Leaky Shields - worth the effort?

Author: blackknyght
Date: Jan 22, 2021 3:45 PM
Category: Spaceport
Posts: 11
What are the pros and cons of Leaky Shields, and are they worthwhile or a lemon?


Commenter: ekolis
Date: Jan 23, 2021 2:20 AM
Leaky Shields - worth the effort?
Pros and cons in what sense? For a modder? For a player?
Commenter: blackknyght
Date: Jan 23, 2021 12:27 PM
Leaky Shields - worth the effort?
In an all-around general sense.

Are they better/worse than stock type shields, are there benefits that aren't readily apparent, is there some benefit to them compared to using stock type shields?
Commenter: ekolis
Date: Jan 23, 2021 8:36 PM
Leaky Shields - worth the effort?
Better or worse? Well, they are better in some ways, and worse in others. They are worse in that they will fail quickly, rather than being HP buckets like solid shields are. But they are better in that even after they do fail, they will regenerate and thus block some damage from each subsequent hit.

So, for instance, a ship might have 100 shields, and once it takes 100 damage, the shields are gone and it starts taking armor damage. But a ship with leaky shields might have 10 shields and 10 regeneration from damage. Obviously the leaky shields will go down much quicker, but the regeneration from damage will make sure that future hits are mitigated by 10 points per hit, on average, until the shield generators themselves are destroyed.

Leaky shields are thus a little bit like emissive armor, except that instead of blocking the damage from the current hit, it blocks damage from the next hit. The advantage of leaky shields over emissive armor is that they can stack.

Also, leaky shields can lead to some interesting mechanics when it comes to special damage types such as "quad damage to shields". Since the quantity of shields is smaller, and almost every hit is going to knock down the shields, it sort of turns "quad damage to shields" into a partially shield piercing damage type. For instance, if you have 20 shields and you get hit with 40 normal damage, then 20 points of damage will be inflicted to the armor or hull. But if that 40 damage is quad to shields, then the shields will be knocked down by the first 5 points of damage, and you will take 35 damage to the armor/hull!
Commenter: blackknyght
Date: Jan 24, 2021 2:46 PM
Leaky Shields - worth the effort?

Sounds like leaky shields are a lemon of a concept, and you'd have to rely more on your armor than waste time with the leaky shields. That's disappointing, because I had hoped they be adaptable in some interesting way for the Fusion Mod. Always looking out for interesting new ideas to add, but Leaky Shields seems like it's not as interesting as I'd hoped.
Commenter: ekolis
Date: Jan 24, 2021 3:00 PM
Leaky Shields - worth the effort?
I think you're missing the point. The point of leaky shields is that solid shields are OP, and lead to ships that are 100% functional as they take damage to shields, then the shields "pop" like a bubble, and then the ship explodes because it hardly has any actual HP. But with leaky shields, you can wind up with damaged ships at the end of a battle, because the shields "stretch out" the HP of the ship over time, similar to emissive armor.
Commenter: Cipher
Date: Jan 25, 2021 2:22 PM
Leaky Shields - worth the effort?
Just out of curiosity, what would the result be if shields were allowed to fail one at a time, then allowed to take damage like any other ship component?
Commenter: ekolis
Date: Jan 25, 2021 8:51 PM
Leaky Shields - worth the effort?
You mean like if you have 3 shields providing 50 HP worth of shields each, and then you lose 50 HP worth of shields so then the next hit can either hit the 100 HP of remaining shields, or the shield component that was providing the shields that were lost? Hmm, interesting. Kinda reminds me of Star Wars. Don't think you can do this in Space Empires, but it might be worth adding as an option to FrEee...
Commenter: blackknyght
Date: Jan 27, 2021 10:24 PM
Leaky Shields - worth the effort?
Not sure how I'd make that work for the Fusion Mod in a way all players would understand
Commenter: Fyron
Date: Feb 1, 2021 12:00 AM
Leaky Shields - worth the effort?
Leaky systems in SE4 are meant to work together at all defense layers, both shielding and armor. The design goal of leaky defenses is to add randomness to the game's combat system, and let ships take partial damage to internal components while still being able to fight.

In the stock data set, there is practically no such thing as partial ship damage. "Solid" shields and armor work together to create a complete bubble of protection that you have to get through in its entirety before you can cause any reduction in the target's effectiveness. Each ship will take focused fire until its shields and armor go down, and then it pretty much evaporates in the next hit or two. It is very rare for a ship to survive a single round of taking internal damage, and still be able to participate in the fight.

In a fully leaky system, ships work more like they do in movies, like Star Trek. The effect of hits will be partially reduced by shielding, and will sometimes get absorbed by armor plates, or sometimes punch through to take out a vital component. Ships will usually maintain some level of protection and functionality all the way until they get blown up. A lucky hit might knock out the bridge early on, or they might just keep slogging away.

Combining leaky shields with stock "solid" armor doesn't really gain us anything. We are still dealing with a solid bubble of hit points that have to be depleted before the ship takes functional damage.

You might want to check out the "modworks" sample mods for leaky shields and armor. They contain readmes that go into the mechanics and reasoning behind how the systems work.



In the end, you may still decide leaky defense aren't for you. They play quite differently from stock defense systems.
Commenter: blackknyght
Date: Feb 1, 2021 5:47 PM
Leaky Shields - worth the effort?
Thanx for the detailed reply!

I have ALL the ModWorks files, and we have actually incorporated some of them (Space Yard Expansions, QNP, Anti-Crew Weapons, and even Leaky Armor to a limited degree). While I don't yet fully grasp Leaky Shields (Doh!), I'm considering applying both that and WorkForce Happiness to the next iteration of our mod.