First, let's explain what a weapon actually is. In the new Fleet Operations, a weapon consists of two basic characteristics: its damage category and its type. The damage category obviously defines the mechanics of the damage inflicted by the weapon, while the type describes the launch mechanisms and affects stats like the hit chance. This distinction allows us to make all of the hidden mechanics from earlier patches visible to the user in a clear and simple way. For most common weapons, the damage category and the type are equivalent: A phaser is a beam weapon and deals beam damage.
The profiles mentioned in earlier newsposts affect the effectiveness of a weapon technology. So let's have a brief fly by of the most common profiles and how they interact with weapons. A precise listing of a profile's modifications can be accessed in-game by hovering over the image of a vessel.
These heavy command vessels are equipped with powerful shield generators to absorb large amounts of damage and are especially well protected against the energy spikes caused by burst weaponry like pulse weapons. Such a powerful shield bubble is of course easy to track and does not help much when ECM systems are deployed. Defensive vessels therefore take 25% less pulse damage, but are hit 25% more easily by torpedo weapons.
Warships equipped with powerful weapons usually also come with advanced ECM systems. The shields themselves, however, are of average strength and do not feature additional protection against high energy profiles. This is expressed by receiving 25% more pulse damage, reducing the hit chance of torpedo weapons by 25% percent.
While these vessels are jack-of-all trades and are equipped with very dynamic and easily adjustable systems, they don't have specialized offensive or defensive equipment and therefore don't get any damage or hit chance modifications.
Many vessels of this category are based on science ships or explorers, which are usually not equipped with strong shield generators. In times of conflict, these vessels are reconfigured and some of their apparatuses are replaced with ECM scramblers, giving them impressive evasive capabilities. Yet their light shields are still easily breached by burst weaponry, rendering them 40% more vulnerable to pulse damage, but also giving them a 40% increased avoidance chance from torpedoes.
Constructors, freighters and scouts share a similar fate to support vessels. They gain the same damage and hit chance modifications.
Starbases, on the other hand, can't hope to profit much from ECM systems. They are stationary after all. Yet, they usually have massive shield domes, granting them a 40% reduction of incoming pulse damage, but making them a sure hit for torpedoes.
On a side note, as you can or can't see on these screen shots, we are also adding small lore texts to all units, weapons, and technologies in order to give a better Star Trek feeling and to add more hints about the Fleet Operations storyline and universe. However, some of them are not yet written up in the current dev build
Since we now have discrete categories of damage and type, we can mix and match them to create unique weapons.
For instance, Quantum Pulses. These uncommon weapons have both a torpedo and pulse damage component while obviously belonging to the pulse weapon type. This means that a Defensive Vessel - like a K’beajQ - gets hit 100% of the time, reduces the Pulse Damage component, but does not affect the torpedo damage component. A Quantum Pulse is therefore more effective than a Pulse Phaser against Defensive Vessels. These mechanics offer great flexibility in weapon design and you can expect to see all kinds of interesting weapons, while still maintaining a clear and easy presentation of their characteristics in the GUI.
That does not mean of course that we’ve abandoned weapons that act on pure stats. Quantum Torpedoes do just that: they have an additional damage component based on the Defensive Value of the vessel. In previous patches this type of accounting was hidden, but from now on these characteristics will be described on the tooltips.
There are also other types of weapons which have unique damage characteristics, like Borg Adapted Torpedoes and Romulan Kinetic Projectiles – which we will cover in later newsposts. On that explosive note…
‘Till next time!