So, let's talk about Cloaking Devices...
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Join Date: Oct 2012
04-22-2013, 08:50 AM
Originally Posted by
There were at least three instances in DS9 that I can think of that cloaked vessels were tracked at sublight speed. In The Search, DS9 detected the cloaked Defiant- which wasn't moving- albeit only at 300 meters range. In The Die is Cast, DS9 picked up "high concentrations of tetryon particles" and a variety of other technobabble moving toward the station which... resolved itself into a bunch of cloaked ships. Similarly, In The Search II, The Jem'Hadar seemed capable of penetrating the Defiant's cloaking device at sublight speed until they cut main power.
The defiant wasn't designed to cloak, so it would make sense that it would be easier to detect than other ships that had been designed with that technology in mind. Additionally, as you said, the ship was within 300 meters, which is well within one kilometer at which most cloaked ships in the game also show up. When the defiant was detected, the romulan subcommander onboard said cloaked ships moving at warp speeds give off a slight subspace variance and suggested that after dropping out of warp "they would find nothing." However, the jem'hadar bugs swept the area "with some kind of antiproton scan." read: antiproton sweep, which is a cloak revealing skill in this game taken from the jem'hadar. Additionally, miles states that the defiant's power signature is unusually high for a ship of its size and so they cut main power as the cloak may not be masking everything, again, indicating that defiant was not designed for cloak.
I believe in nemesis that the scimitar's cloaking device was unique in that it gave off no tetryons or antiprotons, the typical means of detecting cloaks. Whether the cloak was a reman improvement or simply a romulan advancement in cloaking technology that was used aboard the scimitar, now that the romulans have scimitars, it would be logical to assume that they also have this improved cloaking technology if it came from the remans removing the tetryon factor. They didn't state what speed the mysterious energy signatures were moving at, but if the ships were moving faster than warp 6, that could have been the reason, or the sheer number of ships in a relatively concentrated area, or more importantly, it was a combined romulan/cardasian fleet, so cardasian ships, again, ships not designed for cloak, were using cloaking devices and that could have accounted for an even greater tetryon particle presence. Also, when miles was called to ops about the readings, he said he had no idea what they were, he'd never seen anything like it, which would again lead me to believe that the strange readings were not a typical way of detecting a cloak, and were quite possibly caused by the interaction of romulan cloaks with cardasian technology.
Originally Posted by
The only specific example that bothers me is hailing someone who's out there looking for you specifically; anything else I imagine is to vague to be particularly obvious.
I would assume that maintaining an open com channel with someone who's specifically looking for you could leave one open to being located, however, brief hails/conversations shouldn't put one in danger, nor should receiving a hail that one simply listens to but does not respond. Additionally, I'm sure there's some technobable that could be used to explain why, "Damn it captain, they're routing their communications through the *technical this* preventing the *technical that* from being detectable!"
Originally Posted by
Scanning is one of those events that, at least in general, requires some violations of EMCON protocols. The Romulan ship in "The Pegasus" didn't keep its cloak up while scanning the asteroid field, despite that it would have been a significant strategic advantage. Similarly, in the two episodes where we hear the most about actual cloaking mechanics- The Search II and Face of the Enemy- it is repeatedly emphasized how important it is to avoid high energy operations that would leak through the cloaking device. I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that using high energy active sensors ultimately defeats the purpose of the cloaking device by radiating enough energy that someone can track it.
Agreed, while under cloak, intensive scanning should definitely be an issue, but I think passive and lower sensors shouldn't be a problem. I can't think of any specific examples with references, but I seem to recall several instances of non cloaking federation ships scanning things "gently" as it were so as not to alert the enemy to their presence, so i would assume that being cloaked on top of gentle scanning would allow one to have some use of the sensors without risking detection.
Regardless of all that, for the sake of gameplay, it wouldn't work out so well if one could do most things while cloaked, for example, the entire first half of kerrat while cloaked.