Author Topic: Considerations for the THUNDERSTORM craft configuration options.  (Read 8695 times)

Offline krautbernd

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Re: Considerations for the THUNDERSTORM craft configuration options.
« Reply #45 on: August 23, 2022, 10:35:49 pm »
But, as I said, I kinda like the implications of this, including having to design and deploy new platforms for actually using your shiny Wunderwaffen.
Then why can't the interceptor - a craft specifically designed to engange UFOs and employing alien technology - use laser cannons? Why can't any of the other non-elerium fueled crafts apart from the one X-Com finds - by chance - in a lake, which already comes with said weapons? What exactely is the point of having the laser cannon at this position in the reasearch tree when it is pointless unless much later in the game?

Why not at least tie in laser cannon research with the starfighter (and/or the later beam-capable craft for redundancy) and have the player manufacture the cannon(s) to make use of the craft?

Offline Juku121

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Re: Considerations for the THUNDERSTORM craft configuration options.
« Reply #46 on: August 23, 2022, 10:57:18 pm »
You make some valid points. A lack of early craft to use laser weapons with is an issue.

...interceptor - a craft specifically designed to engange UFOs and employing alien technology...
I suppose it's another case of Solarius having a rather specific interpretation of 'alien engineering' used by various conspiracies. I imagine it's not alien tech per se, it's more like 2096 tech base transported back into 1996.

Anyway, my headcanon has always been that the Interceptor is some variant of the F-22, and I'm just ignoring the implications. :D

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Considerations for the THUNDERSTORM craft configuration options.
« Reply #47 on: August 24, 2022, 02:02:12 am »
What reasons then? I didn't list any, you didn't list any and lore doesn't give any explanation either.

I did... Blah, blah, blah, canon did that, blah, blah, blah, I don't care it just works because X-Com engineers are brilliant and the scientists somewhat unhinged.

Why can X-Com fit laser and plasma weaponry into an existing tank chassis but not inside an airframe, let alone one that has been specifically designed to incorporate alien technology?

I don't know. Vanilla said so. Must be some in-universe reason. I am not dying to uncover it.

And it's just kind of strange that you get the laser beam so early on, but the only craft that can actually mount it is an alien craft that crashed into lake Michigan and which X-Com found by chance and which just so happens to come with laser cannons that are compatible if not identical to the ones X-Com uses.

Something something power systems something something energy source something something quantum.

I suppose it's another case of Solarius having a rather specific interpretation of 'alien engineering' used by various conspiracies. I imagine it's not alien tech per se, it's more like 2096 tech base transported back into 1996.

I didn't think that far, but yes, I'm sure some organisations have laser jets. :)

Anyway, my headcanon has always been that the Interceptor is some variant of the F-22, and I'm just ignoring the implications. :D

Well, it certainly came from somewhere!

Offline Juku121

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Re: Considerations for the THUNDERSTORM craft configuration options.
« Reply #48 on: August 24, 2022, 06:39:39 am »
Something something power systems something something energy source something something quantum.
That's a lot of snark there. :P You might have just said "Yeah, I could have made a separate laser weapon that's only compatible with the Starfighter and otherwise works pretty much the same as the regular version. Would the mod be better for it, excluding shutting down one or two nitpickers?".

Then again, we do have half a dozen variants of 9mm pistol in the game. :P

Spoiler""Vanilla" OT":
Vanilla said so.
Vanilla was never very serious about it's lore. Gollop has always made games for people to play, not experience. Phoenix Point is a classic example of him dropping the ball on atmosphere (despite all the work that went into it) while providing okayish to pretty damn good gameplay.

Offline zee_ra

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Re: Considerations for the THUNDERSTORM craft configuration options.
« Reply #49 on: August 24, 2022, 07:22:44 am »
Something something power systems something something energy source something something quantum.

I think, the idea with plasma cannon using elerium as ammunition is a sound one, and represents the basic notion of the power source being built-in into the beam cannons.  In fact, the munitions in the kinetic cannons also serve as a power source for those weapons.

In that vein, it makes sense to make such systems interchangeable in a craft.  After all, the cost of beam amounts to the cost of its munitions.

By the way, a similar system could be applied to shield systems.

This way, there's no argument about the dependence on a craft's power source.  Only considerations whether the mounts and liftoff capacity are sufficient to support weapons of given size remains.

Offline krautbernd

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Re: Considerations for the THUNDERSTORM craft configuration options.
« Reply #50 on: August 24, 2022, 01:58:51 pm »
I don't know. Vanilla said so. Must be some in-universe reason. I am not dying to uncover it.
There is no tracked plasma HWP in vanilla and vanilla lets you fit beam weapons onto interceptors. "Vanilla said so" isn't an argument here Solarius.

