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[FAQ
Forum Index » » Beta Testing Discussion » » Nice work + Couple of Ideas
 Author Nice work + Couple of Ideas
Lonectzn
Fleet Admiral

Joined: January 06, 2005
Posts: 202
Posted: 2006-03-07 01:22   
Well guys I'm back (pointing it out because I know you don't care). I've been in beta, loved the direction it's going and figured I'd put in a couple ideas. One of these I'd thought of before I left, the other just after attempting to mod a ship in beta.

First off - great great work. I really think with beta DS is really going in the direction it should be, and it really opens some new avenues for content (not complexity). My first idea was an experience system for ships. Ideally, ships would have prestige, and would gain any prestige (almost any, some exceptions) the player gains while in them. They could gain levels (as players do) to a limit (no more than 5 or so I'd say would be needed). Cost would be extremely exponential. Each level would grant a bonus to all systems. Think 10% to armour hp/weapon damage per level, with equivalents for other systems. This is balanced against the fact that to get lvl5 would take a lot of time, and you'd actually have to use the ship to gain experience (thus risking it). Lose the ship and ya gotta start all over again. Oh and other players (including enemy) should be able to see what level it is. Think how much a priority target a lvl5 station would be =)

The best way to make people value a ship is to make it better than other ships through not cash but time investment in the ship. It would be not exploitable - since it relies on the pres system. You could not spawn a ship and have an uber machine in a couple minutes of modding. This would protect the stock ships as useful while also making people value their garages (even more than they did pre-483).

Next with the new modding system there is a MASSIVE hole that needs to be filled =)
There's room now to add a lot of modules. Different types of torps, lasers, cannons armour etc to fit ships for different roles. e.g. small, fast 'concussion' torps for fighting smaller targets, heavy, slow torps for anti-dread work. They don't have to be radically different, but more different or around as different as our current 3 torps are. Plus each race would have it's own variations (lets get rid of cross-fitting much as possible, give each race it's own). Since now people won't get overwhelmed with the number of modules when modding, there's room for a lot more without adding any undue complexity for the player.

Both of course would be a little off in the distance, but definitely some things I'd like to see.

Anyway, cheers and hello guys, was good to play again (will do some more). Got me a little excited =)
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Doran
Chief Marshal
Galactic Navy


Joined: March 29, 2003
Posts: 4031
From: The Gideon Unit
Posted: 2006-03-07 09:44   
seperate ship/crew experiance has been suggested before, and shot down for reasons i cant recall atm
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BackSlash
Marshal
Galactic Navy


Joined: March 23, 2003
Posts: 11180
From: Bristol, England
Posted: 2006-03-07 10:41   
@Doran:

A)Too much to track in the DB I'd imagine. We don't need more things slowing it down.

B)Makes people value their ship too much, meaning they won't risk it, just like people are doing now (too high prestige loss).
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Lonectzn
Fleet Admiral

Joined: January 06, 2005
Posts: 202
Posted: 2006-03-07 21:22   
A) Possibly a fair point, would like to have word on how true that is. Although unless tracking pres is already a significant factor (which I would not expect) I don't see this having any effect on lag.

B) Your ship will never gain experience in the first place if you don't risk it
And prestige loss is very different. It's because that affects your profile forever, where losing a high experience ship would not. Since you only lose the ship (and no more pres than you would a stock) I find it hard to imagine people will be afraid to use them. Especially since you'd have to use the ship to get it to that level anyway.

In fact people will be in many cases more likely to use a garage ship over a stock so they can train that ship up.

[ This Message was edited by: Lonectzn on 2006-03-07 21:31 ]
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Drafell
Grand Admiral
Mythica

Joined: May 30, 2003
Posts: 2449
From: United Kingdom
Posted: 2006-03-08 05:24   
DarkSpace is a primarily a skill based game. You,, the pilot, represet the crew and thier skills. Adding an extra layer to this creates a false buffer between you and your control ove rthe ship. Even a small 1% difference in energy can make a huge diiffference in combat, and in a 1v1 situation it unfairly biases the game towards the player with the highest level ship, not the player with the most skill. the concept as you describe it has no balance.

