Q&A: Anvil Arrow

Q&A: Anvil Arrow

Following the launch of the Arrow from Anvil, we took your community-voted questions to our designers to give you more information on the recently unveiled light fighter.

Special thanks to John Crewe and Stephen Hosmer for answering our questions.

What gives it the designation “Stealth” on the ship page?

This is an error on the webstore due to a mix up on the internal design page and it should say Light Fighter and has been corrected. However the Stealth part is still valid, in reference to the class of components with which the Arrow can be fitted. Utilizing stealth components could allow the Arrow to be used as a patrol craft without being seen, or in an ambush to surprise one’s enemies.

The commercial states that this ship is one of the fastest and most agile in its class. However, once you try it in game, it handles like a turtle. Is this a bug?

It is intended to have agile handling as described. The current handling is a result of a bug in the current IFCS system that affects all ships randomly. The Arrow seems particularly prone to this bug, but cycling the landing gear often fixes it. We’re working towards making the Arrow true to its intent.

How does the Arrow compare to Aegis’ Gladius and Anvil’s own Hawk in the light fighter role?

The Arrow is more maneuverable than the Gladius, but isn’t as fast. The Hawk is slightly harder to compare, as it is intended to have above-average maneuverability and speed but not in an extreme capacity. Therefore, the Hawk will also be faster than the Arrow (to chase down its bounties), but not as maneuverable.

Given Anvil’s boast that the Arrow is the “most agile fighter in its class”, and that it is smaller and cheaper than the Gladius, with identical maximum hardpoints and components, why would I want a Gladius instead?

Anvil Aerospace built the Arrow to compete with the Gladius for a lucrative military contract. Anvil’s marketing team would have you believe it outperforms the competition in every way, but that isn’t exactly the case. The Gladius has superior missile hardpoints and its dual engines should out-accelerate the Arrow in a straight line. To get the price that low, Anvil included a cheaper turret mount with Size-1 weapons, and users may want to purchase larger weapons to get the most from the Arrow’s hardpoints. As always, balance is still being worked on and is subject to change.

Which ships will the Arrow fit in and how many could each ship carry (Carrack/Idris/Javelin/ Bengal-carrier)?

The Arrow was designed to have a small form factor and folding wings to accommodate fitting them in a carrier. Any ship that is built to be a dedicated carrier, such as the Idris, Kraken, or Bengal, will be able to fit an Arrow. Many other ships will be able to carry at least one such as the Javelin, Endeavor (with Hangar module), 890 Jump, and Polaris. The folding wings prevent it from being stored in a Carrack as that bay is designed specifically for the Pisces. As always, until the parent ship has been completed it is always tricky to confirm/deny some of the older options.

Is the Arrow tuned with the new FM in mind?

The Arrow was tuned and built in the IFCS 1.0 system and will need to be converted to the new IFCS flight model when it is released to the public, as such its current handling (bugs aside) is not fully representative of the finished product.

Will the Arrow have storage space for personal items such as a survival kit, weapons and armor?

In the future, we would like for each ship to be able to store a personal weapon for the player. Currently, the Arrow does not allow for these items, but may include a slot for a personal weapon or emergency kit in the future.

How do you plan to create meaningful balance for light fighters considering the class now has 9 ships: Arrow, Gladius, Hawk, Aurora LN, Reliant Tana, Mustang Delta, 125A, Blade and Khartu-al?

The Arrow, Gladius, Mustang Delta, and Blade are all dedicated fighters and their flight characteristics and loadouts differ. The Aurora LN and 125A can both carry cargo while having combat capabilities. The Hawk can carry a prisoner and packs an EMP, making it ideal for bounty hunting. The Reliant Tana is meant for long range combat and features multi-crew gameplay. The Khartu-al is a scout ship meant to get in and out and use its agility rather than firepower. The light fighter category encompasses many ships, but the role and capabilities of each of these ships vary. We hope each one will fill a niche for different play styles.

What options will we see from the turret? Will there be utility options such as stor-all?

