Update #7 - Ships & Ship Management
As mentioned earlier this week here is some more detailed information about Ships and Ship Management in Nexus 2:
Ship configuration is the base of all tactics and as such one of the most important elements of the game. Here the player decides what the purpose of each ship will be. Will it be a shield breaker? A recon ship? A stealth ship with a cloaking device? Maybe a device attacker with tons of heavy lasers which can punch through any shield?
What equipment works best with which ship also has to be taken into consideration. For example lasers are best used on faster ships, which can maneuver better.
The player controls huge spaceships. We categorize them according to their purposes:
• Support ship
• Heavy Cruiser
• Squadrons (Fighter, Bomber, Gunboat, these are carried by the above ships)
At any given point in the game, the story dictates how much and what kind of ships the player can have. Most of the ships stay with the player throughout the game (some will join only for a mission or 2).
With the exception of the flagship, Angelwing, all the ships can be lost temporarily. In this case the player gets a replacement ship at the next friendly base. The new ship will be manned by the lost ship's rescued crew, and – for the easier narration – the ship is going to have the same name that its predecessor had, it’ll only have a identifier behind its name (for example “Sparta” -> “Sparta – B”).
There is a possibility, that the player has to complete a mission without a replacement ship – this might happen if according to the story there is no way to go to a friendly base between two missions.
In the vast majority of the cases though the ship configuration screen is available:
The player can refit and repair his ships between missions. Sometimes this might not be an option (no space station/support ship nearby or a subsequent mission occurs very soon after the other) for dramatic reasons, but this will be rare.
As the game progresses, more and more new equipment become available. Mostly these are upgrades for existing devices, but there will be plenty of new ones too. These can be fitted to the ships on the ship equipment screen.
The replacement or purchase of equipment cost resource points. Every device has a predefined number of resource points needed to install it on the ship.
The amount of resource points available depends on the actual situation such as how many ships are at the base, whether there are higher ranked officers, or how much time there is to do repairs or modifications. If however we have priority at the given base with tons of time, then there will be plenty of resource points. Basically it depends on the story. The above explanation also means, that the resource points can’t be “collected” and used later.
The player can influence the amount of resource points by raising the ship’s Repair skill. It is important to note that every ship has separate resource point pool.
Each ship can be equipped with dozens of weapons, shields, engines and other devices. The number of available devices and equipment is limited though; all the bases have predefined stocks to choose from. The player has to think carefully which ship will get which upgrade.
Some devices cannot be changed, because they are mission critical equipment or integral parts of the ship/ship class.
The installable equipments of a ship depend on:
• What kind of repair capacity the station has (e.g. on a little station the player can only replace the weapons, but not the engines, and the generators)
• What can be put on the ship (eg. one cannot put a Siege laser on a Destroyer)
• Whether the player is authorized to buy the specific equipment (we may show some unavailable devices beforehand, to give some imperative to play more)
• Does the player have enough resource points to buy the equipment.
The equipment can be put into the following groups:
• Defense systems
• Boats (Fighter, Bomber, Gunship, Commando)
A new feature is the customization of squadrons. The armament of fighters, bombers and gunboats can be changed on a new GUI panel. The player can choose from different lasers, bombs, torpedoes and flaks, but every change costs resource points as well.
Repairing a damaged ship is free (or takes only very few resource points), as we don’t want to additionally punish the player (he probably had bad tactics/equipment, we don’t want him to burn his resource points on repairs instead of changing the necessary weapons/devices). The rearming of weapons which use finite ammo is also free; this includes the Fighters missing from squadrons and the dead Commandos too (but only if their shuttle is intact).