Having said that, here are some possibilities to consider:

Crew as fluff and bling - Have a crew that levels up etc, but give them no influence over the game or any effective statistics. Rather than the conventional levels, the crew would earn titles based upon the prestige earned in that ship. If your Combat Destroyer earns 100 (ships damaged) prestige, the weapons officer might earn the title of *Sharpshooter*. Simillarly if you managed to earn 100 FF, your officer would get a desultory title like *Lunatic*. Eventually if your ship lives long enough and you cause enough FF + normal damage, your officer would end up with a conbined title of "Billy *The Lunatic Sharpshooter* Wiggins". For a weapons officer on a Bomber, you would be more likely to get a tile of "Billy *The Demolisher* Wiggins" or somesuch. There is absolutely no point to such a system other than pure fun.
On my BattleStation my WO would end up with a title like Billy "The Masochist" Wiggins for the amount of friendlies I have managed to destroy with it


Balanced Crew: Your ship crew unlocks 'modiification' levels based on the amount of prestige earned in that ship. You would be able to increase a certain statistic on your ship (IE speed) but at the cost of another function (energy). If you have a "Green" crew, you are unable to assign any points to specific area's. They all stay at 100%. If you have a Veteran crew you are allowed to increase one systems effectiveness, but at the cost of another (such as a 5% speed increase but 10% energy reduction, or 5% armor increase with a 10% speed reduction). The maximum crew level would be Elite (lvl 2) and allow a 10% total increase to one particular area, but at the cost of a 20% reduction elsewhere. The downpoint of such a system is that it would be incredibly hard to balance, and is duplicating to an extent the customization offered by engine upgrades, armor types etc.

My personal favourite woudl be fluff. For some reason players generally love pointless stuff like that in games and are prepared to dedicate hundreds of hours to unlocking or acheiving it.
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Lonectzn
Fleet Admiral

Joined: January 06, 2005
Posts: 202
Posted: 2006-03-09 04:15   
With beta as it is now there is very little you 'risk' while fighting. Too much risk or the wrong kind of risk of course is a big problem. We've seen that prestige loss is a bad way to manage risk - it acts well as a tool to stop abuse (say suiciding), but beyond that it doesn't add to the enjoyment.

Too little risk can be boring, and you don't want to make ships too easily replaceable. Imagine fighting an enemy where when you destroy one of their ships they come back in an identical ship within 30s. This is what will happen under the current system. We know in 482 because most ships needed to be modded to be useful, this wasn't a game-killing issue. Though in 482 stock ships were generally under-rated by players - I found you could do pretty well in most of them. IMO it's important we retain the garage as better ships than stock. And there has to be time investment to get them. Previously, that meant (for the uggies) spawning the ship at Maurbon, modding it at Jasha, then logging the ship or WHing it to the action. That took a little time, not long but enough.

As I see it, it's the way beta is now that has no balance in that respect. The key is that when you kill a player with a modded ship they can't come back with an identical (as far as they have in garage). A modded ship gives you an advantage over someone just pumping out stock.

It's no fun fighting someone who's using stock ships. The fight has to actually mean something, that the other player had an interest in their ship and it will take them time to replace, means that there was a point to the fight.

I think in fact probably the best way to implement experience would be to have more than 5 attainable levels, but with falling benefit to ship stats that tapers off to nothing after the first 4 or 5. This way people get most of the actual benefit in the first (relatively easily attainable) few levels. It would then be as a modded ship. Higher levels just personalise the ship and add to the player's attachment to it. Even if a player only pulls a really high level ship out rarely, it still holds a lot for them. I know I'm the kind of person to be sentimental and treasure a ship for the time spent in it (I love them I do). It gives players something else to hold on to and try to develop.

It just feels different to be in an elite ship you have a history with. A source of pride. Even if it sits in the garage as a trophy, it's good that players have something they care enough about to treasure. For the most part they'd be lost before going more than a few levels, it'd only be few that survive that long to actually get to very high level - and if you had a ship that long you do get an attachment to it.

This would if done right be a way of adding another dimension and extend greatly on what we saw a bit of pre-483, in a way that is not constrictive or overly complex for the player.
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Drafell
Grand Admiral
Mythica

Joined: May 30, 2003
Posts: 2449
From: United Kingdom
Posted: 2006-03-09 13:26   
I disagree. With the new system in Beta, you get the prestige hit, as well as the inconvenience of the time it takes to repair your ship so that it is functional again, so going back to ballte within 30 sec's wont be possible unless you have ships already prepared.

