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Capturing ships

#1
If i remember correctly, Josh said he isn't going to do boarding.

But what about capturing npc ships? there was one thread about this that didn't get very far.

I really want to be able to capture enemy ships, i don't really care how its implemented i just want it to be an option, i'll point out a few examples for how it has been done within other games (i came to the shocking realization i haven't played many games that have this boarding or capturing feature! :o ).

Also to be noted is that it should be hard to steal ships since they are generally worth a lot of money.
  • X3 (i haven't played the other X games so i can't know about them) makes capturing enemy ships possible for fighters by making single-man ships (such as fighters or freighters) have a small chance for the pilot to eject when it's hull is below 85% or so. In limit theory i think this could be done by using escape pods. Then when a ship is empty, it's ownership is deleted so that anyone could just pick it up. To make the ship his the player has to eject from his own ship in an EVA suit, fly within i think 50m of target, and then click on it and press the "claim" button to make it his. However this system doesn't work for bigger ships (such as corvettes) which might have multiple crew or even their own boarding parties. For those scenarios the player can hire boarding parties (can be slaves or marines) and load them onto his corvette (or bigger) ship, then send them over in boarding pods (they can also spacewalk, but for LT i think boarding pods would be more ideal) which will drill through the hull when they reach the ship and allow the marines to infiltrate, they then have to complete tasks on several decks of the ship (kill crew, hack computers, etc). These boarding pods can be destroyed in transit, so if the enemy vessel is still well armed it could focus fire on the pod and destroy it before it gets to the hull.

    I think X3's system would be pretty ideal to have inside LT just so we can actually steal or claim ships. It could be nice if you can also intimidate some people into giving you their ships and escaping in an escape pod. Something the X series did which i think would also be cool in LT is derelict sihps that have a low chance of spawning. (like 1 for every 20 systems or so i'd guess) which the player can find and capture, then repair and put them to good use or sell them.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean (Sea Dogs II) by Akella features a pretty lovely boarding system. Don't know how feasible it'd be for LT seeing as it requires the player to actually fight in person on the ship he's capturing, but it's still worth a mention. In this game you have a boarding(grappling) skill which determines how far from a ship you can be to board it. to board a ship you must be sailing side by side and within a certain range, when the conditions for boarding are met you get a boarding option, pressing it transitions the game to boarding and makes the player appear on the deck of a ship. several NPCs will be there too, the strength of the NPCs fighting for the player is determined by his crew size and morale. The enemy NPCs strength will be determined through the same system so a player would have to be either dumb or brave to board a ship with bigger crew than his own. After the player wins he gets a sort of "victory" screen, within which the player can see all info about his own and the other ship to compare, he can choose to transfer cargo between the ships, exchange any surviving crew between the ships, assign a new captain (take ownership of the enemy ship) or just leave (the enemy ship will sink).

    This boarding system is really fun, but because theres only one preset of ship decks to fight on (you always start on the same deck, then depending on the size of the ship when you win the top deck you go to a lower deck and kill the crew there, etc) the environment and of course combat can get a bit repetitive over time. It's probably the most fun boarding system i've ever experienced though. In LT a screen like the one that comes when you finish capturing a ship could be used, as well as the requirement system (be sailing side by side without too high speed difference or distance, etc) it could also use tractor beams.
  • FTL, although it doesn't allow you to capture enemy ships directly, upon finishing certain missions or reaching certain milestones/achievements the player gains access to new ships which he can play the campaign on. It does also have boarding by teleporting your crew onto the enemy ship, but you don't actually get to keep the ship, it just gives you greater rewards than blasting it to pieces, and this can also be used to make your crew deactivate certain systems from the inside of enemy ships (such as destroying the shield generator)

    I don't know how useful that could be in LT but i was thinking maybe the player could buy/build certain ships from his owned shipyards when he gets an acheivement such as fighting this kind of ship 20 times or something like that.
Being able to capture ships is important for pirates. After all, what kind of pirate can't even steal a ship?
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Re: Capturing ships

#2
From a mechanic point of view, I feel as though this is almost needed. When you're a pirate faction, where does your fleet come from? Most of the time from captured ships.
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Re: Capturing ships

#3
Space Marines always lead to a good deal o fun! One can hope that with pirates in LT there would be options to behave in such a way as well. I would think a 1000 marines would still be cheaper than a dreadnaught's cost they could possibly take over. Say by isolating the bridge and purging the atmosphere on the rest of the crew?

