Lasers

Ideas and suggestions for how to improve the Warzone 2100 base game only. Ideas for mods go in Mapping/Modding instead. Read sticky posts first!

Lasers

Postby Kacen » 05 Sep 2009, 14:55

In a post I made in my Plasma Cannon thread I pointed out some discrepancies between lasers in Warzone.

See here: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3651&p=36022#p36022

To summarize, lasers should fire in a continuous beam unless otherwise stated. Pulse Lasers currently are just more powerful and longer-ranged Flashlights, however their name implies the special "pulse" characteristic, which is characteristic in all lasers in Warzone 2100.

With that said, I suggest what may be drastic change to lasers.

Pulse lasers should stay the same, first of all. Heavy Lasers should be renamed "Heavy Pulse Lasers", but otherwise stay the same as well. Stormbringers should be identified as anti-aircraft pulse lasers, but, again, otherwise stay the same.

Flashlights, however, should be changed somehow, maybe the name even. I noticed that especially in Skirmish Flashlights are relatively useless because of how quickly outclassed they are by Pulse Lasers.

I suggest Flashlights fire in a continuous beam. All lasers should fire this way unless labeled "pulse lasers". I believe the Pulse Laser, Heavy (Pulse) Laser, and Stormbringer should be a special "pulse laser" research branch from "new" "standard" lasers, which will all fire a continuous beams.

With that we split into two types of lasers. The pulse lasers, which are already established, and the "normal" lasers, the first of which, whatever we change the Flashlight to (something continuous fire), will lead to all other laser types, "normal" and pulse. Damage output for the Flashlight may be changed to balance. With that, we open the possibilities of new "standard" laser turrets, such as a "Heavy Laser", being perhaps a heavier continuous fire laser, and perhaps with a recharge/cooldown time. Extending on that some sort of anti-aircraft laser that fires continuous beams into the air...there's a lot of possibilities here.

I know this would be a hypothetically drastic change but I suggested this minorly to correct realism and some naming discrepancies but mostly because it would make the lasers far more interesting and varied.
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Re: Lasers

Postby Deus Siddis » 05 Sep 2009, 16:07

I don't think this is realistic, directed energy weapons are all pulsed for greater effectiveness, it is just a matter of whether there's a fraction of a second between pulses or longer or how long the pulse salvos are versus how long are the cool down times.

Warzone is so old, that when it came out there were no real laser weapons or railguns, but now there are, and we have some idea what they actually look like. So there is the opportunity to make these all look realistic if we want.
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Re: Lasers

Postby Kacen » 05 Sep 2009, 16:31

Deus Siddis wrote:I don't think this is realistic, directed energy weapons are all pulsed for greater effectiveness, it is just a matter of whether there's a fraction of a second between pulses or longer or how long the pulse salvos are versus how long are the cool down times.

I think in my case the "pulse" implies the laser is shot as a singular bolt, rather than a continuous beam. There would be advantages and disadvantages between the two laser classes, for instance pulse lasers being longer ranged in general, perhaps, but continuous fire lasers, heavier variants, could shred through cyborgs and light units continuously.

Whichever class should have better firepower is up for debate.

Also perhaps all continuous fire lasers should have a cooling/recharging time, not just the heavier ones. The latter should just have longer cooling/recharge times.

I picture some sort of ground-to-air laser that could shoot down VTOLs, much like the real life variants, and perhaps, well if this is codeable, act as some anti-missile defense, like in real life?

Deus Siddis wrote:Warzone is so old, that when it came out there were no real laser weapons or railguns, but now there are, and we have some idea what they actually look like. So there is the opportunity to make these all look realistic if we want.

No we had lasers and rail guns before 1999, they were just in the hypothetical and experimental stage...and they still are.

Cosmetically the only thing I'd change for the rail guns would be the speed at which they travel, should at least be faster than cannons. That and the Gauss Cannon's/Mass Driver's projectiles should be changed to look like a larger version of the Rail Gun/Needle Guns, as opposed to the odd teardrop they have.

Though it's interesting to note that both "rail guns" and "gauss guns" are different weapons, commonly confused. All of the rail gun weapons in Warzone are in actuality gauss/coilgun weapons.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railgun
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauss_Cannon

The naming system is odd in retrospect. Needle gun is fine for a light gauss cannon, but Rail Gun for a medium gauss cannon and Gauss Cannon for a "heavy" gauss cannon is somewhat confusing and misleading.

