Development Blog Update - Marine "Power Grid" design



  • BacillusBacillus Join Date: 2006-11-02 Member: 58241Members
    I haven't gone through the whole thread, but...

    <!--quoteo(post=1704807:date=Apr 12 2009, 02:10 PM:name=sherpa)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(sherpa @ Apr 12 2009, 02:10 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1704807"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->1. The CoH-style resource points-must-be-linked is great: it concentrates gameplay into adjacent rooms rather than any old random room.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    I really liked the old system there. I felt it was far from random. For example as a skulk there were so many ways you could follow the scoreboard and map situations and plan ahead ambushes for cappers, get parasites and hit the enemy where it hurts because there was room to do so. As a marines it was a more limited system, but still I really enjoyed maximizing the risk/effectiviness/necessity ratio to the max.

    Now the game might have more focus actual fights instead of setting them up in your favour. It's probably a good decision in many ways, but I'm probably going to miss some parts of the way NS1 went outside the actual fights.
  • juicejuice Join Date: 2003-01-28 Member: 12886Members, Constellation
    <!--quoteo(post=1704812:date=Apr 12 2009, 09:33 AM:name=Bacillus)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Bacillus @ Apr 12 2009, 09:33 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1704812"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Now the game might have more focus actual fights instead of setting them up in your favour. It's probably a good decision in many ways, but I'm probably going to miss some parts of the way NS1 went outside the actual fights.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    I think it's all in implementation. If there are enough locations where marines are vulnerable, aliens can attack from any side and force the marines to go where aliens choose. And similarly, small squads of marines would need sufficient motivation to go out and kill small seeds of infestation that aliens have set up, not necessarily with any intention to capture and build there.

    So the bottom line is, skulks (and gorges with DI) should still have the ability to force marines to be everywhere at once, dividing them up and making them move around so they can be effectively ambushed.

    We still have yet to see how DI will work, which is the other side of the coin to the power grid.
  • culpritculprit Join Date: 2005-01-07 Member: 33527Members, Constellation
    I am really pleased to see some info on the changing landscape of NS2 strategies. I think the atmospheric and situational awareness aspects of this nano-grid system are quite capable at delivering deep and enjoyable gameplay.

    To address the concerns about ninjas and secret build-ups, I think there are changes to the marine capabilities that supersede these concerns. The weldbot sounds like one avenue that could have many functions to achieve these sneaking styles.

    Perhaps the weldbot could be used as a temporary power source when connected to a power-grid block. This could enable many scenarios that some comments have been worried would be lacking.

    <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tsa.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="::tsa::" border="0" alt="tsa.gif" /> Keep up the Great Work! <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tsa.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="::tsa::" border="0" alt="tsa.gif" />

    <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/hive5.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="::hive::" border="0" alt="hive5.gif" /> I can't wait for more news and info <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/nerd-fix.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="::nerdy::" border="0" alt="nerd-fix.gif" />
  • BacillusBacillus Join Date: 2006-11-02 Member: 58241Members
    <!--quoteo(post=1704813:date=Apr 12 2009, 02:49 PM:name=juice)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(juice @ Apr 12 2009, 02:49 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1704813"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I think it's all in implementation. If there are enough locations where marines are vulnerable, aliens can attack from any side and force the marines to go where aliens choose. And similarly, small squads of marines would need sufficient motivation to go out and kill small seeds of infestation that aliens have set up, not necessarily with any intention to capture and build there.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    Still, that involves aliens attacking. If there's a marine guarding it, you're forced to pick the direct fight. In NS that wasn't such big deal, since marines had to gain and cover so much more territory. Even if you attack an unguarded marine installation, the marines are mostly likely in the next room already and you're in a bad position for defending yourself.

    Meanwhile on NS you could see that there isn't anyone on spawn queue, hit topo node until someone dies, bite some more, fall back a bit, get the spawned marine parasited and fall back until a fade or lerk can clear out the lone LMGer. It had some nice implementations is spreading out the marines and forcing them into uncomfortable positionings. I can't see how they're going to implement anything like that with maps where the marines are 2-3 rooms away at max and the spread is controlled.

