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The Eye of the Beholder (Revamp)
2017-07-28, 07:22 AM
Post: #11
RE: The Eye of the Beholder (Formerly The Gimbal) (Finished)
Hmm. Just an applicable report from my experiments:

You can have an inner turret with detectors, and they see out of the ship.
Also if you make a two-way turret with a simple laser and weapon controller (min distance 500m), and pepper your ship's outside with them, they will eradicate anything withing half a kilometer.

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2017-07-29, 05:15 AM (This post was last modified: 2017-07-29 05:17 AM by spartinpants42.)
Post: #12
RE: The Eye of the Beholder (Formerly The Gimbal) (Finished)
(2017-07-28 07:22 AM)Normal69 Wrote:  Hmm. Just an applicable report from my experiments:

You can have an inner turret with detectors, and they see out of the ship.
Also if you make a two-way turret with a simple laser and weapon controller (min distance 500m), and pepper your ship's outside with them, they will eradicate anything withing half a kilometer.

I can't do that on this one anymore, as electricity = engine power thanks to the RTGs and electric engines. I noticed after half the power drained it's shields were flickering, so adding additional energy weaponry may not help. However, it gave me an idea for a second ship based on the same aesthetic design. I think I'll call it "Blinded..." something.

I will try out the detector turret, I know exactly where to put it!

(4 hours later, not edit. Had this reply open the whole time.) Updated again. I went through with taking off all of the thrusters, and now all lift is through dediblades and simple wings. Re-replaced the RTGs with the Hercules prefab. Placed a number of RTGs in the eyeball. Added a feature where shields turn off when more than 1250m away from an enemy. Turns back on within 1000m. Added detector turret. Many Twin Guard Cyclopes died testing this.

I think I am going to HALT DEVELOPMENT here, unless there are more stability issues. May work on a big-brother vehicle, but I'm not sure what parts need desperate change, other than the awkward center of mass that threw this design for a loop. I also feel the PAC is lacking some punch, next version will be a close-range shotgun to test the other extreme.

Final thoughts: See some of above. First aircraft, let alone thrustercraft. Definitely need more experience with them. Odd CoM, low-effect first attempt at PACs. Incredibly happy with aesthetics, even if the more functional components got in the way. There is never enough power to go around on the ship, and seems to like running away from battles, despite the brawler air AI set to never go past 500m. I think this craft would be better as a brawler, as most of the weapon systems are short range or inaccurate. This is at odds with the movement behavior and PAC setup, as PAC is set for long-range AP sniping. It feels way too expensive at 104k material. Could have made better use of metal alloy blocks. As stated earlier in this thread this craft can destroy a number of small-to-medium sized expert designs, but I think this does not out-weigh the cost.
Overall, I am decently happy with this design. Ready to start the next one, but I'll wait til it's near the end of development to post it next time.


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2017-07-29, 05:52 AM
Post: #13
RE: The Eye of the Beholder (Formerly The Gimbal) (Finished)
Simple lasers don't use energy if I'm not mistaken, it's 40 ammo per shot or something (instead of 10 pre unity 5.6) with the release of the 5.6 Unity update and balance.
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2017-07-30, 10:01 PM (This post was last modified: 2017-07-30 10:05 PM by Lincrono.)
Post: #14
RE: The Eye of the Beholder (Formerly The Gimbal) (Finished)
I would not Halt Development, there's still a lot you can learn about airship building and a TON to improve.

I'll start with systems:
-Engines, avoid the prefabs. They're 'OK' but just barely passable. I would spend the time learning to build a decent, piped turbo engine, or download one of the community ones. the Redline/Blue line derivatives and the extendable 5x5xX engines are basically as good as you can get. Otherwise i'd go with steam (especially for an energy weapon build.

-Weapons. The small cannons underneath are not worth carrying. The top cannon can't hit most targets below it. For the bottom guns small caliber, rapid fire cannons would be best, and i'd add 2-4 to the top (or take from bottom move to top). There are surface mount 36mm small guns that look nice and would deal with small threats very well (and you can build similar size guns with larger shells that work just as well), while killing larger enemies with combined firepower. For the top gun i would flip it, and go with either a much larger gauge cruiser-type cannon, or shrink the gauge and go with a machine gun.

