Today is all about the weapons
Weapons in REDLINE come in three categories, energy, cannons, and missiles and originally that was just it. But as we developed the game we wanted to make sure the player had a wide array of options available to them when equipping their efreets for battle and there was a worry that limiting the weapons to only three weapon classes would be too narrowing. Yes, there would still plenty of design space to make pretty much anything we wanted under that very broad weapon umbrella but we also felt it simplified the weapons a bit too much if everything that shot a bullet was “just a cannon”. It just felt too narrow.
As soon as we realized we wanted to open things up a bit more the next logical step was to take the three weapon types and sub divide them into distinct categories. For example, we had already designed the basic weapon necessities early on, your rapid fire machine gun, heavy hitting tank cannon, and long-range sniper rifle. to name a few. Instead of just labeling them all as generic cannons why not take the types of weapon and simply make it into its own class with unique characteristics and attributes for each?
This change gave us the weapon class system that we have today and opened up a lot of extra room for us to create weapons in. Now each weapon type, energy, cannon, missile, will have three specific sub classes that each act and behave differently during play. Not only did this change help us further define how the multitude of weapons in REDLINE will behave but by putting weapons into sub classes, it helps the player grasp exactly what each is designed to do as well just by looking at it. After all, you wouldn’t bring a sniper rifle to a close range knife fight and vice versa.
Now that I’ve explained where the weapon types and classes came from, I’d like to go over each in detail today to show off REDLINE’s complex and intricate weapons system. We’re really proud of it for its simplicity and depth it brings to game play.
Energy weapons are categorized as any weapon that does not physically fire a projectile, instead shooting out a burst of, well, energy at a target.
As far as REDLINE is concerned, all energy weapons have the following traits in common. Because they fire no projectiles, instead firing large charges of energy produced by their cold fusion reactors, they are not limited by ammunition and can in theory fire indefinitely. However since they are such a drain on an efreet’s cold fusion reactors they generate massive amounts of electromagnetic static (EMS) feedback that can slow down and hamper an efreet’s effectiveness in combat. As a result energy weapons are best used in small doses or on efreets with the capacity to discharge the EMS before it becomes detrimental. Like all the main weapon types, energy weapons come in three classes.
Using a series of small and finely refined lenses, lasers fire a beam of highly focused energy and are some of the most common weapons found on the futuristic battlefields in REDLINE. With few moving parts lasers are loved by efreet maintenance crews for their simplicity as much as pilots swear by their dependability. Lasers damage a target by burning holes through a target with their powerful beams. Coming in all sizes and ranges lasers are devastating scalpels in the hands of a pilot who can successfully manage the high levels of EMS they generate.
Because of their focused beams, lasers deal consistent, though comparatively low damage, shot after shot, to a single location in combat.
Efreet pilots have always loved lasers for their unlimited ammunition but despised them for their low power when compared to weapons of a similar size. Plasma cannons solve this deficiency by running the power from a cold fusion reactor into a large capacitor that stores it and builds it over time like a giant battery. Once full, the capacitor fires out a massive crackling orb of pure energy towards a target with the capability to level anything in its path.
Plasma cannons excel in dealing out massive damage over long ranges. However that power doesn’t come without drawbacks. Plasma cannons generate excessive amounts of EMS and have slow recharge times so shots need to be placed carefully. Sustained fire with a plasma cannon is impossible for most efreets. In addition, because of their large capacitors only certain efreets are able to even equip a plasma cannon in the first place, making them a rare, but feared weapon in combat.
Electromagnetic Displacer (EMD)
Like a giant lightning rod, electromagnetic displacers fire out bolts of EMS at enemies unfortunate enough to get in the range close range required for these weapons. Instead of doing damage, EMDs instead affect a target’s EMS scale by overloading it and causing an efreet’s performance to suffer. High levels of EMS on an efreet can slow movement, make weapons inaccurate, and even cause internal explosions if the levels get out of hand.
Cannon weapons fall into a wide range of variations but all involve the firing of projectiles towards an enemy target. Large and heavy, but with the ability to deal large amounts of damage with low EMS buildup, cannons can fire an array of different ordinances, and are limited only by the amount of ammunition they can carry into battle. Some of the most powerful weapons in REDLINE are cannon weapons.
Traditional guns using explosives to fire a bullet out of a barrel, cannons come in a wide variety of calibers and shapes. From fast firing gatling guns to miniature artillery pieces and everything in-between, cannons can do it all. All cannons however carry a limited amount of ammunition into battle and pilots who aren’t careful can easily run out of shots.
With most cannons firing explosive rounds by default, the damage they can deal in combat varies with each shot. They also tend to fire faster than most weapons with high cycle rates.
Instead of using gunpowder to fire out a projectile, mag rifles instead send a powerful magnetic charge down parallel rails that accelerates a dense solid alloy slug out of the weapon at supersonic speeds. The solid slug exits the mag rifle with such force that it’s able to destroy a target with its kinetic energy alone and has extremely long-range and accuracy.
In REDLINE, mag rifles are some of the longest range weapons in the game. Their magnetic rails also require very little energy to fire which results in very low EMS per shot. They are heavy though and as a result many efreets have a hard time carrying them.
Like a giant beefed up shotgun, efreet riot guns fire a short-range spread of heavy buckshot instead of a single projectile. Useless at long ranges, a well placed riot gun shot can shred nearly any efreet close enough to take the full concentration of the blast.
Powerful but extremely short ranged, riot guns are also good at landing critical hits on an enemy as the wide-spread of its small projectiles have a knack at getting through the joints of armor plating and smashing sensors.
Missiles are powerful weapon systems that fire a spread of rocket powered projectiles. With a large variety of warheads, ranges, payloads, and guidance systems, missiles are some of the most versatile weapons in REDLINE. Once fired, all missile weapons fire a volley at an enemy and although some may hit their target, others may not, which gives missiles the largest damage spread in the game.
With smaller warheads to make room for more propellant, long-range missiles have the range to hit targets at far distances. Their guidance systems give them good accuracy and combined with their large volume of fire per shot always guarantees the target will be hit. In addition missiles can be outfitted with a large variety of warheads and payloads to give them added versatility on the battlefield.
Sacrificing bulky guidance seekers and maneuvering systems for smaller projectiles in favor of sheer numbers, “dumb fire” rockets are simple point and shoot weapons. With massive amounts of firepower behind the trigger, a well placed salvo of rockets can lay waste to any target.
With their large volume of fire, the largest in the game, rockets are tricky weapons to use as their inaccuracy is hard for most pilots to deal with. However for those pilots that can overcome those drawbacks, rockets are deadly weapons. If any of them hit.
Miniaturized to fit in the smallest missile racks, swarm rockets carry only minimal propellant and payload which handcuffs their range and damage. They make up for this however with highly sophisticated guidance systems that make swarm missiles some of the most accurate weapons in the game.
While most missiles have a large amount of variance in the damage dealt, since not all missiles are guaranteed to hit their target, swarm missiles always hit.
I hope you can see that we’ve put a lot of thought into the different types of weapons you’ll be able to use in the REDLINE universe. We wanted to make sure there would never be one “best” weapon type that dominates the others. Hopefully with this wide array players will be able to try out all sorts of different combinations and setups to find which weapons work best for their play style. Or just to have some fun trying out new strategies and new tactics.
Next week, I’ll be going into greater detail on how REDLINE’s weapons work and function in-game.
Until then, keep your weapons hot but safeties on. 🙂