The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => General UQM Discussion => Topic started by: Aya Reiko on March 09, 2007, 07:47:50 am



Title: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Aya Reiko on March 09, 2007, 07:47:50 am
Here's an idea I've brainstormed for the main game. 

When selecting 'New Game', you are then taken to a menu with the options of 'Normal' and 'Hard Mode'.  'Normal' is normal game settings.  'Hard Mode' has all enemy ships fighting on 'Awesome Cyborg' skill level and the game starts one year later than 'Normal'  (so you have one year less before the Kohr-Ah starts cleansing).  Maybe a few other changes to make the game more challenging...

Is this a good idea?  Is it even possible?


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Cedric6014 on March 09, 2007, 08:28:14 am
I think changing combat AI to Awesome is a good idea.

But there's not much point changing the events clock - that doesn't necessarily make it harder - it would only do so for first time players. ONce youve played it - you know ehrer everything is and you can clock it in 2 years. And lets face it, for a first time player the wonder of discovering the vast universe at your leisure is  the best thing about the game


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Novus on March 09, 2007, 09:00:24 am
When selecting 'New Game', you are then taken to a menu with the options of 'Normal' and 'Hard Mode'.  'Normal' is normal game settings.  'Hard Mode' has all enemy ships fighting on 'Awesome Cyborg' skill level and the game starts one year later than 'Normal'  (so you have one year less before the Kohr-Ah starts cleansing).  Maybe a few other changes to make the game more challenging...

Is this a good idea?  Is it even possible?
I think I suggested something similar a while ago. Adjusting the Kohr-Ah death march time is easy, and changing the AI to use in full game shouldn't be too hard. Other possible changes I can think of right now to make the game harder include higher crew and/or fuel cost, more or faster enemy fleets in spheres of influence and removing the free ships some races give you.


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Valaggar on March 09, 2007, 02:22:50 pm
Changing the cleansing date is pointless.
AI to Awesome is not much, since anyway the AI is S-T-U-P-I-D.
And the removal of certain hints would work only for first time players.
Plus, such a thing would reduce the immersion.
Novus' suggestion with more and faster battlegroups and more expensive fuel and crew is a BRILLIANT idea, though.

Besides that, the only way to change the difficulty is to design a stronger AI.


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Novus on March 09, 2007, 03:17:20 pm
Besides that, the only way to change the difficulty is to design a stronger AI.
There's been a lot of discussion about that, but it's not going to be easy.

Here's an (impractical but interesting) idea: use the netplay facilities to provide an opposing human player for each (full game) battle (switching to AI if no one is available). This could mess up game balance, but it would make the battles a lot more interesting (except from the viewpoint of the poor sucker who has to play against a horribly overpowered flagship).

That last part suggests an additional thing to make the game harder: weaken the flagship. I suggest cutting down combat speed (or possibly decreasing the maximum thrusters, slowing it down in HyperSpace too) and removing the high-powered weaponry from the game completely (the Melnorme never sell it).

To make things even more interesting, how about having mixed Hierarchy battle groups? While this wouldn't always fit the plot (for example, the Yehat revolution and Thraddash offensives don't make much sense with a large amount of other Hierarchy ships around), it would make the battles much more varied (and harder, since you can't always apply the right ship against each enemy).


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Aya Reiko on March 10, 2007, 01:01:08 am
When selecting 'New Game', you are then taken to a menu with the options of 'Normal' and 'Hard Mode'.  'Normal' is normal game settings.  'Hard Mode' has all enemy ships fighting on 'Awesome Cyborg' skill level and the game starts one year later than 'Normal'  (so you have one year less before the Kohr-Ah starts cleansing).  Maybe a few other changes to make the game more challenging...

Is this a good idea?  Is it even possible?
I think I suggested something similar a while ago. Adjusting the Kohr-Ah death march time is easy, and changing the AI to use in full game shouldn't be too hard. Other possible changes I can think of right now to make the game harder include higher crew and/or fuel cost, more or faster enemy fleets in spheres of influence and removing the free ships some races give you.
Don't forget to up the Module/lander costs.

Another idea, though I'm not sure if it would make much of a difference, is to have hostile fleets have more ships within them.

If possible, have hostile fleets appear dead ahead of your fleet, so, unless you change course, you will almost likely run into them.


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Valaggar on March 10, 2007, 08:22:27 am
Quote from: Aya Reiko
If possible, have hostile fleets appear dead ahead of your fleet, so, unless you change course, you will almost likely run into them.

Fleets appearing only ahead? Good idea! And you turn to avoid them, but run into another battlegroup... Har! Har! Har!

