Development Blog Update - Marine "Power Grid" design

FlayraFlayra Game Director, Unknown Worlds EntertainmentSan Francisco Join Date: 2002-01-22 Member: 3Posts: 6,815Super Administrators, Retired Developer, NS1 Playtester, NS2 Developer, Constellation, Subnautica Developer admin
Please post comments on the topic Development Blog Update - Marine "Power Grid" design here
Charlie Cleveland
Game Director, Unknown Worlds Entertainment
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  • WatchMakerWatchMaker Join Date: 2003-09-26 Member: 21233Posts: 500Members, Constellation
    edited April 2009
    Honestly, it sounds balls to the walls awesome. I'm really digging the idea of the Tech Points being used instead of strict locations. I'll edit this and share some more thoughts once I get home.

    Quick question though. Say the marines have two functioning Tech Points up, each with their own resource node pumping in resources, but the two are not connected by a power grid. Will the resources 'pool' together for the Marine team, or will they be used separately from each Tech Point?
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • SlycasterSlycaster Limited Edition Join Date: 2002-01-24 Member: 24Posts: 2,301Members, NS1 Playtester
    Love it. I absolutely love the direction you're taking this in terms of immersion and dynamics flay. Sounds like the replay value will be amazing with random spawns if i'm getting the right drift here. It must be super satisfying having the ability to do so much atmospherics with visual queues that you could never do on the HL engine. Can't wait to see what the mappers do to make each room unique to being powered and unpowered!
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  • slayer20slayer20 Killed a man once. Join Date: 2007-12-13 Member: 63157Posts: 863Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    This tech thing kind of confuses me...can someone try to make it a little more clear to me?

    I think I understand it a little...would I not be able to build a TF in a room that has alien structures in it, like a RT?
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  • SlycasterSlycaster Limited Edition Join Date: 2002-01-24 Member: 24Posts: 2,301Members, NS1 Playtester
    It's all speculation at this point, but im guessing rooms with alien buildings with have creep/infestation and thus not allowing building.


    And i gotta ask:

    "Building here lets the team have the ability to have another commander, and also is needed for "teching up" to tier 2 or tier 3."

    MULTIPLE COMMANDERS? O_O
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  • SirotSirot Join Date: 2006-12-03 Member: 58851Posts: 553Members
    edited April 2009
    I am a fan of CoH and currently playing DoW2, so I support this idea.

    One issue that I do have with the system is that there are too many tech points. Do marines also depend on them to develop through tiers of technology or will that be a strictly Alien mechanic?
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • CowTsignCowTsign Join Date: 2005-01-18 Member: 36215Posts: 9Members
    edited April 2009
    Would the multiple commanders be assigned command of different squads? If not then I can imagine it being a little confusing receiving multiple commands simultaneously! Does this design rule out phase gates in unpowered areas (AKA the jetpack ninja)?
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • TomgupperTomgupper Join Date: 2006-11-11 Member: 58529Posts: 10Members, Constellation
    edited April 2009
    This idea is really interesting. It's one of those ideas that I think might upset some people - But I think I like it ( one of those 'have to see it in action' things though I think ).

    So, if a resource tower/Command station is built, then power can flow to that location ? And if there is no resource tower or command centre, then the area has no power, and no structures can function.

    Is there a possibility of a portable generator or the likes for areas that don't have power ? ( Maybe only with a limited amount of charge, or that requires some sort of fuel to keep operating ? ). Seems to me that this sort of gameplay is a big move away from the ns1 style 'mini outpost' style - though I think a lot of people did base these outposts around resource towers, so it could work well. I think I just liked the old freedom of being able to build anywhere.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • FraxinusFraxinus Join Date: 2008-03-02 Member: 63783Posts: 177Members, Constellation
    edited April 2009
    "this will give the aliens the ability to when even when the situation looks hopeless"

    In large pop servers in NS 3.2 there is currently an issue with late game imbalance where a marine team can have 1 maybe two nodes. Whilst the aliens dominate the map, but they (marines) can still manage to somehow push out siege structures take back nodes and win. These are those 60+ minute games we've all played. How will this new structure make that any different? Common sense says that aliens should win but no they don't always necessarily.

    Why is it necessary to remove hive rooms? NS 1v3.2 only has 3, hives yet this map has six tech points. Does this mean that the aliens and the marines have to do a 3 to 3 standoff? Or if a marine team is totally domming, a 4 to 2 or a 5 to 1? Or vice versa?

