New Commonwealth missions

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Xephyr
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Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:33 am

With the latest updates to Commonwealth missions, all CW stations that give missions now use mission types. This makes it a lot easier to add missions, so I think its a good time to have a brainstorming thread. If we get some good ideas I can write them up into mission types and maybe we can put them into a pull request and get them into the game.

Here's one I've been working on for Renegade, but would also work fine in the Commonwealth:

Mine Raiders

Mission works at Commonwealth mining colonies, and only if there is an enemy mine in the system (Urak, outlaw, etc.)

The player enters the meeting hall, and the operators notice them enter. Immediately they try to recruit them in their plan; They're down on their ore quota for the quarter, so they want to raid a nearby mining colony so they still get their bonus. They send out a ship with a raiding party, and the player is responsible for escorting the ship, clearing the enemy mine's guards, and defending the ship while the raid is happening (this is timed via timer overlay on the enemy mine). When the ore is returned to the CW mining colony the mission is done and the player gets a substantial reward.

The mission fails if the raiding ship dies or the enemy mine is destroyed while the raiding party is still inside.
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"Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. " -Julius Caesar as written by William Shakespeare, a notorious permadeath player.

shanejfilomena
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Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:07 pm

you , Captain, have a dangerous mind. I like that.
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JohnBWatson
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Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:45 pm

That could work. The code required to implement it could also be used to fix the Fleet's 'rescue scientists' mission.

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Xephyr
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Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:26 am

I think it would also be worthwhile having a brief mining tutorial arc to show new players how to mine.

Commonwealth MIning
Assay


The player docks at a mining colony and is approached by a group of miners. They want to mine an asteroid field in the system, but mining activity in the system is known to attract outlaw claim jumpers. The player is given some seismic scanner pods and travels to the ore-bearing asteroids. Over comms, the miners instruct the player on where to place the pods and how to detonate them; After the ore is detected, the player must defend it from outlaw miners as the commonwealth miners come and extract the ore.

Commonwealth Mining
Extraction


If the player has equipped mining equipment, but the system they are in doesn't have much ore, they are offered this mission; this is so the player doesn't give up on mining immediately.

A mining colony is short on workers because they had mistakenly believed the system was almost out of ore, but a large deposit has been discovered. The station operator recruits the player in helping to retrieve the ore along with the few miners remaining at the station. A large ore deposit is placed on an asteroid in the system, and the player meets the miners there.

- If the player has a mining weapon, but not a miner's hold, then they only have to extract the ore and the other miners will pick up the ore
- If the player has a miner's hold, but not a mining weapon, then they only have to pick up the ore and the other miners will extract it
- If they have both, they can do both

The player must also help defend the miners from various threats; Centauri raiders attempting to capture ships, Urak warlords that want the ore for themselves, outlaw miners, etc. The mission is complete when all the ore is retrieved and returned to the station, and the station operator gives a brief explanation on ore rarity (and what to look forward to in later systems)
Project Renegade (Beta) : "The Poor Man's Corporate Command!"
"Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. " -Julius Caesar as written by William Shakespeare, a notorious permadeath player.

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digdug
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Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:46 pm

Xephyr wrote:
Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:26 am
I think it would also be worthwhile having a brief mining tutorial arc to show new players how to mine.

Commonwealth MIning
Assay


The player docks at a mining colony and is approached by a group of miners. They want to mine an asteroid field in the system, but mining activity in the system is known to attract outlaw claim jumpers. The player is given some seismic scanner pods and travels to the ore-bearing asteroids. Over comms, the miners instruct the player on where to place the pods and how to detonate them; After the ore is detected, the player must defend it from outlaw miners as the commonwealth miners come and extract the ore.

Commonwealth Mining
Extraction


If the player has equipped mining equipment, but the system they are in doesn't have much ore, they are offered this mission; this is so the player doesn't give up on mining immediately.

A mining colony is short on workers because they had mistakenly believed the system was almost out of ore, but a large deposit has been discovered. The station operator recruits the player in helping to retrieve the ore along with the few miners remaining at the station. A large ore deposit is placed on an asteroid in the system, and the player meets the miners there.

