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Author Topic: Mech pilots  (Read 19885 times)

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adamsky

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Mech pilots
« on: November 10, 2011, 04:38:00 PM »

Seems that the next big feature will be Mech pilots.


Mechs will no longer recieve experience. Experience will go to Mech pilot. Mech pilot will be 'immortal' (escaping capsule launched when Mech gets destroyed). Mech pilot will gain levels and have bonuses. Bonuses will affect the Mech when you assign a Mech pilot to it.

Recovery and upgrade will be replaced with assigning pilot to a Mech. When you loose a Mech, you need to build a new chassis and assign a pilot. You don't upgrade a Mechs - you simply assign pilot to a new chassis (old one may be recycled or used without a pilot).

There will be limited number of pilots. Some Mechs will not have a pilot (controlled with AI). Mechs without pilots will not gather experience. Simply some Mechs will be boosted with experience bonuses and the rest will be just cannon fodder.

In future, we will try to add more RPG elements connected with Mech pilots (characteristic, training, medals, perhaps some quests).

We will be working on additional bonuses for Mech pilots (increasing weapon parameters).



I'm starting to work on details so I'd like to know what do you think about it.
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Baka

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Re: Mech pilots
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2011, 06:06:17 PM »

"limited pilots" doesn't really sound good. maybe we can start by having 3 pilots from the begining and recruit more later from (to make it more rpg element) a bar (drunk mech pilots...).

additionally, pilots with higher INT point can "upgrade" mechs by maybe adding more weapons (which would mean weight system need to be adjusted). while upgrading, the pilot and the mech will not be available for mission for a certain amount of time. the smarter the pilot, the shorter the time needed to do the upgrade.

if this were to be implemented, then there should be a pilot academy (or dormitory) and maybe pilot training facility, and stuff.

where i m going with is, i want more building spaces...
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adamsky

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Re: Mech pilots
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2011, 06:33:20 PM »

Quote
"limited pilots" doesn't really sound good. maybe we can start by having 3 pilots from the begining and recruit more later from (to make it more rpg element) a bar (drunk mech pilots...).
Something like that... I was thinking about 3 pilots per city or 5 pilots in 1st city an 2 pilots in next ones...

"Limited" means that you can't have for example 300 or 500 of them. :)

Quote
if this were to be implemented, then there should be a pilot academy (or dormitory) and maybe pilot training facility, and stuff.
There will be only 1 building. It will replace Recovery Station. Most propably we will even use the same icon, rename the building and change it's purpose.
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Baka

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Re: Mech pilots
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2011, 07:05:06 PM »

... i just want more building spaces for other stuff like the rockets and antimatter containment. this is just an excuse.

anyway, what i meant was having more pilots should be better. maybe it's made the same way as building a city. more city, more MBB. more pilot, higher "converted recovery station". maybe max at 8-10 per city.

and no AI mechs. maybe remote controlled. meaning 1 pilot can pilot it's own mech as well as drone mechs. the amount of drone mechs will be depending on the pilot's stat. the 3 basic stats that i m thinking of is Dexterity, Intelligence, and Concentration. Higher Dex, faster reponse time, lowers TU. Higher Int, better at strategy and intelligence gathering (enemy mechs data) and increase mech upgrade ability. Higher Con, better at evading and targeting. Con+Int+Dex = more drone mechs.

That way, it can overcome the "100 AI mechs vs 2 piloted mechs" scenario. well it can still happen but at least there will be pilots in the battlefield. not just drones.

One thing i just thought of. If mech got destroyed, there's a percentage of chance that pilot maybe injured (to replace mech recovery time.) Pilot recovery will be automatic (since you cant really say: you don't heal till we have more resources). This way, even attackers would have to weigh the risk of losing controable mechs due to lack of pilots.

I know all of these suggestions spell less mechs fighting in a battlefield but it would certainly lead to a more different and more interesting gameplay.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2011, 07:07:28 PM by Baka »
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Gears Man

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Re: Mech pilots
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2011, 07:07:23 PM »

But if that is going to happen we might need the mechs to consume less power cells cause we'll need to lots of AIs mechs to protect the pilot mechs and also we need the recovery station to repair AI mechs in our cities.

Do we?
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EmeraldLust

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Re: Mech pilots
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2011, 10:15:36 PM »

I think the cell consumption can be the same as it is. I would like to see the pilots capped by the level of the control center in the town. Higher the control center more pilots. (1 pilot per 2 levels of the control center?)

The pilots can be treated like a weightless add on equipment to add to your mechs. It would also be nice to have the pilots effect AI mech going into battle with it. A pilot would be able to adapt and tweek the AI in the middle of the battle to adapt to the situation or something like it.
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adamsky

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Re: Mech pilots
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2011, 06:24:42 PM »

Quote
maybe max at 8-10 per city.
It's not really a limit. I mean most players will not have 15 or 20 Mechs per city. Perhaps some top players or those who produce lots of Raptors. Regular player will have no more 5 Mech per city.

