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Author Topic: StarControl: Behind Enemy lines  (Read 33198 times)
Draxas
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Re: StarControl: Behind Enemy lines
« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2009, 09:58:40 pm »

I'm not sure I understand the mobbing rules, precisely. It seems, from the wording, like any given character has a fixed number of defense dice that they are allowed to roll in a single turn. Are these allocated one a one to one basis per strike, or do the simply use up all their defense dice as soon as the first strike comes their way, or what?

Going by the old Hero Quest rules, each character should have a fixed number of defense dice they roll to stop each attack, which is distinctly different than the way it seems to be worded now, but makes more sense to me (at least as far as ranged attacks are concerned, but you could definitely make the argument for melee as well). The way the rules are currently set up, at least according to my interpretation, they seem to be geared toward an extremely lethal game, even for players; all it takes, for example, is a pair of Ilwrath to focus their fire on one player in order to exceed their defensive ability. Considering how few HP most of the players have, this is not exactly ideal... Or at least I would think not.

This could also lend itself to a bit of abuse on they players' part, simply by holding their more powerful weapons back, and allowing smaller guns to run out an enemy's defensinve abilities before firing the heavy stuff at them later in the same turn. I suppose enemies using multiple weapon types could use the same tactic, and it makes some slight amount of sense from a realism perspective as well as adding strategic possibilities, but still doesn't seem conducive to a very survivable game for anyone.

So yeah, that wall of text means: Please clarify.
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Re: StarControl: Behind Enemy lines
« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2009, 07:59:24 am »

Hey and thanks for the input. Like I said, I haven't really done this before so some of my ideas may well be flawed. Your thoughts are appreciated.

You've understood the rules correctly. Each character has a set number of parries per turn. If these are exceeded he won't be able to defend himself. This was put in to make the game more realistic. The idea is that your troop is moving as one, so any enemies won't have to time to regain their composure between attacks.

The question about wasting parries is a good one, which I hadn't fully considered. If an enemy has two parries and you have two attacks, you miss both and he parries both, then those parries are potentially wasted. Perhaps it would be prudent to allocate them one on one. Thus, any unused parries can carry over to the next enemy, should that be necessary.

As for the lethality of the mobbing rule, you are correct. Strike dice are already more effective than parry dice, making attacking preferable to defending. The idea behind it is to force the players to work as more of a team. They need to do enough damage before the enemy has time to react, or face grim consequences. Even the stronger players can be wounded very quickly. Low HP in itself can be healed, but if they divide or stall too much then the enemy will stand a good chance of killing them. Mostly in this first scenario the enemy will not be expecting them, which makes it easier on them. There may or may not be objects available that raise your amount of parry dice.

In regards to the enemy mobbing players, keep in mind that I'm in control of them. Regular Ilwrath will usually not mob, and some of the higher ups have weapons/abilities that prevent mobbing.

I don't see a problem with abuse on the players part. If they work together as a team, wearing down an enemy before it has a chance to strike back then this is good. We've already seen that lone enemies are hardly a challenge to the players. If groups of enemies prove too easy (or deadly) I'll try to tweak both the parry dice and the mobbing rule.

EDIT: Also, there wasn't any XP in Hero Quest (I think). This rule allows for other units to help their weaker counterparts (such as the Arilou) gain experience. Levelling up would be extremely difficult for the Arilou (except through tasks) if he had to go one on one with any enemy and try to wipe it out with the Peashooter. Now someone else can attack and hopefully weaken the enemy enough to allow a final blow from the Arilou. If the other players choose to do so of course.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2009, 09:26:22 am by Lukipela » Logged

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Re: StarControl: Behind Enemy lines
« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2009, 03:49:12 pm »

One more question: when we advance a level will it be in a style similar to the games like wesnoth or shining force, or we will just gain more HP/other stats/powers/abilities/etc in a manner similar to the one seen in "Nox" crpg? Or we can choose what abilities we want to acquire when leveling up? Or it will be at random (?) ? Or something completely else? I think that the "wesnoth style" would be the most interesting/fun (with branching unit trees etc) for this kind of gaming.
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Re: StarControl: Behind Enemy lines
« Reply #33 on: January 08, 2009, 05:22:48 pm »

I once again have no idea what your examples mean, sorry. You can't choose what you get if that's what you're asking, I decide that.
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Re: StarControl: Behind Enemy lines
« Reply #34 on: January 08, 2009, 06:45:24 pm »

The question about wasting parries is a good one, which I hadn't fully considered. If an enemy has two parries and you have two attacks, you miss both and he parries both, then those parries are potentially wasted. Perhaps it would be prudent to allocate them one on one. Thus, any unused parries can carry over to the next enemy, should that be necessary.