The top turret mount was designed to only accommodate weapons. Currently the attached turret can hold two Size-1 weapons, but it can also be removed to add either a single fixed Size-3 weapon or a gimballed Size-2 weapon. The mount was designed to be flexible in this aspect. There are no plans to allow other utility options.

The ship matrix indicates that the Arrow has 8 joint maneuvering thrusters, against the Gladius 8 gimballed thrusters. The shipyard post on thrusters, however, only discuses gimballed and fixed maneuvering. What are Joint thrusters?

A gimballed thruster has multiple vectors of thrust whereas a fixed thruster has a single vector of thrust. A joint thruster is a subset of gimballed thrusters and refers to the range of movement. A few examples of gimballed thrusters we use are joint, roll, and flex. The Arrow uses joint thrusters, which means the thrusters can change their pitch in a 90-degree arc. The Aurora uses roll thrusters, which pitch in a 180-degree arc. The Hornet uses flex thrusters, which pitch and yaw in 90-degree arcs. There are more configurations of thrusters, but these are the most common. The more vectors a thruster can hit, the more complexity it adds, and generally reduces maneuverability.

Please state which of the component lines (civilian, industrial, stealth, performance, military) the Arrow can equip and what it comes equipped with stock. Are certain components limited to X line while others are limited to Y line (example being: powerplant can be industrial or civilian but the rest of the systems can only be civilian).

The Arrow can use Military, Stealth and Civilian components and comes stock with Military components.

Can we blade the turret for pds?

Yes you can use a Computer Blade to turn the turret into a AI Controlled Turret akin to a Point Defense System, however on such a small ship you may be using up all (or more than 50%) of the blade slots to do this leaving you with no other options to upgrade.

Is the very limited fuel capacity something actively being looked into, or is this the dev team’s intent?

The Arrow was built to be a short-range fighter and mainly to act as a ship deployed from a carrier where it can refuel and restock.

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Source: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/engineering/16883-Q-A-Anvil-Arrow

Q&A: Aopoa San’tok.yāi

Q&A: Aopoa San’tok.yāi

Following the launch of the San’tok.yāi from Aopoa, we took our questions to the ship designers to give you more information on this recently-unveiled medium class fighter.

Special thanks to John Crewe and Todd Papy for answering our questions.

What can the San’tok.yāi do that the Khartu-al cannot and vice versa? What are the advantages and disadvantages? What are the main differences?

In the Xi’an order of battle, the Khartu-al serves principally as a light fighter, scout, and skirmisher, whereas the San’tok.yāi is a medium fighter and direct combatant. Just like the UEE Military, the Xi’an military employs various types of fighters with different strengths and performance characteristics. The comparison between a Khartu-al and a San’tok.yāi is similar to the comparison between a Gladius and a Hornet – one emphasizes firepower and the other emphasizes speed and agility. Particularly due to its lower mass and lighter weapons complement, the Khartu-al is faster, accelerates more quickly, and is even more responsive than the San’tok.yāi. However, the San’tok.yāi carries considerably more weaponry. That said, the Khartu-al and San’tok.yāi are both Xi’an designs through and through, set apart from other fighters by the exceptional maneuverability afforded to them by their distinctive maneuvering rigs. In the hands of a capable pilot well-versed in the ship’s capabilities, the San’tok.yāi is a difficult target. The Khartu-al, maddeningly so.

Is this a true Xi’an military ship or a civilian export?

Similar to the Khartu-al, the San’tok.yāi is a civilian version of the Xi’an military ship designed for export and sale in the Human market. Like the Khartu-al, the San’tok.yāi is an original Xi’an-produced export by Aopoa, and not a replica, reconstruction, or a product of reverse-engineering.

How does this ship handle, maneuverability wise?

In terms of maneuverability, the San’tok.yāi is one of the best-handling ships of its size and weight class – in this case, the proper point of comparison is other medium fighters, such as the Hornet or Sabre. The design of Xi’an fighter craft revolves around their unique thruster configuration, which relies on highly articulated main thrusters. When compared with the typically human thruster setup, which relies on one or more main fixed thrusters with yaw, pitch, and roll delivered through additional small maneuvering thrusters, the Xi’an approach provides superior strafe-movement capabilities and lateral acceleration. The ability to deliver main engine performance on multiple axes also affords some other benefits. For example, many ships have finite VTOL endurance or exert heavy wear on their maneuvering thrusters while engaged in VTOL. Xi’an fighters, like the San’tok.yāi, barely notice such activity, it being nearly as natural to them as forward flight.