I think it would be better not to set any limits (each Mech gets a pilot) than to set it to 10 Mechs per city.

I wanted to set limits to push the game more towards RPG. If you have 10 pilots, they can really mean something. You can set them different avatars, name them, set ranks and create a team. We can also increase bonuses to make pilots more valuable. With 80 or 100 pilots, it will be like naming Mechs now (Spider01, Spider02, ... Spider 28, ...).
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Neo

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Re: Mech pilots
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2011, 08:38:17 PM »

Not necesarilly, Adam, real active players have alot of mechs. Limiting the pilots won't bring balance. If you have a 50 pilot limit there will still be cases of players who have 50 pumas and other that have 50 novas.
And redarding names, there are players and players. Some name every mech, even tough they have 200, some don't even name their cities.

adamsky

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Re: Mech pilots
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2011, 05:10:07 PM »

I don't want to limit Mechs. You can still have 300 Mechs. 30 of them will be "special" with experience, bonuses, etc. Remaining 270 will be just plain soldiers.

Personally I don't know a player who gives unique names to 200 Mechs. Is there any? :) Yes, I realize there are different players, I'm talking about most popular approach. If we give pilot for each Mech, we are not really pushing the game towards RPG. In fact we are not pushing it anywhere. Game mechanics remains unchanged, we just make Mech upgrade and Mech recovery easier and cheaper.

Another reason is bonuses. We want to make experience bonuses more powerfull. If every Mech can use bonuses, we have to be cautious (better bonuses increase the difference between top players and the rest). If limited number of Mechs can have bonuses, we can make those bonuses better.
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Gray Death

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Re: Mech pilots
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2011, 06:10:53 AM »

All my mechs start with an alphanumeric designation. Then they get a real name once they see some action.

Examples.

Spider Tank lvl 11 (Fist ST built)
ST-1 Asmodeus

Wolverine lvl 0 (6th one built)
W-6

Vulture lvl 0 (Replacing an experienced mech that was destroyed in battle)
V-3.1


Make a bit of sense?
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pelthalas

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Re: Mech pilots
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2011, 11:57:30 AM »

How about a special building to train and house mech pilots?  Pilot academy or something, the number of pilots available could then be determined by it's level.  Based on your desire to limit the number of available pilots, I suggest a maximum of 3-5 levels for the Pilot Academy.  The science academy could then research different training skills based on academy level as well, with higher research levels allowing pilots to train a given skill to higher levels.

Downsides to this approach include pilots being limited to cities with a Pilot Academy and cities having one more space to find for the academy to occupy, as well as power to keep it working.  Nonetheless, this provides the core of a nice roleplaying element to the game.

From a storyline point of view, it is not absolutely necessary to use AI for mechs.  In any story there are mooks, unremarkable individuals who do their job adequately but never really shine these would be simple un-named pilots.  Then there are heroes, the people the story is about.  In this case they are the eponymous Mech Heroes, special guys who add something to their vehicle.  They would logically be few and far between, and this approach would make more sense from a logic standpoint.  (How would anyone ever learn to pilot a mech if the mechs all run from AI, let alone get enough experience to become heroic?)
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adamsky

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Re: Mech pilots
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2011, 04:51:40 PM »

Quote
How about a special building to train and house mech pilots?  Pilot academy or something, the number of pilots available could then be determined by it's level.  Based on your desire to limit the number of available pilots, I suggest a maximum of 3-5 levels for the Pilot Academy.  The science academy could then research different training skills based on academy level as well, with higher research levels allowing pilots to train a given skill to higher levels.
Good idea. This could also be the way to limit pilots. You start with a single pilot and when you build up your cities, explore NPCs and attack other players, you find more and more gifted pilots among your soldiers.

Quote
How about a special building to train and house mech pilots?  Pilot academy or something, the number of pilots available could then be determined by it's level.  Based on your desire to limit the number of available pilots, I suggest a maximum of 3-5 levels for the Pilot Academy.  The science academy could then research different training skills based on academy level as well, with higher research levels allowing pilots to train a given skill to higher levels.

Downsides to this approach include pilots being limited to cities with a Pilot Academy and cities having one more space to find for the academy to occupy, as well as power to keep it working.  Nonetheless, this provides the core of a nice roleplaying element to the game.
We'd rather not house Mech pilots in any building. There will be situations when you have more pilots in a city than capacity of the building. Hard to say what should we do in such situations. Building can be destroyed, you may want to concentrate your army in a city that doesn't have this building at all, etc.

Pilot Academy will be there.



At the moment plan looks more or less like this:

At first we will implement pilots in a simple version. Pilots will have the same set bonuses as Mechs have today + evasion bonus. You can also expect some balance fixes (new cost of bouses, etc.). We will focus on the part with asigning pilots, try to find proper limits, etc.

If we see that it works ok, we will go the second phase. Each pilot will have set of statistics (like Dexterity, Intelligence and Concentration suggested above). Those stats will ofcourse affect bonuses that pilot adds to Mech. Most propably we will also add skills. For example: pilot with high concentration and high perception may go to Pilot Academy for a short training and gain 'sniper' skill (increased damage when using sniper weapons).