For the PAC. it's weak because most of the space in that ball is empty. or filled with RTGs. remove all the RTGs. Then you have 3 options.
-Increase the size of the PAC to get more power, there is plenty of room for more pipe.
-move all the batteries into the ball, then with the hull space freed up from the batteries add more engine power, for the tricky spaces 1x1xX steam engines are possible.
-Shrink the ball so that it doesn't cost so much/weight so much
-do a little bit of all of this.

Propulsion.
-i would replace all the small jets with a few large jets. This will give you more thrust AND cost less energy.
-I would remove ALL the tailplane type pieces, simple wings, and jet stabilizers, they're weak, hard to control, and look terrible.
-you don't have enough pitch stabilizers. I would add several more large jets to the front/back to stabilize in pitch.
-you have roll stabilizers at the front and back. This is bad because they affect both roll and pitch when the fire, move them towards the center. You also don't need quite so many
-never, never, never use the propulsion balance card, it doesn't work the way you think it does, use PIDs
-Add pitch and roll PIDs to the AI This should solve most of your fight problems after you do the above things.
-Remove the Air AI Card and replace it with a Naval one. Airships act more like naval ships than fighters and having them try to dive and climb like a fighter tends to make them crash.


General Tips
-you have WAY too much ammo. Embrace processors. If this was mine i would be carrying maybe 1500 ammo. Also, split up ammo stores i usually store ammo in groups of 5 or so boxes, maybe 10 on larger ships. Then i can surround them in thick steel or a single layer of heavy armor to contain all explosions.
-you have too much armor on the ammo. either use single layer HA, or 2 layers of Steel beams the space you are using for ammo+armor could fit another 5-10k power.
-remove the random HA blocks, they add lots of weight and cost without much benefit, stick to using HA for vital sections until you get to larger ships.
-don't have any open space around repair bots. They work faster without it and if they can actually path-find it ups lag.
-if you can avoid it, don't split up systems (unless you want deliberate redundancy) This is less space efficient. For example, you have something like 20 electric generators but each is only connected to 1-2 batteries. It's better to have like 4 connected to more batteries.
-Long shells are only good with very large cannons or Rail-guns. short shells fired rapidly are better with the kinds of guns you are using.
-RTGs suck for general power. Unless you are running a cruise engine or trying to make hyper efficient craft you can convert all the RTGs in this to fuel or steam engines and easily double or triple the power available.

Overall, I do like where this is going, but you are trying to build a highly complex/ambitious design. you can learn a lot from tuning a craft like this and could easily spend 100-200 hours just improving this ship and see your FTDs skills literally skyrocket. That experience with cannons, AI, propulsion, armor, system placement, etc can then go to making some truly awesome designs.

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2017-07-31, 08:07 PM
Post: #15
RE: The Eye of the Beholder (Formerly The Gimbal) (Finished)
(2017-07-30 10:01 PM)Lincrono Wrote:  I would not Halt Development, there's still a lot you can learn about airship building and a TON to improve.
...
Overall, I do like where this is going, but you are trying to build a highly complex/ambitious design. you can learn a lot from tuning a craft like this and could easily spend 100-200 hours just improving this ship and see your FTDs skills literally skyrocket. That experience with cannons, AI, propulsion, armor, system placement, etc can then go to making some truly awesome designs.

Dang, I thought this thread would just go the way of the dodo without much fanfare. But this is exactly the feedback I was looking for! Thanks! I'll see what I can do about revamping this design. Sounds like I'll have to rip everything out, but that way I can also re-design the turbines, which I think need some redundancy with how easy they are to kill.
And yes, my general play style is to stretch my resources as far as they can go, so this frugal philosophy leaked into my designs. It's also why I've deliberately avoided testing steam engines, as the concept of turning material directly into power sounds expensive, especially considering I haven't been able to get past the OW in my campain yet. This is by far my most resource-intensive design, but I think that making it more effective with these tips will help it go further than relentless resource management.