Will the Xi’an tech that introduces this new strafing maneuverability be applied to any other ships?

Theoretically it’s possible, but it will likely remain exclusive to Xi’an ship designs. While Xi’an thruster technology plays a large part in delivering this unique strafing flight capability, the overall design of the ship’s entire spaceframe and power infrastructure is also integral to providing the full range of articulation and point reinforcement needed to utilize it to its fullest. It is not something that can be effectively or efficiently retrofitted to ships not designed with them in mind from the ground up. Furthermore, the resulting structural arrangement, with main thrusters located outside the ship’s main fuselage and borne articulation joints that may be exposed from multiple angles, is less durable under fire than contemporary ‘bricky’ human designs. Xi’an engineers still make their fighters as strong and durable as they can without compromising the ship’s other capabilities, but this requires accounting for these requirements from the get-go. An attempt to retrofit a Xi’an thruster rig to a ship that wasn’t designed with one in mind from the start would result in something downright rickety.

Is this a common ship in the Xi’an empire?

As a mainstay medium fighter in the arsenal of the Xi’an Empire, the San’tok.yāi is about as common a sight in Xi’an space as a Hornet or Sabre would be in UEE space. It serves prominently in the Xi’an fleet and may also occasionally be found serving civilian security forces of some of the more powerful Xi’an houses.

Are we getting any cool Xi’an weapons? Xi’an missiles maybe?

The Yeng’tu S3 Laser Repeater that comes with the San’tok.yāi is manufactured by Torral Aggregate and uses Xi’an technology to provide a higher rate of fire than traditional human-produced laser repeaters of comparable size. While powerful, the design that produces this increased rate of fire comes at the expense of a lower maximum heat threshold, leading to a reduced firing duration before overheating.

Will Xi’an ships get their own UI style? (They currently use VNCL UI)

Yes, as noted they currently use a recoloured Vanduul ship UI as a temporary stand-in. We have plans in the future to make all the Alien manufacturer ships feel different UI wise.

Will the ship have a Xi’an branded ship-computer-voice? If yes, will we be able to switch between English and Xi’an?

That’s certainly an interesting idea and while we have plans to record new cockpit audio for all the alien ships, we hadn’t planned on doing them in alien languages specifically, assuming that the export version of the fighter would use human language. Now that you mention it, we’ll try to gauge interest for this feature.

In terms of combat capability, how does it compare to ships like the Anvil Super Hornet or Aegis Sabre?

The San’tok.yāi resides within the same medium fighter weight class that the Super Hornet and Sabre inhabit, so it is designed to be competitive with them. As noted above, the San’tok.yāi’s design makes it less resilient to damage than either of those two ships, and its weapons loadout is lighter than these two specific contemporaries, but not by much. It’s the Xi’an thruster design and arrangement, of course, that make it superior to either of those two fighters in terms of lateral acceleration and strafe-focused flight, while its Xi’an-designed weapons are designed to capitalize on relatively brief windows of target vulnerability. Each fighter is capable in a variety of scenarios and yet each matches particularly well for certain types of pilots: We expect that the Super Hornet will be favored by sluggers and endurance fighters who can maintain steady firing solutions and use their ability to shrug off minor hits to press an advantage. The swift, stealthy Sabre may be favored by pilots who prefer ambush and boom-n’-zoom tactics, using momentum to strike and fade. We anticipate that the San’tok.yāi may be the favorite of consummate dogfighters and sneaky pilots who thrive in furballs and crowded, tricky environments, never giving anyone more than a few seconds to fire before ducking behind cover. Of course, how it all bears out depends greatly on how you, the players, decide to use these ships in practice. We’re eager to see what you can do with them!