Quote from: Aya Reiko
Another idea, though I'm not sure if it would make much of a difference, is to have hostile fleets have more ships within them.
I fear that such a thing would LOWER the difficulty since more enemy ships mean more RU. Only if they're also smarter...


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: countchocula86 on March 10, 2007, 08:36:53 am
Maybe under this 'hard'  mode, ships don't produce RU, and maybe minerals are reduced in value too, to make it overall harder to do.


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Spektrowski on March 11, 2007, 09:47:39 am
Just off the top of my beak :)
Increase the price of Melnorme's technological upgrades.
Make "Evil Ones" on Spathiwa really evil and mean (to a certain degree).
Cancel the feature of using 'Caster to summon Melnorme in Hyperspace.
Increase the Portal Spawner and emergency escape unit's fuel usage.
Increase the number of Mycon ships guarding the Sun Device.
Have Zelnick actually FIGHT admiral ZEX on his upgraded VUX ship (increased thrust and turn rate, maybe) and a small fleet of VUX after delivering the VUX beast.
Have a small (5% or so) chance that any ship in your battlegroup would be acting weird (badly responding to controls, firing randomly etc.) after you get Talking Pet aboard the flagship. Before such "weird" battle, get the Talking Pet on the screen saying "The Umgah restored my intelligence, but they'd also tweaked something in my mind, and I'd become playful and humourous. I decided to have fun with some of your ships. HAR! HAR! HAR!" or something.


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Koowluh on March 11, 2007, 10:38:57 am
- A similar suggestion to acquiring RUs: move a few of the high yield systems away from Sol.

- Enemy shots do more damage, yours do less. One or two hits from a dreadnought and you'll be sucking vacuum.

EDIT: to clarify this one a bit. If you took 1 crew off per shot, you'll now have to shoot (and hit) twice to take a crewmember off, effectively making battles twice as long (or whatever variable you wish to use)

- Enemy ships have a higher refuel capacity, increasing their Rate of Fire -> more damage delivered.

- When entering combat, randomly remove 1 or 2 ships from the fleet to choose from: they're on "shore leave." Fwiffo needs a break here and there too you know.

- Make Hyperspace/Truespace/Quasispace twice as long to traverse. The time limit will press more on you then, making it so that you actually have to plan a bit more. Combine it with less/randomly scattered RUs and you got a challenge.


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Novus on March 11, 2007, 11:18:43 am
- When entering combat, randomly remove 1 or 2 ships from the fleet to choose from: they're on "shore leave." Fwiffo needs a break here and there too you know.
Minor variation: How about having Spathi ships warp out at random before combat if the opposition is too scary?


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Megagun on March 11, 2007, 01:17:58 pm
Myself, I'm rather opposed to "price changes" or "value changes", for various reasons, one being that a true SC2 player would still know where all homeworlds are, etc. So in an ideal situatio, homeworlds and artefact locations should be randomized. Unfortunately, that will cause problems because of the speech (you *do* want starnames to be randomized, too, otherwise it's a 'search for this star to win'-game..)

Still, here are some of my other ideas (some of which *do* include value changes)

-Add random Ur-Quan Kzer-Za attacks in Sol. This would keep the pressure up for you a bit. Make it so that at the start of the game, none appear, and about a year into the game,  more Kzer-Za will appear at more regular intervals...
-Replace Sol to a more difficult location, such as one near Ur-Quan space, or one at the bottom left near Pkunk/Ilwrath space.
-Increase the ammount of Slylandro Probes, decrease severely the RU profit for destroying them.
-Decrease the effect thrusters and turning jets have on your Flagship a bit. This will remove the 'I am faster than everything so you can't touch me!' thing a lot of people are going for early in the game.


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Koowluh on March 11, 2007, 01:22:34 pm
- When entering combat, randomly remove 1 or 2 ships from the fleet to choose from: they're on "shore leave." Fwiffo needs a break here and there too you know.
Minor variation: How about having Spathi ships warp out at random before combat if the opposition is too scary?

You mean "strategically redeploy " ? Sounds good, but I would not make them run from each and every enemy. Let's say you'd only make them run from the enemies with a larger rating than themselves.

Another one that I thought of: limit the amount of modules on your flagship. Let's say you can only have 1 gun, or 2 crew/mining pods or only a certain amount of dynamos/shivas. This idea goes much like giving the flagship less thrusters and/or traversing hyperspace/quasispace taking a lot longer.

Personally, I am not too fond of making the flagship sluggier. It would only mean that the game would become more a drag than actually more difficult. I'd seek solutions with upping the enemy ships instead of downing the player's (and yes, I may be contradicting my posts a bit here, but then again my suggestions weren't all fun fun either).

