Loading...
  OR  Zero-K Name:    Password:   

Commander Module Design

138 posts, 3692 views
Post comment
Filter:    Player:  
Page of 7 (138 records)
sort


AUrankAdminAquanim
7 months ago
From my perspective, as a player who does not habitually com-morph and

(#1) would like com-morphing to be interesting
(#2) would not like com-morphing to be obligatory
(#3) would be ok with com-morphing being kind of weak (especially in 1v1/2v2), but not terrible

I am not entirely satisfied. I think #2 and #3 are more or less satisfied but #1 could be improved on. The question is how to improve #1 without compromising #2 or #3.

Some Issues


Some of the generic 8x modules are pretty lame.
[Spoiler]

The weapon modifiers (Flux Amp, Disruptor Ammo, Napalm Warhead) are wonky.
[Spoiler]

Strike, Guardian and Engineer chassis are fundamentally very similar, unless you are going full com-morph.
[Spoiler]

The Recon chassis is qualitatively different in a way that is very relevant to competitive play.
[Spoiler]

There is very little reason to morph beyond level 2 (the first weapon) unless you intend to morph to level 4.
[Spoiler]

A general lack of interesting decisions.
[Spoiler]

Potential Design


I'm not really trying to nail down specific balance numbers at this stage - my goal is to achieve a reasonable design.

Remove Disruptor Ammo, Flux Amplifier, Napalm Warhead and Lazarus Device.

Recon: Significant increase to Jump cooldown, perhaps decrease jump range; a bit more HP to compensate. You can still expand (on say Quicksilver) but you'll be vulnerable to raids for a while afterwards.

Engineer: Moderate decrease to build range, perhaps buff something to compensate.

Strike: Moderate decrease to autorepair, perhaps buff something to compensate.

These changes might seem to reduce chassis distinctions and some cool modules. Read on.

Commander Subsystems


This is largely a refinement of this idea. If you have played Dota 2 recently this idea probably looks kind of familiar.

The basic idea is:

At level 3 or later you can add a minor subsystem module. Only one minor subsystem can be selected.
At level 5 or later you can add a major subsystem module. Only one major subsystem can be selected.

The goals of this change are:
  • Add interesting module choices.
  • Make the choice of chassis more interesting.
  • Improve the design of weapon modifier modules (their inherent downsides can be removed if they have the downside of not choosing a different subsystem).
  • Make level 3 a more appealing thing to morph to.

Some of my design principles for these subsystems are:
  • Avoid negative side effects (being unable to select the other subsystem should be a sufficient tradeoff).
  • Each pair of subsystems doesn't need to be equally useful in all games, or on average, but there should be some kind of game in which each one is useful.
  • Try to avoid just making ordinarymodule++ but one or two (like crazy movespeed) might be ok.
  • Subsystems which are dependent on other module/subsystem choices (like weapon mods) make me sad but are probably unavoidable.

The subsystems are different for each chassis. A first draft:

Recon


Minor Subsystem
JUMP BOOSTER: Increase Jump range and decrease cooldown [?]
SENSOR ARRAY: Increase vision radius to something near 800 (i.e. Radar Tower vision range). [?]
Major subsystem
KINETIC DISTRIBUTOR: Jump impacts like a Sumo.
RUN YOUR BOI: Significant movement speed increase. [?]

Strike


Minor Subsystem
FLUX AMPLIFIER: Increase damage of Beam Laser, Particle Beam. Increase EMP damage of Lightning Rifle.
FLEX-ALLOY ARMOR: Significant increase to autorepair, some HP. [?]
Major subsystem
OVERCLOCK: Decrease manual-fire weapon reload time. [?]
SYSTEM REBOOT: Remove all negative status effects, long cooldown. [?]

Engineer


Minor Subsystem
DISRUPTOR AMMO: Add slow damage to standard weapons. [?]
DUAL-PHASE LATHE: Significant increase in build power and range [?]
Major subsystem
RESONANCE COIL: Increase manual-fire weapon range. [?]
LAZARUS DEVICE: Commander can resurrect wrecks. [?]

