Some additional suggestions for airship combat

Discussion in 'Gameplay Discussions' started by hurfmurf, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. hurfmurf

    hurfmurf Ascendant

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    The following are some general thoughts from me as a player about what I think could be interesting to have in A:IR when it comes to ship to ship combat.


    Weight as way to create variety and distinction between ship loadouts and ship classes

    I think it would an interesting and a fairly sensical mechanic to give each ship class a maximum limit on how much weight they could carry. Each module like turrets, shield generators, main guns etc would then have a specific weight that a player would have to account for when fitting his ships with different modules, requiring compromises and different approaches to loadouts depending on what each ship's purpose should be.

    Depending on how close each ship is to its weight limit, a certain speed penaltly could occur. This way one would a ship's mobility would also have to be accounted for when creating a loadout:
    - one player might prefer a heavy armed ship with lower defenses that is slow and fights mainly from range, sticking to allied ships for protection
    - the other would maybe go for something fast and comparatively nimble with few powerful guns and a medium defense, getting in close and hoping to outmaneuver its enemies
    - yet another would maybe stick to a well balanced loadout, with different gun sizes to cover all situations, medium mobility and obviously medium defenses.

    Restricted degree of turning for (heavy) ship guns

    This should enable pilots to actively maneuver around to avoid incoming fire while also force them to move in the first place to allow all of their guns to hit their targets. Just sitting in place and shoot each other like we saw in beta videos shouldn't be the best tactic.

    Auxilary engines and movement types

    It is clear that the original flight mechanics demonstrated during beta for ships looked really disappointing.
    I'd like to suggest something that might help both those who like an easy flight model and those who would like to experience a more difficult, yet more advanced and satisfying airship navigation mechanic, finding an opportunity to find their own niche.

    These two pictures should suffice as an explanation.
    [​IMG]

    Variant 2
    [​IMG]
    Both auxilary engine types could be either an addition, with their own weight requirements, or an obligatory choice during the fitting of each ship, for all ship classes.

    Variant 1 seems generally better for PvE while number 2 might be the PvP choice.

    With these three points, lets look at

    Ship classes

    If someone actually has read my posts here, one would have noticed that I already have introduced several categories for easier differentiation in my suggestions. Here are what I think could be all the main ones concerning their size in relation to supported player count:

    - Airbikes

    One-seaters, fast and nimble, basic guns. Very little defense.
    Scouts and harassers.
    I think it would be a pretty cool idea to allow them to fit a single air torpedo(incurring a weight penalty to their max speed), to allow an additional use as a light bomber.

    - Gunboats

    Obvously the well-known two-seaters, with pilot and gunner. Main guns for pilot, chaingun for gunner, or an automated rocket launcher when no gunner is supposed to be present.
    They are slower, but have better defense, can use a pilot-controlled shield for defense.
    Gunner can also use its own personal shield for additional protection and also a number of special attack abilities abilities like freezing bullets.
    As mentioned in other posts, I think it would be an interesting idea to give the gunner the possibility to launch a (possibly) ignitable smoke screen for additional utility.


    - Corvettes

    3-5 player ships, already in the game.
    Feature 4 gun mounts in total for both chainguns and heavy anti-ship guns, and maybe a main gun controlled by the captain.
    Would be able to carry 1-2 airbikes and/or mechs with special jump pads(and maybe a repar + resupply station for mechs).
    Obvously heavier defenses and a more durable shield.


    Here is a picture which demonstrates how loadout differences could influence the ship to ship combat between bigger ships:

    [​IMG]

    Left ship is fit to deal heavier gun damage at higher ranges to ships of its own class and heavier, while the other is a fast airship with a support role of swatting smaller airships out of the sky, while launching its mech suit either as an attacker vs other corvettes and flagships or as support for allied craft that is getting boarded by enemy forces.
    In the displayed scenario the faster airship got past the guns of the heavier ship and will launch its mech with an additional player over to the enemy ship. The heavier armed ship might carry more firect firepower, but the mech will wreck several of its important modules like energy/shild generator and guns quickly, leaving it vulnerable and giving the support ship the upper hand.

    - Flagships

    Its not clear, whether or not there are actually supposed to be ships bigger than a corvette that can be controlled by players. I obvously think that flagships could enrich the gameplay for reasons described in >>this thread<<

    5+ player ships.
    Their main purpose on the battlefield is to provide a backbone for own forces by being very durable, offering a spawn point for players and allowing to replace certain aircraft.

