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|ID||Project||Category||Date Submitted||Last Update|
|0023512||AI War 2||Gameplay Idea||Aug 6, 2020 8:58 pm||Aug 10, 2020 4:53 pm|
|Summary||0023512: Seeking ideas for "infrastructure" for DLC2.|
I already am wanting to add in some more "infrastructure" units in DLC2, so something that is salvage-like for the AI (or several something that are variants of it) would be pretty awesome candidates for that.
What were/are infrastructure units?
They have not really existed too much before, not in a codified sense. But they're something that I've wanted to do for a while.
In the broadest possible sense, they are "AI buildings that affect the AI when you kill them, so you have some new juicy targets to hit."
Of course, that's over-broad, because there has to be some sort of cost to hitting those. Or a cost to NOT hitting them. Or some mix.
Basically, if it's just a straight buff to the player (now if I kill xyz things, I get bonuses!), then it's boring and just makes the game easier.
Technically a warp gate is a form of infrastructure, and the downsides of killing it are that there is an AIP gain, and also there are fewer places the AI can attack you from (usually good, but can be bad if you did too many).
So Permanent Instigators?
Instigators are something that are more temporal -- you have to go do a thing in a certain amount of time, and that's fundamentally at odd with infrastructure.
Data centers would be one other example of infrastructure, although they are the sort that have zero downsides. They're just scarce, and so finding them and being able to reach them is the cost.
Another example of NOT infrastructure is something like a Troop Accelerator or Raid Engine or Alarm Post. Those are things that I refer to as "devious devices." Eyes also fall into this category. They aren't temporal, per se, but really are more about making some spatial area of the map more dangerous. If you don't take them out, then you have to work around them.
The idea of infrastructure is actually a pretty tricky one, because it needs to be something that can passively exist (like a warp gate or a data center or a super terminal) and not really negatively effect you overall in the main, and not negatively push you away from parts of the map. But they do need to have that sort of "yay benefit" to when you kill them, and potentially some sort of downside.
We really have so very very little infrastructure right now, superterminals are another one (the danger is in the hacking response), and warp gates are actually poor infrastructure in that they are required to be taken out on planets you destroy. The only reason they qualify at all is that you can take them out on planets you DON'T take.
so theoretically, something like this maybe?
AI Cybersecurity Terminal: This structure extends hack durations against any AI factions (minor factions are unaffected) and makes responses a bit tougher than normal while alive, with the effect getting stronger the closer you get to the planet that it’s on. (i.e, on the same planet, there is no way you are hacking that. 1 planet, hack response multiplier 2x, 2 planet, hack response multiplier 1.75, etc) if you manage to destroy it normally, it no longer affects you. If you perform a special hack, the AI will respond EXTREMELY vigorously, at least on the same level as Outguard and Superterminal. If you successfully complete this hack, you are refunded your hack points for this one hack, AND the AI hack response permanently goes down one level (i.e, easy turns into very easy), OR you get a discount on all future hacks. If you fail… you will wish it was a spire archive. Costs AIP on death.
That is a pretty good example, yes. The one thing is that in an ideal world, I would like for the infrastructure to be the sort of thing that we can seed in every DLC2 game and not have it radically alter the game if people choose to ignore them. My absolutely ideal infrastructure is the sort that players can completely ignore and it does zero for or to them. But that if they choose to engage with it in some fashion, then it starts changing things either for the better or the worse depending on if they win the engagement or not.
If there is infrastructure that makes the baseline game harder unless you deal with it, then we've just made the entire baseline game more complicated (strategically) just by having DLC2 installed, so then those bits have to become optional, if that makes sense.
Having DLC1 installed means that there are a bunch of new turret types around, but they are not fundamentally more difficult than playing without DLC1, if that makes sense. They add variety, and both you and the AI can choose to use them. So DLC1 absolutely infests the galaxy with new turret types, but it doesn't make the core experience harder to follow.
A bunch of infrastructure that is "stuff is harder unless you choose to deal with it" would fundamentally alter the game flow if DLC2 is installed, so then that winds up being a galaxy option for "seed extra infrastructure and have a harder time but more opportunities," and I deeply dislike that.
If someone has DLC2, I'd like for all the infrastructure to be there at their fingertips, like the turrets from DLC1, but in both cases it increases the number of options but otherwise doesn't really make things more complicated or difficult if you ignore them.
That's in some respects a tall order, because the most obvious infrastructure does something good for the AI until you disrupt it, at which point the AI is weakened.
But instead it has to be more reframed to "more or less nothing happens from this, except maybe a minor effect locally (one planet), unless you choose to aggro the infrastructure, after which point you can either gain a benefit or a penalty."
