New weapon idea?

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New weapon idea?

Postby Cralis on Wed 26 Apr 2017 15:29

The last couple weeks I've been trying to think of new weapon ideas that aren't more detailed versions of an existing weapon or a truly abominable concept either in practice, balance, or physics. I've come up with some ideas for post EL/SL 20 (and even post EL/SL 50), but nothing that could potentially be plausible earlier than that...

Then I had an interesting idea: what if you could have an offensive tractor beam? I started by thinking about a tractor beam that does Forcebeam-type damage while it's latched on... and thought that unless we made it absurdely powerful that nobody would want it over an actual forcebeam.

But one purpose of a tractor beam is to restrict enemy movement... right?

What about a tractor beam that does anti-drive damage??? It would obviously be limited to tractor beam ranges, and for balance we would say that it cannot be used as a regular tractor beam. I'm not sure how much ADM damage it would do yet (as that would partially depend upon SL), but I'm thinking a goal of maybe a few points max per round?

And being earlier tech based on DF, it will work against I and J drives). And it would give Tractor Disruptors a whole new reason to exist...

What do ya'll think of that idea?
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Re: New weapon idea?

Postby eoghantodd on Thu 27 Apr 2017 11:01

I like the concept; gives another strategy... Couple ways it could work. One would be draining the drive field so it slowly recovers over time...if you were looking for something more than just ticking off engine rooms.
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Re: New weapon idea?

Postby southwestforests on Fri 28 Apr 2017 15:21

Cralis wrote: And it would give Tractor Disruptors a whole new reason to exist...
What do ya'll think of that idea?
I think that is an interesting idea.
Is kind of like back engineering the cause from the effect - tractor disruptors are the effect, what would be the causes ...?
Figuring out the causes of a given effect is what a lot of science is about anyway.
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Re: New weapon idea?

Postby Cralis on Fri 28 Apr 2017 18:29

southwestforests wrote:tractor disruptors are the effect, what would be the causes ...?
Figuring out the causes of a given effect is what a lot of science is about anyway.


I'm not sure what you are saying here. Tractor Disruptors (Td) are used to counter and break tractor links. They are almost never used right now because tractors are not often used in tactical combat. I'm thinking that this new weapon, which is a tractor beam, would potentially cause more people to want to mount Td.
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Re: New weapon idea?

Postby southwestforests on Fri 28 Apr 2017 21:51

First, a disclaimer - last couple days I'm on pills for muscle spasms, all over.
I guess the flow is like this - Okay, we have this tractor disruptor, working backwards from that it exists, why does it exist? What things, how many things, involving tractors would its users see as needing disrupting?
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Re: New weapon idea?

Postby Cralis on Sat 29 Apr 2017 01:14

Right now, the only technology that "needs" disrupting with Td is the tractor beam. If we adopted thos new weapon, then you could say it's the second technology that it needs to disrupt.

To me this seems backwards, like saying that an effect needs a cause to make it happen.
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Re: New weapon idea?

Postby Whitecold on Sat 29 Apr 2017 06:08

One thing I'd like to note is that there is already a counter tech to ADMs, the engine surge protectors, which probably everyone forgot that they even existed.
If an advancement of Tractors should have the same effect as ADMs, then ESP and Td should be unified.
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Re: New weapon idea?

Postby Cralis on Sat 29 Apr 2017 10:39

Whitecold wrote:One thing I'd like to note is that there is already a counter tech to ADMs, the engine surge protectors, which probably everyone forgot that they even existed.

If an advancement of Tractors should have the same effect as ADMs, then ESP and Td should be unified.


You have THREE issues here:

First, this is not an advancement of tractors, it is an alternative branch. This means that it is not intended to be the natural progression of tractor beams. I don't any game reason to converge these two tech trees, and certainly no pseudo-scientific reason to do so either.

Second, it has a similar effect as ADM, not the same effect. The result (damages drives) is the only commonality and there is no reason it has to be by the same mechanism. ADM does damage (essentially...it's a little more complicated) by crashing the ADM's DF against the target. This new weapon is a tractor, so it requires that a tractor link be attached to the target's DF before it does anything. It can't do damage the same way, so the mechanism must be different (and it is).

Third, ESP and Td literally have nothing to do with each other. These are completely and totally two different technologies from two different tech trees. Not only are they not related to each other, but they don't even have the same effect or the same purpose. You cannot conflate these two technologies.
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Re: New weapon idea?

Postby olivertheorem on Sat 29 Apr 2017 20:21

I am picturing a swarm of (relatively) small, fast SRW ships sitting DF down and/or cloaked, pouncing on an enemy formation from behind, grabbing on with tractors, then proceeding to trash the enemy drives with their tractor-gun-things along with the rest of their SRW. Not sure if that would even work but it sounds downright rude if you're the guy who gets ambushed. :P
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Re: New weapon idea?

Postby Cralis on Sat 29 Apr 2017 20:50

Because tractor ranges are so short, my vision on this was for two purposes:

First, in WP defenses this could be used to slow enemies as you catch them coming out the WP.

The second is like your idea, using small, fast ships to find freighters, run them down, and capture them by destroying their drives.

Although I could see this being used in surprise attacks and stuff. The biggest drawback is the short range and that you have to form a tractor link, which means that if the other guy is prepared with Td he can break those tractor links.
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