Higher Lifeforms Unlocked by Hive Specialisation

UzguzUzguz Join Date: 2003-06-05 Member: 17016Members, Constellation
edited March 2012 in Ideas and Suggestions
<div class="IPBDescription">Similarly to Shell and Veil upgrades</div>Fades being tied to the second hive is a hot topic at the moment, and I've been doing some thinking recently about how to work around it. Many people have expressed the view that the Fade should be available with only one hive, similarly to NS1 2.0 and beyond, and I agree with them to an extent, but there's a caveat: Whereas NS1's shared resource model made the Fast Fade a significant investment, the division of resource types in NS2 would permit whole teams of one-hive Fast Fades, to overwhelming effect - which is why lifeform chaining was brought back in the first place. The two approaches we've seen so far, then, are basically opposite extremes - and neither is desirable.

I'd like to propose another solution, one that I hope will strike the golden mean: Making each hive upgradeable to support either the Fade or the Onos, <i>but not both</i>, at the cost of team resources and several minutes' research. Essentially, it's the current implementation of Shells and Veils extended to hives; and like Shells and Veils, you would have the option of redundantly supporting the same lifeform from more than one hive, if the situation deemed security of present investments a better option than growth (more on that in a moment).

My first impression of the numbers, obviously subject to change, would be:

<b>Fade:</b> 35 team resources, 180 seconds
<b>Onos:</b> 60 team resources, 240 seconds

Now I know what many of you will be thinking: 35 res for Fades is awfully low. You can start researching them right away! Well, yes, you can... at great expense. 35 team res is an awful lot in the early game, especially when <i>you're trying to save for the second hive at the same time.</i> Fast Fades would not at all be the obvious choice; either you'd significantly delay the second hive and all of its remaining advantages with it, or you'd have to skimp on regular upgrades in the meantime. The alien commander is thus faced with an important decision: To build <i>up</i>, or build <i>out</i>?

And as for Fast <i>Onos</i>, well... let's just say I'd love to see someone try.

But the choices don't stop when the second hive builds. It might seem obvious, once again, that the second hive should support the Onos, but not so fast. What happens if your first hive dies? No more replacement Fades for you... unless the second hive specialises in them as well. So in fact the commander has another decision to make: To ensure the long-term availability of Fades, or go for broke with the Onos? Or, for that matter, the third hive, since the pricetag of Onos specialisation is nearly equivalent?

So, what do you think? Could this be the solution we're looking for?

(Technical note: Hives would still have to be able to produce Drifters while researching a lifeform, but I suspect that isn't much of a hindrance.)

<b>Edit:</b> The current revision of the numbers given above is:

<b>Fade:</b> 30 team resources, 120 seconds
<b>Onos:</b> 60 team resources, 240 seconds


  • KalabalanaKalabalana Join Date: 2003-11-14 Member: 22859Members
    edited March 2012
    I love the creativity of your idea, why not have an alternative way to unlocking higher alien life forms.?

    Each hive can research one type of higher alien life form. If that hive goes down, so does the evolutionary option. This would create great comeback scenarios for marines, and also remove the second hive onus this game currently revolves around. It would allow you to pick an Onos or Fade upgrade for your initial hive, of course, at the cost of research time, resources, and if your team would even be able to afford the higher lifeforms. Would address a lot of issues in the game that the current model fails to.

    Amazing, nice job man.

    I would prefer though that hives cannot be duplicates in this regard, only one hive may allow a life form. Wouldn't mind an alternative passive option for aliens, like an alien version of melee and/or armor (Should the upgrades require 3 hives to max, or 4?). Hives should also allow the option to re-research this upgrade so if a fade hive goes down later, you can replace one of your existing hives research ability with Fade again. Would expand the meta-game for alien comms, and balance aliens as well.

    Not only would I love to play NS2 with this model, I just think it would be a much more balanced and complex game.
  • ScardyBobScardyBob ScardyBob Join Date: 2009-11-25 Member: 69528Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow
    I like the idea, but I think you need to add the lerk as a 'need to be researched' tech. Otherwise, aliens will be rolling fades and onoses by hive #2.
  • KalabalanaKalabalana Join Date: 2003-11-14 Member: 22859Members
    edited March 2012
    <!--quoteo(post=1913980:date=Mar 16 2012, 02:46 PM:name=ScardyBob)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (ScardyBob @ Mar 16 2012, 02:46 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1913980"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I like the idea, but I think you need to add the lerk as a 'need to be researched' tech. Otherwise, aliens will be rolling fades and onoses by hive #2.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    Might work, but this would take the idea further from the current game model though. The early game's already sort of balanced for the starting three life forms, the latest patches are already struggling to simply maintain/bring back that balance.