3rd phase will be adding more RPG elements.


Ofcourse it's just an early plan and many things may still change. We are waiting for opinions and suggestions.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2011, 04:53:17 PM by adamsky »
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Ganymede

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Re: Mech pilots
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2011, 03:12:21 PM »

i think you should really put in quests for the 2nd phase at the latest. they should be easy to balance and once determined to be so, are fixed -- you can just keep adding new ones for more variety. quests become available upon reaching certain # of mechs built, certain labs researched, certain chassis types built, certain pilot level, etc. the quests focus on giving primarily exp, but can also give items and maybe resources. they could also grant a skill like what you mentioned ("sniper"). you'd put a Quest tab in the pilot academy screen to browse the list of available ones, and check their progress in a Quests tab in the missions screen. quest descriptions should give some clues as to what you would be facing so that one could hedge against mass destruction. perhaps in lieu of giving too informative a hint, you could lessen the consequences; e.g., a quest can result in failure and award nothing, but mechs won't get destroyed. quests can also place restrictions: no chassis above ___, no power cell usage greater than ___ (like in tournaments), no more than ___ mechs, pilot level range __ to __, no weapon ___ or armor ___, skill ___ required, etc. in fact, using that last restriction you can implement a skill tree system: you could have it so that the only way to acquire skills is by succeeding in certain quests, and certain quests can only be obtained if you have other skills; in effect, placing prerequisites on skills themselves.

topic change: pilot stats

an easy way to start off for stats is to line them up directly with the current mech upgrades. first, we have to get the nomenclature right. "stat" is better described as an attribute -- something inherent in the pilot that usually adds to a basic measure of performance and combines with other attributes to give access to new skills/jobs or talents. skills/jobs are things the pilot can do -- this would be the most logical characteristic for altering the mech directly. talents are natural abilities of the pilot -- this would be the most logical characteristic for acquiring new combat tactics. skills/jobs are typically "ranked" -- you can increase it for added effect -- whereas talents are usually 1-shot deals: the pilot realizes it all at once.

here's a sample attribute/skill/talent array:

attributes:
fortitude - a point in this increases mech hull strength linearly*
intelligence - a point in this increases availability for acquiring ALL skills/jobs and some/most talents
reflexes - a point in this increases combat speed linearly**
wisdom - a point in this increases availability for acquiring some/most skills/jobs and ALL talents

jobs:
outfitting (req. fort, int) - increase mech capacity linearly
pit crew (req. int, refl) - increase mech re-arm speed by %
mechanic (req. int, refl) - increase mech repair speed by %
armorer (req. fort, int) - increase mech hull strength by %
efficiency expert (req. fort, int, wis) - increase mech capacity by %
scout (req. int, refl, wis) - increase mech travel speed
master engineer (req. fort, int, refl, wis) - upgrade chassis type

talents:
defense (req. fort, wis) - access to "enemy defense analysis" tactics
offense (req. refl, wis) - access to "enemy weapons analysis" tactics
tactics (req. int, wis) - access to "advanced tactics" tactics
sniper (req. int, refl, wis) - bonus to long range weapons' range/accuracy/damage/etc
blitzer (req. fort, int, wis) - bonus to short range weapons' range/accuracy/damage/etc
supplier (req. int, wis) - bonus to mech capacity only for equipping transport platforms
ranger (req. fort, int, refl, wis) - opens an item slot***


* i could make an argument for how/why hull strength increases with an attribute rather than a skill as my description above would suggest, but for balance and design purposes having HP linked to an attribute is always better.
** the argument for this is simple: a mech has capable performance of much greater than a pilot can take advantage of -- an AI controlled mech e.g. could react much quicker (albeit make unwise decisions).
*** just a random thought: all mechs have the same # (and many) slots for items. why not limit them and unlock new ones as an ability?


i will definitely keep an eye on this thread. i've been designing RPGs (by myself anyway) since i was a kid and i love this stuff.
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Whermech

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Re: Mech pilots
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2011, 01:57:15 AM »

I think mech pilots is great idea keep banging away on that idea admins i like it....

Warlord WherMech
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adamsky

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Re: Mech pilots
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2011, 04:05:46 PM »

What ideas do you have for quests?

We will add some kind of "Mech patrol" option. Player will be able to send Mechs to a patrol that lasts X hours. Mechs will be safe (out of the city). After each patrol player will recieve certain ammount of experience. There will be some option for emergency call back.

What else?


What do you think about pushing it a bit further and introducing "city administrators"? It would be a person that runs a city. Administrator could add bonuses to resource production or construction time of Mechs and equipment. This would be a way to limit players growth, a replacement for current 800-point requirement (to settle a new city you need to have a free administrator). Most propably we would introduce additional rules, for example: to settle 118 spot you need a better city administrator than for 334 spot (so those who hunt for 118 only would have to put some additional effort).
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