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Space Combat Revamp

CommanderPaco's Avatar

02.21.2012 , 04:52 PM | #1
A few things, and "social space combat" has been bandied about already, but I remember reading this recently in another thread and it got me thinking:

Quote: Originally Posted by Yakito View Post
I think it would be very innovative and actually a lot of fun to have Space Combat ops, attacking some huge station, fight a couple of bosses in space with 15 people around you doing their thing too. Just imagine that.
Currently, space combat is very scripted and while it makes for a great rail shooter, there's a sandbox aspect of this portion of the game that is certainly missing and what could potentially make this portion of the game a great add-on. Heck, it could very well be a large content add-on or dare I say, expansion. Though I will say, in order for space combat to be more social, it must become more of a sandbox setup. I think BioWare can build off of their current design and add sandbox elements and still keep it somewhat in the realm of a rail shooter. Heck, since BioWare hasn't really done too much yet with space combat, they could completely revamp what they have if they wanted to.

Personally, to really get pulled into the social aspect of the game, I'd love to see something along the lines of the multiplayer in Microsoft's Freelancer from back in 2003. I played the game to death and was disappointed to not see it officially get supported more. However, the game's modding community has made extensive mods for the game and one of them, Freelancer: Discovery is essentially a non-official expansion for the game developed solely by the users. Check out a pre-release trailer for v4.85 of the mod and check out their web site to get an in-depth idea of what I mean.

Just imagine even some of that video I posted above the skies of Taris or even Alderaan...

Devs and fellow players, your thoughts?
On dit quelquefois: "Le sens commun est fort rare." (People sometimes say: "Common sense is quite rare.") - Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet)
Krayt Dragon (PvE) - Death Star Orphans | Kirana (IA/Sniper) / Ra'van (SW/Marauder)
Space Combat Revamp Suggestions! | More Space Combat Suggestions by Lord_Nova

CommanderPaco's Avatar

02.21.2012 , 09:07 PM | #2
Bumpity bump? Any ideas or thoughts people?
On dit quelquefois: "Le sens commun est fort rare." (People sometimes say: "Common sense is quite rare.") - Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet)
Krayt Dragon (PvE) - Death Star Orphans | Kirana (IA/Sniper) / Ra'van (SW/Marauder)
Space Combat Revamp Suggestions! | More Space Combat Suggestions by Lord_Nova

RobCivicCRX's Avatar

02.22.2012 , 07:58 AM | #3
The space combat in STO was great, if they use that model they will be on to a winner.

It allowed for large group content aswell as pvp with abilities like you get with your regular toon.

CommanderPaco's Avatar

02.23.2012 , 12:19 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by RobCivicCRX View Post
The space combat in STO was great, if they use that model they will be on to a winner.

It allowed for large group content aswell as pvp with abilities like you get with your regular toon.
While I have to say I haven't played the space combat in Star Trek Online, I did dabble a bit on a friend's account in Star Wars Galaxies and it certainly was a lot more fun than what we have currently here.

However, the potential is there for something more and I think even BioWare realizes. In a way, the whole thing feels like a proof-of-concept in that BioWare wanted to show they could actually create it. Well they have, but a very simplistic rail shooter isn't what many (including myself) had in mind. I don't expect any change to come soon since BioWare needs to concentrate on the main portion of the game, IMHO; however, well, this is where we come in, and I do have some ideas:

From a game/story design standpoint, add some more missions, specifically in zones where we already go to planet-wise. Obviously, that is the case right now, but how about some more? And vary these missions up, add some substance when you use the mission terminal by, for example, having a Moff or Grand Admiral or whoever contact you when you select a mission. This would be similar to how it is the first time you access the mission terminal on one's ship. There are so many varying objectives that can be done, and many can certainly tie into some semblance of multiplayer, like space combat heroics (more on grouping later). I guess the request here is to feel a little more immersed into the space combat than it is. I know "immersion" is a word that gets trolled on, but as is, space combat is just...well, it's just kind of there. From a story perspective, be it side quests or not, I feel no need to actually do any space combat beyond getting quick XP, credits, and commendations. Sure that's fine and all, but this is a story driven MMO last I checked.

