Problems with “Trem style” building
(Compared to Natural Selection 2 for reference)
Link to the original draft here
.Trem/Unv Building is slow
Structures in ‘base’ take the same amount of time to build as they do ‘forward’. ‘‘Core” structures build slowly, expected to stay for a long time, but that expectation doesn’t (or shouldn’t) apply to builds at forwards along (currently limited) attack routes.NS2: Structures are placed into areas where your teammate has secured nearby power nodes, so building happens at whatever pace your team expands into different parts of the mapCkits/Grangers (aka ‘the builder' has too much power, when placed in the wrong hands
There is a high potential for abuse from malicious players. Builder can help your team totally dominate or they can doom your team to failure with bad building or by not expanding. Anyone on your team can spawn as a builder and mess up your base so other players need to keep constant watch on his activities. Teammates should never have to (but often do) say “BUILD” or “DON’T BUILD” to each other. The team doesn’t decide ahead of time or at the beginning of a match who should build. NS2 : A single player on each team ‘ the commander’ is responsible for building for the entire team. If he is doing a bad job, he can leave the command structure, and another player may enter it to become the new commander. Commander is decided on your team during the warmup period before each match.Builders have poor map-mobility
A Ckit/Granger means there's a guy on your team who is basically unarmed, yet he's also responsible for building and maintaining structures at multiple locations, but can only be in one place at a time. In-game this translates into: if he has building duties in-base, he can't be building stuff forward. if he leaves the base without building, either to build forward or to attempt a full base move, he's leaving the core structures vulnerable because he’s not present to repair them.NS2: HUD suggests what can be built and where. and the commander doesn’t do any direct fighting or traveling. The player is safe inside of the command structure unit, which is heavily armored and placed deep into your team’s starting side of the base - leaving the commander in relative safety while they build. Only at end-game, when the command structure is under attack by the dominating team, is the commander in any kind of danger.1st-person visual perspective gives no ‘battlefield’ or situational awareness for developing a build strategy / map control strategy
From a player's perspective, he can only be in one '3D location’ at any given time - which is fine for shooting but is hardly ideal for building placement. He can only see action which occurs inside the visible area immediately around him, and therefore is inclined to build 'safely' in-base. NS2: Commander gets an eagle-eye top-down view of the entire map, and can place new buildings anywhere his team has secured. Bases need defenses structures for protection, players need to defend the defenses
'Bases' need defenses, structures built around (and nearby) your main team structure, OM or RC. These are last-resort defenses against enemies (all players and forward defenses failed to stop them). There is little incentive to defend the structure because you don't want to camp, and they steal kills, robbing you of credits.NS2: Players can use a teleporter to quickly return to their main baseSummary of my proposal
New types of forward-use ‘mini buildings’ and special droppable/placeable/throwable items would be introduced, separate from ‘core’ structures (and much weaker). Mini-turrets, mini-tubes, limited-use medi and booster, deployable ammo pack, mini shield wall, sticky-icky web bombs. Many types could be added, and some of these can be countered with stuff from the other team’s ‘minis’.
- Anyone can ‘build’ or place/throw/drop these at forward locations only (strictly out of main power ranger).
- Requisite building ‘in base’ unlocks these structures used for making ‘forward outposts’, encouraging early and mid-game ‘forward’ expansion. The droppable/placeable items are either A) given automatically to all players as their individual-player-BP-queue grows or, B) purchased using the player’s credits from the armory or the overmind, but they do NOT depend upon main base’s BP or require the presence of an RC/OM to be dropped.
- The forward structures would have quick build times (think near-instant; 2-5 seconds), but have a ‘battery’ or limited ‘lifespan’, requiring a brief power-up (20 secs) to come to full charge.
- If ‘builder’ builds a repeater or egg nearby (using main base power) the player built structures will run off of main base power. If repeater/egg is destroyed, stuff dies on its own after a short time when the battery/lifespan runs out (after 2-5 minutes) if a repeater/egg isn’t rebuilt.
