Engineering/fuel recovery

Terran Stellar Navy Forums (OOC) Division Development Engineering/fuel recovery

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    First of all, thanks for last night – having not taken part for a couple of years, it was great fun!

    I’ve been thinking about the ‘fuel recovery’ mode. I spent last night as the engineer on the flagship vessel (wow!), and I’m pleased to say that we retreated undamaged. 🙂

    I took care to ensure minimal energy usage at all times, turning off systems when not needed and so on. So I was a little surprised when we entered ‘fuel recovery’ mode. That removes the need for the engineer to manage energy levels except in very rare situations, taking away a very large part of the role.

    I’m curious what the reasoning for said mode is. At present, there’s no risk involved whatsoever, especially considering the speed advantage that a player ship has to drop back, refuel, and cone back to the fight.


    The fuel collection system was something implemented a long time ago, though we have made a more recent alteration to the energy efficiency of ships.

    The reason why fuel collectors were added was simply to reduce the reliance of refueling at bases. Sometimes, we operate in systems which have no bases what-so-ever, so without them we would have to wait for quite a long time to refuel the ship so that it is combat capable. Rather than having to hop from base to base in our home systems too, we could just refuel when needed where we were. In protracted combats, it created interesting situations in which a “fallback” or recovery location could be designated (though this hasn’t been something we’ve looked in depth) and ships attack, then retreat to recover, whilst the next ship attacks. We have done it when escorting ships, with one ship recovering/ providing escort whilst the others attack.

    More recently, we modified the energy efficiency of ships. The intention was to change the focus from power being consumed by warp and impulse, and shift it to the weapon systems. It meant we could travel at Warp 2 as standard and still maintain a decent energy level. Now we are freer to use higher warp factors like warp 3 and 4 without finding we have 0 energy after crossing only a sector or two. Of course, in combat using the weapon systems, energy starts to drop more rapidly. Activating shields and firing primary beams consumes energy at a much more rapid rate now.

    All these actually change engineering, and not in a way that detracts from the role. Instead of watching the energy levels and having to conserve constantly, you can boost energy. You have to be more aware at when the ship is in combat though, as that is when energy will start to drop. The difference is, you now have to carefully manage heat and decide where your coolant is going to go as you can easily boost multiple systems at a time and keep them at high levels. Previously, a ship sitting at 100% energy on all systems would gradually run out. Now it will slowly recharge the energy instead. Boost several systems up and enter combat, and you have both energy and coolant to manage. The ship will be maneuvering more and be in combats longer, away from bases. We are more reliant then ever on engineers getting the most from the ship, handling the damage and keeping the ship running at peak performance.

    The engineering game is now much more about getting the ship to perform at peak performance all the time, rather than playing conservative and squeezing system to try and make them efficient.

    One final thing: another knock on impact is on the homing torpedoes. They are no longer glorified batteries, but usable and effective ordnance weapons.

    Hope that all makes sense!

    John van Leigh

    Have you ever played a deep strike in which your transport gets destroyed? You’ll notice that at some points energy management doesn’t cut it for some scenarios.

    An issue we find with the missions is that the efective size of a system is bigger than the system for a simulation, with longer travel times, larger distances, and you don’t always get to dock. The solution adopted by the TSN was fuel collectors, although it isn’t the only possibility and other groups chose different options.

    Still, it doesn’t come without a penalty. For starters, resupplying means you lose roughly two to three minutes in the middle of combat, so the division has to deal with one ship less. Also, you don’t recover damcons.

    Energy management still has a role, because the ship needs to stay up longer, and the work you do is still noticeable for command.


    Thanks for the replies & explanations!


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