aliens

Author Topic: XPiratez MMO - discussion thread  (Read 2514 times)

Offline Dioxine

  • Moderator
  • Commander
  • ***
  • Posts: 5254
  • punk not dead
    • View Profile
    • Nocturnal Productions
XPiratez MMO - discussion thread
« on: January 29, 2016, 05:21:59 pm »
So I had this idea... so many MMOs out there, but no MMO based on X-Com mechanics. Normal X-com setting is ill-suited for this, not so with the post-apoc Piratez world... which, with just slight changes, can be even fully torn away from under any copyright threats, just like it was done with UFO:ET or Xenonauts or or. Naturally there are many technical and legal issues like codebase, content etc. but I'm setting them aside here.

The basic idea: there are multiple - dozens - groups of pirates fighting over Earth simultaneously. They can fight between themselves, cooperate, join existing fights etc, etc. Endless possibilities for tactical combat and growth.

A bunch of ideas:
- Three factions, divided by the race selection and alliances. Greens are just like now, they work to overthrow Star Gods. Reds fight for themselves and their own power and glory, don't want to have any part of either Star Gods or their enemies. Blues are unscrupulous and will readily take any job if there's money in it, even making a Mutant Pogrom.
- You generally cannot attack your own faction, at least not without penalties. Factions can battle for zone control.
- You can only have a single base, which forces people to cooperate in crafting etc.
- Pirate ships have cloaking devices, and landing crafts are quite fragile so raiding is difficult (even quite basic defences can bring down any pirate ship).
- New arrivals can join battle, but probably not any battle.

Offline Ruludos

  • Squaddie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: XPiratez MMO - discussion thread
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2016, 01:25:59 am »
I think the main problem with such a game would be the PVP aspects. The Geoscape could easily run in realtime, with an update every hour or so; research, manufacturing, transfers and such would all work easily enough. Perhaps finding UFOs could be abstracted a bit; you could send your craft out on a patrol with a fuel/hour cost, and depending on the radar you have installed you would get a list of UFOs that you detect in your airspace. Simple radars would only catch Runabouts, Cutters and such, while you would have to research and upgrade your radar to find larger craft. Once an aircraft is shot down/has landed, you can send your crew out to it. That would trigger a fight against AI opponents would could easily be resolved as in the main game.

The problem comes when you introduce the idea of PvP, mainly because getting both players together together to do a match in a timely manner would be very diffiult if they didn't know each other. One such solution would be to just have a play-by-mail setup where one player does their turn whenever they log on, and the turn is moved to the next player who does theirs when they get the chance. The problem would be that the Geoscape is still running, and it would be a bit strange if a skirmish between two player ships took longer than it did to finish week-long research topics. A solution would be to limit direct player interactions to things like trading and organized duels; perhaps the black market would have only bare-bones staples available, forcing players to purchase from other local players on the geoscape if they want more than rusty peashooters. There could be a lucrative slave market where valuable interrogation subjects can be purchased from a proxy if you can't (or don't feel like) finding them yourself, or you could spring for a shiny new plasma repeater to bring on an important mission.

I think the factions thing would work best with a sort of reputation meter like the one in World of Warcraft, just with a bit more complexity. Stopping pogroms would earn you respect from the Mutant Alliance and piss off the people you fought, whereas you could do the reverse by helping the factions do their thing by taking up low-level mercenary work like guarding landing sites or escorting VIPs. Pogroms could be another PvP opportunity, where players who choose to execute them run the risk of another player coming to stop them.

Of course, the whole thing is a pipe dream, but it's a lot of fun to think about.

Offline Zharkov

  • Colonel
  • ****
  • Posts: 415
    • View Profile
Re: XPiratez MMO - discussion thread
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2016, 10:18:07 am »
The reason I stopped playing MMOGs was that (1) these seemed to me to be mostly about the time you spend grinding and not about making good decisions and (2) the non-collision environment, i.e. you cannot really loose important assets (e.g., you die, you run to the next graveyard to respawn; after battle, all your units are available for the next one, as they are spawned from tokens, often represented as tcs [I mean really, virtual tcgs? Right baby, free yourself from the limitations of the table top games]). Well, maybe 1 and 2 are the same points, you cannot make bad decisions if you cannot make good ones and if nothing you do affects the game in a meaningful way anyways, well, then to some definitions it is not a game at all. Aaaaand I should stop ranting, as nothing of this would be an issue in a game designed by Dioxine...

As Rodulus said, coordinating geoscape and battlescape might be difficult - not only with two or more players engaged in one battlescape: As we know the resolution of a good battlescape can take RL hours and in a continuous geoscape your forces might be bound for in game days. This might be used by a clever opponent to raid your base, while most gals are away. This in turn, brings up the next problem, what happens when a player is engaged in two battlescapes at the same time?

Imho, xcom and all its mods suffer from the low speed and pace of the battlescape and this needs to be resolved if you want massive multiplayer.

« Last Edit: January 30, 2016, 10:49:12 am by Zharkov »

Offline Bloax

  • Colonel
  • ****
  • Posts: 325
  • do you want to be any of those things
    • View Profile
Re: XPiratez MMO - discussion thread
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2016, 06:37:49 pm »
If anything I'd rather prefer straight-up multi-player xcom, with a "Game Master" (who is not necessarily the host) assigning soldiers to players and handling the geoscape speed alongside everything else that players handle. Of course, there should also be a chat to ask questions and discuss the situation.

That last part about controlling time is important since the geoscape timer should never stop ticking unless the battlescape is triggered.
Enemy crafts being detected should probably slow time down for a short while while popping up an alarm somewhere on the screen so that someone doesn't have to be on the watch all the time.

Every player should then be able to do anything related to the geoscape besides changing the passage of time simultaneously, which would alleviate a lot of the tedium (if you're not into that) of having to equip all soldiers, sell all the junk from the previous mission and restocking on necessary bits from the market all by yourself.. Implying you're good at communicating or playing with competent players. ;)

It would be really cool if the battlescape could allow players moving their assigned soldiers simultaneously - with soldiers only blocking at the immediate end of their path (so that they cannot move onto the same tile), alongside stopping any moving soldiers in close proximity when an alien is spotted and the moving soldier stops - but otherwise a Worms-like way of "Player 1 moves their soldiers, then Player 2, then 3.." would also work.


in other words i do not like mmos but i really like bro-op games