Some thoughts...


Vice Admiral
I've been giving this a lot of thought of late, and finally decided i'd pop these ideas up here. Some of these ideas actually come straight out of my design document for my own game...but, i can share :) many of them come straight out of the books, and just....thoughts over how to make buying military craft logical, and or how to fly them more....logical too. anyway, here goes. Really these are the two biggest things that i could think of which would apply here. most of the other stuff for my game, i don't think would be well received. so, i'll just leave em out.

- Hydrogen Ramscoops

Basicly, these are what fuel your ship while in flight. The idea for these was ripped straight out of the books. When activated, all newtonian aspects of flight are pretty well null and void. The drag created by the hydrogen particles impacting against the magnetic fields make flying in space pretty well on par with flying in an atmosphere. Also, they are balanced with your engines, fuel consumption would be, say...50, fuel collection would be 60. Larger ships tend collect more fuel as they are slower and have larger feilds than figthers. Fighters would constantly run at a deficit, unless you run at a slower speed, where the consumption/collection rate would be more or less balanced. But, obviously this wouldn't be to good for combat situations. Now, here is where it gets a bit tricky. As you decrease the field power level, you begin to pick up speed...less drag to hold you back. You shut the field off, you're burning your ships stored fuel, and essentially become a missile heading in a straight line...sir Isaac Newton takes over control. You can manuver, but not very well. all direction changes would have to be done by the main engines after you've oriented yourself in your new direction. now, there are those who would argue 'that's not realistic...' well, oh well. It's a kick ass game element. OH! most important part of this deal. The power for the field is gradual, not just 'on' and 'off'. i just set it up in increments of 10, and it adjusts the ships speed, fuel collection rate, consumption rate. Table as follows:

Field Velocity Collection Consumption Manuvering
Modifier Modifier Modifier Modifier Modifier
100% (full on) -- -- -- --
90% +10% -5% +5% -3%
80% +20% -15% +10% -6%
70% +30% -25% +15% -9%
60% +40% -35% +20% -12%
50% +50% -45% +25% -15%
40% +60% -55% +30% -18%
30% +70% -65% +35% -21%
20% +80% -75% +40% -24%
10% +90% -85% +45% -27%
0% (full off) infinite -100% +50% -30%

Now, you're probably wondering 'well, what happens when you run out of gas??'. Simple. Your computer automatically powers up your ramscoops to a reasonable level, you'll loose some speed, but collect fuel. Once they have scooped enough fuel for 2 minutes of continuous firing, they'll pulse back up automatically, brining your scoops up to full strength, and brining your speed back down to a reasonable level.

further things can be applied here to, such as if you kick up to some insane speed, and then slam on your scoop field, it'll tear your ship apart and you'll die, or it will weaken your ships structural integrity...lots of things you can do.

- Another thing that would be neat, and solve some issues. If you want to fly a military either a) buy one that is so rediculously priced on the black market as to make it almost impossible, or b) you join the navy, and serve...say, 2 years game time in the navy. that's your job, and you'd live on the carrier. you wouldn't be able to do anything to your fighter. Also, the military fighters you buy, you can't mod unless you're willing to give up an arm and a leg. the idea here being that military ships aren't built to be customized. The guns are hard mounted to the hull and stuff like that. You want to change them, well...guess what. Prepare to fork over a crap load of cash to do it. Also, Military fighters are short range, in reading the books, they wouldn't be able to go gallavanting indefinately. So, what would you have to do to balance out a fighters fuel consumption/collection? as discussed above a) run at a decreased level of engine output.....or.....fork over a crap load of cash and have your ship modded with a mod kit which will put bigger scoops on it. the downside, decreased top speed to your fighter. If you decide to go AWOL 1) you'll run out of gas unless you've made some kind of arrangement. This could be done if you're raiding a pirate base or something like that. b) if you're successful in this endevour, you'll be immediately posted as wanted and hunted by everyone under the sun, unless you pay another rediculous sum of money (nearly to rediculous to even make it feasible to do) to get your record cleared by data hackers or someone like that.


Brad Mick


It'll be nice to implement some of the fiction's reasoning behind max speeds and such. It is a bit complicated though, and I am a bit focused on Privateer ATM. I'll certainly give it more thought when I can concentrate on WCU.


