Anti-Missile Laser (Point Defense Laser)

RC-3197

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#1
Hello developers and fellow Terra tech players, I'm RC-3197. I mod almost every game I own (except this one, there's no point making modding tools for a game that will eventually have them) Every time I do mod I usually start with a list of ideas, some of them are pretty insane, then I use what's given by the game to make them a reality. Since making a list is just as confusing to read as it is to make (and generally frowned upon on by this f0rum), I will post my ideas one at a time so they get a proper description. So anyways, let's get to the first idea.

Anti-Missile Laser (Point Defense Laser):
So basically this block is a 1x1 decoration. Like the radar it can only be placed on the surface of a tech. But it's no radar, it's something far better. Cruise Missiles beware your days of dominance are numbered. This fancy piece of machinery automatically (without the user having to do anything except equip the device) uses a short range laser to intercept incoming missiles, making them explode (or disarm, it depends on if you want to program / model disarmed missiles) before hitting the tech. It can only handle so many missiles at once though, so one point defense laser can't save you from two cruise missiles being fired simultaneously. It can block up to 3 missiles per point defense system but only if there is a gap before each missile hits. A good example of this would be the GSO missile launcher, it launches 4 missiles one at a time, the point defense system intercepts 3 of the 4 missiles because there is a delay before each one hits and the point defense system can only block 3. You can also attach multiple of these to your tech (as long as you have space) so 2 of these would be able to defend against 2 missiles at once and 6 staggered missiles.

If you are having trouble visualizing this I recorded an example of what I'm talking about from one of my favorite games Command and Conquer: Generals: Zero Hour (It is also my inspiration for this design):
Important Note: These defense lasers can also block missiles launched from aircraft, sorry I didn't record that.

Here is a real world example of such a device (not as cool as the one in command and conquer though) turn off annotations in this video, they are super annoying:


The real beauty of this device is its applications. You could have it mounted on a small scout, have missile defense on an airplane, have a drone that follows you and has missile defense, put missile defense on your turrets, on your base, and especially your main battle tech. the possibilities are endless.
I recommend this goes to the hawkeye faction, it seems to fit with their theme of heavy weaponry.

So in summary:
The missile defense system is a 1x1x1 surface mounted accessory that automatically intercepts missiles one at a time (can't intercept 3 missiles arriving at the same time) with a limit of 3 (then it has to "reload"). It can easily be overwhelmed by synchronized missiles and missile groups larger than 3. By attaching multiple to a tech it increases the techs ability to intercept incoming missiles. Each missile defense unit is independent of the other and they all have their own "ammo". This part has numerous applications such as anti-missile drones, aircraft protection from missiles, base protection from missiles, scout tech protection from missiles, and of course tech protection from missiles.

Also credit to Mindlessmrawesome for posting a similar idea. Although I never saw that post until last night and I've been sitting on this idea for a long time now, great minds think alike. (Also I don't know how to tag people here so feel free to tag this guy)

And thank you to anyone who read this, I had fun making this post and I would like to hear what you have to say about this idea.

Also I need help coming up with a name for it. I never thought about naming it until now. I'm thinking it should be named "Aurora Missile Defense System".

If I were to jerry rig this into the game I would try to utilize the automatic activation of drills as a way to trigger the "weapon" to activate. A big invisible circular hitbox could be used as the collision area, and it would probably be buggy depending on how this function is hard coded into the game.

P.S. I'm a brand new user so it will take some time (Maybe even days) for my responses to show up (they need to be moderated first). I have addressed most of your concerns in a comment below.
 
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Zorgomol

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#2
Also, just to prevent this thing going completely OP, it should have drawbacks as well:
1) Since it is an active defense, it should come with a constant battery drain just like shield and repair bubbles.
and/or
b) It should try to shoot down every missile in its area of effect, just to prevent missile spam techs becoming immune to missiles. Alternatively, it could switch off while firing if the tech has missiles.

A related, easier to implement suggestion: bullseye decoy blocks. These are irresistible targets that will draw enemy fire on them rather than every weapon aiming at the nearest cabin, or whatever the weapon aiming logic goes for. They would be quite fragile but might well buy you a few seconds of extra time in a shelling contest or distract a couple missile volleys.
 

