I think it might be pretty cool if some kind of death ray were added to the game. I realize that that's probably a little bit less steampunk and a little bit more mad science, but I feel that there's room for such a thing in this game. Death rays have a proud tradition in steampunk works after all.
It could possibly take a page from the suspendium cannon's book, only instead of needing coal and ammunition, it would only need coal, though it would need a LOT of it. And it would be powerful, but slow firing, expensive, and -heavy-, since it isn't easy to get a death ray to work with only steam age technology.
I don't know, I just think it might be fun to play with.
Death rays are totally in-gamut. I mean, the Wikipedia Page says it all.
OK, so, design exercise: what niche should death rays occupy? In what situations are they particularly effective or ineffective?
(As for how they work, they could be a particle beam of Suspendium dust...)
Perhaps it should work instead of firing dust work with a large generator and lots of high powered lamps are then shone through a Suspendium crystal (Just because suspendium dust would just kind of float away...)
also what about a steam cannon? just a big a steam cannon so it high pressurised cannon that shoots out a burst of steam that dose high amount of damage and has a blow back effect? unlike the effect of the death laser that would just cut through a ship this would probably act more as a knock back and kill crew maybe more than parts? (because you know boiling water hurts)
But yea that would be swell
Air Lord, Engineering Corps
A niche (in terms of game mechanics) that has not been used yet would be for the weapon to have two passive 'stats' on the projectile making it unique to all other weapons:
Damage to other ships caught in the blast is relatively low (to avoid op-ness).
With these stats (and because its going to need even more meticulous aligning compared to suspendium cannons) it will probably be a large, expensive but VERY scary weapon on an enemy in game which i think balances it out..
Here were my ideas on how a death ray could operate in Airships without being a direct upgrade to suspendim cannons, let me know what you guys think!
@Flebe I think the steam cannon idea sounds great!
Would make for a very good area-denial system to stop boarders (or help them by burning guards inside damaged vessels, leaving components intact) and push back small kamikaze ships.
Firebird has pretty much hit the nail on the head for what I was thinking of but failed to properly articulate. That is exactly how I imagined it working.
Mounting wise... It would probably be either like a turret, or take up a large amount of space in the direction it's mounted.
Also! I thought of two possible kinds! One is basically a teleforce cannon that fires a stream of suspendium particles, like Zarkonnen suggested. The other takes advantage of the properties of light passing through a large suspendium crystal to create a focused ray of light, either powered by the sun or very powerful lanterns, such as in Flebe's suggestion.
I like the idea of the teleforce one better, so if it comes down to choosing just one, I'd go with that one. However, if there's room for multiple types, I could see the solar ray projector being something that MUST be mounted on top of the ship, while the teleforce beam cannon can come in a variety of mounting options (That is, top AND bottom, or possibly front and back, like a more normal weapon.)
In fact... There's even room for variance in their behavior. The teleforce cannon takes a while to charge up a really powerful shot that does a lot of damage all at once. The solar projector meanwhile, could fire continuously, gradually ramping up damage the longer it's focused on a single target.
What do you think? Could that work? Or is this game not big enough for two death rays?
EDIT (By the way, I am just so stoked that my suggestion may become a part of the actual game!)
EDIT X2 Also, solar projectors would probably be affected by adverse weather conditions, like rain and fog.
I'm really really liking the idea of having a constant beam weapon and a charged beam variant!
But I don't really have much to say other than how powerful should the constant damage beam be compared to the charged?
We have never ever had a weapon like this in Airships and the only problem i can see is just how the weapon scales compared to others in terms of usability and damage output..
Another thing to add: You think putting enough power through a suspendium crystal to make a laser might make the whole room a little unstable (Ie: cause a massive explosion) if damaged?
Also i know the feeling! Especially after Zarkonnen mentioned my original concept in the news feed on the main page!! :D
I just realized when i was playing From the Depths and how their lasers function (and frying myself many, many times). You think lasers will need engines? We know diesel is a possibility so it may require that, which means instead of coal-to-weapons-power like a suspendium cannon a suspendium laser takes a liquid-fuel-to-weapons-power approach.
Also instead of a constant beam weapon and a charged counterpart how about one weapon with two modes?
Q switching could be used to regulate how short/long the beam pulses making a low damage-ultra fast laser or a slower melt-your-face-off laser!
Hmm, so if it's a particle beam it could have a combo of:
If it's more like a laser-type thing, it would be the same, but much weaker and with less falloff.
Yes all of those things
This idea is great and the diesel power instead of coal power would definitely help with balancing. As for myself i'm leaning more towards the particle beam. It seems to fit in a little better with the overall atmosphere of the game.
I think particle beam would work better in the context of steampunk, but a weapon like this seems waaaaaaaaay op.
The other idea is like a long range flamethrower, which could be quite fun. :D
I personally think of the particle beam type weapon as a sort of low damage, highly accurate gatling gun (powered by electricity), which would work pretty well with the current projectile system, without any special addons, and, in a sense, a particle beam IS a machine gun with an absolutely enormous rate of fir and very small bullets.
TortugaGreen I think the particle beam would have a a relatively large amount of damage though only penetration damage. The blast damage would be quite low (though maybe that is just an OP suspendium cannon).
How I feel it would work is, while individual projectile's would do near - nothing (they're dust at largest) their combined damage would be fairly high due to the sheer quantity of projectiles. I agree on the penetration only trait, it makes sense for a particle beam.
Hmmm... If there's rapid damage falloff at range, what kind of effective range does it have? Because it seems like most people imagine death rays as being a pretty long range weapon in fiction.
Seems like it, but considering how they behave, it makes more sense if they have a short range before they're about as effective as a very bright lamp. I figure it would have a maybe half - battlefield range, fairly long range but not Infinite like most cannon.
Another flavor of deathray that should be considered: The lightning gun! How would you differentiate it from the heatray and the particle beam? Maybe it paralyzes airships somehow, in addition to damaging them?
I think of it like this: it would overload the suspendium and engines with energy, causing it to rocket upwards, and then as soon as the target ship gets out of range it stops firing, causing the suspendium to explode violently and causing the engines to break. it would then fall to it's death. bit OP, but it follows logic. maybe make it have a 1-minute (at least) reload? it would also probably not work very well on gasbags. also, it would need preposterous quantities of coal to run, and be pretty darn big. lighting's hard to make!
Nnnnooooo, I don't think it should do that. I think forcing enemy ships to ground, or from taking any other action would be sufficient.
Commander, Engineering Corps
Well, that's a Tesla cannon and not a laser...
Zarkonnen pretty much nailed it from the beginning i think when he said:
Rapid damage falloff at range"
All we need is just a maximum effective range (500m?) where the laser takes no damage reduction with distance and then after the effective range the damage is reduced for every lets say 20m more the projectile needs to travel.
And im pretty sure a diesel engine can easily provide enough electricity for a laser and we know they will exist in Airships its just a matter of time..
Sounds good. I think we'll need a slower - charging steam version too, just in case you can't afford/don't have Diesel engines.
It could utilize a giant mirror, like the fabled coastal defence weapon created by Archimedes. This would keep it well within the parameters of steampunk technology.