As for the propulsion balancing, I figured to heck with it and make a smaller, singular turbine design that always has the CoM in the dediblade spinners. Don't need stabilizers on a perfectly balanced craft! It seems be going well, but I will make a separate thread for that once I'm done modifying this...
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2017-08-01, 07:47 AM
Post: #16
RE: The Eye of the Beholder (Formerly The Gimbal) (Finished)
(2017-07-31 08:07 PM)spartinpants42 Wrote:  
(2017-07-30 10:01 PM)Lincrono Wrote:  I would not Halt Development, there's still a lot you can learn about airship building and a TON to improve.
...
Overall, I do like where this is going, but you are trying to build a highly complex/ambitious design. you can learn a lot from tuning a craft like this and could easily spend 100-200 hours just improving this ship and see your FTDs skills literally skyrocket. That experience with cannons, AI, propulsion, armor, system placement, etc can then go to making some truly awesome designs.

Dang, I thought this thread would just go the way of the dodo without much fanfare. But this is exactly the feedback I was looking for! Thanks! I'll see what I can do about revamping this design. Sounds like I'll have to rip everything out, but that way I can also re-design the turbines, which I think need some redundancy with how easy they are to kill.
And yes, my general play style is to stretch my resources as far as they can go, so this frugal philosophy leaked into my designs. It's also why I've deliberately avoided testing steam engines, as the concept of turning material directly into power sounds expensive, especially considering I haven't been able to get past the OW in my campain yet. This is by far my most resource-intensive design, but I think that making it more effective with these tips will help it go further than relentless resource management.

As for the propulsion balancing, I figured to heck with it and make a smaller, singular turbine design that always has the CoM in the dediblade spinners. Don't need stabilizers on a perfectly balanced craft! It seems be going well, but I will make a separate thread for that once I'm done modifying this...


Sounds good to me! I do really like this ship, it's got a nice shape, and a nice theme, and i have a feeling it will become quite fierce. Some additional information:

-the 'propulsion balance' card works by turning off/on engines to get a balanced force around the center of mass. It doesn't actually balance the ship. Similarly the jet stabilizers are indeed awesome however, they can actually be a bit testy and while good for encouraging stability they are generally not suited to stabilizing large pitching/rolling/yawing moments or weapon recoil.
-PIDs with active stabilization are the king of this, especially since perfect balance is generally not possible in designs like this one (since it's not perfectly symmetrical. This is especially true when you being firing weapons since the recoil can destabilize the ship.

I have to agree with you on steam engines. The cost is quite high and generally only needed when you're trying to generate immense amounts of power or build an ultra-high performance small craft. For a ship like this fuel engines should be fine and they allow you to capture enemy ships and use them for refueling.

-Do not bring forth an argument as fact that can be disproven with a 10 minute Google search.
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2017-08-03, 02:34 AM (This post was last modified: 2017-08-03 02:36 AM by spartinpants42.)
Post: #17
RE: The Eye of the Beholder (Revamp)
(2017-07-30 10:01 PM)Lincrono Wrote:  -move all the batteries into the ball, then with the hull space freed up from the batteries add more engine power, for the tricky spaces 1x1xX steam engines are possible.

Uhh... Ran into a problem. Batteries can't be placed on turrets/spinners. Although turrets can have steam engines on them. Weird, but okay. (I imagine that's a bug, don't tell Nick... Yet.) The plan now is to stick a steam engine of about half the strength of the fuel engine that's on the main hull, then replace some of the fuel engine with batteries.

I think what I'm going to do with the secondary cannon is actually stick it out the back. It won't be able to fire at stuff immediately in front of the craft, but it should rarely happen to thanks to the navel AI. On top of this, I'm going to hide the thrusters under the cannon (inward). This means the turret cap should be able to tank any missiles that otherwise would hit the propulsion. Would HA be appropriate in this situation?

Also, upgraded main turbines. I think I got a bit crazy with the sub-spinners attached to it, but adding another layer of turbines and armor helps regardless. Only pic, no BP, it's nowhere near done yet.


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2017-08-04, 03:51 AM
Post: #18
RE: The Eye of the Beholder (Revamp)
(2017-08-03 02:34 AM)spartinpants42 Wrote:  
(2017-07-30 10:01 PM)Lincrono Wrote:  -move all the batteries into the ball, then with the hull space freed up from the batteries add more engine power, for the tricky spaces 1x1xX steam engines are possible.

