The One Gorge Tunnel

|strofix||strofix| Join Date: 2012-11-01 Member: 165453Members
edited March 2013 in Ideas and Suggestions
The current implementation of Gorge Tunnels is very original, inventive, and visually appealing, and addresses the problem of rapid map traversal which many people thought was lacking from the alien team's arsenal.

However, the current system has several severe gameplay issues which make the effective and timely use of Gorge Tunnels very difficult. This in turn makes them less attractive tactically than they would otherwise be, and often stops players form using them at all, which is a shame.

The primary gameplay issues are the following:
1. The need for the same gorge to set up both ends of the tunnel.
This means that in situations where the tunnel would be most beneficial (when the two locations being bridged are on opposite sides of the map), the gorge is least likely to complete his journey. This means that a single gorge needs to invest up to 40 resources (10 for gorge, 20 for tunnels, 9 for hydras). It also prevents the cost from being spread among gorges in the team, essentially preventing any other gorge from ever using the ability. This also means that whenever a gorge decides to replace his own personal tunnel entrance, he risks seriously detrimenting the team, and cutting off transport lines. This mechanic can also result in two gorges deciding to place tunnels at the same time, running between hive locations, and ultimately resulting in a set of useless tunnel entrances.
2. The "paired" entrance system.
Because every tunnel can have only 2 entrances, when three locations need to be bridged, you inevitably end up with 2 indistinguishable entrances in very close proximity to one another. However, due to the exit/entrance process, this can often result in moving from one location to the furthest bridged location taking longer than simply walking, so you can often end up with 2 tunnel entrances at every location. It is incredibly difficult to tell which tunnel to use until you have fully passed through to the wrong area, making the trip very slow.

For these reasons, I often see players electing not to build gorge tunnels at all, as they can ultimately hinder your map traversal speed.

What is required is a single, unified gorge tunnel network. One to which every entrance placed is connected. Such a network would have a topology roughly representative of the location of the entrances on the map itself. So, if the aliens were to set up a tunnel in each hive on ns2_summit, the gorge tunnel would resemble a cross shape, with each exit being at the end of each edge, and one exit existing in the centre of the tunnel network.

I realize that the biggest obstacles presented by something like this are mainly visual, related to the construction of a dynamic tunnel network based on an endless number of possible tunnel entrances. I'm sure it wouldn't be easy, but the guys at UWE are all highly competent, and there has been a lot of recent work done on this kind of free flowing dynamic level generation. I think this kind of gorge tunnel would do wonders for its ease of use, and make it a much more attractive option to players, as well as providing a real sense of immersion in the winding underground network.


  • AngeluszAngelusz Harmonic entropist Join Date: 2003-07-10 Member: 18072Members, Forum Moderators, Constellation, NS2 Playtester
    Admittedly, I do quite like this idea. Though i think it might be very difficult to create this dynamic "tunnel" underground. For instance, what if an alien is inside and another tunnel is built on the ground - does he "see" the tunnel network change before his eyes? That would be waaay to complicated to code.

    There's a few major bumps in this road, but I do like the idea.
  • |strofix||strofix| Join Date: 2012-11-01 Member: 165453Members
    Angelusz wrote: »
    Admittedly, I do quite like this idea. Though i think it might be very difficult to create this dynamic "tunnel" underground. For instance, what if an alien is inside and another tunnel is built on the ground - does he "see" the tunnel network change before his eyes? That would be waaay to complicated to code.

    There's a few major bumps in this road, but I do like the idea.

    Yes. I get the idea that the gorge tunnel I suggested above was what UWE originally intended, or ideally intended, but the developmental challenges are great, and the time investment required may not be worth the gameplay or potential sales impact.

  • WoollySammothWoollySammoth Join Date: 2013-02-14 Member: 183062Members
    As others have said: I quite like the idea, but it sound hard to do for the pay off.

    Though it may it possible to have the gorge tunnel always be like an 8 pointed asterisk, fudge all entrances to fit the nearest available passage, and only build the inner entrance/tunnel's lights when the gorge sphincter is assigned to the tunnel.

    That might work, it might not though
  • NeokenNeoken Bruges, Belgium Join Date: 2004-03-20 Member: 27447Members, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver, Subnautica Playtester
    Personally, I think the tunnel entrance/exit should just get a hp buff to make them last longer, and aliens should get a speed buff while inside the tunnel to cut back on travel time. As it is, I feel like gorge tunnels often do not give that much of a advantage as they should (it's a sizeable res investment).

    I do like your idea of a tunnel network though.
  • Al_BoboAl_Bobo Join Date: 2013-03-14 Member: 183957Members
    edited March 2013
    Unified Gorge tunnel network would be great, but it could be done in much easier way. What if you only had to go stand on top of one of those horrifying spinchters and choose the end destination by numbers 1,2,3 and so on. Every tunnel exit/entrance would be numbered on the map based on their building order. Same could work for marine phase gates (not that it takes that long to go through all the gates). If devs don't want to make life so easy for Kharaa, at least they could make every Gorge's tunnel entrance/exit be differently colored. One Gorge would make yellow tunnels, the other one green, third red etc (based on their diets?). The connection lines on the map would correspond those colors.
  • sHawke_NativesHawke_Native Join Date: 2012-12-20 Member: 175650Members
    why not just keep it the same way but have "doors" that lead to other tunnel exits/entrances?
  • StartedBulletStartedBullet Join Date: 2013-03-22 Member: 184217Members
    Have the tunnel be built with closed sphincter doors that open up if you place the gate there?

    I dunno, seems possible.
  • AurOn2AurOn2 COOKIES! FREEDOM, AND BISCUITS! Australia Join Date: 2012-01-13 Member: 140224Members, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Forum staff
    One tunnel to rule them all.. one tunnel to bind them, one tunnel to lead them all, and in the darkness, FIND them.
  • mushookeesmushookees Join Date: 2008-03-26 Member: 63967Members
    they could re-use the same tunnel structure( with sphincter on both ends like how it is now) ... 1 end will be the exit (placed by the gorge), the other will lead to the tunnel HUB. The HUB would be another room like structure with multiple sphincters leading to the various exits.

    all that would really be required is to create the HUB room structure.
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