You've asked me to give you details regarding a low-powered variant of the laser. I am asking you for the in-game reasons - if there are any - that X-Com can't mount those weapons onto crafts specifically desinged to counter UFOs. If you want me to give you details I am going to need details.

And, again, why is the only craft that can actually utilize the laser cannon at that point in the game a crashed spacefighter that X-Com pulled form the bottom of a lake? What is the motivation behind designing and building a craft weapon when you have no actual craft that can utilize it and the one craft you come accross by chance already happens to come with said laser cannons?

This is just a bit disjointed if you ask me. Why not link the discovery of said craft (or as a fallback other advanced craft that can acutally use this) and the research of said cannons?
« Last Edit: August 24, 2022, 02:06:21 pm by krautbernd »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Considerations for the THUNDERSTORM craft configuration options.
« Reply #51 on: August 24, 2022, 08:15:23 pm »
That's a lot of snark there. :P You might have just said "Yeah, I could have made a separate laser weapon that's only compatible with the Starfighter and otherwise works pretty much the same as the regular version. Would the mod be better for it, excluding shutting down one or two nitpickers?".

But this isn't what I meant to say! What I wrote was exactly what my train of thoughts was. Can't a man just be non-ironically honest on the internet? :P

Then again, we do have half a dozen variants of 9mm pistol in the game. :P

Yeah, because it's handguns - objects often firmly nested in pop culture. They serve a purpose.
Then again, I don't exactly mind the idea of having an earlier laser weapon. I just don't really understand it yet.

Spoiler""Vanilla" OT":
Vanilla was never very serious about it's lore. Gollop has always made games for people to play, not experience. Phoenix Point is a classic example of him dropping the ball on atmosphere (despite all the work that went into it) while providing okayish to pretty damn good gameplay.

Well, if I something I consider outright stupid (like the Deep One/Gillman naming thig), then I change it. Otherwise I do not, because that's the point of sticking to standards.

There is no tracked plasma HWP in vanilla and vanilla lets you fit beam weapons onto interceptors. "Vanilla said so" isn't an argument here Solarius.

This is a strawman argument. By this logic, nothing that isn't in vanilla should ever be modded in. I encourage you to think about this a bit more, because I don't think we're on the same page here.

You've asked me to give you details regarding a low-powered variant of the laser. I am asking you for the in-game reasons - if there are any - that X-Com can't mount those weapons onto crafts specifically desinged to counter UFOs. If you want me to give you details I am going to need details.

Well, I don't see any gameplay reasons not to. I only see setting/logical reasons - I would need to understand better how these weapons work, what can be done with them, what are the implications on other elements of the setting, etc. It's easier to stick to vanilla and just call it defining features of this story.

And, again, why is the only craft that can actually utilize the laser cannon at that point in the game a crashed spacefighter that X-Com pulled form the bottom of a lake? What is the motivation behind designing and building a craft weapon when you have no actual craft that can utilize it and the one craft you come accross by chance already happens to come with said laser cannons?

TBH I'll probably move Kitsune further down the tech tree; it's a bit too comfortable.

This is just a bit disjointed if you ask me. Why not link the discovery of said craft (or as a fallback other advanced craft that can acutally use this) and the research of said cannons?

Maybe I should do that; it's one of several possibilities. Another would be to do just hardcode laser weapon on this craft, like with the Starfighter (it wasn't possible back when I made Kitsune).

Offline Juku121

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Re: Considerations for the THUNDERSTORM craft configuration options.
« Reply #52 on: August 24, 2022, 09:28:01 pm »
Then again, I don't exactly mind the idea of having an earlier laser weapon. I just don't really understand it yet.
I don't think that's the problem here. We already have that. What we don't have is a craft to mount it on. Some sort of Thunderstorm analogue for beam weapons.

This is a strawman argument. By this logic, nothing that isn't in vanilla should ever be modded in. I encourage you to think about this a bit more, because I don't think we're on the same page here.
If there's a strawman here, it's yours. krautbernd's argument was: there's no reasoning given; Solarius says it's the same as vanilla but vanilla is different wrt mounting beam weapons onto tanks and (air)craft. If you change the end result, you need to either change the base assumptions as well, or at least elaborate why they remain the same while the end result is different. Which includes specifying what the assumptions actually are.

There is nothing about something being 'allowed' to be modded or not. It's all about pinning down what the actual modded situation is, because if the reasoning is 'vanilla' then can we have plasma beams on Interceptors back, please? /s

Kitsune
Er, Kitsune doesn't have lasers, does it?

