Modular Commanders - Page 2

Modular Commanders

A dynamic game undergoing constant development and refinement, that attempts to balance playability with fresh and innovative features.

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SirMaverick
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Re: Modular Commanders

Post by SirMaverick » 15 Jun 2010, 20:01

Licho wrote:We now have hardcore inaccessible RTS played by few geeks and linux users while there are millions of potential players.
zwzsg wrote:So let's make CA games dependent, to make the experience closer to an (heavily instancied) MMO.
maackey wrote:Not everybody is motivated by the same things.
I did not join Spring/CA to play/develop a MMO or RPG. I prefer RTS games, a "chess style" game: everyone has same resources at start. All players have same opportunities (balanced factions...) and the outcome only depends on your skills.
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maackey
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Re: Modular Commanders

Post by maackey » 15 Jun 2010, 21:23

Surely you aren't opposed to purely visual upgrades SirMaverick?

I think a competitive mode to disable all gameplay-related upgrades would be mandatory. I know where you're coming from. Paying for benefits is the main reason I never really got into Magic: The Gathering, or a bunch of MMOs or most any game that gave bonuses from external sources.

I was thinking upgrades would be more like:
commander gets enough xp/player spends enough metal to upgrade.
player chooses heavy gun. (everyone has option to get this)
commander gets enough xp/player spends enough metal to upgrade.
player can choose dgun (available to everyone)
or player can choose xtagun (XTreme Awesome gun: only available with 100hrs) -- no more damage than regular dgun, but has different effect (also has impulse "for teh lulz")

Any upgrades not available to everyone I don't really expect to give advantage, or if there is it would be fractionally small.
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Gota
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Re: Modular Commanders

Post by Gota » 16 Jun 2010, 00:39

Why not have the commander evolve by himself based on what you do?instead of manually controling upgrades.
Whatever he does or is being done to him changes him.
If he is very aggressive and uses his laser and gets hit a lot his HP and DPS rise,if he gets a lot of DMG and gets repaeired a lot he start regenerating faster on his own(or his build time decreases),if he repairs unit a lot he starts repairing them faster,if he assist builds a lot his build power rises.
On the other hand what he doesn't do much becomes worse,if he is static a lot his speed becomes lower and if he is constantly mobile his metal and energy generation becomes lower and lower(but if he is static a lot he starts generating more).
In game you'd be able to see all his important stats and after a stat has increased to a certain proficiency level even if he stops improving that proficiency it will only decrease back to this higher minimum.

With each new level in a stat,increasing it further would be a bit tougher thus if you have been improving dps all game you would not be compelled to just keep improving DPS all game but could switch since it would be easier to improve lower stats.
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Google_Frog
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Re: Modular Commanders

Post by Google_Frog » 16 Jun 2010, 12:16

I pretty much agree with SirMaverick. I did not like PW because if someone really wanted a planet they would spawn a few start units effectively ruining the CA game. CA became a formality for taking planets.

Extra choice for one side makes that side more powerful regardless of whether it's balanced against other options. The other side must defend against the extra options and has less flexibility.

Regardless of whether these upgrades are unlockable I don't like the effects of an upgradeable comm. The current commander is weak for a reason; it doesn't extensively influence unit selection, it isn't the centre of attention for LLT push. If a comm pushes somewhere and you do not respond with a comm you have not instantly lost the area. The less powerful commander makes things more tactically complex as units became the driving attack force and now the presence of a commander does not make the area immune.

Though few people know about the flanking gameplay as most play packed teamgames with linear commpushing. Play larger maps with corner vs corner.

As the upgrades would cost metal it should be possible to balance the upgrades against any other actions. There are a few problems with this if the powerful commpush is to be avoided.

The upgrades must not be noob traps but there will be people who upgrade all the time. By definition to be balanced strategically sometimes it will be bad to upgrade. The commander is such a dense target that any upgrades to it are inherently less powerful than the equivalent units, this works right back around to the powerful commpush problem. And if the commander is more powerful or more potentially powerful more sniping will occur.

So if you really have to make this system do not give any extra ingame benefits and balance the comm upgrades against everything else, not just against each other.
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zwzsg
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Re: Modular Commanders

Post by zwzsg » 16 Jun 2010, 12:40

I always found that such powerful commanders was a flaw in the TA balance anyway.

What about modular stumpies and upgradable AK-AK?

Or more easily, battleforge-style, buyable blueprints? Noob would start with only a few level 1 units: solar, mex, kbot lab, cons, and a single multi-role attack unit. All the rest of the tech tree would have to be unlocked through the meta-game. This will effectively prevent the I TEK TO KROG noobstrat, prevent n00b to be overwhelmed by the profusion of units, prevent n00b from building all the wrong things, and give people incentive to play and play and keep playing until they unlocked them all!
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luckywaldo7
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Re: Modular Commanders

Post by luckywaldo7 » 16 Jun 2010, 16:11

That was actually my brainstorm for the eventual campaign mode; you have to play through missions to unlock more technology to build, so you are slowly introduced to the game for an easier learning curve and also given incentive to play.

