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Gameplay Overhaul

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Gireen
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Gameplay Overhaul

Postby Gireen » Wed Aug 25, 2021 6:24 pm UTC

This is a first draft for a complete overhaul of the gameplay.

The goals are:
  • easier to understand game mechanics
  • enabling different play styles (eg winning by only building or not building at all)
  • making the game more rewarding
  • getting easier to play for newbies
  • working with fewer players
  • giving all classes and weapons more distinct purposes
  • be more independent of specific map environments
  • shorter game rounds (possible to modify with server settings)

To achieve this i want to go a few steps back and start with most tremulous 1.1 settings, switch the focus from spread out bases back to tight packed fortresses and add a few ideas that where given in this forum or implemented in tremulous mods.
In concrete changes that would mean

Momentum becomes a skill tree.
For the beginning a straight line without choices like it is now it should be later possible for a team to decide which items/buildings/abilities they want to unlock.
The unit would be xp and simply being related to credits and buildpoints that a team collected without decreasing at all.
Certain unlocks might have other conditions besides xp, like a certain number of miners and other buildings or already mined buildpoints

Loot
destroyed buildings and players would drop ammo and health

Destroying buildings gives credits and xp

New Buildpoint system
Buildpoints are no more retrieved
Miners produce Buildpoints over time and get more efficient the older they are.
After an unlock or age miners could also produce credits for all players of a team


Alien Class changes
The goal with a finished skill tree would be to have only base aliens where players could select specific abilities depending on the tech stage.
Until then there will be additional advanced classes.
  • Tyrant becomes more like a tank, slow moving less agile but with high health.
  • Adv Tyrant is added with more health and the ability to trow acid bombs, witch must be recharged at the booster.
  • Mantis becomes its grab and gas abilities back
  • Adv Dretch is a bigger dretch with more health and a pounce ability like the dragoon
  • Adv Marauder Zap is nerfed against buildings


Return of the Tesla and Defence Computer

Rockedpod attacks only projectiles and shield against them.

Barricades become immune to distance weapons and can be build on walls and roofs.

Spiker does no teamdamage anymore


Thats it so far. Many changes will have to prove themself first in practice or are not imagined jet but this is the general direction i want to move in and start of from.
To turn the gamedesign into a community effort i want to revive the creation of our vision statement with its own subforum.

For a better organization of ideas i think we should add some sort of voting function that could make interesting ideas move visible despite being old. An example would be https://www.phpbb.com/community/ideas
fear ma engrish :granger:
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freem
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Re: Gameplay Overhaul

Postby freem » Fri Aug 27, 2021 10:01 am UTC

Gireen wrote:This is a first draft for a complete overhaul of the gameplay.

The goals are:
  • easier to understand game mechanics
  • enabling different play styles (eg winning by only building or not building at all)
  • making the game more rewarding
  • getting easier to play for newbies
  • working with fewer players
  • giving all classes and weapons more distinct purposes
  • be more independent of specific map environments
  • shorter game rounds (possible to modify with server settings)


I have a VYM (mindmap) document for some changes, some go in same direction as your stated goals. Unfortunately, it's in french (so I can't really share it here), but it's small enough to be quickly translated.

There are some stuff from it that you might consider:

  • slow down the respawns, to make base attack easier, and base camping less efficient
  • reduce freaking fire impact on gameplay, or at least make it dangerous ALSO for humans
  • make aliens easier to play at melee, and humans better at ranged (this particular point have lot of implications, though, and I really don't mean "more powerful", just "easier", especially for aliens)
  • reintroduce a reason to use energy weapons, since currently they really are the same as kinetic ones (let's include flamer in the kinetic ones for the discussion). Originally, one of their selling point was that they can be reloaded at repeaters, but current miners do not allow that, and humans never run out of ammo anyway, so it's not even needed, to the point that the energy backpack was removed from game (or rather, changed into radar...).
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afontain
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Re: Gameplay Overhaul

Postby afontain » Sat Aug 28, 2021 7:31 am UTC

Hi Gireen, there are a lot of interesting ideas here. Some I really like, some that seem odd, but it's always a good idea to discuss all of them :tongue:

Momentum becomes a skill tree
I would need to know more about the project to tell. Any idea what the tree would look like (what would be its content)? That's something that's in the design document though, so it sure was an objective at first.

destroyed buildings and players would drop ammo and health
I'm not fond of that one from a roleplaying point of view. Otherwise, why not I guess? It could help balancing and rewarding alien attackers. I fear it would be too powerful if humans can get the improvement too, but it doesn't need to be symmetric.

