Terrain is a vital part of the game influencing the way battles flow and the strategy and tactics that the players employ. As it is the terrain is restrictive and determines where battles are fought and in which order, very similar to the lattice in the original game.
At the moment however strategy is lacking (by strategy I refer to things beyond one particular territory) because of a range of factors. In the original game each facility had a continental wide benefit and each continent had a benefit as a whole. The new game has both of these in addition to individual territories awarding resources. However the current continental lock benefit is resource based and at present resources have a limited impact on the game. Continents can be conquered but not locked - fights do not cease when the benefit is gained as the losing empire cannot be pushed off the continent entirely. This cannot change unless each server has less population overall or more continents. Also having three continents means that quite often each empire picks a different one and that is their focus with the other empires unable (or unwilling) to put up a decent defence so that the fight loses its enjoyment for both sides. Despite this we see fighting constantly on Indar, for no sound reason.
This page focuses on changes with the buildings we fight over - outposts, towers and facilities rather than the layout of the maps which I may focus on in separate pages later if I feel the need.
Here are my proposed changes:
- Warp gates rotate every week automatically (until fixed links between continents are implemented, presumably once more continents are added).
- Spawn Control Units added for all hard spawn points - no one likes spawn camping. When the SCU is destroyed the shields and pain field drop on the spawn room and the attackers can clear the building and can focus on defending the territory from external threats. SCUs can only be destroyed when the base capture point is in enemy hands. - (being played with on the test server as of this week (May 7th 1013).
- Influence system removed, territories given a standard capture time depending on their type (eg facilities 10 minutes, towers 6 and others 3). This gives defenders a clear time limit to get reinforcements if they need them, and removes confusion for new players.
- Windows are given shields that allow infantry (both friendly and enemy) fire to pass but not vehicle shells. 50mm like vehicle weapons would still pass through however. This change makes it harder for vehicles to clear out entire capture points with HE shells and makes clearning buildings with infantry even more important. Players can still pass through windows if they crouch. Instead some windows have been made smaller.
- Doors added to some buildings that can be hacked open by infiltrators or destroyed with C4. This makes buildings more defensible. Once destroyed they can be repaired by engineers. If hacked infiltrators can lock them again.
- Facilities - fighting at facilities at the moment I and others find frustrating, where defenders have to cover a massive area and are constantly responding to single players who take down generators or capture outlying points. We have seen numerous iterations of the facility experience since the tech test and at the moment we have a model that works but leads to some frustration and confusion among players due to the lack of clear objectives. It is easier than it has been to defend them in some ways, but a lot harder as well. I think that they should be made slightly easier to defend (with the exception of the Biolab, which should be made slightly harder). Various things can be done but below are some suggestions:
- Deployment Interference Generators added to facilities and towers - a new base component that creates an area around which enemy Sunderers cannot deploy. Can be disabled. Instead no deploy radii are being introduced.
- Turret Control Units added to facilities and towers - a new component that shuts down the turrets on a base if it is destroyed. Another objective for infiltrators. Found in the games files already. These could make turrets automatically target enemies in addition.
- Facility Radar Tower - detects enemy vehicles within a certain radius automatically, however does not detect infantry. Does not detect stealth vehicles. Can be disabled via a generator at its base. Radius doubled by owning an Interlink facility once they are in game.
- Jump pads only work for friendly troops, energy elevators are unaffected. This makes it harder for attackers to bounce around the towers leading the defenders on a merry chase (even if I do enjoy dropping C4 on landing pads).
- Tech Plants
- SCU shield generator moved outside of the central base structure, perhaps on the roof accessible via the energy elevators.
- Spawn room teleporter added back to move troops from the spawn building to the central structure. Instead tunnels have been added to link them together.
- Amp Stations
- Courtyard Shield Generators added which power shields covering the top of the courtyard from enemy air strikes. Can be disabled. This was seen in a pre beta screenshot, which you can see below (behind the player).
- Place a single capture point at the base of all Biolabs in a building (as Saurva, Indar has). This gives the attackers more leverage over the base even if they cannot capture all of the internal points, encouraging the defenders to venture out rather than sit inside camping.
- Tunnel overhaul by mrkwatz:
- Towers need more variety as they are almost all the same structure wise and in functionality. Some should have different layouts to make things more interesting:
- Air tower - current tower
- Watch tower - taller, equipped with radar
- Gun tower - more turrets including an artillery piece. More heavily fortified.
- Supply lines made more important - as it is resources flow in from the warp gate and if you are cut off you cannot gain them, however they are only used for vehicles and infantry special items. It does not stop the infantry from spawning and carrying on the fight potentially for as long as they wish. What I suggest is making cutting off of territory extremely important (and therefore defence). It could be done in a number of ways, however I think the best way would be via an overhauled resource system.
- Bunkers - these buildings are placed around the landscape giving infantry a place to take cover and fire on threats. They would have shields as I have suggested for windows above to protect them from vehicle ordnance.
- Interlink Facilities - on their way with Hossin and it appears from some early models that it is going to be a sizable facility with 4 towers that players can fight through. Unsure from those models but I think it may have or be a large satellite dish as the original game had a dish on the roof.
- Dropship Centers - no rumour of these yet but I would like to see these as space ports with landed spacecraft that need to be fought around and over. The focal point of the facility could be a large control tower with Galaxy landing pads around it.
- As it is only the tech plant has any benefit that an empire is concerned with, and even that only effects a portion of the player base (tank drivers). As for the other two bases, increased health regeneration is insignificant as is turret overheating time. I suggest they are changed to the following:
- Tech Plant: Can access main battle tanks and the Liberator.
- Amp Station: Resource gain boosted by 50%, making it a key base to capture/defend when your empire is short on territory. Acts as a resource hub when cut off from warp gate.
- Biolab: Halves respawn time
- Interlink Facility (once in game): Doubles Facility Radar Towers radius, increases players proximity radars radius by 50%.
- Dropship center (if it comes): As it links to space if you own a Dropship center you can coordinate Steel Rain strikes on connected territories (not enemy territories) for your platoon (although every player shares a timer, which I suggest is an hour to stop it being abused).