Another would be to do just hardcode laser weapon on this craft, like with the Starfighter (it wasn't possible back when I made Kitsune).
Starfighter lasers are hardcoded? How? Is this some 2.6 thing?

Can't a man just be non-ironically honest on the internet?
Of course not! :P

Offline zee_ra

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Re: Considerations for the THUNDERSTORM craft configuration options.
« Reply #53 on: August 25, 2022, 01:23:27 am »

Then again, I don't exactly mind the idea of having an earlier laser weapon. I just don't really understand it yet.

The early laser weapons are somewhat redundant in terms of game experience.  In my play-through, I was able to supplement with trophy alien laser rifles and cannons when absolutely necessary (think fighting a sectopod or an MiB armored troopers), or desired (think using a laser rifle by a newbie, especially on a more challenging mission, like mansion or a hybrid embassy, or even cave alien bases).  In general, it is still possible to eschew the use of laser weapons until the advent of turbolasers, since an option to use BlackOps gear along with tritanium munitions, and the application of rocket launcher along with automated mortar, provide enough firepower to deal with all challenges that come at the time.  In general, it is not impossible to take on even an alien battleship with mortars, rockets, BlackOps miniguns and sniper rifles (all with Tt munitions).

On crafts, the laser weapons are useful, but they're more of an alternative to a tritanium cannon, until the gauss cannon becomes available.  With the advent of the gauss cannon, frankly, there's no need to have any other armament on a craft.  I experimented with making a Pike more powerful (by making a larger magazine and reducing a reload time on aggressive); a result was that despite that power, it's still more plausible to have dual gauss cannons with 1 accelerator on 4 Thundestrom crafts per base.  The 4 Thunderstorms with dual gauss plus accelerator plus top notch pilot are more than sufficient to down two battleships in a single sortie.  I actually did down four alien battleships at one point with such configuration, but I had to manage carefully which craft takes damage first in that situation.

All in all, the laser weaponry, until the turbo-lasers, really is much more of a very nice lore element than anything else.


Offline zee_ra

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The use of mount points in the original game.
« Reply #54 on: August 25, 2022, 01:29:02 am »
As far as I recall, it had been possible to use any weapon in any mount point in vanilla.

I think that a better approach would be to in general allow to use as much weapon types in any given mount point as is reasonable.  In particular, some mount points may admit missiles, while others not.  In general, all mount points should admit beams and cannons.  Some mount points may admit only light missiles, but not the heavy ones.  However, all mount points that admin light missiles should also admit the heavy ones.

I think, such approach would be most consistent with both the spirit of the original, and also with the sanity and reasonble-ness considerations.

Offline krautbernd

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Re: Considerations for the THUNDERSTORM craft configuration options.
« Reply #55 on: August 25, 2022, 01:42:21 am »
This is a strawman argument. By this logic, nothing that isn't in vanilla should ever be modded in. I encourage you to think about this a bit more, because I don't think we're on the same page here.

"Not on the same page" might be an understatement, because "but vanilla said so" is your argument, not mine, and you're straight-out ignoring the points I've brought up.

Let's recap, shall we? Just to make sure we're on the same page as to what the argument is:

Vanilla let's you put laser and plasma beams on all craft, has a tracked HWP with a laser cannon and a hovertank with a plasma cannon.

In XCF, we have tracked laser+plasma tanks, but no beam weapons that can be mounted on non-endgame craft.

My question was what your reasoning behind this is, apart from balancing, because it doesn't actually make sense. Why can X-COM fit plasma/laser cannons on a tracked HWP but not into aircarft, especially the ones they themselves designed?

Your answer to that was:

Same reason, really. And also balance.

Note: I gave no reasons, I pointed out the inconsistencies with this. Hence me restating said question, specifically:

a)
>Why can X-Com fit laser and plasma weaponry into an existing tank chassis but not inside an airframe, let alone one that has been specifically designed to incorporate alien technology?

Your answer:
I don't know. Vanilla said so. Must be some in-universe reason. I am not dying to uncover it.
No Solarius, vanilla has no tracked plasma variant, only XCF. Somehow "your" X-COM has no problem with fitting beam weapons to an existing tank chassis, but can't fit them to aircraft X-COM designed from scratch. Vanilla isn't something you can invoke as a defense here.

b)
>And it's just kind of strange that you get the laser beam so early on, but the only craft that can actually mount it is an alien craft that crashed into lake Michigan and which X-Com found by chance and which just so happens to come with laser cannons that are compatible if not identical to the ones X-Com uses.