Maybe it should be "Light Gauss Cannon - Needle Gun", "Medium Gauss Cannon - (insert name here)", and "Heavy Gauss Cannon - (insert name here)". That would make more sense. That or they are just called Light Gauss Cannon, Medium Gauss Cannon, and Heavy Gauss Cannon, respectively, much like the cannons...admittedly though that would make them more boring.
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Re: Lasers

Postby Tenoh » 05 Sep 2009, 16:39

Kacen is right! But i dont think there will be done anything about it sadly.I my self proposed continuous laser not so long ago, no one cared.
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Re: Lasers

Postby Kacen » 05 Sep 2009, 17:05

Tenoh wrote:Kacen is right! But i dont think there will be done anything about it sadly.I my self proposed continuous laser not so long ago, no one cared.

I'm suggesting this primarily to make the game more varied and interesting. Let's be fair in the original game there are some odd turret inconsistencies and downright misleading weapons.

We already changed the Angel missile to be a late game equivalent to a mini-rocket artillery, which was a great idea, because before that and in the original game it was just a shorter ranged and less powerful version of the Archangel, quickly outclassed by it the moment it's researched.

That always seemed weird to me in the old game, as I wondered what major advantage the Angel had. Why use it when you could use an Archangel? I had little to no incentive to use it. This mod fixed that issue.

Weapons being outclassed in the next tech level are fine, like the Ripple Rockets(T2) to Archangels(T3), or Heavy Machine Guns(T1) to Assault Guns(T2), but when they're outclassed within the same tech level in a relatively short period of time it's somewhat of a waste.

I mean some of the older weapons may have minor advantages, such as rate of fire, reload time, lower weight, and of course expense, but when the capabilities of the newer weapons make them more cost-effective, those latter advantages are so minor there's little incentive to using them. For instance the Flashlight has a higher rate of fire than the Pulse Laser but that's a minor advantage; considering the Pulse Lasers marginally higher firepower and range it doesn't matter if the Flashlight has a higher rate of fire; it's less efficient overall and impractical. (Though, side note, I find myself never using Heavy Lasers, because despite their higher firepower, their relatively short range and relative inaccuracy just makes them less efficient for me to use. The only lasers I currently use are Pulse Lasers and Stormbringers.)

I saw the same issue that existed with the old Angel to the Archangel with the Flashlight to the Pulse Laser. I thought about it and my idea expanded into this whole thread.
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Re: Lasers

Postby zeland » 05 Sep 2009, 17:57

I made a similar comment in a post of mine, Projectiles, Launchers & Whatnot, using HESH & HEAT warheads as an example. Sadly, I got the standard DEV reply which I've seen in most other forums:

Zarel wrote:It's a game. The upgrades are named for flavor reasons. All they do is increase damage.
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Re: Lasers

Postby whippersnapper » 05 Sep 2009, 18:04

.

Actually the first working Rail Gun was patented by a Texan in the early 1930s and commercial line-production lasers have been around for decades - weaponized lasers for field ops are a reality as we speak.. There's nothing hypothetical or experimental about any of it in the sense that practical and military field stress-tested applications do in fact exist. Of course, there will always be on-going research to optimize or advance what is already extant - at least, as long as the human race doesn't destroy the planet in the process. O_o

Tenoh wrote:Kacen is right! But i dont think there will be done anything about it sadly. I my self proposed continuous laser not so long ago, no one cared.


Gotta take a can-do attitude because modding the way WZ looks and plays takes some reasonable investment of time but absolutely no programming skills or genius or even art talent because there is quite a high quality and extensive pool of art assets from the last ten years to draw on / adapt.

But if you're gonna expend your time instead in attempts to persuade others to do the work you can do yourself, well, good luck with that.

The only practical diff between "officially" modified WZ and WZ mods is making sure when you play MP that all players have resident the same Mod installed and while not terribly convenient at the moment (though that too is evolving with sweet utilities being created by community fan members like Milo) it's hardly a deal-breaker or reason to kowtow for "official" action or sanction in what or how you'd like to play the game that departs from canonical presumptions or current state.

Anyhow, that's my simply stated PoV at face value and this is absolutely no attempt to persuade or champion a "cause" or debate any of it - be assured. ;)

Regards, whip :ninja:
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Re: Lasers

Postby Kacen » 05 Sep 2009, 18:27

whippersnapper wrote:Actually the first working Rail Gun was patented by a Texan in the early 1930s and commercial line-production lasers have been around for decades - weaponized lasers for field ops are a reality as we speak.. There's nothing hypothetical or experimental about any of it in the sense that practical and military field stress-tested applications do in fact exist. Of course, there will always be on-going research to optimize or advance what is already extant - at least, as long as the human race doesn't destroy the planet in the process.