Guardian


Minor Subsystem
NAPALM WARHEADS: Increase Heat Ray and Flamethrower damage, add fire damage to other weapons. [?]
VANGUARD DEPLOYMENT: Deploy Commander economy pack as a building, get some combat benefit like HP. [?]
Major subsystem
ANCHORING MODULE: 1/2 damage taken while stationary. [?]
CONCUSSION PULSE: Throws nearby enemies away. [?]

What about fixing the 8x modules?


I have some ideas but they are less well baked at this stage. On the other hand they're way easier implementation-side.
  • Remove Damage Booster, have interesting subsystems which increase damage of weapons instead.
  • Reduce High Density Plating and Advanced Targeting System to max 3x or something, but make them better individually.
  • Perhaps do something similar to drones? Drones in general need more thought.

Miscellaneous Ideas


  • Have a choice of three minor subsystems; add a second one at level 6/7. [?]
  • Limit com morph to level 7 (similar to campaign). The later levels are just "add generically good modules" anyway, and are reached so rarely that it's not really worth trying to make them better.
  • Do something drastic to Disintegrator Gun.
  • I'm not a big fan of the Area Shield conversion.

Since I'm not a habitual com-morpher and a lot of these choices have more to do with appeal than balance, other perspectives are probably useful in this instance.
+5 / -0



CHrankAdminDeinFreund
7 months ago
You don't want com morphing to be encouraged in competitive matches and that makes sense due to how hard it is to balance. This means that playing to win will usually mean not morphing your com. With the severely nerfed chassis, this would actually make those matches less diverse. Is this intended?
+0 / -0




EErankAdminAnarchid
7 months ago
(edited 7 months ago)

I like the alternate paths approach, but i don't think this design changes much about the Level 3 issue because almost every minor subsystem listed is a previous Level 3 module or is similar in magnitude.

There are two important things that L3 allows currently which were not mentioned, this is shield and cloak. Cloak is much more important i guess.

Recon is currently so different from the other chassis because it gets a qualitatively different ability for free, whether you commorph or not. If you want diverse chassis in competitive games, this could work for the others.

E.g. the Guardian egg-laying thing could be a free starting ability, especially as the egg is easier to destroy than the commander, cannot run or be cloaked, etc.
+0 / -0

ZArankAstran
7 months ago
I'm a rabid com-morpher and to be honest few paths other than engineer really make sense to me. The build range limitation of the other three chassis chaps my ass every time I use them and the advantages seem too limited. To get something worthwhile out of the other three a lot of morphing and a ton of metal is needed. I like the trollcom variants like [pikts]Wolas' Mah Boy build with cloak and disintegrator but again, it seems like it takes a ton of metal to get anywhere.

Aquanim has some pretty useful suggestions but as I was reading I came to the same conclusion that he did: these nerf modifications are going to make commanders more samey and not different. I'd rather say: increase Recon jump range and decrease it's hitpoints than make it more the same as the other chassis.

I like the subsystems route of unique choices to commander chassis.

These could be really good but limited by level to reduce impact on 1v1 play.

For example at Level 5 they could be:

Engineer: Extended range nanolathe module (increase lathing range by 25%)
Guardian: Integrated AA module (like a quad hacksaw or something nasty)
Strike: Mass-to-Energy Strike System (launches a wide scattering of emp bomblets at the cost of a 25% hp penalty)
Recon: Kinetic Impact Landing System (the Jugglenaut landing impact Aquanim mentioned)

Possibly at L10 another array of subsystems could be opened to selection. This level restriction means that commanders could be diverse and fun to play in big team games but still balanced.

