How should respawning work in Starbase?

Vexus

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#1
Currently, the devs have stated that if you die, you respawn back at a station. After that, there was dev talk of bringing extra robot bodies with you if you wanted to respawn. I think this is a good topic we can hash out.

We're trying to meet these conditions, I think, when discussing respawning:
  1. Respawns should not be free - they should cost some resources/energy/fuel no matter where you respawn at
  2. The system should allow a solo player to respawn
  3. This system should allow a small group of players to stick together as they explore the game world and test game mechanics
  4. This system should also not exponentially allow large groups to capitalize on this respawn mechanic that solos and small groups also have
  5. We should preserve the feeling of your in-game life mattering, that death is painful or risky, no matter your group size. It should not be so easy to respawn that you feel you can just throw away your robot body because you have X number of respawns left
  6. We should try to use as many in-game mechanics as possible and not devise complex systems that would require a lot of extra development time
  7. Respawning should not force you into a position where you have to choose between two bad choices - for example, waiting 30 minutes to respawn, or respawning back at a station which may be 1 hour away
In discussing this with friends, I have come up with something I think solves these and other criteria for a balanced respawning mechanic. Before throwing it out there, what do you guys think? What are the pros and cons of respawning? For example, if we just had respawn chambers that could be placed on a ship that cost resources and energy to rebuild robot bodies, this would give a large group infinite respawns, and meaningless lives, allowing them to throw bodies at problems, while a small group would have to dedicate a relatively greater amount of effort to maintain just one of these chambers, so this idea is not really good.

The devs stated bringing extra robot shells with you on your ship - this is also problematic. Any large group will have, basically, infinite of these shells, where a smaller group will be very limited, making the large group have infinte respawns of meaningless lives that they can use to suicide at their enemy.

It's a tricky topic. I think I have a solution. What do you think would be a good respawn mechanic?
 
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#2
-Finite number of extra exos that you can bring in one ship
-Set a timer between respawns on one ship
-Somehow be able to use dead exos as a ghetto way of respawning a crewmate
 

Vexus

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#3
-Finite number of extra exos that you can bring in one ship
-Set a timer between respawns on one ship
-Somehow be able to use dead exos as a ghetto way of respawning a crewmate
Point 1: Extra exos you bring on a ship. A large group will take 100's of exos, devaluing any one life (I can just respawn so let me suicide on this guy).
Point 2: A timer between respawns on one ship. How big a timer? 30 seconds? 1 minute? 10 minutes? 30 minutes? Sitting at a timer screen seems very bad - very common for games - very bad for games. Timers are artificial limits and if that timer was some in-game mechanic like charging up a respawn chamber, again large groups would just have 'more' of this thing.
Point 3: Use dead exos as a way to respawn a crewmate. How does a solo respawn?

On a side note: one thing no group has more of is time itself.
 

Atreties

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#4
In terms of the respawn timer:

A UI timer is lame, but decent as a placeholder. Eventually, it should be replaced with some sort of ingame effect. Something like when you die and once you choose to respawn, your perspective instantly shifts to your respawn location as you see your body getting assembled, or activated, etc.

Point 1: Extra exos you bring on a ship. A large group will take 100's of exos, devaluing any one life (I can just respawn so let me suicide on this guy).
Yeah, this would be possible in that system, but each endo would require resources to make, and would have weight to it. 100 endos would likely be very expensive and weigh a ton. Maybe you could have a big respawn ship in an attacking fleet that's producing tiny speeders to get back into the fray.
 
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Joined
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#5
1: Finite = limited, was thinking something around 50 exos, of course all these extra exos would add weight that slows you down.
2: The time can be worked out and if you see yourself in queue behind 24 crewmates also waiting for respawn then you should probably rethink your strategy.
3: Solo could still respawn using the conventional method, was thinking the ghetto method could be used by the "winners" after a battle so their entire group isn't split up. This method should be very difficult to pull off during a battle.
 