Except instead of buy-able though, I wanted to require the player to (literally) capture the technology ingame. :D
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Google_Frog
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Re: Modular Commanders

Post by Google_Frog » 16 Jun 2010, 16:35

luckywaldo7 wrote:That was actually my brainstorm for the eventual campaign mode; you have to play through missions to unlock more technology to build, so you are slowly introduced to the game for an easier learning curve and also given incentive to play.

Except instead of buy-able though, I wanted to require the player to (literally) capture the technology ingame. :D
That's how all the good learning campaigns are setup. They hand you a new unit and the mission is matched to the abilities of the unit.
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Licho
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Re: Modular Commanders

Post by Licho » 16 Jun 2010, 17:10

I think it was mistake to try to discuss that publicly. I dont even have time to read responses and people dont understand how its meant to work.

Maackey just contact me, I will help with implementation.

I would go ahead with the stuff we discussed in etherpad. (Tiered upgrades, 3-4 basic chassis and ingame selection of "profile")

Discussing it here just breaks motivation.
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Pxtl
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Re: Modular Commanders

Post by Pxtl » 16 Jun 2010, 18:09

luckywaldo7 wrote:That was actually my brainstorm for the eventual campaign mode; you have to play through missions to unlock more technology to build, so you are slowly introduced to the game for an easier learning curve and also given incentive to play.

Except instead of buy-able though, I wanted to require the player to (literally) capture the technology ingame. :D
Yeah, I've been daydreaming something similar for 1fac. First mission is the Comm soloing vs. the bot lab, run by an idiotic AI. With that, the comm has "unlocked" the bot lab. Then a training mission introducing you to commanding your factory. From there it's Megaman-style - each factory is its own mission, and you pick which mission you do next... but with 2 tiers (megaman 8 ) so that you can raise the difficulty on the second half of the missions... and also, you'd want to ensure that the Naval lab is in the 2nd half so that hte player has amphibs and air units available before they tackle the navy.
Last edited by Pxtl on 17 Jun 2010, 15:34, edited 1 time in total.
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SirMaverick
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Re: Modular Commanders

Post by SirMaverick » 17 Jun 2010, 00:30

Licho wrote:I think it was mistake to try to discuss that publicly. I dont even have time to read responses and people dont understand how its meant to work.
Then you should present your idea more clearly and in more details.
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zwzsg
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Re: Modular Commanders

Post by zwzsg » 17 Jun 2010, 00:53

Or just let people babble while you do the right thing.
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Google_Frog
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Re: Modular Commanders

Post by Google_Frog » 17 Jun 2010, 03:37

Does this profile mean the upgrades are unconfigurable ingame? As in the player chooses the specifics pregame and pays for each tier in the game?

You've got to think of all this so you don't rush ahead and screw it up like pw.
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JohannesH
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Re: Modular Commanders

Post by JohannesH » 17 Jun 2010, 04:17

If it affects the game in a non-cosmetic way, it should be choosable & payable ingame

Otherwise it just doesnt make sense, to play unfair games or use a non-default game mode to have a fair match.
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zwzsg
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Re: Modular Commanders

Post by zwzsg » 17 Jun 2010, 09:41

If it's purely cosmectic then it's pointless. But I agree that maybe CA is not the most suited mod to implement hero progression accross multiple games, it would be better to have a new Spring game built around that concept.
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Licho
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Re: Modular Commanders

Post by Licho » 17 Jun 2010, 13:19

Google, PW wasnt screwed up, it was working great! CA had most players and retained peak for 2-3 months! It only ended after engine upgrade which broke CA (desyncs 100% of time).

And people like you and Saktoth just ruined all my motivation to continue improving it and attempt to restart it.
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Google_Frog
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Re: Modular Commanders

Post by Google_Frog » 17 Jun 2010, 13:34

Player count is not my only measure of success. The games where imbalanced by timezones and by spawning units. Spawning removed all fairness. Many games would become pointless after one team spawn rushed.

We gave feedback on how to improve PW with meta-game derived ingame objectives. I think this system would work much better and provide a more interesting link with the meta-game while preserving individual balance.
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Pxtl
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Re: Modular Commanders

Post by Pxtl » 17 Jun 2010, 15:30

Reading about PW and this new idea, I'm starting to think something unpopular:

Maybe it's time to start a new game?

