While going through the ship updates, we saw the opportunity to add a lot of really nice features and improvements to the ships. Below is a list of what is being added...
1. All ships and coastal artillery will have splash effects on the cannonballs when they hit the water. Most of the ships already have this feature but it needs to be added to the coastal artillery. Also we made improvements to the splash effect and it now occurs in most kinds of water sims, such as 40m or 60m water levels.
2. Explosion effects have been given a new makeover, rezzing a large blast prim that shows you exactly what the blast radius is of the explosion. 10 meter range explosives will rez a 10x10x10 sphere and so on. The effect looks great and can be seen from very long distances. There will also be underwater explosion effects for depth charges and torpedos.
3. Spar torpedo ships will now rez a nice big splash prim when their torpedos strike so it's easier to see what you hit as well as not leaving the enemy wondering what just hit them.
4. CSS Atlanta will have the new effect mentioned above, as well as a change in it's spar torpdeo functionality. The spar torpedo on it is now a one use weapon and can not be reloaded or rearmed. Once used it is completely disabled and the prim work for it is moved inside the ship. Also a second arm/disarm button was added allowing you to arm/disarm the spar torpedo only. These changes were made to restore balance as well as make it easier to use the ram without worrying about the spar getting in the way.
5. All ships will have their speeds adjusted to more closely resemble their true knot speeds. Some ships are labeled to go at 7 knots but may really only be able to go at 5 knots. Using a speedometer I have been able to measure the speed in m/s and convert it directly to knots, so all the ships will be more realistic in their speeds. This means that some of the larger ships will most likely be able to go faster. Theoretically if 2 different ships both go at 7 knots on their HUDS, they should not be able to outpace each other now.
6. All the ships will now take advantage of the ICS 3.1 sleep/wake system. If you turn the ship engines off, this will put the core into sleep mode and make it immune to damage. Turning the engines on wakes the core back up. (this feature seems like it could be abused rather easily, so we might add a engine cooldown period that takes several seconds but still leaves you vulnerable... we might have second thoughts about this feature, will need to think about this one)
7. Coastal artillery cannons will be given finer angle adjustments as well as a slightly lower velocity, allowing them a wider range of points they can hit.
We don't have much planned for UCS right now as we are mainly concerned about getting all our vehicle updates done. The UCS protection system for ICS works fine, but we are hesitant to use it fully at the moment and will most likely just give infantry 100% protection inside the ironclads. We would need to figure out a way to have the ship be disabled somehow when the UCS pilot is killed, but at the moment you can still operate the ship even if you are killed.
Eventually we will be working on UCS grapeshot rounds for use against infantry which should be fun to test. Speaking of testing, we found out that ramming DOES work against UCS infantry, but the system thinks they are a ship and not a person, resulting in the rammer taking a crap load of damage. Below is what happened when I crashed my Goblin equipped with a heavy ram into MrB wearing UCS...