    Of course that is all just random theories of gameplay based on just some pieces of incomplete info, but I still feel that the game is going to shift a lot more into fights themselves. Most people will probably enjoy it more, but it isn't necessary a complete win-win for everyone.
  • SirotSirot Join Date: 2006-12-03 Member: 58851Members
    <!--quoteo(post=1704756:date=Apr 11 2009, 06:43 PM:name=Flayra)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Flayra @ Apr 11 2009, 06:43 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1704756"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Fyi, Commanders don't drop weapons for players any more. Players on the ground buy their own weapons at an armory. The commander is responsible for researching weapons though.

    Also, there is no requirement for a 2nd Commander, ever. You can build a second Command Station and build in that room normally. They don't have to be linked either. Rooms with a built Command Station in them are always powered (until that Command Station is destroyed).<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Does the commanders have his own resource pool or do they use the same pool that marines would use to get new equipment?

    IF the commanders all share one pool, it allows a single player to sabotage the marine economy.

    IF the commanders use their personal pool to function, you could have players rotate in the seat so everyone in the team can spend all their resources quickly into tech.
  • spit_firespit_fire Join Date: 2003-07-21 Member: 18311Members
    I fully understand the concept now (and even played company of heroes for a better understanding) BUT,
    would it not be better if you could Weld a room to functionality than to have to build a command station
    in there?

    This could save resources, but it would occupy marines.

    Also, what will be the maximum players on a server? With these new idea's and features, it
    seems to me that you would have to have more players to be able to get these kind of jobs done.
  • yodayoda Join Date: 2003-11-27 Member: 23619Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Shadow
    <!--coloro:#FFA500--><span style="color:#FFA500"><!--/coloro-->My points of concern:<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--><ul><li><!--coloro:#2E8B57--><span style="color:#2E8B57"><!--/coloro-->Firstly one of the major things I always loved about NS was the fact that you could pretty much do whatever you wanted. <b>I think going this way may limit this significantly and some of the gameplay individuality could be lost</b>. Also every game and its dog uses this and to be honest its a fairly boring concept, but you do have a nice spin on it which could be all it needs.<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></li><li><!--coloro:#00BFFF--><span style="color:#00BFFF"><!--/coloro-->If this plan does go forward (subject to changes yes) <b>I really hope that the RT's don't become enormous hp sinks</b> and that there is some other method for dominating a room than just munching on an RT for 5 mins.<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></li><li><!--coloro:#2E8B57--><span style="color:#2E8B57"><!--/coloro-->With the idea of multiple commanders it becomes a possibility that in <b>competitive matches the current 6 would no longer be enough</b>, in NS1 I always thought the clan/competitive scene was the major audience.<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></li><li><!--coloro:#00BFFF--><span style="color:#00BFFF"><!--/coloro-->I can see the benefit to this idea, however as a petty thing I know - I don't find it logical that the TSA technology would be so good to provide <b>teleportation but is restricted by simple power cords.</b><!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></li></ul>
  • DoppyDoppy Join Date: 2006-11-15 Member: 58624Members, Reinforced - Supporter
    <i>Very cool!</i>

    I'm surprised by all the frequent updates. Keep up the good work.
  • NeoSniperNeoSniper Join Date: 2005-06-02 Member: 52976Members
    <!--quoteo(post=1704729:date=Apr 11 2009, 12:23 PM:name=Buggy)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Buggy @ Apr 11 2009, 12:23 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1704729"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->... is <b>VERY</b> different from having a 30-minute fight where all the players are constantly in a concentrated area before one team finally crumbles under pressure.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    You say that as if it a bad thing. One thing I dislike in NS1 is those pub games where a slow alien start lets the marines take over the whole map in 5 mins and secure a win. Which then comes within 10 to 30 mins. The final alien stand can actually be quite fun but would be better if there was some hope to make a come back.

    I think the power grid offers a solution to this on many levels (and by level I don't mean maps).

    <!--quoteo(post=1704798:date=Apr 12 2009, 01:07 AM:name=perfectheat)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(perfectheat @ Apr 12 2009, 01:07 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1704798"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->A bit scared NS2 will be to player friendly compared to NS1.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Again, wouldn't that be a good thing? Easy to learn as it looks like it will be hard to master.
  • StinkyStinky Join Date: 2007-12-16 Member: 63182Members
    edited April 2009
    Thanks for the update.