I'd have to think that in the case of the players, it might even be prudent to allow them to choose which attacks to parry and which to ride out if their parries for the turn are exceeded (of course, you could apply this to their opponents behind the scenes if you like). Especially in the case of low HP characters like the Arilou, if he's unlucky enough to be hit by several blows and the last does something like -2 or -3 damage, he's definitely going to want to take pains to avoid that one. Then again, that's realism right out the window.

I don't know. I'm just envisioning a boss character, who will inevitably show up with a couple of lackeys and higher damage weapons, really being able to massacre the players without much effort.

Incidentally, why is it that the characters with the lowest HP are the ones assigned the medikits? It seems a bit counterintuitive (I think everyone should have one, at least initially, just to improve the chances of them surviving long enough to fight tougher stuff, but that's just me).

Tangentially related, will the players be able to upgrade their gear between missions, or replace consumables like ammo or medikits? I assume that if one mission leads directly to another with no logical way to do so in between, that bars the idea, but otherwise they should be able to access Star Control's armories to reequip, right? If so, how will that work? Will they simply be able to replenish their used gear, or will they be assigned upgrades based on performance or level, or will they have to purchase them with some sort of currency-equivalent?

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As for the lethality of the mobbing rule, you are correct. Strike dice are already more effective than parry dice, making attacking preferable to defending. The idea behind it is to force the players to work as more of a team. They need to do enough damage before the enemy has time to react, or face grim consequences. Even the stronger players can be wounded very quickly. Low HP in itself can be healed, but if they divide or stall too much then the enemy will stand a good chance of killing them. Mostly in this first scenario the enemy will not be expecting them, which makes it easier on them. There may or may not be objects available that raise your amount of parry dice.

In regards to the enemy mobbing players, keep in mind that I'm in control of them. Regular Ilwrath will usually not mob, and some of the higher ups have weapons/abilities that prevent mobbing.

I don't see a problem with abuse on the players part. If they work together as a team, wearing down an enemy before it has a chance to strike back then this is good. We've already seen that lone enemies are hardly a challenge to the players. If groups of enemies prove too easy (or deadly) I'll try to tweak both the parry dice and the mobbing rule.

EDIT: Also, there wasn't any XP in Hero Quest (I think). This rule allows for other units to help their weaker counterparts (such as the Arilou) gain experience. Levelling up would be extremely difficult for the Arilou (except through tasks) if he had to go one on one with any enemy and try to wipe it out with the Peashooter. Now someone else can attack and hopefully weaken the enemy enough to allow a final blow from the Arilou. If the other players choose to do so of course.

I'm glad that upgrades to defenses are also available. In fact, I can see certain characters (Arilou springs to mind once again) becoming very evasive from things like passive psychic powers (somewhat offsetting their complete inability to soak damage)... Of course, I have no idea what you had in mind as far as this goes, so never mind my ramblings if you had other ideas.

If you're going to roleplay the enemies to have different personalities in terms of mobbing and the like, then that should work well to mitigate the more deadly effects of mobbing against the players (or perhaps exaggerate them; I suspect the first scenario involving Androsynth will make any human players with they chose a different race). However, I still have a hunch that the players are going to get turned to mincemeat as soon as they run up against a boss battle (which are, as stated above, likely to include lackeys and anti-mobbing abilities).

I think the real victims of the mobbing rules are going to be the weaker player races. Especially in the case of the Arilou (since using their powers doesn't gain them any XP), they're stuck with a terrible weapon and no ability to go toe to toe with anything. Unfortunately, this also puts them in the ideal role of "softening up" enemy troops, allowing others with better weaponry and more HP to strike the killing blows after their parries are gone. The net effect of this is that the Arilou winds up lagging behind in XP anyway unless the other players make a concerted effort to try and let him score kills... Which is a risky proposition at best for all concerned.

You are correct that Hero Quest did not have an XP system. However, the players collected gold, which they could use to buy better equipment in shops between quests. Players were encouraged to pool their gold in order to make the easiest progress, and so weaker characters like the Wizard usually received defensive upgrades earlier than they would have if they had to only rely on their own supply of gold. Since XP is not a transferrable or poolable resource, our Wizard (Arilou) seems to be SOL on that front (It also didn't hurt that the Wizard had several very powerful direct damage spells in Hero Quest, as well as all of the characters in that game being significantly tougher, with 4, 6, 7, and 8 HP).