In any case a ship "abduction" mechanic is something I think we could all appreciate (or maybe suffer by).
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Re: Capturing ships

#4
Being able to capture ships is important for pirates. After all, what kind of pirate can't even steal a ship?
The EVE pirates (most MMO pirates, actually) and the classic Elite pirates come to mind. Hell, even the pirates in Space Rangers operate on a non-capture basis.

In EVE, there is no boarding, and "stealing" a ship requires an insane level of gullibility or social engineering to successfully pull off. Instead, you usually get ambushed, locked into place and then asked if you want to fork over some cash. The price asked is usually slightly below what your ship is worth. If you pay, you're free to go, if you don't, well, that's that, and sometimes you even get blown up when you pay. (That's EVE for you, showing you all the bright and shiny examples of humanity...). If your ship gets blown up, some of the parts remain as loot (and might fetch quite a price...) and are of course bagged by your local friendly pirates.

Elite had a similar concept, shooting a trader in order to get him to drop his cargo. And Space Rangers features both, with the attacked targets offering to pay you off (usually more than what the equipment they drop upon death would be worth...) and/or dropping their cargo.

The main economic problem with allowing the capturing of ships is the massive amount of money these ships are worth, and the fact that you can sell them without a problem. Who wants to do trade runs for X credits per run if you can just capture the trader's freighter, preferrably with the equipment and cargo intact, for 10 to 100 times that amount? (Really depends on the relative price of a ship here.)

If you capture a modern container ship, there is no way that you can sell it off at the next port. Even Pirates!, THE game of capturing ships and dragging them to the next harbour, only paid an absolute pittance per ship.

Allowing the player (or anyone, really) to capture ships willy-nilly is a beautiful way of screwing the economy sideways with a tire iron. There needs to be a limitation, gameplay wise, else it's so attractive that it might as well become the only option (see the X series of games, especially during the early phases of playing).
Hardenberg was my name
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Re: Capturing ships

#5
Hardenberg wrote:
Being able to capture ships is important for pirates. After all, what kind of pirate can't even steal a ship?
The EVE pirates (most MMO pirates, actually) and the classic Elite pirates come to mind. Hell, even the pirates in Space Rangers operate on a non-capture basis.

In EVE, there is no boarding, and "stealing" a ship requires an insane level of gullibility or social engineering to successfully pull off. Instead, you usually get ambushed, locked into place and then asked if you want to fork over some cash. The price asked is usually slightly below what your ship is worth. If you pay, you're free to go, if you don't, well, that's that, and sometimes you even get blown up when you pay. (That's EVE for you, showing you all the bright and shiny examples of humanity...). If your ship gets blown up, some of the parts remain as loot (and might fetch quite a price...) and are of course bagged by your local friendly pirates.

Elite had a similar concept, shooting a trader in order to get him to drop his cargo. And Space Rangers features both, with the attacked targets offering to pay you off (usually more than what the equipment they drop upon death would be worth...) and/or dropping their cargo.

The main economic problem with allowing the capturing of ships is the massive amount of money these ships are worth, and the fact that you can sell them without a problem. Who wants to do trade runs for X credits per run if you can just capture the trader's freighter, preferrably with the equipment and cargo intact, for 10 to 100 times that amount? (Really depends on the relative price of a ship here.)

