Realism Questions

I just stumbled across this game and I have some questions with respect to realism.

I've seen this game marketed all up and down about being realistic but I haven't seen much actual concrete information about the details of the realism. I'm very much into realistic space simulators and I just want to get a sense for where I should set my expectations. Either way, I'm super excited for this game and I'm sure it'll be a blast, I just don't want to end up disappointed when it comes out. So, my questions:

  • How do the ships actually turn? Is it purely by pointing in the direction you want to go and burning with your main engine, or is it possible to maintain a turn like in an atmospheric dogfight? Naturally this should be pretty much impossible unless your RCS thrusters are almost as powerful as your main engines, and it's hard to tell what the case is in this game. I saw something on the "development of the Shrike" video that looked like large, gimballed engines to facilitate turning which might make this more feasible. Either way, I'm very glad to see that the velocity vector and ship orientation don't have to be connected, as it should be. I saw something that mentioned being able to disable a "counter thrust model" which might be related but I'm not sure what that is.
  • Is it possible to disable the synthetic noise generators? IMO any sound from external sources is a massive, cardinal immersion breaker and I would like to be able to hear just the sounds of my own ship and pilot. I believe I saw mention of it being possible to disable but I want to be sure.
  • How do nuclear and conventional explosives function in the vacuum of space? I've heard all sorts of talk about "thermal" damage but this is a vague term that doesn't give any clear insight into what this is. Heat needs a medium to travel through, which in the case of nuclear weapons is almost purely the electromagnetic spectrum making pure nuclear weapons little more than glorified flashbulbs. Nukes are effective on Earth because they effectively make the atmosphere itself explode, which can't happen in space for obvious reasons. The only way explosives would deliver any real damage in the vacuum of space would be via shrapnel/fragmentation warheads (for conventional explosives) or superheated plasma in the case of nuclear weapons (such as nuclear explosively formed penetrators or some other jacket that is designed to be vaporized and propelled by the radiation). Nukes going off on their own would simply heat the surfaces of anything the radiation from it touched, most of which would be lost to space.
  • How do missiles work? At high velocities missiles would need exceedingly powerful engines to change their velocity vector quickly enough to track a target. I'm curious as to whether missiles function under realistic principles and hopefully don't do any of that "long chase scene with a missile" bullshit that the movies are perpetuating.
  • Do orbital dynamics play into the game in any way?
  • I saw some suspiciously Star Wars looking asteroid clusters, they're not that close IRL :( I'm going to tell myself that all the rocks and debris floating around were caused by mining endeavors or combat (that wasn't a question, sorry).
I'm a huge fan of Children of a Dead Earth and similarly realistic physics-based simulation platforms hence my obsession with realism, but even if the answers to all of these questions are not the ones I want to hear, I'll still be super stoked for the game because at least it makes a large effort to be really close to reality. I'm still aching from the massive disappointment that was Star Citizen ("realistic" my ass). Thanks!


Impeller Staff
Welcome the_Demongod! There information's scattered between our FAQ and Reddit AMA, but seeing how long those are, I'll spare you the journey:
  • Depends on how quickly you want to turn. Momentum is conserved, so sharp turns are impossible without slowing to a stop, then thrusting in the desired direction. That being said, it is possible to maintain a turn, but only if you're okay with a huge turning radius, and the means is somewhat counter-intuitive - you must point your nose towards the center of the arc as you thrust, so that you simultaneously cancel out your current velocity vector while increasing that in the direction you want to go.
  • Yes, if you want the wholly authentic spatial experience, you can disable the noise-making DSS and revel in the near silence. I say near silence, because there are still some noises conducted through the material of the ship and your suit, such as impacts on the cockpit and the sound of your own breathing. You can disable those through the in-game menu, but that's a matter of personal preference rather than realism - some people get really annoyed by the sound of breathing.
  • You're pretty much on the ball here. There are basically three sources of damage from any explosion: thermal, kinetic and pressure. Thermal here refers to that caused by heating due to thermal radiation from the bomb, kinetic is due to shrapnel, and pressure is most similar to the damage mechanism on Earth but only occurs at the dead center of the blast (although there is no atmosphere, the bomb's own vaporized material can exert some pressure, but only before in that near infintesimal window before it has a chance to expand and dissipate to vacuum). All fall off much faster than on Earth, with the result that chemical explosives are pretty much only useful at point blank range, and even the most powerful nukes are not all that threatening past a couple kilometers. Granted, this is only true for spherical explosives - shaped charges can still rip you apart from much further off.
  • Almost universally, the in-game missiles have much higher acceleration than the ships, so unless you're very far out, there's no chance to outrun them. It's possible to evade them by sidestepping right before they're about to hit, once they've built up too much speed to really change trajectory, but if the missile figures out it's not going to hit and is within spitting distance the proximity charge will go off anyway, most likely leaving you quite a bit worse for wear. This is particularly problematic if the missile in question has a shaped charge, in which case it doesn't need to get all that close to hurt you. In this case, you'll have to rely on your point defense systems and EMP emitters in order to disable it well before it can get you.
  • The orbital dynamics play into the mission briefing (ie, we'll make sure ships could actually make the transfers required and in the proper time), but by the time you're piloting, your ship has already been delivered to the site of the engagement, and the battlefields are too small for that to really matter. You can compare this to Children of a Dead Earth's combat system: dynamics are critical in getting you within firing distance of your target, but once you're there (provided you're on intercept rather than a flyby), they're not really all that important.
  • That's okay, that was the answer anyway. These asteroids were transported from the belt in order to provide a source of metals in a part of the solar system that seriously lacks them. The larger ones were moved close together for ease of access - the smallest ones are bits of debris that were blown off in an earlier battle.

Hope that covers your questions. Is there anything else you're curious about? Glad to have you on board!
Wow, those are all exactly the answers I wanted to hear (including the small-scale orbital dynamics, I was just curious; if CoaDE doesn't do it then I'll give just about anyone else a pass). Great to know, can't wait to play the sim! Thanks! Consider yourself backed, can't wait for the beta access.
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