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Wavinator

Space / Ground Combat System / Ideas

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These are the core space and ground combat rules if you're interested in commenting. I'll post a seperate thread for gadgets that use these rules, as this is already a bit long. Basics: You control a ship, base, vehicle or person the same way. The view is 3rd person, zoombable, mouse used to look, keys to move. In space, mouselook rotates around your ship so you can shoot one way & move another if in a ship or suit. Basic Combat Damage relies on three critical stats: Hit Points, Durability and System Defense. HP is typical, Durability is damage reduction per attack, and SysDef is how functional the device is and is the chance that the device will go offline, burn out, etc. A variety to skills with equipment modifiers are used to determine actual hit chance, critical effects, etc. (Posted that awhile ago...) Facing Everything has sides based on size:
  • 1 Side: Probes, space mines, terminals, 3D wall tiles
  • 2 Sides: People, vehicles, creatures
  • 4 Quarters: Power armor, shuttles, fighters, buildings
  • 6 (Cube Faces): Frigtates, transports, corvettes
  • 10 (Octogon with top & bottom): Captial ships, stations
Each side has its own Durability, but the whole thing has only one HP and SysDef. The exception is armor, which has it's own Durability and HP (whether for person or ship) If add-ons are big enough, they have their own single HP, Durability and SysDef stats (missile pods, jump drives, shield modules). Same for internal compartments like engineering or medbays. This allows subtargeting, scavenging, and provides a money sink for repairs. Damage is applied to the side the component is on. Facing / Subtargeting Exceptions Exceptions make life interesting (and programmers tear out their hair, but that's beside the point ) When subtargeting an object, the Durability can be modified by structural exceptions:
  • Open Side: Gives 0 effective Durability for attacks along a side. An open window or faceplate would be an example.
  • Weak Side: Like Open Side, but gives 1/2 effective Durability (closed faceplate, poorly made probe)
  • Exposed: 0 DR in all directions
  • Flaw: Damage to component is increased by random range of x% to y% each time it is damaged while operating
  • Brittle: Damage has an X% chance to reduce SysDef by half the amount of damage
  • Honeycomb: Damage to one side has a X% chance of being funneled around exterior, damaging other sides before the interior
Weapon Types Three classes:
  • Force - Does physical damage
  • EM - Does energy damage
  • Thermal - Does heat damage (technically EM, but just go with it... )
Each has a range, accuracy, rate of fire and power / resource cost. Range is broken into minium, best and maximum, and modifies accuracy. Defenses Come in 3 flavors:
  • Plate/Bioplate - Durability is effectively 100% against Force damage, 50% vs. Thermal, 25% vs. EM
  • Shield/Field - Durability is effectively 100% vs EM, 50% vs Force, 25% vs Thermal
  • T-flec (Thermal Reflection) - Durability is effectively 100% vs. Thermal, 50% vs. EM, and 25% vs. Force
Special Classes
  • EMP - Special EM which reduces SysDef for machines and temporarily slows them, negates shields if exceed shield's HP
  • Nanites - Reduces Durability directly, destroyed on contact with Shields or energy fields
  • Electrical - Stuns biologicals if HP damage is 25% of their total HP (ignores Durability); reduces both HP and SysDef for machines
  • Radiation - Special EM which does constant damage at 1/10 of original damage to SysDef
  • Armor Piercing - Reduces durability and HP based on chance
  • Poison - Contest versus SysDef; if successful, causes continuous HP damage
Weapons can have multiple attack types. A clean nuke, for instance, might do Force (1500HP), Thermal (2000HP) and EM damage (200EMP). Players can, using recovered tech items and science personnel and facilities, create devices with stacked effects or different resource costs. Critical Hits / Penetration Special weapons may have increased chances against certain defenses. Seam snipers, for instance, are better an penetrating segmented shields (see gadget thread) Penetration occurs when damage exceeds 2x the Durability of armor. Durability is reduced by a point or two, and objects behind the target are hit. I won't get into stuff about crouching, cover and whatnot because that's all standard. I'm most interested in whether or not the variety of weapon damage types makes sense. As usual, feedback much appreciated! EDIT: Hey, didn't know you could have nested unorder lists... neat... but fixed anyway... -------------------- Just waiting for the mothership... [edited by - Wavinator on June 9, 2004 8:42:20 PM]

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One of the things that I don´t like in this kind of games is to have to hit too much and enemy to kill him, and then too many enemies.