Don't get me wrong - use CA units. Don't make all that work for yourself again. But CA is designed to be a TA-style game of expansion and resource-management. That isn't a perfect fit for the new, persistence-oriented features.

Throw out the old CA econ at the very least and make a new game designed for full deployments at game-start.

Just spitballing an idea, a variation on some thoughts I had earlier:

Give each player assets in the form of heroes (custom-commanders), cons, factories (that can't build cons - only rezbots and repair bots), and reinforcements. No assisting, the facs just build KP-style. Each player gets a big static defense tower (shield + weaponry) to protect their factories for free. Any con, rezbot, or repair bot can build metal extractors, but metal extractors don't extract metal - they extract victory points. Victory points stay on the extractor and are lost of the extractor is destroyed, so hitting the oldest ones is important. First team to N victory points (or to eliminate the enemy if they have enough power to overwhelm the home defense tower) wins. Maybe include a simple energy-based econ so players have to build and defend E to support their units. If you added mobile E-generators to factories, the elevation-based wind-generator code could be put to good use. Either victory-points or E can be spent to summon your pre-defined reinforcements squads.

You could have fun with the units you could get - in addition to factories and heroes and reinforcements, you could also have Berthas, fusion reactors, nuke launchers, etc as home-base statics (as something you choose instead of a factory). Remember that the home base is shielded so those things are only useful for field-support.

A game focussed 100% on unit tactics and your starting deployment, so that players will carefully pick which members of their roster they'll deploy for this mission.
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Licho
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Re: Modular Commanders

Post by Licho » 17 Jun 2010, 16:57

I never wanted anything so dramatic.
Check how its done in LOL FFS!

No need for new mod, it wont change balance.
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CarRepairer
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Re: Modular Commanders

Post by CarRepairer » 17 Jun 2010, 17:16

When I first found Spring, I barely played a handful of games when I got the desire to contribute content. I started making some maps that I thought would be lots of fun, and they were asymmetric. I didn't think it would be an issue. People love trying different things, right?

I was a fool. I was wrong wrong wrong. This game thrives on balance. It is the overriding issue always. The most popular mod starts with the word Balanced to emphasize this point.

All our blood, sweat and tears are expended to make these mods and maps balanced because players want the joy of playing a game based on skill and skill alone. And of course nothing is ever perfectly balanced, but that doesn't mean we don't strive toward it. Until now. Your ideas for PW and modular comms are to intentionally upend the balance. It's kind of strange and unique in here for someone to want to move backwards when everyone else is going the other way. I don't understand why. Spring is not LoL. I don't think PW was popular because of upgrades. People joined PW without knowing what it was or that it had upgrades.

I suggest starting with cosmetic upgrades and see how it goes. But you can always add what you want. There are mod options, mutator forks, and many other ways to do these things while not angering anyone.
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Gota
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Re: Modular Commanders

Post by Gota » 17 Jun 2010, 17:32

CarRepairer wrote:When I first found Spring, I barely played a handful of games when I got the desire to contribute content. I started making some maps that I thought would be lots of fun, and they were asymmetric. I didn't think it would be an issue. People love trying different things, right?

I was a fool. I was wrong wrong wrong. This game thrives on balance. It is the overriding issue always. The most popular mod starts with the word Balanced to emphasize this point.

All our blood, sweat and tears are expended to make these mods and maps balanced because players want the joy of playing a game based on skill and skill alone. And of course nothing is ever perfectly balanced, but that doesn't mean we don't strive toward it. Until now. Your ideas for PW and modular comms are to intentionally upend the balance. It's kind of strange and unique in here for someone to want to move backwards when everyone else is going the other way. I don't understand why. Spring is not LoL. I don't think PW was popular because of upgrades. People joined PW without knowing what it was or that it had upgrades.

I suggest starting with cosmetic upgrades and see how it goes. But you can always add what you want. There are mod options, mutator forks, and many other ways to do these things while not angering anyone.
You need to add PW into SD and streamline it as oppose to players having to go to different places to look different parts up...You need to see the advance every time you take a planet and all your stats and everything...it should all be easy without any links or other atmosphere killing newbie unfriendly features.
Car Repairer you cant be more wrong IMO.
Newbies dont care about perfect balance at all.
The old geeks that play BA for years,sure but not newbies...
To attract newbies you need ease of use,think Iphone.
If Iphone will be your inspiration than CA would become very popular.
If you'll keep thinking you need to change gameplay from BA ot XTA or whatever to get more players you are dead wrong.
As long as gameplay is passable that's it.
There are far greater Issues with how CA is delivered(that touch how spring is delivered to players in general)that require much more attention than making pyro do 5% less DPS or adding or removing pylons,once you see this and start doing something about it you'll start getting players.
Keep wasting time on adding and subtracting game features and youll find yourself in the same rot in another 3 years.
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