Anvil Hurricane Q&A – Part II
Meet the A4A Hurricane, a fighting spacecraft that packs a deadly punch into a slight fuselage. The spacecraft compensates for its lack of creature comforts with its powerful armament, boasting six guns capable of blasting their way through nearly anything. Hurricane pilots have yet to find an enemy shield they can’t knock down.
These questions were submitted by backers to the Anvil Hurricane Q&A thread on Spectrum, and were selected based on the amount of upvotes received over the last week.
You can find Part I of the Q&A here.
Special thanks to Calix Reneau, Kirk Tome, and Steven Kam for their efforts providing answers to these questions.
Questions & Answers
So faster than nimble but only a single Size 2 engine means it is damn slow. All other ships in that size have two Size 2 engines. And because of that it’s so low nimble that every capital ship can turn faster right?
The Hornet series, a cornerstone of the dogfighter universe in Star Citzen, also has a single Size 2 engine, while being 50% heavier, which should pay dividends on the Hurricane’s speed. With regards to capital ships, it’s important to keep in mind that in the new item system, capital ships use Size 4 engines.
We recognize there are many issues with the current display implementation of ship stats on the website. At present, one of these issues is the hardpoint and component sizing that reflects many ships designed at different times in our development, specifically during different iterations of the component sizing system. Not all of these figures are consistent with the most current ItemPort 2.0. This means that direct comparisons of ship component sizes across their design histories won’t look quite right until we revamp the way ship stats are displayed on our website. To that end, after a long period of saying we’re going to do it, we are indeed currently working on a ship specs page update which should help clear things up. It’s not as easy as plugging new numbers in, unfortunately, as it requires an new way to display the new information in a means that will make sense to players and allow for the proper comparison of data between ships. We’re as anxious to have this out to you as you are to have it. We recently mentioned the work being done in this regard last week on Around the Verse.
Many components of the ship, including the power plant, cooler, shield, engine, and thrusters are quite small. Could this result in a opportunity for stealth or at least the possibility of the Hurricane being difficult to find by scanning compared to other ships of similar size?
An interesting idea, but the Hurricane doesn’t get any of the natural advantages of a ship like the Sabre, and does you no more favors than most ships in this regard. That’s not to say you can’t be sneaky in a Hurricane, but without specific stealth equipment at your disposal, your relative shadiness will depend entirely on your own skill in managing your signature output than the size of your components.
How many Hurricanes will fit in the hangar bays of a capital ship?
The Hurricane is roughly the same size as the Hornet and Gladiator, and so will fit about as well as either of those two ships in various hangar bays of ships like the Idris, Polaris, etc.
Will the Hurricane have eight or ten maneuvering thrusters? Will the Hurricane have one or two primary engines?
The Hurricane’s single medium engine pipes thrust out to 2 mains, 8 mavs, and 2 retro thrusters. Losing a given thruster is a little like like losing a wheel, as opposed to losing the drivetrain, and your thruster performance is based on your power allocation.
What does “Glass Cannon” or “Glass Hammer” mean with regards to the Hurricane?
High damage output, at the cost of low durability. Plenty has been said already of the armament, so to elaborate further on the glass side of the equation we can compare the intended durability of the Hurricane to those of the Mustang and 300 series. It relies on afterburner for the agility to perform combat maneuvers, disengagement, or to throw off incoming fire, but even with the larger fuel tanks it can’t keep that up for long. The Hurricane is most effective in concert with other ships – if you can isolate an individual Hurricane from its allies, its chances of survival grow slim. The Hurricane stacks all of its advantages into one singular focus, and while it becomes incredibly potent as a result, it also gives rise to some exploitable weaknesses, which, as a Hurricane operator, it’s also your task to be aware of and avoid.
The Hornet line allows you the modularity to swap the turret out completely with things like a cargo box, large fixed mount, exploration equipment, surveillance equipment, tracker equipment, and more. Will the Hurricane have this modularity?
One of the great advantages of the Hornet series is that it was designed for a certain level of versatility: solid, well rounded performance that lays the foundation for a variety of gameplay styles. In many respects it’s also one of the most versatile fighters, as evidenced by its variants. When Anvil resurrected the Hurricane from Casse Aerospace’s design, it was meant for none of that, instead opting for extreme damage output at the cost of just about everything else. Currently, there are no plans for modularity beyond what is standard for hardpoints.
Can I exchange the manned turret in the Hurricane with a single fixed weapon like with the Hornet?
Unfortunately not, because the ball turret found on Hornet spacecraft are not considered “manned turrets,” as they do not include the requisite ship architecture including access areas and animation, and are perhaps best thought of as a particularly fancy remote gimbal mount. That it can be accessed directly and operated independently by the weapons system officer in the Super Hornet is a feature of that specific craft, but it is not a “manned turret” in the same sense as the Hurricane, and thus works properly with the size trade system. There are currently no plans to broadly support swapping a manned turret with a fixed mount.
Will it be possible to have the manned turret controlled by an AI NPC and if so, how would it be penalized since manned turrets already lose one size compared to unmanned ones?
