Weapons are probably something that should wait until ship and player damage gets sorted out, but I still think it would be nice to start creating concepts now.SHIP:
In my "Shields" thread (link:http://forum.trillek.org/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=723
) I suggested that shields could not fully protect a ship from radiation, electromagnetic radiation to be specific, and that while projectiles were completely destroyed by a shield, they weakened the shield. Basing ship-based weapons off my concept for shielding, this leads to two obvious types of onboard weapons: lasers and cannons, each with their own pros and cons.Lasers:
can either be powered by the ship (e.g. flash lamp/diode/free electron lasers) or by "ammo" (chemical lasers). Powered-by-ship lasers don't have to be reloaded, but do use up vital power, whereas lasers that use some type of "ammo" are independent of the generator yet have to be reloaded. At this simplicity the two options for lasers are balanced, so the choice of laser can be made depending on each player's ship layout and requirements, or the player can choose not to use lasers at all. Different wavelengths of laser radiation can have different uses, for example light (the portion of radiation that gets past the shields) can be used to melt the hull and gamma rays can penetrate the hull to go straight for the crew.Cannons:
look at the variety of guns that exist today. They can have a high or low fire-rate and caliber, and shoot a range of different projectiles (exploding, armor-piercing, pellets, etc.). They can be chemically fueled (gunpowder, which works in space btw) or powered by the ship (railguns and coilguns), just like the lasers I mentioned above. One disadvantage is that the projectiles have to be stored in the ship, taking up volume and increasing the mass of the ship. Since the shield concept I suggested uses heat to protect against projectiles, shield-proof bullets can exist as well, including high velocity, high mass and/or high specific heat capacity bullets.PLAYER:
Like in ships, both lasers and bullets should be effective against enemies. However, a lot of the game is centered around the ship, so inter-ship combat should be addressed. If the player's ship was boarded by pirates, both the pirates' and (I hope) the player's priority would be to keep the ship intact. So no laser beams or lead cylinders flying about the place. For projectile weapons, rubber bullets and taser bullets
would probably do the job of at least stalling the enemy. For a more futuristic feel there are a number of directed energy weapons used to deter people without permanent harm, including microwave beams and electrolasers.
While on the topic of weapons, if any of the sound guys end up reading this, I would like to state that I'm not a fan of the "pew pew" laser sounds and (I hope I don't sound like too much of a demanding asshole) I would prefer a more realistic capacitor discharge sound.
Please voice your ideas and opinions, I don't care if you shoot me down (o.k. the pun was
intended) and, as always, thanks for reading.