Weekly Update #72

I do too.

Imagine capitals that are essentially just big service objects. A battleship is a mobile gun platform. A carrier is a bus. A transport is a big box of supplies coming your way. Then capitals then just follow the requests for support.

If 50 people over at Moon A call for the battleship, it goes there and hangs out with them, blowing up whatever comes by, or assaults a surface base, whatever. The 30 people at Moon B who wanted to use it will just have to wait.

If a group of 12 want a ride on the carrier, then their 12 requests will be prioritized as the carrier flies around, trying to deliver everyone where they need to go.

The group of 100 that is running low on supplies calls on the transport capital, telling it to go to some safe point near them. Perhaps with a group of ships as escort. Perhaps with a small capital as requested escort.

On top of all this, assume that players organize into a hierarchy. When you make a request for a capital, it carries the weight of everyone underneath you in the hierarchy. If there are 50 guys in multiple levels below you, your capital requests are prioritized as individual requests by 50 players (your underlings’ requests would be overriden by yours).

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I don’t like it.
I think having a player control the capital is way cooler, even if the controls are basically the same as a fighter ship but in third person view.
A better solution would be if it just required a player group of 5 or 10 people to be able to man one capital (5 having a group of 5 or 10 people unlockes a capital ship slot for the group). The group basically decides who controls it/acts as a commander to the group. For random player groups the capital commander could simply be decided by a quick vote.
I imagine that would also be simpler to implement into the game.

The initial gameplay concept for Battlescape is pretty good in my opinion, I can see how flying in groups, chatting on teamspeak and having the commander control the capital would be freaking awesome.


I think the reality of public games is that random players tend not to group up and coordinate, let alone join TS.
If grouping up was required in order to access capitals, people would just send group invitations to everyone and form meaningless groups with whoever accepts. It’d be no indication of experience or proficiency.

I don’t know if @JB47394’s Arma server is open to the public, but if it is I expect you get random players joining the game and doing their own thing and not joining TS?

The players are grouped into two teams anyway, having the automatically assigned to subgroups shouldnt be a problem.
Squads in Battlefield work well even with randoms.
Teamplay is kinda limited in shooters anyway IMO, because of the simple gameplay and fast death rate. More tactically gameplay works by introducing more complex mechanics, like rainbow six for example. I think the current ganeplay proposal will allow for a good experience for randoms and coordinated groups.

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I like the “Squad” idea. Mind that it’s less connected to the discussion we were having beforehand. It does influence parts of it and allows to build some tools on it that can encourage people to do certain things but it isn’t a complete solution to “control who gets access to capitals”.

Or more precisely. Only, at most, 10% of the posts in this thread are about the actual questions:

Anyway. “Squad” system is a proven concept and works. Predominantly in the Battlefield series and similar style of games. It is a tool for organized groups of players and a way to try to incent unorganized players to act together.
It works well in former. And alright in later, but not quite enough.

Connecting the acquisition of capital ships with a “squad” system could allow for differnt things. Voting, incentives like faster spawn at squad carrier (see Planetside).
This all could and would need to be implemented though … I don’t know if I:B would really become this much better trough it.



The real question one should answer: how does one define how much knowledge of the game a player has?
Is it through an XP bar? The number of played hours perhaps? Badges of honours?

My answer is simple: it cannot be measured on simple statistics. Some guys will catch the best tactics in less than a dozen hours, while others will still struggle making the correct decisions hundred of hours later, no matter how much “achievements” they’ve got.

And you know what? That’s good enough. It’s part of the learning curve, and any major / cool features should never be restricted to more than “pass successfully this solo training” or “prove minimal effort for team contribution”.

My humble proposition:
As @Sab1e points out, the generated resource should be pooled in the team chest. That way, it doesn’t matter if a player has to leave, the money is still there and his participation aknowledged.

However, there is a maximum cap of capital ships : after all a battlescape with 50 CS out of 100 players would be stupid :stuck_out_tongue:
Once the cap is reached, players are put on hold: either the first one to reach the minimum resource, and hit the “request CS” button, will be the first served; or it is in the order of the best contributors to the team’s resource.

As for the other remarks: of course a captial ship should be human directed. Sometimes, players will do wrong decisions and perform more poorly than a “standard” IA, but that’s part of the learning curve. Plus, on the bright side, it is extremy difficult to create an IA performing as well as the best players
So spare INovae’s meagre developement resources and let the capital ship be controled by the players :slight_smile:

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I agree as well. I imagine it would result in a much more cohesive and controlled game design for Battlescape.

That’d be 2.5 posts?
The fact that there has been all this discussion about how to restrict access to capitals is a clear answer to the question - The consensus is that there should be some sort of restriction, what form that takes is still being discussed.

There was some discussion about measuring player proficiency/experience in this topic:

Regarding AI and development requirements:

Capitals wouldn’t have to have AI - @frag971’s suggestion was that they simply move along preset paths like in Heroes of the Storm.
The only AI would be the turrets but that’s being implemented anyway.

