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Starscape update/sequel ideas
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Weeble
Starscape Jedi
Starscape Jedi


Joined: 25 Apr 2003
Posts: 1143
Location: Glasgow, Scotland



PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ways to make mining more interesting:
  • Scanning equipment that detects quantities and distribution of minerals in nearby asteroids. I suspect that the contents of an asteroid aren't determined until it is blown up, so this might be a bit bothersome to implement. Here's a rough idea:
    • L1 Scanner (1 slot) - Asteroids on the screen are marked as being empty, resource-light or resource-heavy.
    • L2 Scanner (1 slot) - Asteroids on the screen are marked with coloured indicators to show relative quanities of resources. Asteroids on radar are marked solely for quantity of resources.
    • L3 Scanner (1 slot)- Asteroids on radar are marked for colour of resources too. Also, enemy bosses are marked with health indicators.

  • Jettison command. This is also awkward, because it requires an extra key to be defined, and may complicate the way the game tracks things you've picked up. When you press the jettison key, you drop the items you've sucked up most recently, which fly out in front of you. But the nice things about it would be: You don't have to go all the way back to the Aegis and then fly all the way back out again when you realise you've accidentally filled up your hold with minerals when there's an important data pod or equipment pod floating nearby. If you fit the Aegis with gravity beams, it makes for a much faster dumping of resources, if a slightly haphazard one. It would let you get away with making the ship a fair bit more sluggish when fully laden, because the player has the option of dumping stuff if in a tight spot. With a little tweaking, you might even make it a viable tactic to throw minerals in the face of certain enemies.
  • Scout ships. An funny looking Archnid ship (has a large radome/antenna housing) that roams around nodes much more than the regular ships. It would make a special noise when porting into a node, and sounds an alarm when you or the Aegis gets within a certain proximity. If you don't kill it quickly, it acts like a beacon for all the Archnid in the zone, who start travelling towards your node. This way you can still mine at the empty end of a big zone, but if you don't handle the scouts quickly you'll soon be very distracted.
  • Much bigger asteroids in some zones. I'm thinking of something the size of one of the bosses. It might have some Archnid structures built on it. You can mine these for great riches, but it's a risky process. First you need to build mining lances, which are treated as a weapon, like missiles. You fire these into the resource-rich patches on the big asteroid, where they embed themselves mining. They can be destroyed by enemy fire or your own stray shots, so you need to guard them carefully. Once it's done, you gravity scoop it out, return it to the ship and get oodles of resources out of it. This is still a rough idea, and has a number of problems to be worked out - will the player care about defending them, or just throw out as many as possible and harvest whichever ones make it? If you're saturating the Aegis's stores, is it worth the bother? How do you represent it on radar? And is it actually interesting or just different?
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icarus
Troll
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Joined: 01 Mar 2004

Location: Olympia Washington



PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weeble wrote:

Scout ships. An funny looking Archnid ship (has a large radome/antenna housing) that roams around nodes much more than the regular ships. It would make a special noise when porting into a node, and sounds an alarm when you or the Aegis gets within a certain proximity. If you don't kill it quickly, it acts like a beacon for all the Archnid in the zone, who start travelling towards your node. This way you can still mine at the empty end of a big zone, but if you don't handle the scouts quickly you'll soon be very distracted.


nice idea mind if i spruce it up a bit
when a scout enters the node the aegis shuts down all nonvital functions (it wont, fire, respond to your calls, display its status icons, and the radar will shut down) to avoid being spotted
however you will see an indicator on the side of your display pointing to the scout ship (with its active sensors you can see it long before it sees you) after it sees you it will make a wining noise and if you don't kill it in 10 seconds it will call its buddys
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Darth Dallas



Joined: 18 Oct 2003
Posts: 411



PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Much bigger asteroids in some zones. I'm thinking of something the size of one of the bosses. It might have some Archnid structures built on it. You can mine these for great riches, but it's a risky process. First you need to build mining lances, which are treated as a weapon, like missiles. You fire these into the resource-rich patches on the big asteroid, where they embed themselves mining. They can be destroyed by enemy fire or your own stray shots, so you need to guard them carefully. Once it's done, you gravity scoop it out, return it to the ship and get oodles of resources out of it. This is still a rough idea, and has a number of problems to be worked out - will the player care about defending them, or just throw out as many as possible and harvest whichever ones make it? If you're saturating the Aegis's stores, is it worth the bother? How do you represent it on radar? And is it actually interesting or just different?