    As most people seem to be stating in various ways, this gameplay style is ultimately sacrificing <u>freedom</u> for <u>emphasis on strategy</u>.

    I'd have to say that I am for the "network" system, since it favors the marauding play style of aliens and makes gameplay <i>much</i> more strategic for the commanders. Remember that it also would result in players impacting each other over great distances (a few lowly marines rebuilding a downed RT would "save the day" for the main forces besieging a hive), which would be pretty nifty in many cases.

    I am not for the "teching," however, since it makes CC's terribly similar to hives, and it restricts the freedom of the marines. If this style of teching isn't implemented, marines would still be able to build CC's wherever they want, but the network system could still easily be implemented (i.e., marines could build a CC in a 'junction' between nodes rather than at predetermined nodes, allowing virtually unlimited freedom in CC placement. That CC could still power its neighboring nodes. This would require a little more work for a mapper in specifying junctions as well as nodes, but it wouldn't be too bad.) Having specific points for the CC would reduce the freedom, and, as a result, the variety within the game.

    As a side note, I'm sure all mappers are pretty stoked about the idea of powered / unpowered, as well as infested / not infested rooms. This will give them a lot of freedom to add ambient effects, as Charlie said earlier. I may be mistaken, but that means that any given room could be in one of four "states," depending on the local powering and infestation. This shouldn't be the emphasis, though. Gameplay must always come before ambience.

    All in all, from what I've seen, the devs are willing to put in the time to test and tweak the pants off of anything that they create to make sure that it will be fun. I have faith in UW =D

    Good update, and great comments by everyone. Nice to not see any flaming. <3 NS community <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/pudgy.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="::gorge::" border="0" alt="pudgy.gif" />

    Quick edit - Good comments by NeoSniper. I agree with most of his ideas.
  • NeoSniperNeoSniper Join Date: 2005-06-02 Member: 52976Members
    edited April 2009
    The more I think about it the better I like it and I think many of the feared effects on game play and not being thought out enough. For example.

    - Marines won't be able to setup bases behind enemy lines:
    Sure the ninja PG seems to be gone. But something is going to replace this. I'm hoping for Tribes style backpack items for marines. The Jetpack will be one and perhaps deployable structures (that work of grid) can be other backpack items. Perhaps you won't be able to setup a permanent base but there must be some way to setup at least a temporary forward staging area and make attacks. And if successful THEN you can setup your base. The Powergrid/Investation will make such attack more dramatic as basically you are Truly establish a frontline and a real territory mechanic.

    - the fight will be focused on one spot limiting strategy:
    I think that focusing the main fight will provide more options to players and more dramatic strategies. You can either play the ranger role and establish yourself on the frontline seeing lots of action. OR (since the main action will be focused) you could then play the Special Ops role and sneak by the side lines and make a surprise attack on the aliens. It won't play out exactly like the ninja PG, but the option will be there via other mechanics. And having the frontline being more defined and focused will make this Special Ops maneuver much more dramatic.

    I think that the most fun games in NS1 where when the map got evenly divided and the battle got really focused on certain frontlines but somehow then some sneak attack dramatically turned the tide. Which the Powergrid and infestation I think that games will more often play out to have these fun/dramatic situations. As someone else said in this topic "the right restrictions can open up more strategy".

    EDIT: Found the quote...
    <!--quoteo(post=1704742:date=Apr 11 2009, 03:13 PM:name=juice)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(juice @ Apr 11 2009, 03:13 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1704742"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Sometimes the right restrictions lead to more choices once the strategic landscape has had time to settle in.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
  • CrispyCrispy Jaded GD Join Date: 2004-08-22 Member: 30793Members, Constellation
    edited April 2009
    To come back to the multiple Commanders question, I definitely agree that there should be a clear delineation between the primary commander (a.k.a. <i>The Commander</i>) and the secondary commanders (a.k.a. the Sergeants/Lieutenants/etc.).

    However, the big things I think are necessary are:

    A) Having the Sergeants able to learn elements of the Commander role via this deputised role
    B) Giving the Sergeants some sort of ownership, so it's not a worthless/pointless tenure
    C) Making the Sergeants feel special in some way outside of the secondary/tertiary CC.

