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Weapon Customization (Modular turrets/weapons)

Modular weapons  

45 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you think modular weapons are a good idea (If so, how would you like to see it implemented)?

    • No, I think there should only be certain types of turrets with no customization.
      0
    • Yes, I think that building a weapon out of multiple parts (Barrels, Loaders, Firing Chamber, etc.) would be awsome.
      27
    • Yes, I think that being able to customize turrets (change how they look and function) would be cool!
      18


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There's something that I feel alot of space-survival/construction games miss out on, weapon customization. Being able to design/tweak weapons and ammunition adds a layer of depth to combat. Instead of everyone using the same turrets people could design their weapons to work well in certain situations. Plus it creates an occupation for more engineering-minded players. Look at From The Depths as an example of weapon customization done right. A similar (But simpler) system would definitely add variety to combat between ships. Having in-depth weapon customization would create more opportunities for advanced players to use their knowledge. This also adds another level of constuction because now players could create weapon companies to sell their weapons or blueprints. Of course, there should be some simple to use 'plug and play' general weapons; These weapons could be balanced weapons, with non of the benefits or trades-offs of custom weapons. 

 

Some ways that such a system could work:

1) Multi-component structures:

      (This is the method that From The Depths uses) While multi-component objects offer more creativity and involvement from the player, it is also complicated to implement and may effect performance. It would also need to be simple enough to understand the basics, yet allow for complex creations by advanced users. There would need to be a controller component which would keep track of the attached modules. Such a system could work and would be really neat but I'm not sure if multi-component objects is something that the engine supports (and it isn't worth adding for one feature). Another effect of a multi-component system is making weapons take up space, which would have a positive effect of preventing 'death cubes' (A cube construct covered in turrets).

 

2) Production-based customization:

Using a 'Turret Factory' a player could modify a turret's characteristics and/or model. This turret factory could be used to manufacture turrets (which players can place). Each turret could have a different physical appearance: A high ROF modified turret could have multiple barrels vs a sniper modified turret with a single extended barrel. The players should have the ability to customize each part of the turret from barrel length, gauge, count, etc. Since the turrets would be one component there wouldn't be a need for multi-component support and the performance hit would be the same as a regular 'non-modified' turret. The addition of a 'turret factory' would mean that a player could perfect a design then mass-manufacture and sell their design.

 

 

Both systems allow players to build weapons with different characteristics, and both would require trade-offs. For example: A high rate of fire turret would have a trade-off on accuracy, while a sniper turret might have higher damage/accuracy but a much lower rate of fire (suited more towards Alpha-strikes than DPS). Personally, I prefer the first method of multi-component constructions since it offers more creative freedom. The system From The Depths uses for it's custom cannons (advanced and CRAM cannons) is probably the best I've ever seen done. However, From the Depths is not a good example on the usability front, since it has a cliff of a learning curve and no real tutorial. I think a system similar to From The Depths would be a good addition although it may be to complicated to implement; The second method is a compromise in terms of performance/usability and creative possibility and may be a better fit.

 

 

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I think that nova quark is focusing on the general gameplay, and weapons way later. Since I imagine that the game is already mostly building, making a customizable turret would be challenging. Nova Quark will probably just create a whole a lot of different weapons. 

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While I voted yes and think this is a really great idea, let the record show that NQ has publicly stated that this feature is a serious stretch goal that will not make it into the game for years, if ever. The issue is that weapons are all elements, which are meshes, not voxels; and the current editing system is based entirely on voxels. So, allowing us to create custom elements would require creating a whole new editing system just for meshes, which would require massive amounts of time and money and effort from basically the whole development team. Then there's the issue of balancing all those possibilities, which is itself a major endeavor that would likely require large amounts of additional dev time for the life of the game. 

 

So, while I love the idea, don't get your hopes up. It's really not going to happen any time soon. 

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The biggest problem with component-based weapons is balancing and the inevitable "FOTM" issues, imho.

 

Even if you have 1000 possible combinations, the players will parse them down to "the 10 best options" in a matter of days. Fleet doctrines will further constrain the weapon fits allowed.