If you capture a modern container ship, there is no way that you can sell it off at the next port. Even Pirates!, THE game of capturing ships and dragging them to the next harbour, only paid an absolute pittance per ship.

Allowing the player (or anyone, really) to capture ships willy-nilly is a beautiful way of screwing the economy sideways with a tire iron. There needs to be a limitation, gameplay wise, else it's so attractive that it might as well become the only option (see the X series of games, especially during the early phases of playing).

Kind of like a car that is hot. You have to break it down to its components to offload it. Make it hard as hell to accomplish and then make it difficult to offload. So in game make it much more difficult and risky than say an honest living yet if you do pull it off it should "pay" better. A hot ship should still be worth much less than a new, legally registered ship. Also sometimes a ship is boarded because it may be the best option to assault it (depending on LT universe mechanics). On top of that diminish the characters relations to law enforcement and it could be very difficult to do anything else and thus limit a players interaction with that society. Crime pays if you don't get caught.
Post

Re: Capturing ships

#6
Well like I posted in the other thread, it doesn't need anything but a slow moving capsule or transport to be fired literally at the enemy.

It'd be nice but not necessary for them to be able to shoot it down. These 'missiles capsules' are self sustained, take up cargo room, and are expensive :).

On a live ship its a bit more complicated than an abandoned one, in an abandoned one the only coding you'd need is faction swapping from abandoned to the player.

Easiest way I can rationlize it. - Its all based on how many you fire. Each ship has a boarding defense rating, which can be a tech and module based too. Each capsule has a boarding offense rating. The two of these give a random chance that a ship will be captured every time a missile or capsule connects.

Its a small chance but even one successful party could get to the bridge and vent the airlocks on the ship, but much more likely is many will die in the attempt and might be shot down before they even get there.

Just my 2 cents :) in how to do this easily, and with some skill + research involved.
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Re: Capturing ships

#8
Homeworld2 handled ship capturing well. To capture a ship you had to use a Marine Frigate (Special frigate with capturing equipment). When capturing a ship you had to fly directly at the enemy ship while it shot at you and hope the rest of enemy fleet wouldn't notice. You would then have to get into position while the enemy ship tries to out maneuver you. Once in position (The enemy ship is still shooting you in some cases) you would then launch-pods/beam marines over and hope they would capture it quickly. The enemy ship could still be moving till the marines captured the engines. Once captured, the ship would still retain its appearance, but it would be manned by yours truly. Homeworld1 handled capturing differently, using small corvettes to tractor beam the ship and then lug it all the way back to the Mothership.

I wouldn't mind if a similar system were implemented. Though I would limit which types of ships can hold capturing equipment. As it wouldn't make much sense for ships with small crews to capture other ships. Also the captured ship should be blacklisted in the previous owner's systems while still retaining it old appearance.
Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
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Re: Capturing ships

#9
Maddix wrote:Homeworld2 handled ship capturing well. To capture a ship you had to use a Marine Frigate (Special frigate with capturing equipment). When capturing a ship you had to fly directly at the enemy ship while it shot at you and hope the rest of enemy fleet wouldn't notice. You would then have to get into position while the enemy ship tries to out maneuver you. Once in position (The enemy ship is still shooting you in some cases) you would then launch-pods/beam marines over and hope they would capture it quickly. The enemy ship could still be moving till the marines captured the engines. Once captured, the ship would still retain its appearance, but it would be manned by yours truly. Homeworld1 handled capturing differently, using small corvettes to tractor beam the ship and then lug it all the way back to the Mothership.

