October 22nd 2017
From Weapons we move onto Turrets, the next logical step on our tour of the New Ship Matrix. You may have recently seen our discussion on Around the Verse about improving the overall Turret Experience, and we’ve been hard at work on what we feel are significant improvements to their usability as part of ongoing advancements planned not just for Alpha 3.0, but beyond. In our next release, the way you control them is entirely refactored with better gyro-stabilization to help keep them on target, and hopefully giving you much more enjoyable and successful time when using them.
Turrets can be found on ships of all sizes, from starters to capital ships, and the mounts they attach to can vary as dramatically in size as well. The largest found on some capital ships are as big as the smaller ships flying escort, wielding weapons capable of massive destruction.
With this update to the New Ship Matrix, we now divide turrets in to two distinct categories: Manned and Remote. Both of these turret types support player, NPC or AI control via various methods detailed further below.
Turrets can only be attached to turret hardpoints, they cannot go on weapon or ordnance hardpoints.
Turrets themselves have multiple itempoints of their own for attaching armament to. These are traditionally weapon hardpoints, but some turrets can also have ordnance and utility hardpoints as well.
Turrets can only be swapped out for the same type of turret, and all turrets are “hull locked.” This means you can only swap a Manned Constellation Turret out for a different variant of a Manned Constellation Turret. You can not swap one out for a Manned Starfarer Turret, as example.
Remote Turrets cannot be swapped for Manned Turrets, and vice versa due to hull requirements.
- As they are now “hull locked” turrets no longer have a size attributed to them. You can only swap out like for like. They no longer have a +2 to the sum size of the weapons calculation.
These turrets are controlled by a player or NPC acting as player within them, usually in a seat that moves from within the ship hull into the turret itself.
All manned turrets have a consistent entrance tube diameter which means that upon destruction… they become a viable breach point.
These turrets are controlled from a station or seat elsewhere within the ship by a player or NPC acting as player. Their view is remotely sent back from the turret allowing them to control it and see what it sees while physically being elsewhere in the ship.
Remote turrets have no physical path inside them for players to enter, so they’re a great way for us to add defense on ships where space is a premium, but will often pack lower size weapons.
Any turret can be controlled via an NPC acting as player, but AI or Autonomous Control is a separate function requiring a blade to be added to your computer item (formerly Avionics Module).
For each turret you wish to be AI controlled i.e. it engages and tracks independently of player or NPC input, you need to have a Blade equipped for that. Ships that come with these types of turrets either have these blades already installed or additional computer items to hold them in, as blade space is restricted. This is designed to force players into choosing between adding this feature or other blade features when customizing your ship.
Point Defense Turrets are simply AI controlled turrets with the computer and blades necessary, and with a specific weapon loadout intended to make them effective at neutralizing incoming fast threats like missiles or torpedoes. Any turret can be equipped with these particular weapons and computer blades. PDTs just come ready to go out of the box.
We’d like everyone who straps themselves into a turret to have a satisfying experience when doing so. To this end, we’ve been making improvements on the most important aspect of turret gameplay — aiming at, and hitting, your intended targets.
Controlling the orientation of the turrets has become more responsive and intuitive in Alpha 3.0, and the additional staggered fire mode means that you are able to scatter shots along a line of fire for better total accuracy at the cost of per-instance damage. We think being at the controls of such a powerful arsenal of weapons should be a visceral experience.
Camera shake, g-force effects, articulated directional controls, and an improved UI in which crew members can identify important targets to each other are all being worked on and should come in future 3.x patches.
When this continuing work is completed, having a crew member manning every turret should prove to be a formidable force, with each turret being capable of firing salvo after salvo at enemy targets with pinpoint accuracy.
Gather a squad of teammates, fill those once-empty turret seats, and watch ships like the Retaliator become the flying fortress it was always meant to be.
Beware, you pesky Aurora pirates!