- If the player has a mining weapon, but not a miner's hold, then they only have to extract the ore and the other miners will pick up the ore
- If the player has a miner's hold, but not a mining weapon, then they only have to pick up the ore and the other miners will extract it
- If they have both, they can do both

The player must also help defend the miners from various threats; Centauri raiders attempting to capture ships, Urak warlords that want the ore for themselves, outlaw miners, etc. The mission is complete when all the ore is retrieved and returned to the station, and the station operator gives a brief explanation on ore rarity (and what to look forward to in later systems)
Nice !
Would love to see the player borrow a Borer and mine with that.

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Xephyr
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Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:12 pm

digdug wrote:
Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:46 pm
Nice !
Would love to see the player borrow a Borer and mine with that.
I thought so too - I just can't think of a good way to implement that. It would work great for a mining tutorial mission, because the player doesn't need to equip any mining gear.
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"Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. " -Julius Caesar as written by William Shakespeare, a notorious permadeath player.

Derakon
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Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:25 pm

How about a mission where thieves have managed to steal supplies from the station, and you need to chase them down before they exit the system, disable their ships, and retrieve the cargo? Cargo could be anything from small stuff like software, luxury goods, etc. all the way up to "thieves have stolen 5000 tons of food! We're sending an EI freighter with you to carry it all back."

(Never mind how someone managed to get 5000 tons of food onto their ship and push off before the station realized what was happening)

giantcabbage
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Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:39 pm

Xephyr wrote:
Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:26 am
Commonwealth MIning
Assay


The player docks at a mining colony and is approached by a group of miners. They want to mine an asteroid field in the system, but mining activity in the system is known to attract outlaw claim jumpers. The player is given some seismic scanner pods and travels to the ore-bearing asteroids. Over comms, the miners instruct the player on where to place the pods and how to detonate them; After the ore is detected, the player must defend it from outlaw miners as the commonwealth miners come and extract the ore.
I had a similar mission in my old Mission Framework mod which might be a useful reference (there are some similarities from the framework to MissionType and EM thumpers to scanner pods)

There were also a couple of other demonstration missions which I have not updated to MissionType:
Clavius Insurance - Mission to recover black box / pilot from a destroyed ship
Sisters of Domina - Find a woman who has been called by Domina and help her follow her destiny
Xephyr wrote:
Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:12 pm
digdug wrote:
Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:46 pm
Nice !
Would love to see the player borrow a Borer and mine with that.
I thought so too - I just can't think of a good way to implement that. It would work great for a mining tutorial mission, because the player doesn't need to equip any mining gear.
Have the mission say that their normal pilot is ill / missing and they need someone to fly the Borer. The player would then swap ships as in Benedict06

Edit: The old mission framwork download appears to be corrupt, so I've attached the survey mission here
Attachments
Mission_Mining.xml
Old mining survey mission
(21.43 KiB) Downloaded 7 times

shanejfilomena
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Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:27 am

giantcabbage wrote:
Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:39 pm
Xephyr wrote:
Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:26 am
Commonwealth MIning
Assay


The player docks at a mining colony and is approached by a group of miners. They want to mine an asteroid field in the system, but mining activity in the system is known to attract outlaw claim jumpers. The player is given some seismic scanner pods and travels to the ore-bearing asteroids. Over comms, the miners instruct the player on where to place the pods and how to detonate them; After the ore is detected, the player must defend it from outlaw miners as the commonwealth miners come and extract the ore.
I had a similar mission in my old Mission Framework mod which might be a useful reference (there are some similarities from the framework to MissionType and EM thumpers to scanner pods)

There were also a couple of other demonstration missions which I have not updated to MissionType:
Clavius Insurance - Mission to recover black box / pilot from a destroyed ship
Sisters of Domina - Find a woman who has been called by Domina and help her follow her destiny
Xephyr wrote:
Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:12 pm
digdug wrote:
Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:46 pm
Nice !
Would love to see the player borrow a Borer and mine with that.
I thought so too - I just can't think of a good way to implement that. It would work great for a mining tutorial mission, because the player doesn't need to equip any mining gear.
Have the mission say that their normal pilot is ill / missing and they need someone to fly the Borer. The player would then swap ships as in Benedict06

Edit: The old mission framwork download appears to be corrupt, so I've attached the survey mission here
I TOTALLY miss Mission Framework : I miss the thumpers too :)
But I do recall ( which is odd for me to remember so clearly ) that the Black Market once sent me on a mission to a Black Market friendly station: forgetting the Player isn't friends with their friends........

but otherwise I always did love having all those options for missions and , of course, the thumpers.
Flying Irresponsibly In Eridani......