Either way, I'm looking forward to see how this all plays out. As you might have guessed by now, I really enjoy the whole planning, tweaking, and early design element of games like these, so I'm probably going to be kind of vocal with suggestions and questions and such. Just let me know whan I get too annoying and I'll ratchet it back a notch. Wink
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Re: StarControl: Behind Enemy lines
« Reply #35 on: January 08, 2009, 07:35:17 pm »

I'd have to think that in the case of the players, it might even be prudent to allow them to choose which attacks to parry and which to ride out if their parries for the turn are exceeded (of course, you could apply this to their opponents behind the scenes if you like). Especially in the case of low HP characters like the Arilou, if he's unlucky enough to be hit by several blows and the last does something like -2 or -3 damage, he's definitely going to want to take pains to avoid that one. Then again, that's realism right out the window.

I'm not sure  what you mean here. If the Arilou manages to parry one strike, and the first enemy manages to hit him with two strikes and the second with one, how would it matter which strike he parries? The end result is still going to be the same.

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I don't know. I'm just envisioning a boss character, who will inevitably show up with a couple of lackeys and higher damage weapons, really being able to massacre the players without much effort.

I can't coment on that other than saying that I don't think that there are any enemies in the game that will be able to outright massacre all characters, even though some groups of enemies will require the team to think a bit and not just charge in.

Quote
Incidentally, why is it that the characters with the lowest HP are the ones assigned the medikits? It seems a bit counterintuitive (I think everyone should have one, at least initially, just to improve the chances of them surviving long enough to fight tougher stuff, but that's just me).

I may have forgotten to put this into the rules (I'll check afetr this), but players are able to give each other equipment, which means that a Medikit can be given to a player who needs it. I placed the Medikits with the weaker character because I wasn't sure how quickly damage would occur. Because of that I gave the Medikits to the characters with lower HP, to ensure that they could use them if they were wounded early on in battle. Of course, if they choose not to share their Medikits that's their thing, but they aren't going to survive on their own for very long.

Quote
Tangentially related, will the players be able to upgrade their gear between missions, or replace consumables like ammo or medikits? I assume that if one mission leads directly to another with no logical way to do so in between, that bars the idea, but otherwise they should be able to access Star Control's armories to reequip, right? If so, how will that work? Will they simply be able to replenish their used gear, or will they be assigned upgrades based on performance or level, or will they have to purchase them with some sort of currency-equivalent?

That's a bit out of the scope of this game. If I had a happy programmer to help me create an actual small game based on this, I'd set it up so that you could replenish at base after certain missions. In that case I was thinking of implementing a simple weight rule of some sort, and making new gear appear at base as the game progresses. That would ensure that you can't just load up on all sorts of goodies, but actually have to think about what you get. A precursor to this can be seen in the mission, where you can't carry more than two weapons. As it is I'll probably start the next mission off with a roster of level 2 character and pre-set inventories.

Quote
I'm glad that upgrades to defenses are also available. In fact, I can see certain characters (Arilou springs to mind once again) becoming very evasive from things like passive psychic powers (somewhat offsetting their complete inability to soak damage)... Of course, I have no idea what you had in mind as far as this goes, so never mind my ramblings if you had other ideas.

They may or may not be. I've got a lot of gear planned out and handy, but we'll see what makes it into the game Wink The Arilou will probably need some help though, I didn't realise that he is as gimped as he is. Similarly, the Shofixti seems a tad too strong right now. But we'll see how he fares later on.

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If you're going to roleplay the enemies to have different personalities in terms of mobbing and the like, then that should work well to mitigate the more deadly effects of mobbing against the players (or perhaps exaggerate them; I suspect the first scenario involving Androsynth will make any human players with they chose a different race). However, I still have a hunch that the players are going to get turned to mincemeat as soon as they run up against a boss battle (which are, as stated above, likely to include lackeys and anti-mobbing abilities).

I've assigned some basic roles to different enemies (sentry, patrol, resting) and so on, and then it's slightly modified based on unit. The Ilwrath you see right now are pretty dumb, later enemies won't be.

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I think the real victims of the mobbing rules are going to be the weaker player races. Especially in the case of the Arilou (since using their powers doesn't gain them any XP), they're stuck with a terrible weapon and no ability to go toe to toe with anything. Unfortunately, this also puts them in the ideal role of "softening up" enemy troops, allowing others with better weaponry and more HP to strike the killing blows after their parries are gone. The net effect of this is that the Arilou winds up lagging behind in XP anyway unless the other players make a concerted effort to try and let him score kills... Which is a risky proposition at best for all concerned.

Good point. I don't want their powers to become insta-kill either though (I had planned to give XP for all Mayhem victims who kill each other, but that isn't relevant now). I'll see if I can't come up with something. After the first levelling, things should become easier on the Arilou though. It's the toughest to upgrade, but may or may not be the most worthwhile as well. Also, keep in mind that tasks give everyone XP, and if they are all completed (some are optional) they will bring the Arilou very close to the next level.

