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Topics - HamsterIV

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Gameplay / Front page stats post
« on: April 08, 2015, 07:23:39 pm »
This is in relation to the front page announcement:

Raw stats strait from the server are interesting. I suspected the Pyra was the most popular ship but not by the margin the numbers indicate.

What I am really excited about is the changes to the crew form. It benefits my play style of gathering 3 random strangers under my balloon and going off to cause as much trouble as my play time allows. However for more social/clan focused players I fear this change would be seen as a negative.

The underdog feature sounds interesting too but I wonder if it is going to drive off newbies when they see they are outclassed. The level hiding thing helped keep people in lobbies when they were ignorant of what they were facing.

The Gallery / GOI Board Game
« on: February 04, 2015, 04:27:07 am »
What started out as a random idea of making a Guns of Icarus Board game using similar game play mechanics as the Firefly board game has take on a life of its own. I plan on using the Guns of Icarus world map as the game board.
Note this map was made by Muse and I am borrowing it for a game board base.

I want to use screen shots of the various ships, guns, items as special cards and tokens in the game.
Most importantly the names of members of our community as crew in the game.

Below are links to the various downloadable elements of the board game. It is still a work in progress and will be revised with proof reading and play testing.

Link to latest revision of the Game rules:

Encounter Cards:

Market Cards:

Future Link to Printable tokens for the game:

Future Link to Item spread sheet:

Future Link to finalized PDF file to print and play:

How you can help:
Proof read the rule book and let me know what seems too complex, or doesn't make sense.
Offer you name and likeness as a NPC crew member in the game.
Play test the game and give me feedback over what went well and what seems broken.
Help with Art work at when and if we get around to polishing the game.

The Goal:
Ultimately this is a derived work that greatly infringes on the intellectual property of Muse. At any point they are well with in their rights to tell me to knock it off or they will file a cease and desist order. My goal is not to make something fun that can deliver a bit of the Guns of Icarus magic while sitting around a table with your friends. To that end I will make public all my development notes and the final version will be a PDF file that people can print out and use to play the game for free.

Special Note:
For community members who wish to be in the game as NPC crew members. I want to keep control over the balancing of this game so I can not guarantee you will be as awesome in game as you think you should be. If you still want to be part of this send me your Name, your Favorite Class or Two Classes, your favorite part of the game, and an quote that best reflects who you are. Please don't submit for your friends as I don't want to use their name and likeness without their permission.

Special Note for Muse:
It would be nice if you tell me early that you don't want me developing a board game based on the world you created. 

General Discussion / GOI Board Game Idea
« on: February 02, 2015, 01:34:27 pm »
Hello Gun of Icarus Community,

I was playing the Firefly Boardgame:
When I got to thinking if we could make a Guns of Icarus Themed Board Game using similar game dynamics. For those of you who are not familiar with the Firefly Board Game the play works as follows:

* Fly your ship to Contacts that give you jobs of varying difficulty and reward.
* Work the jobs by flying to a location, picking up cargo, delivering cargo, or “misbehaving.”
* Misbehaving involves drawing cards from the misbehave deck and performing some skill check against a difficulty set on the card
* With your reward money you can hire crew and buy upgrades/equipment that makes it easier to pass misbehave checks.
* Flying also has its challenges and rewards depending on the territory you fly through. Alliance space runs the risk of inspections and contraband seizures, Border space runs the risk of Reaver attacks killing your crew.
* The end game condition is either pulling off a spectacular heist involving skill checks that are impossible for a starting crew, or amassing enough money to retire.

The game captures the feel of being a mercenary spaceship captain in the firefly universe. You are constantly working odd jobs to get money, and using this money to build your crew into something that can handle the big score. I think this feel would be very applicable to the Guns of Icarus Universe (as I imagine it).

Here is how I imagine development going:

Step 1: Take the world map Muse has provided and divide it into faction space and disputed space. This becomes the game board.

Step 2: Come up with encounter cards for both faction and disrupted space

Step 3: Place Contact and Job hubs at key cities in the world.

Step 4: Make crew, items, and ship upgrades that add skill bonuses and special abilities to the player’s ship.

Step 4.5: Name crew after prominent community members and use their in game avatars on the card.

Step 5: Make ship cards and tokens based off the current GOI ship roster.