At L10 possibly we could have:

Engineer: Nanolathe Autorepair Cloud (+10 regeneration to all units within a certain range)
Guardian: Third Weapons Slot for a devastating local firepower
Strike: Aquanim's speed boost
Recon: Nanodust Recon Module (allows lingering direct sight to wherever the Recon chassis has been for a few minutes.

I think Aquanims suggestions are very cool and I'd be looking forward to seeing more diverse and fun commanders.
+0 / -0


PLrankAdminSprung
7 months ago
quote:
Miscellaneous Ideas
Do something drastic to Disintegrator Gun.


Remove as a module. Strikecom level 3 talent: cloak OR dgun.
+1 / -0


AUrankAdminAquanim
7 months ago
(edited 7 months ago)

quote:
You don't want com morphing to be encouraged in competitive matches and that makes sense due to how hard it is to balance. This means that playing to win will usually mean not morphing your com. With the severely nerfed chassis, this would actually make those matches less diverse. Is this intended?

quote:
I like the alternate paths approach, but i don't think this design changes much about the Level 3 issue because almost every minor subsystem listed is a previous Level 3 module or is similar in magnitude.

With respect to both of these points, I would be looking to balance the level 3 modules (and levelling costs in general) such that morphing to level 3 (and sometimes 4) is situationally a reasonable idea in competitive games, without being necessary every game. This is likely to require a fair bit of polish.

I think I need to add something: while I would like the different chassis to feel diverse, diversity at level 1/2 is problematic because of the blind Rock-Paper-Scissors effect. When cheeses like comdrop are much harder to hold with Recon/Engineer but otherwise the latter chassis are better, that seems pretty poor. Making the level 1/2 chassis more similar but trying to diversify in later levels (which are not so subject to blind RPS), and making those later levels somewhat more likely to appear than currently, is my compromise.

quote:
I like the subsystems route of unique choices to commander chassis.

These could be really good but limited by level to reduce impact on 1v1 play.

I would prefer to make changes which do impact 1v1 play, but don't break it. The dichotomy between large teams "trololol look at my meme com" and 1v1/small teams "srs bsns no morph allowed" does not feel nice to me.

I think the uselessness of Level 3 has a significant amount to do with this (even though cloak, shield, etc. unlock at Level 3, they are typically not very useful until one's com is much stronger, or at least until one has a manual fire weapon at 4). I have morphed to Disruptor Bomb occasionally in serious 1v1 play but the cost of having to pay for an intervening level I got no utility out of was pretty painful.
+1 / -0

USrankSteel_Blue
7 months ago
you want to detract from Dgun? make it faster with higher damage(pass through will be shorter, just to compensate) and give some nasty sound and lenseflare at commander's tip for like 4 seconds when activated. the projectile only launches after 4 seconds, not instantly. com is decloaked for this duration.
+0 / -0


DErankkatastrophe
7 months ago
that would make the module unusable. I don´t think cloaked-dgun-coms are the problem. They become one as soon as they are tanky as well. Ultimatum is on a suicide mission because it is fragile and slow. D-gun-coms are neither of those. This makes them extremely hard to counter, leaving only stun. This on the other hand gives the team enough time to protect them.
+2 / -0


AUrankAdminSaktoth
7 months ago
The module system was originally designed with a level cap in mind, which meant every module you picked was a tradeoff versus another potential module. Now it feels a little more like you can pick up everything you could potentially want eventually: A d-gun comm can max speed and regen while also picking up cloak and other things, all that matters is the order you get them.

The way Istrolid creates dynamic unit classes is by creating extensive tradeoffs: Extra range is always heavier, which slows you down and means that max range only comes with slower speed, so bombardment always outranges kiters. Cloak also trades off with weight, as does jump, and HP adds weight or hitvolume, meaning the more HP you get the easier you are to hit (and the harder it is to cloak or jump). Istrolid also uses a module system for weapons which caps them at 6 modules each, and most modules come with a reload penalty, meaning the max range weapons have a much lower DPS and the max DPS weapons have only base range.

