So I understand that all of these are probably already planned out entirely, but how about we use this thread to discuss how this will fit into the core game?
I agree with Respawn. Sorcerers are troubling me because it might just break the game
Air Lord, Engineering Corps
I'd like to see sorcerers not having any type of direct attacks but still be incredibly powerful.
Instead they would do anything from USING THEIR DARK MAGIC TO CHANGE THE LAWS OF PHYSICS! MAKING AIRSHIPS PLUMMET FROM THE SKY!
or strengthen the walls of allied airships with their dark arts, and even reanimate dead crewmen on other ships to eat their former companions or just do the chores nobody wants to do on their own ships.
To balance their intentionally overpowered abilities scorers need to charge spells while standing on a special module that's completely exposed and must sit on the top of an airship, making them a very easy target. They also lose some max HP from casting spells and particularly powerful spells will damage their own ship.
A special anti sorcerer gun that only targets sorcerers from a distance would exist to make sure you can attack them.
Yes, zarkonnen said no manual aiming to prevent bordem, but without this sorcerers would be extremely annoying instead of awesome if you lose to them because of silly auto aim.
To make programming easy the sorcerer gun would actually act like a ship-wide explosion weapon with super low damage and very high reload time, so it kills sorcerers without needing any specific aiming code and can use the current system while not being an overpowered anti ship weapon.
So first off, note that all three of those will not be in the base game. They're all ideas for expansions, which may or may not happen, will cost additional $, and will hence be opt-in.
The idea with special commands is that "hero units" like sorcerers and captains will add 1-2 special commands to a ship, such as:
Those special commands will be either use-once per combat or have a significant cooldown (30+ seconds). So the idea is not to start creating the kind of micro/400APM gameplay that the game has so far carefully avoided!
And yeah, I agree that having sorcerers do plain direct damage spell (fireball!) is super-boring, both because of balance issues and because doing damage is what guns are for. I'm more interested in magic spells that have weird/subtle effects or tradeoffs that can easily work to your disadvantage if used wrong.
Essentially, I'd like magic to be weird, scary and unpleasant, rather than just another way of doing X blast damage.
One thing I am not clear on at all yet is how hero units will fit into multiplayer combat. I guess they just get assigned a $ cost for adding to a ship, but I'll have to work hard to make that balanced.
Of course... That would be a bit difficult to fit into multiplayer...
Can hero units (are we talking special officers or rambo types?) be customizable to some extent like the heraldry? or are they similar to the officers in SWEAW where they are just a normal unit you can buy to improve your ships performance?
The SWEAW-like officer would be pretty cool, he could buff crewmen's action speed for being on the bridge.
(tried and failed to find an officer in the game screeenshot that was small, sorry)
Here Darth Vader is acting as an officer for a starship, and just because he's in the bridge the whole fleet functions better, as seen by his icon in the top right and on the star destroyer.
I doubt it... But still, it would be really cool if you could assign captains to fighters and have some sort of feared fighter ace. Like the Red Baron or something. And THEN it would be a blessing to (cosmetically) customize your captain's fighter.
I'd much rather see troop commanders on boarding parties able to solo mechanical spiders.
Alright then! Let's move on to the next order of business: Sea ships! So friends, tell me how those would fit in.
They'd probably have a buoyancy score instead of a service ceiling, and the ship shouldn't drop like a brick if it's hull is breached. There should be bulkheads and all those wonderful shit
OK, with the following large hovering caveats:
Here are my thoughts on sea-ships:
Obviously, to have sea-ships, we have to introduce water to the combat maps. I originally thought that the way to go would be to introduce a water block, same as there are soil blocks and tree blocks. But in actuality, I can probably do things more simply both game-logic-wise and graphics-wise by simply setting a water table level for the combat map. So anything below that point is underwater.
How does the water need to interact with constructions?
All of the above is simply to add water to the game. To add sea-ships, there needs to be a new construction type with new rules.
So all in all, you can see that it should be all possible, but it will be a significant amount of work! Suggestions, comments and hole-poking very welcome.
Flooding in more detail:
If a tile is underwater and has a hole (because it's a part of the module that naturally has a hole, like the front of a cannon, or because it has a window, or because it has a hull breach), its "% filled with water" value will increase over time.
