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Concept & Idea Bin
Sooner or later we're going to want to make some new ships for PDS, maybe flesh out some of the 'minor' races or atleast make them have some cameo appearances. So I've been thinking about pieces of concept art, things I've made on either buildy-constructy games, etc, that might be neat to render into the HWRM engine and add to PDS.

Nalthoran Light Fighter?

This piece of HW2 concept art caught my eye, for a number of reasons. The caption says it's a Sobani lgiht fighter, but in the PDS-verse, the Soban will just use regular HGN ships adapted to their needs.

My gut says it would look good as a Nalthoran fighter instead, possibly a light interceptor design analogous to the Blade/Pioneer, a previous-generation gunfighter adapted into the current environment, built around a main gun and for maneuverability, at the cost of missile payload and survivability. Of course, we can remedy these by affixing missile pods to the sides of the hull or something.

Another curious note is the uncanny resemblance to a ship players of Freelancer may recognize.

Gravity Well or Hyperspace Ferry?

This thingy was some kind of Hyperspace Core concept, but I think it would be better used, for our purposes, as something different. I've had two ideas pertaining to this.

1: Use it as a HW2 era Gravity Well generator, similar to the ones from HW1 to disrupt fighters at close range. Really, in our battlespace, a GravWell would be fairly impractical, with the exception of situations where you're fighting something with Intertialess Drive tech (Bentusi, T-MAT, P3, etc), which may happen. We've established that Gravwells interfere with that sort of propulsion system, making tactical use of Gravity wells critical to fighting an advanced opponent.

2: Use it as a civilian hyperspace ferry. Basically a self-propelled jumpdrive that smaller craft can dock with that hauls them from system to system. Probably it would show up as part of civilian convoys, and can possibly be salvaged by the player and used as a mobile hyperspace gate if so inclined.

Frrern Corvette

Originally the mental image of the Frrern Aggregate I had in my head was old R2 concept art. Granted, that was for the Homeworld-1 era. However, I quite wanted to use this exact corvette model as a Frrern design. Specifically what I wanted to do was put a large tank-like turret (and the necessary infrastructure to support it) on top of it's main hull. The sponson autocannons would remain, and possibly a missile launcher mounted ventrally.

The 'flying tank' mentality would put the FRN corvettes somewhere between the Hiigaran CTs and Vaygr Sloops, being very survivable vessels with turreted main armaments, which can take on midsize or large craft. Alternate derivatives of the basic design could mount various other weapon systems such as missiles. Lasers, etc.

If we do go the Frrern route, I wanted to acquire some of the HW@ models if possible (since they're awesome), but I'd still want this integrated into the basic lineup. Possibly as an old yet venerable design.

Taiidan Supercarrier

This is a concept off of the old Dustwars TC moddb page, but I think it looks quite decent as a concept for a HW2-era Taiidan carrier/mothership. Just looking at the scaling suggests it is a much larger vessel, probably intermediate between the size of the Imperator CV and a Shipyard. During v11 of PDS classic, we had a Taiidan command carrier based on the Vaygr command ship. If this were to be modeled, it would probably fufill an identical role.

The Imperialist CV would be a larger, much higher-capacity carrier than Hiigaran or Vaygr designs, designed for Taskforce level command & fighter support, but lacking the tactical maneuverability to operate in the field. Probably it would also act as a command & control hub, with smaller SWACS ships or Drones relaying commands to front-line fleet ships.

Taiidan Destroyer 'Darak-Ti'

Another concept from the old Taiidan Republic mod. Warman1 (I think) was even modeling it a few months ago. No idea what happened. Either way, I've loved this design for a while and feel it would be great as a light patrol destroyer. Probably a proper 'Frigate-Destroyer' of Imperialist origin. I think it was discussed that it would be armed with hypervelocity railguns for fighter destruction, and some prow-mounted DEW and some missiles for additional offensive firepower.

I'd imagine it as somewhat smaller than the Hiigaran or Vaygr destroyers, but somewhat larger than a Frigate. Closely coordinated vessels of this class and frigate groups could be the foundation of Imperialist 'armored cavalry' equivalents. Instead of what v11/v13 used where there were a bunch of Vaygr Destroyers taped together.

Project "Interceptor Shield"

This is actually something I made in Space Engineers a while ago. It is meant to be a very dangerous, pack hunting, AI attack drone. I'm not exactly sure what we'd use it for, but the design is awesome so I'm shamelessly promoting it's use. The space engineers incarnation of this vessel is armed with four gatling guns, a pair of self-loading missile launchers, and two Modular Weapon hardpoints (the prongy merge blocks on the side) which can mount additional weapons, ranging from flak guns to DEWs.

If this ship were made in PDS, I'd imagine it would be a 'secret project' of somebody's. Not sure who though. It could alternately be a Frrern weapons program that escaped 'into the wild', the remnants of an older race like the Sekhmet, a Kassi ship, or an example of Jakuul's naval technology. Whatever it's disposition, it would be an advanced fighter craft broadly equivalent to something like the Avenger.

General Contact Vehicle

The interceptor shield's bigger brother. This is a cruiser-sized automated warship, armed to the teeth with advanced weapons, and extremely fast and well armored to boot. Again, I'm not sure what purpose such a vessel would serve, except as a tender or backup of sorts to the Interceptor Shield project.

The SE version has a large battery of turrets on it's forward hull, with most of it's firepower facing forward. The large apparatuses on the dorsal and ventral hull between the main thruster pods are meant to be Ion Cannons, and the glowing red arrays on the aft end of the ship are heat radiators, meant to keep the AI core cool. It would be a very aggressive vessel, with all of it's firepower in the front quarter, and only a few point defense guns aft.