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I see a few (or more … I started out with two, but it just kept growing! :cry:) downsides to NPC cap ships. TLDR below. :wink:

First and foremost, it lowers the number of scenarios you could have with cap ships. It limits the players ability to control their surroundings, which I believe is a bad thing. Even if there is a large number of ‘paths’ that a cap ship could make, it’s basically like going into an ice cream shoppe and their only choices are chocolate and vanilla. Sure, they’re great and all, but what happens the umpteenth time you eat chocolate ice cream? What about ginger peach ice cream? Denying players their ginger peach ice cream denies choice, and in a huge environment like Battlescape, there’s going to be many instances in which players would want a cap ship to do something or go somewhere to make it worth while to cater to all the variable scenarios.

Second, it would make the development (and modding) harder. It might sound easier saying “yes, preset path ALL CAP SHIPS”, but what about… procedural generation? If we get a new system every game (and I see no reason why not), my guess is (not being a programmer) there is going to have to be a hefty algorithm to draw paths every instance. I see endless threads of “Cap ship did this weird thing”, “Cap ship here plz”, etc. It’s either that or have poor ol’ Hutch hand draw all the paths. Having player controlled cap ships with decent flight controls eliminates this.

Thrid, it would halve the number of player flyable ships. This might be a good thing, allowing the devs to focus on honing the other 3, but there’s extra pressure to make sure there’s enough variety in gameplay and/or load outs. Given the scope of IB in terms of possible combat scenarios, I doubt this would be too big a problem.

Forth, the KS kindof did say that we could fly cap ships. As previously stated, not strictly legally binding, but it would be a disappointment for players that were expecting…

…Fifth, Homeworld-esque RTS. 'Nuff said, really. :wink:

Sixth, the corvette becomes the biggest flyable ship. It’s nice and all, but it may turn people away if they aren’t as interested being in a small fighter when they really want to sit back and tank stuff in a monstrous cap ship.

Seventh, it may subtly change the focus of the game. I’m not as sure on this point as on others, but only having access to the smaller ships would have the game focus more so on the combat and less on the strategy. After all, if the cap ships are fixed on paths, then there are only so many strategies and options available to be exploited. Another side effect, guessing the other team’s next move becomes easier. It would tilt the balance more into the tactics corner and less of the strategy corner.

TLDR; Say no to paths.


I completely agree with you about everything else though.

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/slowly puts hand up in favour of flyable capital ships

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Folks either join Teamspeak or use in-game voice (which is quite good). Soloing is impractical on the server, by design.

Remember, though, that the 7th Cavalry ARMA server and Battlescape are two very different animals. The ARMA server attracts a fairly social 18+ crowd while I’m guessing that Battlescape will attract the standard male teen crowd that always plays shooters. It’s probably not much of a social crowd, taken as a whole.

And I think the real question is one of who decides who gets a capital. The players are the best judge of such things, so put mechanisms in place that naturally organize them so that they can decide.

Give players personal and team resources. Each facility captured or owned represents a way of producing one team asset (e.g. a carrier, stronger shields, etc). Players can push their team resources into any facility or facilities that they like.

Now allow players to join up into groups. When they do, their team resources flow up the chain to the leaders. The topmost leader is the one who can assign team resources to facilities, undoubtedly making the facilities move along at a much faster clip.

When a facility produces a ship, it is shared in ownership by everyone who contributed, and control is a lottery based on the contribution made.

So if 20 different soloers contribute equally to a capital, they each have an equal shot at controlling the capital. When the one controlling it logs off, a lottery determines which of the remaining players controls it.

I assumed that “fixed paths” was more a case of simple pathfinding to reach the destination. There’s no need to do any sort of advanced “AI” to move a ship from point A to point B in space. Just don’t smack into any planets along the way.

Ya ya. The circle closes once again.
If one wants to read one topic. I think there’s one or two more in that direction.

Oh please no!

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You know what, I really like that we’re starting to get some ideas about game play which is sparking such vibrant discussion (read: MY IDEAS ARE BEST LISTEN TO MEEE)!

Bodes well for testing! Keep up the teases @INovaeKeith, I bet you get a lot of amusement watching us lot chomp on a single idea until it’s spacedust. :smile:

Maybe occasionally we come up with something useful too?


Communication within a team is going to be tricky in I:B.

Options for either voice or team commands seem logical. Our own TS server, and or our own Discord as we have now with lots of voice channels. Is TS now out of date and out of favour for voice comms now. I don’t really know. I only still have it installed because I love using the plugin to make voices sound like they are using radio comms from various distances etc. Crosstalk TS plugin [LINK]

Maybe the game launcher could have the official Discord IM and Voice link and if TS is used that official link as well. So as you set up to enter the server matching your offered large and clear voice/IM options for team comms. And also given a good clear and simple in-game tutorial on comms commands. Maybe a keyboard short cut to bring up an overlay of the commands whilst in-game.

But what about non English speaking or reading players wanting to play on UK/US area servers.

Maybe a set of well thought out team/squad commands, translated into all game install languages.
Like a Universal hailing protocol - ship to ship - commander to all ships etc. Send the commands out and the game then displays up in the installed language. *I’m assuming the game will be installed in some non-English languages…if not then my bad for not knowing this.

My Discord - Cross talk plugin request - asking for the devs to write a crosstalk type of plugin - would make discord even better in my opinion.