Mechanics Series – #6 Point Defense and Overwatch

Mechanics Series - #6 Point Defense and Overwatch

Thanks for joining us this week as we discuss more mechanics that players can take advantage of in Lord of Rigel. So far, we’ve discussed missiles, fighters, and beam weapons. But an important balancing mechanic for these is point defense. Most beam weapons can be set to a point defense version which is shorter range (they have twice the range penalties of other beams) but has a 360 degree firing arc and accuracy bonuses when firing at fighters and missiles. These weapons do less damage, and aren’t as effective against ships, but cost very little in terms of size and space on a ship and can easily take out incoming missiles and fighters. Players facing enemy ships equipped with fighters, missiles, and torpedoes should use point defense weapons as a counter for these devices. Ultimately, while players may destroy the enemy ship launching the above listed weapons, they can still be hit and damaged by them once launched. Having point defense weapons can act like a good measure of insurance to make sure your ships can survive the battle.

One thing we wanted to do in Lord of Rigel was to also make unmodified weapons more useful for the player. It is tempting to want to place the largest spinal mount gun on a ship, but we wanted to make it useful to have a set of weapons that were unmodified and with wider firing arcs. Our answer to that was adding a reaction fire mechanic, known as "overwatch mode". Any normal or point defense weapons unfired at the end of a turn go into overwatch mode. When in this mode, there is a certain percent chance as to whether weapons automatically fire at a moving hostile target based on range. Each turn, the AI considers these percentage rules to determining whether or not weapons in overwatch mode are fired. If they are to be fired, overwatch missiles, torpedoes, and strike craft take priority each turn, followed by moving hostile ships. As enemies get closer to a ship, the chance of reaction fire from overwatch weapons drastically increases. The end result is something that feels more like how a human player would handle overwatch, trying to save shots for when targets are close to increase the chance of hitting. The overwatch mechanic  should also encourage players to scan enemy ships to see what weapons have not been fired, and therefore may be in overwatch mode. This will tell them if it is safe to try and close in on an enemy ship to attempt to do more damage or board it.

Join us next week as we discuss the AI system used in ship tactical combat!

Home Forums Mechanics Series – #6 Point Defense and Overwatch

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Martok 1 year, 9 months ago.

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  • #9600
    Ace
    Ace
    Keymaster

    Mechanics Series – #6 Point Defense and Overwatch Thanks for joining us this week as we discuss more mechanics that players can take advantage of in L
    [See the full post at: http://www.lordofrigel.com/news/mechanics-series-6-point-defense-and-overwatch/]

    #9602

    Martok
    Participant

    Sounds good for the most part.

    One thing, though: I like the sound of Overwatch mode in theory, but wouldn’t it be taking away from player control (especially in smaller battles)? How exactly does/would it work?

    #9604
    Ace
    Ace
    Keymaster

    Overwatch is reaction fire, so it doesn’t take any control away from the player since you can chose to fire those weapons during your turn, choose to disable those weapons, or save them for overwatch. You’ll get the full weapons again on your turn.

    So let’s say you have a frigate with 1 Heavy Mount Laser, 2 Normal Lasers, and 2 Point Defense Lasers.

    You’re up against someone firing a missile. On your turn you can fire the heavy mount and normal lasers but point defense is out of range. Since you’re dealing with range penalties it makes sense to stick with just firing the heavy laser.

    On the enemy turn their ship moves, and you take a reaction shot with the normal lasers set to overwatch. Then they fire a missile, and your PD weapons in range can also take a reaction shot.

    Then on your turn, your weapons are fully back and you can chose to fire them as you please, or save them for reaction shots when the enemy is even closer for higher accuracy but a risk of getting hit.

    So overall this encourages players to have mixed weapons and not just stack on the biggest guns, since reaction fire is pretty useful when dealing with flanking ships or enemies launching missiles or strikecraft.

    So overall doesn’t take any control from a player and instead should add some good options for those not wanting to micromanage everything.

    #9618

    Martok
    Participant

    Ah, okay. Thanks for the more detailed explanation & example!

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