Uhh... Ran into a problem. Batteries can't be placed on turrets/spinners. Although turrets can have steam engines on them. Weird, but okay. (I imagine that's a bug, don't tell Nick... Yet.) The plan now is to stick a steam engine of about half the strength of the fuel engine that's on the main hull, then replace some of the fuel engine with batteries.

I think what I'm going to do with the secondary cannon is actually stick it out the back. It won't be able to fire at stuff immediately in front of the craft, but it should rarely happen to thanks to the navel AI. On top of this, I'm going to hide the thrusters under the cannon (inward). This means the turret cap should be able to tank any missiles that otherwise would hit the propulsion. Would HA be appropriate in this situation?

Also, upgraded main turbines. I think I got a bit crazy with the sub-spinners attached to it, but adding another layer of turbines and armor helps regardless. Only pic, no BP, it's nowhere near done yet.

forgot about that battery/turret rule . . . . My forays into low-power/small ship energy weapons generally didn't go as i'd wish but perhaps steam will solve that (wasn't in when i was testing) A laser shotgun may also be a viable solution. Eitherway, since steam engines are rather compact vs batteries it may also be good to shrink the overall size of the ball, to cut cost and reduce the chance of it being hit. HA would indeed be good for the kind of specific location tanking you describe.

I'll add another thing: it may be good to consider increasing the hull size. The capabilities you are attempting to build in are generally associated with larger ships and this will give you the room for power and weapons space. What you want to avoid is trying to have a ship that's super tanky, with tons of firepower, that's also fast, etc. Trying to do everything tends to lead to a stressful design process that ends up not satisfying. This ship is, physically about as large as 2 of my frigates but it's got something like 4 times the block count.
Alternately, Simple changes like stripping the armor down to 2m all around, or swapping the energy eye for a sabot-spewing eye (or anything really Smile might open up more options and you can always start building variants later. I'm still using versions of my first frigate hull almost 1 year and ~700 hours of play later and i'm refitting them for 2.0 changes currently.

Also, i'm digging the new rotors, they look really cool.
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2017-08-31, 02:25 AM (This post was last modified: 2017-08-31 02:32 AM by spartinpants42.)
Post: #19
RE: The Eye of the Beholder (Revamp)
Does it count as necro if I update it proper? New stuff on first post!

(2017-08-04 03:51 AM)Lincrono Wrote:  -snip-
I'll add another thing: it may be good to consider increasing the hull size. The capabilities you are attempting to build in are generally associated with larger ships and this will give you the room for power and weapons space. What you want to avoid is trying to have a ship that's super tanky, with tons of firepower, that's also fast, etc. Trying to do everything tends to lead to a stressful design process that ends up not satisfying. This ship is, physically about as large as 2 of my frigates but it's got something like 4 times the block count.
-snip-

I should have paid heed to this a lot sooner. I did want armor and weapons, but the speed was an accident. But yea, definitely a "stressful design process".
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2017-09-02, 02:27 AM
Post: #20
RE: The Eye of the Beholder (Revamp)
So i've cracked open the new one and taken a look inside, overall some pretty major improvements, but I still have some tips.

Shields: you're shields are kind all over the place, you have str 3, str 10, etc, I would shoot for 1-2 layers of str 3-4. The str 10 especially are sucking a lot of power but aren't protecting very much of the ship, and aren't protecting the parts they do cover very well.
-place the shield projectors 2-3m behind the surface you are trying to protect, since your ship has lots of odd angles, it may be better to use multiple generators throwing small shields at close distances than large shields placed far away to cover the odd angles.
-consider changing the orientation of some of the generators, sometimes it's better to have a generator that is protecting the side actually pointed 'up' or 'down' but then angled 45 degrees than it is to have it pointed directly out of the side
-always place them inside, generators are expensive so you want them behind armor
-consider placing some on the rotors instead of on the hull


Cannons: Your rear cannon is only shooting 1.25m shells but it's using 4m loaders and clips, This is massively limiting the cannon. I would consider swapping for 2m loaders/clips and then lengthening your shells This will let you have more powerful shells AND a higher rate of fire. Alternately, adjust the guage/shell length to 1m or less and swap for autoloaders for a rapid-fire doom-gun. you may have to add more coolers and/or recoil dampers to sustain an increased rate of fire, but you will have the space when you go from 4m clips/loaders to smaller ones.
-you have also mixed sabot and EMP shells. This is generally a bad idea because the AI has trouble aiming when the cannon is switching between shells that travel significantly different speeds. Since you are not using distributor heads or proximity fused EMP there isn't a reason to mix the shells anyway (regular unfused EMP shells will not penetrate shields)
-if you do want to mix shells, you are generally going to have to use shells of different lengths (unless the base speed modifiers are the same).
-slower firing cannons don't have many issues with vastly different shells since there is time to aim between shots.

