Airship Kingdoms Adrift: Game Mechanics

Explore our guide for detailed explanations and insights into various unexplained mechanics in the game, particularly those related to ships and modules.

You can find explanations and details of many unexplained mechanics in the game, many related to ships and modules, in our guide.

This is the guide Prince Pwnly it was created by. You can find the author’s link at the end of the guide.

Ship and Module Mechanics

Plenty of the game’s mechanics don’t have adequate (or any) tooltips yet, but I’ve been able to get a fair amount of information on how things work. Most of this information is from the head dev, so it should theoretically be accurate (except for repair, because repair is a buggy mess at the moment).

There are references to various .json files within the guide. These can be found at (Drive):Program Files (x86)SteamsteamappscommonAirship Kingdoms AdriftAirship_DataStreamingAssets

Some mechanics are explained several times as they are relevant in multiple areas (looking at you, dampening)

Weapons – Potency

For weapons without a blast radius this number is their DPS. For weapons with a blast it’s their expected DPS as calculated by an unknown formula that accounts for how many blocks they’re expected to damage given their blast radius.

Note that weapons without an AoE will perform better against shields than blast weapons with the same potency. This is because a blast weapon will only hit the shield once regardless of the blast radius resulting in lower actual vs predicated damage.

Weapons – Blast types

There are two kinds of blast weapon. Both explosive and mana AoE weapons can be found in these two groups and the type is not explicitly stated in the weapon statblocks.

  • Type 1: Things that explode outside of the ship (mines, flak) will only damage the external blocks within their radius
  • Type 2: Things that hit the ship before exploding (howitzers, torpedoes) will apply damage to all blocks in their radius regardless of obstacles

Weapons – Blast damage

  • All explosions have a radius in meters
  • The blast damage is calculated and assigned to blocks before resistance is applied
  • All blasts have a fall-off factor determining how much the damage is reduced to at the edge of the blast
  • The epicenter is 100% damage with a linear decrease to whatever value the fall-off factor is when expressed as a %
  • The distance is determined by measuring from the epicenter to the closest part of any affected block
  • Different weapons/modules have different falloff factors, which can be found in the appropriate PartData .json files
  • The FoF values seem to range from .2 (most mines and torpedoes) to .65 (glaives)

Weapons – Dampening

  • Blast-causing projectiles that directly impact an armor with dampening will have their blast negated
  • The armor module still takes the full listed damage of the blast (modified by resistance as usual)
  • Type 1 blasts and module explosions never start on an armor block. Therefore, they are never dampened

Weapons – Accuracy

Guns have a widely different possible spread, viewable in the weapon part .json as their ‘DeviationArc’ (however the weapon part names in that .json are not the same as their in-game names).
Within that arc the shots are subject to a (Gaussian distribution[en.wikipedia.org]) of ~.6.
Spread is calculated based on a normal deviation, the edge of the distribution is the DeviationArc stat.
Higher accuracies lower the sigma value of the deviation. With no accuracy increase the sigma value is 1. Accuracy modifications (such as the calibration room) narrow down the variance of the normal distribution of the firing deviation.

Lead firing: A skill applied by some officers. With it, gunners will lead their targets. Without it, they shoot at the target’s current position.

Pay attention to the weapon textboxes to get some idea of relative accuracy. For example, pivot cannons indicate they have better accuracy than normal cannons and indeed have a spread of .1 vs the .25 of a cannon battery. Why this stat isn’t in the weapon statblocks is a mystery.

Weapons types – Intro

  • The 3 primary weapon types are Penetrating, Explosive, and Mana. These three are mutually exclusive with each other.
  • There is a fourth primary type, Interceptor, possessed by some weapons. Weapons may possess both interceptor and one of the other 3 types.
  • Muskets have no weapon type. Carronades and rotary guns have only the interceptor type. All other weapons have one of the first 3 types.

