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 About player counts and NPCs in between

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caltech117
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:39 am

Iv121 wrote:
fr0stbyte124 wrote:
I'm not against using NPCs to fill out the ranks, but I would also like to encourage player cooperation, by which I mean crews of players working together on a single ship or station, not just everyone hiding from everyone else and blowing up npc houses. Minecraft has enough of that already.

So how to accomplish that? Naturally, we can't make it impossible to operate a ship with a single player or you'd be stranded whenever your buddies are offline. And if one ship flown by one guy is good, a fleet of 10 ships flown by 1 guy each is better (ignoring server capacity). How do you even those sort of odds without upending all semblance of game balance?

10 ships by one player is another genre called RTS , one ship per player is enough. As you said what if your friends are offline ? What if you don't have players playing the game ? Player only ships can be in special PVP matches, where players build ships in the primary game mode and then fight on them with friends against other players.

If one ship per person is required then the more people on a ship would give a damage increase.
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:33 am

So having two people on a ship will make it twice as powerful? It would have to be or no one would do it.

There needs to be something to balance with other than direct stats. Does anyone know how Start Trek online works? There's no way everyone is flying their own ship in that.
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:39 am

I´d say NPCs can be told to do special tasks like operate turrets, refill power generators,
check sensors for certain stuff,...
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:49 am

NPCs will have limited AIs. they will be good but only in what they do (Gunners will shoot well but won't fix well, Mechanics will fix well but won't shoot well). This way players will be ultimate crew members that are capable of doing anything. Also there is a possibility of lets say 3 player per ship - one captain, one defense officer who controls shielding, mechanics, diff life support systems etc. , one offense officer who controls gunnery etc.
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:07 am

Well, frost: How about this: It doesn't give you twice the power, but it will give you a bit more, so that if a ship isn't ready, you can still help out.

Also super dreadnoughts and the like might have different rules, ie they must be crewed by more people, or their weapons can't fire. But what would the others do?

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You know, I was thinking we should have a 3D crafting grid for complex recipes, but Kielaran is right: why have three dimensions when you can have six? Truly I don't know how we ever got by with a measly two.


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Now, if Fr0stbyte wrote that, someone would make a sig, guaranteed. So what are you going to do now?
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:46 pm

Hmm, maybe have different tactical stations, with higher level ships having more stations. You can switch between them, and the other stations will be filled in by npcs (read: drooling idiots). I would say make people physically move to different stations (so you have players sprinting down hallways to get to other sections during a fight), but that would just end up with people arranging ships so that all the consoles are next to each other. Instead, let a player switch between stations with the push of a button, but also have some sort of cooldown (upgradable?) between switches, during which the controls either don't work or you have a stats penalty.

This way, you could still pilot a big ship on your own, though it would be more awkward, or your buddies could zerg rush with a fleet of small ships.
How's that sound?


-------------
As for stations, we could have different minigames for different roles, and they would get harder as the instruments become higher level, but also become much more effective.
-Weapons and piloting are pretty straightforward but there could also be a targeting minigame where you have to actively track priority targets, and maybe have special "spells" with costs and cooldowns to add different effects.
-Engineering would be managing power distribution to different parts of the ship star trek style, and also cooling and repairs.
-Electronic warfare would screw with the other ship's instruments (or counter enemy EW), and at higher levels, can take over subsystems entirely (for instance, hangar bays...). Hacking could be short puzzle games akin to memory or mastermind. Something requiring player skill.
-Stealth could be a high specialization upgrade, and maybe the minigame would involve keeping a bunch of emission types in balance with non-linear controls. Higher levels would control more emission types.
-Scanning could have active and passive versions, surveying planets and asteroids, or looking for ships in the system. Higher level will give more scan options which are more sensitive to different types of emissions. Active scanning needs to balance sensitivity and precision, and is possibly needs to be aimed manually.
-Repair systems could evolve from [general hp] sectional hp, and subsystems, and let you direct repairs to higher priority areas. Maybe also includes additional buff spells.
-Command ships would be able to collect and share tactical information throughout the fleet, direct players and possibly npc-controlled systems in some way, get special tactical viewpoints, and maybe cast support buffs.

-There could be other minigames for non-fighting roles too, like manufacturing to get the best efficiency or quality, or in mining to survey ores (simple might be hot-cold, and complex might use something like seismic scans).


