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Concept: steam powered stuff

#11
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
That is way to go, i think!
(and hello here... and sorry for convoluted sentences if any, i'm just some slav)

First of all, steam engines need reliable controls, as they have none at all.
Second, steam needs to be balanced performance, customizability and economics wise with fuel, or much better, unified and expanded upon as proposed above. Realism-based quirks of current steam are all good, but not so when there's only few most annoying of them implemented and other engines are pure magic.
Only after these two should you think about anything else...


Speaking of anything else... I wrote something like this somewhere half year ago maybe, and not only me, but... This is unpolished, bare concept. Pump steam into everything basically.

What now known as plain "engine power", becomes "electrical power", or gets replaced by electric charge, and to create it every engine, including fuel, needs a separate generator setup. Generators even can have expansion blocks.
Another power appears, called mechanical power, and it comes from engines, including fuel and electrical, directly via shafts. (or actually it is there, just used in one single thing)
 Existing ingame power consumers may be more evenly separated into two "power types", call them electric and mechanical. Some of them may accept any of the two, some only defined one, some may need both. For this case, systems can have two separate versions (electric and mechanic), use special block attachments, or in can be just a switch in Q menu.
In result there will be no more  "all popular fuel" and "boring useless steam", but unified power management system.
And finally, as much systems as possible should be changed to need some sort of power to function, or to be able to use some power for (partial) performance boost. In particular, more things to use shaft power.

Now what i mean, take turret block for example. Currently it just works, but can take engine power to become OP. Instead, we can have Electric turret and Mechanical turret, as separate things or based on settings.
 If it is electrical, it just siphons from ship's electrical power pool (directly or via inlet block) and works, assuming that cables are everywhere, and electric motors are compact enough so you can stick some virtually anywhere. If it's mechanical, it may have steam pipe poked into it, pretending to have built-in steam engine, and soak steam while working. Or it may have actual steam, electric or fuel engine attached to it directly with it's output shaft, or chained through whole ship, and use it's driveshaft power.
Turrets can still work, but really slow without power, and gun barrels can use power to aim faster. There can be some sort of efficiency niches, like electricity working best for small loads and steam for large; or steam powered traverse may be reserved for CRAMs, and electric for APS.
AI components can actually use power to work (or work better), and have steampunk mode, where they become clockwork brains and feed off steam pipes.

now random steam usage ideas:
Steam waterjet, just that.
Steam turboprop for large airships, as alternative version of jet engine that gluttons steam.
For ships and especially subs, steam coating! Idea based on that crazy russian torpedoes and some old csi-fi.. Placed in some special manner in your boat, it creates a steam layer around it, and with this greatly decreases it's water drag at expense of even greater amounts of steam being dumped from system.
On steam assisted CRAMs, steam can be implemented for them in similar manner how to railgun is made in APS. Increase speed and accuracy. Maybe this will make CRAM useful again?
Steam curtain. Basically smoke dispensers, but steam driven.
Steam barrel purge, dump some steam through the barrel after shot to decrease cooldown.
Steam missile ejector as alternative for current magically working block (which can become electrically driven "pneumatic ejector")
Compressed steam missiles/torpedoes, they consume some steam upon reload into their tanks, and launch on steam trail with somewhat nerfed short range thruster performance, but much weaker detection signature?
Makes things.
The fastest thing in the universe is sluggish... Years, decades, centuries from star to star.
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#12
I like the two suggestions above, steam engines would be much nicer to use if they would get more components and that fuel and steam have unified crank shaft systems or something.
(2019-05-29, 02:37 AM)DraWay Wrote: For ships and especially subs, steam coating! Idea based on that crazy russian torpedoes and some old csi-fi.. Placed in some special manner in your boat, it creates a steam layer around it, and with this greatly decreases it's water drag at expense of even greater amounts of steam being dumped from system.
You mean the ШКВАЛ (Shkval)?
Its a supercavitating torpedoe, how it works exactly I don't know, but it has a strange nose shape and has a rocket motor IRC. Its very hard to guide though, being technically unguided (First varians atleast, wouldn't be suprised if they somehow managed to make it guided) but it FtD it could be like a nose component "Supercavitator" so that you can't use guidance anymore (or only remote and LUA) and then have a variable rocket motor as propulsion, to have a use for unguided torpedoes (advandage of them is that they are really fast, but you can detect them from half way around the globe and that even visual detection could know the general direction where its coming from with a distance lag because you see the air bubles coming to the surface)
There is always a weak-spot if you search Hard enough.

If you fire enough AP at that shield, at some point you're going to come through.

There is no "best" I wouldn't even say there is anything universally good, Good is subjective, I find everything bad even if it's in theory good against this or that.

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#13
I have one singular idea for what steam could be used for. It's cosmetic, but it's a big one.

