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Q&A 6: Wednesday 6th July 2016

 

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Could we get a bit more information about how combat is intended to work?

 

 

It's too soon to give a lot of details, but here are the basics: what we can say is that it will be much more about tactics than reflexes, in part due to the fact that targets will have to be locked and then fired upon. This won't change as it is a technical constraint to make large-scale battles possible. In Ship vs Ship combat, we will intend to make it valuable to have a crew onboard a ship with several people managing weapons and a central command room to help coordinate the action. As ships will be destructible (as they are made out of voxels), we have currently several ideas in mind to develop combat in some unique ways. For example, the ability  to breach a hull and board an enemy ship. This if of course just an idea at the moment, as we still need to ponder if we can implement such gameplay in a meaningful and balanced way.

 

I don't really think you have to plan anything for it, as long as there is the ability to damage the voxels on ships as it is in space engineers, boarding will happen automatically, which is good. Its the duty of the players to design their ships in a way to make it as hard as possible, but i don't think there needs to be a seperate mechanic implemented for it.

 

Just allow us to target different parts of ships and thats it :)

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I don't really think you have to plan anything for it, as long as there is the ability to damage the voxels on ships as it is in space engineers, boarding will happen automatically, which is good. Its the duty of the players to design their ships in a way to make it as hard as possible, but i don't think there needs to be a seperate mechanic implemented for it.

 

Just allow us to target different parts of ships and thats it :)

I'm not sure a system like Elite Dangerous would be good, especially for this game (I don't like it neither in E:D where everyone target the same "core device" (dunno the name)). Consider that this would limit a lot ship designing if implemented poorly. And targeting a block wouldn't necessarily open a hole for you to board the ship, it's still random, depending on your relative position to the enemy ship, and the enemy ship design, that you usually don't know. 

 

Another way could be by using a targeted area of effect (aoe)(like a bomb), since it is a common mechanic even in targetlock mmos, shouldn't be a problem to have in the game i think. And it could still be limited with a cooldown, to avoid spamming it especially in large fights.

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And targeting a block wouldn't necessarily open a hole for you to board the ship, it's still random, depending on your relative position to the enemy ship, and the enemy ship design, that you usually don't know. 

 

thats why i said that we need the abilitiy to target different parts of the ship, if the hull couldn't be breached with the attacks then that just means the targeting was bad or the weapons are weak etc. The ability to deal enough dmg to destroy the hull is something that depends on the shipdesign of the attacker, nothing that needs interference.

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I don't really think you have to plan anything for it, as long as there is the ability to damage the voxels on ships as it is in space engineers, boarding will happen automatically, which is good. Its the duty of the players to design their ships in a way to make it as hard as possible, but i don't think there needs to be a seperate mechanic implemented for it.

 

Just allow us to target different parts of ships and thats it :)

 

You have to keep multiplayer performance in mind, If you allow each little voxel to be destructible aka Space engineers, Then the server must keep simulating each and every tiny voxel in that ship, I believe the game should have an "integrity" system, Where once a collection of voxels are constructed to officially form a ship then the voxels suddenly glue together as a backbone of whatever system they were intended for.

 

1. Structure, These voxels then form a rigid body and thus the server only has to worry about rigid body mechanics

 

2. Shape, the skin of the ships, the server only has to worry about hitpoints of the surface of the ship, and can assign whatever damage model the devs choose for this system

 

3. Subsystems, Modules and voxels within the ship that can suffer secondary and Splash damage within. 

 

For things like boarding enemy vessels, A pretty straightforward mechanic for this should suffice, rather than just blow a hole in the enemy ship.. Have boarding pods that a "torpedo" tube can launch and another system where ships can dock - Automatic docking on ships that provide consent to docking, or a forced manual docking mode where a specific module can allow a peircing motion that opens a path into a ship. This can lower server overhead and smoothen the process. As well as making the whole thing more bad ass and immersive. 

 

You could even resort to explosives on specific Detonation points throughout ships like windows etc. You can program your ship computer to make an emergency decompression scenario, Where bulkheads and airlock doors close around the problem section of the ship to prevent atmospheric evacuation. 

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Q&A 7: Thursday 7th July 2016

 

How long are you intending new players to play before they are able to build vehicles capable of travelling to space? Will we be playing for weeks or months researching the technology to get there, or will we all be flying around by the end of the first day?

