Damage: Criticals, Coolness, and Quirks

Have an idea or suggestion for PULSAR: Lost Colony? Post it here!
Post Reply
User avatar
Jingo
Beta Tester
Beta Tester
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:47 pm

Damage: Criticals, Coolness, and Quirks

Post by Jingo » Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:06 pm

I think if shields get blown out and your hull is getting hammered and systems are taking particle beams, grape shot and other various sundry particles of doom, there should a CHANCE, however small, to have your ship take a critical hit. Now, this isn't like critical, natural 20, like in D&D type critical. Not quite that... I'll explain.

Along with the coolness and immersive-ness of glass shattering, pipes falling, flickering lights, emergency lighting, collapsed ceiling panels that billow smoke, hallways choked with rubble, and live electrical wires dangling like vipers. ALONG with all that (*hopes that we'll someday get all that*), we should ALSO have systems that when damaged have a chance of taking critical damage. A critically damaged system is one that sometime later exhibits some quirk at random times until REPLACED.

Think Han Solo and his bucket of bolts ship where the hyperdrive goes out at random times. You get the idea.

So, I can imagine it like this:
"Power up the warp drive engineer! That ship is closing fast!"
"I'm on it, Cap!"
WOOeowowowowowoeoroererer.....
"Ummm..."
"What was that?"
"Yeah, well Cap... something ain't right."
"Tell me something I don't know. Fix it!"

And Mr. Enginner has to fiddle with it, taking up valuable time with his repair drill gun thing, time that he needs to lower the heat down in the thick of combat.

Or maybe it's a an unknown known issue. The guns were hit, so they're operating at 80% efficiency now. Recharge is 20% slower and heat is 20% higher. But you can't prove it, you as the Weapon's Officer could just swear it's not quite as good as it once was:
"Cap, we gotta repair this main gun. Something sin't right with it."
"You sure, or did you just have too much ale last shore leave."
"I'm sure, Cap. It's not right. It's taking longer to recharge."

Then the scientist or engineer could run a special program that runs a diagnostics scan on the ship to determine what systems are having problems. That diagnostics scan, of course, isn't always readily available, 'cause it's another special program you have to buy, rumored to be quite expensive but handy to have. You decided to forego it last time but now you're wondering: "Are my systems really operating a peak efficiency. Or is my mind just playing tricks on me?"
You gotta know, so you'll drop the 10 grand to buy the thing.

Okay, I like it anyway.

Kitchner
Beta Tester
Beta Tester
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2015 6:42 pm

Re: Damage: Criticals, Coolness, and Quirks

Post by Kitchner » Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:13 pm

Maybe you could implement a system where a % of the damage a module receives is permanent and can't be repaired by repair guns, only by the repair depots, and the more permanent damage the module has the less efficient it is.

I think random effects is probably over complicating things, but showing permanent damage should be easy enough, and having a less efficient engine or weapon or shields is a big deal.

User avatar
Jingo
Beta Tester
Beta Tester
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:47 pm

Re: Damage: Criticals, Coolness, and Quirks

Post by Jingo » Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:59 am

Kitchner wrote:Maybe you could implement a system where a % of the damage a module receives is permanent and can't be repaired by repair guns, only by the repair depots, and the more permanent damage the module has the less efficient it is.
I totally agree with this. Hull damage is one thing, but other things taking persistent damaged is what makes it feel like you're really squeaking by the skin of your teeth. What if the % of damage taken made that component that much more inefficient. For example a warp core with 30% persistent damage would charge 30% more slowly or generate 30% more heat? Something along these lines would be the simplest approach and would give me one thing that I crave: a ship with some persistent damage and character. To be able to shout "Damage report" and get that sinking feeling in your stomach that it's going to be a really long voyage because certain components are not working optimally. Right now, you only get the sense that your ship took a beating at one level; all the components can get all bright new and shiny with a 10 second application of a repair gun even if you only have 3 hull points left. There's a disconnect and loss of immersion there for me.

You could also tie damaged components into mission objectives. For example, suppose your O2 unit blew out in a fight and you managed to get it working again, but only at 30% efficiency. So O2 is really low in the ship and the crew has to use their EVA suits. To further add to the adventure, the game could provide missions that could help alleviate some of this. If you're ten jumps away from a full repair facility, but Science scans a nearby system and reveals there's an abandoned ship repair facility one jump away into enemy faction space, you might risk sneaking into that system and beaming down to the repair facility to hopefully find components that you could then use to improve that O2 unit. All this adds another level danger, excitement, realism, and fullfillment to the game. You could also carry some spare parts around in your cargo bay that could maybe heal some persistent damage, not all because that'd require a facility, but maybe a portion based on how good the engineer is at repairing things.
Kitchner wrote:I think random effects is probably over complicating things, but showing permanent damage should be easy enough, and having a less efficient engine or weapon or shields is a big deal.
Yeah, random effects might be a bit overkill, but it'd still add a lot to the game. One can dream. (*sigh*)
One can also hope modding will be open enough to allow things like this.

Merglasch
Alpha Tester
Alpha Tester
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 4:48 am

Re: Damage: Criticals, Coolness, and Quirks

Post by Merglasch » Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:55 pm

Love the idea of persistent damage to systems. Having 3 Hull while the inside of your ship is sqeaky clean and everything is working top notch just doesn't feel right.

Calladium
Alpha Tester
Alpha Tester
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2015 7:54 pm

Re: Damage: Criticals, Coolness, and Quirks

Post by Calladium » Wed Oct 21, 2015 3:20 pm

Think Han Solo and his bucket of bolts ship where the hyperdrive goes out at random times.
Want this soooo bad, but I can understand why it might be a little out of the scope.

+1 to the rest though, inefficiency from damage would be a great way to add anxiety to those long voyages, especially through infected space.

User avatar
GwaziMagnum
Alpha Tester
Alpha Tester
Posts: 896
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:35 pm
Location: Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Re: Damage: Criticals, Coolness, and Quirks

Post by GwaziMagnum » Thu Oct 22, 2015 3:50 am

It would be a cool feature.
My concern though would be the heavy scripting involved, and how that would add demand on people's systems.

Post Reply