IMPROVE IT: Ship-to-Ship Battles

Official News and Announcements from the team.
User avatar
Diecreeperdie
Space Cadet
Space Cadet
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:29 am

Re: IMPROVE IT: Ship-to-Ship Battles

Post by Diecreeperdie » Sun Jul 21, 2013 5:00 pm

Maybe you could have something that makes me less OP like a new science member will not do as gooder job as one that is Jr luitenant

S just to recap longer lthat person has been doing that job the better they get the higher boost the ship gets

User avatar
robocaptain
Space Cadet
Space Cadet
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:04 pm

Re: IMPROVE IT: Ship-to-Ship Battles

Post by robocaptain » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:16 am

Building off the posts by lewis-brooks and jpcoombs about the luck generator and RPG system elements: I would argue that these elements should primarily affect damage output and/or damage mitigation. Leaving targeting and dodging mostly to the player and in minigames would keep the "twitch" element of the game alive, although I think that these parts should still be affected by your crew (as discussed in my previous post).

The luck generator/RPG elements could come into play after the minigames have ended. I think that currently weapon attacks have a base damage that can be augmented via room upgrades. I would change this to a damage range (so a plasma torpedo could do between 50 and 100 damage points, for example). This range could change based on room upgrades and the skill of your crew. So if you had a very skilled gunner, each plasma torpedo might do between 50 and 200 damage points, or an upgrade might make the room do between 75 and 100 damage points. However, the actual damage would be randomly chosen from within this range. Your crew's skill lets you potentially do more damage, but that won't necessarily be the case (so it's like the weapon damage rolls in D&D and other RPGs). I think that room upgrades would be best suited to raising the base damage (since you've got better, more powerful equipment), while crew skill levels are best suited to raising the max damage (since they've learned how to hit where it hurts), but that's just how it strikes me.

I would also suggest that there be included in weapon attacks a percentage for them to cause "catastrophic" effects: hull breaches, gigantic fires, shrapnel explosions, temporary room shutdowns, shield overloads, etc. This percentage would be connected directly to the skill of weapons crews; the better they are, the more adept they are at causing bonus effects on a weapon hit. Per one of Glacian's posts, these catastrophic effects could be predicated on using a specific weapon type: as he suggested, torpedoes could cause hull breaches and lasers cause fires. To continue this logic, I would suggest that the machine gun cause shrapnel that can hurt crew members, and a hypothetical ion cannon might cause room shutdowns or shield overloads (if you're adding new weapons). All weapons would have a base percentage of causing their associated catastrophic effect, and for x amount of XP points a weapons crew member has, this chance might go up a set amount (so weapons might have a base 5% chance of causing an effect, and for every 10 XP your gunners have, this chance increases another 5%). If you wanted to include tokens, spending them might give your attack an immediate, large bonus to the percent to cause catastrophic damage, or allow your weapons to do different types of damage (catastrophic or otherwise). A blue token might allow your machine gun to suddenly cause serious shield damage, for example, where it normally would not. Yellow tokens might increase the chance of hull breaches, while red might cause shrapnel.

Enemy engineering crews would be able to reduce both the damage range of your weapons and their chance to cause catastrophic effects, based on their level. So there would be an adversarial system in place: weapons upgrades and crew would increase potential damage and the chance of catastrophic effects when attacking, engineering upgrades and crew would do the opposite when defending.

Sorry for another long post, by the way. Glad to see people thought my previous one was useful though.

User avatar
Xahni13
Junior Ensign
Junior Ensign
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:32 pm
Location: C:\

Re: IMPROVE IT: Ship-to-Ship Battles

Post by Xahni13 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:31 pm

Love PegLegHeg's idea! =)

User avatar
jpcoombs
Developer
Developer
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:32 am
Location: Boulder, CO
Contact:

Re: IMPROVE IT: Ship-to-Ship Battles

Post by jpcoombs » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:29 pm

Something is starting to take shape a bit.

Ideas that are good and will probably see the light of day in some way:

Charging Lightwave Engines
Somehow influenced by engineering, the slow charging engines (maybe 8 minutes or so) will give you the chance to a) escape battle and b) travel to new locations. This would be reflected in dodge and ship maneuverability (light ships can jump faster, and get combat bonuses).
Problems with system: It get's boring waiting to do something like travel to a new location. How often do you want to escape and where is the nice balance of being forced to battle and being able to leave. What's the penalty for leaving?

Tactics/Approach Bonsues and Penalties
Picking an approach to the combat sounds like a reasonable idea - Full Attack, Ambush, Hit and Run, Standard, Defensive - something along those lines. Each would have bonuses and penalties.
Problems with system: Approachability. One of the nice things about mini-games is that its quick and easy to understand - you know what your supposed to do very quickly. But they sorely lack depth and do a bad job reflecting your crews skillsets. Also, quickly explaining the plusses and minuses of each system. Finally, we don't want this to be text based and picking strategies like this can be very unsexy.