 

 

(Keep in mind this aspect of the game is still in early development, so what is explained below can change significantly through the game development)

 

Flying from a planet to another should be a real achievement in our game vision. So it would not be available on the first day of the official release. If a player is here from day 1, it might be weeks, maybe a few months before the travel from planet to planet become possible. This is still a topic heavily discussed in the team. However, later on in the game, when the global tech level of civilizations built by the players will have reached a certain point, it will be possible for a new comer to simply buy or be given a ship to fly with as soon as he arrives in game (he will still need to learn a few skills to be able to fly it however, but the basic levels should be reachable between a few minutes and a few hours, according to the flying construct complexity). In short, the game experience for a player present from day 1 might be very different from the game experience of a player coming several months after the game has launched, also different from the game experience of a player entering the game one year after official launch (where many solar systems will be, without a doubt, already discovered and colonized).

 

 

 

The most exciting thing I've heard all week (almost tied with my excitement for electrical pipes)

 

GkANQJB.gif

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This is a good idea. Many games suffer from "new player experience" syndrom, meaning that outdated mechanics remain on early levels, not to be used later in the game. I think this choice of direction with the "wider" tech unlocks could make the game a fresh experience for players who fear of getting into a game that is three years active already in the future. 

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I hope there's going to be enough content to do on planets then, if we have to spend there months xD

 

My hunch is that part of the reason it will take weeks or months to travel into space is because we'll have to travel to the furthest reaches across the planet to gather the resources necessary to do it :)

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My hunch is that part of the reason it will take weeks or months to travel into space is because we'll have to travel to the furthest reaches across the planet to gather the resources necessary to do it :)

Or it will be a grindfest that the limited resources will hinder for the mass number of players. And let's hope the starting areas heal, or newp layers will be stranded there forever. It's too early to tell. Perhaps the starting planet will be ridiculously enormous. 

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the planets have a diameter of roughly 30km, they are, in mmorpg terms, enormous^^

I think the biggest problem will be the research, we will need a lot of different components to build a basic spacecraft, and all of those need to be researched^^

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the planets have a diameter of roughly 30km, they are, in mmorpg terms, enormous^^

I think the biggest problem will be the research, we will need a lot of different components to build a basic spacecraft, and all of those need to be researched^^

Or, let's face it, groups will build collective space shuttles and GTFO the starting area ASAP   :P

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the planets have a diameter of roughly 30km, they are, in mmorpg terms, enormous^^

I think the biggest problem will be the research, we will need a lot of different components to build a basic spacecraft, and all of those need to be researched^^

 

 

 

 

Planets may range from a few hundred to thousands of kilometer in radius, so even exploring the surface of just one planet is a big task and would takle a long time to circumnavigate without the right equipment. - 

  ----> from the FAQs. 

 

Hopefully there'll be enough stuff to do those earlier months on a planet, without having just to wait the researches to complete.

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hm, i remember reading something about 30km, but was probably in the forum, maybe the faq is out of date.

thousands of km would be like earth, i hope its not like that, because that be far to big for a mmorpg.

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I like the notion of it taking a few months to get a practical spaceship, if starting from scratch. Rather than being indicative of a grind, I choose to believe this timescale means DU will have a truly unprecedented level of detail and granularity for dedicated builders/crafters/industrialists to sink their teeth into.

The notion of the first players having a very different experience from those who follow later on is also attractive. Since DU has no pre-packaged factions and nations, we'll be actively creating the game's lore; the early history of the world will be written by us.

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hm, i remember reading something about 30km, but was probably in the forum, maybe the faq is out of date.

thousands of km would be like earth, i hope its not like that, because that be far to big for a mmorpg.

 

I hope that too, not sure if the FAQs are recent

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hm, i remember reading something about 30km, but was probably in the forum, maybe the faq is out of date.

thousands of km would be like earth, i hope its not like that, because that be far to big for a mmorpg.

Well it depends on the tech we get. Like if I can get an "easy" way to do planet mining I will totaly be doing that for the mega amounts of material I will probably be going though just making prototypes. It also depends on how much material we need to make things though

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Well it depends on the tech we get. Like if I can get an "easy" way to do planet mining I will totaly be doing that for the mega amounts of material I will probably be going though just making prototypes. It also depends on how much material we need to make things though

 

Large planets would be great in terms of resource extraction, but I'm not sure there is any amount of tech that would solve the player density issues caused by realistically sized planets. We are still talking about having players in the thousands, which is about the population of a middle sized town. If we want to have the immersion of busy trading hubs and stations I feel 30km is much more reasonable.

