Removing Energy Consumption

Terran Stellar Navy Forums (OOC) Division Development Removing Energy Consumption

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    What impact would it have if all ships had 100% energy all the time? What difference would it make to the way we play Artemis? Would the benefits outweigh the drawbacks?

    I have been considering these questions over the past week or so, and have decided to post the idea here and open it up for discussion. With three lines of code for each ship, it is possible for me to give all ships 100% energy all the time – that bit is easy. Determining the impact and how much it would change the game for us is much harder to figure out. These are my thoughts so far:

    We’d no longer have to stop and engage fuel collectors. It would remove completely those times when crews are sat around for several minutes, waiting for energy to increase to a level that will allow them to re-engage in combat. It would also mean we could transit long distances without having to pause every ten minutes or so, detour to a base for energy, or travel at low warp speed. We could transit from Promethean to Cronus and on to Erebus at warp 4, cutting the transit time massively during missions. Such journeys back and forth would become viable in an actual mission.

    Ships would be able to keep up with one another. We ignore the dreadnought because to take it on a long mission across several sectors would mean to extend our mission time massively due to the fact we’d have to travel at a snails pace, or stop in every SECTOR to recharge.

    Helm would be able to manoeurve and fire. A long time ago, we’d train helm officers in how to maneouvre around enemies to engage them out of their firing arcs. We realised though that it was incredibly inefficient, and if you were to “dog-fight” in this way, though it took skill and finesse, combats would last too long and energy would be massively drained. Though the Engineer could boost maneouvre at key points so helm could perform tight turns, it was more efficient and effective to simply sit head to head and slug it out with some enemies, rather than really flying the ship. If we were to bring this back, helms officers could start to really develop their skills in maneouvring so that we could take on the much larger and tougher enemies that we want to encounter (the enemy Command formations for example). It may also make BvB a more viable option, putting ships 1 on 1 in a sector without any stations. It wouldn’t be a matter of who can destroy the enemy base first, or deny the use of a base for the enemy to use. Instead it would be about who can pick the best place to engage the enemy, and who is the helm officer with the greater flying skill.

    I think it would make terrain more interesting. We already fly at warp 1, so when we hit a nebula it makes no difference. If we are actually able to use warp 4 to travel long distances, then avoiding asteroid fields and nebulas becomes more significant.

    Would ship classes suffer? I wonder if it would erode the role of the scout for example. The scout is naturally faster and more maneouvrable anyway and can still out perform other ships in that regard.

    Would the engineer officer suffer? There is still lots for an engineer to do – allocating power, cooling systems, repairing damage. In combat, the engineer could boost more systems, without worrying about energy drain. However, overheat would become a much bigger issue as with infinite energy reserves, multiple systems can be boosted easily. An engineer might have to become more skilled at juggling coolant around to keep the ship operating at peak performance.

    Bases would still have to be visited for ordnance and replacement dam con teams, as well as any mission objectives.

    Combats could last longer. We could boost enemies to make them even harder (imagine if those kralien fleets were actually torgoth fleets, with the lightest ship being a torgoth goliath and the heaviest being the torgoth command ship.)

    Anyway, what are other peoples thoughts on this? I am thinking of giving it a trail run with a couple of willing volunteers, but would like to hear opinions from others. Would it really detract from play, or would it enhance our missions?


    I was considering opening this on the Artemis forums, however I see this as relevant to us and not to the wider community as I am looking from the perspective of using the TSN Sandbox, not the normal solo invasion/ siege modes of the game. Consider it therefore from that angle (the TSN Sandbox and missions), rather than from the invasion mode

    John van Leigh

    I’d go right with trying the DN. Snail pace is only relevant if you’re draining energy, if not, simply increase warp factor. And unless I’m mistaken, the dreadnought wouldn’t be any heavier than the Hydra.

    A development I’ve been working on (on paper, I never got to actually test it on the field) was a line formation. Basically, we have a wall of five DNs that coordinate movement very closely and 3 CMs for support fire. The idea is to provide an effective approach to defensive scenarios in which the only way to win for other groups would be aggro-based tactics.

    Now, about roles. The scout would be alright. Her ideal role is, in fact, a tank. She absorbs damage no other class can even without shields. That doesn’t rely on energy but on the internal layout. I’m more concerned with the CM, as she would have effectively endless ordnance. Even more so with the TSN stronger homings.