I don't like to kill pirates in cold blood ..I do it.. but I don't like it..

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RPC
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Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:02 am

Overall idea: base missions on guiding the player through some cool lore stuff.

Ideas:
Ares invasion
the nuking of mars
the rise of Arco Vaughn
Ranx separating from CW
daily lives of the Ringers/Teratons/transhuman/ferian/dwarg zooanthrope (think maybe "I have no mouth and I must scream" style?)
Iocrym contact with humans/scientists at Heratic
Rashomon style missions: alternate between opposing viewpoints of the Huari/Sung war.

Alternatively, we can just steal emulate some cool plots:
We can steal some game plots: Mass Effect/Baldur's Gate/SOMA/Deus Ex series/etc.

Lore based mission example #1 (no idea about the canonicity of this):

Gather the Earth nations to form the CW as a result of the Ares attack.

You can pick one nation that gives you a specific ship. Then you must do the X subplot missions to get them to unite, which would determine the setup of the final defense mission. Que a normal defense mission (think Star Genesis).

After the mission is over, we surprise the player by making them play on the Ares side of the war, during the nuking of mars. Here, we use the player's old ship and forces used to defend Earth as the enemy and give the player the Ares forces. By forcing a loss in the end (with the player accidentally working against themselves no less!), we can show the player that their actions had consequences, and a heavy toll was paid by both sides.

I think the real point at which missions derive value is the amount of attachment we can get the player to get by creating likeable, well written characters and a compelling plot. This is because as a game, Transcendence does not offer the best visuals, best combat, or even best mechanics. The only way to excel in a cost effective way would be to write an excellent story to experience.

On a technical level, here are some easy Mission types that have been done before:
>delivery/fetch quests
>"fix object"/collect parts quest
>escort
>exterminate
>go here quest

What doesn't turn into the aforementioned quests?

Another "quest" would be exploration, but with the static universe that Transcendence has this is a one time experience.

I am of the opinion that lore is the way to go, because doing something like Bethesda's "radiant quest" system is honestly the easiest way to waste someone's time. If we choose to focus on the lore and polish our presentation of a unique experience that no other game can provide I think Transcendence can make a player's time worthwhile.

For example, we can add "psychobabble" missions where we challenge the current notion of X by using our sci fi in the future background.

SPOILERS AHEAD:
Spoiler: SPOILERS FOR SOMA
END SPOILERS

Another argument I have to make is that by adding quests, Transcendence should move away from the rogue-X genre.

This is an important statement to make because I've always seen it being described as a "mix between nethack and some space game I don't remember the name of right now". I think that by adding quests we can give Transcendence the personal flavor it is lacking. It's the same reason why I'm craving for visceral combat in Transcendence (AKA fixing the kiting problem). Ultimately, I think that what we are lacking most is a unique experience, because let's be real, once you clear out Eridani you've basically going to do the same thing ~22-30 times depending on your starmap RNG and if you aren't speedrunning.


TL;DR:

#1: I think a compelling story is the only way to really get Transcendence the traction it needs as a game because it cannot compete in other departments. Even mechanically it kinda fails as a space sim and as a rogue-X.

#2: Once we have a great story, we should just tailor the missions to present that story in a "show not tell" fashion. I think this game has been in the "telling" stage for 10+ years now. This way, we will have no shortage of mission ideas because the story dictates the game.

#3: If we are not going to do a story based mission sequence, we can at *least* do a lore based mission sequence. We already have 10+ years of lore and we need to use it.
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