    Here's a picture with some details:

    [​IMG]

    6-7 weapon mounts for the crew.
    Flagship gun battery controlled by the captain.
    Captain himself is protected by an energy field to prevent an easy disabling of the entire ship by headshotting a single player.
    The flagship carries a higher number of airbikes compared to a corvette AND features replacement/repair facilities for these one-seaters, including a number of air torpedoes for resupplying. Can be switched for a single(maybe two?) gunboat(s?) and the corresponding repair facility.
    Its launchpad can launch mechs and players for higher distances than launcpads on corvettes.
    The mechsuits on flagships are heavier - more durable, deal more damage and maybe feature one or two more special abilities.

    As displayed in the picture, it would be an interesting idea to allow the side guns to be switched between defensive and offensive positions by the captain.
    Defensive position would allow the gunners to utilize a bigger, more durable shield for protection of the gun and a cetain part of the ship, while the offense mode would give them a higher degree of freedom to shoot in different directions.

    Not on the picture is a spawnpoint which should be in a somewhat protected place - like below deck or in a similar place, to allow players to load the environment etc before getting blown up.
    Also not displayed are some NPC crew members that could carry out general repairs and augment functions of certain modules - ie you set them on the shield generator and get a beefier shield, send them over to ship/mech repair station and get faster repairs and faster ship/mech replacements, send them ove to the flagship guns and get faster firing frequency, maybe also allow them man some of the guns so the can shoot in general direction of bigger ships.

    Examples for ship loadout types

    There are some fairly obvious purposes ships could generally fulfill:

    - Long range firing plattform: strong main gun(the one the pilot/captain controls), would probably use Variant 1 auxilary engines, weaker shields and weak support guns
    - Close range attack craft that carries boarding parties: very strong frontal defenses with no main guns, but strong Variant 2 auxilary engines, maybe several mechs and a couple of chainguns. Would just ram an enemy ship, doing so disable its shield and load off a boarding crew to battle it out in player vs player close combat.
    - Basically just an aircraft carrier: very few guns, but lots of airbikes and 1-2 gunboats with all of the corresponding repair/supply modules. Medium shields, Variant 2 engines to be maeuverable and fast.
    - "Destroyers": ie corvettes with weaker shields and no fancy abilities, but with powerful engines and powerful heavy guns that punch above their weight, used for hit and run attacks from certain (higher) ranges.

    Some monetization ideas for Flagships and Gunboats

    I mentioned NPC crew being used on Flagships - these could serve as a way to offer some fancy visuals without a p2w component.

    For example, the obvious choice would be to offer some cool skins and models for ships in general, something that doesn't change how ships function and does not feature any p2w elements. Now for the NPC crew the same thing is the case - you could offer a thematically fitting visuals like clothing and crew models. For example, someone purchases a pirate ship skin for his Flagship. Now he could buy additional fitting skins for his crew like pirate or cursed ghosts costumes to show off to his fellow players. Separate packages just for the NPC crew are also imaginable.

    $$$
    [​IMG]
    $$$

    Same for gunboats: just slapping the automated launcher there is a silly waste of non-p2w monetization opportunity. Why not utilize an NPC gunner with some fancy skin/model choices?
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
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  2. hurfmurf

    hurfmurf Ascendant

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    How do Badass Battle Dragons and other animal attack mounts fit in?

    Just as described in the corresponding thread, their purpose is being an agile air assassin, very effective via close range burst attacks vs small singular targes like airbikes and gunboats, mechs, possibly players on enemy ships, and ship modules. They would be able to use some crowd control abilities - fear and disorient vs gunners, dive attack with stun vs small aircraft and deck crews, tail swipe to maybe throw players and mechs off decks - to be able to carry out their task and also to support their allies.

    To reduce their proliferation somewhat and to introduce some more tactical considerations I think it would make sense to allow summoning of Badass Battle Dragons and other similarly powerful attack mounts only on natural ground - ie at least standing on a floating isle. Summoning while on a ship should not be possible.
     
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  3. str1x

    str1x Ascendant

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    incredible how much work you put into it. and nothing comes from the developers at all. what a shame!
     