- Role is still differentiated by gear/class selection at spawn, but now also by the player’s location
-Players must be outside the base to place their stuff, and builder must leave the base too if he wants to help them (he will).
- Individual players and team are both rewarded for participating in a shared, team-wide goal.
We should allow all weaponized
classes (attacking players - non Ckit, non Granger) to quickly build*
drop and throw new types of (limited, low HP) forward buildings & gear (maybe using a ‘Personal BP queue’**
). This makes forward bases dynamic and highly customizable and more importantly, this puts players who are on the 'front lines' (players with high battlefield situational-awareness) in control of laying groundwork for forwards, and these attacking players get some support structures they need; placing them where needed.
This is intentionally a huge shift away from original Tremulous play by radically changing the game in ways that makes the "current way" obsolete, and makes the game more interactive and more fun for all to play, adding more action in the battlefield, adding an extra (yet still optional) layer of strategy to fighting (attacking and defending) players, as well as enhancing the builder role and strategy.
This system helps cures camping, rigid map design, and repetitive play by fixing the problem once and for all: better interaction with the (forwarding) building mechanics - while still being true to the ‘spirit’ of the game. This idea thinks ‘inside the box’
Various types of forward buildings could be 'unlocked' by a Ckit/granger 'Master Builder' first building a requisite 'prototype' structure in your base (on RC/OM build power) - OR have them available with at different ‘stages’ or levels of momentum. Ckit/Granger 'Master Builders’ would decide whether or not to build forward structures in that location, basically giving the 'OK' to keep the building (semi)permanently by transferring the building to main base power. Each structure would have a charge period (about 20 seconds?) before it syncs to 'main base’ power.
Clusters of these forwards buildings should be specially indicated as a beacon in your HUD and also on the mini-map, serving as a 'waypoint' for the rest of the team. These forward structures on their own would have a somewhat weak or possibly individual-player effect, and without intervention they would slowly lose their 'power' or HP and then die over the course of a few minutes. This makes it easier for multiple players to simultaneously help lay the 'framework' for a more permanent forward, or even a base move, but the decision to expand is still left to Ckit/Granger.Overall, this enhances the builder role
by making initial base building (or movement) more important; making the builder control the type of available structures to build forward, determining their long-term importance, and deciding what kind of upgrades they receive. This also alleviates Ckit/Granger (high 'base' awareness, low battlefield situational-awareness) to focus on 'main base' security and enhancement as needed.
For the rest of the team (high battlefield and base situational-awareness), the concept does not turn them into 'part time builders', but rather turns attackers/defenders into highly adaptable, forward-supported full-time killers, with 'accessories'
. Less running back-and-forth to ‘bases’ means more time spent on action.
This style of build system sharply contrasts with Natural Selection 2's build system, where a 'commander' with an overhead view of his team (third-person perspective offering high battlefield and base situational-awareness), safely and remotely places structures throughout the map, which must then be activated by other teammates.
More than anything I think this would be very fun, adding depth to strategic play, encouraging teamwork in an organic way.Notes*
Forwards should possibly have a variable build time (compared to the main base buildings), allowing for easy deployment early on (but requiring more strategy/teamwork to do late game). 5 seconds, maybe adjusted a bit based on 'how far' _forward_ you really are (calculate the player’s distance to the enemy ‘main base’ and distance from their own base’, ie, how far away their RC/OM is, and how close yours is). **
I like the idea of just making them free and using a per-player BP point system, where anyone can build only 1 thing initially, but where it could be gradually expanded by successfully having built something that becomes a permanent structure, letting them build 'bigger' things late game, or maybe build 2 small things. If this idea can’t work - making them available at-cost to the player in credit/evo form may also work, but doesn’t seem as fun, and doesn’t require the player to repeatedly interact with the system to ‘get better at it’.Things I purposefully did not address:
Building death special effects, friendly fire damage.
Hard limits on the total number of ‘things’ that can potentially be built
Please leave your comments on this!