CalenLoki

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#6
Interesting discussion.

Whatever system you come up with, try to avoid artificial limits. They are both immersion breaking and usually quite easy to go around:

Limited max exos per ship? Or queue and set timer per ship? Split it into two smaller ships. Only thing achieved is shifting balance towards smaller crafts.


4. Is very good point. SE approach where you pay initial price for respawn point, then profit from it ever after is favouring large groups heavily, as they gonna use it more often.

Thus I'm for set cost per life. And by cos I mean mostly volume, mass and power needed to safely store it inside the ship.

Lack of single centralised spawn station would also promote building larger interior corridors, as you need to provide passage to each of them, as well as spread hand weapons and ammo magazines around (you spawn with nothing after all).


I disagree with point 5. I'd rather have lifes cheaper, so players can experiment with more risky tactics.
It also makes no sense lore-wise. We play as robots after all - they don't feel pain


I already wrote my idea regarding the topic here: https://forum.starbasegame.com/threads/respawn-teleport-disconnect-and-death-consequences.275/
Feel free to poke holes there.
 
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#7
What I'd love to see is something like from Portal 2, where your robot is deconstructed and put back together again (except you're only being put back together).
Maybe, to make sure that people want to avoid dying, they need a certain amount of resources to build a new exosuit.
What do you think?
 

Biglet

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#8
What I'd love to see is something like from Portal 2, where your robot is deconstructed and put back together again (except you're only being put back together).
Maybe, to make sure that people want to avoid dying, they need a certain amount of resources to build a new exosuit.
What do you think?
This is interesting.
 

Azelous

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#9
The way I see it, two different ways to spawn:
  1. Personal shells that are premade for a specific player. Say it takes.. two minutes to fully download your process into your new shell. Has to be hooked up to a ship system, and draw energy, be used.
  2. General shells that need to be configured to a player first. These would be used by factions, you could require them to be placed into a chamber which will configure them internally for accepting a player, and externally, to modify the aesthetics of their shell. Would take, say, three to five minutes.
Regardless, shells of both types need to be expensive and a bit complicated to build. This would generally stop shells from being created during a battle, or forcing a faction to get really creative. Additionally, it would make sense if shells weighed a good deal, they are fairly dense.

Factions would run into two issues: large hauler for hauling tons of personal shells, or large respawn ship that requires more energy and a person dedicated to putting shells into the binding chamber (Unless you can automate it with rails and YOLOL).

Also, would be cool if the respawn mechanic was players seeing their new shell being personalized and process downloaded.
 

Vexus

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#10
Yeah, this would be possible in that system, but each endo would require resources to make, and would have weight to it. 100 endos would likely be very expensive and weigh a ton. Maybe you could have a big respawn ship in an attacking fleet that's producing tiny speeders to get back into the fray.
If 100 respawns is expensive to make, then the large group with unlimited resources vastly overpowers a smaller group who cannot afford many respawns, and again, just throws bodies at the smaller group.

I thought of a way to convey the power of this: I imagined a tense police standoff situation that you might see in the movies but also real life, where the police have a "bad guy" surrounded in a house. Why do the police not just rush inside to stop the bad guy? It is because the police value their life. So the standoff occurs. If it is just easy to throw infinite free bodies at the bad guy inside the house, then there is no standoff. If the lives of the people do not matter, they would just rush in endlessly. The presence of infinite lives is unnatural and eliminates the meaning of any one life in the game.