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You are correct that Hero Quest did not have an XP system. However, the players collected gold, which they could use to buy better equipment in shops between quests. Players were encouraged to pool their gold in order to make the easiest progress, and so weaker characters like the Wizard usually received defensive upgrades earlier than they would have if they had to only rely on their own supply of gold. Since XP is not a transferrable or poolable resource, our Wizard (Arilou) seems to be SOL on that front (It also didn't hurt that the Wizard had several very powerful direct damage spells in Hero Quest, as well as all of the characters in that game being significantly tougher, with 4, 6, 7, and 8 HP).

You're right. I'll have to think about giving the Arilou a few more powers to begin with to make him useful. I'll ponder upgrading the character tomorrow.

Quote
Either way, I'm looking forward to see how this all plays out. As you might have guessed by now, I really enjoy the whole planning, tweaking, and early design element of games like these, so I'm probably going to be kind of vocal with suggestions and questions and such. Just let me know whan I get too annoying and I'll ratchet it back a notch. Wink

I'm grateful for all the help I can get. As I said, this is my first time doing something like this, and the game hasn't been play tested (this is pretty much it Smiley ), so any and all feedback is very welcome. You've presented quite a few good ideas that I'll have to ponder.
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Re: StarControl: Behind Enemy lines
« Reply #36 on: January 08, 2009, 08:52:23 pm »

I'd have to think that in the case of the players, it might even be prudent to allow them to choose which attacks to parry and which to ride out if their parries for the turn are exceeded (of course, you could apply this to their opponents behind the scenes if you like). Especially in the case of low HP characters like the Arilou, if he's unlucky enough to be hit by several blows and the last does something like -2 or -3 damage, he's definitely going to want to take pains to avoid that one. Then again, that's realism right out the window.

I'm not sure  what you mean here. If the Arilou manages to parry one strike, and the first enemy manages to hit him with two strikes and the second with one, how would it matter which strike he parries? The end result is still going to be the same.

Take this hypothetical scenario as an example:

The party is facing 3 enemies, and the Arilou is put into the awkward position of being the target of all 3 (they were ambushed from behind, or something; there are ways this could happen, I assume, without it being the direct result of poor planning on the players' part). The first two attacks are with Peashooters, striking once and causing 1 damage each. The third, however, is from some hypotectical heavy weapon (let's say, a railgun or laser cannon or something), that only strickes once but does 3 damage per hit. Under the current rules, our poor little Arilou is going to waste his 2 parries on evading those peashooters, and will wind up defneseless when that heavy weapon shell comes his way. Considering that it will kill him outright in one shot (whereas even if both Peashooters hit, he'll still be alive), I would imagine this to be a really sucky situation for our little green friend. However, if he could pick and choose which attacks he wanted to use his parries against, he might have a better shot at avoiding vaporization, even if he does come through it with some wounds from the lighter weapons as a result. As I said before, though, that's realism right out the window.

Here's another question related to parrying: Let's say a character takes only one hit from a weapon in a turn. If that character has multiple parries, and the first attempt to parry fails, would they be able to try again? Or are parries assigned on a one strike, one parry basis?

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Incidentally, why is it that the characters with the lowest HP are the ones assigned the medikits? It seems a bit counterintuitive (I think everyone should have one, at least initially, just to improve the chances of them surviving long enough to fight tougher stuff, but that's just me).

I may have forgotten to put this into the rules (I'll check afetr this), but players are able to give each other equipment, which means that a Medikit can be given to a player who needs it. I placed the Medikits with the weaker character because I wasn't sure how quickly damage would occur. Because of that I gave the Medikits to the characters with lower HP, to ensure that they could use them if they were wounded early on in battle. Of course, if they choose not to share their Medikits that's their thing, but they aren't going to survive on their own for very long.

Well, I assumed that characters could heal each other if needed, but that's not exactly the point. From an in-universe standpoint, isn't it a little bit negligent of Star Control to give the first aid gear only to certain races, rather than ensure all of their troops have a maximum probability of survival? I mean, it's not like any of the characters are dedicated medics. And from a gameplay perspective, it would make sense for everyone to have the ability to heal themselves. I realize the parallels between Arilou / Wizard and Syreen / Elf in terms of who had the healing skills in that game, but I also remember healing potions being rather easy to come across as well. This meant that, even during the first quest, everyone was likely to be able to heal themselves, even if only a little bit.

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Tangentially related, will the players be able to upgrade their gear between missions, or replace consumables like ammo or medikits? I assume that if one mission leads directly to another with no logical way to do so in between, that bars the idea, but otherwise they should be able to access Star Control's armories to reequip, right? If so, how will that work? Will they simply be able to replenish their used gear, or will they be assigned upgrades based on performance or level, or will they have to purchase them with some sort of currency-equivalent?

