Component System – Notes
This is a small overview of the component system. More to come soon.
The component system is already programmed and in the game. The components are procedurally generated each time you start the game, although you will be able to influence them somewhat when you set up your empire. There are several tech levels that your Empire is fluent in, such as missile tech, laser tech, Gauss cannon tech, shield tech, armor tech, etc. It is possible for your Empire to have a tech level of ‘0’ in a category (not basics like armor or engines) which means that your Empire can not add a certain component.
When an empire is generated, a component list is created. First the program looks to add weapon components. If an empire has at least a level 1 in a certain category, a chance for a weapon series to be created is checked. Next, the series is checked for how many size iterations are available for that component, always starting at Size 0. Finally, stats are created based on tech levels, miniaturization technology, and a random factor. The component is named with an official name, given a ‘colloquial’ design name based on type, given a manufacturer name, and placed into the list!
The advantage of this from a gameplay standpoint is that you will be able to set your empire tech preferences when you set up your Empire in the new game screen (coming). That way, if you want ships with super powerful missile tech, you can have it, but you will have to have it at the expense of another type of tech. This system also allows a ‘hands-off’ way to gradually improve your ships and technology without knowing ‘exactly’ what is coming. It’s a tradeoff between fixed components and designing your own (ala Aurora). As an emperor, you would not be involved in that process, but would have a say about what is being developed!
So here’s an example, using one that was just generated with a test:
General Dynamics ‘Hawk’ Type II Laser Mount
This is a laser system that is available for ships that are at least size II, meaning cruisers and up. It does 122 damage close range, 85 damage medium range, 40 damage long range, and 0 damage extreme range (larger lasers may have that capability). It has an close range attack value (AV) of 155, a medium range AV of 110, a long range AV of 60, and an extreme range AV of 0. Obviously, it is less likely to hit at longer ranges, though it does have decent long range AV. It is size 120 and has 155 hit points. So this would be a pretty strong short-range weapon, with above-average medium range capability for a smaller laser mount.
Ship hull designs have a base component size value that they can fit. A typical light cruiser would probably have around 1000-1500 size points available for weapons, 500 or so for defensive, 1000 for subsystems, etc. This is why miniaturization tech is important – it allows you to fit more weapons (think ‘hardpoints’) on the same cost hull with the same efficiency as a larger weapon.
You will have access to all components available in your Empire. You can ask that component designs be scrapped, ask that a new design be created within a certain type/subtype (i.e. weapons/missiles) but you will not have precise control of what is actually developed! Usually it will not be worse than a previous design (there is a ‘version’ stat that increments with each component subtype built, representing experience with what works and doesn’t work, making it better) but it just might be!