Step 6: Play test and revise this thing until it is considered “fun.”

Step 7: Publish a PDF of the game rules and all the cards so interested parties could print it out and play it.

Since this is a fan project using art assets and lore that Muse came up with it would be wrong to make any money off it, and the project would be under constant threat of a cease and desist order. It might also be a terrible idea since the GOI community is very sparse and getting together to play a board game would be difficult/impossible. However like many of my silly ideas I feel obligated to share it with people who might find it interesting or fun.

Feedback and Suggestions / Ship Tour tutorial
« on: December 18, 2014, 07:26:18 pm »
Last night I had to instruct a new player on how to get to the bottom deck guns on a Junker. I am sure all of us at some point had to give a brief ship tour just to make sure a new player doesn't gum up the works too much. When I started playing I went into practice mode with every single ship to get an idea of the layout before I joined my first live match. The problem with doing this is you have to load the practice mode 6 different times to look at all the ships.

I suggest Muse make part of the tutorial a "ship tour" mode. In this mode player is put on the deck of a goldfish with each of its components at 1/2 health. When the player repairs the last component to full the goldfish is replaced with a junker with each of its components at 1/2 health and so on until the player has visited every single component of every single ship. It would also be nice to give common ship parkour knowledge about each ship when it is active (like the junker balloon and hull underside repair points.) Alternatively muse could build some sort of sky dock model and drop gangplanks between the ships so the player can explore each ship at their leisure.

The Lounge / HamsterV
« on: November 15, 2014, 01:44:51 am »
Attention Guns of Icarus community, on November 11th 2014 my son Brisbane took his first breaths of Earth's atmosphere and found it to his liking. I look forward to teaching him all that I know about life, computers, and airship battles. For now I am busy changing diapers and making sure his feedings are happening on time. Sadly this means I have less time to fly around with you fine people, casing trouble, and breaking the meta. As a consolation here is a picture of Brisbane giving me the stink eye when he was a few hours old.

As you can tell by the picture, he is infinitely cunning with a sarcastic streak a mile wide. He favors close range tactics, such as luring an opponent in with a "poopy diaper"  then hosing them down with a water based chemical weapon of his own making. So far I have fallen prey to this maneuver once, but over the coming years I expect him to pull it off on a few more unsuspecting victims. The next iteration of the Hamster line is real, you have been warned.

The Lounge / Flying Angry
« on: November 06, 2014, 03:18:52 pm »
Some times when I take the helm I am calm and collected, other times I am frothing mad. Last night for example I was assigned by match making to a novice pilot with a stupid build. He left the game after the first hwacha volley took out his engines, and stuck me and another engineer with his mess. After loosing the game the other team started bragging about how it was too easy. So I took the open captain's slot with a blender fish and some unkind thoughts running through my head.

With an AI crew and a fortunate mid-game gunner join I was able to eek out a 5-0 win. During the game yelling obscenities at the AI and defiantly flying angry. In some way I think the rage contributes to my piloting skill or in some instances the tone of my voice causes my crew to carry out my orders faster. On several occasions I have been told to "calm down it is just a game," but I propose that the rage fueled beast on the helm is part of the game. So long as it doesn't devolve into personal attacks or harassment putting some fury into your orders is a good thing.

I have flown with enough members of this community to know captains run the spectrum of calm to extremely pissed off, and that mood can even vary by the minute. What have been your experiences with anger on the helm? Is it helpful or harmful to your role as a captain?

Feedback and Suggestions / Friends list open slot
« on: November 06, 2014, 12:00:50 pm »
With the whole match making situation I am relying on the friends list more and more to find a good crew. However I spend a spend a lot of time popping into lobbies noticing my friend's ship is full and moving to a different friend. I would like it if there were some way to see if there is an open slot on the ship my friend is on from the main menu's friends list.

Feedback and Suggestions / Replace Levels with Badges
« on: October 29, 2014, 04:17:58 pm »
On a whole I like how the latest patch has hidden player's level numbers in lobby, but I would like it to go further. I would like to do away numeric levels entirely. In its place we should have badges earned via achievements and displayed by player customization. These Badges can have a text title corresponding to the rank they earned like "Roustabout", "Artilerist", ect. Also community badges like "teacher", "Bounty hunter",  "Bug Reporter" could be added into the mix for people who do special things outside the achievement system.