That's a bit out of the scope of this game. If I had a happy programmer to help me create an actual small game based on this, I'd set it up so that you could replenish at base after certain missions. In that case I was thinking of implementing a simple weight rule of some sort, and making new gear appear at base as the game progresses. That would ensure that you can't just load up on all sorts of goodies, but actually have to think about what you get. A precursor to this can be seen in the mission, where you can't carry more than two weapons. As it is I'll probably start the next mission off with a roster of level 2 character and pre-set inventories.

Well, continuing characters could pretty much obey the current set of rules, at least as a simple start. Since each character is limited by their strength as to what gear they can carry anyway, the two-weapon rule should suffice to limit what they can use, especially since there is always the possibility of salvaging better gear during a mission that they might not be able to carry. The only thing you would need to limit is how many "rations" of consumables like medikits or grenades each character could requisition from the armory. Or alternatively, you could use a weight limit rule to give the players a bit more freedom in what gear they can choose. Or perhaps, instead they could be rewarded a "salary" in Starbucks, possibly based on mission performance, which they would use to purchase new gear (though this seems a bit too mercenary, perhaps), which would also effectively limit how much they could carry based on what they could afford.

I'm no programmer, but if you would like a little help working up the basic mechanics of a system like this, I'm totally game. Smiley

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You are correct that Hero Quest did not have an XP system. However, the players collected gold, which they could use to buy better equipment in shops between quests. Players were encouraged to pool their gold in order to make the easiest progress, and so weaker characters like the Wizard usually received defensive upgrades earlier than they would have if they had to only rely on their own supply of gold. Since XP is not a transferrable or poolable resource, our Wizard (Arilou) seems to be SOL on that front (It also didn't hurt that the Wizard had several very powerful direct damage spells in Hero Quest, as well as all of the characters in that game being significantly tougher, with 4, 6, 7, and 8 HP).

You're right. I'll have to think about giving the Arilou a few more powers to begin with to make him useful. I'll ponder upgrading the character tomorrow.

Considering that even the first mission dregs of the Hierarchy have 2 HP, a decent direct damage power wouldn't be a bad idea. Alternatively, a powerful defensive power could easily make the Arilou more survivable. I'm thinking something akin to a Stone Skin power: As a detailed example, Psychic Shield could enable the Arilou to roll 2 defense dice for each parry they make, and once they run out of their usual parries, they would still be allowed to roll one die to defend. However, while the power was active, they would be limited to only using 1 AP per turn. The effect could last for a duration of 2 or 3 turns, or could be cut off early if no longer needed (though this would not restore use of the power).

Considering that within the Arilou's current group of powers, Psychic Blast and Psychic Stun are almost completely redundant with each other (with only the 1 damage effect to set them apart, which is pretty negligible), perhaps replacing one of them would be a good idea.
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Re: StarControl: Behind Enemy lines
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2009, 09:43:04 am »

I once again have no idea what your examples mean, sorry. You can't choose what you get if that's what you're asking, I decide that.

Ups, sorry for misunderstanding, let me clarify:

I was just wondering in what manner will our characters advance in a level when they gain enough XP. In my previous post I just named a few systems that could be useful and employed in SC: BEL as well -

#1 "Branching Unit Tree Advancement" - this is a system in which a unit after it attains enough XP advances in a level changing itself into a more powerful version of itself. Most unit trees go only two levels further from the original unit, but in some cases they can go to levels 3 or 4 (some very powerful units advance in this manner) and ofter generally two different paths of advancement (rarely three). The best example for this system would be "Battle for Wesnoth" a freeware strategy with simple mechanics yet with a very deep and tactical gameplay. The game is set in a fantasy world but that is irrelevant because here I will only explain the way units level up. For this example I'll use one of the most basic ones - "Elven Warrior". When this unit gains a level the player can choose if he wants to upgrade it to be even more powerful solo combatant ("Elven Hero") or if he wants to forgo some of its melee might to make the unit a better team worker which would confer some bonuses to the units that surround him ("Elven Captain"). The full advancement would be something like:

                            Elven Hero -> Elven Champion (solo fighter path)
                          /
Elven Warrior
                          \
                            Elven Captain -> Elven Marshal (group fighter/leader path)

The advancement is different for different units - elven archers can advance in marksman and sharpshooters, or to choose to forgo some range power for a better melee going for ranger -> avenger build; mages choose if they are going to learn healing or destructive magic paths (white or red mage) which unlock and denies them access to certain spells and so on. Units also have different traits that they get at random when they are created (resilient trait gives them more HP, intelligent lowers their XP cap needed to level up etc)  which makes every unit pretty much unique.