    8 resource towers seems pretty thin as well considering most current maps have 11 or more.

    Not sure if I like the multiple comm idea, how can you eject one and not the other, what if a griefer jumps in the other chair and spends all your res on armories or beacons the team needlessly? etc.

    I like the idea of the comm chair powering the res node and the room that its in as well. However, it doesn't make sense to me though why the node is a "light switch" for the room. The nodes just pumps resources.

    my two cents

    P.S.

    I personally don't like this idea, I'd rather you keep a similar structure to "classic" NS, but fix the late game res imbalance problem.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    -Frax*
  • SirotSirot Join Date: 2006-12-03 Member: 58851Posts: 553Members
    edited April 2009
    A commander ability to "divert power" would be interesting then. You could temporarily disable power in one area that has it, to bring power to an desolate area.

    EDIT:
    RE: Fraxinus
    I think the reason why there are more possible hive locations In addition to marine starting location ("tech areas") is to allow more map variation. I do agree that having more than one commander opens up avenues for griefing that weren't there before.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • Gectou4Gectou4 Join Date: 2003-04-18 Member: 15622Posts: 152Members, Constellation
    edited April 2009
    hum yea a bit disapointed

    Tech point look very intresting if each team choose where they start the game.
    put another CC to teching up T2 and T3 look like to take the Alien gameplay into the Marins gameplay:
    (NS1: one CC <=> 1 to 3 Hives) (NS2: 1 to 3 CC <=> 1 to 3 hives) where each CC open a new tiers... I got it?

    If I understand, Alien can break powersupply of marins by attacking the first node of the chain. But marins can't do the same against Alien?
    that's not fair...

    If it's a possible gamemode why not, but if it's look like to force some player to move together upon the front. That's break the "free startegic" possibility.
    because you must follow a "main way".

    For me, pump ressource form a room, and you will pump the enery of the room, so I don't know why attacking a room made light flickering.
    and if you haven't build ressource tower yet, you have no light? No door works so you can't enter?
    Why disptach enery to the room by a ressource tower if there are a node in this room? The room must be self-powered.
    And alien RT will spread enery to the room? Hum Lighting effect by attacking a RT don't make sense to me.

    My 2 cent:
    But I was intrested about a possibility to balance the powersupply form one brand to another
    that's may empower turret/electric field where you have put lot of energy.
    By this way Commander are able to unplug some structure in first area to add more power to the front line structure.
    That's make a break in their defense usable by Alien, but that's able them to have a strongest front line.
    And Commander can plug again the structure but it's cost powersupply


    Hope to be understandable with my crazy english sad-fix.gif
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • obsidobsid Join Date: 2003-09-16 Member: 20909Posts: 133Members
    edited April 2009
    Well I just wanted to start with WOOT, for some real game info. Secondly I wanted to do a little guessing about the map shown. I would guess that the green boxes are spawn points (for when the game initially starts), which means they are looking at 16 people per side or 32 person games max to start. Now I’m not totally sure on the pink boxes with black in the middle, but I would guess that these are the entrances/exits to vents. I don’t know what the little pink squares without black in the middle could be (any guesses anyone?). The pink boxes with white right next to the pink seem to be the resource nodes. And the pink boxes with a little black before the white box are the “tech locations”.

    I think the idea of the grid system is good. I think in the end it might just make the marines move out and push across the map slower, locking down key regions (especially near the center of the map), before pushing on to attack. As there are 6 possible tech points, and 1 each for starting bases, what happens when a team has 4-5 tech points? Do they get anything extra more than having level 3 tech? Each side seems to have a “natural” first expansion meaning that I think preventing the aliens or marines from having 2 bases is going to be almost impossible. This might be a good thing, I know of times we get locked down in NS1 as aliens and got TONS of resources but without that level 2 hive it is soo hard to push out sometimes. Defiantly will be possible to prevent that 3rd hive, though it seems like it will be a lot easier to get 3 hives then in NS1. The lower right/upper left resource nodes don’t seem to matter much, as I think the “natural” expansion point will probably be taken quite quickly making those points not affect the over-all power structure. The 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock nodes (not the main base ones) though seem like they will be very important as most of the fights will be happening around getting that 3rd base locked down. I wonder how long the siege range will be, can a siege placed near the center hit all 4 center nodes? (leaving the aliens with just base node +1)
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • [G4B2S]Griffun[G4B2S]Griffun Join Date: 2008-10-10 Member: 65163Posts: 2Members
    This sounds awesome guys. The best part about it is that rounds will be constantly changing, making for longer more intense back and forth games.