    Now there is something I didn’t consider – energy-to-torp conversion. We’d effectively have infinate torpedoes. Though with the update Thom is working on, we’d be able to set required energy to above 1000 units, and therefore make it impossible to creating homing torpedoes.

    For now though, how would infinite torpedoes chanhe our game play? We’d only be docking for heavier ordnance. Salvoes of homing torps would be pretty cool though.


    Can’t you improve energy regain rates instead?


    Having infinite energy would be more useful and allow us to get around quicker and yes infinite torpedoes is definitely a cool idea. Except when you consider that its quite immersion breaking in way. You never have that constant nag ib the back of your head that if that number reaches zero you will have lost your ship. But maybe we can have best of both worlds. Maybe we could have regenerating energy we could move around quicker but you’d still have to manage it pretty closely in a pinch. It would be like having an actual reactor on the ship it keeps pumping out energy but if it’s stressed to much it might not be able to keep up. The speed of which it regenerates is obviously up for discussion, just an idea that popped into my head. Would it be feasible?

    EDIT: or just like fulvus said haha

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 5 months ago by Roy.
    Jayce Gideon

    I’m against the idea. Energy consumption is vital to the game because it can force tough decisions and reward or penalize those choices (i.e. create a minor success/failure state). This engagement is mostly experienced by the captains who make those kinds of calls, but it does affect their crews and even other allied ships. Gathering energy can be a time sink, but that’s the point of it: ships are forced to return to stations or collecting energy, thereby temporarily removing them from the resource pool (i.e. tapped). This “tapping” then becomes a point of engagement for command roles.

    It can be dull sitting around relying on fuel collectors, but that makes getting back into the fray all the more exciting by providing an unwinding period. Many people operate at their best and enjoy their activities the most when provided with highs and lows.


    My gut reaction is to agree with Jayce. I like the highs and lows, the enforced tension of waiting and anticipation to get back into action. And as an Engineer it is that one extra little thing that makes the role challenging. However, it is an interesting variant and I would certainly be interested to try it out.


    I did consider whether we could lower the maximum amount of energy, but increase the recharge rate. A ship could then have something like 300 energy and when at warp 4 it would recharge as fast as it drains (so would hold steady). However, using lots of systems would drain it faster than it recharges (for example, using warp, beams, torpedoes etc in combat) and therefore you’d have to pull out or adapt how you fight.

    On the point about infinite torpedoes – in a way we already have that. In standard Artemis, you can recharge very slowly, in the Sandbox we can recharge more quickly using the FCS but in both we can convert that energy to torpedoes.

    Having a ship withdraw from a combat is something that can create tension – removing their combat capability from the resource pool. I wonder though if this can still be done with well scripted missions. I think sometimes the GMs want to do more, however have to realise that our resources (energy) are not able to deal with it. They limit some engagements as a result, making them enjoyable and challenging, but not overwhelming and impossible. I wonder therefore if combat could become more intense and challenging if the GMs knew we weren’t going to have to withdraw for a period to recharge.

    More often than not, ships have to withdraw due to damage sustained rather than loss of energy. There are also those times when ships are ambushed, or enemies cause us to need to split our focus. Take the escort mission for example – the Raven was alone with 3 pirates whilst the other ships where on the other side of the sector fighting. The other ships needed to withdraw from their combat to help, and it was a tense period for the crew of the Raven. I also think we could include much heavier enemies in our games, making skilled helm control and damage control bigger factors than they are now.

    I like to hear the points being raised though, both for and against.

    Jayce Gideon

    I wonder if, perhaps, the issues of energy consumption would best be addressed with two ideas:
    1. An increase to the maximum standard energy capacity…
    … rather than a change to its rate of expenditure or recharge. In many cases, returning to a station is as much to resupply on munitions as it is to refill the tank; this means ships would still be withdrawing often enough, especially in the face of larger opponents due to the use of echo and omega orders. Yet, such a change would still increase our ability to engage larger groups of lighter targets over extended periods of time and/or allow for longer travel times without overly impacting later engagements.
    2. The implementation of Advance Resupply Caches (ARCs)…
    … primarily for deep strikes when our ships are away from allied station. In game terms, these would be similar to anomalies spawned/scripted in at specific locations. The RP idea is that these locations are where the TSN would stow fuel and/or munitions intended to be used by TSN ships in need during deployment outside of their protected space. This could help drastically reduce refuel times during such missions. However, these ARC locations change regularly and are known only to High Command: ARC coordinates would be supplied solely at their discretion.