How much more would you hesitate to charge an enemy if you weighed the risks of doing so? How much more would you wait until you got more information - is it just one person trying to take over the control room, or 10 people in the control room? This tension would bring a lot of gameplay value. It would also make any push at an enemy matter, as you find out how many numbers an enemy has even if you die. That information gets relayed to the rest of your team, and the whole situation becomes more clear.

need to be expensive and a bit complicated to build
Anything expensive and complicated to build vastly favors the large group, and seems to punish the small group and solo players. If it takes 10 minutes to get the resources to make one respawn, the endless farming from the larger group can produce unlimited of these expensive objects, while a solo would have to spend a great deal of their play time to make these objects, and small groups would find them selves too dedicating a lot of time to it. The presence of systems which exponentially favor the large group is something I think everyone would prefer to avoid. Because a large group can already leverage more people to accomplish a task - 100 farmers can focus all their effort on producing 100's of respawns for 50 of their fighting crew, giving their fighting crew 2:1 lives, where a group of 10 has to produce all their respawns 'manually' - any system which is expensive or uses any value component as a means of limitation is not going to be balanced.
 

CalenLoki

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#12
10 minutes is 10 minutes. There are no free resources, no matter if it's done by someone from small or large faction.

The solution may be not in initial cost of each spare body, but in upkeep.
I.e. spare body chamber should use energy/resources equal to value of the body in 5h.
So there is high cost to keeping the bodies for long time, not producing them.
Then small forces, naturally more organized and operating for shorter time, will have slightly easier time.
 

Vexus

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#13
There are very close to free resources - human labor. Someone who is just farming as their gameplay, because they're in a big group who needs farmers, who enjoys it and that is all they do - the smaller group does not have this leverage of labor. No free workers in the small group. 10 minutes of a 5 person group's time is much different than 10 minutes of a 200 person group's time. Sure, it still costs something, but because you get respawns for free, because someone else is taking care of the back end work, you get to leverage all their labor in terms of using the respawns they made/maintained, meaning your in-game life doesn't matter and you can suicide at an enemy.

I think upkeep is a decent idea, but again, before a big fight the larger group just eats the drain-cost of having these lives that they know they will expend, and again, throw meaningless lives at an enemy.

You said in the OP that you think you have a good solution to these issues. What is it?
It's too early, too many other good suggestions to go over. It's so tricky because we've never had a game like Starbase where this kind of stuff actually matters. Most games just ignore it, give you unlimited free respawns like Atlas, and large groups just constantly suicide at their enemy until the enemy just runs out of resources killing free bodies. I think Starbase is trying to make your in game life matter a bit, and since the rest of the game world has meaning, if your robot life was free, that would devalue the game world. It's a tricky concept which again, I think the key element is time; and more clearly time which cannot be stored.
 

Guedez

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#14
* Just give 3 respawns per day free of charge on their home station.
- - Further respawns cost X.
* You can only ever respawn at a home station or a forward camp
- - The forward camp is on a even more rigid limit, You can only respawn at a forward camp 3 times a day and no more, no matter how much money you got, those also cost the '3 free respawn' on the home station. If you previously died and respawned at a station, it also counts towards your max 3 spawns

This means that a group of friends can just set up the forward camp (could be some sort of fix-me-up bay on a ship). You register to it, and if you die, you respawn on it.
If you are invading a enemy station that is far from your home station, you got 3 lives per day, plus the one you got from yesterday. Otherwise you have to go from your home station to your target every single time you die.

Also put some limitation on the forward camp, that if it moves more than X distance, everyone de-registers from it, so you can't use those as a teleportation system and it does not work while it is under attack and doing defensive maneuvers. This will also create another niche for ships, some huge ass battleship that is so heavily defended, that it hardly needs to move if it's under attack, so it can keep being a respawn point.
 

Eranok

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#15
You make a container of exoskeletons. Any player can "register" to that container to respawn from there.

- A container has a limited capacity of exoskeletons
- You can connect multiple containers to work together just like the blue storage boxes
- Stored exoskeletons have a significant weight, hence an impact on speed and fuel consumption of the ship while traveling
- Containers need a significant passive energy output from the generator. If you spam them, you have to sacrifice on other aspects of the ship
- Exoskeletons are very cheap to manufacture but they take a lot of time and generator energy to craft at a standard factory module. You cannot spam respawns endlessly without an extremely serious logistic, and that factory spam would draw so much from the generator that your ship will probably be a sitting duck.