Whistles or horns. Tunable, ideally, and certainly with that classic steam-whistle or steam-horn sound. Let the AI control them, let the player control them, let ACB / breadboard systems control them. I want to be able to acoustically signal friendlies that I'm inbound, signal enemy ships that they're about to get wrecked, and maybe build and play a calliope of war.
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#14
I would say it would be nice if currently underrepresented steam and underrepresented crams could help each out and become relevant again, even in competitive sphere levels. And preferably, possibly detached from each other as well. honestly, crams are simply not up to fluff. It's not just cost and damage output. they just don't work from the mid game onward. that 's a flaw in their design I think, and I don't think we should be hardlimiting weapon systems like that no matter how they are set up.

So, better Crams back on par with other systems, yes; Better steam with more control and uses, yes. Interface between steam and Cram to give them a little more edge, such as electric power can fuel railguns, yes to that too.
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#15
Talking about steam-powered CRAM cannons reminds me of USS Vesuvius the "dynamite gun cruiser". She didn't actually use steam to launch projectiles, but used compressed air to launch high explosive shells at relatively low velocities from some huge 15-inch guns. Very much like a HE CRAM cannon in various respects.
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#16
When it comes to steam power and nifty things you can do with it, I have two ideas, one of which many others (and yourself) think would be neat.

- As others have mentioned, utilizing steam with CRAMs as an optional way to help supply power may be a huge to both. It gives a feeling of a steampunk connection when used together. I don't think CRAMs should be nerfed without steam assistance, however. They provide huge explosions on targets but making them hit said targets is nigh impossible, even for hitting larger, almost immobile targets. With steam pressure being utilized to increase the shell speed or alternatively being used to pack the CRAM faster, it will help them either hit their marks more often or harder, or both! The main issue is somehow making steam connect to turreted CRAMs which is what most people would want to do I'm sure. Maybe have the steam used in a reservoir and a new CRAM piece to communicate with said reservoir?

- Another idea I had was some type of steam-powered kinetic ram, kinda like a piston-primed ram being prepped to ram into a target and when a steam buildup is released, the ram blasts forward to smash into a target. The length couldn't be too much (maybe 10-20m). You could probably go with a full and flexible system with some type of harpoon tube connected with steam pipes inside the craft. The longer the tube, further the ram could reach out. The downside of this idea is that steam engines are commonly large and most ramming craft are on the smaller end outside of some very specific designs. Still, it would be a fun thing to mess around with.
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#17
Aside from making crams more useful with using steam to boost its speed. Some sort of steam short ranged weapon wouldnt hurt either, but aside from some rams i would think about something like a steam "flamethrower", a short ranged weapon that fires a stream of steam at targets, causing damage and maybe it could be the first weapon in game that would introduce the concept of lowering armour on hit.
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#18
(2019-06-20, 02:11 PM)mrvecz Wrote: Aside from making crams more useful with using steam to boost its speed.  Some sort of steam short ranged weapon wouldnt hurt either, but aside from some rams i would think about something like a steam "flamethrower", a short ranged weapon that fires a stream of steam at targets, causing damage and maybe it could be the first weapon in game that would introduce the concept of lowering armour on hit.

Whenever people bring up the fact that Crams are fine and on par in their niche currently I silently think to myself "Why don't godly or even expert level craft ever seem to have them rather than APS spam then?".

I've said this on borderwise's discord a while past; but Ideally, balance wise, all weapons should be on par with each their own defensive counters so the whole game becomes a spiel of not "picking the best options and expanding on that" but everything being a game of carefully juggling armament and defensive options in diverse types of designs.

Right now, Crams work within their niche, but nowhere else. I think it is a flawed design to not have them be viable across the board compared to all the other weapon types.

in games like From the Depths -- (Games like "From the depths" is a bit paradoxical since From the depths is the only game of its type at this level of complexity and cool Big Grin ) --
Diversification of options and choices available for design is key to the vitality of the game, since it is centered around building vehicles and taking them out to fight. More options, more gameplay, more involvement. Weapons which are unviable across wide swathes of encounters don't add to that a lot.

Hence, Increasing the complexity and variety of Crams via an additional layer of possibilities (Compare APS Railguns) seems like a good choice across the board.

My two cents.

Steam shooters would be cool. I don't think the people begging for flamethrowers will make compromises not involving fire though Big Grin
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#19
Since the main downside of steam as of now is material consumption, steam powered weapons would be directly burning resources to fire, which would probably need a substantial increase in power to justify.
If another system was added for making steam, for example fuel torches to heat the boilers, steam power could see more use for bigger ships and become more viable for weapons. For a higher cost nuclear could also work as a cheaper long-term power solution for steam engines. Steam boosted CRAM could work to help balance CRAM and could encourage more Steampunk vehicles and help to diversify viable weapon types to finally include CRAM.
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