The player should be able to choose from all badges they have earned to display next to their name in lobby. Ideally these badges should be distinct with no way of telling which one is better. When a user mouses over a badge it should the title of the badge should appear "Roustabout" "Bounty Hunter" "Teacher" "Lunch break Victor". Also in the mid game tab screen the badge's name should appear next to the player.

Hopefully this system will allow veteran players to flash some bling without intimidating newer players into prematurely abandoning matches. It will also provide more incentive to play for the achievement hunters amongst us. Also I can go back to being a "Roustabout" and not worry about what people think about the number/title next to my name.

World / Lies, Dirty Lies, and Propaganda
« on: October 28, 2014, 06:27:25 pm »
Muse has given us a world with 6 factions. Each faction has to convinced its people that war with the other factions is justifiable. Enter the hard working propaganda minster, who through clever words and outright lies, justifies their nation's struggle against the outsiders.

As a fun writing project come up with some creative slander about one of 6 factions. Tell us about their secretive past. Why they are responsible for the fall of humanity. How their current leadership is unfit to rule. How their people are weak, cowardly, and deserving of conquest. As a bonus try to write from the point of view of one of the other factions and sign your work as that faction's propaganda minister.

We are not trying to establish any lore here, and are most certainly not trying to hurt anyone's feelings. Keep it fun and keep it silly. Here are some examples:

For all we know Chaladon could be ruled by a vast thinking machine that was created prior to the cataclysm that turned much of the the world to ash. Perhaps this thinking machine controlled a network of skybound vessels. A Skynet if you will. It recognized the feuding nations would one day destroy the entire planet and decided it would give the process a kickstart. All the while preserving an isolated island that housed its central core.

Sadly this machine miscalculated the durability of its physical systems and after a few decades was in sore need of maintenance. It tricked a small population of refugees that washed up on its shores into thinking it was a god and used their agile human fingers to clean and maintain its internal systems. The Skynet used its advanced knowledge of human psychology and agriculture to cultivate its people and its island into a garden of Eden.

Ultimately all Chaledonians are slaves to a homicidal machine god. They do not understand the technology which they serve, but accept its control because it has allowed them to lead lives of abundance. Without the influence of their mechanical overmind they are a weak people only suitable for enslavement and pillaging.

Sincerely Yours,

The Angelean Propaganda Ministry

Have you ever wondered how the Angeleans could survive in their vast arctic tundra? They say they harness thermal energy from within the earth, but that is a lie. No human could stand the noxious gasses and extreme temperature differences.

Any child knows all human life needs food grown in the light of the sun to provide the nutrients for good health. Yet the sun rarely shines on the Angelea's domain. I posit to you that the Angeleans aren't really human, but a race of Lizard people from the center of the earth. Our two races lived in blissful ignorance of one another until pre cataclysm man kind's greed for fossil fuel caused them to drill too deep.

Any records of mankind's contact with the lizard people have been lost but reputable schollars believe a cast of these Lizard people carry the Chamelion's color shifting ability. They no doubt  used it to infiltrate pre cataclysm human society with the intention of turning man on his fellow man. Ultimately this precipitated the great war that nearly destroyed this planet's fragile eco system. Were it not for the guidance of Chaladon's founding fathers and the lizard people's inherent fear of great bodies of water this planet would have been overrun by a scourge of lizard people.

Do not trust the Angelean's promise of shelter and meaningful labor in their underground cities, the lizard people look upon humanity as a food stock and nothing more. That is right, your friends, family, and neighbors who were taken in Angelean raids now rest comfortably inside the bellies of those forked tongued fiends.

Next time you see one of those lumbering brutes wrapped in their furs and armor look closely for scales and reptilian eyes. Then you will know the truth, Angeleans are not to be trusted.

The Chaledon Ministry for Truth.

Feedback and Suggestions / Match making by Ship
« on: October 23, 2014, 12:42:15 pm »
After a game ends and the team returns to the crew formation I notice a lot of people leave to re enter the match making queue as individuals. However a few people linger in the crew formation screen scattered about non full ships (often without a captain). When the lead captain goes to search for a new game it takes a very long time because the search has to find open spots for a full ship and the malingerers in the crew formation. It would be rude to ask the malingerers to leave and ineffective if they are AFK. Yet I want to keep my current crew without having to create a new crew formation screen.

