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KickStarter BATTLETECH - turn-based mech combat from Harebrained Schemes - Flashpoint expansion coming November

Discussion in 'Tactical Gaming' started by Infinitron, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. Bohr Arbiter

    Bohr
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    New dev diary, touching on loot in the Flashpoint expansion and "diving into a big revision to Stores that’s going to appear in our next big free Update, 1.3."



    full text (open)

    Shop Revisions

    Hi! For those of you just joining us, I’m Kiva, the Lead Designer on BATTLETECH. In our third dev diary, we’re diving into a big revision to Stores that’s going to appear in our next big free Update, 1.3. I’ll also talk about Flashpoint Rewards and how the new Store system factors into them.

    An interesting tension in the development of BATTLETECH has been the opposed forces of “story campaign game” and “simulation sandbox game”. From the beginning we knew we wanted to do both, but a lot of the early design work was squarely aimed at the sandbox. Shops are an excellent example of this design focus.

    If you’re a modder, you’ve seen the jumbled way we assemble the contents of a shop. The intent isn’t to create a consistent shop experience, but to give a random cross-section of possible gear and weapons and supplies that seems appropriate for the location you’re in. “Appropriate for the location” is the key phrase there -- the underlying principle is that we don’t have to look at each individual planet to construct its shops. We could, for instance, expand the game to cover the whole Inner Sphere, and as long as we tagged all the systems in reasonable ways, the shops would just naturally work themselves out.

    Unfortunately this approach collided with the story campaign very early on, when we realized we wanted to provide a path for people uninterested in sandbox play a route through the campaign. That meant scattering ‘Mechs -- the Griffin and the Dragon, in particular -- in front of the campaign player, where they could buy them and fill out their roster. Sandbox players would be gathering parts of ‘Mechs from side content, and increasing their drop tonnage organically, but campaign players were in for a nasty surprise if they tried to take their Weldry-capable lance to Smithon.

    We had to break the shop concept for those ‘Mechs, in those systems. Modders, again, will see the hacky work-around we used, in which a special shop file looks for a tag that contains a system’s name to include itself. It’s ugly, but it worked. But it got me thinking about how I’d like to control shops if I had the chance to go back and revise the system.

    The new model for shops is far more deterministic and structured. Rather than a large pool of undifferentiated items, we’re creating weighted tables of items, and a given planet will have a selection of tables on which it “rolls” to pick out what will be in its inventory. Instead of hoping that particular items will show up, we can directly force them to, or we can let random chance pick a handful of interesting things from a given category. (Old school nerds: the process is very much like rolling up loot on the treasure tables in the back of the AD&D Dungeon Master’s Guide.)

    Here’s an example of the shop table, for minor Liao systems.

    [​IMG]

    The system’s shop will include all possible base ammo types (that’s what the 0 means -- a Reference type, plus a 0, means “include the entire contents of the referenced table”), and all possible base components, meaning jump jets and heat sinks. It will also include 5 “stock” weapons, chosen at random from the named table, and 2 non-stock weapons from Liao-specific manufacturers.

    Here’s the shop table for “Weapons_Liao_common”:

    [​IMG]

    You can see that we’ll be picking from manufacturers with a strong presence in the Capellan Confederation: Mydron, LongFire, Ceres Arms and Holly. We’ll get one roll on whichever manufacturer’s table we happen to choose when we pick one of these entries at random.

    Here’s the table for “Weapons_LongFire_common”:

    [​IMG]

    In this table, there’s a new wrinkle: the final column, Weight, isn’t all the same. That means that when we roll on this table, there’s a higher chance of getting an LRM5 than an LRM10 or 15. (The chance is 10/24, if you’re curious.)