BenBacon

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#4
This is what the fireworks launcher is for, though it doesn't work well
I guess we just have to stick with explosive bolts and cabs for now though
 

RC-3197

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#6
Just checking up on the post and I notice people are already saying this would be OP, this is mostly my fault as I didn't explain the weaknesses of the system well enough.

Luckily while I was recording the system in command and conquer I also recorded the system absolutely failing due to the sheer amount of missiles, take a look:
As you can see not a single jet survived because there were just too many missiles!

In the next update for terra tech there is going to be a venture cluster missile, this is a perfect example of a weapon that could easily overwhelm a tech with this device. Also the venture Avalanche Launcher would easily overwhelm it.

1x1, that's way to overpowered, just put some generators and 100 of those on your base and ur safe. Maybe 2x2?
This unit takes up space on your tech, I don't know about you, but every inch of my tech has a purpose and I would have to trade weapon space to fit this device. Another thing I forgot to mention is it must be surface mounted in order to work, so if you're planning on sticking these on the bottom, the back, or the inside of your tech it will be a no-go. The unit must have line of sight with the missiles in order to intercept them. I probably should have mentioned that even though this accessory is 1x1 it definitely will not be cheap (money wise) at all. I recommend a high tier price (probably as expensive or more expensive than a cruise missile) as this is definitely a luxury item. Another important thing is this device doesn't stop projectile weapons from hitting your tech, this is designed to stop missiles, nothing else. This will not save you from a megaton or mortar attack. In fact this device encourages you to get up close and personal with your enemies. And the purpose of it being so small is so it can be mounted on small vehicles like drones and scouts. (Ex my hover drone's usable area is like 1x1)

Also, just to prevent this thing going completely OP, it should have drawbacks as well:
1) Since it is an active defense, it should come with a constant battery drain just like shield and repair bubbles.
As for energy consumption that's a pretty good idea, but only if each instance of it firing drains a small amount of energy. Constantly draining energy without doing anything wouldn't make sense. I would prefer to not have this use energy because that would mean all you need to do in order to deactivate someone's shields is spam missiles, and from my experience with this system it goes off so many times in just a few seconds, all your power would be gone in an instant. This would also basically make the device a complete disadvantage to have, who would want to be hit by missiles and lose their shields because they had this equipped. It would also discourage having multiple at a time.

That's what the fireworks launcher is for!!??
I know that. The fireworks launcher must be activated by holding the space bar. This system automatically intercepts missiles. And in my personal opinion, I think seeing a laser beautifully cook a missile is just so visually satisfying. Along with that, the fireworks launcher is roughly 2x2x2 in size, way too big to be used on small things like drones or airplanes (Ironically the thing that would most likely use a chaff countermeasure in real life). You'll notice that the jets in the videos have white things, those are missile countermeasures too, the combination of both types of countermeasures wouldn't hurt.

So in summary:
1. This system can be easily overwhelmed by large amounts of missiles (Avalanche Launcher or New Cluster Missiles).
2. This system is expensive (I recommend a price equal to or higher than a cruise missile) and physically weak.
3. This system must have line of sight with the missile in order to work (Don't put it inside [this would be useless], under [unless it's a plane], or behind your tech [unless you are facing backwards but even then it would only be half as useful])
4. This system cannot protect you from anything other than missiles. It is designed to force the enemy into a close range battle. And since it is surface mounted it is probably going to get hit pretty easily by standard weapons. (And because of point 2 this device not something you want to replace)
5. This system is small so it can fit on small techs (ex small hover drone)

And in case you were wondering, I don't know how to quote people.

Thanks for the feedback, it's great to hear what you have to say.
 
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Potato

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#7
The devs considered using the Fireworks launcher for Anti-Missile defense. They're essentially going to fire "chaff" to fool missile tracking, in addition to looking like fireworks.

So yeah.
 

Soviet_Samuelson

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#8
Also, just to prevent this thing going completely OP, it should have drawbacks as well:
1) Since it is an active defense, it should come with a constant battery drain just like shield and repair bubbles.
and/or
b) It should try to shoot down every missile in its area of effect, just to prevent missile spam techs becoming immune to missiles. Alternatively, it could switch off while firing if the tech has missiles.

