Thanks for your interest, eternalflame. I'm not really going to go ahead with this any more. (well, at the least not until combat becomes the development focus of GHP) Instead, it seems to me that a somewhat simpler system is more appropriate to Gearhead. I dare even say "a more tabletop-ish system", but of course it would be bad if Gearhead didn't properly make use of the fact that it runs on a computer. Granted, I shifted this side project towards complexity, having in mind to experiment initially and afterwards compacting some of the ideas.
I would prefer if you avoided arbitrary values wherever possible. Such as the damage points you suggested.
Well, yes but also no. "Werever practical", I'd say. I've looked at a lot of different ways to represent the data at hand, and though I have of course leaned towards using specific units relatable to real-world physics, I have hit somewhat of a wall with things like HP. Essentially "HP" would be in a unit of mass×strength and damage potential would essentially be related to unit of energy. However, in this case, I think it's just simpler to refer to "damage/hit/health points". (seeming) Arbitraryness inevitably shows up.
But it definitely looks like an improvement over current damage system. As long as you can communicate the results to the player in a convenient manner, the underlying calculations can be nearly as complex as you like. Though excessive loss of performance would be bad.
Thanks. And yes, at least theoretically you can make the behind-the-scenes as complex as needed. But intuitiveness and game balancebleness suffer whenever things get either too simple, too complex, or the wrong kind of either of those. Excessive loss of performance because of combat calcs would be hilarious, but I think the graphics department tends to win that competition by far
I expect learning what works and what is asking for your mecha to be turned into scrap metal will take some time (and many mechas). But I think that is just a nice bonus.
Yeah, part of the fun. Just so long as it doesn't depend too much on being previously familiar with certain situations in the game, getting your mecha junked as a surprise can be a good thing (I recall having an unpleasant game experience overall with Tales of Maj'Eyal, for example, because there is basically no way for a new player to determine whether a certain quest in the fixed-story world is above their level or not except through taking it and then usually dying).
The only thing that bothers me is that you would have to make extreme concessions if you wanted nuclear weapons survivable. But perhaps their availability should be reduced and their use severely restricted. And then keep nukes as weapons that just guarantee a kill (provided they are not intercepted).
According to me, nuclear weapons are by definition not survivable (or should, at least). Nukes generally represent the epitome of destructive force, and therefore trying to have them balanced [for something as small as mecha-scale] in any other way than making them basically impractical and overkill (isn't precision sometimes the better part of force?) is just asking for balancing trouble, or worse, watered-down nukes. It's different of course if you're talking about combat artillery that according to the flavor text happen to use nuclear principles in order to achieve sufficient bang for their mass (a question of efficiency), because those aren't really what evokes the idea of "nuke" as most people regard it. I recall a thread from around the same time as the first post in this one in which some forumers discussed this and made several good points.
So ban nukes for great ethical justice, the environment, and most importantly
, game balance!