Author Topic: A rather large and well armed idea for Alliance: Dreadnoughts  (Read 1086 times)

Offline Naoura

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A rather large and well armed idea for Alliance: Dreadnoughts
« on: September 06, 2016, 01:43:56 pm »
An idea I've floated to a few players in the lobbies, and now that I figured out how to access the bleeding Forum I can actually leave it here where it can be critiqued to pieces.

The Dreadnought. Massive, 8 man crewed ships with power and strength to give the enemy an existential crisis, and let the players truly go toe to toe with bosses as they come.

These would be very heavy ships, slow and extremely well armed, but still difficult and requiring skill both by the captain and by the crew to man them. These Dreadnoughts would take up the space of two ships, gaining both of their crew while occupying both slots. In combat, it would be heavy and slow, but different dreadnoughts would have the chance to attack in a varying number of ways. They would be command ships, raid leaders, and act as a kind of defensive platform, guarding the smaller ships from either Titans or from waves on waves of enemies, acting primarily as the flagship for the team.

Now, the balancing of this ship is... a little odd. It's so heavily armed and armored that just making it slow is not nearly enough to make it balanced, especially while it's moored in the middle of a swarm of bot-boats and putting out enough fire to level a small city, so the general slow-speed-high-armor balancing wouldn't apply. So I devised a way to make them still fun and intensive to crew: Multiple hull and balloon repair points. This sounds counter intuitive at first, but hear me out.

The idea for the armor would be that the armor is now counted in a limited way as a component. Say you are on a Dreadnought that has two armor points, one on the port and one on the starboard. If you begin taking damage on the starboard side, the armor point on the starboard side will take damage, leaving the port side armor point unharmed. "But wouldn't that mean you just have to have one armor point active to keep your ship from taking perma damage?", no, no it wouldn't because of the second part of the "armor component" theory; should the Starboard armor fall, you will still take perma damage from the Starboard side, but it will be reduced. So, saying that you have a ship that has two armor points, if one point goes down, then half of the incoming damage would go to the hull, and the other half would go to the still active armor point. In the event of three armor points, then the damage would be spread across the hull and the two remaining armor points, 1/3rd to hull and 1/3rd to each of the armor points still active. This is supposed to somewhat simulate the weak points that can be found on Boss ships, and to keep it fun *Coughstressfulcoughcough* for the engineers. It also encourages the captain to try and switch the side that the ship is taking the majority of its damage, attempting to twist hard to put the still armored side to the source of incoming fire in order to minimize the damage taken to perma hull.

A similar strategy would be applied to the balloon repair ponts, where multiple balloon repair points would be required to keep the ship afloat. If one goes down, then the ship will become less responsive to elevation commands, and on heavier ships will slowly begin to descend, the rate of descent and the responsiveness both increasing/decreasing as more balloon points fail. Damage on balloon points, however, would be spread equally across all points instead of being on the component system. If you take, say, 50 damage to the balloon on a ship with two balloon points, then both of the balloon points would take 25 damage. This means that, for full effectiveness, both points would be required to be repaired, but that they would not fail as quickly, since the damage is spread out.

On a ship like this, firepower goes without saying. Bristling with weapons like an angry procupine of war, the Dreadnought would be a floating existential crisis. I don't think I even need to go on in this regard. It's a Dreadnought. Enough said.

I can also see another game mode that could be developed out of crewing aboard a Dreadnought class ship, a kind of survival mode, or else a Capital Clash, where Dreadnoughts face off against Boss ships and their escorts in a wave-based mode, or else the mode that Luharis mentioned, where you have to hold out for a certain amount of time for reinforcements against a heavy enemy presence. Putting these ships in either Assault or Defence would make them extremely powerful, so I would say they would be limited to either Hard or Hell modes in order to maintain balance and to make the experience more enjoyable.

Any and all criticism is happily accepted, and I hope it is at the very least entertained as a thought. I would just relegate this type of ship to Alliance mode, as in Skirmish... well, I'd rather not go up against that. It might be fun as a kind of tactical fight, but Skirmish is delicate enough as it is. It'd be easier to keep this to Alliance mode in order to have the massive armada fights we all hope for and love.

Offline Hoja Lateralus

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Re: A rather large and well armed idea for Alliance: Dreadnoughts
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2016, 12:08:04 pm »
So far Devs have countless times stated that there will never be 8-man playable ship or any playable ship with different crew member count than 4, so the discussion will be rather barren.

Also, most importantly: why? Protip: " 'coz its keewl " is not a valid answer.

Offline Naoura

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Re: A rather large and well armed idea for Alliance: Dreadnoughts
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2016, 02:42:17 pm »
1: Unfortunate. I had hopes and I still will have hopes on it for the future, if not at any point in the near future. Perhaps in a few years then, you never know. I can dream...

2: That wasn't even a reason I was thinking. The reasoning for it is the same reasoning behind all of the ships in GoI: Teamwork. Yes, wo ships require more coordination between them to execute an objective, but in a much larger and much more expanded Alliance, a command vessel might need be determined. One ship that leads the others and offers some measure of command in the middle of the raid or the defense. " 'coz it's keewl" is... insulting as a reason.