In SC: BEL - when unit advances stats are upgraded automatically and the GM let players decide what path will the unit take for the further advancements; I made a simple example on Arilou Spook unit:

                           Arilou Psy Trooper -> Arilou Psy Commando -> Arilou Psy Assassin (forgoes some of his psychic powers  to become a better fighter)
                        / 
Arilou Spook
                        \
                          Arilou Psyker -> Arilou Neuromancer -> Arilou Metamind (master of the psionic arts)*
etc.

*yes I know they're not original but this is just an example  Smiley

#2 "Unit Class Advancement" - same as above, except that the units progress in one line (there is no branching) and that line can go up to 5, 6 or more different upgrades, each stronger than the previous in his area of expertise; this system exist in most of the role playing games like d&d and the like, but for this game here the best example would be  "Shining Force" 1 and 2 and some other japanese school RPGs (with which I have little experience so I can't name other examples :p ) So the progression here would be something like: 

footman -> swordsman -> swordmaster -> knight -> paladin -> divine blade -> ... etc.

Game mechanics in SH are somewhat simpler than the Wesnoth (no traits etc) and more akin to those of Heroes of Might and Magic series (but in HoMM units can advance only one level (the stat/abilities system is quite more complex) and from HoMM 5 the unit tree branches into two possible different outcomes).

IN SC: BEL - same as above except that unit automatically advance into hers next unit level on a predifined pattern by the GM without GM or player interference.

#3 "Static Advancement" - most of the japanese and some from the western school of RPG; for this example I'll use NOX. It's an action RPG, but not all that much similar to other games of the genre like Diablo or Titan Quest. When your character levels up his stats are upgraded without any  influence from the player, making for a faster and easier but less interesting play.

In SC: BEL - units stats are upgraded in a predefined pattern made by the GM without interference by the players; no unit advancement.

#4 "Free Choice Advancement" - system of character progression where the player is not bound by classes and can upgrade his character when leveling up in a manner that suits his play best. For me the best computer RPG example for that would be the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system games Fallout 1/2/Tactics and Arcanum. Player can choose from a variety of abilities/skills/stats etc when leveling up and customize their character however he/she likes with said choices.

In SC: BEL - when units goes up a level GM gives players a set of abilities to choose from and allows them to pick which stat (STR, MOV etc) would be upgraded and change their character according to player choices; no unit advancement.

#5 Other - anything that does not fall in the above or the combination of some elements from before mentioned mechanics.

p.s.- I bet the closest answer would be #3  Grin

---

I posted all these examples just so you can see what I had in mind and to give you some insight/ideas for further concepts of game mechanics for this wonderful game you made for us to play with  Grin

More specifically, we're in the timeframe 2126 - 2134, after all the races have joined but before it is apparent that the Alliance is losing. The exact date is unspecified right now because this is a secret mission Wink But it might be around February 2130.

Aww  Tongue At first I was thrilled because that would mean we're playing in original alliance and we could even encounter the Androsynth because they were still alive and kickin'!...but then I remembered that we would not see the Orz  Cry I can't imagine how good it would be to go around in one of those Battle-Armor of theirs - heck, I think they would cover at least 4 spaces on the map. And the firepower...that would be sooo sweet  Smiley
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 09:46:59 am by Son_of_Antares » Logged
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Re: StarControl: Behind Enemy lines
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2009, 04:29:13 pm »

Take this hypothetical scenario as an example:

I haven't actually got any weapons that do more than one damage per strike dice though. If a weapon has the potential to do great damage, it also has the potential to partly or completely miss.

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Here's another question related to parrying: Let's say a character takes only one hit from a weapon in a turn. If that character has multiple parries, and the first attempt to parry fails, would they be able to try again? Or are parries assigned on a one strike, one parry basis?

Once the first hit is rolled, you roll the parry dice until you parry or run out of dice.

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Well, I assumed that characters could heal each other if needed, but that's not exactly the point. From an in-universe standpoint, isn't it a little bit negligent of Star Control to give the first aid gear only to certain races, rather than ensure all of their troops have a maximum probability of survival? I mean, it's not like any of the characters are dedicated medics.

Their lander is small and cramped. Also, they are fresh recruits out on a desperate mission. Corridor 9 does not want to waste valuable materiasl to keep a fat Syreen, crazy Human and flower-picking space-scared Shofixti alive.  Wink


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And from a gameplay perspective, it would make sense for everyone to have the ability to heal themselves. I realize the parallels between Arilou / Wizard and Syreen / Elf in terms of who had the healing skills in that game, but I also remember healing potions being rather easy to come across as well. This meant that, even during the first quest, everyone was likely to be able to heal themselves, even if only a little bit.

