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Intel wars. Thinking about antennas, detection, and avoiding it.

Discussion in 'General' started by Unknown Squid, Jul 18, 2014.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Unknown Squid Apprentice Engineer

    So. Antennas! Fun stuff. Laying foundations for more intricacies regarding detection and the faction system I'm sure.

    Currently the antennas seem to opperate mostly like a beacon network that will chain it's signals it receives together. They don't have any form of "active" detection, but have the advantage of passing along what they pick up (such as an enemy with an active antenna). They can't hide when doing so, since they need to broadcast far enough to reach the next relay point, and so are vulnerable to being easily sneaked up on by an enemy with it's own beacons/antennas disabled or set at very low range.

    And that's fine. They're just antennas. But it of course leaves me pondering the idea of potential "active sensors" that might be in store in future, and presumably linked into the same mechanics. It's a gap that now seems to have the key foundations laid for it (factions and antenna networking).

    So I'm wondering, what kinds of active detection systems or mechanics does the community imagine or hope for? Can't let the devs outpace our ideas and endless requests after all. ^_^

    • Perhaps a sensor system that picks up on and marks any active reactors or thrusters within it's range?
    • A more generic radar system that picks up any object large enough, based on it's distance (and maybe even silhouette?) in relation to the radar. Larger radars would have a better "resolution", being able to pick out smaller things from further. A radar would obviously be broadcasting it's location the same way a beacon would however.
    • Another idea might be a "LIDAR" system that would provide a superior line of sight detection but only within a more limited field of view, based on the direction it's mounted in.
    • Other more novel ideas might include something that can detect active gravity fields, or very high energy draining sensors that can perfectly scan an area for objects, but only in a very limited range.
    This also made me think about ships trying to hide or fool such devices. Decoys could potentially find new applications in future. I also recall the devs briefly mentioning the concept of "stealth armour" in a previous interview. So we know they have plans.

    Even the new batteries could actually have potential applications here. If we imagine that reactor and thruster detecting system existed, then a ship hoping to go undetected by such a means would need an alternative power source. If batteries couldn't be detected by that sensor, then they would be able to provide that power source in a very interesting manner. Thus a theoretical stealth ship trying to minimise it's detection or get as close as possible before it's spotted, might operate under minimal battery power, whilst relying on stealth armour, a well designed shape, and careful flight angles, to go unnoticed by the radar.

    I've rambled too long now, and this post is rampant with speculation. But as you can see, there is huge scope for some really involved detection and counter intelligence gameplay and ship-design here. Personally I find it really exciting.
  2. nilloc93 Trainee Engineer

    I think one of the cool things that could be added is a way to "jam" an antenna that is detecting your ship, by scrambling it's receiver you could make it show contacts al over the place.

    Your sensor ideas are pretty cool, I really liked the reactor/thruster detection as well as the grav field. But perhaps simply being able to read power usage instead of a specific part? This would allow a ship with low power use to glide by a sensor system without being detected while a massive ship would have no way of lowering it's power signature by enough.
  3. entspeak Senior Engineer

    I think ship turrets should identify friend or foe by antennae - broadcast your friendly signal or get shot. If you have no antenna, have it disabled, or your signal is that of an enemy faction, you get fired on. I also like the power signature idea.
  4. Unknown Squid Apprentice Engineer

    Doing it by total power usage or generation in some manner certainly does make a lot of sense regarding detection of different sizes of ship. Would provide some fun implications regarding efficiency and managing active systems.

    And regarding antennas and turrets, I vaguely got the impression during one of the early interviews that is actually more or less how they plan on doing it. They have said that the faction system as it is currently is still a work in progress. So yeah, more detailed target recognition sounds good to me.
  5. NutterChap Apprentice Engineer

    In the 'hidden blocks' thread, people have found 'alpha armor' in the files. It has every chance to be some sort of detection camouflage, allowing to slip by under peoples noses, even when they have antennaepedia on their front door. With batteries to power these 'space subs' and 'alpha armor' to keep them hidden, unleashed torpedoes might come too late, boarding parties might slip by under the watchful eyes of turrets, and escape pods may not be detected by enemies...

    Oh the possibilities...:idea:
  6. Joseph Bishop Trainee Engineer

    From what I have seen on the forms and while playing the game. Radar, Stealth and the like wont happen until the devs open up the maps. Allot of people, myself included, have noted that when in a battle of large ships (lets say Military Escort size) a person can see the ship from pretty far away, 5 km sometimes (maybe more if its Military Transport size). That bit of info along with the map effectively being 20km/20km/20km means that in the resource area there are no uses for radar, stealth, or even antennas to locate a ship (the M1A1 eyeball is good enough). However it is really hard to dogfight small ships without antennas because they are hard to see, which is why in allot of youtube SE videos the antennas are always on. This has brought up some discussions about shrinking the size of 'Capitol' ships to avoid visual contacts. It is all cool to see design tactics like that but one thing that is always brought up is how raiding parties can easily (and quickly) come in and destroy anything and everything which leads into base defenses; so swords and shields, moves and counter moves, it all really is about the cramped space two factions have to share. Which yes ratchets up tension but their proximity to each other causes some problems with player progression. But to swing back to the point I was making I think we should really sit up when the devs finish the long awaited map upgrade they were talking about because then the need for detection at ranges longer then 50m will be to large to ignore.

    On a side note I would love to see three types of radar and three types of counters for said radar which leads into a ro-sham-bo (rock, paper, scissors) style conflict of intel gathering.
  7. Wombats Junior Engineer

    I just want some damn telescopes. RADAR system would go great with programming, though.
  8. Hatchie Apprentice Engineer

    I just want any possibility to show location to friends only, so it would finally be possible to play with any sort of "base" on servers with ability to fly to some distance of it and return back without broadcasting it's location for everyone.
  9. Mondorius Trainee Engineer

    Well, something I would thoroughly enjoy is hacking ownership not by grinding individual blocks but by using antennas and potentially a new block that determines hacking power. You would have to connect to a ship using antennas - so turning off your antennas makes you immune to this, but if you could sneak around the hull of your target and build your own, then you would restore this ability - once connected, time taken to hack the ownership of a target block would be directly proportional to how much processing power both ships have.

    There's lot of other possibilities, I have to think some more about this.
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