Destroying buildings gives credits and xp

:thumbup: I assume this XP thing you talk about would be kinda like the momentum, but maybe never decreasing?

New Buildpoint system

I think I agree a new buildpoint system is needed. I fear this "old age" thing would encourage camping for humans that can just never leave their base, though. And suddenly they go out and kill the dear alien drills, which would risk feeling unfair :mad: I'm not sure how well it would go for low-player count games, too. Otherwise, I think this should be implemented!

Return of the Tesla and Defence Computer
:frown: That sure seems like a backward move. I never played trem much, though, so maybe it helps balance. I guess the telsa would be to defend against marauders and the defense computer (or rather, lack of defense computer) would make human bases weaker on early game I guess. So it can be good balancing-wise?

Rockedpod attacks only projectiles and shield against them.
That's a novel idea, quite original. Maybe it makes the rocket pod (or rather, the anti-air defense) quite a niche buildable though. Maybe a middleground could be to give it both capabilities, where the missiles would aggro the dragoon blobs? It would help a bit the goon by distracting the missiles, but it would probably be hard to master, and the goon is already the only alien that can face the (regular) rocket pods, so my idea is probably not too useful as is.

Barricades become immune to distance weapons and can be build on walls and roofs.

Which distance weapons though? Human ones? +1 for building on walls and roofs.

Spiker does no teamdamage anymore

I believe it doesn't do team damage with current master: it will "hold" spikes that are pointing at allies. It won't display that in cgame though, because it's hard :confused:
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afontain
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Re: Gameplay Overhaul

Postby afontain » Sat Aug 28, 2021 7:47 am UTC

Answering freem this time. Hopefully we have fixes for many of these!

  • slow down the respawns, to make base attack easier, and base camping less efficient

Can't disagree. How would it vary with the number of spawns though? Twice as many spawn -> twice the newborn throughput?

  • reduce freaking fire impact on gameplay, or at least make it dangerous ALSO for humans


https://github.com/DaemonEngine/Daemon/pull/416 was just merged. It halves team damage on alien-to-alien.

  • make aliens easier to play at melee, and humans better at ranged (this particular point have lot of implications, though, and I really don't mean "more powerful", just "easier", especially for aliens)


How would we make humans better at ranged? And how to do it in a way that doesn't encourage base camping?

Maybe we could have some homing weapons for beginers, with slow projectiles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyhR1THflUU&t=28

  • reintroduce a reason to use energy weapons, since currently they really are the same as kinetic ones (let's include flamer in the kinetic ones for the discussion). Originally, one of their selling point was that they can be reloaded at repeaters, but current miners do not allow that, and humans never run out of ammo anyway, so it's not even needed, to the point that the energy backpack was removed from game (or rather, changed into radar...).

There's that bulletproof tyrant project. I haven't started implementing it, but I feel it would fit here.
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killing time
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Re: Gameplay Overhaul

Postby killing time » Sun Aug 29, 2021 9:14 am UTC

Gireen wrote: it should be later possible for a team to decide which items/buildings/abilities they want to unlock.
Decided by who?


If bases are going to be tightly packed fortresses, what's the point of making people build miners?
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killing time
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Re: Gameplay Overhaul

Postby killing time » Sun Aug 29, 2021 9:17 am UTC

afontain wrote:
Spiker does no teamdamage anymore

I believe it doesn't do team damage with current master: it will "hold" spikes that are pointing at allies.:

It doesn't fire ones that it predicts will hit allies. But it is a projectile weapon, so this prediction can't be perfect.
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Gireen
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Re: Gameplay Overhaul

Postby Gireen » Sun Aug 29, 2021 11:52 am UTC

afontain wrote:
Momentum becomes a skill tree
I would need to know more about the project to tell. Any idea what the tree would look like (what would be its content)? That's something that's in the design document though, so it sure was an objective at first.

It probably better described as tech tree.
Its similar to Viechs design document except that not just single alien classes are affected but everything including human weapons and all buildings.
Possible unlocks could be beside existing buildings:
-different ability for single aliens
-team buffs like stronger regen health or damage
-different ammo types for weapons
-additional abilities or buffs for buildings like more health or self repair
-maybe second main buildings
-higher mining rates

This could also be extended to existing functions like medikit (was mentioned in irc), sprint or aliens autohealing which would not be available at the beginning.

killing time wrote:
Gireen wrote: it should be later possible for a team to decide which items/buildings/abilities they want to unlock.
Decided by who?