Weapon types – Penetrating

  • Weapon will not have a blast radius.
  • If a projectile overkills the block it hits, it will continue flying. Remaining damage will be applied to the next block in line, continuing until all damage is applied
  • This ability is prevented by armors with ‘deny pen’. Additionally, a penetrating projectile that collapses a shield will have its remaining damage negated by the shield (exception: If the only shield capacity is granted by officer abilities the shot will continue to the ship)
  • Some of the lower-grade penetrating weapons have no power cost or drain
  • One torpedo has this type: The breach torpedo

Weapon types – Explosive

  • Weapon will have a blast radius, dealing damage to the tile hit and nearby tiles depending on the blast radius
  • See earlier section on blast weapons for details on blast radius mechanics
  • The blast is negated by armors with the ‘dampening’ property. The tile hit still suffers the full damage
  • Boosted by modules or officers that deal with explosive weapons (IE explosive workshop). The explosives workshop is more powerful than it seems; one workshop buffing a 2m blast weapon will allow it to damage two blocks in each direction rather than just one
  • Listed damage is applied only once to a shield regardless of blast radius

Weapon types – Mana

  • Weapon may have blast radius (there is a blast radius unless ‘kinetic’ or ‘compulsive’ are in the weapon’s name).
  • See earlier section on blast damage for details on blast radius mechanics
  • All weapons of the mana beam and mana bolt subtypes have no ammo cost, requiring only power.
  • Boosted by officers and modules that deal with mana weapons (IE mana chamber)

Weapon types – Interceptor

  • Interceptor weapons have the ability to destroy enemy projectiles in flight, and will prefer to target incoming missiles, torpedoes, and riders before ships, closest first
  • If a weapon has an ‘integrity’ stat interceptors will target the projectiles it fires
  • Interceptors are also able to destroy projectiles that don’t have an integrity stat, even beams!
    Game mechanics explained
  • It’s been reported that an intercepting projectile will mutually destroy any normal shot it hits. Exception: Phase Javelins cannot be intercepted.
  • Interceptors can be boosted by the talents of some officers. Especially helpful for lances as they have higher spread than most interceptors without an AoE

Blocks – Size and regeneration

Each block is 2 meters by 2 meters. Where this doesn’t add up to the full dimensions of the ship, the rest is accounted for in an airframe/collider mesh that will interact with rocks or other airframes (see Ramming) but not take damage from weapons.
This can cause shots that seem to hit the ship to go through without causing damage: they hit the mesh but not an actual block. Similar story for shots put through areas where all blocks have been destroyed.

Regeneration: Regeneration is applied to that block only and will not have any effect if the block is at full hp

Blocks – Module explosions

  • The number by the explosion damage is the blast radius in meters
  • Module blasts are not stopped by armors with the ‘dampening’ property.
  • Module blast damage is affected by a ‘fall-off factor’ that reduces the damage linearly, based on the distance from the center of the destroyed module to the edge of the other module.
  • All combustion and cruising drives have a FoF of .5. Other module blasts can be found in the relevant PartData .json

Armor – Resistance

Resistance is applied to the shot’s potential damage rather than the damage the block takes.
Example: A penetrating shell with 1000 potential damage strikes a 500-hp armor block with 10% resistance. The block is destroyed, but the next block in line will receive 400 damage rather than 500 or 450.

Resistance is applied before damage negation but after a blast’s damage is calculated and distributed to all affected blocks.
Example: A shell with 1000 damage and no falloff strikes a piece of armor with 20% resistance and 700 negation. The blast damage of 1000 will be applied to all nearby blocks. The armor struck will reduce damage dealt to itself by 20% to 800. Damage negation will then be applied, reducing the damage to 100. All other blocks struck still have to deal with the 1000 damage

Weapons with negates resistance subtract their negation number from the blocks resistance for effective resistance.
Example: Armor with 20% resist struck by a negates 5% resist shot will block 15% of the damage rather than 19%

Armor – Dampening

Armors with dampening will prevent the blast of AoE weapons that directly impact the armor. The armor block itself still receives the full listed damage. Blasts from other sources (module destruction, type 1 blasts, hits to neighboring blocks) are unaffected by dampening

Armor – Self-hardening

  • Any damage over the self-hardening value is negated.
  • The round will not penetrate even if it would normally have been able to. Applies to both penetrating and blast damage.
  • If the block’s hp is low enough that it is destroyed before reaching the self-hardening value, S-H does not trigger and the block is penetrated as normal.

