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Proposal for campaign changes

Ok heres my own two cents to this

-Combat merits, disinctions, awards, mercenarys: Mechaniclly a very good idea for influencing other factions and thinning out fleets (both your own and your opponents). As stated often enough, teleporting mercenarys and taunted enemies into battle would break the immersive "realtime" feel the campaign always had and be a bit arbitrary. Maybe assign your mercenarys to a fleet first and have it physically travel there and have taunting be something you do in diplomacy to make them more aggressive rather than for a specific battle but there is probably no easy answer. An option to remove a unit from mercenary status after some conditions are met should also exist. Huge plus for factions fighting each other though.

-Only Roaming fleets, no garrisons: Yes, yes and yes. This has the potential to open up more nuanced options for conquering than carving a path down to the headquarter. More detailed Fleet detection would also be a huge improvement. Radio masts are way to cheap for what they do. Either remove them or have them draw power, or make them only detect stationary constructs. Have the player needing either the current detection systems, or new systems for tracking enemy movements on the map. Split them into above water and under water. This will necessitate countermeassures against submarines and aircraft. (Sneaking submarines into enemy territory but they cant spot anything completely above water Smile  )

With this change i would also like to see the idea of enemy elite units and strategic targets expanded. Ships like the DWG Kraken, SS Thyr or TG Abyss could serve as flagships of their respective faction. Sailing around with a sizeable fleets as the ultimate challenge from each faction. The DWG Tortuga building and launching airstrikes or the ACBM silos of the SS firing nukes across the map could be strategic targets you want to destroy quickly in a war. Pendaelose also mentioned the DWG Airship factory and the Prowler ambush as examples of scripted exciting fights. More things like that could create challenges throughout the campaign and break up the often monotonos battle chain.

Boarding/Capture: I like the idea of enemy ships surrendering to replace the current capture mechanics. An enemy unit would only surrender A: under a specific health percentage and B: One of your own craft beeing close by. Some units can also be set to never surrender in order to limit abuse.

The points/rep coins and diplomacy aspect is pretty good. Not really liking the teleporting ships idea, unless there's some kind of logistical back-end to it. Say a structure in a base that enables long-range teleportation like a warp portal or something. So to set up your own mercenaries you'd have to construct a base with a portal that would allow your nearby mercenary ships warp to help allies. This would also lend some credence to how they have to drive their own way back to deposit resources, as they are no longer near their warp structure.

Now that I think of it, it could also be pretty useful for moving ships across your (eventually) vast territory, although it would be best if they were expensive so they weren't spammed. But that also helps as a resource-sink so people have more things to pour resources into when they start snowballing.

(2019-08-19, 04:29 PM)Nick Smart Wrote: The other changes to campaign are to remove garrison locations and just have roaming fleets under the control of a much smarter and more interesting AI mastermind (one for each faction). And this will factions to fight other factions (of course).

Would it be possible, with the control for each faction being moved into its own AI, to allow the AIs to be taken over by players to emulate RTS-like multiplayer? It might not be a great fit in the neter with all the various preset forces, but I could totally see custom maps being more of a thing if there was a way to do pvp multiplayer campaigns.

I'm exited to see a lot of good ideas floating around here!

I nearly never board enemy vessels, and I think that a slight continuous resource starvation with the player faction would sort of enforce building better and more specialised, rather than just plonking doom-dreadnoughts. So that's my opinion on that. I'd like to keep rambot though. I often spend tens of minutes just walking around my ships as they sail to waypoints for the peaceful serenity, the sound of the waves, the creaking hulls, ...

A better simulated boarding mechanic using crews quarters, campaign map detection limits and the like sound great. An incentive to build radar stations?

I think you're (@Nick) thinking in the right direction with the combat award system. As many people have pointed out though, the implimentation might leave to be desired and could be a bit less gamey. I think that we really do need a system for big faction on faction brawls that directly influence our relations with all of them, and more importantly diversity of gameplay!
In that regard, I hope something really good comes out of the ongoing debate, and if we get the vanilla system proposed in OP, I honestly wouldn't mind that much either.

I'll just drop two more ideas here though

more indepth non-combat gameplay in campaign
I myself would think that an incentive to build our own airfields/dockyards/villages would be totes awesome. From the depths is currently very freeform, but a more conventional basebuilding RTS aspect might make things more interesting in my humble opinion.

Map nodes: we currently have a good example in the form of resource zones, but it would be cool if civilian outpost would belong to an independant faction and fighting over them would offer benefits, just like aforementioned radar station locations, missile silos (with missiles strikes!), ...
Mainly to make the map more interesting, and to have high value targets worth contesting on the overworld map!

Thirdly: Suggestion to add a feature to update the economy style and make forts more useful for the player <<<This, very much!!

Finally: Make Oil a seperate resource again, to make fuel a less trivial commodity.

