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Should there be an NPC territory system?

Discussion in 'General' started by SirConnery, Dec 28, 2019.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. SirConnery Apprentice Engineer

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    Late game goals are ofc a problem in these kinds of sandbox games. I think a proper NPC territory system would give some goals to work on for the player long term.

    Basically I would like to see different factions try to establish control of planets and their orbits. Trying to become the dominant force on each planet would be a huge late game and long term goal for the game.

    The economy update was a good step forward for the game but we need long term goals in the game as well.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  2. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

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    [​IMG]
     
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  3. ShadedMJ Apprentice Engineer

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    Granted, it would be cool. But only if the factions did not use any resources.....

    I consider it a generally bad idea. If "Trying to become the dominant force..." means the factions would be doing their own mining, that would be terrible because some ores are hard enough to find as is. If they are just plopped down on a planet, that isn't really "Trying".

    Also with the number of factions, consider the block limits. I can see a game quickly filling up. I am playing a solo game but can't build a new ship because all the factions are using all the blocks?

    Back about 2+ years, I had solo games that had a lot of lag. I found out that were 10 Argentavis ships that ended up bumping into each other and they were all fighting between each other about 100km away from me.
     
  4. SirConnery Apprentice Engineer

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    How I would imagine is that the factions would do "fake mining". Just appear with a mining station near ores. Not do any actual mining. Ideally they would first have to have some kind of presence either on orbit or a territory near the ores.

    Yeah this is a huge problem with any NPC concept. The fights between NPC's that are far away (say, 50km away from any active players) should be simulated under the hood without them actually fighting.

    Count turrets+armor vs another faction ship, then just introduce a bit of randomness there. Simulate that, the other ship stays intact the other despawns. It's good enough for territory grabs.

    Since the amount of ships present in the universe would grow dramatically with this, there should also be a way to just stop and hide grids that aren't near any players (say 50km again). How I would see it is that the territories just "remember" ships that belong to them, they aren't actually spawned until a player gets close.
     
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  5. Silvrav Trainee Engineer

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    89
    The amount of calculations that will need to be done would be insane...sim at 0.1 all the time!

    SirConnery probably has the best idea where its all simulated rather then physically in game battles taking place
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Stardriver907 Master Engineer

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    3,368
    I play Creative right now because I'm in it for the shipbuilding and process forming. Therefore I turn off Space Pirates so that I'm not disturbed. It occurs to me, though, that there has always been a territorial game going on in that with a Survival session there are Space Pirate facilities on all the planets and moons, and I assumed you could reduce Pirate attacks by destroying or taking over their bases. I'm not sure, but I'll bet once you take over a base they never try to take it back.

    All of the NPC factions are placeholders. They exhibit the most rudimentary behavior. But, wherever you go, they're already there and they don't like you being there. I suppose if you systematically wiped out all their bases that would conceivably end the game, so to speak.

    I'm just saying that there doesn't appear to be a lot of distance between what we have now, and:
    at least for a single player game.
     
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  7. Aracus Senior Engineer

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    You know, it would be interesting as hell to see a system where you could conquer and mark territories by placing down antennas(or beacons, would add more of a use for them) and a sufficient battery+power source and then map it out either on LCDs or in a Gui system, the coverage of area with connected markers are your border. Gives you another reason to build automated ships /vehicle's to patrol and defend your border and outposts.

    Same goes for other factions, zones with whatever marker system is chosen that are in range is their territory and you can conquer it by knocking out bases and placing your own "flag"(beacon/antenna or w/e) there. The same could really work in space but with the more 3D nature there it really makes the argument for a Gui system instead of a PB+LCD one.