    By creating a lot of these tables, in a lot of detail, we can get extremely specific about what items are in which shops. We can include extremely rare tables, with items you’ll almost never see, and sprinkle them like seasoning across a few important systems. Here’s a sneak peek at a table you probably won’t see very often in play:

    [​IMG]

    What you will see in play is much more highly tailored shops, including both black market shops for the criminally-minded, and faction-specific quartermaster shops only accessible to closely-allied mercenary groups. You’ll be able to predict a shop’s contents a bit more easily, and we’ll be able to create very specific content-driven shops for interesting planets, Flashpoints, and story locations.

    Flashpoint Rewards

    We’re going to be using shops a lot more aggressively as rewards, as methods for getting interesting items into the game, and as a way to gradually introduce new items into the game economy. And we’re going to use these Item Collection mechanics for something else entirely: random treasure rewards for completing Flashpoints in our first Expansion.

    We think loot is cool, and it’s a great motivation to finish a Flashpoint. But it serves an additional purpose as well. When flying around the Periphery earning your mercenary pay, mission choice is often a matter of trying to predict what ‘Mechs will be present, with what weaponry, and withdrawing if the OpFor isn’t interesting to salvage. So we want a way for you to predict -- at least partially -- what kinds of loot you’ll get from doing so.

    [​IMG]

    I mentioned previously that this was very much like treasure tables in the Dungeon Master’s Guide, and that’s not accidental. A weighted table for picking items is a useful way to construct shops, but it’s just as easily used to construct a random reward or collection of rewards.

    Perhaps you’ve completed a major Flashpoint for the Draconis Combine. You’ll get the payout that was agreed on -- c-bills and salvage, as usual, as well as their gratitude. But this Flashpoint was hard, and had you doing back-to-back missions with no time to repair or refit. You want more than just the usual rewards to take a risk like that.

    And the Kurita rep agrees: you’ve done a great job, and you should get three of these:

    [​IMG]

    Throughout all the Flashpoint content, we’re going to be including special rewards like these. You won’t know what you’re going to get in advance; in this example, you might be told that you’ll get “Rare ‘Mech Parts”, but otherwise the specifics of the reward aren’t known, and will be different each time you play the Flashpoint. Different factions will offer different rewards, depending on both their power and influence, and what sorts of technology they’re likely to have on-hand.

    We’re pretty excited about how this new model will allow us to fine-tune both shops and rewards, and give you interesting reasons to choose one Flashpoint over another, or visit one system over another. If you have any questions, we’ve got a livestream coming up shortly and I’ll be on hand to give you answers!

     
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  2. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/webeharebrained/battletech/posts/2300152

     
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  3. LESS T_T Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    LESS T_T
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    Codex 2014
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  4. Slavegal Educated

    Slavegal
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    You know, they hired a dedicated AI programmer for this game.
    Has this been any kind of visible in the gameplay?
    Last I've seen, if you meleed a mech onto the ground, he would stand up and run away unstable with his back turned just so that he could meleed and knocked down again...
     
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  5. Bohr Arbiter

    Bohr
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    Sandbox mode in the upcoming 1.3 update

    https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/developer-diaries-4-career-mode.1123028/

     
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  6. Country_Gravy Arcane Patron

    Country_Gravy
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    So at what point do I go back to this and start over and rip through the campaign?

    Are they going to open the entire IS with Sandbox? That sounds like the game I want.

    I wouldn't mind finding some rare "signature mech pats" and putting together some of the famous mechs from this era.
     
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  7. ArchAngel Magister

    ArchAngel
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    Still not the game you want. It will become aimless and pointless repeat of same missions trying to stay above your monthly upkeep.
    They need to add much more than just go anywhere and compete vs other players in 1200 days.

    They need to add factions being able to conquer other faction planets with or without your help. Then some special missions connected with special goals, like being able to get rare mech gear through completing them.
    Or special missions that let you steal enemy Mechs.
    Then they need to add other mercenary companies that you meet here and there on missions and they remember you and after a time become your adversary, even show up on random missions to try to fuck you up (and you can do the same to them).
    And game needs more basic mission types, what they have now is not nearly enough to play sandbox with.

