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3.11 | Missiles and Countermeasures Follow up Questions (Dev Responses)

Content of the article: "3.11 | Missiles and Countermeasures Follow up Questions (Dev Responses)"


I really like the countermeasure and HUD changes. Those are really welcomed and sound great. I really like the idea of decoys and noise fields, and the bind for each CM was long awaited.

Those are great changes to solve the "missile spam" issue. The solution for that is good defense against them. And that defense is a holistic thing, which is good information, countermeasures and skill based avoidance. Those all are in here together which I'm very happy for.

The missile changes on the other hand are very problematic in my opinion.

  • Only one missile per rack is really bonkers, many ships that are specialized missile boats (Tana, Shrike, MIS, Constellation…) or bombers (Gladiator, Eclipse…) have only a few large racks. Limiting them to shoot only one or two missiles at a time is a severe nerf without much benefit. There was already a nice risk/reward to make a big strike with many missiles (very expensive) but that could be fooled by a single decoy and therefore leave the attacker without missiles. But now there is only the frustration where you trickle a missile at a time in long winded fights were you always lose any advantage of initiative you could have had. Ambush is dead, risk is dead, Macross style missile massacre is dead.

  • Only one missile of a type is understandable, but further kills the missile boats with the above logic. You either shoot from the large rack one at a time or shoot from outside mounts one at a time. If the above logic didn't exist you could shoot multiple of one or the other at least. The other downside to that logic, worsen by the above one, is that the only preferable choice is to equip the most homogeneous loadouts possible. Because that will be the only way to shoot more than two missiles at time.

  • Only 4 locks at a time, ok why not but that should be rather tied to avionics and such (I guess '4' is a placeholder for that). But with the two above logics, there is not many ships that will be able to have four locks at a time anyway. Most ships will only be capable of two locks at a time.

With that set of logic, every missile boat is a ship of attrition war. Therefore ships that are meant for stealth or overwhelming strikes (Shrike) or that are not capable of tanking a long winded fight (Tana) become nonsensical. Every missile boat will be a fight of who as the most missiles or countermeasures.

  • The persistence of knowledge I can understand for purposes of tempo and countermeasure play, ok.

  • But the loss of lock and having to relock everytime it goes outside of the FOV is absolutely useless and will just be frustrating. All that changes is that players will have to continuously spam the lock button at every single pass. Agile ships lose FOV contact of enemy constantly for repositioning. I will definitely bind a macro for spamming the lock button if that is the case. Or maybe I didn't read that right and it is only the reacquisition of the lock automatically, which is weird because that is already the case…

Otherwise, it's great and welcomed change. But definitely reconsider those missile changes.

I fly Tana as my main ship and the only thing making it survive -as the worst fighter in the 'Verse- is me launching missiles five by five with the initiative, or else I die immediately because I can't avoid nor survive fire (please gib omni-thrusters and agility it should have had).



@adelys, there is a lot to unpack, so I'll try to address a few of your points:

  • 1) The 1 lock per rack limitation: This is just a temporary measure which has more to do with limitations on certain missile racks (not all of them can launch multiple missiles at the same time). We absolutely want to give players the ability to launch big salvos but we also think that this process must come at a bigger price than just smashing the same button twenty times. Changes in this regard will happen with the missile operator mode in 2021. Until then we'll likely keep the 1 lock per rack limitation. I understand that this will change the combat experience for missile boat loadouts but please keep in mind that they still have a lot of missiles and locking a target doesn't take long.

  • 2) The total 4 lock limitation: as you suggested the max amount of missile launches that your ship can handle will ultimately be driven from the ship avionics in later versions. In 3.11 however it will be a static number … it is 4 atm but depending on how the ETF feedback looks we'll change it.

  • 3) Attrition war: we hope that there are enough dynamic gameplay elements to avoid an attrition war. Timing for deploying CMs is a very important factor and there are quite a couple of factors when you play together with friends as your own CMs are also affecting missiles which are not meant for you. In fact you can even spoof your own missiles with your own CMs if you are not careful. That said during the ETF and PTU phases we'll be very focused on the feedback threads and try to get you the right amount of available CMs for each ship.

  • 4) "Persistence of knowledge": It really just means that the missile does not really know at all times where the target is. All missiles have seeker heads with varying FOVs … but they cannot look directly backwards anymore, so you have a higher chance that they can't reacquire you after the first pass.

  • 5) Locking and relocking: In the long term we're trying to go into a direction where missiles are not just additional weapons during dogfights. We instead want them to take a proper slot in the combat space and have areas where they are useful and areas where they are not useful. So if you find a missile hard to employ in knife fighting distances then it is not necessarily a bad thing.

Read:  FastForecst 20 October

Ultimately please keep in mind that this announcement is really just for the 3.11 changes. Missile gameplay is not done with 3.11 and far bigger changes will appear with the missile operator mode in 2021. Hope that makes sense!

  • Yogi

PS: On the use of macros … for obvious reasons of fairness I strongly advice against using any kind of macros in Star Citizen. Please see for details.



