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CalenLoki

Loadout

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DU will have some kind of infantry PvP. NQ also wants to encourage teamwork in various activities.

And I think most agree with me, that forcing players to specialise roles increase the importance of teamplay in infantry combat.

IMO it's also important to switch off hand-nanoformers during combat, as they have potential to be extremely OP and immersion breaking.

 

We have inventory system. But because you'll be able to hold cubic meters of matter (or i.e. dozens of different weapons), it can't be used for specialisation.

We have leveling system. But It allows seasoned players use everything, while new players can't use anything. Not much specialisation I'd say. It's more of a tool to split playerbase.

Commonly used in RPGs and shooters "classes" usually heavily and arbitrary limit creativity and customisation. Or require tons of sub-classes, which are pain to balance.

 

Thus I suggest implementing "loadout" system. It's kind of similar to typical "class" in most RPGs, but more open for customisation, and also not permanent.

Loadout can't be changed in combat. You're stuck with what you had equipped once someone turns nanoformer-jamming-devicenearby (possibly just alternative mode for nanoformer itself. And TCU for larger scale). Thus changes on the fly are not possible.

 

Loadout consist of main tool, 4 secondary tools and 3 ability modules.

 

-Main tool will be usually some kind of weapon. Anything from carbine or shotgun to heavy machine-gun or anti-material rifle falls into that category. Also old-school mining drills that can bypass RDMS.

 

-Secondary tools are meant to either enhance main tool, or suplement it's weakness. So sidearms, melee weapons, spare mags, nades, stim-packs, explosives, ect.

 

-Abilities allow player to perform specific actions, which truly shape the way you play. Players can either focus on enhancing single ability by using multiple modules of the same kind, or mix them for specific playstyle. Available modules:

  • Battery increase avatar energy storage and generation by 100% (each battery). So while it doesn't give any new ability, it allows using other modules longer or more often. Sprinting uses energy too, so even battery-only build is viable.
  • Storage increase inventory space by 100%/module. Useful for long exploration trips if you can't bring hover-cargo-drone.
  • Jump-pack allows you to jump quite high (or if every player can jump, make it enhance jumping). Equiping more of them allow you to jump much faster, but not further - for that take jetpack+battery
  • Shield-pack allow projecting force-field in front of you. It has limited coverage angle and drain energy both per time and per prevented damage. Taking more shield modules increase their coverage and increase efficiency of prevented damage (good against multiple opponents or to shield teammates). However it increase energy drain per second, so for long-lasting protection better take more batteries.
  • Stealth-pack allows you to remain invisible. But just as shield, i's directional. It also drain faster when you move fast. Take more of them, to increase coverage angle and reduce movement penalty. Take more batteries for longer quicker recharge.
  • Exo-arm allows usage of heavier weapons or reduce penalty of using those (like slower locking time).
  • Ammo-pack can be mounted in two ways. Either it connects directly to main weapon, making it drain energy rather than use ammo in mags, or can be used for filling mags in the field.
    Lore: ammo pack is shielded from jamming (all the nano-forming happens inside), thus can always work.
  • Healing-pack allows healing team-mates (when mounted as active) or fill stim-packs of your team-mates (when passive).
    Lore: personal body armour has ability to convert any received hit into heat. But need coolant or time to get rid of it. Healing pack allow shielded nanoforming of that coolant. 
  • Grappling hook allows getting to various spots. Less dynamic than jump-pack, but allows hooking to fast-moving vehicles or pulling other players (help teammates climb or pull enemy from the cliff).
  • Repair-pack allows small scale nano-forming of constructs. It's incredibly slow, due to working against jamming. But for small repairs it's all you need.
  • Mining-pack allows (or increase speed of) mining. Or allows bypassing RDMS limits on mining after FFU are down (during battle). Equip more to be more efficient against harder materials (or even able to mine them), equip batteries for faster mining of soft materials.
  • Control-pack allows piloting constructs. Take more to pilot bigger things. Can't think of a way to make it with battery... maybe each construct drains energy, so need high regen to control multiple small ones?
  • Spy drone pack - allows third person camera. The further the drone, the more energy it uses. Equip more for better range-efficiency, equip batteries for longer fly-time at short range and quicker drone repair after it's shoot down.
  • Nano-jammer - allows jamming hand-nanoformer (thus initiating combat mode). It keep working even after wearers death, until switched off manually.

 

Because player would be limited to only 3 (maybe more, maybe less) modules, that would force them too specialise.

For mid-range fire support it's probably smart to take shield+ammo+battery. For frontal charge into close range: shield+shield+shield.

Combat medic would pick medic(active)+grappling hook(to pull downed allies into cover)+battery(to use ability more often).Or maybe shield instead of hook, to heal without worrying about cover.

Surface-miner would probably take mining+battery+battery, while cave explorer: mining+storage+storage and deep miner: mining+mining+mining.

Sniper: stealth+battery+battery. Maybe jump or hook to get to elevated positions. Close-range assassin may want more stealth than batteries, to close gap quicker. Maybe drone to know where to strike.

 

All those would of course be available in various qualities, based on resources needed to make them.

And character leveling could allow using those higher quality items. Or simply boost efficiency in specific field.

I'd rather avoid forcing player to choose more than mentioned 8 elements - that would quickly grow tedious if you had to take 50 of them.

 

 

What do you think? Any alternative ideas to encourage/force specialisation in infantry combat? Any more ability-modules you can think of?

 

 

PS. I searched forum for: inventory, loadout, equipment, class. Nothing similar found.

PPS. I refuse to call character leveling "skill". That's term I reserve for actual player skill, not how long they have an account.

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Some more thoughts on that:

 

As loadouts can't be changed on the fly, they could be a nice way to inform other players (both hostile  and not) what to expect. Thus it would both enhance gameplay, increase immersion and simply look cool if they were always visible on the character. Rifle tied to backpack, pistol in holster, ect.

 

Also lore explanation for not being able to access nano-compressed inventory during combat: It's a technology that is really useful in the time of peace, but also really easy to jam by others. Nanoformer simply won't work if anyone within x distance turn on nano-jammer.

You can always locate the jammer (within range, even through walls), so griefing by jamming will cause severe consequences.

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