    For A) I would recommend a less-pressurised introduction to the Commander HUD, meaning dropping structures and general low-level interface work. Any thing more risks interfering with the actual Commander's job as a leader and strategist. But it's definitely important that new players are able to learn the ropes of a Commander 'from behind the curtain' in a non-pressurised role. The ability to look at something like a tech tree without necessarily being able to influence it would definitely help introduce the finer elements of the role without jeopardising a team's success/enjoyment. The way this would be displayed would absolutely have to make it clear that no interaction was to be had, but the tech tree was just a bit of 'insider information' privee only to the Commander's deputies. This would also give the added benefit of keeping sub-commandants updated with the primary Comm's strategy in the event this player dropped and someone had to take over.

    For B) I would suggest ownership of an area, namely the zone around the 2nd or 3rd CC. This means they have ownership over what structures are built, but crucially I think the Commander should have the overriding option to recycle/replace structures that waste resources or undermine a given strategy. This is a contentious point, and is definitely a source of argument, but really having more than one 'leader' is going to cause problems if you have a non-finite resource pool or deployement zone to draw on.

    For C) I would guess that as you say the Commander will now be a class, this would be some sort of class-based, unique ability set. We looked at very similar things for ND in terms of making the Commander a class (once the decision was made to remove the Comm from the chair -not something I agreed with), and for us it basically meant a health boost and support 'spells'/low damage weapons/support abilities (such as a higher rate of repair/construction).

    Lastly, I think a really big item to consider is how Commanders and sub-commandants are decided. We don't want votes all the time, but we want it to be fair in some way. IIRC the way we tried to solve this in ND was to have a Commander vote at the beginning of the round (could be done in the ReadyRoom). Players would self-nominate for Commander duties and the rest of the Marine team would vote on them. The most popular command nominee would be the <i>de facto</i> Commander when the round started (automatically starting in the command centre). Players in the 2nd and 3rd spots would have first refusal on the secondary command posts.

    The 'first refusal' option creates issues with inactive or ignorant players, but this can be resolved via allowing the primary Commander supreme control at all times in the event of absentees, and also having an idle timer for the 2nd-choice commander that would default to the 3rd- and then the 4th-choice commanders, and so on.
  • aeroripperaeroripper Join Date: 2005-02-25 Member: 42471NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Constellation
    <!--quoteo--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->For B) I would suggest ownership of an area, namely the zone around the 2nc or 3rd CC. This means they have ownership over what structures are built, but crucially I think the Commander should have the overriding option to recycle/replace structures that waste resources. This is a contentious point, and is definitely a source of argument, but really having more than one 'leader' is going to cause problems if you have a non-finite resource pool or deployement zone to draw on.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    I don't think the lower ranked commanders should be able to place structures, since it will likely conflict with the strategy route the top commander chooses. IMO, they should only be able to do more menial aspects that don't really affect the main commanders role of research and strategy. This is pretty much all speculation at this point, since we don't really know exactly how the game works yet. They will probably iterate through all these scenarios eventually.
  • marauderbearmarauderbear Join Date: 2004-03-18 Member: 27413Members, Constellation
    Couple of things on this idea:

    I like the basic concept, but one of the things that makes NS1 so fun is that it's very flexible in where you can put things. The idea of having fixed "tech points" is fine, but it does limit the flexibility we have all come to know and have a love/hate relationship with. Also, the idea of requiring multiple CCs to get tech upgrades tends to make the Frontiersmen more like the Kharaa, which loses something from the original game. But enough complaining. Here's a possible solution:

    Rather than having fixed points for the CCs, allow a CC to be bulit anywhere within a certain radius of a res node (very much like having to build an IP within a certain radius of a CC). This would allow some creativity with placement, but would still restrict the Frontiersmen a little. Also, only CCs constructed within a designated "tech area" would actually allow tech upgrades. That way, certain rooms/areas are still more important than others, but it would still allow for "ninja bases" and creative equipment placement. These "non-upgrading" CCs would still have the other abilities that "upgrading" CCs have, such as placing equipment, directing traffic, etc.

    Also, having multiple comms <i></i>could<i></i> have a negative effect on gameplay (stupidity/ignorance, outright sabotage, etc.), but if the things you can do in the CC are limited, this may not be as big an issue as it seems at first blush. I'll reserve judgement on that feature until I can see it in action.