The important part of this patch is to get the upgrade system and the combat balanced as it is, before pushing on other idea's. Some form of crew system would be nice, but the important thing is to have such a thing not effect the actual gameplay, and certainly not as a requirement to be able to compete effectively.

The idea behind darkspace is which team/person has the most piloting skill. not who has been grinding away the longest to get that extra 1% boost to something.

Grind is certainly important in any MMO game, it is what gives the long-term interest and replayability. But making such grind a requirement to be competitive is a big turn off for the newer players or for people interested in trying agame out. This is why many of the changes to the modding system have been introduced with this latest version, to make things easier to understand for new players, and it is a great foundation to be able to expand on in terms of introducing a greater variety of weapons and ship systems.

The other thing to take into account is that modding a ship will not just be a matter of sitting in orbit of any planet and choosing all the components you want; not all planets will have the required resource flags to provide such tech. Perfecting your ship layout will require you to fly around to various locations that can provide the upgrades you require, and will also make control of strategic locations much more important for a faction. These limitations haven't yet been intorduced as the main focus is getting the ships themselves balanced and the core system fully functional.
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Lonectzn
Fleet Admiral

Joined: January 06, 2005
Posts: 202
Posted: 2006-03-10 06:00   
That doesn't really address the problem I mentioned. For what you're saying to work, then the end modded ships need to be significantly different to stock. That's impossible now with the sheer lack of modules - most weapons have nothing (useful) they can be refitted with. Even your ideally modded ship is nearly identical to a stock, with a few 'taste' changes. There would have to be a lot more different modules to make a significant difference.

Basically what I'm saying is that you absolutely need modded ships to be significantly (not enourmously but enough) better than stock. Stock cannot be as good as modded or nearly, or else stock spawning would become a big problem. The only other option is radically changing the way you spawn (old school =). The system you described would have to just become 482 except having to jump to several planets to do it.

Also I would hardly call doing exactly what you'd be doing otherwise with a ship 'grinding'. It gains experience by using it. It's not akin to mining or otherwise, you're just using the ship as you would anyway. That's not grinding, it's just playing. I can't see how it could possibly lock out newer players. If anything it's easier than knowing how to mod a ship.

Coming back with a perfectly combat-ready ship (as good as the people you're fighting) within 30s will be easily possible unless modded ships are better, significantly, than stock or you change the sy system. There's just no way around it unfortunately. And trying to do that through the modding system brings you back to light armour/heavy armour.
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Drafell
Grand Admiral
Mythica

Joined: May 30, 2003
Posts: 2449
From: United Kingdom
Posted: 2006-03-11 07:31   
Quote:

Basically what I'm saying is that you absolutely need modded ships to be significantly (not enourmously but enough) better than stock.



I understand what you are trying to say, but one of the important aspects of the Dev team to sinsider is maintaining balance regardless of personal modification. A 'modded' ship should be comparable and as equally competitive as a stock model. The whole advantage of modding in DarkSpace is to customise the ship to your personal play style. It is not supposed to to be a system where it gives an unfair advantage compared to stock models.
Stock ships are intended to be effective for the roles in which they are designed and they allow a certain degree of further specialization. For the whole balance concept that DarkSpace is aiming for, you can take a look at GuildWars where they have an extremely good mechanism in place. All stock characters are just effective as any customized character. This is the kind of system and balance that DarkSpace is aiming for, and in all fairness, it is the only system that will work and do justice to the core gameplay. DarkSpace is a skill based game, not an 'I have the uberest weapon setup' game. Losing focus of this extremely important aspect is a big mistake that has been repeated in the past (1.483 is a prime example), and I do not think that the Dev team wish to make it yet again.

- Draf

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Malorn
1st Rear Admiral

Joined: December 11, 2003
Posts: 42
From: USA Eastern Time
Posted: 2006-03-12 08:23   
Hmm, I find this an interesting idea, and I agree with Lonectzn that something should be done to prevent the fast comeback effect that currently exists in beta. I also think the idea of ship levels might be worth looking at, as it would assist in denoting some differences. Also consider that this would not be taking the game away from a player skill based system, as the skill of the player would be the key to keeping a ship alive long enough to level.

