Transcendence Broadcast: Domina & Oracus

General discussion about anything related to Transcendence.
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george moromisato
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Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:43 pm

Tomorrow on Twitch I will continue my permadeath run with the EI500 freighter. The topic for tomorrow is Domina & Oracus. Here are a few questions to kick things off:

* Are the Domina powers in Stars of the Pilgrim balanced? Overpowered? Underpowered?
* Is it too easy or too hard to get Domina powers?
* What kind of interesting new mechanics could we introduce?
* Should Penitents have (additional) Oracus powers? If so, what would they be like?
* Could there be an alternate way to gain Domina powers (not via the Sisters)? If so, what kind of mechanic would be interesting?

As always, though, feel free to bring your own questions on any topic.

Tune in Thursday at 4 PM Pacific time: https://www.twitch.tv/kronosaurproductions

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Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:47 am

I once worked on a Penitent adventure called Oracus & Domina I: March of the Heretic which I indefinitely delayed due to creativity reasons and submitted in unfinished form to the Multiverse as "Penitent Space Library." Although it's yet to be completed, it had some new ideas that might be useful for the core game.

Firstly, I introduced a new Power system for Penitent adventurers.
  • Powers are invoked only by using Charms, and NPCs had AI logic to use charms when needed.
  • Charms spawn with limited charges which get consumed when invoked and do not recharge. Depleted charms cannot invoke powers.
  • The cost of invoking varies with the time since last invoke, starting high at the beginning (1 second between = 5 invokes before depletion) and decreasing over time (i.e. 15+ seconds between = 15 invokes before depletion) and also with relationship level (i.e. 4x more invokes at max level)
  • The user levels up based on total damage done with the Penitent Cannon and Oracus powers.
  • Charms get recharged on level up.
  • This effectively gives the player a wizard-like style (i.e. poor armor, powerful but limited magical attacks, a somewhat weak backup weapon).
I also introduced a few new powers
  • BATTER: Penitent cannon shots spawn randomly along a 100 ls ring around the user and fire at all opponents within the ring.
  • RUIN: A red high-radius ring spawns from the player and hits opponents with a high chance of disrupting devices.
  • EXECUTE: Nearby enemies are time-stopped and a huge thermo shockwave spawns from the player
  • AVENGE: Right before the user gets destroyed, the charm teleports the user 100 ls away and leaves a huge thermo explosion.
Finally, I added in some "magical" charge-powered devices for the player to use
  • Rapture Plate: A supercharged version of Advanced Reactive Armor that starts with 150d2 charges and uses them to both regenerate extremely quickly and launch dark acid shots at attackers when hit
  • Awakening Shield: A supercharged Class III deflector that starts with 150d2 charges that halves all damage and reflects most shots. Damage is subtracted from charges and when near hp-depletion, the charges prevent the shield from collapsing
I think the Penitent Infiltration mission could become an entry point to a Penitent adventurer arc in which the player destroys the Sisters of Domina station (effectively betraying them) with the Penitent ship and converts at the designated mission station.

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Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:14 pm

There are only two viable ways to gain powers: Donating slave coffins or donating halo gems, neither of which appear much if at all before Ungoverned Territories. Donating Dall's unique sphere can help a little since his reward is nothing special anymore. Anything else like comtemplation and burning valuable attitude points for very little or nothing, or donating an odd item here and there that you do not find enough of before the Sung appear is a joke. Before St. K's, you can probably count on having access to Sustain and nothing else. If you are lucky, you might be able to get an early slave camp before Charon, grab some slaves, run back to Eridani, donate them, and get powers, but that is a long shot.

Domina Power Balance
  • Sustain is fine. Good panic button.
  • Aside from faulty logic that may try to boost shields when inappropriate, Recover seems okay by itself. Excellent on high hp and low regen shields like Mammoths and Kaidun.
  • Strengthen is a powerful buff when you do not need Recover.
  • Defend is a better Sustain. You can fight while invulnerable. Probably not too bad on its own.
  • Nebular Sight is a reliable map ROM in systems shrouded in heavy nebula. Lets you avoid some ambush. Great for finding how many Iocrym stations there are in Heretic. Very powerful tool.
  • Ingenuity is full of exploit. Spam it anytime you have mostly unenhanced equipment. You can make money off of this, or keep the items. If you have a source of free fuel, like CSCs, you can wait and spam it as much as you like (and alt-tab out of Transcendence and do real-life work on your computer, write another mod for Transcendence, or not while you wait for power to recharge). Overpowered or at least easy to exploit when time is not an issue.
  • Circle of Wrath is very slow. Not very reliable, and not worth giving up Ingenuity for it. Also hazardous to wingmen.
  • Desperate Escape is a renewable Amulet of Life Saving. You cannot die by combat if you have other escapes handy and do not take more foolish risks until the power recharges. It effectively wins the game for you. Extremely overpowered (if permadeath is honored or enforced).
  • Shatter is impractical if you have autons or wingmen (they die too). If alone, it can be handy in neutralizing an overwhelming fight like the wall of Earth Slavers (not sure if they are light enough to be vulnerable, but you get the idea) in Huaramarca. However, this is usually not worth giving up immortality from Desperate Escape.
Chaining powers one after one can be very strong, and might make otherwise reasonable powers overpowering. In any case, Ingenuity and Desperate Escape are the real problem powers.
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Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:35 am

One suggestion to tone down Ingenuity is to make the enhancement temporary (but much longer lasting than Strengthen) like the various reflects granted by some field crystals. It should stop the worst behavior of exploiting Ingenuity (sit for while and enhance everything, while taking breaks during recharge).
Download and Play in 1.8 Beta...
Drake Technologies (Alpha): More hardware for combat in parts 1 and 2!
Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.
Download and Play in 1.7...
Star Castle Arcade: Relive classic arcade gaming in a new Transcendence adventure!
Playership Drones v7 (Beta): (OUTDATED!) Acquire and command almost any ship in Stars of the Pilgrim or Eternity Port.
Work in progress... Playership Drones v8: On hiatus!

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Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:04 am

Shatter...might be best if it only hit a single enemy (as a targeted power) but I'm not a fan of the shatter system in general.

Circle of Wrath is best used in emergencies as a missile block: shockwaves are a perfect barrier to low-HP projectiles. Offensively? It's garbage. I would suggest that you alter the power to do damage based on the system level the power is fired in (and maybe other stuff...would be nice for it to do more damage if the player is at low health)

Ingenuity....is both kind of boring and extremely overpowered

Desperate escape is similar.
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