Of course, none of the game/story implementation can work withou revamping the actual gameplay itself. As it stands now, the game plays like a simplified rail shooter, and beyond turning, doing a barrel roll, etc. space combat has a fixed path it goes on. From a rail shooter standpoint, that's great and all, and perhaps keeping it that way for some missions is fine. However, once you get into attempting to implement grouping, potential difficulties can certainly crop up. Case in point, a group would likely want and/or need to fly as a squadron, and while staying in a fixed path could work, the option of breaking off a particular path is typically desirable in any sort of space combat sim. If anybody has played Freelancer or X-Wing Vs. TIE Fighter, you know what I mean; sometimes it's deadly to stay on one path. This is where full fledged mouse controlled flight may need to come into play. Heck, doing this may just make the current missions so much easier, and in that case, BioWare simply needs to up the difficulty a bit to compensate. Now how to address various group mechanics, that's where it gets interesting. A friend (and fellow guild mate) and I had this same discussion and he brought up the point of how the dynamics of MMOs could potentially change up when doing space combat missions. Specifically, the roles people play in a group would potentially cease to exist (e.g. who heals, who tanks). After hearing him out, it made some sense; however, one needs to look it this way: one is going from a typical MMORPG to MMO space combat...roles change, game play changes. So theoretically, BioWare could change up how ships work in space combat and actually give them a function based upon ship type (as it stands now, all they do is just look different) and potentially even mimic features from the individual advanced class. So for example, an Imperial Agent gets an X-70 Phantom. The ship could potentially move the fastest of all the Sith ships as IAs, from a story perspective, need to be in and out of conflict zones fast. Then going further, if one is an Operative, the ship could get a 15 second cloaking ability. Also, how would grouping work? I think that the number of players required on heroics should change from 2 to 4 as the base numbers to 4 to 6; of course, there's the other issue of server imbalance, but that's a whole different conversation.

Of course item drops are something that would need some tweaking. Would it be just fleet commendations to outfit one's ship and/or get some player gear? This becomes an interesting question. Imagine if you will, a Heroic 6, where an Imperial cargo ship is being escorted across contested space, and it was detected by the Republic SIS as carrying various artifacts. Take a 6-man group to take out the escort and commandeer the cargo ship's cargo. A potential reward at the end of the mission would be one's choice of relics (along with the XP and credit gain) and in mission, potentially, there could be ship parts etc.
My apologies for the wall of text; however, I really want to see a constructive discussion on this as this game is just begging for a space combat revamp, IMHO.
On dit quelquefois: "Le sens commun est fort rare." (People sometimes say: "Common sense is quite rare.") - Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet)
Krayt Dragon (PvE) - Death Star Orphans | Kirana (IA/Sniper) / Ra'van (SW/Marauder)
Space Combat Revamp Suggestions! | More Space Combat Suggestions by Lord_Nova

bluefunoodle's Avatar

02.25.2012 , 12:04 AM | #5
I really would love to see cooperative space missions. I LOVED the space missions at first, even though there are many complaints about the on-rails approach. However, I quickly got bored with the lack of variety for the actual missions. One of my first thoughts was "this would be great with at least one other party member" and now the thought of having an operation-sized space combat mission is just getting my hopes up that much more for any kind of cooperative addition to the space combat missions. Maybe even PVP space missions? Though I don't have any creative input on how to support that using the current system.

Cowhunter's Avatar

02.25.2012 , 01:07 AM | #6
I love what I'm reading in this thread you guy's are getting my hope's up for some thing really BA I hope some one at Bioware see's this thread.
I would really like to have OP/group space combat mission's or even Free Flight, where you can go around exploring the universe finding hidden place's or hidden datacron's or attack the other faction player ships for pvp and you could find rare mining node's.

Masculus's Avatar

02.25.2012 , 10:37 PM | #7
Okay so how could they improve on it without completely destroying the concepts that are already in play one wonders...

Okay so as a Sith Inquisitor (only an example people so please don't get upset) You get a Fury Class interceptor and this is essentially your main Base of operations. So instead of canning what is already there we could expand on it instead... Firstly we need to keep the current method of getting your first starship... why? Because lets face it, that little feeling you get when you first walk into that hangar bay is a little too good to take out of the game...

So current situation is that your starship orbits off planet in what I refer to as the Orbiting altitude or ring and is essentially a freeze frame focused on the planet, cool I think we can all deal with this being a sort of soloish area, where by you can't have some massive Starship blow some poor noob from the sky...

Additionally from here you can go on runs through NPC populated missions to destroy key strategic targets in a rail shoot em up of rather limited proportion, cool keep that bit too for those who like your space invaders "come into the range of my mouse click and ill end you" types.