However I also agree with Drafell, I don't want it to turn into another 1.483. That system was what convinced me to stop playing darkspace in the first place, as the advent of 1.484 heralds my return.

To balance these two ideas is the key. To do so, I believe we could impose a strict limitation to the maximum level, thus allowing only slight boosts in power. The idea of ships being able to again totally useless levels after that would be pretty cool. Perhaps allowing a player to name the ship after it reaches a certain exulted level, something I would greatly enjoy the chance to do.

In any case, it is better to be safe then to be sorry, though perhaps the naming and useless level system might be fun. It is worth talking more about this topic, trying to work out a system that might work.

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Shigernafy
Admiral

Joined: May 29, 2001
Posts: 5726
From: The Land of Taxation without Representation
Posted: 2006-03-12 08:37   
Personally, if there were a system, I'd go with more levels.. not three, and not fifty, but something like ten or twenty, but have them be relatively useless. You only would notice an effect after 5 levels or so, maybe 10 - and even then, not too serious, given Draf's points.


One thing that would add to attachment and be "fluff" to avoid any issues brought up is naming ships. Having them reach a certain "level" before being allowed to be customized in name would be a nice differentiation from stock ships without having much effect on everything.

Also, while I'm no fan of endlessly spawning ships from spawn points and returning to the battle instantly (effectly making you invincible), you have to keep in mind that most people also don't want to sit around for 20 minutes "preparing" their ship, or fighting to get it back up to decent strength. AND, historically, people seem to have a lot more fun in filled scenario servers where the average time to rejoin the battle was under a minute. PLUS, Faustus has come on record a number of times saying that its his intention to allow for players to re-enter the "fun parts" of the game more quickly - combat. Nobody likes pointless delays, like having to upgrade and level all your components... which is why they were replaced with a quick swap of components like in beta.

I feel like you both make good points, and I find myself agreeing with you both during your posts... and yet that doesn't really work, since you're disagreeing with eachother. So, I have nothing more to add.. I have no keen insights. Carry on, others who have ideas!
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Lonectzn
Fleet Admiral

Joined: January 06, 2005
Posts: 202
Posted: 2006-03-13 05:15   
Yeah it's not easy. Striking balance is not just about individual ships faring against eachother, it has to be taken in context. Personally I would prefer stock ships as they are in beta, however it'd require a big overhaul of the SY system.

But thinking about it my idea is a little too complex. I think maybe something simple like just 3 levels (vet, experienced and elite) for crew experience would be easier. Then have something seperate if we want to 'personalise' ships. Like a rank or badges for the ship, or perhaps simply just showing the ship's pres and kills. but that's a different discussion. Just 3 levels for crew experience (which give bonus to systems) would suffice.

483 as we saw jumped to one extreme, which did not turn out well. What I'd like to avoid is this beta jumping to the other one - attempt to find some sort of balance in between. 482 was much closer to that than beta is now.

Irrespectively, I think there will need to be changes to the SY system. If someone has an idea for that which'll work well with what draf is saying it would be preferred, since that is really the core problem. It's ok having stock ships that are good - just they're too readily available.

[ This Message was edited by: Lonectzn on 2006-03-13 05:18 ]
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Sixkiller
Marshal
Courageous Elite Commandos


Joined: May 11, 2005
Posts: 1785
From: Netherlands
Posted: 2006-03-15 14:18   
Going all the way back to the topic, something wich hasnt been discussed,
add new weapons etc.
Not to many, but a new engine, torp, missile, beam or cannon would be nice. One for every faction, but not necessarely locked to the faction, but then the other faction wouldnt get a new thing of that type either.

And second, i agree!!!!
the fluffy rank for your ships crew looks real stupid!

thus, it would be great, GREAT fun to have it in the game:P
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Malorn
1st Rear Admiral

Joined: December 11, 2003
Posts: 42
From: USA Eastern Time
Posted: 2006-03-15 18:51   
Ta . . pic? What is this 'Topic' you speak of?

I agree that it's not too much fun to spend 20 minutes prepping a ship. I also feel that we need to slow down combat comeback. Perhaps lowering the repair speed slightly?

And if I may quote myself.