Powered Systems
Pour your energy into shields, weapons, hull reinforcement, scanners. You pick which system should be the focus and receive appropriate bonuses.
Problems with system: Muddy mess. The combat really stops being streamlined at this point. It could be more of a side set of options to play with in order to alleviate it, but really the concern here is that the game becomes very subtle and loses some of its arcade feel - we still want something anyone can pick up and get the hang of very quickly.

RPG Battle System
Your crew vs. their crew. You get bonuses based on experience, position assignments etc. You can use tokens produced as "jewels" to give yourself extra bonuses. Allows for more of a reading of how much damage you are dishing out as well as an understanding of who is doing what and how its being affected.
Problems with system: Have we abandoned our central game? There is a concern that this is such an overhaul that the game becomes unrecognizable. You also have a host of new exploits etc. Also, you lose a central twitch element. We always like that it "felt" like you were looking at the actual aiming station while you were shooting. Where is the balance between twitch and RPG? Also, this can get very cluttered very fast.

Many of the other ideas regarding alien ship tactics etc. can come later - as they will be a reflection of your ship rather than the other way around. If you are going to have a new system you need to have an enemy that takes advantage and exploits that system - so, inherently, enemy AI will, for the most part, be re-imagined. The bridge positions are also fun, as well as systems and rooms going down because of damage (engineering turns off the power, bridge turns off the function, etc).

Keep the conversation going.
Founder, Warballoon
www.starcommandgame.com
@starcommandgame

User avatar
timrizk
Space Cadet
Space Cadet
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:50 am

Re: IMPROVE IT: Ship-to-Ship Battles

Post by timrizk » Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:41 pm

Charging Lightwave Engines
Somehow influenced by engineering, the slow charging engines (maybe 8 minutes or so) will give you the chance to a) escape battle and b) travel to new locations. This would be reflected in dodge and ship maneuverability (light ships can jump faster, and get combat bonuses).
Problems with system: It get's boring waiting to do something like travel to a new location. How often do you want to escape and where is the nice balance of being forced to battle and being able to leave. What's the penalty for leaving?
I imagine that you don't really *need* to create a delay in "peacetime/non-combat" ligthwave jumps. You could justify the delay during combat by having some kind of vague description like "Your lightwave engines charge slower in combat due to the added stress of the shield generators and weapon systems" (I'm sure you could figure something out). Perhaps this is explained during a tutorial or something. As far a forcing a battle to occur, you can always claim that larger ships /alien ships have the ability to jam lightwave engines. Star Wars set a precedent for this along the lines of an "interdiction field", so the same idea here wouldn't be too far fetched. Penalty for leaving is being called a wuss.
Tactics/Approach Bonsues and Penalties
Picking an approach to the combat sounds like a reasonable idea - Full Attack, Ambush, Hit and Run, Standard, Defensive - something along those lines. Each would have bonuses and penalties.
Problems with system: Approachability. One of the nice things about mini-games is that its quick and easy to understand - you know what your supposed to do very quickly. But they sorely lack depth and do a bad job reflecting your crews skillsets. Also, quickly explaining the plusses and minuses of each system. Finally, we don't want this to be text based and picking strategies like this can be very unsexy.
I'm with you on this one. It seems like a cool idea at first, but I'm not sure how well it would fit in neatly.
Powered Systems
Pour your energy into shields, weapons, hull reinforcement, scanners. You pick which system should be the focus and receive appropriate bonuses.
Problems with system: Muddy mess. The combat really stops being streamlined at this point. It could be more of a side set of options to play with in order to alleviate it, but really the concern here is that the game becomes very subtle and loses some of its arcade feel - we still want something anyone can pick up and get the hang of very quickly.
I think these should definitely be "optional/advanced" controls that players shouldn't feel the need to delve into unless they really want to. By default you could leave it in a "balanced" mode, players can tinker with it as they choose. You have a couple of options here, imho. Either give players sliders to customize exactly how much power they want to put into each system (Shields, Weapons, Dodge), or simply give them a couple button choices (i.e. Power to Shields!, Power to Weapons!) which would provide a 30% charging bonus to the selected system but a 15% charging penalty to the other 2 systems (numbers are made at random to make my point) . Personally, I think the latter would be easier to manage.
RPG Battle System
Your crew vs. their crew. You get bonuses based on experience, position assignments etc. You can use tokens produced as "jewels" to give yourself extra bonuses. Allows for more of a reading of how much damage you are dishing out as well as an understanding of who is doing what and how its being affected.
Problems with system: Have we abandoned our central game? There is a concern that this is such an overhaul that the game becomes unrecognizable. You also have a host of new exploits etc. Also, you lose a central twitch element. We always like that it "felt" like you were looking at the actual aiming station while you were shooting. Where is the balance between twitch and RPG? Also, this can get very cluttered very fast.
I agree that this change would create more problems, and fundamentally change the games. Many RPGs I have seen suffer from players who constantly reload the last save to achieve an optimal outcome. I doubt this is the type of game you were aiming for, and it would certainly suck the fun out of it.

I know you wanted to have engineers do more, but considering some of the future updates (destroyable ship, losing power to ship, bridge damage knocks out sensors, etc.) the engineers should have their hands full.

