Station Siege Mechanics

Eranok

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#21
So you basically want to fight overpowered beyond physical rules AI, rather than real players?
And do so at night, when they have no way to defend their possession.

Cool.
AI? nah no AI. Check my previous post. Base delog if offline players
 

CalenLoki

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#22
AI? nah no AI. Check my previous post. Base delog if offline players
What happens when someone parks vasama in place where your station was? Are you stuck offline forever?

How do you conquer enemy station if they can just despawn it by logging out?

How do you defend large station when there is just that one guy online who stays up whole night? Wake everyone up?

I could go on and on. It simply won't work.

Maybe with ships, if there is nobody else within 100km.
 

Eranok

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#23
What happens when someone parks vasama in place where your station was? Are you stuck offline forever?
Then you log your station a bit further away for that time
How do you conquer enemy station if they can just despawn it by logging out?
Like other cases of logout in MMOs: no combat log
How do you defend large station when there is just that one guy online who stays up whole night? Wake everyone up?
With such system, a lonely guy shouldnt log a wealthy station alone. He should play on his personal ship or an auxiliary station. But even then, its a matter of balancing the station armor to make it last quite a bit, so defense can be slightly organized even if totally surprised.
The main advantages of that implementation: its simple, so it can be fitting for an alpha, and then you complexify. It also makes sieges intuitive : you can attack what you can see.
I could go on and on. It simply won't work.
Its your opinion, fine :) My goal here is just to give ideas to discuss, because I believe that complicated schedule/sieging rules harm the freedom/immersion, i think there are better ways to have a balanced system that makes sense
 
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USER_SH4RP

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#24
really love the idea of it. this game need raiding but it cant just be 24/7 raidable base. its great to have a window instead of just 24/7 having to defend from a possible siege so you can actually sleep good at night knowing that some not epic gamer is isent waiting for you to go to sleep then raid you cuz when i played ark or play rust theirs nothing i hate more than waking up one morning and everything i worked for was gone
 

Recatek

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#25
Station "logging" is probably best suited for a separate thread. It isn't compatible with this suggestion and it has a number of issues that would be better to discuss elsewhere.

As for freedom vs. rules: rules and systems are not the antithesis of freeform sandbox gameplay. If anything, rules are what enable the deeper and more interesting sandbox games (like EVE) to persist for years without devolving into pointless chaos. Sandbox games are a balance between creation and destruction. Since PvP naturally leans towards destruction, PvP sandbox games only work when they take steps to actively preserve that balance. Rules-light games like Rust don't preserve that balance, but those games aren't played for the "long haul" -- servers wipe regularly, bases are quick to destroy and rebuild, and so on. As its name suggests, nothing in a game like Rust lasts for very long, so they restore the creation/destruction balance by resetting the world and making it very quick to fully recover from losses.

Starbase is a persistent game with the opposite mentality to something like Rust's. This isn't an "easy come, easy go" game that wipes regularly. All indications are that stations will represent a large amount of work over a long period of time (weeks, months) by a number of players and, once built, are meant to last for a long time. When you put hundreds or thousands of man-hours into something in a game, there's an expectation that the game won't suddenly take it from you without any chance to prevent it. That includes overnight ninja raiding, "stealthy" captures, and the like. To attract and sustain creation in the long term, the game needs to make a contract with players that the amount of work they put in is worth something in the end -- either you get the benefit of holding that base uncontested, or you at least get a big fun battle and a lot of interesting gameplay before that base is destroyed. That contract comes in the form of rules (like the ones I've proposed) and without it, there's no incentive to build a base only to have that work suddenly evaporate with nothing and no fun to show for it.

Of course, I think the best form for that contract to take would be the one I propose in this thread, with justifications here:
https://forum.starbasegame.com/threads/station-siege-mechanics.600/#post-5572

The best sandboxes are supported by rules, not defined by a lack of them.
 
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Amos.37

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#26
I do like the system that Recatek has proposed.
And I totally agree that some rules need to be in place in he system itself to provide a measure of protection for player creations. Already ships have the insurance system, but obviously insurance for stations would be too broken, especially when fighting over territory. So some system needs to exist to give limited protection to stations. Yes, this system does favour factions that can field more players, but so does any system. It's an asymmetrical MMO, the bigger factions will always have an advantage. Smaller factions either need to make alliances to compete, or make their peace with being the underdogs.

