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  #1  
Old February 16th, 2006, 10:00 AM

TaoLibra TaoLibra is offline
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Default [Suggestions]: Character / Race Interaction

I would like to be interact more with the various people I meet in Weird Worlds, and I'd like them to have more depth as "characters" than the portrait + photograph.

For example, the racial descriptions don't really reflect anything in game terms. They all behave the same way, regardless of what their descriptions say — that is, they either fight you or they don't. Yes, each race has a different combat style; but that's not character.

Well, the only other way you interact with them is by Trade, right? So…

RACE-SPECIFIC TRADE VALUES

If the Zorg are a scholarly race who like to sit around philosophizing, they should offer more value for the Codex of Primordius than, say, the semi-literate war-mongering Garthan. Conversely, Garthan should offer more for weapons and combat systems; or perhaps the Muktians have a fondness for Xeno-Zoos, so they offer more than other races for lifeforms; and so on.

I think that it would lend some depth of character to the races, yes? For the same reason, I'd like to see…

RACE-SPECIFIC ITEMS

Why are all races using exactly the same model of Fusion Tube Thruster? Shouldn't there be a standard Tan Ru Thruster, and a standard Garthan Thruster, and a standard Terran Thruster, and so on? And perhaps they should all have very slightly different capabilities, too.

There could still be special items of non-race-specific, pseudo-artifact origins — for example, perhaps the Reactionless Thruster is a unique prototype built by some mad genius and long ago lost, and that's why it's so much better than anybody's "standard issue" crap.

This would greatly increase the number of items to be found; but it would also add some mystery and experimentation, break up the monotony of seeing the same items all the time, again add depth to the races' characters: You don't want to buy thrusters from Muktians, because Muktian thrusters suck. Buy Garthan thrusters.

See? Creates the illusion of character traits.

That would be easy enough to implement NOW, without any code changes, simply by making up the systems and assigning them to the various ships by race (and in fact I am doing just that in the WW mod I'm constructing); but the whole illusion would be aided greatly if race-specific items were normally only found only on worlds belonging to that race (or with the Klakar) — and that would presumably require code changes.

The following two ideas would certainly require some code changes, too:

MAKE FRIENDS / CALL ALLIES

Suppose you've made friends with the Zorg — now what good does that do you? I mean, aside from not having to fight them, and being allowed to trade with them? (Yeah, that's a lot, really. But play along.)

I think if those Zorg really want to be my friends, they should come help me fight the Bad Guys. When I stumble across a nest of Tan Ru, I should be able to call on my good friends the Zorg, shouldn't I?

Suppose the Zorg have their homeworld and three other planets on the map. Perhaps after making friends with them, a "CALL ALLIES" button is added to the engagement / radar window — and I can click that, then select any star system (preferably the nearest) containing any fleet belonging to my good friends and Allies, the Zorg. They dispatch that fleet, and I sit at the edges of that Tan Ru system (losing some time) while the Zorg travel; but then they arrive, and we BOTH engage the Tan Ru together.

How many Allies can I call? I dunno. Maybe just one fleet of Allies per battle? (I imagine this might be limited by the number of ships per battle that the game itself can process.)

How many times can I do it? I dunno. Maybe just once per fleet that the Ally in question possesses (in this case, I can call the Zorg three times for help).

Those ships all have ENGINES in them, but none of them ever use the things. I'd like to see them move. Seeing those ships move from one system to another (and WHY they're doing so) would add some character.

For the same reason:

MAKE ENEMIES / GET HUNTED

So I've just whacked the Urluquai. I destroyed three capital ships and three fighters, and plundered their outpost. Why don't they react?

Suppose they did: When I move next, an Urluquai fleet is dispatched from their next nearest star system — and with the benefit of the game's omniscience, it knows where I'm going and has the same destination. If I've got the sensors, I can even see it coming for me. (Or maybe not, if they're all cloaked.)

The main problem I can imagine with this idea is that if the "Hunter" fleet can only move while I'm moving (or repairing, or sleeping, anything that makes time pass by), then it's not likely they'll be able to ever catching me if I don't want it to.

If they could somehow home in on MY FLEET, rather than any star system, that would work perfectly. If the Hunters were fast enough, they could then force a confrontation with me in space somewhere, between stars… but I have no idea if that could be done with the game. It may not even be desirable, since it then begs the question of why the player can only use stars as navigational targets, when the enemy can target ships.

But even if all those ships did was move to other star systems, it could still be used to add some character: Perhaps the Garthan and the Tan Ru are at War — so surely there should be some fleet movements going on, right? Rather than stumbling across a Garthan fleet fighting a Tan Ru fleet — both of which are apparently quite happy to sit there for twenty years doing nothing, until the Player finally decides to participate — perhaps the fight takes place X amount of time after both fleets arrive, whether the Player joins in or not.

And based on the outcome of that fight, maybe the Loser dispatches another fleet from their nearest system, after Y amount of time to construct it… or not, I dunno. Might be too complicated.

************

That's some ideas, anyway. Could any of that be implemented? I dunno. You tell me, Ripcord. ;-)



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  #2  
Old April 3rd, 2006, 08:54 PM

RTyp06 RTyp06 is offline
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Default Re: [Suggestions]: Character / Race Interaction

I hope sombody's taking notes, these are excellent ideas.

I especially like the race specific values of items.. If the Zorg can fold space, a hyperdive may be nearly worthless to them, where other races may find it invaluable.

And if everything has a coin value, why can't I just find a bag of coins and simply pay (or sell) instead of trade? This might make the pirate mission unique.

Make friends/Call allies could work both ways. A distress signal from an allied alien could call you for help.

I do realize much of this would require new code, perhaps in an upcoming version?
  #3  
Old April 4th, 2006, 01:35 PM
Ripcord O'Reilly's Avatar

Ripcord O'Reilly Ripcord O'Reilly is offline
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Default Re: [Suggestions]: Character / Race Interaction

Yes, each race has a different combat style; but that's not character.

I'd argue that this does reflect their character but only in a very minor way -but that and a few descriptions and certain reactions may be enough for WW, a game that is basically a beer & pretzel boardgame. Maybe?

On race-specific trade values:
Logical idea, and when we made the 4X game that laid out the SAIS/WW universe, we were thinking about those kinds of things. But the 4X Infinite Space game was a huge game loaded with details. WW is wayyyy pared down from that.

I like the idea that the Garthans might "pay" a pip or two extra for combat-related items, and so forth, as you suggested. I wonder if this could be modded in. Might be hard-coded to work the way it does. Ask Fingers.

On race-specific items:
All of the weapons and various onboard systems, all of the tech trees in fact, were race-specific in the original 4X game. WW still reflects that, think of the Tan Ru weapons for example, although the fact that the Urluquai invented and use nebula drives, for another example, is somewhat irrelevant in this game so we don't mention it. Etc.

Call allies is a neat idea. However, you can call the Klakar, and their frigate is not a bad ship at all. There's that.

Those ships all have ENGINES in them, but none of them ever use the things. I'd like to see them move. Seeing those ships move from one system to another (and WHY they're doing so) would add some character.

We agree and that was a feature that we had working at an early point, but it was moved out to work on other things, then left on the cutting room floor. Gotta be honest with ya.

Having a bounty hunter on your tail was on the list too but it was dropped in favor of other things we got interested in.

We are definitely on the beam with you, TaoLibra, and you too RTyp06 (I dig the bag of coins idea.). We like the same things.

PS: We abandoned the 4X game maybe 1/3 to 1/2 the way through. This was quite a while ago, but the universe "lives on."
 

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