What amenities will pilots find on board the ship?

The San’tok.yāi is a military medium fighter, so while it’s big on maneuverability and firepower, it’s short on creature comforts – same as you’d expect from other military medium fighters. If you’re looking for cargo, storage, or living space, you won’t find it here; but then, if you’re designing a ship specifically to go up against Super Hornets and Sabres, you’d best keep your head in that game and focus the ship’s edges on combat!

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Source: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/engineering/16872-Q-A-Aopoa-Santoky-i

Q&A: Anvil – Valkyrie

Q&A: Anvil Aerospace – Valkyrie

Following the launch of the Valkyrie from Anvil Aerospace, we took your community-voted questions to our designers to give you more information on the recently unveiled troop/personnel transport.

Special thanks to John Crewe and Todd Papy for answering these questions.

If the Valkyrie can´t hold cargo, how are the players supposed to transport small supplies (ammo, food…) and weapons (like mortars or anti-tank weapons, railguns or RPGs etc…) to the front lines?

The Valkyrie’s purpose is to carry troops and a vehicle down to a location, drop them off, and provide close support via its weaponry. It is very much a dropship/gunship rather than a resupply ship. While some dropships may simply drop off the team and jet, the Valkyrie is equipped to provide continued support for drop off and extraction. The troops onboard have a gunrack per seat alongside storage lockers for additional items if the crew are not using them. The combination of troops, FPS weapon racks, vehicle deployment, and the ability to provide close support, all makes the Valkyrie a strong candidate for when you need to get in and out planetside.

What can we expect for drop ship gameplay? Can you give examples of missions or jobs that this ship could perform without having 10+ friends in game.

While the ideal gameplay for this ship is dropping friends off into combat zones, naturally not everyone has that amount of friends available at all times to facilitate this being a common occurrence. Typical gameplay missions for solo or low player counts would be hiring NPCs for combat missions and transporting them to the location or retrieving groups of abandoned NPCs/players from their own missions which may have not gone to plan. At its core, this ship is designed for transporting people and a vehicle from A to B, so missions will revolve around that concept, varying the location, duration and danger of pickups and drop-offs.

What can the ship do when not carrying troops; will it always have rows of empty seats taking up space, or can those be repurposed to better fit a gunship role, or some other third thing?

The ship does not have any modular rooms that can be swapped out by the owner and there are no current plans to add that level of modularity to the ship.

Is there a storage space for weapons, like weapon racks?

Each of the 20 seats has a weapon rack for a single primary weapon up to size 4, for example an Arrowhead sniper rifle. These racks are alongside lockers on the back wall of the vehicle bay.

Does it fit in an Idris/Polaris/Javelin?

It does not fit in any of the above ships – it is too tall and too wide for the Idris to fit without breaking parts off. It is too long and wide to fit in the Javelin’s flight bay, and is too big in every axis for the Polaris.

How is a ‘vehicle pad’, which presumably has either tie downs or a mag-lock grid to keep the vehicle in place during flight ops, different from a ‘cargo grid’, which would use those same mechanics to safely store SCUs of supplies or trade goods. Not every dropship mission is about bringing bodies to the fight – sometimes it’s ammo, fuel, food, medicine, equipment etc etc.

From the very initial design, we wanted the area at the back to be purely for vehicles and not used for storing commercial cargo. Technically speaking, we do not require a cargo grid to store a vehicle for persistence reasons, instead we use the physics grid, so there is actually no technical requirement to have a cargo grid to secure vehicles. In-game, we always require the magnetic cargo grids to store commercial cargo securely in ships, and the Valkyrie does not have this functionality. We’re still finalizing the in-fiction reasons for the differences between securing cargo vs. vehicles.

Will the door gunner arms be moved further center of the door to allow for better range of motion?

We are reviewing the current positioning of them and seeing whether we want to move them further out. However, the restriction being that we still want to allow 2×2 exit of characters alongside the gun and as it is on an arm, the further out it is the more it blocks the exit. It was a conscious design decision to have the guns on that specific side to not allow them to have a full 180 degree arc, which the wing remote turrets cover instead. In addition, the door guns are the very first implementation of manned standalone turrets and we have plans for the future to make better use of blendspaces and IK to give a more natural pose and movement which will allow you to keep a line of sight down the gun regardless of the aim point.

