then. 😥 Thanks for your work though @tarsus
 

tarsus

Commodore
From WCSaga's files
Arrow is as nimble as a ferret,
Rapier is faster, same as my measurements.
Hellcat is slightly more nimble than a broadsword
thud is as slow as a 'sword
Sabre
is swifter than an excal.
Excal is not as nimble as an arrow, more than a hellcat
Longbow is unforgivable.
 

Star Rider

Rear Admiral
Longbow is unforgivable.
Best way I found to use the Longbow in WC3 was to load up all my missile hardpoints with Pilum FFs. When I'd encounter Hostile Fighters I'd start firing Pilums at them in 2-3 second intervals. This wouldn't always kill them but it would buy me enough time to maneuver into position for a Gun Kill. Or Make an afterburner run at a Kilrathi Carrier and fly through the Hanger bay salvo firing my torpedoes in the process.
 

tarsus

Commodore
One thing to reconcile. Assume wing1 was more like ww1 tech, maneuverability was king. come ww2, fighters started focusing more on speed.

wc1: turning fights
wc2: more turning (with better guns)
wc3: more missiles and speed
wc4: deadlier missiles
wcp: tech uplift, but cost reduction so no funky tech like gimballed weapons or cloak.
 

YCDTD

Commodore
Best way I found to use the Longbow in WC3 was to load up all my missile hardpoints with Pilum FFs. When I'd encounter Hostile Fighters I'd start firing Pilums at them in 2-3 second intervals. This wouldn't always kill them but it would buy me enough time to maneuver into position for a Gun Kill. Or Make an afterburner run at a Kilrathi Carrier and fly through the Hanger bay salvo firing my torpedoes in the process.
Not a bad strategy at all. Aggressively switching to your rear turret when you have an enemy on your six is highly recommended as well. Leech missiles work quite well too if you just play on Ace.
 

YCDTD

Commodore
One thing to reconcile. Assume wing1 was more like ww1 tech, maneuverability was king. come ww2, fighters started focusing more on speed.

wc1: turning fights
wc2: more turning (with better guns)
wc3: more missiles and speed
wc4: deadlier missiles
wcp: tech uplift, but cost reduction so no funky tech like gimballed weapons or cloak.
Well, the spaceframes of the WC1 or WC2 starfighters could just be upgraded with better shields, engines, guns, gun capacitors etc. Only bombers seem to have really advanced from WC1 to WC3/4 in terms of what the actual spaceframe brings to the table. The Thunderbolt is really quite pathetic for a WC3 era heavy fighter in terms of missile loadout, speed, maneuverability. The Sabre and Raptor were much, much better for their era. And the Raptor was supposedly facing obsolescence in WC1!!
 

MannerOfLoaf

Spaceman
Well, the spaceframes of the WC1 or WC2 starfighters could just be upgraded with better shields, engines, guns, gun capacitors etc. Only bombers seem to have really advanced from WC1 to WC3/4 in terms of what the actual spaceframe brings to the table. The Thunderbolt is really quite pathetic for a WC3 era heavy fighter in terms of missile loadout, speed, maneuverability. The Sabre and Raptor were much, much better for their era. And the Raptor was supposedly facing obsolescence in WC1!!
Isn't a big part of the problem here that we don't know exactly when each of the WC fighters were actually introduced? I know there's been a lot of discussion about it in another thread but I think based on the example you give it'd make sense that the T-Bolt was older and even more obsolete than the Raptor.
 

MannerOfLoaf

Spaceman
Well, the spaceframes of the WC1 or WC2 starfighters could just be upgraded with better shields, engines, guns, gun capacitors etc. Only bombers seem to have really advanced from WC1 to WC3/4 in terms of what the actual spaceframe brings to the table. The Thunderbolt is really quite pathetic for a WC3 era heavy fighter in terms of missile loadout, speed, maneuverability. The Sabre and Raptor were much, much better for their era. And the Raptor was supposedly facing obsolescence in WC1!!
Also whether upgrades are possible could depend on the spaceframe. Maybe there wasn't as much room to improve the WC1-era Raptors and Scimitars as the WC3-era Arrows and Hellcats. I believe the Luftwaffe faced a similar situation in WW2 with their Me-109 airframes being already mature by the start of the war while the Spitfire design still had room to grow.
 
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