This is hard to apply to the commander in Zero-K, because it really has to fulfill the Riot role early on, be slow enough that it cannot rush the enemy at the start, yet have enough HP that it cannot be easily picked off. This means it can never be any of the more fragile unit classes unless modules come with harsh tradeoffs which transform the unit more drastically.

It's a question of how much you want the Comm to be limited to it's traditional riot-assault focus though, as the problematic builds have always been things like artillery or anti-heavy, or super fast jumpy-comms that could kite almost everything but had assault-class HP, or doing things that no other unit could. For example, there is no fast unit over 300 metal.
+4 / -0


PLrankAdminSprung
7 months ago
quote:
level 3 is a really underwhelming commander level. Your commander does very little that it could not have done at level 2, and you spent a bunch of metal.

Neon: remove the basic radar module and make it baseline for level 3.
+1 / -0

PTrankraaar
7 months ago
quote:

There is very little reason to morph beyond level 2 (the first weapon) unless you intend to morph to level 4.

A fix is moving part of the cost and attribute boosts of the level4 form to the level 3 form.

quote:

Limit com morph to level 7 (similar to campaign). The later levels are just "add generically good modules" anyway, and are reached so rarely that it's not really worth trying to make them better.

I agree with limiting the morphs to level 7 or something, that'll force people to make choices instead of converging to the same design at high levels. It'd also allow modules to be relatively more cost-effective for lower levels.


quote:

Damage Booster is boring, bad, and could be very annoying if it was good.
...
Remove Damage Booster, have interesting subsystems which increase damage of weapons instead.


Bad idea. Why boring? Range is better atm because it boosts the weapon value further as it's stacked, and because commanders can't trade shots with zk's high dps, short ranged raiders and riots and reasonably get out alive. It could easily give 12% per module with no drawback and people would still only get a few, possibly after maxing out range.


High power servos was maybe OK at +10%, 8% is too low, especially at lower levels.


quote:

Recon: Significant increase to Jump cooldown, perhaps decrease jump range; a bit more HP to compensate. You can still expand (on say Quicksilver) but you'll be vulnerable to raids for a while afterwards.

Engineer: Moderate decrease to build range, perhaps buff something to compensate.

Strike: Moderate decrease to autorepair, perhaps buff something to compensate.


I disagree with this. Jump's somewhat overrated, the commander is already only 10% faster than the others, and gets considerably less HP/level. I don't think the blind RPS associated with commanders' innate differences is an issue because they're all slow. Factory choice matters much more.

quote:

FLUX AMPLIFIER: Increase damage of Beam Laser, Particle Beam. Increase EMP damage of Lightning Rifle.
...
OVERCLOCK: Decrease manual-fire weapon reload time.
...
RESONANCE COIL: Increase manual-fire weapon range


Special modules that strictly boost specific weapons are bad. This risks developers making the weapon not worth picking unless in conjunction with said modules.


quote:

ANCHORING MODULE: 1/2 damage taken while stationary. [?]
CONCUSSION PULSE: Throws nearby enemies away. [?]


These are interesting.

quote:

VANGUARD DEPLOYMENT: Deploy Commander economy pack as a building, get some combat benefit like HP. [?]

this ability should be something that all commanders could do since the start, without any module requirement.


quote:

Do something drastic to Disintegrator Gun.


Commanders with it break all enemy tanky commander builds that rely on front line exposure, even without getting any damage modules. Bad design. Remove it from the game.




+2 / -1


AUrankAdminAquanim
7 months ago
(edited 7 months ago)

quote:
A fix is moving part of the cost and attribute boosts of the level4 form to the level 3 form.

I doubt this can be done well. Basic attribute boosts are necessarily less cost-effective than ordinary units. I think the change needs to be qualitative.

quote:
Bad idea. Why boring? Range is better atm because it boosts the weapon value further as it's stacked, and because commanders can't trade shots with zk's high dps, short ranged raiders and riots and reasonably get out alive. It could easily give 12% per module with no drawback and people would still only get a few, possibly after maxing out range.