Of course, at lower levels control stations would be less specialized and require less concentration, and there would be fewer stations overall, some doubling up on functionality.

Just some thoughts. Feel free to add to the list. The main goal here is to make the game more challenging the more you upgrade, and encourage specialization and teamwork.

The hardest thing for AI to do will probably be piloting and gunning. With piloting, they have to avoid stuff and not make boneheaded decisions and get everyone killed, but at the same time, they can't be so good that a player has no reason to pilot at all. Gunning even more so. It's really easy to make an aimbot, and it's really easy to make an AI a crappy shot. Getting somewhere in between those two is a lot harder.
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:55 pm

+27
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:56 pm

fr0stbyte124 wrote:
Hmm, maybe have different tactical stations, with higher level ships having more stations. You can switch between them, and the other stations will be filled in by npcs (read: drooling idiots). I would say make people physically move to different stations (so you have players sprinting down hallways to get to other sections during a fight), but that would just end up with people arranging ships so that all the consoles are next to each other. Instead, let a player switch between stations with the push of a button, but also have some sort of cooldown (upgradable?) between switches, during which the controls either don't work or you have a stats penalty.

This way, you could still pilot a big ship on your own, though it would be more awkward, or your buddies could zerg rush with a fleet of small ships.
How's that sound?


-------------
As for stations, we could have different minigames for different roles, and they would get harder as the instruments become higher level, but also become much more effective.
-Weapons and piloting are pretty straightforward but there could also be a targeting minigame where you have to actively track priority targets, and maybe have special "spells" with costs and cooldowns to add different effects.
-Engineering would be managing power distribution to different parts of the ship star trek style, and also cooling and repairs.
-Electronic warfare would screw with the other ship's instruments (or counter enemy EW), and at higher levels, can take over subsystems entirely (for instance, hangar bays...). Hacking could be short puzzle games akin to memory or mastermind. Something requiring player skill.
-Stealth could be a high specialization upgrade, and maybe the minigame would involve keeping a bunch of emission types in balance with non-linear controls. Higher levels would control more emission types.
-Scanning could have active and passive versions, surveying planets and asteroids, or looking for ships in the system. Higher level will give more scan options which are more sensitive to different types of emissions. Active scanning needs to balance sensitivity and precision, and is possibly needs to be aimed manually.
-Repair systems could evolve from [general hp] sectional hp, and subsystems, and let you direct repairs to higher priority areas. Maybe also includes additional buff spells.
-Command ships would be able to collect and share tactical information throughout the fleet, direct players and possibly npc-controlled systems in some way, get special tactical viewpoints, and maybe cast support buffs.

-There could be other minigames for non-fighting roles too, like manufacturing to get the best efficiency or quality, or in mining to survey ores (simple might be hot-cold, and complex might use something like seismic scans).


Of course, at lower levels control stations would be less specialized and require less concentration, and there would be fewer stations overall, some doubling up on functionality.

Just some thoughts. Feel free to add to the list. The main goal here is to make the game more challenging the more you upgrade, and encourage specialization and teamwork.

The hardest thing for AI to do will probably be piloting and gunning. With piloting, they have to avoid stuff and not make boneheaded decisions and get everyone killed, but at the same time, they can't be so good that a player has no reason to pilot at all. Gunning even more so. It's really easy to make an aimbot, and it's really easy to make an AI a crappy shot. Getting somewhere in between those two is a lot harder.

So mini games in minecraft.
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:00 pm

Also, I think having a big NPC faction that invades systems like the Reapers would be cool to break repetivitity, but NPC governments and hiring sounds really meh. Player governments are best. I think how you would get NPCs, then, is by making an Academy for your faction which would accumulate a resource, "Manpower", depending on its location, which would enable you to construct ships.

Now, ship construction would require a certain amount of Manpower depending on your core. This would make Superdreadnoughts etc unfeasible from the getgo, requiring a massive investment. These should be CENTERPIECES of fleets, not the primary fighting utility.
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:01 pm

And minigames to increase skills is cool, don't you deny it caltech cyclops
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:08 pm

MISLEADING BIRD wrote:
And minigames to increase skills is cool, don't you deny it caltech cyclops

I never said it was a bad idea, its just depending on how they look that could make it or ruin the idea.
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:38 pm

Okay, how about this:
standard AI: crappy aimer and crappy pilot
NPC: acceptable aimer and average pilot
self-programmed AI: propably good aimer and useless pilot
player: dependant on skill
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:54 pm

Surp. Grm. Ivan Kintobor wrote:
Okay, how about this:
standard AI: crappy aimer and crappy pilot
NPC: acceptable aimer and average pilot
self-programmed AI: propably good aimer and useless pilot
player: dependant on skill

I think it would be a good idea for 2 tier systems like one would be a robot system and another a clone system.