(I see that Megagun posted while I was writing my reply, but it seems we are on one line here)


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Valaggar on March 11, 2007, 03:12:38 pm
Yes - greater prices, less income, less modules, a smaller fleet, cowardly Spathis, more, faster and larger enemy battlegroups that spawn just in your way, better AI, no income from scavenging enemy ships, more aggresive Bio Data  ;D, etc. etc. And a difficulty level customization option.
And for the puzzle part of the game, besides less hints, map randomization is just what we need. With random names.
But then, how can the hints be made? Simple: "On a direct line that passes through our star and Epsilon Muscae" remains the same, as the similar hints, so the randomizer places the equivalent of Beta Corvi on that line.
But when the Melnorme guide you to Beta Aquarii, for example? Especially since the star has another name now.
Perhaps they just say something like "coreward" or such a thing? Speech is not a problem, for small segment and for the Melnorme splicing works (as I did with the "Missing Dialogue").


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Aya Reiko on March 11, 2007, 09:53:25 pm
Quote from: Aya Reiko
Another idea, though I'm not sure if it would make much of a difference, is to have hostile fleets have more ships within them.
I fear that such a thing would LOWER the difficulty since more enemy ships mean more RU. Only if they're also smarter...
[/quote]
Unless, of course, the salvage RU is halved also.


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Spektrowski on March 11, 2007, 10:45:21 pm
More with "the Playful" Talking Pet: maybe, with Talking Pet aboard, have a 5% chance of either one of your ships joining the enemy battlegroup or an enemy ship joining yours? :D I think it would be fun having a Chmmr attacking you and defending against it with a Kohr-Ah obtained earlier :)
Also... with the Utwig Bomb aboard, have a 5% chance that any hit sustained by the Vindicator during combat triggers the Bomb, thus becoming fatal.
Add some weird jokes with the useless Druuge artifacts, like: after obtaining Glowing Rod, ANY enemy battlegroups met randomly in space (except for Slylandro) have 12 ships in them. Like a "cursed artifact" in RPGs :D And Wimbli's Trident kills off your planet scanners, only increasing the fun :)
Increase the number of Thraddash ships to be destroyed to establish Culture 20.
Make Portal Spawner work only in certain days of the month (say, 1st to 4th, 9th to 12th, 17th to 20th and 25th to 28th). Also would make life harder.
Hierarchy raids on the Starbase would also be fun - maybe, have VUX/Yehat/Ilwrath (if not gone attacking the Thraddash) randomly mixed groups (the Kzer-Za raid wouldn't be fun because they'd just quickly destroy the base, effectively ending the game). The Vindicator gets a distress call from a drone (which moves faster than the flagship on full thrusters) and must react in X days, otherwise the base is destroyed and game over. Maybe, those raids would start after the player gets the Portal Spawner.
Hm, I surely got some Umgah blood in me, HAR! HAR! HAR! :D


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Terrell on March 12, 2007, 06:47:19 am
I agree with the earlier poster who is against weakening the player or changing the prices of things.  I remember how much the Precursor ship sucked in SC III.  What's the point of a Precursor ship  that's not deadly to most other ships in the galaxy, after all the Precursors were more advanced than the other races according to the storyline. 

I do like the ideas mentioned about making the AI smarter (would be nice if it applied to Melee as well) also the idea of more ships to fight.  The 5 Druuge trying to get the bomb is a bit weak, I can usually take them with 1 or 2 Earthling Crusiers, so long as I don't have one do a appear really close to me when it warps in.  More Mycon guarding the Sun Device, as mentioned earlier, would be nice too. 

It would be really nice though if another sequel was made, as mentioned in another thread.  I know I would buy it if it were in stores, so long as I knew about it. 


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Novus on March 12, 2007, 11:20:53 am
What's the point of a Precursor ship  that's not deadly to most other ships in the galaxy, after all the Precursors were more advanced than the other races according to the storyline. 
This is a Precursor tug we're talking about, not a battleship. It's not supposed to be deadly, it's just flexible enough to be reconfigured to be quite deadly to races with inferior technology.


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: kwamp on March 13, 2007, 04:22:17 pm
randomization of the starmap (if the ability to have placeholders in the code for locations is doable) would be enough, with a revamped AI, to make the game replayable forever.



Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Elvish Pillager on March 13, 2007, 09:59:49 pm
Hm, I surely got some Umgah blood in me, HAR! HAR! HAR! :D
Human with Umgah blood? What Umgah you get it from, Har! Har! Har! Umgah have blood? Har! Har! Har!


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: jucce on March 15, 2007, 04:19:15 pm
I guess the challenge is making it difficult in a fun way and not just more tedious. For example you could halve the amount of minerals on every planet but that wouldn't make it harder to me, just more tedious.