I like this idea....Bigger asteroids, or in some cases, nodes that have perhaps 1-3 of these biggies (if the play area of the node is sufficiently large enough to stuff in these - if not, recommend 1 big 'roid).

I think that a supplementary mining method(s) (maybe not necessarily replacing one form over another, but perhaps a tech ability to tack on to ideas already being discussed) could be one where it is either...

1) A secondary mining ship that can act autonomously that has some defensive capability via being capable of warping between nodes all its own, such that it'll only go between the point you specified it to mine and back to the Aegis (typical A to B route).

Pros of #1:
-Another remote way to mine
-You could build a ship dedicated to this task that is capable of warp
-No matter where the Aegis was at the time of drop off (recieving the mining ship), the automomous mining ship will take the most direct (and hopefully safest) route back to its mining point of origin. Basically taking paths of least resistance in either case going to or from - nodes that have been cleared already or have fewest concentrations of enemies.
-Resource payout at the time of delivery would be much larger than a typical node cleared out by your fighter/Aegis. (The most steady form of resources to the Aegis would remain the same as the first game - this being the primary way to keep most immediate needs of the station relatively on task with your mining abilities on your fighter).

Cons of #1:
-While the ship will return what it gathers to the Aegis, given the fact the Aegis is a 'roving station', the mining ship may take longer to rendezvous with the goods if the station is forced to move around a lot between nodes or even other zones. An additional semi-pro here is that you can try to have the Aegis meet it halfway during its journey to cut that rendezvous time down (especially if its deemed the ship might need help along the way).
-Aegis station only has limiited docking ability (unless modular expansions to it can be taken into account further into the game), so the player may need to keep at least 1 hanger free at all times for these shipments to be recieved.

And/Or...

2) The "Big" mining spots could become self contained control points if you will, where then you could possibly then introduce territorial elements into the game.

Pros of #2:
-Acts just like visiting the Xenarch with repair and refuel capabilities.
-Let's you build up locally to defend a given position(s) in a zone.
-The more spots like this you have in a zone serves to create bottlenecks for the enemy, delaying them long enough hopefully for the Aegis to take action in their defense.

Cons of #2:
-Resources gathered at these nodes can only be used for boosting up those nodes (defenses, increased mining ability) with any execesses reserved for trade.
-What the player mines with their fighter or with the Station can only be used for Station needs while it 'roves' as before.

The only thing left that I'm wrestling with is if we should be able to take direct conrol during the defense portions of these outposts or have that remain automated unless or until Aegis can get there. For example, being able to toggle to one of these control nodes and pilot a fighter based there for local defense if it has one.

*My guess would be yes, only if you could avoid having to have simultanous dangers where you'd have to choose between one of these locations or where the player is at risk of losing the Aegis at the expense of helping a control point location several nodes/zones away.

One way around this could be that you could toggle to fight at a control node if you leave the Aegis in 'Warp Mode' then jump to them if you see those nodes blinking or something if on alert.

Losing these control spots could influence several things, from trade ability to mass local unit production, or even losing valuable local storage houses.

Anyway, my overall reasoning for why the player could jump between different locals to fight in is that, in a sequel, perhaps the player doesn't have to be the only pilot present. I mean, if the concept has to do with 'returning to grid space' or something, my guess is they'd come back with a slightly bigger military capability, even if you consider that again, crew/pilots find themselves scattered and you had to find them.