  • PhaetonPhaeton Join Date: 2008-05-03 Member: 64203Members
    <!--quoteo(post=1704777:date=Apr 12 2009, 01:40 AM:name=schkorpio)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(schkorpio @ Apr 12 2009, 01:40 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1704777"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->its starting to sound too much like bf2 or bf2142 which works fine in those games - for both the capture points and commander systems.

    butmaybe its straying too far from ns1<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Yeah NS1 was NS1. When asked to compare it to another game by someone that asked me what it was about, I really couldn't think of a good game to compare it with. Now we got many games to compare it to, which I guess is the difference between a non-profit mod, and a mainstream profit full game. But hopefully be like left 4 dead, very popular but almost in a genre of its own.
  • PhaetonPhaeton Join Date: 2008-05-03 Member: 64203Members
    <!--quoteo(post=1704836:date=Apr 12 2009, 07:14 PM:name=Stinky)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Stinky @ Apr 12 2009, 07:14 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1704836"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Good update, and great comments by everyone. Nice to not see any flaming. <3 NS community <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/pudgy.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="::gorge::" border="0" alt="pudgy.gif" /><!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    We are all just wanting to be NS2 awesome! We are nice <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile-fix.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile-fix.gif" />
  • ObraxisObraxis Subnautica Animator & Generalist, NS2 Person Join Date: 2004-07-24 Member: 30071Super Administrators, Forum Admins, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Silver, WC 2013 - Supporter, Subnautica Developer, Pistachionauts
    Hmm, if there is more than 1 commander, that lets the game itself to be much more open to people selling up and acting like idiots, making the game more open to abuse. Unless they are limited in what they can do.
  • NeoSniperNeoSniper Join Date: 2005-06-02 Member: 52976Members
    <!--quoteo(post=1704836:date=Apr 12 2009, 02:14 PM:name=Stinky)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Stinky @ Apr 12 2009, 02:14 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1704836"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Thanks for the update.
    I am not for the "teching," however, since it makes CC's terribly similar to hives...<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Agreed on both.

    - love the idea of the power grid
    - worried about multiple commanders being in vanilla NS2. Hoping for more info on that.
    - Agreeing with Stinky. I'm not digging the marines being similar to Aliens in the techning sense. Hopefully now aliens have different tech mechanics so is still plays out asymmetrically.

    I think 3 separate topic were rasied in this blog post. So I'm thinking maybe 3 treads to discuss the topics separately would be more helpful to the devs.
  • BacillusBacillus Join Date: 2006-11-02 Member: 58241Members
    <!--quoteo(post=1704833:date=Apr 12 2009, 06:59 PM:name=NeoSniper)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(NeoSniper @ Apr 12 2009, 06:59 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1704833"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->You say that as if it a bad thing. One thing I dislike in NS1 is those pub games where a slow alien start lets the marines take over the whole map in 5 mins and secure a win. Which then comes within 10 to 30 mins. The final alien stand can actually be quite fun but would be better if there was some hope to make a come back.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    So, you're saying a 30 min meat grinder on chokepoints is all positive to the present dynamic skirmishing around the map?

    Most of the 'useless' game time when there's no longer struggle could be eliminated by some gameplay planning, so it isn't necessarily a reason to go for chokepoint grinders. There are a plenty of reasons for going either the present or the more focused way, but you can't just ignore the advantages of the present NS without even considering them.

    I think I can live with anything they come up, but I don't like seeing the merits of the present NS system go completely ignored in discussions.
  • locallyunscenelocallyunscene Feeder of Trolls Join Date: 2002-12-25 Member: 11528Members, Constellation
    Since allowing for different starting positions is a future goal, how standardized will these tech points be? Kharaa and TSA have very different needs for defence and assault hives and MSs tended to cater to these specific needs.
  • StixNStonzStixNStonz Join Date: 2006-11-06 Member: 58439Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    That looks like a standard CS map, not an NS map <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad-fix.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":(" border="0" alt="sad-fix.gif" />

    I hope this was just a test layout. I mean, with two hard chokepoints, you're looking at the level depth of Dust.