This is exactly the reason why it's a good idea. Commanders should not be able to fight riots at short range cost-effectively, and given that that is true, the individual damage booster cannot be good. Perhaps it could be saved with the 3x max treatment.

quote:
I disagree with this. Jump's somewhat overrated, the commander is already only 10% faster than the others, and gets considerably less HP/level. I don't think the blind RPS associated with commanders' innate differences is an issue because they're all slow.

Having seen a bunch of cheese games determined by initial chassis choice of the defender (sometimes in combination with factory choice, but all the same) I don't really have an answer besides "you're wrong".

quote:
Special modules that strictly boost specific weapons are bad. This risks developers making the weapon not worth picking unless in conjunction with said modules.

They're not great, but your reason tends towards baseless slander. I would say they are bad because they make the other option the only viable one in some cases. Having three minor subsystems might help with that.

quote:
this ability should be something that all commanders could do since the start, without any module requirement.

I don't see a good reason to remove the risk/reward tradeoff of expanding boldly with one's commander.
+0 / -0

PTrankraaar
7 months ago
So, have you thought about more concrete values?
+0 / -0


AUrankAdminAquanim
7 months ago
Not at this stage, I think the design as a whole needs some more time to brew.
+0 / -0

PTrankraaar
7 months ago
quote:

KINETIC DISTRIBUTOR: Jump impacts like a Sumo.


this will look cool but has two issues

- doesn't make sense : crushing aoe damage from jump on a commander that's supposed to be lighter but faster than others

- gameplay : recon commander has mobility advantages but relatively bad survivability, how often will you want to jump it into the middle of an enemy group?


+2 / -0

PTrankraaar
7 months ago
- current base morph costs


base cost total slots
level2 25 1 + weapon
level3 100 3
level4 600 5 + weapon
level5 200 8
level6 300 11 old maximum level
level7 400 14
level8 500 17
level9 600 20
level10 700 23
level11 800 26
(it grows by 100 per level for levels 5+)



725 base cost to get to level 4 (+ 750 on 150M modules)
1225 base cost to get to level 6 (+ 1650 on 150M modules)

8x on basic modules costs 1200

an expensive skirmisher build with 8x range and 4x hp +4x speed modules requires 2125 + 2400 to get to level 8

the old commanders would cost about 300 more to morph to level 6 (100 more at levels 3, 5 and 6 i think), but the range and damage modules gave 10% with no penalty, and there were 400M modules to boost range of riot cannon and heatray by 30%, or boost the range of rockets and missiles significantly (50%?) with a slight penalty in dps
(was any of these builds "OP"? probably not, with the possible exception of the old slow damage mg + drones, or builds that relied on disruption bomb or cluster bomb)

abilities like the disruption bomb, cluster bomb and had 12s cooldown instead of 20+

at one point it was possible to have a 200 DPS artillery commander with 1600 range and 6k hp

+0 / -0

PTrankraaar
7 months ago
commanders commanders commanders!!!1


quote:

Not at this stage, I think the design as a whole needs some more time to brew.


are we there yet?
+0 / -0


GBrank[GBC]1v0ry_k1ng
7 months ago
(edited 7 months ago)

I just want commanders to have more high-end expensive super-weapon like modules, for teamgames. These can be horribly overpriced, as they are clearly for lolz/prestige.

Exploding like a nuke, for example. DRP sidearm. Mega legs (Legs 10x longer, for fast travel). Flying com (like superman). Lobster jump. one-use detachable head weapon.

Stuff that won't ever show up in 1v1, but will add some ridiculous lategame fun to coms in teamgames.
+4 / -0

PTrankraaar
7 months ago
are we there yet?


(why not?)
+0 / -0



AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
7 months ago
Probably because noone was motivated to refine the design to something implementable, write the code required to support it and create the module art.
+0 / -0
Page of 7 (138 records)