Author Topic: Proposed feature discussion—S.H.I.E.L.D. (offline raiding protection)  (Read 1403 times)

ai_enabled

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The idea is to provide a way for players to completely protect their base when they are going offline (so players can be 100% certain they would be not raided in offline for the specified period). The mechanic should feel natural and be easy to understand.

It will encourage online raiding, which is way more fun than finding your base raided in the morning, as currently happens with so many players. Also, online raiding provides more options for defense—such as negotiation with raiders, calling for help (especially when we add fractions/alliances), etc. It should also favor smaller bases as a shield for large bases (such as built by large clans) should be more expensive.
PvP servers only (obviously).

S.H.I.E.L.D. == Super-High Impulse Energy Layer of Defense :-)

Activating shield:
  • Players can enable shield for their base from the land claim menu (from any land claim on the base). Basically a new tab with info on how the shield protection works, its electricity consumption, and a toggle button to enable/disable it.
  • It's available starting from T2 land claim. Higher tier—longer protection. Perhaps for T2 it should be 28 hours, for T3—52 hours, and so on.
  • It uses electricity so it's not unlimited. It should last up to a few days when fully charged (depending on the land claim Tier). A larger base should require more electricity to protect due to larger coverage so building solar generators and more power storages is a good idea (though larger base already has a penalty on electricity production so maybe it's unnecessary). To make the shield duration predictable we can add "shield buffer" allocating (taking) energy from the power grid (see below) for the shield's exclusive use.
  • Shield requires 15 minutes to "charge" when activated by the player. Electricity consumption is starting immediately. Then the player can wait until shield established to safely logout but it's not required.
  • The shield charging is aborted if the player leaves the base (either walks away or using the "Unstuck" feature, etc). A corresponding notification is displayed. This is required to prevent the case when a player has triggered the shield and runs away from the base.
  • An activation cooldown is applied to ensure the shield cannot be established faster than (for example) 2 hours since the last shutdown. It will prevent abuse of this feature while ensuring the feature usable to most players.
  • Requirement: a player who is trying to enable the shield must have an active bed/respawn point on this base.
  • Requirement: there are should be NO other players inside the base except the players listed as base owners (added to the land claim access list). They can not have a respawn point inside (as to prevent mechanic abuse we need at least a single such player).
  • Requirement: a raid block aborts the shield establishing.
  • Providing offline raiding protection will require us to rebalance the game with online raiding in mind. Meaning cheaper bombs cost and probably cheaper to repair walls and other structures to encourage players that go raided to continue playing.

Established shield:
  • Players cannot damage walls and doors.
  • Doors outside the base are completely blocked (even for base owners though they can disable the shield).
  • Base owners are free to use the base as they wish, probably except placing new buildings/blueprints and using a crowbar.
  • To enter/leave the base, the shield should be disabled.
  • To disable the shield, any of the base owners can do this by interacting with any base's land claim or outer doors of the base.
  • Unstuck is blocked when inside the shield-protected base (so it's not possible by all base owners to leave it from inside without disabling the shield).
  • A simple shader effect covering the outer walls and doors with blue translucent energy overlay is necessary to make it clear that the base is under the shield.

+ Pros:
  • Hard to abuse while actually playing the game—players need to leave the base often, so they would disable the shield.
  • Not possible to keep it active while leaving the base. While another player on the base could switch the shield after you leave, charging takes a while. Plus we can make the charging process much more expensive (power consumption-wise) than the charged shield's operation, making frequent switches unreasonable. We can also make a cooldown—activating shield is possible only an hour after the shield was disabled the last time.
  • Hard to abuse by large clans for large bases—players in such large groups usually play in a different time so they have to keep the shield down for much longer and keep it vulnerable for raids.
  • Players can establish long protection if they want to leave the game for several days or even a week—if they have enough power storages and generation to support the active shield.
  • We can make that shield is not providing 100% protection, but simply makes raiding much more expensive by making bombs damage much lower. This option could be a server rate setting for community servers.