    The space pirates and other factions could help map out and mark asteroid clusters, active scouting with ore-detector scoutships that then spawn markers and outposts in a sector if you get close to a cluster you can see a short summary of what the cluster contains and is (figuratively) mined(actually just guarded) for by the faction.(1-3 largest amounts of ore in a cluster) (or if that is too resource intensive, just a slow timed progressive algorithm that prepares spawn points for the above if approached)

    And Gives you incentive to attack or trade if you are looking for said ores or a faction overall has a lower amount of X ores in their territory

    Should really be either a game option like wolves / pirates or an entire game mode. Actually somewhat ties into the other thread about a combat DLC, this would add purpose and meaning to things which might also inspire more combat and need for better weapons and related systems... Could be an entire content expansion/DLC. Something I'd happily pay a proper amount of money for unlike the somewhat lazy decoration or skin DLCs
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
  8. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    I read the original post and skimmed through the replies. My question is what IS a territory and what does it mean to control it in terms of gameplay? Resource rights? Entry? Harassment from NPCs working on behalf of computer and player factions?

    In order to have any value in a territory, there has to be assets located within that territory that are either unique, rare, or strategically advantageous. But in SE those game dynamics do not exist at the moment.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

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    I couldn't agree more. And what's with the pirates? They don't even have wenches! What's with that? No wonder they can't have nice things.
     
  10. Aracus Senior Engineer

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    My first suggestion would be either that you can get taxes from the peasants(ie, a slow trickle of credits) and if you can maintain a safe territory it would encourage traders to come to you with greater hauls of more interesting goods, otherwise only low-value trading or none at all unless you come to them.

    Otherwise, it's really just a game mechanic for the sake of having something(optional as I suggested) to do, build an empire.

    Arguable there could be some kind of mechanic added that would only work in territories, say you can set up drill rigs and maybe some simulated worker lodgings (with conditions) for the miners that just simulate drilling and instead generate ores and/or credits over time.

    That could be slower than manual mining but guaranteed resources as long as you can maintain a safe territory. Add in an inner and outer perimeter so you have some leeway in combating aggressors but if they reach the inner section the drills pause as the "settlement" goes into panic and if they attack structures, a longer pause, even longer if the drills are damaged.

    This is not really a solid suggestion, I'm honestly just brainstorming and throwing whatever ideas come to mind out there. No limits to imagination. Adjustments/suggestions/changes to the idea are welcomed!
     
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  11. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    I think brain storming is fine. I don't have many passionate ideas about the game at the moment either.

    In responding just now, my thought process came back to the idea of being a space ENGINEER... solving in game problems by building solutions or solving them efficiently by by building. Some of the current questing moves in this direction but maybe it should be doubled down on?

    It's a sandbox game... but playing to the title might not be a bad path for default gameplay... the mercenary that's called in to set up a mining operation, plan out and set-up defenses, trade stations, etc... rather than be the boss with territories etc.
     
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  12. Aracus Senior Engineer

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    I'm not exactly disagreeing that it's somewhat moving the point of the game, but at the same time, yes we all absolutely love building and designing, but at the same time, there is definitely a feeling of a lack of purpose to the game at the moment and with a lot of things added, it's already left the pure engineer focus behind. And as long as this suggestion is made as a game mode or world-option, it's not really forcing you to do things either
     
  13. SirConnery Apprentice Engineer

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    293
    You've got this the wrong way around. The purpose of a territory system is not so much to reward the player. It's more so to punish player inactivity. You let that enemy territory grow near you? Well, enjoy semi-frequent waves of attack drones. You let the opponents take control of an orbit? Good luck trying to haul cargo out.

    It also gives rise to some emergent gameplay. Factions building bases all over the ore spots you were going to mine in the future, how dare they! Fine, let them have the ores. You let them mine the ores for a long time and now they're rich and building frigates everywhere, should have acted sooner.

    One could also build the system on reward seeking, like every facility and ship having some special loot, but I don't see loot working as the main motivator in this game, since in big fights you'll trash your ship and you'll mostly cut just even after repairing your ship. Maybe expanding your own faction space could be done through the economy system. Having a new "territory contract", where you need to take out a specific ship/facility and you get a reward ship for it in addition to expanding your territory. That might work nicely if one wishes to have a reward mechanic tied to the Territories.

    However you cut it, I think these things (listed below) are the "benefits" of a territory system done well. Now this thread is just brainstorming so I'm not gonna go into depth.