*On the possibilty of losing the Aegis, I might like this possibility if it didn't necessarily mean the end of the game. I think if you had enough bases of operation and/or a means to construct ships left at your disposal, I'd think it would be possible to build another carrier-ish statino/ship with appropriate costs attached to the player of course (time to build etc.).
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Harabek



Joined: 10 Apr 2004
Posts: 94
Location: Arkansas, yes we have computers.



PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe you should just make it so that you didn't have to drop the minerals off. You just suck them in and there they are. That shouldn't be too hard. Right?
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ragnarok



Joined: 05 Jun 2003
Posts: 34
Location: Madison Heights, MI



PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Game mode could range from "protect the "X" ship" to deathmatches. The possibilities are ENDLESS

Please do not ever make protection missions. ever. please? it's not that I don't want to protect them. it's that I hate these missions because the protectee ALWAYS does something he shouldn't.

Quote:
*Make mining more fun! Ok, I'm open to ideas on this. Could have every 100th asteroid mined with a nuke . Seriously - there must be some more interesting things we could do with mining. Perhaps if there were certain skills combined with certain equipment types which would yield better results - Not thought enough about this - ideas welcome

if you do make skills and perks.. and I for one would be ecstatic over this, I love leveling up characters.... you could have mining skills to increase mineral output from asteroids and scavenger perks to make better gear drop off defeated ships and perks to help destroy asteroids faster and collect minerals from longer range without them being destroyed.


Brainstorm. CHARGED SCOOP. you charge it, release it and all minerals in the area are teleported directly to your hold. no waiting for **** to get to you. would help in enemy infested areas.

I also saw somebody mention drones. I would favor little drones if they only collected minerals and deposited them back in the aegis. they should not help in combat, because that's what they pay you for.

there was also mention of a trading station. I am thinking, you can trade minerals for special technologies which would then give you tech trees, and also special minerals you cannot mine. you would have to collect minerals and bring them to the trading post to get these special (and unnecessary) minerals for special items.

having a full hold of minerals should also slow you down, make you heavier. I don't think this is how the current starscape works, but I could just be oblivious.

special hulls. I'd love to see a dual engine/generator hull that is insane fast but has room for only 3 weapons. or 2. either way, it'd be fun.

I'd also like to see 2 engines give nearly double the regular speed. CRAZY fast. altho that might not work in practice, it would be fun.

Brainstorm. SENSORS. upgraded sensors the only way to increase screen resolution? you can see farther, but you need to pay for it. WITH MINERALS. bwahaha!
I also saw a post with mineral scanning abilities. that would rock

weeble also said jettison. I "jettisoned" the idea until he mentioned that you could jettison stuff into the aegis' scoops. that is brilliant.

somebody mentioned control points. this is an interesting idea. you could control some areas and build installations on them, and depending what they've built you could harvest a small trickle of minerals back to the aegis. as long as you control the territory. lost territory results in lost installation, most of the time? military constructions on it could delay the destruction by increments.

I would definitely like to see arachnid installations I had to destroy. perhaps a switch to a top to bottom scrolling mission where you had to destroy ground based targets. this should be an optional mission, if you change perspective like that. it seems like such a thing wouldn't be too hard for the starscape engine to adapt to, but I'm no programmer.
If something like that were implemented, I would like to see weak points that could shut down their installation and let you take it over. then the damage you inflicted would have to be repaired by you. a bitter sweet victory.

Xenarch campaigns where you fight to stay alive? then discover a cure for arachnids? this could let you introduce a new enemy. not that you couldn't anyway. hmmm.. only human infected arachnid are incurable? then you could fight to keep the arachnids alive. this is sounding very much like a blizzard title where you have campaigns for all the factions.

alternate game idea. "Xenarch Trading Module" a station simulator where you try and keep things running. could use the starscape engine for missions to defeat attackers and gain extra minerals. build new areas for research and trading. guest stars the aegis docking for repairs and you fight along side the hero from starscape. not that you don't already have enough games on your plate.


that was a lot longer then I meant it to be. opps.
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Poo Bear
Pod Team
Pod Team


Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 4121
Location: Sheffield, UK



PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some good ideas folks, my current favourites:

