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Survival mechanics

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After some thought and discussion I have deiced to lay out my thoughts on survival mechanics and how they might be implemented in DU.  I understand that some do not wish to have any survival mechanics at all and just want to build things; however, I think that in a game with the huge potential for immersion that DU has, we need some form of survival mechanic.  I have spent some time thinking about this and I think I have found a way to have bot simplicity and complexity, depending on how each player wishes to play.

With the Nanoformer we have the technology to compress matter, which is how we can mine materials and use them to construct things.  This seems like a really handy technology so why not use it elsewhere?  I propose a system that creates Life Support cartridges for player’s suits that contain all the necessaries, food, water and oxygen.  These cartridges are created by an element that would require some uncommon, but not to rare, resources to build.  The cartridges have enough life support to last for about 8 hours (time can be varied for balance) and can be swapped out of the player’s inventory on the fly.  During different activities the various components (e.g. food, oxygen) might be used up at different rates, but this is kept simple by the HUD on the player’s suit displaying the remaining components as a percent value.  If a player wishes to have more info on what is being used they can open the menu via whatever interface we are provided to look at the details.  The suit would also have a power cell that may also deplete at varying rates, but also displays its remaining effectiveness as a percent value.

For the players that want more in depth survival mechanics, there could be a module that adds various stimulants to the basic life support cartridge that effect different stats either positively or negatively.  For instance, there might be a stim that improves targeting, but reduces one’s effectiveness at repairing damaged equipment.  Creating stims would be an entire science with its own skill tree and the more skill a player has the more effective a stim is and the less severe the penalty.  This allows a player who desires complexity to carry a variety of life support cartridges with different effects, and to swap them out at will, depending on the task at hand.

In the same way, power cells could perhaps be overclocked to provide more power or longer duration, however the effects of overclocking a power cell would be random energy surges that have the potential to damage nearby electronics.  Should such a power surge occur near a cargo container full of a volatile substance, the results could be catastrophic. 

While this all might seem very complex, it really isn’t.  If you just want to go about mining or building and not having to worry about fiddling with this or that just so you don’t die then you can.  Simply make sure you have a few power cells and life support cartridges in your inventory and you’re good to go.  But if you want to experiment with always having the highest performance at a given task then you can have the complexity of a varied diet and potentially dangerous power cell. 

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