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Drones and Gameplay Yes drones probably one of the most discussed topic with a lot dreams. I've been thinking a lot about how those things could be integrated in a sandbox game for a longtime now not just with Dual Universe. I want drones which are in theory capable of everything the player is able to do with his equipment. (DU equivalent: his constructs) It would be up to the programming skills of the smart people to develop good software which would also be a good trading good. Awesome AI software + awesome construct = awesome drone The problem with that is it will be most likely abused very quickly with some kind of replicator device and an army of drones steam rolling anything that is in the way. (And yes, I'm guilty I did this many times where I was able to do so) But since you are not alone in the universe that is not an option, they have to be nerfed in a way that doesn't cut the capability of them but also clearly restricts usage to prevent such SkyNet scenarios. I first thought about really complicated stuff that needs a very high level of knowledge and skills like (and dev time): Building up complicated rule sets in order to use them, the need for communication devices with limited range and a max number of drones or a master drone controller with "CPU" cycles that get used up by the various functions performed. (The CPU cycle thing is fun so, I had competitions with my nerd friends who could build the most efficient program) But all those have flaws and turn players off who don't want to dedicate much time to this topic. Drones should be a essential part of the gameplay and not just for the 10% who are able to grapst the topic. Things like summon your ship would be a drone activity, any construct performing a advanced series of maneuvers with a given task would be a drone. This kind of automation needs to be accessible to everyone either by hard work or buying it from the marked. Besides that, providing means for ingame automation makes third party bot software less viable. Then it hit me, how to prevent SkyNet and make drones a very good gameplay element in DU. DU already has some very unique and great abilities such as the rights and duty management system. So how about you need a licenses in order to use a drone. A license could be bought at the ark ship or a skill learned overtime but they are finite for example you can own only 5 per player. Those license must be assigned to a construct core in order for it to function as a drone. A little scenario Now I'm a big company with a giant mining site (claimed territory) and doing everything per hand is stupid, I WANT DRONES TO DOOO THAT..... So how do I get to use many drones there? That is where the rights and duty management comes in as a organisation you can claim a number of drone licenses form you members. However it is up to them to give them to you they could keep or trade them in the market if you don't offer enough in return. (And you could decline them membership for that but that is up to you) With the ability to sublicense you can make a small income and miss a drone or you could control more drones at once. The next problem pops up Ok now I have 15 drone licenses and all are used in the mining site for bots and somebody attacks. There are 5 additional fighter drones stationed at the side, so in order to defend it you need to dynamically reassign the license and risk 5 mining bots falling out of the sky or you could rent 5 additional licenses from a market place. This is in my opinion a very balanced solution which allows big empires to have a drone police to provide security, big companies with automated equipment to do work and the average Joe a relieve from resource grinding. P.S. it is 03:43 AM and I tired so for any mistakes: finders keepers :-P
Hello, I think I see a kind of rift in opinion forming, around first and third person, and it might be good to talk out some ideas to heave solutions ready. As the game is intended for a largely first person perspective and most peoples seem to be in favor of such, and against magical third person view, I can envision several possibilities. -Equipment module, launching a small drone that flies behind you giving you a typical third person view. - A support class or skillset, based around controlling drones. Primary use would be to give allies a eye in the sky view that they could switch between from their first person to the drones camera. Difficulty would be around trying to keep your player body safe on the ground, while switching between a drone control interface and issuing movement, attack, and defend commands. scout enemies, reveal them to your teams Friend or Foe hud drop smoke grenades, HE rockets different loadouts, electronic warfare offensive / defensive, armor piercing rockets. - Certain Heavy armor, if it doesn't move fast for some reason, it could compensate some by having a small drone launch from its back or armor and let it see its surroundings a bit better. and of course I'd love to hear what you all think, not just about what I said, but what you would do; thank you.