One model of doing this would be some sort of "derelict AI stuff" that is inactive on various planets and does literally nothing, but you can hack it for like 1 hacking point to turn it back on. If you do, it does good things for the AI and you get nothing. It then exists in this state for a while until you either kill it prematurely, or until you hack it again and get some sort of bonus. Potentially the longer you wait, the bigger the bonus.
So your exact cybersecurity terminal would then work just fine, except that it would have to start out as derelict and do nothing. And once the player activates it, they need to wait something like 30 minutes of gametime before they can get the benefit from it. They can kill it prior to that, but they won't get the benefit. And in the meantime, during that 30 minute window (or until they are ready to do the hack), they suffer maybe even more of a severe debuff than you were suggesting.
The 1 hap to trigget it would be something like "alert ai cybersecurity"?
Kind of like "turn on this machine and see what happens," and that's the part that comes after, yeah.
We would definitely explain what will happen in advance, of course.
I had a, uh. Recycling Bin idea at one point. Have it passively put out scrap drones as units die on its planet. If you can hack/take the planet, you can expand the radius at which it collects scrap. If you ignore it; its just a slightly more bitey planet.
That sort of thing is localized enough to also be perfect for that. If it was too much of a pain we could start it derelict, but honestly I think that keeping it active from the start is under the threshold of where it would be a problem.
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I realized I've never explained this, and I want loads of ideas from people.
In something like a month I hope to add a bunch of these.
Im pretty sure this is impossible without a lot of coding, but I REALLY like this idea
AI Tech inhibitor: when this structure awakens, it reduces all of your tech levels by one (badger says "I feel like going down 1 tech level by 1 would be less likely to cause the player to just lose in a close game". When killed, it can give you a wide variety of rewards. Maybe more science? Some aip reduction? Hack points?
One of the things that make destroying targets a no brainer, or something that you seek out constantly is the fact that such things tend to affect the AI or player globally, or system wide.
What if you had things that benefited the AI in a more regional area, or affected hacking within a few systems of a target? We already have some things like the former in the form of troop accelerators and weapon amplifiers. I'm thinking more along the lines of perhaps some items like this:
Constellation Coordinator: This is something along the same idea of a Warden base. After a certain AIP threshold, the AI will start scanning for systems where it feels that it cannot house enough guards to defend the system. If there are a number of systems in a cluster all bordering a single system, it will spend some of it's budget to build a Constellation Coordinator in that system to house those ships and coordinate them into a miniature Warden/Praetorian fleet that attacks/defends all systems within 1 jump of that system, and receives all excess reinforcements from those systems that cannot be housed in those systems. There will be a maximum limit to the size of the fleet based on the mark of the station before ships are left in the systems where they were spawned or released as threat.
Constellation Command: If you lose a system to reconquest and the AI has the ability to build Constellation Coordinators, and decides that this is a good place for one, it can instead build a Constellation Command Center. This is an upgraded command center that has powerful weapons, houses many ships, and protects or attacks neighboring systems with it's fleets.
What do you think? As the AIP goes up, the AI will eventually start to notice the player's destruction of it's defenses across the universe and it could start building something more damaging in return. You can temper it by limiting how many of these are available to the AI by mark for the current AIP level if you feel like it for balance, or make it unlimited at certain difficulties.
Intra-Galactic Warp Gates: From Classic, but they start off in the hands of the AI and allow them to quickly move the hunter/warden/praetorian fleets around between the warp gates. If you hack them, then you can instead use them for yourself. So not the exact same in Classic (since fleets themselves behave just like the warp gates in classic), but I think the name would be okay for this iteration too. You can also simply destroy them to effectively reduce the response times of the AIs fleets. Maybe have these alongside a few warden bases (if base-oriented).
Radar Scrambler: In the hands of the AI, the planet that it is on can only ever be "watched" if you currently have forces there (disables the watch hack too because that would be ineffective). In the hands of the player, it prevents waves from warping to that planet, and also won't cause the nearby planets to be on alert.
||My favorite thing for ships to do in AI War, is make other Things, whether it be the hive golem, the tesla torpedo frigate, or the combat factories. I would love to see some kind of Neinzul guard post that makes a nuisance of itself with a hack to free it, and gain an allied, or lone fleet of drone spam, or take a scraping of its corpse, to throw into the cloning vat, and get a drone production turret.|
Well, as a general idea for flavor, many of these structures could probably be something that helps the AI in its off-galaxy endeavors, that are thus heavily defended but not having a direct effect in your war against it until you hijack them and grab them.