I see this more than a tactical game than a fighting game. That´s about weapon damage. Would you notice what kind of defense the enemy is using?

Maybe bases would be able to have more range than ships by using radars or something but be more stationary, and help ships in rearcharging or reloading, and ships would be more offensive instead by allowing better movement.

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What about an 8 sided shape (octahedron). Frigates are usually depicted as being larger than corvettes, but smaller than capital ships, after all.

--------------------------------------
I am the master of stories.....
If only I could just write them down...

I just saw this quote and had to put it here, "Just look at 99% of entertainment, it''s all in your face detritus."

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quote:
Original post by Wavinator
Basics: You control a ship, base, vehicle or person the same way. The view is 3rd person, zoombable, mouse used to look, keys to move. In space, mouselook rotates around your ship so you can shoot one way & move another if in a ship or suit.



Is this realtime, or turnbased?

quote:

Basic Combat
Damage relies on three critical stats: Hit Points, Durability and System Defense. HP is typical, Durability is damage reduction per attack, and SysDef is how functional the device is and is the chance that the device will go offline, burn out, etc.



Durability - is the reduction fixed value or a percentage or the fallout method that uses a percentage then fixed value?

SysDef - That seems like a confusing term, perhaps condition would be easier? Also is that a value or percent?

quote:

Facing
Everything has sides based on size:

  • 1 Side: Probes, space mines, terminals, 3D wall tiles
  • 2 Sides: People, vehicles, creatures
  • 4 Quarters: Power armor, shuttles, fighters, buildings
  • 6 (Cube Faces): Frigtates, transports, corvettes
  • 10 (Octogon with top & bottom): Captial ships, stations

Each side has its own Durability, but the whole thing has only one HP and SysDef. The exception is armor, which has it''s own Durability and HP (whether for person or ship)



Do sides have diffrent sizes?

Also when it comes to ship construction can I choose which side to place things on and does that then effect combat? Meaning if I have 50 Thermal Cannons on the port and starboard, can I fire them in all directions or only at target those sides are facing?

quote:

Special Classes

  • EMP - Special EM which reduces SysDef for machines and temporarily slows them, negates shields if exceed shield''s HP
  • Nanites - Reduces Durability directly, destroyed on contact with Shields or energy fields
  • Electrical - Stuns biologicals if HP damage is 25% of their total HP (ignores Durability); reduces both HP and SysDef for machines
  • Radiation - Special EM which does constant damage at 1/10 of original damage to SysDef
  • Armor Piercing - Reduces durability and HP based on chance
  • Poison - Contest versus SysDef; if successful, causes continuous HP damage




Perhaps you should change radiation, so that it only damages organic targets, inorganic targets become irradiated and cause continual damage to organic targets nearby. In this way the player could use nutron bombs irradiate an enemy ship killing the crew but leaving the vessel relatively undamaged.


hmm, I didn''t notice anything on impact size, maybe thats in the weapons thread, but do diffrent weapons have diffrent sized impacts and what effect does that have on vessel of diffrent sizes?



-----------------------------------------------------
"Fate and Destiny only give you the opportunity the rest you have to do on your own."
Current Design project: Ambitions Slave

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Hey, Wavinator, you forgot:

Object Types
Three classes:

  • Biological - Crew Members, special types of armor
  • Mechanical - Armor, Droids, Other stuff
  • Energy - Shields, maybe some race of energy beings...


Of course you did include something like it in the special classes section. This just makes it more organized, and it is fairly easy to do TechnoGoth's above suggestion.

