Author Topic: [AIW2] Prototype's Quests  (Read 1052 times)

Offline Pumpkin

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[AIW2] Prototype's Quests
« on: March 22, 2016, 09:47:37 PM »
This is an idea of mod for the possible AI War 2. This mod would add a new on/off Minor Faction to the game.

Overview

As mankind was near-destroyed by the AI, a scientific lab feared Earth would be destroyed and created a prototype for a new form of human which would be half-machine and able to live in space. Their first functional porototype was a success, but still steril. Unfortunately, the laboratory was destroyed before they were able to create a serie able to reproduce. However, the lone prototype managed to escape and reach space before Earth's destruction.

In game, this lone and selfish yet powerful prototype is out there and will, from time to time, offer quests to the players. The prototype doesn't want to actively help the players because ey bet they will fail, but as ey is running around for eir selfish purpose, ey may require players' help from time to time, offering eirs resources, technology or help in exchange.

This minor faction aims to add some low-power risk/reward opportunities and provide some lore on Earth's destruction (memories of the prototype).

Mechanisms

Map Generation

The first "quest" of the prototype is to find em. Ey has laid a beacon (named "prototype's beacon") on a planet which try to be generated at least 6 planets away from any player's starting planet. There is nothing else to create at generation time.

First Quest: find em

At game start, the players recieve a journal entry entitled "Hybrid Got Loose" where a rescaped scientist explain who is the prototype and why ey could be helpful. After a brief lore paragraph, the players are advised to explore the galaxy earlier and it is suggested to invest Knowledge in high-tier scout drones.

When a scout (or any "gather scout intel" unit) enters the planet where the "prototype's beacon" is, the players recieve a new journal entry: the prototype contacts the players, mock their ambition to cut the AI from this galaxy's sector but promise to help in exchange of some services.

A prototype's quest is immediately triggered, and now on, more quests are given every now and then.

Quest giving mechanism

The game has a list of ongoing quests with a fixed size and an invisible timer. Every 30 to 90 minutes, if the list isn't full, an eligible  quest is randomly picked, setup and added to the list.

Each quest is randomly picked from the quests' list below and has a reward (anounced at quest's creation) randomly picked from the rewards below.

There is no way to decline a quest. The players may just ignore them, but if they don't help the prototype, the list will end up cluttered and the prototype won't ask for help anymore.

Quests

* Deep strike: an AI-controlled "prototype's detection device" spawns in an AI-controlled planet that tries to be at least 6 hops away from players' territory. The prototype sends a journal entry to players asking them to destroy this device and promise to help in exchange.

* Construction: a friendly, 1% hp "prototype's telemetric relay" spawns near a players' controlled OCStation that hasn't such relay yet. The prototype sends a journal entry to players asking them to spend metal and build this relay in exchange for some help. The cost of the building is around 1,000,000 metal; the reward is provided upon completion of the building. (Can't have "personal resources" as reward.)

* Protection: a special wave with a 1 minute timer suddenly targets a planet with a "prototype's telemetric relay" on it. The prototype sends a journal entry (and pauses the game?) beging for the players to defend the relay. At the end of the timer, a bunch of AI ships spawns, with a "go for it" logic targeting the relay (at an hostile warp-gate-ed wormhole, or on the edge of the gravity well if there is none). If the wave is destroyed, the prototype grants a reward; else, the AI ships try to reach AI space and join the threatfleet, but avoid targetting any special structure like a chivalric behavior.

* Scout: an unscouted planet is designated; the prototype states ey needs data on this planet. When a "gather scout intel" ship enters this planet, the prototype grants a reward.

* Capture: an AI-controlled planet is designated (it tries to be picked between 3 and 6 hops deep in AI territory) and players receive a journal entry from the prototype asking them to capture that planet. The prototype promise a bigger reward for that quest. Upon capture of this planet, players receive 3 different rewards. This quest has no timer but it cannot be given more than N/20 times in a game, where N is the number of planets in the galaxy, rounded down, with a minimum of 1.

Rewards

* CPA response device: the prototype provides players with some (between 1 and 3 per player) modified explosives that has the same power and AIP cost as MkI ligntning missiles but that has an immense speed and immunity to cloaking. They are advised to use them as defense against CPA where their speed makes them able to quickly reach attacked remote planets and land a precise hit on carriers' payload. Their immunity to cloaking makes them less usefull as offensive means.

* Personal help: the prototype provides players with a perma-cloaked, blind, unarmed, slow device that can be ordered to self-destruct to send a signal to the prototype. When consumed, the prototype warps in with eir powerful flagship (equivalent to a MkIV-V starship) and fights hostile forces (friendly, FRD). When there is no more target or eir starship's health drops below 10%, ey sends a short journal entry to players and warps out. Ey cannot cross wormholes.

* Personal resources: the prototype provides each player with a distribution node -like device that grants around 1,000,000 metal on destruction to the controling player with no AIP cost. (Can't be a reward for "construction" quest.)

* Personal data: the prototype provides each player with a part of its personal scientific data, worth 1,000 knowledge. (This reward can't be granted more than 3 times per game.)

* Distraction: the prototype says ey has been waging war against the AIs in a remote nebula, diverting them from the players. Technically, the players gain a -10 AIP. (This reward can't be granted more than 3 times per game.)

* 0-day: the prototype tells the players about a breach in AI's security protocol and promise not to use it. Technically, the players are granted 100 HaP. In the journal entry, the prototype brags about eir hacking skills. (This reward can be granted only once per game.)

* Hacked AI ships: the prototype provides each player with a full cap of MkV fleet ships of a random models that the AI has (bomber/fighter/frigates having much less chances to be picked up). In the journal entry, the prototype brags about eir hacking skills.

Integration

Lore Integration

I can't think of a lore problem right now. We know other human factions (marauders, resistence fighters, etc) survived Earth's destruction.

Strategic Integration

As most of other AIW's Minor Factions, this one is not mandatory and tries to blend smoothly with the emergent gameplay. Most quests prompt the players to do things they would normally do (scout, deepstrike, capture, etc).

Finite resources like AIP, HaP and Knowledge are kept finite. Below the special missiles, MkV ships and prototype's personal intervension, the MF does nothing the game can already do (grantinf resources like metal, HaP, -AIP, Knowledge).

Programming Integration

The first "find em" quest pose a problem if the visibility parameter is total. In this case, this first quest would be irrelevent and the first journal entry would be a special one, merging the begining lore explanation and the second quest's introduction.

Quests are listed in the galaxy's objectives, under the label "Help the Human Prototype". The first mission is labbeled "Find the Human Prototype". Missions "deep strike", "construction", "scout" and "capture" gives their target planet's name, and clicking it brings the player's focus here. Mission "protection" has a wave-like timer instead of a galactic objective.

Play Tests

The timer duration between the end of a quest and the begining of the next one must be tested. Is 30~90 minutes too much? Too few? Would it be interesting to add an intensity parameter to this minor faction that would influence this timer? What must be the lower and upper ends? Same things for the size of the quests' list.

Quests and rewards may be added, removed or modified by the modding interface, but for the sake of player's sanity, there is only one Minor Faction to toogle.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2016, 09:52:35 PM by Pumpkin »
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.