Author Topic: [AIW2] Shattered Zenith Turret  (Read 725 times)

Offline Pumpkin

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[AIW2] Shattered Zenith Turret
« on: April 24, 2016, 05:58:05 AM »
Minor Faction proposal for an AIW2 mod.


A Zenith "turret", actually a massive orbital planetary defense canon, was destroyed in a long forgotten Zenith war. More recently it was dismantled, and its parts were grabbed and dragged over the wormhole network by several minor factions. Players can find these parts, fight their guardians and assemble them to get a massive turret.

- The Power Core was recovered by a dark spire outpost, because it supplies energy.
- The Canon was recovered by younglings, because it forms a shelter and these Neinzul have lost their enclave.
- The Targeting System was recovered by an AI subroutine, because it's an interesting matter of study.
- The Shell was recovered by human pirates, because it's worth a lot of metal.


Map Generation

Four planets are randomly picked, each one containing one of the four parts. They tend to maintain a minimum distance of 4 hops between each pair, if possible.

Global Progression
The first time players scout a planet with a part of the shattered Zenith turret, they receive a journal entry from the scientific department stating they found a mysterious yet incomplete zenith structure. They advise to not bother capturing it yet because it seems defended.

When a second part is scouted, the journal entry gives more explanations: the scientific team believes it's related to the previous part and that it might be an ancient Zenith weapon. Capturing the parts seems interesting but not totally required yet because it's far from complete.

When the third part is scouted, the scientific team is certain this is an old Zenith defensive weapon and it lacks only one more piece.

When the last piece is scouted, the scientific team states this is the last part of the weapon and they're able to reassemble it, however it won't be possible to move it to another planet once assembled.

When player-controlled ships get near a part, defenders spawn (see below). If players withdraw, defenders despawn. Each time a defender group is defeated (it won't spawn again), players receive a journal entry stating the part is ready for recovery: it passes under players' control and is able to be moved. AI won't spawn exowaves to destroy it, but it consider it a regular target; the part must be escorted to friendly space and properly defended. If a part is destroyed, the turret cannot be assembled anymore for that game.

If a part is destroyed, players receive a journal entry from the scientific team deploring it and explaining it's now impossible to reassemble and reactivate the entire weapon.

Specific Encounters

For all encounters, one the selected planet are seeded, next to each other, the turret's part and an outpost. The outpost spawns hostile ships when players' military ships pass nearby; spawned ships get back into the outpost (despawn) when players' ships withdraw or are destroyed. Destroyed hostile ships are slowly replaced. When the outpost is destroyed, the part is given to the players.

The Power Core is held by a Dark Spire outpost. Its tooltip explains they are 'sucking' its power for an obscure reason and the AI doesn't bother attacking them. When players get nearby, they spawn low-power Dark Spire ships (similar to the ones spawned by the Vengeance Generators but not the powerful Hatred) that attack only players' ships.

The Canon is held by a colony of Neinzul Younglings. There is no outpost nearby but the tooltip of the canon itself explain it's infested with younglings who have lost their enclave. When players get nearby, a swarm of younglings rush out to attack. The canon is "cleared" if all the younglings are destroyed.

The Targeting System of the turret is held by an AI subroutine. Near it is a "R&D Subroutine Outpost", similar in design to an oversized ARS. Its tooltip explains this structure belongs to a special AI subroutine, similar to the Planetary Subcommanders, and this imitation of research station clearly seems militarized. When players get nearby, some powerful guardians spawn to defend it.

The Shell is held by pirates. Near the shell itself, there is a "secret pirate base" structure. Its tooltip explains they are mining the shell for metal and they have a cloaking field that makes them undetectable from AI. Whenever a player-controlled military ship get nearby, hostile Dagger Frigates and Buzz Bombers (similar to the ones of the Human Pirates MF) spawns from the base.

Assembling the Turret

Once the four parts have been gathered in friendly space, they can be assembled to form the complete and functional turret. Much metal (around 1,000,000) is required to finish the job.

Once assembled, it cannot cross wormholes, moves very slowly (like a fortress) and must stay immobile before firing (like a Zenith Siege Engine). It has a long range though not infinite (equivalent to the one of a fortress).

Its attack is a low rate-of-fire plasma bullet with a large AoE.
(It appeared there is a niche for projected-AoE turrets similar to the plasma starships. Other immobile superweapon attacks are already occupied by OMD, HBC and Fortresses.)


Lore Integration

We already know the giant Zenith beings, both alive (Trader, Dyson, Devourer, Miners) and dead (Golems). We also know some "small" Zenith beings (Zenith fleet ships, dyson gatlings, etc). But we never encountered Zenith structures. We also know there were wars between the Zenith and probably the Spire, ages ago.

The four parts' guardians are a tribute to the galactic races of AIW (Human, AI, Neinzul, Spire, and of course Zenith), and some (pirates and dark spire) are revisited splinter factions from other MF. More specifically, we already know pirates like metal (it's said the pirates from the MF raid for metal and mercenary could be seen as "nice" yet greedy pirates).

Gameplay Integration

There is no "gather and assemble" quest in AIW, which is sad. Also, There is few defensive-only superweapons, beside the HBC and superfortress.

Beside the turret itself, this MF has no need for new ship types, because it reuses the existing pirate, dark spire, youngling and guardian ships: no new stats or arts for that.

Questions that playtests must answer are:
How many health and armor for the outposts?
How many defending ships must spawn from the outposts?
How fast (or slow) must the captured parts move?
What are the stats of the completed turret? Health and armor, range (similar to fortresses?), RoF, AoE size and DPS.
I think its raw firepower must be equivalent to the HBC.

Artistic Integration

Arts from the champion's nebulae can be reused for the dark spire and pirate outposts; the AI R&D's outpost can be a scaled-up ARS. It seems that only the turret and its parts require new arts.


Wasn't a great loss after all:
Win a game after a Zenith turret's part has been destroyed.

Lock and Load:
Reassemble the Zenith turret.

I don't need a defense for offense:
Win a game where the Zenith turret was enabled but without assembling it.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.