Quote:

On 2006-03-12 08:23, Malorn wrote:
The idea of ships being able to again totally useless levels after that would be pretty cool. Perhaps allowing a player to name the ship after it reaches a certain exulted level, something I would greatly enjoy the chance to do.



I would indeed love the chance to name ships. But I also am not sure why everyone is so worried about allowing ships to gain levels. It's not as if they could gain them by sitting around and not fighting.

Plus, imagine the cries of fear as a well-known, high-level, named combat station W-H's in. "It's The Hammer! Fall back."

Would allow players skilled at keeping ships alive a nice boost. And I'm not sure why people worry it will unbalance the game. All it will do is allow player skill to effect another part of the game. It's not as if all players are dependant on skill alone. No matter how skilled you are, you can't a beat a station in a cruiser. You may survive, but you sure as hell won't win.

(Well, that's not really true, I can beat a K'luth station with a ICC missile cruiser, if I'm lucky, and he doesn't have any friends about. Also note I would need a supply of ammo to finish him. One load of ammo will take him to 70% hull or so.)

Anyway . . Ya, I would really really love to name ships, and have level with certain effects making that ship more dangerous. After all what fun is a game where players don't have to run and scream every so often.

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Enterprise
Chief Marshal
Galactic Navy


Joined: May 19, 2002
Posts: 2576
Posted: 2006-03-21 18:49   
This idea is indeed an interesting one, and one I once went over.

Personally, im against the whole grind-so-that-you-have-better-stuff than others thing. I never liked the fact that in an MMO it was based more on how much time you invested doing repeated things rather than your true skill at the game.

Now, its a fair point to have us want to prize our ships more. I LIKE that. Except I dont like the idea that it comes at a loss. A big loss. That makes, as said before, people more protective of their ships, and less willingness to fight.

So...there needs to be incentive to want to fight while making ships prized but not so much that you depend on it.

Drafells idea of "fluff" is pretty appealing myself. Alot of gamers like things they can mess with, either with asthetic looks or whatnot. But an idea I had was...

Well, it was that, basically, with a specific ship, the more you use it, and the longer you keep it, the more benefits you attain with it.

Not like, more damage, or more health, and the like. That gives advantages which give incentive to grind - we dont want that.

No, its more in the way of rewards.


What rewards in particular? Well, the main things we have are prestige and credits. But we gain both right? Well heres something interesting. A twist if you will.

Combined with the idea of Drafells "fluff idea". I propose that every ship you fly has a specific crew. This crew becomes experienced in time, but only while using that ship. The experience that that crew attains remains with that ship.

But what does this added experience do? Well, following a realistic logic, if your crew is successful, your crew would gain prestige correct? The longer you survive in that ship, the more well renowned they would be, and the more experienced they are. The way it would work is that the ships you keep alive give bonuses in the rate you gain prestige and in the rate you lose it.

This would give an added twist to the prestige gaining system. It would encourage the use of ships to boost the multiplier on things like combat and such, while giving your ship a kind of uniqueness.

There would also be that you could gain 'lump sum' prestige gains. Those gains coming from actually destroying the ship.

For example, your engaging someone who's ship is of high prestige, Based on whoever else is fighting, the prestige gained from destroying that ship would be spread out according the damage dealt; not by who gets the kill.

This would give added incentive for destroying enemy ships, thereby increasing the want of combat.

The boost of course, would not be slow, but not be fast. The longer you keep your ship alive in constant combat, the faster you would gain prestige. Of course, there would be a limit to the boost, (maybe triple gain, at most), the prestige of your ship would increase, and maybe by that would have some incentives to that too.

Not only does this encourage combat, but it encourages protectiveness too, and it also shows the skill of people who keep themselves alive.

The prestige gained would of course, also be affected by the ships you kill, so in order to have any kind of boost, you would have to engage ships of equal footing or greater. This prevents the hoarding of newb ships with the belief that it will make it easier to grind to that point.



Another of the reward incentives would be credits, and it would work in the EXACT same way, except that credits would be gained with every kill, or capture of a planet, and so on.


This would mean that your crew would have specific parts to them (Support, Combat, Transport, etc.) that would gain experience based on how you used them, and in turn provide a boost for that.

Combined with Drafells fluff, and any other incentives, it could work.




-Ent








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