    Looking forward to more news, and I'm loving the amount of recent updates you guys have been giving. Keep it up!
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  • FTNPhoenixFTNPhoenix Join Date: 2008-10-31 Member: 65340Posts: 24Members
    edited April 2009
    I think part of the issue that people are having with this, myself included, seems to be the description.

    I think the thing I'm most confused about is, what powers everything exactly? From what I read, it seems like the resource towers are supposed to provide the power? And if they die, that everything in the room gets unpowered. Do the command chairs get unpowered if the RT's get destroyed, and if so, is that a way or the way for aliens to win now? By destroying all RT's and not the CC? (RT's are considerably easier to destroy than the CC's).

    I think this could be a great idea, but I think I need to know more about how it works exactly. I know you wrote a lot, so I feel silly asking for more information, but I'm just not sure I quite understand how this is much different than the current system.

    Currently, if your team owns more of the map, you own more refineries, giving you money to research. It seems like with this system you need to own a certain part of the map to afford research and another part to have the option of buying research. It just doesn't seem that much different.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • mattoXmattoX Join Date: 2007-08-01 Member: 61739Posts: 82Members
    Maybe an individual structure to act as the power supply...

    I also don't really like the multiple comm idea, it just seems asif it won't work properly, although i might be wrong when seeing this inplay.

    Or maybe only one extra comm point that both alien & marine fight over.

    Will be interesting to see how the ideas end up panning out.
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  • douchebagatrondouchebagatron Custom member title Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24581Posts: 3,509Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Shadow
    It's a really cool idea, and i think would add a lot to game, but there are a few issues i don't like about it.

    1: no more marine relocation to anywhere. I suppose that's not a huge deal since most relocations don't work in NS unless they are to a hive, which would still be possible, but still it's always fun to relocate to some random hallway.

    2: since if one RT is knocked out that supplies power to others down the line it knocks them all out, it makes all rts much more valuable, and can destroy an entire area if it is taken down. so if the marines set up a little base outside of a hive to take it down, and one skulk runs to some rt between there and comm and takes it out, it completely powers down that expansion base and completely ruins the advance on that hive. this seems way overpowered for the aliens since marines can't afford to lose any rt. also, protecting rts is a tedious task, and making it such an integral part of the game would really detract from the the possible fun.

    my suggestion to prevent that: have a buildable 'power core' that will supply power to the current power grid if it loses connection to the comm, but don't let it feed other power grids. it could also have a boost to function of the buildings around it if it is connected to the comm, so maybe resources are gathered slightly faster or ammo is handed out quicker, turrets shoot faster.
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  • obsidobsid Join Date: 2003-09-16 Member: 20909Posts: 133Members
    While I do like the idea, have you thought about having the power system and the RT system be seprate? Having the ability to power a room, without an RT getting minerals for alot less cost (by a diffrent stucture). Might be more intresting as the choices on how to push out as a comm get alot more intresting.
  • moultanomoultano Creator of ns_shiva. Join Date: 2002-12-14 Member: 10806Posts: 3,752Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold
    It sounds fantastic, though I agree with the other posters that multiple commanders sounds a little too griefable. I'm glad the aliens have a different system. smile-fix.gif
  • td.alakadtd.alakad Join Date: 2008-12-02 Member: 65631Posts: 2Members
    I like this system.

    And for those of you wondering what is powering these rooms, well... What do you think the resource towers are collecting? They don't pump for no reason, they're collecting resources which are obviously used as a power source. Also, I don't think that knocking out 1 RT would necessarily knock out the Marines' entire grid. From the map that Flayra provided, as long as there is an alternate route for the power to flow from the command chair, then the power stays on; if the Marines literally just capped all RTs in a straight line toward the hive and none of the adjacent RTs, then yeah, they would lose power to the end of their chain by losing 1 RT in the middle because they decided to make a straight line in order to assault the hive quicker.

