Author Topic: Nomad race  (Read 182 times)

Offline Yavaun

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Nomad race
« on: April 20, 2017, 04:31:34 PM »
[POST RELEASE concept suggestion]

Overview
Inspired by the SINS of a Solar Empire Vasari Rebels minor faction and the fact we are going to have different playable factions this time around. The idea is to turn one of those into a nomad faction which rather consumes planets than capturing them.

Basic concepts
  • Mobile Ark is a growing, powerful champion ship with good escape abilities (though there needs to be a save place to escape to).
  • Cannot colonize/ capture / exploit planets. Cannot build controllers. No classic economy.
  • Destroying a planet adds a huge flat amount of resources to your bank.
  • Energy, research, production are all handled by mobile capital ships.
  • Collecting scrap from destroyed ships is a major income factor (pirates ho!).
  • In multiplayer, other players can share their economic spoils and gain protection by a slightly superior fleet in return.
  • No turrets, no structures. No reason to split your forces and attention in return.
  • Perhaps stronger than average fleet ships to compensate the loss of turrets and minor factions affecting player defenses.


[Personal plea]
I just think it's a neat concept to be had in a strategy space game and I think there hasn't been a better title to date which could harbour it than AI wars. The asymmetric campaign balance leaves enough wiggle room to actually let this gameplay archetype breath and work. I also think the best way to make your playable races (however many you have planned for the final version) distinct is to diversify their approaches to the campaign. Well guess what, it cannot get more diverse than breaking with one of the core mechanics ;)
Many strategy games have done it before and they were typically the more memorable ones! However, I think none of them had the capacity to really follow through on these concepts since they were all hindered by PVP balance.

[Added Bonus]
I still remember how I first set foot in the overly complex AI Wars 1 (and thank you very much for making it that complex - complexity is what makes your game what it is). Well how did I find a hold? In the back seat of my shadow frigate champion vessel, accompanying a seasoned player showing me the ropes while I only had a managably small role to fulfill with little responsibility. Additionally, playing a faster, easily escaping ship I could focus all my attention on gave me a feeling of relative safety which allowed me to observe the AI and learn my targets.
This is the perfect opportunity to recreate this niche for new players!
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 04:41:49 AM by Yavaun »

Offline Dominus Arbitrationis

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Re: Nomad race
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 05:39:39 PM »
So, a playable Cookie Monster Devourer Golem?

A problem I see with this is why does the AI get more upset than usual if you nuke a planet instead of capturing it, but doesn't throw a giant fit with you having a Planetcracker as a primary ship? If I were the AI, I'd be less scared of a nuke than a giant ship that consumes entire planets for everything valuable.

Oh, and I, as a human, rather like being on a planet rather than in an artificial space habitat.

The multiplayer aspect of it doesn't sound great to me. Why pay my buddy to protect me when I can just take the planets on my own, field a massive Spire fleet, and go toe-to-toe with the AI? Early game, it could be helpful. But as time progresses, these nomads become less effective due to a normal player being able to field a lot of ships, different types of ships, and make bottleneck planets that the AI loves to suicide jump into. Also, nomads would be reliant on a fleet. How can they really take on an Exo wave? When I go against those in AIWC, I like to hide behind a bunch of planets filled with turrets to keep me safe. Now, you're probably saying the fleet ships would be buffed. The only way I could see that working is if they were MASSIVELY buffed. As in, nearly to the point of a Spire fleet. Otherwise, you'll get wiped out and have no way to rebuild since you would have to take a planet to gain resources, but you need a fleet for that, which the Exo just wiped out.

Why not just bring back Champions? Then you get the niche back, with fewer problems on the surface.

All that being said, it seems like a cool idea to me, so if the issues are solved, I'd be on board.
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Offline Yavaun

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Re: Nomad race
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2017, 04:33:25 AM »
A problem I see with this is why does the AI get more upset than usual if you nuke a planet instead of capturing it, but doesn't throw a giant fit with you having a Planetcracker as a primary ship? If I were the AI, I'd be less scared of a nuke than a giant ship that consumes entire planets for everything valuable.
Well my problem is I don't know exactly how the ecomony is going to work. The whole strip planet theme is cool but I could go for something less dramatic if necessary. For example, remember spirecraft mining ships? What if instead of dropping a controller to reactivate relics / mass harvesters on astroids you consume those astroids and turn them into new fleet members like the mining ship did (producing translocators, martyrs, shield bearers etc)?


Oh, and I, as a human, rather like being on a planet rather than in an artificial space habitat.
Well does anybody really want to habitate anything in an AI controlled sector?  :P


The multiplayer aspect of it doesn't sound great to me. Why pay my buddy to protect me when I can just take the planets on my own, field a massive Spire fleet, and go toe-to-toe with the AI? Early game, it could be helpful. But as time progresses, these nomads become less effective due to a normal player being able to field a lot of ships, different types of ships, and make bottleneck planets that the AI loves to suicide jump into. Also, nomads would be reliant on a fleet. How can they really take on an Exo wave? When I go against those in AIWC, I like to hide behind a bunch of planets filled with turrets to keep me safe. Now, you're probably saying the fleet ships would be buffed. The only way I could see that working is if they were MASSIVELY buffed. As in, nearly to the point of a Spire fleet. Otherwise, you'll get wiped out and have no way to rebuild since you would have to take a planet to gain resources, but you need a fleet for that, which the Exo just wiped out.
Why share you full metal silo with your ally who's building a super fortress? Why agree to let everyone specialize into a different part of the research tab? Why split the captured planets at equal shares?
Because cooperation is fun and the point of AI war's coop mode! "I could just as well do everything myself" is what singeplayer is for. Of course, it needs to stay optionial so the players can choose their way of cooperation. I was merely listing a new way that would open up with such a faction in place.

Personally, I wouldn't mind the spire taking this role. Their massive doomsday fleet theme kinda predestines them for it, doesn't it? However, I don't want to choose a fitting race myself as I'm not as involved in the lore as I should be to make this decision.


One thing to add to my OP:
Since this race won't be participating in some of the typical progression (as you pointed out) it obviously is going to need some compensating mechanics. Stronger fleet ships is one thing but I don't want to overdo that.
Instead, think of how much open space for maneuvering you'll create regardless of whether the planets you've visited stay barren or another player takes them. You should be able to effecitvely use this space for hit and run tactics. Striking part of the AI's fleet as it assembles then retreat, regenerate and strike again as it slowly chases you... until you run out of space and lose the game or destroy said fleet.

I'm sure there is more they can do. Other ideas include: Add active abilities to their ships (with cooldown or resource consumption like the champion). That way your ships are more powerful than usual but only for the first part of a battle. If it lasts longer than that because the enemy is too strong you will have to retreat.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 04:41:05 AM by Yavaun »

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Nomad race
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2017, 06:22:54 AM »
I like the concept =).

The only thing that needs to be done now is pester enough Arcen's crew so it can be modded it ;).