Robot system: Consistent overall aiming/piloting.

Clone system: Not as consistent but has a higher chance for critical hits or gut feelings.
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:55 pm

What?

Okay, so much as I can gather the issue here is finding a balance between super accuracy and crap shooting. How do AI and clones factor into this...?
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:23 pm

MISLEADING BIRD wrote:
Also, I think having a big NPC faction that invades systems like the Reapers would be cool to break repetivitity, but NPC governments and hiring sounds really meh. Player governments are best. I think how you would get NPCs, then, is by making an Academy for your faction which would accumulate a resource, "Manpower", depending on its location, which would enable you to construct ships.

Now, ship construction would require a certain amount of Manpower depending on your core. This would make Superdreadnoughts etc unfeasible from the getgo, requiring a massive investment. These should be CENTERPIECES of fleets, not the primary fighting utility.

This is the whole point - NO PLAYER RULERSHIP OVER YOU. You are completely free to do what you want. Want to make some money ? do something for a government , don't want ? don't do ! Besides who will rule over player governments ? Those who create them ? Then you are back to standard gameplay and achieved literally NOTHING.

As I said before no clones or robots in my opinion so that you care more about your crew. Maybe robots to support you during CQ fights.

I also don't support anything bigger than a battlecruiser for balance issues.
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:53 pm

No...

You'd have Factions. There would be player Factions, nothing more, nothing less. NPC governments would just end up looking shoddy.
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:58 pm

MISLEADING BIRD wrote:
No...

You'd have Factions. There would be player Factions, nothing more, nothing less. NPC governments would just end up looking shoddy.
^this
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:00 pm

Right. I love NPCs, I think there should be tons of them to do everything so I don't have to do anything but direct the battle, but they shouldn't run the government.

And the NPCs should be pretty lame. A player in a fighter should be worth a whole squadron of NPCs. But they should be able to fly at least.

Actually, that's a good point. How will you handle fighters, if not with pilot NPCs? What kind of ship would be able to have players run the whole thing and still have pilots left over?

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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:17 pm

MISLEADING BIRD wrote:
No...

You'd have Factions. There would be player Factions, nothing more, nothing less. NPC governments would just end up looking shoddy.

You don't get the point at all. Governments do not order you . They give quests just like NPCs in skyrim or mass effect. They discourage constant PvP and assist you in fighting the evil aliens. Real players just can't do it. You will have factions in other way - free pilots teaming up to recapture systems or raid a convoy.

If you plan to add a player government tell me: who will rule ? Do you really think he will do the boring job of babysitting players and giving them missions ?


Jek Porkins wrote:

And the NPCs should be pretty lame. A player in a fighter should be worth a whole squadron of NPCs. But they should be able to fly at least.

What you describe here is worthless NPCs that are no challenge to players. They should be smart and good, so one player equals at least a squad and maybe the ability to train ace pilots at the cost of a lot of money .

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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:23 pm

By player government I meant Factions.
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:25 pm

I agree with LJS, but I think that as far as capital ship command goes, NPC's should be limited to fighter pilots and point defense. Everything else should be linked to the captain. Think about it, in a real combat situation the captain basically uses the bridge crew as his tools to pilot the ship. So capital ships should be piloted in a style similar to BSGO's new Advanced Flight Controls.
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:40 pm

Advanced Flight Controls?

Dafuq? When did this happen?
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:49 pm

MISLEADING BIRD wrote:
Advanced Flight Controls?

Dafuq? When did this happen?

It's an option on the Troy Public Alpha server. It's really good for line ships and escorts, but difficult for strikes without a joystick or controller.
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:53 pm

Troy Public Alpha..?

Dammit ><;
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PostSubject: Re: About player counts and NPCs in between   Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:46 pm

MISLEADING BIRD wrote:
Troy Public Alpha..?

Dammit ><;

Yeah, it's on open server. You get huge amounts of free resources on it, but it's wiped regularly, so stats don't carry over.
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