Water will seek to automatically spread sideways and downwards, so it will make floors wet quickly but then trickle down to the lowest level of the ship.
The more water-filled a tile becomes, the slower crew move in it. First because the floor is wet, and then because the increasing quantities of water mean additional effort. Tiles filled by more than 80% water are impassable. Crew caught in these tiles begin drowning, and will drown after maybe 30 seconds.
Once any tile of a module is filled with more than say 30% water, the module stops working. On the plus side, the presence of water in a module will extinguish fires, and by that 30% mark it will also be guaranteed to be fire-free.
Once a module is no longer functional, crew will of course stop manning it. Crew will also actively seek to be in the dry areas of the ship whenever possible. Routes for moving between places will be calculated to avoid the water, taking into account slow-downs and blockages.
Water pumps would probably be modules that automatically suck up and expel water from any tiles located directly below them. So as long as the pumps stay powered and manned, the ship can expel water it takes on, which means minor hull breaches aren't going to make it sink.
Hm, I guess a detail would be that crew should look for the nearest water source when extinguishing fires. Otherwise you might end up in a situation where a ship is simultaneously sinking and burning down, and the crew are standing around watching because the fire point has run out of water. :P
Alright then... Sea monsters?
Krakens, obviously. I liked the idea - I can't remember who had it - of giant hermit crabs using shipwrecks as shells. Maybe a giant bobbit worm? Ideas very welcome. Caveats of "this will be in a paid expansion, if it ever happens" continue to apply.
Hmmm. Mimic Octopus. It takes pieces of hull and sails and makes itself look like a ship and promptly you can be attacked by a "Pirate" ship and have your entire crew shit itself when the thing decides that it's disguise failed
How about flying whales that come out of the ocean and swallow smaller ships whole?
Soooo... Moving to special commands... What would be some possibilities?
Scuttle: Tells one crewman to overload the suspendium chambers/tracks/legs and everybody else to get the heck out, anti boarding measure.
Takeover: Boarding action using all crewmen and marines, leaves your own ship unmanned.
Overclock Systems: Crewmen will shove double resources into engine components to increase their power, damages the components over time.
Load at Will!: Crewmen work to reload faster, but ignore other duties and can drop ammunition on the floor.
Be Cautious: Crewmen will take care to avoid open areas where they could get shot as well as rooms that are about to be destroyed.
(insert name here): Undoes Be Cautious, Overclock Systems, and Load at Will!
Call on Sorcerer: Makes your sorcerer do a magic thing. Crewmen should talk about uneasy/fearful feelings when this happens.
Retreat: The ship will try to pilot outside of the map, if it does so it goes out of play as if the battle ended, this could be good for weaponless ships floating around in a battle.
Decouple: Detaches decouplers once crew are free of them (did we talk about these?).
Instant Decouple: Detaches cecouplers immediately, causing any crew inside the decoupler to fall out of the ship.
Crewmen should shout things while starting any of these commands.
A lot of those do sound really good... What does our Lord and Savior, Zarkonnen, have to say about this?
PRAISE THE ARIEL EMPEROR!
I gotta admit every time somebody says that a part of my brain goes "something something Future Expansion". (no offense to Zarkonnen)
As for the unknown order name
"Praise the Aerial Emperor!"
everyone stands at attention for a minute, the ship falls out of the sky
That was the best thing I ever saw, ever.
And here lies Aerial Emperor Zarkonnen, who had a sudden falling out with old navy traditions, and gravity.
His tragedy will be laughed at by world history students for centuries.
Can we please get somebody to animate that?
Ah yes, Zarkonnen Crater, a popular tourist destination. They sell little puppets of the emperor for tourists to throw into the crater. Of course, at night, they go down and pick them back up, dust them off, and have them ready for the next day's customers.
A puppet? Of Zarkonnen!? All my dreams become reality!
With a little string at the back you can pull for authentic voice lines:
You see, the problem with strategy games is...
That's a horrible idea, and I like it.
Release the kraken!
That's a great idea for an expansion.
I wanted this feature to feel right, so I got a bachelor's degree on the topic.
You forgot "You'll have to wait for the next update for that" :P
Ah yes! And "That's a known issue I hope to address in the next update."
