I've seen several suggestions lately that involve spobs having weapons (such as interplanetary warfare, one of the ideas in the thread about imbuing a system with a gravitational bias, etc. Well, maybe there isn't an "etc", but I've been doing a lot of work with spob-based weapons...).
I've decided to write up a complete guide on the subject, covering just about everything you can do with a spob's weapon.
If this gets a favorable response, I might do a few more (such as Submunitions).
And now, without further ado, I give you:
The Complete Guide to Spob-based Weaponry.
This is a guide to just about every aspect of what happens when you give a spob a weapon. It is divided into three parts:
1: When They Fire.
This, surprisingly, is a description of the conditions under which a spob will fire its weapon.
2: What They Fire.
This section describes what type of weapon the spob fires for each guidance type.
3: Other Information.
This section contains several useful facts that I couldn't find anyplace else to put.
When They Fire.
A spob will fire its weapon at the closest target ship (see below) that is within range (see What They Fire), no matter what type (ship/planet) of weapon the spob has.
If the "Fire When Provoked" flag is not set,
A spob will fire at the player if either of the following conditions are true:
- The player is disliked by the system's govt ( not the spob's!), or
- The player's ship has an inherent combat government that is an enemy of the spob (not the system- isn't this fun , class? ).
A spob will only fire at an AI ship if the ship's dude's govt is an enemy of the spob (the attitude of the system has no effect).
A spob will never fire its weapon at another spob, even if the weapon is planet-type.
Demanding tribute from a planet will not cause it to open fire, unless the "Fire When Provoked" flag is set.
If the "Fire When Provoked" flag is set, the spob will only fire when the player demands tribute. The spob will only fire at the player or their escorts, whichever is closer and in range. It will stop firing once its defence fleet is destroyed.
What They Fire.
The behaviour of the weapon a spob fires is based entirely on the weapon's guidance type:
Unguided/Unguided Turret/Front Turret/Rear Turret:
These will be my baseline for how spobs' weapons work. They all act exactly like the spob has an unguided turret-type weapon, except that turret blind spots have no effect. The spob will fire whenever you are within range of the weapon and all its submunitions.
Turret-type weapons do have a tracking glitch, however, such that when the turret's target is moving rapidly towards the turret, the turret's shots fire away from the target, rather than towards it.
The Bible is out-of-date on this one. It states "don't put the ID of a beam or PD weapon here or bad things will happen." Actually, as of 1.0.8, beams have a very useful behaviour:
When a spob has a beam-type weapon, the shots that the spob fires are normal projectiles, not beams. They behave exactly like the normal, unguided weapon types do for spobs, with one major difference. The spob will only fire when the player is within BeamLength of the spob, even if that is different from the range of the projectile that it is firing (which is governed by Speed and LifeCount).
NOTE: When a spob fires the weapon, the BeamLength and Falloff fields have no fading effect on the sprite (see this thread, unlike with normal weapons. Also note that for a spob, beams can have submunitions (however, they have no effect on what range the spob fires its weapons at).
This acts like the spob has a turret that fires homing weapons, complete with the tracking glitch from a turret-type weapon when the player is moving quickly towards it. The spob will fire whenever the player is within range of the weapon and all of its submunitions.
Freefall Bomb/Carried Fighter:
Either of these weapon types, when given to a spob, will produce standard unguided projectiles (not fighters or bombs), which act like the basic "Unguided" weapon type, except that the spob will only fire them when you are directly on top of the spob (i.e. you have just taken off).
The bomb guidance is used in the game for the 400mm Turreted Railgun and the Enormous Blaster Turret (found on central Auroran stations and Federation military locations, respectively). (Note: This changed in version 1.0.9, and they now use the Turreted Unguided weapon type.)
PD Turret/PD Beam:
Once again, the Bible is out-of-date (thank you, Matt Burch, for modifying these to not cause problems!). I am treating these apart from the others simply because of the warning in the Bible.
As of EVN 1.0.8, PD Turrets and PD Beams act exactly like regular turrets and regular beams, respectively. They cannot shoot down homing weapons.
Any type of spob can use a weapon, whether it is inhabited or uninhabited, station or planet, even if it is a hypergate or wormhole.
The AmmoType of a spobs weapon has no effect on how the spob behaves. Even an AmmoType of -999 (destroy ship) has no effect.
Spobs ignore the "One Shot at a Time" flag (they do not, however, ignore reload or burst reload times, although they might have a longer BurstCount than the player).
Spobs also ignore the "Don't fire at fast ships" flag.
A spob, if it has a planet-type weapon, will shoot itself if it can be destroyed, unless the weapon has a ProxSafety long enough for the shot to get clear of the planet.
Any questions? Comments? If you have something you want added to this, post it, I'll test it, and if it works, I'll add it. Additional credits will be placed at the bottom of the guide.
A couple of interesting things I ran into while working on this guide that not everyone may be aware of:
Homing weapons cannot home in on planets.
Planet-type weapons with the "Explode at end of life" flag set do not actually have any effect when they explode, other than showing an explosion (no damage, no impact, no ionization).
The same weapon using regular damage worked fine- and yes, I was firing it at destroyable stellars and planet-ships, and getting the range and blast radius right. This is probably a bug.
This post has been edited by Edwards : 20 October 2006 - 10:55 PM