My only issue is that it inevitably favours certain timezones. But at the same time, that is always the case with any MMO (*Sighs as I realise that Australia will forever be getting screwed by online games because our playerbase is comparatively small).
I'm not really sure of any way to remedy this though, other than maybe having more options as to when a station can be sieged. Maybe have 2 windows of opportunity rather than only one to establish an inhibitor, declare an attack, whatever the system ends up being.
However, I realise this could then be abused to attack stations during 'off hours' for the majority of players.
Might just have to put up with timezones being inconvenient and servers favouring high playerbase areas, which is just good business.
 

Burnside

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#27
Y'know... I could totally see something like the inhibitor being used to prevent a station from logging out or dragging it into gamespace and starting the siege timers, including that 36-59 hour presiege window of invuln for the inhibitor and station. Though i don't really think the inhibitor ought to have total invuln during that period, maybe damage mitigation or a "ramping" resistance to damage that penalizes "burst dps" (pretty sure railgun/plasma caster shots don't count as burst and we're talking more massed fire).

ED: further thoughts, what if the inhibitor didn't drop the whole safezone? Inztead what if it created a field that removes the benefits of a safezone where it overlapped? Then you could have what i consider the interesting situation where an attacker might need to use multiple inhibitors to "walk" to the core of a large station. Obviously, this variant of inhibitor would be cheaper to manufacture and might deserve a shorter setup timer as well as a damage mitigation factor like I mentioned above. In this case the inhibitor usage becomes more of a tactic than just a simple barrier to who gets to play with sieges. It also means factions with the resources to mass produce them aren't at such a great advantage against smaller factions and stations since they, I'm speculating here, would have smaller safezones. It also means that a small faction that plays smart with their lower manufacturing base, could have a chance to threaten a larger station even with a single inhibitor- they just have to make it within range of the station core and hold long enough to get the inhibitor online and then pop the core, making for a much different flavor of siege than a large faction against another large faction.
 
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Recatek

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#28
My only issue is that it inevitably favours certain timezones. But at the same time, that is always the case with any MMO
That's the nature of single-shard international MMOs for better or worse, but it goes both ways. You'd need to be selective about when you declare a siege on other stations, but at the same time you won't be forced to wake up in the middle of the night in the middle of the week to defend yours.

what if the inhibitor didn't drop the whole safezone? Inztead what if it created a field that removes the benefits of a safezone where it overlapped?
Multiple inhibitors would complicate the timing of when a fight actually starts. The point is to concentrate the fighting into one play session window so that everyone shows up to throw down, and nobody has to wait around doing nothing. I expect stations will already have layered defenses and structures so that no two station sieges are the same. There's plenty of room for meta without introducing extra complication to the siege declaration element itself.

Keep in mind that this isn't just my idea out of the blue. This is an adaptation of a tried-and-true method used by many comparable PvP MMOs. I think it would be best to start with what works and build from there after seeing it in action.
 
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Burnside

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#29
Nah, just assume every inhibitor after the first latches onto the siege timer instead of renewing it, we're nerfing them while adding utility for a multi setup. I honestly can't tolerate how gamey the single inhibitor method is, that's the reason I'm a carebear in Eve and don't join groups, the gameplay is pointless to me. Trying to find the compromise between your and my preferred styles of mechanics.
 
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CalenLoki

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#30
Single inhibitor is simple. Place it - wait while nothing can be destroyed - fight while everything can be destroyed.

With your multiple inhibitor ideas it would be used for combat: jumping in and out of zones that are protected, keeping unarmed support ships there, ect. That is gamey af.

Making inhibitor anything else than totally invulnerable forces attackers to guard it day and night (or at least be ready to enter game at any time). That just defeats the whole purpose of the system, that is letting people have life.
 

Recatek

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#31
Placing the inhibitor isn't the star of the show, and shouldn't be the focus of gameplay*, The inhibitor is just a "save the date" for a future fight when everyone has had a chance to prepare and can log on with full energy for a complete game session. It's like making a reservation at a restaurant so you don't have to sit around and wait for a table. If you "gamify" inhibitor placement so that it itself becomes interactive conflict, you're stretching the fighting phase over the entire two-day period. That dilutes the fun since not everyone can be around at the same time, and introduces fatigue because by the time the siege window actually opens the fighting has already potentially been happening for two days.

