Shield alternative concept

Discussion in 'Planetary Annihilation General Discussion' started by ThatsBallsy, August 10, 2013.

  1. ThatsBallsy

    ThatsBallsy New Member

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    [edit] Let me quickly say that I somehow, by some vast universal conspiracy, did not see the 8 page long thread about shields at the very top of the forums. I'm reading through that now to make sure this hasn't been posted there. If it has already been suggested, my apologies. [/edit]

    I've been following Planetary Annihilation for quite a while now, and as a generally defensive, expand in layers type of player I was a little disappointed when I first found out that shields are being shelved for the time being. However, I've also noticed that Uberent is very responsive to the community and is open to what people have to say, which gave me hope that if a good balance could be struck then shields would be more likely to eventually show up.

    With that in mind, I started brainstorming about what we could utilize that has the essence of the classic shield concept without the common drawbacks -- such as encouraging extreme turtling as a viable play strategy. In my experience, this turtling is a side effect of having the usual perfect-until-failure domed shield design, which quickly can transform mildly threatening defensive lines into impregnable fortresses. The implication here is that this shield concept must allow for some kind of alternative failure strategy, such as a graceful decline (ie, can stop 1 unit, can stop 2, sort of handles 3, 4 starts doing some damage, and so on). We also want to avoid having underpowerful shield systems that shut off practically any time anyone sneezes nearby -- why even call it a shield in that case?

    So, the essentials:
    • Must fail gracefully
    • Capable of being overwhelmed by appropriate level forces (not overly powerful)
    • Still worth using

    I have attached what I believe is a reasonable initial concept that satisfies these requirements. The idea is to have point defenses, like laser defense towers, that are capable of intercepting incoming enemy fire. In the diagram attached, the shield is capable of defending against lines of fire that cross into the green dashed circle. Each of the red dots is an enemy, all of which are firing simultaneously in this example. Three of the shots here are intercepted, while the fourth is missed due to the system being overwhelmed. This weapon discharge will still continue on with the potential to strike something on the other side of the shield. This system would still provide protection for your defenses and resources against incoming fire, but the defense afforded is able to be overwhelmed without using an annoying mechanism like a damage shutoff value.

    To me, there is an additional cool feature about this design: this is actually a very sensible analog to the traditional point defense concept. Point defenses generally target incoming enemies and neutralize them by killing them. This concept instead neutralizes enemies by destroying/dissipating the incoming barrage itself, in a way re-applying the anti-nuke concept in place as the general shield concept. Hopefully this sparks a discussion!

    Also hello, this is my first post here, and I'm very excited about PA!

    Attached Files:

  2. igncom1

    igncom1 Post Master General

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  3. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    i'm pretty much for it.
  4. igncom1

    igncom1 Post Master General

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  5. Teod

    Teod Well-Known Member

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    Nukes vs anti-nukes.
    Tactical missiles vs anti-tactical missiles.
    And now artillery vs anti-artillery? It may be balanced, but I think this concept is too repetitive.
    llamanose100 likes this.
  6. bobucles

    bobucles Post Master General

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    Anti ordnance is a fantastic way to add another dimension to weapons. Heavy shots will be vulnerable, while light rapid fire easily eats through. Suddenly, big guns aren't all they're cracked up to be anymore. Unless they're gigantic doom rays, which get to smash everything up.

    If anything, it's
    which are the unpolished, stale ideas.
  7. gobbygee

    gobbygee Member

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    It's a ok idea but agreed that's it's just a anti artillery.

    What do people think about a artillery redirect, so you have a building that has medium hp that simipliy redirect incoming missile/artillery fire into it, lets say it can only redirect 2 incoming objects ever 10 seconds and prioritises them on damage capability.

    Almost like the projectile gets vortexes in.

    What u think?
  8. bongologist

    bongologist Member

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    Totally agree with this idea +1

    The shield(s) would not have to be too complex just simply non-upgradeable single building that emits a stable barrier.

    One thing I have noticed is that with the current non shield system a player can build long rage ballistics and force the other player to take action every single time unless he build long range ballistics first, this then determines his game and he has no real chance to build strategies.

    I find it unfair that the player who would build long range first can determine the pace and setting of the match, if shields (like explained in OP) were introduced then the player could concentrate on building an army or tech up depending on his style, and not have to dart all his forces out because the other guy built long range first.
  9. mushroomars

    mushroomars Well-Known Member

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    You do know that big guns are already underpowered in this game right?