- Cons:
  • It's not possible to simultaneously protect more than a single base by a single player this way. Anyway playing PvP solo is not a good idea so it's probably fine as long as your primary base is safe.
  • Possible to abuse via alt characters—a T2 base with a power grid and enough resources could be built by primary characters, and alt character (with a respawn point inside that base) can be used to trigger the shield at any time. There are no any (such tech/skill/playtime) requirements for the character itself.
  • Charging takes a while so some players might find this annoying, but most players can find a lot of things to do for that time: crafting, building, organizing items, simply chatting. So should not be an issue.
  • Some PvP players might prefer shields that a vulnerable at least once a day. It could be done by limiting the max number of hours per last 24 (or 32 hours) the shield could be active but it will be not welcomed by players who want to leave the base safe for a weekend or holidays/short vacation.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2020, 12:18:28 pm by ai_enabled »

Jburg46

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Re: Proposed feature discussion—S.H.I.E.L.D. (offline raiding protection)
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2019, 12:15:48 pm »
It might take away from some solo play. Probably not a great fit for Cryosmall server.

ai_enabled

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Just to bump up this post.
We're looking for more feedback, guys! :-)

QuantumVortexX

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Hi there! I would highly appreciate an offline raiding protection and your ideas sound very reasonable to me.
For me, it would be the most frustrating event in a game, when i loose all of my stuff and if it would not be my fault. Make my base disappear because of an offline raid is a nightmare! I prefer this feature even over the faction system.
IMHO the central aspects are (you mention these already):
  • protection should be limited in time
  • protection should cost resources or effort
  • so that SHIELD should not deny raids at all
Of course, this feature will 'soften up' PvP a bit, but i think it will make the game more fun to the majority of players.

Some small wishes:
  • dont deny actions like building in their base during SHIELD. So the player can do something useful while waiting for the activation.
  • what whould happen if the SHIELD is active and I use a crowbar to open a wall? This should deactivate the shield
  • SHIELD protection effectiveness should be a server config, so that admins could disable the feature (as you mentioned)

ai_enabled

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QuantumVortexX, thank you for your feedback!

I think it's fine to allow building/deconstructing while SHIELD is activating. But as soon as it's active, it would be reasonable to restrict these actions—as written in the original proposal: "(Established shield) Base owners are free to use the base as they wish, probably except placing new buildings/blueprints and using a crowbar."

With this feature implemented, we will be able to rebalance the game to provide the best online raiding experience (for both defenders and raiders). Currently, we have to balance the game by keeping the offline raiding in mind so the cost of bombs is high and many players prefer to avoid online raiding due to a much higher risk for the same reward.

Regards!

WarStalkeR

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Re: Proposed feature discussion—S.H.I.E.L.D. (offline raiding protection)
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2020, 07:08:51 am »
Regarding SHIELD: As it seems what you want to implement here is "White Flag" feature, to ensure when players go offline for long term, they want to return after holidays/vacations and see their base intact. When base in "White Flag" mode nobody can access it or use it, i.e. all territory where it present should be effectively blocked. There should be 24 hour cooldown between each activation of "White Flag" mode. And "White Flag" mode can be disabled at any time.

To solve the issues with base protection in short term (when player goes to sleep, goes to school or goes to work), you need to implement Active Base Defenses, i.e. turrets, artillery, SAM sites & etc. Of course to work they should be supplied properly with ammunition and energy. As additional layer of defense you can add Shield Generators that will protect these structures from the permanent damage as long as there are energy reserves at the base. In addition you can implement some kind of drones that will repair buildings (if there are materials) and simple logistic drones (that will reload weapons) if there is ammunition in storage.

Of course, to ensure that base defense won't be invincible you will also need to implement heavy machinery such as Catapults (T1 tech), Tanks, MLRS & etc.

ai_enabled

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Re: Proposed feature discussion—S.H.I.E.L.D. (offline raiding protection)
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2020, 02:15:36 pm »
@WarStalkeR, thank you for your feedback and ideas!
As the original proposal says right in the beginning, "the idea is to provide a way for players to completely protect their base when they are going offline (so players can be 100% certain they would be not raided in offline for the specified period)".
We want to make the game enjoyable for the majority of players (or at least provide them extra options (such as new server mode) to enjoy the game). The majority of the PvP players expressed their desire to be able to sleep well :-) ... It's just not fun to being raided in the offline, and it's also not fun to raid someone in offline (though currently it's basically encouraged as the bombs costs are high and online raiding is too risky; but making bombs cheaper will make offline raiding much more profitable overall so the PvP gameplay will quickly snowball into one-two strongest teams on the server raiding everyone else).