Don't just think about a single siege in isolation. In most PvP MMOs these types of fights happen in clusters. Think about how you're going to feel after your fifth siege in two weeks (attacking or defending). Do you really want to fight over a 48-hour period for all of them? I don't. I'd rather have five good three hour fights than ten total dragged-out days of "hurry up and wait" playing cat-and-mouse with the other side

* - Towing the inhibitor to the destination could start a fight if you're intercepted, but that's fine because you have two prepared parties fighting at that point and the result is decisive. Nobody has to wait for anything and the result is decisive.
 
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Burnside

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#32
Single inhibitor is simple. Place it - wait while nothing can be destroyed - fight while everything can be destroyed.

With your multiple inhibitor ideas it would be used for combat: jumping in and out of zones that are protected, keeping unarmed support ships there, ect. That is gamey af.

Making inhibitor anything else than totally invulnerable forces attackers to guard it day and night (or at least be ready to enter game at any time). That just defeats the whole purpose of the system, that is letting people have life.
You're forgetting that the inhibitor being in its setup period is itself part of the meta. You're giving powerful factions the ability to drop a safezone without mustering their fleet. The idea that this won't be abused and everyone will show up in a gentlemanly fashion to blow resources duking it out in a timed boxing match is absurd. Making it expensive or hard to abuse with a civilian shield is just band-aids on the core issue of what an inhibitor represents.

If I enjoyed Eve-style sieges, I wouldn't be here.
 

Recatek

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#33
If the attackers don't "muster their fleet", they won't win the fight once the safe zone goes down, since the defenders will be prepared to defend it and can win early by destroying the inhibitor. The siege window requires investment and participation from both sides. If the inhibitor is expensive, it gives attackers incentive to actually show up, since they presumably worked to gather the resources to build the thing, and have a vested interest in seeing it through. The point of the cost is to make inhibitors actually result in a fight, rather than being a frivolous throwaway thing.

As a note, this isn't unique to EVE. In nearly every PvP MMO where you are expected to hold a base/city/station for more than a few hours, there is a system like this one making sure the resulting gameplay is well managed and fun without becoming another job.
 

Burnside

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#34
At certain scales of production everything is frivolous, cost isn't a control. Not only is this a time-gated skirmish with the word "siege" scribbled on top, there's no assurance it won't be abused by large factions and alliances. You yourself admitted that the attacker isn't even guaranteed to win the minigame if he comes out victorious in the fight, you're just left with an unanchored station that anyone can claim with a new core. Not only will "sieges" be the domain of the rich and powerful, but only an alliance of factions will be able to control the area and claim/dismantle the station without worrying about another fleet moving in to steal what's left after the hard work is done. The goals of this system are self-contradictory and aren't supported by the suggested mechanics.
 
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Recatek

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#35
Let me address the points I see in that reply.

At certain scales of production everything is frivolous, cost isn't a control.
I see this as being a bit reductionist. Are you saying that the economy won't matter in the end? If the economy has no purpose and resources have no value, why even build bases and secure territory (and thus, resources) in the first place? Seeing as the cost of an inhibitor can be tweaked and balanced, and it could scale with the "tier" of the target station core, I think the game will have much bigger problems if the economy is indeed this meaningless.

There's no assurance it won't be abused by large factions and alliances.
Well of course, everything will be abused by everyone trying to get an upper hand in the PvP meta. The exploit you pointed out, regarding keep trading or handing off a captured core to a buddy, is addressed by making the core destructible only, not capturable. What other exploits do you anticipate?

If [the attacker] comes out victorious in the fight, you're just left with an unanchored station that anyone can claim with a new core.
This depends on the size of the core explosion which, like a ship's generator exploding, could be catastrophic to the station. Because neutralizing the core requires the attackers be near it for some time, an attacker who does so has most likely won the battle and "controls the field", so to speak. This gives them the freedom to do as they like with the remaining bits of the now unprotected station -- salvage, steal from storage, etc. They could choose to anchor a new core as well, but remember that anchoring a core requires that it be built at a nearby station, be towed to the target deployment site, and protected for three hours. Given that this immediately follows a large conflict in the area, that's a less-than-safe thing to do, but it's left as an option to consider. If this turns out to be a problem, a destroyed station core could prevent another from being placed in its vicinity for some time as well. Say the core explosion leaves behind unsafe levels of core radiation, or something contextually appropriate. From a design perspective, there's plenty of knobs to tweak there for balance and meta.