 

One way of getting around the problem of "1000's of meshes" would be to have multiple recipes for specific parts, so that the ingredients used can change the stats of the part, and ultimately change the performance of the weapon element that the part is used in. The weapon elements would still look the same when built, but they would perform differently.

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I like the idea, and actually had smth similar in my mind, but not only for weapons. 

About modifiable pre-created modules - for example you have a basic module with initial balanced stats and it's ready to use. Also this module may have few upgrade slots, by placing some additional upgrade there allows you to subtract from some of the stats and add to your desired ones. So in other words add more specialization to module itself. Just like rigs in eve work, but with closer profit/drawback ratio.

 

Component based modules - should be allowed for large scale vehicles. For example you want to build really gigantic ship and you want to have the same gigantic fuel storage, but not thousands of smaller ones. So you should be able to build a large chamber with some special parts inside and until its integral - it may serve you. The way I see it - players should be given rules that should be followed to create some custom module - like required materials used for skeleton/parts attached to that skeleton/some special scripts used, etc. Then you can ask game to run validation of your module by marking it borders somehow and if it corresponds to initial rules - it's treated like custom created module that operates as normal ones. Regarding stats that such modules will receive - they may be calculated by some formula depending on size, materials used, number of supporting internal parts, etc. 

On the other side I believe this shouldn't be applied to weapons, to prevent from creating super-duper-mass-kill turret. But it may suit just perfectly for large containers, fuel tanks, engines, generators, etc. 

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As much as I'd like to see compound modules like this, its not only a pain to implement, its a paint to balance. Similar games where the components of weapons or other systems are highly modular usually devolve to two or three different dominant configurations being viable, and that's it (Starmade for example) with some choices being so bad that they might as well not exist.

 

With a group of fully-designed turrets that can't be customized, they can be individually balanced by the devs on-the-fly, buffing or nerfing actual weapons as needed. Besides, between turret type, size, and room for specialized ammunition, I'm sure there will be plenty of variability.

 

Another thing to consider here is what aspects of building and customization the devs want to favor. If there is a deep system for customizing weapons, then weapon configuration might become more important than how you built your ship (your ship would just be a cosmetic accessory to your gun at that point). If the devs want us to care more about the ships and structures we build, then the option on how much customization our weapons provide will have to be restricted.

 

I think there will be plenty to do with actual ship or structure customization on the macro-level, that having micro-level customization would be unneeded and possibly cumbersome.

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I disagree with the idea that ships become irellavent with weapon customization. The big thing that weapon customization allows for is more jobs. Plus if it's done right I don't see meta fleet composition being a massive issue. For example: look at From the depths,it offers extensive weapon customization that is balanced. There is no "perfect weapon", everything is a tradeoff. You can make a rotary 120mm gatling cannon in FTD, it would just use a massive amount of power, take forever to reload and be the size of a small ship (completely impractical). In a large organisation I would see standardization being a thing,  but in terms of the universe? Nah, with weapon customization you could make a weapon that counters your opponents. 

 

Performance and tech wise while it is cool to think about, multi mesh components is incredibly complex and not something I see happening before release. Hell if it ever gets done it would probably be dlc.  The second option however is alot more doable. Instead of multi mesh components you could use animation states or sub meshes to allow for custom visuals. Hell, most of the modification is just tweaking variables such as fire-rate,accuracy,or range. I disagree with the idea of "upgrade modules" because they remove experimentation and development. They also lend it easier to creating a meta by creating constants. Having to actually modify values means that players can discover for themselves the optimal values for what they want to do. It also adds RnD time for weapon creation and opens up the possibility for people to play as weapon engineers.

 

Honestly, a system like this will most likely be too complicated to put in before release but it would make for a kickass dlc.  (imagine if the engineers in elite dangerous were players offering their custom weapon designs)

 

 

-sent from phpne

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If anything, at least add it to the list of possible expansions

 

Modular element design, whether it be decorations, weapons or engines, would add more to those sectors

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I have played a lot of From the Dephts and in my opinion the first option, building turrets and weapons out of mutliple parst, is not a very good idea:

I looks like you have a lot of customization potential, but you haven't, because there are only a few combinations that are good.

Also, it cost simply a lot of time to build the entire weapon system which isn't very fun for me.

You should be able to build the turret itself out of voxel and than place the weapons, magazines, etc. on it, not every single part like in FtD.