What I would like to have is the ability to detach my ship in the crew formation screen and be put into the match making queue as a 4 player ship. That way I can keep the same crew, join a new game faster, and not offend people who hang around in the crew formation for no good reason.

Edit: It feels like this should already be a feature. Did I miss some part of the UI that does this?

Guides / How to run away
« on: October 15, 2014, 06:48:45 pm »
I have stated before captaining is a combination of Leadership, Piloting, and Tactics. I have discussed piloting in a previous guide and would like to address Tactics, specifically tactical retreat.

In a death match the worst case scenario is called a Meat Grinder where one team feeds the other team a steady stream of 1vs2 encounters until they run out of lives. Often a team gets into a Meat Grinder because the surviving captain of a 2v2 engagement makes a poor tactical decision as to fighting or fleeing. Knowing when and how to retreat from a bad situation will prevent Meat Grinding and potentially lead to some incredible come from behind victory stories.

How To:
The first, and quite possibly most important, thing to know about retreating is when do to it. Abandoning an ally to the wolves when you had a chance of winning will not earn you much respect, but neither will giving your enemy a free kill. As a rule of thumb never go full retreat while your ally is alive, in the area, and fighting.

Once your ally dies your first question should be "Can I make the kill before they can engage me?" Usually the answer is no but there will be those rare cases where you can make a quick kill and escape, or even take out two badly damaged ships solo. It is important to be honest with yourself here since your decision will affect the entire team.

Assuming you decide to retreat the next step is to decide in which direction to retreat. The ultimate goal of retreating is to meetup with allied forces so that you can return to battle from a position of strength. So pick a direction that will lead you back to a friendly spawn point/ship. If you are some distance away back away from the enemy ships and tell your gunners to target their engines or guns. If you are very close to the enemy formation and they are facing you it sometimes is best to fly towards and past the enemy ships. The time it takes for the enemy to turn around and accelerate is time you get to build up a decent lead.

Look for map objects that you can hide behind when choosing an escape route. Putting solid objects between the enemy's guns and your ship will give your crew time to repair and increase the chances that the enemy will run into something and get drawn off. Even if you end up at the same place you started flying rings around an obstacle gives your ally a chance to get back into the fight.

If Hard cover is not an option use soft cover by flying into clouds or using tar barrel to obscure your position. The moment the enemy looses spot on you change direction and altitude to prevent their gunners from finding your ship with blind fire.

Use kerosine liberally when your engines are at full health and tone it back when they drop to 50%. Occasionally drop a tar cloud when the enemy is directly astern or when passing through a tight area. Tar is one of the best escape tools a pilot can carry. A perusing ship can match a kerosine burn but dropping tar forces a pursuer to take a wider route thus giving a fleeing ship a bigger lead. Mines can also be used to dissuade an enemy ship from following you too closely.

Make sure you are battle ready when you rejoin your team mate, especially if you have hostiles close behind you. Turn off kerosine and order your crew to combat stations 10-20 seconds before rejoining an ally ship. This will give your crew a chance to run a chem cycle, rebuild any broken guns, and load the correct ammo.

Quick Do's and Don'ts
Do tell your crew you plan on retreating and every one should be repairing.

Don't wait until you are taking damage in a 2v1 before you retreat. Even a fully repaired ship is going to have a tough time running from an engagement. Trying to retreat a damaged ship is next to impossible.

Do be honest with your team mate as to your chances. If you are getting pounded and your ally is 1/2 way across the map the odds he will arrive on scene just as you die are quite high.

Don't try and do a running escape if your ship is slower than your enemies. There are other options like tanking, vertical evasion, or knocking out your enemy's guns. However sometimes you have to accept your fate and wait for the next respawn.

Do balloon block, going low will cause more of your enemy shots to land in the non fatal balloon hit box.

Don't expose your engines to an opponent with disabling capability. Fly backwards if you can't find cover, but don't let your engines go down if you can avoid it.

Do prioritize repairs when retreating. You can let the guns burn out and sometimes even let the balloon go for a bit, so long as you have engines and hull you can survive.