Is 'your own game' going to be a mod for vegastrike?

I always thought that in the WCU you carried your ships fuel, and had to get resupplied from wherever the fuel was made, collected or refined. A fuel level indicator with refueling at bases and lots of missions attacking supply lines in the WC games suggests that kind of perspecitive.
Either way the WCU has always been a very simple, semi-realistic flight environment while what you are suggesting sounds more complex like something out of 'elite'. I think it had fuel scoops where you could fly near a hydrogen rich sun and scoop up some fuel.
Maybe this is an idea better suited to a different mod.

Military Ships:
are there no thoughts on this in so far as implementation into WCU goes?you join the navy, and serve...say, 2 years game time in the navy. that's your job, and you'd live on the carrier.
Sounds like the (non-privateer) WC games. It might be nice to be able to do stints in the military (instead of just missions as a privateer) bringing together the WC and Privateer games in a more seamless manner. As for it being a way to get military fighters it sounds ok, especially if you are willing to span a very long time line and incorporate many stints and free play.

are there no thoughts on this in so far as implementation into WCU goes?
I don't think the scoops idea should be implemented, especially not for fighters (maybe for a fuel collection class vessel or something, maybe for sun or gas giant skimming, but not complex).

Stints in the military could already be implemented (or pretty close to) by
1) limiting your 'fighter' ship ability to carry jump fuel or a jump engine (fighters might have 0 upgrade space, everything already built in) (possibly a data side modification) (maybe even using jump fuel for afterburner power instead, if possible, like in the WC games). Maybe your own private vessels would be available to you but with a temporary disablement of jump capacity one way or another.
2) allowing only landing on your fleets carrier or mission related locations. Don't know if that limitation can be done though at this time? Would it be ralated to 'factions' and relations?
Actually if you can implement point 2, then limiting jump ability might be redundant.

3) Creating a special carrier environment without guilds or missions except via the 'briefing room' (which would be the replacement of the guilds, or maybe an intermediate step when going to the launch pad).

4) autorepair everything for free when you land,
make everything on a military 'fighter' an 'inbuilt' part of the ship, have no ships for sale at dealer (only repair and upgrades, and maybe 'my fleet' if desired), have no upgrades for miltary ships(maybe 0 upgrade space instead of no upgrade items), and basic repair costs 0. That would all be dataside changes I think.

5) write the storyline for success and failure scenarios, (as well as your fleets movements from place to place between missions). Also character appearances in the bar tied to the overall status of missions. Maybe debriefing scenes upon landing if that is possible, (and/)or a debriefing room if not (just like a storyline linked bar really).

Going AWOL should perhaps be made possible at certain times, but might need to be scripted into the story. If you limit your ability to escape military service via landing and jump limitation there might be no other way.
You should also be able to resign if you get sick of the more linear story, possibly being able to pick up again later on.


Vice Admiral
you've obviously not read the novels at all. if you read the WC Books, the hydrogen ramscoops do exactly what i described. you don't have to be near a star or anything like that. just scoops up hydrogen around you. (no need to spark a 'there's not that much hydrogen in space!' debate either....i know) the ships had fuel tanks, this applies even to figthers. the only problem is they always run at a deficit because of their high powered engines and greater speeds. *all* ships had fuel tanks, except for the Dragon, and I think the excalibur. they got to skip all the fuel tank stuff because of their matter/anti-matter reactors.

the idea for the military career is, you get a military fighter assigned you (depending on mission so you're not bored to tears in one fighter, or you can select one) and they military boards, and feeds you. you don't get to leave the carrier unless you go on leave and have a pass. besides, with fuel tanks your fighters range would be mighty limited, so in order to defect, or go somewhere far off, you'd have to make arrangements for it.

in so far as my game goes, no. i'm going to be creating my own engine and everything else from scratch.

Brad Mick
Well, the WC3 excaliburs were super souped up because, after all, it was a win-all-or-lose-all mission. WC4 excaliburs are definitely downgraded because that's the production version.


Vice Admiral
ah, heh heh. no worries mate :)

the game novels list:

Freedom Flight
End Run
Fleet Action
WC3: HotT
WC4: The Price of Freedom
Action Stations
False Colors

movie novels list:

WCM Novel
Pilgrim Stars

all of them are great reads!

Brad Mick