    You might think "Omgeee, his Lobber and Catapults are eating all mah tanks!" But in reality a small swarm of T1 Bombers and T1 Fighters can easily nullify the threat, even with ground-based AA coverage.

    This works with literally any long range weapon, Lobbers, Pelters, Catapults, Nukes, Antinukes, etc. etc. etc.
  10. igncom1

    igncom1 Post Master General

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    We have never needed it before and we really don't need it now.
  11. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    we never needed tmd?
  12. bongologist

    bongologist Member

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    This is part of my point, you would have to counter this fast and it could alter the style of play for the whole game because the other player built long range weapons fast, I think a player should be given the option to build shields if the long range option is available.

    Also it's not always possible to take out your target if he has it well defended and heavily guarded without having to concentrate your full effort into this attack or basically lose the game, again this gives the player who built long range first the ability to choose the flow of the game from an early position in the game.

    If you are attacking someone with shields up, you will have to concentrate your attacks on his shields this is true, however if you are approaching his base at this time in the game you should have enough units to break them down and continue your attack as planned.
  13. smallcpu

    smallcpu Active Member

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    The issue is, currently its easy to snipe enemy long range weapons (and I've some ideas to make it even easier if necessary). But once you add shields to the mix, it suddenly gets very hard to snipe.

    The enemy can not only build a long range unit, they can also build a shield to protect it. Thus you go from the counter to long range units being their destruction to only shields being useful against them as the same shields that protects you also protects the enemy weapon...

    All in all this leads to very stagnant gameplay.
  14. warhoundxiii

    warhoundxiii New Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, as I didn't play SupCom, but it seems that the way shields worked was that once you bought them, there was no "upkeep" for using them. I think shields make sense in a game that has long range attacks. Ultimately, a turtling player will loose since the opponent can asteroid bombard him to death.

    An idea I had to make shields viable is to give them an upkeep cost. They need energy to maintain the shield, so make them constantly consume energy from player resource pools. Without enough power to consume, the shield goes down until there is enough power. That way players could use them strategically, but to keep them up indefinitely they would have to build out immense power generation networks.
  15. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    well no you're wrong, there was upkeep, you had to pay energy every second, and since energy consuption had such high numbers in the case of every structure you would have a reccurent situation where you were like : "oh, I'm fiiiiiiiiiiine, look 100% and wasting at +10500, no need to worry." and the next : "oh WTF! it went down to zero in like only a second" and then all shields and structures consuming energy would turn off (such as radar stealth, cloaking, cannons with high energy consumpion rate would work at a crawl and nuke and anti nuke would build so slow it was as if they were on pause) they would then proceed to recharge at the same consumption rate as before then flicker on for a second and repeat untill energy was stabilized again. So when someone was hurting energy, you could really tell because their shields radar stealth and cannons would behave in this odd and ineficient manner. something that uber should add in because currently in PA the radar stays on even if you have no energy, it's a bit IMBA.
    Last edited: August 10, 2013
  16. brianpurkiss

    brianpurkiss Post Master General

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    Interesting concept. I like the potential.

    The graceful failure is great. Working perfectly until absolute failure was always an issue with shields.

    Uber has said they won't be implementing shields in the traditional form but will be open to alternatives, so this may work.

    I do think there should be a counter to pelters and lobbers - and particularly, catapults.
  17. bongologist

    bongologist Member

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    This is true, but it would not effect the gameplay from what it is now that much to be honest, it adds a simple extra layer of defence so I think Stagnant would mean less layers.
  18. ghostflux

    ghostflux Active Member

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    So, what if the enemy spams out fighters as well?
  19. igncom1

    igncom1 Post Master General

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    Thats what the fighters were for.
  20. mushroomars

    mushroomars Well-Known Member

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    Then you spam more fighters than him.

    Sadly that's the way air balance works right now, I would rather a rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock approach. Something like:

    --> = kill

    ASF-->Interceptors
    Interceptors-->Bombers, Gunships
    Bombers, Gunships-->Ground AA
    Ground AA-->ASF

    And no, you didn't really need a terribly large amount of Tac Missile Defenses in SupCom because it was usually easier to just blow up the missile launchers.

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