The main reason we are only planning lasers to be used to shoot down missiles is that IRL that's the only real niche they can fill. They're extremely fast so they're efficient at taking out missiles. The only other application I can see is for fast moving aircraft.

Lasers aren't planned to be used against soldiers or vehicles because for the former it's inhumane (and well to be fair a single bullet is effective enough), and the latter well lasers, even high-powered ones, well what advantage would they have over a cannon or an anti-tank missile? Nothing.

Lasers, at least currently, are harder to maintain, require vast energy reserves, and they would have to be aimed at a fuel tank or some other part of the vehicle to cause an explosion because they have no inherent explosive/disabling force. For one to disable a tank with a laser would take a while or precision-shooting a sensitive area, like the engine. A simple anti-tank missile does the job well enough and more efficiently and cheaply.

whippersnapper wrote:Gotta take a can-do attitude because modding the way WZ looks and plays takes some reasonable investment of time but absolutely no programming skills or genius or even art talent because there is quite a high quality and extensive pool of art assets from the last ten years to draw on / adapt.

That and I'd imagine modeling for Warzone is far less extensive and difficult than, say, modeling for a more contemporary game, due to the relative simplicity of the graphics.

whippersnapper wrote:But if you're gonna expend your time instead in attempts to persuade others to do the work you can do yourself, well, good luck with that.

The only practical diff between "officially" modified WZ and WZ mods is making sure when you play MP that all players have resident the same Mod installed and while not terribly convenient at the moment (though that too is evolving with sweet utilities being created by community fan members like Milo) it's hardly a deal-breaker or reason to kowtow for "official" action or sanction in what or how you'd like to play the game that departs from canonical presumptions or current state.

Anyhow, that's my simply stated PoV at face value and this is absolutely no attempt to persuade or champion a "cause" or debate any of it - be assured. ;)

Regards, whip :ninja:
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In my case I suggest this for everyone as a whole, to make the Resurrection project better. That goes for all my suggestions.
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Re: Lasers

Postby Kacen » 05 Sep 2009, 20:10

Now that the Ideas and Suggestions subforum has been added, requesting this thread be moved there.
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Re: Lasers

Postby Zarel » 06 Sep 2009, 03:21

Current laser graphics are known to be inaccurate. For the next revision of the projectile system, I'm planning on making them straight lines that turn on and off, rather than projectiles, which make no sense.

Kacen wrote:To summarize, lasers should fire in a continuous beam unless otherwise stated. Pulse Lasers currently are just more powerful and longer-ranged Flashlights, however their name implies the special "pulse" characteristic, which is characteristic in all lasers in Warzone 2100.

All Warzone lasers are pulse lasers - the only continuous beams are Command Turret targeting lasers and Nexus links, since their primary purpose isn't to do direct damage. Continuous beam lasers are just too weak to be effective for blowing things up.

I guess it might make sense to make Flashlight a continuous beam (its name kind of implies that, and it is the weakest laser), but then there's the whole problem of "How do we calculate damage rate?" Just treat it as having a ROF of 600, like Command Turret? The problem with that is that ROF upgrades aren't designed for that, and Warzone armor isn't balanced for that.

Kacen wrote:With that we split into two types of lasers. The pulse lasers, which are already established, and the "normal" lasers, the first of which, whatever we change the Flashlight to (something continuous fire), will lead to all other laser types, "normal" and pulse. Damage output for the Flashlight may be changed to balance. With that, we open the possibilities of new "standard" laser turrets, such as a "Heavy Laser", being perhaps a heavier continuous fire laser, and perhaps with a recharge/cooldown time. Extending on that some sort of anti-aircraft laser that fires continuous beams into the air...there's a lot of possibilities here.

No, no, too much. At most, we make Flashlight a continuous beam, but all other lasers stay pulse lasers, and we don't add any new lasers.

Kacen wrote:Weapons being outclassed in the next tech level are fine, like the Ripple Rockets(T2) to Archangels(T3), or Heavy Machine Guns(T1) to Assault Guns(T2), but when they're outclassed within the same tech level in a relatively short period of time it's somewhat of a waste.

