Author Topic: No More Home Command Stations For Players  (Read 2392 times)

Offline kasnavada

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No More Home Command Stations For Players
« on: September 12, 2016, 04:30:36 AM »
From the design document:

Quote
2.h. No More Home Command Stations For Players
In AI War Classic, the way that the player team loses is if all of their home command stations are destroyed.  In a multi-planet start, you have one per world you started with; in multiplayer, each player has one per planet they start with (usually one per player); and in a default game, you have just one, period.

This is your King, in a Chess sense: it dies, and it doesn’t matter what you have left: you lose.  This works super well, so we thought: “eh, let’s ditch it.”

In seriousness, this was actually a suggestion from zharmad, although his suggestion was far more involved and a completely different game mode.  That would still be a potentially interesting thing to explore as well, but for now it was an idea that stuck in Chris’s head, and led unexpectedly to this.

So!  Here’s how this will work, and it’s actually super simple and not that big a deal in the end:
You get no home command station, but the idea of a King unit is still there.
Instead, you’ll have a large and moderately powerful starship that is mobile, but not super-duper fast.
This starship will be armed, so it can actually defend itself from small threats.
Using the tech upgrades system, you can redesign it so that it is more to your tastes or more beefed-up in general… though probably at an unfairly exorbitant science cost.  The idea is that generally you’ll want to upgrade this as a last resort.
This “mothership” style starship (whatever we wind up calling it) is still the King in the Chess-sense.  It dies, and you have lost.
However, it’s no longer limited to a specific world, which is quite nice.  This will let you actually move it into a more defensible position if need be, rather than being stuck having to defend it somewhere that you hate.
Having a lobby option where you can’t move it is certainly also possible if some folks really want that “play it as it lies” sort of experience.
You’ll still capture planets using command stations, so interestingly it will be possible to still be alive and in the game, but have no planets under your control!
In that situation you’re basically a refugee, and will need to figure out some way to capture another planet back before the AI fully finds you and finishes you off.
We already kinda-sorta had something along these lines when it came to the “command station cores” in multiplayer in AI War Classic (the idea of these will be retained in AI War II, also, by the way).
Basically after one player dies in a multiplayer game, they would get a “command station core” on one of their allies’ planets.  This would act as their new command station, and it was mobile and could travel between planets, etc.
However, it was defenseless, SUPER slow, and produced even more resources than your command station did during the regular game (to offset the AIP jump that happened when you lost your command station, and the fact that you have no planets anymore and thus don’t want to feel absolutely powerless while your friends play and have fun).
The neat thing about having a “King unit” that is mobile is that it lets you react to the situation more.  Heck, your king can move in Chess after all; it’s actually pretty important that it do so...

This opens up a lot of possibilities with the minor factions and / or AI actually moving to take territories now.
Also solves the issue of a start too near places that after all cannot really be defended properly, even more so given the changes stated just above. And, relocating the king to other places being possible now, I can almost feel the stress obtained when trying to relocate, but having to go through hostile territory.

It'll also help with simplifying supply lanes. As your homeworld was too important to be lost, I think most people used it as their main base of operation before. Now it'll be easier / saner to move it.

I love this !!!

Offline Lord Of Nothing

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Re: No More Home Command Stations For Players
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2016, 06:21:56 AM »
Chiming in just to say that I love this as well.

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: No More Home Command Stations For Players
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2016, 07:22:56 AM »
I don't like the moving Human home-thing just because of conservatism. I don't see/feel the new possibilities, just a change in the territory building approach. No strong feeling here, and I might be already in the process of changing my mind. Maybe if it roots in the Supreme Commander philosophy ("You are here. If you die, you die.") it could seduce me, but it would fight against the "nobody loose before everybody loose" philosophy in multiplayer. So maybe having one "bridge" ship (or just actual flagship) where all the players / incarnated commanders are and give orders from... Or say "if your personal bridge-ship is destroyed, you escape in a shuttle / are teleported into a friend's bridge ship. Maybe having the destroyed bridge/flagship spawn a shuttle that needs to be moved to a friend's flagship... but what would happen if that shuttle gets destroyed? Nah, startreck-teleported into a friend's flagship is fine. So you don't control "your" flagship anymore but you can still give orders. It just needs to be explained somewhere. I'm okay with new mechanisms as long as I can believe in them from a thematic standpoint. So yeah, maybe I'm already sold on that. Just be explicit with "how it works".

However I think I won't like moving AI home-things (at least not until the endgame). I think it would break the carefully conquest planning required for approaching the "center" of the AI's territory. But maybe it won't, I don't know. You'll need to sell me on that idea first. But for now, it would be a clear "nope" for moving AI home-things.