Your answer:
Something something power systems something something energy source something something quantum.
No Solarius, the question was why X-COM would design a weapon that doesn't fit any craft that X-COM has access to or any hope of obtaining in the near future. The laser cannon can be researched relatively early in the game and just requires any interrogated alien. It only requires a standard lab. There is no "hunt the engineer" involved here. Why does X-COM design a craft laser cannon which is apparently also produced and sold by a third party when there are no craft that can actually use said weapon apart from that one alien craft that just so happens to have crashed into Lake Michigan which X-COM has no idea exists and which is not connected to the research topic in any way and already comes with two laser cannons free of charge?

It just kind of boggles my mind how you're under the impression that "Something something power systems something something energy source something something quantum" answers any of this. It doesn't, and to be honest it's kind of insulting.

I am not - as you're claiming - "using a straw man argument that implies that nothing that isn't vanilla should be modded in". I am pointing out that vanilla is consistent while XCF isn't. I don't need to invoke vanilla on any of the points I have brought up, they are inconsistent regardless of how things are "in vanilla".

Also:
Er, Kitsune doesn't have lasers, does it?
No, it doesn't. I have no idea how the Kitsune even factors into this or why Solarius brought it up. Reminder: The first "actual" craft that can use beam weapons is the Lightning, which is quite a bit further down the tech tree than the laser cannon.



« Last Edit: August 25, 2022, 02:06:51 am by krautbernd »

Offline zee_ra

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Re: Considerations for the THUNDERSTORM craft configuration options.
« Reply #56 on: August 25, 2022, 01:55:43 am »
I also find the earlier uses of a laser to be very plausible, while much less relevant later, due to advent of gauss cannon.

Now, Elerium could be a power source for a laser.  However, it might also be powered by an isotope reactor of some sort.  It's plausible that such technology would be allowed for very limited uses globally, while not commonly used in other settings.  The laser could be a fusion laser, and in that case Elerium fits nicely into the scientific justification for how it could operate.  Each shot is a chemical capsule with fusion fuel.  The nuclear fusion reaction is initiated by the Elerium.  A small quantity of the latter should suffice.  Maybe, 15 units only per cannon?

Alternatively, the fusion reaction could be initiated by the chemical lasers, and some radio frequency devices.  The chemical lasers at the NIF are more than sufficient to create a fusion reaction.

So, it certainly makes sense to have a laser beam design that does not require alien materials.  Its power source may be both fissible nuclear fuel and nuclear fusion fuel.  I suppose, the only extra addition that such justification calls for is for a special purchasable ammo for the laser cannon, which should be maybe 10 times or more expensive than that for a gauss cannon, per single shot.  Or maybe not, and it could cost the same, since the isotope fuel in general is not so expensive, and the same applies to common fusion fuel.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2022, 02:04:30 am by zee_ra »

Offline Juku121

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Re: Considerations for the THUNDERSTORM craft configuration options.
« Reply #57 on: August 26, 2022, 05:30:05 am »
With the advent of the gauss cannon, frankly, there's no need to have any other armament on a craft.
I'm not entirely sure why the 'power systems' argument doesn't apply to Gauss and Mass Driver weapons, and these can be mounted on any craft that used to deploy autocannons.

Some mount points may admit only light missiles, but not the heavy ones.  However, all mount points that admin light missiles should also admit the heavy ones.
Er, that's a bit contradictory, isn't it? :P

In general, all mount points should admit beams and cannons.
I think that's going too far. IRL jet fighters can't mount any random weapon on any hardpoint. Some are too big or too cumbersome, and most don't work with the avionics without a considerable upgrade to the whole vehicle.

Now, Elerium could be a power source for a laser.
Elerium is the power source for Laser Cannons in XCF going by research requirements.

However, it might also be powered by an isotope reactor of some sort.
Any remotely realistic nuclear reactor is not going to fit on a fighter jet. And most non-realistic Earth-based stuff in XCF seems to operate on stolen alien tech.

The chemical lasers at the NIF are more than sufficient to create a fusion reaction.
NIF has gotten fusion ignition exactly once in 2021, and has been unable to replicate that.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Considerations for the THUNDERSTORM craft configuration options.
« Reply #58 on: September 14, 2022, 10:24:23 am »
Hi! I am still on holidays, but I browsed this thread quickly. There is so much confusion and conflicting ideas that I'm not willing to respond to them individually, I'll just note down that an earlish craft laser is desirable.

Offline Juku121

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Re: Considerations for the THUNDERSTORM craft configuration options.
« Reply #59 on: September 16, 2022, 10:42:24 am »
More like early laser craft. The current laser is sorta-kinda early, but you can do nothing with it, and by the time you can it's obsolete.