I wouldn't mind if a similar system were implemented. Though I would limit which types of ships can hold capturing equipment. As it wouldn't make much sense for ships with small crews to capture other ships. Also the captured ship should be blacklisted in the previous owner's systems while still retaining it old appearance.
The only thing that sucked was that I noticed that the enemy always targeted my marine frigates first to eliminate the threat.
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Re: Capturing ships

#10
Jerek Adams wrote:
Maddix wrote:Homeworld2 handled ship capturing well. To capture a ship you had to use a Marine Frigate (Special frigate with capturing equipment). When capturing a ship you had to fly directly at the enemy ship while it shot at you and hope the rest of enemy fleet wouldn't notice. You would then have to get into position while the enemy ship tries to out maneuver you. Once in position (The enemy ship is still shooting you in some cases) you would then launch-pods/beam marines over and hope they would capture it quickly. The enemy ship could still be moving till the marines captured the engines. Once captured, the ship would still retain its appearance, but it would be manned by yours truly. Homeworld1 handled capturing differently, using small corvettes to tractor beam the ship and then lug it all the way back to the Mothership.

I wouldn't mind if a similar system were implemented. Though I would limit which types of ships can hold capturing equipment. As it wouldn't make much sense for ships with small crews to capture other ships. Also the captured ship should be blacklisted in the previous owner's systems while still retaining it old appearance.
The only thing that sucked was that I noticed that the enemy always targeted my marine frigates first to eliminate the threat.
It sucked, but it also made sense. Would you sit by while a marine frigate entered the fray, or would you get scared and start wildly shooting at it? I mean, that frigate is going to dump a bunch of stranded, unhappy marines onto your ship.
Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
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Re: Capturing ships

#11
Maddix wrote:
Jerek Adams wrote:
Maddix wrote:Homeworld2 handled ship capturing well. To capture a ship you had to use a Marine Frigate (Special frigate with capturing equipment). When capturing a ship you had to fly directly at the enemy ship while it shot at you and hope the rest of enemy fleet wouldn't notice. You would then have to get into position while the enemy ship tries to out maneuver you. Once in position (The enemy ship is still shooting you in some cases) you would then launch-pods/beam marines over and hope they would capture it quickly. The enemy ship could still be moving till the marines captured the engines. Once captured, the ship would still retain its appearance, but it would be manned by yours truly. Homeworld1 handled capturing differently, using small corvettes to tractor beam the ship and then lug it all the way back to the Mothership.

I wouldn't mind if a similar system were implemented. Though I would limit which types of ships can hold capturing equipment. As it wouldn't make much sense for ships with small crews to capture other ships. Also the captured ship should be blacklisted in the previous owner's systems while still retaining it old appearance.
The only thing that sucked was that I noticed that the enemy always targeted my marine frigates first to eliminate the threat.
It sucked, but it also made sense. Would you sit by while a marine frigate entered the fray, or would you get scared and start wildly shooting at it? I mean, that frigate is going to dump a bunch of stranded, unhappy marines onto your ship.
Exactly.

I found that having a carrier nearby and having more than one frigate at a time (if the ship in question could support more than one boarding operation at a time) made things much smoother. Still it usually cost me a lot of resources in the end, if done right and you captured a battle cruiser it was usually worth it.
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Re: Capturing ships

#12
Jerek Adams wrote:
Maddix wrote:
Jerek Adams wrote:
I wouldn't mind if a similar system were implemented. Though I would limit which types of ships can hold capturing equipment. As it wouldn't make much sense for ships with small crews to capture other ships. Also the captured ship should be blacklisted in the previous owner's systems while still retaining it old appearance.

The only thing that sucked was that I noticed that the enemy always targeted my marine frigates first to eliminate the threat.
It sucked, but it also made sense. Would you sit by while a marine frigate entered the fray, or would you get scared and start wildly shooting at it? I mean, that frigate is going to dump a bunch of stranded, unhappy marines onto your ship.
Exactly.

I found that having a carrier nearby and having more than one frigate at a time (if the ship in question could support more than one boarding operation at a time) made things much smoother. Still it usually cost me a lot of resources in the end, if done right and you captured a battle cruiser it was usually worth it.
I like the feeling of accomplishment when capturing in Homeworld. Often your capturing operations end in SNAFU, but if you manage to pull it off, its awesome. I sure hope josh adds ship capturing. :think:
Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

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