A related, easier to implement suggestion: bullseye decoy blocks. These are irresistible targets that will draw enemy fire on them rather than every weapon aiming at the nearest cabin, or whatever the weapon aiming logic goes for. They would be quite fragile but might well buy you a few seconds of extra time in a shelling contest or distract a couple missile volleys.
This could also be a property of the ignian chuncks/blocks. Lets not throw away the idea of lazer weapons, as the goal here is to debuff missiles
 
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Lord Zarnox

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#10
Why not add a block that disables missile tracking (or inverts it's turning direction) within a certain radius. Spaming these things won't help much, as their ability doesn't stack.
 

Sokolov

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#11
What about an Iron Storm system - the idea of this is basically a shotgun that fills the area in cone of rougly 90 degree with impassable wall of shrapnel. It is too light to cause tech damage, but the rockets won't stand it. Moreover - probably intercept shells with it!
Reference - Trophy system
 

MrTwister

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#12
Good suggestion, just needs a balanced implementation. Something like - one 2x2 system should be able to intercept 1 incoming missile every 2 seconds. This way it will be able to counter 1 cruise (1x3) or 1 seeker launcher (1x2)
 
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Sokolov

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#13
Let me partially disagree with you, MrTwister.
The sole idea of Iron Storm is to create a wall of shrapnel that will destroy all rockets that come in contact with.
Your idea is more suited for a laser - based missile defence, which is also nice.
In my opinion, the whole system of missile defense should be split into:
Single-shot - see post #12, destroys a single missle in some time
Shotgun-type - see Iron Storm idea
CIWS-type - fires a stream of bullets or lasers,each of those has a chance to destroy a missile(10%?) with the 10th shot being a guarranteed kill.
References
Iron Storm - Trophy system
CIWS - CIWS
 
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Khaine

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#14
From a coolness perspective I like it alot.

From a developer's perspective it sounds like a nightmare. Essentially you have bullets that shoot bullets to stop said bullets from hitting techs. Then someone will ask for bullets that hit bullets that try to hit bullets who hit techs. Seems like alot of extra bookeeping to check what's hitting what, especially if you can have dozens or even hundreds of shots going back and forth all the time.

The fireworks system seems an easier to implement compromise to somewhat defang missile strikes at this point. Although this is definitely an idea worth coming back to if proper campaign multiplayer ever gets off the ground. At that point you *will* have a serious PVP missile problem that calls for a serious answer.
 

Sokolov

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#15
It does not have to be this complicated, Khaine.
For example, it is possible to implement, that every projectile can explode a rocket on contact. Then, add a gun, which does specifically target rockets. But every projectile can explode the rocket, from a bullet to a tank shell, only most of the guns would not be specifically targeting them.
It is also possible to implement the option to switch some of the fast-firing guns(VEN Oozee SMG, HE Autocannon, HE Machine gun) to target rockets. With the aformentioned idea, it becomes a viable option - at least from my point of view.
 

Lost Ninja

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#16
It does not have to be this complicated, Khaine.
For example, it is possible to implement, that every projectile can explode a rocket on contact. Then, add a gun, which does specifically target rockets. But every projectile can explode the rocket, from a bullet to a tank shell, only most of the guns would not be specifically targeting them.
It is also possible to implement the option to switch some of the fast-firing guns(VEN Oozee SMG, HE Autocannon, HE Machine gun) to target rockets. With the aformentioned idea, it becomes a viable option - at least from my point of view.
Hell you could probably fudge it entirely.

Make a new gun, it fires some projectiles really fast and they go everywhere, but crucially do no damage to anything. The gun also generates a shield bubble that cannot be seen. Any missile that impacts that invisible shield has an X chance of being destroyed. Maybe even give them a further "roll" to explode for splash damage when being deleted by the shield. Make the range of the gun's projectiles slightly longer than the radius of the shield and have it fire techs equipped with missiles. From the player's perspective you have a rapid fire Uzzi like gun that appears to destroy some of the incoming missiles. Adding more anti-missile guns would allow better defence. (But that's a balance issue, and that cannot even be addressed until there is a counter to missile spam.)

Also and I'm not 100% certain of this but if you make the gun's projectiles not physical, unlike the other guns their projectile spam shouldn't degrade performance as badly.

Bottom line is some sort of missile defence is needed how it works specifically isn't really important.
 
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