Enemy Escalation

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by cmwhee, May 19, 2017.

  1. cmwhee

    cmwhee Member

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    tl;dr : the "Enemy" Should spread like a disease through the star system until it suffocates the players, or the players cure it.

    So, my friends and I have been playing Empyrion on/off for about a year, and we love the goddamn game, but the universal complaints have been, "once we pacify a planet, we're done with it" and, "we only move to other planets once we run out of resources." I know there are solutions in the works to address #2, but I'll be honest, I feel like putting a whole bunch of work into asserting control over a planet just to leave it and never come back kind of spoils a little fun for me. I like the idea that the players are put in the position of being these marauding planet-strippers moving from world to world, but I'd also like to see some consequence and investment.

    I'm going to lay out an idea for the escalation of an enemy fleet, that I think will incentivize a sense of "planetary ownership" for players/factions, while also providing regular challenges to the normal flow of behavior.

    First, Some definitions:

    A planetary system is a planet, 1 or more moons, and the planet's orbital space
    A planetary system is "patrolled" when there is an active drone carrier in the planet's orbital space
    A planetary system is "occupied" when there is an active "Enemy base" in the planet's orbital space
    A planet or moon is "patrolled" if there is an active patrol vessel on the planet or moon
    A planet or moon is "occupied" if there is an enemy-controlled POI or base on the planet or moon
    A POI or base is "conquered" if it is converted from faction/player owned to enemy owned
    A star system is "liberated" when no planetary systems are occupied

    Ok, given that:

    Every n hours (let's start with 6) every occupied planetary system will spawn drone carriers in the planetary space of unoccupied systems within 1 warp jump to a max of the number of occupied systems within a jump plus the number of occupied planets/moons within that system.

    example: Akua is within one jump of Omicron and Ningues, which are both occupied. Although the Akua planetary system is not patrolled, Akua's moon is occupied.

    At the end of 6 hours, where there have been no active drone carriers in Akua planetary space, two drone carriers are spawned in Akua Planetary space.

    Players destroy 1 drone carrier, but fail to destroy the other, at the end of the next 6 hours, 2 more drone carriers are spawned, bringing the count to the max of 3. (2 for neighboring occupied systems, 1 for Akua's occupied moon)

    If a planetary system is not occupied, and none of its neighboring systems are occupied, but at least one of its planets/moons are occupied. the a drone carrier is spawned in orbit, and the planetary system becomes patrolled.

    If a planetary system is patrolled for n hours, it becomes occupied. an enemy space station is spawned.

    Every n hours, If a planetary system is occupied, every n hours a patrol vessel is dispatched to each of the planets and moons in that system. That planet is now patrolled.


    After n hours, if the patrol vessel has not been destroyed, the planet becomes occupied. 1 POI or base is conquered for each enemy controlled POI/base on the planet/moon +1 (for the patrol vessel). Any neutral NPC spawners will become Zirax spawners, and One base per planet/moon will become a drone base for as long as the planet/moon is occupied.

    Why?:

    This will require the players to strategically plan their progress through the star system in order to defend their progress and the infrastructure they need to survive. It will provide a schedule for regular missions, and guide infrastructure development.

    If you include account for the "difficulty" of a planetary system in guiding the drone carriers that they spawn in neighboring systems, then it also provides a ramping difficulty progression for players to engage with.

    Additionally, this creates a verifiable win and loss condition for the players. After a long enough time, if unchecked the enemy will control all POIs / bases, with no more bases, the player can only enter the system through drop pods. (If local respawn is blocked). If the players succeed in liberating the star system, (which will be really hard given an aggressive n) they can move on to other star systems (which I hope is a feature being planned for the future.)

    I would love to play through that scenario, and while there are complicated bits to implementing it, Eleon has already done most of the work. If the Mod API supported the commands to conduct the operations I'd need, I'd happily write the mod myself.
     
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    Last edited: May 19, 2017
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  2. Exacute

    Exacute Active Member

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    Def. an interesting idea..
    This could kinda play out inspired by the way wow does it, with small objectives spawning on each "contested zone"; do x, and change it.
    This would litterally be a mess to program tho ;)
    I'm tempted tho. Just such an undertaking..

    I might do it, once the PDA have
    -RequireChaptersToActivate (ie. you can require the player to do n-chapters, before this unlocks)
    and the ability to have several active at once.
     
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  3. cmwhee

    cmwhee Member

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    I mean, it's actually a pretty straight-forward state machine

    I wouldn't do the "objectives" thing, just conquer a base/destory the vessel and that's it. MMOs have to make things complicated because there's no way to keep things fun when you can't guarantee balance. In empyrion you have balance from max server population.

    At any rate if I had an API that let me:

    Spawn alien CVs in a playfield
    Spawn alien space stations in a playfield
    Detect when a CV/Space station was destroyed
    Conquer a base (swap its faction to alien, kill all associated neutral NPCs and begin spawning Alien NPCs)
    Assert that a POI/base was a drone base

    I could write this myself in a pretty short span of time.

    I mean, if there was also some way to deploy any dependencies with mods, it would be much easier, and produce a better product. I started to think, "if only I could deploy sqlite with the mod" and then I thought, "screw that, if only I could deploy an AWS client, I could make this goddamn magnificent"
     
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  4. Exacute

    Exacute Active Member

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    Well. In theory anyway. I would go a little more overboard than that. :p
    I do really like the constant struggle tho. That players would fight back for planets, etc..

    You can atleast detect (by mod), and "hackish" spawn (by altering the playfield.yaml, and reloading the playfield)
    For mobs, the best you can do is use POIs, and use signals.

    But it is possible to do, although it would require some creativity on your part ;)

    Currently the most limiting factor would be the inability to script the AI..
    Hopefully that's something we'll see eventually ;).. Such as behavior, patrols, goto, etc
     
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  5. cmwhee

    cmwhee Member

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    The existing patrol/drone AI would work fine actually.

    Right now, I could use the mod to try to access the yaml files and edit them live, but there's no way for me to force a playfield reload, and reloading the playfield would also cause the players to lose progress, So I'd have to maintain a parallel database of the current game state. That would be too much, so it's not doable under the current condition.
     
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  6. Exacute

    Exacute Active Member

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    Hm. I'm not sure about that. I think there's a way to get players on playfields atleast (check-part)
    They wouldn't really loose progress, although it *would* be an inconvenience for sure.. (Reloads doesn't *re-spawn* POIs afaik, so they would remain the same state, and players would remain at the same spot)
    I'm not sure if you can trigger the reload tho. If interested, go suggest it in the API forum. I do think you can interact with the console tho
     
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  7. Frankyln

    Frankyln Well-Known Member

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  8. cmwhee

    cmwhee Member

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    lol, awesome.

    Good to know I'm not the first person to raise it. I really wish we had an index of suggestions
     
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