As far as the rock-paper-scissor effect, perhaps this wouldn't come from the weapons themselves, but rather the ship itself. You can design ships that are fast and agile, yet have weaker shields and hulls. Missile weapons against fast ships would suffer an accuracy penalty but are more vulnerable to machine gun and laser fire. Lumbering behemoth ships can shrug off machine gun fire (and laser fire to a lesser degree) but can take serious damage from missile attacks.

User avatar
Warthix
Space Cadet
Space Cadet
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:59 am
Location: Tau Ceti II

Re: IMPROVE IT: Ship-to-Ship Battles

Post by Warthix » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:10 pm

Charging engines: I think this would be an awesome addition for battles, but I don't think it's really necessary for traveling. You don't really need to explain the lack of it out of combat, it could just be assumed that the engines charge before you jump.

Tactics options: Even if you don't have visuals for it, the effects on the battle should speak for themselves. You could add visuals later if you want to.

Powered systems: I agree with Timrizk's suggestion; you could just add buttons on the bridge or engineering menu to indicate where you want to focus power. Although I would just go with power to weapons, shields or engines. I believe it would unbalance the game if you could supercharge the generator and dodge all enemy attacks.

Also, I think it would be a nice addition if you could pre-charge one system before battle, but just one. That way you could go in gun's blazing or be prepared for that first volley.

Rpg battles: I don't know how I feel about this. I think adding contraband weapons and items, and maybe changing the way that exp affects your crew battle abilities are good idea's, but not a turn-based game. It's real time tactics ftw.

*Edit: in regards to turn-based play, I believe that somebody's suggestion of an optional planning period, issuing orders while the game is paused, is a good idea. But this isn't the same as a final fantasy-like system.

User avatar
lewis-brooks
Space Cadet
Space Cadet
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:31 pm

Re: IMPROVE IT: Ship-to-Ship Battles

Post by lewis-brooks » Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:47 pm

So any idea who and when we can test these ideas out?

User avatar
Commander Bart
Space Cadet
Space Cadet
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:41 pm

If it ain't broke don't fix it

Post by Commander Bart » Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:07 pm

I personally feel that combat and other game aspects do not need a drastic reboot. Instead, I would say to continually add new features with future updates. For example, I would add additional exploration options and additional text options. In regards to ship to ship combat I think that the first mission to mercury is a great example. If you choose aggressive text options you catch the enemy ship without shields. I would prefer this to a tactical in-game decision for every battle to choose a full frontal attack or ambush, etc. as has been suggested. I think choosing your attack unnecessarily complicates the game and using text options would be more consistent with the current platform. It would then mold to the personality of the player much better and pose different challenges each battle. Also, other possibilities for this could be based on the story. If we are being led into a trap then we would be the ones ambushed or sometimes we would have the element of surprise.

This leads me to my next suggestion which is about the power distribution that many have suggested. I think it is a good idea to have engineers distribute power from the engine room, but slightly differently than I have been reading about. I think that the ship should have enough power to drive all ship functions, but as the ship takes hits the power decreases. Then the user can choose where to distribute the remaining power whether to weapons, shields, etc. This would add strategy to the game as only good players would be able to keep important ship functions operational. If the engine room gets repaired though the power would obviously be restored.

I love the comment about specific targeting in the mini games where you can target blue, red, or yellow rooms, but I disagree that all mini games should be the same. I think all mini games should be different since more powerful weapons should obviously be harder to use. Definitely add a targeting option though. I think a little bit of luck should be included based on crew stats that would affect how accurate the shot is (maybe you accidentally hit a blue room instead of red when your crew is new, or maybe you miss altogether). This should also be applied to dodge and shield repair where crew levels affect which weapons you can dodge (if the enemy weapons crew is better than your engineer crew then you don't dodge for 100% miss or low level engineers don't repair shield 100%).

I agree with blast doors as an upgrade for rooms to contain fires that SHOULD spread to encourage ship repairs.

Don't get rid of tokens either! Plasma cannon is most powerful so it makes sense that the user better be paying attention to keep it operational. Plus, token production gives the crew experience which makes it important to rotate the crew to keep all levels high. Attention to detail is kind of the point of this game so let's not change that.

Finally, and this isn't exactly ship to ship battle, but I think the story should change every time the game is completed. Deja vu doesn't mean everything is 100% the same. The basic premise could be the same (star fleet commander goes crazy and tries to take over) but we could be taken to different planets and different enemies each time. Make it so we can keep our past ships at dock just for fun and then continually add newer/bigger ships with updates. New rooms could always be in the works or even new crew member types.

Anyway, please don't change things dramatically when I already paid for the game as is. Just update things bit by bit and continually.

User avatar
TheOmniscient
Space Cadet
Space Cadet
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:09 pm
Location: San Antonio, TX

Re: IMPROVE IT: Ship-to-Ship Battles

Post by TheOmniscient » Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:56 pm

I'm just wondering when we're you g to get to see the screenshots of the Away Teams.

User avatar
Glacian
Lt Commander
Lt Commander
Posts: 670
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:02 pm
Location: ~/

Re: IMPROVE IT: Ship-to-Ship Battles

Post by Glacian » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:06 pm

Soon (tm) :)

Post Reply