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That's not true. If you have a slower ship, you probably want a sniper turret so you can shoot long range. A faster turret would be less powerful per hit, shorter range, but do more damage close range. There is anything from in-between these, and much more

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I didn't read all the comments. However, the argument of "it can't be done" it can. Just because you have different pieces, don't mean they have to code all that in. They could easily a sub system that is like a crafting menu. You open the menu, plug in the components, and then the machine will spit out a part you can place on your ship using a known design. And of course, you can color everything, so that's not an issue. This would simplify said creation while still being rather complex for the gamer. As I always say, the more work devs do, the less we have to do in the game to enjoy it. Lazy dev's will put the load onto the player, similar to Space Engineers and Empyrion (yeah I went there and I am calling them out for being lazy) which also increase learning curve and the game no longer is intuitive to play.

Twin Barrel made from XXX Material = 20 accuracy bonus
Core Firing Mechanism made from XXX Material = 10 speed bonus
Power Unit made from XXX material and uses (energy, chemical) for power = 30 bonus damage
45 Degree base made from XXX material = 45 degree turret movement

would make one turret, the materials used make up its both the main stats and its overall health before its disabled or destroyed. similar looks to most other turrets, but has its own stats. this way they only need (technically, but hopefully not) one 3d model (much like the pre-made cockpit model we've already seen in videos) and you simply place it onto your ship. you can only place one because you only made one. same goes for any crafting where you need the material to place. This way, you can have custom weapons without the need to complicate things in an unnecessary way. but of course this is just my opinion.

I imagine making a rail gun. one really long barrel made of some stupid heavy composite/alloy metal. the main power source is electricity, so you would need some kind of battery to power it, and a way to recharge said battery. then you have the rail ammo slugs, made from some hard metal. then the base-plate that is made from the same material as the barrel. the housing for the electrical parts and firing mech too. it has a really slow recharge rate to build up said energy to fire, but does massive damage. all made in a smaller crafting menu and spitting out a generic looking 3d model that you can place on your ship.it just works....

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Mhm yeah, cause 

 

No one has to balance all the small ingredients....

No one has to write that building tool....

No one has to think of all the elements needed.....

No one has to design said elements....

No one has to write that "automated magical machine that spits o it your gun"

No one has to work on additional elements

No one has to work on rebalancing broken elements

...

 

Mhm, quite easy. It "just" works....

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21 hours ago, Lethys said:

Mhm yeah, cause 

 

No one has to balance all the small ingredients....

No one has to write that building tool....

No one has to think of all the elements needed.....

No one has to design said elements....

No one has to write that "automated magical machine that spits o it your gun"

No one has to work on additional elements

No one has to work on rebalancing broken elements

...

 

Mhm, quite easy. It "just" works....

Yea I think this will work for the win and I would also love to change the appearance of a weapon but not if its going to break the balance of the game and I plan on being a weapons smith but balance is a key feature of any game and can also make or break it base on balance !

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if there would be custom-made weapons in the future, i think it'll just be putting together different parts, as though building a puzzle. For example, if you want to build a ballistic weapon, itd have a barrel right? and if this barrel is a pre-made template, where players can choose varying materials for construction(coz we would like to have different effects no?), itd be much simpler. E.g: if you use titanium on a barrel, thered be this stats and that. the materials themselves would have the "base stats" and the pre-made template from devs would have the "multiplier" for diffrent kinds of material

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IMO turret, or in general sub-construct, should be made using the same tools we have for main construct (voxels and modules). If it's turn speed is limited by mass, I don't see any major balance problems. It's of course a bit more complicated for devs, as they need to sync several constructs together.

 

But I don't really like FtD way of connecting hundreds of parts in a search for viable combination. I'd rather have simple list of sliders where you choose weapon statistics (damage per shoot, rof, initial velocity, acceleration, agility, guidance, burst duration/recharge, accuracy, ect.) and the game calculate cost (weight, size, energy/ammo usage, material cost, ect.) and shape.

Graphics-wise that's just two or three parts to switch models/scale (barrel, body, ew. base if not spinally mounted). Balance-wise IMO it's easier to tweak single formula, than 30 different weapons.

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