Sadly, there's a lot of this (Machinegun -> TMG -> HMG, LC -> MC -> HC, etc) in Warzone.

Kacen wrote:We already changed the Angel missile to be a late game equivalent to a mini-rocket artillery, which was a great idea, because before that and in the original game it was just a shorter ranged and less powerful version of the Archangel, quickly outclassed by it the moment it's researched.

Actually, in the original game, Angel still had the lightweightness and the ability to fire while moving that the MRA had. I had the feeling it was originally intended to be an MRA replacement.

zeland wrote:I made a similar comment in a post of mine, Projectiles, Launchers & Whatnot, using HESH & HEAT warheads as an example. Sadly, I got the standard DEV reply which I've seen in most other forums:

Not the same thing at all. HEAT/HESH is a minor distinction that doesn't matter since it's used only for upgrades. Different weapons themselves can definitely be changed, and as I mentioned, we're already planning on making lasers into actual lasers, rather than projectile weapons that are simply named lasers for some reason.
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Re: Lasers

Postby Kacen » 06 Sep 2009, 11:58

Zarel wrote:Current laser graphics are known to be inaccurate. For the next revision of the projectile system, I'm planning on making them straight lines that turn on and off, rather than projectiles, which make no sense.

Hmm...that would be good too.

Zarel wrote:All Warzone lasers are pulse lasers - the only continuous beams are Command Turret targeting lasers and Nexus links, since their primary purpose isn't to do direct damage. Continuous beam lasers are just too weak to be effective for blowing things up.

I'm aware all lasers are technically Pulse Lasers, which is why I turned this into a major idea.

Zarel wrote:No, no, too much. At most, we make Flashlight a continuous beam, but all other lasers stay pulse lasers, and we don't add any new lasers.

Eh, it was worth a shot.

Zarel wrote:Sadly, there's a lot of this (Machinegun -> TMG -> HMG, LC -> MC -> HC, etc) in Warzone.

Mmm...true.

Zarel wrote:Actually, in the original game, Angel still had the lightweightness and the ability to fire while moving that the MRA had. I had the feeling it was originally intended to be an MRA replacement.

Guess my memory is a little hazy...last time I played the actual game was 2004.
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Re: Lasers

Postby Tenoh » 06 Sep 2009, 15:31

As for damage rate maybe it needs to be something like flame weapons? or there is also damage per second.
Also would be more sense to use then as AA lasers.
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Re: Lasers

Postby Avestron » 07 Sep 2009, 00:57

Proposed revisions based upon recent thoughts on this matter:

Command Turret ; DMG 4 ; ROF 600 ; ACC 90-80 ; Range 8-16 ;

Flashlight Laser ; DMG 8 ; ROF 600 ; ACC 90-80 ; Range 7-14 ;

Pulse Laser ; DMG 48 ; ROF 120 ; ACC 90-80 ; Range 6-12 ;

Laser Cannon ; DMG 200s ; ROF 30 ; ACC 85-75 ; Range 5-10 ;

Plasma Cannon ; DMG 600s ; ROF 6 ; ACC 95-75 ; Range 4-8 ; + short term Incendiary

- - - - - - -

Nexus Turret ; DMG 4 (electrical) ; ROF 600 ; ACC 85-75 ; Range 7-14 ;

EMP Cannon ; DMG 24 (electrical) ; ROF 10 ; ACC 85-75 ; Range 6-12 ;

- - -

I personally like the idea of flashlights being a continuous line - or better still a combined contunuous line and command turret.

I've also always thought of lasers as being long range weapons, hence the adjustments.

- - -

It would also be nice to see vehicles disabled upon the battlefield - EMP could cause a small degree of damage.

Just a bit of random thinking.
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Re: Lasers

Postby Zarel » 07 Sep 2009, 06:08

Honestly, laser long-range and short-range accuracy should be the same - they're lasers. Even if it's easier to aim short-range, it still makes some intuitive sense that if any weapon is like that, it should be the lasers.

Also, how many times to I have to say, having a ROF 600 weapon is not going to work. I can make Flashlight match the ROF of AG, but no more. Command Turret gets away with ROF 600 because it's not designed to do much damage and it doesn't have any ROF upgrades. Nexus Link gets away with ROF 600 because no one has armor against it and it doesn't have any ROF upgrades. Flashlight would break down horribly with ROF 600.
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Re: Lasers

Postby Tenoh » 07 Sep 2009, 19:33

Then pls come up with something else! We know you can do it ^_^!
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