Will the ground vehicle ‘hook’ allow for multiple smaller vehicles (like 3 Noxes or 2 dragonflies) or it is a one vehicle only slot?

Officially the vehicle capacity is 1 vehicle and when you are able to prespawn vehicles inside there will only be one slot to spawn from. However, given our future persistence plans and indeed how it works currently, if you choose to manually load more in after that point then these are saved inside the vehicle in the position they were left at.

Is the ladder to the upper Habitat open to the rover bay? What about planets without an atmosphere, or poisonous/corrosive atmospheres? Will we suffocate in bed?

The ladder hatch and the upper area is indeed open to the rover bay, meaning if you open the doors it will vent all the living quarters. This as an intentional design decision. The ship is designed for operations down to planets with breathable atmospheres with the crew compartment there to make the crew comfortable if they have to wait for troops to return. Obviously, if you are away and dropping into a dangerous atmosphere, you can suit up in advance to prevent injury.

Could this ship be used practically for boarding action in space?

While the ship is designed for dropping troops in breathable atmospheres, provided the troops are suitably equipped for EVA, there is no reason the Valkyrie couldn’t be used for boarding actions in space.

The commercial for the Anvil Valkyrie calls it a “multirole ship”. How is the Valkyrie understood to be multirole?

The Valkyrie is capable of dropping 20 troops plus a vehicle as well as providing a good level of weaponry for close air support to those troops. As mentioned in the trailer, it blurs the line between dropship and gunship.

Real life dropship concepts (Blackhawk/Huey) have very good visibility under the pilot’s feet so they can see where are they landing. The Valkyrie does not have any visibility for below ground. Will it be equipped with some kind of below camera or something to help land it efficiently?

There is actually a window beneath the pilot’s seat for visibility down under the ship. However, given constraints with our character’s movement versus how much you can move around in real life there are limits to how much you can see out of it. We know people are keen to have some kind of external camera that isn’t the third person view for our ships, and we are looking at ways of implementing that.

Will Valkyrie get a medical module for Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR)?

During concept, we looked at potential variants to the Valkyrie and the CSAR one was one of the most liked options. Ultimately, we chose to just create the one ship from the concept phase with no modularity available. In the future, if we choose to do anything, they will most likely be full on variants, but there are no plans to do this at this time.

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Source: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/engineering/16829-Q-A-Anvil-Valkyrie

Q&A: Drake Kraken

Q&A: Drake Kraken

Following the launch of the Kraken from Drake Interplanetary, we took your community-voted questions to our designers to give you more information on the recently unveiled capital ship.

Special thanks to John Crewe and Todd Papy for answering these questions.

Do the Kraken’s shields cover other ships parked on the deck?

The Kraken’s shields cover the hull of the ship and do not cover the ships or people that may be on the exposed landing pads. Ships contained inside the Hangars are covered by the shields. With the improvements to shield tech coming with Single Distance Field in the future, the projected bubble people currently see will be removed with a more hull wrapping projection of shield energy.

What are the Kraken’s refuel, restock, and repair abilities for docked ships?

The Kraken is, in many ways, a mobile base. This means it is able to refuel, restock and repair ships that have landed on it but these resources must be taken from the Kraken’s stores.

Can you quantum travel while ships are parked on the deck? What about with people on the deck?

Yes, you’ll be able to Quantum with ships parked on the deck. Quantum drives in our universe create a little bubble around the ship to move it and protects outward to cover those in very close proximity to the hull. Like other ships in our game, being outside your ship when in Quantum travel is an extremely dangerous scenario, so it’s not recommended due to the slightest misstep resulting in death or abandonment in deep space.

What are your plans for landing on the Kraken while it is in motion?

Like the Idris or other ships where you can land whilst they are in motion, we’ll provide automated landing solutions for those who do not wish to attempt a manual landing. This will provide a safe and secure landing at the expense of time, similar to our current automated landings at stations and rest stops.

