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Proposal for campaign changes

#65
As far as campaign progression goes, it's pretty much been nailed. The DWG is the ultra-easy intro to FtD. Pretty much anything should beat them. The OW requires designs that are capable, but not really optimized. They have thick armour and big CRAMs, but no tricks. The devs should be pulling the tricks from the easy and normal difficulty designs. The WF requires that the player develop much more efficient offensive power. The TG, LH, and GT require that the player develop specialized offenses and defenses. The final factions require the player to develop strategies that integrate all of these lessons in a progressively more efficient manner.

The primary reason for FtD to shed the RTS approach is game performance. This is a demanding game with even a small number of craft in play. Getting rid of the RTS element will greatly lessen that demand. Make all resource rings have infinite total resources, but with a finite pool size that can be drawn from at any given time. A cooldown is then set on the ring as it recharges, preventing the player from drawing resources again until it reaches a given threshold. The AI would not use resource rings, ever. They are simply given a set amount of resources at certain intervals based on the difficulty set for the campaign. Ownership of grid squares disappears, but factions would still patrol certain areas. 

Focus on excellent controls and smooth framerates in all modes. Limit the number of constructs in play at once. Make the transition between out-of-play and in-play vehicles much smoother, without the need for the strategic pre-battle screen. This allows for more dynamic approaches to engaging opponents.

A secondary reason for favouring FPS/TPS over RTS is that FtD has a very in-depth design system in place with highly nuanced physics. This doesn't go well with a RTS game, which favours simplistic unit designs and even simpler physics. 

Add tankers/freighters to the factions and set them on routes between the factions' main base and outlying bases. These would represent trade routes. These would allow more offensive-oriented players to plunder resources through commerce raiding. Sinking a tanker means that the faction takes a penalty to their next resource infusion, while the player receives a boon to his resources (he gets a bigger boon by capturing instead of sinking). The outlying bases would grant the faction a higher frequency of resource infusions. Once the faction loses its main base, it is eliminated from the campaign. The campaign ends when all of the AI factions have been eliminated. The player is eliminated when he has no viable vehicles to respawn to.

Allow the player to create campaigns based on standard, quick-start settings of easy, standard, expert, or godly. Easy only pits the player against the DWG and maybe OW easy and standard tiers, with perhaps the odd expert tier craft thrown in as a sort of boss encounter. Standard begins with the DWG, but ends with the WF and includes more tiers of craft. Expert begins with the WF, but ends with the SS. Godly starts with the WF, but goes all the way, with the AI bringing out everything. This way, the newbie players get to have an appropriate challenge with the DWG, while the elite players never bother with the DWG or OW. A custom campaign option would allow a player to fine-tune which tiers of which factions are in said custom campaign.

The current Adventure mode should be renamed to Survival mode, with a strong warning that it is intended for experienced players only. Two new modes, Exploration and (new) Adventure would be added. 

Exploration mode would start the player out on an island, with no requirement for a heart stone to survive. The player would have a resource ring with an ample supply of resources to build a small craft. The goal is to cruise around, finding new lands and new resource rings, allowing the player to build larger or more complex craft. Exploration mode's build menus would be absent weapons. Why? Because Exploration mode would be a peaceful game for those that don't necessarily want to deal with enemies.

The new Adventure mode would have the player select his starting craft, allowing the player to use any of the in-game faction designs or one of his own designs. A heart stone requirement would be an option, but not a requirement. There would be the odd resource ring, but most of the resources the player would gain would be through fighting randomly spawned opponents. The same presets for the campaign would be available for the adventure in terms of determining the opponents that would spawn in, with a custom option also being available. Destroying opponents nets the player a percentage of materials, fuel, and ammo the opponents carry. The full build options exist in adventure mode.

In Survival, Exploration, or new Adventure mode, there is no victory condition. Other than the differences mentioned above, they are mostly the same as current Adventure mode. The player endlessly ventures through portals to new lands.

As far as helping with the obviousness issues goes: You don't have to necessarily conform FtD reality to real life, you simply need to ensure that you are conforming FtD reality to reasonable expectations of logic and common sense. Add some tool tips to the fuel engines that indicate that they cannot provide direct shaft power. That is just an example. In-game pop-up text and graphic balloons could give the player suggestions on how to best connect a component to an existing assembly. A bunch of other options can be suggested. Honestly, obviousness isn't about a full re-design of game mechanics, but about making sure the existing mechanics are presented in a way so as best to conform to expectations of a new player.

