More Visceral Gameplay ideas

Post ideas & suggestions you have pertaining to the game here.
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RPC
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More Visceral Gameplay ideas

Post by RPC » Sun May 22, 2016 1:33 pm

I think the problem is that Transcendence combat has only 5 options:
fire primary
fire secondary
thrust
turn left
turn right

Other games, like SPAZ, have 8 options:
fire primary
fire secondary
thrust
turn left
turn right
strafe left
strafe right
reverse thrust

That gives other topdown shooters more dimensionality in gameplay whereas Transcendence is somewhat lacking.

Transcendence tries to make up for this imbalance with other games by:
* making kiting techniques easier (imagine if most ships had a speed slightly faster than the player),
* reducing fire rate of enemy ships, or
* giving the player weaponry that is overpowered when combined with nimble combat statistics.
* let the player approximate reverse thrust by including Newtonian physics to allow players to drift backwards while firing

Ideally:
If you add strafing, players won't need to kite and instead they can use strafing methods to dodge weapons fire while in range of enemy ships. This would allow the player a chance for an even footing when fighting fast, deadly ships that they cannot deal with without strafing.

There are some options to introduce visceral combat to Transcendence:
1. make kiting less optimal
2. make AI less dumb
3. add more options to combat other than tedious kiting

What we can do now:

Fix dumb AI
I think one major problem we can fix currently is the fact that the AI is really, really bad.

How do enemy AI capital ships deal with a player that is faster and has damaging longer ranged weapons? It's impossible.
How do gunships deal with a faster gunship? They can't.

I really feel George just buffed hp with internals to differentiate capital ships from gunships, but if we use the same old luring tactics then it just makes the game more tedious.

The point I am trying to get across is:
At the end of the day, we spend more time to kill less ships using the same luring tactics compared to older versions when ships didn't have internals.

In a game where traveling is ~70-90% of the gameplay experience I certainly don't want to make combat even longer.

Give all weapons a small amount of swivel (20-30 degrees)
This would let players AND AI fight at close ranges without having to side strafe.

With swivel, we can now give enemy gunships the same speed as the player
This gives players a choice, to kite now or risk engaging enemy ships. The difference between a good player and a bad player would know through experience the right choice to make given ample time.

With swivel and enemy gunships having the same speed, we can nerf the ranges of omnidirectional guns
This is because omnidirectional guns effectively allow you to sidestrafe against enemies, whereas fixed guns that have swivel do not have that option.

Add more combat utilities for the player and AI
Examples:
AI capital ships get the ability to get reinforcements, but also give the player the ability to engage with long range targeting howitzers or missiles. There could even be different missile types:
1. Shield buster missiles
2. Ionizer flak missiles for gunships
3. Internal Buster missiles that do bonus damage to Internals.

Other examples of player utilities (besides the existing Jumpdrive and armor repair devices/ICX-style/autons(which really don't count)/wingmen):
1. ability to deploy short-lived turrets. This gives the player an advantage against the buffed enemy gunships and capships
2. more EMP/radiation/status weapons for the player. This would be balanced by the fact that the game already phases out emp/radiation at higher levels.
3. Shield Recharge item: Once every 3 minutes, if your shield falls it gets recharged to full or by a % amount depending on the device
4. more autons that disemminate said statuses amongst enemies. There could even be an auton bay manufacturer item that takes ore + fuel to make them then sends them fighting.

More status effects, or at least encounter them more often
Currently fights are determined by who can kite the best. Kiting is currently the "I WIN" strategy that has no AI counterplay, and is optimal all the time. This makes combat very boring after a while.

Have the game explain to the player WMD
This is just something game changing that I had to figure out, and were I not a forumgoer I might have not figured it out at all
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Re: More Visceral Gameplay ideas

Post by gunship256 » Sun May 22, 2016 1:43 pm

There are some great suggestions here.

We could definitely use a greater variety of missiles.

Ships could do with built-in swivel so that the vanilla weapons don't have to be modified. Swivel also needs to a property of the weapon slot so that mods can't make swivel go away (by setting fire arc to Nil) if a weapon is installed in a swivel slot.

Other than that, I don't think I have much to add to that excellent post.

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Re: More Visceral Gameplay ideas

Post by JohnBWatson » Sun May 22, 2016 1:57 pm

Currently fights are determined by who can kite the best. Kiting is currently the "I WIN" strategy that has no AI counterplay, and is optimal all the time. This makes combat very boring after a while.
Absolutely agree.

Regarding swivel, I like that suggestion. It could potentially be linked with something that adds more swivel for lighter guns and less for heavier guns, potentially adjusting this by ship so that there is a clearer distinction between fighters and heavy gunships, with the former being more agile and the latter being better with heavy weaponry).

Regarding special abilities, I think this would be a great means of improving combat. We'd need a better means of integrating usable devices and items into the AI, but I could definitely see a ship with a jumpdrive or the ability to use armor patches/autons as a game - changer.

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Re: More Visceral Gameplay ideas

Post by RPC » Sun May 22, 2016 2:41 pm

It was brought up on IRC that the freighter would get shot to bits, so I would propose the following changes:

Add weighted armors that come from capital ships that only the freighter can equip OR give the sapphire/wolfen stricter armor limits
At the start, give the freighter something like a titanium barricade to make up for low speed and a repair device so money won't be an issue in keeping survivability.

This will let freighter fight faster gunships and give the tankiness to survive. Right now most armors that can be equipped by the freighter can be equipped by the sapphire/wolfen also. This change will more differentiate the frighter from the other two starting ships.
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Re: More Visceral Gameplay ideas

Post by TheLoneWolf » Sun May 22, 2016 2:53 pm

Given chance, I can help rework the AI. Kiting is awesome. Don't remove it!