    I'd love to get into the details more thoroughly, but for now I just want to talk about the grid concept, and how it ties into this map layout. Please please please realize the importance of non-grid and non-rt rooms and paths. A good example is Veil, where you have the east / west junctions, Sys Waypointing and Dome. These are all hugely important areas strategically, but how could they fit into the grid concept? How would the grid interlinks be intuitively portrayed to the player, so he can understand where he can go to continue the link?

    I worry that the grid concept will force level designers into making one room go into the next in very exact ways, rather than leaving so much of the layout design open to creativity. It seems like using this concept will enforce a 'front line', which will make any progression anywhere else largely redundant.

    Take some NS1 examples (obviously the two games are different, but you can take examples from maps to show design concepts). A path like that in Nancy from Aux Gen to Port would make no sense within the grid. Nor would the path from MS to Mother Int.

    I'm glad to see that hive placement isn't the previous 'anywhere' concept we've heard. But by tying them to tech points, it seems like the hive-placement concept is losing all of its dynamics compared to NS1, at least on the example map. The map is very obviously divided north/south, and there are only three tech points on each side. On top of that, two are much more closely grouped together than the third. It is obvious which hive locations would be used.

    IMHO, it would be a much more dynamic design to keep the current set 3-hive location system, and have tech points be only grid-linked for the marines. It sounds like the grid and tech concepts only affect the aliens in terms of hive locations anyways, where it is far more important for the marines. By doing this you can be sure of all the critically important design priorities of hive locations (*sieges*), keep the expansive web layout (NOT see in that example), and still link RTs and tech points in interesting ways throughout the levels.

    I hope I got my points across somewhat clearly, but probably not.
  • wsaenotsockwsaenotsock Join Date: 2009-04-14 Member: 67168Members
    edited April 2009
    one problem i see with this is "building on the edge" of the zones thus allowing marines to gain full control of a room withought having the slightest presence within it. It might be a good idea to program in an allowed "dead space" "fading power grid" or even " limited range power outlets" within rooms/between rooms. this would allow for greater flexibility in controlling the "power grid" system.
    i mean imagine if people start modding and try to bring in marines agenst marines...
    well you get the idea <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/pudgy.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="::gorge::" border="0" alt="pudgy.gif" />

    one note i feel the need to make is that if aliens somhow loose the ability to move and strike important peces anywhere on the map Ns2 will probably loose a large portion of its current base players (the older crowd more intrested in the stratogy behind the game) that being said, you may end up recovering that base of players with people that are more intrested in massive kill ratings
  • DeadzoneDeadzone Join Date: 2003-07-03 Member: 17911Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    <!--quoteo(post=1704877:date=Apr 14 2009, 03:05 PM:name=StixNStonz)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(StixNStonz @ Apr 14 2009, 03:05 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1704877"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->lots of stuff<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Very clear, actually! I wish my own post had been as such, because I agree on a lot of those points.

    One thing that might be really important for mappers to remember is that who says the grid nodes have to be in adjoining rooms? There could be several empty rooms and junctions that separate grid nodes in some places. Maybe the "designed" route for power isn't accessible on foot.

    This gameplay mechanic will really require a stroke of genius on the mappers' part. :\
  • juicejuice Join Date: 2003-01-28 Member: 12886Members, Constellation
    <!--quoteo(post=1704892:date=Apr 14 2009, 06:21 PM:name=Deadzone)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Deadzone @ Apr 14 2009, 06:21 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1704892"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->One thing that might be really important for mappers to remember is that who says the grid nodes have to be in adjoining rooms? There could be several empty rooms and junctions that separate grid nodes in some places. Maybe the "designed" route for power isn't accessible on foot.

    This gameplay mechanic will really require a stroke of genius on the mappers' part. :\<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Yeah! I'm thinking something like the "hidden" node in ns_caged. But its power node is linked to somewhere on the other side of the map.
  • thomasjthomasj Join Date: 2008-12-21 Member: 65823Members
    This sounds awesome. Each post you guys put up makes NS2 sound better and better. Can't wait to see it in action. Thanks for the post guys.
  • TweadleTweadle Join Date: 2005-02-03 Member: 39686Members, NS2 Map Tester
    Firstly, I'd like to welcome the first truly gameplay orientated news post! How very exciting not to have to wade through piles of posts about visuals, concepts and realism! I know you want to appeal to that audience but boy, if I hear the word "atmosphere" used any more frequently, I might curl up into a ball and give up on the world.