As it has been pointed out, FtD is a complex game. Obviousness isn't always possible, let alone easy. In the absence of obviousness, the gentlest of difficulty curves becomes a requirement. That does require coddling the newbies and casuals, which does tend to trigger the elite and experienced old guard from time to time. From a business standpoint, FtD needs newbies more than it needs the old guard, as the old guard has already paid for the game. However, it also needs to provide advanced challenges for the late game in order to keep the old guard interested and recommending the game to others. This is why game designers strive for the "easy to learn but hard to master" holy grail.
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Messages In This Thread
Proposal for campaign changes - by Nick Smart - 2019-08-19, 04:29 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by MarijusLTU - 2019-08-19, 05:23 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Skyer - 2019-08-19, 05:19 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Domanating - 2019-08-19, 05:54 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by mrvecz - 2019-08-19, 06:11 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Pendaelose - 2019-08-19, 06:50 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Shrugger - 2019-08-19, 07:26 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Nick Smart - 2019-08-20, 01:55 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Eagle - 2019-08-19, 07:58 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by ABYAY - 2019-08-19, 09:46 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by IronFudge - 2019-08-20, 01:54 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by DelsGaming - 2019-08-20, 07:35 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Nomadicus - 2019-08-20, 08:42 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by temeter - 2019-08-20, 09:29 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Otharious - 2019-08-20, 02:58 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by elijos - 2019-08-20, 04:28 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by vyrus - 2019-08-20, 06:06 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Eagle - 2019-08-22, 09:10 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by mrvecz - 2019-08-22, 05:39 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by SynthTwo - 2019-08-26, 05:37 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by joey101937 - 2019-08-26, 08:26 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by mrvecz - 2019-08-26, 10:29 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Lincrono - 2019-08-27, 02:46 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Iserion - 2019-08-27, 10:12 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Pendaelose - 2019-08-27, 07:26 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Mr.YaR - 2019-08-28, 12:43 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Pwnicus - 2019-08-28, 01:06 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Normal69 - 2019-08-28, 08:37 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Normal69 - 2019-10-10, 10:25 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by riganthor - 2019-10-10, 11:42 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Normal69 - 2019-10-10, 02:50 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by TheOnly8Z - 2019-11-07, 08:10 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by bricox01 - 2019-12-04, 08:51 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by LoSboccacc - 2019-12-04, 06:53 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Pyrotech51 - 2019-12-04, 08:02 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by bricox01 - 2019-12-08, 02:09 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Pyrotech51 - 2019-12-11, 02:58 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Pyrotech51 - 2019-12-11, 02:28 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by bricox01 - 2019-12-14, 09:25 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by bricox01 - 2019-12-16, 10:49 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by UnderTrack - 2019-12-19, 11:17 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by UnderTrack - 2019-12-19, 11:53 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by UnderTrack - 2019-12-20, 12:28 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by bricox01 - 2019-12-21, 12:22 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Normal69 - 2019-12-26, 12:01 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by LoSboccacc - 2019-12-26, 02:32 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Pyrotech51 - 2019-12-26, 05:11 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by LoSboccacc - 2019-12-27, 01:07 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Pyrotech51 - 2019-12-27, 03:02 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by UnderTrack - 2019-12-27, 03:13 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by LoSboccacc - 2019-12-27, 11:49 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by mrvecz - 2019-12-27, 11:59 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by riganthor - 2020-01-29, 11:39 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by mrvecz - 2020-01-30, 11:41 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by riganthor - 2020-01-30, 11:42 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by mrvecz - 2020-01-30, 03:29 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by DelsGaming - 2020-02-03, 07:47 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by DelsGaming - 2020-02-08, 10:41 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Skyer - 2020-02-12, 03:49 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Gamer as - 2020-02-12, 04:09 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Mr.YaR - 2020-02-21, 03:03 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by LoSboccacc - 2020-03-03, 04:23 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Gazzmask - 2020-03-12, 05:10 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Mr.YaR - 2020-03-12, 03:48 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Gazzmask - 2020-03-14, 12:05 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Gazzmask - 2020-04-05, 10:15 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by iPersons - 2020-04-05, 04:46 PM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by Skyer - 2020-04-06, 09:01 AM
RE: Proposal for campaign changes - by UnderTrack - 2020-04-06, 12:33 PM

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