As much as I enjoy having a conversation that basically revolves around memes, I'm afraid we need to return to the subject matter. So tell me Zark: Would you need a captain to use special commands?
Yep. A captain or a sorcerer. Not sure if you have one slot on your ship, or one slot for each. So you'll only ever have a few ships with special commands.
I somewhat prefer the idea of one hero character per ship. It just seems a lot easier to balance.
Oh, and captains would probably also have static bonuses for their ship, stuff like:
The other big question is of course how much it takes to kill a captain or sorcerer. If they're as fragile as an air sailor, they'll die constantly. One cannonball to the bridge and they're paste. So I'll probably make them somewhat "lucky", and instead of dying, they'd mostly just make a well-timed exit and live to fight another day.
I can why you might think that... Do you have any good ideas for special commands especially?
More sense, but I think it would be extremely frustrating for the player if their hero characters can die off by random chance.
Fair enough... They player base does seem a bit intolerant right now... Just earlier I saw a man on steam complaining that the developer should fix the AI just because one of his cities revolted.
Ah, that's one of those classic problems, where a player has a really unlikely gameplay event happen to them and then assumes that the game's like that. There was probably like a 3% chance of the revolt working. But it's still a bug. The game shouldn't just take away your entire fleet in a revolt.
Well if it is a bug, then I assume it would be fixed over time. I don't understand why that guy assumed the whole game's like that if it's obviously broken. But Random guy we all try to please aside, what would you consider possible special commands captains would be able to use (I.E. Aimed shot)
For sorcery the sorceror could act like a normal crew member, but when they cast magicks, all other air sailors would have to leave the room
Er, they'll probably be on some sort of crows nest while they cast their spells
No! An Alter to the Lord of Steam and sky!
prays his due at a shrine of Zarkonnen
Honestly it'd be a pretty witty jab, make the deity in the game an anagram of your name
From the Ariel Emperor discussion, I've become convinced that Zarkonnen needs to invest in some period-appropriate naval officer attire for games conventions and other special occasions.
Nonsense aside, underwater tiles should probably be given some measure of protection against penetration weapons. In general, bullets and cannon fire quickly lose kinetic energy traveling through water.
It also adds a nice layer of strategy, aiding module-restricted aquatic vessels while encouraging the use realistic anti-ship weapons like torpedoes, mines and depth charges.
I really do need to invest into such a thing, but the problem is that it'd be too warm to wear in many places.
Yeah, the ability of non-aquatic weapons to do damage inside the water would be very limited.
Maybe just a big hat then. With a nice, big, gaudy, cyan crystal glued to the middle.
Would aerial torpedoes suddenly become... NORMAL TORPEDOES!?
A Really Nice Hat
Is that a reference to something I should be getting but can't?
Girl Genius, a steampunk-ish webcomic that's a major inspiration for the game. :)
I'm gonna read that shit. Right now
Alright. So what special commands would the people like the game to have?
"Emperor Zarkonnen never really made sense to anybody around him, but every time he said something the empire would have some sort of scientific breakthrough over night so nobody questioned him. Nobody knows how he got the materials or the money to be doing this every day."
I can just see it now, every time Zarkonnen types something his alternate Airships reality self says it too, confusing the heck out of people but they're OK with that since he seems to magic things like landships out of the air.
Anyway back to topic, explosive weapons should do crew damage through walls if underwater as well as doing more damage, since water is a much denser liquid for the shockwaves to travel through. This would be offset by smaller explosion sizes and and only doing the crew damage if the ship is breeched.
We could probably easily do this type of thing with projectiles by making them spawn a different projectile and deleting themselves in the step they go underwater, the new projectile would have the properties of the supposed underwater projectile.
I feel like the captains should have their own captain's bridge, a captain will use a normal bridge if he can't find an captain's one but the captain module would be pretty sturdy compared to the normal bridge. It would also give the captain the ability to use the Use your own discretion command, which gives them AI control.
Use your own discretion command sounds awesome but I honestly think we should just leave the bridge as it is (It'll be your job to armor it up)
It might be interesting if there was flavor text that popped up / unlocked when certain things happened while one of the special captains are in control of your fleet. Acts as a captain's log to recount major events from a first-person in-lore perspective.
