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Author Topic: More things to do with small ships/fleets  (Read 457 times)

Sinosauropteryx

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More things to do with small ships/fleets
« on: August 23, 2019, 08:52:29 AM »

My favourite part of the game is the beginning. You're small and scrappy, your fleet of two frigates feels cozy and intimate. Battles never felt like so much was at stake, and like the player had so much influence, as those first few sparring matches with hounds and mudskippers. Wins were never so satisfying as beating four ships with two, or trading blows against shields until 0% combat readiness causes one to glitch out and succumb. Sure, there is spectacle in the big capital clashes, but the excitement is lessened knowing the outcome beforehand.

What I would love to see is more reasons to own and play with a small fleet of frigates, or more access to that kind of gameplay in later parts of the game. I'm talking something along the lines of:

- Contests, like tournaments sanctioned by the major powers, or maybe pirate captains who lay down bets to challenge you to 2-on-2 frigate "street" duels. A structured environment in which to play with frigate builds for real stakes.
- Missions, like the ones already in the game's main menu, but in the campaign that can be tied to progress. Maybe you get hired freelance to command someone else's fleet for a decisive battle or ambush. Succeed, receive pay, perhaps scaling with your grade. Reputation reward too.
- Some kind of exploration object or hazard that requires, or greatly prefers, small ships to interact with. Imagine some small [redacted] outpost, just 1 or 2 ships like you usually see, but they have a magnetic field that only lets in 10 DP worth of ships to battle them. (And they're guarding hella treasure.) So you are rewarded for carrying small ships, even with your endgame fleet, to participate in events like that.

Any one of those would bring the excitement of starting a new game, while letting the player keep, and further invest in his save file.
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Morbo513

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Re: More things to do with small ships/fleets
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2019, 10:14:46 AM »

These are all great ideas and I especially like the Tournament concept - One of my favourite parts of Mechwarrior 4 Mercs was the Solaris Arena, you got more opportunity to play with the light and medium mechs even if you'd moved on to assaults in the main campaign by the time you got round to it.

The limited DP engagements reminds me of bandit camps in Mount & Blade. It could work even better here, and could go well beyond sorta-end-game redacted content. For example, a small pirate outpost hidden inside an asteroid whose entrance is too narrow for larger ships to enter, or a faction's secret listening post in a hazardous nebula.

The freelancing idea is really cool too. There's a lot of room for scripted events in each of these as well.
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Erebe

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Re: More things to do with small ships/fleets
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2019, 10:52:16 AM »

Hope Alex see this, it's quite the good idea you've here, particularly campaign or mission having a deployement limit. This remind me of certain mission in Battletech (The Mechwarrior turn per turn tactic game from Paradox) where you can't field a lance of more than x ton mech. Yep, quite a good idea indeed ^^
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dgs6686

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Re: More things to do with small ships/fleets
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2019, 12:56:41 PM »

Obviously it would be fun to have more options of things to do, regardless of fleet size, and these sound like good suggestions. I think a big part of the problem is that there is no limiting factor on how fast you can grow your fleet. The only real limit is money - which once you understand trading and using the black market really isn't a factor since you can easily turn your starting money into 1 million+ in the first hour of game-play. I think this is an inherent part of the problem since you are strongly encouraged to become as strong as you can as fast as you can. I first learned about this game by watching Robbaz's stream and he compared it loosely to Mount & Blade: Warband... which I can get some similarities for sure.

In M&B: Warband, you can not simply pick up an army of 300 mounted knights from right out of the gates and start stomping on everyone, regardless of whether you have the money. There is a leadership skill & a renown system that determines how many troops you can have in your army at any given time. This leads you to be limited to fielding a rather small army early on as you build a name for yourself, but it steadily grows over time as your raise your renown and allows you to feel a very strong sense of progression as your build your army and character. In the next update it sounds like story points are going to be a big part of the player's incremental power growth.

To me, this seems like a great opportunity to use it to implement a sort of fleet size limit vs the current flat 30 ships limit. The fleet size could start fairly low with bigger ships taking more fleet size and steadily grow over time as you level up, earn, and spend story points. This way you can grow your fleet over time and feel a stronger sense of progression as you build up your fleet.
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Sinosauropteryx

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Re: More things to do with small ships/fleets
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2019, 01:36:33 PM »

Glad to have support from the Mech Warrior crowd ;)

For example, a small pirate outpost hidden inside an asteroid whose entrance is too narrow for larger ships to enter, or a faction's secret listening post in a hazardous nebula.
Those are both better examples than mine, they add some nice new thematic elements. The nebula idea in particular makes me think of FTL and sneaking through a nebula sector in a single frigate.

In M&B: Warband, you can not simply pick up an army of 300 mounted knights from right out of the gates and start stomping on everyone, regardless of whether you have the money. There is a leadership skill & a renown system that determines how many troops you can have in your army at any given time.

...
To me, this seems like a great opportunity to use it to implement a sort of fleet size limit vs the current flat 30 ships limit.
IIRC, this was pretty much how the system worked before, and it was changed into its current version. For some reason it didn't work, though I don't know why.

I don't mind the speed of progression overall. I think having the knowledge to leverage the resources at hand to get ahead is an acquired skill and should be rewarded, not gated. But I also would not object to the early game being a bit harder or lasting a bit longer.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2019, 01:39:58 PM by Sinosauropteryx »
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