Now we get to the "get to the point where you say how you want it to be" bit. Okay so considering that your beginner ship is by definition a light frigate (in common naval concept that is) with roughly the capacity to hold up to 20 personnel sleeping with a further 20 personnel seated (so by naval terms a total staff of around 90 personnel on a tri rotational shift). Point is this is easily large enough to seat an additional scout craft (this is in addition to the escape pod(s) located on the belly of the ship... So, has everyone noticed that there is a door that does not seem to lead anywhere on just about every ship you can get? We shall use this door as the foundation for the additional content. Through this door should be a set of stairs/ramp that leads to the lower/upper maintenance deck/mess hall (which might I add is alarmingly absent). On this deck we can include a small scouting craft which the player can use to enter thier first sandbox space missions/flights. So you get in the ship there is a little cinematic where you can see the pilot/character ask for clearance to exit planetary orbit... (this would have to be necessary to justify why you cant fly your massive imperial cruiser into orbit and smash noobs).

After this cinematic you and your little Scout craft equipped with enough to provide front and rear deflectors to the capacity of your average fighter blast and a single blaster repeater at the front of the ship... With just enough room in the cockpit to sqeeze your 90kg/180lb Sith. There should be very little effort required for scripting as there is already a precedent (SWG)...

Then you can look at progression such as through Fighters, Bombers, Frigates, Cruisers and even Battleships for guilds... And you can then associate things such as damage, repair costs, upgrades etc.

Why do this? Because I have to say after five years of development this is a heck of thing to leave out...

So in summary, no need to delete or change content, just add content... There is already a precedence I am pretty sure lucas arts holds the rights to, this will dramatically enhance the playing field and encourage players to join and level guilds and collect/build new and amazing starhip designs (if there are dramas coming up with designs simply look at the starships of the battle of Yavin and rewind a bit of the tech). And finally it will kick the *** of the pretenders over at STO...

P.S. Everyone wants to be Sith... even me... although we already know that they lose... Hmmm... Sorry for the novel.

Masculus LWh

Sekrain's Avatar

02.25.2012 , 11:39 PM | #8
I have read all of you guys and in sumary i one can get some good ideas for getting better space combat. (of course is my opinion)

1.- Get out of the rail - Why? cause will be more fun, more realistic, more sandbox and this one is the core of (almost) all the other petitions

2.- Guild Flagship - Why? this one needs no explanation. Note - could be good to have a variety of ships to choose and letting also internal customisation.

3.- Coop space combat - Why? cause is more exciting for everyone to have a little of help blowing up some capital ships and also adding heroic space battles for more playes (I know is much to ask but why not even operations that involve space combat)

4.- PVP space combat - Why? will add another way of pvp combat... a very exciting way

5.- Ship customisation - Why? once the space coop and pvp gets in the game surelly everyone will want to make both teammates and rivals identify you by something especial, insted of fighting ships fo the same colour and without anything that defines you.

6.- Guild Flagship battles - Why? once the pvp space combat start and the guild flagships arrive would be great to get into fight your entire guild (in his ships and with flagship) against another guild (in the same way)

well this are just some ideas. (some crazy but... dont deny that are cool)

CommanderPaco's Avatar

02.28.2012 , 03:49 PM | #9

Also: Lord_Nova has a lengthy, but well-made thread that I've linked to in my sig. While I don't completely agree (e.g. actually designing/crafting ships is likely a bit much since the ships we have are tied into the story/character class, or companions having their own ships or hiring NPCs and you controlling them), for the most part, I do.

For example, being able to craft ship parts would work nicely if the crafting crew skills line up nicely (e.g. armormech and even sythweaving could design armor plating with differing effects, biochem being able to create a shield generator mod that includes self-repairing nanomachines; essentially have each crafting skill be able to craft something that would make sense for that skill and for the ship). Having a space combat skill tree could theoretically work as well as long as there's separation from this tree and the player character skill tree.
On dit quelquefois: "Le sens commun est fort rare." (People sometimes say: "Common sense is quite rare.") - Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet)
Krayt Dragon (PvE) - Death Star Orphans | Kirana (IA/Sniper) / Ra'van (SW/Marauder)
Space Combat Revamp Suggestions! | More Space Combat Suggestions by Lord_Nova

Lord_Ravenhurst's Avatar

03.01.2012 , 07:25 AM | #10
+1 for "X-Wing vs. Tiefighter" like space combat. Multplayer of course.

Canceled today, won´t come back before this is implemented.

Also I want more transitional, better looking animations for travelling from one planet or system to another. Also I wonder why a chat bubble is visible when I open the door of my spaceship, and then I see the animation of the spaceship landing? Not very clever designwise...