-When a special captain first gets recruited / unlocked. (Provides backstory)
-When they win a major battle. (Recount the glory of battle / horror of slaughter)
-When they are "forced" to flee from a battle. (Express deep regret / cold necessity)
-First encounter their monster nemesis. (More backstory / Awe of power)
-Lose to monster but escape. (Heroism in defeat)
-Slay the monster. (Glory and satisfaction)
-Recapture (randomly selected) home city (more backstory)
As well as some more mundane stuff just for role playing:
-Supplies are low. (Why is the rum gone?!)
-Travel a total of X distance with fleet. (complain about food / smelly sailors)
-Go several turns without any battles. (Low morale / homesickness)
That sounds AMAZING!!!!
I agree. On a side note, if a captain is near an airsailor who says "Why is the rum gone?!" they should berate him.
On another side note, I'd be cool of having these events happen would update war logs(?) on the map for you to read relating to the event that triggered them.
-"Report on Dragon Riders" (Defeat dragon rider blight)
-"Everything is horrible!" (Kraken encounter)
-"OH GOD WHY?!" [or whatever the formal version of that is] (Zombie kraken encounter)
Please Zark... Please for the love of everything that is holy add that in!
Alright people. So Cultists are going to be implemented. What do you people think they would be like? Personally, I think they would be like some form of sorcerer.
They need hang-gliders, super effective sacrificial knives, and either blood red or purple robes.
Hang gliders? Tell me more!
It would be the best boarding system in the game since you basically have flying infantry, but only the cultists are crazy enough/trained to use them.
Ah. But would it be good for them to have magical powers?
(There supposed to be a enemy unit in the game by the way, so you wouldn't be able to use them yourself)
I know, that's why I said only cultists can use them (I don't see anybody hiring cultists for anything even if they wanted to).
Fair enough. So, do you think they should have magical powers of sort?
Maybe they could have a cultist sorcerer as well that appears, but maybe their blades could be enchanted to do something.
I could see them not having ranged weapons, but their blades would instantly kill airsailors and have a chance to reanimate them to continue working but for the cultists.
That way a team of cultists would fly up to a small airship, slaughter the crew and keep moving while that airship turns on it's allies.
That seems reasonable. Would they have some sort of cultist vehicle or (maybe) a shrine/temple?
The temple thing would be for the sorcerer.
I wonder if you could make a unique module set for the cultists that give them an advantage but are manually balanced, but that means they would need to be more than an optional side mission (which would be cool).
Their modules could be themed things like better grappling modules and super engines, but be haphazardly built.
Special modules unique to enemy factions like this would be awesome in general, it would just mean a lot of sprite creation I bet.
Unique modules set for the cultists? Why would you want to give the enemy an advantage?
EDIT: sorry, I didn't get it at first.
And unique modules for enemy factions like the cultists sounds great!
That way your not fighting normal airships + special unit, it feels like cultists are an entirely different entity.
That's how it should be for every unique human blight/non main military fleet I feel.
Sprite creation wouldn't really be a problem. The only problem in this sense would be that players might be a bit intolerant of having to discover what the cultist equivalent, of, let's say an ammo store is. Otherwise, it all sounds pretty good.
You do realize you just said "players might be a bit intolerant of having to discover", right?
I don't think it will bother players that much since you can't manually aim anything, and after a while players would eventually figure it out just from watching the enemies.
Alright, I know I sounded really stupid while saying that and I'm honestly not even going to try to defend myself.
Well then... My stupidity aside, apparently pirates are going to be implemented too. Do you have any ideas for them?
Maybe they could use some really unconventional improvised weaponry and modules.
Like limpet launchers that weigh airships down (like in Stormwinds) or overpressured engines (explosive super engines).
Also a good crew command would be
Spare Crew: All idle crew go off to board an allied ship, working ones stay. If all crew are working, non essential crew will leave anyway.
Limpet launchers? Tell me more!
It's a gun with a flak-like rate of fire/accuracy, it does no damage but the projectiles stay attached to the enemy and weigh/slow it down.
Eventually the attacks add up and can ground enemy airships if they are not removed from the outside walls by crewmen.
I'm going to start a superthread about cultists, pirates and uh, what's the other discussed faction? Anyway that's going to start soon.