Keep in mind that right now everyone seems bent on staying outside where there are very few supplies. Inside there may or may not be things that alleviate this problem

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Well, continuing characters could pretty much obey the current set of rules, at least as a simple start. Since each character is limited by their strength as to what gear they can carry anyway, the two-weapon rule should suffice to limit what they can use, especially since there is always the possibility of salvaging better gear during a mission that they might not be able to carry. The only thing you would need to limit is how many "rations" of consumables like medikits or grenades each character could requisition from the armory. Or alternatively, you could use a weight limit rule to give the players a bit more freedom in what gear they can choose. Or perhaps, instead they could be rewarded a "salary" in Starbucks, possibly based on mission performance, which they would use to purchase new gear (though this seems a bit too mercenary, perhaps), which would also effectively limit how much they could carry based on what they could afford.

I'm no programmer, but if you would like a little help working up the basic mechanics of a system like this, I'm totally game. Smiley

I'll keep your offer in mind. However, I don't feel inclined to put a lot of energy into  designing an aspect of the game that cannot be used without the help of both a coder and a artist. Running the one game is pretty demanding as it is. Discussing it even more so Wink As it is I'll keep the idea in the back of my mind, and if we play through enough missions to get a band of regulars I might try and set something like that up (for instance on the SCDB roleplaying boards)

Quote
Considering that even the first mission dregs of the Hierarchy have 2 HP, a decent direct damage power wouldn't be a bad idea. Alternatively, a powerful defensive power could easily make the Arilou more survivable. I'm thinking something akin to a Stone Skin power: As a detailed example, Psychic Shield could enable the Arilou to roll 2 defense dice for each parry they make, and once they run out of their usual parries, they would still be allowed to roll one die to defend. However, while the power was active, they would be limited to only using 1 AP per turn. The effect could last for a duration of 2 or 3 turns, or could be cut off early if no longer needed (though this would not restore use of the power).

Considering that within the Arilou's current group of powers, Psychic Blast and Psychic Stun are almost completely redundant with each other (with only the 1 damage effect to set them apart, which is pretty negligible), perhaps replacing one of them would be a good idea.

You're arguments are good, and thus I've decided to revamp the Arilou and revisit the HP. I was a bit too afraid of making the unit too strong, and now it seems it is far too weak instead. Let's see if Wawa can't be made slightly more terrifying. Once I'm done with that I'll get back to the next question in this thread.
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Re: StarControl: Behind Enemy lines
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2009, 04:50:11 pm »

Edit: I'll OOC this in the player thread as well, but these changes have been implemented:

Arilou now has several new powers.
Old Arilou powers upgraded (Mayhem, Blast and Stun)
Syreen gets one new power
Pretty bauble recharges three powers
Using all powers gives 2 XP to Arilou
Everyone gets + 1 HP

New XP limits for Syreen (6XP, human&Shofixti (7XP).

This should make the game fairer to power players, and more balanced all around. Since Mayhem has been used and now rightfully should have killed an Ilwrath I'm giving Wawa 1 XP, but Wubulu keeps hers as well.
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Re: StarControl: Behind Enemy lines
« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2009, 04:57:34 pm »

Loads of alternatives

Number one is out. The units are supposed to compliment each other, and this makes it much harder to ensure a balanced group since several people might choose similar paths.

Number two and three sound like pretty much the same thing. This is what I was considering originally

Number four seems a bit advanced for a game of this size. You don't have that many stats or abilities, so picking and mixing that widely would be futile. Maybe if I add more stats later.

Number five is certainly possible. I'll consider  giving you a choice between different abilities/powers/so forth when you level up. If I can work it in well somehow. Thanks for the idea.

Quote
Aww  Tongue At first I was thrilled because that would mean we're playing in original alliance and we could even encounter the Androsynth because they were still alive and kickin'!...but then I remembered that we would not see the Orz  Cry I can't imagine how good it would be to go around in one of those Battle-Armor of theirs - heck, I think they would cover at least 4 spaces on the map. And the firepower...that would be sooo sweet  Smiley

Well odd things can happen behind the scenes in a secret war... But maybe not that odd.
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Re: StarControl: Behind Enemy lines
« Reply #41 on: January 09, 2009, 05:34:35 pm »

Take this hypothetical scenario as an example:

I haven't actually got any weapons that do more than one damage per strike dice though. If a weapon has the potential to do great damage, it also has the potential to partly or completely miss.

I wrote this comment before you had revealed the complete rules for the Paingiver. From the initial, more vague description of it, it seemed to do 2 damage with 1 strike. With how you are handling this now, my original point is pretty moot, since every strike seems to do 1 damage.

Quote
Quote
Well, I assumed that characters could heal each other if needed, but that's not exactly the point. From an in-universe standpoint, isn't it a little bit negligent of Star Control to give the first aid gear only to certain races, rather than ensure all of their troops have a maximum probability of survival? I mean, it's not like any of the characters are dedicated medics.