Repair – Disclaimer

Repair has several bugs going on right now. Several of the values on a ship’s stat sheet contradict each other and/or the dev-given report on what they should be.
Repair team assignment is even murkier than blast damage potency, and you are likely to see values in your game wildly different from what this guide suggests should happen.
Hopefully it will all be patched up at some point.

Repair – Active

  • Each repair team repairs 60 damage and consumes 1 material per second in a battle
  • Each repair team repairs 600 damage and consumes 10 material per second outside of a battle

Repair – Passive

  • Occurs when materials are depleted or the player manually deactivates active repair.
  • Each team repairs at 1/10 their normal rate but does not consume material
  • Many engineers greatly boost this stat

Repair – Priorities

1. Power Plants
2. Command
3. Engines
4. Protection
5. Utilities
6. Ammo Storage
7. Weapons

Note that all engineers have an ability that changes the repair order, with different priorities for each engineer.

Repair – General information

  • Repair teams will prefer to repair different modules if possible (though in practice I’ve only ever seen one module being fixed at a time)
  • Unknowns: Diminishing returns from multiple teams, timeframe for teams to reassign themselves, if they reassign themselves, max teams per module or per block
  • Repairs are boosted by engineering decks and some officer abilities. The decks are supposed to stack without increasing material use.
  • Repair teams are only granted by interior modules and by storage modules with ‘mechanized’ in their names
  • A block that has been fully destroyed will start functioning again once it reaches 30% integrity. It cannot be damaged any further until it has reached that 30% threshold even once repairs begin.
  • Multiple identical blocks will be repaired in the order in which they were damaged/destroyed.

Crew – Crew losses

Crew are removed by weapons that inflict crew damage (blast damage weapons only remove the listed amount once), boarding, and tile destruction.
2 crew are lost per tile of a destroyed part. This includes armor.

Crew – Protected crew

Each ship has a built-in protected crew stat. Once reduced to this level, crew can no longer be killed by enemy fire or module destruction, only boarding actions. Protected crew can be increased by several modules.
Bunkers are particularly noteworthy as they add more protected crew spaces than the crew they add to the ship. With enough bunkers you can make your entire crew immune to everything but boarding damage.

Crew – Crew capacity reduction

You don’t lose more crew in modules that grant crew capacity unless your crew would have more members than the newly-lowered maximum.
In that case enough crew are immediately removed to reach the lower maximum

Crew – Insufficient crew

Once crew drops below 50% of the current max, the efficiency of the ship (rate of fire, possibly other stats) starts to suffer. Reload times are increased by 1% for each additional 1% of crew lost

Crew – Crew recovery

  • Post-battle, some of the crew lost will be recovered, representing recovery from nonlethal wounds and enemy defections.
  • Crew recovered = 50% of crew lost during battle + %bonus from modules + (Sum of officer abilities)
  • This does mean that you can end a fight with more crew than you had when it started, however you CANNOT have a crew recovery rate of more than 100%

Close-quarters combat – Ramming

  • Ramming is governed by a complex, unknown formula. However, it accounts for the relative speed and weight for each ship, then spawns a blast that damages both in a circle sized by their momentum.
  • The blast can be up to 2000 damage with an 8m radius on the point of impact. The falloff of this blast is unknown.
  • Additionally, all blocks on both ships receive minor (about 50) damage.

Close-quarters combat – Boarding

Your % morale plays a big part in boarding.
Damage and defense both go down as morale does

  • Boarding offense is reduced to 50% at 0 morale
  • Boarding defense is reduced to 75% at 0 morale

The strongest abilities of quartermasters both increase boarding power and cost a % of your morale each second, which drops your boarding power.
Keep an eye on your morale when using these abilities, and don’t activate them before boarding damage is being dealt or you’ll waste a good chunk of your first attack.

The amount of crew damage done per tick is capped at 1/10 the crew capacity on board the smaller ship in the engagement. This means boarding will always take at least 10 seconds from full crew. However that’s usually not the case as protected crew amount is about 30% of the capacity. Under ideal conditions it can take only 3 seconds to capture a ship.

Game mechanics explained
Final note: The graphic is somewhat outdated; h is currently set at 10 rather than 60

Written by Prince Pwnly

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