I will add that I myself play with a bunch of RP rules in my own playthroughs in newer versions - All aircraft must fly sorties, the range of which is dependant on their volume/fuel reserves, dockyards and research stations of specific worth must be constructed before larger units are buildable/advanced tech is unlocked ...
I cannot speak for others, but in the current environment they do enrich the game!

Ramble over.
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Campaign improvements is most welcome! I like the idea of merits and distinctions but, I'm not too sure about teleporting fleets and taunting enemies into battle without preconditions.

Perhaps taunting enemies into battle can have a chance of success depending on the enemy's personality? For example: an aggressive enemy will almost always take the bait whilst a more docile enemy will be more likely to ignore you and turn away, wasting your merits spent on taunting them. It will make the player think about who to taunt into battle, and also encourage the player to learn about the personalities of other fleet commanders (via espionage!). It will also avoid cases of the player taunting fat trade fleets into battle for easy resources, since traders will mostly have more docile personalities.

I am also interested in how land-based installations like towns and villages will work. If Faction-A captures a town from Faction-B, will Faction-A repair/rebuild the original structures or will they replace the structures with their own designs? I guess it will be easier if the structures remain the same i.e. Faction-B's designs but occupied and owned by Faction-A. It will also make large empires more varied, instead of all architecture being the same.

I also assume that AI factions won't build new land-based structures, they will only repair or rebuild existing towns and settlements? That would be fully understandable.

As for boarding, I don't know. Boarding never appealed to me because there's no one on board any of the ships to fight through. I guess it is a good way to get more ships and resources, but yeah, it's pretty dull without any sort of NPCs or crew. It's not a reason to remove the player avatar though, it's still nice to have interiors for all your craft to walk around in (I build everything with accessible interiors). I'd rather bring up the "walk toggle" feature request for the player avatar instead.

And to add some ideas of my own:

Permanent resource zones

I feel that more limitless resource zones should be added. If factions are going to behave more dynamically now, like building new resource gathering fortresses at captured resource zones, then resource zones is going to play a much more significant strategic role that factions will fight over. There won't be much to fight over if most resource zones dry up through the course of the game.

Neutral/diplomatic vehicles

It would be great if we could assign an unarmed ship or vehicle as a neutral vehicle or diplomatic one, so that we can go explore the map and travel around without triggering wars due to trespassing in other factions' territory (or abuse the ship's diplomatic status to spy on AI commanders). Taking a yacht on a round-the-world trip in FtD is actually quite nice and relaxing.

AI transport fleets

It would be great if AI factions also use transport fleets to transport materials from resource zones back to HQ or shipbuilding fortresses. This will allow us to put together wolfpacks and conduct tonnage wars that actually affects the enemy's production capacity (unless playing with centralized resources, of course).

Flora and fauna

It may be worthwhile to consider adding some flora and fauna to the game world, or at least add some ground clutter. Nothing fancy, just something. The bare map is one thing that generates quite a lot of unexpected negative reaction whenever I show the game off to colleagues, friends and family. It's not unreasonable for people to expect better in today's day and age to be honest.

If I can completely ignore this function (because it literally breaks immersion) then sure, go ahead.
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(2019-08-21, 04:41 PM)FluffySpaceRaptor Wrote: If I can completely ignore this function (because it literally breaks immersion) then sure, go ahead.

As much as I'd like to dismiss this comment altogether on the basis that it holds next to no informative value, I won't. But I would like to ask you to at least put some effort into explaining what makes you think that it breaks immersion. A dev can do jack spaghetti with a comment like this, and you're not helping your own case if you don't put effort into explaining yourself. Smile

Have a nice day
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(2019-08-22, 09:10 AM)Eagle Wrote:
(2019-08-21, 04:41 PM)FluffySpaceRaptor Wrote: If I can completely ignore this function (because it literally breaks immersion) then sure, go ahead.

As much as I'd like to dismiss this comment altogether on the basis that it holds next to no informative value, I won't. But I would like to ask you to at least put some effort into explaining what makes you think that it breaks immersion. A dev can do jack spaghetti with a comment like this, and you're not helping your own case if you don't put effort into explaining yourself. Smile

Have a nice day

I find it odd that people would even consider FTD an immersive game, there are alot of nonsensical, immersion breaking moments almost on every corner. Campaign is just full of it, raging from nonsensical faction behaviour in lore and in game, to units being held back due to block limit by magic apparently, garrisons spawning random units each if you reroll a save, how ammo magically turns in to shells of that kind without need for factories. Materials being transferred through the air, sails working in space, avatar warping from vehicle to vehicle without any teleporting devices, out of thin air constructions and i could go on... FTD isnt a good real war-building simulator.
And units teleporting around the map when teleports exist in universe wouldnt be sticking out that much. And there is no other good alternative to this, due to how the campaign is made.
Sure, this could be toned down like atleast you need to estabilish an embassy with warp gate on your territory, there you must move your fleet and THEN it would trasfer to their own warp gate. And that would be how you would get them back. So its not instant and would require some sort of setup, but wouldnt take ages, but would also prevent clutch fleet summons if you get in to troubles so sending off your best fleet to help them will have some drawbacks if the current enemy faction decides to whip out a death fleet. Then it would also force the player to simply play defensively, trying to buy as much time possible with defences before reinforcements would arrive.