Radiation only does damage to Biological, but "rests inside of" Mechanical. Radiation has no effect on Energy.
Poison is just like Radiation, except it doesn't affect Mechanical.
EMP does damage to Energy, but lowers Mechanical SysDef.
Etc...


Edit: If this seemed rude to you, I apologise. If it didn't, then I don't.
That covers my @$$ nicely, doesn't it?

--------------------------------------
I am the master of stories.....
If only I could just write them down...

I just saw this quote and had to put it here, "Just look at 99% of entertainment, it's all in your face detritus."

[edited by - Nathaniel Hammen on June 11, 2004 6:47:36 PM]

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quote:
Original post by Coz
One of the things that I don´t like in this kind of games is to have to hit too much and enemy to kill him, and then too many enemies.


Me too. You should be able to control this yourself by getting more powerful weapons and staying out of target rich environments (no missions force you by the nose into impossible battles, I hate that-- yes, Totally Games, I''m talking to you!)

quote:

I see this more than a tactical game than a fighting game. That´s about weapon damage. Would you notice what kind of defense the enemy is using?



There''s supposed to be a short range between arcade and tactical, represented by the ship you choose. If you want more arcade style gameplay, go with smaller ships with limited crews, and more of them, so that you do death by a thousand cuts against larger ships. If you want more tactical gameplay, get a bigger ship, and enough point defenses to handle fighters, but with enough big guns to deal with larger ships.

quote:

Maybe bases would be able to have more range than ships by using radars or something but be more stationary, and help ships in rearcharging or reloading, and ships would be more offensive instead by allowing better movement.


The line between stations and ships is a bit blury, but in general, yes. Although military fleets roll with capital ships dedicated exclusively to sensors that can scan an entire solar system (AWACS, basically). And some stations have enough guns and lasers to give even capital ships a problem. In fact, the tradeoff really is what''s inside the ship / base. Ships really are stations with jump drives and thrusters, and less on life support, cargo and supplies.

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
Is this realtime, or turnbased?



Real-time with pausing and action scheduling.

quote:

Durability - is the reduction fixed value or a percentage or the fallout method that uses a percentage then fixed value?



This is a fixed number. So you can have armor of Durability 10, HP 100, or Durability 100, HP 10.

quote:

SysDef - That seems like a confusing term, perhaps condition would be easier? Also is that a value or percent?



This is a value. I abbreviated in this post as SysDef, but it''s System Defense. Do you think the later phrase itself is ambiguous. It''s also supposed to apply to characters (like you''re "immune system")

quote:

Do sides have diffrent sizes?



I was trying to avoid this because it raises the issue of sections. I don''t want to deal with ships as polygons which could have concave areas, or the extra complication of segments along a side.

Now, what''s dumb about this approach is that if you build a big, mushroom sized ship, with the stem as the nose and thrusters at the top, and you charge at a target, only be damaged at the nose. But I didn''t want ships to be a bunch of bounding boxes that I have to hit test against. I wanted something clean and simple to understand that gave you an idea of which way you needed to turn to avoid fire.

Long or wide ships, btw, can easily be handled with the Facing Exceptions idea. Damage will just be less likely along a side, which gives you another reason to orient your ship, choose turrets over fixed guns, etc.

quote:

Also when it comes to ship construction can I choose which side to place things on and does that then effect combat? Meaning if I have 50 Thermal Cannons on the port and starboard, can I fire them in all directions or only at target those sides are facing?



Yes, and I will do hit tests for add ons per side, but the modules themselves won''t have sides (as noted above, no sides within sides within sides). So you could lose a few thermal cannons, yes.

quote:

Perhaps you should change radiation, so that it only damages organic targets, inorganic targets become irradiated and cause continual damage to organic targets nearby.



I meant to emulate the fact that strong radiation can screw up computers, but you''re right, I''ll make an exception for computer guided and non-computer guided add ons.