1 – Will this affect AI? ATM the "kill the probes" missions are so broken because after you kill one probe, three AI warp in and launch missiles. Or at least seems like that's what happens.

2 – For names…I don't know… maybe Flares for the "decoy" and something French sounding for the "field" one….I know…how about "Chaff"



    1. It will affect all kinds of missile gameplay. I can't specifically say anything about the probe missions but I hope that ETF / PTU will uncover any issues.
    1. We'll have a meeting with the narrative team soon. If you want to suggest names for the CM changes please feel free to drop them here, we're watching this thread closely.



Down the line, when salvage and its dependencies are closer to full implementation, please consider making missiles/torpedoes NOT detonate if a successful strike is not achieved. Being able to scan for and recover fired but un-detonated armament could be very interesting.



Now that is an interesting one! Maybe that's something where EMPs could be useful. We'll definitely consider it! Though … definitely not for 3.11

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this is just an idea but what about giving turrets the ability to mount counter measures or once we get mines have them able to produce a countermeasure effect



It's a good proposal, I see the value especially for larger ships with a lot of turrets. We'll discuss it.



Is the plan for torpedoes always going to be that they're just bigger missiles? I was kinda hoping for specific gameplay and countering since we have entire ships dedicated to launching torps. Shouldn't they be slower, so turret gunners and escorts have to shoot them down? This would also have the benefit of making them useless against targets too small for their "intended" targets. At the moment an Eclipse can one-shot most multicrew ships, but surely the huge torps are only intended against very large or cap ship targets?



We absolutely want deeper gameplay when it comes to Torpedoes and have a couple of plans laid out for that, but it is out of scope for 3.11.



Any chance this change to missile locking mechanics will fix connie missile locking? Iirc part of the issue is that some of the missiles are on an articulated mount that point upwards at ~30 degrees when weapons are turned on, and can't lock targets straight ahead of the ship in the crosshairs as a result. I think a workaround was to turn weapons off (so the missiles point straight ahead), lock, then turn weapons on again to fire. I haven't used the connie in a while so I'm not sure how accurate this is though, but I believe missile locking is still broken (from other comments in this thread). At least, it sounds like being able to change the selected missile type will allow connie users to lock and fire the missiles that are on the side racks? (ie aren't on the elevating mount)



We haven't had time to address the Connie and its "offset missiles" issues yet, so at this time the locking process is still based on the forward direction of the armed missile's locking cone. The current plan is to fix that with the missile operator mode in 2021. So it will get addressed but probably not in 3.11.



It seems there's a lot of focus being put on the missiles themselves in terms of their performance with little input from the launch platform itself. Using a Size 3 CS missile as an example, it doesn't matter whether it's launched from a MIS or a Sabre (two VERY different ships), as soon as it leaves the rail it's all about the missile type and countermeasures launched.



Having more reliance on the launch platform is one of the goals to achieve for the missile operator mode. But it's a bit too early to talk about that yet.



Woah hold the phone… so does this mean we can use counter measures to defeat radar locks (which would disrupt auto gimbals and aim pips) and avoid/delay identification? Maybe even scanning? Please say yes! This would be huge!



Yes, things inside noise fields effectively get a reduced signature. So you can use them to break locks. Though being inside a noise field also means that your own sensors are strongly affected. Very big ships might still be on your radar, smaller ones might disappear.

Read:  my speculation on how cargo decks and player shops will work.



Is it only things inside? Or anything obscured behind it as well?



For 3.11 just for things inside but we will have line of sight checks later. Probably around the same time as the missile operator mode.



If a missile or torp comes in contact with a decoy, does it detonate? Likewise, does it detonate at the edge of a noise field? Or does it pass through the noise field and act as though it has been evaded on exiting the other side? If a small ship ducks a torp successfully (or maybe passing through a noise field), does it fly straight until it reacquires its target/detonates from no target? Will it then put ships in its temporary trajectory at risk?



If a missile dives into a noise field, only it's signature readouts will be affected but it won't explode. That means there is a high chance it will loose its target track but it will keep going. If it comes out of the noise field then it will function normally again. And yes, if there happens to be an object in the way then it will be subject to the missile's warhead.



Will we get an easier way to target incoming missiles other than selecting the 3d radar (which is only available in some ships) missile indicator? Perhaps a keybind for cycle locked missiles?



This is actively being discussed but we won't have it for 3.11.



Whelp, time to melt the Shrike then, I guess, untill they figure out what the hell is going on.

Nerfed before release. Just… Awesome.



This article is just about the missile gameplay changes in 3.11 which are mostly to stabilize the experience until we get to the missile operator mode in 2021. A lot of things concerning missiles will change then (missile salvos, etc.). Don't worry, the Shrike will have it's place in the combat environment and will perform well in its intended specialization.



Sorry if this is a bit early to ask but are countermeasures, ammo and launchers, going to be another component which is interchangeable or upgradable? For example, various sizes or functionality like missile racks or choosing 40 decoy compared to 20 decoy and 20 noise fields.



This won't be happening in 3.11 but likely later down the line as with all other components on ships.



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