So what could you do?

*Maybe you could have the escape function only work 50% of the time and you can only try to escape once every minute. It will cost fuel whether it works or not.

*Disabling or having the secondary fire of ships weapons cost fuel/resources/credits. Those two things will make you'll fear battles more.

*A better AI would be good of course.

*Making the enemy ships faster so you can't just run away and actually have to avoid zones of influence. Or making the enemies able to "freeze" you for short time.

*Increasing the number of enemy ships and having them venture outside their zones more.

*Disease. If an animal succeeds in attacking your lander there's a chance it'll bring back some disease to your ship. The disease will kill crew/infect resources/infect animal data/something more clever.

*And you could make the animals attack you more and do more damage.

*Being able to take specific damage. Let's say your docking ports/lander/planet scanner/starmap/autopilot/escape drive/weapons/portal spawner/etc. can get damaged in combat and it can be fixed, for a price, at the starbase/a melnorme/the druuge/an ally or maybe you could fix it right were you are if you have the right resources/time/credits/etc.


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Death 999 on March 15, 2007, 07:42:45 pm
Several of those would make the game more annoying without particularly making it more challenging. It's a trick.


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Valaggar on March 15, 2007, 08:04:57 pm
Yes, "more challenging" means that you will need more skill, not that you will be beaten more soundly.
We should stick with nerfing the flagship, improving the AI... and it's enough.


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: countchocula86 on March 15, 2007, 11:01:19 pm
Maybe making it a little more effort to get allies, adding additional quests in for them. Maybe the Pkunk won't ally with you until you bring them the fabled Glowing Rod, or Wimblis Trident.

Maybe some sort of deal between the Arilou and the Orz, cant ally with both at the same time. Of course that would involve the Orz having something worth more than just the Taalo shield, but still.

That kinda stuff.

Which would obviously be even more work then something like randomizing the star map. But I can still dream.


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Spektrowski on March 15, 2007, 11:40:24 pm
If one is foolish enough to go to Falayalaralfali with an Orz ship, deprive him/her of Portal Spawner (don't give quest if he/she doesn't have it yet and take it away if he/she already has it). Totally. And going to Orz space with an Arilou ship means that you'd have to fight hard to get the Taalo Shield.
Make Beta Corvi swarmed with Slylandro Probes - they are programmed to return home after 10 replications, after all :)
If one possesses a Druuge ship and encounters the Melnorme, they'd refuse to trade.
If disabling the Melnorme summoning feature of the 'Casters feels too harsh, make the feature cost fuel.
Delay the Shofixti reproduction time.
Make the Pkunk survive their merging with Yehat only if they reach the Yehat space after triggering the revolution.
Increase the Sa-Matra guarding force to 6 Kzer-Za and 6 Kohr-Ah.


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Elvish Pillager on March 15, 2007, 11:50:10 pm
Increase the Sa-Matra guarding force to 6 Kzer-Za and 6 Kohr-Ah.
And an Umgah! Har! Har! Har!


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Spektrowski on March 15, 2007, 11:53:15 pm
Quote
And an Umgah! Har! Har! Har!
Replace the Sa-Matra with an Umgah Drone! Har! Har! Har! And the real Sa-Matra would be in Umgah space, stolen long ago by the evil blobbies :D And you'd have to act quick to prevent THE UMGAH DEATH MARCH!!!


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Elvish Pillager on March 15, 2007, 11:56:42 pm
No, seriously. Especially if you don't show the Umgah in the initial enemy fleet picture. The player will be so surprised when it warps in, whizzes towards you, and starts dealing out 24 damage per second.

For extra fun, make it always warp in right behind you and facing towards you.


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Spektrowski on March 16, 2007, 12:02:50 am
Make something like "VUX start" for an Umgah? That's an interesting idea.


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Valaggar on March 16, 2007, 02:24:53 pm
Yes, and also larger enemy battlegroups, very large. (so a smaller scavenging revenue)

And some battlegroups that spawn right in front of you requiring picosecond reflexes would be a good idea, but not too many. Just enough to make you actually need to fight enemies when in their territory.

Also, that idea with ships that temporarily leave your fleet when you are in a fight is excellent.
And less ships in your fleet, less crewpods/furnaces/weapons on the flagship.

Not to forget some creative ideas such as getting locked between dimensions when using the Spawner (sometimes), and something like the Space Rangers 2 Black Hole mini-game begins.


Title: Re: Concept idea, Main Game difficulty setting.
Post by: Spektrowski on March 16, 2007, 03:59:46 pm
Another possibility of "getting stuck" feature is losing a month's worth of time and appearing from a random portal after that.