The players. They could vote for single items and the branch with most votes is selected.

afontain wrote:I fear this "old age" thing would encourage camping for humans that can just never leave their base, though.

killing time wrote:If bases are going to be tightly packed fortresses, what's the point of making people build miners?

Buildpoints and the availability of miniers for certain unlocks.
As said it should become a valid tactic for humans to camp. With only a few miners less items could be available for humans that they would have for example only one Battlesuit at a time available in tradeoff for higher mining efficiency.

afontain wrote:
destroyed buildings and players would drop ammo and health
I'm not fond of that one from a roleplaying point of view. Otherwise, why not I guess? It could help balancing and rewarding alien attackers. I fear it would be too powerful if humans can get the improvement too, but it doesn't need to be symmetric.

Well aliens get food and humans some sifi alien stuff they can use. Its not much different from now with credits but would allow a more base independent play style. Camping humans would also be forced to leave the base to collect their rewards.

afontain wrote:
Barricades become immune to distance weapons and can be build on walls and roofs.

Which distance weapons though? Human ones? +1 for building on walls and roofs.

All i think. Saw and flamer should be there to break down barricades. The main reason is for alien bases to have some defense in wide open spaces.

What i mean for the Spiker is to have it shoot always in the same manner without concern for its team and just don't deal teamdamage

An addition would also be that turrets should always deal the same damage independent of distance to their target.

freem wrote: slow down the respawns, to make base attack easier, and base camping less efficient

maybe, im not so fond of waiting times but we could try to have the spawn time per player instead of per node or a mix of it.
fear ma engrish :granger:
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poVoq
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Re: Gameplay Overhaul

Postby poVoq » Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:32 pm UTC

In my humble opinion doctoring around with the current game-play will not work and alienate the (few) current players.

My suggestion would be to add an alternative game-mode and start out with more or less cloning Team Fortress 2's control-point mode*. Could be even human Vs. human as a start to make balancing easier.

Then slowly re-introduce some aspects of base-building and use the control-point mechanic as the source of income for building etc.

* https://wiki.teamfortress.com/wiki/Control_Point_(game_mode)
Edit: fixed the link
Last edited by poVoq on Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:23 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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freem
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Re: Gameplay Overhaul

Postby freem » Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:24 pm UTC

That's an interesting idea, but, could you explain more about that control point thing? Because:

Control Point (game mode
There is currently no text in this page. You can search for this page title in other pages, or search the related logs, but you do not have permission to create this page.


My guessing is that it is like the usual control point thing, that is, each team start with a number of control points, players spawn at friendly CP, and team loose when it have no more CP nor players.
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Gireen
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Re: Gameplay Overhaul

Postby Gireen » Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:50 pm UTC

poVoq wrote:In my humble opinion doctoring around with the current game-play will not work and alienate the (few) current players.

That's a problem that every active game development has to face and should be taken serous. I will take all opinion of active players into account, and so far the implemented changes seem to have a good reception but those where also things that where requested for years. :grin:
I also want to make it easier for players to give feedback to prevent any alienation.

poVoq wrote:My suggestion would be to add an alternative game-mode and start out with more or less cloning Team Fortress 2's control-point mode*. Could be even human Vs. human as a start to make balancing easier.

Then slowly re-introduce some aspects of base-building and use the control-point mechanic as the source of income for building etc.

* https://wiki.teamfortress.com/wiki/Cont ... (game_mode)

Like the arcade or balance mod from tremulous? The concept is interesting (i think i also suggested it a few years ago :bugeyes: ) but it also brings it own problems with it. Maybe you can make a more detailed topic for such gamemode since you have already an specific idea how it could work.

Despite that the idea of "points of interest" in maps that are fought over by players for some benefits is something i like but there is nothing that seemed promising and easy to implement.
I plan to add the gameplay changes in this topic more or less in steps to see if they really improve the game.


additional change:
Kill reward multiplier based on difficulty
I think this idea was mentioned in irc to change rewards based on value differences of attackers and victim.
So if a unarmored human kills a dretch he gets 200c as before
if Battlesuit with Luci kills a dretch he gets not 200c but only 28% of if case it is much easier for him.
In the opposit direction if the dretch manages to kill the Battlesuit he gets not 7mp but 24.5
The right formula for it will have to be tested out but that's the basic idea
fear ma engrish :granger:

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