Mobile Miner

Yet another Space Engineers design I made. It's a simple civilian mining drill ship. If a similar design were in PDS, it would function as a resource collector for whoever needs one. It's a utilitarian vessel; not real fast, not real pretty, but it gets the job done. The drillheads on the front of the ship are mounted in pistons that extend it into the asteroid, and there is a gravity generator mounted in order to collect all the pebbles and dust.

I'd imagine it'd be a Cush Federation or Nalthoran resourcer, if in PDS.
Ironwatsas attached the following images:
mobile_miner.jpg general_contact_vehicle.jpg interceptor_shield.jpg darak_ti.jpg taiidan_carrier.jpg dc_tobari_gunship.jpg ak_jumptech_flat.jpg soban.jpg

Edited by Ironwatsas on 27-09-2015 20:11
The first thing look like modernised Higg Stealth fighter (from HW1 to HW2 standard).

Taiidan Supercarrier - Yes it would be epic to have it, but I think we'll have same problem with modelers as 10 years ago Smile

Taiidan Destroyer 'Darak-Ti' - It's already done in HW@ mod as Fern destoroyer (not eaxctly 1:1 with the concept but very similar - I insantly thouht ablut this concept when I first saw Fern destroyer in HW@)
Please attach the images, or place them where you know for sure they will always be available...
@mrsWHO: Come to think of it it does kind of look like that. The reason I state it's most likely use as a Nalthoran Fighter, and why I emphasized the comparison to a Freelancer ship, is that I may (big emphasis on may) be able to call in a favor from the folks over at the Discovery Mod and see if they let us use a few of their original ships.

Some of their Bounty Hunter and Zoner ships could, if put in HWRM and dolled up a bit, serve as an interesting base for a Nalthoran Fleet. They've already done a Freelancer mod for SoaSE with Discovery ships, so that sets a precedent. Still can't say for sure though.

The Darak-ti is a vastly different design to the Frrern DD. In fact, I'm reminded of a number of midsized Split ships from X3:Terran Conflict (and it's mods), most of which have a similar triangle/diamondoid hull planform.

@Homdax: Attached backups of the pictures. Just in case.
X3:Terran Conflict! I guess there is limited amount of games people with specific taste can play Smile

I'm plaing X-Rebirth (sequel to X3) and I'm wating for "X-Rebirth 2" that develoers are working on now.
Hmm, I remember at one point there were models that were going to be used as Nalthoran frigates. On this very site. They were very rounded off with vertical finny bits.

Not sure what happened to them. I'd like people to probe around and look to see if they can be seen!
Now, I've had another idea here... which may be out on a limb, and requires a bit of perspective here. Back during the ancient times of HW1 development, there was this piece of old concept art for the Taiidan Mothership.

Now, if you're a bit open minded, and you squint reeeeeeeeaaally hard at it, it sort of reminds you of this... doesn't it.

I was thinking: A quad-gimbal Defender-style Taiidani fighter for the HW2 era, loosely based on the above concept piece. The front part of the ship would be a cockpit section analogous to the HW1 era defender. The four large objects at each corner would be the turrets: The two upper guns would be a pair of hypervelocity railguns, essentially designed for light fire support, or to 'snipe' smaller enemy ships from a relatively long distance. The lower mounts would be some kind of missile launcher, or gun/missile system. Again, built to engage the enemy at range.

Functionally, a close support strikecraft like the defender would be a ship which emphasizes off-axis manuverability (I.E. translation as opposed to forward speed) and would operate in close support of capital ships, either defensively (picking off incoming enemies from range) or offensively (as squads of mobile light artillery, engaging dangerous enemy starships from outside their effective CIWS envelope).

The obvious drawback is that enemy strikecraft or turreted corvettes can easily get in close and obliterate defender squads, necessitating escort or some sort of combined arms engagement. If one things of HW1/Cataclysm era Imperialist doctrine (especially Cataclysm), they would probably distribute squadrons of defenders in with their frigate forces, as a flanking force or for some level of standoff strikecraft deterrence to protect ships like Ion Cannon frigates, which have weak defense against bombers.
Ironwatsas attached the following images:
heavy_defender4.jpg ak_r2_mo_ship.jpg
Found this:

Basically the next gen Taiidan torpedo corvette that can carry 8 torpedos.
2 quick ideas i have had ..
bring on the Torp Bombers
Hyperspace weapons. weapons that enter hyperspace very briefly to bypass shields, point defenses, armor
Torp Bombers: Yes. Very long range guided missile bombers do and will exist. In fact, one thing we hope to do is have it so attack stances (Aggressive, Neutral, Evasive) change ship attack types. So, for instance, a bomber on evasive will stay at standoff range and fire torpedoes/MRAMs/whatever it has, while one set to aggressive will go into plasma cannon range.

Dedicated missile/torpedo ships may exist as well. Lore wise, the Yomi's primary bomber is basically a nuclear-equipped cruise missile carrier. Currently I have no model for a dedicated torpedo bomber for the HGN or VGR, but it's possible.

Hyperspace Weapons: In the way you described, I'm not sure how they'd be scripted, and they seem a wee bit too far outside the tech level of the HGN and VGR.

Lore wise, they do exist, in several varieties. Mostly though they are the realm of Progentech, and played a major role in the civil war that wiped them out. They're also usually doomsday devices or superweapons in nature, used to dehabitate planets or destroy Karos-scale megaliths. A bit too much for ship-to-ship combat in any case.

We're probably going to work shields a bit differently this time around, but specialized point-defense or armor bypassing weapons are in the works (I.E. 'Laserhead' missiles, Nuclear-pumped laser mines, etc. Hopefully.)
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