Nuggets for Nuggets | Stealth

Written by Lennon on . Posted in Nuggets for Nuggets, Scattered Chatter

Hello Citizens and Civilians, and welcome to our new blog version of Nuggets for Nuggets! As well as giving you new, exciting, bite-sized tidbits of information during the show, we thought we’d post them all here for your viewing pleasure!

Stealth

There are four main ways of being “seen” in the Star Citizen universe — your radar image, your thermal signature, your EM signature, and good ol’ fashioned eyeballing. Whilst there are many ways you’ll be able to reduce the size of your radar, thermal and EM footprint, there will be no way to cloak and hide in the shadows (sorry all your Romulan fans).

That doesn’t mean you can’t avoid being seen — there will be plenty of ways to reduce your ‘visual’ footprint, such as hiding behind asteroids, painting your hull black, and flying dark (that is, switch off all your electronics and drift with minimal thrusters).

Some ships are build with stealth in mind, such as the Hornet series and it’s upgrade, the Hornet Ghost — a stealth-oriented craft designed to have a low radar signature. It’s worth noting that the upgrades from these ships to increase stealth, like the Ghost’s Void Armor, can be applied to different models of ships, however they may not be as effective, unless you also reduce other stealth-related factors like engine output.

Which brings us to one of the major factors about stealth — balance. For every action there is an equal reaction, so if you upgrade your hull plating to reduce your radar image, you might end up increasing your EM footprint. Let’s say you’ll then swap your engines out to reduce your EM footprint, well then your thermal signature may just increase. There will definitely be trade-offs to make and so no ship will be able to be completely invisible to an expert tracker.

So what sorta goodies can someone get to help them sneak through the shadows? There will be hull coatings to reduce radar and thermal signatures, specialised hull geometry for radar stealth and specialised engines that run colder and leave less of a trail. Well, that’s great, but what about reducing your ‘visual’ footprint? Well aside from hoping that the person hunting you is flying a Freelancer and so will not have a great field of view, you’ll be able to paint the hull black (skull and crossbones motif optional) and hide behind anything big enough.

Unfortunately we don’t have enough details on planetary landing to say if you can hide in atmosphere, nor in a star’s corona, but you can certainly hide “behind” them, however there are rumors abound that planetary poles will upset EM readings, so you may be able to effectively mask your EM signature through some careful positioning.

In conclusion a dedicated stealther will be able to massively reduce the size of their footprint in the ‘verse, but won’t be able to eradicate it completely, and will have to be super-careful when it comes to being spotted. There is also talk of implementing a mechanic whereby if you outfit your ship to be too stealthy then the fuzz/cops in a high-sec system will flag you as ‘suspicious’ and actually be following you closer — our best advice? Fly casual. Keep your distance, but don’t make it look like you’re keeping your distance.

So, what’s in a name? Well a ‘nugget’, as well as being a small, bite-sized piece of information is also the name for a trainee pilot. Nuggets for Nuggets is a weekly section of the show where we delve into the mechanics of Star Citizen and give you the gory details from the inside out. As the game is still in active development, all the information given is subject to change but we will revisit sections in the future to bring you up to speed.

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Comments (2)

  • seannewboy

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    I would expect there will also be black market options in the game, but they will be expensive. Im surprised though that you did not talk about changing F.O.F. identities to pass as other ships.

    Reply

  • Nick 'Paradox' Parker

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    Okay I am all for balance, but lets be sure the balance makes sense.

    This—> “Which brings us to one of the major factors about stealth — balance. For every action there is an equal reaction, so if you upgrade your hull plating to reduce your radar image, you might end up increasing your EM footprint. Let’s say you’ll then swap your engines out to reduce your EM footprint, well then your thermal signature may just increase. ”

    Makes absolutely no sense. Why would a radar return reducing hull increase your EM footprint when it is defecting as well as absorbing the EM return. Why would swapping out your engines increase your thermal signature when the hull should be masking that as well? Even your main thruster would be designed to not only help cool the thrusters exhaust but to fan it out to where it reduces the thermal signature event further. The last part that no one has even thought about is with all the EM footprint talk, you have missed things such as communications or the ships on EM emissions. Those are a huge part of the EM side of the package as well. Some communications (encrypted) can and will go unnoticed while others, typically open, will be detected by ELINT type craft

    Lastly a stealth ship can actually be invisible in every area except one. Visual. With these craft the real balance comes down to not being very fast/maneuverable, and having little to no weapons with the exception of internal stores.

    That my friend is how stealth is done and how it should be simulated as well as balanced for the sim. Balancing without clear understanding and thought isn’t worth it. It just dumbs down the sim.

    Reply

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