At this time, we intend no additional penalty for hiring NPCs to man your turrets, just the UEC cost of their friendship. Since there aren’t options for trading manned turrets for unmanned turrets at the moment, this will probably handle the matter for the immediate future. The turret sizing rules, as with many things, undergo review and vetting over time to see if they comport with our solo-play/multi-crew game balance aims, so if it’s clear to us that a course adjustment will get us closer to that goal, we reserve the freedom to run with it.
Will we be able to lock the manned turret into forward fire and have it usable by the pilot when no gunner is in the seat?
Yes, with the right equipment. This question is a variation of one from the first Q&A, and has been asked in more than a few different ways, so we’re including it here again in an attempt to address them all.
One of our intents in Star Citizen is to support solo play and multi-crew play, with NPCs and human players alike, and to make it as viable and reasonably balanced as we can. It’s important to note here that “balance” in game design doesn’t always mean, “identical in each and every way.” In this instance it has a meaning closer to “what’s fair.” For us, multi-crew with humans is the greatest player investment, and so that endeavor should have the most efficient gameplay yield, with solo play being the lighter of player investments. That is not to say that solo play isn’t just as important; it’s just that we think the additional work to coordinate with others should have it’s reward.
Of course, poor cooperation can often be much worse than no cooperation at all! So a player sidestepping the need to interact with others will have access to less potential, but may nevertheless be able to make better use of that reduced potential. NPC crew, meanwhile, may split the difference by removing the responsibility and pitfalls of poor teamwork without granting the unified agency of direct control, while also presenting an opportunity for an increased resource cost.
The end result of all this is that we intend for each gameplay style to be fully supported, including slaving the turret to the pilot, swapping out that turret for compatible mounts, and locking forward fire. Our aim here is that multi-crew is never made pointless by overly-effective solo play through slave units and automation, and solo-play is not made impotent in the shadow of multi-crew systems and advantages. If things work out how we intend them to be, there will always be a trade-off between versatility, convenience, and performance in an effort to keep things a fair between playstyles as we can.
What are the specific plans to improve manned turret usability? Currently, they are of no use at all and certainly not superior to pilot slaved turrets, as was said in Q&A Part I?
Manned turret gameplay is not currently where we want it, and what was spoke to in Part I is of our intention in making them better than pilot slaved turrets. At present, as we are still prior to strike team implementation in our plans for turret refinement, the specifics for improvement are still in a nascent stage. That said, we intend for ships like the Hurricane and others to be a test bed for exploring and executing such improvements.
Early ideas at this stage include:
- Fixing the aiming stabilization
- Linking ship targeting computers to share aim and target information
- Using turret tracking to improve missile lock speed and strength; directional augmentation to radar and scanning gameplay
- A possible cooperative gun crew feature that scales ESP effectiveness based on how well each gunner is tracking the target
- A sort of tandem range-finding mechanic allowing players to contribute to their crews success
- Improving multi-crew combat coordination with shared pilot and gunner HUD and UI improvements
- Improved cooling for turret weapons
- Staggered fire to double the rate of fire with the same power and heat cost
- Screens within the turret allowing limited interactions with support roles
- Notifications for the gunner about repairs or boarders that need to be dealt with.
- And more…
It’s important to stress again that any number of these might be altered or cut entirely before implementation is completed. That’s one of the realities of game development, but we wanted to share some of our early thoughts on the topic. The probability of which specific solutions will make it to release is uncertain, and therefore should not be taken as the final word on anything. As often happens, some of these features may turn out to be very inter-related on an implementation level, so working on individual features in isolation does not guarantee good results. The takeaway here is that we are going to explore a variety of possible solutions to bring manned turret gameplay up to the enjoyable experience we want it to be.
About the Sale
The Hurricane concept sale will run through Monday, March 6, 2017. Standard and warbond versions are available, as are two packs that include a small discount on other ship types in Anvil’s expanding line-up. The loaner ship for the Hurricane will be the Anvil F7C-M Super Hornet. And if you want to know more? Around the Verse will feature the Hurricane in an upcoming ‘Ship Shape’ segment.
The Hurricane is being offered for the first time as a limited concept sale. This means that the ship design meets our specifications, but it is not yet ready to display in your Hangar, fight in Arena Commander, or fly in the Alpha. The sale includes Lifetime Insurance on the ship hull and a pair of decorative items for your Hangar. A future patch will add a Hurricane poster and then, once the in-game model is finished, you will also be given an in-game Hurricane mini ship model! Once this deal expires, the ship price will increase and not include Lifetime Insurance or these extras.
Remember: we are offering this pledge ship to help fund Star Citizen’s development. The funding generated by sales such as this is what allows us to include deeper, non-combat oriented features in the Star Citizen world. Concept ships will be available for in-game credits in the final universe, and they are not required to start the game.
Additionally, please note that all decorative ‘flare’ items will also be available to acquire in the finished game world. Also, while the Hurricane will be entering the ship pipeline now, it will ultimately be released after other concept ships have been completed. The goal is to make additional ships available that give players a different experience rather than a particular advantage when the persistent universe launches.