Traders and pirates and scouts, O my

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echo2361
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Re: Traders and pirates and scouts, O my

Postby echo2361 » Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:43 am

Enpi's ideas are pretty much dead on what I would be looking for. I don't think he means the battles just happen in the background. Maybe that can be the case if freighters run into raiders unprotected where you randomly lose some and you just get a report. But the idea would be if escorts are present it sets up a battle the player has full control over just like any other battle in the game between escorts protecting freighters versus raiders. Heck, this could even lead to special "Q ship" hulls designed to look like freighters but armed like warships to act as escorts for real freighters and surprise raiders.

As far as fluff goes there are plenty of ways to make it work from having raiders require gravity projector modules to drag freighters out of hyperspace to having battles take place at random colonies/planets with freighters present at the edge of the map to protect/defend some distance away from the actual colony and any defenses there might be there.

As far as gameplay value goes I, and apparently others, seem to think it adds plenty. Especially for weaker powers to inhibit the economic strength of stronger ones or for races/players who just like limited warfare in a run up to full on battles. If I've got a few spare destroyers sitting around I'd love to be able to turn them into raiders to weaken an enemy. And if I see an enemy investing heavily in raiding me I'll either invest in a lot of escorts or attack him directly to remove his industrial base for building more raiders.

This will be the last I say about this topic. I feel the points have been laid out for-and-against such mechanics in the game. We'll see what the future holds.

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Arioch
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Re: Traders and pirates and scouts, O my

Postby Arioch » Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:52 am

echo2361 wrote:As far as fluff goes there are plenty of ways to make it work from having raiders require gravity projector modules to drag freighters out of hyperspace to having battles take place at random colonies/planets with freighters present at the edge of the map to protect/defend some distance away from the actual colony and any defenses there might be there.

If you invent some gravity module or space stealth or hyperspace submarine capability to enable raiders, there's no reason that regular fleets wouldn't have them too, and so a) the balance of the regular fleet gameplay has to be restructured around this new capability, and b) regular fleets could do raiding themselves, and so there'd be no need for a pool system.

The ability of enemy fleets (with sufficient range) to bypass your frontline systems and strike into the interior of your territory is already a fairly irritating gameplay problem that we're working to fix. Adding more capabilities to allow commerce raiders to get into the interior of your territory would make the situation even worse.

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enpi
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Re: Traders and pirates and scouts, O my

Postby enpi » Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:49 am

Arioch wrote:In game terms a raiding pool could work (and I know a similar system was used in the Sword of the Stars expansion), but I don't think it would add much gameplay value. As I mentioned above, having offensive and defensive ships in a pool do battle somewhere in the background where you have no control over and can't even see what happens doesn't strike me as very much fun.


At the first glance it seems so, but at the second glance it could be a 2-part fun subgame. Eg:
-The first part of the fun is covered by the decision how many warships you build and allocate to the trader pool and if it pays off to damage the economy of the enemy without going to real war. (The raider/escort attacks could create a diplomatic penalty between the two star nations but without full out war declaration , like it was historically between england and spain)

-The second part of the fun is the design of ship blueprints which specifically suited for raider/escorts. You could allow ship modules which gives raiders or escorts a bonus for their job. you could also allow ship modules to build armed freighters in order to protect themselves if no escort is in the pool.

I remember a 4x scifi game in the 90ties on Amiga (something with Lion and Dragon or so) which I greatly enjoyed. It had the same raider/escort mechanics and was a blast.


Arioch wrote:At some point we would like to further expand the resource model to include trade-able resources, which might require international trade routes, and if so then that might be an opportunity to revisit the subject of commerce raiding.


Sounds super.

NullVoid
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Re: Traders and pirates and scouts, O my

Postby NullVoid » Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:31 pm

Arioch wrote:At some point we would like to further expand the resource model to include trade-able resources, which might require international trade routes, and if so then that might be an opportunity to revisit the subject of commerce raiding.


Please be careful of increasing too much the complexity of the resource system. In moderation, it's a wonderful mechanic, but if you let t get away from you, it's micromanagement hell. Even Civilization III-style strategic resources may cripple a game if not found within nearby colonizable planets...

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Arioch
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Re: Traders and pirates and scouts, O my

Postby Arioch » Sun Mar 06, 2016 10:12 pm

NullVoid wrote:Please be careful of increasing too much the complexity of the resource system. In moderation, it's a wonderful mechanic, but if you let t get away from you, it's micromanagement hell. Even Civilization III-style strategic resources may cripple a game if not found within nearby colonizable planets...

What I have in mind would be mainly luxury resources that increase population morale and can be traded to generate currency, and perhaps special resources like "artifacts" that can be used for very specific purposes. I think our current strategic resource model is working pretty well, and won't need many additions (aside from the Influence resource that we'll be adding for the diplomacy system).


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