Weapons and shields

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

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Space Krill
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Weapons and shields

#1 Post by cobra »


I'm new here and maybe its already to late for suggestions, however I'm thinking for some time about a new way to make weapons, shields and armor more interesting for such a game.

What if every weapon and shield in the game gets a random energy sequence.
Such a weapon would make more or less percent of damage on the shield of an opponent depending on the match of its own sequence to the other one.
So even a small little race could be lucky to have very good shields or terrible weapons against a mighty enemy on first encounter.
Such a sequence could be researched from captured ships or stolen by spys to make the own weapons more effectiv against that particular enemy shield.
Maybe this could even make the "future tech" stuff more interesting as every new weapon has a new sequence.
This makes the gameplay more interesting in terms of "i have a new weapon, how good is it against the klingons" instead of "my new weapon can do 10 dps more to everybody".

I have some more detailed ideas, but first what do you think about that?

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Re: Weapons and shields

#2 Post by Josh »

No, you're fine. All comments are welcome. The design phase that deals with actual combat though, is still in it's infancy. It will likely be a while before you see any concrete impact from your suggestions take effect.

That being said, the idea that a weapon should be more than "my new weapon can do 10 dps more to everybody" is a noble one, however, I'm not sure I understand what a "random energy sequence" actually is. Perhaps you could explain it better if you showed us an example of how you imagine it would work in the game.

Space Krill
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Re: Weapons and shields

#3 Post by cobra »

I was thinking about an energy sequence as a number of keys and each key maybe has a value between 0..1.
Here an example using one key only: If my weapon has a 0.1 and the enemy shield has 0.9, then the difference between the keys is 0.8 meaning my weapons effect would be only 20%.
Multiple keys could be accumulated. If you have 10 keys, each key could add 10% to the final effect at max.
Or maybe there could be a variance so the first key is 20%, the next key is 10% aso.
Multiple keys could be interesting to slow down the adaption process to an opponent technology.

This could give the game a little thrill: If one race has almost won the game, a group of minor races could still discover and share a terrible weapon and a very good shield.
But on the contrary it could make things unfair at the beginning of a game.
My wish would be to get the feeling that every new weapon feels like you really dicovered something new and you wish to test it on somebody.
Also you should have the feeling that your enemy could stumble on a doomsday thing any time that could wipe out you entire fleet and race.
It would be cool to have battles where new weapons and shields show up and even a wimpy enemy could be a real threat to you.
In that case you must find out anything about that new weapon or shield quick or you loose a lot of your planets.

As I said its just an early concept jet with much detail to think about. Also would take much balancing I guess.
How powerful should a race become by accident? First step would be to define all that.

Some first thoughts:
- any new weapon has a new random energy sequence
- the user can adjust the sequence manually maybe in shipyard or even in battle
- maybe only the enery sequence of shields could be changed by the user
- enemy enery sequences can be stolen by spys, researched from captured ships or slowly detected by ship scanners.
- armor could have a fix enery sequence that cant be changed by the user and adds to the shield effect
- maybe any weapon and shield works with enery crystals that have a limited adjustment ability (you can change every key only by 20% or one key is fix)
- maybe each tech level adds a new key to the final sequence

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Space Floater
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Re: Weapons and shields

#4 Post by EmP »

Interesting concept. Sequence difference don't have to be so influencing by effecting only part of damage. In example above (weapon 0.1, shield 0.9), let's say sequence influences 40% of damage (60% is dealt regardless of sequence), total damage would be base * (0.6 + 0.4 * 0.2). Level of influence could vary form weapon to weapon, ie. mass drivers are unaffected, laser is partially affected and phasor is completely influenced.

That concept would make balancing even more difficult but opens up new options (ie. multiphased shields could be really multiphased) and game experience.

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