This post is a re-explanation and clarification of the proposed Tactical Lab and its associated Modules and Hull. I sat down with Battle Pirates Creator Paul Preece to answer your questions in regards to this feature.
Born of the ongoing research project studying Zynthium, this new technology projects very powerful Zynthium powered Electro Magnetic fields
that when targeted correctly, can significantly reduce the capability of enemy ships.
The Tactical Lab is a new research building. The Lab is sea based
, and like all research buildings, it can perform its own research independent of other Labs. The Tactical Lab contains a new technology tree for the Forsaken called Tactical Modules.
Tactical Modules are researched in the new Tactical Lab building. There are different levels and types of Tactical Modules with more powerful versions further up the tech tree. While the Tactical Lab does share similar aspects Advanced Lab special components, these new Modules incorporate technology that enables them to project and target a powerful Electro Magnetic Field in a radius around the Hull in which they are equipped. This 'Field of Effect', or FoE for short, enables the modules to interact with the systems of nearby ships. In the case of enemy ships, negatively affecting them, while friendly ships gain boosts. This varies depending on the specific Module. Some of the Modules have no maximum range and can even effect entire fleets on the World Map. The Modules are so large that they are unable to be equipped on normal Hulls and a new Hull has been designed specifically to carry them.
The new Hull, code named Tactical Hull, has been designed for a singular purpose, to equip and carry Tactical Modules. The Hull itself has been fashioned from a medium sized cargo carrier and has been updated to carry Tactical Modules instead of cargo. It has also been given additional light armament. To use the Tactical Hull in a fleet requires a ship slot, so each Captain will need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of exchanging an offensive ship for this one. Note that the Tactical Modules are designed to be effective even after accounting for the loss of an offensive ship.
Tactical Modules, Further Detail
Tactical Modules are significant pieces of hardware. They not only contain the power source and electronics to project focused and unfocused EM Fields but are also designed to enhance the Tactical Hull. Modules designed to interfere with enemy ships require that they be brought into close proximity with the enemy fleet. This can place the Tactical Hull in danger, as it will likely be the target of enemy fire. Offensive Modules are therefore especially hardened against incoming fire and enhance the Tactical Hull's engines to provide greater closing speed. Defensive Tactical Modules provide less protection for the Hull for the same reasons; they can rely on their fleet to protect them.
The Modules are highly automated and their location above the superstructure of the Tactical Hull provides 360-degree coverage. This places less of a burden on the Captain, making them more effective in combat.
Modules currently under Development
A Module that forces nearby enemy subs to the surface
A Module that slows nearby enemy ships
A Module that reduces incoming damage to nearby friendly ships
A Module that increases the map speed of an entire fleet
Q & A with Paul
Q: Will players use Tac Modules to make Omni-fleets able to handle any other fleet?
A: No. The trade off in firepower to take multiple Tac Hulls would be too great.
Q: Will players be able to 100% negate subs by adding the anti-sub Module?
A: No. Skilled Sub captains can take out the Tac Hull.
Q: Will players always have to take a Tac Hull in a fleet from now on?
A: No. The Modules are designed for specific scenarios; there are many scenarios that are not covered.
Q: Are Tac Hulls allowed in base defense fleets?
Q: Are you working on bug fixes too?
A: We concurrently fix bugs every week with new releases. Releasing new features does not slow our bug fixing as there are separate dedicated resources.
Q: Are you still working on other features like Alliances?
A: Absolutely. Alliances is a huge feature and therefore takes more time to develop. We should be able to post more information on the Future Features & Feedback Forum shortly.
Q: When will this feature arrive?
A: We deliberately provide no release dates in the F3 Forum (see rules for posting in F3). This allows us to remain flexible if a feature needs to be adjusted after player feedback.
Remember Captains, anything posted in the F3 Forum is subject to change, so remember to read the Rules for Posting. We look forward to hearing your feedback.
UPDATE on 8.2: Thanks for all of the constructive feedback. I have shared your concerns with the developers and they will be making some changes. As this is a feature that will noticeably affect gameplay, it will need significant testing before it is released. I will keep you informed of when this feature is closer to release.