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Author Topic: Better detection capabilities  (Read 1610 times)

pielroja

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Better detection capabilities
« on: October 13, 2008, 03:01:31 pm »
Particularly at the beginning of the game, our Firebirds are very exposed to the attack of harvesters and fighters (as it should be expected, they are significantly slow, and they cannot be escorted by launching some short-ranged Stilettos when going to / coming back from missions). I really do not regret about the Firebird vulnerability against UFO’s attacks itself, but I am concerned about being so ineffective in UFOs detection in order to prevent thier air interceptions. Until you get a decent ground radar coverage later on, you are depending too much of your (good or bad) luck, as following a good “geoscape strategy” may be not enough.

I think that the geoscape mode would become more interesting and enjoyable if a new detection capability was implemented (apart from the radar posts that appear in version 2.3, which are nice). I would propose to add the Airborne Early Warning (AES) feature (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AWACS#AWACS). Providing a mobile radar with a (balanced) long-enough detection range would allow a better chance to the Firebirds to retreat, and would make the game more realistic and complete. AES exists in 2008, so why not in 2084, if it can be very helpful?

If the case that this idea is well received, here is my proposal for its implementation. Despite thinking on adding a futuristic NATO-AWACS aircraft is appealing, it might worth doing so or not. I am aware that it would imply a lot of work, that there are priority-features in current development and that it would become less useful later on.

However, there is an easystraight solution, that seems good for me. Why not installing an AES item in your Firebird, and of course in a Saracen doing escorting-surveillance tasks? Considering that AEW is a currently well developed military technology, it make sense that from now to UFO AI’s time it has evolved to a quite smaller sensor and more simple electronics, so it can consist on an installable/uninstallable item available for any medium-sized aircraft, without having the need to construct a new dedicated aircraft. Also for being an already mature technology, this system should be offered as a purchase/production product instead of a research proposal (and by this way it would be disposable just from the beginning of the game).

I hope I may help when having more ideas. Congratulations and thank you all for this excellent game.

Offline stevenjackson

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Re: Better detection capabilities
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2008, 12:49:40 am »

The range of AWACS in the article is hundreds of miles.  That doesn't really cover much area on the geoscape.
I think those aircraft are intended more in a tactical air combat perspective rather than global radar coverage.

In 2.3 the ranges of air combat will be reduced by a factor of 10 and wont occur on the geoscape.

Hopefully with 2.3 there will be some way to provide more of an escort for firebirds.

Steve