Strafing is everywhere (CoD, Star Wars, and other FPS) but I really don't use it. But options should exist for those who use it.

AI definately needs more versatility. I mean seriously, its like we're fighting brain dead children!

The game should be bigger and more progressive.

Ion + Positron = thermoExplosion
must be a thing.

The difficulty is pretty linear. It doesn't depend on the enemy cunning, but on who's-got-the-bigger-gun.
The current difficulty for almost every ship can be equalled to what Zoanthropes were supposed to be.
And Zoanthropes are worse than debris.

Shield repair items? Wasn't superconducting generator enough?

The drone manufacturing bay idea is awesome.

We need to create a distinct line between Energy, Matter, Antimatter, Dark Energy, and Dark Matter weapon types.

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Re: More Visceral Gameplay ideas

Post by RPC » Sun May 22, 2016 3:00 pm

I should clarify, I'm not removing kiting against capitol ships.

When gunships have the similar speeds as the player, there is still option to kite if the player:
1. notices when to run fast enough
2. has a drive that makes them faster than the base speed of the gunships (there are lots of drive enhancement items in the game)

With my changes, kiting is still an option, but not optimal time wise because the options are now:
1. kite and take a long time to kill enemies
2. meet gunships at melee range, and potentially kill enemies faster with your swivel gun.

I think option #2 can, with practice and equipment, can kill enemies faster and in a more engaging way than kiting.
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Re: More Visceral Gameplay ideas

Post by gunship256 » Sun May 22, 2016 3:05 pm

JohnBWatson wrote:Regarding swivel, I like that suggestion. It could potentially be linked with something that adds more swivel for lighter guns and less for heavier guns, potentially adjusting this by ship so that there is a clearer distinction between fighters and heavy gunships, with the former being more agile and the latter being better with heavy weaponry).
I made a mod with a device that does this (the Hermes swivel mount). Lighter weapons get more swivel than heavy ones. The math isn't optimal, since I wrote the code before I found out about floating-point functions.

https://forums.kronosaur.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=7518

The mod also creates a bunch of new devices so freighters like the EI500 can feel more powerful.

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Re: More Visceral Gameplay ideas

Post by TheLoneWolf » Sun May 22, 2016 3:11 pm

I was trying to make THRUSTER, that consumes Ice Water/sec-2sec and gives you x2-x5 speed burst. That can be useful for running away. But I'm a squat when it comes to TranScript/tLISP.

Adding multi shield and multi hull can help too. Those are some nice features.

Whenever the engine is udgraded, someone please make sure to reming George to add support for custom AI.

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Re: More Visceral Gameplay ideas

Post by RPC » Sun May 22, 2016 3:43 pm

Two options to implement weapon swivel:
1. By item. By taking into account mass, gun type, etc, it would be possible to differentiate between dogfighting weapons and base busters to give the appropriate weapons a swivel.
2. By ship. Use the graphics size to differentiate ships into classes, then use *Property on items to give the appropriate weapons a swivel.

*edit: @LoneWolf you can make an item that removes items from the player's cargo hold to have the boost. Once there are no more items, it disables itself using

Code: Select all

(objSetItemProperty obj item property value [count]) -> item
using the properties:
'enabled [True|Nil|'silentDisabled|'silentEnabled]
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Re: More Visceral Gameplay ideas

Post by PM » Sun May 22, 2016 4:21 pm

If strafing is added, it should be a special ability of ships or acquired equipment (akin to targeting program), not assumed built-in. Transcendence is partially based on older shooters that did not feature strafing.
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Re: More Visceral Gameplay ideas

Post by RPC » Sun May 22, 2016 4:50 pm

@PM: Yes that's perfectly fine. It should either be a device or maybe even a playership class but not something added to the current setup. I was just noting that strafing provides a better way to handle kiting behavior from the player by making kiting less optimal but not nonexistent.
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Re: More Visceral Gameplay ideas

Post by PM » Sun May 22, 2016 5:15 pm

Not so sure about that. The games that feature strafing and reverse thrust (as separate keys, not the Supox toggle in Star Control 2), kiting is much easier than in Transcendence. Strafing and reverse thrust makes kiting with a fast enough ship trivial. Without those, kiting is harder.
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Re: More Visceral Gameplay ideas

Post by JohnBWatson » Sun May 22, 2016 7:59 pm

RPC wrote:It was brought up on IRC that the freighter would get shot to bits, so I would propose the following changes:

Add weighted armors that come from capital ships that only the freighter can equip OR give the sapphire/wolfen stricter armor limits
At the start, give the freighter something like a titanium barricade to make up for low speed and a repair device so money won't be an issue in keeping survivability.

This will let freighter fight faster gunships and give the tankiness to survive. Right now most armors that can be equipped by the freighter can be equipped by the sapphire/wolfen also. This change will more differentiate the frighter from the other two starting ships.
That's been a very popular suggestion over the past few months. Armor weight limits are a great idea, but they haven't been meeting their potential in recent builds due to the lackluster nature of most of the armors that are between the Sapphire's max weight and the EI500's max weight compared to alternatives.

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Re: More Visceral Gameplay ideas

Post by PM » Sun May 22, 2016 9:43 pm

Most of the best armor is light. Even though Wolfen can use up to 12 ton segments, equipping heavy armor (or too much mass) really hurts its mobility.
Download and Play in 1.7 Beta...
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Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.

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Re: More Visceral Gameplay ideas

Post by gunship256 » Sun May 22, 2016 10:50 pm

If we had double and triple layer versions of standard armors (12 and 18 ton blast plate, for example), the EI500 would start to become more competitive.

The smaller ships would get indirectly nerfed because shops would carry less of the light armor if the heavier armor existed.

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