1. jettison command
2. enemy scout ship
3. asteroid resource scanners
4. mining pod*


*mining pod
1. costs a fortune to build.
2. is added to the Aegis launch menu.
3. you can launch it or recall it.
4. it holds as much as the Aegis.
5. once recalled it acts as a cargo extension for the Aegis so you don't waste the extra resources if you are full up.
6. once launched it slowly sucks out al the resources from the asteroids leaving them as dull grey husks.
7. it alerts you when it is attacked, but only if you are int eh rgid at the time.
8. it cannot defend itself but is very strong, converting resources it has gathered into energy to repair itself. So you should have time to get back to it.
9. it's so big it only just fits through the docking port.

possible upgrades
1. add weapons to it.
2. add shields to it.
3. construction capability, you can make a list of things you want it to make and leave it to get on with it (this is probably a bad idea).
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icarus
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Joined: 01 Mar 2004

Location: Olympia Washington



PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

but to balance it out make it so the arknid can see you on the map when us use it

(i always assumed the reason you can see them but not vica versa is because they have a lot of ships and create a lot of radio chatter so we can hear them form a mile away)
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ragnarok



Joined: 05 Jun 2003
Posts: 34
Location: Madison Heights, MI



PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

a build queue. I don't need the mining pod to make stuff, but I'd like to queue up different projects for the aegis to make. so when it's done with lasers it can make me some missles. that would be really, really nice.

also,
Quote:
7. it alerts you when it is attacked, but only if you are int eh rgid at the time.


does this mean you can leave it in a grid when you're not there? I don't think I like that

Quote:
6. once launched it slowly sucks out al the resources from the asteroids leaving them as dull grey husks.


if this happens, I would really like to see the asteroids change appearance, to look as withered. perhaps they could only have half their normal HP and not do big damaging explosions as well.

perhaps the mining pod could attach itself to asteroids and mine with a duration based on the asteroid size? no scoops or anything. but it couldn't move when attached to an asteroid, making it very vunerable.

if you don't make a mining pod, I'd still like to see a build option for cargo holds on the aegis, so you can hold more minerals.
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MadCat



Joined: 15 Feb 2005
Posts: 7



PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surprised it hasn't been done yet:

L4 Gravity Scoop

The addition to the latest iteration of the Gravity Scoop isn't really scoop-ish in nature, it allows the user to not just hold asteroids stationary, but to hold the asteroid directly in front of the ship. This allows the ship weilding the scoop to move asteroids about. One doesn't have to be too bright or tactically gifted to realize the tactical value of being able to throw space rocks about.

To balance it, the L4 would be 1x2 pods big, like the L1. The ship would also be slowed down some depending on the size of the rock being moved.

Enemy capital ships would attempt to shoot the rock down before it hit, but the fragments would still travel towards them, making it a hard choice between being sluggish while delivering a large rock, or watching a small rock get shot down before it hits its victim.

Fost: I reap the spoils of victory over capital ships, so it's not all for naught. Smile
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Poo Bear
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ragnarok wrote:
a build queue.


Yes, thats would be nice.

ragnarok wrote:
does this mean you can leave [the mining pod] in a grid when you're not there? I don't think I like that


I thought this is what everyone wanted, drop a pod into a zone and then leave it to suck the zone dry. There is a chance it will get attacked but it will try and let you know if that happens. It would act like a resource bank you can visit when you need it.

ragnarok wrote:
if sucking asteroids dry I would really like to see the asteroids change appearance, to look as withered. perhaps they could only have half their normal HP and not do big damaging explosions as well.


Yes, that is what I had in mind

ragnarok wrote:
Upgrades for the Aegis cargo hold to take more minerals.


That's a good idea too.
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ragnarok



Joined: 05 Jun 2003
Posts: 34
Location: Madison Heights, MI



PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I thought this is what everyone wanted, drop a pod into a zone and then leave it to suck the zone dry. There is a chance it will get attacked but it will try and let you know if that happens. It would act like a resource bank you can visit when you need it.