    I am curious though, do the command chairs outside of what would be considered "Marine Start" remain active even if the original command chair gets cut off? Or is the original command chair sort of like the "ultimate" command chair, in that it MUST be powered at all times in order to power the remaining command chairs?
  • FlayraFlayra Game Director, Unknown Worlds Entertainment San Francisco Join Date: 2002-01-22 Member: 3Posts: 6,815Super Administrators, Retired Developer, NS1 Playtester, NS2 Developer, Constellation, Subnautica Developer admin
    Very quickly - I see this is a bit confusing, sorry about the quick/terse writeup.

    You can think of the command stations as powering resource nodes, and resource nodes as powering the rest of the marine structures. Res nodes only work if they are attached to a command station (ie, if they are in the same room as one, or somewhere you've built a resource node such that you have built a resource node in every room between it and a Command Station). A room becomes powered if you've got a powered resource node there. All your other structures will work near it, and for cool/dramatic feedback, all the ambient lights and computers in the room will power on as well.
    Charlie Cleveland
    Game Director, Unknown Worlds Entertainment
  • FlayraFlayra Game Director, Unknown Worlds Entertainment San Francisco Join Date: 2002-01-22 Member: 3Posts: 6,815Super Administrators, Retired Developer, NS1 Playtester, NS2 Developer, Constellation, Subnautica Developer admin
    2: since if one RT is knocked out that supplies power to others down the line it knocks them all out, it makes all rts much more valuable, and can destroy an entire area if it is taken down. so if the marines set up a little base outside of a hive to take it down, and one skulk runs to some rt between there and comm and takes it out, it completely powers down that expansion base and completely ruins the advance on that hive. this seems way overpowered for the aliens since marines can't afford to lose any rt. also, protecting rts is a tedious task, and making it such an integral part of the game would really detract from the the possible fun.

    This is the whole point! The resource nodes will be tougher to kill to balance this out. Also, when a node is being hit, all the lights and things being affected by it will be flicking dramatically so you'll know very well it's under attack.
    Charlie Cleveland
    Game Director, Unknown Worlds Entertainment
  • StakhanovStakhanov Join Date: 2003-03-12 Member: 14448Posts: 2,094Members
    While this is a very nice concept for strategic gameplay , chomping on resource towers does get boring. I hope the deterrent will come from cost-effective electrification (stamina zap) as opposed to wall of hitpoints.
  • Nima_Nima_ Join Date: 2007-08-30 Member: 62083Posts: 88Members
    I think this will be a great evolution of the game play. It seems like it would add more depth to the role of the commander, and a more realistic feel. Good work!
  • ArkilaeArkilae Join Date: 2004-08-26 Member: 30923Posts: 24Members
    edited April 2009
    Hate it.

    I hated being limited to where I could build in the C&C series, it always pissed me off that I had to put my buildings in a specific order every time just to avoid the power stations getting bombed to hell or offlined and having them take half my base with the explosion because I couldn't build more then two feet away from my command center. LAWL.

    Not only that but this severely limits marine relocations and marine guerilla bases, tactics and strategies, along with that you're putting more work and overhead on an already incredibly small team of developers and program. If you're going for realism, I very much doubt that in the future such entities wouldn't have self-sustaining power plants of some kind especially with the fact that nanomachines already exist. If you're trying to fix a problem with gameplay (commanders relocating to vents and the like) there are other less resource intensive and game altering ways of doing it, setting guide lines for mappers is a good start.

    Marines need to stay mobile, they are the aggressive side in what is currently NS.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • FrostFire626FrostFire626 Join Date: 2007-12-18 Member: 63207Posts: 47Members
    edited April 2009
    This is a very interesting idea, but like all interesting ideas it has to be executed carefully of course. This feature seems to be the very foundation on which the entire game rests on so it could be a game maker or a game breaker.

    So far, my only major complaint is the mention of multiple marine commanders. As a comm, dealing with "field commanders" who have no experience at all at commanding was frustrating enough in NS1. I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to deal with co-commanders who have very different command philosophies (i.e. WRONG philosophies). I sincerely hope that one commander will have clear strategic control of the marine team and that the other commanders (if any) will strictly serve as officers.

    I would also like to see a mechanism for guaranteeing that all commanders have mics. If the top-com doesn't have a mic but his/her officer's do, the chain of command would obviously be ruined. Besides, in general, comms that do not use a mic are HORRIBLE. (and yes I'm one of those elitist commanders/jerks)

    Edit: PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE THE MARINE/ALIEN ASYMMETRY!
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • CheesyPetezaCheesyPeteza Join Date: 2002-11-24 Member: 9784Posts: 831Members, NS1 Playtester, Constellation
    In NS1 to break the marines channel to their attacking locations, the main method was to destroy the phase gate/observatory. This adds a new method, which is good.