"Sieges" will be the domain of the rich and powerful.
All indications so far are that stations are no small investment and require at least some amount of collective force as a faction. Territory control in every PvP MMO requires faction power, and so yes, to play that part of the game, you will need some amount of it no matter what the station safe zone rules are. The advantage of a deferred fight window, like this inhibitor system, is that even if your faction isn't the biggest, you have enough advance notice of the fight time to make sure everyone logs on and you fight at full strength despite your smaller size. Think your smaller faction is better bot-for-bot than the other side? Prove it by bringing your best at the same time they do. You aren't at the mercy of larger factions who have the manpower to play in every timezone around the clock (something only the biggest factions will have the wherewithal to do). Additionally, the open nature of inhibitors is well suited for coalitions of factions, unlikely allies and all, to all work together to target an enemy station, since the inhibitor has no allegiance to any particular faction and the destruction of that station could benefit them all.

Claim/dismantle the station without worrying about another fleet moving in to steal what's left after the hard work is done.
I see this as a feature, not a bug. Scavenging someone else's battlefield for useful supplies after the dust has settled sounds to me like it's going to pretty core to the Starbase ethos. It's certainly part of the announcement trailer. By this point you've accomplished your main goal, which is to destroy your enemy's station and kick their foothold back out of your rightful space. If someone else comes in to eat up the scraps, that's interesting emergent gameplay.

The goals of this system are self-contradictory and aren't supported by the suggested mechanics.
The goals of the system are pretty clear:
- Make sure the hundreds/thousands of man-hours invested in a station don't disappear overnight
ᅠᅠᅠᅠ- Hence, the safe zone and 36-59 hour lead up time to a siege
- Make sure that when the fight happens, it's big, it's fun, and it doesn't overstay its welcome and become boring
ᅠᅠᅠᅠ- Hence, the 2-3 hour siege time after both sides have advance notice and time to prepare
- Allow players to engage in station building without having to log on at odd hours of the night
ᅠᅠᅠᅠ- Hence, the fact that when building a station, you pick your siege window at a time you can defend it
- Allow players to engage in station sieges without hours of boredom, waiting, or shooting inanimate objects
ᅠᅠᅠᅠ- Hence, the fact that between when the inhibitor is anchored and the siege window, nobody needs to do anything until the real fight
- Make the siege battle itself proactive, so that both sides have a goal they can work for without being forced to wait for the other
ᅠᅠᅠᅠ- Hence, the mechanic of making the inhibitor a target for the defenders, just as the core is a target for the attackers
In that I don't see how any of this is self-contradictory.
 
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#36
A suggestion:

Instead of a chosen siege timer, have an power-bar that slowly goes down. Once it's empty it will have to be replaced/recharged, which give the attackers a window to assault the base.

Also, the energy expenditure can be affected by the power usage of owners, a sabotage of an infiltrator or external stress to the system. This way both parties can slow or hasten the progress by using their intellect.

Less meta, and more fluid.
 

Recatek

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#37
A power bar, especially one that could be modified after the fact, makes the final siege time difficult to predict. The point of a fixed, public, well known siege window is to ensure that everyone can show up for the fight with enough advance notice to balance real-life responsibilities. An unpredictable power bar would remove this element and would result in lower attendance overall for the ultimate siege fight.

Of course, there's still plenty of room for intellect in the siege fight itself, and in the building and preparation leading up to it.
 
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#38
That my suggestion, to have it a bit unpredictable and flexible. They know that the power will shut down in the next 8 hours, so they prepare for a signal. That means they will need a scout or a spy ready. They could even speed it up by putting pressure on the defences or by using their inside agent.

Nonetheless, I really like where you are going with this Recatek. Just thought the rule structure could be more organic in nature.
 

Burnside

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#39
A depleting power bar is basically how the devs describe their vision of the safezone mechanic, like a cross between tug of war and king of the hill, with the SZ staying up or going down being the prize for winning. The problem with replacing that with a predictable timed mechanic, besides the fact that it locks out dynamic play and forces everyone to enjoy a series of hurry up and wait tasks that are the opposite of a game, is it's easier to abuse, despite what recatek claims.
 

Amos.37

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#40
Burnside, you keep saying how the system will be abused and that it is contradictory.
How, specifically, do you see it being abused and how, specifically, would you fix it in a way that can't be equally abused or more so?
If you can't answer that, then your just complaining because you don't like the ideas.
 
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