    Territory System necessaries

    1. Enemy factions expanding their territory to take control of a planet
    - Think about if another faction controls another planet and it's orbit how awesome it would be to try and take the control from them. Sign me in.
    - Need for attack missions to take out close by enemy bases so they don't become a threat

    2. Attacks on your buildings/ships even when you aren't near them
    - Need for interplanetary alarm systems with using Laser Antennas, or you could also just bake it to the GUI. "Faction x is attacking your Grid x" . The feeling that things are still happening in the world even if you aren't there.

    3. Factions that have a lot of resources/territory also have a huge fleet
    - Expect huge retaliation attacks if you try to take territory from them
    - Maybe you want to prioritize weaker factions first? Decisions. Consequences.

    Territory System nice to have things
    -
    Every faction has a bank balance, every ship built uses that balance, and every supply cargo run and every mining facility increases that balance allowing them to build ships and expand faster.
    - Buying territory. Have some federation that you can buy planetary territory or orbital space from.
     
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  14. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

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    What every mega-villain thirsts for...complete world domination! Sign me up!!
     
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  15. Aracus Senior Engineer

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    Meh, world domination, small scale. Galaxy spanning empire?
     
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  16. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

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    You want this...don't you...?

    [​IMG]
     
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    • Funny Funny x 1
  17. Aracus Senior Engineer

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    I'd say it tickled my funny-bone but that's not quite right. But yeah, it sparked some kind of urge in me.

    Might have to reinstall either SW Empire at War or revisit X3 with the star wars mod for a bit just to sate it, for now. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
    • Funny Funny x 1
  18. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    4,964
    I cut down your quote for editorial purposes.

    Maybe it's my recent concussion. But I'm still a little foggy on how to make a territory meaningful in terms of gameplay without reinventing all of SE's gameplay.

    Granted... I fully respect that we're brainstorming so perhaps my confusion isn't worth a response. I just wanted to explicitly point out that I'm not being hostile or contrarian.

    While responding... I'm thinking that territories might possibly be linked to PCUs. The larger or more valuable a territory is, the more PCUs a could be rewarded? If you want to build bigger things or more things... you need to control more. To control more territory... of course you'll have to build more capable ships and grids... so there's a built in snowballing effect in terms of gameplay.

    But perhaps instead of the player owner the territories as territories per say... the player is actually developing influence with NPC factions that actually control those territories. As posted previously, the player is basically a mercenary making the most of the relationships between him/herself and those NPC factions in the game. As the NPC's "territory" expands or is defended by the influence of the player, so grows the player's maximum PCU count. If a player not aligned with an NPC's faction attempts to mine, build, or possibly travel through an NPC's territory, drones and possibly other defenses will attack the player. A player could even earn the privilege of traveling through, building on, or even extracting resources in an NPC's territory.

    Areas that aren't part of territories would be regularly raided by the Space Pirate faction... who has no regular territory of their own.. they're pirates.. bad for business anyways.

    But my point is to not make the territorial aspect about the player but a mechanic of the NPCs.
     
  19. SirConnery Apprentice Engineer

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    293
    The territory system is primarily for 2 things.

    1. Constant and growing enemy threat
    2. Late game goal of galaxy conquering

    Those are really the two main goals of the system. As of now, even with PvE mods, which I use a lot, the attacks are just randomly spawned grids. There is no persistence for the enemies, if you just leave them be they'll eventually despawn. With this, if you ignore the enemies they'll just grow stronger with time and eventually they'll become a threat to you. So you might want to act sooner than later.

    That and planetary conquest. Who wouldn't enjoy that?

    That could well work in combination with PvP where there are set limits on PCU's. But I have no interest in PvP so I won't comment further on that.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Aracus Senior Engineer

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    I like most of the system ideas that you're presenting Ronin, but please leave the PCUs out of it, the PCUs deserve to be free(and this system should work on servers where you're not limited by them)
     
  21. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    I only bring in PCUs as a motivator for players to interact with NPCs under my proposal. In the history of SE, we get neat features that are basically null since it's usually more effective to keep to yourself and just spam resources than trade with anyone or anything else.
     
  22. Aracus Senior Engineer

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    I'd rather they trade in rare ores or something, parts, fuel, buying scrap hulls, map packets (GPS coords bundled in a consumable item?) to ore sites, pre-emptive warning about enemy convoys(this will Spawn at x in 10 minutes)

    Yes if we do mine we're usually more competent ourselves, but I personally prefer to pirate and grind down hulls than mining to make parts.