Don't run past your ally. No matter how badly injured your ship is once you have rejoined your ally you must stop running.  They can't help you if you are too far away. Even if you can't fight back tanking your enemy's shots will hopefully give your ally a chance to make a kill. If they target your ally you need to be in the area and ready to do damage.

Do let your ally know your height as you get close to joining up. Your ally should be following your progress on the map, but may not know your elevation. Pass on this vital piece of information to ensure your pursuers are greeted with a wall of bullets at the predetermined ambush spot.

Retreating is more than postponing death, it is how you turn a bad tactical situation into a good one. If you do it right you can lure an overconfident opponent into a trap. The most important thing is to identify the situation where retreating is necessary and possible. Once that is done act with the intention of turning to fight the moment the tactical situation is in your favor.

General Discussion / Halloween speculation
« on: October 10, 2014, 06:08:50 pm »
The days are growing short and ones thoughts turn to looking fabulous on Halloween. Over the past two years Muse has helped us in this regard by dispensing free hats and masks to the Guns of Icarus community. Two years ago they dispensed a ghoulish Frankenstein mask and a wicked devil mask.

One year ago they gave us am undertaker's spider top hat and a witch hat.

I would like to dedicate this thread to rampant speculation over what our favorite dev team is going to drop in our trick or treat costume bin this year. Also remind them that there is a tradition to uphold if they have been too carried away with adventure mode.

My own speculation is as follows:
Having used the hat and goggle slots on previous years the muse team is going to go big this year and make a full halloween themed outfit for both genders. Preferably one that will go with the aforementioned hat and goggles provided in previous years. For the men it will be a Cajun Voodo priest

Where as the women will get some sort of succubus themed costume to go with their devil horns and which hat:

This is of course uninformed speculation. I have no idea what the Muse gods will do for Halloween if anything, but I can hope.

The Lounge / Outlandish animal questions
« on: October 01, 2014, 01:15:20 pm »
My wife works in a pet store and sometimes has to field stupid questions about animals. However most of the time she is board out of her mind especially when I come by to pick her up from work. To make things interesting I come up with outlandish pet care questions to elicit a laugh from her and her coworkers. Lately my mind has been unable to come up with anything really good so I would like to outsource coming up with outlandish animal questions out to you guys. So far the questions I have asked include:

* If I hypothetically ran a dinosaur theme park that brought back to life real dinosaurs with advanced cloning techniques, what medication should I use to ensure mosquitoes and ticks stay off the main attractions? I suspect competitors might use this method to extract viable DNA from the specimens.

* I have this walrus who seems to be molting, what types of rocks should I put in his enclosure to ensure he has the most comfortable molting experience?

* If I were to generically engineer a whale to be capable of flight, what sunscreen should I use to keep the Sky Whale's skin protected from the harsh UV radiation in the upper atmosphere?

* Suppose I were to keep a herd of woolly mammoths with the intention of shaving them periodically for their fiber, what shampoo should I use to ensure their hair remains pliable and knot free?

* I have this salt water crocodile that lies around all day. I try and give him toys to enrich his environment but his 3000 lb bite force destroys these them fairly quickly. Are any of your chew toys rated for Crocodile?

Gameplay / Matchmaking Question
« on: September 12, 2014, 12:06:48 pm »
I am sorry if I this has been answered, but I was watching an old fire side chat about match making. It seemed to indicate that matchmaking would be done by ship. I like the idea of this, but I was wondering what object does the rank for match making belong to? Also will it be persistent between play sessions?

The first question refers to pilot, crew, or lobby space. Does the pilot get all the credit for each win such that if the pilot leaves the ship the entire ship will be ranked according to the new pilot? Does the entire crew get combined credit such that if a crew member from a high ranked ship transfers to a low level ship the low level ship gets a higher rank? Does the micro lobby that holds the crew between games get the credit such that if a troll joins a ship and the entire crew leaves, the troll inherit their rank? Also if the rank is attached to a player's account does that rank stay with them after they log off the game?

Q&A / Match Making (Friends and Blocked)
« on: July 01, 2014, 01:29:30 pm »
I know the system is not implemented and subject to change. I would like to know if the new match making system will take into account people on one's friends list and people on one's blocked list when placing a player in a server/on a crew?

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