My thoughts on it don't simply range to, "Yeah! Bigger! More guns!", they extend towards offering a tactical advantage to teams on a large and difficult raid, where multiple boss ships will be spawning and where there will be an overwhelming amount of enemies to fight. It's trying to plan around the largest and most powerful member of the team, trying to both support it and keep it alive and letting it draw the fire, allowing the smaller vessels strike at targets that the Dreadnought could not. The thought is teamwork both in the ship itself and with the other ships on the team, focusing on where support is most needed and who will lead the charge. It's fleet tactics and team dynamics on a much larger scale than what you have with the ships available. Perhaps they may be considered if or when Alliance is expanded to a much larger state and part of the game, when the fleets get larger and the servers are more capable.

Nevertheless, thanks for the feedback. I hadn't heard on the fact that they had stated they would not do anything larger than a 4 crew.

Offline Richard LeMoon

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Re: A rather large and well armed idea for Alliance: Dreadnoughts
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2016, 05:14:16 pm »
They also said there would never be any class-unique abilities......


Never get your hopes down. They 180 on some things.

Offline Naoura

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Re: A rather large and well armed idea for Alliance: Dreadnoughts
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2016, 05:52:49 pm »
Thanks Richard, and thank you as well Disaster. I expected and actually hoped for some higher level eyes on it, and I didn't know about what the dev's had said.

I do want to know both of your thoughts on the "component based armor" idea for a much larger ship. Good, bad, as ugly as I am? I admit it's a bit off from usual gameplay mechanics, but I thought it would be the easiest and most balanced way to make a large ship worth the effort. Having the perma still be impacted but in a reduced way was just a relative idea on a way to force Engies to still focus on (Read, panic screaming) on hull to ensure that you stay in the air.

Any thoughts on whether or not the system is feasible?

Offline Richard LeMoon

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Re: A rather large and well armed idea for Alliance: Dreadnoughts
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2016, 09:18:34 pm »
Well, I have been pondering this for many months. My thoughts are to take directly from the Alliance boss mechanics of having several hulls on top of each other. Once a hull goes down, a part of the ship falls off, taking any guns, engines, and players that happen to be there down with it. So, as your ship loses hulls, it loses fighting capability. On the other hand, losing part of the ship could make it lighter and thus faster. Classic multi-transform boss.

Having multiple balloons and fix points would be OK as well. Rather than side dependent, it may be better to go with % of armor. So, each repair point is 25% of the armor in the case of 4 repair points. Lose one, and you take 25% of incoming damage on perma. Lose 3 and you take 75% incoming damage. That would necessitate the extra engies running around.

In a bit of extra fun, you could add in a second helm on a massive turret to control rotation for a GoliathTM class gun and gun deck for smaller guns. Like those things currently slapping the crap out of us on boss ships.

Offline Naoura

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Re: A rather large and well armed idea for Alliance: Dreadnoughts
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2016, 12:31:18 pm »
Losing hull on a player ship would be... well, extremely difficult for the players, and I'm not sure you could even program it to be stable in that scenario. 8 players would create enough lag without having your entity tearing itself apart when you take too much damage, so I'm not sure if you could do it in the same vein as the Boss AI ships.

As for the side dependancy, I had thought of it as a tactical element, trying to minimize damage to perma by switching the side you have facing the enemy, so that the captain still has an important role on such a large and lumbering ship. If you keep taking damage on the side that the armor is down on, it'd be the same percentage base as you described, but it would go directly to perma. This way the Dreadnoughts wouldn't just be focused down to pieces if they take damage from all directions, rather they would be able to switch where the damage would be hitting them from and keep it on the armor as much as possible.

Not sure if that would work easily, as it'd be two entities occupying the same space. It's a really interesting thought and I admit, having a tank turret would be awesome, but I think that'd be too much on top ofthe lag that 8 players would cause.

Offline Richard LeMoon

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Re: A rather large and well armed idea for Alliance: Dreadnoughts
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2016, 03:37:20 pm »
Existing ships are already capable of this. They go through three stages of damage, each one loading in a different model at 'break point' percentages. The issue would be loading in new collision objects. These are what you are actually standing and bumping into, as what you see is far too complex to be a collision mesh.

Multi-point damage would be harder, though more interesting. I would be for it if it is feasible.


Maybe you have four armor zones and four repair points, each on front, back, starboard, and port. If one armor section is destroyed, you take 50% perma damage if you are hit on that side, and 25% anywhere else. Your ship has three stages of hull. The first two are bulkhead armor, designed to take damage, then break away when too damaged. They each have gun mounts on them, which fall away with the damaged bulkheads. The final stage is the main ship structure.

Offline Naoura

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Re: A rather large and well armed idea for Alliance: Dreadnoughts
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2016, 03:57:39 pm »
that's partly why I disagree on having parts of the ship fall away. It'd be way too difficult to program and way too difficult to play on. I don't mind seeing the bits and pieces of the walls and such slowly get bent to pieces, but the collision mapping would make it too unstable if you couple it with 8 players. I think it'd be a lot easier to implement it simply rather than making it a little too garbled.

You kind of did just describe what I had written earlier, but with armor sections and points relative to the ship you're on. Some ships with two, some with three, and the extreme ones with four.

I kind of disagree from the three hull stages. That might make it a little too easy, especially if you go along with the easy route of implementing the Dreadnoughts. If Muse COULD implement the fallaway, then I will agree, but unless they could let parts of the ship fall off, I would say stick to one, substantial hull.

As for the math of it... I would put it more as, if you had 4 armor portions, you would take 25% of perma damage from the section that has its armor down, while the remaining 75% would be spread across the rest of the remaining armor, perhaps at a reduced amount.