I'm sure some people want that, but it just seems to me that as often as i get attacked in the current starscape, that it would be good to have a mining pod that will do all the work while you destroy the enemies in the node. that's just my own personal mental picture.
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Darth Dallas



Joined: 18 Oct 2003
Posts: 411



PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the pod thing will do nicely, but I still think it should be something both you and the enemy fight over. If they have control (they can mine it too), they can churn out more drones, even in a zone where you'd already dealt with the Boss there.

Perhaps too, it would be nice if they had been able to take 2 or more of these resource rich spots (if more than one in a zone), that they then could start churning out other types of capships by some sort of class/percentage built thing. In other words, a zone won't be technically cleared until you've taken control of the resource spots, killed their manufacturing capacity there, plus taken out the Boss.

On higher difficulties though, I'd want the enemy this time to be able to go into warp as well so that any zone is up for recapture by the enemy from an adjacent zone connection point. I know a balance somewhere along the lines must be struck though, so perhaps advancements to the drone tech its self (to be capable of defending its self longer) and/or factoring in some sort of ally support in the form of possibly ships/equipment/resources you were able to trade with them.

On higher difficulties too, maybe it could be looked into too that the enemy could actually begin to rebuild some Bosses lost as an additional balance factor to breaking aliied lines if they seem TOO strong because of the trade element (and if actually having allies "helped").
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ragnarok wrote:
I'm sure some people want that [remote mining pod], but it just seems to me that as often as i get attacked in the current starscape, that it would be good to have a mining pod that will do all the work while you destroy the enemies in the node. that's just my own personal mental picture.


Ah, so in that case this would still be good for you, because you would launch the pod when you entered a resource rich node and then pick it up again before you left. If there was a facility to leave it and come back later, you would just prefer not to take advantage of it. Yes?

So in fact we appear to have a suggestion here that makes everyone happy (eek!).

1. If you don't need that many resources and are happy to get them off the enemy and maybe do a spot of manual mining then you can ignore this really expensive bit of tech.

2. If you hate mining you could build a pod and keep it with you, it's expensive and if you get jumped you might end up having to make a run for it and leave it behind. In that case there is a chance you can go back and pick it up, but it's likely the enemy will nail it. Reasonable advantages and disadvantages.

3. If you are a true game freak and want everything you can possibly get then you might make 2 or 3 pods and leave them in a quiet part of the zone. Then you could upgrade the Aegis cargo hold and then nip back round later and pick up hundreds of resources. Obviously you take a big risk that all 3 get attacked at once and you are bound to lose one.

p.s. It would be nice if enemy mining barges were attracted to them and could suck out all the resources from a pod before the fighter escort blow it up. Along the lines of what DarthDallas was saying but a bit simpler and easier to implement.
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Darth Dallas



Joined: 18 Oct 2003
Posts: 411



PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
p.s. It would be nice if enemy mining barges were attracted to them and could suck out all the resources from a pod before the fighter escort blow it up. Along the lines of what DarthDallas was saying but a bit simpler and easier to implement.


True enough though. Its like bees to honey I suppose and works just as well. Something else occured to me too, and that is that as long as there's either a Boss still alive in a zone and these resource rich nodes are still stockpiled, the enemy is likely to keep building mining ships indefintely so long as at least one of them is held by the player right?

Also if you guys tinker around with the respawned Boss concept, I was thinking it might be a cool way to see new Boss variants as well besides the ones we'll see that are supposed to round out a zone. Maybe they'd have mixed characteristics of the standard one's or some new ones. i.e. It might be more scary to go up against a Boss-like ship you came across that had mining capability too but also could warp if not just move node-to-node. Sort of like seeing a replacement to their stock mining vessel after a while or something to show that they're serious about trying to knock your block off for those spots Smile.
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Kajamakuji



Joined: 17 Feb 2005
Posts: 11
Location: Canada



PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a simple idea but i think it would add nicely. Ship color customization. A simple little thing but it makes the ship feel so much more like yours if its black with red streaks, or electric blue with grey patterns. (possible for the aegis too?)
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