The bottom cannons are much better than before but they still have some issues:
-they get stuck (most 2 axis turrets get stuck unless on a pole or using turn restrictions)
-they are more or less unarmored
-small clips.
-limited fire arc
To fix these issues I would suggest using 3x3xX tall cannons firing either the current size shells or 36mm shells.
-you have room for 2 of these cannons where the middle guns are, there is room for a third gun around where the two bottom facing thrusters are at the front of the ship and there is room for a 4th gun right under where the ammo is. installing these guns would require you to move around a few blocks and fix the beams around the holes but you will get the following
-guns that have better DPS (enough of an improvement that 4 of them will probably be worth 6-8 of the current ones)
-guns that are better protected
-guns that have a wider fire arc (if you sue 2m elevation mantlets) and don't get stuck
-i would also remove the flak head and give them frag heads, FlaK is very weak at 26mm

You have a random hollow point shell and an HE shell that no cannons are using


Propulsion:
-love the new rotors, however a minor improvement to them would be to bury the spin blocks they use inside the hull to make it harder for an explosion to pop the whole spinblock. I would also make it so that the spinblocks for the rear rotors are in the middle of the ship, currently if the rear cannon is destroyed the explosion also destroys the two rear rotors (due to a long-standing flaw/bug in FTDs explosion algorithm it considers the main body and sub-constructs separately, This can cause an explosion to 'phase through' the hull and kill a turret to spinblock, this is currently killing your rear rotors but it is fixed if the actual spin-block is too far away for the explosion to reach.)

Pitch/roll, This ship still has some pretty major pitch/roll issues. The pitch issues you have mostly fixed, but it rolls heavily if it tries to turn.
-You have added PIDs however they are the wrong kind (need the type form the AI tab, not the control tab) and they are connected to the wrong AI (need them on the AI with the movement card), you also need to tune them.
-even if you add PIDs you don't actually have enough roll authority (strength of thrust) to control the ship's roll issues, you need to add more roll thrusters and you need roll thrusters that point up and point down. If you only have them pointing down or only pointing up the ship will tend constantly pendulum from one side to the other as it overshoots the target roll angle.
-Another thing you can do to help with the roll is to install ACB's on the main rotors that tell them to reverse if the ship rolls. since you have multiple rotors now it should be easy while still having enough lift. I can build an example if you need help
-Just like with roll you need pitch thrusters on both the top and bottom.

Ammo: Good job reducing the ammo, however in the back you don't have an enclosed system, you have steel on the sides and top but the bottom is only covered by ammo processors, this will let the explosion out through the bottom. You may also be able to get away with few ammo processors, i'd just keep taking them away until the ship can't keep up with it's maximum reload (missiles + rear gun + bottom guns).

Major change suggestions:
-remove the rear cannon, replace with more engine power, missiles, more small cannons, or a combination of the above. The I think this would be a good change for the following reasons
-when the rear cannon explodes it will destroy spin blocks near it, currently this includes the rear rotors, the two rear bottom turrets, and the top missile turret
-even though it's better than the first one, and an upgraded rapid-fire version (or one with full 4m shells) would be even better it's still limited by it's position at the back,
-more engines, missiles, or more small turrets would grant the vehicle more tangible benefits. Enhanced engines could allow vastly expanded shields, LAMs, or let you expand the PAC eye (which is great by the way). A missile bank could probably fit 20+ missiles giving this ship fierce ranged ability for it's size and allowing it to attack targets in any direction. More turrets could let you have top AA turrets, or let you fit 2-4 more of the small bottom turrets.

Overall, i still love where this thing is going, it's nice to see such massive improvements.

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