    Will it limit the options for marine expansion though? I don't think it will with well designed maps.

    It's always hard to know how these ideas will play out until we give it a go, but I think I like it as it adds something extra to the game.
    Cheesy Pete Za
  • KassingerKassinger Shades of grey Join Date: 2002-02-20 Member: 229Posts: 923Members, Constellation
    I'm relieved to see that NS2 seems to be about bigger games and maps than what I've feared. I'm excited about the new game mechanics, but I wonder if some of the assymmetry between the teams have disappeared with it. Now the game won't be about the aliens defending hives until gathering enough strenght to overcome MS any longer.

    1. As others have asked: Can the marine team be split into two separate sections powerd by each their command chair, even though they're not connected?

    2. Will having more than one CC be just as important as having several hives?

    This will essentially make the teams more symmetrical. Perhaps this is on purpose, as it will be easier to balance.
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  • SentrySteveSentrySteve .txt Join Date: 2002-03-09 Member: 290Posts: 2,817Members, Constellation
    edited April 2009
    The quote:

    QUOTE
    When the power goes out, infantry portals stop spawning in players, armories can't be used to buy or resupply, Command Stations become inactive, sentries power down, etc. These power regions will be drawn for the Commander, and will blink red when unpowered.


    confuses me, because don't command stations give power?

    QUOTE
    The resource tower pumps resources into the Command Station, and the Command Station powers the resource tower.


    So let's say we just lost our first command station in our initial base, but we built a second one to power two different resource nodes that are adjacent to the station. Are they now offline too?

    It just took me a lot of reads to understand how it was described, and even then I still have a few questions / am a little confused. Since taking one node out will power down any in front of it the game may become more slow paced than what most of us are use to. Constantly running back to worry about some node could be tedious, and turtling every node every game would be even more tedious for both the marines building them and the aliens who have to destroy them.

    I really like the general idea - making rooms have significance is a good way for the game to promote teamwork and give purpose. It's something I always wanted to see in NS, just not sure how this variant will play out. I'm also hopeful that the alien's DI system is very different from that of the power grid system. In NS both sides played and operated very differently - it was one of NS's most unique aspects. With aliens getting a commander, and the marines now needing to expand out to tech up (something that only aliens had to do in NS1) it seems like some of those differences may be disappearing.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    sentrysteve.txt
  • aeroripperaeroripper Join Date: 2005-02-25 Member: 42471Posts: 1,994NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Constellation mod
    Did he say multiple commanders? asrifle.gif

    Hopefully the main commander can lock out the second command ability if he wants to do everything himself (outside of a majority vote overruling the decision by the team).

    Sounds very interesting, will post more thoughts later.
  • FraxinusFraxinus Join Date: 2008-03-02 Member: 63783Posts: 177Members, Constellation
    edited April 2009
    QUOTE(Flayra @ Apr 10 2009, 05:26 PM) »
    2: since if one RT is knocked out that supplies power to others down the line it knocks them all out, it makes all rts much more valuable, and can destroy an entire area if it is taken down. so if the marines set up a little base outside of a hive to take it down, and one skulk runs to some rt between there and comm and takes it out, it completely powers down that expansion base and completely ruins the advance on that hive. this seems way overpowered for the aliens since marines can't afford to lose any rt. also, protecting rts is a tedious task, and making it such an integral part of the game would really detract from the the possible fun.

    This is the whole point! The resource nodes will be tougher to kill to balance this out. Also, when a node is being hit, all the lights and things being affected by it will be flicking dramatically so you'll know very well it's under attack.


    Ah, I never saw it that way, makes more sense now. Still uneasy about the multiple commander idea though, i don't think it is necessary.

    Considering how many people back-seat comm already.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    -Frax*
  • smallfrysmallfry Join Date: 2009-04-10 Member: 67132Posts: 6Members
    I absolutely love this idea! Although I like the idea of "power node" structures which are separate from resource towers even better.

    And about the multiple commanders, I assumed he was talking about alien commanders (which don't give orders if I remember correctly), not marine commanders.
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