    And many other things.. I don't expect them to add any of that shit, but maybe some really motivated modders do.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018 at 9:08 AM
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  8. oasis789 Arcane

    oasis789
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    Bracing for the inevitable comparisons of Career Mode and Roguetech mod.
     
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  9. Trans-Financial-Man Novice

    Trans-Financial-Man
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    The biggest problem with Roguetech is all the OP Losstech they just have lying around. That stuff breaks the game in two. Enemies with it can destroy you in a turn and if you have it you can steamroll the entire map. If they just took that out it'd be much better.
     
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  10. Trithne Augur

    Trithne
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    > Roguetech not being a pile of broken OP kitchen sink bullshit.

    Hah.

    RT is the poster child for why most mods are shit. It's so memory intensive if it doesn't straight up crash your game on launch it'll run like shit, they fucked all the math because "muh difficulty", threw in a shitload of barely canon shit because it's cool, and half the mod is just other mods slapped in there, but if you call it out on this you'll get dogpiled by the Roguetech defence force.

    My favourite part is that you can't even discuss the vanilla game without an influx of Roguetech evangelists telling you how you should play the game.

    And there's nothing remotely "Rogue" about it.
     
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  11. Cael Ask me about Pathfinder Dumbfuck Edgy

    Cael
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    Oh yes! Let's have 100-ton Clan tech 'mechs. 16 of them. In 3018. Fighting the Kuritans. As a Steiner aligned merc.

    What can possibly go wrong?
     
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  12. Black Arcane

    Black
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    If Wolf's Dragoons can have Annihilator why can't every other shmuck?
     
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  13. Cael Ask me about Pathfinder Dumbfuck Edgy

    Cael
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    The one they have in 3025 is basically a 4x AC10 100-ton 'mech. It doesn't have any advanced tech.
     
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  14. Bohr Arbiter

    Bohr
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    :shittydog:
     
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  15. ArchAngel Magister

    ArchAngel
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    CohhCarnage is lying. He is playing Pathfinder: Kingmaker everyday whole day and he is not even trying to hide his addiction :D
     
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  16. Vaarna_Aarne Notorious Internet Vandal Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
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    LosTech really only serves a point in the context of the game's current timeframe if it exists to act as an equalizer after or in conjunction with pilot skill for more extensive battles in lategame. The general problem with the game, most likely especially now that they effectively removed stability as a concern for heavier mechs, is that there's this heavily enforced equilibrium of relative power between the player and the enemy (one giant mistake being keeping vehicles in line with tabletop rules, and then giving all enemies access to pilot abilities). It kind of drains any sense of fun and progression if the only thing your upgrades in tonnage and parts serve is to play keep up, and the only thing that happens as you fight later on is that you rather than doing new things you only rely further and further on borderline exploits to win fights.

    "muh difficulty" based just around nullifying player advancements while raising numbers is really just not very interesting. Which is sadly pretty much entirety of the game by the time transition to heavies begins.

    What they really need is the same as I've been saying for a while now:

    A linear, long campaign with a good story, a fun and unique premade party for the PC, and lots of interesting sidequests more in the style of their Shadowrun games rather than doubling down on the random merc sandbox with a handful of missions.
     
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  17. ArchAngel Magister

    ArchAngel
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    That could also work.
    But they went some middle of the road thing and it turned out not good.
     
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  18. Jason Liang Cipher

    Jason Liang
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    [​IMG]
    Like a boss
     
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  19. lightbane Arcane

    lightbane
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    A good campaign (or at least one with a good story) won't happen anytime soon as long as they have that hideous thing as the main writer.
     
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  20. Cael Ask me about Pathfinder Dumbfuck Edgy

    Cael
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    When one is only capable of "Squee! Kamea! Squee! Pretty! Squee, squee, squee! Kamea!" it is highly unlikely that anything interesting is going to come out of it. Even sandbox missions would end up repetitive and boring.
     
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