Regarding the active base defenses...while it's fun to have turrets (we're planning to add them!) as the raiding would be more interesting and as a base would look cooler with a more interesting design, it's not a solution against offline raiding.
What you're proposing is basically a suggestion to players to build and have a better defense than other players so raiders will avoid such highly-defended bases and seek for less defended. From the game design point of view (as far as I understand it, the game design is Lurler's responsibility) adding turrets is just a more interesting way to buff the defense. Another tier of wall could provide a similar benefit regarding the defense. So it's not a solution against offline raiding.

Furthermore, the most important aspect of the S.H.I.E.L.D. proposal which most players are missing is that it allows us to focus on the online raids and completely rebalance the game for them to make it have a faster pace, with much less grind on bombs and defense, etc. This will make PvP much more dynamic and enjoyable. Most players who have considered the idea from this point of view replied in our Discord that they at least wish to see how it actually works before making final conclusions regarding the offline raiding protection mechanic.

Turrets for defense and heavy machinery to help penetrate such defense would be also great for the online raids, adding new tactical depth into the game.

Regards!
« Last Edit: February 26, 2020, 02:18:41 pm by ai_enabled »

WarStalkeR

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Re: Proposed feature discussion—S.H.I.E.L.D. (offline raiding protection)
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2020, 09:35:46 pm »
I see, you want SHIELD feature to be short-term solution as well. Then you can even make SHIELD feature automatic. As long as all base owners are offline, SHIELD feature should be automatically enabled.

Thus, 3 Layers of Protection:
1) White Flag for very long term protection, when somebody goes to vacation. Must be enabled manually.
2) SHIELD Feature that protects bases during our sleep or work time, that should be activated automatically.
3) Active Defenses, such as turrets that will protect your base and buy some time, while you're in-game.

Napalm

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I like this, some players only raid offline bases and you can't even know who did it. It will make balancing the game much easier, and we won't have to make an absurd amount of walls just to discourage offline raiding. I really feel like being raided offline is the most frustrating thing about this game.

Playing on a small server with few players, I noticed 3 players quit (at least the server, don't know if the game as well) after being offline raided, and I am playing on it for only 4 days. All of that was done by a single solo player, who looks for bases, and wait until the owners are offline to raid it. The risk/reward is very weird when people can just do that.

Kitrick

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Offline protection is definitely something that all full loot survival games need at this point in the development of the genre.  I've played many, and while it's fun to go hardcore dedication in the beginning, after a while instead of focusing on the fun of the game you wind up just slogging away through upkeep and worrying about who will destroy your base with no actual interaction.  That always brings about the death of the game, so it would be in everyone's best interest to change it.

I think implementing it and then seeing how it tests is the best way to go about it.  No matter how you try to think of every way that people could possibly abuse the system, they will surprise you and create a way you didn't think of.  Just have to test it.

Ideally it would be a system that wouldn't be an instant "oh crap" button when you see people run up to your base and you know they are intending to break in.  It should be pretty easy to set up, and should not be expensive to maintain.

Empyrion had a good system for this too, in which it was just a technology you researched and then built with middle of the road materials, and when you logged out it automatically activated as long as there was power and after a small timer went by.

Salvick

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This is a great idea that will change the dynamic of the game and add a lot more of interest in live battles. I have mixed feelings about it if I think the disadvantages as a low tier player I currently am against bigger bases that I'd like to attempt to breach in when the owners are offline but I'll be unable to do then. But as it was mentioned that's just a lucky shot and the game shouldn't be based on lucky moves and should instead bring more tactically planned engagements.

Regarding turrets and defensive machinery I think it could provide a very strategic perspective of the base layout planning if it is properly balanced. I played a game where you were able to place only 4 turrets, so since it wasn't enough to cover the whole base you were always forced to consider which area you would like to secure while leaving some parts of your base totally exposed. This also gave you an indicator of where the good loot could be in a base while these turrets had no way to be destroyed without taking a lot of damage and die, specially if these were placed against iron-walls corners which were indestructible walls and was enough to securely guard your valuable gear with no worries for an offline raid.