Their lander is small and cramped. Also, they are fresh recruits out on a desperate mission. Corridor 9 does not want to waste valuable materiasl to keep a fat Syreen, crazy Human and flower-picking space-scared Shofixti alive.  Wink

I'm assuming I don't need to mention that they gave said fat Syreen a medikit by accident, then? Wink

If additional healing gear does become available, that's good. I suppose it is true that the players haven't been too keen on actually exploring any place they would be likely to find any supplies.

Quote
Quote
Well, continuing characters could pretty much obey the current set of rules, at least as a simple start. Since each character is limited by their strength as to what gear they can carry anyway, the two-weapon rule should suffice to limit what they can use, especially since there is always the possibility of salvaging better gear during a mission that they might not be able to carry. The only thing you would need to limit is how many "rations" of consumables like medikits or grenades each character could requisition from the armory. Or alternatively, you could use a weight limit rule to give the players a bit more freedom in what gear they can choose. Or perhaps, instead they could be rewarded a "salary" in Starbucks, possibly based on mission performance, which they would use to purchase new gear (though this seems a bit too mercenary, perhaps), which would also effectively limit how much they could carry based on what they could afford.

I'm no programmer, but if you would like a little help working up the basic mechanics of a system like this, I'm totally game. Smiley

I'll keep your offer in mind. However, I don't feel inclined to put a lot of energy into  designing an aspect of the game that cannot be used without the help of both a coder and a artist. Running the one game is pretty demanding as it is. Discussing it even more so Wink As it is I'll keep the idea in the back of my mind, and if we play through enough missions to get a band of regulars I might try and set something like that up (for instance on the SCDB roleplaying boards)

In all honesty, I'm not sure why either would be required. Though some item art would pretty things up, it's not strictly necessary, and thus far, nothing is actually coded at all. Realistically, adjusting player gear could easily be a text-only affair, undertaken during the downtime between games, which should keep it fairly non-taxing. It could even be restricted to a potential roster thread, if such a thing should come to pass.

As a side note, I would be very sad if this game moved in whole or part to the SCDB. I have nothing against the site per se, but it's one of the many that are blocked at work, which would basically make it inconvenient or impossible for me to play/comment/generally annoy with all my rambling. Grin

Quote
Quote
Considering that even the first mission dregs of the Hierarchy have 2 HP, a decent direct damage power wouldn't be a bad idea. Alternatively, a powerful defensive power could easily make the Arilou more survivable. I'm thinking something akin to a Stone Skin power: As a detailed example, Psychic Shield could enable the Arilou to roll 2 defense dice for each parry they make, and once they run out of their usual parries, they would still be allowed to roll one die to defend. However, while the power was active, they would be limited to only using 1 AP per turn. The effect could last for a duration of 2 or 3 turns, or could be cut off early if no longer needed (though this would not restore use of the power).

Considering that within the Arilou's current group of powers, Psychic Blast and Psychic Stun are almost completely redundant with each other (with only the 1 damage effect to set them apart, which is pretty negligible), perhaps replacing one of them would be a good idea.

You're arguments are good, and thus I've decided to revamp the Arilou and revisit the HP. I was a bit too afraid of making the unit too strong, and now it seems it is far too weak instead. Let's see if Wawa can't be made slightly more terrifying. Once I'm done with that I'll get back to the next question in this thread.

That's... a lot of new powers. Certainly the Arilou is now a mighty killing machine.

Quote
Arilou now has several new powers.
Old Arilou powers upgraded (Mayhem, Blast and Stun)
Syreen gets one new power
Pretty bauble recharges three powers
Using all powers gives 2 XP to Arilou
Everyone gets + 1 HP

New XP limits for Syreen (6XP, human&Shofixti (7XP).

That increase in HP has not been reflected in any of the character data that I saw.

I'm not sure what those XP limits mean. Is that a single mission cap, or is that an increase in the amount of XP needed to gain a level?
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Re: StarControl: Behind Enemy lines
« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2009, 05:59:41 pm »

Quote
I'm not sure what those XP limits mean. Is that a single mission cap, or is that an increase in the amount of XP needed to gain a level?

I think that is a general increase of XP cap for each level (the latter question in your post). I agree with the cap increase for other races, but I must state here that Arilou now seems a bit broken; that much powers + pretty bauble...he's one lean man killin' machine now:p
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Re: StarControl: Behind Enemy lines
« Reply #43 on: January 09, 2009, 06:00:39 pm »

Yes, I may have gone a bit overboard...
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Re: StarControl: Behind Enemy lines
« Reply #44 on: January 09, 2009, 06:06:30 pm »

It is possible. He may not have needed quite so many powers, nor so many that do so much direct damage. Perhaps some of these could become available after gaining levels, or existing powers could improve to these levels after some level ups.
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