  • TimMcTimMc Join Date: 2012-02-06 Member: 143945Members
    <!--quoteo(post=1913980:date=Mar 16 2012, 12:46 PM:name=ScardyBob)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (ScardyBob @ Mar 16 2012, 12:46 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1913980"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I like the idea, but I think you need to add the lerk as a 'need to be researched' tech. Otherwise, aliens will be rolling fades and onoses by hive #2.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    Indeed. The decision should ultimately be do the aliens want to risk not having lerks for a while, in hopes that fade will pay off.

    Also rushing for fade doesn't mean fades will spawn. Atm its quite easy for a hive to be dropped, but no one in the team to have 50 res yet.
  • UzguzUzguz Join Date: 2003-06-05 Member: 17016Members, Constellation
    edited March 2012
    I considered throwing Lerks into the mix, but decided it was a bit much. Depending on the effectiveness of Lerks, you'd end up with one of two outcomes: Either Fades would effectively remain a second-hive lifeform that take significantly longer than before to appear (don't forget the research time), or Lerks would see hardly any use. I also disagree that not having Lerks as a specialisation would create Onos floods because of the costs involved - 60 res is a fair bit, and the research takes longer than a hive takes to build. So while I haven't ruled it out, I'm presently unconvinced.

    Also, if anyone's wondering, I've picked the numbers on the assumption that Catalyse will soon become unable to target hives. Given what it does for hive build times right now, I think it's a safe bet.

    <b>Edit:</b> Looks like I forgot to address your point, Kalabalana. Whoops! Thanks for your support, though!

    I think I prefer the redundancy idea as originally suggested. I see where you're going with giving marines a chance to take Fades offline for a while, but the original suggestion already allows that - within a certain window. If Fade research begins on the second hive, then the first hive dies, Fades would be unavailable again until the second hive finished researching them, so any Fades that died in the defence of the first hive would sorely regret it. Plus, closing that window has its own cost - the redundant Fade research doesn't do anything for you if you don't lose the first one, and it keeps Onoses out of the picture for a very long time. So I think it's a fair tradeoff.

    Generic damage and armour upgrades for aliens... I don't know about that. NS2 actually had those in early versions, along with some other typical RTS upgrades (tier upgrades for hives, command stations, and resource gatherers), but they didn't really add anything to the game, and balance-wise I don't think they need them on top of the existing upgrade system. Don't be discouraged, though - I'm always happy to hear constructive feedback.
  • UzguzUzguz Join Date: 2003-06-05 Member: 17016Members, Constellation
    After further consideration, I've decided that the numbers initially proposed for the Fade are too high. The research time was set to mimic the time that the second hive takes to build, but now that I think about it, that doesn't produce the desired effect. If the aliens start researching Fades before dropping the hive, the hive will finish later, as intended; but if they drop the hive first, then start researching Fades, then Fades will appear much later than they did in build 199, which is not really the intent. I know a lot of people are saying that Fades are too powerful even at that stage of the game (to say nothing of how quickly they appear with Catalyse now), and thus would probably consider delaying Fades a good thing, but I'm not convinced that's such a good idea. Instead, I think it'd be best if this new system started with parameters that make Fades available at about the same time as the hive finishes building, and then, if that proves too powerful, it can be adjusted from there.

    With that in mind, I think these numbers better achieve the proposal's goal:

    <b>Fade:</b> 30 team resources, 120 seconds

    If the aliens have 4 Harvesters when the hive starts, don't lose any of them, and save straight for Fades, they will be able to begin researching them roughly one minute later, causing the two developments to finish at the same time. Being exactly half the cost of Onos research is a nice coincidence.

    First post updated.
  • 1dominator11dominator1 Join Date: 2010-11-19 Member: 75011Members
    This is an interesting idea which allows for significant strategic depth imo. It definitely expands the choices available to the kharaa comm.
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