I believe that the offline protection should last only for a couple of hours or a day as much, this is let's say from a business perspective where if you implement it as a partial protection then the players will have a reason to join the game in a regular basis which would help boost the game concurrence, if reactivating the SHIELD protection requires you to stay online for certain period of time it would also add a reason for them to stay online a little bit and engage in other activities including battles.

I'd add that it doesn't convince me the idea of allowing for a nearly-infinite offline protection since as the game provide a living world in regards of the map AI and particularly due to the amount of players joining and interacting between each other I'm wondering if in a 200 players server the offline protection wouldn't clog the map with a large amount of bases very close to each other that are now impossible to clear out or interact with them at all.

I hope my humble contribution is welcomed, this is a very interesting idea and I'll be looking forward to see the outcome of it.

Cheers,



Edit:

Talking about this with a few other players we play together they also proposed some sort of "revenge" system where if a player raided you then you could be able to by-pass their shield if you want to attack them within a couple of hours of the raid, I guess that should be only if they are online or even for a while if they go offline to avoid a hit-n-run tactic where a player raids a base and goes offline to activate the S.H.I.E.L.D. system calculating the raided player usual play times.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2020, 09:04:20 pm by Salvick »

Thelettuce

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Only thing that concerns me is having super high tier individual go offline for a week and I am stuck twiddling my thumbs checking his base every now and then to see if he is on to be raided.

- I think the shield should only last as long as the land claim would normally protect a base before deterioration to 0% caused by not logging in for an extended length of time.

-I think at that point if the land owner still had electricity then the shield could still provide protection but become unstable from the extended length being turned on with no supervision. If left on too long It could cause a chain reaction in the abandoned base...destroying everything and leaving behind heaps of pragmium for the people who have sat on the sideline waiting to raid the base for a week.

gigafunk

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Sounds interesting. I like the idea of a revenge window, but if you get online raided your probably unable to exact revenge that day lol. When the raiding players are at your base, their base will be unshielded, so if your large enough you could send a breach force while you have some blocker/defenders, and that is as proposed. So revenge windows should be looked at but after we see how the game starts to take shape after this.

This may enable longer inter-wipe periods, and allow trade to develop and discourage the "quit until next wipe" mentality that hurts this great game.

It may require alot of balancing, but you have a lot of balance points to tweak.

I also propose , down the pipe, but keep in mind when designing this shield if you like it ,some sort of "capital" shield that enables safe trade within an area, nullifys weapons, but allows randos to move in and out for commerce. Maybe this costs prag to maintain, maybe they have to maintain a close base that is always vulnerable, like the start wars death star shield.

Your right a change like this alone could allow the emergent patterns to start to open up more.

Bane

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Will be betther if you put a limit time for shield before get disable or PvP servers will became PvE server (like 10 hour max).
Otherwise ppl will just do a base full energy to keep shield forever and put some box to save their loot inside. 1 land possession only, small for not spend much energy and shield on forever.
And before you can reactived the shield you must wait 5 hour.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2020, 07:19:11 am by Bane »

gigafunk

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Well, they would be trapped in their claim. They have to be in there for it to kick on. So they cant be gathering and growing and you can be, and eventually they will run out of power. And while they are busy making batteries, you can make guns and bullets and bombs and be ready when they come out.   


Maybe crops/lith pumps/oil freeze while the shields on?  Thats drastic, but there are so many way to balance this idea.

And, if the bloodthirsty have to wait around or try a couple times to catch a smaller group on, go cry. As it is, the KOS bloodthirsty king-of-the-hill style players are too shortsighted to understand a game that lets you kill everyone the first week is not fun after the first week....

With this change  the servers wont go dead after 2 weeks and maybe we can even have them run longer than a month. and break the king-of-the-hill gameplay cycle that is fun enough, but holding this game back from being being super amazing.

If this is a thing, how long? 3 months? 6? I am going to finish up next server wipe, and want to be back as soon as some version of this is being tested, with 2-3 friends.