One idea that comes to mind at the moment would be something like a Telescope Array, a series of AI observatories scattered around the galaxy (that the AI would nominally be using to watch the exogalactic threat) that need to be hacked to be turned back to your galaxy, and have a nasty hack response, but that do something like provide additional intel to you on planets you're not watching, or actually watch planets for you; the more of them you hack, the more planets you have watched, but also the angrier the AI response for the next Observatory you hack. Or a different bonus, depending on how valuable intel and watched planets are considered to be for the player.
No other ideas at the moment, but if they come to me I will post.
Decommissioned Strategic Missile Silo
Namely something akin to the old original AI War missile silo but with a far more restrictive missile selection. Probably only lightning warheads or EMP warheads honestly. Re-activating it has the AI take notice and start re-enabling silos to use against adjacent planets and put in active missile defenses. So going for missiles to use also would subject you to needing to remove specific missile defenses occasionally and deal with eating missiles from adjacent reactivated silos until you hack/destroy them in turn past the first one or two you took.
Collapsed Wormhole Node
The AI has shuttered this wormhole transit point and put in a system to prevent its re-opening... do you dare reopen the connection and see what the AI avoided rather than dealt with directly? A straight up RNG could be good could be bad. Really bad would be like finding out there is active nanocaust in the system(s) behind that sealed connection. The re-opening would directly award science.
Nebula Condenser Array
Would exist in a cloudy system and just kinda be there unless you actively impair its operation at which point that system would become subjected to halved weapon ranges for *everyone* and all adjacent systems take a 25% range cut for everyone. Might be a nice way to get something equivalent to a turret range reduction hack against multiple systems at once. Might also be you don't want to touch it because it would interfere with having a nice choke point on a nearby planet.
Infested Deepstrike Support Station
Would exist on a planet and just release parasitic drone things on a periodic basis against anything in system. Destroying it simply removes it. But if you *hack* it and clean out the infestation waves that spawn from that hack you get a nifty station that can directly teleport about 20-30 fleet strength worth of drones onto any planet within 4 jumps. Kinda like a unusual localized Outguard option. Granted once you have the cleaned up version the AI wants it back and will use it against you if it retakes the planet.
In terms of derelicts, I'd be curious about something like this:
AI derelict factory: An old facility from before the time the AI moved its production facilities outside of this galaxy. The ships within were programmed with simple brute force logic.
Inactive until hacked, upon which it spawns AI-specific anti-to-all zombie ships. Once the hack is completed, constantly spawns AI-specific anti-AI zombie ships which remain in a system until their strength is equivalent or superior to that of a surrounding system, upon which it moves to the new system.
The type of ship spawned could be listed and unique to each factory. The idea is that the ships build up relatively evenly within "safe" sectors until they are strong enough to attack the AI systems or the AI comes in and kills them.
I've always liked the idea of structures that can affect the AI indirectly through player actions:
AI taunter: Starts derelict or inactive until disturbed - once triggered, increases wave frequency/severity towards the player. Once destroyed, decreases wave frequency/severity towards the player for an equivalent amount of time it was activated.
I'd also like to see more structures that make the AI react to how the galaxy is getting shaped by the various factions within it.
AI watcher: If an enemy faction (including the player) is detected within 1 planet hop of a redirector, the AI allocates additional budget towards that faction and has reduced budget towards other factions.
AI trapped stockpile: If an enemy faction destroys this object, they get a large budget increase. However, the destruction of the object causes the AI to spawn a wave/extragalactic ship of equal value to the budget increase. A player destroying this would get a large amount of metal to differentiate it from regular distribution nodes and an equivalent wave/extragalactic ship.
My idea comes from the fact that as time goes on there becomes less and less AI "infrastructure" if the player has anything has to say about it in general. The AI generally doesn't "rebuild" much at all unless it reconquers systems.
You ask for ideas for interesting AI "infrastructure" that won't be just steamrolled by the player, really it's gotta be something the AI is willing to rebuild behind the player, because player's are destructive, or something the player isn't willing to break in the first place. I'm suggesting a bit of the former to go with the latter.
An odd idea I had:
-Highway relays: triple the speed of all AI units on the planets. This beacon is spread alongside a road between Warden bases/Astro Train stations/something else. The AI would have 1 highway and would repair it, possibly working around human captured planets, by rebuilding beacons to restore the highways. That'd give the AI a line where it can shift forces crazy fast, hopefully without breaking balance, and being fun (you could maybe either share the benefit of the highway with a hack, or take over the beacons by capturing the planets).