    I love the idea because I think this new dimension is what will make commanding more appealing and interactive. I hope that, because of this, the variety in commanding will be much more pronounced. This will separate styles more clearly and make commanders stick out more giving players more incentive to give it a go. +++

    I assume with this new power-grid system that it's not going to be totally linear and that there will be situation where it is necessary to take out two or more areas to cut off another. I hope so in any case as, while I believe that it's important to allow for comebacks, I can see the potential for smart/skilled players to totally turn games upside down relatively easily but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Beta-testing, oh yeaaah.

    <!--QuoteBegin-"Flayra"+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE("Flayra")</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteEBegin-->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.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Please avoid making structures tanks to compensate. Node biting is already one of the more boring aspects of the game and I hope that lessons can be learned from NS1. Keeping things strategically interesting and balanced is important but not at the expense of gaming quality. The reduction in node hitpoints for 3.2 was a fantastic change and improved the pace of the game effectively.

    Be wary of visual cues. While this is engaging and provides information in a more natural way, I feel I should stress the need to keep these cues simple and clean. I just have this vision of lights flashing everywhere and skulks coming in and out of sight. Scary at first but then just annoying. Perhaps provide a toggle function or something to appease the more serious gamers that like things vanilla.

    I do have some concerns over the multiple commanding plans and only hope that it'll be grief-proof. I can't stress enough how important it is to keep the game as grief-proof as reasonably possible in all areas to maintain quality public games and, in turn, the lasting enthusiasm of the masses.

    I thoroughly hope that marines and aliens will keep their total uniqueness from eachother. This, coupled with the the commander-mode, is Natural-Selection's greatest achievement and the only reason it's been able to sustain players despite the poor publicity and maintenance (patching has been great though). To lose this would be horrible so I pray that the alien commander idea doesn't detract from the diversity of the game. There are plenty of games with two different teams that use the same infrastructure and tactics but with completely different tier-systems and upgrades. There are very few games where the two different teams use the infrastructure in a fundamentally different way and where one team totally ignores the regular tier system.

    I'd love to beta-test this puppy to oblivion!
  • eliotmateliotmat Join Date: 2002-12-01 Member: 10350Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    This product shouldn't even be called NS2. Sounds like this game will be losing the "feel" of NS1.

    In my opinion a NS sequel merely needs an updated engine, attention to detail, and some moderate gameplay update (physics).

    Even though what I was hoping for is dead I still hope the finished product turns out great.

    Good luck Unknown Worlds!
  • ZenoZeno Join Date: 2007-09-05 Member: 62183Members
    edited April 2009
    Hi there.
    I stopped reading the thread after #55 so i'm sorry if anything i mention has been clarified already. So...
    <!--quoteo(post=0:date=:name=Flayra)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Flayra)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Thoughts? Feedback?<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    The first thing i noticed in the blog entry is the shown map layout. I really hope that this is just a dummy for testing the Power Grid and not a real map because i see two major problems there: First: it's just too damn small to call itself a ns_map. It's just the quarter of the size of what a real map should be. With maps that small it porbably isn't even necessary to have 2 coms or to control "areas" because even the 2 opposite ends of the map are just whithin a stone's throw from each other. Second: it's symmetric.

    On the Power Grid system: i actually like it. It could be a porblem for the aliens though. The res nodes, being so important, will have to be heavily defended. While advancing through the map the marines will secure their nodes as good as possible so if they make it to build a chain from one end of the map to the other it will be too hard for the aliens to cross that "street". But i guess it's not an unsolvable problem. It does make the game a little bit "more mainstream" though.

    Overall i don't know if i like the way this game is going. What made NS1 different (otustanding) form all the other games - the "pillars" if you will - imo was:
    -rts/fps mixture with an authoritarian commander (if comm says there's no shirtgun for you it means there's no shirtgun for you)
    -forced teamplay
    -BIG and complex maps and ingenious gameplay
    -<b>asymetry in every aspect</b>: melee vs. shooting marines, commanded team vs. self-organized team, asymmetric map layouts, ressource system: comm gets all vs. all aliens get some, communism vs. monarchy <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tounge.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":p" border="0" alt="tounge.gif" /> and this all is balanced.
    NS2 loosens all of it, especially the asymmetry.
    Almost every new gameplay aspect announced so far sounds like a very good idea for it self - except marines buying weapons from the armory, which i didn't like from the beginning - : Power Grid, weld bots, second com, and even the flamethrower and the alien com. But everything put together result in a game that has almost nothing in common with ns1.