Can you spawn ships from the Kraken?

When you spawn your Kraken, you will be able to spawn ships in/on it if you own them, but beyond that point no other ships can be spawned dynamically on-board. It is similar to how the Constellation will be able to have a ground vehicle within when spawned but is unable to spawn another ground vehicle in the hold, mid-flight. Players landing on the ship during game-play will have their ships permanently on the pad.

What happens to the landed/hangar-landed ships if the Kraken pilot logs off/is disconnected? And what will happen when the owners of the landed ships log off? Do their ships persist until the Kraken is despawned, or is the pad free for another one to land on?

The Kraken will follow the same rule-set as the persistent bed log off system we current have in game, if the owner of the Kraken logs off and there are no other players on-board, then it will be despawned. If there are still players on-board, then the Kraken and ships on-board will persist. If a player lands their ship on a Kraken, then proceeds to log off, their ship will persist with the Kraken until the point the Kraken is despawned or destroyed, at which point if the player then rejoins they will either have it respawn at the point the Kraken was or have to reclaim it in the event it was destroyed.

How does the Kraken’s armor compare to other ships in its size-class, like the Idris?

In true Drake fashion, the approach to construction prizes pragmatism and cost-effectiveness. Consequently, the Kraken is substantially less sturdy than the Idris and other dedicated military ships that are expected to face direct heavy or capital-scale firepower.

What is meant by “Towards the rear of the ship public accommodations can be found for visitors and associates?” Does the Kraken offer any special function or gameplay for public services like shops, bars, medical, or trading for those who are waiting for repair or just visiting?

There are onboard accommodation rooms to cover 1-2 players per landing pad. These are basic habs like you’d find at GrimHex and provide somewhere to rest, change, and sleep. There are no dedicated facilities like bars or trading areas on-board at this time.

With the Kraken being capital ship size will it have escape pods now unlike other Drake ships?

Drake sees no need to provide expensive escape pods when the Kraken can hold plenty of ships to facilitate escape in the “unlikely” event of an emergency.

How many ships can the Kraken hold and still quantum drive with?

The current design for Quantum Travel requires all the doors to be shut before the Quantum Drive can be initiated, with no requirements beyond that, such as checking for maximum ship amounts. The Kraken can therefore quantum travel with a full complement of ships, although as mentioned earlier, being on deck is a risky proposition.

Can the Kraken equip military grade items or only civilian/industrial?

The Kraken can only equip Civilian and Industrial items and comes with Civilian Grade C items by default.

The Kraken brochure talks about configuring the rear hangars to fit our needs. Does this mean that the Kraken might have some modular capabilities to outfit those hangars to suit other functions like extended medical/S&R or salvage processing?

Drake always look to maximize the use of their spaceships, and whilst these rear cargo holds are ostensibly for cargo, there is a significant amount of real estate that could be re-purposed in the future for alternative uses.

How will this ship defend against armed boarding parties or other guests who refuse to leave?

The internal layout of the ship provides quite a few choke-points from the landing pads, allowing a somewhat organized defense against boarding. There are no inbuilt mechanics within the ship to deal with guests who refuse to leave. That will be down to the owners persuasion techniques.

Can we transfer cargo between docked/landed ships? If not, can cargo be transferred between docked/landed ships and the Kraken?

Every external landing pad has access to the internal tram route via a loading hatch located within the airlock antechamber. The internal tram is primarily designed to carry cargo between the pads and the main cargo hold of the ship to facilitate cargo moving between ships and the Kraken itself.

The Kraken shows some concept of it landed in a desert, as well as parked at Lorville . How can we expect it to fare in atmospheric flight. Does it have VTOL?

As with all ships of this size, the atmospheric flight performance can be characterized as poor at best, but the Kraken does have multiple VTOL thrusters to allow it to take off and land in atmosphere. There are two located under the front “ears” that pivot to face 90 degrees down and more are built into the underside of the rear hull in a permanent down-facing layout.

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Source: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/engineering/16813-Q-A-Drake-Kraken