I'll post again if I think of some better stuff, but honestly the Watcher and Highway I think are on the most interesting track (though I REALLY like some of the other stuff) of rebuildable/redirectable infrastructure. They could easily be enhanced in implementation by allowing it to be hacked to change its parameters:
Watcher: Hacking this could allow you to double, halve, or have your own faction ignored by the Watcher for budget purposes. (double and halving would work on whatever faction it happens to trigger on, I.e. manipulating the AI into responding more heavily to the Nanocaust)
Highway: There's some options here. Hacking a highway beacon could dramatically slow the units in transit (perhaps eliminating the highway bonus entirely on that planet) or turning the beacon into an Exclusion Zone, forcing the AI to build a more circuitous route, with limits as necessary.
For my own idea, I'd just like to comment that I think turning some base-game bonuses into localized infrastructure wouldn't be remiss, as a way of maybe easing people into the brand new system DLC2 will offer. This is obviously hard, I can only offer the most piddly example: The Lost Asteroid Mine could be turned into a "mining outpost" that acts essentially as a particularly notable, drone-producing Guard Post, which you could either take in a way of localized pain (Cutting beams work well against ships!) or as a budgetary modifier. Or maybe something else!
An idea i had a while back was for a noncombat branch of the AI that would do things such as
-Construct new eyes
-Place additional guard posts on planets that have already reached their normal limits
-Other interesting things, such as dire guardian lairs, whatever else can be cooked up
Also for AI types such as Peacemaker and Fortress Baron this would let them replace the buildings they normally cannot
How about a few structures that change how the AI spends it's budget across the whole game?
So we have, say, "AI Local Strategy Subprocessor", and destroying it cuts the AI's wave budget by some percentage as you've interfered with it's wave-sending functionality sector-wide. But, all that lost budget is now assigned to blunter, less targeted instruments, like reinforcing AI planets and/or the CPA budget.
Or, similarly, an "AI Local Defence Analysis Subprocessor", and destroying that cuts the AI's reinforcement budget across the whole sector, but then it dumps that budget into it's waves and/or it's CPA's, and so on.
Could be an interesting way to customise how the AI is attacking you to what you feel most able to handle.
Then, you could also have the option to hack them, which would provide a permanent effect of, say, -5% to the structure's associated budget, with no reallocation, but it's an expensive hack with a serious response.
||Abandoned AI Orbital Factory: Does nothing unless you interact with it. If you blow it up, you get some metal, and a bunch of construction bots pop out and attack you. If you hack it, you get a line of said construction bots, and even more construction bots pop out and attack you. Or, you could hack it to turn it on, it starts spewing out ships, and when you hack it again you get a bigger line of construction bots based on how long it was active.|
||I just wanted to add a clarification to my above suggestion: The percentages I was thinking of for the Destroy the structure option are 30-50%, so much larger effect with low cost, but only shifting things around, while the hack is expensive and a smaller effect, but it is an actual reduction. For the structure itself I was thinking fairly well statted, something in the superfort region.|
AI Warden/Hunter/Praetorian central processor: One of the centers which set AI has set up to help manage the Hunter/Warden factions. Gets destroyed when the planet loses AI ownership which has no consequence as the AI has backups (like the superterminal). Can be hacked to affect the Warden/Hunter fleet in different ways. If the hack fails, the budget for that faction increases and the structure is destroyed.
Some example effects:
Current (AI faction) fleet turns/partially turns into anti-AI zombies
Current (AI faction) fleet goes/partially goes into standby mode for x amount of time
Lower (AI faction) budget for x amount of time
Permanently lower (AI faction) budget
Stronger effects could have more significant hacking time/response.
I also like the idea of revamping the "free" energy/metal structures in the base game into actual AI infrastructure that needs to be taken down or otherwise converted in order to be used by the player.
Local Command Core
An AI fortress capable of commanding local forces in the event of communications jamming. Hacking this facility to interfere with its command link and IFF will result in the local systems being held a mini-AI that doesn't recognize the primary AI as allied. Will be more than happy to still raid us... but should be pretty occupied with the main AI pretty quickly as both duke it between each other.
A proving grounds for untested variants of larger vessels. Hacking this can give you a non-standard variant of a fleet centerpiece vessel. Failing the hack results in both the response fleet and the variant vessel being used against you.
Essentially a non-standard drone guardpost that metabolizes intruders to its system. Can be hacked much the same way as a Mass Driver or Ion Cannon however for an interesting extra source of defending "chaff".
Chameleon Retrofit Facility
All raids and reinforcements to this system gain the ability to cloak. Either destroy the warpgate to prevent the upgrade from being used on raids. Destroy the facility for AIP cost. Or hack it sabotage it and upgrade one shipline with cloaking.
Hydran Retrofit Facility
Much the same as the last one but for the Hydra property instead.
Nebula Storm Suppressor
Disabling this negatively impacts all weapon reload timers and slowly attritions strikecraft with insufficient shielding in neighboring systems.
|Aug 6, 2020 8:58 pm||x4000Bughunter||New Issue|
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