Also, this is sort of content you cannot ignore, or ignoring it wields consequences of major difficulty spikes.

I think they will be interesting changes, and make for a neat twist on the diplomatic gameplay.

However, I strongly believe that fleets should not teleport. They should move as-normal along the campaign map. This does heavily discourage the 8-ways and being able to get a ton of mercenaries, but I do think that having them move on the campaign map normally promotes deeper gameplay. In order to promote 'more and larger' battles, I think that when you enter a battle, any nearby fleets that are enemy to *any* enemy combatant will get sucked in as well. This means that your trade convoys and supply ships are vulnerable during battles, as well, and no longer immune by virtue of never seeing contact with the enemy. 

For example:
Mercenaries of the OW are hired by the DWG to fight the Lightning Hoods. The OW enlists an army and then sends it towards the lightning hoods. The player observes this, and now has a number of options:
1. If they are at war with the OW, they can intercept the mercenaries, knowing it is a fleet of the OW and thus weakens them.
2. They can use this opportunity to attack the LH near the OW mercenary fleet, which automatically is drawn into their conflicts (if they are near enough). 
3. The player may simply observe.

By drawing all nearby fleets into the battle, it won't be so jarring and total-war style, and would hopefully be a more organic transition shifting from the campaign map to the battle map.
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(2019-08-19, 04:29 PM)Nick Smart Wrote: ..snip..
The other changes to campaign are to remove garrison locations and just have roaming fleets under the control of a much smarter and more interesting AI mastermind (one for each faction). And this will factions to fight other factions (of course).

And finally we need do something about boarding and capturing and loot from that

What do you think of this proposal?

From a gamers perspective (not C.M and all that), these are the two things from the whole proposal I like and would love to see some ideas for the capping and loot from the community too.

I am not seeing why as a player we would need to make alliances or use mercs or have our own constructs turned into mercs, we should be able to tackle things solo, however, proving to be highly difficult but doable (unless we crank the difficulty to something drastic) and players would have the option to make an alliance, use mercs turn our constructs to mercs for the AI to use.

I cannot imagine FtD doing the whole teleporting constructs to areas magically unless we have some new tec involved giving the ability to teleport constructs.
Tec could be a "gate" that the AI and player can build, and it would need to be big enough for the construct to theoretically pass through.

This would also mean that the construct in question needs to travel to the closest "gate" of their faction. I just cannot live with the whole magically wooshed away.
If the "gate" idea was to be considered, it would also need to use vast amounts of stored power, power consumption could depend on the volume and distance and also an energy cost just to turn it on which depends on size too. This could give us more incentive to use forts as the "gate" can only be used with forts, which requires A LOT! of power so even the forts would start to take some kind of shape rather than just a mining platform with an RTG or two and miners.

This is also the same for calling in more ammo.

The player could make a flyer which would be designated ammo resupply or material resupply (if playing localised/ centralised material).
The way I would love to see this work would be that we need to make the flyer that does the drop:
*It would be docked at a fort that is producing ammo, which again expands the use of forts and their importance.
*Rules to follow like max volume, speed, max altitude, (no weapons?), max amount of ammo it can carry.. etc.. Thus making it vulnerable to attacks in the battle, altitude would "need to be low" as its making an "airdrop"
The flyer would fly in from one side of the battle area and flies straight out to the opposite side.
Now as we would be in battle and our flyer is "supposed" to be docked at the fort... In this instance, I would propose that the closest fort to the battle which holds an ammo resupply drone would only then have the flyer teleported (at the start of the battle) but held out of battle (even keeping the wireframe of it invisible) and only put into play after X seconds of calling for an ammo resupply. I say this as we cannot have the flyer fly from the dock to our battle while we are already in battle.

In terms of exchanging rewards / getting rewards, one idea I have revolves around kills is:
what if AI's could put a mark on a group of or single construct that they want to be destroyed asap like an assassination "mission" which other factions can respond to. This could also lead to a 3-way battle, 4 way... etc, the player could be rewarded with what was mentioned or in materials, construct/s that are already in play somewhere on the map, "intel" perhaps it would be a satellite opening up some fog of war(could be made neutral, so that its never attacked), positive rep with a faction which could help in diplomacy and setting up an alliance or fixing rep from "hated to liked" .

In short, I would like to see certain features and functions tied behind things that the player has to make, rather than pooof "I'm here" or the ammo supply goes from 0 to X with a click of a button :/
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Its nice I guess but really we need an overhaul of the whole system

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