And I like the idea of damaging biologicals, that''s good. More than just combat could do that, btw. Heh, maybe there''s an extra port fee for radiation washdowns.

quote:

hmm, I didn''t notice anything on impact size, maybe thats in the weapons thread, but do diffrent weapons have diffrent sized impacts and what effect does that have on vessel of diffrent sizes?


That was something like crouching that I left out, but what I have involves accuracy and facing damage.

Basically, if it''s smaller you get minuses to targeting, and if it''s bigger, you get pluses. Damage-wise, HP and Durability handle damage, but if a shot is much larger, it can hit adjacent sides simultaneously (same for explosion). Finally, against smaller targets large shots are handled as area of effect tests. So if you call down a strike from orbit with your Thermal Cannons, you get beams with a wide radius of instant damage.

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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quote:
Original post by Nathaniel Hammen
Hey, Wavinator, you forgot:

Object Types
Three classes:

  • Biological - Crew Members, special types of armor
  • Mechanical - Armor, Droids, Other stuff
  • Energy - Shields, maybe some race of energy beings...


Of course you did include something like it in the special classes section. This just makes it more organized, and it is fairly easy to do TechnoGoth''s above suggestion.

Radiation only does damage to Biological, but "rests inside of" Mechanical. Radiation has no effect on Energy.
Poison is just like Radiation, except it doesn''t affect Mechanical.
EMP does damage to Energy, but lowers Mechanical SysDef.
Etc...



This is good, thanks! I actually didn''t bother with including this, but I''ve got pretty much this with a few more variants for species and material class exceptions. I just didn''t want to complicate things.

quote:

Edit: If this seemed rude to you, I apologise. If it didn''t, then I don''t.
That covers my @$$ nicely, doesn''t it?



Rude??? Never, this is improvement. Even if you thought it sucked, it would help so long as you told me why!



--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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THe side system is a little bit confusing to me, but will you be able to target specific structures or features of the enemy craft? Shooting at the back polygon of a thing is not the same as targetting their propulsion system, and if you have precision weapons, such surgical strikes could be the bulk of your strategy.

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I really like your thinking, but you know that by now, so I'm just gonna get down to business.

I think I see where you're going, with Force, EM, and Thermal as weapon-types...so it's not just two, but three items one has to consider when defending a ship or vehicle. I just don't think it makes sense to differentiate "thermal" from "energy" because, as you said, it *is* energy. So any sort of beam weapon that just causes temp increase (any laser that inflicts damage will raise temp somewhere) would still be deflected by shields. I bet you know this, so I'm thinking when you say "thermal" you mean one of two things:

1. Flamethrowers
2. Firing ship jump-jets point blank at another ship.

#2 is kind of a neat idea, but would have very little application (unless a ship was designed specifically to get next to ships so it could boost off of them to damage them..how weird would that be. :))

"Force" says gravitic effects to me (graviton beams, etc). I'm guessing you're including mass drivers/machine guns into that category too. I wouldn't expect shields to deflect bullets all that well. This may be out-of-scope, but maybe differentiating between force-fields and energy-shields as shielding. Also, adding coolant-runs to your honeycomb armor would both add great (maybe perfect) defense against thermal weapons, but would be a really nasty can of worms if you took physical damage and had coolant leaking everywhere.

I like the faces/subtargeting idea a great deal; salvaging was one of the coolest parts of some of my favorite games (esp. EarthSiege2 and MechWarrior Mercs, but to some degree MOO2 also) and lots of games that I've played nowadays don't include them at all. And firing missiles that explode in nasty nanite clouds is a wonderful idea, adding a whole new dimension of defenses-needed. Imagine a group of nanites infiltrating into a ship in a large enough number to carry a strong signal, with which you could hack into the opponents computer systems and just take their ship down with little to no combat. That'd be a LOT of salvage...if your boarding party could claim victory before the self-destruct was set.

That's another factor...what if your onboard-marines get jitters if they believe an enemy ship may blow itself up? Special training or robots may come into play.

My break is over; back to work for me. :)

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