  4. Bizzaro

    Bizzaro Ascendant

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    Seriously, love the effort!! :D
     
  5. hurfmurf

    hurfmurf Ascendant

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    Well, it does appear that Bluehole developers actually do listen to suggestions, at least that's my impression going by what they did in the past in Tera. A:IR itself bears similarity to what was suggested in Tera forums some years ago.
    Monetization and similar suggestions are wasted time, but things like ideas about art design, gameplay mechanics, story content etc have a chance to get attention and make it into the game.
    Now it can be that it was EnMasse and Gameforge who were actively pushing relevant feedback from their players unto Bluehole and the actual devs couldn't be bothered to read the forums, but we will see how it goes this time.
     
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  6. BecauseSCIENCE

    BecauseSCIENCE Ascendant

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    In that case I'm just gonna load my ship with every possible weapons i dont care if my ship's slow af it's just gonna annihilate anything that comes anywhere near me.
     
  7. hurfmurf

    hurfmurf Ascendant

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    I think that this should in general be a valid tactic for certain situations where airship fights would happen at very close distances for some reason, but if we go by the weight mechanics there are easy counters.

    - First and foremost the number of available weapon slots on all ships is limited and you can't fit your ship without making compromises. You fit all the heaviest guns - small ships and Badass Battle Dragons will take you out piece by peace like a swarm of piranhas. Fit lots of and mostly small guns - other ships with heavier weapons will take you out easily.
    - If you are as slow as a sitting duck, airbike bombers will launch their air torpedoes with much higher success. All of the heaviest guns of the flagships will also have a super easy time to hit you from maximally possible distances, too, while avoiding most of the damage from your ship.
    - Your ship will also be the THE primary target for all of the mech suit pilots using jump pads of their ships to get launched over onto your floating brick.
    - I also made a suggestion some time ago considering introduction of hit zones. In very short and simple terms: less damage from the front, most from the back and an option to equip some armour to either patch the weak points or make the strong sides even stronger. Therefore being very slow and less maneuverabe would pose a serious issues vs faster corvettes with heavy/anti-ship weaponries.

    I also thought that giving flagship captains the possibility to use their ships in an artillery role just like in the game Dreadnaught would be interesting. This also would be a counter to very slow but extremely heavily armed ships.

    P.S.: of course, I assume - going by simpe common sense concerning basic game design - that heavy guns will be harder to aim vs fast targets and in general harder to hit with because of a bit slower projectiles, lesser firing speed frequency etc.

    P.P.S.: Aso, speaking of artillery role. It would be pretty awesome simply in terms of visuals if there was an artillery gun you'd have to sacrifice most of your other offensive power, defense and utility but which would fire just like the alien weapon from Independence Day movie:



    I really like how there is an energy beam shooting first and then just a few moments later an enormous impuse of energy traveling along it that carries the actual destructive potential. This would look pretty awesome ingame, IMO.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
  8. BecauseSCIENCE

    BecauseSCIENCE Ascendant

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    Well don't mind me, I kinda have a thing for big guns and massive juggernauts. In Airship PvP and PvE, I would rely on my team's smaller, nimble ships to keep their enemy counterparts occupied, while I focus their "heavies". Both types of guns have advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to keep a balance between them, in order to at least half counter any opposing airship. A large ship would also be able to absorb considerable firepower, which could allow me to position my ship in order to protect the weaker players from enemy fire. I want to base my ship off something like the Air Destroyer Goliath from
    Laputa: Castle in the Sky. Also, in the rare event that I actually hit one of their corvettes my cannons will deal heavy damage, similar to dragons and other mounts. Another advantage, large ships tend to have a kind of aura of influence that keeps enemies away which provide easy targets for long range shots.

    As you said, airstrike bombers are probably the largest danger to any juggernaut, on the other hand, they likely won't be able to take heavy fire and they require straight aim to land their torpedoes which allows my use of the traditional technique of, as it were, 'spray and pray'.


    Goliath.png laputa2.jpg
     
  9. CM Praballo

    CM Praballo Community Management A:IR Crew

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    Hi hurfmurf, just want to let you know, that we had forwarded your suggestions a while ago to the developers and it received positive feedback.
    How exactly the air combat will be at game release has not been finalized but your contribution is appreciated!
     
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  10. hurfmurf

    hurfmurf Ascendant

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    That's really neat, thank you! :)
     

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