Ah, maybe something like an option or Minor Faction where, once destroyed, the AI Home Command Stations Cores use a sort of fail-safe that isolate the quantum computer thing inside into an escape shuttle, spawn an Avenger and is indestructible while the Avenger is alive, giving time for the quantum-computer-shuttle to escape and you'll have to hunt it down after the Avenger. Or if you have an insane firepower you could make short work of the Avenger and destroy the shuttle before it escapes.

I digressed, didn't I?
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
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Offline Tridus

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Re: No More Home Command Stations For Players
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2016, 08:04:31 AM »
Ooh, mobile home. I like it! Helps to make the game more dynamic, since you can lose your home system and survive, especially if you've got a stronghold somewhere else you can retreat to.

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: No More Home Command Stations For Players
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2016, 08:11:52 AM »
Ooh, mobile home. I like it! Helps to make the game more dynamic, since you can lose your home system and survive, especially if you've got a stronghold somewhere else you can retreat to.
Yeah, that's what is slowing convincing me. "Choose your stronghold after game start." Why not... Also, I think in a multiplayer game, players would make the same choice of where to park their "kings", so having one for the whole team wouldn't be a big downside, while being clearer on the defeat condition, IMO.

(Happy 1,000th post, BTW. :D)
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline z99-_

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Re: No More Home Command Stations For Players
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2016, 08:14:23 AM »
It would be interesting if this was combined with the home command station giving a big salvage boost. You could either play it safe and keep your home starship far back, or put it on the front line - that would give a big boost to your economy based off of how many enemy ships are being destroyed on the planet, but if your first line of defenses fall, it's all over.

Offline zharmad

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Re: No More Home Command Stations For Players
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2016, 08:24:58 AM »
Alternatively to the bonus salvage, the home command station could by default give a convincing offensive and defensive boost to represent how commanding is easier when you are physically present as opposed to having to b work over communication channels.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: No More Home Command Stations For Players
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2016, 08:26:11 AM »
Ooh, mobile home. I like it! Helps to make the game more dynamic, since you can lose your home system and survive, especially if you've got a stronghold somewhere else you can retreat to.

Or retreat to a minor faction stronghold.

Also, +1 to zharmad (because I don't like salvage, and because I like his idea).

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: No More Home Command Stations For Players
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2016, 08:29:45 AM »
There is room for "command flagship" dedicated techs / upgrades. I think these salvage/attack/defense planetary boosts are great candidate for that. I'm not convinced by combat upgrades for it, but "commanding" perks sound great and thematic!

Maybe exponentially increasing price (if you give it a planetary boost, the next will cost twice Knowledge).
Maybe one among N (choosing one planetary boost tech locks the others)
Eh, I'm not satisfied with my own suggestions...
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline chemical_art

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Re: No More Home Command Stations For Players
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2016, 08:30:00 AM »
Good stuff
Life is short. Have fun.

Offline Tridus

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Re: No More Home Command Stations For Players
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2016, 08:49:19 AM »
(Happy 1,000th post, BTW. :D)

Thanks! Always happy when I go up a mk level. :D

Offline Draco18s

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Re: No More Home Command Stations For Players
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2016, 11:45:12 AM »
I like the fact that it has its own guns.

Offline skrutsch

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Re: No More Home Command Stations For Players
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2016, 12:04:18 PM »
Cool, now I can envision myself as the plucky upstart, with nothing but a ship and some credits I got from selling my old landspeeder.  :D

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: No More Home Command Stations For Players
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2016, 12:13:06 PM »
I like the idea for no other reason than more options. However, I feel there needs to be a use for this command station other than "It moves and shoots". Is there any reason to have it anywhere but in the most defended spot ever?

Think the Commander unit from Supreme Commander, or even further back, Total Annihilation. The Commander had a function, especially in the early game beyond being "The King".
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Offline Minotaar

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Re: No More Home Command Stations For Players
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2016, 12:19:32 PM »
This seems great! The home command station is certainly a bit frustrating the way it was in AIW1.

I think it's really important to make sure that this ship can't be moved by accident. I've had a whole bunch of missions with a "don't lose this unit" condition ruined in other games because of accidentally box-selecting said unit into battle, especially when it uses the same sprite as a standard unit or is otherwise hard to distinguish.

So either exempt it from box-selecting or have separate mobile and immobile modes with set-up time (like a Starcraft siege tank, but longer times). I like the second option more. If we are slapping planet-wide bonuses on this, it would make sense that they only work after a set-up period, to make moving have more weight to it. (Kind of like moving your capital in normal 4x games)

Dedicated upgrades sound cool, but perhaps we should be careful with encouraging offensive use, or cheese will be on the menu. :)

PS: Wow, I didn't realize how much I missed these forums. Feels good to be back :)