    But grinding is also boring, so if I could sell the hulls of dead enemies for either a percentage, say 50%, of the parts I'd get but not have to put down the time?(and I play at 10x with extended range tool mods) or credits and then buy parts /ores I most likely would.

    Especially if those parts are then delivered by a separate ship that flies in and drops of a new "standard trade container" something that has power enough to work by itself, and has a something like a mergeblock/connector solution for easy movement (or just carried by a landing gear and has a connector on it and a battery, or as mentioned, enough in-container-block power to work itself and a connector.


    Working with that might just be enough to force me to change pants ;)
     
  23. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

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    You'd be a pawn star!
     
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  24. Aracus Senior Engineer

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    If the shoe fits.

    It adds both an alternative to personal mining industry that you can balance by not really being the most cost effective way(but potentially faster). And actually activates and makes the economy something more than an amusing if mostly pointless oddity.

    As well as a more long term busy work and well, really, just some sort of.... Reason for doing things. Keep fighting to stay alive, expand your borders, trade and be able to fight and stay alive better. Conquer the planet, then the sector, then the galaxy!

    [​IMG]
     
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  25. SirConnery Apprentice Engineer

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    293
    Selling the wrecks would be a nice feature. I'd rather they just despawn after you sell them instead of complicating things. For like 20% the price would be more reasonable. At least the way I play with so many NPC's I usually lose one grinding ship while trying to grind a large wreck. So selling at 50% would be way too good, I'd always do it.
    Good idea, I like it.
     
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  26. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    Maybe it's a bit off topic... but how about NPC trade stations giving you coordinate locations to asteroids with valuable ores (cough uranium). The game is capable of spawning in asteroids the same way it spawns in NPC ships. I'm not sure if the asteroids can be preloaded with ore types... but that would make interacting with NPCs advantageous.
     
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  27. Aracus Senior Engineer

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    Sorta by-the-way suggested that in not so much detail already but it's a good idea so yeah, absolutely!
     
  28. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

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    This is a great idea. With few exceptions, I completely ignore trade stations and instead either mine and refine ore or steal parts.
     
  29. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    Alright. I knew that I wasn't crazy. Yes. It is possible to spawn an asteroid as part of an encounter. If you look in the Encounters.sbc file around line 737 some spawngroups with voxels attached.

    Code:
    <SpawnGroup>
    		<Id Type="MyObjectBuilder_SpawnGroupDefinition" Subtype="Encounter Hermit Station" />
    		<IsEncounter>true</IsEncounter>
    		<IsPirate>true</IsPirate>
    		<Frequency>10.0</Frequency>
    		<ReactorsOn>true</ReactorsOn>
    		<Prefabs>
    		  <Prefab SubtypeId="Encounter Hermit Station">
    			<Position>
    		<X>-10.8874531</X>
    		<Y>21.4807453</Y>
    		<Z>-28.8805733</Z>
    			</Position>
    			<Speed>0</Speed>
    		  </Prefab>
    		</Prefabs>
    		<Voxels>
    		  <Voxel StorageName="Nearby_Station_7">
    			<Offset>
    		<X>0</X>
    		<Y>0</Y>
    		<Z>0</Z>
    			</Offset>
    			<CenterOffset>true</CenterOffset>
    		  </Voxel>
    		</Voxels>
    	  </SpawnGroup>
    The 'Voxel StorageName' points to an asteroid. However, I think the classic issue is populating the asteroid with resources. I think all asteroids are just empty voxel shapes with no mappings for ore on them.

    But I think that would be within the realm of "doable" for Keen's software team as it is already possible to generate asteroids as part of an encounter, it would seem possible to generate one as part of a quest. The only question is if the asteroid could have different ores either baked into it or randomly configured with specific ore types and quantities. It would even be possible to include NPC defenders along with it.
     
  30. Aracus Senior Engineer

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    @Spaceman Spiff well, it's part of a greater whole, mining rights, safety from piracy while mining, or taking better miningspots from other factions regardless if you keep or sell ores (captured or mined) and or loot from enemies
     
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