Author Topic: The Hive  (Read 458 times)

Grabz

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The Hive
« on: August 04, 2018, 12:26:02 pm »
Image assets borrowed from Factorio for visualization. CW4 images taken from official videos.

The main focus of this suggestion is to change how the Air Sac unit is created and how it operates, in an attempt to allow making it a lot stronger and a more strategically varied unit.

I present The Hive:



A Hive, by itself, remains dormant.

In contact with Creeper, it begins a routine where it spreads corruption in a radius around itself. After sufficient corruption has been spread, based on the strength of a Hive, it will begin slowly creating Air Sac spawners in the vicinity of its corruption.



One spawner can always only have one Air Sac in flight. When a built Air Sac is destroyed, the spawner will begin working on a new one.

Air Sacs created in a Hive will not immediately move to the player's base, instead they will patrol in its close vicinity to protect it from danger.

If one of the Air Sacs comes close to a player unit, be it a ground unit, or a Strafer that's flying by, the Air Sac will be disturbed and will begin attack on the player's base. If the player can't defend against this threat, the Air Sac will wreck havoc on the base, but eventually retreat as to not destroy it completely, just severely damage a portion of it.

Notes
  • With this setup, an Air Sac can be made a much more dangerous threat. Currently, the Air Sac goes straight for the player's base, so it's balanced as to still allow the player a window of time for setting up defenses. If the defenses were set up beforehand, the Air Sac poses little threat to the player. This way, the player has to play in a special way around a Hive to defeat it.
  • The player will have to be careful where they perform air unit operations, as to not disturb this dormant enemy and send doom towards their base from afar.
  • The Hive could have a larger modifiable variety of units posing different kinds of dangers when approached.
  • Hives could work as regular Air Sac spawners as well by sometimes deciding to use an Air Sac to scout a larger vicinity.
  • A protected, dormant Hive would look awesome from the distance. Enemy fortifications that are slowly spreading organically as the player takes their time beating a level. Of course they would never get so strong as to be unbeatable, but it could pose an interesting challenge against turtling playstyles, and be satisfying to defeat early for quicker playstyles.
  • Some inspiration taken from Particle Fleet, where some enemies would organically build other enemies that would patrol an area, and only engage the player when they get close enough. The enemy in PF also creates this awesome feeling of spreading corruption over time, combining the effect of spawned particulate, plasma, doppels and patroling ships - some of this effect could also work nicely in three dimensions :) (You might have guessed it, but I'm a fan of spreading corruption like Zerg in Starcraft or aliens in Natural Selection)

Thank you for reading!

rer24

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Re: The Hive
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2018, 03:37:55 pm »
I like this concept for a few of its factors:
  1. Defenses/Corruption - In another thread about the "slog phase" or Creeper World maps, I advocated for the enemy to have defenses to make the assault/slog part of the game more engaging.
  2. Air unit defense - continuing the idea of weakening player assaults, the fact that the use of air units can cause problems is interesting. The Air Exclusion field completely negated air power, which made it have no counterplay apart from slogging through it "on foot." These Hives don't stop you from using air units, but they make you pay a price, and unlike Sleeper Beams, which I've also been suggesting, these threaten your base rather than you air units directly.
  That said, do you have any idea how the corruption could work? Does it keep spreading? How does it defend the Hive?
Just thought I'd throw my two cents in  ;)
We shall end the infinite cycle of madness!

Grabz

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Re: The Hive
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2018, 05:39:56 pm »
That said, do you have any idea how the corruption could work? Does it keep spreading? How does it defend the Hive?
Yeah, I haven't fleshed out this part of the suggestion. I figured I've said enough for the developer to either go "I like this" and expand on the idea through their own vision, or dismiss it. In my opinion a good suggestion is one that reads quickly and suggests a concept. Complex and already well thought out suggestions tend to be dismissed because it's unlikely that a developer will think as fondly of your suggestion as you are.

But to expand my own thought process a little, it would be cool if the Corruption could keep spreading in some way, but we have to be wary of a few factors.

First of all, it can't keep spreading and getting stronger indefinitely. We don't want to effectively make every mission time limited because it spreads past the point of being beatable - it just should make everything a little harder. I think both slow players and fast players would appreciate this, slow players because they get to defeat a powerful and scary enemy with their large forces, and fast players would get satisfaction from capturing one of these early on and not letting it spread.

The basic idea is that the Corruption would just expand outwards as time goes on, altering the look of the terrain and perhaps even creating some miscellaneous objects for visual fluff. Then once enough space has been overtaken by the Corruption, the Hive would decide to begin growing a spawner that would take a set amount of time. The amount of spawners could be configurable in the editor.

I'm not sure what sort of defenses the Hive could have, perhaps a vine or two could directly come out of it. Though the current iteration of vines disturbs creeper a lot so it might or might not look very good. It could also potentially work as a source of other critters instead of them having standalone structures.

harrymcb

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Re: The Hive
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2018, 12:05:55 am »
note typeing this out actually changed my opinion of it. here is what i typed first.

i really like this idea. a few of my thoughts. what if the "corruption" is the crimson creeper. so if it's in that creeper and near enough to the hive it can spawn spawners. those could be any discrete enemy like striders, vines, airsacs, spores. thus the enemy essentially gets a base of his own. it could have settings as to what can be made and how many to.



 and as i type this i'm realizing something. this is basically just a concentration of delayed build structures. still sounds neat. but unless it continues to build up to extreme levels it won't make much difference than just placing the structures before hand and setting a long start delay.

as to the defensive measures i like that a lot. simply set striders, air sacs to patrol around their structures.

Builder17

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Re: The Hive
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2018, 04:37:07 am »
Hive could be defensive until player attacks it many times enough and only after 5 attacks or so, it will get aggressive?

Grabz

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Re: The Hive
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2018, 10:22:40 am »
it won't make much difference than just placing the structures before hand and setting a long start delay.
Yeah but would that be more fun?

Default editor settings are key here. Just because you can do something, doesn't mean people will do it if it's not a simple, streamlined, obvious editor choice. How often do you see people set multiple Spore Towers with different start delays in CW3? It happens sometimes, but hardly ever. This is just for the sake of an argument, spores are not really an interesting enough enemy for this anyways.

This feature would make it happen in many maps as people would just place it (just like you'd place an Emitter, or a Spore Tower) and it would do its thing. So the question is whether this would be fun to have in the majority of maps or not.