    In short, an increase to the standard energy cap combined with an almost “deus-ex-machina” resupply option would help cut back on energy refills without entirely removing the need to conserve fuel.

    As far as any desire for tighter maneuvers and trickier piloting, I’d argue that’s what the scout is for. Having flown a few, the difference in turning and ac/de|celeration is quite noticeable. Though, I admit it’d be interesting to fly larger ships that way. Perhaps an alteration to TSN ship coding to increase their maneuvering? Justify it with an advancement in tech, provided by our recent alien “refugees” to whom we’re providing asylum. It’d be similar to how we gained Jump tech (if I’m not butchering the lore).


    I think it would be interesting, however, I must agree with Gideon and Matsiyan on this issue. Removing energy consumption would hurt RP overall because we are removing an essential part of operating a ship. That being said, further testing and discussion might come up with new ways or points with which we can work off.


    OK, so the crew of the Raven were experimenting more with the energy consumption. Rather than giving infinite energy to ships, the artemis.ini file was altered to make particular systems more efficient. Below, I have included a list of the systems and the changes made:

    energyUseCoeff – originally 1, now set to 0.3
    energyCoeffBeams – originally 3, now set to 8
    energyCoeffTubes – originally 1, now set to 8
    energyCoeffTactical (sensors) – originally 1, now set to 3
    energyCoeffManeuver – originally 2, now set to 1
    energyCoeffImpulse – originally 4, now set to 1
    energyCoeffWarp – originally 6, now set to 1

    With these settings, we were able to transit through multiple systems with ease. We engaged enemies and found that after a couple of combats, we’d still have to stop to collect some fuel as the recharge rate was still quite low. Transit at warp 1 used so little energy it was negligible. Warp 4 could be maintained for extended periods, though drained at rate which meant you’d need to refuel after crossing a couple of sectors. Warp 3 made an excellent cruise speed, draining energy equivalent to moving at boosted warp 1/ warp 2.

    Conclusions – in the TSN Sandbox we could use even heavy ships effectively in combat (first patrol was run with a battlecruiser, second was run with a dreadnought). We still needed fuel collectors, as multiple combats would take their toll and deplete the energy reserves (the recharge rate was still at normal levels). The engineer also commented that there was less ‘down time’ – time spent during fuel collection to cool systems, repair shields and repair damage – impact their job and how they carried it out.

    Further tests are needed though to find out what impact there would be on the standard solo and coop modes. Personally, I think cooperation between ships would be enhanced as ships wouldn’t be falling back at different times to refuel (often one ship is ready and the other needs to refuel).


    Hi, infinate energy sounds a really bad idea, youd be removing an important aspect of the game. The tweeks to energy use from manuvre systems sound interesting 🙂 remember that engineers need to be kept on thier toes, managing temperatures, red shirts AND energy stops them playing with other critical systems like the coffee machine and captains chair adjustment system 😛 I’ll hopefully be back on soon to help with trials 🙂


    I think the way forward is to change the efficiency of systems, instead of giving infinate energy. From the tests on Saturday, energy was still something that had to be managed carefully, however it didn’t seem to dominate as it does now. We still had to pause to refuel, and travelling at high warp consumed a noticable amount of energy, but as we were more efficient, other critical issues came to the fore, such as damage and damcon casualties, overheat and ordnance supplies.

    Such issues have been overshadowed by lack of energy as we are either continually redocking and resupplying damcons, energy and ordnance, or withdrawing from combat instead of fighting for extended periods and therefore having to deal with more damage or loss of damcons.

    Ultimately, I believe increasing efficiency could be the best way forward and will enhance our gameplay, rather than detract from it. Of course, I want to be sure before proceeding and making the change (even then, we can always choose to reverse it), so will be trying it out with different crews to see the impact and get feedback.


    sounds cool, if you can tweek systems a roleplay element may be to announce the ‘ravens impulse engines are due an overhaul soon’ and make the less efficient for a week or two. Or ‘the Hyrda has new phaser capacitors’ and tweek the damage up a bit for the week they’re new. Only 5% change max either way, it would make the proper ships feel more real than a stock battle cruiser etc. I guess this would only be if it can be modified in the mission script.

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