Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Greetings Devs, Moderators and fellow Captains!

Random Encounters.

No I do not mean those damned fleet encounter battles that hunt you down as you fly around sector space but the concept is the same.

These encounters for lack of confusion will be referred to from here on as "disturbances".

The Current System:

Regular encounters as stated above are fleet or group centered instances that revolve around fighting enemy fleets that have invaded our space. Now as fun as it was on the drawing board the product has come with it's fair share of unseen issues. To start with they are group based which makes soloing them tedious or sometimes difficult. They get dull fairly quickly and what started as a surprise encounter as they hunt you down became a heat seeking missile of annoyance that caused traveling through sector space a bad game of dodge ball.

The New System:

Disturbances takes this idea to a new level. Instead of having visible encounters that float around, they would be invisible so they would actually be a surprise encounter. They would start out as a solo disturbance where you as the captain of your ship in the disturbance would get the option to deal with it on your own or send out a distress signal that would allow other local players the choice of jumping in to help you. (More on Distress Signals below) This could be added in with accolades for "asking for help, Answering calls for help. or braving the unknown (for doing it solo).

The Result:

By changing these to solo instances it removes the issue of being pulled into a defend mission that has spawned 30+ levels above you as it currently happens. It also allows people a solo aspect as well as a group effort depending on what they enjoy.

Disturbance types:

Disturbances can come in a variety of forms all of which are random much like the current star cluster anomalies. (as a side note this also gives a new aspect for replacing the star cluster areas)

Combat: You are intercepted by a (insert ships here) which could result in a space battle or quickly disabling your ship in a mission dialogue and prompting you to push back invaders through out your ship while effecting repairs.

Storm: Hit by a plasma storm / Micro meteor shower / Solar Flare etc. your ship must hunker down to prevent damage. Would apply some fun graphic effects, either an in-space mini-game like the current anomaly one or a mini-game on board consisting of running to engineering and hitting consoles in a correct order (dependent on the type of storm) to get the same effect.

Spacial Anomaly: Encounter a / Pulled inside / Find someone else stuck in a : Time dilation field / Singularity / Gravimetric Eddie / Particle Fountain / Micro Wormhole Etc. This would then have the same effect as above with a mini-game / mission on a ship or in space

Technological: Encounter a device of some sort and you try to scan it (toss in satellite repair style mini-game) or beam to. OR have an equipment failure on your ship of some sort. (Unknown power-drain / Gel pack malfunction / life support failure) You then run around your ship attempting to fix said issue.

Biological: Encounter a life form of some sort and you try to scan it (toss in satellite repair style mini-game) OR have an outbreak or medical issue on your ship of some sort. (Rigellian fever / Gel pack bio contamination / Contagious insanity etc) You then run around your ship attempting to fix said issue.

New class based mission options

The current enhancements to missions can be applied to the above by means of class specific fixes.

Rewards

Rewards can consist of Diplomacy, Exploration, Scientific data, Accolades, Items etc.

Difficulty slider

Advanced / Elite Difficulty presets: These can be incorporated into my system by means of time limits and failure injuries with a return reward equal for the risk.

Heat seeking encounter fix

As these disturbances seek you out like current encounters and in addition could not be seen. a temporary immunity would be added after a disturbance ends to prevent a cluster of them hitting you.



Now I will give an example play out for how I see a disturbance set up.
Notes, choices and rewards will be in italics. Mission dialogue and effects will be standard text. Class specific options will be in their respective colours. Red - Tactical, Gold - Engineering, Blue - Science.

[Disturbance Entered]

Captain, we have dropped out of warp and the helm isn't responding!
[Scanning Mini-game]
(failure) Scanners can't make head's or tails of it captian.
[Effect: Normal: Requires additional energy to push to sensors removing your spare power (deduct energy credits) Advance / Elite: Same but add in ship injury]
(Completed) Sir! We seem to be stuck in a subspace fold. As long as we are stuck in it, engines are non-operational.
[Send Distress Signal (YES) (NO)]
(NO)
Tactical Option: Send explosive shock wave to disrupt the fold. [Mini-Game rewiring a torpedo]
Science Option: Direct a deflector beam to disrupt the fold. [Mini-Game re-modulate deflector]
Engineer Option: Create a warp bubble to compensate for the fold. [Mini-Game re-modulate warp field]
(Completed)
[Effect Escape unharmed and get reward]
(Failed)
[Normal: Not having a large enough affect on the fold, requires additional energy to work (deduct energy credits) Advanced / Elite: Add in time limit, and injuries]

(If you picked yes then other players are allowed to join and help, mission would continue)

(Player warps in)

Captain, The U.S.S. (player ship) is responding to our distress call.
(New players entry causes current player to pause their mini-game / mission and prompts class options for them to help. This can give a longer time-limit, reduced damage on failure and higher rewards for both parties on completion to promote helping)
[New player prompts can be the same or different to your prompts. Example, new player can if they are a science officer direct a deflector beam, or use a tractor to tow other player out.]

[Disturbance ends, Add Disturbance Temp Immunity, Prompt Rewards]

[Rewards]

Solo - Exploration points, crafting items
Someone helps - Exploration points, Diplomacy, Crafting Items, item based on type of disturbance and type of character class. Example - Above disturbance / tactical class - weapon with a bonus to disrupt engines. Science Class - Item with bonus to Gravity well or tykens rift. Engineer class - Item with bonus to engines.


Cheers - Al-Rabban.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
02-07-2011, 10:39 AM
I have to say I like this idea. The game would benefit greatly from some unpredictability, I think, and especially the idea of sending off a distress signal, letting the game invite some nearby stranger to come to your aid is a nice touch.

Usually in this game, when we end up in the same instance, it's cause we were both at the same system in probably different instances of sector space and that's it. There's no link. We just kind of quietly (admittedly, those of us that do it do it ourselves) fly through the encounters and part ways again without a second thought. With your distress signals though the presence of another player somewhere is no longer just incidental, it's the whole core of the matter, and it actually means something.

And it could be a good system to have ready to go if ever renewed thought is given to an open PVP sector block. "S.O.S. Being ganked by Klingons. Too pretty for rura'penthe! Send help!" (I should hope that won't be the text of it, but I think it conveys the idea fairly well.)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
02-07-2011, 06:39 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reave View Post
Usually in this game, when we end up in the same instance, it's cause we were both at the same system in probably different instances of sector space and that's it. There's no link. We just kind of quietly (admittedly, those of us that do it do it ourselves) fly through the encounters and part ways again without a second thought. With your distress signals though the presence of another player somewhere is no longer just incidental, it's the whole core of the matter, and it actually means something.
Thank you for the feed back!

I totally agree with what you mean and very much like how well you put the current system into words.

As a side note I plan to rework my post with more headings and visual separators for readability then add these new adaptations to future posts of my enhancements.
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