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Large planets would be great in terms of resource extraction, but I'm not sure there is any amount of tech that would solve the player density issues caused by realistically sized planets. We are still talking about having players in the thousands, which is about the population of a middle sized town. If we want to have the immersion of busy trading hubs and stations I feel 30km is much more reasonable.

in the beginning we will most likely be grouped together simply because of how the start is but things could be made more lively though NPCs wandering around large towns and things like that and players will most likely group up around central cities that pop up in different areas

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in the beginning we will most likely be grouped together simply because of how the start is but things could be made more lively though NPCs wandering around large towns and things like that and players will most likely group up around central cities that pop up in different areas

 

There wont be any cities, at least if they keep to the lore. The only place where you should be finding NPC is the arkship, and maybe later when players built their own cities (if there will be npc generated).

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There wont be any cities, at least if they keep to the lore. The only place where you should be finding NPC is the arkship, and maybe later when players built their own cities (if there will be npc generated).

I was talking about player cities but it would be cool if the devs have some way to spawn NPCs in a player city

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Building: Manipaluting and using voxels to create the shell of a construct, be it a spaceship hull or walls and roof for a house, outpost or base. Building will necessitate to have at least one Core Unit, an Element necessary to generate a Building zone where you will be able to build a Construct. 
Crafting: Refining raw resources, using refined resources to make components, using components to make Elements for Constructs or Gear worn by players. Crafting will necessitate to have several Elements related to Crafting: one to refine raw resources, one to create components (3D Printer Unit) and one to assemble components to create an Element or a Construct (Assembly Unit).
Manufacturing/Mass Production: When a player will have finalized a Construct (with all voxels and Elements necessary), he will be able to make a Blueprint of it. He will then be able to use this blueprint with a Factory Unit. With the appropriate number of Elements and quantity of raw matter for the voxels, he will be able to replicate the construct.

 

Interesting, basically the same setup as space engineers, which is fine because it's a good system and that's what I'm used to.The mass production is the exciting part though.

 

Anyone know if concept art has been released for the Factory Unit yet?

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I'm not personally a big fan of the mass production idea. A wealthy corporation could just respawn an entire army with a factory unit in a small amount of time, this definitely reduces ships value. 

The only case I could support this, is by limiting the constructs built by a factory unit, in size, by a huge amount. In that case, to create a ship, you'd need to configure many factory units, each with a blueprint of a portion of the ship you want to create, and then you'll have to merge all those together (Or you could just create an entire but really small ship). This would require much more effort, and would still mantain playerbuilt ships convenient for a certain market.

 

Making a factory unit unconvenient by increasing the amount of resources or time needed to build a ship, wouldn't fix the problem in my opinion. 

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I'm not personally a big fan of the mass production idea. A wealthy corporation could just respawn an entire army with a factory unit in a small amount of time, this definitely reduces ships value.

[...]

Making a factory unit unconvenient by increasing the amount of resources or time needed to build a ship, wouldn't fix the problem in my opinion. 

 

i don't see a problem with being able to recreate a whole fleet as long as the ressources are available. I would expect that factory units to have a production time depending on the size of the final product which limits the speed with which objects can be recreated. Thats how things work in real life too if you have a fully automated production line and its absolutely fine.

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I'm not personally a big fan of the mass production idea. A wealthy corporation could just respawn an entire army with a factory unit in a small amount of time, this definitely reduces ships value. 

The only case I could support this, is by limiting the constructs built by a factory unit, in size, by a huge amount. In that case, to create a ship, you'd need to configure many factory units, each with a blueprint of a portion of the ship you want to create, and then you'll have to merge all those together (Or you could just create an entire but really small ship). This would require much more effort, and would still mantain playerbuilt ships convenient for a certain market.

 

Making a factory unit unconvenient by increasing the amount of resources or time needed to build a ship, wouldn't fix the problem in my opinion. 

 

As vylqun said, large fleets really aren't a problem. In fact this one of the most exciting things about the game in my opinion. The only way will ever have the kind of large scale the battles the devs have been talking about is by having two powerful organizations go head to head. 

 

Don't like the big bad empire? Then become a pirate and pick off their supply lines. There will be imbalances in the universe, but I think that's where the fun begins ;)

 

And could you expand on why increasing factory unit building time wouldn't solve quick respawns of fleets? 

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