Upon dying, you can hence revive in the initial station, or at the registered container if it has exoskeletons available. Reviving takes a short amount of time for the exoskeleton to initialize and boot. Finally, it should be possible to have a factory, some rail or arm, and the container work with yolol logic to auto-produce them.

EDIT : why not having the ressources used in the making of exoskeleton impact them. Lighter metals grant a bit more speed, sturdier a bit more life. Some are weak to corrosion, etc. Just like ships :)
 
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Oobfiche

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#18
ok so, 1. they are not free as you have to pay the insurance company the bodies 2.it does allow a solo player to respawn if he is connected to it 3.multiple players can share the same spawn, but lowers there lives cost like for example 2 players 6 spares. they will have 3 extra lives. 4.physical spare bodies, idk i never understood number 4. 5. deth, is expensive. and costly. no more lives and never come back to the area. 6. the starting stations will always have a infinite stock and if you have other terminals that are active you can respawn there. so only those options. if you die and have a spare you can instantly use a life of where you died closest at. and finally, the shells are physical, they will take up space, not magical data bodies. so large factions require a huge amount of space to have "infinite" bodies. and the Death bill (yes its a thing, it exists) might tend to get high oh and a note, once bought you carry it back to ship. not a instant teleport to the machine
 

Azelous

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#19
Anything expensive and complicated to build vastly favors the large group, and seems to punish the small group and solo players. If it takes 10 minutes to get the resources to make one respawn, the endless farming from the larger group can produce unlimited of these expensive objects, while a solo would have to spend a great deal of their play time to make these objects, and small groups would find them selves too dedicating a lot of time to it. The presence of systems which exponentially favor the large group is something I think everyone would prefer to avoid. Because a large group can already leverage more people to accomplish a task - 100 farmers can focus all their effort on producing 100's of respawns for 50 of their fighting crew, giving their fighting crew 2:1 lives, where a group of 10 has to produce all their respawns 'manually' - any system which is expensive or uses any value component as a means of limitation is not going to be balanced.
The point of my idea wasn't that the components for a respawn are expensive. I think there should be more value in the makings of a new shell than most every component. A robotic body is a very, if not the most complex thing in the game currently. Whether it be expensive by means of time spent crafting or by the materials used, I think there should be value put into a respawn.

The point of my idea is the logistics required to haul respawns with you. The different methods of spawning I suggested. The existence of a time requirement. Small groups are going to have issues with bigger groups if they cannot find a way to out maneuver. Requiring ships to haul respawns or the components of respawns gives players looking for a tactical advantage a target.

Additionally, I don't think respawns matter as much as ships when it comes to combat. You lose a ship, you lose a very large asset that cannot be quickly replaced (so far as we know). In comparison you lose a life, you lose a player with a rifle that outputs a relatively insignificant amount of damage.
 

Vampiricdust

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#20
I dont see why large groups would want mass respawns available like a small group might.

Fielding more respawn ability would just mean people coming back to no extra ships, no extra ammo, or weapons. They would need spare weapons, ammo, and even ships every time they die. It would make more sense for them to go back to a station, rearm, and get a new ship than it would for them to waste what supplies they brought with them.

A large group already has numbers they can throw away, but the ships will always be more valuable than the character's life.

I think the cost of lost ships will be a bigger deterrent than respawn mechanics will ever be.

The only situation a large group may want respawns is if they are raiding a station. Which then that means fielding a large capacity and a ton of resources are put at risk. Sure they can afford it, but it's a huge cost to get and to lose. Replacing 1 or 2 ships is much cheaper than replacing 10 ships. Each of which needs a power source, armor, controls, defenses, and supplies for respawns.

Unlike WA were you had a belt to keep resources, a weapon, and ammo on you, that won't be the case in SB. Dying means losing your weapons, ammo, and anything on you. Respawns will not be what makes people cheapen their lives, it'll be the cost of what they lose while dying.
 
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