    Don't get me wrong i don't think this is bad but it's jut not ns any more, it's a completely different game. A very good game, i'm sure. But it's like calling TF2 a sequel to Counter Strike.

    <!--sizeo:1--><span style="font-size:8pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Sorry for the negative feedback, i hope it's constructive at least.<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
  • ShadowOnTheSunShadowOnTheSun Join Date: 2009-04-10 Member: 67122Members
    edited April 2009
    in general: aliens should be slow-pushing (great way for DI to work), defending and ambushing while marines should be attacking in squads moving around in enemy territory supported by small independent outposts. like mentioned before, this is the natural direction because of marines=range weapons and aliens=melee. <!--coloro:#FF0000--><span style="color:#FF0000"><!--/coloro-->well-balanced asymmetry is what made ns unique and great.<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--> so for gods sake, don't make teching require "tech" places like hives etc.

    <!--coloro:#FF0000--><span style="color:#FF0000"><!--/coloro-->a second commander makes absolutely no sense for competitive play as it takes away one man from the fight.<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--> there will never be so much commander work that one player can't handle it (every midskilled sc player has 150apm or more).

    power generators or batteries are probably unnecessary as there are comsits. however, so many people suggesting complicated "solutions" like this show that folks don't get the new system easily and that <!--coloro:#FF0000--><span style="color:#FF0000"><!--/coloro-->independant power supply is wanted big time<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->.

    a CoH system does NOT add depth, it does the exact opposite. it reduces strategic choices and makes gameplay more predictable. you guys should start thinking about why games like coh or dow2 never even come close to the depth of games like starcraft or go.

    sorry for off-topic, but this kinda fits in:
    <!--coloro:#FF0000--><span style="color:#FF0000"><!--/coloro-->what's even more crap is players buying their own weapons. you want the commander to make more strategic choices instead of medkit-babysitting, but you do the exact opposite and enforce chaos in weapon/gear choice on public servers.<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->

    what about requiring some form of resource connection between restowers and armory/spawn points instead (creep for aliens, rt network for marines) in order to produce/respawn, but leaving all buildings energy-indipendant?
    this would allow more offensive strategies while still giving the marines some weak points in their network.

    so if you still want to go for that coh system:
    <!--coloro:#FF0000--><span style="color:#FF0000"><!--/coloro-->-make comchairs cheap or add cheap power generators to the game
    -make a real energy sophisticated energy management system that also allows to electrify any connected extractor for free or at least very cheap AND/OR make closing shafts by welding earlier available in the game/...<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--> because it's a pain in the ass to run back to defend against one single tech1 unit doing minor harassment
    <!--coloro:#FF0000--><span style="color:#FF0000"><!--/coloro-->-don't make "tech nodes" a requirement for higher tech levels<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->

    this may sound like a lot of harsh criticism, but i'm really happy about the way this project is going, especially the more dynamic environments, the good communication with the community etc. keep up the good work! <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin-fix.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin-fix.gif" />
  • Silencer9Silencer9 Candidate for B.Sc. Join Date: 2003-08-05 Member: 18967Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    I think this idea is risky. For circa how many players at a time is NS2 going to be designed for? If you make power grids and multiple commanders you'll need really huge maps and up to 100 players in one game. The one requires the other. One lone commander cannot possibly manage 50 marines in a huge map, except he is a pro with dozens of unique scripts installed per map. (Which I think should not be necessary in order to be a good commander by the way) Be careful that by making more of everything, one game is actually one game, and does not turn out to be 3 independent fights in 3 different choke points in the map whichs participants don't notice the each 2 other fights whatsoever - I saw that happen in the UT2kX-series a lot. Your highest risk here is going through the work of making this system just to see that it does not work. Keep in mind what people liked about NS1 and try to respect it when trying something new, yet don't make a cluster###### of gameplay concepts which don't fit with each other. Not going to talk into detail here now untill I get to know more. :3
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