Thanks a lot for sharing this now! After such a decision has been made. It sounds like it was a big one at that. It’s nice to know that this is how you want to tackle this part of the game now.
Like voiced above, all the best with making it reality. It sounds like a solid idea by itself, yet there are quite a big of unknowns how it works together with the rest of the game.
I see people already trying to tackle issues that arise just by having the features planed. Good discussion though.
I hope it works out and will be worth it in the end.
As for some of the issues raised:
Most of the points sound like balancing issues, I think they are solvable if the right trimming screws are looked at.
What helps is to look at other games and how it is done there.
From what Flavien shared it sounds like the ship deploy feature will be more in the vein of an ability, like the mine and like many other games have, primarily MOBAs and MOBA likes.
Like mentioned, I think having two timers and a max “stock up” would allow for enough balancing options.
One timer that dictates how long it takes for a squad to get ready, one value that dictates how many squads can be ready at the same time and one that dictates how fast squads can be launched.
This is a common way reload mechanic or special abilities are handled in many games
This would allow a carrier to quickly deploy a sizable force but it would mean drawbacks for him later down the line.
This creates hard decisions to make without any complicated input scheme. All the player does is press a button or select a menu option. It all makes the difference when and how often he does so.
As for how the carrier should be balanced to defend itself, I agree that it should be able, even without any support, especially considering the price. I agree missile and torpedo launchers are a good option and already there … even better … they are easy to balance. Make the storage for missiles and torpedoes very low. So they can only kill maybe one or two capitals by itself without having to resupply/being resupplied.
This should do the trick I think. Carriers can jump in and kill one or two cruisers but would then be completely vulnerable. A trade-off they made consciously.
As for resupply. I really like the idea of carriers being resupplied but the question is really how fun it can be. Maybe in the future where ship switching will be more viable I might consider doing a few runs if I see that is really what is needed. Having to throw away whatever you are doing to do something else is quite the barrier right now. Especially in a cap ship.
Haulers could also get the same squad launching capabilities, but with much smaller squads, bringing some of the carrier game-play over, giving it defenses and extending the amount of people that might be interested.
It also could serve as a mini carrier. Much weaker and maybe only able to spawn interceptors and at that a small amount but having the upside of being able to fill more roles.
If it really is the space trucking crowd you want to appeal to, I think just allowing flying back and forth won’t cut it in my opinion. There would need to be quite a bit more to make it more fun. More locations, different routes, different things to haul (and not just one way that is).
Some quick ideas for a probably fun space trucking game inside I:B:
- Stuff to haul: Resources, Supply, Salvage (“Wounded” was my first idea)
- Stuff to gain: Sweet sweet cash/xp and helping the team win.
- Reward / Balancing: Payout depended on how much is in store at a given drop off point.
- Price dependent on supply and demand. Price/Payout linear between Min/Max. Always able to sell Haul everywhere to not punish new players. The main “consumer” pays out more for the haul.
- Locations: All the current ones plus carriers and I would love maybe hundreds of random small mining buildings (same model) littered on surfaces of Planets, in Rings and floating in gas giants.
- Resources generated at mining building and factory (main consumer Factory)
- Supply generated at factory (main consumer stations, bases and carriers)
- Salvage generated at station and bases and carriers where battles are at (convert supply directly into salvage) (main consumer bases and stations without battles)
Only real place that isn’t in the chain are the bases, I thought about adding a “tech” haul but a “full” loop isn’t really needed in my opinion as everything can be sold everywhere.
This would have the hauling player always needing to be aware where the battle is going Maybe risking going in to a place where a battle is in order to be paid more for a resupply run.
Without a hauling player stations will still be supplied by the NPC haulers like is done currently and as such the most basic functions are there.
The Hauling player can help carriers stay in battle longer and help stations and bases that are about to fall hold out a bit longer, has a real impact to the game, is rewarded for that action but not completely indispensable in order to have a normal match.
Also, playing with the classic “supply and demand” is a staple and is fun depending on the amount of bases and risks needed.
Also, the random mining outposts would be a nice way to see the game-world for additional cash and could be optionally be discovered by players using the scanner.