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Re: [FT]Building better(?) weapons

From: Oerjan Ariander <oerjan.ariander@t...>
Date: Wed, 06 Jul 2005 11:06:47 +0200
Subject: Re: [FT]Building better(?) weapons

Fleshing out LL's reply a little:

>One Tony or another said, in Wicked Evil HTML Format:
> >Anybody suggest a way you can alter a weapon to increase the damage,
> >i.e beams that give 2 damage per hit or pulse torps that cause d6x2
> >damage. My first idea would be 4 times mass, but that just seems too
> >extreme.
>Double damage = double mass.

Basically yes... though see the comment about rounding errors, below.

>The reason 1.5 x range  = 2 x mass is because the increased range
>applies over an area.
>Let's say you're designing a new all-arc weapon which does damage out
>to 10mu.  That means it covers an area of 314mu (pi R^2).  You upgrade
>it to cover a 15 mu radius; now it covers 707 square mu, more than
>twice as much.

...which means that the weapon now has a greater probability of having a

target to shoot at. The reason why the weapon size isn't exactly 
proportional to the area is that it can only *actually* shoot at one
target per turn, even if there are multiple targets within its envelope.

Note that this mass-to-range formula DOES NOT WORK for the standard beam

weapons, because the current beam weapon masses themselves are already 
rounded to the nearest integer value - specifically, in the case of the
the mass fraction that was dropped was quite big. This means that if you

increase the range of a B2 by 50%, and increase its Mass by 100%, you're

introducing a rounding error of ~1 Mass relative to what the weapon 
*should* cost - and the result is a weapon which is significantly better

(measured in bang-per-buck) than the standard B3.

Back to Tony's post:

>I've heard a proposed idea for a FT 3 that would allow players to
>and build alternate weapons based on the published weapon systems.

Proposed and rejected. The B2 example above makes it obvious why: for 
several of the published weapon systems the published mass ratings and 
costs include rounding errors, and any simple multiplications of those 
already-rounded costs will rapidly cause those rounding errors to grow
the point where they become balance problems.

This isn't very serious when only the damage is modified (since in this 
case the main rival to the modified weapon is the original weapon -
range profiles are exactly the same), but it becomes very important
when the *range* (and thus the range profile) changes since in this case

the modified weapon doesn't compete with its unmodified version but with

weapons of other classes (eg., a B2 with 50% longer range competes with 
unmodified B3s, not with unmodified B2s).

Because of this, the simple "multiply existing weapon by X" approach
works for *some* of the published weapons, but not for *all* of them. A 
custom weapon design system needs to dig at least one step deeper, and 
start with unrounded - or at least less-rounded - initial values.

>For example to increase range by 50% you double the mass. As in the 
>long-range pulse torp from the New Israel beta test page.
>A corellation would be, that to decrease the range by 25% you therefore

>half the mass.

No, decreasing the range by *33*% allows you to halve the mass. (100% is

two-thirds of 150%, not three-quarters.)



"Life is like a sewer.
  What you get out of it, depends on what you put into it."

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